Friday, August 29, 2014

Do Moms Lose Their Memory with Each Child?

This is how I see my husband before work. My tired hero.
Oh man!!!  Today I'm feeling the tiredness.  Last night I worked on decluttering till about 4am, took a shower, then went to bed.  Then I got up 5 hours later.  To top it off, we had no coffee left.  I do have some decaf but I'm sorry, that's insulting. (Shhhh, don't tell Charles I made him decaf as well.  He doesn't know.  When he came in to tell me he was still tired and coffee wasn't working, I had to try not to laugh.  Hahaha.) It'd be better to wake up fast by banging my head on the wall 10 times or throwing freezing ice water on my face.  Maybe even do the ice bucket challenge.

Oh, so there's the ice bucket challenge.  I completely forgot to do it being that I was challenged.  That's how bad my memory is.  Also, I forgot I had church nursery duty last Sunday morning.  I'm sooooo grateful I go to church with gracious people.  I'm hoping and praying that was the only time I forgot.  I don't know because I can't remember.  Ha ha. By the way, what is the huge fuss about people doing the ice bucket challenge?  Some are saying people that do the ice water rather than donate are being cheap. Well, at least it's bringing it to people's attention around the world that can donate.  Because of this challenge, tons of money was raised to bring awareness to ALS.  I think that's amazing!!!  Let's do more stuff like this!!!

Today I put my old red van up for sale.  I got so many calls today I could hardly work on my decluttering project I started yesterday. We've had this van since 2009.  It served us for 5 good years but we just simply outgrew it.  Awww.... so many good memories.  Ashley was a year and half then, now she's turning 7 soon.  When we first got this red van we felt like we were driving a house.  We upgraded from a minivan so this was luxury to us.  Now we have a 12 passenger!  Ha ha.

Oh, and do moms lose their memory with each child?  According to eHow pregnant women do.  Come on!  I need a study that shows moms in general have memory loss.  I know I do.  There is just soooo much to keep up with.  I get myself in trouble forgetting important dates but it's because my calendar is hilariously full.

Anyway, it's past midnight and I'm so close to be done with my decluttering project.  Better hop to it!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sick of the Clutter and Throwing it Out- Here We Go Again

Alright.  When I walk into a room, scratch my head because I don't know what to clean first, and walk out, that means it's time to do the red carpet treatment in that room.  It may seem like I do this process all the time but actually it's because I attack one of the 6 rooms of our house throughout the year.  So yeah, if I post about it 6-12 times a year, that's why.  I've been doing this for awhile and it solves all my "woman, get your act together and keep it organized" issues.

Yeah well, my bedroom tends to be the drop off room when everyone does their chores.  Also, The Destroyer goes in there (my toddler) and loooooves pulling anything and everything out of the drawers and off the shelves.  I had it today and emptied my room out into my living room.  Kyle and Ashley volunteered for free and I still paid them hourly.  Yes, I teach my kids about earning money per job.  It's awesome and teaches them fast.  If it's not part of their chores or personal things then I consider it an extra and it makes a good lesson about earning money.  Wow, the kids and I emptied everything out quick!  The hard part is going through it but if you wait to do this process when you are SICK OF THE CLUTTER, it's the best time to do it because you throw out stuff easier.  They sort of just threw it all over the carpet which is fine.  The deal is it has to stay on the carpet.  It used to be a red carpet which is why it's called Red Carpet Treatment.  Ha ha.  Not it's brown but brown would be weird sounding.  I love my corny sayings.  Anyway, this is what my living room looks like right now with my room emptied all over it.  I'm up late organizing!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Why Can't I Be Like Everyone Else- Mommy Insecurities

I need to step up on my game.  Sometimes I feel so insecure because I can't get the house perfect like I see in all those Instagram and Facebook photos.  I don't get it?  Ha.  I was the baby of the family.  Babies are known to be the messies.  Whyyyyy can't I retrain myself to be like this fantastical, amazing, pefecto woman, wife, mom, everything?  My husband said, "All those women you compare yourself to, are they homeschooling a large family?  Because it's just not the same otherwise and it's not fair to compare yourself to someone where their life is just completely different."  I love my husband.  It always puts it back into perspective for me.  :)

