Thursday, January 5, 2012

Life Before Now

Does it ever get boring to watch your children learn something new? Before I had children what excited me was going shopping at the mall for a new pair of Express jeans or going to lunch at the Mexican restaurant down the road when we were supposed to be at school and were never allowed to leave campus until school was over. Trying not to get caught was thrilling (but very very bad if you are in high school and reading this!), but didn't compare to joy I have now as a new Christian and mother.

Two years after I graduated I was married to my boyfriend I had had since I was fifteen years old. At fifteen we promised each other we would get married. At eighteen, after my first day of college orientation he gave me my beautiful heart shaped diamond ring. Nothing spectacular, we were broke, but in love. Not quite sure where I was working at that time. Either McDonald's or the vets office I worked at for a while as a kennel tech. The size of my ring was criticized by some, however that material possession wasn't really what mattered to me. The love it represented is what mattered, and I thought it was perfect.

At twenty I was married, and then at 22 I was a brand new mommy. There was nothing I wanted more than to nurture this brand new life God had just handed to me. At the time I wasn't a christian, however it is very hard to go through the miracle of birth and not wonder how this miraculous even happened without God. Was all of this just by accident? After becoming a mother I could never believe this again. Spilling your coffee is just an accident. Two cells growing into the sweetest little person that you love so much that you think your heart will burst is not an accident. NOT an accident!

Right around the time I was pregnant with my daughter the song, "Jesus, Take the Wheel" by Carrie Underwood came out. I would listen to that song and just cry and cry and cry. Right after getting married I had gotten into a really bad wreck (that I walked away from), so I could understand the fear and loss of control you feel when you go through something like that. Not just while you are spinning around in your car thinking that in that moment your life is going to end, but afterwards when you can't replace your car because you didn't have insurance on it, and you lose the house you and your husband just bought because you can't drive yourself to a job to produce a paycheck (and you were young, dumb, and were trying to live beyond your means), and it suddenly feels like the first year of your marriage is going to be your last. Fear can grip you when you realize there are so many things you can not control. Maybe some of our circumstances could have been controlled with knowledge that we didn't have at the time. But either way I was starting to realize that I am ultimately not in control. Jesus is, and his plan is better than anything I can ever come up with. I am very glad of this because most of my plans either stink, or never happen.

On my daughter's first Easter I accepted my friend's invitation to visit her church, and boy did I feel God tugging on my heart that day. It was a beautiful service. The church members there had worked so hard to get ready for a play we watched that day about Jesus's death and resurrection. There was a little girl dancing in front of the pews during the worship music. My friend leaned over and asked me if I wouldn't love for my daughter to be doing the same thing at her age. Now that my daughter is her age, and we have started going to a church where the children stay with the parents during the worship service, she does.

We visited her church for a little while until we decided we couldn't live on my husbands current paycheck and moved three hours away so that he could work as a mechanic in the oil field. Fixing up vintage cars and building dragsters for his old boss wasn't cutting it. He dreamed of doing things like that his entire life, and I would have loved for him to keep doing it, but all of a sudden we had a child to raise. We needed insurance. And enough money to pay for food.

When we got settled in we started visiting a church right by us that my sister was going to. The first time I went there it was on Father's Day, and they showed a video of a man running in the rain holding his small child who was just screaming. The man represented God, and the baby represented us. When we go through storms we have a tendency to worry and sometimes we get so full of fear that all we can see is our fear just like the child. We can not see that God is taking care of us and has something wonderful planned that we are beyond blessed to be a part of. Even through those storms we are blessed and we are called to "be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). I hope that I am not the only one that can say that fear can make doing these things difficult. I of course cried through this entire video as well, and kept coming back to this church each Sunday even though I was still doubting.

I remember that this one Sunday the pastor was talking about a man who was praying before bedtime and needed to go to sleep, but asked God to wake him early so that he could pray some more. Well around four that morning all of a sudden a bright light shown into his room and woke him. No one else was awake, and no one had turned on any lights. It lit up his room for a few moments and then it was gone. Right then during that sermon I asked God, "God, if you are real, why will you not do that for me?" Guess what? He did! At that moment that I asked that question I was blinded by a bright light where I had to look away. There was a beam of light shining off of a man's watch right into my eyes. It hadn't been there before, and after just a few moments it was gone and didn't come back after. I was shocked and couldn't deny God any longer.

