Stay at home working mom

Where do I begin.

Mom of 3 little kids decides being home, cleaning up, changing diapers, finding shoes, preparing meals, bathing, organizing, and forever cleaning up crumbs and toys is not enough work and decides to also work from home.

Okay, let me start over. I had prayed for an opportunity to present itself. Some way that I could legitimately help our family. A way that wasn’t just talking people into a product and signing people up under me. Something that was actually good and substantial. I won’t name the company, but I found it. It was the answer to my prayers without a doubt. We were able to move off of our busy corner street house into a quiet neighborhood. My husband who has a 3 hour commute daily was able to get a new reliable car, another prayer answered. We are able to pay for our son to go to a preschool that is amazing at preparing him for Kindergarten, another prayer answered.

So, here I am 7 months in with this new business that has helped us tremendously (Thanks to God). My house is unorganized and always a mess. My time and effort is spent more on this business than the home we live in all week long. I’m burnt out. I want to be present again. I’m always checked out. The problem is, I can’t quit.. we now need it. We didn’t realized how far we were falling behind before. Sometimes I wonder if my efforts are worth it. If our priorities and what’s important to us is in order.

I guess this is all part of being an adult and parent. We always question ourselves. We wonder if we are failing until one day. We will look at our grown children and see all we have done. Look at our lives and see how far we have come. Forgetting the troubles we once had. Seeing the complete picture of what God has done and not even knowing how we got to where we are. Giving Him all the glory for this bigger picture.

That is what keeps me moving forward. Knowing that God’s plan is greater than I am.

Things are not how I envisioned and it’s far from perfect. I struggle with my desire to help provide and my desire to be the best mother and wife I can be. The days are challenging but also filled with joy.

Above all else I just ask God to allow me to do His work right where I am. No matter where I am. I’ve heard that it’s not right to make your religious views known, that it’s a business and to keep it neutral. I’m sorry, I can’t do that. I want to speak of His name everyday in every conversation not because I’m trying hard but because I need Him more than I need anything else. I need His guidance and direction. I need His comfort. I need His love and acceptance more than anything else! With out Him, I am nothing. Period.

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Working from home has been much more work than I intended. The amount of time I spend chatting with others like myself without making a dime is huge. I am just one person trying to run a business while home with children. I can’t turn away when someone needs to chat. God loves them. Yet, I can’t run my business with all these hold ups either. The struggle is real people.

Again, I know His plan is bigger than mine. I know everything is in Him timing. Time to take a deep breath and keep moving.

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Thank you Tawni for this graphic and this message when I needed it!

-Lauren

Rambles in the silence.

Sometimes, not often, there is silence in my house. Right now is one of those moments. 5 year old is at preschool, 3 year old is watching a cartoon, and 1 year old is napping. My list is a mile long but I sit down to reflect and enjoy this quiet. It never lasts long enough. When it does, something is wrong and I miss it. For example 3 weeks ago, when all 3 kiddos had the stomach flu. There was whining (& crying & vomit & diarrhea…I won’t go there) between a lot of silence but it was far too uncomfortable to enjoy. I missed my little noise boxes! That’s how God brings glory to all moments in life, even the yucky ones.

These are my current thoughts..

I wish every single person knew that they could give all things to Him. Everything and anything! HE CAN turn it around. No struggle or heartache is too big or small.

I want to say, “ It’s that simple” but honestly it’s a daily challenge. Accepting Him and giving all your problems to Him, now that IS simple. Living your life for Christ and being His hands and feet, now that’s a little more complex. I think it even scares people sometimes. He will change you and make you new. Just ask. He came for the lost, He came for you. “For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.” -Luke 19:10

I look back through my full journals of prayers to remember how much He has done for my life as a child, woman, mother, and wife. I ask, and He does. As long as it lines up with His glorious plan, it can happen. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

There came a point where I officially stopped struggling to be someone else and became who I was born to be. I was born to be His. Not to just be a Christian and claim Him as my Savior. No. To live everyday in His presence. To have a constant comforter and friend. People, even those who are Christ like will let me down, it’s human nature. People don’t have a divine connection to my soul, Jesus does.

 

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One day at a time

It’s been a while.

To follow up my last post, I knew I had to hold on tight to the rollercoaster ride my life was about to become. I anticipated this. I knew I would feel an array of emotions. I knew that sleep and moments of peace would be little.

I was craving something I had no control over, normalcy and stability. Of course disorderliness is to be expected with such a life change. Regardless of how common it is, a new baby is a BIG DEAL. I simply could not continue running my life the same as before.

My days are exactly how I thought they would be. In the back of my mind, I hoped it would be easier. Nope. Most days are hard and chaotic. Sometimes, OK all the time, peace and quiet really is too much to ask for. That’s OK. I know I will miss this one day. I also knew I would still hear the voice of my Father. I didn’t know how I would hear Him through the noise but I knew He would calm the storm. In Him I DO have stability and comfort. On days when I feel too weak, He shows me my strength. My life may have changed but He never changes. His love for me is the same.

