Day 3382 – Why You Shouldn’t Ask “When Are You Having Kids?” – or – Things I’ve Learned From Not Having Kids – repost

Originally posted 3/30/17

If you’ve read this blog any amount of time, you know Bret and I are not normal in a lot of ways. From sleeping on the floor, to having no real furniture, we are just weirdos. People don’t understand us sometimes, but that’s fine, we’re happy with our life.

Here’s another “not normal” thing to add to the long list of “Jen and Bret are weird” – We aren’t planning on having kids.

It’s something we didn’t expect. Both of us came from big families and figured we’d have a big family too. As we grew in our marriage, God made it clear kids probably weren’t in our future. When we meditate on our life, kids just aren’t in the picture. It is something we have prayed about, thought a lot about, and talked a lot about. Most of the time, when people ask or comment about us having kids, we laugh it off. “Ha ha, oh we’ll see!” It’s a minor thing to us when people bring it up. Something we shrug off like reactions to us sleeping on the floor. Even if we tell them we aren’t planning on having kids, and they follow up with, “Oh you’ll change your mind.” It isn’t a big deal to us.

But then we thought about things in a different light – what if we DID want kids and we couldn’t or were having a hard time getting pregnant? What if we had lost children?

This is when the desire to share this became about others.

We have a lot of people in our world that have struggled to have kids and desperately want kids.

I am writing this for them.

Please take a few minutes to look at someone’s situation from another angle before you ask “When are you having kids?!” Pause and ask yourself if it’s an appropriate question and time to ask. It may have been easy for you and your spouse to get pregnant. You may have several kids. You may not know that the person you’re asking has been trying, desperately, for years to get pregnant. You may not know of the tears, the heartache, the miscarriages.

Think about asking instead “Do you want kids?” or maybe, just maybe, don’t ask about their plans on having kids or not. If you don’t know if they can have kids or not, it’s for a reason. I understand, it’s a natural question. But it’s a really personal one. Trust me, I understand where the questions come from. In our society, there’s a “natural” timeline of steps.

Out of my deep love for those in my life that struggle with this – please stop asking them when they’re going to have kids. Please stop joking that you’re pregnant on April 1st. Please take a minute to think before you speak. And if you still want to ask someone questions like this, go ahead and just ask me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Did you like what you read? Here’s some ways you can support us and this blog!
Join our Facebook group, Planning an Epic Road Trip on Any Budget
Join the Journey With The G’s email list (bonus – you get my Epic Road Trip Budget spreadsheet)
Buy my book, Planning an Epic Road Trip on any Budget.
Buy my book, Trusting God With 2 Cents: 22 Days To Becoming A Successful Christian Business Owner.
Shop on Amazon (no additional cost to you, this gives us a percentage of what you order).
Check out our resources page.
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel

Day 3381 – When Did I Know I Was An Alcoholic – repost

Originally posted 8/6/17

I’m working through my second draft of my memoir, and I’m happy to see it taking somewhat of a logical shape.

Yesterday, we had so much fun hanging out with some friends at a beautiful waterfront bar. Chatting with one of my friends, we talked about what was success for my first book, which was that one person’s mindset was changed.

In my current draft of the memoir, I wrote “I don’t want to write this book. Thinking back to these times doesn’t make me happy. Trying to read other memoirs about drinking is hard to do. I want to forget it all happened. I want to leave those memories in the past. Why would I ever want to go back there? Why would I want to share even more about the things I did? I suppose, if just one person is helped. If one person can move past addiction and treat it finally as a sin, it is worth it.

I think I have my goal for this book.

So, when did I know I was an alcoholic?

Probably in the few days after my last drink. Here’s a snapshot from my journal, which is part thinking out loud, part praying, in the days after that last day.

September 29, 2014 (first day sober)
I do enjoy it and I have had some great times, yet I’ve quit so many times. Can I really not control myself or am I trying to prove to myself that I can? Am I holding on to sin? Should I cut it loose? Do I need to cut it out completely? Truly? Forever? Is it standing in my way?

On October 3, 2014
Thank you also for the clear “it’s time” to quit drinking. Thank you for the strength already against temptation. Let it open doors to honest communications about how Christians aren’t perfect.

