Monday, July 27, 2015

Pebbles in your Shoes

We have all had this experience, we are walking or running (not me I don’t run) and we feel a small pebble in our shoes. I’ve been walking long enough lately to know, if I don’t deal with this irritant now I will regret it later. At this point I have two choices, I could stop and deal with it, or I could keep walking and let this little pebble cause me more and more strife as I go along. I decide that it’s not worth the trouble in the long run. So I pull over, take off my pack, take off my shoe and my sock and feel around in the dark for this pebble. I find it and put my sock back on, put my shoe back on and load up my pack and head on my way. I took the pebble with me, I wanted to see this tiny thing more closely. Surely it must be a diamond because it was so hard and jagged. Upon further observation and after rolling it between my fingers, I see that it is not a pebble. It’s actually clotted mud. Once I roll it around it begins to crumble in my fingers.
I began to think about my life and how the little things, when not dealt with properly can become an annoying hindrance in my path. Had I taken the time to clean out my shoes this morning I would not have needed to stop and deal with this hindrance now. Like sin, when it’s not dealt with promptly it can become a hindrance. Something little can become problems later on down the road. Many times we try to ignore those pebbles and pretend they aren’t there. Or kick our shoes around and move the pebble so it’s not a hindrance. We do this with sin too, we cover it up, move it out of the way so people can’t see it. But it’s still there! The only solution is to sit down uncover yourself and deal with the problem face on. Get that pebble/sin out of there. Then once we deal with it, there is another thing that MUST be done! You must put your shoes back on, get up and keep walking.
I think I’ve been dealing with the junk in my life now for too long. I need to get up and keep walking. It’s time to move on. In August I'm going on a 22 day 312 mile hike from Burgos, Spain to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. I’m hoping and praying this walk with help me to uncover all those pebbles I’ve got in my shoes so I get up and move on. I hope you can do this too!

Monday, May 25, 2015

I was made to be a single parent

Everything in my life has been preparing me for this moment.  The moment of being a single parent, and relying on God for everything.  This isn’t something I asked for, but it’s what I’ve been preparing for since I was a kid.  I didn’t even realize it.

When I was seven, my mom was severely ill.  She was in the hospital for 7 months.  My dad, essentially, was a single parent working a full time job, relying on God for healing for his wife, and relying on the help of others to help raise his kids.  Countless times my sister and I were shuffled from house to house, or came home to my Grandparents and no dad or mom.  Not once did I think my dad or mom were bad parents.  I knew they were doing the best they could with the hand they had been dealt and I was grateful for everything they did for us. I pray every day that my kids know I’m doing the best I can with the hand I’ve been dealt.

When I was married my husband was very adventurous in his career.  Many times he would throw caution to the wind and spend thousands of dollars on flipping a property.  Going through that with him has pushed me to be more daring in my own career.  Every single day we had food on our plates, our bills were paid and things worked out.  I needed to be taught that, because now I’m venturing to make my home business my ONLY business.  I’m trusting God to provide for me, and I know that He will.  It says in Philippians 4:19 “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” This venture will be difficult, I know, but just a few verses above this one, the bible says “I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13) I was specially told by God to do this venture, so to disobey would be more detrimental.  But this doesn’t stop me from worrying that I’ll fail.  I know that God told me to do this, I know he will provide for me, but I don’t want to fail Him.  I want to be diligent in every task He gives me, and I’m nervous. 

My ex-husband also taught me to be generous.  He, at one time, was the most generous person I knew.  He would give, even when it hurt.  I used to be so stingy with our money.  But he knew that God gave us this money and would give us more.  No sense being stingy with it.  Because of this I was able to learn to give till it hurts.  Which as a single parent that’s what you do, you give and you give and you give till it hurts.  Sometimes you give so much to your little ones, there is nothing left for yourself.  But that’s what God did for us.  Jesus came and gave his life, so that we could spend eternity with Him. He gave until it hurt and He’s teaching me every day what it’s like to do this. 

Being a single parent isn’t what I signed up for and it’s not something I want to do forever.  I hope and pray I will be married again and my husband will love me and my kids like his own.  I hope that someday this dream will come to be.  But for now, I was meant to be a single parent.  God has been preparing me for this, so He must think I can do it.  I will do this task the best I can, until He sees it fit to move me from this role. I just hope I can fulfill it with a worthy grateful, adventurous, giving heart. 

