Embracing Your Kid’s Interests

Over the past two years I have enjoyed and struggled with things our kids are interested in. To clarify, I am talking about things that are more than a passing interest. These are things that they continue to learn and discover about.

I have moments that I want to forbid them their interest, because I simply do not understand it or it looks/sounds weird to me. I mean why can’t my good Christian kids read/study their Bible’s, dive into devotionals, listen to Christian Music all the time, etc. WHY do they have to discover things that make me wonder if I am a good parent?

Well, I am no expert and I am sure there are MANY Christian parents out there that will disagree with me in our approach. Yet, we have chosen to follow the following steps, for the most part, when our kids develop interests that either concern us OR we just plain think are odd OR we ourselves have NO INTEREST in.

  1. We do our very best to research the thing they are drawn to. We learn the good and bad about it. Then we evaluate if either side out weigh’s the other FOR OUR child and our family. In other words, research and discussion between Mom and Dad.
  2. Then we discuss with the child what we found and what we believe is best. Maybe limited time. Maybe they can only participate or view something when one parent is present. Maybe we decide this interest is not in their best interest and we do forbid it.
  3. Next, we follow-up and make sure they are following our guidelines. If it was something we allowed them to continue with we then choose to learn what we can about it. This allows us to converse with them about it and engage them. We want them to know that their parents may not know EVERYTHING about this, but they are willing to learn, love them enough to want to spend time doing things they enjoy, and also that we are aware of their habits/interests.
  4. Finally, we embrace them and their interests as best we can. We watch movies with them. We watch YouTube videos with them. We encourage them to create things they learn about. We always refer them back to God and our faith. We set an example that we have interests, but we put God and our family first.  Keeping things in proper perspective.

I guess what I am saying is our kids are not our clones. They are going to like things that make no sense to us or may even seem dumb. We choose not to ridicule them or blow it off. We feel that pushes our kids away from us rather than creating a lasting relationship with them. We choose to make the tough parental calls when we need to, but we also explain to our kids why. They may not like it, but at least they know Mom and Dad didn’t just say no. They know we respected them enough to research it and give them REASONS for our decisions.

As parents our number one priority is to keep them close to God. If we choose not to embrace what they are interested in then we may risk pushing them away, which makes it pretty hard to draw them to Jesus Christ.

DISCLAIMER: We do not do a great deal of explaining to our 3-year-old. Ha! We do, but we do more…”No! You WILL NOT run into the road.” or “Yes you can color on THAT paper.” In this post I am referring to our approach with our older children.

 

Finding Purpose Again

There was a time in my life when I was too young to even care about my purpose in being here. Then came the time that I became a teacher and everything changed. I knew from the first day in a classroom that I was to be a teacher.

Oh, my heart filled up with joy and pain when I was in the classroom. Sure I had a life and another purpose that superseded being a teacher and it was being a wife. Eventually, becoming a mom interfered as well. Yet, what I am talking about is that purpose that somewhere inside of you … you just know you are meant to be there in that place. That is how I felt about teaching. Well, shoot when my babies started I arriving I knew I was supposed to be home with them, but what I wasn’t prepared for what that sense of purpose was gone. That feeling I felt when I was teaching … was … well gone.

I know…I know some of you are thinking “Well, you are a Mom now THAT is your purpose!” I am here to tell you that my head and my heart KNEW God wanted me home, but something in my being wasn’t grasping the idea that being a Mom was a purpose. Maybe I am slow. I remember PLEADING with God to show me my purpose.

Lord please show me what my purpose is here! Help me! I am feeling so misplaced, lost, confused, inadequate, I can do more than this,  … 

I recall within days of finally truly PLEADING with Him that I was at my computer and the radio was on Family Life Radio when this song came on about a busy Mom and all the seemingly mundane things we do … and … well … I sat there and cried as I heard him say it matters. Then shortly after that hearing the words “God could have chosen anyone to be their Mom, but He didn’t … He chose you!” THIS….THIS was the beginning of me seeing His plan for me.

See it isn’t as much about feeling purpose as it is rather about allowing Him to work each day through you to achieve purpose. 

That realization came to me through a series of little moments…a movie called Mom’s Night Out, which is where I heard AGAIN that God chose me, books, watching our kids grow and interact with others, SLOWING down my pace to hear Him, and learning to wait on my Lord. Tonight though was the first time I wrote it out like that in bold print and I am crying now as it really becomes even more real to me. Sharing with you all ALWAYS brings something new to light.

