A Day in the life

Why I am a Crier Today

I’m quite the basket case today. I am sitting on the front porch, red raspberry leaf tea in hand, while letting the sun dry my tear-stained face. I am filled with gratitude, humility, and overwhelming feelings about this life.

 

This season I’m in is the hardest and sweetest all rolled into a blissful blur.

 

I’ve got the rowdy 2 and 3-year-old cowboys dragging their ropes across the grass lassoing everything in sight, and each other. Then I’ve got the silly 5 and 7-year-old girls cutting flips and singing at the top of their lungs. I’ve got an 18 week swollen belly with a baby girl full of life and little kicks letting her presence be made known.

 

It’s my life.

 

Quick kisses and goodbyes in them morning with coffee cups filled to the brim. Fighting to hold my eyelids open a little longer to enjoy his company and our talks. Collapsing in bed not even remembering how we walked up the stairs.  He and I are walking it together.

 

How can a time in your life be so hard, yet you never want it to end?

 

This motherhood life has turned me into what God meant for me to be. There is no doubt about it. I am a hopeful wreck with hands toward heaven. It’s glorious. The serving, the laughing, the wanting to pull your hair out. It was all the plans for me long ago.

 

I’m smack in the middle of the journey right now. Looking back makes me want to cry and looking forward makes me want to cry. This middle even has me in tears.

 

The pure contentment and purpose wrapped up in the exhausting string of days keeps me trying harder. To love them better, cook better, read longer, stay up later, wake up earlier, and etch it all in my heart to never forget these growing days of them and me.

 

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A Sweet Morning

This morning started off the same as most mornings. Sneaking out of bed, tiptoeing so no one awakes. I took that first sip of morning coffee, thanked the Lord for the morning, then heard the baby’s cry along with the pitter patter of feet.

It’s the same thing every day, with a constant changing dialogue in my head.

Regrettably, some mornings I want everyone to leave me alone. Some of them, I am so busy thinking of what needs to get done that I’m scribbling notes as they sit on my lap. Other mornings, I’m already switching laundry or on the phone when they wake up to start their day.

But not this morning.

God gave me an extra heaping scoop of patience and grace this morning. Actually, He always gives it, but I don’t always take it.

It was nothing special by any means but it was thoroughly enjoyed. The breakfast, the mess, the school on the deck, the dress up clothes, the fussy baby that fell asleep on me, the swing set, the fresh strawberries, and all of the memories made.

If only we could always settle into the sweetness of the ordinary yet God given moments. How differently would we live?

Here are some random accounts of the sweetness. A 1 year old who can climb up the slide. Queen Elsa teaching Piggy how to zip line. Princess Anna swinging with her miniature Princess Anna, and a swinging fire chief:)

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Lessons Learned From 3 to 4

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With each child we are blessed with comes a new appreciation for life that is even greater than the one before. You learn how temporary every stage of life is. We look forward to the next, yet try to soak in the present, seeing like never before how this sweet time is slipping through our fingers.

 

The peace that follows when we trust God to give life when He sees fit is indescribable. Peace also means freedom. Freedom from laws or the philosophy and opinions of this world that states children are aggravations, financial burdens, and are a strain on marriage.

 

When you seek the Lord, the opposite is true.

 

Each child brings on a different perspective. Suddenly the night-time feedings aren’t a big deal. Fingerprints and messes mean that they are having fun. Quiet time interruptions become opportunities. Contentment is found in a cup of coffee drank slowly. Friday nights at home, filled with laughter, are chosen over any other place in the world. You might catch them with their winter hat on in summer…mismatched socks in winter…with shoes on the wrong feet…and I don’t care anymore:) Date nights start becoming priority. A disorganized, non crafty girl, like myself slowly finds her groove on how to keep things running smoothly (Most days anyways).

 

The different perspectives are not only about life, but of my complete ugly selfishness. I see my impatience, my laziness, and my lack of self-control.

 

These children bring out the absolute worst in me only to show my absolute need for a Savior. They push me to my knees seeking forgiveness and wisdom daily.

 

Never in my life have I needed Jesus so much to teach me what sacrificial love truly is all about, He is the author of it. Just when I think I can’t do it anymore and I have no more left to give, He is there replenishing me and sharpening my vision toward eternity.

 

This is why I believe and trust in God’s plan no matter what it may be. I know without a doubt, it is all used to bring me closer to Him. That is exactly where I want to be.

