Friday, July 19, 2013


It has not been a big secret.  I'm a fairly open person.  My openness likely stems from having been surrounded by too many lies in my life before becoming an adult.  I let my life out so that others don't feel quite so alone.  Anyway, not a big secret that my life has been difficult and trying for the last year, more like two....But who's counting?  {me}

In that difficulty, I have not always responded the best I could have.  No, I have been at the bottom of the mothering and spousal barrel.  All of the challenges brought up old issues that I never knew I had or had buried altogether. 

Up welled the issues.  Down shot the roots of bitterness.  In set the justification.  Frustration was my morning brew.

I could see it happening.  It was like looking at a reflection.  The ugly girl was setting up residency, the girl who desired to be well and thankful banging on the glass to get out but wasn't strong enough.

Ugh.  That has been my life.  Until a month or so ago.  I was away at my Nanny's for the Color Me Rad race I was running with T and Hoot when Brett called really excited about some revelations he had.  Everything seemed to make sense.  Everything was going to be okay.  I could get behind this wonderful husband who had this renewed vision, this peace.


Yes, there is always a but.  But when I came back to my real world, the one of frustration, disappointments, and bitterness...I still struggled.  It's hard to change when you are the only component in your world changing.  Still facing the same mean and difficult people.  Still facing the same disappointments. 

And Brett would encourage, "It doesn't matter.  Forgiveness will set you free.  God is the justifier, not you."

And Scripture after Scripture he shares.  Slowly, slowly a root loosens.  Day by day a wind of clarity gently blows through, blowing away the morning reminders of my frustrations and disappointments.

And while I'm still not the most solid girl on the road, I'm getting better.  This morning I got up and read Isaiah 12.  The Lord is my strength and my song.  Even when I want to weep and complain, I have replaced the complaining with the Truth.  My flesh fails.  My spirit desires more.  And onward I move.  Seeking the more.  Seeking the Truth.  Leaning on my husband.  Leaning on my Christ. 

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

And You Get a Gold Star!

"Would you like a sticker?"  That's what the older gentleman sitting on the stool at Wal-Mart asked all three times that we walked past him.  Each time my children shook their heads in unison from side to side while giving him a look that said he was clearly crazy.  This is always the case.  My kids don't go gah-gah for stickers.  I asked Brett why this was and he told me it's because we homeschool.  {Well, our style of homeschooling involves little to no stickers.  I'm sure there are lots of sticker-y homeschools out there.}

That made total sense to me.  We've never rewarded with stickers.  Oh, but Mothering Matters has.  And Chick-Fil-A has...I forget to confiscate them on the rare occasion that stickers come into our lives.  They inevitably end up on something important...or the truck windows on the third row.  What happens on the third row, stays on the third row.  I think there are some stickers from like two years ago or something that Hoot put up.  One day I was all, "Hey, who did that?!"  T-Bird was all, "Um, that's been there forever."  -------Third row void-------

Anyway, I'm not blogging about stickers today.  Not that you could tell.  No, it's about our chore chart and what rocks our world.  Back to school sales are sweeping the stores with all kinds of yumminess and even cool chore charts.  Pinterest is a haven of neat-o chore chart ideas.  But I usually start something great and let it fall away.  I'm a simple girl.  I can't handle that kind of awesomeness.  And to be honest, it doesn't drive my kids.

So what does?  Expo markers.  Lists.  Seriously.  We've been stream-lining our life in order to run smoothly.  Otherwise, this ship is sinking, people.  Sinking fast.  Brett and I have made a commitment to get ourselves together and be the best darn parents this side of the Mississippi.  Or something like that. 

Kids can smell weakness.

Let's say Momma gets up and starts her day.  Then sister #1 needs Momma.  Sister #2 realizes this and has an overwhelming need for Momma at the exact same time.  Momma settles her girls 30-45 minutes later.  What was she doing before?  She forgot.  Need to take care of brother #2.  Brother #2 is sad.  Brother #2 is taking it out on everyone.  Reset.  What was Momma doing?  The dog is going nuts.  Brother #1, could you go check on that?  Where is brother #3?  Brother #3??  Any day now kid!  Brother #3 eventually and mysteriously appears.  What was Momma working on?  Now that Momma has lost track of what she was doing she asks all 5 kids to go play outside.  Momma has been up for 2 and a half hours and has accomplished nothing yet is exhausted and the house looks like someone threw a rowdy party and suddenly vacated the premises.

I could spend all day just "mothering" and get nothing accomplished.  This has been making me nutty.  NUTTY.  I have a type A personality.  I like to give short and sweet orders.  So, if I ask for help with laundry once and the kids ignore me and I ask again and the kids ignore me....If I give a list of things to do and the kids put it off and I tell them again and they run outside...You see, I feel like I'm always barking at them to do things.  They get distracted because they are kids and their life is exciting and fun.  I needed something that delegated tasks without me barking orders, kept them on track, and allowed us to work together to keep our house running.

This genius was birthed and our house has never been cleaner and more orderly ever.  They love it.  They love drawing through the things they've done so far.  We have more chores that we do as a family, these are just the bare essentials to make sure we don't fall apart. 

Just a sheet of paper inside of a page protector hung on our fridge.  {Life changing}  Okay, maybe not life changing but simple and effective.

And that is what I need my life to be.  Simple.  Effective.

How about you?

Are you a Pinterestingly awesome bells and whistles sort of chore chart person?  How do you make your days effective?

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