Over the past few years, I have slacked off on sharing some of our family life and thoughts from a mom's heart. Oh, I still share our family stories along with the recipes you love, but I realized that I haven't shared as much about our life. I have so many pictures of what we are doing or thinking, and they just sit on the phone and computer.
Sharing more things with you guys is something that has been on my heart lately, so I hope you enjoy a few posts here and there that are just about us.
Over the years the kids have stopped fighting me about taking pictures on certain days. Christmas, Easter, Mother's day, and the first day of school are all days I want pictures of. They used to groan and moan and cry and give me grief.
Oh, wait, that hasn't changed much over the years. They still moan and groan about it, but they at least are much more willing to appease mom now that they are older.
Plus, I think they have finally learned that if they just do it right away without the grief, it takes less time. Now they still make lots of faces and poses, and I make them come back and take one more good picture with everyone smiling. But at least they do it with a happy heart. At least that's what I'm telling myself.
There are days I cannot believe that I have been a mother for almost 18 years. Then other days it feels like it has been an eternity. You know those days, right? When everyone is fighting, arguing, breaking the rules, or just being a pain in the you know what.
In all seriousness, I have been truly blessed with three kids who mean the world to me. I would do anything for those three little humans!!! Ok, so they aren't so little anymore. But the mama bear in me will get ferocious for them if necessary.
"Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a real blessing."
God has given me (and my hubby) the huge responsibility of raising children in this crazy, messed up world. As parents we haven't always gotten it right. Some days that makes me worry that we have just messed them up before they even enter the world as adults.
But thankfully, forgiveness and love covers so many mistakes. I know that we have done our best to raise them with the truths from the Bible. We have loved them unconditionally no matter what and shown them that family is important.
"Teach children how they should live,
and they will remember it all their lives.
Sure they fight with each other on a regular basis, and they get on each other's nerves all the time. Doing things to make your brother or sister yell and get all bug-eyed is just what siblings do. But I have seen them grow up in the past few years. They actually love each other and would do anything for each other. As a mom, this makes my heart swell with happiness and pride.
Over the years, I have learned to adjust the way I do things with the kids. Patience is and always will be one of my weaknesses. That's not exactly one of the traits you want to struggle with when you have kids who are arguing back with you.
Some of the ways I have overcome that is by realizing that I am second. Putting God ahead of ALL other things and making sure that I have a correct focus and attitude has helped me become more patient.
1 Peter 3:4
"Instead, your beauty should consist of your true inner self,
the ageless beauty of a gently and quiet spirit,
which is of the greatest value in God's sight."
Don't get me wrong. I still struggle with all of those things big time. But I think having an awareness of how to correctly handle situations definitely keeps me going strong as a mom.
If you are a wanna be mom, a new mom, or a mom in the thick of things, I want to encourage you to stay strong. Sure, there will be days where things will get to you, and you will scream and yell. We all have those days. In fact, one day I totally lost it and had all three kids backing away from the crazy lady in front of them.
It's going to happen. Step away from the situation, calm down, pray, and then go back and ask for forgiveness. It's not easy, but by doing that you will earn the trust of your children even more. Plus, it teaches them how to handle conflict with others correctly when they see it modeled in their parents.
1 Corinthians 13:4
"Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud;
love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable;
love does not keep a record of wrongs;
love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth.
Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail."
Also, make sure you are taking time for yourself. Yes, your family will and always will be ahead of your needs, but don't forget to recharge your batteries too. The saying "if mama ain't happy, no one is happy" is a very true statement. The days I can feel myself being worn thin are the days I lose my temper the quickest. Sit outside in the sun, read a book, get a manicure, or go shopping by yourself for yourself. You will come back happier and ready to jump back on the mothering train.
"I am the Lord your God; I strengthen you and say,
'Do not be afraid; I will help you.'"
And lastly, love those kiddos unconditionally. God has given you so much love and grace, so we need to pass that along to our kiddos! Tell them "I love you" over and over and over. Give them hugs and kisses even when they are teenagers and pulling away from you. One day they will get past that stage and will reciprocate the love again.
One thing that I have always done each night is to go in and say good night and I love you before they go to sleep. The two younger ones still love to snuggle and tell me about their day or things that they are thinking.
I hope that is something that they remember as being important to me and that they continue it with their family when they are older.
"So keep your thoughts continually fixed
on all that is authentic and real,
honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful,
pure and holy, merciful and kind.
And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God,
praising him always."
Being a mom isn't easy, but it a rewarding process when you let God direct your thoughts. So grab those kiddos, hug them tight, and let them know they mean the world to you. All the fighting and tears over the years are worth it as you see them growing up into mature and thoughtful adults.