We’re Baaaack!! (well, almost….)

Back in January of this year, we started out on this journey….of reclaiming our family.  And, of course, when you decide to do something….to make this great change for the better in your lives, than what happens?  Satan comes at you hard…..bringing you down by the very thing that you are trying so hard to get out of.

 In our world, that would be chaos.  And let me tell you, in this year has been a year of complete chaos.  In addition to finding out that we are moving out of state, we also found out that we are expecting our 4th baby.  

We thought by this time, that we would be Floridians, but the date of Danny’s transfer keeps getting pushed back…and back….and back.  It’s due to construction issues with the building in Florida, but for us it was kind of like, “you’re moving in a month….get packed. Find a place to live.  Oh wait, did we say a month?  Make that 3.  Oh, wait, can we make that 2 more?” And so on.  So, from first hearing we would be moving in April, it turned into June, then August, then October and now it looks like we’ll be heading to Florida in September.  We shall see, we shall see.  

And on to the next news…..the expecting of our 4th child.  If you know me at all you know one thing I do really well is puke when I’m pregnant (and get insanely huge and birth really big babies, but that’s another story…).  This is not just any morning sickness, what I experience drags me down, usually for months at the time.  And this pregnancy has been no different.  I had a VERY rough few months, but I’m so happy to report that though the sickness is still ever present, it is also very manageable at this point.  Thank you, Jesus. 

But basically, the story is… it is really hard to blog when you are puking.  So, the first thing that got pushed to the back burner was, unfortunately, our blog.  But we are coming back.  I am feeling better, which means my family is feeling better and as of August 1, we are back in business here at Family Reclamation.  

Just a quick update on how things will roll  here on the blog starting NEXT THURSDAY, August, 1st:

First day of every month: we will introduce a new “area of reclamation”, which basically means a part of our crazy life that we are reclaiming.  In this first post of the month, we will explain our problem and why we are reclaiming this area of our lives.

Every Monday of the month: We will update on how we’re doing so far in our reclamation, and have specific goals for that  week.

Every OTHER Tuesday of the month: Sarah will host a series called, True Talk Tuesday where she blogs about random issues she is dealing with.  Not necessarily having anything to do with the current reclamation, but just as entertaining none the less!

Every Thursday of the Month: We have a series called Thankfulness Thursday, where we’ll list all of the gifts we’ve counted throughout the week.  At the end of 2013, the goal is to have a list of 1000 gifts.

We really hope that you will join us on our journey of Reclamation!

Advertisements

There are no words

running feetToday I ran.  As I heard my feet hit the pavement, I thought of other running feet today.  The ones who awoke in Boston, after likely months of training, and headed out for a marathon.  The Boston Marathon.  I think of them tying their shoes.  I think of the crisp morning air, and I think about them stretching in preparation.  I think of them pinning on their numbers, and taking their place among so many others.  I think of the sound of their feet–all of those feet--hitting the pavement.  And how none of them knew what was about to happenI think about children with their parents for a fun day together, wives waiting for their husbands and vice versa.  It’s a day of fun.  It’s a day of accomplishment.  It’s a day of celebration.  Until the unthinkable happens.

I was driving in the car when I first heard the news.  I immediately thought of my sister.  She and her military family Spent 3 years in the city that stole their hearts.  They haven’t even been gone a full year yet.  We visited them twice during their time in Boston.  I thought about places we had been.  Riding the swan boats.  Lobster tails at Mike’s Pastry.  Following the Freedom Trail.  Wading in Frog Pond.  I thought of her friends.  I saw faces of people I had met–people so close to my sister that I know she considers them family.

mikes pastrys          frog         frog pond         freedom trail         cheers

boston10                      childrens musem                    boston common                 bethruth                 beth

Later when we talk my sister says,

“That’s where we were.  We were in that very spot one year for the marathon”

It sinks in.  this day could have been very different for her.  For me.  It could have been life altering.  It was for many.

All of my sisters friends–runners and spectators–are safe.  “One of my friends was there with all 4 of her kids”  She says.  There are no words.

