The Relief of Compassion in Parenting & Counseling

June 6, 2014 | Author:

I love this article. So often as parents we can forget to show mercy and grace to the little humans in our care and expect a perfection of them we don’t even expect of ourselves.

The larger problem is that we cannot demand our children live up to our ideals every moment of their lives. While an obedient life is the end goal of every parent for his child it cannot be the ultimate goal of every moment with that child. The ultimate goal of every moment is for them to see the goodness and glory of God through Christ in us. Commands are necessary, but commands are not the only way to help a child (or adult) understand their own mind with its peculiar challenges and obstacles. Sometimes compassion will do the trick.

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The Magic of Ordinary Days: Making Memories with Your Children

June 6, 2014 | Author:

From Charlotte Siems at This Lovely Place:

Ordinary days are so, well, ordinary. We are busy, to be sure, and we cut corners and look for shortcuts. I’m all for ways to make home management easier and more efficient.
The effort required for a big result in making memories with your children is usually small, yet we put it off or never do it. 
We keep meaning to, then the days and the months and the years pass, and we never got around to it. We are left with regrets and a wiser perspective.

The Oxen Are In

June 2, 2014 | Author:

From Rachel Jankovic at Femina:

I bet that in that home when I put a stack of clean clothes on the bed in my room, toddlers would not lay siege to it and throw it back in the dirty clothes.  Because in that life, there would not be the unsavory mess of my life. There wouldn’t be all the dishes and all the wet rags. There wouldn’t be the crayon wrappers or the stickers that somehow only stick permanently to the wrong surfaces. There wouldn’t be misused sharpies, or coats that got dragged through the mud outside by a misbehaving puppy. In that life, there would not be the mess of my life.

But you know what else there could not be? The fruit of my life. Resenting the mess in the barn is resenting the crop in the field. My children are not here to keep the barn tidy, they are here to plow the fields and bring in the crop.

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Home Management Printables Based on Systems from “Large Family Logistics”

June 2, 2014 | Author:

From Desiring Virtue:

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 Most of what Kim shares amounts to routine and setting a pattern of living and working within your home. She shares specific systems that she uses in order to manage her own large family and persuasive reasons for doing things in a like manner. Because of this I have decided to alter my daily routines to more closely aline with the one she prescribes in her book. She follows a similar “one focus a day” approach, but makes my previous attempts at the same system look pathetic in comparison. Her goals and expectations are much more detailed and assure that she will accomplish a finely tuned home. This is something that I long for. After spending some time in the book (preparing for a new year of homemaking) I typed up some new printables to fill my home management notebook with. They follow her system almost exactly (with a few modifications), focusing on one major household task a day.

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Click here for more info and to download

Mothering Through Fatigue

June 1, 2014 | Author:

From The Modest Mom

The fatigue threatens to steal my joy. It’s been a long day, we are out of town and I should be enjoying the break from everyday life. Instead old fears creep in as I struggle with being so tired.  I’ve walked this path before and it isn’t a pleasant journey.

I slip away for an afternoon nap, and wake up feeling just as exhausted. Downstairs I try to put on my happy face and visit with family as if nothing is wrong. Inside I really want to just cry.

Bedtime finally comes and I wrestle with my 2 year old not wanting to go to her bed in a strange house. Anxiety is rearing it’s ugly head as my body is so weary, my adrenaline is soaring as I try to stay calm.

Suddenly I stop. I have a choice to make. A decision to choose joy or to slip further into discouragement. As I start putting pajamas on the 2 year old and look into her smiling face, the answer is clear. I must choose joy. My children depend on me. My husband needs me to be peaceful instead of irritated.

The words to Psalm 46 flood my mind, and I remember my mother singing it through lips of faith. “God is my refuge and strength, an ever present help in time of trouble. So we will not fear, though the earth give way. Though the mountains fall into the midst of the sea.”

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I Signed Up For This

January 16, 2014 | Author:

Excellent reminders from Mrs. Gore’s Diary:

Motherhood is HARD, yes, but it doesn’t have to be dreary and droopy. Chin up, buttercup. Shoulders back. Turn that frown upside down. Swallow those sorrowful sighs. Choose joy, because even on the hardest days, it is still exactly that: a choice. Laugh at today and all the days to come!

