Friday, June 21, 2013

Five Min Friday- Rhythm

Time for FMF over at lisa-jo bakers blog Todays word is Rhythm

Go!

Someone once told me relationships are like a dance. Some times you lead, sometimes your partner leads. But what if you ain't got no rhythm?

Back in the dating days with my hubby, our "dance" looked like this: inseparable for 2 months, take a "break" for 2 weeks, back together full time for 2 weeks, break for 2 days, back together for 2 more weeks.... you get the picture. We were all over the place. We had no rhythm. We each wanted what we wanted and would do what ever it took to get it- even if that meant stepping on each others toes.

Rhythm was hard for us to find- we kept dancing around each other- fighting for the lead. Finlay, we stopped took a real break and tried again. Relationships are hard. You can not have two leaders. Two people leading means no one is following. I choose to follow my husband. When I decided to trust him and let him lead, he got the confidence to do so.

Now our dance is full of early mornings and late evenings. Crying babies and laughing children. Bills and work and laundry....life. We have the best dace of all now. Life together.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

 Dear sweet moms, lets learn to be intentional while raising our children. Lets 'train them up in the way that they should go' all the time. Lets use every teachable moment and not waist it!

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

Recently one rainy day I took the kids to a bounce house near our home. Apparently everyone in my area had the same thought! There were lots of kids and their mamas there. I saw lots of amazing, awesome behavior from lots of the kids. I saw older kids waiting patiently for my two year old to   s l o w l y    climb the slide ladder. One older girl liked my twins so much she would play with them and watch out for one while I ran to find 'the one that got away.' I found her mama before we left and told her what a sweet girl she was raising.- You should have seen that mama smile!

With lots of kids you are bound to see some not so good behavior as well. I saw kids fighting over the bouncy balls. I saw kids pushing and yelling at each other. I saw one little boy punch another little boy in the face. When I looked around to see where his mom was- she was not there, she was off in the distance, inattentive and unaware.

Listen moms, if our goal is to train up our children- not just raise them, then we must be intentional with them at all times. I get it, you want a brake. I get it!  You want to have a conversation that doesn't involve poop or bugs or why we have to have nap time. I totally get it! I am with you, I am there!  But, the poop, the bugs and the nap time will be all but gone soon enough. You know what wont be gone: you child, that is now an adult, that still acts like a child because he never learned how to handle himself.

My goal as a mom is not to just raise my children- tack on another year to his age until he is out of the house (finally). My goal is to train up my children, to hopefully produce a God-fearing, productive member of society. Make him (or her) kind and confident and a lover of Jesus and I have done my job. The way we do this is to be intentional- all the time. Don't go to the bounce house or the play date and never watch, interact or discipline your child. Watch over them, encourage and correct them. Yes, I would have loved to be standing with the other mamas and talking about- what ever two adults talk about these days! But, in my view I have a bigger responsibility, to train my children, to not waist any opportunity to get it right!

The added benefit? I get to talk with my kids about the day. "How do you think that little boy felt when the kid in the red shirt punched him? What would you do if he punched you?" I get to praise them and encourage them for being brave and sliding down the big slid. For my 3 year old, I got to praise her for introducing herself to another child the way I have been teaching her. Had I not been there, I never would have known she so politely and confidently introduced herself!  There is such an added benefit for interacting with your child over talking with the other moms or playing on your cell phone. Our kids crave our attention and love having a mom to give it to them.

Don't get me wrong. I struggle. I struggle just as much as the next mom with feels of being alone and needing some time away. Lets remember though, that this time we have with our little ones- before they head off to school- is short and important. So important, so short. We are molding and shaping who they are and who they will become. God made them. He gave them their temperament, but he allows us to mold them. They are the clay and we get to dig in, get our hands dirty and shape them into amazing adults! My shy, sweet 3 year old may never be aggressive, but I can train her- mold her to be confident and stand up for herself and for the Lord. My out going (aggressive) 2 year old will probably never be shy and reserved, but I can train her to have self control and to use her fierceness for Gods Kingdom. I know that on any given day my child may be the one punching another child. I know that my children and myself are not above any sin, but I can use that opportunity to train him or her. But, I have to be present to be able to do so.

Dear sweet moms, watch over your kids. Don't waist a moment to train and teach them. You may enjoy the conversation that you had with another adult, but you will never regret spending that extra moment with your kids. You will never regret being able to use a moment to teach them and train them up.

Let us not become weary in doing good, 
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 

Galatians 6:9



Friday, June 14, 2013

5 Min Friday- Listen

 Write for 5 minutes and link up here at Lisa-Jo Baker. Todays word- Listen.

