I AM A Terrible SAHM

I am a terrible blogger!  I promise myself that I am going to keep up with blogging at least twice a month, and then 6 months goes by with zip on here. It almost feels like blogs are a thing of the past….like so last year. But I don’t think I am going to delete this blog. This is where I can say anything and everything if I’m not careful, it’s my little place to just talk my little heart out, not that anyone is actually reading this. My poor husband is probably weary of my loooooooooooooooooooong “talks” we try to have, strangely enough, while he is laying in bed usually falling asleep while I drone on.  My vocabulary these days consists of, “NO, stop biting your brother, clean up your mess, please don’t leave your legos on the floor(my poor feet), it’s time for a nap, did you poo poo?, are you hungry?, use your words, stop screaming, is that pee or water on the floor?, don’t hit your sister….. this list could go on for days.

I am what is known as a Mom-Blogger. My definition of this is – Mom’s who blog/unload on the universe, because they have little ones at home and have no other adult interaction for what feels like a hundred thousand hours a day. So if I am being completely honest with myself, how do other women who are stay-at-home-moms do it???????? I seriously thought I was going to be this A-MAZING stay at home mother but…ooops – FAILED! I adore my children to the moon and back and would do anything for them, except allow them to speak to me in the morning before I have had any coffee. Just kidding about that last part. I do love them and I enjoy being at home with them. Especially while my youngest, almost two (sniff), is still learning to talk and has become quite a hat aficionado. She has somehow collected like 20 hats and she’s two, not sure how that happened, but I love it.

My house feels like it’s in a constant state of chaos, and legos everywhere! No thanks to my father-in-law, who thought it would be so nice to give us three giant boxes of all my husband’s childhood legos!!!!!!!! There are not enough exclamation marks to show how unenthused I am about this. I have told myself maybe we should just become total minimalists and have 5 items in our entire house, that way I would never have to clean anything, what a perfect solution. Ok, back to reality, I have had to admit to myself recently that I am not a very good stay at home mother. Inevitably a load of dirty guilt follows this realization. I beat myself up on the daily thinking about this. Why oh why am I not better at this???

This could be mid-life crisis, I will be 33 this year….The truth is, not every woman is cut out to be at home all the time with her kids. There, I said it. For those of you who know me very well can now fall out from shock, I will wait. Are you in utter and complete disbelief that I, Tonisa, have said this, admitted that it’s ok to not really want to be a SAHM??? Honestly, I don’t give myself enough grace. Grace to realize that I am only one person, I cannot do everything, I am not a perfect mother, I will undoubtedly make mistakes along the way, and grace to realize that no matter how hard I think I am failing at this thing called life, I am doing the best I can. God extends us grace every single day, His love for us is boundless. Am I looking at myself the way God sees me? Am I extending grace to myself each day? God sees us as his most prized creation, He doesn’t make junk. I need to stop treating myself as such, and realize that it’s ok to not want to be with my children 24-7. They are the greatest blessings God gave my husband and I, but sometimes mom’s just need a little “Me” time. A breather to refresh ourselves, and regain who we are as individuals. My children are my life but I don’t think God intended for us to get so wrapped up in this thing called motherhood that we lose sight of who He created us to be.

I want to encourage all you young moms out there who may be facing this same reality. Look in the mirror and repeat these phrases until you believe it! I am enough, I am going to give myself grace everyday, My self-worth lies in God, I won’t give up, I love you!

~God Bless

Just wanna squeeze em' and kiss em' all the time. #motherhood #theybringmejoy #blessed

Who Has The Key to Your House?

“Pardon me hun, I think you dropped something.” Have you ever had anyone say this to you? I have, on many occasions. Having a baby who likes to lose her shoes in the middle of the grocery store, I am often approached by a kind stranger who picks it up and hands it to me. When we lose a phyisical item it is soon noticed, but what about things that are not necessarily visible to the eye. What if we lose something that only God can see and we can feel? Like our joy in the Lord…

Have you lost your joy? Did you even notice it was gone? If I hadn’t been notified by the stranger in the store that my child was missing a shoe, we more than likely would have gone home with only one shoe. What use is one shoe without it’s mate? What good are we as God’s witnesses on this earth without joy?

How do you lose your joy? Did you let it slip between the cracks of your life? Did it make a narrow escape out the back door? Or perhaps, a theif broke into your home while you were away, kidnapped your joy, and is now holding it hostage. If something of great value is stolen from your home don’t you think you would do what you could to recover it?

