Hangry,Whole30, & INTENTIONALITY

So it’s day 2 of semi-good days! It’s been 2 days of waking the kids up at 6:30 to be responsible for the TWO 3 month old puppies that joined our family of 8 over the weekend. It’s been 2 days of them cleaning up so the puppies don’t chew, sweeping and mopping floors twice a day because……..you guess it…….PUPPY PEE! They have KEPT their room clean ALL day! That one deserves some #PRAISEHANDS! It’s been 2 night of sticking to a bedtime routine. I know, I know 2 nights and routine probably don’t belong together in most people’s’ world, but 2 nights of the same thing (for the most part) is rocking MY world.

I NEEDED these last few days. I needed a glimpse of something good! I am doing Whole30 and on day 11 today! I have been hangry and not myself. I have been groggy and foggy. I am totally sure getting up with the hubs at 2am to make him breakfast and having a teething-nursing baby, and new puppies to clean up after and take out constantly has SO MUCH to do with it as well! Oh AND it was my birthday Sunday and my whole family quit Whole 30 but I didn’t, because who wants to start off a new year with failure? And I just happened to be super stubborn and immovable in almost everything so I refused to join them in carb heaven! It sure smelled good though!

Any who, this Whole30 thing for me is a RESET! I needed one. Ever feel stuck and stagnant? Like you’re circling the mountain? Every morning you wake up and say to yourself “today will be different! It just HAS to be” but your patience is shorter than the day before and you find yourself once again struggling? For me it’s yelling. I HATE it. It is what I dislike the most about myself. Oh, how I pray to be soft-spoken!

BUT in TRUE JESSICA LEDERER-ness I plan to tackle a LOT, to do this BIG….so food, finances, family, house ALL it is all getting a revamp! If you’ve ever done Whole30 you may understand, THIS THINGS IS LIKE A STINKING ROLLER COASTER RIDE and I wasn’t seeing any fruit. I have been even more horrible. My fuse shorter. People, use to love them all and now—-don’t like em. My lack of carbs and sugar and coffee as I knew it has seriously diminished my PC filter—I’m a little judgy.  I am craving nasty fast food that I wouldn’t normally eat, like totally fixated! Sleepy all the time with burning eyes and that fogginess that just wouldn’t (won’t) lift! And seriously who knew I could look more bloated? I’ve had 6 kids!! I digress though….I needed these past few days to help me get over that hump and keep the end goal in mind.

SO what’s the end goal? INTENTIONALITY! Not a smaller size, or inches off. Not losing weight. It’s about being intentional about my life. This was a tangible way for me to take control and change something! It has an end date! 30 days. That’s all. It is manageable. I need some kind of a timeline to be successful! I have a group for accountability. I have had amazing people join me and I can’t quit while they are still going! (That may be my competitiveness) SO ANYONE WANNA DO THIS FOR YELLING! Seriously! Is there a yelling challenge!

As I said INTENTIONAL is my goal! I found I wasn’t doing many of these things and THESE are what has help the past couple days! I’m not sure self-sabotage is what happened, I just literally could not see or think through to the next step. SO here’s some of my what I’ve added more of! What a transformation.

  • OIL UP! Yup, oil up buttercup! I can fight cravings, get some serious emotional and hormone support, much-needed digestive support, and even help my kiddos out when things are getting rough! I LOVE my oils and supplements but hadn’t been utilizing them as I should, so yesterday I made roller bottles for #ALLTHETHINGS!photo (2)
  • WATER and NINGXIA SPRITZERS!!! My skin is looking amazing and it helps me think I’m not as hangry as I am! And I can flavor with vitality oils so it doesn’t get boring!ningxia sprintzer
  • BULLETPROOF COFFEE and FROZEN BANANAS! Helps with mental clarity and the cinnamon bark vitality oil I add helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels among other amazing benefits! Freeze ripened bananas, throw in food processor until creamy, then add almond butter! SOOO good!
  • PUPPIES! Yup potty training can irk me BUT there’s something super therapeutic about snuggling a pup while watching THIS IS US!
  • BIBLE STUDY! God’s Word brings up body frequency! It is uplifting and powerful! Spending time with Him means I am reflecting a little of who He is! We start to become like the 5 people we spend the most time with! I do my best to make sure Jesus is one of them!IMG_4581
  • QUIET! As you can imagine for this momma of 6 kids and momma of 2 pups, quiet time helps me to catch my breath, breathe out, and pray!
  • SWEATER WEATHER!!! It’s only happened today but wearing riding boots was GLORIOUS!
  • TIME SLOTS! I hate to be late so scheduling is difficult for me. I break up morning, afternoon, and evening and each one has a top 3 and then a couple more bonus things. This has helped me to feel more productive and not like I am failing life.FullSizeRender (5)
  • PHOTO FILTERS and BELLY LAUGHS with my babes!

SO all what helps you cope? What are your struggles? ANYONE WANNA DO SOME KIND OF YELLING CHALLENGE?? <——-YUP I was serious!

