The lost art of self-control

Let’s face it. Self control is not something you see displayed very often. Teaching your kids self-control is no easy task, especially when all around you, you see the opposite. What is the opposite of self-control, you ask? Well, it would be unrestraint.

Here’s the thing you need to realize as a parent. Teaching your kids self-control has to start early. I remember very clearly working on self-control over 2 areas when my boys were little: self-control over their emotions and self-control over their actions.

The opposite of having self-control over your emotions looks like this: Crying (not when they are hurt, obviously), screaming, stomping, whining.

The opposite of having self-control over your actions looks like this: Hitting, kicking, throwing things.

If your kids are showing these signs you know one thing for sure…the issue is not whatever is setting them off. The issue is the negative reaction towards what’s setting them off. And if you choose not to teach your kids how to have self-control over little things like not being able to get candy, about not getting their way, or about manipulating you? The stage will not pass. It will just show itself in different ways. And those ways are not pretty. Ever see a grown professional sports player show lack of self-control on the field? Over and over and over again. Why? Is the issue that the refs are all bad? Is the issue that the other team is mean? Or is the issue the lack of control on the player’s part? I think we know the answer.

Oh, and one more thing? It is not just about teaching this to your kids…I know that I have to discipline myself in this area in a pretty huge way as well!

It starts with Self-control over your thoughts. I can not even begin to tell you the ways God has been hammering me on this aspect. Taking my thoughts captive. The passage in 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 is a passage that is pretty familiar, but one that I decided to commit to memory. My thoughts. Aye yai yai! Oh they come in like a vengeance and they threaten to control me. And I let them, so many times. You know what the weird thing is? It never feels good when I am letting them control me! But it is so hard to stop them once they come it.

Once you gain control over your thoughts, you start controlling your mouth. When you control your mouth, you can control your emotions and your actions.

It’s such a simple concept and such a not-so-simple thing to live out. Just today, I was faced with decisions on controlling my emotions on so many occasions, and the main thing that kept me from vaguebooking, was the fact that in the other tab open on my computer, I had this stinking blog post about The lost art of self-control! Come on now! That just ain’t right.

So my challenge to you as a parent of little ones? Start focusing on the root of the issue. Self control. If your daughter whines when she is upset? Correct her on that! Don’t wait until it gets to the lack of self-control which becomes throwing and kicking!

If your kids are older? It’s still the same thing. Start focusing on the root of the issue. Self control. If your son can’t handle a bad call from a referee? Correct him on that! Don’t wait until it gets to the point where he is yelling and swearing at the ref. (seriously..my husband is a ref and he has been on the wrong end of that one before!)

And if you are a human? It’s still the same thing. Start focusing on the root of the issue. Self control. (seeing a pattern here?!) If you feel your blood pressure rising when you get an email that upsets you? Don’t wait until it gets to the point where you are responding in a mean way, or lowering yourself to passive aggressive comments on your Facebook!

Let’s take care of the root issue. Let’s be men and women of character. And let’s raise a whole new generation of kids that learn how to have self control.

I think everyone will thank us for that!

 

Friday night date night

3 Reasons Friday night date night is important.

1. Your marriage comes before your kids.

2. Your marriage is worth working for.

3. You deserve a night off from cooking.

So tonight? It’s Friday night date night. The boys are having a sleepover at nanny’s house and we are gonna go watch a movie.

Happy Friday!

New Hampshire Family Photographer ~ Callie and Cam

I love seeing my little clients grow over the years. Last year we got Callie to give her brother Cameron a big smooch, so of course I had to re create it this year! I love how she just grabbed his face…

2014-09-10_0008

Callie was the sweetest, and one of the silliest little girl I have gotten to shoot and it was a lot of fun. It gives me an excuse to act like a crazy fool!

 

2014-09-10_0002 2014-09-10_0001

Her big brother wasn’t so sure about the whole thing, but we finally got a few natural smiles out of him!

2014-09-10_0006

 

2014-09-10_0007

 

Callie really wanted to swing on my swing in the front yard, and that girl has no fear! She wanted to be spun, and pushed higher and higher!

2014-09-10_0005

 

When I’m back and forth

I started my blog in 2005 back when it wasn’t even really a “thing” yet. I put pictures of my boys, wrote random thoughts and just did it every once in a great while. As things in my life have changed, I have started writing things that are a little bit deeper and I have also added my photography business to the mix.

