Thursday, June 4, 2015

And Then She Freaked Out Some More

So it has been a week since I poured out all my fears here.  On a good note, I'm not crying every hour of the day anymore.  On a bad note...not a lot of answers have appeared yet.

The reality of our situation has become we have begun to tell people and prepare for a new adventure.  I have cried with several good friends and have given official notice to the tutorial that I will not be coming back.  I have talked to a couple of parents who said that their children were going to be devastated that Mrs. Star would not be their Science teacher next year.  Admittedly, that makes me feel good...I hope they knew I loved them and I hope they loved learning about God's world.  They will also all breathe a HUGE sigh of relief when they realize that Mrs. Star not being there probably means no Science Fair project.  I will try not to get my feelings hurt when that revelation hits and the celebration begins!  :)

I have begun going through one room at a time and trying to purge "stuff" that I don't want to have to move.  I thought that would be easy and freeing but it is TOUGH.  Every room I start working in is a reminder of how unsettled we are right now.  Every decision is made more difficult because we just do not know much of anything and I do not operate well like that.

I guess the hardest part of trusting God is trusting God.  :)  I know that sounds ridiculous, but even though I know, in my head, that these things are really small issues for Him, in the reality of day to day life, they feel insurmountable.  I am glad no one is really reading this anymore because I have to confess to being a really shallow baby right now.  I HATE not knowing.  I HATE not knowing when we will move.  I HATE not knowing where my kids will go to school.  I HATE not knowing where I will be living or working or going to church.

Every day is another question and another frustration.  Should I sell my home school books?  I don't know.  What if I sell them and then we do not raise the money  in time to start in August?  What if I don't sell them and we do and then I am forced to pack and move a TON of books we won't be using. What if I pack up each room and then we don't move as planned?  Do I have to live in a chaotic half moved zone for 6 months?  What if I don't pack and we do move?

So these are some of the things going through my mind constantly and then yesterday, I just hit a wall.  You see my sister texted to tell me that there were teaching positions open in her school and I could probably get a job there and just work toward getting re-certified while I worked.  This seemed like a great option to me.  She works at a charter school where kids get in on a lottery basis and teachers in the school get priority.  If I could get on there, my kids would have a good chance getting in.  That means that no matter where we live, they can stay in that school and we would not have to worry about putting them in one district temporarily and then moving them again.  I was so excited!  I thought maybe this was a first answered prayer, a way to settle my mind that things were going to be okay.  I excitedly went to tell my husband...he wasn't thrilled at all.  He immediately responded that that school wasn't in our target area of ministry and we needed to try to keep things within the boundaries of our ministry area.  I was crushed!

I know this is very small and petty...but this is my journal right now and it is where I am.  You see, a few days ago, I had another idea about a job.  I love the idea of only buying fair trade items and supporting the marginalized in our purchases instead of the big box companies.  So, I saw an opportunity to work for a direct sales company that gives jobs to women in developing countries.  I loved that idea.  I could feel like I was making a difference, maybe make some friends and help support our family.  I mentioned the idea to Chris...and he immediately responded that I could not do that because it would take me away from the ministry too much.

Please understand, I love this ministry and I am excited.  But...they aren't giving ME a job...they are giving it to my husband.  He is so excited because he is filled with ideas and visions and anticipation. He knows what he is going to be doing.  I, on the other hand, am excited about the opportunity...but I don't have a role...I am trying to figure out where I fit in and what my place is and it feels like every time I turn around, another question arises but never an answer.  I kind of feel like I am smothering.  Each time I feel like I can grasp a little air, get a little relief, I am pushed back under again to wait and wonder.  To be really honest, I am a little resentful.  For the first time in 20 years, I will live close to my family and I feel like I won't even be able to see them unless I have a signed note from the ministry.  I am resentful because I feel like I have lost my choice in everything.  I cannot choose where I live, I cannot choose where my kids go to school, I cannot choose where I get a job...I am so disempowered...and that makes me mad...but that is where I should be, that place where I am utterly powerless so that God has all the power.  That place where, whatever happens, I will know not I but Him?

