Category Archives: struggles

Dwelled Friendship

ED9A7250Many months ago. I would say around 8 months ago…. Travis was put onto a new shift at his work. Prior to the switch in hours, he would work from around 1pm-midnight every 5 days and then off two days. The huge difference in his schedule vs. other normal jobs, was not only the hours but also the off days. His job switched off days every 3 weeks…. and then rotated days. He rarely had weekends off…. and having him away at night for me, was very difficult.

You all who have read my blog know that :)

He thankfully got put onto day watch… which means he is at work from like 6am-4pm most days….This was huge for me and helped me A LOT… I felt a lot less secluded from the “norm” of routine as a home schooling mom… I felt the hours he was given helped me to function better and relate more with those around me… since he was gone when all the other peoples husbands were gone. I can’t even begin to tell you how ALONE I felt when he worked nights…

No one EVER wanted to do anything with me or my boys in the evenings… any time ladies planned “nights out” I couldn’t go, because I had no husband there to watch my kids… and Travis very rarely had weekends off or fridays off… so any time there was a church get together for couples in the evenings, I would have to go alone. It was not fun… I found myself very depressed over it.

Travis’ new schedule as amazing as it was for me over all, the one con was that he had to work Sunday Mornings now… He only gets Sunday Mornings off like every 6 mo… so for example this year he had part of sept/oct off on sundays, but wont have Sundays off again until almost summer!

The church we attend here… that you all know has been unreal amazing for our family. Who took us in when we had no place to go…. sadly does not have evening worship any more… I use to be a bit anti-Sunday night service when I was a Pastors wife. I never really appreciated that service until we were out of the ministry and placed into different situation. I now have a new perspective and am a huge supporter of churches that offer Evening worship still :) – while it may seem outdated to many, and pointless… it can and very much helps those families out who don’t have the normal schedule or routine as most. Also those with really young kids… I am sure can relate to not wanting to get up super early on a sunday… and would rather go in the evening. Amen? :)

ED9A7235

So when Travis started his Day Watch schedule… we began the search for a church in the area that offered evening worship. We tried A LOT. I think we tried at least 5 churches… Some were just not our style… others were really cool, up to date but seemed to lack in the area of depth in the sermons…. It was a struggle to find a church we felt a connection with and I know that a big part of that was because First Baptist is and forever will be a home to us… so having to look elsewhere to worship, when we love our church so much and Pastor Johnny, for both Travis and I was hard.

I am so thankful though that we kept looking… and God provided a small new church plant for us to discover. The church is called Sojourn. Their Pastor Trent is similar in age to Travis… and his wife Emily was very sweet. We enjoyed the worship and laid back style… and even better was the fact this church did not meet in the morning only at night. So their evening service was full… and they had a great children’s program set up… and snacks for the kids upon arrival. Was very homey and engaging. Our boys LOVE it. They always ask us now “Are we going to the small church?” :) – haha – which isnt an insult. Those who know what First Baptist looks like here, will get that. Any church compared to it, is small. :)

ED9A7272So we have been going there for a few months now. One sunday while there, the Pastor encouraged the ladies to attend a new bible study they would be starting for the women. His wife would be the one leading.

Initially when I saw the invite to this, my first thought was.

Why Bother.”

I knew our time here in this area was limited. I just felt it… and I just wondered if it was worth it. Why get involved with anything else? Why get to know new people in a close way, when I would have to leave again?

During this same time I really began to struggle in the area of friendship over all.

With all the job hour changes…

The inability to feel or be connected to many of the groups we were previous a part of… I really began to feel that sense of hopelessness in the area of strong friendship…

Satan really fed me a lot of lies during this struggle… at times Id just tell myself over and over, no one really cares about us, otherwise they’d come see us… Why am I always the one to make the plans….

Yet, as I looked at my cell phone I had 8 txt messages from a friend Candra…. or 2 missed calls from my best friends Shannon back in NC.

I dwelled in self pity a lot and I know that my dwelling there and growing in my insecurity and bitterness made me push people away.

I know too that my dread of another move… yet knowing we had to move, also caused me to not try… trying felt to hard. Even though we have not gotten a confirmation on the upcoming move, I felt little by little, that parts of me no longer were here. As if I was mentally preparing myself again, for another change… and a new life. Which can be exciting but if im honest, its hard too. Even though I know God is moving right now in this process….

For me though, with friendship. I often wondered. Would they care if I moved?

Many didn’t when we moved other times.

I would constantly replay over and over in my mind friendships in my past, that I poured so much into, yet after another move, that was it. An email here, a random facebook comment there… and that was about all that became of things. Could have been my doing. Could have been theres. Whatever the case, it wasn’t easy… and I truly mourned friendships that were broken for a long time… and still do at times.

So, when I saw that bible study invite and I didn’t want to go.

