Change

I’ll admit that I’m a total creature of habit. Probably to much so, if you ask my family.

 

I’m the gal who orders the same thing at her favorite restaurant, every. single. time.

 

And I’m the one who insists that our family sit in the same row and same section at church, Sunday after Sunday. And quite honestly, I get a bit anxious if I walk into the room on a Sunday morning and see someone else stuff in MY spot. The nerve.

 

I’m a total planner, and get totally thrown off if a kink is thrown into my plans. Just ask my hubby. It’s not pretty.

 

Over the years, God has been helping with my tendency to want to “control” (there, I said it…I have a control issue!) all the areas of my life.

 

After walking through nine years of Alzheimer’s with my dad, I began to realize that I need and can trust God with my life– with every single area–and that I need to hold onto things loosely, with open hands.

 

That’s not easy to do for a control-freak like myself, but the more I let go, the more freedom I’ve actually experienced.

 

 

I’m also learning that change is necessary in so many areas of our lives, and that once we take the plunge and make the changes, the happier we will be.

 

We are currently in our eleventh year of homeschooling, and for many years, I would freak out if things weren’t going according to the beautiful schedule that I had put together and printed out. I mean seriously, it looked so good on paper, so why on earth didn’t it work?

 

I would fret endlessly over the crazy schedule, frustrated that MY plan wasn’t working. It took me years to realize that maybe I should consider God’s plan for our homeschool, and not just mine. Duh.

 

That’s exactly where I’m at right now. We’re in our second month of the school year, and it’s clear to me that things aren’t going exactly the way I had planned. Things aren’t bad, but they could certainly be better.

 

So rather than fret and freak out about it, I’m going to make some changes. Actually, the Lord and I are going to make some changes. See, I’m learning!

 

 

This school year, I have chosen to follow a schedule of six weeks on, and then one week off, and will repeat this cycle through Memorial Day. This allows us to work really hard for six weeks, knowing that a week off is coming! It’s really quite motivating!

 

Well, this coming week happens to be our first week off this school year, and I plan to spend some of my time reviewing our routine and seeking to make the needed changes.

 

I’m also making a must-needed change to my diet. Most of you know that I have a lot of food realted issues and allergies, which is why I did a Whole30 food elimination diet in September. By the end of the first two weeks, I felt amazing! I had so much energy and wasn’t needing a nap every afternoon. Not to mention, I had no stomach issues.

 

Once I added the eliminated foods back into my diet, it was clear that grains are not my friend, and that sugar is an ugly addictive monster! I’m back to feeling tired and gross most of the time, which is why I’m going back to eating the Paleo way 95% of the time. I plan to eat Paleo most days of the week, allowing for a treat day maybe once a week. Going about it this way allows me to eat healthy, and yet not feel deprived of the foods that I love.

 

These changes are good changes; changes that are necessary for my health and for our home, and I’m so thankful to God for being patient with me as I’m learning to trust Him more and more.

 

** How about you? Do you tend to freak out when it comes to change, or are you one of those spontaneous people who thrives on change and jumps in headfirst?

 

 

There’s freedom in grace

Growing up, I somehow had this idea that I had to earn God’s love, and that his love for me was dependent on my behavior.

 

I would fear that if I went a day or two without being in the Word, that God would look down on me with disappointment, and that my stand before him was no good.

 

And I remember how so often, I would fear that if I didn’t repent of my sins every night before bed, that if I were to die in my sleep I wouldn’t go to heaven because I had forgotten to apologize to God.

 

Nobody ever told me those things or intentionally gave me that view of God; I guess in my young mind I just didn’t have a full understanding of what God was really all about.

 

I lived with that image of God way into my adult years, never really living in the freedom that’s available to God’s children.

 

Thankfully, in my thirties my husband and I started attending a gospel-centered church, where we were taught about grace–God’s amazing, unfailing grace.

 

It was then that my image of God completely changed. I began to understand how Jesus was perfect in my place, therefore, I don’t have to be perfect! How freeing it was to hear this good news!

 

And to finally know and understand that when I mess up, God doesn’t frown upon me or shake his head in disappointment; but rather, he looks upon me with love and gently helps me get back on my feet again! What beautiful and life-transforming truth!

 

Little did I know how these amazing truths would carry me in the days to come……

 

 

When my daughter left just under three years ago, I began to deal with a tremendous amount of guilt. I would hear her accusations against me, and those words would run deep into my soul, filling me with a guilt unlike any I’ve ever known.

I would look back to years past, and go down the dreaded road of “if-onlys” and “what-ifs”; wondering where I went wrong and if her accusations were well-founded and true.

I lived with so much shame as a mom, often wondering if God really knew what he was doing, giving my kids me as their mom.

Thankfully, I have wonderful, gospel-centered people in my life, who would remind me day after day that those accusations were unfounded and untrue, and that in fact, God does know what he’s doing making me the mom of my precious kids.

These loved ones would remind me of who I am in Christ, and that because I belong to Him, there’s no condemnation!

One sweet friend pointed out that any and all mistakes I’ve made in my parenting are under the blood and died on the cross with Jesus. What precious life-saving truth!

It’s been almost three years since my girl left, and over those years more accusations have come and gone, and the temptation to believe those things is still there.

If I’m not careful, I can easily go back down the road of condemnation and fear; but by the grace of God, I’m much quicker now to lean on all of those life-changing truths that bring so much freedom and grace.

I’m far from being a perfect mom, but nothing can change the reality that I am a blood-bought daughter of Jesus Christ, our King!

** What fears do you struggle with as a parent? Do you ever find yourself doubting if God really knew what He was doing when he made you the mom of your kids? I’d love to hear how you’ve fought those doubts and fears, so feel free to share in the comments.

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