Up & Down–Riding The Proverbial Rollercoaster of Life

Our family has been through a lot of changes. I considered writing about it for you many times, but it was easier to deal with it through journaling, praying, and just pushing forward. I don’t like posting about my struggles. I want to be positive, happy, and encouraging. Only recently have I admitted to myself that transparency with you could be encouraging and healing.

The last time that I blogged was back in the summer of 2018. That was right before I got on the ride I’m on. My mother’s health went down. She was in and out of the hospital. Did you know that in order to recover, just to your pre-hospital stay, it takes one week per day that you were in the hospital? That is crazy! After a family meeting we decided that it would be beneficial to create a generational household. My parents sold their house, we sold our house, and together we purchased a home to suite the needs of both families. That happened in late fall of 2018.

Then, my oldest daughter, Kaitlyn, got married. Y’all, we had the reception at our house. We had only lived there about a month–still in boxes! Christmas right around the corner.  I was so stressed out. You want everything to be perfect for your children. Kaitlyn was so sweet about it; the whole time she kept telling me that it was going to be alright. Guess what? It was beautiful. Her wedding was an intimate wedding (close family only) and the reception was terrific. Everyone worked together to make it a success.

Kaitlyn & Chris wedding

Going into 2019, April was a hard month. My Daddy was in the hospital for about three weeks. Mom and I were back and forth checking on him and trying to keep his spirits up. Can you feel the roller coaster–down, up, down…? Oh, I almost forgot to mention that in February, before my Dad was admitted to the hospital, we found out that Kaitlyn was expecting. While he was in the hospital we received word that the baby is a girl! It was great news, hopeful and encouraging for my him to get better. He even chose a nickname for her. Cricket.

The next big event came; my daughter Jayci got engaged. The wedding planned for July. Alright, Daddy, get well so we can travel for Jayci’s wedding. Woo-hoo! God is so good! Our family is growing by leaps and bounds.

Jayci & Alec wedding

The wedding was beautiful. She also chose to have an intimate wedding. As blessed an event as it was, I was stressed. I wanted to help in anyway that I could, but the timing of things just didn’t happen the way that we wanted, and the cake topper slid off, while they were cutting the cake, and it shattered. Ugh! I was exhausted from stress. I cried. Can we redo this year?

Celebration soon followed the first part of August as we prepared for our son, our baby, to enter the Math and Science Academy (MSA). We have homeschooled all of our children. This opportunity came up and we worked hard towards it, praying for God’s will to be done. Now, Braedon’s junior and senior year will be completed through this academy and he will earn college credits while he is at it. We are so proud of him; we are excited, and thank God, that he has this opportunity.

August 31st did us in; Daddy passed away in his sleep. Braedon had just completed his first week at MSA. It was a hard week in and of itself–getting used to the arduous schedule and the new learning environment. Now, he had to cope with the loss of his grandfather at the same time. My heart grieved for the stress that he had to face. My heart was broken for my mother who lost her husband of 43 years. My heart ached because I couldn’t hang out with my Daddy and joke around with him anymore.

Me & my parents.jpg

After several weeks of crying, working through the legal stuff, and going through Daddy’s personal possessions, I decided that I needed to focus on getting my health back. So, I started a weight-loss program and began exercising (anybody else eat their stress and anxiety away?). This is when things physically boiled over. I had been experiencing pelvic pain off and on since 2018. It became more acute starting in the spring of 2019. By fall it was becoming unbearable. The doctor had me jumping through hoops because the insurance wouldn’t allow a hysterectomy until we had exhausted everything else.

Physical pain. Emotional pain. God help me! I feel like I am drowning.

October 8th rolled around and I received a phone call from Kaitlyn. The baby is coming! My husband and I drive over and joined her at the hospital. October 9, 2019 we welcomed our little Cricket into the world. Ten fingers, ten toes, healthy, and beautiful–a gift from God.

Cricket birth

This new life blessing to our family was a healing balm to our raw emotions. We were back up on that roller coaster.

I could continue on, but with 2020 being what it has been (COVID-19), what would be the point? We are all on that proverbial roller coaster, together, right now. I have struggled with depression and anxiety for years. But, these last couple of years have taken the cake.

I write all of this not for your sympathies, but to say that I’m okay. Did you hear me? I am okay. There is a hymn that says, “it is well with my soul.” The hymn’s lyrics were penned by Horatio Spafford. This author had experienced great loss in his life, but words of comfort and hope filled his heart in spite of it, and he was able to pen one of the greatest hymns. I encourage you to look up the lyrics to this hymn, or listen to it. Listen to it with eyes open, understanding that the person who wrote it was “walking through the valley of the shadow of death” when he did.

