The “non-pinterest” birthday celebration

 

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I’m just going to do a quick recap of Levi’s 4th birthday. Read here if you missed the post about our firstborn, Levi!

We talked before hand about what he wanted and let him plan out the day! He woke up to 4 super hero’s looking at his morning spot on the couch. Thankfully he slept, because the day before he wasn’t sure if he would be able to since “he was so excited it was going to be his birthday!”  😉

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A few days before his birthday I was at the store with all the kids and that was my chance to grab a few things for his big day. I brought a re-usable shopping bag so I could hide things in the bag when he wasn’t looking. I got a pack of super hero masks, balloons, streamers, and super hero plates. I’m not really into the “character” thing, but it was fast, easy and I knew HE would love it, and thats what matters, right?!

After the rest of the crew woke up we had eggs and fruit….

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…before we headed off to the donut shop for a special treat. He wanted to eat in the car though so “he didn’t have to unbuckle, buckle, unbuckle…”. So we had a donut and milk picnic in the car.

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We then headed off to the store for him to pick out his birthday present. As most kids, he loves the times he is able to pick something out when we go to the store (usually for $1), so we knew he would love being able to pick out a bigger toy! And…he loved it. He was so excited and had a sweet attitude about it 🙂 I don’t want our kids to have a “give me” attitude and expect all these big great things for their birthdays and holidays, but it sure is fun to see their face light up when they get a new toy! There’s a balance in everything.
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This was his choice. I think it was a good one. IMG_2742IMG_2739

Then we came home and swam with some neighborhood friends. He didn’t want a lot of people over, but it was fun to have a few friends over to swim with us! IMG_2758

After swimming we had a picnic lunch in the shade of the tree. IMG_2763

The kids were worn out from playing with friends in the sun so they got a treat and watched part of a movie before nap time!

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After naps we went to Nonna & Vovo’s house (my parents) for a BBQ, per his request. His dinner choice was steak 🙂 We swam, had dinner, and enjoyed an ice cream cookie cake! I guess I was enjoying the evening too much to take more pictures!

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There was nothing fancy about this day. In fact, as his birthday approached I felt a little guilty that I wasn’t having a big party, inspired by all these pinterest ideas. I was worried the day wouldn’t be special. Instead of a pinterest perfect party I bought some cheap decorations last minute and put them up at 10pm the night before. I got a few snacks that he likes and I didn’t even have a gift prepared for him (but that was on purpose)! To my surprise, it was the best birthday we’ve had for one of our kids!!! I loved that I was able to be present with him and enjoy HIM. We had a great time as a family, he felt special, and I wasn’t stressed. It was a win-win and a very special day with our big 4 year old.

Disclaimer: I am not against big parties! I have a few friends that always throw an amazing “Pinterest Party” and I’m always in awe of how great it looks. I will probably have a <smaller> party at the end of next month for our youngest who is turning 1! What we did for Levi was perfect for what he wanted and how busy we are right now. Special doesn’t have to be big 🙂

What do you like to do for birthdays?! Would love to hear your ideas!

 

My Summer 5

 

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I’ve been reading about people setting “Summer Goals” and it seemed a little overwhelming to do that. Well honestly, I’m afraid I’ll end up feeling like a failure at the end if I don’t accomplish them! So I decided to just write out 5 things…that doesn’t seem too daunting! Its nothing crazy, but I think its good to set goals for ourselves, because time goes by so quickly. Setting goals can help us consciously make the time to do things that are important to us or things that will help better ourselves. I’ve written out goals before in how I want to be as a mother, or how to encourage my family & friends, etc., but its been a while so I think its time to set some new ones in all areas of my life!

Here are my “Summer 5”:

  1. Read Having a Martha Home the Mary Way (Which also involves a cleaning schedule to help simplifying and declutter your home)
  2. Take a family trip to the beach
  3. Invite a family over once a week for a BBQ and swimming (read about hospitality!)
  4. Overnight trip with my hubby
  5. Lots of Berry picking with the kiddos!

