Showing posts with label daughter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label daughter. Show all posts

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Why I HATE Reading To My Kids

I remember the days that my daughter would return from school with little notes to all of the parents. The reminder was that we should be spending at least 15 minutes a night reading to our child. While many mothers saw this as a kind honorable reminder I saw it as a personal attack for a few reasons. The first reason was that I already knew the importance of reading to my child. I see the signs, hear the PSAs, and am even reminded by doctors and teachers. This was not a new concept to me. The second reason was because the note made it seem like they were saying, "it's only fifteen minutes of your day, isn't your child worth it?" It wasn't only fifteen minutes a day, to me it was FIFTEEN MINUTES a day. The final reason was because the picture of a mother happily and lovingly looking over her child's shoulder as he sat quietly and peacefully in her lap was in no way my reality.

So today I thought I would put a new spin on things and tell you why I hate to read to my kids. I hope that by the end of this either you will find some comfort in the fact that you are not alone if you also hate it, or to help you understand why some parents don't read to their children so you may better support and encourage them.

Why I hate reading to my kids-

It is Frustrating... As I sit trying to read the story Abigaile becomes fidgety. She starts to pick at her fingers and her skin. I try to focus on the book but my eyes keep being pulled to what she is doing. I lovingly place my hand on hers, our little sign that she needs to try to stop fidgeting, and search for my place in the book. She begins to gently  tap her pencil on the table and I again loose my place. I then ask her to stop and she having not even noticed her actions quickly sets the pencil back on the table. I find the word I ended on and try to begin again but can not seem to get my eyes to focus. I notice that the entire time I have only been repeating the first few words and I can't seem to continue. I feel like a scratched record that continues to skip. I am filled with frustration and shoot her the good ol' mommy scowl, but my frustration is soon turned into guilt because I know that it is not her fault that I can't focus.

It is Anxiety Provoking... As Elizabeth proudly and excitedly brings me a book her eyes beg for me to read to her. I agree and make room for her on my lap. I open the first page and boldly read the title page. When I flip the page I notice an avalanche of words pouring from each page and trapping me. I am filled with anxiety just at the thought of trying to read all of the words. I had hoped that since it was a child's book there would be more pictures. I try to decide if I could make up a story instead and lie about what the book says but it is too late. I am frozen in fear of the idea of climbing out of each page and making it to the summit. I close the book and pray that she will be distracted by another simpler book.

It is Embarrassing... As I begin to read I feel confident in my abilities. I have already pre-screened several books of which my daughters could choose, many of which I am very familiar with. I begin with a good pace and sail smoothly through the words and pages. Then it happens... like a wave crashing on board a ship I am caught by surprise and stumble on a word. I quickly recover and continue on with my face slightly flushed from the embarrassment of the error. As I continue to feel embarrassed I seem to have lost course. The words seem to become more and more choppy, like the the uneasy sea throwing a boat around. I begin to doubt myself and my skills as a parent wondering "What kind of parent can't even read Dr. Seuss to their kid?" I begin to wonder if they notice how much I am struggling and most of all I wonder if they are embarrassed of me as well.

This is what reading to my kids is like. This is the struggle of a dyslexic parent. It makes me wonder how many of those parents who don't read to their children are secretly facing similar battles. If that is the issue for someone.. I promise a little friendly reminder to read to their child won't help. They may need encouragement or help with their own struggle. I hate to leave things on a negative note and I wanted to offer comfort to those who also hate reading to their kids.

Why I make myself read to my kids-

They are Rewarding... I get to see my children's passion for reading grow. I have never read a book just for the fun of it, but to see my child do it is an amazing feeling. When I ask them questions about what they have read, their eyes light up and they so clearly articulate all the fascinating things they learned. My oldest daughter also struggles with dyslexia and I am able to watch her push through and learn to read. There is something so beautiful about watching your child overcome something you yourself have battled with.

They are Understanding... I often have to remind myself that my daughters don't care if I skip words, make up words, or even mess up words; they are just happy that I am trying to spend the time with them. For them it isn't about the book, it is about us being together and going some place in their imaginations that we could maybe never go in reality. I am truly my harshest critic and my children are my biggest fans.

They are Loving... I have learned just how loving they are through my transparency with them. I have learned to openly tell my oldest daughter when I am struggling with reading and together we push on and continue. It gives me a chance to also teach her that we aren't defined by our struggles but by how we handle them. I hope when she is struggling with reading that she can remember that she isn't alone. She gives me so much encouragement when I have a difficult time reminds me that her love for me is not based on how well I read to her.

The biggest reason I make myself read to them is so that they won't hate reading to their kids. I hope to break the chain. I also hope that they will not just tolerate reading but will find their own passion for it.

