Our Weekend

T was off last night so instead of writing we enjoyed some time together. It’s early in the morning and the family is still sleeping so I’ve got a few minutes.

Yesterday morning T got home early, around 3a.m. I was up treating a low blood sugar when he got home. I got up for my day a couple hours later and read my Bible and spent a little time in prayer when T.J decided he was ready to start his day. He was cranky so we ended up sitting on the floor reading books to help keep him quiet so the rest of the house could sleep.

I was able to get in 15 minutes of exercise once he was ready to go in his high chair and eat. He ate a little bit and then decided he wanted to get down on the floor with me.

After getting dressed and eating breakfast and feeding E, I set the timer for 40 minutes and cleaned the house during that time before we went outside in the nice cool air. I cleaned and vacuumed out the car and did some weed eating. I hadn’t used the weed eater in so long I’d forgotten how to start it but I had T show me yesterday. While cutting the grass I found an old soccer ball so I set up a couple boards to be used as goals and showed E how to kick it through the opposite goal. We spent the morning playing hide and seek and tag and enjoying the cool morning until it was lunch time.

After lunch me and T.J took a nap and E went with her daddy to the bank. She felt special going out just with daddy. When they got back we decided to go visit his parents. We packed a cooler of stuff to eat for dinner and then headed out there and visited until around 7:30 or so last night. The kids got to play with their cousins that were out there and E helped her Grandpa milk the cow.

We got home around 8:30, put the kids to bed and then got to enjoy our evening together.

This afternoon I’m going to bring the kids to their friend’s birthday party. Later this evening we are going to have church and host it at our house. We home church meaning we meet with other believers in each other’s homes instead of a church building, taking turns hosting. We us usually meet Sunday morning but since T is scheduled to work Sunday’s for the next month or so every one very generously offered to meet on Saturday’s so that he  didn’t have to miss church for a long time. Isn’t that love in a body of believers?

This morning I read Ezekiel chapter 32-34 and it occurred to me that when Jesus was referring to himself as the Good Shepherd, chapter 34 may have been one of the passages of scripture He was referring to. (I know there are quite a few places in the OT referring to God as the Good Shepherd, it’s just that this one is new to me since I haven’t read through Ezekiel before.)

Yesterday when taking my vitamins I remembered this post I had written back in July about taking them.  https://snowinlove.wordpress.com/2017/07/25/learning-some-new-health-info/

A few months later after faithfully taking them daily along with Dr. Berg’s recommendation of drinking wheat grass juice powder, I have had no relief of symptoms. Things have not improved at all. For now, I’m going to continue taking the vitamins. Essentially they are concentrated vegetable pills with herbs and I know extra vege’s can only help me but still, I’m disappointed. I’ve been reading some more research that is showing cutting out diary may help hormone issue but since I already don’t drink milk and my diet is already super limited, I don’t think I want to cut out cheese for the sake of an experiment right now. Anyways, I’ll share if I do run across something that works. Have a happy Saturday!

 

 

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This is my 200th post!

Wow! That’s hard to believe! Life has changed so much since I started this blog and it’s really neat to get to click through each month for the last few years and see what was going on at that time. This blog is constantly evolving and I’m thankful for those who read and comment for coming along for the ride with me. This is my little corner of the internet where I pour out my creativity, track my goals, share about my relationship with God and the day to day details of our lives. It’s where I often process my emotions, explore new topics and share news. Writing over the last few years has grown me as a person in a lot of ways. It’s made me a more mindful person and has helped me to live my life more deliberately. It has given me an outlet to organize my thoughts. Blogging has helped me through seasons of depression. It helps me to get out of my own mind when I’m stuck there and put my thoughts onto “paper” and get them out. Every time I see a post has been read I feel a connection to whoever that unknown reader may be and I’m reminded that I’m being heard and I’m not alone. So, thank you for being there for me. I hope as time goes by my words can be ones that edify and that this can be a place where you come to get encouraged and refreshed. In the future, if there is a topic you’d like me to write about, leave a comment and I’ll see what I can do.

I got on here tonight to continue my “journaling” of our lives lately. I didn’t even know this was going to be my 200th post until I saw the stats informing me.

