This is my job

It’s Monday again and so rolls the world in the ho-hum hundrum of everyday life.

I wonder at times if I am accomplishing anything.

Being a Mom of 4 kids ages  8,6,4 and 5 months means a lot of repeating myself. I have even started making a list of what I accomplished on some days next to my to do lists so that I can see I did alot- even if not what I had planned or hoped.

The kids were delivered to their lessons nearly on time. The baby was well cared for. Meals were prepared. Homework was finished. I ran his aunt to the store as we do once a week. . .

Yet somehow I get this lingering feeling that I could have, should have done more.

I didn’t have time to work on my online business, there was no time for marketing my products, there was no time for painting. I long to be selling more, but how does one build an online business? Others seem to do so effortlessly- for me it is sort of hit and miss.

And yet when the day winds down and the kids start drifting off to sleep and I am left with perhaps a couple of hours of quiet I am reminded that this is my job. Mothering is what I need to do now, here, today.

There were will be time perhaps someday for building a business more thoroughly, and chasing those dreams.

But for now I will delight in the sweet scent of my baby- and his cooing and babbling. I adore babyhood and it is such a fleeting time. How I wish there was some way to always have a baby in the house 🙂 But since there isn’t I will capture these moments in my heart, and on paper and photos.

And I will read Laura Ingalls books when my eyes are weary. And pray and talk for so long my arms go numb on the edge of the top bunk while my 8 year old shares his heart and thoughts about ozones, and life, and friends.

Because this is my job. . . . and I love it!

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A Year is a Long Enough . . .

In January I learned I was expecting our 4th baby. I was very excited- because I had wanted another. After all our youngest was nearly 4 and our first 3 had been 2 or less years apart.

I was delighted to discover my boss and I were expecting at the same time- with due dates apx. 2 weeks apart. This gave us much to discuss over the months and was fun to compare our growing bellies!

The first 3 months I was exhausted and would just fall asleep after meals for naps, even twice a day. I was nauseous- but not as much as I had  been with the other 3.

Perhaps sleeping so much added to the weight gain- but I always gain about the same- always too much for my taste. I always feel like a balloon, swollen and poofy. I’d like to be able to enjoy pregnancy- but I never do- this time was no different. I should clarify that I DO love the feeling of having a little baby kicking around in me. I do LOVE having the ultrasounds and checkups and hearing the baby’s heartbeat. But I struggle with self-image and feeling down about myself while pregnant.

This pregnancy I was also a few years older than last time- thus putting me in the risk group for the first time. And with age comes new health issues. . . This time I had too much sugar in my blood for one standard blood test and so I had to make the sugar tolerance test. You know the gross one where you have to drink sugar syrup and wait and get your blood drawn again? Well my numbers on this test were borderline gestational diabetes-too close for my midwife’s comfort to the gestational diabetes numbers and because of that she put me on a strict diet so as not to go over the edge.

The last 6 weeks of my pregnancy I had no sugar. And this was actually very empowering- I will write about that in another post.

This time around I also had 2 stays in the hospital. The first was because in the summer I got a small electric shock- which scared me especially when I felt the baby jump after I screamed and jumped. I was in the hospital then for 24 hours to monitor the baby- he was fine.

Then just 2 weeks ago I had a strange bout in the store- where one eye seemed to have a flashing light in it. And I couldn’t see clearly unless I covered that eye. I called my husband and asked him to pray for me. And he told me not to drive with my visions empaired. By the time I reached the checkout my vision had stabilized but I was so very shaken up that I couldn’t recall a single pin code for our debit cards. Then when I had to try to explain to my husband’s aunt (whom I had taken to the store) what was going on I realized I couldn’t speak coherently. We somehow managed to get home. I called my midwife and tried to explain to her how I was feeling- but I couldn’t speak in Latvian and even my English seemed to make little sense. She told me to go to the hospital and get it checked out- (my  hand had also become tingly).

So I was admitted for 48 hours for observation and monitoring. I had high blood pressure (for me) upon entering the hospital 130, but nothing too serious. I was 39 weeks when I was admitted and up until then I was trying to get my baby to want to be born sooner. While in the hospital I kept telling him to wait until we got out- because our plan was to have this baby at home.

Thankfully I got out with a clean bill of health on Wednesday the 21st, and even made it to my scheduled vein usg to make sure all was well for a home birth.

To be continued. . . .

 

 

Faith and Life

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. 
Hebrew 11:1 NLT

It has been a hard morning.

My 6 year old boy is so hard to inspire to study. He has homework to do for kindergarten, and cannot get through it withoutt numerous reminders to get on track and focus. I feel frustrated. I feel a failure as a teacher and Mom. I feel I cannot do this and how can I possibly consider homes school when this day has been such a struggle.

It isn’t like this everyday. But I hold this up so close and so near that it blocks the light of hope from shining through to my soul.

Yesterday I listened to a great program on Focus on the Family for Moms

I was encouraged and blessed and liked the idea of Bad Mom’s Club (listen to the program to know what I am talking about 🙂

Yet being a Mom is hard. Surviving the store with 3 kids is hard. Doing homework with kids is hard. Homeschool I am sure is hard. But everything is hard to an extent, right? That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it.

And so today as I shared with a friend that I was having  hard time and she encouraged me. And as I ran to God time and again, twice with tears running down my face for patience and wisdom; He spoke to me from His word with above passage which I will paraphrase now in my words.

