Super Busy at Home

Family blog about homeschooling, autism, saving money, mom blog, travel, vacation, budgeting.

What If...

A couple of weeks ago I bore my soul to y’all about my decision to be happy. It was really hard and took me WAY out of my comfort zone to share that.

But I’m so glad I did.

Sharing a part of myself with everyone has been brutal on my emotions, but it has also been so redeeming. It has taught me so many things about everyone. First of all, I had so many people reach out to me with a combined voice to say that I was saying exactly what was on their heart as well.

A journey to share the message of beauty and redemption with all women.  Super Busy at Home talks about loving other women and serving.

It is so nice to know I am not alone and heartbreaking at the same time to know that we women have been listening to the voices within for far too long.

It makes me wonder when did this all start and what if we hadn’t listened to the voice at all?

What if…

What if we all stopped looking at exercise as something we have to do? What if we started looking at it as something we get to go? How radical would that change your world? I found a class I LOVE that is combination of Pilates and yoga. It stretches me mentally and physically. It works me until I’m sore and I adore going to this class. It is my me time.

What if we stopped looking at clothes in a way that we have to cram ourselves into a certain number or we are doomed? I spent too much time trying to cram my body into a size that wasn’t reasonable. Once I gave up and started dressing to cover my body in enough fabric that I didn’t look like I was trying to win a sausage race, I discovered I looked better and was actually comfortable!

What if we stopped degrading ourselves as mothers if we put our feet up and read the magazine? What if we started looking at that as needed time of self-preservation.

What if we stopped and looked at the sky, or the way the leaves move in the breeze? What if we stayed there for 10 minutes? What if worship comes in acknowledging the creator of all these things?

What if we start acknowledging things for what they are when they are sucking our soul dry to the very marrow we cling to for life? What if we sought out things of beauty that our souls were made to crave, made to love, made to need? What if we filled our homes with soft music, fresh flowers, and flickering candles, just for ourselves and our love of the beauty it invokes into our true selves through each sense?

What if we taught our children that cleaning the house or studying math or memorizing sonnets was not some gloom and doom situation but was rather a chance to take care of the kingdom, to take a glimpse at the handiwork of God in creating this universe? What if we cracked open a book of difficult literature or studied works of art as part of a journey to catch a glimpse of the face of our creator carved through the works of His created beings?

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What if we strove to understand the bible and his ideas, not so we can check off our “devotion” checkbox but so we can sit at the feet of God and bask in his life giving light? What if we fed off of his truths? What if we hung to the very word of God, the red inked letters in the manuscript of love as much as we cling to the Pinerest worthy quotes that mere mortals say about God?

What if we all actually believed the bible? What if we all didn’t internally kind of roll our eyes at the verses we’ve come to know from the beginning of our churched lives but actually took them to heart and coveted their meaning? What if we hid their words in our heart, words like HE CREATED US IN HIS IMAGE? Would listening to those words have helped me to block out the voice in my head? If I had not only hidden his word in my heart, not simply etched it into my being but gouged it into my very existence, could I have fought off the true enemy who brings words of scorn and deceit and disdain?

Certainly.

There are so many what ifs in life.

What if we all joined together today to spread love and not hate, to build other women up instead of clawing them down?

What if?

My Big Decision

This is a hard post to write.

I’m about to get real here. And real is so hard to put out into the world.

Here we go, a bit of my heart out in the world…

I have spent the majority of my life hating myself. No, that’s not even accurate…loathing myself. I feel that loathing is a deeper feeling than simply hatred and so I’ve chosen that word to describe the feelings towards myself.

For about 20 years I have wanted to change my appearance. I grew up being told what was wrong with me. In every single way. And so somehow, slowly, in every way, that became ingrained in each fiber of my soul.

