Friday, October 12, 2012

A Glimpse

I started this post as an explanation for my previous eating disorder. I know a lot of people get the BUT WHY questions. I'm operating on not much sleep so instead I'm going to give you a glimpse into my old journal. These are taken directly from my journal from the message board I talked about in a previous post. Questions in the comments will be answered tomorrow! :)

During these posts I'm 17 years old and in my senior year in high school. I'm eating 500-800 calories a DAY and purging (throwing up) at least once a day.


I'm just so sick of it all......I'm sick of everyone telling me I'm so tiny but feeling so huge...I'm sick of being so tired and weak because I'm not eating right....but I don't wanna get better....I'd rather be thin and unhappy then fat and unhappy....at least this way I'm attractive...

most of the showers I take are full of tears......I've cried myself to sleep more than necessary lately....I cut about a month ago for the first time in forever....and why? Because I'm so f***ing sick and tired of not making any choices for myself....except about school or eating (not even eating anymore because [ExBF] wants me to eat) and school is stressing me out so much that I dont' even wanna try anymore.... I should be on antidepressants......but they make you gain weight..... my weight is more important to me than my happiness

I'm just giving up the dreams I've had of acting and modeling. The entire time they were talking to me I just shut down and heard this voice in my head saying "just give in and do what they want...forget your dreams...the dreams of acting and modeling are flighty anyway and you'll never lose enough weight to be successful...just give up. Just do what they want. Make them happy. Your feelings dont matter anyway."

*sighs* scared myself today....I was walking down the stairs to leave school ........normal thing right? Suddenly, without anything to provoke it, I get the thought of "I could kill myself....I do have the strength...I could do it...." like, it threw me off so much that I stopped walking and just stared. I mean, OMG. but yeah...I could. I'm so tired of everythign that if I didnt care so damn much about hurting people, I would do it....

I want to die. I really do......the question remains, do I have the strength to live? or the strength to die?


Reading through that entire journal is like reading a poorly written account of someone else's life. Sharing this is HARD. I get that nothing is *truly* private on the internet but the place I wrote that journal felt like a safe haven for me when I was at my lowest points.

I have to hit "publish" before I lose my nerve...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Our Scars Remind Us...

I am in recovery for a self harm addiction. I am/was a cutter. I'm currently almost 3 years clean. I began cutting in 2000...which means, if you do the math, I've been suffering from this for 12 years. To me it's like being an alcoholic: You don't ever *really* get over it.

Why? Why do that? If you've never done it my explanation probably won't be enough for you. I'm sorry in advance.

It felt good.

Yep. That's the crux of it. I know how crazy that sounds, trust me. I felt totally crazy at the time.

I'll break it down. When you're in pain your body produces endorphins. These trigger a "feel good" feeling that helps you deal with the pain. People that self harm just try to harness that feeling. When I would get overwhelmed or upset I could hurt myself and flood my body with endorphins. It was like doing drugs.

At the same time I knew it would hurt later after the endorphins wore off; so it was a punishment as well. If I ate too much, triggered an argument, got a bad grade, etc... I used it as a way to remind myself of that until it healed.

There was a point in my life (I was 17) when I had over 50 cuts in various states of healing. Fifty. You read that right.

There was a lot of guilt that went with it. There still is some days. There is such a stigma attached to the behavior. It was a crazy cycle. Cut, feel guilty about it, guilt becomes overwhelming, cut to relieve that overwhelmed feeling, feel guilty...

What can you do if you know someone that self harms?

1) Don't freak out. This is the hardest one so I'm putting it FIRST. The last thing they need to hear when they've opened up to you is "YOU DO WHAT? WHY? HOW COULD YOU? YOU NEED HELP!!!" Trust me, they know it's not an okay behavior. They know that they need help. That's why they're trusting you with the information.
What's the "proper" reaction? "I'm here for you. Let's go and talk to someone together." or "How can I help you?" If you can't handle it then SAY SO. "I can't handle this but I'll help you find someone that can."

2) Don't make them promise not to do it again. My ex was bad about this. I said above that there is already a lot of guilt that goes along with the behavior. On the road to recovery there will be slips. Period. You should celebrate each DAY that they can stay clean. Celebrate when they make it a week. If they slip then say, "Hey, you made it a week. Let's start fresh and I bet you can make it 8 days next time."  If you berate them because they "broke a promise" you are just adding to the guilt and can cause a setback.

3) Don't ignore it. If they told you or let you see (I was very careful about where I cut so no one would notice unless I wanted it) then it is a cry for help...not attention. Most self harmers are not suicidal. There is a difference between self harm and a suicide attempt. Someone that wants to kill themselves usually won't cut for months beforehand. Frankly, they just attempt it. I know that's hard to hear. It's hard to type.

4) Set up a check in process. Even if you just come up with a code you should find a way to check in with them each day. Make it easy. "How is today" and a "good/bad" response.

5) Don't take it on alone. Find someone that YOU can talk to as well. This isn't something that you should handle lightly and is, honestly, something for professionals to handle. After you establish trust you need to help the person find a trusted professional to help them and then you should talk to someone as well.


