Mother’s Day Reflections

Mother’s Day Reflections

As another Mother’s Day has come and gone let me share some of my Mother’s Day reflections with you.

 

Mother's Day Reflections

What makes someone a mother?

Contrary to popular opinion, just allowing a child to live in your body and then somehow getting them out of the womb does not make you a mother.  You are a mother when you care deeply for a child, when you nurture and love that child.  I know so many women who are wonderful mother’s who have never had a child grace their womb.

Let us remember the mothers that never met their baby alive on this earth as well.  Miscarriage and stillbirth are so much more common than anyone wants to admit.  They create such a loss and an ache that only one who has experienced them can truly feel.  Make sure to tell those mama’s just how much they are loved on and around Mother’s Day when they particularly feel the loss.

Adoptive mamas.  Let me be honest.  I’ve got kids from my body and kids from my heart.  They are ALL my kids.  They’re all my babies and I love them all more than I can express.  Sometimes though I think adoptive mamas go above and beyond all the others.  They chose that child with special needs.  Some chose a child who was dying just so that they would have someone to love them through it.  What love.  What an immense powerful and painful journey that is.  I know several adoptive mamas with three or four children with Down Syndrome who were sitting somewhere unwanted and alone. My mother’s day reflections made me send them a little note saying “thank you.”  Thank you for loving these special children.

Sister Moms

I’ve heard of a show called Sister Wives.  Never watched it but it came to mind when I was thinking about all the non moms who influence my children every day.  Let’s call them sister moms.  They’re normally our best friends and our close sisters.

Lastly, let’s chat about the mother’s who aren’t really mothers.  The friends and relatives who step up and become like a mom to our kids.  The ones that we write down in our will are going to take on the job of being the parents if something might ever happen to us.  Those lovely women need some recognition on this day too.  They fill such a special role in our children’s lives.  So do their aunts.

I’m not opposed to Mother’s Day.  In fact, I think it’s a great day to step back and thank all the moms out there.  But I also think we need to be doing this everyday.  So maybe it should be thank someone who has made you a better mom.  Thank someone who challenges you day.  Because after all, it’s not just about making sure we as the mom gets a day off, but rather BEING a good mom.

Just some thoughts on the subject.  Yes, I had a great Mother’s Day.  I made food.  My husband grilled out for lunch.  We spent time together.  Church was enjoyed.  Family time was spent.  It was a good day.  But it was actually pretty much a normal Sunday except I had an extra bouquet of flowers to smell and look at.

Just a Moment in Time

Just a Moment in Time

Blogging Through The ABC’s -Letter J

Just a moment in time.  Just a blink of an eye.  Just the time it takes a tear to fall.  Just the time it takes a babies laugh to sound.  

What are you doing with your moment in time?  Are you making it count?  Are you living for the future and what will be?  Are you living for the past and what has been?  Or is your focus on the here and the now?

 

Just a Moment in Time {Blogging the ABCs Letter J}

 

I think these are all questions we need to ask ourselves.  What are we living for.  We may only have just a moment in time but we can make that moment count.  I’m working on making my life not about what I’ll do tomorrow or next week. I’m learning to focus on today and make each day the best it can possibly be.

What am I finding out? I’m finding that just a moment in time is all it takes.  That’s all it takes for a hug.  That’s all it takes for an encouraging word.  Truly.  And guess what?  Those moments in time add up.  And they matter.  They matter to me and they matter to my children.  And by taking the time to make that moment in time special and memorable for that child I’m helping the next person they meet to not just have a moment in time but to have a good moment too.  

With bedrest comes long moments of reflection.  It also means that I could allow myself to be a captive audience for my child and all of my children.  I could take just a moment in time and dedicate it to making that one child feel loved and special.  I wasn’t looking at my to do list.  I wasn’t seeing all I needed to get done.  I was reading books.   I was kissing ouches.  I was making each moment I had count for me and for someone I loved.  

Having this time where I was literally just lying around thinking made me think(imagine that).  Not just think about myself and all I wasn’t able to do, but about all I WAS able to do and all that maybe I hadn’t been doing as much as I wanted.  I hadn’t been giving each child as much one on one time for school as I wanted to.  But now I was able to.  It has rearranged my days.  

Just a moment in time.  That’s all it takes guys.  Just think about it.  What are you doing with your moments?  Are you taking that spare moment to sit and check email?  Nothing wrong with that.  But is there a child asking for your help or your attention?  I know from experience that sometimes I need that moment to myself.  We all do.  But those moments shouldn’t add up to a long time.  Just remember that it’s just a moment in time.

