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My Struggles When I Became A Stay at Home Mom

My Struggles When I Became A Stay At Home Mom

 

Y’all I prayed. I prayed desperate prayers to the Lord. I wanted to stay home with my children. I wanted to care for them, instruct them, and love on them day in and day out.

 

My work schedule really wasn’t too bad. I was a nurse working an average of two 12 hour night shifts a week. My biggest challenges were significant loss of sleep, keeping babysitters lined up if my husband as at the firestation and missing them…a lot.

 

At the time, I was homeschooling with my fourth baby on the way. The anxiety began to slowly bubble up inside as I wondered and anticipated the new juggling act that lay before me. I continued my earnest prayers for peace and to help us find a way to get me home full-time. It was a true desire in my heart.

 

Fast forward a bit to 3 months after sweet Easton’s birth.

 

It was time for mama to go back to work. We had crunched the numbers several times and both agreed the timing was not quite right…so off I went.

 

It never mattered which baby I was leaving for the first time the tears never ceased to fall. Once to the hospital the tears dried quickly and I got into nurse mode.  My husband and all the children did great, and baby boy took his bottle like a champ. Hearing of the night’s success settled my broken heart.

 

The following week came the same routine. I left my babies, cried, rolled up my sleeves and got to work.

 

The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his step. Proverbs 16:9

 

Four hours into my shift my little guy had been screaming and refusing to take his bottle. (He was exclusively breastfed.) My cool, calm ,and collected husband called in a panic, as you can imagine. My heart began to race as my postpartum hormones took over while hearing my baby scream on the other end of the phone. I quickly managed my plan to get my patients taken care of and handed off to another nurse. I got home around midnight and found them on the porch…The baby crying and my husband exhausted.

 

To make a very long story short, little man never took a bottle ever again! We tried many different bottles, tips, and tricks. He wasn’t having it.

 

Deep underneath the frustration and fear lied my answered prayer, all I had ever wanted, and prayed for so long. I was officially home with my children full-time, out of necessity. Completely not how I expected it, but isn’t that the way the Lord works?

 

We were both overwhelmed with gratefulness that I was home… yet ya still gotta pay the bills!

 

My husband, being the rock star that he is, set off to do any kind of work you could imagine. He cut grass, moved furniture, cleaned out basements, landscaped, helped maintain and repair septic systems, excavated…the list goes on and on. He worked his butt off and God continued to bless him with more and more work.

 

We were praising God for His blessings, but y’all I’m gonna be honest…it was really hard for me, hard for both of us.

 

Ya see, when I was working we shared a lot of the responsibilities of the household. When I came home he had  to make the living. We both felt pressure in different ways. It was a big life adjustment with four children under the age of 6, and I missed my husband a lot.

 

We had many arguments that first year. I needed him home to help me, but as the provider he knew he had to get out there and make it happen.

 

God knew and saw things we didn’t,  just as He always does.

 

My husband has had the opportunity to start businesses, get certifications, and has introduced our family to many wonderful people and resources.

 

I have learned to fully rely on God. I have been able to pour my heart into homeschooling our children and have turned our house into a home. I have had the opportunity to befriend so many other women by being available to form relationships.

 

Our marriage has blossomed as we went through the growing pains. We are now on the same team, understanding one another. The transition was tough and stressful, but the Lord continued to mold and shape.

 

When you find yourself struggling or trying to, “crunch the numbers” to make something happen, remember God is in the process of directing you steps every.single.day. His plans are great, with big pictures…we must trust in Him, trust the process as He reveals plans we never dreamed of.

 

What are you struggling with today? God sees your heart and hears your thoughts. Subscribe and share what the Lord’s been doing.

Tips To Stay Full

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Photo by Parisa191/freedigitalphotos.net

 

I recently wrote a post about the importance of us mommas avoiding depletion as we constantly pour our lives into our families. A reader suggested I make a list of tips for staying full of life, or the good stuff you could call it, in order to continue giving our families the best.

 

I’ll start with one of the many times in my life when I had allowed myself to, simply stated, fall apart. This was about 9 months ago. Y’all, I was struggling.

