Humility

You all know how much I love Beth Moore, right?
Read this post if you need to catch up.

Beth did another Livestream devotional on Wednesday.
Watch it here.  It’s the one on the left labeled LPM Devo.

This time it was about humility.
She focused the devotional on 1Peter 5:5-9.  Below is from the NKJV.

Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for

“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

Beth chose a memory verse from the NET bible translation, 1Peter 5:6-7.

And God will exalt you in due time, if you humble yourselves under his mighty hand BY casting all your cares on him because he cares for you.

Beth says that we will humble ourselves before God by casting all of our anxieties (our cares) towards him.  If we don’t cast our anxieties towards him – if we don’t lean on him and talk to him – we are being prideful.

Do you deal with anxiety?  What about worry?

I usually don’t worry about much.  I’m usually pretty good at leaving it all to God.

But, lately, I have been worrying a bit.  I keep trying to remind myself that I need not worry – that God is in control and He will take care of us.

I found this devotional very timely.  God’s timing is always good.

Beth said there is a direct link between our cares and our attacks.
What we are anxious about is what Satan will find to use against us.
He will compound our fears and worries.
He will try to take us away from our walk with God.

We have to remember to fight back.
Don’t try to ignore the anxiety.  I’m bad about this – even when I am worrying about something, I try to pretend like I’m not.  I try to handle it on my own.  This let’s Satan win.

Instead, we need to pray!
Every time we feel anxious,
every time we feel like worrying about something {big or small},
every time we are fearful,
we need to get down and pray.
We need to cast our cares on God.

Pray.
Seems so simple, doesn’t it?
Pray.
Are anxious?
Pray.
Are you worried?
Pray.
Is something weighing on you?
Pray.
Are you feeling attacked?
Pray.
Humble yourself before God and
pray!

Beth reminds us that there are only so many times Satan is going to go after you over the same care.  If you cast your cares to God after every attack, Satan will soon tire of it.  His goal is to form a wedge between you and God not drive you to Him.

Don’t give up hope, friends.
God is there
waiting to catch your anxieties,
waiting to hear your prayers.

Call out to Him.

Kneeling and casting my cares to God, logo

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My Word of the Year

I have seen a lot of people write about a word that summarizes their goals for the year.  I am not one to make New Year’s resolutions, but I do like the idea of choosing a word to inspire your life.  I have thought about my goals in life, the path I think God is leading me down, and what I want for myself and my family.

The word I’ve chosen is LOVE.

love

I like the simplicity and complexity of this goal.  So simple because we all know what it love is, yet complex because the meaning behind it is so deep.

Luke 10:27 says:

LOVE the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.

{These verses are also repeated in Mark 12:30, Matthew 22:37, Deuteronomy 6:5, and Leviticus 19:18}

If we love God and love our neighbors, our actions will reflect this.  The choices we make will be better.  We will be less selfish, less self serving, more apt to think about others.

This is what I want for my life.  I want to know God’s will – I want to walk His path.

I want to love my family, my friends, and everyone else I meet.  I want them to feel loved, important, and valued.

LOVE is such an important word.

It is what we all long for.

Franchesca from Small Bird Studios created this and I think it says it all:

Source: smallbirdstudios.com on Pinterest

What is your word for the year?

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Christmas Bible Verses

One of my favorite Christmas verses is Isaiah 9:6

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

A printable from Amy at One Artsy Mama.

Source: oneartmama.blogspot.com via Trisha on Pinterest

The story of the shepherds… {Luke 2:8-20 NKJ}

8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “ Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

I couldn’t resist making a printable for this.  Left click on the picture to open in a new window.  Then, you can right click and save.

xmas

The story of the wise men…{Matthew 2:7-11 NKJ}

7 Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”
9 When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
12 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.

I made a printable for Matthew 2:10…{Aiden loves stars.}

xmas

You can see more of my printables here.

What are your favorite Christmas bible verses?

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

Love,
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Birthday Memories

This is a continuation from yesterday’s post where I talked about losing my first little one.
Read about it here.

My doctor wanted me to wait a month or two before trying again.
We only waited a month, I immediately got pregnant again.
I knew immediately that I was pregnant.
My body acted differently {just like it had with my first baby}.
I was not in denial the second time around.
I was excited and hopeful.

