Motherhood – Best Me

cropped-Raising-rices-3.png

 

Being a Mom:

Being a mom is the HARDEST job I have ever done! In fact when my husband has a day off and gets to be the one in charge all day he attests that the role I play during the day is harder then the one he does at work. (And I think he has a very intense job).

I think it is the weight of responsibility that builds the tension of wanting to do your very best and feeling like you are always failing.

Anyone else on this moving train with me? You know the one where you think you know the direction you are suppose to go and what you are suppose to do but the bumps and lane options in the path make it look like spaghetti noodles in front of you instead of a straight path. Oh the choices and what lane do you pick, AND don’t forget about those bumps along the path that can derail your very best intentions. This moving train stops for no one so jump on and adjust while still keeping all your kiddos from falling out.

Motherhood is not for the weak of heart, it is not for the unintentional, and it is not for a passenger. As a mother we are the conductors of the day, the one who guides and directs this moving bumpy train.

I love being a mom, EVEN THOUGH it is the hardest most intimidating job I have ever done. When I became a mother it was a moment, a pivotal moment in my life, and it created a chance for me to choose intentionally above complacency.

Being a mother didn’t make me LOSE MYSELF, I hear this a lot on social media:

“I am finding myself again.”

“I am taking care of me”

“This is for me.”

“Self-care”

I am sure you have heard or read them before; I am here to bash on anyone who has said this, I know I have before.  But I have come to the realization that I don’t have to compartmentalize motherhood from me. Iain Thomas once said, “Everything has changed and yet, I am more me than I’ve ever been.” I am MORE me, I am not less of me, I am not less of a person due to motherhood.

If you feel like your drowning, you might be, but it might not be motherhood that is causing the drowning. It might be a lack of team support systems, it might be a lack of true joy found in Jesus Christ, it might be not fueling your body right, it might a lack of healthy boundaries and expectations, it could be a lot of different things but being a mother doesn’t cause you to not be you.

You are more you than you’ve ever been, the YOU you are designed to be! I would recommend not running from it, but instead embrace it, learn to love it, make ways in your life that you feel create more intentionally. Does that mean having daily Bible reading, a girls night, daily exercise, or making time to refresh in the day? YES, find ways that help you maintain balance and do things that refresh you so that you can do the intentional work we are called to do in our life of motherhood.

 

IMG_2398

 

cropped-unnamed-2.jpg

To understand, acknowledge, and control their emotions; while learning to share their thoughts, feelings and emotions respectfully and well.

cropped-Raising-rices-3.png

 

Another of my reasons WHY I am choosing to homeschool:

To understand, acknowledge, and control their emotions; while learning to share their thoughts, feelings and emotions respectfully and well.

7

Part of my reason or desire for homeschooling is to be my kiddos advocate. I want to train, teach and advocate for them to learn to control their emotions. Within the Bible we see the word advocate being equal to helper. As adults we must learn to advocate for ourselves, but how do we get there? We don’t just magically arrive; someone or something taught us how we respond to a situation.

If you have been a parent for more then a second I think you would wholeheartedly agree that our kiddos have emotions. Emotions is a word that when used can promote a negative connotation, for example, “That girl has lots of emotions.” But hear me when I say: EMOTIONS ARE NOT BAD. What IS bad or harmful are untrained emotions. Here is where homeschooling comes into play:

We experience and live out our emotions all day every day. Therefore, if I have a goal of training my children to understand, acknowledge and control their emotions being with them all day is the perfect place and time to address them. See, I want them to learn to share their thoughts, feelings and emotions respectfully and to self advocate for their needs in a space that is SAFE to learn!

The bottom line truth is someone is teaching your kiddos how to handle their emotions. My question would be what are they teaching them, how are they teaching them, and with what foundation or worldview are they teaching from?

This is a journey and not a task solved within a day, weekend, week or even year; this is an on-going development, which takes a commitment on the part of both parents. Because we are not raising children, we are raising future adults.

 

cropped-unnamed-2.jpg

To treat others well, seeking to serve, and put others before themselves.

cropped-Raising-rices-3.png

 

For our family when we made the decision to homeschool there was so many factors other then educational that influenced us. I wanted to share one of the many reasons, which led us to this decision: to treat others well, seeking to serve and put others before themselves.

