Friday, September 27, 2013

It's been a long time!

Lot's has happened here. We moved on the 14th! After almost 3 years of trying and waiting to get a house we finally have one. The moving process has been a lot harder than I thought it would be. I miss my home. This house doesn't feel like home yet and I can't wait until it does. It's hard to feel like you are constantly in someone elses house.

I think a big part of that is my anxiety. Back in June I finally took the plunge and went to a therapist because my anxiety had spiraled out of control and I was basically home bound. I'm currently going through the process of changing things. I've learned tools to help control my anxiety and now I'm in the process of changing my 'mistaken beliefs'. It's a long hard process but I'm already starting to see some results and it makes me extremely happy.

I started homeschooling my middle boy this year too. So now I have a 2nd grader and a preschooler that I'm schooling this year. It's been a huge learning process for me but I think it's going ok so far. Since we now live in a better school district I'm going to have to make a decision next year if we are going to keep homeschooling or put our oldest in public school. I'm very conflicted on this. I feel like God has led me to homeschool but the fear of my sons' being the weird homeschooled kids in this small town can be overwhelming.

Lot's of things to do. Lot's of things to process and I hope to get back to writing my blog regularly very soon. Just have to have this crazy ride slow down a little :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Fall on Jesus Fall on Jesus

This song is what started me on the path I have been on the last few days. 

It's beautiful and I needed it. I heard it at just the right time because things have been moving in my walk with God that I don't think I could have seen.

I was unfriended on Facebook the other day. Because this person couldn't handle the fact that I was a Christian. A couple years ago, heck a couple months ago, this would have thrown me into a tail spin of self doubt and worry and insecurity and might have really really hurt my walk with Jesus. What people think about me has bothered me my whole life. I haven't done things because I was afraid of what people would say about me.

But this time it was different. I was thrown and it did make be feel bad, but I worked though it. By the end of the day, I was actually ok with it. I knew this wasn't a person that I needed in my life, he only brought me down and I was ok with him unfriending me.

Then my best friend and I ended up actually talking last night. We have been drifting apart for years and we've danced around the issue multiple times and things got further strained when she started to move away from religion and I started running to it. I won't go into details here but we talked for almost two hours and now have come to a better understanding and I feel closer to her now than I have since she lived here in 2007.

But the best thing that has come out of these past few days is my understanding of Jesus. I have spent most of my life not knowing who He is. Then when I discovered who He is, I spent almost 5 years convinced that he couldn't love me. He could love everyone in the world, everyone who messed up, everyone who made mistakes but sought him out. But because of my past and how I was treated as a child by extended family and friends and almost everyone, I didn't believe that he could love me. I was too broken. It's heartbreaking to hear that Jesus loves everyone but feel that deep down inside that statement doesn't apply to you.

But last night as I was doing my bible study. I FELT it! Jesus loves ME! He loves me, he want's the best for me, he understands when and why I mess up. But he LOVES ME! I know it, I feel it, and it has re-energized  not only my spiritual life but my physical life as well.

So today, this hour, this very moment I want to dance for Jesus. In the next moment I might fall but I will fall on Jesus. And when I'm low and I'm crying and I feel like things can't get any worse, I'm going to cry to Jesus. Because He's there and now it's something that I know in my heart and that makes all the difference in the world to me!

PhotobucketGrowing Home

Friday, January 25, 2013

We interrupt our semi-regularly scheduled blogging...

I don't know when things will get back to normal here. This stomach sickness seems to be just getting passed around and around. Since I'm already behind with pretty much everything in my life, this blog is the easiest to put on hold for the time being. Hopefully it will only be a week or so before life gets back to normal here.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

I am not ashamed!

So this blog post might be all over the place. I have a few things that I want to talk about.

First, the other day on Facebook one of my 'friends' (we aren't really friends. We just revolve around the same social circle) posted a quote from the Koran. I thought that was weird since I knew he wasn't a Muslim so I clicked on the comments. He said that since Christians were 'spamming' his news feed about their religion he was going to post quotes about other religions until he 'felt satisfied'. I guess until he felt that he had stuck it to the Christians hard enough.

Now in the previous few days I had found a couple lovely pictures about Christianity that I had posted. Nothing over the top. It was 3 pictures and one video over a 3 day span. So I posted on his post, 'if this is about what I have posted feel free to hide me, if not carry on'. My husband got into a long discussion with the guy that lasted most of the day but that was the only thing that I said.

