WOW! I can’t believe I’m in the final days of this pregnancy (due date is only 4 days away)!!! This pregnancy was God’s greatest surprise gift to me EVER, even though in the beginning I never thought I’d be able to see it as a blessing. However, this pregnancy changed SO much for me, especially with homeschooling, that I will forever be grateful for the timing and the sweet babe that brought my heart fully back home.
On Sunday my husband, who has normally been so kind about my size and has agreed with me when I tell him that I’m really not that big, said, “you’re GINORMOUS!! Seriously, Quinn, your belly is HUGE.” Thanks, sweetie!
However, this is my 6th pregnancy in 7 years and I’m expecting our 5th child (yes, there was a heart-breaking miscarriage in the middle of all those years), so I’m celebrating the fact that this baby is so big and healthy that my belly is “ginormous.” This is the first pregnancy that I’ve been this healthy for and I believe this will be our biggest, healthiest baby yet! We’re hoping for some major chub on those tiny arms and legs! So exciting!
9+ months ago I thought my life was FANTASTIC! After our family struggling financially for a few years, I was finally experiencing great financial success! I was busy building some business endeavors that I was extremely excited about and that were going so well that I was making thousands of dollars a month. I was having my mom nanny and partially homeschool my kids several days a week, which was something I had always thought sounded like a working + stay-at-home-mom bliss. I was getting asked to speak at really incredible venues and my company was really taking off. Overall, I felt like I had arrived, or at least almost arrived, because I was receiving praise and respect from the outside world and felt like I was doing a really decent job balancing everything with caring for my family.
At one point I even compared myself to Abraham of the Bible, feeling like the Lord was asking me to put my family on the altar to sacrifice. Finally, it seemed the angels were making everything work out so I didn’t have to sacrifice them; my work outside our home could even save them!
Boy, was I blind!!
Then one night after I had lost my temper and screamed at my kids and husband to clean up the toy room disaster, my husband asked if I thought I should take a pregnancy test. Defiantly, I laughed in his face and told him that of course I wasn’t pregnant (we had been preventing), but I’d take the test just to prove it to him.
Yup, two pink little lines quickly proved me wrong. We were pregnant… again.
I was devastated after hearing the news. Most of all, I was angry at God. How could He do this to me? It didn’t take long for my energy to wane and for it to get next to impossible to keep up the lifestyle and workload I had created for myself. Slowly I got fewer and fewer clients and projects and part of me was completely relieved because I was so overwhelmed at trying to do it all. However, overall I still felt like a failure and was so confused at why God would allow another baby to come and interrupt all the good things I had going for me.
I was also horribly embarrassed and didn’t want to tell anyone about the pregnancy for fear of what they’d think of me. Already with the previous pregnancies I’d heard all sorts of “fun” banter like, “aren’t you always pregnant?” “what is this, like your tenth pregnancy?” and “every time I see you you’re pregnant.” Ha-ha… so funny and so original. I never wanted to be seen as a mom first. I wanted to be seen for all the other value I felt I had to bring to the world. I wanted to be seen as intelligent and gifted. I wanted my talents to be highly-sought-after. I felt like the more “motherly” I appeared, the less I would be valued in the world. However, with every pregnancy “motherhood” got a little more difficult to hide.
All of this brought me to my knees, begging the Lord to help me understand and be happy about this pregnancy and receiving another baby in our family. I begged Him to change my heart so I could desire the things that would truly bring me and my family happiness. I begged Him to strengthen my faith in Him so I could trust His will and do it, no matter what it would be.
The Lord heard and answered my prayers and brought out the most incredible transformation within my heart that I will never, ever be the same again – thank goodness! Truly, He brought my heart fully back home.
As my heart was transforming, I woke up to the reality that I had been living in and it was upsetting. I saw how distracted I had been from my children, how I almost didn’t really even know them very well. I saw how much of their lives I had missed by not being present and by being focused outside of our home. I saw how my intentions with them were always wrapped around how to keep them busy, so I could do what I wanted. It all broke my heart to see the truth of what I had allowed my life to become, amidst seemingly good intentions.
Bit by bit, the Lord held my hand and helped me reclaim motherhood. I began looking for ways to really connect with my children. I began truly listening to them whenever they talked to me. Many days I’d just sit and stop amidst the daily routine and tears would come to my eyes as I’d see these beautiful children in my life and would feel so overwhelmed with gratitude for the privilege of being their mother. Their hugs and kisses meant so much more and I treasured each one because I felt like I almost didn’t deserve their tender, forgiving love.
As I transformed, my family became absolutely central in my life. Nothing else mattered. All I wanted was to soak up every second I was blessed to be with them.
Because of this, I shut down my business endeavors and let go of all aspirations to build a thriving business. I completely stepped out of the business world altogether. We didn’t think we’d be able to afford to stay in our home anymore without me working, so I let our home of 6+ years go and we downsized considerably to take our family to live in a 3 bedroom apartment instead. Our plan was to rent out our home instead.
At the apartment, our homeschool absolutely came alive! I feel as if I was learning how to homeschool all over again. It was incredible! My kids would say things like, “you’re here with us!” to which I’d think, “haven’t I always been?” Whenever I was working previously, I was at home with them, but I see now that I wasn’t really present. My body may have been there, but my mind was not.
Throughout our time living in the apartment, I finally was able to create the house of order that I’d always dreamed of. We were eating meals together as a family, having clean laundry to wear and playing together every day. My kids were so happy that they didn’t seem to mind having such a smaller space to live in. They absolutely loved having their mom fully in their life and that trade off was worth any sacrifice.
Through a miraculous string of events, the Lord led us back to our home where we are now currently living, preparing to receive our precious, little baby #5. Our home is still in order and we are a stronger, more connected family than ever before. Homeschooling is thriving, also, as we’re eagerly planning out our homeschooling adventures to pursue for the next school year.
How grateful I am for the Lord transforming my heart and my desires so I could receive all of the joy and love that had always been surrounding me but that I had been too distracted to ever see and experience for very long. Now, I hold motherhood as my greatest privilege and blessing! I LOVE being a mother and my children are truly my jewels! No matter what could happen for our family financially or otherwise, we (I) now fully trust the Lord to lead us. I’m so grateful for how He led me to homeschooling and how homeschooling has strengthened our family ties in a way that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.
And now, I can hardly wait to meet this special baby who was brave enough to come into my life and absolutely change everything for the best!
Have you ever had a time in your life where what you thought was best for your family really wasn’t? Have you ever been so distracted from your home and family that it feels like you’re missing everything? I’d love to hear your experiences and the changes you’ve made in your lives to reconnect with your family! How has your homeschooling been impacted when you’re not fully present? How have you shifted back into being more present at home? Can’t wait to hear from you!
p.s. At the Homeschool Chic Fall Retreat, I’ll be teaching practical tips and tricks on how to live fully present so you can experience more joy and peace than ever before with my inspiring and gifted friend and coach, Lula Grace. This wasn’t something I just decided to do one day: be present. It took educating myself, learning new skills and strengthening my ability to remain present over a long period of time. I’m so excited to teach this class and share all the skills, knowledge and tools that will help everyone live with more presence! Presence is the key to everything we desire, especially in homeschooling! Check out all the details for the Homeschool Chic Fall Retreat here – http://www.homeschoolchic.com/homeschool-chic-fall-retreat/ – and be sure to register for the free pre-retreat teleconference and then join us for the full event! It’s going to be INCREDIBLE.