5

As believers and as a culture we are seeing that we are all sinful people in NEED of a Savior. I am not disillusioned to the sin within my children (or myself), and believe strongly that we are all on a journey, and with that journey it takes time and INTENTIONALITY! This isn’t a natural thing: we learn through ABIDING in CHRIST! With all that said, when I desire my children to learn to treat others well, seek to serve and put others before themselves I know that this is not something that comes without instruction.

To show by example, learn within scripture and through the abiding in Christ our prayer is that we can lead our children to put others first. Can this happen outside of homeschool: absolutely! However, our desire and mission is that as we spend more time as the primary instructor we get to prioritize the things that are being taught and modeled to our children.

We should all be taking the time and energy to teach these things but I find that it is the daily, seemingly mundane interaction that we get to help mold and guide our children to putting others first, treating others well, and ultimately showing Jesus’ love to those around them. Taking the opportunities as they come and directing in the moment.

 

cropped-unnamed-2.jpg

To grow in Godly character: to be honest, generous, helpful, loving and loyal. Learning and embracing the fruit of the Spirit.

cropped-Raising-rices-3.png

Goals we have for our Homeschooling:

To grow in Godly character: to be honest, generous, helpful, loving and loyal. Learning and embracing the fruit of the Spirit.

4

One of the many reasons we decided to homeschool is to help mold, shape and form our children’s character. I remember a saying my children’s pastor used to say, “garbage in-garbage out.” What we fill our minds with becomes an outpouring of what comes out in our lives. This applies to everyone not just children, yet when we are young we are discovering and forming character.

It is amazing to me all the moments in the day my children need to be redirected, encouraged to righteousness, or taught a character quality within an activity or moment. Simple moments like playing a game, having one of my children win and one lose and both emotions and lessons to be learned that come out of that game. Or doing an art lesson where it is a struggle to bring out the thought in their head to the paper in front of them, and the character quality that is taught in the moment of trying new things. Or how about finishing what we start, learning to do hard things, thinking of others, helping a sibling, or learning truth and applying it, all these moments and lessons that happen throughout the day are meaningful to their development of Godly character.

We choose to homeschool so that while there are young and in our care WE get to be the ones to help form and mold those character qualities to reflect the character we see in Jesus. Ultimately, it is abiding in Christ that brings forth true fruit of the Spirit, however, we must take ever opportunity to teach and point towards those character traits remembering that our children are always learning from something and someone, so we must ask ourselves: if not I than who?

 

cropped-unnamed-2.jpg

To love His written word, and be able to understand and apply it to their lives.

cropped-Raising-rices-3.png

One of my reasons for homeschooling:

To love His written word, and be able to understand and apply it to their lives.

3

I remember my Mother in Law talking about to me about how her approach to school was trying to light a fire instead of jus filling a bucket. Instead of just filling our children with information one of my hopes, dreams and purposes of homeschooling is to light a fire. Yes, to teach them the necessary elements to education but to always be connecting the learning to something greater.

As I am in the beginning stages of this journey with my kids one of my greatest joys thus far is watching my children with my help learn to read. Honestly, this is an intimidating task when you think about trying to teach someone to read. But it is a step-by-step process that takes time. It is possible! When it happens and you reflect that YOU taught your child to read, it is a moment of awe and appreciation of the gift of literacy. Because, the gift of reading is a gift that keeps on giving, we learn by reading.
God gave us the Bible, His written WORD! To teach, instruct, admonish, comfort, declare promises, provide wisdom, and so much more as a gift to us, it allows us to KNOW HIM MORE! The WORD OF GOD is a spark that lights a fire that brings us closer day by day to HIM!

Reading, studying His Word, and applying the scriptures is something that takes time, teaching and commitment. This practice of being in the presence of God through the gift of scriptures is a HUGE WHY we homeschool. Yes we do enjoy our family devotions and Family Bible time, which is carved out time, but MORE THAN THAT we are able through EVERY subject and inspired moments connect what we are learning back to TRUTH found in the WORD OF GOD!!! This is one of our WHYS of homeschooling.

