Sunday, July 20, 2014

I look to You

I've been struggling lately. Struggling with impatience, unhappiness, anger. And since I'm analytical at heart, I have been searching and digging for why things have been that way. Why am I having such a hard time? Who should I turn to? What are the solutions?

I've looked to pinterest. I've read articles and blogs on how to be a better housekeeper, how to be a happier mom, how to get siblings to get along. I've tried "systems" for each of these things, and if they work, I commit to doing them for all of eternity and usually get through my commitment for about a week or two. I fail, I quit, I give up, or I just plain forget.

I listened to a sermon this morning on grace. Per my natural bent, I listened in search of answers to my problems. What can I put in to practice in my home to make it a happier place? What can I walk away with that will make me a better person?

But the more I listened…the more the pastor spoke on grace…the more I realized that that's the answer:

Grace.

I'm NEVER going to figure this out. These problems I have in my own heart and these constant faults and immaturities in my children are always going to be there (I mean, hopefully they'll mature, but you know what I mean.) These things might change and evolve, but "in this world, we will have trouble!"

God didn't mean for me to figure it out. He didn't intend for me to come up with a system of laundry on Mondays, bathrooms on Tuesdays, vacuuming on Wednesdays….it's never going to work out perfectly!

I'm. going. to. fail.

I know for a fact that He intended for this to happen. Because in His Word, He specifically says that in my weakness, His strength is made known. In my sin, He forgave.

In my humility, He will lift me up.


So what do I need to do? I need to quit. Quit trying to figure it all out. Quit trying to make things happen that just aren't going to happen. If GOD wants them to happen, they will happen…but it sure isn't in my power. And so, I need to turn to Him. Day by day, moment by moment. Week after grueling week.

I've been in the valley, it's been dry, but He's been right there with me. Waiting for me to look to Him.



Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Finding Joy

Praise God for new mercies. Amen??

Derek and I were talking last night about how the new year, while just the next day, is such an anchor. It's a visual, mental moment to start anew.
For so many people, it means a chance to meet a goal…a second shot at the things you failed at the year before.

New year's resolutions are often known as set ups for failure.
Diets, promises to exercise, etc.
Why do we do it to ourselves?
I don't typically make any resolutions at all.

This year, I do have a resolution.
Not because it's a new year, though…but just because this has been on my mind and heart.
I have resolved to have joy.
Joy in my mothering, joy in my marriage, joy in relationships with friends.
Joy in wherever God has placed me.

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit, but it is also a command.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
James 1:2-3

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.
Philippians 4:4

I have been striving to take off some masks and reveal my soul to my friends. I don't ever want people to think my life is perfect or that this mothering thing comes easy for me. I just had my fifth child, and it is HARD. I have been struggling to have joy in the midst of everyday life, and I refuse to let Satan use these five little blessings to steal my joy. 

And so I'm asking the Lord to restore my joy.

Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
John 16:24

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I wanted to share a few of the things God has led me to. Facebook and Pinterest can so easily pull us away from doing the things that we should be doing. They can be joy-stealers as well. However, God has graciously used these two things to provide encouragement for me. 

The first site I found via Pinterest is this.
I'm on day 3 and am loving it so far. So many easy, practical things we can do as moms to change our attitudes and therefore change the atmosphere in our homes.

Secondly, The Better Mom group is starting (today!) a challenge themselves. It seems many moms struggle with holding onto joy during this hard season!! Go here if you want to read about that and follow along. You can also find them on Facebook. 

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I know from experience that being in the Word brings joy. Praying, spending time with Him in worship…joy is the product of that precious time spent with Him. That time is becoming harder and harder to find. With a baby who carries quite the unpredictable schedule and the demands of my other four children, that time is sadly pushed to the side. I am trying to find some very easy ways to fit it in...

