Tag Archives: Faith

Good-bye Winter, Hello Spring!

It’s been quite a winter! I love winter! I love the cold and snow. I love the coziness of a fire and hot tea and hot chocolate. I have always been sad to see the forced slowness of winter, giving way to the hurried rush of spring and summer. Until this winter.

This winter has kicked my ass!!

It has been a long, hard winter. Between jobs and life changes, illness and injuries, and the over abundance of ice, it has been a slippery slope of what felt like months of failure.

In February, Matthew had an interview where I worked long before kids. The phone interview went OK, and he was asked to come in for a formal interview. Fast forward and the interview was a lot shorter than he expected it to be, and we didn’t know how to take it.

A few days later he had a missed called (on a Friday night at 8pm) from them. What the heck? He called the next day and it was a few hours before they called him back offering him the position. Everything fell into place, and he started the beginning of March.

Through the whole of February and March we have been under a constant state of sickness. I don’t think I’ve been consistently feeling well for more than a few days since Christmas. The kids had a bout of strep in February, when they were on break, and we soon discovered that Henry was SEVERELY allergic to amoxicillin: Full body rash.

We thought everyone was on the mend, but Avelyn kept complaining about a stuffiness, and sometimes pain, in her right ear. I finally took her to the doctor. She was fully convinced that she was just going to go through life partially deaf in one ear (the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree of dramatics). Another ear infection.

Then Monday morning James and Elanor woke up complaining about throats, I looked and we’re back to treating kids for strep again. We can’t win. I told Matthew next year we are going to a hot, sunny beach for a week on their February break.

And me? I’m glad for sunshine and warmer days.

In February we FINALLY, after a full year of going to Albany for Drs appointments, scheduled my Diastasis Recti repair surgery for April 2nd! Of course, winter took it’s toll on me too.

In the Fall, I was right where I wanted to be. I was strong, I was at my ideal weight, all of it was right where I felt good going into surgery, but then insurance denied coverage and we had to start the process again.

Throw in my general mood this winter of feeling beaten down constantly, mentally and physically exhausted from doing and dealing with it all, and the ice, and I was not taking care of myself. I haven’t walked. I haven’t lifted. I’ve definitely not been eating right. And I’ve gained 10lbs. Not where I want to be.

At the beginning of March, I decided I was taking my life back and started lifting again and putting myself back on good eating habits, and as life would have it, I sat on the COUCH with my kids one afternoon and when I went to get up my back went into spasm.

This was nothing like I’ve EVER experienced. When I had my major back issues from the diastasis recti I could work through it, it hurt, don’t get me wrong, but I could manage.

This was something different. I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t stand, I couldn’t bend, I couldn’t walk. For 4 days I was unable to do anything other than lay in bed. It was muscles that abjectly REFUSED to do what I asked them to do. Talk about putting you behind!

Right now though, the sun is shining, the days are a touch warmer, there’s hope in our steps. We might just be making it through this winter after all.

Hope springs eternal in the human breast; Man never is, but always to be blest. The soul, uneasy and confined from home, Rests and expatiates in a life to come.” -Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man, 1733

When Life Doesn’t Go According to Plan….

I can’t seem to get these words out…mostly because I don’t know how to say what I want to say, and it’s not something I want to share with everyone.

Things on the income/employment front have been less than stellar.

We had our usual fair season in August, which was a mess. It rained all week. To the point that the fairground parking lot was closed because of the mud. We lost money this year. Then the following week, after a variety of things (many long standing) Matt quit his job with my parents. Friday is his last day. He has one more paycheck, and then I don’t know.

We won’t starve. We won’t be homeless. God’s got this. All of this I know and yet…

My anxiety has been through the roof. My stress level is sky rocketing. I honestly don’t feel it’s because of us not having any income soon. I truly do feel that it’s a wide variety of things, because I’ve been feeling this way for a while. I’ve just been ignoring it.

We’ve had HUGE changes in our lives. In the Spring we decided to send the kids to public school, because they wanted to go and because I felt I was drowning in homeschooling and failing them terribly (logically I know I wasn’t). Our house has become a huge stress point for me because it is in such a state of chaos from unfinished and unorganized construction projects, compounded by 5 kids. Throw in the looming unknown, and I think it’s just the perfect storm.

All of this to say…I’m not ok. I’m really, REALLY struggling with life right now. I’m trying to see the things that God is pointing out to me and I’m either in such a state of denial that I’m oblivious or I’m just full of pride with how well I’m handling things. Either way isn’t good.

Matt will find a job, or I will. The house projects will get done (Hey…maybe that’s why he hasn’t found a job yet…so that he can help me get our house in order…looking on the bright side). The kids are loving school (for the most part). Life is truly good. I just wish my heart would stop racing and this feeling of panic would go away.

I listened to a podcast (I can’t remember which) and the person being interviewed said something about her struggle when she and her husband were in a season of no income. That she felt like she was supposed to DO something, make money somehow, rather than just sitting back and letting God. BUT God wanted her to just trust in him to provide everything, to not be busy doing.

That’s where I am. Because doesn’t God help those who help themselves? Aren’t I supposed to be the wife/mom who works hard for her family, bringing in an income?