“When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul”

This place of being “okay” was not easy to come by. I struggled. I poured myself out to Jesus–praying for Him to heal my broken and weary heart. I fed from His Word–filling my soul and my mind with His promises and principles for life. I fought negative thoughts, taking them captive and submitting them to Jesus. I ate healthy, nutrient dense foods, and exercised; I counseled with a trusted sister in Christ, and I went to the doctor and got help for my anxiety (medication).

You see I attacked this from a physical, spiritual, and emotional standpoint (holistically). Here’s the catch, though, in order to do this you have to humble yourself. Confess that you need help. Denial will only make you sink deeper. Many look at depression and anxiety as a sign of weakness. Therefore, they hide it. Don’t do it. It is not weakness. Depression and/or anxiety can be brought on by a poor diet and the lack of exercise; it could be due to an issue with your hormones; it could be spiritual warfare; it could be circumstantial (like loosing your livelihood, or the death of a loved one), etc. Approaching it holistically, when working out your healing, ensures that you cover all possibilities.

Lord Jesus, I thank you for hearing my cry. When I felt discouraged, depressed, or anxious you brought me up out of that horrible pit and you set my feet upon a rock. You are steadying my footsteps and establishing my path day by day. Even though our Nation is experiencing this terrible virus and many are dying, I am not anxious. I give You the glory for this. I confess self-reliance and perfectionism was a huge stumbling block to me. I don’t always lean on You like I should, and that is why I stress out. Your Word says, “It is because of the LORD’s loving kindnesses that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great and beyond measure is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23 Amplified Version) I am so thankful for Your lovingkindness and your tender mercies. In Jesus’ name.

I welcome any prayer requests, anyone seeking scripture references or study recommendations. If you just want to tell your story I will listen. Don’t go another day feeling hopeless in the pit of despair. If I can ride this roller coaster, do battle in mind and in the spiritual realm, and still say it is well with my soul, so can you. Our Redeemer lives and is ready with your healing; He is ready with strength and grace for another day.

 

By His Grace,

Momma Birdy

Parenting–Seriously

I have a disclaimer. Do not rely on the information in this blog as advice from a qualified professional, which I am not. All information presented is subjective and founded on personal experiments performed over a period of 22 years on three unsuspecting individuals. 

Parenting—Seriously

There are three types of parents. The helicopter parent, the drill sergeant parent and the consultant parent. The helicopter parent hovers over their children and rescues them from the hostile world in which they live. The drill sergeant parent commands and directs the lives of their children. The consultant parent provides guidance and consultation services for their children. My husband and I chose to be consultant parents. We wanted to help our children to understand that they are responsible for their actions. We wanted to allow reasonable, real-world consequences to do the teaching. I am going to share a small portion with you of how we implemented this type of parenting.

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We learned about these three types of parents in the book ‘Parenting with Love & Logic.’ Of course, we needed to conduct experiments to see if being a consultant parent was indeed a good type of parent to be. The first experiment was the ‘Light-bulb experiment.’ Our daughters were always leaving the lights on in their bedrooms (and other rooms). We were tired of nagging and threatening them to turn the lights off when they were not in the room. Now we had a fun way to get them to comply. They were informed that every time they left the lights on in their rooms we would remove a light bulb. If they wanted it back they had to pay for it. They didn’t worry about it too much at first because they each had 4 light bulbs. When they got down to that last bulb they began to sweat it. Then it happened; that day when the light switch didn’t illuminate the room. Forking over the money to buy a light bulb was not how they wanted or planned to spend their allowance. Lesson learned. Now they turn lights off behind us. 

Not only did we read parenting books, we prayed as well. Leaning on the Lord for guidance was the foundation from which we performed our parenting experiments.  According to the Bible, we can be thoroughly equipped for every good work by the lessons we learn from Scriptures. Cheating, lying, laziness, and many other topics can be addressed with the Bible. But how will they apply it? Will they remember to use what they have learned? 

That is where the Holy Spirit comes in. I pray for my children to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The Bible tells us that “the mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” The Holy Spirit is the best conscience that a person could have. You could say that the Holy Spirit is kind of like Jiminy Cricket. Jiminy Cricket said, “A conscience is that still small voice that people won’t listen to.” My prayer for my children is that they will hear Him, that they will remember what they have been taught, and that they would have a heart willing to obey.

jiminy cricket quote

Teaching children the right thing to do, how to be considerate of others, and teaching them how to make wise decisions is like purchasing life insurance for them. Proverbs 22:6  says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” That’s a promise that I cling to. 

I encourage you to put some thought into how you parent your children. Even if your children are grown you can still make a difference in their lives by how you parent because let’s face it,  you will never stop being their parent. My husband and  I chose consultant parenting because we felt it would lend itself well even into our children’s adult years. What type of parent are you? Will the type of parent you are benefit your children even into their adult years? Remember, our children are the future. Let’s diligently train them for it.

