Monthly Archives: July 2015

My Thoughts on Being a Housewife!

I’ve been thrown a curve ball & have been sick for days. Goodness. I’m not one to be idle for long, unless I’m sitting on the beach with a book, so this is a challenge. I thought I’d do something productive now that my mind can semi think again. I miss doing my everyday housework which got me thinking about being a housewife. A country housewife. It’s something I’ve been blessed to be able to do for years. I actually like cleaning. Its the one thing in life where I see immediate results & it’s a great stress reliever for me. I was very lucky to have a grandma that showed me lots of tricks & ways to run a household effectively. I still fumbled through a few things like my first garden. The directions said plant the seeds in a hill. So that’s what I did. I made a dirt mound & stuck the seeds in. Ha, I later learned that is not what planting in a hill meant. Let’s not forget the time I used a cleaning product that had ammonia in it & another that had bleach. That was a dangerous train wreck. Luckily there’s a window in the bathroom that I was able to open quickly. Geesh…that might explain why I went to all natural non-toxic cleaning supplies. I had no idea what a hose sock was either. I quickly found out that the washing machine discharge hose required a screen sock over it to avoid plugs. The next part was remembering to change it. It’s kinda like seeing how full a diaper can get! Seriously..I have to actually clean the vacuum?! Is that why it smells? Who knew you should wash the outside of a watermelon before cutting it?! You really shouldn’t take a wet rag & try to wipe off anything plugged in….yep, once & I’m lucky to be alive.

Ok, back to my reflecting. So, I was thinking that maybe everyone doesn’t have another female that guided them. Could it be that my 25+ yrs of running a house among the country dirt could help anyone? Hmm… All I can do is share a few tidbits & see where they land. I think the “running a household manual” is lost somewhere with the “how to raise kids manual”. There’s lots of advice out there but getting in the trenches is a whole different ball game. I got married….it came with a marriage license (no manual). I had kids… they came with birth certificates (you guessed it, no manual).

It’s not about being perfect. There is no such thing. Its not about competing with Susie down the street either.  That causes discontent. The outside appearance is never a clear picture of what’s really going on inside. All of us have struggles.  Its just an honest intentional attempt  at trying your best & aiming for growth. Each of us is gifted in a certain way. The things I am weaker at means that I have to work harder at growth in that area.

Its easier to keep up by keeping up. When dishes are dirty then I wash them. It’s overwhelming when there’s a days worth to catch up on. That’s creating more work in the long run cuz everything is dried on now…ugh. Refrigerators really do have to be cleaned…on the inside…ach. I aim for 2x yearly unless there’s a spill of course. I remove everything from one level at a time, wipe off shelf, replace items & toss what’s expired. I do the door last. Cleaning inside cupboards, drawers & closets is usually a once a year job for me. Nasty dirt, grease, fuzz & hair builds up in the weirdest places. What I do know is that there’s no magic cleaning fairy that comes at night. If I don’t do it, then it never gets done. Windows…yep, if I wanna see out of them I kinda have to wash them.

Some jobs are done on a yearly basis, others weekly & a few daily. If you aren’t an organizational specialist 😉  then I would encourage making a list. If I let things get out of hand then it’s a way bigger job when I finally tackle it. I’m that way with paperwork-blah. All I can say on that is files…create them, use them & organize them. Keeping up on daily chores like wiping counters, cleaning yucky stuff from sinks, sweeping (there’s lots of dirt in the country), laundry, cooking, dishes…it’s a lot. Creating a list & spreading the chores out really does help.

Weekly is the shopping, dusting, vacuuming, moping, bathroom’s, etc. (Hand towels…so many forget about hand towels…change them every 2 days) Washing bedding should be alternated in there somewhere. I do the blankets & comforters usually spring & fall unless something gets spilled on it. Cushions on any furniture get dirty so vacuuming them & lifting them up is a must….yep, lots of nasty surprises in there.

I live in the country so I have a garden & flower beds. This is optional. If you aren’t interested, don’t enjoy it or don’t have time to care for it then I would say skip it. There’s nothing worse that knowing there’s another job outside, not getting to it & watching it become a huge mess. Perhaps a potted plant outside is all you need! Making honest decisions is always best.

Cooking is the heart of a home.  If you don’t know how or don’t like it then learn, practice & simplify. My meals are not fancy. Sticking with real food is best. My opinion is anything in a box, can or picked up from a window is not cooking. Those are emergency meals. Find what you like to cook & practice. Preparing salads is an easy one.  Add in some chicken & voila… a meal. You get the idea. Planning is helpful but if I just had a day that I couldn’t then there’s nothing wrong with good old eggs!