I heard later from my best friend that he told her to read it and said that any time a Christian posted something about their religion it was only to stick it to the non-Christians. It couldn't be that it struck the person as something that they liked. Nope. It was only to stick it to the non-Christians and shove our religion down their throat.

When I heard that my first reaction was to absolutely FLOOD my news feed with Christian posts. Then the voice of reason stepped in and said that I would only be proving him right. So I did nothing. It was hard though. This is the same guy that basically told my husband that he was making a mistake by dating and later marrying me. They used to be best friends but the final nail in the coffin was when the guy invited my husband (boyfriend at the time) someplace but told him not to bring me because I wasn't welcome.

My best friend also seemed to hate the fact that people post stuff about Jesus. She said that she just basically skims my posts because I post stuff about Jesus. That kind of hurt. I don't think I'm excessive or anything. I should be able to share my faith. MY news feed is flooded with stuff that other people care about that I really don't. I don't say anything though and sometimes I even comment on stuff I have no interest in just because my friends posted it.

Then this whole situation made me (and my husband too) realize something, I am no longer ashamed or scared about what people will say about my faith. I will no longer not post something because I am afraid of what someone else might say. I will no longer not SAY something because I'm afraid of how people react. Jesus is my savior and it's ok for me to talk about that. I'm not going to keep a huge part of my life silent just because I'm afraid someone might react negatively to the simple fact that I'm a Christian. I don't need to shout it from the rooftops but I will no longer be silent. I would rather lose people I'm associated with then have to compromise and keep silent part of myself. I want to hear 'well done good and faithful servant' when I go home. That's more important to me.

My husband later told me that the reason he kept going in the conversation for so long was because he was taking a step forward. This was his way of not backing down from his faith. He never got overly emotional and his arguments stayed very cool and collected. I was very proud of him for standing up for his faith. He's come a long way.

While this was going on, I was trying to finish a book for a book review. The book was called 'Healing is a Choice'. I got to the chapter on risk. The author was stating that in order to truly heal we all need to take risks and get out of our little safety cocoons. Not in crazy ways but some risks need to be taken. When I started to read the chapter I felt something bubbling up in me. I got more excited and even started to shake a little. I couldn't figure it out until the word homeschool came to my mind.

We have been struggling over the issue of homeschooling for years. We had decided to homeschool until we could move and get in a better school district because the one we are in right now is abysmal. Just recently, I had said to my husband that I was tired of not knowing what we are going to be doing next year. Will we still be homeschooling or will Daemon be in school? Will we finally find a house after almost 3 years of looking on and off?

When I thought of homeschooling I knew that was the risk God was pushing us to take. So without even realizing it I decided that if my husband said yes to homeschooling for the long term then I knew God was actually speaking to me. So I went and told my husband about the book and told him that I felt we were stagnant and needed to start taking risks. He asked me what sort of risk I wanted to take. I told him I felt we needed to make a decision on homeschooling once and for all.

Then I said that I wanted to homeschool long term. He looked at me and said ok. That was it. There was no in depth discussion for the hundredth time. Just a statement and an ok. Considering that my husband told me that there was no way we were going to homeschool the first time I ever brought it up, this was a major major change for him. Once the short conversation was done, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I know this is what God want's us to do.

I was so excited I told my best friend and her reaction made me realize that to some of our friends now we are going to be the 'crazy bible thumpers'. But I'm ok with that. My husband and my sons are the people that I like the most in the world so if we are all we have that's great. I've also made a few online friends that I feel I can talk to. My husband has a few friends that won't care what we do because it's our life and they will still be his friends anyway.

It's been a crazy ride the past few weeks since I started my submit year but I think I've come a long way already. I could have just ignored the feeling I was having and not said anything to my husband and we could have just gone on with the status quo. But I listened and I submitted and I already feel 100 times better from that one action. It's a great feeling :)

Growing Home

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Submit is a very scary word

That's what I have realized when I've thought how to approach my one word for this year. Why couldn't I have had an easier word like joy or hope? Why submit? I mean, I know that I can be a tad bit controlling. Ok, so I'm a control freak but do I really need to submit? It's sooooooo hard (insert whiney kid voice here).

So now that I have that off my chest, I have the beginnings of a plan started on how my year of submitting is going to look. It's not in depth or anything but I feel it's a good solid start to my year.

