Some Thoughts for Mother’s of Small Children

{Source} I have the privilege of spending time with quite a few mothers who have small children. One of my favorite visits was from a  family who have 5 children, ages ranging from just a few months old to ten years old. The baby hung out and was happy watching all the activity. The one year old ran around from one person to the other melting all our hearts! She especially liked my son and kept plopping down in his lap! The TWO YEAR OLD BOY was constantly moving!  I personally have a soft spot in my heart for him because he reminds me so much of my son at that age. Two year old boys have one way of talking–LOUD! He absolutely cracked me up! The two older girls were such a help to their mom and have such sweet personalities. They brought me flowers and we ate ice cream cones on the porch. It was fun! We enjoyed them and their parents are doing such a great job, but I must admit that when they left I was EXHAUSTED! It’s not that they are “bad” kids or that the parents aren’t taking the time to train them, but there is so much that goes into caring for, teaching, and training little children! It’s a HUGE job! It is exhausting PHYSICALLY and EMOTIONALLY! {Source} The reality of being a parent of small children is that they are in the beginning stages of LEARNING! Because of this it is a hard job. It is not always a perfect little “picture.” It is a process of teaching things over and over again! (“Say thank you!”...

Change…

Adjusting to change has always been difficult for me. I have never liked it very much! I am too sentimental at times, wanting to hold on to what is familiar, comfortable, and safe. As my children continue to grow up I am experiencing constant change. They don’t stay the same for very long! It seems as though I am constantly being thrust into new adjustment times where I have to go to the Lord and ask Him for wisdom. Do you feel this way? I am sure all moms must feel this way at times!  It is during these times that I cling all the more to the promise, and find comfort in the fact, that He never changes! Malachi 3:6, NKJV “ For I am the LORD, I do not change.“ Hebrews 13:8, NKJV “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” As a mom I find my role is changing. Don’t you?  My children have become young adults and the way that I “mother” them has to change. I don’t want it to change. I liked it when they were little and I was more “in control”! (Or at least it felt like I was more in control!) I know it must change or I will drive them away. So, I pray. I ask for wisdom. I consciously become more aware of how I relate to them. I ask, “How did I want my parents to relate to me ?” I pray for wisdom to know how to live out my mothering role. The hardest part for me is that, for the most part, my children have...

1 Corinthians 13 For Women

If I live in a house that is spotless, perfectly in order, and people are not free to LIVE because my home is more important than my family I have not love I have kept a house I have not made a home. If I spend an exorbitant amount of money on decorations and care more about the appearance of my house than the atmosphere of my home I  have not love, and my children learn materialism, not godliness. If I control my husband responding in irritation to him, finding only fault in him and not seeking to build him up, I have not love and my children learn to disrespect their father not to honor him Love is patient – seeking to avoid conflict Love is kind – seeking to be a blessing. Love lays aside its “rights” to serve. Love sees the comfort of another as more important than its own. Love continually looks for ways to build  up. Love is not critical, demanding or self seeking. Love accepts the role that God has given and sees it as a privilege, not a put down. Love studies how to fulfill that role in the most God glorifying way it can. Before I was an adult I thought life revolved around me. Then I took on the responsibilities of marriage. Now I see that life revolves around others and God’s glory! All the expectations I had for my marriage and my life must fade away into insignificance. What should remain is the gospel! The gospel reminds me of how full of grace and mercy God has been, how...

Individuals

I remember when my daughter was two years old. I was such a proud mommy!  She was the kind of  toddler that did everything right.  She never yelled “NO!”  She obeyed quickly.  She learned to sit through church.  She was a happy little girl who wanted to please those around her and she loved everyone.  I decided that it was because I had done everything right.   Yes, I was doing it all right and the fruit of my “rightness” was an obedient two year old!  “The two’s don’t have to be terrible!” I would say with self confidence. Then I had my second child. Things started out in a similar fashion as they did with my first child.  He was a happy, content baby.  We started disciplining him early; I was still a stay-at-home mom; he was included in our family Bible time.  Our daughter was three years old,  and was CRAZY ABOUT HIM!   Things were going well. Then he turned two. I’m not sure what happened on the second birthday of my second born, but my  “the two’s don’t have to  be terrible” theory was slowly becoming a fallacy!  The two’s were terrible!  They were awful!  I would look at my husband and ask, “What are we doing wrong?”   He would shake his head and say, “I don’t know!” God was using my son to humble me… I was a pride fill mommy ! “…God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5 Twenty years later I can see very clearly what was going on, but back then I was desperate for help.  I did everything...

Can We Teach Our Children To Be Grateful?

I often receive emails from women who read my blog, asking me to share my thoughts on different issues. Not too long ago  I received a question from a young mom asking how she could teach her children to be grateful, and how to keep them from being greedy. She writes: “I love presents. I love to give them and receive them. But, it saddens me when I see people, especially children, who expect them…and more. This is how my nephew is. How do I teach my children to appreciate whatever they get and not always expect more?” I can relate to her. I appreciate her heart that wants to train her children to honor God in this. I see children all around me who are ungrateful and want MORE STUFF. In fact–I face it in my own home at times! …and I face it in my own heart! We can teach in many different ways. First of all, I think that we need to teach by example. Here are some questions we can ask ourselves: AM I A GRATEFUL ADULT? Am I grateful for what I have? Am I content with the house we have, the yard we have, the paycheck my husband gets, and the car we have? HOW DO I SHOW GRATEFULNESS? Do I write thank you notes? Do I serve and give of myself WITHOUT EXPECTING IT TO BE RECIPROCATED? DO I COMPLAIN? (AM I CRITICAL OF OTHERS?) Do I complain about our church, the people in it, or about our pastor? DO I HAVE UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS? Do I have unrealistic expectations of others? Expectations of my...

