Son - "I did."
Me - "I'm looking at four pieces of paper on the ground. What did you use to sweep it with?"
Son - "The small broom."
Me - "What?"
Son - "I swept around the garbage."
Me - Praying - "Move the car out of the garage and sweep the garage." I thought moving the car would be an incentive.
Son - With attitude "Why do I have to move the car?"
Me - Did he just question me? "So you can sweep the garage."
Son - Now using hand motion - "Why do I have to move the car?"
Me - Raising voice, speaking sternly, and tossing car keys at son - "Son, what part of what I'm saying do you not understand? MOVE THE CAR AND CLEAN THE ENTIRE GARAGE! Getting louder - MOVE...THE....CAR....AND....CLEAN....THE....GARAGE!"
Son - Catches keys and mumbles angrily under breath.
Me - Head turning like the exorcist and not praying - "Give me the keys. Go pick a belt."
Son received ten licks and is now whistling while cleaning the garage. He also put on a red hooded sweatshirt (that I hate). Mom came to blog about it. Sigh....
Questioning authority and talking back is not allowed in this home. Son is thirteen and is well into the teenage funk. He hasn't received the rod in a loooooong time. This is the second time this week, we've had conflict with obedience. I do everything to avoid the rod, but this time...it was time.
Thanks for listening. I feel better now. By the way, I didn't talk at him while he received his ten licks. I distributed his award for behavior and left the room.
I've been feeling so tired the last couple of days and I know exactly why. I joined an exercise group that meets twice a week and I've been slacking on my own exercise at home. Twice a week just won't cut it for a busy wife and mother - not this one!
EXERCISE = ENERGY and PEACE of Mind.
I neglect my body for one reason - LAZINESS. It's so simple to take a walk around the neighborhood, walk in place while watching television, or do my favorite exercise, which is to dance. Well, that's what I did this morning. I put on some music and began to move my body and BEHOLD....I suddenly felt energized! Why, oh why do I forfeit energy and peace of mind with my laziness?
I'm being hard on myself because I know better. I'm usually faithful with exercise, but Aunt Flo is quickly approaching and I allow her to suck the life out of me even before she arrives. I know exercise is the answer and this morning I did the right thing. I couldn't handle another day like yesterday - feeling limp like a dirty dishrag. I was so tired, I couldn't think straight and I was irritable.
If I say I love Jesus, I must also show that in every aspect of my life and this includes taking care of my temple. Not only does it show obedience, but proper temple maintenance makes a more joyful wife and mother.
Today will be a better day and I hope I've learned my lesson - AGAIN. Stop being lazy and move those tired bones!
I saw a friend this weekend that I haven’t seen in a very long time. I’ve always admired her curly hair, but noticed she had colored it. I asked what her reason was for coloring it and she mentioned how unattractive her gray hair chose to come in. We laughed and continued talking about aging and we both agreed we felt a lot wiser. If only I had some of this wisdom in my younger mothering years!
Much later, I realized that I’m now the older woman. Although age isn’t the only factor, my own graying hair should have been a clue. It’s my turn. Uh oh…I’m the mother who needs to be an example to the younger woman! Wait a minute, I already knew this; have I been in denial? Am I fulfilling my role? Am I prepared to allow another woman to learn from me? Uh…I’m still learning myself! Am I ready to accept the younger woman as she makes mistakes and turns to me for love and acceptance? Well, I’m still making mistakes! Enough with the excuses, it’s time to take ownership and step up to the plate as the older, wiser woman. You too, will eventually step into your older woman season. We must accept responsibility of teaching the younger mother and embrace our age.We're not only raising children, we're raising mothers.
I welcome this season of Motherhood and I’m grateful to have made the fruitful age of fortyyyy….five. Some days I feel like I know everything and other days I feel like an emotional basket case seeking refuge. Regardless of the day and my emotions, I am...the older woman; it's my turn. I thank God for the Titus II Women in my life that I've watched and listened to along the way. Now, it's my turn.
To the younger woman, I encourage you to surround yourself with older mothers to be an example and encouragement to you. Seek mothers who won’t be afraid to tell you the truth and hold you accountable to your role and responsibilities. What is the standard? The Titus II Woman, of course!
To the older woman – it’s our turn to teach. If you haven’t been taught properly, I invite you to read A Paradigm For Motherhood, and also encircle yourself with seasoned mothers of wisdom. There are countless women without children visiting this blog who not only read the posts, but probably read your comments as well. They may even go as far as following your comment to your blog. What are you teaching? What example is your life offering the younger woman? It's your turn too!
