getting back together

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It has been a mere week and a half since I finished school and I have noticed many things.  Mostly what I have noticed is that our family hasn’t been together much.

My kids are fighting more.

My kids have lost all manners I taught them.

My kids have been ignoring our house rules.  No eating in bedrooms ect.

My patience is not what it should be.

My mom brain is fully engaged now.

It’s amazing what you don’t notice when you’re just plain tired.  I was also gone.  Often. Like frequently.  Most of the time.

The mom is said to be the heart of the home.  I admit that I have had such a large workload that my heart hasn’t been fully with my family even when I have been near them.

No more.

I am back to monitoring and coaching interpersonal relationships. I’m pondering with a watchful eye, listening with perked ears, and making lots of eye contact.  You know, the sort where you hope they see your face and change their words before you actually say something.  That sort.

I wanted to share a great on-the-go resource for opening up your heart and mind to just being better at momming.  I say this with a whisper because I don’t want to trap you in the mindset of doing everything you hear.  I’ve been there before and ideas after ideas are an exhausting wheel to spin on.

Think of this resource as more of a heart centering.

Get back on the wagon.

Check out God Centered Mom Podcast.

I have been enjoying these mom interviews to and from work, to and from moving our stuff from one house to another, and while shopping (yes I’m that person).

That’s the honest mom truth.  I’m working on centering my heart back to where it longs to be.  We are all learning what it’s like to be together more, to have more structure.

We’re not just surviving together, we’re getting back together.

 

the big change

IMG_3396We have been at the farm for five years now.  We have loved and learned so many wonderful lessons, but it’s time for a big change.  We’re moving.

We’re moving to a place that is completely opposite of the farm.  The city.  We’re moving to a neighborhood with a park and kids everywhere. We’re moving to a place that has a yard the size of our living room and kitchen.

We’re moving to a place where we can be together more.

This new home is three minutes from Nick’s work.  Three.  Not, Fifty.   It’s seven minutes from Target (watch out husband here I go).  We are all both excited and sad.  We have loved our farm.

We all have gown close to together while gardening and completing projects.  We’ve seen goat babies born, collected chicken eggs, chased those gosh darn pigs, bird watched, adventured, lived a full five years.

We are excited to experience what we never have before.  We have never been city folks as a family.  We have never cheered bother in baseball, gone to gymnastics, ballet recitals, played with neighborhood kids after school.  We haven’t experienced the average American life.  It’s both odd and fun to imagine ourselves as average.

The last time we lived in a neighborhood we homeschooled.  The kids we so little. Even then we we’re weird.  We hung-dry clothes, had a big garden, used cloth diapers, canned food, made laundry soap, ate organic.  We were still weird.

Now, we won’t have the space to do all that, and all the kids are now in public school.  I have no desire or time for making everything from scratch anymore.  It’s just going to be different from how we have lived.  It’s going to be less work.

I look forward to the kids having friends over and meeting our neighbors.  I look forward to the kids going to youth group at a bigger church.  I look forward to us serving the people in our community more.  I look forward to convenience.  I can’t wait to be a part of a women’s ministry again.  Book clubs, coffee dates, , and walking to the park- it’s all coming.  I look forward to simple living.  I look forward to not feeling secluded.

We will never forget what we have had here on the farm.  The experiences we’re had and life we’ve lived have shaped us all.  It’s just time to move along a different path that has been laid before us.  It’s time to stop traveling  to and from the city (goodbye ridiculous fuel bill).  It’s time to just be in the city.

It time for a big change.

 

mama’s back!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who remain here.

My little corner of the web has survived my year long absence, and two years of being unkempt.

I’m back.

I cannot wait wait to fill you all in on my little life lessons and bits you have missed.  If you follow me on instagram you have a pretty good idea of what’s been happening in our lives.  If you don’t- what are you waiting for?  I’m the most interesting human on earth…or not.

Let’s get down to what event has brought me back to this place.

My happy place.

I’m graduating from college!  That’s right.  My shambled life is starting to get back to a pace this cocaine-free girl can handle without having a conniption.

I’m so excited.

I’m relieved.

We’re all relieved to be honest.

It’s been one of the most demanding and trial-filled years of my life.

But….

I did it.

