Every year for Halloween and Christmas, my kids and I decorate the house to the extreme. It started small when my oldest was a baby and every year it gets bigger and bigger. It’s a tradition I decided to make with my children because for some crazy reason, I always wanted them to have the fun childhood memory of all of is as a family going to the extreme with decorating. When it comes to Halloween decorating, we have halloween movies playing, the kids draw new halloween pictures to hang, and we munch on some snacks. When we decorate for Christmas, we have Christmas music blaring, drink hotcoco, and eat cookies. It’s a holiday in itself decorating the house. A couple years ago, for Halloween, we decided to add spiders to the porch. The spiders were so simple to make. I found the idea on pinterest using black pipe cleaners. The spiders were so cool, they even sort of bounced if you hit them or dropped them. We hung one up above our porch table where none could see, and when someone came over and sat down, my husband would release the string and drop the spider in front of them…. ahhh classic. Well, after two years of enjoying our spiders and them going through storage, our two dollar pipe cleaners didn’t hold out. So this year, my son wanted to make more. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this a couple years ago, but i saw the googly eyes in the store and I just knew we had to add these to our spiders this year. I must say, I’m pretty pleased how they they turned out! I can’t wait to hang them up around the house!
This morning, my children, husband, and I sat on our bed and counted change. We were going through the change bag, pulling out the pennies to put in a different bag as I told my children a story from my childhood. I told them how growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money. Every year, starting in January, my mom, brother, and I would save up our pennies. We had a jar that we kept in the living room that we would put them in. In December, close to Christmas, we would empty the jar and roll up the pennies. That is how we bought our Christmas trees every year. As I told them this story it got me thinking of how much we undervalue a penny. It’s just a penny. Right? But oh, what a difference a penny can make. How many times do we undervalue ourselves the same way? “I’m just a nurse, I’m just a mom, I’m just a whatever.” But, just like that penny, we can make a huge difference. For me, that penny gave my family a Christmas tree every year. What will your difference be?
I’m sure you’ve played solitaire before. Whether it’s with an actual deck of cards, or on your phone or computer. As you know, when you’re playing on your phone or computer, if you run out of moves a message will pop up for you to quit and start another game. One day, I was playing a game of solitaire and this happened to me. The message said “you have no available moves”. I was feeling spunkie and thought, huh, what if it’s wrong? What if I could still win this game? So I kept playing, going back, moving cards around and bringing them back down from their ace position. Then another message popped up saying “start a new game”. Me being a little rebel said “oh no, you’re not stopping me now!” I ended up winning that game. It took a little longer than my usual wins, but I won! Even though the messages said I had no other moves and to start a new game. This game got me thinking about how funny it is that we live our lives the same way. Once we hit a bump in the road a couple of times or run into a brick wall we give up. We decide that’s not the game we are suppose play. So we switch to a new game. But, what if it is? What if, it’s just suppose to take a little longer and we need to be patient and keep playing and rearranging our cards? I told my husband a while back that life is like playing a hand of cards. Sometimes you get a good hand, sometimes you get a bad hand, but in the end, it’s all in how you play them.
I am a very talkative person. I’m a Gemini, that’s kind of what we do. While coming home from petsitting one late morning, I jokingly told my husband I was not going to talk to him anymore. So he jokingly replied back “you couldn’t quit talking if you wanted to.” Game on! So I sat there in the driver seat, for the next 15 minutes of the ride home, not saying a word. I kept thinking of a million things I wanted to say, but I was standing, or should I say sitting, my ground. We arrived back at our house, and my little game continued. I wrote on a marker board to tell my husband little things like “ask the kids what they want for lunch, or no TV until the living rooms cleaned.” When my kids realized I wasn’t speaking, it drove them nuts. They were begging me to talk. My husband kept saying over and over “this is killing me babe, are you really doing this, you’re going to break eventually.” But, even though I kept thinking of a million things I wanted to say, nothing was important enough to break my silence. Eventually, my husband begged me to please talk so he could hear my voice. I was so relieved. Do you know how hard it was for a Gemini to go over an hour without talking. But, this little experiment made me realize 2 things. You don’t realize how much nonsense we talk all day, and how much we actually miss someone’s voice. Just food for thought, don’t take anything for granted.
“But they who wait for the lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall work and not faint.” Isahia 40:31
This picture of my son shooting his compound bow is extremely inspiring to me. My son received this bow almost two years ago as a Christmas gift from his grandparents. He was not quite 6, but his daddy is a bow hunter, so my son was super excited to have his first real bow and learn how to shoot like his daddy. So of course, not long after he opened it, he ran outside with his daddy and patiently waited while the target was being set up, only to realize, he wasn’t strong enough to pull it back. He was pretty bummed. So of course my husband helped him pull the string back so he could shoot. We told him, just be patient and give it time, before you know it, you will be strong enough to pull it back by yourself. After that, sometime went by, he asked again if he could try his bow. Just like the first time, he still wasn’t strong enough. The same scenario went on for almost 2 years until the day this picture was taken. My husband got his bow out to practice for bow season, my son asked if he could try his. He struggled at first, but, when he was able to finally get the string pulled back all the way, he aimed, he shot and hit the target. OH MY, the look of joy and excitement on that childs face (plus mine and my husbands). We where so proud of him and he was proud of himself. He shot over and over again after that.