I have found that through making myself read to them it has gotten better and I have begun to enjoy it more. So I say out of a place of understanding and love, read to your kids. Not because you love it but because you love them.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Political Correctness: The Downfall of American Christians Today

Warning: This is me getting on my soap box. As always I do not expect anyone who does not share my beliefs to follow my beliefs. I also do not apologize for honestly giving my thoughts and beliefs, but am more than happy to hear your views from you... so please share in the comments section. 

Today my girls and I went to visit my parents church which is lead by Pastor Sharp. What he brought up was the way we conform to the world instead of rejecting the views of it. I think that often we end up conforming to the world's views through slowly compromising, most often through a process we call "Political Correctness". 

This is a picture of the Grand Canyon. What amazes me is that they think the shape of the canyon is caused by wind and water (the river). It is said that a constant drip of water can shape and wear down a stone or rock. This reminds me of American Christians. We are built on such a strong foundation. We are built on the rock but through allowing just a tiny bit of outside influence we have slowly began to erode and change shape until we are left with just a glimpse of what we once were. This happens as a whole in the churches but also in our lives as individuals. It is a process that I have seen in my own life. I will let the world just have a little bit of me (maybe a favorite soap opera), then I put myself around friends that use coarse and ungodly language, I might begin to listen to more music that is not holy... slowly the world has curved this canyon out of my heart and leave a huge impact on it, one that everyone else can see and I often don't notice because it was such a slow change. 

Another example of this slow process that changes one so drastically would be my weight. 
When I was a little girl I was small. I wasn't even on the doctors charts for a while. It wasn't until I was in high school that I really noticed that I was gaining weight. I remember looking down at my stomach and thinking, "this is odd.. I don't remember that roll there." Within a few years I had packed on a lot of weight. I gained a little over 100 lbs in a little over a year. After having my two daughter my weight continued on the incline but slowly until I hit 250 lbs. There are plenty of excuses I can give for the weight gain, (pregnancy, depression, pain, athletic asthma, stress, limited budget, ect.) many of which I have actually used. The fact is that I allowed it by not seeing the change sooner and finding a way to stop it. I was lazy and complacent and now often I don't even recognize myself. The person I imagine in my head is this young thin kid and seeing the reflections of my poor decisions sometimes brings me to tears. This is a slow process that completely transforms you. It doesn't happen at once and it is due to laziness and complacency. 

I fear that as Christians and as a body we have become that way. We have allowed this process to happen but instead of being through physical weight it is through "Political Correctness". Our society pressures us to hold our tongues, to call evils good, to be "polite", to let everyone have his or her own truth. This is NOT a biblical idea. The Bible does not compare politeness with being submissive to the world's views. We are to be set apart and not of this world. We can not redefine what we believe just to make someone feel comfortable. In fact in being light it draws the things in darkness in to view. There is one truth and if you believe that, then there is no room in allowing for individual truths. We are still able to show love while being honest and true to God's word. Basically, I don't have to agree with you to love you. I find it a sad place in our society when it is not socially acceptable to mention God's name unless it is in a derogatory manner.  

Even though it may not be politically correct: I will teach my daughters abstinence. I will teach my daughters to respect God. I will teach my daughters the value of life and the destruction of abortion. I will teach my daughters to pray before eating and whenever they want to. I will teach my daughters to not only seek out godly spouses but to honor and submit to them with love. I will teach my daughters that without God they are nothing and dead, not only emotionally but eternally. I will teach my daughters to define themselves and things according to God's word, not worldly views. I will teach my daughters to be God correct, not politically correct. 

The good news? We do not have to be like the Grand Canyon... as people or as a body of believers. God can heal those parts and bring restoration to those parts that we have allowed to be slowly eroded. God can build us up again and again, but we have to turn to Him and allow Him. We have to seek out to God-correctness and not what this world wants. 

Isaiah 5:20-21 "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight."

John 14:6 "Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

1 Corinthians 1:26-30 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

John 15:19 " If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you."

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Letters

Dear God, 
I know that I usually end my letters with a note to you, but today I wanted to start with your letter because it is all I can think about. You are just so cool. I am always in awe of just how great and loving you are. Thank you. Thank you for blessing me with an amazing husband. Thank you for blessing me with two beautiful loving daughters. Thank you for this beautiful day. Thank you for answering my prayers little and big. Thank you for always comforting me and not letting me stay lost in my little world of stress and self-pity. Thank you for opening my eyes to all that you have done, are doing, and are about to do. Thank you for giving me an avenue that I can communicate my thoughts and feelings. Thank you for all the provisions you have made for me. Mostly, thank you for not giving up on me. There were so many times that I give up on myself and yet you were always right beside me. 

