There was an error in this gadget

Friday, June 29, 2012

Opinions

I used to think that being "opinionated" carried a negative connotation.  But I know so many people who never have an opinion.  I don't just mean they don't share their opinion.  I mean, they just don't have one.  They don't care.  I totally expect that from someone in middle school or high school.  But by the time you reach adulthood I would think you would have had enough life experience to be able to formulate opinions on certain issues.

How are you even close to being qualified to vote if you have no opinions on the major issues in politics?  How can you tell your kids to abstain from drugs/sex if you have no opinion on the matter or "don't really care" what teenagers are doing these days?  How could you ever serve on a jury (which is part of our duty as a U.S. citizen) if you think that the way others live their lives doesn't affect you? 

I don't share my opinions because I want to change anyone's mind (well, not always, haha).  I mostly share my opinions so people know who I am, what I believe in, what I'm about.  I think it's most important for parents to share their beliefs and opinions with their children.  Kids are sponges.  They will soak up ANYTHING and EVERYTHING they are taught.  It doesn't mean they will always believe what they are taught, but it will be their first beliefs and the foundation to their lives.  If you are a conservative Christian do you really want your child learning about our creation from their science teacher who is going to teach about evolution?  If you are against teen pregnancy/abortion do you want your child being taught about sex in school (elementary to be exact) before you ever talk to them about it?

To me, having an opinion is knowing who you are. It's not being afraid to stand up for what you believe in. It's confidence. It's knowledge.  It's a huge tool for parenting.


*Jewels

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Envy

I often find myself envying others.  I envy them for having a nicer car or having a bigger house.  I envy them for being able to eat whatever they want, not working out and still being skinny (yeah, you know the ones).  I envy them for having husbands who send them flowers all the time.  I envy them for going on extravagant vacations every summer.  I never look at the flip side of the coin though.  Maybe they are in debt over their eyeballs.  Maybe they have ridiculously high cholesterol and could have heart issues later in life.  Maybe their husbands are sending them flowers because they feel guilty about that affair they had or are trying to get out of the doghouse from last night's fight.  Maybe they are going on big vacations because they hate their normal lives and want to get away.

Being envious of others is not only a huge waste of time... it can cause us to be unsatisfied with the lives we are leading.  It leads to anger, bitterness, resentment.  Have you ever thought of how many people are envious of you?  I guarantee someone has looked at you and thought they wish they had your hair, your smile, well behaved kids like yours, a husband that looks at them the way yours looks at you. 

The point is we should all appreciate and be grateful for what we have.  Life is what we make it.  I choose to wake up every day thanking God for my blessings.  I choose to focus on the great things in my life instead of the things I sometimes wish I had.

Today I am grateful for:
  • My husband who makes me laugh every day and still shows me romance after 13 years together.
  • My oldest miracle who is my sunshine on dark days.
  • My youngest miracle who God chose specifically for our family.  He has given us pure joy.
  • My sister who is my encourager, supporter, mentor and friend.
  • My parents who have unconditionally loved me for 29 years and are unquestionably there for me.
  • My in-laws who have raised a wonderful man and are incredible grandparents.
  • The list could go on and on but I'll stop there. 

What are you grateful for today?


Jewels*

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Are You Mad at God?

What is the number one thing women are known for doing when we get mad?  I can sum it up in one word ~ silence.  If you are married I can guarantee this has been a conversation in your household at some point.
Husband: "What's wrong?"
Wife: "Nothing"... accompanied by the dirty look of course.

Have you ever been mad at God?  I have.  And sadly my first reaction toward God is also silence.  I stop reading His word (ahem, if I'm even currently reading it), I may stop going to church for a while and I stop talking to him a.k.a. praying.  I have no idea why I do this.  Maybe I'm trying to show Him I'm mad, just like I try to show Garrett sometimes.  Maybe I just don't want to deal with the pain and the "why me's".  So I just shut down.

Garrett and I have had to work extremely hard at our marriage.  I remember one of the low points  where I just kept asking God why.  Why is this so hard?  Why am I always the one apologizing when I know I did nothing wrong?  Why am I stuck here?  Why are you doing this to me?  What did I do wrong?  Why can't we just be happy?  Why is divorce wrong when it will make everything easier?

It is so easy to be mad at God when things aren't going our way, just like a divorce would have been so easy when things got hard with Garrett.  But guess what?!  God can handle it.  He's a BIG God and he can take on all of my problems...and yours...and hers...and his.  He can take it! 

I have learned to not be afraid to let God know when I am angry.  I am not afraid to feel emotional pain sometimes because I know that if I come to him with a heavy and honest heart He will give me comfort and peace.  Notice I didn't say He will fix everything the way I want Him to.  He knows what we need and when we need it.  He knows our hearts and He knows our pain.  When I feel pain for myself or someone else (which can be worse) I think of the pain Jesus went through on the cross for us.  I know people always say that, but have you really thought about it?  He went through immense pain and torture for you.  He knows pain.  He knows what it's like to feel alone and abandoned.

All of us will go through hard times in our lives, some much harder than others.  My friend sent me a devotional that has some awesome tips for what we can do when we feel angry with God.  I am listing those below with some of my own comments.  I encourage you to follow her advice:

Press into God when you want to pull away.
Get lost in His word, spend time in prayer, be honest with Him and tell Him what you need.

Praise God out loud when you want to get lost in complaints.
I always remember my Grandma telling me that if she hurts herself she literally says (out loud) "Praise Jesus...Thank you Jesus".  I laughed so hard the first time I heard her say that but it's so powerful.  Even in our pain we should be praising Him.

