Tuesday, April 02, 2013

a confession + regaining perspective

confession: yesterday was really rough around here- I think we were all coming down from the sugar highs and activity of the weekend. Homeschooling was hard- one had lots of extra work to do, the house was a mess, and attitudes were bad all around {including mine}. It was one of those days where you only see the bad things, you know what I mean? And then after lunch it was all downhill. :(

Forget that I have an awesome blessing of house- I'd much rather focus on how many projects still need to be finished before the baby comes or how many things I have to pick up over and over again.

Ug-ly. 

I'm praying for God to help me because I so desperately need it today- my eyes have been focused on what I don't have instead of who and what I do. 

So today, I want to share what I'm thankful for right now. :D

1. This man.

rob holding ava this weekend
When I was a teenager I used to dream of a man who loved me and I pictured him holding our babies and being strong and sweet to them. I was given the most amazing man on the planet {and I even found him when I was a teenager! ;)}. 

I don't deserve him, even a little bit. He never complains, and last night he worked through dinner until 9 so that he could finish painting our fence, then after hours of painting, he went to the gas station to fill up my Tahoe so I could use it today. 


He reads to the kids, washes and combs hair, and does the dishes for me all the time. But more than all of that- when he looks in my eyes, I see such love. He loves me with everything- and he loves me more than he loves himself, which he proves ALL the time. I have no idea why God gave me this man. He is amazing.

2. These munchkins.
right before our ultrasound last week :)
They might have driven me crazy yesterday, but I do love them so much. It's so easy for me to get lost in the small stuff- how badly they're behaving or how much work they make for me, but I know I'm not seeing the big picture. They are only here for a season- and neither I nor they are guaranteed this time together. A crazy, unexpected death of a local mom my own age with 4 kids last week reminded me of that.

I want to say it wasn't fair for her to die when she has only lived 31 years and has little kids who need her, but I think the truth is that those 31 years of her life were a gift from God. I don't deserve to have 30 years of life- or 9.5 years of having these children, but God has given them to me. And I shouldn't take them for granted like I so easily do.

Every moment- even the hard ones- are a mercy from the Lord Himself to be given a chance to see His handiwork and experience His glory. Nothing in this place is guaranteed.

3. Getting to see Jesus in little things.

The kids did lego scenes of the cross and resurrection this weekend. This was Isabella's {5}:


I am so amazed at how differently each of my children think. I gave them ideas of what to make, but they all created their own versions of it. I love her pink lamb and yellow donkey and the guards by the crosses and tomb. :)

Noah {7} is our funny kid- he is such a ham and makes us all laugh. 


He made his lamb, and when we talked about the lamb being the perfect sacrifice, he said "wait, mommy" ran into the other room, then came back, turned the lamb on it's side and added red legos {blood} to the top and bottom. Oh, it made me laugh. Yes, very good, Noah, very good. The blood was poured out! :)


Elijah {9} is our serious guy- and just like his dad. He notices the details. All of his crosses matched, of course. :) He opens my car door- every single day, and he wants to do it! He gets upset if someone else does it before he gets there.


If you tell him to do something, he is diligent to keep working until you say it's okay to stop, when the other {and most} kids will get distracted in 5 minutes. He loves deeply, and wears his heart on his sleeve. He takes care of things just like his dad- like charging batteries, putting his shoes up in his drawer {every single day}, and making sure everyone has what they need.
He's going to make the most excellent husband someday. I just know it. :)

Ava {3} keeps us on our toes. She is my little shadow all day long- especially when the kids go to school mid-week. I love how cuddly she is- sometimes with the business of taking care of the older kids, I forget just how small she really is. She still loves to sit in my lap, and I love that. :) She's quite the actress- she can play the role of baby, puppy, baby horse and more...and she is very good at it! :D

We even foam rolled together last week:


We have lots of fun together. :D

And this little munchkin hasn't made his appearance yet of course, but he's pretty good at kicking his siblings and dad:

I have been so blessed to have a healthy, easy pregnancy. I can pretty much go about life as normal, just a little more tired/hormonal. Sometimes I forget what a blessing that is in itself.

I'm also reminded of his presence on a daily basis now. :) Besides the kicks and the tiny bowling ball feeling in my belly, thanks to his growing little body, I'm now sporting the latest accessories: stains on my shirts that I have no idea where they came from...  :D It's cute, right? LOL! 


