Morning Coffee With The Peaceful Nest. What Does God Say About Peace?

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Good Morning! I hope you all are doing well. Welcome to a new segment I am doing called Morning Coffee With The Peaceful Nest, where I bring to you short thoughts, musings, and devotions. I wanted to start off with peace, since my blog is about finding peace in the chaos of everyday life, why not start with there?

Today I want to talk about what God says about peace. Webster’s Dictionary states peace as a state of tranquility or quiet and freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions.

I don’t know about you but having a state of tranquility with freedom from oppressive thoughts or emotions sound pretty good to me! It actually sounds too good to be true though, doesn’t it? Mothers can’t have peace. There is too much to do, to many activities on our plate. We need to make sure our kids are fed, bathed, rested, in every activity and getting along. We need to make sure our homes are spotless, our husbands are happy, and dinner is on the table. Many of us also hold outside jobs. There is just too much stress and no room for peace. No siree, peace is a distant dream, preserved only for those who are living on a tropical island, far from civilization. It can’t possibly be for me, I’m a mom. Oh but it is! Those are lies straight from the enemy, meant to trip us up and suck the joy out of our lives. The truth is, peace is to important not to try to maintain in ourselves, our homes and our family.

Today I wanted to take a look at what God says about peace.

2 Corinthians 13:11 says “Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”

This verse says so much in one sentence! First it tells us to live in peace with one another. It doesn’t say that everyone has the same opinions, morals and values, but it does say to live in peace with one another. It also tells us that when we do live in peace GOD will be with us. He is the God of peace. This right here tells me that peace is important, God is a God OF PEACE.

John 14:27 says “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

John 16:33 states “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Wow.

From these passages I have gathered four things God says about peace.

1. God is a God of peace.

2. God gives us his peace.

3. God wants us to live together in peace and harmony.

4. Even in tribulation we can have God’s peace.

It is right there. If God tells us in his scripture that he is a God of peace and he will give us his peace, then shouldn’t it stand to reason, peace is just that vital to our every day lives? Even when it is difficult. Even when you are facing tribulation, try to grab hold and hang on tight to God’s peace today. Trust me, it will be worth the effort!

I hope you have enjoyed my very first Coffee with The Peaceful Nest. Do not forget to join me tomorrow morning when I talk about how to have peace within ourselves.

Have a wonderful day!

Jenna Jury

 

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Their Lives Are Just As Important As Yours.

This past weekend we had our first adoption fundraiser garage sale. What a good success it was! So many people donated. My sweet girl ran her very first lemonade stand and sold cookies with it. She was exhausted. She promptly told me she was never doing a lemonade stand again. She had raised around $50 and I told her since she had worked so hard all day she could keep the money. She instead brought the money over to her mamaw and said “here I want my baby brother to come home.” Talk about hearts melting!

I really enjoyed myself this weekend, so many people were kind about our adoption. They asked wonderful questions and for the most part made positive comments. There was something that I noticed though, well actually it’s something I have always known, but it was brought back to the forefront of my mind this past weekend. Many people do not ask questions to listen and learn the actual intent or heart behind something. Most people ask questions as an opening for themselves to insert their own, usually unwanted, opinion.

Here’s the thing, I absolutely LOVE answering questions about our adoption and our precious boy. There’s not much more that brings me joy than talking about our children. However there are a few questions that I think are absolutely absurd and shouldn’t be asked. It just reinforces my opinion that many people lack empathy.

Empathy: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also : the capacity for this.

So many today lack empathy. It is evident by the many “internet trolls” that exist. When people lack empathy they believe they are warranted to ask stupid questions and make dumb statements about things that do not concern them. On the internet and in person. It’s pretty ridiculous to be honest.

So back to the questions I have been asked about our adoption. There are a few that I think are silly. There is one specific one so far that grinds me to my core though. It’s been asked to me a few times and I am sure it will be asked  in the future. It comes in many forms. The most common is the way I was asked this past weekend.

