Monday, December 16, 2013

The Gift Our Children Really Want

I just wanted to pop in and share this article from my very favorite, Sally Clarkson, "The Gift All Children Want the Most, Even When They Grow Up". It was a a beautiful reminder for me during this season, but also one I need to remember all year long.

I didn't realize until having children how all they really want is their mama (and dad's!) TIME and ATTENTION. People often say it is about quality, not quantity. But, if we are being honest, when it comes to our children, it is about both. They want our hugs when they first get out of bed in the morning. They want our attention as we chat over their bowl of Cheerios. They want us to watch and play their favorite toys with them. They want us there to kiss their toes when they stub them on their favorite toy that they forgot to put away....In the everyday moments they want us. And at Christmas time they do too.

So, in this crazy season of sickness at our house I am going to be thankful that I have the opportunity to give my chldren the gift that they want the most this Christmas and always- me. And while it sounds very self-important we all know deep down that it isn't. It just is. When children are hurt or sad or scared, they want Mom. And when they are happy or excited or want to be funny, they want Mom. And I am thankful that I can spend my days and years giving them that. And praying that they can take it with them and pass it on to their own children one day...

'Tis the Season

... to be sick apparently! We have had very few healthy days in the past several weeks. I would be totally lying if I said it doesn't have me pretty down. This is my favorite season of the year and I feel like we are missing out on all of the fun by staying home sick. We have had to miss out on or cancel several activities this season because of illness in our family. From pink eye, to ear and sinus infections, to all sorts of various coughs, congestions, etc...

I have really been struggling to deal with my frustration and then guilt about all of this sickness during this season as during this time I am watching a family from our church suffer through this season...

The McCormick family is a very loved family in our church who have 11 children! They are a kind wonderful family! Whenever women in our church are struggling with anything one of the first things I would hear is "Audra McCormick told me this..." They are a loving family who love God and their children well. Earlier this year before their 11th child was born she was diagnosed with Trisomy 13 and the family was told there was only a 5% chance that she would be alive at birth. Hadley Mae was born alive and has been alive now for 127 days! We are all so overjoyed for their family. But, at the same time. It is a very hard road for this sweet family as they know that the day will come soon that they will have to say goodbye to their sweet girl. Hadley deals regularly with episodes of apnea and other issues as well. At the same time, her father has been in and out of the hospital with a very serious case of pneumonia and hasn't been able to work (he owns his own business). To keep up with this sweet family please like Hadley Mae's Facebook page here. And if you feel led to give please go here. Even a small amount would bless this family so much during this time. The last thing this family should have to be worrying about right now is finances.

So while I am frustrated at all of our sickness, I know (and have to remind myself often) that Lord willing, we will all be well soon. It can be hard to keep perspective that this is not true for the McCormick family and so many other families. We want the Christmas season to be a time of 24/7 fun.We believe Pinterest that from Thanksgiving to New Years everyday should be a party. But, the reality is, that Christmas time, like all other times of year comes with hard things for many people. Sickness and pain don't go away. Daily struggles still abound (and are often brought even more to light during what can be a stressful season!)

But, I think we can see the meaning and beauty of Christmas even better when we are suffering (in a small or big way) during this time of year. Because without Christmas, without Christ coming, our suffering would be for nothing. We would have no hope. But, Hope came to earth on Christmas day. I might be celebrating Christmas by wiping lots of runny noses, administering lots of medicines, and getting little sleep instead of the way that I would like to. But, I have the hope of heaven. And not only heaven, a Savior who is walking with me, and the McCormick family, and your family even now as we go through hard things.

We have the opportunity to worship Christ well in our suffering. In the hard things. Our perfect gingerbread houses do not give hope to a broken world the way that seeing people sustained and moved by the love of Christ while going through struggles does.

And if you are suffering in any way this season (big or small) I would love to be praying for you! Please leave a comment or send me a private message and I will be praying for you! And we can all take comfort from Romans 8:18 "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Christmas Season

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Seriously, sometimes I think I am more excited about Christmas than my kiddos.

