Menu Planning Catastrophe

I’m new to keeping a grocery budget and planning my menus around the sales of the week.  It’s all new to me, but I’m trying my best.  Image

Last night, I spent hours looking through circulars, calling Sam’s club and getting prices of fish by the pound so I can compare to our local supermarket and getting all my coupons together.

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I was pretty tired but satisfied that I had our menu for the week done.  Let me add here that my menu included items that I had already prepped and frozen as well as items that were on sale this week for me to buy.

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So when I came down this morning to find my prepped beef stew meal was defrosted on the counter, you can imagine the emotions that coursed through me!  This beef stew was not for this week at all! It was for next week since we had beef stew already last week! All my hard work! My husband doesn’t appreciate or understand the work that I do while he sits and plays with the kids. This throws my plan completely out the window now. Now I have to rearrange the menu completely (I don’t have us eating meat more than 1-2 a week so I space them out between Vegetarian, fish, and chicken meals) and I was just so upset about it.ImageNot to mention the lovely cans he left out after a midnight snack of soup.ImageAnd the messy plates in the sink that were mostly done after I went to bed.

So yes, I am mad.  But lately I’ve been taking this homemaker business and treating it like it was the job I had previously working for a big company.  If I feel to lazy to do a chore on my daily checklist, I think about how it would be at my previous job.  I would never not do something and tell my boss I was just too lazy to get it done. No! I always got it done and if I couldn’t, for some reason, I had a good reason for it – not an excuse.

So this morning I thought to myself, what if I was back at the office and someone had done this? Would I throw a tantrum to my boss and complain about the person?  (We actually did this in the past when a new worker came in and did things different than what we were used to. My boss looked at me and my coworker and told us to figure it out, this isn’t preschool!  Ah, she was a good boss. Seriously. I grew up a lot under her watchful eye.)

Anyway, so I choose to just roll with the punches – as any good homemaker worth her salt will do.  I will put this stew in the fridge (since I don’t want to refreeze it and I don’t have potatoes and carrots for it today) and use it tomorrow. Yes, I’ll have to rearrange my menu. But I view it as a challenge I can take on.

And yes. I will talk to my husband and explain to him what I do and ask him not to take out any freezer meals in the future. Calmly. Smiling. And with a kiss on the cheek.

Because that’s how a Growing P31 Woman does things around here.

Yasmin

 

Last Night I Stopped and Listened…

I have to share how good I did last night!

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So last night we had some vistors over (two nephews and one pregnant fiance).  The men played video games in the living room while me and the pregnant fiance (Lisa, love her like my own niece) were in the kitchen talking and making

Pioneer Woman’s Homemade Pumpkin Puree with a 10lb pumpkin (this guy was big!).  We had a great time, but by the time they left, I was tired, my pumpkin was still half way finished, and my kitchen was a  mess!  I just wanted to be done with it and get to bed!

That’s when our 18 month old started his nightly crying.  He cries because he’s tired, but doesn’t want to sleep. He fights his sleep so bad.  My husband had moved from the main floor gaming system, to the upstairs gaming system and had taken the baby with him. I was so happy because I wanted to finish my puree as quickly as possible.

Not five minutes later, hubby came down the stairs with a screaming baby, dropped him off at the bottom of the stairs, turned around and went back upstairs to continue playing on his gaming system.  I was so frustrated and wanted to go upstairs and yell about how he’s been playing for hours already while I’ve been slaving away in this kitchen all day cleaning, rearranging, cooking, cleaning, cooking again, cleaning again, then doing pumpkin puree! Can’t he just put his game down and put Sam to sleep? PLEASE?!

I really thought about all the things I was going to say as I stomped over to my son and picked him

Imageup.  I was already at the bottom of the stairs ready to stomp my way up… when I really felt like the Holy Spirit just stopped me.  I knew the outcome of that argument: I would be upset, hubby would be mad, lots of yelling, and that’s how the household would end the day.  Not good.  As much as I know in my heart that what he was doing was just unfair and selfish, what I was about to do was just as unfair and selfish to my kids and our family as a whole.