A nice enough older gentleman came to our garage sale. I actually recognized him by is very particular questions he asks. He has attended my last few garage sales. He bought something from me then he noticed it was an adoption fundraiser garage sale. “oh” was his reply. “well, can I ask you a personal question?” he jumped right in. Sure! I responded. I love questions about our adoption. “Couldn’t you find a baby to adopt from the US?” I am not sure why it left me flustered. This wasn’t the first time we have been asked this. Sometimes they say “Did you try US adoption first?”Why international, when there are so many children in the US that need homes?” But the way this man asked it, is the most common. It always leaves me flabbergasted. I really need to come up with an automatic response like “They wont’ let me adopt in the US because I’m a hardened criminal.” or “how many children have you adopted from the US?” yes, that one ( which my friend came up with) may be a little bit less extreme :). Anyway, after I pulled my jaw off the floor I said “our hearts are for the little boy in Vietnam.” To which he replied, “oh” and launched into a ten minute, one-sided, conversation about how his son and daughter in law wanted to adopt but it was so expensive etc. He barely stopped when he asked questions like “why is it so expensive?” etc. so I could respond. Which brings me back to my thought, a lot of people don’t ask questions to hear the answers and learn. They ask questions to insert their opinions. I had my answers ready,

there are legal fees involved, travel, paperwork, etc.

US adoptions, unless through foster care, are just as much.

how much does your car cost?

but he didn’t stop to listen to them. I just politely shook my head and said yea I know, so expensive. Then he was on his way.

The reason this question and encounter really grated my nerves was because right now our little boy is sitting in an orphanage. He is being taken care of but his needs can be met better here in America. Yes, there are children that need homes in America. but does that negate the beautiful and special souls who need homes that weren’t born in the US? People do not decide where they were born. Just because a child was born in the US does not make them more important or more relevant than those that need homes from overseas.

So to answer the man’s question; no, we did not find a child we wanted to adopt from the US. We found a child we want to adopt from the small country of Vietnam and we cannot wait until he is a part of our family. Because his life, is just as important as the lives of the children in America. His live is just as important as yours and as mine and as my daughters. We are privileged in America. That doesn’t mean our lives are more important. So instead of asking silly questions, maybe you can help the children in the US that need homes while we work on bringing our son home.

Until next time,

Jenna Jury

 

 

When I First Knew I Wanted to Adopt

My husband and I are in the middle of adopting a little boy from Vietnam. I am hoping soon we will have an update for all those who have been following our journey thus far! Until then I wanted to take some time and talk about the first time I knew I wanted to adopt.

My mom was adopted by her aunt and uncle when she was a baby. Well, she was officially adopted when she was six years old. She has told me the story of being in the court room and talking to the judge and then her aunt and uncle told her “you can call us mommy and daddy now.” However, they had her since she was a baby. Adoption has been a part of our family for a very long time. My mom took in my two cousins over five years ago. However, I did not know for sure that I truly wanted to adopt until I went to Belize for the first time in college, on a missions trip.

I had never been on a mission trip before. This was a first for me and I was unsure of what to expect. While we were in Belize, we cleaned a church, helped out at schools, visited a couple of churches, visited an orphanage and volunteered several other places. Each experience I gained a little something.

However, the one experience that touched me to my core was volunteering at one specific school . It was a one room school. Little children came from all around this area, to listen to the service. No adults were with them. I remember being told that many of them don’t have a specific place to live. They roam the streets, or live with aunts and uncles or friends. This experience reached into my soul. I had heard of children being home less before. I had never seen it though. I had never been where I could see the poverty that many people live in. I didn’t understand. Not until that minute, how privileged we were in America, how spoiled we were.

I was barely entering my 20’s. God smacked me in the head with this wake up call. These are my children too he whispered to me. You are supposed to take care of them. His church, the ones who love God, he calls us to take care of the orphans and widows. I understand not everyone can adopt. But you can do something. And you should. This experience left me with an ache in my heart. A burning desire to adopt. To do something. A desire to be who God has called me to be. We may not be able to do a lot. But we can do something. At the very least we can pray for the ones who decide to do something. Something small or something big.

