Welcome to the 2014 Ultimate Blog Party at The Character Corner! This annual event is hosted by 5 Minutes For Mom. The purpose of this party is to welcome and introduce friends, old and new, to my blog. I’m excited to make and meet some new friends!
Welcome to The Character Corner– an inspirational blog filled with resources to help you train your kids in character and purity.
My name is Kathie, mom of 8, grandmother to 4, speaker, author, and veteran homeschooling mom of 29 years. I am passionate about purposeful parenting, and love to write about parenting, homeschooling, what the Lord is teaching me, and life in general. My heart’s desire is to help and encourage parents to be intentional in their parenting, and strive to raise Godly children with strong Christian character.
My husband and I have been married for 35 years, and are nearing the end of our homeschooling journey. Our oldest 7 kids have graduated, and our youngest son will soon be finishing his junior year of high school. Four of our kids are married, and our oldest son & his wife are missionaries in the Philippines. To learn a little bit more about our family and our ministry check out: ABOUT US.
I’m delighted you’re here and I hope you’ll take the time to look around and make yourself at home! My prayer is that you will be blessed by the things that I share.
Thanks for stopping in. I enjoy making new friends, and would love to connect with you on Facebook and Pinterest. I look forward to talking with you!
Yesterday my youngest son, Mark, turned 17. (Picture of him with my granddaughter last year) So very hard to believe that in a little over one year, he will be the 8th and last to graduate from our homeschool. After 34 years of raising and training children, a new season will begin for me.
“The days pass so swiftly,the months come and go
The years melt away like new falling snow”
You always hear people say to young parents, “Enjoy those years. They go by so fast!” It is so true. However, it doesn’t seem fast at the time. In fact, some times it’s hard to enjoy. There is fatigue, busyness, frustration, and challenges. There are often times of tears. It’s not easy being a mom, and when you add homeschooling to your job, the challenges increase.
I’d like to just share a few thoughts for those of you who are still in those early, hectic busy, busy days of raising your family, or maybe a little farther along in the journey and feeling weary.
Thoughts from an OLDER mom, to encourage younger moms:
1. You WILL make it.
Sometimes you may not feel like you can’t keep on, but as moms we do what we have to, and we keep going even when it’s hard. Sometimes we are too busy trying to survive, to enjoy it! It DOES get better.
2. Though you may not always ENJOY the ride, you will get much JOY from it.
There’s no describing the joy of watching your kids learn, grow, and then develop into young adults who love the Lord, and go on to serve Him. Suddenly you realize that all those seeds you planted DID take root. (3 John 1:4 I havenogreaterjoythanto hearthat mychildrenwalkin truth.)
3. Don’t wish the days away.
I know sometimes you think you just can’t wait until—they are potty trained, they can dress themselves, they learn to read on their own, etc. I’ve been there, and I remember. But try to enjoy each stage and season, because before you know it, it will be past.
4. Take time to make memories.
You don’t want to be the parent who looks back and says “I wish I’d slowed down more, and spent time doing things, and making memories with the kids.” Be intentional.
5. No matter how mundane your daily duties seem, your home and family are your ministry, and you are serving the Lord.
That time you spend training, correcting, and teaching them in God’s Word and ways, are an investment in eternity. When you tired of doing the same thing day in and day out, remember Who you are serving.
The words of a Patch the Pirate song, “Cherish the Moment” are in my mind right now.
Sing a song, play a game, swing me high in the air;
Ride a bike, fly a kite, how I love the times we share;
Hold my hand, hug my neck, Daddy bounce me on your knee;
Come & sit by my bed, Mommy rock me to sleep.
Cherish the moment, soon you’ll be apart,
Cling to the memory, clasp it to your heart;
Soon comes the day when you’ll have no child to hold,
So cherish, cherish the moment.
Think ahead to a time when your little ones are grown,
Hold them tight, don’t lose sight of the blessings you have known;
Think ahead to a time when your little boy’s a man,
You have heard Ruth’s side of the story. Now I’d like to just add a few thoughts of mine on Supporting Those Dealing With The Pain Of Infertility.
I’ve said it before. One of the hardest things about being a mom is watching your kids go through trials, and not being able to “fix” it. I saw Ruth cry, but at the same time, I saw her grow. I saw her trusting the Lord through her pain. There’s no way to say how much that blessed this mama’s heart. Sometimes God allows those hurts to bring glory to Him, and as moms, we have to “let go and let God”.
