Friday, November 21, 2014

It's Time To Refresh

Motherhood is tough.
Very tough.

It will stretch you to limits you didn't know existed and show
you the ugliness that's hidden inside that you
didn't think you were capable of hiding.

Yes, this week has been tough. 

I'm not going to tell you that I yelled at my kids more times than I care to admit. I'm not going to tell you that I put on a movie for them so that I could have a moment of peace while I cleaned the bathroom. I'm not going to tell you that my girls had pretzels and apples for lunch. And I'm certainly not going to tell you that I actually just baked a chocolate cake because I was stressed.

No, I wouldn't tell you all that because I want you to think that I have this "motherhood" thing down pat, that my children are perfectly behaved and that I NEVER lose it.

But that's the problem.

We know inside that every mom goes through these seasons but far too often we want to put on this face that isn't really real. We don't want others to see the ugliness that's hidden inside and that we are sinners when really what we need is a friend to call that can encourage us and pray with us...

To refresh us.

It's not easy being transparent with someone but sometimes we just can't handle another day full of tears and whining. Another 6am waking just to find messes and markers. Another day trying to figure out how to discipline a child that's different from the other and doesn't seem to get it. Another day of figuring out how to nourish a 2 year olds soul and feeling like a failure. That's whats most important, right? But how to do it
and being faithful is a whole different ball park.

I was at the store recently and in the next isle over I could hear a newborn crying - really crying. As I walked past that isle I saw a young mom holding her new baby, bouncing it trying to get it quiet and shamefully looking around like she was embarrassed. My heart went out to her and I should have don't what my conscience told me to do - I should have gone up to her, told her she was doing a great job, that her crying baby wasn't bothering anyone and that this season would be passed before she knew it. I know that in those "mom moments" in my life,
that would have meant the world to me.

So often we wonder how to do this "parenting thing" and "am I doing this right?" We question ourselves and feel like failures judging ourselves based on our children. We can all say that we have those morning where we don't want to get out of bed.... just a few more hours to sleep and to be alone. But instead of feeling overwhelmed we need to run to Jesus. I need Jesus so much. Daily I need to examine my heart's attitude. I am the one who is being an example to my children all day long - do they see mommy as stressed, angry and complaining or full of joy, praise and pleasant? What they see, they will follow. We have something in our home that when the stress level rises and the girls are full of tears, we ask, "Can I see your happy face?" (to which they smile) When my 3 year old asks me that, I know that my attitude is not showing forth joy and that of Christ. One thing that definitely helps is taking the responsibility to nourish and refresh my soul daily so that I
can more faithfully do the same for my children.

It's a no wonder we can get so stressed when day in and out we have to constantly give of ourselves. But we can't forget to fill ourselves back up.... or else how can we give without losing it? So why don't you refresh your soul today.
Run to Jesus and find in Him your help and comfort. Find that grace to help you make it through another day. And while you are at it, encourage another mom out there who you think may be feeling overwhelmed with the season and ages she is training.
That's all for now.... I'm going to get off and enjoy my chocolate cake and soak up the last few moments of
this nap time to refresh my soul.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Fall Is Here

There is a beauty in Fall like no other season....

Warm days and cool nights, that earthy smell that only
Autumn brings, crunchy leaves under your feet,
colors galore from the trees around....

Hoodies and hot cocoa, warm soup
and homemade bread....

 Though summer has ended, look around,
for the beauty abounds!!

Let's thank the Lord for the life and breath we have for TODAY!

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Last Of Summer

Our summer has been busy and full but wonderful. With
all of our company, we call it our house-guest summer.
Some recent happenings:

My sister and her little family lived with us for
3 months until they found a house...

Helping clean and set up her new kitchen.

 And painting too. :)

 Then once my sister moved out, James' sister and her
family stayed with us for a little bit.

We enjoyed a day at the lake full of sunshine,
playing in the sand and water, eating and chatting.


Uncle James caught a fish!!

And we also enjoyed some Glow Golf - so much fun!!

 Bowling with some Florida friends....

 Can you read our human letters?! ;)

We've also found time to work on some house
projects here - like staining my end tables....

doing some painting...

and clearing a bit of land in the back.

 A favorite is Grammy's book club!

 And days at the park.

And we are always being creative (like finding out
that our head and face fits in underwear lol)

That sums up a little bit of what's going on down here.
I hope you've had a wonderful summer as well!! :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

DIY Chalkboard

I have been wanting a chalkboard for my kitchen for some time now but am too cheap and didn't want to spent $30 in the store. I saw on Pinterest that you can do it very easily and cheaply so I thought I would give it a try! It WAS easy AND cheap - 50 cents for the frame from a thrift store and about $3.50 for the chalk board spray paint!

