Friday, January 24, 2014

In need of grace

I have 2 precious little mighty men of God. Precious they are... When they're polite, well behaved, kind, caring quiet (okay they're never quiet except when they're sleeping). But my boys are human; flawed, born sinners and in need of grace. Grace from momma when they just can't seem to get control of themselves because they are only 4 and 2 years old. They don't even know what self-control is yet. They need grace when they're being too loud and we adults just want them to use their "inside voices" (my boys don't posses inside voices, they have one volume and it's LOUD!). They need grace when I've told them umpteen times not to do the very thing they just forgot and did again anyway. Attention span - what's that again?!?  

As a momma, I know all about giving grace to my boys. I don't get it right everytime, nor on the first try... I too am human; flawed, born a sinner, in need of grace. What's sad though is it seems it never fails when I'm in public (be that the grocery store, church or even amongst a group of family or friends) and my strong-willed 2 year old decides to throw a fit the first act of compassion or grace extends first to that out-of-control child. For once I'd love to be shown a little grace from others when my response in that moment isn't full of composure and eloquently scripted with the Word of God. How about "how can I help?" or a sympathetic "I've been there, this too shall pass."  Instead, I've been glared at with disapproving eyes, corrected and even had my comments cursed in Jesus name. All I want is a little grace. 

So momma may you be extended an extra measure of grace instead of looked upon in a moment of your day with judgement and criticism. You momma, are a child of the most high God and He loves you, even when you don't get it right. He knows you are In need of grace

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Bad moments don't make bad mamas

Loved this mornings devotional from "No more unglued momma mornings" by Lysa Terkeurst


Just in case you aren't feeling like mother of the year today, let me make you feel better. While I was packing lunches recently my daughter said with great urgency, "Mom, just make sure none of the food you are packing in my lunch is rotten." 

Alrighty then. A statement like that will just build your mom confidence ALL DAY LONG! 

Do you ever have these little zingers that fly into your morning and sting your heart? I suspect you do. And it's these kinds of things that can catch us off guard and start ratcheting up the tension that leads to coming unglued. 

We don't want to be unglued mamas. We don't want to have mornings filled with unglued moments. So, today let's think about what we do want our mornings to be filled with ... love, peace, joy, sanity, kind words, and interactions with our kids that won't be retold years later on some therapist's couch. 

Yes, that's what we want. 

But here's the tricky part: I can't control the unpredictable attitudes my kids are going to bring into each morning. 

I can't set my hope for a good morning on what my kids might or might not do. I must bring the attitude with which I want the morning to be filled. Just like our key verse says, I have to set my mind on things from above ... things from God. 

A few years ago my friend Angela Thomas challenged me with this "bring it" idea. We were talking about how sometimes when we show up to speak the audience seems a little lacking in energy. As a speaker, it's really hard to step in front of an audience with very low energy. So, Angela decides what kind of energy the room needs to be filled with and she brings it as she steps on stage. 

She focuses her energy on what she has control over. 

She can't control the mood of an audience any more than we can control the moods of our kids. But we can determine if a good mood is what we want as we pack lunches, sign last minute permission slips, and pile backpacks into the car, then we can make the choice to bring it. 

Here are three reminders that will help us bring it: 

1. Feelings are indicators not dictators.
I'm not always going to have blissful, happy feelings. I'm just not. But while my feelings may indicate I have some things to address, they don't have to dictate a bad mood. It's time for me to be the boss of my feelings and determine to bring the joy I want my home to be filled with today. 

2. Bad moments don't make bad mamas.
Have you ever caught yourself labeling the kind of mother you are in light of a few bad moments with your kids? "I'm not patient." "I lose it all the time." "I'm the most disorganized mother on the planet." 

Me too. 

But these labels won't help us bring more joy into our mornings—they'll just bog us down. Here's the reality ... just because I have an impatient moment doesn't mean I'm an impatient mother. We need to stop the self-condemning labels by matching each negative moment with a positive reality. Maybe I had an impatient moment when I helped with homework last night but this morning I'm bringing patience in the way I helped my daughter find something to wear. 

3. Find the joy treasure.
There will be a treasure hidden in the moments you experience this morning. Look for it. 
Look for the way she tucks her curls behind her ears and ties the ribbon in her hair. Look for the way he fiddles with his hat trying to look cool. Take a snapshot this morning of this joy treasure. Don't miss it. When you find it, tuck it in your heart and let it sink deep. These are the moments that form that wellspring of joy and help us keep bringing it. 
Peace, love, joy, patience, kindness—these are the things with which we want to fill our mornings. Despite the circumstances we face and the attitudes of others, it is possible to have this wonderful atmosphere—if we decide to bring it. 


Make the choice to bring the atmosphere you want by writing out the words that describe what you want your morning to be like. Try using a dry erase marker on your bathroom mirror. You can also write these 3 statements for "bringing it" on other windows and mirrors throughout your home:
* "Feelings are indicators not dictators."
* "Bad moments don't make bad mamas."
* "Find the joy treasure." 

When your family asks you about these statements you've written, just smile and proudly proclaim, "They help me bring it." 

I've had a few of those "bad moments" but I have to continually remind myself that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ and His grace is enough for ME! Christ's sacrifice on the cross was enough for God so it should be enough for me too. I don't need to keep condemning myself and hanging my head - I need to walk in His grace and forgiveness!

Homemade play dough

Today we made homemade play dough. Here's a link with a few different recipes:

Adding color

Making "cookies"

Stained hands - the things I do for my boys! 

And here are a few of our creations:
Waffles with butter and strawberry

Mother-Son Date

Last night Chili's was hosting a Mother-Son date night so Micah and I decided to split the boys up and have some one on one time. I took Mack and Micah took Parker. We both had fun and made memories. 

We ate, decorated an airplane, watched hockey, shared a dessert, took pictures and even went to a book store afterwards and got a new toy for him and his brother. 

Parker and Micah went to Freebirds (kids eat free on Tuesdays FYI) then the pet store and last but not least Academy.