Supporting Those Dealing With The Pain Of Infertility
1. I listened when she wanted to talk about it.
2. Sometimes I cried with her; sometimes I cried when talking to God about it, and asking Him to comfort her.
3. I prayed for her daily.
4. As much as I wanted to, I didn’t ask God to let her get pregnant. I know God has a reason for everything, and His timing is perfect. I didn’t want to ask Him to do something that I thought was best, because His ways aren’t our ways, and His ways are above ours.
More tips to help you support those dealing with the pain of infertility
5. As much as I wanted to, I also didn’t ask God to take the pain and difficulty away. Often that is such a huge way that our kids grow, and their faith becomes stronger. Difficulties are intended to help us grow, and I didn’t want to ask God to take that opportunity from her. (Believe me, I wanted to ask Him to take the pain away, and let her get pregnant right away!)
6. I did ask God to comfort her and to give her the grace and strength she needed to deal with the pain of infertility and disappointment she was struggling with.
7. I rejoiced as I saw God helping her. He taught her to trust Him through her heartache. I heard it in our conversations, and she expressed it in her story:
“But as much as it hurt, I was okay with that, and told God many times over, that while I hoped He was going to allow me to get pregnant, I was willing to let Him do with us as He saw fit, as long as He gave us the grace to bear it. I had to learn that God is good, faithful, and always right, and He did teach me that, and I will always believe it with all of my heart.”
8. I reminded God that He promised to hear and answer our prayers, and give us the desires of our heart if we trusted Him. He knew Ruth’s desire, but I reminded Him of that and said that I would love to see Him prove Himself, by giving her the desire of her heart, if that was His will.
It’s hard to watch our children go through trials, but what a blessing to know they are safe in God’s hands, and that He is working all things out for good, and for His glory! God is faithful, and we can trust Him always!
Read the rest of my infertility story in these posts:
So, back to the nitty-gritty details of Dealing With The Pain of Infertility.
We were taking our 3-6 month break and trying to save money for further treatment. We were really just beginning to relax and enjoy the break from the emotional pressure of it all.
At some point during this time, my husband began mentioning things more and more often about being anxious for me to get pregnant, etc. My husbandhad been very supportive throughout this season of infertility, but it was usually me who was the one talking about it, not him! One morning he said he just had a “random thought” and didn’t know if it was just that, or maybe God trying to tell him something.
He felt like we were going to get pregnant soon, and we were either going to find out around Thanksgiving or Christmas time. He also had a dream about me being pregnant. Take that for whatever it’s worth. I tried not to hope too much because I was tired of dealing with the pain of infertility. But I did think it was odd that Rob was having all these thoughts and dreaming about it too!
Dealing With The Pain of Infertility
Somewhere within probably the second or third month of our break from treatment, I began to experience some pretty extreme exhaustion. I was also late on my cycle. We ignored all this because it had all happened before. It was so very tiring to get my hopes up and taking pregnancy tests, only to find out that once again, it was nothing, just my body acting up again.
Fast forward a few weeks to December 14, a Sunday. I woke up that day feeling a little nauseated. But once again, I blamed it on my body just doing weird things. As I said, I had been through things like this before, and it was always disappointing – nothing happened!
However, this time the symptoms didn’t go away. My exhaustion was increasing, nausea lasted for an entire week, and I was starting to get worried. Mind you, I was worried because I thought something was wrong – I absolutely did not suspect pregnancy.
The End of My Infertility
On Friday, December 19, I was so discouraged and scared about all these weird symptoms, I made an appointment with my family doctor, thinking that maybe we should do some blood work and see what in the world was wrong with me. After hearing me out on my history of fertility issues and my current symptoms, my doctor said he would be happy to order some blood work for me, but he also kindly suggested that I take a pregnancy test. I said I would, even though I really did not think anything was going to come of it.
The next morning, December 20, I got up to take the test. It was a test that said to wait for 3 minutes before looking at the results, but of course, I looked at it immediately. I saw 2 lines appear in the one testing window, and then a faint but very definite plus sign in the other.
After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I immediately ran to the bedroom where Rob was still in bed. I whispered frantically – “Come here! You have to look at this! I think I’m pregnant!” He came in and agreed that the test appeared to be quite clear. We hugged, we cried, we laughed and prayed and cried and laughed some more.
Nonetheless, this was so very hard for us to believe. We went out and bought another pregnancy test – a digital one, this time because I wanted one that clearly spelled out “Pregnant” for me. I took it the next morning. Once again, the instructions said that the results should appear within 3 minutes, but just like the other test the day before, the results were almost immediate and said “pregnant” very clearly. Now we knew it was true.
Our Christmas Miracle
We were able to share our Christmas miracle news with our immediate family members that week. There were lots of tears and thanks to God given as the announcement was made to each family.
