Valentines day challenge: Love isn’t measured by the dozen

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A day celebrating love sounds like a good idea, right?  Flowers, chocolates, love letters, all clad in pink, but for most people valentines day sucks.  Single folks lament not having anyone to celebrate with.  Men stress over gifts and last minute plans.  Women dream up ideal scenarios better fit for a romance novel than real life.  Advertisers pull our heartstrings, make us sigh, and leave us discontent.  We spend absurd amounts of money and hope we have bought and done the right thing.  Women are motivated by the desire to “feel” loved and what motivates men?  Guilt?  Nagging?  Or is it the not very subtle promise of sex, as implied by the FTD Super Bowl commercial?

What if today we scrap ideals?  What if you let your special someone off the hook?  Could we stop thinking about what we want for a little while and find a way to show genuine love to someone else?  I bet there is a single mom out there who would love a cup of coffee delivered to her door, or a senior whose whole week would be brightened by flowers.  So that’s my challenge, today go out and find someone to love on.  Valentines day should be a day when everyone feels loved!

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy V Day, Have a cookie!

Bodily Function Horror Story…I couldn’t make this stuff up

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It’s Sunday morning, too early for the sun to be up, but not for my son to be up.  It has been a long night.  Baby boy is teething and not sleeping well.  Hubby has been sick, and my 3 year old (the star of this post) woke up coughing several times.  I’m tired.  I’m grumpy.  Then it happens, “MOMMY!”  My husband arrives on the scene first, “O Gosh, MANDY!”  The yelling wakes up the baby and he starts crying.  I stumble into the bathroom, scene of the crime, and try to figure out what the heck is going on.  My son is sitting on the potty, naked.  My husband is folding up the bath mat and looks like he is going to hurl.  My first thought is little man missed the toilet and peed on the floor.  No big deal.  Gross, yes, but unfortunately it happens all the time.  I set the baby down and go to get some cleaning spray.  Then I smell it.  Poop.  Overwhelming, nose hair curling, not what you want to wake up to, poop.

My son had in fact missed the toilet, but it was not pee on the bath mat.  Now I get why my husband looked queasy.  I get what the fuss has been about, but it’s not over yet.  Little man has poop on his feet and he is now leaving poop prints across the bathroom and on the carpet and baby boy is crawling through it.  I might even have it on my feet.  Horrified, I grab baby boy and command little man to, “for the love of all that is holy STOP MOVING!”  Balancing baby boy in one arm I Lysol wipe my feet.  That’s right Lysol wipes the only thing I could reach with out risking further poop contamination.  Next is baby boy.  I scrub his hands (don’t worry he gets soap not Lysol) strip him and redress him.  Little man is last.  He is already naked, his pajamas fell victim to the poop explosion, so all I have to do is scrub him clean and get him dressed.

Once the kids are sanitized and dressed I have to start on the bathroom.  For 45 minutes I scrub and I bleach.  I use every brand of disinfectant I own.  The bath mat and rug go enjoy a hot spin in the washer accompanied by our 3 sets of jammies.  It’s now 8 am, the kids need breakfast, husband is back in bed, and I am still tired and still grumpy.

If you were looking for or expecting some morsel of wisdom hidden in this post, there is non, except maybe always have bleach on hand.  😉  Have a great week!

 


Pure Joy!

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Kids are fun!  They love to laugh and to play.  It comes so easy for them.  Living in the moment and having a blast. I love it.

Recently our little family went sledding; it was a beautiful sun soaked day.  The snow was fresh and the sled hill hadn’t been used enough to be muddy.  It’s safe to say that we all had a great time.  We were only out for about an hour but what an hour!  I can still picture my oldest son coming down the hill, beaming, loving life.  I can hear the giggles and excited exclamations.  No amount of money could buy a better afternoon!

Sometimes I wonder why we buy so much.  Why we go, go, go?  Really the simple things are so much better.  Will my son really feel deprived if he has fewer toys than some other kids?  No.  Our stuff obsessed society may buy (excuse the pun) that but not me.  So bring on the sledding, rain puddles, pillow fights, forts, and tickle monsters 🙂

 

I want to give my kids the gift of me, my time, energy and attention.  That’s what they really want and deserve.  Those little rugrats are a blessing and gift from God and I am the luckiest woman in the world.  What is your favorite activity to do with your kids?

 

Heart on my sleeve…tears in my eyes

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Sometimes being a mom just plain sucks.  It’s hard and it hurts.  This last week has left my heart bruised and it won’t be the last time.  You know what I mean, every time something hurts your kids, it hurts you.  Remember the first time your little one had to get a shot?  You cried.  When they were learning to pull themselves up and instead did a face plant?  You felt it.  As time goes by I know the pain will change.  My kids will get their feelings hurt and their hearts broken and my heart will hurt right along with them.  It’s the price we pay when we become parents.

Last week my 8 month old, happy as can be, little boy was admitted to the hospital.  It was a short stay and we were able to go home after 24 hours.  The doctors think he had a seizure but aren’t sure why or if it will happen again.  Despite no sleep and little food I was able to remain relatively calm through the whole experience.  A fact I whole-heartedly attribute to the “peace that passes all understanding” I know God was in that hospital room with us guiding the nurses and doctors, holding my baby, and comforting me.  I felt my Jesus there with me.  To some that might sound crazy and very spiritual and that’s ok, you can think I’m crazy.  I had to stop here and give into the tears that were stinging my eyes because even though we are home now my heart hasn’t stopped hurting.  In fact, it is hurting even more.  It hurts when I think about what might have happen, it hurts when I remember the other kids still at the hospital and when I think about the families whose children won’t ever be coming home.  This week every time I have held my son I have prayed for those families.  The parents who are watching their kids suffering and the families dealing with lose.

