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Posts Tagged ‘mother’

“No More Perfect Moms”

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I was listening to the Christian radio in the car today and heard Jill Savage, founder of Hearts at Home, speak about her new book No More Perfect Moms.

Listening to the conversation took be back to when I was pregnant with my oldest son. If you have followed my blog at all you know that I have a type A personality. I had ambitious goals as a mom. I wanted to be the best mom for my son. What mom doesn’t want that?

As the years have passed and I move further into my journey I have learned how far from perfect I will be for him or his sibling. In fact, as I train and educate my boys, the Holy Spirit uses most of the words that come out of my mouth to work in my own heart. More than in any other venture in my life, it is motherhood that has taught me most about my lack of patience, self-control and self-discipline. Most of all, motherhood has been one of the main reasons I now realize my desperate need for the Lord. I fall short and can in no way do this alone!

As I further thought about this, I realized how my transparency with my children about my shortcomings as a mother and wife  provide me the opportunity to show my kids the essence of the gospel. We all fall short and desperately need our Saviour!

What a privilege to have my journey of motherhood bring me and my children to Jesus feet!

How has the Holy Spirit used your experience as a mother to work in your heart?

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When I had my fourth child I realized things had to be managed differently in our home! For my sake and the kids’ sake! A friend, who also had a big family, told me I had to start thinking, parenting and managing my household differently. With these changes I have learned a parenting method I would recommend to any parent, no matter how many children they have! The changes have brought with them more opportunities to better disciple and train my children!
When I had my first child and even my second I remember all the energy and effort I spent with each child. I took them to story time at the library and play dates at the Family Center. I remember learning songs to sing to them and games to play with them. I tried so hard to always spend one-on-one time with each one.
Now that I have more children my babies’ experiences are different. We still go out frequently but their field trips and interactions are with older children. They still get to enjoy songs and books, but the ones doing the singing and reading to them, a lot of times, are their older siblings. Many times I am not the one that changes the baby’s diaper or gives her dinner.
When I am going through lessons with one or two children, I ask the other older child to spend one-on-one time with the baby. This gives the younger child the individual attention he/she needs, but also develops in the older child a sense of leadership, teaches him to serve the family and develops patience! Most importantly he is learning skills that will one day make him a better husband and father!
When my older sons read to the baby or play an educational game that involves counting or going through the alphabet, it also gives them an opportunity to practice an academic skill! My favorite benefit of having the children interact with their siblings in this way is how it builds sibling relationships! I love this one 🙂
This way of parenting is a necessity in this season of our life! I can’t be with each child and do everything when I would like to. We do this out of necessity but enjoy many benefits!
Would I have used this method of parenting if I had 2 or 3 children? Probably not, but as I have experienced the advantages and see what it has done in my children I would recommend it to anyone with more than one child.
Yes, I want to be the one to spend individual time with each of my children every time they need it. I want to be the one to teach them the nursery rhymes and read them stories, but I am willing to give some of it up to develop in my children godly character and memories that will last a lifetime.
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In the first few years of me staying at home with my children, one of the hardest things was when people would ask me what I did for a living. I would of course say “I am a stay-at-home mother”…sometimes I would even say “I am JUST a stay-at-home mother”. In my heart I struggled with what felt like lack of significance. I could not see past the dirty diapers, dirty dishes and crying babies.

Eight years later my children are teaching me to appreciate the higher calling in what I do here at home and constantly remind me of why I am here.

My boys love counting down the years they have left to go to college. My oldest seems to think I need to be reminded often, “Mami, in 9 years I will be on my way!” Makes me wonder if they are having a good time here. 🙂

Every once in a while they talk about their future wives and wedding days. My older son wonders where his future wife is now and if she is being homeschooled. He also said it’s cool to think how she is getting ready for him while he is getting ready for her. How precious!

My 5 year old was cleaning his bedroom the other night and said he could not stop thinking about his wedding day and how it was going to be. This got us all talking about marriage proposals. I explained to them what a proposal is and we went on YouTube and looked at real life examples. Of course, they asked how their father proposed to me and my husband joined in and had fun telling them. They went on to plan their own proposals, and talked of ways of surprising their mates and guessing what their reactions were going to be.

This was such a memorable evening but also bittersweet to talk about this day when my children will leave my home and start their own. The days we have we them are so short.

Talking about their wedding days did help me have a better perspective. It helped me better understand that what I am doing is training up future head of households who will one day raise their own children, their own “world changers”!

When you contemplate that future day when your child start his/her own life in the world it makes it more difficult to describe what you do as “I am JUST a stay-at-home mother”.

What has helped you find significance in your calling as a mother?

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This new day did bring new energy and it also brought with it a fresh new word from God.

In the morning, during my quiet time, I read the first chapter of Calm My Anxious Heart. (Why I am reading this book will be a topic of a future post :/ as the Lord continues to work in me.)

I definitely have a Type A personality. I struggle with the need for control. I know, I don’t have much control of anything in my life, none of us do! As I grow older I am learning this more and more. I like structure and find comfort in a clear plan. As I manage my home, raise my children and handle relationships there are some things I can and should control. There are many more things I should leave to God and rest in the assurance that “God…is the blessed controller of all things, the King over all kings and the master of all masters” (1 Timothy 6:15). I pray for the wisdom to know the difference. The author quotes a story from another book, Streams in the Desert:

“I need oil,” said an ancient monk, so he planted an olive sapling, “Lord,” he prayed, “it needs rain that its tender roots may drink and swell. Send gentle showers.” And the Lord sent gentle showers. “Lord,” prayed the monk, “my tree needs sun. Send sun, I pray thee.” And the sun shone, gilding the dripping clouds. “Now frost, my Lord, to brace its tissues,” cried the monk. And behold, the little tree stood sparkling with frost, but at evening it died.

Then the monk sought the cell of a brother monk, and told his strange experience. “I, too, planted a little tree,” he said, “and see! It thrives well. But I entrust my tree to its God. He who made it knows better what it needs than a man like me. I laid no condition I fixed not ways or means. ‘Lord, send what it needs,’ I prayed, ‘ storm or sunshine, wind, rain, or frost. Thou hast made it and Thou dost know.”

How crazy to worry or be anxious about anything! How silly to feel that the Lord needs my help in anything! How encouraging to know that my life and all of the circumstances in it are controlled by the King and Creator of the Universe! As I go about this day and deal with the unexpected, the inconvenient and  the interruptions I rest in the knowledge that God holds the plan I set this morning in His hand. I decide today not to fret over what does not get completed. I will especially not worry about the kids, the homeschool, whether or not we are behind, character issues we are dealing with, etc!

I will instead be faithful to the call today, and remind myself that: God has made me, my life and all of my affairs, and God does know.

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