Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking back

As I reflect back over the last few years of keeping up with this blog, I have noticed that the feel of it changed from being one that reflected on my love of my babies and all things that get wrapped up with them to one of how stinky some of our life has been. I started this blog as a legacy to my kids because let's face it the more kids, the more activity, the more activity, the harder it is to remember everything both good and bad. I love my kids and the things they say and do. I want to use 2012 to restart the original intention of it. It will be filled with stories and pictures, and other stuff that will allow them to look back and see what a mess life is with 4 but what a blessing they are too me (even on the hard days). I will close 2011 by saying that I see a shift in where we are now vs. where we were earlier in the year. I am listening to the 3 boys play together with the hot wheels wall track. They are laughing and giggling together and Zoe just went to join them. While sometimes what comes out of their mouths is not always pleasant today is one of the days that my heart is filled with joy! I spent many years of my life praying that God would bless me with kids so that I could be a mother. He answered that prayer with 4 very different, unique children. I pray now that I will not fail them as a mother. I pray that 2012 will bring lots of laughter to this home through my kids and that they will know the love that I have for them! Kids, when you read this one day, please know that every single thing I did in the world and every decision I made was made with you in mind. I love you with every breath that I take and nothing you ever say or do will ever ever change that!!- Much love, Mommy.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The end of relocating

Whew... no more apartment! We were able to close on our house on July 15th and moved out of the apartment on the 16th. The house in SA now has a new owner and we are getting boxes unpacked and getting ready for school to start. Well, ok actually as I write this we are in Nashville on vacation, but we did do some shopping over the weekend during tax free time! After spending the last 4 mos in the apartment, waiting for the SA house to sell and waiting to get into a house here in Dallas, I realized that through all of this God was answering a prayer that I started praying in 2009. It was a very dark time for us. Our marriage was struggling (to say the least). We were struggling finacially. We were struggling to be on the same page parenting our children. It just seemed as if nothing was going the way it should. I began to pray that God would intervene as only He can. I prayed for finacial peace. I prayed for parenting solutions. I prayed for God's wisdom concerning my marriage. I had no idea that God would answer my prayer the way He did. There is no way financially we would have been able to prepare our house to sell had it not been for relocation. There is no way we would have been able to put any type of dent into our debt, were it not for relocation. There is no way we would be in a bigger home were it not for relocating. In the midst of frustration and trial came blessings and answers to prayer! I am so very thankful to God for being the faithful giver of so many good things! It just reminds me to stick and stay with the other prayers that I have been praying for the last few years. It reminds me to be still and know that God will answer the prayers that I pray in His timing with His way. It isn't that I didn't know because I have always been aware of prayers being answered. But, this is the first time that in the midst of utter chaoas that I have seen His mighty power bring peace to us in a way that only He can bring it. Day after day as I meet new people I can see God's hand guiding us through this relocation. I know there are more great things that will come of this. For now I will be focusing on unpacking boxes, getting the kids settled in school, and focusing on training and fundraising for the breast cancer 3 day... get ready for a post or few on that passion to find a cure!!! Until next post... God Bless!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Expectations vs relocation part 2