I’m done with my season of little ones. There’s some juggling & prioritizing that takes place. I tried to focus on what had to be done… a clean (as in sanitary not clutter free) house, healthy food to eat, sleep! I did chores when they napped. I took my monitor with me. I placed the play pen outside, close by me (in the shade), tossed in a few toys & worked. The fresh air was good for them & they slept better at night. When they had enough of being outside then I quit. Any time is better than no time.

I’m also done with the hectic running from event to event when my kids were in full swing. That’s when crock pots are helpful & actual planning out a few of the meals per week. Homemade taco’s are easy! There’s nothing wrong with leftovers once in awhile either. Keeping your family healthy requires feeding them real food. The clutter is always there. It changes with seasons but its doable to keep the house cleaned. I just made it one of my priorities. Anything extra like reading, tv or computer had to wait. I had a back burner that I placed many things on.

I have a few things I’ve never accomplished like…..sewing, quilting, exercising 🙂 The desires of my heart might stay as desires only. God knows the plans He has for me. He comes first….always. I can’t tell you enough how vital it is to have daily time with Gods Word. It’s the foundation for everything including being a keeper of the home. I made/make lots of mistakes. All I can do is keep my eyes on Jesus & attempt balance.

Being a housewife is work. It takes practice and determination. Everyone has down days. I’m going through some right now. The basics are only getting done… Its ok. Its a gift to stay home. Money is tighter on one income but its worth it. I’ve done little things here & there on the side to help when needed . My job is at home, caring for it & the people inside. There’s fewer people now that I’m getting older and some of my jobs are different too. I guess that’s where all the reflecting comes in.

If God has blessed you with the gift of being a housewife then embrace it! Relax, He equipped you with all you need. We should never measure ourselves against another. The only thing worth measuring against is scripture.

Blessings, Tracy

He’s near

I mentioned in my last post about having a scarred heart. There are many triggers that can cause the wounds of it to start weeping. One of them is driving by myself. I listen to praise and worship songs all the time. Contemporary Christian music. There’s something about it that comforts, encourages, builds up & gives hope. It can cause me to examine myself as well.

Driving alone is also when my mind goes into over drive. Idle hands means I’ve slowed down long enough for some extra thinking. These are the moments that the Holy Spirit also has an opportunity to have my full attention. I tend to be one that stays busy most of the time.

When my kids were younger there were many bumps, bruises, cuts & scraps. We live in the country so there was lots of outside time. There’s something about seeing your kids hurting. I would have wrapped them in a bubble if I could. Here comes a trigger. Driving. A song on suffering & storms. Images of the accident come in my mind just like that.

I can’t stay there long. I can’t bear to picture my children suffering. Wounded & crushed.

There’s a hurt so deep that it takes over my whole body. Its an actual ache. Its a grief so deep & so wide that it has taken on the shape of a valley with no bottom.  When I think about any accident details or when I’m missing Jacob more than usual, a reality of the realness of it all comes to the surface. I hover over that dark valley. Just hover, but the closeness of it is overwhelming.

This is when my complete trust in Jesus arrives. He never lets me feel more than I can handle. He holds me tighter and reminds me that he is in control. I don’t need all the answers. I just need Him. I now see these as times of growth. My faith is painfully stretched further each time. If I didn’t have the Lord then I would sink.

I only have two choices. I turn & abandon God or I fully commit and walk with Him through this part of my life. He DID NOT & DOES NOT abandon me, ever. I decided a long ago that I wasn’t walking this side of eternity alone. I’ve done that. Its a loneliness & emptiness like no other. Trust me, I tried every worldly thing to fill that void. It doesn’t work. That place is only meant for Jesus. Nothing else fits & fixes. Nothing. When God created me, that spot was roped off for Him. He waited until I figured it out.

Clinging to my hope, Tracy

The Phone Call

Its never good when your phone rings at certain hours. The house was quiet. Everyone else was still in bed. I was up getting ready to go pick up the little one that I babysat. The phone started ringing. The early morning phone call that changed my life forever. There was a woman on the other end & she asked for me by name…I remember the oddest details about that day. October 21st, 2011. She said ” Is this Tracy”. I’ve always wondered how she knew my first name.

There are some things I’ll share about that day & some that I don’t. I only talk about my experience. I can tell you what I felt & what I went through as a mom on the day that I lost my son.

Each person in a family unit has their own unique hurt & grief. Everyone processes differently. There is no right or wrong way. No expectations. No time table. The grace God demonstrates to believers is the grace that is needed with each other.

She told me what hospital she represented & I barely heard her. I knew something was wrong. She then told me my sons had been in a bad accident. By then my head was spinning. I asked her if it was serious and she said yes & to hurry. I’m not sure why I asked that question but I did.

The whole drive there felt like years. I was praying.  I called some people to ask for prayers but I don’t remember much. Blur took on a whole new meaning. I kept silently praying. I felt God close & thoughts of ‘ I’m here ‘ & ‘ I’m with you ‘ were in my mind. The road was closed in front of us. We had to detour. We were detouring around the scene of my twin sons accident. My boys. I was in a nightmare while being fully awake.