I have been consistently posting every single week day for over a year and a half, and have only missed 2 days in that time. I love writing, obviously, and I love talking. Again…obviously. I don’t really know exactly why I decided to start blogging every day but I thought it would give me more of a following, and I felt like that was what I wanted. I didn’t want a following for my photography business, although I love my business and photography is definitely a passion of mine. But I really enjoy thinking and analyzing different aspects of life. I also was hoping to gain followers so I could gain friends. And I also wanted to be able to reach people with words of encouragement. Words that give hope.

I love people. No doubt about that. And I love meeting new people, asking millions of questions to them (many people can attest to this!) and just listening.

Because everyone needs someone to listen to them…to hear their voice. Everyone.

 

But there are times when I feel like, who am I to be writing? What do I have to offer? Why would anyone even read what I write? Today, I sat at The Porch and listened to a 13-year-old girl talk for quite a while about her home life. It literally made my heart hurt. The pain and the struggles she has gone through at such a young age is too much. It just feels like it’s too much for one person to handle. I started hearing the voice of the deceiver speak to me and say…See? Why are you in this ministry that deals with people like that? You had a great home life growing up. You have nothing to offer her. She is not even going to take what you say seriously, and why would she? You have nothing to offer.

No, it wasn’t an audible voice, but it was real. And it was strong. And I started to doubt what I even had to say. And then I remembered something. I will never have anything to offer anyone. I’m just me. Rachelle. The loud, obnoxious girl who laughs too loud and talks too much. But I know the one who has everything to offer anyone. It’s the hope of Jesus. It’s the person of Jesus that says – Everyone has value. Everyone has worth. And this girl? I guess that’s what she needed to hear. That she had value. And it wasn’t coming from the voice of a 37-year-old person who had had a pretty easy life in comparison. No. It was from the one who created her. The one who loved her so much that He died for her. And that has more value than anything that can ever come from me.

So I have to be honest here. There are times I go back and forth with the thought of…maybe I’m coming on too strong with my writing. Maybe I’m just being obnoxious with my words. Maybe I should stop using so many ellipses. Should I just post a photo shoot from today? Should I just talk about what we had for lunch, and what new project I am doing at my house and leave the rest of it out? I mean…does it matter? Are people even being affected? Maybe I should just start a personal, close the notebook and call it a day.

And then I have to just go forward. I have to write what is on my heart, and trust that it’s what someone, anyone needs today. So I’m back and forth. Back and forth. It’s hard putting yourself out there. I always have a little bit of fear every time I’m about to hit publish on a post. Because I don’t want people to judge me. I don’t want people to think I’m judging them.

I do want to get to know people. I do want people to know the hope that is in Jesus.

As I voiced some of my fearful thoughts today to my friend Ruthie, she said something that really affected me. The reason my life has gone the way it has, is because my parents did things God’s way, and their family was blessed because of it. Adam and I are doing things God’s way, and my family is blessed because of it. I have the life I have, because God’s way works.

That’s not a sad story, it’s a story of hope. It’s a story that can’t say – I know how you feel, I’ve been there. But it’s a story that can say – You can have this future, this hope, this joy because God’s way works.

Tonight, I was going to post a photo session. But instead I went forth instead of back. (What? I totally always use the word “forth” when I talk, don’t you? ha!)

And I hope that as you are reading this, you remember that no matter what your testimony is, no matter what your life is. You always have the chance to go God’s way and see if it works. Because if you try it? You won’t regret it. If you test it? It won’t fail.

It’s that good.

 

 

 

My baby’s not a baby

I would say it’s a pretty fair assessment when people say that you treat your youngest as younger than they are compared to how you treated your oldest.

With your first born, you are so excited to get to each new stage. I remember being so excited to buy AJ’s first sippy cup, to get his first big boy bed, to get his first soccer cleats. With your youngest, it’s different. You want to hold on to each stage and never let it go.

Riley started middle school this year, and I still have a hard time believing it. He’s not a baby anymore, but both of my boys will always be my babies.

I admit, I do treat him a little younger than he probably is. I enjoy doing things that he asks me to do, when he could most likely do them perfectly well himself. But I think he’s fine with it.

Here is my little spit fire. My crazy, hilarious, sensitive, strong and godly little man. Oh I am so proud of him and love him so much I could just burst.

 

2014-09-09_0001 2014-09-09_0002 2014-09-09_0003

The most important thing to remember about parenting

I’m not really the fuzzy, overlook everything, cover everything with a big blanket of love person. But. When I stop and think about what the most important thing to remember about parenting might be? There is one thing that really stands out to me.

 

 

parenting

 

It’s love. Plain and simple.

