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No One Told Me That…

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“We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness – and call it love – true love.” ~ Robert Fulghum, True Love

Why is it that nothing is as we think it is? Ah…such is life. Life is weird. People are weird. It’s true. I am always interested in hearing about things women thought they knew but realized they were wrong. It’s very normal for me. Nothing turns out the way I thought it would. But I was interested in hearing from you!

–Marriage– –Pregnancy & Childbirth–  –Raising Kids– and –Running a Household–

        What did other women say when I asked them what they didn’t know and what no one told them about the topics above when they embarked on this journey? Check out some of the comments!

You mean my kitchen cupboards aren’t already stocked with food when we get home from the honeymoon? I have to make that happen? Ridiculous!

-Baylie

No one told me that a man can snore loud enough to wake you out of a dead sleep…

No one told me that he would want dinner. Every night. For the rest of my life. I mean, our Moms did that for us- but it just doesn’t register!

No one told me it was possible to love a man sooooo much, yet still want to beat him to death with a stick.

No one told me that I would want to march down to his job when he doesn’t get the promotion and let them know exactly how wrong they are and what they’re missing out on.

Grocery shopping! It seemed so glamorous when I was a kid! And the cost of groceries? I remember the look on my husband’s face when I told him I mostly ate macaroni and cheese with tuna in it because it was cheap. He lived at home with Mom until we were married and expected these meals that I had No. Idea. How. To. Cook.

-Heather

You really don’t get your body fully back after delivery.

The kid always has a blowout when you forget the diaper bag.

Kid’s poop can be a variety of colors, shapes and sizes.

You will talk about poop like it’s a normal everyday thing…

-Carrie

I didn’t know that others moms don’t have it all together.  – Kate

After being in labor for over 12 hours

After being in labor for over 12 hours

I thought I’d make my own list. Here’s what I came up with.

I didn’t know that sharing the bathroom with someone else would be so easy. …and so difficult.

I didn’t know that budgets were actually important.

I didn’t know that being nervous to “let it all hang out” at the doctor was only temporary.

I didn’t know that bedtime would be my favorite part of the day.

I didn’t know that I was so much like my parents.

I didn’t know that they would want three meals a day…sometimes more.

I didn’t know that I could love someone so much and still be so angry with them.

I didn’t know I would have to deal with someone’s bowel movements over and over again sometimes many in one day.

I didn’t know I would be so tired.

I didn’t know stuff could come out of both ends…at the same time.

I didn’t know moms were human.

I didn’t know that what I eat is actually important.

I didn’t know know that I would have to clean the same room 4000 times in one day.

I didn’t know I could love someone so much.

I didn’t know that my greatest desire would be for them to grow, prosper, and live for God.

I didn’t know I would have to relearn everything I thought I already knew.

I didn’t know it would be so difficult.

I didn’t know I would learn to want so little and yet receive so much.

I didn’t know life could be so messy.

What would you add to our list?

No matter what we didn’t know, life is a gift and everything (and everyone!) that God puts in our lives is important and a blessing. And just because life is messy doesn’t mean we can’t laugh our way through. Laugh at the weird things (and weird ones!) in your life and enjoy every minute.

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What I Want Them to Know (Plus Bonus Post: Our Summer Bucket List)

The fam. 20132.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I tend to post when I have time. Sometimes it’s every day, sometimes it’s only once or twice a week. It’s how we roll here…nothing is ever expected, normal, or as planned.

With that said, I am a planner at my core…and I like to plan ahead even though I know the plan will probably not happen as it should. Ah…such is life.

Before I get to our “plan”, I found this article the other day and it really inspired me to write down some things I want my kids to know about me. So I did it! Check out my list:

20thingsmykidsshouldknow

As I wrote this post, I thought of a few more:

21.) I don’t want you to be like me because I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I made.

22.) I love the funny things you say and do.

23.) You are growing and learning so quickly. I am proud of you.

24.) Nothing you do will change the way I see you.

25.) God’s love is free and so is mine. You never have to earn my love or favor.

