What to Do When You are Stuck?

     file0001242867053

      Have you ever felt stuck before? I have. It’s not a fun feeling. You see what you want or where you want o go but your feet are cemented to the ground. You can’t move no matter how hard you try. It’s called a holding pattern in some groups. To me, it’s called torture. I have been working for some time to unstuck, but there is one thing that has me where I am. It isn’t God’s timing for me to move. He wants me right where He has me no matter how much I was to protest.

        How can I so easily say that? Because I have found that no matter how I try to make something happen, if it’s not what God wants, it’s not going to happen. Sometimes being stuck is just God saying “no” yet we persist to actually be running into a wall instead of not moving at all. To me that is worse since I don’t like be hurt and bruised due to my own will.

        I can recall a time where this happened though so don’t think you are alone. My husband and I have been wanting to move to a better state for many years now (we live in California and you can see why we want to leave), but the doors have never opened. Even though we think that we should have been able to move years ago, God set out His answer of “no”. I hated it since I hate many things that go on in the state I live. I wanted to move some where that agreed with at least the majority of the laws and the government had brains. But whatever. I tried to push my way through with my husband putting out over fifty applications to many states trying to find a job so we could move.

         After doing that for about six months, I gave up. Said “God, I guess we are not moving, so there”. I then went on my merry way as long as I didn’t watch the news or paid attention to the things that were being passed by the California legislators.

        Then we tried again and the answer was still no and I was getting really annoyed. But I just kept going with it since God had opened other doors in California for us. That was when this hurricane season hit. The main area we were trying to move to was Houston Texas. I wanted to move there so bad because, for the price of our house, we could practically buy wherever we wanted in Houston. It would have solved all our problems. Or would it? The area we were looking has now been destroyed and damaged by the hurricane. That would have been us swimming to safety from the home that we would have fought God so hard for. It would have been a disaster.

          So if I kept ramming the wall to move out of state, I probably would have made it, but would it have really been the answer? Yes, I am not a fan of the politics in California but at least my house wasn’t flooded and we didn’t lose everything. I still have my family nearby and we would have been on our own if we had moved. It wasn’t God’s best for us, and I am thankful for that.

         I guess what I am trying to say is that, if you feel stuck, it actually is for your best. It means that you can go a hurt yourself worse. It is a way that God can protect you just like a parent grabs their kid’s arm so they won’t run into the street. All you see as God’s child is the toy or park you want to go play with on the other side but God as your good Father sees the cars and the dangers around you. It is His job to protect His kids and sometimes we are not going to like the answer He gives us. I know I don’t sometimes, but when I look back, I can see it was for my good.

          So my prayer is that you will look around and see what God might be protecting you from. And, when the time is right, everything you are desiring will fall into place.

 

Finding Time to Write – An Author’s Confession

     It seems like there is a bunch of craziness flying around in our every day lives. I hardly have time to put makeup on in the morning let alone carve out time for myself. But, as a writer, there is one problem when you don’t find the time to write. You literally start to feel your head hurt from all the ideas in your head.

     I went a month without writing because I started a teaching credential and there just wasn’t much time for anything else. But then the ideas for my current novel just kept replaying and building up until I literally couldn’t sleep well at night. I knew what would cure me, but I wanted to get as much school work done as possible. Writing wasn’t paying the bills like I wanted so it must not be that important.

     I am here to say that it’s vital for an author to live by setting time aside to write. If I don’t write, I start getting a little cranky since I have characters and voices in my head trying to get out, but I won’t let them. So the best thing for me is to sit down and write something even if it only five minutes a day. Not only is this a good habit to actually finish books, but it’s a good time to spend on you.

     If you are anything like me, your books go along with how your life is going, and, if you don’t let those thoughts and passions out, they will just eat you up. What do I mean? Say something bad happens to you and your character is supposed to have something happen to them that might not be in their favor. I find that having my characters go through things similar to me helps me process the world around me. So if I don’t sit down and process the bad things that happen to me, they just build and build until I explode. That is not helpful to anyone around me or myself.

     But, if I take the time to write, that happens a lot less often. So I would encourage all my writing buddies out there to put writing as a true priority when life gets busy. Because it is the way our minds work, and we we need to keep our minds sharp for all the dangers we must dodge as we trudge our way through this adventure and life as we know it. Only until we reach the diamond of success with the sword of determination will we know the victory over the our evil adversary – the schedule.

