I've really missed writing on my blog, but so many things have taken precedence, and I have had to set it on the shelf for a while. But after reading the words from one of my blog followers I decided I needed to post something and to let anyone who reads my blog know that I am not M.I.A! I'm here!! I'm living life, being a mom, homeschooling my girls, and learning lots and lots these days.
So I thought I would share some things I am learning along the way of life....
- I am learning...that when your kids are begging for more of something (that involves learning) to run with it!! Over the past few months, during lunch time, I started reading a chapter a day from the YWAM "Christian Heroes: Then and Now" books. So far we have read about missionaries such as: Amy Carmichael, Gladys Alward, Corrie Ten Boom, Eric Liddel, and Nate Saint. This wasn't part of our curriculum for the year, nor was I reading them during our "school" time. It was just for fun! But as I began to open these books and read to my girls I found a wealth of information on history, geography, governments, wars, world events, various cultures, customs, religions, and lives devoted to serving Jesus in whatever capacity He called them to. My girls would beg me to read, and when I finished a chapter, they would beg me to read another! Isn't that how learning should be? I just ordered a ton more of the YWAM books to incorporate in our history for next year. It's stories like these that really bring people, places, and events to life! More than being able to recite their multiplication facts in 10.5 seconds flat or be a spelling whiz....I want my children to have such a heart for reaching the lost...to have boldness, courage, trust, perseverance, a love for others, a servants heart, and a heart of obedience to whatever the Lord might call them to!
- I'm learning to be comfortable in my own skin. My whole entire life I have been fortunate to have a wonderful complexion, with only a few breakouts here and there during my monthly cycle. However, all that began to change at the age of 36, and my skin began to get worse and worse. I found myself so embarrassed and humiliated by my skin. I was in constant tears and felt so devastated. Yet every time I would say something to a friend they would reply with something like, "Andrea, I think you are beautiful and I don't even notice your breakouts until you start bringing it up." Even my husband was still complimenting me and acting as though nothing was different with my face. I began to realize that I needed to let go of my insecurities, focus on loving myself, and be comfortable in my own skin (flaws and all). I even stopped wearing make-up...that was hard but I haven't worn make up (except eye make-up) for the past few months. My skin is making remarkable progress and I will be sharing in another blog post the changes I have made and the things I have been doing both internally and externally that I feel has helped! I hope it will be an encouragement to any other moms out there struggling with adult acne.
- I'm learning that God's timing is always perfect. A few years ago the Lord put a vision on my heart for a way to minister more to the moms at the homeschool co-op I attend. My vision was for ladies to gather during their hour off (there are 3-1 hour long classes at the co-op and every parent helps or teaches 2 out of the 3 class hours and then has 1 hour off). The Lord put it on my heart to call it REFUEL time (a time to be Refreshed, Encouraged, Friendships made/strengthened, Unity, Equipped, and Laughter). And I also wanted to give different ladies opportunities to share something from their life, perhaps a trial or hardship they walked through, a way the Lord provided in their life, a blessing they experienced, or a way they have grown in their faith. To make a long story short, this idea was not made a reality until this last session of our co-op. The main leader of the co-op contacted me and asked me if I would want to oversee the hour off time. When I shared my vision with her, she had goose bumps, and told me this is what the Lord had put on her heart as well! We just finished up the 10 week session and the REFUEL time was amazing!!
- I'm learning to let go, even to some really good things. My husband started a new job last May. After 17 years with the same company, he was laid off, and they were going to be closing down the office/warehouse he had worked out of all those years (He was the only US employee for this Canadian company). His new job came within days of being laid off and he was able to stay in the same office/warehouse and was paid quite a bit more than his previous job. However, this job requires a lot more travelling. So when your "partner in crime" isn't home as often, it changes day to day life a lot. Things that I could normally be apart of, became harder to do. I had signed up for a half marathon race and quickly realized I couldn't put in the time to train, so I had to drop out of that race. I love to plan monthly "Mom's Night Out" events and had to let go of this as well. I love to run outdoors and have had to revert to using my treadmill in the garage. And of course I've had to let go of blogging regularly. I am so tired after an entire day taking care of kids, that I tend to go to bed immediately after tucking them in (Yes I know I am turning into an old lady!). But in the midst of letting go, I've also learned to cling more to God. I love spending time with friends, running, and blogging...but He is the true source of joy and hope in my life!!
- I am learning...God wants to use me, imperfections and all, to impact the lives of others. I still have moments when I feel like a failure as a mom or a human being. I fall short with my words. I struggle to be that example I desperately want to be to my kids. I get impatient. I feed my kids hot dogs or frozen pizza sometimes...I mean literally just that with no side serving of fruits of veggies. LOL Sometimes my joking or sarcasm goes too far and I feel regretful. I get upset with my husband and handle my hurts with anger. But even in the midst of my flaws, God chooses to use me, ME! I am blessed with the opportunity to sit on the couch, most mornings, and read from a children's Bible with my girls and pray for our day. I am able to tell my girls everyday about how loved they are by God and that He has wonderful plans for their lives. I can text a Bible verse to my sister on her way to work when she is bogged down and consumed with hard things. I pray for friends and strive to encourage them whenever they are struggling. I can give out a smile or a hug to someone who really needs it. You see, we'll never have it all figured out, sin & our flesh will have the upper hand at times. We are going to fail but we are not failures. We will fall but we don't have to stay down. You don't have to wait to get your life all sorted out before God can use you. God simply wants a willing heart that says, "Here I am Lord, use me!"
What is God teaching/showing you along the way?