4 Things I’ve Learned This First Year of Working from Home

I cannot believe it has been one year since I packed up my classroom at a high school in Temecula and went home to work with my husband. Time has definitely flown by and I have learned so much.

1. Family Is More Important To Me Than Ever Before

Family vacations are so important

Our family at the Grand Canyon during Spring Break

I took the plunge and left my comfortable and safe job of teaching to risk the economical consequences of being home more with my kids. While I still work, being there with them in the morning for breakfast, taking them to school, doing homework with them, and even helping my oldest son with his independent studies once a week has given me a drive to want to step it up. To do more with them. Be more with them. Instead of reading teaching books to improve my teaching, I’m reading parenting books to improve my parenting. I’m reading one right now called Different Children, Different Needs that is just life changing for me. It is helping me see the different qualities in my children and how my words and behavior as a parent can nurture and hurt them based on those qualities. I’m not done with it yet. But it inspires me to love my kids and discipline them differently. We are also setting a two year goal to move all our kids to a hybrid homeschool. The lessons and practice I’m getting now will help me do well when that time comes, if God wills it.

2. Working Alongside My Husband Has Brought Us So Much Closer and More Aligned

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Owen and I in our live stream studio for our upcoming show, Power Your Passion.

We have had to spend A LOT of time together. Wow! And with that, we have had to annoy each other, love each other, and communicate with each other all. day. long. It actually has helped us uncover the fact that we both communicate differently. And so we have had to be students of each other in a whole new way than before. Learning our DISC profiles have been incredibly helpful and that is the same tool we have used to communicate better with our children. But let me tell you– having a common goal, sitting together at night both working on the same project, stressing together and rejoicing together over successes and failures in our business has been incredibly good for us. I don’t feel so disconnected, trying to understand why he felt a certain way about his work and trying to remember names of people and such while I feigned interest. He does not struggle anymore with resenting my piles of papers to grade or my long commute home because it is taking attention from him or the family…the list goes on. Through this all, we have also come along side each other in a marriage ministry and are helping other couples become more aligned. That common ministry has helped us become better spouses as well, forcing ourselves to practice what we preach.

3. I’mMore Complicated Than I Thought I Was

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I thought that if I came home from work that I wouldn’t be as busy, that I would workout more, that I would be more present, that I’d blog more, and all of that. But I’m learning that some of my issues are truly issues and are rooted in myself, not on my circumstances. I can only blog if I wake up earlier, and I’m still struggling in that department. Sleep wins the argument every morning! I also still go through long phases of not exercising like I should (and with not walking around my classroom all day, it has definitely affected my weight, so I need to fix this). I still struggle with being present and now have reminders set up on my phone, and am working to be more conscious of my tendency to be lost in my thoughts and overly task oriented. The books I’m reading are helping me see this as well. And I’m learning that I create business in my life. I do it to myself. So I’m looking forward to growing in these areas.

4. God is Moving and the Future is Grand

IMG_8285God is teaching Owen and I so much about the power of faith, and opening doors for us in areas I’d never dreamed. Who knows what the future holds but the silhouettes forming on the horizon of the future are nothing like would have expected had someone asked me to forecast the future a year or more ago. We have started a family vlog, are looking at investing into an idea of Owen’s with one of our friends, are getting more marriage ministry opportunities, and more. We are even now working on house projects together to improve our home and planning to hopefully move our family to the Austin area in Texas when Kanan graduates high school. We still have concerns about Owen’s health and with the risk of owning a business, and kids there are plenty of worries, but that is where God is teaching so much about faith and trust. We live by him each day. And no matter what happens, we are trusting in Him and his plans for us.