Both my husband and I were baptised at that church not too long afterwards, and my life has been changed. Passages in the Bible that were reason for me not to be christian before became understandable to me. I confessed and repented certain sins that I was struggling with before and they quit having a hold on me (not to say I don't struggle with sin now because I still do) and I am more able to handle my fears. One of my biggest fears before coming a christian was dying. Now I am not scared of dying in the least. I am actually excited that one day when I die I will find myself in Heaven with Jesus! What a joyful day that will be!!  

*This is NOT what I got on here to blog about! It just somehow came out. So maybe someday soon I will pick up where I left off.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Back To School

Life has been busy, and today hasn't been my best day. We started back to school today and we didn't get everything done. I had high hopes for today, so I was a bit upset that we didn't finish. Still working on not caring if we get everything done or not.

We started the morning with a devotional and then Bible reading. On Sunday the pastor at our new church told us what book of the Bible he will be going over next Sunday. The kids and I are reading through it this week, and I plan to make a book with different words from the passage that the pastor might say so that my daughter can listen and mark off the words when she hears them. I hope that it will help her to pay a bit more attention to the sermon than she has been.

My son just turned four last week! Can't believe how big he is getting. My baby is no longer a baby. *sniff* So today he began his math lessons. He feels like a big boy now. He did awesome in his lesson today. He learned to recognize three of something without counting. The curriculum we use is big on visualizing numbers rather than counting. My husband has always done that with numbers and he is wonderful at math. I am actually getting better at math and my daughter is only doing 1st grade math. She worked on a worksheet today where she was adding two four-digit numbers together. I love that she is learning why we carry numbers when adding instead of learning how to carry numbers. She seems to have a real understanding of numbers that I never really had.

Since we woke up later today that I would have liked, right after math we had lunch and then bath. I realized at that time I needed to take my daughter to the doctor instead of starting on science as planned. So off to the doctor we went. We started on science when we got home at five today. All we were doing was putting together a book for our lapbook we are doing on rocks.

Time for dinner! We had no time to do our art/writing project we are doing this week. We are going to be making a story book and illustrating it by painting tissue paper and using it in collage just like Eric Carle does. I found a video on his website showing how he does this, and hopefully the kids will be able to watch it tomorrow and start on our book (or books?). This might end up being a weekend project if we are not able to get it done during the week.

*Happy homeschool mom moment* My kids are really starting to recognize states by their shapes! If you have read my blog before you probably know that we have a geography station that the kids can play in, but I do not require them to do so. My daughter took a bite out of her cracker and asked me, "Mommy, does this look like Idaho?" I had no idea so I looked at the map and yep! It did! I was surprised that she would know that. Then my son ran off to get the puzzle piece of Idaho for me. Later that day she tore a piece of paper and recognized that it looked like Tennessee. My kids already know more about states than I do!

Tomorrow my daughter goes to her new Creative Arts school for an hour and a half in the morning. She is sooo excited, but I am a bit stressed because I have to make sure and get up with enough time to get us there on time. I am not a morning person. If we are lucky we will get morning school done before we leave. Just Bible and math. Piece of cake, huh?

I couldn't wait to show off my new labels for the drawers in our homeschool room! No one I know much cares, so hopefully you (my make-believe blog reader!) will be sooo excited over them. :) I have tried in the past to take photos of my kids toys and make labels with them and have failed. Well on another blog I read (can't remember which) the mom took pictures from the internet and printed them out. Why didn't I think of that? I went to yahoo images and found the perfect pictures for the labels, printed them out, and glue them on top of some construction paper. I plan to take them to Mardel for laminating soon and then add velcro. My kids love knowing where there toys are! They have never had so much fun with their toys as they are now. It makes a big difference to have things organized and sorted for them.

So that was my day today. Written mostly for my memories, but if someone other than me is reading let me know! Did you go back to school today? If so how did it go?