 

cropped-unnamed-2.jpg

Ts come to Salvation and to place God as the King of their lives, to serve HIM in ALL they do.

cropped-Raising-rices-3.png

 

If I were to ask you what is the MOST important thing you want for your kid(s), what would you say? I think, culturally a popular answer is: that they would be happy. And yes, I do want my kids to be happy, HOWEVER, more than anything what I REALLY desire is that they would give their hearts and lives to following Jesus and receive the Hope and Grace that comes through Jesus Christ.

Let me ask you perhaps a trickier question: what is the most important thing you want your kids to learn academically? For me, I think that answer is still the same, it is that regardless of fractions, essay writing, knowing the periodical table, anything you name it, I still would say the most important thing for my kids is to come to salvation and to place God as the King of their lives, to serve HIM in ALL they do. And to do that FOR sure there will come studying, learning, growing etc., so academics are important but it is more of a subcategory, a road that leads to understanding and relationship with Christ.
Let me also say this, I value education and wisdom (applied knowledge). When I decided to name my homeschool WISDOM WAY, I wanted to make sure that we were had the understanding that YES knowledge and learning IS IMPORTANT but it is most valuable when it is APPLIED KNOWLEDGE which is WISDOM, that leads to the WAY, the truth and the life= JESUS CHRIST.

#wisdomway #wisdomwayhomeschool

Goals for my homeschooled children: to come to salvation and to place God as the King of their lives, to serve HIM in ALL they do.

2

Can this be done if you are not homeschooling? OF COURSE! But for me and my family we feel like the hours away verses the hours I am with the kids provides more opportunity point towards The Way (Jesus) and apply Wisdom to knowing Him. They say that a persons worldview is developed by age 12, and if you think about it in this way typically your children our in your house, under your influence from ages 0-18. The average life span of a person is 80 years. 18/80 = 22% Soooooo you have your greatest influence for 22% of your child’s life, and to break it down even more: if their worldview is developed on average by age 12, 12/80 =15% of your child’s life span to pour into them. Now it must be said: GOD CAN and DOES save and redeem any age at any time, through any means! I am just explaining our families thought process. ALSO I pray and plan to have a spiritual influence over my children until I die and then even after. And if you would bear with me for one more static: when you child is in school for 6-8 hours a day out of a 14 hour awake time that means you are missing out on over half of the day with them. These are some of the factors and reasons that are our WHY to homeschooling.

 

cropped-unnamed-2.jpg

To grow in their knowledge and LOVE for the LORD!

 

cropped-Raising-rices-3.png

With everything we do in life we find our drive and purpose by discovering and owning to the WHY. When I was in the early stages of parenting and evaluating the reasons why we wanted to homeschool I discovered that there are MANY reasons! AND the crazy element that blew my mind was the majority of the reasons WHY I wanted to homeschool really had little to due with academics!

One of my many WHY’s is: to grow in their knowledge of and LOVE for the LORD! .
Matthew 22:37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

HEART – SOUL – MIND

1

This is my great calling as a mother to help my children learn to love the Lord with all their heart, soul and mind; and for me and my household I feel that the hours to support this calling is benefited from more time at home. Thus I find this to be a huge reason for homeschooling so I can be WITH them! Proximity to see how to guide and mold, sitting side-by-side to point out sin and encourage repentance, and to be able to point out the beauty of Gods WORD, CREATION, and PROMISES!

To love is to know, to spend time with, learn about and relate to, to respect, to enjoy, and to prioritize.

 

cropped-unnamed-2.jpg

“I am disappointed in you.”

cropped-Raising-rices-3.png

 

“I am disappointed in you.”

 

I see this expression being thrown around like wildfire here on the internet. And I must say that this expression has caused me to pause a lot when it comes to sharing things publicly, in fear someone might be disappointment with me.

Untitled design-3

The definition of the actual word disappointed is to be sad or displeased because someone or something has failed to fulfill one’s hopes or expectations.

 

Based on this definition alone I see some huge red flags. The biggest RED FLAG of them all is that our hope should NEVER be found in someone other than: JESUS CHRIST. I will NEVER, could NEVER, want to NEVER be the fulfillment of someone’s hopes and expectations, because I sadly but realistically promise you: I WILL FAIL!