Every day He is showing me my purpose. I won’t pretend like I’m perfect and have this mothering thing figured out because I don’t. Every day He is teaching me to have more patience, to speak kinder, to be more caring, understanding, and just more like Him. Oh how I want to be more like Him.

I’ll just take it one day at a time..

Some days or just moments in the day are sweet.

Some days are sour with lots of  attitude and tears.

Some days we have fun, be silly, and laugh.

Of course some days we have blow ups (or blow outs)!

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No matter what I face, Lord, guide me.

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-Lauren

 

Will I still hear you, Lord?

My anxiousness and fear for the upcoming stress of having another child has taken over. In those moments when my head gets spinning, I sit back to seek Him. It never fails, something or someone always interrupts. If the noise is loud now, how loud will it be in a few months? For now I have few silent moments between the fusses of arguing siblings. They are only 2 and 4, will they ever play nice together? At least I still have some silence when they sleep, well until the new baby arrives.

When life gets too loud, will I still hear His voice?

I can still remember my head pounding and my eyes weeping from all the hard work of just getting use to having two children. I remember feeling alone like nobody in the world could or should help me because I did this to myself. I remember crying out for the Lord’s strength because my physical and mental ability was completely strained. One day, I remember trying to read His word. The noise kept getting louder and louder. Both of their needs were met,diapers were clean and bellies were full. They were just crying for mommy’s attention. Mommy was crying for attention too. You can read more about this time in my life here: Blame,Guilt and Peace.

In the midst of all these struggles, I’m reminded of all the comfort and help I did receive. I’m reminded of the lessons and wisdom that I now have. I’m reminded that I’m constantly growing and learning.

“God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”-2 Corinthians 9:8

No matter the noise and all the chaos, He will still be able to reach me. I will still be able to hear Him. There will always be a way to seek Him even when it seems impossible. In all things at all times He is still able to bless me and I will abound in every good work!

-Lauren

bless you abundantly

Me Too Moments For Moms

invitation

Ever since I have become a parent, I have found enjoyment with online communities. Through my pregnancies and caring for new babies, I found them especially helpful. Most of the time I would read a.k.a. “lurk” these communities looking for what’s normal and what’s not. While these communities would help me with knowing what development stages my children should be going through, they weren’t always the most respectful or peaceful groups. The biggest problem with these groups is that they are not faith based or encouraging when it comes to parenting struggles. If you like to pretend like you never have hard day, then its right for you. But for the rest of us who get frazzled after a long day, there is something missing from these groups. In my own experience with sharing parenting struggles, there is nothing more comforting than knowing that you are not alone.

A few months ago, Lisa, from Me Too Moments For Moms invited me to join her beautiful writing community. I was in the midst of morning sickness and I couldn’t fathom sitting at my computer for even a minute. I was dually overwhelmed. On one hand, I was so honored that someone was inviting ME to share MY stories and what God is doing in my life. And on the other hand, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to commit to something that I had little control over.  Lisa simply told me, “You write what God puts on your heart”. That’s the advice that made all the difference.

If you are looking for a community to share your thoughts, struggles, and opinions, then this group is the place for you. This is a community where it’s ok to admit that you are not perfect. This is a community that will accept you in your weakness and inspire you with God’s word.

 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”- 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Even if you aren’t the sharing kind but can relate to parenting struggles, this is the place for you. The website founder, Lisa has done a really great job at connecting women together to find comfort and encouragement through Christ. The community is growing and I would like to encourage you to check it out for yourself.

A message from ME TOO MOMENTS FOR MOMS founder, Lisa Brown:

Hi my name is Lisa!

Just the other day I was talking to a friend about homeschooling. I shared with her my struggles.

I’m having a really hard time coaching my children in their academics.  I’m an anxious mom who gets pretty messy with my emotions.  I feel like something is wrong with me.  I see all these other homeschooling families and they seem to be having a blast.  Pinterest and Facebook is full of amazing pictures, smiles, and proud Moms.   Blogs about homeschooling are filled with great ideas from very talented ladies.  And I’m sure that I don’t have what it takes to do this.  I feel pretty yuck about myself.

My sweet friend shared with me that I’m not alone.

You see most of us want to only show the good things that are going on. The things that we are proud of.  There is nothing wrong with people showing how mighty God is and the wonderful things we have accomplished. The problem is that, humans look at what others are good at and we compare ourselves to them.  We never measure up and we feel like we don’t have what it takes.  

We forget that everyone has a battle to overcome, but not everyone is willing to share with others what theirs is.  

I have beautiful children and an amazing husband.  I’m so thankful.  I love to talk about how God has blessed me.   

