Monthly Archives: September 2011

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.

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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

Stay at home mom: my greatest adventure and greatest challenge

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For the record I love being a mom and especially a stay at home mom.  I fully realize how blessed I am to be with my kids 24/7.  I also realize many women don’t want to, or simply can’t, stay home with the kids.  I am not judging.  I don’t think I am a better mom because I’m a stay at home mom.  I’m grateful to have the option.  For me, I would choose second hand clothes over a power suit any day.  That’s how I’m built.  My heart aches when I am away from my kids.  Yes, the non-stop craziness sometimes makes me feel and look like a zombie.  The green-eyed monster does get me at times and I envy other women’s stylish haircuts and trendy clothes.  I dream of a house, with a second bathroom, that I would ban the boys from using.  For me to stay at home our family has to make sacrifices, and it’s not always easy.  Daily I pray for contentment and wrestle with my selfish desires.  Right now I’m reading a parenting devotional, written by Gary Thomas, entitled Devotions for Sacred Parenting.   It’s a short book with only one devotional a week.  The lessons are encouraging and help me keep my focus on the important things.  If you’re a parent, stay at home or not, I pray that God will encourage you and fill you with joy and, with His strength, allow you to meet each days challenges.

Have a great weekend!  Hope to talk to you soon…

Martha Stewart vs. Peg Bundy

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I’m a creative genius.  Well some of the time and maybe genius isn’t the right word but I can be creative.  I summon my inner Martha and craft up a storm.  Then there are days when Peg comes to visit and I can make water burn.  Quiche is traded for catastrophe.  Those are usually the days I really need things to go as plan.  It’s the day before company is coming in town and staying at our house (brave souls).  The day I’m cooking for friends or we need to get out the door, on time, for an appointment.  Those are the days that my kids up their crazy level from tropical storms to hurricane.  Gail force tantrums pummel my sanity and break the levy of my patience.  Martha is nowhere to be found on these days.  There is no order and the house resembles a “before” picture from Real Simple magazine.  These are my Peg Bundy days and they happen more than I would like to admit.  What’s a girl to do?  When the kids are older I’m sure my house will be more Martha until then….I wonder how I’d look as a redhead  😉

P.S. If there ever was a Martha vs. Peg, my moneys on Martha.  Peg looks tough but Martha could probably create something out of scraps to defend herself with.  Just saying.  Hope you have a “Martha” day!

Baby in one hand…potholder on the other.

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This is what dramatic looks like

Being a mom means being ambidextrous and then some.  Not only can I use both hands but elbows, hips, toes, teethe or any other free appendage.  You would marvel to see me balancing a baby on my hip while picking up a burp cloth with my toes. I can also hold a sleeping baby while effortlessly helping my toddler tear off his clothes as he makes a mad dash to the bathroom.  I know it sounds amazing and entertaining but really it’s a survival skill.  You see, if I would dare to put the baby down long enough to pick up the burp cloth or help my toddler, said baby, might think the world was ending.  Then my bundle of joy would let out a screech so piercing the neighbors would believe it really was the end of the world.  So out of respect for my neighbors, and my sanity, I have learned the ultimate form of multitasking.  People often say that parenting is a balancing act.  They couldn’t be more right. Maybe I’m being a little dramatic.  I learned it from my three year old he holds the patent on this particular skill set.  Maybe I’m not always balancing things in both arms.  I am, however, always searching for balance.  Balance with my time, heath, family, and friends.  Balance between what I need, want, and what others need and want from me.  I can’t be all things, to all people only God can be.  Today my goal is to take off my cape and stop trying to be super woman.  Instead I will pray that God uses me as He sees fit.  Then I will trust God to take care of everyone and everything else