Keepin the “cray” away with hormone support

So let me start by first saying that I am NOT a medical professional, I don’t have a degree, I am NOT a replication of you so what works for me may not work for you, ALL the things affect ALL the things, and none of this is intended to treat, cure, or prevent ANYTHING. So I am in NO WAY an expert, I am not offering medical advice, I am offering my testimony and something to research for yourself! AND I am only speaking Young Living because that’s what I know! I trust them and I use them explicitly! I have been on one their farms, in their facilities, I’ve seen a lab, and planted lavender!

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s chat….

Do yo know what’s in your beauty products? Food? Personal care products? Environmentally around you? NO ONE can say yes to all! We make educated decisions and try to remove as much GARBAGE as we can but we will inevitable be exposed to toxins. Toxins have a negative effect on our bodies. They accumulate. They wreak havoc on EVERY body system. So we combat those negatives with intentional actions!

WHY is it so important? That’s how most of us begin life! OVER 200 TOXINS were found in the umbilical cord in a recent study! Go ahead GOOGLE, I’ll wait! And I know you downloaded the THINK DIRTY app from the last post, so go and put in the leading baby wash and wipes!

Add vaccines, food, environment, stress, medications and it’s paints a pretty scary picture. Ones like we see today in our population.

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OK OK! So why share ALL that? Well y’all this is my WHY! My why is educating myself, my children, and all the people! I want my children to know better and do better. I want to do better for them. I want to save them from some of the heartbreak I have seen others suffer. And one way I had do this is to remove as many toxins as possible.

So back to hormones…..I share everything above because they ALL play a part in disrupting our hormones AND THAT can have detrimental affects! That means I am going to do my darnedest to support and maintain healthy hormones! So let’s chat about the things we have and use daily to stay above the wellness line!

FEMALE

A must for me is PROGESSENCE PLUS! It was formulated by a doctor who specializes in women’s hormone issues. Many that he saw had very low or NO progesterone when he tested them. This causes a myriad of issues that run rampant today!

Another MUST is ENDOFLEX! This is support for your endocrine system! I apply on my thyroid and adrenal and on my wrist if i get that afternoon sweet tooth! So what’s your endocrine system? Think metabolism, sex drive, sleep, stress, mood, reproduction, growth and development and more! SUPER important!

DRAGON TIME! I wonder if when this oil was named if the man had to sleep on the couch. This is for that time of the month when the potential for turning ‘dragonish’ is at an all time high, well maybe guaranteed!

photo (1).jpegA few more female supporting oils are Lady Sclareol, Sclaressence, Clary Sage, Ylang Ylang, Fennel (google fennel and milk supply too), Geraminum, CortiStop*, EndoGize, Estro*, PD 80/20, PowerGize, Thyromin, Prenolone. (*DO not use when pregnant along with Rehemogen and Comfortone)

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My favorite is MISTER! It was orginally made to support prostate health and male energy! Hubby uses on his pelvic line and outer ankle. It smells so good! This definitely gets used by me too! ***So women can be low in progesterone, high in estrogen, and low in testosterone…so this one can help support females who may find themselves with the latter! So if you are finding the female supports aren’t helping much, try this one!

SHUTRAN!! If this oil had a tagline it would be “HELLO ladies!” It is a favorite of so so so many that there is a whole personal care line! Beard oil, soap, body wash!!! I am hoping for a deodorant in the near future with this manly yumminess!

When you think IDAHO BLUE SPRUCE, think testosterone! Google it!

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Other great products for male hormone support are Prostate Health, Copiaiba, EndoGize.

Questions? Well google young living and _______! WHY! WHY? WHY do you keep telling me to Google? Well I want to empower you with your own health! I want you vested in your own wellness! I do however want to help and point in you a general direction!

Want to start your own wellness jouney? We have an amazing community! Our main reason is to empower, educate, and love on everyone! So if you’re ready (no one is really ever ready) then click here or comment below and I will get in touch with you personally! You’ll even get some happy, oily mail with education and love!

Clean Cleanin

Y’all we are a family of EIGHT!!! That’s a lot of dishes, laundry, messes, food, emotions, messes, personalities, talking, messes, and CHAOS. So we do what we can to help keep things as WELL OILED as possible. It is near impossible for me to do it all myself so our children are required to help. After all they (more times than not) made the messes and they are a part of our family and many hands make for light work. And that still rings true even if it’s like pulling teeth, it just takes longer.

As I type in my bed doing my CBS (Community Bible Study) homework-another blog for another time-they are in the living room watching their afternoon tv of Phineas and Ferb and folding laundry! So lets start there! The biggest organ you have is your………yup, you guessed it your SKIN!! So what we put on it is super important and most of what we are using to clean our clothes is SUPER dirty according to the non-biased THINK DIRTY APP<— y’all are gonna wanna go download that RIGHT now and start scanning your products and also the HEALTHY LIVING APP! You’re welcome and I’m sorry! It’s empowering and scary and thought-provoking!