Almost three years later and I think it’s so true – that it can open lines of communications. People are shocked when they hear about my sobriety – “but you’re a Christian!”
Thinking back to the months following this moment, I remember thinking that there is almost more stigma against people who don’t drink than people who do. Look at all the memes about drinking at the end of the day, or that say “how could I ever quit drinking, I’d be boring!” I was more embarrassed and nervous to say “no thank you” to a drink, then when I was downing bottle after bottle.

I’m so thankful for sober Jen, because she can go to places like we went yesterday, and remember every minute. I really hope we can live near the water some day.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Did you like what you read? Here’s some ways you can support us and this blog!
Join our Facebook group, Planning an Epic Road Trip on Any Budget
Join the Journey With The G’s email list (bonus – you get my Epic Road Trip Budget spreadsheet)
Buy my book, Planning an Epic Road Trip on any Budget
Buy my book, Trusting God With 2 Cents: 22 Days To Becoming A Successful Christian Business Owner.
Shop on Amazon (no additional cost to you, this gives us a percentage of what you order).
Check out our resources page.
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel

Day 3380 – Reflections On Getting Arrested In 2006 – repost

Originally posted on 9/16/16

Ten years ago at 1:59 a.m., I had a number of thoughts:
– I was so excited about my new job! It was my first “real” job. A 9-5 where I had to wear business casual and not a uniform.
– I really enjoyed working at Target.
– I should not be driving right now.
– I texted someone and said as much.

Ten years ago at 2:00 a.m., when I was pulled over, I had a number of thoughts:
– I shouldn’t have been driving.
– I shouldn’t have been texting.
– I should be ok, I didn’t have that much to drink.

Ten years ago around 4:00 a.m., after being officially arrested, I had a number of thoughts:
– I can’t believe this is happening.
– I can’t believe I blew a .13.
– I can’t believe I talked to the cop on the way back from the official breathalyzer test about thinking God wanted me to talk to him. How embarrassing.
– I can’t believe the cops at the station said I took a good mug shot.

Today, ten years after being arrest, I have a number of thoughts:
– I can’t believe I didn’t think I had a problem back then. I found a short survey I took for my court mandated substance abuse classes. I scored an 11 out of 24. 9 or more meant probable alcoholism.
– I am SO thankful that God graciously helped me quit drinking cold turkey.
– I am so thankful I was pulled over that day. If I thought I was ok driving that day….I shudder to think what could have happened on the days prior that I knew I wasn’t ok to drive.
– I am thankful for those who stood by me through the last 10 years.
– I never thought I would put this out there publicly! I remember being SO scared about people finding out.
– I am thankful for work that doesn’t require me to check off a box – “have you been arrested” etc.
– I am thankful that I can now be a designated driver and not be mad about it.
– I am most thankful that alcohol doesn’t hold any power over me anymore. I always thought I wanted one of those stories….you know the kind…..drug addict, alcoholic, etc sees the errors of their ways and comes to Jesus and is completely saved from their vices. I always thought, well, my story isn’t that exciting….I grew up in a Christian home, gave my life to Christ very early and have clung to my faith ever since. I now know that is one of THE best testimonies. But, now I have both testimonies. 🙂

image

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Did you like what you read? Here’s some ways you can support us and this blog!
Join our Facebook group, Planning an Epic Road Trip on Any Budget
Join the Journey With The G’s email list (bonus – you get my Epic Road Trip Budget spreadsheet)
Buy my book, Planning an Epic Road Trip on any Budget
Buy my book, Trusting God With 2 Cents: 22 Days To Becoming A Successful Christian Business Owner.
Shop on Amazon (no additional cost to you, this gives us a percentage of what you order).
Check out our resources page.
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel

Day 3379 – What Would You Grab If You Had To Leave In Minutes Because Of Fire – or – Yesterday Did Not Go As Planned – repost

Originally posted 3/17/18

Yesterday progressed like most days around here. Bret worked at school. I worked here. I had pretty much finished up my work list, prepared my weekend and Monday to do lists. Bret arrived home and we chatted about our days. It was a little windy, but it’s been windy the past week or so. Then the lights started to flicker. At first we thought the power was going out, so we turned off a few lights, and checked the breaker box. We were able to switch the popped breakers back when our landlord said to hit the main breaker. A minute later he was at the door to say there was a fire and we had to get out. In a few minutes, we grabbed things that were close (computers, contracts, work folders, wallets, keys, phones, my current book manuscript). There wasn’t a raging fire or any smoke, this wasn’t a “get out now” situation, so we had a few minutes to look around and ask – is there anything we have to have? Anything we wouldn’t want to lose? Because we have minimal stuff and work out of our backpacks pretty regularly, most of what we needed was ready to go. But it as a little surreal to walk around the apartment and not find much we HAD to have. In a last minute remembrance, there was a sweatshirt I had been gifted recently that I did not want to lose, so I tossed that on top.

