Goals for 2016

 

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I desire to make some changes in my life this year and therefore need to blog about them *of course. The best way to reflect upon the changes is to organize them into categories: spiritual, physical,  mental/emotional, family, household, education/employment. I think I’ve covered them all for the moment.

Spiritual~ I am feeling a bit dry currently, so I am going to start bible journaling so I can combine my love of art with diving into God’s word.

Physical~ as soon as I find a way to sleep better or get some motivation to get up before the kids, I want to go to the gym. I love using the red light booth, it really helps boost my lymphatic system. I have got to stop drinking coca-cola! I stop periodically but then the minute my stress level climbs, I drink it again. Funny, I’m not so much a stress eater, as a stress drinker. I also need to eat healthier and for me that means fruits/vegetables for two meals, and one normal meal for eating with my family. I love intermittent fasting, as I feel better doing so most days, it is only difficult when I don’t eat enough protein at dinner, as then I do not sleep well. I might try the “golden milk” recipe and see if that helps. I really want to lose the last 15# I have. I lost 14# in 2015 and many inches (no, i do not know how many, I did not realize that I would) 

Mental/Emotional~ lately, I find myself so stressed that I am not dealing well with my anger, which I then, stifle deep inside me and that is getting me absolutely no where. So finding a healthier outlet when I’m angry is on my list of necessary things to work on this year. Otherwise, I am doing well considering all the stress I am under.

Family~ Need to get the kids on track with their schooling, help the Ark study for the ACT, get us all more connected. The Ark is disconnecting somewhat as he starts to take on adult decisions which is what he should be doing but it would be nice to have a bit more cohesiveness with the other children. I am also finding that i have disconnected somewhat during this last year, The Princess claims that at times I am a robot and show very little emotion. Probably a self-preservation thing I have going on.

Household~ there is so much that needs to be done around this house but I am going to just work on getting organized and then pick 1 project, complete it and then go to the next one.

Education/Employment~ This one is more difficult as I have no idea of what will happen with my doctoral application. If I get in, I may look for a job for a few months this summer so we have extra cash to pay off bills, have a bit of fun, etc. If I don’t get into that program I will work for a year or so, getting rid of some of my supervision hours and then will be applying to Univ. of Toledo’s Counseling Education/Supervision doctoral program. Which means moving to Toledo in 2017 for 2.5-3 years. I wish I could move this year and start but I am doubtful that I will have the money to do so until next year. Surprisingly, I am not stressed anymore about which program I will get into, I am holding onto the Lord and his plan for my future,  Jeremiah 29:11. I have made too many decisions without waiting upon the Lord and will not do that anymore. 

I understand that these goals are not detailed like I usually do but am happy with how they are, as I want to leave room for change in my goals without feeling as if I failed if things change.

 

 

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Day 4~

31 Days of Writing

Today I am finding it hard to think about writing, probably because, I feel as if I have not really stopped to think all day! Got up and took 2 kids to church, *side note, I really dislike it when the one Sunday School teacher for my daughter calls her Miss Cam! without the Miss, it sounds like she is a boy and I have plenty of sons, so I really do not want my daughter called by a boy nick name!!! She is adjusting well to the demands of confirmation classes though, so that is reassuring for this mom! I really do not want to have to argue with the Pastor any time soon.

After church, the Ark and I went to the gym, we do 15 minutes of cardio, as that is all my joints can handle on the Arc Trainer and he does not need to lose weight. Then today was chest and back day. I did all of the machines for chest and back and then caught up with him to do some of his exercises, he is tough both in his routine and as a volunteer trainer! I love this bonding time with him, he pushes me to be stronger and continue working on getting into shape and I hang out with him validating him and his strength. Pretty much a win-win for us. *edit: I  love the fact that I am getting stronger, even if I am not losing weight. 

Then it was home to plan a menu and grocery shop! Ugh we spent way too much money on groceries and that is rough but I do feel some relief that we have food in the house and that we will not need to run to the store this week and I am hopeful that will safe us some $$ in the long run. It is difficult now that the Princess cannot eat gluten and we limit her dairy as well. The Ark is desperately trying to gain muscle mass and therefore eats a great deal, Ace is playing soccer and is always hungry and then there is the Peanut who eats quite a bit himself.

