Category Archives: February 2016

& some days are just hard

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& some days are just hard

I’m not sure why it is, but Mondays and Fridays seem to be the most challenging for me with my Little. I experienced one last Thursday, Friday and now today which is Monday. Ergghhh! All I know is it makes for a stretch of bad days for this Momma and wears me out emotionally.

I’m learning, however, that I have to be oh so careful as to what I give out as my punishments. Last week’s frustrations led to “no park this Saturday.” In all actuality, it punished my hubby and me all the more. For once, we had beautiful, warm, sunny weather and we were all punished. Sometimes in the heat of the moment, I find myself grasping at the one thing I know will get his attention: take away his outside play time.

My husband purchased “The Strong-Willed Child” book for me by Dr. James Dobson. It’s been a long time coming and it’s perched on my coffee table at the moment while I’m venting my frustrations with you. HA! I’m hoping to find some wisdom within its pages to help me parent him better. I’m not used to boys much less active ones or strong-willed ones, even more. I couldn’t love my son any more than I already do and I’m pleased as punch to be chosen to be his Momma. I just wish he’d turn his listening ears on and cooperate with me more, y’know? All in the life of a three year old.

Honestly, days like today bring out the worst in me, sadly, because he knows just how to push my buttons. I’m constantly learning new ways of communicating to him that I am the Mommy and he is the child. He loves to try and reverse those roles. Trying to break his will but not his spirit is quite the task. I’m sure you can relate to mastering one issue only to have a new one rear its head. Reminds me of a game with a hammer and pop-up balls…of course the name of the game has escaped me; after all, I’m only operating on 3 brain cells.

I’m pleased to report that after swiftly taking him off to his room as “time-out” punishment, he fell asleep and woke up a happy boy. I’m grateful to God for that personality change! If all goes well, once he’s finished his snack, we’ll go outside to play in the fresh air. Lord willing, that and some beautiful blue sky along with sunshine, will turn this day right around!

How’s your day going?

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How’s your day going?

I truly love being able to be home with my boy. Especially on days like today, when it’s cold, lightly snowing and sleeting outside. Such a blessing to not have to get out when you don’t have to. I have to question myself about (motherhood) being “a blessing” when I awaken to my son peeing on the carpet in his room and my dog throwing up in another room. Days like this can make a sane woman question just how sane she is, let me tell you!

I recently spent a morning with a new friend at her house for a play date. Oh my goodness, it was such a refreshing time! Her home was lived in with toys strewn hither and yon, clutter and commotion. This was a welcome friend to me as I fear too often what guests in my home will think of my disorganization and clutter, as if I should be living in a museum or something. HA!

My friend was not bothered by any of the chaos; rather she focused on her guests. She prepared a delicious meal for my son, me and her children. We shared thoughts and traded ideas on parenting. It was a truly special encounter. I left feeling like I’d been to a spa somehow. It felt good to be in a “less than perfect home.” It felt good to be around a normal family with regular messes, problems, chaos and dare I say, children.

My lesson that snowy morning was to not be afraid to let my hair down. To be true to myself and not hide behind the mask of perfection, which is lonely and imprisoning. I decided that day that I don’t want to live that “annual Christmas card” life or face book post. I want to be true to who I am, clutter and all.

 

Sometimes,…

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Sometimes,…

You just have to be willing to say YES to receive a blessing. The challenge here is having  the discernment to know what things you have to say NO to in order to be able to say YES to what God may be leading or prompting you to do. A full calendar may look good to your ego, but when it comes to being available for what is really important, less is more.

Ask me how I know? I have learned the hard way, actually. Recently, I said “yes” to something I truly don’t like or enjoy doing. Why? I felt a prompting in my spirit to move forward with it and said “yes” to this thing I ordinarily would not have done otherwise. The great news is that I was blessed but better yet, I was able to bless someone else in return. A true win/win. Honestly, as someone just recently shared with me: ‘when you are able to do or help someone in a way that blesses them, you are the one who receives the bigger blessing.’ I have to say, it felt really good!

Remember, I said just a few sentences ago that I had to learn the hard way? Here’s how….for years and I do mean y.e.a.r.s, I have been really naughty (I have a 3 year old, remember?) about saying “yes” when, in all honesty I should have said “no,” plain and simple. Oftentimes, these things I’ve said a wholehearted “yes” to were in fact things I truly wanted and was excited to do AND they were good things, even God-honoring. The problem arrived when later that same day, or even a couple days later, I panicked. I know that may seem dramatic, but it’s true all the same. I know myself pretty well and I don’t operate on all 4 cylinders when I’m over-c0mmitted. I just don’t. Quite frankly, my anxiety takes over and sometimes, I even feel sick in my gut. (I know some of you are rolling your eyes thinking ‘this girl is off her emotional rocker!‘) All I can say, is this is 100% truth; I should know, I’m talking about me for heavens’ sake!

