Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mad at God

Sometimes you get mad at God.
There are many times where life is unfair. There are times when it is beyond unfair, it just seems plain mean. Babies and children are taken WAY to early from their wonderful, loving parents. Other children are left to suffer with abusive ones. Those same, abusive parents are blessed with child after child after child, and “good” parents are not. Half of a state is burned to a crisp when all that it would take to stop it is just one, good rain.
This is where a lot of people are justly (maybe?) mad at God. This is where some even lose faith, saying, if God really loved me, why would He allow things like this to happen to me (or someone I love)? That’s a hard question to answer, and most of the time, it isn’t answered.
As Christians, we know there to be some things that will never change. 1) The earth is full of sin. Because of this sin, bad things happen. Because of this sin, this world and everything in it is not perfect, and we have to deal with that every second of every day. 2) There are two measures of good- God’s measure, and the world’s. The world says if you have enough money, enough stuff, you’re beautiful, have a family with good kids, you should be happy. God says if you have HIM, that is enough to have “peace beyond understanding”. It is this peace that is the key to being able to deal with first one.
We know that God loves us, and that everything that happens, ultimately happens for good. When He is involved, there is always something for our own good. It may be more like “veggies good for us” than “ice cream make us happy good for us”. We may never know exactly how good those veggies are for us, and why, if they are so good for us, they can’t taste just a little more like ice cream. There is good going on that we can’t always see, and just because we can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. It is that knowledge that gives us peace in the most dire of situations.
So, even though we get mad because we have to eat our veggies, we still eat them. And that’s ok, because they still get eaten. We can eat our veggies kicking and screaming, or enjoy them for the blessings and good that they are (green and all).
Even though you may get mad at God, it is important to never give up on Him, and never forget that He still loves you.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Parenting Disconnect and The Mommy Wars

I think parents today are in a catch 22. Your child is supposed to behave perfectly all the time. Say “please” and “thank you”, share everything they have, and on top of that give hugs and smile politely to everyone they meet. They are supposed to sit for hours on end quietly in adult situations. If they make a peep or act the least bit like well, children, they should be left at home with a nanny. All of this is also supposed to be accomplished without spanking, but talking to and “reasoning with” your toddler.
The expectations of children are higher than ever. Children are expected to read going into kindergarten. I don’t know about you, but I learned my letters in kindergarten. Children can’t play outside anymore, because it’s too dangerous. And, if they ARE outside playing, the parents are irresponsible and lazy or the children are hoodlums and obviously up to no good. They don’t have any down time anymore to just play anyway. There is endless soccer, zoo school, music school, museum school, preschool (for two years old and up), gymnastics, and art school. So many things that if they aren’t in, parents feel guilty that they aren’t offering everything possible for their child, but at the same time we are over whelming them with so many activities that they don’t get to just play and learn things naturally like they should. And we expect them to take all this on with the mentality of an adult.
I think there is a disconnect here, and I’m not really sure how to fix it at this point, but here’s a couple of thoughts to start.
I think parents (mothers mainly) have to stop comparing each other’s children and judging each other. Everyone is different, has a different child in a different circumstance. No one is exactly alike. Because of this, there is NO WAY you can honestly know what you would do in the other’s shoes. So stop trying to make them fit. Being a parent is hard enough today without this added judgment. We need to stop and just start supporting one another. It does take a village~ if not to raise the child, to keep the parents SANE! So, let’s all start to work on the village part and maybe stop and look in the mirror before looking out the window. If we stop comparing each other’s children, also, (which I am SO guilty of, for the record) we will stop beating our heads in trying to make them meet expectations that they just aren’t ready to meet, and we can start enjoying them for who they are and how they grow. If you are there for them, and help them learn from their mistakes (which takes time that you won’t have if you’re too busy paying attention to the other kids) then you’ll usually end up with a pretty great kid. O.K., that last sentence is just hopeful at this point… we have yet to see as my oldest isn’t even 3 yet!
So, I guess I just want to say to all the parents out there~ I know it’s rough. I hope you can get the support that we all need. And finally, GOOD LUCK!

