Tuesday, February 22, 2011

70% of mothers....

"70% of mothers will admit to having struggles with the complicated roll of motherhood and I'm convinced the other 30% aren't telling the truth!" 
 Lysa TerKeurst

I was taking some time for myself yesterday while my husband was home from work.  I went into our computer room and pulled up Focus on the Family's website and scrolled through the list of shows they've had on the radio recently.  I found an appealing title, "Mommy stress...", clicked on the link and started listening to this woman speak about her struggles as a mother of 5 children, while I played a game of spider solitaire.  (I told you I was taking time for myself ;))  I encourage you to listen to this broadcast by clicking on this link.  I loved her candid account of the everyday issues mom's face.  Several things Lysa spoke on inspired me to do some revamping of my prayers and also my parenting style. 

Lysa spoke about how she would feel like a failure if she wasn't the perfect mom.  She used the example of forgetting to make a snack for your child's school or not signing a permission slip that is due, and because mistakes like these mom's can start to feel like they're "bad Mom's".   Lysa explained how she struggled with feeling like a bad mom and that she started praying that God would be her portion. 

I was completely moved by that!  I tend to beat myself up about not being a perfect mom/wife/daughter (enter any other title here).  I recently have been struggling with patience.  I find myself getting short more quickly than I used too--and not just with Vaden or Lonnie. 
Side Note:  Now that I'm writing this it makes me wonder if I have really been laying it all down at the cross.  "The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks." Luke 6:45

After hearing how Lysa would pray for God to be the portion of her ___________ (patience, kind words, wisdom...etc.) that she lacked on her own, I had an epiphany.  It seems to be the same epiphany over and over for me, but here it is anyway.  I CAN'T DO IT ALL BY MYSELF! 

I love that God created me to be independent, but sometimes I get in my own way.  I cannot be the perfect mother!  I cannot be the perfect June Clever wife.  I cannot be the best daughter, teacher, mentor, friend  _______fill in the blank.  I cannot do any of those things because I am a daughter of the imperfect EVE!  However, there is hope!  God wants us to let him be the portion that we are missing.  I love that.  When I can't think of one more nice thing to say, I can ask God to be my portion of kindness, and he will supply all of my needs sufficiently.  "And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus"  Philippians 4:19  When my 2 year old is driving me crazy and I am overreacting to his behavior, God can supply his portion of patience to me if I ask for it. 

I tell you the honest truth.  This morning I prayed that prayer.  I prayed that God would supply me with his portion of patience with Vaden and an his portion of kind words so that I could communicate efficiently with my husband.  Today couldn't have gone any better.  If I could be this woman that I've been today, everyday, I could lay down at night and be proud of the mother/wife I am.  It's only through his sufficiency that it's possible. 

So now I have a new plan of attack.  Before my feet hit the ground in the morning, I will be praying for God's portion in those areas I struggle with, and that is all that I will ever need. 

2 Corinthians 12:9 
Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It's my "truth"...

  • Truth: the thing that corresponds to fact or reality. 
  • My Truth:  an opinion that is believed to be truth, but may not be factual.
  • God's Truth: The eternal principles of God embedded in the physical and spiritual worlds He has made.
God is the functional definition of a man of truth.

I have been thinking more and more about my truth.  What is it?  Is it really truthful?  Is it Godly?  Do I have a truth?

I have come to the conclusion that we all have our own truths...things that are true for us.   It is a fact that I like to cook and I enjoy baking.  It is also a fact that I am 5'3".  I can also have a truth of my own that is not factual and just something I may believe.  Our perception of events is a great example.  Do you know I lived for at least 10 years believing that something in my past happened a certain way and it really didn't.  I found that out last year (2010).  My Mom enlightened me with the real truth-the actual facts of how the event happened.  How many of you know of someone that goes to the doctor and is told that they have high blood pressure and should cut down on their junk food and exercise more, but when you ask the person how the appointment went, they say it went fine and they're as healthy as a horse?  My grandmother was good for that one!!  I miss her now that she's gone.  Anyway, my point is that our own truth may not be a hard fact.

This got me thinking...  How does my truth stack up against God's truth?  Are my opinions the same as what the Bible teaches me they should be?  It's easy to think that they are, but really examine yourself...mine were not! 

These days it is so easy to get information about anything.  The Internet has opened so many doors for us!  It is the best thing ever...but it has it's faults.  Anyone can be an expert on-line.  Everyone is an author.  Blogs, like my own, are everywhere and they have all kinds of information that may or may not be real TRUTH.  It could certainly be someones truth, but it may not be a fact.  We have to be on the guard and be very watchful when we research things, to make sure that we are getting true facts and not mindless opinions.