1. I'm picking my gratitude journal back up. I started it after reading Ann Voskamp's book, A Thousand Gifts. I had put it away (for whatever reason) and it had become a forgotten tool. I'm keeping it on my kitchen bar, so that every day, I can write at least one thing in there.

2.  I have bought a daily Scripture "calendar." It sits on my kitchen window sill so I can see it every day. My grandma used to always have one of these in her kitchen, and I always saw it as a lazy way to be in the Word. Well, look at me now.

3. Worship music in the car. What an easy way to get some time in and to change the atmosphere in your car (I don't know about you, but there have been some wars played out in mine.)

4. I'm going to be posting pictures on Facebook and hash tagging them #keepingitreal2014. I don't want to be ashamed of a messy house, of a not-so-picture-perfect life. Kids who cry and do things they shouldn't. Laundry and dishes that sit, because kids want to play with me. It's all real. There's no reason to hide it, so I'm going to purposefully display it :) 

I don't know if you are feeling depressed or downtrodden at this time when everyone else is making these great resolutions and looking forward to the new year. But if you are, then I hope you'll join me in finding more joy right where God has you. We are all in this together, so let's walk beside each other and not be ashamed of the paths we are on. 


May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13

Friday, December 27, 2013

Milk coma


Now if that's not a belly full of milk and a happy full face, I don't know what is...

True Love

You know who is loved? A little sister with 4 big brothers. Even sweeter than that, though, is how that little sister looks at those big brothers.

Eli asks for his picture with Naomi so many times a day. I try to say yes as often as possible...

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas 2013


Merry Christmas!! Happy New Year!!

Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Halloween, Happy Easter...it's been awhile :) Are you ready for a Frye family update? So many of you sent us the infamous picture of the four boys and one baby girl via Pinterest, Facebook, text message, and email. We happily obliged with a similar picture of our new baby girl and her four big brothers. (If you have no idea what I'm talking about, then great! That makes ours an original in your mind!! :) ) 

Where do I begin? Let's start with the adults for a change! Derek's clinic is booming, and he loves everything about his job as a chiropractor...except for the paperwork. For those of you in this type of field, you know paperwork is done at every possible moment when not seeing patients or sleeping. It is what it is, and Derek is a trooper. We are so thankful for his hardworking attitude, his love of his patients, and his commitment to our family when he does get a second to himself. He never takes a day off (or even an hour) just for himself. I call him an energizer bunny, but I know he pushes through a lot of exhaustion and stress for the sake of my sanity and to play with the boys. We love him, and his patients think he hung the moon. On top of working like a dog, Derek took it upon himself this year to coach Justus' select baseball team. He has coached the boys' baseball teams off and on, but this was on a whole new level. I was pregnant with Naomi, and Titus and Eli were also on baseball teams for a different league (not to mention dragging Josiah around to every practice and game.) Needless to say, we were running ragged. It was a whirlwind of a season, but Derek was such an amazing leader to those boys. It was stressful for Derek and for me, but it gave me great joy to see him excel in that area and I think he enjoyed it.

I found myself barefoot and pregnant yet again after our 10 year anniversary trip to Costa Rica in January. Talk about a surprise!! Speaking of which, our trip was AMAZING. It was the first time we had left the boys, and we didn't miss them a BIT! (just kidding, we thought about them once or twice) I'm sure some of you saw our pictures on Facebook. It was so beautiful, so relaxing. Like I said, we even got a gift out of it! I'm still homeschooling Justus and Titus, although that hasn't happened much since that gift arrived. New Year's resolution? Get back to school...and maybe try to get my house in order. I'm exhausted, overwhelmed, and trying to survive. I cannot believe we have 5 children. It's so surreal, but even while I'm in over my head, I am head over heels in love with these crazies and can't believe God saw fit to put them in my care for the time being. We are a walking circus, and I love it most of the time ;)

Justus is 8 and in second grade. He loves whatever sport is in season, so he's obsessed with football right now. His favorite team is the Packers, so he's getting almost everything Packers-ish for Christmas this year. He will be starting a new select baseball team in 2014, so hold onto your hats...we are in for another tornado baseball season. (Derek's not coaching this time, whew!) Justus loves making paper “art” and also enjoys writing sweet notes to his brothers and sister. He is such a thoughtful, helpful child. I truly don't know how I would survive without his help. He is still enthusiastic about being his siblings' second mom, so I'm milking it :) Funny story: he even gave Josiah “mom eyes” once when Josiah was acting up (and it worked.) It was priceless.

