Quiet Time Necessity

Sometimes when I substitute teach, my job assignment stretches beyond the classroom.

Recently I ended up in the school’s lunchroom to supervise bubbly elementary students. An extended squirming hand raised high let’s the adults know when attention is needed—usually indicating milk cartons are being stubborn and extra help is needed in opening them, maybe a kiddo wants permission to pass on their veggies, or he or she is ready to dump their tray once they’ve finished eating.

While I helped a few weeks ago, a hand went up and I walked over.

A little girl, probably second grade, looked up at me with sad eyes and I knew we weren’t dealing with regular lunch issues. I knelt down beside her and asked what was wrong. With tears welled in the corners of her eyes she spoke through pouty lips, “I want to sit alone right now.”

“Well why? What’s going on?” I asked with concern.

The tiny voice responded, “I’m just sad, it’s too loud in here, and I want to be alone.”

“If you sit alone though, then you’ll be lonely.” I stated with matter of fact reasoning.

“But that’s what I want! I want to be lonely,” she persistently replied.

In my unprofessional opinion I’m not sure anyone chooses to want to be ‘lonely’…Determined to get down to the core problem I asked the light-pink shirted cutie if there was something causing her sadness and she revealed that her great grandpa had passed away and she was missing him. Together we decided she could stay seated where she was and didn’t need to visit with anyone around her, she could just sit quietly—reflecting on the good-time memories she had with him.

Seeing someone hurt is hard. I want to be able to fix the worry, the trouble, the pain—and bring it all to an end. But at times, a little alone time is honestly the best option. It’s there that we can take a deep breath, quietly sort thoughts, and recollect a positive mindset.

As a Christian I thoroughly look forward to my own “quiet time”. I’m addicted to it in a healthy sense and when I don’t get it I’m kind of a mess. Having quiet time (or me time) means I can spend time, not technically alone, but with Jesus—studying His word and embracing scripture that deals with my matters. It’s then that I find soul-quenching refreshment and the most beautiful thing about it is…I’m left satisfied. Every. Single. Time.

Jesus set the perfect example for us as He purposefully spent quiet time with the Lord in prayer and then reconnected with his followers shortly after, surely feeling a deep sense of fulfillment after doing so.

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” -Matthew 26:36

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. -Mark 1:35

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. -Luke 5:16

When we follow Jesus’ footsteps and mimic his character (spending time before the Lord) we too can find ourselves feeling refreshed—replacing disappointment with contentment, and sorrow with gladness.

…Later that afternoon when I ended up back in the classroom, I heard some giggling coming from the hallway. Turning my attention toward the laughter I saw a once teary-eyed girl from the lunchroom now walking beside a friend…with a large grin spread across her sweet face.

This time when her hand went up she gave an excited, big wave and quickly I returned one—thankful to see her in such a delighted, cheerful spirit.

Sometimes just a bit of quiet time followed with a mixture of friendship and laughter can make all the difference in creating a positive outcome…but the best kind of “alone time” is no doubt when we invite God to be a part of it.

Truly Thankful

Normally on Thanksgiving Day our family heads over to my grandma’s house as a tradition. My girls and I show up earlier than everyone else so we can help her out where needed.

If you remember my post from last year she brazenly informed us before the big day that she “absolutely wasn’t going to cook any of the meal!! Everybody could just bring everything over!!”…her next sentence went like this: “I do plan on making the turkey though, and since I’m making the turkey I’ll make the gravy…and since I’m making those I’ll make the stuffing and mashed potatoes and biscuits to top it off.”

…She’s got some dementia going so not everything makes sense in these more recent years.

I let her know we’d be over extra early Thanksgiving morning to help her—and when my girls and I arrived she had most everything done except potatoes and biscuits…tables were set, relish trays were started, turkey was dried out…and the rest of the family wasn’t due to arrive for another six hours!!

‘Grandma, when did you do all of this?!!”

“I started it last night and pulled an all-nighter,” she replied nonchalantly.

She said she’d gone to bed at six a.m. and woke up at nine! I’m gonna assume that wasn’t the dementia speaking and she really only had got three hours of sleep…which in hindsight would be dementia-default-mode.

So this year she called and said once again that she wasn’t going to host Thanksgiving, and she actually is serious this time. She made plans to go with my uncle to his in-laws which left the rest of us creating a new game plan.

I don’t handle change well. I like routine, habit, and tradition but nevertheless as time moves, change comes at one point or another, sometimes a good thing and sometimes not.

We’ve decided we’ll all gather at mine and Nate’s place tomorrow for Thanksgiving dinner. Yes it will be different, but honestly I’m not freaking out. I’m not having a meltdown. I’m okay with it…(I actually think I’m starting to grow up somewhat, emotionally. It’s weird.)

My grandma is getting older, it’s a part of life and something I have to accept. I need to be thankful she’s still here regardless of not spending Thanksgiving Day with her. I’ll visit her next week with the kids and put her Christmas tree up and decorate her house and a thanksgiving atmosphere will still be felt within our hearts even if the calendar date isn’t showing November 28th.

Some of you reading this may also be looking at Thanksgiving a little differently than the years before—travel plans might have changed due to weather, maybe finances have left too small of a budget for the abundant feasts you’d hoped for, others have lost loved ones over the past year and healing still feels far away.

Whatever the circumstance—there’s one thing that will never change year after year—God loves us no matter what life has thrown our way. And His word reminds us ‘He is the same yesterday and today and forever.’ (Hebrews 13:8) When life changes, when plans fumble, and tradition breaks—God still remains and He offers a Thanksgiving more gratifying than any turkey dinner can ever, EVER offer. Any day of the year.

Blessings and beautiful Thanksgiving wishes to you all!

