Kohl Hard Facts

This adventure we call life in the Kohl Family

Life Is Hard February 29, 2012

Filed under: Encouragement,On Babies and Being a Mommy — kohlhardfacts @ 8:21 pm

I just want you to know something.  What you are going through is hard.  Don’t let yourself believe the lie that it isn’t hard just because someone else’s life is [in your eyes] harder.  We all have struggles and burdens.  We have all come through different things that have refined us; made us who we are.  God has given you the strength to get through those, and He alone will give you the strength to get through this. But hear me when I say, what you are going through is hard.

So what do we do when it’s just plain hard?

I find at times like this, it’s best to be honest.

First, be honest with yourself.

Be honest with yourself about the fact that you can’t do it all.  And when you try to do it all and do it on your own, in your own strength everyone gets cheated.  You get cheated out of enjoying your life and your family and the things that make you happy.  Your family gets cheated out of you.  And God gets cheated out of working through you [which is really you getting cheated out of the opportunity for Him to work through you.]

My friend Hayley over at The Tiny Twig wrote a beautiful post on this subject…I can’t do it all, you can’t do it all.

Which leads me to my next point…

Be honest with other people.

The other day a friend [acquaintance really] came up to Caleb and me at church.  I expected the usual “Hey, how’s it going?  Oh, great!  Have a nice week!” conversation.  But instead, he was very honest about a struggle that he and his family were dealing with.  Then instead of just asking “How are you guys doing?” he got very specific [and personal.]  “Have you guys gone on a date recently?”  And when the answer was, in fact, “nope.”  He proceeded to offer to watch both girls for us so that we could have some time just the two of us!  Wow!!  His honesty about what he was struggling through gave us the freedom [and comfort] to be honest about what we’re going through.

It’s so easy to let others believe that we have it all together; life is all unicorns and rainbows as my friend Renee is fond of saying.  It’s not.  No one’s is.

So be honest with other people about the hard in your life.  It will give them space to be honest about the hard in their life.

Since I’m encouraging honesty:  This morning was one of those mornings that I wanted to give up and run away.

L was crying screaming, V was pulling DVDs out of the cabinet [that we were so sure she would never figure out how to open], and Bella was barking up a storm outside.  Usually, I would just yell at her, make her come inside.  But it rained last night, which means our back yard mud pit has standing water in it.

I was so frustrated and feeling pulled in so many directions that I wanted just wanted to be done.

[The Lord gave me the strength to get through those moments, and now I’m enjoying the peace and quiet of all three of them asleep.  ::happy sigh!::]

Third and most importantly, be honest with God.

Just because He knows what’s going on in your life, doesn’t mean that He doesn’t long to hear you spill your heart [and tears] to Him.  Jeremiah 29:12 says, “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”  Did you catch that?  He wants to listen to you.  Not discipline you.  Not yell at you.  Not tell you what you’re doing wrong.  And definitely not ignore you.

God wants to listen to you.  And, as one of my favorite professors was fond of saying, God has big shoulders.  He can handle whatever you have to say to Him.

And if the hard thing you are going through right now [like me] happens to be dealing with an infant, check out what Lisa-Jo has to say in her post about encouraging new moms.  Or if you know a new mom, check it out for some tips on how to encourage her.  My favorites were:

6.  Tell her she’s a hero.

11. Share details of what you love about her baby.

17. Make sure she’s in 1 out of 1,000 pictures she’s taking.

21. Be honest about how hard motherhood can be.  [Partial inspiration for this post?  Yep!]

46. Anytime she is disappointed by her new figure remind her that she grew a human being – that’s a miracle and turns out miracles need room to grow.

62.  Admit motherhood is one of the hardest things you’ve ever done.

69.  Tell her there is no such thing as “doing it all.” And especially no such thing as “doing it all perfectly.”


Free Stuff February 23, 2012

Filed under: Projects — kohlhardfacts @ 4:20 pm

I love free stuff!  Who doesn’t?!  And since I’m home all day with the girls, finding free stuff is one way I feel like I contribute to our household budget.  Often the free stuff is small, just samples.  But I figure a little something is better than nothing!  [This is my philosophy with couponing too, which I plan to post about soon.]

