Oops...almost a week without a post. Shameful! :) Some things have to go when life gets a bit on the busy side and this time around it happened to be my blog. I don't like it when it happens that way because I TRULY "enjoy" this part of my life....tremendously! Yet, there are times that the words just don't come or time is too short. This past week was a bit of both!
This post isn't a deep or profound one. It's just an update of life in our little corner of the world.
We are in a season of "new beginnings" in the Goad house. It seems to be the prevalent theme.
New beginning number 1: school started, successfully. Though we've officially only had a few days under our belts, it has been tremendous. Our best start...EVER. I know there will come a time that things WON'T be as enthusiastic and smooth sailing, but for now I'm cherishing these moments. It seems (again AT THIS point!) that having all three kids involved is working out picture perfect. God put a series of events in order that allowed EVERYTHING I needed to get started come in last minute. It barely happened, but it did! Should have let that worry go a LONG time ago. God had it under control from the beginning. Balancing all three kids has been smooth. Granted, that smoothness has come from ceaseless praying and tremendous amounts of planning for MONTHS. I'm sure our "crash" day will hit soon, but at this point I couldn't be happier with our new year.
New beginning number 2: Parent's Morning out kicked off! Oh my! The happiness from this mom is unparalleled! Three Thursday mornings a month I am blessed to have two and a half hours of ME time. Though I used that time to clean, lesson plan, etc... in the beginning, my husband and friends quickly set me straight and I've not once gone back on my promise to use that time for me. This week I actually took the time to get my hair cut for the first time in nearly 8 months. It made VERY little difference in the "style", but it was heavenly for me to sit there and be taken care of for a few minutes. I also had time to do some birthday shopping for Peyton and a bit of early Christmas shopping for our granddaughters. I also look forward to my "turn" at volunteering the last week of the month. I will get to love on some sweet babies that always steal my heart AND this year I'm thrilled with the group of women I'm volunteering with. It's going to be a great year no matter if I'm getting my time or if I'm volunteering so other moms can have their turns! Bradlee is also absolutely thrilled to be in a class with Miss Marthe again. She does a fantastic job with them and they learn so much Biblical foundation and it's not just "babysitting" time.
New beginning number 3: I blogged about putting myself back on the list and taking charge of my health again lat week. I'm happy to report that though the scale hasn't really cooperated yet, my clothes are already feeling a bit less constricting. My energy has soared! My mental clarity is getting better every day! It is VERY much worth getting up before the kids. Though I was bummed to discover that I had washed my pedometer (FAIL!) this morning, I was consistently getting in enough steps to reach 5 miles a day. Typically I'm doing about 3 miles in the morning and then picking up the other 2 through the day. I've also already increased the number of reps that I'm able to do on the weight machine in trying to get my upperbody strong again. Wahoo! I was quite proud of myself the days I went while it was raining! As long as it isn't storming like crazy, they do have this amazing invention called an umbrella. I've learned how to use it! :)
New beginning number 4: we finally accomplished some overdue tasks in regards to housekeeping, organizing, etc.. It may not mean much to most, but for those of us (ME!) that thrive on order and get VERY down on myself when things aren't in order....it is amazing! I have complained about the condition of our carpet for months and finally spent 22 hours cleaning it. It is still worn out and definitely didn't restore to new condition, but at least I know it is clean! That also led to some moving around of furniture and doesn't that always give you a boost?!
New beginning number 5: 607 starts tomorrow night. It's our midweek program at church and I have LOVED being a full time volunteer for the last two years. Kevin and I serve together and it is such a tremendous blessing to us. Adriana has volunteered with us in the past, but she now has her own high school small groups that night. Different season of life for us having an "older" kid! Kevin and I have had the same group of kids at 607 for the past two years, but tomorrow night we are getting a "fresh" group of kids. I can hardly wait to get to know them. We just felt it was time to let "our" kids have new faces and build some new relationships with new leaders. So many of them did steal my heart, so I'm glad we still get to see them during parts of the evening!
