It Is Enough

Dear ones, I really appreciate this post from our new contributor Janelle in relationship to chronic illness.  So often in my battle with adrenal fatigue I would feel the mom guilt over my limited capacity.  Dear reader, may this encourage you that It is Enough! ~Jenny

It is Enough

 

As parents, we want to do what is best for our kids. We sacrifice so that they can grow up Christlike, strong, selfless, confident and healthy. These are goals that we all should strive for, and there is nothing wrong with them. But what happens when we feel like we are not doing enough?
A few years ago, I noticed that some of my children were DIFFERENT. At first, I pushed it off to slow maturation and let it go, but after a while, I realized that the problems were not fixing themselves. Finally, we sat down and admitted that something was wrong. I began to look into symptoms, talk to people, and finally realized that our daughter had Aspergers and our son had severe Dyslexia and double vision.
We took our son to vision therapy, but realized soon after that we could not afford the hefty price tag that came with the therapy. Thankfully the doctor and staff were very gracious and sent us home with some information and exercises that we could use to continue to help him. A friend came to me while we were still trying to figure out what was going on with our son, and she reminded me to pray about it. In the worries and the struggles, I had forgotten to pray! I began to pray that God would show us the answers to help us, and over several months, we began to get answers. We finally ended up at a pediatric endocrinologist who diagnosed him as well with pre-clinical type 1 diabetes.
For our daughter with Aspergers, things were not as simple. The public school gave us the run around for testing. Finally we decided not to mess with it and to consult with as many people as had experience to learn how to work with her. While reading books and talking with others, I was inundated with new diet ideas that would supposedly help her, as well as supplements that would help her with daily issues. Unfortunately, there was no way we could afford any of these helps! I googled ALOT of stuff. I also joined groups that allowed me to learn from others; from their successes and failures. But still, I felt like I wasn’t doing enough. I kept wishing, if only I had enough money, I would be able to afford the therapy for my son, or learn some new intervention techniques for my daughter that would heal her. These thoughts were always in the back of my mind torturing me.

One day, I went to an autism session with a friend. The man speaking brought up a point in an article* during his speech. During this article he pointed out that fancy treatments, amazing supplements and the rest of the recommended things in the world may or may not help with autism. It was during that time, that the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said that “It is enough” . I was doing enough for what my kids needed right now. I am learning to accept that, and realize for right now, what we do on a daily basis, is what God has called me to do right now, not yearn for things I am unable to accomplish or afford.
We all struggle with “mom guilt”. Many moms struggle with the fact that they work outside the home while their kids grow up. Some struggle with not being able to take their kids to every single activity that they desire. Some struggle with not having the money to let your kids have instruments,or to allow them the one thing they REALLY want. To all of you I say, “It is enough”. This is what God has called you to do right now. Don’t let Satan discourage you that you are doing enough to help your children be successful in life.

Matthew 11:28- 30 says; “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me ; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

*http://theneurotypicalmom.blogspot.com/2013/02/i-cured-my-sons-autism-with-granola.html
Note: There is some language that I do not endorse on this blog.

Janelle is a homeschooling mom to 4 of her 7 kids. She loves encouraging other moms in the overwhelming world of parenting and homeschooling! Her kids make her laugh and shake her head in horror on a daily basis! She uses her Norwex business to help them clean up the messes they leave behind! 24826241_1524592284242674_104482287_o

What about Virtual School?

Dear ones, as some of you know I was taught at home, and I taught all my 8 children from home for 16 years. Last year we made the decision to put 5 of our children into a tiny, local Christian school. It has been wonderful. We never thought we would make that decision but the Lord has mightily blessed it! I wrote my post Are you inside a box of your own making? at that time. The Lord is so gracious and he gives wisdom to each of us for the needs of our particular families.

I would like you to meet our next new contributor Misty Sparks. She has a beautiful calling to homeschool her special needs children and is going to give us some insight on that, as well as be sharing crafts with us regularly. Today she is answering the question, “What about Virtual School?”

~Jenny

 

 

What about...