The same lady who had called was waiting for us. Little did I know but she was the assigned trauma specialist to my family.She briefed us quickly on their condition & told us they were both in surgery. We were moved to a waiting room & others were arriving. The waiting room was filling up.

It was all so unsettling. The hushed voices, the loud voices, the room. Something was wrong, wrong, wrong. In my naivety I had no idea what it meant when the surgeon entered the waiting room. He had a nurse on each side of him. Oh, their faces. That look. His words. Its etched in my heart forever.

He was there to tell us he was sorry. He was there to tell us that Jacob didn’t make it.

Time stopped for me. I could hear all the cries & noises around me but it felt like I was separated from it. A few people were hugging me & all I knew was I couldn’t swallow, I couldn’t breathe, I needed to get away. The words of the Dr. were penetrating my heart. It was shattering in a million pieces in my chest. A hurt I had no idea existed. I saw a tiny room & went for it. Inside, alone, I dropped to my knees & cried sounds I’ve never heard before. A type of deep, deep wailing overtook me. Those words had now made it through my whole heart.

Had I not had a Savior I’m not sure what I would have done. I had a husband outside the door. I had another son still in surgery. I had other children still at home that needed to be brought to the hospital & told. I’m assuming it was shock that settled in right about then. I knew what was going on around me but I felt like I was a spectator watching myself go through the motions. That lasted for many days to come.

I was waiting for the next blow. No mom is ever prepared for the death of a child and the reality I once knew was gone. I was watching for the next surgeon to come in & say the same words. Thank you Jesus that those words never came.

The Tracy that woke up that morning no longer existed. Eventually I came to a time of grieving of all that was. My family unit was boxed up, locked & placed on a shelf called “Memories”. There’s me before the accident & there’s me after. A new ‘normal’ started forming from that day on. 3 years later & its still being worked out. Minute by minute. Day by day. Month by month. Year by year.

There’s a protection that took place. God never let me feel more than I could handle at one given time. Psalm 91:4, Psalm 34:17-18, Psalm 84:11, Psalm 62:8….there are so many scriptures that show me He is present. It’s important to know that there is no time table on grieving. People don’t know better than the Creator. He gave me one emotion at a time at first. He walks with the hurting. He has never left my side. When he knew I was ready he allowed more emotions to come forth.

People move on with their lives, some friends bail & all the while my life stopped. I was back here. I could picture in my mind standing on an empty dirt road. Alone. Not moving backward or forward. Just existing…standing. Looking ahead. Most of the people in my life were so far ahead that they were blurry dots that I could barely see. They moved on as they should.

My God saw all. I wasn’t alone. He was there. He ushered in new friends & strategically placed the chosen few to stand strong. He lifted me up & carried me daily. There were days that all I could do was keep my eyes on Him. My prayers were weak & few but I was clinging tightly to Him. Romans 8:26-27

This is the time that praying for others is vital. They did the praying that I couldn’t. I’ll never be able to thank those prayer warriors enough.

Jesus took the pieces of my heart & lovingly put it back together. The scars are the glue. There are times that the wounds break open, weep & bleed a little. I believe there’s never a full healing. The walking wounded. I recognize hurt in faces. It’s real. Slow down, pause & notice. Christ love is waiting to come out through each of us toward another. I can never fully understand how another feels but I can be the hands & feet of Jesus just like so many were/are for me.

This is where we meet. Now. Today. For whatever reason these are the parts I felt you needed to know first. This is where I start my blog. Its a window for you to see inside of what makes me me.

Hope. It took on a whole new meaning. My Hope. Psalm 25:4-5

In His love, Tracy

I did it!!!

I finally started a blog…whew…its been a LONG delay on my part. Its not because I didn’t want to do it. Anyone that knows me knows that I love to write. It was all the logistics. Finding the right blog….UGH…there’s gotta be any easier way…& setting it up…UGH! Just give me pen & paper any day.

Hang on…its due to be a bumpy ride at times. First off is getting these letters to stop gelling together when I type. Don’t even get me started on the back space button. I will stay positive & just be glad the hard part is over (thanks to my son, Jordan, who rescued his frustrated mom after 3+ hrs trying to get this blog set up) & keep my eyes on the writing!!!! That’s the part I was waiting for. The biggest challenge now will be limiting myself.

I will be doing some extra praying on getting the right words out. I always knew I would start with the accident. It think its important that you get to know me & it starts there. Sure, I’ll talk about the me & life before but Oct 21, 2011 is the start of this blog. Its the day that changed me forever. Its the day my son went home to be with his Savior.

Give me a bit. I will be back & I look forward to getting to know each other!