     Sorry. I just had to add some of my own flare in there.

      What will you write today?

Moving On After a Miscarriage

Hello to the reader who is looking for hope and joy in life during a time that is confusing and heartbreaking. I too have had the gut wrenching experiences of four miscarriages and each one was just as hard as the first. I get it. With out last baby we lost, we found out the pathology report from our baby and it wasn’t good news. We had been trying for a year with four miscarriages back to back to back to back. We had a hunch what the problem was but we didn’t want to admit it. It’s the type of news that has led us to make the choice that we are done trying for a baby. It’s heart-wrenching, but my husband and I are at peace with it. So, until my husband can be seen, we are now trying to move on with our lives.

file0001896304704.jpg

We have been blessed with a little girl before all this loss and she is our light. I had had a tough time with the last pregnancy where I had to spend my time lying on the couch doing nothing which meant no playing with my daughter. So with me not being pregnant anymore, our daughter is sure happy to have her mommy back and my husband is glad to have his wife back .So now the question is, how to move on with life without forgetting our babies? I don’t think it is fully possible but we will be working on doing it. We have decided to still add to our family, but of the four legged type. We know that we want a dog now to add as our next family member and we can’t wait until we find the right doggie. It won’t fill the loss but it might bring in the light that we were expecting with our baby. Also it is important to still have a friend for our daughter and a way to show her that she isn’t the center of the universe even though she is the center of ours. I think for anyone who has lost a baby and is still looking for that love, a pet is a great way to go unless living situations don’t allow it.

The other way that we are moving on is to really spend time as a couple. I know the fear that there is with becoming intimate with your partner, but it is vital to get to the place where you can again. If you don’t, it will open the door to separation between you and your partner. Our fist loss took a real toll on our relationship because I was so afraid of sex with my husband. It wasn’t until after our fourth loss that we were able to engage right after the medical restrictions so I am in no way saying that it is easy to jump right back in bed. So do other things to make sure the intimacy stays there. You can simply go out on a date and just talk, or take a trip somewhere, or just simply cuddle on the couch. The ultimate thing is to stay connected.

So whether or not you choose to keep trying for another baby, or yo have to make the decision we have had to make, it’s ok. People who have never had a miscarriage will never fully understand the pain and loss you have gone through. They will try but they won’t succeed and many people say the wrong things with the intention of cheering you up. Moving on from losing a child doesn’t happen in a day but don’t let it disturb your relationships you had before. Losing the baby wasn’t yours or anyone’s fault, and you can’t let the grief tare you and your partner apart. That’s something I can truly say. You made the little life together and now you have to keep staying together because you are the only ones that know the pain. Only the two of you know how to comfort each other. So with my little two sense, that’s my suggestion to anyone who is trying to move forward through life right now. I don’t know what I would have done without my husband being there to walk with me when we lost our babies. It was only with our mutual love that we are together and our relationship that got us through the storm.

Keep your head up, my wonderful reader. You will move forward even though right now the reason you are searching for answers is because you are stuck. Keep trying and look for the good around you when it feels like there is so much darkness. Don’t forget what you have been blessed with already whether it is a child before the miscarriage or if it is just you and your partner. They are blessings in this life you can’t lose sight of. I know because I had to follow my own advice when I would start missing my babies. I couldn’t live in the “should have been’s” I needed to live in the “now and is’s”.

I pray for you and I hope you have found some hope and comfort in my words.

Sincerely,

Gracelyn

 

Look in a Mirror: Parenting 101

My last post was one that was really from my heart and my goal with it was to touch someone who is in the same boat as me. I wanted them to see that they are not alone but that God is still good in the end with everything.  Well this post isn’t like that one. Not that God isn’t good still but rather this post is about my child I have on earth and not the ones I don’t have.

As you know, I have this bombshell of a daughter and she is the world to me. She doesn’t get the title of bombshell for nothing. She is beautiful and smart and will knock the socks off an elephant with her drive and her will. None of which is bad but keeping it focused in the right direction is really hard. I have tried certain things that people have suggested but I was still left with this wonderful child who is screaming (sometimes literally) at me to lead her and raise her in the way that God desires. What I was trying wasn’t working.

