I thought it might be time to dig out the old blog, dust things off a bit, and see if I still have any wordy treasures buried deep down. After 8 years of silence I would hope I had something worthwhile to say…..
iMiss being connected
iMiss my boys when they were babies
I’ve been MIA for over 6 months on here…. and my word of the year was COMMITMENT. ha! I thought that meant staying committed to everything I wanted to commit to…. seriously. COMMIT COMMIT COMMIT. I didn’t realize that this year would be a refining of all things I was committed to. That it would burn away everything but the important things.
My last post was in March…. and I didn’t return because I had to heavily weigh my COMMITMENT to my marriage, and at that time, blogging wasn’t important. And then once that settled, I had no words to share. It’s funny how being hurt can silence you for a bit. Take your words. Steal your creativity.
My COMMITMENT to homeschooling was boiled down too…. the two oldest are now enrolled in public school. My COMMITMENT to my sanity, the health of my family, and overall balance outweighed my COMMITMENT to teaching. However, I learned that the things I want to teach I still can…. and that I do not want to teach the basics. I want to teach the Eternal. The Moral. The Creative. The Caring. The Intuitive. That is what I am passionate about instilling in my kids, not the rest. And so I let someone else do the rest, while I do what is important for me to teach them. Right now, it’s a win-win.
There are other lessons in my COMMITMENT journey this year, but those will come out with time.
For now, I just wanted to come here and say iMiss this community and fill in a bit of the 6 month blank.
Sort of in need of an outlet right now….. like a punching bag. Or a gun and a target…. if I knew how to use a gun. If breaking glass or dishes would help, I’d do it…. but that doesn’t sound very enticing to me.
I wish I was a runner, I’d pound the pavement.
I wish I was a weightlifter, I’d burn it off at the gym.
If I was an alcoholic I’d be three sheets to the wind somewhere by now.
Instead, I’m numb. It’s a better alternative to letting loose on the angry rage building up in my chest right now.
Instead, I’m clinging to the only thing I know that gives me Hope and praying that Jesus guards my fragile hurting heart.
It’s all I know to do. It’s my only outlet.
A hot tempered man (or woman)
stirs up dissension,
but a patient man (or woman)
calms a quarrel.
Pretty smart proverb there.
When Jake and I went to Celebrate Recovery at our church in Missouri, we always recited two things as a group: the Serenity Prayer, and the 8 Steps to Recovery. Right now, we need them both back in our life as a daily prayer.
Realize I’m not God. I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmaneagable.
– Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor.
Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him, and that He has the power to help me recover.
-Happy are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.
Consciously choose to commit my life and will to Christs care and control.
-Happy are the meek.
Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust.
-Happy are the pure in heart.
Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects.
-Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires.
Evaluate all my relationships. Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I have done to others, except when to do so would harm them or others.
-Happy are the merciful. Happy are the peacemakers.
Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will.
Yield myself to God to be used to bring this Good News to others, both by my example and by my words.
-Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires.
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change
courage to change the things I can
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time
Enjoying one moment at a time
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace.
Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is
Not as I would have it.
Trusting that You will make all things right
if I surrender to Your will
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with You
Forever in the next.
Tonight we watched The Karate Kid with the boys (the newer one) and there was a perfect quote in there for our life right now:
Being still and doing nothing are two very different things.
Right now, we need to be still……
Every single night, Aidan asks me to sing this song to him and scratch his back. No other song will do. I’m not sure if it’s because he likes it, or because it’s the longest song I’ll sing. 😉 Either way, I’m glad to sing it to him.
All the chisels I’ve dulled carving idols of stone
That have crumbled like sand beneath the waves
I’ve recklessly built all my dreams in the sand
Just to watch them wash away
Through another day, another trial, another chance to reconcile
To One who sees past all I see
Reaching out my weary hand, I pray that You’d understand
You’re the one One Who’s faithful to me
All the pennies I’ve wasted in my wishing well
I have thrown like stones to the sea
I have cast my lots, dropped my guard, searched aimlessly
For a faith to be faithful to me
Through another day, another trial, another chance to reconcile
To One Who sees past all I see
Reaching out my weary hand, I pray that You’d understand
You’re the only One Who’s faithful to me
Dylan has been using my old One Minute Bible for Students that I used as a teenager…. it’s cute to see my old notes in it and read it with him. Here is todays:
The Fruit of the Spirit: LOVE
The secret to changing enemies, friends, parents, teachers, or even little brothers or sisters is to love them as Jesus loves you. People can’t stay the same when they’re drenched with the type of love Jesus displays.
Mark 12:29-31 29 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. 30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’[a] 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] No other commandment is greater than these.”
John 13:34-35 34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
Matthew 5:43-46 43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’[a] and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies![b] Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.
Colossians 3:12-14 12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.
Why we homeschool….. I figured it was time for this post. 😉 We are on our 7th month of homeschool and finally figuring out what works for us and what doesn’t….. and I’m sure there will be plenty more to learn as this year goes on. I would say that the majority of this year has been just that: figuring us out.
