Little Yellow Balloon

A couple weeks ago, Emma had her first real tragedy. It happened after her first dental cleaning and it will change her life forever. She learned what it feels like to feel loss which is a normal thing for adults to feel on a regular basis but there was always that first loss that starts it all.What was so terrible that Emma didn’t know how to react. Let me explain.

The assistant gave Emma a little yellow balloon because she was such a good girl. Emma couldn’t have been more excited to have the little balloon. The assistant wanted to put it on Emma’s wrist, but she didn’t want to wear it, and I tried to carry it for her, but she wouldn’t let me. I knew as a parent was going to happen if she decided to carry it out on her own since she didn’t understand what would happen if she let the balloon go, but, she was not about to let anyone tell her how to carry it, so we left. We got about half way to the car (with me continuing to to tell her that I needed to carry it or she would lose it) and sure enough she let it go. You want to talk about crocodile tears. I have never heard her cry from the every bottom of her soul. I knew that she was truly in distress as she yelled “My balloon!” as it floated away.

Now I wanted to ease her pain by going in a asking for another balloon but I had to make the decision to let her deal with what the loss felt like or not. It was painful, but I decided to help her deal with the loss and not give her another balloon. One reason was because I knew she would just lose the second balloon too. So I just her took up in my arms and told her how sorry I was that her balloon got away. She wrapped her arms around my neck and cried and processed what happened for around ten minutes, but I could see the reality setting in on what loss is.

She started going through the steps just like we do. She was shocked when her balloon went up and didn’t come down, she then went into denial that her balloon was gone by calling out for it like a pet to come back, then when I wouldn’t go and get another balloon she turned toward anger and it’s probably a good thing she doesn’t have an adult vocabulary yet, but, as we left the office and made our way home, she calmed down and accepted that her balloon was gone. I was impressed at how well my two year old went through the steps of grief. I know many adults who take a lot longer to go through it on the littlest things. But I do have to say it was just as painful for me to go through it with her.

I just wanted to take the pain away but I knew that wasn’t the best for her in the long run. Then a light bulb came on in my head – that’s why God lets us go through tough times too. It isn’t because He is mad necessarily (even though a consequence is different than a trial keep in mind), but, rather, He knows that it for our greater good that He doesn’t deliver us from all our trials. If He acted like how I wanted to act by giving Emma another balloon then she (we) wouldn’t be able to learn what she (we) needed to in that moment. Now, next time, I am sure she will do better with a balloon. She might still lose it, but I betcha she will hang onto it a little bit better next time. And that is how we are.

As humans we can be pretty slow like toddlers when it comes to correction and learning from our mistakes. It might take us a few time of making the same mistake but eventually we learn to not let go of the balloon. Does that make sense? So, needless to say, the yellow balloon is a sad day in the day of Emma , but it’s a lesson that we can all benefit from.

Thinking About Life

I know that I have it pretty good really. I have a roof (even though it’s my parent’s roof) over my head, a newer car, and a family that loves me. I am richer than most people in the world. Then why do I feel like I am so poor so often?  Probably because I am listening to the things of this world and letting the devil get in my head. When I am focused on Jesus, my thoughts are only gratitude but when they aren’t, things start to get scary. I am irritated and mean to the people I love and I can only see the things I don’t have instead of the things I do have.

It’s a a vicious cycle and it is hard to get off it some times, but it is possible to change things around if you have noticed you are on a similar cycle. The only thing that can get me out of the cycle is prayer and spending time with God. I know that life is busy and there are many days my prayer time is just “Lord, keep me safe today” while I am pulling out of the driveway. But I do try to keep my head in the right direction. My heart always wants to be with God and in His path but this world is tricky. It’s only with His help that I can do anything and most days get out of bed and get going 🙂

Learning How to Let Go and Trust God

Right now God is really testing me to see how I react to certain situations. Sadly, I am sure that I am failing. I know how I should react but that is not the way I have been reacting. Proverbs 15:1 says “ A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” I wish my first reaction to trials are soft words but more than likely they are harsh and full of unneeded emotion. The only good thing is that normally it is not directed at my husband. He is actually my sounding board and guide on how to look at the situation differently.

How do I change this? Well a lot of it comes with maturity. I am on the my early twenties and have a lot to learn so maturity is something that is still coming day by day. There are some areas that I am mature in and nothing can shake me, but then there are others that my leaves will fall off if someone sneezes by me. Right now, we are in a season that is sneezing my leaves off. I was strong in the beginning but now that it has been a few weeks with not much progress, I am starting to fade. I am starting to become mad at God for not fixing this thing in our path even though He isn’t the one that put it there.