Titus 2:3-5 (NKJV)
I use to watch her walk into the church and gracefully greet people. She is a pleasant woman. She's straight-forward, yet humble. She is bold, yet knows when to speak. She isn't afraid to correct, but is always loving. She is a serious woman and anyone who knows her, knows not to approach her with petty stuff - she didn't play, however, she was approachable.
A Paradigm of Motherhood is a six part series that I frequently refer to on my challenging journey of Motherhood and becoming a Titus II Woman. Here is a short excerpt of Part V of the series titled, Accepting One Another. I chose this to share because as women, we often find it difficult to accept one another with our many different styles of mothering, being a help-meet, and just being ourselves.
"One of the greatest ways to extend acceptance to others is to be approachable. No one will approach you if they feel they will not be accepted. You cannot begin to encourage those you have not accepted. It is my greatest joy to let young women know that I am (ART), approachable, reachable, and touchable."
Click her to read Accepting One Another in its entirety.
More than a few are dealing with rocky marriages, even more are battling depression, one is dealing with extremely disobedient children, one is dealing with a life threatening disease, and another is praying for continued strength to deal with her husband's recent open heart surgery and long recovery process. I must also mention one who is grieving the loss of her mother and another the loss of a daughter.
Thinking of these women made me realize I have nothing to complain about - no thing. Is my life perfect? Ha! Heck no! I deal with issues in my marriage and with my children just like the next woman. I do, however, realize there is always someone going through a more difficult situation. The tears of joy came as I praised God for my life - my home, marriage, children, and even the cross He has chosen for me to bear.
It's good to know Jesus. He is truly the center of my joy and is my only source of strength - regardless of what He has planned for my life. As you consider your own issues, think of someone else going through a difficult situation and your problems won't seem so bad after all.
Have a Thankful Tuesday in Motherhood!
Are you satisfied with your home life? Your marriage? With your children? How about your job and/or career?
Sunday morning, I awoke early to exercise before going to worship service. I enjoy exercising to spiritual music because I focus more on God than exercising, but for some reason, things were different during this session.
Although I was the only one awake, I found it difficult to keep my mind on Jesus. I kept focusing on things around me. There were clothes on the sofa that needed hanging up, the dining room table was full of my business supplies, the spots on the carpet were yelling for spot removal, and I kept watching the clock and counting the minutes I had left before I had to cook breakfast and wake everyone for the Sunday morning regime.
One of my favorite songs came on the radio, I’m So Satisfied. As I listened to the words, my exercise turned into praise. It’s funny how concentrating on the Master made everything around me seem menial. The words reminded me that I have no mental space for STUFF. As a wife and mother, I do have many concerns and many people depending on me. I have many loads to carry, yet must remember that I have no control over anything. I am merely an empty vessel being used my God as He raises His children, keeps His marriage, and maintains His home. My job is to follow God – not try to lead Him. My job is to stay focused on Him – not my to-do list. My job is to ask for His help – not attempt to do everything on my own. My job is to work in His power – not my own. My job is to acknowledge Him as the Master – not try to be the master of my home.
As soon as my focus turns to STUFF, dirty laundry, dishes, finances, and other people become my priority. The mess around me was still there, but that’s it…it was just there just as everything else is in my life. STUFF will always try to steal a mother’s focus and snatch her peace. I almost allowed the enemy to use the blessings around me to cause discontent in my heart; but at the same time it was a wonderful remedial lesson on how NOT to forfeit my peace and how satisfied I am – with Jesus alone. Keeping my mind on The Master always makes everything alright!
Have a marvelous Monday in Motherhood!
Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.
The previous post titled, Forgiving the Other Woman, stirred much conversation and emotions in many readers. I also received personal emails regarding it.
It sure is good to know we're not alone in our marital matters - every marriage WILL HAVE a little mess to endure, but that mess will bless if we just remember a few things...
1. Keep our eyes on God and not our circumstances. It doesn't matter what's going on, God is still in control!
2. Our marriage doesn't belong to us; it belongs to God. He can use it as he desires to bring glory to his name.
3. Marriage is warfare! We've already been promised the victory. Don't give up!
4. The further the enemy tries to pull your marriage apart, the closer God brings it together.
5. Prayer and Praise are secret weapons. Don't wait for a storm to make prayer and praise a part of your marriage.
I thank God for those who aren't ashamed to share just a little of their mess. Not only does it help to know we're not alone, but it encourages so many others who may never open their mouths to ask for encouragement.
Please visit my blogger buddy, Lisa at Abiding There, as she shares her story, Tragedy Averted.
I have a friend, LadyK, whose husband has recently left home and is having an affair. She is devastated and some days finds it hard to get through the day. Crying uncontrollably, she calls me for any consolation I can offer. Because I haven't walked in her shoes, my encouraging words seem empty, but I do know the power of God and believe in his promises.
