Category Archives: struggles

Steps

I am debating taking a step away from my blog.

Like forreal.

Or maybe I should just take a step away from writing on it. To maybe just post photos.

I can’t seem to keep up with it all. The income is nice here and there with sponsored post… but it isnt a life changing amount either. I obsess over the stats and keeping up with daily post. Often wondering is it really worth it.

Once your babies grow up your stats tend to dwindle any how… unless you have a special talent that sucks people in… like the Pioneer Woman and her ability to post all those amazing recipes… or other bloggers who do make up tutorials or house renovations. Neither of which do I specialize in.

I love sharing photos… its my way of keeping a record of life. Just wonder if its worth it.

Social media too. Id say that more than my blog wear me thin. The constant need to keep up with everyone. Why? Why can’t people keep up with people like they use too…. by calling a friend or heck stopping by unannounced. I for one miss that. I wish more friends would just stop by unannounced… or shoot me a txt and say “hey, we’re in the neighborhood, going to swing by in 15, is that ok?” :) – as if Id ever say no. I dunno, sometimes I just miss the simplicity of life.

I was watching the show Call the Midwife on PBS. That show btw is awesome, go watch it ;-) – its on PBS right now every sunday… but also you can find older episodes on netflix. Such a great show. Note to dudes, you probably wont like it.

That show though and the simplicity of the midwives lives I long for.

I think in order to get to that simplicity I may need to let go of some of these not so simple “social” ways… and just be done with it. To stop using the “its for business” excuse and just break away.

The blog. Its a toss up :)

The social media. No question.

Just need to pry my face away from the ipad or iphone and be done.

… and enjoy more of this

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and less of this…

Coco-cola nailed that commercial btw. Gah it was funny but man was it true and convicting. I don’t want to be like that….

God’s Favor

The last few months have been filled with lots of emotion…. and trial.
Lots of fine details and way to much to get into… but I thought it be good to jot down some of the things that have happened… as a testimony to God’s hand in our life and His amazing favor…

1. Travis’ Altima died. A car he had for around 15 years
– that had over 250,000 miles. It was a car he drove in college. It was paid for and did its job above and beyond. It was well used haha but needed around $1,500 in work done… and because of its age we just didn’t feel it would be wise to dump money into a car that had so much use already put on it. So we looked into buying something new (used – new to us)… Travis looked into buying a truck. He has always wanted one.

He found one. A 2008 Chevy Silverado… black. Decked out. Awesome looking truck.

In fact, here is a photo…

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He was so excited about this truck. Which made what happened next so hard.


1 week after we had it, it died
. Needed a new alternator… so the shop guy recommended by the dealer told us. $300.00 later… he drives it to work after the new alternator is installed…. and, it died again. By this point my husband was literally sick to his stomach. When he purchased this truck, he went into it wanting a truck that would not need work for years… it should not have needed anything for years… and yet we seemed to have picked a lemon. Because it was used though it did not qualify under the lemon laws in georgia… the dealer we got it from refused to give us our money back but agree’d to resell it for us on his lot. He also paid for it to be fixed by the chevy dealer… at no charge… but even with it fixed we no longer wanted it… just had a bad feeling about keeping it. I think most would. None the less… we had no other option… but to trust that it sell again on this guy’s lot… Not even a week later, it sold. We however lost our deposit of $1,000.00…

… but… and this is such a God thing. Our Altima sold that same day the truck sold for $1,000.00. So we broke even, owing nothing.

Total God moment :)

Since then we have purchased a Toyota Rav 4 2012? I think ? Not sure the year but its rather new and only had 34,000 miles! So this compact SUV will last us many many years and more than likely will be Caleb’s car when he turns 16 ;-) – haha… at least we joke that it will be.

God provided…. even when we doubted it work out.

Thankful to have 2 vehicles. Both nice, both working… and both reliable. We are blessed.

Next update…

2. Travis’ job.

You all know his shift is hard on me.

He is only home 2 nights a week. His off days rotate every 3 weeks…. and he only gets weekends off every 3 months. It makes having a life beyond this house, hard. I felt secluded… alone… and like a hermit most weeks… loneliness ate my lunch many days… and I found myself in bed a lot depressed and fighting thoughts of abandonment… from friends as well as God. It was hard.

Travis put a request in to get Day Watch… which would basically be the best shift on the force… 6am-2:30pm… When he requested it, he was told the soonest he’d get it would MAYBE be in 6 months… even then no promises… His Captain knew our situation… Travis was honest with him about me… and how hard this was on our family… but even with that, no promises.