If I were to be honest, we’ve done a more UNschooling kind of homeschool than anything else. I think we just naturally lean that way. Right now I prefer to focus on Dylans reading, writing, math, and thinking skills more than anything else. I figure the rest will come from natural curiousity as he gets older and we lay down more of a routine to see where it fits in. I am a firm believer in the idea that if you can read well, you can learn anything. The things I have learned and retained the most didn’t come from sitting in classes in school…. it came from my own curiousity and reading about it myself until I was content with what I had learned.
Homeschooling had been on my heart YEARS before Dylan was to start school. I thought it was fun teaching him stuff on my own at home and knowing that I had contributed to his education and started the foundation for early learning. I thought, “If I can give him a good foundation, why can’t I keep building on it instead of sending him to someone else to build on it?” Now, disclaimer here: I’m not against people who send their kids to public school. 😉 It just wasn’t for us, maybe in the same way you’re reading this and thinking homeschool isn’t for you. I won’t even say that everyone SHOULD homeschool, but I will say that (almost) everyone COULD homeschool. I’ve been amazed at the different stories of homeschoolers that I’ve read….. there truly are as many different ways to homeschool as there are families who homeschool. There is no cookie cutter method. Even if you use the same curriculum or theory as someone else, you’re going to implement it differently. This is why I love the option of homeschool over public school. Kids aren’t cut from a mold and all learn differently. Learning at home offers the opportunity to focus on their learning styles, and at the pace they learn. If they excell in something, then we can move ahead faster. If they are struggling with something, we can slow down until they truly GET IT, instead of just learning the right answer and not knowing why.
I also like the ability to see them learn, to see the lightbulb turn on, to see the wheels turning, to see when something just CLICKS and they get totally excited over it. I am jealous for my kids time and I want to have those moments, not someone else. I say I am jealous for my kids time, but if you know me, you also know I would love more time to myself. That is the always delicate not-so-well-balance you struggle with when you choose to homeschool. Hours in a row of time to myself (when they’d be in school) goes out the window. I won’t lie and say that I relish every waking moment with all three of them at home….. yes, there are days when I sit down and think “you do realize don’t you that they could ALL be in some form of school ALL DAY LONG at this point???” It’s a balance, one I’ve not yet perfected. But the trade off to me is worth it, even on the rough days.
I know to some this next part is going to sound controlling and legalistic, and that’s okay. I know it may spark nasty comments, and that’s okay too. Because it won’t matter. 😉 I truly feel that we are called to homeschool, for OUR family. I am excited that my kids won’t grow up too soon or learn about things in school that I would rather teach them ….. things that have nothing to do with a school education and everything to do with sex education, drug education, religious education, etc. You see where I’m going. 😉 I want to be able to have them openly talk about God when they want and not be shhh’d at school about it. A dear friend of mines son used his bible during free reading time in class and was asked to put it away…. because he wasn’t allowed to read it during school FREE READING TIME. I remember being in 6th grade and the same thing happening to me. I remember feeling shamed and embarrassed…. for reading my bible. While my kids are still so young, I want them to be encouraged in their faith….. not discouraged.
And now the best part….. the way we do school on a daily basis. Some days we don’t actually DO school…..as in workbooks or worksheets or lesson plans. Some days its talking more in depth about something that they like, explaining how 1/4 and 1/4 makes 1/2 when measuring, watching a documentary on Yellowstone National Park, Ben Franklin, Africa, or Beast of The Sea….. school doesn’t have to be sitting down at a desk everyday. I count a day successful if they go to bed having learned more than they woke up knowing…. no matter what it is. Sure it helps to keep up on reading and math, but again…. it doesn’t have to be a strict curriculum. I’ve found the best learning comes from watching and doing and talking about it. Dylan is 6 and already knows how to divide in his head based on conversations….not from a worksheet. I LOVE that! And at home he has the freedom to write in cursive handwriting, where in Kindergarten he was discouraged from that.
So, if you ever wonder what we do for school, now you know a little bit more. And remember, we’re still figuring it out. 😉
Had a not so great revelation today.
I really DO struggle with depression. I mean, I knew that I did to some degree, but I thought it was more circumstantial than anything….. and less physical and mental. But it’s not. Let’s back up…..
Round 1 – Pregnant with Owen. Winter of 2006. I knew something wasn’t right when I was neglecting Aidan and Dylan and foung myself literally HATING them and Jake. It was like those stories you read about, only I didn’t want to kill them. I just wanted to leave them on my moms doorstep and run far far away. And when I say hate…. I mean HATE in every sense of the word. I hated their laughter, their talking, their crying, their needing any amount of attention at all. I laid around all day crying. I screamed my head off almost nonstop. It went beyond pregnancy hormones. Luckily, by mid-pregnancy and with A LOT of help from family, it subsided. I finished out the pregnancy without any other issues. My OB said that 30% of women suffer severe depression DURING a pregnancy rather than after. It was a horrifying time.
