This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Vitamin Angels for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.
There is just something about watching a young child play.
The constant motion. They can’t help themselves. Have you noticed? A child rarely just stands still. They are either swinging their arms around or dancing from side to side, walking on their tip toes or running when they should be walking.
I have a niece whose default mode of transportation is twirling. She just twirls and twirls until she gets to her destination! It is a beautiful, uninhibited sight to behold. She is carefree, full of life, &full of joy–just as young kids should be.
Kids are in awe of the world around them and want to experience it to the fullest. They notice things we adults are to distracted and busy to see. They walk around with their chins raised up, curiosity getting the best of them, exploring eyes & hands that are just itching to touch everything–especially the things they are told not to!
Children walk around with a spark in their eye & a face as bright as the sun.
But not all children.
There are children around the world whose spark is literally gone from their eyes. Replaced by dullness. Lethargy. A weakened immune system that causes bugs to get into digestive systems which cause infections that take away precious lives. Lives that can be saved by something so small that it would cost one only a quarter. Yes, Even the smallest gift can change a child’s life
Vitamin Angels helps at-risk populations in need–specifically pregnant women, new mothers, and children under five–gain access to lifesaving and life changing vitamins and minerals.
That quarter we use to flip? It can reduce mortality in at-risk children by up to 24% by providing one dose of vitamin A, twice a year. Vitamin A supplements are the least expensive solution to addressing preventable child deaths.
I don’t know about you, but my head can barely wrap around that! That simple coin that we flip to determine which of my kids has to do the dishes that night — that very coin can save a life! What? Who knew? Awesome!
How about this Christmas, in lieu of giving a gift, you donate to Vitamin Angels in honor of whoever is on your list that you know would get it. Someone who will understand how this would be a gift that lasts beyond the holidays and someone who would even want to continue the legacy of giving.
When you make a donation you will receive a downloadable or sharable card that shows the donation to Vitamin Angels. That. Is. Cool.
Just last night I unpacked our Christmas decorations and found 3 mini stockings with each of my girls initials on them. I now know what I will do with these adorable stockings. I will make a donation for each of my 3 girls, and put the card in the stocking for them to open on Christmas morning. After all, this season is all about giving. It will be the perfect way to get minds onto what really matters on Christmas morning; remembering how precious life is. So precious that the MOST precious life was given, which is the very reason why we celebrate Christmas in our family.
If you want to do the same, Vitamin Angels is having and end of the year giving campaign–which runs now through midnight December 31, 2014.
Sometimes I just want to reach across this computer divide and see your faces and touch your hands and say a genuine hello. To this day, I am in awe of the fact that thousands of you visit this little corner of the world-wide web and care to check in a see what I’m up to here at New Nostalgia.
I decided to take a break from the usual posts and just take a day to check in, say Hello, and open up my heart and life.
I sure wish we could have a two-way conversation, but since the closest thing we come to that is on Facebook or Twitter or your words in the comments, I will just blab today and fill you in a bit on life. I sure would love you to blab back in the comments or any of my social media channels. Please do!
Fall Weather Bliss
I live in the Midwest and the fall weather has me in awe everyday! The trees seem especially beautiful this year, the oranges, reds, pinky maroons, yellows and greens. It has been absolutely breathtaking. For me, the beauty of nature is a constant reminder of the Creator & how He just cares for the details and makes all things beautiful in time. Our weather has been amazing and I just can’t get over it! It places this unexplainable joy in my heart every time I’m out and about, and can make the hardest of days beautiful again. Why am I surprised that God’s ever-changing art can do that?
I Live In My Car
Speaking of “out and about” I –as I’m sure many of you– feel like I am in my car more often than not lately. Todd and I have always been very careful to keep balance when it comes to our kids extracurricular activities & involvement in anything away from home. That was much easier to do when they were younger. Our girls are now 15, 13 & 11 and their lives are full! Cross-country running, soccer, youth group, guitar lessons, tutoring & more.
It feels busier than I’d like it to be, but honestly it feels right for this season. I find myself so thankful for their gifts, talents, abilities and the amazing friends God has graciously given to my 3 lovelies. These are the blessings that keep them busy, and for that I am thankful.
A Recommitment To Family Dinners at The Table
Despite the busyness, I have recommitted to family dinners at the table. I find that we are able to eat at the table at least 3 times a week, and that is better than none! Even if there are only 3 of the 5 of us home (many times Todd and my youngest are off at soccer practice right at dinnertime) I still commit to calling them to the table to eat. For awhile we lost this simple but powerful routine. I have a daughter who has been walking through some hard emotional things included a Sensory Processing Disorder (which I will be posting about in the future) and there was a period of time where it was just too hard to even be at the table together. I am so thankful for direction from above in treating our sweet girl and that she is now capable of joining the family at the table in a healthy manner. If you find yourself in a crisis situation with one of your kids, let me encourage you that it will not last forever. Do your best, Momma’s, and fight for your kids. Provide as much support for them as you can, and when you cannot, pray your hearts out. God is there and hears our Momma- heart- prayers for our children.
This sweet daughter I speak of is now homeschooling. Sitting in a classroom caused much suffering for her before we found treatment for her, and it was a necessity to pull her out. I myself homeschooled during my high school years, and have always said God did not bless me with the abilities it would take to homeschool my children. I wrote it off as something I would never do. Friends, I recommend never saying never!
