Category Archives: mom

Shattered (into) Pieces

For 6+ months, the 4 year old has been in charge of unloading the dishwasher each day. We started slowly with the silverware.  Then added stacking all the plates and cups onto the counter and now have progressed to then getting onto the counter to put them away in the cupboard ONE AT A TIME.

See, as a veteran dishwasher unloader, I have learned the the safest and best tactics for unloading, stacking, and putting away the fragile dishes.  As a mama, I am imparting this wisdom onto our kids, as per my job description (see Deuteronomy 6:5-9).

However, as a fellow sinner, the 4 year old took it upon herself to do it her own way today, which she honestly believed was ok.  Not just ok but safe.  Not just safe but BEST. Taking a handful of bowls and placing them on the 2nd shelf of the cupboard…and you all know what came next.  The crash.

As I enter the scene, looking something similar to this,

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You’d think I would be meditating on the verse that Lydia just text me, “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth” – 1 John 3:18

But no, I was grieving my beautiful green bowls that lay in pieces all over the counter on top of the other clean dishes and all over the ground where my 1 year old was headed as he crawled.  I yelled.  I banned the children from the kitchen. I mourned, silenty. I cleaned and swept and threw away the bowls.  I put away dishes and swept again and double checked so no tiny toe would be cut by a minuscule shard of what once was a pretty green bowl.   I boiled a little.  And I realized that I handled that situation really poorly.

And God brought to mind His spin on this whole situation.  Isn’t it just like us to make such a mess of ourselves, our situations, and our lives when we, in a brief moment of proud confidence and selfish ambition, try to do it our own way?  The way we think is ok? And safe? And BEST?  And look at how quickly we can make it all a mess. A mess that we are incapable of cleaning up ourselves.  A mess that God so lovingly uses for us, in spite of us and out of love for us.

God does this

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out of our mess.  Out of our shattered pieces His light most certainly will shine through.

 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

– 2 Corinthians 12:9-11

Celebrating Motherhood

My two favorite girls in the whole world:

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And the ones that made me a mom:

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Happy Mother’s Day to everyone who is and has a mama – thanks, God, for this precious relationship!

Stay-at-home wife and mom – Battle #1

To get out of bed or to stay in bed

sleeping-momvia

Or as I like to call it:

Should I get up now and have a possible 75 minutes to: shower/get ready/have quiet time with God/check and reply to emails/start laundry/start coffee/start breakfast/put away dishes/text back the 7 people I’ve not replied to over the last 3 days/make the bed/choose JOY as my attitude for the day – all while listening to praise music on Pandora

OR

Stay in bed until the preschooler wakes me up and then pull the preschooler into bed with me to lay and pet the dog and smoother me with child’s-morning-breath kisses and conversation until either the toddler or infant makes us both get out of bed and finally get our day going

(today I laid awake in bed writing this blog in my head instead of doing anything actually productive or worthwhile)

Olson and his girls

Every afternoon Mylin and I get to have some alonetime with Olson after Sully is down for his nap and before the 3 of us lay down for ours.  We get to do fun things like ‘read’ to him (Mylin’s job while I do some computer work), give him eye contact or make faces while looking at him in the mirror, and give him some tummy time and time to kick around.  Also, some days we just play around and take pictures of each other:

stinker picture taker! 001 stinker picture taker! 002 stinker picture taker! 003 stinker picture taker! 004 stinker picture taker! 005

Motherhood: Servant vs. Martyr

An exerpt from Jen Hatmaker’s: Out of the Spin Cycle Devotional

She is explaining how she chose to be a stay-at-home mom, but with the wrong idea of what it would look like:

“But when I took that as my identity, I developed a sense of entitlement and did a lot of waiting around for credit.  I held the emotional position that I was doing everyone a favor.  This top-down perspective tainted everything, becasue if I wasn’t perfectly appreciated, adequately recognized, or verbally praised (and what mom is?), then I became the wounded martyr who was always disgruntled.”

“If there is a more thankless, unglamorous job than motherhood, I haven’t seen it.  I know you get it, girls.  Something about being covered in other people’s urine and vomit while scrubbing toilet’s and hearing your precious cherub say ‘NO!’ to you twelve hundred times a day makes moms bat-poop crazy sometimes.  On super bad days, you might even say, ‘Is this really my life?'”

