Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The blessing of loving my child...

Let me start this post by saying that this is the ramblings of a struggling mother, things that I am myself going through, and hopes of comforting any other mamas going through the same things.

I am reading a book called Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney and meeting with a dear friend and great mother that i really aspire to be, in hopes of being mentored and descipled into the woman that God calls me to be.

The past few weeks have really been tough on me as a mother with my crazy defiant toddler consistently pushing boundaries. I feel like Aliens came one night, took my super sweet boy and brought me this unruly, fit-throwing, toy-snatching, toy-throwing, "no!"-screaming little boy that just happens to look the same as the child i gave birth to. I have had the spirit sucked out of me, doubted my parenting and worried what others thought of both my son and I in the midst of the tornado i am in called "my life."

I want to share with you some things i have learned from the book, talking with my dear friend, and convictions from the Lord to both hold myself accountable and maybe help someone else struggling to find their smile as a mother.

Uncommon Love-
First, it is important to have our perspective on motherhood not based on our different experiences or emotions that are all over the place, but rather God's view and measure. We are called to have a phileo love for our children, which is a tender, affectionate, passionate love. Often we as mothers are committed to caring sacrificially for our little ones, but too often neglect to enjoy them. While it is noble to sacrifice for our children, God calls us to something more in Titus 2 than just a dutiful love.

No Weekends off-
In the "career" of motherhood there are no weekends off, no paid vacations, no bonuses or yearly raises, and no quitting. It is just day-in and day-out giving. There are times when we don't feel we have another ounce of energy to give. Because mothering requires a never-ending sacrifice we can be tempted to be resentful, complain, and have self-pity. But this selfishness will quickly sap the strength of our love for our child. I have realized that motherhood has become a duty instead of a joy. I have been so focused on the sacrifices and have failed to appreciate the daily pleasures of raising my little man. We can either resent the challenges and demands that come with motherhood and wallow in our selfishness, or we can draw from God's grace and receive His to cheerfully lay down our lives for our child....with a smile!

Strength for the Weary-
Have you lost your smile? I have tearfully lost mine. How do we find renewed joy to sacrificially serve and tenderly love our children? Our only genuine source of refreshment comes from God. In Him, and Him alone do we get that fresh strength to carry out our task of mothering. We have to seize time alone to meet with God. Jesus himself, when multitudes were coming to him with their needs often withdrew to lonely places and prayed (Luke 5). {doesn't that sound like our days? children coming to mom with needs?} If Jesus needed to withdrawal frequently and pray in order to receive His Father's help and strength, do we think we need those times any less? I have to get my bucket filled from the only true source. Such joy can only come from Christ.

Beware of Indulgence-
Giving in to selfishness to spare the inevitable crying or to not have to deal with his need for discipline is both lazy and selfish on my part and the consequences will negatively affect both him and us. It is far better that he should cry under healthy correction, than we cry afterwards under the bitter fruit to both ourselves and our son, of neglected discipline. I have to remain consistent, diligent and hopeful that the days of endless timeouts will one day pay off. When the walls of boundaries that are firmly set by us as parents are learned by our little man the testing will die down and peace will once again take presence over ciaos. I must realize that warm, affectionate love does not conflict with my responsibility to biblically teach and discipline my child. My fear to secure his approval and affection and not risk his displeasure by withholding discipline would be sinful indulgence and not biblical love.

Tender thoughts-
I have been viewing my son as a 40hr work week when God wants us to think of him as a reward. The responsibility of motherhood is a delight and not a burden. What words or images come to mind when you think about your children? work, responsibility, sacrifice, burden, more work? The psalmist used heritage, fruit, reward, arrows to describe children. Our speech and actions are shaped by our thoughts.

Number Our Days-
How many times have we been told, "they grow up so fast!"? How right these people are. We need to take time showing love in seemingly insignificant activities like singing, reading, talking. Pray for your child daily, encourage them, and give small gestures of kindness.

Our Highest Objective-
This is the thought that should be uppermost on your mind in all you do for your children. In every step you take about them, in every plan, and scheme, and arrangement that concerns them, do not leave out that mighty question, "How will this affect their souls?" The chief end of mothering is not that our children be happy, fulfilled and successful. Granted, we do desire these things for them. But our highest objective should be that our children would repent from their sins, put their trust in Jesus Christ, and reflect the gospel to the world around them.

Grave Responsibility, Greater Grace-
What an enormous responsibility to be a mother!! Though the mission is grave and vast, God's grace is greater. So, if today you missed opportunities to show a tender love, or if you neglected to pray for your child, or if you were impatient with him, and even if you lost your smile and feel like a complete failure as a mother- take heart!! God's grace is sufficient for you. Look to the cross where Christ died. There He purchased forgiveness for our sins and power to grow in godliness. God will provide all the grace we need to love our children tenderly.