Right now that’s what I’m doing…putting all my entrepreneurial skills to use. Selling the things we don’t need (furniture, electronics, etc) and setting myself up to do several holiday craft markets where I’m hoping I’ll sell my beeswax candles and some other home decor things Matthew and I make. BUT is that what I’m SUPPOSED to be doing?!

We’re still hoping Matthew will get a job interview somewhere. I’ve applied for two different jobs, one of them is a temporary fix, the other is more of a commitment of time, but a perfect fit for me (director of our town library). I haven’t been offered either job, but I’m in a tumult as to which is the right one to accept.

I have no idea….I need God to give me a swift kick in the rear or slap across the face, because I have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing or how to decide on anything.

For now….I’m thinking of starting my etsy shop back up and hopefully between that and holiday markets that I’m signed up for we will be able to keep the lights on.

 

The Year of Living Happy {a Review}

I seem to get on a roll with reviewing books, then petering off for a while. The great thing about kids’ books is they’re a really fast review!

As Christian we kind of get caught up, sometimes, in this idea that if we’re happy and w enjoying our lives, we must be living a life that it selfish. That somehow we are allowing ourselves to pursue our own pleasures rather than God. God wants us to have a life of joy and happiness, in Him. Alli Worthington‘s new book talks about just that.

In her new book, The Year of Living Happy: Finding Contentment and Connection in a Crazy World, Alli talks about we were made to be happy, that God desires us to be happy and that in being happy we are living for Him.

“My hope for The Year of Living Happy is to bring the truth of Scripture and best of modern research together as a guide to real happiness.” ~ Alli Worthington

This book was so good and so manageable! It’s written in short 1-2 page chapters (100 of them), each of them followed with a short to-do or thoughts to mull over. There is Scripture for us to read and let pour into our hearts and mind.

Alli even digs into the times in our lives when it’s down right HARD to be happy. Maybe life is throwing some rapid fire punches, or everything is really great, but you’re struggling with being happy…there’s a whole chapter for this very real battle.

Whether you’re struggling with being happy or not, this little book has some great information and tips to help you live your happiest life!

**I received this book for free through the BookLookBloggers program….the opinions are my own. You can read my full disclosure policy here.

Jesus Calling: The Story of Christmas {a Review}

Just got this one in the mail today from BookLookBloggers.com (You can read my disclosure policy here).

If you follow me on IG, you got to see Peter’s box opening in my stories; he was pretty excited to be getting to open a package with something for HIM in it! Can’t say as I blame the kid.

We’ve had the Jesus Calling kids devotional, which we’ve all really liked, but I’m an extra sucker for a Christmas book, and this one doesn’t disappoint. The illustrations are fun and colorful, without being garish. The font is easy to read, while the text is simple enough for any child to be engaged in it. Each page has not only a part of the story, but bible verses for that part of the story.

All around this is a great Christmas book addition, which takes kids from way back in the Christmas story to how it applies to them today. I did get the picture book version, that said, I think I’d prefer the board book, as it really is geared toward the under 5 kiddos.

Do Things Scared

There are some massive changes going on in our family this summer. While we’re all excited for them, I have to admit, I’m honestly terrified too. Us moms, we ultimately just want our kids to be happy, well adjusted people, who aren’t turds. I think that’s something we can all agree on. Of course the pathways there are numerous and everyone seems to have an opinion on “what is best”.

As of July 1st, I will be hanging up my hat as a homeschool mom. It’s kind of a struggle, I feel like I’m somehow losing my credentials as a mom. That by not homeschooling I’m giving up and taking a shortcut. 

I shared a few weeks ago about the possibility of our oldest four going to school in the fall. The decisions have been made and teacher assignments are in the mail. Avelyn will be going into second grade and Henry, James, and Ellie will be going to kindergarten.

Academically I think those are the right choices for them, my concern remains for the social aspect. My kids are going to be a full year to two years older than the kids in their grades. Ultimately, that’s not a big deal, because who cares how old you are when you graduate high school.

It’s more my concern that they will stick out. I’m also hoping that their maturity and age will set them apart from their classmates in a good way, that they will have the strength to do and say what is right, and not cave to the negatives of peer pressure.

So yea, I’m nervous. I’m scared. But I’m also hopeful and excited. I think it’s the right time.

People have also assumed that we’ve thrown in towel on homeschooling, we haven’t. It’s just not what is working for us right now. Maybe in a few years we will come back to homeschool, maybe we won’t. We have always said we will take it a year a time. I can’t predict or know what’s going to happen.

The other big change this summer is that the kids are going to overnight camp! It’s just for two nights, but still, that’s a HUGE deal in our house. Our church diocese has a camp they run all summer long. The kids were excited to try their beginner camp, so we will see how it goes.

I’m hoping and praying that it goes well; particularly since I have one child that does not do well with not being home, not that any of them are fantastic at being away. I’m just hoping I’m not making any midnight drives to pick kids up from 3 hours away.

So, yea…big changes for us. Good changes, but still scary. It’s a good thing my motto for the past year has been do it scared.