Wednesday, May 29, 2013

"The Blessings of Motherhood" (Part 2)

"Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” -Proverbs 31:25-30


The day Bear was born was one of the best days of my life. He was worth every hour of pain and delivery.



When they let us take him home from the hospital we couldn't believe it. Hubby and I thought "they are letting us take this sweet baby home all by ourselves and we didn't even take a class or get a license to have one?" LOL! I know, it sounds silly. But babies are a HUGE responsibility. I am so thankful that I get to be his mother. He is my sweet, determined, curious, orange-headed helper. He is very spunky and silly and loves to laugh. He is also very aware of life. He is aware that it can be taken away and asks a TON of questions. He is extremely inquisitive. I love that about him. He has a zest for learning and loves to "do school work".

I never thought I could love another child as much as I loved him. Then, we got pregnant with Ducky and that's when the real fun began *wink, wink*


Ducky brought so much sunshine into our lives. Bear was so happy to have a brother to play with. Even though Ducky didn't sleep through the night until he was 10+ months old, we got through it. Now he is my best sleeper! He is my kind-hearted, extremely intelligent, independent, blonde boy. He loves life and loves his brothers. He tries to "help" but makes more messes than not. LOL! He's all boy.

Once again, we never thought we could love another child as much as we already loved these two little boys. We got pregnant again and were so happy. We could not believe how excited the boys were and how much love we already felt for our baby. I started thinking of names right away. The boys helped me think of silly names and they kept saying they wanted a sister. Unfortunately, baby Kendall went to Heaven at 12 weeks gestation and we were devastated. He had brought so much love to our lives in such a short time. Bear and Ducky cried and cried. We had many talks with both of them, mainly Bear, about where baby Kendall went and that we would see him in Heaven someday. It still makes me cry when I think about what he would have been like, looked like, felt like in my arms. There is an emptiness in my heart that will never be filled until I get to see his face. Until then, I am enjoying the blessings I already have here with me.

(This is the only picture we have of baby Kendall before he went to Heaven)

We thought we probably wouldn't have anymore children. I remember saying that I didn't want to be pregnant every again to risk losing my baby. Grief can do so many things to us. It makes us eat a lot or not at all, makes us cry a lot or shut completely down. I did a lot of all of those things. A few months went by and we were slowly healing from the loss. Then, we had the surprise of our lives. Another baby was on the way! We were so elated. I didn't think I would be as excited and for the first few months I was extremely careful and we didn't even tell anyone until after the first trimester. When my little Monkey was born my heart was bursting with love.


Look how cute he is! He was my longest labor but I wouldn't trade it for the world. He is such a sweet baby. He actually giggled for the first time today when we were in Target. I can't get enough of him. I love to cuddle him. Bear and Ducky are very good big brothers. They help me so much with him and love to hold him and kiss him. 

Being a mother is such a high calling. I am with them the most and have the most influence on them. My life is so incredibly blessed by having these boys in it. They are a handful but they also make my heart full. They have determination like no other when they don't (or do) want to do something. I see a lot of me in them. I hope I see a lot more good from me than the ugly. 

I am going to share with you a story. Recently I have been feeling so horrible about yelling at my kids. I don't yell at them all the time everyday. But, I yell. I can get mean and angry when I yell. I see Bear and Ducky starting to pick up that bad behavior. I feel so convicted. I am sharing this with you because I have begun a journey. I don't know where it will lead or how I will get through it but by the grace of God and lots of prayer. I have challenged myself to not yell anymore. I have set a goal of 1 month of no yelling. I read a blog recently called the Orange Rhino. She got me to thinking that I could do this too. I talked with my older boys and husband and told them my plan. Whenever I get angry or start to yell they are to kindly say "orange rhino" and remind me to not yell. I told Bear and Ducky that it also reminds me that the person with whom I am upset is also someone special to me. I care about that person and don't want to yell. So, our house is now a "No Yell Zone". 

I will keep you posted on my progress. Please keep me in your prayers because it's not as easy as it sounds. 

I am their mother. I have a responsibility to God to raise them to know Him first. I consider that my number one priority. The jobs of a mother are never ending: chef, nurse, chauffeur, seamstress, personal shopper, boo boo kisser, ball chaser, snot grabber, tickle monster, maid, and so on. I don't get paid any money. I don't even get credit for most of the things I do and some days I don't even get a thank you. But, every single day I get kisses and hugs. I get to watch them grow up and see every new thing they do and learn. I get the awesome job of playing with them and loving them. Motherhood to me is the best job that God gave to women and to the world. A mother's love is so different than a father's love. Mother's are more tender-hearted, nurturing, caring, and graceful in the home. God has given me my boys only temporarily but ultimately they are His. I have them with me only a short time and I want that time to be precious. 