It was with this feeling of inadequacy that I began a comprehensive list of what was wrong with me. When I was 16 I was sure if I could be thinner boys would like me. In college, if I could pay for plastic surgery to remove the dimple on my nose left by the scarring of a severe case of chicken pox, then, oh then, I would have a real chance at being a knockout. When I met Nick things became better and worse at the same time. A juxtaposition of deep emotions surfaced. I had found someone who loved me just as I was because that was how God made me. And oh, it felt amazing. But it felt so distant and unfamiliar. So my list making continued but more in the light of “I would be worthy of my boyfriend/then fiance/then husband if _________” was different about me.

Don’t get me wrong, I was told that God loved me in the Bible and through all of the church leaders I experienced, but I was sure He could love me more if I was a better person, a better version of myself, if I could have more self control or more of a regimented beauty routine, take care of my temple better so he would be prouder of me.

Flash forward to a 30ish year old version of me…a person who has spent the vast majority of life trying to change. Trying to become pretty, insistent that if I could just get my butt in gear I could be a different person. I could be the me I’m supposed to be. I dieted to any nutritionist’s hearts content. I worked out daily (read that as DAILY!!!!) for months on end and nothing happened except gaining weight and backne. I was done for.

Looking good in the shade at Bonneville Mill, Bristol Indiana



I went to the doctor, insistent that something was wrong with me…insistent I must have a basketball sized growth that weighed the same as a small child somewhere within me. But bloodwork came back shockingly that I was abnormally healthy. And my doctor had a serious talk with me… “maybe you’re just the size you’re supposed to be. To me you look like a healthy hawaiian woman.” Ouch I thought. How insulting. I’ll show him.

Although at this point in our story I’m pretty much out of options…every diet has not worked, paleo made me feel healthy but not skinnier, trim healthy mama made me feel glowing but again, not skinnier, and working out added muscles (the horror!)

I’ve seen specialists, nutritionists, trainers, and more.

In the most recent chunk of time I came home from our summer cottage and joined a new diet program thinking…this is it! I’m going to be a new person! People will like me! I’ll be amazing! But I found myself feeling horrible and unable to function at any point needed to to be a good wife and mother. Worse than that…I still was not losing any weight.

Looking super intense and reflective at Bonneville Mill, Bristol Indiana

I started reading some things that I believe God put in my path to pave the way for me. I started thinking how nice it would be to experience the “joy” fruit of the spirit, to be happy despite my circumstances and how great it would feel to be content. Truly content. After all of these thought I was tired of not being happy with myself. I realized if I was ever going to be happy I had to make a change.

So a few weeks ago I sent my husband a text message:

Be honest, are you really happy with me? Just as I am? Be honest!

He responded:

Yes, I love you just as you are.

Truly Happy with myself and my husband at Bonneville Mill, Bristol Indiana

So I decided I could too.

Those few weeks ago I had this aha moment (or a duh moment depending on how your glass is filled/emptied in your view of life) that I had spent the vast majority of my life hating myself…no, loathing myself. And I was tired of it.

I was done with not being content. I had always associated the word contentment with money and material possessions but the bottom line was that I had my health and all of these amazing aspects of my life and yet I was finding no contentment based solely on my physical appearance.

I found myself thinking…

What would happen if I consciously made decisions about what I put in my body to eat based on what was the very best for my actual health and not for my diet?

What would happen to my soul if I decided that I am not who my skin and waist size and nose dimple say I am but rather that issimply part of the shell of the person I really am? Could I come to love that person? Doesn’t that person deserve to feel love and acceptance?

Amazing Flower Garden at Bonneville Mill, Bristol Indiana

What if I decided to dance in the kitchen or to be silly or to wear my favorite skirt even if I look ridiculous? What would happen other than my heart exploding with happiness and my children witnessing a confident mother?

So…

I’ve made a big decision folks…I’ve decided to be happy.

Happy with me. Happy with who I am. Happy with the girl God made me as. Just happy.

Despite what my scale says or the size of shirt I purchase. I will be happy because God loves me and made me.

I started writing this all a few weeks ago when I made the decision and yet something stopped me from posting immediately. I was instantly scared of what my old friends would say. I was intimidated by people not thinking I’m perfect (not that I ever have been!). But in the past few weeks I’ve found myself simply working through those feelings rather than cowering behind them like the old me may have done.

