On Seasons and Streamlining

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We all have those really tough seasons. The ones in which you just try to make it through day by day. Having a new baby is a tough season. Moving. Illness and the death of loved ones.  In our case last year it was going through our first internal investigation as a foster family along with saying goodbye to a longtime placement a bit after that (and not hearing anything since).

It’s been a little over two months since my last post. It was a popular one but also a fairly raw one. I’ve been unsure of where to go from there.

 I’ve had such a hard time with the day to day since that last post. The housework and the educating of the kids and the burden of keeping everyone safe. We should be gearing up for a new season of schooling. One that I’ve been SO excited for. It just seems overwhelming today (and yesterday and probably will tomorrow too).

I’m starting to realize just how much I care about what people think.  It’s easy to filter on social media. Snippets of your day that went well. Or the messy parts that you want people to see. I care so much that I start apologizing for things that don’t need apologies. Or shutting down completely over any type of criticism. I am quick to delete photos that weren’t quite right. Or justify why I put them up in the first place.

In our annual review this past winter I read a passage from one of our workers: “As a homeschooling stay at home mom it would be really easy for Lauren to become overwhelmed. It’s important that she does not.”

I also got this comment a few weeks ago: “Normally, I’d be totally fine with you guys building a relationship with [insert individual] but I think that they would walk all over you. You are just so sweet and caring and I’d be worried about boundaries.”

They were both right on. But in a way that stung a little bit. I’m working on taking the criticism in stride. Using it constructively.

It’s gotten me to thinking though, what do I want this to look like? This blog. This small little voice in a massive ocean of voices. Where are we going? What do I have to say? Why are you here, reading this right now? What can I possibly offer?

Well, I don’t think I have all that much to offer in the homeschooling community. You guys have it down. I’ll still offer some of the insights we’ve learned and resources we love. But we won’t be going down that road quite as much. Check out my instagram (@mixingplaydough) for photos of our everyday there.

What can I offer? Well, I think I can offer some thoughts on the foster care system. I can offer insight on what it looks like, what it’s been like for our family. What it’s like for the littles that come through our doors. I can share training and ideas and positive parenting trials and errors. I can offer perspective into adopting through foster care. The highs and the lows. The bittersweet-ness of it all.

I can be real and raw even if it’s hard. I can learn to take criticism in stride. To use it for good things.

We are streamlining for this new season. I don’t know what it will look like- but it has potential for awesomeness. So be sure to check back in to see how we are doing. What we are learning and just who we are loving.

What can you expect from Mixing Playdough?

We are messy.

We are raw. 

We offer guidance in a blanket of kindness.

We fight for the rights of those with little.  For the littles. 

We mix playdough colors with abandon, throwing them all in the same tub and closing the lid. Because the joy is in the process. In the playing and the experimenting and the loving. Because our home is an environment of grace for all who enter it. 

 “And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his spirit.” -Ephesians 2:22

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