Vacation, and getting back into routine.

I know I’m not alone in this. Picture this scenario with me: you go on a nice vacation, enjoying time to relax and recharge with your family-only to come home to raging piles of laundry, cranky kids from the long car ride, maybe a time change thrown in there, and a refrigerator that yields only condiments and butter. Yep. Classic. We also had company from out of state come only a few days after we came home. I unpacked our suitcases the day they arrived. 😛 Laundry is usually my biggest hurdle to getting back into routine. Today my goal is to do 5 loads of laundry. At least. And do some REAL meal planning-not just a desperate “Get me through the next 3 days without having to run out for milk” kind of planning. What is your worst archenemy to settling back in after vacation, and how do you attack it?

Advertisements

Anticipation!

I’m so excited! This weekend is going to be a mash up of two different seminar/conference events. One is a marriage seminar, and we get to leave the children with my parents during the day Saturday. Then on Sunday we will leave 2 kiddos with JE’s parents and drive out of state for a conference focusing on resting in the Presence of God. We are very excited, I’m really looking forward to a little vacation time, as well as an opportunity to seek God without the distractions of everyday life popping up. We have been given a leading to serve hurting women. (I speak a little bit about it here.) While we’ve been working hard to get the house ready, we are realizing more and more thoroughly how unprepared spiritually, emotionally, and mentally we feel for this sort of thing.

We are pretty naive, which is probably a good thing, honestly. It means we can love with less hang ups. We are not street smart-we don’t know the lingo, the pitfalls, the struggles. We’ve (praise God!) never been a part of the drug world, so how can we love and support someone who is going through the throes of withdrawal, or trying to resist a relapse? I’ve never been a single mom-my husband is an AMAZING husband and daddy to our children. We were each other’s first boyfriend/girlfriend, and saved our first kiss for at the wedding altar… how can I minister to those who gave themselves away prematurely, or had their innocence ripped away from them?? I feel very blessed and very unqualified to reach out to these women. But God has made it clear this is what we are supposed to do! So, how?

All these questions can be answered very simply, by LOVE. Just pour God’s love out on them. There are obviously other things I can do to gain experience and wisdom-training and volunteering at local women’s ministries is one avenue for this. But the most important thing, the most needful thing, is to love them. And how does one give love away, except if one has love in the first place?! I’ve been crying out to the Lord to prepare me for this, to lead us in the way He would have us go. We know we can get burnt doing this kind of ministry very, very easily. We have no interest in doing anything apart from Holy Spirit’s guidance and leading. So the big thing this weekend that I’m really pressing in and asking the Lord for-is an outpouring of His love and wisdom.

Quiet Mornings

This morning I made it a priority to get up early and have first things first. This, for a couple of reasons, has always been difficult for me, and so I’ve never really had it established as a habit. I’m sincerely hoping to change this, as it is about impossible to have quiet time reading and meditating on the Word, writing, and prayer at any other time of the day. Besides, there is something beautiful about enjoying time with Abba as the sun rises. 🙂 My heart longs for quiet time with Him. Mommies and Daddies, don’t forget that you need to seek out your Abba Daddy. He’s always ready to speak with you, and He won’t even complain if you wake up at 3AM and run to Him with a concern.  He’s the bestest Daddy ever.

A bad school day.

Those who know me well know I am usually very patient and long suffering. But some things really push my buttons. And it’s usually my kids on a bad day, which doesn’t make for good parenting from me. Let me just tell you about today. 😉

My two older girls were begging to do their school work. Mom’s dream, right?! I was happy, and got out their work books and pulled out pages that are very much in their capabilities-should be a piece of cake for them. I explained the directions, made sure the first one was done correctly, and then left the room to order some pictures and library books. Figured I would have some quiet time to accomplish these needed tasks. WRONG.

They started arguing.

I ignored them. Classic mom move.

They kept arguing, and someone screams.

I go investigate. No school work accomplished. H was heartbroken that S had moved a piece of furniture 2 feet from it’s designated location. I set things straight and set them back down to their school work.

S comes running in and rams into my elbow as I’m making online purchases. Not cool. Of course she says she hasn’t finished her page yet. No, she says she doesn’t need help. Ok, then go do it!

A few minutes later S begins running around in circles singing loudly to bother her sister. H starts yelling at her to stop, and of course that eggs S on even worse. S gets a time out.

15 minutes later H has one word written down. She usually flies through these pages, finishing at least one page every 5 minutes. I have a feeling school today is not going to go well. I love the days when I can tell them what to do, and come back in a few minutes and they are finished and smiling. That is usually how it goes! They are really great daughters and students-I probably sound very spoiled right about now. 😛 Just some days are completely the opposite. Today is apparently one of those days.

