Mommy Hold Me

 

You’re just trying to get a few things done around the house and of course this is the moment that your child has decided to make you his favorite person.

He’s following you around, wanting to be with you, asking for a snack and clinging to you like a third appendage. You try to give him something new to play with; something that you’ve been keeping hidden for such a time as this. You get him happily settled before returning to the kitchen.

Just as you roll up your sleeves you hear a little voice below you and feel a tug on your leg. “Mommy, hold me.”

You didn’t even know he could move that fast, but there he is, looking up at you with those adoring eyes. He’s managed to lose interest in a $15 birthday present in exchange for time with his favorite person. How are you ever going to get anything done?

We’ve all be there.

Then one day it hit me. Why was I spending so much time and energy trying to keep him occupied when he could be “helping” me with some of my projects and having fun at the same time.

Needing to do dishes? Not a problem. I filled my sink with soapy water, scraped the dry bubbles off the top, gave them to my son in a bowl with a spoon and bam…instant entertainment. He spent tons of time sitting on my counter, stirring bubbles around and “making applesauce.” It was great sensory play for him and I was getting my dishes done! Win, win.

Needing to make a salad? No big deal. I found that at 18 months my son could tear lettuce leaves up and throw them into a bowl. He also liked putting the croutons on at the end (and of course he sampled a few just to make sure they were good.) He could do the same thing with cabbage when I made stir-fry, etc.

Chopping vegetables? Let him collect them and put them in the pot for me. Picking up individual pieces kept him occupied for a looong time.

Needing to do laundry? My son loved collecting dirty things and throwing them into the baskets. And when it came time to switch the laundry over I’d put the wet laundry on the open dryer door and he’d have fun pushing it into the machine all by himself.

Needing to write a thank-you card or a letter of encouragement to someone? I gave my son a coloring book, markers and crayons and while he happily colored I flopped onto my belly next to him and wrote my card using the same markers. In his mind we were doing one of his favorite things together. In my
mind, I was seeing a big fat check mark on my to do list. (Even bigger bonus points if I could include his colored picture into that note of encouragement for someone.)

Needing to get my floor cleaned? Why not put a wet cloth on that Swiffer he was already pushing around and let him clean while he played? I could even take out the middle piece of the handle and make it perfect for his size.

See what I mean? A whole new world opened up for me when I realized that my son could take part in my own every day tasks. And the best part was that it also enabled us to spend time together; learning, creating and laughing.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not super mom. Some days I have no creative ideas about how to involve him in what I’m doing and that’s when the high chair, a snack and “Curious George” on a screen become my best friends. And sometimes…that’s ok too.

~ Chrystal

What I’m Learning as as Mom

 

It all happened July 18, 2017, when that 8 pound 5 ounce human being made her grand entrance into this world.

Suddenly, I was Mom to a living, breathing human being who was entirely dependent on me for her every need.

“Wait a minute. I’m not sure I’m ready for this. Can I hit pause for a few weeks and return when I’ve done a bit more research on how to be a Mom?”

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

Ready or not, I was a Mom. Trial and error would become the new routine.
The poop splatters all over me and the bed quickly taught me that diapers must always be changed with a changing pad, even if it seems safe to do so otherwise.

I discovered that, in my case, the weeks of adjustment after birth were much more difficult than the labor and delivery.

I realized that this was not an 8-to-5 day shift job, but rather a job that included the 8-to-5 shift, the swing shift, and the night shift. And I had intentionally signed up for all three shifts.

And it is these sometimes humorous, day to day situations that are teaching me that being a mom includes more than simply keeping a child clean, fed, and happy: It involves my heart.

I think it is safe to say that in many ways, parenting is more about the parent’s sanctification than the child’s physical well-being.

What do I mean?

Well, it is the simple, mundane, and routine activities that most often expose the attitudes of my heart. I’m talking about those moments when the fork gets tossed over the edge of the table for the fourth time in a row or when the food on my plate gets cold before I have a chance to even take one bite of it because I’ve been busy feeding a hungry toddler.

Insignificant and ordinary events, but my reactions are oh, so often, a telling indication of what is in my heart.

More than any other lesson in parenting, God has shown me repeatedly that my actions and attitudes during such mundane situations are merely an overflow of what is in my heart.

With each frustrating parenting moment, I have a choice: am I going to allow my members–my mouth, my hands, my heart–to become provoked to exasperation and to sin? Or am I going to use this as an opportunity to glorify God, even in the most mundane and routine of activities?

But don’t get me wrong: parenting hasn’t just been about the frustrations.

