I never anticipated this feeling.
I never prepared for these emotions.
I never thought it would be this hard.
My season of hard began when we decided to step out in faith, leave our home and families, and follow where the Lord was leading my husband...with our 4 boys (six years of age and under, including 6m old twins) in tow.
My season of hard continued after I realized how much I depended on the comforts of home, the help of my family, and the community I had built up over 30+ years.
My season of hard began to consume me.
I was drowning.
I was bringing destruction into my home...with my attitude...with my words.
It hurts to say it out loud, but it’s true.
At my core, I desire to be a women who brings joy into her home, who enjoys her children and points them to the Gospel, and who builds up her husband and continues to be united with Christ at the center of her marriage.
But, my mundane was blocking out all these desires.
The struggles of my everyday were leading my thoughts.
I was focused on the HARD.
I knew I needed the Lord to step in and change my heart.
And he lead me to Philippians 4:8...a verse He's lead me to many times before.
But this time...I saw the answer to my overwhelm clearly presented in His words...
"Finally brethren, whatever is TRUE, whatever is HONORABLE, whatever is RIGHT, whatever is PURE, whatever is LOVELY, whatever is ADMIRABLE, if there is anything of EXCELLENCE OR WORTHY OF PRAISE, dwell on these things."
I created this challenge from a place of great need.
I needed to change my perspective on the overwhelm I was feeling as a mother with young children, living in a new place, and surrounded with the needs of the everyday that had to be met, but maybe YOU need to change your perspective because a different kind of HARD is consuming you.
Maybe your health is in a state of decline.
Maybe a loved one has gone astray.
Maybe you have responsibilities and demands at work you feel are extremely difficult to meet.
Maybe this season of life has met you where you never pictured yourself being.
And maybe you're not walking in a hard place.
Maybe you're just tired of the everyday.
Maybe it's been a while since you've felt the presence of God in your life.
Maybe you just need a change.
I encourage you to join me!
When we found out we were pregnant with TWINS, you couldn't shove enough information in front of me! (Read my WHOLE STORY HERE!)
I scouredPinterest and Googled EVERYTHING twin!
At first, I felt like I was in my own universe, having to navigate a world I knew NOTHING about, and even though I had a 4 and a 2 year old already, I felt like I was pregnant for the FIRST TIME again!
It wasn't until we made the announcement to friends and family that we were expecting twins that OTHER TWIN MOMS started coming out of the woodwork! Especially within our home church.
Within several months after learning the news of our twins, I felt as though I had a pretty decent network of moms who I could draw from for support and ask all my crazy questions to!
When I was carrying my twins, I just couldn't fathom what life was going to look like those first few months AFTER delivery (let alone what delivery would be like...but that's a post for another day!).
How was I going to nurse twins?
How was I going to get ANY SLEEP?
How would I have time for my older boys?
How would I be able to keep up with housework?
How was I going to grocery shop let alone cook?
If you are finding yourself with the head spinning news that you are expecting twins, I hope these tips that I pulled from my twin mommy friends, along with a few I threw in, is as helpful for you as it was for me in mentally & physically preparing for life with your new bundles of joy!!
(This post contains affiliate links)
I will never forget the scene.
I walked into another twin momma's home...desperate for tips...but also desperate for a good deal on a twin nursing pillow.
Our 5 littles played while we managed to try and have an adult conversation.
As much as I wanted to listen to her advice, I was SO DISTRACTED....
Lining every wall of their playroom was TWO OF EVERYTHING, and along one wall were plastic tubs stacked to the ceiling!
I couldn't believe my eyes. SO. MUCH. STUFF.
I decided in that exact moment that I would do everything in my power to NOT aquire TWO OF EVERYTHING just because I was having twins.
I'm no minimilist by any means, but I also can't handle chaos and disorder, and I could only imagine adding two more of everything to the everything else that we already had from our older two would be the end of my sanity.
PLUS, NOT buying TWO MORE OF EVERYTHING would help cut down the costs heading into this new life with 4 kids.
As we journey this life of DOUBLE JOYS, DOUBLE TROUBLE, and DOUBLE LOVE, I am striving to keep the STUFF (and the chaos) at a minimum...
This post contains affiliate links. Read more about what that means, here.
I'll never forget the sight I saw at 20 weeks into my first pregnancy.
As we settled into our "anatomy scan" appointment, laying there draped with paper and anticipation of what our future would behold, I couldn't help but WANT A BOY first.
Being the oldest of 4, and the ONLY GIRL in our family, I had always dreamed of what it would be like to have an OLDER brother.
I even went as far as to wish I had a twin brother!
Something about having a protector. Someone who would always be looking out for me.
My husband shared my desire for a BOY FIRST.
Being the youngest of 3 and ONLY BOY, he was fully hoping for a boy to start off the lineup in our home.
So, as we sat there awaiting that magic wand to wave over that perfect "spot"...BOY was on our mind!
Without hesitation, question, or pause....our hopes were revealed with a VERY OBVIOUS view of our son in all his "glory"!!
Little did we know that we would sit in that exact same place FOUR MORE TIMES and see that "glory shot" EACH AND EVERY TIME!!!
FIVE BOYS is sometimes hard to swallow as we look ahead at the road the Lord has prepared for us, but we know that he has placed each one of these boys into our care for a reason.
HOWEVER, it is NOT EASY.
IN FACT, it can make you feel a little CRAZY (let's be honest...A LOT CRAZY most days)
As a "boy mom", I have had to come to the conclusion that..
And so, I began to equip myself with wisdom from others who have been there and survived!
And it didn't hurt to realize I wasn't along in this Boy Mom journey...
These 4 Books helped me see my world as a little less crazy...and a little more normal.
(This post contains affiliate links.)
