I’m desperately trying to figure out what normal is to me.  So are my kids.  Shortly before Kent left our oldest daughter moved back home with her newly adopted son. We quickly made room in the house for them, but the walls seem to be closing in on this mama who likes order and a place for everything.  A toddler has no place for anything, which means messes. This in itself has been an adjustment.

Then Kent leaving was a shock to say the least.  We had been assured he would receive probation and even the prosecutor fought for him to not have prison time more than our own attorney did.  We were not prepared for what we were hearing that day. So figuring out what I should do each day in the midst of heart break and chaos has not been easy. Kent is three and a half hours away, it seems he’s just a jump in the car away.  I quickly realize the jump in the car is tiring and costly. So I have had to cut down on my visits.  Which is hard as I know my being there helps pass some of the time for him.

I’ve spent my entire adult life as a stay at home mom and home school mom.  Even though I was very young when we started having kids I had a conviction that my kids shouldn’t be in public school.  I think a lot of that had to do with listening to conservative talk radio ALL the time.  My oldest daughter can’t believe we actually listen to music in the car, because that was not at all what I had on the entire time she was growing up. Now listening to the types of things I once enjoyed make me sick to my stomach.  It’s not that I think they are bad, they just bring emotions and thoughts I don’t want to deal with right now.

So my time has always been spent doing things that the kids are involved with whether it be sports, school, chores and jobs and all that comes with being a mom in charge of the home has slowed down some.  I no longer have six kids at home, but still have three almost four teenagers.  The last four were born within five years so when they were young order was a must.  That’s where I’m having a difficult time now and for the past four months.  There’s no order to my life.  And when there’s no order I don’t function very well. We spent the past four years trying to survive with Kent being told when and where to be that we didn’t find much order in our home.

With him gone and having been so incredibly busy being a wife and mom and just surviving I feel lost.  Everything I did was done with my hubby.  I always got him involved in something.  He didn’t mind, but now he’s gone for a time and I have to figure out what I should do.  What do I enjoy? And will I make myself do it alone? It’s a new feeling for me to realize my kids are old enough that I can go to the grocery store by myself.  I can go anywhere by myself.  I spent so many years toting around kids it was just natural for them to go with me and I didn’t mind.

I know the kids can’t be left alone at this time without supervision for long periods of time.  I have to have constant tabs on them all.  They will seek to do things their own way any chance they get. They to are experiencing so many changes.  Maddie is figuring out how to be more independent. Noah wants some independence, but isn’t quite ready. The two youngest are thinking about braces and driving permits and new experiences.

I have been thinking of possibly making YouTube Videos. I think it may be something I would enjoy and eventually be able to help contribute financially to our family. Ive always liked getting decorating and home projects from videos or Pinterest. For the past several years these have been projects with things just being rearranged or repurposed with stuff I already own.

I also enjoy watching videos to motivate myself to clean. There would have been a time that I would have been awesome at making those types of videos. Now, not so much. I pretty much watch them to pass the time, which is something I don’t want to be spending so much time doing. If I were to make videos it would be to motivate myself to keep going.  I need motivation to keep up with my home, to keep up with these babies I have been entrusted with and to just be motivated to get up and do something, or anything.  I may just need to talk about that. I do think there may be a market for just surviving life while going through the difficult circumstances we are enduring in this season. Most of the time my life is just downright comical.

For instance last week Noah and I had intentions of going kayaking after an appointment we had. He likes to scour “free ads” on facebook. He had come across a couch and loveseat he wanted for his room.  They were free and on someones curb just a few miles away.  We drove to the residence where I inspected and smelled the furniture to see if I would allow it in our house. They passed inspection and I helped him load them up.  Fortunately, we had the truck which has an 8 foot bed.  Unfortunately, we had the kayaks back there.  We quickly unloaded the kayaks, loaded the coach put the loveseat upside down on the couch, loaded the kayaks on top of the furniture, loaded all the extra crap that was in the truck bed into the backseat of the truck and quickly drove away.  Everything was tied down securely, but we were quite a site.

And just yesterday, I was enjoying the morning on the back deck.  My oldest brought me a bag of sweet corn she’d purchased at the Farmer’s Market the day before.  I quickly started shucking it.  Noah insisted we should grill it like dad always does, but that would have been way to much effort for me on that hot morning.  Sami asked, “what was for lunch?” I desperately needed to go to the grocery store. I let her know we were having hot corn for lunch.  Chloe said,”what’s for supper?” I said, “cold corn.” We actually ended up going and getting some chicken. I didn’t make the kids just eat corn, but the thought did occur to me.

A few years ago we were asked to do a reality tv show from some British Production Company, but were advised by our attorney that nothing was going to make us look nice at the time. I thought to myself we sure seem to be helping KCCI with their ratings as they just would not leave us alone.  I think that is part of the reason I enjoy writing and sharing is because there were so many times we were being blasted in the media and I couldn’t say a thing due to the impending court cases Kent had to testify in. I also enjoy writing because I can have my opinion and not worry anymore.  The only thing I have to worry about is am I sharing for the glory of God to further his kingdom.   I have to learn if God wants to bring justification for us he will.  I can’t and don’t want to force or make something happen that is not in His timing and I have to make sure its from a humble heart.

So my current normal is spending time in the word each day whether it’s listening to sermons and following along or digging in myself and explaining my take on what I read to my kids.  Something I am trying to pound into them is “love” is above all.  That we love one another.  And with teens that can be tricky. The study I have been doing with my girls gives the example of a tea bag in hot water.  It asks what comes out when the tea bag is placed in hot water? I ask the girls, how do you react when you are feeling “hot water?” Being placed in hot water is the problems of life.  How do we react when the pressure is on? That’s what I am trying to show them and practice myself.  How do they act when they are in hot water, when they aren’t getting their own way.  Does it draw them to our Savior? I had not been the example to my kids that I needed to be so much of the time these past several years. This is a new day and tomorrow is another new day in which I will strive to be the example that God has called on me to be.