My Kids

This week I have been frustrated with my messy house. I find it difficult to juggle my many responsibilities. My home most often gets ignored because it is not a “paid” position.

This week I have been reminded of other ways that having a clean, healthy, and safe home is a “paid” position. Strom writes of the influence that environment has on mood relating a study done. The study showed that subjects viewed pictures of people as generally more attractive if they were seated in a beautiful room. The study also found that an “ugly room created a sense of monotony, fatigue, headache, discontent, sleepiness, irritability, and hostility” (2009, p. 80). (more…)

I think that all of us feel unappreciated on some days. Today is one of those days for me. Right now my family and I are on a mission to make ourselves feel appreciated. Chris isn’t feeling too great, either. It’s interesting how you can know in your head that you are appreciated and loved and not FEEL that way.

Just this morning, Ella told me she loved me and it was in that way that I knew she really meant it at that moment, that she was really feeling it just then. That made me feel nice, but I later found my purse soaked with milk from Ella’s spilt cereal. Then it was as if she didn’t say that at all. She hadn’t bothered to even try to clean up the mess. Her thoughtlessness hurt my feelings, but I knew in my head that it was just her being a normal 7 year old. And once I thought about it, I grasped at that loved feeling that I got when she told me she loved me earlier in the day. I decided that it was going to stay and I was going to make the feelings associated with the milk go away. I’d much rather be happy.

It helped that she thought of me again by suggesting to Daddy that they get me flowers and a balloon, which they did. I have a wonderful family. I had been thinking flowers would be nice. I was also wishing for an early Mother’s Day. I just needed it. And I got both! Chris later mentioned that it was like an early Mother’s Day and he was right! I got to choose where to go for lunch and what to do this afternoon.

We went and had pizza for lunch and we are now on our way to the zoo. It’s open early because of the nice weather we’ve been having. Not all the animals are out and the train isn’t running, but it will be fun and it’s free! Whee! Ella says I get to choose for dinner, too! We will be in Saginaw, so that opens up my options! I’m thinking Famous Dave’s right now.

The Five Love Languages book talks about how we need to keep our love tanks full. I feel that mine is on empty. I was trying to soak up love from Chris’ hugs, but I realized that it was not really possible. God must be my source of love. At least for a tank that stays full and especially when Chris is feeling empty as well. He can’t help me like God. I’m realizing lately that I must rely more on God for these things. I expect more out of Chris than is humanly possible. Really. Literally. God is the only one that can give me what I need. Just writing this, admitting it in writing, out loud, so to speak, gives me joy. I know I’m on the right track always growing and allowing God to stretch me. It’s good to be teachable and always learning.

While I was still sad, I told Chris that I felt that I had been giving love, but not receiving enough back. With our concern over Ella, I’ve been making a concerted effort to make sure she knows we all love her, including God. It is a rewarding, yet tiring job. I only wish I had noticed that her love tank was on empty sooner than I did. It is much harder to bring and keep recovery and wholeness now. I am seeing progress the last couple of days. She seems to see that I am there for here now. I wasn’t before, while I was escaping the world through the computer. But after many weeks of my focus on the right things, she is beginning to benefit. All I can say is, “Thank you God!”

My dear hubby bought me a great book recently. It is called Praying in Color: Drawing A New Path to God. It was written by Sybil MacBeth. There is also a Kids’ Edition. She talks about how she has difficulty focusing during prayer and how she discovered that this was effective for her. Then she writes about why and how it works. She has little tips throughout as well. The kids’ edition is a short, quick version of the original book.

I am generally overwhelmed by “deep” books at first. I much prefer the light reading of fiction. I am not sure why, but I generally have to take time before I decide to read something that makes me think. Chris bought both books for me and the kids. The longer one was intimidating, so I started with the kids’ edition. I read a few short chapters but then I started getting excited about the concept and switched. The kids’ edition broke the ice for me.

I would highly recommend these books if you are like either the author or me. I have a terrible time focusing. My mind, my hands, my body all want to move and move on. Thought after thought flood my mind when I try to pray. This way of praying is great for me because it’s just doodling! You don’t even have to think words, much less write or say them. You just focus on the person or whatever it is you are praying for and let your hand run wild. I do this same thing all the time when I am on the phone. I doodle all the time!

You can pray whatever kind of prayer you want. She even goes over how to use this method for lectio divina. I have prayed for myself, but I have also interceded for others, tried a little lectio divina and done a combination. The doodles are just that and don’t have to be prefect. They aren’t supposed to be. However, if you are like me, you will think your prayers are the most beautiful works of art you’ve seen when you are done with them.

Here is a prayer for my daughter. She is having some difficulty with school again. I think the troubles are both because she does have her own will, but also because she seems to be having self-esteem issues and other things that stem from that. I know that with God’s guidance she will pull through her difficulties, but she has really been on my heart and mind lately. I’ve also been reading another book lately that talks about saying blessings over people, so that is why I changed delicate to strong on the leaf. This particular prayer is more polished than most are, but it was just right that day!

