I am a proud wife and mother, and a born again Christian. I work from home as a writer while taking care of Miss N, our six-year-old, Miss M, our four-year-old and Miss C, our newest bundle of joy. Life is crazy but so much fun!
In reading a friend's blog post the other day, I was challenged to change the way I think about my children. I believe all children have perceived weaknesses or character traits that tend to annoy their parents. For me, it is easy to dwell on these. I find myself doing so on a regular basis. I was challenged to think of them not as weaknesses or problems, but rather as something that God gave to each girl that He wants to use for His glory. So, here is my attempt at categorizing that for my girls and changing my focus.
I have one child who is fearful and sensitive. The slightest thing can set her into tears, often to my surprise because I do not think it is a big deal. Sometimes deciphering whether she is having a fit or simply truly saddened by what has happened is difficult, particularly when tears are involved. I tend to think she is having a fit, but I am learning that she is just a sensitive soul.
While the sudden outbursts of tears are not convenient and can be frustrating, I have been thinking about how wonderful a sensitive spirit is in the Christian life. When we are sensitive to God's still, small voice, saddened quickly by our sin, we are much more usable for Him. In addition, fear, while it can be a negative trait if we cannot trust our Savior to care for us, can turn into a carefulness that can keep one from sin. This can also translate into a healthy fear of the God of the Universe. These two traits have wonderful potential.
I have one child who goes full force at everything she does. Sometimes this is to her detriment, as she has sustained several injuries as a result. Her endless energy are exhausting to her parents, and there are times i wish I could just sit her down for 15 minutes and have her stay in one place. Yet, when that energy is harnessed and used to spread the Gospel or serve God in some other way, imagine how much she could do! When her enthusiasm for life and excitement about new experiences turns into enthusiasm for the Cause of Christ and excitement about new discoveries in Scripture, she will be doing well.
I do not spend hours reading blogs as some I know, but I have found a few that have challenged me in my thinking about biblical parenting and wifehood. I have linked to them on the left hand side of my blog. I would challenge you to visit them and have your thinking challenged and blessed as well! Here is the original post that sponsored my thoughts.
Megan is a big baby. At 15 months she weighs 30 pounds, just four pounds less than her sister. She has never been on the charts since birth, always registering in the +97 percentile. She is on track growth wise and following her own growth curve, so no one is worried. I have found, however, that there are some unique challenges to caring for a big baby. I thought I would write them down before she turns into a preschooler and I forget.
1. Big babies outgrow everything before they should - the infant carrier, exersaucer, infant backpacks/slings, booster seat/high chair, etc. Before she was big enough to sit in the cart at the store, she had outgrown her infant carrier/carseat thingy.
2. Big babies cannot wear baby clothes - they have to wear toddler clothes even before they are 1. Good luck finding a "baby's first Christmas" onsie in size 24 months or 2t.
3. Big babies have a death wish - Megan can pull over things on herself that a normal sized toddler would not have the strength to do. For example, when she was cruising she would regularly pull up on a dining room chair and pull it over on herself. Same thing with the piano bench.
4. Big babies can reach the kitchen counter, and therefore the knives, hot pans, and other dangers you think you have safely stored away.
5. Big babies can reach door handles.
6. Big babies think they can sit on the dog, only the dog is not so happy about that and snips at them. Let me just say that dog better never make a move to bite or she is out of here, big baby sitting on her or not.
7. Big babies may outgrow diapers (then what???) We are about to move into size six, the biggest size they make. I'm guessing we will potty train closer to two than three.
8. Finding baby shoes for big babies is impossible. They only had one cruising shoe in her size at the most expensive shoe store. All other shoes would cut into her feet because they still had the baby chub, even though she was in size five and a half.
9. Big babies are hungry. All. of. the. time. Hopefully she outgrows that before she's a teenager!
10. Big babies may not sleep well because they are hungry all of the time!
Of course, there are the positives too.
1, I worry less about her getting hurt.