Being happy and silly with my boy at Bonneville Mill, Bristol Indiana

Now I am focusing on being happy with my family. Exercising with them. Making healthy foods that support my children’s brains and bodies to make them the healthiest they can be I’m happy being a mom, a wife, a friend, and a sister simply through being me.

Smiling while watching my kids play, Bonneville Mill, Bristol Indiana

I’ve made a big decision and I hope it inspires you to start looking at yourself differently to see how truly loved you are…just they way you are.

It feels so good to make the decision to be happy!

The Priceless Gift of Losing my Camera

After work Wednesday Nick "gave me" one of my Mother's Day gifts early...a membership to Ashley Ann's Snap Shop workshops...where she teaches you how to take totally awesome pictures. 

I was so excited!  I mean, I have wanted a membership to Snap Shop for, well, forever!  and it was so thoughtful of him to think of me. 

I quickly started going through the classes.  This was going to be the best thing ever!  The very first thing she showed was neat buttons and bells and whistles on her camera. 

"I wonder if our camera has that button?" I asked Nick. 

And that's when the trouble started. 

We quickly realized that our camera had, poof, disappeared into thin air. 

It was gone. 

I was having heart palpitations.  I felt like I was going to throw up.  I was dreading the thoughts going through my head...it's really gone. 

I felt like such an idiot.  I should have had an eagle eye on the thing.  Who loses a dslr camera?  Ugh. 

We looked and looked and looked.  Nick went to businesses, churches, everywhere looking for it.  He took the third row out of our vehicle to try to hunt it down.  We called grocery stores, grandparents, and restaurants.  But to no avail. 

That night we didn't sleep well.  In the morning we both commiserated on how it feels like it's going to just appear.  How it should be around.  What on earth could have happened to it? 

Well, Thursday morning.  I found it. 

I woke Emma up for school and like all good fairy tale stories start, I was yelling at Emma. 

Does anyone else's children have a million backpacks that they hang up with stuff still in them?  I was going through a bag she had taken to play practice daily (the play has been practiced, performed, and we're done with it by the way) and there in the bag sat at least one outfit of hers, a water bottle, on and on.  I reached for her bag she takes to Awana's and that's when I felt the familiar weight and cylinder of the big lense. 

It had been found. 

This is a fairly boring story, I realize, except to say that there's nothing like losing something to make you realize how much you love something.  Aside from Easter and the Awana ceremony where the camera had been put in said bag, I hadn't used that camera for probably a good six months. 

Oh sure, I would snap a few "hey it's your birthday" shots but nothing in terms of capturing the every day.  Nothing to try to catch the glint in my kids' eyes when they are reading with Daddy.  Or the furrowed brow when they are building with legos. 

I had lost the desire to capture the every day.  It had become mundane to me.  There was no more magic in the daily. 

Or so I thought.  This morning I used the camera for the first time in months.  It felt like a raw and opened part of me was exposed again. 

And I kind of liked it. 

Seeing your life through the eye of a lens makes you see things you don't otherwise notice.  The way natural lights makes everything look amazing. 

How fun breakfast can be when you're poring over a random catalog of fireworks that came to your house (did they know we have a boy living here???). 

And how beautiful the view is out my window as I write this blog this afternoon. 

I am so thankful I found my camera.  Not only because, hello?, it was so super expensive, but because it has given me a new perspective to start seeing life through the lens again. 

And that is something that is priceless.

Release the Red Balloon

What a whirlwind it has been lately around here! 

School is still going full steam ahead...well, I guess that's not completely true as we've had a couple of sputtering times but we are homeschooling year round this year and not ending until late-ish July so we have to be full steam ahead!

April was a time of such huge change for me personally! 

I went from not working to accepting three, count 'em three!, positions in April!  I am now helping to clean our church, I will be a Classical Conversations tutor next school year (super duper excited!) and starting this autumn I will be the director of a church camp! 

God has blessed us in immeasurable ways and I just have to share a bit of a back story with you about all of this...

