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Real Life

This is real life folks…all by 10am —

**Michael, while getting dressed for school, had a meltdown about the pocket on his shorts.

**Kate thought it would be fun to fingerpaint on her placemat with her yogurt at breakfast.

**David got stuck under the dining room table and threw a “my life is ending” kind of fit.

**Kate put on and took off at least five different princess dresses, tutus and fairy wings. She had also already played with play-dough, puzzles & colored with crayons.

**David got out EVERY piece of tupperware, plastic bowls and plates and dispersed them throughout the house.

**Kate slipped on some laundry that was on the floor in the laundry room and it was her turn to have a “my life is ending” moment when she hit her head on the door.

**Of course I was still in my workout clothes…and a shower? What shower?!

So I love this reminder that I saw on Facebook, especially on those weary, real-life moments & days:

Blessings,

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Eternal Work

I was giving David some baby food this morning, when suddenly I imagined him walking into my kitchen as an adult, giving me a hug, and saying, “Hi Mom.” I know this will happen much sooner than it seems it will. Right now I wipe his nose, clean his face, change his diapers…he is completely dependant on me for survival. But in the near future he will be an adult. He will choose whether or not to follow Christ. As I was feeding him it was as if I heard God whisper to me, “You are doing an eternal work. It may not seem that way now. I know the daily, mundane tasks make you weary but I see them as an investment into this precious life I have created. Your efforts will pay off. Stay focused on me.” 

Tonight I read in Jesus Calling for April 3rd — “It is impossible for you to have a need that I cannot meet. After all, I created you & everything that is. The world is still at My beck & call, though it often appears otherwise. Do not be fooled by appearances. Things that are visible are brief & fleeting, while things that are invisible are everlasting.” 

The physical needs of my children each day (the visible things) are exhausting. Lately I feel like someone needs me every. single. second. I go non-stop all day, just to fall into bed at night, SO tired from taking care of their needs all day. And when my focus is on those visible things — it makes me even more tired! And overwhelmed! And it seems like it will never end! But if I stop and ask God to give me His perspective — to see the eternal things — the things I don’t see, like my childrens’ souls — it gives me endurance to keep on keepin’ on with the daily, mundane tasks.  When I have God’s perspective I can view meeting my children’s physical needs as Eternal Work.

I will set my mind on things above, not on earthly things. (Colossians 3:2)

Only You, Lord, can help us focus on the invisible things — encouraging others, praying for others, our child’s salvation. The world bombards us at every angle, striving to distract us with visible things. Please give us Your perspective. Set our hearts & minds on You & help us see the day to day care of our children with ETERNAL vision. Help us focus on the invisible in the midst of the visible.

So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. 2 Corinthians 4:18, NLT

Blessings,

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Recently I heard a woman at a women’s conference read Habakkuk 3:17-19. She commented that our challenges today probably don’t have much to do with fig trees, olive crops, sheep or cattle…but we can “fill in the blanks” to have it fit our current circumstances. So here is what I wrote in my journal last week –

Though it is spring break –

and I’ve had to cancel all our plans –

and it’s very muddy from all the rain so we can’t go outside –

and Kate has the flu and woke up with throw up all in her bed –

and  she threw up all over me too –

though the house is a mess and I am feeling stressed –

YET, I am filled with Peace & Joy that only comes from the Lord above –

Because I KNOW I am doing what God has called me to do.

I am where I am supposed to be…

I am a Mommy. And I have been entrusted with caring for three precious blessings.

“YET, I will REJOICE in the Lord, I will be JOYFUL in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my STRENGTH. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights.”

If you are tired, weary or discouraged on this ‘Mommy journey,’ know that you aren’t alone. I pray that you will fill in the blanks of these verses today and find encouragement, peace and joy – in the midst of your circumstances.

