For the mommy’s

motherhood 2

Did you wake up today discouraged? Do you ever feel as if you just are not SEEN. Do you ever feel that your job as a mother is overlooked, under appreciated  not valued or not deemed important? Do you ever feel that what you do is repetitive, draining, exhausting, dull or boring at times? Do you feel as if what you do isn’t important?

I have days like this too. I think all mothers do. I want to share a little devtional from a book I received. When I read just the passage I am about to share, I weeped! How true it is. WE ARE SEEN by our heavenly Father. ALWAYS. What we do for the kingdom will never go unseen or unrewarded. It is never unimportant. Raising children is a VERY important job for God’s Kingdom. Don’t ever forget that mothers.

“Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded.” Jeremiah 31:16

“As mothers, much of our work is unseen. We do the things that are most noticeable when they are left undone. We do the things that usually need to be done again immediately upon completion. We cook, we clean, we pack lunches, we make plans and provisions, we change diapers, we treat illness, we chase bad dreams, we oversee homework, we host play dates, we wash clothes, we unload dishwashers, we tie shoes, we calm meltdowns, we bandage scrapes, we chaffeur between activities, we remember everything and everyone.

Sometimes we go long stretches of time without any substantial expressions of gratitude. It can be lonely or frustrating to feel like the invisible servant, with no needs of our own. Sometimes all it takes to keep us going is a moment of truly “being seen” for who we are and what we do.

I had a moment like this one day when I was unloading suitcases and children from the back of my father’s car as he dropped us off at the airport when the kids and I were leaving on a trip. “Honey” my dad said to my frazzled self. “I see you.” he said “I really do.” My eyes brimmed with tears (happy ones) and I felt totally renewed. I had a lightness in my heart and renewed energy for our journey. ALl I needed was to feel seen and understood for what I do. We have a heavenly Father who sees our efforts and recognizes the extent of our sacrifices and depth of our love. Our work will be rewarded,in this lifetime and the next.”

– Heart of my Heart, by Kristin Armstrong

A very dear friend gave this book to me for Christmas. They are little short devotionals to read for each day of the year, especially for mothers. I read that passage one day when I was feeling particularly discouraged and God really used it to speak to me. I hope it can encourage you mommy’s. Many of you I cannot physically see. Many friends around here I do see and SEE your work that you put into being a wonderful, loving, kind, caring and nurturing mother. Either way, those I can see, or those I can’t. Friends I know here, or friends through my mom board online. Friends I knew back in the day, in high school or college, that I may not see PHSICALLY now that that they are mothers…

Your job MATTERS. Your job is IMPORTANT. Your job may feel never ending, blah and boring some days. You probably end the day on several occasions thinking “What am I doing? Does any of this matter? Where is the joy? Where is the appreciation and gratitude?”  You probably crawl into bed at the end of the day utterly exhausted only thinking how you must do the SAME. THING. over again tomorrow. And the next day. And the next. I want you to know…

I see you.

I know how hard you work.

God sees you. He sees the love you pour into your children’s life.

Your work will not go unseen.

Even if it seems that way from a worldly, day to day, perspective, the Heavenly Father does not see it that way.

He sees every tear you dry, every cup you fill with milk, the milk you clean up from your child spilling that milk, ever diaper you change, every frustration you face with discipline issues, every hour of sleep you lose, every mouth you feed, every teeny tiny pair of pants you wash, every tantrum you tame, every blood curdling scream your ears endure, every meal you prepare, every plate you clean, every bathroom you clean, every puke stained bedding you wash, every nose you wipe… so on and so on. and on some more..

GOD. SEES. IT. ALL.

You are valued. You are appreciated. You are loved. You are important. You are special. You are amazing.

YOU are a mother… and you are seen.

