Tag Archives: children

Shoes

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I had a really nice visit with a friend not so long ago. While she is a pastor’s wife at our church, I’ve also had the privilege to get to know her better through a small group Bible study. It was during this time that she really made an impression on me. Although she has 5 children of her own and is my junior, I was able to discern she had a depth to her Christian walk. In other words, she wasn’t just a “pastor’s wife” in name only. She has a genuine faith all her own aside from her husband’s role in the church.

During our brief visit, I shared with her some things I’ve been struggling with in my parenting. Knowing her as I do, I felt she would have some godly wisdom for me. Little did I know that her words would be few, yet pregnant in meaning. Her response, “I haven’t walked in your shoes.” Wow! That really resonated with me because she could have easily spewed from her vast experience of parenting her own 5 children. I would have taken it all in and considered what she was saying, but the impact of those 6 words conveyed so much more to me.

“I haven’t walked in your shoes” communicates several things. One being the most obvious, I’ve not been in your particular situation so I don’t feel I can bring anything to the table. Second, considers that while the experience I have with my children might be helpful to you, it may not be, simply because all children are different just as all parents are different. Third, it validates you as a parent by not assuming you’re an igmo since you’re in the spot you’re in. Fourth, it offers empathy to the person who is seeking help and desperately trying to find a solution to their problem.

Leaving my friend that afternoon, I not only felt heard but encouraged, empathized with, prayed for, and refreshed. Isn’t this what we all long for with our most treasured of friends? It seems ludicrous to think otherwise, yet more times than I care to recall, I’ve come away from a conversation having felt ridiculed, challenged, put down, a less than, and an igmo all rolled into one! For me to humbly ask a friend for advice, in my opinion, is a compliment to my friend. It conveys that this friend is admired, looked up to, been in a similar situation where they can empathize and offer help. I cannot fathom why anyone would respond in any other way but with grace and honor.

My challenge to you: the next time a friend shares her personal dilemma with you, consider her thoughts and feelings. Listen to her with respect and empathy. Weigh your words carefully before pontificating your thoughts. And as a respected pastor of mine once said, ‘while listening (to the person speak), I pray silently to God asking for His wisdom to share rather than my own’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let the travel begin!

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The holidays. Such an exciting time with family and friends to all be together under one roof in a slower-paced, more relaxed environment. Although they can be crazy busy, the holidays bring out the kid in all of us, I believe. Managing the calendar of events during this season can be a part-time job, for some. It’s a time for babysitters to rake in the money, while parents spend the money! For many, the holidays kick off a busy travel season.

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While there are positives and negatives to living in close proximity to family, many of us live a fair distance away giving us the opportunity to travel. We are one of many such families. Although we are a small family: mommy, daddy, son, and small dog, the cost for us to fly is prohibitive. So, we typically load up the van with all kinds of entertainment, snacks, clothes to suit any weather condition we might encounter, along with the small dog. Yes, we travel with our dog rather than pad the wallets of boarding facilities for days upon end. As we prepare to pull out of our driveway, we pray for good traveling weather, good health, safety on our journey and then we ‘hit the road, Jack!’, as my son likes to say.

Traveling can be fun and adventurous. To the contrary, it can also be stressful and taxing on the body. Excitement generally trumps any of the negative. Given the fact that long distance is typically the map for our journey, the atypical eating out, enjoying forbidden everyday treats, watching movies, and listening to music together as a family unites us and creates a plethora of memories. Lack of sleep, routine, and diet brings on crankiness and behavioral joy; yes, I chose the word “JOY” to be sarcastic. Or, as a friend once humored me, family fireworks is our mojo!

Being a guest in someone’s home, warmly welcomed and spoiled by home-cooked meals that I don’t have to plan and prepare, entertainment, and occasional outings is such a delight. It is a rare treat to not be in charge, nor a slave to the clock, the kitchen, or the schedule for a few days. Yet with all the perks of being a guest, it’s amazing to me how tired one can feel. It’s as if being in a routine energizes a person, surprisingly!