“We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

See it is called according to His purpose. My hang up was in thinking that His purpose wasn’t great or grandeur enough. He has placed a dream in my heart and I am sure one day I will see it come true. Yet, each day He leads my steps to His purpose for that day and eventually one step at a time all the steps will come together. Just like now I can look back and see how EVERYTHING good and bad has gotten me here, I am sure I will look back then and see exactly the same thing. Probably how my crazy random blogging was a part of something even greater to come.

So, if you are struggling with being a Mom and finding your purpose please know He is working HIS purpose through you in each moment. For now He needs you to allow Him to work through you. Right? Or Wrong?

I am praying for you! Please pray for me!

Bathroom Usage

I will not state any facts or statistics here. If you want that there is plenty out there you can search for, I am just chiming in with my 50 cents.

First of all, the fact that we are even having this topic is hilarious to me and probably not for reasons you might think. One we quit letting our kids go into a public restroom by themselves …. well we have never let them go by themselves…unless they are in a local place. Secondly, at any point a male or female can walk into any bathroom they want and attack a female. So, far nothing is changing. Besides all that women pee in a stall so nobody is going to see you taking care of business. Before moving on I will clarify I do not think we need to change a system that works just fine, but I am acknowledging that it will not affect our public bathroom use and I wonder if you think about it would it really affect yours much?

Secondly, the fact that we are discussing this and NOT the fact that the President thought it was apart of his job description to issue this decree. Lately, I have been leaving a great deal up to the Lord. As I am just not understanding much of anything. I am just praying and stopped worrying or dwelling on things. Yet, I am well aware of where the Federal Reserve came from, where the United Nations came from, I am aware of why Public Education was formed, etc. I can see the original agenda of these and other organizations playing out everyday. I have also quickly learned that trying to share this info with people only goes so far. People listen to or believe what they want to. To me this decree and words that seem to be creating a safe environment for kids actually cut rights of the parents. It all happens over time with such small changes that we don’t even notice until it is too late.

So, for me it is NOT about who might be sharing the bathroom with me as I have fully expected danger in public bathrooms for YEARS now. It is the danger that is hidden in plain view that we do not see because we are distracted. An amazing magic trick!

Praying for you and our world … please pray for me!

A Moment

Just a moment can change your life. Everyone has defining moments. What are yours? Have you put them in perspective? Have you allowed them to define your life or you? Have you let them moment consume you?

See some people think that allowing a moment define you or your life means that you have allowed yourself to dwell on that moment. Not at all…dwelling on or living in means you have parked yourself in that moment. Having a defining moment or several moments means that you have experienced the moment to its fullest good or bad, then you have allowed God to use that moment to move you where He needed to move you. Have you felt God move you?

I have, but most of the time it is when I look back and I see that He moved me. When you are in a moment many times it can be so consuming that you might know He is there, but you simply do not know or feel Him working until time has past and you can look back.

Moments that forever change the way you look at or understand pretty much everything around you.

Moments that forever change the way you love people.

Moments that forever change what you believe to be true.

Moments that forever change the look in your eyes.

Moments that forever change things like what you read, eat, watch, etc.

Moments that forever change where you live.

Moments that change YOU and YOUR perspective…view of YOUR world.

My moments have made me the me I am today. My moments drive me and I feel God behind the wheel as He turns those moments…those defining moments…into something He is using for His plan.

So, look at your defining moments, leave them as the moment, and FEEL HIM working them for good.

Please Pray for me I am praying for you.

 

Who, But God Knew — Part 4

I thought is was fitting to finish this story on our #4 baby’s 3rd Birthday.

This might be the hardest part of the story for me because the time before her birth was a very difficult time for us. Financially things were not easy and many people judged us for me not  finding a job while he was laid off and for choosing to home school. Though the hardest part was how to pay the bills.

In 2011 I went to my routine doctors appointment and found out I was pregnant, but had also started my cycle. It was a the first time in my life that I could get some understanding of what some may feel when the choose to have an abortion. NO WAY was that an option, but I was horrified to tell my husband, who did not want anymore kids. Not because he wouldn’t love more, but because … well… we were struggling. Plus, he was ready to have the kids getting to an age that maybe he and I could get more alone time. I can not share what happened between us when I told him as it is very personal. Lets just say God was with us because we needed Him. I did lose that baby and the whole time was very emotional. It was miscarriage number 5 and in some ways the hardest.

Almost one year later I became pregnant again and yes it was not received well. Yet, as I keep track of my temperatures and ovulation this month it was 4 days earlier that ever before. This was truly God taking control of what is His to control not ours. The next three months were a very lonely and quiet three months. I was extremely fatigued like I have never felt before. I was sick, but nothing extreme. At twelve weeks we told the kids they were going to have a baby brother or sister. Oh man were they excited and picking names already. The rest of the world the found out…when I shared on Facebook. With the rest of the world excited our world started to change as the date drew closer.