Round 2 – After I had Owen I did a 180…. became OBSESSED with my children. Like, OCD obsessed. I would waste hours checking on them at night making sure they were alive. They couldn’t be out of my site without a panic attack resulting. Jake took the older boys camping while I stayed home with 1 week old Owen and I sobbed hysterically convinced that they were going to die. The next day was Owens circumcision and then I hitched a ride with my cousin to the camp ground. What genius take a one week old baby with a fresh circ camping?? A crazy one. About 6 weeks after I had Owen, I went on anti-depressants. I stayed on them for about a year and a half…. then I was at the peek of my dosage and they weren’t working anymore. We had moved and I didn’t want to explain all over again why I needed them to a new doctor. It’s embarrassing enough the first time. And besides, I was fine. I thought. I quit cold turkey and went through something I can only imagine is close to a drug withdrawal…. because it basically was. Chills, shakes, neaseau, headaches, endless sleeping, hysteria, you name it. I went through it for about a week. Take care of three kids on top of that…. not the greatest week of my life. They ate a lot of pb&j and watched a lot of cartoons. After that was over, I led a pretty normal life without any boughts of depression, and when I felt myself getting “down” I quickly recognized it and took care of myself how I needed….. more sleep, better eating, more active, etc. I thought that my previous encounters with depression were purely due to pregnancies, so I thought that from here on out I’d never deal with it again. I found this old post at the beginning of when things started to change.
Round 3 – Just this past fall I could start to feel myself….. changing. For lack of a better word. I wasn’t snapping out of it as easily. I found myself sleeping A LOT. Like, just fall asleep in the middle of the day and sleep for hours sleeping. Thank God the boys are older and are basically self sufficient, because I wouldn’t realize anything until I woke up 2 hours later…. in chair, on the couch, in my bed. I wasn’t as happy, not like I normally am. But I wasn’t sad either. I just…. was different. People annoyed me. I angered easily. My patience was completely gone. Noises got to me. I lacked any desire to DO anything. I wasn’t taking care of our house. And during all this I was supposed to be homeschooling AND co-coordinating MOPS. Yeah, the pressure was mounting and my perfectionistic characteristic was caving. So, in December I went in for meds again. On one hand I knew I needed it. On the other hand, truthfully, I was disappointed that what I thought was pregnancy related….. wasn’t really. Part of me still thought it was the overwhelming stress I felt I was under, and that after this MOPS year was over I could focus on one thing and the pressure would leave. So deep down, I thought this was because of outside circumstances…. not because my body was malfunctioning.
I’ve had a hard time taking my meds this time. I don’t take them regularly and when I forget, I forget for like a week. Or more. I think the last time I took a pill was 10 days ago. And yesterday I was INSANE. My friend saw it in me and said “you haven’t taken your meds have you?” NOPE. Haven’t. And today, I did everything I could think of to get motivated, and that’s when I saw it in myself again…. that lack of care. That want to just sleep. The wish that all noise would stop and I could just be alone and quiet. The body aches and fatigue. That’s an ugly mirror to look into when it affects your family. Depression isn’t just about being sad. It’s so much more…. on any given day, I can laugh and smile and have fun… but alone, I walk with a 1,000 pound weight on my shoulders and feel like I’m walking through sludge.
I took one today when I remembered. Then it hit me today….. I need them more than I think. And apparently I always will. I am less stressed than I was in the fall or even in December, and I’m still acting like I was then….when I was blaming it on stress. Don’t get me wrong, stress triggers depression, but if you don’t have that tendency already…. there’s nothing to trigger. SO, as much of an advocate as I am for medicating yourself when you need to… it’s still a hard pill to swallow when you realize this will be your life.
So friends, pray for me please? To remember to take it everyday. EVERYDAY. I don’t know why it’s been so hard to remember this time, but it’s been a struggle that I clearly can’t fight on my own. 😉
Seems the same unfortunate things KEEP happening and have been happening for the last week, and it all involves puking. 😆
Yesterday and today it was the dog. The big dog. The big puking all over the place dog. Losing my mind here people! For a week straight someone in this house has been having episodes of vomit or worse at least once a day. And guess who gets to clean it up or tend to it or coddle the latest victim???
THAT’S RIGHT. Yours truly. 😕
And as a result, I’m not 100% better and my stomach is seriously touchy still. I don’t trust it. 😆 One second I feel fine. The other, I’m running for the bathroom that has a bucket in it. I know, you’re welcome for that information. 😉
Today though….. today was an insane ball of absolute craziness. It is almost comical how many things went wrong today…..
Dog puked in his house all over his bedding. Then puked ON MY CARPET. Dropped dinner for 7 kids….twice. Salvaged enough to feed them all. Awesome. Dropped pizza on my shirt. On my pants. On my floor. The pizza that hit the floor got trashed. Missed yoga. Planned an hour and a half for grocery shopping, got all of 40 minutes due to stupid circumstances. Fought with oldest son who somehow overnight developed the mouth and attitude of a teenage girl. Husband has a horrid stye in his eye and spend the day crying and cursing on the couch to which Dylan said “ummm, you have an AUDIENCE” in a sing song voice….now that was funny. I ate far too many oreos thanks to my seriously amped up anxiety and all around craziness today…. then proceeded to TRY and do 5 minutes of the Shred with the boys…. which resulted in the oreos making a quick and rude exit.
And that is just the highlights friends! 😆
Off to bed and hoping and praying for a better day tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!