I need to remember to be mad at the right person. Satan is the one attacking us, not God. God is allowing it because, for some reason, it works into His greater plan for us. He knows our lying downs and uprisings. He knows when a flower withers and feeds the sparrows everyday. He made the world in six days and I know He holds mine in place. I am not too little for God to notice me. I am His child and I need to trust Him.

So I will continue on even though this afternoon all I wanted to do was walk into the woods and never come back. I am overwhelmed and I am trying to keep it as a burden on my shoulders. I am trying to give it over to God and not take it back up. I am human though and I like to have control, but that’s not how this works. I must trust and then listen and then obey.

Lord, please give the grace to do so. 🙂

I Feel Bipolar Sometimes!

You know those days when are a mom when you feel like you are going crazy? Yeah, I have them too. I hate to admit it but I feel bipolar most days with this task of parenting. One minute I am at a high and the next I want to go a curl up in a corner. Is there such thing as balance in parenting? I keep being told there is.

Where is it? I want to show my daughter the love of Jesus in everything I do which is totally possible when she is being good like finally going pee pee in the potty after a week of training, but, when she had just dumped a whole back of sunflower seeds on the floor when told not to touch them, it’s really hard to show Jesus sometimes. Does that make me a bad parent? I don’t think so. I think that just makes me normal really.

I like to think that even Mary had to roll her eyes a few times when raising Jesus. Think about it. He was the Son of God who never sinned. Wouldn’t that mean He was the perfect child? Did He ever fight with His siblings or knew exactly how to potty train? He must have never had his parents raise their voices at Him because He had to have always honored them. They literally had the perfect kid. Imagine their surprise when their next kid came along and they really got thrown into the world of parenting. They probably thought something was wrong with the kid. Why won’t he stop crying? Don’t hit your brother! Pee in the basket (or whatever they used)! Why can’t we be more like Jesus?

Talk about being truly bipolar. They probably thought they had this parenting thing down (now mind you Jesus ran off at 12 years old but still He did it without dishonoring them). That’s actually how I feel most people are. My parents have this saying “You are the perfect parent until you become one”. And it is so true. I thought I knew exactly how I was going to raise Emma and I think I am on plan Q. The truth is that parenting is rather confusing and frustrating and wonderful all the same time. Here are my tips on keeping myself sane and maybe they will help you too.

  1. Pray without ceasing
  2. Pray without ceasing
  3. Pray without ceasing
  4. God’s grace is sufficient

Sorry if that isn’t as clear cut as you would have hoped. I really don’t know much more than that right now. Now if it was an infant, then I could actually give you advice, but with the stage my daughter is in right now, I am figuring it out as I go. I know it is all worth it and someday I will see the fruits of my labor. Until then, all I can do is love my daughter unconditionally like Jesus loves me. That I know I can do.

So for all you moms out there who feel like they are going insane and nothing is going right with your kids, take heart. Your hard work is paying off even if you don’t see it. How do I know? Because, when my daughter goes out, I hear nothing but compliments I know I must be doing something right. It’s for that moment when the care giver says “your child is so pleasant to be around” that I know all the tantrums and power plays are worth it. She is turning out to be a decent person even if I feel like I might lose my mind some days.

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After a full week of consistent training, Emma finally went pee pee in the potty today 🙂

 

I Wish I had Grace Like My Husband

I know that title is a bit long and odd but it will make sense in a minute. First, I know as a child of God I have grace but that isn’t what I am talking about. I am talking about being able to give grace or I guess mercy to people. I have a dark side and, if I am offended, it can be hard for me to come back into the light with that particular person. Right now the person I am not a fan of is the man who got the promotion I think my husband deserves. I have never met him face to face but what I hear about him and how he looks (I do see him since I pick up my husband from work sometimes) it makes me mad that he got the position and my husband didn’t. I husband looks and acts more worthy of the position but I wasn’t on the board that made the decision… Any way, see what I mean?

I hate to admit that I struggle in this area but I am human. Grudges go back as far as Cain and Able. Thank the Lord I have never wanted to kill anyone but still, isn’t any type of hatred murder in God’s eyes? Ouch. After I have a fight with the person I don’t like in my head (like that would make a difference any way), I then remember that I could have used those couple minutes in a more God loving way. I mean, would I really say the things that were in my head right to the guy’s face? Maybe… Ok no I wouldn’t but then why do I have these conversations in my head?

The answer? (drum roll) I am a sinner saved by grace. Just because I am a Christian doesn’t mean that I will be perfect. God doesn’t expect that of me. He wants a canvas to work on. There is no fun in painting a picture on a canvas that is already painted on. He wants to paint me into the picture that he wants to see. I am different than all the other paintings in His gallery. This is where my husband comes in.