However, I can’t just share the external wonders in my life without sharing how my heart is daily being transformed to be more loving.  

God calls me to share my internal turmoils.  

It’s when I write about my brokenness that I can show the world how mighty God is.  God wants to be known.

Dear readers out there, your stories matter.  Not just parts of it.  It’s the ugly messy parts that people can relate too.   

I blog to bring hope to a hurting world who needs Jesus to save them from themselves.  

Me Too Moments For Moms has become my second home.   

God has created a community for me to connect with other like minded believers in Christ.  Our Community Mom Writers and readers are my extended family in Christ.  

God knew that I was going to need mentors, counselors, and talented writers in my life to help me through my journey as a Christian.

I’m blessed with women who are willing to open up their hearts and share what God is doing in their life.  These women are honest about their hard days and hard lessons.

I don’t feel like I’m the only one who is hurting, confused, angry, and anxious.  

We minister to others when we share how God helps us work through our heartaches.

I feel God’s overwhelming love when I read posts from our community blog.  

I’m confident that you will too.

HE KNOWS BEST

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“Oh I hope it’s another girl” my husband and I would say. We wanted another girl but of course it doesn’t matter either way. We already have a sweet lively toddler girl and a courageously imaginative little boy. She has been so much easier than he was, so obviously we were leaning toward wanting another girl. Maybe it’s the first born verse the second born or maybe it’s just their personalities. We immediately thought girl and stuck with it.

A glimpse into my mind the last few months: If it’s a girl, I can reuse everything I still have from our last girl! I already gave everything away from our son. If it’s a girl, they can share a room and I can make it even cutesier! Yay! If it’s girl, I can do this! If it’s a girl, I can do that! Oh, look at all the cute DIY girl stuff on Pinterest! Oh, I hope it’s a girl! Girl, girl,girl!

We asked our 4 year old what he thought and of course he thought I had a “baby brother” in my belly. Without a doubt our little boy kept saying it was a boy and he never hesitated to say it was NOT a girl. We just thought he would be happy no matter what. We could both picture our family, boy, girl, girl. Yeah, we just know it, that’s how it’s supposed to be!  But, don’t you know only God knows? God knows, and He knows what’s best!

Our gender ultrasound was last week, the doctor asked what we thought we were having. We told her. She zoomed into baby’s bottom side and froze the screen, then she asked again “so what did big brother want again?” I squealed! IT’s A BOY! I can see it! I was so overcome with joy! Not even one shred of disappointment! The doctor told our silly son it was a boy, and he replied, “Yeah, I know that already”.

“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” -Proverbs 16:9

He knows the steps we will take before we take them. He makes things possible. I may think I know, but He always shows up to show me what is really right for me. Most answered prayers turn out different and better than I could have ever imagined.

“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

You see, the Lord knew the desire that was in my heart. Truly, my heart’s desire is to just have a healthy baby. Any gender preferences were purely selfish and worldly, it wasn’t the true desire of my heart. I am in awe of how He humbles our selfish hearts in such a gracious and loving way. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”- James 4:10  And let me tell you, He has lifted me up! I am the complete opposite of disappointed that I was wrong. I am so incredibly blessed to have another son on the way!

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-Lauren

Moments With Lauren Jones – A heart like Jesus through conflict

Check out my monthly post over at communitymoms as well as many other posts written by amazing ladies.

Mom Inspired Adventures

 Lauren

When you’re a kid, other kids won’t like you for whatever reason. The way you look, the friends you have, the music you listen to, something you said. Petty reasons really, it’s all petty. I wish I could say that it changes when we become adults, but it doesn’t. It’s still petty. What a shock it was to me when I realized not everyone likes me. Why? What did I do to them?

There’s always someone who won’t like me. Their parenting styles may be too different than mine. They may just despise me for having what they want. It could be someone who has known me a long time and just doesn’t want to like me. Or, I could have never even spoken to the person and they already made their mind up. That’s all ok.  Sometimes their reason may be that they don’t want to accept my…

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Little Baby

Little Baby

#3 8 weeks

Hi little baby, it’s your mommy. Sweet baby, you are so little, but you are so alive. Your heart beats and your arms and legs move even though I can’t feel them yet. At just 12 weeks along, little baby I love you so much. I loved you before I even saw two lines. I wanted you before I even knew when you would be coming.

You have stolen my attention, focus, appetite, but most of all my heart. Don’t worry about how sick you are making me feel. Your daddy (when he is home), is doing a good job of making me feel better. You can probably tell when he comes home because he just does such a great job trying to help with whatever pains me. You have a great daddy who is also very excited you are coming. Your brother and sister run for hugs whenever he comes home. Your sister somehow always gets to him first. You will love running to him too one day.