Back to Parenting

Since the last time I have written, I have had another baby boy and am engrossed in parenting again.
There are several things that I get to work through with you guys, as I try to figure out what is working and not working for my family.
My oldest has been giving me a run for my money (appropriate, I guess, since the new little one is seriously the easiest baby I have ever had contact with!)
Today, I'm having problems with disciple. How much is too much for an almost 3 year old. What kind of expectations can be honestly put on a little guy, without driving you both nuts. I know there is A LOT to temperament. Some kids are just naturally happy to stay at your feet and sit nicely (or so I hear). My son is not. And, honestly, I’m ok with that.
I love that he is adventurous. I love that he is outspoken and his own person (already). I think these things will be great for him (when he’s an adult) but how do you deal with this until then? How do you keep him from becoming a bad adult because he didn’t learn to respect authority?
I don’t want to “break” his spirit, just maybe bend it a little. ; ) I want him to sit with me in church. I want him to stand next to me in stores, and be able to stand in a line. I want him to sit in a restaurant for a decent amount of time and eat without getting up after 2 minutes. Will this stuff that will just come to him as he gets older, or is this something that must be taught? What are reasonable expectations from a three year old? These are my goals for the near future, and I’ll keep this as my little journal to help me through this time. (Did I mention we are potty training now AND getting rid of the passy on top of all this?)
Poor little guy… a lot is going on in his life.
I guess I need to help him get used to it. : )

Friday, August 27, 2010

It's been a while...

SO, I'm going to get better at doing this more often... Promise!
But, first here's a favor. I wrote this for our high school youth group's page, and would like your opinion on it... Thanks!

Are you in?

"Very well," Deborah said, "I will go with you. But, because of the way you are going about this, the honor will not be yours..." Judges 4:8

People often ask "If it's God's will and it's going to happen anyway, what's the point of Turing/getting involved/doing anything?"
This is what I came up with from the story of Deborah.

We all know the Israelites were the perfect example of how to keep God's commandments and trusted in Him with everything they did, and were thankful for everything they received from the Lord. Wait, not the same people you read about? : )

Well, they were once again up to no good, and so the Lord sold them into the hands of foreigners. These new bosses of the Israelites (Jabian, a king of Canaan) was particularly cruel to them, and for twenty years they slaved away. During this time, the Israelites had Judges who ruled over them, who settled minor disputes between the people. At this time, the head Judge was Deborah. One day, she sent for Barak, and told him " The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you (and he means business, right?) Goo, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead the way to mount Tabor. I will lure Sisera, the commander of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands."

Here, God was saying to Barak that He was going to put him in charge of delivering His people from their enemy of TWENTY years! Not only put Barak in charge, but hand them to him on a silver platter. And, Barak was to get all the glory and honor that followed such an act. Imagine the parade that would follow that battle. God made it simple. He gave Barak simple, exact instructions to do God's will, and you know what Barak's response is?

Verse 8 says "Barak said to her "If you go with me, I will go, but if you don't go with me, I won't go."
"Very well," Deborah said, "I will go with you. But, because of the way you are going about this, the honor will not be yours..."

Barak's army was, of course victorious, BUT Barak didn't get the glory. His name wasn't on the record books for delivering Israel from this enemy, but Jael, a random housewife, who actually ended up killing Sisera. Barak missed out on the glory the GOD HAND PICKED HIM TO HAVE. This isn't about getting the glory here on earth, but rather enjoying what God has in store for you. God wants more for you. You just have to get out of the way and let Him lead you to what He has in store for you.

This is what stood out to me: 1) God's will is still going to get done, with or without you. You can't change that. and 2) You can either be apart of it, and get in on this glory from God and doing His will or, you can be in the way, and do what you want and miss out on this parade.

Kind of like when your mom asks you to clean your room. More than likely, it will get done one way or another. You can either whine and complain and moan and still clean your room, taking more time (because hey, whining and complaining and moaning takes time and energy) or you can just clean your room, and make your mom happy, and maybe get to go out for the rest of the night, because you're done cleaning your room.

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of standing on the sidelines and watching other people do His work. I want in on this parade. Are you in?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

One of those days...

Have you ever had one of those days?
I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, and it's been downhill since then.
Before I can finish one thing, it's off to the next three things, and before you know it, there's 20 things all over the living room waiting to be done. Lunch is late. You just feel like your draging and can't catch up, and then you look up at the clock, and it's 2 hours later than you thought it was. That's when a dirty diaper can almost send you into tears. Just one more thing on the ever-growing "To-Do" list that you can't seem to even make a dent in just the top half.
There are days when I feel utterly and completely useless, and like I've done nothing productive all day, but I'm so tired that I MUST have accomplished SOMETHING, right?

And my poor husband. He does SO much! He helps around the house. He cooks 2-3 times a week. Everytime he leaves the house without me, he offers to take Daniel with him. He is great with Daniel. He just catches most of my frustration on days like this because he's big enough to handle it~ most of the time.

I know this has been a lot of complaining, but I'm hoping that one of you might have a simular day, and know that you are not alone in feeling like this. It happens. We are not perfect. Some days are going to be like this, and it doesn't have to be the whole day! That's the amazing thing about little ones. It's like there is a reset button that is pushed everytime they fall asleep. They wake up, like nothing had happened, and you can get on and enjoy the rest of the day (or the new one).