But, while I love the holidays I have a tendency to stress myself out a bit. The past few years I have loved the idea of Advent calendars that have an activity to do as a family everyday. But, with having little kids (several by the way, ha!) I often found myself more frazzled than anything. I read this article, "To the Mamas of Littles During the Holidays" and immediately felt like a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders. I especially loved her advice when considering holiday activities, "If it makes you yell, it's a No. Everytime". I have really been trying to wrap my mind around the fact lately that what kids want more than fun crafts, exciting vacations and outings, and elaborate scavenger hunts is a happy mom. A mom that smiles and laughs and hugs. A lot. And this article was the perfect reminder at the perfect time.

So, we decided to keep our family celebration of Advent simple and focused. We are putting it right into our regular family worship time. I love the Jesus Storybook Bible anyway and when I found this resource I knew it would be the perfect fit for us right now.
christmas bible verse advent printable
Go here and you can print out beautiful story cards and daily readings. I printed them out and then we are hanging them on a piece of twine with a mini-clothespin after every reading. Simple.

I also knew I wanted to do an Advent study on my own this year. There are so many good ones out right now that I wanted to do them all! But, that really doesn't work. I am reading this one with Nick, Good News of Great Joy by John Piper.
The readings are short and lovely and filled with good news.

In my morning time I am following along with the Good Morning Girls Advent study. My friend Crystal is doing it too so it is neat to share what we are learning.

I feel like we have also really found a good balance in doing some fun activities to celebrate the season and also not overwhelming ourselves. Last weekend we took the kids to dinner (we had a giftcard, woo hoo!) and then went to see the zoo for the Wild Lights display (I forgot my phone in the car so no pics, oops.) The weather was perfect and we had the best time. It was a fun way to kick off the holiday season.

This weekend we are heading to Springfield to spend the weekend with one of our favorite families on the planet, the Jenkins family! They invited us to spend the weekend with them this fall and we seriously questioned their sanity inviting our crazy family of 6 to stay with them in their home. We had a blast! And are now seriously questioning their sanity even more because they invited us to come back and do it again! Our original plan was to hit up Silver Dollar City and see the lights on Friday but with a forecast of 20 degrees we went with plan b... which will include spending time with even more dear friends and just hanging out. We are stoked. I hear the names Maddie and Zack about 50 times a day.

Also on the agenda in the weeks to come are a Christmas get together with our small group, a game night with good friends, Nick's work party, the Moore family Christmas, and then we will definitely need to fit in a drive-through light display and baking Christmas cookies. I am not feeling overwhelmed and that feels very good!

So, we are enjoying this season. We have the Christmas pjs going...

And we know that all this boy will want for Christmas is his two front teeth ;)

(I keep singing that song and he is totally confused... ha!)

I hope everyone else is enjoying this season and finding the balance of worship, simplicity, and fun that can be so hard to grasp.

I will leave with this. I read this verse for the Good Morning Girls study this morning and got chills (Jeremiah 33:14,15).

He is coming.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sam P. is 9 months old!

This guy has been 9 months old for about a week now. And I must say, he does 9 months old well. He has learned a few new tricks and is pretty happy most of the time (a big improvement from how he was from months 2-7!). He still isn't the best sleeper at night but naps are going much better. He also is pulling up to standing wherever he can, feeding himself well, crawling instead of army crawling sometimes, and making all sorts of sounds.

However, staying still for pictures is not one of his new skills. These were the best I got out of probably 70! Ha! That boy likes to move!

Homeschooling Update

Whew! We are almost half way through our 2013-2014 school year. Max is "doing" 1st Grade and Soph, K. I decided to go with Sonlight this year in hopes of keeping planning and gathering supplies on my own to a minimum since it was my first year homeschooling 2 kiddos, plus I have a busy 3 year old and baby.

I think it was the right decision for our family this year.  However, with that being said, I don't think I will be going with Sonlight again next year. Sonlight definitely had lots of pros...

