Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Fringe Hours

A few years ago I stumbled across a blog written by a Christian mother who was dealing with a tragic situation. She was pregnant with her fourth daughter and there was a possibility that the baby may not live past a few hours once she was delivered. I was drawn to Angie's blog for her Christian witness, strength in tragedy and her genuineness. As I continued to read her blog, I started to search through her blogroll for other woman like her to read and connect with through the blogsphere.

That is when I found Jessica and The Mom Creative. I was instantly drawn to Jessica's smile, her creativity and her spunkiness. It seemed like a double blessing when I happened upon a book club Angie and Jessica were starting*. I joined them for several of the books and even purchased two of Angie's books, fulfilling a secret dream of hearing her speak, meeting her and having her (and her daughter, Kate) sign one of the books!

So, imagine my excitement when I saw on Facebook that Jessica was writing a book and was setting up interviews to talk to woman and mothers for research and information. I hesitated at first, but then commented that I would love to talk with her. I was pleasantly surprised when I got a message from her and an interview was set up a few weeks later. I was a bit nervous for our call because I felt like I was going to be talking to a celebrity, a blogging superstar, if you will and I did not want to make a fool of myself. For so long, she and Angie had been my secret best friends and I was totally fangirling at the thought of being able to actually talk to Jessica.   

Per Jessica's welcoming and laid back style, the phone interview was awesome. She was personable and genuine. It was like talking to a best friend. I was excited about her book and thankful that she had allowed me to be a part of the background/research part of it.

I continued to follow her blog posts and Facebook updates about her life and the book. Again, I was anxious when I sent an email saying I would love to be part of the launch team for the book, The Fringe Hours, but I felt like I really wanted to do whatever I could to support Jessica and her first publication.

I hadn't heard anything back about the launch team, but was thrilled when the book arrived in the mail for me to read and preview. I could not wait to start reading it and once I started I had to pace myself so I wouldn't finish it all in one day!

A bit of a back story - I am a wife to my amazing husband, Rick of 14 years. We have a blended family, so I am Momma to 5 kiddos ranging from age 23-10. The 12 and 10 year olds are the only kiddos at home still and we have added three terrific grandkiddos to the mix (ages 4, 2 and 1 month). To say we have a busy family is an understatement as both my husband and I work fulltime in education and our kiddos are involved in many activities. We are also active members of our church. Our time is precious.

And that is one of the reasons I love The Fringe Hours! It is a practical read that allowed me to refocus my needs, priorities and time to make sure I am using my hours of the day, week and month to be the best wife, mother, employee, friend, witness I can be. I love how there are places scattered throughout the book for me to write down answers to questions Jessica asks throughout the chapters to help me really think about and consider how I am using my time and making sure I am taking the necessary time needed for me to pursue my dreams, or finish a project or just be still and rest in my relationship with the Lord.

My husband has always been one to encourage me to take time to do the things I love - I just got back from a weekend trip to TX with my best friend to see Maroon 5 in concert! - but, I have a hard time carving out those minutes or hours for myself. Unless, it is a nap on Sunday! But, The Fringe Hours has helped me be able to listen to my husband's nudging to have coffee with a friend or take that Zumba class or that trip to TX. I really do not think I would have even considered being away from my family for a few days without the prompting from Jessica and her book to realize that taking time for myself is really a gift I can give myself and my family.

I also recently signed up for a training class for my local pregnancy clinic to become a volunteer counseling for women in crisis pregnancies. I have wanted to take the class for years now, but was finally able to take that leap of faith and commit myself and my time to it because of the reminders in The Fringe Hours. And I am going to a Paint Nite next month, something I have been putting off because who will help with the homework or make sure the lunches are packed? My avoidance of taking advantage of my fringe hours is normally fueled by guilt. Not anymore, thanks to Jessica's book!

The laundry will still be there. The homework will get done and maybe I will have to get up early to get the lunches packed. But, it is all okay. Because taking care of me and having time for myself and what drives me and what I love makes me a more efficient housewife, less stressed mom and more attentive wife. Everybody benefits from me using my fringe hours.

Are you afraid to spend some time on the things you love? Or even use some of the budget for getting help around the house or with the kiddos? Don't wait another minute to get Jessica's book, The Fringe Hours. It will literally change the way you look at taking time for yourself and it will improve every area of your life. It is not a quick fix, self help book. It is a deeper look into what you are passionate about and how you can maximize your time to pursue your dreams and talents.

Order the book now! Then come back after you have read it and share your thoughts with me!       