Dear Elizabeth, 
I think it is adorable that you are so loving towards other babies. You are only one and yet you treat them like they are delicate. For example, today in the store you saw another one year old and you were talking to her. You gave her a hug and you accidentally made her fall. You were so concerned about her and tried to make her feel better. You are a very sweet baby girl. 
Playing with paint in the tub

Dear Abigaile,
Where are you hearing all these songs from? When your father was going through a music list with all new songs that he had never heard you sang the lyrics to each song.. They are pop songs and all I let you listen to is worship music. We don't have cable and you are home schooled. So for the life of me I can not figure our how you know all of the songs. None of them were inappropriate, but still... I think I know the perfect word for my feeling.. I was baffled.
Abbie got more paint on her sister than on the tub or herself

Dear Hubby,
I love you. You are so great. Thank you for being my other half. 

Dear New Work Shoes,
Please don't hurt my feet tomorrow. You seemed comfortable when I bought you but the true test will be tomorrow after work. 

Dear Self, 
Please remember to bring the Imodium and the Tums to tomorrow nights Chili Night... really don't want a repeat of last year. 

Dear Readers,
You have no idea how much it means to me that you take the time to read what I have written. It is so amazing and I am so thankful. I have the most supportive friends and readers. I love you all so very much. 

Dear November Friday,
This was awesome. I can't believe that in the midwest there is a high of 70 degrees. This is perfect for getting much needed stuff done before the cold hits. I already cleaned out the car and took the girls to the park. 
The view from my front door... Sun is bright and warm :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday Letters

Dear Friday,
Where did you come from? I guess it must have been Halloween that threw me off. Although it doesn't feel like a weekend... I am sure glad that you are here.

Dear Manager Who is Interviewing Me At Noon,
You make me nervous. I get that anxious and inadequate feeling when thinking about how the interview will go. I don't know why I am nervous. I am more than qualified and if I don't get the job I would honestly be ok with that. So, today I have decided to not allow you to scare me. The God in me is bigger than the job there, I will have to trust Him to provide.

Dear Girls,
I will miss you this weekend. I don't know how long it has been since I have been child free for a whole weekend... Anyway, I love you both and will be missing you.  BTW... I really don't mind if you get sugar highs at Grandma's house, so feel free to take all your candy with you... better her than me, better her than me.

Dear Ibuprofen,
Please work.

Dear Kitchen,
Today is going to be a really crazy day for me, so if you would like, please clean yourself today. Seriously, if were to become a magic self cleaning kitchen today is the best day.

Dear Halloween Candy,
Stop Calling My Name!!! I have been trying so hard to be healthier and you just sit there mocking me. You suck.

Dear Hubby,
I am so excited about the marriage retreat this weekend. I love you so much. I am hoping that it doesn't start any fights and that we can just relax and bask in the love we have for each other. BTW... this is a perfect opportunity to earn those extra much needed brownie points... so, this is the time to act like one of those guys on chick flicks and say all the cheesy lines to me.

Dear God,
You are so awesome. Thank you so much for all you have done for us. Thank you for opening the doors that need to be opened and for helping us walk through them. Thank you for being bigger than the things that scare us. Thank you for loving me. Please help me learn to be a better wife this weekend and please keep the girls safe.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


So often we label ourselves as certain things and with certain thing. These labels can be good and they can be bad, it all depends what we do with the label once we stamp ourselves with it. 

Flash back to eight years ago:
"I have Bipolar." The words stung. I had been fearing saying the words out loud with the fear that once I put them out into the air they would become real. Once they I said it I felt the immediate need to try and grab them and pull them back. Take back what was beginning to unravel me. I felt my confidence in my identity begin to be stripped away. I was exposed and no longer was able to hide behind the my walls of humor, false happiness, and confidence. I had been hearing my doctors and my parents saying it for days but I hadn't been able to mutter the very same words. They seemed to be an object that I could not understand or grasp, a hologram in my midst. I would now have to go through the process of finding out what it truly meant to me, to society, and to those around me. The label had been set, and it was a dark label of violence, of chaos, of defeat. The label "bipolar" was looked at as someone who gives in to impulsivity. It was seen as someone who hurts themselves and those around them. It was one with no room for hope. It was one that could not be removed. 

Flash back to seven years ago: 
"I am an adulterer." There was not scarlet letter upon my chest, but I could feel it written all over me. It seemed like the whole world could see it. I feared that my husband would never be able to see anything in me other than it. The label came with chains of shame, disgrace, and self hate. The label seemed larger than me and was pulling me in and swallowing me up. This too comes with defeat... once a cheater always a cheater, right? 

Labels like these can pull us into a place of defeat. I often takes over our entire identity and we lose part of who we are. They distract others and ourselves from seeing the truth. They not only put us in a box but they put God in a box. 

