Well another wonderful FALL week has gone by. This is my favorite time of year. I enjoy the bold colors of this season. I love the falling leaves, though I don’t love the look of the bare trees once all the leaves have fallen. But it is part of the ebb and flow of the seasons. I love how the fall grass greens back up from the gentle rains after becoming dormant from late summer heat and dryness. If only it would last!
I am so loving this Fall weather too. We have had mostly mild temperatures so far this fall, though I know cold weather is on its way even as soon as this coming week. I am not looking forward to winter this year. If memory serves me right, we will get very cold nights, freezing rains, and the temperatures will freeze at night and thaw out during the day, and sometimes even black ice (frozen ice that sticks to the black top roads) on the roads from the end of October, off and on through November until mid December when the ground freezes for good, and snow and ice start sticking around with no hope of thawing back out until spring. I want to enjoy the Fall weather, even for however brief time it lasts.
Where am I at on the Change 3 Challenge?
Here is a recap of the 3 goals I am working on for 30 days, and I am linked up with other moms at Adventures in Mindful Cooking for the challenge.
Read my bible daily, and if possible do it first thing in the morning. I would like to start each and every day with scripture, songs of praise, and prayer.
Drink more water. I want to hydrate my body with water and flush out toxins.
Play a game or some physical activity outside for a few minutes everyday with my kids.
My progress update:
It is hard to work on goals when your life is stressed. My life is stressful right now and I am struggling. I feel like my life is like the grass that went dormant during the long, hot, dry, summer, and there has been no rain yet to refresh it.
With all that I have going on, working on my goals for this month just doesn’t’t make sense some days… so how can I get on here and encourage you all to work on your goals and provide support for you? I don’t even feel I can explain my situation adequately for you to understand. Somedays I just feel like giving up.
But then I think about the “WHY”. Why do I write? I am writing to share my story and hopeful that by telling my story on here, you will be encouraged and blessed in someway. I am determined not to give up, no matter how I may feel. Perhaps I will find more strength as I share my struggles with you.
So here it goes: I am stressed because of a lack of finances to meet our needs. A few months ago, my husband left his job in NC to come to IN to help a friend in his business. His friend asked him to be partners and split the work and profits. My husband worked really hard for his friend. He did notice that things were not going like the friend had previously told them they would be, but thought in time it would become what the men had discussed. After a few months, my husband moved the children and me here too.
Though the house he moved us to is very old, and needs a lot of work, it was what we could afford. So I accepted this place as home, and dream of someday making it a viable home place, Lord willing. The children and I have spent nearly everyday in the yard since we moved here. We were adjusting and starting to really like living here, when the partnership between the men dissolved and left my husband with no job or tools. He could never have foreseen his friend changing like this. This was very hurtful, as my husband loved his friend like a brother. It has been devastating to us because we had just rearranged our whole entire life and moved across the country to accommodate their partnership which now is no more. We were just getting by when we lived in NC. Now with no job, we are falling quickly behind.
There are no beautiful colors and rays of hope to enjoy as the Fall days go by without a return call for a job, or an income, and we have so many unmet needs. I am truly struggling with this right now. My husband has been out of work for a couple of months and we have no finances left. I don’t have anyone to turn to for help. I reached out to a few extended family members, and their responses were not infavor of our lifestyle of homeschooling our children and me staying home to raise our six kids. I will share more about this in my progress on my goals below.
I know God must have a reason for allowing this to happen and will grow us stronger in some way. But it has truly been a difficult journey. My husband has tried hard to find work and a new source of income. He is very smart, and able to manage several huge construction projects at a time. But week after week, nothing has opened up for him. The local economy here in Central Indiana area cannot support his level of skills and the work he is used to. He is devastated, and the kids and I are devastated too. There is no money to pay any bills, or even buy groceries, or birthday gifts. How do you tell your child, you cannot buy them a gift for their birthday? It is heart breaking. Bills are due on everything we have. Yet there is no money to pay for any of it. There is no money to move on if we are forced to move either.
So here is my update for the 3 goals I am working on this month, though it has not been easy to focus on these with all I have going on. Have I been diligent? To the extent that I could, I did my best. But I felt like a heavy boulder is on my shoulders and there have been days that I honestly could not see my goals in front of me, let alone see a way to reach my goals. Thankfully, God’s mercies are new every morning and each day I can start fresh with renewed strength in the Lord.