Emma is getting ready to go into the 6th grade.  The parochial school in our area that we have been eying (for years!) starts when students are in the 7th grade.  Needless to say that we have been praying like crazy about this decision and whether to send her to school rather than continuing to homeschool her.  And we're still praying about that so prayers appreciated! However, with the talk of private school came the talk that if the kiddos are in school then I am going to have to go back to work. 

Nick said this.  I more or less just cried and threw things like a toddler. 

I really and truly feel in my spiritual gut that I was made to be a momma at home.  I am a traditional housewife all the way.  Bread making, clothes washing, bed making kind of momma.  And just the thought of taking myself out of that setting made me sick to my stomach.  Literally. 

But once I stopped crying and throwing things (not really, I'm not cool enough to do that) I was able to quiet myself to listen to the God voice that, of course, spoke some sense into me.

God was asking me, "why would I give you a desire to stay at home and not take care of your needs to make sure you're where I want you?" 

That was a total duh, smack me upside the head, kind of moment.  Of course God has this. 

There is no need to worry.

So at that moment (back in February) I gave it to God.  Red balloon out of my hand, wafting up to God, I didn't pull it back to worry more, I just sent it up to God. 

And then in a weeks time it was like lightening.  I got the camp job.  I had a job at Notre Dame offered to me full time.  I had a magazine writing job fall in my lap. A bank was interested in me freelancing for them.  The church was wondering if I'd like to clean.  We joined Classical Conversations and there was this opportunity to help out. 

It was unbelievable. 

There is nothing else I could say other than truly, jaw dropping unbelievable. 

And this isn't about me, this is about God and what He can do in your life, my life, anyone's life, when we just let it go to let Him.  Let Him. 

Friends, wherever you are in your life right now, whatever you are going through, I hope this can be an encouragement to you.  Please let go of the worry.  Of the doubt.  Of the feeling that you have to have control and have an end in sight and know where you are going.  Because you don't.  God's got this.  Truly he does. 

So open your hand and release your red balloon.  Imagine it flying up to God and you aren't going to even try to take that worry and that burden back.  Just give it to Him and trust him with it. 

I promise He has good in store for you.  More good than you'll be able to shake a stick at.

Love you.

Like Popcorn Jelly Bellys

Sometimes in life you just have to push past the noise and do things for yourself.  Things that make you you, things that ensure you are being true to yourself. 

When I was a little girl we visited an old-fashioned hardware store after church one Sunday.  The floors were creaky wide planked hardwood boards and along an entire wall was a glass counter filled with jars of candy by the pound.  There was an employee handing out candy and he had me sample the newest flavor of jelly bean...popcorn.  It sounded gross but when I tasted that it instantly became my favorite.  I loved the way the flavor was so different and so unique. 

When I became a teenager though and then even in college, whenever there would be jelly bellys around someone would inevitably say how much they hate the popcorn ones and I found myself agreeing with how gross they were. 

I knew I had liked them but seeing them being scoffed I thought that I must have some weird memory of them in my head...that surely I was wrong and they weren't as good as I thought they had been.  And just like that I changed what I thought because of other people. 

That has happened in my life too.  With this blog.  A couple of years ago, before I moved to this platform, I wrote a blog I knew to be true to my heart.  It wasn't meant to be about someone it was meant to be about what was on my mind when someone outright did not like me and how I was going to react and deal with it.  Well, a lot of people reached out and were accusing me of saying things that were not in the blog at all.  Ouch.

I didn't really mind the comments because it's easy to see through hurtful comments to see hurt people who react by hurting others.  But what I did wonder was...Did those people really see all of those things in my one blog?  How did I miss all of these subliminal messages I was apparently putting in my articles?  

I found that I started letting that message into my writing...I was putting on different lenses when I started writing anything wondering what yeah-hoo God knows where is going to pull some weird, obscure something out of my writing that I had no intention of saying.  Because if it happened that one time...

Just like that I started censoring myself.

