Manic Monday>Planning with Giveaway

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Keeping It All Together

I have spent most of my adult life changing, re-arranging, re-organizing, over-complicating, and re-creating the wheel in regards to planning.

I try a new planner, I purge in every area of my life, I create labels upon labels, and tear rooms apart, all in hopes of finding a system that works for me.

I got a REALLY expensive planner one time. The first item I wrote in it, it was to schedule a  hair appointment for 10:00 am. I dropped my boys off at my mother’s at 10:15 am because, in my head, the appointment was at 10:30 am.

What in the world does a planner do for me if I don’t ACTUALLY look at it to check out my day? 

What Keeps Monday Alive


I don’t have the planner life down. Here’s what I do know, I’ve found one that is completely customizable! It’s called The Happy Planner and is available at my favorite store, Michael’s! (I purchased mine at Hobby Lobby before Michael’s started carrying this brand).

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What I also love about this planner, is the massive amount of accessories & items available to make it very personal and custom. I’ve purchased a Home Kit (budget, meal planning, cleaning schedule, and notes section) as well as folders, notes pages, and extra covers which I’ll explain later the purpose of those!

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I purchased the extra covers and folders along with new rings to build my very own planner! I wanted to make one for my personal business (Young Living and blogging organization). It has been maybe I favorite! I also made another planner for my Bible journaling. It’s pure joy to have all of these planners that serve every purpose without having to sacrifice something in order to have just what is offered from a company.

The Happy Planner Punch

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The Happy Planner Folders

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Happy Planner Rings/Discs

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There are so many more spectacular items available at Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, and of course The Happy Planner Site (they have a Teacher Planner EEK!!!)

As I mentioned, I really enjoy using one of my personally created planners, for my Bible journaling. I scoured Pinterest, (you can follow my board Bible Time Board as well as my Keeping It Together board about Organization) in order to find valuable resources that are helpful as well as practical (and thrifty!).

Here is a wonderful resource for Bible journaling in your planner until I can share more of mine:: Bible Journaling in a Planner

The Most Important Task

The most important tasks in my planner? KEEP THE PLANNER OPEN ON A SURFACE. I know that is probably common sense to most of you, but if I keep it tucked away, organized with other things, or out of reach, I will not look at it. Also, the most important items on my to-do list:: Bible time, school time for the boys, cleaning schedule, prompts to encourage my husband, and meal planning.

How Do You Routine

I would love to hear suggestions and hacks for how you live this life in a more structured way. I’m still a work in progress. My husband is an Evernote machine. I use Evernote and definitely use it to share items with him, but I’m a planner girl. I love pretty things. What are your top 3 items that help to keep you sane? 

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⭐️⭐️For a Chance To Win My Favorite Pens⭐️⭐️

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**Disclaimer** I was not paid, endorsed, or commissioned by any of the above companies or corporations. I just love these products and want to share how they’re working for me!!

Michael’s is having a HUGE sale today for Memorial Day so it would be a super time to go grab a planner and accessories! Check their site or app for coupons!

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finding my stride::my momma “aha” moment

i’ve been told so many wise statements since becoming a mother. perhaps my favorite “remember, they’re sinners in need of discipleship & training”. i know it’s hard to think of our precious littles as sinners, but it’s absolutely true, isn’t it? aren’t we sinners? so it’s perfectly logical to realize our small children, who have yet to understand the saving grace of Jesus, are sinners. they will always be with sin, but the great logic needing to seep into our soul of parenting, is that while we pray and pursue salvation on their behalf, they don’t have it right now. it is our accountability and stewardship of their hearts to teach and train them repentance and relationship.

so i’ve been told this. my heart knows this. my brain processes this on a daily basis while i’m home with them. but there are breaks in my understanding of this that crash into the reality of frustration, disappointment, and anger. frustration when i feel so spent with their disobedience that i am ready to punt for the day and let all chaos ensue in order to have a break. the disappointment i feel when we’re in a public place and they lose all semblance of the endless hours we’ve worked on obedience and manners. the anger i feel when they are rude and disrespectful with fits of rage, tantrums, and screaming at me.

