About Me

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!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What I Want to Be

What I Want to Be

As a mom, I want to be:

· Cheerful and loving
· Engaging and creative
· Someone they can turn to when they have a problem
· A trusted confidant
· Someone who is fun and fills my home with laughter
· Someone who has a chaos-free, tidy home so I fee less stressed
· Someone who disciplines well but out of love and out of a desire to see them grow into young women who love the Lord and respect others.

But I am:

· Sometimes moody and quick to chasten
· Stuck in a rut
· Someone who at times gets tired of the constant babbling and chatter
· Someone who wants bedtime to be over so I can start working
· Someone who is so serious minded that sometimes laughter eludes me
· Someone who is constantly stressed about the mess – I really need someone to teach me how to keep my home so that it is not so overwhelming.
· Someone who disciplines in frustration far too often.

I have been reading a lot of blogs lately, blogs from moms who do things a bit differently than me. Here is what I want to change:

· I want to stop, slow down, and take time daily to enjoy my children
· I want to get my children involved in day-to-day tasks, rather than sending them to do independent things so I can get my home in order.
· I want to stop and listen, rather than immediately sending the crying/whining child to her room to cool off. Sometimes I do believe this is necessary, but sometimes I need to stop and listen.
· I want to spend time in God’s word in the mornings. Nighttime is just not working for me. It is harder in the mornings, because there are interruptions, but I want to try to make this a habit.

School starts in less than a week. I hope that having three dedicated mornings to work will help me free up time in the afternoons and evenings to just be with my kids. But I must get a handle on this house before that will ever happen. All I can see when I sit down to play is the dirt, clutter, and cleaning that needs to be done.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Time Delayed Teaching

One of the principles taught in Parenting with Wisdom (yes, I know I failed in my summaries, but I do so much better with interaction so I kind of gave up. I promise you will love the book if you read it!) is time-delayed teaching. It’s actually a concept I learned first on Michelle’s blog, but basically, the idea is that the teaching we do with our kids often doesn’t fully “sink in” right when we are teaching.

I have seen this first hand recently.

One thing I have been working on is helping my children se all of the things they should be thankful for. For instance, when they are complaining about something I do not do for them that they want, I point out all that I do actually do for them. It usually does not work to stop the complaining.

But apparently it is working after all.

A couple of weeks ago we were coming home from church. Miss M was overly tired for some reason, and she wanted me to open a door for her, but daddy did it. She started to wail as if we had taken away her favorite teddy bear. I overheard Miss N say, “But M, think of all the good things mom does for you!”

A similar issue is complaining about dinner. I am not sure if I did this out of the right heart attitude, but one day I had had enough, and my gentle reminders to not complain were getting nowhere. So, I made it very clear to her that God hates complaining, and then I told her exactly how it made mommy feel. I explained that cooking is hard work and something I do because I love my family and want them to be happy, healthy, and have full tummies. I explained that it is a lot like when she makes a picture for me at school that she works hard on. I asked her how she would feel if I looked at the picture and said, “that’s ugly” and threw it in the trash. I then explained that when she complains about the food without even trying it, it makes me want to cry.

Of course, this was met with more complaining, and I thought it got nowhere. But, I noticed something. Over the next week or so, she stopped complaining. She actually started looking for something on her plate that she liked! For the first time in months, I was hearing “Yum, I like chicken!” instead of complaints!

So these two instances have caused me to take heart. My teaching is not falling on deaf ears the way it seems. They may not respond right away, but they are listening and learning! I can teach them!

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Proper View of Beauty in Today's Society

This morning I read this article about a French clothing designer marketing lingerie for young girls. Beyond the disturbing nature of the idea, the images were equally disturbing. It brought to mind something I have been thinking on.

My oldest child is 5, yet already she is becoming consumed with “pretty.” We were driving one day and passed a Hooter’s billboard with one of the Hooter’s girls on it. “Mommy, that lady is pretty, isn’t she?” was the unsolicited comment from the back seat.

I was taken aback. Yes, the lady is pretty, but do I really want to say that to my impressionable child? What is she noticing as “pretty,” the tight, revealing shirt or her pretty face?

I was a bit relieved when a few weeks later we had a pastoral candidate at our church who had a 20-something daughter who played the French horn. She was a lovely young lady, but completely modestly and appropriately dressed. The same child leaned over and said, “Mommy, that lady is very pretty.” Just yesterday we were driving and next to us pulled a young woman who was not, in my definition, pretty, but she was wearing makeup and had her hair fixed nicely and she received the same comment.

So, I am not sure what defines “pretty” in my daughter’s mind.

But, one thing is stuck in my mind. Our society values “beauty” above all else, and that beauty is not at all inward. It is defined as a skinny body, large chest, and perfect hair and makeup.

As the mom of girls, how do I protect them from this image? It is literally everywhere! Even the seemingly innocent “princess” genre is filled with beautiful women with perfect bodies. Yes, they also have good character, but they are nonetheless beautiful.

Proverbs says, “Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.”

