Why I like living small

You don’t have to look very far to see that America is obsessed with MORE.

MORE house
MORE car
MORE money
MORE stuff
MORE shoes
MORE clothes
MORE closet space
MORE bathrooms
MORE MORE MORE

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The disease of MORE is a growing epidemic and I truly believe it causes destruction and robs people of joy that the Lord wants so desperately for us to have.

You can turn on the TV and see that couples seeking to purchase a house are complaining that 5000 square feet just is NOT enough room for them and their 1.5 children and 2 dogs.

You see people freaking out that their children may have to actually SHARE a bedroom!? Because ya know, children are entitled to and “need” their own bedroom. Oh, and every person in the house, pets included, need their own bathroom. We can’t have people sharing sinks, toilets, or tubs. That would just be cruel and inhumane! Forcing a husband and wife to share a sink is just evil and should only be used as forms of torture. And guests using the same bathroom YOU use!? No. That is just wrong.

Closets must be as big as my garage, because I NEED all of my 5000 pairs of shoes and 8945 shirts and 4560 pairs of paints. And don’t forget the handbags and scarves!

I see these attitudes EVERY.WHERE. And honestly? I see it among friends and people I know. Even Christians. Some of what we say and complain about with our homes is pretty embarrassing if you get right down to it.

Now the Lord knows I am not perfect. I kinda do love decorating. We all buy things we don’t need sometimes. That really isn’t the issue here.

Have any of you seen any of the shows about the Tiny House Movement? I think it is pretty cool. I watch those shows and am amazed. You watch those and kinda start feeling a tad bit guilty. At least I do. Or the sudden urge to purge everything. These people, some with 2, even 3, children are selling their homes, more than half of what they own, and vowing to live a simpler life. When moving, it makes them REALLY have to think about what they truly NEED, because in a Tiny House, you cannot take every magnet and salad bowl with you.

Those moving into less space are realizing that media and culture is making you think you need more more more, when really? You don’t. So many others live with so much less, and you know what?

They are happier.

Without the constant need to keep up with the Joneses, I think you really realize HOW blessed you are. And trust me. We are abundantly blessed. Like A lot.

Now, our family doesn’t have a “tiny house”, but it is less than 1200 sq feet (however, by the worlds standards, we have a mansion). We have 3 children and a dog. My husband and I don’t have a master suite. We have 3 bedrooms, our daughters share. We don’t have our own master bathroom. We all share one bathroom. Our closets are tiny, only about 3 feet wide. No walk in closets. We don’t have a garage, or even a driveway. Our kitchen has a grand total of 7 cupboards, and 2 really useless ones, as they are only about 4 inches across. We don’t have a pantry. We don’t have a formal dining room and a breakfast nook. We have ONE room for eating. We don’t have a laundry room, but I am thankful we have a washer and dryer in the basement. Our sons room is not much bigger than a box. Literally.

But you know what? I am happier here than ANYWHERE I have ever lived. This has been a tremendous blessing. I think my husband will agree. Here are some reasons I love living small

1) I love that my girls share a room. This whole belief that each child NEEDS their own space is a lie. Many other cultures share a one room HUT. The fact my girls even HAVE a bedroom is amazing and a tremendous gift. I love that they keep each other company. I love that they watch out for each other. I love that they learn to share and get along, because ya know? They kinda have to learn to do that at some point, and sharing space has been an amazing way for them to learn that AND to grow closer.

2) Who wants to clean more than 1 or 2 toilets?! Most of us have guests once or twice a year. I think we can manage sharing our bathroom for those little amounts of time, yes?

3) I truly believe living in smaller spaces opens up the door for more communication, more grace, more patience, more understanding, more support… MORE of the things that TRULY matter.

4) Your body can only be in a small amount of space at one time, so why do we think we need 5000 or more square feet, when I can only be in one tiny space at a time?

5) Living small forces you to focus on what really matters. It helps you think about any and all purchases.

6) Living small helps keep your heart and mind in check. I cannot explain it, but it is very freeing.

These are just some of the reasons I like living small. What about you? Can you live smaller?

The only things we should be striving to have MORE of is Jesus, and all things that encompass him.

❤ XOXO
~Emily

Cleaning out the (social networking) Clutter

There are a lot of social networking sites out there today.

Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. Reddit. Linkedin. Tumblr. Snapchat. Google+. I am sure I am missing some…

It gives me a headache just thinking about it all. These can be an amazing tool. I use mine to keep in touch with loved ones who are states away. I also think these can become a crutch. They become a tool Satan uses to make us fall into the comparison game, gossip, anxiety, depression, and stay “friended” with people we may not really “like”, who are unhealthy for us, or who just plum annoy us (no offense haha) for fear of them knowing we un-friended them or whatnot.

Social media conceptI do have Facebook and Instagram. Facebook is very limited, mainly so family and friends who live elsewhere can see pictures. I have Instagram because I love photography, travel, and nature, and it calms me to follow pages with beautiful photos. Also. Less drama. LOL. Many people are on BOTH Facebook and Instagram. Do I really NEED everyone on BOTH accounts?

I have decided to clean out the clutter. I have decided that I should not let my fear of doing so make me have to delete the account I WANT to keep. About twice a year, I go through my newsfeed, pages, and friends list. It is so easy to change my newsfeed or unlike pages. But people? That is scary for me. I often have unfriending anxiety.

What will they think!?
Will they notice!?
Will they hate me?
I don’t want to be mean
I don’t want them to think I hate them
I don’t want them to take it personally

I mean come on, Em. Reall? Most WON’T care. If they do, they will ask about it

I have come up with some guidelines to help me decide who stays and who goes:

1) Facebook needs to be more personal. Instagram is more open. This means I need to clean out my friends list on FB and make it minimal. Keep it personal.

2) Do I know them in person? Did I go to school with them? If I only know them through online groups, have I kept in contact with them for a long period of time? These are all good questions to ask yourself when going through your social networking site feeds/lists

3) Would I tell them Happy Birthday? There are people who when FB tells me it is their birthday, and I am kinda like ehh so? That may sound rude, but if I don’t care enough to tell someone Happy Birthday, do I REALLY consider them a “friend?”

4) Have I considered letting them go before? Does things they say or post frustrate, annoy, or bother me? Even unfollowing someone, my mind knows they are still there, and it can wear on me.

5) Do they share any of the passions and values I share? Do they treat others with love and respect, even if views differ?

6) How do they talk about their children? This is a BIG one for me lately. I cannot stand the things I see some mothers say about their children. Name calling. Constantly complaining about them. Negative talk about them. Calling them things such as little shits or nasty or whatnot. Yes, children frustrate us sometimes. They are draining. They are still a blessing. I cannot see Christ calling the children who came to Him that, or constantly complaining about them. Can you?

7) The Bible says to guard our hearts. Part of doing that is making sure all we do brings glory to Him. Sometimes, in order to do this, we need to clean out the clutter in our lives. That means letting certain relationships, or things, go.

8) We are to please God, NOT man. If we are worrying what someone will think of us if we unfriend them, that’s worrying what they think over God. Pray and listen. God will direct us in the way you should go, and this includes relationships.

9) Real love doesn’t act out of insecurity. If you are worrying too much about what someone would think of you for letting them go (when you know it really IS the best thing to do), that isn’t love. If it isn’t love, it isn’t true friendship.

10) Clearing out social networking will make me focus more on the here and now. Enjoy the little moments. The people around me in my community. My children. My husband. My neighbors. My family.

My God.

Do you need to do some social network de-cluttering?

❤ XOXO
~Emily

To the mom who’s tired

I am tired. I am a mom.

I think if you were to look in the dictionary under the word tired, you would probably see “mom” as one of the definitions. Being tired is part of the job. Being tired seems to be a way of life for moms of young children.

I read something earlier this week that said being tired is not a sin. That was like chocolate for the soul. Rich, deep, dark chocolate. It’s warmth and sweetness sank into every crack and crevice of this  mama’s soul. This mama’s tired and worn out soul.

Being a mama isn’t always about just being physically tired either. We can be well rested, get plenty of sleep, feel awake and alert…yet still feel tired. Still feel that tiredness ache.

Being tired is SO much more than just physical.