The next time we want to complain about how long our food is taking in that fancy restaurant, we can stop and remember the little children who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. We can stop ourselves when want to to complain about the small house we’re living in, remembering that there are children who have no homes.

The other day our dishwasher broke, right after our dryer and our truck. I shook my head and told my husband “first world problems.” These aren’t really problems. These are inconveniences. Here in America we consider our small inconveniences to be a real problem. But having to hand wash your dishes, hang dry your laundry, or go with one vehicle, those are simply inconveniences not problems. Having to worry about where your next meal is coming from. Where you are going to sleep tonight. Not receiving enough love and affection. Having your needs unmet, and there being nothing you can do about it. Having to walk down the street worrying about whether someone was going to rape you or kill you. Those are actual problems. There are real people, real children, with real problems. My husband and I may not be able to do much, but we have decided to do something. My wake up call were those little children on the street of Belize.

Four Things Social Media Is Stealing From You.

My husband and I have some exciting events coming up within the next few months. We decided to take some time to fast and pray about what the Lord is doing in our lives and what he desires of us. When I started on my fasting journey, I felt as though I should also fast from social media. It wasn’t some big revelation. My child didn’t tell me I spent too much time on my phone, nothing major made me come to this conclusion. I just felt a small nudge in my spirit that this was necessary. So I did. I still am fasting a few times a week from social media (gotta love automation 🙂 ) However, during this fast, I came to realize something I already knew, social media steals so much from us. While good for a lot; business, staying connected, getting the word out quickly, there is so much that social media is not good for. In my own personal journey, after giving it up for a while, I found a few things that social media steals from me on a daily basis. These may ring true for the average person as well.

1. Social media steals our time.

I know I am not the only one. I sometimes get lost in my Facebook or Instagram feed. Looking into the lives of those I don’t even know, when suddenly it is past dinner time and I have no idea what I am going to feed my kids. Or I get so involved in what I am reading online, that I miss my child sitting on my lap, growing impatient, as she waits for me to read her favorite book. It’s easy. Social media steals our time if we let it. It steals our time with our spouses, our children, our parents and siblings. It steals our time with our friends. But wait! you say, I am more connected than ever. It is how I communicate with my friends and family. Yes, that is probably true. There is not a faster way, then sending out a quick post on Facebook or Twitter, to let people know what is going on in your life. But what about those around you? Your children? Your family? Your spouse? Don’t they deserve your time? Don’t they need it more than your phone or laptop? Is Facebook going to miss you that much if you skip being on it a few days a week? Or resist the urge to open the app every 15 minutes? Is what you see on Facebook more important than playing a game with your child, or having a meaningful conversation with your spouse? The answer is no. No it is not more important.

2. Social media steals our productivity.

I am guilty. I will sit down to grade papers, write my grocery list, or plan my home school week. It starts innocently, I get one notification on Facebook. I quickly open it up, it’ll only take a second I tell myself, and then I forget what I am doing. After checking the notification, I start scrolling. I keep scrolling. Then something I see will intrigue my interest, an article perhaps, I will read it. Then before I know it, it is one hour later and I haven’t gotten anything done that I needed to do. Out with my productivity went my motivation. Then it gets harder to actually get work done.  That is why I have found it so much easier to keep social media apps off my phone and to put my phone somewhere out of my reach, while I am working on something that needs my attention. I know that is not the way society is anymore. Everywhere you look, most everyone has a phone in their hand. Convenient yes, not always necessary or productive.

3. Social media steals our peace.

We are connected more now than ever before. Which means we have a lot of information coming to us. Information about what is going on in the world, what our friends are up to, what Jane Doe is doing across the country. While not necessarily a bad thing for us to know, it can be quit overwhelming. Social media makes it easy for us to check out of our own life and peer into someone elses’ for far to long. We may become jealous, comparing our lives to their lives. Or envious, bitter, annoyed. Forgetting what is truly important and also forgetting that some people embellish a little on social media or that we don’t know everything about another person’s life. We do not know what it has taken for them to get to where they are. Social media does a great job at stealing our peace if we allow it.

