Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Can Conflict Be a Good Thing?

If you know my husband and I personally, you may know that we tend to be a little.....er..... volatile, even explosive at times. I think that is one reason we make such a good couple.  WHAT? You might think I am crazy, but hear me out.

When I say volatile or explosive I do not in ANY way mean abusive or violent! When we fight we never name call, ever! We never hit each other, ever!! (There was this one time when I hit him with my purse, but he really did deserve it then! haha)

What I mean by volatile and explosive is that when we get angry we do not stuff it down inside. We tell each other what we think. We talk and some times most of the time yell it over! It has taken us awhile to get to this point in our relationship. But, I believe that we communicate better now and that there is a benefit to this type of relationship.

My husband and I had a, shall we say, little fight over the weekend. I saw the situation one way and he saw it differently. I thought I hadn't done anything wrong (which I hadn't...at first) and he thought he hadn't done anything wrong (which in reality the only thing he did wrong was hurt my feelings).

I was so upset that I became disrespectful. He tried to calmly talk to me about it in the beginning. He sat down next to me and tried to hear my heart about the situation. I was so hurt, I couldn't see at the time what he was doing. Looking back, it would be at this point that I open up and share all that I was feeling with him. But I did not. I remained angry and soon became bitter. This bitterness drove me to act disrespectfully towards him.

All day I thought about how I had been hurt! How he doesn't deserve the amazing wife that I am (prideful much! ouch!!) I thought 'no way will I serve him dinner tonight!!' Come dinner time, I did serve him. I threw the plate in front of him and didn't say a thing. He didn't touch it. Later after the kids were in bed and I noticed that he hadn't eaten dinner. I asked him why.

"Because I can take care of myself!"

"I know you can, but you usually eat what I make."

"You usually don't serve it like you did."

At this point I realized that he wasn't reacting to the initial situation. Our anger towards each other was now about my disrespect towards him. Realizing we would never resolve the initial issue with my disrespectful attitude hanging over us I acted quick. I threw my hands in the air and shouted "STOP! Lets start over! I am sorry I have been disrespectful! I am hurt and feel like you didn't consider my feelings."

At this point he gave me a hug and told me he loved me.  And now we were free to talk about the initial issue, and get it resolved!

When fighting with your husband here is my advice:

one
Try to see it from his point of few. This is so had to do when you feel like you have been wronged. But, had I done this, we wouldn't have wasted the entire day fighting!

Two
Don't make the situation worse by adding your disrespect on top. No matter how wronged we feel we were, if we retaliate with disrespect, then it becomes about our behavior and not theirs.

Three
Communicate! Communicate how ever best you communicate as a couple. Talk, yell. write a note- do something! Nothing gets resolved if no one is talking. Giving the silent treatment doesn't resolve anything! Sure, you may have to make the first move and give a little. But, I would rather be the first to say sorry, then 'win' the silent treatment game! Who wins in that situation? No one!

Four
Believe the best in him. My feelings got hurt, but I don't think he set out to try to hurt me. If I had remembered that, we may not have spent the day arguing!

Good luck, and happy arguing! haha

 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, 
and the wife must respect her husband.
Ephesians 5:33

Monday, November 4, 2013

Giving Thanks Day 3

Are you participating in the daily thanksgiving posts on facebook? I am this year. And last nights post took my breath away and made me laugh just a little. Here's why.

I am tired. I am a happy, blessed mama, but I am tired. Yesterday morning I woke up tired. I was grumpy. It was one of those days that I just wanted to stay in bed. But, as a mom of 4 small kids, that is not a possibility. We were up early with the time change, which I am sure didn't help my grumpy, tired state.

I tried to pray my grumpiness away. I tried to talk myself out of it. I tried to sneak away, back to my bed after my husband came down stairs. They wont notice if I am gone for a few minutes, right? Wrong. No sooner did I crawl under the covers was there two precious little girls climbing on me.

I found my self saying, "Can you people just leave me alone for 5 minutes?"
*Not my proudest mommy moment, but it's true.*
My oldest said, "No way mama, we want to be with you."

I said, "Mommy is tired and I need a nap."
My oldest responded with, "No mama, you just need some coffee."
The kid is a smart one.

Fast forward several hours. My grumpiness has lifted. It was Sunday and we got to go to church and worship. If that doesn't cure a case of the grumps then I do not know what will.

I was preparing dinner and listing to the Christian warship station on the radio. I had 2 step stools and 3 little bodies in the kitchen with me. And I was loving it. It's not the easiest thing to do, cook dinner with little ones, but it can be fun! I had one girl adding butter to the rice, another putting the chicken on the plates and I am telling my son, "don't eat the food yet." (over and over!)

My oldest and I were singing along to the songs on the radio. I didn't even realize that she knew the words! They really do absorb everything at a young age.

My kitchen was a mess. It took longer to cook and clean up then it did to sit down and eat dinner with daddy, but my heart was full.

That night I posted this as my thankful post on facebook:
  
"Day 3: thankful for healthy home cooked meals together. Cooking dinner today I had two step stools and 3 little bodies in my kitchen. It was not easy to work around them all, and I had to tell my son more then once not to eat all the food I had already plated! But, it was so fun. My oldest sang words to the christian music we had playing. I didn't even know she knew the words. Cooking dinner and praising Jesus as a family. Just wonderful. I love that they want to be where I am!!"

I love that they want to be where I am!! 

I ended up being thankful for the very thing that was making me grumpy that same morning. I love that we serve a God who can do big things and small things. He can change the world and he can change my heart. Awesome! 


I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
3 John 1:4

Thursday, October 31, 2013

M to the 4th Power!

 This little bundle of Joy will be six months old tomorrow. In honor of her half birthday I thought I would share her birth story and how she got her name. It was a fun one!! 

It all started here:




 But don't let that smile fool you. When I found out I was pregnant it was a split second of excitement and then the panic set in. I did the math. If this baby came on time I would have a not quite 3.5 year old and two 21 month olds! Yikes! I am not going to lie. I cried. How in the world would I be able to handle all that? Then came the fear of having twins. If it was twins again I would have 5 kids in less then 4 years. How in the world would I go grocery shopping?! (That really was what I was worried about at the time!) I facebooked my OB and told her I need a sonogram so she could ease my fear of twins. I really have the best OB in the world! She brought me in the next day and reviled that it would only be one baby. 

 This is me at 18 weeks. The belly bump had arrived. I really had a fun pregnancy. I love being pregnant! I love the way my body holds and grows a new little life. I love feeling them kick and move! I am even one of those crazy ladies that loves when strangers touch and talk to my belly!




This is me and my sweet twin girl on my 31st birthday. I was 30 weeks and 1 day.  We decided to keep the baby's gender a surprise. We didn't know who was in there! We had a boys name picked out, but could not agree on a girls name. I was almost sure it was a boy- so I wasn't too worried about the name issue. My best friend in the whole world was the only one who knew the gender. She did an amazing job of keeping a secret. Almost every other day I would try to trick her into tell me who was in my belly!



I think I was 37ish weeks here. My husbands sweet aunt gave us a baby moon one night get away. My mom and mother-in-love watched the other crazy kids so we could go! Woooohooo. Our family rocks!




