The Process of Change

I think simplicity is just who I am. Here lately, returning to a fifthwheel is a constant dream! While we are still MANY months away from making that happen I do occasionally get online and look. We were living full time in our Sandpiper for 2 1/2 years and our first travel trailer for a year. When we got back into renting (because a big rig hit Matt) I was so excited… at first. The kids continually said how they MISSED the trailer! Well we have been renting for about 8 months now, and while the Father has blessed every single step, I CANNOT wait to begin our life of full-time RVing. We are such a minimalist family, we actually don’t utilize the space we have now and being winter in Colorado, our electric bill is so high!

But through this whole process the Father has walked me through several things…


TRUST

When you have a home on wheels and can leave at a moments notice, there isn’t a whole lot of anxiety revolved around moving. When you get neighbors that are too loud or you become dissatisfied with your current location, you can just move. Not so much when you have to sign a lease that you are locked into. (Note- This actually used to be a huge struggle for me! Even with our home on wheels I was constantly stressed- one reason why I believe I ended up in the hospital last year. The part year has been one of difficultly for me. And yet I see the fruit the Father is producing though it! Now going back to RVing will be like a full time vacation- in 200 sq. Ft.) So here I find myself learning to trust the Father. This is a process for me, it wasn’t something that I woke up one morning and never struggled with again. One of my biggest down falls has been allowing my mind to mediate on areas that contradict what the Father and Word have said.


SIMPLICITY

I thought before when we were on the road I lived simply. Truth is, we had/have way more than we need and utilize. Do you know what happens when you have a TON of stuff? You have to spend precious time maintaining all the “stuff”. And that’s just no fun. I also found myself so busy managing our home that I didn’t have time to do the things that I love and need, like being a mom that isn’t always busy. Or being able to fully concentrate on reading. I genuinely love reading my Bible, but, when I am plagued by all the chores that need to be done, I’m not allowing the Spirit to guide and direct my time. We are beginning again the life style that truly suites us best, minimalism. This to has been a process, riding ourselves of our “junk drawer”, limiting our wardrobe, going though and donating each possession that doesn’t actually hold significant value. This will make the transition back into a trailer all the more easy.


BEING INTENTIONAL

There were times when I wasn’t intentional with my time. I wouldn’t do what I knew I needed. For myself this is a battle of the flesh that tries to rear its ugly head. Obviously, this simply means I haven’t put that part to death, but merely allowing it to sit on the back burner. If is still holds a place of influence, it hasn’t been put to death. Being a planner it is easy for me to begin the thought process of wanting my own way. The seed that has to be planted deep within, must be that of being about the Fathers will. If we are about our own way, then we are not about the Kingdom.


OBEDIENCE

Obedience isn’t just doing what the Father has said, obedience is doing what the Father has said, the WAY the Father wants. One example would be, us going back into a trailer, not only does it make TOTAL sense. It only started making sense when the Father put it on our hearts. We were dead set on continuing to rent. In the natural there was no way we would be able to save money to get back into the trailer when our lease here is up. So the stress ensued. I started looking in a different direction than the one we originally felt led. However, the Father is so loving and kind and brought me back to the original plan. He also showed us ways we could drastically cut down our budget and begin to live a more simple life which would free up money.


DEDICATION

I actually chuckle a bit as I type this, being that I genuinely thought I was dedicated to the KING of kings. The truth is, your life will reflect the dedication you posses. There are people who are more dedicated to sports teams than I was to the Father. To be truly dedicated to the Father, you have to be dead to yourself. I see evermore, how often my flesh makes an appearance throughout the day. In this, the harsh truth of my lack of dedication has been shown. I will also add, that what we give most of our time to, watching movies, watching sports, looking at Pinterest, facebook, instagram, will have place of influence in our lives. This doens’t mean to be a slave to anything, there were times I reluctantly read the Word just so I could justify spending HOURS of these “things”. What you place values on will be shown in your time and also desires. Allow the Father to mold the desires of your heart so that they reflect the ushering in of HIs kingdom.