My Strong Flower

Oh! And in case you wondered, the supplies I use are a Moleskine Pocket Sketchbook (I am currently using a Moleskine Cahier Plain Notebook because Chris had one when I started, but I will switch when that runs out. The marker goes through the tiniest bit, but won’t on the Sketchbook.) I use Sharpie Ultra-Fine-Point Permanent Markers. I bought the pack that is linked at Wal-Mart for 15 or 20 dollars. It was a bit spendy, but for this purpose, well worth top-notch supplies.

I hope this post will encourage someone to get the book and try this method of prayer out. I have been really enjoying it the last couple of weeks.

Writing. I haven’t felt like really writing anything for a long time. Even now I’m surprised that I want to write. It may be a fleeting thing. I may not even finish this whole post in order to post. This is year has again been crazy. My family has been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea. Chris has a moderate case. He wakes up 19 times an hour because he stops breathing. I wake up a mere 6 times an hour. Our daughter wakes up 2 times and our son wakes up 1 time per hour. That might not seem like much, but it causes our sleep to be interrupted and explains why we are all groggy during the day. Chris and I have been put on CPAP machines. It has worked wonders for Chris. He gets up in the morning instead of noon every day. I have had success, too. However, I think now that I am taking too much medication. I have good days, but I also have days where I feel worse than before. I can’t think straight and I want to stay in bed. So, now I am going to try to get off of all of my depression medications.

I have to say that is scares me a lot. I have tried before and it has not gone well. The side effects of going off of the medicine are worse than the depression. I found a program online that helps you to get off without side-effects. It is free, but you do have to buy the needed supplements. It’s called The Road Back. I would like to try it, but I need to come up with the $160-$200 to buy the supplements.

While waiting for God to provide the money for that this past week, Chris reminded me of a time that I felt God had healed me. I think I figured out why I wasn’t just done with everything then. I remember feeling that God was telling me to flush the medicine. And I was scared because of the side effects. I didn’t do it. I think that was my mistake. Now I wonder, if I can have a second chance. I feel like maybe God is saying, “Sure, if you can really believe.” But, can I? I can allow the fear to ruin things again! But am I hearing correctly? Maybe I will fast to try to find out.

As far as the kids go, they will be seeing a specialist tomorrow to see about an Adentonsillectomy. They will remove their tonsils and adenoids so that they can breathe better at night. I guess that if they have this done, it should help them to grow out of it. If you are a mouth breather as a child, your tongue can’t do its job to expand your palette and jaw. The narrower your jaw the more chance you have of having Sleep Apnea. Your tongue pushes your teeth apart in your sleep. I found that pretty interesting. I am a mouth breather, so I imagine that is what happened with me. I’ve also had 4 teeth and 1 wisdom tooth removed. I could really use the rest of my wisdom teeth removed because my jaw isn’t big enough and now my teeth are getting out of align again. I had braces in high school, but am losing all the benefits. The sleep doctor told us that we all have narrow jaws. Sleep Apnea can also be genetic. So, I guess our kids didn’t have much of a chance, anyway. Poor kids!

In other news, with all of this going on, I have had a hard time making myself preach. I’m sure I’ve mentioned before how I don’t enjoy preaching and hope that one day I will look forward to it. I always have difficulties when I have medicine changes (which is what is basically happening since I added the CPAP. It’s like I increased my other meds.). I have difficulty caring about anything. I don’t want to do the things I enjoy doing and it is almost impossible to make myself do things I don’t like to do. We have been late getting the kids to school a lot this school year. And that explains some of why I haven’t been blogging, as well.

I have been extra busy with scrapping duties, however. That is my escape right now. I was a guest on Nicole’s creative team (CT) in March. Now I am on The Digichick site CT. I am enjoying it a lot. There are so many good designers. But, I haven’t even kept up with posting layouts on my scrap blog.

I pray that this all ends soon and quickly. There is an update for you. I hope to not be such a stranger, but don’t count on it!

Happy blogoversary to me!!! I made a simple layout for the occasion!

So you may be wondering what I’ve been up to. Well, I’ll tell you. This whole year has been a year full of sickness in our family. This summer both Chris and I had mono. I got it and a week later Chris had it too. Just try to keep two preschoolers out of trouble with both parents needing 20 hours of sleep a day! It was awful! One month we had 5 deaths in our family, church and pets and that was at the same time as the mono.

We just had our hands full, so I let the blog go a bit. There have been good things, too, though. My brother moved to Indianapolis ans I got to go help (even with the mono). That was a nice two-day trip. Chris and Princess were both in Alice in Wonderland. Ooh! I’ll post a picture for you!

Chris as the King of Hearts playing golf.

Chris as the Caterpillar blowing bubbles rather than smoking.

Chris as the Caterpillar blowing bubbles rather than smoking.

Princess as a dancing flower.

Princess as a dancing flower.

Princess starts Kindergarten tomorrow! I can hardly believe it and it makes me a little sad. She’s growing up so fast. It will be nice to have her back in school, though. She is such a social creature and this has been a long boring summer for her.

I have preached several times this summer, too. God gave me one sermon as I was laying down for a nap. It was great! It only took about an hour to write it out and I was done. With everything else going on, though, I didn’t even take time to post those.

Well, hopefully, I will keep up with the blog now. I have also gotten my scrap blog up and running and all prettied up. Take a look: RedheadRevScraps.

Oh, I wanted to thank Teena in Toronto for the comment this morning. She was the only reason I even remembered! Thanks, Teena!

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