More Than Pumpkins

This past weekend we went on a family outing with my parents and my sisters. We went to a local orchard (County Line Orchard in Hobart, IN) to get pumpkins, apples, cider and all kinds of goodies. We have gone there every October for the last 7 years now! It is so fun and festive! We love Fall and what better way to celebrate?

For me, it’s more than pumpkins…

The first year we went to the apple orchard was in 2006, Mark and I had just miscarried our first baby. I was depressed. I didn’t want to do much of anything. I think this was my moms way of getting me out of the house. It was a good idea, because I actually had a little fun! The whole time, I prayed that next year we would be bringing a baby to the orchard! And we did! Although, she couldn’t see anything, because she was so cozy and safe in my belly. She was due to be born December 25, 2008.

(We don’t have pictures of 2006 and 2007. I didn’t have a picture addiction until after the first born! 🙂 )

 

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In 2008 we had so much fun watching our oldest play in the pumpkin patch.

 

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In 2009, we grew by one!

 

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In 2010, the kids were growing!

 

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In 2011, we grew by one again, but no one knew yet! 🙂

 

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In 2012, we got to bring our youngest, only 3 months old.

 

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This year, 2013, I realize how big our kids are getting! They were all old enough to walk on their own and pick up pumpkins! They had fun! Now, they love it as much as I do! They love the tradition. They know with Fall comes the apple orchard! Someday, they will know how it all got started!

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My sisters with our oldest in 2008.

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Everyone in 2013

My parents take us every year and it has been fun to see how much my little sisters have changed over the years! This is a part of their childhood too!

It wasn’t always easy to take our little kids to the orchard. It is usually packed, cold, it takes almost an hour to get there and this year it was muddy! One year, Mark asked me if we could just get pumpkins in town, he saw a bunch of them outside of the gas station, really cheap. He thought it would be so much easier to just get them there! That was the last time he asked that question! 🙂

He didn’t realize…it was more than pumpkins for me!

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Success

Last week, our sermon was “Success: God’s View”  and it really got me thinking! Thinking about the worldly views on success. It amazes me how much different scripture is compared to how the world views success! The Bible says to seek and trust Jesus! The world tells us to have more things!

I don’t think God wants us to be poor, he wants us to enjoy the life he has given us. I’m not gonna lie… I love my vacations, new clothes, and things, BUT they can’t BE our god! We can’t live for things! Those things won’t last!

A question that was asked, “who wrote your definition of success?”  Do you even remember what your definition is? Or are you just going through the motions? The rat race of life? I ask myself these questions and I have to really think what my goals are for me and my family! I have to remember what my focus is

After thinking about success, I remembered that in high school I had to write a paper on success. I was so curious on what I had said about 10 years earlier.

Luckily I found it…

Society views success in many different ways and people have different views on how to become successful.  People have different goals in life and different things they want to accomplish in life to be successful in their eyes.  There are some common stereotypes for successful people.  Many Americans believe that successful people have a high level of education and they have a lot of money.

I’m sure many high school students hear their teachers drilling in their head about how important education is in regards to whether or not you will be something in life.  Many teachers preach about how you must do your best in high school because college is much harder and we all need to be prepared.  They tell us we need to do well in college to be successful.  While we know they are just looking out for us and trying to be good teachers, some of us don’t plan to go to college, but wish to further our education in other ways.  Colleges also try to find a way to let all high school students know that in order to have a successful life you need to go to their college.  They find many ways of doing this, I receive (on average) three or four letters or brochures every week telling me how I need to get a good education and I should go to their school.  There seems to be at least two or three college representatives at school every week.  Colleges find ways to give us information through our teachers and sometimes even come in to talk to us. Colleges have many ways of trying to reach us high school students and they are all competing in trying to tell us that we need to come to their school because they have what we need to make us successful in life.  The main reason education and college is forced on high school students is because society sends the message that Americans need to have money to have anything in life.

Having money is another thing that society associates with success.  For some people they just assume that if you are going to be successful you must have a large amount of money.  If you look at famous actors and actresses most people would say that they were very successful people.  Would you think they were as successful if they still had their talent but lived like you and I?  They would still be considered as the middle working class.  The fact that they have more money puts them at a higher social class and that makes people believe that they are more successful than the middle working class.  Another example would be if you were driving down the road and you saw Bill Gates’ house then saw a trailer next to it.  Would you be more impressed by Bill Gates’ house or the trailer?  Anyone would much rather go to Bill Gates’ house.  You can see how society has trained us to think the same close minded way about what it means to be successful.

