House Rehab Before Video

I just came across this Youtube we uploaded before we started working on the house. Enjoy!

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Desiring to be Desperate

Have you ever wished you had the willpower for something worthwhile? Maybe the strength to refuse those sweets and exercise more so you can lose those last 10 pounds? Perhaps the backbone to stand up for yourself in a bad relationship and turn your life around?  How about the desire to read the Bible, pray more, and become a more loving person?

I am weak. I want to desire the Lord more and more. But that strength to pursue Him is just not there. I keep falling short of being madly crazy in love with Him, getting too distracted by the struggles of life to rest in Him.

It is a good thing that having a relationship with God isn’t hinged on my strength, because if that was the case I’d obviously be a lost cause. Praise the Lord it is through His strength that He draws me to Himself! He pursues me with hot passion, I am His beloved bride, his precious one. He desires to completely overcome me and pour His heart into me. He is able.

And I am undone. My heart is overcome.

Are you hungry for love? Surrender your heart to Jesus. He will love you. After all, He promised He would, and He is always the Man of His Word.

Queen of England

My girls love all things princess and ballet… like many little girls. They love the special feeling of the outfits and the graceful dance moves. The sparkly pink and purple things, the fancy dresses. Well this past week I showed them a Youtube clip of William and Kate’s wedding. They were astonished that there was a real life “princess” wearing a real tiara and that there was a real queen in attendance! We have since been on a Youtube journey of sorts through history of the royal family and Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace… they are thrilled that someone lives like that in real life, and can’t get enough of the beauty and splendor. It has amazed me as well-I have been learning so much! I enjoy learning things alongside my children. Their interests spark fun learning curves, and I love encouraging that curiosity and wonder.

Contentment and Practicality

Yes, I’m writing about this on Black Friday, I know. Don’t worry, I’m not judging. I went shopping this evening after dinner with my siblings. We had a great time, laughing it up and enjoying being together. We just got back. I had two goals: Buy some shoes and some jeans. I ended up buying nothing but a nice scarf that I knew I would use heavily. There’s a reason why I need shoes and jeans. I have one pair of jeans that sort of fit me, and my black shoes are falling apart. Literally.  But here is the issue. I’m too practical. There are too many choices. Expensive choices. Seemingly impractical choices. Choices I will live with whether or not they really truly fit me, because they are expensive. So instead of choosing, I freeze. I balk. One could say I’m content to wear old shoes that are flaking apart, or second hand clothes that don’t fit me right. But the honest truth is…. I’m not. I want to look nice. I want to have shoes that aren’t falling apart, a coat that isn’t too small and almost worn through, and jeans that actually fit properly and are the right length. Yeah. And then I feel guilty. Aren’t there worse off people than I? Shouldn’t I be glad I have those things? Well, I am. Really I am. I’m warm, and clothed. What more could I desire? This pull in my heart between being content with second hand worn out items and going ahead and shelling out the money for something new and shiny is a hard battle. Being practical is something useful and important, but can also be taken too far. I really should buy new shoes. Maybe tomorrow I’ll find a pair that fit the bill and don’t break the bank. We’ll see.

I must be patient.

Patience. Every mother needs it. It’s so elusive.

I’ve told my children to get dressed 4 times. I really don’t want to have to start the day out with punishments. It’s looking like that’s what is going to have to happen. I hear them playing rambunctiously upstairs. Sometimes I severely dislike being “mom”.

*sigh*

Here goes nothing.

Empty.

In the past few years of my walk with Jesus, there have been some moments of harsh realization that I was running on my own strength… and I knew that would run out of steam someday, at some point. Honestly I prayed I wouldn’t, that I would be able to handle whatever came my way with relative ease. The past 6 months have quite heavily drained me. I knew it was a good thing to reach the end of myself-one can only rely on their strength to a point. But I still fought it. Clung desperately to my strengths even when it meant running over my family-I’m a great organizer, “steam roller”, get’er done kind of girl, with the administrative abilities to back it up. I’m thankful for those abilities-but in my own strength they turned into almost a curse, robbing all of us of joy and peace. They were not enough to carry me, to carry my family through this time of change and challenge. Last night I was empty. Just plain and simple empty. I realized there was no way for me to do it. I’ve tried all the tricks in my book. I’m done.

