Tuesday, December 9, 2014

My Hope

I'm having a pity party because I don't seem to be very good at anything...except at having pity parties but that unfortunately does not count. Every time I watch the Olympics I think "wow, it must be absolutely amazing to be so good at something".
I see my peers being great at so many things, even little things like decorating or keeping their homes immaculately clean, or doing crafts and don't get me started on home schooling. I watch those amazing home school mothers in awe who are all smiles and just ooze out patience and can teach their kids to read just by having them doodle with sidewalk chalk. Sometimes I look around and see how the women around me have found their "niche" whether it is working or home schooling, crafting, cooking whatever it may be I feel like they all have something they are good at.
To be honest I feel really mediocre in the things I do. I am not an amazing cook, most crafts I do turn out "okay" at best, I lack serious patience, love and grace with my family, my house is usually messy and I'm always a little behind (you should see my laundry room right now). So here I am feeling sorry for myself and relating to the book my 6 year old is reading about a cat named Pickles who knew he was made to do big things but is having a hard time finding his "niche".

Yet there is hope and this last week I have been clinging to Colossians 1:10 "so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God." When my feelings of being not good enough start to creep in I have to remember who I am here for. This verse has been my prayer, that at the end of my life I will have lived in a manner worthy of God, pleasing him with my life, bearing good fruit and learning more about Him everyday. Even when I feel like a failure in so many areas I just keep praying that my life will glorify Him and that "I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in me will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."
So I have hope, not based on who I am and what I can do but on who Christ is and what He has promised to do in me.



Sunday, September 7, 2014

Why I Home School

This will be my third year home schooling and I have still been wrestling with "WHY?!" Why I am spending money on curriculum and half my day teaching while I could be working or relaxing with my younger kids?? I went to public school and I turned out ok! This battle has always been in the back of my mind as to why I was taking the extra effort to home school. 

Until today when I was reading "Women of the Bible" to my girls that I'm pretty sure is from the 18th century and I was getting annoyed reading all the "thee's & thou's" when they begged me to read just one more story. So I turned to "The Elect Lady" which was taken from 11 John where he writes to a women about her duty as a mother saying to love and bring her children up in the Lord. Then it went on to say "If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, (abiding in the teachings of Christ), do not receive him into your house and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds." 11 John 1:10-11. 

Now that struck me...if I send my children to a public school where Christ and the Bible is not taught as truth then I am bringing that teaching into my home. I had always thought going to public school had not shaped my beliefs but as I read more of the Bible (and awesome theology books by R.C. Sproul). I see where some "pagan" views have crept up in my thinking simply because I wasn't aware of the truth and was taught something else. 

So here I am blessed with the opportunity to teach my children from the beginning what truth is. I am not a natural teacher, I lack patience and have an abundance of selfishness that keeps spilling out despite my best efforts. Yet as I muddle through home schooling I now have a sense of hope and purpose. This is not to say I will never send them to public school, or those who chose to do so are wrong. But in these younger years when they are so easily influenced I am thankful God has led me to home schooling so I can guard their hearts and "train them in the way they should go".

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Oh, that makes sense!

This blog is dedicated to my dear friend Beka...may it greatly entertain you. ;) 

Late Sunday night I did something most people would say was really dumb. Well probably everyone would agree it was dumb, even I do. And I do admit from time to time I do dumb things but in this case I am blaming it on pastors. Yep, that's right, I need someone to blame and this one I'm pinning on pastors! You see I read this book awhile back were a pastor said he realized the only people he knew were already Christians. So how was he suppose to share Christ? That really convicted me! I need to find people who need Christ! Then a few months ago I heard a sermon on how we are suppose to give to the needy. It then went on to say it's not our problem what is done with the money we give, that is God's problem. We are just called to give. Which doesn't even make sense because we should be good stewards of our money...but anyway that sermon stuck with me none the less. 