We called the specialist immediately and had our first appointment on December 26. At that point, we had an ultrasound which allowed us to see our baby. We were even able to see his heartbeat, which was quite truly the most amazing thing I have ever seen.
Was infertility stressful?
The doctor also said that my blood work results were absolutely amazing as they were right on target. He questioned me as to whether or not we had tried something different to make all this happen. That just made me want to laugh with complete joy and awe all over again. I know the answer to that question has nothing to do with Rob & I, and what we may or may not have done differently. Praise God for a miracle that only He could have done.
And here we are today, continuing to praise and thank God not only for this baby but for His beautiful plans. I’ll never know why He allowed us to go through those 2 years of dealing with the pain of infertility, and quite truthfully, I don’t need to know why.
God has proven His faithfulness and love to us over and over and over again, even before we saw that positive pregnancy test. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind as to His perfect faithfulness and plans for our lives, always.
The emotional pain infertility caused was a heart-wrenching, personal sort of pain. Throughout these months of infertility, my body was undergoing a lot of stress. The medication stress and the emotional pain of infertility, I really don’t even know how to describe.
Mother’s Day was very difficult for me. I felt like my “secret” was on display to the world. That was really not logical at all, but it’s how I felt. It’s not something I would have ever understood until I went through it myself.
The Emotional Pain of Infertility
The emotional, mental, and physical stress was constant. I took pregnancy tests several times over these months. My cycle would sometimes show up one or two days late, and I was just so very hopeful. Sometimes I think I imagined pregnancy symptoms (although in my defense, I have to mention that my body also mimicked some symptoms as well, due to the medications).
Well, fertility treatment gets very costly. We ran out of money after several months of medication and specialist appointments. Due to that and the fact that I was beginning to feel as if I was losing my mind, we took a much-needed break, for 2 or maybe 3 months.
Nothing happened in those months, and after that, we were able to afford one more month of treatment before the money was really gone. This time we knew it would be a minimum of 3 months, if not 6 months or longer before we would have enough money saved for father treatment.
At this point, this had all been going on for 2 years. The emotional pain was intense, to say the least.
Two years is a time frame that typically flies by in life. While it was flying, every month also felt excruciatingly slow as we waited to see what might happen. Once again, I had to surrender my heart’s desire to God. He had been with me throughout all of this – I could not have done it without Him.
Quite honestly, I had never questioned Him as to why I was experiencing infertility. I had no problem surrendering to Him because He was giving me the grace to trust Him.
But with surrender, there is still emotional pain.
It shows up as you realize that in His infinite wisdom, God’s plans may in fact be very different from what you had planned for yourself. But as much as it hurt emotionally, I was okay with that.
I told God many times over, that while I hoped He was going to allow me to get pregnant, I was willing to let Him do with us as He saw fit. We just needed Him to give us the grace to bear it. During this, I had to learn that God is good, faithful, and always right. He did teach me that, and I will always believe it with all of my heart.
I’m talking a lot about how emotionally painful all of this was because that’s the bare, ugly truth of it. Yet it is also true that I have never known God, and known His presence and grace so clearly as I did during this time. I had some very dark times, and I want to be honest about that. But even through those times, I knew if I could just hang on, daylight was coming, and God would sustain us.
One of the things that I prayed for regularly, was for God to be glorified through all of this emotional pain of infertility.
If nobody else even saw Him working I didn’t care (although I also said it’d be great if they did). I also didn’t care if He never let me get pregnant. If He would let me see His hand in my life and see Him being glorified, I would be alright.
I also began telling Him that if He never allowed me to get pregnant, I would still love Him, and I would still praise Him. The ironic thing is, looking back now, I didn’t know it right away of course, but He did allow me to get pregnant in that time frame where I had really become very adamant in those specific prayers, and I just think that’s kind of interesting. 🙂
Throughout this infertility journey, I also had someone write me a note, who had become aware of our struggle. They told me how much of an encouragement I had been to them.
They saidthe joy of the Lord was evident in my life, in spite of the emotional pain I was dealing with.
This was a huge blessing to me because it showed me that God was being glorified and He was working and using me to encourage others. This was even though I was sometimes merely speaking truth out loud – well, on my Facebook – in order to remind MYSELF of the truth!
Read the rest of my infertility story in these posts:
With the unending snow we’ve been getting this winter, I thought you might enjoy this story of the couple who made the mistake of moving up north. It will make you laugh!
We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a more lovely place in the whole world? Moving here was the best idea I’ve ever had!
Shoveled for the first time in years and felt like a little boy again. I cleared both our driveway and the sidewalks. This afternoon the snowplow came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life!
The sun has melted all our lovely snow… Such a disappointment! My neighbor tells me not to worry – we’ll definitely have a White Christmas.
No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we’ll have so much snow by the end of winter, that I’ll never want to see snow again. I don’t think that’s possible. However, Bob is such a nice man, I’m glad he’s our neighbor.
Snow, lovely snow! 8 inches last night. The temperature dropped to -20F. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life!
The snowplow came back this afternoon and buried everything again.. I didn’t realize I would have to do quite this much shoveling, but I’ll certainly get back in shape this way. I wish I wouldn’t huff and puff so.
20 inches forecast for today. I sold my van and bought a 4×4 Blazer. Bought snow tires for the wife’s car and 2 extra shovels. We stocked the freezer.
The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that’s extravagant. We aren’t in Alaska, after all.
Ice storm this morning. Fell on my butt on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. Hurt like crazy! The wife laughed for an hour, which I think was very cruel.
Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere.
Today the electricity was off for 4 hours. We had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. Guess I should’ve bought a wood stove, but won’t admit it to her. Man, I hate it when she’s right. I can’t believe I’m freezing to death in my own living room.
Yippee the electricity’s back on, but we had another 14 inches of the dumb stuff last night. More shoveling! Took all day. The stupid snowplow came by twice.
Tried to find a neighbor kid to shovel, but they said they’re too busy playing hockey. I think they’re lying.
Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower and they’re out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they’re lying.
Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he’s lying.
Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of the white stuff fell today, and it’s so cold, it probably won’t melt till August.
Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to go to the loo. By the time I got undressed, and dressed again, I was too tired to shovel.
Tried to hire Bob who has a plow on his truck for the rest of the winter, but he says he’s too busy. I think he’s lying.
Only 2 inches of snow today. And it warmed up to zero.
The wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. What is she, nuts?!! Why didn’t she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she did but I think she’s lying.
6 inches fell, but the snow was packed so hard by the snowplow, I broke my shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack.
If I ever catch the guy who drives that snowplow, I’ll drag him through the snow by his hair and beat him with my broken shovel. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shoveling and then he comes down the street at a 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over where I’ve just been!
Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was too busy watching for the snowplow.
Merry Christmas! 20 more inches tonight – Snowed in. The idea of shoveling makes my blood boil. Man, I hate the snow!
Then the snowplow driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my broken shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude. I don’t know why she thinks that!
If I have to watch “It’s A Wonderful Life” one more time, I’m going to go crazy!
Still snowed in. Why did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She’s really getting on my nerves.
Temperature dropped to -30 and the pipes froze; plumber came after 14 hours of waiting for him, he only charged me $1,750 to replace 4 of my pipes.
Warmed up to above -20. Still snowed in. The WIFE is driving me crazy!!
10 more inches.
Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in. That’s the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?
Roof caved in.
I beat up the snowplow driver, and now he is suing me for a million dollars, for the beating I gave him.
The wife went home to her mother.
Nine more inches predicted.
I set fire to what’s left of the house. No more shoveling!
Feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving me. Why am I tied to the bed???
Recently I noticed myself getting offended really easily offended at the littlest things. I found myself mumbling to myself in response to situations or things that were said or done. When my husband said something in a teasing way, I would take offense at it; I was easily “hurt” by things my kids said.
When I realized this was happening, I stopped to think WHY I was letting little, innocent comments or actions offend me. Why was I being so sensitive about everything?! As I thought about it, I realized that there are four things that often contribute to this. Why am I so easily offended?
Here are 4 Reasons You are Easily Offended
Things were busy during the holidays. We had family here for over a week, and stayed up late talking, and playing games. There was more cooking and clean up than usual, with a bigger group here. The result, I was TIRED! When you are fatigued, it’s important to realize that you aren’t thinking too clearly. It’s a time to be very careful about how you respond, and a time to make an extra effort NOT to let things that don’t matter bother you.
Sometimes we are carrying extra burdens, whether it be concern for a situation regarding our kids, our finances, or other difficulties. It could just be a temporary time of extra stress for various reasons. When I am extra stressed, it weighs on me, and I have found that I am easily irritated and frustrated by things that normally wouldn’t bother me.
3. Poor communication
Communication is SO important! Many things can be taken wrong if there isn’t clear communication. Be sure you understand not only what was said, but what was meant. Ask questions, and talk about it, rather than assuming someone meant to be hurtful. Lack of communication just opens the door for misunderstanding to take place.
There have been times when I felt hurt by how one of the kids responded to me, and I took offense, thinking they were being rude by not wanting to talk, only to find out that they were hurting and upset about something. They were responding that way because they weren’t ready to talk about what was bothering them at the time, or feared they would cry if they said much at the time.
