Monday Morning

I admit mornings are hard for me.  Not necessarily the getting up, but my expectation of what I hoped the morning would bring.

In my mind the morning brings exercise, devotion, shower, and a house clean and picked up, ready for the day. Yet, the reality most mornings is a 2 year old who gets up early every day and wants to be held, a nursing baby and typically a couple rather grumpy kids.  It’s usually a little crazy getting breakfast on the table and then there are beds to be made, a dishwasher to unload and breakfast spills to clean up. The kids need help getting dressed, they want my attention and are ready to play, the baby wants to nurse again and we should really start school.

It’s already 930 or later and my expectation of an ideal morning is not a reality once again. Or is that the case?  I’ve said before I chose these kids and in doing so I chose messes and much less time for myself BUT i also chose so much more. I chose those early morning snuggles with my little ones.  I chose getting to feed my family and make memories around the breakfast table.  I chose teaching children how to get up and get ready and begin their day in Gods word.  I chose to educate my kids.  Forming habits in my kids takes time. It takes consistency.  It takes repeating these steps every morning.

My kids are watching me as well.  How am I responding when things don’t go exactly my way?  I know how my kids respond.  I’ve been guilty so many times for getting upset at my kids for having a bad attitude and yet.. How was my attitude that day? So maybe your morning isn’t going how you prefer.. It is Monday after all.  Do what you can to adjust.  If there isn’t time to be in Gods word, pray or turn on a worship song.  If there isn’t time to exercise, plan to take a walk later on.

If you don’t have time for a shower…Put on fresh clothes and some mascara! 🙂

The day isn’t over at 9:30 AM.  This whole parenting thing isn’t a sprint.  There’s no way to get everything done in a short amount of time.  It’s much more like a marathon.  So, set a steady pace for yourself for the day, make some goals and enjoy. There are going to be bumps and detours.. Frustrations and even tears.  That’s just part of the adventure.  The reality of unmet expectation serve as a great reminder of our deep need of Jesus.

So lean on Him, hug your kids, turn on some music and Have a Happy Monday everyone!

Quick Date

mandj1Last night Matt and I went out for a quick date to a local coffee shop.  It was only for 2 hours but for 2 hours we had a chance to breathe. I spend most of my hours mothering so it can be hard to remember at times another very important role… Being Matt’s wife. In Genesis 2, God tells us a man ‘leaves his wife and mother and cleaves to his wife, making them one flesh [paraphrase]. My leaving and cleaving come before my mothering.

Our current season is very full caring for our little ones but that is not an excuse for ignoring the relationship that started it all… 11 1/2 years ago! Early on Matt and I went on dates all the time,  prayed and studied the Bible together, we sent lots of emails and texts, physical touch was a large part of our relationship.  Then kids came and these things that we loved to do together became much more difficult.

It’s so easy to give our spouse our leftovers.

One of my biggest struggles is being grumpy at Matt if the kids are giving me a hard time.  He calls during the day to check on me and it’s easy to snap and be short. Often, the last thing I want is to be touched after I’m touched all day, so when Matt touches my shoulder I pull away. These are realities I’m trying to overcome.

Matt and I need to be connected to make this family run.  We have to be on the same side. So when he calls and it’s crazy at home I need to remind myself that this isn’t his fault.  He’s on my side. When he comes behind and touches me I need to remind myself… He needs touch too.  He’s been working all day.  He misses me.  We need to be close to stay connected.

When I think of him I need to let him know. When he leaves I need to give him a kiss.

We still need to pray together. We still need to laugh together. We still need to send encouraging texts and notes. We still need to be close.

And believe me… Just because I say “we need” does not mean I currently am. Our date last night was wonderful and we will have many, many more. About a year ago we committed a line item in our budget for that express purpose.  We knew that spending our money on regular times for us to be alone together was as vital as putting gas in our car and food in the fridge. It is impossible for our family to grow in strength, if the very foundation is crumbling.

So, remember what started it all but know it will be different now … and that’s ok.  The growing part isn’t always easy but things that are worth it seldom are.

Mother’s Day 2016

I woke up this morning to my 2 youngest in bed with me.  Soon after that my husband and Gracie brought in a wonderful breakfast, coffee and gifts.  I wore my handmade jewelry (gifts from my 2 oldest) to church today and have felt loved by countless drawings and notes.