as i reflect on the day, i see one word that is a common thread through my description. feel. that is 100% the descriptive word i used. how am i any more mature, grace-bound, or live giving that my 2 and 4 year old if my operation of parenting is fueled by my feelings?

it’s all so messy. my house. my head. my heart. it thrashes, swirls, and explodes like a tornado. one evening last week, my husband (with great provision of the Lord) found the eye of the tornado with me on our bed. somehow everything seemed tragically calm (enough) for us to lay down on our bed and talk. he was laying the opposite direction and our eyes remained in engaged for an amount of time that was cumulatively much longer than the moments we steal here or there while passing and even while trying to parent when we’re at home together as a family.

back to the eye. he said “it’s not personal, you know”. to which i responded exactly like my 4 year old or a teen “i know!” i really did know this. and i really am confident that i believe it and do not act out of feeling personally assaulted by my children. my 4 year old tells me pretty frequently “bad momma!” or “yucky momma!” or “mean momma!” and has fits of screaming at me when he’s in disagreement, with, well, anything. he’s 4. my husband has chimed in on that very powerfully and i usually receive a heart felt apology within minutes and a bonus explanation of what a bad momma really is (because in the mind of 4 year old we need a definition of the opposite if we’re going to be operating out of definitions.) my husband mostly agreed that i don’t take it personally.

most of my distress is born out of my great desire for them to “just get it”. the number of broken spoons, migraines, and missed fun is too high to count and it breaks my heart for them sometimes. when my husband comes home and takes over (which is another shift for him…i’m not starting an argument about child rearing being a job, but let’s face reality–he’s been at work all day earning a living and now the work of parenting and husbanding is just as mentally, emotionally, and spiritually filled with work). so watching him discipline and address them give me a huge release. i then watch these little boys fear their discipline. i watch them repeat the offenses over and over. it breaks my heart. just get it. please!

and then. they get it. magic number ___ spanking, conversation, consequence unleashes the lesson and understanding. don’t worry, offense number ___ is lurking so we move onto something else just as rigorous. but they got it with the last one! hope to continue and remain CONSISTENT.

remember that eye of the tornado we found? my husband spoke life-giving, mother affirming, inspiring truth to me. he listened. he heard. he doted. and finally, i looked up and said “they don’t know any better”. AHA. i know, that is not profound. but it let me off the hook. it let my little boys off the hook.

it let me off the hook of the frustration, disappointment, and anger. in the grand scheme of the consistency with which we parent, they DO know better. but with every small battle we endure through the day, they are…..here it is……the eye of the tornado where my husband spoke directly to my soul……..they are testing. i know, i’ve been been told that one a million times before. i cannot explain to you whey i immediately FELT relieved.

they don’t know any better (for each and every offense). they’re testing. and do you know who they’re testing the MOST? me. the stay at home mom they occasionally tune out so that all they hear is “wha wha wha”

to top off my aha moment. we were eating dinner with the boys one night and i gave my 4 year old a few directives that he unashamedly rejected, denied, and did the opposite. my husband was in and out because we were at his office. i redirected the 4 year old with fewer directives and a promise of discipline if he didn’t obey. he handled it well and moved on. all of a sudden my husband walks in and my child says “momma, just quit going on and on and on”. my husband snapped into gear quickly and handled that disrespectful address as well as his attitude and intonation.

as we were sitting on our bed in the eye of the tornado, i told my husband about an understanding i gained while reading SEVERAL books about raising boys. it was never directly stated, but from all of our incredible opportunities to counsel, and even from my own husband, i understand very vividly and clearly that men are hard wired to loathe nagging. i mean scripture is VERY specific about what it’s like to live with a nagging women. why would i be surprised that my little boys don’t appreciate it either? (for the record, i was not nagging in the moment he decided to be dramatic!) but my husband grinned from ear to ear. he said “that’s why you are such a wonderful wife and mother,” he went on “that you can know your little boys will tune you out and test you harder with the approach and nagging says you care more about their hearts in the long run than you do immediate satisfaction for yourself”. i really do. yes, we can be heard saying “you obey momma/dadda!” but there is great relationship backing up that command. they can both tell you about how much we want them to be good men, (and they will say like dadda…which i only dream they are as incredible as my husband) we want them to be honest men, and we want them to fear the Lord with great reverence and respect. they’re learning to obey us, to believe us when we set up a consequence, and to trust us when lay out an expectation means they are gaining tangible understandings of what it is to love the Lord our God with all of our hearts, souls, and minds.

