Finding Rest

It’s amazing how a simple word can be continually placed on our hearts, a constant reminder of what God wants us to do. The sermon at our church on Sunday wasn’t necessarily about the word “rest”, but our pastor did bring up Mary of Bethany. And when I think of Mary, I think of rest. On the radio, THREE times this past week, I’ve heard sermons and speakers talk of resting within Jesus. It’s obvious to me that I have chosen the right word for me… and then while at the women’s planning meeting at our church, our pastor’s wife brought up an activity we will be doing at our next event. We will be making little cards with our word of the year on them to display at home or in our bible’s as a reminder. It’s been a constant thing these past two weeks!

So, because of all these constant reminders I’ve been thinking about ways I can rest. How can I find rest in Him? How can I teach myself to rest and let Him take on my burdens? I started with prayer. I’ve been praying the word rest over my life, my family, my children’s education, all of it. Am I stressed and anxious? Well, yea, I don’t think that’s going to go away in the blink of the eye. Do I feel rested? Well, no… I have four children ages seven and under, one of which who still nurses ALL night. But I feel more relaxed. More even. More at peace.

The first thing I’ve been doing is making a habit of washing our dishes twice a day. I know that sounds silly, but this is the first time we haven’t had a dishwasher in a while. If I don’t stay on top of them, they pile up and then at the end of the day everyone’s too tired to do them and I wake up anxious and overwhelmed because there’s a giant pile of dirty dishes waiting to be washed. BUT, if I take the time to do them at least twice a day (and J will usually do them a third time), not only does the task get done and there’s not nearly as many to do, but I also have time to talk to the Lord. I can pray, I can sing, I can worship. My hands are busy, but my mind, soul and voice are available to worship!

The second thing I’ve been doing is relaxing about homeschooling. I’m a pretty strict routine follower, I like having a calendar of what we are doing, and a structured schedule. While I do have a tentative plan set for the rest of this semester, I’m relaxing about when/where and how we are going about our schedule. Today for instance, Boogie needed to finish up some spelling/handwriting tasks that we had planned to finish before our move before we moved on to the next lessons. Normally I’d have her sit and do them all at once and just get them done, which really she’s cool with, but this morning the three big kids were playing in the playroom and they were having fits of laughter together. Joyful, wonderful giggling and carefree banter between them. Honestly, it’s been a while since I have heard them play like that, lately it’s been a lot of bickering and fighting and screaming… but this was beautiful. So instead of sticking to our routine, I let them play… and did the dishes!

The third thing I’ve been doing is I’ve been working on getting more involved at church, I know this doesn’t sound like rest, but for me it is. Getting involved means making friends, blessing others, and having a life outside of my children. Because let’s face it, as a stay at home mom who also homeschools… my life revolves around the kids 24/7. It’s not healthy, and I have to take care of me as well. So I’ve been helping plan events and activities with the women’s ministry, I’m going to be starting up a mom’s group (so excited about this!) and I may be working on helping with the nursery and getting it running more efficiently. Beyond church, I’m hoping to take some classes on pottery… something different that I used to enjoy as a teenager when I went to summer camp. I think it’ll be fun!

The fourth thing that I have been working on is spending quality time with my husband. Relationships can get lost and pushed to the side when you have littles running around. It’s especially true when your life has been as crazy as ours has been the past few months. Now that Bear is a bit bigger and we’ve tested me being gone for a couple hours, my hope is that we can start going out and find some activities to try together. We’d like to do one of those paint dates, maybe a movie night (it’s been SO long y’all), a cooking class, a concert… whatever we find!

Have you thought about what your word for 2018 will be? Let me know in the comments and I’ll be praying for you and your word this year! God Bless!

New Beginnings

The old has gone, the new is here! How amazing is that? How wonderful is it that God can wash away all the old and spring forth new goodness and hope into our lives? We are officially NC residents again, we are getting settled into our new home and gearing up to get started into Boogie’s second semester of first grade and Bubby’s second semester of Pre-K. It’s been a hard few months, but we are HERE. God has truly been merciful to us, I’ve been reminded again and again to lay my burdens at His feet so that He can take on my burdens… it’s not been easy, but we made it through this trial.