So here are some free finds I’ve discovered lately.  [Bonus, most of them come in the mail = free stuff and mail?!  Two of my favorite things in one!]

Kleenex is sending out free tissue boxes.  Just create an account, choose a friend to send it to [I’m more than willing to give you my address if you want to send it to me! :)] and voila!  You and a friend will receive a free box of tissues.

Quaker Oatmeal Squares are giving away free sample boxes.  [We love Quaker Oatmeal Squares!  They’re especially delicious with fruit on top.]  Just log on to Facebook, search for Quaker Oatmeal Squares, like the page, and on the left hand side you should see “free sample box.” Click on that and follow the instructions.

Splenda will send you a couple of free packets of their new Splenda Essentials.

Get a free sample of Huggie’s GoodNites from Sam’s Club.

Send some Yogi Tea to a friend for free. [Side note, I cheated a little and sent some to my hubby as well as a friend.]

And my final freebie for today is….

Next Tuesday at IHOP, they are celebrating National Pancake Day by giving away free short stacks of buttermilk pancakes.  Nummy!!

In order to give credit where credit is due, I found several of these deals at The Money Saving Mom, others I stumbled upon through various commercials or websites.

Do you have any freebies you can share with us?


One of Those Days February 21, 2012

Filed under: Encouragement,On Babies and Being a Mommy — kohlhardfacts @ 7:15 pm

It was one of those days.

You know the kind…The can’t-find-anything-to-wear-feel-like-crap-about-my-body-wish-I-could-crawl-back-into-bed-and-hide kind of days.  The kind that brings you right back to teenagehood and the insecurities that come along with it.  The kind that takes you by surprise, bowling you over like a Mac truck.


I am a grown woman.  I’ve graduated from college and am working on a Masters degree.  I have given birth to two beautiful children.  Not to mention many other things I have achieved and accomplished.  I firmly believe that the God of the universe created me and calls me wonderful [See Psalm 139:13-14] and takes great delight in me [see Zepheniah 3:17].  I have an amazing husband that I know thinks I am beautiful.  I know this because he not only tells me so [every single day he tells me!  I so don’t deserve him!]  But because of the way he looks at me — as if I take his breath away — as if looking at me is a privilege [seriously, I don’t deserve this man!]  And the way he treats me — like I am a treasure.

So why do I still have these days where I just feel so…so… well, let’s call it what it is.  I feel ugly.  And fat.  Yes, part of it is that I am two months post-preggo so my body [not to mention my hormones] is still adjusting.  /but even knowing that doesn’t always help.

When Viola walked into the room it really got me thinking:  Is this the kind of issue I want to pass on to my daughters?

Clearly the answer is a resounding NO!

So the question becomes: how do I teach my daughters to have a healthy view of themselves?  How do I train them up to be confident in who they are and how they look in spite of the pressures and expectations thrown at them by society?

I read an article the other day that said Disney has decided to quit making princess movies.  Part of the reason for this is that little girls [and by little I mean age 5 or 6 according to this article…so, yes…little girls] are more interested in being hot and cool than a princess.  Yes, you read that right…Five year old girls would rather be viewed as hot.  This disturbs me on so many levels.  And as a mom of two little girls, I really feel like I need to address this issue.

So that’s where I am.  Trying to deal with my own issues and praying I don’t pass them on to my daughters.  Learning how to teach them to be beautiful princesses of the true King.  I definitely can’t do it alone!  I’m going to need lots of help from my awesome hubby, friends and family [that’s you!], and most importantly from the Lord.


Good Enough February 15, 2012

Filed under: Encouragement — kohlhardfacts @ 4:51 pm

I thought it was enough to be mostly filled with the Holy Spirit.

I thought it was enough to make good decisions most of the time.

I thought it was enough to step a little way out of my comfort zone.

I thought it was enough to live on yesterday’s growth.

I thought it was enough.

It’s not.

My wonderfully loving God has so much more for me.  He doesn’t want me to live with enough.  He wants me to experience the richness, the fullness of the best.

The thing about the best, though, is that it is not equivalent to the easiest.

The best that God has for me takes risk and trust.  It requires me to let go of good enough; to let go of my way, let go of control, and open myself to His way.