Blessings,

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Timeout

“I am praying to You because I know You will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray. Show me Your unfailing love in wonderful ways.” Psalm 17: 6-7 NLT

I locked myself in my closet today. Michael & Kate were bickering — “Mommy! Michael hit me!” & “Mommy! Kate broke my Legos…” I kept hearing “Stoppppp!!!” & “Nooooo Kaaaate!” & “Ahhhhh!!!” And I had had enough. A mommy timeout was necessary or I was going to have a mommy meltdown in the very near future. So I snuck into my room, locked the door, sat down in my closet & prayed. ‘Lord, please give me extra grace to be a mom today.’ That was all. Not a long, drawn out prayer. Just a prayer of desparation. A plea for help. A reminder to myself that I CANNOT do this mom thing on my own.
I heard the door knob jiggle. I heard “Mommy!” & “Ma-meeeee!” & “Where did Mommy go?” I saw Lightening McQueen drive under my bedroom door. But I just kept sitting for a little longer.

I soaked in the “quietness” (ha!) & sought rest in Him. I needed Him & He deilvered. He put peace in my heart & brought stillness to my thoughts.

And He will….every. single. time. Not when I am a perfect mom. Not when I pray just the right words. Not when I discipline exactly right. Not when I do all the cool mom ideas I see on Pinterest. Or when I follow word for word the latest parenting book I am reading. He meets me where I am. Just as I am.
And He will meet you there too.

Blessings,

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Hidden Treasures

“I feel like you’ve already had a full day & it’s only 9:15!” is what my husband texted me Tuesday morning. There are definitely days like that for everyone. Days that nothing. goes. as. planned. Here are a few moments from Tuesday –

7:30 – Michael woke up extremely whiney & dramatic. He was trying to get dressed but was having a really hard time (even though we set his clothes out the night before to prevent this very thing.) “But I don’t want to wear jeans! I looked in my drawer & in the dryer — I don’t have ANY pants to wear!!!” Yes, he is a BOY, a 5-year-old BOY. WHAT is ahead of me in the teenage years?!

8:00 – Kate woke up with a 102 temp after going to bed the night before feeling just fine. On Tuesdays we go to Ladies’ craft time at church. I was so bummed to miss, especially when I had my bag full of projects sitting by the door. Ah adulthood. Ah Parenthood.

8:15 – After I helped Michael through his clothing drama we proceeded to have breakfast. Michael said he wanted yogurt with blueberries. I reached in the fridge for the brand new (large) container of yogurt, didn’t have a good grip on it, dropped it & yogurt went EVERYWHERE — fridge, floor, under fridge, cabinets…oh joy. Poor Michael was already having a rough day & this sent him over the edge. I cleaned it all up as Kate, my sweet 2-year-old, stood over me saying over. and over. “What happened Mommy? You spill yogurt Mommy? You make a mess? I sorry Mommy. I sorry you make a mess Mommy.”

8:30 – After realizing that we would, in fact, be staying home that morning, I sat down on the floor to play Lego’s with Michael & Kate. Michael wanted to build a specific house in the little Lego booklet – yes, it was the house that did not have step-by-step instructions. I told him he can build that house with his Daddy. I am beginning to despise that little Lego booklet. It may disappear 🙂

9:00 – Michael & Kate helped me make muffins. As I was reaching in the cabinet to get flour Michael said, “Mommy! Kate is putting her tongue on the counter!” Me – “Kate, we don’t put our tongue on the counter.” Kate – “We don’t put our tongue on the counter? Ok Mommy.” I KNOW I do not have near as much fun making muffins by myself as I do with these two 🙂

9:10 – I quickly scroll through blog posts on my phone & one catches my eye, although I don’t have time to read it right then – “Multi-Tasking Mamas” – hahaha. Need to read that. Soon.

9:15 – Michael enthusiastically says, “Mommy! Look at David!” (Our 9 month old that will figure out crawling at any moment.) He was on his hands & knees rocking back & forth. I grabbed my phone & switched it to video, to which David responded by putting his head down in the carpet & crying. Poor little guy – I’ve been trying to explain to him that learning a new skill is hard. As a nine month old. As an adult. It’s just plain hard.

Thankfully, the day improved. We stayed in our pajamas ’til noon. We colored & played with play-doh. We took naps. We giggled & sang silly songs. There may have been a few time outs. But God’s Presence was evident, His Grace empowered & uplifted me as a mom, and in this mundane, ho-hum day I knew I wasn’t alone. Although days like this one can be frustrating, I thank God for them. I am grateful for moments & days that don’t go my way – that don’t go as planned. There are hidden treasures in days like that. Treasures of making memories. Treasures of stopping & really looking at & listening to my kids. Treasures of brushing my daughter’s hair & watching my son find the perfect Lego for his creation. Treasures of hugs & kisses from little arms & little lips. Because one day, not too far off, those arms & lips won’t be so little anymore.