So what we use is Young Living’s Thieves Laundry soap! None of the ingredients rates as scary! Here’s a post you can read! This amazing woman did the Thieves line so I am not going to reinvent the wheel! Then we use organic wool dryer balls to soften clothes with whatever essential oil on it we are in the mood for!

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Also in the picture above to the left on top of the washer is my cleaning basket! Inside we have……

+Thieves Concentrated Cleaner-most amazing product ever! You can make around 30 bottles of cleaner depending on strength! With this one bottle you can clean wood, glass, stainless, counters, toilets, tubs, sinks, floors, carpets, headliners, dishes, clothes, high chairs, jumperoos…..yup #allthethings!highchairjumperoo

+Thieves Hand Purifer and Spray- ALWAYS have extra on hand and keep a supply in the car, purse, diaper bag, kids’ backpacks, ALL THE PLACES!

+Thieves automatic dishwashing powder This stuff is great! I love it! I don’t always get my glasses sparkly but I am ok with it! We eat and drink with the things in there! Keep those nasty powder and gel ingredients AWAY!

+I also use the Thieves Dish Soap! I was super apprehensive because…..DAWN! But this stuff gets baked on bacon grease off pans with ease and FEELS clean and smells great! And when my 4-year-old drinks it to see if he can blow bubbles, it’s not that big of a deal and it’s boosting his immune system :’0)

+Thieves Fruit and Veggie Wash and Spray- Y’all the amount of YUCK on your produce is nasty! Even organic NEEDS to be washed! Do you know what is on it? Do you know what it causes? Look up causes of mouth cancer and then wash your produce!

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And since we now use clean cleaners I can have my kids do the chores I loathe that they think are FUN! Like scrubbing the bathtub! Now you can use your Thieves Dishwasher Powder to scrub, but I’ma be real-I can’t afford that! We run our dishwasher at LEAST 2 times a day (if not 3)! BUT we definitely can’t have comet or soft scrub anymore! That stuff would chase me out with it’s fumes! So here’s what I do, I make my OWN and call it poor man’s thieves scrub!

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Lastly we diffuse us some Thieves to help clean the air and wash our hands with Thieves hand soap to support our immune system! Because more often than not we have those times when we haven’t clean when or as often as we probably should, because we’ve been busy out and about with all the germy people!bathroom

If ANY of this clean cleaning sounds like it’s for YOU then leave a comment and let’s chat! We have an amazing community people who empower and educate! AND Young Living has the perfect starter kit just for YOU! You’re gonna click the picture below and it will take you to get your very OWN THIEVES PSK! And on top of peace of mind, I’ll send you a fun Welcome Packet with resources and goodies!

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Too much but not enough…

These past few months have been a whirlwind of emotions and life lessons. A dear friend of mine was given the opportunity to preview a book before it was release and I have loved reading her reviews and thoughts! One particular quote has been in my mind, on my heart, and touched my spirit. I think we can all relate. And here it is:

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I have been going through a season of being told by many that I am, in a sense, “too much but not enough.” I have too many kids, too many responsibilities, my hand in too many things, too much going on, too much, too much, too much…. I am not enough of a mom, a Nursery Director, a CC participant, not enough time, not enough organization, not enough, not enough, not enough…

Praise God that those who have actually invested 5 minutes in me and my family have a different opinion. The most interesting common factor was that they were all Christian women. Women who, though we exchanged pleasantries in between church services, before and after our Community Day, the random occurrence at the grocery store or gas station, have never taken a moment to really get to know me. I will admit a mom with 5 children (8 years and younger) grocery shopping, carrying tutor supplies, or taking up the church hallway probably seems like a sight or circus to many.

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Through this time I will admit that even though I knew that God appointed me to everything my hand was in, I began to think…What if they’re right. What if I am too busy? What if I am not being enough of a mom to my children? Am I following where God is calling? Am I enough? Am I too much?

During this time the Lord was so sweet to me. In March, we found out that we are expecting our sixth child (so hormones may have be a factor in my sensitivity). That was the first of many gifts the Lord would use to answer my doubts. To follow would be a sweet sign with the words, “if you think my hands are full you should see my heart.” I received thank-you notes in the mail for nothing more than kindness and encouragement. A sweet friend gifted me a pair of KEEP cross earrings for “wearing my faith”. And another sister in Christ gave me a bottle of Young Living’s Thieves with the kindest thank-you card! If you aren’t familiar with Young Living, this is their immunity blend or as I lovingly refer to it now, PROTECTION. I truly believe the the Lord showered me with His love and used His people to answer my doubts with His Truth.

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The Lord revealed many things to me during this time, some hard truths and some sweet memories that are now cherished stakes in the ground. He showed me who some people really are and who some people could be. He showed me once again that He cares and will be there to comfort. So if the world is telling you that you are too much and not enough know that you can walk boldly in your calling! Jesus overcame the world so we wouldn’t have to. All He asks is for is a heart for Him,a willing spirit, and some time. If the world doesn’t understand, then that’s ok! I am not sure they are suppose to!