My kids are young right now, but I know in the future, I will have many opportunities to share these facts with them. After all, how will they know what to get me for mother’s day (a coupon for my favorite coffe shop, of course!)? And how will they know my true intentions in every situation… unless I tell them?

I really liked this idea…it’s fun, but it also tells my kids about their mom. It opens communication, it is honest and real. How many times are we completely honest and real with our kids? Motherhood is hard…but loving our kids doesn’t have to be. Being open with them (as with any relationship) is the key to success. Do you love your kids enough to be real with them?

I encourage you to make a list for your kids and when your kids are old enough, have them make one too.

summer2

Photo by Alsal Photography

So summer is finally here! I hope you are as excited as I am. As I was thinking about what I wanted to accomplish this summer, I realized I should write it all down so that we can check off items as we accomplish them. Hence the Summer Bucket List.

summerbucketlist2Photos courtesy of picmonkey.com

So far, we’ve already picked strawberries and planted our garden. We also hope to go to our local farmer’s market this weekend. 🙂

So What does your summer look like? Do you have a list?

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Proverbs for Parenting

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Photo Credit: freedigitalphotos.net

When we had our first child, my mother-in-law gave us a book called Proverbs for Parenting by Barbara Decker. It’s a topical study on the book of proverbs as it applies to parenting. Ms. Decker separates the book into sections organized by category. Topics include Reverence for God, Godly Character, Self-Control, Wisdom & Instruction and so much more.

The book is introduced by quoting Deuteronomy 6:6,7 which says,

Deut 6:6,7 KJV

6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

Ms. Decker quotes the KJV but I like how the Message version says it too:

Deut. 6:6,7 MSG

Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night.

The idea here is to infiltrate God’s word into our children’s lives.

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Photo Credit: freedigitalphotos.net

The author goes on to point out that she noticed in her own parenting that correction and discipline sounded like “No.”, “Stop.” “Quit.” or “Don’t.” Instead of instructing her children with God’s word.

On page 2, in the introduction, She says,

If one of my boys dawdles in carrying out his task of taking the silverware out of the dishwasher and putting it in its proper place, I have the resource and option of teaching him a proverb about work, such as:

     Proverbs 6:6-8

      Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:

     Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,

     Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth

her food in harvest.

And once I have instructed him with this proverb, perhaps later a simple reminder of the ant would suffice as encouragement…

Do you see what she’s saying? Instead of simply trying to control our kids’ behavior by nagging, demanding, and complaining, instructing with God’s Word is not only more practical, but it is more rewarding and a more meaningful form of correction that our kids may actually take to heart.

Easier said than done, I know. Here are a few ways to implement focusing on God’s Word from day to day:

1.) Take time in God’s word for yourself. How can we teach those under our care if we aren’t learning on our own? Join a Bible study, memorize scripture, listen to a sermon online, read a spiritually challenging book before bed. Whatever you can do to be in the Word and be challenged in your walk.

2.) Follow Deut. 6: Memorize scripture with your kids, encourage your kids with scripture, and discipline & correct with scripture.

3.) Pray that God would change your heart and the hearts of your children.

We are definitely just at the starting point. Trying to change our focus to scripture and not on what we need to do or or what was done wrong. If we focus on God’s Word, He’ll do the changing and convicting.

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Photo by Ryk Neethling

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Leading Little Ones

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Photo by Waiting For The Word

Leading Little Ones. It’s the title of my blog, but it’s so much more than that.

It’s what I desire to do with my life.

It’s what I’ve been called to do as a parent and as a mother.

My pastor spoke recently about shepherding the flock where you are placed. He’s been speaking in 1 Peter and his last sermon was on chapter 5 verses 1-4. I decided I want to frame this passage in my home. It not only speaks to elders of the churches…it speaks to everyone in one way or another. It’s personal and practical. Take a look:

5 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it overthose entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

Peter is addressing leaders. Aren’t we all leaders in some way? He also recognizes himself as a leader and that he is responsible to shepherd his flock too.