This morning my Bible reading time was longer than usual as my Bible reading plan included four chapters. I read about Ezekiel’s wife dying and it really grabbed my attention because I don’t remember ever reading it before. Ezekiel’s total trust in God and his immediate, uncomplaining, unwavering obedience and devotion to God left me kind of dumbfounded. I prayed God would help me trust and obey Him like Ezekiel. I was also reading about the destruction of Tyrus. I spent a little bit of time reading through Matthew Henry’s commentary trying to get a grasp on the connection between the prince of Tyrus and Lucifer.

After reading I just had time for a quick shower before the kids woke up early. They wanted to go outside and wait for daddy to come home and it was kind of funny that we were in the same spots when he came home as when he left.

Thursday is my town day and I like to leave early in the morning while every one is still fresh and the kids bellies are full from breakfast. I unloaded the dishwasher, spent no more than 5 minutes cleaning out the fridge so it would be ready to put groceries in when we got back and got me and the kids ready to go.

E was invited to one of her friends birthday parties this weekend and it’s going to be a costume party so we first went to T.J Maxx and I let her pick out a costume. It’s a blue and black sparkly butterfly costume with enormous wings and a face mask. She loves it! We went to a couple more stores picking out a gift and wrapping for another party she’s going to later on. (Yes, her social life is much more interesting than my own!)

We went grocery shopping for the week at Kroger. The kids have their routine down when we go there. They want to ride in a car cart and get a free cookie from the deli. They get so excited about going to kroger! We got home around 11:00 and I unloaded the groceries and fixed some macaroni and cheese. (hear me being all southern? fixed mac and cheese? lol) We had nap time/quiet time and when the hour was up we sat and read several stories from the Jesus Story book Bible. (while I drank coffee and tried to wake up!) BTW- If you’re looking for a colorful children’s Bible story book- the more I read this the more I like it.

E has been eagerly anticipating our trip to kroger today so I could get butter so we could make applesauce cookies from the apples they picked last week. Baking with a 2 year old and a four year old can be um, interesting. T.J would not stop screaming because I was having them take turns with the ingredients and every time it was E’s turn he would scream and cry like his heart was breaking and he’d never get a chance to put something in the bowl again. I didn’t want him to wake up T so I ended up putting him in his high chair with a bowl and measuring cups and spoons and giving him his own ingredients to make a mess with. And boy was it a mess! By the time we were done the kitchen smelled amazing but looked like a tornado made out of flour had come through the place. There was so many dishes it was one of those messes where you just kind of stand there for a moment taking it in. Thankfully the kids uncle was outside cutting down trees and I told them to go watch him and that entertained them while I cleaned up. (recipe we used in the link!)

https://www.google.com/amp/www.marthastewart.com/314405/iced-oatmeal-applesauce-cookies%3famp

I drizzled icing on the cookies and the kids each had one before I brought them outside to play. It was cloudy again this afternoon and felt much cooler than last week. T woke up and we sat outside watching one tree fall after another while T’s brother in law knocked and cut them down. Slowly we began to be able to see the field and pond that makes a beautiful view on the other side of the thick woods. Our yard has always been tightly enclosed with trees but now the sun shines back there and it’s lovely. T picked out tree he wants to hang a tire swing from.

We spent a couple hours outside before bringing in the very dirty kids and showering them. We had frozen pizzas for dinner- I found some grain free pizzas at kroger. Instead of a wheat crust it’s made out of chicken! T ate with us before heading out. I put on a 20 minute or so educational video for the kids and sat and read my book. Instead of doing any more housework I put the kids to bed early and called it a night. Time for mommy to relax!

I’m really liking this on-line journaling thing so thanks for reading!

 

 

 

Can I be chatty again tonight?

The kids are in bed and it’s time for me to chat with you about our day!

This morning I read Ezekiel chapters 20 and 21. It’s been really heavy reading through Ezekiel and sometimes I wonder what the take away is supposed to be for me. This morning after reading those heavy chapters I made this list of things I can learn about God from those chapters.

