Sunday, June 8, 2014

Measure of Motherhood

It is a question that can keep me up at night.  It can rob me of inner peace.  It can cause me to measure myself against other mothers.  It can cause me to justify being judgmental against how others carry it out because we are doing it differently.  It can cause me to take the comments of others and create a block in my motherhood road map.  It can create doubt and fear that I'm making wrongs along the way that can't be made right.  
What makes a good mother?  A good parent of any kind, for that matter.
Recently, in my Sunday school class, this was our lesson.  It was eyeopening to me to see that there are very few scriptures about HOW to raise children.  The way to raise children in the right way is to strive to keep yourself on the right path.  OUCH!  Now that takes a different perspective.  You mean I can't just nag and discipline and coach and critique and praise and prompt and have them do what I believe they should??  In order to raise godly children, I'm supposed to examine my life and follow Christ's example.  Yep, that's it.  It makes perfect sense.  Children model everything we do.  That's the hard part. The scary part. The part where I have to pray please make me what I should be and mold me into something better when I stumble and fail  Help me to seek forgiveness and give me lots of second chances....and third and fourth.
The freeing part of this is that it's not all up to me.  I have been given an example of perfect love.  I've been given mercy and grace and I'm so thankful. I need it daily.  So the good news is that I have the most able and perfect helper in God above.  I'm also so blessed that I've been given an amazing husband to navigate this road with me.  Motherhood is probably the area in which I put most of my energy here on Earth.  I certainly want to succeed at it.  For today, I'll work on myself.
So, the lesson that I learned was......give it to God.  Strive to live my life close to Christ.  I will be equipped and through Him, I will measure up.  

Thursday, June 5, 2014

My love/hate relationship with Dave

$how me the money!  I love that movie (mainly because of Tom Cruise).  :)  It just seems like a fitting beginning to this post.  I'm making this post so that I can be accountable for finances this month.  
We are in a bit of a challenge around here to get all finances in order.  Our latest messages at church have been centered around finances and the way that we should view our possessions and finances.  Henry and I did the  financial peace university three years ago.  I can honestly say that I felt closer to Henry during that time than any other.  It is so freeing to take some control over your finances as a team.  We made some very great strides.
Well....stuffiness can creep in and just like all good Americans, we need to look at this again.  So here we go.  One of the few areas where there isn't a fixed auto draft amount of money each month is the grocery/household budget.  This budget easily gets out of control.  There is no way to compare a grocery budget from one household to the next.  I read blogs where moms feed their family of 19  for something like $40 a week.  In the time it takes me to read the blog entry, the kids have usually gobbled up about $15 worth of groceries.  So......that won't work.  It's hard to come up with a realistic amount.
I'm frugal by nature and I feel SOOOOO accomplished when I feed the kids healthy food that I've made from scratch.  I think I was born in the wrong era. I'd really love to grow my own fruit and spend the days making jelllies and jams. I'd like to hang my clothes out a line and cross-stitch while they dried.  I'd like to shear my sheep and spin it into yarn or better yet spin my straw into gold!  Now, that would do it!
Ok...back to the topic.
So I'm trying to stay motivated to be a good steward of our finances.  I LOVE decluttering and I'm working on that area too.  Henry often tells the kids to walk faster because I will give them away if they stay still for too long.  That's a little exaggerated but I do love to clear away things.
So, I'm posting this month of my progress toward my goals.  Every journey begins with a single step!  

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming

Who knew that Dori was so smart?  This is perfect advice for motherhood.  You just keep on keepin' on!
I took the girls to a play date with several friends today at Pretend Play Party in Denham Springs.  We enjoyed it last year but the new owner is so friendly and kid oriented. It was very enjoyable for the girls.   I'm pretty sure that my friends and I were able to say a few complete sentences without interruptions. There were a lot of kids there and most were surprisingly well behaved.  Only one kid peed on the floor and I didn't see any poop I'd say that's a success!
Moms are super heroes!  We really are!  I mean WHO else is able to stay sane while multitasking 900 things?  Our kids feel loved even if we have to apologize for any crazy moments that we have.  They have a good time except when they don't.  They eat something every day and some of it is organic.  I mean....WE are awesome.   Happy days of Summer!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

14,600 days

14,600 days….
Wow!  If 40 years didn’t sound like much……..that number has some weight to it!  Thinking of how I’ve spent some of those days gives me reason to pause.
At work last week someone said something negative about getting older.  All that I could say was, “It beats the alternative.”  And it’s true.  There are so many women who never reach 40.  I am so blessed to have lived those 14,600 days.  I’m so thankful to be at this point in my life and to know myself SO well.  Within a few minutes of entering a “less than nice” mood, I can usually whisper a prayer and turn myself around. Thankfully, I have a few friends who are also comfortable enough to tell me to get over it!  I found this quote that I thought summed up this whole age thing pretty well.  “At age 20, we worry about what others think of us. At 40, we don't care what they think of us. At 60, we discover they haven't been thinking of us at all.”  - Ann Landers  
I think I might be a little ahead because I’ve already realized that people think of me and what I say/don’t say or do/don’t do WAAAYYY less than I do.  I’ve been guilty of going over and over conversations in my head and overanalyzing how they might have been received.  Nine times out of ten, the person I was talking with had moved on about 30 second later.
Looking back, honestly not many specific days stand out.  I remember high school graduation (my 18th birthday) and the anxiety of my future.  That day was so sad and so exciting all at the same time.  How exciting to have your entire adult life ahead of you!   I remember vaguely the joy of holding each baby for the first time, immeasurable joy all swirled together with medications, unexplainable fatigue and a hint of betadine hovering in the air.  I remember the day that I drove to Jackson to meet Henry for the first time.  The five hours that I sat with him and talked flew by like a few seconds.   So that’s six…..hmmmmm.
What did I do with the other 14,594?  I can’t say that I fully lived many of them, as I know all too well that I wasted many of those days on things that didn’t matter at all.  Some were filled with worry and self doubt.  Some were overshadowed by stress, often brought on by my own stupidity.  Some were spent in the valley of self pity or self comparison.  I’m so thankful to say that most recently they are more often than not filled with self confidence and peace.  I am happy with who I am.  That is NOT the same as me saying that I don’t want to be better, because I do.  I have so much improving to do in so many areas and fall short of who I’d like to be most days.  What I do have is a pretty clear vision of who I want to be (when I grow up….ha ha!)  I pray every day that somehow I will be able to make that day count in someone’s life.  I certainly hope I’m investing of my time and my talents in ways that help those around me.  I don’t feel the need to impress people with “who” I am anymore. I believe I have worth and I know it is only because I have a savior who died for me to make it so.  I am confident that my husband loves me and me only. What a blessing! I know that my children know that my intentions are good and that my heart’s desires for them are pure. 
So what have I learned?   I have learned that life is a gift.  EVERY.SINGLE.DAY of it!  I’ve learned that parenting was way harder than I could have dreamed possible.  I’ve also learned that its rewards have no end.  I’ve learned that marriage is hard work on a good day but it’s so worth it!  I’ve learned that when I’m doing something I love, I have a limitless supply of energy.  I need to take more time to chase those things that energize me.  That’s a goal for my next 40 years.
I’m so blessed.  So so very blessed.