Thinking it would help, I reached out for professional help.  I attended writing seminars, consulted former editors of mine, participated in book launches, accepted invitations to courses led by other prestigious bloggers: I thought that would help give me direction but instead I ended up with a head full of even more restraints and rules with upon to censor what I have to say.  Idealogies such as imagine a person you're writing to, don't have too many topics, don't write about your kids, no one cares!, write about things people want to hear, do seo searches before you write to make sure people will search for your content with the right words

And just like that I popcorn jelly belly-ed myself all over again.  I ended up convincing myself that I must not be good at this.  That my "talent" and love of writing was some distorted memory, that I must not be cut out for this after all. 

Then last week, one of my amazing friends had me over for breakfast and in the warmth of her kitchen I put all of this to words and revealed to her my two year long struggle of writers block and why it's been so hard.  She said the words I needed to hear, "just write whatever you want."  As a fellow writer I know she gets the kind of smothering grasp too many restraints can take on your creativity. 

And just like that my popcorn jelly belly façade fell away.  It is okay to be me.  To like popcorn jelly bellys or to write or to watch one episode of Dick Van Dyke every morning.  Whatever weird thing it is, it's okay to be me. 

Last week I was stealing some of the kids jelly bellys (because Costco had 4 pounds for 9.99, yo).  Nick was in the kitchen with me and when I got to a popcorn one I said "mmm. I love the popcorn ones...they're my favorite."

I could tell you I have some super cool husband who said something airy"good for you, babe, but they're just not for me"  or something but instead the little weasel teased me about it...because that's how we roll, yo.

So here's the thing... 

I've learned that no matter what I do there will be haters (just watch the comments if you want some laughs from people who stalk my blog just waiting and have nothing but mean things to say...I'm sure they are coming!) but one of those haters shouldn't be me hating on myself.  There's no need to hate on myself because of my jelly belly awesome flavor love.

And that is how I'm feeling about writing too.  I want to write about what I want.  What interests me.  What I love.  Not what I think the world thinks they want to read.  I want to be true to myself.  True to me without caring about what other people deem as not good enough or weird or gross. 

So I'm getting back to me.  Back to my roots.  Back to Lindsay who does most everything okayish but not too many things particularly well.  Blogs like this one that really spill out my soul. Blogs about baking bread or perler beads or how to remove dry erase marker off my carpet.  Whatever. 

So, friends, this is me, bleeding out on the carpet for all the world to see. 

Not really.  I'm here in sweats occasionally stealing a popcorn jelly belly from my kids' easter basket.  They are the best after all...

Happy Tuesday!

Taking My Thoughts Captive

I have sat down to write several times, only to discover the feeling has crept in that I have nothing to say. 

No original thought.  Nothing that could be used to help anyone else feel better or encouraged or, well, much of anything.

And so I've hidden in the shadows.  This always seems to happen around this time of the year. 

The time of year when the lack of sun during the winter has kept me indoors enough to feel not wanted. 

And then things happen, small things, and small droplets of discouragement seem to pol to make me feel unwanted and unneeded...stupid things, dumb things, like unanswered emails, being taken off a website as admin that I am no longer a part of, on and on, things seem to pile up. 

In reality, in my mind I know these are silly and foolish things to allow to frustrate me, but they still do manage to make me feel inconsequential.

And so I remain quiet.  I try to find my purpose, my mission, the plan God has for me. 

Sometimes God seems quiet. 

But then I remember 2 Corinthians 10:5:

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
— 2 Corinthians 10: 5

That reminds me that I need to get these thoughts and feelings under control.  I need to make them obedient to Christ who tells me that I am valued and loved and cherished. 

And I need to look at my life as something to be shared to bless others. 

That being said I am now taking my thoughts back from devil and taking them captive.  I will hold them accountable and make them align with what God thinks of me.  I will ponder what God says about me until I believe it.  No more will I play victim to the enemies attacks on my mind and feelings. 

Preach!

And so I hope you all are having a wonderful day!  It is sunshiney and wonderful here.  We went sledding earlier today in addition to school.  I hope you all are glad to have my back because I am glad to be back!  I love you all and I am sorry for the times that Satan gets me down. 

But no more! 

Have a blessed day, y'all!