There are plenty of smiles and hugs and kisses to go around. There are plenty of moments where I feel my heart could just burst from the love I feel for Talitha, the little cutie pie who has brought so much joy into our lives.

And for this reason, I am thankful that God gives strength for both the joys and the frustrations in each new day. Lord willing, Talitha will grow up to learn to love and obey God and in turn, her parents will grow to be more Christ-like.

~ Angie

Enjoying My Children Today

 

 

Have you ever heard the song “Cat’s in the Cradle”?

I grew up listening to the good ol’ blue grass singers like Ricky Skaggs and this song occasionally pops into my head, southern twang and all.

It’s actually a very sad song about a father and son. The father was too busy to spend time with his little boy and before he knew it his little boy had grown up into a man. Now the son is too busy with his own job and family to find time for his dad. You can almost hear the heart break of the father and the regret.

Dad’s often do work outside the home and they work HARD to provide the best for their family. It is tough for them to carve out time to interact with their children. One would think though, that as a stay-at-home mom it would be easy and natural to spend time one on one with my kids.

Sadly, that is not always true.

I often find myself guilty of being WITH my kids but not really spending time interacting with them on their level.

Little ones NEED so many things that are physical that it is easy to forget that they have emotional and spiritual needs just as I do.

Often I feel like I am doing OK if my girls are fed, clean, rested. They needs so much more though! They need love, care, acceptance, affirmation, friendship, a listening ear, and more!

Cultivating a relationship with children takes time, initiative and commitment.

Over this past summer I have been convicted of just trying to keep my girls entertained so that I can do what I want to do or feel like I “NEED” to do and missing precious opportunities to invest in their lives.

I have found myself bemoaning in my heart that I am “missing out” on something because my kids need a nap or that they take so much attention that I won’t be able to enjoy myself.

My selfishness glared me in the face and I saw how it is and will affect my children and the relationship I will have with them.

I am SO very grateful that God helped me realize this while my kiddos are still young!

I must take advantage of this precious time that I have my children’s undivided attention and love. Take advantage of the, oh so many, chances I have to get down at their eye level and interact with them there. Take the time to STOP and listen to what they are saying to me.

Their little conversation may seem so pointless and unimportant but, to them, it is important stuff! If I relay to them that what they are saying is not important, they won’t come to me with the truly important things later in life.

God is expanding thankfulness in my heart for girls!

God is giving me JOY in getting down to a one and three year old level to see what my little girls see!

God is always teaching us and molding us and these are the lessons He has been teaching me these past months.

These little ones are the beautiful GIFTS God has lavished on me!

These little girls are the MINISTRY God has entrusted to me!

These children of mine are the people that one day I will wish and long for more time spent with them, the ones I will want to hang out with the most!

Start NOW, momma!

It will be with it!

It IS worth it!

 

~ Rachel

One Thing Is Needful

I had a 7-week old baby to care for and both of my toddlers were sick.
Fevers. Lack of appetite. Uncontrollable crying. It was not fun.

Thankfully, I had people praying for me and God was sustaining. For some reason all I could think of was the verse in Luke 10 that says “But one thing is needful.”

In context, we find that Martha is stressed out about all the things there are to do while her sister is found at Jesus’ feet, listening to His word.

Jesus is heard saying “ Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:   But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

Does that resonate with how some of your days go? Careful and troubled about many things?

Yes. I can relate.

However, one of the biggest lessons God has been teaching me lately is that I need Him.

Only Him.

On those days when my kids are sick, the to-do list stretches higher than I can see, bills are waiting to be paid, meals need prepped, kids can’t seem to stop fighting, and people are constantly needing me, the single most important thing I can do for myself and for them is to spend time with Jesus.

Have you heard of the song “Give Me Jesus” ? Lately it’s been stuck in my head like a hamster on a running wheel. I can’t get it out and it just keeps repeating itself over and over.

“In the morning, when I rise, give me Jesus. You can have all this world,
just give me Jesus.”

I want this to be my hearts cry.

Sadly, my life is not often characterized by this. More often than not I would rather have this world. I would rather spend time on Facebook or binge watch on Netflix. These things provide me immediate satisfaction and require no work on my part.

And yet, whenever I do choose to prioritize time with God before pleasure or other things on my to-do list, etc., I find my soul is finally at rest.

“But one thing is needful.”

I don’t believe this means I let my house go to ruin, leave the dishes forever undone, or neglect my life responsibilities. However, more often than not I allow these daily things to completely push out any time for God.

So, on some days when life seems crazy and I don’t even know where to start, my only goals may need to be 1. Keep kids alive and 2. Spend time with Jesus.

“But one thing is needful.”

God, help me to remember this.

~ Chrystal