 

Let me set the scene. My fourth baby was about 7 months old. We were in the full swing of home school, the baby still nursed around the clock, he didn’t sleep at night or for naps, and was HIGH MAINTENANCE. There just wasn’t much that made that little guy happy. At the time, I was also packing and planning our first Disney trip. This is something we had looked forward too for so long and diligently saved our money for. I was trying so hard to put on a happy face.

 

Typically once my other children hit the 6 month mark I would start to feel somewhat functional again. This time, that didn’t happen. I optimistically kept thinking, OK things are about to turn around…Hopefully the Disney trip will kind of reset us if you will. Boy, was I wrong.

 

The trip was amazing! The children did great and we all had a lot of fun. But then, there was the,” AFTER TRIP.” Every child including my husband and I stayed sick for an entire 2 and a half months. From urgent care trips, around the clock nebulizer treatments, to the time we tried to get out of the house and feel normal and a little one puked in the back seat.

 

I came head on with a mini depression. I had the past several months of overdoing it with a fussy infant in my back pocket, along with 4 sick children 6 and under for almost three months to put me over the edge. If I had taken the steps to take care of myself during those times of learning my baby then I feel as though I would have been better equipped to care for my sick babies. I was a mess. I was crying all the time, exhausted, weak mentally and physically, and felt like I was going crazy. This all may seem so trivial, but when you’re in the thick of it you feel like you’ll never climb out.

 

I decided I had to do something to get that old, full of life Brittany back. It started slow, but with help from God I was able to clear the fog that I had let settle in my mind and find a home.

 

Here is how I did it.

– I prayed little prayers. I’ll be honest, I remember telling my husband, “I don’t want to pray or read my Bible!” Deep down I knew that there was healing in that. I would pray simple prayers all day such as, “Help me make it through this day” or even in frustration, “Ugh just please let something go right today!” God has the situation, it’s just hard to see it at the time.

 

This is why we must walk closely with God for the inevitable times like this. His powerful word and communication are so transforming when you’re in a valley and are pertinent to staying full for all of the curve balls of life!

 

-I got off my butt. As soon as nap time would start (Even though for the baby that was maybe 5 minutes) I would run out the door as fast as I could down the cul-de-sac and back. It didn’t matter if I had on flip-flops and jeans with my hair down blowing in the wind. This refreshed my soul. I’m not sure how, but it helped.

 

I wasn’t strong enough physically when all of the sickness came because I hadn’t prepared myself. I wasn’t staying active, so when my family went down I went with them.

 

-I started taking some vitamins. I had not been taking care of myself while nursing. I was depleted nutritionally and that only added to everything else.

 

We have to realize we are only going to feel as good as the food we put in our mouth. If your anything like me, that handful of chocolate chips sure does help when the kids are acting like a bunch of wild people. I had to keep reminding myself that long-term I wasn’t doing myself or them any favors through the indulgence of my sweet tooth.

 

-I stopped taking life so serious. I can’t tell you how many times I had to throw on some music and just dance it out, running man and all. In fact I have a video I took of the baby on my hip screaming while I’m dancing around in the kitchen to, “I will survive.”

 

Perspective will help you see your glass as half full. Really! When we tell ourselves, “One day at a time,” or try to point out any good through the day we will naturally stay ahead of the game.

 

-I talked to my momma and my husband a lot. Poor things! They literally just listened to me whine, offered encouragement when needed, and validated my feelings.

 

A support system is crucial to set up. We women love to talk. Find others you can have deep meaningful conversations with. Add to the goodness of each others lives. It’s so good for the soul. When life throws you a curve ball you have some ears to listen and talk it out to.

 

-Read some good books. I grabbed some motherhood books and got lost in them. This helped me keep my  mind off everything going wrong around me.

 

When we get some good books going we are able to get fresh ideas, and gain new perspectives. It takes some habit-forming to keep a book close by. This is something I have been working on to help stretch my brain.

 

I will be going back and adding to this list. I may even do a little video about it:) If you have any tips you use please share! This is a small list that has helped me in big ways. Everyone’s list will look different.

 

Take care of yourselves mommas! That’s one of the best gifts we can give our children. Let your life run over.

 

Encouraged? Subscribe and Share!