4. Social media steals our family.

I mentioned this earlier. As we  delve deeper into social media, it becomes easy to forget those that matter the most. Our family. If we don’t put up boundaries, it can become easy for a chasm to come between us and our spouse or children. They see what is most important to us. If we are constantly on our phones while our child is speaking to us, they may stop speaking to us all together, because they perceive that whatever you are looking at on your phone is more important than them. We know it’s not true, but do they?

Am I saying that we should get rid of all of our accounts and live like generations before us? No. I am not saying that at all, though I sometimes think life would be less stressful for some people if social media didn’t exist. The reality is that many of us, myself included, need social media for our businesses and our livelihood. I do believe that it is important to become aware when social media is starting to steal the most important aspects of our lives, from us. Are you surfing for hours on end, ignoring your children and responsibilities? Are you looking at someone else’s life wishing you could have it? Even though yours is pretty awesome, are you missing it? Don’t fall victim to the thievery of the digital world. There is a whole different world out there, a real one, a wonderful one, are you missing it? Don’t miss it. Because you can’t get it back. One day you may look back and realize instead of spending 2 or 3 hours scrolling through Facebook, peering into someone else’s life or having it out with the online trolls who don’t know you and don’t matter anyway, you could have been playing a game with your now grown child. You could have gone for a walk and enjoyed the day with your family. You could have picked up a good book and stretched your mind a little. Enjoy social media, I know I do, but don’t let it steal from you. Because sometimes, you can’t get back what it steals.

Until next time,

Jenna Jury

Trying To Have Peace While Doing It All

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For the longest time I suffered from something without realizing it.

I continuously tried to have peace while doing “it all.” You may be thinking to yourself. You’re a stay-at-home mom. What could you possibly do all day? More than many people can imagine. Here is the thing though. It doesn’t matter if you are a stay-at home mom or a working mom. The truth is we are all just trying to do the best we can. We often come up short. Our “best” is barely passing as good enough because almost every one of us are trying to do it all and have it all.

The simple fact is, it’s impossible to do it all. It is also impossible to “have it all.” Finally, I grew tired of striving after peace and still trying to do it all. I knew something had to give. There was something inside of me that just wasn’t getting it.

What was it?

Well, first we need to look at what peace is?

Peace is defined as freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility and freedom from or the cessation of war or violence.

What? Freedom from or the cessation of war or violence?

You may be thinking to yourself “But there are no war or violence going on right now. Everything around me is calm, why do I feel so much turmoil?”

It’s because there may be a battle raging inside of you that you may not be aware of. A spiritual battle, an emotional battle, a battle with your family. Sometimes, as mother’s we do all we can to “do it all” and “make everyone happy” but at the end of the day we are bent and torn and burnt out. Then we snap. Why? Maybe you are like I was. Maybe you continuously ask God for his peace during the day, but then at the end of the day, the peace is gone. I realized recently that I probably didn’t have peace after all. Maybe what I had, was a façade. A fake face. Maybe I took the “faking it until you make it “saying to literally.

I don’t want to “fake it until I make it”, though.

I want to have peace and show my family that it is possible to be peaceful in every circumstance. How do I do that though? I asked myself, what was it that I was lacking? I was in denial at first but then I realized two things.

The first was, I need to rest in God, every single day. I need to make him a priority.

Sure I was doing my five-minute devotions here and there. I was saying a prayer here and there. Then I was going about my day, forgetting to rest in God. Forgetting that I needed to actually seek God’s character and see what he says. I wasn’t making an effort to grow my spiritual fruits.

Maybe you are like me. Maybe you are thinking, well I do what I can with the hours in the day that we have. There simply isn’t enough time. Make time. Trust me. It is worth it.

I started getting up at 4 am every day. Yes, 4 am. And everyone who knows me, knows that I love my sleep. I have always hated waking up early. However, I was a frazzled mess, if I woke up with my kids, I started getting agitated, because I didn’t have time to do all I wanted to do before they started jabbering my ear off. Oh how I love to hear them talk. They are beautiful morning people, just like their Daddy. Their mommy isn’t a morning person though. I realized I needed to make an effort to change that. I needed time with the Lord and time to myself, so I could offer them the best of me, every single day.