You have me thinking about what your name will be and whether you are a boy or a girl.  Will you have your big brother’s imagination? Or will you love cuddles like your big sister? Your brother and sister sometimes fight over toys as I’m sure you will learn all about. But, sometimes I peek in when they don’t know I’m watching to watch them share a snack. He holds the bowl and hands her one goldfish cracker at a time. My heart melts as I rub my belly and think about you sitting there sharing snacks with them. Although they fight, they love each other very much and they will love you just the same.

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You may be feeling me move a lot for 30 minutes a day. You should get used to it. Mommy can’t slack off now. She has to exercise to make sure she can chase after all 3 of you! I have been slacking on my diet so be sure to enjoy all those baked potatoes and French fries while you can! I’ll be aiming for vegetables and meat once you start letting me eat that stuff again.

I stare at your ultrasound picture on the fridge. I am in awe of you. Sometimes I worry, like most pregnant women in the first trimester. But, God always calms my heart. I heard your heartbeat again yesterday and it was music to my ears. The doctor found you right away, no searching around.

God is still busy forming you and I am so blessed to be part of the process.

“I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.”-1 Samuel 1:27

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-Your Mommy, Lauren

5 Years.

5 years

My husband and I just celebrated 5 years of marriage last week. I guess it feels kind of like we just made it out of the newlywed years. Life has been busy, moving from apartment to apartment and then from house to house. On top of all the moving, we decided to have children and pets. We just kept piling on more and more responsibility or so it seems. The last 5 years have been far from newlywed bliss. But God has taught us how to work together to make time for each other no matter what.

I sat down to remember the last 5 years.

Year one: We didn’t know how to maintain a home or manage our time. We binge watched netflix shows and ate ridiculous amounts of food. We conceived our first child and were beyond excited. I worked and he worked while going to school, I hardly saw him during the week. We struggled. We were still getting used to being married and making decisions together. God taught us our first year, to point things out and not to just let them go. When we let each other know when something was bothering us, we were able to work together and correct the problem.

Year two: I was in the miserable stages of being pregnant but I thought I had a break coming soon. I thought that after I had a baby, that life would be easier. Sigh. I worked until a couple days before I had to be induced for pre-eclampsia. He worked full time and went to school full time. He didn’t have a single day to take off from work. Luckily, our son was born during the weekend. The first few weeks of being a new mom were wonderfully terrifying. I had never been left alone with a baby that young before. I was extremely lonely and scared. He didn’t get home from school until 10 at night. I let him hold our baby while I cleaned up and got ready for another sleepless night. We would regularly go to bed at midnight. We were both so tired and we argued a lot.  God taught us our second year, to always work things out. It wasn’t always easy with a new baby but we had so many arguments that we had to compromise.

Year Three: We loved being parents. We decided to get our health on track that year. Exercise for him wasn’t always an option with him going from work straight to school and then home to bed. I felt I had enough exercise getting on the ground with our little cruiser and breastfeeding daily. So we counted our calories and lost weight together. He lost way more than I did. We still didn’t see each other very often but we tried to keep each other on track with our health goals. What little time we did spend together, we didn’t want to spend arguing. God taught us our third year, to apologize. To let go of pride and just say, I’m sorry.

Year four: We conceived our second child. I was home with our son while he went to work and school. I feared the same horrible birth experience and tried to remain as clam as possible. I was up and down chasing an active toddler but I was happy.  We were overjoyed to be expecting our baby girl and to make our son a big brother. He was laid off from work in my last trimester, with just a couple months of school left to go. It seemed to be a terrible circumstance but it actually turned into a great blessing. He was able to be home to help me with our very rough toddler. He was able to be present and helpful for the birth of our daughter. She was 7 weeks old when he went back to work. I have amazing memories of that time he was home. It was perfect timing. God taught us our fourth year, to do nice things for each other. With our busy lives and new identities as parents, we lost touch with how much we loved each other. God reminded us to stop and remember to show affection however we could.

Year five: After months of being very overwhelmed after he went back to work, I was finally coming out of a deep depression. Ultimately my depression resulted in me needing Christ more than ever before. We bought our first home and things finally settled down. God taught us our fifth year, to come together and share what He was doing. We began to discuss things more than we ever had before. Even if we didn’t have time, we made time. We realized God had purpose for us to work together. When we came together we were able to clarify God’s message.

I’m excited to see what God teaches us this year and every year.

-Lauren

Me and God

Let me share another song with you as I try to get my groove back. 🙂

I really love this song! My husband and I are huge fans of Josh Turner! He is an awesome singer, husband, father, and follower of Christ. In fact, I bought his book,Man Stuff for my husband for Christmas and he really enjoyed it. It’s a great idea for Father’s Day!

josh turner book

A lot has been going on in my home and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. No matter what is going on in life I know that nothing can come between Me and God. “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”- Romans 8:37-39