We made our way to the sidewalk where we found out there were several houses affected. Each owner described the same experience – flickering electronics and the smell of burning. The fire departments were here really fast. Several stations showed up too.

Standing on the street, I almost started to cry. I think it was the weight of what could have been, the potential seriousness of what happened, and that sense of community when something happens. Ha ha, we were formally introduced to one of the neighbors, even though we’ve been here almost a year.

After checking all the houses, the fire department counted them as safe. They had called BGE to look at what had happened. At this point, we decided to take off. Either to get a hotel or just kill some time while things were being looked at and fixed. Turns out there was a surge and the transformer for roughly 10 houses had to be replaced.

We ended up celebrating a recent signed contract for another house with dinner and coffee. We try to celebrate in small ways for a signed contract and then big ways for a closing. Ha ha, so much can happen to extend a closing or not work out all together. So we don’t count that money until the check is in hand.

We grabbed dinner at Taco Bell (which is a big real estate investing celebration spot for us, apparently!) We had talked about going to see Black Panther, but we haven’t seen a few of the Marvel movies before that (Thor and Spiderman) so we decided to just grab coffee and then head back. We chatted for about an hour or so at Starbucks.

When we arrived home, we set up candles and read by their light for a little while, then bundled up for the night without power.

Thankfully, the power is back on and very few things were damaged by the surge (just microwaves, I think). The lesson learned is to turn off EVERYTHING if you think there’s a surge. Also, have a housewide surge protector (I didn’t know this was a thing!)

It was also a great reminder to actually have a “bug out bag” ready to go. While we got everything that we needed, we were very haphazard about it. So we plan on thinking through the things we’d HAVE to grab and have a clothes/toiletries bag all ready to go.

Here’s hoping today is a little more chill.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Did you like what you read? Here’s some ways you can support us and this blog!
Join our Facebook group, Planning an Epic Road Trip on Any Budget
Join the Journey With The G’s email list (bonus – you get my Epic Road Trip Budget spreadsheet)
Buy my book, Planning an Epic Road Trip on any Budget.
Buy my book, Trusting God With 2 Cents: 22 Days To Becoming A Successful Christian Business Owner.
Shop on Amazon (no additional cost to you, this gives us a percentage of what you order).
Check out our resources page.
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel

Day 3378 – World Mental Health Day – or – I Learned So Much About Myself After I Got Sober

When I got sober four years ago, so many things changed in my life. Some things were expected – more money in my account, less weight on my body, overall better sense of well-being. But there were a number of things I didn’t expect.

I think the biggest was how being sober forced me to really get to know myself and deal with the things that I found. I saw how I have a tendency to use any excuse to do the things I want to do. When I was drinking, it would be “oh, I’m having a good/terrible/wonderful/awful day, let’s have a drink!” Now it’s, “oh, Bret is off work, I’ll take off work too!” Recognizing this about myself allows me to really dig into the why of it all – bottom line, I can be a pretty lazy person.

Another thing I learned is practicing extreme self-care. There are things that upset me, things that make me happy, and things that I think other people think is weird. I’ve learned I HAVE to say no to things that upset me, oh heck YES to things that make me happy and accept that I am who I am and I cannot control how people see me.

And the best is that people can change. I was locked in alcoholism for years, but God freed me from the shackles. In the years since I have changed in SO many other ways.

If someone you know is struggling with something, and you have thoughts that they’ll never change – take heart, change is possible. Oh and know that sobriety is FUN! I mean, look at all this fun I had AFTER getting sober.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Did you like what you read? Here’s some ways you can support us and this blog!
Join our Facebook group, Planning an Epic Road Trip on Any Budget
Join the Journey With The G’s email list (bonus – you get my Epic Road Trip Budget spreadsheet)
Buy my book, Planning an Epic Road Trip on any Budget.
Buy my book, Trusting God With 2 Cents: 22 Days To Becoming A Successful Christian Business Owner.
Shop on Amazon (no additional cost to you, this gives us a percentage of what you order).
Check out our resources page.
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel