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Matthew 12:25

25Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.

Be diligent and purposeful to stand against a divided home. As much as YOU have to swallow your pride to make sure this does not happen; DO IT!

How did you feel during the day? At the end of the day? Were there moments you wanted to cry or cried? Did you lose your patience somewhere in the midst of the kids all talking, singing, and fighting in the back seat or as they didn’t get ready in time for school? At the end of the day, did you just want to go to bed? Or watch TV? Or maybe lay down with a book and collect yourself?

Our days as mothers are demanding and non-stop. They are not filled with praise and thanks. They have their own built in blessings that don’t always overshadow the growing to do list and child pulling at your leg.

We desperately need Jesus. We need the Holy Spirit in us filling us with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. We need to meet with the amazing God that we can rest in and find peace in in the midst of the good, the bad, and the ugly. We need to meet with Him everyday- taking in His word, talking to Him, interceding in prayer for others, listening silently. Make the opportunity to find your refreshment in the Lord! It is worth it!

I’m sure that this question prompts a long brainstorm of things you want to instill or encourage or even train in your children as they grow into independently functioning adults.
Some things that may come to mind:
-a variety of life skills: brushing teeth and flossing, cleaning up after yourself, cooking…
-developing their talents, passions, and interests
-character traits: honesty, patience…
-a passion to serve others

The list probably moves from simple to complex in your mind as your child grows and matures. Have you spent time thinking about what you want to instill in them and how you will go about doing that?

Right now, I want my children to be polite and have good table manners (among other things). So, as part of their chore chart we are working on a different skill at dinner each week. Last week, we worked on putting our cup in the top right hand corner of their place mat. That was our only table expectation for them last week. This week we are working on saying “please” and “thank you”. I am trying to deliberately and slowly work on the things I want to instill in my children age appropriately.

How are you identifying these things and working to instill them in your children? What does your time, your child’s time, the activities you choose to participate in, the time you spend as a family reflect? Thoughts for pondering…

108. A great cooking class- love to share my passion!!
109. What God is GOING to do- whatever that may be 🙂
110. A few minutes alone to write
111. “It will all be alright.”
112. Lemon curd
113. Good food.
114. Running down a hill with my kids.
115. My husband plays with my kids.
116. 10 eggs!!
holy experience

Each night, I bless my kids with God’s words. I say, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

This is a very known verse. Probably one of the reasons I have chosen to bless them with it- I have not excelled in scripture memorization over the years. But, as I say it to each of my children each night, I hear the words over and over. Some nights I just hear the words, some nights I don’t even hear them I just say them, and some nights these words speak volumes to me.

Think about these words and ask yourself if you really believe them and if you do how do you show it?

“Trust in the Lord” Do you trust Him? Do you trust Him with your child’s health? Do you trust them with your desperate financial situation? Do you trust him if you lose some or even all of your comforts? Do you really trust Him?

“Do not lean on your own understanding.” How often do we lean on our boxed in, finite understanding of time, situation, purpose, and plan. Do you give up the need to understand purpose of each difficulty in your life because you know He knows?

“In all your ways acknowledge Him!” In everything you do, do you talk to God? Do you call on Him when things go wrong or praise Him when things go right? Is He the one you run to or is your spouse or friend? God wants to live in our lives constantly.

“He will make your paths straight.” God will make our paths straight. But whose path does it need to be? His. My oldest daughter has said many times that we need to say on God’s path and when we make bad choices we are choosing to go on another path… but He wants us to stay straight on His path.

I pray for us as mothers, our impact on such an influential group of blossoming little ones, and our diligence in that as well as our necessity to take that role seriously. May the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing to You MY God!

Recently, I have been getting up at 6am- to shower, study God’s word, prep breakfast if needed. My kids get up at 7, and we have to leave by 7:55, so our mornings are quite rushed. Getting ready before the kids are up completely changes my day and the way my mornings run.  It is also the time I have decided to deliberately study God’s word daily. It starts my day on the right foot!

The benefits of this mild sacrifice of one hour of sleep (which is dear to a mother’s heart) are overwhelming!

Proverbs 3:21-26 says “My son, let them not depart from your sight; keep sound wisdom and discretion, so they will be life to your soil and adornment to your neck. Then you will walk in your way securely and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden fear nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes; for the Lord will be your keep confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.

The most impacting piece of this whole schedule change in my life is the daily impact of God’s wisdom on my life as I start each day. We have stress in our lives that could easily way me down and effect me, my husband, my children, and those I come into contact. The stress could cause me to lose sleep and live anxiously. But (not everyday) most days, the impact of God’s peace, God’s plan, God’s love that surpasses MY understanding allows me to live in confidence of God’s plan, God’s timing, God’s purpose for these trials and stresses.

Read God’s Word DAILY! It changes your life.

I am a homemaker. I am a homemaker by choice. I have a college degree, a Master’s degree, job experience, and substantial earning potential (maybe not in CA right now). And I have chosen to stay home with my kids and cook and clean and tons of other tasks that repeat daily if not hourly. At then end of the day- I may end up with a decently clean home- dishes done, toys picked up, floors clean; some clean laundry; happy kids tucked in and asleep… It may seem mundane, but I choose to do this as my daily job.

Job: Homemaker.

