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Joy: a choice

Mister and I were rearranging our bedroom a few months ago. I was moving things from my side of the wall to its new home. I moved a word hanging that I keep out. The word is Joy. A friend had made it for me years ago when we had a small business (I think, I honestly can’t remember that far back! Ha!). I would say this was made about 5 or 6 years ago. It’s been packed from NC to TX and two moves since we’ve moved to TX. 

Anyway, when I moved the word a spider had come from behind it. The letters aren’t attached to each other like they were when it was new. Some of the red paper has come off. The green border doesn’t stick in some spots. 

  
But I still love it.

Our own joy can look just like the physical word JOY that hangs in my room. Torn, beaten, not brand new, a little nasty spilling out….not like it once was. 

Joy is something we choose not something that is given. No matter what is going on in your life, chose joy! There is always something to be thankful about, no matter how small. Our joy cannot be stolen unless we allow it to be. 

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 

James 1:2 NIV

We’ll have hard days where that joy is hiding. Look for it. 

They’ll be days when we feel down & out that you think no one knows how you feel. Seek joy anyway. 

Satan will throw anything he can at you to steal your joy. Don’t let him. Don’t let him win. Let him know who’s boss…and it ain’t him! 

No matter what your joy as looked like before or how you think it’s supposed to look, grab your joy and run with it! 

Joy comes in all shapes, colors, and sizes…seek yours and never let go!

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Dear Inner Voice

Shove it! Just shut up! 

You have not been nice to me for over 2 weeks. You haven’t had one nice thing to say to me during this time period. I don’t know why or what you are trying to accomplish but stop. 

You’ve had me doubt friendships and choices. Making me think I’m less than and being replaced. You’ve made me feel worthless and crazy. You’ve made me want to crawl in a hole and just be alone. You’ve made me feel like everyone is against me and that I’m a burden to those that care about me. You’ve made me feel bitter and hateful towards people that I normally wouldn’t feel this way. You’ve put wedges between relationships. 

You suck. I don’t like you. Where did you come from and why are you treating me this way? 

I don’t know those answers but I do know that I’m not letting you win anymore. I win. You lose. 

Tomorrow is a new day and my thoughts are going to be positive. They are going to be nice.  Encouraging. Uplifting. 

You are not invited anymore. Go bother someone else. 

I win. 

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Who am I?

Well, this can/is a hard question to answer. I had a friend on Facebook post who she was. Take her or leave her kinda thing. I imagined she felt freer after she posted it. Maybe those in her life found out things they didn’t know. Loved her more for putting herself out there. I’m not exactly sure why but ever since I read her post, I wanted to do the same. Lay myself out there. Not one person knows all of me. This post won’t allow you to see all of me but it’ll give you more than you probably already know. I have no idea why I feel the need to share any of this with you, but when I am told to do something, I suck it up and listen. I might add that I don’t listen immediately but I try to follow Him and His nudges. 

I can tell you my name. I can tell you what I do. I don’t necessarily think those things define who I am. 

My name is Trel. 

I am a mother, daughter, wife, aunt, daughter in law, granddaughter, friend, sister, step sister, step daughter, niece. 

I clean dishes, wash clothes, wash dishes, heal boo-boos, read stories, play games, listen to problems, fix problems, play dress-up, color, cook meals, and much more. 

But who am I? What do I like? What are my passions? Weakness? Strength? What makes me laugh? Makes me angry? Calms me? What do I believe? Who do I believe in?

I may not know 100% what all these answers are or have more than a few answers, but I do know one thing about myself. I’m complicated. I don’t always understand why I do/feel/think what I do. 