 

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, Proverbial homemaker, Just another Mom, The Life of faith, What Joy is Mine,  Simple Life of a Fire Wife, Refelctions, Morsels of Life, Our Family Grace, Table For Seven, Yes Theyre All Ours The multitasking mommy Nourishing Joy,Hip Homeschool moms, Time Warp Wife,

 

 

 

 

Don’t Let Christians Get In The Way

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Don’t let me, as a Christian, get in the way of Jesus.

 

Don’t watch me grind my teeth at my children and forget the grace God gives me everyday.

 

Don’t pay any attention if you see me roll my eyes at my husband and forget that what God  joined together nothing can separate.

 

Please don’t think you “caught me” when you see me throwing back a glass of wine on a date night with my husband. I serve a God that gives me freedom from legalistic laws.

 

Don’t listen when I stub my toe and accidentally say “shit” instead of “shoot”. Remember, the God I serve forgives and remembers no more.

 

Don’t watch the gossipy church ladies fighting over a gift card at the women’s Christmas dinner…yeah it really happened….not all “church people” are like that.

 

Don’t shake your head at me when I played hooky from church. My God sees my heart and knows every thought. He is with me rather I am at church or not.

 

Then again…I hope you DO watch me. Watch my mistakes, failures, aggravations, and plain old bad days. Watch me as God picks me up over and over again. Watch as He covers my failures and reveals His mighty hand through my crazy life. Listen to His voice amidst the broken vessel I am. Notice the light between the broken pieces that God is shining on you.

 

No,  my life is not perfect, but God is.

 

Don’t let us Christians get in the way of you seeing who Jesus really is. He isn’t in the business of only giving blessings to front church pew believers . He isn’t a God  of excessive rules and regulations. He isn’t a far off being that we have to climb to reach.

 

He is freedom. He is there. He is the blessing.

 

 

What Level Of Pro-Life Are You?

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image courtesy of hin255/freedigitalphotos.net

 

As I get older, gain years of marriage under my belt, have more children, and gain life experience I have become increasingly aware of the “politically correct” way to go about things. I have learned what to say and how to act in order to not offend those who think differently. I have also come to see how truly unclear and twisted we as Christians can make things. We have so many faint lines drawn in the sand and gray areas. No wonder people don’t really know right from wrong anymore. I too am one of those people who can find myself in a gray area of life wondering what is true and right. I have found that once I look into scripture it quickly becomes crystal clear. The problem is that scripture is not always the first place we look, therefore we pay the consequences of confusion.

 

An area that most people tip toe around would be their stance on pro-life. As I am writing this post I am assuming that the majority of Christians would consider themselves pro-life. What does this truly mean? Many people would give you  different definitions. This is an issue that used to be black and white, yet has become gray in many people’s eyes that are built around circumstance.

 

The first level of pro-life would be the the convenience pro-lifer. (Just made up my own word) They believe, for the most part, that abortion is wrong unless you can find a justifiable reason for it such as the mother being victim of rape, or the child having a disability. They think children are great when you plan for them. They also have pity on you when you get a surprise pregnancy. They refer to that baby as the “oops” child. They only want to have children if and when it suits them.

 

The second level of pro-lifers are the ones who consider themselves responsible. They believe abortion is wrong at all cost and believe that nothing justifies killing a baby. You will find these people rallying on the side of the street to close down abortion clinics. They know God has a plan no matter how the child was conceived or what types of disabilities they have. However, they do think it is a wise choice to use chemical birth control, though they have overheard that it can cause spontaneous abortions. They rule in favor of common sense and that no one should ever have more than 3 children in order to give them enough attention, and pay for college. It is responsible.

 

The third level, evidently, are the most radical. These people take the Bible literally. When it says children are a blessing they believe it no matter the circumstance of their arrival. Abortion is killing a life God placed in that mother’s womb no matter how the occurrence took place. Nothing is by accident. They believe chemical forms of birth control are abortifacients. They don’t want to be responsible for killing someone whom God knew before the beginning of time.

 

I proudly fall into the third. I don’t play a martyr and say, “Oh it’s tough, but this is God’s commandment.” No, I am full of passion for this. Most of the time I don’t focus on the number of children I have or how many I am going to have. For some reason it seems the baby comments and questions all flood in around the same time and it gets on my mind more than usual. Perhaps it’s because the baby is starting to play with his feet… people begin to worry if I am stupid enough to have another baby.

