PARENTING TWEENS: WATCH THE WORDS

May 15, 2018


Proverbs 17:27
“The intelligent person restrains his words, and one who keeps a cool head is a man of understanding.”

Ben and I are learning how careful we have to be with our words with our tweens. We have to do a lot of heart checking ourselves. We are finding that the girls are taking things literally and tend to hold to it tightly. Words and tone have always been important, but there’s an extra attention to words (and how they’re said) that is happening these days. Often, we’re having to rewind, clarify, and ask questions to make sure what they are interpreting things accurately (and not stewing on it). We’re having to help them logically think through words, its intentions, and our hearts. At first I thought it was just my girls, but then I was talking to friends with tweens too and they’re having similar issues. Whew! Made me feel normal and less alone. Even still, Ben and I ought to take exceptional care to discipling our girls (and ourselves) as they give and listen to words.


MY VILLAGE OF MOTHERS

May 13, 2018


I praise God for giving me a wonderful, selfless mom, who continues to point me to Christ, and I have a pretty fantastic mother-in-love too. God has given me such beautiful examples of motherhood through both these women. Also, I have many friends whose love for Christ is clearly displayed in how they love their families, even as they wrestle with the tough parts of being a mother (and we know there are a lot of tough parts). There’s no way I could do motherhood without this village of women in my life and all of it are gifts from God.

Happy Mother’s Day!

p.s. the photo above is my mom at 20 when she was pregnant with me. 


FIGHTING AGAINST UNBELIEF

May 8, 2018


Mark 9:23-24
“Jesus said to him, “If you can? Everything is possible for the one who believes.” Immediately the father of the boy cried out, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”

Recently, I’ve been asking God to help me with my unbelief.

My unbelief that a gentle answer is better than angry one.

My unbelief that God is in control and practicing self-control is better than me fighting for my way.

My unbelief that God satisfies all (when I feel the pressure of the day and turn to mindless stress-eating in response.)

My unbelief that Christ is the ultimate treasure and that I can’t serve two masters. I believe the lie that stuff makes me truly happy.

My unbelief in knowing God is the good provider, as I try to plan for every aspect of the future when tomorrow isn’t promised to us anyway.

My belief isn’t to be placed in myself. I think that’s the problem; I believe myself too much. Love myself too much. That’s why all my wires get crossed and I go haywire. The outcome is never good. Belief ought to be placed in one who is worthy and that ain’t me. God is holy and all-powerful and sent His perfect Son to die for a crossed-wires, try-to-be-self-sufficient person like me. Christ is where I place belief, as feeble and weak as it is, Christ is sure and true and worthy to be the object of my belief and worship. I will continue to fight to cling to Christ and ask God to continually help me with my unbelief.


THE BEST NOT PLANNED SURPRISE

May 3, 2018


I was doing a search on my blog for an old picture of True and Brave when they were younger (baby younger) and wow… seeing old posts just transported me (all the photos in this post are a few years old). I’m no longer that mom that totes around babies, manages nap schedules, and wears button downs because easy access for the baby. I’ve got little ladies now… tweens! This space has documented so much of our days, those hard baby days, growing our family, and all the things we’ve made. It’s pretty amazing and I’m thankful for this space. Seeing so much of my old content was a stroll down memory lane. There was no branding and business strategy in mind when I started, and honestly, I probably didn’t grow much in that area either because this was really a space that was made to document life and all our makings. Opportunities and adventures just fell in our lap, and we were and continue to be so thankful for it. Blogging is different these days, and my time is different these days, but I’ll keep popping in here and sharing as I’m able, and I hope you keep showing up too (as you’re able).

Those days when they were babies were so long, especially having 4 kids in 6 years. That was just an insane thing to do and we initially didn’t set out to do it like that. My plan was to have #2 when True was 5 years old. Well, True was only 6 months when I found myself looking at a positive pregnancy test. I immediately burst out into tears because 1) I just had a baby, who was 6 months old, 2) I was barely getting used to taking care of said baby, and 3) I just had a baby. Ben, on the other hand, was beyond excited, and calling everyone we know screaming with joy. Meanwhile, I was on the sofa balling my eyes out.

Fast forward almost 11 years later and Brave was the best not planned surprise ever. True and Brave have always been so close, even though True’s not into cuddling and Brave’s all about it. Since they’ve had each other from the beginning, it’s helped me because they have always been each other’s playmates. While they do things together, it always gave me time to take care of other things that needed attending, like the two little babies that would follow them. Even now, these girls are content not having friends, which is good and bad, because they’ve always had each other.