So here I go.  No more getting by on good enough.  I want it all; all of His best.  I’m asking Him to show me what His best is for me and give me the courage to risk whatever it is He asks of me.  Step number one?  Giving up our Saturday nights to be involved in a church plant that Mission 21 has asked us to be involved in.  And trusting that He will work out the details of how that’s going to happen.


Worth the Fight February 10, 2012

Filed under: On Babies and Being a Mommy — kohlhardfacts @ 9:56 pm

Getting out of the house.  Who knew it could be so difficult?  I used to be able to grab my keys, phone, and purse and dash out the door in under a minute.  [Assuming my phone wasn’t missing…which for those of you who knew me back then know that was a common enough occurrence.  Wait.  Did I say was?  I meant is….is a common occurrence.  But I digress.]Getting out of the house now?  With a two year old and an infant?  Yeesh!  Sometimes I have to start 45 minutes before we need to get out of the house.

Here’s my new checklist:

*Diapers for both girls
*Wipes to cover 3-4 ….a-hem…messes [in case there are 3-4…which happens!]
*A wet bag for said soiled diapers [Because we use cloth diapers]
*An extra outfit for L [Infants are messy!]
*A nursing cover and/or receiving blanket
*Snacks and a drink for Viola

Generally I keep the diaper bag stocked with these, but trust me you always have to check. Because the one time you don’t check is the one time you don’t have it and desperately need it!

Then starts the getting everyone ready.  Socks, shoes, coats, hats, “Do you want to bring a stuffed animal?”, “Please stop running away from Mama”, “It’s ok, Lilly, your car seat isn’t that bad!”, “Bella, you’re fine, please get off of my lap”, at least 2 screaming melt downs, and a very tired Mama later we are out of the house.  Woops!  Forgot the keys, cell phone and diaper bag.  Back into the house, grab the forgotten items, load up into the car.  FINALLY!

Oh, but once we are out of the house, how wonderful it is!  A change of scenery, a chance to see friends or Daddy, lots of fun places to visit.  The meltdowns and stresses of getting out the door are [mostly] forgotten and we are ready for some fun.

It is SO worth it!  Easy?  Definitely not!

But isn’t that the way it is with most things?  The difficult things, the things we have to fight for, to pursue, to work at:  those are the things that end up being the best parts of life.  And that’s why I I fight for those outings.  Because in the long run, it’s what’s best for all of us.

What’s worth the fight in your life?


The Voice of Truth February 9, 2012

Filed under: Encouragement,On Babies and Being a Mommy — kohlhardfacts @ 8:51 pm

I took a little hiatus from blogging because….well, to be honest I was feeling insecure and doubting myself.

My thoughts were along these lines:

[I feel like] EVERYONE blogs, so why would anyone want to hear from me?  I’m not great at _____[insert whatever my friends’ blogs happen to be about].  I don’t have anything new or unique to say.  No one really cares about what’s going on in my life.  I’m not creative/smart/interesting/funny enough to write a blog.

There’s a little nugget of truth in each of these statements….but here’s the thing – anytime there’s a partial truth, there is really a lie.  Psalm 51:6 says, “Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.”  So I asked myself, “What is God’s truth that He wants me to hear?  What is wisdom in the face of this lie?”  The truth is that I don’t have to measure myself by other people, their blogs, or what they might think of me and what I have to say.  I enjoy blogging.  I like putting my thoughts to paper web page.  And I like sharing my thoughts with others.  Whether they get anything out of it or like what I have to say is up to them, not me.  Plus, as my friend Melissa said, it’s a legacy I can leave behind for my kiddos.

So I’m back to blogging, and I will continue until I feel like it isn’t something beneficial for me anymore.

And I’m choosing to listen to the Voice of Truth.  Because His voice will not only speak Truth to me, it will also speak Love.  Beautiful, pure, adoring, unbounded LOVE.  And that is something we all need to hear more of.

Speaking of love…I am so in love with this little that I gave birth to [more on that in a future post] exactly two months ago today.  She is beautiful and happy and strong and sometimes a bit demanding.  Already we can see that she is a very social little girl.  Most of the time if she’s upset, it’s just because she wants someone to come talk to her and give her attention.  [Especially if that someone who comes over to her is her big sister.  Precious!!]

Here she is…