Faith · Family · Parenting · Perspective

Non-Traditional Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving. All day yesterday, my friends posted pictures of glowing, happy families and people taking naps after overeating. 

This year, none of that happened for us. After an incredibly contentious morning with my children where they fought me on everything from underwear to turning off light switches, we did go to my parents’ house. I had a good cry and told them they were not allowed to talk to me in the car.

Twenty-five minutes into the drive, my son accidentally (maybe?) punched my daughter in the ear. This set off the fireworks in the backseat. Domino-style, it started a sad and angry lecture from me about how when you treat others badly, you end up feeling bad too. 

We arrived at my mom and dad’s to find that my dad has come down with a terrible cold. He is hacking, coughing in fits, sneezing and basically needs quarantined. No hugs for dad. No hugs from papa for the kids.

We didn’t eat a traditional meal. We reheated taco meat. I made quesadillas on the George Foreman grill for my family. Mine was just chili beans, a tortilla and salsa. I sincerely wish manufacturers would hold off on the dairy in everything. It was in my mom’s taco seasoning! They finished it off with a couple of frozen chocolate cupcakes my mom had in her freezer. I had a handful of grapes.

My mother was an angel and took the kids out to explore and play for two hours. I took a much needed hour-long nap. My son had slept walked into my room the night before. It was sleep staccato-style.

Basically, as a summary and stopping the story there, you can see that this was anything but a normal family celebration. My children have been hard this week, to say the least… To top it off, after looking at the weather forecast, it seems highly unlikely that my husband will return this weekend. It just won’t be possible to travel on Sunday if the snow and blizzard conditions move in like the meteorologists are forecasting.

I’m finding this week that I’m leaning in on my faith more than ever. The prayers are constantly streaming from my thoughts- both praising in good and tough and petitioning for safe travel and patience.

Although I’m struggling to enjoy my children, I am thankful for them. Thanksgiving was missing both my sisters and their families due to other commitments, but I am grateful for their companionship this week via text messages. My husband, mom, and dad are always on my list of reasons to be grateful. The window may be foggy right now, but my view of my world can still be bright and positive.

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Happy Thanksgiving to you, however you celebrated. Truly, it is about gratefulness. The food is just a perk.

Faith · Perspective

Energy

*sigh*

Some people just suck the energy right out of you. Physical, emotional, and social energy is siphoned off like taking a big draw of iced tea thru a straw.

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Instead of drowning in the bottomless void these people leave in their aftermath, I’ve chosen to earnestly pray for them. I pray for their heart, mental and physical health, and our interactions going forward. And it takes work.

Work on my heart. Work on my thoughts. Work on myself. God can change anyone.

A person in this category is still God’s creation and has His love if he/she accepts it. It is of this that I remind myself.

I approach with caution, guard myself, pray before going into these encounters, and carry on. Not always successful at this, but we’ll call it my game plan. Psalm 5:8-12.

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Looking forward to a more positive post on my next entry!

Faith · Family · Perspective

Simple – Daily Prompt

via Daily Prompt: Simple

Have you ever had that moment when you are just absolutely sure that God is telling you something? I’ve had my fair share. And I’m getting a message LOUD and CLEAR this week.

SIMPLE.

I need to simplify. I’ve been reading “The Best Yes.” It is about discerning what is not just a ‘yes’ in my life, but my ‘Best Yes.’ Could I volunteer for one more thing? Probably, but it would take time away from event A and stretch me a little bit more.

For example, last night was Bible Study. Our church does a winter study. It starts at 7. I typically get home between 5:45 and 6pm. I then orchestrate dinner, homework that requires parental presence and attention, try to have an actual dialogue with my kids, put away groceries if I’ve made a trip to the store, turn my attention to my husband for a few snippets of conversation when he rolls in between 6 and 6:30pm, use the bathroom, possibly start a load of laundry, and then settle down to sit with my family for a little bit before we start the bedtime routine… bath, pajamas, snack, clothes picked and laid out for the next day, backpacks ready, teeth, prayers, snuggles, and I’m out by 8:15pm to capturecontinue with adult things like folding said laundry, hanging with my husband, and reading.

I absolutely want to attend Bible Study, but I’m so limited in my evening time with my family. So I chose my family as my ‘Best Yes’ last night and started the lesson for the Bible Study at around 9pm on the couch.

I say that I’m getting the “simplify” or make things “simple” moment because as I’m finishing “The Best Yes,” I had two separate friends give me two more books on prioritizing and simplifying to find peace.

I swear I’m not walking around with a crazy look in my eyes. I’m not blabbering on about all the things I have to do. I do juggle quite a pile of events and responsibilities for myself, my family, and my job. I do put a lot of miles on my car with preK pickup and 1st grade carpool and work and appointments and trips for parts and supplies for the business.

It seems there must be a better way. I am going to keep praying about it and looking for ways to make it SIMPLE.

 

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Prayer for the New Year

I said to a man who stood at the gate of the year: “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown”; and he replied, “Go into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than a light and safer than a known way!” quoting from a poem by M. L. Harkins.

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Dear Lord, Please help me to live humbly with a servant’s mission. Pride is an awful thing.  I pray for grace and forgiveness when I try to do things my way instead of Yours. I humbly ask You to guide me in Your path; lead me over the hills and valleys of life. Thank You for Your love, forgiveness, mercy and all the amazing, incredible blessings we take for granted daily. In Jesus name – Amen.

My prayer for the New Year. Hallelujah! Christ is born. Christ has died. Christ has risen. There is Hope.