{How do stains get under your belly, anyway?? :P If you see me in public, please ignore the food or random stain on my shirt. I never saw it and will be blissfully ignorant until later that night. ;)}. Pregnancy is such a weird and cool thing. I still can't believe I can grow a child in my body! :)

4. Getting to make food and treats for my family.
Though I tend to think it's a chore most of the time, I really am blessed to have enough food to cook, a place to cook it in, electricity for a stove, a family to enjoy it with, and running water to wash the dishes with. I'm incredibly spoiled, and I don't even enjoy what I've been given because I'm too busy focusing on the negatives.

lentil chicken pot pie that most of the children ate on Saturday! whoop!
 We get to enjoy special desserts that make life even more fun...
triple berry dump cake + vanilla ice cream on friday night

strawberries and angel food cake with vanilla icing on Sunday
Really and truly, I love making treats for my little ones- they get so excited when we have dessert. It is honestly one of my favorite mom things I get to do. :D They are always so thankful for them.

5. A yard {and house} to care for.
We spent a few hours outside on Saturday enjoying the lovely weather and doing yard work.


I tend to get overwhelmed by just how much yard work there is to do. We have a big yard that needs a major redo, just like our house. I know how far away it is from where it "should" be, and I let it get to me sometimes. But I forget, again, that I have massive trees and azaleas and gardenias, and roses, and dogwoods... things someone planted for me to enjoy 50-115 years ago! I get to see the beauty in it's full maturity that they hoped for when they planted tiny bushes and trees.

If I had a new house, I would probably never have a massive magnolia tree right in my front yard, or azalea bushes that are taller than me. And they are so beautiful!


I wish I could say I always set my eyes on Jesus, and what He has done in and for me, but so many times even though I know the truth, I lose sight of Him and start to dwell on my situation- and the negative parts of it to boot.

But God is so merciful to me, and when I cry out for his help {like this morning}, He gently nudges me to see Him- and what He has given me because of His grace. I want to stay there. I want to be thankful and content for what I do have- not upset because of what I don't.

If you're feeling like I did/do- overwhelmed and/or dissatisfied, maybe it's because we're focusing on the small rather than the big? The now rather than the eternity?

Oh, if you are feeling overwhelmed, leave a comment or email me or facebook me, and we can pray for each other! I know that the Holy Spirit can overcome our weakness- because the work was done on the cross. I don't have to rely on myself to get it together- He gives me the strength and changes my focus when I ask Him to. It's incredible, and such a testament to the love of this God we serve. He redeems the broken, and the sinner, and makes us new again. And thankful too.

Thank you, sweet Father, for all the gifts you have given us. Please forgive my ungratefulness and help me to walk in the light with my eyes on you.


Have you felt God turn your discouragement into thanksgiving when you cried out for help?

What do you notice about yourself when you're feeling overwhelmed?
I know I'm neglecting to see the good, and it's usually when I'm extra tired or have a lot on my plate.



Psalm 118:28 
You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you.

Psalm 75:1 
We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your Name is near; men tell of your wonderful deeds.

1 Chronicles 16:8 
Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.

52 comments:

Emily said...

Wow! It was one of those days for me...every one in my house with the stomach flu - except for me - including my hubby!! I also felt like I need some perspective and to refocus today on the things that I love about motherhood even in the midst of the trials. I shared this on my blog today :)

http://teachable-mom-ents.blogspot.com/2013/04/top-10-moments-of-motherhood-teachable.html

Susan said...

Oh my goodness Mandy, I have been feeling the same way. I guess I am one of those people who like all my ducks in a row, at least I've been told that, and it is so hard for me when they are not. I have a chronic illness and have not been feeling well, even for Easter, and I guess that has put me in a bad mood, but still that is no excuse. I just want to be happy and appreciate the life God has given me, even if I don't feel well enough to spring clean! Gotta get more :)'s around here! :)

Brandy said...

Thanks for the great reminder, Mandy. So true! Been there myself....a lot. And you're right. He does change our focus when we ask Him to.

Kate Jacobs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kate Jacobs said...

