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Thursday, May 16, 2019

four years later

Gosh, I can't even believe it has been four years since I posted anything on here. I was a terrible blogger. I was considering rebranding my blog and giving the website a fresh updated look. Including some new photos of our family of nine. I am not sure why I would do that, I have less interest to blog now that I did five years ago when I was very passionate to brand "Our Dear Life" and I really don't even know what content I would share about.

Today, I went back and read my few old posts that are on this blog & they make me laugh and warm my heart. My writing was quite a bit of rambling, but I wanted to write so bad. So I set my mind to make it happen... but why did I never make time for it?

I had blindspots about myself, that I just didn't understand. I have only just begun to to uncover more about myself in the last few months. I want to know why I don't follow through with things that I would like to do. I don't make consistent time for that which isn't urgent... a major issue I want to fix.
I long for a schedule yet living by one sucks the life out of me and it cause me live at an unattainable expectation.

I am just scratching the surface of seeing my shortcoming. I want to understand me better. ... It was interesting that I wrote almost four years ago about becoming my friend. I need a good friend in myself lately... I turned 38 in April 2019, we just came home from the climax of an incredible adoption journey that was faith filled and a testimony to be a part of, yet in the process I started down this Enneagram journey, a process to find myself and understand my motivations. I have not been easy on me as I have uncovered what I have over the past few months.

I don't plan to write about the Enneagram at this point, I am barely understanding it myself. I am not in position to share about it at this point... but here are some facts/truths about me right now:

I am passionate about our youngest baby's adoption journey.

I love living in California with all my heart.

I can't believe my oldest will turn 13 in a few months, it actually stirs grief.

I dream of owning a home in California, with tropical plants surrounding the landscape.

I have learned to name the stressors that bother me, to give space to those things that cause me worry.

I want to grow, even if it is ugly. It is ugly right now... this is a not a microwave transformation.

I am done now... I could vomit at the thought of not writing for another 4 years and how much older that makes my kids. WHY DO THEY HAVE TO GROW UP SO FAST?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Becoming my friend...

I wrote this post back in May, and I haven't opened up my blog since that day. I do not remember why I didn't just post it back then, but this morning I woke up feeling compelled to get the happenings on the inside of me out into writings. So I planned to write a more current happening in my life, yet when I read the draft to this, I realized how much I wanted this post to be remembered for myself... so I am sharing it. I haven't given up on this commitment but I would be lying if I said I have remembered it in the past month or so... This was a great reminder to me today to stay the course and commit to my vulnerability and grow. Enjoy...

I turned 34 in April  (how have this many months passed?) For the past four years as my birthday has approached I like to spend time in reflection over what has happened through out the past year.  Last year I was considerably excited to celebrate my birthday and even more excited to see where God would take me through out the next year.

Well last year came and went like Florida rain. It. Flew. By. In my time of reflection over my past year (back in April), I knew growth within me took place but it was hard to measure. One thing I have learned about me, is that when I spend a lot of time thinking, and I don't speak it out loud, or write it down, the thoughts move to emotions and the emotions get louder than truth. Not good. So I would like to share with you what I have begun to journey through...

At the end of March I had this thought run through my mind, it was sparked by reading a brief story about an older man in his late 70's early 80's. Now I couldn't tell you what in the world I read about this gentleman because this crazy thought bombarded my mind "Wow, when I am that old, I am going to have been with me, for a really long time!"

The thought kept going on, "Like, I will have been with me: all day, every day, for so long when I am that old! I will have been with me longer than with my kids, and possibly longer than with my hubs, (if he breaks the deal and dies before me!!)" "Man, I really hope like myself a lot by then, I should be my friend, I will be with me for the rest of my life."

This random tan-git going on in my head seemed silly at that moment, but as soon as the thoughts raced past, I knew they needed to be held on to. I pretty much pulled back the curtains to some serious subconscious thought patterns that I had no idea where inside of me. Its not like you grow up hearing "you should be a friend to you!" I mean you learn as early as you can to: share with others, forgive others, care for others... those are obviously good things! I wouldn't say that I dislike myself, but do I enjoy me? Encourage me? Believe in me? I could tell you without hesitation all my weaknesses but if I had to list my strengths about me, just the thought of doing that makes me squirm. I am my hardest critic. I expect so much of me but its all subconscious. Seriously I am so sick of living distracted. That's a huge part of it. If I wasn't so distracted in my crazy day to day life, then maybe I would be more self aware. So my time is now, this journey is before me...

That quick racing thought turned into my commitment for my 34th year of my life. I want to list with grace, my strengths and not feel as though I am being a prideful person. I want to see my worth fully in Jesus, yet like to be with me, when I am all by myself.  I want to acknowledge the places of distraction that need to change. I want to be still enough to listen when I need to encourage instead of critique. So within days of me laying this vulnerable reality out before God and asking Him to lead me down this road, I was quickly encouraged to read Brene' Brown's "The Gifts of Imperfection."

