Laughing Laundry

I don’t know about you, but my laundry laughs at me. Upgrade your email with 1000's of emoticon icons
As soon as I walk near a load, I can hear snickering from the socks planning to get lost in the process. I can hear the sheets giggle because they’ll purposely not all fit in the washer at one time. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen the bottom of the laundry basket(s) because my sons’ shirts make a point to stick to the bottom of the basket – do they want to be washed? Where does the laundry come from? Are my children throwing clean clothes in with the dirty to keep from hanging them up? What’s really going on? As soon as I finish one load, another appears – it just sorta happens!! I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s really just one load, which has learned to magically multiply itself and transform. Un-be-liev-able!!

I can’t believe I’m sharing this, yet it’s so unlike me, I HAVE to share it. This is the third day I’ve taken a pile of clothes from my bedroom to the living room and back because I don’t feel like putting it away. I guess the laundry not only laughs, yet it plays musical rooms also! Oh well, I will not get beat by this laughing laundry, which is obviously alive. It will all get washed today because I refuse to do laundry on Saturdays. Ha! We’ll see who’s laughing this weekend!

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Get Dressed For The Day!

When I had my first child, my Mother told me to always get dressed and ready for the day first thing in the morning. I realized early in the game that waiting around for a few hours to dress, comb my hair, and brush my teeth only set me up for a mad rush of the unexpected happenings of the day! Even while on convalescent leave, Mama told me to make myself presentable. Unexpected visitors may come by to see the baby, I may have to go to the store, or even rush to the hospital...anything can happen! Even today, retired and homeschooling, I get up and get ready for the day - most days. For some reason, pajamas leave me in a relaxed frame of mind and it's easy to lounge when I KNOW I don't have time to lounge. Getting dressed as if I'm dressing for a job (being a Mother is definitely a job) , puts me in a working mindset and helps me feel better about myself. Even combing my hair makes a difference in how I feel - Mama still says, "If your hair is combed, you look and feel better about yourself." For those Mothers working outside the home, get ready for a great work day!! For those Mothers working inside the home, get dressed and ready for a great work day - at home!!

Don't Plan My Day

When I worked outside the home, my boss planned my day. Now that I'm retired and at home, my husband likes to plan my day. Today was going to be a quiet day for the boys and me - no errands to run, no trip to the library, but noooooo as my husband was walking out the door for work, he said the insurance bill needed to be payed (in person) and he added a couple more tasks to MY to-do list. Ooookay, take a deep breath and keep your mouth shut. The last thing I wanted to do was send my loving bread winner off to work with my mean words and ugly attitude, so I immediately put on my June Cleaver face and said, "Noooo problem!" Being a loving, supportive wife takes effort and the hardest part for me is keeping my mouth shut, but I did it - thank you, Lord! After seeing my dear husband off, I walked into the house and grumbled a few words and commenced my day. I hate it when he plans my day, but that's okay. When you think about it our time is not our own anyway - it belongs to God. A Mother's job is to care, nurture, and love God's children and be a HELP mate to her husband, God's son. Okay, Lord...what else do you have planned for me today? I'm available.

Why So Early?

My nine year old came into the living room as I was exercising and asked why I wake up so early. It was 6:30 a.m. and I was glad he asked! I told him I get up early so I could have time by myself, time alone with God, time to read my Bible, time to exercise, time to pray, and whatever else I wanted to do ALONE. I tried to say it as nicely as possible, yet I was a little ticked off that he was up so early. He slowly turned around and walked back to his bedroom and hopefully went back to sleep. If he had not gone back to bed, I probably would have. I HAVE to have my time alone and if waking up at 4:30 in the morning doesn't get it, I'll wake up earlier. It's a must! Being at home all day with the boys is a blessing, yet I appreciate a minute alone more and more every day. A minute alone is my sanity and my peace. Preparing for a day as a Mother calls for private preparation.

