Christian Living · Christian Wife · motherhood · prayer · Proverbs 31

Lessons from an Overworked Mom of Teenagers

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. Psalm 127:3-5

Being a single mom for many years, I prayed for the day my children would grow up.  I thought it meant I wouldn’t be needed anymore.  However, as I threw myself into my career over the last year and a half I look back and realize how much I missed just in the last 3 years with my daughter and all my children.

The other day we filled my middle child’s application to Texas A&M PATHS program.  Now, I have known since this child was born that this day would come.  However, since I have slowed down I realize how out of touch with my children I have become.  I have missed so many important moments in their lives.  She brought home her cap and gown order form.  This next weekend we do Sr. Pictures and I ask myself one question “Where did all our time go?”.

I look back and realize somewhere I was misinformed.  I thought once my children were old enough to care for themselves I wasn’t needed anymore.  Also, as the mother to a special needs child in the back of my mind I knew that raising a special needs child never stops. However, there comes a time I had to stop.  I had to stop because I was tired.  I was weary.  I could not do it by myself anymore.

Although I had relationships in the 14 years Lee and I were separated from one another, they were not fruitful relationships.  I still took care of me and mine all on my own.  However, as I look back now I realize where I didn’t take care of me.  Because I was alone I did everything for all three of my children 24/7.  I did not set boundaries.  I turned my back on God because of a disagreement and I was not fulfilled.  I thought things would fulfill me.  I thought this man who came into my life 3 years ago was the answer.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 6:23

But honestly, if I had looked up to God instead of around me for things I would have found my solace.  As parents we struggle with balance.  As a special needs parent, that balance is even harder to maintain.  You run and run and run.  You worry and you run some more.  You go from Dr. appt to dr. appt to therapy appts.  You are up late at night cleaning up messes.  You are up early in the morning fixing special meals.  You are given this precious special gift that God created for you and as much as you love him or her you get tired.  However, I now know it is okay to be tired!    I now know God is my refuge.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”  Psalms 46:1

“It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great. You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn.”  Psalm 18:32-36

For years, I felt guilty leaving my oldest and youngest however leaving my middle child was harder.  But because I did not take care of me I ran away.  I hid in my career for the last one and a half years.  It was my escape from dealing with life at home.  I ran away from the most important years in my daughter’s life and I am ashamed of what I did to her.  I abandoned all my children this last year. I am ashamed of what I had become running and hiding from my home and what I needed to deal with.

Two to three days a week I was in DFW.  Weekends I was in DFW.  Two to three days a week I was in Waco, Temple and/or Austin.  I left home at 5 or 6 am and got home anywhere from 2 -3 am or even 2-3 days.  I wore myself out to the point that over the last 3 weeks as I began to slow down I have been battling walking pneumonia.   All because I was too selfish to give it to God and let Him guide my ways.

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9

However, I have talked to many friends and we have all done this at some point.  We have to find the balance between being a parent, a child, a spouse, and being yourself.  It is not easy.  However, I am finding peace now as I transition to a more family friendly schedule.  I am finding this peace because of one simple fact–I give it all to God now.  He guides my ways not me or my children.

God has shown me that no matter how old my children are I am still mom.  I will never stop being mom no matter how old my children grow up to be in this life.  My 24 year old still needs me as much as my 13 year old needs me.  The needs are different, but I am still parenting.   I am sharing my faith more with them.  I am enjoying conversations with each child on their lives.  I actually talk to my middle daughter now about her day and it has made a significant much needed change in her life.

This weekend I did nothing.  I am tired.  I am weak. I am this way because I did it to myself.  I overbooked my schedule. I wore myself out!  I made my job my priority instead of God and family.  Learn from my mistakes.  God is first and your family is second and everything else follows.  This is why your quiet time is so important.  I know my best days start in the word with God.   If you are too busy for God and your family, you are too busy for anything else!

I am blessed with a family who forgives me for my mistakes.  I am blessed with a mom and dad who love me and help me and my children through anything we need.  I am blessed with three beautiful children and a very loving and supportive man.  And going forward, I will make sure they know how important they are to me.

“Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”  Psalm 16:5-8

Goodnight and God Bless,

A Blessed Woman

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Christian Wife · crafting · decorating · motherhood

Decorating on a Budget with Hobby Lobby Clearance

Today was the first day I had a full weekend to myself.   With my new job, which I started this week, I have a more lax schedule.  So, I cleaned my house.  Then I took my son to sign up for baseball.  After, I dropped him off at home and I took a field trip to hobby lobby to get scrapbook paper for a project.  However, if I ever had a Happy Place, Hobby Lobby would be it.  So, 3 hours later I left the store.

While in store, I hit the clearance section.  I found a whole bunch of frames.  I spent under $20 on 7 frames that would have cost me around $100 even at 50% off.  I was excited.  These frames were not perfect, however, I thought I could paint them and create new frames that match my color schemes.

Below is the results of what I did…………

wpid-20150124_213945.jpgThis frame was made from all this:

wpid-2015-01-24-21.44.05.jpg.jpegThe blue frame was $6.80 and the black one was $2.45 and the embellishment was $3.99.  So, for approximately $14 I created something that would have cost me $30-$40 easily.

I also created this one but it is not complete yet……….

wpid-20150124_190814.jpgI still need to add the embellishments and finish this one but it was made from all this…….

wpid-2015-01-24-21.43.17.jpg.jpegThe brown frame was $2.45 and the blue frame was $1.08.  The embellishments for this one are $4.99.  So for about $9 I will have this one complete.

Tomorrow I plan to update my nightstand……….stay tuned!!!

Goodnight and God Bless,

A Blessed Woman

Christian Living · Christian Wife · motherhood · prayer

What Keeps Me Apart from God-Part 3

Christian Living · Christian Wife · motherhood · prayer

What Keeps Me Apart from God – Part 2

I was going to break this into a two part series but now it will be three.  God has put a lot on my heart tonight to share and the 4th stumbling block is a tough one………

4. Forgiveness keeps us from a closer walk with God.

And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. Mark 11:25-26

God stresses the importance of forgiveness as a subject 108 times.  I think God is trying to tell us something! I have no great insight to add to forgiveness as it has been preached on many times.  However, this is where my story, our story-mine and Lee’s, can be an example of what forgiveness does in your life.  Here goes………

If it were not for forgiveness, I would not be living God’s will for my life. The mix of Lee’s alcoholism and my immaturity caused great strife in our relationship.   When I left him in 2000, it was the hardest decision of my life because I knew this was the man God had created for me.  However, he had made so many bad decisions and done so many things to hurt me emotionally, mentally and physically in the last few months of our relationship I had to make a choice that was right for me and my children.  I said a prayer, called my dad and left.

When I left I was pregnant with bronchitis and a double ear infection.  My anger and bitterness for things that had been said and done made me say things and do things I wholeheartedly regret. Three times Lee tried to reconcile with me and three times I was too stubborn to forgive him.  I knew the drinking would not end and my immaturity of having everything handed to me from childhood through my relationship with Lee would not allow me to forgive.  Pride got in my way, pride got in our way.

I knew this man loved me like no other however I also knew he had tried several times to stop drinking and couldn’t.  So Lee left my parent’s house one afternoon and I called the police knowing he had been drinking.  I sent the one man who loved me more than anything.  The one man who truly, madly, deeply loved me and my children and I sent him to prison for 3 years with that one phone call.  That was and always will be my biggest regret in this life.

Lee struggled after I did that to him.  Eight months later our son born.  He again tried from the jail to call me and talk to me about our son.  I still would not listen.  I was too hurt from our rocky end and embarrassed at the same time.  Pride got in the way so I told him to leave me and my son alone.  I would do it by myself.  I regretted that comment the moment I made it.  Lee thought I hated him with that one comment.  He thought I wanted no part of him but in all honesty, I didn’t just want him, I needed him.  I had just had our son.

Lee and I can both relive the night he was created in detail.  It was one of the few nights Lee was sober.  It was a rare moment in our relationship in our last few months together-his soberness.  Every time I looked at that little boy I saw his father.  My girls were all me and this one child from the one man I thought I wanted nothing to do with anymore was a living reminder not only in looks but actions and deeds of his father.  He was the good parts of Lee.  A loving, extremely intelligent, kind-hearted little boy who would protect his loved ones to the death.

For 13 years, Lee and my son, MacKenzie, never knew one another.  However, God always kept Lee in front of me through our son.  He is his father’s mini me.  Same mannerisms.  Same face.  Same brain.  It is scary to think of how similar these two human beings are-twin like almost. Sometimes it annoyed me to the point of anger but one night in the hospital with a woman I wish I still knew changed my life!

I came to the Lord in 2001 at Children’s Hospital of Dallas when my daughter had a shunt malfunction.  I was at my wit’s end.  I had a newborn child, and a 5th grader at home with my 5 year old in the hospital.  I never felt so alone until this woman who was in the room next to me visited me.  She told me about Jesus and having a personal relationship with Him.  I thought she was crazy.  I was raised Catholic and in light of recent events in my life I had let God go.  I had given up on God and me doing anything together.  But after a long heart to heart conversation I came to the Lord and surrendered my life to Him.  I let go of the anger, bitterness and resentment and forgave Lee.  After all, I loved this man enough to create a handsome young man with him.  I chose him as my partner. How can I loathe the man who gave me such a precious gift?

I felt the weight of the world lifted from my shoulders.   I began attending Fellowship Church in Grapevine with Ed Young.  It was a great church.  They had a Special Needs program and a Single Parent’s prorgram and one of the greatest women’s ministries in DFW.  I became a small group leader for the Single Parent’s ministry.  I met with some great parent’s of special needs children and I met some life long friends.  It was an awesome experience to attend church there.

After five years of being a single mom, I began dating again.  There was never a man who could live up to what I wanted and there was always something missing.  They all fell short.  There was always some kind of strife.  Now I look back and realize that what I wanted was Lee.

While I was working on all that, Lee was living a rough life of alcoholism and drugs.  He let them take over his life.  He was in and out of prison three times.  His last stay in prison began in 2009.  That is when he turned his life over to God and truly left the alcohol and drugs behind.  In 2010 he led the prison ministry at every prison he was transferred to and studied to receive his Master’s of Divinity.  He is now working on his PhD in Christian Counseling.

It is hard for me to know that the man I loved and the father of my son lived this rough life.   Lee is a well rounded, educated, cultured man who drove sales for many corporations.  If there was an award, he won it.  We had a very nice extremely blessed life.  To know he  had fallen and fallen hard is not easy for me to imagine.  To know I wasn’t there to help him saddens me even more.

Even at our worst, I never hated Lee.  He was always “the one”.  However, until God broke the strongholds of alcoholism we were not going to work.  Until I grew up and became the woman God intended me to be, we were not going to work.  I will not sit here and tell you I was perfect and he was all wrong.  I made mistakes and I have owned up to them.  Lee and I have 11 years between us-that made for some difficult times all those years ago.

About three months before Lee came back into our lives in 2014, God had put him on my heart.  It was a long day of work and I was winding down.  I jumped on Facebook to check on my children’s pages and message an old friend who had messaged me when it popped up.  “People you may know” and Lee Colin’s picture was there.  My heart sank.

I have always prayed for Lee from the moment I left.  Some long prayers asking for specific things and others just a short “God be with Lee today”.  Everyday for 14 years Lee was in my prayers.  He is the father of my son; he had hurt me not my child.  I wanted them to have a father/son relationship.   My son was reaching an age where he needed his dad.  But it was also one of those things that after 14 years I had given it up to God and said “it’s in your hands Lord”.  I wanted him in my child’s life just did not know God had a different plan.

Today, after a lot of time talking and renewing our parenting relationship something else happened.  We got to know each other again and fell in love again.  However, in order for that to happen we both had to forgive one another for our transgressions.  Not just say we are sorry but truly forgive one another for the things we had said and done to each other all those years ago—and we did!

Today we are engaged to be married this summer and our family has been put back together again.  Since I am now living God’s will for me, I am happier and more blessed than I have ever been in my life.  Lee is now a pastor and finishing up his schooling to be  a Christian Counselor.  I have moved to a job that requires less time and pays more money.  My special needs daughter, Marissa,  will hopefully get into a program at Texas A&M for special needs children and my son is an A/B honor student in the top 10% of his class.  Fourteen years and a lot of forgiveness has changed our lives.