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Turn the hearts…

A prayer that I often pray over our family is “LORD turn the hearts of the children to their father and the heart of the father to the children.” (Malachi 4:6) I have a working husband (and I stay home) who gets parenting and babysitting confused (LOVE you honey)! Some of you can relate and those that don’t I pray you know my heart. The Lord really revealed to me this morning that I need to put my own name in there too! I am mom and of course I love my children BUT is my heart always turned towards them? Sadly, no.

We have five children ranging from 1 to almost 8, and we homeschool. This morning as the aforementioned revelation fell on me afresh, many other things “dawned” on me too! HOMESCHOOL! That word right there in bold letters is probably why I need to pray that prayer the most. They are with me ALL the time and it is so easy to take their little lives for granted and to feel burdened over blessed.

It is only (or ALREADY depending on how the moment is going) Wednesday, and so far we have listened to our Classical Conversations Week 19 Memory Work ONLY! Wait, I did manage to get them to sit and watch What’s In The Bible with Buck Denver on Monday before art classes! That counts as Bible and devotion time, right?

Most days are a struggle. Some days we do nothing but spend the whole day trying to die so we can live! Figuratively, of course! Our house is one strong-willed personality up against another, up against another, up against another (however many times until that equals the 7 of us!). So I spend my day trying to die to myself and my expectations and yield to God AND trying to get all the kids to die to self in order to build some godly character! The immediate lesson of the heart usually trumps the written lesson. AND THAT’S OK!

On those days though I daydream, even if for a moment, of sending them to school! Bus at 7:30 and home at 4:30. WOW! Do you know what I could do!!!?? I could read my Bible and do Bible Study. I could PRAY and listen! I could clean my home! I could shower consistently. I could do volunteer work. I could cook gourmet meals. I could teach the baby a foreign language or his colors! I would have an awesome relationship with my kids! We wouldn’t always be in a deadlock match of cleaning rooms or doing math or learning what they think is sooo boring. I wouldn’t have to always be the bad guy. I wouldn’t have to fight!

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Then I realize the central subject is “I”. My heart turned to a “me” mentality. And I realize that I AM doing all those thing, just more as a life-application approach! A hands-on stlye, kinesthetic style! I am being given an opportunity to take what I have learn in my prayer time and Bible study and USE it! I am volunteering all of who I am to my family and the legacy I am leaving behind. I AM teaching the baby a foreign language and cooking some pretty awesome meals on occasion! I am showing them that the people you love are worth fighting for and with! I am showing them that I won’t give up on them and I will fight for my family and Jesus with everything I have!

I pray that the Lord bonds us all closer together through these years versus some of us ending up with some life-long issues! I pray that the Lord turns the hearts of the children to their mother and the heart of the mother to her children. I pray that the Lord will remain steadfastly standing in the gap, because I loose to my flesh more than I like. I pray that my children see that I am doing my best and that I love the Lord! I pray that the can see glimpses of Jesus in who I am!

A promise I cling to when things get hard and I wanna quit is this, “Let us not become weary of doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest IF WE DO NOT GIVE UP.” Galatians 6:9

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Lord I thank you that I can do anything and everything through You! I thank you that through You I can do good and not grow weary! I thank you Jesus for Your help sowing the seeds and can’t wait to the fruition of the harvest!

 

 

 

 

To tell you my story is to tell of HIM!

Many times throughout the day I have that “you should blog about this” thought, thankfully I usually take a week to pray over it. And more times than not it is a song that touches the depths of my spirit and I feel what I should write. Tonight after taking the 5 kids to Walmart and then to bring daddy dinner and have birthday cake for my second-born’s SIXTH birthday I had just that feeling. I turned the song up and let the emotion grow with every line.

“My Story” Big Dadd Weave

‘If I told you my story
You would hear Hope that wouldn’t let go
And if I told you my story
You would hear Love that never gave up
And if I told you my story
You would hear Life, but it wasn’t mine

If I should speak then let it be
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him

If I told you my story
You would hear victory over the enemy
And if I told you my story
You would hear freedom that was won for me
And if I told you my story
You would hear Life overcome the grave
…..”

I am so glad that the majority of my youth was before the invention of social media. (I do not at all wish that on anyone!)

That being said, here I go…my story so far…

I was born to a military dad, which meant a move every couple of years. This is a BIG part of who I am. I don’t have “roots” or a childhood home. I don’t have life-long best friends. I am very social and do well in any social setting. I have never met a stranger. I can generally read people. People either love or hate me, there are very few luke-warm! I have a strong personality and can dominate conversations and settings. This is not intentional but moving every couple of years meant needing to be able to make new friends and adapt to new social settings, so a survival mechanism. We moved up the coast and across the country a few times. My dad was (always will be) a NAVY man! He was away on the sub and my mom was home.