I didn’t deal with everything well. I spoke in anger to S, and told her we were done with school work for the moment. I have no idea what the root is behind all the squabbling. No one needs a nap or is sick as far as I know. Maybe after I finish dealing with the online business we can try again when I can give one on one attention…

Thanks for listening, I feel a little more sorted out already.

2014-A Year of Major Change and Growth

Time for a TBT of major proportions! Each year I review my calendar and list the major events of each month. This year should be fun, it was a very eventful year!

January:

~I met my Biological Grandma, Uncle, and siblings for the first time. Quite a crazy swirl of emotions for sure! I was so grateful for the chance to meet them.
~Toronto “Catch The Fire” conference. An awesome and fun trip. (Our first time to Canada!) Also stopped at Niagara Falls on the way home. Stunning.

February:

~My friend Bekah got married!
~H turned 5 years old. Where does time go??
~We first toured our house with the realtor and put in an offer.
~My biological father came for a visit, my first time to meet him. We had a great couple of days getting to know one another.

March:

~We sold the little Aladdin Camper trailer that had been in our family for 4 generations to some good friends who really were excited to have it. We were sad, but couldn’t take care of it any more.
~Closed on the house!! And then our life got crazy. 😉

April:

~Celebrated 6 years of marriage!
~Put in many hours to demolishing the interior of our home.
~Participated in a race to support TeamWAR.

May:

~Several family members graduated from College.
~We officially changed our address, even though we were still living at our old house.
~Continued working on the house, got to pick paint colors and kitchen cabinet colors.

June:

~Went to a revival in Dayton.
~Joshua took off work and our family spent many hours helping us pull together things at the house so we could move in.
~MOVED!!! On the 23rd we moved in to our new house. We had one bathroom sink and toilet working. The tub almost worked. Oh the memories!

July:

~Busy getting the upstairs bathroom functional-bathtub and second toilet and sink work!
~Many trips to Lowes.
~My birthday.
~Many days of being sick from over doing it. Began to realize I couldn’t pretend to be super woman and survive.

August:

~Restoring Lives International conference. Much needed refresher and restoration break.
~Our Sister in law had twin boys!
~Many more trips to Lowes. Considered asking them to move to our street…
~Had an extended family crisis that really shook me up. Praise God for a solid husband and the Lord’s mercies.

September:

~Went to see Georgian Banov speak/play. He told me I should start this blog! Aaaand here we are. 🙂
~We went to COSI for a family date, it was a fun time.
~H finished Kindergarten! We went to the zoo to celebrate.

October:

~I completed my first 31 day blogging Challenge!
~Our kitchen counter top was delivered.
~We went to see James Maloney speak. The Lord is increasing our faith!
~Baby turned 1 year old!
~Celebrated Sukkot in a very laid back and fun way. We camped in our living room and ordered pizza… first time we had ever had pizza delivered. Yes, we are weird. 🙂

November:

~H was baptized! Praising the Lord for her desire to obey and serve God.
~S turned 4 years old. Due to sickness we never had a real party for her… made a cake almost a month later after I gave up on having a party.
~Briefly went to my biological family’s thanksgiving gathering for my first time. It was neat. Met a new uncle and got to learn a bit of family history. Then went to Thanksgiving at my parent’s home. A sweet and fun time.
~Went black friday shopping with my siblings. What a blast!
~Had a bad infection and was down sick for several days.
~Stayed at my in laws house for several days while our house was with out electricity-therefore no heat or easy way to cook.

December:

~Celebrated JE’s birthday by installing a garage door opener. You know you’re grown up when…. 😛
~Kitchen sink installed!!! Oh how I cried. Such relief!
~Had a grand time working slowly on the house, visiting with friends and family, and doing some fun shopping.
~Went to Deer Creek lodge with my extended family for a night. Made some memories. Thankful for that opportunity. I didn’t know if they were going to make it through this year intact. Grateful that by God’s grace, they are.

This year has been a huge year of change, growth, joy, and pain. I’m looking forward to next year, and what the Lord has for us! Life is exciting, even more exciting than when I was 19 and striking out as a “grown up” with so many possibilities ahead of me. This year really has taken the cake with being the biggest, craziest, most changing and challenging year of my life. Our family and friends have really rallied around us to help us with our huge house projects, and the time and energy they have poured into helping us is great appreciated! (As well as the countless tool loans. 🙂 ) So thankful for the blessing of my husband, JE. Together we are learning and growing so much in our faith, in our life skills, and in our relationship. Thanks to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and patience, we are stronger now than we were 12 months ago, for certain. I love you babe! God has been loving us through all our craziness, emptying us of ourselves so He can fill us up with Himself. May we be pure and willing vessels in 2015!