It’s Mothers Day.

I’ve learned something over these years of celebrating Mother’s Day as a mom myself.  This day does not have to be perfect to be special. I don’t have to sit and do nothing today to feel loved and refreshed.  Today is a day to be thankful, to hug your kids tight and to remember what a gift this whole journey is.

Four times my stomach has stretched wide to carry my children.  My body now looks different and more worn. Yet, through those long months of pregnancy came my little Gracie, Levi, Ruby and Evie. My kids are not an inconvenience and I’m not missing out on anything because of them.  I chose them and I continue to choose them each day. I am not doing something unique or anything deserving of a medal. I’m just getting up one day at a time.  I’m making meals, cleaning messes, teaching reading and math and trying to point my little ones to Jesus. In this season of life there isn’t a lot of time for myself, and that’s ok.  I know this is a season.  I know that babies don’t keep and these years go fast.

I’ve been given 4 amazing gifts and I do not take this job lightly.  I’m here to teach, love, train, nourish and guide… I’m also hear for lots of hugs and back scratches, tickles and songs.

I’m a mom.  I’m so thankful.

Sometimes being a mother and it’s subsequent work can cause mothers to complain about daily life about the fact that we don’t have time to be selfish. And I get it… Motherhood is hard!  The days certainly are long and sometimes feel impossible.

But rather than seeing our kids as ornery little mess makers.. Let’s see them as ones seeking to find security in something.  They need us.  They need to be directed.  Can you believe God gave us this privilege, this incredible and unique privilege of Motherhood? To lead, shepherd and guide these little ones was given to us by God.

I pray we can see past the present situation and that we can see the bigger picture.  I pray that rather than complaining about our children, we pray for them.  I pray we use this season wisely with our kids. I do pray though that my other mom friends get a chance to breathe today.  Moments of rest make us better mothers. So let’s soak up our kids.  Let’s read books, play a game, go for a walk and really listen to them. And then Maybe take a nap or go get yourself a special coffee;) Happy Mothers Day everyone!

one of “those days”…

Last week I had a couple of really tough days.  The kids were extra difficult and my attitude was extra sour.   I just felt so frustrated.

As I loaded the laundry one morning with tears In My eyes…and picked up my house harboring anger and frustration… All I could think was, “Didn’t I just do this?? Isn’t this all I do? I just need a break!!”

When talking with my husband, he reminded me of how Paul talked about “those days”  in Ephesians 5… when he tells us to make the most of every opportunity ‘because the days are evil.”

Some days it feels impossible to “make the most of every opportunity” when we really feel like we just need a break though… A break that we aren’t going to get.  Some days we  have to persevere…. And on those  days I’m reminded of my very real need for Jesus. Those days I think and pray to Him through my teary frustration..  “Make me like you!”

When the yelling between kids won’t stop…Make me like you!

When the messes pile up more and more…Make me like you!

When it is taking every ounce of energy to calm a fussy baby…Make me like you!

So maybe that is why “those days” exist. Right now “those days”  with my children are my mission field.  The days are not always easy as our children are sinners in need of a Savior just like us… But This is what God is calling us to.  In Matthew 25:35 Jesus tells us:  

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.

If clothing the naked and feeding the hungry isn’t parenthood, I don’t know what is!

Parents, in our every day let us remember that our service to our children is service to our King! And in this sacrificial service we are the ones being changed, molded and refined to look more like Jesus.So today when we make yet one more pb and j.. Fold one more load of laundry and read the same story again and again.. Let’s do it with the love of Christ.

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but where are those who think of changing themselves? People may genuinely want to be good, but seldom are they prepared to do what it takes to produce the inward life of goodness that can form the soul. Personal formation into the likeness of Christ is arduous and lifelong”

— Richard Foster

“Perhaps one of the sure signs that we have worshiped God is that we walk away saying, ‘I didn’t understand everything that happened there. It must be bigger than my comprehension.’ Too much of our worship has boxed God in as if we were going to see a play on Broadway. But in worship we become a part of the play. Though we can’t understand it all, we can come onstage and participate in the divine drama”

— Common Prayer

“Consumer society originates in the belief that the good lie is defined by what we produce and what we consume. It rests on the belief that it is our production and consumption that create life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This is why, when we were attacked by terrorists on 9/11, the answer was to go shopping”-McKnight & Block

— The Abundant Community

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