I did it my way

When you first get married one of the most crucial parts of your relationship I think, is figuring out how you’re going to run your house. What kind of cleaning schedule will you have for your bathroom? Who will wash the dishes? Which one of you will do the cooking and don’t forget about the laundry?  Marriage isn’t all about holding hands and being in love, at some point you’re going to get hungry. Which one of you will buy the groceries? Growing up in my house my Mother did almost everything, all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, and most of the child rearing. My mother also worked a full-time job as well, I could never imagine how much stress she was really dealing with. However, as we got older she passed some of those chores on to my sister and I, and we learned how to do those things as well.

Naturally, I thought that gender determined the role that each person had in the marriage. I thought that as the woman, I was supposed to do everything, and that my husband should do very little. Things like change light bulbs, take out the trash, things like that. When I actually got married and it was just my husband and I, me doing everything was perfect, but after ten years of marriage and five children things had to change!

I found making adjustments to how I  managed my household to be very difficult. I remember hearing different friends and family members give me lots of advice on how they thought I should do things. Whenever I went to someone’s house I would take note of things like, their floor plan, laundry schedule, and try that out in my own home. What I eventually realized was that I had to do what was best for my family. It’s okay to admire someone or love their style, but you have to find the right balance. You need to accept that your family may be lactose intolerant and need for nut-based milk makes your family feel loved and healthy.

As it just so happens, my hubby and I share the family responsibilities, and that is what works best for us. We do have some bumps in the road that pop up every now and then but, we are confident that we can conquer any challenge! Funny thing is, we’re not even ashamed of how we choose to live out our lives. (Anymore!)

What type of household challenges did you face when you first got married? When did you just say I don’t care about what everyone else is doing, this is what I’m going to do in my house? I would love to hear from you ladies about this.

Friends, Families and Long Goodbyes

The Bible says” That a man that hath friends must friend shew himself, friendly…”(Prov.18:24 KJV)As you may remember, we recently visited with our very good friends who will soon be moving east and we had a blast!! We spent about three days and two nights with each other, celebrated one birthday, and attended one book signing together.  It felt so good to be around friends who have become family to both my husband and me. We had to leave on Sunday, so Saturday night we hugged and said our final goodbyes and let me tell you, there were a lot of tears. It really touched my heart that my children had such deep friendships with people whom, we love so deeply as well.

On our way back home my Hubby and I got to talking about how important it is for Humans to have relationships with other likeminded people. I think this is easy for so many, but when you move around a lot from state to state that can become difficult. Creating strong bonds and friendships with people who you share similarities with is vital to your mental health and well being. I think we(my family and I) have missed that the most, having a good group of friends and family around us.

The goodbyes never seem to get easier but, I believe we become more intentional about making sure we make keeping in touch with our loved ones, whether they be friends or family, a major priority. We’ve been friends with this particular family for over fifteen years now, so we truly consider them family to us. They have double the number of children than we have, their a bit older than us and we hold the same beliefs about a lot of things. I can’t even tell you how many times we have look to them for advice and encouragement when life threw us an unexpected curve ball. Most of the time when I’m lost and looking for some guidance about raising my children or I just need to vent about something, their typically my first call.

I thank God everyday for bringing them into my life, because they had a huge part in the reasons why I am the woman that I am today. I think what I realized most this week is how much my children need good friends and  family interactions in their life. At times I desperately want to go back home and just live close to my family and see them as often as I can. However, something whispers to me that I’m not finished seeing the world yet, and that my children would grow so much if they had the opportunity to live abroad and see the world. We want them to know that God’s creation is bigger than just the fifty states of the America. Of course we have other dear friends whom we love to see and hate to leave, but this happen to be the most recent episode.

We all have that group of friends or a certain family member that we love to get together with and just have such a good time with right? I want you to share with me how you deal with hard goodbyes with friends or family? Is it easy for you to make good friends? Do you have tons of people over to your house often and can’t imagine life away from your family? Let me know in the comments!