This was a lot longer than I thought it would be but I think it was necessary. Did I help you understand? If you have any questions let me know and I'll address them in another post.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

This is hard

I haven't written in a few days and it's because of a voluntary block on myself.

It's so hard to open up here and tell, what I feel are, my deepest and darkest secrets.

It's easier to share some poetry that I wrote during that time...I'll have a real post tomorrow.


ORDINARY GIRL
 Behind those gorgeous eyes
There lies a twisted world.
But out here on the surface,
She's an ordinary girl.

 She fights a losing battle,
One she cannot win.
And unlike other battles,
The evil lies within.

 The inches quickly falling,
The pounds peeling away,
 But she still lives in constant fear,
Afraid the weight will stay.

 Glassy eyes are wet with tears,
But she will never tell.
Pain inside won't fade away,
 But still she hides it well.

 Behind these gorgeous eyes,
There lies a twisted world.
But I will never show you,
I'm not your ordinary girl.

Friends keep on asking,
Trying to pull me out.
But I just don’t know what to say,
 Can you hear a silent shout?

 Can you read it in my eyes?
See it on my face?
Deep inside it hurts,
Deep inside there's space.

 Silently I'm screaming,
But don't want you to hear.
Outwardly I'm smiling,
 But deep inside there's fear.

 Behind MY gorgeous eyes,
There lies a twisted world.
And I'm afraid it will get out,
I'm not your ordinary girl.



Untitled

Slowly breaking down.
Shattered from within.
Reminded of all faults,
Of all pain and of all sin.

 Eyes are shiny glass
Crying harder each day.
Knowing that the pain will last,
You wont let it go away.

 Slowly breaking down.
Broken deep inside.
No one seems to realize
Just how often I have cried.

 Pounds are peeling off
Getting thinner all the while.
But you still dont see
Inside your world of denile.

 Slowly breaking down.
Wanting to stop the fight.
No one can ever know
I'll never be alright.

 Lying amidst broken glass
Screaming out in pain.
But you dont seem to notice
And my bleeding cuts remain

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pro-Ana Message Boards

I've written about pro-ana websites before.

As dangerous as those are I believe the thing that was MOST detrimental was my discovery of pro-ana message boards.

On a pro-ana website you are somewhat limited in the "support" you glean from the person that created the site. They rarely communicate directly with you. It's a one sided sort of relationship. You click and read and that's about it.

A message board is much more personal.

On a message board you get to know people. You get feedback for your posts. This isn't always healthy. Yes, if you decide that you want to go into recovery MOST people will cheer you on with comments like "you're so strong" and "I wish I could do that!"

But what if your post isn't about getting healthy? What if it's just the opposite?

Well you receive support for that too. Not in a "cheer you on" sort of fashion but in a "hey, it's okay" sort of way.

I remember reading where a girl admitted to purging in a car full of people. Her trick was that she feigned carsickness and put her head into a big black trashbag. A lot of the comments were along the lines of "I wish I were brave enough to do something like that." I'm not saying she should have been condemned...but she certainly didn't need applause.

The boards I belonged to didn't allow "tips" for legal reasons. However, I can tell you from experience that you can glean tips from reading someone else's experiences. Like with the above story, she didn't give a "tip" for purging in public but you can bet a dozen people read that and thought "That is so creative!" I did.

I will say I met a few good friends on that board. A couple I'm in touch with to this day. However, some of the meanest people I've EVER encountered were there. The anonymity of the internet combined with emotional issues makes for a bad time.

I was pretty tempted to head over to the board (where I still have access) and screenshot a few things to make my point. In the end, I couldn't do it for many reasons...
1) The board owner really doesn't like me. I'm sure she'd love to tear me apart over that.
2) Somewhere inside me I still have an emotional attachment to it. For a long time it was my safe place. When I felt like no one in the world understood me I could go there and know that at least one person did. If only it hadn't also been the place that fueled my disordered thinking at times...


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Nowhere To Go

He had us parked in the parking lot of my church. I'd checked my cell when we drove up and discovered it was the single spot without service. Looking back I wonder if that was on purpose.

He had taken the keys out of the ignition and put them in his pocket. It's late so I have nowhere to run.

He told me when we drove up that we weren't leaving until we'd resolved things. Little did I know that meant we weren't leaving until he was satisfied with the conversation.

We alternated between him yelling at me and him sobbing with his head in my lap until I finally figured out what he wanted: Surrender.

I gave it to him. I sat and sobbed. I apologized (I don't remember for what anymore) and I told him we could try again. I was crying on the outside but on the inside I felt nothing.

We drove back eventually and the friend I was staying with was livid. She and her grandson had tried to call me several times, texted, and left messages. I didn't get them until we drove out hours later. Guilt rode me.


The next time it happened we were in broad daylight. Again, he picked a spot with no cell service. This time we were at a park that I'd never been to and couldn't have gotten home from...

People walked by frequently. Several times I entertained the thought of jumping out and running after someone and begging them to take me home. At the time I was sure I would have gotten in trouble for making a scene and embarrassing him. I'm sure he would have told my parents that I could have left at any time and he wasn't keeping me there against my will. He was, and it felt that way.


