Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thankfulness Challenge in one fell swoop...

All my peeps on Facebook are doing the Thankfulness Challenge. One thing a day they are thankful for till the end of the month. Last year I did it no problem. When I saw it start again on the 1st I thought OK, I'm going to do this but then the 2nd, the 3rd & the 4th happened and now here we are and its the 27th. 
To combat the feeling of being behind and because I am truly so thankful I decided a blog post would catch me up and finish it out.
1. Thankful for the gift of Salvation.
2. For the gift of learning and growing in God and becoming better and more like Him every year. 
3. For extended family. Even though we rarely see each other, its nice knowing they are there. 
4. My husband. Truly a gift to me from God. A rare gem. B has taught me so much in our 18 years together and I'm hoping God will grant us another 40 or more. 
5. Each one of my boys. They are all different and they have each taught me more than they know. I am so thankful they allow me to make mistakes and still love me. 
6. My daughter. Yesterday marked one year since we were officially matched. As most of you know we were in love with her and praying for her long before that date. I am so thankful God chose her for our family. 
7. The Word. I am thankful for truth. For absolute truth and I pray I never deviate from God's word and all He teaches us in it. 
8. Stuff. Car, house, clothes, food, etc. I am thankful for what I have and am learning to be content in just that!
9. Friends. Having lived in so many places throughout my life I am thankful for the friendships that still exist no matter the miles or time. That is a true gift. 
10. My church/Pastor. I don't take for granted the freedom I have in being able to attend without fear of persecution. My Pastor preaches truth. He stands for truth and he stands for all things righteous. He does not water down scripture and for that I am truly thankful.
11. Health. There are so many struggling with this right now. I cherish mine. 
12. Memories. I miss my mom and am thankful for photos and memories that help me keep her memory alive especially during tough times. 
13. Jobs. My hubby has a good job which allows me to do my job at home. Which leads me to...
14. Staying home & homeschooling. I knew I wanted to be a SAHM but never imagined I would homeschool. I am truly thankful for the chance to do it and have grown to love it more and more every year. 
15. Bless others. I am thankful for the chance to bless others. Whether it be my time, money or words of encouragement I am thankful for the opportunities God gives me. 
16. Adoption. I pray we get to do it again.
17. Social Media. In the blogging/adoption world I have made friends with women, some of whom I may never ever meet but at least one of those interactions has turned into an amazing friendship (cheri). So thankful for that!
18. Down time. We all need it and there are days I choose to embrace it without guilt. 
19. The holidays, especially Christmas. I just love this time of year and am choosing joy right now despite some heartbreak. 
20. The beach, the mountains, God's creations. I am truly in awe of my Creator even when I just look outside my window. He is truly magnificent. 
21. Laundry/cleaning. Its never ending but when I'm doing it I am reminded that my house is full of people to clean up after and so I smile and say "thank you".
22. Trials. I won't lie its hard to thankful for hard times but I know those hard times are what grow me and make me better. 
23. Surrogate family. God has placed so many people in our life to pick up the slack. These people treat us like their family and bless us so much. 
24. Surrogate moms. I have had so many of these since my mom died. Every younger woman needs someone like this is their life. Titus 2:3-5
I pray I have the chance to do the same for someone. 
25. Sunshine. There is nothing like the sun on my face or seeing it stream in through the windows. 
26. Home. Coming home is a treat every single day. Our home is unique and we live in the country and even though visitors are rare I wouldn't trade where we live. 
27. Today. This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it. Ps. 118:24
28. USA. I may not be an American but I am thankful to live in this country. 
29. Canada. My nationality. O CANADA WE STAND... I don't think I remember anymore. HA
30. A time to come together and be thankful. To be reminded that I shouldn't need a holiday to be thankful. I am learning (slowly) to be thankful constantly. That by whispering what I am thankful for throughout my day I am praying without ceasing. For all God has done for me and my family. For all He will continue to do. For His grace and mercy in my life. I love God and am so thankful He sent His Son Jesus to die for me. I didn't deserve it and most days don't deserve it but I am thankful its not about what I do but about what He did. I am clean and guiltless because of His sacrifice. 


Friday, November 08, 2013

My Greatest Gift

Sunlight peeked through the curtains and I rolled over willing the morning to give me a few more hours. As I did B rolled my way and curled me into his arms and I was overcome with emotion. There is such a sense of safety and security he gives me. The insecurities that run rampant in my head and my heart make it so I can't understand the depth of my husband's love for me. Much in the same way I don't understand or comprehend how much God loves me. 