Not sure how clutter gets back into my house but it does.  We are not shopaholics here but it just makes sense that which 9 people, stuff can just add up quick with birthday and holidays.  It's like this never ending carousel for me that I've learned to just deal with rather than loathe.  Some people can just stay right on top of it.  I'm amazed by them.... unless something or someone(s) important in their life is being replaced to do it.  I want my kids to grow up and really feel they know me.  I hope they'll say we had a relationship.  I promise, the clean house doesn't matter because that's such a faded part in my memory of my own past.  I remember the relationship stuff.

Juliet has got to be the world's lightest sleeping baby.  She will go to bed on time but because she hears people going to the bathroom in the middle of the night, she'll wake up.  She never puts herself back to sleep but instead calls for us to come play with her.  I have to keep certain pajamas on her and keep a gate up at her door or she'll run naked throughout the house in the middle of the night.  She doesn't just strip and run, she laughs wildly while she does it.   Ha ha.  So cute but soooooo much work. 

Usually the softie to come to her side is Ivy.  Ivy will hug her, change her diaper, get her a bottle, and they'll snuggle.  However, Ivy got trapped into playing in her castle with her at 1am.  Anytime Ivy tried to walk out Juliet would cry.  In fact, when I took this picture, that's exactly why Juliet was crying in it.  Ivy felt bad, came back in, and when she did, Juliet pushed-forced her towards the castle. Ivy and Juliet are giggling their heads off right now. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Death of Robin Williams- Endless Void

I've written a lot about my grace journey this past year.  I also mentioned the incredible depression I was going through a year prior.  It was like an emptiness in my soul.  I don't even know how to describe it.  It's like a void that no one can fill.  Not your friends, loved ones, or any form of materialism, success.  Yeah, yeah... I heard a million times.  Jesus is the answer, Jesus is the answer.  HE IS.  I'm not saying He isn't.  But when you think grace only exists for for a short time, when you receive Christ, but after that you are on your own with your own good works, it can be tiring.  I thought I knew who Jesus was.  Boy, was I waaaaaaaaay off.  I thought I knew the Bible backwards and forwards.  Especially the part about why Jesus had to come.  I thought I knew. I didn't. If you want to hear my long study, explanation of where and why I was losing faith, I explain why in the next few paragraphs.  Otherwise, skip to bottom to the words in blue. Continued....

Personal Study

Many, many time the scripture is quoted to me.
Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. Matthew 5:17
This is the part I was confused about.  Does this mean we still live by the law? Jesus was explaining the true significance of the moral content of Moses' law and the rest of the Old Testament. Fulfill means the fulfillment in the same sense that prophecy is fulfilled.  Christ was indicating that He is the fulfillment of the law in all it's aspects.  He fulfilled the moral law by keeping it perfectly.  (Something we cannot do).

*Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. -Galatians 6:2

*Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another, for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. -Romans 13:8

Well, what is the law of Christ?  Is it the same law as the old testament?

Insert from Christian Truth Center:

What is the law of Christ

The law of Christ 150x150 What is the law of Christ
the law of Christ
What is the law of Christ? Is there a law of Christ? Many people do not differentiate the law of Christ and other Biblical laws.
The law of Christ is the grace; the New covenant (New Testaments). This law is so much different from all other laws in the Bible. There are only three major laws in the Bible. These are;
  1. The God laws (the Ten Commandments)
  2. The Mosaic law and
  3. The law of Christ.
The old covenant,  the law, is grievous and only leading to damnation not salvation. See effects of the law. So there was need for God to change this old covenant and bring a new one. Jesus Christ was and is the author of the new covenant while the old covenant (the law) came through Moses. 
For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (John 1:17).