First I needed to carve a way a good chunk of time to spend with God.

I wanted it to be the very first thing I did every morning. I also wanted to work out and prepare for the day. I realized if I started dying to my flesh and getting up earlier than normal, three hours to be exact, then I would have plenty of time to do it. It is that big of a priority to me. Now I am not saying you need to get up at four am.

What I am saying is, if you are searching for peace, make time to see what God says about it, every single day, make time to pray. Make it a priority. It is just that important. Ask my husband, there has been a major change in my peace. I’m still human, but I am no longer quick to speak, to get defensive, to get frazzled. It’s truly an amazing thing. I know that is what God wants for every one of us. To live every day in his peace.

Philippians 4:7 says “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Colossians 3:15 says “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

We were called to peace. Peace will guard our minds and hearts. God wants peace for all of us. It is possible to attain. You just need to make it a priority to receive.

The second thing I realized was I can’t do it all.

This is a hard pill to swallow because as Mother’s we want to show our children that all things are possible. In today’s society, we are fed this lie that we CAN do everything and we CAN HAVE everything. The big house, fancy car, happy family, thriving careers, great relationships, amazing education. There is nothing wrong with wanting those things. There is nothing wrong with going after something you desire for yourself and your family. If it isn’t your first priority.

Trying to have it all though comes at a cost. Our peace and our family’s peace are often the first to go. After those are gone, then go your relationships with the people who are most important to you. Before you know it, no one has peace. Your home life is in shambles, and you are stretched thin and burnt out. I have seen it in my own life. I have seen it in the life of others. It is not a fun place to be. Unfortunately, so many people fall prey to the lie that they can have it all and do it all, sacrificing that which God wants for us.

Peace. His Peace.

If you are struggling like I was, looking for that peace that surpasses all understanding. Not knowing what to do or where to go. I encourage you to first, figure out what you are prioritizing right now. Is God the first thing? If not, make Him a priority. Ask him to give you peace, daily. Then realize you cannot do it all. It is not possible. It is not worth it. Figure out what is important to you and do it well. This is better than doing a million things mediocre.

I am currently reading Teaching from Rest written by Sarah Mackenzie. If you are a home school Mom, I encourage you to read this book. It has helped me tremendously. In her book Sarah says that “if God wanted us to have 37 hours in our day, He would have given us 37 hours in our day.” Trying to fit 37 hours of “doing something” in 24 hours is not possible and a recipe for disaster!

Peace is possible. A peaceful life is possible! It is God’s desire for you, me and all of his children.

Until next time,

Jenna Jury

 

 

 

To the Mommy who struggles with Guilt

As a Mom I have struggled with guilt countless times.

Did I say “no” too much today?

Did I discipline my child enough? too much?

Why was my child being so rude just now, was it something I taught them?

Did I snuggle my child enough today?

How many books did I read them?

Everyone struggles with guilt as a parent. It comes with the territory. No one is perfect. Even Mom’s and Dad’s. It is easy to allow the “what-ifs” and the “should-haves” control our minds when it comes to our children. We desire to be perfect for them. For some reason, we Mom’s have convinced ourselves that we need to do it all and be it all in order for our children to have a happy childhood. We need to stop living in this lie.

There are two types of guilt, in my opinion.

There is the small guilt that eats us up everyday if we allow it. The guilt that tells us we should have cooked a healthier meal for our kids. It is this guilt that tells us we should get a job outside the home, so that our children can “have” more. Or that we should have tried a little harder to breastfeed. Maybe the guilt is telling you that you are not that great of a parent. If that is you, I want you to be encouraged today. God doesn’t call us to live in our guilt as Mommy’s. He chose YOU to be the Mommy to your child. God knows your circumstances, he knows your desires, your heart. The children God gave you have the exact Mommy they need. I have to remind myself of this constantly.

