Recently, in conversation with an elderly friend, the question was asked, “What is one of the biggest things you have learned in all of your years of mothering and being a wife?”
She thought for a minute, and her response was, “I learned that I needed to wake up each morning and purpose to die to self that day: especially in the years of mothering. If I didn’t purpose to do this, things usually went awry.”
There is so much truth in that statement. I started to think about my daily interactions. What are things that anger me? Why do I get so frazzled? Why do I get overwhelmed?
The Middle School years of our daughters bring with them a lot of changes both physiological and emotional. They are entering into a season of not being a young child anymore, but they are also not quite adults. They are trying to figure out who they are.
As if elementary age squabbles weren’t bad enough, we now get the joy of entering the years of “mean girls”. Girls can be so brutal at this age. The teasing, gossipping and comparing just to name a few, can be such a drain on the emotional stability of these young girls.
It is our job as parents to walk alongside our children to help them navigate these relationships well. As with any age in parenting, we are equipping our children to be successful adults.
As summer is gearing up, I wanted to discuss a topic near and dear to the mother of a large family. Vacations.
Packing for a family of 9 is no easy task. I am not a super organized person to begin with, and it definitely doesn’t come naturally to me. Those around me namely my husband wishes that were not the case, but hey I have my own list for him. I am just kidding.
When we are getting ready for a trip, this is usually the prime opportunity for stress paralyzation to kick in.
If you missed my previous blog about dealing with Stress paralyzation I define it as When you are so overwhelmed with your current to-do list that you can only sit and scroll through your Facebook feed.
We have all been there when we have too many things to do, and we lack the ability just to focus on one and get that thing done. Packing does this for me! I procrastinate until the very last minute and then I’m crazy. I have learned the hard way more than I’d care to talk about that this is not a good plan.
The day before my son’s graduation I completely lost my voice. I couldn’t believe it. Considering I was supposed to speak at his graduation which made it all the worse. However as I looked to the Lord, it turned out to be quite the blessing. When you start surrendering and praying for growth the Lord can get pretty creative with his teaching methods.
Nervous and emotional at the prospect of speaking in front of a crowd of children and parents, the Lord was teaching me to rely solely on his strength to get through. In the end, I survived and people were able to hear me albeit with the aid of electronics.
School is technically out for the summer or at least very close, but for most of you home educating moms it’s never really over, now is it? We all have those few straggler subjects, doesn’t everyone at least have math to do all summer?? And even when we are “done” we still have to plan for the upcoming year.
From an academic standpoint, I don’t feel like we have had a phenomenal year. But does any home educating mom ever feel that way? When I look back on what we accomplished or didn’t accomplish, I am reminded that the Lord directs my ship. He will finish the work that we started this year. I know we grew in a lot of areas both academic and experiential.
I recently read a book called Strengths Finder 2.0, in hopes of finding out where my strengths lie. I often struggle to see what I am talented in and find myself in a comparison game with other moms. I look at all of these great projects that other moms are doing. Their homeschool looks so fun at least on the outside, but mom, I’ve discovered something about that perceived outward appearance.
As a new mom, I remember when my first daughter was 18 months old, and the pressure to start potty training was all around. Even with the influence I held off until about two before starting.
When we began the process, I decided to reward our daughter with candy. Every time she used the potty she got candy. Well as you can imagine she decided that she needed to go quite frequently.
After we had her “trained”, we ran out of candy, so my husband decided that she no longer needed candy. Well needless to say my daughter thought otherwise, and she decided after being trained for months that she would stop. Completely.
Today was one of those days. I felt the weight of all of my tasks falling down on me. I had cleaned and organized for days, only to look around and have nothing to show for it.
I worked hard.
I’m tired of working hard for what seems has no reward.
My children weren’t particularly bad, but it just felt like every single one needed me at that exact moment. About ready to burst, I found myself breathless. I was feeling physical symptoms.
Doing what any Supermom would do I carried on trying to be strong. Eventually finding myself in a quiet room nursing my precious baby asking myself, “What am I doing?” Why in the world did I have all of these kids? Why did I choose this life?
My best friend’s mother passed away recently. She was 86 years old, and she lived a full life. Proverbs 31:28 says, Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. It was apparent that her children rose up and called her blessed.
This woman finished well. She was generous, a hard worker, and a servant. She raised her family to love God. She instilled in her children to work hard, to be committed, to serve others and much more. She will be truly missed by many.
I couldn’t help but sit at the funeral and think of what people were going to say at my funeral. What do I want to be remembered for?
Our journey with eczema started shortly after our third child, Onesimus, was born. We first noticed it on his cheek. It then started to spread to his jaw, and behind his ear. Even though he was young, he quickly figured out how to scratch open the wounds. His face would seep and bleed it was awful. The worst part was I felt powerless to do anything about it.
During Onie’s, that’s his nickname, infant stage; I tried every ointment, cream, lotion, and medicine that my friends recommended. Around the age of one his legs broke out from knee to feet. This breakout was much worse and I could not get rid of it. My poor little guy was miserable. Eczema is known as “the itch that rashes” the more you scratch, the itchier it becomes and it gets pretty hard to manage. Each night I would sit in his bed and rub his bandaged up legs.
I have a confession to make. I am a Rocky fan. Fan being short for fanatic of course. I love the story, the fights, the music. When I hear that Bump, Bump, Ba…my heart flutters. I love it all! The final installment came out in December 2015 and it was great, so great that Sly got nominated for an Oscar BTW. Anyway, in the movie, Rocky is training Apollo Creed’s son, Adonis Johnson, to be a great fighter. He repeats the line as they are training – “One step at a time. One punch at a time. One round at a time.”