Back to Real Life

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This Christmas break has been one of the best we have ever had.  Truly!  There were no expectations, no hurrying to get somewhere, Mr. Bits had almost two whole weeks off and we were all together!  The days were full of sitting or doing whatever came to mind.  I think we have all been dreading the reality of today, but it was nice to get back into a groove.  The kids started school today, and it actually went smoothly.  No arguing about starting a routine.  I think they secretly were excited to get back to a normal routine.  I actually started cleaning my house and putting the decorations away.  I am not putting all of them away since we celebrate through Epiphany, but I did want to get started.  My urge to have a clean house was just too overwhelming.  The tree will stay up through the weekend though.  Part of my urge was due to the fact I have a small surgery on Friday.  Nothing too huge to worry about, but I will be down at most a week, hopefully not even that long but we shall see.  I want to make sure the house is in order so that no one has to worry about anything.  Of course it includes the schedule for Mr. Bits to keep up with, and I know he will do great, but I think us mothers worry sometimes!  It’s just that we know the schedule so well!

Thought a great deal about my new mantra today.  How have I given of myself this day?  I realized that on a daily basis we give so much of ourselves that we forget to really see it.  Making sure to devote my attention to the kids when they are wanting to show me something.  It sounds small, but it is so tremendously huge!  I cannot forget to do this and truly be in the moment or I will miss out on so very much!  A small thing given of myself this day.  The dinner put on the table, the toilet that was cleaned, the homework that was helped with.  All of this may not seem like much, but it is my way of giving and I am thankful for the opportunity.  I also thought about how giving of myself means that I must take care of myself, and so here I sit in a quiet space journaling about the day.  Therapy for my soul, and peace that is needed.  This moment of remembering to savor and be grateful for the gifts that were given to me this day.  What a journey!

Peace to you all this night, and thank you for reading!

Sunday Storytelling-Be Happy Where you Are

This is a post I wrote about two years ago, and for some reason, I have been thinking a great deal on this subject lately.  Maybe one of you can relate.  Enjoy!

When I was 20, I went on a spiritual retreat.  One day, we were told to be silent.  No talking and on our own as much as possible.  We could eat together, but no talking.  Everyone must remain silent.  We were trying to listen for God’s voice.  Well, I do not know about you guys, but quieting my mind is more difficult than not talking.  I think about everything and worry about more than I should.  When someone says try to listen for God, I freak out.  My mind begins to think constantly about why I do not hear His voice.

Even at age 20, which is almost 20 years ago, I felt this way.  I would like to say that things have changed, but with my anxiety, it has not.

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So that morning, I decided to take a walk.  Our retreat was up in the mountains, next to a beautiful stream with many,many wild flowers.  Oh it was gorgeous!  So I knew I wanted to hike along the stream to look for a place to sit and try to listen.  As I began my walk, I would see the best places to sit and ponder, but they were already taken.  I would get mad and say to myself, “Everyone else has the best place, why can’t I have the same spot?”

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The further I would walk, the more I realized that all the great spots were taken.  Why couldn’t I find a spot like everyone else had?  Why did they get all the good stuff?  Now I was about a mile and a half into my hike, and I was getting so frustrated.  I wanted to hear from God damnit, and I couldn’t because everyone else had the perfect spot. The interesting thing is, I did not turn around and go back, I just kept walking.  I came to a dead spot in the walk where everything seemed to be brown and crunchy.  I became even more mad and actually began yelling at God, as to why he talks to everyone else but me.  Why does he give good gifts to all the others, but me, I get a dead spot?

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Still, I walked.

And walked.

Suddenly, the trail opened up into a huge green meadow.  The meadow was lush, green beautiful, and colorful with newly blossomed wildflowers.  And I realized that God had spoken all along.  And it is a lesson that I have needed to be reminded of.

