Grief, Guilt and Giving our children to God

I haven’t written in forever,  sometimes I think I should just do away with the blog as I feel sometimes it can just be a another weight bearing on me in this life of being the “do all mommy” .. I love to write, whether its once a year, or 5 days a week, I just have to accept what I can do. I know it’s my own fault of these feelings, I know someone out there is not sitting by their computer waiting on me to write my next blog..LOL ( that would be terrible)  But it’s times like this where I’m glad I have an outlet..
I am awake at 5:00 am, and as I toss and turn I can’t get the story of the blog post that was circulating Facebook just before I went to bed out of my mind.. It’s a tragic event that happened 9 years ago, a mom wrote on her daughters “angelversary” in her blog about awakening to find her 3-year-old daughter  lifeless under the dresser, that had fallen on her. You read the feelings of guilt about her not getting up, the feelings of guilt because they didn’t have the dresser secure, the what if, the could haves.. The mom is now making awareness to latching down furniture.. which is a great thing.  I can’t imagine the pain, the sorrow, the guilt, my heart grieves for this mom, or for any parent who has lost a child, it’s my worst nightmare, my biggest fear.. My cousin had reposted  the article, saying it made her want to  child proof her  entire home, which is a totally natural response. But as I lay here, I have tons of things reeling through my head..
I just wanted to write to whoever came across this blog and that are carrying these feelings of guilt. I am not an expert nor have I lost a child.  First and foremost as Christians we believe God gives and God takes way, we are all appointed to die, some earlier, some later. We can wrap our homes in bubble wrap and put out child in a bubble, but when it’s the time God has called them back to him, there’s no way around it. This by all means doesn’t mean we go out and live life vicariously, God gave us a brain to be cautious, we don’t jump out of airplanes and say “well if it’s my day, it’s my day” or walk into a burning building.. we lock our doors, we put in fire alarms, we wear seatbelts, we put latches on our medicine cabinets, we wear helmets and safety gear.. So what I’m trying to say, we as humans are naturally a safe being. We can only do so much to protect our children.. We personally have never childproofed our home, other than, we  do now have latches on the cleaning supplies as the pods that go in the dishwasher, my son thinks is candy, There have been taller, heavier objects my husband has attached to the wall securely, but over all in 17 years we have never covered sockets, locked cabinets, and bumper covered every corner.  We do put up a stair gate until I have properly taught them to go up and down the stairs.  My house is far from child proof….. I’m not saying this is the right way, it’s just been our way and by Gods grace only is why our children are still here.. I’m not being proud or boastful or trying to make anyone feel bad, my reason for all of this is to encourage anyone out there with feelings of guilt..
I know that feeling.. I struggled with that feeling of guilt.  My son was diagnosed with cancer at 11 months old.. I questioned myself.. what did I do, what did I eat or drink, or what bad air was I breathing in, did I not take enough vitamins, what if, what could I have done? For the most part cancer comes from years of our bodies being subject to something in our day to day activities.. like smoking, factory working, chemicals in our food, pollution. etc. so why does my baby who hasn’t been in this world long enough,  have cancer? How can that be?  You find out that childhood cancers start in the womb..so of course the mother carrying that child suffers with feelings of guilt.. The mothers of miscarriage, parents of a child who got killed in a car wreck with car you bought them, or killed with a friend you said they could ride with, parents of children of suicide.. guilt.. parents of children who were shot.. they think they shouldn’t have sent their kids to school that day. We are totally consumed with guilt and the what could I have done differently.. But there’s nothing you could have done.. Oh yes if you said no, or latched something down or locked the cleaning cabinet, or didn’t let them play outside or put blankets in their cribs or scarves to wear around their neck , then maybe… But in reality no.. God gives and God takes away, and no matter what we do, when God calls our loved ones home, it’s that time.