I'm going to go hit my reset button, and try to relax during the wonderful nap time, and we are going to try again this afternoon...

Thanks for listening! : )

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Working Mother

Before I even begin, I am a stay at home by choice. This is what I have wanted for ME and MY family for as long as I can remember. My husband and I planned it this way, and we made it so I could be at home with my kids, at least for the time being. I know it is not for everyone. There is NO judgment here. This is not a post saying that one is right and the other is wrong. If there are biases at all, it is simply because I am a stay at home mother, and that is what I know. Just like a mom who has a job couldn't possibly know or understand what it's like to stay at home, I couldn't possibly know or understand what it's like to go to work outside the home.

That out of the way... : )

I love my job. I love everything about it. I love being able to stay at home and take care of my baby (along with a couple others here and there) and take care of my husband. I love it. It is the most rewarding, amazing, wonderful things that I have ever been able to do. It still amazes me that God has blessed ME, little ME, with the responsibility of this miracle of a person to raise and take care of. God has placed in my hands (and my husband's) something that is so unbelievably precious, it is a honor to be responsible for this life. There have just been a couple of things lately that just kind of rub me the wrong way, and since I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one, I thought I'd share... (here we go again... me and my big mouth : )
I have not really experienced this to my face, but I have encountered many friends who have, and I suspect there might be a few people who feel this way, but I just might be super-sensitive... I have a REAL problem with people who say at any point in time that ANY mother (with very few exceptions, none of which I know in person, just on the news) are lazy or any form there of. I think there is a concept of the stay at home mom, who sits on the couch all day and eats the bon-bons, watching day time tv. Give me a break. I know I'm overly sensitive to this, but the idea that I can drop everything and do something for or with someone simply because I "stay at home" comes across as I have nothing better to do. Really? The absolute worst thing that you can say to me right now is that I'm "lazy". I think that might be worse than calling me "fat" or "ugly" to my face. Any stay at home mom will tell you there is a plethora of things that keep us more than busy for the entire day. There might be a downtime occasionally, for a minute, but then it's off to the next thing. And, because you do stay at home, I think there is an expectation that you need to have meal home made every day, and that the house should be perfect every second, because what else do you have to do? I do know Mom's who accomplish this with seemingly ease with plenty of time to spend with their little ones, and I applaud them! Not me, but I'm trying to get better.
There is something that happens to you when you become a mom. You can no longer put yourself first. (This isn't a complaint~ I no longer WANT to put myself first.) Being able to run out the door, or run in and out of a place, or "run" anywhere disappears. The second you start "running" is the second there's a dirty diaper, or a suddenly hungry little one, or some other small crisis that takes another 10-20 minutes to fix. Being able to wake up, roll out of bed, and be somewhere 30 minutes later is no longer a possibility. Eating a hot meal is no longer a possibility. I'm not complaining. I think this has made me grow as a person in ways that nothing else could have. I love to see how far I've come, and how far I'm going to get to go. It is so amazing to see God working in my life and changing me and who I am to become a better person. I have a LONG way to go, and I'm taking baby steps, but I really feel they are in the right direction, and any motion in the right direction is a good thing.
But~ from the time you wake up to the time your head hits the pillow, you're working as a mom. This is any mom. It is not this way if you don't have kids. You eventually have a day to relax, if you choose. Not if you have kids. It is never ending tasks and chores to be done, and the idea that any mom is lazy is just so offensive to me at this point, I'm afraid that I might go off on the person who even implies it. Every mom works so hard, constantly. There is just no way to describe it or understand it, unless you are a mom. Because of this, I think that mom's should stop comparing, judging, gossiping (me included!!!) and just be there for other moms. We have the hardest job in the world, and the only other ones who truly get that are other mom's. We should have a "safe place" in each other where we can go for help and comfort and just venting (in addition to our spouses~ Thanks, Sweetie!)
Not sure where this is coming from; maybe my lack of sleep, maybe other things going on, but that is just my gripe for today... : )

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Enjoying Today

Today is a very special day for many of the people at St. Paul Lutheran Church, so in honor of this special day, I am writing this.

One of the top things that I always hear as advice is "Enjoy your little one now, they grow up so quickly"... I can't tell you how many times that I have heard this, and I try to really take it to heart. I love everyday that I get to spend at home with my little guy, and every day is really a blessing.

So, here are some of my favorite things to do with my little guy, and maybe, just maybe, you can get an idea that you might like, and you can be blessed in a new way with your little one.