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The lesson is that I spend a great deal of time looking at other people and what they have.  Not possessions, but family, friends, spiritually.  I get frustrated and wonder why I cannot have what they have.  Why do I get to keep walking?  Why do I have the crunchy dead spots?    But in reality, I do have the most lush green beautiful life. I may have to walk and walk to get there.  I may have to go through the nasty stuff, but when I come out of it, I have beauty.  I have to focus on the beauty in the journey as well, and be happy for the people who are in there beautiful spots.  You see, they had to go through nasty stuff to get there.  I just do not know their story.

Instead of dwelling on what others have and what I do not, it is time to remind myself to be happy for them.  Love them and know that what they have been through to get there has been just as difficult or more so than what I have been through.

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Your time is coming, just keep walking.

Love,

Suzy

I Am

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I am sitting here not really knowing what to write about or where this post is going.

The above saying never give up has been on my mind a great deal lately.  I have thought so much about whether this little, and when I say little, I mean little, blog of mine is worth all the attention I have been giving it.  Or the business I have created and the dreams I have for it, are they even worth it?  So many other people are more successful than I am.  They have careers, families etc.  Then, there is little old me.  Sitting in front of my computer, wondering if I even make a dent in the blog world.  Wondering if any one is even reading or cares.

Truth is, I am scared like the rest of the world.  I am scared of being judged, making a fool of myself, of not doing enough, of looking like a failure to my family and friends.

I have been so struck by how we all view success and failure lately.  How we all compare ourselves to one another, and even have a competition as to who can do more and appear to be successful.

Everything that is brought in front of me to read or study this past week has been screaming, “Suzanne, what you see as successful is screwed up!  The standards are made by a world that strives for more!  The more you have, the more you do, the more views you have, the more……”

Who are you?  Who are you not?  The knowing the not is just as important as knowing the who you are.

I am not a teacher earning money any more, but I am a teacher to my three children.

I am not a working mother earning tons of money for her family, but I am a working mother who stays with her kids all day and works to keep them on the same team.

I am not an inspirational speaker to the world, but I am an inspirational speaker to those around me.

I am not God, but I am a woman who loves God.

I do not have it all together, but I have my family close.

I do not have the best blog in the universe, but I do have readers who are loyal and that I have loved seeing daily.

I may not seem successful to some family and friends, but I am successful to my kids and husband. (even though I struggle with what they think of me too)

I am insecure.  I am someone who cares deeply.  I am someone who takes things to heart.  I am someone who is so full of life that I literally cannot place all I want to do in one day.

But many see me, and see just a stay at home mother.  One who has no career.  One who gave a career up.  One who is not helping financially like she should.  Or one who does not have something of her own.

That’s the way it may appear.  But reality is much different than what you see.

My life has been a series of twists and turn.  It may look so completely random to others, and full of wrong decisions.  But all decisions are coming together to bring glory. Not to me, but to a God who has knitted my life together. I do not know where this life of mine is headed, but I know it must be good.

I am successful.

Love,

Suzy

Amazing Stories to Lift Your Spirits

The world is full of negative, but for every negative there is a positive.  An amazing story of the human spirit, of God’s love, of strength.

Today, I want to focus on a few of these stories. Please visit these sights, and be filled with love and joy.

Josh and Robbyn Blick with baby Zion

These beautiful parents knew their child was going to be born with a rare syndrome.  This is a story and video of how they chose to spend his short 10 days on earth.

 

 

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An absolute amazing Spoken Word, that will inspire you to live fully as God intended.  Click here to listen!

 

I enjoyed looking at all these amazing photos!  The colors, creativity and skill are amazing.  Click here to see.

 

Hope you all are inspired!

Love,

Suzy

I am Not a Robot

I feel like a clone, but I assure you, am not.  As I look at my blog, I realize that I am like so many others who write blogs.  I home school, I own an Etsy shop, I like to travel, I like to cook, I have adopted a child, and I am a Christian.  You can go to thousands of blogs and pretty much experience my life, but see a different name and face.

What makes me different from the rest of you in blog land?

Nothing.

Except maybe for the fact that all the above activities are done for simple reasons.