  • God is just
  • God sees everything
  • God won’t let wickedness go unpunished
  • God’s answer to my questions may be different than what I expect to hear

I wrote a while back about taking prayer walks in the morning outside. I haven’t been doing that anymore since it became spider season and the wood spiders or whatever they are string themselves every where and I don’t want to go out early in the morning! Instead I have been using a free app on my phone called PrayerMate that mixes up your prayer request and presents them to you a couple at a time. It also has devotionals on it.

 

For probably the last couple years I’ve been doing different 15 minute workouts put out by fitness blender. This was a slow and easy one to wake me up and get my blood flowing this morning.

Before the kids woke up ad my husband got home I was able to get a shower in and tidy up our bedroom and bathroom. Around 7:00 they woke up and T got home. T went to bed and I made the kids french toast and sausage and myself eggs and sausage.

I was able to unload the dishwasher and take out the trash before getting the kids dressed and ready and everything loaded up to go to toddler story time.The theme of the day for the toddler story time was “our bodies”. Afterwards I invited a mom there and her daughter to join us at the park. We hung out until it got close to lunch time and started heating up.

We hired my brother in law to come with a tractor and do some work on our property. When we got home my kids entertained themselves while I made lunch by standing on the porch and watching their Uncle knock down brush and trees.

We ate lunch and I managed to clean the guest/kids bathroom before it was time for nap time/ quiet time. I put out a couple activities from E’s preschool curriculum that she could do on her own while I rested.

My husband had made an appointment for our van to get worked on. The radio and some of the electronics stop working on it. I had been asking him to let me take it in because I was worried he wasn’t getting enough sleep. I was glad that he ended up asking me to take it in so he could go back to sleep. He really needed the rest. I ended up having to entertain the kids for almost an hour and a half at the car dealership before being told that it wasn’t an easy fix like they thought and that they would have to replace the whole radio next week when the parts came in. I had brought our bag of library books and we read through almost the whole thing while we waited. Before we had left the house E didn’t want to leave because she wanted to watch her uncle on the tractor but I told her she could bring some change from her piggy bank and pick a snack from the vending machine in the waiting room. She was all about that!

When I got home I laid E down for a nap since she had fallen asleep on the way home and then plowed through the laundry that needed done. I made a cup of coffee, put on a learning numbers video for the kids and got the bills paid, the junk mail shredded and a meal menu and a grocery list made for when I go shopping Thursday.

Before T left for work we walked around our newly cleared land and discussed plans for our future. In one day our cleared land was doubled in size- if not more. I never could have imagined how nice it would be cleared.

T left and then I brought our dirty kids inside, ate dinner, bathed them and then cleaned up the kitchen. I tucked them in spending some time to lay next to E and take turns listening to each others heart beats. I told her it sounded like her heart was saying she had a good time playing at the park today. She listened to my heart and said, “Your heart is saying you had so much fun playing with your kids E and T.J at the park. And it says you have diabetes but when God comes back you won’t have diabetes anymore!” It surprised me she said that but I’m thankful she know Jesus is coming back and it will be an awesome event!

Thanks for letting me share about our day! I enjoyed writing this!

Can I share my day with you?

I previously wrote about how my husband was on a great schedule and how it was going to come to an end soon. He’s back on a kind of difficult schedule for a while and to be totally honest I tend to get a little depressed when he works these hours.

I didn’t come on here just to whine though! I do have an idea! I made a small list of things that bring me happiness. Things that I enjoy doing. At the top of the list I made is sharing about our life on this blog. I usually feel like I shouldn’t. I feel like that when I write it needs to be applicable to others and that just writing about our day wouldn’t be beneficial or even interesting to anyone else.

I thought about it though, and since I know I normally get a bit down during this shift and I know that recording my life with my children makes me happy, maybe you wouldn’t mind seeing posts like these.  I think the act of writing about my life helps me to see my blessings in black and white and makes me realize how good my life is! I hope you enjoy them! Please pray for me during this time and also share with me in the comments what kind of things you do during difficult seasons that bring you joy.