ACCOUNTABILITY

If it is still easier to offer excuses for the flesh that resides, than we are nothing but babes. Only the truth will set us free, and the truth is, the kingdom is inside. The Kingdom of God is not external until it has been manifest internally. Therefore, if the Kingdom is internal, why then, do outwardly circumstances dedicate our response? Simply put… Jesus the Christ, is not our king. A king has full dominion of his domain. If we then claim that Jesus is our king, and yet flesh reigns, then we have not gown into the matured sons and daughters that we are called. Struggle would be an understatement, in my effort to become accountable. Firstly, I would do this by the might of man, as compared to the freedom of the Father. Plainly, this looks something along the lines of, when I see myself making excuses for my actions, I tell myself, “I’ll do better next time.” The problem is, I continually say this exact phase “the next time”. With the freedom of the Father, we are able to change then. Why? The most common workings of flesh that hold us back, have no influence. Without pride, fear, resentment, bitterness and the like, we are more than willing to take responsibility and be held accountable. If we are not held accountable, than we will never be trusted to give account for anything. Meaning, we will be set in change of nothing. Secondly, my desire to displace blame, comes from the fact that I would rather walk as a slave than son. Truth be told, accountability fares a whole lot better than blame. Taking responsibility for your part (even when others don’t own up to theirs) frees you. It allows you to continue the growth and maturing process of becoming a son.


Our life is unique and it is our own. Growing into the matured sons of our Father is something that is an ever present weight. It is not without sacrifice or hardships. But, the reward is unfathomable to the natural mind. As the Father leads us down a more matured path, our future becomes all the more exciting! As we plan for the next big step, following this current job, we can see the growth positively affecting our children. Instilling in them the desires to follow the Fathers call in all things. When we as parents place not only a value on simplicity but actually walk out a lifestyle that is simply, we are in turn raising children who are not bound by the materialism of the world.

Mom Burnout

Let’s talk about it. Because it happens. Every. Single. Mother. Has faced mom burn out. The point of exhaustion where you don’t want to answer anymore questions, change anymore diapers, make anymore meals, do anymore laundry, do anymore “mom things”. You become tired of the fighting and you become tired of the cleaning. Being a mom becomes a dauntless task. Sometimes when we aren’t quick to resolve mom burnout, a shift happens. Moments of burnout changes to days, days to weeks, and weeks to a month… perhaps even more!

So what do you do? How do you handle when the joy of raising your children has now become an exhausting and seemingly “unrewarding” job?

Find Out the “Why?”

Why are you feeling this way? Has something changed in your life? For me when I begin to hit mom burnout, something has thrown off our normal. Perhaps something happened with family that was emotional, requiring some energy and time. My husband might be putting in more hours at work that what we had become accustomed. Hormonally, my body might be adjusting. All the kids getting sick or recently overcome a sickness. I find that when I start to get overwhelmed by a life that I genuinely love, something has changed. If I can work on pinpointing the “why”, I have a much easier time adjusting back into truly enjoying motherhood.

Plan

There are few things for me, that are more stressful and a recipe for disaster, then having more tasks than time. This almost always happens from a lack of planning. This morning, I had to go to the library, get gas, go to two different grocery stores and make it back home by 9:30 so I could get the Littlest down before the non stop scream crying in the car happened. Why did everything need to be done this morning? Well, it would be because I didn’t plan. I forgot our library books were due… until the lovely email reminder, informed me that unless I wanted to pay a late fee for each of the fifteen books, I had to drop them off this morning. Then there was the food, to be completely honest one of the stores was walmart pick up… but it still counts. Walmart pickup has been such a load off… BUT this morning they were apparently out of half my order, and well, I didn’t want the substitutes, so off to another store that was only supposed to be a quick run in (yeah right with kids) turned into a full on grocery shopping. If you are that mom who can get three kids five and under loaded up quickly and be out all day.. more power to you. That is not me. I LOVE being home, I would rather pay someone to run all my errands. Obviously, that isn’t a reality for me, so I must tread on. Also, our second Little peed in his car seat on the way home.