Wonderful post! We all need encouragement in regaining perspective from time to time, if not daily. Thank you! Hope you can enjoy the week with a peaceful heart and mind. God bless!

thechattymommy said...

Love this post. We are about to have #5 and it seems a little overwhelming at times, but I just can't believe how big of a blessing it is at the same time!
Do you homeschool or do you send your kids to a school that allows you to homeschool them some of the week and attend school the other part?
Just wondering!

Bethany Brubaker said...

"Mama said there'll be days like this, There'll be days like this Mama said!"

We've all been there, Momma! Refocusing and meditating on the blessings God has given us is such a great idea to help banish the bad thoughts! When we stop to think about it, we really are so blessed. Thanks for the encouragement to seek joy.

Bethany
www.happyhomemaker.me

Kim said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. As a mom of 4 battling RA there are days that can be extremely discouraging and I seem to have had a rash of them lately. Perspective is everything! Spending more time counting our blessings will make the negatives seem so insignificant. Thanks for the reminder!

amanda polston said...

I've been having a rough time ever since I moved to Texas a few months ago. Thank you for this post, it helps.
Amandapolston01@yahoo.com

Brandi (Gamma to 9) said...

What a sweet sweet post thank you so much your post was a true blessing for me and spoke loudly to me!

Kristen Lee Smith said...

My husband and I are relatively newly-wed and don't have any children yet (just a puppy!). From the time of our engagement, it seems like there has been one catastrophe after another. We have been praying for some stability and calmness. I get so overwhelmed, wondering if our lives will always feel so crazy, if our professional lives will every stabilize, if our church will grow..etc, etc. In the meantime, He has been so faithful to meet and exceed our every need. We haven't lost our home, we always have food to eat and clothes on our back. We've been working hard on remembering that the Lord is on our side and that He is going before us. Thanks so much, Mandy, for your heartfelt words on staying grounded and keeping our focus where it should be: on our God.

Angel said...

This past week has been overwhelming and for some reason no matter how hard I try to trust in the Lord, I feel like I'm failing...and then all I do is cry. You inspire me to keep believing, to keep pushing forward, even when all I want to do is break down in tears {yet again} and wallow for a few minutes. You and your family are always in my prayers.

Maria Maria said...

This was awesome, thank you.

Joya Towne said...

Thanks for this. Perfect timing as usual:0) I"m praying for you! It's pretty easy in this crazy busy world to lose perspective. We all have those days for sure. I've been battling with that the past couple of days. I just lost my focus for a bit but it's comforting to know that it happens to everyone.

Denise DiBelardino said...

Looking back as our oldest is 18 and leaving in August for college, I can say with joy: every day of the past 11 years of home schooling has been worth it! Our other 4 kids KNOW their older brother, he is their champion, their activities coach, and their counselor.

The outdated house CAN wait, the yard projects we do together--and sadly it shows!, BUT I adore my 5 kids! Even on the worst of days, they see me as an imperfect person in need of the Grace of Jesus, asking for their forgiveness!

Verna said...

Yesterday was a TERRIBLE day here too! Morning sickness and just plain ornery all around. Not a good day at all!

Simply Alexandra said...

Such a good reminder. I feel that I am getting overwhelmed a lot recently as well. We are in the season of graduating from college and moving. Finding jobs etc. I am so ready to have a home and to start a family some days that I become anxious. But I know that God has a plan for us and that when I pray specifically about it I always feel better and know that the things that come our way are meant to come our way. I really try to pray for contentedness for myself. Because, I am sure that there are a lot of experiences that we are still meant to have before we get some of these things we've been wanting. Your list really helped me to remember that we've got it so good. I think I need to start up my gratitude journal again to keep myself reminded of those things. Thanks for this post. - Alexandra www.simplyalexandramyfavoritethings.blogspot.com

Rachel said...

Thanks. I needed that. Good to know we ALL have days when we loose sight of God's blessings and goodness!

Amy said...

Perfect timing. I had just been on my knees praying for help in a particular situation, feeling very negative only seeing where I want my family to be and not where we are. Then I saw your pin on Pinterest and felt drawn to read it. I'm so thankful I did. Please pray with me, I can't stop the tears flowing. God bless you!

Jessica said...

Thank you. Been feeling kind of weary the last few weeks as I've spent the past year doing grad school along with my full-time job. The end isn't that far away, but it sure seems like it sometimes. Praying to run with renewed patience and endurance...