  • Awesome literature. We have read (and will read) some awesome books this year. A lot of them are books that I probably wouldn't have chosen on my own.
  • My kids also are loving the social studies/history portion. The Usborne Encyclopedia and Living Long Ago are awesome and I find someone on the couch almost daily just looking though one of those books "just for fun".
  • Lesson plans are already done! (A huge perk!)
But, we probably won't use it again next year. I think for me the list of cons really outweighs the pros...
  • I was really disapointed in the Language Arts component. I felt like it just kind of floats through different ideas and isn't really cohesive. It also doesn't give a lot of review. 
  • I felt like I needed to supplement so we are using First Language Lessons which I love. But, I feel like with Sonlight's price I shouldn't have to order more things to supplement.
  • And yeah, the price tag. Sonlight is expensive.
  • The science experiments require a lot of materials to be gathered. Which is fine but they advertise one of the perks of their program as not having to gather a lot of materials. Not the case.
  • I feel like this shouldn't be counted as a con because it isn't really a claim Sonlight makes... but I felt like all topics should flow together more... If we are reading about the pilgrims coming to America for studies I think it would be neat if our read alouds, laungauge arts lessons, etc. all tied in. I felt like we were having to switch gears all day long.
  • It is hard to shake things up or take a break without throwing off the lesson plan schedule. 
But, I don't regret buying it this year at all. I don't know that I would have learned so much about my personal homeschooling philosophies without it! I have learned that for me, unit studies (based on my kids interests, current events, the time of year, etc) and amazing literature is where it is at. And those things are my heart for homeschooling my children. Sonlight really doesn't fit that vision and that is fine. It is still a great program. It just isn't for me!

So, as we continue on this year we will still be using most of our Sonlight materials. But, I will be adding in several unit studies along the way and really focusing on the literature. It will be more work on my end but I really believe it is what works best for me and for my kids... and that is the beauty of homeschooling!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Teach the younger women...

The best part of having your own blog is you can say whatever you want... your own little corner of the internet to vent ;)

And I hate to use the term vent, but my heart just felt so heavy this morning. Sarah Mae, one of my absolute favorite author/bloggers reposted one of her most shared blog posts. It is entitled, "Maybe Your Two Year Old Just Needs You" and it got over 92,000 shares. And as I sat thinking about it I realized why I believe this article got so many shares... it was a breath of fresh air.

As moms we are hungry for encouragement. We are hungry for older women to live out the Titus 2 mandate and teach us to "love our children"... because we have been starved for it...

When I first found out I was having a baby I do not remember getting any advice or encouragement to love my baby. I had books and discipline methods shoved at me from every angle. I was told if I didn't "sleep train" my child I basically don't want to raise my children to be Godly people... But, no, I wasn't encouraged or trained in any way to love my child.

I think it is because people assume that loving your children is a given. And to some degree it is. I naturally loved my children. But, I don't think we always know how to "act" like a loving mom. Or how that all plays out. So, we default to the practical advice that is heaped upon us.

And I believe in our self-centered, me-driven culture, a lot of the advice we are given appeals to us. It is applealing to have perfectly well behaved children. Having kids that don't inconvenience our way of life and cause us to have to sacrifice in any way does sound good. Being able to train my baby to sleep through the night as soon as possible and have a toddler who never throws their Cheerios on the floor is what we want when it comes down to it... We want to live our lives with as little inconvenience as possible.

But, what if the reality is that motherhood is really about sacrifice? Sacrificing ourselves. Laying down our own lives. And loving. And maybe that kind of sacrificial love DOES need to be taught. Maybe we need to be trained how to love our own children. I know in many ways it did not come naturally to me. I am sure thankful for women like Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson who are breaking the mold as "parenting experts" and are putting discipline aside and teaching love.

And I know discipline is important. I see the value of practical advice, and yes, disciplining our children is part of loving them. But, out of the context of loving and sacrificing I think it can do so much more harm than good. And while Jesus doesn't lay out a sleeping regimen for infants in the Bible he does lay out a pattern of love and sacrifice. And whether we like it or not the command is to teach the younger women to love their children.