About 6 weeks in {again}, I had issues while at school.
I called my doctor’s office and they said go to OB triage.
{I ran into one of my friend’s in the hallway – I had to track her down to ask her to teach my class – she didn’t know I was pregnant again, but of course she said go, go, I’ll take care of everything – the benefits of teaching the exact same thing as your peers.}
They ran the blood tests – hormone levels were fine.
The doctor scheduled an ultrasound for that day – she thought I might be far enough along to see the heartbeat.
This time they could see the gestational sac {no doubt I was pregnant},
but no heartbeat.
They thought it was just a bit early and probably didn’t mean anything bad.
Needless to say, I was worried.
More blood tests a day or so later – hormone levels rising – good sign.
Another ultrasound {at 7 weeks} showed the heartbeat. {Relief.}
I think it’s kinda cool that you can see the heartbeat {fetal pole} before you can hear it.

The rest of my pregnancy went fine.

Aiden was due on December 29, 2009.

He decided that he wanted to come early.
My waters broke on December 8th as I was climbing into bed.
{I had just finished grading a lot of papers and still had more to finish, but I was done.}

I know they always say that when your waters break, you’ll know.
Well, that’s an understatement and a half!
And, of course, I wasn’t contracting.
They let me wait until morning to see if I would start contracting on my own.
I did but they were pitiful – no enough.
So, I was induced.
I did not want to be induced – I knew thing would not go well.
And I was right.
Aiden was in distress, so they had to stop the contractions.
The medicine that stops contractions made all of my muscles convulse.
I was spent.
I had planned on using no pain medication or epidural.
But my worst fear was having to be forced into an epidural or spinal
because they had to do a Cesarean.
At that point, I was exhausted
and knew I didn’t have much time before they were going to do an Cesarean.
I had already been there for 14 hours – they weren’t going to let me go for more than 24.
I gave in.
I got the epidural.
I got some sleep while they started the induction again.
They finally figured out that Aiden had the cord wrapped around his neck twice.
He needed to come out quickly.  {After 19 1/2 hours, I wasn’t sure what quickly meant!}
Long story short shorter, Aiden came out blue.
That child worried me at the start of the pregnancy and at the end!

It’s hard to believe he will be two!
I thank God every day for my little one.
He is such a blessing.

Happy Birthday, Aiden!

{Below are a couple of pictures from two weeks ago – it’s the first time he ever painted. He asks to paint all the time now.}

Thanks for reading!

Birthday and Remembering a Loss

Tomorrow is Aiden’s 2nd birthday!
I’m so excited about that.
We have a party planned for just the 3 or us,
then we’re going to the zoo for the night time Winter Wonderland.
Aiden will LOVE it.

But, I also remember the little one that we lost.
Patrick and I were married for 9 1/2 years before we decided it was time to have a baby.
In February 2009, I found out I was pregnant.
I was actually in a bit of denial {even though I wanted a baby so badly}.
It happened immediately and it seemed too good to be true.
I even waited a while to take the pregnancy test.
It was positive, so I called my doctor and made an appointment.
She confirmed what I already knew –
we were going to have a little bundle of joy in October!

And then something terrible happened.
On February 14 {that’s right Valentine’s Day},
I lost our little baby.
We were at a friend’s house, and I wasn’t feeling very well.
I had a fever and was just miserable.
I went to the bathroom and was shocked by the blood.
I had no idea what to do.
I just started crying.
I, of course, feared the worst.
I was only 6 weeks along – what could be done?
I called one of my other friends.
She told me to call the nurse’s line.
They got me in contact with the OB doctor on call.
I think we decided to wait a day to see what happens.
{There’s nothing you can do at 6 weeks is all she could tell me.}
I talked to her the next day, and she had me meet her at OB triage.
They took blood and checked for hormone levels.
The next step was to go to my doctor a couple days later
{don’t really remember how many – it’s all kind of a blur}
for more blood tests to see if my hormone levels were rising or lowering.
I honestly don’t remember the results,
but my doctor sent me to get an ultrasound.