Find Your Groove

There is no keeping up with the Jones’ here. With that being said, every now and then, I will find myself trying to live out a life that isn’t best for us. It is so tempting with technology today to allow yourself to feel inadequate. Despite the temptation, don’t fall into trying to live out someone else’s Instagram life. Enjoy your own life, in all its simplicity or with all its adventurers. No one will know what makes your family tick like you do. A family that is working and running smoothly will bring much greater joy and peace than attempting to fulfill desires that you don’t actually have. There would be times I would get on social media and see the many adventures people were having and I would long to do them. Even though, I had never nor would I ever, come up with those same adventures on my own. Being and becoming who the Father created you to be is a journey and process, that often times gets put on the back burner, to the lifestyle of the here and now. It would be hard to feel inadequate if we stopped comparing ourselves, life’s, parenting style, marriage, etc. to anyone else.

Engage the Littles

Is there a bigger trigger for a mother than constant bickering, whining, or complaining? Honestly, it’s exhausting, annoying and most often avoidable, Wait, what?! I have found that when I begin to feel “mom burnout” I withdrawal from my kids. Unconsciously of course. Nonetheless, it has happened, when this happens my kids sense the withdrawal and their flow is thrown off course. I have to have specific time set aside for my kids. Where it is just me and them, doing what they want to do, so that they feel connected with me. When I make sure that I have given myself completely to my kids they actually play together longer and are more kind to one another. We have worked hard at teaching our kids to communicate when they feel disconnected. Still, there are times that I realize the disconnection when they become grumpy or they seem to constantly need me. There is a night and day difference in the Little’s attitude when I spend quality time with each of them. When I don’t allow life to take away from time that they need with me.

Simplify

What if its none of the above? Maybe, it’s just the endless tasks of motherhood that seem to be drowning. It happens, there are a lot of errands, chores, meals and tasks throughout my day that are a must. I have to do the dishes, laundry, buy food. I also HAVE to cook for the Little ones, wipe bottoms, change diapers, and at times facilitate play. I also must, feed the dogs, get them fresh water, and take them out as well. While I do have a lot of MUSTS I also take on errands, schedule events for the kids, and spend time maintaining “things’ that are not important and not needed. Our culture put a value of “busy”. It seems everyone is busy. Running from one thing to another, barely catching up with our “to-dos” before having the next load of items that need maintaining. What if we weren’t busy? What if we decided that our kids didn’t need to be entertained and preoccupied at all times? Or, we took tome to decluttered our homes, getting rid of belongs that take up time and effort to maintain. When the time it takes to maintain something is more than the value we have placed in it, maybe its time to part. When I first began to simplify our lives, we got rid of 70-80% of our belongings. Guess what? We haven’t missed anything! Not only have we not missed anything…BUT we are not done. We continually see that we can live with even less, and it is so FREEING!

Give Yourself Grace

The odds are, you are a good mom. Moms are generally really tough of themselves. Motherhood is a journey, there is no handbook given when you leave the hospital that will lay out exactly what you need to know on raising your child. Any mom with multiple children can tell you that even if there was, it couldn’t possibly be a one size fits all, for no two children are exactly alike. There are seasons and moments in life that are tough. If we allow ourselves to believe that a difficult season or moment in life will last forever than we lose sight of a simple reality. Raising our children will go by fast. Much faster than anticipated. By all means, continue to grow in your desire to be better… without allowing your short comings to define motherhood. I have never met a mother who felt like she raised her kids perfectly. Not one. I believe most mothers do and did the best they could with the knowledge they possessed. Mom burnout happens, being exhausted, frustrated, irritated, and overwhelmed by motherhood is something almost all moms have faced. You are not alone. Remember, grace is a beautiful gift, that many times as mothers, we don’t extend to ourselves.

Our Move Towards Simplicity

The Joy of Minimal

I desperately wanted to be a happy mother. I wanted to be the mother that relished in the fact that she gets to stay at home and raise her children. After all their were mothers out there desperately wanting to stay at home with their “babies” but having to work. Here I was complaining, dreading the morning, dreading the everyday life of three kids under five. I was so drained and exhausted, I complained every single day. Until one day I asked myself “What must I do to be happy?”.