So, here it goes for what it is worth... Let's LOVE our children today. Let's make sure that they are tickled and snuggled and laughed with. Let's tell them they are valuable and beautiful and wonderful. When they spill the glass of milk let's help them clean it up. When they interrupt what we are doing let's stop and give them our attention rather than rolling our eyes. When our babies cry let's comfort them and rock them rather and feel blessed for the opportunity rather than feeling "put out". And when we have the opportunity let's teach another mother to "love".

Monday, November 18, 2013

Back to Monday

Happy Monday! (Trying to use the power of suggestion... I was NOT quite ready for the weekend to be over!) It was a really, really good weekend.

Highlights include:

  • A spontaneous night out with my friend Jenn. We went to dinner and then checked out one of the new outlet malls.
  • A full date day with my husband, hallelujah! We went to Old Town St. Charles and had lunch and walked around and peeked at the shops. Then we went to VB Chocolate Bar in Cottleville for coffee and dessert (it was so much fun!). We topped off our date wandering around Barnes and Noble. (Huge thank you to my parents for making the kiddos day just as fun as ours was). I have to say, I was really head over heals in love with my husband when I got married... but I love him so much more today and continue to fall more in love with him... so thankful.
  • Saturday evening we decided to have a little Thanksgiving craft family night so we did turkey hands, made Native American headdresses and decorated cookies.
  • Yesterday we went to church and sang a song that was new for me... and I am kind of obsessed with it now... :)
  • We spent our afternoon lounging a little bit. I took a little nap because I had gotten like two hours of sleep the night before!
  • We went to my parent's house yesterday evening for a fish fry and to watch the Broncos beat the Chiefs (sorry, Hubs!)

In other news... this guy is 9 months old today... you have got to be kidding me!

The kiddos and I are excited for this week.We are doing a Thanksgiving unit study this week! I am excited to take a break from some of our normal stuff and dig deeper into one of my favorite holidays with my kids this week! (I will update more on homeschooling soon!)

I hope everyone has a good week!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Days of Thankfulness

Okay, I realized after my first post that I probably won't be able to keep up with 30 days of Thankfulness here on the blog. I get most of my internet time in during nursing sessions on my phone. I do want to participate so I decided to do it via Instagram this year. It is just easier that way for me. So, feel free to follow along over there. I am using #30daysofthankfulness to keep them all together.

Remember to pray...

A few years ago my dear friend Elizabeth who lives in Illinois shared a practical tip that has stuck with me and had a deep effect on my prayer life. I thought I would share it in case it might be a blessing to anyone else.

Elizabeth shared with me that she used anything going going on in her home as a reminder to pray...
her boys were playing together nicely... "Lord, let them always be close"
her boys were fighting... "Lord, help them to learn good conflict resolution and help them to love each other"
picking up her husband's socks... "Lord, thank you for my husband and that he is able to be home in the evenings"...

Anything! (Sorry if those weren't your exact examples Elizabeth! ha!)

dishes piled up, messy floors, toys all over the house after a playdate, snuggles from a kiddo for no reason...

It has been such a blessing to me to pray this way. Life is busy and after my morning quiet time it is easy to get in survival mode and just get stuff done. But, using everyday things as prayer reminders has helped me keep my perspective on God and to see him at work in our home. It helps me to pray for things that I might not think about in a quiet house in the morning. And ultimately it keeps me in communion with God throughout the day, which is really the whole point.

Give it a try! Look around and you will find that your everyday life is full of inspiration to pray! You can even use things that you see everyday as daily prayer reminders. Every time you see your wedding ring you can thank God for your marriage. When you fill up your water cup you can pray for women on the other side of the globe who don't have easy access to clean water for their families. When you drive by your neighborhood school pray for safety in our schools and communities and for those teachers who are shining the light of Christ there. Really, the sky is the limit. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween Recap 2013

I think yesterday was the best Halloween our little family has had to date. It started off rough... I have a 3 year old boy, need I say more? (I have found terrible 2's to be a myth but the terrible 3's can really rear its ugly head around here!) But, after that initial rough patch it was the perfect day.