I’m thinking next summer I’ll have the kids give their input 🙂 At the end of August I’ll let you know how these goals went. Do you set goals for yourself? I’d love to hear your thoughts about it! Also, any ideas or suggestions on summer goals?!

P.S. We WILL be swimming every day, if not twice a day. Thats a given 😉

Hallway

hallway close up

I just want to share with you what I have recently done in an area of our hallway. I created a gallery wall around the AC control panel and carbon monoxide alarm, hoping it would help them blend in a little, and allowing a place for me to hang a few more pictures of faces that are important to me 🙂 I wanted to brighten the area a little, as there isn’t much natural light here, and give it a fresh clean look.

As I was working on decorating a few things in the kitchen one day these items were laying out and it gave me the idea for the look I wanted.

hallway inspiration

I didn’t end up using the framed quote, as it was too big for the area, but I liked look of the black and white.

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hallway close up      The aztec black and white picture is actually a small piece of fabric from Hobby Lobby. I bought 1/2 a yard with another project in mind but I stole a little piece for the gallery wall. The fabric was on sale so this little square probably cost less than 25 cents! I know I am not the inventor of framing fabric, but just want to remind you its a cheap way to add color and patterns! The black and white “G” was a free printable from Pinterest. Click here for the link. I have a few printables in my home and love them!  

I decided to hang this $3 wall bucket from target as a way to add greenery to the area, with keeping the surface free of clutter. And honestly, I don’t want to have to move anything off the top of the dresser to dust! The way the light shines in the hallway its easy to see dust on the surface and I want to be able to quickly wipe it off. When my kids are older I will probably have pretty things displayed on top of dressers and tables, but for now, simple it will be!

hallway cabinet
I also want to mention the piece of furniture in our hallway. Because we don’t have a big entry way or coat closet near the front door (click here to read about our entry way), I decided I needed a piece that had plenty of storage underneath for diaper bags, purses, backpacks, etc. I found this piece in a local antique shop and it was just what I had in mind. The door is fairly hard to open so it keeps little hands from being able to open it and drag things out 😉  This has been a great place to throw our things in. I will add, sometimes things are thrown next to it instead of inside (because real life), but at least there IS a place for them when the house needs to be clean!

I hope this gave you some ideas, whether it be ways to decorate, or ways to make a space fit for you and your family!

 

Our firstborn

Weeno Photography 2016 (15 of 50)

This sweet boy joined our world 4 years ago, June 2, 2012. What a blessing he has been. There’s something about your firstborn, the one that makes you a mom. I can’t help but smile as I think of the memories we have trying to figure out how to be parents for the first time. The joy, the unknown, the stress, the unexplainable love…all the emotions. And this little guy, he’s a keeper. He’s all boy but has such a sweet spirit. He is thoughtful and considerate. Yes, he throws fits and is too rough on his sister a lot of times, but that is all expected.He loves his siblings and I would have to say they are the best of friends (even if he doesnt know it) 🙂

If I am sad, he picks me flowers. He watches out for his little brother and tells me if he’s getting into something he shouldn’t be. He is mindful to pick up small pieces off the ground so baby Will doesn’t choke. One of my favorite things about him is he is a lot like his daddy… and his daddy is a great man. I am so thankful he has such a strong man to follow and learn from. Levi is daddy’s little shadow, always helping him with projects and interested in learning how to fix things.

As he has anxiously been anticipating his birthday for a few months now, he always reminds me “when I’m 4, I’ll still love you mom!”…because I have told him I am so happy he is getting older, but part of me is sad my baby is growing up. Ok, and maybe I milk it a little because I love when he tells me he will still love me!

Levi’s birth story

On June 1, 2012 my mom, house cleaner, and I cleaned every inch of our little 850 sq foot house, preparing for Levi who was due June 10th.  We went to bed that night and at 3 am I woke up Charlie telling him my water broke. This eager and excited first time dad pulled out his birthing class notes and went through “TACO”… Time, Amount, Color, and Oder. What a great dad already:) We had our hospital bag mostly packed, with a list on top of last minute items to grab.

Charlie was in charge of the items while I did my hair.