GO

I think, I want 5 minutes of peace. I want 5 minutes to myself! 5 minutes without a 3 year old whining about something, without a 2 year old calling for help, 'mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy...', without a infant crying to be picked up.

Then I stop and listen. Really listen.

I hear a 3 year old who so desperately wants to be independent but doesn't know how to break away yet. I get to be her everything for only a few more years.

I hear two very special (almost) two year olds who love me and want me to be involved in everything they are doing and learning. I get to be the one to help them learn, I get to be the one that cheers them on and encourages them.

I hear a brand new sweet blessing calling for me. I am the only one she wants, I am the only one that can feed her and help her grow. I am the one who can comfort her in a split second. 

When I really listen to my life- 5 minutes of 'peace' doesn't seem so peaceful! I am thankful for all the blessings and promise to hear them for what they truly are- moments in time that will be all but gone soon enough. It's all in the way you listen....

STOP

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I called her over to me. She hopped,
                                                       hopped,
                                                                  hopped
                                                                            over to my open arms- the girl rarely walks anywhere these days. I got down on her level and took her little face in my hands and whispered in her ear so that no one else in the room could hear. I said, "Good job baby. Mommy is so proud of you. I asked you to pick up these crayons and you did without complaining or arguing. I am so proud of you!" She didn't seem fazed- just hopped herself away.

In that moment I wondered.

I wondered what God will say to me at the end of my life. Will he take my face in his hands and whisper, "Good job my child. I asked you to love and care for these children and you did! You did it without complaining or arguing! I am so proud of you." Sadly, I don't think he will. The truth is I complain and I argue.

I say things like, "How many times do I have to tell you the same thing?!"
And in my heart I hear his voice, "How many times do I have to tell you the same thing?"

I say things like, "You just asked me for seconds and now you are full? How can you change your mind that quick?!"
And in my heart I hear his voice, "Remember that thing you wanted so bad? You prayed and prayed and prayed about it and I gave it to you? Now you aren't sure if you want it!"

I say things like, "You just asked me 3 question is a row and you haven't even let me answer the first. Stop talking and listen."
And in my heart I hear his voice, "You talk to me all day long and some days never stop to listen to anything I have to say. I never ask you to stop talking."

Truth is, this happens a lot. All day long I say something to these precious people and I'll hear his voice. "Don't expect so much from them, they are children, you are an adult and I still have the same trouble with you." 

Truth is, I am still learning the same lessons I am trying to teach my children. 

Truth is, I'm not much different from my children. They want to know the plan.I say, "Just trust me sweet girl. I'll do whats best for you." Then, the next time I am on my face in prayer- "God what is your plan?" I hear my words but his voice, "Just trust me sweet girl. I know the plan and I will do whats best for you."

I was recently given a sweet card with a quote from James Baldwin. "Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them." Lord, let me both listen to you and imitate you.

Let me be something worth imitating for my children.

Friday, June 7, 2013

5 Min Friday- One Month

One month.
 Just one.
So much can change is such a short time. We went from being a family of 5 to a family of 6. Sweet girl entered our world a month ago.

10 months ago when that little stick had a positive sign, I cried. I cried and then called my husband and then cried some more. I didn't believe it. How could I handle ANOTHER baby (or TWO)? I had a 2 and a half year old and twin 16 month olds. Hubby brought home more pregnancy tests- 5 of them, which all said the same thing- our life was changing again!
I cried.
How would I go grocery shopping if it was twins again? Would I have to have another c-section? Would this baby (or two) be healthy?
I cried and call my friend- the one I KNEW would give me support and say "Yay!! What a blessing! You will be just fine." And after she said all that, I cried again, not because I was scared (ok maybe a little) but because I knew she was right- what a blessing! And a month ago that sweet blessing came into our lives- and I cried some more!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wednesday's Weekly Verse

Time for Wednesday's Weekly Memory Verse. Did you memorize last weeks verse? I have to admit, I cheated. Last weeks verse is one of my all time favorites, so I already had it memorized, but it was good for me to be thinking about it all week!

This week I have chosen a different verse then I originally planned. Another blogger turned me on to #SheReadsTruth a few days ago. It is a great way to do an easy devotional each day. They send an email with what to read. It is short and sweet- perfect for this busy wife and mama! Check it out at shereadstruth.com They just started a new study in 1 Peter a few days ago so it is a good time to jump in!

