Friday, October 22, 2010

Groupon online deal: $35 for $75 of organic food

 Update: This deal is no longer available from Baton Rouge page.

I was searching Groupon for a San Diego restaurant deal to use on our upcoming trip and found this deal which looks like it is not area specific. For those of you who only eat organic food, this looks like a great deal!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Mom: My Inspiration

My passionate dream of being a stay-at-home mom grew almost subconsciously out of my admiration for my mother. She was the ultimate homemaker. And still is, for that matter, with a homeschooled teenager and pre-teen still under her roof!

During my entire childhood, until I left home for college, my family lived as missionaries in a small town in West Africa. While our life seemed pampered compared to the lives of families around us, that didn't mitigate the fact that running a home on the edge of the Sahara desert was a formidable challenge for my mother. My parents arrived in Africa in the late '80s with a toddler (me) and three younger children in diapers. Cloth diapers were not the option that was best for the environment and the budget. They were the only option.

Over the years, my mom homeschooled eight children and ran a beautiful, warm, hospitable home. She made from scratch all the food we ate: our bread, muffins, yogurt, even lasagna noodles, cheesecake, and her own homemade version of Rice-A-Roni! During the dry season we often only had running water from about 1:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. Mom would get up to do a load of laundry and fill up tubs, jugs, and other containers for use throughout the day. And the homeschooling is another story altogether!

With all that, she still made the effort to do special things, like decorating cake and making ice cream for each birthday. She'd stay up late the night before to hang streamers and balloons, knowing how excited we'd be to wake up to a party in the morning.

This was and is my mother. She has been my inspiration and I've always wanted to be just like her: so strong, so dedicated, so talented. I once thought that the only way to do this was to live the lifestyle she lived. I have just begun to realize that I can develop the same qualities even though the Lord has not allowed me to stay at home. I can still be strong and dedicated, but in different way. I can still develop talents that will help me better care for my family. I'm embracing my own challenge now, thankful for my mom's example, and knowing the Lord is giving me grace to live the life he has given me to live.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I'm back!

Thanks to all of you who have read and posted comments over the last few days! I'm so thrilled that there are people reading this! I'm back on now after being in the Outer Banks the last five days for my sister's wedding. It was so much fun and a great time to be together with family! I've got another post coming up tomorrow, Lord willing.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A 180 Degree Turn

When my first precious son was born three years ago I joined that demographic of women who go out into the workplace every day, leaving their hearts at home with their little ones.

In the years that followed I struggled - no, refused- to accept the fact that I was a working mom. I had always imagined that when I became a mom I would stay at home, providing the most dedicated care to my kids. When that dream was crushed, I let denial, bitterness and self-pity prevent me from fulfilling my two highest callings: to work with all my heart as for the Lord (Col. 3:23) and to love my husband and children (Titus 2:4).

My work performance suffered because I was constantly brooding about it, my husband suffered because I was always fighting with him about it, and my children suffered because in my obstinacy I was trying to do all the wonderful things a stay at home mom can do when I didn't really have the time. (I'll share more about each of these mistakes later.)

Recently the Lord has graciously used various events, conversations and musings to pull, push and prod me, stumbling, out of a dark despondency and back into the bright light of life! I have finally accepted that I do work outside the home and instead of constantly bemoaning the minutes I'm not at home, I'm now deeply grateful for each moment I do have with my children and trying spend those moments in the most meaningful way. This has truly been a 180 degree turn for me and I feel like I can finally see the sun! God has given me a family and, at least for now, he's also given me a job. Now that I've accepted that, I have new hope and determination to do my job well and to take care of my family well on his terms and not my own.

That's what this blog is about: my journey to peace with my job and new freedom it has given me to enjoy my life and my precious family. It will also journal what I learn about practically being the best mom to my kids even while I work.

I'm so excited because I can already see how changing my outlook from self-pity and disappointment to peace and willingness to change has brought joy to my home. I can't wait to see how rich life can be as I continue to learn to live the life God has given me according to his perfect plan.

Are you a working mom who feels discouraged, stuck, disappointed, hopeless? Are you a working mom who has found a balance between working and pouring her heart into her children? I hope you'll leave comment or write to me. I'd like to build a community of working moms who encourage each other to care for our children with our deep mothers' love and put our hearts into our jobs even while our hearts are at home.