Jesus is taking over from here.

And he met me. My sweet sweet Jesus loved on me, picked me up, and took my burden. He is real, He is true, and HE is the One making life happen. Not this girl. And I’m so very grateful and full of peace. For the first time in around 6 months I went to sleep in perfect and complete peace. No list formulating in my dreams, no tossing and turning wondering about how to solve this problem or teach this skill. Just peace. And boy it felt good! Woke up with the same peace. Refreshed. Alive! And ready for some new walking, some renewing of my mind. The name of this blog is SurrenderedMama for good reason, perhaps even prophetically. It is my heart’s cry to be utterly and wholly surrendered to my Jesus. The white flag flies quite cheerily here. Thank You Abba.

Gray Days and Introspective Thoughts

It’s one of those days. You wake up groggy, with the feeling that you must not have slept well-but have no recollection why. Oh how I despise that feeling. Today that’s how I woke up. After getting…. 10 hours of sleep.

TEN.

I should feel like a new woman. Instead I feel like I got hit by a truck. Thankfully, I have some very supportive people that surround me on days like today. Oh, they probably won’t actually see me face to face today-I’m just planning on staying home and doing homeschool and laundry. But they are there, holding me up, encouraging me to press on. Many of them I don’t even know personally. They are part of my life online, through Facebook. It all started a few years back when I joined a mom’s group. This group is the place for crowd sourcing random questions like “My 3 year old is suddenly back talking to me all. the. time. What could have triggered this, and how do I deal with it properly to encourage proper communication?”. This group has been some serious support for me on days when I felt like I could talk to no one else about the issues I was facing. Later, I joined a group that shares recipes, asks what’s for dinner this evening (Think about it before 5:30pm!), and healthy eating tips. I also joined a Flylady group, which is basically a “clean your house baby step by baby step at a time, and finally love yourself!” group. In this group I feel perfectly comfortable posting pics of my mounds of dirty dishes, 8 loads of laundry piled on my bed needing folded, and the huge mess my toddlers made in the dining room. Because I know they will encourage me to tackle it, and ask me later how it went. Posting the “after” pictures is a very happy experience, as I know they will rally around me and tell me how great I did. Toddlers and Hubby don’t always get that. 😉 Another group I’m a part of sends out encouraging notes about the value of motherhood and pointing the mommies to God’s Word. There are some days I’m about in tears just reading their messages, because so often we forget and get sidetracked from what is truly important. A group I just joined two days ago is one that encourages it’s members to post a picture of their outfit that day. Since the last 8 months I’ve been in work out clothes and construction gear, and the 4 months before that I was not fitting in any of my clothes well since I had just had a baby, and the 9 months before that I was in maternity clothes and “inbetween” wear…. I desperately needed this kick in the pants. Today I’m actually dressed, with my hair done, jewelry on, and it’s not even lunch time. 😉 Yesterday I actually wore some make up. This is a very, very rare occurrence for me. More amazingly, on a “normal” gray icky day like today, I might have even still been in bed moaning had it not been for the encouragement from the above groups of people. I’m so grateful for their simple gifts of encouragement and gentle shoves in the right direction. When H was a baby I struggled with mild to moderate postpartum depression. As a teenager and young woman I had bouts with depression as well. Two huge things have helped me with dealing properly with the feelings of depression. One, is the encouragement of these groups. Two, is a proper realization that I don’t have to be tied to how I feel. There is Truth that is Truth no matter how I feel.

I am loved. I am valued. The Son of God gave His life for me. For me!!

I am free from the bonds of the enemy. Now whenever I’m beginning to feel blue I pop on some happy music that praises my Maker, refocusing my heart and sending the enemy and his nasty fingers of depression running. With prayer and the prodding of the Holy Spirit and my friends, I am victorious and no longer say “I have depression”. Oh it comes around occasionally trying to bug me, but it can’t find an open spot for long, because of these wonderful supports around me. I am thankful.