 

Rest and Relaxation

It’s that time of year again…Spring Break season and my children are out of school and ready to party! We decided that since some of our really good friends are moving to the Southeast  in about three months that we would go visit them. Road trips are almost equal to a dirty word in my mind, why you ask? Well I have five children and I am always on some type of mental schedule that causes me to want to get to where ever I ‘m going by a certain time. I would be crazy if I didn’t also mention the fact that road trips and babies are mortal enemies! And yet, a car ride is the most budget friendly, hassle free way to travel for our family so we embrace them a few times a year. (Okay like once a year)

We hit the road and our short five hour drive was more pleasant than I would have imagined. Unfortunately, I was still rushing everyone and out the door and checking my to do list twice! I was still trying to push everyone into my scheduled good time, check list. I didn’t realize how bad it was until I was making everyone get ready for the next day of scheduled fun and activities how annoying and controlling I was being. I was going over the vacation bathroom schedule and I saw the sad looks on my kids faces, even my Husband looked worn out with my list and plans.

I stopped right in the middle of my sentence and apologized to everyone for being my normal everyday self. I told them we were going to just have fun and throw out the non-flexible routines and go with the Spring Break flow. Believe it or not they all cheered and ran off to watch t.v. and play!  My Husband even gave a sigh of relief. As much as I like to plan things out and stay right on schedule, I also want the family to feel like we’re on a break. I want everyone to unwind and leave our normal cares behind.

The funny thing is they still came back to me with questions like; when is dinner time, when do I take a shower, what time is breakfast? I think the point is not to eliminate having a plan, but to allow it to come naturally, and not be the schedule police and enforce all my wishes to the letter. Relaxing can be very hard for me, but I’m beginning to realize how important it is to unplug and unwind.

I am tentatively planing a spontaneous date night for this evening, but if we decide to do something different I’ll be cool with that as well.(sorry guys once a planner always a planner!)

I encourage you guys to let go every now and then, and enjoy some spontaneous fun with your loved ones. Family rest and relaxation time is just as important as personal rest and relaxation. I’m logging off now, but feel free to share how you unwind, or what you do for fun as a family.

 

 

 

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?

Change, Transitions, and Growth

Have you ever heard the Bon Jovi song, “Who says you can’t go home?” Well I first heard that song a long time ago before I truly understood the meaning of that song. If someone would have told me when I left my home state to go away to college that I might not return there again, I would have never believed them! Life has literally taken me to the other side of America, that’s a very long way from where I grew up. Unfortunately, I have experienced some heartache, and disappointments along this journey west. In every life some rain must fall, but it’s our choice to become bitter or to become better.

No matter who you are, no matter how much money you make ,or what kind of car you drive you will go through hard times. It may be that you have a battle with your health or you lose your job, or someone close to you passes into the next life, you can’t escape trouble. When I was only sixteen my Mother died from Colon Cancer, after that everything changed for me. After my Mother died I felt like I didn’t have a home anymore, because she wasn’t there. I graduated from high school and went to college and I experienced many more test and trials, some made me think I wouldn’t get through, them. However, the strange thing is, instead of getting weaker, I got stronger. I started to trust God more and more to bring me out of whatever storm I was encountering.

I found that after my husband and I got married we had to stand against several storms and trust our God to deliver us. Tonight we were talking about all the things that God has done for us, and all the many ways that we’ve seen his hand on our lives and we felt so blessed. It’s such an honor to know that the God of the universe doesn’t just want us to worship him, but that he wants to show his love toward us.

Looking back on the last ten years we both feel like the good days far outweigh the bad days; and yet, we both noticed that we have started to long for home. We both have began to feel like we wanted to go back to the place where we felt most comfortable, welcomed and loved. The more we thought about it, the better it felt to us. We could go back home, buy a house, get jobs close to home, and live the life that people always dream about. Naturally we started imagining, and planning for how amazing it would be to go home and then we came to the point where we asked a question, “Can we go home again?” I honestly don’t know the answer to that question, but I do know that it feels like we can’t.  We have been through so many test and trials that have impacted us in ways that have caused us to be forever changed.

I think through all the test and trials we have come out different people and we aren’t really sure if we belong in our old home town now. It’s funny how hardship can cause you to long for the familiar, but many times the connection we have to our past is based on how we remember home. I have found that when I’m having a really rough day, or struggling with something that I feel like I can’t overcome, I don’t remember the reasons why I wanted to leave home anymore. It seems like the more I fight to overcome my new challenges the more romantic my memories of home become, but we know that in reality something caused us to be dissatisfied with home in the first place. Something deep down inside of us gave us the courage to leave the comforts of home and search for something that we had never known.