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I think as mom’s sometimes we let this voice creep in that tells us if we are tired we must not really LOVE our children. We must be tired because we are not enough, strong enough, doing enough, or a good enough mom… all the GOOD mom’s are never tired. I see them in their yoga pants and expensive hot pink sneakers. They are always so bright eyed and bushy tailed. They have make up on and their hair is actually brushed… and washed. They bounce around like they are the energy source for the sun.  I must not be GOOD enough. WHYYYYYYY am I so tired!? I SUCK at this motherhood thing. We look at these moms and think all these things. Let the enemy whisper lies into our emotionally tired, an extra vulnerable, hearts, when the truth is….

maybe they just drank a crap ton of coffee, and are trying to hide the fact that they TOO are tired (I think some of these moms must have a hidden IV somewhere under that perfectly styled outfit though. And maybe taking shots of 5 hour energy every 2.5 hours)

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Being tired is something we ALL experience. At any given point in our mother journey we will experience:

Physical tiredness
Spiritual tiredness
Emotional tiredness
Mental tiredness

The sooner us mamas realize it is not wrong to feel tired, the less tired I think we will feel.

When we are physically tired, it is OK to let the dishes sit in the sink so you can sit down for a few minutes. It is OK to let the kids watch an extra show…. or two…

When we are spiritually tired, let the laundry wait and spend some time with Jesus, reading His word, or encouraging books. Anything that helps refill your spiritual soul

When we are emotionally tired, TELL someone. You don’t have to pretend you are not hurting. Tell a friend. Your spouse. Your own mother (because, truth is, she HAS been there done that, and could have some wisdom to give)

When you are mentally tired choose to focus on things that don’t take alot of brain power. It really is OK.

We ALL need rest. As long as we are in our physical bodies, tiredness comes with the territory. It isn’t a sign of weakness. It isn’t a sign that we are not strong enough. It isn’t a sign that we suck at motherhood. It isn’t something we need to stuff down and hide for fear of looking like a failure in front of others. In fact, that will just make our already tired soul even MORE tired (emotionally especially!)

Jesus himself grew tired and weary.

It isn’t a sin to be tired mamas. It isn’t a sign of weakness. It isn’t a sign that you are failing as a mom. It isn’t a sign that you are a bad mom… in fact…

I think being tired is a sign you are a GOOD one.

❤ XOXO
~Emily

#tbt and my hashtag idea for Friday

Today is Thursday. If you get onto any social networking site, you are apt to see a lot of hashtags that looks like this:

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ok ok minus good ole’ Abe. Wonder if he would participate in #tbt if he were around now. Probably not, seeing as he was called Honest Abe, and most of Facebook can be anything but…

I don’t often participate in the shenanigans of throw back Thursday. I have a few times. Like when I came across a picture of my now 4 year old when she was a preemie in the NICU. I got super teary. I remember there being a time when we thought she wouldn’t make it. God proved His awesomeness. That kind of “throw back Thursday” is important I think. We should reflect on all we have in Christ, and focus on all He has done for us.

But in doing that… don’t get stuck in the past. God doesn’t want you living in the past. No regret. No shame. No guilt. He sent His son to set us free from that. He also doesn’t want us living in the future. Worrying about tomorrow.

Facebook-Addiction1I think sometimes social networking sites suck time away that could be better applied elsewhere. Come on, you know it’s true. Facebook can become an addiction. Just like drugs. Just like alcohol. Just like many other things, and I think it can be as damaging, if not more so, than these things.

It causes self doubt. It cause us to fall prey to the dangerous comparison game. It causes us to only see people’s highlight reels, when we KNOW that everyone has struggles, yet it makes us feel like we are failures. It can feed arrogance, pride, and self-righteousness. It can be a festering pool of hate, judgement, and condemnation, because we think we can spew out viciousness and evil since we are hiding behind our screens.

So that is why I am hoping to get a NEW hashtag on the horizon. Friday mornings, I will be posting #FBFF. Anyone wanna guess what that means?

FaceBook Free Friday

I am going to really strive to have facebook free fridays. Whenever I feel the urge to check my newsfeed, drama on pages I follow on how terrible parents are who don’t feed their children kale and liver for breakfast, post a cute pic of my babes…

I will read a scripture instead. I will say a prayer. I will cuddle and squeeze my babies (for we know they grow up way to quick and I don’t want to waste that precious time staring at my phone screen). I will tickle little tootsies so I hear those intoxicating giggles. I will do SOMETHING else besides stare at a screen.

Who’s with me!?

#FBFF. Let’s DO this!

❤ XOXO
~Emily

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It isn’t about smarts.

Why are so many in such a hurry for their children to grow up?

Push and push. And push some more. We act like intelligence is the most important thing. Kids must be the smartest in the class, and the younger the better, because that just shows how much “smarter” they are.

