Writing & Reflecting

Tonight Ron took a couple of the boys roller skating. So after baths and getting three boys to bed or should I say into their rooms, I decided to do some more writing from my old journals to the computer. I am currently working on writings from late 2016. A little background…we became House Parents in Waco, at the Methodist Boys Ranch 8/1/2016. We started our new position as Home Parents here at A Kid’s Place the middle of June this year.

As I have been typing up what I wrote four years ago I am surprised at the similar things that I am still concerned and dealing with…

  1. My weight…and now I am even 20 lbs heavier than I was in 2016 ~ UGH!!! I don’t think I am winning this battle!!!
  2. My blood sugars…I can’t remember the last time I had one full week of good and decent numbers ~ UGH
  3. Spending time with the Lord/His Word or should I say lack there of!!!

From my journal ~~~~. 11.10.2016

Got 5 hours of sleep.  Dear Jesus, I so need you today Lord.  I truly believe you opened the door for us to come here, to serve and care for these boys and Lord I don’t want to be known as a quitter yet Lord I feel so discouraged, so inadequate and find my fuse so close to blowing.  Lord, I so need you today, please give me a calm and peaceful spirit.  Lord help me to let yesterday go, give grace to these boys and specially to love on Ron.

Lord the devotional from this morning ~ I have a purpose, You have called me/us here to do your work.  Lord forgive me for my frustrations.  Help me as I step out the door this morning, to do what you have called me to be, a mom, loving on these boys the way you love on me.  Amen.

I don’t think anything has really changed…I think about something I read earlier today on Facebook and my response…(shared with permission):

Something I wrote, read it or don’t 😉Where do I begin? There’s too much going on within…I think I have one thing dealt with and then here it comes again Why can’t I shake this, why does it seem to never end? Why don’t they ever put me first, why do I care so much, think so much, want so much. I should just be content with what I have but there’s always a little voice within telling me I’m not enough Why can’t I believe I deserve good things? Why do I accept less for myself than I give to others, to all my friends I’m trying so hard to keep it together to believe things are getting better. Focus on the good, block out the bad, and trust Gods plan, but I’m wearing thin, I’m getting tired Why do they ignore me, seem to forget about me, about us? I long for that connection, the support that has never been, but that’s just it, how can I long for something that’s never even been…Loneliness and putting on a smile, telling myself I’m going to be alright is what I’ve always done, but sometimes I just want to scream NO, I’m not alright!This world is so hard to stay positive in, to not let the pain win. I try to spread love not hate, but can’t seem to love myself or believe I deserve it…Why can I do these things for others yet struggle so much to believe I’m worth it, the time, the energy, the attention, it’s so foreign to me. I’ve gotten so good at being quiet and staying out of the spotlight, fading into the conversations around me crying inside, just waiting to be seen I’d do anything for anyone especially those I love, but I guess that’s the problem…I’m not someone I love. Why would I love me when I’ve never been enough for them? Even when I’ve pleaded, begged, cried, ran away, I was never enough. I was always the one who was wrong, the one who hurt them, so I just continued to be the girl they taught me to be…quiet and good, so no one notices me…Rachel Weatherby Bode7-23-21

My response: Oh my sweet Rachel Weatherby Bode. First off sending lots of hugs your way!!! My heart resonates with what you wrote. Many thoughts you shared here today are ones I have shared internally and outwardly so many times. I know for me, I have to constantly tell myself…”Ali give yourself the grace you so easily extend to others.” And even though I am better about loving and caring for myself there are still days I fall through the cracks. I wish I had a magic wand to send over you but alas that just doesn’t happen…but know you are enough, God loves you just the way you are and you are loved by many (even those who don’t show it to you on a daily basis). Life is just plain hard at times. Just remember this too shall pass…I know it sounds a bit cliche but for me sometimes I just need to say it over and over. I share this verse with you ~ it came to me this morning when I was reading Matthew 11:28-12:8. I wrote in my Bible this morning: remember sometimes you just have to be…be still, be calm, be enough, just be! Love you sweet girl!!!


Today has been trying here at AKP…how many times during the day must I tell our 7 yr old to please stop running in the house? How many times do I have to tell the 12 year to speak nicely, don’t use that word (in this case poop poop head)? How many times to do I have to say to the 9 yr old, stop arguing over every request or comment? And I want to yell “the next time someone says YUCK at what I fix for lunch or dinner they can fix dinner and see how it feels to have everything you cook for them be YUCKY!!!

In my mind all I want to do is sit down and crochet but there isn’t a decent chair or lighting to even do that for 5 minutes!!! And then I thought about Rachel and my heart echoed hers…why does it not feel what I am doing is enough? why doesn’t it seem we get a break from constant chaos?