At the beginning of my sixth grade year and ten years old we settled in Northern Virginia. In a few short years I became a child of divorce and very quickly lost my innocence I had preserved from living on military bases and strict parenting. At the young age of 12, I had grown-up vices and a baby face. Just a month after my fourteenth birthday I was admitted to the hospital for alcohol poisoning and violation. Removed from high school and transferred to another I was able to once again reinvent myself. Being young and having such an experience kept me on the straight and narrow for the most part. But eventually that girl who confused adult companionship with love, emerged once again. I was the “party girl” with the “party house”. I had many other descriptions but we will leave it there.

This behavior continued well into my late teens and I left home at seventeen. By twenty I had pretty much done it all (except drugs-my mom told me I was too pretty..lol). Then through bad behaviors, a DUI, totaled Lexus, and a return home (a couple times) to have to leave again I ended up with a family. It was total God thing. They took me in and loved me. At twenty-one (and finally legal to be in bars that I had frequented since seventeen) I decided I was done. I remember shortly after New Years telling a very good friend of mine I was done with it all, I just wanted to be married and have family, I spoke it “into the universe” and after a last crazy trip and “wild Jess”, (just four months later )I met BJ. He was the nephew of the family that so generously took me in and loved me. They gave me what I had need for so many years….someone to not leave, someone to love me through my bad decisions, someone who thought I was worth it! They were one of my first glimpses into Jesus.

BJ and I were a whirlwind relationship, completed what most people do in six months in just one night. We had a week together, decided to give it a shot, and the next month professed love. The following month I moved and we were now living together. Then the next pregnant with our first child. And almost 7 months to the day (and 20+ weeks pregnant) we were married.

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We totally didn’t know each other and I am not sure “love” was our motivation for marriage. Four months later, Wyatt Louis was born. The days and months that proceeded were filled with fears, tears, and something close to hatred. Around our one year anniversary we found out we were expecting our second child. Things were improving in our marriage and another boy, William Cash was joining our family. I sought something when I was pregnant with Wyatt and wasn’t able to “find” it, so I stuffed those feelings with pregnancy number two. At this point in our marriage I still don’t think I was secure but the word “divorce” had stopped being used and we were starting to get to  know each other.

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Brielle came next. I was tired and nauseous all the time. I had two small boys and they weren’t easy. Strong-willed is the only word I can think of to describe them that is appropiate. Towards the end of my pregnancy and Easter of 2011 we began going to church, that “something more” feeling was back. I continued going every weekend and soon Brielle joined us outside the womb.

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Then on Saturday, July 9, 2011 I reacted to a situation with Cash in a way that brought me to my knees! I was so tired (newborn, 2 strong-willed boys, almost 2 and 3). I needed help (my husband drove a truck and not home during waking hours much). It broke my heart that I could react that way to a baby! In case anyone is wondering he bite my niece and drew blood and I popped his mouth in anger. It tore me up.

The VERY next morning I knew the Lord heard my heart’s cry. I went to church with the then three kids and my pastor preached from Matthew! Matthew 11:28-30. A WHOLE sermon on these three verses it changed my life forever.

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I committed right then and there an have been on this journey with the Lord that I never expected. He REDEEMED me! Through and amazing Beth Moore study, Breaking Free, that following Spring He showed me who I am in Him. He restored soul! He healed so many hurts. He showed me how to forgive. I have been able to see how He was always there. I can hear the enemy laughing thinking he had me and my loving Father just waiting for me to come home to HIM. My marriage has been redeemed and I am married to man that I adore. A man who makes me laugh and is always there for me. I truly can’t image life without him The word “divorce” is never uttered nor does it cross my mind , no even the darkest part. He continued and continues to grow my faith and family.

Four babes:

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Then there was FIVE:

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First time meeting Christmas Day 2014
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January 2015
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Easter 2015

He has replaced my desires with His own. He lovingly reveals my sin and convicts me my transgressions. I know His Word is true and He promises to never leave nor forsake me. He is the LOVE I spent my youth searching for. He never condemns and has healed my hurts. He has given me a life that looks nothing like past.

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Cash's 6th birthday part

He has put me in a place where I can minister to other. He has given me ministries. He is working something out in me and I am ever SO excited to see where we go next. I tell all this because it is my story! It is my testimony! I am not who I once was. He was there all along. He is visible through it all. He has worked my past of mistakes and sin into something I can use for good. He never gave up on me! His kindness kept drawing me closer. His grace was greater than all my sins! Mercy wins! To tell of my story is to tell of him.

“This is my story, This is my song, Praising my Savior all the days long

It’s Your breath in our lungs, So we pour out our PRAISE

Thankfulness. Praising in everything. These are two of the most important things I try to instill in my family. It is next only to loving Jesus, the knowledge of His sacrifice(John 3:16),the revelation that we have someONE that will NEVER leave us nor forsake us no matter what (Heb 13:5), and knowing who God says you ARE (Eph 2:10)! Thankfully it all can be encompassed in teaching WHO God is!

