Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Little Reminders

Lately I have realized that even though I have lived in this house for more years then my parents have been gone, somethings still remain the same. Sitting on the shelves above my pantry are my moms cake stands, special pie holders, and her box of spoons from her "Kid's Spoon Band." A few of our cabinets still hold her Christmas decorations. My kitchen wall holds a mural that she started painting before she and my father moved, and we moved in, it is unfinished, but I love it all the same. Sometimes I just walk over to it and lightly place my hand over it...it is something she created, touched, and loved. In my living room I have a buffet they they used, a piano that my mom would sit and play at while she and my father sang together, oh how I miss listening to them sing together, they harmonized so beautifully! I also have a record player, that no longer works, but will always have a place in my home, because I remember how excited my father was when my mom bought it for him. These things are small, and I am sure mean nothing to anyone but me and my family, but they are a connection to my parents, one that I love being surrendered with. From where I sit, I can see reminders of them, of their love for each other, and for their family. There may come a day, when I no longer need these little reminders, but for now, I will keep them close, smile when I see them, and remember all the wonderful memories we made as a family.

Friday, June 16, 2017

10 things I learned This Week

10 things I Learned This Week!


1. I am not the best driver in the world...even though I think that I am. Apparently the people in the surrounding cars, with that look of absolute horror on their face would beg to differ and would appreciate a warning the next time I decide to take a drive.

2. I dont have house elves....this actually surprised me. I mean there must be someone else besides me that picks up, but alas there is none. When something gets dropped on the floor and I am not magically there to pick it up, the same item will lay on the floor until I turn into a monster and demand that it be picked up. I really must look in to getting a magical creature to live in my home.

3. My family thinks I am crazy...ok to be honest, I already knew this..but I look at it like this, I may be crazy, and do crazy stuff, but they have to keep loving me...lol they are my family!

4. My hubby lets me makes mistakes, even though he wants to scream "WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING," because he knows that I am the type of person how needs to learn from experience, and he is always there to pick me up when my GRAND plan doesn't work out the way I had "envisioned it."

5. I am BLESSED!!! I already knew this one as well, but I am continually amazed at how God blesses me and my family on a daily basis. Just today we had a "God Thing" happen, right when we needed it. Truly AMAZING!

6.My home will never be spotless...I have given up on that dream. I would love to have the type of home that is always "company ready" but what I have decided to settle on is a home that is "friend ready" instead. my friend know that I homeschool, they know that I work part time outside the home, and that my hubby and I run our Oil business as well...they are OK with a little bit of clutter, an un-swept floor, and the chaos that is sometimes my home. I would rather my home be "friend ready" then living in a home that is ready for "company" but not lived in. so if you are friends, stop by anytime, if you are "company" please give me a few hours notice!!

7. I am a list/calendar type of girl...with out my to do list, I feel lost. If something doesn't make it on the calendar then it doesn't get done. my brain is crazy like that! so if you see me with multiple lists you can assume that my life is in order and I am not going crazy, even though I am pretty sure that is what it looks like :)

8. I love to write...I have multiple stories that I have started (and need to finish), so when my daughter asked me if she could write a book as part of her schooling this summer (yes we school off and on during the summer months, it works best for us) I was so excited!! she is very creative and has been writing short stories, and scripts for a few years,  and I cant wait to see what she thinks up in the next few months!

9. I need "reading/writing time" in my life. I find that when I am over stressed that simply sitting down to write or read a book recharges me more so then sitting and watching a movie. we put a chair just for me in our bedroom, and I love escaping and sitting in the quiet with my books/writing pad and just resting. I need to carve out time for this to happen daily. Making sure that I am recharged and not running on empty is something new to me. I usually and working hard to make sure everything is done, but I know that it wears me down, stresses me out and then no one wants to be around me. these few moments of me time, not only helps me, but helps those who I interact with daily! I had to learn that it was OK for me to tell my loved one that I needed to be alone.

10. Lastly and most importantly......Grace is NEVER ending. Not only the grace that God gives me on a daily (OK, sometimes its hourly) basis, but also the grace that we extend to others and to ourselves. Gods grace is perfect, and while I am in no way perfect, I still strive to be like Christ, and in order to be like Him, I must give grace like Him. I wont lie, it can be hard, and I fail at it daily.It is important to show others the grace that God has given us. I have had to take a deep breath and calm my own heart, before I can offer Grace to others. I am a work in progress, and I am OK with that.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

A Modified Adventure in Baking

Today is Heart rehab day in the Gregory household, which is why I am up at 5:30, popping Milk-less muffins into the oven. They are quick and easy to make, I can control what goes into them, and they will give my tired family something that they can grab and eat on the way.