In fact I told my friend Shannon about it…. and she encouraged me to go and said “Had you not gone to the home school field trip many years ago, we would have never met.” A field trip group which btw, I never attended again after that one trip. I went to that single field trip and met the most amazing friend and to this day we talk daily. Id consider her a sister we are that close. Id adopt her kids if something ever happened to her. That close.

I would think back on the time I put myself out there as a photographer in NC… and went to a “photographers christmas party” where I knew NO ONE… and ended up meeting so many amazing photographers, some of whom I grew closer with than others… and one in particular that is still very much a part of my life today… that friendship would have never been, had I not stepped out and put forth a little effort….

ED9A7282

God I firmly believe uses friendships in a way to refine us… and while some friendships may be short…

Some may be deeper than others.

Some may be hurtful and cause bitterness at times….

I have learned over these last few months that its worth putting forth effort…. and while I am far from perfect in that effort… and I do find that I can only pour so much if it is not poured back…

ED9A7291I am thankful despite my doubts… hesitation. My negative dwelling.

That I went.

God was able to use that small bible study group to teach me a lot… and while I may not be best friends with these ladies… I am very thankful to have met many of them and gotten to know them. They were each able to touch me in a way and for that I am thankful.

It was a great reminder to me, to always be genuine… to be transparent…. and to be open for God to do a work.

So to the ladies at Sojourn. Thanks for letting me get to know you :)

ED9A7321

To the many others I have become friends with over the years…. and for whatever reason we don’t talk. If you happen to read my blog. Know I love you. I have very few friends to this date that I dont still love dearly, even if we haven’t spoken in years.

Thankful for the ladies of City of Refuge… ladies who taught me how to open up more… That group too was used in a way I needed so much. God used a bunch of broken, curse word flying, jacked up Pastors wives (I included lol), to minister to me in a way that I cannot even fully express.

God is amazing… and Good… and there is just so much to be thankful to Him for… I could write page after page about things I feel so blessed to have, all because of a loving Lord who cares for me.

They will remember mom.

Thought Id type up a really fast post this morning inbetween the boys unloading the dish washer, getting dressed, teeth brushed and all the other small things that hopefully put them into a semi presentable manner haha… although more than likely their shirts are inside out and they are sporting a commando style below (why can’t they just wear underwear without being told?). Caleb never, the other dudes, absolutely haha. Funny how once they hit like age 9 they become aware of things better. Caleb now at 10 is very put together IMO. He does well to present himself for the most part :) – he has even learned how to wash his hair in the tub quickly if he has major bed head going on. I taught him well… Yes, admittedly I maybe only shower 3 times a week?? if that… so in-between days I will just toss my head into my tub (that sounded weird) and wash my hair so it looks halfway normal. Then again many days I just pin it all back and put my hair in a pony. Showering daily for me just isn’t on a high priority right now. Some days I don’t even leave the house.

That brings me to, today’ subject.

Being gross. I mean, being a mom. Who may just some times ever so slightly seem a bit or may actually be a bit gross in appearance haha… but gross in who’s eyes?

Tuesday this week I sat in our school room, prepping a science lesson… and as I sat there I caught a glimpse of myself. I seriously looked terrible. My bangs were pinned back but a few hairs got out and so I had pieces sticking straight up… (yes I took a pic, enjoy, its beautiful) I had fuzzy lil fly aways all around my forehead. The rest of my hair was so greasy the pony tail looked as if I had dipped it in some oil… and my face felt like I had rubbed it in some flour mixed with some sort of thin non sticky honey, yet almost sticky honey. Does that make any sense? It felt gross. You know, grimy? Not a pleasant feeling.

sleepyI sat there in that moment and began to think things such as…

…. man I am so sick of schooling my children.

…. I just wish I could shower right now and someone else could take the ropes.

…. I look so gross.

…. why can’t I look like her (as I looked at someone’s instagram photo, a mom of 1 looking amazing, with her full face of make up already on, hair done and skinny jeans on… I was in major envy mode at that moment).

…. why cant my kids just do it on their own.

…. really. just 1 shower… and robot children who don’t need me for a few days, that’s all I need right now.

I just sat there sulking in my weird hair sticking up, honey flour face… and wanted so badly to sulk… and for a few moments, I did… in fact I txted my friend Candra, with my sulking… and she sweetly listens and always makes me feel better in those moments.

After a few pouts… and pity thoughts…. I began to speak truth into myself, as scripture encourages us to…. “take every thought captive

I really still wanted a shower…. and later on the next day haha, I got that shower… but as I sat there I began to speak truth into myself to get me through my moment of weakness…

Schooling these sweet boys is hard some days, but man what a privilege!! I get to see my boys grow up every moment of every day. I don’t have to let them leave for many hours, 5 days a week, year after year. I am the one who teaches them… I am the one who gets to see them have those “ah-hah” moments… and I am the one who gets to push them through those walls when they just don’t get it and cry.

