Category Archives: Motherhood

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.

 

 

 

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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

A Great BIG Uh-Oh

How many of you mothers and fathers out there act like the tooth fairy when your precious child loses a tooth?

We do!

Personally, we play Santa, the Easter bunny, and the tooth fairy.

Recently, my 5yo lost a tooth and placed it under her pillow. I like to have the kids put their tooth in a little plastic baggie so it doesn’t get lost. I also like them to put it on the bedside stand so it’s not too hard for the tooth fairy  to retrieve.

So, she did all the above.

However, the tooth fairy did a BIG oops!

Mommy forgot to take the tooth and put the dollar in the plastic baggie.

My daughter, sometime in the night, made a pallet beside our bed. When I got up this morning to get her up for school, I saw that tooth baggie on the bedside stand. Right at the moment I saw it, she walked over to it and looked at it.

Her face fell and she just quietly laid down on her bed.

At that point, I tried sneakily to grab the tooth baggie and put a dollar in its’ place, but out of the corner of her eye, I believe she saw me. She still hadn’t said anything. I asked her to get up to get ready for school and she did, looking all down and stuff. I asked her what was wrong and she said something about her tooth. I told her to look where her tooth is/was. She found the dollar, still disheartened.

As she stood before me, still disheartened, I asked her again what was wrong. She went on to tell me that the tooth fairy didn’t come, that dad had her tooth and she wanted it back.

Long story short, I convinced her that the tooth fairy had come and she had the dollar to prove it. She still wasn’t convinced so I told her if the tooth fairy didn’t come then she had to give the dollar back. Well, she then decided, skeptically I might add, the tooth fairy had her tooth and she was keeping the dollar.

I am totally unconvinced that my little fabricated story holds any weight with her. She’s one smart cookie which is either my bad luck or her good fortune, maybe both.

Anyway, at what ‘old’ is too old to keep encouraging belief in Santa, Easter bunny, and the tooth fairy?

I mean, I want my children to be honest at all times, but if we are constantly encouraging belief in something that is not real, aren’t we, in fact, lying to them…..in essence, teaching them to lie?

My sisters and I grew up believing in all these things and we are no worse for wear, but…….

We have taught them that Saint Nick is real, but just not as he is taught to be in society. They know eggs do not come from an Easter bunny, but the Easter bunny brings eggs and Easter snacks every year.

All of my young children believe with a little bit of skepticism.

Maybe I worry too much……

Anyway….

Smiles to you and Happy Parenting!

Over Coffee #4

My Goodness! It’s been over a year since we had coffee. I’d love a hot cup of joe, how about you? So much has happened so please join me and I will tell you all about it.

If we were having coffee right now, the first thing I would tell you is my oldest son graduated this past May. He and his girlfriend got a place together over the summer. They are doing well, both on break from college, but will be back at in January.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d be excited to tell you we welcomed our newest addition, a baby girl in August so I have my hands full with her.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you that all the kids are in school this year except the baby and our 4yo who still gets to be home reminding me how much she wants to be in school with her siblings. I am quite impressed with the girls’ school this year, Montessori was implemented in 1 and 2 grade. Next year the Montessori program will be school-wide. We are quite excited for that! Five out of seven children are attending provide school this year, but only the girls’ school uses the Montessori program.

If we were having coffee right now………your well aware that we just celebrated the Birth of Jesus Christ (Christmas). Most everyone attended Christmas Vigil, but I had a sick one so the baby and I stayed home with her. I was able to attend the Christmas Mass the next morning, though. I appreciated that time with the Lord.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d tell you all about all the wonderful chances I’ve had to volunteer this year. For Halloween or All Saint’s Day, I helped at the girls’ school for an afternoon with games. I so enjoy being part of such a close-knit group of people. The school they attend is small, less than 100 students, so everyone knows everyone. Everyone is very friendly and inviting. The staff is excellent. I also had the opportunity to ‘sit-in’ on my youngest child’s class. The teachers allow this periodically in order for parents to get a better understanding of the daily happenings in a Montessori classroom. I volunteered to be part of the Starry Night Sweetheart Ball committee. Being part of the committee has opened doors for me to meet other parents as well as to offer my support to what happens throughout the school year.

If we were having coffee right now, I’d end our little chat by telling you how much I’ve enjoyed your company. We mustn’t let so much time escape between visits.

Coping with Loss

Have you ever wondered how people can get so down when it comes to the loss of a pet?

I mean, I can understand the deep sadness when it comes to human life because that is true tragedy.

However, I could never understand such sadness when it came to losing a pet.

But as many of you know, our family pet – a dog – who we called Ruthie got ran over the other day and now I understand how people get so down about that type of loss.

So, for anyone whom I’ve ever crossed paths with who lost a beloved pet and to whom I didn’t show any understanding, maybe even lacked compassion, I truly want to say I’m sorry.

Our loss happened this past Saturday and we are still grieving.

I just keep reminding myself that it wasn’t anyone’s fault and we need to move past it, but it’s hard. She no longer roams the yard, no longer tries to get into our vehicles, is no longer at our heels as we walk around outside and I no longer catch glimpses of her from the living room window as she sprints up the back hill. My son, Ruthie’s trusted friend and trainer, hasn’t been sleeping well due to having dreams of her during the night. As anyone knows, when we are alone with our thoughts and not busy with the day’s activities, our mind slows down and begins to wonder. My son’s mind always wonders to dear Ruthie. When he talks about her during the day, he’s fine and seems to be coping with it pretty well, but it’s those darn evenings and nights when he’s not busy with something else that he seems to get emotional.

Through his tears, his siblings’ tears and my tears, I just keep trying to encourage him to remember the goodness she brought to his life and what he fulfilled in her life. And of course, as his mother I only want to make him feel better. I want to make the pain go away and………

I. Simply. Can’t.

That is a hard truth for me to accept.

So, each day since Ruthie’s accident, I encourage him to talk about her. To me. To his brothers. To his dad. He’s even taken to wearing her collar as a bracelet of some sort, if only after school.

Even though my heart wants to make his feel better, I realize there’s not much I can do other than let him grieve.

But it breaks my heart.

Here are a few tips I have learned throughout the loss of our dear Ruthie:

  • we can’t tell one another how to feel
  • remembering her and what she brought to our family, to his life encourages healing
  • having a funeral for the beloved pet which also leads to acceptance and encourages healing
  • create a memory book or keep a picture of pet

Most of all, don’t be as lacking in compassion and understanding as I was, but offer solace to someone who has lost a pet. To many people it can be almost or just as devastating as losing a loved human life.

Answered Prayers

Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours. ∼ Mark 11:24

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Many of you know that we found out our oldest daughter has a hole in her heart. We began the process of getting her to Mayo for a procedure to repair it as that procedure cannot be done in the state we reside in. We have been worrying, praying, and waiting since August when we found out about her diagnosis: Atrial Septal Defect.

But….

Today, I received the best news in all the world. She finally got approved for the procedure and it is scheduled for the end of January. I just want to send out our appreciation for all the prayers on her behalf. It means a great deal to us and I cannot express how grateful we are. Much love to everyone for any and all prayers, past, present, and/or future.