This weeks verse comes from that study. Jump over to the Wednesday's Weekly Verse tab to see what it is and some comments on why this verse affected me so much! 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Wife of Noble Character

My favorite thing to read in the bible is Proverbs 31. The Wife of Noble Character. She is a women to look up to, but boy did I fear her. She seems so perfect. I could never do and be all the things that she is (for one, I don't know how to sew!). Well, I learned recently that she didn't really exist. Phew, that makes me feel better! These are qualities we as women should strive to have, but God knows we aren't perfect. We all have different talents and interests and that is a-OK!

Webster on line dictionary defines noble as:
1. Possessing eminence, elevation, dignity, etc; above whatever is low, mean, degrading or dishonorable; magnanimous; as  a noble nature or action; a noble heart
2. Grand; stately, magnificent, splendid; as  a noble edifice.
3. Of exalted rank; of or pertaining to the nobility; distinguished from the masses by birth, station or title; highborn; as noble blood, a noble personage. 

What an amazing way for my husband to describe me (I pray one day that he will, as of right now I fall far short of this). At the end of my life I hope that my husband and my God will say that I was all of these things- Possessing dignity. Being above whatever is low and mean. Honorable. Having a noble heart. Magnificent, splendid! The thing is, we already are all of these things when we put our faith in Jesus. He shed His truly noble blood, so that our sinful blood is saved. He is the reason we are distinguished from the masses. When we have faith in Him, we are born again- highborn- we are noble. Looking at it this way, being a Proverbs 31 women isn't so hard to obtain. All we need is Jesus and obedience to Him! 

Here is the scripture with my notes attached (My notes are in italics). I am in no way someone of great knowledge of the bible. I have done a small amount of research on the proverbs 31 wife and I have read it so many times that I just started jotting things down in my bible. I may be way off the mark with some of my ideas and thoughts, but I thought I would share what I have been learning and thinking...

"A wife of noble character who can find?
she is worth far more then rubies.  -I need to teach my son to find a women who will make a good wife and mother- what is having money and things if his home life is not intact.

Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good not harm all the days of her life.- All the days of my life. Not some, but all. Not just when I feel like it or I'm in a good mood, but ALL the days of my life I am to bring my husband good!!

She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands. -She is happy about working, not going about it bitterly.

She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.

She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls. - she has servants to do stuff for her, but still gets up early and feeds everyone?! "I am not a morning person" is not a good excuse!

She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. - She is thoughtful before she spends money.

She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks. - She is physically fit for what she needs to do.

She sees her trading is profitable, - she has confidence in herself
and her lamp does not go out at night. - maybe because she has a newborn or two!!

In her hand she holds a distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy. - is kind to those who need help.

When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet. - No fear because her household knows God, because she taught them about Him?

She makes coverings for her bed; -A way to say she protects her heart?
she is clothed in fine linen and purple. - She takes care of her appearance. Purple is the color of royalty.

Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. - he can be away from home for more then just 'work' because he knows she can handle it!

She makes linen garments and sells them, - She produces something worthy.
and supplies the merchants with sashes.

She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come. - She does not worry, she does not worry, she does not worry!

She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue. -She is careful about what she says. She is always teaching (instruction).

She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness. - She is busy taking care of her home. She knows what is going on in her home.

Her children arise and call her blessed,
her husband also, and her praises her: -She has a good relationship with her children and her husband.

'Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.' -She surpasses them because she not only does noble things but she is noble?

Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting;
but a women who fears the Lord is to be praised. - Fear = respect. Respect the Lord above all else.

Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring praise at the city gate." - Praise in heaven?

Proverbs 31:10-31

The proverbs 31 wife could not text her husband to say "Hey, I forgot milk. Can you pick some up on your way home?" She couldn't call him to say, "The toilet is clogged again, what do I do?" Or, "These kids are driving me crazy HELP!"  She had to be able to handle the household on her own while her husband was out working- and more importantly, her husband had to have faith in her to know she could handle it! Also, she couldn't google anything (weird red rash after nap time) or call her mom for help- "Max just drank dish soap, should I worry?" She had to be smart. She had to be wise and resourceful.

I will never be a Proverbs 31 wife that sews and knits. I wont be planting a vineyard any time soon (although I considered planting an apple tree once because I thought it would be easier then a vineyard. Not kidding!). I may never be able to get myself out of bed early (although I always try and intend too). But, I can bring my husband good ALL the days of my life. I can teach my family about Jesus and make sure that they know Him. I can help those less fortunate then myself. I can watch over my household in a way that my husband never has to worry if I will have it under control while he is away. I can have respect for the Lord and know that I have all that I have only because he first gave it to me. That is what a Proverbs 31 women looks like in our home! Not such an unmanageable thing after all!