Sunday, April 17, 2011

My Proud Momma Moment

You know those days when you say the SAME thing over and over again?  Pick up your shoes, go to the bathroom, wash your hands, set the table, etc.  I often wonder if my kids listen at all!  I was reminded today that sometimes it's not what we say, but what we DO!  

I understand the importance of having your children help around the house.  I know they should have certain chores to do.  But that is so hard sometimes to keep up with that!  I've heard lots of moms say "no ever puts anything back where it is supposed to go!" or "my kids (or husband) are the reason my house is a disaster!"  Now, I have those times where I've said or thought those things too.  But I've always thought that, to an extent, I should lead by example.  If I want things put up, I should do them.  Of course, I need them to help too.  But if I'm not willing to do the work, why should they?

I walked into my sons room yesterday and he was in his closet.  It's a funny little walk-in closet where he can stand in there with the door closed.  I asked him what he was doing.  He opened the door and said, "Look mom, I'm organizing my closet.  I've got short sleeve shirts here.  Sleevables (what he calls sleeveless) over hear, and school shirts over here.  And then I put all my extra hangers down here on this rod." 

Oh what a proud momma moment!  Now, for those of you who know me well, you can understand how big a deal this was, since I LOVE to organize.  I literally started crying!  All the times I had reorganized his clothes and showed him where things should go had rubbed off!  I hadn't asked him to do this.  He just decided he wanted to do it himself.  Such ownership in a 7 year old.  Is it how I would have done it?  No.  Was it better than I would have expected?  Yes.  

Thank you God for showing me that my hard work DOES pay off!

Proverbs 22:6 (New King James Version)

6 Train up a child in the way he should go,
      And when he is old he will not depart from it.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Prayers Between Breaths

I find myself lately praying at 'strange' times and places.  I tend to pray in front of my washer and dryer while I am folding clothes.  The sounds of the machines drown out the sounds of the house and make it easy to concentrate.  I went running today and found myself praying.  I like to run on the sidewalk on a pretty busy road.    The cars act like white noise.  Of course, today I was huffing and puffing so much that I couldn't hear the cars!  :)  I know people that get up before the sun to spend time with God.  I commend them and I know their lives are blessed for it.  God has not yet called me to do that.  I think he knows that I need my sleep!

As I was attempting to run, I was praying for a group of women in my life.  They are in a Bible study with me.  As we begin the study  Jonah: Navigating a Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer, I have become aware that we each carry pain with us.  Pain of ignoring God.  Pain of living life.  Pain of past mistakes.  Pain of current situations.  Whether they run their mouths like me and air their dirty laundry or carry their pain silently, it's there.  I was thinking about how what each of us wants is for this pain to be healed.  I realized that when we draw closer to God, THAT is when the healing begins.  It can't begin in isolation.  God may call you to reveal something to a friend so that they can pray with you during the healing.  God may call you to only rely on Him for that healing.  Either way, it can't happen in isolation.  We have to step towards God in order to be healed of that pain.  It is there that He holds us in His hands.

I listen to praise music when I run (it's the ONLY way I can get through the torture!)  As I'm praying for each of these women to be healed of their messes (that we all have!) I was listening to Your Hands by JJ Heller.  It's such a comforting song of knowing that we DO rest in his hands:

I have unanswered prayers
I have trouble I wish wasn't there
And I have asked a thousand ways
That You would take my pain away

I am trying to understand
How to walk this weary land
Make straight the paths that crookedly lie
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine

When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands

When You walked upon the Earth
You healed the broken, lost, and hurt
I know You hate to see me cry
One day You will set all things right

Your hands that shape the world 
Are holding me, they hold me still

I pray that you feel that God has you right in the palm of His hands!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Being a 'Messy Mommy'

About a month ago, I had some major computer problems.  My husband and I are 'computer people' so when we can't fix it, then there is something BIG going on.  One afternoon I found myself on the phone with tech support in India.  I know you've been there.  It can be frustrating but I was getting some answers so I wanted to stick with it.  The thing is, I was home alone with the kids.  As I sat in the family room on the phone and the laptop, the two were playing very nicely together in the kitchen, for two hours!  Now, I should have suspected something when both children came in and asked for me to help tie their aprons on them.  My son got one of my vintage aprons and then improvised with a dish towel for his sister.  I really just thought that they were playing with the 'play kitchen'.  Although the pictures don't do it justice, here is what I found:

Yep, that's paint.  Finger paint, watercolor paint, tempera paint.  Green paint, red paint, purple paint.  On arms, on legs, on the floor, and yes, some on paper.  (Don't you know my daughter will kill me one day for that picture!)  Now I could have 'gone ballistic' over this mess!  But really, how could I get mad?  They used our craft supplies, not real paint, so it was all washable.  They DID put on aprons.  They WERE being quiet while I was on the phone.  They were playing WITHOUT fighting.  They were HELPING each other.  Aren't these all things that we want to instill in our children?  Don't we read books about how to do this?  Don't we PAY for art classes?  Don't we pray that God gives them a creative, playful, spirit?  So how could I get mad?

Now it did take me a good hour to get the children, table, and floor cleaned up.  (Baths were EARLY that day!)  I was frustrated at the fact that two hours on the phone cost me an additional hour of clean up.  Don't think I just joyfully jumped at the task.  But I did choose to just go with it.  I was a Messy Mommy that day.  And I do hope that when my children are older, they will remember that I let them get messy sometimes.  That maybe, just sometimes, I was a fun mom!  Life is often messy.  The perfectly clean house will be in another season.  Let me know how you want to 'get messy' with your kids this week!
(P.S. Thanks for the 'kick in the pants' this am to get back on here and write.  You know who you are!!)