I have many friends who can't have children and are waiting. As one of them says "waiting in  hope". I am praying for each of you. God has a plan and a purpose. I am holding on to hope and faith for each of you. 

Mothers, let us pray for one another. The world is trying hard to take our children. Let us become Godly mothers who teach our children the ways of the Lord. That is my prayer for you.


Blessings,


Kristy 

Monday, May 20, 2013

"The Blessings of Being a Wife" Part 1


Almost 9 years ago (next month) I married my best friend. I was so young and had no idea of the blessings that would come from being married to such a wonderful gift from God. I have to say, though, that I am truly the one who is blessed by this man. He is the hardest working man I have ever met. He is the kindest, gentlest, sweetest man. He loves me and all of my flaws. He never complains and is very content with the life we have. He looks up to his dad (who is a great man as well) and asks for his advice on important issues. He loves his mother and appreciates all she did for his family growing up. He has blessed my life so much that I cannot even begin to describe it in words.

"He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord." -Proverbs 18:22

This verse is one of my favorites. A wife is a good thing. It is not a burden or something to look down upon. I know a lot of women have hard marriages. Their husband is never home, lazy, disconnected, or maybe even abusive. Abuse is NEVER ok. Seek help in this situation. Wives should always pray for their husbands. I pray for my husband daily. 




Being a "good wife" means (to me): 
praying for my husband 
accepting his flaws 
uplifting him 
respecting him (always) 
putting his needs above my own
keeping our home comfortable for him (not just me)
not speaking badly about him (even to my mother)

"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;  does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails." -1 Corinthians 13:4-8

I love this Bible verse because it describes God's love for us. God is our example in life. The way He loves us is the way we should love others. This applies, especially, to the way I love my husband. So, I am going to use this verse but think of it, instead, as how I should treat my husband and marriage.

I must "suffer long" (be patient) and be kind. I am probably one of the most impatient people on earth. I have gotten better over the years. I must not envy someone else's marriage. Every marriage has problems. It is in the way you handle them that is the difference. Don't let your husband's reputation be tainted by YOUR words. Build him up to others even when you don't feel like it. Remember why you fell in love with him. Nor should I boast about having a great marriage or husband. You never know who you might be talking to. Maybe the person just went through a divorce, lost her husband, is abused, etc. Take others into consideration. 


I should not be rude toward my husband. If he says or does something I don't like, that does not give me the right to disrespect him or be rude to him. It takes effort and hard work to get this part right. I should never be selfish. When I think about this part, I think about our home and how I can make it more welcoming to him. Over the years I have come to love the "primitive" look for my house. My husband hates it. I could be selfish and say "I am here most of the time and I buy the decorations so it's what I want". Instead, we compromise. I have a few primitive pieces here and there mixed in with what my husband likes. Yes, we have Redskins stuff throughout the house. No, I don't like it. But, if I want to be a "good wife" I must make it HIS home as well. After all, he pays the bills. LOL!


The next part about not being provoked is very hard for me. My husband says I am a firecracker. That is NOT a good thing. My fuse is so short. I am so easily provoked into a fight with him. Also, not a good thing. I am working on this. I am not to rejoice in evil things but only in the truth. 


Being a wife is such a blessing to me because I get to take care of my husband every day. I get to love him and cherish him. I get to cook his dinner and take care of our home and children. God has been so good to me. I am blessed because my husband loves me. He lets me know by telling me daily. But, he also shows me his love. He really likes to keep busy by doing things around the house. He does dishes, laundry, and even mops the floors. He is what I like to call a "clean freak". I, on the other hand, am not. The dishes in the sink don't bother me. The laundry doesn't bother me. But, since it bothers him I try to keep a tidy home. 





I mean, just look at him. How can you not love that man!? He is so wonderful and such a great daddy to our boys as well. 








I love being a wife. It is the best thing I have ever done along with being a mother to 3 sweet little boys. Which leads into my next blog post in the series "The Blessings of Motherhood". That will be next week. Please visit me again to check it out. 

Remember to pray for your husband every single day. He needs it. 


Blessings,


Kristy

Friday, May 17, 2013

New Blog Series Coming Soon...