 Baking for me is an outlet, one I have had to curb since my hubby's heart attack. Gone are the days of Cinnamon rolls, cakes, special cookies, and loafs of homemade bread. Instead we have been eating more whole foods, and trying to watch everything that we bring into our home. It has been hard, and I wont lie, I have slipped up and failed. just the other day I thought, "one meal won't matter"...unfortunately everyone in my family started feeling icky after eating that one meal.

Its just not worth it.

For someone like me, who Loves to bake, and cook from scratch, who finds joy in making something that her family loves, it has been a struggle. One I have cried about, talked about in great length to my friends about, and suffered over.

 I have LOVED to bake since I was a child, something that I have passed on to my daughter, and it seemed like something I identified with was being taken away from me. This morning as I got up early, I was so excited because I got to bake for my family. I did have to modify my recipe a little to make it healthier for my hubby, but I was still baking. And do you know what... it felt GREAT!!! I may not be able to bake every day, and have my family eat what I have lovingly made for them, unfortunately that season of our life has passed, but I can still on occasion find, or modify recipes that they can eat. I am always looking for low calorie, low carb, heart healthy recipes, and while it may take me a while to find some "Great" ones, I am slowly building up my recipe box. This family's adventure in baking is not over....its just been modified a little, and that's OK.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

I am blessed

It is almost midnight and I am so ready for bed! As I sit here and contemplate if I have enough energy to walk from the living room to my bedroom to change clothes, I realize that I really dont care.  I will more then likely end up crawling into bed, not caring about the fact that I am still wearing my work clothes....Please tell me that I am not the only person who does this.

Tonight was a long night....I had a less then perfect shift at my part time job...which made me cranky, and no one likes me when I am cranky! Seriously,  I dont even like me when I'm cranky!

I was feeling overwhelmed by my job,and I was to the point that I wanted to leave my shift early...yeah that's how well my night was going! I try to put my best foot forward in everything, and I have been looking for blessings in others and in the situations I find myself in, but tonight,....I just couldn't find ANY

Until I came home, that is...My family knew I was having a less then stellar night, and my hubby was waiting outside for me when I drove up, and as I was walking up to the door, my daughter ran out to give me "4 hugs!"

After the night I had, I needed all the hugs she would give me.

Sometimes I wonder if God allows us to go through bad nights, just so we can realize how blessed we are. Maybe tonight's frustration was nothing more then God reminding me that He has given me an amazing family and that I should be thankful for them.

Maybe this is His way of telling me to stop looking for blessings in everything else and start seeing the ones He has placed right in front of me.

How many times do we look elsewhere for what we think we want or need, only to find out that what we truly wanted and needed had been in front of us the whole time.

My family is a blessing...a Blessing that we almost lost apart of a few weeks ago.  My husband, who is only 35, had a heart attack, and while I watched him fighting to breathe, and I saw the nurses  scrambling to help him, I stood there helpless. There was my husband, my best friend, my love, my soul mate, laying on an ER bed, having a heart attack, and the only thing running through my mind was "you are going to lose him."

I have NEVER been that scared in my life.  Even now, the memory of that moment, makes me cry. The fear is still there....it is ever present. Anytime I hear his breath catch, I stop and wait to make sure he takes another breath. I lay awake at night listing to make sure he is OK. I dont know how long this will go on, and my husband has told me "not to worry," but I do.  And I will. For a long time to come, because the thought of facing life with out this man beside me, terrifies me.

And yet, I am blessed.

I know this to be true, because I know with out a shadow of a doubt, that they only thing that saved my husband from the "widow maker" heart attack he had, was the hand of God. So many people were praying for him, and I know that every prayer lifted to heaven in behalf of my husband, was heard.

I am blessed.


The last few weeks have been hard, we are adjusting to a new normal, a new lifestyle, and we as a family have all been a little stressed, to say the least...and then there was tonight, where God allowed me to see what was right in front of me. My blessings, My loves, My family.