Now, when they were babies, it was hard. After I had Brave, I rarely left the house, which is probably the reason that blogging became such a big part of my life. This was my outlet, this was my social life. Soul didn’t come much too long after Brave, and then Glow followed 19 months after that, so when they were napping or down to bed for the night, I hopped on the computer or my sewing table, and I was either blogging or sewing (and writing a book). Ben took over grocery duty after Brave and I didn’t resume it until after Glow. My life until Glow turned 3 years old revolved around their nap and sleep schedules and they were all good nappers (10am-12pm and again from 2pm-5pm, then in bed by 7:30pm, all of them until age 3!). I was the by the book and hated to mess up their sleep schedule because they needed it, and I needed it too. Being so structured and routine definitely help me survive all those baby/toddler years, especially with having them so close in age. It also helps that I am a homebody and love being at home.

Anyway, this post was meant to be about how to deal with having 2 close in age or maybe considering having 2 close in age (True and Brave are 15 months apart), and you know what, for us, it was the best thing ever. I’m not surprised God’s plans always turn out better than we could ever plan. I really cried for a week when I found out I was pregnant, but I laugh about it now because I couldn’t imagine our life any other way. We went pretty much back to back to back to back, and while crazy (I still feel crazy), I love seeing these girls interact. Their bond is so special. The only downfall to them being babies pretty much at the same time is they haven’t had much experience on how to care for babies. I was 10 years old when my baby sister was born and that big age difference taught me a lot, so that’s one skill these girls don’t have much of, but I’m hoping some babysitting in their teen years will teach them some of that.

Four kids close in age is hard, but so is one kid. Kids are hard and parenting is hard. Dealing with people is always hard. Parenting has shown me what a selfish person I am (marriage has done this too) and made me realize I can’t do anything apart from Jesus Christ. Me alone… I’m a bad mom. It’s only through grace and Christ’s constant molding and shaping of my heart that changes my heart and parenting, all the good is Christ in me. It’s not an easy gig for sure, and it reveals so much of my inadequacies, but it leaves me at the foot of the cross in awe of what Jesus did for me. I realize how much I need Jesus and how much I want my girls to see their need for a Savior. Jesus was perfect in my place and that’s where I trust every morning when I wake up and go about my business of discipling these girls hearts (and fail at that job too). They know I’m not perfect, and there’s a lot of  “Do you forgive me?” throughout the day, but they know I trust in the One who is, and He died to give me life. I hope that will urge them to trust in Christ quickly, completely, and compellingly too.



THESE GIRLS OF MINE

April 24, 2018


True has been enjoying macrame and made her own wall hanging.

Brave’s really excited about her theater classes.

Soul loves wearing this old family reunion shirt almost everyday.

Glow still doesn’t like to read (and has a hard time with it), but loves math (and is really good at it).

And they’re all obsessed with The Greatest Showman (Ben and I included).

Some tidbits of their current pleasures that I wanted to jot down for memory keeping because these girls of mine are growing up quick.


SEASONS CHANGE

March 30, 2018


Ben and I have been talking a lot in recent weeks about this season of our life. Out of diapers, no more nap schedules, and everyone (almost everyone) can wipe their own butts. It’s a great season, not better than those baby years, but just a different season. We’ve had the up and onward mentality and look forward to what comes next in these tween/teen years. I’ve started mentally making plans of going back to school to get my masters and joining the corporate workforce once Glow goes off to college, or envisioning what I’d love Wovenfolk to eventually become. I go back and forth between wanting to pursue something creative or joining the regular 9-5ers. I think I’d be happy with either, though Ben thinks I’d only be happy with a creative job. We’re also not in a rush for the next thing and trying our best to savor the here and now.

As much as we make plans, we don’t know exactly what the future holds either. All Ben and I can do with our plans is hold them with open hands. We’ve never felt that open hand faith as much as we do now in this season of life. Sometimes, when you think you have it all planned out, life (God) throws curve balls too. And though difficult at first, those curve balls end up making sense later (and we’re all the better because of them). When I look at Ben, I still see that young couple that fell in love working at the GAP, and I can’t believe how far we’ve come. We aren’t those same people, we’ve grown so much and it’s overflowed into 4 little ones. At 20 and 27, we were so blindly in love. After 16 years together, there’s a lot we’ve weathered and seen, and we still have yet to weather and see. At 36 and 43, we’re seasoned, but still new, and our love is far from blind. We’ve seen the ugly sins of both our hearts, but we both still choose to do this together. Together is how we will continue as we commit to God any plans we have, but still stay open to plot twists God may give.

These pictures of from my brother’s wedding day this past Sunday. I love seeing this picture of the girls and imagining one day they’ll be dressed up to support each other in their own weddings. They’re such (sometimes stubborn) sweethearts and I love them so much.

what i’m wearing: dress & shoes, vintage. on true and brave: eyelet dress, target. similar shoes, target. soul and glow: eyelet dress, old navy. shoes, old navy. I added a satin ribbon on each dress to dress it up a little. 


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