Life is awesome all because I forgave one man who had hurt me in a way I never thought could be repaired.  God can fix anything but first you must give it to God and let it go!

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Mac, Lee, and Me

What grudges are you harboring tonight?  Who has hurt you that you need to forgive?   What friends, family members, coworkers, neighbors, doctors, nurses, church members, strangers, and loved ones are you harboring anger, bitterness or resent toward?   LET IT GO!  GIVE IT TO GOD!

Me, Lee and our family  have not had an easy journey and 1700 words does not do it justice.  There is so much more in those 14 years on both sides but hopefully this quick highlight reel helps you understand how forgiveness can change your life.

Verses to Guide you:  Psalm 41:9-13; Isaiah 49:14-16; 2 Timothy 4:16-18, Romans 12:14-21; Luke 17:3-4

Goodnight and God Bless,

A Blessed Woman

Christian Living · Christian Wife · prayer

What Keeps Me Apart from God-Part 1

As I work on this new space in my home to have a closer walk with God, the question arises what keeps us from a closer relationship with God? I know this is one of those questions we all ask.  Lee shared these verses and reasons with me and our children a while back and I think it’s worth sharing with the world.  The interpretations are my own but the verses and reasons are Lee’s.  This is a very deep topic so I am piecing it together in a two part series.

1. Compromise does not exist in a relationship with God.

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Luke 6:46

You cannot turn your life to the Lord and expect to keep living the same life.  God tells you

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come – 2 Corinthians 5:17

When you turn your life to God, your life changes.  You become a new person.  You leave your old world behind and begin living the new life God has promised you.  You follow God’s laws and emerse yourself in His word. You change your life to live God’s will for you.

Just as our children are a reflection of our parenting, we are a reflection of our Heavenly Father.  What we do, what we say, and how we act are a reflection of our belief system.   This means we live by the 10 commandments and all the instructions we are given in life’s instruction manual known as the Bible.  We quit drinking in excess, begin to take care of our body as God’s temple, and find refuge in knowing that we always have God on our side in everything we do.

It is a 100% commitment to the Lord, nothing less!

2.  Rebellion keeps us apart from God

But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear. Zechariah 7:11

 And they have turned to Me the back, and not the face; though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not listened to receive instruction. Jeremiah 32:33

To rebel is to refuse to obey God’s laws.  To be closer to God you must not ignore His voice.  You have to let go of the rebellion and succumb to His will for you.  You have to quit trying to put God into your world and realize you are in God’s world.  Live by His rules, do as He says and life is peaceful.

Just as any parent child relationship, you will test the boundaries.  For those of us who are parents, we can understand the pain that is felt when our children rebel.  We know the turmoil it brings.  So why do that to your Heavenly Father?

You will find as you walk closer with God, your life actually becomes easier.  Life stops being so hard by living God’s will for your life.  Please know, we are not perfect.  There was only one perfect human and that was Jesus Christ.  You will slip and you will have moments of weakness.  Pray through those moments.  Temptation is hard but with God anything is possible.  You can and will overcome!

3.  Time and busy schedules keeps us from having a deeper relationship with God.

As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. Matthew 13:22

Surely a man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nothing they are in turmoil; man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather! Psalm 39:6

 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,  not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:23-25

We must make the time for Him daily.  God gave us life. He is the great creator.  Just as we make time for our earthly parents, we must make time for our Heavenly Father.  Every morning for as long as I can remember my mother and grandmother have gone to God first thing in the morning.  If that meant they woke up at 4 am then so be it.  God was always first no matter what!!!  This was a great example to live by growing up and now I have a man who does the same thing.  I have not mastered this yet but I am trying.

For me, I had to break it down to smaller parts.  I had to start with the goal of church every Sunday.  Done!  Then I had to add life groups, comm groups, or whatever your church refers to them as….Done!  Then joining a women’s Bible study.  Done!  Now I’m working on joining the women’s ministry and helping them out slowly but surely.

It is through my church relationships I have met some of the most amazing people I know.  They have been great mentors in my life. By giving God the time He showed me what and who I needed in my life.

