Thursday, August 10, 2017

Dealing With a Flaw

   Greetings!  I am about to embark on my 10th year of homeschooling.  Savannah is going to be in the 9th grade this year.  She only has four years left and then off on her own adventure.  I pray that as this year goes by that I will equip her well.  I am a bit of a tenderhearted person, so I have to say this makes me a little sad.  Man!  I just didn't think about that until just now -- I mean, I did think of it back when she was tiny, like 6 months old.  The song, "Butterfly Kisses," came on the radio.  I literally began to weep.  The years were truly going to fly -- and they have!
  Anyway, what I want to talk to you about today is something that some people don't want to admit that they have a problem with.  For some it is more serious with drug and alcohol abuse, while others it is with food and body image.  While I haven't had the issue with drugs and alcohol abuse, I have dealt with food and body image, BUT I am on a good path with this.  No, the area I want to admit to is angry reactions.
  Some years back I realized that it had become a problem.  It really, truly was my own lack of self-control.  Ouch!  That hurts to admit.  I recognized that I needed the Lord's help. When this got my attention, I took it to the Lord at the altar.  I confessed this area to my Pastor, his wife, my parents and some close friends.  They prayed for me, and I learned that I wasn't alone in this area.
  I am pleased to say that since then I have not had the intense rage that I once experienced. The Lord healed me in this area.  However, I still felt rather unequipped for the task of parenting in grace rather than in rage.  It just so happened that I got to meet a lady and sit in on her seminar at last year's Great Homeschool Conventions.  Her name is Wendy Speake. Check her out at her site - http://wendyspeake.com/.  Anyway, she and a friend wrote this book called Triggers.  Here is a picture of their book:
Triggers: Exchanging Parents' Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses
I have just begun reading this and already can tell the Lord is going to use this in a mighty way. Read just a few things that are from this book by Wendy Speake and Amber Lia.  I give total credit to them as this is from their book.  These are their words that have spoken to me.  I will indicate where I found these quotes.

Exchanging Parents' Angry Reactions For Gentle Biblical Responses (1)

"Getting from under the anger when things didn't go the way I wanted them to was an act of God...actually, it's an ongoing act of God in my life, even today.  (2) 
"But don't be deceived:  this book is not just for moms of little ones.  It's for all moms who are ready for a change, ready to replace angry reactions with gentle biblical responses that have the power to work miracles in the hearts of their children." (2)

"Let yourself imagine a home where your words set a tone of loving-kindness.  A home where your first reaction is compassion instead of annoyance.  Where you replace the fiery cycle of anger and guilt with conviction and spiritual growth.  A place where you draw the hearts of your children towards grace and where every one of you thrives."  (3)  
  Wow!  I don't know about you, but this little tiny bit already convicts me.  I think that I am going to see a real transition in my Christian walk.  I know that it is going to take time and commitment, but it is like any other change.  Weight doesn't get gained overnight.  Attitudes are the same.  I don't know exactly where you are in your walk with Christ or if you are even on a walk with Him -- I hope so!  I feel like this is something that the Lord wants me to share as I journey through my own transformation.  I shared about the fact that I am trying to become healthier.  So I am now adding another area of transparency.  I know that I am not alone in this area.  So as I read and study, I want to share things that stand out to me.  I may even begin some type of Bible study for our local people.
  I am really excited to see what the Lord is going to do as I journey on.  I am going to put one of my favorite songs here, "My Story."  Please know that I am praying for you as you are on your own journey with the Lord!!

Love, {{Hugs}}, and Blessings!
:0)Chandra


Notes
1  (cover)
2 (p. 11, 12 forward by Brooke McGlothlin)
(introduction, p. 17, Amber Lia)












Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The State of My Being

  I have been without a computer for a month!  I am laughing on the inside because I somehow managed to go through high school and a tiny space of college without one.  Amazing, I know!  And then couple that with a syndrome that I seem to have gotten -- short attention span -- or as one of my buddies calls it, "Squirrel!" -- equals not posting in June.
  
  Why does this matter to me?  Well, I have been posting here for over 4 years!  I know - it has gone by so fast.  It has been a fun-filled, eventful four years.  So where am I now, emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually?
  
