Tag Archives: memories

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Ever feel like a “less than” Momma? Do you struggle with not having “me time” to re-fuel and replenish? Or, do you have days when you feel ill-equipped to raise your child?  Have you hit a wall with your sanity because you’ve been over and over the same issues with your kids yet reap no rewards for your hard labor? Like me, have you read every parenting book imaginable in hopes of discovering the secret of success?

I’m here to say you are normal. Now, if you are prone to live in any one of these places for too long, you may need to look outside of yourself and seek someone to talk to about the possibility of depression. Still, you’re not damaged, or un-fixable. Motherhood is not a job for the faint of heart. It’s important to know you are not alone on your journey and you are not the only one who’s ever had a certain problem with your child. If fellow Mommas would be real, authentic, and transparent with each other, I have a feeling we’d have fewer pity parties as we wouldn’t live in the comparison trap.

I recently watched a clip of a job interview taking place between the boss of a company and various prospective employees, all captured on video. Interestingly, the job description was laid out with the following “must have” qualifications. “To be considered for this job, you must be able to cook, have mad cleaning skills, be a teacher,  a financial planner, shopper, counselor, negotiator, disciplinarian, nurse, manager of people, a taxi driver, event coordinator; oh, and you must be available at a moment’s notice. You’re required to work week-ends and holidays, and you don’t get sick days. Working 24/7 is a must. Oh, and before I forget, the job doesn’t pay anything.”

Seeing the faces of these poor, unsuspecting people in need of a job was hilarious! I mean they were incredulous at each and every requirement necessary for the job. Pure disbelief and ultimate shock that such mandates were being made. At the end of the video, the boss explained that the job being described was for that of a Mom. Each hopeful employee stared ahead like a deer blinded by a headlight before the boss’ words actually sunk in. Once the light bulb went off, each one laughed then smiled in fond remembrance of the Mom that raised them. It was a tearful moment as they replayed in their mind all of the things that a Mom does….all without pay, and oftentimes without a simple “thanks”.

Often, the things we beat ourselves up most about as a Mom, aren’t on a child’s radar. Children are incredibly forgiving! We as Moms, are our own worst critic. Sure, there is always room for improvement and each day offers new grace. Upon asking a child what they love most about his/her Mom, you’ll hear qualities such as, “she’s pretty”, “she plays with me”, “I like it when she jumps on the trampoline with me”, “she is funny!”, and “she lets me help her in the kitchen”. Simple, yet forever imprinted on their little hearts.

So try to see yourself through the eyes of your child(ren). Time is an invaluable commodity. Stopping what you’re doing to pay them attention and engage with them through play is huge! I’ll never forget how much fun it was as a child to see my own Dad skip down the aisle of a grocery store. I asked him to and he obliged. I’m sure inside he felt like an ig-mo skipping down the aisle of a store. I can imagine that anyone who witnessed his silly skipping knew in their heart he was doing it for his daughter. I loved it and giggled at the sight of it! Umpteen years later, this simple skip stands out in my mind as a happy, beloved memory between me and my Dad.

 

 

Don’t Miss It

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Don’t Miss It

Admittedly, Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I love everything about it: family, love, food, friends, but more than that, I cherish the reason for the season: Jesus’ birth. For if He were not born, there would be no death and resurrection to save us from our sins, offering grace and pardon to live eternally with Him. Our hope is found in the birth of Jesus! We have reason to celebrate and to share the hope we have in Christ.

Somehow, some way, every year without fail it seems that the reason for our celebrating is left in the dust. Our focus turns to stuff and what we can buy to give, or to receive for ourselves. We are scurrying around to every child’s event at school, church, and the like not to mention the office parties and gatherings among friends. We find ourselves stressed out, broke, and even depressed. Then, there’s the sickness that naturally occurs as the weather cools down and germs begin to spread. We find ourselves sleeping less and going til we can’t go anymore.

I find it hard to believe that this is what Christmas was meant to be about. Why is it that we wait until December to show love for our friends and family? Why is it that we feel that gifts given somehow equate to how much we love someone? Why do we continually spend money we don’t have in fear of being perceived a grinch?

As I continue to age, I find myself tremendously scaling back. Cutting back on activities, some of which I’d rather enjoy partaking in; however, I’ve learned my limits. To me, Christmas is time invested with family and friends, quiet moments by the fireplace, sharing yummy simple food, listening to beautiful Christmas carols and hymns, finding peace amidst the chaos, simplified giving, and self-care. As much as I love sending and receiving Christmas cards, I find myself cutting back on the expense of them. We erroneously allow money and the giving of gifts to be the focus of our Christmas when we already have the best gift we could ever receive: Jesus.

