Facing My Fears

Facing My Fears

Well, I finally turned in my first draft of my book.  It’s been one of those, “Be careful what you wish for” kinds of things.

I have always dreamed of writing a book.  And when I read books it seems so easy.  It’s also easy to sit in my recliner and watch the winter Olympics.  But not so easy to actually do.

It’s been more like an act of service than a living the dream.  But still very satisfying.

Last weekend while the girls and I were at the coast we decided to walk out on the dock across from our house.  It looked so nice from the balcony.  But when I stepped up to it I froze in fear.  It was a very long plank of worn wood with nothing to hold onto.  And by hold onto I mean grip with all my might until my finger ache.

As we started to cross, the girls were chatting it up behind me just skipping and enjoying the ocean.  “No talking. please,” I said,  “I need total concentration so I don’t die.”

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I inched my way across, not letting myself look at anything but the board directly in front of me.  “Don’t look up….don’t look around….” I kept telling myself. When I was a kid I had an extreme fear of water.  A few years of swim lessons helped, but I still can’t breathe when I watch a movie about someone underwater.  I would be the only person in the world to die from holding my breath in a theater while watching “Dolphin Tale 2.”

My friend who owned the house later told me, “If it helps, the water there is only about three feet deep.”

Nope.  That doesn’t help at all.

I made it across the dock, spent time on the pier with the girls watching the birds and talking about life and God’s goodness and then {cue horror music} I had to get back across.  I let the girls go first and after they were all the way across I just did it….one step at a time.  There’s definitely a metaphor for life in there somewhere.

Speaking of dread, today when I hit the send button on my book I felt that same irrational fear of death.  Why?  You can’t die from a bad book.  Wait, can you?

Wait.  Not that my book is bad.  I hope I hope.

Fear is a funny thing.  It doesn’t have to make sense.  God knew that we all would struggle with this.  I read somewhere that fear is mentioned over 365 times in the Bible.  Wowsa!  No denying that we are to fear not by leaning on Him!

Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

I am learning a lot lately about what I am afraid of and how much I need to put my faith in God and God alone.  I walked all the way across that dock and back again.  I was so proud of myself and my girls clapped for me.  They knew I was petrified and it was a huge blessing to show them that I could do something that really scared me.

Although let’s not get crazy…..I still don’t know if I could have done it if anyone was talking to me.

 

How I Get Through The Hard Times

How I Get Through The Hard Times

Since sharing about our daughter leaving home I have been overwhelmed with phone calls, emails and messages of love and support.  Thank you.  Believe it or not, I did not expect that response at all.  God has spoken to me through each of you and I am indescribably grateful.

And there are so, so many other mothers who are going through, or have been through, the same thing.  My heart breaks for all of you.  I made a list of your names and I am praying for each name in the morning before I run.  You’re my new tribe.

Through this difficult time it is more important than ever that I take good care of myself.

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As much as I don’t feel like eating, when I do eat I am sure to make it healthy foods and not junk.  I am staying away from sugar and carbs and eating plenty of veggies.  And I am still taking my walk every morning and spending that time listening to praise music and letting God lift me up.  Part of me wants to not care about anything, but the prayer pulls me back to the truth…..that I am still responsible to take care of myself for not only me, but my husband, kids and the friends that God has so mercifully given me.

I am also using my essential oils like they are liquid gold.  They have been an invaluable help with getting through the shock and pain.  I wanted to share with you what I am using, in case any of you need it someday (but I sure hope not!).

I have a great YouTube video talking about all of this as well, so if you want more thoughts head over and watch!

1. Peace & Calming – When it first happened…like the first hour….I was crying so hard I couldn’t breathe.  I was gasping for air when my husband found me and said, “You’re having a panic attack….you need an oil!”  I couldn’t think of what I needed, so he ran into the bathroom where I keep them out on a shelf and he grabbed the Peace & Calming (in my diluted roll-on bottle).  He handed it to me and I just started rubbing it all over my face and trying to breathe.  Within seconds my breathing settled down, I stopped crying as hard and I could think a little more clearly.

2. Valor, Tranquil, Joy and White Angelica – Once the panic attack stopped I still couldn’t think of what oils to use, so I texted my good friend and asked her advice.  She recommended these four.  James got them for me and I started putting them on….didn’t matter where….my wrists, neck, chest.  I don’t really remember.  I just had to get them on my body.  It helped a LOT.  After a minute of using them I stopped crying and was able to think.  I could feel my mind settling down and starting to cope.  After that I was able to go to talk with my other children and spend time with them.  I put both Peace & Calming and Valor in the diffuser and ran it all day to help the whole family.

3. Valor, Joy, Forgiveness – These are the three that I have used most over the past two weeks.  Valor helps me gather strength to move forward and deal with the emotional roller coaster, Joy helps me remember that there is always something to be thankful for and lifts my spirits, Forgiveness is known to help release hurtful memories and move beyond emotional barriers.  Boy do I need that one!