 

By His Grace,

Momma Birdy

 


Favorite parenting books:

https://books.google.com/books/about/Parenting_with_Love_and_Logic.html?id=6hv0AgAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button#v=onepage&q&f=false

http://www.doorposts.com/details.aspx?id=15


Featured photo:

Parenting in the 21st century. (2018, February 22). Retrieved from https://ct.counseling.org/2018/02/parenting-21st-century/

Slideshow photos:

Overparenting: Are you a Helicopter Parent, Drill Sergeant or Laissez-faire? – Our Values. (2015, September 08). Retrieved from https://www.readthespirit.com/ourvalues/overparenting-are-you-a-helicopter-parent-drill-sergeant-or-laissez-faire/

https://www.cafepress.com/+my-daddy-is-a-drill-sergeant+t-shirts

 

 

Living My Title​

One day someone asked me what I did for a living. I answered them with great joy that I was a stay at home wife and mother. They responded with, “Oh, so you don’t work. You just stay at home.” It was that defining moment that I became a Domestic Engineer. After all, many of the things that I do for my family are the very things that people hire out for others to do. I just don’t get paid for it.

royalty-free-mother-ironing-clip-art-vector-images-housewife-clipart

 

  • Childcare? check
  • Starching & ironing of uniforms? check
  • Housekeeping? check

When I was growing up my father was the bread-winner and my mother was the domestic engineer. When my Dad came home from work he was the King. He could rest and enjoy the peace that my Mom had insured. I wanted to do that for my future husband. In high school, we had to write a paper about what we wanted to study in college or do after we graduated. I basically wrote that I wanted to major in M.O.M. I may have written that using my great sense of humor, but I was serious about that being my desire.

Remember the checklist? Add education to it. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. I believe that is true. I believe it is even more true, though, when it comes to education. The younger we put our children in schools and relinquish the better part of their day to the educational system, then the system rules the world. This has been a great conviction for me. According to scripture from Deuteronomy 6:4-7 it says that we are to teach our children about the Lord and His ways and that we are to do it when we sit in our homes, when we walk by the way, when we lie down, and when we rise up. If I relinquish the better part of the day to someone else to teach my children then when will I do it? When am I going to have time to teach my children? It was from this conviction that we began our homeschooling journey. Thus, education was added to the checklist.

Another thing added to the checklist is meal planning. To me, the produce area of the grocery store is our first pharmacy. I research the nutrients of natural, whole foods and plan our meals according to our family’s needs. For example, my parents both suffer from two different types of heart disease. If I include beets in our meals then my family will receive a photochemical compound called glycine betaine. Betaine has the ability to lower homocysteine levels within the blood. What is a homocysteine?  Homocysteine is one of the highly toxic metabolites. It promotes platelet clotting as well as atherosclerotic plaque formation which can be harmful to blood vessels. High levels of Homocysteine in the blood result in the development of coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular diseases. Beets are also an excellent source of folate. When consumed prior to conception folate can prevent neural tube defects in babies. You could say I am investing in my future grandchildren’s health as well.

Although being a domestic engineer is very rewarding and my dream job, I have played around with the idea of working outside of the home or from home. The time for that just hasn’t come yet. Maybe someday, maybe not. One thing you can always be sure of no matter where my whims carry me, my faith and my family will always come first.

 

By His Grace,

Momma Birdy

Those in the Water

My daughter, Jayci Paige, wrote this beautiful allegory. Read, and enjoy. It is awesome. I am so proud of my daughters and their ability to weave words into beautiful works of art.

Jayci Paige

If you know me, I love stories. Here is a short story that I wrote recently. Let me know what you think about it! I would love to know your interpretation of the story.

~

She stands at the edge of the water staring out towards those in the depths. Her head cocks to one side out of curiosity. They smile with their lips and move so gracefully with the waves as if to dance with the tide.

“How peculiar,” she whispers. Those in the water look different than she. Their skins were smooth and noticeable. Each individual was covered with a white suit made for the waters.

“Why can I see them? Why aren’t they hiding?” She ponders aloud. “Who are they?”

Those in the water see her and encourage her to come join them in the depths. To join them in the freedom and love they all share…

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Where in the world is Kaitlyn?

My daughter is the author of The Witches’ Sleep and World of the Beasts. She is currently working on the last book of this trilogy. Cheer her on. Pray for her. As a nurse on a critical care floor it is hard for her to finish this project, but she wants to continue with her dream to write and share her creations with the world. When going to her blog you can check out her bio and find links to the social media sites that you can connect with her on.
Have a blessed week y’all.
Momma Birdy

Kaitlyn Deann

What? Huh?

Who?

Me?

Oh. Um. I’m right here.

raisehand *shyly raises hand*

I’ve pretty much come to accept that I’m REALLY bad at this blog thing. But I hold out for MAYBE ONE DAY I’LL KICK INTO GEAR AND ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT THE HECK I’M DOING HERE. Until then, you’ll just have to deal with the random blog posts every few months.

