January 14, 2014

My Word for 2014

Although I need to stop, slow down and enjoy the people in my life more, I do still have a few goals for this year - very small ones but goals nonetheless.  One of the things I would love to do most is to begin keeping a family journal.  I have started one many times and usually write it in it for...oh...2 or 3 days and then never pick it up again.  I love writing, and I already regret not writing about our earlier family years.  The older I get, the more I realize how quickly our family is growing up...and how easily it becomes a blur!  So...I would love to keep a faithful journal this year of our family's happenings.

I also want to be a more faithful Christian who is steadily growing.  I felt like last year, I was an unpredictable Christian - growing like a weed at times and then shriveling up like a dry dead plant at others.  I want to be always growing, always seeking and always striving to have the mind of Christ.

My word for the year 2014 encompasses all of the goals and dreams I have for making this year exceptional. And, I have to admit, I am cheating and reusing 2013's word! :)  The word...relationships!  I am much better at accomplishing a project, checking off a list, seeing immediate results.  The problem is none of those things are the way relationships work!  I tend to try to make even my relationships into a check list!   Last year, I had grand plans for improving relationships, and then...I became pregnant.  I don't know about you, but pregnancy and improving relationships are like two polar opposites...very difficult to do.  I tried, and I didn't forget, but it definitely was not a stellar year of achieving goals! focus again for this year is relationships.  Focusing on people and their needs. Putting people ahead of my lists and plans.  Having meaningful conversations.  Handwritten letters instead of emails.  Encouraging words in place of irritation. Seeing interruptions as amazing opportunities.  Stopping to enjoy the people in my life more!

Those are my goals for 2014.  Nothing amazing, but I hope it will still be life changing.  What about you? Have you thought of how you want to be different this year?  I know I can not do this in my own strength.  I am asking God to infuse me with His strength and His desires so that through Him I can accomplish all He has for me this year.  I hope that I can live a small part of the verse that my Savior lived out His entire life on this earth. 

Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. ~Matthew 20:28

January 13, 2014

Joyful Mom Monday - Begin Again!

I love fresh starts!  That's why two of my favorite times of the year are the New Year and September (new school year).  This year my new year has begun a little late.  I wasn't quite ready for the New Year on New Year's Day, and so I used the excuse of having had a baby 3 weeks before to just put it off a little longer! :)  I did, in my mind, kind of make today the beginning of my "begin again."  So's been pretty much...a fail!  I wanted to straighten the house, catch up on the laundry and take down my Christmas decorations.  That really doesn't sound like that much until you throw six kids into the mix and remember that your postpartum check-up is in like 2 hours!!!  

So, I sit here at 4:30 with only 1 load of a laundry out of a possible 15 loads done!  The house was straightened until I remembered we needed to go somewhere whereupon everyone had to change clothes (keeping in mind most of the clothes are dirty) and mom had to spend time getting dressed (so of course everyone had time to make a mess as they entertained themselves).  The Christmas decorations are still up and may never come down.  BUT....I made it to the doctor with six children and was only 5 minutes late.  The doctor informed me that I was a terrific mom and even told the nurse that I was very well put together for being a mom of six.  My first thought...I'm not sure that was a compliment.  My second thought...if you could have only seen me an hour ago.  My third thought...if you could see my house right now!  

On the way home, as I was pondering the great depths of depression I was sinking into, I heard my kiddos laughing and looked into the rear view to see them all trying to watch Emmalyn who was apparently making a funny face in her sleep.  Then, I heard one of them say, "Emmalyn is getting so big already.  I'm glad we get to just sit and enjoy her."  That's when I was once again reminded of what is so important.  Life is passing by too quickly.  I need to enjoy the people who are a part of my life more. 

And so, my laundry may never be done.  We may be able to truly celebrate Christmas in July complete with Christmas lights and decorations, and I am 100% positive that my house will never be completely straightened again.  But I get the chance today to show my sweet mister and 6 little munchkins how much I love them. approximately 3:15 this afternoon I chose to begin again and this time to make sure I take the time to "just sit and enjoy" the blessings God has given me.  Don't worry...I also switched out the laundry! :)

November 25, 2013

Joyful Mom Monday - Making Memories in the Middle of Inconveniences

This morning, I woke up feeling a bit achy and blah, and so I took a major risk...I ran a hot bath while I left my children to finish breakfast and do chores!  Yes, even with the oldest being 10, this can be risky!  As I was relaxing for a few minutes, I remembered an incident that happened about 5 years ago, and I finally laughed about it!  

5 years ago, I had a five year old, a 3 1/2 year old, a 22 month old and an 8 month other words, a house full of insanity!  The Mr. and I always refer to these special times as the years of survival! :)  I needed to be somewhere ON TIME that evening...very important to be ON TIME!  I also wanted to leave the house in clean order because the rest of the week was going to be busy.  I spent the entire day cleaning like a mad woman.  As it was getting closer to the time for us to leave, I bathed all the kiddos and got them ready to go and left myself an entire whopping 30 minutes to shower and dress myself.  For those of you who know me, this is not very much time, and then when you add 4 small kiddos to the mix, it's really not enough time.  

I left all the kids playing nicely in their rooms and reminded Evvie (the 5 year old) to come and get me if she needed me.  I jumped into the shower and was in there for approximately 2.5 minutes when I heard this strangely familiar creaking noise.  I knew it was the opening of our wood stove.  I called Evvie's name several times, but she didn't answer.  I finished up in the shower, jumped out, wrapped up, and stepped out the door to look down the hall and 22 month old pouring ashes all over my 8 month old.   My freshly bathed and clothed babies were COVERED in ash, and I haven't even described the house with all the ash flying around!  

I was so exhausted and stressed that the only thing I could think of was how I was going to clean up the babies and all the mess and get myself dressed in 20 minutes! I was a crying mess!  I quickly bathed and dressed them again, went and put all the kids in their car seats and came back inside to finish dressing myself with the last 5 minutes I had. 

I dropped the kids off at the baby sitter's house and made it to my appointment 10 minutes late.  When I explained to the group why I was late, I was appalled when they all began to laugh and several even asked if I took pictures!?!  What?  There was nothing cute about that!!! I was hoping they would back up my idea that this was uncalled for - an unnecessary and rude interruption!  Poor, sweet mom! And the only response I got was, "How cute!"

Five years later, I wish I had taken pictures of them, and I can laugh at the craziness of it all.   As I look back on my first years of being a mom, I wish that I had enjoyed my little ones more.  I wish that I had laughed at their explorations - even if they did cause an amazing amount of mess.  That is one thing that I have made sure I do more of with our youngest. tired mom of littles, remember that this time goes by so quickly and one day, you will sit back and remember the craziness and actually wish you could do it again!  Remember, mom of older kids, each season has its ups and downs. Enjoy the moments we've been given.  Make the best out of the inconvenient moments.  See things through the eyes of your children - no matter what ages they are - because this moment will soon be gone.  

Today, I am thankful for the memories God allows us to keep and for the lessons we learn as we go through this journey.  And I'm even thankful for that silly 22 month old Garrett who poured ashes all over his little sister! 

Wishing you a day full of blessings,