On April 9, 2013 she was born in a dramatic fashion as #1 and #2 were and has been dramatically been bring joy into our world ever since. She is a wise soul. She seems to always just know. Her mannerisms are beyond her years. Her character is always bringing a smile to someone’s face. AND she has her Daddy wrapped around her finger. Oh, who is kidding who…her WHOLE hand. Her older siblings several times have wished they could stop her from growing up so they could snuggle her forever. Our family was not complete without her and Who, but God Knew….

In Weakness Is Strength

Dear Lord,

As you know I have been having a recurring dream that I am pretty sure is your way of communicating with that part of me that is hidden from my conscious mind, from my will, from my own fears and doubts, and from my insecurities. I am pretty sure you a revealing some very powerful and awesome things. Yet, we still have some work to do. The amazing thing though is that I have already learned a great deal about myself and have grown tremendously in my faith in the gifts you have given me. I am just not sure yet where you are leading me. Until then the most powerful thing that I am working on I found in your word and then a dear friend in a completely random message the next day said to me

“He helps us in our weaknesses!”

and the verse the night before that struck me and became the subject of my journal post that night about was

“Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ, for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:10

I get it that of course I am weak. I get it that of course there will be days filled with more than I can handle. I get it that though it is more than I can handle YOU, YOU MY LORD, are always there next to me holding my hand, leading me, maybe even carrying me. I am weak, but because of you next to me I AM STRONG. 

Lord, I am pretty sure most Moms and probably Dads feel weak ALL THE TIME…please Lord help them to feel You and feel STRONG with You. Help us when we are crying as we wash the dishes. Help us when as we are folding laundry we are wondering if anyone appreciates how neatly we do this tedious job. Help us when we pull away from the house feeling horribly guilty for going to work, taking a break time, or doing anything without them. Help us when we are on our knees completely lost and can’t hear You. Help us when we are so angry we raise a hand. PLEASE stop the hand! Help us when we are so tired we go about the day in a complete fog. Help us when we are sick with nobody to help us take care of them. Lord…help us … when we are weak to KNOW we are STRONG because in every moment you are there waiting for us to call on You.

I am weak everyday. I am stronger in my weakness. Kelly

 

I am praying for you please pray for me…for weakness as that is where there is strength.

March 3, 2016 – Dear God

Dear God it is me a Mom,

The past week Lord it seems one thing after another brings me to (as my Mom used to the) “the end of my rope”. Though I know I my heart I am NO WHERE close to the end of my rope my head is just plain feels out of options.

No matter where I turn there are toys and You Lord created me to dislike mess … why did you give me four kids to home school when I DO NOT LIKE MESS? Ha the irony in that! I love my life I am abundantly blessed. You know my heart I would NEVER exchange a clean house for no kids…OMGOODNESS what a horrifying thought. Thank You for flipping a switch for me yesterday in how to better manage chores for our family. I think it will work out great!

It seems like every time I turn around somebody is coughing or has a runny nose. Lord, please let it be that discovering the food allergies eliminates this problem. Thank You for leading us down that path. Please continue to help us eat right and healthy. Oh, and could you please help the kids to feel so much better they stop being so devastated by this?? It is hard for a Mom you know to be sick and take care of sick kids. I know you are a Dad and not a Mom so maybe you do not know this…sorry Lord I am being sarcastic with you. I know with all I am you treasure us all especially us Moms.

I know in my heart you are carrying me through everything. Most of the time I feel you, but other times like now I have to write you a letter with tears in my eyes to sort through it all with your help. You know “they” say talking things out is always better than keeping them bottled up. So, we are talking things out and I know you have the time!

Lord, I know you called…lead (called is odd to some people you know) me to home school our children. Again I know that in my whole being! I can look back over the past 6 years and completely understand why. YET>>>>Man God strong-willed children, a strong-willed Mom AND dyslexia nothing like bringing the Mom to her knees EVERYDAY! Hearing the frustration in their voices. Listening to them struggle with the words and calculations. Watching them trying to write letters and numbers. That is one thing, but hearing them scream and cry AT ME … Lord promise me we will get through this! Promise me they will not hate me for getting them through this the best way I know how. Lord, HELP THEM TO SEE the progress they are making!! Lord, please help them to grow into wonderful beautiful grateful adults. Lord, please just help me hold on to the peaks to get through the valleys…or help me to see the beauty in the valleys. Yes, help me to see the beauty of the valleys!

