..........I would become the person I am quickly becoming. I started my parenting thinking everything would follow one straight line. Truth be told, I don't even think I could locate the line I first dreamed of following. Would I want to? If I remember correctly I began with the notion that 2 kids would make our family complete. Things have changed in so many ways.
Mostly what changed that plan was I fell in love with my beautiful faith and saw that God had so much more for me. I jumped in. I kinda steam rolled in. I have a tendency to be super motivated when I want to be...I was super motivated to live my faith in everything I did. And for me...at that time in my life...it was to be open to life. And I've never been happier with my rash excitement and the results.
It's not just how many kids I was going to have for God...it was the ideal education I was going to provide. I was not going to go down the "normal" road with my kids. I was going to classically educate them, all the while gaining an education for myself that I found so inspiring. I would be doing all of this while looking adorable, having kept up my running, while living in a house that is kept up with 90% of the time.
But suddenly 2 years ago my desire to home school VANISHED. Just as quickly as I devoted myself to the whole lifestyle...I abandoned it. It never felt that swift to me, but time gives you perspective. My heart was wondering for awhile...."What if I put my kids in school"???? I needed to know...
And here's what I now can clearly say about myself...I'm an ALL or NOTHING type girl. It's either all the way...no looking back ...or why even bother....
I kept Lucy home this year...until this week. I have nothing left when it comes to home schooling. I tried. I made myself do it. I can't anymore. There is this little strip of guilt and grief I have...have I failed? Did I do something to make all of this go wrong???
Is this wrong? Is is wrong that I now have 4 school age kids attending school...3 kids swim 3 days a week, my oldest does dance and volleyball, my other does band and dance. We are becoming a busy family. For 12 years I kept us at a VERY slow pace...my answer was always no...little kids needed to sleep and I needed to have a few hours every afternoon that were quiet. But things are changing...less people need sleep. More people need more to be engaged in.
I ask Pete..."Are you disappointed that we don't home school anymore?"...I want him to give words to the indescribable confusion I have in regards to that very question...I see him struggle to clarify his own thoughts.
"What we did made us who we are"....that was his answer today...
Our faith is our constant. Being Catholic is our rock. That will never change. How we school, what sports they play, what hobbies I indulge...all will change. But loving God is our bottom line. It is where we begin and end.
I make mistakes...like so many that my shame sometimes feels to much to bare. I recently feel like I made a series of mistakes that have humbled me greatly. I know there is great grace when things feel like they feel right now and I am grateful for it...I need it.
But for now...all I can do is move forward. A new season of lent is right before me. A time of repentance and growth..both things I need.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Pete has put 18 years into the Coast Guard. That means we have been married for 18 years this June. That means I have now lived with him longer than I lived with my parents. That. Is. Crazy.
When we are in the hard moments of being all to one, two, or six people it is easy to loose sight of the fact that they will spend the majority of their life WITHOUT you. Parenting with the end in mind is my focus these days. That does not mean I spend my time only thinking of the end...but the end of each interaction, the end of each moment that passes...all of those small ends that will eventually lead to the big end.
Which, in my heart and faith, means the great big ultimate end...heaven!!
Parenting with heaven in mind helps in the big and small things.
But there are other ends I think about these days. What if we are at the "end" of our moving around. Pete and I look at the time when we will not be in the Coast Guard. Where do we live? All of our family live in Florida. I do not see myself in Florida forever..but lately I have been thinking that through a bit harder....
My nieces and nephews are all there. My family, Pete's family all live in the great big state of VERY hot and HUMID Florida....
We will go where Pete gets a job..I know that will be the ultimate decision maker. But, where do we begin??
All ends..all good.
Monday, February 10, 2014
I felt so horrible this past January. I hated every minute of it. But with 2 weeks of sun, fresh air, and a new perspective I feel like a million bucks.
Small changes, new mind set and hope is the result....
But there is a small part of me that has this portion of fear that remains with me...fear to ever feel that awful again. That portion keeps me focused. But even with focus I know that with this very real life we all live another "january" is sure to come. And there is a small part of me that can even be grateful for the "january's" because they are the cause for change, focus and hope.
"You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?" Matthew 5:13
Salt and Light...that is my focus this week...not being afraid...
The lake in town freezes and the entire town goes out in masses and skates and skates and skates. It is truly like living in a picture. We got there 1st one morning...but the lake is usually PACKED with people...all living in a Norman Rockwell painting!! And Pete was Dad of the Year standing on that cold ice all weekend. I was mom of the year staying home with Drew....
But when Drew was there he found licking the ice to be the most entertaining thing to do....
Friday, February 7, 2014
The grace is in the everyday. Each day I try a little harder. I decide in the shower that when I see each child that morning I will hug them. I will wrap them up in my arms and hug them. I finish getting ready and I manage to remember to hug 3 of the 6...not bad. A 50% success to start the day. I have had worse odds.
I go to bed and find a hand written note from a 12 year old girl. A very big triumph for me!! I used to get notes all the time. Then they stopped. I missed them. I'm not sure I deserved them. I have been working hard to change that. I got one...it was wonderful. Simple changes that take more than simple effort sometimes.
The changes? The pause that I am focusing on before reacting to the things that are said, done, or not done. The pause for the Holy Spirit to fill more beautifully than I could ever do alone. The constant thought in my head to LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY. Let them feel that. Show each of them just how special they are. And for me to remember to look for those things throughout the day.
Listen to them. When Jack gets so excited to have the "mystery bag" from school I realize that I too can do a mystery bag with them. Finding things for all of us to do together that is not costly is becoming more and more challenging...so I need to listen and find the simple things we can do together for all ages. I want them to sit around one day remembering all the crazy things mama did so we could have fun together. Even if they are all not that excited to start it...they will one day be glad we did it.
The growth comes from trying. If I never try new things, feel new pains, I will never grow to these new places.
If I can do half the things I dream of doing then I will still be a success compared to never dreaming of doing more!!!
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
People ask us all the time.."Do you guys want more kids?" I always look to Pete when we are asked this together, because we kinda have different answers.
My Answer: Yes!! I want more kids!
Pete's Answer: I am content with what we have.
So we sometimes talk about what that answer exactly means...
Pete helps me grow more and more each day. And his constant answer of contentment really made me stop bugging him. I would sometimes be disappointed about his answer because I wanted it to be the same as my answer...YES. But really his answer is so much better.
Right now I need his answer to be as firm as it is because in my wonderful circle of large Catholic families a lot of the women that I am friends with, and we all had our 6th babies around the same time, are having their 7th.
I am content with what I have...I just want more to be content about.
And the fact that we remain open every month and the Lord has not blessed us does not feel as sad every month because I have been influenced greatly by Pete's answer. I AM CONTENT WITH WHAT WE HAVE....
So congrats to any friend of mine that still may read this blog and you are moving into the fabulous family of 9 stage...I would love to be there with you...but you inspire me and make me smile each time I get an e-mail, phone call or picture of your wonderful openness.