"Is this a good cry or a bad cry?" my ultrasound tech carefully asked me, moments after delivering the news that she was seeing TWO babies on the screen.
"A good cry," I responded, totally in awe that I was carrying TWINS.
This was my 3rd time around going in for the initial 8 week ultrasound. I had a 4 and a 1.5 year old at home, and my husband decided to just stay behind and watch them, so going to my appointment alone was a welcomed little get away.
Weeks before, we had met with our midwives, but unsure of exactly how far along in my pregnancy I was, they suggested having an ultrasound done just to be sure.
So, here I was 11ish weeks pregnant, excitedly waiting to see that little peanut on the screen.
Seconds after placing that wand on my belly, I was kinda shocked at how much bigger that little peanut was that I had seen in my other 2 pregnancy's.
Helping Our Sons Overcome the Battles in Their Hearts: My Guest Post for the "Raising Godly Boys" Series
I have been honored and blessed to be a part of the Raising Godly Boys Series over at Intentional In Life Blog.
Every day this month, moms of boys have been sharing their insights, wisdom, prayers, and struggles as they have walked the path of raising their boys to become godly men.
Since the Lord has given me the official platform of "BOY MOM," giving me and my husband the hefty role of raising 5 boys in a world that wants the opposite for them than we do, we are grasping at every resource and opportunity to join forces with others walking this line to raise godly men and godly leaders...both in their homes and in the world around them.
Many moons ago, I was a substitute teacher.
It was a great gig during my single/newly dating (my now husband) phase of life.
I could pick and choose the jobs I would accept, and if it didn't work out, I wasn't obligated to return the next day.
An art position opened up one day, and I quickly jumped on it, even though the school was pretty far from my house...this one sounded interesting.
After showing up for what I thought was a "day" job, I later realized, the art teacher needed someone to cover for her for several months!
And the best part, I was able to create and implement my own curriculum (within certain guidelines of course).
My idea: Art Journals.
Each week, we'd study the artist, talk about one of their famous pieces of artwork, and then, in our own way, recreate our own version of the original.
Georgia O'Keeffe was one of our journal entries. I had been introduced to her artwork from a family I had nannied for and I just loved her viewpoint on taking a close up of flowers, and focusing on the details.
So, when education.com contacted me to see if I'd be interested in featuring one of their activities for kids...I was ELATED to see that Georgia O'Keeffe was their focus!
I have used activities from education.com for YEARS for my oldest son, as we explored homeschooling and educational summer activities, and I'm thrilled to be able to feature one of their activities here:
Its seems as though, no matter who you talk to, regardless of time of year, or season of life, everyone is going through a season of transition.
Whether you are transitioning from 1 to multiple children or becoming empty nesters,
transitioning to having your kids home to now going to school,
transitioning to a new job or choosing to stay at home with your kids,
transitioning to a new season of health issues or trying to start a new healthy path,
or transitioning to a new home or new place or just remolding your current one...
Transitions are happening all the time.
I've shared about the big decision we made this year to move our family to Boone, NC from my home, Jacksonville, FL.
Over this past year, we were in a season of transitioning from 2 to 4 boys, having our oldest start Kindergarten and homeschooling him part time, my husband learning a new job that comes with some travel, learning a new city, finding a new church home, AND remodeling our house.
And just recently, we were SURPRISED to find out we were expecting BABY BOY #5!!!
Talk about UNEXPECTED transitions!!!
Before the chaos of our move,
Before the moving truck arrive to load up the only life we knew,
We found ourselves in a season of surviving.
Just trying to make it to the end of another day.
But we soon realized, we can't live in that season for too long.
We needed to look around at or circumstances, meet the Lord where He had us, and learn to THRIVE in the midst of these big transitions we were living in.
Since I can remember, all I've ever wanted to be was a wife and a mom.
It took a little longer than MY TIMELINE had mapped out, but in those years of singleness, the Lord was building up the man that He had in store for me.
Now, almost 10 years later, this man has walked hand in hand with me through everything life has thrown our way...
through the trials that challenged and strengthened our faith,
through loss that brought more tears than I knew I could shed,
through joys that allowed us to truly celebrate life,
through decisions that ultimately taught us rely on each other and the Lord,
and everything "mundane" in between.
This guy has my heart for as long as the Lord has us here on earth.
And I couldn't think of another person better suited to lead me and our 4 boys.
HOWEVER, somewhere along the way, the mundane things of our life slowly began to take up all the space in my mind that my husband used to occupy.
The dirty diapers, the piles of dishes and laundry, the grocery list, the screaming baby, the routines...they all seemed to win my attention and we went into survival mode!
Just a year into our parenthood journey, I found myself feeling like I was just working by my husbands side...trying to make it to the end of our day with the end goal of keeping our son alive and happy until bedtime.
Our son and our newly found "survival mode" kept me from taking the time to focus on all those things I once held dear about my husband.
Yes, we were side by side, but not always hand in hand.
I needed to refocus my thoughts on my husband.
I needed to see him as "Husband" and not JUST "helper".
My love language is gifts.
Not expensive ones. Not ones that take a lot of time and effort. Just thoughtful, simple, heartwarming gifts are where I feel loved the most.
A card, a bar of chocolate, a cup of coffee, a care package...just little gestures that ensure my heart that I matter to others. That I'm worth someones time. That's where it really gets me.
And you know what? My God knows that about me. He created me that way.
And He speaks to my heart in that way...IF I am willing to open my eyes and see the gifts He has so thoughtfully given.
Welcome to Dwelling Well Mom! I'm so glad you are here! I'm Christi, wife, mom of boys, Christ follower, picture taker, DIYer, chocolate eater, and coffee drinker. Born and raised a Florida girl, now braving the mountains of Boone, NC, I'm on a journey to find peace in the midst of my mundane. Join me!