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!
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.
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.
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.
No one told me the harsh truth of becoming a new mom.
No one warned me how many tears would be shed those first few months, turn years.
No one gave me the heads up that at times, I would feel like the most selfish, incapable parent on the planet.
No one thought to mention that the one thing that I'd hoped for all my life would actually make me feel like a crazy person.
No one wants to bash the hopes and dreams of a mom to be.
No one wants to talk about how motherhood can bring out certain sin struggles that we never knew existed.
No one really wants to be the bearer of bad news.
So, I learned the hard way...
Several years ago, I was asked to share my testimony at a women's gathering at church. The topic was "Loving Your Husband," and as I read back through my words recently, I realized that they are still true to our marriage today. And if I dare to guess, I think they will always be true.
Loving our spouse is intentional, it is work, and it is WORTH IT!!
Our first snow. Its beauty almost took our breath away. As I snuck away early in the morning, before the perfect blanket of powder was compromised by tire marks, snow boots, sledding runs, and the sun's rays that would surely melt away the big pillows resting on the tree branches, I was struck by how incredibly quiet it was. The snow not only brought beauty but complete silence and stillness. It caused everything to pause.
This Florida girl was so giddy as the snow began to fall the day before. We couldn't get our phones out fast enough to document what we had NEVER experienced and share with friends and family. With inflatable pools and boogie boards, these Floridians braved the 8 inches of fun and soaked up as many hours as we could out in the snow. And then, days later, it was gone. And we missed it.
Rewind to about 6 years ago. I was a few weeks shy of my due date with my first born son. The anticipation was mounting, my to-do list was getting smaller (probably the last time that happened), and my husband and I were nothing but excited (okay, well, maybe I was a little anxious about my "plans" to birth naturally).
If you would have asked me then, what kind of mom I was going to be, I guarantee I would have said I was going to be the mom who never yelled, who never spanked out of anger or frustration, who would always put my child's needs ahead of my own, and would love every moment of every day at home with my kids (its okay to roll your eyes).
And then, I became a mom.
"whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things." Phil 4:8
"When my days are gripped with doubt, and your truth keeps slipping away, God I know you are for me, but it's so hard to trust in this pain"
Does this describe your heart this morning? Are you in a place where doubt has grabbed hold of your thoughts? I plead with you to listen to this song and allow it to minister to your heart.
"For those who are weary: May this song be an encouragement that our Father is always present, always working, and always loves us. Even in the hard, He is holding us and offers unending grace. We can either choose to live in fear or choose to trust Him and rest in Him." -Written by Matt Collins (who Ryan and I had the pleasure of serving with in the worship ministry at our church, Christian Family Chapel, in Jacksonville, FL)
When I first heard this song, it took me immediately back to the place I was almost a year ago, as we were in the midst of making a BIG DECISION. It was the hardest decision I've ever had to make, but I chose to TRUST Him, and continue to choose, daily, that He knows what's best.
“Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.”
Psalm 139: 7, 9-10
"In Your words sweetly spoken over me in a Father's embrace, I can rest here unafraid"
Throwing "Easy" and "Comfortable" Out the Window : 5 Questions We Asked Before Making A BIG Decision
Decisions are impossible to avoid. Immediately upon opening your eyes in the morning, they begin.
Simple decisions like how many times to hit the snooze button (if you still have that luxury...kids don't have a snooze button...I checked), what to wear and eat for breakfast, and as the day goes on, more come; respond to that text, answer that call, take advantage of that awesome online deal (I need this, right??)...they just keep coming.
Then there are the decisions that should be easy, but aren't, because you're indecisive, and you just want someone else to make the decision for you (that's me).
And sometimes, out of no where, a big decision presents itself and you not only have to make that decision, but you also have to decide what to dwell on in the midst of it.
The weight on our hearts can be great, and the pressure can be high on our family, but if we decide to respond and rest in the truth of the Bible, & ask the right questions...
"WHO can give us wise counsel?
WHAT could God could do in our lives if we follow?
WHEN is it the "right time"?
WHERE is God leading?
WHY is He asking us to do this?"
...we will come out on the other side with a story that can be glorifying to the Lord.
The following is our story...and it's still in the making...
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!