Lost and Found

I think we can all think of a time when we were lost, or accidentally separated from our group. I can remember the last time that I got lost from my mom as a kid. I loved to go to the toy section or the shoe section when I was a kid.  I would often wander off and my mom would come and call out to me and I would come back to her. I guess you cold say she was constantly chasing after me. One Saturday afternoon we were shopping in a store called K-mart, and  I was running through the clothing racks playing with my little sister. Now as you might have already guessed, my mom kept telling me to stop playing in the clothes and stay close to her. What I didn’t know was that she had decided that this was the perfect time to teach me a lesson I would never forget.

My mom said that instead of calling me out of the clothing racks and putting me in the shopping kart she walked around the corner, out of my sight. Now she decided to wait there for me to pop out and notice that she wasn’t right there. I bet you know what happened next,  I emerged from the clothes and I saw no one there. I looked around and I didn’t see my mom or my sister. My mother had taught me what to do if I ever got lost from her, so I walked up to customer service and gave them the name of my mom and dad and they quickly paged them. In a few short minutes I was reunited with my family and all was well again. However, I remember feeling really scared and panicky, I called out for her and she didn’t answer me. I remember actually running to my Dad when I saw him coming, I was so happy to be back with my family! I don’t remember getting in trouble or anything like that, but I do remember my mom hugging me and saying something like, “now do you understand why it’s important to stay with me?”

For me, it was clear that I never wanted to get lost or separated from my mom again. The reason I wanted to share that story with you is because this morning I was feeling like I was separated from God the Father. I felt like I was calling out to Him and I couldn’t hear His response.  Whenever I start to feel like I can’t hear God’s voice I get scared and I panic. Today I felt like that little girl again, I felt lost and I just wanted to get home to my prayer closet and seek out my Father’s arms.

Honestly, I haven’t been spending as much time reading my word and praying as I should. I have been running and running, doing so much for my husband and my children, and that is very draining. Being a wife and a parent are both things that I can’t do well without the help of my God. I find that when I make time to spend alone with God I feel more grounded, more in control of my day. I feel like I have someone to lean on when my load gets to heavy to carry. I feel like I have the most powerful advocate on my side, working just for me non-stop. Yet, I still forget how important it is for me to come to Him, daily. I still have periods in my life when I get too busy with the small stuff and I become just like Martha.(Lk.10:38-42 kjv)

If you’re not familiar with that passage, here’s the gist of it; Jesus comes to the home of Martha. Naturally he brought his entourage with him. Martha was the only one running around making sure everyone was comfortable and had everything that they might need. Martha was not only being the perfect little hostess, but she was also doing all the cooking and cleaning too, it was simply to much for her to handle by herself!  However, when she looked around expecting to get some help from her sister, Mary was in there at the feet of Jesus having bible study! Martha was not cool with that, she went to Jesus and tried to get him to make her sister help her and he makes a powerful statement to her in verses 41 and 42, “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42. But one thing is needful: and Mary hath Chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

That’s the part that I identify with the most, Martha’s worrying and being troubled by many things. The funny part is not only do those cares pale in comparison to Jesus, but they can all be taken away. So many of the things that are weighing me down, are just temporary problems, here today and gone tomorrow. I want to be more like Mary, I want to chose the good part. I want to chose to spend time with God, worshipping him and reading his Word. I feel so much better when I spend time in my prayer closet because I really believe that spending time with God in prayer is a way for me to build intimacy. It’s like in a marriage, you need to spend private alone time with your husband. You need to talk to one another, and speak each other’s love language because intimacy is a two way street.

I hope that you hear my heart as you’re reading this, spending time in His presence allowing God to recharge your battery is the key to relieving stress. I’m still figuring out how to be an adult and how to actually live for Christ. I want so badly to be independent, but the truth is I need God! I function so much better when I allow myself to depend on him fully, and spend enough time each day building my relationship with God.  It’s so easy to only come to God when there’s something wrong and we feel lost, but let’s practice seeking Him when everything is fine.

Okay, ladies I know it can be hard to admit that we sometimes forget about spending time with God, but I want to hear about what you do when you feel lost. Do you get messages, or have a girls night out? What kinds of things do yo get overwhelmed about? Are you ladies like me and notice that your days go much smoother if you start them out with prayer or Bible reading? Let me know in the comments!