 

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For the beauty of stay at home motherhood

I am reading a book that someone passed on to me called “In Praise of Stay at Home Mom’s” – Megan, if you are reading this, I know you have moved, I would be happy to mail it to you when I am done 🙂 THANK you though. This book is a gift! I highly recommend anyone who is a stay at home mom to read this. It is by “Dr. Laura” (Laura Schlessinger) Let me preface this by saying I do not agree with her 100%. I think some working mothers do a FABULOUS job of being both a worker and a mother. I know some families do NOT have a choice. I do think she sometimes makes it seem as if being a stay at home mom is something you HAVE to do, no matter what. Yes, I think it is WONDERFUL. It is a GIFT. I think there are MANY mothers who work, but don’t have to. I think there are many mothers who could stay at home, but they choose not to. HOWEVER, most the mommy’s I know work because they have to, but their family is still blessed. They do an amazing job of it. I am actually amazed at those moms! LOL. I don’t think I could do that! I think the point of this book is to make those moms who DO choose to stay at home realize HOW important their JOB is. YES. I said job. Being a mother is a JOB. We don’t get coffee breaks, or lunch with clients, etc. IT IS WORK! HAHA. Oh man, is it work. BUT, this book helps us moms to realize the impact we have on our children by staying home. We really ARE making a difference, even if at times we want to rip our hair out, one by one… I have fine hair, so it wouldn’t take too long, so I may have to move on to my husbands hair haha. In the introduction, there is a FABULOUS letter that a listener of Dr. Laura sent her. I want to share it with you today. I hope it encourages you stay at home moms out there. Being a stay at home mother is a full time job, and it is a job that MATTERS! SAHM’s… don’t you for one second EVER EVER question that.

“As I sit to write this letter, my hope is that if just one mother can hear what I have to say and holds her child just a little tighter today, I will have fulfilled my reason for writing.

By the time I was 29 our family was complete. I had three beautiful children, a loving husband, and although never money to spare, we found ways to get by. I had stopped working full-time and started part-time shortly after my first child was born because I loved being with her. Although I had my mother and mother-in-law to babysit whenever I needed, by the time my middle son was born, I knew I could not work anymore.  Something inside of me told me that I had to spend as much time as possible with my children as I could. My husband worked extra hours, I made do with what we had, and we made things work for us.  My husband would work at night or at home, but if there was a baseball game- he was there. I cut everyone’s hair, including my own, did my own nails, and never bought anything that was not on sale. We were happy.

There were many days where I was pulling out my hair, found myself screaming at them, and was totally exhausted by the end of the day, thinking to myself, “Any other work would be a pleasant relief.” But there were also many moments I would never trade in for any job, no matter what the pay. Those moments when your child gives you a smile or a look you never forget, moments when they would give you a kiss, a hug, or just hold your hand for no reason.  Those are the moments a mother treasures in her heart forever and they can never be replaced, not even by a grandmother.

I was selfish- I wanted my children to know me, and I wanted to be that special person in the lives. Although I didn’t know it then, and on certain days may have told you otherwise, my life was perfect.

Maybe life isn’t meant to be lived perfectly. Perhaps I took too many things for granted. But our life is no longer that perfect storybook tale. Two years ago, our middle son was killed in an auto accident. He was 22 years old. He was away at college when he decided to get in a car where the driver had been drinking; ten minutes later he was dead.

Our lives will never be the same again; the world as we knew it has been destroyed. We miss our son terribly. My husband, surviving 2 children, and I will never be the same, but we are trying to hold onto each other and pick up the pieces, one piece at a time.

Dr. Laura, there is only one thing I can say. I am so grateful for those moments I had with my son.  Those moments, the good as well as the crazy ones, I will forever hold close to my heart. All those precious years I spend with my son now are what help me get through the day. 

So please, Dr. Laura, never stop preaching to all the young moms who feel they can’t handle it, are struggling with making it through the day, who believe they “need” to work instead of being with their child, just how much it might someday mean to them to have spent those precious moments with their children.  Hopefully other moms can just take my word for it; Don’t let anyone or anything prevent you from holding them, hugging them, playing with them, memorizing their smile, their laughter, their heart. 

Our children are such special gifts that should never be taken for granted, and life is so unpredictable, we never know if today we will breath our last breath. -Lisa”

God bless you stay at home mom’s out there. You are important. Do not ever let anyone look down on you or make you feel you are JUST a stay at home mother (I know I am guilty of doing this to myself! MOMMA’S we need to stop!)… there is no JUST about it.