AHHHHHhhhhh…..feeling better Lord … Ya know Lord I am sure I am not the only Mom struggling with it all PLEASE lift them up, too. Help them to know I am walking their walk and with You we will get through it all. I hope they know they can talk to You, too. You are tough you can take it, right?!

Sometimes though Lord a HUG would be really good…can You help us to feel Your hugs during the day? We know you give them, but open our hearts to FEEL them!

WOW….I needed this cry! Thank You Lord for listening! Amen. Love this Mom!

FINAL THOUGHTS to reader…like I said I would be sharing my thoughts and this is how I journal on a daily basis. I record our day in the form of a prayer or conversation with God. It helps me sort through it all and to hear Him. Setting grammar, spelling, punctuation aside I write/type. So, you get the raw version.  My Prayer for you is that you learn to just talk to Him I think that is what He wants more than anything.

Why Homeopathy?

In my “Why Home School?” post I shared how in many ways I wasn’t sure why I wanted to home school … I just did. Same is true for why we started to use Homeopathy… I just did. Yet, there are the events that led up to our using this form of treatment on a regular basis. I can share that with you. Our why is in no way a recommendation for you and your family. Our why is just our story as to why we found this to work best for our family. Plus, it is all based on “controversial” evidence, which always leads me to tell people “Do your research and decide what is best for you and your family off of your own knowledge not what I do!”

Once upon a time we decided to start eating more organic foods and then more NON-GMO foods. During that time we were also becoming more and more aware of how dangerous fever reducers and other over the counter drugs were. We were also researching the side effects and dangers of vaccines. Keep in mind during this time I was full of anxiety and near panic wondering what decision was the right one. It was a horrible time for me I was living under a blanket of fear. I hated the thought that the next shot might lead to something horrible, but I also hated the idea of them getting some disease. AUGH….I was on a huge roller coaster of emotions. Both sides could say the other side was scary me and they would be accurate. The doctors scared me REALLY they did tell me horrible things while handing my a sheet of paper that listed the possible side effects for vaccines that I was choosing for waive until I could make a for sure choice. The other side had people that scared me of death being possible, which it is. I was tied up in knots and I am pretty sure this is the first time I am sharing with anyone how hard the decision was for me. I can say it is probably a very hard and emotional decision for most of the families that make this choice.

This is where my journey into homeopathy started. I knew I did not want to use drugs or vaccinate my children UNLESS I was forced to due to some circumstance. Yet, like many think of those that choose this route I did not chose this route lightly. I read a GREAT deal. I prayed a GREAT deal. I had lots of tears and panic attacks. Through all of that it seems like one step after another just led me to homeopathy. I do not even recall searching it out it is almost like it found me. I remember saying that I felt that the part in the Bible where Jesus tells us by His stripes we are healed that is was more than being saved…it was more than miracles…it was be Him, who is God, we are healed…I remember thinking how God goes before us. When God created this world he knew what situations we would have in 2016. Who are we to think He wouldn’t then create everything we would need to cure ourselves. All random thoughts flooding my mind. Not necessarily connected to homeopathy, but connected to my journey to find ways to help our family when we are sick instead of shots, over the counter meds, and over used antibiotics. I am not against using these things and would if we felt it was necessary, but I can say our home has been antibiotic free for 7 years.

We started with using remedies to help with teething symptoms. Then we added other remedies for cold symptoms. Eventually, I found myself reading about homeopathy and taking an 18 month course on using homeopathy in the home for acute situations. During this course I learned a great deal about how our bodies work in all situations. How the immune system was designed to work by our creator. How our body responds in a trauma situation. I came away from this class knowing WHY a clean body was the best and really only option. The thing with homeopathy though is that it is a lifetime journey. It is very individualized that it can be frustrating when you have a house for a sick people. Yet, when you see it work within minutes of putting it in their mouth…When you are in mid asthma attack and you take a dose every 15 minutes and feel yourself getting better each time…when those things happen you feel good knowing you USED the body as God intended it…you used the things of this world as God intended them to be used…to heal!

Again, I am in no way saying you need or should use homeopathy it was our choice and what has been the best for our family. I am not a doctor just a mom so you need to make that very personal and private decision for yourself and your family.

 

Oh, The Thoughts A Meme Creates!

So, on February 23 the below meme showed up on my personal Facebook Timeline via Hopkins Homeschool. I chuckled, shared it, and still continue to think about it. NOT dwell on it, but think about how silly and serious it is.

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Before we were even married I told my now husband I eventually wanted to be home to raise our kids. The thought of home schooling had not formed, yet. It took us 5 years to have our first child then another 2.5 years for the second one to come. At this point I was quite itchy to come home. He finally threw up his hands and said “Fine turn in your letter of resignation.” Looking back on the timing it was not good timing. I caved to my emotions rather than letting God lead, but ALSO being home has been a decision I know I have never regretted.