I promise this won't be like a preacher with those 110 lesson sermon series, (sorry if you are reading this and you are a preacher or married to a preacher or whatever), but I have been thinking -again. Yes, thinking is dangerous for me, and when I think then I have to get those thoughts out... so for those of you who check and see if I have posted anything - today is your lucky day. Part 2 of relocation has to do with the behavior of my children. I expected there to be some change of behavior. I expected that this whole relocation thing from house to middle floor apartment would be a parenting challange. I expected a change in my behavior challanged children (and there are several of them). But I was not prepared for the vast difference of my expectations and what is actually occurring. I wonder some days how many times I have said... stop running in the apartment. I wonder some days how many times I have said... stop jumping and crashing on the floor. I wonder some days if the hitting, punching, kicking, yelling, biting, total lack of respect is a part of relocation and emotions running high due to the change of location and friends etc... or if my kids have just lost their "everlovin" minds. I mean I knew after struggling for years in our marriage, that the stress that my kids were under due to the fact that their parents weren't on the same page in their parenting styles, was intense, but throw in relocating and WOW! I was not prepared for the level of yuck that comes out of their mouths. They yell at each other with such hatred in their voices. Mason, yells at Cooper who yells at Jaxon who in turn yells at Zoe. Cooper yells if anyone comes remotely close to him or in the same room (some days). Mason can't stand to be near the two little kids. Jaxon has developed this scream yell that makes our skins crawl when he does it. He also stands there and just looks at you when you tell him to do something as if to say... I hear the words that you are speaking but there is no way I am going to do what you are telling me to do unless you use some sort of force. And oh the eye rolling and door slamming!! Maybe I am just more concerned about the noise that they are making because we have neighbors both above and below us. And maybe this is normal for a move- whatever it is - in the words of Barnie Fife "we have to nip it in the bud!" "Nip it, nip it, nip it!" Sunday's lesson challanged me to examine my prayer life. Not how much I pray (because I have an ongoing conversation with God that really never has an amen to it), but more so a how I pray. Mr. Chris spoke of The Lord's Prayer and reminded us that is was not spoken of as "these are the words your should pray", but more "these words are {{how}} you pray." (Substance over style if you will) Chris reminded us that prayer is not about our performance- big fancy words etc... it is about a relationship with God. Prayer is not about informing God of what our needs or wants are (because He already knows) but about drawing together with God. Any time you have a conversation with someone especially someone you admire, love, respect - doesn't a conversation with them bring you closer together. ( umm I added that thought- and I'll add another) You know when you have a friend that knows you so well that they can almost complete a thought before you do. A friend who when they see something they know would make you laugh even if you are miles and miles away... they laugh too and call, text or facebook you to laugh at you, with you, or about you and something you did or said at some point and time. You don't have to inform them about you, they already know you or they wouldn't be trying to communicate with you. God is that way with us. He just wants to know that we see Him, are reminded of Him etc... and want to communicate with Him. {{Chris, sorry if you are reading this I hope you are not offended that I added some thoughts}} Chris also said that it is not about asking God to align His resources with what we want, but aligning our hearts and our resources with His will. We have to pray that things be "on earth as it is in Heaven." The question came up how do we do that? Hang with me I am almost to my point and will tie it in to the relocation part I promise. (told you I had been thinking) We have to get to know God in order to be able to pray and to do that we must go to The Bible... to scripture, to the life of Jesus and see what He said and did, to Heaven (thinking about it and reading about it (imagining what it is like and what it would be like to have Heaven on earth) and going of course to The Lord's Prayer. The phrase within The Lord's prayer "on earth as it is in Heaven" helps us to align our hearts with God... being bold and believing enough that it is possible that we could have Heaven here on earth is possible. Chris talked about the prhrase "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done". God's kingdom is His realm... it is where He is. His will- is His "strong desire". So if we are praying for God's will to be done then what are we praying for? Aren't we praying for God's strongest desire be wherever He is? Isn't God right here with us at all times... here on earth?! All I could think of was the peace that comes to mind when I think of Heaven. Heaven will be peace. In Heaven, there are no tornados, there are no earthquakes, there are no hurricanes, there are no addictions, there is no lonliness, there is no cancer (no breast cancer!), there is no crying, yelling, hitting, punching, disrespect, slamming of doors, complaining etc... there is just peace. If I want the peace that I think of in Heaven here on earth- I have to ask for it! I have to believe it will happen. But if my heart isn't into it or if my heart doesn't really believe it I must align my heart with the will of God our Father. If what comes out of our mouths that which is in our hearts then (and oh dear gussy, this is where I was convicted) what is in my heart. I have to be the one who patterns for my children what is in my heart and if I can't wrap my heart and {{brain}} for that matter around the relocation because somehow I allow the moving and God to stay separate in my heart - how can I expect my children to adjust? Did I just hear some of you whisper "finally she got to the point- LOL!" So... I change my heart's expectations and I begin to look for God and praying for His Will to be done at this time in our lives. If I am going to find peace, I have to be peaceful... I have to lay out my expectations for the kids in a peaceful clear way, just as Our Father laid out his expectations of our prayers. I can pray for God's will to "reign" in our hectic relocation apartment. I can pray for that peace... I can find places to go to find the resources that God has placed out there that align my heart with Him. Resources that allow Him to be the center of our home in all that we say and do. Resources that align our parenting practices with His will. To that end I found this fabulous website: Compassionate Support Christ Centered Hope. It is a website that has some amazing resources from parents who have "issues" (as we call them in our house- ADHD, depression, etc...), and for parents who have kids with "issues", but it goes beyond that. Your challanges for today... take a look at that website, and think about how you are praying. I think I have found a way to adjust my expectations and it had to come from crying out, "Father, on earth as it is in Heaven!" Thank you Mr. Chris for your timely words and God bless each of you... especially the ones who made it to the end of this post! Love you!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Expectations vs relocation part 1

