Monday, July 28, 2014

Just for me!

I have been pondering for a few months about this blog and if it is an out dated way of expression. So I am writing today for me. To process my thoughts and to learn from what God is doing in my life.

I feel as though so much has happened in such a short period of time that it is hard to even begin.

I am so thrilled at where we are and at the same time feel quite overwhelmed in the midst too.

To date I find myself in the middle of a lesson. Again.... :)

I was listening to a sermon on Sunday that really got me thinking about where I have been putting my focus. A question was raised about taking time to ponder if there was something that had become an idol in my life.

It is amazing how fast our focus can change from a healthy perspective to a crumby selfish one.

December 13th last year we moved into a pretty amazing house. 3000sq ft. of brand new perfectly built for us space. We are a couple years out from being able to finalize it as our own. But details aside, this is our 20 year long term, settle in house.

An overwhelming blessing. We were in shock for about 2 months after moving in. Literally brought to tears as we walked down the stairs in the morning and looked around at what we never thought could be possible.

We have been living here for about 7 months and admittedly the shock has worn off. The everyday grind of taking care of the space has somewhat taken it's tole on me. I have become focused on the task of keeping up with cleaning and organizing and decorating "to make it ours". Now I acknowledge that I am in a season of 6 children and a vibrant growing business that is all working out of one home. But something has changed within me. It is not merely cleaning and decorating. It's like the simplicity of life has turned into a complexity of striving...
Striving for what>>> for an image? for perfection? My time has become spent more on obsessing over what else I need to do to make a space look awesome then it is on creating an atmosphere of a home that embraces all who come in. The joy that I held dear and would rest in most of my days has become a worry of the next task that needs to be accomplished.

It's funny because doing house work to me isn't all that difficult. Specifically when I am at a healthy place in my spirit and I am being purposeful with my time. But... when taking care of a house becomes more about an image (idol) then creating a healthy well stewarded home for my family... something is off.

Last night we had some friends over and hubby and I got the opportunity to express why this home is so dear to what we believe God has called us to. In expressing the passion of God working through these 4 walls... I was challenged. I have forgotten to leave the working part of this home to be that of the Holy Spirit not the grind of my own crazed cleaning frenzy.

So here I am at cross roads again. I will open up my heart to learn and grow.... I will choose to be convicted and pushed to a healthy perspective.

Thank you Lord for not leaving me in my muck!!!

I will choose to leave the striving behind and let the impact of our home to be that of a Good God and an inexplicable peace!

Psalm 46:10 "Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth"












Sunday, September 22, 2013

7 more weeks and counting down.

Up again...

Nights are seemingly becoming a challenge...

Which... if to think of the glass half full I am having precious time to think and reflect on "stuff"...

Some of which is silly... buying that diaper bag that I found on kijiji.... what I am going to be making for dinner.... and then... at times hitting a deeper level.

Before I found out I was pregnant I was on a mission to encourage every pregnant woman that I had the opportunity of crossing paths with. I had this burning desire to pass along a few incredible scriptures for those women to read through before or during labor. I didn't get to everyone... but I wanted to reach as many as I could with the Word. I wanted so dearly with the help of our God to pass along strength and encouragement during one of the most vulnerable states that a woman could find herself in.

.... Now I find myself in such a vulnerable state. Not because I am worried about the labor or birth... that seems to be something I don't have a hard time wrapping my head around. I am struggling to make my way through the pregnancy. There is nothing vitally wrong. No trauma or circumstances for concern. Baby is healthy. Things are progressing normally. It's just been a long season. For me the difficult part of pregnancy has been the 9 mths of morning sickness and although it seemed as though I might have been experiencing a release from nausea few months ago... it reared it's not nice head only a few weeks later. (Gives you such a respect for those who have long term health issues.)

There is nothing more precious then having the ability to bring another little life into the world. My words don't even begin to express the weight of how precious especially when I take a moment to reflect on so many dear friends where easily conceiving a child is an luxury that costs on so many deep levels. My burning heart cries out for those women to be able to experience the healing and blessing in the areas that they need it most.

I find it so much easier to pray for others experiences and believe for their healing and presence of the Holy Spirit in their moments of need.

Why is it that it is so much more difficult to believe it for myself. Should that not be the most natural thing. Hmmm....


Whatever area of vulnerability we find ourselves in God is only a hand away from being our comfort and support.

I am in need of reminding myself of that.

I praise you God for the blessing of this beautiful child and I ask for strength in these last weeks. 7 and counting down. May my focus stay locked on the positive. May my words bring healing to my body and take the focus off of the difficulties. May my eyes come off of myself and look up towards You the one who can give me the ability to walk out the last part of this pregnancy with grace. May I continue to focus on encouraging those around me. May my countenance become one of peace and reflective depth of Your hand in our lives through all circumstances.





Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Positive Parenting Solutions - mini recap from June 27th 2013



Well are you ready for the recap from the parenting webinar from a couple weeks ago!!!


If you need a quick refresher from the last webinar check out the recap here:
http://motheroffivelittleladies.blogspot.ca/2012/06/getting-kis-to-listen-without-nagging.html



I will only be touching on a couple things that popped out to me for this one!!!



There are three popular parenting strategies that are widely used that typically escalate misbehavior. 


1. Time out: 

  • strong willed children see times outs often as a challenge
  • it becomes the parents job to keep the child in the time out
2.  1,2,3: 
  • this method trains the child not to respond right away
  • trains them that we are not serious until we start counting when our desire is for them to listen the first time.
3. Rewards:
  • the more we reward for obedience the more it fosters a `what`s in it for me` mentality
  • the interest will actually decrease to listen the more we use this method because we are training them to be externally motivated not internally motivated.
  • they are more likely to become externally motivated adults. 

So being a mother that uses time outs as one of my consistent go to`s this was difficult to hear. 

What should we do instead...

Parenting Solutions suggests a tool called

WHEN - THEN
(This tool has been hailed as `magical`in it`s effectiveness!!)
Why does this work

It delays or denies a privilege (Y) until (X) is done. 
This tool is used in those situations when you need an action to be taken.

Important Points:
  • Be sure to emphasize the WHEN and THEN. (When - pause.... you pick up your toys, Then - pause... you may play outside)
  • The privilege must be something the child cares about, and is something that is a regular occurring privilege during the day (movie time, playing outside, playing with toys: not a reward like cookies, candies, treats) A privilege is something that you can control the order in which it can be enjoyed. 
  • After the When - Then, you must walk away - DISENGAGE (do not become an audience or a hover-er to demand that they listen
Walking away says:
  • I`m not going to argue or negotiate.
  • I am complete faith you`ll get it done.
  • Allows the child to ``save face`` and still do what you`ve asked.
CAUTION!!
  • It`s not IF - THEN : it is WHEN-THEN
  • Don`t give 2nd chances or reminders (it only reinforces you`re not serious!)
  • Stay firm. Follow through with dignity.
  • Ignore meltdowns, fussy and negotiating

So some examples would be:

Tyler WHEN you pick up your cars, THEN you may watch Backyardigans.

Sophie WHEN you clear off your place setting THEN you may play outside.

Susan WHEN you put away your laundry, THEN you may have computer time.


If there is no follow through there is no privilege! 


So everyone...
there you have a new tool in the bag to try out and see if it works. REMEMBER whenever trying anything... consistency is the KEY!!! If we don`t follow through... we confirm that we are not serious and then the issues continue!!


Blessings momma`s have a fantastic week!!!

Lots of love 
Nicole

Friday, June 28, 2013

Your Hands: by JJ Heller

I was listening to this on the radio... and really felts stirred to share.

So for you who need to know that God is always there for you.

In tears, in sadness, in those unanswered prayers.

He is still there!!!

He Loves You!!!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0D1P8k9mWM





Your Hands
by JJ Heller



I have unanswered prayers
I have trouble I wish wasn't there
And I have asked a thousand ways
That You would take my pain away
That You would take my pain away

I am trying to understand
How to walk this weary land
Make straight the paths that crookedly lie
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands

When You walked upon the Earth
You healed the broken, lost, and hurt
I know You hate to see me cry
One day You will set all things right
Yea, one day You will set all things right

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands

Your hands
Your hands that shape the world 
Are holding me, they hold me still
Your hands that shape the world
Are holding me, they hold me still

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave You when...

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave...
I never leave Your hands

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Embarrassment Factor of Pregnancy

I was on pinterest today... looking at all the beautiful pictures of "perfect" pregnant ladies.

You know... the ones with the incredible baby figure!!! Who shine and glow and look like they have it all together... Well I just had to sigh. 

This is #6 for me... and I have yet to have one of those fantasy pregnancies. 

Now don't get me wrong...  this is not a post of the horror of pregnancy... I tell you... I have heard enough of those over the years to basically scare off every single young woman I know... (which is why... if you ask me about pregnancy and labor/birth... you will hear about the incredible parts of my pregnancies!!! Pregnancy and birth should NOT be a fearful thing!!!) It's intended to be a post on the funny side of my personal journey so far.

SO, basically... I have found myself completely out of my graceful tendencies and into a mode of filter-less mess!!!! 

As I take time to think about this new season... (yes, every baby has felt like a new season... even for the well seasoned if not over flavored moms) I cannot help but wonder what God is teaching me through this. 