Well, I went to bed with it wet, so I had to make it look half way decent! Besides, the hospital was literally 0.3 miles down the road. So, 45 minutes later we were on our short little way to the hospital and family was informed. I was just feeling a little crampy as they were checking me, and we had second thoughts if we should be there. I wanted to deliver naturally and didn’t want to be laboring at the hospital for 24 hours. As we were about to sign AMA papers (leaving Against Medical Advice), the contractions started coming hard and strong. We looked at each other and decided to stay. At 8 am I was 3cm & 10:20am I was 7cm.

My partner in life
My partner in life

Somewhere between that time my sister, who was my assistant labor coach, arrived from 4 hours south to help Charlie and I through the process. So thankful she was there because she had done this naturally before, is a nurse, and is my best friend. My husband and sister make a great team 😉

A labor of love
A labor of love

So at 10:20 things got intense….transition was upon me. By 10:40 though I was 9cm and 20 mins after that it was time to push! I was so ready for him to come. I couldn’t wait to see my son, OUR baby. I also couldn’t wait for the pain to stop. As the doctor came in when it was time to push I asked my sister, “is it going to hurt?!” (I know, silly question). She said, “Yes, it will burn like crazy”. Honesty. After 45 minutes of pushing, we were parents, holding our baby… trying to study his little face between the tears streaming down our faces.

He was precious, all 8lbs 10ounces & 21 inches of him.

And there began our journey of parenthood.

Levi a day old with mom

LEvi a fathers love

 

levi first family photo

 

Showing Hospitality

      Hosting lemon 2

      My parents were (and still are!) great examples in the area of opening their home. We constantly had people in our home, whether it was for Bible Studies, dinner, a hang out for our friends, etc. My mom loves serving and giving…and is very good at it. There are always multiple candles throughout the house, a yummy beverage served upon arrival, everything is nice and tidy, music in the back ground, a feast on the table, and the list goes on! She is pretty much a Christian Martha Stewart. This has made it feel “natural” to me to open our home, and I enjoy it.

      However, I have had to make some adjustment with hosting and having little ones, because prior to these adjustments, crazy mom would come out when I had people over. I finally realized I couldn’t be like my mom during this phase of my life. I would get irritated at my kids. My first priority, my family, got pushed aside as I was busy trying to tidy the house, light the candles, brew the coffee, turn on the music, set out some treats (ideally I would make something fresh but, that’s just ideal), all while trying to get the kids to finish breakfast, get some clothes on, nurse the baby, keep the toilet clean in the kids/guest bathroom… You get the picture. I was a stress case, and then would open the door and greet my friends with a big smile (sometimes fake). That’s not really a good example of showing hospitality to my kids. They probably dreaded when people came over! 
   
      It took me a while to realize that I needed to take a deep breath and just…let it go. I know, sounds simple, but sometimes it just takes that little revelation to realize a big change needs to happenSo maybe not every toy is put away, or the coffee hasn’t finished brewing, or my kids are only half dressed with breakfast dishes still in the sink. Does it matter? (I will say, I still light a candle to hide any dirty diaper smells 😉 )  And do you know why I think it was hard for me to make these changes? Because I had good intentions. I didn’t want a clean house and yummy treats just so people thought, “Wow, she has a clean house and yummy treats!” Part of the struggle is that I want to spoil those mama’s. I want them to walk in to a nice relaxing house, hand them a hot cup of coffee and let them enjoy a fresh homemade muffin while the kids play (ideally). I know from experience they probably didn’t get to finish their coffee and they *maybe* scarfed down their breakfast as they were rushing out the door. So, even with good motives, I had to adjust. It’s kind of like how you can be too busy with all good things…but you’re still too busy and need to cut back. Maybe instead of a warm homemade muffin it may just have to be something store bought, and sorry friends, but you might have to help yourself to the coffee! 
     
