Life Moment #7: How Does She Do It?

I recently read a story of a mother who is raising 16 children among other things. You can find the story here.

I mean, she has 16 children! And she blogs! And she homeschools! And she has time for charity work!

Now, who wouldn’t think: Why Her? (more on Why Her? in a bit)

I have often pondered, with nine children, how busy I am in my every day life. My oldest is almost 19 with my youngest being 8 months, you would think if she can juggle 16 children than I’d be able to juggle nine with more grace than I have sometimes.

However, I have learned that to each their own.

I am, right now, in the middle of a six-week Bible study: Why Her? which is the struggle of comparing ourselves to others in our daily lives. Others can be anyone from the postal lady, to your best friend, to you worst enemy, or to someone on the red carpet. It’s a great study, by the way, so check it out!

Anywhoo, through this Bible study, I am learning that comparing ourselves to others really does bring one down in their own life. Constantly trying to measure up brings one too much stress, resentment, and unhappiness.

Which brings me to my point of:

I am a mother of nine children. Not 16, not 2, but 9. The number that God has blessed me with and for that reason alone:

I can do this!

I can raise my children well!

I only have to remember to trust in the Lord, to trust that I can fulfill the vocation that He has entrusted to me.

Another point to remember is NOT COMPARE myself to others.

Not this mom of 16 children.

Not to the lady without any children.

Not even to the woman with the same amount of children.

As a learning tool from the study: a This Time truth

This time: I will remember my role as mother and that nobody can be the mother to my children that I am. God made sure of that.

May your father and mother rejoice, may she who gave birth be joyful. -Proverbs 23:25

My job right now is to focus on raising my children. As hard, as hair-pulling crazy, as chaotic as it gets sometimes, I wouldn’t trade THAT for the world. I love being a mom. I am blessed to be able to stay home with my babies. And I thank God for His presence in my life because He gets me through all the crazy, all the hair, all the chaos. I will carry on my mothering vocation with joy because:

All the blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord. – Deuteronomy 28:2

One day at a time…..

Many blessings to you this day.

 

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A Little Faith Boost

I don’t know about you, but sometimes, my faith gets shaky.

I start to question…….

Everything!

When this happens, I delve into my prayer life. I say delve which may seem like I don’t have much of one, which is far from truth. I have a very strong prayer life, but when faith gets tested:

Stronger Prayer Sets My Sight Back on the Lord.

Through prayer, my frayed nerves get calm, my faith gets re-boosted, and I find solace in the quietness with God.

psalm 119 105

However, it’s not just prayer that accomplishes these feats.

Other ways that I can attain calm nerves, a boost in faith, and solace with God:

  • Spending time in God’s word
  • Plugging into spiritual music
  • Slowing down to enjoy the many blessings in my life
  • Having Bible study with my family and
  • Soaking up some of God’s beauty in the outdoors.

Since music tends to list highly for so many people as a mood-enhancer, here’s a 10-song list of my go-to music when my life is off-kilter and chaos is reigning in my home:

So, go ahead. Have a listen. I’m certain you will enjoy as much as I do and that you will find the solace you’re in search of. Of course, if it’s not solace you seek, these blessed songs will give you peace in your heart anyway.

Blessings to you on this beautiful day.

 

 

 

Life Moment #6 – One Tough Cookie #she’snocomplainer

I don’t know about you or you or you, but this little gal grumbles. A lot. Way more than I ought.

I don’t grumble about what I have or don’t have. I grumble about the daily doings of life. I grumble about pain. I grumble about sleep or lack thereof. I grumble about arguing children.

I just grumble.

And you know what my grumbling has done?

It’s taught my kids to grumble. Grumble. Grumble. Grumble.

Complain about this.

Complain about that.

Now? How do I teach my children to go without complaining and grumbling about their lives if I can’t even control my own grumbling and complaining.

Well, I guess I can’t because, as every parenting class, book, magazine, and the Bible says, children learn from their parents example.

Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone! Therefore, you shall love the Lord, your God, with your whole heart, and with your whole being, and with your whole strength. Take to heart these words which I command you today. Keep repeating them to your children. Recite them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them on your arm as a sign[b] and let them be as a pendant on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates.     – Deuteronomy 6:4-9

See?

As parents, we must be the shining example for our children. If not, how shall they learn? Do we want them learning about life and the world from the world or from God?

Every teaching in a child’s life begins in the home.