We could have started Katie last year in K. She is smart. But we waited. I’m glad we did. Being the smartest isn’t the most important. Being kind, loving, compassionate, and many other things are. I am so proud of how Katie has been such a friend to everyone, she loves on others, and desires to help those in trouble or in need.

If someone is the smartest person in the class or college or their job, but has no love for others, or can relate to them, well, that intelligence is meaningless. If someone is super smart, ends up with an amazing job, makes a lot of money… even gives to charity (but for wrong reasons) but doesn’t know how to love others they think are unworthy or less important than themselves… all that means nothing.

Check out what the Bible says:

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;[a] but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

Let-kids-flyI am all for encouraging kids. I am for helping them achieve goals. I am all for embracing what they love to learn. I am all for encouraging them in what they love to do (we do that for my oldest who loves all things science. And sharks. HAHA) I am for helping them be successful in school AND in life. BUT… that doesn’t mean my child has to be the youngest and smartest in their class. It doesn’t mean that unless my child can read by age 2 they are never going to amount to anything. It doesn’t mean that I have to force them to read, write, count, and all this other stuff because I *think* they have to. I see a lot of parents do this. I have even been guilty at times. If we are honest, I think it makes US, as the parents, feel good. We like bragging. We like the fact our kids look smarter than others. We think it makes US look smart and awesome and amazing. Our kids could probably care less if they read at 2 or when they start school. We squeal with delight when our 3 year old can read a 5 syllable word, count to 100, or do multiplication. We video it. We post it on Facebook. Do you think our kids really care that much!?

What is our motivation for pushing them? What is the true reason behind us wanting them to do everything the earliest, the youngest, and the best? Why do we think that in order for our children to be important and successful they have to be the smartest? Why do we push so hard? Why not allow them to develop into their own unique beings?

When you are a child of God, YOU matter. When you chose to believe in Christ and what He did for you upon that cross, you realize that there is so much more to life than success, because it isn’t about THIS life, or achieving things in THIS life. We can’t take anything with us when we leave this Earth. Things of eternal value are what are most important. Love. Grace. Mercy. Forgiveness. A relationship with Christ. Loving others into that same amazing relationship.

Intelligence is not all that matters. Being the best and the smartest isn’t what matters.

They are only children for a short short time. It is gone in the blink of an eye. Savor it. Soak it up like pancakes soaking up fresh maple syrup, because that sweetness will be gone in an instant.

I truly believe that kids just want to BE. KIDS. 

So let them.

❤ XOXO
~Emily

On aches, twinges, and Christ

The following was something I posted on Facebook… but the more I got thinking, the more I felt I should also share here.

I hope it helps and encourages someone today ❤

Knowing-when-your-family-is-completeI know I have been super crazy (blog friends, just read THIS TOO haha), back and forth, schizo mama about having more babies. I know I have probably annoyed quite a few people (especially my poor hubs haha). I am sorry for that. I wanted to share tonight how God has spoken to me, given me peace, and that I just feel content. Complete… It may be a little long, so bear with me 🙂

Andrew and I had a wonderful talk last night. He said something to me that God REALLY used to help me. No matter how many babies we had, I would miss certain ages and stages. It is OK to feel complete with our family, yet simultaneously feeling sad certain stages are passing and just because I am sad that my babies are growing up is not a sign that I HAVE to have more. (does that make ANY sense!? HA) I can also be both sad at passing stages yet be excited for new ones to come.

I was planning on writing a blog about some of the extreme views in Christianity that I have struggled with. One of those is the “continuing to have babies” (and if God has called you to this and this is YOUR conviction, PLEASE obey. Anything less would be disobedience). I was going to write how the number of babies you have doesn’t equate to how good of a Christian you are. More kids does not mean more love from God. More kids doesn’t mean one is a better Christian than those with fewer. They are just a Christian family with less (or more) kids.

Well, thinking on this last night, God seriously threw an explosive slap on the head… He spoke (quite loudly) to my heart — “Emily, how can you write that when you don’t even believe it yourself?” (OUCH) ***hanging head in shame***

God is right (isn’t He always? HAHA)

I have been seeing SO many people having their 4th (or 5th… or 6th… or 8th! HAHA) babies that I love bunches and bunches, and look up to, that mix that with the feeling sad on certain stages being over, and it is almost like I felt I *HAD* to have another baby to be a “good enough Christian.” Dumb, right?!