God has been preparing you for your moment too. Whether it's a single mom like me, or a single dad fighting for custody of his kids, or a stay-at-home parent, or just being single in a world of married people.  God has been preparing you for this moment.  Look back and be grateful for where He has brought you, and you will see you were made for this moment!  You can do this!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The need to explain

I feel the need to explain what's happened since my last post in December 2013. Some of it's bad and some of it's good.  We're not going to dwell on the bad, we are just going to dwell on the good.  But the bad must be stated.

Just a few months after my last post, I found out my husband had been having an affair for the past 2 years.  We decided to get a divorce and our divorce was final last year.  That's all I'm going to say about that.

I've started my own Young Living Essential oil business and recently decided to quit my full time job and pursue my home business completely.  Young Living Oils have so completely changed my life that I must be honest, there will be posts here and there of me praising the oils and what they have done for me personally.

I'm looking forward to the future and for me to be writing again!  I hope you are too!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year!  You name it I’m happy about it! This year has been 12 months long, with lots of days in between. The year started in January, and I can’t remember anything until May.  I don’t know what happened in those months, maybe I was abducted by aliens, or maybe I’m just getting old. I don’t remember!

Nick as the Grinch at his work Christmas Party

Nick is still in new home sales.  He’s been with the same company for almost 3 years. I remember this only because we’ve been to two Christmas party’s where he’s dressed up like a Christmas Character and we just went to our third.  The first year we were invited to the Christmas party the invitation said “come dressed in Holiday attire.”  Nick took that to mean dress up as an elf with pointy ears and pointy shoes.  The next year he dressed as Jack Frost with silver hair and more pointy ears.  This year he’s going as the Grinch, green face and all (and of course pointy ears).  I can’t wait to be embarrassed for the third year in a row. Other than his holiday non-sense, he’s doing great!  He’s awesome at new home sales, he really has found his nitch at Dunghill….oops I mean Dunhill. Dunhill is continuing to provide all kinds of excitement! Why, it’s almost been like one of those horror movies from the 1950’s! WILL Dunhill close a house on time?  Will we be grey-whiskered and wrinkled before we are able to enjoy the fruits of Nick's labor? WHEN will Dunhill’s all-male company finally replace the toilet paper roll in the restroom?

I'm a crazy lunatic!

I (Taren) am as crazy as ever! I’m still homeschooling the girls, volunteering in MOPS, being that crazy ballet mom who is always carpooling ballerinas and sewing Nutcracker costumes, AND working a part-time job at home.   I also couldn’t be more lacking in personal hygiene, increasingly socially impaired, addicted to sloppy yoga pants, and embarrassed by the growing butt-shaped, laptop-warmed dent in the couch, but YAY for working from home! (The best part is how there are NO vacation days!)

Kamri doesn't really wear glasses

Kamri is 9 and in fourth grade.  Along with her studies at home she’s also been in ballet.  This is her fourth year in ballet.  Even though she says she hates it, she really loves it.  She was in the ballet Swan Lake and in the Nutcracker.  She is also considering pursing an Art degree.  Well she should after the stunt she pulled on her little sister this year.  We woke up one morning to find Avery covered in red dots all over her body (except her legs), her feet, booty, ears, underarms and everywhere else were covered in red dots.  She fooled many people with the pictures I posted on Facebook, however she didn't full mom and dad.

Kamri's artwork on Avery

Evie "playing" soccer

Evie learned to play soccer this year and immediately showed a talent for wandering off the field in the middle of the game. She’s an excellent shot, sadly it was for the other team.  She also has a nack for fashion design, she loves combining her own outfits.  Like just today (in 33 degree weather) she was wearing cut off jean shorts, long sleeve teal shirt, pink tights and ugg boots. Evie’s best look: Shirt inside out & pants zipper down. It's good for emergencies, I guess.

Avery is very much a big girl now, albeit a big girl who remains deathly afraid of dark bathrooms. She's five and in preschool two days a week at church and the rest of the week with us at home.  She has learned to write her name, and she defies the law of averages by writing her name backwards 75 percent of the time. 
Max and his artwork
Some of Max’s favorite activities are quite typical for a boy his age and include suddenly laying down in the middle of the aisle at Kroger for no apparent reason, insisting on playing on all the playground equipment within sight, and telling me to “go” when the car is stopped at every red light. Also, he's quite and artist, as you can see by the picture.  He's still our little colored boy.   Lately, Max has been working diligently to conquer potty training. He has done fairly well training me when he’s crapped in his diaper and when his pants are sopping wet, to change him. Max is usually most interested in going potty when it is time to leave the house. We are encouraged by his progress, but aren't holding our breath in hopes of being diaper free next year!