I recently, as in Sunday (it is Wednesday), logged out of Facebook. It was a “challenge” by a woman I admire and love to our whole congregation. Give something up an use that extra time to pray for our youth who are doing God’s work on a missions trip at a Reservation. Needless to say the way-too-accessible social media site is what would be a challenge for me and what I view as a “sacrifice”. I sometimes view it as my only view into what people with “lives” are up to. Coffee may have been harder but 5 kids 7 and under, second-shift husband an a teething baby was a NO-GO for me.

JUST since Sunday the blessings and praises I have had come my way have been immeasurable. Yes I can count them but I know I still missed a few.

I went outside the other evening to grab my dog off his tie-out and noticed the trees. Trees that had always been there! I began to thank God for the beauty. We have a tree line of all different kinds and to watch them all dance in the wind was breathtaking. My mind began to wonder “what they have seen:”, “how old were they”, and it turned into a fun game with the kids. We guessed their ages and told stories from the trees perspective. My mother’s heart filled with joy as I watched my youngins use there imagination and history lessons to come up with some pretty cool stuff.

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On top of a reprieve from Facebook, Gage our 2 year old haphazardly threw a mega block and the corner hit just right that the 55 inch HD flat screen shattered from inside an eventually went black. So we were down the television and social media just hours apart. The incident prompted the living room to be rearranged and more reading!

On Monday my children actually NAPPED, ALL of them! I read 100 pages of a book I had been trying to get through for months!

My home got cleaned up! And for the most part has stayed picked up! THAT is HUGE! Around March a friendship blossomed. I poured my heart into it and welcomed a family into our home and hearts. I finally had  friend to pray with and do life with. Someone to lean on and we could help each other. There were  lot of laughs and good times but my home kinda fell into disarray. Homeschooling, wedding planning for my mother-in-love, event planning for my homeschool group, garden planting, chicken raising, babysitting, trying to start a new moms’ group, other peoples life happenings, wife, mother of a handful, and housewife added to nothing being done. The friendship I put so much into fizzled into nothing and even though it was fruitful, I was left with the fruit to manage on my own. One of the things I LOVE about LORD is that he doesn’t call the equipped but rather equips the called. The only reason my house is FINALLY back in order an my heart is mended is because the LORD is my Helper!

Dinner is being made! We try to eat our big meal in the day around 1 before my husband heads to work. Lately it has been hot and everyone has been sleeping in. So breakfast, lunch an then we make dinner and spend th evening (well half an hour) with my husband in the parking lot of his work. It has lead to a little routine though. We do dinner then come home to pick up and then head to bed!

More time in prayer means more communication with the LORD. During which He released me from so many “normals”. Children normally go to be around 8, it is 10 for mine and that is OK! I need them to sleep later because of our family’s schedule in this season of life.

The LORD has shown me “blessed” is what I look like in the mirror. It is the extra weight from 5 healthy babes. The hair in a ponytail from caring for my family. The tired eyes from staying up to hang  with my husband so we can enjoy some quiet together without chaos of parenting and then the blessings that call me “mom” waking up to be comforted. Those are blessing in my life that time will eventually steal as my children grow and change. This is a wonderful season of life even if it looks like  mess to others around me!

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I had been led to coordinate groups and become our church Nursery Director and get the privileged of them keeping me busy. I can help, encourage, and support moms and families! i am blessed with th gift of busyness and servanthood! I prayed for a ministry and once I let go of myself and trusted the LORD He gave me the desires of my heart (Ps37:4).

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With my new found time I listen to more praise music and am gentler with my children. I can breathe in my essential oil and become soft-spoken. I can focus on the good and thank God continuously (1 Thes 5:16-18, Phil 4:4-9) for the miraculous transformation He did in my life (2 Cor 5:17)

What started out as a challenge to pray more, to lift up our youth, pastors, and mission volunteers as they are away being Christ’s hands and feet has become so much more.

It has rejuvenated my spirit and made me long for more! More time spent with God. More purposefully seeing blessings (Ps 27:13). More prayer for my loved ones and this generation and time I was placed in (Phil 2:3-4). More time for myself and those I love. More time to weed through my garden and thoughts (2 Cor 10:5). More time to pour into my children. More being about my Father’s business (Luke 2:40).

“It’s Your breath in our lungs,
So we pour out our praise
We pour out our praise
To You only

All the earth will shout Your praise,
Our hearts will cry,
These bones will sing
Great are You, Lord”

-All Sons & Daughters, Great are You

Transparent

TRANSPARENCY! This word just keeps coming to mind. I keep being reminded of the need. I keep having conversations that surround it. While transparency can be so easy we have to make sure it is not clouded or colorful, just clear transparency. We can put our own spin on transparency if we want to. We can use certain words, certain connotations and emphasis, certain thoughts, certain tones that can affect how our transparency is perceived.