i’m finding my stride in understanding discipleship and discipline in time with my children learning obedience. it’s a long haul. i’m thankful for a husband who leads me through conversation, understanding, and an effort to help me take practical steps to continue loving him and our children in a biblical, God-honoring fashion. there’s no formula. what works for our family won’t work for others. no one can tell me how or what to do with my children because God entrusted them to me. i take suggestions, prayers, and advice on a regular basis, but it’s me who they were entrusted to for shepherding.

what has been a recent “aha” moment for you? a moment where a truth you have known for a while just sunk in so deep it became part of you?

motherhood & the mundane.

mother’s day is this weekend. my 1 & 3 year old aren’t old enough to really be held accountable for a thoughtfully planned day. and mother’s day and father’s day are always on sunday. i wish someone in ministry had the final say on holidays sometime….because sundays are all out days of serving for ministers, pastors, clergy, volunteers, parents, anyone and everyone who plays a role in ministering and serving the Body.

as i scroll through facebook, there are oodles of posts, blogs, & pictures being shared. all very lovely and encouraging. i’ve seen a picture about treasuring the right now, i’ve read blogs about how it feels to not have a reason or mom to celebrate, or posts about wishing you were a mom to be celebrated (i’ve had those days after my miscarriage), or …………. for me…………it’s a first mother’s day for my mom to not have her mom here to take flowers and cards and candy to or for me to call. everyone has a very personal experience with mother’s day.

now that i’m a mother, i get it more. my nephew once asked my mom why they’re isn’t a “kid’s day”. i’m sure there was a prompt conversation about how EVERY day is kid’s day!

now that i’m a mother, i get the tension in our hearts between feeling so mundane and monotonous and feeling so in love and sacrificial.

just today, i’ve changed 5 diapers (3 of which were terribly disgusting), cleaned up and intentional potty accident, i’ve been on the receiving end of SEVERAL tantrums (in a few i was assaulted), have received demands all day which required calm, extensive teaching as to how we ask for things (because we haven’t taught them already?!?!), refresher courses for all on how the daily schedule runs (because we’re so surprised DAILY that it’s nap time again—see tantrum), i mean i could go on and on and all the mommas of littles in the trenches are speaking an amen.

and for glimmers of a second throughout the day, i hear my selfish heart say “what do you get recognized for?” i’m still in yoga pants and a huge tshirt. i haven’t done the dishes. i’ve made the tiniest dent in the laundry. i’ve put away tons of laundry. i’ve purged and organized. but really, the whole house is still a disaster. i’m trying.

but really, in the grand scheme of it all. i have to be responsible with what God’s given me. my marriage. our children. our home. our belongings. just be a good steward. More on that here.

there is a wide spread movement where i live for women staying home. more and more of my friends are staying home and it’s a sweet season to walk this journey with them. i love my friends who work and i love hearing their testimonies of how they work AND do all of the stuff i do during my days at home. if i could just manage to get my kids to not destroy the house while we’re home all day, i would have it made.

now that i’m a mother, i pay attention to other mommas. i take notes. what works for them? how do they discipline? how do they teach? how do they organize? how do they schedule? i ask for wisdom. i seek counsel. i ignore the haters (am i in the right generation to use that term?)

and every mom has the same battle. we know the Truth of the value of what we do….but we don’t feel it. there’s the foolish part of emotions, they don’t always speak Truth to us. but they are real. and they are meaningful to us when we’re in the trenches.

and it’s not how God works for us to say “pull yourself up by the boot straps” or to whisper to our hearts “get over it”.

for the rest of our lives, as mothers, we will battle “i feel like a failure” and “i know what i’m doing matters, it just doesn’t always feel like it.”

this is what i think on to draw me back to Truth when my flesh and heart fail me in the midst of emotions.