I married pretty much the most laid back, roll it off your shoulders guy you have ever met. It takes a lot for him to become angry and hold any type of grudge. I have no idea how he does it. I still can remember the feeling of the guy that cut me off on the freeway two days ago and my husband seems to forget it a second after the occurrence. How does he do it? He is painted different than me. He has this gift of mercy and grace that I have never seen before. And I am very grateful he has it since that means he gives me the grace and mercy I need when I mess up and maybe say something that was hurtful. I am better about it since I am really trying hard to be a more gracious person and give people more slack, but it’s hard and I appreciate my husband being that example for me. He loves me even when I am not so lovable at that moment, he encourages me when I don’t want to see the bright side in something, and he leads me to know when to finally let something go.

I wish I had his gift of grace. God’s not done with my painting yet so there is still time. In the mean time, I just need to pay attention to the example set before me in my wonderful leader of a husband.

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Love you babe! Thank you for loving me!

My Gardening Buddy

Tis the season for breaking out that shovel and getting your hands in the soil to plant the new seeds for that spring garden. My husband and I have been rather busy putting ours together. We planned on doing small things but that had quickly climbed to 3 raised beds, 9 tomato plants (6 normal and 3 cherry), 14 potatoes planted, 4 trees (2 breeds of avocados, a lemon, and a clementine), 6 basil plants, 6 batches of strawberries, kale, spinach, carrots, rosemary, zucchini and enough onions to make any one cry. The crazy part is – we aren’t done! We are still going to peppers, more herbs, cantaloupe, watermelon, and even black beans. (Deep breath in!)

How am I going to take care of all this? I know I am in way over my head but I love it! It gives me something to do to provide for my family all year round and I bought my hubby a dehydrator for his birthday so now we can so even more! But I am not doing this all on my own of course. I have my husband’s help but, most of all, I have Emma! And she is a great help! Sometimes it’s not in the way I would want but she is there none the less and this is my chance to teach her something that she won’t learn in school.

She will get to learn where her food comes from and how hard it is to actually get it. That it takes time and a lot of work just to get one plant to grow. She will learn responsibility (which is dying fast in our young people today) and how to take care of something other than herself. She will learn about death and how not all plants make it, but there’s where learning from mistakes and problem solving come in. She will learn how to fix something to make it better.

All of these things she should be learning at school but she won’t. I know I didn’t. I didn’t learn anything about responsibility from public school. I learned that all from home. I was a nine year old out riding on the trails by my house with my own horse (of which I started providing everything for by age 14) with no one. How? I knew how to take care of myself and what to do in case of an emergency. We still didn’t have cell phones at that time. I am actually happy to say that I can remember a time when people weren’t strapped to the little device. So my mom would drop me off, I would go ride and then return at the allotted time planned. Because I was taught all the lessons above at a young age, I was able to do so much more. It came with more responsibility but my childhood was something that most little girls only dream about.

I just didn’t have one horse, I, at one time, owned five. I trained one colt and brought another home. He bonded with my mom and now he is ten and is her trail horse. I got to do 4-H and dominate in my class, I got to go to AWANA a earn my Citation Award, I have 300 Endurance Riding Miles under my belt and countless other Horse Show ribbons in a box in storage. This isn’t to gloat but rather to show what some training about the simple things life can do. Where someone can go if they are given the right tools.

I want to equip my daughter to be successful.  I want her to grow up and be her own person and to do the things that she wants to do. It doesn’t have to be horses. My sister is 22 and has a thriving business as a hair designer called Beauty Designs by Audrey. She graduated high school with her first salon station and ready to start her career. My parents have a successful body work called Bowenology. My husband does Youtube videos now with his most popular one about Everydollar.com. What do these things all have in common? We are old fashion people who know that value of hard work, and the start of that for my daughter is going to be this garden.

So she is my gardening buddy and I can’t wait to show how to dig her first hole 🙂

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Where’s Emma?

 

 

Total Mommy Fail

So yesterday, after my triumphant post, I had the afternoon that just went wrong. My husband came home sick, my daughter pushed every button I have and my plans for the evening got turned upside down. I tried my best to keep my wits about m but I lost it. I actually said that “I that didn’t want to be a mom anymore”. Of course that isn’t true. I would never trade being able to back to being free for my daughter, I wouldn’t do it. She is the best thing that happened to me.