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” Psalm 127:3

blog recommendation

I posted this on my facebook today. I know I have a few readers who are not my FB peeps. LOL. SO, I wanted to share this. This mom said it perfectly. It’s how I feel. It is what I struggle with sometimes. I fight the mom instict with what society tells us we “should” do. Society tells us we need to force independence. Society tells us children are a burden. Society tells us to let them cry, make them be alone, etc, etc, YET our GOD GIVEN motherly instincts go against those things. God didn’t give us the “inner mom voice” for NO REASON. He didnt’ give it to us to ignore it. They go against our hearts. They go against the grace and mercy we are meant to model for our children the way Christ modeled it…by sacrificing his everything for us. OUT OF LOVE. I hope you gather some encouragement, truth, and wisdom from it as well. A few days ago I had a long blog about things such as this, I thought this went wonderfully and added something too wonderful to pass up. I hope you read it. God bless.

http://www.nurturingheartsbirthservices.com/blog/?p=1773

and here is another on encouraging your children: SO good!

http://pennyzeller.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/7-ways-to-encourage-your-children/

Book freak

I am a book freak.  I love love love reading. I wish I did it more though. It is hard to find time to read sometimes, so I dont do it as much as I would like. I like fiction, non fiction, science, etc. Well I dont like trashy sappy romance novels. LOL. No thanks. I have recently read “the Hunger Games” triology. OH. MY. GOODNESS. SO GOOD! AND the movie came out today!!!!!!!!!! EEK! I cant wait to see it with my friend who is also a book fanatic and obsessed with the HungerGames. YES KATE! when do we go!??? 🙂

I have read alot of Christian fiction…. and some is good. Some is cheesy. LOL. I have read alot of Karen Kingsbury, Terri Blackstock, and Dee Henderson and I like most of their stuff. Redeeming Love is a FANTASTIC book. Anyway…lately, I am kinda over fiction. I want something with more depth. I want to grow and challenge myself. I want something more than men do this, women do that, kids do this,  or How to change your dogs behavior in less than 1 second lol.  So, I posted on FB and in a board I am on and people gave me a TON of books 🙂 I have a huge list now.

It was SO cute though…my husband went on a book search and find for me last night. You see, he also went to seminary and is an ordained pastor AND we moved to where we are in hopes to one day start a church 🙂 SO! he has TONS.I mean TONS of books! LOL. I was telling him what people suggested and he would jump up and say OH I HAVE THAT!! and start telling me all about it. He was so excited to help me and excited to share things with me and help me learn 🙂 I love my husband!

SO! I am reading “The Pursuit of Holiness” by Jerry Bridges first. Only a little into it so far and its GOOOOOOD. I cant wait to continue to dive deeper! I will share tidbits of things as I read this and other books. If anyone else has ideas! please comment! 🙂

First thing I want to share is this:

“For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.” (Romans 6:14 NIV)

“whatever your sin problem (or problems) the Bible does have an answer for you. There is hope. You and I can walk in obedience to God’s Word and live a life of holiness.” Jerry Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness

I think thats pretty cool. We all will constantly be striving to be holy. but we CAN be more holy. We CAN overcome our sin, thanks be to God! I am looking forward to reading more, learning more, growing more, being challenged and shaped by the Lord – and I really do strive to pursue holiness more. Its a hard concept in this time though. It won’t be easy, but I know WITH Christ I CAN DO IT.

I will leave you with three things to think on, again, from this book, explaining why we have SUCH an issue with holiness and lack the desire for it we should all have as believers:
1) “The first problem is that our attitude toward sin is more SELF centered than GOD centered. We are more concerned with our “victory” over sin than we are about the fact that our sins grieve the heart of God” (YIKES! OUCH! but sadly… this is true)
2) “Our second problem is that we have misunderstood ‘living by faith’ (galations 2:20: I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me) to mean that no effort at holiness is required on our part. In fact, sometimes we have even suggested that any effort on our part is “of the flesh.” (again. yikes! I have seen this…)
3) “Our third problem is that we do NOT take some sin seriously. We have mentally catogorized sins into that which is unacceptable and that which may be tolerated a bit.” (DOUBLE OUCH! I know this is true. Sometimes I dont take my sin of worry seriously enough. The Bible is CLEAR about worry, and it GRIEVES God very much when I chose to worry, rather than trust Him.)

