Monday, 30 January 2017

We Were Not Made to Walk This Road Alone!

Supermom is a myth. Let's be a super mom instead - the best mom we could be for our children. #Hoodwinkedbook by Karen Ehman & Ruth Schwenk:

Chapter 2 in Hoodwinked: 10 Myths of Motherhood has the very first myth that they debunk.  The myth that mothering is natural, easy and instinctive.  And some days it is.  Those other days, well...  The quote that starts this chapter says "Mother is a verb, not a noun."

We are always in action.  I was laying in bed the other morning, thinking that I finally know why I don't want to get out of bed in the morning.  As long as I lay in my little haven, I can pretend that I don't have a to-do list that uses an entire forest of paper.  That the laundry isn't piling up, because I can't see it.  I don't have to think about food, because the kitchen is at the other end of the house.  But the minute my feet hit the floor...  Then it starts.  My day begins.  And it doesn't stop until I get back into that little haven.  And I have many beautiful moments mixed in with the to-do's. 

But juggling as those balls isn't instinctive.  Knowing the right words to soothe your little one's ouchies while not burning dinner is a skill I did not learn in home ec class. 

In this chapter, Ruth talks about how she had her dream of motherhood all planned out.  Except reality seemed to be the exact opposite.  And how "we don't come out of the womb hardwired with wisdom and experience.  We come into the world as foreigners who have to figure things out as we grow up."

Life isn't always natural, easy or instinctive.  Motherhood is part of life.  Yep, lightbulb moment right there.  Why should I have to feel each and every day that I am failing at something that is supposed to come so easily?  It shouldn't come so easy.  Anything that is worth it requires time, practice, sacrifice and effort.  My kids are worth the world to me.  Common sense would then dictate that it would require a lot of time, practice, sacrifice and effort.  And lots of prayer!

Ladies, if you have fallen prey to the myth that to be a good mom, you should be perfect at it right out of the gate, please stop.  We are not perfect.  You already know that there are no perfect people.  So why do we beat ourselves up trying to attain a goal that is never going to be realistic?

If you'd like to read more of my posts on this book, you can search in my search bar, or do what I did, and just buy your own copy!  :)

Heavenly Father, I lift up all of those parents who are exhausted.  Who are bone weary of trying to do it all.  Let them come to you, and be restored.  Refresh their perspective on your expectations and fill their hearts to overflowing with your love Lord.  In your mighty name.  Amen.

If any of you have a prayer request or would like to share, please feel free to leave a comment, I would love to be one of God's soldiers for you!

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Another Year of Growth

So, at the beginning of this year, I decided that I would choose one word to focus one.  One word that, hopefully, by the end of the year, would be bountiful in my life.

Since the start of this year was a little difficult, I chose "peace".  I desperately want more peace on my life.  The kind of peace that I can draw on whenever life hands me those little challenges. 

And wow, has life been kind enough to hand me ample opportunities to desire that peace.  And I can certainly say that even though we are now passed the halfway point of this year, I still have a LOT of growing to do in this area.  My goodness, I never would have guessed that choosing something that seems so amazing, and something that I see so many other people have so effortlessly, could be so challenging.  I know that we fight change, but seriously, I want some peace people!!!

And I have also discovered that I'm pretty sure that the reason that I am struggling so much with peace is because God had picked out a completely different word for me.  Remember that whole "God laughs at our plans" saying?  Wow he must get daily chuckles from me.

Anyways, I have this overwhelming sense that the word he chose for me was "grace".  And those situations for me to show grace are flowing by the bucketful too, I assure you. 

But you know what else I've discovered about this word he is covering me with?  I am shown so much grace each and every day.  My children show it to me effortlessly, always willing to start over with Mommy when she's having a bad day. Or my husband, who, bless his soul, some days comes home to an over tired, over hormonal, crazy lady, and he just laughs and gives me a hug.

Or God, who is always willing to let me apologize, and He will hold my hand as I try harder tomorrow.  So maybe peace will be my word for next year.  Maybe this year, I will instead follow his lead and choose grace instead.

 As always, I would love to hear from you.  And if you have any prayer requests, I would be honored to lift your requests up in my daily prayers.  I may not have the answers, but I do have a willing shoulder.

 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:8-9

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Today is Your Day

Today started a little different than a normal day for me.  You see, I hate mornings.  I have for almost 3 decades now.  And as a result, my mornings are usually kind of hectic.  Instead of getting up to spend time with the Lord, I lay in my bed until the last possible second, relishing in the warmth and quiet of my bed.

And then I grudgingly get up, get dressed and go upstairs.  Ugh.


Today, I purposed to spend that ever recommended time with him.  It wasn't much really, just reading a daily devotional that's sent to my email every day.  It took just a few minutes to start my day with Him rather than Facebook. 