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6 Things You Should Know About Being a Wife of a Husband with Cancer

  1. we can do itWe Have To Be Cheerleaders

In the biggest battle of our husband’s lives where they are the ones struggling with physical weakness, illness, and perhaps fear—we CANNOT be the ones crying on the floor. If our husband’s don’t  have us reminding them of their strength,  of their attractiveness, of their inspiring quest they have been given, where will they get it from? Certainly some of them might have faith or friends, but if they don’t have it from the one to whom they married, it can really weaken them. This is our time to get out our smiles and our cheers, to let them for once be the ones to lean on us with their tears and fears, so that they can get well and be back to giving us the strong shoulder we so much love to lean our heads upon in times of need.

  1. We Have To Be Transparent At Times

While we need to be optimistic and praising our husband’s often, our men also need to feel we are pained by their disease, that we are sad that this has happened. If we are not sad and broken, they may wonder–do we even love them? If we don’t cry at some point in front of them, wouldn’t we somehow give the message that to us, this isn’t that big of a deal? This is where the art of wifery comes in. We have to be strong optimistic cheerleaders, but not too much where we give an artificial or unrealistic impression. Cry your tears in front of him. Then wipe them away, get your big girl pants on, and find that God-given inner strength.  And if you want to cry again soon, find a sister or a mom. Space out your tears for your husband after you’ve had a good stretch of smiles.

  1. We Have To Be Selfless And Thoughtful

It doesn’t matter what kind of wife we once were prior to our husband’s diagnosis: we have to step up our game. If you weren’t much of a cook before, better start heading to Pinterest for some easy and healthy meals. Don’t usually think to call hubby mid-day to ask how he is doing and see if you can pick him up anything on your way home? Maybe it’s time to set that reminder on your smart phone. And if you were this kind of wife before, plan on doing it even more, and not getting much help from your sick hubby. But then again, you probably have already gotten used to that if your hubby has been diagnosed with Cancer. Chances are, he started feeling sick before you both knew what he had. Adding chemotherapy to all that, only increases their needs.

  1. We Have To Put Our Pride Aside

As much as we want to be strong “Super Moms” and “Super Wives,” we will not be able to do it all. After taking care of hubby, kids, house, and perhaps even a job as some of us have—to assume that your house will be clean and that dinner will be on the table every night prepared by you is just unrealistic. It doesn’t mean that we are bad wives or moms or need to work even harder than we already are. Now is the time to accept some charity. And truth be told, it will be good for you. I cannot believe how much love I have felt from the numerous people who have helped us through cooking meals, offering to clean, and donating money to our GoFundMe.  It is an opportunity for you to be moved and affected in a powerful way by the good people in your circle, and maybe to even be surprised by the ones who offer and the ones who don’t. Don’t worry. People wont think less of you. They want to help!

  1. We Have To Research

Doctor’s don’t tell us everything. Husband’s don’t always do their own research. People will tell us many different wives tales , anecdotal stories, and sadly– scary stories of dead loved ones. If you want to help your hubby beat this, you’ve got to learn about his cancer, what it means, how it is treated, what is the prognosis, and what are ways you can help him get better through alternative treatments outside of just chemotherapy, diet, supplements, etc. Honestly, if the numbers are really bad and they are feeling optimistic, it may be better to not tell them their prognosis. But you need to know. This will also help you make wise decisions about next steps, and to know when it might be time to get a second opinion or a different approach to curing the cancer.  Remember, we are their cheerleaders—not their Debbie Downers. We don’t just give up and let doctors tell us who lives and who dies. God has given us amazing bodies capable of healing.

6. We Have To Be Prayer Warriors

It’s amazing how so many people who didn’t pray much, start to pray once someone they love gets Cancer. For the believing and Praying Wife, this is all the more so. As we watch our husbands suffer through their illness, go through dark days of despair, as well as grow and surprise us with their ability to find joy on those good days despite their circumstances, we pray. We pray for help. Pray our praises. Pray for strength. Pray for healing. We just pray in all things. The Holy Spirit does incredible things when we surrender it all to God. He can turn Cancer into a Blessing, if you let Him–yes, even in the darkest circumstances. But it starts with prayer.