Click here to read the rest  and then be sure to read I Signed Up For This Too:

Last week, I shared a post on the common complaints I’ve been guilty of indulging in as a mom, along with my resolution to (try to) abstain from all the sighing and moaning and groaning that so easily accompanies this life with little ones…

but, thankfully, not every day calls for such resolved action, and, as a lady who truly loves being a stay-at-home wife/mom/homeschooler, I would be remiss to mention all the things I struggle with in the mommyhood department without mentioning the things that bless my slippers off.

Because, thankfully, when you “sign up” for the daily grind that comes with being a parent, you are also the natural beneficiary of a good that far, far, FAR outweighs any bad that might occasionally (daily) weigh you down.

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Queen of Her Own Quiet Home

January 15, 2014 | Author:

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I was thrilled to come across this poem today at Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth:

Not in the church to rule or teach, her place;

Not in the mart of trade, or senate halls;

Not the wild, festive scene is hers to grace;

Not Fashion’s altar her its victim calls;

Not here her field of triumph; but alone…

 She moves, the queen of her own quiet home.”*
* I am assuming this poem also applies to those of us who are Queens of Our-Not-So-Quiet-Homes.

Motherhood and the Paradox of Dying to Live

January 15, 2014 | Author:

Don’t miss this powerful post from Bambi at In the Nursery of the Nation:

Motherhood is work many times.  But work isn’t some terrible Christian duty we can’t enjoy.  It is our duty but when we empty ourselves for others, the Lord fills us up…with replenishments of strength, joy, creativity and more.  That way we have it to give all over again…to which He re-stocks the bare shelves once more. And this is not just a cycle that ends when the diapers do or even when children marry and leave home.  This is God’s beautiful and wonderful way for all believers, whether or not they even have children.

There are days of motherhood, long seasons even, that are quite laborious.  And if you are like me, motherhood brought about the first time you were ever really tested in this matter of laying down your life.  Took me a long time to realize that the things motherhood took from me while I was still resentful of it, was not true sacrifice. I would keep a mental tally of just how many bottoms I wiped, how many corrections I had given and just how long it took me to get school done that day. How many sermons I had missed at church, how much pregnancy changed my body, how I didn’t even get any sleep at night. I didn’tgive those things, they were taken from me.  They were not given freely and willfully.

Sometimes daily, I still have to intentionally hand over those things willingly, not have them ripped from my hands that want to cling to them with a death-grip.  I want to give them gently, lovingly and freely, not see them as stolen from me.  That is real sacrifice and the kind that bears fruit.

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Children Are Not for You

November 17, 2013 | Author:

From Homekeeping Heart:

I inwardly cringe every time I hear the question.

“How many children do you want?”

When did children become something to obtain because we want it?  When did they become something to collect or possessions to own?  They’ve almost been lowered to the position of pets.  I’m thinking it probably happened around the same time they became a “choice”.

The fact is, I couldn’t have a child I didn’t “want”.  Even if I said I wanted 2 or 3 or 4, I would want that fifth child very very much if he “accidentally” came along.  That is because they aren’t possessions–they’re people.  And even more, they’re MY child that I love with a love greater than I ever knew.  How can we put a number on them as if their value has anything to do with birth order?

But beyond that, we don’t have them because we “want” them. It’s not about us. They aren’t FOR us.  As much as each of my seven children brings me more joy, love, and delight than I ever imagined possible, they don’t exist for my enjoyment.

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Unloosed!

November 17, 2013 | Author:

A powerful post on motherhood from Rachel Jankovic at Femina:

The strongest women in our world today are those who are as a group feeling the weakest. It certainly doesn’t feel like a blow for the kingdom to spend another nine months in a brain fog. It doesn’t feel like we are fighting for the future of our country as we drive strollers with one elbow so we can hold one fat defiant hand while sloshing coffee on ourselves with the other.

But His strength is made perfect in our weakness. He loves the obedience of the widows mite – the offering of the littlest thing that is our everything. It can seem so petty and uninteresting when what you are putting in the offering box is giving up sleeping in. Or joyfully driving the mini van that you never wanted. Or spending Friday nights folding laundry and picking up board books. But God delights in that, and He delights in us as we obey.
Do we want to spend our time giving little things that delight our Savior, or trying desperately to please the world? The world might be pleased with us if we stood for hours in our stupid sneakers fighting for a woman’s right to kill her children, but they will never applaud us for being inconvenienced and actually carrying those children.

What we are failing to see is that this weakness haunts us so much when we want to rely on our own strength. But this weakness is His to strengthen. This weakness is the greatest offering that we can give – because it is the offering of obedience.

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