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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Goal for the Week: Fold the Laundry

Yes, I know what your thinking – your goal is to fold the laundry?  Well, it’s something I have been struggling with lately.  I really HATE to fold laundry.  Right now I have 4 full baskets of clean laundry.  I don’t mind washing it and drying it – that’s the easy part.  Folding laundry takes time.  Time I would rather spend doing something else.  I think part of my aversion also has to do with Aiden trying to help me fold the laundry.  He is a good helper with some things.  He loves to help empty the dishwasher – he puts away the silverware, stacks cups, and hands me other things to put away.  He is also a good helper when it comes to putting away groceries.  He takes things out of the bags and hands them to me, so I can put them away.  He is not, however, a good helper when it comes to folding laundry.  It’s not for lack of trying on his part.  He takes clothing out of the basket and hands it to me, but he does not wait for me to fold the item before he hands me something else.  I end up with a pile of clothes on my lap or on the floor.  Sometimes I get out 2 baskets – one full and one empty.  This helps a little.  He will place the clothing from one basket to another for a while.  Then, the clothes end up all over the place.  He also tries to help me place the clothing into my sorted piles.  He ends up knocking them over or unfolding them.  I am patient with him.  We say the names of the laundry items; we talk about their colors; we point out letters, numbers, shapes.  I try to give him tasks to do – fold up wash cloths.  He tries, but they just end up in a cute little pile.

This week it is my goal to fold the laundry (and to even let Aiden help).

Update on last week’s goal to keep the kitchen clean:
I met my goal.  {applause, please}  I kept the kitchen clean all week.  I did the dishes after every meal.  Even when I didn’t really feel like, I did it anyway.  It has now become part of my routine.  I like having my clean kitchen!

Your turn.  It’s time for you to set a goal.  What’s something that you want to work towards this week?  Start small.  Remember my first goal was to keep the kitchen clean – not the house.  The kitchen is the hardest room for me though and it bothers me the most when it is dirty.  So that’s where I started.  Little changes here and there to make a difference.  🙂

Change

Ashley from The Shine Project has challenged us to answer the question, ”If I could change one thing in the world, what would it be?”

I have a passion for missionaries – people who are being the hands and feet of Christ.  I could talk about the orphans and widows or the lost.  I could talk about clean water wells or malaria prevention.

But Ashley challenged us to write down the first thing that comes to mind.

The first thing that came to my mind was miscommunication and mistrust.

If I could change the world, I would eliminate miscommunication and mistrust.

So many issues between people start with not communicating properly.  I am amazed when people automatically assume someone is being negative towards them.  They don’t trust the person’s intentions.  Somehow they twist everything into an attack on them.  Rather than asking for clarification, they believe what their minds first assumed.

Communication is key.  Talk to each other.

How can I change this?

I am guilty of not communicating as well.  I will ignore the situation to try to spare feelings.  However, I usually assume people have good intentions.  Life is happier when you believe people are nice to you.  This causes problems, too.  By ignoring the situation, I come across as distant and non-talkative.  This can cause people to think I’m being mean since normally I am very talkative.

Rather than keeping my thoughts to myself, I need to initiate the communication.  I need to open up and talk about what’s bothering me.  Ignoring it doesn’t help.  It can just make things worse.  What’s the worst that talking can do?  It may make things worse temporarily, but not talking can make things horrendous.  When you don’t talk about the situation, people are left to their imaginations.  We can make up things about others.  We mistrust them and their intentions.

Being my best self means dealing with seemingly little things – taking care of relationships.

Being my best self means talking to God more – listening to God more, praying more.

Being my best self means being ok with being me – not worrying what other people think.

Lord, I pray that you will give me the courage to speak my mind, the patience to hold my tongue, and the wisdom to know what to say.

If you could change one thing in this world, what would it be?

Thanks for reading!
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