Mandy said...

Oh, wow! I loved your article! I'm so sorry everyone was sick! Praying for you tonight!! :D

Mandy said...

Oh I hope you get to feeling a little better! I can completely understand the ducks in a row thing- right now I want to do all these things and have no extra energy to give them. Praying for you tonight!!

Mandy said...

Amen, sister!! :D thank you for encouraging me!

Mandy said...

that's a great way to put it! It really does!! I hope your days go better very soon- you're on my prayer list tonight! much love! :D

Mandy said...

I'm with you girlie!! You're doing a fantastic job if you're juggling all that! wow! Praying for renewed strength for you tonight! love!

Mandy said...

oh!! I hope things go better for you, and that this time is a season that will change soon for you! Praying with you, girlie!

Mandy said...

:D thank you so much girlie! I KNOW that feeling!! I just want to give up, and He never does give up on us! Praying tonight for you to have strength for this week! Love!

Mandy said...

So excited for your #5- let me know how it goes!! :D We hs 2 days per week, and the kids go to a small Christian school 3 days. It has worked really well for us!!

Mandy said...

Oh thank you for your encouragement today! I need to remind myself of that song some days! LOL! We are so blessed, indeed!!! have a great night, friend!!

Mandy said...

oh, I'm so sorry you've been heavy on the trials! It is SO good to hear your testimony of his faithfulness even when it's rough! I am so so glad you guys are looking to the one who holds it all. YAY!!! thank you for your sweet words!!

Mandy said...

Ditto, friend! I'm so glad to know I'm not alone!! :D Life does get hard sometimes, even when we have it easy, doesn't it? Thank you for always encouraging me! You are such a BLESSING! :D I'm praying for you tonight!

Mandy said...

I think Satan was really mad about Sunday or something! He was on the prowl for sure, wasn't he?? So thankful God didn't let him get to Tuesday!! :D

Mandy said...

Girlie- you are so looking to the right place for contentment! YAY! He is so good! It's so awesome to hear how God is working in your life! Thank you for your sweet words, and praying for you tonight!

Mandy said...

Oh I'm praying with you sweet girl!! He is so good- even when we don't feel good about anything! You aren't alone- we are in this together, and God goes before us and beside us! He won't fail us! :D much love to you!!!

Mandy said...

So, so true!! And isn't so cool how {thankfully} the day after is so much sweeter! :D

Mandy said...

Amen,sister! such good words of encouragement! thank you so much!

Mandy said...

Oh thank you, Kate!! :)

Mandy said...

aww, thank you for blessing me today, Brandi!! It really means so much to me to hear that!

Mandy said...

:D I hope you have a lovely night!

Krystal Strahm said...

Thank you so much for the reminder. I forget as well, how blessed I truly am and how much God has given me. You are doing wonderfully and its okay to have bad days as long as you remember to reflect on what you have, but its can be difficult to do. Everyone has a bad day, remember tomorrow is a new day. I have had many days like above. We have 3 children and recently found we are expecting our 4th after we just experienced an ectopic pregnancy just months ago. And I cried to God why, I was so quick to forget all that he has already given me. We have been praying for a healthy pregnancy and reminders of all the blessings. God has put me in Charge of of these little children who will soon leave. And I try to remember that each day. Thank you again for your words. I pray for your new addition and your family.

Vanessa said...

Thank you for this. I have also lost my perspective.

My attitude has been complete junk. I can feel myself pushing away from God- because I'm afraid/ashamed of the conviction I know I'll face. I've been impatient with my husband and just so lazy around the house. And prideful. Oh so prideful.

Thanks again for sharing your heart =)

Donna said...

Mandy,
I am so thankful to find your blog! It was such a blessing to read your story and see the love you have for your family and for God. I appreciate your honesty and your desire to share your thoughts with the world. I pray that God will continue to bless you and your family with health and joy.

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,
Donna
www.fullmeasureofjoy.com

Kathy C. said...

Mandy,

I only recently stumbled on your blog. I want to tell you that I enjoyed reading every heartfelt word written here. It was all so beautifully said. Your heart open and honest, raw and real. Thank you for sharing your heart, I'm going to share this on my FB page in hopes that someone who needs this will take the time. :)

Blessings!
Kathy C.