I had had 2 previous c sections, but was determined that this baby would come out naturally! My OB was not comfortable with letting me try so I asked around and found and OB who said that if the conditions were right, he would let me.  I went in for my sono at 38 weeks to see if I could try for the natural deliver, but my dreams were squashed. The sono tech kept asking me if I had had any fluid leaking and how had I been feeling? I was a little confused because I felt great! I guess after a twin pregnancy, having just one baby was easy peasy! The tech told me to get dressed and meet her in the hall way. While I was standing there I heared her say to the midwife, "I don't see any fluid around this baby." Hum? I thought, 'She must be talking about the mama she saw before me. Everything is fine.' Wrong. The midwife came in a told me just what I had heard in the hallway. The baby would need to come today, by c section. I was in tears, alone and all the way in Arlington!

I called my regular OB and asked if she would deliver me. She told me to come to her hospital and check in. My hubby meet me at the hospital and then we waited and waited and waited! Since I had eaten breakfast (what prego doesn't??) we would have to wait.  At this point I started to freak out about not having a girls name. We had sort of decided on a name, but at this point I started to have second thoughts! We still did not have a name pinned down!  

Surgery time. I was so scared. I was not sure if baby was ok. How long had s/he been without the fluid? Why had I not known that my water broke? What mom who has had 2 other pregnancy's doesn't know these things?

My husband prayed over me as the staff started. In no time our sweet little GIRL was born! "A girl?" I yelled. "What is her name?" my husband named her at that time. And I was so happy with the choice he made!


Love at first sight: 




She was 7lbs and 12oz of pure, perfect Joy!!




I often tell people that she is the happiest baby that Jesus ever made. She is number 4 in our family and the 3rd girl. She is easy and sweet. We are so blessed by her presence in our home. She is only 6 months old but she has already seen lots of 'firsts'. She has had her first trip to the beach, fair, the zoo and the pumpkin patch. She has her first two teeth! Her first bite of apple sauce. 

Even though I was scared at first, I can not imagine our lives without her now!! 
 
We dedicated her to the Lord at our church on October 26 2013. It was a fun night! Both sets of grand parents were there. My best friend came (the one who knew who she was before the rest of us did). One of my brother in laws with his fiancee also came to support us! Our family is truly wonderful!

I am excited to see who she becomes. My prayer for her is that she grows to know and love the Lord. That she is kind to herself and to others. That she will be strong and confident but that she will also know how and when to bend. I pray that she will always know how much we really love her! 


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Favorites from Titus 2sdays Link Up

Here are a few of my favorites form this weeks Titus 2sdays Link Up Party.

Visionary Womanhood  How to Resist Gossip

A Heart for the Home Is Large Family Living Affordable?

The Purposeful Mom Finding Quality Time With Each of Your Kids

Growing in His Glory 6 Steps to Help You Grow in Love For Your Family

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Ode To My Husband & A Wish List For My Girls

Last night my heart ached after hearing the news of the death of Adrian Peterson's little boy. My heart ached and I wept for that little boy and others like him. I thought about how scared he must have been his last few moments on earth. I thought about how a 2 year old boy would have been no match for an angry adult to whom his care was in trusted. Having two 2 year olds myself, I know how hard this age some times is.  But, I can not imagine how one goes through with hurting them. Was it just a bad day? Was the little boy being overly defiant? Was the man who was suppose to be caring for him drunk or on drugs or just selfish? I don't know, and it doesn't matter. My heart ached and I quietly cried.

As I laid in bed, wrapped up in the arms of the only man I have ever loved (besides my own father, of course) my heart also felt something else. It overflowed with love for my husband. I thought about how kind he is. I thought about how our home is peaceful and our children are safe because he is a good man. Sure, he has his vices, just like we all do. But he is a good man, and because of that our home is a peaceful place.

In the last 5 years I have prayed, I don't know how many times, that my husband would be the leader of our home. I prayed that he would: start to pray with and for me, to sing worship songs in church, to have 'bible study' with him. I thought that if he did these things it would mean he was 'leading' our home. Although, I still do hope for these things, I realized something last night. My husband is a wonderful leader! His leadership may not look like what I *think* it should, but the fact remains, he is leading and doing it well!

He leads our home by the fact that he never fails to provide. He gets up 6 days a week and goes to work. He works long hard days, but has never complained! He leads by the way he greets me and all of our kids when he comes home. It doesn't matter what kind of day he has had; he hugs and kisses us all. I call him the horizon. It takes a lot for him to show anger. He is stable and even and consent, just like the horizon. He leads our home by the way he treats me. He doesn't raise his voice or hand to me. He doesn't call me mean names and as far as I know, he doesn't speak ill about me to others. His leadership is one to be admired!

Last night I thought about the others I dated before him and how my life could have been drastically different had I chosen differently. I thought about how God put his protecting hand over me, even before I believed and trusted in him.

Then, I thought about our 3 girls. About how the paths their lives take will largely depend on who they choose to marry. Here is my advice to my sweet princesses.

Pick a man who loves the Lord. The choices that a man makes will depend greatly on if he is a believer. Can one have a good marriage with a no- believer, sure. But he can not lead my girl to the Lord if he does not know Him.

Pick a man without any major baggage. Do not get caught up with a man who will name call, who drinks heavily, who is addicted to drugs or pornography.  All of these things will only tear a relationship apart, not strengthen it. Men who are caught up in these things are not 'bad' people. They are in tangled in sin. Do not trust your heart knowingly to a man who is in tangled in the sin of this world.

Pick a man who exercises good self control. Pick a man who has self control against things like anger or wandering eyes. In the heat of the moment a man can easily say and do things he wishes he hadn't. Pick a man who will do his best to control himself and make wise choices.

Pick a man who will work hard. This life is not easy. One must work hard to provide for their family. Pick a man who will do this willingly.

Pick am man who places low importance on material things. Stuff is just stuff. What is it if a man has lots of stuff but not the means to pay for it?  Pick a man who when you do something like, scratch the new car, he wont blow his lid. It's all material. Sure we want to keep the things we have nice, but pick a man who knows that people are more important then things. 




Wednesday, October 9, 2013

New & Improved House Keeping Schedule

My new and improved house keeping schedule. I have never understood how something is new and improved. Wouldn't it be one or the other?!

Anyway.

Recently I have had the opportunity to share my house keeping schedule at the two MOPS groups that I attend. It was fun because I had actually just redone my schedule and it was working really well! It was also fun to have to think about why I run my home the way I do.

There are many, many things that I am not any good at. I fail on a daily basis at one thing or another- that's life. But, what I am good at is time management. I view my house keeping schedule as just that- time management. I manage my day so my home gets clean but I am also still living life with my sweet kiddos!

I change my schedule up because I realized that I was missing some important things. For example, when we put the house on the market for a brief time earlier this year I realized I had never, ever cleaned my oven. Not once. Not once in 5 years did I clean that thing! Phew- it was a big job to finally get it clean! (My dad actually came and finished the job because he didn't want me breathing all the chemicals. I was 8 months pregnant at the time!) I didn't want to have to do that again. I got some great advice from my wonderful mother-in-love to focus on a room a day! What a great idea!! 

Reasons for having a house keeping plan:

ONE
As a mom, I am not only responsible for how I spend my time, but how my children's time is spent. My kids are still so young that I control everything they do and when they do it. I do not want to be cleaning all day long and have no time for my kids. I also do not want to live in a mess. It's overwhelming.

TWO
It helps the day run smoothly. When you live on a schedule, everyone knows what to expect and when to expect it. Kids thrive on a schedule. Young kids need to know what will happen and what they can expect. It's why my 3 year old asks every night, "Mama, what are we going to do tomorrow?"

THREE
You will never have to ask yourself the question, "When was the last time I cleaned that?!" -You will already know, because you have a schedule!

FOUR
Weekly cleaning = less cleaning. When you clean on a weekly basis, there is less time for the dirt and grime of life to settle in. It will take less time to clean once you have your schedule.

