Tag Archives: encouragement

Sometimes, It’s Okay To Turn Back

homegrownmommy sometimes its okay to turn backTurning back? Isn’t that like giving up, being a quitter, not having enough faith? Surely turning back is never ever the right choice!

Or, isn’t it?

Today is my first day home alone with the kiddos. My husband has worked from home for the last three years – always someone around to talk to, always someone there to help with the kids, always a team member to pick up the slack.

We were committed to keeping him home and growing our income streams to support our family unit. We worked on it. We prayed.We worked some more.

Then, last week, we looked at each other and knew we had to turn back. He took a great job with a great company who truly appreciates him and his talent. Sighs of relief have been frequent. We feel less burdened.

Initially, I wondered if we were being quitters. Were we losing our faith? Was our success just around the next corner if only we persevered? Are we giving up on our dreams?

Then, I reflected on the other things we’ve “turned back” on …

  • Kids outside the home – to homeschooling – to public school (When my oldest son was little, I was a single mom and he went to daycare while I worked. When my husband and I married, we began the homeschooling journey. Then, my son wanted to try out the public school experience while living with his dad – he is doing well.)
  • Staying put – to moving – to staying put (We’ve moved quite a bit over the years. I thought we were going to stay in Florida forever when we moved. Then, we came back to Wisconsin. We were going to move closer to church – now, we are going to stay where were are because it’s a good middle between hubby’s work and church.)
  • Open dress code – to only skirts – to an open dress code (I grew up wearing whatever – within reason, of course! Then, I made the decision to wear only skirts. Recently, I realized I was doing that as an outward sign of my own righteousness. Jesus is my only righteousness!)

What are you struggling with today? Have you made a decision that is causing some unrest and you are wondering if you should go back and make a different choice?

Certainly, this is different for each person and for each situation. I don’t want everyone to start giving up on those hard-to-live-with husbands or the difficult homeschool year or that really challenging conviction!

But, just know that, sometimes, it’s okay. Sometimes, you have to travel down the road a piece before you realize it’s not the right path. God works all things together for good and He’s watching over you!

 

NEW MercyMe Song – “Welcome To The New” Lyrics

April 8th, 2014, Mercy Me came out with a new album!! It’s awesome!! Here is a preview of the album if you want to take a listen.

My kiddos were listening to kLove radio through the internet while doing schoolwork and noticed some videos with Mercy Me and started playing them. (I’m sure it was on break from school … ahem. Really, sure.)

They heard the title track for the new album and totally fell in LOVE with it! They started writing down the words, listening to it over and over again to get them all. They want to start learning it so they can sing it in church for a special!! I’m loving their enthusiasm!

I wanted to write out the lyrics for you guys. It seems to me that, far and wide, more and more people are waking up to what grace really means. The same is true for our family. Boy, have we been on a journey!! And, this last year or two, we have learned so much more about God’s grace.

When I heard the lyrics to this song and heard MercyMe lead singer, Bart Millard, talking about moving from legalism to grace in his own life, it really rang true for my own life as well.

These lyrics speak to how awesome it is to find grace when you thought you had to work for it all this time. Praise God! It isn’t really about my works!!

(if we have any of this wrong, please feel free to chime in! The song is pretty fast and we did the best we could.)

“Welcome To The New”
MercyMe

(video first, then lyrics after)

Got to live righteous, stay in line
You’ve heard it all at least a million times
And, like me, you believed it

They said it wasn’t works
But trying harder couldn’t hurt
It sounds so crazy now
But back then you couldn’t see it

And now here you are
Eyes open wide
It’s like you’re seeing grace
In a brand new light
For the first time

CHORUS:
Let us be the first to welcome you!
Welcome to the life you thought was too good to be true!
Welcome to the new!