 

I am not near as bold in person as I am on my blog. I have the same answer when people start to ask, “You are done right?…right?” or when they point their finger at me and say “Now you don’t need anymore. You’ve got two of each, be happy with what you’ve got!”

 

My answer and beliefs are so simple, yet baffle people. I simply say, “We will see what God gives us.” I am not trying to talk someone into a different level of pro-life. I am simply telling people we have no plan except God’s, and it drives people crazy. We are not in a cult, or part of a movement. We do not feel enslaved to the idea that we must have children. We are not trying to have as many children as possible. We do not put children up on a mighty pedestal or collect them as trophies.

 

My pro-life stance is this: Every life is precious in God’s eyes. For that reason I will fight for them and continually pray that I will see every life the way He does rather that be an unborn baby in the womb or the rude neighbor down the street.

 

I have no right to decide what life is worth saving and what life is not so I am simply giving it to God and praying for His heart and compassion on a daily basis.

 

What level would you categorize yourself?

 

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,

 

 

I Am Not Who I Used To Be

“I am redeemed, you set me free. So I’ll shake off these heavy chains, wipe away every stain. Cause I’m not who I used to be….I am redeemed.”

 

I sat before the Lord this morning so truly humbled and thankful He chose me. He redeemed me, and set me free. Ask any one. I am not who I used to be. The Lord has been in my heart as a little girl but I have never experienced true freedom until recent years.

 

I was the girl who rebelled any chance I got. I was the girl who wanted my voice heard above the others. I wanted my time and my space. I wanted my perfect house with perfect salaries to match.  I was the girl who wanted two kids dropped off at school by the bus so I could go do more important things. I was the girl who wanted to climb the clinical ladder as a nurse. I was the girl who thought she deserved Starbucks every morning. I was the girl who held on closely to my money to save. I was the girl who had to go out every one in awhile to drink and party in order remember what my life was like before kids. I was the girl who demanded a date night no matter the cost because I deserved to go out.

 

But then the Lord pulled me in…He has set me free from legalism, going with the norm, caring what others think, and has shown me the great things His power can do.

 

He changed me…

 

He set me free…

 

 

I am now the girl that longs to submit to the voice of God. I want to listen and speak only when it will be most effective. I want to give up my time and my perfect house in order to gain more of  Christ. I want as many arrows as the Lord will give us to sharpen then send out into the world. I am the girl who wants to walk by my children to teach them diligently the love of God. I don’t deserve Starbucks or any other luxury this world has to offer. I am the girl who is desperately praying for God to help me let go of the money He has given. I am the girl who doesn’t want to go back to life before husband and kids. I am not who I used to be.

 

Never in my life have I gone to bed more exhausted, yet so full of joy. He took away the heavy chains this world tried to bind me in. He wiped away every stain of my past.

 

He is waiting to do the same for you. There is no other way to truly live than to lose it.

Why I Would Love More Children…

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I understand that the concept of wanting more children baffles people. I can accept that some may think I am crazy. After all, most people only want something when it is easy and gives immediate satisfaction. – and yes I want those kind of things too…

 

The reasons I would love more children are so  much deeper than that. First and foremost, I feel it is my calling to have a big group of youngins. Not that any of it is easy, but there is a sense of peace when you feel like you are doing what you were created to do. I is kinda like finding your niche. Some days you may think, “Oh man I want a different niche!” But in the bottom of your soul you would never change a thing.

 

Secondly, I am a much better person today than I was before my first was born. Ya see, whatever God has called you to do, He will turn it around to glorify Him in some way. These children have tested my patience in more ways than I could have ever imagined, but through all that they have taught me perseverance, the power of self-control, and endless love.

 

Of course I have a list of purely “selfish” reasons why I would LOVE more children…

1. Newborn smell.

2.They entertain each other.

