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Friday, February 24, 2012

Another successful birthday

Woke up to the prettiest 14 yr old girl EVER waking me up.  Jumping up and down...today was the day she waited her "whole life for"....she is 14, an even number..not 13 anymore, but 14!


My goal (because it is supposed to be all about me), was to lay in bed and have the kids funnel food/coke under the covers, but Peach had a whole different thought.  She was ready for me to be up and ready for our day.


Got up, got rolling, got moving, rocking, rolling and shaking....we headed out the door by 9:30.  Off we went to the BIG town of Paducah :)  First up, heading to Jojo's house for some love.  We were blessed to have my other mama there, Susie :)  Got to love on both Jojo, Susie and Papa it just doesn't get better than that, but it did.  My sweet great niece was there all full of snuggles and hugs.  Happiness.


We left there and headed to eat at Peach's choice of Ryan's.  Blessed again, cause my biggest sis joined us for lunch.  Such a nice time of talking, laughing and thoroughly enjoying each other's company.  After lunch, we headed to  Books A Million to sift through the "million-o-books" that they have.  Next door is the pet shop, so we went to love on the cats and look at the slimy things.  You can't see slimy things without thinking of nail polish, so we went to the dollar store and picked up a pretty color.


Daddy had a request that we go to the local Christian bookstore to find the "chick basketball" movie that was on sale.  Alas, it wasn't there, but I got a couple of good movies.  We stuck around there, chatted with the employees, cause they are the bomb diggity and they all know me by name LOL.  Once our time was up, we ran next door and picked up her birthday cake from the most FABULOUS cake maker ever (Teresa Thompson who runs Teresa's Sweet Tooth Confections..find her on facebook).  It was a dog inspired, tie dyed cake and it was yummy!


We rush home and start supper. Thanks to Bug, she had most of it done and the kids cleaned up the house, for me.  My mom and dad, other mom and MIL came for supper.  So blessed to have family who we enjoy being around. So fun.  It was WILD, but good.  She has a friend over, spending the night, the kids are fixing to go to bed...so am I.  


She had a great 14th birthday and it was pure joy to spend the day with her.  Happy birthday, my sweet blue eyed girl!



Friday, February 17, 2012

Dhera

DHERA changed my life.....we are not all called to adopt, but we are all called to do something.  

James 1:27 states "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this:  to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world."

A ONE TIME GIFT  of $30/mth ($1 per day) will provide
 1 child with enough food for a MONTH
or
1 child an education for a YEAR
or 
it will provide medication, clothing, locks for doors, computers, bathroom facilities
the options are ENDLESS

Please prayerfully consider what you can do.




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Thursday, February 16, 2012

An ear full and some stiffled tears

I hate crying...even more than me hating to cry is crying in front of people.  I'd rather stick pins in my eyes then do that.  When emotions run high, though, it is inevitable that something has to give and sometimes that something is tears.


I have been going back and forth, in my mind, about the events of yesterday and how I reacted.  Sad to say, the person delivering the message didn't see my face because, true to my nature, I excused myself to "take a walk" around, to get some fresh air and some perspective.  I did that, a couple of times.  I regained my composure enough to get myself home.  Once home, I locked myself in the bathroom, sat on the toilet and cried.  I grieve over what my RADish is and what she may become, as she gets older.  How our relationship is now and how it might be, years from now.  If there even is a relationship years from now.  The future scares me, her future scares me.


What I do, when I'm down, is pray my sister is up and awake.  She is old, therefore she goes to sleep at dusk ;) (love you T).  I'm so thankful for her "scary calm voice" and the great voice of reason that she can be.  She isn't perfect, she has her flaws, but she is my person and I'm so thankful my person answered the phone and allowed me to vent.  I even used ugly words and she didn't tell me to stop.  I deal with emotions in a certain way.  I bottle it up till I explode.  She let me explode, in her ear and her response is that she will pray for me to have peace, to realize the ignorance of those who chose to judge with the mask of "concern" and to not get in the flesh and beat the tar out of anyone LOL.  It is what it is.  My thoughts, before you throw your concern around, educate yourself first on the subject.  If you choose not to educate yourself, then keep your thoughts, opinions and concerns to yourself.  I'm still a bit angry (a lot angry).  I'll get over it.