I have been thinking and praying about what to do with my blog. I have always said I want to use it to glorify God. It recently came to me and now I am going to announce it to my readers. The new series will be called "The Blessings of..." So far, I have these topics I will be discussing:

1.  Being a Wife
2. Motherhood
3. Homeschooling
4. Raising Boys
5. Being a Stay-at-home-mom
6. Being a Daughter
7. Being a Sister
8. Family (including in-laws)
9. Having a great church to attend
10. Being a Christian and reading my Bible

I can't wait to get started. I am going to write my first post in the series on Monday the 20th. Please check back then to read all about "The Blessings of being a wife". I will also be doing my normal blog posts starting next week as well: Happy Homemaker Monday, Cooking Thursday, and Sacred Sunday. I am super excited to be blogging again. I am so thankful that I have readers who want to visit my blog (even if it is just a few of you). I really appreciate each of you and thank God for you.


Blessings,


Kristy


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Magazines.com Winner!

And the winner is....



Ashley Spence!

I will be contacting you soon to claim your prize. 

Congrats and enjoy your new magazine subscription from magazines.com!!


Blessings,

Kristy


Friday, May 10, 2013

The "G" Word!

I have been wanting to write this blog post for some time now. I have only delayed because I had a baby a couple of months ago and am just now getting back into writing. The "G" word I am talking about here is GUILT. You know...the one that makes you feel bad about every decision you make. As a woman, I am constantly feeling guilty about something in my life. I feel guilty that I didn't get the house clean today while Hubby was at work, I feel guilty if I go out by myself and leave the kids with a sitter, I feel guilty if I tell someone how I really feel, guilty, guilty, guilty. The list could go on for days so I will stop right there. You can name your own things to feel guilty about.

I have had so many situations in my life that are regrettable. Thankfully, I have a Savior who died to rid me of my regrets and guilt. There are words I wish I wouldn't have said. Things I wish I wouldn't have seen. There are people I wish were still in my life. I feel guilty for not calling my Grandmother. She is up there in age and I always say I am too busy. Too busy for the people who love me. I am not busy in the sense of running around. But, I am busy homeschooling, homemaking, taking care of an infant and his two older brothers and so on. Why do I let these things get in the way of making a simple phone call? One of the biggest things I feel guilty about in my life is saying things that are regrettable.

I recently read a blog post from Visionary Womanhood called "The Power of My Words". HERE is the link. I even posted it to my Facebook page because it was so powerful.

“Remind them to…speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.” Titus 3:1-2 

Can you say...WOW! I have read the Bible many times but this never popped out at me. Avoid quarreling? Show PERFECT courtesy toward ALL people? I will just come out and say it: That is not my personality at all. I mean I am not rude. But, I have had a quarrel or two in my day. When driving...I would say I have slight road rage (although some people would beg to differ). Am I showing perfect courtesy to the little old man that I am behind? He is going so slow and I am running late. Does the beeping of my horn say "Excuse me sir. I'm a Christian and I love the Lord."? Or, does it say "Move it person! I don't care who you are or what YOUR needs are...mine are more important!"

I was curious so I looked up the definition to some of these words used in Titus.

Perfect- being entirely without fault, flawless, mature, pure
Courtesy- behavior marked by polished manners and respect toward others, consideration and cooperation of others
Quarrel- dispute or complaint, verbal conflict between antagonists

OK, so I am very convicted. I have not been courteous toward many people in my life (and those I pass along the road). I have, in fact, been quarrelsome. Can I say, GUILTY!? I have said many things to many people over the years that were horrible. It started with my parents, then my siblings, then friends, etc. Now, my Hubby. It makes me sad to think of what I have said to him that would tear him down as a man. He is wonderful, loving, kind, gentle, and the best thing that has ever happened to me.

At first, I thought "it's all hormones". Yes...that's it. Hormones. Well, what about those times of the month that I can't blame "hormones"? I guess, it's just me then. Thank God I have the Bible as my guide to life. Without it I would be a HOT MESS. I am so grateful that I have been saved by the grace of God. I am so thankful to have a great Hubby who reigns me back in when I start to feel guilty about everything in life and forgives me before I even have to ask for it. I am so blessed to have children who forgive me when I'm having a bad "mommy day" and still like to be around me all the time.