I struggle with this over protection.. sometimes it consumes me.. I have a hard time letting my kids be kids, I’m scared for them playing in the driveway, that they’ll get run over by a truck or tractor, or walk to the road, my pool brings great fear that they’ll drown when I’m not there.. we used to have a boat and play on the lake, when our 3 oldest were small.. I would have panic attacks of visions of them falling out of the boat or a rope catching their legs and jerking them out, never finding them at the bottom of a deep lake.. I hate going to ocean, afraid of sharks, or under currents, afraid for them to be around horses, which used to be my favorite pastime.. I’m afraid they’ll get kicked in the head or bucked off and break their neck.. I’m filled with fear.. I have crazy thoughts, just like yesterday at the amusement park, my children were in front of me on the little indoor roller coaster, they had scarves around their necks as it was freezing.. but I literally started to panic thinking that their scarf was going to get caught on something on the ride and thy would die.. I woke up a few months ago because I couldn’t sleep, I kept seeing my 5  year old daughters face just before I had told her good night and remembered seeing a long necklace around her, and finally I had to get up and go check on her because  I was scared she was going to strangle her herself in her sleep and when I got to her room it was laying on the dresser..I did not enjoy our trip to the Grand Canyon as all I could think of is my children falling off the cliffs, when we camp, I think they’re going to get eaten by wildlife or taken by a predator, I can’t swim in Louisiana because I fear my kids will be attacked my alligators, (it’s crazy I know)  My son has a dirt bike , we have 4 wheelers and my daughter drives now.. I struggle with having to let go .. My husband always says “let them be kids” your turning them into “scaredy-cats”.. But as mothers we have that God-given protection radar built right in.. some more so than others ..I probably more so..My boys hunt with guns on their own, when they go into the woods I have horrible visions ( I just pray what we have taught them about safety, sticks), when my daughter leaves in the car, I wonder if this is the last time I will  see her.. When my son goes on his dirt bike or they ride the 4 wheeler, I’m constantly harping on them to  slow down, put a helmet on,  be careful… I can’t put them in a bubble.. I want to.. but I can’t.  I have to let go.. I have to give them to God, they are his anyway.. he just lends  them to us for a season, I have to trust that no matter what God knows what’s best for them, and that all I have done to train and teach them pays off.  His timing is not our timing, his thoughts are not our thoughts and his ways are not our ways, we have to trust him and know our kids are his, I pray I never have to experience the grief and pain of losing a child, but if I do, I pray I will trust that God knows what is best, we don’t always understand things that happen in life especially when it comes to a child, but God loves them so much more than we do, which is so hard to understand.. I have to learn to trust God, and not live in fear or guilt of things that have happened, all we can do is teach and train our children right from wrong and  to be responsible and Pray to God to put a Hedge of PROTECTION around them, because he is the final author….

This was wrote last week, I was locked out of my blog.. lol

Jennifer

A NEW YEAR.. Welcome 2014

WOW, where has the time gone?? It’s the last day of 2013. It’s been a crazy year as always.. Kids turning a year older,  a new driver
and permit driver and 3 teenagers.. we celebrated 17 years of marriage, we had our first kid with a broken bone and now 7 years have gone by
which seems like yestrday of being told our son has cancer. We  are so blessed.. For the most part it’s been a great year. We pray you all have
a wonderful and blessed New Year ..

Homemade Honey Wheat Bread

IMG_3286There’s nothing that smells better than homemade bread baking in the oven !!!

First of all, I’m not a bread maker, so I assumed .. I’ve tried and tried and finally resorted to a bread machine, when they were the fad. Then to just giving up, because a tiny little loaf that takes 3 hours in the machine, just doesn’t cut it for our size family. So if I can do this, So can you!!!

I have been just feeling more and more that I should take that leap and try it again, so I did!

I found this recipe and have been playing with it for a week now, trying to get it just the right flavor, consistency, what yeast,what type of flour, type of pan, temperature of water, and so on. (like I said I have only been at this faithfully ..a week )

So this is what I have done, you probably have a favorite or have never tried making homemade bread. There are no “real” rules to follow. There are thousands and thousands of bread recipes.  So far I’m  just trying to master this one.

The original recipe is different, I will make some side notes as to what I did to make this a little more healthy and what could or couldn’t work.