That’s all we’re guaranteed you know.  Just a moment in time.  Just the moment we’re in.  Make the most of it.  Make it count.  I know I’m doing a lot more reflecting on what  I could be doing, what I should be doing.  I’m doing a lot more with my moments in time.  Those moments are meaning more hugs, more books read, and more feelings of love.  

My children won’t always be here.  When they’re grown and out of the house I’ll think back on these moments.  These moments that I thought were not that important.  They’re so important though.  We will never get to do them over.  Just a moment in time.  That’s all we get.  I think I’m going to go tickle a two-year old and cover a five-year old in kisses while I listen to another read me their read aloud.  Life is good.  This moment in time, it’s just a moment in time, but I’m owning it.  I’m making it last.  I’m making it count.

Don’t forget to check out all the other Blogging Through the ABC’s posts as well.  We’re slowly working our way through the alphabet one week at a time.   

 

Blogging the ABCs- a new blog series

 

 

This post has been shared on:  Motivation Monday, Clever Chicks link up, Modest Monday, Monday of Many Blessings, Art of Homemaking, Mondays Musings, Titus 2 Tuesdays, Wise Woman Link Up, Hearts for Home Blog Hop

Influencing Others Towards Good

Influencing Others Towards Good

Blogging Through the ABC’s -Letter I

In our daily lives we influence others.  I’m not talking about on the blog or internet, I’m talking about in our day to day lives, in our everyday lives.  We need to focus on influencing others towards good choices and good actions.  What are our actions and our choices telling them?  

More importantly, in my opinion, the others we need to be influencing are our children.  How can we be influencing others towards good if we’re not modeling that in our daily lives in front of them?  Now replace others with our children.  How can we be influencing our children towards good if we’re not modeling that behavior to them.

 

Influencing Others Towards Good {Blogging the ABC's Letter I}

 

I thought of replacing good with God in this title.  It would fit.  But I also wanted to be able to touch on some little things without having to tie them back into the theme and influencing others towards good just flowed better with that.  But do please be aware that I think we should always be living our lives in a way that is pleasing to God and influencing others towards Him.  Just be sure that that influence you’re having is a positive one.

In my daily life I like to think on how what I’m doing is influencing my children.  How is it affecting them?  How is it asking them to act?  Because they are going to mimic us.  If I’m sitting around all day on my phone or the computer chances are I’m not going to be able to get them to clean their room when asked.  If they don’t ever see me modelling a cleaning behavior they won’t consider it something that is part of daily life and needs done.

That’s why we have chore charts.  That’s why we have a daily schedule.  That’s why I’m trying to be very aware of how I’m spending my time and what I’m doing.  How am I influencing other towards good?  More importantly how am I influencing my children towards good.  

I love to read.  My mom loves to read and I’d see her reading.  I grew up reading.  Reading is a great activity.  But it can’t be the only activity we engage in.  My children love to read.  I like to think that part of that is because they see my love of reading and that I have influenced them in this way.  So daily we have a quiet reading time where we all sit somewhere that we find comfortable and read.  This has to be in their bedrooms or the living room.  

Now another aspect while we’re thinking on influencing others towards good and my love of reading is my blog.  I do book reviews.  I have an opinion on these books that I read.  I also only read and review Christian books.  So in this way I’m influencing those who may read my reviews towards good by pointing them towards good Christian fiction books.  Something so simple as what I read can be an influence.  

It’s also an influence to my children because they do pay attention to what I read.  I pay attention to what they read as well.  When we go to the library I look over the books they pick out and make sure that they are going to fit into what our family values and are appropriate for them to read.  I can explain this to them and also I can truthfully tell them that mommy would not read a book that I won’t let them read.  

What about you?  What in your daily life are you doing that is an influence to others?  Remember if you have children that they are always watching.  If you’re out and about or just spending a day at home, they’re watching you and wanting to imitate you.  Influencing others towards good seems to be a great motto to have while we’re training and growing our children.

Check out my other Blogging Through The ABC’s posts to find out what the other letters of the alphabet have to say to me.

 

Blogging the ABCs- a new blog series

Chaos Combined

Chaos Combined

Blogging Through The ABC’s– Letter C

Guys let’s be honest here.  My house is chaos.  Chaos combined with chaos.  