I always try to be transparent but wonder lately what color hue I am portraying. I find myself being truthful with a smile and laugh. Complete truth in words being down-played by politeness and social grace. I find if I am honest with some people I get chastised over my truth. In their defense I do have 5 children, a husband, homeschool, and took on more. I mean, I did do it to myself :0) It is hard to know when and who it is safe to be truly transparent with! The obvious aren’t always the best choice. Especially when you are in ministry. So for those of you who think I have it together or that I am in some way more equipped, here it is.

Let’s get transparent!!!

I am TIRED at this moment! Downright exhausted. NOT always but now, yes!
I have moments of sheer overwhelmedness! 
Sometimes my kids drive me crazy and I want to drop them off somewhere where they can’t find their way home.
I yell. Sometimes ALL day. Mostly when I am TIRED! or hot. or overwhelmed.
I rarely ever worry. WHY? I leave it to my husband.
I am generally always positive and optimistic. Really although sometimes too much.
Foul language slips from my lips.
I DO NOT have it all together. I AM A MESS! My house is a mess, especially right now.
I praise the sweet name of Jesus when I shower AND brush my teeth in the same day!
I REALLY feel like I can do it all! Most of the time.
I HATE when I am self righteous. It happens. More than I like. And believe me I hate it more than anyone.
I wish my family was closer!
I fear that I will miss the mark with my kids. I fear I won’t point them to Jesus. I fear they will see me and not see Him.
I am blessed with a great man and marriage! I didn’t always feel that way.
My heart breaks for moms and wives who feel alone and unloved!
I pray that EVERYONE would see WHO they are in Christ and that they would know and truly believe their worth to GOD!
I have a past. A past I am not proud of. A past many wouldn’t believe. A past I am grateful for because of the testimony it gives me.
God has SHOWN up BIG in our family! Sometimes I wonder why us and not others.
I sometimes think I am the wrong person and worst possible choice for ministry for mothers.
I. FAIL. DAILY.
I have sought counsel and ended up breaking trust unintentionally.
I KNOW WITHOUT A DOUBT I AM BLESSED! I know that I was given all I have , as difficult and challenging as it may be, as a gift. A gift that keeps me on my knees and constantly seeking Him more. GOOD GIFTS.
I am so thankful that God knew my needs and met them when I didn’t.
I have a bad habit of not realizing the uniqueness of every person.
I am a so grateful for my eternity but said “yes” because of the rest and help Jesus offers us in this life.

Well that is ME! The good, bad, and ugly. I am so grateful that God would take me where I was and walk with me on this journey. That He would help to clean me up a little more each day. That being transparent still shows my heart for Christ. I am so thankful for the influence and ministry He has given me.  I am so thankful that I can be transparent and still be used by Him as we work out the junk. I say all this to encourage you! God will use you! I am a mess and He is giving me my heart’s desire to help moms! I hope this encourages you to seek God and His Will for you. He only needs a willingness and a heart for Him. He is willing! Are you?

You have your hands full…

As a wife of second-shift and a mother of five children I hear the phrase “you have your hands full” many, many, many times a week. To which  try to lovingly respond “We are been abundantly blessed”. I KNOW that I KNOW that I KNOW that this is my ministry. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Four years ago as I started my relationship with God on an intimate level, I asked and prayed for Him to reveal my ministry to me. I heard clear as day in my spirit “your children are  your ministry.” Anyone who knows me knows I am a social creature! Why did the Lord choose my children! They can’t carry on a good conversation! They can’t meet my need for grown human interaction! I NEED other women to talk to. I need to use the gifts He has given me. I fought it!

I knew our family was called to homeschool. CHILDREN! I knew we were called to a certain lifestyle. I was to be home full-time and fully-available. CHILDREN! I knew I was called to be something I didn’t even know how to be and wasn’t completely sure I wanted to be! A woman who’s ministry was, is, and will always be her children.

My life didn’t look anything like I had imagined as a little girl. Where was my degree? My high paying job at a law firm? My city lifestyle? My not-a-minivan car? What happened to my sophisticated wardrobe and my stilettos? I use to wear heels with jeans……..to go to the gas station! I use to have a waist! I could go on and on but enough with the past. I really have come to terms with my life now and take great pride it where the Lord has led and brought me!

He replaced my dreams, wants, and ambitions with HIS! And I must say it is so much more than I could have wanted for myself. I had to find out who God was, and who HE said I was in order to fully appreciate where I am and to be able to live it! So thank you Beth Moore and Breaking Free! It changed my life and I can’t recommend it enough!

I say all this to reach this point I accepted my ministry and all the restrictions I thought it would put on my life. I accepted that His plan was different than mine. I accepted everything that my call entailed. I grew to enjoy it. I found myself growing. I grew in patience. I grew in joy. I grew in peace. I learned how to give myself grace. Our love multiplies. I learned it was ok not to be who I always thought I would be. I stopped trying to impose all my beliefs about what I thought I knew and learned to just let God lead.