Progress On Goal #1
I did better this week reading my bible early in the day, and daddy joined us too several days this week. I meditated a lot on Psalms 23 – 25 this week. It really spoke to my heart, that God would pro
vide for our needs, and that he would take care of those in our life who are mockers and who don’t support us. This meant a lot to me.
Being a Homeschool mom, or a stay at home mom, is not a popular choice in our American culture. It is not popular with extended family either. Perhaps you have ran into this situation in your decision to homeschool too. It is a devastating feeling. I really didn’t have to face this earlier in my homeschooling years too much, because I really didn’t talk with extended family too much other than family reunions and holidays. But this past week, it was very clear that extended family don’t value my place in the home or my decision to teach my children.
We are struggling in our finances, and this past week I reached out to family to ask for help. Instead of receiving the help I need (rent, electric, phone, insurance, auto, food, gas), I received SCORN. I was told it was “tough love”. But that is not what I would call it. Tough love is what you share with someone when they are doing wrong. I don’t drink, smoke, do drugs, steal, abuse, etc. I don’t need tough love. I need financial help. But instead they scorned me and told me to put the kids into public school and go get a job. They have told me it is not their burden to bare to help me in my time of need. Instead, they have told me to go get public assistance or find a church to help me while I look for a job. They also told us not to have more children. They never expressed concern that I could end up homeless with six children. They never expressed a desire for God’s will in my life. They never expressed real love.
It has been heartbreaking to learn the extent that they don’t value me or my faith or my beliefs. I did not expect their scorn when I reached out for help. I truly believe families should help each other and support each other, and not with conditions or judgements. I don’t understand why this has occurred. I have always been a giver. I give everywhere and everyway I can and never withhold helping anyone. But I am being treated completely the opposite. Extended family point to me as a failure as a mother for choosing to homeschool instead of working outside the home. I am shocked at their definition of a bad mother. (bad mother = stay at home mother). One family member has reiterated several times over the past week or so that my duty is to place the children in public school, move to the city, and expose my children to all faiths and walks of life, and for me to go out into the world, and get a job and use my college degree. They were serious when they said there are people in society who need my skills, and made it very clear they don’t think my children need my skills, but instead they could be looked after in public school and by a babysitter. I was also told to stop nursing my baby, and wean him. They say that I am letting my children down by choosing to homeschool them myself, that they will miss out on life and having an open mind from living on a farm in the country and being homeschooled. They said all of this even though they know we go to church, the kids have been in 4H clubs, shown animals in the fair, community groups, lots of activities, and homeschool groups so the kids are around other kids and families several times a week. We have six wonderful kids who are social, smart, loving, and well behaved. Everywhere we go, we recieve compliments about our children. They are beautiful outgoing kids. They are not deprived of anything. Unless they go to public school and I go to work, then they would become deprived of my time and attention.
They also say we are at fault for our financial situation because we choose to raise our family while living on one income when “both parents” have a “duty to work outside the home”. But they said, there is nothing wrong with my husband staying home with the kids for a while if there are no jobs openings, and me “the mom” go to work. Jobs that were suggested to me would barely make minimum wage too. How in the world could I support a family of 8 people on a job that makes minimum wage?
My husband and I totally disagree with this point of view. It is our choice for me to stay home and raise our children while dad works and earns a living. We looked at the “money factor” long ago, and it was less expensive for me to care for my own children, than to hire someone else to do it. Also I have nursed all six children while they were babies. It would have been costly to provide formula for them instead of nursing them, medical care for weaker immune systems because they were not nursed, and afford a baby sitter to care for their needs. My income would not have offset the costs. It has been an emotional blow to know the people you hold dear are the very ones who can hurt you the most if you believe and live differently from their lifestyle.
If you have experienced this kind of persecution and scorn from your family and friends because you choose to sacrifice a second income, stay at home and raise your kids and homeschool, I am sorry. I know your pain. I am sorry for how you have been treated. May God give you the strength to forgive, and to push forward to do what you believe is right and do it well, no matter how unpopular your decision may be with others.
The bible talks about circumstances similar to this and one event even involved Jesus. Even Jesus was hurt by family and friends in the town he grew up in. He could not work miracles in his own hometown because everyone knew him when he was growing up. They expected him to work as a carpenter. They expected him to act like the rest of society and not be different. They mocked his vision and his beliefs and said “he is just the carpenter’s son”. They didn’t see who he really was or what he did or could do. Their limitations they placed on him were so strong, that he could not work miracles there in his hometown and bless them and he had to move on. I guess if the people who knew Jesus and had watched him grow up, can reject him, then I can accept people who reject me even though I thought they would be my biggest supporters.
