Monday, July 14, 2014

4 Things Every Mama Needs To Do


 

Eight and a half months pregnant with our first baby, I moved 1000 miles away and in with family friends so I could be closer to my Knight while he would be in training for a few months in DC.  After being there just 2 days, I went into labor- 2 weeks early- while my Knight was still in Texas, waiting to board an airplane to join me. And so, long story short, I had our first born son without him.

I remember holding that precious little one afterwards.  There are no words to express the emotions that surge through a new mom.  Wonder. Love. Exhaustion. Love. Love. And even more Love. And awe.

Then it hit me. This little guy was solely dependent on us! The heavy thought settled in.  What are we doing? What were we thinking? We don’t know what we’re doing! We are responsible for this child 24 hours a day – we can’t drop him off with his parents – we ARE his parents!  Do we even know enough to keep him alive? I had taken care of my 21 nieces and nephews countless times, but this was different. This child was mine. I was his mom. And so my mama-journey began.

I wanted to do this mama-thing well. This little life was placed in my care and I had the awesome responsibility to direct how he would see life. To shape his views and beliefs. To point him to the Savior.

I read every mom book I could find, attended retreats and went faithfully to both women’s bible study and church. It sparked in me a desire to do well. To do good…then better…then best.  As Elisabeth George puts it, “Good, better, best. Never let it rest, until your good is better and your better, best.”

4 Things Every Mama Needs To Do:

1. Pray. Then pray some more. Ask God to grow you to be a godly mama. This is not something you can do on your own. You need the Spirit’s leading and teaching.

2. Faithfully attend church. Make a commitment to be there. Being spiritually fed on a regular basis is so valuable to every area of your life, especially as a mama!

3. Join a bible study. Get involved in a group and study the word with other women (or couples). Small groups are where friendships are made and application is turned into action.

4. Read books and blogs that inspire you to be a better mom. This is an avenue to be mentored daily, right alongside messes and mayhem, without even leaving your home.

So what about you? How did your mama-journey begin?  What emotions filled you as you held your firstborn? What do you do that helps you in your mama-journey?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

You Don't Have Time To Not Have Time


 


“I wish my kids were older so we could do more things together.”

“I wish I had more time to spend with my kids.”
“If my kids weren’t so busy, we could do more things together.”
Ever feel this way? These are deceptive concepts. The truth is, you don’t have to wait until your kids are older to do things together. You do have time to spend with them. And you control your kids’ schedules, so if they are too busy, cut some activities out.
You only have about 18 years with each of your children. You simply don’t have time to wait. They will be grown and out the door while you are still wishing they were old enough to do things with.
You can start involving your children in daily family life at a very young age. When they are 1, they can help put away silverware after washing. Yes, it will take longer as you guide their little hands in putting away each piece. One. At. A . Time.
And, yes, that silverware will end up with tiny little fingerprints all over, but that’s ok. We’re not in a Martha Stewart competition here, girls.
We are raising the next generation and if we don’t engage them, someone else will. And no telling who or what that will be.
At 2 they can help sweep, rake, and bake right along side mommy and daddy.  When they are 3 they can learn which tool is which and help daddy work on the mower or find worms for fishing.
I came home one day to find my 7 year old using a circular saw and my 5 year old on the roof of the clubhouse. I panicked. Moms don’t like to see such things. But they were working on a project with Dad. He told me to go inside, they needed to learn to be men.
You know what? He was right. They needed to learn these things. They needed to spend time with their dad. How else would they learn? What better way to learn?
He could have waited until they were “old enough”. He could have built the clubhouse without them. He could have just wished it all. My heart would have felt better. But those boys would have lost out. Lost out on learning skills, lost out on time with their dad and lost out on learning the art of work ethic.
We spend time on many things. Which of those things can you involve your children in? Yard work, house work, golfing, crafting, collecting? The list is endless. They really aren’t too young, tailor the activity to involve them at any age.
Feeling they are too busy? Kids don’t need to be constantly going going going. They really don’t need to be involved in all the activities.
What they really need is relationships built with you. Cut some activities out, scale back and spend that time engaging them, share daily life with them and watch them grow.
You’ll be thankful you did.

(The photo above is my husband and firstborn back in the day.  He has been a dad who involves his kids in pretty much everything. And I love him even more for it!)


Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Battle Worth Fighting

    
photo courtesy of creativedoxphoto / freedigitalphotos.net

 July 4th. Oh, the fun memories attached to this holiday! Sparklers…watermelon…parades…swimming… We celebrate our freedom in many ways with family and friends. But our freedom was not won easily. Many lives were lost. Families were left mourning loved ones. It was a battle worth fighting, but it came with costs. Costs I’m thankful many were willing to pay.
     As Mamas, we fight a battle too. The battle for our children’s souls. The battle for our children’s freedom from the enemy’s control. It rages around us every day. This battle comes with costs. Floors left unswept…homes not decorated for each season… saying no to this committee and that opportunity…no time for yourself…. And you know in your heart, it’s worth it all.
     As you celebrate this weekend, celebrate the freedom we have in this great country because some were willing to fight for it.
     May you be renewed and refreshed to continue the battle you fight day in and day out. May your children one day celebrate their spiritual freedom because they had a Mama who was willing to pay the cost.