I’m sorry. Please don’t hate me!

dodge

So, what’s happened to me since June? Well, 5 months happened. (Bad joke, sorry). Honestly, not very much. I passed A&P I and II (yay me!) and I passed my HESI exam (which is the entrance exam I needed for the nursing program I’m looking into). Buuuuut I have to wait until April’s application period for the school I want to go to because I still need to pass the TSI math… And I haven’t done that kind of math since…

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Holidays

This year’s Thanksgiving was a new experience for me and my family. I have been on a journey to wellness. I have changed my eating habits so much that those who knew me before are amazed. I have lost 30 lb. this year! Yay me! It has been hard at times, but is getting easier each day.

thanksgiving-bible-verse

During Thanksgiving I didn’t want to set myself back. You know how it is…I’m going to good except on birthdays, holidays, and surprise get togethers…right?! In the past that has been my experience and I always ended up setting myself back or flat-out sabotaging my own efforts to the point I just gave up. Not this year. I sent a text to family members, whose homes we were visiting for Thanksgiving, letting them know that I would not be eating as I did in the past. I explained that I needed fresh vegetables and fruits and that if that was not in their meal plans that I would simply purchase them upon our arrival at their homes. Because of my declaration both homes cut back on the sweets and what-not-all. We didn’t overeat. We didn’t have enough leftovers to feast on for weeks (always a complaint in the past that we never rectified). We had more time to visit without being in the kitchen the whole time. It turned out to be one of the most pleasant, relaxed Thanksgivings that I have ever experienced. Instead of our holiday centering around food it was centered around each other. We wrote down things that we were thankful for and read them to each other. Those memories have been tucked away as a keepsake.

gift-box-in-hand

I am looking forward to the beauty of Christmas now. So much of my childhood Christmas memories circled around food (especially sweets). Hours spent in the kitchen making different treats that we only made once a year. Yet, by the time Christmas was over we all felt cruddy/tired.

 

Into my adult years my New Year’s resolutions to eat better and exercise was my way of coping with all the damage done over the previous two months. Not this year. I haven’t had one Christmas cookie yet and I don’t even miss it. Traditions are great, but we over indulge ourselves in them. Will I eat a little bit of Christmas dessert when we have our Christmas meal? Yes, I probably will. I am baking my famous pumpkin roll (my sister-in-law has already text me that request), and I know that I will want to have at least one slice.

I want to encourage you. Every thing in moderation. Celebrate. But, don’t over do it. Use some self-control and put more effort into the precious relationships around you.

Holiday candle

God bless you all. Hope your holidays (Hanukkah/Christmas) are bright and merry, filled with love and laughter.

By His Grace,

Momma Birdy

 


 

1 Corinthians 6:19-20  English Standard Version (ESV)

19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Romans 12:1-2  English Standard Version (ESV)

A Living Sacrifice
12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  2 Do not be conformed to this world,  but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

1 Corinthians 10:31  English Standard Version (ESV)

31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.


 

 

Gift of Life

heart-flower-brown

I haven’t posted anything in a few months. So much has happened in our lives. We had so much to consider, decisions to make, changes that happened, and I just couldn’t put words to paper during that time. I am still working on my “project” that I promised to share with you later. That has taken longer than anticipated, and I am not even positive that the Lord will allow me to continue down that path. As of right now I am still pressing on.

About a month ago my father had a stroke. That was a very scary time for me and my family. I just want to share my praise to God about this whole situation. God was with us through this is such a mighty way. My daddy survived the stroke and each day is a blessing.

gift-box-in-hand                                                     The gift of life realized more clearly.

It has been such a reminder that we don’t have the promise of tomorrow and that we need to show loving kindness towards one another right now. Don’t take each other for granted. Don’t assume that you will have tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year. I was reminded through this that my parents will not always be with me, and that I had not really been mindful of that.

God has given me three precious weeks with my parents that I will forever be grateful for. My husband lovingly sent me to my parents home to help them through this time. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful husband who is so understanding and supportive of me. Memories were made that will forever be with me. I think that I have been walking in a state of mind for several years that there will always be tomorrow. I knew better. I know that today is all that we have, but this shook me to the core and drove that understanding to the forefront of my mind.

Another precious gift of life reminder that happened recently is that I am now a great aunt. Children are such a blessing.

baby-feet-in-hand

I pray that you have a great day…week…month…year…life. Praise the Lord for the gift of life. Tell those that you love that you love them, nay…show them that you love them. Remember that God displayed His love towards us when He sent His Son. He has set a great example for us to follow.

John 3:16 English Standard Version (ESV)  16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

James 1:17 English Standard Version (ESV)  17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

By His Grace,

Momma Birdy