Colossians 3:23-24

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

23 Whatever you do, do your work [a]heartily, as for the Lord [b]rather than for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward [c]of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.

 

i take myself back to the point. sometimes i literally start talking to my littles about Jesus because i absolutely know that matters and will help me FEEL like what i’m doing matters. we read a book about Jesus, we pray, we talk about Him, we sing songs about Him…whatever encourages my heart that we’re working their hearts towards salvation.

this also takes me to the point that i’m working heartily for the Lord, not the praises of men (which are hard, see my struggle here). my flesh may want to hear something extraordinary about myself, but ultimately the most extraordinary thing about me is my Lord. so washing dishes like i’m washing them for Him is going to make that task FEEL a little more important.

for my mental health, it always boils down to perspective. so that’s what i always ask Him for. perspective of my life through the filter of Truth. He always provides. and sometimes it comes in unusual forms–a 1 1/2 year old precious son who walks up behind me while i’m sitting on the floor and hugs me from behind.

i’m back on track for the day. joy supersedes circumstances.

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our mother’s day pic from last year…i may be more prepared this year with matching outfits, fixed hair, and a better hair do for myself. we’ll see….it IS on a sunday. our busiest day of the week 🙂 this was also the day we dedicated our family to raising Holt in a godly home 🙂 what a sweet mother’s day!

how a 3 year old changes people

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Photo Credit: Allie Saville

We had so much fun taking Family pictures for Christmas and Holt’s one year pictures. Of course, Drake joined in the Holt lovin’ fun and we love how much they play! ALL THE TIME! He was a character during family pictures and is truly a sweet little boy who puts the awe in our hearts of parenting.

Some things to know about Drake’s second year!

He LOVES Disney shows…we went from him not being able to sit still for a show to begging to watch “Doc McStuffins, Sophia the First, Mickey Mouse, Daniel Tiger, Word Girl, Super Why, Curious George, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Cat in the Hat” I mean it’s crazy! And I’m now part of the parenting world where we sing all the songs ALL day and find ourselves still watching Disney when they’re napping and in bed!

He has asked “why?” since he was exactly 2. He started the week before his birthday last year asking “why?” I was absolutely appalled.

He adores playing outside

He loves his grandparents! I mean, BEGS to see them and visit them and have them over. I LOVE IT. I love that he gets to see them on a regular basis.

He is a pretending machine! He tells us what is pretend and loves playing!

Drake loves breakfast.

He loves chocolate milk, sprite, sweet tea, water, and fruit!

He loves his dadda more than anyone or anything on this planet 🙂 He tries to dress like him, wrestle like him, look like him, talk like him, eat like him….anything! And I wouldn’t want him to seek to be like anyone else on this earth besides his dadda!

He still calls us momma and dadda and I hope he does for a LONG time.

Drake is a very smart 3 year old. I’m aware that all parents think their children are brilliant. So whether it’s normal preference or an actual observation of his abilities and learning capability, I’m not sure. But he has been saying his abc’s since 18 months and can now spell his name and Holt’s name and other sight words, he has known his shapes since 18 months (even octagon which he pronounced octologon for a while!), He can sing and loves to play on instruments. He has had songs and books and stories memorized since before he turned 2. He has 3 bible verses memorized. I’m so proud of him, not because of what he can do, but because of his desire and eagerness to learn and grow. We love him and are so thankful for the journey of parenting our first born.

a year measures more than time

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One of our college students (who is graduating and I can’t even believe we’ve watched her and her sister graduate college since starting at FBCWF) took one year pictures of Holt and our Christmas family pictures. Photo Credit: Allie Saville

The last year has been a blur AND memorable. I don’t know how both can occur, but it’s true. You can read about Holt’s birth story here. (From my previous blog). It was the fourth most incredible moment of my life! Salvation, Marrying Brady, Drake’s birth, and really, all of them make my every day the more incredible.

A few beautiful memories and characteristics of Holt::

He loves to dance *bop up and down.

He loves to crawl….FAST!

He is starting to walk! Taking about 10 steps at a time.