Goals, Dreams, and Desires

I recently had dinner with a friend who shared that her goals, dreams, and desires have been written down for a while. I admire her for this because although I know the importance of writing goals and dreams, I never have. The Proverbs 31 Woman was an affluent business woman and I often wonder if her goals were written. My friend and I continued to share our carnal business plans and God’s plan for our lives. I shared how I never thought I’d be doing the things I’m doing today - never. I’m the queen of home-based businesses; I’ve tried and failed at many, yet making the decision to live a life of obedience to God as a woman, wife, and Mother made the difference. Allowing God to have his way in my life has allowed veiled talents and gifts to surface and shine and my only goal today is to stay in the will of God. I no longer pursue my own dream, yet I pursue a lifestyle of worship and obedience. I allow God to lead, direct, and order my every step and I’ve walked right into His purposed plan for my life. I no longer have to make things happen because everything is already set in motion according to His perfect plan and timing. He strategically places people and resources in my path to support me in the passions planted in my heart – my goals, dreams, and desires are now His. If you’re wondering why your dreams are sitting stagnant or your life is not all you hoped it would be, check your business plan and make sure it is aligned with God’s plan. Oftentimes, our goals, dreams, and desires conflict with His will. I held up progress! I prolonged the plan by resisting God’s direction. I’ve wasted a lot of money, gas, time, and energy, yet a life lesson was conveyed - God’s plan is the best plan – the only plan for my life.

Ephesians 1:11 (NIV)
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will…

Spontaneity or Structure?

The family is preparing for our last family reunion for the summer which has been packed with fun and traveling. The summer is coming to an end and I'm not complaining! I've been enjoying my travels, yet I'm looking forward to getting back to our normal routine. It's good to have a break, yet there is nothing like the stability of your normal family routine - whatever normal is for your family. (smile)

Would you say you enjoy being more spontaneous or structured in your family life? It's necessary to be flexible and go with the flow, yet being content in our normalcy is a comfortable place to be also. Whatever state we are in, being content sure brings peace of mind!

Loving When Unlovable

It's easy to love our husband and children when they're lovable, yet we know they aren't always the lovable beings we want them to be. I call my husband my Sugar Bear, yet he isn't always full of sugar! There are moments I wonder if I'm losing my mind or if he has already lost his, but regardless of the circumstances, I must constantly display love in my marriage. My husband has taught me the art of loving someone when they aren't lovable. Sometimes the grass in our yard can be as high as the sky, yet I must love him. He may need a particular shirt washed after I've washed my last load for the day, yet I must love him. His dirty clothes may be on the floor right next to the dirty clothes hamper, yet I must love him. He may want to sit and watch t.v. all night, yet I must love him. He may make some wrong decisions for the family, yet I must love him. He may ask what's for dinner before he asks how my day was, yet I must love him. Yes, I could go on and on, yet I have to stop and think about all the wonderful, loving things about this man that I was so excited to marry - he's still the same person and I must love him. I think about how he puts up with me - and I love him. I think about the time he spends with our children - and I love him. I think about his unexpected acts of kindness towards me - and I love him. I think about how he provides for the family - and I love him. I think about the gift God gave me through my husband... and I must love him.

The Hats We Wear

How many hats will you wear today? How many different positions will you attempt to fill today? My schedule today holds the positions of counselor, mediator, cook, cleaning woman, banker, teacher, and tonight I'll be a sex goddess. There are a few more hats I need to bring down from my closet shelf, yet I'm only choosing a few - this is all I choose to handle plus I need to leave room for those unexpected positions that pop up in the middle of the day - we have to be flexible too! Don't try to wear more hats than you can handle because they will weigh you down and before you know it, you're wondering why your day isn't going well. No wonder we sometimes feel like we're losing our minds - our heads are covered by the many hats we wear! When you think about it, being a Mother is an amazing role - we're almost unbelievable in our abilities, which should immediately draw our attention, once again, to our Creator. Only God could have created such an amazing being who is capable of doing several things at one time and wearing several different hats, yet continue to look like one person - Mother! Have a happy day in Motherhood!!