When my Hubby and I got really honest with ourselves we could admit that while we may really want to go back home, we can never go back to who we use to be. The truth is we’re different now and we have to accept that our relationship with God and our life experiences has caused us to change. We’ve grown into different people now, and that means that we may not have the same group of close friends any more and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. As we grow into adults we are all going to be shaped at least a little bit, if not a lot, by the experiences we have.

I hope that we can all embrace the fact that you can’t go through life and not be changed by the trials and challenges you face. For example, having children and becoming a mother means that the things you use to do for fun have to change now, because you have new priorities. That doesn’t mean that you can never have fun again, it just means that what you see as fun or exciting must change. We have to accept that we are not the same people anymore and let go of trying to be who we use to be. This is something that I am still trying to adjust to in my own life. As you know I recently made some life changing decisions to start a blog and pursue publishing my book. That has caused me to make adjustments and see my future and my past differently. I believe that everything that I have been through in my life has brought me to this point and everything that happen to me was for a reason. It still feels weird to me to hear people refer to me as a writer, but that’s who I am now. I can’t go back to being the person who I was, that season of my life is over and I can’t be scared to let go of my comfortable past. I have to transition into this new phase of life.

I take great joy in my memories, they make me happy; although, I have to recognize that every trial played a part in shaping me into who I am today. Every hard day added to the chapter in the book of my life.  I ask you this, are you afraid to let go of who you use to be so that you can embrace who you have become? Are you comfortable with the changes that life has made to who you are? I want to hear how your trails have changed you. Let me know if it was hard for you to embrace change and move on from how you knew yourself. Do you have trouble reconciling the person you are to the person who your friends knew you as?

 

 

 

Feed your Family

I say this a lot, but it’s one of the most important things to know about me, I’m from the south. If there is one thing we Southerner’s love it’s or proverbial sayings, we have a saying for everything! I remember being at a family get-together and overhearing my parents talking about how a certain child wasn’t the biological child of my uncle, yet looked just like him. To which my Dad replied, “If you feed ’em long enough, they’ll look just like you.” What did he mean you ask? He meant that if you take care of a child and provide a loving home for that child then he will be your child in every way that really matters. I say this because when you have children you already know that it’s your responsibility to feed them with natural food, but you also have to feed them spiritually.

More and more I find myself purposely avoiding the news and basically all negativity. We try very hard to keep all the negative, hateful, joy draining, and vibe killing imagines out of our home.  The bible says that we have to guard our hearts with all diligence because out of them flow the issues of life. (proverbs 4:23) I think as parents your natural instinct is to protect your children, and keep them safe no matter what. And yet, we have to be more vigilant with guarding their heart from the evils of this world that have already corrupted so many.

I’ve talked about how important it is to speak positive words over our children and creating the right environment for growth.  This time I want to talk about how important it is to feed our families spiritually so that we can make sure our children look like copies of us, instead of a pop-star in a onesie shaking her money maker on a stage before millions of people.  We have to be sure to feed the positive and pure. Whatever you feed will grow, if you feed the negative it will surely grow, like an invasive weed! I’m not saying that we should all go hide our heads in the sand because I know that’s not realistic. We can’t avoid every single bit of bad news. There will be things that upset us, people will offend us because that’s apart of life and we know this.

However, we can’t unpack and stay in that offended, angry, and negative place. The way we feel affects the atmosphere and environment of our home. The attitude that we project decides the tone of our household, and if we spew bitterness, and hate that’s what our children will consume. I personally know people who can sour the mood as soon as they walk into the room. It’s like they suck all the life and joy right out the second they open their mouth.(try not to name names) I have to admit that I kind of sigh, inwardly not out loud, when I talk to certain older family members because I know that their going to make me feel bad about something.  I eventually came to the point where I said I have to limit my conversations with these people/things because they are feeding the negative. I don’t like walking around angry for no reason, I like feeling happy and excited about a new day. Nevertheless, if we don’t break away from the news reports, the gossipers, or whatever is draining us the most we will always have a dark cloud over us.