He climbs. So much! I looked at him today and turned away. When I looked back, he was on the train table, sitting on his knees! He also climbs in our window seat. He is pretty agile and can get down by himself.

Like all babies, he grabs for everything and I sometimes think he has go go gadget arms!

He loves to eat fruit! Just like his brother. We go through A LOT of fruit around here (and sometimes, internally, I’m proud of myself and wonder where the ability to prepare toddler food comes from? I would have never imagined myself doing breakfast, lunch, and dinner for littles had you asked me 5 years ago).

He loves his Drake. He calls us out “day day” and it’s hard to distinguish between that and dadda!

He HATES his carseat carrier. He has from day one. In the hospital…screams every time! THANKFULLY he goes into a big carseat now!

He HATES laying down to get a diaper change. Sometimes I give him a bottle so he’ll be occupied for the 5 seconds it takes to whip out diapers!

He enjoys putting things into containers.

He can use a fork pretty impressively!

He loves books! Not sitting down to read (or anything else) but he’ll flip through one on his own and then move on.

He crawls around with toys in his mouth making noises.

He likes to sleep with a blanket over his head (and I’ve give up freaking out over it). I’ve watched him in the middle of the night take his blanket from the side of the crib and wrap himself up. Pretty coordinated!

Did I mention he despises naps? Not a long napper. At all.

He loves water! (again, pretty impressed with our parenting skills to get children to like water!)

His birthday was a whale theme and we had more fun than I expected with friends and family! He did NOT like the smash cake but really LOVED the ice cream.

 

You can imagine with all the intricacies of a little person’s preferences and dislikes, the sanctification that comes with that for the one seeking to shepherd his heart. It has been a joy to watch his brother desire to help him (so much so that he gets into trouble for trying to stop us from disciplining his little brother sometimes). They wrestle. I had no idea what was coming with boys. Watching them wrestle is incredible and always teaches me. Boys were meant for something so much greater than what this world is speaking into their tiny minds and hearts. God put it in the male to be bold and fierce. My husband has taught me how to manifest that, encourage it, and train our boys in the way.

I never knew or spent much time contemplating what parenting would be like and I’m fairly confident that was exactly how the Lord intended my decision to go about having children. I probably wouldn’t have had any….and if you’re a parent I think you’ll understand what I mean by that comment. There are hard times. Staying with my boys all day is for the most part INCREDIBLE. But there are times I question my patience, abilities, decisions, sanity, etc. When they’re both screaming, when they won’t nap and I selfishly need 10 minutes alone, when they don’t like what I’ve made to eat (which, thankfully, is rare), when they ask hard questions, when they reveal sin in my heart….I could go on. But it pales in comparison to the joy they bring me! This is my one glimpse into how Christ sees me and loves me. My sin paled in comparison to His love so much that He died a gruesome death in order that His perfect blood be shed to pay the price for my eternity. Oh what grace. That’s what floods my parenting thoughts and momma heart. Oh what grace.

Now, onto my post about my precious Drake turning 3!

…walk humbly with your God

i love this. YOUR God. He’s personal. He works in tangible ways. His character doesn’t change, but He brings change around us and in us. and it’s our opportunity for relationship building to walk humbly with Him…through change.

people (especially women) say “i hate change”. of course we do. our insecurity loathes change. we just figured out “this” and we just figured out how package ourselves in “this” to look like we want to look and appear how we want others to see us. but, of course, the Lord is going to change that up because our “pretty package” is not what He intends out of our relationship with Him. He asks for righteousness and relationship. and He brings both by bringing change. that’s how we’re sifted. and when we’re sifted, the rough edges diminish (but only a little in various places of our hearts at one time which means it has to happen on a continual basis because our personalities and flesh are always evolving).

so. while i’m on the subject of change. we’re changing. students go back to school next week. wednesday night is our annual “on campus portico” and then portico tuesdays start up! wednesday nights at first start. tuesday morning women’s bible studies start. thursday night college girls bible study starts. a new facet of our ministry, the joshua project kicks off. thursday morning mops starts. homeschool preschool for drake starts. holt (those of you who know our sweet holt know there needs to be no more explanation. he’s a firecracker). sunday continues with our portico lunch and lifegroups! saturday tailgates start.

i’m usually counting down the days until september so i can decorate for fall! speaking of change. it’s amazing how quickly priorities and interests can change. i’m not so thoughtful on fall decorating as i am getting my family ready to maneuver this semester with as much grace and peace as possible.

so here are few of the many ways i have been pushing hard to have a manageable, yet busy schedule that will allow for all of the unplanned interruptions i’m confident we will experience!