Satan is our arch enemy, he will do whatever he can to draw us away from living for God. He is a theif, among many other things. John 10:10 – The theif cometh not but for to steal and to kill, and to destroy: Has the enemy come into your home and stolen your joy? Shame on him….shame on you!!! The enemy cannot do anything to us that we don’t allow him to.

Ladies, the bible specifically tell us that we are the keeper of our homes. Titus 2:5 – To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. The word is telling us that we are not only meant to be the phyiscal keepers at home but the spiritual keepers. “Keepers at home” translated into Greek means guardian of her dwelling. Think about the spiritual side of this for a moment. If we guard our homes, then we are protecting it, protection from anything or anyone who might do harm. As the scripture tells us the enemy has come to steal, kill, and destroy.

Are you going to allow the enemy to come in and steal from you? I would hope the answer is NO. Too often we allow the enemy access to wreak havoc in our lives, oh we may not mean to but it happens. Our homes are a sanctuary, a safe haven for our families, we must do all we can to keep it that way, guarding against the wiles of the enemy. Examining everything that we bring into our homes that unknowingly can be portals to the spirit realm. An open window for demonic forces to freely flow in and do their worst. Proverbs 14:1 – Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.

How can we guard against the theif? By praying daily, pleading the blood of Jesus over our homes. When the blood is applied the enemy cannot come in. Exodus 12:7 – And they shall take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it. 12:13 – And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where you are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

When the angel of death was working it’s way through Egypt, every home that had the blood of the lamb applied to it’s doorposts, was untouched. I will say it again, when we apply the blood of the lamb to our home, the enemy cannot come in. If your joy has been stolen and is being held for a ransom, remember this, Jesus paid the ransom long ago on calvary. The devil has no hold on you or your joy. It’s time that we march into the enemy’s camp and take back what he stole from us. We will not be defeated!!!

Why We Choose to Homeschool…

20161113_145643

20161113_145648

20161113_145653

Hello strangers! It’s been far too long since my last post. We began our “no internet” project several months ago, hence my absence. Thankfully my sisters are gracious enough to let me come over and connect to their Wi-Fi as needed…

 I have had quite a bit of questions and concerns about our children’s education, lately. Not that it is anyone’s business or that we care what others’ think, it’s just painfully obvious that the remarks made are proof of ignorance…..

Why we have chosen to homeschool our children –

Let me start by saying that I do not judge others in how they decide to raise/educate their children, and I do not boast nor wave my banner in others faces. Our choices are just that, ours. When we made the decision to homeschool we didn’t have any preconceived ideas of how we would go about it, we simply came to the realization that public school of any kind was not what we desired for our children. It’s been a long process of trial and error thus far, but I am happy to say we have finally found what works for us. The rhythm of our home is a little different than some, as many of you know my son is Autistic. This makes certain activities and tasks a little harder, but as with any challenge in life we have adapted. As my son reached “public school age” some family members and even friends questioned us on why we hadn’t enrolled him in school. When I made it known that my husband and I had decided to homeschool the reactions were varied and frankly, astonishing. Some(very few) said, “Oh, well that’s nice.”, others were not as kind and very decidedly gave us their opinions on how we should be raising our children. Comments such as, “he needs to be around others his own age”, “he needs the socialization”, “you don’t know what you are doing”.

These were all unappreciated comments, deriving from sheer lack of understanding of the dynamics of homeschooling and all the possibilities it offers. The one thing that probably grates on my nerves the most is the comment about “socializing”.

Socialization – definition:

a continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behavior, and social skills appropriate to his or her social position.

Society, for many years, has blindly gone along with the pragmatic idealism of public school. It all seems so logical, a one size fits all education. Children put into a classroom of peers that are the same age or thereabouts, are expected to come out knowing and achieving certain social skills above their capacity without proper tools and nurturing teaching from a loving adult that has their best interest at heart. It’s like telling a mechanic to fix what’s wrong with your vehicle without tools…. True socialization begins and happens in the home. Parents are the first beings that children see and learn from. This idea that kids won’t develop or mature properly if not institutionalized in a public school setting is absolutely absurd. I am not so naïve to believe that all of the general public feels this way. I know that there are many parents that have the desire to be in control of and/or oversee their child/children’s education. In defense of certain situations I concede that there are some children who may not have any other means of education other than going to public school. I respect the profession of teachers/professors, I do not want to discredit or diminish their importance in the world of education.