How do I teach my daughters this truth? We could and probably will spend some time on this verse, but I think that the teaching must be deeper than that. We cannot avoid the overly-sexualized images that surround us in this society. We drive past that Hooter’s billboard regularly, and it’s not possible to avoid. I do not feel that eliminating princess stories and videos is necessary.

I often wonder if I add to this problem by emphasizing looking nice for church. We wear our “best” dress, add a necklace, and fix our hair. I do not think this is wrong, because we are going to spend time learning about our Lord and should look our best, yet when I say, “you look so pretty!” am I adding to this focus on outward beauty, or am I instilling proper self confidence to help combat the insecurities that will inevitably come in junior high (she is, after all, my mini-me)? These are questions that are hard to answer!

This is something I plan to think on for a while. Thoughts?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thoughts on Loneliness

I have had many periods of my life when I felt lonely.

I remember sitting on my bunk at Maranatha as a brand new freshman, knowing only one other person on campus who I didn’t really think I liked all that well (but that’s another story altogether), wondering what life was going to hold for me. I was lonely. But that didn’t last long. Soon I was surrounded by people I grew to love and care for.

I remember attending a church where I felt disconnected from most of the people. Most people were friendly, but they were so busy with their own needs and families that they rarely had time for others. Those who would perhaps have reached out lived far enough way it was difficult to forge friendships around busy schedules.

Today, I can honestly say I am not lonely. But, in my lack of loneliness, I am noticing something. I am surrounded by lonely people.

It may not be the person you would ever think feels that way. Perhaps the lonely one near you is surrounded by people on a daily basis, giving you no reason to think she is lonely. But maybe she doesn’t have that one person she really feels connected with.

I have recently been thinking on how wonderful it is to not feel lonely. In fact, after this past weekend, I was actually ready for a break from friends! (In a good way of course). We have been blessed with many friendships suddenly, and it is wonderful.

It seems, though, that I am becoming more and more aware of those around me who are lonely. It has made me stop and think – when I was lonely and begging God for a friend, was I surrounded by equally lonely people and just couldn’t look outside of myself to see them? Was my inward focus on my need for friendship preventing me from seeing the need in others?

So my challenge to you is two-fold. If you are blessed to have many friends, is there someone outside of your sphere of influence who could use the same blessing? Can you reach out and help a lonely woman find friends?

If you are experiencing a season of loneliness for yourself, can you stop and look around? You just might find that there is someone equally lonely you could become a blessing to. Soon, neither one of you will be lonely.

I am burdened to be more aware of those around me who could use a friend. I know how it feels. . .

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Why I Love These People

I am not funny.

I think too much, and I think way too deeply into things.

Sometimes, in social situations, I am so busy thinking about what I should say that I never say anything or I say the wrong thing.

I really enjoy being around people, but social situations make me nervous because I am concerned I will do or say the wrong thing. I also do not have the skill that some people I know possess of making people feel comfortable or asking all of the right questions about them to make them open up.

Which leads me to this.

I love these people:


Why?

I've always had a few friends who I felt accepted the real me. A small group of moms of similar-age children, a handful of friends who have known me since high school, Tim, my family, etc. But for the first time, I have a large group of people I feel genuinely comfortable around.

My church family is special. Last night we went bowling together and you know what? It didn't matter who was grouped with Tim (I don't bowl) in the lane, we had fun. We went out to eat after and I was looking around the room thinking, "This is the first time I have walked into a room at a party and not felt uncomfortable about where I was going to sit." I knew no matter where we sat, we would have nice conversation and an enjoyable evening.

When any of the people from Heritage get together, you know it is going to be good, clean fun. (well, there might be a HELLO thrown in there, right guys?) I don't think they can know how deeply thankful we are for them. Yep, I am tearing up typing this.

To my church family: Thank you for accepting people (not just me) for who and what we are. You may not realize how special that makes you, but it does! For this overly analytical, socially awkward gal, it is such a blessing to have true friends who love me in spite of my flaws!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Miss M!

Three years ago, God blessed us with this 10 lb. 4 oz bundle of energy.
Miss M, one day old
Miss M, one year old
Miss M, two years old
Miss M, three years old.

There are no words to describe this child's personality. She definitely knows what she wants and will do what it takes to get it, even if it gets her into lots of trouble.

Here are some accomplishments Miss M has made this year:

Truly learning how to talk and communicate verbally
Learning to sing many songs, including Jesus Loves Me and ABCs
Learning how to climb the ladder on our slide climber
Learning her first Bible verse
Attending her first Bible School
Moving into a real Sunday School class
Really learning to play with her sister
Graduating into a "big girl" bed
Potty training (woo hoo!)

I am sure there are more, but these are the ones that come to mind.

While this child brings many challenges that are quite different than her sister, in the last year she has really blossomed and become a joy to me. She makes me laugh almost daily with her silly antics and the things she says, and I am learning that she does think a lot about things. It is a challenge to keep her occupied and out of mischief, but a challenge I embrace. I love you, spunky girl!