 

In today’s society, we are seeing how things are quickly becoming more technological. This is so in the business world, classrooms, and even at home. Technology is growing rapidly, and it is opening up so many more options to our people. Just about every household now owns a computer or tablet, be it a desktop or a laptop. This opens so many doors for families, and these doors lead to some truly amazing opportunities that will not only benefit the child but also the parents. One of these benefits that come from this is the option of virtual schooling your child.
Now, one may ask “What is virtual schooling?” Let me share. Virtual school is where the child takes classes online. Yes, it is something that began with colleges and has finally opened to include grades K-12 as well. Our children today now have the opportunity to stay home with their parents and still obtain a great education. You can sign your child up to take these courses online, the virtual school will ship all needed items to the family, and then the parent will be the child’s learning guide. The child does have teachers online who grade their work, interact with the child, and ensure they are on task, but overall it is the parent’s responsibility to ensure that the child gets a good education and is doing what is needed of them with their assistance.

So, what are the benefits to putting your child in virtual school? Let’s see where shall we begin. First off, there’s the benefit that the child gets to be taught by their parent. After all, who is better to teach the child than their own parent right? Of course! You teach your child from day one and on, so why wouldn’t you want to teach them everything rather than sending them off to be with a stranger all day.

Second, when your child goes off to school they are away from you for 8 hours a day. That’s a long time to not be with your family. That is one reason why many kids tend to have anxiety, separation issues, and more. Plus, you have to consider the that the child may not mesh well with their teacher or the other students. This leads to the child possibly not learning at their full potential, behavioral issues in the school atmosphere, and the child lashing out. Third, a child tends to do better with one on one learning or small group learning than they will in a classroom where the ratio tends to be 1:20+. One teacher in a classroom of 20-25 students may not allow each student to have the ample time needed with the teacher for one on one guidance. Not all children learn at the same rate, and many times they need that one on one guidance to help better understand the material. They may need more than in a classroom.
Ok, so you see some of the benefits to virtual schooling a child. That’s not even the full list of benefits, but it is some of the key points that could really make you realize that teaching your child yourself is better for them and more beneficial. Now, let me share a piece of information with you that was shared with me when I first began looking into virtual schooling. There is one big question that many parents tend to question when it comes to virtual schooling, and that question is….what about peer interaction? My child won’t be around other kids, they won’t know how to learn to share, develop social skills, etc. This is not true. Your child will have plenty of opportunities to interact with others because in a virtual school setting you set the tone for the child. For starters, they interact with other students in their virtual classrooms with discussion boards, microphone discussions, and other activities such as virtual field trips. You can take your child on field trips anytime you’d like, therefore creating opportunities for them to meet new kids and interact. Plus, if you choose to go to the park for recess/gym then they’ll get peer interaction that way. Also, I’m sure as a parent you have friends and family with kids too. If that’s the case, then there’s plenty of opportunities there for your child to interact with other kids as well. The other thing that was pointed out was that statistics show that children who learn at home tend to be more likely to want to attend college, build better peer interactions in the long run, and develop amazing social skills.
In conclusion, if you are considering which direction to go with your child and their education I would highly recommend virtual schooling!  There are plenty of resources out there to help you choose the right option for you and your child, and plenty of opportunities for them to still be involved in sports, dance, and many other activities on the side to help with peer interaction. Thanks for letting me share with you a bit of my journey!

fullsizeoutput_2558Misty is a mama of 2 special needs kids, one of which she virtual schools.  She is a wahm (you can check out one of her sites HERE) who enjoys being involved in her kids’ lives both in and out of school. She enjoyed writing and crafting, being outdoors but especially being at home snugging her babies.

Leftover Turkey and Sweet Potato Chili

I am excited to introduce a new monthly contribution to AMH. Recipes by Jess is sure to please your palate and be a blessing to your whole family with these monthly wholesome, nutritious recipes!