My husband and I have chosen a more natural and self-led type of education for our children. We want our children to feel the freedom to learn whatever they desire, along with some time of structured learning. We believe that the home is the safest and most productive environment for learning. Children are like sponges, they soak up everything, they are smart little beings, and all too often we don’t give them the credit they are due.

The key to activating maturation is to take care of the attachment needs of the child. To foster independence we must first invite dependence; to promote individuation we must provide a sense of belonging and unity; to help the child separate we must assume the responsibility for keeping the child close. We help a child let go by providing more contact and connection than he himself is seeking. When he asks for a hug, we give him a warmer one than he is giving us. We liberate children not by making them work for our love but by letting them rest in it. We help a child face the separation involved in going to sleep or going to school by satisfying his need for closeness.

– Gordon Neufeld

Developmental Psychologist and author of Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More

There is no school equal to a decent home, and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent.

– Mahatma Ghandi

Children need what we rarely give them in school – time for messing about.

John Holt

I homeschool my children not to prepare them for tests but to prepare them for life.

– Tamara L. Chilver

We don’t look horrified and start quizzing your children when we hear they are in public school. Please stop drilling our children like potential oil fields to see if we’re doing what you consider an adequate job of homeschooling.

– Anonymous

Finding Joy

20160706_091238

If the weather is good, we have been taking morning walks around the neighborhood. This morning was especially nice, there was a breeze. Usually we are not so lucky, it’s hot and sticky most days. During these morning walks Jacob enjoys finding sticks along the road to bring home and add to our very large wood pile. His joy in finding sticks, big and small, such a simple action made me really stop and think… Am I purposely finding joy during my day? No matter the task at hand, am I really pursuing joy? Life’s tasks and daily duties don’t always elicit a reaction of joy, naturally. I am sure that sometimes we begrudge having to do certain things on the daily, it’s human nature to gravitate towards things that will bring us immediate satisfaction. Sometimes it takes effort to get to the joyful part in our tasks. Sometimes it’s the end result that brings joy, the dirty, hard part is doing whatever it is that must be done, first.

My children teach me so much in their innocent, sweet ways of being. I am so thankful God gave us these precious little ones to see the joy, no matter how small, in each day we are blessed with.

Find the joy in your day, relish it, savor it, spread it around.

~Blessings,

T.

A Personal Revelation and What It Means To Be Truly Happy

20160701_080756-1

Have you ever noticed that it doesn’t take much to make little ones happy? Most kids seem to have more fun playing with a box that a gift was given in, rather than the gift itself. I know with my little one, a full tummy, hugs from mommy, and her dolly, she is the happiest baby. How simple and sweet is the life of a well loved child. We are the Lord’s well loved children, He takes care of us in every way. But do we ever stop to really thank Him for his provisions? Are we truly grateful for every blessing, big and small?

In this present world I see the practices of great sin and the ease in which our society revels in it, especially in the love of money. The chase of the “almighty” dollar and the ideology that it is the sole pursuit in our existence. The attitude that we are entitled to become wealthy and have all that wealth brings. It disgusts me on so many levels. I began to pray and ask the Lord to give me a true revelation of His word on the subject, and through this that I might learn to live a humble life that pleases the Lord. Please do not misunderstand all that I am about to share, I don’t think having a lot of money makes you evil, I don’t think having a lot of money is a sin, it’s the emphasis we put on money and the pedestal upon which we place it that is wrong.

The word of God is so amazing to me, in that it is alive and speaks to me of our daily struggles, and gives answers to life’s questions. In the book of Matthew 18:2-3 we read: And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them. And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. This is a very powerful and profound scripture. The Lord is relating our entrance into His kingdom, to the innocence and pureness of a child’s heart and mind. Children are truly innocent and pure, they have such faith to believe the impossible. Children in their God-given nature are simple little creatures, they don’t need a lot to be truly happy, they find joy in the smallest of things. When I read this scripture I realized how backwards our world really is. We have the mindset that we must have all the possessions society lures us with in order to be happy. But God’s word contradicts this time and time again.

Luke 12:15-21  And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night they soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou has provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich towards God.

Are we so busy trying to build up earthly treasure and gain that we neglect the building of our heavenly treasures? 1 Timothy 6:5-10 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

The first verse here really struck a cord with me, supposing that gain is godliness….let that marinate in your mind for a minute.