Some moms sitting at work would dream of that… some maybe not haha, I realize its not for everyone ;-) – trust me. I do know some tho, esp. single mothers, who do not have the option to home school and they so wish they could.

I am blessed to be able to do it and on the bad days I need to just remind myself of that.

The mom I saw that morning on instagram, all beautified and put together… man shes stunning, but shes only got 1 kid right now. Shes in a different place.

This is my mom and II then began to think of my mom.

How many of you remember thinking your mom looked weird without make up? Or that she looked SO much better with it… How many of you remember if your mom wore her hair nice most days, or just tossed it in a pony tail?

I don’t.

I have no memory at all of my mom “put together” or “not put together.”

I just remember my mom.

Beautiful always.

When my boys grow up… they are going to remember the many many MANY mornings we sat working in our school room. They are going to remember all the fun crafts we did and all the silly games we played. They will remember being together… and growing up together….

They will remember their mom….

… and not her make up.

Or her skinny jeans.

Or her hair, done or undone.

They will remember me. Not what I put on me.

I’m thankful for those moments of struggle that ultimately teach and refine me. Man tues. was a rough day…. we had some news come through on monday that sort of put me in a funk for the beginning of the week…. and I know that really did set the tone for tues morning more than anything… but God has a plan and He is refining each of us through our struggle….

So to the moms out there sporting the bobby pinned bangs with some escaping.

To the mom with the crusty-ish face in dire need of exfoliation.

Or the mom who really cannot recall the last time she showered.

Press on and know those babies love you. Regardless… and will remember you, for you.

Lack-o-post :) – Limbo

Anyone else have a busy week? I sure did. Well weekend/first of the week/week.
I had a few photo jobs over the weekend – so inbetween all of what life brings to my plate with my boys and household/mommy stuff. I have felt immersed in photo work. I also took on more Boba photos for this fall… so I have spent many hours model scouting…. We had a TON of applicants!

So blogging. Alas, is last on the list. I miss it though when I don’t get to blog.

Here are a few post you can look at though if you are bored :)

Wednesday’s session with this beautiful couple, friends of mine.
ED9A2007

Saturday’s session with this cutie….

ED9A2984-2

Monday’s session… more dude cuteness. oh the chub.

ED9A3453

ED9A3207We also had a dinner party to go to on Saturday to say farewell to my friend above in the couple’s shot. I met her in 2012 and have so enjoyed getting to know her. Her husband just got a job in TX as a Senior Pastor. It is to a rather large church. This will be her first church to be a Pastors wife. I am excited for her and look forward to hearing about her journey. She better start a blog :) ::hint hint mel::

While at the party I snagged a new head shot of Travis :) – its been a while, figured it was time. He btw cannot wait til he can grow his beard back. I think its so silly that his job as a cop right now, makes it so he cant have facial hair. That to me is just a silly rule. As long as he kept it well groomed, why would it matter? Travis has the fastest growing facial hair ever. He can grow a full beard within 2 weeks. Its crazy! So you can imagine having to shave every day is a pain.

I feel like I should do an update post here soon on what is going on with us.

Is Travis applying for church jobs still?

Has anyone called?

When will we have to move?

Will we move?

Whats the plan? So many things to write about but so little of me to give right now. I know those who read my ramblings get that. I have been battling within a lot these days… with the state of limbo we live in currently. I am finding it hard to pour into friendships… out of dread of leaving… yet again… I am finding it hard to “be content” with the circumstance of life, knowing it very well may change again soon. I long for something constant… and find myself very heavy some days with the thought of uprooting my family again… but know that the Lord has called my husband to Pastor… and to not go, is not a choice I feel we can take. My prayer though… is for a place to put roots… and plant our lives for many many MANY years. Not 2… not 3… not even 4 years. I want a place for at least 10 :) – and I am praying and trusting the Lord with that part of our story… Will it happen? I like to think so… but time shall tell… and I know regardless, Christ has me. He will give me grace to deal with the moves… and the change… and throughout it continue to refine and grow me, as life goes.

Hope everyone has a safe and fun Halloween weekend. We will enjoy trick or treating around our lovely neighborhood… fellow-shipping with neighbors, having a camp fire… and spending time together.

Maybe by next week ill be caught up and can blog more :) g’night.

How it goes

This is a small tiny lil glimpse into how my life goes on days you battle head aches.


IMG_9610

Dirty floors.

Baby on the floor with an iphone, after his big brother changed his diaper.

IMG_9613

Baby still on the iphone, after diaper change… and for long periods of time.

IMG_9615

Noticeable bruise on baby Reed’s face, after he fell and hit his face on who knows what.

IMG_9617

Continued play on the iphone… as mommy tries to stay awake before nap time.