How many people have I torn down because of the words I spoke? I can think of a few. I can't say how truly sorry I am that I every used words to hurt someone. Especially someone I love. I have days when all I feel like I do is yell. Yell at my kids, yell at my husband, yell at the man who just rang the doorbell just as I put the kids down for a nap. I know...it sounds bad. But, I think we can all relate. There are days that just seem to never end.

"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”  Ephesians 4:29

That is how I want to live my life...no corrupting talk. Once you say (or yell) something...it's out there. If you gossip or talk bad about someone. You can't take it back. You can say you are sorry a million times but you can't take it back. I know people who try to make you feel guilty by the things they say. Nothing is ever their fault. Nothing ever goes their way. Life just isn't fair. How dare others have a great husband, wonderful children who love the Lord, parents who care. I have felt horrible after talking to these kinds of people. I think to myself "why am I so deserving of these things and yet they have none of them?" I have to say...it doesn't last long. I have a VERY blessed life. But, so do these other people. I'm not talking of a specific person. I am talking about everyone. We are all very blessed. Yes, we go through hard times. Yes, we will have struggles on this earth. Yes, there will be times when we question God. We have to focus on eternity and what matters there.

What I am saying is that none of this junk is going to matter when we get to heaven. The ONLY thing that will matter is if you have given your life to the Lord. Have you accepted Jesus into your heart and lived a life for Him? I am so thankful that God chose me to be His daughter. I am blessed beyond measure, beyond words. So, if you are like me and feel guilty all the time about something in your life, just remember that God doesn't want you to feel that way. He wants you to think on the things that are good:

Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9Those things, which you have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. Philippians 4:8

If you have said something to someone or done something to hurt someone and feel guilty about it, apologize to them. Seek forgiveness. Don't be too prideful to do this. If the person doesn't find it in their heart to forgive you, that is their problem. As my Hubby has said to me MANY times "Be the bigger person". If it's a fight and you are both wrong, then that saying applies to you. I have told my Hubby before that I am so big I can't fit in the house anymore. LOL! I laugh now, but that is how I have felt in the past. Remember the song by Chris August "7x70". 



I have had to remind myself of this many times. Don't live your life feeling guilty anymore. I am still a work in progress but with help from God, my Hubby, and friends and family I know I will make a full recovery. LOL! Now, I am going to have to say it: "Hi, my name is Kristy and I feel guilty about everything."


I hope this helps even one person. I am praying for each of you and hope this can start some healing in your life too. 


Blessings,


Kristy

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Magazines.com Review and Giveaway!!



Disclaimer: "Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."



Don't you just LOVE magazines?! I know I do. It's so great when you go to the mailbox and open it up to find your favorite magazine waiting for you to read. I was recently chosen to receive a free subscription to a magazine of my choosing from magazines.com. Well, needless to say, I was thrilled beyond thrilled. First of all, I LOVE free stuff. Secondly, it was for Cooking With Paula Deen. My favorite kind of magazine to read is a recipe filled one. I collect cook books and cooking magazines.

Magazines.com offers people a fun, easy way to discover new reads and helps them track their magazine subscriptions. Shop the great magazine subscription deals at Magazines.com for Mother’s Day 2013! You’ll find incredible savings on Mom’s favorite cooking, celebrity, crafting magazine subscriptions and more. Don’t forget about all the moms in your life—your aunt, sister and your grandmother! Give her a gift that keeps on giving!

Here are a list of magazines I was able to choose from:

Cooking with Paula Deen
Martha Stewart Living
Parenting Early Years
Parenting School Years
Prevention
Weight Watchers
Working Mother
Victoria
People
Southern Living
Food Network
Real Simple
Southern Lady
Crochet Today
Tea Time
Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting
Entertain Decorate Celebrate
Taste of South
Creative Machine Embroidery
Just Cross Stitch
Quilt
Quilter's Newsletter
Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly
Creative Knitting
Quilter's World
Sew News
Crochet World
Creating Keepsakes
Crochet
Card Maker

I really had a hard time choosing. I mean...Food Network magazine, Quilter's World (I do some sewing/quilting myself), or Card Maker?? I was at a loss. So, I just chose the one that I thought I would get the most use out of. Cooking with Paula Deen was my choice.


Doesn't that cake look scrumptious?! I can't wait to get mine in the mail in a few short weeks. Here is the GREAT news. I have a free subscription to give away to one lucky reader. You get to choose from the list above and receive a free magazine! a Rafflecopter giveaway The winner will be chosen on May 16, 2013. Come back and visit me then and find out if you won!



Blessings,


Kristy