Our children are a reflection of us, they say what they hear us say(sometimes it’s not us). We have to be mindful of the fact that even when we’re not trying to teach them things, their learning from us anyway. The amount of time that we have to lay the proper foundation, and by foundation I mean core values, what they believe in etc., is very small. When our children hit their teenage years some character traits have already been cemented and etched in stone. We’ve all heard our children playing and use a word or phrase and immediately thought, “uh-oh, they got that from me/him.” We have to change the world one day at a time, and the best place to start is in the privacy of our own homes. We have to face the facts that our children represent our family and our values to the whole world.  It’s a true statement that if we feed them they will grow, and you better believe they’re going to look just like us!

As the Mother, a lot of the praise or blame will fall on to us that just seems to be the way it’s always been. Of course we are not responsible for every unacceptable thing that our child does, but how often do you hear someone say, “Where’s his Father?” If we see a crying or misbehaving child our first instinct is to ask after the Mother not the Father.  It does seem kind of one-sided but, that’s why the children always thank their Mother…so that makes up for everything right? (you can laugh as loud as you like, I won’t tell.)

Finally, keeping all these things in mind, let’s remember where we’re getting the food from that’s feeding our families. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel, just follow the blueprint!  Being more conscience of the things that we say and the attitude that we have as well as the contents of our heart doesn’t mean that we won’t have bad days. We’re going to have times when we fail, and don’t ever want to get out of bed again. You know what, that’s okay too, have a bad day…maybe a bad month,but we can’t let our bad days, and our fears hold us hostage. We can’t allow all the mean and crazy out there in the world to creep into our homes and raise our children. We have to take control of the images that we bring into the hearts and minds of our family. We have to feed our families with good food because the ingredients matter.

I know this was a bit heavy but let’s share. What do you guys do to drown out the voices of the Nay Sayers. How do you beat back all the evil and make your home a happy place? I think that sharing is how we build each other up and become better.

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?

Privacy

I follow this amazing fashion blogger on one of these apps that I spend way too much time looking at, her blog is called stylenpoise.com.  She posted a quote a while back that basically said to share your lifestyle and not your private life. I love my privacy, like a whole lot, so when I decided to start a blog I was very concerned about what to share and how. I knew that I wanted to talk about the lifestyle of a Christian, married, mother of five in a way that helped other women like me to know that no matter our differences we all have struggles. We all want to be encouraged. We all can learn something from hearing how someone else  overcame a problem. I remember when I wrote my first blog post and my Hubby read it he looked at me and said, “Whoa, I can’t believe you wrote about that!” He knew how hard it was for me to share something personal. I learned very early in life that the less people know about what goes on behind the closed doors of my life the better. This, in my opinion, can be true of any relationship. This doesn’t mean that I don’t share things about myself, it just means that not every detail of my life is a topic for public discussion.

I think that marriages in particular, should be adhering to this privacy policy, because Marriage should be sacred. Only two people should know every little detail of your relationship because that’s what level of intimacy is required for a strong union. When you get upset with your Hubby for forgetting the anniversary of the very first time you held hands, and you vent to your girlfriend, she will remember that longer than you will! I think because it’s human nature, your bestie is more likely to hold it against Hubby than you are. Of course even though this is just an example, you get my point. In a day or so, you’re going to forgive him and move on, so learn to keep those negative rants between you and God. I have found that when I take all my emotional tantrums to God, I usually end up repenting for my actions and asking Hubby to forgive me. (I know right?)

Social Media has convinced most people that if you don’t post every detail about your life it didn’t actually happen. Ladies, that’s just not true! Some things should never make it to social media, some date night pics should be for your eyes only and God knows those really heated arguments about your in-laws should never spill over to your time lines either. I am human too, and I do find it hard sometimes not to post certain things. When something upsets me or when I have road rage and I just want to vent about the rude driver, I have to take a deep breath and ask myself, “Why am I doing this? What purpose will this serve?” Practicing self-control in those moments of anger can save you from a lifetime of regret.