We can now get ready for church on Sunday with minimal slips of the tongue. We praise in the car or I turn the music up louder. We show up 20 minutes late EVERYwhere we go because we just can’t seem to get out the door. I have my MOMents of wordly behavior and I have my MOMents completely in the Spirit. AND that’s ok. That’s why Jesus came! So I can confess and receive forgiveness from a God I can have a relationship with and the give me a Helper that is the Holy Spirit.

As I learned to give thanks and fully-accept where the Lord placed me He did this funny thing….He gave me exactly what I wanted in the first place. I took over as Nursery Director at our church. I co-founded a homeschool group. I am starting and coordinating MOMTOURAGE: MOPS and MOMSnext. I wanted influence. I wanted women to talk to. I wanted to be Jessica Lederer and not always “mom” or “babe”. I wanted to feel like a person who could make difference!

Nursery Director may not seem like much but I was a mom who brought her child to the nursery and the experience led me to CHRIST! My child was safe and loved because of the environment my predecessor made with volunteers and her time and schedules!

Another homeschool group!! Why? There is so many of them! Well I get to bring my children to visit seniors every month and watch them bless someone almost as much as they are being blessed. I get to help families spend time together and get out and explore on field trips.

Then there is MOMTOURAGE and even if this first year flops and it doesn’t continue, if i can touch one mom with the Gospel, if one mom figures out she is NOT alone in her struggles, if one mom finds a life-long friend THEN it will be worth me putting my whole self into!

ALL these things have one thing in common….my children! I do it for them. I do it for me. I need to not only be their mom but I need to be Jessica, Daughter of the KING. I need to fill up on His goodness and have a place to pour it back out to others. They need to see that through Christ all things are possible. That you can “have your hands full” and add to it because Christ is meeting all your needs. That you can do it not in your own strength and self BUT through His strength and who He is!

YES I HAVE MY HANDS FULL BUT I WOULDN’T WANT IT ANY OTHER WAY! For I am ABDUNANTLY blessed!!!!

What does it look like?

Life with the Lederers, what does it look like? It is waking up right before the sun comes up to nurse the baby and having a few precious moments alone with God. A few moments when all is right with the world and I am walking hand in hand with Christ! I am living it out! THEN the sounds of my four big kids getting up is heard and before I know it they are in my room. Not only are they in my room but they are next to my bed, all demanding something different at the same time, and all of a sudden I am out of step with Jesus and getting frustrated! He stays straight and I begin the daily detouring. The flesh wins some of my battles and I get out of step but Jesus calls me back and He shows me the way!

The days are always a whirlwind of cleaning, cooking, schooling, praying, nursing, cleaning, teachable moments, praying, yelling, arguing, repenting, bargaining, praying, training, cleaning, cooking, refereeing, praying, cleaning. Did you notice the two that are always repeating? CLEANING AND PRAYING!

You would think that with all the cleaning and picking up that takes place throughout the day that our home would ACTUALLY be clean, BUT IT’S NOT. Let’s just call it an immunity builder! There is always dog hair and crumbs under anywhere the vacuum doesn’t reach. There is always food on the walls and more food wiped and smeared on chairs and anywhere else little hands can reach or touch. AND CRAYONS! I have lots of “wall art” around the house made by little hands who found themselves with a moment of freedom and a crayon! You know what they say about “idle hands”, yup it’s true! Also the endless dishes in the sink and laundry to do. And there is always a meal to be made or a snack needed. And of course all of these add up to teachable moments with instruction.

And then there is praying. You may think I am this awesome follower of the Word that says to pray without ceasing. In reality I have to pray! I honestly go from strength to strength and fall short ALL day long. Most of my praying is a word or two and short phrases. “Jesus” ” Lord help” “Give me strength/patience/ mercy/grace/wisdom” Thankfully He never gets tired of hearing from me. After all He is the giver of ALL life and has blessed me with 5 babes 6 and younger! Obviously mine is a voice He loves and wanted to hear whining and asking Him for more of Him, His Son, and His Spirit! And PRAISE His Name He is faithful and we always make it to bedtime with breath still in our bodies and love for each other still in our hearts!

Our life is complete chaos. A beautiful mess that only God in His infinite wisdom could have dreamed up! To think that before the foundation of the earth was ever laid, God Himself put this picture together for me. That He loved me (LONG before I existed) enough and thought me worthy enough to live this life. We are the family that NEVER has it together! The family that shows up late to church EVERY Sunday and sits on the first row! And while we are up there spills the 24oz coffee and lets an “f-bomb” slip loud enough for everyone around us to hear! We are IMPERFECT and in desperate need of a Savior! BUT we love Jesus with our whole being and do our best to live a life that says not only do we NEED Jesus but we have Jesus and we walk with Him!

What does it look like? BLESSED! UTTERLY AND DIVINELY BLESSED!!