Flash back to seven years ago... a little after the affair:
"I am Forgiven." I am able to let the blood of Christ poor over and cover all of my labels. I am not bound by any chains, but have the power to break free and to follow God. This label my friends, brings hope. It brings grace, mercy, love, power, and it gives us our TRUE identity. We are transformed into new creations. 

Instead of labels being what defines me... they are hurdles that I can conquer and overcome with God. I can take all of the negative condensation and rise above it. Are there still struggles? Sure there are, but the struggles are not as big as my God is. Now labels just give me a new challenge to face. A new way to see God working. 

Flash back to this year... 
"I am dyslexic." I have known since I was a junior, but I allowed to let the label have power over me. I have been able to learn techniques to help me and to be successful, but the negative view of it still wouldn't allow me to say the words. I feared how badly it might hurt. Surprisingly, I found great relief in saying the words. It was something that God is already helping me adjust to. It is something that my God is bigger. It doesn't mean that I am stupid or lazy. It just means that God created me a little differently. God is true, fair, and loving. He is not surprised about this fact. Instead of overpowering me, the label empowers me to push myself to new levels. To seek God more. To learn about how God created me and what a great gift he has blessed me with. It is a blessing not a curse. One that my daughter might share with me. God has shown me that with Him, nothing can hold me down. 

Labels can be bad, but with the label of being a Christ one those same labels can be amazing. God can use them to further His kingdom and to show His power. 

Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:The old has gone, the new is here!"

Ephesians 4:20-24 "That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Letters


Dear Friday,
Thank you for bringing the Fall weather with you. Thank you for bringing pay day with you. Thank you for bringing my hubby with you.

Dear Minty Gum,
Thank you for keeping me from cramming handfuls of chips and popcorn in my mouth. You have saved me from so many calories and on top of that you make my breath minty fresh. I think I will keep you close by for a while.

Dear School Year,
I am so glad that we have finished first quarter and I still have my sanity... well at least most of it.

Dear Girls,
Thank you for being so well behaved and sweet. You are the best daughters in the world... not to mention the cutest... I might be a little biased though. :)

Dear Hubby,
I have missed you so much when you work nights, but I am glad that we get to have a date tomorrow and next week. Also, thank you for knowing me so well... and for watching the girls for me tonight.

Dear Erika,
I am so excited to go to see Les Miserables with you tonight. I am super excited. I am also so glad to finally spend some quality time with you.

Dear God,
Thank you for answering prayers and for always listening to them. Thank you for helping me through another week.

Dear Halloween,
I've got my eye on you... I know you will tempt me with your delicious treats and you scary movies but I will try to have self control... seeing as to how I need to lose weight and am a scardy cat.

Withdrawn... Isolated... Tired...

It isn't very often that my husband becomes concerned about me, but recently he was asking me about my blogging. I told him I haven't written anything in a while and he was concerned. It is not like me to not want to communicate, write, and process things openly. He has been telling me that I need to write a blog post and has even been trying to give me ideas, which slightly annoyed and confused me since he doesn't even read my writings. 

I have battled depression and anxiety since I was in high school. One of my first signs of slipping into it is when I become withdrawn... isolated.. and tired. Don't get me wrong, I don't feel depressed, but I do know that these are warning signs. The best way I have controlled my anxiety and depression is by being proactive. When I feel like isolating, I make myself get out. When I feel like sleeping all the time, I make myself wake up on a schedule. Things like this, along with recognizing my warning signs have made a huge difference. I can notice when I am slipping before I get in too deep. 

The last month has been filled with the mundane and the general life stressors. It has also been really good. 


  • We have to go to the pediatric cardiologist on Nov. 7th for Abbie to see if she may need surgery for her Pectoral Excavatum.
  • The family's allergies have been acting crazy.
  • Having trouble sleeping with hubby working nights.
  • Having trouble keeping girls quiet during days when hubby is sleeping.
  • Feeling inadequate as a homeschooling mom. 
  • Concerns for family members who are dealing with emotional and physical pain.
  • We were all sick with fevers for about a week.
  • Financial stresses and bill collectors.

  • Abbie is getting wonderful grades in school. 
  • We made it through first quarter of the school year. 
  • God has provided for all of our needs. 
  • Elizabeth did wonderfully on a developmental test.
  • The girls doctor listens to me and their meds for allergies have been amazing.
  • I have been cooking new recipes a lot more often. 
  • The hubby and I are about to get to spend some quality time together for the next two weekends.
  • Read a book about the life of George Muller and am moved at his faith in God and prayer life. 
  • God is teaching, molding, and growing me. 
  • Finding freedom from technology addiction... cutting out facebook games, cable, and limiting time with television. 
  • Have spent more quality time with my folks. 
  • Have been loving BSF... I am learning so much and connecting with my group. 
  • Husband went forward at church for alter call to say he wants to be Baptized. I have been wanting to tell everyone that he accepted Christ, but it wasn't mine to tell. Now that he has made a proclamation, I can share. Thank you all for prayers and encouragement. 
I am so thankful that while I might be feeling withdrawn, isolated, and tired... I have felt even closer to God. He has been the reason that I handle all the stressors. I am also thankful to have such a loving husband who knows me so well. Just as I wrote this I began to feel better. I want to write so much more. I have missed you all. 