      I realized I couldn’t be a good mom, have a beautiful home cooked meal, and a perfectly clean house. So I’ve had to let go of the things that aren’t as important… and things are going much better! This way I can still be a good host, and a good mom. As much as I enjoy doing all the extra things, and its not bad  to do those things, I just can’t do it all in the season of life. One day I will though. One day, when my kids have fled the nest, I want to spoil those young mommas with littles at home!  😉 
     
      I want to share a passage from Romans thats a good read, even if you aren’t the Bible reading type.
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is
good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be
lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient
in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always
be eager to practice hospitality. Romans 12:9-13 (NLT).
 Lets talk for a minute about the difference between hosting and hospitality in the dictionary. Hospitality is “the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.” To be a host is to be “a person who receives or entertains guests at home or elsewhere.” Doesn’t the definition of hospitality seem so much more warm and welcoming?! The “friendly and generous”  embrace of guests, visitors, or strangers. My interpretation is that God wants us to invite anyone and everyone (well, within safe reason) over to our homes, to bless them, love on them, and welcome them with a warm smile and hug!!! 
     
      God said to “always be eager to show hospitality”. He wants a willing heart and a genuine smile to our guests, visitors, or strangers. Isn’t it sad to think that sometimes we could be missing out on blessing others because we are too worried about how things look?! So, if opening your home doesn’t come naturally for you or is nerve wracking…take a deep breath. Showing hospitality is not about presenting a perfect home, its about your heart. And let me tell you, if you are warm and welcoming to your guest…they won’t care about the bookshelves you didn’t dust. They will see a sweet spirit that has blessed them, and therefore, blessed God. That is what is truly important.
      Although showing hospitality isn’t about how perfect things are, its nice to prepare a little before having guests. There’s a balance with everything! If you feel at a loss where to begin, I have created 5 simple steps in quickly making your house look presentable.
1) Set out a pitcher of iced water and maybe add a few lemon slices or strawberries to the water…thats it. A little added touch can go along ways in making someone feel extra welcomed. I mean, don’t you feel like lemon slices in your water would make you feel like that?! Oh, I love putting straws out too, feels extra fancy and takes one second.

2) Put all the dishes in the sink, you don’t even have to do them, but have them stacked in the sink.

3) Remove clutter from the counter, or at least put it in a corner in a nice little pile (ha!).

4) Fluff the pillows on the couch

5) Quickly wipe down the toilet with a cleaning wipe (I leave some in the cupboard next to our toilet because…toddlers) and remove items from the bathroom floor. If you have kids, I also recommend possibly lighting a candle or spraying something fragrant in the bathroom  😯

And when your guest knocks on the door, open it with a smile and be your sweet self! I’m sure you will bless them. Now lets put this hospitality thing into practice! Pick a time this month and have someone over, whether its for some lemon water or dinner, whatever you feel comfortable with!

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Did these tips help? Does hosting come easy for you, or is it a stretch for you? What holds you back from having others in your home? Have you been thinking about this lately? I’d love to hear from you!

Seasons of life

SeasonsEcclesiastes 3:1 “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”

Seasons of Life

I want to take a minute to address the different seasons of life we go through. I just got off the phone to my sister friend (sister in law who is my friend 🙂 ) and we were talking about how its sometimes hard to see other people go through good seasons of life. Not because you aren’t happy or excited for them, but because you are in a hard season and feel like you can barely do the basics…and then you feel like you aren’t good enough.

I am currently coming out of a season where I felt like I could barely keep the family alive. After our second child was born I was in the most difficult season I’ve ever been in. There were days my fussy baby and toddler (they are 15months apart) would both be crying and I would just stand there…a wave of emotions would flood over me… and I would just cry. I felt like I couldn’t handle it. I vividly remember doing this in the middle of my living room like it was yesterday. Between working nightshift as a nurse (I had to go back when my baby was 6 weeks), a super fussy baby, post baby hormones, a busy toddler, NO sleep…I just lost it. I would say it was mild post partum depression. Hormones are a crazy thing. My husband and I weren’t in sync together, we weren’t horrible, but we were in pure survival mode.  He would pull nightshift with the little ones, while I was at work, and then he’d drop them off at my parents in the morning and work his 8-5 job. It’s all actually a blur really. We don’t have many memories of our sweet Emi girl because of that.