Fast forward to Sunday night in the parking lot of our grocery store. I had just finished grocery shopping when a rather shady looking lady approached me as I was loading the bags into my car. She said she needed help and seemed very distressed. She started to cry and said her friend had just left her in the parking lot and she needed diapers for her kid and she had no way to get home. She asked if I had 10 dollars because she needed to buy diapers. I said no, I wasn't going to give her ten dollars but I offered to let her use my phone to call a friend to come get her. She called a few people but of course no one was able to help her out. 


She then asked me if I could just give her a ride to a friends house who lived a few minutes down the road. I didn't have the kids with me and I had grand visions of becoming best friends with who I guessed was most likely a heroin addict. And she was super skinny like heroin addicts are so I figured I could take her if she tried anything! So I told her to hop on in, I'd love to take her! 

Once we were in the car she pulled two big packages of steaks out of her purse. She said she had been in the grocery store with her friend and they were buying steaks for supper for her kids when her friend had left her and taken off in the car with all her money and her phone leaving her stranded! She said she rushed out of the store to catch her but she was already gone. She mentioned food stamps, so I assumed that's what she had used to buy the steaks. She also mentioned rice spilling out in the parking lot but she had just left it because she trying to catch her friend. So in my head I assumed her bag must have torn and that's why she had put the steaks in her purse. All very logical, right? Right.

She then guided me to a house who she said was friends with the friend who had left her but there was no one home. This whole time she continued to be very upset and almost in tears saying that she just needed diapers and didn't know how she was going to get home to her kids. She kept offering the steaks to me for money so she could buy diapers but I wasn't interested. 
She continued to used my phone and kept calling people. She then had me stop at a bar...at least that's what she said it was. Where she ran in for a few minutes to see if anyone would buy the steaks off of her so she could get diapers. But that didn't work out...shocking I know.
Then we went on to her "uncles" house so he could give her a ride home. She had me wait while she went to see if he was home. She came back a few minutes later and said he was there but he didn't have a car to take her home, his wife had it at work. She then asked me if I would just take her home, which I was thrilled to do because I was rather tired of driving around to random places for nothing. 

We continued to talk and she shared a little about herself and stopped acting so upset. She kept asking me if I would buy a steak off her and saying how she needed diapers. Finally I gave in and took a package of steaks and gave her 20 dollars. I really didn't want the steaks but figured it was better than just giving her money (I do dumb things sometimes...ok!?). I then drove her "home" but she said to just drop her off at a gas station. I refused and said I wanted to take her to her home. So she had me take a few more turns and then pull over and said her house was just across the road. She then got out, crossed the road and disappeared down a side street.

As I watched her disappear I realized I'd been had. Clearly she didn't live here and my money would not be used for diapers. However I tried to look on the bright side which was in all our driving around we ended up passing my church and I pointed it out to her. I also asked her if I could pray for her before she left which she was happy to let me do. So she got 20 dollars, a prayer and I had an empty gas tank and a steak. 
On my way home I realized I'd now have to tell my husband that I had just spent the last hour driving around a heroin addict and then handed her 20 dollars.
When I got home Adam's reaction was...well less than thrilled. Less than impressed...he was not happy in any way that I had put myself in danger...she could have taken me anywhere. And he was in awe that I was so dumb to have believed her tall tales. He said "Rachel!! She stole those steaks!!!" My response? "Ohhh...that makes sense." 
Adam took those steaks out of the freezer and thew them away. He would not be eating stolen food and he then called the grocery store and reported her. Sure enough they had her and her friend on video stealing the steaks. I felt rather sheepish. How did I not realize that?? I think I was so swept up in my desire to help her I just kept assuming the best. Silly me. 
I had to write up a description of what she looked like and give the grocery store security department all the numbers she had called. Now the police are after her and last I heard they have identified her friend and are working on figuring out who she is. 