What I do every day:

ONE
Wash dished. We do not have a dish washer, so I wash everything by hand. This means I am doing dishes 3 or 4 times a day. I actually try to wash something as soon as I use it so that the sink never gets too piled up. It doesn't always work that way, but I try!

TWO
2-4 loads of laundry. With 3 toddlers, one baby, one mommy who tries to run/work out at least 5 days a week and a daddy who works construction- we go through a lot of cloths! The laundry keeps me busy. I can not get behind. If I miss a day, it's hard to catch back up.

THREE 
Sweep and wash floors (more on that later).

FOUR
Wipe down kitchen counters.

Weekly Schedule:

Monday- Bath Room
     Includes: mirror, sink, toilet, tub, spray shower curtain and straighten up under sink.

Tuesday- Kitchen
     Includes: Counters, microwave, refrigerator, and oven.

Wednesday- Living Room
     Includes: Straitening piles, removing anything that doesn't not belong in this room and replacing it to its rightful home.

Thursday- Sheets and Bed Rooms
     Includes: changing every ones sheets, washing the changing table pad cover, washing kids blankets (when I am able to distract them from missing their lovie), straightening up in every ones rooms, vacuuming bed rooms.

Friday- TV/Play Room
     Includes: going through kids toys and throwing out any broken toys, removing anything that doesn't belong in this room and replacing it to its rightful home.

Saturday- Make Up Day
      There will always be a day you missed or something that you didn't get to during the week. That is life with little ones! Use this day as a built in make up day!

Still reading? Good! 
Overwhelmed? Don't be! 
On paper (or computer screen) it looks like a lot of cleaning. But like I said earlier, it will actually take you less time on a schedule. Decide what is important to you and make your own list. Your list does not need to look like mine. Our lives and homes are different. It only makes since that our schedules would look different too. Do you want a nice clean car every week? Add that in to your schedule. What about gardening? Set a day aside for that too! Do what is important to you and what will help keep your life in order.

Other helpful tips:

Earlier I said I washed my floors every day. I bought the swiffer wet jet. I normally do not like to spend money on things like that, but the cost to reward ratio is just to great with that thing! It makes washing the floors super easy- I can even do it while holding a baby!! If you are going to try it, just be on the look out for coupons and deals on the pads and washing liquid. Having clean floors makes a world of difference in your home. If your floors are clean- your home will look and feel that much cleaner!!

I have found cooking dinner at nap time to be very helpful. Trying to put a meal together while the kids are hungry and melting down, and I am tired and have had enough for the day is not easy! Many nights I would not even get dinner ready in time- my kids were eating a lot of frozen chicken nuggets. I started cooking at nap time so that all I would have to do is later reheat dinner. Now they were getting the healthy well, healthy-er meal I had planned without the hour of melt downs and mommy losing it! Plus, I now have less dishes to was at night because I did all the big pots and pans earlier.
     

I hope that you find this helpful! What is the one best house keeping tip you can share with me? I am always looking for was to improve my day!


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Mommy 'Unplugged'

Today I got out of the house without kids. Not a single kid went with me! For a mom of 4 kids all under 4 years old, that is an amazing, almost impossible thing.

I have a sweet friend who has 2 kids of her own. Her youngest and my youngest were actually born on the same day (which is the best kind of twins- a mommy for each baby)! She brought her two kids over and watched all 6 kids while I went out for a bit.

I rarely get out of the house without at least one or two kids in toe. In fact it has only happened one other time in the last 5 months, and that was when I was visiting a friend in the hospital, so I was not allowed to take them with me.

I have people tell me all the time that I need to get away from the kids to be a better mom. That I deserve to get away. I just simply don't agree. What I deserve is hell, and only by the amazing grace of God, will I not end up there. I dislike being without my kids and I hate the idea of 'me time.' I recognize that my sweet kids will only be this young for such a short time. My mission field is my home- my husband and my children. If I want to make the greatest impact on their lives, then I need to be present in their lives. I know there will come a day when I will again have all the 'me time' I can dream of.

Well, my friend offered to watch our kids so that my hubby and I could have an afternoon date. My hard working man had to work (on the opening day of hunting season I might add- the best time of year, if you were to ask him).  She offered to still watch the kids so I could do something I would like to do. I struggled with the decision to go out or not. But I really wanted to see a movie. There are a lot of things you can do with your kids and movies just are not one of them!

I spend my days singing songs like:

"Be careful little eyes what you see, 
oh, be careful little eyes what you see. 
There's a Father up above who's looking down in love, 
so be careful little eyes what you see." 

I didn't want to see something that was violent, or sexual, or filthy. I didn't want my little eyes to see something that I wouldn't want their little eyes seeing. Violent, sexual and filthy seems to be all that's out there. Then I came across this little gem, Grace Unplugged. I was so excited. It's about a young Christian worship singer who thinks she wants to try to make it big in Hollywood. Whoop, whoop. I was going to the movies!

I rolled my windows down and turned the radio up! This song has been stuck in my head all week! I have not had a chance to get the CD yet, so I played it on YouTube through the car radio- over and over and over....

The movie was great. It was well acted. They talked about Jesus and sang worship songs. There wasn't a naked body or a bad word in the entire movie! Because I don't get away without kids much, I didn't want to wast the time on something that would have drawn my heart away from God. This movie was perfect to draw my heart closer to Him! 

This world says, "You deserve to be happy. If your marriage doesn't make you happy, get a new one. If you kids don't make you happy, get away from them. If your closet full of cloths don't make you happy, go spend more money." 

We live in a world that says- If you are not happy, then search around for what will make you happy. Shop more, spend more, drink more, party more. 

Friends, listen. The only searching you need to do is for Jesus. He is the only one that can heal a broken heart and can fill a void you didn't even realize you had. People say, "time heals all wounds." They are wrong. Jesus heals all wounds. Bad things happen in this life. They will happen to us all, believers or not. Death happens, car crashes happen, cancer happens, divorces and the betrayal of trust happens.  Gossip and hurt feelings and broken friendships happen. The only difference is those who have Jesus, also have hope.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

Biblical hope is confidence and assurance that we do not face the troubles of this life alone.  If you do not know Jesus, I encourage you to give Him a chance.  He will only impact your life for the better. His love is perfect and His heart is pure. He is trustworthy and he loves you more then you could ever imagine. 

I love the blog Women Living Well. She recently posted this on facebook.

I love this! It sums up what my journey as a wife and mom is. This life is not about me. It's not about me. It's about Jesus and the people I can impact for Him. My choice to follow Jesus will impact generations to come. My good (or bad) choices will affect people who may never even see my face. That is humbling! That makes me want to think of others more and myself less! 

I hope and pray that I am able to bless you though this blog. Please let me know how I can pray for you!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Nurse to Mom & How I Am Not Wasting My Time

I often tell people that before I was a mom I was a nurse. I loved being a nurse, but really, really love being able to stay home with my kids. Some people ask if I feel like I am 'wasting' my education or career by staying home. The question always catches me off guard, because I full heartily believe that any time spent on my husband and kids is in no way a wast of time. It's why I have time! It also confuses me because I believe that I gained valuable skills from being a nurse that have helped me make the transition into managing my home and raising our kids. And it may not be in the way you might think.