First thing today was Mama’s morning time:
Quiet time (bible reading, prayer and a hot cup of coffee!) I’m currently reading through the book of Ezekiel

I recently found this youtube channel for diastase safe workouts. I did this one today

I made the bed, (at least I got it ready for my husband to get in it), got dressed for the day, started a load of laundry and tidied up the master bedroom and bathroom.
A little after 7:00 the children started to wake up and my husband got home. My husband went to sleep and me and the kids had breakfast and I got the dishwasher unloaded
E wanted to know if I would wrestle her. Before 8 a.m wrestling is not high on my priority list but last night I listened to this interview by Rachel Stafford and I was encouraged to set the timer for just 10 minutes and wrestle with my kids like there was nothing else on earth I’d rather be doing. They loved it!

After that I was ready to sit down so we read from The Jesus Story Book Bible and a couple library books.
I folded and turned over a load of laundry then brought the kids to play in the yard while it was still cool out.
I sat and read some and E made a mud bakery for me to shop from.

I cleared off and sweep the porches and watered the flowers, working slowly enjoying my time.
I brought out for the kids warm bowls of fresh from the crock pot apple sauce that I had prepared last night from the apples the kids picked last week when I took them to a pick your own farm.
When it was time to go in the kids were so dirty they had to go straight to the shower!
After I made myself another cup of coffee, we started in on our Mother Goose Time. We played a “would you rather” question game, a phonics game, and read an “I can read book” that came with an activity to help the child recognize the words. I was really surprised but towards the end of our phonics game E was recognizing the words, “dog” “frog” and “fog”. While doing the I can read activity she was able to spot the differences between the words “he” and “she”.

 
We had lunch and then I laid T.J down for a nap and set up E with crayons, paper, a pile of books and play dough on a cookie sheet. I set the timer for an hour. The rule during our quiet hour is she has to entertain herself quietly while T.J and I nap. If you’re interested it was the article in the link below that got me started on quiet time and helped me to start getting the rest I need.

https://powerofmoms.com/mommys-naptime-101-2/

Quiet hour was over and my husband got up about the same time. The afternoon was spent doing dishes, picking up toys, mopping and spending time relaxing with my husband.
I drove to town by myself while T watched the kids and I went to the library that belongs to our homeschool co-op and spent a lovely time browsing curriculum in silence. I returned some things and picked up a couple things for the kids before stopping buy the grocery store to get a few items.
When I had got home T had already started supper so we finished preparing it together and had a family dinner before he went to work. His shift starts later in the evening than usual so it was neat to get to do that. He played with the kids while I cleaned the kitchen and then we all went outside to wave good bye.
I put on one of the preschool prep videos for the kids and kicked up my feet and read some before starting their evening routine and putting them to bed.

Now that the kids are in bed, I’ve looked over E’s preschool lesson for tomorrow and I am enjoying the quiet as I write. It’s been a nice day and thank you for reading! It was an ordinary day but as I wrote about today I felt so immensely blessed, it really made me happy!

 

Letting go to grow, grace to myself

Before you dive into reading this post let me share something with you. Typically when I write a post I won’t publish it right away. I’ll save it and then agonize about it for a while wondering if it’s good enough and worrying that I may have misspelled words or forgot commas. In keeping with the theme of this post, I’m not going to do that. I typed my thoughts out here pretty quickly and I’m going to go ahead and hit the publish button. You’ll understand what I mean after you read it. Here’s to grace!

A couple weeks back was picture day for our homeschool co-op. Way in advance I signed up for the best time slot for us, bought E’s outfit, decided how I would do her hair and the night before I had every thing all ready and chores done in plenty of time to head out the door. I was feeling pretty good about having it all together!
Right before loading up on time with even an allotted amount of extra time still available I opened up my email to see the address of where we were going. The e-mail had been deleted and I couldn’t find it. I called every one I knew in the co-op. No one answered. I couldn’t get on the co-ops website because I lost the e-mail with the password on it. I started to panic. I immediately was so angry at myself. I told myself that I had ruined the morning and that I was a horrible mother and that now my child wouldn’t be in the year book because I would be late and miss the time slot I had signed up for. I started driving to a church I thought it might be at when I got a call from my husband that he had found the deleted email. Except it didn’t make me any happier because I was on the other side of town and would miss my 5 minute time slop by 5 minutes. I speed there any ways and rushed in. When I went in another child was getting their photo taken. “it’s too late.” I thought defeated. I was totally surprised when the photographer said she would get Ella next and even more surprised when I observed that the other moms were trickling in late and none of them seemed stressed about it. No one cared.

