I Am Not A Robot

I can't really put my finger on what exactly has been keeping me busier than usual, but this week has been quite a full week. Let me correct myself, I haven't been busy, I've been very, very productive. There's a difference you know!

I was so tired last night that I left dirty dishes in the sink, wet clothes in the washer, wet clothes in the dryer, and clothes on the sofa. Hubby and I walked our daily four miles on top of an already full day and by nine o'clock, I was too pooped to pop!

As I dragged my tired body to my bedroom, I stopped to check on second born - he was peacefully sleeping. I knew he had not taken his evening inhaler, so I woke him up to take it. My sweet, sleepy eleven year old tiredly asked, "Mama, can you get it for me?"

What do you think I did?

a. Acted like a loving. compassionate mother and walked down the hall, into the kitchen and back to my son's room with his inhaler.

b. Acted like a loving, helpful mother and told him I would walk in the dark with him to take his inhaler.

c. Acted like a loving, tired mother and told him to get it himself.

The answer is......

- My exact words to him were, "Boy, I can hardly help myself, you better get up!"

My family will exhaust me of all my energy IF I allow them to. They must think I have endless energy bottled up and kept on reserve especially for them.

I guess mothers do what we do so well, our family doesn't stop to think we get tired too!

I am not a robot! I am a human being!

Monday Meditation - Life Tools

Graduation is in the air! Commencement services, gifts, and balloons help celebrate the completion of various education goals of degrees, diplomas, and completion certificates. This is a wonderful time for many graduates, especially young adults as they prepare for adult life.

One day, I will attend the graduation service of my sons. Maybe then, I'll be excited, but right now, I'm grateful for a few more years of teaching and training.

"Intelligence plus character equals education."

I may not have the above quote verbatim, but it's one of my favorites by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I understand his strong expression for teaching and living a life of character.

Teaching character has always been a major component in my sons' home education. Academics are important and a degree is society's goal, but raising men of character is my goal. To teach my children reading, writing, and arithmetic without teaching them responsibility, determination, and perseverance would be robbing them of essential life tools. Virtue, dependability, and justice are also significant life tools. I could go on and on listing character qualities. Not only is it one of my favorite subjects to teach, but it's also the most difficult to teach - my actions speak louder than words.

A a mother, what character qualities will you teach(show) today? Punctuality, gentleness, flexibility, or patience? Hmmm...I may be in the learning seat today!

Have a marvelous Monday in Motherhood!

A Season of Self Sufficiency

I don't remember the last time I saw the bottom of my laundry basket; it was probably when I purchased it. As I loaded the washing machine, I tried to focus on the blessing of having so many clothes and having the convenience of a washing machine. The smell of dirty socks and underwear tried to knock my focus off track, but thoughts of a new blogger buddy brought another level of gratefulness to my present season of Motherhood.

This new blogger buddy is in her twenties and is also a new mom. I thought about how consumed her day must be with a new baby. I remembered not being able to find time for myself because babies require ALL of your attention. Thank God for naps, bouncers (if they still exist), and other baby gadgets that occupy the baby long enough to use the bathroom.

There I was doing only hubby's laundry and mine because my sons have finally reached an age of being somewhat self sufficient. Yes, I have to occasionally remind them to bathe, brush their teeth and hair, and put deodorant on, but I don't have to do those things for them. I don't even have to cook if I don't want to. I don't have to keep my children occupied - I don't have to feed them - I don't have to change their underwear...thank you, Jesus!

Thank you new blogger buddy for reminding me of just how good I have it.

Although my days are busy, yours are busy on another level - I remember.

I get tired, but you are exhausted - I remember.

I can tell my boys to leave me alone, but you can't leave your baby alone - I remember.

If you're a mother enjoying a season of children being self sufficient, please visit my new blogger buddy and show her some love. Meet Mandy at Mommy Musings.

To ALL the mothers of young children...you are NOT forgotten. Take one day at a time - one hour at a time if you have to, and enjoy your journey!

Have a joyful weekend in Motherhood!

Wait Until Your Father Gets Home!

While having casual conversation with a mother recently, we realized we both had children new in the teen years. I asked her if she was experiencing the teenage blues and she said she was not. I didn't want to believe her, so I asked if she noticed any difference in her teens' (twins) attitude, and surprisingly she stuck with her original answer. I immediately wondered if I was doing something wrong since my sweet firstborn seems to experience periodic amnesia of his upbringing. This mother, whom I just met, mentioned her stern discipline style, which is...she does not play. She doesn't have to repeat herself two or three times and she tells her children what her mother told her, "Leave your attitude at the door!"

I thanked this mother for sharing with me and it's ironic that minutes before our conversation, I read a short article on the importance of prompt discipline. The article mentioned the days of black and white television when the mother who cleaned with pearls on would say, "Wait until your father gets home." That was fine for entertainment, but in reality, it's important to discipline immediately, which allows the child to connect our response to their inappropriate behavior. Single mothers don't have the choice of waiting, and unfortunately, all the discipline falls on their shoulders.

I have to admit, some things I don't share with hubby only because I've already handled the situation and don't feel like hearing it again, but other things warrant the wrath of Daddy. Regardless of your style of discipline, the key is prompt discipline.

I find myself getting soft in discipline because I get tired of talking, but I crossed paths with this mother to be reminded that there is no room for complacent discipline - not in this house.

Toddlers, pre-teens, teenagers, and young adults all deserve the opportunity to benefit from consistent, prompt discipline - whatever your style may be.

Have a wonderful Wednesday in Motherhood and don't wait until Daddy gets home!

Monday Meditation - Comfort in Discomfort

In spite of second-born's unexpected illness, our family enjoyed a wonderful weekend vacation. Second born has allergies and experienced an uncontrollable cough that sometimes led to vomiting. He was a trooper, but we could tell the coughing and asthma was wearing him down. We didn't want to pray selfishly for healing for our own convenience of a fun vacation, so asked God to just share an extra ounce of mercy on second born. We wanted him to be able to enjoy our last day on vacation, which was a trip to an amusement park.

The morning we prayed, it began to rain. We thought our amusement park trip would be cancelled, but went anyway. Something else happened as a result of the rain - our prayers were answered. The elements in the atmosphere that trigger secnd-born's asthma, were put to rest by the rain. Second-born had only one coughing episode the entire eleven hours we were at the amusement park. Yes, the rain stopped the rides for a while, yet when the rain ceased, second-born had a ball riding rides, running, and laughing. We closed the park down and many lessons were learned.

Sometimes our prayers are answered in ways we don't understand. Unfavorable conditions have the ability to cover God's work and distract our focus on Him. God is in control of all things! We could have complained about the rain, but we remembered our prayer for mercy on second-born's health, and the rain was God's way of relieving his cough. Mothers endure many unfavorable moments and unwanted mishaps throughout the day, but when we allow God to be the center of our life, things work out.

It's funny how we sometimes complain when things don't go our way, yet those unpleasant moments and events are usually working in our favor - if we love God. I wanted comfort for second-born, yet had to endure a little discomfort - rain. Each time I thought about how God answered our prayer, I rejoiced! Our family was blessed through the rain and the best part was God allowing us to recognize His mighty act.

The next time it rains on your parade, don't pray for it to go away, let God show you His way!

Romans 8:28 (NIV)
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Don't Should On Me

My father once told me advice was like spoiled milk or fish - it stinks. It wasn't until I was an adult and began giving advice that Daddy's words became truth.

I recently had to apologize to a fellow mother for telling her what she 'should' do in a situation. Although she called for help, I should have immediately directed her to her Creator and prayed with her, as I usually do, yet Miss Flesh was pretty strong-willed during our conversation. I'm thankful I recognized my actions because adverse advice is more than dangerous.

Women are notorious for offering advice without thinking. We mean good in offering tips and hints on raising children, marriage, health, and everything else we aren't experts in, but at the same time, we don't know what is BEST for others. Let the truth be known...we don't know what's best for us!

Only God knows exactly what we need in every aspect of our life, so He must be consulted. Yes, it's okay for me to share how I handle certain situations and offer encouragement through my experiences, but there is a boundary to acknowledge and it's a very fine line.

There is no better advice than spiritual guidance through the Holy Spirit and several things have come to mind;

- I must know when to speak and when not to speak.

- I must pray before opening my mouth.

- I must know the difference between spiritual wisdom and carnal knowledge.

- I must remember there is a God who wants me to get out of the way, so He can do His job.

What have I learned? Don't 'should' on others. You should do this...you should do that...maybe you should think about this...What I SHOULD do is direct them to the One who KNOWS what they should do and mind my business!

Have a wonderful Wednesday in Motherhood and try not to should on anyone!

Monday Meditation - Snap Back

As much as I enjoyed my two relaxing days away from my husband and sons, it’s time to snap back into reality. I felt like I borrowed Dorothy’s red slippers as I sat on my sofa last night and said, “There’s no place like home.” I needed desperately to get away from my domain to renew my mind, and yes, I benefited greatly.

Although I enjoyed the break from my posse, I’m out of my element when I’m not doing what I was created to do – nurturing and maintaining my home. It’s very easy to get use to the relaxing and pampering, yet it’s also easy to become downright lazy! By the second day I felt spoiled, almost guilty, but knew I’d better enjoy myself while it lasted.

This morning, it was a little difficult to wake up after sleeping in and napping all weekend, but by the grace of God – I did it. I snapped right back into the normal order of my routine without missing a beat and it actually felt good - the benefits of taking a break are amazing. Would I rather be away relaxing? Hmmm...maybe, but I wouldn’t trade what I do for anything in the world. Although I appreciated my husband willingly stepping in while I was away, I know he was also out of his element. I know the boys needed a break from me also, but they looked forward to my return as well.

Mothers were created with a special uniqueness. We have a presence that completes the home – we’re the missing piece in the puzzle - we’re the glue that holds everything together - we're the 'go to' person that makes things happen. Most jobs can be learned with training, but no one can fill the shoes of a mother. Am I trying to prep you for this first Monday after Mother’s Day? Well, I may be trying to prep myself (smile).