God is amazing!  He knows what you need but if you don’t give Him the time, he cannot share His plan with you.

My goal is to wake up at 5 AM every morning and meet with God first thing in the morning.

Compromise, Rebellion, and Time are just three of the obstacles to a closer walk with God.  Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow to find out the last 4 of the 7 obstacles. Lee’s insight always helps me, hopefully, it helped you tonight as well.

I am blessed to have a wonderful man of God to help lead our family in our walk with God.

Goodnight and God Bless,

A Blessed Woman

Christian Living · Christian Wife · motherhood · prayer · Writing

Mom Space Updated

I have been ill with walking pneumonia all week.  However, yesterday I finally felt human enough to do some home projects.  Lee and I found a desk and a chair.  The kids put my chair together and Lee tried but putting together a desk is not his thing.  So, we returned it to WalMart and they are putting it together for us 🙂  Ask and you shall receive.  God is good!  I should have it tomorrow.  I’m excited to finally have this space as my own.

I still have to find a rug and some other knick knacks but that is the fun of this project.  Creating this space that is mine.  Creating the space that will bring me closer to God.  I could have bought a lot of things but spending time with my daughter and creating things with her before she leaves home makes this space even more special for me.

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I have updated my mantle and made it makes me feel great. I still have some projects to complete but that is 100% of the fun of this project
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This is a project my daughter and I are working on ……..it’s not complete
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Another incomplete project

Stay tuned as I continue to update on this blog.  I’m just excited to have the time (due to a new job) and the resources (due to a new job) to create this space in my home.  God has blessed me with a wonderful new job that lessens my time away from home with an increase in income. This door was opened as I turned my life back towards the Lord and I will never forsake him again.  I am blessed from my relationship with Him.

God is good all the time, All the time God is good.

Goodnight and God Bless,

A blessed woman

Christian Living · Christian Wife · motherhood · prayer · Proverbs 31 · Uncategorized · Writing

All Things Me!

“My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.”  Psalm 45:1

 

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I spent some time at Barnes and Noble today investing in me. It was great. I love journals. Leather, decorated, etc. However, I love these sketchbooks from BN because they can be easily dressed up and the pages inside are great for all kinds of artistic expressions from collages to oil pastels.

 

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The first thing I did was dress up my journal. I used embellishments from Hobby Lobby and made it mine.

Then I did something I do every time I start a new journal.  I must write down some key verses that help me define who I am.  Philippians 4:8; Jeremiah 29:11 and Proverbs 31:10-31.

Throughout the year I will put my prayers, thoughts, and create collages in this journal.  I break it down into sections-Romance, Family, Career, Home, and Garden.  I will print my own personal pictures or I will pull pics from magazines.  Whatever it is I do, it is mine.  There is no right or wrong.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.Psalm 32:8

There have been times I have decorated the whole cover from top to bottom other times I just wrote a word and today I kept it simple-a sticker and  cross sticker.  I’m not very artistic yet but as I spend more time working on this process the more in depth my journal becomes.  Also, the more I do my 30 minutes a day of writing/brain dumping the more I get in touch with my creative and spiritual side.

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This is how I start every journal-with scriptures that define ME

 

I love this time I get to spend with me.  I am finding the time to spend with me again.  At the very least, I need to spend 1-2 days a week with my journal and myself.    It’s also a time I can spend with the kids because we can work on our journals as a family.  My son is reaching an age where this isn’t cool anymore but he still enjoys the time we spend as a family.

However I work on my journal,  I just make sure it remains mine.  I stay in my lane and no one is allowed to enter my zone.  I also do not cross over into my childrens’ lanes.  I have to let them grow into who God intended them to be in this lifetime.Again, in a house full of Type A, control freaks, it can be fun seeing who gets out of their lane first.  But what is truly amazing is realizing the talent and skills my children have.  Their art work shows me how their brains work. It makes for a very fun family night.

 

It never ceases to amaze me what God reveals to me whether alone or with my family.  He is an amazing God who has restored our home to a Christ centered home.  He has brought me to a point where I experience joy and happiness on a daily basis.  I am blessed

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”  Psalm 37:4

What scriptures define you?

Goodnight and God Bless

A Blessed Woman