This is a STAGE in life… right?

I love my kids. I love my husband. I love my job. I love serving in my church. I love my family. I love my friends.

Easter 2017

Easter 2017 with Eric. Love this picture of us!

I love spending time with my kids and my husband. I don’t see my time I spend on my work outside of the normal working day as intrusive or excessive; I enjoy every minute of my job, even when some days the hours are long. I love serving in my church. I love and treasure the time I spend with my family. Unfortunately, not much is left for my friends.

As my time is being taken up more by my children’s events and activities, it leaves very little time for “friend time.” For me, if there is a conflict between my children’s events and activities, time with my husband and/or family time and an opportunity to spend it with my friends… it will always be kids, husband and family. Right now those conflicts are happening so much, I find myself disconnected from friends.

It’s my fault. However, I wouldn’t change the decision I have made to put my kids/ husband/family first. I have even seen it said that if you find your friendships fading it is because you have become self-absorbed or busy with your life, and not taken the time to invest in your friendships. I don’t disagree… but I can’t tell my kids I won’t be at their events, performances and moments. I also can’t tell my husband I would rather go out with the girls on a Saturday night after he has been traveling weeks at a time and wants to spend time with me.

So that brings me back to finding myself disconnected from friends. I don’t like that my friendships have grown apart, that I don’t have meaningful conversations with my friends on a frequent basis, or that I don’t get invited to fun nights out. That is on me.

So I ask myself, how do I fix that?

Well, you have to be a friend to have a friend, right? That requires time and investment, and I am right where I started. So I think I am resigning myself to the truth about this time in my life… it is a STAGE.

Kinder round up kris

Text from the parents of a family that Kritter gave a tour for Kindergarten Roundup. This is the school where he attends and I am the Assistant Principal.

I apologize to all my friends who may have assumed that I just didn’t want to be friends anymore because I never call… not true. I just am trying to stay one football game and musical performance ahead of my kiddos and still have a meaningful marriage.

I hope I don’t look back and regret that I didn’t make more effort to find the time for my friends. I do know I don’t regret a moment I have been present to treasure my husband or my kids.

It has been the surprise moments where I have chosen to be there for my kids that I have seen God work. Seen how they are growing up into amazing adults. They have also seen how their mom and dad love each other, because we spend what little time we have, together. So this STAGE… it won’t be long, and I am working on being content with that.

EmBug, age 14, Leading Youth Worship May 3rd, 2017

In This Storm…

plot twist

I have fallen into a Social Media trap. I post and brag about the perfection in my family’s life. I don’t share the ugly, the weaknesses, the shortcomings, the failures. It was ok for me to share the perfection. I was good with sharing, bragging, boasting of the things I had done, my husband had done or my children had done.

“Look at how ‘blessed’ I am,” is what I was saying…

But where was God in all this? Where was my reliance on my savior? Where was the being ok, if everything isn’t ok?

And then the domino of events began…

First, my husband had a minor stroke in January. Then, after that, there was a series of minor events where hopes were dashed and financial concerns surfaced. In every situation I kept saying to myself: “this is not a big deal; we can get through this; it could be worse.”

Of course, in true educator fashion, I kept plowing through events, thinking… “Once summer break is here, I can reflect, reorganize and refocus. It will all be better with a break and a little vacation.”

Then it came, Memorial Day Weekend, the small domino of events chipping away at my resolve turned from a snowball of concern to the impending doom of an avalanche. My husband was pursued via litigation by a previous employer. For the next three weeks everyday was an unknown and my unease and fears grew. I hadn’t had the opportunity to reflect, reorganize, or refocus. Vacation was off the calendar, too. Then Friday, the final blow. His present employer stepped away. No income.

So my pseudo-perfect world came crashing down. I found myself feeling vulnerable, afraid and questioning why. Why is God letting this happen?

Then sweet friends have come to my side. Encouraging me in hugs, prayers and sending me words of encouragement and scripture. It is amazing.

I feel “blessed” but in a humble and undeserving way. A way which I did not create or design. In the same way I was given Christ’s love, undeserved and without condition.

Our little family has come together, and in true humor we are yelling “Plot Twist!” (see above meme) Having faith that God knows the plan. A plan not based on our actions but His character; we are confident we are loved and cared for by a God much greater than us.

I saw a video this weekend at my church’s service. It was a lead into the message that focused on father’s. Over and over again, the message from the father’s in the video was “You’ve got this.” I don’t think I have “got this” except with the Father by my side, I know “He’s got this!”

This morning I was reading His Word and trying to find peace in this season. My sister texted me the scripture below. It is the most comforting words I have received so far… and, of course, it is His word!Ps 143 vs 1 to 12

As I go forward, I am not sure what the plan is. I will continue to post moments of things that my family have done that make my heart happy (plus I have grandparents to keep up to date on the latest about the kiddos). However, I am working on not making this about what I have done or deserve, but the true, transparent work God is doing in me and my family. I am working to be less perfect and more what is the real us. So just to let you know I am trying to #keepitreal and #keepitpositive, while giving the credit of all of this life I have to the one who provides… Abba, Father.