Phew… yall. Just being honest here. It has been THAT KINDA day… eer. Week? Very tired for some reason (no… not pregnant). I have been battling serious head aches… It gets to the point you want to just be in a dark room with peace and quiet, in hopes to get some relief… but honestly the head aches still there. Only time you don’t notice it, is when you are asleep. I am not sure if this is an result of stress… or if it is from allergies (I have bad fall allergies)… whatever the source may be, it needs to leave now. I cannot get anything done… the idea of schooling these boys, makes it worse and I dream of weekends where I can just do nothing and Travis can take the reigns.

Yes. This is a complaining type post. We are human. To pretend I don’t have days/weeks like this would be a lie.

Keeping it real. Maybe my struggle will make a mom feel less alone today? :)

Thankful for the beautiful weather, although the sunlight bothers my eyes right now (weird huh? result of the head ache??) – does blood pressure issues cause head aches? Prob. should just make a doctors apt…

Any who, off to get baby Reed… then I have to go photograph a sweet couple at 5pm… and then, after that, I hope to veg and do NOTHING, while my husband tends to the littles….

Impulsive Exalts Folly

For the last week I have been struggling with wanting my opinion to be heard. You all who read my blog daily, would have seen a post I put up last week about the CDC and the MMR Vaccine. You also would have seen how I took it down…. and how I put something up on facebook about it, then took that down. You also may have seen today, where I posted yet again, another article about the situation.

This topic literally felt like a weight on my shoulders. I could not stop thinking about it... and it burdened me to think about all the infants and families affected by the situation.

Now before people start getting defensive… thinking this is a “VACCINE” post… its not.

As I posted these last few days about the topic. Here. On facebook. Through a shared link… I felt a conviction in my soul over it.

Resulting in it coming down.

At times I felt heavy and didn’t want to deal with the lash back of comments I got via email, blog response, facebook and private message…I realize now that the heaviness I was feeling, was conviction, not my own personal frustration over the topic.

As I sat in the living room with my boys playing lego’s on the floor…. listening to JJ Heller on Pandora (love that station)… I just sat there thinking, block after block, why…

Why was I so worried about posting this article?

Why did I keep going back there and putting stuff up?

Then putting it down.

Why did it matter so much?

I sat in my bedroom this evening, after my husband got home and I was able to escape for a moment, alone…and began to read in the scriptures… I just prayed for peace over this topic. I felt like I could not escape it and feeling the need to talk about it.

I realize today, I am being impulsive with my words.

I am being quick tempered and foolish with my tongue.

While I still stand very firm in our decisions about this particular topic. My trying to convince others to share the same beliefs… correct, judge and condemn those (even tho those where never my intentions), is ultimately wrong of me.

“A quick tempered man acts foolishly,
and a man of wicked intentions is hated.”
(Prvbs 14:15,17)

“He who is impulsive exalts follow.” (Prvbs 14:29)

“A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Prvbs 15:2)

I need to stop feeling the need to rub certain topics into peoples faces…. I will be totally honest, I want people to see what I see. I think each of us who has something we strongly believe in, can admit, we want people to see it the same.

I always appreciated friends of mine who shared with me information that was very blunt… at times offensive but always shared in love with me. I always found friends who lived transparently and openly with me, ended up being the best of friends.

However, in all those cases, those friends shared with me in a way, that was private… not malicious and always in love. I heard them and they heard me… and words could be spoken in truth without stirring up anger…. or spewing harsh words.

The Bible even says…

“... a word spoken in due season, how good it is.” (Prvbs 15:25)

I think this war upon mothers is so vocal online….

People writing harsh words in regards to topics like – Formula vs. Breast Feeding… Vaccine vs. Non-Vax – Co-Sleeping vs. no Co-sleeping… Babywearing vs. sticking that kid in a cart :-) – the topics could go on…

I see post after post of women and men fighting over topics like this.

Trying to prove their point.

Using words that I have no doubt, would not have been used face to face with most.

I want to start new today on my blog and social media really. To stop trying to prove a point.

To stop trying to be right.

To stop feeling the need to be heard and agreed with.

I want to be that friend who is transparent and open about topics like vaccinations…. I want to share openly with my friends the struggle I had with breast feeding… and the thoughts I have on my natural birth experiences vs. epidural birth experiences… I want to be real and an open book…. however, I don’t want to stir up wrath…

I don’t want to be consumed with the need to be accepted or heard.

So to those who read my rambling thoughts from day to day.

Know that I am not perfect.

I am far from it.

I make mistakes and I am constantly growing and learning from them.

I am so thankful for the Lords constant conviction on my life… and the heaviness he puts on my soul when I am doing something I should not. Its part of our journey… and while it hurts to ever admit wrong, I am glad we have a place to put that wrong and be forgiven.