I choose…

We have been in one of the busiest seasons of our lives this fall. As Andrew and I were talking about it the other night, we related it to when Maddie and Evie were born. We brought tiny twin girls into our family with a 20 month old, a 3 1/2 year old, and two 6 year olds. Let that sink in. We had six kids under the age of 7 with two sets of twins. That was, needless to say, an insanely busy time of life.

We’ve hit that level of busyness again. It looks a little different today than it did eleven years ago, but it feels the same. Thank the Lord for teens who are willing to help A LOT. Thank the Lord Andrew and I are a team, even if we are busy on our own playing fields.

Andrew has hit an unprecedented busy season at work. A new computer operating system, inventory, and more houses going up than ever before. We’re not complaining, don’t get me wrong! We know we are abundantly blessed that Andrew has a steady job where he’s needed and valued. It’s a great thing, a fruitful thing. It’s also very very taxing when you are that busy.

Elliot got a part in a local community theater play. A large part. It’s been so good, educational, and fun for him. It’s also been crazy busy. We live 20 minutes from the theater, practices are four nights a week for two to three hours, and we’re about to start the nine performances this Wednesday. Yes, NINE! I’m so proud of him and so ready for it to be over all at the same time!

The oldest two are always busy with work, school, friends, and though I can still count on them, they aren’t always around. We’ve often said, if only Elliot could drive! And we have four drivers already!!

The little ones still need attention daily and sometimes I feel guilty they aren’t getting what they need from me. Olivia, Evie and Maddie often read to the little ones, put Lukas down for naps, and help them with their school work. It’s a blessing to have such smart, capable girls in the house! But, again, mom guilt creeps in and tells me I should be the one doing all the things, not having my kids do them.

Last, but certainly not least, are all my creative outlets. I love to write, though I haven’t been on my blog in a while due to pure craziness. I love making my signs and have plenty of business with them, which again, is a true blessing. Finding time to do it all is the hard part! I’ve also been writing for the local newspaper for about 8 months now, which is enjoyable, yet another thing. I feel like I need these things in my life because I have a need to be creative and productive outside of homeschooling.

Oh, yeah, let’s not forget trying to homeschool each day, along with tutoring every Monday! I love having my kids at home with me, I love the challenges we get to work through each day and the things we get to learn together. It’s time consuming though. Very time consuming! There is nothing more eternal or impactful, though, than that time I spend with these kids and I wouldn’t trade it.

In the midst of it all I have a choice. I can choose to be crabby. I can choose to look at it all as a burden. I can get frustrated with everyone because I’m stressed (which I do sometimes).

Or I can make a different choice. I can choose to be thankful. You know, years ago, when I was battling depression, my therapist told me to write down three things everyday that I was thankful for. Do you know, that changed my whole perspective and outlook on life? I’m not exaggerating. I wasn’t necessarily a pessimist before that time, although I was during the depression. But forcing myself to think on things to be thankful for caused my whole mindset to shift.

Now I can much more easily see the silver lining in the clouds. I am thankful for Andrew’s job and that it’s busy and he’s needed there. I’m thankful Elliot has discovered a passion and gift. I’m thankful I can be creative. I’m thankful my kids are learning life skills helping me at home. I’m thankful my oldest are learning to stand on their own two feet and are becoming amazing men. I’m thankful we have the freedom to homeschool.

There’s always a choice. In the midst of this crazy busy season, I choose joy and thankfulness. It’s not always easy. There are days when I lose my cool. There are days when I don’t want to get out of bed and face everything life is about to throw at me. But, I still choose.

I choose to be thankful.

Be the Wrecking Ball

A couple weeks ago I was having a little pity party. You know those traps and lies we fall into? Well, I fell into one.

I started believing that my friends weren’t really my friends. I started taking little incidents that meant nothing and making them into something. You know what I’m talking about…those thoughts of, “she said this and this. It really meant she doesn’t like me.” The thought of, “She hasn’t called or texted me for this long. It means she doesn’t really like me and only responds when I text so I don’t feel too bad.” The thought of, “I never get invited to anything. People are always forgetting about me. If I didn’t make the plans to get together no one would ever get together with me.”

Maybe I’m the only one that thinks these thoughts.

Probably not. But never the less I was in that place and I was pretty down. I knew in my rational mind that it all wasn’t true, but my heart wanted to believe the lies. So I fell for it.

Then the Lord showed up. He showed up big time. Right in the middle of my despondency he reminded me that I am, in fact, loved. I’m so glad I have a God who is alive and knows me down to my deepest lies. And I’m so glad He doesn’t leave me in those lies.

First, I received some thank you notes. One from one of my kids telling me I was a “really good parent”. One was from my hubby, short and sweet, saying words can’t even express how thankful he is for me. And one was from a friend who told me she was so thankful for me and our friendship over the years. Just three little thank you cards. Maybe to those three people it didn’t seem like too big of a deal. It was just a quick little note.

To me, it was everything. It was like a wrecking ball to a brick wall as it broke through the lies I was believing. I cried over those notes as I read them. I thanked God for those three people. And I apologized to God for ever believing those lies.

Then, in the same week I had two invites from friends to do something with them. Again, may not seem like much, but to me it was a really big deal. I was again reminded by God that I am loved. I am loved so much by Him that He put people in my life to reach out to me when I need it. They may not even know that I needed it that week, but He knew. And He moved their hearts to think of me. That’s the kind of God I serve!

Lately I haven’t been able to be in church. Even when I’m there I’m not really there. Having a very bouncy, noisy, baby boy causes me to often be out of the worship center keeping him happy. It’s just that season of life. It’s okay, but often that’s where the Lord breaks through sins in my life and I was feeling a little distant from Him. But again, He’s so good to meet me wherever I’m at. He isn’t a god trapped by the four walls of a church building. He can work wherever I am. Again, I’m so thankful for my God, who knows what I need, when I need it, where I need it. He always shows up, and He always brings me back to the truth.

This experience was also a good reminder to me that when I’m thinking about someone I should call them up or text them. I should invite them to do something. Because maybe, just maybe, they are in that place I was and need a reminder that they are loved.

So, if someone is on your heart, make a move. You might just be that wrecking ball to their brick wall.