So that is where I am right now.  I look forward to coming back here, at some point and shaking my head and laughing at my lack of faith.  I look forward to writing down how God swept in and took care of all the details that I am panicking about.  I know that my failures right now will be God's victories in the future.  For now, I am just crying a lot and trying to hang on...but I am tired, so if anyone does stumble across this page...please say a little prayer for me.  Pray that I will just keep my eyes on the One who sustains, pray I would submit gracefully to the authority of my husband and that I would be willing to go through this refining process.  It isn't comfortable or fun, but I know that, if I come out of it reflecting the One who refines, it will be worth it!

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."  Matthew 11:28-30

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Just For Me

It has been 2 years since I have written a thing on this blog...and that is okay. I have missed writing and feel like I have missed documenting little stories and snippets of life around here, but life has gotten busy and inspiration has been sparse. Several times, I have told myself I would like to get back into blogging, but at midnight, when I am just finishing up chores from the day and I am choosing between blogging and sleeping...sleeping ALWAYS wins out!

 I know that there is probably no one left reading this blog anymore...and that is okay, because this one is just for me, a journal of sorts, a way to remember, at some time in the future where I was today and all that God has done since. You see, yesterday, our life changed A LOT! Yesterday, my husband accepted a job across the country.

 There are so many exciting things about this, and so many things that scare me to death! God has been working on us for several years. He began refining us and challenging us and showing us what the Christian faith is really about. We made changes, some of them documented here. We changed our priorities, we started volunteering, we gave more sacrificially, we ADOPTED!!! But, two years ago, we felt God calling us to the Northwest. We knew the need was huge there and felt God leading us to become part of His work. We pursued many outlets, we prayed, we talked to many people, we made a vision trip...but doors kept closing. We finally decided that, while we felt God's call was real, maybe the timing wasn't right. So, we continued to pray but stopped pursuing for awhile. And then, this opportunity presented itself. The timing seemed perfect and the process began. It was long and rigorous and I really do not feel the need to document it all except to say that it involved a lot of prayer and soul searching and counseling from people smarter than us! :) We knew our oldest (who just graduated high school, praise God) would not go with us to the Northwest...but our other children were on board. My family is out there and the thought of living close to that set of grandparents and cousins was pretty exciting! So, the waiting and the praying and the soul searching has been going on a long time, and last week, we got the husband was offered this ministry opportunity! He is so perfect for this job and I know he will LOVE it! I am so excited to see him step into this job and flourish and I am so excited to see how the Lord uses him.

 However, the excitement is mixed with utter and complete fear right now, and THAT is the reason for posting. A good friend called yesterday to see how we were doing...I may or may not have cried like a baby talking to her. I laid out many of my fears and she advised me to write them down so that over time, as we see how God takes care of every single one, I can look back and see how faithful He is and remember the stories to tell my children and grandchildren. Since I'm not really a good journaler (pretty sure I just coined a new term), my blog seemed like the place to do it! So, why am I freaking out right now when I should be filled with excitement?

 *This is a self-funded position. We are responsible for raising at least $60,000 dollars a year from donors who have a passion for our ministry.

 *When it first started looking like this would happen, we thought we would have about 4 months to try to raise support. Due to some delays, etc. in the hiring process, we only have 6 weeks. AAAAAAAGH!

 *We don't really know rich people, so $60,000/year...AAAAAAGH!

 *I checked the real estate sites...because I enjoy giving myself a nervous breakdown. The median home price where we live is $90,000, the median home price where we are relocating is $226,000...and my husband is taking a HUGE paycut! I'm pretty sure, we are going to have to live in tents!

