Wednesday, October 24, 2012

For When Being a Mom is Hard

Sometimes being a Mom is hard work. Ok, to be honest, it's hard MOST of the time. And sometimes I am REALLY bad at it. Last night was a good example of my lack of greatness in the parenting department.

I have one child to deal with. One sheet of math homework. It shouldn't be that hard, right? (How those of you with lots of kids make it through the night, I have no idea, but my hat is off to you!) The homework consisted of finding 3 labels from the kitchen and copying the measurements onto the worksheet and 2 practice problems, one addition and one subtraction. I am ashamed to say that this homework took nearly TWO HOURS to complete. There was yelling, crying, tantrum throwing, and walking away all involved. It was horrendus to say the least. We finally got it done. Fortunately for me, he must have been worn out from fighting about homework because he didn't give much resistance to the shower.

After he washed all of his anger down the drain in the shower, he came downstairs, cuddled next to me and in his little boy voice asked if we could start over. Of course, I cuddled him back, agreed and silently overflowed with thoughts of guilt and self-loathing. We talked a bit about how we both could have acted differently and then went to bed.

I often use a Bible app on my smartphone. So when I laid down in bed and opened the app it was on Isaiah 41 and the version was The Message. The title at the top? "Do you feel like a lowly worm?" How appropriate!?! That is pretty much exactly how I was feeling, except possibly lower. I'm supposed to be the grown up and I was acting just as childish as the 8 year old. I was feeling terrible and like a horrible mother. Afraid. Afraid of the impact my parenting is having on my precious son.

I read the chapter and then read it again in the NIV version.

Isaiah 41:9-10 (NIV)
I took you from the ends of the earth,
    from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
    I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:14 (NIV)
Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob,
    little Israel, do not fear,
for I myself will help you,” declares the Lord,
    your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
God is so awesome. I love how He is there for us all the time. I don't even know why my bible app was in Isaiah as I was reading Romans last time I used it. But there it was. Exactly what I needed. Encouragement from the Father and a reminder that He is always there for me to lean on and ask for help.
I'm feeling much better about homework time tonight.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The W word

Widow. If I am honest with myself, I hate this word. It reminds me of the loss of the love of my life. It reminds me that all my dreams of being married and having a family (in the traditional sense) were realized and then lost.

But it is so much more than that. It is an ugly word and there are so many connotations that are bad. When I hear the word widow, I think of a bitter, old, lonely woman who never smiles. She dresses in drab colors, has unkempt hair and wrinkles from frowning. Her eyes are empty. You feel sorry for her when you look at her.

This is not who I am. This is not who I am called to be. I like to smile. I love to see the joy in everyday things. I am lonely sometimes, but in the solitude I am drawn closer to Jesus.

I did some bible study on the word "widow" and I found so many instances where God commands us to care for widows and fatherless children. It gives me so much comfort knowing that he understands my grief and has given specific instructions for my care.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
                                                                                                  ~James 1:27 (NIV)

                                                   "Learn to do right; seek justice.
                                                    Defend the oppressed.
                                                    Take up the cause of the fatherless;
                                                    Plead the case of the widow."
                                                                                ~Isaiah 1:17 (NIV)

I miss my husband so much. But I am not alone. Not only do I have my family and friends looking out for me and supporting me. I have God.

"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling."
                                                                                                                                ~Psalm 68:5

I have a father in heaven who is there for me whenever I am lonely, whenever I am sad, when I am scared and when I am lost. Knowing He is there for me gives me strength. It brings me joy.

"......Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
                                                                     ~Nehemiah 8:10

***Linking up with Ann at***

Friday, October 12, 2012


The Rules.......

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

Link up here.

This weeks topic: RACE

The very first thing that comes to my mind when I see the word "race" is how, since my son was old enough to walk, we've been "racing". Racing to the bathtub, racing to brush our teeth, racing to the car. You get the idea. In his nearly nine years of life, I'm fairly sure it is the most brilliant parenting strategy I've come up with. Whenever he would argue with me about not wanting to do something I would challenge him to a race to that very thing and he was instantly taken over by his competitive nature and before he knew what happened he was in the bathtub. ;)

We haven't raced in awhile. Maybe it's because our new house has an upstairs and I'm clutzy, or possibly it's because he is actually fast now and I don't have much of a chance anymore. But the other night he was complaining about the shower and things were about to escalate and I remembered the race. It worked. We raced to the top of the stairs. He won. And he took a shower.

Friday, October 5, 2012

FMF: Welcome

Linking up with for Five Minute Fridays. Five minutes of unedited, free-writing. No rules other than to visit the 2-3 link-ups before yours and leave an encouraging word.

This weeks topic:  WELCOME

9 years ago I was unwed, pregnant, living with my mom. I was a disaster. I was ashamed of myself, my life, everything. But I had this baby growing inside of me and somehow I knew things needed to change.  Since I was living with my mom, I had to follow her rules which meant I had to live by her rules. Living by her rules meant I had to go to church every Sunday. I grew up in church so it wasn't like I didn't know God or anything. But I was ashamed. I was embarrassed to go. I didn't know any of these people as our old church had shut its doors and I hadn't been to her new church. But I went. People were nice to me but I wasn't really open to their welcome.

Then one day I got invited to a baby shower. For my baby. I was welcomed by all of these women who I didn't know at all. They put together this wonderful party for me and my son. He was showered with wonderful new clothes and all the things new babies need.  (Technically times up.....but I'm not done yet!)

I was so touched and as I look back, I see that God was welcoming me back. He used these beautiful women to show me His love. It took me a while to get back on track with Him, but knowing that there were people that loved God enough to love me, sins and all, really opened a giant door for me.

To this day, my son and I are close to one of the families from that church. They are "Uncle and Aunt" to my son and I still remember the darling outfit she got him at our baby shower.