Keeping your private life private is essential in building trust with your husband. When you know that you can be vulnerable and broken with your husband and you feel confident that he will keep your most intimate moments private…that’s what keeps us in love. Moments like that, when he holds me in his arms, lets me cry, wipes my tears and never tells a soul! (Deep Sigh)

The flip side to keeping your private life private is knowing when to tell certain things. If you are having problems, serious problems, and you need wise council choose the right person to allow into your relationship. That could be your pastor or your Mother, etc. For me one of the most objective, loving, forgiving, and God-fearing people I know is my sister. When I need to really talk out a serious problem I have I can trust her to be fair enough to tell me honestly when I’m over-reacting, or when I have a good point. I do have other people in my life that I can turn to as well, but trust me the list is short. Honestly I don’t think that’s a bad thing either, we should think long and hard about who we give the keys to the vault to. Choosing to never allow your private life to be a topic for public discussion does mean that people may get overly curious, but stay the course. It might mean that people make assumptions and gossip about things but you have to be okay with that. Let them wonder how you guys keep all together or how you make it work. It’s okay to share the end results, but not what happen in the middle. In most cases, all people need to know is that by the grace of God you made it through. Of course that’s not always the best option, sometimes you need to share your testimony and your struggles; however, let God lead you on when and how to do that and with whom.

Finally, let me say that I enjoy talking and sharing so I plan to keep doing that, but I will use wisdom. I’m still getting use to the whole “social media,” stuff so I’m still a bit conservative about everything. This could all change five years from now, but until it does I’m still old fashioned and I still think technology should be treated like it has the cooties! Please leave your comments and tell me what you think. How much do you share about your relationship? Is anything off limits in your relationship, or can you post/share anything? If you don’t have limits to what can be shared or posted let me know how that works for you!

No time for Tears

Have you ever had a day where absolutely nothing went right? Well that was exactly the kind of day that I had! I feel like I have been so busy doing everything under the sun, not to mention my kids have all been taking turns with a stomach bug!! I’m pretty sure we all know what it’s like to have sick kids, more laundry, Clorox, and Kleenex! Thankfully I haven’t gotten sick(says a quick thank you to God).

This morning I was  doing my daily morning routine with my children, saying things like, brush your teeth, wash your face, get dressed, where’s your book bag?! Then we got all the way out to the truck and put on our seatbelts, only to find that two of my children needed to go back inside because they forgot things. Then I dropped them off to school got home and discovered that my kindergartner forgot to take his signed paper back to school. We had to go to the store to pick up some things that I volunteered to make for my kids class party next week. When I got back home from doing all of that I had a few hours before I had to go back and pick up my kindergartener, so naturally I thought I should clean up a little. I had to take out something for dinner, make myself  some breakfast, and basically get some writing work done. When it was time to go again, I was perfectly fine up until the point when we could not find my baby’s other shoe! That was it, I threw my hands up in the air and gave up!! I had been defeated, by the disappearing shoe again! Someone is always missing a shoe right before we have to leave the house. I plopped down to the floor thinking, “I’m just going to cry,”  but then my sweet little four year old reminded me that I had to go pick up Daniel.

Can you believe it? My schedule didn’t even allow me time to have a good cry! I realized that he was right and we left without her other shoe and everybody survived! Including me, I thought that I was going to have a melt down and go crazy, but I didn’t. It’s funny how us Momma’s will face anything to protect our children, but a missing shoe or a sick child can make us have a mental break down!

My little boy helped me realize that sometimes stuff happens and you don’t have time to sit down and throw a pity party. You have to keep going and just let go of wanting everything to be a certain way before you can be happy. Sometimes you have to learn how to be satisfied with knowing that your baby only has on one shoe and just get out the house. Jesus told the disciples that it was better to enter into the kingdom of heaven with one hand and one foot, than to be cast into hell with all your body parts.(Mat.18:8) What I’m trying to say is that everything will not always go smoothly, but you still need to keep going.  You may feel overwhelmed, you might be having a bad day, but keep going anyway! Sometimes we need to be reminded to keep our eyes on the prize and keep pounding.

In reality we are all going to have days when  life gives us a T.K.O.  Believe me when I tell you that I have had many days where I did have a good cry. I’ve spent sometime wallowing in self pity, and honestly maybe we need a few of those days every now and then. However, today was not that kind of day for me. I’m so glad that I had someone to help me realize that I had to snap out of it, and that I can win if I don’t compete.

If you are reading this blog and you’ve had some days just like the one I’m describing then leave a comment. Let me know how you deal with your breakdowns? What advice would you give to a Mom that is feeling overwhelmed and burned out? Better yet what advice would you give to your self if you could go back in time and visit your tired, defeated self?

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!)