You broke your back, kept all the rules
Jumped through the hoops to make God approve of you
Oh tell me, was it worth it

The whole time you’re spin’in place
Did you stop to think that maybe He is okay with just you
There’s no need to join the circus

And now here you are
A new point of view
And now it all makes sense
Why it’s called the Good News

CHORUS

Look at you
Shiny and new
Look at you
You’ve got the proof of purchase
You were purchased
‘Cuz you’re worth it

Look at you
Finding your proof
Don’t you dare think that you’re not worth it
‘Cuz you’re worth it
Yea, you’re worth it

You CAN NOT Get It All Done … And Why It’s Really Okay!

{This post is linking up at the Carnival of Homeschooling.}

There are dishes piled up in my sink … but at least the kids are fed.

Three of my girls share a closet and all their hang-up clothes are mixed in together … but at least the clothes are clean and in any closet.

There’s a box of random stuff under my desk … but at least I’m getting some blogging done.

As you look at your surroundings at any given moment, I’m guessing the question isn’t so much “Is there anything undone?” but more along the lines of “Just how long IS this *undone* list, anyway??”

If you focus only on that part of your life, as I did for many many years, you could drive yourself batty!

I used to focus on the *undone* in this life …

  • the extra language classes we didn’t get to,
  • that awesome unit study I wanted to put together for every grade level in our homeschool,
  • those fascinating books I was going to read.

By the end of the day, I was feeling pretty beat up. Day after day of that kind of thinking and I was an emotional mess. Really – like, a mess of tears, a mess of reading something into what my husband was saying that he wasn’t saying, a mess of near-depression.

As I’ve gotten further down this road of life, I have started to look at things differently. Did I get the important things done? Did I look my kids in their eyeballs today? Did I show my husband love today? Did I do my best today? Little by little, I’m seeing that it isn’t really about that almighty checklist in and of itself. The checklist is good – it’s just supposed to help me get to those things that are the best in life.

Don’t set yourself up for failure and depression. You just can’t get it all done no matter who you are, no matter what is on that list. And, tomorrow, some of those things you got done today, will be undone again. Go figure!

breathe.

It’s really okay.

I used to really really stress out when a room would get messy no less than 5 minutes after I deep-cleaned and organized it. But, really? In the grand scheme of things? It didn’t amount to as much as I had made it out to be. Life is supposed to be lived and that’s what’s happening in your home and mine!

I’m not saying you should never aim beyond the kids being fed and clothed {in clean clothes, no less!} and the house not stinking. But, if getting beyond that is causing you to melt into tears regularly, if it’s causing you to feel horrible about yourself and your true abilities, if it’s getting in the way of doing better, get a new perspective! Here’s how …

  1. Focus on what you did RIGHT today! There’s more to that list than you might think!
  2. Ask your kids what they think of your ability! I bet it will warm your heart!
  3. Sit down with your kids and do something everyone loves – whether it’s reading aloud or playing a video game. Enjoy the smiles and the down-time.
  4. Realize that maybe everything feels out of control or different because you are about to welcome some kind of change in your life. Maybe all the kids are entering a new phase or you’re learning something new. Pay attention.
  5. Do you need some more quiet time in your day? Every time I squeeze in even just 15 minutes of stillness into my life, that whole day goes so much better. It was worth dragging myself out of bed just a little bit earlier.
  6. Rearrange the furniture in the room where you spend the most time. It sounds silly, but it really works in some cases!
  7. Set realistic goals for your day. Just one room clean instead of every room. One load of laundry done from start to finish rather than laundry and grocery shopping and finishing all those corrections. Have your spouse or another objective person look over the goals for a loving reality check.

What other ways do you help yourself or someone else get a new perspective when high and unrealistic expectations get you down?

How To Keep Your God-Given Desires Alive

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling for the second week of July!!
I hope you enjoy my contribution!

Image Credit "Center Grove Middle School"

Sometimes, you really have to dig into life to get what you want! Once you’ve decided on something, don’t ever let “NO” be an answer!

