Saturday, January 29, 2011

Keeping My Focus

Motherhood is a funny thing for me. One day I'll think "Man, I'm pretty darn good at this!", and the next day I'll see someone elses children sitting nicely in church, picking their toys up WITHOUT being asked, being super polite, or playing & sharing so nicely, and I'll think: "man, I must not have a CLUE what I'm doing here!". Today was that day. During my prayer time I simply said:

"Lord, I have no idea what I'm doing here."

And do you know what his response was?

"Focus on ME".

Oh what a beautiful response to my statement. I always get myself in trouble when I compare my kids to other kids. They are, after all, three 4 year old boys- baby is excluded here, nothing much expected out of him yet. It's not fair to them for me to compare them to other children, especially other girls, or homes with big sisters or brothers to help 'lead' them. They have tons and TONS of energy, it's like a non-stop slumber party here! Somehow their teacher can get them to focus at school but it seems impossible at home. Honestly, I'm doing good to get them to keep their clothes on at home (okay that is an exaggeration but a year ago that was the truth!). And it's not fair to myself either. I shouldn't be putting that pressure on myself, every situation is different and my kids will never behave quite like anyone elses. Of course, I shouldn't discount the fact that other Mom's can offer great advice, ideas, and wisdom to help me sharpen my skills, but our differences are what make the world go round. God gave me a house full of boys because apparently he thinks I can handle it, with his help of course! As a matter of fact, it's the willing heart of a parent that tries their very best that impresses God as much (if not more) than the perfection of SuperMom.

Lord, help me keep my eyes on you. These are your children, after all. You made them full of energy & spunk & passion, and I know someday that will be such an asset to them. Help Matt and I keep you as the center of our home, and raise children that are growing to know you & love you, so they can use their energy to serve you! And help me to put my energy into doing things for you, not worrying about what we look like to others.
I love you Lord!
Amen

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

TGIG!

I've decided to make every Friday "Thank God it's GOD" Days!

About a year ago I did a life-changing study by Beth Moore called "Believing God". One part of the study was to write down your weekly God stops. God stops are things that many people would experience and just think it was a coincidence, their lucky day, or they may not even notice them at all. Beth encouraged us to look for God in these things, and the results are awesome. I have found that the more you seek God, the more you see God! If you dont' feel his presence it's not because He's not there, it's because you're not looking! Here are a few of my God stops for this week:

- The guy at WalMart that handed me Henry's sock, Henry had apparently lost it in the back of the store. The guy carried it around with him in case he spotted a sockless baby, he saw us at the front of the store and it was ours! Thanks God- matchless socks are just annoying :)

- Matt took two sickdays last week, which means we won't be getting paid for his usual 20 hours of OT which is almost half the paycheck! Thank you Jesus, the week get that paycheck is a week that we somehow have no bills, mortgage or payments due- so we'll still have enough to cover gas & groceries for the week. Thank you Jehova-Jireh!

-We also got an extra 100.00 check in the mail this week, for an insurance audit they did on our account, apparently we over paid for prescriptions. Thanks God- that will help cover those sick days too!

-I was organizing our storage room and while cleaning up all the Christmas wrapping paper & supplies, I found a card with 25.00 in it, plus a 20.00 Kroger check good for a free turkey- with no expiration date! I can get several meals out of cooking & freeazing a 20.00 turkey (turkey tetrazzini, turkey noodle soup, turkey sandwiches). What a fun surprise! I'm going to use that 25.00 to get my haircut too!

-I clean an office bldg. in downtown Wichita, and I'm always the only one there. The only scary part is taking the trash out so I'm always careful to look around for people walking the streets when I do this. Last weekend someone walked by the trash can just as the door shut behind me. Had that person walked by while I was still putting the trash in the dumpster I might have been in danger. Thank you lord for keeping me safe!

-I took all four boys to WalMart and God gave me the first parking spot in the row, PLUS the big over-sized family cart was right next to it. How convenient, thank you!

Please share any cool "God Stops" you have below! I think the more you look for God stops, the more he gives you!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The List

You know the old saying "God never gives us more than we can handle"or "God never gives us more than HE can handle". I think we've all clung to these phrases from time to time. Recently on the radio I heard a new twist on this quote:

"God never gives us more than we can handle, although sometimes (especially as women), we tend to give oursleves more than we can handle."

How true. Think of all the things on your To-Do list. How many of those do you think God intended for you to do? How many are actually getting in the way of doing things for God, or being with God? God revealed to me once that not giving him my time was a sign of not trusting him. There are many days I would make the excuse "God knows my heart, He knows I think of him constantly, He gives busy Mom's an 'out' of prayer some days." But what I was really saying was "God, although I trust you with my family and my money and my future, I don't trust you with my time. I don't believe that if I take 10 or 15 minutes to be with you that I will be able to get everything done." What an awful thing to say to the one who is in control of everything, who died for ME! And He wants so bad to spend time with us. When I put it into perspective of how much of my time He is worth, I should be spending the whole day with Him!

I saw a quote on facebook a while back that read "The person that is too busy to pray is much busier than God intended them to be." Oh how convicting this was for me! I realized all the things that I was doing that I thought were serving my family were getting in the way of serving the Lord. I knew God was calling me to give up some things for him but I hung onto them out of my own selfishness and lack of trust. Finally, I recently surrendered it to God (it was my cake decorating for those that are curious!) and He has blessed that beyond measure! The very day after making a public post that the bakery was "closing" he opened doors for me & showed me how He would continue to provide- He is faithful!