Sometimes, out of the blue, my heart will just start hurting (like physical pain so bad I once thought I might be having a heart attack).  When that happens I grab the Valor and rub it right where the pain is.  It’s been a balm for me.

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4. Lavender and Peace & Calming -  At bedtime I use these both on myself and in the diffuser.  It’s helping me sleep and not let the thoughts take over in the middle of the night.  I have also been putting it on the kids when they seem unsettled.

To sum up, I have used a LOT of Peace & Calming.  But there are many other oils that are great for anxiety and pressure.  When I am ready, I am going to try some of those.  But for now, while we are still dealing with the initial shock I am sticking to these.

When you sign up with Young Living and order the Premium Standard Kit  you will get Valor, Peace & Calming, Lavender and Joy.  I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t had these on hand.  Having my oils right by my side, diffusing in the house and ready to use on my kids when they are feeling stressed and upset has been a blessing for us all!

Lastly, I spend a TON of time praying and reading the Bible.  There is so much comfort and wisdom there that I feel like I can’t get enough of it.

Thanks for stopping by!  Don’t forget there’s more info about this on YouTube.

I am not a doctor, these opinions are from my own experiences.  If you feel you need emotional support please see a physician and make wise health decisions.

Chore Ideas for Kids!

Chore Ideas for Kids!

Chore Ideas for Kids-2

This week on YouTube I am answering some follow up questions from another video about kids doing chores.  I am sharing how we manage a simple afternoon chore system.  We call it, “3:30 Chores.”  Every afternoon the younger kids (that’s the kids still in school) do a quick chore and it helps keep the place spiffy and gives them something to be responsible for. Here is an idea of the types of jobs I have on their 3:30 chore lists: Ages 2-5: pick up toys, dust, carry laundry, put silverware in the drawer, put pillows on the bed, wipe the table, folding washrags Ages 6-9: dust, sweep, wash the pet bowl, wash front door, wipe light switches, sweep porch, wipe doorknobs, clean under sofa cushions, windex mirrors, straighten books, fold towels, rake, water plants Ages 10-13: vacuum, fold laundry, cut up vegetables, mop, wash windows, get trash out of car, clean TVs, wash dining chairs, pull weeds, wipe off the fridge, straighten the DVDs,  wash sheets Ages 14+: dust ceiling fans, clean leaves from gutters, shake rugs, organize a drawer, straighten a shelf, get Sunday clothes ready, clean trash cans, wash one window, clean cobwebs, sweep under furniture, wash ceiling lights The idea is for these to be small jobs that can be done once a week.  Try walking around the house and just writing down everything that needs to be done.  Then divide that list into small bits, each taking only about 10 minutes to do.  Those would be the 3:30 chores in our house!  :)

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Upbeat Christian Workout Playlist

Upbeat Christian Workout Playlist

This post contains affiliate links.

Upbeat and Inspiring Christian Workout Playlist

For workout, house cleaning, dancing with the kids, long car trips. A Christian workout playlist you’ll love. #christianmusic #songideas #workoutsongs

In my quest to continually keep myself motivated to run/walk every morning….I try to add fresh new songs to my playlist.  Otherwise I get bored and my mind starts to wander and that leads to thoughts of sitting down and feasting on chocolate.

In case you are also weak minded and easily bored, I am sharing my new faves with you.  These links go directly to iTunes so you don’t even have to go find the songs for yourself.  How’s that for service?

1. Your Name Will Be Praised by Laura Story
2. Unashamed Of You by Chris August
3. So Long Self by Mercy Me
4. Live Through Me by Meridith Andrews
5. Beautiful Day by Jamie Grace
6. Lose Myself by Toby Mac
7. Overwhelm Me by Adie
8. Let Everything That Has Breath by Jeremy Camp
9. Constant by Francesca Batisttelli
10. Marvelous Light by Charlie Hall

That’s it….fun to run to and be encouraged.

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Getting Ready for Winter

Getting Ready for Winter

We are getting ready for a very busy season here with school and travel and holidays just around the corner.  I’ve been organizing and making sure everyone has clothes that fit and stocking the pantry and of course….making sure we have the essential oils we need for winter wellness! As we get into colds and flu germs all around us I want to be prepared for three things.  1. To AVOID the germs,  2. To have what we need on hand if we do get sick and 3. To keep our spirits up during the long, cold season. 1. Thieves, lemon, purification….these are all fantastic for warding off germs.  They keep the air in the house fresh, they boost our immune systems, they keep our minds bright. 2. Lavender, peppermint, DiGize (which is in the Premium Standard Kit for a limited time!), BreatheAgain….great for colds, stomach aches, coughs, sleeplessness, and so much more! 3. Valor, Sacred Frankincense (another only for a limited time!), Peace & Calming, Joy, StressAway…..need I say more? kit-post Thieves would be the Number ONE oil I wouldn’t go through winter without.  I keep it in the diffuser, I carry it in my purse, I clean with it, I rub it on the bottoms of all of our feet.  Thieves, Thieves and more Thieves. And since I really want you to be prepared for the winter, I am going to send anyone who signs up through me with a Premium Standard Kit a bottle of Thieves spray plus the Essential Oils Reference Guide that I send to all of my new Premium Kit sign ups.