Here we go... I am going to tell you a few of my encounters... so you can all have a good laugh at my expense and be a part of the journey as of late... 

... a few of the typical pregnancy symptoms have found me at quite the inopportune moments.

It started at a recent young adults camping trip... I was enjoying relaxing with a few of the leaders for the weekend lounging out on chairs and watching a volley ball game go on in front of us. We were in a full blown conversation, it was really good...  really good... that is until the volley ball flew out towards my head causing me to flip back in my chair... AND.... wait for it... let out a huge TOOT!!! O my gosh... I could have died... no one said anything at first as I collected myself... then one of the guys couldn't hold it back... "DID I JUST HEAR THAT???" 
"Yup, yes you did..." How do you even move on from that... 

... well for me apparently not well... 

It wasn't three days later that my incredible husband took me out on a date... 
I was sooooooo excited... a movie... and some fun yummy food!!! Perfect!!! I ordered what seemed awesome choices at the time....a slushie and of course what pairs better with that then a New York Fries Poutine!!! YUM!!!! 
We got into the theater and I was pumped. STAR TREK (yup I am a closet Trekkie). I started into my perfect late night treat... and almost couldn't keep still the movie was so exciting... slowly though that excitement faded, as the combination of slushie/poutine began to mix with a full action movie, complete with flashing lights and quick movements of the camera... 20 minutes into the movie... I was not feeling good. Which quickly turned to really bad as motion sickness and morning sickness collided. I couldn't even turn to Adam to tell him what was going on... 5 minutes later I was trying to settle my stomach so that my worst nightmare didn't come true... then... when I felt as collected as I knew would be possible... I delicately got out of the chair and walked carefully towards the door, through the exit and towards the bathroom... 
... that's when it happened... 
... I couldn't hold it in any longer... within seconds... all that fun food found it's way all over the entrance of the bathroom.... 
... needless to say... I did not get to finish that movie... BUT>>> that was not the end of the story...

After only two days of recovery from that.... 

The girls and I headed off to pick up Leanna from school... 
I was pretty pumped because I hadn't seen a bunch of the moms in such a long time. (A neighbor of mine offered as the snow kicked in to bring Leanna to and from school, instead of me trying to get all the kids ready. Plus Leanna and her daughter enjoy walking together. She had let me know that she wasn't free that day... so I jumped to the opportunity to show off the baby belly and say hello!!!) 
As I got to the school, I was welcomed with so many smiles and points at the belly. Pretty fun to show off #6 in the making. My girls asked if they could go and play on the play ground as I chatted and I said they could.   Not long after that I was fully engulfed in a conversation again... then I heard two of my girls screaming at the top of their lungs. "MOM, Shay's up really high!!! She's going to fall... MOOOOMMMMMM!!!" I turned around to see Shaylee on the top of a ladder that curves around open 5-6ft off of the ground. In a panicked state I ran towards her... while 8-10 other mom's watched in horror... while my UNFORTUNATE sense of body awareness and balance failed me... my left foot did not make it over the plastic border around the pebbles... and I tripped and flew face first into surprisingly soft rocks.... 
I heard an audible gasp!!!

Completely Mortified!!! 

That's how I felt as I ungracefully rolled over, checking that my shirt was covering all the vitals... (feeling in the moment that my boobs must have flown out of the shirt since not much more could have occurred to trash any sense of pride) I was fumbling my way to a standing position... when I remembered that Shay was still dangling at a dangerous height above the ground... well I turned and ran and reached up and saved her!!! As I pulled her down I called the rest of the girls... and turned to the captivated audience... sheepishly giggling I said, "well now that I have made quite a performance out of myself... I guess it is time to go home."

And that's what I did... 

So what am I trying to learn through all of this??!!!

#1 Life has a tendency of being out of control and as much as I HATE the thought of that... It's okay. I need to find a way of being in peace and confidence in the midst of unexpected chaos. 

#2 God is in control. In each of these circumstances... the worst could have happened... from... peeing my pants to throwing up all over the people in front of me at the theater... and actually hurting myself and the baby when I landed on my face!!!

#3 It's good to be able to laugh at myself. Posting this on here is my way of taking a step towards not taking life so seriously!!!


Well dear friends... as I stumble my way through another week... I love you... and praying this week is finding you all amazing and in good spirits!!! May we all continue to giggle at those little mishaps that occur beyond our control!!!!  :) 

Thanks for joining me in another raw addition of the Pregnant filter-less Passionate Women episode teheheheehehe!!

Nic


Ps. Here's a picture of Shay just being Shay... not caring about what others think of her... something else that I am learning...














Friday, June 21, 2013

The Fad of the BIG "M" - Modesty!!!