When I became pregnant with our third, I was able to stop working. This took a huge stress off my shoulders. I was on the down low because of the pregnancy and had circulation issues that were painful, but the fact that I didn’t have to stress about not sleeping due to work, or pulling 12 hours shifts, was huge. And let me just shout out to my nurse friends who are mommy’s…you are rockstars. Its a demanding job, but even more so when you have little ones at home that also need so much from you! As the time came closer to deliver Will I was a little nervous. I didn’t want to have the same feelings I had after Emersyn. I didn’t want to feel like hiding in a closet for days and not taking care of anyone, or laying the fussy baby down and just walking away because she wouldn’t stop crying, or wanting to yell because the littles wouldn’t go down for a nap. I didn’t like those feelings. I decided I needed to be a proactive and increase my quiet time. I knew I would need God’s strength more than ever and wanted to be in a stronger place before number 3 was born. I prayed that I would feel joy when Will was born, and not feel like it was a burden to take care of my children.

I think because of life circumstances, where I was mentally, and God being gracious….I felt that joy. When Will was born my mommy heart was absolutely overflowing and the joy & love I felt for my kids was full. Don’t get me wrong, there are days that are hard, but nothing like in my dark season. I am so thankful that things were different.

Since Will was born I’ve started gardening and blogging. They have been such fun outlets and hobbies. Although I have 3 little ones at home, the oldest isn’t even in school yet, so our life is pretty simple. We don’t have to rush here and there, or even try to fit in homework. So, I realize I have a little more flexibility to fit these things in.  But I want those of you who are in hard seasons to know…you are doing amazing. If you feel like the daily grind is overwhelming and that you aren’t doing enough…you are. I am in a good season right now, and I am thankful. But I have been in that season where I thought I’d never feel freedom and that I was failing because I couldn’t even do the basics. If you are in a hard season, please don’t be afraid to ask for help! It takes a village friends! I called my friend sobbing once because I just couldn’t deal with things when I had my 2 kids. I was tired and too overwhelmed. She was here an hour and a half later with her 2 kids and sent me out the door. I think I drove down the street, sat in my car, listened to music and read a book. It takes a village. Did I say that? My mom is also always around and is super supportive, and I realize not everyone has that, so I feel blessed.

Please don’t think you always have to have things put together. You don’t. We are imperfect people in an imperfect world. If you are in a hard season and feel discouraged, know that you aren’t alone. God tells us in His Word that there will be trying seasons in our life… and those seasons refine us. So rely on Him and use your village.

You can also contact me if you need someone to talk to! xo

 

Motherhood letter, part 3- Taking care of YOU!

Weeno Photography 2016 (37 of 50)

Happy Mothers day! I hope you have a wonderful day celebrating your mothers, being a mother, or memories of someone!

Part 3

“This leads to something else I’ve become better at over the years of parenting. Making time for myself. I used to think this sounded selfish…when people said I need “ME” time. But now I realize it is crucial in being a good mom. I like to think of it more as “recharge” time though…to recharge spiritually and emotionally to keep persevering in our important role of being a mother! I used to feel guilty when doing this, it was hard for me to stop and sit when there was so much to do! But now I realize I’m always a better mom after.

In the book “Mission of Motherhood” I read, Sally Clarkson suggested doing something which I have found so helpful. She said to make a list of things that help keep your sanity- 15 minutes daily, an hour or two weekly, and a weekend refreshment at least once every 6 months (well, the weekend away is a good goal at least 😉 ). For my 15 minutes daily it’s (usually with coffee) gardening, looking at a magazine, reading an easy read book, working out, crafting, etc…. something refreshing and something I enjoy. At times when I only have a few minuets I have turned on some worship music and sat on the couch with my eyes close and feet up. It helps me relax, clear my head of the chaos, and gives me a little more energy to hang on to as I finish out the day! On the weekend when my hubby is home I try to to do a “fun errand”…like browse the stores for clearance clothes that I can store away for next season for my kids. This doesn’t always happen, and I know it can’t for some, but please, just carve out a few minutes here and there to take care of your sweet spirit. Motherhood is a lot of giving to our little loves, and I think we can do it with a happier heart if we make a little time……And remember, if you feel overwhelmed on this motherhood journey, all God needs is a faithful and willing heart and He will help with the rest!”