From the moment I had our first daughter I knew that it would be heart break for me to work. I couldn’t imagine not being with our daughter every single day. With each of our children the desire to stay at home and raise them continued to grow. Until I got in a rut. IT WAS SO HARD. I had a hard time just functioning in everyday life, with a newborn and two kids, I just couldn’t keep up. The laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning. I couldn’t find a balance, my two year old needed love, my newborn needed sleep, the more they woke her up the more frustrated I would become, it became a cycle of dreading life. I became short tempered with my kids, overwhelmed by slighted problem.

I knew things needed to change, the life I had always wanted and the Lord had blessed me with, I despised. I began to envy another life, became jealous of people I didn’t even know. I felt like a failure, my “one job” was a disaster. Thankfully, I began to realize it was a disaster of my own doing. I spent so much time in unnecessary places, I had expectations that were completely unrealistic, and I tried to parent outside of what was best for our family.

So emerged the minimalist inside. I went through everything, we probably got rid of 80/85% of our “things”. We freed up our schedule. We we took a no rush parenting approach. I thought our kids would be devastated, you know to lose the toy that you haven’t touched in 6 months must be really tough. However, the more we cleaned and cleared and purged the more they blossomed. They actually played, not just get entertained for a few moments, not telling me they were bored with six tubs of toys to play with.

It was one of the best decisions to make. Answering the call of the Father to simplify our lives. And we in no way could go back. We routinely go through our belongings keeping our life style simplified. I began to feel free again, I wasn’t wasting hours doing chores or maintenance that had no benefit. We love our simplified life.

The Colic Child… A lesson in Patience

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4

“Rejoice in hope, patience in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer” Romans 12:12

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6&7


Oh our blessed third baby, the newest arrival to the Hatten clan, the baby I like to call the patience baby. This would be because my third sweet child had colic. I did not know what frustration and sleep depervation truly were until this beautiful bundle continually keep me up, Every. Single. Night! Just like clockwork.

February 9th 10:30 pm. 2017- By this time bundle number three has been screaming crying for two hours, this is not her first night, this has gone on for about a month maybe a little more. I’ve lost count. Every night, right around the same time, I have an inconsolable baby. Handsome man is at work… still. He is putting in more hours then he ever has, so I don’t text him to vent all my frustration. Sweet little One and Two are also crying. They are tired, they want to sleep, we live in a trailer no matter where I go they can hear the screaming baby. It feels like 28 outside. I have no where to go. I start to ugly cry. I’m sobbing so hard my kids are scared. I’m exhausted. I’m alone. I can’t do it. I have no idea why God would think I could handle this or three kids. Then I start to plead prayer, when that doesn’t work I start to bargain prayer… Father, I’ll never get frustrated with them again, I’ll have my time with you every day, I’ll pray with Matt every night no matter what time he gets off… blah blah blah. Needlesstosay that didn’t work either. I start to panic, I’m assuming sleep depervation, recovering from having a baby, and Handsome man’s LOOOOONG hours have finally caught up with me. It feels like a dam in my mind broke and has become flooded with irrational thoughts. Thoughts of failure. Thoughts of depression. Thoughts of the enemy.


I’m so thankful for a faithful Father, one who is steadfast. Even through all my weakness and failures, I have a consistent strength so far beyond my own self that I can rely on.

Nothing quite drives you into the arms of the Father like delreium. I had been studying in James on and off for around six months prier to my rush course in a colicky baby. Let me state this, I do not in any way believe that Father gave my sweet one colic, but he did use the situation to my advantage. Through this difficult situation I can now look back and see the good fruit that it produced in my life. The changes that occurred in me and in turn our family. In this past year I can say that I have grown more in patience than all my pervious years put together. Through these long nights where your child is inconsolable and you end up pacing for hours on end, with absolutely NO lights on, there really isn’t a whole lot that can be done. I remember crying and all three of my kids crying because everyone was tired, the handsome guy was at work, so it was just me when I was in the mists of a breakdown, I felt a rush of peace, and my mind stopped focusing of the impossibility of the situation and reminded myself that this is temporary.

The most difficult aspect to change in a situation Is your mindset. Your mindset will determine the outcome.

No matter what mountain your are climbing on this journey of parenthood, remember, it is temporary. It will not last forever. The Father is always faithful and He can use whatever state you are in if you will surrender it to Him.