So why did I say that then? Because I was in a mood and my tongue got the best of me, I hurt my daughter’s feelings and that was wrong of me. It was total mommy fail. I wish it wasn’t so but I have to say that I am not perfect. I yelled at my precious daughter for something that really wasn’t her fault. She was tired, I was tired and we both ended up in tears. It was really pathetic to see and I really was the one who needed the scolding and not my daughter.

So I had to apologize to my daughter and pray for God’s forgiveness for my actions. I know that I need to be a better mom to her. I know I have a lot to learn. I am not a bad mom but I need to be better. Only by the grace of God will I be able to be any good as a mother. Only with His help will my daughter become the woman that she is meant to be. I will do my best to raise her but she is God’s girl, and I need to do better. Show her that I love her as much as I do even when I am not having a good day. In those moments, I just need to stop and hug her. I need to forget what I am doing to show her that I love her. That is what God does for me, therefore I need to do the same for her.

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How could I ever be upset with a little face like this? Inconceivable!

How to Say “I’m Sorry”

People have said that to say “I’m sorry” is the biggest act to show how humble you really are. As a kid, I thought they were crazy but then I got married. Now I have only been married for four years to this date but I have already seen how the lack of saying “I’m sorry” can very quickly destroy a marriage.

I have a very “let’s fix right now” attitude and my husband is a “lets see how this rolls” kind of personality. Both are good in their own ways until we get in an argument. Then he shuts down and I don’t shut up. It turns into an ugly mess and we end up going in separate rooms where he is probably thinking I have gone insane and I am thinking that he is the worst husband ever. None of those things are true by the way, but have you ever felt that? They are both lies, actually anything in an argument said in anger is a lie, to get us off track with God and to have Satan get into our heads.

My husband and I one time had this fight where I thought that we might not work out in the long run because it seemed our goals were going in two completely different directions. I thought he was being lazy with life and I wanted to have more out of life. Turns out that wasn’t the case but it still didn’t stop me from mouthing off and not saying some nice things. MY husband was hurt and I was in no mood to apologize because I was in the right after all. If he wanted to “I’m sorry” it would have to come out his mouth.

Well it didn’t because he wasn’t the one who had to say it. If I have been rational, we could have just talked about my feelings of being taken advantage of and so on and the whole argument could have been by passed. He had no idea that was feeling the way I was and he would have been better if he had only known.

So guess what I had to do though before I could find that out? Yup, I had to swallow my pride and go say “I’m sorry”. I didn’t want to but God pricked my heart once I calmed down and point out how I was in the wrong. I needed to make the first step to making things right, not my husband. And when I humbled myself and said the magic words, the tension and anger melted away. So don’t give satan the satisfaction of getting in your head. Because it won’t end up in a good place for anyone.

Now this just doesn’t go for women, but also you men too. My husband has gone off on me for something that had happened at work and he had to be the one to apologize. And sometimes, it is the man who needs to be humbled and brought before God. No one is perfect and that includes men and husbands. Because you guys are the ones that Satan will want to get his foothold in the most. He know that if he can get a wedge between two people (especially a man a wife) then he knows that he can create a whole lot of trouble. He wants to have as much time as possible between apologies because that is where he can have fun.

But if too much times goes by where neither party is willing to say it, then that is where problems start. There’s a void that starts to open and it is not a good thing. Too much void means there will be opportunities for both sides to make bad decisions. I know that I have been presented a few and my husband even more when we are fighting. It is a scary thing to think of would happen to our marriage if one of us slips up just once. I don’t even want to think about it. So I have to remind myself daily to keep up the fight against the right enemy and that is not my husband. So do the easy thing and say “I’m sorry” and see the difference it makes in your life 🙂

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Seriously. How can I be mad a face like this? 🙂

When You are Tried

So Emma is starting to going into that sleep regression I guess toddlers go through around the age of two. She thinks that 2:00am is a great time to get up and play which is would be fine if she was in like China or something. At first I was really annoyed by it. I mean she had finally been sleeping through the night in her big girl bed (or should I say on the floor next to her big girl bed) for about two weeks and now she wasn’t sleeping through the night again.

Then one night she actually had a bad dream. I mean she woke up screaming in fear. Needless to say, I popped out of bed and ran to her side. When I opened her door, she clung to my leg and just cried “Mama! Mama!”. She was so glad I came to her. The other times were just because she was bored and wanted to play but this time it was a need for me to be in her room at that moment. So I picked her up and sat with her little arms clinging around my neck as tight as they could.

