Friday, July 12, 2013

"Randall, party of 5"

The blogging world has changed let me tell you! My last post was a year ago and I haven't been on since! A friend of mine started a blog and it reminded me of how much I really love writing down a timeline of journal entries so I decided, lets get back on the saddle! Brief catch up: still and wife and mommy, but now we are expecting our first son in a month! I get a little anxious thinking about eventually hearing, "Randall, party of 5". I guess today's entry can all be related to that idea. The anxieties that wait for me and how I plan to overcome them. So here is a little background.....I decided a few months ago to take a yet off from work. I left an amazing school where I felt extreme success as a teacher and person. I made some great friends and I was soooooo comfortable! I could have seen myself coming back from child birth after 3-4 months and still being on top of my game. Over the past 3 years my husband has been working vigorously to reach the top of the company he works for and has been very successful. But with that has given me the role of a multi hat parent. I know other parents out the have full plates as well, I'm not complaining, but I throw this in bc it has forced me to be very organized and find my strengths in turmoil and stress. There isn't a day that goes by that Gary doesn't praise me for my contribution. I'm My worst enemy. Always pushing to perfect and I get very depressed when I feel like I'm failing that I make myself believe that everyone is as down towards me as I am. Anxiety 1: not being good enough. How do I tackle it? Be aware that I am the only one who thinks that. Look in my girls' eyes and see God's perfection and contentment. See how relaxed my husband gets just by my touch. Remember my friends' comments about my good attitude and carefree spirit. God has given me so many people and opportunities to see with my own eyes that the only thing perfect in this situation is the love He blesses me with through others. Anxiety 2: not teaching for a whole year (if I make it that long!) but the more i sit and think about it I don't think it's the teaching that will really bring me back, although I do love what I do. It's being with my kids and taking the responsibility for their well being, learning, walk with their faith, and shaping who they are day in and day out. I'm their mother, teacher, counselor, protector, provider, etc every minute of the day now! That's what preschool and early learning teachers are for! Ahhhh! That freaks me out! I patient but am I THAT patient? How do I tackle this fear? Remembering truth that I have read over and over in every book every person I come across: I am the best person for them. There is strength in that responsibility! Yes, our children show our flaws, expose our sins, reveal our weaknesses. Scary! Uncomfortable! I have fought selfishness with myself every day with my girls. God is slowly breaking me down. This will be a winning battle! I just have to strap my laces a little tighter and step up to the plate. My children will also possess my strengths as well! Anxiety 3: who will I become? My husband's favorite quote from Art of War is, the battle is already won or lost before it has started" I can't let me worries and fears stop me from being amazing. I can't let comparing myself to super moms out there who make their own food from scratch out of their huge gardens intimidate me! I must be confident in who I am and go from there. I always fell back on my job as who I was, but frankly I'm not that great of a teacher. I'm a great motivator, encourager, lover. Abbey (my 4 year old) shows me everyday that either she is unable to be taught or I can't teach! But you better believe that when I let go of showing her MY WAY and I just encourage and build her up, she flourishes. So, I may try some meals from scratch, Amazing Pinterest crafts, killer scrapbooks, or challenge my kids to read or add before their time (I love when I hear this: "my two year old can read chapter books" lol) but I may fail at all of those things. But my focus, my core will be keeping a positive attitude and building up my families confidence. Letting them witness to my hard work and strength in that in hopes they can do the same. Ok so my blog entry turned out to be more like a book, but it's been a while right?!!! My take away? Enjoy my season, really listen who God is calling me to be right now. This calling will change or morph- it's just getting me to be where I need to be eventually- a stepping stone. Growing and nurturing a Family is the most important calling and everything else that is compared to it or belittles it is a lie. There....

