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

Things I am tired of as a mother

Motherhood is awesome. We can all pretty much agree there. Well, most of us anyway. We love our babies with a fierce passion and if anyone tries to mess with our little boogers we will pounce on them faster than you can say Kim Kardashian has a big booty.

However, there are a FEW things I could do without. There are a few things that if given oodles of money for the rest of my life, I may very well pay someone else to do, because frankly? After 3 kids I am growing a wee bit, little bit a lot tired of them.

1) Teething: Yup. Over it. I honestly don’t know how Michelle Duggar stands it. I mean seriously. She has probably dealt with straight teething for like 500 years by know. Yeesh. I am grateful that my children overall have not been (TOO) terrible. But frankly? I am tired of the crud that comes with it, and the sleep issues. And the early waking. Yup. I admit it. Teething sucks

Quotation-Anthony-Doerr-best-babies-people-Meetville-Quotes-46154
2) Grunting and pointing like a crazed caveman: My children all have done this. My current “baby” is almost 18 months, and nothing frustrates me more than the frantic pointing and grunting toward something he wants, when I know he knows words. They point and flail, scream in frustration that we don’t speak grunt, point and flail, scream even louder in frustration. This continues until either a) the child gives up and finally uses their words or b) you have now spent over 2 hours picking up everything within finger pointing sight saying “this?” — Just to let you know, option b is far more common.

*warning: If they do not want said item you pick up and hand them, prepare to be a target for flying missiles that will hit you on some sensitive part of your body. It is probably best to wear armor daily until your child is over this “phase”.

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3) Poop: enough said

itspoop

4) Wiping butts: Their little baby cheeks may be adorably squishy… but the stuff that comes out of it? Not so much, especially when you have a poop machine child like I do. See #3.

Poop-Up-Back-660

5) Cleaning up after a toddler that decided to be Picasso with their food, rather than eating it, which, let’s be honest. Happens A LOT.

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6) Picky Eating: So your toddler is an amazing eater and ate sauteed mushrooms wrapped in asparagus wrapped in lettuce wrapped covered with greek yogurt? Don’t get too cocky. In 5 minutes you will be wearing that food and getting a free yogurt facial.

sa6re-pickyeaters32

I love my little babes though. Even with all the things I get tired of, being a mama is still worth it. But I will be honest, I would totally pay for a diaper changer…

❤ XOXO
~Emily

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

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.

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

When you are tired.

tired mamaUs mama’s get tired. A lot.

We get tired, not only physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as well. Am I right?

I am not going to lie and tell you “Oh don’t worry, tomorrow will be better” or “It gets easier” or “Enjoy every moment, it is a phase, and it goes too fast”  (Usually that last one is from mothers who are WELL out of the wee years of their tots, or their children are grown and gone from home. Pretty sure they don’t remember correctly just how friggin’ exhausting it can be) I won’t say these to you, well, because I DON’T know what tomorrow holds. None of us do. I don’t necessarily know that tomorrow will be better. You may feel more tired, less tired, the same tired. Only the Lord knows what tomorrow holds,

“Don’t brag about tomorrow, since you don’t know what the day will bring.” Proverbs 27:1

but I WILL tell you not to WORRY about tomorrow. “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” Matthew 6:34

I will tell you that no matter what tomorrow brings, no matter HOW tired you are, you will make it. God will not leave you. God will not forsake you. God will not EVER grow tired!

So for the days you are so tired you think that chugging coffee and red bull may not be enough to keep you awake… meditate on these verses. Soak them in. Breath them in. Inhale the promises of the Lord. Inhale His grace, love, and faithfulness. Sit. Breathe. Pray.

Have you never heard?
    Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
    No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
29 He gives power to the weak
    and strength to the powerless.
30 Even youths will become weak and tired,
    and young men will fall in exhaustion.
31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31 

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29

Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.” Psalm 62:1

“For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.” Jeremiah 31:25 

My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.” Psalm 73:26 

Mama’s. Hang in there. Keep being the amazing mama I know you are. God won’t leave you. He will give you what you need to be that mom he created you to be! On the days you are so tired and don’t think you can take another step, or even get out of bed…

Lean on God

Ask Him to take the step for you. Ask Him to carry you through. Ask Him for HIS rest and strength. Keep your eyes on Him. Above the tiredness. Above the chaos. Above the waves of exhaustion we feel we may drown in.

Our strength may fail. We may grow tired and weary, but our God NEVER does.

❤ XOXO
~Emily

(I have used this song in a blog before, but it is a beautiful reminder. I pretty much cry whenever I hear it. I also think that he wrote this when his baby was small and waking a lot at night, and they were exhausted!)