  Emotionally-speaking, I am in a better place.  I still have some mommy-meltdown moments, but I am happy to say they are getting fewer.  I am still, sadly, set off by spills.  Silly, isn't it? But I tell you the moment a liquid or little tiny particles spill everywhere, I explode like Godzilla. I am almost 100% sure that I am not alone.  Let us take on the attitude from my mom, a lot of you know her as Bertie -- "Chandra, don't look at the spill as a mess but rather an opportunity for making a clean spot!"  Ever the glass is overflowing perspective :0)
  
  Mentally -- now I am almost laughing here.  Let me just share my children's ages and let you judge for yourself.  Savannah is turning 15 soon;  Siler is 12 1/2;  Sarah is turning 10 soon; Sully, our little guy with special needs, is 7 1/2; and then last but not least, Seth is turning 6! So, mentally I would say that I am here.  I hardly ever get time without someone calling me "momma," but that is really ok.  In fact it is part of the job.  Since we are out of school and I am letting them sleep in some, I am getting to watch shows and read books.  I am not sleeping in much so that the school year won't be a shock, but I have been sleeping longer on Saturdays. But, I don't like sleeping past 9.  I will share this bit of wisdom from a dear friend of mine.  I used to sleep in until the children were all getting up.  My day was awful!  I talked to this Momma Guru, and she told me that she always got up before her kiddos - unless she was sick. This made sense to me, so I have been doing this ever since.  So mentally, I guess I am okay :0) - LOL, better than  few years ago!!
  
  Physically, I am not better than a few years ago, but I am not giving up!  I have a support group of friends that while they aren't coming out and saying I need to lose weight, they are, in fact, helping me get inspired to do so.  One of my dear lifelong friends, the Momma Guru, is in the best shape I have ever seen her in.  She is healthy and happy - not perfect - but looking great!!  She is an inspiration to me.  I have other friends that are where I am, and they are not giving up either.  I have decided to change some things because what I am doing right now is not changing me.  I am not wanting to be a certain size but to be a healthier version of myself. That makes me feel like I am in a pretty healthy state of mind.
  
  Spiritually I know we will never be finished until the Lord takes us home.  I am going to church regularly, getting spiritually fed and renewed.  I am teaching Sunday School and working with our young fellas.  I love to get to retreats and conventions because they help me to stop and listen.  I leave my regular life and get to just go and rest in Him.  I don't do that as often here at home because my life is ultra busy.  However, I have scripture and encouraging words throughout our home.  Words from the Lord really help.  I especially love having them in the kitchen, or as so many call it the Center of the Home.  I like to have them there because not only does a lot of my life happen here, but sadly sometimes, a lot of complaining happens there. But, like in the other areas of my life, I haven't given up.  The Lord is right there with me every day, every step of the way.
  
  So, dear friend, this is just a glimpse of how I am today.  Lol, it may be totally different this time next year.  I want to leave you with a song to listen to, You'll Never Walk Alone by David Phelps.  It is just the song you need to hear, especially if you are in a challenging time.  I also want to encourage you to read Ephesians 3.  It is just wonderful and moving to me.  I found verses 17 - 21 especially moving --

17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
  I hope you have a wonderful day and that the Lord continues to bless you and keep you and give you peace!

Blessings, {{hugs}}, and Love,
:0)Chandra
  
  

Friday, May 19, 2017

Trusting Him in All Things

  So have you been like me and lately, I don't want to say worrying, but I guess thinking about our children and their future?  I am a homeschooling momma, so I am responsible for educating my children.  I get to where I think, "What is Siler going to do?  What are Savannah and Sarah going to do?  What will Seth end up doing?"  And good grief, who will take care of Sullivan?  These things stay on my mind and then I end up thinking and a little bit of worrying and immediately Proverbs 3:5-6 come to mind.  I know you know these verses:

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;
Lean not unto thine own understanding
In all thy ways acknowledge Him
And He shall direct thy paths 

  Looking at these verses I have to think to myself am I doing that right now?  It is just like the song, "I Surrender All."  It is so easy to read this and say okay, Lord, I am trusting in You.  It is another to actually do it.  I think that I at times am fully trusting in Him.  I am peaceful feeling and although there may be storms, I am feeling confident He has things under control.  Then there are those times that I let life get the best of me and cave in -- usually this includes momma meltdowns and a lot of crying.  It is in these times I realize that I haven't been in the Word and in prayer enough.

  How can I fully trust Him when I am too busy trying to do it all on my own?  Not praying, not spending time in the scripture, getting too busy -- put these together and you have the perfect storm.  I know I don't have to stay there!  Praise the Lord we don't have to stay there!  Just typing this out, talking to you, has made me feel a little bit better.  A little bit more peaceful.

  Dear friend, I hope that if you are like me and are in the midst of a storm - even a really big one -- please know that He is there.  He is able.  He is carrying you through this.  It may be that He has ordained you to go through this storm to grow you, to perfect you, or maybe to just show other people that in our weakness He is strong.  Again, we don't understand His plan, but we can trust His heart.

  Just having typed that made me think of a song that I love -- "Trust His Heart".  Click on that song title and listen to these wonderful words.  Normally I don't put lyrics, but I wanted to today.  These are so good!  