        

Friday, February 13, 2015

FMF - When

When will I stop being so emotional about things, especially when things go wrong? I mean, really, are they going wrong if God is orchestrating things? I do not like not feeling in control of my emotions when circumstances change or go differently in real life than I imagined them in my head.

When will my grown children fully grasp their potential in Christ and live completely and solely for His honor and glory? I want to be able to rest in the fact that my children walk in the truth.

When will I get sick of being overweight and fully commit to a healthy lifestyle and lose this excess weight? I am so tired of being tired and not being able to buy cute clothes and feeling like I am hiding my insecurities behind my weight.

When will I get to start my master's degree? When will I not have to explain my undergrad degree and that I taught for 6 years, that I am totally capable of and worthy of a teacher's certificate and should be teaching in the classroom? I feel like every rejection is directed at me. Why am I not good enough?

When will I stop dancing around my issues and fully commit to an unashamed, intimate relationship with Christ, living life for His honor and glory and in total awe of all He is doing in my life?

When will I publish that book and speak at that event and witness to hundreds?

Maybe Philippians 3:13b-14 should be my focus and my prayer.......

"Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."   

When will I just let go and let God.....

Link your FMF post to Kate's blog!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Giveaway: All the Fun Things!!

I am participating in #fmfsnailmail and Kaitlyn Bouchillon is hosting a giveaway for participants!

Hop on over to her blog to enter!!


Friday, February 06, 2015

Keep - FMF

I kept telling myself that is was just stress. Two weeks wasn't really that long to be late. I mean, I knew it was possible, but I just couldn't be. Not now.

"You can keep these pamphlets and here is our card." she said after the pregnancy test showed the tell tale plus sign. Her smile was genuine and her concern real. "Thank you.", I said as my best friend cried.

"Of course, you'll keep it.", he said. more sure than I was that all of this was going to work out somehow. "I can't keep it. I can't be pregnant. I started college. I am in the girls' group and choir at church. I just got the Christian Character Award at graduation!" "But, the alternative....." his voice trailed off. I couldn't even get my mind to go there, my lips to say the words, but how in the world was I going to be able to do what I wanted to do and be a mother?

Of course, I will keep him/her. After realizing the depth of the alternative, the finality of any other decision and the realization of the life growing inside of me, there was no other choice.

This new life was a gift from a God that already knew that this is how my story would be written, that the pages on which I was pretending to life out my life, there was an underlying story of promiscuity and deception. But, that in my mess of poor choices and brokenness, something, someone new was being birthed and it, he would be amazing.

I have never regretted that final decision to keep my first born son. Even in the midst of his addictions and incarcerations and lack of direction for his life. I know that there is One who has been directing things from the moment I knew for sure that I was indeed pregnant. And even if right now J is straying from the path God has laid out for him, he will be back soon.

John 10:28, 29
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

Psalm 16:1
Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge.

Link up with Kate's blog today and share your KEEP entry!



       

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Wait - FMF

As I begin my entry, my son is waiting to use the computer. He has some amazing patience as he seems to wait his turn a lot being the youngest. Waiting to use the bathroom, waiting for his older sister, just waiting. I need some of his patience.

My life verse as been Psalm 27:14 since HS.

"Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord."

But , I never thought of the waiting it talks about as a specific waiting, like in anticipation of what God is about to do. I have always thought about it when you are frustratingly waiting at the doctor's office or line at the grocery store. But, it is really like waiting for Christmas or for the arrival of a long awaited for child.

It should be an excited anticipatory waiting, knowing that God has an incredible plan and that the outcome of my praying, yearning and longing is being brought to pass in the right time, right place and with God's miraculous blessing.

But, instead I impatiently shuffle my feet in frustrating waiting forgetting that God has something wonderful planned that He is anxiously waiting to reveal in my obedience and faith.

Oh, to cling to the intended meaning of the verse and live my life anxiously, excitingly awaiting what God has next for me and my family and my future.  

"Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord."

Link up to FMF at Kate's blog with your post on WAIT. 5 minutes, no editing, just writing!

Monday, February 02, 2015

Just Keep Spinning

At the end of December, my therapist told me to make sure I had changed all of my appointments to 5 PM appointments because she was doing away with the 4 PM time slot and only going to four days a week. No problem since I had changed from 4 PM to 5 PM in September. Then at my first January appointment she told me she was doing away with the 5 PM time slot and would need me to change my appointments to 6 PM or later. I have to call on the first day of the month to secure the 5 PM time slot, so there was no way I was going to be able to change my appointments for January. I was able to do so for February, but 6 PM is a but late for me since I have kiddos that require homework and night time routine assistance. I felt like she was trying to tell me something without coming right out and saying it.