I was comparing myself. I was basing my worth and value in Christ, and how much God loved me, on whether not I had more babies.

I am a person who is completely head over HEELS in love with being a mother. I would not trade the puke filled bedding or 3 AM wake up calls for ANYTHING (though I do hate puke and I do love sleep LOL). It is my JOB, and I (at least I hope HA!) am DANG good at it (though I suck with babies hahaha) I am a person, who no matter my age, will probably ALWAYS get that baby itch around a certain time. That ache, in a way (which I know is normal. Even mothers WAAAAAY past the kid phase feel that twinge sometimes.

I also LOVE loving on others around me. I love being the light of Christ to those around me. We moved here to BE that. We moved here because we know the Lord called us here. I love that we are being able to minister and love on the kids around here. I know that if we had more babies, I would hide away, struggle with PPD (not to mention pre term births, nicu babies, colic babies, back issues etc, that make pregnancy hard for me), and I would not be a very good light to others. My first and most important relationship is God. I feel so much peace that God is breathing into my soul. That I am NOT being selfish for realizing we are done. I am NOT being selfish for missing stages, yet not necessarily wanting to do them again. We have a CALLING here. An important one. One that I want to make Jesus proud with. I can admit, that I KNOW I would not do that if we were to have another. I think it, no, I KNOW, it would hinder our ministry. I almost feel *if* we were to have another, it would not be biological.

I LOVE helping in Katie’s (and soon to be Holly’s and Simon’s) school. I want to be able to do it more. A lot more. I love all the things I have been able to do with the kids now that they are older… and I don’t think it means I am selfish, or a bad Christian, because part of me is excited for that.

I want to make a difference for Christ here in Towson. I want to love others like Jesus SO HARD they don’t know what hit them, and they won’t be able to help but fall in love with this beautiful and amazing Savior. The Savior who extends grace so amazing it is almost scandalous! I want that. Desperately. And I think that desire is an important one to fulfill.

Anyway. Sorry this was so long. HA! I hope this made sense. I am just SO SO SO much at peace! I am SO beyond happy. I am joyful. I am content. I feel… complete ❤ Thank you for those who prayed. And congrats to all my friends popping out babies. Just message me ya’lls addresses and I will get my “buying baby clothes” fix through ya’ll 😉

XOXO!!! Love all you guys! Thanks for putting up with my crazy.

So there you have it 🙂 trust God. Listen to Him. Don’t compare yourself to others, for He has different plans and purposes for all of us.

Love. Laughter. and Littles
❤ XOXO Emily ❤

P.S. This is also a wonderful post. I read this awhile back and felt peace. I need to keep that peace.

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To the mom who feels worthless

Hey psst. You over there. I know you. You are that mama who is so tired she can barely keep her eyes open, and that is WITH coffee. You are the one who feels that there has to be something more than dirty diapers and spit up. You are the one who feels your life is on a continuous loop of bedtime battles, morning tantrums, picky eaters, cleaning up the dinner off the floor that you spent an hour making, and wiping dirty faces, runny noses, and poopy butts.

I know you sometimes feel worthless.

I know. Because I have been there. Some days I have to fight those feelings. Some days I feel like while others around me are so successful at others things, I am sitting here wondering what am I good at!?

~Pinterest perfect mama’s with their hand made diapers and handbags made out of woven pieces of grass.
~Mama’s who seem to have it all together. ALL the time. 
~Mama’s who seem to so effortlessly look beautiful and have the perfect skin, body, and hair
~Mama’s who seem to never get tired, no matter HOW little sleep they are running on
~Mama’s who naturally seem good at EVERY. SINGLE. STAGE. with their children, while you are wondering WHEN will this “phase” be over!?!?!
~Mama’s who seem to not only be good at being a mom, but who also work from home, selling their crafts, or what-not.
~Mama’s who seem to have everything go their way. ALL the time, while you feel no matter what you try, it never seems to work out.

I know. I know you. I AM you. In fact, just this morning I had every single one of those thoughts I listed flash through my head. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE…and a few more.

This race of motherhood is pretty crazy, huh? Some days we feel on top of the World, and the next day (or even the next HOUR) we wonder what in the HECK we were thinking and why in the WORLD did God entrust us with these tiny little needy beings who can’t even wipe their own butts!?