2. She barely feels her shots because of her chubby thighs.
3. She has a better immune system than her sister did at her age.
4. Big babies will give you incredibly strong arms (not to mention large biceps)
5. Best of all - Big babies give BIG baby cuddles!
Having a big baby has been interesting. There have been unexpected challenges, like the fact that she is going to outgrow her sister in shoe sizes soon and already can wear her sister's shirts. If she remains on the big side through her growth I will be dealing with the insecurity of being the tallest person in her junior high class, something I dealt with and didn't want for my kids, but regardless, I love this big baby and wouldn't trade her for all of the lightweights in the world. Now someone tell that to my sore biceps!
Last night we had tacos for dinner. This is not Natalie's favorite meal. She has it in her head that she does not like tortillas. Well, last night I had corn tortillas instead of flour. She saw me giving Megan some tortilla and wanted to know what it was. When I told her it had the same ingredients as a corn chip, she wanted to try it. Apparently, she liked it. The next thing we knew she was making her own corn taco. Here are the ingredients:
One scoop of refried beans One scoop of meat One sprinkle of cheese One green bean (yes, we serve her tacos with green beans since she won't eat lettuce or tomatoes, but we never intended them to go ON the taco).
"Mmmm, tasty Mommy, very tasty. It's scrum-diddle-y-umptious"
A couple of days ago Natalie was cutting pictures from a magazine and gluing them (a favorite activity). She found some princess pictures, and on the back was a Hannah Montana doll. Hannah Montana is definitely not a roll model I want for my daughter. I didn't say anything since she has no idea who Hannah Montana is. She said, "I don't like those girls, mommy, I like the princesses." I replied, "That's good, Natalie. Mommy doesn't really like those girls either."
She, of course, asked why.
Hmmmm. How do you explain this to a three year old?
I responded, "Well, mommy doesn't like the way they dress. They need to cover up more of their bodies." I didn't think going into the whole I don't approve of pop music's culture, not to mention the whole let's turn MileyCirus into the next Brittany Spears agenda that I see happening as she gets older, really was needed. She has no clue who Hannah Montana is at her young age. One thing I have realized, though, is protecting her from the world isn't going to be as easy as it was when she was 2.
A few minutes later Natalie says, "I don't like those girls because they don't dress like we do."
Uh oh, I don't think the right message was received from the lesson. I don't want her to think we don't like people who dress differently than us. I do, however, want her to value modesty in her own dress. I'm thinking it might be time for some discussions on modesty. How to bring this to a three year old's level? Hmmm.
A little girl in Rockford is dying today from a brain tumor. I do not know her or her family, but I know several friends of the family. Hearts are heavy today. Praise the Lord she knows Christ as her Savior and so do her parents, so they will see her again.
I stated in last night's post that I often have to stop myself from reading about sick kids. Cancer scares me. It scares me because it sneaks up on you. It's not like you can say, "Well, so and so had the flu and played with her last week, so that's why she's sick." It scares me because kids get it. It scares me because we don't eat organic and in the back of my head I have questions that will probably never be answered. It scares me because my kids do eat some processed foods, some canned foods, and all of the rest that "causes cancer." It scares me because I am overweight which is a risk factor for all sorts of adult cancers.
Today I have been battling that fear. It has no rationale. It is not logical - my kids and myself are happy, healthy, and fine.
In my thinking/worrying/praying today I was reminded that God knows what He is doing. If His plan is for the "c" word to affect my immediate family (already has in my grandparents), then He has a reason for it. A friend recently reminded me that God gives us grace in His time to deal with what He sends our way. If the "c" word is in our future, no amount of worrying will stop it, nor will any amount of organic food, etc. I was also reminded that God loaned me my children. They are His, not mine. He can do with them as He chooses. I need to release my hold on them and let Him have His way in their lives. I need to remember that they are a blessing to me today, and enjoy them today, because tomorrow I do not know what will occur.
I am thankful that I know the end of the story. I know that God is in control. I know that He has a plan. In that I can rest and enjoy the precious gifts He has given me.
Thanks to my wonderful friend Janna over at The Adventure of Motherhood (If you haven't read her blog you really should, you can really tell she loves the mommy life!) I have been awarded a blog award. Thanks Janna! My first one. So here it is:
In order to get my prize, I must follow the rules, which are:
1. Must thank the person who gave you the award and list their blog and link it. 2. Share "10 Honest things" about yourself. 3. Present this award to 7 others whose blogs you find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged you. 4. Tell those 7 people they've been awarded HONEST SCRAP and inform them of these guidelines in receiving the award.