Last night, I felt led to call LadyK to pray with her. She mentioned she had been reading her word and praying, which explained the unusual joy in her voice. LadyK led us in prayer and it was the most humble prayer I've ever heard. It's one thing to come out of a storm and praise God, but it's the awesome presence of God in one's life to praise him while going through a storm such as this.
When LadyK found out about the other woman, she wanted to approach her and well...you gotta know LadyK. She wanted to beat her in the ground, call her a few names, and then beat her deeper into the ground. LadyK's prayer showed the power of God working in her life through this difficult storm.
Tears rolled down my face as LadyK's heart cried out to God. LadyK began praying for the other woman. She forgave the other woman and asked God to touch the other woman's heart and draw her closer to Jesus. She prayed for protection over the other woman and her husband. She didn't ask God to bring her husband back, yet asked God's will to be done. She told God that if it was his will to restore her marriage, she would welcome her husband with loving and forgiving arms - leaving the past in the past. LadyK then asked for forgiveness for her neglectful part in her marriage. Finally, LadyK thanked God for touching her marriage because it was bringing her to a closer relationship with her Savior. She said, "Lord, have your way."
Why am I sharing this personal prayer? That's it...it's not personal and LadyK even said it was okay to use her name, but I chose not to. LadyK knows her pain will help someone else. She understands this storm is not about her, but to be shared with other women. Did she always feel this way? Of course not, but she is definitely striving to be Christ controlled and doing her part to be a peacemaker in this mess. Her prayer of humility, forgiveness, and unconditional love in an area most women (and men) won't touch, blessed me and many lessons were learned.
Could I do this? Hmmm...immediately? I don't think so. Jesus would definitely have to work on my heart in a mighty way. I believe I would eventually say the prayer, but deep down inside, I'd want my husband and the other woman to pay and feel pain. Maybe this is why LadyK led the prayer and not me.
As I quietly sat this morning, meditating and preparing for the day, I glanced at a calendar. Easter is over. The plastic eggs and Easter production props are in storage. The pastel colored bows and ties are safely tucked away. What’s the next holiday? Mother’s Day…here we go. My preparation for the day turned to mentally preparing myself to be appreciated on the 'designated' day.
I began to wonder how Jesus reacts to the days we designate to celebrate in his honor. I’m quite sure he doesn’t have to prepare for recognition and probably doesn’t want public acknowledgement. I’m positive he doesn’t buy into the hype leading up to the celebration, and I know for a fact he takes no thought of physical gifts or carnal sacrifices.
Dare I complain about being recognized only once a year? My acts of service will never measure up to what God does for me - daily.
Oh how I wish I could be more like Jesus and not expect anything in return for serving those I love, but Miss Flesh is alive in my soul. If it’s any consolation, I don’t ask for much - maybe some time alone or someone to wash dishes without being asked. Hearing my sons thank me for their meals is truly gift enough! Hmmm...is it really enough or do I secretly seek appreciation for my simple acts of service? After all, Mother's Day is my day, right?
I thought more about my Heavenly Father’s example of love and never-ending service. No one owes me anything. I am the one forever indebted. My gift is my life - to give back.
Needless to say, today is a new day and another opportunity to willingly and lovingly serve God by serving my family… just because.
Matthew 20:28 (NIV)
"…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Hmmm...I've been a mother for 13 years and she'll read that I still struggle with laundry, dishes, and juggling errands and activities. Hmmm...I've been married for 15 years and she'll read that I've been recently enrolled in the School of Unconditional Love. Hmmm...should I dress up my blog a bit and soften the edges? No. I am what I am and if I'm going to be a blogger buddy, I must be an honest blogger buddy. No, I don't have a wonderful husband and two amazing sons. I have an extremely high maintenance husband and two sons that try my last nerve, but I love them all to pieces (lol).
Ahhhh...that felt good. The truth shall set you free! Yep, strangers are lurking and you never know who may pop in on your blog home. No time to pick up the toys and run the dust bunnies away, they're already watching! This way they see the reality of Motherhood - the joys, the pains, the challenges, and the never ending rewards. I think this is called....LIFE.
My passion for sharing Motherhood did not begin with the birth of my first child or even the second. It began with a physical illness that left me unable to care for my sons for weeks. It was during this time that Motherhood became alive to me. Backwards? Yes, but it is what it is. Embarrased that I didn't immediately 'feel the love' for my new bundles of joy? Not at all, but I was shocked at how many other mothers felt the same way, but lied to me about their true feelings. It wasn't until I opened up and shared my 'new mom' experience that these moms began to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
As much as I hate to dissect the universal title of MOTHER, working moms, stay-at-home moms, part-time moms, work at home moms, homeschooling moms, etc... We all have an image we strive to uphold. Would I be correct to say we all have secrets? Why can't we all just get along? Why the secrets? Who are we trying to impress? As I continue to type, I laugh because it really is ridiculous, but I guess this is the nature of THE MOTHER.