This pressure in regards to our finances, and lack of acceptance and emotional support from extended family, has propelled me and my family to read more of the bible and draw even closer to God. The bible has what we need. So I am searching to find answers to our situation, and to find strength and peace in the midst of the storm. It has been a tough week, but my faith is stronger.
Progress On Goal #2
I am still trying to make this a good habit. This will be an ongoing challenge for me. I have a lifetime habit of not drinking enough water. So I have not reached this goal yet. I can’t seem to get beyond the 4th cup and sometimes the 5th cup of the day. I just don’t want anymore water. How can I drink my goal of a gallon? I don’t know. I will keep working on this for this week. I want to make some quart jars of water and have them ready ahead of time. I did not implement this task last week. Instead I just filled a glass when I thought about it. But I think if I had 4 quart jars filled with water and ready to drink, it would help me reach this goal.
Progress On Goal #3
We have had a good week of activities with the children, though due to rain, we have had a mixture of some days inside and some days outside. We have had a family fitness goal this year, and I have been working on loosing weight and trying to be he
althier. It has had its yo yo moments. Playing physical type games outside helps me burn calories, have more energy, and helps to enrich my relationships with my kids. Playing games inside doesn’t do much for my weight loss goals, but is still very positive and does allot in building up my kids.
Though we are at home most of the week, as we have limited gas in the vehicle to do much, we did manage to go a couple of places too that helped with my goal of playing with the kids. We went to the homeschool coop on Friday, and to church and the local park on Sunday.
Playing in the yard has been a lot of fun in the cooler weather. Though we haven’t started wearing coats yet, it is getting to the point on some days that I am too cold without one. I love to be outside with the kids. My husband enjoys playing outside with the kids too. This week we played ball and tag on a couple mornings to get the wiggles out and take a break from our school work. In the evening, a couple of the boys have walked the back field with daddy too. They have seen deer, turkey, birds, squirrels, and smelled a skunk too. I was really glad they didn’t run int to the skunk. They have seen lots of animal trails, tracks, and poop too. This has been a great time of bonding for daddy and the older boys this week.
We attended the local homeschool coop for art class, creative writing, and games. This was a great way to learn some valuable skills and meet up with friends.
Some folks were absent due to illness (about five or six families were missing), but there was still a nice size group to spend time with. There were 10 older kids, 7 younger kids, and 6 adults at the coop. We enjoyed spending time with them and learning together. I hope to post a story about the art class soon and tell you more. After the classes were over, the kids played tag, and also tossed large balls in the gym with one of the teachers.
We really enjoyed our day together Sunday. We got up early, made breakfast, and headed to church. We have been attending two local churches, one on Sunday for fellowship and praise and worship, and a different one on Wednesday nights for their kid’s ministry. We would like to find a small group bible study for closer fellowship with other believers too. We need these three things right now in our life. I wish it wasn’t in three different places. But right now I can’t seem to find a local place that has all three that meet our needs, so that seems to be the way it is for now.
After church we made a picnic lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and spent the rest of the afternoon at the Hagerstown Park. It was a beautiful day to be outside together. We took a nature hike to see the fall trees and discover what was growing or dying in the park.
Besides the leaves dying, and many already brown and crunchy leaves on the ground, there were pine cones, pine needles, acorns, walnuts, maple seeds, mushrooms, birds, squirrels, insects, and so many more fun things to observe. There is a very large man made bear carved out of a tree trunk from a tree that had died and the kids thought that was really special.
The Hagerstown Park has so much to offer the community. It has two great modern playgrounds, basket ball court, baseball fields, picnic shelters, a rolling landscape with lots of mature trees, a paved path for walking, a paved parking lot, bathrooms, an old fashioned mary-go-round, and a supper duper tall swirly slide, and more. It is a wonderful family friendly place.
I hope next week is a better week for me and my family and for you and your family too. I hope you are doing well in your walk with the Lord, and working on your goals too. Even when life is stressful, we still need to take care of ourselves. Mom’s are important and we do have value to our children and spouses. Our culture may not value stay at home mom’s, but I can guarantee you are special to your spouse and your children, and most of all, you are special in the eyes of God.
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Check out the progress other moms are having on the Change 3 Challenge. This post will also be linked up with Raising Homemakers and Sharing Time.