Yet, until the past 3 years it never really hit me to my job never ends. That is both a blessing and a struggle. When you are sick or like me battling adrenal fatigue and need lots of rest, regular exercise, a structured diet, etc. managing all that to keep yourself healthy and sane PLUS whatever four kids demand … well that is a struggle. The blessing is … “Being a stay-at-home Mom means you never have to leave to go to work!”

Now don’t get me wrong. MANY Moms and Dads both have to work due to circumstances. Many choose not to Home School so once their kids are in school they choose to work. Many love what they do and choose to work. For me though the best decision was to stay home. I was a miserable mess not being home and my former students will tell you I loved my job as a teacher and I loved them. God just placed a BIG HUGE desire on my heart I refused to ignore.

So, yes I never get to leave and this job requires my attention 24 hours 7 days a week, but even if my “boss” didn’t allow me some breaks it would still be the only job for me. Thankfully, though my husband is wonderful and never refuses me taking a break. A break I need to keep us all healthy and happy.

Final Thought…Yes I have many moments I would like to just punch out and walk out the door for a few hours, but the benefits package far out weighs the long hours. Besides this is one job that pays dividends for generations to come.

God Bless! Praying for you please pray for me!

What is Their Love for You Rooted In?

It has been a few days since I shared anything with you and I am sorry, but with our weather and a head cold I have been trying to get through the MUST do’s of each day.

The other day my husband and I were talking about a day we have coming up that two kids would have to be somewhere at the same time, but in opposite directions AND it is a day that he worked the night before so will need to sleep. We discussed a strategy, which will work out beautifully. I even talked about it with the kids so they knew what to expect that day.

Later that day I was washing a few dishes, looking out a window into our back yard, and like my mind always does it wondered into a stream of thoughts. You know the kind that take you to somewhere glorious, but when you try to share it with someone they are all confused as to why you were thinking about that and how in the world one thought took you all the way to that final thought…you know, right? ANYWAY, I was looking out the window (I will spare you the thought trail) when eventually it occurred to me “I hope our kids are learning about our love for them by observing the sacrifices we make and not because of what they are gaining due to those sacrifices!”

First of all, with four children and a Daddy that works 6-7 days a week so Momma can stay home (I just had to break to dress a Barbie doll…I knew you would want to know) there are plenty of events that both or at least one parent cannot make it to. Whether it be because we are both running kids somewhere, or one is running and one is home with the others, or one is working/sleeping, or as in the case of horse riding Mom is severely allergic to the barn and cannot go in. It occurred to me that dish washing day that I hoped our kids choose not see us NOT there, but rather chose to see all the other stuff. Do they see how much Dad has to miss, because it was important Mom was home?  I hope they grasp how much of his income goes to pay for the activities they are in. I began reflecting on this and thinking I hope they would grow up to love us more for that and not grow up wondering why we were not always there.

Secondly, I hoped they were not growing up loving the stuff Daddy’s money bought them, but rather loving the time it took to earn that money and loving the fact that he willingly choose to spend it on their desires, dreams, and passions instead of his own. Or are they loving the recital costumes or riding equipment rather than the Daddy that worked really hard to earn the money to buy those things. Are they loving Mom for being there every day for them or for the time she gives up being her own person so she can do what God called her to do?

So, I reflected on this and thought the only way to ensure that our kids are seeing and getting all this that we desire for them is to ALWAYS talk to them. We talk to them sometimes people are baffled by our choice to explain things to kids. You know “They are the kids. You are the parent. They should just deal with it!” mentality? For whatever reason, we do not always take that route. We tell our kids how it is. That it is not all about money, but money is needed to pay bills and such. That we are a family and families work together to achieve the family goal first and then the individual goals.

They may not completely get it. They may wish Mom and Dad BOTH could be at everything, but we are a part of a team … and that they get and respect. They know Daddy doesn’t CHOOSE to work every day of the week because he wants to, but because Mom and Dad want other things for the family that require Daddy to work. As a result, they do not whine about where we are. They never question why someone isn’t there. They are grasping the idea that we all work together to clean house, do laundry, and get everyone everywhere they want to be. It is a TEAM effort.

Final thought…Is their love for you rooted in the fact that you were there or is it in the fact that they know why you were not? Do they love you because you bought them that prized toy or because they know what it took for you to buy it? Do they love you because you are there at practice all the time or because you made it happen for them to be at practice? I think they should understand it both ways and love/respect you for it all.

God Bless! I am praying for you please pray for me!