Saturday, October 25, 2014

Poem

Today I am camping & well it is going. Why is it no matter how prepared I think I am, I'm not! Ever feel this way? So today I leave you with a poem. It is called It Takes Courage by anonymous!

It takes courage

To refrain from gossip
When others delight in it,
To stand up for the absent person
Who is being abused.

It takes courage

To live honestly
Within your means,
And not dishonestly
On the means of others.

It takes courage

To be a REAL man or a TRUE woman,
To hold fast to your ideals
When it causes you
To be looked upon
As strange and peculiar.

It takes courage

To be talked about,
And remain silent,
When a word would justify you
In the eyes of others,
But which you dare not speak
Because it would injure another.

It takes courage

To refuse to do something
That is wrong
Although everyone else
May be doing it
With attitudes as carefree
As a summer song.

It takes courage

To live according
To your own convictions,
To deny yourself
What you cannot afford.
To love your neighbor
As yourself!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Self Care

Go here for more in this series of 31 Days Brave




For me being Brave means self care. It is different than selfishness. Self care means to truly understand what you need to be able to fill up your tank or know what you need to say no to so YOU can be "filled up" and not always running on empty. Self Care is about taking care of you the whole person. Body, mind and soul. I think this one is a hard one for anyone. I believe as moms or women we really struggle in this department. I often can feel guilty if I know I need a break or need to be alone. I am so use to taking care of all those around me that I sometimes put myself on the bottom of the list. This is not good. 

Self Care starts with what you choose to fill yourself up with. The older I get and the longer I am a mom I realize how important it is to take time to fill up with scripture and prayer. To start my day with God at the top makes all the difference in my day as a mom, friend, wife and stranger. I am also aware that it does not have to be an hour-long-deep-meditating-bible-study in order to be effective. Though those type of bible studies are important too and have their place. Not all of us have that kind of time in the morning before our household begins to stir. I have discovered that 15 minutes in the word and time with God goes a long way in my day. Then when I have the time during the day throughout the week, I grab my deep intimate bible studies that challenge my thinking and encourage my spirit. I find I do better carving out time that is during the day than first thing in the morning. I know that can be opposite for most. My brain has to be fired up first along with my body. My early routine starts with a 5:30 am boot camp then by the time I get home the household is stirring. Of course I have to shower and eat breakfast along with answering the 1,000 questions that are aiming at me from my family. I love them so! I rely on simple quick devotionals first thing in the morning. I like Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. 

Self Care also means what you choose to do that is simply a pleasure to you or something you enjoy. I enjoy hanging out with my mommie friends. Stepping away for that short time fuels my soul. I am able to talk to other women who are in my season of life and also eat an uninterrupted meal. I find being able to sit at the table without little hands disrupting me a simple pleasure. I would not trade those little interruptions for nothing but to enjoy a meal like a real adult is awesome too. I enjoy a good book, a coffee house, a concert or trying something new like one of those painting with pals or wine or something. I will one day participate in Painting with a Twist! What do you enjoy?

Self Care can also means taking care of your outward appearance as well. Now before you get your knickers in a wade or all ruffled, hear me out! I am not talking about having the best body or being the prettiest or perfect in make up or the latest in fashion. I am talking about getting our hair styled because we have not done it in a year or two. Buying a new pair of yoga pants since the ones you have been wearing have another stitch sewn in them. I am referring to things you put off because you have not made the time. Sisters, there is a difference between being a stay at home mom and a homely mom. I say this with a lot of love. I am also speaking from experience. Trust me I am going tonight or first thing in the morning. I need new clothes. It has become embarrassing for myself. That is bad. I am not fashionista. I just want to be able to grab a pair of yoga pants or jeans without worrying if this is the pair that has the hole in a bad spot. Know what I mean? I just had my hair colored and cut so I am covered there. Trust me I am a no fuss muss kinda of mom. Simple and less is better. 

The other part of your body Self Care is physical fitness and healthy food. Are you attending to those needs as well? I am working on mine. Exercise I got down. The food I will always be learning about. 

I love this picture below! 




Isn't this what it is all about? Realizing you need to take care of yourself so you can take care of your family and others around you. 

I recently was on a air plane and was reminded of what is important. Of course the flight attendants have the usual speeches about the mechanics of the plane and what to do "if" something were to happen while in flight. Always always always they say "put your own oxygen mask on first then assist others!" Oxygen is an important element required to sustain life. So you could say Self Care is oxygen to ourselves. 