Yet… not even a week after requesting this… his Captain called him in and told him the shift was his… One of Travis’ friends and partners he worked with had first dibs to this opening… and his friend chose to give Travis’ his spot, knowing what it mean to me.

THIS IS HUGE for us… HUGE.

I immediately felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders… and a renewed sense of hope… I cannot even express how happy this makes me.

My husband will be home at night now…

He will be home to spend evenings with his children and help tuck them in.

He will be home to sit at the dinner table with us… and enjoy a normal meal…

He will be home to allow me to go out with some girlfriends or attend a ladies bible study…

I will be able to home school our boys like we use too…. and honestly “prefer” – vs. him schooling them. No offense to his methods, he was great… it just made it hard to do things the way I wanted to in the home school room with Travis always there… I know that sounds totally strange but the two of us home schooling together did not work well… it needed to be either or… and I much prefer it be me.

I can now attend home school trips… and other events with other home school moms… without that constant weight of “my husband wont be home when we get back” feeling… most home school trips happened during the morning/early afternoon hours… I always felt torn between Travis’ “off hours” and any events like that… Now I don’t have to worry about that at all.

We can go on our trips. Be gone all day… and when we return, their daddy will be home now.

God’s hand is all over this.

What a blessing.

I got even more blessings I could talk about… but can’t just yet. (NO IM NOT PREGNANT). In time ill be able to talk about more. Just had to update everyone on this though and thank everyone for your prayers.

Glimmers

IMG_0962There are countless times I am out alone with my 4 boys. More times than not it is my own doing but a doing that I feel is something I need to do. We don’t do much. We can’t. It is just how life is right now. The days of going and doing all the fun activities just can’t happen. Playdate’s at jump houses do not happen. While $5-8.00 a kid doesn’t seem bad… x that by 3 or 4, it sure does add up. So we do little… and that is ok. On occasion though I do feel the need to treat our boys to some adventures and one of those adventures lately have been the zoo. We try to get a season pass to some sort of museum, zoo, aquarium type place at least once a year. Our 1st year here it was the Georgia Aquarium. This year the Atlanta Zoo.

Some trips are better than others… this particular trip went well.

Just the 4 boys and I.

With a cooler packed and my mind set on relaxing as best I could in a zoo with 4 boys.

The trip went well.

I know when I go on trips like this I have to go in with thoughts of positivity…. and preparedness… preparing myself as well as my boys. Reminding them that I need their help and that daddy is not with us. That I need them to be big and to listen and obey, so that mommy does not loose her mind. Yes I have said that outloud before, to them. Some may NOT agree with my choice of words :) – Its just what comes out.

We went.

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we saw.

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IMG_0984& In those moments I felt blessed. While moments did get hectic…. one part of the day in-particular stands out to me. We made a pit stop at the zoo playground… this particular day it was filled to the max. I think every school in Atlanta decided it was a great day to come. :-) It was busy and while there children dashed back and forth with no care at all but for themselves. I watched children bicker over monkey bars and kids push and shove little ones without blinking. My older 3 boys are old enough to play as they please without to much concern on my part… as I hovered over baby Reed though I got to admit, I got nervous at times. Watching these children ages 7+ years old ignoring the fact the playground was filled with infants and young toddlers.

After a few moments there my oldest Caleb came to me and said “Why aren’t these kids watching out for the babies?!” – at 9 years old he was clearly able to see what was going on and realized it was not safe or right. I stood my ground firm and would tell those quick passing kids pushing and shoving to watch it and be careful… with very little regard they just look at me and keep on.

You can’t parent other peoples kids.

I realize that.

I know that.

I wasn’t expecting for much more than what was given me in that moment.

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However, what blessed me was Caleb. Who mindfully watched for those not looking out for the babies… and wanted without even my asking, to protect and help his baby brother. I watched him help Reed up the steps… help baby Reed slide… He was like a shield over his little brother and it was a proud moment.

A moment I needed to see.

While thick in doubt right now.

Doubt of God’s provision of our family and protection… I see glimmers in the midst of His faithfulness… I am not proud of where I am right now spiritually. I am walking through some merky water and I am tired. I am not myself and I cannot wait to get out. I wish it was as easy as writing it down on a piece of paper or on a blog. Its not.


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Thankful for those glimmers.