Faith is knowing that what you hope for your kids will actually happen (knowing they will grow up to be godly people, and will be smart, and kind and survive theird education); Faith gives us assurance and hope for things we cannot now see. 
Faith and God together will succeed! 

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Choosing Films

 http://hospitalandoutreach.wordpress.com/gallery/film-making/

When it comes to films for us or our kids I like to be careful what I spend my time, thoughts and attention on. Some may think what we watch doesn’t influence us, but I strongly believe it does. Growing up I saw firsthand that what I watched would also influence my dreams- and so i am very careful with what I show my kids. 
But how can we know about a film before we watch it you may wonder? Do your research. Very rarely do I watch a film without having first read about it. I read the reviews and especially the parental reviews on this site.  http://www.imdb.com/ You simply look up the name of the film and then scroll down to the Parents Guide section. Here you can usually find a detailed list of the stuff in the film. From this I decide whether the film is something I want to spend my time watching or not. 
Another good source of reviews is Plugged In which has reviews on new films. 
As for choosing films for my kids I try not to show them anything I have not already seen or know to be good. 
How about you, how do you choose which movies you will watch or won’t? 
Do you think what you watch influences you, why or why not? 
What is your favorite movie? I love getting suggestions on good ones to see 🙂
 

A Crazy, Rainy Day

I’ve a wedding cake to make later in the week, and with that in mind I took my 3 kids, the puppy and my niece on a quick supplies trip to the city.

But our muffler was getting louder and one bump was enough to knock it free and dragging. Thankfully we were close enough to my final stop that I got there and went in to get my supplies. I called my husband for ideas of what to do. . .

When checking out I asked the cashier if one of the men who worked there was handy with cars and would be able to tie my muffler up so that I could get home. She sent me two guys and in the RAIN that got down and had a look. Then they drove up with their forklift to lift the car enough that they could get underneath it.

The kids were waiting patiently all the time in the car and I was so thankful when the guys were able to secure the muffler with some wire. They both also refused the money I offered them for their help. I thanked them profusely for being so helpful so I could drive home. And told my son that that is the way men need to help those in need- not expecting anything in return.

Then began the seemingly long drive home with a VERY loud car- and me avoiding the gas as much as humanly possible in order to drive oneself forward. It was a long, embarrassing drive since my car was as loud as a race car. and my son was sure everyone was scared by us since they seemed to be all driving around us ( I was just driving slowly to avoid the gas). 🙂

Thank God for:
-sending us men to help.
-that it broke in place not far from our destination.
-that we got home ok.
-for HIS goodness to us.

When a loved one hurts

My heart hurts for someone so dear to me.

I had no idea of the pain she was going through. No idea of the difficulties.

I feel stunned.

I feel confused.

I feel disappointed.

I don’t understand why evil corrupts so. I like to believe in a better world. Yet the darkness seems so strong at times.

In all of this I know that God is victor. I know that HE is in charge. I know that HE will overcome.

These past days have been strange times.

Full of shocking stories and strange happenings.

I find my rest in Him!

Psalm 121

A song of ascents.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

Outsider

If you have left your homeland and now dwell in a new land perhaps you have often encountered feeling like the outsider.

We learn, we grown, we do our very best to “fit in”. And yet then again comes one of the stupid moments when the whole charade comes tumbling down and again you rise above all the locals as the outsider.

I have now lived in this land 8 years. I like to think that being half Latvian makes it easier for me to “fit in”. . . But who knows if that is true.

I like this land, most of the time. I like these folks and their country, after all I do have roots here.

But you know, there are some things I really do like about America too.

I miss friendly cashiers- as weird as it may sound. And every time I go to the States I am tickled pink by how friendly cashiers sometimes are- even to the point it makes me laugh wondering how genuine or fake they are. Or perhaps it just how uncommon they seem after the quiet ones here.

I miss feeling “normal.”- I have never been one that fits in, even in the States. But at least there I more or less fit in. Here when people find out I was home-schooled they look at me like I must have grown up and been educated on some alien planet.

I miss fast food choices-that is not to say I was ever a big fast food eater. But we don’t even have a single fast food place in the city I live in. And now and again I sure would love a slice of Pizza Hut pizza or a taco from Taco Bell.

I miss hearing English- I realized recently that I can say the exact same thing in English as I told someone in Latvian. But only when I hear myself say it in MY language do I really hear (as in my heart feels and understands) what I am saying. I so miss going to an English speaking church- and actually hearing the sermons. I understand Latvian fine, but between trying to keep kids quiet and all the distractions one normally has I don’t seem to really hear much of a sermon- or it goes in one ear and out the other.

I miss family- By far the thing hardest about living an ocean from your family is the fact that you rarely meet. Keeping close is hard work and holidays are sad when you can’t be together. If you are close enough to give your loved ones a hug- then DO IT!

But then there are those things I love about this place.

I love that all health care for my kids is free.

I love that it is more normal to eat healthy here and finding local products is not difficult and not pricey.

I love that my kids speak 2 languages fluently.

I love that having a vegetable garden is normal 🙂 (When we visited my parents last time in the States we walked all over the city and saw only one garden. We were shocked). 

I am proud that I can carry on the Latvian line in my family.

I am thankful that I now have dual citizenship (As of the last couple weeks).

I  am blessed to be a part of two worlds.