So I turned around, sat down on the sofa, and took 20 minutes to rock my son and quiet him down.  My other three kids came by and we all sang him a lullaby.  It was sweet.  And I cried like a baby.  The choice to not go upstairs is so not me. It’s not the person I am. I am a fighter, a confronter, and when I get angry sometimes I can get into my rage so bad that I don’t hear any outside voices of reason.  But tonight I sensed God’s Holy Spirit – AND I STOPPED AND LISTENED.  That’s what it means to be a Growing Proverbs 31 Woman. These small choices that I make to listen to that small voice.

Just praising God for His Holy Spirit and praying to hear and listen to it more and more in this New Year!

Yasmin

Growing Proverbs 31 Woman

I’m tired.

I’m tired.
I really seem to be in a season of “me, me, me” because I just can’t get over how tired and upset I am.
My husband works as a truck driver and the job he has now is an over night, every other day job. So he leaves at 12:15pm on day 1 and doesn’t come home until about 4am on day 2. Then on day 2 he doesn’t wake up until about 12 or 1pm.  This is his day off, then he’s back to work on the next day.  So on his day off (again, every other day), he’ll lay around and watch TV or play video games.  If I push him, he’ll pick up the kids at 3pm, then comes home and gets back on the TV or video games.  
I still go about doing what I have to do, prepping dinner, helping with homework for 3 kids, dealing with the 17 month old – all this around my husband sitting in the living room.  On his days that he works, I allow the kids to relax after school and watch TV for about an hour.  Then it goes off and they all do HW, then dinner, and now we will watch a Christmas movie on ABC Family.  Some nights we’ll do a Bible study – though to be honest its been a few weeks since we did our last.
But when husband is around, the TV stays on all the time.  And its loud.  My 7 year old boy is easily distracted, especially with video games.  So its so frustrating that husband wont turn the TV or video game off for just 30 minutes until JJ gets his HW done (we have a small house which only has our bedrooms, living room, and kitchen.  There’s no family room or other area where we can be away from the distraction, other than the bedroom).  If I ask for help, it’s always “in a minute” or he calls our oldest daughter to get the baby brother.
I’ve spoken my frustrations and asked that he see my point of view. All I get in return is an “OK you’re right.  There, happy?”  Which frustrates me even more!
When my husband is not around, I can do it all and be fine.  The work itself can be overwhelming on some days, but I can do it and have peace in the home.  But the nights my husband is home, I feel he should help me.  I KNOW the right thing for him to do is help.  Help your kids with their HW, help me throw out the garbage, be present with your kids.  And the fact that its not happening is what frustrates me and makes me snap on some (most) nights.
I also need some me time.  I’d like to work on posts for my blog more or do a Bible study. I try asking my husband for some time to myself, let me go out to the bookstore once a week on my own.  But that gets shot down all the time.  So I’ll sit in my room and read my Bible or write the words of the Bible or listen to a podcast… which lasts all but 5 minutes before I have one of the kids coming up and just wanting to be in the room.  I’m sorry – but sometimes I just need to be alone. ALONE.  Or Sam will cry and as soon as that happens I hear “take your brother upstairs to your mom!”.
Sigh.
Oh, and my husband started coming to church with us, but since the new job he hasn’t been to church in many months.  So I take all four kids to church on Sunday mornings and evenings, and Wednesday evenings, and any special occasions we have (which are a lot during this time of year).  Which is fine… but I’m tired.  I go to church 3x a week and I don’t hear the Word at all.  I’ll get 5 minutes of a message before Sam wakes up from his short nap and it’s off to the nursery I go.  Of course he won’t stay in the nursery on his own, so I’m there with him.  I don’t remember the last time I sat through a full message.  So I’m basically going to church 3x a week to hang out in the nursery with other babies – and of course so that my older children can get the word.  On days that I just don’t want to, I think of my older ones and I go anyway because of them.  But it’s overwhelming to be around kids all day and then be around a bunch of other babies in the evenings as well.  I’m so tired.
I don’t have the answer as to how to make it easy.  I feel like no one knows what I’m going through.  I love all the Christian blogs I read, but I feel like their lives are a dream – something I can never attain.   I’m tired.  I will continue to praise my God and read His Word and love on my family – especially my husband.  But inside I’m crying and feeling overwhelmed and sad.  
I know that the Lord isn’t finished with me; I have to also remember that He’s not finished with my husband.  This is my journey and I have to trust that He knows how I feel and He has a great plan for me, for my husband, for our marriage, and for our family.  Because right now I don’t see it.  But that’s what faith is all about, right?

