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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Music is my Place

Growing up I always had a difficult time finding where I belonged. Groups were made early in school and I didn't really belong to any. There was the "popular" crowd and the "unpopular", but I was drifting with others in a place that no one even cared to categorize. It was almost a place of feeling forgotten.

Thankfully my mom gave me a gift. She taught me about music. She showed me that singing and playing instruments was a way to express ourselves. It was also another way I would be able to communicate to God. Like many who grow up in the church we are taught to pray. I always had a hard time with prayer, I never thought I did it right. It just always felt awkward to me. I think back and I can remember the first time I heard someone sing a prayer. She was a camp counselor my 2nd or 3rd year at camp. I just sat and listened to her..I was so excited about what I was hearing. So when I pray by myself I sing. It was an amazing feeling the first time I did it. I had never felt so close to God. I felt like I was finally able to breeze through prayer. Before prayer for me was hard I would stumble over my words and I never felt sure of what to say. But as I would sing my prayers everything came so naturally.

My parents gave me a wonderful gift when I was in high school. Something I had been wanting so badly. It was a guitar! It was a cheap one that my parents got at Pamida or Shopko, but it was beautiful. I loved that thing so much. I quickly taught myself to play. During my hard days it was a wonderful way to escape and lose myself in music. It was a great way to put my feelings into words. When nothing else could explain how I felt a song would fit.

Now my music outlet is guitar and singing, but everyone is different. Some people only like listening to music. Some people love unusual instruments. My oldest daughter...well she loves piano. She just started lessons, but you can already see it. She looses herself when she plays. She's in a whole different place and she loves to experiment and try new things. I love to see my daughters grow up and find what they love. My 2nd daughter I have a feeling sports and drums will be more her outlet. It's important to remember that each one is different, don't compare. What is your place? Do you love music? Do you have an instrument you enjoy playing?

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Let's Eat Together!

So here I am! I just finished a nice meal with my family. It was full of yummy food and wonderful conversation. In many families eating together happens rarely. There is so much going on one kid to take here, a lesson over there and a store we need to run to yet WAY over there! There just never seems to be enough time in our day to sit down and eat with our families. Moms at times can feel a little left alone in the kitchen, you once use to be a gourmet chef and now you are a simple short order chef.

We actually eat as a family more than the typical family...well even more than the non typical family. We have family meals pretty much everyday. It doesn't matter how busy we are, we try to find the time to sit down and eat together. It may be that we have a huge meal full of meat and potatoes and all the veggies you could want. Then again it may just be a simple PB&J sandwiches and chips. But no matter what the menu is we make sure to have it as a family. My husband and I have made a point of during our family meal times we ask the girls what their favorite part of the day was. We also ask what they didn't like about their day. There are some days we don't do this because when you have 5 girls who LOVE to talk it gets a little long. And when you are trying to finish up and get ready for Wednesday night church you sometimes skip over it. I do have to say that on the days we do this there is a huge difference on how our nights go.

People may look at the fact that we ask our girls what they didn't like about their day. "Sadie, shouldn't you just focus on the positive?" Well you do have a good point...but here is mine. If we had a hard part of the day ignoring it doesn't make it go away. It was still part of our day, and it's good to make sure even at a young age that our girls are able to communicate when they have not had a good day or less than happy moment. Feelings are there whether they are good or bad they are there. We can try to avoid negative feelings, but the truth is it doesn't help change what happened. Be open with your girls letting them know it's ok to share those negative parts of their day. Here is my one suggestion about it...Always end it with "What did you learn?" or "How could you have made it better?"

Eating together as a family helps strengthen the family in many different ways. These are my two favorite. One it will help your children see your eating habits. It's a good way to help them form good behaviors with eating and also build a healthy relationship with eating. Two it also helps build the family in sharing about your day and builds strong relationships between parents and children. So if you haven't eaten a meal together lately...do it tonight!

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Communication

For some of us communication can be hard. Sometimes face to face conversation makes me uncomfortable, but the worst is when I have to talk to someone on the phone. I remember when I realized that my mom had the same problem. We were talking about how you never know how someone is really reacting when you are talking on the phone. I mean for all you know they could be making faces at you!

I do like to talk in person and have nice lovely conversation, but when something is bothering me this is not a possibility. It's not that I couldn't talk to someone face to face it's just I do a much better job of explaining myself in the written word. Writing has always been a passion of mine and it's been a great tool in my life.

Now communication with our daughters is so important. My oldest daughter has NO problem communicating with her words! If she is happy or sad or if something is bothering her she will let you know. Now my second oldest has a problem communicating when she is sad or upset. So I have come up with a great way to help my daughters communicate with me.

Right now I am just doing it with my oldest since she is the only one who can write. We have a journal that we write back and forth in. It's great! It's a safe place where they can share anything and ask anything that is on their heart. I will be starting one with each of my girls when they are able to write in it!