Sarah Johnson and I did this crockpot freezer meal preparation which required a LOT of work. But, has already paid off! 20 meals including shopping and prep and they’re all in the freezer!

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i made this amazing menu board to go along with all the recipes i know and have already prepared. Image

I made a homemade planner to meet all of our needs. i used the following printables and blogs.

a perpetual calendar found here Imageand calendar prints from here

Imageand i got everything ready to start pre-k at home with Drake!

just a FEW of what we’ll be doing

PRESCHOOL FUN

we’ll start off with a calendar that resembles all mickey mouse fun found at live laugh love here

we will talk about ABC’s and start with some small reading curriculum found on confessions of a homeschooler here

and we’ll talk about the weather from teaching mama here

and there are TONS more of what we’ll be doing but those are just a little look.

we can’t plan for everything. but when we know change is coming we can prepare our hearts for change, set our spirit to be flexible, fix our eyes on opportunities, and our minds towards peace and grace.

i’m ready. fall, you’re welcome here. Lord, give me grace. and give me wisdom to lead my sweet little boys towards understanding and mercy.

on call wife and mom

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uttering those words “i’m JUST a stay at home mom” or feeling the guilt of a few bemoaning thoughts towards switching hats from your career to mom and wife when you get home are heavy loads we carry as married women with children.

right now, it seems less than glamorous to be a stay at home mom. i’m wearing shorts and a tshirt and got dirty and sweaty playing outside this morning. i didn’t have anyone writing me a memo that said “wow, that lesson was awesome” or “your class was so well behaved today” or “great presentation in that meeting today” or over hear someone say “that Melissa sure can ____________”.

two things to remember here::

1. no one gets these sorts of accolades and praises on a regular basis.

2. my accolades and praises will come in the form of healthy, sought-after relationship with my children and husband. (i am growing alongside my children in what it means to relate to and with them. i still have a long way to go with my husband. i didn’t get him until i was 26).

as a stay at home mom, my days are what i make them. i count the cost to leave the house with my children (will it be worth it if everyone loses their mind and we are a huge mess out in public?) you know those thought processes. some days i know before we even start that day that i am personally not operating on a full tank of patience and wisdom and probably shouldn’t venture into new territory (whether that be an activity at home or leaving the house). but some days i feel confident with my boys to conquer the world (whether that’s going to the grocery store or to a grandparents’ house).

as a stay at home mom, sometimes it feels like days happen to me. spilled milk, meals refused, constant fussing and disobedience, and skipped naps are all ripe ingredients for a momma melt down. add to that feeling like a failure if there are millions of messes that got left because clean up was interrupted by a hungry baby or runaway two year old. add to that feelings of inadequacy if i’m still in my sweatpants and tshirt when my husband comes home from work and i haven’t put on any make-up or cooked dinner.

i can never seem to accomplish all of these things in one day::a play date, all meals at home, clean up from all meals, at least one activity with Drake and/Holt, a sufficient nap time/s for all, daily cleaning, bath/shower for everyone, and daily cleaning. but i read over those expectations, that’s more than i felt like i accomplished when i was at work.