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"The Good Wife’s Guide" Giveaway!

OK Ladies!

I am super excited about this giveaway because this book is so inline with my goal of being a Proverbs 31 woman and the author is one of those Titus 2 women I truly look to as a role model.  The book is called The Good Wife’s Guide by Darlene Schacht over at Time-Warp Wife.

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I was blessed to receive a copy of this new ebook and it really is a treasure of good advice backed by scripture.  Darlene’s writing style draws you in as if you are sitting across the table from her, drinking a cup of coffee with a friend.  Her passion for God and helping wives prioritize His role for us as helpmeets to our husbands and mothers to our children is evident on every page.

And now Darlene will bless three of you with a copy of this new ebook! 

I’m so excited about this as the book was truly a blessing to me and I know it will bless the hearts of three women out there!

To enter, just complete any of the options below in the Rafflecopter! The giveaway ends next Wednesday!

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Avoiding Arguments

 
I’ve been pretty sleep depraved lately as Sam is not yet sleeping through the night.  By 6am he is up for the rest of the morning and crying for his oatmeal; the three older kiddies wake up at 7am and life is just nonstop from that point on. 

During the day, Sam takes little catnaps and isn’t down more than an hour and then he’s back up again and crying to be held.  I try to sit him in his chair or lay him on a blanket, but it only works for a little while, not enough time to get more than a small amount of housework done.  And today I had an appointment outside the house I had to travel to with Sam – so that took another 90 minutes out of my day.

And before I know it, the kids are home, dinner needs to be cooked, HW needs to be done, and the laundry has sat in the dryer for the 2nd day in a row (ok, ok, it was actually sitting there all weekend and tomorrow is Wednesday…).   To boot, the kids are practically bouncing off the walls waiting to go out on our new Christmas Light Scavenger hunt… when daddy storms in the house yelling about the car doors… and my heart just sinks.  Once again I left the side doors (both doors this time) wide open after I came home from picking up the kids from school… and today it was raining.

Sigh.

I wanted to argue back and yell about MY day and how tired I was and just dig my heels in and fire back!  But I don’t, that’s the old me and, thanks be to God, I’m not that person anymore.  So what do I do?

1)    First I just close my mouth.  I know I should probably pray first, but if I don’t physically close my mouth in order to stop myself from reacting, then I can’t get anything else done.  

Proverbs 10:19 “Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.”

2)     Pray!  Just  a quick prayer asking God to help me do the right thing and not feed the fire in anyway. 
Psalm 34:17 “The LORD hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles.”

3)    Give hubby space.  When my husband gets upset, he wants to be left alone.  He doesn’t want to “talk” about his feelings or try to make nice… no, he needs to stew a little and be left alone.  So if he’s downstairs, I will go up to our bedroom and relax with Sam or read my Bible.   
Proverbs 25:24 “It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.”

4)    Get busy and continue to pray!! Sometimes when I’m also upset (like I was today) I actually have to get busy! If I sit still, my mind will just stew in my anger and though I’m not yelling at my husband in life, I’m yelling at him in my head – which is just as bad.  So I will get to cleaning (or something else physical) and pray for myself for just a minute, then I move on and pray for others. I find that concentrating on praying for the lives of others helps to put everything in perspective for my own life.   
Ecclesiastes 5:20 “God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past.”

 Psalm 104:34 “May all my thoughts be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the LORD.”