3. Lots of people to take care of us when we are old.

4. Always crazy stories to tell.

5. Lots of birthday celebrations.

6. Always someone to make you laugh.

7. Always a time you have to think “Help me jesus!” 🙂

8. Leftovers all get eaten.

9. More hands to clean the kitchen…Not quite helpful yet, but will be.

10. Always someone to cuddle.

 

So lets face it, that “selfish list” of wanting more children goes right on the window at the crazy moments of the day. If I am having children for my self fulfilment I will become frustrated very easy when MY needs aren’t being meant. The above list is all just a bonus to the calling. Some days we get the bonus others we don’t.

 

Here are my reasons of why I would LOVE more children from an eternal perspective…

1. It is apart of God’s original design.

2. More hands to help others in need.

3. More voices to spread God’s word.

4. A family legacy for generations.

5. A greater chance to impact the world.

6. More souls in heaven.

7. Eternal peace from doing God’s will in my life.

8. More feet to reach to the ends of the earth.

9. More ears to listen to the brokenhearted.

10. More hearts filled with the love of God.

 

So when asked if I want more children and I say “yes” it’s not because I’m really good at the whole momma thing or because I have angels for children or because I have the patience of Job. In fact, I get on to myself every single day for not being the momma I want to be, and often fuss at my kids because they aren’t behaving the way I want.

 

I would Love more because I strive to follow God’s will through the great days when my “selfish list” is getting fulfilled and even on the bad ones when I look around and think, “Yep  I’m crazy.”

 

The attitude of loving the thought of more children is about so much more than me. It is my impact on the world.  I am given the chance to fully invest in souls that can reach farther than I could have ever imagined. I believe big things can happen when you follow God’s voice and turn away from the world’s.

 

Subscribe and share your thoughts! I would love to hear from you!

 

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,

 

Easton’s Home Birth Story

There was extremely high anticipation for this day. This was to be not only my very first home birth but my very first unmedicated birth as well. I told very few people about our plan because this was a decision we had prayed about and felt confident in. We didn’t want to feel distracted by others opinions. This has been an experience I will never forget and as I look back to write on it I cringe at the thought of the pain, but I am once again in awe of how God made our bodies to work and all of His goodness and blessings to us.

 

Brace yourself this post may be long winded…just as my labor was.:)

 

Tuesday night I went to bed at 41 weeks and 3 days. This was the longest I had ever been pregnant. As the days went on I was becoming more anxious. To say I was excited when I awoke to contractions around 1 am would be an understatement. Through the excitement I tried to sleep longer. I awoke Tim around 2 am and told him I thought this was it. He popped up just as excited as I was and began to time a few contractions. They were not very painful but were 3-5 minutes apart. We decided to walk around downstairs and see if they became stronger. They stayed about the same so  I went ahead and gave my midwife the heads up. We then dozed on and off on the couch while watching some old “Friends” episodes my friend Michelle from work let me borrow:)

 

My midwife arrived around 6am and I was still pumped and ready to get the show on the road. Unfortunately, when she showed up my contractions grew further apart. She assured me this was normal and they would pick back up soon. My mom came around 7:30 to pick up the other kiddos who were very excited. I told them that baby Easton would see them that  afternoon. Little did I know the long day and night ahead of me! Once the kids got out the door Tim and I went on a walk to get labor going. That is an awesome memory of us walking hand hand knowing our baby was on the way.

 

Let me tell ya I was one determined girl! I power waked up hill through contractions, would get to the bottom, then do it again. When we got back home I climbed my stairs 10 times. I walked and walked and walked… Not knowing the long road I was in for I burned up a lot of precious energy.

 

Around 11 am we decided to rest for awhile through my contractions. At this point I am still waiting for things to pick up. I remember telling them that I was ready for the intensity! (Oh my I was stupid). I knew the harder it got, the closer I was to the end and seeing my baby. We continued to walk, watch TV, laugh, and snack. Quite fun actually…

 

I was still feeling so great I was wondering if I had made any progress at all. She checked me and I was 6 cm! I was so excited to hear that! Hear I was no epidural, and was a 6! Glad I didn’t know how much loner I had! I had been warned that knowing how many centimeters you were could fool ya.