Incidents like this were a huge part of my eating disorder and self harm. I felt out of control and helpless most of the time. Controlling what I ate or my physical pain was the way I chose to cope.

Do you need to catch up? Click here for all of the posts in one place:

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

First Time For Everything

There are some firsts that you don't remember. Chances are that you don't remember your first word, your first step, or your first food. Your first day of school or your first crush are probably fuzzy.

There are some things I remember with startling clarity. Even though stress and sleep deprivation have taken several memories from me there are a few things that stick out.

I remember my first encounter with eating disorders. It was a magazine. Teen Magazine to be exact. They'd done an article where they interviewed girls with various EDs. Joshua Jackson was on the cover. I remember because I kept it for years out of some weird sentimental notion. I remember thinking "I like food too much to stop eating. There's no way I could make myself throw up. I hate throwing up." I remember feeling SORRY for these girls and knowing that I'd never succumb to that. Well I did a few months later.

My first encounter with self harm was also a magazine. That one doesn't stick out as clearly but it was around the same time. They'd interviewed a girl that was a recovering cutter. Her first cut was an accident if I recall correctly. Around the same time I knew a guy that drunkenly tried to commit suicide by cutting his arm open (the vein he could see was his goal). The next time I got overwhelmed with anxiety/depression/meltdown I remembered both of these things.

I also remember too clearly the first time I let my boyfriend hurt my soul. He'd found out that I'd fooled around with someone else BEFORE he and I became official (not something I'm proud of by any means but it's the truth). This was after we broke up and he called to confront me and ended up screaming at me through the phone. What he screamed isn't appropriate for this blog but it was profanity with a few degrading terms thrown in. I stood in my room and stared in my mirror and cried and nodded and AGREED WITH HIM because I still loved him. I relied on HIS feelings about me to determine how *I* felt about me.


There are some good firsts that I remember too. I remember the first time Stefan told me he loved me. I remember the first time I looked into his eyes and knew he didn't judge me for my past. Those are firsts that I'm glad I remember.


 Click here for all of the posts in one place

Monday, October 1, 2012

31 Days Intro

The next 30 days will be hard.

My prayer is that someone, somewhere, will feel touched or helped by my bits of story. I also hope that I can finally find healing through this. The wounds are old and mostly healed but still a bit tender.

Over this month you'll hear first hand accounts of what it's like to suffer from an eating disorder, WHY someone would feel the need to self hard, how I denied for so long that my relationship was unhealthy, and see the pain that I lived with every single day. It's a rare glimpse inside my head.

What is it like doing something like this? It's almost like an out of body experience. I have the memories from that period of time, but reading my journals and remembering feels like living in someone else's body. I am so far from that part of my life that reliving it isn't really reliving...it's like retelling a story.

There will be hurt feelings. There will be offenses taken. And just about every post will contain triggering material. But I know that when I was desperate to get healthy (and failed the first several times) I would have been ecstatic to come across a brutally honest account of these issues.

Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better take things as they come along with patience and equanimity. Carl Jung


Monday, September 24, 2012

One Size Fits Some

Parenting is not one size fits all.

What works for some parents won't work for you. What worked for your first kid probably won't work for the second.


I'm reminded of this so much with my two boys! They're very different. It might be birth order and it might be pure personality.

Franklin is an introvert. He plays well by himself and recharges by being ALONE.

Jonathan is an extrovert. He prefers to play with others and hates being alone.

This obviously creates conflict within THEIR relationship...but it's also hard for us as parents.

We talked about it yesterday. Sometimes I'll be playing with Jonathan (again) and notice Franklin sitting by himself and that Mommy Guilt kicks in..."Am I choosing favorites?" "Does Franklin think I don't' love him as much?" So I'll call out to Franklin, "Hey! Come play with me!" or "Come love on me!"

His response most of the time?

"No."

Why? Is it because he's mad at me? Nope, he's fine over in his own little bubble. He NEEDS that space to himself. I'm actually doing him a favor by keeping Jonathan away from him!

It's funny...but this is a prime example of what I'm talking about
Don't get me wrong, sometimes Franklin loves to cuddle. We cuddle to sleep at night. But I'm still learning how to meet his needs properly.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My Argument With God (the most recent one)

If God and I sat down and had an official discussion it would have gone something like this:

God: I have a blog idea for you. I know that you've had trouble coming up with new ones so I did it for you.

Me: Well thank you! What is it?

God: I want you to write about your past issues. Your eating disorder, your ex boyfriend, and your self harm.

Me: ......excuse me?

God: You haven't been able to get those things out of your head lately. They would be great tools for your book but I want you to blog about them.

Me: *silence*

God: You'll touch and save lives.

Me: *silence*

God: *silence*

Me: I can't. I just can't do it.

God: Yes, I'll help you.

Me: Nope.

God: This is what you're supposed to write about. You won't be able to come up with anything else until you do...and after a while your book will stall out as well. It will be cathartic AND helpful for someone.