Put yourself in the company of truth.
Venting and complaining to negative people will likely result in increased anger.  This will push you further from God and His blesings for you.  Surround yourself with beleivers who will encourage you to seek His will, comfort and peace. 


If you are dealing with pain or anger toward God right now I encourage you to "take it to the cross".  Lay your problems, sorrows, anger and pain at His feet.  I promise you will be blessed because of it.

*Jewels

Monday, June 25, 2012

Time

Do you ever find yourself saying there isn't enough time in the day?  Whether you are single, married, a student, working, with kids, without kids I guarantee you all would say yes to that question.  Even now, working part time, I feel like I don't have enough time to get it all done.  I don't have enough time to spend with all of the friends I haven't seen in way too long.  It's hard to find time to get together with couples/families we really enjoy spending time with.

I used to feel guilty about the lack of time I spent with friends.  But then I realized that I have the friends I have for a reason.  They are understanding about how busy life can get with kids even if they don't have them.  They know how dedicated I am to my husband and children.  They appreciate the fact that we love spending time with our extended family on the weekends.  I have some dear friends I have had since high school that I may not have seen in 6 months or a year.  I never thought I would be that girl to not make time for my friends.  But I also didn't realize how much time having a strong marriage and a successfuly family takes.  I hope and pray that my friends realize how much I love them.  I hope they know that if they really needed me I would be there in a second. 

This is a post to encourage you moms/wives out there that you shouldn't feel guilty if you have to temporarily cut back on time with people/hobbies to focus on family.  I'm not saying put your friends on the backburner.  I'm saying that working moms/wives just can't do it all.  Spreading yourself too thin will not do anyone any good (husband, kids, friends, you).  And you should never feel guilty about putting your family first. 

*Jewels

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dads

At church on Sunday the pastor showed a music video called "Dad Life" and it was too funny not to share.  You can watch it here

I tend to be the parent who spends the most time with our kids.  I have always viewed my role as more of the care taker/nurturer while Garrett is more of the "fun parent".  It always felt like he was the one who would get Garrison laughing until he cried or make Ethan smile (every time) if he was crying...and then hand him back to me to feed him (haha!).  Don't get me wrong - we have been really good at parenting/disciplining consistently and together but I'm talking more about the responsibility part of parenting. 

I have come to realize though that while Garrett may not be giving the baths or fixing the dinner he plays a MUCH bigger part in their lives than it may seem on the surface.  I have heard Dr. Phil say time and time again that the biggest influence in a child's life is the same sex parent.  I like to think Garrison takes after me in a lot of ways but Garrett is the one who has the most influence over him.  When Garrison is on the field playing baseball it's always Garrett he looks to for approval/direction.  When Garrison has big news he always wants to share it with Daddy to see what his response will be.  When Garrison has a question that I sometimes (okay, most of the time) don't have an answer to his response is always, "Let's ask Daddy about that".  While I hate to admit it Garrett can usually always calm Ethan down when he is crying. 

I like to think I am Super Woman/Wife/Mom but the truth is I need Garrett.  I need him as a husband, a father, a best friend, a support system.  God has transformed both of us into becoming what each other needs and what our kids need.  And we are far from perfect.  I look forward to seeing God's continued work on and in our lives to help us become even more for each other and for our boys.

People always talk about Moms having the special touch or just the right words.  And I think that is so important... but let us moms not forget that our kids also need that encouragement from/time with Dad.  I have learned that instead of nagging my husband about what all he is doing wrong I will choose to encourage him and praise him for all he is doing right.

Jewels*

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Take a Chance

I have always had the attitude that if I want something I have make it happen.  I can think of many significant times in my life where I took a chance on something or someone and it made a huge impact.  Some of those moments were hitting on Garrett (yeah, pretty much) when I saw him at a friend's house at the age of 16, getting married at 19 and moving across country with Garrett for his Navy career, and having many, many, many jobs.  People always tease me about how many jobs I've had but moving on to new jobs has been the only way I have been able to make more money and gain more experience. 

I strongly believe that if you want something you should go for it... take a chance.  I hear so many people complain about their lives or their jobs.  Do something about it!  God has come through for me so many times but He doesn't just hand things to me.  I ask him (and sometimes ask some more, and some more) and then sometimes I finally realize that He wants me to have something but He wants me to go out and get it myself.  Unless you have people in your life handing you everything (which I think is a meaningless way to live anyways) how are you ever going to appreciate what you have?  How are you ever going to appreciate what you had to work so hard for?  How are you going to teach your kids to work hard for what they want?

I took a HUGE chance by accepting a part time position at a new company recently.  I have been with the same company for 2 and a half years and get paid very well so to take a cut in hours and start with a new company is pretty scary.  But after much prayer I know this is the right decision for me and my family.  I can stay in a company I am unhappy with, continue to watch great people leave day after day, continue to work in a negative environment, continue to run ridiculous personal errands for the owner of my company (I'll definitely have to share more on that subject later), continue working for a company I am not proud to be a part of... OR I can choose to be part of a company I am proud of, I can choose to take a cut in pay to spend more time with my husband and kids, I can choose to get into a different industry and have a totally different career path. 

We make choices every day.  People may temporarily give you handouts but ultimately what you do with your life is completely up to you.

What chances have you been wanting to take?  What has been holding you back?  I say go for it!  What's the worst that can happen?!

Jewels*