Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mothering Super Powers: March Hearts at Home Blog Hop

"We all have days when we feel like just an 'ordinary mom'. If you could have any super power that would help you in your mothering, what would it be?"

Initially, I was frustrated by this question. It seemed like I needed some creativity to come up with an answer. For some reason, I struggle with using my imagination. Utilizing the resources available to me, I typed “super powers” into Google search and came up with a whole list of possibilities.

“Body duplication” stood out to me as a power I could benefit from. I simply had no idea how very soon I would imagine myself as a super hero with this very power. Yesterday I carried my 3-year-old into the pediatrician’s office, informing my 6-year-old that she would simply have to walk, thankful that my 9-year-old is past the stage of needing to be carried. The doctor had me line all three of my sick little girls next to each other on the exam table. She began to check their ears… clear… clear… clear. Then their throats… clear… clear… clear. As well as their lungs… clear… clear… clear. I couldn’t help but laugh as I attempted to comfort each child at the right moments (especially with the nose swabs).

With the diagnosis of Influenza A in each girl, it is no wonder that this week has been absolutely impossible to meet everyone’s demands… including my own. However, if I were a super hero capable of duplicating my body…

I could get 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep EVERY night because one of my duplicates could take care of anything that threatened my slumber.

Holding my children every time they want to be held in the position they want to be held would be easy to accommodate (without bickering of another child kicking them or getting to close, etc.).

My preschooler would no longer be found sitting in the bathroom crying at the top of her lungs because I didn’t hear that she… well, um… needed some assistance.

When my oldest daughter wants me to climb into her top bunk with her just for comfort, the request could be met no problem.

When my middle daughter needs a bucket due to inheriting her father’s gag reflex, I don’t have to worry about whether she will need said bucket as I am in the middle of cleaning it.
I could take care of my own agenda without any feelings of guilt for neglecting the needs of anybody else.

My husband wouldn’t have to hear that I’m too tired… I’d be available to meet his every need.

I wouldn’t have to worry about whether or not I was going to catch the flu in my house when my hopes are to go away with my girlfriends for the weekend to the Hearts at Home conference.

And blog posts would be able to be written without the constant requests beckoning me.
Yes, body duplication would be a wonderful super power to have.

Since I live in reality, however, I have to learn that I cannot be everything to everyone all the time. I have my limits. Weeks like these where everybody needs me and it conflicts with my own agenda, I find myself frustrated. Instead, I should remember that there is someone who can be with each one of us all the time, everywhere we go. When I lift up each request to my Heavenly Father, there is peace in knowing He is in control.

What super power would you desire? Instead of working so hard to earn your cape, should you be turning to God instead?

“I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!  If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there.  If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night— but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.” – Psalm 139:7-12

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Cherished Moment

Jaycie (6-years-old) sat down on the floor to play this morning. Andelise (3-years-old) came and squatted down by her side. Ande asked her big sister, "Jaychie (this is not a typo; this is the cute pronunciation of her sister's name), you like me now?" Jaycie looked at her so sweetly and said, "Ande, I always like you. Why would you think I don't like you?" Although I was tempted to list all the reasons for her, I held my tongue and cherished the moment in my heart.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My Child's Whiney Reminder

What kind of mother am I if I don’t even like my child? These thoughts have consumed my thoughts and feelings more than one morning. It seems like the sound in my house is constant yelling, crying, screaming and WHINING. Running away is an option I have considered numerous times.

Think about it: What do you do with someone who whines at you every moment of every day about everything? Why is it that my kids always think they can do something alone when problems could be avoided if they would simply ask for help? And just how does a parent handle the fact that children in the home + bedtime = interrupted sleep more often than not?
As I watched my daughter pull a toy far too heavy for her to handle off the shelf, it quickly collided with her newly poured beverage before I could reach it. “Why don’t you just ask for help?” I yelled! As I cleaned the drink off the carpet, my thoughts swirled with the frustration of my whiney children. Then I began to wonder what God thinks about my whining ALL THE TIME. I know there is the lengthy account of the Israelites and how their whining in the desert affected them. God has to have some feelings on whiney children, doesn’t He?

Is there some kind of correlation between my children constantly beckoning my presence in the middle of the night and my need for my Heavenly Father? What does God think about the fact that when I wake up in the middle of the night, I need His presence to calm me back to sleep? Could it be that in raising my little ones, God wants me to see a bigger picture of my own relationship with Him?

Instead of getting frustrated with my children for their constant pull on me, why don’t I follow their example and ask for help? Frustration may be the result of my selfish living colliding with my children’s every request but that is not the case with God. He doesn’t need anything. He waits patiently for us to take a step in His direction and then quickly shortens the distance between us. He is the very definition of love.

In my efforts to become a fully devoted Christ follower, shouldn’t the example of God’s parenting begin to exude somewhere in mine? Ideally, my children’s whine should prompt me to turn to my Heavenly Father. As I long for sleep in the night but my child’s cry beckons me to their bedside, God welcomes my cries to Him. And when I think I can do it alone, let me remember all the moments I inform my children of how much better the results would be if they simply ask for help and then take that initial step towards God.

The Bible tells us that the fruit of His Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:21-23) This is what it looks like to be a fully devoted Christ-follower. And yes, that means in every area of my life, including my parenting and my marriage. It’s time to quit being selfish, time to quit making excuses for why I need to be comfortable and push past the distractions that keep me from pursuing God. For the moments where I don’t find myself liking my children very much, let me thank God that my performance does not determine His opinion of me and ask Him for help in exhibiting the fruits of His Spirit.

As I was getting ready to post this, my daughter came over to me and said, “Mom, I need your help.”How’s that for God driving home His point with me? I need to be reminded numerous times throughout each day that I need to ask God for help. I’m going to choose to let my children’s whiney attitudes be one of those reminders. How about you?

"If you don't go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don't deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you'll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you'll find both yourself and me." - Matthew 10:38-39 (MSG)