I have many friends that are choosing this same job. We are all striving to do our best in this role. We all have our strengths and weaknesses in our homemaking and mothering. And many of us are struggling in one way or another to develop our skills as homemaker. Our mother’s generation and some of their mother’s generation changed the face of homemaker- media, marketing, and millionaires had a hand in it as well. Moms went to work outside of the home; Moms embraced the beauty of ready, packaged food, fast food, plastic wrap, etc. Most of us can think back to the food we grew up on and the focus of ‘quick and easy’ for food in and out of the home.

Due to this change, we were not trained to cook good, whole, fresh food at home. We were not trained to use herbs, salt, pepper, fats… to flavor and enhance the foods we eat. We were not trained how to meal plan and shop. We were not trained how to mend clothes. We were not trained how to garden… (Note: I am making a generalization- I know there are plenty of mothers or fathers that have broken this stereotype).

Homemaking training did not take place in a majority of homes. This has left a new generation of moms with changed philosophies floundering to find their way. Many moms are now spending time researching and figuring out how to cook for their family. How to fix clothes. How to plan and organize their home. Etc. The number of blogs written by moms (such as myself) sharing their own journey shows this struggle!

Personally, I was blessed to grow up in a home with a dad that had a passion for cooking and a family that had a garden and ate real, whole, fresh food for the most part. But, I remember thinking it was exciting to go to friends houses and get to eat Cheez Wiz, StoveTop, and Parmesan Cheese in the green can. I didn’t have any friends that ate like we did. I remember being sent with salads in my lunches and being made fun of by the yard duty person. Healthy food was not in. Thankfully, my brothers and I all love good food and are passionate about cooking food because of our upbringing. We walked away with skills in cooking and appreciation for food. But, I don’t know how to mend clothes, and I have had to figure out how to run a household.

I find this to be an interesting phenomenon and in light of such advocates as Michael Pollan and Jaime Oliver and the desires of so many moms to change the way of Home Making, I pray that we can read and share and go back to Making our Homes and making Home Making a respectable endeavor that is passed down to our own children.

We are all busy, and even when we have the strongest desire to provide our family with fresh, whole food it can prove to be a challenge, especially without planning and without a plan for those times when we are running out of time or energy and just want to go through a drive-through for some cheap food or sit down for a dinner for some more pricey food.

A great way to avoid these expected temptations is to double and freeze. We make many dishes that lend themselves to this great strategy: lasagna, enchiladas, chili, soup, stew, pasta sauce, pizza crusts… Take advantage of the time you spend making these dishes and make twice as much or more and freeze. You can pick up some oven friendly storage containers at Smart n Final or the like to make things even easier. Cook the food- fill the container and freeze. Be sure to label with the date, cooking instructions, and any additional ingredients you may need to add.

A few of these in your freezer can save your tummy and your pocketbook. When you are having a busy day, or find your self sick or tired- take one out to defrost if necessary or pop one in the oven with enough time to spare. Having cut up veggies and lettuce in the fridge or frozen veggies in the freezer can help you round out your meal nicely.

Note: Dinner doesn’t have to be “dinner”. If you didn’t plan to use a frozen meal and still want to avoid going out- scramble up some eggs, make some oatmeal or pour your kids some granola and give them a cheese stick for protein and some fruit or veggies and a glass of milk. They will love it! Be easy on yourselves- some days are just not standard “dinner” days.

ng called Follow You

Have you heard the song Follow You? If not listen to it- it is awesome. Really listen to the words. “Follow you into the homes of the broken. Follow you into the world. Meet the needs for the poor and the needy God. I’ll follow you into the world.” As I listened to this the other day, I asked myself: “How do you follow God into the world? How do can I follow God into the world?”

“And I give all myself, I give all myself… to you.” “Faith without works is DEAD. On the cross your blood was shed. So how could we not give it away freely?” And I ask myself: How do you give of yourself? Really give of yourself freely? How can I be an example of this, Christ’s way of loving, to my children?

James 1:27 says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Psalm 68:5 says, “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.”

Psalm 82:3 says, “Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.”

These verses walk through my mind on a daily basis. I am convicted as a mother, at home filling my day mothering my children… There are SO many children out in our world without mothers or fathers. 145 million orphans in the world (2008 UNICEF). 500,000+ children in the foster care system. 51,000 adopted out of the foster care system each year. Thousands more children just became orphans in Haiti… The statistics go on and on. These are the fatherless… God calls us to advocate for them, to defend them, to look after them, to be a father to the fatherless? This is what God would do? What are we called to do? What is our responsibility as followers of Christ? How do we follow God into the world?

I am deeply conflicted about my role and our responsibility as a God fearing family. Three of my own children is relatively easy, more kids more work, more kids more cost, more kids more issues, not my own kids probably emotional issues among others, out of my comfort zone… These thoughts run through our heads. But really does God care about these excuses and concerns? These are His children, He created them, for His perfect purpose…

just my thoughts to ponder…

I know I have talked about diligence before- my blog reflects on this idea. But, it is such a good daily reminder to be diligent in the work that God has set before us. Whether, that is being a mother and homemaker that wipes poopy bottoms, scrapes crusty food off the floor too many times to count, and gets snotty kisses as often as she wants or being a father that goes to work in a job he has dreamed about having his whole life or a job that fulfills no childhood fantasy BUT pays the bills. God has called us to be diligent in whatever role He places us in. The Bible is full of verses detesting laziness and praising the work of the diligent. So, I encourage you to be diligent as you set out today to wash the dishes or deal with a less than pleasant client. God has called you to the place where you are.

Proverbs 12:4
Diligent hands will rule, but laziness will end in slave labor

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