I am quickly finishing up on a presentation that is due tomorrow (Monday) so I can take a little bit of time to read to the littles some fun history books. Mondays are rough for us, I leave at about 10:15am and get home at 9:15pm. As much as I love working with client’s I am looking forward to when I can be done with my internship and have my Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays back.

I have a drawing in my head based on a Matthew West song, hopefully I can sketch out a very rough draft tonight and then work on it as I have time. I miss having the time to draw and scrapbook or even journal. I asked for a journaling Bible for Christmas this year, and then had to show the husband what it was and why I wanted one. Artists do not function well when they have no time to create! Speaking of artists, the Princess has struck again, borrowing my wash tape and my q-tips. 

As much as I would like to hang out and chat, I need to finish this presentation and get myself geared up to see client’s tomorrow and they are never easy!

Day 3~

Every other Saturday, I have my internship class. I like this class it is helpful in learning about other sites, how others handle problems and the time of bonding with other students is always good, this way we never feel like we are disconnected from others as we pursue our goal of being a counselor.

Today after class, I hung around with two of the other students chatting and talking about our struggles both professional and personal. One of them called this, ‘our therapy’, that casual statement is right on target, even counselor’s need therapy. Once in a while, I will get a client who is defensive or even belligerent wanting to know if I see a counselor. I always reply with a resounding “Yes!!!!”. One cannot do the work we are called to do every day without having a source to go to for our own therapy. Some of the words felt as if they came straight from God’s mouth, validation of my goals, words of wisdom to keep me safe and thoughts to ponder for my future.

I am doubly blessed, I have a few counselors at my site who will also gather around me and give me hope when I am struggling, validate my feelings and offer resources to use for my clients or for me to pass exams.

I find that the Lord is working in my life at times in ways that I never anticipated. It is scary how much He hears, listens to and then responds. Once I told a young Christian woman that “life is messy” which is something I have learned as a counselor, and the Lord used that phrase to show her just how messy life can be. I have always thought I knew how the Lord can use us, but that experience was like the brick upside the head for me. I have to say that one must be very careful what they ask the Lord for, as the last few weeks I have found out just how difficult having the response from God can be both humbling and painful. 

“Be Still and Know that I am God” is my current go to verse, many times I see it and it causes a physical reaction within my chest, almost like God tapping on it~ “hey you, listen up”. I know that the Lord has a plan for my future and I must be patient as it is not time yet, but until then at least He sends me the support that I need to get through the tough times I am going through right here and now. 

Never did I think that the first 3 days of my writing would revolve around my life as a counselor or how my faith is growing and changing yet again. Lately, the Lord is using others to show me things in my life and allowing me to see how I am impacting others lives as a counselor. I knew that I wanted to get back into blogging but had no idea of what I wanted to write about, I guess that is one more area of my life that God has taken care of for me.

~Day 2,

I am currently a counseling intern and work late on Thursdays, I got home last night after being gone for over 12 hours, hoping to grab a bite to eat and then go to sleep but my teenage sons had a different plan. By 9:30pm they were in my room talking about their day working the church rummage sale, they are active in our church youth group and want to go to Chicago next summer. One of the requirements is that they work as many of the fundraisers that they can. My sons love working the rummage sale twice a year. As homeschooler’s they love the chance to do a few days of real life learning instead of book learning. They get tips, eat a fantastic lunch prepared by a lady in our church and hang out practicing their social skills on the buyers and the others who are working. I was not anticipating a hour and half conversation with them last night! It was a great time of bonding as we talked about a myriad of things that they had seen and did. Then the conversation drifted to many other areas of their lives and before I knew it, I was hoarse and in desperate need of sleep. The boys went to their room, but then the Princess who is 12 was not quite ready to go to bed, she ended up finishing watching Mulan 2, while I dosed off. As much as I loved the bonding time, I was ready to call it a night by then. It was after 11pm and 6:30am comes way too early for this not lover of mornings person.

It is always difficult to balance my family life with homeschooling and pursuing my Master’s in Counseling but I truly am embracing the challenge that is my life. I love the person I am becoming, I love the knowledge I have to offer my children and I enjoy the independence I have to be able to pursue my dreams. Yes, I miss things here and there with my children and yes I am overtired and stressed many days but I would not change it. The Lord has taught me much during the last few years and I pray he continues to as I work to finish this degree and then hopefully pursue my Doctorate.