We started off the day meeting some friends from our church to visit the nursing home. We try to go every month and the kiddos have always enjoyed it. Today the plan was to just let the kids show off their costumes to the residents. I was just so proud of my kids. They are already so good at just loving people (better than I am). They smiled and showed off their costumes and said "Happy Halloween" even when people couldn't talk back to them. It was such a sweet time.

After lunch we made some little ghost cookies for dessert and then we painted pumpkins. We didn't get around to carving this year so we decided to just paint. It was fun. Although, I think we will try to carve next year. I missed the squeals getting out the pumpkin guts... and I really missed roasting the seeds!

Our friends were supposed to come over and spend Halloween with us but they ended up being sick so they couldn't come. So, my parents came over instead. I made chicken noodle soup and cornbread. We ate and then went trick or treating.
We ended up with 2 ninjas, Snow White, and a dinosaur

Soph was so excited to be Snow White this year. Nick's mom made this costume for his older sister when she was little! Both of his sisters wore it and now Sophie got to! And it is still in amazing shape! It was sweet.

My ninja.

Jack was supposed to be Dusty from Planes but when he saw Max being a ninja he was over it. My sweet neighbor heard about it and brought over one of their ninja costumes for him to borrow. He was always in character!

And a little dino! Nick's mom got this outfit for Jack when he was a baby and so we were thankful to get to use it again!

The weather was icky so after a few houses the kiddos were ready to head back home... especially since they heard there was hot chocolate back at home! They drank their hot chocolate and sorted candy and then we snuggled up on the couch and watched Monsters University while passing out candy.
Sam had fun riding around in the stroller!

Jack especially loved helping to pass out the candy... although he was a little stingy and only wanted to give people one piece. My mom said he takes after his grandpa, ha!

It was a great family day and I am thankful for it!

Month of Gratitude {Day 1}

Can you believe it is November already? I can't wrap my mind around it! I feel like yesterday we were swimming! My friend Christina posted on Facebook her first "Month of Gratitude" post and I was so thankful for the reminder! It has become one of my favorite November traditions! Along with eating all things pumpkin....

So, here goes my month of gratitude (in no particular order!)...

I am thankful I get to be a mom to these amazing kiddos. I know that it is a privilege and it is one I do not take for granted. I really love being a mom and I love to remember (especially on hard days) that God specifically gave me these children and that I am specifically supposed to be their mom. God put us together on purpose! I love that!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Around the web!

There were some great reads/listens around the web this week. They are on the "controversial" side if you can call it that. I personally am thankful that there are men in our society that are willing to stand up and defend women and children and speak truth at any cost.

I have been thinking so much lately about how our society desperately wants to believe that there is no ultimate source of truth. The whole "I'm okay, your okay" mantra. But, there is a source of truth- The Bible. And there is right and there is wrong.

That is not to say that there aren't some areas of freedom. There absolutely are. But, even in those areas we should be asking the question, "How can I glorify God in this?" instead of "What do I want to do?" (paraphrased Mark Driscoll quote that totally spoke to me today!).

Speaking of freedom in Christ... I really enjoyed this Ask Pastor John Podcast from this week on drinking alcohol.

I also loved this article from the Matt Walsh blog about government education. I think he hit the nail on the head on so much of it. We are living in a different world today now that the national government is basically controlling our schools rather than the states. I had mixed emotions about this article at first because I know so many amazing public school teachers who really do just want to teach their students subjects they are passionate about... but I am also watching these same teachers lose the freedom to actually teach their students. I also loved his obvious passion for homeschooling! Here is a quote from the article...

"And this is why people hate home schooling. They hate it because it’s against the grain. It’s too far “out there.” Almost every human being was “home schooled” for most of human civilization, but now many can’t even fathom the concept. These people have no rational or empirical case against it. By any standard or academic indicator, home schooled kids outperform their public schooled peers by wide margins. The critics might babble about how public schools are good for “socialization,” but in the next breath they’ll complain of the bullying “epidemic."

