Family Life

One More Time Mommy

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One more time mommy…. how often do we here that when our kids are small? As I sit here watching my young adults sing and do the dishes together one more time, I am thankful for having them all under my roof for one more night. When they hand you that infant in the hospital, they don’t hand you a manual or tell you all that is in store for you. Out of all the stages that my kids have been through, I think the young adult years have been the most interesting and the most intense. If you are anything like me, being a mom is a major part of who you are. Now as my kids are flying the coup and venturing into their own lives, it feels odd not to see them everyday, not to know what their plans are and to realize this is the beginning of the next stage, the next season. Yep, and here come all the mixed emotions…. happiness, sadness, excitement, trepidation, nostalgia and sometimes even remorse over not holding them a little closer, a little longer, smelling their infant head one more time, telling one more bedtime story, or taking another trip to the playground. But alas, time does keep moving on, and in all honesty, I loved the toddler years, but am happy to not repeat them. So for now, the last night of the Jacobsen six being together, I think it will be one more dance party, a few more hugs and maybe another episode of a favorite show until we are together again.

If you are mom like me transitioning your kids into adulthood, then know you are not alone. If your kids are home with you now, give them another hug, kiss them on the forehead, tell one more story, or bury your nose in their infant hair another time, for sure enough the moments will be memories in the blink of an eye. Be Blessed my friends, and say a pray for me as I make this transition into the next season.

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Getting Away and Back on Track

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It’s me again. Time to give my blogging another try. I had some time away this past weekend with my husband which was so nice, and it gave me a chance to think about my writing. I have come to the conclusion that sometimes I take myself too seriously , especially when it comes to my writing. I am going to work on that, especially here on my blog. Every post does not need to be perfect. So here I am giving it another shot. 

And can I say that taking time away for yourself and your marriage is very important. We just spent one night away, Just over 24 hours all together, but it was refreshing and relaxing. I am a quality time love language (from the five love languages) and it was just what I needed. I think my hubby enjoyed it too. So if you are married and haven’t taken time to spend with just your spouse in awhile, I encourage you to do it. Even if you are on a tight budget, it is worth every penny. If you can’t go away, make plans to stay at home and do nothing and have someone watch the kids. In the long run, it is worth it to make your marriage a priority. And if you are single out there, take some time for yourself. Do something fun that fills you up. Something that reenergizes you and makes you feel like you again.

Be Blessed My Friends, 

Leah

Stop Waiting to Slow Down

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So having the flu or being sick at all pretty much sucks. I have been sick this past week and that has made me realize just how not in control of life we really are. It has also given me a significant amount of downtime to think about life and how much of it that I sometimes take for granted. It made me think of how I look at life. A few weekends ago, Leif Hetland came to our church and talked about the Father’s heart and love for us. He also talked about our viewpoint in life. He did a great visual using two chairs. Chair one being the kingdom view of life, with the focus on being what God is doing, and chair two being the soulish view of life, with the focus being  what God is not doing, how we feel about something or what the enemy is doing. It really impacted me. How often do I sit in chair one versus chair two?  How often do I have a small, selfish soulish view instead of a kingdom view? I have thought a lot about it this week in between, the coughing, the running nose, and well you get the point.

While trying to accomplish things from the couch and with a foggy head, I asked God to help me have a kingdom view. I was looking at our bills and trying very hard to remind myself that the Lord has a different perspective than I do.  One of the bills is rather large for us and is due in two weeks. After praying, I just felt the Lord say call them and ask for help. So I did. The lady who answered was very kind and immediately said “oh we can absolutely help you out. How about a four month plan to pay it off?”  I said yes and was on and off the phone within five minutes. I just sat there for a moment and just chuckled. Maybe things don’t always happen in my timing or how I want them to, but God has a plan. If I sit in chair one with him and ask about his kingdom view, my life has a lot more peace and rest in it. Maybe the biggest problem in my life is not my bills, raising kids, work, or figuring out my priorities list, maybe my biggest problem is spending too much time in chair two, with the small and soulish view of life, and trying to figure it all out on my own.  Maybe if I slowed down and spent more time with the Lord and asked for his kingdom view, I would spend less time worrying and feeling life’s pressures. I hope, from here on out, it doesn’t take the flu to slow me down enough to rest and visit with my Father in the Kingdom seat. From now on, I hope that I don’t wait to slow down. I hope that I take the time to rest and to spend time with the Lord in the Kingdom seat.

If you are stressed, worrying, or feeling life’s pressures, take a deep breath. Don’t wait to slow down, stop right now and ask for the Lord’s kingdom view.

Be Blessed my friends,

Leah

The Blizzard

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The forecast was predicting it, some of were hoping for it, and then it was here, the blizzard.