 *Our house...oh, people our house. We bought our house because we loved it. We loved the style, we loved the property, we loved the wood floors. But our house has been...high maintenance. We have replaced the roof 1 1/2 times and we now need to replace the other half again along with the sunroof...estimate $5,000. We have replaced every pipe in the house inside and out, usually due to leaks meaning patches in ceilings, warped floors, etc. We have replaced the hot water heater...and do not even get me started on that nightmare and our water source heat pump and air conditioning issues would make a grown man cry! Anyway, over the years, as we have saved for home improvements, the money has always ended up going to fix the immediate crisis. As a result, not only do we need to replace the roof, we need to replace all the windows and the siding on the house. The liner on our pool has several holes in it that we have just been working around, but it really needs to be replaced. We also need to fix the upstairs bathroom that I decided to "update" 10 years ago and it became so much of a nightmare that it still sits unfinished with two different wall papers showing and chunks of missing sheetrock where I tried to remove said wallpaper. Just getting our house into sellable condition would probably cost close to $20,000 (or more)...and the market here is not good. There are 2 other houses on our street that have been for sale for months.

 *Where will our children go to school? Because of the cost of living increase and my husband's salary decrease, I will have to go to work full time. That means I will no longer be able to home school and we will need to put our children into public school. However, since our house will probably not have sold by the time we go, we will probably be living with my parents for awhile. The ministry is asking us to live in a different area. That means two different school systems. I really do not want to put our kids in one school and then have to pull them out and put them in another, this is going to be hard enough without doing that to them.

 *Speaking of school, we are moving to an area that is not very accepting of christianity. It is very heavy in one religion and it is really hard to make friends, get a job, etc. if you are not part of "that" church. I am really scared for my kids. I so want them to thrive, have friends, etc.

 *Our 15 year old was totally on board with our move...until he wasn't. He started a traditional school this year and has LOVED it! He joined the baseball team and has made dear friends. Now, we are taking that from him, making him leave the friend group he has always hungered for and are putting him into the situation of having to start over only in a more hostile situation. Mommy guilt, anyone? 

*Our oldest son is starting college this in heaven's name are we going to pay for that now. 

*We are leaving our oldest son here...2,000 miles away from us. My Mommy heart is breaking a little bit.

 *How am I going to find a job? Our start date is August 1, I would like to find a job in the school system, but August is maybe not the best time to try to find one there.

 *We accepted the job yesterday. We leave for vacation in 2 weeks and will be gone for 2 1/2 weeks. When we return, we will have less than a month to pack the house, get it ready to sell, get it on the market and get to our new is that even possible?

 *We will not be here to look after the house or keep it up for potential buyers.

 *We are leaving my husband's family here. They have been such a blessing for the 20 years of our marriage. We are so excited to start this new adventure, but it is HARD to leave them! They are sad that the grandkids are going to be so far away and we will not be here to help them as they get older. 

Every few minutes, I think of something else to freak out about, so I am sure there is more...maybe I will just continue to add to this list. I know this sounds like whining, but I really just want a place to document how I am feeling...because I serve a BIG God. He is not intimidated by these things and He is not freaking out saying..."Oh, I hadn't thought about that one!" In my mind, I know that He has a plan and I know it is good. It is probably not what I expect, but I know it will bring Him glory and I want to remember that! I want to remember where I am right now so that when God shows out...I can see it and recognize it and cling to it in those moments when I just cannot even breathe.

 For now, I am claiming Psalm 55:22, "Cast your cars on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous by shaken."

Friday, January 25, 2013

Back to Blogging???

Yep, believe it or not, we are still alive here in the Tiger Den!

There is no way to get caught up on our lives since the last time I I'll just say, life is crazier than ever and we have just added to our family through adoption.

Please welcome our little Ugandan Princess!

This was her first experience with a "wishing well" or fountain.  She had a great time playing in the water throwing in pennies.

Life over the past few months has been...full, unexplainable, wonderful, difficult...

