Following the Spirit to Public School

by SarahMae | November 16, 2017 1:57 pm

The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit. 

 John 3:8

My kids started public school a few weeks ago.

(I know, weird and surprising.)

To put this in perspective of the randomness and weirdness and unlikeliness of us putting our kids in public school, my husband reminded me that I told him that if I ever died to never put the kids in public school. (No pressure or anything). I don’t know why I was so adamant, but apparently I was. It’s all a blur now. All I know is that last month I found myself thinking about it all, and then I found myself driving to the district office for enrollment papers, and then I just casually filled them out “just in case” and all I can really say is, I guess the Spirit moved.

I’m not being silly. There is no way to explain why we all of a sudden put our kids in school. But we did, and we follow God and are in His will, so, so be it. We follow the Spirit even when we don’t know where He is going, or why this is happening. It’s all a faith walk.

Now a few things about the decision I want to share with you:

  1. It felt agonizing at first to even consider putting our kids in public school. I wrestled with feelings of failure and selfishness. I wondered, was I sacrificing my kids? Why was I even considering this?
  2. It felt, and feels, surreal. We’ve never considered public school, at least no since they were babies and my husband and I first discussed schooling options. We keep looking at each other and saying, “This is so weird.”
  3. I was so scared that my anxiety would keep me up at night if we put them in school and I begged God for peace if this was from Him.

Now let me dive into the things I just mentioned:

Am I a Selfish Failure?

Shame runs deep, and when you believe you are selfish and a failure, especially as a mom; it’s gutting. I kept telling a friend of mine, “Is this selfish? I just feel so selfish if I put my kids in school, because if they’re in school I’ll write, and I like writing and working, and that’s just selfish of me.” She said, “Is that selfish though?” And that question got me thinking. And thinking. And praying. No, it’s not selfish to put my kids in school and it’s not selfish to like working, because we are following God. Also, my husband thought the whole selfish thing was messed up. He said, “If you put the kids in school, don’t be a martyr about it, enjoy what God has next.” Yes. I like that. And it’s true.

I spoke with another friend over my questions and feelings and she reminded me, “God is good, and God is faithful, and God is gracious. Ultimately, it’s the Lord that goes before you and it’s Him who’s going to fight for your children. This is not law, and we don’t find our righteousness in how we school. Our righteousness is in Christ and in Christ alone. Nothing at all changes in who you are and how you are viewed by what you choose to do with your children and school. This is not a sin issue, a righteousness issue, and this is not a law issue. You are under grace. So be free.”

Basically, what I’m saying is, I’m not a selfish failure.

It is Weird

At first, it was super weird to not have the kids with me. I cried for two weeks and then I went to a doctor and got on anti-depressants. There is more to this story of course, but I can see now that having the kids with me all day was covering up something inside of me and God, in His kindness, was going to be peeling back the layers of my heart. Now that’s it has been a month that the kids have been in school, I can see more of why God led us the way He did.

Peace AND Joy

After I made the agonizing decision to put the kids in school, I got the peace. The peace came after the obedience, as it usually does. And not only do I have peace about the decision, I have joy. I feel grateful and joyful and confident in what the Lord is doing with our family.

“Not only is it to the Father’s glory that we get to bear fruit, but we actually get to find joy in it!” -Beth Moore

As an aside, some of you read this post on my depression[1], and I want you to know I’m doing well. The meds seem to be working and I’m feeling like myself again, light shining in the darkness.

God is so kind.

Love, SM

 

Endnotes:
  1. this post on my depression: http://www.incourage.me/2017/11/cant-fix-weary-soul.html

Source URL: http://sarahmae.com/2017/11/following-the-spirit-to-public-school/


When You Can’t Fix Your Weary Soul

by SarahMae | November 2, 2017 9:25 am

It feels like being stuck in a glass box. You can see out but you can’t get out.

It feels like you have to cook a feast for 5o people while also cleaning your house and schooling your kids, and you have less than a day to do it (but really you have nothing to do).