 

Truly, I am not putting myself down or saying I wont try do my very best to glorify God in all I do, what I am saying is I simply CAN NOT fulfill everyone’s expectations, hopes, needs, desires, wants, (you name it and add it to the list!)

 

While I see this expression being used and may have used it myself before whether in conversation, social media, or in my own head I stand convicted that this expression is nothing more then a sentence to cast shame to a person due to an unrealistic expectation of perfection.

 

In our cancel culture, we see people dismissing others due to them being a “disappointment”. And while internet friends/followers might not be “real,” I want to take a moment of self-evaluation and would encourage you to join me in processing that God has called us to something bigger then disappointed cancel culture, He is calling us to be refined and to support the refining of others.

 

One of my greatest downfalls in life so far and the greatest threat is trying to live up to the expectation of others, and the culture at large.

 

My prayer, my desire, MY EXPECATION of myself is to be pursuing a life that is lived to glorify God in all I do. I pray I can be the walking, breathing, living example of the gospel to those around me that so desperately need to see and feel: hope! BUT LORD LET THEM SEE YOU AND NOT ME, LET THEM SEE YOUR LOVE, LET THEM KNOW WHERE TRUE JOY COMES FROM, and let me experience the eternal joy that comes from sharing YOU to the WORLD.

 

You Are Loved.

Jesus Loves YOU!

 

cropped-unnamed-2.jpg

Our First Overnight Stay at the Hospital

cropped-Raising-rices-3.png

 

Yesterday was a day that will leave a lasting impression on me, here is what happened …

 

My 2 year old son Jesse was playing legos in the garage with his older brothers as Darren  and I were preparing the fathers day meal to celebrate his Father when we heard a HUGE cry. Madeline was the first to arrive to Jesse and when we got to him he was still crying holding his head. As we received more information from the kids we had learned that Jesse had climbed the ladder in the garage and had fallen from high up on the ladder. Praise be to God that we have an inch foam padding in our garage but still we were expecting damage from a fall that high up.

 

As we comforted him to try to calm him down he just kept crying, which is not like Jesse, he usually bounces back from little injuries. (He is our kid that only a few months ago climbed on the toy box, fell hit his head and needed staples … do you hear a theme here.) Since he couldn’t be calmed we went into planning mode. We researched quickly on good old “Dr. Google” and then we contacted a family friend and our Chiropractor Dr. Larry, in addition, since Darren is in the medical profession and has friends who are in specialties like head trauma we asked their thoughts as well. During this time Jesse had not thrown up or acting Dizzy, just crying, but becoming sleepy (It didn’t help it was minutes before his “quiet time” which he does occasionally still sleeps so we didn’t know if this was a factor or not.)  Shortly after Darren’s parents arrived and we were able to also get their feed back. (They have raised 3 kids, 2 of which was boys and they somehow made it through childhood alive … which I am seeing is a bigger task then I once believed haha).

 

Then our decision was confirmed when he starting throwing up. Only once at first then every time he had a big movement he would throw up. We knew then that we should bring him in to be evaluated.  We brought him to our chiropractor which he got adjusted and was REALLY out of alignment, mostly on his atlas (which is the top bone of the back). This adjustment made him throw up, and we learned also when it is out of alignment can make some feel nauseous too. (poor buddy).  Then Darren and Jesse headed for the ER.

105022204_598859064169197_7774960685944232711_n

As you read above and might remember this is not our first ER trip. The last time we brought him to a local hospital, however we learned since then that whenever you have a children’s injury and you live in the greater Portland area IF you can afford the time ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS take your kiddo to Randell’s Children’s Hospital in Portland. Our experience was completely different this ER trip and we know with Darren being in the medical profession that those which have experience with kids have a greater awareness or background knowledge then others. Also ironically both times we needed to go into the ER was in the evening/night time and the waiting room in an all Kid ER is completely different then a ER for all ages (if you can image!)

 

So Darren arrived to the ER and the conclusion was that Jesse would need to get a CT scan. After the scan a quick glance didn’t show anything but they sent it to the radiologist who did see a small bleed, and then sent the image to the trauma team specialist. They found a small bleed above the left ear.  At this point after seeing Jesse and discussion with Darren, they advised that he should stay in the hospital overnight because the first 24 hours is the most crucial for head injuries.   They classified this injury as traumatic brain injury but they said it is on the mild end of that spectrum. So Jesse got his first ever-overnight stay at the hospital. We have had homebirths so literally this is his first overnight stay EVER!

