MOM ENOUGH

September 5, 2018


I’m challenging myself to read a book weekly (or a 2 week period depending on the length) that will aid in fueling and refocusing my soul to love Christ more. I have yet to share about my time in Minneapolis this past June, but one of the blessings was coming home with a stack of books from Desiring God. Ben had put this particular book on my list of books to bring home, and while I didn’t know much about it, God knew I needed it (and so did Ben).

The book is called Mom Enough: The Fearless Mother’s Heart and Hope, and it’s such an easy and quick read, a compilation of many different writers. I actually read most of it on my plane ride to Texas in July. Now, I’m definitely not a fearless mother, and I lose heart and hope, and especially my cool often. Ruby pre-kids was always optimistic and bubbly, and you’d never imagine that that young girl would have such a hard time mothering. I was always good with kids, teaching a kids Sunday school class since I was in 7th grade, then going on to study child and adolescent development and get my multiple subject credential to be a teacher, which led to teaching my own classroom of 30 kids. And then I had kids, and that same girl who was a natural with kids, was not a natural with her own kids. LOL

In a sermon recently, our pastor said something along the lines of “If you want to be anxious, then try to control things.” I let out a big internal laugh because that’s so me. I love my kids, and I have fun with them, but motherhood is not for the faint of heart. And I’ve mentioned it before, if you’re a control freak like me, it’s especially hard. Mothering definitely refines my selfish heart; it’s a constant dying to self. It reveals all my weak spots and reminds me how much I need to cling to Christ. Reading this book reminded me why it is I do what I do. Why we have 4 kids and didn’t just stop at 1. Children are such blessings and treasures!

In the book, Christine Hoover writes, “Let us choose to joyfully give of ourselves for our children. Everyday.” In another chapter, she says, “The home exists for Christ.” So many yes and amens to this. May God keep giving me a heart to live that out every single day. I’m certainly not mom enough, but Christ is enough, and that is what shapes my parenting.

Next book that’s coming up will be The Scars That Have Shaped Me by Vaneetha Risner.


KIDS PLAY IMPROV

September 4, 2018


These girls have such a fun imagination. On Monday morning, I came downstairs and they said, “We’re playing improv!” They put together costumes to match characters, and then they put on “improv” show when my parents came over. The next room was turned upside down as they filled it with props to use for their acts. Their show even had sound effects done through walkie talkies from another room, so it was their own version of surround sound. Their improv was a murder mystery, and I’m not sure where they got the idea, but it was very cute. Their sound effects were quite clever and the costumes imaginative. While my girls are all quite reserved,  they do have a love for performing, especially the older 3. If you saw them perform, you’d never guess they are extremely shy in real life. I can’t wait to see when they play “improv” again!


EARTHQUAKE, START OF SCHOOL, AND A MONDAY I WISH I COULD DO OVER

August 28, 2018


Well, we had an earthquake, which freaked the girls out. Usually, the ones I’ve felt have occurred in the middle of the night and it wakes me up. Then, I strain to hear to see if any of the girls wake up and cry, but no one does, so I go back to sleep. They definitely felt tonight’s and the two younger ones did not want to leave the doorway. It’s cute, so I took a picture.

In other news, school started yesterday. It’s my 8th year of homeschooling (8!!!) and I can’t believe we’re still going strong. There were so many times before that I wanted to throw in the towel, but last year was our best year ever. We did that math curriculum switch and it has done wonders for our relationships in this home. LOL

While Monday’s schooling went well, the afternoon… not so much. The girls were bickering about the stupidest things (and when I use the stupid word, they get all more up in arms) and it wouldn’t let up. We were on our way to do errands and they wouldn’t stop, so we turned around and went home. I went straight to my room, locked the door, came out to make dinner, but pretty much steered clear for the rest of the day. My heart was in a pretty rotten place and while I was trying to fight to remember Sunday’s sermon of “How to be Happy” based on Matthew 5:1-11 to be 1) poor in spirit, 2) mourn your sin regularly, 3) humble yourself, and 4) desire righteousness. Yeah, flesh won over spirit. Self over selflessness. I was pretty miserable, but content to be miserable, which is so dumb because I’m only hurting myself and preventing my joy in the Lord. That terrible attitude carried into Tuesday, but eventually God somehow softened my heart (cause I wasn’t about to do it) and I had the girls tell me how I was messing up. It’s not an easy thing to have your kids correct you, but necessary because I’ll need correcting forever, and I want my girls to feel comfortable enough to do it. Then, I asked for forgiveness for not having a happy heart and being generally angry all day. Forgiveness is extra sweet with kids because after it’s like nothing ever happened.