SO! there you go! I am looking forward to learning more about each of these “problems” as I continue reading. I encourage you to challenge yourself! Challenge your faith. Expand your knowledge! It’s pretty cool and exciting 🙂 AND if anyone else has book ideas! leave a comment!!! THANKS! 🙂

Oldies but Goodies

I wanted to share some of my or my husbands favorite books as a kid, that we are enjoying reading to our children now. I dont know about you, but that chokes me up everytime. I remember my mom reading me some of these stories as a kid, and how awesome and amazing to be reading them to mine now 🙂 I think it is SUCH a blessing and a GREAT way to creat NEW memories and carry on OLD memories 🙂

THE LITTLE HOUSE: This was probably one of my most FAVORITE books when I was little! i just got it for Katie (my oldest, 3 years old) today and she loved it too. I am sitting her with a huge grin on my face right now. I just think its SO cool to be able to have sweet precious little girls that I can share things like this with. Having memories of my mom or dad reading to me, then realizing that I am now the mom reading to MY kids, is pretty awesome 🙂

this is one that Katie’s grandma got for her 🙂 she read it to my husband when he was little. ITS SO CUTE! katie has the thing memorized and reads it almost EVERYDAY! “are you my mother?”

These are just a couple of books that have been around for awhile, but i still love. I got another book today by the author of “the little house” called “Katy and the big snow” I cant wait to read her that one too 🙂 i mean, i had to get it, they have the same name! 😉 Well, and I get a discount from barnes and noble, so I dont mind getting books every so often. I LOVE that katie loves reading. i hope she always does, and I hope that I can enstill a Love of reading in Holly as well. Katie did read to her today it was so sweet!

children’s book review

Every so often, I try and put book reviews up. Well, I got my parents magazine, and they have a section about great picks for books, toys, etc, for kids that MAY not be well advertised or you wouldn’t hear of often or think to buy. This month, they had 2 that caught my eye. One, becuase my husband is an architect 😉 and the second because its about how even if you are small you can accomplish BIG things, and anyone who knows us, knows we are, well, small! HAHA 😉 SO! here they are. THEY ARE SO CUTE! They are in rhyming format, even cuter 😉

This book has beautiful pictures, a great and positive story. It is about a little snail who dreams of seeing the world, but feels TOO small to accomplish his dreams. He meets a BIG whale who helps him accomplish this, but the snail, later, ends up accomplishing something MUCH greater than seeing the world. Check it out! http://www.amazon.com/Snail-Whale-Julia-Donaldson/dp/0142405809/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1306340395&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Iggy-Peck-Architect-Andrea-Beaty/dp/081091106X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1306340598&sr=1-1

This is the architecture one 🙂 I will be honest, I only got it because Andrew is an architect and I thought it would be SO cute for him to read it ot her 😉 And it was cheap haha. Well, it is SUPER cute! Again, about following your heart and what you feel called to do. So, these are WONDERFUL. I love both of them. Katie also lvoes both. She reads them to her animals! haha. She sets it up like story time, she sits in her tinker bell chair and all the animals are sitting in front of her. TOO CUTE! I am so blessed she loves reading! I hope she always does!

books I am reading

I just wanted to post what books I am curretly reading and what I think about them so far 🙂

So far, this book is GREAT! I am only a few chapters in, but man, I really admire this family. I will admit, at first, I thought they were a little crazy for having SO many kids. However, one evening, when nothing else was on, my hubs and I actually watched seveal episodes of their show “19 kids and counting” and I was in awe with them after only the first few minutes! How these parents mangage to have SO many well behaved, loving, respectable kids is TRULY amazing! I have also noticed that on the show, she LETS their kids BE kids! If the little ones are running around screming, she lets them, because after all, they are toddlers – thats what toddlers do – they need to burn off energy. So, after watching all the epis I possibly could on tv, computer, on demand…I looked into this book. Afterall, I love the show, I am sure the book is JUST as fantastic, and I am sure that I can learn a few wonderful things from the amazing Duggars 🙂