I know we are where the Lord would want us to be…to loving on kids who don’t have someone to love on them. …to be near our son and his family, to be Grammy and Grandpa in person, and encouraging those we come into contact with. And I am reminded that each day is a choice, each item of food I put into my mouth is my choice, each moment I spend zoning out on Facebook or picking up my Bible or rewriting my journals…those are all choices I make every day and no one is responsible for any of them but me.

So I committed this week to pray and find a support system for me…to focus on three things: my spiritual walk, my health (diabetes, eating healthy and moving this body!) and my writing. And I found this group: Faith & Fitness for Christ Followers. I was able to listen to about 20 minutes of a welcome post/live this afternoon and I was so encouraged. First, Freddie is easy to listen to and is full of energy. I got through the first three habits: !. Spend time with God! 2. Fellowship with other believers ~ being in a new area, working the crazy schedule that we do, it is sometimes hard to find fellowship with other believers. We don’t go to church the Sunday’s we are working ~ it just doesn’t work out. And the past Sunday’s we have been off we have either been out of town or sleeping in or ??? it just hasn’t happened. And this next Sunday we are off we are going to be out of town with Christopher, having some Grammy and Grandpa time celebrating him!!! But in saying that…somehow I connected with a church on Facebook Salvation City Church. I have messaged back and forth with Pastor Joel a couple of times. One of the things that was an encouragement from him was a message/prayer he left for me in Messenger without me even asking. If there is one thing I miss ~ that is having a personal relationship/friendship with our pastor. Pastor Charles from Northwood, Pastor Isaac from Open Door and Pastor Adam from New Life have all been encouragers to and for me over the years. Habit 3 is drink water!!!! I had been doing really well drinking anywhere from 60 to 80 oz of water every day until we moved here to Florida…now I am luck if I down 48 oz…I need to find that water bottle and get back to drinking water!!! I know I feel better when I drink more water.

And then I began transcribing my journal from November 2016 and realized that though my battle seems to be exactly the same as 5 years ago but in reality and I’m trying to see the truth!!! Yes I may weigh more now than I did then, my BS numbers are all over the board BUT I am more aware and immediately I think of something Tom shared with us many years ago

Awareness + Contact = Change!!! and today I am definitely more aware than I was five years ago!!! And I am making healthier food choices more of the time than not and that is a good thing!!!

And just like I shared with Rachel this morning…I need to give myself the grace that I so easily give to others!!! And so as I prepare to go to bed I am thanking the Lord for today…reminders I am not alone…support groups on Facebook, friends who send me texts of encouragement and little boys who say “Ms Ali, would you pray with me tonight” which says “Ms Ali, thank you for loving me along with all my foibles.”

And so again I say to myself…Ali you can make the changes that need to be made in your life…make healthy food choices, drink water ~ forget that dang soda pop!!! 😉 and give yourself the grace you so freely give to others!!! Just like God gives grace to me every single day of my life!!!!

I want to add a big thank you to Rachel for sharing from your heart and walking my journey with me and allowing me to walk your journey with you!!!! And remember:

Focusing on What’s Important

As I wrote the other day…life has been a struggle for me and like in days and years past I let my emotions control my actions…I had a counseling session scheduled for today BUT yesterday in the middle of my angst I cancelled it ~ DUH…now more than ever I really needed that time to get refocused and calm my spirit. I did have enough sense to schedule another appointment for next Tuesday…NO I will not be cancelling it!!! Telling myself that as much as you!!!

Yesterday morning I woke up at 4:07, struggled through the day with tears, worry, anxiety but I didn’t take a nap thinking it would help me to sleep better last night…well it didn’t…I was up numerous times and this morning I woke up at 4:22!! I laid in bed for about 15 minutes and then got up…made myself a bottle of water (taking thyroid medication can’t have anything to eat or drink but water for an hour), combed my hair, put on some earrings, made my way out to the living room. Putzed around until our night staff person left shortly after 6:00a. Cleaned off my desk, put some more pages in my planner and then opened my Bible and devotionals.

I don’t know why but I am
ALWAYS
and yet you always meet me where I am…
and this morning was no different!!

I opened Pocket Prayers for Moms given to me by my bestie and this was the verse that was written….
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along with this prayer
Heavenly Father, you are the Lord of all, the almighty God and the everlasting one. Be near to me when my family faces change. When nothing feels steady, it is hard on all of us. Give me strength and courage in times of transition. Allow my family to see YOU leading the way. May the rely on you, especially when they feel uncertain. I am so grateful that even when everything around us feels unstable, YOU are there. YOU are our rock. I thank you and praise you for that. In Christ’s name. Amen

Just WOW!!