 

Around 3:45 contractions were getting more painful but still very tolerable. We decided to run a few errands close to home. What??? This made me love home birth! The freedom was amazing! So away we went. We picked up Tim’s lawn mower blades at the local shop, went to a little diner, then to DAIRY QUEEN for ice cream! Oh yeah! Once we left there I was ready to get home because I couldn’t fake it thought the contractions anymore. (People were starting to stare) I was scared someone might call 911, and I wasn’t about to get in any ambulance!

 

When we got back we went on yet another walk. They are still 5 minutes apart but are definitely getting stronger. I keep wondering when the intensity would come. I was starting to grow impatient. I assumed my baby wold have been there by then.

 

From 9 pm to about 5:30am I labored. I tried to sleep only to awaken to the jolt of a strong contraction. I walked, squatted, got in every position possible to work the baby down. Contractions were very painful at this point and I was doubting my body and wondered if it would ever turn the corner. I was deeply frustrated and knew very soon the sun would be up again.

 

The Breaking Point

 

Around 5 am I made up my mind. Enough is enough! This baby is never coming, I am exhausted, I am in agony, I am going to the hospital! I’ll drive myself! I told Tim to grab my contacts case and glasses and meet me downstairs. I was NOT having another contraction in this house…well that didn’t last long.

 

I confronted my midwives. They were sooo understanding as I have now been up for well over 24 hours. They talked me into letting them check me again before I made the decision. I reluctantly agreed with Tim’s support. To my surprise I was at a 10 with no urge to push! There is no telling how long I had been that way. We are now assuming that he is in a funny position and that is the reason I have had no urge to push.

 

This is the part that pains me to type. I pushed for 4 more hours. His positioning was not helping all of my efforts.

 

Finally, with the strength of only God and my husband I pushed out an amazing human being who came out face up, looking at the world, and screaming. The world stopped. My heart became flooded with a sacrificial love that nothing can compare. Tim who was behind me had tears streaming down his cheeks. We did it! I will never forget that moment. Even typing this out and remembering every detail of pain 4 days later I can say it was so worth it.  I am so thankful to everyone for their support, prayers, and encouragement as Tim and I set off on this journey of the unknown of natural home births.

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Of course I can’t write about all of this without a section being contributed to my husband and what this experience has done for our marriage. His strong support through my most painful memories and fears is the most amazing thing I have ever felt. I can’t really even put into words the new-found respect  we have for each other and for life. It truly is a beautiful thing. It is amazing how God orchestrated childbirth to give you all of the different emotions wrapped up in one life changing experience.

 

God is good!

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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,

 

Against The Grain (Pharmaceuticals)

Hey everyone! I have the privilege of guest posting at my friend Kara’s blog today called Lifesanity where I am talking about taking our families health back into our own hands through my recent discovery of Essential Oils.

 

Join me over at Lifesanity to see how and why I jumped over the fence from conventional medicine to the basics of essential oils. These oils are amazing!

 

Here is an excerpt:

On the other side of the fence the grass is pretty darn green. Medical training is only good for the understanding of how our bodies work. Natural herbs and essential oils that have been practiced for centuries are abundant and CURE. The thought of popping another Tylenol 4 hours later repulses me, and nope the doctor doesn’t know best. -There I said it! *Disclaimer* Before any one knocks me over the head, there are times when medical intervention is necessary. Unfortunately, it has been abused for far too long. Our bodies are paying the price.

 

Here are my other post in my “Against The Grain” series.

Against The Grain (Birth Control)

Against The Grain (Debt)

Against The Grain (Feminism)

Against The Grain (Industrialized Food System)

 

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Against The Grain (Debt)

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Photo Courtesy of Stuart Miles/ Free Digital Photos

 

This post is intended to be an encouragement for people to get out of debt along with our story that has led us to seek this lifestyle so passionately. None of this is to brag, but is to show how with God’s help you too can go against the grain and be weird…be debt free.

 

When we were first married neither of us had any debt to our name. We were only 18, neither of us owned anything. Before we said, “I do,” the only things we paid for was our gas, food that we ate out, and other things we wanted (Not needed). When my husband was 16 his dad purchased him an old car and my parents did the same. When we got married we added on a rent payment of 600 a month for our one bedroom apartment plus all of our food, groceries, and utilities. I was just starting nursing school and working part-time while my husband was working for the city utilities department at the time. Our total income was around 18,000 a year! We have never been the kind of people who just blow money for fear we would end up like a lot of people around us. I can remember sitting at our little kitchen table debating on if we should use our coupon that night to go out to dinner or wait for a special occasion. It was a big jump for two eighteen year olds who had  only lived with their parents, but we were determined to make it work.