Maybe, eventually, I will have extended time to get on here and write more, catch up a little.  Right now, homeschooling five children grades 10 through pre k and adjusting to another little one around is taking up the vast majority of my time.  Most days, I can't even remember which child I am speaking to and go through the "roll call" until I hit the right one!  Besides homeschooling, we  have church, two boys playing church ball, dance, tutorial, etc.  I had fallen out of the habit of Home Sanctuary, but after being home for a couple of weeks before Christmas, I realized I needed HELP!  I am trying like crazy to not miss a day...ANY order in our home is a God send right now.  However, I did find this week that in my quest to not miss a day of making my Sanctuary task, I became quite grumpy with all the "interruptions" so, I am trying to cut myself and my family a little slack and realize that some days, the best way to make my  home a sanctuary is by NOT completing the task and giving myself to my family instead.

Anyway, I am looking forward to visiting and reacquainting myself to my fellow Company girls this weekend and hope to get back into the habit of at least blogging once a is the only hope for my children to ever have a "book of memories" cause scrapbooks or baby books are just out of the question right now!

Blessings to all and don't forget to check out Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Coffee Talk 4.6.12

Good Morning!  Just dropping by for a quick visit.  I haven't been around in awhile and look forward to checking in on everyone today.

I clearly have had trouble getting my ducks in a row lately and just cannot seem to find the time or motivation for blogging.  No reason, really, just life.

Nothing too exciting going on around here.  School is just about 8 weeks from being complete (at Tutorial anyway...we will have to do some finishing up of subjects at home), we have our biometerics appointment scheduled for the adoption of April 23 AND we will soon have a student driver at our house (yikes).

FB was hoping to go today to get his permit.  He has been studying the book and taking practice tests like crazy.  We gathered the MOUNTAIN of paperwork to take with us and I even planned to take a low school day in celebration.  Then, in a moment of sanity, I told him to check the DOT website to make sure they did testing on Fridays.  They do...just not on GOOD FRIDAY!  Shoot, he took it like a champ, although I know he was super disappointed.  To be honest, so was I.  I have been dreading this moment for a year, but now that I have finally embraced it, I was really excited for him.  Now, we will have to wait until sometime next week, bummer!

In other news, I must confess that we have been very blessed and largely unaffected by the recession that this country has been in for awhile.  Of course, we have felt the squeeze of higher gas and grocery prices, but haven't had to make a lot of adjustments.  Until now.  Suddenly, we are REALLY feeling it.  We aren't really sure why.  A lot of unexpected expenses with our air conditioner (again) and things but mostly, it is just the continually rising prices.  We are now faced with some tough decisions.  Things like dropping music lessons for the kids, perhaps getting rid of satellite, stopping our weekly Sonic "treat" on Fridays.  I know in the big scheme of things, those are not major...but I confess, I am struggling with it...because it affects mostly my children.  Really, they have handled what they know so far well.  They are okay with discontinuing music lessons and will probably continue learning on their own.  They realize they won't be getting their weekly Sonic trip and accept it...but I think when they really don't go, it will be a bit tougher.  They don't know about the TV yet...I really think they will be okay, they can find the few things they watch online, but it still will be a change.  

All of this has been very eye opening to me.  I am surprised at how frightened I feel at the thought of the changes we will make.  And I am very humbled to think that these luxuries that most of the world has no concept of are so much a part of me that I really mourn them.  It is actually quite sobering because I have never really considered myself as a materialistic person, I don't consider us to be big "splurgers" and yet, my attitude is quite telling.  To be completely honest, the real realization hit me last night.  For those that have been around here long, you know that Thursday night is a sacred night in our house.  EVERY Thursday, the kids are all tucked away by 9:00 and Tigerfan and I have "date night".  It is always the same, House Hunters, popcorn and peanut M&M's.  We have been doing it so long, I cannot even remember when it started.  It is one of my favorite times of the week.  Last night, we had date night with no M&M's.  You see, the money for M&M's just wasn't there, so we did without.  We still enjoyed our time together, but I would be lying if I said it was no big deal...not because we missed a treat one night, but because I realize that this small sacrifice will become the norm and I am spoiled...I don't like sacrifice...I don't like change...and I don't like that I am seeing just how spoiled I really am.