That's how I imagine it would go anyway. How did it actually go? I got the feeling that I should write about these things and I ignored it...and then I hit writer's block all around.


So over the next few weeks I'll be doing several blogs covering several of these topics. I'll be including a lot of journal entries *gulp* and facts and links. Pray for me? This will be rough...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I get it...

It's something said a lot in church settings.

"You are a child of God."

"God is your Father."

But, honestly, I didn't TRULY understand what that meant.

When I fell away from God I got into the "I have to clean up my life before I can return" trap. I felt like I had to be GOOD ENOUGH for Him to truly love me.

My husband said to me, "That's the best part. None of us deserve it and none of us are truly good enough. He loves us anyway."

I accepted that and accepted Christ (again).

But now that I'm a parent with kids of my own I feel like I actually get it.

My kids aren't perfect. They are FAR from it! They make me angry daily. They disobey daily...sometimes hourly. And I still love them. I don't approve of their bad decisions, but it doesn't make me love them any less.

THAT is how God feels about us. We screw up daily...sometimes hourly! He gets angry with us. He doesn't approve of our bad decisions, but that doesn't mean he loves us any less!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

House Cleaning Schedule!



'Clean Up or You're Out! :Brooklyn Street Sign' photo (c) 2010, emilydickinsonridesabmx - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ Recently I developed my own house cleaning schedule. I got tired of living in disarray...It was driving me crazy.

Step one was I got on top of laundry! I seriously spent a day doing nothing but laundry. I didn't do anything else. I washed, dried, folded, and put away...all day long. It was a terrible day BUT it all got done.



The actual Schedule is as follows:

DAILY
- Laundry (1-2 loads....I'm serious)
- Dishes
- General Tidy (normally the kitchen with this one)
- Inventory food and add to shopping list
- Vacuum Living Room (it's high traffic here)

MONDAY: BATHROOMS
- Wipe tub (if you wipe it often enough you don't have to scour it!)
- Spray and wipe shower
- Clear counters
- Wipe counters and sink
- Wipe toilet (we have some of those Kaboom cleaners so the bowl stays pretty clean!)
- Pick up floor

TUESDAY: BEDROOM/LIVING ROOM
- Every 2 weeks wash sheets (some people do this more often but every 2 weeks works for me)
- Every 2 weeks wash comforters (do this on the week you're not washing sheets)
- Pick up floor
- Dust
- Gather trash
- Gather laundry
- Make beds

WEDNESDAY: KITCHEN/TRASH/DINING ROOM
- Gather trash throughout house
- Clean out fridge
- Scrub sink
- Clear/scrub counters
- Wipe cabinets
- Sweep
- Clear/wipe table
- Wipe chairs
- Wipe handles on appliances
- Trash out to can

THURSDAY: FLOORS
- Scrub (or at least spot scrub) kitchen/dining floor
- Vacuum all rooms
- Spot clean carpet if possible

FRIDAY: PROJECT DAY!
A project is anything you can work on in small bites throughout the day. Things like
- Cleaning out a closet
- Organizing cabinets
- Organizing boxes
- Going through clothing
Etc...

SATURDAY: ERRAND/FAMILY DAY
This is the day we do all of our shopping and do something fun if possible (like the zoo or park)

SUNDAY: CHURCH/REST/ERRANDS
If you've kept up with your schedule you should be able to do the basics and then RELAX!!


What do you think? Do you have a cleaning schedule?


Linking up





Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Does Your Reflection Show Your Love?

I avoid the mirror.

It's a habit from when I was a teenager and deep into my eating disorder. I still have a distorted view of my body (I see fat where there isn't any) so the habit is still there. It might be a little amusing to watch me spend time in the bathroom and only look in the mirror once or twice.

I need this.
I know a lot of people feel that children reflect their parents' parenting. (Sometimes I hope that's not true because my son is a typical 3 year old!!) This morning he parroted something that I didn't like to hear. Jonathan (18mo) dumped out a baggie of crackers. This is typical for him and his general age group (just an FYI to new parents: 12mo-24mo is a lot of dumping) I asked them to pick them up and put them back in the bag. As I walked away to get some water I hear Franklin say, "It's you fault, Jonathan."
I froze.
He wasn't being ugly about it. He was very matter of fact. I calmly asked him to repeat what he said to make sure I heard right (this was before coffee...I mishear all sorts of fun things before coffee) He did. I did.
My heart broke a little bit. Is that how he hears me? Have I said that to him? Maybe he heard it on a show... Is he a reflection of how much I love them?

2 Corinthians 3:18 says Our faces, then, are not covered. We all show the Lord's glory, and we are being changed to be like him. This change in us brings ever greater glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (NCV)

The King James puts it this way:
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

We're supposed to be a reflection of God's love. Just like we want our children to reflect our love for them. Sometimes, especially on Facebook, I see so many Christians being downright hateful. Jesus loved everyone. He didn't APPROVE of everyone, but he sure loved them. I think that we forget that sometimes. Loving someone and showing them the love of Christ isn't the same as showing them approval of their behavior...but it's hard to be loving and condemn someone to hell in the same breath (or comment box).