I have learned through reading this book and meeting with my dear friend, that i let what others may think about me as a mother, or my son as a crazy toddler drive my emotions. I think too often as mothers we thrive on defending our parenting styles, decisions in raising our little ones and everything in between to the point we engage ourselves in "mom wars". Why do we feel it necessary to prove a point by taking love out of the equation and replacing it with pride? I have to learn to be confident that i am parenting in the way of the Lord and not feel it necessary to defend that to anyone or give unwarranted advice. I pray that i can show wisdom and humility to stand tall with a closed mouth. May the Lord grant me grace, and may i be a light to my son.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tearful Farewell

We tearfully had to say goodbye to our 2 sweet cats today. We have had these cats since my sophomore year of college- 7yrs!!! I needed a companion to keep me company that summer while everyone abandoned our huge 6br house that i am convinced was haunted. I went to the local animal shelter seconds before they closed and promised i would take two kittens if they would let me in to adopt one. I fell in love with Emma!! She was the only black tortoise shell calico in the litter and i loved her coloring! I was hoping they would forget and let me sneak out with just the one kitty, but obviously they didn't...lol. I then picked sweet Sassy that would become my favorite cat and like a child to me. We have moved our kitty's all over this great state with us not knowing that this is the last move they would make with us. We are a part of an amazing community of believers that are truly living the Gospel. This means that we have someone in our house almost every day/night. Unfortunately, several of my dearest friends are severely allergic to cats which makes the seamless intertwining of our lives hard on them. We needed to find a GREAT home for our little furrbies and they HAD to be taken together. Those were both super important to me. Well after posting them on Craigslist, we got the answer to our prayers. A super sweet couple wanted to adopt our sweet kittens and promised to love them! It was super sad to see them go- probably harder than we could have imagined- but we took comfort in knowing that they would be loved more than we could love them at this time. We will miss you sweet kitty's!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

E-Ah's Wedding Shower!

My friend "E-Ah" of 14yrs (!!) is getting married to her high school sweet heart this summer and i am her matron - of - honor. Her wedding shower fell on an odd weekend of Oklahoma snow in March!


It is so great to share in this amazing milestone with someone so dear to me!

Sweet "J's" Minnie Mouse 2nd Bday

Today was sweet J's 2ND birthday party! She had a Minnie mouse theme and even looked like a mini-Minnie!
This is the dress i made her for her party!

This was her gift from me! A reversible dress with matching bloomers, hat and Shoes by Twosies!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cupcakes make it better!

After his "boo boo," the best medicine just happened to be a yummy cupcake made by our dear friends d&r!! Thanks again for thinking of us and cheering up our little man!

Monday, March 23, 2009

911 Scare

Tonight we had a huge scare with little man. He fell after getting out of the bath and cut his forehead on a stool in the floor. There was so much blood, my heart just stopped. It was horrible! I panicked and called 911 (we couldn't tell what was cut or how bad/deep due to the blood). After soaking up a whole towel with the blood from the cut they put a big bandage on it and said to monitor him for a concussion. I didn't sleep all night and just held him in my arms. This was our first injury :*(

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I love the mail man!!

I just got back from vacation with the family, and had several packages waiting for me!!

Swaps via Swapbot:

Tea for Two:
Yummy tazo tea in Decaf Chai and Passion
Favorite Color swap:
3 yummy teas, all natural chapstick and soap, buttons, ribbon, thread, glass beads, fabric, key chain and tons of card and paper! One of the best swaps ever!!! LOVED EVERYTHING!!
Fabric Scraps swap:

And.... drumroll please..... THE SPOTTED BOX IS HERE!!!
For pics of the inside and description click here!
I love the mail (wo)man today!! yay!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Grandad's Birthday

Turning 80 calls for a big celebration, and that is just what we had for B's Grandad today. We had a BBQ and slide show party with 25 family members, good food, and great stories!

Cookin' up the fajitas and the fixin's
Watching the slide show Nana put together for Grandad

little man loved dancing to the music on the slide show!

The yummy orange dump cake! Grandad loved it!

* The McClure family *

pooped out after the long day

* the cute couple *

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring Break

This year, spring break for B fell in the month we would visit my family. We thought, what a great getaway to pop over to Grammy & Poppy's and hang out with them for a few days!

Little man thought he would drive us to the park

I tried to use this as an opportunity to get some great photos- little man just wanted to play

Sliding down the slide like a big boy- all by himself!

Sliding with Daddy in the big kid slide

My sweet niece Grammy, Mama, SIL, little man and niece

The next day we went shopping with Mimi! We had fun out and about in the town I grew up in! This is a photo of Mimi and little man watching veggie tales (of course) in the back seat!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

John Piper and the Prosperity Gospel

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Magic Show with Daddy!

Every Saturday is little man's and Daddy's day out! They usually frequent a nice mall nearby that has a GREAT play scape as well as a free special event each week.

A little playground action before the show started

Today's was a Magic Show!!

The magician held little man's attention for a whole hour!! He laughed and clapped the whole time!

Daddy and Little Man