Parenting is ministry to the fullest.

When I did ministry and mission trips, it involved cute hopeless children that clinged to my love and words. There was huge groups of young adults my age amped up to spread the love of Christ. It was exhilarating. I thought God totally had all of this for my future. Well, instead Beau and I are raising four boys, 7 years old, 10 years old, 12 years old, and 14 years old. They are not always cute, they rarely ever cling to my love and words. There is NO ONE my age amped up with me! This ministry is not glamorous it’s not that fun and it is beyond exhausting. I scroll through my pictures doing the ministry that made me smile constantly and made me feel alive and pumped up and sometimes I’m filled with jealousy of that old life. I could share my faith with kids and then spend the evenings goofing off with a fun team. Everything was so fleeting so I never got tired of the kids or people since something new always was happening.
I share this because this is what I learned… being a mom… a parent is the hardest ministry God has ever given anyone. Orchestrating  a orphanage in Africa honestly may be a lot more pleasant than raising children.
If you struggle with feeling like you want more from life than raising kids and making a home, I truly believe you are doing the most challenging hardest work and it is an honor that God believes and knows you can handle it. We don’t have the funnest ministry, it leaves us fatigue, cranky, sore, and mentally exhausted. We get doors slammed in our face, and hours of lecturing before the tiniest breakthrough happens. We don’t get hugs and kisses because we gave a gift to a child, read a bible story or gave a meal, instead we get ungratefulness that needs correction. We aren’t really admired all the time either.
You are so incredibly strong for raising your children, you are doing far more important work than you think. Parenting is so cheapened by t.v and what it portrays to be. It is hours and hours of monitoring, lecturing, punishing, encouraging, loving, teaching, and understanding. It never ends. I’m certain if you accept that God has this for you as your ministry, if you pour yourself into it instead of resenting it God will bless you with peace that this is all for a greater calling. You are raising the next generation, you are in control of the positivity they are going to have on the world. That is huge. You may never get your gratitude from your kids until they are older and wiser, so don’t put your security in that. God is so proud of you and so thankful of you for raising his children with all the love and wisdom you have. Your work, your ministry is glorious, never cheapen it as being anything less.
The last thing I’ll say is, do not surround yourself with people who cant see the importance of what you are doing. You need relationships that understand your hard work and will encourage you and strengthen you to keep going.

 

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It’s Not Forever, but For Now Be Strong Together.

Romans 5:3-5  “ Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

Whew. What a busy crazy year. Often times I feel as women or moms we have so much piled on our schedule that we don’t see where we can even breathe, and if we do take a break we only see all the things that didn’t get done and not the rest that was needed. Along with many internal things whizzing through us like a crazy roller coaster. If we don’t eat good or workout we have no energy if we skip one day of laundry a clothes monster swallows up the house. If we are rushed one morning, clutter erupts in our bedrooms. If your kids are in sports you are zooming from one thing to the next and your house is only used as a place you collapse from exhaustion. You strive to find time for devotions, organizing and grocery shopping. You have a pile of schedule attempts. You blow up on your kid because he lost his jacket but you’re really just mad because your head hurts and you got nothing accomplished today. You feel guilty because most of the time your words to your husband are “sorry I’m tired”, “I don’t feel good”, “I can’t”, “can you help me”. Why? Are women just weak, emotional wrecks that can’t handle what life demands from them. Are we just dramatic and everything is actually fine and we are just making it all up? No. I don’t believe that, because to many women deal with the same exact thing day after day. If you are selfless and humble and wake up every day only thinking about how you can tackle your goals and help your family. You know exactly what I’m talking about. I don’t know the answer yet, on how to manage and cope with day to day life, I have felt like I’ve gotten so close but then life and its crazy surprises throws you off again. One thing though that I feel so strongly about is we need more women more moms letting others know, they are not alone in this crazy adventure, letting them know they are not crazy, emotional or dramatic. I would love to have more women in my life sharing with me their struggles and how they are conquering them. It can be so unrealistic sometimes when all you see and hear is positivity, beautiful photographs of families, parents supporting their kids at sports, beautiful homes, it all looks so wonderful and makes you think wow what am I doing wrong? But there is much more to it than that. So much goes into wonderful things. Preparing, struggle, and sacrifice. I don’t know if Facebook is the place for this, but I would love to have a community of women who are willing to be real with each other and walk side by side understanding this is not an easy road mentally or physically but we can be strong together. I need more than just cupcakes and coffee. I need women who will fight through the hardships and celebrate the success. I feel God has put this in my heart for a reason. I don’t know what I’ll do with it yet, but I know it can save many women from the feeling of despair. Uplifting does have its place, but nothing is truly more uplifting than when someone understands what you are going through and is willing to go through it with you. Through the good bad and ugly.

Currently Me.

What a weird season in my life. Have you ever felt like you have no clue. no idea. no answer. as to what is going on with who you are. I knew who I was.. I had joy, dreams, passion, goals. I thought my husband was hilarious, brilliant and interesting. I thought I was joyful, charismatic, energetic. Full of Jesus. Now, I mostly feel dry, gray, lost, hurting. My Bible sits alone untouched unwanted. My running shoes collect dust. My Pinterest board collects no new ideas. My paint brushes are lost. My music is never appreciated or wanted. My bed is my comfort. I’m sore. Sick. Tired. Overwhelmed. Confused. Completely out of touch I can’t focus on what’s even going on in my body head or heart. When and if I’m happy or when and if I’m sad.

I lost something… Alot of things really. My joy. My confidence. My peace. My self control. My inspiration and desires. My Jesus..

My pastors wife constantly speaks life into me. Words of hope faith and strength. She says that God chose me because he knew I could handle this. Handle abuse and neglect as a child. Handle no father. Handle being passed and pushed place to place family to family. Handle being hurt by the imperfections of earthly love. Handle my mom dieng. Handle raising my brothers. Handle being a new wife. Handle all the demands of life… God believes I can handle this. But here I am.. struggling to even accomplish simple daily necessities. I don’t even have the strength to pick up shoes. I’m mentally week I’m physically week. I can barely get up in the morning. But.. God believes I can handle this… I can’t imagine how this is anything close to an uplifting entry, but this is Honesty. Realness.

I am struggling. To believe in myself. To believe in God. To believe I’m free and have so many tools and gifts to use. I’m living in a bad place of defeat. However I’m aware of it. And I’m trying to overcome it.

 

Rachel.

imageI’m writing as I just got done lifting my face up in tears to God, saying “God, I want them to have their mom back, I want my mom to have her children
I turned my head back to look at the picture of mom holding one of the girls, my hear twisted. She was holding the second youngest of the kids, Rachel, I had moved when she was just a baby. Now, I know Rachel, I know her every move, her every detail, her dimples in the side of her plump little butt cheeks, when she throws her fits she buries herself away, then takes off her shoes..then soxs…then hair tie and throws them, she will either talk really high and squeaky, or really low and raspy. When I looked at this picture of mom holding her my heart twisted because Mom knew all of her too…she knew her every move and all of her character.. It may not make sense but it makes me feel connected to her, I feel like her but I the same time I don’t feel right…because Mom knew all of this because she was mom…she was designed as Rachel’s mom…and now she’s gone. All the other kids knew me, with mom and I knew I mom with all the other kids,  Rachel didn’t know me with mom, and i dint know Rachel with her either,  she just knew mom,… and now this relationship I never knew between her and mom I’m experiencing.. its a feeling I cant put into words. Rachel especially just…totally brings mom back, through her personality her looks and her constant desire of loving mom. Her relationship with  mom was so fresh 2 years old.. and I can still feel mom off of her..
This all may be out of wack.. but its what I feel right now, I have to keep writing what I feel.

Grandma

 

We’ve been here for a about a week now.

Beau and I have received a lot of praise and affirmation… it has been extremely encouraging, but my Grandma is equally if not more of a angel.

Grandma Laurie lives in Oregon, she has stayed with the family since the funeral. She has only went home for a short time only to fly right back to Maryland to continue to take care of the children until Beau and I could be there.

She’s bonded with baby Sarah since she was a little over a week old all the way till now, a little over a couple months old…. You can imagine how incredibly close they became. Grandma knew Sarah’s every need and Sarah recognizes Grandma as hers. Her care Her Love Her safety.

Grandma has lost her husband only two years ago her daughter only two months ago… And now she will have to leave Sarah in my arms.. A baby that become her own. Sarah will also feel another little hurt in her spirit of the loss of another wonderful mother figure.

This all sounds so gloom, and it is, it’s the real heartbreak and hard hard situations that life unravels…

In the midst of Grandma gloom.. Of leaving the children now and baby Sarah she only trust in God, she writes words of love to him every day. She is so filled with his spirit, that she faces every situation with such a peaceful truthful aproach.

This has been the first time I have really known my Grandma.. The distance that was between us made it hard. Now I know her…. She is everything I dreamed of. I am so thankful to God that he sent Grandma our way for the short time we had her… For Sarah.. For me.. And for all the kids.. We will miss her so much when she goes home. I couldn’t have been this strong and dependent on Gods guidance of it wasn’t for her love.

I selfishly pray that God makes a way for her to stay with us forever… We have found a living feeling of mom and we don’t want that to go. We are so greatful we have that. She is a treasure.

When I see her leave this week, I will wipe my tears one more time as a say goodbye and then give myself to Jesus to fill me to the top to love and care for my husband, my family, my church, my friends, others in need… And yes all 9 of my little soldiers …what a scary scary thing to give yourself to him to be a living vessel to be used beyond us for his work to share and show his love only to trust in just him to renew and strengthen me. I will do this JUST as my Grandma did.

At times Grandma and I cry at how hard it is to care for the all the kids and moments later we rejoice in God for the promises he has given us that through him WE CAN do this.

be encouraged be bold be strong and be love- Tori Rose