Are You Feeling Invisible?

Years ago when my children were young, I came across something that resonated with me as a mom. At that point in my life I had some extremely difficult and discouraging relationships that involved people who seemed to enjoy making me feel tiny. I felt unwanted and unneeded. I believed I would never be good enough and that my life and efforts were worth nothing.

Awful isn’t it?

The reality is that there are so many women who live there. In a place of despair and worthlessness. They truly believe that they mean nothing to anyone and that if they disappeared from the face of the earth tomorrow, not one person would notice.

I have goose bumps just describing it. Those years are so far gone in my life, but I will never forget what they felt like. I lived there. Everyday I felt this way.

If you are there and you know what I am talking about, I am so sorry. My heart aches for you. I just want to take a moment to let you know that you are so wanted and so visible by a God who knows you better than anyone. He created you! He knew exactly what He was doing when you were made. No matter what anyone here on earth tells you, there is a loving God who is waiting for you to find your self-worth in Him. You are valued at a high price. You are precious. Seek Him and His comforting arms. He is the only one who can give you peace. I promise.

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If you struggle with this feeling of being invisible, I have something for you! As I said earlier, I found this during a very dark time in my life. It helped me to understand that I was not invisible! Someone saw me. He noticed me. He loved me. I pray that this encourages you as much as it encouraged me.

The Invisible Woman by Nicole Johnson

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Couscous and Cabbage Creation

For awhile now I have been more and more concerned with my family’s nutrition.  I have watched extended family members struggle with their health for years. My own waistline is not what it should be. Let’s face it…

I am not getting any younger. 😉

My energy is not always what I want it to be. With our decision to try for a baby in a few years, the last thing I want to be is unhealthy going into a pregnancy with a mid to upper thirties body. My husband and I are hoping for a successful VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean), possibly even a HVBAC (Home Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). According to all of our research, one of the biggest things we can do to make sure this is possible is to make sure I am in great shape physically and have a balanced diet before and during pregnancy.

I also want to be intentional with the eating habits my children are learning from me. When they grow up they will carry these habits into their adult lives. When they have children, these habits will influence how they choose to feed their families. This is a responsibility I take very seriously.

Now to the point of this long winded story. The other day we were getting a little low on groceries and I was trying to come up with something to go with a pork roast that had been in the crock pot all day. I pulled out cabbage that I had prepped and frozen several weeks ago. I love boiled cabbage, so I put it into a pot with some water to boil.

Now, I might love boiled cabbage, but for everyone else except one of the kids, they are not big fans. So I have to make it more appealing to them. I started looking through the cupboards and pulling things out to put in with it. Couscous, a can of diced tomatoes, a can of black beans, some garlic and seasonings. Now this may not be all of what was in there but this is what I remember. (I made this last week. I know, I should have written it down and taken pictures to post. I am hoping to get better at this blogging thing.)

When I served this I told them that they should shred the meat on their plates and put it in with the cabbage creation and it would be really good. Not everyone loved it. I had one daughter who only ate what I gave her and did not go back for more, but there was not much left over.

That is a WIN in my book.

My family is continuing to adjust to eating much more vegetables and all around healthier meals. It is good for them and myself. This is one of the ways I demonstrate love towards them. I know that this is a really good thing…for all of us.

Keep Calm and Move

I dislike moving.  I hate it actually. Not really sure why but I do.  To make it even more fun, I do not know when we are moving. We are thinking some time this week, but we are not for sure. So how do I pack to move a family of six people without driving myself nuts?

I think the key is answering two questions…

What can we live without (possibly for several weeks)?

and

How can I pack so that I will know where everything is?

First question…What can we live without? That is fairly simple. You know your family and what would be best for them.  For example, my youngest is a type 1 diabetic. Her supplies will not be “packed”  into a box and then sealed with tape. She must have her supplies available all the time. So that stuff is in its regular spot on the shelf. The day we actually move and are ready to sleep in our new home, on that day, I will load her supplies into a box. Then I will take them directly over to a new spot that I have created in our new home.

But I also know the things that we do not have to have. Like towels. We can get away with one for every family member and a couple sets of dish towels till moving day. My girls and I can go without our curling irons that we do not use everyday. Usually we only use them when going somewhere nice. We do not need every book or board game we own. We can survive without things like this, so that is what is getting packed. We are going to pack everything we can live without for a little while.

Second question…(and I think the more important one!), How can I pack so that I know where everything is? It always happens. You are getting ready to move and packing things away when you realize you packed item xyz away and you desperately need it. Your choices are to run to the store for said item or to start guessing which box it is in. This is always a pain. So why not plan for it?

I am sure there are a million different ways to do this, but I will show you the way I am doing it…and YES…I have already had to reopen a couple of boxes.

I start with index cards, highlighter, pen, tape and boxes. I load items into a box. Before I tape it shut, I do a couple things. I decide what room the box needs to go to in the new house and write that in BOLD at the top of the index card. That way, whoever is carrying boxes into the next home will know exactly where to put them. I also write down all the items in the box. Now, you can be as detailed as you want. I try to use common sense. I do not list every medicine that is in the box of medicines but I do list things like medicine, blood pressure cuff, band aids, rubbing alcohol, etc.

 I also do not label a box just bathroom stuff.  We have a pretty good size family so we have a lot of boxes, even for rooms like the bathroom. The boxes I use are pretty small so that every family member can help with moving. With four girls in our family, we have a ton of hair “stuff”, beauty stuff and hygiene stuff.  I might have one box that has hair stuff in it and another box with lotion, feminine products, shampoos, conditioners and body washes. I just label so that I know what it all is. Once I have the index card finished, I tape it to the end of the box and because the location is on each label, we know they all go to the bathroom.

Every box we have has an index card. Everything is labeled to be easily moved to the correct room in the new house.  One other thing I do is use the high lighter. I high light anything that cannot be frozen or is fragile. That way those boxes are handled with care and are also not left in the garage where they can freeze.

Moving is exciting but also a lot of work. I am hoping that these few things will make our move easier. I guess I am going to find out. I will be sure to let you know how the move goes and also post about any lessons I learned along the way.

Do You Like Lists?

If you are like me, you love to make lists. For a busy mom, lists can be a life saver. I do not know how I would survive without my lists. I have so many things to remember. It would be silly to try to remember them all off the top of my head.

I use them for everything from grocery shopping to our family work days. I would be lost without them. I am always excited to try new ways to keep lists. There are all kinds of stationary, note cards, paper and even online services for your computer. I discovered something called Workflowy last week and I love it.

Workflowy is a place to keep your lists online. I have not figured it all out completely yet. They have a free and paid version. I started using the free version this week and so far I love it.  The lists are in the form of bullets. Under ever bullet, you can add more bullets. You can even cross items off the list. They have a great tutorial on how to use the service which explains it much better than I would ever be able to.  So stop over at Workflowy and check it out. I am so glad I found it. Enjoy!