Focus on the Family

This was the words I received from God last night as I was praying about my family and everything else in my life and about what I needed to do.

I’m once again going through some major changes.  We are moving to a place I’ve never lived before.  I have quit my newspaper column, which took a major impact on me emotionally (I don’t think I will ever return to such an endeavor.  It is too easy to knock people in today’s society of the Internet and I want to be loving, not argumentative).  Homeschool has hit a bump in the road.  I think we all need a much deserved break.

On top of all this, I feel no Christmas spirit, which is rare for me as this is usually my favorite time of the year.  We won’t have a tree as we are moving.  We have to stay with my in-laws again for a week until our house is ready (never pleasant).  Plus, a personal complaint:  I hate moving in the winter.  I told my husband never again but here we are.

The last 6 months have been a huge strain on me and I think the whole family suffered because of it.

So focus on the family is going to be my top New Year’s Resolution.  This includes everything:  physical, spiritual, mental, etc.  And this includes myself as well.  Focus on the things I need to do to be a better wife, mother, and pet owner (although I think the dogs are doing quite well.  They are both happily sleeping on my bed at this very moment).

I think the rest (personal, professional, and passion goals) will fall into place once I realign myself with God and what’s the most important thing in my life.

13 thoughts on “Focus on the Family

  1. Wow, it sounds like you are really relying on God to get you through this move and change in your life. God will bless you for this. Good for you!!


  2. Change and transitions demand so much energy…… will be fine in God’s arms of rest with your just meeting the basic needs of your family. I am so happy that you are keeping your life as simple as possible at this time to use the energy you have to give to your self and loved ones.
    Fight off negativity and let God’s Holy’s Spirit help you count your blessings and give out the love in your heart to all those around you. Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year! My love and prayers to you……


  3. Dear Atoz,

    I know I haven’t written much but I have been reading.

    First I thank you (like everyone else) for your thorough answers on BSF, especially (for me) the ones that include the history or who is what, etc. Sometimes even the study Bibles don’t explain it as well as you do :-).

    In my small group we are studying the book of James, using a J.Vernon McGee book along with it. He’s a good “explainer” :-).

    The first chapter is all about finding joy in your trials and tribulations. That doesn’t mean that your jumping for joy when your trials come…but it means knowing that all trials have a purpose for God…or they wouldn’t be. The reasons are sometimes clear (to us) in hindsight and some never are. But whatever “it” is for us, finding out if you have the faith to truly trust that God has allowed it and his wisdom is best, is difficult for us humans to achieve. But when if we do, then we become more like Christ…which is who God wants us to grow to be like, not because it’s a notch in God’s belt (so to speak) or he’s waiting to zap us if we don’t…but like all of God’s laws/goals for us…because we will be “happier”…we will truly have peace in the midst of a storm and when eternity comes for us, God will say we were faithful servants. No one here on this earth may ever offer a thank you, but God sees and knows it all.

    On this blog you have blessed us with your vulnerability in your trials. Your doubts. Your joys. Your good days. Your not such good days. Being a wife and mother is a huge job to do well. It’s tough to keep “our” priorities in line with God’s…and to respond the way that God would want us to respond…to needs…life…isn’t easy. But I think what you’ve experienced is the huge impact a mother makes on her family. Her attitude, activities, words spoken or not spoken :-), impact her husband and children in ways she’ll never know till she gets to heaven probably. Too often we think “the world” is where our impact is, and often we discover we were exactly where God needed us…and praise God we did SOME things right.

    I have a 23 and 25 year old. Neither of my children are poster children. The 25 year old was incarcerated from 16-21 years old (essentially). My 23 year old vacillates in her life and I care for the 18 month old son she brought into the world with a man she knew one night. I love them both with all my heart, but I’ve certainly had my doubts about being a good mother. I did screw up in places, but I never not cared. EVER. Never have my children ever said I made a difference. They love me, don’t get me wrong and I get mushy cards from my daughter especially :-)…but not all that long ago my DS just mentioned in casual conversation we were having with his girlfriend how he never would have gotten through prison without me. HUH?

    He spoke about how I was always upbeat in tough situations as long as he could remember. That I often would make something simple fun or a give a different way to look at it. And even though HE didn’t feel especially upbeat (I call him my little Eeyore, that’s who he reminds me of and he rebukes by saying that’s because I’m Pooh :-)….but he said he could always hear my voice in his head in tough times. Who knew? I certainly didn’t. It was many years later, but suddenly the reason for the trials and my attitude in them…I got my reward…I got the joy God promises our trials and our responses bring.

    This isn’t a “wow-ain’t-I-wonderful” horn blowing thing. I’m just saying it was an moment for me that I realized (again) God knows what he’s doing and how every day responses to things matter, even though they seem insignificant at the time.

    Atoz, your on a journey allowed…set up…by God. I don’t know how you can celebrate Christmas, but there is a way. Cut up some paper bags and scotch tape a few of them together and color a tree on them and hang them on the closet door. Use kitchen garbage bags to wrap a gift or hide the gifts in moving boxes? Have a Christmas picnic in the car…I don’t know but the impact will be a memory that the kids won’t forget when times are hard for them. People thought I was silly and foolish doing some of the things I’ve done but I don’t regret one. You are creative, and you can bless your children and husband in this tough season of their lives too with your creativity.

    Or go someplace in the new town or your old town and make someone else’s Christmas. Sing. Bring your guitar.I don’t know.:-).

    Have a great Christmas, even if you’re packing. 😦 I’m sure we’d all help if we lived closer :-). You are well loved here and I know at home too…by critters, children and a man alike. As the movie says, Any person who has a friend….

