Sunday, October 23, 2016

Recent Inspirations

It’s a crazy world out there. Amongst the materialism and the temptations of the flesh, these things have been the more recent fuel that kept alive my passions for God, marriage, motherhood and philanthropy…

This sweet idea, having my boy draw a picture of his prayer request! 

I really, really love it when things are tied up perfectly. I feel like God leads me to just the right words ALL THE TIME. Lately I’ve been very acutely aware of how every mother’s perspective is so different on the “hard” and “easy” parts of motherhood. I’ve heard women say the newborn stage is the hardest. I’ve heard them say pre-teens are sooooo hard. I’ve heard about terrible twos. I’ve heard Terrible TWOS? More like Terrible Threes!” I’ve heard the hardest part is letting your children go, seeing them grow up and not “need” you anymore. Every stage is the hardest to someone; every stage is the easiest to someone. Most days I love motherhood and can easily find the beauty in all this chaos. But on hard days, on days where no one is listening to me and my heart feels a little broken, it’s easy to think to myself that this is SO HARD! Because it is! Even when it’s beautiful, it’s hard. My back hurts like 100% of the time and I haven’t slept in like three solid years. It’s hard. But. It’s also precious. Any ways, I was feeling nervous the other day and thinking, what if this is the EASIEST part for me?! How am I ever going to make it?? Then I read an awesome letter in The Mother Letters about certain things being easier when they get a little older, and then I read this blog post: and now I feel like, Okay. Deep Breath. I can do this. So can you. <3

Toddler devotionals! My mom sent the kids a little money and their current favorite place to spend it is our Christian bookstore, which is of course fine with me. Last time my boy convinced his sister to pool their money together for this toddler boys’ devotional, so this time we pooled it together for the toddlergirls’ devotional. Really, both are gender neutral. The devotionals are quick and simple stories about making good choices, obeying, trusting God, etc. which end with a Bible verse and a prayer. They’ve been perfect for our three-year-old and actually remind me a little of the way his Awana lessons go.

“Recently, we came up with an idea for an activity that has had such a positive impact on our family. We give everyone a chance to draw a word out of a hat. Every word in the hat comes from Galatians 5:22-23, a scripture passage that refers to “the fruit of the Spirit,” meaning the qualities of a person whose life is filled with and led by God’s Holy Spirit. It says: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” We have nine words in the hat, and we draw one each week. I post the word on the refrigerator, and it becomes the character quality we all work on for the next seven days.” –Jessica Robertson, The Women of Duck Commander
My kids already know Galatians 5:22 by heart. I learned a song about it as a little kid so I have always sung it to my boy, even as a tiny baby. When we started memorizing scripture, this was the second one I shared. He had it down within a few days, at two years old! I think singing it so much is why. Any ways, we all know the scripture and I also pray for myself to develop each of the fruits in the mornings so they are very aware of the words, but this sounded like such a great way to put meaning behind it! I thought a great way to do it would be to have a little lesson about each word before starting it. So I made a cheesy craft for our refrigerator and each week we pull out a new fruit and talk about it.

We were packing up Operation Christmas Child boxes last week and my three-year-old understands that these are gifts for children who don’t have much. We explained to him that the toys we send might be the only toys these children have and that we are giving them a Christmas since they probably wouldn’t get one otherwise. He has grasped that concept pretty well and has been really enjoying picking out gifts and packing the boxes up together. Last week he was playing Legos and suddenly looked up and said “Mom, our Opp-en-ation Christmas Choxes need Legos! They don’t have any Legos to play with. Let’s give them mine.”
Legos are one of his very favorite toys and he was happily willing to give them away to children he’s never met. When I grow up, I hope to be more like my children.

“As mothers, we naturally bend over backwards for our children, but sometimes we bend too far. Sometimes, no matter how good our intentions, help can actually be a hindrance. When my daughter was in the fifth grade, her teacher advised us parents to stop jumping in to save our children. If they forget their bag lunch, let them mooch off their friends. If they forget a homework assignment, let them take the demerit. “Better to let the fall now,” Mirs. Wiss said, “when the landing is soft.” Five grades later and I am still trying to cushion their falls. My children are old enough now to land on their own two feet. And I am getting too old to do backflips anymore.” –Writing Motherhood by Lisa Garrigues
I definitely agree with this statement but I still find it difficult in the long run. Our job is to protect our babies, but sometimes protecting them now is the opposite of protecting them in the future. Such a strange and interesting concept.

This statement about church “I am a firm believer in church — the Sunday kind — of gathering with people and drinking coffee and telling one another about your week, and in the quiet, tender moments of worship, while holding your hands out and giving your whole self away.” from this (in)Courage post.
This makes me want to attend a home church. I picture us curled up on couches, sipping tea and holding our babies, talking about God and life and the ways we can make a difference in this big ol’ world.

“So often the expectations we put on each other are the downfall of our relationships.” –Women are Scary by Melanie Dale

The book my moms’ group is studying together right now is Beautiful Mess and so far I highly recommend it, even if you just read it on your own or do it with a friend or family member and chat about it once a week. It’s set up to be read on your own each day with a different section to read together as a group, but we’re just reading one day each week. All of the discussion so far has been really great. Our group is pretty big so we break off into smaller groups, like 3-5 of us, and the discussion that ensues has been sticking with me all week.  

This blog post full of spiritual Christmas gift ideas for kids. I really love this idea and am now committed to making one of my children’s gifts each Christmas a spiritual one. My mom did a really awesome job with this when I was a kid. I remember a poster in my room with my favorite verse at the time, a WWJD bracelet, the junior Left Behind books, and a necklace with a verse in it that always smelled like Ramen noodles to me. I don’t know, I was a weird kid.
 Right now I know I’d like to get VeggieTales: The Penniless Princess for Baby B’s stocking but I’m still thinking about my other two. Maybe something Awana-focused for A? I’m not sure yet. 

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