Titus is 6 and in first grade. The boy is just plain smart. It blows me away and cracks me up at the same time. He knows almost every NFL player's name, number, and birthdate. I'm kidding...kind of. He doesn't draw as much as he used to, but he still loves legos, baseball, football, and cats. He swears he is never going to get married but that he will also have no less than 15 cats when he grows up. I figure those 2 things probably go hand in hand, so I'm letting him run with it. An odd dream, indeed!

Eli just turned 5 and celebrated with his first friend birthday party at Chuck E Cheese. Call us crazy, but we love Chuck E Cheese. Considering that baby being born thing, we figured this was a good year to let Mr. Cheese throw the party. He had a blast, and we all survived. Eli is in preschool 3 days a week and is starting to read. If you know anything about Bob books, I can tell you that the 3rd time around listening to them is just as torturous as the first. He's so proud of his newfound skill, though, and we are proud of him. Eli loves playing board games and card games. Oh and video games. I think the child lives for screen time.

Josiah is 3. Hilarious. Smart. Clothes. Those are the three words that best describe Josiah. He makes us laugh constantly. The conversations this child can have with even a stranger are so funny. He also cracks us up with his love of clothes. He asked for clothes for Christmas. (not your typical 3 year old request...at least as far as boys go anyway!) He changes his clothes 15 times a day, and that is not even an exaggeration. He is laundry's worst nightmare. It's pretty cute, though, especially because his favorite color is orange. He will come downstairs decked out in orange baseball socks, orange shorts, an orange shirt, and if you're lucky, an orange hat. It is a LOUD outfit, and he has many other “outfits” he has put together that are equally as “color coordinated.” He is a fashion genius ;)

Finally, we have Naomi...lying in my lap while I type this, smiling away and trying her hardest to have a deep, meaningful conversation with me (at least that's what her eyes and mouth are telling me.) The poor girl never gets much time to herself or any quiet. We end up paying for that when bedtime rolls around, because apparently she's so used to the constant commotion, she doesn't like to sleep in the absence of it. Naomi was born November 16 and weighed 8 lbs 1 oz. She was our biggest baby, so the boys have translated our mentioning of that as her being the biggest baby ever. They mention that often...(their world is very small.) She's precious. So loved and doted on. The boys talk to her in little sweet voices that I've never heard come out of their mouths before. It's so funny. Our past 3 babies have started crawling right when they turned 6 months old. It simply is not safe for me to give Naomi much tummy time, as the chaos in this house involves indoor football and running like madmen to do flips onto and off of couches and other furniture, so I'm assuming she'll be late in that area!!

We are so thankful for our sweet princess, as well as the many other gifts and blessings 2013 has brought. God's grace is evident yet again. We are most thankful, of course, for the gift of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. We honestly have not done much this Christmas, as we have in Christmases past. Normally, we are learning names of Jesus or keeping traditions of advent trees and other family pastimes. This year, we haven't even made cookies. It makes me a little sad, but I have to say I have appreciated having less on my plate as far as the planning and stress that goes along with keeping up with all of that. 2013 will go down as a Christmas of simplicity amidst the everyday events that are already exciting enough in and of themselves. We hope you all are well, and we appreciate your keeping up with us on Facebook and through reading this extremely long letter. We love you and do wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!!!

Love,

The Frye Fam

Derek, Anna, Justus, Titus, Eli, Josiah, and Naomi

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

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