My faith seems to be so small and my God is so big.  You would think after 30 years of following Him, I could just trust His heart and move along...but I still have a lot of growing to do.  Hopefully this weekend, I will reflect on Him and His HUGE sacrifice and I will go into next week with a better attitude, a purer heart, and more compassion for those who REALLY live lives of sacrifice.

Anyway, my kids seem to think I should give up this computer so they can do school (they are really SO demanding) so I need to stop whining and sign off.  Praying everyone has a blessed Easter weekend and looking forward to visiting you all.  Be sure to go to Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk.

Leaving you with one of my favorite songs...I need this perspective right now!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Yep, Still Ticking

I'm not sure anyone has noticed, but I seem to have lost my blogging mojo. I just cannot seem to get things together enough anymore to post or even read many blogs. It makes me sad, because I used to love it so much and it was a great way to connect with distant family and friends. I have considered just shutting it down but I can't get to that point yet. I really WANT to continue here. I like the idea of journaling for future years and I used to just like sharing stories, etc. I might forget. I enjoyed the friendships I made with other bloggers and I loved the occasional ego boosts when someone would complement a post. Unfortunately, when I do sit here to type a post...I am empty. No more of those witty posts that left all of you in bloggy land wanting more (okay THAT was funny), no more funny stories about the kids, although I'm sure they still do them...I just don't remember. So, I am in somewhat of a funk. Not ready to give up entirely, but having no inspiration either. I have the time excuses. We are on Spring Break but have been stuck at home waiting on a repair man. We have now been stuck here for two days. We are also pretty well stuck in the house even though the weather is BEAUTIFUL!!! because Tigercub is suffering from horrible seasonal allergies and despite daily Zyrtec and eyedrops, every time he goes outside, he comes in with his eyes swollen almost completely shut! Yes, I am whining, bear with me. I feel the freedom today because the likelihood of anyone actually reading this is almost nothing so I'm venting. At the moment, the 3 little ones are playing with play-doh at the kitchen table...which, incidentally, totally puts me in the running for mother of the year because I HATE PLAY-DOH. Yes, I just said that. I know how good it is, blah, blah, blah. The reality is it is messy, takes forever to clean up and, while I actually have pretty much no OCD in me whatsoever, I HATE it when the colors get mixed up. When we moved into this house from our last one...all of the play-doh may or may not have disappeared mysteriously never to be seen again. However, a few years and a few holidays and birthdays later...we have a large stash and it is a good sanity reviver...except that after the first five minutes the fighting begins...but if you can just block out the screams and ignore the thumps, scrapes, and provides at least 30 minutes of entertainment value which is precious right now. It is also telling of our television habits, which may need some revamping because in the past 15 minutes, they have used play-doh to do "Cupcake Wars", "Project Runway" and are now trying to find a form so they can do "Face-off"! Clearly, we watch WAY too much reality TV around here! Tonight will consist of trimming bushes and scrounging for supper. Supper will consist of a blood bath as the family will be given the choice between two teriyaki chicken breasts, a plain chicken breast or a piece of grilled tilapia. These are the ONLY meats in the entire house and since I have not been able to escape for the grocery store, it should be our own little version of the Hunger Games as they fight for their chosen entree. Hopefully, it will not be to the death! Well, I'm off to judge some Face off. Unfortunately, no forms were found, so they are just doing each other's faces. Play-doh is non toxic...right?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Coffee Talk 1.20.12

Good morning!

Another day of in and out!  We are in the midst of schooling so I'm just dropping in for a moment.  At the moment, FB is reading and listening to Great Expectations, the other two school kiddos are doing their math assignments and I got Tigercub playing with Playdoh so I could sneak in here for a moment!

Nothing too exciting to say about the week.  We  had a normal week of activities and the normal running around.  We seem to be finally getting back into our normal routine after the Christmas holidays!

Tigerfan and I stayed up each night and worked on our adoption education courses and I can now proudly say, WE ARE THROUGH!  Yay, one step closer!