Give people the benefit of the doubt, and don’t assume the worst!
4. Lack of time in God’s Word
“Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” Psalm 119:165
Often we allow fatigue or stress to push aside our quiet time in God’s Word. I love the quote I heard recently: “I’m too busy to NOT take time to be alone with God.” Spending time with God and His Word help renew our spirit, and give us a peace that helps us not be easily offended.
I don’t enjoy being around a person who is always getting their feelings hurt or getting offended at the littlest thing, and I certainly don’t want to BE that person!
How do I stop being easily offended?
If by chance, you find yourself in that “mode”, ask which of the above factors may be causing it. Get rest if needed, let go of some of the stressful things if possible, keep the door of communication open, and spend time in God’s Word seeking His peace!
As a mom, there have been SO many times when I have been consumed with worry and concern about my kids. Often, I have found myself thinking “If I do/say this, then maybe that will make them do/say……” It’s a struggle to just take the child and their situation to God, and trust HIM to take care of it, without MY help!
The truth is that HE doesn’t need my help, but I sure do need His! God can work in hearts, and change hearts. He can work in ways we would never think of, to accomplish His purpose and plans. Why is is so hard to just take it to Him, leave it, and be still?
I had a sweet, and wonderful reminder the other day that we CAN trust God, and we don’t need to try to help Him. The reminder came in the form of a voice mail from my daughter. She is at Bible college, ten hours away from home. Though she loves it and is doing well, it hasn’t been easy for her. She is learning many lessons, as she listens and lets God teach her.
Her message started with the words, “I just called to tell you what lesson God taught me this week.” She went on to tell me how God showed her that she thinks a lot, and tends to worry and get frustrated about situations. She thinks and thinks about what she can do to “fix” it, or take care of it. (I don’t know WHERE she might have gotten that from!)
That morning she was feeling concerned about a friend who wasn’t thinking clearly, and was leaning towards making a big mistake. She fretted about what she could do, or should say. She cried out to God, and asked Him to do something to change the friend’s heart. Later that morning in chapel, the message was about going the wrong way. Her friend ended up crying at the end of the message, realizing the error of their thinking.
She ended her message with these words:
The lesson I learned from this is: God takes care of things in the end. I don’t have to always step up, and try to fix it myself.
Wow, what a blessing to see God prove Himself to her! If you are consumed with worry about how to fix a situation, or change it, remember that GOD CAN BE TRUSTED, and leave it with Him.
Back when my kids were much younger, I was invited to speak at a mother-daughter banquet. Before speaking, I made a comment about how easy it is to get discouraged. Then my daughter came up and sang a song with me about a common cause of discouragement for many of us. (This is sung to the tune of the hymn “Count Your Blessings”) The ladies were expecting something serious, so this unexpected song was a FUN way to start our evening! I thought you would enjoy hearing the words of the song.
COUNT YOUR FAT GRAMS
When upon your scale you’re weighing every ounce, When you’re stepping off and feel your belly bounce,
Count your many fat grams, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what your food has done.
Count your fat grams, don’t forget a one,
Donuts, cakes and cookies seemed like lots of fun
Count your french fries – did you eat a ton?
Count your many fat grams, see what food has done.
When you think of others who are lean and slim,
Does your heart grow heavy as you think of them?
Count your Mr. Goodbars, every single bit,
And you’ll know the reason that your clothes fit tight.
Count your Hersheys, count them every one,
Extra cheese and chili on your hotdog bun;
Count your Snickers, don’t forget the Mars,
Count your Milky Ways and other candy bars.
So amid the dress shop as you try on clothes, Polyester stretches, everybody knows;
Searching in your closet, garments hanging there,
All those pretty dresses that you used to wear.
Count your blouses, how your wardrobe grows,
Count the dollars spent on queen size hose;
Was it chocolates? Was it jelly beans?
Count the many reasons you can’t wear your jeans.
Are you ever burdened with a load of guilt,
Looking at the body that your food has built?
Scrounging in the kitchen see the foods you chose,
And you’ll know the reason you can’t see your toes.
Count your fat grams, praying as you eat,
Vegetables and fruit, and even lean fresh meat;
Count your fat grams, you’ll start feeling great,
Keep on counting fat grams, you’ll start losing weight.
***Just for the record, I know that we need healthy fats in our diets. This was just for fun! Unfortunately, I think the candy bars don’t fit into the healthy fats category! 🙂
My name is Kathie, and I am glad you stopped by. I am a stay-at-home mom of 8 wonderful kids, and have been homeschooling for 31 years. I hope that my blog will be a blessing and encouragement to you! Read More…
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