Five tips For a Better Day

Being a mother is one of the greatest blessing in this life, but it is also one of the most challenging jobs of our life. I think that I have come up with my top five tips to surviving the day with children! I am not an expert and I certainly don’t know it all, but I hope this entertain’s you and helps you too!

Tip Number One: Wake up before your children if at all possible. I have found that if I get up at least twenty minutes before my children I feel like I have more time to get myself ready for the day. I can take care of my morning ablutions, get dressed, style my hair, and do it all without any distractions. I can also spend time praying, reading my Bible, or studying a daily devotional.  At first I thought if I took time to be alone, or spend time focusing on myself that I was being selfish. Thankfully, I realized that I’m a better Mother when I take time to refresh myself and do a bit of preventative maintenance. Once I began to place more value on my mental health and spiritual wellness I noticed a huge difference in my attitude.

Tip Number Two: Fight the urge to complain! Complaining causes you to dwell on the negative. You already know what the problem is, instead of focusing on everything that’s going wrong, look for solutions. If you become solution oriented and commit yourself to solving all the little problems that can pop up during the day your attitude will be that of a winner and not a whiner.

Tip Number Three: Plan, organize and prioritize your day! I can not stress enough how important it is to have a plan, be organized, and keep your priorities straight! I don’t care how wonderful your memory is, if you don’t write things down you’re going to forget something. It feels so good to get things accomplished. Doing what’s most important first, and knowing that your meeting your daily goals will motivate you to get all your chores done before the day is over. It’s especially handy if you’re planning for a major holiday party or a big event.

Tip Number Four: Laugh more! Try not to be so serious, laughter and a merry heart is a good medicine. I think it’s a given that you’re going to have days where nothing goes the way you planned. Your children are going to misbehave…in Target at the checkout while thirty other people stare at you, and shake their judgmental heads! You may not feel like laughing at that very moment, and I would not recommend it, but you have to just take a breathe. Realize that in a few years those people will have kids and their going to understand exactly what you’re going through because God is just! ( go ahead and laugh, I won’t tell.) You could spend all day yelling and nagging your kids, but that’s a joy killer for everyone. Avoid it at all cost!

Tip Number Five: Consult a more experienced Woman, preferably another Mom, whom you trust to give you sound advice and take her to lunch. Asking for some helpful advice is always a good idea. Most of the time we turn to our Mothers or Grandmothers, Aunts and good friends, but what matters is that the Woman is a Godly example. You want to know that she is going to give you advice that encourages you to be the best version of yourself possible. I want to make sure that if I’m feeling overwhelmed or frustrated, that by the time we finish our conversation I will feel strengthened and invigorated to keep going.

These tips are five out of a million and five, but I hope they help you to laugh a little and realize that you’re doing a great job as a Mother and you can keep going. I always feel the pressure to be perfect, but perfection stifles growth sometimes. My desire to do everything perfectly all the time can paralyze me and keep me from learning new things. We really can learn from our mistakes and that is the beauty of all things working together for our good.

Please share a tip that you have learned along the way! It doesn’t matter if you’re pregnant, a new Mom, an experienced Mother of many, or a Great- Grandma! Please share what things have helped you the most on this journey of Motherhood!

Flaws and All

I love seeing my children grow up and really start to mature. My youngest just turned fifteen months and she will literally cry if you don’t allow her to do things on her own. It doesn’t matter what we’re doing she wants to try and do it on her own. The sweet thing is the minute she realizes that she can’t do something she comes to one of us and asks for help. I love that about her, she wants to learn how to do things for herself, but she’s not so stubborn that she won’t ask for help when she feels overwhelmed. I, on the other hand, am the exact opposite of my sweet baby girl.

I think one of my most annoying character traits is that I have a really hard time asking for help. I always tell people jokingly, that if I ever ask for help, you better believe I need it! I don’t know if I was born this way, but for as long as I can remember, I have always been this way. I feel like sometimes this is an amzing quality that I consider one of my greatest strengths, but mostly I know it’s a major flaw that is often a weakness. I feel like it can be a strength because I will accept  my responsibilities and not depend on others to do what God has given me to do.

The reason why I feel that it’s a weakness is because I can sometimes get so overwhelmed trying to do everything on my own that I forfeit my joy. Raising children can be so satisfying and rewarding, but it can also be the hardest, most important thing you will ever do. There are few handbooks available, and almost never any awards given out, for being a parent. Once upon a time I was convinced that if you wanted something done right that you had to do it yourself; however, I now know that thoughts like that will leave me exhausted and frustrated.  After I had my fifth child I finally decided that it was time for me to make a change.