I do know myself well and after a couple of weeks of trying to do it myself, we recognized we needed more help for our girl. My amazing Mother-in-Law and Sister-in-Law have come to our rescue and committed to teaching my girl. They are both teachers – so honestly we couldn’t be more taken care of. We split her time up between the two 5 mornings a week, and I get her in the afternoons for other things like physical activity, photography class & reading time. It is working beautifully. I cannot tell you how relieved I am. I cannot tell you what a gift it is to have these two amazing women in my Colsie’s daily life. Not only am I not a natural teacher, but adding the dynamics of her disorder just made it feel impossible to school her myself. God is in the business of providing, and even calls himself by that very name –Provider. It has been a long and stressful process of finding the best life for my girl, but God has been there every step of the way. He is very much our faithful Provider.
My Physical Health
The last couple months have brought quite a bit of turmoil when it comes to my health. My cancer is still in remission, but the ongoing treatment I need has proven itself very challenging. 7 months ago I switched cancer meds and honestly it has rocked my world. Just recently I switched again due to unbearable joint pain I was having. These meds mess around with hormones, and if you are a woman you know hormones are never a fun thing to mess around with. Not only did I switch cancer meds, but also at the same time switched mood meds, as they also had side effects of joint pain. Friends, that month and 1/2 of detoxing from meds and slowly getting back on new ones were hard. Excruciatingly hard. Hard on my body, hard on my mental health, and especially hard on my family. I am on my way back up and doing so much better. Joint pain is almost nonexistent, which feels like a miracle! Before, I felt joint pain in joints I didn’t even know I had! My feet, ankles, hip & elbow and shoulders all hurt beyond and affected me much more that I even realized, especially on those rainy days when weather changes made them all double- flare. I am so relieved to be relieved of this pain.
My Mental Health
As far as my mental health, I am due for a post to fill you in, but we are still in the process of figuring out what is best for me right now. What I can tell you is that God Works All Things Out For Our Good, especially the very hardest of things. The last few months have been super humbling to say the least, and so painful that we had to bring my in-laws into the loop to help us get through it. Their gentleness and mercy toward me was the most beautiful picture of how God deals with us. They have seen me at my lowest & instead of running away, they moved towards me with a love that showed me they are for me and willing to walk through the hard. They have been a huge part of keeping our family healthy and whole. They have gently led me in a direction I needed to go and provided the means to get there.
It is still early in this process of discovery and healing when it comes to me…and I cannot wait to share with you how we are finding answers. Sometimes it takes a humbling, a bringing down to our knees, before we can clearly see the direction we need to go. This is what has happened with me recently & though it was painful, I am so THANKFUL. I am finding the best answers for what is needed and I am feeling pretty giddy excited about God’s revelation and provision–given through the help of my sweet in-laws AND with the help of the most gentle and wise psychiatrist. More to come on that in another post.
My Sweet Husband
Oh my sweet Todd. I sit here and tear up when I think of this good, good man and all that he has had to carry. He will be the first to admit he has not always reacted the best in dealing with all of the pain and turmoil in our family..especially that which comes from me. Being an extreme introvert he has a tendency to go inward when life is pressing hard… BUT.. he truly has carried these heavy burdens in a way that is admirable and faithful. He has been through much, has watched both his wife and daughter suffer in different but frightening ways, and his steady faithfulness to me and our family has been a healing gift to me. He has been burden- bearer. He has been provider. He is willing to walk through the hard, admit when he is messing up, and take my hand to try again. It might take him awhile to come out of his inwardness, but he always does. I am forever committed to this good, good man of mine, and I am super excited to be heading upward after being in the valley–hand in hand with my man–for he deserves a dang good view!
I read Titus 2:4,5 years ago. It talks about how the older women in the church should mentor the younger women. I have always loved that concept and idea. I have had a longing and stirring in my heart for a mentor in the form of an older-than-me and wiser-than-me woman for years. I have prayed for this for years. I have even asked a couple of women who I thought might be the perfect match for me, and nothing ever panned out…until recently. My mentors name is Kim and God is so funny how He brings about things. I will fill you in on the fun story in another post, but for now let me just tell you, God can make His purpose come about in strange ways–like elderberry hunting. Yep, forging for elderberries caused my forging for a mentor to be fulfilled.
Needless to say, my Kim has been so perfect for me. She, too, has 3 girls–all beautiful and grown. She has a husband whom she loves dearly, and has walked through much life and gained amazing wisdom in the process. She has taken me straight to God’s Word and I am seeing things in it that I never have before. We. Just. Click. She is one of the most precious gifts I have ever been given. We have only met together 4 times but our hearts are entwined and she has taught me so much already. I can’t help but squeal about it…WEEEEEEE!
If this is a desire of your heart, start asking God for it. He WILL answer in His time. It might be years down the road, but believe me, it will be the most perfect of time.
The Upcoming Winter Season
Usually when one thinks of winter, we think of cold & nature put to sleep. I choose to look toward the winter season ahead with an anticipating excitement. I know God will continue in His faithfulness to our family, and when I think of winter coming, I think of a cozy candlelit home, warm hoodie sweatshirts, and glistening snow. I will use the blanketed snow as a beautiful reminder of how God’s love covers the dead and dying, how seasons come and go, how God promises new mercies everyday, and how He has made and continues to makes us pure-whiter than snow! My prayer is that He would take this hurting, rag-tag- BUT stronger- than- ever family and carry on in His work of refining. It is a scary prayer, to ask to be refined, but I know that His only purpose is to make us ready for the next season, so that we might glisten like snow. A glistening to glorify Him. Only Him.