Mama’s: STOP complaining about your kids

*** and yes, I am reminding myself of this, as we ALL do this. WAY more than we should, if we are honest with ourselves ***

Now that I got that little disclaimer out of the way, I shall proceed.

Complain: to express dissatisfaction or annoyance about a state of affairs or an event.

today

I see a sad trend going on. Complaining about your kids. Calling your children names.

Oh, but it is as a joke, so that makes it OK, right? So you call your kid a terror or a monster or a “little S**T” or the devil’s spawn, but you put an “LOL” at the end of your post, or laugh with your girlfriends about how Suzie is a little demon, so that makes it OK, right? Oh, but you are just venting, so that makes it OK, right?

I am afraid the answer to all of the above is a BIG. FAT. NO. Negative. Nada. Nope. No way. No how. Not even close to OK. Why?

“Do everything without complaining and arguing, (15) so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.” Philippians 2:14-15

The Bible doesn’t say “unless your children are driving you nuts” or “unless Bobby spilled the entire contents of the jumbo size rice box on the floor”  I mean that is totally understandable you would complain, yell at your kid, complain about them, call them names, etc.

stop complainingThe truth is, most of us CHOOSE to bring the children into the World that the Lord so GRACIOUSLY blessed us with. Many are out there dying inside because they cannot have children. They see us complaining about our children, calling them names, talking bad about them on Facebook, Twitter, etc, or overhear us talking to their girlfriends, and they probably have to squelch the urge to punch us in the nose.

Even the ones who didn’t necessarily choose to have a child, or it was a surprise, fact of the matter is, it is still your child. God still gave you that precious little soul to love, care for, nurture, and take care of.

Calling your child names (I have heard it all) sure as heck isn’t doing that. Is it?

I am guilty of this too. I call my kids brats. Sure, maybe isn’t as bad as some things I have heard, and I don’t call it to their face, but does that really matter? No. It is still complaining and being rude about the children I have.

Sure, they drives us crazy sometimes. They make messes. They annoy us. They pee on the floor. They poop in their beds. They throw up on us. They interrupt. They yell.  They repeat themselves if we don’t answer. They color on walls. They spill an entire carton of milk. They torture the dog. They cut their sisters hair. They throw tantrums because you won’t let them eat the piece of bubble gum you see stuck on a park bench.

But guess what?

They are kids. All of those things are normal. They do that. In fact, if children did NOT do some of those things, I may be concerned! HAHA!

as you breatheI know this blog may seem like a bit of a rant, but God has REALLY, I mean REALLY, been convicting my heart lately of my complaining attitude. I complain about things that just are not worth complaining about. My JOB is to be a mother to my children. My JOB is to clean up that pee and poop and puke. The sooner I stop complaining about it, the happier and more full of joy I will be. The more I may actually *GASP* ENJOY some of those things I used to complain about! Sure, cleaning up puke is not the greatest, but it means I have a precious little being dependent on me when they feel yucky. They want their mommy to kiss them and make them feel better. That is pretty awesome if you ask me!

The amount of complaining, and calling their kids names, I see on Facebook, hear around town, from people I know even, etc, breaks my heart. Sometimes, I think (maybe sinfully I admit):

Why did those people even bother having children if all they are going to do is complain about them? Why did they decide to have children if they are just going to talk bad about them and call their children names when their child does something totally age appropriate?

Now, don’t get me wrong. Children need boundaries. They need discipline. LOVING discipline. Just as God, our Father, loves and disciplines us. God gives us boundaries, rules, guidelines. They are apparent all over His Word. However, I don’t see God sitting around complaining about us (His children) or calling us horrible names just because we make a mistake. No, the Bible says this about His parenting:

The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” Psalm 103:8

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18

There are so many more verses that could apply, that it would take all day to write them all out! Just read 1 Corinthians 13!! When I read all of these verses, I don’t see complaining as a way of showing love. Do you? I don’t see how calling your children names is loving, do you?

Mama’s – it’s time we stop complaining about our children. It is time we stop calling our children names, and yes, even in a “joking” way. What if our children read some of what we post about them!? YIKES. I am pretty sure it would devastate them.

We need to step up. We need to be bigger than our children. When we complain about them or call them names, rather than being the parent and DEALING with their disobedience, or helping them clean up the messes, etc we are acting just as immature and childish as they are (and they are children, they are SUPPOSED to be that way) In fact, we may be acting MORE childish. Plus, what does it teach our children? We tell them not to complain, but we do an awful lot of it ourselves, don’t we?