 

Where does God have you today in order to pull you in closer to Him?

 

Sharing this with: The Prairie Homestead A Mama’s story, Raising Arrows, The Modest Mom, What Joy is Mine, Growing Home, Time Warp Wife, Thankful Homemaker, Mamal Diane, Teaching What is Good,  Mom’s the word, conerstone cofessions, A proverbs 31 wife, Some of the best things in life are mistakes, Let this mind be in you, A Wise Woman Builds her home, Deep Roots at Home, Graced Simplicity, Raising Homemakers, Women Living Well, Hope in Every Season, Jill’s Home remedies, Little Natural Cottage, Our simple country Life, Raising Mighty Arrows, The Purposeful Mom, Happy and Blessed Home, Homemaker by Choice, Your Thriving Family, My Joy Filled Life. New Life Steward, Hometead simple, Let this Mind Be in You,

 

 

Gratitiude

image Our newest blessing:)

 

I can’t even begin to express my gratitude of blessings The Lord has given this year. Though he has given many material and tangible gifts, the ones that come to my mind are the eternal ones. The love in my marriage that forgives and forgets. The new life a baby boy. Me, the nurse, turned stay at home wife and momma to invest in young souls. Long talks with my momma. Monthly Sunday dinners with extended family. A daughter accepting The Lord as her Savior…

 

Seeing God’s hand through every up and down throughout the year shows the kind of God we serve and praise on this day and every day. The lessons He gives me through trial and error are all for His glory and I am so thankful for every second.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

I Didn’t Know…

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I didn’t know what having my first baby would do to my heart, mind, and body.

I didn’t know that love never had a boundary.

I didn’t know how full and complete my life was going to be when we bought you home.

I didn’t know that when you were  eating cheerios in your high chair while I danced around the kitchen making supper to make you laugh that we were making life long memories ingrained in my heart.

I didn’t know that the vision of your sweet nursery where you slept would be one of the favorite rooms I ever spent time in.

I didn’t know the joy it would bring me when you smashed your hands in your first birthday cake and ate the whole thing. We had to wash you off in Granny’s sink.

I didn’t know that 5 years later I would retell the story laughing of how I tried to take you on walks when you were a toddler.  You tried to knock on everyone’s door, run in the road, and pick every flower. I always had to carry you back home kicking and screaming while 9 months pregnant with your sister.

I didn’t know that I would cry when I saw you ride your bike for the first time.

I didn’t know how many times I would have to apologize to you for getting frustrated.

I didn’t know how many prayers I would pray for me to get this mommy thing right.

I didn’t know that you were going to play your role of big sister to three so far… so well.

I didn’t know that you were going to help shape me into what God wants me to be.

I didn’t know that you were going to start our tradition of Krispy Kreme doughuts after you asked Jesus in your heart that day.

I didn’t know you were going to lead your sister to Christ, then remember that we HAD to go get doughnuts again.

I didn’t know I was going to be one of those mammas that jumped out of her chair and screamed when you scored your first soccer goal.

I didn’t know that I was going to want to spend every day with you and teach you all the good things in life.

I didn’t know that you were going to be the party girl to pull me out of my shell.

 

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I didn’t know how beautiful, smart, and funny you were going to be.

I didn’t know how kind, giving, and spirited you were going to be.

I didn’t know that I was going to cry typing this out, in disbelief you are six tomorrow.

I dint know that time flew till I held you in my arms.

I didn’t know time stood still till you wrapped your little arms around me.

I didn’t know that I was going to jump and down and call your daddy the first time you read to me.

I didn’t know that you were going to make friends with everyone you ever talked to. (You say every one is your best friend)

I didn’t know your favorite food was going to be chicken legs, your favorite color was going to be every color, or that you could draw all day.

I didn’t know that you were going to teach yourself how to hula hoop, do cartwheels, or climb trees.

I didn’t know that you were going to state that it was a different stuffed animal’s birthday every day just so we could have an excuse to party.

I didn’t know until I met you what God had created me for. He created be to be a mother and show His face through it all. I have failed many times but you have shown me how to keep at it everyday. Thank you sweet Willow for being so full of adventure, love, and Jesus. Happy 6th Birthday! We love you crazy girl!