Continued from top....
The explanation I give in my study explains my extreme weariness which also turned into depression.  I had NO CLUE about this so called grace.  I thought we were still living under rules, rules, and more rules.  Slowly I was sinking and the more I sank, the more I felt God disapproved.  God of love?  Ha. I felt like he was shaking His head in great disappointment of my ability to follow all the laws and added man made laws. (Man made laws: Meaning, giving extra rules to people they have to follow in hopes to help them serve God better.)

My point?  When I truly understood the love of Christ and the true sacrifice He did for all mankind, for me, I felt the void filling up with a love and fulfillment I hadn't ever felt in my life.  Almost like the fountains of the deep filling up with joy and then not just bubbling over, but bursting out for everyone to see!  For the first time I understood, I was soooo lost.  Jesus came to save those which were lost.  well, I qualified! 

I remember seeing a picture of Robin Williams about a year ago and seeing a sadness in his eyes that I could completely understand. I know that look in people's eyes. Often, I battled thoughts of suicide.  I just wanted to end the pain.  If I couldn't please God, then why try?  What happens when there is no hope from not knowing Christ? What comes after this life?  What's the point of life?  When Hollywood can't bring the fulfillment you were looking for?  When all the money you could ever want just doesn't fill that void?  It's scary, but just a year ago, exactly 11 months and 2 weeks ago I was there.  I'll never forget.  Only Jesus can fill that void.  I know.  In fact, religion can't fill that void either because I tried it.  I tried being the perfect Christian that followed all the rules and worked hard to get people's approval around me.  I felt that void and had that same emptiness in my eyes.  No one knew I was sinking.... Most people around Robin Williams didn't know.  

Once I finally accepted Christ's FREE GIFT of salvation.  Without condition. Once I discovered I wasn't just following a set of rules to stay saved, the void was gone.  That horrible EMPTY void vanished.  It's much easier to love yourself and more importantly love others when you know God's love.

I cried hearing this song (below) today because it exactly explains the love in my heart, the joy that only Christ was able to give me.  In turn, it's help me to love others more like I never thought I could.  Before, living in the law, I could never say these words.  When I did, it came with a blank expression.  When you understand His amazing love, you get EVERY SINGLE word in this song...

Pointing people to Jesus

From song in video below:
I abandon every distraction
My attention is set on You
My devotion, Jesus my portion
My affection is set on You

I was made to worship
I was made for Your embrace
I was made to worship
I was made to bless Your name

I will bless the Lord at all times x2
I was made to worship
I was made to bless your name
I will shout your praise forever x2
I was made to worship
I was made to bless Your name

Captivated by Your goodness
Overwhelmed by Your majesty
Swept away in Your holy presence
Giving over all of me

My heart and flesh cry out
for You to fill me up
You satisfy me
Fill me with power and truth
Fill me with love from You
You satisfy me

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Pregnancy Blessing After Loss

Unless my body is tricking me, I took 2 pregnancy tests and they came out positive.  I was starting to wonder about my body after the miscarriage in early April.  

Two nights ago I had a dream that I was pregnant and then my husband got a $1.50 raise.  I woke up with a smile because, yeah, that's a happy dream!  Haha.  Last night I just randomly bought some pregnancy tests but didn't think I was pregnant.  Well, I had my suspicions but lately I haven't been trusting my body too much.  I felt like it had dealt me a bad blow this last pregnancy. Well, it immediately came out positive even though I'm so early. So I took another one this morning and, yep, it was positive just as quickly!  

I jumped up and down and told my husband who was just as excited.  In fact, I don't remember him being THIS excited before.  I mean, he's always been really happy but I saw how hard the miscarriage was on him as well.  One day, not long after losing Genesis I was moping around and grumpy.  I was being short with him and he said, "Don't you think I'm hurting too?  Don't you think I miss Genesis?"  That broke my heart.  I always hear women talking about pregnancy loss but I've never thought to think how the husband is hurting too.  I realized how selfish I was acting and stopped being so rude.  Well, he was REALLY excited when I told him about this time.  Can you tell by his text in the picture?  Tee hee....

Well, one half of my dream came true, that raise would be awesome.  Just sayin'!  No matter, God has always provided.  I'm sooooo richly blessed in so many ways and I'm not talking just about material ways. God is so good.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Don't You Feel Seven Kids is Enough?