I wish I "got it". I wish it came easily to me as it seems to for so many of my friends. I know the root but accepting it has not been an easy thing. 
Sadly, my growing up years were not steeped in acceptance. In fact it couldn't have been more opposite and I sometimes shudder as to the whys. The sad truth is that complete strangers coming in our home were encouraged, loved without condition and welcomed more than I ever was. Please don't misunderstand, I don't blame my parents. They did the best with what they had been given. I know it was what they too, witnessed. None of that matters now but unfortunately I still bear the scars and so I must deal with it and move through it to find ultimate healing. 

Brian also grew up with his fair share of dysfunction but was so loved and accepted no matter what. He was constantly showered with affection and "I love yous" from his mother and in turn has worked for 18 years to help turn that around in me. He has always been so patient and generous with his love for me. Even through all the times I would pull away time and again. I didn't know how to receive nor give affection with sincerity. Its one thing to hug a friend at church but to embrace and be embraced was something I didn't know anything about. All I knew of love was lust and sex. All I knew was perverse and something I had sought out b/c I was so desperate to feel loved. To feel accepted. Its the world's ultimate lie and I bought it. It has taken me so long but I finally feel at a place where I can embrace my husband with truth in my heart. I am still learning to believe how much he loves me (I'm not sure I'll ever get there) and in turn am loving him the best way I can. I know with God's help it will only get better and I am so thankful God gave me a husband like Brian. 

I think the biggest lesson for me in all of this is, love and accept your kids no matter what they do. Whether you like their choices or not, love them, be there for them and don't give up praying for and believing in them. After all, that is what God does for you!

Friday, November 01, 2013

The STAY-AT-HOME-MOM'S Struggle.


At least this is how I feel most days. Especially since coming home with our daughter. Allow me to explain.

I started working when I was 14 and I loved it. I am a hard worker naturally. I think I get this trait from my dad. Every job I had from my early 20's on I went into management quickly. Before you stop reading because you think this is a boast post, its not. Here's the thing, I am not sure when I started to hate working. Even now, I sit wracking my brain trying to pin point it. I remember a time in England when it was more fun to get high than to constantly hit the snooze button after a late night. That might be it. I remember thinking if I had a kid I wouldn't have to work. See, the socialist economy over there permits all single mom's houses and pretty good benefits.
But I think at the end of the day the reason I hated it is because I had no purpose at any of those jobs. They were all just a means to an end. I've never had a career and have never wanted one. There wasn't one thing I wanted to do with my life. Well, I remember saying I wanted to be a wife and mom but the only reason I think I said that was because it sounded easier than trying to get a degree (I am the worst student).
So, here I am. A mom and a wife. This job really is harder than any job I have ever had in my life. I rarely get time off, there is no pay, no sick days, minimal appreciation (this is especially true since we had a 2 year old move in), the cleaning, laundry and questions never stop. I wish I had a dime for every time I swept the floor, I would be a millionaire. And yet this job has THE most purpose. I am loved by those kids. I am wanted by my husband. I get to be a part of who those kids will become. However, if it goes south with any one of them I'll blame B. ;0)
So how come I feel like this? The guilt is sometimes overwhelming that I am just not doing enough.
The house is always clean (and not obsessively for those who know me), laundry done, dinner planned and made, family times shared, I mean I homeschool for crying out loud.
And yet this internal struggle of guilt when I have a day of vegging. It is awful.
I have friends who are moms and who work. They have kids younger than mine and they punch a clock day in and day out and it works for them. Some do it because they have to, others because they want to. Some do it so that they won't kill their kids or themselves.
As my kids started getting older I started to panic and went and got a job because I thought that was what you are supposed to do plus I felt the financial pinch. It was awful but I made the most of it, did well and was promoted. For the past 21/2 almost 3 years I have been home again full time. I'll pick up odd jobs here and there but whenever there is talk of me getting a job again the answer is a resounding "NO!!" from all parties with an opinion. Maybe this is cultural. I don't think most women stay home any more with their kids but for us, our family just doesn't flow well when I work outside of the home. And plus I HATE IT!!!!! And so this is how I feel. Just like I do with God, its just never enough. Oh, how to break this hold on me.