I started to really call myself out, and I began to pray about God changing my heart and helping me to be humble enough to ask for help when instead of self destruct. I made a commitment to myself and to God that I would abandon pride and ask so that I might receive. I am a work in progress, but I’m make a deliberate effort to only commit to things that I can actually do so that I don’t get overwhelmed. I delegate more to my children and husband as well. I find that when I trust my children and husband to do things without me micro-managing them, things get done and that’s what matters the most. I realize that by giving up the desire to control everything I actually gain more freedom.

I really want to get to the point that when I need help, I find someone who can help me and then step back and let them. I admit, this is not easy for me and I do have to remind myself to let go, or to drop the pride and just admit that I can’t do everything and I’m not super woman! I love that God loves me in spite all my flaws and bad habits.

I want to hear from you guys! When yo think about some of your flaws, what are you doing to overcome them? Here’s a good question: Are your flaws really things that make you stronger or unnecessary burdens that yo choose to carry? Let me know in the comment section.

Share some Grace

About a month ago I was in the store one morning picking up a few necessities for the week, and surprisingly we had a good trip with no issues. We got up to the check out and as usual, there were only two registers open. While we waited the lines started to get longer and longer. There was a woman in front of me who, I could tell she was a Mom, even though she didn’t have children with her, and another  woman with two small children at the register nearby. The woman with the two small children, was clearly doing her best to keep her children from having a total melt down, but you could see the meltdown coming! Finally it happen, her little boy threw himself to the ground and started to scream. I felt her pain, his tantrum could not have been worse!! What made it really bad was all the starring and head shaking, but then the Woman in front of me turned to me and said the craziest thing. “Whew, her kids are bad!” She was laughing when she said it too, as if her children had never embarrassed her by misbehaving in public. You could just see the Mother of the little boy about to cry. I just looked at my children sitting quietly in the shopping cart and smiled.

“I’ve been there before, I know how she feels.” I replied. That seem to hit a target with the woman in front of me, and she shook her head and said,  “me too.” Eventually the little boy stopped crying and picked himself up off the floor and walked out with his Mother, but the whole thing stayed with me much longer. How many times have we looked at someone in the midst of a struggle or a hard time and spoke words that were insensitive and cruel? What is it about Human Beings that causes us to forget about the grace we wanted when we were going through a difficult time?  It seems like as soon as we’re done fighting for our life, or struggling with our problem we forget what it was like.

The funny thing is the woman who was in front of me did have children who were in middle school so she wasn’t out of the woods by any means; and yet, here she was making insensitive comments when she herself could be the one tomorrow being embarrassed by her own children. I can’t imagine that what she would want in the midst of her child having a total meltdown, in public, is someone standing by proclaiming how bad her children are behaving! That’s not healthy, and it doesn’t make you a better mother if you criticize someone during their worst moment.

Ladies, we have to be kinder to one another, we Moms have to stick together. Passing judgement is easy to do, in fact everyone can do it, but the harder thing to do is show compassion to someone who is experiencing a setback. No, I didn’t go over to her and give her a hug or pick up her screaming child and make him laugh, but I did share a smile with her to communicate, that I wasn’t judging her. In truth she didn’t really need me to step in and save the day, I think she just needed understanding.

Isn’t that what we all want from our Heavenly Father when we’re having a tantrum and screaming about our bad day? I haven’t met one person who doesn’t want a second chance to make things right after they mess up, or have a sour attitude for reasons that don’t involve you. What if God treated us, the way we treat each other? What if instead of having mercy on us when we sinned or fell short of his glory, he starred at us and tisked while shaking his head? We would be lost and without hope. Thankfully that is not the way of our God, he is a good father and he loves us enough to reach out and help us during our times of trouble.

The truth is I have days when I think I’m going to lose my mind because my children are behaving like little wild animals! If I told you I didn’t I’d be lying! I also have times when I’m guilty of looking at someone else’s situation and speaking out of turn; nevertheless, when we have those moments we must not live there. We have to move on from our bad days, bad attitudes, and bad moods. We have to learn how to sow kind words to one another and show grace to people when they clearly need it the most.

Please share with me how you would have handled that situation if you were in my shoes? Maybe you know what it feels like to be the woman with the screaming child, how did people make you feel when your child was screaming and crying? What do yo think we could all do to make sure we make sure moms feel supported by other moms?