When I got home I apologized to my husband for being short on the phone and explained I was really upset thinking that E would not get her photo in the yearbook. “I’m sure they would have got you in even if you were later than you were.” he said. It took me by surprise because it was a thought that had never crossed my mind. In that moment I had this little perspective shift of how I give grace to every one around me but never to myself. I would never not take a child’s photo because they were late but it never occurred to me that someone would extend that same grace to me. I thought about all the negative things I told myself that morning and how I would never ever treat someone else like that or hold them to the same standards. “Maybe I should be nice to myself I thought.” It was kind of a revolutionary thought for me- something I hadn’t thought of before. I thought to myself “Maybe I should try and give myself the same grace and kindness I give to other people- maybe I would be happier.”

This morning I got to put that little lesson into practical action.

Last night I learned that my husband was going to get today off from work. Woohoo! Three day weekend! I usually always get up between 5:00 and 5:30 a.m without exceptions but last night I decided to set the timer for 6:30 instead and let myself sleep in some on a day when we didn’t have much that needed done or any where to be.

After breakfast in my pajamas (which is a weird experience for me since I usually dress before the kids get up) I began to get ready for the day. My eye caught my calendar and saw that I had written down the details for a field trip at the discovery museum an hour and a half away with our homeschool group. I ignored it and reminded myself that it was 8:00- we didn’t have enough time to get ready and beside that I had just brought the kids swimming yesterday with E’s homeschool outdoors kids club.

I started to clean the bathroom but the nagging thought wouldn’t go away- I knew my husband would really want to go if he knew about it. I took a deep breath and told myself that his happiness and the fun our kids would have was more important than my desire to get stuff done.

I hesitantly ran it by my husband who immediately said, “Yes!” he wanted to go. I had to quickly prioritize what I was going to do because we needed to get out the house FAST if we were going to make it. Make-up? no time. Change E’s ratty looking shirt and do a cute hairstyle? no time. Pack a lunch? no time, there goes my diet plan. I was doing alright until I couldn’t find the hairbrush and then the negative thoughts came into my head, “Why did you sleep into 6:30!? You CANNOT ever sleep in because this is what happens- I can’t believe I..” And then I remembered that word GRACE and I stopped myself from thinking those thoughts. I reminded myself that I wanted to think to myself what I would tell to others. So as I shoved snacks for the kids in the backpack and quickly pulled together what we would need I responded to my previous thoughts with new ones, “It’s okay that you slept in until 6:30 on your day off. Lots of people do that, most sleep in later than 6:30. You’re a good mom for getting up before your kids so you can be ready to serve them no matter what. Besides, you didn’t know you were taking this trip today.”

On the way to the museum there was a few times I looked at the clock and inwardly began to stress about being late. I HATE being late. Even as a child I was very concerned about punctuality- have been my whole life. There was no way we would not be late and I had to tell myself it was okay. No one was depending on me- I wasn’t letting anybody down. Instead of groaning about being late I talked to my dad on the phone and got to hear what’s been going on in his life. I read my husband an article I’d been wanting to read him and we discussed it. It was a nice time.

When we got there late you know what happened? Every one in our group was still standing around giving extra time to anyone who might be late. No one knew we were going to come so no one was waiting for us in particular. I thought about the word grace and was thankful that it was being extended to anybody who might be running late. I was glad I had enjoyed the ride up and didn’t stress about it because in the end it didn’t matter.

I had one last test of my perfectionism- I had to make new friends with no make-up on and my hair a mess. To make matters worse I didn’t have time to pick up my new contacts that I needed so I couldn’t see very well. I was squinting to see people’s faces. I wanted to just stay quiet and hide my disheveled self but I gently reminded myself that being friendly was more important than people thinking I had it all together. I walked up to a woman, my eyes squinting, and held out my hand introducing myself. I found out our husbands know each other and our daughters have the same name. I’m glad I meet her and I’m looking forward to visiting with her again in the future.

