For I Know The Plans.

Everyone, Christian or not, knows that verse.

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” (NIV)

And everyone knows someone, probably more than one someones, who has known their whole life what they will do and be and everything just works out peachy, exactly as they planned their entire life. I know there are people I went to school with (both high school and college) who seemed to never have a bad day and everything they touch turns to gold. Quite literally for some. Exotic homes, record deals, CEOs, 2.5 kids with a white picket fence and a dog, or travelling the world regularly just to name a few.

It’s really easy to fall into the “but what about me” frame of thinking. Why don’t I have the $80+k/year job? Where’s my big, fancy vacation house in Italy? Where’s my 15 minutes of fame that leads to a lifetime of financial security?

I did that. For a long time I whined to God. How come I had to spend seven years as a single mom? Why can’t I get my book published? Why don’t I live somewhere exotic, like Samoa? Where’s my trip to Haiti? I’ve been waiting on that one for nearly 30 years. Where’s my reality show? Okay not really, but you get the point.

And then it hit me.

For I know the plans I have for you.

For I know the plans I have for you.

I was coveting the lives of other people, even people I don’t know but whose faces show up on television or in magazines on a regular basis (Carrie Underwood’s life anyone?).

But, the Bible says that God has plans for me. Just me. He has plans just for me.

And just for you.

And my path is not going to be the same as someone else’s because I’m not meant to live someone else’s life. I’m meant to live my follow and to follow the life God planned out specifically for me.

Just to be clear, I don’t begrudge my life in any way shape or form. I have the most incredible husband. I am mom (or stepmom) to five boys, three of whom I homeschool. We have a great life! But yes, I am human and as such I have ocassional bouts where I compare my life to those around me. It is in the middle of those that I realize just how amazing my life truly is.

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Today is my birthday.

I am officially thirty-three, and that is still somewhat sinking in. So many things have happened in the last thirty-three years that I do not know where to begin. What I do know is that while I was incredibly excited to celebrate my birthday it did not occur to me until just a few moments ago that I am now really ready to begin life and I do not feel like a horrible person for taking my time to be ready. After all, Jesus was thirty-three when he began his ministry. And this does not mean that I have not lived prior to this, just that I feel I can enjoy life now.

I almost feel as though I am at the end of an era. This birthday comes at the end of the fall semester of school. I literally finished my very last finals ever less than a week ago. Yes, I mean ever because I do not foresee myself attending graduate school. I have worked incredibly hard to get to this point. I have managed family obligations, extra curricular activities, and many other things on top of knocking out a four-year degree in just over three years.  It has not been easy, but it has most definitely been worth it.

I honestly do not know if my boys remember a time when I was not in school so I am looking forward to being a real Mommy to them. Speaking of my boys, I went from being Mom to two boys to being Mom to five boys. Yes, in the last year I have finished school (which included a two semester torture session called Capstone), gotten married, and gained three step-sons. As much as I am looking forward to raising my boys to men, I am more so looking forward to creating a home with my husband.

Most importantly, I am looking forward to the future. Several things have been in the works for a while, all of which have been on hold for various reasons; too busy, too chicken, need to finish school, wanting to enjoy my boys. Many reasons, well, excuses have kept me from pursuing things which are important to me.

I watched the trailer for The Pursuit of Happyness recently, a movie I want to see but have yet to actually watch. Will Smith’s character says, “Don’t ever let somebody tell you you can’t do something. Not even me. You got a dream. You gotta protect it.
People can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. You want something go get it. Period.” That is what I am doing. I am pursuing my dreams.

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Once Upon A Time. . . .

Two and a half months into marriage, I am finally getting an opportunity to sit down and write it all out. The last year has been quite the whirlwind so I thought it best to do a brief recap of who I am and why I am here, journaling my story.

I have spent the last 6 years as a single mom, raising two boys in this crazy world. We lived with my parents while I finished my degree, a Bachelors in Liberal Arts English, and no, I am not always grammatically correct. The last 6 years were not easy. There were days I wanted to quit everything. I wanted to just hunker down and be a mom. No more school. No more work. No more anything but fun with my boys. But, I know now, as I knew then, that I needed to put on my big girl pants and get it done. So I did. I have made many friends along the way, all of whom are dear to me. I have been exposed to many thoughts and ideals, and many ways of doing life. In the end, I am comfortable with my decisions because I know I made the best choices for me and for my boys.

Anyone who has children will tell you that raising them is trial and error. And, just because you have more than one doesn’t mean they will all follow the same path. Each child is an individual being with his or her own personality, likes and dislikes, preferences, and thoughts. Raising children has been the most in-depth training I have ever experienced. 

And, then I remarried and I added a husband and step-children to the mix. Try coming into a relationship with a child you haven’t been around for his entire life and try getting him to conform to a set routine and structure. It, like many things in life, has not been the easiest. However, it has been incredibly eye-opening and rewarding. I have gained a new perspective on raising children and am now more sympathetic to the struggles that come with blended families. It has only been two months for us but I feel we have gained many years worth of knowledge. I hope that by sharing our story, we will be able to help moms (and dads) who are going through similar situations.

Our Wedding Day. Yes, we were ALL wearing camo!

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