Thursday, August 28, 2014

Be Still, Oh My Heart.

I’ll be the first to admit that the single life is not always an easy life. Living with my parents is not always easy. Being a mom is not always easy. Life is not always easy.

On the flip, I couldn’t imagine not having my amazing son in my life. I could not imagine making it with out the help of my parents. And being single, again, has taught me to trust God in a different way.

 Anybody, who is a parent, knows that your child captures a place in your heart that brings knowledge and understanding to the sayings of he stole my heart, would swim the ocean for you, would take a bullet for you, and so on. My little love kept me strong and focused in a time when I felt my health and life failing. I wouldn’t trade him for cattle on a thousand hills…. besides my Daddy owns those cattle and hills!

 I adore my parents. I have a great relationship with both of my parents. And, I hate to admit it, but I need the affordable rent my parents have asked of me. But, all that doesn’t mean life is easy as an adult living under your parents’ roof. There are days when we have different opinions. We butt heads from time to time. In the end, I love them, I’m grateful for them, I need them and I want them in my life.

 Being single has shown me the good and the bad sides of things. I have learned that I can do it. I can stretch $400 like it is nobodies business! I can manage a child and life on my own. I can be strong, independent, happy and content. It also means that I do have to tackle things on my own. There are days that I wish someone could just hug me, hold me. Not in a sensual way, but simply in a supportive way. There are days that are so hard and you want to just cry or scream or whatever to let some stress and frustration out. It is those days that I wish I had someone to talk to, someone to tell me I’m doing a good job.

There is good and bad in every situation of life. And while there are days you couldn’t feel more alone, you are never alone. I have seen God show up in unique ways, loud ways, quiet ways, funny ways, and simple ways. There are days where I don’t want to settle for the unknown and unseen. But there are also days when I have peace that only He can give.
Let your heart take flight.
This post is linked to:
Growing In Grace
Wise Woman Linkup
Modest Mom Blog

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Am I a Good Enough Mom?

What mother doesn't think about the future of her child/children? We all what them to grow up and be perfect. To never hurt, to never fail in a way that would crush them. We want to protect them, see them smile and laugh. To know love and support. We want the best for them.

At the same time, we want them to lose so they can learn good sportsmanship, mess up so they know how to push themselves to succeed, fail so they know the feeling of gratification of finally doing it. All the while we are there to encourage them and dry their tears of hurt and frustration.

I'm not exempt from all this. I am a mom just like any other. I want my son to be a healthy contribution to society when he is grown. I want him to know how to not give up, how to have a back bone, how to encourage others... the list can go on. But like almost any other mom, I question if I am doing a good enough job. Is there something I should be doing better?

As a single mom, you tend to put a little extra weight on your shoulders. There is already the weight of the world on your small shoulders to hold up on your own, yet we do it. We add more. It is too easy to set a standard and push ourselves harder to meet what the rest of the world is doing. To make sure our kids are as good or better then the kids next door.... who have an active mother and father in their lives. We don't want to be just another statistic. We don't want our children to mess up and have to hear someone say "Well he is form a divorced family". So we push ourselves, we fill the role as mother, father, teacher, supporter, provider, boo boo kisser, tear wiper, bed time reader, meal server.... the list goes on.

It isn't that I want my son to be perfect. I tell him every day I don't expect him to be perfect. I do expect him to mess up. It's just important that we work together to see how we can try to do better next time. I make sure he knows we are in this together, I'm not throwing him out there on his own, but it takes the both of us working as a team.

All that said, my biggest fear in life is my son. My little love. The man in my life right now. I want so much for him, but I know I can't give it all to him. I am only one person. What if something happens to him? What if, when he is a teenager, he decides to leave me and live with his father? I know the discipline and standards are different when he is with his father, will everything I try and instill in him be wasted if he were to leave me? What if I meet a man and his family can't receive my son? The circles our thoughts can go in!

I have to remind myself from time to time to stop. I am not in control, nor can I control it all. I have to give it over to God and toss my hands in the air and once again remind myself He's got it. The funny thing is that I will try and do it all again in a few months time. I guess it's a mix of our human nature and motherly instincts. It's not easy to hand it over to God, but it sure is a lot less stress to be able to do so... and I surely don't need that one more stress in my life.

While I was going over things and getting this blog updated, I came across this entry. See what I mean? Human nature. Motherly instinct. So, next time you see that single parent pushing themselves hard, please take the time to encourage them. They are just caught up in all the titles they have to hold and sometimes forget how to take a deep breath.

This post shared at:
Growing in Grace Thursday 
Wise Woman Linkup
The Modest Mom Blog

Monday, August 18, 2014

You Want Me to Do a Spartan Race? Now That's Motivating!

I have been blessed by some amazing friends. There are three siblings I spend some point of the weekend with, almost every weekend. It has been so refreshing to have friends I can goof off with and yet be serious and have some amazing conversations with.

Well a couple weekends ago we met for some volleyball at the park and bumped into another group of young adults hanging out. We started talking and they brought up a Spartan sprint they had done earlier in the summer. At which point the guys got excited and insisted they needed to do this too! Hmm, no, not me. Reality has shown its face already and I know I am no longer a teenager. Even when I was a teen I don't know that I could run 5 miles throwing myself over and under obstacles and lugging around heavy objects. While I have always been some what athletic, I've never been the strongest and I don't have the best endurance.

Enter this guy-
I know, bad pic... but he doesn't like to smile for the camera!
Shall we call him The Hammer? Perhaps Dream Crusher? Let's stick with Hammer, doesn't sound as..... well dream killing for a dreamer like myself. Anyways, The Hammer insists that he is going to do this and, drum roll please, I am doing it with him.... even if he has to drag me. Oh my friend, perhaps not dragging, but more like carrying! Let me just add in here that he has played ice hockey and lacrosse straight through school and college. And still plays hockey as an adult. In other words, he is still in good shape. He hasn't let the craziness of adult life distract him for keeping a level of fitness.

Whether or not this race actually happens, it is a good level of motivation for me. I'm the kind person who needs a purpose, something I'm working towards. I don't have a gym membership, so I need something that will push me from my own living room. And today I did it. I got one of those dvds out. Not the easy aerobics with a girl sporting amazing hair from the 80's, but one that is actually going to push me harder. It says I'll have an amazing beach body in 6 weeks time. Well, I doubt that and I'm not going for that either, but I figured it was a good place to get started.... 45 minutes later and I was proved right. It was a great place to get started.

Any other moms out there wish they had someone to push and motivate them? How about the realization of just how much we let our health go? Start easy, we don't have to conquer the world tomorrow. And look for something simple that can get you going. Even if I don't do the run come next spring, for now it is a small thing that can get me moving and pushing myself again. If needed, find someone like The Hammer to drag you through some ridiculous race! We can do this... if not for our children or our future, then for ourselves!

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Truth About This Single Mom.

Having stepped back out onto the dating scene, I have learned some harsh untruths that are thrown at single moms. Granted there is always an element of truth behind every stereotype, but trust me, some of them are ssssoooo far from truth. Some of them are down right hurtful. Others only make the stubborn ones among us all the more stubborn.

As a single mom, you should just date whomever is willing to show interest. Umm, no. This heart is a valuable thing. Would you give the keys to your car to the first random person who asked to borrow it? No, you wouldn't. You wouldn't even consider giving your keys to some of your family members! That said, many of us have learned what it is to be hurt. We have learned some very valuable lessons and one of them is just how valuable our hearts are. We are ok waiting a few years to meet a guy who will treasure us, value us and be willing to be a team player.

Single moms are easy. FAR from truth! At least for this one. I understand the value of sex within marriage. Yes, I've been intimate with a man before, I have a son. But he was the only man, EVER. This statement may be true for some moms, but this statement can also be true for single men or women around us, sadly. I learned you have to give your heart and your emotions time to heal. Don't jump out of one relationship and hurry into another. You will be more likely to make another bad decision, add another hurt to the list. Therefore, if you are like this gal, you have let the hurts go and are ready to step forward into a healthy relationship with a healthy heart and healthy standards.

That girl comes with baggage. My little love is not baggage. He is the most amazing little man in the whole world. He is devoted to me, watches out for me, makes me laugh, makes me cry and gives me hugs when I'm having a hard day. He has taught me what true love is, what sacrifice is, what it means to be willing to give your life for another. One day, when you have your own pint sized blessing, you will understand just how awesome children are. You will know they are not a piece of unwanted baggage, but the most valuable thing that will enter your life.

Your are obviously not committed to the long term relationships. Once again, far from the truth. I spent a number of years doing everything I could think of to save a marriage that was not healthy. Sometimes we are left going- make this work and just deal with the mental/emotional/physical abuse or get out and give our child and ourselves a healthy, second chance at life. For me, my sons and my  health won out. But, I'm devoted. I want to be able to give my heart and the rest of my tomorrows to the man who God puts into my future.

There are many other things I'm sure other single parents have heard, these just happen to be the most common ones I've heard. We all have a story. Take the time to get to know us before you judge us and label us. The realty is that we have all made mistakes in our lives. We have all done something we wish we could change and take back. But at the end of the day, we still did it. It was our past. It makes up our story. We have learned from it, we have grown, we have changed. Yes, as a single mom, I am a bit more independent, I am a bit stronger, I am a bit more stubborn. I've had to be. I've had to make it and survive in a harsh world with not just myself, but also with the most important little man in my life right now.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

There is One in Every Flock..... Or Two!

My original flock is now pushing the end of their third summer. Last years chickens, sadly, were lost to a coon. So this year we went all out. Forget that little addition of a dozen chicks, we got 26! Of course we went with a straight run for the unexpected pleasure of what we would get and knowing the extra boys would be freezer worthy. We, also, went with a mix of breeds. I got more black australorps, since I love the breed, but we decided to get some barred rocks and americanas.

I love looking up and seeing a mix of colors.

 All together we have 23 chickens- two roos and 21 busy girls. My older girls are still laying almost an egg a day. My younger girls are just starting to lay in the last two weeks. It's pretty exciting to be getting so many eggs every day. We did keep a roo from the babies. He is an australorp, but he has some copper feathering, catching him the name Copper. Copper was all black and then suddenly he got a few copper feathers. A few weeks later he got a few more feathers. I noticed more copper feathers coming in on his wings just today. Any idea why this is happening?

Copper in all his beauty.
The feathers get firey looking in the sun.

 So, back to the title. Every flock has that one bird. That special one. I happened to get two of them this time. I don't name my girls. I simply walk outside and say "Hey mamas" or "chick-a-roos" and they come running to greet me. But those two special ones, yep, they got names. Why you may ask.... so I know where to go searching!

 First is Betty. She's the real trouble maker. She will get out a half dozen times a day. Like out over the five foot tall fence. When Betty gets out, she doesn't hang around either. She takes off for a nice stroll in the woods. Betty recently got her wings clipped. I couldn't bear the thought of a stray cat getting her. She now gives me the evil eye.

Betty wouldn't pose for me.

 My other special one would be dear Dorthy. Dorthy is special in many ways. For starters we don't know what she is. She came as an americanna.... umm, no. Can this girl fly! Like clear the 40' run with out any issue and go right up and over the fence. I do have to say she is good about staying right by the fence when she is out, unlike Betty!
Dorthy after just getting put back into the run. Giving the stink eye!

Oh my chickens, how I adore them! They give such enjoyment and entertainment and the best eggs ever! Expect to see an entry on clipping chicken wings... Dorthy you are next!

This post has been shared at:
The HomeAcre Hop
Homestead Barn Hop
The Backyard Farming Connection Hop

His Joy in Eggs.

I find great joy when Z wants to help with things around the property. I mean it is nice when he is made to do things, but when my little 6 year old helper volunteers to help with things, it warms my heart.

His new big helper thing is the chickens. For the longest time he would not go near the chickens because Big Boy would charge the fence at him. But, I guess, he is now big enough and doesn't allow the chickens to intimidate him anymore. He now opens up their doors in he morning and helps to collect the eggs. I will keep working towards coop cleaning.... but he still has an issue with cleaning up someone else poop. Little does he remember my years to poop cleaning!

I wanted to reward him for all his help and I wanted it to be in a fun way. So I added some Americanas to my flock this year. I don't know who was more excited when the first blueish egg arrived. I knew it was coming and it would be soon, yet I was still way more excited then I should have been, haha! But, my Z was stunned. He first questioned if the chicken was ok and then proudly announced he wanted the first blue egg for breakfast.

The glorious three day bounty!

This post is linked to:
The Homeacre Hop

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Who is that Chick?!

My life has been all over the board in the last two years. I've wanted to blog, but I just couldn't pull myself to focus on it. There was so much that needed my attention and I just needed time to find out who I was, where I was going and if there was any way to get there. Do I have all those answers yet? No! But my head is clear, I know who I am now.

This was me in June 2012--
Yeah.... packing extra pounds, insecure, hating who I was. I felt stuck in a situation and it wasn't good.

Fast forward to May and August, respectfully, of 2014--

Wooha! Who is that chick? I had to use two pics, I couldn't pick which I liked more. Surely that isn't the same gal? It is!! I'm gorgeous, I'm full of life, I've lost weight... and not at the gym... and I love me! I LOVE ME!

What made the transformation you ask? Well if you read any of my past posts you would know things were kinda all over during the last two years... if they even made it on here. I survived a divorce, I got my mind, emotions and health back in line. I spent time focusing on my son and myself. I've fought some hard battles but I've come out on top. I choose to not stop living, I chose to not give up.

I'm ready to blog again. Yes, I plan to keep on blogging about being healthy and living off of what you can bring forth on your own land, but I also want to talk about the ups and downs of being a single mom, insecurities of dating again. I want to talk about life. I've learned over the course of these last two years that there are sssssoooooooo many women, both married and single, that don't love themselves. I'm not talking being self centered, I'm talking looking in the mirror and despising what they see looking back at them. There are single moms who question if they are giving their child the best that they can, is it good enough, will they be a mature and responsible contribution to society. How about the crazy thoughts of dating again?! I have had a number of married women tell me they are so grateful they don't have to do that process again.

My life has been an interesting ride on many roads... crazy city roads at times! But, I've made it. I've found a nice country road with scenic views. It's beautiful here. Not perfect! I've driven through a few storms, over some potholes and have had to stop for the occasional deer who wants to hold me up, but I've made it. So, please join me. Let's encourage each other, support each other, help each other on this journey. And while we are at it, we can chase chickens, milk goats/cows, harvest an abundance of food and get a good work out. Will you join me? Will you be there during the ups and downs and laughs and tears?