Linking up








Growing Home

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I Don't Have Faith In Myself

This morning I was lying awake (I do that) and thinking about all of the things I wanted to get done today. I kept thinking "I can't do everything" and trying to prioritize. At one point I thought, "Why don't I have faith in myself to get it all done?"

That's when it hit me.

Source
Duh. Trying to have faith in MYSELF is why I haven't been able to succeed.

I'm not supposed to have faith in myself to get things done; I'm supposed to have faith that God will give me the strength and tools to get things done.

By trying to focus on faith in myself I was basically telling God that I didn't need Him and I'd figure it out on my own.

Yeah...you can see how well THAT'S going!


So if you've been trying to figure something out and feel like you're hitting a wall...stop and pray. I have a bit more peace about the situation knowing that *I* don't have to be in charge! That's my prayer for you: Peace.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

It's pretty clean...right?

If you walk in my kitchen right you'd think it was clean. It's not spotless by any stretch of the imagination...but it's mostly clean. Cluttered...but clean. (Did I drive that home yet?)
Yeah...so not my kitchen.


I was in the middle of patting myself on the back for being able to wake up to a clean kitchen...and then I got into the freezer.

The freezer handle (it's the drawer kind) is sticky. It's probably jelly (the boys love jelly). If you look under the stove there's a small toy/dirt collection. I don't want to talk about under the fridge!

So I got to thinking...isn't life like that sometimes?

We think things are fine as long as we don't dig deeper and don't really evaluate ourselves. If we stay on the surface and just "get by" we're convinced that everything is just fine. It isn't until we take a good, hard look at ourselves that we realize we still have dirt in the corners and messy areas that need to be cleaned.

Today I'll be cleaning hidden areas...both literally and figuratively. What areas will you be cleaning?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Funny Friday: Week Recap

Having a verbal toddler can be REALLY trying sometimes. (I swear if I get told "No, I can't!!" one more time....) But occasionally he's really hilarious. Here are highlights from my Facebook this week! (By the way, click that and be my friend!)

Franklin found a fly that can't fly...this leads to things like this:
"He just walking, Mommy. Look."
and
"The fly's walking on me! Look look! He's walking on me"


----------


Franklin just put on a pair of fleece pj pants and is now walking around saying "Whew. It's hot in here. Whew."

----------


I might have made a mistake when I asked Franklin yesterday if the fly was his friend...
Why? Because it's sort of creepy to hear your toddler say, "I gotta kill my friend." 

In other fly news: "He fly up the sky and he come back down and he can die."


----------



It's wayy too early for me to be decoding Franklin speak...
*points at TV* "Mommy, that's sexy crock!"

WHAT? We're watching Veggie Tales.

"Mommy, that's 6 o'clock!!!"

Ohhhhh Where's my coffee??

Friday, May 18, 2012

Just Take The Compliment

Does this sound familiar?

"Your hair looks great today!"
"Thanks. I only had 10mins to fix it."

"I love that shirt!"
"Thank you. I found it in the back of the closet."

"You did great."
"Yeah, but I could have..."

?

It's called Deflecting. I'm awful about it. I just cannot take a compliment! A friend of mine said she feels like a snob if she doesn't deflect. I can relate. I also feel like I have to immediately compliment the person back or I'm being rude.

So I'm giving myself a Challenge and I want YOU to join me! It's the Just Take The Compliment Challenge! We'll begin Sunday (ooh...church is full of nice people!) and "end" on Saturday, but I'm hoping you don't stop doing it.

How do you do it? When someone compliments you you're going to follow these steps:
- Smile
- Say "Thank you" or an equivalent
- Stop Talking

It sounds easy right? So why not join us? Click HERE to join the event on Facebook!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Does This Mean War?

Sigh. By now everyone has heard about the TIME cover with the mom breastfeeding her 3 year old.

I'm not here to talk about that directly...I've said enough on Facebook.

I'm here to talk about Mommy Wars.

Moms know what I'm talking about here. At least, you should. Have you ever felt judged for your parenting choice? Then you've been part of a Mommy War. It's a stupid thing that pits mothers against each other. Stay at home moms against working moms. Home schooling moms against public schooling moms. Breastfeeders against formula feeders (shouldn't we be glad baby was FED?).

There are even factions within each of these. Fellow breastfeeding moms will turn on each other when asked "How old is too old?" Some home schooling parents feel like a certain STYLE of home schooling is superior. Are you a mom that WORKS at HOME? Chances are you've felt slighted by working and non working moms alike.

Why do we do this?

Being a mother is HARD. Making decisions for your child is HARD. I remember not wanting to admit to anyone that I'd weaned my first son at *gasp* 15 months instead of letting HIM decide. I struggle with giving advice about home schooling because my son actually enjoys structured activities and some parents are against that.

We should support each other. We should hold each other up as awesome because we're all in the same Mommy Tribe. But we don't. We judge. We gossip. We turn up our noses at those that parent differently from us when we should embrace differences as a learning experience (even if it's how you DON'T want to do something). We should base our friendships on whether personalities click and not on whether mom pulls out a breast or bottle to feed her child.