It is easy to read something and think its good. Its hard to tarry on it. To stay there and allow God to continue His work within you. I mean seriously a "self help, Oprah book club, that's how He has begun to speak into my spirit: waves of change.'

Here are just a few highlights so far:

"How much we know and understand ourselves is critically important, but there is something that is even more essential to living a Wholehearted Life: Loving ourselves"

"Compassion practice is daring. It involves learning to relax and allow ourselves to move gently towards what scares us."

"Belonging is the innate human desire to be apart of something larger than us. Because this yearning is so primal, we often try to acquire it by fitting in and seeking approval, which are not only hollow substitutes for belonging, but often barriers to it. Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self acceptance."

Until you read something like this you don't have to confront the statement and filter it within you and test it... Is this something I do well? Is this something I need to get better at? Do I live this out?  I am of the camp of thought, that until I die, I want to continue to rip myself open before God and let Him have his way with me, this round is not easy.

Self worth. I am on your journey, a journey I didn't know I needed to take. I am looking to become the friend that I offer to the world around me, to me. I mean of course I am not excluding Jesus... He is easy to love, now I desire to love the me that He recklessly loves. I know how to love me through scripture, I can cover me (my heart/thoughts) in truth, but I don't want to just cover bad subconscious thinking anymore. I want to take the time to thought by thought, struggle by struggle and strength by strength become more authentic.

Oh and I wrestle with blogging consistently because of all this junk: hardest critic & extremely distracted with daily life. I won't say sorry about it anymore, I just won't. No more being hard on me for inconsistency, or fearing my own voice.... I am just going to choose compassion towards me.

here is to #becomingmyfriend.

If any of these things sparked something in you, I would love to encourage you with two things... don't ignore it, but bathe it in prayer. And second... join me if you feel led to walk this road too.

***Something I am not advocating here is trying to live my life without a Jesus at the helm. I choose Him always. Sometimes I forget to choose him First, but I always turn around with my heart positioned before Him. There is no better place to be.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

just because...

Hi there my neglected little blog... you were a very tender commitment I was so excited and nervous to start a year ago. So much of my nervousness was wrapped up in my fear of failing, fear that I wouldn't be consistent to my vision: to go back and remember our stories and share them, to give testimony to Jesus for His goodness in our life. I had some great ideas that really gave me vision last spring. I think I posted about 4 or 5 times in 2014. #oops.

But can I just say, I love to write! And here I am it's almost 49 days into the New Year and I still haven't sat down to write once! I think my last post was over four months ago. I am so thankful that our livelihood doesn't rest on my performance to be a blogger. We would be homeless! So what keeps me from writing? My lame-o mind that says, "Once this and that are accomplished I will make time for it." And can I just point my finger and shake it at my own face for a moment... "The work will NEVER be done. Get over yourself, and schedule time for it." (Ouch). That’s hard for me. No matter how amazing or terrible you are at keeping a schedule I know that grace in seasons and situations must always triumph during mothering. So I have let that be what leads me, but I am entering into a season of needing to take more ownership of my hours. I haven’t finished Lysa Terkeurst’s “the Best Yes”, but dang it’s convicting.

Each night I continually think about this little neglected space, and even tonight I wanted to once again push aside the desire to write, I didn’t have any idea what to write about, plus it's not Monday or the weekend (and why those days seem like more "post-able" days, I have no clue...) Nor is it the beginning of a new month. And how do you bounce back to post something random?

In January, when our entire family decided to take the overwhelming plunge to do a Whole30 challenge all together, I would dream of sitting down and writing again. I kept saying, well once I can get out of this crazy kitchen then I will write, so I will start Feb 1st, I will write about our whole30 experience to start this year...

Hello Feb 18th (in a few hours!)... So these words I am about to say are not thought out or eloquent. I am a home school mom who will most likely have a lot of grammatical errors in this post... I don't remember any of those darn rules and I still love to write! So can I just say that I am so tired of my own unmeet-able standards. 

I am an external processor. I need to get what's happening on the inside outside of me, it’s actually like a deep breath once it happens. I need to share me. I was made to share the work that Jesus is continuing to do in and through me, and really, so were you. We just may have a different word number quota on a daily basis! So this post has no epic title, or deep uncovered truth. I would love to say this will be highly encouraging but I am just going to exercise my fingers tonight. You don't even have to keep reading!

I do want to share what I learned about whole30 and how God used it to do such a fresh work in our hearts. I want to share the practical lifestyle changes that came from it and how our entire health/whole food perception has changed. I want to share what we now choose to eat on a daily basis. I also want to share how it’s already created some not-so-good thought issues that I can't wait to kick to the curb! But not tonight... no, this is just a hello to you my dear blog, this space that I know with all my heart that God impressed on my heart almost four years ago that if I was faithful to this, He would bring blessing. I don't mean as a side business blessing... that's not my heart in this season. I do not have banners on my blog nor do I have links to old posts... and do you want to know why? Because I don't know how too! (IG has ruined my ability to express emotions without those ridiculous little faces ---> insert laughing crier face...)