I’m sharing a lot of lengthy personal thoughts to make these points- when we let go of perfectionism, when we show ourselves kindness and when we replace negative thoughts with positive one’s, great things can happen! Grace. It’s a good word.

Challenge: next time you begin to mentally beat yourself up, replace your thoughts with kind one’s. Choose to talk to yourself as kindly as you would someone you love.

2 minute date and other fun stuff

So today I did some cool stuff. This morning I took the kids to the splash pad at city park. We got there around 9:00 so we could try and beat the heat but it was HOT! When we left a couple hours later it was already 98 degrees and this afternoon got over 100 degrees so I had to come up with some stuff to do with the kids indoors. E has been asking to make slime ever since she made a slime experiment a couple months back at the library’s “mad scientist club.” I googled “slime for kids” and came up with this very easy and totally fun slime. Seriously-it took about 30 seconds to stir together and E loved it! I was pretty impressed with this stuff! 3 ingredients- glitter glue, contact solution and baking soda. The slime was strong enough and stretchy enough to stretch across the room but pliable enough to play with like play dough. It felt like silly putty- just an enormous ball of it!

http://www.elmers.com/projects/project/elmers-glitter-recipe 

 

While at Wal-Mart today I saw on clearance these cute little toy mailboxes and while I very rarely buy my kids toys for no reason they were only $2.50 so I surprised them with them. Totally worth the money when E “read” to me her letter that told me she loved me as high as the trees. (how cute is that!?) When I tucked her in tonight I told her that hearing her read me her letters was my favorite part of the day.    

 

While at Wal-Mart I picked up one of these dark chocolate with chili bars. I was thinking about it because I had recently been reading a date night at home idea on tolovehonorandvacuum.com and she mentioned these chocolate bars. It was fun to bring it home and having something new to try with T. He was headed to work but we tried it together and I dubbed it a “2 minute date”. We both agreed the concept of mixing the chocolate with the chili was good but would have been better if it had been like a 80% dark chocolate because at 47% the predominate flavor was just the sweet. Anyways! It was something new and we laughed. 

And why do I not make my kids smoothies more often!? Tonight they sucked down both spinach and cod liver oil that I added to the fruit and yogurt. I need to do smoothies way more often! 

What’s in a name? Giving children a family identity

“We’re the Snow family, mama.” E said to me the other day. I smiled the same way I do whenever I write “Snow” on the left hand corner of an envelope.

As a child that’s something I couldn’t do. I remember in elementary school an assignment that was supposed to be really simple reducing me to frustration and tears. The instructions were ‘draw a picture of your family and hang it on this wall for parent’s night.’. I sat there with my colored pencils trying to come up with a way to represent my very complicated family. It was easy for the other kids- mom, dad, themselves, some siblings. For me, I had a mom and dad but they were divorced. Each of them were remarried and both their spouses had kids and I also had a couple half siblings.

I asked my teacher what I should do but she couldn’t really understand the emotion this assignment brought out. I thought that if I drew me and my brother with my moms family that it would leave out my dad and if I drew us with my dad’s family the opposite would happen. I didn’t want to draw every one together because honestly I couldn’t imagine my mom and dad in the same room. In the end, I drew my mom and step dad and his and their children on one side of the page, my dad and step mom and her children on the other side and I drew my brother and I alone in the center of the page. I didn’t know where we belonged. I didn’t have a family identity.

I used to have the same issue with things like holiday cards. (I was a very creative kid and loved mailing stuff!) Who’s name do I put in the left hand corner to represent our family when we had 3 last names under one roof? I sent our cards with no return name on them, simply an address, there was no name that I could put that was a family identity.

My husband and I just celebrate our 7 year wedding anniversary. I’ve been told that it was suprising that my brother and I both wanted to get married at a young age after having grown up the children of divorced parents. I can’t speak for him but for me I view my marriage as a chance to create something that I never had. Through marriage and having children I have created an identity and a name. A single unit that I belong to. The name of this blog is a testament to how much I love having a family name as an identity.