Here is the thing. I don’t mean the kind of love that ignores things. I don’t mean the kind of love that excuses bad behavior. But I do mean the kind of love that covers over sin. (I Peter 4:8, and Proverbs 10:12) I do mean the kind of love that doesn’t keep a record of wrong. That is patient, kind, not proud, is not irritable (ouch), and is always hopeful.

The kind of love that God shows me every single day. He shows me that kind of love when I am irritable, when I am keeping track of wrongs, when I am impatient, unkind, proud, irritable and hopeless.

That kind of love. It is an amazing thing to be on the receiving end of. And as a mom? It is the most important thing I can demonstrate, and an incredible gift I can give my children.

So going into your day tomorrow, remember that. Remember it no matter how the day starts.

Show love. Show love when it’s hard, when you’re tired, when you’re feeling irritable. Give your kids that gift. 

Love on.

 

A day in the life.

My days are full. I mean filled to overflowing.

Thankfully, I have discovered the google calendar complete with the app and it has literally saved my life. (thank you Ang!) We have it broken down by color, and my September calendar looks beautiful. Between Adam reffing every day, The Porch, the boys on 3 different soccer teams, homeschooling and running my business I feel like I could, at any moment, explode.

In the early morning, I feel like my heart could burst with gratitude and contentment. And at the end of the day, I feel the same. Sometimes, the middle of the day makes me a little stressed, but we figure things out and we make it work.

A day in my life looks a little bit different each day, but I took a few pictures to give a general idea of what it looks like.

I will start after my 12 mile run at sunrise and total cleaning of the house, which happens every single morning rain or shine. Ha…I think you know me better than that by now!

It looks a little more like this

2014-09-05_0004

 

It doesn’t always start with pancakes, but when it does they are the just add water box mix and stuffed full of chocolate chips. Don’t judge. I have made them from scratch with all kinds of fancy, healthy things in them and my boys ask for the old faithful Aunt Jemima. Whatever. 

Then we have a family prayer time. Then AJ starts school and Ry has a reading time.  His CC doesn’t start until Tuesday. Have I said don’t judge yet? Because I meant it. Especially after I tell you that Riley was only reading after he had just watched 2 episodes of garfield on netflix.

2014-09-05_0002

I love the fact that there is literally always a soccer ball, basketball, football or any kind of ball in the living room or kitchen. Like, it’s a miracle I have not broken my leg with how many times I trip over one! 

Ry could play with legos all day and half the night, and by the end of the day my kitchen floor looks like this..

2014-09-05_0003

Three soccer bags, sandals and shoes everywhere, and of course a tennis ball that has somehow managed to land behind the cabinet! 

After 12:00, things get crazy preparing for The Porch, practices, games, shoots and blogging. And in all of it, I am finding myself loving every second. Every second of the crazy. 

I’m thankful. Thankful that Adam is able to work a second job to help us get by, even though it leaves me the chauffeur for the boys and their 3 teams. Grateful that I have parents near by who can pick AJ up at the last second because Adam’s game ran late. Thankful for the chance I had to play video games with a high school boy at The Porch today. Thankful for friends I can text after an emotional situation. Thankful for the chocolate ice cream I have in the fridge. Thankful for extended family who understands the life of ministry. Thankful for a loving church family. Thankful for the fact that I just had to buy AJ a size 10 1/2 pair of cleats because it means he is growing and healthy.

A day in the life of the Chase’s. A tiring, incredibly full and joyful life. 

Remember. You can find the good in any situation. You can find the joy in the middle of chaos. You can find the positive in the middle of tons of negatives. It’s a choice. And I choose the good.

Happy Friday everyone!

Never ending house projects

 So it’s no secret that I love my house. I mean seriously. I am still in awe that God decided to give us this house. I have been working on projects for the last year and don’t think I will ever run out of them! I am not even close to complaining, because working around this house brings me so much joy. Is it a little weird that my dad came by the other day with a gift for me: a wrench set, and I am so ridiculously excited?! I love tools. All kinds. Sure, there are never ending house projects. But they involve working on a house that I love so I am happy to do them.

Besides a few mishaps here and there that involved animals thinking they have first dibs at the house, we are so happy. You can read about my experience with bats and birds in the house here.

You can see my dining room before and afters here.

The kitchen here.

Our bedroom here.

AJ’s bedroom here.

My library (the christmas edition) here.

Riley’s bedroom here.

The front porch here.

And now the front yard, where we are proudly displaying our yard-sale-find-furniture! It’s the little things, ya know what I mean? Now who wants to join me for coffee out here on a cool, fall night. So perfect.

