Friday, February 3, 2017

Learning To Let Go!











I heard him wake before all the rest of us.

Having a mother heart that knows her son,
I knew that this was his way of dealing with the
"raw nerves" of a first day at a new school...

A new high school that is.




School work is definitely NOT his passion.
His infactuation has always been with music instead.

In his former school, our son was finding
it increasingly difficult to keep up academically.
That particular learning style was not his forte.

Eventually, after much prayer & discussion
of the pros/cons, we conceded to his new school choice.

He is full of anticipation, and hopeful that
he will finally be able to catch up.

I am learning more & more to be okay with this 
huge deviation from my original "plan" for his life.

And joining in his excitement that positive
changes will come in this new season.

________________________________


The phone call came late one evening, and 
startled this often less-than-calm Mama's heart...

He did what at the trampoline park??!

Over to the Emergency Dept. we raced.

The wait was long, but
the nurses were kind.

It was broken!

Majorly..not a clean break either..
Surgery was completed a few days later.

Screws, plates, and who knows what else has been placed
inside his once strong & VERY active ankle...




To be honest, we've been grieving...

The loss of activity.

The loss of many dreams (he wanted to be in the military).

The stress of having to find new ways to 
keep this young & busy lad productive
while keeping his leg up...so very challenging!

But NEW & bigger dreams have been brewing in this 
young man's heart, and this Mama is learning
to dream alongside him.

_________________________


She ran inside from a shopping venture with a
family friend.

New clothes and accessories in hand.
She excitedly tried them all on & danced around
the living room...

She most closely resembled a runway model.
Seriously.

My heart leapt up into my throat...

When did my little one develop into a blossoming beautiful preteen?!




The other eve, hubby & I had a heart to heart.

He mentioned his "shock" at how grown up she's been
looking these days...

The kind of grown up that makes you want
to purchase a huge roll of bubble wrap.

It's hard when your "baby" girl starts to come of age...

________________________


I've come to the realization that
ALL of our children are fast growing up.

It's even harder for me to believe that we now have seven
children that span in age from 16 years-old all the way down to newborn...











________________________

Each one of them came into the world as wee
tiny babes that I held tenderly in my arms.

I, filled with high hopes, and much ambition
to be the very very best mommy EVER, 
stared into their precious eyes filled
with grand illusions of:

-perfect parenting whimsical moments

-Mary Poppins type memories to be made 

-beautiful smiles of gratitude never leaving their faces

-lovely hand-in-hand strolls down Gingerbread lane
(complete with limitless minding their p's & q's)

___________


I've come to a much more practical realism
in my parenting expectations. 

Now, I'm filled with faith that God 
will give me the wisdom I need.

 As well, I've surrounded myself with a
 healthy community of "encouragers"
linked arm-in-arm around me, as 
we walk this "parenting" adventure out.

I am seeking
to daily fulfill the difficult goal
 of "letting go" of my
children...

Letting go of them to the future.

To their future.

______________________________


It isn't easy, folks.
It isn't even always pretty.

This tug of war between my fears
and my faith.

On many days, I'm a "hot-mess" Mama, who's exasperated,
needs therapy, her fav joggers, and
a piece of chocolate for good measure ;)

Seriously, who's kidding?
I'll take the whole entire bar!

On other days (better ones!), I'm reminded
that HE holds the future, and I don't need to worry,
but instead I can pray.

I can have hope.

I can invest.

And I can know...

That I'm not perfect, and neither are ANY of my
children, but we don't need to be..

We can take this journey one small (teeny tiny) step at a
time, looking forward to a bright future, rooted in Him.

_______________________________


A Prayer For Your Child


I continue to pray for my child,
that You Lord will give them complete
knowledge of Your perfect will 
for their lives.

In every area Lord, please direct them.
Give us wisdom as we make decisions
pertaining to their future (James 1:5).

Please give them Your understanding
& allow Your spiritual wisdom to guide them
in all things Lord.

Let their lives honour & please You, Lord
in everything they do.

Let them continue to know You better,
and produce good fruit.

As they grow up in You, I know
they will stumble Lord.

Help them to walk in repentance,
and to ask You forgiveness whenever
they need to.

And to forgive those who hurt them, Lord.
And to forgive themselves Lord, when needed.

Let them have Your endurance,
and strength to persevere,
especially in the difficult seasons of life.

May they have Your patience in all seasons,
as well as Your joy in good times & bad.

Let them have thankful hearts.

Let them accept Your Son's sacrifice for them
as a free gift Lord, and walk in that inheritance
as a child of God.

Let them have an ever deepening 
relationship with You Lord.

Let them know their future is in Your hands.
 It's eternal. Let them live with an 
eternal focus.

Let them live in pure freedom, self-control
and delivered from all forms of darkness.

Lead us & guide us Lord as
we parent these precious children
that You have blessed us with.

