Mom-A Cherished Title

 

I don’t watch the show Family Guy, but awhile back the Mister and I saw this video and had to laugh because it is so true!  We often joke about this as we hear one of the girls call for us.  It can be relentless at times and nothing but your response will do!

You probably noticed that we have not been as active on here.  We have not forgotten about you, but as I said in the previous post, we have had a bit of a life shift around here and my free time for dreaming up inspiration has been limited.  I talked to Jules the other day and she said she just couldn’t think of anything to write about!  With inspiration though, you usually don’t have to go too far outside of your own home to find it and as I woke this morning thinking I heard someone call “Mooommmm”, the inspiration for this blog post was born.

I haven’t shared many details of  our journey to parenthood with you (that would be a lengthy post), but it was not an easy one.  One day I will share it with you, but I will share that we struggled with secondary infertility and loss before we finally completed our family through adoption.  I have always wanted to be a mother and feel so blessed to be given two incredible girls to love and cherish.

As we all know, life gets very busy with juggling work, home responsibilities, extra curricular activities and trying to even squeeze in a little fun and relaxation.  It can be a bit overwhelming at times trying to meet everyone’s needs, but it is during these moments, I try to remember of how blessed I am and how I am living the life I’ve always dreamed of.

When I hear “Mooommm” from across the house as I’m in the middle of fixing dinner, reading e-mails, or doing any of the millions daily tasks that would be easier completed if uninterrupted, I have to remind myself that I have prayed for the privilege to be called by this name.  It isn’t always easy to drop what I am doing during the day  or to be summoned from my warm, cozy bed at night by  the call of a sick or scared child, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’ve been hearing “Mom or even better Mooommmy”, a little more often this week as both girls have colds and one has an injured leg, but each time I hear the call, I feel warm and happy inside and I remind myself how blessed I am to hear this word-a true gift from God!

Blessings,

Jen

Counting our Blessings

Happy Monday Everyone!

As many of you know I work in the mental health field as a Licensed Professional Counselor (I guess if you didn’t you know now!) This is a job that comes with many many heartaches with a few joys thrown in. I worried a lot about how I would handle the emotions when I was going to school. I tend to have a tender heart, and sometimes I’ve been told, you just have to harden it up a little bit. A supervisor I once had told me she didn’t think I would make it because I got too emotionally involved. I told her the day that I stopped caring would be the day I walk away from this profession. Well, she was right…just a little bit. I had to toughen up a little bit, not only for myself, but for the sake of my clients. This is probably one of the most rewarding and frustrating careers I’ve been in. I would like to share a recent “God Moment” that I experienced.  I have been working with this lovely lady in her late 60’s. She had been so depressed, hopeless and ready to give up. Our doc finally got her to a “manageable, but not really happy phase.” Now I am pretty sure that I have given her 101,000 different things to try and I am pretty sure she might have done one of them, then she would smile and say…”no, I didn’t, I’m sorry!” Recently I said,” I want you to call your doctor and get some blood work. Let’s make sure physically everything is ok.”  I saw her last week and the first thing she said was, “you put me in the hospital,” and the second thing she said was, “you probably saved my life.” Of the 101,000 things I have suggested she FINALLY listened to one and they did find something seriously wrong. She is being treated and now finding she is getting some hope and energy back. What a blessing. Do you suppose God whispered in her ear and told her to listen?? I like to think so!!

Very often I work with children whose parents are tearing them apart in their bitter divorce wars. I only wish they knew what they were doing to their children. I often work with soldiers who has come back from Iraq or Afghanistan with horrifying stories. It is cases like these that sometimes keep me up at night.When this happens I often think of the Bing Crosby song, “When I’m tired and I can’t sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep, and I fall asleep counting my blessings. I have so much to be thankful for and sometimes I have to take the time to count all those blessings…start with the 4 blessings of my children and the 6 beautiful little blessings grandchildren. I have a wonderful, loving caring family….really I have more blessings that I can count. I encourage you to start thinking about all of the blessings in your life!

 

Blessings,

Julie

P.S. My heart is not hard and I care about each and every one of the people I meet who walks through my door!

10 Ways to Beat the Winter Blahs!

The cold, ice and snow seem to have a strong grip on us this year here in Michigan and in many other parts of the country!  So if the weather is getting you down, I thought I would offer a helpful list of ways to distract yourself from the frigid temperatures and stir craziness of this winter.  So grab a hot cuppa something, browse this list and hopefully you will find something that inspires you and jolts you out of the Winter Blahs!

1. Haul out those old summer vacation photos, whether they be on your computer or in a photo book, and snuggle up on the sofa for a trip down memory lane!  Just looking at those photos of warm weather fun will bring a smile to your face and is a guaranteed feel good activity! Here is photo from my album of Little one enjoying the summer    4-H Fair!

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2. Get your “reggae” on!  Tune in to some tropical music on Pandora or another on-line music station, close your eyes and dream of the summer days that will eventually come around again, or get up and DANCE to it! Here is one of my personal favorites!