After this experience it would be very easy for me to give into fear.  The fear of what tomorrow may hold.  I could worry myself sick, something my last post touched on.  But I am determined to find joy instead.  I will rejoice in today.  I will enjoy every blessed minute I have with my family.  More hugs, more laughs, more time just being.  I have been taking more pictures of my kids, not the posed matching outfit kind, but just the silly kids being kids type.  I’ve made a point of closing my laptop and sitting with my oldest while he watches cartoons, and said yes when he wants’ mommy to play, instead of “in a minute”.  I still have a to do list, the laundry still has to be done and dinner cooked, but I have found a lot more time by being intentional and cutting out the “fluff” in my day.  I am so glad I did!

I know this post was long and an emotional roller coaster (not to mention grammatically frightning) but I think thats ok.  Sometimes we need emotional, it gets our attention and helps us to stop and process things.

Matthew 6:26-28

New International Version (NIV)

26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

 

 

 

Battle of the Mind

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Yep, I fell off the face of the Earth.  Figuratively, of course, but now I’m back. (insert sigh of relief  here :)) The last two months have been filled with doctors visits.  Thankfully, to God be the glory, everyone seems to be getting better. For years I have suffered from Migraines and frequent headaches.  I know many people, especially women, struggle with them as well.  Unfortunately, a few weeks ago, I started getting a new type of migraine, Ocular Migraines.  The first time it happened I had numbness in my face and then floaters in my vision.  The second time was much worse and I lost some of my vision for almost an hour.  My husband had to rush home from work to watch the kids, since I was unable to.  It was scary, and over the next few days, I had more scares with frequent vision issues and sever head pain.  I was loosing the mental battle, fear was setting up camp in my thoughts.  I worried about being able to care for my kids, would I be able to continue staying home with them?  Would I loose my sight entirely and miss seeing them grow up?  All kinds of thoughts were tormenting me.

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trust in you.”  Isaiah 26:3

This verse helped me quiet the crazy thoughts and instead focus on Christ.  I realized I had lost my spiritual sight, as well as, my physical sight.  God wasn’t any less in control, He wasn’t any smaller just because some bad things were happening.  If I lost all or part of my vision, I could still trust God to take care of my family.  God is always God, God is always good.  I forget that sometimes.  I look at what “I” can control and then feel overwhelmed by what I can’t.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

I pray these verses would encourage you, and if you have lost your spiritual eye sight, that they may direct your eyes back to our heavenly father.

Life with an audience

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Our kids are always watching

When I use the bathroom there is an audience.  When I shower there is an audience.  Cook, clean, and drink my coffee all done with an audience.  Honk at the car in front of me, which is sitting stationary at the green light, done in front of an audience.  Stub my toe and unleash a torrent of, hopefully, G rated explanation marks and my kids are there to see and hear it.  You get the idea, no matter what I’m doing or saying someone is always around to witness it.  I try, and often fail, to be a good example.  I want my words to be encouraging and kind.  I want my actions to model the lessons I am trying to teach my kids.  But it is exhausting!  No one can be “on stage” 24/7 without making some mistakes.  I am learning to admit to my kids when I was wrong.  My toddler is great at calling me out when I have used a mean word or acted unkind.  It hurts my pride to say, yes mommy was wrong, and to ask forgiveness.  But it is the right thing to do and it is good for me and for my kids.  By dealing correctly with my own, inevitable, mistakes I hope to teach my kids how to face their mistakes.

Applause!  Applause!  Here is a standing ovation for you!  This parenting thing is your most demanding performance and you are doing a great job.

Why and Why and Why

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“Mommy why did you stop the car?”  “Because there is a stop sign.”  “Why do we stop at the stop sign?”  “Because we have to so we don’t get into an accident.” “Why?” “Because we have to.” ”But why?  “I don’t know! We just do!”

Conversations like this are a non stop occurrence in my house, car, and shopping cart.  Wherever my toddler is, a never-ending stream of questions is not far behind.   I know these are teachable moments but they can also be trying moments.  I feel like I need a Google widget at my disposal 24/7.  Then when a construction truck drives by I can say, “that’s a giant excavator” instead of “hey there goes a scooper digger thing.”  Although, for the record, I am well versed in all things construction thanks to extended viewings of Bob the Builder 🙂

I know that as my kids get older they will out grow the “why” phase.  They will still have questions, but will stop looking to mom for all the answers.  That is a scary thought, not because I have all the answers, but because I can decide what they are exposed to.  My earnest prayer is that I can equip them to find answers in the right places.  Somehow, in spite off the craziness of our days, I want them to see me living a life full of Jesus.  So they will turn to Him first when they are seeking answers.

Lord help me show grace and forgiveness to my children just as you have shown it to me.  Help me model your love and joy to them.  I pray when they have questions and are seeking, they seek you first.

 And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.  -2 Thessalonians 3:13