______________


Suggestions of areas to cover in prayer:
(particularly as they "grow up")

-schooling

-Christ-like friendships

-job opportunities

-the right mentors

-their youth group/children's ministry

-family life

-sibling relationships

-hedge of protection over them

-healing & health

-peace in their minds

-inner healing (emotional health)

-letting go of the past

-forgiving those who have hurt them

-freedom from destructive habits

-financial provision

-learning to serve

-hard work ethic

-future spouse

-future ministry(ies)

-knowing they are loved & valuable

__________________


I also find it particularly valuable to
pray for myself as well.

As a mother of seven, my plate is full
all. the. time.

Each & every single day.

The days I humble myself and
ask for His grace to parent, are the 
days I can (often) tangibly 
sense His grace & presence throughout
the day.

His grace is there even when I don't pray
or deserve it...but there is a difference
when I come to Him and ask.













Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The ULTIMATE List of Christmas Printables!




Welcome to my blog today.
I hope you enjoy your time here.

This post may contain affiliate links. 
Which means that if you purchase from an affiliate link, 
we receive a very small commission. This is at NO cost to you.

Thank you for supporting our family :)












Looking for some fun activities for your children
to do over the holidays??

Then look no further. 

Today, I'm sharing a list of top notch printables
for you to peruse.

The only problem will be in limiting which ones you want
to have!





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____________________________











Sunday, December 11, 2016

5 Tips For SAVING MONEY At Christmas Time!




Welcome to my blog today.
I hope you enjoy your time here.

This post may contain affiliate links. 
Which means that if you purchase from an affiliate link, 
we receive a very small commission. This is at NO cost to you.

Thank you for supporting our family :)











Christmas time is when our budgets are already

under so much pressure!

Usually, year end, there are extra bills, and

with all the shopping for kids, parents, in-laws,

teachers, spouse, friends, bosses, work parties, you name it...

It can really add up!




__________________








5 Tips To Save Money
At Christmas Time


1) Simplify Things.

The biggest money saver is to
stop trying to buy it all and do it all...you can't anyway!

As a family of nine now, I find that Christmas time
is super busy no matter what, however, there are ways
we can streamline our lives.

Here are two examples:

Keep your shopping list simple & limit who you buy for.
Focus on relationship building get-togethers over gift-giving.

Why complicate the holidays with uber long gift lists & trying
to buy for everyone you know??

Have people over. Go to the parties.
Host the dinner(s).

BUT, at every occasion, try to keep it as simple as possible.

I.e. potluck style OR appetizers instead of a huge elaborate feast!



2) Plan Ahead of Time.

Last minute shopping typically puts you under the gun,
and makes the entire experience altogether stressful.

& MORE stress = more likely to spend more!

I've done it the stressed out way, and let me tell you,
planning ANY shopping excursion out beforehand
can save your dollars and sanity.

Try mapping out your total purchases needed (via a list) & then
plan where you'll peruse.

I try to shop for my major purchases online while still searching out the bargains.

I also like to have things like candy boxes, chocolates, teas,
spices, etc. on hand for teachers, last minute hostess gifts,
or a gift prize game (love those at our ladies' small group party!!)

Sites like Groupon, WagJag, and swap groups
can also be unconventional places to scour...

Just do it ahead of the game.





3) Shop Online.

This doesn't always work out, but by quickly
comparison shopping at a few major sites, you
can indeed snag some good deals.

For me, it saves us the time & gas of having
to lug our kids out OR get a sitter.

A few weeks ago I heard about a major
toy warehouse event being held in our area.

Some major deals were going on!

However, I simply searched out their website, found
what I was looking for, and boom-done.

I had to pay shipping, yes, but the time it took me to
buy the gifts (and for SO cheap!), it was worth it
for this busy mom.

Always remember that time is really like money....
you only have a limited amount of it, and it can
usually be used on better things than spending oodles of it
shopping for the holidays.


4) Consider Combining Gifts

If you're buying for a family with children, consider
something that the whole family can use (and save yourself
some money in the process!)

What about a fun movie & popcorn snack pack?
What about a pass to the local recreation center or children's museum?
What about a gift card to put towards something the family is saving for?

Consider combining couples (depending on their relationship of course),
or groups of people that could mutually benefit
(i.e. like covering the coffee run one morn for your co-workers)


5) Check Out Less Popular Shopping Venues

Thrift shops often (surprisingly!) have new items stocking their shelves
for much less.

Holiday "bazaars" (depending on vendors/locations) are known for their
fantastic bargains.

Liquidation shops have been my FAV go-to for many a year when I could
get out more easily. You'd be surprised what you find there!

Swap or online purchasing groups.

Sometimes simply stating what you're looking for on Facebook
can solicit PMs with people willing
to part with new stuff they never ended up using.

PLUS, many times people will mention affordable shops off the
beaten path...






____________________________



Question on the blog: 
what is your number one
money saving time at Christmas?


______________________




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