So if you stumble upon a day sometime soon that doesn’t go as planned, just stop. Take a deep breath. Ask God to fill your home, your children, your parenting with extra amounts of His Grace. Ask Him to help you see the hidden treasures. After all, the day isn’t a surprise to Him at all! Years from now I know I won’t remember the spilled yogurt or missed craft class. But I will remember the hidden treasures, the small things that really matter.

Blessings,

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Mornings…

Don’t be fooled by this photo of my children playing perfectly together. I did take the photo this morning, but it doesn’t accurately portray how our morning went. It started with the frigid wind emptying half of my recycling bucket as I took it outside to the curb. I watched my goods fly down our street, knowing I couldn’t catch it all if I tried. Good ‘ole Oklahoma wind, nothing like it. As I gave David a bottle he coughed & formula went all over me. Of course I was dressed for the day & no longer in my pj’s. Kate awoke in an interesting predicament – one pajama leg off, one on, and panties on top. Hmmm. Not to mention she was wet, along with her sheets of course. I began potty training about a month ago & she’s been doing great but still has the occasional accident. At 9:15 we piled into the car to take Michael to school. I couldn’t help but sigh & realized I hadn’t eaten breakfast. When I pulled up to Michael’s school, I opened the back of the Yukon to get the stroller & it fell on my toes. Ouch. Then it was SO ridiculously cold & Kate was crying but refused to put her hood on – ah, 2 year olds 🙂

It seems that no matter what I do & how organized I am at night, I still feel like a chicken running around with my head cut off in the mornings!! Do any of you feel this way?! I lay out outfits, pack bags, pour milk cups for breakfast, change out laundry, ETC all before I go to bed. But mornings are still CrAzZzY. Most mornings I do try to get up early before the kids, just to prepare myself for the day. I would love to be a morning person, jumping out of bed at 5am ready to exercise, spend an hour in prayer & reading my Bible, quietly drinking my coffee…But Garfield has it about right –

Are mornings crazy for you too? Here’s to a peaceful afternoon & evening 🙂

Blessings,

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Our Advent Calendar

ImageLast year I put this Advent Calendar together to do with Michael. Each day we did activities and read Bible verses to help us enjoy time together as a family, focus on the true meaning of Christmas & make memories. I can’t wait to do it again this year, especially since Kate, our two year old, will be able to participate! Below is a list of the activities we are doing, along with verses we will be reading each day to learn something about our Savior.

T 1 – Nativity Preschool Pack

F 2 – Read the story of Jesus’ birth in the Jesus Storybook Bible

S 3 – Nativity Preschool Pack

S 4 – Take pictures in front of the tree; Read a Christmas Book

M 5 – Cut/Decorate Snowman

T 6 – Tell the story of Jesus’ birth using the Little People Nativity

W 7 – Santa Clause shapes activity

T 8 – Handprint canvases for hall & cards for teachers

F 9 – Make a prayer pale 

S 10 – Watch Polar Express & eat popcorn

S 11 – Santa Cottonball Craft ; Rd a Christmas book

M 12 – Go look at Christmas lights

T 13 – Make Christmas treats for teachers & listen to Christmas music

W 14 – Take pictures with Santa at Northpark Mall

T 15 – Make Christmas cards for Daddy

F 16 – Celebrate Christmas with family

S 17 – Sing Jingle Bells; pray for a Christmas card person; Rd a Christmas book

S 18 – Make a birthday cake for Jesus

M 19 – Christmas Tree & Ornaments

T 20 – Make molasses cookies w/ cookie cutters (freeze some to use on the 24th)

W 21 – Color Sheet

T 22 – Rd a Christmas book

F 23 – Listen to Christmas Music

S 24 – Decorate cookies for Santa

S 25 – Merry Christmas! Celebrate with family!

Verses about Jesus to read each day

Merry Christmas!

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