Then I laid in that ever so cozy bed and caught up on Facebook.  I'm going to baby steps here!  Anyways, it seemed like such an insignificant thing to me, a few minutes with Him.  Could it really make that much of a difference?

I think it did.  I've been suffering from the winter ickies.  No, I don't think that's the technical term!  Just how I've been feeling.  We are just finishing up a LONG cold spell here, which means a lot of close time with my family.  Since I homeschool, this means 24/7 with very few breaks.  And a lot of pent up energy.  Winter ickies.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine suffered an unexpected loss.  And she and her family were handling it with such grace.  But I've been there.  I know how hard those moments hit you.  And I really wanted to help in some small way.  I remembered a post she had made last year on her blog.  It was one of those posts that really hit you.  We've all had those days.  I really felt led to make her something to remember that not today will she be drug down.  Not today should she doubt how much she is loved.  Not today will she forget that she has been brought here for a reason, and she is doing such a great job of being a light in this world.  Well, it arrived.  In what can only be called His perfect timing.  And she had such a great reminder.  Today is the day you've been given.  I've heard that before.  It's even a sign in my kitchen.


So today, maybe you can find a few minutes to purposely spend a few minutes just thanking him for today.  No matter what today has brought you, it's a gift.  You're alive.  You have a purpose.  And He is there, right beside you, just waiting for you to look over and start that conversation. 

If you have a prayer request, I would be so honored to lift you up to him.  You are not alone.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Little Hands

I was washing my baby's hands after lunch today, and it struck me how very tiny they looked in mine.  She turned 2 at the end of 2016, but she is still so petite.  Her older siblings are huge on the growth charts (their Dad is 6'6", so it makes sense), while she is in the bottom third.  I always joke that I might just get one "my size!" 

You know those "calculations" that you can do to predict how big your kids are going to be when they finish growing?  My older two are both supposed to be around 6' tall.  My littlest probably won't be even close to that.  And that's okay.  They were made that way for a purpose.  And they are beautiful just as they are.

So much has happened in the last 2 months that it's amazing.  We had a mouse infestation in our house, which turned out to be both disgusting and productive.  I have never decluttered in such a ruthless fashion in my entire life!  I have gotten rid of over 20 garbage bags worth of donations in just over a month.

My husband had kidney stones and had to go back to the ER 3 times in one week.  Few things will make you appreciate the health of your family more than having a medical emergency.  And it brings to light the amazing community that we have to help with child care, meals, and just plain old fashioned contact as people showed us that they care.

We had a rental property be part of a drug/armed weapons raid.  And we found out on Facebook.  The only silver lining I've found from that one is that we now know the Rental Code better than ever before...

We had our baby girl partially dislocate her elbow on Christmas Eve.  She is double jointed and so we may have more of this in our future.  But if that is her only health complication, we are still so blessed!  As we spent Christmas morning in the ER (they know us well there), we had the chance to talk to the other people that were there for various reasons.  We had grandparent types reliving stories of their children when they were that age, letting me know that accidents will happen, kids will be kids, and that it will one day be something I miss.  We had people the same age as my parents talking about how their grandkids are meeting milestones and just how precious this time is.  So many "firsts" to be had.  There were staff members missing family events just to help us, and doing it with a smile on their face, knowing we didn't really want to be there either.

We had a friend lose his wife after a life long battle with heart problems.  We watched his community come together for him in a way that is beyond description.  I can't imagine the mixed feelings he has every single day about missing her in his life, and being so grateful that she's whole now, rejoicing with those she is joining now in heaven.

I had a friend suffer a shocking loss with such grace, it's difficult to fathom.  Her family walked through the loss quite publicly because they know God does everything for a reason, and maybe something great could happen out of their pain.  I still don't understand how they did that.  They allowed the world in to celebrate the life of someone who was truly a gift, and only wanted to do more for others.  I watched my kids pray in earnest for these people that they had never met, because they too know loss, but they also know the comfort of knowing you will one day see them again.  They helped me make gifts for them because that's what you do.  You reach out in love.

And what does this all have to do with those little hands?  Well, these last 2 months have flown by.  The last 2 years have flown by since I welcomed my final baby into this world.  And 5 years before that, her brother.  And 2 years before that, her sister.  And 2 years before that, the day I walked down the aisle to the man God blessed me with.

You see, those hands?  They'll never be quite that small again.  None of theirs will.  We can never predict what tomorrow brings.  I certainly never would have guessed what these last 2 months would have brought.  Definitely not what I had planned to happen!

So today, tell those around you that you love them.  Hug those close to you.  Say thank you to that cashier, or teacher, or cab driver.  Hold the door open just because you can.  We have such a short time on this earth to impact it for the better.  Start today!