How are you sustaining? What are you doing to fuel your body, mind and soul? Be Brave & realize you need to do it and then ask for it! Speak up sister! You are so worth it! 


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Camping

Go here for more on this series 31 Days Brave. 







Do you find yourself doing things for your kids that maybe you wouldn't have before? I do. I am really stretching myself this time. I am taking my son camping. Me! No hubby! I like camping don't get me wrong. I have come to depend on hubby to pitch the tent, make the fire and all that manly stuff. My husband is taking our son first to a cub scout camp out Friday night and then it is my turn to take him to our boot camp family friendly camping trip. Yeah, both events fell no the same weekend. EEEKKKK! My hubby has a commitment Sunday morning where we attend church so that is one reason why the camping aspect is falling on my shoulders. Just part of the weekend anyway. I know we will be fine but I sure do love having a familiar man around that I trust for such outdoorsy stuff. Ya know? You can pray for me! Pray for our weekend. I am really excited to have mom and son time together. I will let you know how it goes. 


So, what is the gutsy thing you have ever done with your kids that was out of your comfort zone? 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

One Mouth Two Ears

Go here for more in this series of 31 Days Brave. 







Sometimes being Brave takes place in a very organic setting. Today, I was able to meet up with two very special friends. The only common demoinator was me. After we were finished with science lab today we decided to eat an early dinner. We all have boys so we picked an outdoor area so they could run free and maybe just maybe we could eat our meal. Ha! Anyway, as most met ups take place the conversation starts simple then sometimes can turn into something bigger. I saw that take place today before my eyes. Both of them have been through miscarriages or a loss of a child. I believe if the story is yours then it is yours to share. It is not my place to share your precious story. Today their stories came to light. It is interesting how God puts people in the same place at the right time so they can benefit from one another. I believe today was one of those times for these two moms. They could really "see" one another. Not just hear or share the story but have empathy for the other person. It was so beautiful to watch this unfold and to be able to witness God's handy work. My role was simple, to be quiet in the moment and I did.

Today's Brave for me was really understanding my role in this moment and to follow through with it. I do love a good conversation with my mom friends. It would've been so easy for to chime in and give my opinion. That is all it would've been an opinion. I have zero wisdom or experience in this department. I have not lost a child in death. My words would've had no foundation or worth. However, my actions mattered and took front row to anything else. Listening is an action!


Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. ~Winston Churchill



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Home Schooling

Go here for more in this series of 31 Days Brave & here to see other 31 Dayers! 





I not going to lie or pretend that I have anything super interesting to write today. When God laid it on my heart to write about being Brave he did whisper in my ear about home schooling. I know it seems easy to talk about home schooling as a Brave topic but it really is a hard one for me. My husband several years ago before having children was a huge advocate for home schooling. Many reason I personally don't agree with and most I do. Who says we have to agree on everything? Right? Right! Anyway, it was not even on my radar when he brings up this crazy idea. Fast forward several years we have a son reaching the age of pre-k. During this time was also the season of our life where we were apart as a family for almost a year. Go here for more information on that. That time with my son and away from my husband God utltized that season to work on my heart as a mother. I personally saw up close everyday what temperament my child was born with, what makes him tick & how we work as a team. God began to work on my heart about stepping out in faith to home school our son. Believe me I would do anything for my child but I felt very inadequate as a teacher/mom to take on such a task. To be honest I still do and I am without The Heavenly Father to guide me. Everyday is different in home school land! I believe that to be true in any schooling situation. So, I began to really pray "Lord, show me what to do & put people in my life for wisdom." HE did show up and HE did provide those wonderful sources of people in my life. HE even showed me what curriculum to choose and HE still continues to guide me in that path. I(we) take it one year at a time. I have learned so much about myself these past two years and some things I could've done without knowing. Ha! It is a process. 