And lastly, I was very touched by this video from Mark Driscoll's series on the 10 Commandments. I love his willingness to speak truth even when it makes people uncomfortable. I am thankful for Godly men who are willing to act like men and "seek justice and love mercy" (Micah 6:8).
And I will lead you with something with zero controversy... a picture of the cutest baby on the planet... ;)

I hope you all have a great weekend! Let's seek to glorify God and stand up for His truth in all that we do!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Today is one of those days that I just feel like I am about to overflow! I am feeling so blessed in so many ways. I know that I am always blessed but today is one of those days where every blessing seems more noticeable. I feel like God has been pointing out to me specifically prayers he has answered. So, in One Thousand Gifts fashion I am going to spend a few moments counting my blessings!

  1. My husband came home this afternoon and suprised me with a Jilly's cupcake for us to share and one for the kids! I LOVE suprises. I think they might be my love language. I also love Jilly's cupcakes. A lot.
  2. My husband's new "job". It is such an amazing answer to prayer. With his old job he was away from home so much and spent so much time commuting. Now, he is able to work from home a lot of the time and has a much more flexible schedule. It has been such a blessing for our whole family but especially for me! I mean, hello, we ate a cupcake together at 1 o'clock in the afternoon on a Wednesday!
  3. God's faithfulness in answering my prayer to help me to persevere through this season of little sleep. I am up about every two hours and yet somehow I wake up fairly refreshed and am able to get through the days with my kiddos in a relatively good mood! But, more than that, with the peace that Jesus sees my needs and is sustaining me.
  4. My sweet husband. Just him. He is amazing. And wonderful. His heart for me and our kids is overwhelming sometimes. When I am having a hard moment or day he takes the time to listen and then points me straight back to Christ and the Gospel. To have a front row seat watching God transform my husband into the man he is today overwhelms me. And I know that God isn't finished with him yet (or any of us!)
  5. My sweet little red headed baby. After having three babies with dark brown hair it never crossed my mind that I would ever have anything else. And I was fine with that. Sam's hair color is such a precious little reminder of how God knits each one of us together in His own creative way. Sam's hair is a daily reminder to me of God's creativity!
  6. Our small group from church. In January all of the small groups in our church got mixed up and we were asked to sign up for the small group geographically closest to us. It was such a hard and emotional thing for me because I loved our old small group. The ladies in it were (and still are) some of my very best friends. We joined a group where basically everyone else had teenagers or adult children. I felt like the odd woman out. But, oh my goodness, the ladies in my small group have been a blessing to me more than I could ever imagine. They are TRUE Titus 2 women and they have all been willing to come along side me and love me. They are willing to share wisdom and encouragement whenever I need it... even when I don't know I do. They love on my kids! Their kids love on my kids! I know without a doubt that God put us in this small group!
  7. We live about 5 minutes from my Grandma and the "big kids" beg to go and spend time at her house, specifically without me! They have gotten to do that  few times this month and it is so much fun for them. And a blessing for me! It melts my heart to see how close my children get to be to my grandma! 
  8. It is officially Fall. I am taking full advantage of all things pumpkin, jeans and sweaters, gorgeous fall leaves falling, hot beverages around the clock. My friend Natalie posted this quote on Facebook yesterday, "I loved autumn, the one season of the year that God seemed to have put there just for the beauty of it." -Lee Maynard. Love,
I could go on... but my littlest blessing just woke up from his nap. I hope you have a blessed day today!

One on one time :)

Like I said, I have always wanted to have a bigger family. Since I was a little girl I have always wanted to be a mom. It is certainly a blessing to be living out my dream job! Especially alongside a husband who shares the dream!

One of the best parts about having several kiddos is having the opportunity to get to know these amazing little people as individuals. It never ceases to amaze me how children growing up in the same environment with the same parents can have such different little personalities.

I feel like since I stay at home full time and since we homeschool I get lots of opportunities to get to know my children. We are always together! Getting one on one time really isn't that challenging as long as I am intentional about it.