All things work for our good
Though sometimes we don't
See how they could
Struggles that break our hearts in two
Sometimes blind us to the truth
Our Father knows what's best for us
His ways are not our own
So when your pathway grows dim
And you just don't see him,
Remember your never alone

Chorus:

God is too wise to be mistaken
God is too good to be unkind
So when you don't understand
When don't see his plan
When you can't trace his hand
Trust His Heart


He sees the master plan
He holds the future in his hand,
So don't live as those who have no hope,
ALL our hope is found in him.
We see the present clearly
He sees the first and last
And like a tapestry He's weaving you and me,
To someday be just like him

(Chorus)

He alone is faithful and true
He alone knows what is best for you

(Chorus)

When you can't trace his hand
When you don't see his plan
When you don't understand
Trust His Heart

I am praying for you and asking that the Lord minister to you as you need Him.  I love you and am sending you hugs from up here on the mountain :0)

Love, {{Hugs}}, and Blessings!
:0)Chandra


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Things I Have Learned

  So I didn't get a post in for March, but I am shooting for at least two in April.  My time management as of late has not been the best.  But my sweet momma has told me to cut myself some slack.  That is hard to do, but I am trying.
 
  Today I am hoping to take my kiddos to Park Day.  You know how important these types of days are.  Sitting with your friends, watching the children play, talking, and laughing!  Such good times :0)
 
  I went to a Homeschooling Convention - their site is below  https://www.greathomeschoolconventions.com/.  I had a great experience.  One of the classes I attended was about An Angry Mom.  The lady I heard is Wendy Speake.  She and her friend, Amber Lia, authored a book called Triggers - Exchanging Parents' Angry Reactions For Gentle, Biblical Responses.  This is just what the Lord had ordained for me to hear that weekend.  The first chapter is Disobedience.  I haven't finished it, but in the first couple of pages it mentions that parenting isn't easy.  I think sometimes we have this idea that when we have babies that it is going to be easier.  I have a friend that has six children and have asked her if parenting ever gets easier.  Her answer is genius.  Elizabeth Cooper Lopez, (I lovingly call her Coop), said to me that it doesn't get any easier but just different.
 
  As I sat in the class with two dear friends, I felt the Lord's Spirit drawing me to Him.  He has forgiven me time and time again for things I have said and done.  It was as if in that class, in that moment, He was saying, "Dear Child, I love you and I know that you can do this parenting job.  I have sent this precious lady who has walked in your shoes and has a tool for you.  You can do this!!"  See, I wasn't going to go into this class, but I forgot which one I had planned on going into, so I just went in with my friends.  I am so glad that I did. 
 
  One statement they make in this chapter speaks to me about how I am in my parenting.  They say,

"As parents we can camp out on a few select verses about justice and discipline, establishing a rigid routine for discipline.  However, I see far more biblical evidence throughout both the Old and New Testaments that supports an overarching attitude and character of patience, mercy, kindness, and grace extended towards us from a Holy God who loves us and gave Himself for us.  Even while we  were yet sinners.  Even when we were enemies.  Even when we reviled Him as He died on the cross for our sins....Proverbs 10:12 reminds us, 'Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses."

  So you can probably see how this was such a good place for me to be.  I have five children from 5 - 14.  In 9 years I had all of them.  One has special needs.  While he is sweet as can be, he has 3 therapists, a dentist, 10 specialists, his local dr., and his teachers at school.  My life is in a constant state of getting people here and there and making sure we are not late :)  Yes, I am a busy momma.  However, this doesn't give me license to yell at my children because I have had a stressful day.

  So this is where I am right now - learning to parent from peace and God's Word.  Learning to cut myself some slack.  Learning to manage my life so that I don't get stressed out.  I am so thankful the Lord loves me unconditionally and that He gives me chance after chance after chance.  Do I model that with my family?  I am learning :0)

  This song that I am ending with is probably one I have put in before, but after the stuff I have put in here, I think we need to do just what the song says -- it is called "Breathe."

  Know I am praying for you and your family as we all journey through our parenting together!!

Love, Blessings, and {{Hugs}},
:0)Chandra

  One more thing I have to put in here is a quote from their book that I LOVE..." Iron fists chisel stony hearts, but graceful hands shape responsive hearts."  I am going to really try to apply this -- more to come on the journey!  Take care!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Love

  It is Valentine's Day --  Happy Valentine's Day to you!  I know this has been quite a year for many of you.  Some of you have lost loved ones, so this day may be bittersweet.  For others this may be a holiday of time with your loved ones.  I know B.C. - lol, Before Children - we used to have a romantic dinner and enjoyable time alone.  Now that we have the five little people, we have morphed our day into family time.  And I am really okay with that.  The more I read and talk to others, the more I realize that one day I will miss all the chaos that is my life.  Are you in that season with me? If so, let us embrace this time.  As Point of Grace sings in a song, "This day is fragile, soon it will end, and once it has vanished, it will not come again."
  I think of love on Valentine's a little differently than when I was younger.  I used to expect to get something.  Flowers, candy, card - anything.  Now, I am not like that.  The main reason is to not set myself up for disappointment, and then to also not set these expectations on others.  Sometimes people forget or don't have the extra money.  Last year my very artistically inclined daughter made me paper flowers.  I have had them up in the kitchen since.  This year I have found a poem - though not intended for my gift - that she wrote and it is lovely.