Here’s the worst part {I think it’s the part that hurts the most}:
the ultrasound tech said there was no evidence of a baby at all.
Apparently, that was supposed to comfort me.
Like, oh, you weren’t pregnant, so no need to worry about it.
But it didn’t comfort me – at all.

My doctor disagreed.
She said my hormone levels were such that I was pregnant.
{Not sure if she was just telling me that to comfort me or not}.
Regardless, I know there was a little life growing inside of me.
He’s now in heaven, and I’ll see him one day again.

I really struggled with why this happened.
I questioned God a lot.
The only answer I kept getting was, “Do you trust me?”
Well, of course, I trust You, Lord, but I still don’t understand.

I had started a Beth Moore bible study in February called,
Esther: It’s Tough Being a Woman.
The first week, we had to list reasons it was tough being a woman.
I honestly had a hard time coming up with a list.
I was thinking – my life’s not hard – I like my life.
Then, February 14th happened,
and the bible study made so much more sense.
Losing my baby was the worst thing that has ever happened to me in my entire life.
God knew the bible study was exactly what I needed at the time.
It was a study on the book of Esther,
which is now one of my favorite books in the Bible.
{Oh, btw, I just found out that Beth Moore has a blog, so I’m totally subscribing.}
God made sure I had help during my time of sorrow.
The bible study helped me.  It forced me to talk to God about it and me.
I think my faith was strengthened because of the whole ordeal.
I still don’t know exactly why this happened,
but I have been able to minister to people because of it.

If you have lost a little one and are wanting ways to remember,
take a look at the ideas from Small Bird Studios.
Franchesca has put together the 12 Days of Christmas with You in Heaven.
A group of wonderful ladies are sharing ideas for how to remember our little ones.

12 days

I want to share the story of my second pregnancy, but I will do that tomorrow.

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8 NIV
{Beth Moore shared this verse.  It is an awesome reminder to just love – always love.}

Much love,logo

P.S. Don’t forget about the giveaway that ends today!

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Answered Prayers

We’ve been searching for a house since April.  We moved to Florida in August.  We’ve made several offers and even gotten a couple, but none of them have worked out.  At church on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, we were reading Matthew 21:22, “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”  We were discussing if this meant when you ask God for something, he will give it to you or if it just means that when you ask him for something and it’s in His will that he will give it to you.  We leaned towards the latter because if I asked God for something ridiculous like a brand new expensive car, why should I expect to get it – I would have no way to pay for it and no one would just give me one.

I’ve been praying for a house for while and I’ve been praying to just know whether or not we’re supposed to even buy a house here (we’re only here while Patrick completes his doctorate).  I hadn’t felt like my prayers had been answered one way or another.  We kept looking for houses and we kept not getting them.  Every time we gave up on the house search and looked for a place to rent, it had either already been rented (like that hour) or they didn’t allow large dogs.

On Thanksgiving, I phrased my prayer a little differently.  I asked, “God I’m asking – if it’s in Your will, please let us find a house soon.  I trust that things will work out.  Romans 8:28 says, ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.’”  And for the first time I really believed it.  I do trust in God.  I know that He only has my best interests at heart {even if I can’t see it at the time}.

We found a house a couple weeks ago that seemed perfect.  It was not as new as many of the homes on the market (just a few years older), it was in the town over from where we had been looking, the owners had bought it as a foreclosure and remodeled it, the price was a lot lower than the ones we had been looking (we upped our price range to have a better selection), it was the right size, it had a good floor plan, etc, etc.  Of course there was a problem though.  The house had not been owned long enough to qualify for FHA financing (weird 90 day rule).  It wouldn’t be 90 days until Dec. 2.  We would have to wait nearly 2 weeks and hope no one else would buy it (no one using FHA could so that eliminated some buyers until the 2nd).  We saw the house on Tuesday Nov 29, loved it, and made an offer.  The seller’s agent said the only offers they had gotten were way too low.  We weren’t even messing with anything and were offering asking price.  They accepted our offer “officially” on Friday, the 2nd.  I finally feel like we have a house.  {As I’m typing this, our loan person just called and my heart skipped a beat…all is fine…she just needed something.}  With that said, the only hurdles we have are inspections, appraisal, and loan.  There shouldn’t be a problem with any of these, but I’m still going to keep praying and praising.