Well, He did it.  God have been the peace that has calmed my heart every test, every milestone.  He has been the one that allowed others to see the good in me.  He made my hard work noticed.  He guided me through.

He watched over my babies when I wasn’t there.  He was with my husband many nights while I worked night shifts, swing shifts, and was at class late into the night.

He gave me this drive inside.  The stubbornness to keep going when I wanted to quit.  He brought to memory things I had forgotten in the nick-of-time.

Persevere.

That’s my life motto.  Long before there was Dori swimming, I have had this word etched into my heart.

Persevere.

And I did, persevere.

I’m sitting here just two days away from my goal.  Just two more finals and I’m there. I can’t believe I’m here, this close to the end.  My heart is rejoicing and my spirit is longing to be done with this season.

I thank you again for all who have visited this space over and over and saw nothing new, but you stayed.  You didn’t give up on me.

Friends, I have so much to fill you in on.  I can’t wait!  What have you been doing?  What blogs should I be reading?  I haven’t read a blog in years.  What shall we do together?  Read? Knit? Mama chat?

I feel like a little kid before Christmas.  Eager and full of anticipation.  I ‘m ready to open the gift of sharing in the place.  It’s time to encourage and love and get real.

Mama’s back!

 

tiny garden

We are easing back into developing our garden and farm again.  The exhaustion and business of life led us away.  I have allowed myself to maintain a small garden.  I say allowed because I want more.  It isn’t what I imagine as being great, but sometimes you have to get real with yourself about what you can pull off.

This is our small garden.

Planted late.

Planted hurriedly.

Planted.

Last year we had no garden and I see this as a huge improvement.  Strawberries, onions, cucumber, zucchini, sunflowers, pinto beans, watermelon, cantaloupe, peppers, potatoes are all coming up and doing well.

I can’t ask for more than that.  Every year no matter how much I know it will happen, I always feel surprised and in awe by what can come from such a tiny seed.

A tiny garden baring the fruits it ought to is a wonderful thing.

Have you planted a garden friend?  What is your favorite part of watching your garden grow?

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when life laughs at you…persevere

I think it’s important not to take yourself too seriously.  In light of my last post, a follow-up is necessary.  For the past few months I have been the front-of-house manager for one of most popular restaurants in our area.  I mentioned in the last post how much I love the problem solving, right?  Yes.  Did I also say how much chaos is my thing?  Yeah.  I did.  Oh. My.  I love when I eat my own words.  It’s tastes great!

Here’s the deal.  I like to take crazy and make it make sense.  I’ve been pretty good at my job thus far.  Busy days are my favorite.  I like the feeling of stepping in when everything hits the fan, fixing it, and no guest in our restaurant even notices.  I usually laugh hysterically when several people come to me at once with what they feel are end-of-world problems.  I don’t laugh at them.  I laugh at how nuts things can get.  I usually take a deep breath, roll up my sleeves, and start putting out fires.  One by one in order of priority, I fix things.  Yesterday, things got a bit too much.  Even this chaos-seeker couldn’t get the fires under control.

It all started at noon.  I got a call from the busser.  Car problems.  He’ll be an hour or so late tonight.  No problem here.  Due to budget cuts, I was scheduled as the hostess.  No big deal.  I can buss and host.  Solved.  When I got to work, more little fires. BAM!  Taken care of in the first hour.  I was thinking it was a crazy start to a Monday, but things were quiet.  Business was slow.  A sick server’s shift got covered, another needed the next day off.  No problem.  Move this one here, and that one there.  Done.  Sometimes things get hairy.  That’s the way it is in the restaurant biz.  Just Saturday I was talking with a cooks’ father who was in town from Florida.  He’s had a successful restaurant in Syracuse for thirty years.  We chatted about how it is hard at times.  It’s just the way it is.

Everything at work stayed quiet the rest of the day.  Too quiet, in fact.  By four PM I was so bored I actually said out loud that I wished to bar would explode so I’d have something to do.  To give you some background on that statement, let me tell you that my first day managing we had a loud gun-shot sound in the middle of the dinner rush.  Turns out the bartender caught the edge of the bar glass with a wine bottle.  A six foot section of the bar burst into a ba-gillion tiny pieces.  Right under a hotel insurance adjusters’ dinner.  Yeah.  It’s gets crazy.  It always happens right when the restaurant is full too.