Sunday, April 01, 2012

milk and honey

We made it out of the wilderness, or desert, whatever you want to call it. And now, I find myself lost in new ways. ForEVER i have been asking God to grow and mature me. Forever. No more pushing off responsibility, not meaning what I say, or self pity-which has been awesome-but when this horrible growing season ended, i realized i am a young mother of two and a wife....those titles carry so much more weight with me now. Don't get me wrong I know they always have-but when I took myself, insecurities, and fear out of them all, stepped up to the plate, and started functioning in those positions, I realized, this is for real.....i had to think a bit about it, and then thought to myself, "How cool". I'm not longer chasing after society's standards for women, or trying to impress someone by my deeds..I just have been studying my role and living it up! I have two beautiful little girls....whom i learn from EVERY DAY! Who say the most innocent things....who have taught me how strong I really am! I have a self sacrificing husband...a man I have prayed for even before I knew who I was praying to!!!! The type of man who plays the male role in a film you fall in love with, that's Gary...
So as I bask (it's so much sweeter knowing how far i have come) in this land of milk and honey, let me never forget where I was, and how hard it was for me to get here....and also, that this won't last forever-life will throw new challenges, sacrifices, valleys that I must persevere through, prove my worthiness to...
so here lives a 30 year old mother of two, wife, and teacher who will take the next challenge, the next opportunity to grow and learn knowing there is always a land of milk and honey waiting for me to return to!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

growing and stretching

When I was saved in Jan of 2005, I didn't need a church for God to reach me. My life came crashing down and God used close friends who thankfully went to church and knew how to lead a lost person Home. But when I realized God was real, it was just me and Him. I forget that sometimes. I forget that the most intimate life long lesson moments are just between the two of us.
This past year, especially the past 4 months have been the hardest ever. Gary took on a new position as a boss in his company, I started teaching high school, which sucks by the way, and i have a 2.5 year old and 9 month old. Safe to say i have a LOT on my plate. Gary is rarely home, and when he is, his job has sucked the life out of him so much he is only with us in body...his mind and spirit are lost in nothingness. This has been real hard because one of the reasons i married gary is because he is so involved with family and family is a number one priority with him. he was so involved when abbey was younger, but now because of this job he hasn't been able to be involved at all. on top of that it's killing him inside. if i share my concerns with him about not being around, it would make him feel horrible and crush him. when i told him adelyn crawled one saturday morning he had to be in the office, he was devistated.
he tells me how i'm the glue that holds all of us together, and i really appreciate those words, but sometimes when i'm all alone doing everything, i start to focus on the bad and make it even worse. "what about me" always runs in my head. i never get time to myself and when i do all i want to accomplish is a nap of some sort. (doing everything also involves teaching 10th graders how to read, laundry, cooking dinner every night, grocery shopping, baths, comforting a 9 month old in the middle of the night with an ear infection or teething, then waking up at 5 am to get the kids ready take them to daycare and the whole process starts all over again) we just moved to tampa and i have no friends to hang with in my "free time".
now all this "doing" may not be a big deal, but when I focus on all the negative and magnify it, it turns me into a bitter, mean, resentful you know what. not the loving nurturing woman god made me to be and promised me i would be that cold january evening.
so after this week during my peer evaluation that i was freaking about, i had a break down wed night and god spoke.
"rae, you dont have a church, but when you did, that couldn't help you in this season stop focusing on being alone...gary feels the same way as you do, that's why i brought you together...the doing...well rae it's not as important as you think, you're just using that to make the time fly by because you hate this season so much-just embrace it-it's not going away for a while. gary is going to be a success, and he needs u to help and do your part if u ever want to be the success i promised you you would b. you will break generational curses, you will not manipulate, you will love and nurture your family and i will use you to bring them to a place of peace and growth and accomplishment. but u are not alone. i am a better source than what anyone can give you. stop turning me on and off. i love you"
I think of Pastor Kerri and how she must have had to hit that point of breaking too. Pastor Stovall is one of the greatest pastors in the US. God called him to lead an influential church for this century and she was probably all alone. but look at her now-she is an amazing pastor and probably didn't spend the time during her hard seasons just fixed on the bad parts of it. she pressed in and now look at all her wisdom!!! when i do get really lonely, i listen to her sermons or think about what she would do in my situation. even though i give all my glory to god, i'm still thankful for PK. we aren't besties or anything, but she is that spiritual leader i know has gone through a major refining process-i mean come on LOOK AT THAT WISDOM! plus behind every great man, is an even greater woman...
so thank you God for being louder than my self pity..i will chose to follow your lead and take your comfort-help me to always make that choice. also, help us find a church we can give ourselves too, i love helping others-it keeps my mind off myself...that would be excellent
love, me

