This week has been physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting. Do you ever feel that way too? Like you can't fit it all into your schedule, that the unexpected circumstances that arise are deflating your will power, that the more you feel you are doing good for others you in turn feel depleted and tired? Yeah. (long sigh) Me too.
I sometimes feel like I have too many irons in the fire. I have a direct sales business, an Etsy shop, I take orders, sew clothes, enjoy home improvement, love to cook, have laundry on a rotating schedule, hired a house keeper to help clean (praise!), shuffle babies back and forth to visitations, kids in AWANAS, choir practice, church, Bible study, and at some point I need to find time to shower. Didn't that just exhaust you reading it?
There's even more when you talk about the kids school and exercise and shopping. Geez!!! No wonder I threw my tired self down on the couch last weekend and checked out.
Custom jewelry orders are coming in. That's just God showing out. He promised me the marketplace was where I would find my provision for my family. He is true to His promises. I'm truly blessed!
I love working with my hands and I keep them busy for sure! Only tonight as I laid in bed and all was quite and dark I felt a real stirring deep inside me. I was being called to my prayer closet. It gets real deep in there. I sat down, read my devotional, 2 chapters in my Fervent book, filled out 3 prayer cards, then closed my eyes. I took a deep breath that traveled to my soul and back. I exhaled my prayers spilled out. Every hurting friend who had asked for prayer, for all the tired mommas, for my children, my husband, for myself, for everything I asked Him for wisdom. For myself, I cried that I was overwhelmed and not feeling sufficient and asked for guidance. Do I slow down? How? Do I rest? When? Am I really over loaded? No! I'm just not careful. I'm not focused. You can't be in the world and have it all together. I can't worry about elections or arguments on Facebook. I can't keep scrolling through videos and newsfeeds. I can't keep reading status updates from every person on my list who has a thought or checks in. I can't worry about those things.
The work is never easy. However no matter what I do or how hard I work 1 Corinthians 3:7 says....
"...but God who gives the increase."
1 Corinthians 3:8 says....
"One will receive his own reward according to his own labor."
I labored. I shiplapped my laundry room, painted, and tiled that sucker this week. I worked hard. My hands hurt and my feet hurt but the effort was worth it. Even if it is just a laundry room.
I shared all this to say...
I am tired...
So I prayed with a weary body and a weary mind tonight. Lord, am I doing too much. Am I? Sometimes it feels amazing to accomplish so much and sometimes it is plain exhausting. The Lord gave us all gifts and talents. I give Him glory for anything I accomplish. As I prayed over my Bible for words of wisdom I opened right to this well known passage.
The Virtuous Woman
I read through Proverbs 31 and took a deep breath. A sigh of relief this time. Every single verse made me feel better about how I have so much that I am doing for my family. How can anyone of us live up to this "Virtuous Woman" role described here?
Many of us already do.
I encourage you to read through it. When you're feeling overwhelmed read this passage. It is encouraging. It's not about living up to this expectation. It's about slowing down and being careful and thoughtful towards whatever role you have.
It's about being deliberate and thinking through what needs to be done. Picture it, a woman quietly rising early and starting her day, providing, caring for, offering herself at all times to help her family and others. It's almost like a dance through life. One that is fierce and gentle.
I picture a ballerina and how graceful she is. How she floats through the air and her points are perfect. What I didn't see was all the hard work and bloody feet it took to create the illusion of grace and weightlessness. When she bows out, the audience applauds. Behind the curtain she is proud and exhausted; energized and worn.
I can do this. You can do this.
Praise God we were built to do this!
I am sufficient.
oh. Precious naptime.
Our mornings are so busy cleaning, laundry, shuffling kids off to school, packing lunches and backpacks, appointments, and so much more.
During my sewing time and the babies naptime my mind does a great deal of thinking. I get locked in on one situation and turn it over and over in my head. Today all I could think about was a falling out I had with a friend a year ago. I have forgiven and she says she has too but still things will never be the same. So my thoughts churn and the feelings begin to burn and then I think.
LORD RESCUE ME! Capture these thoughts and bind them up. I can not waste another second on them. There is just too much good to focus on.
It's happened before they I have heard an audible voice say "Let Me handle this". It's such a good feeling to know my Lord tells me what I need to hear. I always think back to that moment at my sewing machine nearly 8 years ago. It caught me off guard. I didn't even know it was still possible to hear our Lord so clearly.
So, I think about that moment and how it is something I need to hear from time to time but because He did it once with great impact on me, I should never forget.