31 Days of Writing

So I am not happy about my lack of writing and decided this was a good way to attempt to rekindle the writer that is inside of me. So here we go……

Today’s post will just be a quick intro for those who may be new to my blog. I am a Christian, wife, mother of 11, grandmother of 9, graduate student, homeschool mom, and Lutheran.

I do not think I am all that special, so do not bow down to me, I am just like everyone else: a sinner in desiring of God’s forgiveness, and a woman who is doing her very best under the circumstances of life. 

You will get to know me very quickly, as I am quite outspoken about what I believe in, although I hope that I am gentle in my presentation of it and non-judgmental of others and their choices which may or may not differ from my own. 

FMF~ Try

Try~ this word has been my mantra for the last few weeks, I do not know when it became that, or how it happened. What I do know is that try has become an integral part of who I am becoming. A dear friend pointed out that I used to only try things that I thought I would succeed at and I had never noticed that about myself. I needed to succeed and always thought of not succeeding as failing. 

Now my life is about trying and if I am told no, I do not feel like a failure but am happy that I at least took that risk, reached for something that may not be in my reach. No, is not as permanent of a word to me as it once was. I wonder when I grew and changed?

There are still days that the word try makes me frustrated, I feel as if I am constantly ‘trying’ to be someone that i am not or that I need to ‘try’ to be a better Christian, Wife, or Mom. Why are we never satisfied with the job that we have done? Why must ‘try’ always be a judgement call or worse yet an excuse for our less than Christ-like behavior. You know what I mean the “I’m trying to be a good (insert any word) why are you not happy with me?”

Well, my five minutes is up and I am not as usual. But at least I am writing again!

Ending thoughts~ Try is a powerful word and depending on the usage can be negative or positive. Right now, I’m ‘trying’ to keep it positive and not dwell on the negatives of it in my life.

The Word Shame and Brief Update

So lately, I have been swamped with many problems that are beyond my control and it is humbling!!!!! I have come to the conclusion that the Princess may be gluten-intolerant and before you ask or judge, no I am not going to have her made miserable by tons of tests at this time. What I am doing is keeping a food journal and eliminating gluten from her diet. How did we get here you ask? For about 5 weeks she was vomiting at least once a week, two nights ago she was hungry and ate a big bowl of cereal, first thing next morning? Vomiting……she is severely underweight and very tiny for her age. I finally gave up and read some of the symptoms of gluten intolerance and lo and behold, failure to thrive children is a symptom of gluten intolerance! As well as many of her other symptoms! She is a horridly picky eating as it is and going gluten free is going to be hell on earth for both of us not to mention my food budget! But we will do it and see if she gains weight, grows and stops having horrid GI symptoms. 

On to the topic of shame, one of my professors and I had a great conversation about that one day and I am still processing it. So you as my captive audience get to read my thoughts on it. She said that she has a ton of it welled up inside of her still…….it is black and gooey and wells up sometimes drowning her. I on the other hand no longer carry my shame with me, regrets, sadness but never shame. What makes us so different I wonder? Is it because, I have had to whether I wanted to admit to my many sins and mistakes? After all, pregnant at 15 is quite visible, or the affair that I had while dealing with depression, that was spread all over the community where I live? Perhaps it was the fact that I had to share the story repeatedly after my divorce to social workers, lawyers, GAL’s, judges, police, you name them and I probably talked to them and had to admit that my life was a hot mess.

While pondering this I have realized that while my life has been exceedingly difficult that I do not feel shame over past mistakes and if anyone thinks I should, well they can take a hard look at their own sins before they cast any stones my way. Looking back I can say that I am grateful for having to be open and honest about my mistakes, it is now a blessing to not feel shame welling up in my soul, like a black, sticky, gooey mess. Am I Lilly white? No, I am not but my soul is much lighter and whiter thanks to my faith in God than it would be if I was still carrying around all of those past screw-ups and shame. As a Christian, the saying that “All things come together for the glory of the Lord”, comes to mind, while I was dealing with my visible shame throughout my life, I never dreamed that one day I would look back and be humbled by the thought that I did not need to carry it around like so much heavy unnecessary baggage, you know the things you pack for a trip “just in case” you need it and then you never use it? 

I could write  more on this topic but I think I will leave you with “It is Well with My Soul“.