I’m excited to start this year anew with some changes to what you’ll be seeing in the coming months on my blog. I have been taking a long break from writing really, with the exception of some reviews and random posts here and there because I really just didn’t know what I wanted to do with Mustard Seed Mommy. I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to continue or what I should use MSM for anymore. I love blogging, it’s always been a way for me to share family adventures with our friends/family who live out of state, it’s also been a way for me to share my faith and to share things that I love with my readers.

This past month I’ve been praying and thinking a lot about where I want to go with MSM and I thought, what better way to start this year blogging, then with my “Word” for 2018?  It’s something I’ve also been praying over, I wanted something that would push me this year… and it’s a word that’s been whispered in my ear over and over and over. Rest.

Yea, you heard me. REST. I know what you’re thinking. Rest? Trust me, I’ve said no over and over again to that word for this year. I don’t have time to rest. I don’t have time to go to the bathroom alone, how would I have time to rest? Guess what? Through Him I find rest. It’s as simple as that. I have to strive to be like Mary of Bethany, to rest at the feet of Jesus, to choose Him above all else. I have to say no when I want to be like Martha, running around like a crazy person attempting to make my home spotless, my home perfect for my guests… I have to find rest in Him. Always. Every. Single. Day.

So this year, you’re going to find more posts about my family and our adventures. You’re going to find posts about homeschooling and my faith. Because those things are what keep me going. Family and faith. Homeschooling is part of our family right now and I am SO SO excited to share some curriculum with you this year. I’ve got some pretty cool things up my sleeve, it’s going to be a blast! I’ve also got some things planned for a mom’s group at our church that I’ll also be sharing, lots of neat things to come.

Thank you for sticking by me all these years, it’s a big one y’all…. April will make TEN years since I started blogging. I can’t believe it! I can’t wait to see what the next ten years brings. God Bless!

 

Family Update

Yes, yes, another LONG overdue family update. It feels like ever since we moved to Tennessee that we’ve been going at high speed without a break in sight. We are constantly on the move, working on projects, there’s never any rest and this momma is BEAT!

J is doing great at his job, it’s of course stressful and very busy, but he seems to have a great staff. And even though the company is selling all of their nursing homes this year, we have high hopes that whatever company takes over will be exactly what the nursing facility and staff need to continue caring for their residents. J is also doing a lot of work around the house, current project is painting the interior, and then on nice days we are working on the backyard. We have definitely decided that this is not the home for us and will be listing it in 2019 and moving closer to Justin’s facility. Until then, we are just knocking out projects to update the house!

Boogie is almost done with her first year of “official” homeschool – she is going to be a kindergarten graduate! How crazy is that? She is a phenomenal reader, she’s already reading advanced chapter books and sometimes I can’t get her to stop reading! She’s grown so much this past year, sometimes I feel like she’s grown too much. This move has aged her in a way that I didn’t know was possible. She’s such a good big sister, she adores Bear. She is trying very hard to get along with Bubby, but they really butt heads… a lot of that has to do with his sensory stuff though, and she’s not sure how to handle it. We’re working on it though! Boog also loves her sister, I love the relationship I see blossoming between the two of them now that Bird can communicate and play more as a big two year old!

Bubby has come a long way since the move. He too has grown a lot, and the move affected him in good and not so good ways. We are very thankful that this move did bring us to an amazing occupational therapist. She is such a blessing to us, she’s able to reach Asher when I can’t. He’s learned so much from her and adores her, he even looks forward to going to his therapy now. He can now write his name all by himself, he’s identifying more of his ABC’s and he’s learning to identify numbers as well. Some of his behaviors he was exhibiting this time last year are almost entirely gone, while others have popped up. He’s trying so hard though, I know he’s hurting and stressed. I know he is anxious and still feels unsettled. He constantly asks when we are going back to our old house, which of course makes us feel awful and part of me wonders if we should have rented it out instead of selling it so we could go back someday. I’m praying that the next six months shows more growth and maturity, that not only he will learn to cope with some of his sensory needs but that I will learn better ways to help him as well.