This prayer says it all…all that I’m feeling and thinking…there is just so much uncertainty in today’s world yet GOD remains steadfast and consistent…the things this mama needs to be for her family…steadfast, consistent, loving, kind and caring. I need to remember to extend the grace that I am so willing to extend to others to myself and our kidlets.

So many changes are happening, transition is the name of the game…transition from kidlets going to school to being schooled at home, from fixing one meal a day to fixing two or three and then being reminded to accept the help that is being offered…our school district, like so many will provide breakfast and lunch for all our kidlets. At first I told the principal “no, we’ve got the meals covered” and then our boss reminding me that by allowing the school district to provide breakfast and lunch five days a week it will relieve me/us of some of the pressure and thinking needed to be done.

WOW…yesterday was the first day we took advantage of the school lunches and it was wonderful…no comments from the kids that they didn’t want such and such. They ate and cleaned up after themselves. It was a good thing. And we have breakfast for today: pop tarts, apple juice and milk. Easy for everyone!!!

As I continued with my time with the Lord, I wrote…
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and then I got distracted by looking for something on Facebook
but it turned out to be just what I needed for me, for us today

As I posted on Facebook we don’t have any beer but that’s okay, I have my Coke Zero, I won’t make a coffee cake but I will make my pineapple angel food cake bars…topped with whip cream and since Tuesday is one of our “chore days” we will pass on the big chores for the day like cleaning the bathrooms (we have six in our house!!!) and vacuuming but the laundry will at least get washed and dried…maybe even folded and some school work will get done…and this mama’s goal will be to keep a soft tone…remember the

marshmallows…and I might even have some for a treat for the kidlets!

Thank you Lord for my time with you this morning, for the many reminders that have come my way today…even this one…

Let’s remember…today is in the Lord’s hand, HE is in control and though we may face some struggles we will get through this and through it all let’s remember to give

BE

As I went to bed last night I reflected on my day…it didn’t start out great, in fact it was a grumpy and frustrating morning. I didn’t go to Sunday School ~ I just couldn’t put on my mask of EVERYTHING IS JUST FINE! After dropping Ron and the kidlets off at the church I went and got gas, stopped at the post office and then drove back to the church and sat in the van and played Tetris on my phone till it was time to go in for the worship service.

As I was walking from the restroom to the sanctuary one of the gals asked me if I was okay. I took a breath and said not really. She reached out and gave me a hug…I shared I was frustrated ~ frustrated with kids who won’t flush the toilet. I know it’s gross but it is what it is. Probably wouldn’t be bad but it’s not one kid, it’s four of them. And they are not toddlers…they are 5, 8, 11 and 14!! I know, it’s my issue and I can just flush the toilet…but dang, how hard is it to flush the toilet ESPECIALLY after you have pooped!! I’m frustrated with a couple of other things that don’t seem fair ~ I know, Life isn’t FAIR!! But it’s still hard some times.

As I replayed the day back I saw some good ~ four kidlets played outside most of the afternoon, birthday girl had a good birthday dinner of hamburgers, mac n cheese, tater tots and broccoli topped off with red velvet cupcakes. My sissy is out of the hospital and I am so thankful for that. Yes I was grumpy throughout the day but things did get better…three littles had their showers and were in bed at the set time, one went to bed earlier than expected and one was very responsible!! I was thankful I got to spend some time writing and crocheting ~ two of my favorite things to do.

And I was asleep before 10pm!!! Woke up more times than I care to admit in the night but my tracker says I slept more than 7 hours so that’s a good thing. Had a pleasant conversation with our night staff person which doesn’t always happen and spent some time in the Word! I would have loved to have a cup of coffee but have to get some fasting blood work this morning…so water it is!!

Back to the Word

Image result for psalm 40 2
and I am thankful that HE keeps me from falling too deep!

and I have been feeling like I am slipping and sliding into that pit of destruction YET HE reminded me this morning HE will keep me out of the pit that destroys me!

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And even though I MAY feel like I’m getting boxed in and there is no place to turn…GOD will not let me be destroyed!!!

And then the BE’s started flowing

BE intentional in giving thanks!!
BE kinder
BE less selfish ~ I can be selfish, just be less selfish
BE aware
BE a listener
BE there
BE present
and most of all ~ DON’T JUDGE

And now it’s time to get this day moving with the kidlet’s.