I hesitated sharing this because I don’t want it to sound selfish. I know as moms we tend to put our family before ourselves, and thats how it should be. But I also know, as I have done it many times, I reach burn out…and then I just collapse and can’t do anything. I’m learning ways to help prevent those burn outs coming as often…and I hope this little exercise I learned from Sally Clarkson helps you too! What things help you feel refreshed?!

 

Dresser wall makeover

Master dresser 2

Just want to show you a little decor makeover I did over the dresser in our master bedroom. It’s amazing how much a look can change with taking away and adding a few things! I wasn’t really planning on doing it but…it just happened one rainy day  🙂  We’ve had a mirror above the dresser for almost 3 years and I could never seem to get any decorations how I like them. It seemed crowded and cluttered.

Before
Before! There is an empty frame on the wall because I was trying to figure out what to put there, and just couldn’t make anything work!

I took the mirror off and gathered some things I had around the house to get an idea of what I wanted.

master dresser start

Black, white and gray are very calming and peaceful colors to me, so I decided to stick with those colors. Do you have colors that make you feel that way, or is it just me?! My husband thinks I’m silly but, I tell him its a girl thing!

I went to hobby lobby and found a few things I liked, one being this hexagon shelf.

Master shelf

I decided to stain the light wood on the shelf a dark color, to tie in the dark wood headboard we have. This is something I have done before…it’s an easy and quick way to tie things in! After a lot of standing, staring, and rearranging, I came up with the end result!

Master dresser 1

Master dresser 2

I’ve been realizing lately I don’t like surfaces to have a lot of things on them, even if they are pretty things. I do, however, appreciate when other people have them! My life is busy and chaotic with little ones so I am trying to simplify. There are enough sippy cups, toys, mail, and clothes laying around our smaller house that more things out… stresses me out. Plus, I don’t want to move a lot of things around to dust!!  😉

This space finally feels complete and I’m hoping that maybe this will help you finish decorating a space in your house! What do you think of this little makeover?!

Social Media- Good or Bad?

 

Social media. I have good and bad feelings when I write or think about those two words. Part of me enjoys the community and the ideas I learn from talented people, and the other part of me feels like it consumes too much of my time, taking me away from my kids, and can give me negative feelings about myself. I recently had a discussion with my girlfriends about this and some were sharing how they have had to ‘take a step back’ from it because they had feelings of jealousy, annoyance, like they have to prove themselves to others, or that they weren’t being present with their family. I have felt all these things and I admire them for realizing what they needed to do to guard themselves from these feelings.

Instagram and Pinterest are the areas I spend most of my “online time”, and I have to consciously use moderation. I love getting ideas from people who are so gifted in what they do! The creative part of my brain is there, but a lot smaller than some, so I get stumped…birthday party ideas, decorating ideas, dinner ideas, etc. While looking though, I have had to remind myself, “You are not a failure because your house isn’t perfect, You are not a failure because you’re not always put together, you’re not a failure because you’re not making gourmet meals”… and the list goes on. The problem is, people are posting the best of their best, the best of their talent. We see an accumulation of all these people posting their talents and we begin to feel like we should be able to have a sense of fashion, while keeping a perfectly clean & well decorated home, while cooking gourmet-organic-clean-food meals, while throwing elaborate birthday parties for our kids, while traveling to fun places, while having adorably dressed children, all while having a side business and writing a book (oh wait, I forgot documenting all these things with perfect pictures!)!! The bottom line is that we can’t do that. We can’t expect ourselves to be or do all those things.

This is what inspired me to start this blog. I feel called to try to share my “normal” life with you, hoping we can learn from each other.  I had to remind myself when starting this blog idea that it doesn’t have to be perfection, and that it shouldn’t be. I want this to be a place where I portray real life, with real feelings, and real messes… because to me, that is much more relatable.

So let’s remember, friends, to not negatively compare ourselves with all that is out there on social media. We can learn things from gifted individuals, but God has given YOU special areas in your life that make you just the way He wants you. Find what those are (don’t be too critical of yourself!) and use them to bless others!