When I tell people I was a nurse, and an ER nurse at that, they usually think that I know exactly why my kid is sick or what they have or when I should or shouldn't take the baby to the pediatrician. Honestly, I don't. I have forgotten some most of the medical side of nursing. Here are the skills that I did learn that are not being wasted:

Time Management:

To be a successful ER nurse, one must manage their time appropriately. When there are tasks to be done they must get done; But at the same time, you must take your time and do them well. As an ER nurse you may have one thing to do or twenty. A nurse must be able to decide what is the most important task at that time and get it done right the first time so that she can move to the next task. If it's not done right then that takes more time to re due the task.

As a homemaker and mom the same applies. You may have 1 load of laundry or twenty (I usually have the twenty- does it breed while I'm not looking??) You may have to wash dishes and make lunch and kiss boo-boos all at the same time. Learning how to manage your time and decide what is most important at the time helps with keeping your day on track. For example, today I had several things on my to-do list. My plan for the day was to get up and do breakfast, throw in a load of laundry then run to the bank, grocery store and mail something at UPS (that must go out today!). Well, my plan changed when the 3 oldest kids were taking turns having melt downs and temper tantrums. I decided that although all of the tasks on my to-do list are important, there is nothing more important the capturing the hearts of my children. We needed to stay home and work on listing and obedience. My sweet boy twin woke up grumpy and wanted to whine and love on mommy. So, snuggles with mommy took priority. Once I got the boy under control, my sweet girl twin wanted to express her need for independence by disobeying a simple task I asked her to complete. She had several timeouts, spankings and 'talks' from mama. She eventually did what I asked her to and I was able to have a sweet moment shaping her heart by calmly working with her. No to-do list is more important then that! That brings me to my next lesson-

Flexibility:

I love schedules. I love to-do lists and checking things off. I'm not so great with change. But, as an ER nurse the job is ever changing. At any given time you are loving on a child who doesn't feel well, assisting a physician with stitches, assessing an elderly patient with a heart arrhythmia or preforming life saving CPR. You could have no patients or 4. You could have one task then when you turn around you may need to do 10 different things. Being able to be flexible and realize when the plan needs to change is crucial. Just like when I decided to stay home and work on my children's hearts instead of checking the things off my to-do list. I had to learn to go with the flow and take what comes at me.  

Performing on little sleep:

Well, this one is all entirely true. As a nurse I did work long hours, but then I got to come home and take a shower and eat and snack and watch TV. But, there were many nights that I crawled into bed and then couldn't get to sleep because I couldn't remember if I had taken that old lady a glass of water when she asked or if I had, did I documented that I gave her the glass of water?!

As a mom you get no time off. No bathroom breaks no meal breaks, no breaks! Many times I lay awake at night thinking about all the things I did wrong that day and how I should have done better. I spend many nights begging God to not let my mess ups- my short temper, my over correction or under correction, the nasty thing I said- affect my sweet kids. The long hard hours of being a nurse prepared me for the long hard hours of being a homemaker and mother.

Preforming on little food intake:

,For most of my ER days I worked 3pm-3am. Crazy terrible hours. Some people thrive on the night shift; I did not. Because it also was usually the busiest time, there were days that I did not get a meal break. I learned to eat a little here and a little there. Same goes for mother hood. I will prepare a beautiful lunch for my kids- OK, a heart shaped peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but what they want to eat is MY food. I have learned as a mom I can not go all day without eating, gotta eat when you can! And hide your food- if you don't label it in the lunch room it gets eaten. Hide it and eat it when no one is looking!!

Getting to know the individual:

As a nurse I got to meet lots of different types of people. Some patients were fun. We would crack jokes and chit chat while I took care of them. Some didn't want to hear anything I had to say. Learning which patient was which was important.

Same goes for our kids. Each kids is different and needs different treatment. One may need more discipline then another. One my react differently to a situation. Even knowing who needs more food or sleep is important. Realize that just as all people are not the same, neither are your kids. 

I went to school for 4 years and then worked as a nurse for about 4 years before I became a stay at home mom. I do not feel like I wasted those eight years just because I am no longer making an income. On the contrary, I am pulling the lessons and life experiences I gained from nursing and using them to train my children and manage my home. I am sure you are doing the same. Maybe you worked in an office. You gained many valuable lessons on working with others and managing you work load that you are now using to raise and train your children. Maybe you got your masters in communication, but never worked with your degree. You are still using things you learned to train your children. Maybe you have a top security government clearance and traveled the world. I can not even imagine the life lessons you got from those experiences that you can now pass on to you children.

I think we should not let the amount of 'income' determine if we are successful or not. We should not let the about of money we make determine if we are 'wasting' our time. I am doing more good for this world by molding a shaping my 4 children into the adults that God wants them to be then if I had worked as a nurse for 30 years. These 4 children will grow up and influence their work places, community's and family's because of the hard work I am putting in now. No amount of money could be better then that. My point is, don't get talked into the argument that being a mom is a wast of education. No amount of time that you spend mothering is a wast of time- It's what God gave you time for!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Fall Time Fun

I love fall time. I love everything about it. I love the crisp cool air & pumpkin everything (helloooo, pumpkin spice latte)! I love apple picking & the way the horses coats get soft and woolly. I especially love when the trees change colors. It always amazes me how God places the right trees in just the right spot. If you look at a mountain side in the fall, there is never a big clump of red here and yellow there. It's all mixed beautifully together. I love that we serve a God who cares about the small details as much as the big picture!!

We had our first apple picking/ fall festival trip this weekend. We went to an orchard near our home and had a wonderful time with Grandma and Grandpa. We picked apples and went on a hay ride.



We got lost in the corn maze.  I just doubled us back and went out where we started and then said, "Hey look, we did it!! Great job!" My 3 year old was on to me, but she let it slide. Thank goodness!



Apparently God sees fit for us to have girls in this family. We have 3 precious princess! But I am super happy he gave us one amazing prince as well. It is so fun to see the differences between girls and boys. I love even more that my twins are boy/ girl. I get to see the differences at the exact same stage.

My girls loved picking apples. Grandma told them she was going to make apple pie and they got right to work. They pulled the apples off the tree and loved filling up the bag. It's just God given for a women to want to feed others!

My son on the other hand.





As soon as her realized that the red balls he was pulling off the tree didn't bounce, he was done. He wanted to explore. It's also God given for a man to want to take off and see what he can concur. Since the girls were doing well and I had the grandparents there to help, I decided I would let the boy fur fill the desire that God put in him. We explored. We walked across the orchard and up the hill. Boy leading the whole way! When we got to the top, he looked up at me and smiled. Mission accomplished! He grabbed my hand and we walk hand in hand back to the girls. It was a fun sweet moment!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A few of my Favs.

Every Tuesday I go to time-warp-wife blog  and join in on the Titus 2sdays Link Up Party. Here are a few of my favorites from today.

Mama Gab: to the discouraging mom

Grateful with Two: Lately on My Heart

Pleasant Words: My Bible Basket

Growing In His Glory: Creating a Library of Good Children's Books

Hope you enjoy. There are so many posts on Titus 2sdys Link Up. Hop over and take a look!!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

WORDS

In This House We Will Love 
With Our Words, 
Our Hands & Our Hearts.

I have a passion for motherhood, for wify-hood and for new moms who are in the same boat as me (tired). Being a wife and mom is amazing and hard. I need support. We all do. A speaker I heard at MOPS once said, 'if you want someone to bring you a meal, then cook up some meals and take them to others.' In other words, if you want a friend, you gotta be a friend! Recently, I have been convicted that I have never been such a good friend. 

I am emotional and sensitive and insecure (not a good combo). I wear my heart on my sleeve. If I am feeling down or uncomfortable in a situation, I can not fake it. I talk too much, or not at all. I avoid eye contact. I get weird. Worse, if I am feeling insecure, I get mean. It's not my intention to be mean- but I am. I have had more then one person tell me that I have made them uncomfortable or that they get the feeling that I don't like them. Ouch.  I hate that I give off that feeling! 