Today I hope to finish up another jewelry board that we are making to donate to our Orphan Care silent auction...hoping it will be really cute, of course I will post pictures next week.

I have also been reading a book that I TOTALLY recommend if you have children, or are planning on having children one day!  It is called Parenting by the Book by John Rosemond.  It is so common sense and yet common sense seems to have left our world these days.  I am telling you...I have been freed up so much in the past couple of weeks!  Now, if you love all the (in the words of the author) "psycho-babble" that has come out in the past 60 years, you may not appreciate the help this book offers, but he has basically thrown out all the advice given by "experts" over the last few decades and gone back to the REAL instruction manual...the Bible.  It makes SO MUCH SENSE, and yet I have really gotten sucked into so much of the modern ideas.  I am one of those guilt ridden, stressed out, hovering mamas...and I don't have to be!  As I have read this book, my eyes have been so opened...what do I want for my children?  I want them to be God fearing, Christ centered, service oriented men and women.  So why do I spend so much time teaching them to excel in academics, why do I stress myself out over getting an A, why do I hover when they do their work?  I want them to be self governing, but I am teaching them that they can't be successful unless I am inching them along each step of the way.

SO...this week, I have stepped back.  I have given them instruction, and then let them go.  If they fail, it is their fault and they learn they have to work harder.  If they succeed, they are proud because they did it ON THEIR OWN!  I have had less stress this week than I have had in fourteen years and it feels great!  AND...I am not even done yet.  More changes will be coming, I just need time to finish reading, praying and figuring it all out!  I just wish that I would have started this several years ago because I have a lot of bad habits to break now...we will all be grateful for it in the end, however...I really believe that.

Anyway, this weekend we will be doing some "honey do's" around the house.  We have our in home Home Study visit this week so we want to be prepared.  We also will celebrate Dancer's ninth birthday and Tigerfan's ? birthday, so we will be enjoying LOTS of celebrating.  I will TRY to add some pics next week...if I can get my act together.

Hope everyone enjoys their weekend and I look forward to visiting with you!  Be sure to head over to Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Coffee Talk 1.13.12

I know, nobody actually believes this, but I have to be short and sweet today because we have a CRAZY day ahead of us!

I am in desperate need of a haircut, so I have an appt. at one, followed by F.B.'s guitar lessons at two, followed by dancer's dance class at 3:15, and if the Lord is smiling upon us, we might be able to slip in a Sonic Happy Hour trip!  It would also be divine if we could make it to the library and the boys have ballgames tonight probably starting at 5:00.  I also promised the kids that I would make baked potatoes for lunch and we also must fit some actual school into the day!

I totally planned, also, on making a totally unhealthy but very delicious looking Pinterest recipe tonight...and haven't totally given up on the idea, although I am not totally sure how to work that into the schedule.

Yum, right!  Pizza casserole!  Trying to figure out how to make it in advance, then cook and eat it before the games. to cook it before the games and then bring it with us so we can eat it at the games, therefore omitting SOME of the begging for junk food that is in the concession stand.

Anyway, as for the rest of our week...we have done quite a bit toward the adoption so if you want to check out that update, you can find it here.   If you want the short version...we have met our social worker, none of us have a criminal record, our water has too much chloroform ***Tigerfan amended his original report, he misread and we do NOT have chloroform (whew!) we have coliform which is much less harmful but not nearly as funny! and I may or may not be issued a passport!

Now, I have a puddle of Kool aid on the kitchen floor, a screaming four year old on the fit rug and two older children who are totally not buying the fact that if they don't finish school today...they WILL be doing it tomorrow!  Which also reminds me that F.B. will be attending his first high school formal tomorrow!  I use the term formal loosely and we hope that he actually goes with, you know, pants on because finding a 28w 32l dress pant for a reasonable price is IMPOSSIBLE!  So yes, the formal is tomorrow, and no, he does not yet have anything to wear to said formal!  Good times!

Anyway, hope to visit around some this weekend, hope you all have an amazing, blessed weekend and be sure to visit Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk.