Thursday, September 25, 2014

Insecure Me?

We, as women, tend to take on insecurities far too easily. Even when we try to be strong and sure of ourselves, insecurities find a way to creep in from time to time. Checking our hearts and thoughts seems to be an endless task at times.

Also as women, we tend to add our opinions and thoughts far too often. We mean well. We only want to help and encourage, but sometimes our attempts to encourage come crashing down... hard.

I'll be the first one to say I'm very secure in who I am, but throw my son in the picture and instantly I question myself. Am I giving him the best of me? the best chance at life? Is he ready for 3rd grade? Am I doing enough as mom and dad? How can I do better? What if he gets older and leaves me to live with his father? How can I always keep him safe (like that is even close to possible!)? When do I push him harder to try? When do I run to his side and tell him he's tried hard enough? What else should I be doing to prepare him? The thoughts of how he could benefit if he had a sibling, but thankful he's my one and only at this time in life.

Come on moms, ya know you've been there, done that. Maybe not the same things as I have written, but we all question ourselves. We love our little ones so much we want the best for them. We want them to have the world and our hearts and just everything! 

I had a conversation with another mom today. It was meant to be light hearted, non invasive. She was questioning my sons athleticism, why he's so close/attached to me and the sort. She doesn't know me, it's the first time we've ever talked. She doesn't know I'm a single mom, she doesn't know my struggles. Nothing. But in about 2 minutes time she pretty much hit all my insecurities as a single mom on the head, told me what I was doing wrong and then walked away.

I wanted to cry. I felt anything but strong. I felt alone.

It's played in my thoughts all day... why do we do that to ourselves?!?! I'm not angry, I don't despise her. I'm doing the best I know how to. My son is healthy, well cared for, loved immensely, and happy. I know one day God will bless me with a man who will love my son as much as me and that that man will help fill in where I lack... like in the athletic department!

No, I'm not perfect. No, I don't have all the answers. No, I can't do it all. Yes, I have insecurities and I work on them daily. Yes, I am open to help and directions and encouragement. I'm simply a human. I will mess up. But I am trying and I wont stop. Just please weigh your words before you tell another mom everything she's doing wrong as a mom. Us moms tend to take our babies pretty seriously.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Goats Have Arrived.

After a few years of going back and forth on goats, we have brought them home!  We picked up three pregnant does. They have each had 2-3 in their past kiddings, so we are not sure exactly what we will be in for.

But that said, Josie, Petunia, and Lola are doing well. We are all looking forward to fresh milk and babies.

It feels good to expand our knowledge and abilities.

Z checking out the girls.

Rememberig What You Came From.

Sunday was an amazing day. I haven't gone to a Sunday morning service in a few months. I have been meeting with other groups through out the week and a few times a month with other groups, but I have found the traditionalized Sunday gathering tends to be too stiff and agenda laden for me. That stated, I went to a church Sunday. The women's teen challenge group was there to share. What surprised me was that most of the girls were early 20's. So young.

But, as I listened to them tell their stories, I couldn't help but think back over my own last few years. If I've made it they could make it as well. I have pushed through, not given up and kept believing. And ya know what, there is a God who has so much love for us that He wont let us down.

To think that it has only been five years ago that I thought I would like to do a small homestead. Ya know, a few chickens and maybe a goat, a horse and a garden. It has bloomed into two dozen chickens, a pregnant goat (yes we got her!), a beautiful garden and the hope of soon acquiring land and a few head of cows and horses and a much larger garden. To have gained so much understanding of my health and what I need to be healthy. To desire to grow/raise as much as possible.

To think that it has only been two and half years since I stepped away from abuse to try and venture off into a new life for my son and myself. To see and feel what freedom is. To come into a place of knowing God's perfect love, mercy, grace, hope. Hope.... to simply hold hope in my tomorrow again.

I am grateful for the life I have, the life I've lived, the memories I hold. Yes, there are things in my past that doesn't exactly pull a smile to my lips, but it's my story. It is important to not be afraid of your story, to not forget your story. It made you into the amazing person you have become or are becoming. Don't get stuck in the pages of the beginning of the story though, for if you do the ending will never come. Every day I get to turn a new page and see what it holds and I can't wait. Yes, some pages do bring forth a tale of tears and others carry laughter from word to word. But it's my story! It brings me joy when I can share it with someone.

I'm so grateful that my story happened to cross the path of backyard farm life! While many friends don't completely understand my love for chickens, question why I'm ok chasing after goats, how I can cry over a raccoon attack on the coop, and the such.... I love it! I find my birds to bring me peace on a stressful day, digging my hands in the dirt tends to be refreshing, to know God has given me a piece of earth to chase after the dream of being healthy and ability to grow/raise what I have. I mean, just look at the picture below. Went to a friends house to cook out over a fire.... while the turkeys tried to steal food off the table.

I encourage you to take time today to remember what you have come from, what has taken you on the trail that you are on today. Cherish it all, the good the bad and the ugly. Don't get caught up in the pages that have passed, look forward to the ending and enjoy the pages in between. Always strive for something better, but never forget nor give up.

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The Modest Mom Blog
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Thursday, September 4, 2014

To Be Vulnerable.

There are so many things in life we try to turn our glance from. We try to be strong and tough and make things work. We don't want to show weakness. The American culture is a strong push for being tough. Is it how we are suppose to be? Is it even healthy?

What if we were to become vulnerable as a person. Yes, there are times to be strong, to be bold, to be tough.... but have we pushed it too far? Men can not cry, mother's have to be perfect, children can not know any hurt. If the man doesn't provide for the family he is a failure, if (for the stay at home or working mom) the house isn't clean she is lazy. Really?

What if men started showing their emotions more. What if we don't have every single toy in place? What if the husband loves to raise his children and the mother loves her job? What if.... god forbid... we teach our children how to lose and that it is ok to fail?

Wanting to date again has made me very much so aware of how hard, or "strong", I've had to become. Being a single parent makes you step into roles you wouldn't normally hold. I've had to step back and evaluate myself. Having been in an emotionally abusive situation has made me really good at trying to stay ahead of the curve. To try and see how things are going to happen, when they will happen, ect. When it comes to a new relationship, I can't do that. It is new territory for me.

I had spent a few years as a youth pastor. I loved the job. For me it wasn't a job, it was a dream come true. It was amazing to watch the kids learn, grow, trust, hope. But I learned that when you hold a place of leadership you are expected to be perfect. It is so wrong and not practical. We all have moments of heart ache. We all have struggles. Perfection only happens in a fantasy... and I don't want to live in a fantasy!! Why do we put such unrealistic expectations on someone that we ourselves will never reach? 

What if we took time to return to being a people who genuinely care about people? When we ask "how are you", what would it look like if we are genuinely expecting a reply other then ok? I've seen people take a second glance at me when I wait to hear their reply and respond accordingly afterwards. I've seen a person demeanor do a 180 in the produce isle simply because I helped them or made a small comment. People don't want to always be strong. Sometimes, even though you are a stranger, people just want to know they are not the only one with struggles going on. If we could get back to being a genuine, in touch with reality type of people..... what could our lives turn out to look like? To be or not to be... vulnerable.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Goats On The Horizon.

I have been pondering a daily task for my son. Something that would give him responsibility and pride in what he is doing. He has stepped up with help in regards to the dogs and chickens, but at the same time they are not specifically his.

Skip over to my mom. She has been talking of goats for a few months now. She would like to have one for milk... not that we really drink milk. She, also, wants to try her hand at goat milk soap.

Knowing our limitations of milk drinking and the lack of need for milk daily, Alpines and Nubians are out. My mom has spent some time wandering around the internet and came across a couple Pygmy does that are breed to a Nigerian Dwarf. Small, milkable, good milk properties.

So, after about 4 years of reading, it looks like I will be bringing home goats. I go Tuesday to check them out and see if I like them. I feel comfortable with the knowledge I have, but when you put the reality of brain knowledge verses first hand experience... I may be a little nervous. Yet, I am very excited. Having managed with the chickens, garden and compost, I think goats will be a nice next step on our little plot of land.

Any advice or opinions for first time goat ownership?

This post has been shared at:
Homestead Barn Hop
The Backyard Farming Connection Hop-96
The Homeacre Hop