I took G to her appointment today.  When she walked out of the office, she had that "grin".  That grin says it all.  It says "I have this lady snowed and she will yield and believe everything I say."  I've seen that grin many many times.  I was able to meet with the therapist, alone, and I told her that my inability to trust, that time will tell if this therapy match, between G and Sue, will work.  I told her of the "grin" and she stated simply that G was a charmer, and A+ manipulator and she may think that G snowed her, but she didn't.  She saw right through her and the therapist could point blank tell me that I AM NOT CRAZY.  I seriously could've kissed that woman on the lips.  We sat, we talked, I sucked back tears.  Not only was she amazing and sensitive (and could see through the array of bullcrap that G pulls), I had an email from a friend who has lived through what G is going through.  She has offered prayers, perspective and she will keep our conversations between ourselves.  She is a Godly woman who is on the other side.  She gives me hope that G can have a future.


I will not walk through the halls of places carrying around a disclaimer on my daughter and why she is the way she is and why I parent the way I parent.  She is not to be explained away.  Her story is not mine to tell and though she is DIFFICULT, it is HER story.  It is not anyone's business and though she is young, she deserves privacy.  What I share on my blog, she is aware of.  It is my place to vent, cry, laugh and rejoice.  It is mostly for family and friends and to save time (and to not be on the phone constantly), this is how I get my peace out and what I want others to know.


How great is our God to allow this crap to happen, yet He placed in my life a sister who never fails me, a husband who lets me rant, a therapist who sees through the smoke and a friend who can help me on a level that no one else can.  I'm irritated.  I want to physically hurt people.  I want to yell and scream like a school girl.  Yet, again, I choose to stand on Exodus 14:14....The Lord will fight your battles...I simply have to be silent (paraphrased of course).


Blessings.

Judgment

It is a tricky thing, to judge someone.  To judge their actions, their lifestyle, their words, their parenting.....is it okay, though when the statement comes through as "we are concerned about..."  Yet, the words that follow are clearly judgmental and accusatory.


I will be the first to admit, I'm not "guilt free" of judging others.  I try not too, I'm extremely conscience of it, but at times, I know that I judge.  Then, I am saddened.  I hear horrible stories of horrible choices made by lost people.  I hear horrible stories of horrible choices by people who are saved.  I see horrible things because of horrible choices.  It is so easy to cast that first stone, but when you look closely, you should be dinging yourself with that stone instead of throwing it at others.


You absolutely have no idea what is truly going on in another persons life or family.  You may see a small snippet, here and there, at Walmart, at church, at school.....but is that snippet that you see worth making a judgment call on that person's life?  Do you live with them?  Do you attend doctors appts with them?  Do you attend therapy appts with them?  Do you sit with your feet under their table and eat with them?  No, you don't.  When you think of the 15 minutes per week that you see this person, think twice before judging and covering that judgment up with the words of "I'm concerned".  


This is the face that I see more times than not.  Well meaning people with too much time on their hands who choose to show "concern" which is really a judgment call on how I  choose to live my life and raise my children.  Am I perfect, no...not by a long shot.  I don't pretend to be, either.  For years, I've put on a mask for people that I've encountered.  A different mask for each person, including my husband, my family, my friend and my church.  It was exhausting trying to fit the mold of what each person expected me to be.  It was hard, feeling that if they saw the "true me" they wouldn't like me and I would be left alone.  Then, I realized that the Lord created me to be beautiful, to resemble His Son and that I was beautifully and wonderfully made.  That was the day the masks went away.  I am who I am.  I make no apologies for it.  I do my best to live in the Lord's light and to raise my children according to His will.  I will not change for anyone.  I will only do what the Lord wants me to do and I'm still a huge lump of clay that He molds, daily.  


I've had to develop a thick skin, when it comes to my children.  My children are all different.  They are require different parenting styles, especially as they grow older.  When my RADish came to live with us, it challenged everything I knew, everything I believed, every parenting/discipline style I had....everything.  I "shared" with "friends" about our struggles and about her issues and I quickly realized that was not the avenue to take.  Those "friends" who were well-meaning, did nothing but judge and they did so very harshly.  They saw the charmer, the angelic child, the unscathed child, the hurt little puppy who just wanted to be loved.  They didn't, however, see the violence, the 4 hr rages, the lies, the manipulation, the hoarding, the gorging.....they didn't live with us, therefore when I spoke of issues that we needed prayer over, they informed me that I was too rough on her, that I was crazy, that she was fine and it was me.  That love heals all wounds.  I felt as if I was living in a glass house and "concerned" people would be gawking through my windows.  They would be throwing those stones and cracking our windows.