Ten honest things about myself in no particular order.
1. I'm not a very good stay-at-home mom. Oh, I love being home with my kids, but we don't stay home. We go places. We hit the library for story time, the park for burning energy, the children's museum for education and entertainment. etc. The first thing Natalie asks me most mornings is "Where are we going today." I need to work on staying home more, I think.
2. I break parenting "rules" sometimes. I have used the TV as a babysitter. I have used "time out" instead of the rod. I have yelled at my child.
3. I love amusement parks, but my husband doesn't, so getting to ride a roller coaster is a huge big thing for me. I even volunteered to take the youth in our old church to Great America just so I could go, and I coerced my brother to visit so he could accompany us.
4. I love, love, love fall. I love everything about it. The smell, the temperature, the colors, the food. Fall is quite possibly the best season on earth. My friend Janna lives on Guam and I do not envy her, because she has no fall (Sorry Janna!) I would really miss it. I am glad for the glories of God's creation we see in the fall.
5. With the exception of my stint in the MBBC library, every job I have ever had I literally walked into. My photo lab job I got when applying at another store who didn't need me but knew someone who did. My daycare jobs I got offered practically without applying. My teaching job I was basically begged to take by the principal, and my writing career I fell into by mistake.
6. Homeschooling terrifies me, yet in a way so does sending my precious girls to a stranger to learn. Well, now, that presents a problem, doesn't it?
7. I am slightly addicted to the internet. Since my job is online, it comes with the territory. I'm glad the new computer is a laptop, because I can put it away (physically) when I am having time with my kids.
8. Sometimes I have to force myself not to follow stories of sick kids that I find online. It's not that I don't pray for these families, because I do, but I find myself obsessing over them. I actually will spend more time following stories than taking care of my own healthy kids. Then I start obsessing about my own kids and worrying that xyz will happen to them.
9. I obsess about my children's hair. I had hair issues as a tween and teen because of my curls (which I love now but didn't then). I want my children's hair to look perfect. Natalie's is pretty easy but Megan's always throws me - it's thick but brittle and way to long for a one-year-old so there are always strands breaking away from her pig tails. Plus, she screams the entire time I try to fix her hair, so I rarely re-fix it even though it's driving me nuts.
10. I have been challenged lately to make my relationship with the Lord more real so it will be apparent to my daughters, particularly Natalie. I want God to be real to her and in order for that to happen He has to be real to me first!
Now I will award the blog. Here are my winners in no particular order.
1. Sarah: Sarah and I worked together in college and have recently reconnected online. I love to read her blog Laugavitz Family because I can tell she really loves her little girl.
2. Sara: This Sara and I also both worked together in college (same place). She is expecting her first baby and I am so happy for her and can't wait to see if she has a boy or girl.
3. Sarah: Ok, do you notice a theme here? Anyways, Sarah and I went to high school together and she is an amazing mother and photographer of five beautiful children. I envy her camera but can't get enough of looking at her beautiful pictures of her gorgeous kids and reading about how much she enjoys her busy life.
4. Heather: Finally, not a Sarah! Heather and I used to go to church together here. She has become a good friend over the years supporting me in prayer through a particularly difficult time. Her two kids are so cute and growing up way too fast!
5. Julie: Julie blogs at A Joyful Nuiscence and her and I met through Heather. I think her blog is funny and I have enjoyed getting to know her from time to time. She has an amazingly positive attitude when things are rough.
6. Anne-Marie: Anne-Marie at The Left Handed Rabbit and I are online friends who actually live in the same town. She went to kindergarten with my husband and we met randomly at a MaryKay party years ago. Now we chat often online. After struggling with infertility for many years, she recently had her miracle baby Sam. He's a cutie and quite loved by his mom and dad.
7. Rebekah: Another friend from college, Rebekah just started a blog posting her recipe and cooking ideas. She has three kids under the age of three, a part time job, a home based business, and a husband in the ministry, so she's a busy gal, but her family doesn't have to live on frozen pizza and take-out! Check out Menu Ideas for Busy Moms.