Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The heart of the Matter

 "In building meaningful relationships with my children..I must learn to accept unconditionally the person God made each of them to be...mothers have the priviledge of instilling in children a deep experience of God by modeling his unconditional love and acceptance." Quote taken from Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson

I have this little boy who is going through a phase of sorts. Whenever I leave him at Church or anywhere new, he gets very upset and someone usually has to come get me to take care of him.

For awhile I was getting very frustrated with him. Why was he throwing these fits? He knows better than that! 

Last Thursday, after another episode, I fell on my knees in sheer frustration and started praying. I asked God to give me some wisdom in dealing with Jack. Almost immediately I began feeling burdened that Jack might not be throwing tantrums because he's disobeying, but because he's scared. Perhaps he is feeling a little insecure and feels most secure with me. I also felt that before church or before we go anywhere that we'll be separated for awhile I should pray over him.

Tomorrow I'll get to put this into practice, I'll let you know how it goes.

My Curly Girl

Our little Anna is quite the character. She's still mischievous, but in the last few months she has turned into such a funny little girl. 

She's our child that mimics everything we do, especially what she sees me do! In the last few weeks she has started playing with baby dolls, and I'll often see her caring for her dolls the same way I care for Lily(except I'm not prone to drag a baby around by her head). She gets so excited about everything(I have no idea where she gets that from!) and will jump up and down when she sees her grandparents and applaud when Erik comes home.

For all her energy, though, Anna is usually perfectly content to sit and read. She is also an excellent sleeper. In fact, we just moved her and Lily into the same room, and there hasn't been any problems. 

Anna is this sweet combination of being a bit of tomboy and being very much a girly girl. She loves shoes and dresses, but is happy to chase and play a bit rougher with Jack. 

"A girl is Innocence playing in the mud, Beauty standing on its head, and Motherhood dragging a doll by the foot."

Monday, October 11, 2010

Just in case anyone cares...

Ever since our little family has gone from four to five, I've been feeling a little overwhelmed. My husband and I were discussing some things I could do to make things a little easier, and the one very obvious solution we had was to make a schedule. I've always been a routine person. My children have nap times and bedtimes, but as far as an actual schedule of things we do while they are awake? Not so much. That has all changed in the last week or two, and while it's not been perfect, it has helped me tremendously in trying to love on the children while also staying on top of housework. I don't know if it'll help anyone reading this or not, but just in case anyone is considering the same thing for their homes I thought I would show our schedule.

Monday- Clean out refrigerator, make menu, grocery shop, errands and start on laundry.

Tuesday- Dust entire house, vacuum, mop wood floor areas, and laundry(of course).

Wednesday- Clean both bathrooms, wash bedding, and bath rugs. Mop bathrooms and kitchen floor.

Thursday- Ladies Bible study. Minimal housework is done, but we usually need milk and bread by Thursday, but I wait until Erik is home so I can go alone.

Friday- Projects/ fun day. Also MOPS is every couple of Fridays, so we go there as well.

Monday-Wednesday schedule for kids

8:15- Kids wake up

8:30-Dressed, breakfast. Sometimes we sing a song or work on a memory verse. Other times we just talk while I gather dirty clothes and unload the dishwasher.

9-9:15- Free time

9:15-945- Read books with kids, sing songs, rock with Lily.

9:45-10:00- Free time.

10:00- Bible time/practice sitting quietly. We either read Psalm 103 or Genesis 1. Sometimes we go through  My ABC Bible Verses: Hiding God's Word in Little Hearts, by Susan Hunt. The stories are a little above my three year old's head, but he can get the verses within five minutes.

10:15- Snack time(Lily goes down for nap about this time)

10:30- Color/ art

10:45- play outside if weather is nice, have art time go on for awhile if it's not nice out. We might watch a video around this time as well.

11:30- Lily wakes up, and it's more free time until lunch.(Free time just means they can play whatever they want, or I'll read to one of them, or we might go back outside, etc)

12:00- Lunch

12:30 Pick up toy room, go potty for those who are potty training, and change diapers. Then it's upstairs for naps!

Late afternoons and evenings are pretty free, since that's when Erik is home.

It's a pretty simple schedule, but it helps to keep me on task. I've only been doing this for a couple of weeks, but so far it has been a blessing to me!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dear Jack,

You have truly become such a sweetheart in the last few weeks. You adore Anna and Lily, and they love the attention they get from you. Whenever we go somewhere, you always hold the door open for the girls(mommy included), most of the time without being asked. As soon as you shut the door behind us, you usually take Anna by the hand and lead her to wherever we are going. You like to play games with Lily, such as peek-a-boo, and are one of the first ones to ask her what's wrong when she starts crying.

But the most recent thing that has melted your mommy was at church this past Sunday. You wanted to watch Daddy play his base in big church, so after Sunday school I took you into big church with me. For the first few songs, you danced in place, seeming to enjoy yourself. But when the slower songs started, and people were raising their hands in worship, you decided to join them. I glanced down and you had your hands raised, eyes closed, singing,"Amazing Love." Well technically you weren't singing the lyrics, but you like to move your mouth along to songs you don't know the words to. It was so sweet! I couldn't help but laugh a little, and I'm fairly certain you melted the people behind us. It made me pray once again that you would grow into a man who would learn to worship Jesus unashamedly.

I love you, bubby!



While in a Bible study meeting last week the question came up, "How do you respond to God in difficult circumstances?"

We all have an old nature that we tend to fall back in when the going gets tough, but if we are Christians, we need to learn to rely on God to meet all our needs.

Today started out decent. I didn't even get too frustrated when my kids woke up earlier than I would've liked. There was one situation that needed to be taken care of today, but I thought I had a handle on it. God is Sovereign in all things, He would take care of the need we had.

But then I received a disappointing phone call. Things weren't going to work out quite the way I had thought, but I still wasn't too upset because I thought we had other options of taking care of the problem.

About an hour later, I received an even more upsetting phone call. All the options I had thought we had were gone. Now I was upset. I was overwhelmed, and beginning to wonder if we hadn't made a huge mistake. I sat on my kitchen floor, trying to think of ways to escape the mess we are in. But then in my kitchen, I began to feel convicted. Was I really trusting God earlier today, or was I just trusting the options I thought we had? Do I truly believe God is good and that He takes care of His children?

Thankfully, God gave me grace to repent. I didn't know how things were going to turn out, but I knew that no matter what God would supply our needs somehow.

And wouldn't you know, about five minutes after I got up from the kitchen floor, there was a knock on the door. And it was someone who wanted to help us out. I continue to be blown away by the way God answers our prayers. Most of the time it seems to be at the last minute, when our hearts are being tested to see what we truly believe.

I don't write any of this to give anyone the impression that I believe in a "name it claim it" theology. This was a real need, and God promises to meet every need His children have.

"Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said," I will never leave you nor forsake you. So we can confidently say,"The Lord is my helper, I will not fear, what can man do to me?" Hebrews 13:5-6

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