Here are things that I do know about myself:

I love with all I have. I’m a jealous person. I forgive when others tell me I deserve not too. I anger easily. I laugh at inappropriate times. I am inappropriate. I hold back when I should give all. I can be rough. I hurt others. I miss those not in my life deeply. I don’t so well with change. I shove my sadness and frustration down until I just explode. I can tell you all day long how to do something or how to handle a situation but I cannot always practice what I preach. I have the mouth of a sailor most days. I regret. I love to help people. I crave being with my friends and mister. I don’t appreciate what I have. I take my bubble for granted. I suck at admitting I’m wrong. Even harder for me to say I’m sorry. I get clingy but hold back. I start to question things when my friendships reach a certain point. I would do more if I had more to give. I need a partner, I am not good being a leader by myself. I fail daily. I believe in God. I am a Christ follower. I believe what the Bible says. I believe that there is only one way to heaven. I believe everyone has the free will to choose what they believe. My actions/words do not always match my beliefs. When I’m hurting, you probably wouldn’t even know it. I’m good at putting on a smile. I’m a horrible liar, my face will tell on me. I cannot eat/drink something I do not like. No matter how full my life/plate is, I want to help others. I take tons of notes that I, usually, never look at again. My anxiety is ridiculous. Organization calms me. But you wouldn’t know it with the way my house looks. My children have taught me more than I could have ever imagined. I am slapped in the face daily by them…not always a bad thing. I fail them daily. I hope I don’t have to pay for therapy in their future. They make me become more filter less. More courageous. They have made myself build a stronger backbone. My nonsense meter is very low. I have no room for drama in my life…my children’s drama is enough. I am ungrateful. My thanks aren’t enough.  I am forgiven. My mistakes don’t outweigh my worth. Tomorrow is always a new day. The next week/day/hour/minute is another chance for me to be better. I am the least perfect and put together person you will meet. I am a mess. I don’t have all the answers….though my life would be easier if I did. I’m not proud of my past but it’s part of my story. I won’t know what I have until it’s gone though I pray I don’t wait that long to ‘get it’. I trust too quickly but not as quickly as I used to. I’m nice to everyone but I don’t like everyone. If you could hear my inner voice and the goings on of my brain, you would be frightened. I am crazy. I think too much. I like to but if put in a corner, I will fight to the death. I’m impatient. I have to check myself before I wreck myself….daily. I am messy. I talk a hundred miles a minute. I get depressed. I have high highs. I am just a mess trying to do my best and please God. I eat too much. I am so thankful I’m not allergic to chocolate. 

This is me (and more than what I can verbally say). Take me or leave me. I’m not here to please you or make you happy. I don’t apologize for who I am but I am working on making me better. There is always more of me you don’t know or understand (I don’t even understand most days). 

This is me. Trel. 

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Sidekick update

Well it’s been a week since I had my genius idea and I’d say it’s working out pretty good! Last week was easier than this current week simply because we didn’t have anywhere to be. I’m glad that I’m having to figure out how to get what I need done while it’s still summer though. Good practice! 

I highlight what I get accomplished from my list. Last week was bright yellow!

  
 This week….I have a few yellow dots. 

  
Again, I’m learning to be ok with that. I just try and move whatever I didn’t accomplish to the next day. Laundry is something that I’m trying to get done no matter what else is going on that day. I do 2 loads a day, 6 days a week, so laundry is definitely something that I cannot get behind on! Has long has its been washed and dried then I’m ok with that. My goal is to actually have it put away and then I mark it has being finished. 

Anyway, this post isn’t about laundry! 

I’m really liking that everything is all there. I don’t have a notebook for a shopping list, chores, phone calls, and whatever else. It’s all in one and makes toting it around much easier. I’ve already started writing down ideas for what my next sidekick will contain. I will start putting it together in December to get ready for the new year and so that it will coincide with my 2016 planner. 

Overall it’s working out great! I’m glad that the idea came to me and I didn’t push it aside. I go to bed feeling good about what was accomplished and, most, mornings I don’t wake up with all this weight on my shoulders filled with lists and to dos and all that jazz. 

I’m excited and looking forward to continuing this new habit and putting together one for 2016! Cannot wait to update and show you!

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Meal planning…long overdue update

Well, I think it’s been about a year (or close to) that I started posting about my meal planning routine. I don’t even remember what I talked about or what that routine was. 

Since starting my MP sidekick and seeing that we weren’t planning our meals very well (again), I knew it was time to start putting effort into this again. The only thing I forgot to do was keep track of the budget. I’ll be sure to do that for he next time. 

Since its summer time, I’m now having to include breakfasts and lunches into my planning. I like variety so I knew we couldn’t just have cereal or sandwiches all the time, boooooring! We do have these but it’s not on an every day basis. 