When I allow my mind to wander back to Christmases past, what I have fond memories of is time spent with both sets of grandparents and extended family, traditions of baking family favorite treats (even the dreaded fruitcake!), Christmas Eve candlelight services at our church, luminaries throughout our neighborhood, finding and cutting our Christmas tree, homemade hot cocoa, roasting marshmallows and making s’mores, singing favorite Christmas songs, Christmas caroling throughout the neighborhood, unwrapping one gift on Christmas Eve, reading the Christmas story from our family Bible, opening treasured engraved ornaments from family friends, trading Christmas cards from friends and family near and far.

Pinterest and facebook didn’t exist in my treasured memories. We baked and created in the kitchen only to be compared to the recipe that had been passed down through the family. Selfies and instant posting of pictures on social media didn’t exist; we were busy living in the moment, savoring time with those we loved, enjoying being out of school and traveling to Grandma’s. Cellphones and texting weren’t a thing yet making our family time more special and less distracted. We were excited to see what gifts were under the tree and enjoyed hearing the back story of how and why each gift was chosen and purchased. Amazon didn’t exist making it exciting to actually go to the mall and wonder who you might run into while you were shopping.

It was a joyous and simple time. Even with all of today’s technology intended to make life easier and less complicated, yet distracting us like never before, we can find simplicity. We can savor the moments, find joy in simple handmade gifts and cards, and most importantly, focus our minds and thoughts on Jesus. Being present in the moment and enjoying life’s simple pleasures. Love isn’t about money spent on gifts; rather the heart that gives out of love.

Consider these thoughts as you and your family count down the days before Christmas. Don’t allow yourself to be caught up in the commercialism of the season or the comparison trap of gift giving to keep up with the Joneses; for there isn’t any love there. Demonstrate Christ’s love in a simple smile, handshake, hug, handwritten note, or even an anonymous gift given to someone in need. For here is where the joy and love of the season is found.

Wishing you and those you love a very Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

social media worthy

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As I was scrolling through my facebook feed this week, I happened upon a post from a former co-worker and friend of mine.  I noticed she’d posted pictures of different rooms in her house, all in different stages of “messiness,” (her words, not mine). The pictures are what beckoned me to read on. Inspired by her words, I asked permission to share them with you. Here is what she wrote:

I was talking with my wise friend, _______, this weekend about my messy house/car, lack of cooking and overall frenzied pace. She encouraged me, and I’m passing it on, that at least we are present in the moment, and the rest doesn’t matter. I walked around the house yesterday and just took pictures. Once I was done, I was reminded of just how beautiful our “messy” lives are: a science project (and parts all over the place), decorating a pumpkin for a contest (with glue everywhere), notes from kids, box tops collections (and loving the interactions with incredible families from our school), two sizes of shoes laying in the middle of the floor that represent a camping trip with the boys and other great Boy Scouts families, a not so neatly written *Bible verse that is the key to all of this, and finally hugs – not when they are convenient time-wise, but when my incredible husband is running late, yet ALWAYS makes sure to hug each of us, and from an unprompted sister who thankfully adores her brother. None of this was staged and that’s what makes it pretty. 🙂 Hopefully you can stop for a moment in your day, to see the beauty that surrounds you too.

Yes! A thousand times YES!!! How I love what my friend shared in her facebook post. Nothing could be truer or more accurate than this!! While I would be lying if I said I don’t, at times, covet a beautifully kept, minimalistic, non-cluttered, meticulous home. Goodness knows in my perfectionist mindset I would simply adore my home mimicking the cover of the latest Southern Living magazine. Only in my wildest dreams! Honestly— I struggle, stress, fret, agonize whenever we have anyone over, which is precisely why it is a rare occasion that we entertain. Sad, but true, since we’re the ones who are missing out. What I want is perfection in every way and sometimes I get literally sick, even angry, that it’s just not to be, at least not in this season of my life. Yes, I fight it tooth and nail.