I have recently had a few interactions that have made me realize that if I want to impact any ones lives for the better (especially my little family), then I better change the way I act and the words I use. Words are powerful. Have you heard the song Words by Hawk Nelson? You can listen to it here. This song stops me in my tracks every time I hear it. I think partly because it's a good catchy toon and mostly because it is something my poor sinful heart needs to hear.

"Words can build you up, words can tear you down, 
start a fire in your heart or put it out. 
Let my words be life, let my words be truth. 
I don't want to say a word unless it points the world back to You."

I can not point the people in my life to Jesus if the words that I am using points them away from Him. I can not make and keep friends if I gossip- how ever unintentional it may be. I can not be a creditable Jesus follower if I am not actually following what He says. I can not say one thing, act out something else and expect people to trust to me. 

Words. They are powerful. 

Once they leave your mouth, you can not take them back. You can apologize, but you can not erase them. They are forever said and forever heard.

I had a friend in collage, who could have become an amazing friend. One who I probably could still be friends with 10+ years later. But, because of the words I said and the actions I took, we no longer speak. We had lots in common and lots of fun. But, then I realized how pretty she was. We would drive in the car and she would sing and I would think, 'she has a better voice then me.' (how silly is that?!) We would ride our horses together and I would notice how calm she was and how natural she seemed. I started to get insecure around her. I started to think that maybe she thought less of me too. Instead on realizing what I was doing- losing the evil battle to comparison. I got weird. We are no longer friends. She has been on my mind these last few days, so I found her on facebook and sent her a message. I told her that I thought she was amazing and that I was sorry that my insecurities got in the way of our friendship. She did not respond. And that is ok. I didn't do it for a response, I did it because it needed to be said. I needed to say I was sorry (although I should have done it 10 years ago).  Words are powerful even if they are said much later then they should have been said. 

I vow to be a better friend. I vow to work on my insecurities and to try my hardest to not get weird. I vow to do my best to not lose to the evil, no good comparison game (the only game where everyone loses!!). I vow to love with my words, my hands and my heart. I vow to teach my children the importance of loving others in these three ways: words, actions and emotions. I pray that my children will get it far before they are 31 years old! I pray that they use their words to build people up, to start a fire in their hearts. I pray that the people that I have hurt with my words can forgive me.



Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What I Learned from the Organic Meat Salesmen

Remember last week when I took the kids to the fair by myself? On the way out of the fair I was stopped by a guy at a booth who asked,

"Would you like a chance to win a years supply of organic meat?"

What I should have said,
"No thanks."

What I did say,
"Sure, why not?"
 I mean who doesn't want to win free food right?

Well, they called. Not because I had won the food, but because they want to set up an in home appointment with me.

What I should have said,
"No thanks."

What I did say,
"Sure, next Wednesday would be fine."

He came to my house and talked me into buying 3 years worth of organic meat people, 3 YEARS! And because we have no where to store all this meat, he conveniently sells a sub zero, best-on-the-market, indoor or outdoor freezer. For only $3,000.

At this point he had been in my house for 2 hours, my kids were tired of sitting quietly and it was dinner time. I wanted him out of the house! So, sure sign me up for that amazing deal! Anything to make you go away.

Later I told my husband what I had done. He didn't think it was such a great idea, but since I do the food shopping he trusted me.

I knew it was a bad idea and I felt sick all weekend. I called Monday morning and tried to cancel the ridiculous order. The sales man wouldn't let me! I called my hubby and asked him to call. He said 'nope, you do it.' Ugh. I called back and he still wouldn't let me cancel. Then, I talked to the owner of the company. I was crying on the phone because I didn't want all this stupid meat, but the owner said he couldn't let me out of the deal, but he would pay the first month bill for me. Double Ugh. I called my hubby in tears! So, thankfully he called the owner and took care of it. I am pleased to tell you that we are not getting 3 years of frozen organic meat and a stupid freezer to go with it.

So here is what I learned from the organic meat salesman.

#1 Just say no! 
No to trying to win free food.
No to letting you come talk to me about you product.
And, no to your product!

#2 Don't buy anything without your husband!  
My new rule: I don't spend money with out my husbands approval. I usually don't anyway, but I think that because I wanted him gone, I just said yes. This is where I should have reverted to rule #1 and just said no! My girlfriend said that her family has a rule that if they are going to spend more then $100 they have to consult the other one first. Love this idea! From now on I can say, "Sorry, I can not agree to anything until I speak with my husband."

#3 Just say no! (are you sensing a theme?)

If someone says, 'I need your answer right away.' Then the answer is NO! If you can not take a day or two to think about it, then it is not worth it.

#4 My husband rocks!
I am so thankful that he took time out of his day to call the company for me. I am even more thankful that he didn't get mad at me. I mean really, I just bought 3 years worth of frozen food and he just laughed at how silly I am!

My mom told me that when she and my dad were first married and had no disposable income, they got talked into buying an expensive set of encyclopedias. So I guess it runs in the family?!

So, please share. Have you ever been talked into buying something crazy that you shouldn't have? Tell me I am not the only one who got duped by the meat sales man!!






Friday, August 9, 2013

Glow Sticks

"Do you want me to tell you the story about the fourth of July?"

"Sure baby, I would love to hear that story." 

I have only heard it 1.7 million times since the holiday 6 weeks ago.
It always starts the same,

"We were at a place and...."

The details change a bit here and there, but it is basically the same every time. I have heard it so many times I know just when to say, "oh wow!" or "no way!" 

Then she says something new and it catches my ear and my heart off guard:


"We were playing with glow sticks 
and you have to break them so that they will glow. 
And you have to do it in the dark, 
because you know mom, 
glow sticks wont glow the same in the light."

So much insight for such a young girl.   
"You have to break them so that they will glow." 

So that's it Lord.
That's why we bend and break.
That's why we are given more then we think we can handle. 
So that we can glow brighter for You. 

The mom with the infant in the NICU. She needs to bend a little, break a little, so that she can glow for You. When the mom next to her can not take one.more.single.second. She can glow a bit brighter for You.

The couple who is struggling in their marriage;
They need to bend a little, break a little,
so that they can glow brighter for you.
Because in 20 years, after all the fights and tears and counseling sessions.
When some young bride asks, "Whats the secrete?"
They will glow brighter for You.

The women who envisioned a home and life full of kids;
Who has none.
Whose womb and heart is broken.
She needs to bend a little, break a little to glow bright for You.

The mom who has more kids then she ever envisioned.
Whose heart is more full then she ever could have imagined.
But whose time is limited and sleep is seldom and patience is thin.
She needs to bend a little, break a little so that she can glow a bit brighter for You.

Why pay checks are few and bills are many.
Why words get said and feelings get hurt and friendships need mending.
Why tragic loss and grieve goes hand in hand.
Why he needs You as much as he needs the chemo.

So that we can glow brighter for You.
Because in the end it's all about You. 


"Glow sticks wont glow the same in the light."

We have to bend a little, brake a little, 
in the dark places,
so that we can glow a bit brighter for You.

Why dark places are so unwanted and so scary.
Because the most bending and breaking occurs there.
In the dark places.

But so does the brightest glowing.
In the darkest places there is the brightest glowing.

Why the dark places are as unwanted as they are necessary.

So that we know how bright we can glow, for You.
So that others can see how bright they could glow, for You.