are my children observing/judging what gets done? no, but they are learning. so my efforts to teach them must focus more on what my decisions and priorities are rather than my task list. they aren’t a task list. they are hungry for relationship and interaction. that is my priority. when my 7 month old cries because i leave, he needs something. (he doesn’t ALWAYS cry, so this isn’t just spoiled…he’s usually hungry, has a diaper need, is bored, etc) or when my 2 year old says “come play with me momma!” he needs me. i remember very specific moments and occasions from my childhood-positive and negative. i want my children to have positive, healthy memories of their time with me at home. it’s so short. 1 year a few months ago we started teaching my 2 1/2 year old. now he knows his abc’s (recognition and some spelling), can spell his name and recognize his name, count, colors, shapes (he’s known octagon since 15 months), has spoken in complete sentences since 15 months, has a creative and imaginative mind, has better manners than some adults, can sort and make patterns, i could go on (as i already have). my point….in just a few months he has grown and learned so much. he’s only 2 1/2 and i feel him slipping into curiosity and comfort where relationship with others is concerned. he wants to know others and relate to others. i was his world for a short time and it’s already time to share him.

i’m on call. being a mother means taking care of the sick (even if you’re sick). it means taking care of all in the middle of the night and all day (even if you’re tired). it means having all the answers (the constant “why” and the expectation that you really do know everything). it means bringing comfort and healing (medicines, kisses for ouchies, ice bags, “you’re okay”s for when it’s not that bad).

it means selflessness. but as we’re stripped of ourselves for our husband and children, we’re filled with so much more of Him. we become so much more like Christ. we give of ourselves. we consider others. we want the best for others. we become sensitive and tender and need-meeters. we are stripped of ourselves because our flesh is what has driven us and motivated us. when we lean and rely on the Spirit for our relationship with our husband and children, we bring holiness and wholeness to those relationships. we are on call to live by the moment in the Spirit.

we can’t plan every moment if we’re on call. we can be focused on our vision/purpose statement for our family and run everything that approaches our family through that filter. do we have some illness? do we have some trial? do we have some conflict? do we have some disappointment? what do we say our family is to be about and how can we manage that through the filter of our vision/purpose statement for our family? that’s how we live on call.

that’s not “JUST” a stay at home mom. that’s a mom taking advantage of the largest responsibility and accountability in my sphere of existence (save that of my relationship with Christ and my husband). that’s a mom leading and mothering her children to one day have vision and purpose.

Two Hearts, One Flesh week 3 review

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What a sweet night of discussing our marriages, successes and disasters, and how to seek to better meet the emotional and spiritual needs of our husbands (or soon-to-be husbands). I’m so edified by our time together and very much glean new and purposeful insight into my own marriage husband as I listen to each of your share. We had such great conversation, we didn’t even make it through half of the planned topics!

In review, we mostly discussed the following verses from Proverbs 31 and what they look like in context for us as wives, with our husbands, and for their sake.

12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.

          **We shared specifically what some specific ways are in which we “harm” our husbands intentionally. What good feedback everyone shared. Sometimes we’re not even being malicious, we just don’t think before we speak or think before we do something at a time that may not be appropriate for him or well-received.

          **Then we also discussed what some ways are in which we could do “good” to our husbands! What a delightful and heart-warming decision it is to resolute that we’re going to seek some ways to be good to him. It takes some intentional effort to make sure we’re doing good to the ones around us.

           **Then we talked about the conviction of “ALL the days of her life”. Not just when we’ve had a good day, feel well, etc. All the days. Praying to keep that one in the forefront of my heart and mind.

26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”

     ***We really walked through these verses and thought through what they mean for us, what they meant in context, and where to go from here in working them out in our own hearts and relationship.

I left our time together feeling refreshed, motivated, and eager to hear my husband arise and call me blessed. I was encouraged to know and remember that my children are already calling me blessed, it just comes in moments and in ways that are specific to my heart’s needs and my children’s abilities to communicate. It comes in ways that are specific to my heart’s needs because it is the Lord sending me those moments and knows exactly how to speak directly to my heart. I want to surpass them all, but mostly I want to surpass myself…..because I always want to grow and move forward. I want to grow, be better, and be changed. Our lives are a marathon. Not a sprint. Let’s move with grace through this marathon and throw away the words “failure” and “disappointment”. Each outcome that isn’t what we expected or prefer, those are outcomes meant for growth and change. They are meant to spur us into a women who “watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”

I’m praying for you all this week. I’ll miss you so very much next week as we head to the Mayo Clinic. Thank you for praying for us! I know you will have a wonderful time with Kathy & Anne! Same place, same time! Love you ladies!