Psalm 37:4  “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”

What are the desires of your heart with you homeschooling journey? Trust the Lord that He is giving them to you – maybe not in the way or the timing you were expecting, but He is faithful.Write down your goals! Post them and read them every single day – it will help keep you focused when days are tough.

When we first decide to homeschool or we first start to imagine what homeschooling will be like, it is easy to be excited! It’s easy to head into life each day with a good attitude.

Then, things start to get familiar instead of exciting. That new workbook has some torn corners and writing on the cover from the little ones. One of the kids said, “I don’t wanna do this!” And, you start to feel, little by little, a weight come down on your shoulders.

It reminds me of something that happened yesterday. I was talking someone that wanted to play football in high school – he is just entering 9th grade in the public school. Knowing that football practice starts sometime in the summer, I had been checking in with him to see if he signed up yet. Yesterday when I checked in, I got some excuses – I think the video games were calling a little too loudly! 🙂

{It’s easy, even with the most compelling desire, to allow yourself to do what’s easy. Any desire or goal will have some hurdles to overcome – don’t let that stop you!}

The first excuse was that he would call and only get voicemail. But, on the voicemail, they left an alternate number to call for the office. I called that number and got all the necessary information in a matter of minutes.

{Sometimes, our excuses for *not doing* are so easy to knock down – just one step in the right direction and you’re 5 miles down the road already!}

There were a few other excuses like, “I’m not *beefed up* enough for football” and “But I should probably make some friends at the school first” or “It going to cost too much”. Every excuse, I was able to reason with him as to why that should not be a factor to stop him from doing something he was excited about doing.

There was also some negativity coming from another person in his life who was also allowing the smallest reason to stop the flow of desire!

{Don’t let the nay-sayers tear down your confidence! If you have prayed and you know this is where God wants you, keep going! Hold that God-given desire in front of your face and keep on moving!}

I was glad that I was able to show this boy that no excuse is too big to allow our dreams to be deflated. Whether it’s playing football, the decision to homeschool, a certain way of doing school, a home business you want to start, any number of dreams and desires that you might have – those are important! Important enough to plow down any obstacle that gets in your way!!

Thanksgiving Challenge Day 14

I am so thankful for my mother!! She has been an amazing support through thick and thin and I definitely would not be where I am today if it weren’t for her.

I used to have a humongous pile of cards that I’d kept over the years – the majority of them were from her. When she knew I was having a hard time, she would slip in a card with encouraging words. When I passed my driver’s license test, she gave me a card. For special days and regular days, she had a card ready.

Of course, there were constant hugs and kisses (which I now pass on to my cuddly kids!) and there were birthday parties and presents and all kinds of attention and love in our home. But, those cards were special, too. I could sit back and reread those words that she took some extra time to sit down and write for me.

Love you, Mom!!  Thank you for all the sacrifices. Thank you for all the love. Thank you for all you did. I never knew until I had my own children just exactly what you really did for me all those years. Thank you.

Thanksgiving Challenge Day 13

I am so very thankful that I can work on this blog!

I have been able to actually HELP others with it! WOW! I am thrilled every time I get an email or see a comment saying that something I posted was an encouragement or a help to another person traveling this road called life.

It’s nice to know that my little corner of the world isn’t just focused on only what effects me and my family – but I can reach out with the experiences I’ve been able to go through and teach or comfort others with it.

Not to mention the fact that we are able to bring in an additional stream of income with this blog. My husband is happy that I am willing to work on this in my spare time – spare time that he actually helps me carve out of my day sometimes!

It’s been fun and very educational since I started this blog in 2009 – and I am very excited about what may be ahead in the future!

Thank YOU all for visiting and commenting and being a part of HomeGrownMommy!