God, open our spiritual eyes to understand your true desires for us, as your people. Ephesians 1:17-18 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

I truly believe the Lord is telling us that a humble existence in serving Him, and building His kingdom will bring true happiness. Proverbs 15:16, 16:19  Better is little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble therewith. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.

The Lord desires to give us an abundant life, He told us this in John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I think a lot of times, myself included, we take this scripture out of context. Thinking that the word abundance in this scripture means wealth, or financial gain. Not necessarily, I believe that the Lord is giving us hope here, that through Him we will live lives of abundance. The word abundance means: a very large quantity of something. It very well could be referring to abundance of true joy, love, and peace. What riches in this world could compare to those things? We have seen many wealthy people, celebrities, and the like splayed all over tabloid covers, saying how they have checked into rehab for drug addictions, in divorce courts, drunk in public making scenes, etc….these people in all their wealth and glory are UNHAPPY!

Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Are you content in your current situation?

We all have needs, we all suffer in different ways but we have hope in the Lord that no matter what He will provide. Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

In this soul searching study, I found that life is not made up of having more possessions, but having true happiness and peace in the Lord. Through this we may reach lost souls, we may encourage one another, we may be a light in this dark world. Be encouraged today, be content where you are. No matter what life throws our way, God is our anchor, our refuge, our hope.

~Blessings,

T.

Happy Home Happy Life

20160628_084721

20160628_084728

I love the early morning time with my children. They are still sleepy eyed and sweetly, slow moving. It’s sort of quiet, except for Lily’s excited squeal that her brother is awake and will soon be ready to play. There are sprouted grains dehydrating in the oven, which will be ground into flour for bread making later today. The freshly brewed coffee smells like heaven, and tastes as equally delicious. The living room is still disheveled from the night before with blocks, cowboy hat and light sabers. Home, it’s messy a lot of the time, filled with laughter, and sometimes crying, but mostly filled with love. I love our little home life. As I sit here watching my beautiful babies, I am reminded of the scripture in Philippians 4:11 that says:

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

I am content, I am truly happy. God has blessed us beyond measure and for it all I am so grateful.

~Blessings,

T.

Blessings

jl1

Most everyone brags about their children. Their accomplishments, however small they may be, the funny little phrases, the sweet faces they make, it never gets old to us parents. We could write a book and probably a series on how much we adore our children. And of course I have so much I could say here about how much I love and adore my babies, but when I really got to thinking about them this morning, I realized how blessed I truly am. I thought I would never be able to have children due to some health issues, but God saw fit to bless me with two beautiful little ones. They are my blessings. Children are a blessing, think about that for a minute. Sure we get frustrated with their messes, when they don’t listen to our instruction, the attitudes they have(even at an early age, I have discovered), but above all that they enrich our lives. Not a day goes by that I don’t thank God for my son and daughter. The overwhelming love that washes over me, when I hug them, kiss them, and tell them that mommy loves them soooo much, it’s impossible. I imagine that this must be how God feels about us, as we are His children. There is no greater love than the love a parent has for their child. A connection so deep that no matter what they do, it is ever present. When I feel as though I am having a bad day, or things are not going the way I think they should, I look at my children and know that I am blessed. Count your blessings today.

~Blessings,

T.

Encourage One Another

Hey ya’ll!!!! It has been a while since my last post, much going on here with the little ones. Now that Summer is here and school is out for the next two and a half months things will be even busier, I am sure. I do hope that the past weeks have provided pleasant days for you and yours.

Honesty isn’t always our first response when asked the question, “How are you doing?”. We usually just respond with, “I am doing fine”. In reality we aren’t always doing fine. Sometimes we are down and out, having a rough day, maybe even a rough couple of months. I sometimes find it difficult to say that I am struggling, sad, depressed, needing encouragement. Uncertain of how I will be viewed if I am completely honest with the person asking how I am doing, I don’t share my true feelings. Has someone ever been truly honest with you and shared their troubles? Did you feel that you knew what to say in that moment? On the flip side, we don’t have all the answers to life’s problems, we don’t have the perfect words to give someone in need of hearing them. But we do have a way to share encouragement through the word of God.