Thoughts on Being Young…THEN Being Older

For the last 15 years of my life I have been surrounded by college students. I mean, LITERALLY surrounded by college students!  Living in housing quarters on a college campus is why I find myself surrounded by students. I live among them! Although in the earlier years I was busy raising two small children and didn’t have as much time to interact with them as I would have liked,  as the years have passed I have had more and more opportunity to spend time–lots of time–with these young people. Now that my children are older, many of these college students have become a part of our family. In my observation,  a drastic change happens between the ages of 18 and…say….20 something. You go from being a teenager to a young adult: making many life-changing decisions, such as who your close friends will be, how you will spend your time, what habits will be established, what you will major in, where you will work, and in many cases, who you will marry. You begin to “own” your relationship with God.  You start to form your opinions of what God and church should “look like.” Much of the time there is a youthful excitement and passion about what life will be like, what they want to accomplish, what they think things should “look like” in church, life, marriage. Often it comes from lack of experience or from an idealistic view of what “should be.” Many young people are sure they know all the answers–know more than those who have gone before them–and are sure that they “GET IT” much more than...

PeeUU!

The other day, as I walked through Target, I began to notice an odor. I discreetly looked around to see where it was coming from but I couldn’t find the source of the odor. I continued shopping and the odor began to get stronger. It was very similar to that of a someone who had been working out and had not yet to showered! Finally, I met up with my daughter at the cash register. I proceeded to put my arm around her, giving her hug hello. She leaned over and whispered, “Mom…you kind of smell!” It was me! I was the one with the odor! How embarrassing! Every year it’s the same thing. We begin to approach the fall season, which happens to be my favorite season of the whole entire year, and I can’t wait to get out all my cute fall clothes. I LOVE fall clothes. I love jeans and hoodies. I love cute long sleeved tops and big soft sweaters! I! LOVE! FALL! And this year, like every other year, I decide to begin wearing these cute fall clothes even when it really was not quite cold enough to wear them. The result was: one smelly old lady! I quickly came home and took care of the problem. It’s easy to do this when contemplating the season’s of life. We look ahead and want to rush into the next season because it looks better than the season we happen to be in. I’ve been tempted to do that over the years, although now that I am older I am more aware that each season has...

Love=Grace!

I was challenged recently to describe what love “looked like” in my home. I sat and thought for awhile.  So much has happened in our home over the last few months that it was hard to put it into words. Then God brought to mind one word: Grace The first thing  I think of when I think of what love looks like in our home is God’s incredible grace and how it has been poured out on each member of my family. God drew all four of us to Himself and opened our eyes to the gospel. That’s what amazing grace is! The fact that God gave His Son to be crucified on the cross so that we would not have to face an eternity separated from Him. Not only did He save us. That would have been more than enough. But He then ADOPTED US into His family. He made us one of His own FAMILY! Because of this grace that has been poured out, I can wake up and face each day with HOPE and rest in the fact that I will never face condemnation. Ever. His mercy is new every morning! Now THAT is LOVE. I want my home to reflect this kind of love to anyone that walks through our front door: Grace Acceptance No Condemnation Family Hope With that love in mind, I can reflect over the past year of challenges and trials and see them from a loving hand of  my Father.  I am seeing so much fruit that has come from rejection,  hardship and uncertainty.  I see a family who is being conformed...

This Is the Day…

It seems as though I have heard a whisper in my ear  since the day both of my children were born, reminding me to live for the day to enjoy the process and to not wish the time away the daily, minute by minute life that is all around me. minute by minute… As I have observed and listened, I have also learned a lot from things I have heard other women say such as… “I sure wish she’d learn to sleep through the night!” “Life will be easier when he can EAT something, and he’s not so dependent on ME!” “diapers are so expensive. It’ll be nice when she’s potty trained.” (TICK…TICK…TICK..TICK…) “I wish she’d learn to walk…” “All she knows how to say is “NO!” “All I do is chase her around all day!” “It’ll be nice when she can talk, and tell me what she wants!” (TICK…TICK…TICK…TICK…) “Just think, soon she’ll be in kindergarten, and I’ll have some time to myself!” “I need a break!” “Boy is it hard getting up early and driving them to school every day!” “I look forward to the day when I can sleep in again!” (TICK…TICK…TICK..TICK...) “I think we need a bigger house…” “My husband wants another job…” “My kids need a bigger yard…” “These kids sure do make a mess!” (TICK…TICK…TICK…TICK…) “She sure does talk a lot!” “I feel like all I do is drive my kids around! I’m exhausted!” “It was so much easier when they were little!” “I don’t FEEL like shopping for clothes with my daughter.” (TICK…TICK…TICK…TICK…) Recently my husband and I were helping my daughter...

Seasons

Summer time can be hard for me, especially as my kids are getting older and involved in more things. School is finished and both of them are working and busy which means they are gone a lot. My schedule changes from revolving around school, meals, and children, to being alone much of the day. It is a hard transition for me. I miss my kids. I miss the structure. I know it is good for them to be busy and working. I also know that this is such a great opportunity for them–its a gift from God! This time has forced me to evaluate how I’m going to fill my day. Since the day I brought my children home from the hospital I have loved being a mom. I have never felt like I wanted to go back to work. I have loved being home and caring for my children. The minute you become a mom, something happens to your heart. I can remember, even when they were babies, feeling sad at times because I could already see that with each little change comes a little bit of independence. A couple of years ago I had a conversation with a young mother. Her little girl had decided she didn’t want to breastfeed anymore. The mom was crying because she was sad that time was over. She apologized for crying and said she felt foolish. Later that day I stopped by her house with flowers and a note. The note read something like this: “I understand more than you realize how hard this is for you. I started crying about...