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Kids and Chores!

Kids and Chores!

Kids and Chores, tips and ideas from a mom of nine! #chores #youtube #parenting

This week’s YouTube video is about kids doing chores.  Uh huh.  That’s right.  I am talking about deep, dark subjects over there.

I have tried many different chore systems and all of them have their pros and cons.  But there is one thread that runs through any successful effort to get kids to do chores and that’s you constantly checking after them.

They need accountability, they need to have a clear idea of what is expected of them and they need an occasional refresher lesson.  They simply aren’t naturally going to succeed.

I use rewards for the younger kids, but by the time they are 12 they don’t get any “prizes” or payments.  The satisfaction of a job well done is reward enough.  That’s part of maturing….not expecting extra benefits for doing what needs to be done to keep the family running smoothly.  The reward systems when they are young are for teaching….not to be a lifelong practice.

To be clear….I still pay the older kids for some things, just not typical household responsibilities.  I never pay for kitchen work, cleaning, laundry, etc.  But I would pay them to do bigger jobs like work in my etsy shop, paint, yard work beyond basic mowing, cleaning out my car, and other jobs that I might pay someone else to do.

 

 

If you’re wondering what chore systems we use, there are two that I like.  The first, for younger kids, is I Did It Myself! And for the whole family I love the book Managers of Their Homes by Teri Maxwell.  It’s been around for a long time and I have tweaked it to fit my life, but there’s some great info there.

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If You Don’t Mind…..

If You Don’t Mind…..

I may have a problem.  Like I need counseling and possibly shock therapy.  I love books.  I have shelves full of them in every room and when someone offers to send me one to review I simply can’t resist.  #bookaddiction

But I realize I have not told you much about all of the writing that’s happening right under our very roof. #mykids

Besides writing a book myself, my daughter Grace has written 4 books and the first three are available on Amazon.  #true

1. Firmament: Radialloy is about a young woman who lives on a starship.  If your teen or young adult likes sci-fi this is a fun adventure!
2. Firmament: In His Image is the second in this series (with the third coming out very soon!) and follows the same main character.
3. Never is a clean, wholesome, family friendly western with slightly more mature conflicts.

She also has a blog where she reviews books and it’s always nice to find clean books for our kids to read.

Grace

My daughter Patience also has a blog that is for budding photographers.  She’s really good at encouraging you to love your family and follow your passion.  Your photo-driven kids would love this.  #itisprecious

Pep

And, if you don’t mind me telling you, my oldest son is making an album of songs that he has written.  He has a website that tells about his vision and he is also wrapping up a fundraiser to help get it made.  #hemakesmyheartmelt

Jacob

Not to be left out, my daughter Hope is writing a graphic novel (kind of like a faith-based comic book) and my other daughter Faith is starting her own jewelry line.  Those are still works in progress. #iamconstantlyamazed

I really don’t mention all of their accomplishments much because I don’t want to be braggy.  But just this once….I had to say it.

Thanks for letting me.  #proudmom

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Our Boys’ Attic Lego Loft

Our Boys’ Attic Lego Loft

A great room for boys and their Legos! #legos #boysroom #kidsroom

In my Summer Home Tour I showed you my boy’s loft bedroom.  But I thought I’d show you it again with a little more of the details.

A loft room for boys and their Legos!

This room is so small, but we only keep the Legos and two beds up there, so it works.

A great room for boys and their Legos!

There are mattresses on the floor at each end of the room.  We got new mattresses and I am surprised at how comfy it is.  I went to Target and got the dorm-bed-in-a-bag kit.  They were happy to have matching bedding and it didn’t cost me much.  I added a couple of accent pillows.  Doesn’t every guy want throw pillows?

A great room for boys and their Legos!

I decided to add red because I found these AWESOME red metal lockers at IKEA (my happy place).

A great room for boys and their Legos!

The fence looking thing is the rail that you used to be able to see through from below.  But with the room makeover we put luann in front of it so they have more privacy.  To make the best use of the space we built a white shelf at each end of the lockers that faces the beds and one in the middle to hold all of their Lego books and manuals.

A great room for boys and their Legos!

It creates one long surface for them to build their Lego creations.

A great room for boys and their Legos!