So, I’m so bored yesterday that I asked for an explosive mess.

I got it.

The busser let me know that he’ll be even later.  The restaurant was starting to fill and my servers were getting a bit frazzled.  I let him know to just get in when he can.  They would love his help cleaning up later.  I proceeded to the bar to make some drinks, wondering where the bar tender was.  At this point I was wondering if he was coming at all.  As I made a few drinks, the look on the servers faces was getting panicked.  The restaurant was filling very quickly.  I was tending to the bar folk to relieve their stress.  I was getting that feeling that things were slipping from me.  I couldn’t leave where I was…too much to do.

Muddling drinks in the midst of a “situation” feels like waiting for water to boil.  The time seems to never end.  I knew I needed to walk the floor and check on my servers, but the drink orders kept coming!  I got up and couldn’t get out from behind the bar.  I spied the pizza server and knew she could make drinks.  I called her over and let her loose.  I served pizzas for her and ran through the kitchen to check the schedule.

Just as I suspected.  Bar tender was an hour late, and now fired!  Okay, no bar tender tonight.  Things are getting nuts!

Throw in the fact that the service is getting slower, we’re on a wait list, and another local restaurant owner was very unhappy with his experience…that all adds up to this manager feeling like a failure.

Who’s that I spy?  An off-duty bartender walking in the lobby?  Get in! Punch in, and send the pizza girl back to her side.

Here come more and more people.  Food is in the window and needs running.  Here I go.  The bartender is doing his best.  I check on cups and run more to him.  Who’s that I see?  That’s right.  The thirty year restaurateur.  He asks how I am.  Uhhhhh.  Things are a little messy tonight.

“I know.  I could tell when I walked in.”

Defeat is an ugly mental state.  It was on every face of my people that night.  Times like that you just have to push through.  I was holding on to the idea that the busser would show up at any minute to smooth things out a bit.

Then I saw a text.

He’s not coming.  Just couldn’t get here in time with all the set-backs.

More defeat on the faces of my servers.  That meant that after all the rude people, failed team member, stress of knowing you didn’t give your guest what you wanted to give, you’ll now be taking on all the closing cleaning of the busser.

I  stayed to close because I knew my servers need a lift after all that beat-down the night gave them.  I figured that if we pumped up some old-school hip-hop after closing we could get the pep in our step back.

The service settled.  The guests went as fast as they came.  When the last one left, I went straight to the music.

It wouldn’t work.

And that was the night.

At every expectation of relief or hope of it getting easier, it failed.

Isn’t life like that?  There are certain seasons, days, years, that feel so defeating.  I was downcast in my heart while still trying to  encouraging to my staff.  I determined to just push through the crappy night.  There’s a word that I learned early in my Christian walk.

Persevere.

That word has a way of lifting me and propelling me.  Sometimes by one more day.  Sometimes by one more hour.  Just a bit longer.  I have a verse on my wall that I look at and consider almost daily.

In short…persevere.

yarn along

It’s been the longest stretch of no knits I’ve had in five years!  Partly due to busyness, partly to lack of yarn, it’s been a couple of months since I touched any knitting.  I’m happy to announce that I broke down and bought the yarn I needed to finally finish the updated version of Stripe the Squares, Baby!  Yay, me!  I can’t wait to feel that wool between my fingers again.

did finish The Three Musketeers recently.  Double yay.  I’m a fan of classic writing.  After spending so many months in the mind of Dumas, I needed some easy reading.  Currently on the night stand is 206 Bones by Kathy Reichs.  I believe it’s number thirteen in her Temperance Brennan series.  Yes, I’ve read them all.  In order.  Like a nerd.

What’s on your needles?  Have you read a good book lately?  Please share.  You can join the Yarn Along by clicking the link above.  Happy yarning friends!

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i’m sick of me

I’m so sick of myself!  I say that in the least self-loathing, self-centered, depressed way possible.  But really, I am.  Ever since I became a Christian fourteen years ago, I have heard people say that all you need is a humble spirit and a teachable heart.  You read your Bible, go to Bible studies, say your prayers, love others, serve others.  Eventually you will become more like Him.  I find that defeating.