Youth vs. Experience

Raise your hand if you could not wait to be sixteen so you could drive, eighteen so you could graduate from high school, or twenty-one so you could do other things that shall remain nameless!(yes my hand is raised, I’m laughing and not making direct eye contact!) Why? Why do we long to be older and then as soon as we get older, yearn to be young again?  Seriously guys, I was the girl who lied about her age, dated older boys and could not wait to get old. My mom used to tell me all the time, “Don’t rush to get old, it’s not as fun as you think!” I could not wait to where makeup, I wanted to wear my skirts short and my hair long! I don’t think it hit me that getting old actually loses it’s luster until after I turned twenty-one. I remember sitting around with my girls talking and we all kind of asked the same question, “What now?” Of course there’s the whole turning twenty-five rental car thing, but after twenty-one what do we girls do…?” I’ll tell you what we do, we start lying about our age, or feeling a certain unidentifiable emotion when we have to say how old we are.

Now of course this is not the case for every woman, some women have no problem sharing their age. I actually know a couple! The beauty industry is making billions (okay maybe just millions), from people, especially women, because for whatever reason we are holding on to our youth. When men start to age and get gray hair society says he looks more distinguished; however when women start to age they say she looks bad for her age. Everyone is looking for the fountain of youth, or a way to look ten years younger. I think what we often neglect when we start wishing we could turn back the hands of time is that we gained something very important along with each year of our life. We gained wisdom and experience with every test, trial and disappointment  down through the years.

When I look at my children and I see the lessons that they still have to learn, I cringe a little. When I talk to newlyweds or brand new moms I smile, because I remember being where they are. I feel so old when I see the children that I use to babysit posting selfies from their college events, but I wouldn’t go back to my undergrad years for anything. I would love to have my pre-baby body back, or my sixteen year old metabolism, but I wouldn’t trade the knowledge that I’ve gained for anything in this world. Some lessons are just too valuable and too painful for me to relive them.

I do understand wanting to look your best, or taking care you the one body you have. I was actually lamenting how many birthdays I’ve had and how I wish I could go back to this year or that day, when I had this revelation. I always heard people say that you finally get clarity about your life and your purpose in your thirties and I feel like that’s true. Just to be clear, I plan to use creams and lotions to help my thirty-three look like the new sixteen too!! I also want to enjoy the beauty and the privilege of getting older. I realize that not everyone gets to live as long as I have and I am grateful to God. I feel like the older I get the more important it is to me to make the most of my days. I want to live my life and be happy with who I am what I’ve accomplished. I guess I just want to feel like I’m making a positive impact on the world that I live in and the lives that I touch. I want to keep reminding myself that is age is only a number and that I am only as young as I feel.

I can sometimes use my age as an excuse to not try new things.(queue the sad music) I also get a little bit scared sometimes that I might have missed the cut off for certain life things. I was very close to not starting a blog, simply because I was partially convinced that I was too old to be a blogger. I went back and forth on if I was too old to have a fifth child, but I’m so glad we did. I truly feel like my life wasn’t complete until the second she was born. I still cry when I think back on the first time I heard her sweet little cry in the delivery room. The funny thing is I was the age that I had always said would be the last year that I would allow myself to have a baby.

I want to say so much more about aging and beauty, but I won’t. Instead I would like to ask you guys, how do you view your place in society changing as you age? Do you feel like we place enough value on our, “seasoned” family members? I wonder do we truly value our years of experience more than how young we look?  What views have you changed about life now that you’re getting older? Do you see yourself as old, or do yourself as someone who is getting better?

Mother & Son Time

Last night I took my two older children to skate night for their school, and It was the highlight of their week for sure. I felt so good seeing them out there skating and seeing my daughter holding hands with her friends. I did notice; however,  that my son was skating by himself. I just get this ache in my heart when I feel like my child is lonely. Something in my heart breaks at the thought that my boy doesn’t have good friends. My oldest son is just so amazing, so smart and wise. He is truly one of a kind, he loves building things and he is fascinated by how things work. He loves robotics and reading Hardy boy books, and he has a knack for spelling words that others might stumble over. What I admire most about him though, is the fact that he will not compromise what he knows is right just to have friends. If it feels like he is being mistreated ,or if it’s something that he doesn’t want to do he will not do it. He is so stubborn that he will just play by himself!