So if you are looking for away to communicate with your daughter I suggest writing with her.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Wonders of Support

There are days that I am angry at Eve. I think about how unfair it is that we live in such a fallen world and really it all points back to her. Living in a perfect world and she just had to follow one rule. ONE! Don't eat that fruit Eve. See that tree right there in the middle? It's hard to miss. Don't touch it...just forget about it.

But when the time came the temptation of being like God was too much. A juicy bit of fruit and it all changed. As a girl I remember hearing this story over and over again in Sunday School and in my head each time she would go to bite into the fruit I would scream NO! I want to stop her. Feelings of being close to God...gone. Comfort...gone. No more ease of life. All swept away by the breeze of deceit.

I think about Eve often and I think about how unfair I am to her. If I were to trade places with her the temptation of fruit would have been all it took. And to have the weight of a fallen world on you...what heaviness. Mostly when I think of Eve I think about how she much have struggled like me. Only she would have been the first. She had no one to turn to and ask "Is this normal?" No mother to turn to for comfort. No friend who could give advice. It truly must have been a lonely and hard road to walk.

When I think about Eve it makes me thankful that I have others. I am not the first to struggle. YOU are not the first. Reach out!

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Kitchen Time...

If you come over to my house and knock on the door, but no one answers you would probably feel confused. You hear children playing, you see movement in the windows and yes the lights are on. So why am I not coming to the door?

Well it's probably because I am enjoying my kitchen and doing the dishes. Some people often wonder if I am constantly in the kitchen doing dishes why do I still have dirty dishes? Well most of my time in the kitchen is actually spent in worship. I walk in there and right away I press the play button on my CD player. Then I get distracted by God and in my mind the dishes disappear. It becomes my time with God to show Him what He means to me. Knowing that I can't share everything with you until you understand that role that God plays in my life.

You always hear people say that they grew up in a Christian home, but usually it stops there. People look at you as if you have it all together. No way that you could struggle. No way that you have ever had any hardships in your life. We look at the testimonies of those who have grown up with faith all their life as no as good as those who have come from harder backgrounds. When my oldest is ask when she asked Jesus in her heart she answers "All my life." So matter of fact that to her if you don't understand that it's your problem. I encourage my girls to hold on to that. To not let anyone take this and look down on it as if it's not good enough. So here it is...

I grew up in a Christian home. I've known Jesus my whole life. I had wonderful parents who took me to church every Sunday and every other day of the week we had something going on there. I was raised to have faith, to worship God and be thankful...and I am. I am so thankful my parents raised me to believe. But I want you to know...I struggle. I have weaknesses and if I didn't I wouldn't be human. I have struggles with eating food from the time I was little. My mom will tell you I use to look at food with a look on my face of "Well...I guess I will eat it if I have to." She always said as a little girls I ate enough to keep a bird alive. It didn't start out as anything bad, I just disliked the whole idea of eating. Then something kicked it off the deep end and yes I struggled hard. As I looked into the blackness of the coffee in my mug it reminded me of the blackness that once was my life. And yes I still struggle, but in a different way. My life is no longer a blackness.

So what is my point? People struggle. No matter who we are. No matter how we were raised...life is a struggle. But here is the key...God was always with me. No matter what I did. No matter where I was...even in the darkest of days He was right there. I find that if I don't find time in my day to spend with God. If I go through my day and I have forgotten to talk to Him, my days are harder. I have more of a tendency to slip. It also makes me not as strong of a role model for my girls. So yes my kitchen is still dirty and I have spent hours in there today, but a clean heart is more important than a clean kitchen. A place that once use to cause so much stress in my life, now offers so much healing.

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Sticks and Stones...

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."

I remember saying this many times over and over again while I was in school. Mainly it was in elementary school that I would say it to others, but then later in life I would say it to myself.

I think no matter how many times I said it the fact still remained, those words did hurt. I clearly remember it all starting in 2nd grade. It's hard not to remember the day people who use to be your friend now started saying hurtful things to you. Words that felt so real sometimes how could they not hurt me. I remember I would say it on the playground to mean little boys. A teacher once told me they were just mean to me because they liked me. Something I make sure not to say to my girls.

I remember as a teenager those words stuck with me. The kids were no longer saying them out loud, but I could still hear them. And if I would close my eyes it was like those people were in my head. Over and over again I would repeat it..."Sticks and stones my break my bones, but words will never hurt  me." But time and time again those words did hurt me. I tried to be strong. I tried to ignore it. But the problem wasn't that I couldn't ignore well enough...the problem was that others ignored too well. My parents tried to bring it up, but it was always "Kids will be kids". One day it came to the fact that I just couldn't make friends well enough so they were going to put me in a make friends class...with all of my friends. My mom said no to that. I made friends just fine...it was others who didn't play nice.

Teachers, parents, principles listen well... Don't ignore the soft spoken. Don't just assume because they aren't in the popular crowd that they are the ones with a problem. And never assume that someone is just being too sensitive. When someone speaks up listen and respond.

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mama Said...