First up, submitting to God. I think that before I can really start dying to self and submitting to what God wants for my life I really need to have a relationship with him. I can't just expect that he will tell me what He wants in my life if I never talk to him.

I've already started to work on this. I'm trying to pray more. That's been a big struggle for me. When I sit and pray my mind tends to wander and before I know it, I'm thinking about video games or what to cook for dinner. Praying tends to be a lot of me letting my mind wander and then asking for forgiveness for letting my mind wander. It's not helpful and it's very frustrating.

So I decided that I need to buy a notebook and start writing my prayers down. I've tried to do this before but stopped because it felt like I wasn't getting enough out of it. But I've decided that until I have praying every day as a habit, I need to get a little less out of it instead of feeling frustrated every time.

I also need to study the Bible more. I am currently following a plan to read the Bible in a year and I'm doing a study on Luke that I'm getting so much out of (thanks Angell!).

I feel like I just need to keep moving this way and then when I feel God trying to move in my life I will follow him. I don't know what this is going to look like and it's still pretty scary to me to give up control and let God lead but that's what this year is all about.

Next up submitting to my husband. I also have the start of a plan in place for this. We have been in a rough spot lately with a lot of misunderstandings and arguments. So we are doing the 'Love Dare' right now. It's really been helping.

The next step is for me to start praying for my husband. Not for him to change like I have been doing. Just praying for him. That God would help him through a rough patch at work. Things like that. I want to use my prayer time to help my husband. Not bring a list of complaints about him to God.

I also plan to read 'The Surrendered Wife' again. It helped me SO much the last time I read it. I don't agree with the whole book but there is lots of really great advice. The last time I read this book and tried to implement in in my life, was the best time of our marriage I think. My husband was so relaxed and happy and he was way more willing to do the things I asked him to do. In turn, he was doing the things that I asked him to so I wanted to make him as happy as I could. For those short few months it seemed like we were in this happy cycle. I want that back.

So that's what I have so far. It's not complete and I haven't put everything in to practice yet, but like I said, I think it's a solid plan. I am looking forward to this year because even though it may be scary, I think that I could really be a different and better person at the end of the year and my marriage could be back to the place I want it to me.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Come and see a man ~My story~ Part 3

(Part 2 is here)
(Part 1 is here)
Time to FINALLY finish this and stop messing around!

The road back to being a family was not an easy one. Nor was it one that I would recommend for everyone. There were times when I thought that I couldn't go another day, hour, minute, living the life I was living. Times I wanted to crawl out of my own skin. Times I threw my hands up and said 'Lord WHY did you bring me back here!?' I couldn't stand the pain of knowing that my husband had given himself to someone else emotionally and physically. I hated him, hated her, and hated myself. I also loved my husband fiercely and told myself that it would all be worth it someday.

Those first few weeks after my middle son's birth were spent in a perpetual haze. I cleaned, cooked, took care of the kids constantly, and tried to change myself into what I thought my husband wanted and what he thought he wanted. Then one night the actual talking started. My husband looked at me and told me that he wanted to be the head of the household. I looked at him and scoffed and told him that I would love for him to be the head of the household but there was no way in hell I was going to submit to a man that acted like a teenage boy. He reeled back like I had slapped him and walked away. I sat there in silence and thought I had blown everything that we had been working toward with one careless comment.

Later I decided to try to talk to him about it. I told him that in my previous relationship I didn't have a voice and I was constantly changing myself for him. I changed so much that I didn't even know who I was. I told my husband that I think if I hadn't chosen to walk away one day I probably would have destroyed myself. I didn't want to go through that again. I didn't want to be voiceless ever again. I could give up control but I couldn't give up my voice.

Something changed inside me though. I felt drawn and at the same time repulsed by the idea of submission. I stumbled across the book, 'The Surrendered Wife' and bought it and devoured it. The idea of surrendering I could handle but I couldn't submit. Which doesn't make any sense because they basically are the same thing lol. I spent months changing because I wanted to. Our home life was fantastic! Everyone was in harmony, my husband spoiled me rotten, and he was the most relaxed that I have ever seen him.

Then I started to feel stifled. Little by little I wanted 'before' back. Before we fell apart. Before he touched someone else. Before when I could trust when he said he would never leave me. Before when things were fun. Things started to fall apart. We started fighting more. I became more controlling. Obviously before wasn't better. We fell apart right after before.