True success has to be measured by accomplishing your own goals.  Not everyone will become Bill Gates and live in a mansion, but we can still be successful in our own eyes by accomplishing our goals and leading a happy and fulfilled life.  Being successful does not have to mean that you earn a high level of education or become a millionaire.  Neil Simon said, “Money brings some happiness. But after a certain point, it just brings more money.”  This is so true because once you have so much money and you are used to it, you are not as excited about it any more; it does not bring anymore happiness. You could be the riches person on earth and still be unhappy and miserable with your life.  I wouldn’t call that a successful life at all.  “The purpose of your time on earth is not primarily about acquiring possessions, attaining status, achieving success.” Those are secondary issues.  Life is all about love and developing relationships with God and other people.” (Rick Warren)  You should make the best of your life and live your life to the fullest.  Use all the talents God gave you and if he gave you a smart brain you should earn a high level of education and you could become wealthy, but we should not base success solely on that.  There are many different ways to be successful in your life.  You could have many children and become an excellent mother or volunteer in your community.  Too many times those types of people are over looked as successful.

To accomplish your own goals and be successful in life, remember have perseverance and self-discipline.  Self-discipline is pushing yourself to do your personal best every day even when you feel like giving up.  I am very thankful that my parents have taught me self-discipline.

Dear Mom and Dad,

Thank you for teaching me self-discipline.  You have shaped me into a hard working person.  I have been able to use these qualities in my life already to accomplish the goals that I have set and achieved.  I have used my self-discipline many times in school.  When I have had very difficult classes and feel like giving up, I persevere and continue to work hard.  When I was running I used my self-discipline.  I loved knowing that I could push myself and accomplish something, I felt that succeeded.   I know that my self-discipline will be very useful in life as I go through difficult and challenging times.  I will use that in my life to become successful.  Thank you for teaching me what I need to become successful.

Love,

Candiss

You must be a wise person, make good decisions to get to where you want to go in life.  Everyone makes mistakes in life, but if you make too many of them and too great of mistakes it will be harder to correct them and accomplish all of your goals, so absorb as much knowledge as you can to prevent this.  After you have achieve your goals you will have a feeling of accomplishment and it will bring you happiness.

Everyone has their own ideas of what they want to do to be successful and I have many of my own. My first goal is to go to Purdue North Central to earn an Associate of Science degree in nursing.  I want to become a registered nurse and work somewhere with babies.  I plan to marry my fiancé, Mark, and share my life with him.  Later, we plan on having children.  I hope that it will work out that I can stay home to raise our children, so I can devote my time to being the best mother I can be.  My goal is to work hard, but take time out of my busy life and have fun and to enjoy everything God created for us.  My ultimate goal is to be a good wife and mother and to raise my family in a good Christian home.

I probably won’t be famous or rich, but I can still be successful in life.  I might not be successful in the eyes of society.  If I work hard and accomplish my goals, I will be successful in my eyes.

 

As young, immature and clueless as I was back then, I seem to have about the same view on success as I do now. That was something that I felt strongly about then and I still do!

So, I need to remind myself what is my “personal definition of success.”

“What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” Mark 8:36

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

That’s SUCCESS!

What I set out to do in the beginning…

I am so excited to finally begin the adventure that I set out to do about 7 years ago!  I can finally say that I am solely a stay at home mom. Well, I’ve been at home for the last 6 years but I have had every side job you could think of – laundry lady, grandma caretaker, babysitter, landscaper, and cleaning lady.

Before we even got married we decided I would be a stay at home mom. We all know how when you first get married and have your first baby, money is a little tight. I was blessed enough to always find work that could fill that gap a little. Before I knew it I was running everywhere like a crazy mom just trying to juggle all my jobs!  Far from what I had set out to do in the beginning.

I was raised by an awesome full time working mom and the first few years of my life she was also finishing her bachelors degree. Somehow she did it all! I loved my mom and knew she would do anything for me, she went to school full time and worked full time. The world needs all different people and we need working moms. This was just OUR decision for me to stay home.

Our kids are already 5,4 & 1 and this is the last year I will have the oldest one home for a half day! THE LAST YEAR I have with all my kids home! It was now or never! Mark has a great job and work was going good, so I made the plunge!

Change is scary for me. Don’t really like it at all!

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten!”

Most importantly…this isn’t about me! I am here to serve my purpose! Right now my purpose is to serve my family, friends and community (funny, because this is what I have been teaching 5 year olds all week at VBS!) 🙂 I need to take time to be able to fully concentrate on that!

Now, I need to remember to slow down and just say no to extra jobs that aren’t for me!

So, here I am ready to serve! I am ready to see what God lays at my feet!