Sunday, August 22, 2010

Confessions of a Mad Mama

Well, this may prove to be quite a different post than the others so far. A bit more of the rambling and venting variety, so you may choose to get off here:) I guess I've hit a point that comes for me occasionally--one of feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, unsure, and feeling like a failure. Not sure where it started this time. Maybe it was when my 6 year old son asked me yesterday what I was mad about it--and I wasn't talking at the time. And then today when (I also wasn't talking at the time) my husband asked more than once what was wrong. That means I look angry, which means I'm frustrated and/or overwhelmed. It usually comes out sooner or later verbally as well; and that's when it gets really ugly around here.

My son has been in school for a week, which may be one of the reasons for my feeling overwhelmed. First grade seems to be quite a bit different than kindergarton already--there is more work, there is homework, there are more papers coming home, and greater expectations of the students. So my prayers have increased for my son over the last week.

My daughter starts preschool next week. I will be glad for her to start preschool so I can have a break. We are working on getting her speech services. But also with her starting preschool I am faced with how to use that brief bit of time I will have to myself. I will go to the Dr. and make appointments I have put off. I will meet with my newly forming moms in touch prayer group. But I am also feeling like I should get a part-time job. I haven't worked in so long, I don't even know if its possible, especially part-time. Money is tight being a single-income family; and I get weary of that. I know that is not the right attitude, as I know I am to be content in everything; and compared to so many, we are so blessed.

Sometimes I feel like I am failing as a mother. To be honest, sometimes I have a hard time enjoying the now --and I don't know why. Because then I walk around feeling guilty and knowing that this time with my young children at home is fleeting and I will probably look back and wonder why I was more concerned with my agenda than sitting and playing with my children and actually enjoying them. Don't get me wrong, my children are precious precious to me--the sweetest things on this earth. Sometimes the demands for attention, answers to questions, and general service are overwhelming to me (although no amount of stress is equal to the joy my children bring:)

So I put myself in a no-win situation, feeling I'm a failure at times as a stay-at-home mom, but being too scared to go back to work. I'm scared because I don't want someone else caring for my children; I'm scared that my children will be scared if they are left with someone else, I'm scared of missing out on their lives if I leave them with someone else, and I'm scared because I feel incompetent to be successful at work. Crazy I know.

I'm also getting up at 5:30 a.m. to have a brief quiet time with the Lord before going running and training for a 1/2 marathon in November. I'm tired. A lot of days I feel exhausted because I feel like I have barely slept. My body hurts. On top of that I don't have a good handle on my eating habits. With all this running I'm not losing weight, and I'm not eating as I should.

So I am looking ahead to the weeks to come. My daughter will be in preschool Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 9-1. Tuesday mornings I plan to facilitate ladies Bible studies. Wednesday nights I will be in choir. Thursday mornings I'm going to help in my son's class. Things may change with my husband's job in December. Most weekends ahead are already filled with activities. So do I try to get a part-time job?

Just living in this world is overwhelming--just reading the news.

I know that God is in control and everything is going to be alright, come what may. I don't have any real problems. This is just a day in the life that will pass. I will wake up again in the morning priviledged to have the freedom to meet my Lord and to have legs to run with while running with my running buddies. I will have the priviledge of getting my son ready for his day and driving him to school, saying a prayer for him on the way. I will have the joy of picking him up after his day. I will have the priviledge of having my 4 year old daughter by my side throughout the day. I will have the satisfaction of attending her preschool open house at her Christian preschool. I will have money to buy groceries. I can lay my head on a soft pillow tonight. I have a husband who is here--who cares for me and for our children. There are many blessings to be thankful for. And many trials to be thankful for too. This will be my focus this week--thanksgiving.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

After School Snack: Banana Chocolate Chip Surprise Muffins (requires no sugar, no eggs, and no butter)

I didn't measure most of the ingredients, so this will be a guesstimation:

3 bananas
about 1/4 to 1/2 cup date honey (see below)
about 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
about 1/4 cup milled flaxseed
about 1 TB. almond milk
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
1/2 cup pecans (optional)

Mix together bananas, date honey, applesauce, and flaxseed. Mix milk in to moisten. Add flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix in chocolate chips and pecans. Bake at 350 until golden brown. These were enjoyed by the kids and the husband, and myself:)

Date honey is a recipe from Kristen Morrow Feola's blog Those Who Hunger. You can go to her blog from my blog (she is a follower on here.) The date honey is made by boiling the dates down in water and adding some cinnamon. Delicious! Its great in oatmeal, on toast, and in recipes.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Jehovah Jireh--the Lord will provide

The focus of my Bible study right now is on praise. In my quiet time appointment with the Lord at 5:30 a.m. I am focusing on Jehovah Jireh--the Lord will provide. He is my provider; He is willing and able to meet every need. Yesterday the verse was Genesis 22:8, 13-14--the incredible story of God testing Abraham by instructing him to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. As Abraham and Isaac went up the mountain for the horrifying deed, Isaac noticed that they had the fire and the wood, but was wondering where the lamb was for the sacrifice. Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." Later as Abraham was ready to sacrifice his only son, God stopped him and told him not to do it. "Do not lay a hand on the boy, he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son." Right then "Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by his horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The Lord will provide. And to this day it is said, On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided."

In an amazing portrayal of what was to come, Abraham was willing to sacrifice his only son out of obedience to God. This sacrifice was ultimately fulfilled when God gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, as the sacrifice for our sins. Jesus was our substitutionary lamb. God himself provided the offering both for Abraham and for us. The Lord did provide. The Lord will provide. I praise the Lord that He foresaw that we would need a Redeemer, an offering; that He is my Provider, My Deliverer, My Sacrifice.

Today the verse was Acts 14:17, "Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your heart with joy." The beauty was, it was raining while I was reading the passage. I was reminded that God provides for us physically as well as emotionally and spiritually. He gives us rain, He gives us food, and He gives us joy. I followed up my appointment with the Lord with another important appointment with my running buddy. We ran 8 miles, something I couldn't have done just two months ago.

In the last couple of days I have received a couple of small checks in unexpected reimbursements --at the same time that our A/C went out and we had to have a part to fix it--the reimbursements helped cover some of the cost. God does indeed provide!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Easy Homemade Pesto Pizza with Mozarella and Tomatoes

Easy Homemade Pesto Pizza with Mozarella and Tomatoes

1 Rhodes frozen white bread loaf
Homemade pesto
Fresh Mozarella
Fresh Tomatoes

Follow directions on the back of the Rhodes white bread loaves for thawing and making pizza crusts. Put pizza crusts on greased cookie sheets. Cover with homemade pesto (see recipe below), slices of fresh mozarella cheese, and slices of fresh tomato. Bake at 400 for 6 minutes until golden (or longer depending on oven) and broil for about 2 minutes.

Homemade Pesto

2 cups basil leaves
1/3 cup pine nuts
1-2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Pulse basil and pine nuts in food processor until combined. Add garlic until chopped and combined. Add olive oil and combine until smooth. Use spatula to scrape down sides. Add parmesan cheese until incorporated. Season with salt and pepper and pulse until smooth.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Runner's Prayer

Oh Lord, how I praise you. Praise you for the beauty of your creation. You make me run on the hills and down low in the valleys. As I literally run these hills I see the parallel to life. And I know you are with me when I reach the top and when I am at the bottom. You alone keep me going. I cry out and say your name, Jesus, and shout thank you. I claim your victory. I keep my eyes ahead and neither waver to the left or to the right. You compel me to persevere. I think on your Word. I relate to my brother in the faith, Jeremiah, who goes from the heights of exultation and sinks to the depths of despair (Jeremiah 20:14-18.) Yet he rises again and again to fulfill his divine call. "Sing to the Lord! Give praise to the Lord! He rescues the life of the needy from the hands of the wicked" (Jeremiah 20:13.) Come Lord Jesus. Come Holy Spirit and fill me anew for this day.