Archive | August 2013

And then… there’s this

I love my large family. I never dreamed I would have 1 child, much less 5 times that many. I did though! I really did! Charlee was the surprise we never knew we wanted and I do not regret her joining our family one little bit. 

With each additional child, our house, budget and wallets got a little smaller, but you  know what they say, the love (and stress) grew bigger. 🙂 I’m kidding, sort of. 

Each time I have mentioned the possibility of moving, my kids are dead set against it. Even though there is not a lot of extra room, and they have to share, they like it here. This is the house they came home to after they were born. They love their friends and we love our neighbors. They’ve said they would rather give up the extras to stay here. (When I say it’s a small  house, it really is.  Around 1200 sq feet for 7 people, 3 are adults and 4 are children.) 

My mom grew up in a family of eight, although the youngest brothers joined the family when she was in her mid teens. I  remember her commenting that she only had two children, because she wanted to be able to give us everything she didn’t get when she was younger. She didn’t want us to have hand me downs. When I bring that up now, she doesn’t remember saying it. Of course I think my memory is better. 

While I want my kids to have everything their hearts desire, I also know it’s not possible. I do teach them to work for it and save if there is something they really want. One of my kids is really good at saving towards a goal. Ahem, some of the others are good at dreaming. 😉 So while I want them to have everything they want, I also want them to know they can’t always get it from me. 

I have read comments from people who were part of large families growing up. They are kind of split on whether it was a good experience or not. 

Found this here:

As the middle of five kids, I can speak from the CHILD’s perspective and NOT the parent’s here….which in the end, really matters. My life was filled with leftovers. Left over patience, left over gifts, left over clothing, left over attention, and left over love. Whatever was left. Because let’s face it, dedicating the greater portion of your time/love/energy goes to God, then your husband, then your kids. In that order. I was reared in a Christian home and thankful for such, but I can tell you without hesitation, my parents were not Charles and Carolyn Ingalls. I love them, they did the best they could, but the nature of the beast living in a big family is that you have to roll with crowd and hope for the best. So Gert, I would rather you NOT feel sorry for me because I have 2 kids but rather because I was one of five children.

Now a comment like this just makes me sad. I much like reading comments from people who grew up in large families and love it. 🙂 I would be devastated if any of my kids thought their childhood was terrible because of the size of their family. I sure wish my mom had had more than just two, but I love my childhood. I had great parents and an awesome brother. 

So what say you? Did you grow up in a large or small family and love it? Did you grow up in a large or small family and hate it? Would love to hear from you!

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I doubt

This is a follow up to yesterday’s post: Forgetting Why I’m Here.

The other half of the equation is I doubt. I worry. I’m afraid. What if I’ve understood wrong? Although I have peace about where I am at, I wonder if I am adequately preparing for the future. When I was working, I had benefits, pay and a retirement plan. Everything I have now will benefit me eternally, but will it take care of my future when things change?

What can change? The big one, on the horizon, is my husband’s health. He is  9 years older than me, and diabetic. He manages his diabetes relatively well, but I know things happen. He is at a greater risk for kidney failure, blindness, etc. Where would I be and what would I do? 

I am smart, I can learn most anything, and I work hard, but typically, those aren’t the  skills employers are looking for on a resume. 😉 It scares me when I hear that employers are looking for college educated employees. I had a pretty great job 8 years ago. I started at the bottom, proved myself and worked my way up. If it came to a point where I had to support the family, I wouldn’t have time to start at the bottom. 

I hear people say that they have regrets. They never thought they’d be divorced and now they are. They were stay at home moms, and felt like they had no where to go and they were going fast. I feel like I should be preparing, but I also feel like, at this time, that is in direct opposition to what God has asked me to do. 

I know. For some of you that is crazy, but I really do rely heavily on my peace of mind and His leading. I pray that I always hear Him correctly and am able to follow. The bible tells us not to worry, but I tend to do it anyway. 

 An interesting side note, is that my mom was a stay at home mom for most of my life. She started working when I was in high school, then she quit when I was getting married. She has always been taken care of. 

Have you been in this situation before? How did you handle it? What should I be doing differently? I’ve tossed around the idea of college classes, I just don’t know that I could pull it off, right now. Thoughts?

Forgetting Why I’m Here

^^^^^ See the title up there? I’m not talking about forgetting why I walk into a room. I do that too, but that’s not what this is about. I’m talking about purpose. More specifically my purpose in life. It’s what a lot of people are on a quest to find. Their purpose in life. God revealed His to me in 2010. 

I forget. I forget a lot. In the middle of hanging laundry on a line, because our dryer has been broken since June. When I am loading or unloading my 3rd load of dishes from the dishwasher. Or simply telling Jack to quit running outside in his socks.

I forget. I despair. I think “this can’t be all I’m here for.” I forget that THIS, the laundry, the dishes, the socks, the meal preparing, the driving, the bill paying, is what I am here for. THIS is what He told me to do. 

I was sitting in the first or second row at church. I was broken, because I had been on a mission trip the previous year. It changed my life. It broke my heart. It tipped my life upside down. I was sad because my team was going again, but I wasn’t on the team. I begged and pleaded, but when I prayed, the answer was always “no”. Just no. I didn’t understand it. I mean, serving people in a far away place is good and evidence of God’s work in my life and why would God say no to that? 

I was searching for purpose and I wanted my purpose to be serving people far away. That was in my plans. It was not in God’s, because as I sat there in the front row, He spoke to me. I was taking notes as I always did. He was speaking to me about things that had nothing to do with the sermon, as usual. I wish I could find the paper I wrote it on, but I guess it doesn’t matter, because I remember what He said. 

“Serve your family”. I wrote it down, but I was a little put out. It’s not what I wanted to do. There is no glamour in THAT, I was thinking. There just isn’t. Glamour is going away and loving on people you don’t know. There is no glamour in loving on the people that surround you every day. Or so I thought. 

I certainly rejected His words, but eventually I became obedient to them. I served my family. Three years later, I’m still serving my family. I am cooking, cleaning, working, changing diapers, refereeing (a  lot), setting up water fights, loving my husband (being his positive support!) and much, much more. It’s not glamorous. I forget a lot that this is where He has me right now, but when I am moaning and groaning, because I’m hanging out laundry and stepping in holes that the kids or dogs have dug and I remember those words, they change my heart. It’s not always about desire. Sometimes it’s about obedience. I don’t always do this stuff because I love it. I always do it because it’s where He has me. 

Sometimes I just need to be reminded. (at least my mind hasn’t gone yet)

Because a lot of times I forget.