I'm in such a weird stage of my life.  I never thought about it coming.  EVER.  I'm 35 and I've been blessed with 7 beautiful, fun, amazing, challenging, heart wrenching, adventurous kids.  One is in heaven, although it's heartbreaking, I'm excited to meet someday.  ;) 

Last week I dismantled the crib for the first time in 14 years.  Not super excited about it.  Why am I feeling that way?  Aren't some parents happy to get out of those diaper and crib stages?  Doesn't it mean less physical slavery work but more drama? (Older kids come with more drama.)  Ha.  I wasn't happy about putting the crib in the garage.  I was sad. I love the little pitter-patter of the feet across the house.  I love the kisses and babbling.  I don't care about all the diaper changes.  I've never had a break so far for 14 years and that's just fine with me.  

On the other side of it, no more babies means less work, less sleepless nights, no strollers, no diapers, no crib, no packing a diaper bag, no nursing, no binkies, no bottles.....

I don't know...... I'm extremely content.  The weirdest thing is before I got pregnant with baby Genesis that we lost, I constantly was setting out 10 dinner plates.  We'd be sitting at the table and I'd look around to see who was missing.  It would dawn on me that we are only a family of nine.  I'm talking about for months I did this.  Once I got pregnant and lost the baby, I've never accidentally done this again. Weird, huh?  My heart hurts thinking about never, ever having a little baby in my tummy again.  Never again experiencing the miracle of birth. I don't mind waking up to those newborn cries a zillion times a night.  I'm so used to it now.  And believe me, it's not baby fever.  I have person fever.  Every single kid I have is so uniquely different that I just love learning about each one of them and I love their differences!  It's so fun to see all the different personalities.

I'm sure lots of people go through these feelings.  I just don't personally know anyone.  If I express these feelings to people in my life they'd most likely say, "Well, don't you feel seven is enough?"  When did it ever become a number?  They are not a group to me.  I know each and every kid personally.  I make it a point to spend personal time with each one.  And boy, I enjoy it!  Yes, it's sooooo much work.  Yes, housekeeping is a battle for me because it's getting messy as we're cleaning.  Okay, so what?  Who said a perfect house even matters?  Good grief.  I love toys strewn across my house.  It shows we love living.  A perfect house just feels unlived in and kind of empty.  Besides, I have no friends that are perfectionists.  I find that personality a bit annoying.  (Sorry if I offended anyone).   I'm not saying I like it messy but to me there is a balance.  If you randomly show up at my house, it's gonna look lived in. 

When is it time to move forward?  I thought by now it'd be so obvious to me.  People have told me many, many times that you'll always just know when you are done.  Well, good grief, I'm still waiting for that definite feeling.

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Brain That Won't Be Quiet

There is so much to learn and SO LITTLE free time for me in the day or night to learn it. I want to learn about:

*Financial Peace University with Dave Ramsey
*Considering career fields according to my children's interests
*How to do more interest-led learning
*What kinds of college classes does my husband need to take?  Costs and what college? (He's wanting to further his degree)
*Study the bible on topics such as Grace vs. Law, Giving, and toxic friendships
*Read a book my dad lent me
*How to change the belt on my broken washing machine because I like fixing stuff myself.
* How to build up my chick coop with the most popular and best egg layers for selling again.  

At midnight, off the top of my head, that's what I came up with that is on my brain every day.  I know I have more but I'm tired. 

When we wake up we do our bible studies, homeschool, and then chores.  By then I have to do my chores and then get ready for dinner.  Often, by the time I get everyone to bed I'm just tired and have only an hour to pick one of these to study about.  I'm a hungry learning horse and just soak up information.  I love it and enjoy it on my free time. Just wishing I had more.  Regardless, my family is the most important to me above all else.  :)  I just need 1 1/2 hours a day to myself and I can go to sleep happy at night.  Having a family is the most fulfilling thing I've ever done. Some day I might go to college to finish my dream but then again, I have sooooo many!!!  How do I fulfill them all?