(after use, please put it backin its proper place)

Wondering what to with that leftover turkey? Here’s a fun idea with a whole different flavor profile than traditional Thanksgiving fare! This is a super healthy recipe that requires no special ingredients and is very easy to pull together. We all love our healthy fats, but after feasting at Thanksgiving, some lighter meals can feel just right. This is a low-fat recipe and if you are following Trim Healthy Mama, it’s an E meal.

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Leftover Turkey and Sweet Potato Chili (SERVES 8)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 medium sweet potatos, peeled and diced
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
5 cups water
2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
2 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 pound leftover chopped turkey breast
juice of 2 limes
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
0% Greek yogurt (optional)
garnish amount part-skim mozzarella
Preparation
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sweet potato and onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion is beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add water and bring to a gentle boil. Cover, reduce heat to simmer and continue cooking until the sweet potato is tender – about 10 to 12 minutes.

Add beans, tomatoes, turkey, and lime juice. Continue to simmer until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and top each serving with cilantro, yogurt, and cheese, if desired.

Enjoy!

23798643_10155666659311346_26383117_oJessica is a Christian homeschooling mom of five and married to her knight in shining armor for over 20 years. She loves to share her recipes while managing the huge THM online community. She personally uses Pampered Chef in her kitchen and you can find her website HERE:

How do you view the woman in the mirror?

Readers, I am so thrilled to be adding some contributors to AMH. Meet my dear friend Jennifer Hanley:

How do you view

“If God be for us, who can be against us?”

Romans 8:31b

 

Such comforting words for the Christian.  And yet how often do us, Mamas, lack their comfort?  I know it is true of me at times.

There is one person that often stands against us, judges us unfairly, and causes us to stumble.  Do you know who this person is?  Look in the mirror.  Who do you see?  Do you see a harsh taskmaster with endless to-do lists?  Do you see a tired, worn out soul? Do you see someone in a stained sweat shirt and sweat pants with her hair in a ponytail because she hasn’t washed it all week?  Do see someone who is always feeling badly because it just seems she is never enough?  Do you see someone who is overweight, overwrought, overworked and overwhelmed?  Do you see someone who is just plain tired? 

Now just pretend for a moment that this person in the mirror is a good friend.  What would you tell her?  How would you treat her?  Would you tell her the same thing and treat her the same way that you do to that poor woman in the mirror? 

Being a wife and a mother is such a position of privilege and blessing.  And we believe that and we want to honor this God given calling with all that we are.  We want to do this right.  We want to bring comfort, nurture and take care of our families. This is a big way we serve and bring glory to our Lord.  

But often in our busy lives of giving and doing we lose sight of an important question.  Who is taking care of us? Is it a sin to sometimes put ourselves first?   To take care of ourselves? To spend time, energy, and maybe money on ourselves? To take some time to rest? 

“If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” We all smile when we hear or read this saying.  Why?  Because we all know to some degree it’s true. 

We, mommas are the tone setters for our families and our homes.  If we are constantly feeling stressed, stretched, and/or sad, and/or tired it’s going to affect our entire household. We will be doing the opposite of our mission. 

I understand that it is hard and even goes against the grain of our thinking. It seems wrong and yes, even sinful to make taking care of ourselves a priority.  But you can’t get water from a dry well. We all need to find the time in our busy lives to renew and replenish.  We need time to pray, read our Bibles, rest, exercise, eat well (not just the leftovers from the kid’s plates), and develop our talents.  We need to do these things so we can be the women that God created us to be.    So we can fulfill our calling.   

How do we do this?  Well, we need to ask for help when we need it.  We need to learn to say “no” when we are stressed and overextended.   We need to, at times, substitute doing a good thing (serving others) with doing a more needful thing (taking care of us) and therefore a better thing.  We need to focus on ways to make us less stressed and happier.  We need to be a good friend to the woman in the mirror.  We need to be for her not against her.

hanleyphotoJennifer Hanley is a Christian stay at home wife to Brian and a mom.  She has 3 daughters ages, 15, 20, and 25. She lives in NJ and currently has started a blog of her own  at www.bloominginthetwilight.com