We wonder if anyone hears our cries for help
We wonder if anyone sees our efforts
We wonder if anyone knows that while we have a smile on our faces, our insides are in knots
We wonder if anyone sees the little non-Pinterest worthy things we do
We wonder if anyone knows that sometimes we just want to run away. FAR. FAR. AWAY.
We wonder if anyone can see through our plastered on smile and see what we are REALLY thinking.
We wonder if then people would hate us and think we are bad mothers if they DID know what we were really thinking

Well. There is one who knows. It may sound scary, but it isn’t. It is so comforting. Not only does this person know.

HE UNDERSTANDS.

He understands because he has been there
He understands because he would see people walk away hopeless
He understands because he was betrayed by someone who was supposed to be a friend
He understand because he was misunderstood
He understands because the very people who loved and admired him, turned on him, and had him killed

No matter what you are facing today, sweet mama’s…  JESUS understands. Run to him. God created you in HIS image. He knows you. He knows your innermost thoughts, fears, secrets. He knows what makes you tick. He knows what makes you tired. He knows what makes you excited. He knows what makes you sad.

And He knows when you feel worthless.

But He wants you to know you are far from worthless. You are wonderful. All those things you do day in and day out? They are important. They matter. They are far from meaningless.

Don’t let the taunting whispers of the Enemy drown out the quiet melody of the Father.

Mama’s. You are anything but worthless. We may do a lot of things. We may do a lot of gross, dirty, unappreciated things. We may be a lot of things to a lot of people… but WORTHLESS isn’t one of them. It never was. It never is. It never will be.

As Aibileen in “The Help” says:

You is KIND.
You is SMART.
You is IMPORTANT
and you are SO SO SO much more.

God thinks you are Beautiful. Amazing. Wonderful. Magnificent. Nothing you do goes unnoticed by Him.

You. Are. Beautiful.

XOXO
❤ ~Emily

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

I ignore my kids

5853611cb3f0f1b9ea59762cef36b10edcNow, before anyone goes off on me, I don’t ignore REAL needs. I feed them, clothe them, bathe them (though I will admit, probably not as often as I should), I kiss and hug them when they get boo boo’s, if they are sorda kinda bleeding I will put a band-aid on it (though currently we don’t have any. Oops), and if they are REALLY REALLY bleeding, I will take them to the doctor, I give them meds and care for them when they are sick, I sing to them, cuddle them, love on them, rock them, etc etc etc, you know all the things good moms do. I even play with them:

Sometimes. 

But not ALL the time.

and I don’t think it makes me a bad mom. I think it makes me a pretty darn good one. A child needs to learn how to play independently and mama needs to get things done… like write this blog 😉 Which I am doing while 2 of three children are playing nicely alone. The oldest is at school. And yes, the oldest could play alone even when she was the only child.

I have three children. I definitely don’t have ALL the answers, but I do have three completely different children, with three completely different personalities, yet all three of them can play calmly and independently at times. Now, of course there are high needs days where the kiddies just need their mama more. I am totally cool with that. We all have days like that, where we just need more love, more support, more encouragement, more affirmation, etc.

However, I have seen mothers who are CONSTANTLY playing with their children. They are constantly asking their babies (even under 2) questions, teaching them how to read, shapes, colors, quantum physics (OK, so maybe that is a slight exaggeration with that last one). They are constantly telling their kids what everything they pick up is. Oh that little speck? That is a piece of dust, and did you know that in that one speck of dust lives 50 bajillion dust mites that look like tiny life sucking beings? Speaking of dust, we should probably wash your hands now, because that dust isn’t sanitary. They are constantly telling their young toddlers/babies/kids what to do, what to say: say please, say thank you, say supercalafragilisticexpialadocious (OK, again, that last one may be a slight exaggeration).

***disclaimer: It is TOTALLY not bad to label things. We should do that! That is how our little ones learn to talk and what things are. I am referring to those who never let their child explore on their own, and seem to have to always be telling them what to do, say, whatever. They hoover and don’t allow a child the freedom to explore. I love when my children explore, bring something to me, and THEN I label it 🙂 BUT, I don’t think a parent needs to constantly be picking up things, shoving it in the kids face forcing them to look at it, so they can label it… THAT Is more what I mean***

It’s exhausting to watch! I cannot even begin to fathom how friggin’ exhausting it is for the parent. Yikes.