As you can see, our family is as crazy as ever. We look forward to the holiday season and impending New Year with brimming excitement. Each day we count our blessings and are happy fantastic voyage continues unabated. Please feel welcome to stop by for a spell any time and join in our voyage. We'd love to catch up! In the mean time, drop us a line or give us a call, if you get the chance.
From our family to yours,

Nick, Taren, Kamri, Evie, Avery & Max

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas 2012

Dear Friends and family,

Yes, Yes everyone wants to know what exciting things the Walters have been up to this year.  So here you have it, the exclusive interview you've all been anxiously waiting for.

Since it is the Holiday season, it seems fitting to mention that we have not been invited to a single Holiday party this year.  We only mention this to make you all feel guilty in case you had a Holiday party and failed to invite us. We've been free every weekend in December, we did get invited to a New Years Eve party, but that was our own, so that really doesn't count. 

I said we were free every weekend, but that really is a lie.  The first weekend in December we weren't free.  We spent way too much money, making sure our daughters got their 3 and ½ seconds of fame.   What I really mean is, Kamri and Evie were privileged enough to get to be in the Nutcracker Ballet again this year.  Kamri was in the Party scene as one of Clara’s friend’s and as a toy soldier.  Evie was a cute little mouse (who did not die) and a beautiful Seraph, who did more than just sit with her hands folded on stage.  She was adamant that she would not just sit there as an angel, this year, because last year as a cherub they had to do most of their “dancing” in the sitting position.
Kamri is the one in purple

Notice she's NOT sitting

Oh, and there was one more weekend we weren't free, that was the weekend where we went to Nick’s work Christmas party.  Not nearly as horrible as last year, but still quite embarrassing.  He insists on dressing in Holiday attire, which to him means dressing up as Jack Frost. I should just be glad that he’s still with the same company after last year’s Christmas debacle.  Heck I should just be glad he’s still with the same company because normally he only last about 2 months at a job.

We've enrolled the girls in an exclusive private girls academy. Kamri goes Monday’s and Wednesday’s and Evie goes Tuesday’s and Thursday’s.  Friday’s they stay home so we can wash the uniform.  Just kidding, the girls are home-schooled and stay in their pj’s all day. Kamri is eight and in third grade, Evie is 6 and in 1st grade.  Being home-schooled keeps me on my Prozac, I mean toes.  They are both in Ballet, as I mentioned before and they are both in Girl Scouts too.  

Avery has accomplished a lot this year.  She was potty trained, then unpotty trained and then potty trained again, followed by once again being unpotty trained.  She loves doing things over and over until they reach perfection.  We all hope this is her last attempt at potty training. She loves her job as big sister to Max.  She loves to play with him.  Just the other day I came into the room and heard Nick say “Avery, please don’t sit on Max’s head.”

Max is the smartest 20 month old you ever met.  He can say about 500 words, six of which are English. The others are part Mandarin, part Arabic and part of a lost civilization that communicated in shrieks, grunts and drools. He’s also quite good at drawing.  He loves to find markers, then draw all over himself, dubbing himself our “colored child”.

We took a family trip to the Disney World and the Ocean this year.  Avery’s favorite ride was the potty.  I think we stood in line for the potty almost as long as we did at Space Mountain. No I think it was longer.  

This was ride #1 of about 90

Max loved the beach almost as much as a cat loves a bath.  You would think we were torturing him, by letting him play in the sand. Kamri & Evie were pretty much fish, even the baby shark we saw didn't scare them out of the water.

My life has been full this year with homeschooling the girls and running 26 miles a day. I have little time for my Latin crossword puzzles.  After being hit by a truck this year, I decided to do something with my life.  Sadly I keep forgetting what it is, probably some of the brain damage I sustained from the accident.  I seem to be on the road to recovery and will…I forgot what I was talking about.

We've had another year, we survived two END OF THE WORLDS this year! Booya! We hope you survived the end of the world as well.  Until next year!

Taren, Nick, Kamri, Evie, Avery & Max Walters

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mary Bailey Book Club

So this blog is inspired by a post I posted on Facebook several days ago about how the movie It's a Wonderful Life would have had a different outcome if it were about Mary Bailey mom of four, married to a middle income bipolar man, renovating a really old house. I told Nick that and he said I should write a musical about that. First off you shouldn't write musical's if you can't sing and second, I don't think I could come up with a WHOLE Broadway hit based on that one comment. BUT I can come up with a blog post and this is it. It came to me this morning on my morning jog (don't be impressed, I just started). Picture Mary Bailey sitting down with her book club after the events of the movie. This is where we start.

"So Mary, what was that whole thing with George last week." Cousin Tilly asks.