It feels like drowning and trying to swim is just too hard.

It feels like rage under your skin.

It feels like fog.

It feels like loneliness when you’re surrounded by people.

It feels like being in a slow-motion dream.

Everyone else seems so normal. Everyone seems to have energy. Everyone seems to be able to get dressed and do things and take pleasure in air and people and pumpkins.

I am tired. I am so tired and I am sad and I feel overwhelmed nearly all the time for no reason. My body crawls with anxiety, in the middle of the night, during the day.

I am jealous of people who seem to be able to function well and get things done and enjoy life.

I am tired. I have tried to claw out of this box, this thing that has me under it. But I can’t. I can’t fix this weary soul.

“God, help.”

Read the rest over at (in)courage[1].

Love, SM

Endnotes:
  1. (in)courage: http://www.incourage.me/2017/11/cant-fix-weary-soul.html

Source URL: http://sarahmae.com/2017/11/when-you-cant-fix-your-weary-soul/


I did my hair for you (pictures and Stitch Fix)

by SarahMae | August 9, 2017 3:40 pm

Soooooooo I might be the last person in the blogosphere to try Stitch Fix[1].

And maybe in real life as well. I figured, why do I need a box of expensive clothes sent to me every month when I can just steal Amy’s[2] fixes? {giggle}

But for real. I do not like shopping, I’m not good at shopping, malls and choices and ALL THE THINGS make me feel overwhelmed and crazy. Also, I don’t know what to do with clothes. I don’t know how to wear them in a fashionable way (hence, why I steal Amy’s clothes – she’s super fashionable). I don’t know what necklaces to wear with what shirts, and I’m basically only good at the earring game because of Noonday[3].

Which brings me back to Stitch Fix[1].

I think Amy might be getting annoyed that I keep taking her clothes, and I think it might be fun to dress properly, so I decided to ante up the $20 styling fee and try Stitch Fix[4].

I HAVE PICTURES AND THOUGHTS FOR YOU!
[5]

First, the pictures!

The first item in my fix was this blue dolman top, WHICH I ADORE. I was very clear in my Stitch Fix profile that I love dolman tops and wanted one. They heard me. Thank you Meagan (my stylist) for putting this comfortable, flattering top in the fix. WIN.

[6]

I know some of you are going to ask about the shoes. Yes, they are SO CUTE, and I totally ordered them from Zappos after seeing my friend Amy in them (yes, that Amy). But ya’ll, I’m returning them because I cannot walk in them. So sad. And so painful.

Next up is this soft denim “chambray” shirt. I don’t know what chambray means, but I really like it.

The thing is, I have a denim shirt, so I’m not sure what I’m going to do. Also, it’s expensive. But really comfortable. And it fits. I may or may not have gained a few pounds and have a tight situation in the other one. Ahem. Well, as far as styling goes, it’s a WIN.

[7]

Last top in the fix was this pretty little lacy thing. I asked specifically for a white lace top (per my Pinterest style page[8]), and they delivered. The only problem is that it’s too big. I know it doesn’t look like it’s too big in this picture, but what you don’t see is the undershirt attached to it is UNDER my bits. I actually put another undershirt on to keep this fix G. You’re welcome. The stylist again sent a WIN, but for sizing purposes, I may wait on something with a better fit.

[9]

I know, those shoes are cute too. They are not from Stitch Fix, although Stitch Fix will send you shoes to try if you want them to. I asked them not to send me shoes.

The last piece of clothing in the fix was the jeans, which I’m wearing in each picture. They fit great, but (and tell me if this is me being too old), I can’t justify buying jeans with a purposeful hole in them.

Not subtle.

[10]

No on the jeans.

Last item in the fix were these earrings, which are cute, but I’m not sure…I’m a dangly kind of girl, so, we’ll see.

[11]

Now for my overall Stitch Fix thoughts! Isn’t this fun? 