So to get back in the groove of writing here, this was our week so far… the start of a new school year. And hello to those still hanging in there after the radio silence this summer. There’s a reason for that and I will share soon enough! God throws curveballs sometimes and we’re rolling with it.


THE OC FAIR TRADITION 2018

July 25, 2018


It’s our 12th trip to the OC Fair and we were only there for barely two hours because we go to use the photo booth, take advantage of the read and ride program (they do book reports for two book and get 3 rides for free, per kids), and then we take off. We aren’t into the fair food and didn’t stick around to watch any shows, but we made sure to say hi to our friend at the photo booth. Half the photo booths are now digital, and she told us there are only a couple years left on the film booths. WAHHHH! I’m not sure what we’re gonna do once the film dies out. Do we keep going to continue the tradition or does the tradition die when the photo booths do? What do you think?

Here are some things I noticed about this newest family photo versus the previous years…

Ben and I broke the denim streak. I wore overalls because admission is free if you wear overalls on Thursdays.

Ben’s shirt is similar to 2008. His style is consistent.

I’m wearing a hat again.

Soul’s wearing the same dress as last year.

The baby kid, Glow, is always standing next to me.

I’m still always standing to the left of Ben.

Ben’s hair is so long that he has to wear a man bun. I don’t think he’s had a haircut for over a year.

Basket in my left hand again.

Glow’s got the same cute little bob she always gets for summer.

Anything stand out to you regarding this year’s photo? Read last year’s comparison’s here. I wonder what next year’s will look like.


DEPENDENT

July 11, 2018


“Brave is not the right word for parents. Dependent is.”

The above quote is by Rachel Pieh Jones from the book Mom Enough, and it really sums up our parenting/life journey right now. The last few years, I got caught up with the busyness of parenting (and life), I misplaced my daily dependency on God. At least, a consistent awareness of it. And sometimes, exactly when you need it, God does a little shaking up to remind you where your hope ought to be. As uncomfortable as it is, I’m thankful for the sifting and shaking. Though I do struggle with being thankful and joyful (and do some complaining) in the sifting and shaking. Even still, there’s a sweetness and peace through it that only comes from Christ. I know this is where God wants me. In this season of my life right now, I’m definitely growing in a deeper understanding of what it means to be dependent. Not in myself, but in Christ alone.

“In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all
Here in the love of Christ I stand.”
– Stuart Townend & Keith Getty

I’m learning what it means to be dependent. Dependent on Christ for the patience, strength, words, love, resolve, and boldness to face the daily challenges of motherhood and changes in life. Dependent on His story for my life versus what I had/have planned. Dependent on the grace that overflows to soften my hard heart. Most importantly, dependent on what Jesus did for me on the cross. My life ought to be a life of dependency. I’m (nervously) asking the Lord to keep me dependent. I want more of Him; I need more of Him.

Psalm 62:5-8
“Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will not be shaken. My salvation and glory depend on God, my strong rock. My refuge is in God. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before him. God is our refuge. Selah”


REMEMBER & REST

July 3, 2018


Currently in Deuteronomy for my Bible reading plan, and I see how God constantly reminds the Israelites to remember what He did for them when He took them out of Egypt. Then, there are also festivals/celebrations designated to help that remember that time too. Not only that, God also emphasizes to them to have a day of rest. Remember and rest was important for the Israelites, and I’m learning it ought to be a pertinent part of my daily living too because the point of remembering and to rest for the Israelites, and even for me now, is to see God and His glory. It’s about looking at God and not ourselves.

I’m not much of a stop and remember, or stop and rest (in God) person. I do love to stop and remember the beginning stories of when Ben and I met (and I almost daily tell him the story of when we first met, or I make him retell it), but not so much things of God. It is sad how easy it is for me to breathe God ignoring air. I ought to remember when I first read John 3 and how being “born again” became real to me, or remember the beginnings of God opening my heart to understand what grace really means, or stopping daily to remember Jesus dying on the cross for me. I need to remember I’m free from being a slave to my selfish desires.

And rest… what’s that?! I’m such a busy body with a love for to-do lists, so I have a hard time stopping to rest. I keep going until I feel like I have everything under my control, but I need to rest under God’s control and not my own. I need to rest in God’s provision, not my own. Rest is God’s time, not my own. Rest in that God satisfies, not a clean house, obedient children, or antique jewelry.

Remember and rest go hand in hand and it’s to point me back to Christ… remember what He did in my place and rest in that all the work is already done, and I don’t need to run myself into the ground trying to control my world. Jesus gives all the rest I need. On this side of heaven, I know remember and rest will probably be a lifelong battle for me, but there’s an overflow of grace daily and I will keep fighting to remember and rest in Christ alone.


CAKIES
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