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Living with Eyes and Heart Wide Open

Alright, I can’t take it anymore. If I don’t write something I will explode! My last blog post was about a challenge my husband and I were taking to rid our lives of unnecessary distractions in order to focus on God. We wanted to make sure we are pleasing Him and living up to the purposes He created us for each and every day. We were not perfect with our, “no distraction,” rules but the life lessons we have learned have changed us. How blessed I feel to always have conviction and feel the current going up-stream getting stronger. Though it may be difficult to endure…I know He is always working. I trust confidently that He makes all things good on the other side.

 

Before our challenge, I had been so self and inward focused. I am ashamed to say that there have been many opportunities that I have lost to encourage, to help, to befriend, and show others Christ. This includes my own children and family. Ya see, all of the little distractions of this “normal life” are not necessary and are only a ploy to pull us away from what we are here for. Sure, God wants us to take pleasure in our blessings. But does that include hurrying through bedtime prayers with your kids to not miss your tv show that comes on at 8? Ouch…guilty. It is precious moments like this that God has helped us to reclaim in our life since we have started to weed out distractions.

 

What about Facebook and all computer related stuff? I have occasionally gotten on to research something (Once the children are in bed) and have occasionally gotten on to message someone back. I didn’t consider myself a computer junkie until I was “unplugged” for a while. I never realized how many brain cells I was taking up just by looking at pictures posted or comments people were making all through the day! I was ALWAYS multitasking in my brain about what so and so was doing or how cute their baby looked in that picture etc… Not that all this is necessarily a bad thing, but when it is a distraction from the faces in front of you, it is a dangerous tool satan can use to keep your eyes down. What a relief we have felt by simply freeing our minds and eyes to be intentional about what we are looking at and who we can be helping.

 

What about blogging? Oh man, I have missed it! God has shown me that sharing my heart on here is something I am very passionate about. However, I will no longer be giving myself deadlines. I have always written from my heart, but I will have to make sure thee needs of others around me are met first before I go crazy on here.

 

I long to encourage, and inspire, and to show the world that there really are people trying just like you… in the same boat, and walking in your shoes. There is still so much joy  in all of the hatred in this world. I intend on spreading it around. That is our job.

 

Have any y’all had to do any life reassessments lately? What did you learn? I would love to hear about it!

 

I have missed this!!!!!

 

 

Sisters…A Force To Be Reckoned

Let me tell you about these two.

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They are a set of inseparable best friends. They stay up way past bedtime every night sharing giggles in their room. They wake up early together with ideas and schemes for tea parties and something new to celebrate that day. They color together, swing on the swing set together, run through the sprinkler together, eat together, watch movies together, and usually try to drive me crazy together:) There is a bond there that will never be broken.

 

I am confident in the fact that satan will always try to tear up this dynamic duo. But I know a God that is stronger and He knows my prayer to mend their hearts together to achieve great and mighty things in His name.

 

Well, yesterday satan got a smack down…

 

As I watched from a far at 7:30 in the morning, still in their pajamas, on our living room couch, Willow led Zoe to the Lord.

 

I had the blessing and privilege to see them looking through their picture Bible together. I saw two little heads bowed with eyes closed as Zoe repeated the sinners prayer after her big sister.

 

Soon after that Zoe told me that Jesus IS in her heart, and that she believes He died on the cross for her so she could go to heaven:)

 

These two girls now have a spiritual bond that with God can move mountains. The devil better look out because these sisters are a force to be reckoned with. They have a praying Momma and Daddy behind them and the spirit of the Lord inside them.

 

3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth…

How I Grocery Shop With 4 Kiddos Under 5

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I don’t know about y’all, but I love hearing people’s stories about how they do what they do. It seems that everyone has a certain secret that helps them be more efficient at a certain task. Well, here is my attempt at that. I am often asked questions on how I manage the little kids doing daily task. The one question that gets asked the most often is, “How do you grocery shop with them?” and “Why don’t you wait until your husband’s home?” These are my tried and true strategies for making it out of the store with everything on my list, no extras, and no tantrums.

 

-I’m telling ya, it all starts with parking. I always park in the spot closest to the rack of shopping carts in the middle of the parking lot. I do this for two reasons. 1) I get the “runner” strapped in before we cross the parking lot 2) At the end of the shopping trip I can buckle everyone in the car then return the cart to the rack while being only a few steps away from the car for safety purposes.