TIME, I take offense to the idea that only those that are "Mom Enough" choose attachment parenting. There is no check-list that makes you the perfect attachment parent. I'm not even crazy about the TERM attachment parent. It pushes parents that don't practice out as "not as attached" to their children when, frankly, that isn't the case.

So stop the Mommy Wars. Find something else to disagree about. Parenting is hard enough.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Chores On Their Own!

I've written before on chores and listed the chores my son did at the time.

A lot of that went out the window when the new baby was born. (Honestly, a lot of housework did!)

The boys surprised me the other day!


I heard Franklin (3yo) messing around in the dishwasher and I asked what he was doing. His response was "I just cleaning." I came around the corner to find him unloading the dishwasher! I helped him with the high/sharp things but that was it.

The next day he did it again. This time he enlisted the help of his younger brother. He handed Jonathan plastic things to put in the cabinet and showed him how to put the silverware in the drawer. I was BLOWN AWAY.

But he wasn't done!

I'd told him earlier in the day that we needed to clean up the living room if he wanted his dog to come inside to play.

After unloading the dishes he walked into the living room and started putting big things (toys, blankets, etc) on the couch. He called to me, "Help me clean a little bit, Mommy!" So I brought a small trashcan in to help him pick up trash and then I vacuumed. Of course the dog got to come inside to play!


Ack. When did my baby get so big?? Sigh.


And now for cute pictures!

3 years old

16 months

I'm linking up with the MOB Society

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

"Making Time For God" is SILLY!

I love Blimey Cow. If you haven't been introduced to this group you're missing out.

They did a video recently on "Making Time For God"... can a humorous video step on your toes?





I love this line: "If you're a Christian and your spiritual life is confined to 15 minutes in the morning...you're doing it wrong."


It's true though. How many of us make a resolution to "make more time for God" each year? When did spending time with our Creator become something we had to schedule? We should be spending so much time with Him that we have to pencil everything else in!

Linking Up!



Friday, April 6, 2012

Twas 2 Days Till Easter...

...and I have nothing planned!!

Seriously, we usually spend Easter visiting somewhere. We've never "done Easter" just as our own family unit.

Is it weird that I'm a bit freaked out?

This is how I feel inside
We have NO family traditions for this holiday. I'm building them totally from scratch...and it's sort of too late to buy stuff like eggs to hide or baskets right? (Not that they need the candy anyway...I could hide empty eggs and they'd be thrilled)


What are your Easter Traditions? Maybe you'll inspire me!

Pro-Ana (websites)


I truly don't remember what I searched in Yahoo! to bring up these pages. I just know that I searched *something* related to eating disorders and it brought up a pro-ana site. I felt like Alice falling down the rabbit hole into an entirely new world...

Read more at my Fitness Blog! If you're a parent YOU NEED THIS POST!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Do You Believe In Magic?

Quote from "Hat Trick" episode. Once Upon A Time

I heard that quote on Once Upon A Time (TV Show) and something about it resonated with me.

Yes, the quote talks about MAGIC. However, you could easily make this about God...

"You know what the issue with this world is? Everybody wants a Godly solution to their problems, but no one wants to believe in Him."

So many times we want God to step in and just FIX our lives but we don't actually believe He can do it. We don't believe that He can find us a job or heal what doctors have said is hopeless. We don't want to just give him our problems because we have to try to help God.

Today I'm going to spend time in prayer giving God my problems. I'll be honest, I'll probably have to start by asking Him to HELP ME let go. Will you join me?






Growing Home

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Give Her Something To Eat

Luke 8:40-56 (I cut the middle out...that's for a different post!)


Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him.  
Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.  
While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.”  
Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”
When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother.  
Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.”  
They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead.  But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!”  Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat.  Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.

I have so many thoughts on this passage...

- The quote from Jesus "Don't be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed" is SO powerful. Just believe. Just. Believe. I can't say it enough. That is ALL we need for healing. Believe that Jesus WILL.

- I think it's interesting that He didn't let everyone go in...he took a few disciples and the girl's parents.

- Jesus told them to give her something to eat. This verse has SO much impact on me. When I was still recovering from my eating disorder my husband and I came across this verse during a Bible study. Why was it emphasized to give her food? It MUST be important or it wouldn't be recorded.

This is an open ended post. I want YOUR thoughts below!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Dealing With Fear

So, a moment of bragging, my business has been picking up and doing really well. February I earned close to $250. March I can see a bit of what I'm earning and it's close to $300...my last paycheck kept my family out of the red. (Yes, we probably could have done it ourselves...but that little bit really helped)

It's weird...even though I'm seeing the numbers and seeing the success there's this teeny voice in my head that whispers things to me.

Things like...

You can't do it.


Quit now. You'll never keep this up.


You got lucky. Next time you'll just fail.


You'll never get more than this. 

That voice? Is dead wrong. I know it is.

I bounced this off my husband and he told me it's totally normal. These are the moments that separate successful people and unsuccessful people. Successful people hear that voice and tell it to hush up. (We don't say shut up in my house! lol) Unsuccessful people give in and listen to that voice.