Friday, July 08, 2011


Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. (Proverbs 3:5 MSG)
Good old know it took me three days to finally turn to god's word for answers. Thank goodness for you versions bible app. My daily devo turned me right to proverbs today. Proverbs then states:Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track. (Proverbs 3:6 MSG)
Hmmmmmm.... But god I have a crazy two year old and a baby who doesn't sleep. There has to be some answers on a blog or in a book i can read to implement right?
Not in this season rachael.....
God has been calling me so close to him....I get comfy and thennnnnnnnnn wham he gets me where I am weak just to call me back!!!! My sleep and my patience!!!! I'm not even going to try and figure out why I just know it's him. And most importantly because he loves me and my family. I actually was seeking a parenting funny god real funny! Throw in proverbs 3 and I am speechless, in awe over His greatness and love, You were speaking right to me.
Abbey has been so testy during our recent dramatic change. She has backslid in the potty training department and is pretending to be a baby. God keeps calling me to just pray over her and with her. Yes to discipline, but really to just pray a lot. We'll see what happens. Then little "baby" adelyn as abbey calls her, is teething, cranky, restless, just not herself. I want to just complain- and I have via Facebook, but again- why haven't I been praying over her too? I will go nuts if I don't!!
I originally read proverbs three with the focus of finding answers on how I can change my girls issues...thru discipline, etc. But really, ended it by being reminded that I'm not in control- but my father is- all I need to continue to do is ACT in prayer and trust and work on my relationship with him.
Love you lord and thanks for this encouragement that I will keep with me during this sea on of craziness and transition.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Galations 1

"Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ."

God I've always struggled with this. I know it started at home growing up and branched out into every area of my life. I felt it strongly when I was interviewing for new jobs out of my field. I kept feeling i was trying to sell myself and win their approval. Lord, when I start this new position this fall, please help me to only try and win your approval. I know that if I allow you to lead my career, these children who struggle greatly with reading, will succeed.
I also know that if i continue to allow you to be my only focus with my family, my husband and children will feel the greatest love of all. The love directly from you.
Thank you for your word and you servant Paul. Every time I read any of the books he wrote, a change happens in my heart and mindset.
I pray the lost people of this hurting world get a chance to experience this love. It's not so overwhelmingly emotional anymore, now that I've been a Christian for so long, but it's so much better. How amazing is it that I can come to you at any time knowing all the promises and blessings you already have over my life?
I have to ask myself to "please allow myself to stay close to you Lord...don't forget Him, push through the tired times, push through the lazy times, frustrating times, disappointing times..."
It was not even a day later, and you already had answered my prayer and settled my heart about all the worries and anxieties of this season..i didn't even have to wait for overnight delivery! Just two days of putting you first again and already huge changes in our lives are happening. HUge changes with our girls are happening. THANK YOU JESUS. Lord, how do people live their lives without you!?
Wish me luck at the zoo with 3 two year olds, a 9 year old and a 5 month old....things should get interesting!!! LOVE YOU LORD