 

Fast Forward 3 years later…

We bought our first home about an hour away from family since it was cheaper for 85,000. Our payments increased to 660 a month. Not too much of a jump from our rental, plus we had our privacy. It was the cutest little house on an acre you would ever see. My husband now works at the fire department with a slight increase in pay and I finally graduated nursing school. We paid my way through school using grants and by using money we saved up while we were in high school. The  month I graduated was the month we literally had zero in our savings account. It was the perfect amount to get me through my education. Praise God!

 

Once I graduated our money coming in doubled. Like most people who have a big jump in their money we yelled, “We are rich, we are rich!”  We went and bought a bunch of stuff we had felt deprived of and added to our monthly payments. Then, like most people, we started saying, “Crap, we are broke!” Ironic how easily that happens! We went and bought me a (new to us, but used) car racking up 15,000 in debt. We bought my husband a truck racking up another 10,000 in debt. We then took out a loan for some family members for a total of another 9,000 in debt. This simple life we used to have with half the money was gone. We now had accumulated over 30,000 in debt within the course of 6 months in the blink of an eye.

 

The crazy thing is that was all normal! It’s what you do. There were people congratulating us and giving us pats on the back. You upgrade, you buy cars, nicer dinners, nicer houses, better everything because we feel some type of entitlement or that we have earned it somehow. We end up only hurting ourselves and adding to stress in our lives. You can’t tell me satan isn’t behind all of this, and loves to sit back and watch it happen.

 

Thankfully, God showed up and gave us a wake up call.

We haven’t always done perfectly and we have many regrets on things we wish we had done differently, but we have made progress and now have a God-given vision that can’t be shaken.

 

I was about 6 months pregnant with our first child when my husband started talking to this guy at his fire station about money. The guy taught a financial peace course by Dave Ramsey. Neither one of us had ever heard of the guy so Tim began to ask question. It was all so simple and eye-opening at the same time. Knowledge that was all common sense that gets lost in our world of materialism. Every day he would tell me more about what he had learned. The man let us borrow his book that laid out the ground work for this simple yet effective plan to get out of debt and stay that way. We read everything we could, listened to his CD’s, and began to practice everything Dave Ramsey preached.

 

First step was to get 1,000 in our emergency fund. You would think that would have been simple, but with all of our bills we created it wasn’t easy. We were motivated beyond belief, we talked and breathed it, we discovered something new!! Dave Ramsey’s philosophy behind this is to have it there for  just in case stuff happens. It’s a given that things will break so just go ahead and be ready. Second step was to knock out our debts smallest to largest. Don’t worry about interest rates. His idea behind this is to get your momentum going. You want to start sledging a way at your debt iceberg as quickly and efficiently as possible. For us, this was the 9,000 we lent to some family. Wasn’t looking like we were going to get it back, so away we went. Instead of paying the minimum we took every single extra penny we could out of our budget and put it toward that debt. Before our baby girl was born we had it paid off. What a feeling!! Needless to say we were addicted:) We then took what we were paying on the family debt and put that on top of our minimum payments for the 10,000 truck. Our momentum was in full swing. Once that was paid off we worked on my car using the family debt payment, plus the old truck payment, and the minimum on my car all down every month. We flew through that debt quickly! The freedom that came the day we sent our last payment in was indescribable. We wanted to share our news with everyone and show them that they could do this too.

 

Not too long after…

baby number two was on the way. We decided we needed to move to be closer to family for our children. We then began to think like the rest of America again. We assumed I would always be working and that we would stay in our next house forever. We began to think a little to highly of ourselves and think we deserved bigger and better. Unfortunately, we took the world’s advice and went from our 85,000 dollar house to one for 185,000. Oh just typing that out makes me sick! We made some money off of our house and we were able to put down a decent down payment. We got a 15 year loan at an awesome interest rate and went from paying 660 to 1300! Our budget did allow for this, but remember I am still working a lot, and we went into another 100,0000 in debt by moving into this house. Don’t get me wrong, I love this house but little did we know all the ways God was going to speak to us. We didn’t know he was going to give us two more children with hopefully more. We didn’t know that He was going to want me to stay home and lose over half of my income. We must be ready for the opportunities God wants us to jump on.