He says to shepherd the flock that God has given you. Lead them. Care for them.

Peter knows this responsibility well. Remember this passage from John 21?

15 After breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”

“Yes, Master, you know I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

16 He then asked a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”

“Yes, Master, you know I love you.”

Jesus said, “Shepherd my sheep.”

17-19 Then he said it a third time: “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was upset that he asked for the third time, “Do you love me?” so he answered, “Master, you know everything there is to know. You’ve got to know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”…

A command from the mouth of Christ. Yep, Peter knew this command well. It was written on his heart by the very one who created him.

To me, this passage simply screams ‘motherhood!’ As parents, we are responsible for leading our children. We are to shepherd them. But here’s the kicker: Look at verse 2 of 1 Peter 5.

—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve;

He says, don’t do this because you have to. Do it because you are willing. Do not do it  for selfish reasons. Do it because you are eager to serve. How often am I eager to serve? Rarely. How many times am I in it for selfish gain or only thinking of myself? Often.

He goes on to say,

3 not lording it overthose entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.

There’s no excuse for a power struggle here. Do not lord over your children, but rather, be an example to them. That hits me right between the eyes. It so pricks my heart. I am to lead my Children in God’s ways because He has given them to me. I am to lead them not because I want to, but because I am eager to serve Him and not to receive gain for myself. I am not to dominate my children, but I am instead called to be an example to them…an example of a godly woman, wife, and mother; an example of a gentle spirit; an example of Jesus.

What more is there? If I am simply focused on being a Christ-like example, won’t other worries, burdens, and fears just fade away?

And what are the benefits?

4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.

Ahhh… A promise from the Promise Keeper. When our Shepherd, the Chief Shepherd comes again… we will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away. Will that be a physical crown? I don’t know. But I have an inkling it’s going to be much better than that. But it’s a promise just the same.

I have hope in the Lord…He is my Good Shepherd. He is my example. And by His example and mine, my children may just end up as His sheep.

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New Beginnings

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Welcome to the new Leading Little Ones blog! I’m excited to begin blogging more often and share some exciting new developments for my blog. That’s coming soon, so stay tuned!

I have added a few of some of my old posts for you to read while I get my new stuff up and running. Until then, I want to share with you my desire for this blog and for my life as a wife and mother. To begin, I want to say I am not an expert. I do not have a degree in child development. I am not a doctor. My kids are not perfect. My house is not spotless. I have piles of laundry in my bedroom. I have dishes in my sink and stains on my clothes. But that’s okay. I am just a young mom who wants to share with other new and expecting moms, the things that I have learned (and am learning) the hard way. But, most of all, I want to share what I am still learning so that I can offer encouragement to those who struggle in the same ways.

     As we all know, moms are not perfect. We are human just like the rest of the world. However, we have to be an example to our children. We have a great responsibility from God to lead those entrusted in our care. Most of this blog is my frustration, fear, weakness, and joy of early motherhood written in black and white. But, through Christ’s strength, I will attempt to raise godly, joyful, loving children who live for the Lord…and hopefully I will be able to finish the laundry and the dishes too.

     Growing up, I was an only child until I was eight years old. So, at family gatherings, I loved to hold, play, and rock my little cousins when they were babies. (I was the second oldest of twelve grandchildren.) I can remember caring for my younger cousins with such awe and desire. “I can’t wait until I am a mommy”, I would think to myself. Then, when I became an older sister, I was able to help care for my younger brother! What a joy! Or so I thought. Now, don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed my little brother. But it was then, and the years that followed, that I realized how difficult it could be to raise a child.

But this difficulty is also very rewarding. 3 John v4 says:

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

That’s what I desire! That my children will walk in truth. But that takes work and investment in those little hearts.

This blog is the documentation of the ups and downs of motherhood! You can keep up with me by subscribing or you can also check out my new Facebook page. Be sure to “like” it and share with your friends! From cooking, to cleaning, home schooling, and biblical child care, there’s something for everyone!