Stitch Fix PRO’s

I am happy to report that YOU DO NOT have to get a box of clothes every month! You can schedule your fix for every two-three weeks, monthly, every other month, or every three months. This is a major plus for me because every three months sounds just about right. I get to avoid the shopping places while still getting to be cute. TOTAL WIN.

Did I mention with Stitch Fix I don’t have to go shopping? This is the biggest pro for me, and what is likely to make me keep getting fixes.

The stylist for me pretty much NAILED IT. She listened to what I wanted, and delivered. She couldn’t have known that I wouldn’t want holes in my jeans, and I didn’t think to add that information.

You send back whatever you don’t want. There is a prepaid shipping label and packaging and everything you need to pop into USPS and send the items that didn’t work for you back.

You can earn free clothes. When you sign up to try a fix for $20, you get the option of having a referral link to earn free clothes. Hi. I like that. Thank you. Here’s my referral link if you want to try Stitch Fix[12]. 🙂

Stitch Fix CONS

I really only have one con, and it might be me not understanding the service (I am a newbie, remember). But I thought when the stylist sent me items, they sent along ideas for how to wear jewelry with it. Okay, now that I wrote that sentence I feel silly, because why would they do that? They did send a paper with ideas of outfits (see above). I put in a note in my profile that I wanted to know how to wear necklaces with shirts . I was hoping she would have sent necklaces to try with each top. Ah well. Maybe next time. Meagan, if you’re reading this, HELP A SISTER OUT! I need to know how to style necklaces with tops, for reals. 

CONCLUSION

WIN WIN WIN WIN! I feel like my stylist rocked it. I am VERY happy with my fix and will keep using Stitch Fix. YAY! No more stealing clothes from Amy and no more wandering the mall like a zombie! PERFECT FIT.

Try Stitch Fix For Yourself!

Want to give Stitch Fix a try? Head HERE [13]to create an account and fill out a profile! It’s fun and easy and only $20, which I think is not so bad to be able to avoid malls.

Remember, what you don’t want, you can send back.

Have fun not shopping!

Love, SM

There are affiliate links in this post. You can read my disclosure policy here[14].

Endnotes:
  1. Stitch Fix: https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3065335?sod=w&som=c
  2. Amy’s: https://www.instagram.com/aesmoker/
  3. Noonday: http://www.noondaycollection.com/
  4. try Stitch Fix: https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3065335?sod=w&som=c
  5. [Image]: https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3065335?sod=w&som=c
  6. [Image]: https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3065335?sod=w&som=c
  7. [Image]: https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3065335?sod=w&som=c
  8. my Pinterest style page: https://www.pinterest.com/sarahmaepins/outfit-ideas/
  9. [Image]: https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3065335?sod=w&som=c
  10. [Image]: https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3065335?sod=w&som=c
  11. [Image]: https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3065335?sod=w&som=c
  12. Here’s my referral link if you want to try Stitch Fix: https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3065335?sod=w&som=c
  13. HERE : https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3065335?sod=w&som=c
  14. here: http://sarahmae.com/disclosure-policy/#sthash.ybuCS0OB.dpbs

Source URL: http://sarahmae.com/2017/08/i-did-my-hair-for-you-pictures-and-stitch-fix/


Grieving the end of the little years

by SarahMae | August 1, 2017 9:28 pm

Is it weird to cuddle your adult children? Because I’m pretty sure I’m going to need to cuddle them when they’re grown.

I almost can’t handle the fact that right now my oldest is over cuddling, and even when she tries, it’s so brief, so fleeting, so…gangly. Arms and legs everywhere. It’s just not the same. And she’s just not into it.

How long do I have before my son and youngest are over the cuddles? I CAN’T HANDLE CUDDLES BEING OVER. I told my mother-in-law tonight that when they won’t cuddle me anymore I’m going to need them to go ahead and have some babies so I can cuddle grandbabies.

I know. Don’t say it. I don’t really want my kids having babies young. Just, you know, maybe in their early 20’s.