Here's the ugly "before".

I thought about doing something fun, like a bright color, but decided on the dark chocolatey brown that matches my pantry door. My laundry room will be the fun room with lots of pop (before and after pictures of that to come). So first thing was to take the glass out and clean both it and the wood frame. Then I painted it.

 I did about 3 coats of this wonderful stuff - just make sure you do it outside or in the garage!!

Then I colored it with chalk because I read that if you do this before actually writing on it, the chalk will wipe off better.

And the finished product! 

Such an easy and fun DIY project that can
be finished in just a few hours!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Purposeful Nurturing

Since "motherhood" is my all consuming life right now,
I love reading blog posts from other people and
their encouragement, experiences and gleanings.

I came across this recently and thought it was
worth sharing with all of my mommy-friends:

Purposeful nurturing is so important and definitely an area that I am working on because I can get caught up in the daily tasks of life just trying to keep the laundry down, the house clean and healthy meals on the table - not to mention the extra things of gardening, canning, spiritual feedings, etc. But I have noticed in my own experiences that taking those extra moments to cuddle, kiss boo-boos and rub backs, that the emotional level stays more at an even keel than mountains and valleys and bursts of tears (yes, little girls have LOTS of emotions too!). This is truly part of that word "motherhood" and an aspect that we as mommy's needs to embrace and become experts in.

So hop on over to her blog and be encouraged -
I'm sure you will enjoy her other posts as well. :)

Tirzah is my cuddly one and loves those mommy moments

Thursday, August 14, 2014


Motherhood is one of those words that you don't
fully understand.... until you have
entered into that realm of life.

I looked up the word mother in the dictionary and all it said was, "The state of being a mother" Is that all?! I'm not sure what I was expecting to find but I was hoping for a bit more. Motherly said this: "Motherly authority; tender; parental; as motherly love or care." That was a bit better. One can not fully or simply describe what a mother is. It is so much. It engulfs so many words and characters. 

There are experiences that no one else in this world can experience, except for a mom. It's this fierce power of a love. There are times that you can actually FEEL your love growing and it's so amazing! They say that it is a man's ears and nose that doesn't stop growing but I'm convinced it's a mothers heart.

 If I've learned and am still learning one thing, it is the sacrificial love of a mother. Day in and out it is a giving, even when you don't feel like it. Even when you are tired and crabby or just "done!!" you have to continue to sacrifice your time and love for the little ones that God has placed in your care. There are many difficult and tiring moments but the joys and delights of motherhood far outweigh the negative.

It really is quite humbling as you come to realize how selfish of a creature you are when you become mommy. But in that realization, I am reminded of my Heavenly Father's most selfless love, that none can even compare to. His pure example is my highest goal... even when the girls wake up on the wrong side of the bed and the day is filled with tears, when they get into everything they shouldn't, color permanent marker on their face, draw on my bedroom door, spill grapes under my fridge, put sticky fingers on clean windows, have accidents in their undies, and on and on what a day can bring...

 They are my delight.
My joy.
My gifts.

I need not look any further and I can SEE
and know what my highest calling is.

My name is mommy. And I love it.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Another picture update

Just some more random pictures from the past few months. :)

Because we don't know many people here in MO, it has been
really nice having two of my sisters nearby!

Mornings at the nearby park are a favorite...

James and I celebrated 4 years in July - it's been a
wonderful 4 years to say the least and I am so incredibly
thankful for the man God gave me!!

 I am loving the ages of my girls.... they bring me so
much joy that I never could have imagined what 
I was missing before I was a mother!

 Verity loves helping in the kitchen!

 Helping clean up the yard....

 You know those moments when the house is quiet for far too long and all of a sudden you get a panic attack, wondering what your kids are getting into?! I was so please one day when I found her doing this!

 Keeping little hands busy with some window washing

 Watching/helping daddy lay the foam before the carpet goes in!
Have I said that my girls like to help?!

Ice cream is the perfect treat on a hot summers day!

 Stay at home date night with the hubby....
s'mores and a movie = happiness.

 Enjoying the water in the heat of MO at the lake.....

....or in the welcomed rain!

 We have had many memorable and enjoyable days this summer.
Some of those days include 4square....

 ....or visitors from next door.

 We have also had quite a few not-so-enjoyable experiences 
including mammoth spiders, an unwelcome guest snake and too many ticks.

But amidst the joy of this journey and the pain of adjusting, I am so very thankful for the three people in this picture and my Savior which is with me every step of the way.