Because in the end,
It's all about You.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Why I Say No To "Me Time"

"How do you ever get a brake?"

"Don't you want some 'me time'?"

"You are crazy!"

"I would drink heavily if I had that many kids."

These are all things that people have said to me in the recent past. All in front of my kids by the way. The fact of the matter is that I don't want any 'me time.' I get the primes behind it. I have heard over and over- "you will be a better mom if you get some time away." But the truth is, I just don't agree. Well, I kinda don't agree. OK, hear me out- don't stop reading just yet. 

I have taken 'me time' and it just doesn't seem to work out that well. I get away and half the time I don't know what to do with my self. Then, when I do come back to my kids- I am more easily angered by them.  Even though I had a 'break' my heart is not in the right place!  I yell quicker and react harsher. If 'me time' is so great, why doesn't it feel that way? Sure, it feels fine while I am out and about, but then why don't I feel refreshed when I get home. Here is what I have come up with. 

Have Christ Time not Me Time.  
The trouble with 'me time' is that it's all about me. Really ladies, when is life ever really all about us? It isn't, nor should it be! We live in a society that says "do what feels good for you." But that's not what God says. Do you think it felt good to Jesus to hang and die on the cross? No way! Where would we all be if He had decided to do what felt good to Him? A hot, HOT mess; that's were we all would be! If we can steal a few moments away from our kids, we should use that time to make it about Jesus, not about us. I am involved in a group call, Run for God. It's two hours every week away from my 'wife/mom duty', but its not about me it's about God. I am with other Christians and we are talking about and running together for God. I feel so refreshed after this time. 

I could take that same two hours and do something solely for me. I grantee that I would not have the same refreshed feeling as when I use my time for Christ. God is the one who gives us our strength and renews our spirit. No pedicure or night out with the girls can do that. Now, I am not saying that these things are bad, what I am saying is that if you are a busy mom who only has a few minutes or hours a week for you then you are better off making it about Him instead.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

How DO You Do It?!

Every where I go I get some form of this question. To me it seems like a non- issue. I mean, you do what you have to right? God entrusted 4 little people to my care all with in 3 years. I have two choices; I can lay down and cry because it's just too hard, or I can have fun and enjoy it! I choose the enjoy it one.

Because I get this question so much it got me thinking that maybe people really do want to know how I do it. So here we go....

My hubby works a lot. He runs his own company (*insert shameless plug* anyone need an house built or kitchen remodeled?). He leaves early and gets home late. He always works 5, but usually 6 days a week. Because he's gone most of the time, that leaves me with the kids on my own the majority of the week. It is my job to run our home while he provides for us. If I wanted to get anything done or have any fun, then I had to learn to live life with my kids. Here are a few of the things I do to make our lives function and have fun at the same time.

Pray

Lots and lots of prayer. I believe in a mighty God. One who cares about the big picture as well as the small details. He can help if you are in a bad mood or in a funk that you can not seem to break. He knows it's hard. Ask him for help and guidance. But the key is to have a willing heart. Ask him to change your mood and then get your heart in the right place so he can!

Be Grateful

Do I wish my hubby was home more- sure! Do I wish I could get a pedicure or go for a run- of course! But I realize what an important job I have in manging our home and training our kids. I am grateful that my husband realizes what I do is important as well. I get to stay home with my kids. No rushing to get everyone ready to drop them off at daycare just so I can rush to work. No rushing to pick them up just so I can rush home to make dinner. I get to do life with them. I get to stay home and create a schedule that works for us! I will be honest, there are mornings when I think 'I just don't want to do it today!' Those are the days that I remind myself of how very grateful I am to be doing what I am doing, and I also make sure I pray, a lot!

Recognize the Importance of a Schedule /Sleep

Little bodies need sleep and rest. Mommies of little bodies need rest and down time. Life runs so much smother if the kids are rested and mommy gets a little break too. We nap/ have quiet time every day and the same time. Because it is part of their everyday schedule they come to expect it. The only reason my kids miss nap time is for church on Sundays (this is only because we recognize that we need Jesus even more then we need rest!). The younger 3 sleep and the older one has 'quiet time'. This gives me 30 minutes to rest- no answering why for 30 minuets gets me back in the game for the rest of the day!! Our kids also go to bed everyday at about the same time. This means we miss out on stuff. We haven't watched fireworks on the 4th of July in 3 years. But, I am OK with that. When they are older they will be able to handle a later bed time, for right now, they need sleep!

When in Doubt, Feed the Mouth

I take snacks with me every where I go. They get to munch on crackers or a banana in the car, in the store, at grandmas house. Little ones are not good at being able to recognize hunger. When they get hungry it is expressed as a temper tantrum. If your little one starts to throw a fit- feed them- it almost always helps!

Plan for the Melt Down

Where kids are, meltdowns will fallow. Don't leave your home thinking everything will go smoothly. Some days it will, but most days one or all of your kids will melt down while your out. Plan for it, expect it but don't let it frustrate you. See the disobedience or fit for what it is- a chance to help them learn. Correct the disobedience and move on. Also, do not let it embarrass you. I use to get so upset when my kids acted up when we were out. Now I realize that it does not matter what the other moms think of me or my kids, what matters is that my kids are getting real life experiences and learning from them. (Plus the other moms are probably not judging me, but more thinking that shes has been there!)

The Pep Talk

I give the pep talk where ever we go. If we are headed into the store it looks like this,

"We are going to go shopping for food. This means mommy needs everyone to behave. That means Madison needs to walk right with mommy and not wander off. For the twins it means you two need to sit in the cart and not throw a fit. If you can not listen and obey then you will be disciplined. Does everyone understand?"
Que and course of "Yes ma'am"s.

I recently took all 4 kids to our local fair by myself. This pep talk looked a bit different.

"We are headed to the fair! It is going to be so fun! But, everyone needs to stay right with mommy. Do not wander off or you might get lost! If you do get lost then you need to find a police officer or another mommy with kids and tell her you are lost. Remember listen and obey mommy at all times. Does everyone understand?
Que "Yes ma'am."

The key is to give the pep talk as you are walking into the store (or fair) so that it is fresh in their minds.

 Have a Support Person

I have a good friend that I talk to almost every morning. It is usually only 30 minutes and while I am washing the morning dishes. She gets me. She understands me and I understand her. She is the one I go to with the big issues that I need help with. On the days we don't talk, I miss it! I have a better day knowing I have another mommy on my ledge who can talk me down if I need it!

Regular Play Dates

This same mommy is the one I have regular play dates with. Our kids love to play together, but it is more for us. We get to have adult conversation and spend a little time face to face. Find one other mom with kids about the same age as your kids and get to know each other. As moms we are super busy and can not invest in every ones life, but we can make time for a few spacial people other then our family! It is worth it.

Dress Alike

This is something I just started doing. I have 3 small ones that can go in 3 different directions- and fast! When I am out on my own in a crowded place (like the fair) I dress them in the same color. It really helps. Then, if someone got away, you can scan the crowd and look for the color, not the kid. I don't dress them alike for regular trips like the grocery store- although when the 4th starts walking I might need to! 

For the trip to the fair I also added a "If lost please call" sign to the back of their shirts. I though that I might catch a little flack from some of the other moms at the fair for it, but most everyone laughed! 



Cleaning Schedule

I have a regular cleaning schedule for our house. This is one extra thing on top of the everyday things I do. Monday is bathroom day. That means every Monday the bathroom gets cleaned. If I miss a Monday, then I do not stress about it and just do it next week. It works great because I am not spending the whole day cleaning plus I don't have to question when the last time I cleaned it was! 

