Hi there! 
I hope you're doing well. 
I thought I'd pop in momentarily to fill you in on what I've been up to.

Much heart, prayer and tears have gone into finding the right resources
 to pour into myself, family and marriage. 
(detailed list below)

I've been in a long and at times miry, season of change and growth.
I mentioned it here in regards to my family,
but I really took hold of personally, the start of the year.

I desperately needed a change in perspective, redirection, 
focus and lots of wisdom.
 Over time the Lord lead me to these tools and a few others.
The books specifically spoke right to my situation, resonated deeply
and revealed where I had been lacking.

   Having them in my hands,
actually turning pages and highlighting important points,
(except for in the borrowed books)
 have been so important and necessary for the visual/tactile side of me.

I was frustrated and overwhelmed by the family interaction that was occurring daily.
This wasn't just a:
 bad morning/day,
busy weekend,
late night, 
sick child situation;
it was a constant verbal/non verbal state of discord.

My family dynamic had become
a bunch of UNFRUITFUL interactions

I had likened myself to the gleaners of old:
poor, without sustenance and trailing behind.
Poor in understanding/applying a heart based (parental & spousal) approach.
 I focused foremost on correcting/changing behavior,
instead of in combination WITH the heart,
where the root of the issue lied. 


My Sustenance was in the form of consistency but I was oblivious to its stagnancy.
I sowed little in specific areas, so I reaped even less.
This left me to my own abilities-
lacking & limited,
causing imbalance,
working to keep up but trailing further behind.


I had to take a serious evaluation of myself, my parenting, even my marriage.
If I had gotten one severely wrong, they were all wrong.
They each affected the other.
There was no "rounding up", 
and no averaging out my successes/failures.
This was an all out, much needed, time-out for change.

Yep, I've been on a time-out 
and intentionally removed from many things.
I've spent much time praying, seeking the Lord, reading/studying 
surrendering my heart and most importantly,
committing my focus on the Lord.

Its been a completely sobering and humbling realization.
 But my desire to change and see change
is much greater 
than the regret or shame of my mistakes.

And yes, it has been hard to face.
I have questioned my ability and worth because of these failures.
I am reminded of them
in the way my children interact with each other, with us and I with my family.
You see, I initiated this mess;
unintentionally of course.
I was very much "Martha" instead of  "Mary".

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 
42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.
[a] Mary has chosen what is better, 
and it will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10:41-42New International Version (NIV)


I also failed to share the mercy & grace the Lord so freely gives to me.

4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,
5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions
 -it is by grace you have been saved. 
Ephesians 2:4-5 New International Version (NIV)

I am thankful for a patient but at times frustrated hubby,
 dear friends who've encouraged me
and an amazing God who keeps loving me.

Nothing has become more important to me 
than seeing my children thrive spiritually, emotionally (relationally & educationally).
I desire to be the mother/spouse that acknowledges her weaknesses and works at improving; 
to be the woman of God who knows her position in Christ 
and utilizes that strength and knowledge to hold steadfast to hope, faith 
above all things love.

I've drawn the line 
and winning back the hearts of my family. 

These resources and a few others have truly engaged, 
encouraged and challenged me for more.
Maybe these will encourage you as well.
I am still reading most of these 
and in short increments so the info has time to take root.

1. My bible! That's a constant and my #1, although sometimes I think coffee sneaks in lol.

2. Whispers Of Hope, Beth Moore- I received this as a gift a bit after I delivered (Jan'14) and  secretly rejected it (for a year!) because I thought to myself,
 "what parent with a newborn has time to read/journal?!, PSSHH!!!"
I really should have read this as soon as I could, it was so helpful, from beginning to end.

3. My phone has kept me sane, really. All kinds of Christian music on Pandora, Bible app, Google for the kid's homework assignments I didn't understand, pics of my kids/family, many alarms and my trusty calendar.
4. H2OFFEE ok I mean  coffee, my liquid peace. It warms me up and makes me happy. 
SO easy. Who am I kidding, I love it iced in the fall too lol
H2O is also very important to me and I make sure to drink 80-100 oz daily.

5. And just to keep this interesting, potty training. Yep my little guy has been telling us "pee pee" since August, so we ran with it. He's got a ways to go but we're happy he's even trying.
a) biting- Little M was biting and swatting friends :(
 (boy, did I feel EVEN worse as a mother)
Prayer, patience and shadowing him has made a huge difference!

6. Woman Thou Art Loosed!, T.D. Jakes- What a powerful book! A friend of mine handed it down to me years ago and only now am I finally able to read it.

7. Parenting Is Heart Work, Scott Turansky & Joanne Miller- Oh my goodness, where has this book been all of my life?!   Love it, so awesome!!!

8. Motivate Your Child, Scott Turansky & Joanne Miller- Works wonderfully with the parenting book.
9. A Lifelong Love, Gary Thomas-  A good friend lent this to me recently. It's so good but challenging because change is hard! lol
10. Love Out Loud daily devotional, Joyce Meyer- I believe it was a resource I received with a donation to the ministry. It has a very short lesson for the day, quick and easily doable.

Online tools
11Focus On The Family- great help/articles on connecting with your family & spouse.
12. Biblical Parenting- great tools for parenting.
13. Unveiled Wife- daily prayer to your inbox, honest accounts of love, life, hurts and failures in marriage and how to overcome them.
14. Husband Revolution- Husband & partner sight to Unveiled Wife. Same as above but for hubby's.

So how do I approach the day to day?
My little guy naps while I sit at a normally sticky, smudged and crumbed table;
full of flyers of upcoming school events & responsibilities;
strewn pencils, eraser shavings and most recently Red Ribbon items;
to enjoy my often reheated coffee, read my Word, a few of the books & pray!

It's rarely this tidy but I needed a reset of sorts this specific day.
Then my littles came home, scattered it all 
and added a few more pieces to it.

Yep this was over a month ago

As I was reading my devotional that day
a great reminder stood out,

The truth is,
the Lord loves me and has never failed me,
he doesn't give up on me
or reject me.
Regardless of situations and circumstances
I too can respond in love 
rather than react in frustration, anger, etc.
I can keep focused and dedicated to the things that matter
because love doesn't give up.
I can move forward because I have the best support on my side,
especially when I'm frazzled, unshowered, in the midst of chores
or endless homework, concern, insecurities....fill in the blank,
the Lord is always there.

Since I'm keeping it real here, this is what my table tends to look like
(minus the boxes at the end which were temporary during Red Ribbon week prep).

My days are long, structured, though at times chaotic, 
full of homework and such;
 I'm still working towards change
and taking it one situation at a time.

What could have been the worst timing for all this 
was really God's perfect will for me to reset.

So I enthusiastically GLEAN from the resources
and people who have gone before me.
In return I leave a little something for those 
who need strength and encouragement.

   You can do it,
it's not too late,
choose today,
the Lord is by your side.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone
and just in case,
 a very Merry Christmas to you,
& a Happy New Year.

HUGE HUGS friends.


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