Saturday, January 19, 2013

10 Ways to Choose to be a Mommy

 **Pictures today brought to you by our last week with grandma and grandpa visiting.....having to say goodbye......but soaking in all the time we had!!! 
 So I am reading "Raising Your Kids To Love The Lord" by Dave Stone.  It has been a good book to read.  Mostly about how we think about raising our kids and how we think and feel about it- affects greatly how our kids respond to us and the Lord. 
 1) Be PRESENT!  Oh.....that is tough to do with soo many distractions.  Our phones, our computers, our work, our own wants and needs, the tv, the meetings, figuring out homeschooling- for some of us, laundry, dishes, chores, and the list goes on and on. 

Truly though being PRESENT is an easy gift to give.  If you are distracted- it doesn't count!  Did you hear that?  If you are having a conversation with your child and you look at your phone- you just said to them- you don't count.  It's true.  They feel it, and so does your husband.

If you have ADHD or too much on our plate disease- then we have to make even more conscious effort to really be aware.  Set those cell phones on the counter top and leave them there- back away, and engage with your children.  Get off FB- that is for me by the way- and have a real conversation actually walking away from the computer.  You could be really daring and leave your phone at home while you go out with your child or husband?  Wow- that would be crazy right?  Or at least leave it in your purse, unless it is a phone call from home! 
 2)  Fuel up your soul!!!!  You can not live on Sundays alone!  Man is that true!  Our pastor has described this before by saying it is like only eating one day a week.  Who does that?  You starve yourself the rest of the week!

Don't do that!  Eat every day.  Read your Bible, read a devotional, write down praises and prayers, write down things God has been working on you about, think of a memory verse to focus on.  Also.....I know this is radical, but take a long shower every once in a while!  Go on a walk- alone for 10 minutes.  Sing and jam out to your IPOD.  All of these things do not have to be hours long.  You don't usually eat for hours do you?

The key is consistency.  Things that help us refresh in big and small ways so we can give to our husbands, to our children, and to our communities. 
 3)  Put God, then daddy, then your kids!  I love the Parental Guidance movie (not the 2nd scene in the movie, but anywho) in there the grandma says- yes you stick up for your husband because one day your children leave you (paraphrased).  It's true!  God says put HIM FIRST!  End of story.  That is why you have to refresh yourself!  So you can be clear and listen to HIM.

THEN you put your hubby!  Yep, sometimes those sweet brown eyes do you in and you feel a pull to "appease your children" instead of take time for your hubby.  Key- a happy hubby makes for a happy wife, makes for a happy family!  Not happy kids make for a happy family.  It doesn't work that way.

God made that relationship to be THE most important - second only to our need for God!  So make sure that in your everyday choices you are thinking of that.  Believe me- it helps balance out your life in ways you never thought about before!!!!  :)
 4)  Deposit love into your children.  This isn't a bank of just money.  Because money doesn't matter, but this....oooooohhhhh this MATTERS!  Have you ever gone a couple of days and realized you hadn't taken time to snuggle your new born?  No- that's because we all know that is something you do all day long for several months.  However, once our children get a little older, we forget.

How does that happen?  That is why I love looking at pictures all the time!  We have a constant "show" on one of our computers of allllllll our pictures for the last several years.  They kids flock to it and say look at me when I was little.

This is a powerful reminder!  It reminds me daily - DAILY to deposit into my children the love that they need.  They are not babies anymore, but that does not mean they don't need cuddles, encouraging words, and hugs.  They need that several times a day- EVEN when they are teens!!!  Maybe- ESPECIALLY when they are teens. 
 5)  To accept your child for who they are.  Oh my heart can argue.  It's true when you have a child that is ADHD, autistic, has RAD, has a learning disability, has a 'tude the size of Alaska, you can argue - God seriously no way.  BUT accepting the fact that this is a part of them allows you to embrace them.  Embrace that hurt in their past that is really ongoing.  Embrace that personality that may drive you crazy.  Embrace that they may be different than you are.  It's ok.

Sometimes I have a very very hard time, and others it seems to not bother me at all.  Wherever you are on the scale.  It is ok to dream for your child, and to help them grow, to encourage that growth, but it is NOT ok to tell them they are not worthy.

God asks the impossible- unconditional love.  Even if it makes us uncomfortable.
 **Note:  Some of you may say- Dawn you don't know my child.  You would be right.  I don't.  I only know that deeply hurting, or just your "average" child- God asks us to love.  Sometimes we have to do things unconventionally....make choices that hurt us deeply for the sake of our child, but that is STILL unconditional love!  Hang in there! 
 6)  Spend time with them!  Now this is similar to being present, but yet really what I am saying is.....this is time we carve out.  Not just day to day time.  This is in addition to the daily times we see our kids.  This is special time.  Time when we set apart- an hour, a few hours, a day and we take time specifically for one or two children and say- this is all about me listening to you!