2014-09-04_00032014-09-04_0002

Partying like it’s 1995

So I sat at the porch today and listened to a 13-year old boy tell me about his summer. I heard about his trip to his grandparents, about his family kayaking trip and about how he and his dad like to rebuild old computers. He then proceeded to show me this “really old hard disc” and get this…”windows 95″! And then he laughed like this…hahaha!

Oh honey. You do know that my senior year of high school, I just so happened to be sitting proudly in my computer programming class ready to open the very program you are laughing at. Windows 95. Ha! I think he was expecting me to be shocked at what a hard disc looked like. I said, boy! I used to save all my homework on those bad boys!

wow. I am so old! 

A couple days ago, the guy who is doing our roof had to move the direct tv dish (that is not a plug…I can’t stand direct tv)  and ever since then we have not had any tv. Don’t worry, as soon as we dish out (no pun intended) 50 bucks they will come over to look at it. And then tonight…I hope you’re sitting down for this…Comcast is out so we have no internet! Iiiii know, right?! I mean, what are we supposed to do? Talk? Play board games? I mean what year is this? 1995? 

But really. It’s pretty funny how accustomed we get used to technology. And funny how quickly we forget what we used to have. My kids will never know how hard it used to be to “get on” the internet! And the annoyance of just logging on to your aol account when the stinking phone rings and kicks you off! Ha!

So tonight, I was planning on blogging about my day. Complete with pictures that I had taken of what our day looked like. But since I have no internet, I had to sit here on my phone and do the best I could. 

And plus…I  am just so plain exhausted from all the talking and paying attention to people I’ve been doing without internet and tv! 

I’m just gonna have to try to survive. So don’t you worry about me, I’m gonna be partying like it’s 1995. But minus the aqua net.

Can I ask you a favor?

I am not typically the kind of person who asks for…well, anything really.

I am the type that just takes care of things myself. Doesn’t wait for anyone to help, and would rather just not bother anyone. It’s actually not a positive quality, because I know the truth that working together is better. 

But here I am, about to ask you a favor.

You know about the youth center that Adam and I started 5 years ago. I shared my heart here in a post that I entitled, The reason I spend so much time with 12-year-olds. Sharing God’s love with teenagers gets me so excited!

porch logo

We are going on our fifth year of running this ministry and while the number of kids continues to grow, the number of volunteers continues to diminish. We have had some board members resign and some volunteers step away. We also found out that our rent is being raised by over 50%. We had no choice but to sign another year’s lease because we are NOT closing down and we can not find another space. 

I have dreams, people. Big, huge dreams. And I am in no way trying to say that I feel like giving up or that I am worn down, I am just asking for a favor. Because the dreams I have include way more than opening the youth center for 3 hours a day. We want to offer things for the entire community, not just the teenagers! We have dreams that include starting other Porch’s in surrounding towns and even in towns across the U.S! We have done the hard work and gotten the not for profit status, and we have a lot of experience from the last 5 years! I think that opening other Porch youth centers all over would be amazing, and I know there are people who have a heart for the teens in their community but just don’t know what to do about it!

People need to see the love of Christ. That is all. And this is such an easy way to show it. 

So even though I have listed some negatives of what I am feeling right now, the positives way outweigh the negatives…like it’s not even close

We have a space in the middle of town that we can open for teenagers. We have 4 volunteers (including me and Adam) who run the center. The people who are volunteering absolutely love what they do, and they are great at it. We have people who are monthly financial supporters of this ministry. We have run a teen leadership conference and are excited about next year’s! God has used The Porch to reach literally hundreds of kids, teenagers and families. And I know – With God, nothing will be impossible.  Here is the favor I am asking you:

Would you consider being a part of The Porch in some way?

Maybe it means donating snacks or drinks, or gift cards to get those items. Maybe it means volunteering to clean the center once a month. Maybe you would consider being a monthly financial supporter. Maybe you would be willing to pray specifically during the times we are open each day. Maybe you want to come and hang out with teenagers for 2 hours after school and invest in their lives. Maybe you want to bring me a coffee. ha..just joking about that one. Maybe you want to offer a class at the porch. There are so many ways you can help us, and I am trying to step away from my comfort zone and ask for help. It’s not easy! That’s for sure.

I know that when there are more of us working together, we do better.

And so. Can I ask you a favor? Would you consider joining the team at The Porch? 

I need you. I will just say it plain and simple. I need you. I need you to help this ministry grow stronger.  If you have been watching from afar, and not really sure of how you could be a part…would you make the effort today to join us? We will keep going even if you don’t, but we would love it so much more if we were working with you! Let’s do this!