Whatever you did this Mother's Day weekend, I pray you had a minute to renew your mind, and be reminded of the importance of your role and your need in the home. With that said, let’s put on our I Am Mother t-shirts and get busy doing what we do!

Have a Marvelous Monday in Motherhood!

Proverbs 31:27,28 (NKJV)

She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; Her husband also, and he praises her...

We're All That Plus Some

Only an Almighty God is capable of creating a living being to wear all these hats and still be called one name...Mother.

Nurturer, Comforter, Cheerleader, Doctor, Accountant, Taxi Driver, Maid, Teacher, Judge, Disciplinarian, Cook, Storyteller, Toddler Playmate, Nurse, Secretary, Guidance Counselor, Nutritionist, Event Coordinator, Mediator, Fashion Consultant, Party Planner, Dish Washer, Boss, Sometimes a father, Daughter, Photographer, etc.... I'm sure you can think of at least one more.

Happy Mother's Day! Celebrate Yourself!

A Pink Mistake

This week I told the boys that I was finished washing their clothes. I've told them this before, but this time I mean it - I think. At ages 11 and 13, they are more than capable of washing their own clothes and have been doing it for a couple of years now. For some reason, when I see their laundry basket overflowing, I automatically find myself helping them out and washing a load or two for them. What can I say? It's the Mama in me!

Well, the dirty socks stop here! I have to remind myself that I'm raising some girl's husband and I want to help HER out also. Yesterday, while doing laundry, Second-born was nice enough to throw a few of his parents' clothes in the wash with his and wouldn't you know it...beautiful shades of pink showed up on some of our clothes. I slowly picked up the new pink items and thankfully only a few old items were ruined and the collar of hubby's favorite red golf shirt - oops! I haven't shown him yet either.

I know I've explained and showed both boys how to separate laundry, but sometimes learning better by making mistakes is more effective. I try to remember this as I attempt to take advantage of every teaching opportunity - even laundry. I can talk and coach them all day, but they've got to make their own choices and some of them will be mistakes. Some will hurt and some will offer a soft shade of pink that they can live with, but will be reminded not to make that particular choice again.

Even as mothers, we can share our mistakes with new moms and moms-to-be, but creating their own shades of pink is the making of true life lessons.

Have a Wonderful Wednesday in Motherhood!

Monday Meditation - Don't Go There!

I awoke feeling pretty good this morning. I was a little tired, but thankful for my health and the little energy I did have. I asked hubby what he wanted for breakfast and proceeded to the kitchen to don my 'cook' hat. Hubby later joined me and sat down in the kitchen. I looked at him and was thankful he couldn't read my mind. My first thought was that if he had time to sit down he could cook his own breakfast. My second thought was wishing I had time to sit down and watch someone cook for me. Good grief! Where in the world did these thoughts come from?

I continued cooking and remembered these 'pop up' thoughts are a part of life and my thoughts will determine my actions. I remembered my battles begin in my mind, therefore, I must capture these unwelcome pop ups and replace them with good thoughts. It's just as easy to focus on the positive as it is to focus on the negative, but it's a process. I must train my brain to refocus immediately when pop ups occur.

Do I have to take ownership for these pop ups or can I blame them on hormones? Are these thoughts really mine or did Aunt Flo forget to pack them when she left?

Whatever the case, I thank God for Jesus and the power to not go there and stay there with my ugly thoughts. Where is THERE? There is the dark place in my mind that I battle. There is where I'm happy no one else can go - at least not with me. You have your own there. There is where the enemy wants to set up camp and reside. There is where I choose not to go today. Today is a new day! Today I have new opportunities, new chances, and a new outlook on life and my thoughts!

Have a Marvelous Monday in Motherhood and don't you dare go there!

II Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

My Request

Our very special, once a year celebration day is almost here! Yippeeeeee! Yes, there's a tad bit of sarcasm here, but I am looking forward to my special day of recognition - Mother's Day.

Hubby knows I'm not the average bear, so he did the right thing and asked what I wanted for my special day. Without batting an eye or hesitation, I told him I wanted to be ALONE! He looked at me strangely while shaking his head, and made a comment about my selfish request, BUT he plans to grant my wish!

Before you start shaking your head in disgust also, hear me out! For quite a few years, every morning, my family has had a FULL breakfast cooked - except on Fridays. There is always a hot dinner waiting for hubby when he comes home tired from work - except on Fridays. For the past eight years, our sons have been homeschooled, which means I'm with them ALL day every day - including Fridays. Now, tell me why in the world would I want to spend MY day doing what THEY want to do? Ha! This mama wants to be ALONE with a veggie pizza on her lap. I also want possession of the remote control for just a few hours while I wear my "Mom Off Duty" button they gave me a couple years ago. I get excited just thinking about my special day!

Well, these are my plans, but as I type this, I'm thinking about my own mother living less than three hours away from me... this day isn't all about me is it?