Why is it that sometimes in life our expectations have to be readjusted to such an extreme?! So I am thinking that my expectation of this relocation thing was a little off. I thought that because the "God" aspect of our relocation and the ease at which everyting took place would continue. I am having to change my expectation because it seems that God might have put us in a holding pattern. You know in the Bible when God told Abram that he was going to be the father of a great nation and moved him to a different land and told him he was going to be an actual father- like with a real kid and everyting. Then Abraham had to wait. Not for just a little while but for quite sometime... so much so that Abraham took matters into his own hands- to a detrimental fault. Yet, God kept His promise... He did make good on his promise. So my thoughts... I think we are here in a waiting pattern. Everything fell into place easily to move and now we wait. Part 1 of this post begins with me. Leaving Church, friends, home, family etc... how do I adjust to the waiting game without taking matters into my own hands. I have always struggled with waiting... if we do something like Sara and Abram and rush the plan... it causes issues. So I adjust and wait, I work on not running ahead of God, I attempt to be happy with where I am in the moment and not worry about tomorrow. And so for those who do read my blog my prayer is not that our house sell (I know that it will) I ask only that you pray that God help me be still. I pray that I can be still. I was listening to an older CD that I purchased several years ago the title was simple "Worship and Praise". It was published several years back when the Churches of Christ were flirting with the idea of worship leaders and were they Biblical or not. I mean not to make fun of course but I guess a little... was it ok to sing several songs that were more anthem like back to back without the standard 3 songs, a prayer, announcements, a few more songs etc... Anyway I chose this CD because I needed a "booster" shot if you will in the quiet of the day. I don't know why the song that I was listening to hit me soo hard. Maybe it was because it was all voices and we have been worshiping with a church that has a praise band (don't judge - we aren't sold but we like it for now), maybe it was the words that were being delivered at a time when I am feeling discouraged. But the song... Be strong and courageous and do not be afraid, the Lord goes with you each and every day, He'll never forsake you... Maybe Sara and Abram felt God's presence and then were asked to wait until the time was right (just as the Bibe says about the birth of Jesus). That is kind of how I feel... I know it is stupid but I also know that Satan knows exactly were to attack and strikes with the time is perfect for him. So today I am humming that tune as I play with Zoe and Jaxon, as I wait for the moment to go pick up the boys and find a way to spend the afternoon doing something fun with them, and as I find a better way for bedtime to work for all of us. I live for today, right now for just today, without thinking about what God is going to do for us next in this relocation, but just being mindful of the gift that I have been given today to be at home with my kids and to have a safe place to live with food to eat and clothes to wear and the courage to not be afraid of the future because God is in control.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bless their hearts

