Someone showed me the fruit of the Spirit

In chapter five of Galatians, Paul writes to the church encouraging them if they walk in the Spirit, fleshly pleasures will not satisfy them but when we live by the Spirit we will produce the fruit of the Spirit.  This fruit is what we should strive for in our daily lives through walking with the Lord and spending time in his Word.

Fruit-of-the-Spirit3-page-0
You can get this beautiful free printable from Sincerely Sara D. Be sure to check out her site! 

I struggle with all of these at one time or another, especially patience, gentleness, and self-control (just ask my family!). I can count on one hand the people I know who consistently show all the fruit in their daily lives.  I recently lost one from my family.  Last week we said good-bye to my Nanny Barb.  She was my step dad’s mother who showed us what a Proverbs 31 wife looked like and someone who walked in step with the Lord.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Friday Letters 4.17.2015

Dear Blog, I have not abandoned you!  Classes are almost done and I am working on a few posts that need more attention than I can give until next week.  Don’t worry, come June you will be tired of me since my GA position is not available through May.

Dear Church, I don’t know why I am always blown away by your generosity.  When there is a need, you jump.  So many members helping in so many ways, I am proud to be a member of Comer Baptist Church.

Dear friends having babies, Just keep doing what you are doing.  Thanks for helping me hold down the baby fever until I am done with school.  Just keep on letting me hold those sweet squishy babies for one more year.

Dear AK, Please stop praying for a baby sister, ain’t nobody got time for that right now. You are just going to have to wait like the rest of us.  Also, thanks for telling me the story about what you told your friend who said, “that’s not fair”, I can’t believe you have listened to us so well and remembered we don’t say that in our house.

Dear Mom and Reych, Thanks for being flexible in our mother’s day excursion and working with us so we can have other adventures… y’all are the best.  AK has made up songs about next week all morning, I think she is excited.

Dear April, Way to come on strong with the April showers this week!

♥ Elizabeth

Sunday Funday

Sunday Funday in pictures!

My view for most of the weekend as I finish the last two weeks of class, busy writing about critical literacy and blended learning.  I am on my 4th cup of coffee and going strong!  Loving our new patio set we finally ordered with our Christmas gift cards from Dad! We ate dinner last night, breakfast, and lunch out here!

My assistants aren’t very motivating…

Sleepy head woke up from her nap and wanted to do homework like Mommy.  She has been practicing writing her name with these free printouts I found on Pinterest.

Waiting on Eddie to come home and go eat Mexican for dinner and the weekend will be complete.  Hope you had a relaxing weekend!

♥ Elizabeth

Friday Letters 4.10.2015

Dear spring semester, I am going to need to get the most out of the next two weeks, got a lot of stuff to finish.  Two more weeks and then freedom for a month before taking three classes this summer! THE END IS IN SIGHT!

Dear Friends, Thank you for the supportive texts, messages, and emails I received regarding sharing my struggles this week, it is nice to know people there are so many people who care!

Dear missing chicken, Thanks for all the eggs over the years, I am sorry you met your demise this week. It was probably the neighbor’s dogs.  I will keep a better watch on your friends!

Dear AK, I have been super flexible with your clothing choices, even as flexible as allowing you to wear a crown to school but I am drawing the line at two different shoes.  Just because you can’t find one sandal and one princess slipper (WHERE ARE THEY???) doesn’t mean you can wear one of each. And by the way, they are both left shoes.  Also, no stripe shirts with stripe shorts, that is just getting too crazy.

Dear Running, Sorry I neglected you lately.  Pollen is bad. Allergies are bad.  I am going to suck it up and drag myself back to you, begging for forgiveness like cheating ex from a country song.  Please go easy on me!

♥ Elizabeth

Not All Wounds Are Visible Part Two: How I Cope with Unworthiness and a Diagnosis

Now that I have shared that I have a diagnosis of PTSD from two traumatic events that you can read about here, I would like to share with you how I have learned to cope with not only the diagnosis and symptoms, but also the feelings of unworthiness.

According to the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition) there are certain criterion or specifications that must be met in order to have a diagnosis.

“Diagnostic criteria for PTSD include a history of exposure to a traumatic event that meets specific stipulations and symptoms from each of four symptom clusters: intrusion, avoidance, negative alterations in cognitions and mood, and alterations in arousal and reactivity. The sixth criterion concerns duration of symptoms; the seventh assesses functioning; and, the eighth criterion clarifies symptoms as not attributable to a substance or co-occurring medical condition.”

Check. Check. and Double Check.

IMG_4055

I have worked with counselors writing out the experiences, pretending they were movies, and much more in-depth therapies. I find they help for a while, make me become comfortable until there is a trigger such as a sight, sound, smell, or even a flashback that can be paralyzing.  Here are a few ways I combat my symptoms.

Continue reading

Not All Wounds Are Visible Part One: Unworthy of a Diagnosis

Have you ever been diagnosed with an illness? You wake up feeling puny, make an appointment to see your doctor and  $35 and a few prescriptions later, you know what you have and if you don’t feel better in 7-10 days, come back for a recheck.

Have you ever been diagnosed with a mental illness? You probably have many more hoops to jump through and a much higher deductible for your out of network psychiatrist (are there any in-network ones??). Medication may or may not be able to help you deal and it takes much longer than 7-10 days to see how your medication might help you or months of counseling before you even start to pick away at the issues your face daily.