I have 9 breakfast items and 5 lunch items that I just in rotation. There’s no reason that I need to become a Pinterest mom for these meals. They are fed and that’s all that matters. 

Dinner is where I will try need recipes or something that we haven’t had in awhile. Dinner is where we are choosing to not do a rotation. Mister and I have decided that we don’t want to get burned out for these meals. For some reason breakfast and lunch doesn’t bother us, it’s just dinner where we don’t want the same thing over and over again. 

I plan out meals two weeks in advance. I shop a week at a time and buy any produce we may need the day before we will use it. We waste too much money buying the produce before we need it and it ends up going bad and is having to buy it again. That’s frustrating and is dipping into our budget that we, honestly, cannot afford to keep doing. Now I just have to remember to make a habit out of checking for the produce items the day before. 

Here is what my meal planning looks like:

   

First I feel the need to say that the meal doesn’t have to be on the date it’s written for. This used to be the way it had to be! I would get upset and start to panic a bit (sounds so silly when I say it out loud) when the meal wasn’t made on the date that it was written for. As much as it still drives me crazy, I don’t freak out about it if I have to move meals around. 

The highlighted meals are the ones we’ve eaten. That’s just so I can keep track of the food and meals. 

When I write out the shopping list, I just go meal by meal. If I need more than one of something, I try not to write it twice but instead do this: bread x4. That way when I go to the aisle this item is in, I don’t have to scan the whole list, I can just look to see how many I need. 

So far this is working for me. Keep in mind I’ve only been doing this for a week. I really want to keep it up and make this out normal instead of trying new technic and new technic……ain’t nobody got time for that!

I figured I would update after a week and I think I’ll do another update after I’ve been doing this for a month. Next time though I will include the budget, if I can remember 😜

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Summer funness!

Summer break just started for us and I don’t want to sit around the house for 3 months with 6 kiddos doing nothing and hearing ‘I’m bored!’ ‘What are we going to do?’

I saw someone else do the same thing but I cannot remember where I saw it or who posted it. I thought it was such a smart thing to do that I had to copy it!

I got my 4 oldest kiddos together and asked them what they wanted to do this summer and created their summer bucket list! It’s nothing fancy or glamorous but it works for us. I divided the poster into 4 parts, one for each kiddo, and then wrote down their lists. The color it’s written in matches the color that their chore charts are written in. Figured that was the easiest thing to do so there were no questions. 

  
I haven’t figured out a way for them to check off the things they’ve done. I guess I could let them each decide since it is their list. 

At the end of summer, I’ll come back here and update you on how it worked and if it’s something we’ll do next summer!

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I think I’m a genius 

*cough cough* Excuse me while I wipe away the dust that has settled on the blog! 😜

So it’s true, pretty sure I just became a genius this morning! 

A grabbed a notebook from the stash we have and began to meal plan (it’s been months since I did that!) yesterday. This morning I wrote out the grocery list for those meals.

This is where the genius happened!

I was texting with my friend about a the MOPS exercise group that we want to start. I grabbed my MOPS notebook and started writing down our ideas and plans. Then I grabbed my notebook stated above and began to write out my week. Then I thought I should go ahead and plan out 2 weeks. Then I thought, no I should do all of June. No, I’ll just do all summer! Then I went ahead and wrote out, in 2 week chunks, our meal plans for the whole summer. I haven’t filled in the meals yet but I’ll get to that part. 

I like cutesy, girly, glittery things. I was going to just use paper clips but that didn’t satisfy my want. I decided to use some duct tape that we have and use them as tabs. Again with the genius part! 

I’m glad that I have 3 months of summer to use this and put it in place. Hopefully by the time next school year starts, it’ll be second nature and working great!

My monthly planner I use is my life! If I lost it, I would be lost….we are very close! It’s color coded for everything going on and who it involves. My MP sidekick is not color coded. I don’t color for this. My MP sidekick is just for me to put my to do list, laundry schedule, and anything going on that day. MP sidekick is where I can write more details without over-crowding my planner. These two planners will become best friends and never leave my side! 