Last night I watched him skate around the rink, falling and laughing by himself. Then I decided that I wanted to be my child’s friend and skate with him and hold his hand while we went around the rink. Reality however was nothing like my imagination! He helped me put my skates on and then we started out holding hands, until He almost made me fall along with him! After a lot of screaming and a lot more laughing, I concluded two things; one was I am not a young girl anymore. The second thing was that I should not hold hands with Him and skate at the same time!!

When it was time to leave we all left feeling great and tired as well. On the way home out of the blue my son said, “Mom, my friend Jason said he was my friend, but that he didn’t want anyone to know.” Immediately, I said, “Then he is not your friend! If he can’t be your friend out in the open, then he is not worthy of being your friend.” I hate the lessons that children must learn on their own. If I could shield him from hurt and rejection I would, but that’s not the type of parent I am. I know that we need to have certain challenges so that we can know how to deal with real life experiences that happen to all of us.

I would be lying if I said it didn’t make me angry that someone would make my child feel like something was wrong with him, and that he needed to be a secret.

It did make me angry at first, but then when we started talking about the word of God and how Jesus said if you deny me before men, I will deny you before my father!(Mat10:33-35KJV) By the time we pulled into the driveway I had successfully convinced both of my kids that it was an honor to be loved by God and rejected by the world. They were excited to know that because God made them special everyone might not want to be their friend. Now I understand for some people this might not be how you would have approached the situation. Truly that’s fine, but as for me and my house, WE will SERVE the Lord.(Josh.24:15)  I would rather my kids have two or three good friends, than a hundred bad ones! Don’t get me wrong, some of my children have no shortage of friends! My second and third (children) seem to make friends easily and be very well liked, they get that from their Dad!

In the end, I just want my children to know that it’s okay to be who God made them. I don’t want them to feel like there is something wrong with the way they are just because it’s not popular. I plan to use every opportunity to speak words that build them up and confirms who they are. I want them to be so persuaded that they are fearfully and wonderfully made, that when they hear a lie about who they are, instantly they would hear a voice in their head saying, “that’s not true, because that’s not what God said! I want my children to hear how important they are and that they were created for a purpose. I remember my Mom stressing those types of things to me  when I was younger. I feel like that made such a huge difference in how I handled peer pressure, as well as how I dealt with the drama that comes along with puberty.

I know that I will be having many, many more conversations with them as they get older, but I look forward to that. I hope to lay a strong foundation of what we believe and in whom we believe. I hope we can always have honest conversations about life, even if they don’t have a biblical perspective, I want to keep them talking to me. I want to keep the dialogue open between them, my husband and myself.

I hope you guys can relate to what I’m saying. If you can let me know in the comment section. I want to hear how you deal/dealt with tough conversations with your children. I also want to know if it gets easier? (smile and nod because we both know that it doesn’t!)

 

Wealth Wednesday

Mommy to the Rescue

Lately I’ve been trying to get in shape for a 5k that I want to run in May, so I’ve been walking a lot more consistently. However, when you have five children ages ten and under you’re going to look like a small caravan and I accept that!   My kids all want to ride on something, a scooter, roller skates, a bike, they insist!  I’m pushing the stroller bringing up the rear and keeping everyone in line. Now again, I’m use to this so it’s nothing new, the problem comes in when one of my children, it never fails, says, “Mommy I’m tired of riding my, fill in the blank, I don’t want to ride anymore.” Now mind you, before we leave the house each time I ask them, “are you sure you can ride this for the whole walk?” My sweet little Child then replies with, “Yes Mam” Well what happens only twenty minutes after we leave the house, they start to whine, slow down, and fall behind. Next thing you know, even though I said I wouldn’t, I’m carrying their scooter, bike, roller skates or pushing them, the castoff bike, scooter ,or roller skates, in my stroller.

This morning we tried walking to school with everyone doing their own thing again and it wasn’t that bad, until we were on our way home. My four-year-old was on his scooter and I could see that he was getting tired, but I was holding on to the hope that he would make it just a little longer. He was being really tough though, but you know what I did? I stopped and asked him, “Do you want to walk with Mom for a while and we can put your scooter in the stroller?” He was so relieved, he was so sweet about giving me his helmet and his scooter. It just made me feel so good that I was able to rescue him when he really needed me to have compassion on him and help even though it’s not the first time, and even though he thought he could handle it all by himself.