In my time with churning thoughts I churned out this little beauty of a dress. The pattern is featured in my previous post.
If if you ever give it a try please let me know.
Back in the spring I invested in a bag of fabric flowers to help me out with matching hairbow a to outfits. As a first time girl mom I am learning how cute baby girls are with hair bows. Or as 1 of her 4 brothers calls them "bowbows".
All these little flowers came sewn onto a fabric mesh they needed to be trimmed away. And here comes the the fun part... KAM snaps.
I simply followed the instructions they came with my snap kit and added the female end to all my flowers. I tried my best to center them.
The kit I invested in had several color snaps to choose from so I was able to match most nearly perfectly.
Next I added button embellishments to dress up each flower. My buttons came mostly from a vintage stash my Granny gave me years ago.
Next I cut little slivers of felt and added a the male end of the snap. This piece is going to go on the clip for the hair bows. I can also add a snap to existing headbands so that I can quick change the color of the bows.
I simply hot glued the felt and snap to a few clips. They are pretty but they'll be his by the flower once it's snapped on.
KAM snaps can be used with any type bow and I'm sure you know the perfect baby girl to wear them. KAM snaps and fabric flowers were purchased through the Amazon marketplace.
This easy pattern is a McCalls. I have a few free ones I've downloaded but this one was worth the 99¢ on sale. It makes it easy to make the same dress style until she is much bigger.
This pattern is perfect for a beginner. Once you master adding elastic, you've got it.
Cooler weather means little toes need covering. For a baby girl that is about to start walking I wanted them to be flexible and versital. She can flex her toes and feet. The leather is upcycled and is super soft. The buttons are hand sewn from my grandmothers stash of glass buttons. Velcro dots actually secure the leather straps that are lined with a soft cotton. The soles are cork that are covered with cotton fabric. Cork is thin and flexible while being sturdy. I had to sew the toe end several times to cut down on the length of the shoe since her foot is so tiny. She typically only wears 0-3 month shoes now.
The he pattern I used is in my Free Patterns link above. The only difference is the piece that wraps around the back of the heel a bit.
A few weeks ago a friend came over and I shared with her some of the simple techniques I found and she since has invested in her own tools and paint to complete projects she has been wanting for her home. This is so easy it's addictive. The results are instant gratification and worth the time to learn a few tricks. Below are my top 10 favorites....so far.
We all secretly loved grandma's doilies but putting them under items to protect furniture does not allow you to see their beauty and doesn't seem practical.
I inherited a stack of doilies, some were handmade and some were store bought but each were beautiful and I wanted to look at them. While watching Gilmore Girls I used the doilies, a large quilt hoop, fabric and a glue gun to make this piece for my living room.
I have moved it around on a few different walls and have hung it going both directions. I have some pieces left that I'd like to hang as well so I've found 14 more ideas that I love. Enjoy!
There is NO way that God did not intend for me to have a daughter.
I made so many things for my boys but making these to cloth a girl has
struck a cord in me. Of course, I'm not basing that theory on shoes alone.
Click FREE PATTERNS at the top of this page to access the pattern used for these shoes.
The beauty of this simple pattern that it is versatile and it evolves the more I use it.
I have started using a heavy interfacing for the sole lining of the shoes and adhering fabric
to the interfacing and simply cutting them to fit.
When I started this post originally it felt all wrong.
Me? Talk about beauty? Talk about feeling pretty?
God wanted me to talk about that?
Is this a joke?
I thought all of this!
The words didn't come out of my fingers right. They felt pretentious. They were...
I stood up from my desk, had a few words with God on this topic expressing my frustration.
I ran a hot bath because I can't remember taking one yesterday or even a shower...you know I'm a mom of three boys and 2 foster babies, right? Don't judge!
As I was soaking I picked up two books and read. One devotion was about fear. One story was about God's gifts. Nothing was connecting.... still frustrated I laid my head back closed my eyes and expressed one more time how I did not feel adequate to write on this topic.
I sat up, picked up my razor and started shaving and it hit me...I do have a story to share. I'm afraid to share it but...maybe it will be a small token of a gift to another woman. So here goes...
When I was in college I started struggling with my weight. I stayed pretty active but not as active as I had in high school. In high school I played lots of tennis, swam and trained as a life guard, etc. College was a different story. Just before school started I lost one of the most important men in my life. My Papaw passed away in August and because this man was so ingrained in my life...my life felt very broken. By the time the anniversary came around of his death I had put on 30 pounds or so. I had been miserable for an entire year and just didn't care.