I do not home school to try to prove a point to the world.  I do not have a beef with the educational system in America.  I do not want my kids separated from others for religious purposes.  I just want my family to be together as one unit.  Learning to love through different family changes.

We  chose to adopt simply because I could not have any more children.  We chose China because my brother-in-law is first generation Chinese American and my nieces are half Chinese.  Our daughter would not feel completely different from the rest of our family.  I did not have an adoption agenda in which I wanted to save kids from all over the world.  However, saving our daughter from despair is a byproduct of our decision.

I own an Etsy shop because I wanted something to do when I quit my job.  Being a stay at home mom was a huge move for me.  I have worked since I was 15, and when I married I became pregnant really fast and we moved around so much I could not work.  I was so happy to become a teacher and again be back into the work force until the adoption when it rocked my little world.

I can travel simply because my husband travels so much for work.  We are not rich and can afford these amazing trips.  But we are blessed to have great family who are willing to take our children while we experience honeymoons.

I like to cook because it was a challenge to learn.  I asked my grandma, who is an awesome cook, if she could teach me for my Christmas present. She replied, “How many Christmas’s you think I got left?”  I was that horrible at it!  But I wanted to learn. It was a challenge.

I am a Christian because I have been changed by love and forgiveness.  I have experienced amazing Love and have seen miracles.  But I will not condemn the choices of others.  I will not tell anyone their sin is greater than my own.  I will choose to love when I do not understand.  I will choose to seek understanding instead of ignorance.

You see on the surface, my blog and interests may seem to be just like all the others.  I may seem to be a robot or a clone.  But my life is simply different.  Here, you will see bits of simple life, with no agenda other than to share with others what I have found out on this crazy journey.

Plain and Simple.

Have a great day everyone, and remember your simple life can make a big difference in this world.

Love,

Suzy

Lunch for our Neighbors and What This Means

Let me explain to you our neighbor situation.  We live on a dead-end street with about 10 other houses.  No one comes down this street unless they absolutely have to.  When we saw this house, the dead-end was one of the positives.  We are also surrounded by fields, so pretty much, our 10 neighbors are what we get.  This was a positive, but has turned into a negative.  You see, our neighbors have decided that we are not safe.  That our kids, are not safe to play with their kids because we are different.  We live in a state with a very distinct religion, and we are not part of that religion.  When we first moved in, our neighbors were awesome!  Our kids played with theirs, we had neighborhood parties, but slowly this began to change.  We are not going to change, and neither are they.  So their answer, to call in their kids every time my kids go out.  This happens  often, even today.  My husband and I have tried to talk, but they insist nothing is wrong.  The problem is, this is bullying, but it has happened to so many people who are not of this religion, that unfortunately it is the norm.  I will be honest, this is one of the reasons our children do not attend the local public school.  All the kids know each other rom their church which makes it very difficult for newcomers to come in.  It is a very sad situation because I know that in different circumstances we could all get along.  Especially the kids.  Kids are taught these actions, and let me tell you how hard it is not to tell my kids to be mean right back.

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But my kids have good hearts, better than my darkened grown up heart.  My two youngest last week decided they would pack a lunch for our closest neighbors and invite them over.  And guess what, they came.  Of course today, we had issues, but baby steps, right? Instead of getting mad, my kids are trying.  I realize they may get hurt, but they are teaching me to take chances, to think beyond the silliness that discrimination can bring.  My kids are teaching me to look beyond their religion at the person, and try to reach the person.  Not because I want to convert them, but because this is what I am called to do.  To look past, to love when I cannot.  This is exactly what my kids are choosing to do, but really do not know all the philosophies behind it.  They took a chance last week, today they were rejected and I had to tell them to always say hello, but not to get too close.  Always reach out, but realize that their efforts will not always be met with enthusiasm. Always act in love, even when love is not returned.  Now I must remind myself of the same advice and hope for the best.

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Have a great day everyone and remember to always reach out!

Love,

Suzy

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