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (James 4:14, NIV)

 

I’m thankful for my friend, Susan, and her wise words. Life is but a vapor and while our Littles are all about our feet, let us seek to make the most of every moment and treasure the memories made with them. One day, my home will feel all too quiet and I don’t want to look back on these years with regret fretting over my IMperfect house, wasting precious time. It has been said, ‘the days are long, but the years are short’. Let’s seek to find beauty in the messes. Would we not prefer our children remembering happy times spent together rather than recalling Mommy too busy and frenzied in an attempt to keep a perfect home? After all, the most comfortable homes I’ve been in are the ones which aren’t perfect!

*I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.(Philippians 4:12-13)

zzzz’s

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11:42pm…Yes, I should be in bed by now, BUT….

Being a Mommy of a 4 year old is tiring. I’m sure you’ll agree, after all, what Momma isn’t tired? Ever feel emotionally drained? Like not so much physically wiped out but just tired of the same.issues.over.and.over. The discipline, consistency of it, trying to ‘choose my battles,’ and the noise and energy level off the chart. Yeah, that about sums it up.

Any more, the only time for me to unwind is after the boy goes to bed. It’s nothing new but still, catching up on email and texts, thinking through details of tomorrow, getting into a good book, and sometimes writing, all eats into my sleep hours. Before I know it, it’ll be 6:30am and time to get up, gulp down some coffee and perhaps, if I’m fortunate, a slice of toasted bread with peanut butter to give me at least something in my stomach before the monster, errr, I mean child wakes up for a brand new day.

I’m not complaining, truly, I’m not. I just find it humorous that I’m still awake and yet I desperately need to be asleep so that I can conquer tomorrow’s challenges, that’s all. I wouldn’t change this time and these days with my boy for a thing. I’m grateful and blessed to be able to be at home with him. Grateful that my dear husband wants it that way, and works hard for it to remain this way. Thankful for the memories we’re making together and that I have a son who calls me “Mommy”. Taking time to drink in the days with him will always be a treasure. God has been good to grant me the desires of my heart.

I couldn’t ask for more….

 

 

 

 

with a turn of a page

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Oh how I dearly love the fall season! I adore the varied colors of foliage, the aroma of burning leaves, change of the sun’s position in the sky, delicious apple season, yummy chilis and soups, the majestic mountains, outdoor activities, and most of all….cooler temperatures!!!! Something happens within me as well; I feel invigorated by the crisp, cool, clear days. I have a spring in my step like no other season of the year gives me. Cherishing it day by day because fall will soon fade into winter, which is my least favorite season, even a little depressing.

With the start of fall brings a whole new freedom and excitement for me this year! I am almost giddy at the thought of my nearly 4 year old starting Mother’s Day Out (MDO) next week! I truly never thought I’d be ready for this moment; however, it’s only 2 days a week yet it represents hours of newfound freedom that will soon be mine. Those of you who’ve been following my blog are well aware of the boundless energy my son possesses. As a matter of fact, just last night, a friend at church witnessed my son’s burst of energy at nearly 8pm and asked me if he ever slows down…..to this question asked of me, I quickly exclaimed, “NO!” Well, maybe at bedtime after a slowwwwww winding down as he takes in a favorite TV show.

So, as excited as I am, I’m afraid I have inflated expectations of alllllll that I hope to accomplish during the hours he’ll be away two days a week. I’m ready to purge and clean my house top to bottom. I want to see the sparkle of clean floors, ready to stock my freezer with soups for fall, ready to meet a friend here or there occasionally for an impromptu lunch. While I feel so blessed to be a SAHM, quite honestly, I feel like my house has been on a nearly 4 yr hiatus of attention. Truly! You know how it is, you see that the bathrooms need cleaning so you give them some elbow grease and next thing you know, minutes later, it’s as if you never put a cleaning cloth to them. Discouragement at it’s finest. You sweep the carpet and within a matter of time, crumbs pattern the floor as if you never whirled that Hoover. This, of course, translates to the bedroom (mine and his!), the kitchen, den and bonus room. Toys are everywhere…mostly under my feet! Oh how I will purge them when his little eyes can’t witness them disappear. It’s times like these that I find myself wondering if my family of 3 could embrace a tiny house. Less stuff, more time, less stress.

Now, if you should darken my doorstep, please don’t be quick to judge me if all these glorious expectations of mine aren’t met. I have big outdoor plans as well, like the beds that need weeding badly, shrubs need coiffed, back yard needs purged of an abundance of toys.

For now, my son’s voice beckons me. After all, it’s more about the memories being made than the chores being left undone, right? The days go by quickly, and I intend to make the most of them with my newfound freedom!

Have a wonderful day, my friends!