Worn out Maid

I am going to be very blunt and selfish in this post. I suppose its selfish, maybe its just venting. I am so exhausted and so tired of cleaning and laundry that I feel like I am about to go completely mad. I am trying very hard to be calm… to not sweat the small things. I repeat to myself over and over “this does not matter… it does not matter” – as a means of keeping myself from completely loosing it some days. The grit, dirt, dried up raisins, stains, pee splats, never ending mounds of laundry. MOUNDS PEOPLE, like for weeks at a time they do not go away. I can rid my kids drawers of 75% of their clothing and still it piles up. I have tried every possible method of sorting, chore charts, hampers, organizing stickers, color coding, NOTHING WORKS.

The last 6+ months have been hard in so many ways… I am trying …

…trying to be positive…

Realizing we are blessed.

It really could be so much worse.

I could have kids battling cancer.

A husband shipped off to Iraq.

A foreclosed home.

We are blessed. I know that.

& Yet I find myself here, struggling, forreal struggling… wondering if this will ever let up and be ok.

Tonight as Reed crawled down the stairs, he throws up. All over the carpet steps… and onto the hardwoods. Strawberries and milk if you must know. A lot of it. I then have to hold him as he throws up again…. and again….

Need I remind you we JUST got done with Rotavirus… where the entire family except myself got it. What are the chances I dodge a 2nd stomach bug? I don’t feel hopeful.

ED9A0810Is God preparing me for something bigger? harder… is this the tip of the iceburg about to crush our family? Am I the only one who ever wonders that. I realize we are to face trials and that those trials can grow and refine us… I do not feel refined at all yet.

This isnt for yall to feel pity on me, us. It is just my way of venting tonight… as I am alone doing this again… notice when things go wrong it is always at night? most of the time any way. Figures my husband is gone always at night leaving me to fend for myself.

I got a letter from a family member today with some great encouraging scriptures… in her letter she told me about her daughter (also a mom of 4 boys)… and how she remembers when she called her one day and told her that she needed her to come over… or else :) – basically, Im loosing my mind with these 4 boys, please rescue me before I do something stupid. Her Mom came over right away and gave her 2-3 hours alone… as she took the boys off to play and eat… When I read that I just thought to myself “How I wish I had family near enough to just call them for help.” — I have friends here but I cant expect them to come rescue me… they have their own SMALL kids to deal with. I would just be a burden.

As I walked into Taite (7) and Owen’s (4) room tonight, that did it for me. Time after time all day basically I told these boys to clean their room… I dont expect perfection… but the state of this bedroom tonight just pushed the last button and I was done. Told my boys I feel like a worn out maid and that I feel as if I am about to loose my mind. Am I wrong for being brutally honest? I often wonder how screwed up my kids may be because of my unfiltered moments… I love those boys so much and honestly they are very well behaved. I have gotten a lot of compliments lately on their behavior… Caleb’s maturity to help watch his younger brothers has been amazingly lately. I really believe he see’s that his mother is struggling and it is giving him a drive to serve more… and help me… I hate that I would ever have to depend at all on them in that way… and that my brokeness would show enough that they would feel upset for me.

Again. Not a pity post here. Just trying to be honest. Real. Selfish possibly in some peoples eyes. Brokenly Imperfect… but thankfully Forgiven by a God who is gracious even when I am worn.

To end… a song I found a few weeks ago called Worn. It encouraged and made me cry.

A good kinda cry.

“Worn”

I’m Tired I’m worn
My heart is heavy

From the work it takes
To keep on breathing
I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let my hope fail

My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world

And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn

I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn

I know I need to lift my eyes up
But I’m too weak
Life just won’t let up
And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn

My prayers are wearing thin
Yeah, I’m worn
Even before the day begins
Yeah, I’m worn
I’ve lost my will to fight
I’m worn
So, heaven come and flood my eyes

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause all that’s dead inside will be reborn

Though I’m worn
Yeah I’m worn

Dwell

ED9A9675-2I will be honest.

I’m not to this point as of “right now” …

I have learned that in every circumstance that comes my way, I can choose to respond in one of two ways: I can whine or I can worship! And I can’t worship without giving thanks. It just isn’t possible. When we choose the pathway of worship and giving thanks, especially in the midst of difficult circumstances, there is a fragrance, a radiance, that issues forth out of our lives to bless the Lord and others.” – Nancy Leigh DeMoss

… I am trying.

I think there comes times in our lives where we are “done” so the speak… and have nothing left to give. There are times with our reliance on Christ is so bogged down by life, that it feels impossible to ever get back to where we should be.

I got to believe there is grace for that… and an understanding.

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Excuse the blog mess btw… having some issues with my template and working on it when I can…