We did an exercise at bible study recently that transformed the way this compulsive list-maker makes lists & allots my time.

Write down your list of things to do. Every phone call, house chore, errand or project that needs to get done that day. When you have cleared your mind stop & pray over it. Mine is usually something like this "Dear God, help me not to get so busy today I forget about you. Help me to put you at the top of this list. You already know what is facing me today, so please give me strength & energy to accomplish what needs to get done. I give you complete authority (like he needed it!) to change, re-arrange, add, or delete to this list so I may do what is pleasing to you."

Now, if you have time make a second list of the things you have been worrying about lately. He already knows all those too, but go ahead and write them down! Now stop, and pray over them. Simply go one by one and say "Lord, what would you have me do about this?" Then be still and listen! I LOVE this exercise, what an awesome way to hear from the Lord!

I'm not sure why it is so hard for us to give things to God, even after He has proven himself faithful. Is there anything you need to give up that is getting in God's way? I promise you that if you surrender what He is calling you to, He will bless that tenfold!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Heart Transplant!

"Father's, do not embitter your children, or they will become discoruaged." Colossians 3:21

Trying to correctly & consistently discipline a child time and time again for the same actions is exhausting, especially when that child is being, well, childish and lashing out at you. I find it so hard to keep my cool after the third of fourth consecutive occurance. I know this is normal behavior whether they are forgetting, testing, or just lacking self control at the moment. And I also know that it's important I keep consistently, effecitevely & patiently disciplining them. But, pair these episodes with a never-ending list of housework, laundry, cooking, & to-dos, it's overwhelming. I often stumble, get angry at feeling so disrespected, and lose my temper with my children. I'm not making excuses for my actions, I'm just simply stating my heart that is in desperate need of change. And you know what I love about my Savior? He is in the heart-changing business! I have been begging God to change my heart for thew past few years, and I can tell you I have come a long way since I began to lean on him. However, in the past month I have given up even more of myself to the Lord. I have surrendered a few 'habits' that I knew I was supposed to let go of, but I didn't either out of pure selfishness, or lack of trust. And you know what? He has blessed that beyond measure. My heart has been more joyful the past few weeks that I can ever imagine. My goal for 2011 is to continue to cut the 'fat' from my life and focus on on being a Godly mother. I have started waking up every morning and spending time on my knees, face pressed to the floor in prayer. It usually sounds something like this:



Dear Lord,

I need you today. Please pour your spirit out on me. Help me to train these children so they will grow to love you & know you. Give me wisdom & patience. I cannot do this on my own. Be with me today, and be with my husband. And please, give my children hearts that know right from wrong, help them to grow to love & treat their Mommy & Daddy with respect. I want to be a Godly Mother, I want my children to see You in me. I love you Lord!

In Jesus Precious Name,

Amen!



It's amazing how spending this time with my maker can completely transform my day. I love to read my Bible & spend time studying the Word, but knowing that even if I only have 2 or 20 minutes to spend with him each morning can still make a difference in the way I treat my children is amazing! He is so good! I just want to encourage Mom's to pray for yourselves, and your husbands, pray for your children & pray for other Mom's, because we all need it!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Welcome!

Recently at church our pastor gave us the opportunity to share & ask prayer for our 2011 resolutions. I felt that tightness in my chest, beating of my heart & redness of my cheeks that is God prompting me to speak. I poured my heart out to my beloved church family, asking for prayers as I am struggling as a Mom. I struggle with my temper &anger, a need to be 'super mom', and a feeling of condemnation and guilt that I am probably going to screw these kids up for the rest of their lives (the usual Mom stuff!). In 2011 my resolution is to keep God as the central focus of my mothering. Housework, laundry, hobbies, cooking, exercise- all come second to the most important task I have been assigned- raising children that will grow to love & resepct others & the Lord. I want my children to be able to see God in me!

My testimony was so well-recieved, it seems so many other Christians mom's need to hear someone say "Hey, this is hard- HELP!" And so the idea for my blog was born. I want this to be a place where I can share my heart and my struggles and my desire to grow near to God and raise children who love the Lord. There are two types of blogs I have read: some are from wonderful Christian Mom's, but sometimes made it look too easy. They either left me feeling discoruaged for not being as sweet & loving as they were, or it made me strive even harder to be 'Super Mom'. The other type of blog I have read are from Mom's who very honestly & openly share their trials in motherhood, but they lack a love & a desire to be a Godly wife & mother. Mom's need a place where we can support. encourage, uplift & pray for one another & escape the gossip & judging we sometimes face, and I hope this blog will encourage that.

So here I am, at the start of a journey and I am so excited to see how God will use it. My heart & purpose for this blog is for God to get all the glory. I don't know how anyone, but especially Mom's go a day without the Lord. They must be much, much stronger than I. I cannot go a day without him (believe me, I have tried & I fail miserably!). I love him, and if you don't know him I pray that by reading my blog you will see how awesome He is. So please, walk with me, grow with me, cry with me, laugh with me, and pray with me as I navigate the hardest & most important job I will ever have: Mom.