So, my one little take away that I will share is this:

What I gained from whole30 and how I want to apply it here (to this on-again-off-again roller coaster writing trend) is that making a commitment that requires daily engagement in an unformed habit brings you painful but beautiful growth! I mean seriously, if I was a crazy faithful writer you would really know that I was a not-so-confident cook, and now I am SO different in my, forever changed from my 30-day experience! I didn't know how to do many things in my own kitchen 50 days ago... and now I cook numerous whole food meals multiple times a day. The kicker: conviction.

Once again I can't do a darn thing without the grace of God intervening. So here I am shouting from the mountaintops that willingness and weakness are an incredible offering to Jesus...even in good ol' practical places of life. Jesus wants to infiltrate all of us and to bubble up streams of living water in every detail of our life. I am thankful for some new springs and I hope I can get it together and share them soon.

I hope you have an awesome night. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

The time we stopped prevention...

In Early 2003, we had a special time of prayer together giving God the rights to bless us with a child in his time. I can remember saying to Hedge in a chuckling voice, “I mean what if it takes a few years”.  I had no idea what I was saying at that time. I didn’t want to give into the thought filled fears that my teenage years never brought me one pregnancy scare (and those years should have numerous times). I didn’t know anything about my body then or when I could conceive, but to say I led a foolish life is an understatement. I had no fear that getting pregnant as a teenager was in my cards. It didn’t happen as much as you would expect in the small community in the Midwest where I lived. There was so little for teenagers to do with two working parents just to make ends meet. I think the wild kids in my environment ended up as addicts or as dropouts more than as parents. I was graciously redeemed from that.

I lived a broken life until I was 17. I left it all and ran after Jesus. I ended up thousands of miles away from my former life. Five years later God was restoring my brokenness with His goodness. As a young married couple we were trusting God with every part of our life and now we handed over the timing of when He would bless us with a child. 

So that prayer time shifted us on a practical level. I stopped taking birth control. Can I tell you what a surreal feeling that was to be intimate the first time without a fear that conceiving a life on accident was considered irresponsible?  To be open to what God could do through us was amazing. To trust Him in our bedroom, was beautifully freeing.

I learned quick how to track my body. Who knew how small a window there was to conceive a child. It’s like 24 to 36 hours in a month! What? I mean you can try to conceive as much as you’d like but the actual release of a reproductive egg in a woman’s body is not an anytime thing. I can remember the excitement I felt in finding out when I was ovulating. It seemed so simple, I mean go online find an ovulation calculator and put the first day of your last period in the drop down box with the number of days between cycles. The ovulation calculator will tell you the best five days to conceive. And to top it off it will even give you the DUE DATE of your baby if you do indeed conceive. It’s a piece of cake.

I thought I could follow those steps and I was going to be handed a baby nine months later. I waited anxiously as the days of my next cycle approached. I couldn’t resist the temptation to take a pregnancy test. I had no idea how sad my heart would be when I saw that negative test.

I got a call a few days later that I was going to be an aunt again. Why do those calls that are worth all the rejoicing in the world cause such an agonizing pain? Comparison is a killer, and even though it seriously sucks to feel that way it is human. I shed many tears over friends announcing surprise pregnancies. I would in my heart fully rejoice for their news and simultaneously grieve for my longing.
The next few months were peppered with excitement and silence. I was excited even though it didn’t happen the first month, I was certain that it would happen soon. So I was excited to receive news each coming month. Now I didn’t want to talk about wanting a baby or hoping to get pregnant. I was 22 and we were not established. You get questioned with very earthly concerns when you say that you want a baby and you aren’t sure what the future looks like for you as a couple. Not having long terms plans in place makes you seem unprepared and foolish for talking about a family.  I learned to not open up and share my hopes and our intentions; it was clear that if a pregnancy were a surprise then people would gather around and say you can get through it. Accidental or unwanted pregnancies get so much more support in this world regardless of which view you take. Planned pregnancies are undervalued and overlooked, unless you walk through infertility.

You never think you would be the person to walk through the difficulty to conceive a child and you have no idea how painful that journey is until you are on it.

To mama’s to be:

I so deeply remember that disappointment, you are not alone. You are not less than because you aren’t carrying a life yet. Hold on Mama, He hears your heart and even better He knows your future children so intricately. He is the one that weaves them together.

I look back on this time and I can fully remember who I was. I had no idea I would someday be a mother to six children on this earth. It teaches me to know how to trust him beyond my emotions of the day. It teaches me that as I sit here typing and fully loving my alone time sitting in a coffee shop with headphones in that I am not just this person today. I am also a Grandmother. I am just not there yet, but God knows me there. He doesn’t operate in our time frame, but He can set eternity in our hearts, which includes my future. So have hope in the goodness of God and how He holds your future.

Have hope today mama, that you are indeed a mama, it just may not be today. I pray you would receive a touch in your heart that shakes you past your pain and gives you hope in Him.