I am blessed.















Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Finding Peace in a Crazy, Hectic Life


It has been a while since I have posted... Our family has been crazy busy these past few weeks, and while most of the craziness is over, I still feel like we are constantly running around like chickens with our heads cut off.  If you have ever read my blog before, you know how much I value peace and calmness, and having a home that is centered around that ideology.  However the past few weeks have been anything but that!! While it was very fast paced, with a few late nights (OK there were a LOT of late nights), and I did have moments where I felt like nothing was going right, we did have a lot of fun, and we did get to make some great memories along the way.

The following are pictures of our past weekend, where our daughter got to be involved with her Figure Skating Clubs, Spotlight on Ice, and she had so much fun. The skaters did a great job, and we were so proud of them, and our Little Miss, for working so hard to put out a great show!





SOI practice
Olivia goofing off backstage


Me and my little Miss

Love this girl


Olivia skating in a fez
putting up the curtain




goofing off backstage

Olivia had 24 people people come see her over the span of 3 shows...this is the ONLY picture I took!

Olivia and Lexi SFSC

backstage before the 1st show

getting ready for Spotlight on Ice



 Spotlight on Ice 2017 is officially over, but our crazy busy life is still in full swing...with  running our home based business, homeschooling,and working a part time job...it seems like I will never get back to quiet, peaceful nights at home. I have come to the realization that this is nothing more then a season in our life, and that it would be better for me to embrace and accept the craziness that is my life.

Becoming frustrated because I am not at home, making everything from scratch, finding things to do with my family that are centered around being calm, relaxing, and restful, does nothing more then make me stressed and resentful.

I am always telling my daughter, "in all things, do it as unto worship to God" 

How can I say that to my daughter, when I am frustrated and upset that I am busy. This season of my life is not news to God...He knows EXACTLY where I am, because he placed me here.

Peace can come wrapped up in craziness...it can still be found while driving back and forth to appointments. It can surround you EVEN if you are in the midst of a hectic season of your life.

Choosing to embrace my busy season allows me to show Olivia how we can worship God, even when we are busy. We can still find time to show His love to those around us. We can CHOOSE peace, over frustration. We can show others Gods Love, and HIS impact on our lives, through how we respond to situations that haven't gone the way we may have hoped, or planned.

Maybe this is WHY I am in this season...to LEARN to trust FULLY in His plan.

My life is hectic, But Gods peace can transcend that. And while my longing for a night at home with the fireplace (thanks to Netflix's fake ones lol) going, and an audio book playing while we snuggle on the couch as a family.....in reality, what will probably happen is I will put together  a quick dinner, that is followed by me either rushing to get to an online class, working on my business, or running to my part time job.

Until this season passes....or I learn the lesson God has for me,  I will make an effort to be at peace with it, and to Find the Peace that is always there, waiting for me.































Monday, January 30, 2017

Giving God control, and resting in His PEACE!



Have you ever given something over to God, and then wondered why He wasn't taking care of it?

Ever feel like you need to do something, Anything really, to make something happen?

How many of us need to be in control of EVERY aspect of our lives?


I know that I am so guilty of this! I pray that God will take care of something, and I lay it at his feet, but then I worry about that same issue. I fret about "what can I do to help this situation" I do CRAZY things when I feel like nothing is working out the way I want it to...then I obsess over how I can fix it, what I can do to make things better, and then I cry out to God asking him why He hasn't "fixed" my problem.

Then I am gently reminded that I never left it with Him....I placed it at his feet, but before I turned to go, I picked it back up!

How awesome is it that He GENTLY reminds of us this....its not a SMACK to the head, although sometimes I am sure that is just what I need! He Loves us so much that over and over again, He reminds us of what we need to do, for us to be blessed by Him.

Just last week, as I was going through the 21 days of prayer for my business (if you are wanting to do this please check out  50K to Pray, I am enjoying this walk and recommend it to anyone who has a business or who is thinking about starting one) and while I was praying, I GAVE God control of my business...I spent a few days at peace, knowing that He was in control. it was going smoothly, until I decided that I should "help" my business along. I started worrying about things that I had already given to God. I started annoying my husband by asking "what if we do this" question non-stop. I had basically taken the control that I had freely GIVEN to God, back!  Of course my business wasn't  going to move forward, because I was no longer following the PATH that God had already put in front of me.