I was raised in the Appalachian mountains and snow was commonplace during winter. Sledding, snowmen, snowball fights, and hot chocolate are memories that are dear to my heart. So when snow comes around, the kid in me comes out. I have been disappointed in the past and thus was holding back my excitement for this past weekends snow predictions, but I can say now that the blizzard did not disappoint. From the first flurries, to the final totals, this girl has been one happy camper. All of this snow really got me thinking about childhood and how much I have always loved the snow and how I still have not grown out of the enjoyment as so many often do. However, I will say that being able to stay home makes all of the difference! In fact, a few years ago, when I was showing property with my snow boots on and in houses with no heat, this girl was singing a different tune. But this weekend, I had the luxury of being home for the entire blizzard. From our first walk in the beautiful snowy winter wonderland being created in front of our eyes, to still sledding today on our homemade hill, the snow has been a real treat. We walked, we sledded, we came in from the cold and wrapped our fingers around mugs of glorious hot chocolate. I marveled at the blessing of sharing this time with my family and creating memories like those of my childhood days. Even as I write, the fun continues as my kids are outside building a snowman. I am cherishing the moments before life’s busyness starts up again tomorrow and all of us, once again, go our own ways. But for now, there are still games to be played and movies to be watched.

I hope each of you got to make some special memories as well. I want to say a big thank you to all of you out there who kept the electricity on and have worked hard to clear our roads. And to all of you who hate the snow, hold onto hope… spring is just around the corner, and we will once more enjoy the warm sunshine on our faces and our toes will enjoy the freedom of fllip-flops.

Be Blessed My Friends.

Leah

PS. Please enjoy our family video below and share in the comments what you loved about this weekend.

Fleeting Moments

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YWAM Family


Sometimes we don’t recognize the important moments until there are gone.

The smiles. The laughter. Holding your five year olds hand. The tickle fights. The late night talks. The one more story mommy. The five more minutes mommy. All of those moments along the way in the middle of the chaos, tears, sleepless nights and fears. They keep coming and time keeps ticking. Soon those moments are memories in a blink of an eye.

For the moms out there with babies and young children, I know that today it feels like toddler tantrums and sleepless nights will never end, but trust me, they will. Before you know it, it will be an adult staring back at you, and in my case, with my boys, having their chin rest on the top of your head.

I spent many days with my toddlers wishing away the time. Wishing for dad to get home, wishing for nap time to come, wishing for this week to be over and for the weekend to arrive. Wishing my kids could do more for themselves, like tie their shoes. Now they can…

All grown up.

I am officially a mom of two men and one woman. I am very proud of the people they have become and are still becoming, but I do miss their chubby little fingers wrapped around my finger, and their cute little voices calling out for “mommy”. However, I would not turn back time even if I could, but I do sometimes wish I had slowed down and breathed in those fleeting moments a little more. I wish I knew then, what I know now. That in a moment, in a heartbeat of time, my babies, my toddlers, my grade schoolers would be gone, never to return. But in this moment, as I am writing this, I also have a new gift. Best friends. You know the kind of friends that you know will always be there no matter what. That is now what I have in my children. Even when they are in another state or across the world, they are still only a FaceTime moment away.

I have new best friends.

I got to visit with them this past weekend after months of them being away. It’s amazing how they have changed and yet are still the same. The same smile, the same laugh, but yet more grown up somehow. It is really hard to put into words what it is like seeing your children, your babies, now starting to walk out their adult life. Some words come to mind. Love. Pride. Honor. Gratefulness. I feel a deeper kind of love for them. I am proud of them. I am amazed by them. I am thankful that I am their mom. But most of all I am grateful that God is still with us all, loving us, guiding us, and in these beautiful fleeting moments bringing us back together, even if it’s only for awhile.

The seasons are fleeting.

It is a new season for my children. It is also a new season of my life. A season that I saw coming and even a season that I have prayed for, but now that it’s here, it brings with it things I could never have imagined. A peace and a joy. A sadness and a difficulty. An excitement that I truly never expected. For as my children’s’ lives more forward, so does mine. I realize that more adventure awaits for us all. Both together and apart. That may be the most surprising part of all. Realizing that my children and I will now begin new adventures in the Kingdom together, not just as mother and child, but as brothers and sisters in Christ. I guess that is what we have been all along. Funny how time has a way of showing you things and teaching you lessons. So take it from somebody who knows. Breathe in those moments with your children. Capture them. Drink in the honor of being a parent. Remember that the moments are fleeting and that we, as parents, have a short time to pour into our children. To teach them the way they should go. To recognize that they have a call on their life. A moment in time to try our best to help them learn how to walk in that call. To steward them the best we can and rely on God for the rest. So friends, I leave you with these thoughts. Don’t stress about the things that don’t really matter. Hug more than you yell. Hold their hand. Have the late night talks. Pray over them daily. Speak over your children the things that you want them to be. Lean on God for guidance. For all too soon, you will have an adult staring back at you too. Be Blessed my friends.