Then I got sick. I spent 6 months in 2011 with a 100 degree fever every day. I went to appointment after appointment. They couldn't figure out what was wrong. Then they said they needed to do a CAT scan of my head, neck, and pelvis. They didn't say why but I knew it was because they thought I had cancer. Thank God I didn't. It was only my chronically infected gallbladder and this horrible chapter would be over very soon.

I had gallbladder surgery on November 4th 2011 and then things started to get back to normal. We adopted a dog and were having fun with that. Then I started to feel tired and sick all the time again. I got really scared until I realized I was late. I took a test on November 29th and we realized that oops! I was pregnant.

My pregnancy was very hard on me. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. I tried my best to prepare myself for when my husband left me pregnant and alone again. But day after day went by and I realized he was staying. He stayed when I was needy, overbearing, emotional, and sometimes downright crazy. He stayed. We started looking for houses to buy. We planned more for the future and he STAYED. We welcomed Isaac into our family in July 2012 and he stayed every day. He bought me food, and annoyed me, and was there when I was induced. Was there laughing and smiling and joking that I was superwoman when with only one push Isaac came into the world. He stayed. And he's stayed every day since.

Isaac's pregnancy and birth were a balm to my soul I didn't really understand how I needed. Things have been crazy but we have gotten though it together. We fight and make up and drive each other crazy but he's the love of my life and I'm his. We don't have it all together but we try to make sure we never walk that road again. We try to do the Love Dare every year starting New Years Day. We try to pray together and talk.

I wouldn't have chosen this path for myself, but I'm to the point where I'm glad that I've walked it. I've learned so much about my self and my husband and us together that I don't think I would have learned any other way. It was hard, and devastating, and I hated every second of it. But the end result has been worth it.

Monday, January 7, 2013

I don't do anything right!

And somehow I'm ok with that.

I don't wear only skirts. I haven't gotten rid of my TV  I don't cover my hair. I read vampire novels (not Twilight lol!). I read Harry Potter. I even wear my husband's clothes when I want to feel extra comfy or I am sick and miss him because he is at work. I don't bake my own bread. We have fast food way to often. I watch tons of tv. Everything from Law and Order SVU to Dirty Jobs. My crusade isn't abortion (not that there is anything wrong with that!) it's children. Living, breathing, thinking, feeling children. I give money to Save the Children. I want to sponsor dozens. If my state would let me, I would foster and adopt and LOVE dozens and dozens of children. They are my passion and have my heart.

I don't follow the 'norm' from the other blogs I follow. I'm messy and loud and my house is still trashed from Christmas. I'm not demure and ultra feminine. I love my jeans and sweatshirts. I'm a nag (I've covered this in other posts). I will never measure up to the women whose blogs I read. They have it together in a way I can only struggle with.

But, I have my strengths too. I am a good writer. I am a super fast reader (except the Bible, Shakespeare, and Edgar Allen Poe. I struggle mightily with these lol). I am a super crafty person. I am loyal and loving and a good wife and mother. I am the friend you call at 2 am when you have crashed your car and need a ride home from the hospital because I will be there. I don't cook well but I can make a mean dessert (just don't ask me to decorate it!). I want to learn and learn and learn. I watch documentaries on Netflix constantly, I read random articles on Wikipedia, and I read books about almost any subject. Music moves me in so many ways. I have music playing constantly every day. Everything from 40's to 90's alternative to today's pop music. I haven't put myself in a musical box in a very long time. My playlists will have Billie Holiday and One Direction on the same list lol.

I may not have it all together like the Proverbs woman. I may not be modest or feminine enough. But I've come to the realization that I have to stop comparing myself to other women, and other Christians. God has a plan for me. Just for me. I don't need to be a carbon copy of anyone else. I don't know what that plan is but it will come.

If watching or reading TV shows that other Christians don't read or watch, makes me less in their eyes, it's their problem. Not mine. God will work with me. God will prune away the branches of my life that he doesn't  want. It's not up to anyone else to tell me what I should or shouldn't be doing. I can gain thoughts and ideas and wisdom from other Christians, people, and blogs but I don't have to be them. I shouldn't be them.

This year is going to be about submitting to Christ and my husband and finding myself as a Christian.

I'm just Jennifer and somehow I'm really ok with that!

Growing Home