Bird… oh Bird. She is a sassy pants. Welcoming Bear into the world completely disrupted her “baby” life and I think it threw her for a loop. My sweet girl has picked up on some of her older siblings less desirable behaviors, so we are trying to nip that in the bud real quick. Her red hair has definitely been showing, but let me tell you… she’s also the sweetest two year old and she has her daddy wrapped so tight, he cannot tell that girl no! She seems to be a lot like Boogie when it comes to learning, she has been following along with Bubby’s school work and picking up on her ABC’s. She really is precious and I hate that she’s growing up on me so quick! She loves picking out her clothes and she HAS to have a bow for her hair every day. She’s also rotten and sassy sassy sassy like I said and a whole lot of mess, but we all adore her!

Bear, oh sweet sweet Baby Bear. This boy is a delight. He is literally my sunshine when the rest of the world seems gloomy. On my hardest days parenting the older three, he makes everything seem better. He sleeps y’all. Like REALLY sleeps. He doesn’t stay attached to me wanting to nurse 24/7 like the big kids, he is content being worn and sucking on a pacifier and only wants to eat when he’s hungry or super tired. He’s always happy, he’s always smiling, he is so incredibly precious. He’s got these big beautiful blue eyes and they just melt me. I can’t even describe to you how much he has blessed us, he is literally the PERFECT last addition to our family. He IS our mic drop. I can’t wait to see his personality blossom and get to know the little man he is becoming.

As for me, I’m tired. Very, very tired. This move has exhausted me mentally, physically, spiritually… emotionally. I’ve been feeling a little lost amongst the chaos of everything, a little lonely, a little regretful and maybe a little overwhelmed. Okay… a lot overwhelmed. I’m not really sure where I fit into our world these days, I’m always busy doing something. I’ve had to step away from things I really love so that I don’t just go insane. You’ll probably see less giveaways and reviews on my blog, I have a few up right now but two of those are actually made by a sweet blogging friend from Mama Banana Adventures. We just have so much going on getting the house updated, parenting away from our families (i.e. less date nights and breaks for mommy), homeschooling, etc etc. It’s just a lot on my plate! Pray for me? Hoping that as we get closer to our one year anniversary of moving that I will feel more settled and relaxed about everything.

I’ve got some ideas to implement on Mustard Seed Mommy, I would love to start sharing more of our homeschooling journey with you. If you have any prayer requests just post a comment below, I would be happy to lift you up while you do the same for me! God bless!

Good, Good Father

I’ve really been struggling these past few weeks, feelings of discontent, guilt, anxiety and weariness. I’m not even sure if that covers my emotions lately. Obviously being pregnant can cause a woman’s emotions to be all over the place, but I think all of the changes our family is going through have just overwhelmed me and taken a toll. I’m incredibly happy to be in Tennessee now, I think in the long room it was the best decision for our family.

However I can already tell you that we won’t be staying in our new home for an extended period of time. We know we will outgrow it before long, it’s inevitable. And despite our long conversations on the matter, both J and I know that we can’t continue forever with his long commutes. It’s just not for us. By the time he leaves and returns from work, he’s gone for almost 9, sometimes 10 hours a day. That doesn’t leave much time for us as a family.

I can also tell you that I am really struggling with the fact that we can’t seem to find a church that fits our family’s needs. I know we are being picky, our home church is amazing, I hate that we can’t be there and live in our new home at the same time. We have a great church family back in NC and considering J and I are both kind of anti-social these days, it’s really hard finding a church that feels like home here. We have at least found a church that offers ballet classes for Boogie and a church that offers Awana for her and Asher as well. But we haven’t been able to visit the church with ballet for worship services yet, and the other wasn’t a good fit. Between illnesses and traveling we just haven’t had the opportunity to visit many more.