This is how I came to the point of learning to say NO. It has taken me awhile and I mean a long while to learn the fine art of saying no without feeling that I’m hurting someone’s feelings or letting someone down. I have to give credit where credit is due….it was my husband (leave it to him!) who put scripture to it.

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?” (Luke 14:28)
Honestly, this brought it all together for me. It made sense of my crazy emotional state. So now, whenever I’m faced with a decision of whether/not to take part in something (good or not, isn’t the question), he reminds me of this scripture and it truly helps me to think through whatever I’m considering. I don’t want to commit to something and not be able to see it through to completion but at the same time, I don’t want to become sick over it either, trying to please others.
These days, I find myself taking a brief pause when someone asks me (in person) to do this or that. It gives me a minute to gather my thoughts and recall this scripture. If I’m really caring for myself as I should, I will ask them if I may get back to them. This is best because then I can not only pause and think but most importantly, I can take some time to pray over my decision. What is most important to me, however, is that God is pleased with whatever commitments I make. Isn’t that what really matters?
This, in essence, is how I go about “sitting down to estimate the cost.” If we say “yes” to everything and everyone, we will be absolutely no good for ourselves or to those who matter most to us. Over-commitment, in my estimation, is not a good character trait. It just isn’t. We have to be able to analyze what is the best use of the time we have with the resources and prior commitments we already have. I have also learned that I must keep the main thing the main thing: the Lord, my spouse, my son, extended family & friends, church, work, etc., etc.
The takeaway: pray over every decision and commitment before you find yourself in over your head. I’ve been there many times and it’s not.much.fun. Choose to live in the state of freedom and be blessed all at the same time. You won’t regret it!

 

 

 

 

FoCuS

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FoCuS

So enjoying my current Bible study on the book of Nehemiah! Who’d have thought I’d find so many parallels to my own life. As always, I love connecting with other like-minded Christian women in a Bible study such as this one. Our same group, for the most part, had been together in the fall to study the armor of God, another incredible and enlightening study.

Back to Nehemiah. One of the many things I’m enjoying about this book is that Nehemiah had a focus that could not be distracted, no matter how much he was interrupted and tempted. He took on the task of rebuilding the wall for the people of Jerusalem and to honor God. This construction amazingly took only 52 days. Quite the feat for sure!

As Nehemiah and his men were busily working, Nehemiah was summoned by Sanballat and his company to come and meet in one of the villages. Nehemiah was able to discern rather quickly that this “meeting” was only a distraction and that they were scheming to harm him. So he sent messengers with this reply to Sanballat, “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:3)

What impressed me from this snapshot view within the story of the rebuilding of the wall, is that Nehemiah had a task to do which was put in his heart by God himself and nothing was going to thwart his plan. Focus was among his giftings, no doubt. In my case, the work that was put in my heart by God is to be a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) to my son. That said, my focus is to do just that. However if I’m being honest, too often, I allow distractions of life cloud my vision of the good work I’ve been given to do.

As the women and I discussed in our study group, we came to the conclusion that it is essential for us to clarify who it is God created us to be, as well as what He wants for us to do, so that we can more easily discern what opportunities fit into that vision and which ones do not. From this, a mission statement can be birthed for our lives.

For me, this is huge! Often we are bombarded with opportunities to do thus and such, all of which are “good” things. We have to come to the realization that we cannot do it all, nor were we meant to do it all. We have to figure out what fits into His plan and what does not. What is a distraction and what is not. Figuring this out isn’t easily done; we need the Holy Spirit to help us. Sure, God very possibly will put something in our hearts that we may be fearful of or overwhelmed by, yet He will equip us for that work.

For many years, I’ve struggled quite allot with learning to say “NO.” As a people pleaser, I worry that I’m letting the one asking me down if I choose to say no. What a trap! I’ve come to see that I have to draw firm lines and boundaries to keep me aligned with God’s plan for me, not my own, nor someone else’s. Why should I believe that I am the only 0ne who can do whatever it is being asked of me? Truly, this wrongful thinking is pride. It takes daily time in God’s Word with plenty of prayer to discern His plan.

I am thankful for this truth in my life. It has confirmed what I feel that God has been telling me all along, yet I’ve allowed distractions, such as the enemy, to deter me from my purpose. His lies can often be heard loudly in my ear causing me to doubt myself and what God has put in my heart to do. With God’s help, I pray that I might hear God’s voice above all others so that I can stay on the straight and narrow path He has put me on. To live in such a way is truly freeing!