 The bible tells us to encourage one another, in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 we read – Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.  Also in Proverbs 27:9 – Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel. Again in Proverbs27:17 – Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. There are many more scriptures instructing us on encouraging one another. In the act of encouraging others we ourselves are encouraged. So if you find yourself down and in need of uplifting, get into the word, read from the book of Psalms(one of my favorite books of the bible for encouragement). Find someone to encourage, in doing so you will be uplifted and find joy in the midst of your storm.

I want to encourage you today, whatever you might be going through, however dark your night may be, and however strong the storm raging in your life today, just know that God is there, holding your hand. He is only a prayer a way, you are not alone in this! Like a father and mother comfort their children, the Lord is comforting you. Allow Him to be your strength, your joy, your peace. God has the final say so in our situations. When we give everything over to Him, he will work it all out for our good. God Bless!

~T.

8c7e9046cfc360acc211421c18660a8d

Budget Friendly Cleaning Tips

Well, today is day 4 of my week long spring cleaning spree….Whew, thankfully only one more day left, spring cleaning is tiresome. I guess that is why it’s called “Spring” cleaning, it comes once a year(although I will be deep cleaning my house again in several months). It feels so good to have my house looking, and smelling so squeaky clean!

In my cleaning this week I discovered some budget friendly tips and how to make my cleaning products stretch to last a little while longer.

I usually buy scented trash bags but for some reason, I think this was because my husband did the shopping last time, we only had unscented. So today as I was taking out the trash and realizing how smelly it was, I was missing my scented trash bags. I remembered I had bought some room spray from Walmart the other day and got the bright idea to spray the inside of my trash can before replacing a new bag inside. It worked! So instead of my trash can smelling like this

garbage-can-smelly1

It now smells like this

vector_flowers_and_florals

As I was in the middle of cleaning  window sills I noticed I was dangerously low on my all-purpose cleaning solution. Yikes, that is not a fun place to be when you realize you are about to run out of your cleaning product before you are done cleaning. I didn’t have any other cleaning products under my sink so I got creative…..I added a little bit of distilled vinegar and water to the last bit of cleaning solution and gave it a little shake. Voila! I had plenty more to finish the job. Vinegar is a natural disinfectant, completely safe to use around the house, and is usually in the pantry.

1f5c892f8697ff8d9a5bd148ba5e9d01

Last but certainly not least, I discovered that you can actually refill your Swiffer mop bottle without having to buy another. Bring a small saucepan of water to a rolling boil. Once boiling, turn the heat off, place the Swiffer bottle, lid side down in the water and hold for about 20 seconds. With a hand towel twist hard and the lid will come off! You can add your very own homemade cleaning solution or something store bought. It’s that easy!

So for a quick recap –

Cleaning Tips

1. Room spray for your trash can (scent of your choosing)

2. Vinegar and water can make an easy and quick cleaning solution

3. Refill your Swiffer mop bottle without spending extra $$

I hope you have been inspired and that these tips are helpful!

HAPPY

635951508838768723-66803255_sping

Femininity God’s Way

c8e51ab617dc2881e0d21f597eb9a6f7

Amen! What inspirational words to live by. When I read this I think of the Proverbs 31 woman, and how she was the epitome of a feminine woman. She was strong and kind, a hard worker, she clothed herself beautifully, and above all she feared the Lord. When I think of the word feminine I see a woman that is dressed like a lady should be, speaking softly and carrying herself with dignity and self-respect. There is a beauty that shines from inside when a woman is truly feminine, and I don’t mean just in the outward way. True beauty is inward, it flows from one’s heart to the outside. In the book of Titus chapter 2 Paul was instructing the church on Christian conduct befitting men and women. In verses 3-4 we read:

3. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour  as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4. That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5. To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

The bible gives very clear instruction on how women are to conduct themselves. In verse 3 it states that women be in behaviour as becometh holiness….in Strong’s Greek concordance the word holy means set apart, sacred. If we are to be holy then we must be set apart from the world, we carry something sacred within ourselves. I have been living for the Lord most of my life, and throughout the years I have seen women who truly lead a godly lifestyle. These women possess a beauty that the world can never create. This beauty is the beauty of holiness, it is feminine, it is ladylike, it comes from deep within.

1 Peter 3:3-5 tells us: 3. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4. But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 5. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

Natural beauty can never compare to the beauty that God gives a woman when she is living fully for Him.

img-thing

My fervent prayer is that God would help me to be the feminine, set apart, lady he desires me to be. What a great witness we can be to those around us when we seek to please the Lord in our lifestyle.

God Bless~