Anyway, the Oprah Winfrey Show refueled me and reminded me what the MW website and the MW Blog's purpose is...to share the REALITY of Motherhood and to let mothers from all walks of life know they are not alone on this rewarding, yet challenging journey of Motherhood.
Why the secret?
I am notorious for sharing the importance of women taking care of themselves, yet I struggle with this crucial concept. I've been congested with sniffles, haven't been able to smell, and have been lovingly snorting in hubby's ear at night for almost three months.
I truly dislike going to the doctor and taking medicine. I know my body was made to heal itself, so if I take care of my temple; my temple will take care of me. Right? Well, I didn't do my part and three months of neglected sniffles turned into a self-diagnosed sinus infection. I finally made an appointment.
Three days later, I found myself in the emergency room wearing a dingy, faded, flowered gown opened in the back and half covering the unique shade of red bumps and hives that covered my stomach, chest, and back. The doctor took one look at me and recognized a reaction to the antibiotics I had been given. All of this could have been avoided if I had just taken care of myself.
A nurse soon comes in with an IV hook up. What the ----? I was prepared to receive new meds and leave, but ended up having to stay a while. I still had not learned my lesson. I was trying to rush out of the hospital instead of taking a minute to take care of me. The nurse offered me a warm blanket. I accepted and was knocked out - IV drugs and a blanket; taking care of me wasn't so bad after all. I had a much needed long nap. Hours later I was back home, yet napped the entire weekend as I continued taking heavy combative drugs.
I'm much better this morning and ready to get back to normal after being reminded of more than a few valuable lessons.
- Temple maintenance is important and requires my attention.
- Taking the time to care for me fuels me to continue taking care of my family.
- Taking care of me puts me in a position to honestly practice what I preach.
- I cannot properly fulfill my role as a wife and mother in a raggedy temple.
I must also mention - if hubby or one of my sons had the sniffles, I would have donned the nurse maid hat immediately...shame on me!
Mothers, have a marvelous Monday in Motherhood and please don't forget to take care of U - mentally, physically, and spiritually!
I Corinthians 6:19 (NIV)
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
Well, yesterday I received a special favor. I was extremely busy and by 2 p.m., I was exhausted. I still had a full evening ahead of me and had not thought about dinner; I literally forgot about it. My now eleven year old asked me if I wanted him to cook dinner. Oh my goodness! Are you serious? Please cook dinner! You don't even have to ask! My baby boy began planning the meal - joyfully. Did I mention he loves to cook? What an example he is for his Mama.
He had his meat, vegetable, and starch and I watched him run around the kitchen seasoning, stirring, cutting, and even plating. I realized I finally had the cook I wanted - and he's free! He was living with me the whole time, but had to grow into the role.
After he finished running around the kitchen, his little legs were tired. He said, "Mama, I didn't know it was going to be that hard." I selfishly encouraged him by saying, "Sweetie, the more you do it, the easier it becomes."
It's funny how I desired something I already had. God delivers in a way only he can get the credit; His ways are not our ways... Thank God for my cook!
For the past few days I've noticed a change in my thoughts, which of course lead my actions.
The private petty battles in my head are gone.
I see hubby through different eyes. The little things that use to bother me no longer get my attention.
I thought I was a loving wife, but S.O.U.L. showed me I fell waaaay short!
I now have a peace and ease in serving my husband. I have a willingness to help him more. Before, I had to mentally put forth effort to show simple acts of love. SELF-ISH
My secret is to stay focused on God's love for me.
God loves me in spite of my Self.
He loves me through my sin, my faults, shortcomings, and all my character flaws.
He forgives me over, and over, and over again.
Surely, with all this love I have, it can be shared. No one should be denied God's unconditional love. Love really does conquer all.
Why wait for a calendar month to show appreciation and gratitude?
So often, we wait for others to acknowledge us, but it takes a mother to completely understand a mother. It takes a mother to fully appreciate a mother. It takes a mother to recognize that menial jobs matter greatly! It even takes a mother to appreciate the absolute necessity of Mommy Time Outs.
It takes a mother to not wait for the month of May to tell all mothers how important, influential, providential, vital, crucial, and significant a Mother's role is. Whether you work within or outside the home, your role is of great magnitude and I wish you a HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!
Celebrate yourself today and everyday!