I still don’t completely know what the future holds, but I trust God and know everything will be all right.

What about you?  Is there anything on your mind today?

Blessings to you friend,
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On Mission – Part 2

Read part 1 here.

Packing for our trip was the beginning of the adventure.  Patrick and I were each asked to fill one of our checked bags with supplies for the kids.  We borrowed the largest suitcases possible and filled them full.  The people of our church donated so many things!  Amazingly, everything they donated fit perfectly into our luggage.  There wasn’t room for even one more item.  It’s funny how God works sometimes, isn’t it?

I’m going to skip most of travel details.  If you are dying to know something specific, feel free to ask.

Originally, we were going to fly out with the group from Dallas, but it proved to be less expensive for us to just meet them in Nairobi.  Bad weather made them miss their connecting flight in London, so they had to stay the night.  Another couple from Dallas flew separately as well.  They arrived in Nairobi the same night we did.  The rest of the group arrived the next day.

Here’s what I wrote in my journal about Nairobi:

Nairobi smells of diesel fuel always.  Traffic and driving is crazy.  There don’t seem to be any clear rules.  On the way to the airport, there was one stop light – that police were directing traffic through, lots of traffic circles, and 2 police checks that no one stopped at – just drove around the spike strips.  Our bus driver treated the bus as if it were a compact car weaving in and out of traffic.  On the way back from the airport, we saw our first stop sign, although our driver just slowed a bit and rolled right through it.  It doesn’t quite feel like “Africa” yet.  It feels like a big, dirty city with lots of crazy drivers, lots of pollution, but in a strange place – rainforest trees, unfamiliar bird sounds…

From Nairobi, we flew to Kisumu (on Lake Victoria), which finally felt like “Africa.”
It was much greener than Nairobi.  The air was cleaner.
The drive to Busia was beautiful.

Because of the travel delays (and a couple of blocked roads),
we missed attending the church service with the kids.
We were all looking forward to experiencing worship with them, but we didn’t arrive in time.

The kids we were going to meet are a part of a program called KidsHeart Africa.
These specific kids have all had parents that died from HIV/AIDS.
They live with relatives or other foster parents in the community rather than in an orphanage.
It is because of the KidsHeart program that these kids can stay with family.
Usually, it would be too expensive for someone to take in extra children.
The KidsHeart program helps provide the families with the things needed to take care of the children.
They get help with clothes and medicine.
There is a community garden and a well.
There is even a child development center for preschool age kids.
The KidsHeart program has affected the lives of the entire community.

Finally, we arrived at the Catholic Center.
The kids were very excited to meet us.
They ran alongside the bus as we entered the yard.
They shook, touched, or held all of our hands as we exited the bus.
Honestly, it made us feel like celebrities, but we knew we didn’t deserve that status.
After all, we were there to see them.
In our minds, they were the special ones.

Some of the children greeted us with, “How are you?” in the cutest Kenyan accents.

Every one of them had a great big smile.  Their smiles were highly contagious.

Several of the older kids spoke some English – some of them spoke it pretty well.

Most of the younger kids did not speak English.
In Busia, most of the residents speak a local language called Luhya; some speak Kiswahili;
some understand English, but don’t speak it; and some speak English well.
Kenya has 2 national languages – English and Kiswahili.
Most people also speak a native tribal language.

We spent time with the kids playing games with them and getting to know them.  They liked our cameras – they wanted us to take pictures of them, and they wanted to take pictures of us.

The mission coordinator from the Dallas church introduced us to all of the kids.  One of the local workers translated what he said into Kiswahili.

He explained to the kids that we traveled 5 days (because of all of the delays) just to see them.

He said, “I have one child in the US, but I have 47 children in Kenya.”
He told them of how the church loves them and has lots of pictures of them everywhere.
Each of us introduced ourselves to the group.

We went outside and played circle games.
Most of their group games involve singing and dancing.
We dispersed into free play after a while – football (soccer), passing balls by kicking or throwing, jump rope, and just running around.
We had tea with the kids.
Then, we played some more.

Sadly, day 1 was over, and we had to leave.

We said, “Kwaheri” to the kids and headed for our hotel.