So I have gone from wanting to become her friend to helping the police hunt her down. Ah well. I still have grand dreams that they will find her and then I will be able to visit her in jail and tell her about the love of Christ. As my brother said, my heart was in the right place. Clearly just not my brain.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Patch it up!

One of the many upsides to have four adorable girls is clothes can be passed down and reused. I usually just buy for our oldest every season and anything little that is lacking for the rest of them. However jeans have been my biggest struggle to keep since they wear out in the knees and always end up with holes in them. But today my friends I have over come this problem! I'm not sure if my idea is genius or...dumb...could go either way. Or maybe people do this and I just don't know about it.
Anyway last week Ashlyn's jeans ripped a hole in the knee and now her favorite pants don't look so nice. So what did I do?? Well I stole one of Maddie's shirts that is getting to small cut it up and patched her jeans with it. It's really cute and she loves it! That's not the genius part people have obviously been doing that for years.
Here's where I got a bright idea. I saw her other pant leg was about it get a hole in it too, the fabric was worn very thin. So I took one of those handy iron on patches you can buy and ironed it on the knee's. Then I took Sydnie's jeans and did the same. So now the knees of their pants are reinforced and hopefully will last a  lot longer! Genius?  I like to think so.

Pretty pink patch!
Clearly I will not be doing this when they are 16...but for now they don't care about an ugly patch on the inside of their jeans!


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Coupon Crazy

The weird-o world of couponing...yep that's right I have officially started being a weird coupon lady and in my quest to figure it out I noticed something. If you google "couponing" and watch video's of people who coupon they seem to fall in one of two categories. Skinny women that love pointing to their pink binders full of coupons just so you can see their french manures and they are defiantly using those coupons to buy make-up. The other category is a frumpy looking housewife sitting at her kitchen table in a sweater showing you her over flowing coupon binder. Guess that puts me in the second category since I'm sitting in a sweater writing this and I've been thinking for a few days now that I need to cut my nails. Ah well, it is what it is. 
I have been attempting to use coupons for about a month now and it's the challenge of bringing our families grocery bill down that lures me. I get excited when I see "You saved $5" at the bottom of the receipt. And honestly it's really fun to hand over your coupons and then watch the price go down with every swipe...or maybe my life has just gotten that lame. Either way, it's still fun! 

So for the sake of being organized I bought a 3 ring binder to put them all in and it's very official looking. Never mind the fact that I'm to embarrassed to take it in the store with me. Wouldn't want complete strangers to label me as a "crazy coupon lady" but I'm sure I'll get over that once I save enough to get a french manicure and a pretty pink binder! However the real problem I have run into is I don't think I'm using them very effectively. Pretty sure this is due to being math challenged but I'm hoping there's more to it than that so this Thursday I am meeting a friend of a friend at Olive Garden (I have a coupon for it!) who just happens to be a much crazier coupon lady than I and I'm hoping she can show me how on earth to use my binder full of coupons!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

5K

Last Saturday I ran my first 5k. This has been on my bucket list of things to do since last year but as soon as I bought running shoes I managed to get pregnant again so there when that. But this summer I have been running inspired with every step by my flabby, post baby body.

At first Adam and I were going to get in shape and run it together but he dropped out (slacker!) and then a friend ran with me but her knee started to hurt so she stopped. Then another friend joined me but wasn't able to run the 5k with me, she was busy selling popcorn with her son for Boy scouts that Saturday. Clearly she has her prorieties in line. I however abandoned my girls to run free on the open road. Sounds glorious doesn't it? Well rest assured it was not. The race started at 7:30 am so I had to get up at the ungodly hour of 5:30 am to make it there in time. When I arrived at 6:55 not many people were there...and when 7:20 rolled around and still few people had showed up I started asking questions. Only to find out that I am a not the fastest mind on the track and the race didn't start until 10:00 am! It was the event that started at 7:30...wow.

Almost three hours later I was hungry, cold and had managed to terrorize some lady by opening the door of a port-a potty while she was using it (why didn't she lock it!?!?). At that point most of the excitement had turned into boredom and I could not longer count on adrenaline carrying me that last mile.
Finally 10:00 am rolled around and we gathered at the starting line. I positioned myself in the back and far away from the Port-a potty lady, figured that would be less awkward for both of us.

Then the buzzer sounded and the race was off! I settled into my slow jog and actually passed a few people! Who knew people actually jogged slower than me? About thirty seconds in I had the overwhelming urge to walk. Sad, huh? But I just kept going and ended up right behind a man pushing a stroller (yes that is correct, I can barely keep up with someone who is pushing a 3 year old kid) and two 8 year old kids who were also running the race. At first I really enjoyed being around the kids because they were having fun talking and being silly and frankly it's just cute that they are so young and running a 5k. But around mile two it got annoying. I some how turned into a "measure" of how well they were doing. They would sprint ahead and I would fall behind and then they would walk so I would catch up and pass them. As soon as I would pass them they would sprint ahead again. It was like driving on the highway with someone who won't go a consistent speed, it starts to drive you crazy and I couldn't shake them. What irritated me even more was how they were not even breathing hard. This was FUN to them, EASY even and here I was trying to convince myself mentally to keep on running. They quickly changed from "oh, what cute kids" to "those stinkin' kids!" and I was determined to beat them.

Yes, that's right, somewhere during mile two I became a insane person and projected my annoyance with running and being awake since 5:30 onto these two kids. As we neared the finish line I was ahead of them and thought I had it in the bag, I would cream them for sure! But then people had to start cheering those little  kids on, yelling to them; "Turn on the jets!" "Almost there!" "Go for it!". And that's when I heard their little feet coming up behind me, so I turned on my jets and started to sprint for the finish line. The race was on!!
I then realized two things...that I must look like a crazy lady trying to beat two eight year old's to the finish line and more importantly that I couldn't beat them even if I tried. So I decided to do the only respectable thing left. I slowed back down and gave my best "oh what cute kids" smile as they passed me and crossed the finish line six seconds ahead of me.

I ended up running my first 5k in 32 minutes and 6 seconds, I feel like that is a respectable first time. Next time (if there is a next time) I will be in better shape so I can beat pesky children who want to steal my glory.

Monday, October 8, 2012

What are you cheating?

I'm not sure what happened but somehow having a fourth child has maxed me out. I used to go into other peoples homes (or cars) that had kids and think "good heavens, ever heard of a vacuum!?" Now I walk into my own home and wonder the same thing. Why are there always toys every where? Why is there always a pile of laundry to be folded? Crumbs on the counter? Bathrooms that need cleaning? Who's running this place?! And I'm embarrassed to say it's me and I can no longer "do it all". My dear little Maddie slowed me down and now that I'm homeschooling Ashlyn...well not a lot gets done before noon. 

My husband heard this sermon talking about how there is just not enough time in the day to do everything we want and need to do. Loving our kids well, our husband, spending time with God, cleaning the house, cooking, taking walks in the crunchy fall leaves, etc. So we have to "cheat" something, so this week I've been looking around seeing what I'm "cheating". And frankly I feel like I'm cheating everything! God, kids, husband, house! In fact I should be making lasagna for supper but instead I'm writing this so I even cheat cooking! 
When I first had kids I used to wish for a "kid free" day to catch up on life. Now I feel like there's no point because I would need a kid free month. Part of me wants to embrace the mess and just admit to the world I cannot do it all...but the other part of me wants to conquer! So here's my plan...(until I get tired of it, give up and live the rest of my days in squallier) I shall make a calendar with a cleaning schedule and one thing to focus on everyday. Like "clean the bathroom and remember to love your hubby". I feel like that will break it down into more bite sized pieces. I am not be able to do it all in a day...but maybe in a week!
Now I must make that lasagna!