The problem with it though is that I have no idea what I am doing half the time. As a young first time mom, I am still trying to figure out all the do’s and don’ts  when it comes to raising a child in this day and age. This thing called discipline in one that has been become so confusing that I have often missed a great training opportunity because society has made doing the “old fashion way” of parenting really hard. And the crazy part is that my two year old figured it out! She knows that she wouldn’t be taken behind the shed or put on a time out in public since I really can’t do any of my tools in public other than just let her sit there in the store and have a tantrum over not getting that piece of candy. (Please understand that I have an awesome daughter and I know that. I am talking about those moments when children have those episodes they do at times. Most of the time I can take her any where and she fine.)

That was until I went seminar from the National Center of Biblical Parenting, and introduced to me the heart way of raising children. My daughter isn’t a bad kid but she is a kid whose heart needs to led in the right way to have her grow into a confident adult. The ultimate goal as a Christian parent is to bring my daughter to the feet of Christ and have her accept Him as her Lord and Savior. So I picked up their book Parenting is Heart Work and have had a hard time putting it down. I haven’t made it very far to know exactly how to help change my daughter’s heart yet but so far the book has been great as explaining what it means to be a heart based parent instead of just a behavior modification based parent.

So I will continue reading and let you know how things go with my daughter, but there was one huge thing that I learned with reading this book. The reason I think the book is written the way it is because us parents need to look in the mirror and get our act together in order to be able to parent our children properly. I am reading going “when do we get about my child?” But really it is touching my heart. My daughter has a thing with anger so I need to ask myself how to I react when she has done something wrong? Is my heart in the right place to be that leader and example she needs? So the title is fitting in two ways. You can’t give what you don’t have.

I can’t wait to keep reading. I think I finally found the answer I have been waiting for in order to turn my daughter off the track I can see her going down. She might be only two but with something like anger only gets bigger as they do. If I can help her now with it and help myself with it just imagine what life will be like when she gets older. Imagine the work God could do through her if something like this doesn’t get a chance to really take root in her as a child. I am so excited to get started.

Do you have a child that you have tried you feel like everything but nothing has worked? Why not give this one a try and let me know how your results are? We can start our own little support group because parenting isn’t easy. It’s the hardest thing that we can do but it is the most rewarding thing we could ever do.

So until next time, keep your head up and keep looking up. His grace is sufficient in all things.

Two Weeks Without Internet

So we have been in our new house for two weeks and we have a funny story. So after a couple days we had our internet provider appointment and he came out to find that the cable to the house was bad and it needed to be replaced. He said the request would take up to seven days to be completed and then someone would be out the following week to hook us up.

Well a week went by and we didn’t know if the work had been done. So we called the number we were given by the installer. He didn’t return our calls for a couple of days and then came out of find out the work had been done the next day after the installer put in the work order. So we had been sitting waiting just to be hooked up and didn’t know it. The guy came out the next day and hooked us up which was greatly appreciated.

Ok, so maybe to some people that isn’t a funny story but with how the past few months have been, it wasn’t a huge surprise. But I learned something being disconnected from the rest of the world – I didn’t really miss it. Of course being that this blog, my books and my Etsy Shop are online run makes not having internet tricky, but overall I didn’t miss it much. I didn’t have the distractions that internet provides at my fingertips.

My house was quieter, we played with our daughter more, and my husband and I got to have some nice nights just talking. I could see us starting some “Unplug Days” in the future to make sure we are staying in touch with what is important. Being in the middle of pointless arguments on Facebook and Twitter is not the place to be. Playing with your kids, hanging out with family and friends, and being a part of a community is what really matters.

Looking to the Future

So a few months ago, I wrote a post saying we might have mold in our rental. Well we did and in the process lost 99% of our possessions. I went from having a fully furnished and probably overly furnished home with everything that anyone could need to having a week’s worth of clothes and a few toys for my daughter. Then on top of it our car’s AC died so we went from one car to no car in a matter of minutes. I was completely devastated. But God really showed His hand through it all.

First, we were blessed with a table and chairs. I know that may not sound like much but to us it was  a big deal. Then God provided us a way to actually buy a house this time instead of having to rent again. After that, people started coming out of the wood work to donate items that we needed to us.

People were giving us simple stuff like bath towels to the big stuff like couches and furniture. Our new home was furnished before we even signed the papers. And God provided us a way through a gracious Uncle to buy a 2006 Toyota Matrix which is a huge upgrade from our 1997 Honda Accord. It was truly like a Hallmark movie where the poor family is left out in the rain and the mean management company ends up looking like idiots. It really did. We still haven’t gotten any compensation from them but God will work that out too. We are taking all necessary action to make sure what happened to us won’t happen to another family.