Love...
Is special...How?
Because...it keeps everyone close...
The world...is close to ending...
Soon...He will come...Who?...
You ask...It is your Father...Which thou 
art in Heaven...He will come and save 
His people...Are you ready?...
Because...I am...

She is 14 and has some wisdom beyond her years.  This touches my heart because it lets me in on hers.  And, with her permission, I get to share her own words!
  I hope today that you remember that the Lord loves you with an everlasting, REAL love.  He loved us so much that He gave His son - our ultimate Valentine!  Romans 5: says, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."  He pursues us and puts us through some hard times because He loves us.  I know that sometimes we wonder about the circumstances, but that is when we do some real trust-building.  He is still working on us.  And this is what convicts me so much -- He is trying to make us more like Jesus. To live and to love as He did!   
  I like to end with a song, and I have a song that I LOVE!!  It is called "You Are Loved," by a group called Stars Go Dim.  I hope you enjoy it as I hope you enjoy your day and remember that you are loved!

Love, {{hugs}}, and Blessings!
:0)Chandra

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Letting Go and Pressing On :0)

  This Wednesday will be our oldest son's birthday!  He will turn 12!!  I remember when he came into this world - mainly because it was a hard, back labor.  LOL!  And they are right - that infamous "They," that tell us you will forget the pain.  It is true that you do forget the pain;  however, I will not ever forget the moment of him coming into this world.
  You see, I had just had a loss the year before of a set of twin boys.  It was a very painful experience that was soothed by another pregnancy and delivery of a BOY!  I will share my story of loss one day and how the Lord carried me through it, but today is not that day.  I will, however, say that if you ever have experienced that deep, sorrowful loss, you can come out on the other side of it and be healed from that!
  In any case - Siler is going to be 12.  I remember turning 12!  It was a fun time in my life.  So I am really excited to be celebrating this with him.  He is a lasagna fan, so tomorrow night, we will have lasagna and brownies :0)
  I have been reading several books as of late, and I have one in particular that I am working through. It is Made to Crave by LysaTerkeurst.  A dear friend gave it to me.  I have to admit that when I first opened it up and started to read it, that I was having my toes stepped on.  I put it away for a bit.  I got it back out at the beginning of the school year and have been making my way through it.  It is a bit revealing of my inner-self, and so that is taking some time to work through.  If you have ever done some self-examination, it is hard and painful.  But since I am a Christian and I know that He is working on me, I am not down!  As a matter of fact, "

Philippians 3:13-16King James Version (KJV)

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
Being reminded in these verses to not only work toward our goal(s), but to forget the past is life-changing!  The past can hold you back from what the Lord has in store for you.  So far in this book, I am grasping this message of loving the Lord first and not having anything, even my chocolate and sugar, above Him.  I have found that I am an emotional eater and look for chocolate to soothe myself when I am hurt.  Okay, and I will be honest, I eat it when I am happy, indifferent, angry, etc.  I need to get that out of my life, not forever, but for a space of time and allow the Lord to fill that need.  To talk to Him when I am struggling and not reach out to food - especially my precious chocolate.
  Lysa points out so much in this book, but I wanted to share just one more thing.  She states this  - "Only by being filled with authentic soul food from Jesus - following Him and telling others about Him - will our souls ever be truly satisfied.  And breaking free from consuming thoughts about food allows us to see and pursue our calling with more confidence and clarity."
  We cannot do things that are hard on our own.  I get that now.  I understand that instead of reaching for a chocolate or a sweet when I am emotional, I should pray.  He wants us to reach out to Him when we are struggling.  Now is that to say that I will never eat another sweet again - no. But it is revealing to me that food has become a little god that I was putting in the place of MY God.  I am not alone in this struggle.  My desire is not to get skinny but to put food in its proper place in my life.  To have Jesus as my soothing balm and not food.  I believe I am in a good place because just stating it, admitting to it, is a big step.  
   This is not a fun post, but it is one that has been on my heart.  I needed to get this said because my friends can help me and have helped me in this journey.  I love a song that is out on the radio "Redeemed" by Big Daddy Weave.  This is an awesome reminder that we really need to let go of our past in any area (even misuse of food!) and be Redeemed!!!  Jesus died for all our areas of sin - the big and little.  I am so thankful for that fact and so blessed!  I pray for you, dear friend, that you realize this, too!  You are in my thoughts and prayers :)  Hope you have a blessed rest of the day!

Love, Blessings, and {{hugs}},
:0)Chandra