Clothes started fitting badly, my self confidence shrank. Years past and I found myself finishing my degree, had friends encouraging me to workout or even get out, have fun. I was too self conscious. One night I remembered reading about the symptoms of PCOS. I had never heard of it before. I shot an email to my mom who is a nurse and said "I think I have this."
I graduated college and married my high school sweetheart right away. I started my first teaching job too. That next summer I was at home alone all day. James and I had been married in March and in June I missed my first period. I was scared to death. I was pregnant. July came and so did our disappointment but we were hopeful. We had a long talk about buying a house and moving forward as he was finishing school. I remember saying "having a baby isn't as scary as I thought". In September we found out we were pregnant with our oldest son. Complications during the pregnancy and delivery were scary...now those things are scary but having him was such a blessing.
We built a house and he was born early but healthy. Our lives changed forever. My health declined, silently. We wanted another baby right away...we struggled. Privately! No one knew!
For over two years we went through infertility treatments, going round and round with Clomid, and lots of disappointments. The PCOS that I suspected I had was real and evident and taking a toll on my body. We gave up! I gave my fears and worries over to God one night in January (that's a totally different story). In February we found out we were expecting the baby we call our "miracle" baby.
I found out I was surprisingly pregnant with baby number 3 when baby number 2 turned 1.
I had no idea that it would be so simple, so quick. We wanted 3 and God clearly wanted us to have those 3.
Having babies did take a toll on my body. I was busy as a mom, I let my health go completely out the window. I worked hard to stay home with my boys. Then one day a doctor said, "It's a miracle you even have kids." I couldn't believe my ears...yes, I could. I believed!
PCOS is ugly! The side effects of having dysfunctional ovaries makes a woman feel things women shouldn't feel. This is the reason I struggle with feeling beautiful...
Womenshealth.gov describes PCOS as...
Polycystic (pah-lee-SIS-tik) ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a health problem that can affect a woman's:
I feel ugly...I jokingly asked my husband once "how does it feel to be married to a man."
He didn't think it was funny that I was being so hard on myself.
So, when I said that I picked up my razor to shave...I wanted cry.
God is putting His arms around me. I know He can fix this. I believe with all my heart He can. I however do not question why He hasn't.
I am self conscious about my outward appearance I try really hard to be pleasing to the eye for my husband. It's a constant struggle to feel like people see your flaws and notice them. Can you imagine going into a business meeting feeling like you forgot to shave your "beard"? Or choose not to get a pedicure because your toes look like a man's because you forgot to shave them too. Or being depressed and sad on a cycle of ups and downs and friends not quite understanding why. Or while you are pushing a baby out and your doctor offers to clip skin tags while your legs are numb. Or pain...pain you deal with too. Orthopedic pillows helped me sleep. My hair is thinning right in the front...I bought clip in bangs once and thought they looked pretty but was afraid they'd be noticed and people would think I was being "pretentious." How about when the dandruff kicks in and your husband is dusting off your black sweater before church. Or the painful acne on your face and other awkward places....thank goodness for great skin care. That helps!
So there it is! ALL in black and white!
I know I'm not alone.
What I have found is that medication isn't my answer, or so far hasn't been. The thought of having my ovaries removed is proceeded by a big flashing sign in my head screaming NO! So, I have tried medicine. This is what happens...
That definitely doesn't make me feel pretty!
While running yesterday God laid it right on my heart that I was His. My body is His temple and He knows exactly what it needs. I've been feeding my heart Proverbs this month and my temperament has softened. I'm slower to anger at my family. I seem to have the right words for others. My prayer list is growing and I'm seeing answers and blessings from it. I'm working on getting my body healthy and to feel better...but the symptoms. They will try to bring me down. God is showing me right now through His Word that I am beautiful just way He made me.
As a woman, I worry what other women think about my appearance...no more. I want them to worry more about my heart.
I will do my best to take care of me. I will do things that make me feel pretty because that feels good to me and makes me smile. So selfies ARE fun. I get to see the light in my own eyes. I get to see the pretty side of me.
I had a large piece of fabric I had intentions of using for my own boys but never did. So, when I was going through my fabrics and found it I wanted nothing more than my friends sweet babies to have some pieces made with it. And with all the showers lining up, I'm sure I'm not done yet.
It's hard adding details to boy things without going over the top. So I held back a little.
Just a tad.
I had so much fun making these but I'm going to love even more seeing those boys wearing them.
Here are the links to the patterns I used. I hope you enjoy them. They are free for you!
Download Baby Bib Pattern Here