Hope these little tips can help your family!


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Be His Hands & Feet Craft

I am always looking for fun ways to incorporate our family values and  how to preserve their 'littleness'. This is a little craft I did this past week with the kids. It is a little hard to keep the 2 year olds still enough to get a good print, but totally worth it.

DISCLAMER: Once the kids realize they can paint their hands or feet with paint, their entire bodies will be covered! They had a blast painting themselves while I finished up writing in the words. I wish I had taken a picture of the kids when they were done painting themselves. 


Now that we decided not to try and sell the house, I am planning on putting up pictures and scripture in the house. Can't wait to see how the rest turns out.  What fun things have you done with your little ones this summer?










Thursday, July 25, 2013

44 Things I have learned from Having 4 kids Under 4

3 years and 7 months ago I had no kids (well, one in the womb). Today I have 4. Yes, 4 wild and crazy beautiful kids! I am by no means an expert mama, but I have had one crazy crash course in mothering.
Every where I go people keep telling me I must be super mom; Nope just really, really fertile! You may call me Myrtle!

Here are some of the things I have learned in the last 3.5 years:

1. Being a mom is hard work.

2. Sleep when the baby sleeps. (This only applies to moms who have 1 child. After you have 2 you will not get to sleep again. Ever. Just sayin')

3.  Join am MOPS group, like yesterday!!!!! (Can't stress this one enough-notice all the exclamation points- Even if you don't make any friends at MOPS *highly unlikely* you will get encouragement from the speakers- and you get to drink your coffee while it's still hot! Whoop whoop!)

4. Let the kids get messy. Kids and cloths both wash. Find some mud and let them play!

5. Your house will be a mess. It was a mess yesterday, it will be a mess tomorrow. Clean the basics and let the rest go.

6. There is enough love to go around! You will think, 'there is no way I could love any kid more then this.' But you will love the next one, and the next one, and the next one....

7. Two words. Cloth Diapers! So easy and saves so much money. I use bumGenius. Check them out here.

8. Your husband still comes first. He was there first and he will be there after the kids are gone. You will give and give and give to your kids all day. Then at the end of the day you will have get to give a little more to your hubby. Do it!

9. Stay home if you can. These years are short and precious and oh so important.

10. You will get pooped on, spit up on and peed on- some days all before 9am!

11a. Yelling NEVER helps the situation.

11b. Hugging ALWAYS helps the situation.

12. Take you kids where ever you go. Need food? Take them to the store with you. Need cloths? Take them to the store with you. Need to get out of the house, but don't really need anything. Take them to Target with you. No seriously, learn to live your life with your kids. Let them do life with you.

13. Breastfeed if you can. It's cheap, easy and just the right temperature (and oh so good for that little blessing!)

14. Speaking of blessings, kids are a blessing. Even on the days that you want to run away and never return- they are still a blessing.

15. Watch what you say while you are on the phone talking to your girl friends (or under your breath). Funny story. Ready?!..... My hubby and I were having one of those weeks. That Sunday he didn't get up to go to church with us, so I had to take all 3 - we only had 3 kids back then- by myself. The church had put up a large white tent, it was for the youth group but I did not know this. When my almost 3 year old asked why it was there I said, under my breath, "Someone was probably stupid enough to get married." Fast forward a week. Said Child was in the car with my mother in law *you know* the mom of the man I married. She asked Said Child why there was a tent up at our church. Said Child states, "Someone was stupid enough to get married." Watch what you say people- they can hear you!!

16. Laugh. Some days I get into bed and realize I have not laughed all day. The average toddler laughs 150 times a day (I got this statistic from the Internet. I did not do my own research on this, but with 3 toddlers I bet I could!) 150 times in like 12 hours. Make sure you laugh a few times with them!

17. The hardest adjustment to make is to go from no kids to one. Once you have one under your belt you are good to go!

18. Invest in a good stroller. I love my triple Valco Baby. Check it out here.

19. A gourmet dinner of PB&J is just fine- even 3 weeks in a row.

20. Some days success is doing 3 loads of laundry, cooking, a play date and baths. Other days success is that everyone is still breathing.

21. Kids change everything!

22. Strapping 4 kids into car seats sucks. Having to bind, twist and climb over the seats to strap a 'big girl' into the 'big girl' car seat sucks even more. Having kids safe while in the car- priceless!

23. Cell phones were not built to survive bath time. RIP smart phone.

24. The days are long but the years are short. Don't blink.

25. Don't blink, but do breath. 

26. Eat the cookie. Sure you have a lot of work to do to get back to 'pre baby' but some days you just need to eat that cookie! 

27. If someone offers to help, let them.

28. 'Me time' ain't all it's cracked up to be. Nothing beats 'family time.'

29. Count your blessings, not your frustrations.

30. There is always, always, always something to be thankful for. 

31. Be smart with money! You/your kids do not need brand new of everything- used can be just as good as new but way cheaper.

32. Write down the cute things they say!

33. There is more to this life then this. Teach them about Jesus. Don't know Jesus? Get to know Him, and then teach them about Him!

34. No matter what is going on, there is always a reason to smile at your kids.

35. Learn to say NO to others, learn to say YES to your kids!

36. Read a good book. It's a way to relax and escape the stress of mama/wify-hood, without spending any money!

37. Praise them way, waaaaay more then you correct them! 

38. There is a saying, "When I have no where else to go, I get on my knees." Have a tough situation? Start on your knees, don't wait until it's the last place to go!

39. "So Quiet Down Cobwebs...Dust Go To Sleep...I'm Rocking My Baby, And Babies Don't Keep." True, oh so true!

40. It's only a season! 3 months from now things will be so different!

41.  Everyone has nap/quiet time at the same time-even mommy!!

42. Life is a garden, dig it! Plant some easy to take care of plants and watch them grow! It's fun to accomplish something and the older kids get to help! Plus you get to eat the fruits (or veggies) of your labor.

43. Each baby is different. Get to know each one. My first 3 hated to be swaddled, #4 loves it! 1,2 and 4 are belly sleepers, #3 hates to be on her tummy....

44. Enjoy the ride!! It's a wild one, but not one you get to do over, so enjoy it now!!



Sunday, July 21, 2013

Full of Grace and Truth

On the rare occasion that I am in the car by myself I like to listen to sermons on the radio. You never know what little nugget of wisdom you might get that way. A while back I heard a sermon that blew my mind and it still has me thinking about it today. I do no remember who was preaching or even what the subject was, but what the preacher said was so good, like, so, so good! It was one of those a-ha moments. Ever have one of those? Well, I have been in need of another one lately. So, I thought I would share about my last one and maybe it would help me find my next one!

Here is what the preacher said:

Jesus was both full of grace and full of truth.  

Isn't that incredible?! Amazing!

Jesus' grace did not diminish the truth and the truth did not diminish His grace. 

He was both full of grace AND truth. Together, at the same time, grace and truth!

John the Baptist could have said anything about Jesus. He could have said he was kind, that he was a healer, miraculous or Divine. But what John chose to say about Jesus was this;

 "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. 
We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, 
who came from the Father,  
full of grace and truth. (John 1:14- emphasis mine)

Oh, how many times have I spoken truth to someone but forgot all about the grace part?! What I said was right and true, but how I delivered it was mean and hurtful. When we speak truth to people, but do not extend grace- we are not doing any good for Gods Kingdom. We come across as hurtful and unkind.

On the flip side. When grace is extended to the point that the truth is left out or distorted, then we are no longer speaking truth.  When we extend so much grace to someone that we are no longer also giving truth to them- Gods truth- then we are also not doing any good for God's Kingdom.