105293565_307292130286666_778529163712539668_n

They woke him two times throughout the night and then in the morning to check his neurological state. He has passed with flying colors but needed nausea medicine because when he moved he threw up. But they were encouraged he wasn’t waking up throwing up. Again Praise to God! He has also been on an IV the whole time to give him fluids since he hasn’t been able to eat or drink.

104818988_1977338472397927_4944939066787308197_n

As I write this it is the following morning at 10:30 am he is doing great but still at the hospital. Please continue to pray for Jesse and for these weeks to come as we work to keep things low key and restful. The risk of him hurting himself while his brain is still healing is most concerning.

 

We love you all and we wanted to let you guys know so that you can be in prayer for our son. PRAYER is POWERFUL!!

 

We know God can heal our son.

We believe He will.

But even if he doesn’t HE IS STILL GOD!

 

Our friends, family and biblical community have been AMAZING! We have been so supported! With tons of prayer warriors, and with our physical needs being met through food, activities for Jesse when he gets home to help him stay restful but entertained (which will get harder as the week goes on I am sure). These wonderful humans stayed up with me last night as I waited for news, and were a huge emotional support to us during this time. We feel so loved and cared for. I heard someone say once when traumatic things happen it is like putting salt on a watermelon: it shouldn’t make sense but somehow it makes life more sweeter. Through this I have seen the glory of God shown in His kindness and faithfulness as He has proud out His peace that passes all understanding, and his hands extended through our community.

 

We have also learned a lot, first accidents happen, they do, and they will continue to happen I am sure. Darren feels a sense of guilt that he didn’t put his ladder away in the garage; but literally right after this happened we sent the kids to have some time outside as we cared for Jesse and I literally looked out my window and see Noah climbing on the stacked wood pile. Accidents just happen but I can tell you will wont be leaving our ladder out anymore! And, we have been talking about climbing things where our bodies can be safe or we have been given permission. We don’t want to and refuse to live life based on fear. Praise to God that He knows our days, that He has a plan for our lives and we live in that TRUTH!

 

Jesse boy, I believe God has big plans for your life and we are excited to see where and how he uses our sweet, adorable, full of life kiddo! We love you!

104412654_3363746126991557_164219645194143912_n

 

cropped-unnamed-2.jpg

#MakeSummer2020Count

cropped-Raising-rices-3.png

 

We are excited that Summer is right around the corner! In fact many of my friends are celebrating TODAY as the end of their 2019-2020 school year! CONGRATULATIONS FRIENDS!!!! (This year the Rice family is going to try year round schooling, more to come on that later, I will be posting lots on Instagram so make sure to follow us @raisingrices)

With all that said we are thrilled to be joining up with Raphah Mama  and working to MAKE SUMMER 2020 COUNT! We have broke it down to THREE main goals:

1. 100 Hours Outside Each Month 
  • We want to share the benefits of being outdoors (for kids and parents), the specific ways kids learn outdoors, and practical ideas and tips for adding more outdoor time to your day

2. 20 Books in Summer 2020 

  • A fun way to track reading this summer, ideas for getting a variety of genres for your kids to read, and ways to motivate reluctant readers

3. 12 Summer Service Activities

  • We want to teach our kids the importance of serving others and sharing God’s love with the world, so we want to come up with different ideas or how our kids/families can find ways to do that this summer.

 

If you are anything like me I NEED something to help me keep track and motivated and nothing helps more then a good FRIEND and a check off list! HAHAHA! So that is exactly what we have created for us all to work together. So please join us and use these FREE downloadable PDF’s! Also tag us @raisingrices on Instagram and Facebook so we can celebrate with you and create our accountability community!

1. 100 Hours Outside Each Month 

Copy of #100outsidehours

2. 20 Books in Summer 2020 

2020 - 20 Books

3. 12 Summer Service Activities

A summer of Service

 

 

 

We are so excited to be making this summer count! LET’S DO THIS!

unnamed