I hope and wish so badly that this new tool works. I’m planning everything two weeks out. So each week I’m planning but it’s far enough in advance that I’m not rushing or overwhelming myself. If it works then I plan on getting another notebook for next year that will go along with my planner again. I’ll have to write things out earlier any get my pages organized better at that time. But for now it’ll work and note the changes I need to make for next time. 

I’m overly excited about this and couldn’t wait to share it with you! I’ve been thinking and praying about something that would help me with my time management (cause I’m horrible with it) and I hope this is the answer! 

   
These are my meals planned out for two weeks. 

My grocery list is only for one week. This way I’m not throwing money away because food went bad before I could use it.   

  

This is my days planned out with more detail than my planner. 

 

The friendship begins 😍

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No yelling: Day 4 – now

So I obviously didn’t do a very good job of blogging the week that I wasn’t going to yell. I also didn’t do a very good job of not yelling. I have yelled every day from the first post until now. I don’t know how to not yell. I get to point where talking doesn’t work. I’m tired of being given respect by my kids. I can and will only take so much before I have hit my limit.

I have, however, stopped myself in some moments and just began to talk in a normal voice. That doesn’t happen very often but I’m glad when it does. It helps me calm down and I’m sure they enjoy it more when I’m just talking vs yelling. I wish I could do that every time. I wish I wasnt a yeller. Again, I don’t know how to not yell. Maybe one day I wont, I hope sooner than later.

I know the area in which I need to work on. It’s the ‘in the moment’ moments that I’m terrible at. I can tell myself all day long what I need to do but when I am in the middle of those moments, it all goes out the window. I always fall back into the same cycle that I don’t want to be in…..the crazy cycle!

I will break this cycle and beat it. I don’t when or what will be the magic ingredient but I will!

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#365daysofthanks – 2/365

Today is January 2nd.

I was actually struggling to find something to be thankful for all day. It just wasn’t a very good day here in our house. We had moments but overall, I’m glad it’s bed time.

I was originally going to say that I was thankful for the rain we are getting today. We live in Texas and are currently in a severe drought, stage 5 to be exact. So when we get rain, everyone is thanking God for it.

Then I got to thinking that I really needed to look for something that might not be so obvious, something that wasn’t right in my face.

Everyone had had gone to bed and it was close to 9pm and still hadn’t found something to write about. And then I was playing with Emma, just her and I. And I looked in her eyes and thought, man am I so thankful for you!

(In case you are new or don’t remember, as I didn’t and had to go back and read it, here are my thoughts when I finding out I was pregnant with our 6th child)

I wasn’t always so excited that this baby would be here. I didn’t want this baby to be here. now when I look at her, I can’t imagine my life without her. She is only 5 months old and it feels like she’s been much longer than that and other times it feels like she just got here. The majority of the time (when I have those moments to reflect) it feels like she was always supposed to be here. And I know that she was in His plans the whole time. I love her so much it hurts sometimes. I cherish her a bit more than my other babies because I feel like she is my last baby. I probably won’t have these moments again. I know that I need to soak them up as much as I can.

I am so thankful for this baby that I cried about when I found out that I was pregnant with her and wished that God would give her to someone else (true story. I even told God who I wanted him to give my baby to). I am so glad He didn’t listen to  me. I’m so glad that He gave her to me. Emma will always be my baby and be my own personal proof that His plans are always better than mine.

 

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#365daysofthanks – 1/365

Today is January 1st, 2015. The first day (technically night as of right now) of a brand new year. Today starts 365 days of me saying what I’m thankful for for an entire year. I’m really hoping to complete this. I’ve started things before but have never finished it. I want to complete this! (Here is my original post of where this started)

Today I am thankful that I have started reading to my kiddos every night. We started on the first book of a series that no one had read before. We are now on book 4. Not only do I look forward to this time with them, my kiddos do also. My two year old will ask throughout the day “read?” I love that they are enjoying this.

I picked up about 3 books each for the kiddos at the library and told them that when they wanted to read them to do so. They’ve actually been doing it! I help B & C read their books and read Lily her books. I absolutely love reading and books! I have yet to have any interest in getting a nook or kindle. I love having a book in my hand. To turn the pages. To smell the pages of a new book. Those are things that I cannot get from a piece of plastic.

I am just thankful to have this time with them every night and that they are enjoying it as much as I am.