1) Take a bath with your little one. Bath, shower, it's all the same, just make sure there's cuddling. Bath time is such a special time for little ones. I watched a show once where a physical therapist (who specializes in working with deaf and dumb children) said that bath time is the best time to teach your children. Something about being in the bath is relaxing and helps them focus. Personally, I love the relaxing. I wasn't much of a bath person, before I had Daniel. After, in those first months, where come 5 or 6 o'clock, they are screaming from just being over stimulated, is about the time that we went into the bath. When he was little, he would kick and swim and wear himself out. It was different than in his little bath. It was nice to just cuddle, and enjoy each other again after him not being happy. We just decompressed, together, and relaxed, and refocused on being together. I can't really explain it. And to some, it sounds weird or time consuming, or whatever, but I'm telling you, don't knock it until you try it. There is a small window to be able to experience this with your children, and it closes way to early in my opinion. So, enjoy it while you can.

2)Grocery Shopping. OK~ so before you think I'm nuts, consider this: how often do you have your little one, practically eye level, with nothing else to look at really other than you? This is a great time to talk to them, and make them focus on you. You get to sing, talk, make faces at, play games with them, all while shopping and having other people in public make weird faces at you (but, hey, who cares about them, right?) Instead of stressing over this, cherish it. Enjoy it. It goes too fast...

3) Walks. Or anything else outside. Something about being outside is just magical in the world of little ones. They love the sunshine. They love everything going on outside. They love the animals, bugs, plants, just life that is outside. This was one of Daniel's first words ~outside~ and I hear it everyday. Maybe this started when he was jaundiced when he was first born, and we worked on his "tan" by taking walks outside? Who knows, but anything outside is ok by him.

4) Anything with the whole family. There is just something that makes everything so much better when Daddy is there, too. Don't forget to drag him along whenever possible. When I take Daniel to places, and then take him back with Daddy and we are all together, it is just always so much more fun. Not sure exactly what it is, just the mood changes for everyone. I love it. I'm sure this is going to be the same when we have more kids, and all of the kids get to come too. There is just something about being a complete family that is really cool.

5) Eating. Another time when you have your little one at eye level, and with only you for entertainment. We are guilty of this, but I am really trying to not let TV or other outside things contaminate this special time. I think there was a real reason that Jesus picked a dinner to show us how to remember Him, and to make it a sacrament. It's not perfect yet in my family, but is getting there.

6) Singing. Just sing. They don't care what you sing, how you sing, or any of that. I remember growing up hinking that my mom should be in the choir because her voice was so pretty. She never was. Point is kids don't care, I promise. Just sing. It's really fun when they start singing back at you... simply amazing.

7) Local free stuff. Every city has festivals, ect. that are free or really cheap to go to especially when it's nice out. Young kids in particular don't really care what they do, as long as it's new. Don't be afraid to try going new places with a baby. Worst case scenario, they cry, it's not fun, and you just come home early. Big deal, right? More often than not, though, they love it, you have a blast, and so do they. Point is, don't be scared to try taking your little ones to new places.
Oh, for ideas on local free stuff, there is a facebook site that is called "Fort Worth on the Cheap" that has awesome postings of local goings on...

8) Reading. I remember tearing up when reading "Oh the places you'll go" to Daniel when he was little. They just love to read. It doesn't matter what~ although, we go for books with much lower word to page ratio's at the moment~ they just love to read books. It's time to cuddle, to learn, to experience new things. Not to mention, this is one of the few times that I get to learn just how extensive Daniel's vocabulary is... I would never know that he knows what an owl is or wolf if it weren't for some very cool books.

9)Sleeping/Napping. Last summer, Daniel was sick with his allergies, and teething, and he was reaching a "touchpoint" when learning to walk all at once. These things all together really started to get to him, so he refused to nap in his crib. If I would put him in there awake, he would cry. If I would put him in there asleep, he would wake up after 30 minutes and cry. But, if I would just let him sleep on me on the couch, he would sleep for 2 hours or longer. Now, I didn't get to get alot of house work done in this time. I didn't get my "me" time, but it was only a couple of months that I got to have my baby sleep on me. It was good, also, because it forced me to take the time to relax, too. I just laid there and read, or whatever else you could do laying on the couch. The laundry waited. It's good about that, it will always be there tomorrow.

10) This one is for you. What do you like to do with your little ones? Take the time to spend with your little one, and figure out some cool stuff to do with them today. I have a friend, whom I admire who does crafts with her daughter every Monday, as has since she was very young, like 12 months old. Kudos to you, because that just wasn't happening over here with my b-o-y. But, they had a blast, and still do... so you get to fill in this blank for you. Have fun!

Enjoy your little ones now, because you never know how long that you get to have them.