I want my husband and I to be their first teachers, the first people they trust. I want God to be their leader.

So it starts with me. It starts with my husband.

Therefore, I have been on a mission to way-lay some of my grumbling.

Okay.

So maybe, all of my grumbling needs to be halted. To start, I will daily remind myself of the following Bible verse:

Do all things without grumbling or disputing…… – Philippians 2:14

Don’t let even one rotten word seep out of your mouths. Instead, offer only fresh words that build others up when they need it most. That way your good words will communicate grace to those who hear them. – Ephesians 4:29

Which brings me to my point about grumbling.

My 5 y/o daughter recently had surgery to insert tubes in both ears as well as remove adenoids and tonsils. We were in the hospital on surgery day for about four hours to prep, to do the surgery, and to be in recovery for a couple of hours. Afterwards, she was released to go home for ten days of recovery on a soft food diet. She is home with me for the ten days. Today marks her second day after surgery.

Now, for the lesson:

She is one tough cookie.

My girl is definitely not a complainer. She hasn’t complained once.

About pain.

About being hungry – even though she’s barely eating anything!

Did I say about pain?

She’s not complaining.

About anything.

We could all learn a lesson from my girl about not complaining.

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#she’snocomplainer

 

Bitter vs Angry

I was informed the other day that I am bitter. I simply responded with, “No, I am not bitter. I am angry.”

Since that day, I have been thinking about these two words. I probably have been overthinking since that tends to happen with me, quite frequently, I might add.

But regardless, I have been thinking…..

Bitter?

Am I bitter?

Bitter is such an ugly word. When I think of bitter, I think of crab-apples, or even worse!, grapefruit!

I don’t want to remind someone of a grapefruit!

Or….

Am I angry?

Let’s see, bitter vs. angry or any variation thereof…..

Are the words used interchangeably? Can the words be used interchangeably?

According to Miriam-Webster dictionary is the following:

angry (adjective): (a) indicative of or proceeding from anger (b) seeming to
show anger or to threaten in an angry manner

anger (noun): a strong feeling of displeasure and usually antagonism

antagonism (noun): actively expressed opposition or hostility.

bitter (adjective): marked by intensity or severity
(a) accompanied by severe pain and suffering
(b) being relentlessly determined
(c) exhibiting intense animosity
(d) harshly reproachful, marked by cynicism and rancor.

Now that we understand, what the words and their variations mean, let’s understand the story behind what I was told.

The story -in short version- I have two teenagers that don’t belong to my husband. Their dad and I haven’t been together for 15 years – wow, it’s amazing that I can say a number so high in regard to my children! Unfortunately, these two teens were raised mostly by their dad because he had custody. Since our break-up, the relationship between he and I, for the most part, has been non-existent. He had custody so other than required visitation, didn’t try to keep me involved. I was young and naive and was fooled by him and the court for many years. One of the children is now old enough to be on his own. The other is almost there. Over the last few months the younger one came to live with me, got into some trouble and had to go back to his dad’s because of it. Now I could go on and on and on just bashing this man, but I won’t because I really don’t think I am bitter. However, I know I am angry. And I am hurt.

Does that equal bitter?

Regardless of the answer – for now anyway – I have turned to the Bible for my umm…shall we say ‘someone else’s choice of words’ dilemma.

The Bible speaks very clearly about bitterness and anger:

bitterness –
Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; – Hebrews 12: 14-15

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. – Ephesians 4:31-32

angry, anger –
For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. – James 1:20

But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. – Matthew 5:22

Now, none of these verses really answer my question directly. However, each one is helpful to me.

In the end, I must admit that

Yes, I am angry, but I am also bitter toward my teens’ dad.

So, great, I remind people of a grapefruit!

I guess it’s time for a little heart to heart with God, for a little digging deep exercise that will end in a less bitter, angry heart and forgiveness because as the Bible also states:

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, – Ephesians 4:26

and

And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” – Mark 11:25

Therefore, down on my knees I shall go.

Prayers are greatly appreciated.

A blessed day to you all.

Create in me a clean heart, O Lord, renew a right spirit within me. – Psalm 51:10

Prayer Journal

Prayer is an important part of building a relationship with God. However, with the quick and busy lifestyles most of us live these days, prayer seems to get placed on the back burner. I have found that a prayer journal helps keep me on track with daily prayer.

Check out this prayer journal:

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