Plus because these children have parents who are CONSTANTLY playing with them, doing everything with them, talking to them constantly, etc, they are Let-them-be-little-programmed to ALWAYS need that stimulation. They are a lot of times unable to play alone, have times to be creative, use their imaginations, figure things out for themselves. They become demanding because they cannot function without constant attention. They need constant attention, constant noise, constant talking or singing, or whatever. Helicopter parenting at its finest, right?

I am sorry. I just DON’T. HAVE. THE. ENERGY.

Maybe I am mean, but I don’t constantly play with my kids. Nope, not even the 1 year old. They need to learn how to play alone sometimes. I still have laundry, and cleaning, you know and all that other stuff that comes with having a house and kids? Yup. Still has to be done. Everyone, even children, need calm and quiet sometimes. They don’t need us always trying to teach or do or sing or talk or read or whatever. Plus, I will be honest, I don’t have the energy to constantly be shoving colors, letters, science, math, whatever else down their pint size throats, or playing with them ALL the time. Plus, I don’t think I need to. I need to let them BE KIDS sometimes. Let them be little. 

There is plenty of time for quantum physics later.

Yes. I am Christian. No. I am not homeschooling: Part 2

School-HouseAwhile back I gave a little intro on the fact that we are a Christian family, totally and faithfully in love with Jesus Christ… but we are not homeschooling. Here is the first little tidbit I gave on this discussion. READ IT HERE

Yes. I am REALLY a Christian. Yes. I believe Jesus Christ is THE way. THE truth. and THE life. The ONLY way. The ONLY truth. The ONLY life. I believe without Him, I can do nothing and I am nothing. Without accepting his free gift of salvation, I will be eternally separated from him after death. I believe that Jesus Christ is God. I believe He is God in human form. I believe he died for our sins, experienced separation from the Father on our behalf, because He loved us so much. I believe he experienced utter agony and torture being crucified for my horrible sins. I believe He rose again on the 3rd day. I believe that putting our faith in Christ is the only way to get to heaven.

I believe that my children are a blessing. I believe that we are to train them up in God and His Word. His Truth. His way.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)

Yup. I believe that verse. And yup. I also believe this passage:

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (ESV)

What I don’t believe?

That this passage is COMMANDING us, as Christians, that in order to successfully obey these passages that we must absolutely, without a doubt, no argument, 100%, no questions asked… HOMESCHOOL our children.

This passage is calling US, as the parents, to be the ones instilling God’s truth in their lives. We should not depend on the church, or Sunday School, or Youth Group, or the Pastor… It is OUR job to instill that truth. However, this passage does NOT mean that others cannot teach them reading, writing, and arithmetic.

il_570xN.485937227_rbjuI don’t see anywhere in either of these passages, or anywhere else in scripture for that matter, a black and white, without a doubt, COMMAND that in order to teach your children the ways of God, it means you have to homeschool. Do you? This is NOT a black and white issue.

So why do so many Christians make it one? Why do we argue over things such as this, push people away, bash people, tell people they are ignorant and foolish, not obeying God, etc etc etc. when it comes to where we feel lead to school our children? It must be mighty windy up there on your pedestal huh? We better be careful when we start acting this way (on anything that is not black and white) because one gust of wind can knock us off there REAL quick, and it would be a pretty far way to fall.

Now, before I go any further, I need to make one thing clear: I do NOT have anything AGAINST homeschooling. We thought about it! We prayed about it. If God ever leads us that way, I will do it without hesitation. I think it is AWESOME for some families. If God is calling you to homeschool, and you don’t, you are being disobedient to Him and His will.

However, what I DO have something against, and what I have a problem with, are people who like to project THEIR convictions onto others. Convictions that are NOT black and white in scripture. 

Those who homeschool? I trust that you have prayed and are following God’s call for your children’s education. I will not question your decision to homeschool. PLEASE, extend the same courtesy to me and my family as we feel God’s current calling for our children are to first allow them to attend our public school system here. Those who argue saying how can we possibly choose public schools as a devout Christian? God would never tell a Christian to use public schools… Hmm. I am glad you have the direct line to God to know His plans for everyone else in the universe. You do NOT know,and cannot possibly know, what God has told us. If you claim to? Well, that is pretty gosh darn arrogant, and we know how Christ handled people like that.

My daughter had her first day of Kindergarten today! I am very excited for her. She is excited. She was beaming!