That moment right then and there made the last few night of getting little sleep worth it. She knew that I would be there for her even though this was the time she had actually needed me. And it gave me a good chance to sit there and tell her how much I love her an how much Jesus loves her. Then I got to pray over her for protection and her salvation. I was in there for probably about 45 minutes but they were precious minutes. And when she was done, she climbed back into her bed, grabbed her monkey, and said “Night, Night”. Her moment of need was over but I had been there to help her trough.

With my current situation I have to remember that God treats me like a little child like Emma. Not in a degrading way but in a loving way. I am His child and He loves me no matter what. When I have doubts and failures, it’s like when Emma gets up in the middle of the night. God is there when I whine or just am plain bored with life. But when a real thing happens, He is even quicker to come and save the day when my heart cries “Abba! Abba!”. He is there in an instant to hold me and tell that He loves me. And the best part is that He doesn’t have a time limit and will hold me until I want Him to let go.

So the next time you are with your kids and they are not sleeping well, think of how God does the same thing for us. He is there for us whenever we need Him even if it is 2 o’clock in the morning.

 

Being Built the Way You are Meant to Be

Here is a deeper thought than I normally post. What if we are the way we are because that is who we are supposed to be? OK well, maybe not super deep at first. I am a heavier set girl and I have spent my whole life being told that I need to lose weight and change so that I fit into the BMI scale that is completely ridiculous. I’m 5’4” and according to the BMI scale I should weigh 140 lbs. I would never want to weigh that little. I know that most of my weight is my german hefty bone structure and 140 lbs would just look really bad.

Would I like to be about 175 lbs, yes but that would still put me as obese on the BMI scale. So according to modern medicine, when I am at my goal weight, I am still not good enough in their eyes.

Has anyone ever felt like that no matter how hard they worked, they were still not good enough in other people’s eyes? It’s not a very good feeling. It sucks actually. I have grown up being told that I am perfect in God’s eyes (which I am and I’m grateful for His love every day), but He isn’t walking down the street or sitting at the desk next to me on a daily basis in person. It’s the co-workers and the strangers and even family and friends who are there judging wherever we go.

And this doesn’t just account for weight even though that is a huge area women today deal with. A hundred years ago we hefty, hardy women would have suitors lining the streets for our hand in marriage since literally bigger was better. And not all men have that opinion that skin and bones is beautiful. My husband wanted a tougher girl because I would be able to “handle things” better. He also was “afraid he would break a small girl”. Grant it be that my husband is only 145 lbs. So he is not that big of a guy and he sees the beauty that not many people in a woman who doesn’t fit the image on Vogue.

But I said that that didn’t just apply to weight. What about our living situation? In the past few posts I have made updates about us moving to an urban area and I grew up in a town in the middle of no where with 2500ish people in it. I am a the girl that you hear mentioned in country songs but some how I feel in love with a “pretty city boy” and not a “fishin’ in the dark nitty gritty boy” as Canaan Smith puts it in his song I Wanna Love You Like That. My husband grew up in the urban area so this is no big deal for him to adjust. For me on the other hand, it’s interesting all the things that are different. I won’t go into those right now that is a another post for another day but lets just say that urban was never my idea as home.

I always saw it a where the poorer people lived or the people who were not as hard working as my family was because we had a small farm and did many things for ourselves. Obviously that is NOT TRUE, it is just a different lifestyle and God has decided that it is best me to come out of my comfort zone and join the land with lots of people and not as many trees. It’s His plan for me to be here and I think I will learn to really like it here. I have to say it is super nice having everything less than 15 minutes away 🙂

Where is my point in all this? My point is that life is not able to fit inside one little box and it never should be. Just because someone does something one way like wear their hair purple and short doesn’t make them wrong compared to someone who’s hair is long and natural. God is working on everyone in His own time and He knows exactly where He wants us to go. It might take us a few different tries but we will get there no matter what society says we should do.

And if you are still struggling with weight issues and no matter what you try the pounds just won’t come off, that is all right too because for some reason the weight might actually be good. I know that sounds backward but think about it. God has made you the way you are for a reason. Don’t worry or fret about the unwanted weight. Just keep working and soon things will turn around because God has built you right the first time just remember that. You are perfect in His eyes and He loves you very much. He wants you to be His child and to have a wonderful relationship with Him.

Because I am where I am meant to be and built to be what God wants me to be right now. What brought this on? It was actually from watching my husband build our dresser last night. Some parts went in easy and some not so much as shown in the picture below.

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He had to use his fists multiple times to get the pieces to fit. They were all supposed to fit perfectly, as they were designed, but some just needed a little bit more help than others. When it was all done, the piece came out wonderful and just as it was supposed to be and we are the same. There is a master plan and, in the end, we will see the reason behind the handiwork God has set in motion.

A job well done.
A job well done.