Our boys had a moment in the car tonight that really broke our hearts. People say that children are resilliant, and while that is true, it doesn't mean that they don't have feelings. This move is hard on all of us, and while the boys were so excited about the "trip" and a new place to live, tonight they had a rush of emotions that hit. Jeff's friends Woody and Kelly invited us over for dinner. They all went to school at ACU and were so kind to have us over. Neither Mason nor Cooper really wanted to go... nerves I guess, even though they had not been out of the apt all day. Fear of the unknown was at the center I am sure and with Monday and new school, new teachers, etc, they were feeling emotional. All the kids did pretty well for the first little while. Cooper found lots of new stuff to play with and towards the end or our visit he got frustrated because he wanted to play with a particualr toy (a noisy one) and it was disrupting the movie that the others were watching. On the way home, Cooper said that he just wanted to go back to San Antonio and see his friend Eli. Mason said he just wanted to go home (SA) and see his school friends. Ouch!! I know they will be ok but in the meantime, I did explain that Mommy knows exactly how they feel. It is hard to start in a new place and put yourself out there. We are comfortable where we are. The same is true for The Church these days. The attempt to deepen our worship and develop a true relationship with God is a foreign concept to some. We are comfortable with the people we know on our side of the building. We are comfortable with the friends that we have and are not always willing to step out into the aisle- or across it and introduce ourselves. It is hard to walk down the hallway and look at someone we don't know and introduce ourselves and get to know them. We really must allow God to use us in areas of our lives even the ones that take us out of our comfort zone. That is what this move is for us. All of us! I pray that God will help us find peace in this move and help us as parents to use this as an enormous teachable moment for our kids. Until next time I pray that each of your will find a way to step out of your comfort zone and find someway to glorify God and bless someone else's life this week!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Stacia Crafton this one's for you

So I have this friend - many of you might know her and she says to me on a regular basis, "update your blog!" I think she might be a stalker- LOL- kidding friend. Lots and lots have happened over the last few weeks and it is time I used this blog for recording what is going on with our family. To begin, roughly 8-9 weeks ago Jeff interviewed for a postition with USAA (whom he has worked for for the last 12 years), he got the position and it came with a move to Dallas. So, here we are, ready for our house to be put on the market, an enormous amount of stuff in storage and living in a 3 bedroom apt in the Carrollton area. It has been emotional on all of us to say the least but making the decision to come here instead of being a family divided with Jeff working here during the week and us in SA without him was indeed a good one. Last night we actually sat down at the table together to eat dinner and shared great stories and laughter and such! It was fantastic! By the way if you know anyone looking to buy a house in a quiet neighborhood, in a cul-de-sac (gated community by the way), new paint in and out, new carpet, new sod in front yard, 1800 sq feet for a fantastic price... let me know! Moving allows for a fresh start for us. It allows us to see both our strengths and weaknesses. It helps us to remember to rely on the Almighty One to have control and show His direction for us! There have been some crazy amazing God stories that have revealed themselves to us over the last 8-9 weeks but I will save those for another post. Until then I thought I would share some funnies we have heard from the mouths of our babes.

Cooper: President George Bush Turnpike? I didn't know his last name was Turnpike!?

Jaxon: Yay this is the day we move to Dallas! That is just perfect!

Cooper: Mom, are you lost again?

I know there are others but I can't remember any more. In the meantime, I ask for your prayers as this move is a difficult one and the kids have been struggling for sure... just ask Mr. Chris downstairs- bless his heart. He has been in his apt for the last 3 mos with no one above him and suddenly 4 emotional kids move into the above apt (and they have never been in one so don't know how to walk around and such)... Sorry Mr. Chris- I promise we are trying! Until next time... Love to all of you!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2010 wrap up (sort of)

Whew it has been a while... for my 3 readers- sorry! Ok so 2010 is over and I have to say it was one of the hardest yet one of the best years in my life! I will be doing a detailed year in review when I am finished wrapping my brain all around my thoughts. But for now I wanted to share with my readers that what got me through was the decision to wash my mind and soul with all things God-like. I started with something simple... I tuned the radio in my car to the local Christian station (K-LOV) and never took it off. There were no other stations tuned in to anything. As long as I was in my car and my kids were not with me (as we have kids CD's) I was listening to the songs, stories, prayers etc... it really really really made a big difference. That was just one of the steps I took. It was a good one- I will share more as I wrap up 2010 and let you know that I plan on doing more of that in 2011. Until then- God Bless!