I saw this video on a young girls FB wall and felt compelled to share. But it didn't seem to do much justice merely re-posting the video on facebook because... well to be honest I simply didn't want to be judged with a message that has the potential to make me look like one of those fanatic christian "prudes." (....just being real...)



SO Wow!! This trend of modesty is seemingly becoming a "fad" big deal! With this one... shesh... did I ever get convicted and encouraged and... frustrated all at the same time. On one hand..  I find myself back in high school irritated that I am being told to embrace the responsibility of dressing modestly. Taking a moment to admit I was absolutely one of those teens who stuck my nose up in the air and believed, "so just don't look!!" And although my goal was to always keep "stuff" covered, I tell you most of what I wore was skin tight and included some pretty wild 4 inch heels. Which for the majority of my attire, showed off just as much if not more of my "perfectly" well matured 17 year old figure. To be real here... I enjoyed the attention. ugh. I know!! Super yucky!!!!!

Now with a momma figure, that is "blooming" with baby (and well a few too many late night cheeseburgers. ;) wink wink, don't judge until you've been there...lol) I guess most of the time now I have more of a tendency to work my hardest to hide it... let alone flaunt it... but I do have that innate feeling of... wanting those moments back when you knew the whistle and cat call were directed at you.

Sooo that's the one, hand... now on the other... I am raising. 5!!! YES 5 WOMEN!!! (Possibly 6, only time will tell on that one... few more weeks baby... you may all just get to find out early... tehehehehe, oops getting side tracked) So being a mother of 5 growing and learning young ladies... do I ever have a huge ache in my heart to show them and teach them how to live in this society with modesty. To bring them up to be women with a stunning character, charm and beauty that shines bright... with out the need to flaunt the "figure" in order to gain the attention.

... I am a work in process as a woman and as a mother... but as I take time to think... and ponder and talk it out. As I watch these videos and get into the minds of others. I find myself slowly becoming more of the mother and teacher that I desire to be... and more importantly I find myself growing and maturing as a woman myself.

I was in a conversation recently with a good friend of mine who's husband from some people's perspective may be a little over the top with her on the modesty of her clothing. They have discussed in depth about lengths of skirts and heights of tops. For real!!! That conversation challenged me. Pretty amazing to work out in such detail something that really is that important, props to you guys!! (Side note.... Surround yourself with those people who challenge you!!! It's a love/hate internal feeling... but it's a really really good thing!!!)


So... I'll be the one to challenge you who have watched this and who are reading... Be CONVICTED!!! Lets take the time to actually work out these things... don't just pick up or put on that outfit because you look "hot" in it...
To all you young gals... yep... I am a talkin' to you too!!! Take the time to work it out... I say this often.. but I'll say it again... as I head into my 30th year .... IT IS A BIG DEAL!!!


Love you all again...

Thanks for reading my personal rant tonight.

Nic

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Not about feelings!!!

It is June 18th and about a month since I have updated.

A lot has been happening on the home front over the last couple months!! Adam resigned from his job with good friends of ours to step out in faith and accept a position that God lead to our door step. Morning sickness has finally eased it's hand on this pregnancy. And I have found two little bundles, 3 yrs and 11 mths of boy energy in my house starting full time this week until the end of August. Plus on top of it renovations including a new office for Adam upstairs and a bedroom in the basement to be started soon for a couple of the girls once the baby is born.

Life is feeling quite full. So I am taking a moment here while Adam heads off to take Leanna to school and pick up a stroller system for the new baby and my four girls are contently playing and giggling with the boys.

To be honest I find it difficult to pull out some spiritual moment in a season when life is surrounded by survival and physical needs of myself and all those around me... but I guess that is where the lesson is.

Life is not about feelings. If we get wrapped up thinking that being close to the presence of God is having the emotions of feeling "it" then that would mean when we are having a hard time, God is far from us, right???!!! Of course the answer is NO!!! That is the furthest from the truth!!! In these moments of busy. I need to remember that God is always with me, beside me, leading me. He is always right there ready to give me the strength to make it through another amazing full day!!

So I have a prayer or statement of faith on my board at home to remind me. "Choose a good attitude beyond your challenges and the Joy of the Lord will be your strength. Choose JOY!!"

I think I am learning... that being in a state of "choice", instead of a state of "feeling"... I have a much easier time being fulfilled at the end of the day instead of merely spent and exhausted.

Blessings to you dear friends. Although it may be few and far between in the next few months, know you are all on my heart often. I think of you and pray for you. Be encouraged and keep those influences in your life that bring a message of hope and life!!!

Lots of love
Nicole


O and for your pleasure... here is a picture of our baby #6 to be born Nov. 5th, or somewhere around there!!! Good to remember what life is all about!!! Not ourselves but those around us!!!