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First I start by mixing in a bowl :

3 cups of warm water ( around 110 degrees)

2 (.25 ounces) packages active dry yeast ( rapid rise and bread machine yeast seem to work the best for me)

1/3 cup of a honey and black strap molasses mixture (you can use straight honey also)

5 cups of flour ( I use white wheat)

Side Note: I fill the honey almost to the top of my 1/3 cup and top it off  with black strap molasses.. Why? The black strap is filled with so many good vitamins, nutrients and TONS of iron.. (just don’t lick your fingers LOL ) It’s just an added source and I use local honey from a farm, which makes it all that much better. Now the flour.. This is the tricky part.. You can use a straight bread or all-purpose flour and be safe, but I prefer something a little more healthy. I am using a white wheat flour (it is more heavy and will take longer to rise, and you will not need as much ) You can mix with a white and then knead in your wheat also which I tried and works great too. Of course if you had a grinder, you can grind whatever kind you prefer and it would be all that much healthier.

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 It will be a bit runny after mixing.. Set it to the side for about 30 minutes or until it rises and bubbles up a bit.. Like this!

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Have your next ingredients ready as you are waiting .

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Next you will need:

3 TBLS of melted butter

1/3 cup of the honey/ black strap molasses mixture.. (yes another)

1TBLS salt ( I use sea salt)

3-4cups of wheat flour or white wheat ( you could also sprinkle in some wheat germ, oats,or grains)

Tip: you can add “fruit fresh” to your bread for added Vitamin C ..

Mix this all together except the flour..

Pour out about 2 cups onto your surface and pour the batter onto the flour and easily mix it together until you can knead it.

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It will take a good 5-10 minutes of kneading  until you get it to form.

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All the while sprinkling more flour over your dough and surface area to prevent it from sticking. You don’t want it too dry, just where it pulls away from the surface.

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Eventually it should set up like this!

Next place your dough into a large greased bowl, then flip it over so the top has a light oil covering.

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My next tip:  warm your oven, NOT HOT !!! turn off .. have a tea kettle boiling and place it into the oven with your bowl. If that’s too much much, just place in a warm non drafty spot and cover with a tea towel until it rises.. about 45 min to an hour. I love this tip, it works great for me..

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Next, Punch the bread down and divide into 3  greased  9×5 in. loaf pans or you can form into rolls ..

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Let this rise until it tops the pan about 1 inch. (mine haven’t quite rose that hight yet.. either I’m in a hurry or it’s too heavy from the wheat)

Next Bake at 350 degrees about 25-35 minutes, do not over bake.

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Brush the tops with melted butter to prevent the crust from getting too hard..

My kids  Devour ours before it ever gets a chance to hit the cooling rack.. lol..,  but it will squish the bread if you try to cut it before it has a chance to cool down.. Try it fresh, with jam and butter or my ultimate favorite.. Butter and Sorghum Molasses .. YUUMMMM !!!

Enjoy!!  Matthew 6:11 Give us this Day Our Daily Bread …..

April Fools!!!!

Proverbs 17:22

King James Version (KJV)

22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

So the prankster was up in the night preparing for the day!!!

Oh how I have laughed so hard this morning my sides hurt!

The morning started with setting the iPods in the players to an alarm of howling Coyotes.. VERY LOUD I MUST SAY !!! hahaha

Covering the toilets in saran wrap…..

All the door handles covered in Vaseline..

Stepping into the kitchen with bare feet on to a salted floor …

Green dyed milk.. ..

Switching their ringtones. …

Changing the password to their computers, which they have yet to discover..

To top it off hearing the screams of “OH MY GOSH” as they were brushing their teeth with food coloring in the bristles… Now to be sporting blue mouths…LOL

I think there’s only one left… I switched out the mayo with sour cream.. which they will discover when lunch time comes…

They’re all being good sports about it and no one is hurt…

How I needed a good laugh, it’s  soooo good for the soul…

Have fun with your kids, but not resulting in anger..

Ephesians 6:4

King James Version (KJV)

4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

There is a difference..

I didn’t get any pictures so you’ll have to use your imagination..

Have a FOOLISH DAY!!!

Post some of your ideas, we can start early for next year.. :)