The next book I got, and JUST started reading…seriously, like within the last hour. I got it this one (and the duggars) on my iPhone reader app! I didnt’ think I would like reading on technology, but alas, I think I am addicted…may have to look into getting a Nook or something 😉 Anyway, so far, this book is HILARIOIUS. I mean HYSTERICAL. Oh goodess, the author is a trip! Now, I have already run across the dreaded d word, haha, but really, come on mom’s you KNOW you think it sometimes when you are all crazy tired running around like a chicken with your head cut off, with one kid holding your left leg while your are holding the other kid on your right hip. So, just admit it, youve thought, I can almost bet many of you have yelled it once or twice…I admit I have! HAHA. Anyway! I got this book after seeing its title and the contents…I mean the NAMES of the chapters are WORD FOR WORD (I am NOT lying or exaggerating) what I think at LEAST a million times a day, wonder how on EARTH I will do it, or things I bite my tongue to NOT say on a daily basis – so as a mother of a toddler, and a baby who will eventually BE a toddler, in only 8 short months (wow, WHERE did the time go?) I figured it was a good bet. For only 2.99, I thought it worth a try! I can ALWAYS use help when it comes to disciplining, deciphering or dealing with a toddler! 🙂

This book I am over half through with. Yes, yes, I know, I know, I am reading tons of books at once. I like having options depending on my mood 😉 I love this book so far. It is eye opening and has so many wonderful thoughts. It is full of wisdom for parents of kids ANY age! The title really says it all…grace? What more do people really want? The same grace that Christ extends to us should ALWAYS be extended to those HE entrusted us with. I recommend this book. As Andrew and I are approaching a time in Katie’s life that NEEDS discipline, what better and more loving way is there to do it but with grace? This is a MUST read…

And finally….my DRAMA book…A Karen Kingsbury. I mean, really, I ALWAYS have to have one of her books floating around 😉  I fell i LOVE with Karen kinsbury a few years ago when my mom in law recommended her to me. She is in charge of her churches library, so anytime she got multiple copies of the same book, she gave them to me 🙂 THANKS MOM! 🙂 So! I fell in love with Karen 🙂 I read her Baxter Family series and THEY ARE FANTASTIC…This series, Above the Line, has many of the same character as the Baxter Family series had, but focuses more on the FRIENDS of the Baxters. This is a GREAT series for anyone who loves Karen Kingsbury or just LOVES drama books, or who loves being emotional…like myself! HAHA! 🙂

So! that is what I am reading right now. I am learning SO much. It is SO great to finally be reading again. I finally feel I can have the down time enough to really focus on what I am reading as well and soak in the truths that the Lord is telling me through each of these books! I will let you know more about them as I finish them 🙂

Reading

So, this past week I actually finished a book I wanted to read, FOR FUN! I know it sounds stupid, but it was QUITE the accomplishment for me, since I have hardly had time to pee by myself in the last 2.5 years, much less pick up a book and read it, AND finish it in less than a year! HAHA! I really enjoy reading, and am loving that I am finding time, well allowing myself time, to read for enjoyment again. I admit, I was OBSESSED with parenting books and “researching” this and that on the internet with Katie I was worried about (i.e. milestone books, charts, etc), so I had NO time TO read for fun! While I still have to fight the tendency to do this at times, I am reading MUCH less parenting crap this time around.  Now, it’s not to say there are some “good” books out there to read, and I have no problem with books to HELP aid in discipline, or hard topis, like potty training, sleeping training, feeding healthy, etc. I am talking about the “lets make the parent worry” type of books 🙂  Our society has become OBSESSED with doing everything the RIGHT way, or a certain way, or we think “we have to do it this way or out kids will turn out hellions” or people will think we are stupid, etc. We are afraid to make mistakes, are afraid our child isn’t measuring up, or not on “track”. . .I am pretty sure this isn’t the way God wanted parenting to be, in fact, I am almost positive it saddens him. I mean really, you hear your parents/grandparents say ALL THE TIME, I didn’t read any of those books you guys do and you turned out just fine. I have to admit for 99.9% of our generation, this is probably true. Anyway, I am really trying not to read so much stuff on “do it this way” or “that way” type mindset. To be honest, I don’t understand those books. God made all of us individuals with distinct personalities and gifts, who are we to think there is a “one size fits all” way to raise our kids? Anyway, I could go on and on about this, but I won’t, because I am pretty sure I would tick a lot of people off 🙂