"I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears."- Psalm 34:4

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Losing Control

Laying in bed I had the weight of my guilt, my inadequacies, my frustration, my disappointment, and my sadness sitting on my chest and making it difficult to breathe. The outward expression of my emotions resulted in a physical pain. What I was feeling was the darkness of defeat. 

A few weeks ago, the financial strain in our home was overwhelming. Due to being a slow season, my husband's job had cut him down to ten hours a week. We knew that it wouldn't cover the bills and agreed that my husband had to look for another job. He found a full time night position that is located a little further away. I was nervous about him being gone every night and was worried that I wouldn't be able to keep the girls quiet during the day when he was sleeping. Due to his other job only needing him a couple hours a day he said he would keep both jobs. Before he even began his first day his day job became very busy and needs him to work not only full time, but a little overtime. He is taking an online course. My husband has been gone for 18 hours a day. He tries to stay up and spend time with the girls and I but I make him go to sleep because I don't want him to get overwhelmed and exhausted. He is home three hours in the morning, when we are still sleeping, and four hours in the late afternoon. I miss him so much. I am so very proud for him working so hard to provide for our family. I miss my best friend. I miss talking to him. 

To make things worse, Abbie seems to have lost her mind. I know it is normal for children to begin to flip out or to act out when there are major stressors and changes. For the last couple years we have struggled with her stealing and lying. I thought we were over it but she began to do it again. She will take something from my room, play with it, make a huge mess, destroy it, and lie about it. We have tried so many things from talking to her, making her replace the items, spanking her, grounding her, making her hold cans, and nothing seems to work. The stealing makes me mad but not as much as lying right to my face. I can see my makeup all over her, her stuff, and her sister... yet still she swears up and down that she didn't touch my lipstick. She is seven years old and she knows better. 

So yesterday began as normal. I was tired and overwhelmed to begin with. Then she stole from me and lied about it. I was upset and made her sit at the table writing sentences until her father could spank her. *** I made a promise to myself to never physically discipline her when I am emotionally involved or angry. To me it is the difference between discipline and punishment. ***  The hubby was asleep and I had been trying to keep the girls quiet so he can rest a little. Before she even finished her sentences I told her that she could go in her room and play until dinner was finished but that she could not watch television. I made her repeat after me. When I looked in and saw the television on I reminded her that there was to be no more television and that she needed to be obedient. I went to continue on dinner and then caught her watching tv and when she heard me she quickly turned it off and tried to lie about it. I punished her. I did not harm her or abuse her but I know that my heart was not where it should have been. I didn't do it to teach her. I did it because I was angry and tired of it. I wanted to quit. I wanted to walk out the door and leave for a couple hours but I couldn't. I was afraid that I would say something that would hurt her so I left the room and didn't go near her the rest of the night. After bed the girls went to bed for the night and the hubby left for work. 

As I lay in my bed trying to sleep I found it hard to breathe. I felt guilty for not having self control. I felt like an inadequate for not being able to get her to stop stealing and lying. I felt a sadness for not being able to talk to my best friend. I began sobbing. The pain and exhaustion was so much more than I had realized. I began praying and crying out to God. I prayed for her. I prayed that my attitude would change. I prayed that I could find a way to discipline her. I prayed that I could find rest and comfort in God's arms. I kept repeating Matthew 11:28-30 "“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” I began thanking God for all He has given me and began singing His praises. Soon I was able to fall asleep and I woke up in a much different place then I was yesterday. Yes, things are still tough and can be overwhelming, but I claim the victory God has won for me. 

I talked with Abbie this morning and apologized for my actions. I told her that though I am supposed to discipline her God says, "in your anger, do not sin." We set up a reward system for her and are going to try it for a month. 
God is good. Instead of losing control I need to give God the control. 

Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Letters

Dear Friday, 
Today feels like a lazy day. I can't believe you are already here and with you, you bring the end of August. 

Dear Hubby, 
I am so thankful that you are stepping up and getting a second job. I will miss the time we get together and fear that we will be passing ships in the night. I love you. 

Dear Financial Struggles, 
I don't think that you will ever go away, but at least you could back off a little bit. I am trying to give you to God but often find myself picking you back up, along with the anxiety you bring. 

Dear Abbie, 
We found out so much about you health that we didn't know, but don't let it cause you fear. God is in control. He made your body and He will protect it. I am so proud of how much you have been learning. I also love spending so much time with you and teaching you. 