At the hotel, we discussed the plan for the next day and got the crafts ready.
We helped make friendship bracelets for the kids –
enough for all of the foster kids plus some of the neighborhood children.

Part 3 will conclude with more interactions with the kids and the impact they had on me.

Thanks for reading!

On Mission

One of most AMAZING things I have ever done in my life, I did for God.

 Here’s how the story begins.

A couple did a mission spotlight at our church.  They showcased a program called KidsHeart Africa.  KidsHeart is a partnership between Buckner International, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, the All Africa Baptist Alliance, the Africa Exchange, and Change for Children.  The program strives to meet the needs of children affected by poverty and HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.  The presenters told of their visit to Kenya where they saw the impact the church was making on the children.  The purpose of their visit was to spread the news to other churches and gain support for the initiative.  A large part of the program was the connection to churches in the United States.  The more churches that were in support, the more community centers could be built and the more children could be helped.

 Our church was moved by their story.  One couple, in particular, stepped forward and said they wanted our church to agree to support the program (which, of course, meant giving monetarily).  This was easily agreed upon by our church.  Then, this couple went a step further and said they wanted people from our church to go on the next mission trip to see firsthand the KidsHeart program and to help build one of the new community centers.  Patrick and I knew immediately that we wanted to go.  We had done mission work in the US, but had talked about doing mission work in another country.  He and I have always felt called to Africa.  This seemed like a perfect fit for us – God inspired for sure.

 We talked to the couple about our willingness and eagerness to go.  They helped us make it happen.  They connected with a few other members of our church and gathered all of the monetary support necessary for us to go.  We were ready to go, patiently waiting for the official date of the CBF of Missouri’s trip – it was supposed to happen sometime during that summer.

 The date for the trip was finalized, but much to our dismay, the trip was scheduled for October.  {my heart dropped}  October??  What happened to summer?!  I was a teacher in my 2nd year at the time.  I didn’t really want to leave my students for over a week, but for this, I so would have.  The problem was Patrick.  He was in graduate school and taking off for a week was impossible.  That did not discourage the visionaries of our church, however.  They figured out a way for us to tag along with another group – from Dallas, Texas.

This meant the purpose of our trip would change slightly.  Instead of helping start a new program and build a community center, we were going to visit a well-established program.  One that was sponsored entirely by one church.  We would get to see what the community center that our church was helping to sponsor could become.  Very cool.  The group from Dallas went every year to visit their kids in Kenya.  They conducted Vacation Bible School with them, helped with various projects, and even conducted medical missions.  They were very much invested in these kids.  We were so excited that we were going to be a part of this!

 My story will continue soon…I hope you join me for part 2 where we meet the children!

Thanks for reading!

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No One Else Will Ever Know…

No one else will ever know the strength of my love for you.
After all, you’re the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside.

What is the origin of this quote?  Does anyone know?  I first saw it painted on a sign by Barn Owl Primitives.  (Love this sign by the way.)  I pinned the sign to pinterest so I wouldn’t forget it.  Then, I searched for the quote’s origin…no success in finding the author.

I don’t know about you, but this quote invokes feelings in me that take me straight back to being pregnant.  I loved being pregnant.  I had my struggles in the beginning (more on that another day), but it was sooo worth it.  I felt privileged to be able to carry a precious little life inside of me.  My heart goes out to women that, for whatever reason, can’t carry their own child.  I was worried for the longest time that this would be me.  My heart also goes out to women who have had the privilege of carrying a little one for only a short time.  I was one of you.  I know what you are feeling.  One day soon, I will share with you my story about this.

God saw fit to bless me with my little Aiden.  I love him more than words can express.
Thank you, God, for letting me be his mama!

Patience

We just moved to Florida in August so my hubby could start a 5 year (somewhere around 5 years anyway) doctoral program in avian parasitology (yep, bird parasites – maybe I’ll tell you more about him and his passion for birds another time).  We sold our house, left my teaching career, left our church, left our family and friends, and just moved.  I am now a stay at home mom (which I love).  I also write curriculum and tutor on the side.  We have been here for 3 months and I really know no one.  We are temporarily living in a condo while we (hopefully) find a house.  We are not sure exactly where we are going to end up, so we had been reluctant to look for a new church home.  Last Sunday, we finally took the plunge and attended a local church.  Oh how I missed worship!  Music moves my soul.  Singing is when I feel closest to God.  I was nearly in tears as the worship music soaked through me.