I was sitting in my sisters church yesterday, and  it hit me....I wanted to be in control. I wanted to be the person calling the shots. and let me tell you...that is never a good thing. my husband likes to say I am in helicopter mode....which basically means I am trying to control the outcome of every aspect of my life.

Do you know what happens when a helicopter loses control....They crash! It is messy, and people are hurt. this is basically what happens when I try to be in control of everything. I get overwhelmed, I get anxious, I get so frustrated with everything and everyone around me, I get emotional, and finally I CRASH.

Its at this point that I usually realize if I had just left it at His feet, I would never have gone through the whole process of crashing.

God wants us to be successful, HIS plans for us are GOOD...they are to give us HOPE!

Jeremiah 29:11 says "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

He wants us to prosper in everything we do. However, can we prosper, when we cant even give and LEAVE our problems with Him. 

My family jokes about all the crazy things I have done in an effort to control an outcome. I am the one who sees a bill due, and goes out and gets a job, even if I know I cant possibly physically do the job...it always ends in me crashing, which is not a good feeling. 

Learning to cast ALL my cares on the Lord, when I am the way I am, has been hard. But it is getting easier. It has taken me having to walk through some HUGE issues and situations, for me to realize that I am better just praying "Lord, your will"! 

Sometimes in order to have peace, we have to let the things that worry us,  the battles that seem so big that we could NEVER win them, we have to GIVE them to God. And we HAVE to leave them there. If we allow God to be in control, and we Allow Him to work wonders and miracles in our life, He will.

If we decide to pick them back up, then when nothing changes,  we have no one to blame but ourselves. God WANTS to fight for us. He wants to be our SHELTER in the storm, He wants to PROTECT us, and He wants us to CALL on Him.....But he will not fight us for control. He wants us to hand it to Him freely.  

Once we hand over our life, our problems, our family, our businesses, to Him, we can see His plan unfold before us. we can sit back and rest in the knowledge that He is taking care of everything and we are living in His PERFECT plan! 

Now dont get me wrong, I'm not saying that once you hand over control that you should sit back and do nothing....I am a firm believer that God helps those that help them selves, what I am saying is that we dont need to worry about trying to figure out how WE can solve the problem. We dont need to have anxiety over something that is out of our control. We can spend our time, praising God for His perfect out come, even if it is not the outcome we wanted.

So once you have handed your need over to God, let it go...concentrate on praising Him for what He is GOING to do for you.  Rest in His peace :) 


Let us know in the comments how you liked this post :)














 













my wonderful husband  calls this my helicopter mode!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

When you feel like a failure, remember WHO made you!


let's get real for a moment....

How many moms out there feel like you are a failure? Like everything you have done, was wrong?

Sigh...that was me today!

 I forgot to swap the laundry....yesterday....so the house stunk this morning...AGAIN .

Today, in my frustration, I raised my voice to my family....and I HATED it.

Today, I didn't do meal prep...and so my hubby got out in the cold to pick up a dinner I should have made. (He did this without complaint, I might add, I truly am blessed)

Today, I let past fears seep into my daily activity, and based some of my decisions off of that past fear.

Today, I forgot to eat (seriously, who does this), and my sugar dropped so fast, I almost passed out!


Today, I felt like a failure.... 


But today, I also felt Gods peace...I love how it can feel like a blanket dropping over my shoulders, there is no better feeling then resting in His perfect peace!

Today, I remembered His GRACE...it is never ending!

Today, I was given the gift of blessing others...and was blessed in return.

Today, My daughter and I stood in a parking lot, holding hands, the world stopping for just a moment as we PRAYED that God would use us, and let everything that we did be done as worship unto Him.....What a precious moment.


Today, I was reminded that my past does NOT define who I am today!

Today, I may have failed in somethings, like the laundry, and raising my voice, but I am NOT a failure.

I am Me...I am a mom, a wife, a sister, a friend....I go by many names, but failure is not one of them.

If you are feeling like a failure...remember that you are uniquely made by the same God that made the Heavens and the Earth...He doesn't create failure. He creates beauty in everything.

Yes, we may fall, and we may fail at somethings, but that doesn't mean WE are failures. We are HIS...we are Loved...We are more then what our "today's" look like.

Lets all take a deep breath, start over tomorrow, and live the life He has laid out before us :)