How do you do that?  I don't have money?  I can't.  Wrong answer!  Everyone can!  All you need is a sidewalk!  Want to know something.  My kids only get to see grandparents once a year.  Want to know their fondest memories?  A special walk taken with them one by one or two by two.  A walk people!  It doesn't have to involve extra money!!!  It can be who gets to go shopping with mom this week.  I can be who gets to eat out with daddy at lunch.  It can be going to the park, fishing, crafting, whatever!

Just make sure you take that time to tell them- I love you!  I want to hear everything you say.  You are valuable to me.  I want to hear you! 
 7)  Consistently discipline.  Ouch!  This is hard.  Sometimes you feel like - really...I am tired.  I want a break.  Whatever keeps them quiet for a while.  I get it!  Been there!  Many times over again!  That is what we call UFFDA!

Consistency in your discipline is soooo important.  Why?  Because it let's your child know they are safe.  That is not to say you have to discipline the same to every child.  Some things don't mean the same things to each of your children.  Sometimes children from hurt places need a different kind of discipline.  That is fine, but it has to be consistent.  If you need to sit down with your children to explain why you don't do "such and such" with each of them then do that!

It just needs to be consistent so that your children know- you mean business, God desires for us to obey, and we need you to be safe.  If we as parents are all over the place- this will not happen, and we will "undo" everything we have been trying so hard to do.

This also means you have to be on the "same team" with your husband!!!  So talk often- let your kids know they can't pull a fast one on you two- you are both too smart for that!  They will soon figure that out! 
 8)  Affirm your husband and children.  This goes sooo very very far in everything you do.  To affirm your husband in front of your children, in front of others- that is way better than any amount of money.  Don't believe me.....try it!  You will see.

Want to see your children beam with love?  Affirm them in front of each other.  Affirm them in front of dad- even better.  Affirm them in front of friends, family, church- you get the drift.  It is better than a gold medal around their neck.

Want to see your children succeed?  Affirm them- they will succeed!  Because they believe about themselves- what you do!  Read that again..........Because they believe about themselves- what you do!!!!!
 9)  Give them to the Lord I Samuel 1:27-28

27 I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. 28 So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there.

There is something to be said about remembering who your children are.  Better yet- whose they are!  They were given to you by God whether by birth or adoption.  They were given to you and it is our job to offer them back to God.  Want to stress less?  Ask God for the strength to offer them to HIM!  You will find yourself praying a lot more for them.  Praising God for them.  Giving your cares over to the ONE who can actually do something about them.  :) 
 10)  To INVEST in a relationship with the Lord, your husband, and your children.  They are THE MOST important relationships you have!!!  Are your friends, your mother, important- yes, but NOT as important as these relationships....therefore spend  more on these than anything else!

That means- your money, your time, your presence, your deposits, your consistency, your efforts, your affirmations- first and foremost belong to God, your husband, and your children BEFORE anyone else!  Doesn't mean you don't serve others....just don't put others first.

There was a book I read about a woman who was working all afternoon on a yummy meal for a family who needed it.  When dinner time came around the children asked what they were having.  The woman said- I don't know just throw together some PB&J.

Yep, if you are serving others more than your shows.  It shows them you don't care as much about them.  We have all done it.  Spent too much time on work.  Spent too much time on FB.  Spent too much time.........? 
 This book has been a great reminder!  You see this little amazing man in the picture above.  Michael captures my heart.  He was cleaning the table and concentrating on it.  You have no idea.....I am crying just thinking about it.  This is our passion!  Don't forget that!  Remind yourself.  Set a timer.
 Put off home school for a bit and play a game.  Take a break and play with grandparents or friends.  Don't answer every single phone call!!!!  Put the phone AWAY!  Step back.  Refresh so you can give more. 
 Know that life flies by way to quickly and if we want to raise our children to love the Lord we have to remind ourselves DAILY! 
 So put a note on the mirror.  Put a red string on your finger. 
 Because this smile will one day not be in your home 24/7.  She will be on her own, or married, or ??  Take it all in.  Make everything you can out of today! 
 This is your legacy!  This is your calling!  This is your chance! 
 To make a difference!  To leave the world a much better place! 
 This is from the book (pg 88-89)......
 "There will be a time when there will be no slamming of doors
No toys on the stairs, no childhood quarrels, no fingerprints on teh wall paper.
Then may I look back with joy and not regret.
God, give me the wisdom to see that today is my day with my children. 
 That there is no unimportant moment in their lives.
May I know that no other career is so precious,
No other work so rewarding,
No other task so urgent.
 May I not defer it nor neglect it, But by the Spirit accept it gladly, joyously, and by They grace realize
That the time is short and my time is now, For children won't wait."
**Helen M. Young.  Children wont wait. 
 Put that up on your walls!!!!  Remember it well!!!!  Memorize it!!!!
 Say it over and over again!!!! 
Your children will notice- promise!

Pray you are encouraged today!!!!!!!!!! 

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