Do you ever find that when you are having a hard day you sing "Mama said there'd be days like this..." in your head? I find myself singing that song often. It's in a way my little reminder that it's not the worst day in life. It's a reminder that this too shall pass. It's my reminder to not sweet the small stuff.

I don't know what it is about that song, but it's been my constant reminder that I will make it through this. The song actually fits my life quite well before, where as before it just didn't. Mama said there'd be days like this...Kids screaming. Laundry overflowing. Dishes never ending. There are days like I had this week when my two youngest are ready for a nap at 9am and I know...I just know it's going to be a bad day! Then the song comes ringing in my head! I relax and take a deep breath because my mama was right...there will be days like this.


When I was a teenager that song never fit my day. Because honestly mama never said there'd be days like this. Always struggling with this voice inside my head. Having a never ending battle with the food that was on the plate in front of me. When you think about it thought, no mom would ever think there'd be days like that for their little girl. So what happens? What song do you sing? I never felt like any song ever fit right in my life at that time. No one had really gone out to that part of a person life and put the words to music. For me a person who was so musical I needed that. If you have never heard of Superchick you should look them up. I have been a fan of theirs from the very start. But they have gone further into this unknown world of struggle to bring beautiful songs that express what people are feeling so well. So on days when "Mama said" just doesn't fit..."Stand in the Rain" or "Crawl" does. Find a song that fits...music is so therapeutic. If your daughter can't think of one or if you aren't sure what will fit...I suggest looking into Superchick.



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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Mom...A Wonderful Gift

Every year when Mother's Day is closer I tend to look around at all the different types of moms there are. Sometimes the kind of mom  you have determines how things play out in your life. And sometimes it more has to do with how you behave and what kind of resources are out there for your mom.


My mom is one of the strongest ladies I know. She has been through so much and she is always able to come out on top victorious with Christ. She taught me to love God and to express that love through music. She taught me that no matter what people do or say in the end God is the only one we need to worry about. Having lost her mom at a young age she taught me to treasure the moments I have with her. She has done so much for me...including traveling all the way to the other side of the world to see us and her new granddaughter! I am not always the best at expressing my gratitude towards her, but she knows that I try. Emotions for me are extreme (I am a bit like my second daughter) and so I tend to stay on the mellow side. I know that is hard for her, but she does a great job of understanding me. I am so different from her, yet we are so much alike which sometimes causes us to butt heads, but we always come out with a stronger relationship because of it. Always growing and always understanding each other better at the end of the day.

I love my conversations with my mom...but favorite are when we chat on Facebook. Yes...we chat! Both of us tend to express ourselves better in the written word, which shows in the real world by dreading phone conversations and addictions to email and Facebook. She has given me a love for writing that I didn't always see...but she quietly encouraged me to express myself with the written word. She may not always agree with me, but she does a wonderful job of never looking down on me for my opinion. Although her quietness is always a good indication that she doesn't agree! :)

Now that I have 5 daughters of my own I can see the struggles my mom went through with me...her only daughter. She was my listening ear after a long day of silence at school. She was my couch buddy when there was a good T.V. show on. She was the one I talked to when I thought a boy was cute. She was the one who prayed hard when my thoughts went silent and stayed in my head. There was so little information for her when I was growing up. No one to tell her what to look for or how to deal with everything that was going on. And so she did her best. She trusted in God. She continued to be there for me. She doesn't know it yet, but she is the reason I do this blog. Helping moms go through the hardest times in their daughters lives, because she deserved to have more resources! I love you mom! Happy Mother's Day!

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Monday, May 7, 2012

I Still Struggle

I think one of the hardest things for me to realize is that I would struggle with this for the rest of my life. It's something that most people don't realize. It's not just about eating. Someone can look "normal" and eat like they are suppose to, but it doesn't mean that all is well with their mind.

I have to say my days are very few when I struggle. It seems though at times they are much more intense and takes a bit more effort to shake myself free from dark thoughts. The most important thing for me to do is not forget that I will have my days. And if you have a daughter who struggles it's important for you to know this too! She will have her ups and downs but as she walks down the road of recovery her ups will start to out number the downs! But don't assume that if she starts to eat that everything is fine and dandy. Eating disorders are not just about eating they are a mind game and the mind can play horrible tricks on young girls.

I find that is also important to find good role models in our culture for our young girls. This is hard in a culture that screams size 0 and sex. We have a teen girl who goes to our church who we often use as an example of how we should dress and behave. There are also some celebrates (even though they are few and far between) who can make good role models. I just wish there were more people out there who saw the importance of being a good example!

Also I find it so important to spill out onto my daughters what the Bible has to say about who we are and what beauty is...More on that in the next post!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I Love My...

Whenever I am passionate about something I tend to do some type of photography project to go along with it. This seems to fit my passion for young girls... I Love My...

It's all about the girls picking their favorite thing about themselves and putting it on a paper and capturing that in a photograph! I am looking forward to doing more of these. Right now I have just done it with a few of my younger daughters! Hope you enjoy!