 

Here we are today…

We have been able to remain debt free except the house, we put extra money in retirement, and have a little bit going into an account for the children, then whatever money is left we have been throwing at our mortgage. I have cut back on work significantly as my husband tries to pick up extra work any where he can to make the difference. We sacrifice a lot for the wants we have, but God has ALWAYS taken care of our needs.

 

I put all of this out there to say that I am fully aware that there are many people who have it a lot worse off than u,s and some who are better off than us. Whatever situation you find yourself in it’s never too late to go against the grain and get yourself out of debt. It’s not the way we were intended to live PERIOD.We all make financial mistakes, but when we commit our plan to God to live the way He wants possibilities will open to get out from under the debt slave feeling. It may not be easy and may not happen overnight but the point is to start. God will bless your efforts.

 

What’s your story? Tired of going with the norm and ready to break free and go against the grain with me? Subscribe and share!

 

Here are my other Going Against The Grain Series:

Going Against The Grain (Birth Control)

Going Against The Grain (Industrialized Food)

 

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, 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, Hope in Every Season, Jill’s Home remedies,  Our simple country Life, Raising Mighty Arrows, The Purposeful Mom, Happy and Blessed Home,  My Joy Filled Life. New Life Steward, Hometead simple, 

 

 

Circumstance and Conviction

Have you ever been praying and dreaming for something then get a whisper from the Lord that you’ve got it all wrong? I’m sure a lot haven’t. I have always felt that God plants dreams and ideas for a greater purpose and to lead us somewhere. The Lord spoke to my husband this past Wednesday night at church, we HAVE had it all wrong. When we got home that night he shared His God given, “Ah hah,” moment with me and it gave me great perspective.

 

Ever since we were in high school we dreamed of owning land someday, the simple way of life. This post is my heart for our country dream. We came very close this past August to purchasing  an old rundown 26 acre farm. Needless to say, due to many complications from the people buying our house the deal fell through. Looking back, the entire process wasn’t easy. We had many self doubts, were stressed beyond belief, and felt as though we wasted our summer away. From that point on we have been committed to praying that God would show us that piece of land or that property where He wants us (already having our own specifications in mind.) Let me clarify,  there is nothing wrong with praying for your dream and God’s leading. For us, we were forgetting to pray about all of the other amazing dreams God had placed on our heart.

 

So here comes my husbands, “Ah hah,” moment…Instead of praying for the perfect piece of property we should be praying that our circumstances will follow our convictions. Let me try to explain what I mean. Over the years God has given us many convictions, and has put before us a path we feel He is leading our family. It can be so easy to be tempted to push those convictions aside when you see a piece of property  that you have dreamed about. Instead, we want to pray that He will help us to keep our situation and circumstances true to all of the convictions He has shown us.

 

Some examples of our convictions are:

 

To be 100% out of debt.

For momma to stay home as much as possible raising our children and keeping our home. (I currently work 1 12 hour night shift a week at the hospital)

To joyfully accept all of the children God gives us.

To feed our family food in the most natural state as possible (raw milk, grass-fed meats, homegrown vegetables, etc…)

Home school are children.

Slow down and soak up God’s blessings.

To help others.

 

With all that being said, if we are always praying for the perfect piece of land then we are missing the point. The PLACE is not our answer or our dream. It’s following God’s will and staying true to the above convictions. I want to be wherever my circumstances will help me live out my convictions. God knows what is best and all we want is to follow Him.

 

Our new family prayer looks something like this. Lord Jesus, thank you for opening our eyes to the path you have set before our family. Please lead us in whatever direction you may have us go to stay true to what you have placed in our hearts. If that means staying in our current home we gladly accept it knowing that none of it is wasted time as long as we are living the way you have called us to.

 

How about y’all? Ever had an, “Ah hah,” moment from God that shifted your perspective to see the big picture? Share your thoughts!

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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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