Friday, April 29, 2016

Are You Struggling With Burnout? What Fills Your Pitcher? Here are 12 Things That Fill Mine!

 

       Lately, I have been contemplating life a lot and thinking about why I have struggled with burnout and becoming miserable so much through the years. I especially have been lately since Daniel and I are struggling to meet our "get out of debt goals" as fast as we hoped we could. If you read many of my posts, you can probably tell that I am a type-A personality. I have lots of goals in life and I try so hard to be and do everything and end up falling flat on my face because I can only do so much. I am very hard on myself and tend to beat myself up when I make mistakes. It's funny that I am a second-born because I have so many first-born tendencies! I would do just about anything to help you and I'd want to give you the shirt off my back if I thought you needed it yet I often fail to remember that when the pitcher is empty, it's hard to offer anyone a drink. With five kids, my pitcher can empty out quickly! I have been reading books and reaching out to friends to pray for me to find balance and do only the things that the Lord has called me to do. I have been encouraged to list some things that make me happy and to fill my pitcher back up by doing some of them without feeling guilty!

My List:

1. Quiet time ~ Sometimes when there is so much to do, it is hard to me to actually settle down and do this yet it is so vital in my walk with the Lord and growth as a woman. One thing that particularly helps me is to keep a journal of things the Lord puts on my heart and to list what I am grateful for.

2. Reading and Writing ~ I tend to keep waiting until I have the perfect pictures or blog posts to share and now I realize, I just need to sit down and write! I have been journaling, blogging and writing my way through life since I was 9 years old and I love it! I love that my kids and grandkids will have my old journals and this blog to read long after I am gone and hopefully learn from my mistakes and glean what is good!

3. Hiking and the Outdoors ~ There is something about a good hike or trip to the beach that brings peace, joy and rest to my soul. I may not be able to afford the beach but I have decided to make sure to go hiking and spend plenty of time outdoors even when the bulk of my work is indoors and I feel guilty for not doing it!

4. Organizing, Purging and Decorating ~ I am not a Joanna Gaines by any means but nevertheless, I love organizing my house and making it more functional and beautiful for my family. I love rustic and simple farmhouse decor, not too primitive or cluttered.

5. Healthy Living ~ I love exercising and reading/learning all that I can about living a healthy lifestyle. It is amazing how much better I function when I take the time to really care for my health!

6. Alone Time ~ It is amazing how refreshed I feel when I get rare moments alone! I have realized that  I need to make it happen more often. I have been thinking about how Jesus had to get away from even his disciples to wrestle with his flesh and contemplate life. Oh, hard it is though for a mother of five to get time alone! It is a rare gift and I am trying to get better about asking my husband for it and not feeling guilty about it.

7. Time with friends ~  I have friends that have laughed with me, spoken truth into me, encouraged me, let me cry and prayed with me. Yet sometimes it is hard for me to prioritize spending time with them when I am worried that things won't get done or that I am leaving my family to fend for themselves.

8. Crocheting, Scrap booking, Creating Something Useful or Beautiful ~ As silly as it sounds, as a type-A personality, I have a hard time even sitting down to do this without feeling guilty that I am wasting time when there is so much to be done! I have set a goal to make myself sit down and crochet an afghan for our living room this summer while I listen to the kids read aloud or listen to an audio book. Someday, I would like to learn how to sew.

9. Flowers ~ not too long ago I saw a bouquet of flowers on manager's special at Krogers and brought them home. I felt so guilty since we are trying to get out of debt, yet they looked so beautiful in our house. As silly as it sounds, I felt happy looking at them. Somehow they drew the attention away from how rough and unfinished my house is. I have decided to give myself permission to stop on the side of the road to pick flowers or buy them occasionally when I find them marked down.

10. Extended Time Alone With My Husband ~ We sometimes argue and tear each other down when the going gets tough, yet spending time alone does wonders for our marriage and fills my pitcher to overflowing! We love our five kids dearly but privacy is so hard to get while raising so many and often costs money and time that we don't have. I don't know how to prioritize this but I can pray and ask my heavenly Father for it, He knows the desires of my heart!

11. A Clean House ~ For a type-A personality like me, a clean house does wonders for relaxation!

12. Completed House projects ~ I won't lie, as much as I love my house, living in a half-finished house for the last 2 years has been hard and inconvenient. The kids bump against a door frame and sheetrock dust goes flying! Everytime someone comes up the unfinished basement stairs, it is a mess! the inconvenience of not having a sink in my bathroom can be so frustrating when we are getting ready to go somewhere. I get just a little bit giddy over anything happening to improve the house or bring it one step closer to being finished!

Are you a Type-A personality? What fills your pitcher? May I encourage you to make a list of things and purpose to do some of them without feeling selfish or guilty?





Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Grace is 9 years old!



I can hardly believe that it has been 9 years since I gave birth to our beautiful first princess at home on our bedroom floor while living in Williamsburg, VA. She is growing up fast and I couldn't be more blessed to be her mother! Some things that stand out about her are that she is wise beyond her age. She is a leader and peacemaker among her friends. She does not follow the crowd and is one of the best friends you could ever have! She is quickly becoming a good cook and a great help around the house with laundry and other tasks. Most of all, I Love her heart for the Lord and her many prayers for Muslims to come to know Him. She has an evangelistic heart and sometimes preaches without realizing what she is doing. I know God has big plans for her!

 It was fun to have my sister's family here for her birthday this year! We rarely get to see them since they live in GA. 
 Opening gifts while all of her siblings and 4 cousins look on! 
She got a kayak from her Nana and Pops, Clothes and shoes from her Grandma and Grandpa, A craft set from her cousins and best of all, a kitten from Daniel and I! She has been dreaming of a pet of her own for a very long time. 


Happy 9th Birthday my beautiful Grace! I love you to the moon and back! 


Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Dessert On a Budget ~ How To Make 4 Tasty and Cheap Peanut Butter Pies in Less Than 30 mins!

When you have five kids and your sister has four kids, plus our two hungry husbands. You have to really think big when it comes to the food that will be required for a weekend visit! This recipe took care of dessert for two nights of their visit this past weekend.


1 small regular size jar peanut butter (less than $2 at Aldi)
3 - 8oz. containers of cool whip (bought during the Easter 10/$10 sale at Kroger)
Reese's cups (bought after Easter for at 50% off for 1.77 at Walmart)
2 bars of cream cheese ($1/bar at Aldi)
1 tbsp. vanilla
1/2 cup milk. 
2 cups powdered sugar ($1/box)
4 graham cracker pie crusts ($0.96/ea. at Aldi)

This comes to approximately $15 for four delicious homemade pies! 

Now for the directions. Beat peanut butter and cream cheese together until creamy, add powdered sugar, vanilla and milk. Fold in 1 container of whipped cream. Divide the mixture into the 4 pie crusts and spread evenly over the bottom. Take the other 2 containers of cool whip and divide in half using half a container to spread over each pie. Use a spoon to make it look pretty and then chop as many Reese's cups as desired and sprinkle over the tops of the 4 pies. This is a great recipe to make days before your company arrives and keep frozen or refrigerated until ready to serve! Yum!