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Astonishingly with all the excitement and anticipation of traveling to visit loved ones, even the youngest of children longs to be home for the holidays. I was quite shocked to hear my 6 yr old son excitedly proclaim how he couldn’t wait to set out cookies and milk for Santa on a particular table within OUR home on Christmas Eve. I quickly reminded him that we would be visiting with Grandma and Grandpa and would have to leave Santa’s treats out on THEIR table. Immediately my son’s countenance changed as he retorted, “but I want to be at MY house for Christmas!” I have to admit I was quite surprised to hear this from his mouth because he looks so forward  to visiting family with all the fun and spoil it brings.

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I realized from my son’s undeniable expressed desire to be home for Christmas that within all of us, home is a special, cherished, familiar, and safe place. Even in the midst of the busyness and stress of day to day living within the four walls we call home, it still remains the place we reserve to call Home.  While I’m not quite sure if and how this may or may not affect our future plans for traveling over the holidays, it brought a smile to my face to hear my son proudly proclaim his love for our home. His home.

Happy Holidays!

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You know you’re a Mom when….

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You know you’re a Mom when….

I could go a lot of different directions here; however, I’ll stick to my story….

Yesterday started out as a pretty normal Saturday. Although we parted company in the morning for a few hours, we joined back up and made our monthly pilgrimage south for haircuts. All of us were looking like sad, shaggy orphans. Our weather had turned windy and chilly and we stopped for a bite to eat, then by a local store we like to peruse.

We made it maybe 10 steps inside the store, when my little one started to cry. He wasn’t looking like he was feeling too well, so I picked him up and that’s when it happened! My right side was immediately splashed in, wait for it, vomit. Face, shoulder, torso. Poor baby continued emptying his stomach all over the floor at this point, blocking the entrance to the store. My husband summoned some help to clean up while my son and I dashed into the bathroom. What do you know??? NO PAPER TOWELS in the bathroom. Now, I’m all for saving the planet, but when you have a catastrophe (at least that’s what I call projectile vomit on the body), a blow dryer for the hands just doesn’t cut it!

We cleaned ourselves up as best we could with what we had, washing our shirts and shoes out in the bathroom sink. My husband came to our rescue with a couple t-shirts for us to change into. We picked up a mop bucket on the way to the check-out just in case we needed it on the drive home. Showering, bathing, and laundering our shoes, jeans, shirts, socks, and even my purse made us all feel better, along with a nice nap!

Thankfully, our son is feeling like eating some bland noodles this morning along with a little carbonation to sip. When, what seemed like only minutes later, the dog started heaving, his body contorting like an overloaded washing machine. I quickly tried to catch him as I knew what was coming…more vomit. Sure enough, even our family dog was throwing up! Oh goody, I thought!

I quickly realized it wouldn’t be the holidays without sickness knocking on the door. Here’s hoping the caregivers don’t come down with the “epizuti”, as I call it. Any Momma will tell you it is not a good thing when she’s sick. Consequently, I’m slurping down a nice cocktail with Airborne to hopefully stave off any germs hanging out in our home. Life certainly doesn’t stop when illness hits. My heart goes out to Mommas of multiple kiddos. I already feel like a short-order cook, maid, housekeeper, and care-giver with my one-and-only down for the count. It’s true selflessness at its best.

All “grossness” aside, I wouldn’t trade any of it for the blessing and gift of being a Momma. I believe God gives Moms (and Dads!) special grace for handling the less than glorious side of parenting. There’s nothing like caring for and nursing a little one who is totally dependent on you. After all, isn’t this what the good Lord does for each of us as His children? He comforts us when we’re sad, sick, upset, hurt, and unable to care for ourselves. He loves us when we’re unlovely. One of the greatest joys of motherhood is being a nurturer, a caregiver, a nurse maid to our children. Somehow, this truth trumps the unlovely part every. single. time.

Here’s hoping we can all enjoy an illness-free holiday season! We can start by thanking the Lord for health, for medication, for a warm bed on a chilly night, for our doctors and nursing staff. As God cares for us as His children, let us care for our family. Let us remember: God is good all the time; all the time, God is good.