On the opposite side of the room is the only wall.  With one weird shaped wall you have to get creative about how to use it.  We built shelves that were completely fitted to the wall and filled them with containers for the….you know what…..Legos!

A great room for boys and their Legos!

Most of the containers I got at IKEA.  Duh.

A great room for boys and their Legos!

If you’re wondering what the wooden thing on the floor is….that’s the door to the room!

The boys have organized the Legos how they want, which is basically not organized at all.

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 I left empty spots on the shelves for them to put some of the things they’ve built.

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I even added (again, IKEA) little lights on each end of the long shelf for them to hit when they need light in the night.

A great room for boys and their Legos!

The whole room was done with 1x8s, paint and 1x2s for the brackets!  It took some measuring, but we got a lot of storage in a small space and it doesn’t feel cramped because the middle is completely empty except for the seat cubes.  They need a place to sit while they build.

If you like attic spaces, I’ve found some more really cute ones over on my Attic Makeover board on Hometalk!

hometalk-attic makeovers

 


Let Me Tell You a Little Story….

Let Me Tell You a Little Story….

One day you’re a woman with a clean bedroom and the next day…BAM!  It looks like you live in an episode of Hoarders.

I try to keep my room clean, I really do.  On Sunday nights I give it a really good straightening and put away everything that has accumulated through the week.  I’m not really sure why Legos and other people’s belts end up at the foot of my bed, but I just take it as part of life and clean it all up.

Now, I love the part of this story where I wake up on Monday morning to a clean bedroom.  I feel like a lady in a mattress commercial that stretches like she’s the happiest person in the world all because she slept on a Posturepedic (FYI: spell check keeps trying to change that word to “pedicurist” which seems like a big spelling leap, but now I want a pedicure because I am easily influenced.  Don’t say the names of any food or I instantly want it.  Except olives or cucumbers which I do not like. #random)

Like any good tale there’s a plot twist.  This time it’s in the form of me deciding I need an office and we have to clean out three rooms to make it happen.  And where does all of the junk and furniture that no one needs anymore end up?  Yep.  You guessed it.

We cleaned and moved and worked so hard and by Thursday I had a situation on my hands.  Sure, I have a lovely new office but I also have an uninhabitable bedroom.  I won’t be stretching my arms like the lady in the commercial.  Because if I did I would hit the enormous pile of clothes that is next to me on the bed.  And forget going to the bathroom in the night without turning on the lights.  Toe….meet the bookshelf that wasn’t there yesterday.

Speaking of piles of clothing, WHY are there so many clothes in the boys’ drawers that don’t fit them?!  We have very limited space.  Four boys have their clothes all in one room which is also where we keep all of their toys and two of them sleep.  Oh, and all of their books.  Every inch is sacred.  So when I opened THREE drawers to find them stuffed with clothes that NO ONE wears I kind of lost my mind.  It’s like I could actually feel a little screw going loose in my brain, hairs turning gray and wrinkles creeping along my face.

It was just last weekend that I announced we might need to find a place to put another dresser in there because the drawers were all so full and I had already had them clean it all out.  In their defense, none of them had any idea who was supposed to be using those three drawers so they never opened them, thinking they belonged to a brother.

We had a drawer intervention.

And now I have a mountain of boy’s clothes on my bed waiting for me to go through.  I also have three pieces of furniture that I have to squeeze into the storage building, which is another touchy subject.  Let’s just agree to not talk about it, mkay?

So guess what the theme for today is!  It’s “Clean Mommy’s Room Day”!  It starts with getting all of this junk out of my room and ends with happy Mommy buying frozen yogurt for everyone.

The end.

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The Next YouTube Sensation?!

The Next YouTube Sensation?!

Guess what!  I have started a YouTube channel and I am so excited about it.

Well, as excited as you can be about something you don’t understand how to do without Googling every-single-step while you create it.

I have been feeling badly about not being able to answer all of the parenting questions I get, so this is my solution.  It’s SO much easier to talk for a few minutes and I think y’all will like these short tips.  Short is the operative word.  I won’t take much of your time.  (now I feel like a Ginsu knife salesman….but I promise I won’t ask for $19.99).

I will be adding a new video every Friday and sometimes they will be, uh, how shall I put this?  Silly.  Fun.  OK, weird.  Your kids will like the weird ones.  But normally they will be simple and mostly for Mom.  That’s what the two that are already there are…simple mom stuff.

You'll love this YouTube channel with parenting tips and faith-based teaching!

So there you go.  I hope you’ll go subscribe and tell your friends to subscribe.  I’d like to feel like I’m talking to more than 7 people.  But truthfully, if no one ever sees them but my children while they are trying to raise their own kids (which they haven’t had yet but I have high hopes for the future) that’s really fine by me.

Thanks!

Don’t miss it!