God says before I formed you in your Mother’s womb I knew you. He knew you before he formed you in your mother’s womb. God also knew your child before he formed them inside of you! How awesome is that? He knew that you would be the perfect Mommy for that child. If you have adopted children, I believe that God hand-picked you to be that child’s parent as well.

Do not allow the small guilt of the everyday eat you up.

Sometimes I feel as though I am the most unorganized person. I used to let it get to me. Every day I would try to try harder, never really getting more organized. Instead, I would just get more frustrated with myself. I had a picture in my head of what type of Mommy my children needed. The one that had everything put away in its own place, with cute check lists on the wall. A place for everything and everything in its place, I would repeat to myself. A Mommy who had the day planned out to a T. That simply is not me. It is not in my personality. Almost 30 years on this earth and I am finally coming to terms with it. Lately, I have been telling myself “What I lack in organization, I make up for in creativity.”

No, maybe I don’t have everything exactly in the same place everyday. But I have no problem getting the glitter and markers out and making a beautiful picture with my children. I may not have the dishes done at all times, but I can build you a really cool play doh sculpture. Maybe I do not have cute lists hanging on the wall of all that needs to be done. However, I have (messy) bookshelves full of really good books, that we use daily as we snuggle on the couch.

Those are the things my children needs from me. Not the version of myself that I have conjured up in my mind. They need me.

If you struggle with “who you should be” for your children, do two things for me. Write down your qualities, the positives that make you a wonderful mother. Next, ask your children what they love about you. You may be surprised at how clearly your children see you. Most children do not have a “my mommy should be” thinking. They love you for exactly who you are.

The second type of guilt that I have experienced is the big guilt. The guilt that hits you like a big brick wall.

Often times out of no where. Not everyone experiences this kind of guilt. However, I think more Mommy’s may than people realize. Let me elaborate. I have experienced this type of guilt exactly two times in my life.

The first time was when I was diagnosed with Pre-Eclampsia with my son.

He came early at 27 weeks, he lived for six days and then passed away. The guilt I felt from his early birth and death would eat me up. I felt like my body had failed me and I had failed him. I was his Mother and I couldn’t even bring him into this world safely and keep him here.

The second time was several months ago.

I was sitting in B’s Occupational Therapy evaluation. Months of meltdowns. Hours spent trying to get her to get dressed. Several dollars spent trying to find the right clothes that will feel right on her. All were weighing down on me. I felt like I could burst into tears at any given moment almost everyday. I felt as though I had failed her.

Sensory Processing Disorder, Sensory integration, Vestibular, Sensory Seeking, Tactile Sensitivity, Nervous System, Proprioceptive senses, Occupational Therapy. All these words were being used during the appointment.

Some of them I knew, others were unfamiliar. Her Therapist was kind, explaining everything to me as gently as she could. That didn’t stop me from feeling overwhelmed. I felt as though I had a major weight on my shoulder that I couldn’t shake. I had already known there was a possibility that B would have SPD. Her Doctor had prepared me at birth. She had explained to me that preemies often times will have SPD. This is because their nervous system are underdeveloped at birth. Being poked and prodded as much as they are when they are babies, and the loud noises in the NICU.

 

I kept replaying the last several months in my head during her appointment. I felt helpless, as though I couldn’t help her. Then I replayed her birth over and over. I teared up during the whole appointment. When I finally got home I broke. “This is all my fault” I said. “I am the reason David died, I am the reasoning B has SPD. My Body failed me. and I failed them.” My Mom was flabbergasted of course. “That is not true one bit” she reassured me. It took a couple of months but I have come to terms with that fact that neither event was my fault. The guilt will sometimes try to come to the forefront of my mind.

I then have to remind myself of God’s love for me. For my children. When this happens,I need to remind myself that God does not condemn any of his children so I should not condemn myself either. I am enough for Him. I am enough for my children. 

God’s love for us and His promises are plenty.