Will it be challenging? Yes.
Will it require faith to trust God can overcome the most seeming of negative influences? Yes. (but we should always have faith)
Will it require faithful study, reading, and prayer on our part as parents? Yes. (but we should do this regardless)
Will it require us to let go and trust God more, even though the unknowns can be scary? Yes. (But aren’t we commanded not to fear anyway?)
Will I have to work harder to make sure we continue to feed her Truth in the time she is at home? Yes.
Will it take some time to explain why certain teachings in her school are not really true, even though teachers and books say they are? Yes.
Will it require my participation and constant attention to what she is studying? Yes.
Will it require me to be an extra involved parent in her school system? Yes.
Will it make me more tired? Probably.
Will it be more work for me as far as teaching her the ways of the Lord? Probably.
Will it take time to undo some things she may learn? Probably.

Is it impossible? NO.schoolhouse
“For nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:37

Does it mean that I cannot faithfully teach her the ways of God, His Word, and His Truth? NO.
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13

Does it mean that I should worry my child will turn away from God just because they are in the public school system? NO.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

Does it mean because public schools can’t teach of God that He isn’t there? NO.
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!” Psalm 139:7-8
“The eyes of the LORD are in every place, Watching the evil and the good.” Proverbs 15:3
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Does it mean that our children cannot experience God in public schools or that God won’t be with them? NO.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2
“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8
I keep my eyes always on the LordWith him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” Psalm 16:8

There is SO SO SO much more that I want to talk about, but this would go on forever and ever and ever… AMEN. LOL… So, I will continue writing bits and pieces to WHY we are choosing to FIRST use public schools.

This decision was not made lightly. This decision came about through much prayer, discussion, reading of scriptures, seeking counsel from wise brothers and sisters in Christ, seeking advice from those who have been there. This decision does not make us less of a Christian. This decision is not sinful.

The decision to choose public schools does NOT make us foolish… it makes us OBEDIENT, and anything else would be DISobedient. 

old-school-house-in-a-field-c-thomas-cooney

A letter to ALL you mama’s

Dear Mama’s,

Please stop stressing and worrying about things. I see you. I hear you. You may say you are not worrying. You may say you are only seeing what other children are doing, or what other mothers do, but I hear it in your voice, I see it in your eyes. You are stressing. You are worrying. Please stop mama’s

Please stop stressing ❤

About…

Milestones.
Sleep habits
When they sleep through the night as compared to other babies

Eating habits
If your baby can read at 18 months
If they know their colors at 6 months
If they can sing their ABC’s
If they crawl before a year
If they walk by a year

How well they are talking
If they still mispronounce words at 3
If they are potty trained
How old they potty trained
If they use a spoon by a year
If they can drink from a cup
If they still want a bottle at 18 months
If they still nurse past 2 years old
If they still want a pacifier at 18 months old (or 2 or 3)
If they still wear diapers at night
If they don’t want to give grandma a kiss
If they scream in public
If they ask inappropriate questions
If they throw tantrums in the middle of isle 5
If they are quiet
If they are shy
If they are introverted
If your daughter doesn’t like ballet, or dolls, or girly things
If your daughter likes super heroes, or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or karate, or football
If your son likes playing with dolls, or the color pink, or My Little Pony
If they can’t sit still for 5 minutes
If they still want to sleep with you at age 3, or 4, or 5…. or 8
If they still have nightmares at 10
If they are scared of the vacuum, or bath, or bugs… or grass
If they don’t want to always eat their veggies
If they sometimes eat McDonald’s
If they don’t always remember to wash their hands
If they eat week old cheerios out of their car seat

Please stop stressing. About everything. Enjoy your baby. Enjoy your toddler. Enjoy your child.

worry 2 281113Stress takes away the enjoyment of the moment.

And those moments you spend stressing out, you can’t get them back.

This comes from someone who has been there. I used to be a worry maniac, a stressed out crazy person, and sure, I still struggle sometimes, but by the grace of God I am getting better. I have learned SO much.

I say this out of love. ENJOY your children. Don’t waste precious moments about what they are, or are not, doing, saying, eating, sleeping, wearing, or whatever else. We as their mama’s will KNOW, I mean REALLY know, not just stressed out worry feeling, if something is wrong.

Enjoy each moment you have. Life is fleeting. We never know when we, or even our children, will breath their last breath.

Don’t waste it on worry. Spend it on LOVE