And as we look from far away, we thank God for the ones that were protected.  And we are devastated for the ones that were injured.  Left without limbs.  Came for a run, left missing a leg.  There are no words.  We grieve for the 3 lost.  One, an 8-year-old boy. I have an 8-year-old.  There are no words.

martin

When there are no words, and there are no answers we are confident that there is the Word and He is the answer.  When there are people grieving–a city, grieving–there is a God to comfort, to love and to redeem.  We see this through runners not stopping at the finish line, but running straight to the hospital to donate blood to the injured.  A Dr., that happened to be at the finish line.  Others around him fell, but he stood–and treated others.  We see it through spectators running towards–instead of away from–explosions to help others. 

mr rogers

we know deep down that if there were not terrible days, we wouldn’t know to enjoy the wonderful days.

If there weren’t hard times, we couldn’t appreciate the good times

If some days were not the days where you need strength to stand….or breathe, then we would never experience grace to stand….or breathe.

If everyday was perfect, we wouldn’t need a perfect Savior

yes

So on the terrible day that is today, right in the middle of this hard time, where the people of Boston need grace to stand….to breathe….we beg our perfect Savior for redemption.  He will redeem.

We are praying for you, Boston!

When you lie down, and when you rise up

057

APRIL: Week ONE  

I have a love hate relationship with spring.  It is where new blossoms and new life, fresh flowers and fresh smells live.  It is also where tornadoes live.  And I cannot tell you how much I HATE tornadoes.  Not just actual tornadoes, but the THOUGHT of tornadoes.  If I allow myself, I can go into a full-blown panic at the sight of a few raindrops.  It send me whizzing to the computer or my phone to check alerts, view the hour by hour forecast and start making plans for our place of shelter in the storm—-just. in. case.  I have no idea why I have this giant fear of storms, where it originated or why it lingers.  I’m sure I should try to get to the bottom of it one of these days, but for now I just basically try to survive until mid June.  When I start to feel safe again.  All of that to say, I was totally on board when we sat down to talk about our area of reclamation for April, and I heard Danny say that he really thinks we should concentrate on spiritual things this month.  April is a time when I can definitely use some extra Jesus!  Our area of reclamation for the month of April is

Family Spirituality  

008  

003

009

unfortunately, sometimes when life gets busy, devotion (or quiet time or whatever you choose to call it) is the first thing to go.  We struggle with this.  Individually and as a family.  We have a different schedule than most because of Danny’s working hours, so bedtime bible stories are sometimes just the kids and me.  And sometimes there is so much going on that the bible story gets skipped for a short bedtime prayer.  We don’t want it to be like this.  We desire for times of reading the bible, talking about God and praying together as a family to be the most important, most prevalent, most everyday, never-gets-skipped, always-gets-done, part of our family life.  Because, after all, this is what really matters.  Everything else will come and go, but our hearts are forever, faith is forever, Jesus is forever.  

001

011

Our goals for the first week of april are:

*To have individual devotions everyday (set a time, and stick to it)

*To have family devotions everyday (figure out a time–morning or evening–that works best for our schedule, and stick to it)

*To memorize scripture (the girls are already doing this with AWANA, but Danny and I want to be more intentional about memorization.  We will each pick a scripture to practice and memorize this week.)

 “You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.  

Deuteronomy 11:19

When life is exhausting

mother  Sometimes life is exhausting.  There are stressful jobs, deadlines due, homework to be done, beds to make, meals to cook, kids to take to school (and baseball and soccer), babies that don’t sleep, church to go to, groceries to be bought, grass to be mowed, oil to change, diapers to change,  and no matter what YOUR list looks like, everyone’s list goes on… and on… and on.  Life gets crazy, and hectic and we are so busy we can barely even remember what we did yesterday that made us so tired today.

Sometimes eating real food in an already busy everyday can make you so. insanely. exhausted.

This is for the people that say to me,

“I don’t have time for that”

“I work too much”

“I could never do that”

“other things are more important”

and it is FOR ME who says to myself,

“I don’t have time for this!”

“I work too much!”

“I can’t do this!”

“other things are more important!”

Because, let’s face it….. some days I don’t have time for soaking beans and kneeding dough and sauteeing veggies and some days I DO work too much….that I miss out on playing a board game with my 6 year old, researching animals with my 8 year old, and stopping to look in the 11 month old’s eyes when he reaches out for me as I rush by…..to do more work.  And some days it’s true…. I. just can’t. do. this.  And Lord help us if we don’t realize that….other things ARE more important.