Wednesday, June 29, 2011 EVERYTHING

i finally made myself stay up after this last 6 am feeding God! I know the little things here and there are hints you want me dialoguing with you. It's been such a long time since we really have talked or I acknowledged you. I figure what better place than this blog? I can't believe I haven't written on it in over a year! I used to have so much time for you and being persistant in the Word. It's not that I don't love you or care, but I have totally let my priorities go in the wrong direction. I'm not sinning or resorting back to bad habits, I've actually grown a lot. I want more than ever to be a woman of integrity and selflessness. You've given me so much to be thankful for-but also, so much to look over, protect, and nurture. How did the Proverbs 31 woman do it? How did she keep her patience all the time with a 2 year old around? How did she make sure her 5 month old stayed on a schedule and slept through the night? How did she show her husband that he came before anything in her life? How did she keep growing in her career and make sure the people around her in her job were better people just by being around her? AND HOW DID SHE DO THIS ALL AT THE SAME TIME?
I know it's only because of You. I know it's only because she put you first in her life above all. Above worrying, organizing, planning, working, and living out day to day tasks. It's so easy to just allow myself to only survive my life, by just to say, "if i can only get through this day, if i can only just make it to their nap time"
I'm so tired of living like that! I want to thrive, I want my husband to thrive, and i want my children to thrive! I thought when I woke up, I would end up giving you this long laundry list of "help me's" or "give me's". But i know what i need to do to thrive-I know how to take back over my life and not just try to survive. YOU....FIRST....IN EVERYTHING....
Presently, you have opened every door but one we are waiting on. I know it's because you were waiting on me. Gary has changed and prioritized what he needs to-and now u are waiting on me to come back to your arms. The only thing I ask of you is...nothing, you just did it. Throughout the course of simply getting up and writing this blog, you have put your truths back in my heart and mind, just like that. I don't need to ask anything of you-i know you will handle it. I know you are for me and I need to exercise my faith in order for the rest of it to fall into place. Tampa-here we come!!!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Shine 2010

For the past 5 years I have been carrying around the same journal when I attend Shine. God put it on my heart to write in it when I learned new things about being a Godly woman. God then spoke it to me to write it to my future daughter. I would take it on mission trips and conferences. And last night at Shine, I heard the most life changing message by a man named Jentezen Franklin. I was writing it down in my journal to Abbey and realized that for the first time, after all these years of writing, I could feel what God wanted me to do. I felt a strength in my purpose like I never felt before. DOn't get me wrong, Shine has had some life altering messages...Lisa Bevere prayed over our wombs one spring and the next month I was pregnant with Abbey! Last night stirred up a passion, a fire. What if God was trying to use me and I was so blind to the fact because I didn't believe it? I didn't believe about HOW he wanted to use me. I ask and ask and ask...
I truly with all that I am want to be a stay at home mom and focus my life on my family-but for whatever reason-outside influence, the world's view, whatever had caused me to think that it wasn't powerful enough, it was impactful enough-so I went back to work and every day I struggle to be and do it all. Even when I read Christine Caine's book (which is AMAZING-by the way)about having and doing it all, God was whispering, but i wasn't confident in what I was hearing....
I can't get myself to be excellent in raising and nurturing my family because I'm focusing on my job, and I can't be excellent in my job the way i know i can because I'm focusing on being there for my family. I feel pulled and guilty in every direction-but after last night's message-I feel like i'm missing out on what really matters-fighting for my family!!! My job is so important-I want to give it all I have. I want to utilize this summer to be everything to Gary and Abbey. I'm not going to let the outside world sway me into thinking that that position is not impactful enough. I've never felt so compelling to grow closer to God and seek his wisdom! I want Gary's purpose to flourish so bad-and I know that if i can be there for him 100% (in mind, body, and spirit) then he will have extra encouragement he needs to do so. How do women have energy and time to have a full time job and also feed what is necessary to their family spiritually? I have only been back to work for 9 months now and i'm already burned out-and thinking if i kept this up after more kids? They all would just get the left over love...but every woman has a different calling and can handle it. I just know for me, after we have our next baby I am staying home. Wow, that scared me to write that-but I know it's a good scare and it's what God wants from me. Lord let me never forget last night's message....I'm going to do everything I can to keep the purposes of God my focus for what He wants from my life, my vapor of a life. Abbey will one day read my Shine journal and I hope that it encourages her to follow God's will for her life-but I also know now and have the courage now to show her through my life...