Wednesday, May 25, 2016

My Belated Tribute to Resilient Mothers

This is just a quick little post; something I have been wanting to say since Mothers' Day, but have not had the time to mentally articulate and write it down until today. So, here it is, 2+ weeks late:

I want to tip my proverbial hat to all mothers, and ESPECIALLY those who I know that have had to fight to be mothers. The enemies in this battle are varied and fierce, but these women have overcome with their families and faith, not just in tact, but strengthened.
For some, the adversary has been infertility and/or infant loss, others long adoption processes. I have known those that almost lost their babes due to unjust custody battles, and some fighting debilitating or terminal illness to physically be mothers. I cannot tag these women in this post for their own privacy and integrity, but I truly salute you from the bottom of my grateful heart. I sincerely want you to know that you inspire and remind me to never take one day of this beautiful parenting journey for granted. 
And to ALL mothers, soldier on! Stay diligent, stay focused, and love your babies! :)

Blessings,
Hillary At Home

Monday, January 4, 2016

Lessons From My Forced Sabbath: My Children Are My _!



  
As I was beginning to realize that a Forced Sabbath was imminent, I was feeling so guilty about stopping many of my children's favorite activities. I mentally wrestled with it, and tried to negotiate fuzzy math like a political candidate, but to no avail. I was far from accepting it gracefully as a time of rest. Then there was the day I providentially met my friend in a parking lot as I was dropping off my son for one of those aforementioned activities.

We were chatting about kids and 'Mom' stuff, and before I knew it, I was completely offloading all of my baggage regarding this approaching season. She patiently listened, and then began to share with me about her own forced sabbath that she had experienced last summer. A temporary move to another town with her husband's summer job, left her and her children in a new community without much connection. In the midst of sickness, loneliness, and frustration, she was still able to enjoy the amazing creation around her, and to refocus her priorities. Then she said these words, "I began to realize that my children had become my interruption instead of my ministry."  
  
Do you see it? I bet you do. I bet you fully understand why I could now embrace my season of rest, and even anticipate it! For she was spot on; my children had become my interruption! Whether it was just wanting to chat with me or show me something, or even need help with school, they were an interruption that was interfering with my chock-full agenda. They were not my ministry at all! In the midst of cooking, cleaning, chauffering, blogging, decorating, Facebooking, serving, etc. they had become my interruption, an annoyance. 
Oh. My. (deep breath)

 

Now fast forward from that fateful meeting over a month ago, to yesterday. I was blessed to see a dear friend and mentor that I do not often see. But every time I get to be in her presence, I treasure it. She encourages me and warms my spirit. There is such wisdom and godliness that just flows out of her mouth. (Background: She was a Missionary while simultaneously being a single mother! Her daughter is now faithfully serving in the mission field, and when I watch the pair of them interract, I am inspired. She is truly an incredible woman.)

During the course of our chat yesterday, I mentioned how times are tight for us right now, but that we feel led that I am still to stay home with my children. She looked at me with those beautiful Momma-eyes and said, "Hillary, you will not regret this time of pouring into your kids. They are the only thing on this earth that you can take to Heaven with you."  

Did you stop and read that again? Seriously,do it. Read it again. Soak it in. 

 Have you ever thought on that before?!
I have been pondering it for the past 24 hours and every time I think of it, I get chills in my soul. THAT is my goal, my ultimate goal for my children! That they, too, will know of the Lord's salvation, peace, hope, joy, and love, and ultimately end their earthly lives with a passage into His eternal kingdom.
  
So as I look at the blank in the title above, I ask myself, "Are my children my interruption, or are they my fellow sojourners on this path to Heaven?" If I fill that blank with anything but the latter, I am doing it all wrong. 

Mommas, let's not get this one wrong.


Blessings,
Hillary At Home 

 

Monday, December 28, 2015

A Forced Sabbath

I have heard people reference these seasons before. A broken limb, a medical condition, a big move, or in our case, financial constraints that can force a season of rest you wouldn't normally implement. As much as I have commented in the past about trying to pare down activities and being unable to, the truth is, that I haven't wanted to. Or rather, I didn't want to deal with the fallout and disappointment from my 4 curious students who have grown accustomed to signing up for whatever activity or club that they find intriguing. (Oh the beauty and tempations of this homeschool friendly town that we live in!)

But now, we are stuck. Stuck at the cottage that we so badly desired. Stuck on our property with snowy trails and frozen creeks. "Stuck like Chuck", to quote my husband. (Poor Chuck, whomever he is! Always stuck.)  At least that is how I was viewing it up until this past week. As I fought off anxiety and worry, and even the slippery slope of  returning depression, I viewed myself as being a stuck prisoner and victim.  But now, I am learning that there is a huge difference in perspective between "stuck" and "rest".

I can now say that I am so very thankful for this forced Sabbath rest. Now that I have made it through the weeping ballerina who has to take a semester off from classes, and the myriad of "Awwww"s that emanated from other disappointed children, I am embracing the beauty of this time ahead.  I am avidly reading and studying how to better simplify our homeschool for a more permanent structure. I am seeing where I am succeeding and hugely failing at discipling, as well as educating my children. I have been made aware of how poorly I was trying to accomplish so much through my own inadquate strength versus resting in God's sufficient hand. I am realizing how skewed my goals and priorities have become in so many areas. I am made aware again, that I am a mess and I need a Savior. Thank goodness Emmanuel came!

So as I view this glorious scene from the windows surrounding my desk, I gaze while feeling more hope and optimism about 2016  than I have felt in a very long time. Yes, we're still stuck. Yes, I still desire to fulfill my childrens' every longing and curiosity.  Yes, we're still only getting a few hours of sunlight each day. Yes, we're still staring at those orange walls that I was sure I would have painted by now.  However, I can now rest in the everlasting grace and be confident that Emmanuel is still God with ME! He has not left nor forsaken my family. I know without a doubt that the Sabbath is a gift; a time to re-prioritize, refresh, and rejoice in what I already have, as well as trusting Him for what lies ahead.

Happy New Year to You and Yours!
Hillary At Home