3.Hop on Pinterest and do a search for Spring or Summer Fashion!  It is like window shopping, without having to leave your house or spend any money!  Here are a couple of my favorites:

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4. Bring out the board games!  A good old fashioned game of Uno, Candy Land or Dominoes will distract you from the howling winds!

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5. If the temperature permits, bundle yourself up and go for a walk.  The still, soft quietness of a winter day can give us a feeling of calm and peace. (Picture by Jules)

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6. Follow that walk with a steaming hot cup of chocolate!  Go ahead and indulge, dark chocolate has been proven to offer some health benefits!  Here is a recipe for “Healthy Hot Chocolate”

7. Try to enjoy the TIME  these winter days give us.  Time with our families, to read a book, make a home cooked meal, watch a movie, do a craft, complete a project, or to just “be”.

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8.If you’ve looked at all of the summer vacation photos, move on to home movies!  The kids will love watching themselves when they were “little”.  Maybe you could even record some new movies!

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9. Doing something for someone else in need will ALWAYS make you feel better!

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10. Finally, make a list of five things you are thankful for!  The cold, winter days won’t be able to keep you down if your mind is on the blessings in your life!

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Hope you found something on the list to brighten your day!

~Blessings,

Jen

Blessings

I must admit I am an eavesdropper. I love to listen in to other peoples conversations when I am out and about…sometimes they are funny, sometimes not so. Yesterday I was waiting in an office and I overheard a man talking that his wife may have MS….they were just waiting for tests to come back. That inspired me to start thinking about all of the blessings I have in my own life despite some of the trials and tribulations we have had over the last few weeks. My mom, who was very sick two weeks ago, is doing better. I had to get a pacemaker, but my doctor said it is being used 60% of the time, so we made a good choice…a choice two other cardiologists had deemed unnecessary. I had back surgery, but since then have not had that debilitating sciatic nerve pain. Over the weekend I found myself getting very stressed in the putting together my daughter’s baby shower. Luckily I had the sense at the time to step back and tell myself, what awesomely (probably not a word) wonderful reason to be stressed. Getting pregnant has not been easy for them, but here we are about to celebrate the birth of TWINS!!!! My entire family was able to gather this past Sunday for a Christmas celebration that was full of laughter, craziness and love. We are blessed. So as I started thinking about blessings, this song sung by Bing Crosby,  just popped into my head. I hope after you listen you start counting your blessings and find yourself humming this song the rest of this season.

Bless you all!

Julie

God’s Handiwork

I want to thank you for your patience with our sparse posts over the past week.  As Jules mentioned, our Mom is in the hospital with some heart issues and we have been very busy taking care of her.  I am so thankful I was able to be with my Mom this week and help her.  In tough times, as Jules said, we have to choose gratitude and count our blessings.  Although this has been a very difficult week, I am thankful that I got to spend so much time with my Mom and my brother and sister.  I am also thankful for the patient and kind nurses, medical professionals and staff that have taken such wonderful care of my Mom.

A week ago, after having a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with my family, I woke up to this scene:

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It was absolutely breathtaking and I could not stop staring at the beauty all around me.  I was so thankful to be surrounded by family, viewing God’s handiwork and just enjoying one of his special gifts to us!  It is the moments like this which we cherish and hold in our hearts, that help us get through the more challenging days.  God’s gifts to us might not always be as obvious as this beautiful winter wonderland, but they are are there, if we take the time to look closely.

~Blessings,

Jen

God Sightings

As Jules mentioned in her post last week, we celebrated my Uncle Claude’s 90th birthday this weekend.  It was a spectacular, sunny, warm September day  filled with lots of good food, laughs and family time!  Here is the whole group trying to pose for a picture! (Notice I said “trying”!)

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It was one of those perfect days that will be fondly remembered, and gives me a warm-fuzzy feeling inside!  On days like this, filled with family, love , laughter and beautiful weather, it is easy to remember how richly God has blessed my life.  The blessings are crystal clear!

Other days, it is much harder to see those blessings.  Days filled with stress, problems or large issues that bear down on us and make it hard to be thankful.  It is on these days that we need to cling to God even more and really take the time to look for blessings and miracles, because they are there-every-single-day!  God sightings surround us each day and it becomes easier to notice them if we try to  “live with our eyes wide open”.  I’m working on living this way, especially on the more challenging days.  It can be pretty amazing to see God’s hand in situations in our lives.  Sometimes He reveals things to us in the most surprising ways!

As we drove home from Uncle Claude’s party, the setting sun made the landscape look golden.  I wanted to remember this beautiful sunset, on this memorable day so I pulled over and hopped out of my car and took this picture.  Look at it carefully-can you see the God Sighting?

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Did you notice the shape of a cross in the middle of the picture by the tall tree!  I was so surprised when I looked at this picture later!  In my opinion, this was God sealing a perfect day with the ultimate sign of His love for us!

I pray that you will have many God Sightings this week!  We would love to hear about them in the comments section!

~Blessings,

Jen