In the end, it all comes down to:  Are my facts straight with God?  and How do my own opinions match up with His.  Check out Psalm 119.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Free entertainment and snow days =)

With all of this snow, we've had to be inventive and think of things that are fun, will expell energy and are free or very cheap.  So we took Vaden to a fish store in Lancaster, PA that is almost as cool as going to the aquarium.  He loved it!!!! 
We took him during the day when everyone was working or at school.  We had the store to ourselves.  We were able to let him walk around the store instead of riding in a cart.  That made it so much more fun, since he could lead us on his adventure.

I told Vaden that those fish were blowing him kisses. ;D  I thought it was cute...

Of course since there was snow outside, of course we had to get out and play in it.  So here are a few shots of him playing in the snow.

He figured out how to make snow angels all by himself.  It was a so cute.  I love my little boy to pieces!!!  He's a lot of fun (normally). :)

The reality of being a mom...

I wrote this blog several days ago when I was in the depths of an emotional "moment" (read: tantrum).  I wasn't sure that I wanted to share this dark side of motherhood.  After speaking to some family and friends, I really feel that other
mothers need to know that being a mom isn't all flowers and sunshine.  So please read
 this knowing that everyday isn't this way for me and it's only by God's grace that
I make it through the times like this one.  Please pardon the long post.

I never would have thought it possible to have my feelings hurt so severely by a child.  In fact, I'm sitting at my computer thinking how absurd it must sound; yet I'm still going to admit my crazy thought on a public blog.  To the reader, thanks for being my therapist and letting me lay on your couch.

When I first got married and my husband and I started dreaming about having a baby, I would tell him all of the things that I couldn't wait to be able to do for a baby of our own.  I was excited to be able to rock our baby to sleep and cuddle up to read stories.  I had dreams of kissing away boo boos and receiving unwarranted hugs and kisses from our child.  I couldn't wait to hear our child start to speak--of course hoping that his first word would be "mama".  I dreamt of being the mom who took a special snack to school to be shared with his classmates for his birthday.  I was looking forward to being the family my child's teenage friends would want to hang out with--preparing food for the masses and being able to counsel if asked.
Well we got our wish, and now we have a wonderfully vibrant 2 year old little boy.  He is so sweet and cute and all of those things that make a child "likable".  What other parents don't tell you is that parenthood isn't always so cuddly and syrupy sweet.  My son has never liked to be held.  He doesn't like to snuggle or sit on your lap for more than a second or two.  His first words were not mama, they were "Dada", and who would've thought that he would be saying all kinds of other words before ever deciding to say mama.  I have to say that he does allow me to kiss away his boo boos and he will give hugs without asking (sometimes).  If I ask for a hug he normally tells me no.  Recently I was walking from our bedroom into the kitchen and my son was sitting in the living room, between the other two rooms.  When I walked into the living room, he got up and ran screaming to find his father because I had gotten to close to him.  He runs from me and puts his hand out like and crossing guard and yells, "stop, NO."  This crushes my heart.

As a stay at home mom, I am with my son all the time.  I am the one who has to discipline the most.  I am the one who has to deal with his bad behavior and try to train him to have good behavior.  My entire day revolves around him and what his needs are and sometimes I feel a little alone. I feel like I'm the one who gets the grunt work and my husband, who is working and away from the home, gets all the hugs and kisses and any snuggles to be had.  My mother told me that this may happen, but I was sure that my son would love me more than that.  I was so wrong, because all children exhibit some of this behavior now and then. When my husband is around, my son doesn't want anything to do with me.  I'm serious, I'm not stretching this.  He won't let me change his diaper without a fight, I can't dress him if Daddy is home and when I do he gets angry and kicks and screams and won't calm down until my husband comes in the room.  He won't let me comfort him if he falls or if he has a bad dream in the night.  If he has problems at meal times I am not allowed to assist.  The only time he wants me is when he Daddy is busy or away.  Please don't misread this and think that I'm upset at my husband.  He works very hard so I can be a stay at home mom and I appreciate him so much for this since being a stay at home mom was my dream.  Many of you may read this and wonder why I'm not excited to have a break.  Believe me, I appreciate the break, it's the hurtful words and reactions from my son that make it so hard.

I get so angry!!!  and frustrated!!!  and most of all hurt.  Motherhood was supposed to be so fulfilling; after all, that's what I always felt I was made to do.  Why didn't it happen the way it was supposed to (read" the way I excepted it to happen)?  If it's like this now, how will I be able to cope when he's a teenager?  I am so hurt....and to think a 2 year old can get me crazy like this.  I guess it's because he is my own flesh and blood.  We worked hard to be able to have babies, and whether I want to admit it or not, with that comes A LOT of expectations ---for him and for myself.  You see where expectations get you....heart broken.  All I can do is pray...

Now I have a tiny glimpse of what our Heavenly Father must feel about us.  We stand away from him, with our arms sticking out to keep him from getting to close.  We don't hold his hand when crossing the traffic of life.  We prefer to run wild and not listen to correction.  We become independent and don't want any help, because, "I can do it all by myself."  We are easily distracted from doing what is right.  I never would have thought that motherhood could give me a different perception of my relationship with God.  Who knew....