Ephesians 6:18 “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”

These steps have really helped me on so many occasions when my first reaction is just to start an argument (which was the person I used to be!).  Granted, I’m not perfect and I will have my moments where I will open my mouth and argue – but those moments are getting farther and farther apart and I’m learning to recognize them quickly  now and quickly repent.

And please don’t think that I think wives should be scared little mice, too afraid to speak!  The Proverbs 31 wife is anything but a scare little mice! She is a strong, industrious woman who isn’t afraid to speak – but when she does speak “her words are wise” (Prov. 31:26)
 
God has definitely brought me a long way from where I used to be, but I know He has a more humble person that He wants me to be – more like Jesus was.  And I know that this is all part of making me more like Jesus.  My  heavenly Father is just purging the old me and purifying the new (Psalm 66:10).  So I am grateful that God gives me these opportunities to show myself worthy.  Father God, please help me to be what is beautiful in your eyes, to clothe myself “with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” (1 Peter 3:4)

In Christ,

Yasmin

Negative Thoughts…

I had originally posted this on my Facebook page, but I also wanted to share it on my blog.

“Just wanted to share something I experienced today: Yesterday started out great but by late afternoon I really felt Gods presence wasn’t with me! I felt so alone (in my spirit, b/c I was surrounded by my family), & even lashed out at one of my kids for spilling a drink on the table. This was the old me, not the new creation I’ve become in Christ… During my alone time this morning God spoke to my heart & showed me how my thoughts caused me to grieve the Holy Spirit & not feel Him. Earlier in the day I was upset that my hard-working hubby was getting a nice afternoon nap when I was exhausted! And then I started thinking about how he should be fixing up our basement (we had a flood & he’s in the middle of fixing redoing the basement) instead of sleeping on the couch! And on and on I went with my thoughts! It was all downhill from that point in my day… All because I didn’t tame my negative thoughts towards my husband. I am my husbands helpmeet! Proverbs 31:11-12 says that my hubby should trust me & I should enrich his life, bringing him good, not harm! Thanking God for His Holy Spirit that will convict my heart & lead me to His word to find truth and wisdom! So the lesson I learned is to be obedient to God not only with my actions but with my thoughts as well! Not feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit was awful and really reminded me that I cannot be the wife God calls me to be without Him!”

 In Christ,

Yasmin

I’m back!

So I had to take a small hiatus from blogging in order to figure out my new schedule as a SAHM. Being a newly SAHM with three school aged kids and one infant is a lot to figure out as far as logistics and meal planning.  But I’ve finally gotten myself into somewhat of a groove  and feel I can handle a post or two (or just one!) a week.

So much is going on in my life right now and I’m excited for all of it! I want this blog to be not only about my experiences as a stay at home mom, but also about my Christian walk.  God has really been showing me a lot about what a godly woman (wife/mother) should look like and I have really been studying that Proverbs 31 woman and seeing how I can apply that wisdom to my own life.

I’ve also started to take an apologetics class on Sunday nights at my church (one of three Sunday school classes being offered at this time).  I was very excited about it because most of my family (on my mother’s side) are Jehovah’s Witnesses and I wanted to become more bold in talking to them about my faith. Last night, though, was a hard class and really caused me to step back and think I’m not meant to take it! We were learning ways to explain how God is infinite and people were using terms like “2nd law of thermodynamics” and other scientific explanations that my brain just cannot comprehend.  I was literally holding my face with both my hands to keep myself from running out!!  I expressed my feelings of discouragement on a post on FB when I got home and my classmates all encouraged me to continue with the class… so I might give it one more try.  Our next class we will be discussing Jesus, so I’m praying that this topic will be a little easier than explaining God!

Samuel and the kids are growing!  They are all doing so wonderful and the older kids have really been a great help with little Sam.  I’m also trying to teach them more about our faith at home, so that’s something I’ve been working on with them.

Marcia and I meet every Thursday (or try to!). I love having her over because she just brightens up my day with her laughter and her love.  We talk a lot about our marriages and our faith and what we want that to look like – it’s just wonderful.  I love talking to other sisters in the faith about being a godly woman and what we are called to do in the body of Christ.  God is really putting other godly woman in my path for that reason and I’m so excited to really get close to my sisters and learn from each other.