    Love and Hugs,
    Nancy (from VERY cold but sunny Chicago!—with a 18 month old tugging at my jogging pants….)


  4. I read what you wrote NancyLee,

    It inspired me. Attitude is the answer and you have had it. No matter how hard it gets it could always be so much worse.

    God has us in the palm of His hand. He is always with us, whatever we are going through. That is enough to be thankful and joyful. I am learning the hard way.

    Merry Christmas.


  5. I know this is no consolation, but I have had to move for work and family 11 times in a short 13 year period. I also lost some of my spirit during this, due to moving just after finding a great church family and friends. It was always stressful, but I always have said to my self, ” God must have a plan in all this, I just need to figure it out”, now I didn’t always figure it out in time, but now as I reflect over the last 21 years I can see clearly what God was doing in my life. So remember everything works to the glory of God, but not always in our timing. May God Bless you and your family in all you do. He wants us to be faithful so He may continues blessing us…..
    read Heb10:19-25 and have a Merry CHRISTMAS. It’s all about Him “\*-*/”


  6. Hi Atoz, I know your busy, and it’s cold! But when you get to your new place, (And maybe you need a New place away from this place) you will start a new chapter. Try to find a library or this book as a Christmas present to yourself, Heaven is for real about the little boy he got to see heaven. at least he saw it in a vision God gave him that he could understand. Now I’m starting to read another book about heaven by randy alcorn. somehow or another Heaven was very real to the writers of the new testament (set your sights on heaven, look to Jesus, we’re seated with Him the the heavenlies, etc, etc.) and I think somehow our generation, especially myself need to find a way to grab hold of it so I can find the joy I need to endure my trials.


  7. Ok, it’s me again……. You know I am going to lay it out there for you, and hopefully it will be well received as just a bit of “Big Brother” guidance…..

    In order to be a warrior for God, you have to be tough, you have to endure, and you have to know that all the trials and tribulations are for a purpose, which we do not know, but that we give unyielding faith to.

    Now, wrap yourself in God’s armor, and endure.

    Now for the “brotherly Love”……

    Not one time have you mentioned the Husband, the kids, not even pondered what they may be feeling?

    YOU are going through major changes, YOU don’t feel the Christmas Spirit, YOU hate moving, the last 6 months have been hard on YOU, and you “Think” it’s hard on the rest.

    Good that you want to refocus on what is important, but if you don’t know whether or not anyone else in the family is feeling what you’re feeling, then how do you know you need to refocus? They may be excited about Christmas, moving, etc. They may have enjoyed the last 6 months, etc…..

    Surely you do realize that while the day to day activities, the stay with the in-laws, etc may suck right now….. you do realize that you’re surrounded by the loves of your life??

    There is a silver lining there…. find it. And don’t wait until New Years to make the commitment to be a better person, do it NOW!


    1. Hey Steve,

      I try to talk as little as possible here about my family (this I learned long ago when I first started this blog). My kids are young. They are happy wherever. Husband feels a lot like I do. But that’s all I’m going to say.

      This is the place for “me”. It’s where my inner being lurks–the one I can’t show very much to my family. I have to be tough for them. Here I don’t have to be. I can express myself and what I am going through.

      I can only speak for myself–not them. Someday my kids will and my husband does in his own way. Which isn’t my way.

      Make sense?

      Thanks for the reality check though. As always, food for thought!


  8. Hi Atoz,

    I know you will handle this temporary disruption with all the patience and grace anyone ever possessed and having your family at your side is more comforting than anything else on earth. I know it’s rough – we moved in February of last year in the snow and I admit it’s the most physically and emotionally draining experience we go through. However; when all is in place, you will acknowledge it wasn’t that bad, and, you will be consumed by all the newness in your life and feel an enormous sense of satisfaction over how you got it done! BTW – I’m 62 yrs young.

    I know you know our lives serve God’s plan and it is a great one for each of us. May God Bless you and the significance of His birthday touch your heart. May He shed His grace upon you by getting all of you to your new destination safe and sound, and letting it all happen in the “bat of an eye.”

    And, THANK YOU for sharing with those of us who don’t have your knowledge and insightfulness.

    Warm hugs to you each day until you are settled at your new destination! I will ask God to grant you a Merry Christmas.


  9. I guess I am reading your blogs in reverse order today. I haven’t been on the computer for several days…But to learn you are moving let’s me know you and your husband made a decision. The last I read, you were contemplating moving but that you would be separate again from your husband. I hope this move brings you more peace than the last move to your current location. Maybe your in-laws will help give your children a nice Christmas since you will be in transient. A week will go by pretty fast….just think of it as a vacation and you know how the days fly by on a weeks vacation! I know the conditions may not be what you wish for or desire; but this too shall a week! I love your blog; I love your extensive research on the BSF lessons. I never liked geography or social studies (I didn’t have books when in grade school, parents didn’t have the money so I had to share with other kids in school) so I didn’t get into the studying of worlds, continents, so when you put maps on your lessons I look at them and try to figure things out….some. Your children are fortunate that you have been able to home school them, they will appreciate this later on; and the time you have spent being with them will be precious to you also. When they are grown and moved on, as you sit and look at pictures or as they talk around the table during a visit, you will hear them mention things that until that time, they never told you. You will treasure those moments as Nancy mentioned earlier. Animals know a good person, and if you are treating your dogs well, then I know you are treating your children and husband just as well and probably better. Love you Atoz…….Merry Christmas!


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