We need to only look in His word to see how real and true they are. He does not desire for us to live in our guilt. Whether it is the small guilt or the big guilt. Living in guilt is not good for us or our children. He desires for us to live life to the fullest, in His love. Be encouraged today, if you struggle with guilt, remind yourself how loved you are. How you are the right Mommy for your children and that sometimes there are circumstances out of your control. You can overcome the guilt though, live everyday as though it is a gift. Love your children, despite the flaws you see in yourself. Because, honestly, the flaws you may see aren’t really even flaws to begin with.

You are beautiful Momma. You are the perfect Mom for your children.

 

My (not so great) Balancing Act

My (not so great) balancing act

If you have been reading my blog, you know that I have been out of commission for a while now. Why? You may ask. Well, to be completely honest, it is because I am terrible at balancing everything. In September I started homeschooling Kindergarten with my oldest, Preschool with my Niece, and Middle School with my Sister. On top of that, I have been trying to figure out how to balance homeschooling with being a wife, mother, household duties, My Usborne Business, babysitting my nieces, writing a book and so much more. Naturally my writing on this blog got pushed to the back burner.

Now that we are a few months into this homeschooling gig, I feel as though I am starting to get my grips on all the many things my plate is balancing. Therefore, I am going to throw writing back into it and see how well I hold up my (not so great) balancing act!

to be honest…

I have really enjoyed these last few months. Homeschooling is not easy. Homeschooling three separate grades with a toddler and infant under foot makes it that much harder. To all of you that have been doing it for years and years, with multiple grades and children, I commend you! I also will take any advice you have to offer. But, I am blessed to be able to offer this opportunity to my children, my sister and my niece. The reasons we chose to home school are many. If you would like me to do a post on these reasons I would be happy to share. However, I am glad we made this decision and we plan on continuing it all through both of our children’s education.

 

I know that life has seasons. Every season looks different and everyone has different seasons in their lives. Right now my season looks a little bit like this:

 

If your season is looking a bit like this, I want you to be encouraged! Eventually, your season will become more relaxed and less chaotic. You may look back on this memory of your life with fondness. (Or not!) We can all agree that many lessons are learned in chaotic seasons, when we are trying to figure out how to balance everything. Here are a few lessons I have learned over the last few months.

  1. Don’t forget that I am married too.

Yes, I am a mother and aunt who is homeschooling.  I am a sister who is doing what she can to help her sister succeed in her education. Yes, I am a daughter, a writer, a sales person, but I am something else as well. I am a wife. Before I was any of those things, I was his wife. When life is chaotic, take a minute and remember that you are a wife and your husband should not be put on the back burner, ever.

      2. God is my refuge and my strength.

Sometimes when life feels chaotic or too busy, it’s easy to forget that we have a safe place to run to. God. He is our refuge and our strength. It is necessary to retreat into the Lord. Set time aside to spend with him. Let him refresh you every day and every night by delving into His word.

      3. It won’t be like this for long.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes my child will be in a stage where I am begging for them to get a little bit older. A little bit easier. But the truth is when their current stage is gone, there is no getting it back. That is it. They are older, and so are you. I know that the old saying “enjoy the stage you are in because you won’t get it back” sounds so cliche. However, It is so true. I feel like every time I turn around my children have gotten taller, wiser, bigger, smarter, and time does not slow down for anyone. So, enjoy the time you are in. But rest assured, if you are struggling with this current stage “It won’t be like this for long.”

Here were my babies not to long ago:

 

B

S

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here they are now:

B

 

4. Lean on your family and friends.

I am blessed to have such a wonderful, supportive and loving family and friends. If you are blessed like me, I encourage you to take advantage of that blessing! When you feel like something is just to much right now, lean on your family. Give them a call if something is on your mind. Or even a quick text if you need encouragement or prayer. If you need rest, call one and see if they can watch the kids for you. Especially if you are in the new baby or young children stage. Don’t be so prideful in your parenting and “doing it all” that you stretch yourself to thin. God gave us family and friends for a reason!

My family and support system. We are missing a few, including my hubby!

 

Now that I have figured out my (not so great) balancing act, I plan on being back, writing as much as I can! I hope you all are glad I am back 🙂

 

Sincerely,

Jenna