So LOTS going on and I’m excited to blog my way through all of it.  Through it all I hope to be as transparent as possible and show my ups and downs so that it may be an encouragement to other woman. I am just a regular Christian wife & SAHM who loves to write and study the word of God.  Welcome to my life!

In Christ,

Yasmin

Frustration

Today was a busy day for me: the kids started VBS for the first time ever, while they were at VBS I did some food shopping with a sister from church, then we went back to church to pick up our kids (my 4 plus her daughter and two nieces) and went back to my house where we hung out all day until they were all picked up (from 12pm – 4pm).
So there were a total of 7 kids in my not so clean house – a fact that did not escape my husband when he came home and I (mistakenly) complained about my tiresome day. It’s not that the visitors were troublesome – I’m just not used to having people in my home and it’s something I’m hoping to get rid of. I want to open my home to our church family and allow my kids to have fun and enjoy fellowship with others. It’s just hard for me, my first instinct is to be left alone and not have to deal with anyone but my own rugrats. So my mistake was to take my day and turn it into a complaint to my husband instead of turning it into a praise report! I opened our home to another family and the kids had fun and dinner was cooked when you got home! yay!
But no, instead I complained and then my husband began to complain: how could I have ANYone in this messy house! And dinner? Dinner was nothing but spaghetti & sausage thrown together last minute because I didn’t have time to make something better.

Granted, that last argument was very upsetting for me and I responded by taking an hour to buy some breakfast items at our local supermarket. I started out in the car by arguing with God about my insensitive husband but prayed for Him to open my eyes and heart regardless. And slowly my icy heart became warm again and I wasn’t bothered anymore by those words. They are just words and they were probably as a result of my own complaints. How would I feel if, after working a physically exhaustive job, I come home to a complaining spouse? I think I might be annoyed and unintentionally pick at things that my spouse had (or hadn’t) done.
So though I was a bit frustrated and felt underappreciated, I was able to pray through it and see the other side of it.

Lord, please help me clean a little better tomorrow and come up with a meal my hubby would love to come home to!!

Grace after laziness…

So last night I was a bit lazy.  To my credit, I had worked a full day (8:30am – 5:30pm) plus had to deal with the kids who had a 1/2 day (JJ & Mari had 1/2 days, Kaity came home around 4:30).  So it was a lot for me and I couldn’t get any dinner on the table.  And after a full days work and kids running around all day, I really didn’t feel like doing much of anything – just lay down and savor the moment that tomorrow (today) I was a “free” woman from work! And after getting a pizza pie for dinner, that’s exactly what I did.

Now, I KNEW that my husband ALSO had a full day of work… but while I’m home working in the A/C all day, he was out sweating in the hot sun from 5:30am until around 7:30pm. I KNEW that he wouldn’t be too happy about pizza for dinner, but I could counteract that by at least cleaning up a bit. If he came home to a beautifully tidy home, I could give him cereal for dinner and he’d be happy (uh, maybe cereal is a bit of a stretch, but you get what I’m trying to say)!! He just wants to come home from a long day to a clean home… and that’s not what happened.

So when I heard the car door slam shut, announcing my husband’s arrival, I braced myself for the consequences of my decision.  Thank God for my husband, he didn’t argue with me like I probably would’ve done with him.  To a point, he understands that I’m 38 weeks pregnant and the fact that I had a long day… to a point. But I felt the tension and the silence that lay heavy in the house that night.

I honestly could have gathered up the kids and had them help me clean up the house a bit, but in my laziness I just didn’t do it.  So today I woke up feeling a bit guilty… but I know that God’s grace is for me today.  As I wrote yesterday, today is the beginning of my new life as stay at home mom / wife.  I will not let laziness overtake me today!!  My day is planned with a set of goals to accomplish (including cleaning & cooking!) and I will not let my laziness take over!

Thank God for His grace and knowing that each morning is a new day to start over in it!

Yasmin