I chose this particular church because they have a MOPS group (mothers of preschoolers).  Moms get together, fellowship, learn momsense (how to be a better mom), and study God’s word.  Yesterday, I attended my first MOPS meeting.  It was my first real interaction with any one other than my husband and son since we’ve moved.  I needed that.  I want to share with you what we studied.

The pastor’s wife, Sandy, is a wonderful mentor mom who has 18 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.  I am so going to love getting to know her more.  For this meeting, she talked about patience.  Patience is one of the momsense values – a characteristic many moms strive to have — some of us naturally have more patience then others.  Even the most patient moms will have their patience tried by preschoolers.  In all likelihood, we will lose our patience at one time or another.

Sandy began her message by reading James 1:2-4.  Here it is from the NIV.

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

We learn patience through testing and trials.  This will strengthen us – strengthen our faith – complete us – make us better followers of God – just simply make us better (if we let it).  This is why we have to work at being patient sometimes.

A lack of patience makes us less loving with our children.  That’s not what anyone wants.  We want to raise calm and patient children who feel loved.  Children learn from us.  The more they see calm and patient examples (especially through difficult times), the more patient they themselves will react – the more easily they will be able to deal with life’s struggles.

Here are some of Sandy’s suggestion for how to work on being patient.

  1. Hold your tongue and speak gently.
  2. Know when you’re too tired to deal with patience trying happenings.  Try not to put yourself into those situations when you are tired or more likely to lose your patience.
  3. Lower your expectations.  (This one spoke to me the most).  Do you have unreal expectations for yourself as a mom or for your children?  Are you a perfectionist?  Decide how much mess you can live with and let it go.  Prioritize.  Children are messy and time consuming.  Give them the time they deserve rather than spending time making your house immaculate.  I always feel like a failure when I have a messy house.  As long as it’s messy because I am spending time exploring and learning with Aiden, I’m going to let it go.
  4. Find ways to deal with stress.  Ask for help from friends, family, or even professionals.  You don’t have to mother alone.  (Love that one, too.)  Find the humor in life and laugh.
  5. Know how you were raised.  Were your parents patient, or was anger and lack of patience an issue?  Like I said before, we learn from our parents.  Some things are almost ingrained in us.  Be mindful of this, and seek professional help if you find your lack of patience is a problem for you and your family.
  6. Remember losing your patience is not the end of the world.  Ask for forgiveness.  Learn from the situation.  Try to do better.  Take a moment to breathe.  Try #1:  hold your tongue and speak gently.
Here are Sandy’s suggestions for teaching patience to your children.
  1. Play with them.  (Children learn through play.  The more you interact with them positively, the more positive they will be.)
  2. Go outside.  Sandy says you forget about all of your problems (messy house, etc.) when you just step outside for a while.  I am an advocate of going outside, too.  Let your children explore their world and connect with nature.  Need help finding things to do outside?  Debi at goexplorenature.com always has the best ideas.  She lives in LA, but I’ve found her ideas can be applied nearly everywhere.
  3. Teach them to know the Lord.  “Train up a child in the way he should go, 
          And when he is old he will not depart from it.”  Proverbs 22:6, NKJV.  You can start by reading bible stories and singing songs to your little one.  Pray before bedtime, meals, and whenever you want to give thanks to God.
My added suggestion:  Love them, love them, love them.  Make sure they know they are loved.  Hug them, kiss them, cuddle with them.  Love them.  ”I love you” is a phrase that we say all of the time in my house.  There’s rarely a goodbye that doesn’t end with, “I love you.”  We also just randomly say it to each other.  Whenever the feeling is in my heart, I say the words out loud.  Aiden is learning to say and sign, “I love you,” too.  Although his version is just to point to you and say, “You” in the cutest way possible.  It melts my heart every time.I needed to hear this message about patience.  I pray that God will help me to be a more patient mom and a more patient wife.  (I think I really need more help with that.)  Lord, help us to love our children and to teach them to follow you.
Thank you for reading!
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