In life we have the choice to continue unhealthy cycles which unfortunately is what many people do. Or, we have the choice to run hard the other way and learn from where we came from and choose to do something different, to create something better.

Ask God for help and for wisdom. He is strong enough to “…give unto them beauty for ashes…” (Isaiah 61:3)

And remember, if you are a follower of Jesus, you have an identity and a family in Him which trumps any other identity and is more secure than our earthly families. Ultimately there awaits us a healing and a redemption which includes a new name. With this post, I’m not trying to say marriage and babies is the only way to find healing from the past or to create an identity. Marriage is temporary in the light of eternity where believers are the bride of Christ and belong to Him.

“…for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren..” Heb. 2:11

“One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Eph. 4:6

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” Jn 1:12

“…To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give hime a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” Rev. 2:17

 

 

 

What do I want out of today?

What do I want out of today?

love. I want to give it and receive it. I want to feel it, to engage all my senses in receiving any bit of it my children or husband offer me. I want to be willing to receive it their way. My 1 year old gives love by feeding me pretend food and curling my hair and lately, giving me way too sloppy open mouth kisses. I want to not be too busy or too distracted to receive that love.

I want to give love how they receive it. My 4 year old wants me to engage in elaborate games of make believe. I will make what is important to her important to me because I love her.

I want to believe. I want to believe God loves me. I don’t want to just hope that God loves me or know intellectually that God loves me I want to experience and taste of the love of God.

I want to hope. I scan the sky for Christ’s return. I want more than that though, I want hope in God for today. If He does not return today I want hope in Him, trust in Him, experiencing Him to be what fills and delights this moment. I want this moment and this day to be wonderful because I am savoring the presence of a loving God who extends friendship.

I am not alone. I want to believe that today and I want it to put a smile on my face, a joy in my step and happiness in my heart. Loneliness is crushing to me. When I could find no one available or around to be with me yesterday I felt so alone. I am never alone though, Christ is the friend that sticks closer than a brother. He lives within me, is all around me. He offers to me fullness of joy in His presence. Did you read that!? Fullness of joy- as in it can’t get any better than this- He offers me all the joy in the universe and tells me it will be enough, it will fill me. Fullness of joy, my cup overflowing with happiness because I am in the presence of the living God.

I don’t want to complain today. I read a Psalm of Asaph this morning and he said that he complained and his soul was overwhelmed. My complaining is what is making me overwhelmed. God, give me Your grace and strength not to complain with my heart or lips but instead offer thanksgiving to You and those around me. With the help of God, I will not complain about child rearing, about messes, about those who have hurt me, about the sufferings in my life.

Instead today I say, thank You God. Thank You that Your mercies are new every morning. Thank You that I am forgiven today. Thank You that You do not hold the sins of yesterday over my head in condemnation but instead You say that the righteous falls seven times yet gets up and keeps going every time. (Proverbs). Thank You that I’m not relying on my own righteousness because I am an ugly sinner. Thank You for blotting out the hand writing of ordinances which was against me and nailing it to Your cross. Thank You for wanting me to have life and have it more abundantly. I receive Your life today.

 

Daily Must Do’s

powerofmoms.com/organization-audio-posts-episode-202/

I listened to this podcast on powerofmoms.com and I really like the idea about the daily must do’s. She says that one of her daughter’s teachers had up on the board each day a list of things the students needed to get done before they could move onto things they wanted to work on. She said she applied this idea to motherhood and her own life and she came up with her own list of must do’s every day. This isn’t a list of all the thing I need to work on or a schedule. It’s a list of 7 doable things that I came up with that even if they were the only things I accomplished in a day would bring my family and me joy and make the day productive.

Do you ever have those days when you just wake up grumpy and feeling blah and just want to go back to bed? Maybe you don’t but I do! When I need motivation to keep moving forward with my day this list is there to show me what’s next. It’s not a to -do list to drag me down it’s something to encourage me and move me forward.