"Oh don't even get me started! I swear the man is crazy! He wakes up on top of the world because of Harry's medal of honor and meetin' the president and what not. Comes home down in the dumps about who knows what. Yelling at the kids. They didn't do anything, no one has any idea what's wrong with him.

"I swear the man thinks he's got it SO bad, he complains about never seeing the world. Talk about never seeing the world, at least he gets to go outside. I'm stuck at home with four kids. He complains that all he ever wanted to do was build houses. For crying out loud what is Bailey Park? Houses, that he built. While we live in this dump. Do you know how hard it is to replace these broken windows? That he broke mind you. It's not like I can go down to the nearest store and pick some out and come home. And I've been sanding these floors by hand for decade, I don't think he's even noticed. Not that it's done any good. Zuzu ruined them by continually peeing on them. It's like she's a dog. For crying out loud Zuzu use the bathroom, it's not like we have an outhouse. We do have indoor plumbing!

"You would think the man were deaf in both ears some days. Some times I go up behind his left ear and just whisper how much he drives me crazy. Or that Mother was right and I wished I would have married Sam Wainwright.

"Sometime I want to jab this in your eye" whispered in George's left ear
"Anyway, after freaking out that Zuzu had a cold. George just left the house. I had no idea where he was going. He's been crazy before, but this was scary. So I followed. Of course, he took the car, so I had to go on foot. Because we can't afford two cars and being he's the person who gets to be with adults all day, and I have to stay home with the kids and no car, I set on, on foot to try and find him. The only place I can think of that I go to when I'm upset is Martini's so I went there first. Nick said George was there, had one drink got into a fight and left. REALLY GEORGE! REALLY, one drink and you get into a fight? I mean, the man cannot hold his liquor! One drink! I go out and find the car crashed into a tree. You would think Nick spiked the drink or something. For crying out loud, when I'm at Martini's I can hold down at least 3 shots of tequila and 3 beers before Nick kicks me out. ANYWAY, the car is close to the bridge so I head on over to the bridge thinking maybe he jumped. Then Tom the tollhouse keeper yells at me not to "do it" I'm all like "Tom, you know me better than that, I'll always just look and never jump." and Tom says there was a fella here early that did jump and then there was this old man he saved from drowning. He went to go get the cops because he suspected that the fella was trying to comment suicide, but when he got back they both were gone.

"So now I'm thinking George must really think he's in trouble so I run and tell everyone who owes us from from that run on the bank debacle, figuring they owe us for us not being able to go on our honeymoon. By the time I get home there George is happy as can be again. I swear the man drives me crazy.

You're not going to believe what he says to me last night:
"Mary, Clarence saved my life."
"Clarence? Who's Clarence?"
"My guardian angel"
"George Bailey, I'm the one who saved you. I'm the one who ran around in the snow telling everyone you needed help. I'm the who saved you, no more of this crazy Clarence non-sense."
"I swear I should have him committed, but then I'd be left alone to deal with this craziness. So no way George Bailey, you're staying right here! Mother was right, I should have married Sam Wainwright, except all his "heehaw" drove me crazy. Nope I should have just been a spinster."

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Seeds of Friendship

When I was a kid I used to think my friends would be my best friends FOREVER!  I hear my girls say it all they time.  "She's my best friend, we'll be best friends forever."  As a kid I had no concept that there was no forever in friendships, that every friendship eventually dies.

As I got older I realized friends come and go.  For a while I harden myself to that fact.  "What's the point of making friend's if they're just going to leave soon?"  Then I moved to Amsterdam and I met Jeanette!  She was used to friends coming in and out of her life.  When you live on a YWAM base (Youth With A Mission) you get use to people coming and going every 2 years.  Even though she knew I wasn't going be there that long she committed everything to being my friend.  She was the first person to truly to teach me how to be a genuine friend.

Friendship is only for a short period of time, a window if you will.  Jesus knew that.  He had 3 years.  He poured everything he had into his twelve friends in those three years.  I learned that from Jeanette.  We had 9 months.  She was my best friend.  She poured everything into me.

Click here for picture credit

Friends rarely stay in your life FOREVER.  So take the time to cultivate your friendships, like a garden.  You don't grow a garden once and say "Oh I'm done, I never have to plant again or water again."  NO! It will die! You will have to plant again next season.  You will have to water again next week.  Your friendships are the same way, water your friendships weekly, plant them seasonally, weed them regularly. We need friendships throughout our life.  Even though we won't keep friendship our whole life (save family, spouse, children) we'll need new ones continually.

I learned that from my dear friend Jeanette.  Whom I'll never see again, except through Facebook, which really doesn't count. That's why we need friendship, to learn little seeds like this.