That's when I stopped.  I stopped "sharing". I stopped asking for prayers.  I stopped.  Until I felt safe, again.....once I felt safe, I chose to open up, a little...and guess what, a new crop of "concerned" people began casting their stones.  Maybe I'm sensitive, that could be the problem.  But my gut says stop.  Keep to yourself.  Pull back.  Remove yourself from the situation.  Put on your mask and pretend that you don't live with a time bomb.  I'm hurt, right now, beyond imagination.  I'm getting all that hurt out, in words, rather than doing what my flesh says to do.  I know of 2 people who know the situation and are praying for peace, for me and for me not to get in the flesh.  I know I also have a husband who walks down this path with me.  He sees more than 15 minute snippets, his feet are under my table.  He knows.  He knows truth and he is the only one that truly sees my pain regarding raising a difficult child and being hurt by well meaning Christians who are "concerned".  I am thankful for that.  I'm thankful that I can be who I am, be the wife I am and the mother I am and all I see out of him is love and prayers.


I choose to remain silent  I choose to follow the words of my Master in Exodus 14:14 "God will fight for you, you need only to be still."


Blessings.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Again, dismayed....

We have so much excess....it is ridiculous.  It isn't helping that I'm reading the book "7". 


I read the "food" section, first and I must say, in that respect, we aren't too bad (aside from eating out too much).  I make inventory of EVERYTHING in my pantry, cabinets, fridge and freezers.  From there, I center my meals.  I try and use everything that we have.  I do make mistakes and buy too much of something because I had forgotten that I already had a bottle (or 2).  I also freezer cook and when we have excess of a dinner, I freeze it for another dinner (rarely that happens).  Generally, I sit down, with my calendar and make a detailed menu of the entire month, then I shop.  It makes my life easier and I'm all about easy.


The next section is clothing.....I have 6 children.  3 girls and 3 boys.  I'm blessed, beyond measure that I can "hand down" many clothes.  The struggle that I'm having, now, is that #5 and #6 are the same size.  On one hand, that is good, they can swamp clothes, on the other hand, when one grows out of something, the other does too.  My older son, of the 3, we have to buy him clothes.  We were, again, blessed, because I did work at a dept. store for 9 mths and I got clothes for as little as $2.00, so hopefully, that will last until next summer and then be handed down to the little boys.  Downfall, socks and shoes.  There is no way to save money on that because they go through them like wildfire.  I did "weed" out things that I knew they wouldn't wear, so hopefully, they will benefit other boys.


My girls are a whole different ball of wax.  My oldest, her clothes have to be bought (I bought them when I worked for $2.00 or so and we go to the thrift shop), then my #2 daughter sprouted up and is now the same size of my oldest....sharing clothes...doesn't happen.  #3 daughter is short, but her pant size is bigger than #2.  She has a different body type.  She is PICKY when it comes to clothes and I will not buy the expensive stuff to satisfy her desire to "look" like the other kids.  I weed their clothes out frequently, trying to hand down as much as possible.


Big Daddy and I (well, me) went through our (my) clothes.  I am not a clothes hoard, at all.  I have several "nicer" clothes that I had to have for work, but I live in t shirts and jogging pants.  I was able to get rid of a lot of clothes that I would like to fit into, yet don't and that I like, but haven't worn, in years.  I also weeded through jewelry, belts and shoes.  So much.  We have so much.  When are we simply going to be satisfied with what we NEED instead of what we WANT.


Then....there are books........I love books.  I'm a homeschooler and I love books.  I have SO many bookcases filled with all different kinds of books.  As we were weeding out paperwork and closets, upstairs, I tackled one of the bookcases.  It was filled with Christian books that dealt with the following issues:


How to read the bible
How to understand the bible
How to mark the bible
Read the bible in 90 days 
How to love your husband
How to praise your husband
How to be a Godly wife
How to be a Godly parent
How to change your child
How to have a new child in a week
How to deal with difficult children
How to eat healthy
How to eat and lose weight fast


The list goes on and on and on......I'm embarrassed at all the "How To" books that I've BOUGHT with MONEY that could've gone to those less fortunate than me.  Waste waste waste.  Embarrassing.  There are children living, alone. There are children starving.  There are parents starving so they can feed their children and I have the audacity to buy another book on How to Fix My Life.