Motherhood Letter part 2, Patience & Our high calling

I hope you were encouraged by Part 1 (read here if you missed it) about sleepless nights and our great example of the Proverbs 31 woman! Read below about how to help keep patience with your little ones!

Part 2

“This leads to the next thing I’ve discovered about being a mom… it’s really hard to keep a good attitude and have patience when you’re tired and its complete mayhem. When you get married you learn that you may not have been as “selfless” as you thought…and then you have kids. I have had a lot of growing pains in this area of attitude and patience over the past 3 years. It is so hard at time to have patience!!!! I mean, I can’t emphasize it enough. I won’t tell you all the ways I’ve failed in this area, but I will tell you what has helped me. It takes being filled with the Holy Spirit. I’m currently in a Bible Study on the Fruit of the Spirit by Beth Moore and have been so encouraged by it. She talks about how we can’t let our flesh dictate our attitude. Galatians 5:17 says “For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit was it contrary to the sinful nature. They are at conflict with each other.” The biggest reason for failure in daily struggles is trying to balance the Spirit and the flesh. But it just doesn’t work. I have to be filled with the Spirit so that my mood, emotion, impulses and urges is not of my flesh, but of the Spirit.

Romans 8:26 talks about how the Spirit helps us in our weakness…(or our attitude and patience).

Romans 8

One thing that really stood out to me in the study is when she talked about how the spirit intervenes in our weakness, not in our avoidance. As a mom it’s easy to not make being in the Word, or being in prayer, a priority. There’s always so much cleaning, laundry, cooking, etc to be doing. This was a hard balance for me after my first kid, even my second! And now that I have 3 kids, I have made the time almost daily, because I’m realizing I need His help more than ever. It takes a little while to get into a routine but I encourage you, friend, to make it happen. And I will say, a lot of my mom friends and I have talked about how we had to adjust. Would I love to sit outside for an hour ever morning with my cup of coffee and do my Bible Study with no interruption. Yes! Can that always happen? Absolutely not. Especially when they are so little and up throughout the night, or when you have multiple little ones who are so dependent on you. I found when I first became a mom I would try to wait until I had “the perfect” time where I could just sit for a good 30 mins to an hour and be in the Word. But sometimes that perfect time wouldn’t come, and it wouldn’t come again, and again. Then I realized I had to be creative. Some days, it means turning on worship music while cooking dinner to set your attitude straight. Some days, it can be praying for my kids as I’m folding each of their clothes. The point is, we need to be in tune with Him.

The longer I’ve been a mom there are areas I have become more efficient in, allowing me for more quality quiet time. But there are some seasons where we feel like we can barely stay afloat. So, even if it’s not my ideal, I’ve learned I have to be ok with that for this season of life, however, I need to make the most of every opportunity …or I lose it.

I just finished reading a book by Sally Clarkson called, “The Mission of Motherhood” and it spoke to me in so many ways. In one chapter titled “The Faithful Mother”, she says this

God designed mothers to partner with Him in His eternal work, and He has promised to reward our faith and our faithfulness…We are the real, in-the-flesh, tangible picture of God’s loving hands, strong arms of protection, and encouraging word of hope to our children…Each child longs for a heritage with which he can have pride; a home where he can see the faithfulness of God lived out every day; a family in which love is constant, forgiveness and grace hold everyone together, and faith and endurance conquer all obstacles. This is the kind of foundation upon which a child can begin to build the fortress for his own life… Each of us, as mothers, must continually endeavor to make the right choices so that our children receive such a foundation. (p. 232)

When I realize how important my role is as a mother, how much my attitude…even in the small things, affects my children’s future; how I am their example of what it means to live a Christ centered life, things get serious. I’m reminded that I have been entrusted with these little lives and need Him more than ever. So my friend, although there are sleepless nights, countless diapers, dishes piled as high as the Taj Mahal, messes beyond belief, and little time for rest, let’s remember together that motherhood is so much more than that. We are building our children’s foundation for their future in these early years!

This leads to something else I’ve become better at over the years of parenting…” **Please check back for the final part of the letter!**

Does this speak to you in any way? Do you have any questions?!