All the way back home he was skipping and talking to me about transformers and dinosaurs. I felt like super mom in that moment. I felt like if God was watching me at that moment I could totally get into Heaven! Come on…you know we all have those moments when we know we’re winning at parenting and we need our face on a t-shirt!! Seriously though, this all got me to thinking about how many times I do that same thing to God. I take on way too much, way too soon and then I get tired of all the burdens and the weights. I start out with good intentions, but then the road gets long and I start to hate the items  that I chose to carry on this path that I’m on, and I just need God to rescue me.  I have to admit that I sometimes struggle with letting grace and compassion be my first response to someone in need, and yet I always want it immediately from God when I call.

I can’t even begin to tell you all the times that I volunteered for one to many things, or started too many projects that I couldn’t possibly finish on time. Not to mention having two children in the first two years of marriage caused me to catapult to a whole new level of being overwhelmed!  When I get really busy with parenting, homework, laundry, meal planning, and everything else I feel just like my little boy. I start out with a lot of energy and high expectations, thinking I’m going to get tons of stuff done and then half way through, I just burn out and slow down. I realized that I am exactly like my children, I want to be rescued from carrying such heavy burdens too. I run to God with my problems and fears because He is a good father and I trust that He can carry me and my burdens.  I think becoming a parent caused me to have a completely new understanding on what it means to have compassion and mercy!

It’s easy to be overwhelmed, but not so easy to relax and decompress. I’ve tried to get massages, go for walks/runs even!  It can also be a struggle to give up and let go of the things that may be stressing us out and weighing us down. That may seem like a silly thing, why would someone want to hold on to something that stresses them out you might be thinking? The thing that I found funny was that My son didn’t want to ask me for help. That could be because he knew that I would be irritated if I had to carry his scooter, or maybe he really wanted to make it all the way home. You should have seen the look on his face, such determination, but he was grunting and puffing down the street! Who wouldn’t offer to help the little guy? I am the exact same way, I will go much too long and way too far before I stop and ask for help. I always tell people if I ask for help, you better believe that I need it!! I guess what I wanted to point out the most is how much our children can teach us about God and how he wants to love us.

I’ve mentioned before how it can be hard for me to receive good gifts for some reason and I’m working on that. I feel like what helps me to stop negating my blessings is just realizing the joy that I feel when I help someone. I don’t want to deny anyone that opportunity just to make me feel like I didn’t need help. truthfully my little guy, PJ, could have probably made it home without me jumping in and saving the day, but I didn’t want that for him. Plus, it made me feel like an awesome mom! I think things would be much better if we just learned how to give all of our griefs and burdens to the Lord in prayer.

Okay, I know you ladies have something to share so tell me down in the comments! Do you ever have an ah-ha moment that helps you to see the hand of God in your life clearly? Do you ever feel like giving up or letting go of things that are too heavy for you to carry? I’m curious to know how you pick the things that you’re willing to give up or lay down? Let’s start a conversation!

 

 

 

Destination Addicts Unite

 

I saw a quote on a popular app that I use that really resonated with me. It warned not to become a Destination Addict, a person who is so addicted to getting to the next place or the next thing that you don’t enjoy where you are. When I read that it was like a shot to my heart, that’s me!! I’m always chastening myself to enjoy the day I’m living right now. I’m a big planner and find comfort in making to-do-list and monthly plans. Something about planning out my day makes me feel secure. I feel good when I cross things off my to-do list; it makes me feel like I have accomplished things. It’s like the proof that I need to show myself and my husband that I actually do things, and that I’m not sitting home twirling my thumbs all day.

Now don’t get me wrong making list and plans is very useful and I would recommend this for everyone. The thing is, I tend to get so caught up in my list of things to do, plans that I’ve made and goals that I want to meet that I don’t enjoy, “today.” Maybe it’s a trap that only Mommy’s fall into, maybe it’s a human condition, I don’t know. I do know however, that when I read those words, destination addict, I immediately felt the message was about me. I catch myself saying things all the time like, “I can’t wait until my baby can walk, or I can’t wait until Valentine’s Day, or my Hubby’s birthday.”  When will I ever learn?

I noticed a lot of people saying that they didn’t believe in making New Year’s Resolutions, but I don’t see anything wrong with it. I think it’s a sign of how hopeful you are for the New Year and I’m full of hope! One thing I decided to really work on is taking my joy back. I want to be intentional about slowing myself down and enjoying every day. I want to be deliberate about being present and enjoying every moment that God gives me. Having said all this, I still struggle with this destination addiction! Right before I wrote this post I was making a list, planning out my Friday! (Hangs head low in shame) Seriously, I want to relax and unwind but something in my head or maybe my heart is always looking ahead to a bright tomorrow that’s blinking with flashy lights.