 

-Before I start getting everyone out of the car I go ahead and place my money, list, and grocery card in my back pocket. I do this so I’m not digging through my purse at the checkout counter.

 

– As for where all of the kids go…The 4 and 5-year-old walk beside me. The 2-year-old goes in the front seat. The 2 month old goes in my little carrier pouch I wear.

 

-I go in the same pattern every week and I try to go fast.

 

-If they are behaving I will occasionally give them some of the samples of fruit. If the behave the entire time then they get one of the free cookies that our grocery store offers.

 

-Once everyone is in the car and buckled and I have returned the cart they get a lot of praise for obedience and for helping me. I also try to remember to tell their daddy when they are around for extra positive reinforcement.

 

I would rather do all of this by myself because it encourages me to get in and out with no impulse buying.  I never want to feel that my kids are too rowdy to take somewhere. The only way they will learn is by going, doing, and seeing how to appropriately act. By the same token I can’t expect them to stay in  the store for an hour while I browse around. I must be quick and proficient.

 

What tips can y’all add? Is there something that you do and people are always asking how? Please share!

 

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Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/ Freedigitalphotos

 

Sharing this with: The Prairie Homestead A Mama’s story, Raising Arrows, The Modest Mom, What Joy is Mine, Growing Home, Time Warp Wife, Thankful Homemaker, Mamal Diane, Teaching What is Good,  Mom’s the word, conerstone cofessions, A proverbs 31 wife, Some of the best things in life are mistakes, Let this mind be in you, A Wise Woman Builds her home, Deep Roots at Home, Graced Simplicity, Raising Homemakers, Women Living Well, Hope in Every Season, Jill’s Home remedies, Little Natural Cottage, Our simple country Life, Raising Mighty Arrows, The Purposeful Mom, Happy and Blessed Home, Homemaker by Choice, Your Thriving Family, My Joy Filled Life. New Life Steward, Hometead simple, Let this Mind Be in You,

Slow Down the Clock

Today, my focus will be to slow down the clock. Since having sweet baby #4 it seems life has been a whirlwind of memories circling above me. I can’t seem to recall much about the last two months. I have been contemplating every morning how to apply the brakes and soak in all of the craziness. It finally came to my last night…As my husband was wrestling with the crazy bunch on the floor I sat and watched with a smile on my face..with mind racing about tomorrow.

 

Then it hit me. I have to take my thoughts captive and be fully present in the moments. Oh, how I love the moments but I am half there! I am missing out!

 

So, today I start. I will save the multitasking abilities for things to get done for the day, and will only use my heart to savor in the moments. My heart will be the remedy for slowing the ever racing clock.

 

Let’s see if I can make this happen;)

 

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My Sweet Girl

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My little girl is four years old today. When her big brown eyes open, the very first thing she will say is , “Mom, what are you fixing for breakfast? Can I have three breakfast?”

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She will come cuddle on my lap with blanket in one hand and a thumb in her mouth. (She told me she would stop that when she turned five…maybe)

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She will ask about cake and ice cream probably a hundred times before we even get to lunch time…Oh how I love this crazy little girl!

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I have told multiple people that she is a hard one to describe, but sitting here thinking about her sweet smile… it suddenly becomes very easy.

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She is my different one. The one who keeps me on my toes and guessing. The one with a sense of humor that can turn any situation into a deep belly laugh. She marches to the beat of her own drum and makes no apologies for it. She is tough to get to know, but once you do get to know her, your instantly in love.  When she loves something, she is passionate about it. She will giggle at the most inappropriate times with a hand over her face trying to stop. She is a thinker, she doesn’t do things the hard way, but finds an easier way. She gives people nicknames like her brother Ty is “Buddyboo” and her brother Easton is “Easty E.” She adores her big sister Willow, who is referred to as “Sister.” She is one of a kind. She tells me she loves me ten times a day and promises she will always be my baby.

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My Zoe Bell…Where would our family be without you? You have bought out so many more good times and laughs then we ever could have imagined. God has amazing plans for you sweet girl.  I am so thankful to be your Momma. Happy Birthday Sweetheart!

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Hey Y'all! My name is Brittany Styron. Sweet Country Roots is a place I hope to encourage, inspire, and bring a chuckle. Grab yourself a cup of coffee and join conversations about marriage, babies, homeschooling, frugal living, good food, and an old fashioned way of thinking.

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