But now we are in our new place and we are so excited to see how God works things out in the future. Our house is the perfect little starter home which we and our daughter love. She is so excited to have some stability in her life. Grandma and Grandpa were awesome but there still is no place like home for a little girl.

If you are going through a tough season know that God does care about you. I know there were many things in this storm that I felt that God had just left me to my despair but that wasn’t true. It was just a lie that the enemy was trying to sell and I almost bought. If it wasn’t for some very strong Christian women in my life I would have pulled out my money and taken the lie to heart.

And if you don’t have a woman or man in your life right now then I will be it. Don’t you dare let Satan steal your joy and your peace! God loves you vey much and He is working this all out for your good! No matter what the storm is like outside, stay in the boat with Jesus and He will take you to the other side. Don’t lose hope and don’t forsake your God for the only other option is to drown. We can’t do anything on our own. We need Jesus and He is here for us.

nicesunset
Mark 4:37-40

37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”

These verses were my mindset perfectly. Are they your’s or do you have the faith to sail to the other side without fear? Maybe next time I will do better with my faith as I cross the sea with Jesus.

How Simple Things Make a Difference in a Relationship

The experts say the simple things make us happier than the extravagant things. I don’t know where having a house and things to wear fall into that but I do know one area where even the simplest things makes a huge difference.

If you have been keeping up with my latest posts (not that I have a ton up since life has thrown everything and the kitchen sink at me) you know that my husband and I have been having to live separately and I have been taking care of my two year old daughter all by myself. And it has been a challenge at times. Not all bad but more of a challenge than fun. I don’t know how single moms get anything done or have any time for themselves. I know I haven’t had any and now after my last post my body has decided that enough is enough and I need to slow down. One problem though, I am still a single parent for fifteen more days until we get to move into our new house. So I can’t give my body what it wants and my babysitters are still pretty tapped out since they have been having to watch my daughter as I have run around with a chicken with my head cut off for this house and the other things that are going on with my life.

But it got to the point yesterday that I told my husband he had to take a day off (even though he has no PN time left) because I needed a day to relax. By that time I had zero voice and so exhausted I fell asleep three times on the couch in a 12 hour period. Something as simple as rest can make your relationships better, but, with a selfish and demanding two year old who can’t look outside herself, that is hard.

Now may daughter isn’t abnormally selfish and demanding. All toddlers are and they have no idea that you have thoughts and feelings and needs too. Trust me, I would love to sit down and have a tantrum on the floor most days but I can’t since I am the adult. But when I do get a break I can be a better mommy. My husband knows this but since w don’t live under that same roof at the moment, that is rather difficult.

So there is one way that can make the simplest thing a big plus for any relationship and that is time for one’s self. The other is spending time with your spouse. Since my hubby and I aren’t under that same roof, it means that we are also not sharing a bed. And that is good marriage advice 101: always sleep with your spouse in the same bed.

It feels like a luxury to us right now. We are having to leave my parent’s house for the week since my aunt and uncle are here and get to spend a couple nights in a hotel, one night with my sister, one night back at my parent’s house and one night at the hotel again. It is going to be a crazy week with zero consistency for my poor little girl. But at least last night and tonight my husband and I get to sleep in the same bed.

The other times we have been in the same room to sleep these past two months have been one of us on the couch and other is on the floor. Not super romantic right? And don’t get me started on romance. Let’s just say that according to my mother ‘it shouldn’t be on our list of things to do right now’ even though this has been the most stressful situation we have been through together. If this happens to our daughter and her husband, I will make sure that they can still be together as a couple as much a possible. I believe, if we were able to be together, I would have handled this situation a whole lot better.

Any way, all that to say that make sure you enjoy the simple things in life like sleeping in a bed with your spouse or having someone to watch your daughter for two seconds while you go pee. I know I have learned to appreciate it and have gained a whole new perspective of how life is for so many people. I have learned how to be a single mom and not lose my mind (sort of) and how to live with my husband two counties away and only in person on the weekends. But I will be happier when this is over and we are in our house. I can make it 15 more days. 🙂

IMG_20160624_061812849
Five more minutes mommy!