Thanksgiving Challenge Days Eight thru Twelve

Ugh! How does one get so far behind so quickly! This challenge is certainly more challenging than I thought it would be – but I am definitely learning some great lessons about my personality and how the Lord would have me and help me change it. Maybe that will be a post in December. 🙂

 

Thanksgiving Challenge – Day 8

I am thankful that every day is a new chance to start over again!!

For instance, even if you get three or four days behind in your thanksgiving challenge, TWICE! You can still start over again tomorrow!

God’s mercies are new each and every day! I get another chance to be an awesome wife, a great mom and a fabulous Christian with each sunrise! (Or each hour if that’s the kind of day it’s been!)

 

Thanksgiving Challenge – Day 9

I am so thankful for a church full of people who care about what is going on in my life and pray for me regularly!

 

Thanksgiving Challenge – Day 10

I am thankful for a messy house! It means my family is home, my children are active, and I have a very full life! (Proverbs 14:4 Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.)

 

Thanksgiving Challenge – Day 11

I am thankful for this country! It isn’t always perfect and neither are it’s people, but we all have many rights and privileges we wouldn’t otherwise have if we hadn’t been born here.

 

Thanksgiving Challenge – Day 12

I am so thankful for my Bible and the freedom to read it wherever and whenever I want! It’s God’s important letter to me to guide and direct my life and I am so thankful He made sure to preserve it for me!

Thanksgiving Challenge Days Four thru Seven

I’ve been so busy posting these thankful pieces on Facebook, I haven’t made it back here to post them on the blog!!

I would love to have you guys add in your gratefulness by either just leaving a comment or linking your blog post here!

 

Thanksgiving Challenge Day Four!

I am thankful for my oldest daughter, #2! She is such a blessing to us each day!

She loves to take care of her younger siblings and help around the house. She is an avid reader and so very very smart!

I am thankful for her tender heart and her sweet spirit!

Thanksgiving Challenge Day Five!

I am thankful for my sweet little boy, #3! He is all-boy among some of the girly-est girls I’ve ever seen and he loves being their protector!

I am so thankful for his sweet spirit and tender heart!

One of my favorite memories of his is when we go hiking – sometimes we come upon some pretty rocky terrain on the bluffs in Wisconsin. Caleb can always be seen running bravely but then he turns around and waits for the closest sister to make sure she is okay over the rocks and such. Elia is always calling for him to help her and he happily comes back and takes her by the hand.

Too precious!

Thanksgiving Challenge Day Six!

I bet you know who’s next!

#4 has been my craziest baby so far! She is our miracle breech baby birthed naturally thanks to Dr. Tsinker in Plantation, FL. (Birth story at bottom for those who haven’t already heard.)

She has such an upbeat personality and keeps us all giggling no matter what kind of day it has been. I just love her bubbly happiness and her instant drama – all of it makes her the special little girl that she is.I am so thankful I get to be momma to this little angel!

Thanksgiving Challenge Day Seven!

#5! I am so thankful that the Lord saw fit to add her to our little crew!

She’s the one every calls the smiley one and she has such a funny little way about her. She loves to follow her bigger siblings and do everything they do – and no one seems to mind at all!

Thanksgiving Challenge: Day Three

thanksgiving challengeI’ve had this one in the back of my head all day long – and it’s been a little hard to think of the right words for what I am thankful for.

My oldest son. (If you’ve been keeping up, you know what’s been happening.)

Although our relationship looks nothing like I envisioned as we begin this journey into the teen years, I am so thankful that God gave me the gift of my oldest son. The Lord really used him in my life to set me on the Solid Rock and get my feet moving on the strait and narrow road. Who knows where I would be had the Lord not blessed me with him.

I am thankful for the 13 years I had taking care of him 80+% of the time. I am so thankful I was able to watch him grow from a sweet, chubby, rambunctious little blonde-headed boy into the young person he is today. I am thankful that I had a hand in raising him.

He is in the Lord’s Hands in a way he never has been, for me, before and I am thankful I can trust in a God who is bigger than my hurting heart and my worries.