So as much as I believe in eating real food, and in making sure my family has good healthy things to snack on and as crucial as I know it is to keep things like high fructose corn syrup and GMO’s out of our house and our bodies, there are times that the plan doesn’t go the way I want it to go.  There are days when the dishes pile up because history has to be taught, and babies have to be nursed and games have to be played, and magic tricks have to be watched.  And there are days that the dinner that needed to be started by 4:00 was forgotten because the little one has teeth coming in and can’t stop crying, and the boxes have to be packed and the 8 year old needs to know right now what dog breed is really the smartest and why.  And when dinner gets forgotten and it turns into cereal at 10pm instead of chicken and rice at 6, that WAS NOT the plan.  And sometimes there is a traffic jam on the way to the chiropractor and a child that HAS TO go potty right now and stomachs that should have been fed lunch an hour ago so there is a drive thru and that was not the plan.

And I always self condemn and I think I should have had a better plan.  I should have gotten up earlier,  gotten more done today, brought snacks with us, had a frozen meal ready to be cooked and maybe all of those things are true.  But at the end of the day when I am kissing my husband goodbye as he heads out to work and I am laying the baby in his bed, and listening to the girls play nicely together (for the first time all. day.), I remember that it’s okay.  There is always tomorrow.  And just like one bad day doesn’t make everyday bad, one bad meal does not mean every meal is bad.  So to you, and to myself, I say

grace

give yourself some grace.  

you have a bad real food day, don’t make it a bad real food week.  Start again at the next meal.  Or the next.  Or the next day!  Take a deep breath, and start again.  Because, afterall, everyday I do have some time, and if every day I make some time then there are far less days when I work too much, and if there are far less days when I work too much, there are far more days that the things that are more important, are more important to me, and far more days when the feeling turns from “I just can’t do this” to “wow….I’m doing this.”

          Personally, if I get overwhelmed, I am prone to depression and panic, among other things.  In order to keep the chaos under control, I try to take one day to do all the baking.  I also double the recipes and freeze what I can, so the baking (bread, crackers, snacks, etc.) last about 2 weeks. I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl, but the older I get the more I realize I can train myself to be  more organized.  One way I am doing this is by following a  meal plan and having a nightly routine to prepare for the next day.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  bad day

Goals for the week

As we talked about our goals for this week, what we’re struggling with and what we think needs to be reclaimed in our food life, we both were burdened by the amount of clutter in our kitchen.  To cook real food it takes pots and pans and pans and pots and dishes and dishes and dish.es.  Just like when we blogged about our laundry, we started realizing that we have too. many. dishes.  The dishes pile up and there’s always another pot to cook this or boil that, and then we end up with a sink full of dirty dishes….and no time right now to wash them because there’s speech to get to by 12:30 and then by the time school is done this afternoon there’s no time to wash those pots from breakfast…..because dinner has to be cooked NOW.  No problem!  There’s 8 more pots in the cupboard.  …..And so it goes way more often than I care to admit.  This is clearly a problem for us.  It is time to CLEAN OUT THE KITCHEN.

*narrow down the dishes (pots pans, plates, silverware….everything) to what we really need

*make time after EVERY meal to wash the dishes (which for me, will a lot of times mean to start meals earlier)

*Eat dinner at 6pm every night (this is still a goal, because it’s still a struggle)

Thank you all for reading our blog and for your support.  W love hearing from you and would love to know about your real food journey!  Are there days when it is just plain exhausting??  How do you cope?

Thankfulness Thursday

welcome to Thankfulness Thursday! Every Thursday I will add to our 2013 list of 1000 gifts. The list is compiled throughout the week by all members of our family as we learn to see God’s grace gifts on a daily basis.

1. Tiny marshmallows
2. Jesus & God
3. Zebras
4. Making zebra masks
5. Reading in bed
6. Hot soup on a cold night
7. Calm after the storm
8. White clouds in a blue sky
9. Baby laughs
10. Tickles from daddy
11. Car lights
12. A surprise unexpected
13. Money saved
14. Quarters in the mall ride
15. Red bird in the tree out front
16. First run
17. Pajama Saturday
18. Front parking space
19. Ice cream smiles
20. School on the mantle