***********
What are you told to BE today?

Y is for …

Y is for …

…hubby says

yellow

The morning sunrise!

y sunrise

Yellow roses!
y roses

A yellow kitchen ~ we used to have a bright yellow kitchen, much brighter than this one.  Then we moved to a new home and we painted it yellow and blue – still like yellow and in fact painted the bathroom in our motor home a light yellow.  Guess I have mellowed in the past 25 years 🙂

y kitchen walls

Yellow Fish – this is more the color of our first yellow kitchen 🙂

y fish

Corn on the cob – one of our favorite things to eat.  Am hoping since we are now in Kansas we will find lots of fresh corn this summer.

y corn

When I was thinking of a Y is for ?  The word that came to mind was Yearning…yearning for God.

 y yearning

I have found that in being more intentional about my time with the Lord, studying His word, writing out my prayers and talking about and trying to understand different things from the Bible with others I yearn more for the Lord.

I do another blog, Alice’s Restaurant ~ Dishin’ Up Food for Thought where I write about what is on my heart.

Today’s Post is here where I share about my yearning for understanding the Holy Spirit and being an encourager.

What is your favorite Yellow thing?

Mine would be the sunshine!!!  I love the sunshine and I even love hot summer days.

 

V is for Victory and Views

V is for

…Victory in Jesus

victoryinjesus

by Author: Eugene Bartlett
Year Written: 1939
Copyright: BMI Work#1803360

This is one of my favorite hymns.

I heard an old, old story,
How a Savior came from glory,
How He gave His life on Calvary
To save a wretch like me;
I heard about His groaning,
Of His precious blood’s atoning,
Then I repented of my sins
And won the victory.

Chorus
O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.

I heard about His healing,
Of His cleansing pow’r revealing.
How He made the lame to walk again
And caused the blind to see;
And then I cried, “Dear Jesus,
Come and heal my broken spirit,”
And somehow Jesus came and bro’t
To me the victory.

Chorus
O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.

I heard about a mansion
He has built for me in glory.
And I heard about the streets of gold
Beyond the crystal sea;
About the angels singing,
And the old redemption story,
And some sweet day I’ll sing up there
The song of victory.

Chorus
O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.

and Views

This is the view from the couch in our motor home looking through the campground towards Amazon.  Currently there are less than 10 rigs here at the Big Chief RV Park.  As more workers start with Amazon this campground will see more rigs here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

These next two pictures are the view from the recliner looking away from the campground.  We are the last rig in this row and so we will have this unobstructed view for the whole season.  If you look towards the bottom of the picture you can see lots of water/mud ~ we will be glad when the spring rains stop and this can get all dried up.

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This view is from the chair directly behind the passenger seat.  It has been nice to watch the clouds come in and go out.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

One funny thing about views.

When we were at Branson View Campground we would watch the sun rise out the passenger side living room window and the sunset out the drivers side living room window.  This morning as I was having my quiet time with the Lord I looked out the drivers side window and much to my surprise the sun was coming up!  It took me a few minutes to realize that the sun hasn’t changed where it comes up or goes down but we have the motor home facing a different direction!!!

Do you have victory in your life?

And what views do you see each day from your home? On your drive to work or church?

D is for Distractions!

D is for Distractions!!

distractions

One of the things I struggle with is getting Distracted.

Sometimes it doesn’t take much to distract me.

Like earlier today when I was working on a project at work.

 I needed to find a picture on the computer and the next thing I knew I was scrolling through the pictures of my grandchildren.

I can look at their pictures for hours especially when I haven’t seen them in a while.   The next thing I knew 30 minutes had passed 😦 .

Getting distracted doesn’t just happen at work.

When I am at home I can start one thing like putting the laundry away and the next thing I know I am cleaning out the closet.

The one area I get distracted in and is the one that frustrates me the most is in my quiet time.

 I like to read my Bible, do daily devotions, study God’s word and spend time in prayer.  Now I find that if it is not totally quiet  without music or soft lighting I am unable to concentrate, remember what I have been reading or even give my total being to the Lord in praise and prayer.

So I decided that I needed to do something to keep my distractions at a minimum.

I found this poster and was excited to see so many solutions that really work for me.

Help with Distraction

1.  Keeping a To Do List and Prioritizing It

2.  Turn off the computer in the evening to allow quality time with my hubby, friends, and activities.

3.  Setting the alarm and scheduling an hour of quiet time where the TV is off, Ron is still sleeping ~ setting the stage for what I need.

4. Finishing one project at a time.  I have so many unfinished projects from crafts to writing to household obligations to redecorating parts of the motor home that I  have made a list of  all of them, choosing one, doing it and then choosing the next one to do.

5.  Meal planning – this helps in a couple of ways.  We eat healthier and we don’t go out to eat which saves us money 🙂

Do you get distracted?  How do you stop distractions from taking you away from the things you need to do?