Dear Elizabeth, 
Thank you for sleeping through the night last night. You have been so needy and jealous of your big sister but it will be ok. I love you both the same but in such different ways. I love that you are beginning to talk more. 

Dear Hurricanes, 
While I am excited that you bring rain all the way up to the Midwest, I am asking you to take it easy on all the cities you pass. Don't cause destruction and chaos.

Dear Dishwasher, 
You are so awesome. I am so glad that I have you. 

Dear Church Family, 
I have felt so blessed by all of you. I have grown so much and have felt your love, support, and prayers. I feel so lucky to be able to worship and grow with all of you. 

Dear God, 
I believe. Help me with my unbelief. Lord, stretch me and help me to grow. Thank you for all you have done and are doing. I would be at a complete loss if it weren't for you. You are so good.  

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Thorn In My Side

As a child, I had two dreams of careers that I had wanted. The first one was to be a writer, I love the process of putting the pen to paper and letting the words flow from the tip of the pen onto the paper. I loved using my words to create an atmosphere and a mood. I loved pulling others into my world, into my head, and through the adventure of emotions. Like a roller coaster, I was able to pull others through the highs of excitement and down to the lowest darkest parts of myself. My second dream was to become a massage therapist. I began giving back massages to my father, uncles, and grandpa's. I had very strong hands, so strong that I actually bruised one of my uncles shoulders from the deep tissue massage... don't feel bad for him I had asked him to tell me if it began to hurt. In school I combined my two loves and wrote an essay about my love for massage therapy and won a scholarship. With the money I paid for classes in Reiki. 

When I was in sixth grade I began to notice that my hands would have sharp shooting pains through my shoulders combined with an achy pain between my hands. When my family would play cards, as we would do very often, I wasn't able to shuffle the cards any longer because the pain would begin to shoot. As the year progressed my hand pain would make it hard to hold a pencil and write in class. I went to years of testing. At that point I had a fear of needles and was claustrophobic and had a difficult time with all the blood tests and the MRI's. The doctors were not able to find a causes. I got moved from specialist to specialist. I got sent to a Neurologist that had me get an Electromyography done. The technician inserted needles all over my body at different points and attached the wires to the machine. I was told that I could not move or talk because it can change the results of test. As the test was going I was given shocks. The pain was unbearable. Then the tech looked at my dad and let out a little laugh and said, "Your daughter is strong, I accidentally had it turned up too hard. This would have had a adult in tears." I thought my dad was going to jump across the room and punch him. It was at that point I quit. I couldn't go through any more testing. 

The doctor said that I had symptoms but they couldn't find the cause. He gave us some long name, or it seemed long as a child, of what I had. We couldn't remember the name but think, based on how he described it, that it is fibromyalgia. It was so upsetting. The doctor decided to give me medication to see if it would help me with the pains. The doctor put me on a medication called Neurontin. After taking the medicine the first time, I woke up and was unable to move any part of my body except for my eyes. I was terrified and wanted to call to my mom but my mouth couldn't move. I lay there for a few mins with tears streaming down the sides of my face but was unable to wipe them away. Finally, I was able to scream out to my mom. The doctor explained that it is normal. The paralysis went away after what seemed like an hour. After the doctor raised the dosage I was finally finding some relief. I would still be in pain but I could at least do the things I needed to do. 

As the years continued the pain became worse and began to spread to my feet. I couldn't lay still at night and would have pain shooting through my feet into my legs. The dosage again was increased. It ends up that the dosage he had me on was more than any adult should be on, and I was just a child. I was taking 900 mg three times a day. In school, timed tests with essays were terrible. I wasn't able to write more than a couple sentences with out having pain overtake my hands. Then in high school, I had a strange fluttering in my chest, became lightheaded, passed out, and hit my head on the stereo equipment. My dad found me on the ground and they ended up taking me to the ER and then to my doctor. They made me go through EEGs, EKGs, and I had to wear a heart monitor for a period of time. They could never figure out what was wrong with me but as any new driver would hate, I was told that I couldn't drive at all for six months. 

I had to go off the medicine my senior year when I became pregnant. The doctors said that due to being on high doses of medicine, for the pain and for bipolar, when I became pregnant and for the first few months they said the baby had a 97% chance of being mentally disabled and 98% chance of being physically disabled. Thankfully, Abbie was born with no health concerns. In order to go back on the medicine my doctor wanted me to go back through all the testing. 