Wanna know how to fix your life?  PRAY.  Wanna know how to be different, Godly, better?  READ THE WORD.  Wanna know how to live right?  PRAY AND READ THE WORD.  You don't need another "how to" book.  You need to dig down deep into your life and ask the Holy Spirit to help you.  That's it.  It does take a book, it takes the Bible and prayer.  That's it and it doesn't cost money.  If you don't have a Bible, feel free to email me and I'd be happy to send you one of the 15 Bibles I have or buy you one.  


Utilize; organize; pray


Take inventory of your food....work your meals around it.
Need a book...go to the library
Need clothes...utilize the thrift/consignment stores
Need to change your life....pray, read the Word, find a church and get plugged in.


Have excess money?  Go to http://www.hopearisingorg and donate to help the people of Dhera. If you want to keep your gifts local?  There are people ALL AROUND you.....pray for God to reveal who He'd like for you to help and then DO IT.


I have a lot more to read and then I will pass on the book to someone else.  We donated all our books to our churches library and the excess clothes to a wonderful organization "Angel's Attic". Oddly, that is also where we buy our clothes because they as cheap as a quarter for a shirt.  All the proceeds go towards "Angel's Clinic" which provides free health care to those without insurance.


I'm on a soapbox, I know....I'm okay....hopefully I've at least got you paying attention and I pray that whomever reads this post will take inventory of their life and their belongings and use their excess to help someone who has less then you.


Blessings.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mom, thank you for the best....

Birthday EVER!

Those were the words from my dear RADish, who turned 11, yesterday.  Not telling her anything, she woke up to no presents....NONE.  Not a single solitary present.  She came upstairs to tell me good morning, with a smile on her face.  I wished her a happy birthday and then she left.  She didn't question, anything.

After a bit, I called her back upstairs and asked her if she had any questions about not having any gifts.  She wanted to know why she didn't have anything.  I then explained that since she struggles with responsibility and being honest, that that was one reason.  She isn't responsible with anything, ever.  I also explained our excess of items and how most of the things we buy for any of the children usually end up broken, thrown away, lost or given away.  My desire is for them to understand that we don't need a  lot of "stuff" to be happy and content with life.  That we need the love of Christ and He is enough.  Period, the end.

Since returning from Ethiopia, we have been trying to rid our home and lives of excess. Giving to those less fortunate and having a simple life.  Simple, chaos free (bwahahahaha) life.  I have a long long way to go, but with our excess, we give to a wonderful organization, Angel's Attic.  They have all sorts of everything and they sell it CHEAP.  It is a place where anyone can go and get their needs met.  If you don't have the money, then they will still provide for your needs.  If there is a fire, in your home, then you can come and shop for free.  All the proceeds go to the Angel's Clinic where people without insurance can get good, quality health care, for free.  It is a win win situation.  The people who run Angel's Attic not only talk the talk, but they walk the walk in their Christian life.

With all that being said, I told her to get dressed and we would go and pick up her cake, but first, we had to run an errand for daddy.  We went about an hour away, ran the errand for daddy.  We also went to see my sister, K.  We don't see each other much....or talk much....life gets in the way and we are both super busy, but I do enjoy the moments when we can connect.  While we were there, I told G that, for her birthday, we were going to go and get her ears pierced.  GASP, SHOCK, EXCITEMENT.  Then we were going to go out to eat, at whatever place she wants, we were going to the bookstore to let her pick out 2 books and then she had some birthday money that she could spend.  My only restrictions were that they had to be something practical (except for one toy).  She was OVERJOYED.

We went to the mall and got her ears pierced, while at that store, she picked out a feather for her hair.  We left there and headed to Bob Evans for lunch.  After that, we went to Jojo's house and loved on her.  Then off to LifeWay where she picked out 2 books.  We had to leave Paducah to go get her homemade fabulous cake.  My good friend, Teresa who runs Teresa's Sweet Tooth Confections, made it...vintage barbie cake :)  Got home, headed to church and then after church, daddy took her to spend the rest of her money where she bought a candy bar, a movie and a barbie.

She was beyond excited, all day long.  It was nice to spend a day with her, with limited issues.  It was good to hear her laugh.

Happy 11th Birthday, G!  Glad it was the best birthday ever :)