Jennifer said...

Mandy,

Wow, I feel like God was talking to me as I read your blog this evening. I actually read this after a family member had posted it on her FB page and said it was so sweet! I know it was a God thing that I even clicked it to read it!
I had one of "those" days when everything with my oldest son (8) seemed to go downhill today. I have twin 3yr old boys too, so added all into the mix, the afternoon and evening were not pretty and my parenting skills flew out the window with my patience. :( Felt like a total failure today. BUt after reading your blog this evening I realized that I need to focus on the wonderful blessings that the Lord has so graciously given to me and focus my energy and the positive aspects of life. The negative things are only temporary and God has a purpose for everything that happens in this life.
Anyway, thank you for sharing your honesty and heart and know that it made a difference in my life tonight!
Blessings,
Jennifer

Courtney said...

I love your writing and praise God for your words that bring glory to Him and encourage and uplift. Keep 'em comin' girl!

M said...

This came along just as I needed it...there have been HUGE changes in my world over the last several months and I'm missing the things that used to comfort me, when deep down I know that God is the only comfort I need. He will make everything right & see me thru these storms...some of which, I've created in my own mind because I forget to look at what I have, and focusing on what I don't have anymore. What I do have now, is SO much more than all the material things I used to have. Thanks for the reminder :)

Katie Jones said...

Hi there Mandy! I love you blog, your honesty and your true love of your Savior, your husband and children. I have 4 children,work full time and it's always a crazy mess but I love it. My question for you is on fitness. I need to lose about 40 lbs and have very limited "Mommy time" what do you think would be the best way? It's all midsection, tummy, love handles, thighs and of course would love to tone my legs and arms but my tummy is the yuckiest you know? Just wondered if you might be able to give me some tips!! Thanks so much for sharing your life with us!!! Katie Jones
jnkjones@hotmail.com

Sarah said...

I've been having "one of those days" the last week or so. My daughter is 19 months old and already seems to be hitting the "terrible two's". I think overall I'm just trying to do too much while being a stay at home mom. I feel like since I'm home I should take care of everything in the house constantly. But that task can be so overwhelming. Sometimes I've even starting thinking how am I going to handle having another one (I'm 20 weeks today). I know that children are a blessing from God, but sometimes it doesn't seem that way because of how much work they entail. I keep telling myself to keep my eyes on Jesus and not on these little things. Like you mentioned in your blog, I'm trying to not take things for granted.

I'm amazed that you are a mom with 4 (almost 5) kids and doing home school. From what I read it sounds like you do a lot and that is great! I hope I can handle my load. We are hoping to home school once our children are ready. I hope I can handle that too!

Keeping you in my prayers!

Sarah

Rebekah Harris said...

Thanks for sharing!! I had a very similar day yesterday. As a homeschool mom of four and one on the way also, life can get so busy and when everything and everyone doesn't cooperate like I want I give into my flesh and let it take over. I hate it! Like you I have SO to thank God for.thankfulness really is the key to being content!!

Angela ~ Call Her Blessed said...

I loved this blog post so much. I've been redecorating the house lately ...cleaning out closets & the garage ...purging, etc. In the enormity of the job, I've gotten grumpy. So much stuff, so much work. Thank you for reminding me that the opposite would be no house to redecorate, no clothes to clean out of the closet, no 'memories' to store in totes in the garage, no items to donate to Goodwill. I've been abundantly blessed.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for a great reminder of the many blessing God has given us. I was reminded of that this week as well. We had a similiar day to you and I ended it in tears because of the way I had responded to my children. What makes it worse is knowing that we have another child in heaven that I miss every day. (We lost the baby at 14weeks pregnant on New Years Eve) I just kept thinking that I have two blessing here with me and yet I chose to be angry. Our hearts are so sinful, but praise God His grace is sufficient and my sins are covered. His mercies are new every morning!

Eva Maria Trans said...

Hi!
Thanx for your blog. I do the same thing, when everydaylife is tough on me. But I am thinking a lot about keeping the balance these days - and also allowing myself to accept that life just is tough and hard sometimes - without doing a lot of braincontrol about it.
Love and blessings Eva
Who is Danish and find it hard to comprehend that anyone would want to homeschool :)

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