I have a diagnosis I feel unworthy of, I do not even like to claim it for fear of the stigma attached.

Personal photo

Continue reading

I am a M&M cookie mom.

It is the night before the preschool Easter party and I don’t have the required 6 candy filled eggs or cookies I signed up for to take to the party.  We live in the country, the only options are a tiny over-priced grocery store or Dollar General.  We go straight to DG after church and pick out the pack with 6 plastic eggs (because I do not want any extras in the house for me to step on!) and Hershey Kisses (got to at least get the good candy!) to put inside them and head home only to realize I forgot to buy cookies. At this point I am kicking myself for not getting Sew Sweet Things to make some beautiful and delicious Easter cookies like these for me to take.

10405575_416910445160965_8085990935741926601_n

Cookies from Sew Sweet Things

Lucky for me, I did buy cookies a few days ago at Kroger: Sugar cookies for Eddie and M&M cookies for me AK. Maybe no one will notice one or two of the cookies are missing.  Fast forward to Thursday morning, AK and I are running in the door with the required 6 candy filled eggs and M&M cookies and I see the cookies the other mom brought.  Imagine with me: a perfect nest created with the no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies everyone loves and in the center of the nest is a single peep surrounded by colorful chocolate eggs. They were beautiful. A Pinterest creation. This mom spent some time making an edible spring scene for all 21 children in the class.  I hand over my M&M cookies, kiss AK bye, and head home to work on homework.

As I am driving home, I keep thinking about those cookies.  Why hadn’t I taken the time to at least make some break and bake cookies or practiced my cookie decorating skills I learned at the last Ladies night at church, isn’t that why I signed up to make cookies?  Oh yeah, ain’t nobody got time for that when they are in grad school.  I think about that mom taking the time to make each individual nest and matching the peep with the eggs around it and I remind myself

It isn’t a competition.  Being a mom isn’t a competition.

Continue reading

Friday Letters 4.3.2015

Dear Jesus, Thank you for Good Friday and for giving yourself for someone as lowly as me. Can’t wait to celebrate the Resurrection on Sunday! I am looking forward to the sunrise service.

Dear AK, Thanks for going to see Cinderella with me!  I am so glad you enjoy movies and sit still, it was a good day to skip school and spend the day with you.  Don’t worry, I will catch you up on what you missed at K3.

Dear cashier at Target, you are the bomb (do people still say that?). I am so impressed you rang up a buggy worth of Easter stuff without the toddler noticing. That takes skills, they should give you an Easter basket for your hard work.

Dear Lady in the Easter section, Thanks for not judging me for waiting until the last-minute to buy the Easter stuff WITH MY TODDLER. That was super helpful of you to help distract my kid while I snuck a chocolate bunny in my secret bag.  While other moms (who also waited until the last-minute ahem, Judgy McJudgerson) were looking at me like I was crazy pointing at random things in the store for AK to look at so I could stealthily place items in a gift bag from the dollar spot, you started pointing at random things too!  Way to work together for the better of all moms instead of judging each other.

Oh hello April, I didn’t notice you had arrived…other than the massive sinus headache I have had all week.  I am going to need you to bring some of those April showers to wash this crap away.  My black tin roof looks green. Okay? Thanks!

♥ Elizabeth

National Poetry Month

I am going to be vulnerable with you guys today in honor of National Poetry Month.  I was reading More Reasons to Write a Poem and was inspired to share a poem I wrote a few years ago, probably the only poem I have written since I was required to make something for mother’s day in first grade (most likely to the tune of roses are red, violets are blue).  I am not a huge lover of poetry, nor do I consider myself much of a writer but I admire those who can.

Even though poetry is not my first (or second) choice in reading, I feel as an educator, I should be well-versed in it and comfortable sharing my writing with students who might be afraid to write their own poetry.  You never know when you might have Whitman, Dickinson, or Tupac (you don’t have to like rap music to appreciate the poetry in it) in your class who needs some encouragement to write or maybe just the opportunity to express a trial they might be going through. Continue reading

What motivates you?

While I was in undergrad, my pawpaw had a very bad stroke that affected his speech and the right side (his dominant) of his body.  He is able to walk and his speech has improved, it isn’t the same as it was before but he can communicate pretty well.  Before he had the stroke he was always tinkering.  Working on a lawn mower here or a boat there, making odds and ends, he was always busy, but the stroke has really slowed him down.  One of the things he would make before he had the stroke was wind chimes.  My mom has had one on her front porch for years and one day I told her I wished I could have one too but I didn’t think he was capable of making them anymore and I never really thought about it again.  After a very hard first year of marriage including a house fire (you can read about here), we had a very big 1st birthday party for AK to celebrate her and moving back into our house.  I was so surprised to receive this!

wind chime

It was a Dr. Seuss birthday! I am not normally Thing 2 😉

It had taken him several months to make, but it is way better than any wind chime I could have bought in the store.  I love to hear it every single day and when I get overwhelmed by all the silly things I have to take care of, I just listen to it and think of how hard he worked on it, how he persevered to give such a special gift with almost no use of his right hand. Continue reading