When I get all worked up and worried about getting to my destination, I think about what Jesus told the disciples in Matt 6:34, “Take therefore  no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself…” I already know this because I’ve read this scripture about a hundred million times! However, I guess I need to put this one back in rotation, so I want to hear from you guys. What should I do about this destination addiction? What tips do you all have for being present and enjoy these very special days that we can never live again? Tell me about it in the comment section.

Downstairs Master

 

When we first moved to California we knew well before we got here that we wanted a larger house for our growing family. The fact that we had never lived in a two story house cemented the dream of having a house with stairs for us. In our imaginations we pictured our children playing in their rooms upstairs, no toys downstairs, just my husband and I reading books or having adult conversations without being interrupted by little ones.  I can almost hear you guys laughing at me right now, I know that I was being naïve now but at the time this is what I thought.  The house that we ended up choosing was everything that we thought we wanted big, and two stories. The Master Bedroom happened to be upstairs, but we didn’t mind that at all…at first. After living there for a few weeks we quickly realized what was so apparent to us but not fully understood by us; because the Master was on the second floor we were constantly going up and down the stairs! I mean it got to the point that we dreaded going upstairs and having to come back down again. In addition to the constant stair climbing we could hear our children’s every little move when they played upstairs! I’ll just bet you can tell it drove us crazy! We started to say every day, “When we move again we must have a downstairs master!” It became our mantra, we said it every time we went upstairs to grab something or check on something.  Lord knows after I had the baby, going down the stairs with my precious new baby became my major concern. I feel like I had dreams about falling down while holding the baby, which never happen thank God! Wouldn’t you know it, the owners of that house decided to sell and we had to move quickly. Our number one request was a Downstairs Master, in our same neighborhood! Well not only did God give us exactly what we asked for , he gave us some amazing people to help us move in like two hours(we still plan to thank them heartily by the way)

Our first night in the new house with our, highly anticipated, hearts’ desire, object of our affection, everything we prayed for, first floor Master I was… miserable. I missed being close to my children and I literally drove my Husband crazy making him check on the kids every time I thought I heard a noise. I was absolutely homesick!  I contemplated sleeping in the largest bedroom upstairs because being away from my children, the same children I wanted to get away from in while living in the other house, was killing me. I was filled with thoughts of crazy scenarios that kept me running up and down the stairs at all hours of the night to, “check on the kids.”  After about three nights of that I told my Husband, “I just hate being downstairs while the kids are upstairs!” I will never forget his response, he stopped unpacking and looked at me and said, “When are you going to be satisfied? You didn’t like going up and down the stairs all the time and being right across the hall from the kids and now you don’t like being downstairs away from the kids.” Oh my God he was right!! I was lamenting day and night about going up and down the stairs, instead of enjoying my wish come true to live in a two story.  It made me realized the problem was never if I had a Master on the first floor or the second floor. The problem in both cases was my perception of my situation.

When I thought about it and really looked at it, I was basically acting like a brat. I was stopping myself from being grateful and enjoying what I said I wanted most. It’s funny how we probably all do that in some way. You look over at that car, job, dress, hair, or the perfect body and we want it, but we don’t appreciate it when we have it. I was so busy complaining about having to go up and down the stairs that I can’t ever remember being thankful for God giving me exactly what I prayed for. It can be hard to realize when you’re lusting or coveting something, you may need someone else to come along and point it out to you. I literally found out the hard way that the grass is not greener on the other side. Don’t get me wrong, I now think that the perfect house is a ranch with a basement, but I also understand that every blessing comes with sacrifices. You can have a bedroom that’s closer to your children upstairs, but you will have to walk up and down those stairs everyday several times a day; however if you have a downstairs master you will be farther away from you children and still have to run up and down the stairs to check on them.

I started to wonder how many other things I had been that way about. Complaining so much that I ignored the chance to be grateful and tell God thank you. How much time had I spent wanting something that I didn’t have only to get it and not appreciate it any more? To tell you the truth, I was kind of embarrassed when he pointed out that I had a problem with being satisfied. I was behaving just like the children, and I always correct that ungrateful, unthankful attitude. I always try to tell them that they should be thankful or recognize the value of what they have and not complain about what they don’t have. I tell them to focus on what God has done for them instead of what they want Him to do them.