Owen and Theresa: a testimony

My husband Owen and I are celebrating our 5th Anniversary Today. We’ve come a long way. Most people who knew us when we first married didn’t think we’d last longer than 6 months because we got married very very quickly. And we may not have if wasn’t for God. This is our story.

HOW WE MET

Kanan and I the winter after I first met Owen.

Kanan and I the winter after I first met Owen.

We met on Christian Dating Site called Christian Mingle and had a few conversations through their messaging system, and a couple of phone conversations. Even our intial emails to each other were like a foreshadow to how our relationship would be at first. I had found his profile first. He was gorgeous. His profile was funny. He worked at a The Fish, a Christian Radio Station in Orange County, and his favorite bible verse was something other than John 3:16. I thought he seemed like a catch. I messaged him letting him know I liked his profile, told him a few things about myself and sent it. I didn’t hear back. Then like a month or two later, I get this email from him. He said he recently saw my profile, liked it, and asked me a few questions that I had already told him about in my email I sent him. So I knew he never read my first message. Gorgeous man as he is, I assumed he got so many, he just skipped mine to his other options and then just now was actually discovering me. So I sent him a sassy email back. Something to the effect of—I sent you a message a month ago introducing myself. Why don’t you go back through your old messages and actually read what I wrote you and you will get the answers to your question.

But he liked that. Said he liked “strong women.”

OUR FIRST DATE

Owen's profile picture on Christian Mingle

Owen’s profile picture on Christian Mingle

We finally went on a date. Met in San Clemente, a half way spot between Irvine and Oceanside. Certainly a physical attraction there, but I found him to be a bit arrogant and he found me to be a bit uptight. Furthermore, it became clear on the date, that he wasn’t actually Christian, but a Jack Mormon who cruised different Christian churches without ever joining one so he could keep a godly feel to his life without being held accountable to his Mormon faith, which he still subscribed to but didn’t live out. He insisted works were important to getting into heaven and that it couldn’t be faith alone. I called him out on it on the first date and shared some pretty strong reasons why he should question his religious beliefs and he told me that I should spend my time evangelizing atheists, not Mormons.  Yeah….spicy first date. Our last email after our date was rather snippy to one another. He shared with me what a simple guy he was and how dating me was more complicated than “reading an owner’s manual” to his iphone. I told him he was mean. And that was it.

Needless to say, we didn’t go out for a second date.

This was in October of 2008. Continue reading

Peter and I share something in common

This video touched me so much! I knew Peter had denied Jesus three times, but never read this part of the Gospel of John. I went back into my bible after seeing this and read the passage od John 21. Apparently “Agape” means a self-sacrificing love and “phileo” means a brotherly love. I remember this a scene earlier when Jesus was washing the feet of his diciples and Peter didn’t want him to do it because he felt that Jesus was too good to be doing such a lowly job. Jesus told him that Peter didn’t understand what he was doing but that some day he would. I think that conversation between Jesus and Peter by the Sea of Galilee finally taught him what Jesus was all about. And Peter later became a powerful witness to God and was later crucified himself for being a Christian.

 I asked Jesus into my heart when I was 10 years old, but fell away from the path when I was in high school. And for 12 years, I didn’t go back because I felt like I wasn’t worthy. When we ask Jesus into our heart, we actually form a marriage with Christ. The marriage of Christ and his Church. While this video refers to our “marriage,” it is actually talking about how to apply our marriage with our spouse in the same way Jesus applied the marriage between us and him. Whether we are married or not, I think this still speaks so much about our need to recommit our lives to Christ if we have separated ourselves from him. The conversation between Jesus and Peter, also happend between Jesus and I about two months ago. This video totally captures the emotion I felt when I felt him calling me back. For those of you who have divorced Christ like I did at some point in your life, I hope this video brings you as much hope as it did me. Jesus is truly an awesome God!

 God Bless!