Friday, July 25, 2014

Still Choosing Joy

I am back to list some more. 

I am thankful for

1.  summer time.  We were burned out back in June when we declared that first grade was done, but now after plenty of staying up late to play outside, sleeping in, swimming in the pool and at the beach, and just plain lazing around, we are ready to get back to a schedule.  I am thankful that God provides rest.  Rest in Him and what he has done AND tangible rest. 

2.  our homeschool room.  It is small, but it is also just right.  It is the random little room in our old house that seems picked out just for our school room.  The best part--so much natural light to keep our spirits high.  No more packing up my school stuff off of the dining room table so that we can eat dinner every night.  It feels like a luxury to have an entire room dedicated just to school.

3.  summer produce.  Berries and tomatoes and watermelon and peaches, and I could go on and on.  An abundance.

4.  sleeping Evie and crying Evie and an Evie who is attached to me ALL OF THE TIME.  It is claustrophobic and draining, but it is also intoxicating to have this precious girl.  We all love her so much, and she knows it ;)  She has an adoring audience that always surrounds her.

5.  .99 iced coffee.  Just the thing to get me through a long, sleepy afternoon.  And it is just around the corner from my house.  On that note, we are eagerly waiting for the brand new chick-fil-a to open "just around the corner from my house."  So, lots of little treats close by.

6.  Today specifically, I am thankful for free kids meals for Ada and John--a library summer reading prize.  We are going out tonight!!

I honestly could go on and on. 

OH!!  7.  I am thankful for supplements that my mom sent that I just started taking yesterday, and already I feel WAY more energized and my mood is much improved. 

Again, I could go on and on and on...  God has given in abundance.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Choosing Joy

I don't think anyone really reads blogs anymore.  I don't really, except to quickly see what is on sale at what grocery store, and does that even really count?  It's all about instagram and facebook, right?  But this has always been a place for me to put down my stones of rememberance.  To force myself to stop and look and see what God is doing right here in my everyday--a record of his faithfulness to me and my crew.

I am wading through some heavy duty post-partum "feelings" these days as I try to work out an appropriate treatment plan.  The medication I was on, only seemed to make the situation worse, so I am now trying to go off of said medication and try a more natural route, via essential oils and supplements.  Currently I am waiting on the EOs and supplements to arrive in the mailbox, and in the mean time I fighting some crazy emotions.  Lucky Scott ;)  Lucky Ada, John, and Evie ;)  And lucky my mother who I am currently calling on a daily basis to say, "tell me it's all going to be okay."  And, can we all nod in agreement that this dinner time, bath time, fussy baby, fussy mama, will daddy ever be home from work, time of day can do a number on the joyful feelings.  Right?

So...I am jumping back into blogging with a little list of things I am thankful for.  And I am going to most likely do that daily, not because I think anyone will read this, but because God sees me, even in my mess, and I want to force myself to stop and see that fact. 

Here I go.  I didn't even plan to write this many words.  I was just going to list.

1.  Microwave bacon marked down at Kroger today.  I didn't have one single clue what we were going to eat for dinner tonight, but we did have fresh tomatoes on the counter, and when I saw that the bacon was marked down (manager's special) to 1.50, I knew that it might not be a healthy dinner, but it would be dinner, and that was good enough.  BLT's it was.  (minus the lettuce.  oops, I forgot to buy the lettuce).

2.  I am thankful for those fresh tomatoes.  On Saturday, I desperately wanted some fresh tomatoes.  And my brain isn't so logical these days, so when we had driven around all over our town, because I thought that surely we would find someone selling fresh tomatoes, but there was not a tomato to be found, I might have cried a tear or two.  (I'm not joking.  Like I said, lucky Scott).  Well, Sunday morning someone brought tomatoes to church to give away.  I was home with a sick Evie, and Scott, Ada, and John walked in, home from church, each holding a big, fresh tomato in their hand.   Ada said, "guess what, someone was selling fresh tomatoes at church today.  And they were free!!" ;)

God sees me.