-Alicia

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. -1 Chronicles 16:34

A She Shed in the Making part 1

In my last post I announced Nathan is building a she shed for me…I also wrote (by accident) that it was for our ten year anniversary. My husband quickly informed me after reading my post that it should’ve said fifteen year anniversary, not ten. Oops! And then he also reminded me of the wonderful gift he surprised me with for our ten year anniversary…

Nate and I were newlyweds and I can remember the first time I ever spotted a Yorkie, I thought “I need to get me one of those!!!” I BEGGED Nathan for nearly ten years…now we have a sweet and tiny, seizure-filled, five year old Eli who literally falls over at the drop of a feather with fright! Goodness I just love him! He’s so darn cute!! Nate calls him a genetic mutation but I know he actually thinks the world of him!😉

So now for the fifteen year gift…my husband said to me a few months ago he wanted to build me a she shed as an anniversary present. My exact words: “a sh-what?!” I had no clue about these little gems and as he began to describe the possibilities a “she shed” offers I jumped right on the trendy bandwagon.

Just Pinterest or google she shed if you don’t know, and your search will render all sorts of overwhelming results. It’s creative, weird, and exciting all at the same time! I kinda feel like I’m getting my very own ‘mom’s little playhouse’.

We discussed size, material preference, location, and everything else in between.

I’m always amazed at what my husband is capable of doing outside of his oil field work so I cheer him on enthusiastically. Men need that, and in a marriage conference Nathan and I recently attended I learned that a majority of men would rather hear the words “thank you and good job!” over “I love you!” They often identify their worth in this way. I’ve done both for years but this helped me be even more mindful of how important it is to encourage and to be sure to not take for granted the good things he does for our family and especially with this sweet she shed gesture he’s working on.

The number one question I’ve been asked by family and friends, “what are you going to do with your she shed?” And to be honest this was a concern of mine from the get go. I’m not great at accepting gifts but when I saw how excited Nate was to make this for me I was determined to graciously accept it but also wanted to be sure I would use it, it wouldn’t go to waste, and it would serve a purpose. Continue reading “A She Shed in the Making part 1”

Autumn Updates 2019

Whew! It’s been a while!

After that last (deep-thought) post I wrote I’ve honestly just had to take a break and continue to work on myself—my mental health, my heart—and I can honestly say I feel sooooo amazingly good. I’m in a good place right now—mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I’ll share more on this in a future post but right now I just want to share (with y’all) some other fun updates happening in our household currently.

Nate and I had our 15 year anniversary/fall party last month and had over sixty of our family and friends show up! It was a ton of fun! We probably should’ve had it catered because I felt like Nathan and I were so busy with food prep, etc. that it was hard to visit with everyone. I had a lot of people tell me in the days following that they had such a good time and that fellowship happened — regardless of how unorganized I felt like it was; I guess I was the only one who noticed.❤️

Continue reading “Autumn Updates 2019”

I’m Over You Fear!

Forewarning: this is a sensitive one…

Maybe you’ve noticed my absence in writing lately. I’ve honestly been trying to avoid this post and I haven’t been able to write anything else in the meantime…but I can feel the Holy Spirit whispering “write this out!!!”

So I’m going to be obedient — here we go…

“Why do you care what anyone else thinks about you?” she asked, almost begging it out of me with deep concern.

My eyes zeroed in on hers and my words went something like this as I revealed to yet another friend my very real and ongoing personal struggle , “I don’t know, I guess it goes back to my people-pleasing motives. As much as I want to think it doesn’t, I suppose the sexual abuse from my childhood probably messes with me still, subconsciously…and that’s why I’m bothered if I think someone has a problem with me.”

That conversation between my friend and I isn’t too terribly seasoned, the words of encouragement she spoke over me as we visited are still fresh on my mind.

Fear is something I struggle with almost daily. And fear of acceptance is my biggest battle.

I want people to accept me for who I am. I don’t want to let them down. I want them to be pleased with who I’ve become.

There are times when I feel like I’m okay and other times when I think I could largely benefit from temporarily living in a mental institute to sort out and nullify my crazy. My friend had caught me on a not-so-good day. Continue reading “I’m Over You Fear!”

Celebrations & Ramblings

Just a little update-post while I have some extra time today!

First the milestones:

  • Warren (my son) started going to public school this year, 4th grade…and he loves it! His teacher is amazing so that’s a huge bonus!
  • The beginning of September, WordPress notified me that For His Purpose blog has been a go for two years now!! When I first decided to start a blog I honestly didn’t think I had much more than two or three deep thoughts to share, so to think that I’ve now written over 80 posts in the past two years with 280 followers, blows my mind.
  • Had an awesome time at women’s weekend with maybe 45 minutes of sleep.
  • Nathan and I celebrated our 15 year wedding anniversary last month…with…insert drumroll please…a trip to Subway! They have gluten-free bread! (Side note: always have it toasted, it helps kill the rubbery texture) Continue reading “Celebrations & Ramblings”

Burnt Popcorn Lessons

Lately I’ve been volunteering to help in our church office on Monday afternoons.

I show up with half my house usually—plus my homeschooled daughter (every now and then). There are times when I have extra task to do while I’m there so I keep busy, other times I’m able to settle in and catch up on a good book or work on a Bible study or other personal things.

Having McKenzie with me I make sure to keep her occupied by leaving schoolwork for the afternoon so she has something to do to pass time.

Last Monday after her and I situated ourselves in the office she declared she was ready for her popcorn snack. She’s pretty serious about popcorn so I headed off to the kitchen immediately with the unpopped bag of popcorn in my hand and an eagerness to please my child as my mission.

All microwaves are different right?!!! Continue reading “Burnt Popcorn Lessons”