“When I choose servant instead of martyr, my children enjoy the security that they are welcomed in our home.  They are not a thorn in my flesh, cutting into my personal time.  They aren’t a nuisance, making me sigh with irritation all day.  They are welcomed members of this family, loved and purposed.  And when my children are welcomed, I have opened the very doors of heaven and invited God himself into the laughter, chaos, and life of our home.  Now that is greatness.”

Homeschool Convention recap #2

Did you catch my first recap from the Homeschool Convention?

Here’s Part 2

A speaker I went to for 2 different sessions was Ruth Schwenk, the creater of The Better Mom (my favorite blog!)

Her whole topic for the day was called Making it as a Mom and again I’ll just transfer my notes on here to share with you her questions and challenges for us as moms!

Part 1: Looking In

A mom who embraces the call from God as a mom will flourish

Where is your heart as a mom? Are you awake to the mission God has called you to as a mom? Ephesians 5:14-16

1. Don’t minimize your role

Being a mom is not less than anything else.

Being a mom isn’t about your place in life, it’s about your purpose in life

The man Moses would become was shaped by the parent Moses’ mom had been.  Exodus 1:15-18 & Hebrews 11:23-27

Brick by brick we (moms/parents) are building an estate.

2. Don’t misuse your time

Learn how to say ‘no’ (they you’ll be able to say ‘yes’ to your family!)

Once you accept the ministry that God has given you as your first priority, there is freedom

Set your priorities: what is my personal vision?  If I don’t have integrity at home, how can I in my ministry?

Create a schedule

Be able to relinquish the fact that you’re a night owl for what is best for your family and yourself (Personally, I need to do this! In Christian Atheist by Craig Groeschel, he talks about how is wife just began praying each day that God would help her get up early each morning to start her day.  And through her faithful prayer, God changed her!)

3. Don’t miss the point

Our mission and calling as moms is to raise and release children who, like everyone else in God’s story, are called to glorify God.

Psalm 127: children are a reward, a payment that should be received joyfully!

Children are arrows: wherever they land, they wound the enemy.

1 Corinthians 15:58

By changing myself, I am impacting my children.

Am I lifting my head to the mission God has called me to?

Part 2: Looking Out (to our family)

Calling

What are we aiming at?

If you do not set a mission, values, and a priority for your family, the world will.

Ruth then shared her family’s mission statement, values (a list kind of like the fruits of the spirit), and their family verse.  Joel and I discussed this on the way home and are so excited to define all of these for our family and then post them in our house – I’ll also post them in an upcoming blog!  What is your family’s mission statement and verse?!

Counting the Cost

Motherhood as a mission filed: lay yourself down.  Die to self.  “Gain that which you cannot lose in them” (a quote from a contributor on The Better Mom blog)

Our actions must confrim the words: “I love you”

Be intentional, face-t0-face, enjoy them, speak words of life over them

Consistent Training

It is only by God’s grace that our children turn out at all!  And only His grace turns them out – not our best intentions

She suggested the book Heartfelt Discipline by Clay Clarkson and the website wholeheart.org

Continual Teaching

It is imperative as a parent that we are intentional about teaching our children the truth as God’s Word, healping them become rooted in their faith

Bottom line: raise up disciples (flashback to what John Rosemond said in Part 1 of our homeschool recap!)

“I will forsake the good to have time for the best”

Thoughts on this recap?!

Parenting a toddler…

I love having a toddler
Part of me wishes that I would be blessed with a child in this stage for the rest of my life!
It is so joyful, unexpected, surprising, and funny!

It is a lot of hard things too:
Like constant (feels like it…) discipline
Deciphering of words/sentences/demands…
Taking away her pacifier and going through the crying it out to sleep again…(which, by the way, we started on Tuesday night and she has adjusted in 3 short days!!!!!!!!!! YAY!)
Teaching her everything…how to share, how to ask nicely, how to pray, when to be quiet, when to sit down…the list goes on!

We love the anticipation of seeing how her personality develops!
I am so anxious to watch how her heart will grow for the Lord, how she will make and treat her friends, what her desires and passions will become, and what she will be like as a big sister!

The best part of parenting a toddler right now?!
How she keeps us smiling, laughing, and mimicking her all day long with these awesome expressions and faces!

SERIOUSLY. She is the best thing EVER
What is your favorite stage to parent?!