A Reminder to Give

Sunday, my family visited my sister's church to witness my niece's baptism; the entire worship service was a blessing. The church was pleasantly packed, so my sons sat with my sister's family and my husband and I found seats next to a little boy and his Mother. I talked to the little boy and found out he was six and liked coming to church. I asked what he enjoyed about church and he said he liked giving his money. I surprisingly asked if he liked giving his money away and he said, "No, I don't like giving my money away, but to church I do!" I rarely hear an adult speak about giving with the degree of excitement this child had. My own church is studying the book, The Treasure Principle, which shares extensively about giving – sitting next to this child was no coincidence.

The service began and my little friend became quite fidgety as any six-year-old would, so I whispered to him that if he was a good boy for his Mother, I would give him a surprise – his Mother didn't have to say another word to him. When my sons were toddlers, older women would give them coins for sitting quietly in church. These women encouraged me and they showed my sons examples of giving at a very early age. The service ended and I gave my little friend a dollar bill and said, "If you are a good boy for Jesus like you were for your Mother, God will bless you all the time!" He gave me a big smile and accepted the dollar. I may never see this child again, yet it felt good to water the seed of giving already planted in his heart.

Giving is a powerful expression of love and Mothers have countless opportunities to give – not only with money, yet through the life we live. An opportunity to give is an opportunity to show and spread God's love.

Proverbs 11:24 (NIV)
One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.

A Puppet

I have pleeeenty to do today inside and outside of my home plus pack for a family reunion. I've learned from experience NOT to allow myself to get stressed over my to-do list. So much to do with so little time...not enough hours in the day....I need a clone to help me! When these thoughts come to mind, the first thing I do is PRAY. I have to remind myself that I am nothing and can do nothing without my Creator. I can't even put one foot in front of the other without His help! I ask God to order my every step and to lead me through my tasks one by one. Throughout the day, I focus on His leading and not my to-do list. If something is left undone - it just wasn't meant to get done! I'm one person and the 'S' on my chest needs to retire. My busy days are less stressful and definitely less chaotic. God reminds me that I don't do the work myself, yet I must make my body available to Him and He works through me - like a puppet. God is my strength, energy, and power. It's easier being a puppet than running around the house like a chicken with my head cut off thinking I'm in control.

Dirty Dishes

It's funny how some things that never bother us can irritate the living hell out of us on another day. What is it with the dishes that everyone feels so comfortable just placing their dirty dishes in the sink KNOWING they will get washed? This morning, after cooking breakfast for my husband, I washed dishes and cleaned the kitchen. I walk out and came back (not even two minutes later) and the sink is full of dirty containers from his lunch bag on yesterday. Last night the same thing happened. I cleaned the kitchen up nicely after dinner and later we all sit down to watch the All Star Baseball Game. Of course everyone wants a snack, so what do I see before I go to bed? A sink full of dirty dishes! Okaaaay, I don't remember a maid living here, but I guess they think it's me! It's time for my sons to join the dishwasher's schedule. I'm sick of washing dishes and this was a chore I enjoyed! Toooo many dishes ruined a good thing (smile). Anyway, my prayer this morning was asking for help to keep my mind of carnal matters that don't glorify God and look at me. I've given too much time already to simple thoughts of dishes I should be thankful to have! Dirty dishes means we have food to eat! Sigh....just something else to keep me at the feet of Jesus!

R & R

Okay, I've discovered another secret to being a healthy, happy Mother....REST! Finding the time to get rest and relaxation (R&R) is a key ingredient to Motherhood, yet this is the one thing we get very little of. Our common phrase, "I'm tired" is proof we don't get enough rest, which means we will always be tired until we learn to take care of ourselves first. My younger sister saw me after my recent five days of respite from my family and she said she didn't see a wrinkle or any sign of stress in my face. Okaaaay, what do I look like when I don't get rest? Pretty scary! I use to tell my Mother I didn't have time to sit down. It's not that I'm so busy, yet I obviously didn't think enough of myself to stop what I was doing to rest my tired body- I'm not that important that I can't stop for 10-15 minutes. Most older women know the importance of rest, yet I pray I can help the younger Mothers understand this. Why wait until you're 50 or 60 and broken down and tired (from putting your family first) before you realize you need to take care of YOU first? Find a minute today to REST!