Think about all the work that list entails.  Overwhelming.  If you get married you are then to be a good and loving spouse.  Serving your spouse when they are undeserving, and being okay with whatever they say and do with no bad attitudes.  Be in the perfect frame of mind.  Live life fully in the Spirit.

Do all this while dancing around with a smiling on your face.  Singing praises to God in all situations.

Now have children.

Multiply the Earth with a quiver full of arrows.

Now, be always giving and loving.  Nurture those babes with the fear of the Lord.  Direct them in the ways they should go all the days of their lives.  Read Proverbs 31 and be that person.  Forever.  Motherhood is always.

Really?  We don’t need to work our way to being a person who reflects the image of God?  We are supposed to help the poor, serve our families, teach our young ones, volunteer at church, keep our houses orderly, cook wonderful healthy meals, all while having a patient attitude even when the kids that are a blessing from God are smearing poop on the bathroom floor.  Even when your spouse who was hand-picked by God hurts your feelings.

Take it Christian women.  You can choose to make the best of all things in your life.

This is all partly true.  The missing piece is this:  “I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens me.”

How have we become exactly like the Hebrews and not realized it?  We want Jesus as enough, and we want to be perfect super women also.  If we’re strong in our life who is it that’s weak?  Christ, right?

When we’re weak He is strong.  I seem to forget this all the time.  I know this in my head, but in reality, I fail to remember that Jesus is ALL I need.  He is sufficient always!

Do you need to remember this too?  You cannot do life on your own.  You weren’t meant to. Christ wants your humility, not your strength.

I was recently given a book by my dear and sweet friend.  I read the preface three times before I could read the first chapter.  The book is Hinds Feet in High Places by Hannah Harnard.

As I read the following bit, I knew that all the head knowledge I’ve gathered up in Bible studies and life and devotional time wasn’t sinking into the reality of my path here and now.

“But the High Places of victory and union with Christ cannot be reached by any mental reckoning of self to be dead to sin…”

What?  I can’t choose to be dead to my sin?  I don’t have the ability?

“…or by seeking to devise some way or discipline by which the will can be crucified.”

Reading my Bible everyday and going to church and going to Bible study, and serving and being a patient (yeah right!) mother, and hosting Jesus Birthday parties for all the neighborhood kids, and NOT doing things I shouldn’t doesn’t count?  *MIND BLOWN*

“The only way is by learning to accept, day by day, the real conditions and tests permitted by God, by a continually repeated laying down of our own will and acceptance of his as is it presented to us in the form of the people with whom have to live and work, and in the things which happen to us.”

Ummm.  Read that again!

“Every acceptance of his will become an altar of sacrifice, and every such surrender and abandonment of ourselves to his will is a means of furthering us on the way to the High Places to which he desires to bring every child of his while they are still living on earth.”

She goes on the explain that the lessons of the book are a journey to accepting grief and pain and triumphing over evil ect.

Seriously.  Do you know what she stated to be true?  In your heart?  In your life?  In the way that you live?  I think I missed something along the way.  I truly believe that God’s Word is true.  I know it’s by His strength, in His Spirit, by His will, for His glory.

What I’m really trying to consider here is that I must accept every thing that happens as an oppurtunity to humble myself, and by God’s grace and mercy accept the fighting kids as tools to sharpen my patience.  I am set on thinking of disorder that drives my recovering OCD mind crazy, as a way for God to instill his order in my heart.

I am forever and always until Jesus comes, going to be struggling.  I am eager for God to work into me a heart and Spirit that shines His light into darkness.

What if my life brought others to knowledge of Him?  That won’t happen if I’m complaining about how someone built an awesome thing inside our house and sanded it inside our house.  It won’t happen if I pretend to be strong when something is hard.  Honest humility.  We are to bear one another’s burdens,  You get the point right?

I have had plenty of opportunities to accept His will in my life recently.  Each time, I’m reminded of this passage.  My only real job as a Christian is to act on those opportunities.  Sometimes that looks like scrubbing my neighbor’s house because that’s how they need to hear the gospel.  Other times it looks like NOT freaking out on kids and being humble and loving.  Choosing to accept the challenges they throw at me as an oppurtunity to teach instead of punish.

It’s not going to be easy, but I am so excited to start letting Him work his will in my life.  I’m also excited to allow his will instead of impose my own.  Are you with?