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Posts Tagged ‘ponderings’

I’m amazed at the things my children teach me about myself.

Hannah has started noticing when Nick and I don’t do a very good job. The other day I was in a hurry to get everyone out the door, and just had Hannah and Audrey put their crocs on with no socks, in spite of the fresh snow. When we arrived, Hannah had to walk through the snow and got her feet wet and cold. It wasn’t that cold out – the snow was all melting away, but good job, mommy. What I wasn’t prepared for, was her pointing it out! She just about made me cry, telling me I should have carried her or helped her put on socks! I apologized and eventually that was good enough for her, but…wow…I have some accountability at this point…

Tessa has started smiling and cooing at me all the time. She has brought me so much joy! I’ll just be doing something else, holding her in my lap, and it’s like she suddenly realizes I’m there, and proceeds to have a full conversation with me, whether I’m paying attention or not. She also gazes at me, right in the eye, and doesn’t look away. This is something my other two did not do! I find myself looking away out of discomfort while she just lovingly stares and admires her mommy. Where does my discomfort come from? Why do I get impatient so quickly? I don’t typically have difficulty looking people in the eye, but the purity of her attention and adoration overwhelms me sometimes.

Pay attention, they say to me without realizing it. Pay attention and don’t miss THIS moment. Be fully here with us. Don’t get so caught in the task to be accomplished that you miss the people who are most important. It took me forever to make peace with staying at home with my kids, but now that I have…I can’t imagine anything more fulfilling!

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I read a lot of blogs. Actually, that should say I’m subscribed to a lot of blogs. As of this writing, I have 706 unread blogs n my reader. That’s after I spent quite a bit of time last night on the iphone catching up, and more time this morning. Every 6 months or so, I realize this has gotten out of hand and unsubscribe from anything that has become unimportant. I’m also a big fan of that “mark as read” button.

My own blogging has somewhat fallen off in the past couple of months. Understandably, I’d say. I mean, when you can see this every day,

and smell that sweet newborn smell, not to mention all the work that goes with it, it’s easy to do that instead of write. But I miss writing. So, I’m making it a new goal – a post a day. Check back – keep me accountable. Really. I’ll feel better.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I relate to the older kids. Since having Tessa, it’s been harder for me to give Hannah and Audrey the attention I want to. Also, even though Nick cut back his hours at the pizza place, he’s been having to work extra hours at his regular job, which has made for long hours anyway. This in turn makes for a tired mommy. I was reading my Bible (read: desperate for some truth to keep me going) a couple of days ago, and came across this:

Thessalonians 3:2 AMP

And we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s servant in [spreading] the good news (the Gospel) of Christ, to strengthen and establish and to exhort and comfort and encourage you in your faith,

Right at that moment, I heard God whisper to me, “That’s your job with your kids. Strengthen, establish, exhort, comfort, and encourage.” Oh, is that all? No, but really…that simplifies things. Punish is not in there, because the goal is not to make them feel guilty, it’s to build them up. Belittle is definitely not there. Frustrate is not there either. Not that I should never discipline – exhort means “to give warnings or advice : make urgent appeals.” Discipline is included there in my mind. But the majority of my interaction with them needs to be positive, and it hasn’t been that way lately.

My days go so fast right now. Before I know it the morning is gone and naptime has come. Evenings are a blur – with or without Daddy home – and then we’re to that exhausted please-go-to-bed-right-now time. More than anything I want to become more intentional about my time with my kids. Not just surviving, but thriving and enjoying the time with them. It’s a daily process. I feel like part of the key for us is to strike that balance between a schedule and flexibility – a continual struggle for me. If bedtime happens before I get too tired, there is still energy for conversations and Bible time at bedtime. If I get out of bed in the morning before the kids do, I tend to be more centered and better able to greet them cheerfully and purposefully. If I feed them when they’re hungry instead of waiting for some specific time when they “should” be hungry, I head off tantrums and low-blood-sugar-related bad moods…

What things do you do to connect with your kids in a meaningful way?

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When to say yes

Good advice from my pastor, on how to decide what deserves your time and energy, and what does not. May we all be clearer on what our assignment is!

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Contentment and Fairness

As parents, one of the pressures we often feel is to make everything “fair.” I loved this post this morning. If I treated my two children exactly the same, one of them would run the household and the other would wilt under the pressure. It would never work…

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Thoughts on Democracy

Came across this post today, where she took the time to type out a lengthy passage of C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters – one of my favorites. If you take the time to read it, I think you’ll be struck, as I was, of how well Lewis described our current social and political situation. Lewis had an incredible ability to see things through to their logical conclusion, and therefore often his work seems prophetic – in the sense that he described something the way it would become, 60-80 years before it happened.

*Edited after I thought of a better way to explain what I mean – someday I’ll learn to edit BEFORE posting…

I don’t think anyone here would argue that not all ideas are equal. Some ideas are good, some are bad. Although all human life has intrinsic value, that does not mean every person’s ideas are good ones. Therein lies a danger in Democracy. If we all have to be equal, no one can be outstanding. If no one is outstanding, what do the rest of us have to reach for, to aspire to? Who can be a hero? Other people’s success does not threaten my worth – my worth is founded in what God says about me, not in my accomplishments or in comparing myself.

It’s not just the U.S. that is heading this way, either. It seems like the world as a whole wants to cut down the successful ones – that’s kind of the whole premise behind socialism/communism and there are so many countries governing with those principles. Of course, heading back into the feudal system isn’t a good goal either. It’s definitely a balancing act. I’m rambling now, but…thoughts about this?

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The Importance of Our Job as Mothers

“Children are a public trust – Now, that work which is of most importance to society is the bringing-up and instruction of the children – in the school, certainly, but far more in the home, because it is more that anything else the home influences brought to bear upon the child that determine the character and career of the future man or woman. It is a great thing to be a parent: there is no promotion, no dignity, to compare with it.”

-Charlotte Mason, “Home Education, Vol. 1” p. 1

It is often difficult, especially for those of us who stay at home with our kids, to feel purposeful, needed, useful as a mother. I’m not sure why this is, because it seems that even two generations ago it was not the case. But I have already established here in the past that I will make no impact larger than the one I make on my own children, my own family. So what if my training in music (or your training in…fill in the blank) is intended not to fill my own heart, or change the world as a whole, but ultimately to make an eternal impact on my own children and our home life? What if I create an atmosphere in my home where my children learn to live lives of worship? How much more impact will children who live lives of worship make, more than the person for whom I can facilitate a few minutes of encounter with God during a worship service (not to discount that, but obviously the impact will be less). What if this applies to all of our trades that we learned B.C. (before children)? Education, music, healthcare, business – whatever we did can be passed as a strength to our children through our willingness to give them those gifts…

Just something I’m thinking about…

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On "The Shack"

Glenn posted a blog that perfectly expresses my feelings about this book, even down to his hesitation to say anything. This is a book I will be skipping. I value too deeply the Holiness of God, the Biblical portrayal of the Trinity, the Church, Biblical submission, and many other ideas, to read something that may confuse those in my own mind, just for a book that makes me “feel” close to God. It’s not about how close to God I feel!

I think it’s terribly important that we keep our beliefs straight in our own minds, and allow God to teach us things directly from His Word. I hope this doesn’t come across too harsh, but especially if you aren’t reading your Bible every day, you have no business gleaning theology or comfort from a novel.

So there ya go. Done with the soapbox.

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