We are starting our first official year of homeschooling, Boogie is a kindergartener this year and I’m trying to get into a good routine so that we can stay on top of things. It’s much harder than I anticipated, I didn’t think I would still be suffering from this awful “morning” sickness and I wasn’t expecting to have to be running around town so much while my brother was staying with us. So we are yet to be on any kind of schedule and it’s been hard on the kids and myself. I’m also worried that I won’t be able to keep up or provide the best education for my kids, I know this isn’t true, but it’s hard to not think this when there’s so many other things piling up on your shoulders.

Blogging isn’t as fun as it used to be either. I’m not enjoying it like I used too, now it feels more like a job instead of a hobby. Which I guess, technically it is now. I can’t decide how to continue on as Mustard Seed Mommy, but it just doesn’t give me the joy that it once did. Lately I can’t find anything to fill my personal time with, when I have personal time, that is something just for me to do. My life revolves around housekeeping, laundry, parenting, cooking, errand running and trying to be the best wife that I can be. I just can’t figure out where Sarah fits into that.

Are you still with me? The one thing that keeps me going, that keeps me from collapsing into a heap on the floor is knowing that my Father is here. He’s holding me up and keeping me going, His love will never waver, He will never doubt or forsake me. He is a constant in my life that I can completely and totally rely on. I am so very thankful for that. So, now that you’ve made it through my super depressing post, could you be praying for me? Pray that things will turn around a bit and that I can find some contentment in where we are right now in our lives? Pray that I can find confidence in my role as a mother and teacher to my children?

Until next time, here’s my song, the song that brings me to tears every time I hear it. This song is my heart’s cry.

Validated

I was planning on writing a fun post about our Disney vacation before I wrote any other personal posts, but I think this one needs to be written first. You may have noticed that my blog has been missing a lot of personal posts this past year, year and a half. I’ve written a few here and there, but there was so much going on in our lives that I chose to not post what I really wanted to post.

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Almost 2 years ago we started noticing that Bubby’s behavior was very unlike his older sister’s at his age. We brushed it off because they’re not the same person, they are two very different people and all kids are different! Then, as time went on it just got worse and worse. Screaming fits that would not stop, meltdowns that could last for hours, his loud outbursts, and more…. no one really believed me. No one thought anything was off, everyone said, “Oh, he’s just being a toddler! He’ll outgrow it!”

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Fast forward a bit… this past year we’ve seen more behaviors that confirmed in my mind that something was not right. Bubby was completely potty trained, but going into a public bathroom was (and still is) a nightmare. All the noises of the automatic flushers, the hand dryers…. all of that overstimulated him and he would throw himself on the floor, cover his ears and scream. He would go into these meltdowns over the smallest things at home, and there was nothing I could do to help him, I would sit in the floor and wrap my arms around him and just hold him until his tiny body relaxed into mine…. but even then it could take an hour or more for him to fully calm down. There’s a lot more than that, but if I continued listing the things that we were noticing I might not ever stop writing.

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My fears and concerns were validated this month, Bubby has a sensory processing disorder. A hypersensitivity disorder to be exact. I thought I would be more prepared for an official confirmation of this, but I wasn’t. I knew something was wrong, and I was proven right…. because let’s get real, mom’s know. They just know. Processing all of this is hard, my sweet boy struggles with things that other kids don’t. He has to work harder at coping with emotions and things around him than other kids do, and I hate that. I hate that so much.

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When you learn something is different about your child, I won’t say wrong, because there’s nothing wrong with him, your heart breaks. You can’t fix it, you can help them cope with it, but you can’t fix it. You question if you did something wrong, if there was something you could have done differently during your pregnancy or in his infant months that could have prevented this. You question God, you ask Him why He would allow your child to face a hardship like this. But I’m also thankful. I’m thankful that it’s not something that will take his life, I’m thankful that he is healthy and thriving. I’m thankful that we know now what he is going through and that there are things to help him deal with everything.

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So, if you’ve wondered why I’ve not posted very much… this is why. Please pray for us, please pray that during these next few months I can help him cope with this big move, that I can help him learn to handle everything around him and that I can show patience and understanding on the hard days.