 

Chaos Combined

 

In our small house we have 11 people(and a baby due in June) plus three German Shepherds and two cats.  We have four bedrooms.  They’re small but all of them are bigger than my kitchen.  The kitchen that I’ve squeezed two refrigerators and soon two stoves into.  Only possible because there is no counter space.  We’re talking small house here.

Chaos combined upon chaos.  We have currently nine children.  The oldest turned 11 yesterday.  Soon we’ll have 10 children age 11 and under.  Four of those children have special needs.  Add to that the three dogs and two cats, oh and of course we can’t forget the two parents!  This 1100 sq ft house gets small fast.

Some of the ways I control our chaos is by having a schedule.  Chaos combined upon chaos can’t be fully contained by a schedule but it’s a great way to start.  I’ve found by implementing a daily routine the kids know what is expected of them when(even if they don’t do it) and things can run a little smoother.

A major thing that has helped to control our chaos is decluttering.  I’m not sure it that is actually a word, but it’s something I do weekly.  I ask myself a series of questions.  Is this something I need?  Do I use this?  Is this something I think is beautiful?  Is this something that I value?  Is this something that is helping our family?

That may seem like a weird list of questions, but it stems from some wise words I read once stating that you should only keep things that you felt were beautiful or that were useful.  It’s very true in our small home.  Clutter makes me feel horrible.  It can actually make me feel physically ill.  So it’s very important to me that our house does not have clutter.  Clutter adds to chaos.  

The actual quote that stems from is “If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it:  Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”  This quote was made by William Morris(1834-1896) and is something that I have taken to heart.  Now there are things in my home that are not beautiful that are useful or that my kids have a special attachment to.  But my chaos is not chaos combined upon chaos due to those things.  They’re not worth upsetting our household over.

Chaos combined upon chaos to me is excess clothing and laundry. It’s my kids having so many clothes that they can’t decide what to wear.  To help control this chaos I have a minimalist approach to our clothing.  Now don’t get me wrong here.  All my children have plenty of clothes.  This is something that I often have to do though.  My kids have a set area for their clothes to fit in.  If their clothes are overflowing and spilling out it’s time to purge some clothing.  

I used to store tubs of clothes for the off season and I don’t do that anymore.  That has decreased my chaos because I don’t have stacks of tubs everywhere in my storage area!!  They were not beautiful and truly they were no longer useful. You see, I’m blessed to have people who care about us and give us their hand-me-downs.  My mother and I are both great seamstresses as well.  Of course, the chaos combined that is my life doesn’t exactly give me time to do much sewing, but my mom volunteers to do our mending.  She also works at a thrift store and can get us clothes if we need something specific.

So you see the chaos combined that is called clothing clutter was something that I could eliminate from my life.  It made me happier and decreased our clutter and our chaos.  It also helped my children to not become overwhelmed when they were choosing clothes for the day.

Another way that I have decreased the chaos in our life is to be a bit creative in our storing of things.  I buy things in bulk.  We’re blessed to have a friend who can get us buckets with locking lids.  I store our bulk goods in these and place them in our cellar.  That decreases the space they take up in our house but allows me to be a good steward of our money.

Another creative storage that I was able to do last year was to buy a pot rack.  The pot rack hangs over my dishwasher.  I can hang our pots and several baskets filled with teas and coffees and sippy cups, etc on the hooks from that pot rack.  I can also place pots and bowls on top of the pot rack.  That really helps because as I mentioned, I have almost no counter space which creates chaos on my available work space.  

I could go on with other ways on how I decrease the chaos combined upon chaos in our house, but I’ll save that for another post.  Make sure you take the time to pop over and read the other Blogging Through the ABC’s posts as well.  I’m really enjoying this series and hope you are too.  Hopefully I’m not just rambling!!

 

Blogging the ABCs- a new blog series

Balancing Act

Balancing Act

Blogging Through the ABC’s Letter B:  Balancing Act

 

Balancing Act

 

 

I don’t know about you, but life to me is a balancing act.  I have to balance my family time, my homeschool time, my planning time, my baking time, housework, and the list seems to go on.  Plus now I’ve got midwife appointments to add in there and our homeschool coop is starting back up in  a little over a month.  Stuff is happening and I’m balancing it all somehow.

Some tips I’ve learned over the years of being married and being a mama to many.  Let things go.  No not that Frozen song that is stuck in everyone’s heads.  But yes, let things go.  If you don’t have time to mop daily or dust daily don’t.  I don’t.  It’s not a priority to me.  My priorities have to come first. 