Seasons of Motherhood

My one-year old godson spent the night with us last night and he brought back many memories. He slept in the bed with my husband and me and I forgot how wild a baby can sleep. I also forgot how little sleep you get having little ones. Looking back over my days as a Mother, I realize we go through various stages of Motherhood - seasons if you will as our children grow. Mothers of babies have no time at all. That baby needs your every waking moment. Even when the baby is asleep, you're making preparations for when they awake. As our children grow, they become a little more self sufficient and begin doing things for themselves (with supervision). I don't think there is a season of being free from helping our children. As long as we're alive, they'll need our help. A Mother is truly a living sacrifice. Our time is not our own. Our life is not our own. Our bodies are not our own (babies even need us for feeding). Thank God for the changing seasons of Motherhood. Each new season brings new challenges, new joys, new sorrows, new wisdom and knowledge! We have to be flexible and go with the flow of life. As our children grow, so do we.

Alone Time

It's after midnight and I'm sleepy, yet enjoying the quietness and alone time. It's amazing what a mother will do just to get some time alone. I once heard that the real alone time comes when we're six feet under - well, yea...that is definitely alone time, yet we won't be able to enjoy it!

I'll be missing in action (MIA) for a while as I prepare for a short vacation to renew my mind. I know I'll come home a better wife and mother with a refreshing outlook on cooking, cleaning, and laundry! I feel better already!

Chat with you when I get back.

Remember ....Mother's Day is everyday, so celebrate yourself! You deserve it!

Prayer Lessons

At 3 a.m. Saturday and Sunday morning, my husband and I were awakened by a blinding light in our eyes. The light was a flashlight from our nine year old, waking me to say he couldn’t sleep. My husband’s reply to our son was, “Son, turn that light out, you’re not the police! Go back to bed.” Of course Mama got up and walked her baby boy back to bed. I used this opportunity, as tired as I was, to help my son develop his personal relationship with God. We prayed together asking God to help him fall asleep and to have good dreams. When I got back to my bedroom, I begged God to answer our prayers not only so I could get some sleep, yet so my son could see, once again, the power of God for himself. It would have been easy to tuck him back into bed and tell him I would pray for him, yet I knew these unusual early morning awakenings were not by chance. Sunday evening, my son finally shared with me that God answered our prayers. Thank you, Jesus! It’s so important for our children, no matter what age, to see and understand the awesome power of God through prayer - for themselves. Having them depend and hang on our prayers denies them of the wonderful relationship with God we benefit from and also keeps them from seeing His mighty acts. Our precious children need to know we pray and more importantly, they need to hear us pray. Having them hear our prayers not only teaches them to pray, yet will equip our future Mothers, Fathers, and our next generation of leaders with spiritual wisdom, knowledge, and a fervent prayer life. From toddlers to teenagers, ensure your child knows the power of prayer – it’s their only connection to God.

Psalm 78:4 (NIV)
We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.

Taking Care of Me

I'm beginning to practice taking time for me and I believe it began with the day I spent on the couch - it felt really good! Saturday afternoon I cooked a big 4th of July dinner since our family will be separated for the holiday. The family ate that and had leftovers for Sunday, which meant I didn't have to cook Sunday dinner. I came home from church and relaxed and worked on the computer (something I wanted to do). I didn't cook breakfast Sunday morning either. Everyone was on their own and I used that extra time to get myself ready and it felt good not to rush. I was still the last one out of the house, but it wasn't because I was running behind others all morning and forgetting about myself. I was simply taking care of ME. This is making such a difference in my demeanor! Not only do I feel more relaxed, yet I've noticed I'm more loving towards my needy family (smile).