New beginning number 6: Peyton turned 10. Being that he was born on THE morning of THE September 11th, it has always been such an emotional, bittersweet day. Peyton had a great day. We spent two services at church, went out for lunch at HIS favorite place (Fazolis...not our favorite but ALWAYS his!), cake, and gifts. What was different about this year is that he understands the gravity of the day now. I obviously had a very hard time with it on that day (as most people did, but add that to the emotional pull of giving birth on the day the world changed for all of us and crazy hormones!!!) and then again on his first birthday. Now we just embrace the fact that God had a plan in bringing him into our lives on that day. He definitely has a plan for his life and we can HARDLY wait to see how it unfolds. We already know he is destined to do something amazing. A kid doesn't have the knowledge and skills that Peyton has just for "any" purpose. God has designed an amazing plan for him!
New beginning number 7: Learning to be OK with having to let somethings go in order to keep my sanity. This is an ONGOING struggle, but I am finally making progress. I will never get past my perfectionism and DRIVE, but I'm finding myself less out of sorts when things don't all get done according to my LIST. The spiritual growth of the past several months has definitely let me hear God more clearly and I'm often hearing His reminders that my list and His don't often match and that His list takes priority. I'm LOVING this new beginning. It's hard. It's painful, but yet it's AMAZINGLY freeing! "For I know the plans I have for you", says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you," says the Lord. I love those words from Jeremiah 29. They are absolutely true and I'm growing in those words more every day!
New beginning number 8: my B90 group is just a couple of days away from reaching the New Testament. We've lost a few members along the way due to different life factors interrupting, but I know everyone has felt God stir their hearts like never before no matter where they are in their reading. Hearing from one of the ladies in my group today talking about how she finally feels like this is going to happen for her just warmed my heart. A new beginning of confidence is priceless. Knowing that something that seemed so daunting in the beginning is actually a goal within reach is just breathtaking. I'll never know where those little ripples will end up.
New beginning number 9: my friend that spent a couple of weeks in Ghana, West Africa stopped by with a special gift for me. She brought me a framed collage of some pictures of my dresses with some of the precious orphans wearing them. Though she was being thoughtful and SWEET, what she didn't realize is that she set a new fire and passion alive in me. Her gift hangs in our entry way and every time I see it I feel a stirring and a calling. Though we've (Kevin and I and also as a family) talked often about finding our purpose and where God is going to use us, it seems like the door is beginning to slightly open. NOT a clue as to how we are going to move forward but absolutely certain that we aren't going to sit still. For now, God has revealed to us that we are to focus on becoming 100% debt free so that we are more "free" to make commitments and choices when actual doors begin to open. Hopefully with dedication, prayer, and God's continuous blessings that goal will happen within the next 15-16 months. I just know that I have an unquenchable desire and longing when I see those pictures. Making those 82 dresses was just the beginning. Yes, it was healing for me. Yes, it became a large part of me. Yet, there is much more waiting!
New beginning number 10: tomorrow starts a new chapter in our lives. I'm blessed to be keeping a precious two month out little girl a couple of days a week. I can't describe how it warms my heart. It's been about 12 years since I've brought in a single penny to our budget and the bit of extra is going to help us get closer to our debt free goal a bit at a time. However, it is WELL beyond that. I just feel blessed. Yes, it's going to be quite a bit of extra work and I'm going to have to be SUPER on top of my game to make sure that I keep everything needing to be done balanced. I can't describe it. I've heard others tell me I'm crazy to love little ones THAT much, but it's true. I simply adore them! I know her Mommy is DREADING tomorrow so much because her heart is so connected to her and my heart aches for her feeling that way. Even though she knows she is going to be well cared for, it is just ripping her apart. I would be worried if she wasn't feeling that way. If she didn't find it difficult to leave her, I wouldn't want to be keeping her. I don't want to keep just ANY child. I want to keep one that it can be a ministry for and one that I can give more of myself to....not one that it's just a "job" for. That's not who I am and I wouldn't be adding more to my "plate" if it was just a job. I've never even held this precious wee one, but I can honestly say that she has already grown in my heart so much. Her mommy is absolutely precious and our family loves her. Oh...her Dad isn't too bad either! I'm loving the influence he is already having on MY daughter by teaching her to be strong in her faith and to make a difference in this world.
So there you have it. An update from the Goad world. Maybe I'll be back soon with some "deeper" posts, but for now this is what is on my heart. Just celebrating new beginnings and thankful. Thankful for new starts and growth. Thankful for just the basic things that make us smile and the things that help us keep our priorities in line. Mostly thankful that His mercies are always new every morning. Nothing is greater than holding on to that promise!