 

 

 

 

Chasing tails

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Ever feel like you’re chasing your tail? Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this! Seriously, I’ve been dropping balls lately and it really bothers me. It’s not like me to forget to do something or be somewhere on time (within 10 minutes anyway). Heck, I scheduled and managed schedules for a living in my ‘working girl’ life, for heavens’ sake! (Maybe I shouldn’t admit that!)

I’m a paper calendar kinda gal. I know, super old school but it all began in my ‘working girl’ life (before all our modern technology, mind you) that I tweaked and perfected what worked best for me. I quickly learned to keep meticulous notes should someone challenge me. Once the computer took the typewriters’ place, I kept my paper calendar. I still do. I find immense comfort knowing that I can easily amend details. However, writing is a different animal. I much prefer my laptop over the archaic pen and paper method. Go figure! Each to his own, I suppose.

I digress…

For whatever reason, this year has been a little more challenging between keeping mine, my husband’s, and now my son’s social calendar. Are you laughing at me?! The kid had four birthday parties within a couple short weeks, two of which were on the same day, yet different times. Get my drift? I lonnnnged for my paper calendar to edit and organize my thoughts. I tend to create check boxes: do I have a gift purchased-check, did I RSVP-check, did I purchase the pumpkin for the preK patch-check. Scary, I know, yet this is how my brain works!

Needless to say, I feel like my mind is on overdrive most days… always somewhere to be, something to take, pick up, purchase, hence the chasing of the proverbial tail. To be honest, I detest living this way. It wears me out, stresses me out, even causes me to be physically sick at times. Why do I do what I don’t want to do? This is the life we live, yet, we choose to live this way. I have one (1) child who recently turned five (5) and our schedules have quickly picked up. We limit our calendar of activities, yet tend to spin our wheels.

Hence my new morning read, Keep A Quiet Heart, Elisabeth Elliott. Within its pages, I’m reminded to sit at the feet of Jesus, take in His Word, fill my thoughts with His thoughts, and seek only to please Him. Boy! When I look at life through His lens, suddenly the hamster wheel starts to slow a bit. My focus turns to what really matters and what my priorities need to be in the present stage I’m in. I find myself desiring a more peaceful existence as the years roll on. Ultimately I find that my son just wants to spend time with me, his Daddy, as well as his extended family and friends. Making lasting memories by taking the time to sit down to play cars, allow our imaginations take over, let him help me around the house by folding clothes, running the vacuum, or setting the table fill his little love tank. Simplicity.

Since life is short and there aren’t any guarantees for what tomorrow holds, let’s strive to make the most of each day. Simply spending time together, listening, playing, relaxing without being a slave to the clock, is a recipe for a day of not taking life too seriously. Now, I need to take a dose of my own medicine!! Let’s go have some fun!

 

Things I taught my children…

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Friends, today I’m bringing you a guest post from a very sweet, precious, wise woman friend of mine, Miss Terra Tucker. I believe you will find it to be worth the read!

Things I taught my children – that I would teach them all again:
1. Jesus loves you – He may not like your behavior at times, but He always loves you.
2. To treat EVERY single person with kindness – “the way you would want to be treated” – Golden rule.
3. To look every person in the eyes when talking and listening to them. Mr David and I used to make them order their own food at a restaurant from the time they were two years old to practice this one.
4. Never make fun of another person (especially for something they cannot help) or be intentionally hurtful toward someone – cruelty is never cute or acceptable for children of God.
5. When you mess up or are hurtful toward someone – apologize – (say the words – I’m sorry)- I mean sometimes it’s the very least we can do in life.
6. You are no better than anyone, but no one is better than you either.
7. Every person is worthy of being treated with dignity and respect because every person is made in the image of God.
8. For my girls, pretty is as pretty does.
9. God always knows. You can pull things over on your parents at times, and you can trick some of the people some of the time, but God sees the heart. He always knows and ultimately we all answer to Him.
10. Humility comes before honor, and to strive to have integrity.
11. To whom much is given, much is required…
12. God is always with you. You are never alone.
13. You can always come back home – both to God (no matter what) and to us – because His and our love for each of you is unconditional!
14. We believe in each of you to be all of who God has created you to be!
15. God gives grace because nobody’s perfect!

Parenting is work, but I promise that it’s worth it!!!❤️

Terra