At the beginning of January I put my trust in God. I told Him that if He wanted me to stay in this business to show me, to grow my business, and to help me succeed. He definitely has done that.

Psalm 56:3 says When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. 



So yes, I'm afraid. I have to admit I'm close to terrified. This could be a huge defining moment for our lives. If I continue growing like this, even at a slow pace, my husband won't have to reenlist into the military in 5 years. That would be such a blessing!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Are You Forgiving?

I'm doing the Good Morning Girls study on Ephesians. I'm in a Facebook group with some AWESOME ladies!

Today's verse was: Eph. 4:4-6 "There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all."

We ended up talking about the parable of the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18: 23-35. Basically, a servant is called in to his lord because he owes money. He BEGS to be given more time and the lord has compassion and forgives his debt. This servant immediately goes and starts demanding money from a fellow servant that owes him. (And, for the record, the debt is significantly smaller) The lord finds out and is livid and has the man thrown in jail. The lesson is basically: Forgive others if you expect to be forgiven.

For me this speaks a lot of marriage.

My husband has forgiven a lot. I have a troubled past and I'm not perfect (there are days I'm so far from it that it's ridiculous). But he forgives me. So, if my husband can forgive me what kind of person am I if I can't forgive others?

Even moreso, if GOD can forgive me...and He's a lot more jealous and picky than my husband...what kind of example am I setting if I can't forgive others? If I refuse to forgive someone am I reflecting Christ?

I struggle with this with my children. My toddler, especially today, has been troublesome.



He's a typical toddler. He doesn't listen, he yells back at me, he throws things, he plays rough, etc... I have to remember (remind myself) that he lives in the moment. So, when he throws something and gets disciplined he's over it 5mins later even if *I'M* not over it.

But isn't it like that with God? Scripture tells us that time means nothing to God. So what feels like an eternity for me is like a fingersnap for God. When I'm dwelling on something God may be saying "Forgive and move on."

Linking up!




Friday, February 24, 2012

What Are You Saying To God?

One of the blogs I follow on Facebook wrote today about grumbling to God. I encourage you to go and read the post because it is REALLY GOOD and very convicting!

The Scriptures she references are:

Acts 3:8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
and
Col 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

Everything we do should be to praise God. Yes, even scrubbing toilets and picking up toys.

I realized I complain a lot...a lot more than I should.

I feel like God called me to be a stay at home wife and mother. So, each time I complain and say "I CAN'T DO THIS!" I'm basically telling God "You made a mistake."

God doesn't make mistakes. Everything is in His hands. He called me to do this for a reason. Even if it doesn't make sense to ME it makes sense to HIM and that's all that matters.


Challenge: The next time you feel a complaint coming on say "Thank you" instead. Seriously. Even if you don't mean it at first (it will probably come out in a sarcastic tone) do it anyway. Thank God for the toilet you're scrubbing, for the dishes you're washing, for the screaming children...If He brings you to it He'll bring you through it!

UPDATE!
I did this on Friday when I was trying to get the kids dressed. Clothes (clean) were everywhere and I had trouble finding kid pants. Instead of complaining I remembered this post, paused, and said "Thank you Lord for giving us so many clothes that I have trouble sorting through them. Thank you for the space in the house to spread clothes everywhere. Thank you for my (then screaming) children." I don't know it humbled me...but it gave me something else to focus on for a brief moment.

Linking up

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Communicating with God




Scripture references: 

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God breathed. 

 1 John 5:14-15 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.



I'd love to hear what you think! Blog about it and link-up below!


Friday, January 27, 2012

Book Club Friday

I'm linking up with Undercover Blonde today!



Right now I'm reading


Raising Your Spirited Child: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, Energetic

If your child is wild, energetic, busy, screams a lot, never stops, constantly disobedient, loud, etc... YOU NEED THIS BOOK.
I'm learning so much about my kids (yes, both) and myself. I've realized that part of the reason I react so strongly to Franklin is we both have the *intense* characteristic. Think about it like this: When you put two pieces of dynamite together and only light ONE they both go off. Same thing with me and Franklin. We're both dynamite waiting for a spark. So when he goes off it sets me off and, well, sometimes things don't go so well. I yell, he yells, we both scream and cry and nothing gets accomplished.

I borrowed it from the library but I'm definitely putting it in my personal collection!

What did you read this week? Link up!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Communication Study 1 Week Away!!

You guys, God was SO working in me last night when I thought about this study. He has so much planned! I'm so excited. I'll be doing VIDEOS for this instead of just written blogs.

I'm pumped!

Are you excited? I'll be giving you a chance to link up each week so be on the look out for that! The study starts Wednesday, Feb 1st. Tell your friends.

We'll begin with how we communicate with GOD.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Recipe Links!

There are two new recipes at Kas Fitness! Click on the yummy photo to see each one.

Sausage/Egg Muffins

Breakfast Sausage Spaghetti Sauce
Linking up!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Struggling With Feelings

Last week 6 Marines lost their lives in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

My brother is part of that unit...these men were his family.