Some simple things I do throughout the day to have one on one time with my kiddos include;

  • Taking a child with me to run an errand. Sure, I rarely go to the store alone, but having company is more fun anyway. And the sweet little conversations make it all worth it. 
  • Doing chores together! Seems silly and not very fun, but whenever I pull one of my kiddos aside to do a job with me or to train them on a new skill we usually end up having some great quality time together. Great conversations can come when washing windows or folding laundry together!
  • Stopping to play. I make it a point to stop and play with each of my kiddos everyday. Sometimes it means saying "yes" when asked to do a puzzle or dress Calico Critters. And sometimes it means joining in on some playtime already in session when the kids are playing by themselves. I will often pop in when someone is playing Legos or playing zoo. My kids never fail to light up when I say, "Can I play too?"
Nick and I recently talked about wanting to have some good, "special" quiet time with our kiddos. As we chatted about different possibilities we realized that early on weekday mornings might be a great chance to sneak off and have some one on one time with our kiddos. 

A few weeks ago I got up early and peeked into Sophie's room and asked if she wanted to go to breakfast with me. She was thrilled and we got dressed quickly and headed off to Panera at 6 in the morning. It was wonderful.

Yesterday I decided to get away with Max. He asked to go to Panera too (since that is where his sister got to go). Our conversations ranged from chivalry, to what countries are in Asia, to college. It was precious time.

The opportunity to spend time with my kids really is priceless, it is an investment in something with eternal value! It is not a burden or something I have to do, it is my greatest privilege as a mom!

What are some of your favorite ways to spend one on one time with your kiddos?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

8 months old!

The Quote that Changed my Prayers

A few weeks back I finished reading Sally Clarkson's book "Seasons of a Mother's Heart". It was wonderful and spoke to my heart in so many ways when it comes to homeschooling. My absolute favorite quote in regards to homeschool came at the end,
Sally Clarkson on her choice to homeschool...

"I have chosen to homeschool because it is my deep, heartfelt conviction that is is God's will for my life and for my family. If I chose to homeschool because others were doing it, or because I thought it would be fulfilling, or even because I thought it would provide the best education for my children, then I would always be able to choose another option if I became too tired or overwhelmed or discouraged. But if my decision to homeschool was based on being obedient to the design for motherhood and family that I see revealed in Scripture, then I have no other options. My only choice is to obey."

That quote has been such an encouragement to me in homeschooling.

BUT, that is not the quote I wanted to post about! (But, I did want to share it in case it encouraged anyone else!)

The quote that encouraged me, though written about homeschooling, applied to a completely different area of my life...

Since Sam has been born he has not been a good sleeper. Sophie and Jack weren't good sleepers either... but Sam is especially not good. I have been handling it okay during the day but I found myself at night just crying out to God, "please help my baby to sleep! I need sleep! I can't do this!"

Then I read in my book...

"What you need is not deliverance from your difficulties, but you need to persevere."

Hebrews 10:36 says,
For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.

God knows Sam isn't sleeping well. And he knows that I have three other kiddos that need my attention, and a husband, and a home to run, and homeschooling to do... He knows all of that. And yet he still has me where I am. And my part of it needs to be perseverance and endurance (through Christ)... not pleading for deliverance.

So, at night when I am up with Sam I pray for perseverance in this season. I pray for Christ to sustain me and use me and that this would be a fruitful time in my life. And I see him answering that prayer! He is so faithful to provide for us exactly what we need... and it is easier to see that when we realize that what we need is what Christ says we need... not what we think we need. Praying this prayer has completely changed my attitude and given me a better understanding of who Christ is... someone who cares deeply and is working at my sanctification. Someone who values motherhood and has placed a divine calling on my life. And someone who loves me and sustains me.

This boy might not sleep much but man do we adore him.

*Disclaimer- I know that advocates of "sleep training" will cringe at this post (I used to be one of them!)... that is okay! I am aware that we all chose to do this mom thing differently and in non-Biblical issues that is a-okay! :)