I also want to take this time to acknowledge whatever choice you made for your children's education, it is a Brave one. You may not feel that way but it is true. For private school moms/dads, you may have had to take up another job or give up some things because you believe in what you are doing for your family. For public school moms/dads, you realize this is the only choice for now but you choose to be involved at school functions, everyday homework assignments, sporting events and of course constantly planning meals. No to mention getting up early! For university model moms/dads, you want the best of both worlds...homeschool & school(2 days at school and 3 at home). You still have to make sacrifices, plan ahead for school days, implement the curriculum on non school days, go to sporting events and plan meals. It is not easy in any one of these worlds. Each one comes with challenges! Pros and Cons on any list. At the end of the day we are all moms and dads. Moms & dads wanting the best for our kids. We all want them to be happy and able to excel in the best environment for them. We are on the same team...Team Mom & Dad! It may look different in your neighbors or friends home but we are striving for the same. 


Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.



Monday, October 20, 2014

For you the Single Parent

This picture captures that time in our life. 


I dedicate this post to single parents everywhere. Whether your spouse is in the military and that makes you like the single parent or the one whose spouse travels all the time so you are a single parent most of the time. Sometimes you can be married and still your spouse is not doing what they are suppose to or carrying their weight. Just because you are married does not guarantee you have someone helping you in the way it should be. 



This is a 31 day series that I am participating in even though I started late! Go here to see more 31 dayers. I encourage you to take the time to visit and find a blog that inspires you or teaches you something! Also, Go here for more post in this series of 31 days Brave. Then if you want to read the first 31 I participated in go here. 

Yesterday we were blessed to have late lunch plans with some wonderful friends. We were celebrating Jeff's birthday! Jeff & Tiffany are part of a group that we call our "first friends" that we made here in the Austin area. Such a blessing to see them again and celebrate Jeff.  The events made me think about all our "first friends" and everything that has taken place over the last few years.

Several years ago my husband lost his job. Among many others in our area where we lived at the time. He was without a job for 10 months. Our church, family and friends carried us during that difficult time. My husband was sought after from a head hunter to take a contact job here in the Austin area. It was not permanent. September 7, 2010 he was to report to his new job. I stayed behind since we knew it was not permanent. Obviously, it became permanent since we are all here now! I wanted to talk about that hard decision we had to make as a family that we were going to be apart for a long time. In the beginning, he did come home on the weekends but it was hard. He would leave on a friday night and leave again early monday mornings to get back to Austin. That is tough on anyone. You do what you have to for your family. Our son at the time was only 2 so he was in a mother's day out program and I had my little jobs plus keeping up with our house. It was tough. In October they quickly wanted to hire my husband for a permanent position. Since there were fees involved the earliest he could be hired officially was February 2011.

I brought you up to speed to let you take a peek into what would be one of the toughest seasons of life for our family. Maybe you already feel the feelings surrounding this situation or maybe you can relate to it because you are there now or have been there. Everyday I was a single mom Monday through Friday. In the beginning, my husband would come home every weekend but once he was put into the "on call" rotation that stopped. Plus, he was worn out during the week from making that trip back and forth between cities. I could not travel during the week to see him since I had my job. Part time only but it was still a commitment. The Lord really taught me a lot during this lonely time in my life. I had my son to keep me busy and he really brought joy to my life when I needed it the most. It is a hard thing to go to bed by yourself almost every night or come home to an empty house. Yes, I had my son but without your partner in life by your side it makes it tough. I did not have relief. If the yard needed to be mowed, I did it. Something needed to be fix, I fixed it or I would hire someone. Yes, I had friends I could call on and I did. I was very careful not to exhaust them. Laying my head down at night with no one to "talk" to about my day or to just be with was tough. I can not find another word to describe this season of my life. Tough pretty much sums it up. During that 10-11 months I was simply in what I call "go mode." If I couldn't do it then I had to find someone to do it. My mind was always racing. It is very humbling to ask for help or feel that you are in need all the time. It is also very freeing to find out you can do it or to discover you can learn how to do it successfully. 

A lot of lessons were gained during this season of my life. The one that I take to heart the most is getting a glimpse into the life of a single parent. It is tough stuff! My hats are off to you and you do not receive enough recognition or praise for all that you do. I only had to do it for 10-11 months. The real heroes are the ones in the trenches everyday not knowing when or if they will have relief any time soon. I can only imagine the parents who are raising multiple kids and all the challenges that they must face. You are truly Brave my friends. 


Sunday, October 19, 2014

For Inspiration

Go here for more post in this series of 31 days



Today is Sunday which is our very busy day so I thought a little inspiration would be the best post! This is by Amena Brown Be You, Bravely. Look for the phase "superSHEro!" Enjoy! 




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