So! I love fiction. I love love love crime solving type books, mysteries, etc. A Christian author, named Terri Blackstock, writes these types of books and they are AWESOME. I just finished a book named Predator. It was great. I enjoyed it. I love getting lost in another world for a moment 🙂 I also love Karen Kingsbury and am now reading Take 4. I am also working through parenting books (yes yes i know, but not the milestone worry kind of books) that teach about how to best raise loving, grace filled children, something many parents forget about in my opinion. We preach grace towards others, but sometimes, I think we forget to extend that same grace to our own kids. SO, I am trying to read some POSITIVE parent books about disciplining in a loving, grace based way. However, I am trying NOT to read so much stuff UNLESS I am having the issue.

So, anyway, this wasn’t much of a blog, but God is teaching me A LOT about love, grace, and patience towards your children lately. He is teaching me that we can expect TOO much from a tiny baby, totally dependent on us (such as sleeping through the night too young, or making them CIO to “teach” them to put themself to sleep) God is showing me that babies are dependent on us for a reason, just like WE, no matter what age, should be dependent on God. God is teaching me that having children DOES change your life, and trying to make your kids follow a certain pattern, way of thinking,  certain schedule, etc, too young can be harmful. Yes, I believe there is a place for this. . .at the right time, and God is really allowing me to learn WHEN that time is 🙂

discipline discussion

So I have been  a pretty bad blogger lately.  This is mainly in part to the fact that my day to day activities have become much of the same with the impending arrival of Holly Grace Kulp. LOL. So, I dont have much excitement going on. I have, however, been praying and thinking of a way for my blog to encourage, help, inspire, stimulate thinking and be of use to those who read it.  Recently, my husband and I have begun discussing discipline. We actually talked about this alot before we were even married, but as many know, once you have kids, you may need (no, you NEED) to revisit the issue several times. Well, latetly, Andrew and I have been talking about what our views of discipline is – timouts, taking things away, spanking vs not spanking, etc. Out of these, spanking probably causes the biggest contraversy around. I know many people will get upset at me for sharing this, but, what about grace? Grace needs to play a BIG BIG BIG part in disciplining your child, otherwise, your child will simply obey our of fear. We don’t want that for either of our girls, and for any other future children the Lord decides to bless us with. We want our children obeying us out of love, honor and respect – just how our Father wants us to obey him. Now, we need to have a REVERANT fear for God, yes, but this is differant. However, God wants us to obey him because we TRUST Him – we trust He loves us, cares for us and only wants the best for us. We trust that the commandments, rules, whatever you want to call them, that he has in place for us, are only there out of love. This is how we desire our children to obey us. I don’t want our children to obey us out of fear of being punished, I want them to obey because they TRUST me and trust what I say is right and wrong I only say becuase I love them, cherish them and care for them. I want them to obey (one day sooner than later) because they love Christ. Anyway, its a long process sometimes and very hard to explain to others.  I am not saying either way what we are, but to be honest, we probably lean more against spanking. I do know I want more grace involved in our discipline than I have seen sometimes from those I see out and about. . .SO! I have decided to read several parenting books, with differing view on discipline, and then review them on my blog. I will give my honest feedback, what I liked, what I didn’t, etc. I am currently reading a discipline book by Dr. Sears, one of the main supporters of attachment parenting. So far, is has actually been great, not what I expected. He most definately agrees with DISCIPLINE, but says how its SO much more than spanking vs no spanking etc. . .SO! when I am done with it, it will be my first official book review! 🙂 SO! this is what andrew and I have been talking about lately. . .please feel free to leave your comments on discipline, ideas, etc. . .