The thing is, he literally JUST switched shifts so if this had happened a week earlier it could have been him.

That's terrifying.

So I'm relieved it's not him.

However, there's still 6 men who lost their lives.

So am I relieved that they died instead of him? It's all so confusing. I'm truly not sure how to feel right now.

Advice? Scripture? Anything?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Cleaning the Living Room (vlog)

Please ignore how chubby I look. I layered a shirt over my tank top and it fell funky...



Thursday, January 19, 2012

Emotional Hoarding?

There's a popular TV phenomenon right now...

Hoarding TV Shows.

As I lay in bed this morning God put on my heart that you can be a hoarder even if your home doesn't look like this:
Source
But what if EMOTIONALLY you're a hoarder?

The definition of hoarding is

Hoarding is the excessive collection of items, along with the inability to discard them. Hoarding often creates such cramped living conditions that homes may be filled to capacity, with only narrow pathways winding through stacks of clutter....People who hoard typically save items because they believe these items will be needed or have value in the future...Source

If you change "items" to "emotions" or "grudges" the above description reads like most people. We hold on to grudges and bad feelings and bad memories. We fill ourselves up with those things until we're so full of depression/anxiety/hate that we can't let anyone else in. We feel that we need to hold on to this garbage because if we don't we'll forget and get hurt again. The danger that comes with hoarding is two-fold: 1) The stacks of garbage will fall and crush the hoarder. 2) If the hoarder needs help no one (ie: emergency crews) will be able to get in and help.

If you're so full of emotional garbage you probably don't feel comfortable letting anyone, including God, inside. I remember telling my husband, then boyfriend, "I'm not good enough for God." I thought I needed to clean up my life before I could invite God in...definitely before I let anyone else in either.

So what do we do? On the show they get a therapist and professional cleaning crew to come in and help the hoarder deal with the mess. We have that in the way of the Holy Spirit. He's a helper (John 14:16 I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper to be with you forever), a therapist, and a cleaning crew. If you ask the Holy Spirit to help you clean up your emotional garbage He will be MORE than happy to help.

If you need help/advice on how to ask the Holy Spirit for help please email me or comment below (or come find me on Facebook!)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

February Series: Communication

I am SO SO excited for this! I'm doing a month long series on Communication! It will begin Feb 1st and there will be a post every Wednesday (which will also be a linkup opportunity!)

We'll cover (in order) Communication with:
- God
- Spouse
- Children
- Friends
- Strangers

Each week there will be a Bible verse I focus on and a brief blog post.

So get ready! If you have any questions for each of these areas email me at sunset.dawn@gmail.com and I'll cover what I can!


I bit about what I do

As I work on a blog series about Communication (aren't you excited?! I am!!) I want to share this video with you...


Friday, January 6, 2012

My Challenge To You

So, last night we were in the Whataburger drive-thru (don't judge me) and suddenly Stefan goes, "I feel compelled to give this guy money. Get in the driver's seat." and jumps out of the car.
He walked over to a man sitting on the side of the road, gave him money, and came right back.
We made our order and pulled up to pay only to find out the lady in front of us had taken care of it.
When we pulled up beside her to wait for our order she rolled down her window and said, "I saw what you did. It was very kind. Thank you."

 Seriously guys. Do something selfless today. God (or the Universe depending on what you believe) will pay you back.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

SYtG Challenge

Say Yes to God Challenge posted today!

This week challenge:
is to spend more time with God. To get to know Him better. To be content with where He has you. To not grumble and complain. To talk with Him.

Honestly, this will be harder for me than you might think...because it involves slowing down! I'm on the go from the minute I get up. I take care of kids, clean house, break up fights, try to teach something, eat, make food, clean some more...and work if I can squeeze it in. I realized while reading today's challenge that I really don't make time for God. Yes, Holy Spirit, I heard you...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Challenges! Join me!

This year I'm not creating my own challenge...I'm totally participating in challenges developed by others, and then blogging about it!

I'm doing the following and want you to join me!

The Gentleness Challenge by Women Living Well
I LOVE Courtney's blog. It's always uplifting. This time she has a challenge around being gentle to our children.
And so I’d like to embark humbly on a Gentleness Challenge for mommy’s everwhere who struggle with raising their voices to their children, scowling, speaking in rapid fire foolish words or lecturing in anger. 


52 Weeks to an Organized Home with Home Storage Solutions
Each week she gives you an area to organize. You just focus on THAT area each week (and snowballing from the week before) It's a GREAT idea. I know several people have "get organized" on their New Year's Resolution List. You can even get it sent weekly to your inbox so you don't have to worry about forgetting to check back.

2012 Decluttering Calendar by MySimplerLife.com
Each DAY has a small area to declutter. Like the top shelf in a cabinet or a single drawer. That REALLY breaks it down and makes it easy!

Saying YES to God Challenge with Becoming a Strong Woman of God
I follow this wonderful woman on Facebook. Her posts are always uplifting. This challenge is about saying YES to God this year and learning to hear His voice.


Did you check out the challenges? Which one will you do with me?

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