I will praise Him in all things. I will praise Him… IN THIS STORM.

 

 

Where did the time go?

Christmas party parker products 2015

Somewhere between the last snow day in March of 2015 and January 1st, 2016 my good intentions and many plans to blog about events, activities and celebrations remained unwritten and many images are still stored in “the cloud.”

So in an attempt to capture what was missed the next 3 posts for “The Wilson Family Stories from Razorback Ranch” blog will consist of a list of Embug’s, Kritterman’s and our Family’s top events of 2015.

Hopefully in 2016 the posts will be frequent, short and keep us smiling!

 

Goodbye, Dear Jan…

Today I woke.  Convinced myself that running while it was thundering outside may result in a lightning strike, and attempted to rest.  Unsuccessful, I did what many do once they wake up, check my Facebook feed.  There it was, Jan had left this world to join her Heavenly Father.  Free from cancer, sin and the other perils of this sinful world.  I must have been holding my breath, because I gasped for air and then quietly let the tears fall.

I am happy she is no longer suffering, but selfishly I want her here.

Mostly because I want the time I wasted when she was here to fix all the missed birthdays, opportunities to visit with her, and a second go around at being a better friend.  Be the friend she was to me.  I know she forgave my absent minded, busy, self-focused excuses, but now I am left with forgiving myself.

Jan was the first real friend I had when I moved to Waco.  From the Facebook posts I have read, I am not the only one she was the “Welcome Wagon” to Waco.  She was the one who brought me to a church family at Columbus Avenue, when I was struggling to find a church home.  As we became closer, she was my walking partner, craft/stamper partner in crime, and mentor.

Jan showed me how blessed it is to be a mother and wife.  She modeled how to “make” memories with her family and “make” cinnamon candy at Christmas.

  Gohring cinnamon candy Gohring friends and family

When my own mother and family were too far away for holidays and baby showers, she eagerly jumped in to provide those moments.

Gohring2 Gohring 1  Gohring couples

Christmas with Jan her Family and Eric and I

Gohring baby shower

Jan as lead hostess at my Baby Shower for my first born

Jan never missed a moment to foster, develop and deepen relationships with others.  She would talk with you all night and then make you pancackes in the morning… she never left a heart or tummy empty at her home.

There were very few that came in to see me when I was still in my delivery “garb” when I had Embug.  With her there was no question she should be there.  For a scared first time mom, her hugs and words of reassurance were all I needed.

Gohring Ems birth

I wish I could say I did the same for her. She was amazing.  Unlimitless love, devotion and friendship.

It was evident not only in her, but her children.  Steve(her husband) and Jan loved each other and their kids ferociously.  Their kids loved everyone around them as well.

gohring and em

Scott (Jan’s youngest) holding Embug under Jan’s watchful eye.

The service is Saturday.  It will be a tearful, yet joyful celebration of Jan’s life and her new life in Heaven.  I know many will miss her, I definitely will.  What I will mourn, though, are the moments I did not take, and the opportunities I let slip by to do as Jan did, and live a life of ferocious, intentional and passionate love for others.

I am so thankful for the brief time that I had the blessing of being in Jan’s life.  She taught me so many lessons about motherhood, marriage, friendship and crafting, yes, crafting.

On Saturday, Jan’s family has asked us to bring purple handmade cards with our sentiments inside.  I have been hanging on to the one below for some time… card gohring

Why? I am not sure.  I wish I had already sent it to her and had no purple card, but had to make a new one.  I have some time to think about what I will write inside, but as of now… I have no idea what to say.  I just keep thinking of what should have been said before my dear friend Jan was no longer here.

Starting a family blog…

Most people have been blogging about their family for years or their journey through a personal challenge.  I, on the other hand, chose to start blogging a year ago about my professional interests or passions.  It’s not that I don’t love my family, but sometimes I think my family tires of my continual posts of them on Facebook.  To blog about my family is like taking Facebook and putting it on steroids.

But what I am finding is that more and more people are becoming busy with their own families, challenges and lives.  Time to pick up a phone and catch up with one another isn’t always doable… especially when you are in two very different time zones.  So this is why I decided to branch out and share the humble, silly, sometimes serious stories of the Wilson Family on Razorback Ranch.

Our family stories are pretty ordinary, but you will see themes.  Themes of love, passion, persistence, faith, Arkansas Razorbacks and celebration.  I love this family that God blessed me with so completely that when tragedy strikes those around me I lose my breath and shudder.  I hope you enjoy the stories that I share and I hope my family forgives me for the transparency with which I tell our tales.Image

The family: Kritterman, Eric, Kirsten and Embug (fall 2013, Spoofers Stone, Old Main Lawn, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas)

~Kirsten (Mama Razorback)

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