I saw a awesome quote I want to end with:

“Complaining is finding faults. Wisdom it finding solutions”

gratitude

I am not always a good mom.

There.  I said it.

Honestly, though, sometimes it is true. Some days I feel like a bad mother most of the day. Facebook can make one even feel like MORE of a bad mother. I know that as much as I try to be honest and open, I don’t always share everything. Does anyone!? Social networking is amazing and does a lot of good, but I also think it can do a lot of damage to our already fragile mom self esteem.

Most of the time us moms answer the age old question of “How are you doing?” with the words fine, good, or great… when on the inside we couldn’t feel farther from those things. I am not saying we never feel those things, but sometimes I think we are scared to admit how we REALLY feel. We are scared to admit our struggles, weaknesses, and sins we have in parenting that keep us from being a GREAT mom. We are afraid if we say it out loud people will shun us, hate us, think bad things about us, etc etc etc.

However, if we DON’T speak up. If we don’t find someone we can trust, who we CAN confront all our deep dark mommy secrets to, how are we supposed to overcome them? How can we heal? How can we become the better mom that all of us desire to be?

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” James 5:16

So. You know what? I know SO many of you think I am a good mom. I know I have the potential TO be one. Through Christ of course… but I do not always live up to it.

I get WAY to easily angered. I snap too much. I have spanked in anger. I have even yelled PLEASE SHUT UP to my screaming baby 😦 I am way too emotional and I let those emotions control me. When I let my emotions control me I overreact, over exaggerate, yell too much, cry too much, do everything too much.

When I let my emotions control me I live in the here and now. I focus on the negative. I forget that it is a season. I forget that His mercies are new every morning. I forget that I have people on my side who love me. I forget I have a God bigger than my bad days. I let my crying/fussy/screaming baby make me angry, which leads to me feeling resentment that something so tiny is so demanding.

This leads me to question all that I know is true: That I love my children and I love being a mother.

This is all bad. VERY. VERY. BAD.

I have a feeling, at least I hope so, that other moms do this same thing. We end the day so many times looking back at how we acted, reacted, talked, yelled, said, didn’t say, etc etc etc and we are full of regret, remorse, guilt and frustration. Sometimes, we may even feel hopeless.

More days than not lately, I end the day with many of these feelings. I wonder what in the world is wrong with me that certain things bug me so much, why I cannot just relax, go with the flow more often. I lose hope in myself.

There is one big problem with this thinking though.

God hasn’t lost hope in me. He never will. He will never leave or forsake me. HE believes in me. He knows with him I can be a good mom.

Maybe it’s time I start believing it myself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something I think upon at Christmas.

Whenever my babies have been born and I am gently rocking them into drowsiness lala land before naps or bed, and it is around Christmas, I always have a thought come into my head. It is a pretty overwhelming thought and one that I cannot even totally fathom. I cannot and WILL not ever fully understand this thought either. It is one that makes me both amazed and heartbroken all at once. I am seeing this thought from a mother’s point of view.

This thought is about Mary… and her sweet baby Jesus.

Jesus is God in the flesh.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

Jesus was born for one purpose and one purpose only. To be our Savior. To save us from our sins. There was only one way this could be accomplished. He would give his LIFE for us.

Jesus was born… to die.

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45

Like that song “Mary did you know?”

mary jesusDo you think she knew? Do you think she knew he would die? Do you think she knew, as she rocked her precious little newborn, her baby boy, that when he was only (around) 33 that he would be brutally killed in the worst form possible? Endure the worst PAIN and TORTURE possible? For HER!? For Joseph? For her family? For YOU? For me? For EVERYONE!?

I cannot fathom this. As I rock my babies, especially now that I have a son, I just CANNOT imagine what it would be like to give birth to child, watch him feed at your breasts, watch him grow and learn, learn to walk, learn to talk, etc etc etc…. only to watch him die in front of your eyes? KNOWING that it HAD to be done and there was nothing you could do? Do you think as she rocked and nursed her precious baby that she knew that was his fate?

I don’t know that I could handle that knowledge. I don’t know how I could enjoy the days I had knowing that was his future!

It really is just TOO much to think on.

God’s grace is profound. It is amazing. He loved us enough to send his only son, to give HIS life, so that WE could live.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Wow.

This is the meaning of Christmas.

Not the tree, not the lights, not the presents, or the silly songs, or the movies, or even the carols… but

JESUS. Being born to die…

for us.

And that Jesus was once a teeny, tiny baby. 

Whoa. Just Whoa.