I had a teacher in middle school who did a daily must do list kind of idea and I loved her class because it was the only class where the students all filed in quietly and got to work. She was an effective teacher because we all knew what we were supposed to be doing and what we were going to be doing next.

I’m in the preschool and toddler age with my kids now but as they get older I like the idea of using a daily must do list with them. Something like, before you have screen time (or whatever) have you, gone outside? read? done your chores? been creative? Something along those lines- I’m just thinking.

Anyways! Here is my daily must do list that I came up with. This isn’t forever set in stone. I’m sure it will be tweaked. As the speaker says in the podcast, it’s okay if I don’t get to everything. I’m going for progress not perfection.

Megan’s Daily Must Do’s

Get outside with the kids

Bible time with the kids

do something nice for my husband

complete my chore of the day

clean something that is bugging me (I love this and am copying it 100% from the podcast!)

practice memorizing scripture for 10-15 minutes. I’m putting this one here because at this point in life I really am doing well with the spiritual disciplines of Bible reading and prayer. They are habits for me at this point. (not that there is not room for improvement!) Memorization of scripture not so much. I need to remember that this is one that can be done while washing dishes or folding laundry or whatever if I use our white board and keep the verse I am practicing up on it.

Read something intellectually stimulating. Some day’s I’ll have 2 minutes other days 20. Just give my brain something to think about.

I’m going to write these down and hang them on my fridge so I can see them at a glance.

Grit and Motherhood

I just finished last night this really interesting book called Grit by Angela Duckworth. Angela Duckworth is a psychologist who has devoted herself to the study of what she has defined as ‘grit’. The subtitle of the book is The Power of Passion and Perseverance. I was familiar with the work of Angela Duckworth because I am a part of a Facebook group of diabetics who follow Dr. Bernstein. The group is called TYPEONEGRIT named in reference to Angela Duckworth’s studies.

As a stay at home mom my mind is spinning apply all the principles in this book to my calling of motherhood.

Grit is essentially consistently doing the work today to accomplish a very long term goal. Today as mothers we are changing diapers, kissing boo-boo’s and teaching right from wrong because 20 years down the road we want our children to be confident, well adjusted, God serving adults who are in a position to give back to the people around them.

She explains that successful gritty people believe that their job is important. I believe that doing a good job raising my children is the most important thing I can be doing with my life right now. More than an important job, I believe it is a calling from God. Proverbs 22:6, Deuteronomy 6:7, Titus 2:4. I believe my every day work, even when it feels mundane, benefits not only my family but society and future generations.

Successful people know where they want to be. They have well defined specific goals leading them to an ultimate goal they want to achieve. Successful people also have either one or just a few very specific goals that they are working towards. They say yes to what will get them there and they know they have to say no to the things that won’t. They are not people running around in circles trying to do it all. When making decisions about how I am going to spend my time and energy I need to ask myself the question, “Is this going to enrich or take away from my job as a mom?”

The author includes a section on how we can build grit into our kids. How can we help our children be passionate people who persevere? I know I want to instill in my children an attitude of getting back up when they fall down. She tells parents and educators to teach kids about their ability to learn. Literally showing kids photos of brain growth and giving them an understanding of the brains ability to grow and change has been proven to move people from a ‘fixed mindset’ to a ‘growth mindset.’  A person with a fixed mindset believes that some people are born smart and others are not while a person with a growth mindset views people and themselves as having the ability to learn, grow and change. The first mind set leads to giving up when the going gets tough while the second mindset leads to overcoming obstacles and getting back up after falling. Essentially, learning about learning can change a childs attitude from “I can’t” to “I can.”

She also tells parents and teachers to emphasize with children that failure is okay and to create an environment where it is okay to fail. The child should be able to see their parents learning from their mistakes and moving on with lessons learned. She also emphasizes praising effort over accomplishment.

The author interviews many of what she refers to as, “high achievers” which makes the book a fun and interesting read. I like getting to “listen in” as she picks the brain of hard working successful people and to read their stories of where they came from and where they are going.

Here she is presenting and summarizing her work and ideas in a TEDtalk. It really is worth watching, it’ll get you thinking!