To start off this balancing act it should be a priority to have a daily time with God and a daily time with your husband.  Let me tell you, sometimes there are days that I don’t think I’ve said more than two or three words to my husband before the kids go to bed and we’re “alone”.  I’m tired.  No let me rephrase that, I’m exhausted.  But, I still have to take the time to have a conversation with my husband.  We talk about his day and we talk about my day.  We talk about schedules.  We talk about whatever pops in our heads.  Sometimes we’ll watch a movie.  But that is our time.  I’m not a morning person at all.  And it’s worse when I’m pregnant.  So, having time together in the mornings just doesn’t work for me.  Our kids go to bed at 8pm and normally they’re actually all in their beds and quiet by 9pm.

Another aspect of the balancing act is making sure there is food.  Not just food in the house but food on the table at appropriate times.  Sometimes I do awesome at meal planning and sometimes I don’t, but I try to make sure we always have something simple that I can fix for the kids. Primarily we have oatmeal with honey and dried cranberries or raisins for breakfast.  Lunch is leftovers a lot or we take corn tortillas and put meat and cheese on them for a quick lunch.  Supper is my big meal and I try to prep that or make sure it’s in the crockpot either at breakfast or at lunch while the kids are eating.  That way I’m not taking away from time for other things.

Probably the largest portion of my balancing act is homeschooling.  It takes up a lot of my day.  I have 9 children.  Six of them legally are school age and so I have to do so many hours of school with them per year.  This can cause me stress if I let it even though I know we’ll get it all in with plenty of extra.  I’m a worrier so I tend to worry about things(this tends to make my personal balancing act of emotions more difficult).  We do school three to four days a week every week.  I try not to take whole weeks off though we do around Christmas and we take at least a month off when children are born.  I have special needs children.  They have learning delays and disabilities with learning.  They take extra time and planning and maintaining at least a light routine helps them.

So, I need to actually have a routine scheduled, plus make sure it’s a doable one.  That means that things going wrong just aren’t on the schedule.  So they won’t happen right?  Wrong.  Throw another box onto that stack that I’m juggling!

I think the main point of this is to share with you that we all have our own balancing act.  We’re all balancing the things in our lives.  Once you figure out what your priorities for you and for your family are, you will find that the balancing act does get easier.

Don’t forget to check out the other posts in my blogging through the ABC’s series as well.  

Absolute Silence

Absolute Silence

Blogging Through the ABCs -A is for Absolute Silence

This is a concept that is totally foreign to me.  My house is never silent.  Even when the kids are all in bed asleep there is a creak from a bed as someone rolls over.  The obnoxious noise my rocking chair makes as I rock in it.  The dogs walking across the wood floor.  I’m sure you’re getting the picture by now.

 

Absolute Silence

 

It’s not that I don’t want silence.  Silence would be wonderful.  But I think I might go crazy if I had absolute silence.  For me silence is relative. Silence is the absence of the constant noise that happens in our house.  Silence is cherished.

But I also know that there will come a day when all I have is silence.  My kids will be grown up and gone and it’ll just be my husband, the animals, and me sitting around in my noisy rocking chair when the chores are done.  Chores become quite a shorter list when there isn’t a dozen people living in one house.

Somedays I think what it will be like when I can just sit for five seconds.  Somedays I wonder what will happen when the absolute silence comes.  And then it hits me.  I’ll remember. I’ll be full of memories of the years where silence was just a dream.  Where absolute silence was a concept that seemed foreign to me.  A concept I wondered if even existed.

I’m not saying I don’t have days that are hard.  I do.  I have them a lot.  Days where I just want to step outside and revel in the lack of noise. But I don’t.  Partly because I know my kids will keep getting into things or doing whatever it is their doing; or they’ll follow me.  And partly because I know that there will come a day where silence will be the reality and I’ll find myself wishing for the days of noise.

 

Absolute Silence is not Possible

 

It’s human nature to want what we don’t have at that point in time.  What I’m learning is it’s okay to think about and want something but that it’s more important to make the most of the day we have and to enjoy and embrace the noise.

As I type this I have kids doing chores.  They’re never silent when they do chores.  Brooms get dropped.  Toes get stubbed.  Playing happens instead.  It’s life.  It’s noisy.  It’s the furthest thing from absolute silence that there can ever be.  But I find it comforting.  It’s the sounds of home.  It’s the noises of family.  It’s childhood.  It’s kids playing and learning and growing.  It’s us as their parents doing the same.