3.  I am thankful that mom suggested, because Ann has been trying this, that I require my children to have an hour of quiet time in the afternoons.  I have always wanted to enforce something like that, but it felt so impossible to do, but for the sake of my sanity, for the past two days, Ada and John have been required to spend an hour in their room while Evie takes her afternoon nap.  Ada has to quietly read for the first 30 minutes, but she can quietly play for the last 30 minutes.  John is allowed to quietly play for the entire hour.  They are not allowed to come out of their room unless it is an emergency.  (I am finding that their definition of emergency and my definition of emergency are two different things).  Miraculously--praise the Lord--it has worked really well the past two afternoons, and wow!  that quiet hour.  It is good for my soul.

4.  She Reads Truth.  I downloaded this app which has made daily bible study so simple and so easy to do, but at the same time, it is a very rich, in depth study of God's word.  I am always desperate for God's word, but I feel especially desperate for it these days.  Check it out and download it.  It's so great. 

So, there you go.  This list is my version of stopping and taking a deep breath and reigning in these feelings that threaten to get away from me. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014


We--the kiddos and I--just finished a three day parent practicum.  Which is just three days of training in how to homeschool with Classical Conversations.  With specific training as an essentials tutor in how to tutor on Community Day--Tuesdays for us.  The day I get to "play teacher" again and remember the old days. 

What does any of that mean?  It means that we are tired.  Down deep in our bones tired.  Want to crawl in the bed and pull the covers over my head and not come out until tomorrow morning tired.  But alas, there are children who do need things from me.  So, instead I will drink diet coke and coffee and get on with the day.  But I will get on with it, slowly, very slowly. 

I am an introvert.  I think?  It's confusing because I am drained of energy when I have been around people all day long for three days.  I mean, completely, empty of any social abilities, drained of energy.  But I also process out loud.  So...a combination? 

Let me just paint a picture really quickly of the past days--Ada, my happy-go-lucky, I love life, oldest daughter, practically ran into her daily classroom (geography drawing) with hardly a glance over her shoulder to say, "I'll see you at lunch."  This morning she said she wished that "day camp" was all summer long instead of just three days.  That was Ada.  John and Evie, however, were literally both attached to me at one point.  When I tried to drop John off in his classroom, he wrapped both his arms and his legs around my leg, meanwhile, I had a clinging Evie in my arms while I juggled a diaper bag, my tutor bag, and a packed full lunch box/cooler, plus a pointless umbrella stroller that only made Evie cry if I put her in it.  I was quite the spectacle.  We were quite the spectacle.  But, I was surrounded by homeschooling mamas, most with multiple children--many with more children than I have--and they were all quick to help me.  So, no one was judging me, everyone was full of grace and full of practical help!!!  And God was gracious because my son who hates crowded situations where he knows no one, also loves to play by himself in his own little world, so, for the most part, it all went as well as it could go, with John staying by my side all three days.  And Evie slept in my arms a few times, so we survived.  I am getting somewhere with this...

Yesterday morning, I found myself in the "mother's room," where two other moms and I had congregated to nurse our fussy babies and let our toddlers/preschoolers get some energy out away from the auditorium that echoed every sound.  So, of course, as women tend to do, we began to talk, and I found out that another mom in there had also been a high school English teacher before she became a homeschooling mom (to five!!  her oldest being severely handicapped--I wanted to sit and talk to her forever soaking up advice!).  So, we were chatting about English--how much we love British literature, poetry, etc. etc., as she nursed her baby and I nursed mine, and she said, "do you write?"  And I laughed and said, "I used to.  Before."  And we both laughed and the third mom laughed and we made the familiar jokes about, "back when we had time and all of these ideals about what life would look like."  But in the midst of the conversation and the jokes, we also talked about the beauty in this--in our children, our nursing babies and birth and getting to homeschool our children.  We said there is beauty, even in, especially in, the mess.  We talked about why we keep having babies--because it's so hard but it is so beautiful.  And, mostly, we talked about God's grace.  How he gives us the grace.  And I realized that I hate that I don't write anymore.  That here in the midst of what is my life and will be my life for a very long time--Lord willing--that I have separated the writer me from the mama me, and can't they be one in the same?  So, maybe I will try to write more.  Maybe?  Maybe I won't; you know how these things go.  But there is beauty here to record, and I want to write down the beauty.  Some people capture it in photographs and in painting and in a million little ways, and I would like to try to capture it in words.  Inadequate words, sure, but it is the process of writing that brings so much joy. 

So this is my attempt to write again.  And maybe next time someone asks, "do you write?"  I will simply say, "yes."

Last night, so tired, and she just wanted her mama.