I think God is disappointed in both situations.

Full of Grace and Truth. It's a mighty fine line to find!

I recently have been convicted that maybe I don't come across to others they way I mean to. I try to be funny and make a joke- but I am seen as callas and hurtful. I get short with people and then I am seen as rude and mean.

What I want people to see in me is Jesus.

I believe the best way to show people Jesus is to be like Him.
Full of grace and truth.

Jesus experienced every emotion that we experience. He has been tired and hungry. He knows what it feels like to he hated and betrayed. He knows what it is like to feel lonely and left out. The difference between Jesus and me  -there are many, many differences but this is one- He didn't use those feelings and experiences for an excuse. Even though he was tired he didn't get short with people and be unkind. Even though he was betrayed and misunderstood, He didn't run around gossiping to everyone he saw "Can you believe he said/did that to me?"

To be both full of grace and truth means extending grace to others and myself. It means speaking truth to both others and myself. Some people need a little extra dose of grace and others need a little extra dose of truth- but both must be present!

Recently I have been convicted that maybe I fall into the needing an extra dose of grace category! I do not struggle with the truth side. I am very black and white- right is right and wrong is wrong. I think because of that (and the whole being human and not God thing), I may need a little extra dose of grace from others! I am a EGR person- extra grace required.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Would you do it all again?

If the you that you were 5 years ago got a glimpse of the you that you are today, would you still make the same decisions that you made along the way of those 5 years?

This is the question I have been asking myself over the last week or so. If I could go back and redo this motherhood thing, would I? Would I really?

I mean lets face it. My body is ruined. I own exactly 4 things that fit and even those 4 things look bad on me. Diet and exercise. Diet.and.exercise. That's what people say. Watch what you eat and go for a run. Totally undoable at this point. What do I do with a 3 year old, 2 two year olds and an infant, while I go for a nice relaxing jog? Join a gym, get a baby sitter, get up before the kids get up. All great ideas in theory. But I am just. to. tired. So tired. Physically tired. Mentally tired. Tired.

My house is a wreck. I clean and clean and then I clean some more. All I am really doing is moving piles of all the junk we own around the house. 75% of the worlds population doesn't have enough and I am complaining about having too much! Ridiculous. Just ridiculous!

Not to mention this mothering thing is hard. Like, really, really hard. I want to have good kids, kind kids; kids that grow up and become good adults, kind adults. But then I yell because the 3 year old wont go to bed. Or the 2 year old (one of them or both of them) is throwing a fit for some reason or another. And then I wonder if I am even doing it right at all. So many decisions to make that shape who they become- and I constantly feel like I am messing it up. That I am messing them up.

24-7.

That's what no one tells you before you become a mom. 24-7. Or maybe they do tell you, but you don't listen, and if you do listen then you have no idea what 24-7 really means. Not until that baby is here in your arms anyway. After you become a mom, after all the hard work is done of growing that baby and getting that baby out into the world, it never ends. Never ends. Sure, you can go to work if you are a working mom, you can run to the store or go on date night or girls night, but its not really a brake- because your heart is no longer yours, it belongs to those precious people who call you 'mama.'

Would I do it all again? If I could go back and change it would I?

I have thought about it long and hard (not that it makes a difference really). And if you catch me on a really, really bad day the answer would be, "No I would not do it again!" But those days are few and far between. Most days I look at my sad saggy skin, the roots in my hair that are so long they no longer look like roots, my messy house and these crazy precious people and I think, "This is it! This is my purpose in life!" 

To love my husband and train our kids to know and love the Lord. I can change the world  just by doing those two things! Nothing has matured me more then being a wife and mom. Nothing has grown me more as a person and in my faith then these two things!

I encourage you today sweet ladies to stay focused and keep your eye on the ball. Being a wife and mom is hard but oh so rewarding! Just think about the way that new baby smells, or the first smile or the unsolicited 'I love you mom.' You do not need to go on an over seas mission or start a charity to change the world, you can do it right in your living room!  Love your husband and train your kids to know and love the Lord! Wold changed for the better, done!


Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Comparison Culture

What is it about being a women that makes us compare ourselves to others?

There are two ways to compare- one way makes me look better then you,
"At least I'm not as fat as she is, I look better in that dress, my kids act better, are cuter, are smarter then hers...."

The other makes me look worse then you,
"I wish I had her body, hair, husband, car....."

Both are dangerous. The first leads to pride (and inevitably the hard fall) and the other leads to feelings of low self worth.

One sweet mom confided in me recently that she is worried because her 3 year old doesn't talk about Jesus. She had heard another mom talking about all the cute things her 3 year old says about Him. This sweet mom is doing an amazing job with her kid. She prays for him, reads bible stories to him and brings him to church faithfully. Then that little voice entered her head, "You aren't doing enough, you kid doesn't talk about Jesus. You fail."Lies!

Another friend posted on facebook that she found it hard to tell her 3 year old that she thought of herself as beautiful. My assumption is that it was hard for her because she has had years of comparing her self to others and years of always measuring up short. She (as well as all of us) probably spends a lot of time saying things like this, "She just had a baby and is already back in her normal cloths?! I have nothing that fits!"  "Why can't my butt be smaller? Why didn't I get a cute nose like hers? She always looks so put together and I look so frumpy!"

Ladies, we can really pick our selves and each other apart. It is not good, and it is dangerous!

So, what can we do instead of compare?
We can chose to love and encourage!

Love says, 'Congradulations on becoming engaged!'
Love does not think, 'Did you see the size of that ring? It's so big, it must be fake!'

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, 
it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is kind. Love is kind. Love means being kind to others and being kind to ourselves. To compare ourselves, our lives, our spouses, our children to others is not kind. We are either looking down on her or we are tearing ourselves down.  Love means being kind, thinking kind and acting kind!

Encouragement says, "Way to go, you lost another 10lbs!"
It does not think, "OK skinny girl, here, eat some cake!"

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” 
so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

Hebrews 3:13 

We are called to encourage each other. True encouragement, so that non of us (you or I) will be caught in satins lies. When we believe the lies, that we aren't enough, that we need to be more- like she is- we can not truly encourage one another.

So, I encourage you sweet ladies to stop the lies! As you move about your week pay attention to what you are thinking and stop the lies. When you start to think you aren't enough, stop and recognize all that you are! When you start to judge another women, stop and find the good in her. 

Love and encourage.

Love and encourage her. 

Love and encourage yourself!

You are beautiful, unique and God made- how could you not be wonderful?! Find the wonderful that is unique to you and celebrate it! 

UPDATE
I have to admit that I have been sitting on this post for a while. After posting it, I feel like there is more I want to say. I feel like I have left some important things out.

We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. 
When they measure themselves by themselves 
and compare themselves with themselves, 
they are not wise.

2 Corinthians 10:12


The major problem with comparing ourselves to each other is that we are all human. The person you are comparing yourself to (and most likely coming up short against- in your own eyes) is just as sin riddled as you are. We do ourselves a disservice when we compare ourselves to others because we all 'have fallen short of the glory of God.' (Romans 3:23) When you measure yourself against another women, you are using the wrong measuring stick! The One we should be measuring our selves against is the One who bled and died an excruciating death. The Measuring stick we should be using is the One who loved us enough to hang on a cross for us.

The bible says when we compare ourselves to ourselves we are not wise. I want to be a wise woman, will you join me? Maybe we can change the way we think together. We can change the way we think and that will change the way we act and maybe that little act can help the next generation, so we don't raise girls who have so much trouble with using the wrong measuring stick!