And so, my A in Blogging through the ABCs is dedicated to Absolute Silence.  To a time when I’ll put on my makeup without an audience and remember when they were there trying to help.  Remembering the help getting mascara all over my cheek and laughing which turns to tears because they’re grown.  Then I’m washing my face just like I did that time and reapplying the makeup again in silence.  I’m trying to savor those memories now and hope you do too.  Make memories to keep you comfy when the silence comes to visit.

Parenting the Child You Have {Review}

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I struggle with being a parent.  Ever had the moments where your child just won’t listen?  When rewards and punishments don’t work any longer?  Let me talk to you about a review book we received that deals with parenting the child you have.

 

Motivate Your Child Action Plan and Ebook

 

I’ve been there.  I want to share a book with you that has helped us and I’m hopeful will help you in your parenting as well.  Motivate Your Child and Motivate Your Child Action Plan are by Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller RN BSN.   Learn more about them and their whys by going HERE.  As part of a blogger team I received an ecopy of Motivate Your Child and a physical copy of the Motivate Your Child Action Plan to review.

Check out the National Center for Biblical Parenting on Facebook and give them a follow to have some wonderful words of wisdom flow through your facebook feed daily.

 

Parent the Child You Have

 

 

My main review is going to focus on the Motivate Your Child Action Plan as that is the latest release.  The ecopy of Motivate Your Child was sent in addition.  I will cover it briefly.  If you have more questions about the e-book you can cruise over to the website for more information. I want to let you know before you start that you’re going to need to set aside 40 days to work with your child.

Why 40 days?  You’ll find out in the book why 40 days is key, but think for a moment how many times you see 40 days and 40 nights in the Bible.  It’s a good number folks!

 

Parenting the Child You Have

 

The main theme of these works is Heart Parenting.  Parenting your children in a way that affects them in their heart so that they can discern for themselves what is good and right.  That doesn’t mean there are not consequences or that we just let them have free will, but that we’re teaching them in order to help them make their own decisions when they are grown.  

 

Parenting the Child You Have

 

A key principle in the book that spoke to me is this; when parents change the way they parent, kids have to change the way they live.  It may not be that you are doing anything wrong, it may just be that it is not the right way to reach this child.  We have nine children.  I can tell you that what I can do to reach child #1 won’t work at all with child #5.  They’re each unique and our parenting needs to reflect their uniqueness or it’s not going to be the best fit and won’t work the best.  You have to parent the child you have and not the child you want to have.  They will not become a different person just because you want them to be.  We have to find a way to reach them and teach them as they are.

With the Motivate Your Child Action Plan you’re going to go through a bit of reading and answer questions.  You’re also going to be talking to your child or learning how to best talk to your child.  Remember you’re parenting the child you have.  So key.  I’m still learning.  I think I’m going to have to go through this 9 separate times so I can focus it to each child.  Keep notes guys you’re going to want to go back through and look at them.  There is room to write in the book, but I’m keeping a separate notebook for each child.

 

Parenting the Child You Have

 

Let your children talk.  This is another key for me.  You’re really going to want to talk to and actually listen to your child.  You’re going to get to know them better if you give them the chance.  Let them know what they think and what they want changed.  You might be surprised with what they have to say!  The action plan does give examples of stuff as well.  You’ll see how other parents have worked through this and what their children had to say as well as the actions and behaviors they were working on.

There are references to Motivate Your Child within this book.  It will suggest you read this chapter for when you’re dealing with this behavior.  I would recommend you get both books.  I will probably be buying a print copy of the Motivate Your Child book because I do better with print books then ebooks because I like to mark them up!  You could of course buy the e-book and print it.  Our printer is having issues and I just haven’t got my copy printed.  

 

Parenting the Child You Have

 

Some personal thoughts that I want to add.  If you’re a parent of a foster child, if you’re the parent of a child through adoption, I think you’re going to want to read both of these books.  We’ve adopted children.  We have children we have guardianship of.  It’s hard.  They have behaviors and fears and issues that no one told me I’d ever have to deal with in my parenting career.  These are the children I am learning the most about using these books.  These are the children that I have the biggest connection changes with.

Another personal thought.  Buy the books, use the books, and then donate the books.  Donate them to your churches library.  Donate them to the local library.  Lend them out to friends who are struggling.  Sometimes parents don’t even realize that they need help.  Share your stories with them.  Share the resources and help them one set of parents and children at a time.

 

Parenting the Child You Have

 

 

I received a physical copy of Motivate Your Child Action Plan and an ecopy of Motivate Your Child in exchange for my review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  I have received no other form of compensation.