It is now fifteen years after the pains began. They have spread to my back, neck and hips. I have learned to live with the daily pain. There are times when I think, "I can't make it another year with this," but I just remind myself of the fifteen years I have survived. In some ways it has kept me from things I wanted to do. I have a hard time doing my daughters hair, holding them, playing games and chasing them around, writing, opening jars, and so many other things. At the same time, God has given me strength. He has provided the peace I needed. I pray that I am healed, but I am also thankful for this "thorn in my side" because it keeps me close to the Lord. I have to draw into Him. I am finally at the point where, once we have insurance, I am willing to get testing again and maybe get on a medicine to help. Until then, I will trust God to help me. This post started because today for the first time since sixth grade, I was completely without pain. My body felt like butter and I was able to sleep and relax. Even if they are momentary, I am so thankful when God gives me times of peace, whether it is physically, emotionally, or spiritually. He knows when I need rest and today he gave me rest in all of those areas. 

2 Corinthians 12:7b-10 "Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. ” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday Letters- Baby Girl's Special Birthday Edition

Dear Friday, 
  I am so glad you are here again. When I see you, I feel like I have seen an old friend. I can let my hair down and relax. I can breath again and just enjoy the day. At the same time I realize our time together will not last forever. I have missed you. Sadly next time we see each other will be the end of summer. Today is a big day for us. 

Dear Elizabeth,
  Happy Birthday baby girl. I love you so much. One year ago today we got to meet you face to face. I am so proud of how much you are learning and how obedient you are becoming. Your personality is shining through. You are loving and yet so independent. I know that you think that you are five years old just because you have an amazing seven year old sister. I hope we can have a great day today. I love you so so much. 

Dear Abbie, 
  I love you. I am so proud of what a wonderful big sister you are and have become. You are the best helper in the entire world. You help me with so much around the house. You are so great at protecting your baby sister. You are doing a great job at teaching her to love and care for others. I love you.
Dear Hubby, 
  Wow, how fast did that year go? So much has changed in the last year. You have grown so much as a father. I can see so many changes from the way you are now with 
the girls, compared to when Abbie was this age. I am so thankful that you are actively involved. I know that you are a manly man, but I love the gushy loving man you become when sitting with your girls and watching a girly tv show. They know you love them and they are so lucky. Thank you. I love you.

Dear  Biological Clock,
  Must you tick so loudly? I have two beautiful girls and yet I can hear your alarm going off, trying to tell me it is time for the next one. We can take the hint. So now that the youngest is already a year old we think it is time to start trying for that third... but please be nice and give us a boy. Third times a charm, right?

Dear Chocolate Chip Cookies,
  Thank you for not calling my name too loudly. You are so delicious and perfect. Two cookies in two days is doing pretty well.

Dear Flylady and group,
  Thank you so much for all of your advice and support. The house is slowly becoming the organized, clean, peaceful home of my dreams. I love the decorations that have  held the space of the old clutter. I have been tackling one room at a time and am keeping up on the others throughout the day. I feel like I have accomplished so much more.

Dear God, 
  Thank you so much for all the blessings. Thank you for holding me together over the last year. Thank you for protecting my family. I am so excited to see what you will do in the next year. Please help me to grow closer to you and to become the woman you want me to be.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

The dreams of a child

Dreams come in so many different shapes and sizes. A couple years ago my daughter Abigaile created a dream of her own, a dream to be a big sister. She was four years old and she was ready to be a big sister. We had tried to explain to her that we might not be able to since I had a lot of health issues at the time and because we had been trying for a few years.

Dreams move us to believe when others don't. As we were walking through Walmart, a little onsie had caught her eye. She asked if we could purchase it. I told her that we couldn't afford to purchase it, especially because there would be no little body to fill it. She reached into her little pocket and pulled up a few wrinkled bills, change, candy wrappers, and lint. She looked at me again and said, "Can I buy it for my little brother or sister? I will give my money. That day she bought a onesie. We took it home, folded it up, and put it in a frame. I wrote the words, "Our dream" on the glass and wrote the story down in a note on the back. That was November 2009. One year later, we proudly told Abigaile that her dream was coming true. She was overcome with joy. Last August, she became a proud and loving sister of a little sister.

Abigaile had a dream and she didn't let anyone discourage it. 

There is another person who's dream has had a huge impact on my family. I am so thankful for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and all those who believed and strived to make his dream possible. His dream has made it possible for a young black man named Alvin and a young white girl name Faith to meet, fall in love, get married, and have two beautiful daughters. He did not let naysayers change his dream or his belief in his dream. Though his dream has come a long way, I think it has not yet been fulfilled. I believe in his dream and look forward to it progressing more and more.

Dreams are extremely important. They move us forward and give us the hope that things can change and become better.

This was based on a prompt from MamaKat. I love her prompts. If you aren't doing prompts, I suggest you try. They help bring you out of your comfort zone and grow. 

Mama’s Losin’ It

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Friday Letters

Distant... so distant.
Trapped in my own head.
Isolated... so isolated.
Laying alone in my bed.