*I want to learn Culinary skills. Get a degree.
* Work at an orphanage (Lifetime dream and already have one picked out)
* Work with homeless people (because right now, all the opportunities have been during Charles' work hours and my babies come first.)
*Go to school and become a Master Gardiner
*Maybe get a teaching degree
*Go to school and try to figure out how we ended up with Obama for president. (Just kidding)

My family IS my first ministry.  First priority.

Argh.  So that's the list I've already conjured up for when all my kids are raised and I have free time.  Then again, will I be a busy grandma?  Because to me, my family will still be first.  I have seven kids so I have the potential to be a grandma to many.  I already thought, "Okay, if each of my kids have four kids then I could be a grandma to 28."  Then again, even if each had only two kids then I'd be a grandma to 14.  So, yeah.  :) Charles and I already designated which rooms will be for grandkids.  Like a nursery or something. 

Seriously, my brain never stops.  I just have to take one day at a time.  ONE DAY AT A TIME. Okay, I'm gonna go wash my dishes.  Ha ha.

"Thank you, Jesus, for my beautiful family and thank you for giving me dreams and a hope for the future.  I'm amazed at everything you have done in my life and in my family.  The changes have been dramatic. But please help me to take one day at a time and appreciate each and every little moment.  It's a gift.  I love you!"

Monday, August 04, 2014

Overwhelmed By God's Grace - Shout it From the Rooftops!

It's so hard NOT to shout it from the rooftops for everything God has done in my heart and mind.  I copied my last weeks studies here.  Actually, I've been studying the scriptures in these videos for the last three months. It helps if I put it all here for quick reference.  I've watched these videos several times because I catch more than I did the last time.  :)

I was desperately begging God to show me that not only was He real, but show me he isn't angry, vengeful, and really does still love me. Sure, I had given my life to Him but all I knew was to live by works to please Him. Grace was not in my vocabulary or understanding. One day I stumbled onto this series. My eyes lit up and I listened to this very first one. I couldn't stop. Within one day I listened to the entire series. I cried and cried and cried. I cried till my throat hurt. I felt this heavy burden lift off my shoulders. I had heard of saving grace but not sustaining grace. I was completely dependent on my works to stay saved and it was crushing me. God made Himself real to me. He was always there but I was blinded by pride, my own works. Thank you, Jesus, for your healing in my mind and heart. I'm so excited for the first time in my life to serve You. I actually look forward to the journey ahead and getting closer to You.

Overwhelmed By Grace Series
The Righteousness of Grace

Immutability means unchanging.  God didn't just save us by Grace so we can go on to earn our way to heaven after that. We live righteously not so we can be made righteous. We already are when we asked Christ into our hearts. We live righteously because we been made righteous through Jesus Christ. There is not enough church services, outreaches, or bible studies you could attend to keep your salvation. It's completely by grace.

Overwhelmed By Grace Series
The Immutability of Grace
Overwhelmed by Grace. This one is great because it explains the purpose of the law and why we are no longer married to it. The law points out everything we do wrong or right. Once we die to ourself, accept Christ in our heart, we are no longer married to the law but to grace. Why then would we go back to the law?
Overwhelmed By Grace
The Marriage of Grace
Romans 7:7 For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, "you shall not covet." 
Overwhelmed by Grace. This is one of my favorites because it explains in detail purpose of the law. The law does have a purpose but not as a tool to hit somebody else with. The law helps us to understand the moral standards of God. It reflects the parameters of God's desires. The law is used as a mirror to look at ourselves. The reason He doesn't want you to do those things is because it hurts people. Stealing is wrong because it hurts others. Lying is wrong because it hurts others. The law is like a school master. It's a list of do's and don'ts. We are no longer having a relationship with "a list" but with a person. Jesus Christ.
Overwhelmed By Grace
The Law of Grace
It'll change your life. I promise. ;)

Overwhelmed By Grace
The Gift of Grace

This series has totally blessed my life. God showed me so many things that just brought me to my knees in thankfulness.  I have to share.  :)