My therapist is trying to quit me.

And maybe it is time. I mean, how long should I be in counseling anyway? It has been a few years and she said she felt like I was in maintenance mode right now and would do well moving on or staying with her or whatever.

See, she is definitely trying to quit me.

Now, do I switch to another therapist in the practice that can see me at 5 PM or just stop going for now? Not sure, but I have a feeling at my first February appointment she will strongly sublimely suggest one of those options in one way or another.

I always thought I would be the one to end our relationship, especially since she wasn't  my first choice in therapists. My first therapist left after a few months to take care of her sickly daughter. But, I have grown accustomed to M's dry sense of humor and quietly disagreeing with me. She is a bit old school, but I feel grounded with her and I am not sure I am ready to take another shot at a therapist.

Found out Rick's university will not accept my undergrad degree, so I will not be accepted into their master's of ed program. I find it a bit odd that I was even hopeful that they would accept me/my degree. See what I did there? Made it personal. I mean, it is personal. I worked hard for four years for that degree, never once taking a break until I graduated four years after starting. Something that should not have happened with me being a single mom on a limited budget.  But, I pressed on when I didn't want to, when I didn't think I could, when I had no idea where the money was coming from for the next semester and no one will accept my stinking degree! Yeah, it is personal. But, some school somewhere will accept it and I will get to start my master's or I will run off with the circus and become a bearded lady. Not really, but I do need to get a handle on these chin hairs.

So, after I found out I my degree was not accepted I thought about the fact that I could just forget the whole master's thing and become a crisis counselor at the local pregnancy center, become a public speaker, start writing books and tour the world. Take that, WGU!

Then I went online and applied at Liberty University. Just waiting for my transcripts to be sent, so I can talk to a counselor and get started on my master's degree. Hope springs eternal.

And Liberty is not the last school I could apply to, either. I have a few other schools to look into, so all is not lost. I am looking into lining up a publisher just in case, though.

My blood pressure is skyrocketing right now. My BP was elevated in October when I first saw my rheumatologist. She started me on Aleve for my osteoarthritis and then I went to my PCP who was also concerned with my BP and was told I added Aleve to my daily meds regimen, so he started me on a water pill asking me to come back in February to see if it was working. Well, I went to see my rheumatologist on Friday for a follow up and my BP was 152/101. I called my PCP, but got the on call doctor since it was the weekend and she was very concerned that I was told to take Aleve daily when it is known to elevate BP. Say what? Does my PCP not know this? So, I stopped the Aleve and took an extra water pill and my pressure was only down to 148/90 by Sunday evening. I have a 2:30 PM appointment for tomorrow. And I seem to be gaining weight a bit too quickly right now. I am not sure if it is because I was late with my menstrual cycle this month or what, but if the scale is right I have gained 10 lbs in about two weeks. I do not seem to be retaining water even though my BP is definitely elevated. Hoping to get some answers at the doctor's tomorrow. And definitely looking into WW or something, because I can not gain another pound. I just can not.

I meant to get on here and write my entry for the FMF post, but wrote this instead. Now it is time to get the boy in bed and watch Chasing Life. Maybe I will get back on before Friday and do my FMF entry.

Maybe.
        

Monday, January 26, 2015

Share - FMF

Apparently, I am an over-sharer. My dad used to tell me to head into the barn and stop circling it when I would tell a story as a youngster. My husband often tells me to just get to the point when we have our conversations. And I hear, "TMI, Mom!" from my pre-teens on a pretty regular basis. 

Seems I do not have a problem sharing.

Except when it comes to my faith.

I seem to hem and haul when it is time to tell someone my testimony or tell someone the Good News or even to pray with someone. I often feel the Holy Spirit nudging me to be bold in my faith, but I hesitate and avoid it more often than not.

And I am not sure why. I have been extremely blessed since I trusted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. It has not been an easy journey, but it has been a blessed one and one I should be willing to share.

Because I am good at sharing.

Maybe I need more boldness, more faith, more willingness.

I need to be willing to share more than my opinion and my feelings.

Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness;
    let us exalt his name together. ~ Psalm 34:3 (NLT)

May 2015 be a year of sharing more of His greatness and love for me and others.

Link your FMF post to Kate's blog.