WHY AM I EVEN THINKING ABOUT MY KIDS HAVING KIDS?!

I’ll tell you why: something happens when one day you look at your people and you realize, in a blink, they grew up.

I mean, I feel it now and my kids are only preteens. BUT I FEEL IT NOW. The pull, the break, the moving towards more and more independence. Yes, even my 8 year old feels like she’s growing too quickly. Wasn’t she just three?

Having kids is like water, it just slips through your hands and you can’t quite grasp it.

First you parent in a fog, when you have little ones, but then you parent in a blink, because it goes so fast.

Today I went onto the Please Touch Museum website to see about taking my kids one last time before they were too old and you know what? They’re too old.

We missed the last time I would take them to the Please Touch Museum. And all of a sudden it hit me, this blink, this growing that’s happen in hyper speed.

The loooooooooooong days of babies and toddler-hood and all the fog that comes with it is gone. And now I can’t keep up.

My sweet, precious babies are growing up, and I just want to pause.

But there’s no pausing, no extended breath to get “it” together. There’s only now.

There’s me observing that my heart is grieving the years going by quickly and the realization that NOW IS THE TIME, the time to KEEP GOING, invest in, listen to, lean in, and stay strong.

And by strong, I mean beg Jesus to help me keep going, give me energy and vision and motivation and EVERYTHING I NEED to MOTHER ON during these golden years.

I want to feel the ache of time so that I won’t take for granted these fleeing, special years.

This is the time.

These are the years.

I will keep going. I will give what I have to impress upon them, teach them, nurture them, disciple them, and love them. I will do this out of my weakness but with perseverance and the power of the Holy Spirit who is ever with me.

I will mother on.

And you can too. Don’t give up. Don’t regret these years. Keep going. AND GET AS MANY CUDDLES AS YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN.

Love to you today, SM

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:12

Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got!

Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 (The Message)

Source URL: http://sarahmae.com/2017/08/grieving-the-end-of-the-little-years/


Thigh Dimples, Gray Hair, and an Underarm Situation

by SarahMae | July 28, 2017 8:41 am

We were at Burger King because my kids like Whoppers and it was baseball season and it was just EASY.

I reached over to the nice lady handing me our food and my sweet, precious, delight of a child took hold of the skin UNDER MY ARM. You know the place, where triceps are supposed to be. The dangling place. The place that has names I shall not refer to as to not offend. THAT PLACE. She squeezed it, and then she jiggled it. With her sweet little fingers SHE JIGGLED MY ARM LIKE IT WAS JELLO.

Let’s take a moment.

Okay. So she did that and I said, “Could you please not do that?”

She grinned.

She took her hand away from the place. We moved on.

So here’s the thing: my bits are changing.

I am growing out my gray hair[1] (which, by the way, I reserve the right to change my mind about at any moment). I am realizing that I am going to have to make peace with the thigh dimples because I have no Jillian Michaels abilities in me. At all. I called to cancel my gym membership the other day and the lady was all, “You’ve only been a member three months.” Nice try shaming me lady. I LIFTED 20 POUND WEIGHTS AND MAYBE SPRAINED MY WRIST IN THE PROCESS. I’m on medical leave. Anyway.

The dimples aren’t going anywhere.

My wrist hurts from lifting a dumbbell, (Lord, help me).

I’m not going to starve myself (goodbye metabolism).

And while I’m watching my sugar intake and eating more smoothies and salads, there are times I just want some wings and beer in bed with my husband.

Here’s the point: It’s okay to age.

Read the rest over at (in)courage today![2]

SM

Endnotes:
  1. I am growing out my gray hair: http://sarahmae.com/2017/06/i-have-some-feelings-about-gray-hair/
  2. (in)courage today!: http://www.incourage.me/2017/07/thigh-dimples-gray-hair-underarm-situation.html

Source URL: http://sarahmae.com/2017/07/thigh-dimples-gray-hair-and-an-underarm-situation/