My point to this story is patience. My son could have given up after the first few times, but he didn’t. He kept trying and stayed patient knowing the time would come that he would be able to shoot his bow. We are usually too quick to quit anything, just because we are not succeeding right away.
As parents, we are suppose to teach our children about life. But on that day, my 7 year old taught me.
“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” 2chronicles 15:7
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I am a tom boy. My hair normally always stays in a bun on top of my head or in a braid. My favorite outfit is some cutoff shorts, a tank top, with flip flops. I’m an outdoors type of girl, so I’m always sweaty and I’m not about to wear some fancy expensive outfit just to pour sweat in it and feel uncomfortable. Heck, I don’t think I own anything that didn’t come from Walmart or Tractor Supply. Unless it’s hand me down, that doesn’t count because I didn’t buy it. And dresses are a definite no unless it’s for a wedding or over a bathing suit. I do love wearing makeup, but I don’t always feel like putting it on. So, you can imagine the challenges I have being a mommy to a little girl. I see all these other little girls in their boutique outfits, big bows with their hair neatly styled, and shoes that cost more than my dining room table. No joke, they do because my table was given to me. Any who, Then there is my beautiful blue eyed, blonde hair baby girl. Hair in a ponytail looking like a hot mess. Rocking her Walmart Granimals in her frozen flip flops, sometimes mud boots. And this is if we are lucky. Most of the times we can’t keep clothes on the girl, let alone shoes, and she’s running around squealing like she just escaped from the loony tunes cartoon. I often wondered if I was failing my daughter by not treating her like the other girls. Dolling her up all the time, making her wear her hair so so. Keeping her up to date in the latest fashions. So on and so on. But then I remembered a line from Trace Atkins in the movie Mom’s Night Out. He told one of the moms that God chose her to be her kid’s mommy for a reason, and he doesn’t make mistakes. Bam! Got me really thinking. God knew what he was doing when he made me a mommy to my beautiful daughter. He knew I would raise her to be different, like me, and not like everyone else. There are too many people in the world trying to copy one another and keep up with the Jones’s that no one stands out anymore. Don’t be afraid to be unique. Don’t be afraid to be different and to be yourself. I use to look at all of these type of people and be envious in a way because I’m not like that. Even if I did try to dress stylish I felt so out of place and awkward. One thing that sank into me is the fact that all the while I am wishing I could be like someone else, who knows, they may be wishing they could be like me. So rock your unique, socially awkward, not stylish dressed self and show the world and praise the lord for making you to stand out and be different.
“Stop comparing yourself to others. You can only compare what’s alike, and you are unlike any other.”
These are the words my husband said to me, as I was sitting on my back porch, feeling down and doubting myself. I’ve always wanted to be a songwriter. I’ve always had a love for music. I enjoy singing and I taught myself how to play guitar. I’m not the best vocalist or guitar player, but hey, it puts my songs out there. I’m not saying I’m bad, just that I am far from professional. When I was younger, I wanted to be a singer more than anything in the world. I wrote a few songs here and there, stayed up late talking and singing with friends. I even entered into a talent show once. I would host my on personal imaginary concerts in my carport singing my heart out to Mariah Carey. My show was pretty awesome to because it was all done on rollerblades. Oh yea, beat that Mariah. My biggest problem with all of this is that I’m extremely shy. I’m afraid of embarrassing myself or getting laughed at. So, when it came to big crowds, or groups of people I didn’t know, I would just shut down and keep to myself. I remember a time at one of our festivals in the small town we were living in. This girl I knew, she was a little older than I was, sang in the talent contest. She had an awesome voice and rocked the stage. Everyone cheered her on and I think she even won. I was so happy for her, but also envious. I knew, never in a million years, would I be that brave and outgoing. So, eventually, my dreams stayed just that, a dream. I had to come to reality and be logical. Fast forward to about 4 years ago. My husband, after all the time we had been together, then realized that I wrote. Jokingly I sang an old song for him that I wrote way back when. Because of him, I found the courage to start back writing, start a YouTube channel, submit my songs to whoever. He pushed me to unlock a talent that I had hidden away for so many years. He even encouraged me to start my blog posts. Fast forward to the day my husband told me to stop comparing myself to others. I was sitting on my back porch, feeling defeated. I had listened to a few of my friends singing and their voices were amazing! That little voice that likes to show its ugly face every now and then came back with a vengeance. “You’re not good enough, what are you thinking, you will never be like them.” I had almost talked myself into just saying screw it. Then, my husband and I had a long talk. I realized I have spent my whole life comparing myself to others, trying to be like all these people, then shaming myself because I’m not just like them. I’m not good enough. I forgot to just be myself, enjoy myself, and love myself. I am who I am, I’m not these other people. I AM ME. So my singing voice may be pitchy, my guitar playing isnt on point half the time, and I’m socially awkward. But that’s what makes me who I am. I am so grateful for my husband for pushing me to make my dreams a reality, being so supportive, and most of all, for loving me and constantly reminding me how great I am too!