Dear Hubby,
I am so sorry. I don't know what is going on. I feel so disconnected. So overwhelmed by the day to day of life. Thank you so much for trying to make me happy. How sweet of you to run out just to get me a tea. I don't like feeling like this and hope to be back on my game soon. I just constantly feel exhausted. I wish I could stay in bed for a few days, but I know the world won't stop just because I did. I love you so much and am so thankful for you.

Dear Eb,
Baby, my poor baby. I wish I could take the pain of your teething away. I wish I could make you feel more comfortable. I know that you are trying to communicate as best as you can. I am sorry I can't just hold you while you scream. Please, get some rest and be a strong girl. Please, give mommy a break from the constant crying.

Dear Abbie,
I am sorry I have been so distracted. I have not forgotten about you. Everyone is demanding so much of me and I am so thankful that you are so helpful. I am sorry that I get aggravated so much more easily lately. I love you.

Dear Friday,
Please go quickly. Please provide rain and cooling.

Dear Body,
Please get plenty of rest this weekend. Please, feel rejuvenated for next week.

Dear Satan,
I won't stop praising... Try as you might I will not give you what you want. I will only lean more into God. I hate you. I hate that your schemes distract me from the ones I love.

Dear God,
Please protect me and my family. Help me to be bound even closer to you. Give me the spirit of love, patience, and peace with my family and household. Pull me from this dark cloud and show me your grace. Thank you for being so awesome and for loving me so much.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The 6 best things about being an adult

Mama’s Losin’ It
Since I was up anyway, I decided to write a prompt from Mama Kat's writer's workshop..

The 6 best things about being an adult...

1. Not having to wait and eat all my dinner before eating my dessert. I once sat with my daughter at the table for dinner and I began to eat my dessert. She told me that I was supposed to wait until after I finished all my food. I said, "No dear, You have to eat dinner first. I did my time." She continued to tell me how unfair life was so I told her, "It ends up fair in the end. When you are grown up and a mommy you can eat dessert while your kids eat their dinners." She was pleased with my explanation. 

I had told a friend of mine and she thought it was unfair of me to do this... I had to remind her of all the times the kids eat the lollipops, ice-cream, and other treats while we are left watching them. 

2. Messy room... While I try to keep the living room straightened, I say try because it seems to be impossible at times, I don't have to keep my room clean. I know my hubby would appreciate it so I am going to work on it, but my mommy and daddy are not going to come over and look at my room. If I have the rest of the house looking decent they don't even know the jungle that is my room. I have stacks of papers and "stuff" on the dressers that are like trees, I have a river of clothes stretching from one door to the next, and I have hills of crumpled blankets and sheets on the bed. Occasionally, I have two little monkeys swinging from my husband to me as we lay like rocks refusing to believe that it is 9am on a Saturday. 

3. Ok, so we are all adults on here... well at least I am. Thus the choice of this blog post. One thing I think it best about being an adult is sex. There I said it.... I am married and God created it to be something awesome between a husband and wife. I do find it funny that it is faux paux for  a wife and a mother to talk about sex publicly, while at the same time it is all over tv, magazines, and other sources of media. I just know that someone might become angry or think this is inappropriate but I think it so extremely appropriate. In a marriage sex is fun, relaxing, and builds intamacy... well at least for me it is. 

Lol... anyone remember this? 

4. Choices... As an adult I can make choices that I couldn't as a child. I can say no to an adult. I can decide to not play with someone who is mean or doesn't share. I can choose what to study, if I want to study. I can also choose to spend my money on toys instead of saving. Some choices might be better for me than others but I am the one making them. 

5. As an adult our bodies are still changing. We begin to get aches and pains from what seem like random things. We also get hormone rushes... but I am so so thankful that the hormonal changes and rushes of the teens is over. At least now I am able to recognize them as what they are. I don't know who had the bright idea to shove all the hormonal children together in classrooms, that is just a recipe for disaster. I know some very brave men and women who would not want to be anywhere near a  junior high or high school. Those were some of the most confusing and frustrating times of my life... there was way too much drama and I wasn't confident enough in myself to just ignore or stop talking to people. It don't want it to sound like I didn't like anyone and didn't have fun but at that time I had the emotions of a child, the hormones of a teen, and the body of an adult. Puberty sucks. Too bad it wasn't like in HSM... breaking out in song and dance would have at least been more entertaining. 

6. Having children. When I had my older daughter I was not an adult. According to the law I was but in maturity I was nowhere close. I was truly blessed that God helped me through and helped me to mature and become the woman I am today. I enjoy being a mother so much more now, as an adult, then I did then. I don't have as much anxiety about "screwing her up" as I did then. I am so blessed by my two beautiful daughters.

What are your favorite things about being an adult?