Scriptures on the walls at the YWAM base in Charlotte:

YWAM pic 2Ywam pic

Introverts Beware

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This past weekend I had the privilege of a little getaway with my hubby. It was a great weekend, but I do have a warning for my fellow introverts out there….

Don’t go to the Cheesecake Factory on a Friday night if you’re an introvert.
Okay. You have been warned.

Cheesecake Factory
You may find yourself in the middle of the restaurant at an open table. No. Not a booth, but a two person table, surrounded by strangers, with the chatter so loud that immersing one’s self in a safe, world closing bubble, is very difficult and leaves oneself with complete and total booth envy. I found myself in just this situation, with the only comforts being the promise of delicious food and even more deliciousness of cheesecake and the dashing man across from me who’s learned to a accommodate my introvert ways.

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It’s actually quite funny. Now he only laughs at my funny ways and my threats of bolting for the door. And, yes… I did almost bolt for the door until warm buttered bread was put in front of me and my hubby assured me I would survive. You will be happy to know that I did survive. All in all, we had a great dinner and a wonderful evening.

 

It left me grateful that God has grown me to the place of seeing my unique ways and laughing at myself and my husband to the place of accepting me for who I am in all my weirdness.
I will leave you with this thought. If you’re an extrovert then be happy this situation would not affect you in the same way and for my fellow introverts, BEWARE.

It’s Just One of Those Days

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Ever have one of those days? You know. The kind where nothing seems to go right? Where you are just trying to make it from one hour to the next. Or maybe minute to minute. You may even say that to yourself, “Yep, it’s just one of those days”. I want to encourage you, that you are not the only one who has days like this.

When I was a young mom, with three toddlers, I had lots of days like this. Days that the house was cluttered with kid stuff everywhere, dirty laundry, dirty dishes, and messy babies. I would wait for hubby to come through the door so I could have a break. Sometimes that worked, sometimes it didn’t. He may have had a bad day too and now we both needed a break. At the end of these days, I would go to bed feeling like a complete failure. I use to think that as I got older everything would change and that life would get easier. In some ways, life has changed and become easier. In some ways, life hasn’t changed at all and has become harder. I have come to realize that as much as some things change, some things stay the same. Even though my days look different and are filled with new challenges, like being the parent of young adults, the dirty dishes and laundry still seem to find ways to multiply. No matter how much time goes by, I am still me and I still have bad days. I still get overwhelmed. I still get frustrated. I still get a really bad attitude. However, along the way I have learned a valuable lesson. God never changes.  No matter how much time goes by, God is still God. Along the way is when I realized it.

-My bad days don’t surprise God.

God already knew about my bad days. The dirty laundry, piles of bills and endless parenting doesn’t surprise him. Neither does my bad attitude. He knows exactly where I am and he is there with me. He chose to give me this life. That’s right. He knew about my weaknesses and failures and he still gave me my husband. My kids. My friends and family. He knew I would have bad days. He knew I would yell at my kids and my husband, and sometimes kick the dog. Yes. I confess. I have kicked my dog.

-I am not defined by my bad days… I am not defined by my good ones either…

But he also gave me a way out of my bad days. He gave me his shoulder to cry on. He gave me his arms wrapped around me. He gave me his truth spoken to me. His truth. His truth is that I am not defined by my bad days. I’m not defined by my good ones either. I am defined by being a child of God. I am defined by His love for me. He also gave me the promise “I will be with you”. I can pour out my heart and tell God exactly what I am thinking and feeling. My feelings don’t surprise God. I can yell, scream and cry and he will not leave me. In fact, I just need to speak his name and he helps me. He helps me from minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day. He helps me, he cares for me and he changes me.

Now when I have a bad day, I think about the fact that this day will not define me or my family. It doesn’t mean that I am a big fat failure. It simple means I am human and in need of a savior. It will simply be one of those days that I need to lean even more on God. He has given me tools for these days. He has given me scriptures, affirmation statements, prayers to pray, and friends to call. But even if I don’t use those tools and let the bad day get the best of me, He also gives me forgiveness. He has given me the power to ask for forgiveness, to ask others to forgive me and the power to forgive myself. He gives second chances and brand new days. He gives me love and the assurance that it’s okay when I fall short. After all, God is the only one who is perfect and the only one with no bad days. Be blessed my friends.

Deuteronomy 31:8 – And the LORD, he it is that does go before you; he will be with you, he will not fail you, neither forsake you: fear not, neither be dismayed.

Hebrews 13: 5-6, 8 – Let your conduct be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for he has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.

I Peter 5:7 – Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you.