Modeling Mondays: Series on Teaching Children to Live a Godly Life

As a new mom, I had a lot of worries for bringing children into this world. How could I be a good mom to them? I was clueless how to even raise a child for Christ, and honestly, still am quite often. Really… my children are 4 and 3… so I have much more to learn, but I have learned a lot in the last 4 years.

I want my children to grow up learning to love God and relying on the Holy Spirit. I want them to see an example they can live by. An example of parents who are living a Christ-like life. 

It is my job to teach and train my kids in the way they should go. My job to make sure they know how to live a godly life. What a godly life looks like. Why a godly life is important. Why we serve our God and love Him. What He has done for us and wants us to continue to do for them.

Living a Christian life isn’t always easy, but it comes with great reward.

I want my children to know about His sacrifice. To know His reward for us. To know what God did and why He did it when He sent Jesus. To know what Jesus did for us.

MY job.

Wow! What great responsibility God has given us as parents. He expects us to teach them what they need to know. Especially when they are too young to learn it themselves.

God is showing me these things each and every day. The Holy Spirit reminds me that they are learning from me. My choices. My words. My actions. Where my time and energy is spent. How I react to certain things.

I take the responsibility quite heavily. And I fail daily. Guess what?! We all do. We all fall short.

So should we give up? Give up on being patient with our children? Give up showing them love and compassion when they fail? Give up on teaching them even when we set a bad example sometimes?

Do we want God to give up on us? I DON’T!

I am learning to be new everyday. I have to pick up my cross everyday. I have to teach my children the same.

So join me if you’d like. As I seek out what God wants for me and my family. How I can best learn and then teach them.

Over the next several Mondays I am prayerfully exploring how God wants us to teach our children. I am praying about how I can MODEL to my children a godly life; as I have prayed just about everyday for at least the last 4 years.

These posts will include many things we have already been implementing in our home, and many ways we want to improve and grow.

Here is a list of topics we will cover:

  • 3 Ways to Teach Children to Pray

  • Teaching Children to Memorize Scripture in 4 Easy Steps

  • 4 Steps to Help Children Have Daily Devotions

  • 3 Ways to Teach/Model Worshiping God

  • Teaching Children to Love as Christ Loves Us

What do you think? Are you excited about this series? I look forward to you adding what has worked for you in these areas! 

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Out of the Closet

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Overwhelmed! With LOTS of laundry!!!! And piles of mess!

We are between homes right now so we are living out of suitcases. Elias, my sweet Elias, or Conner, my sweet Conner (we still aren’t sure which one or both), decided it would be fun to throw all of the boys clothes out of their suitcase and all over the bedroom. Fun.

I was not pleased! And to top it off, they have WAY too many clothes!!!

It is time to minimize.

I’ve read and heard so many positives of having less clothes. I mean really. We do laundry at least 2-3 times a week and there are only 7 days in a week. So Monday, while I was waiting for my husband to get home for our appointment, I made a plan and went for it.

I searched what others suggested as far as how many clothes a person and kid needs. I used two sources. One was from Living On A Dime and the other was The Purposeful Mom.

Then I made my own plan. Here is what I decided was best for our family:

Kids
7 casual, can get messy shirt
4 nice shirts
5 long sleeve
3 jeans/casual pants
2 nice pants
5 shorts (we live in Texas and they go outside a lot!)
3 pjs
2 jackets at most (maybe a super heavy for traveling to cold places and a lighter one for Texas lol)

Adults
7 short sleeve nice
7 short sleeve button up (especially good when I’m a nursing mom)
7 three-quarter sleeve
7 long sleeve nice
7 tanks
7 casual dresses
4 church dresses
7 skirts (probably could do less but I have a lot and they are all so different lol… I know! I still have room to learn)
3 capris
3 shorts
3 pants

And away I went. The boys clothes turned out to be the easiest part. Although it wasn’t super easy to clean their clothes out, since they have a lot of cute clothes that were given to them, but I did it! And the suitcase looked soooo much better!

Don’t worry, the clothes are being donated to a good friend who is about to have a baby boy!!!

Three days later and I am already loving the downsizing A LOT!! After I do laundry, the clean clothes often get stacked on top, especially right now when we are living out of suitcases. With the same clothes being on top the bottom clothes rarely get worn. Anyways, this is the drive behind cleaning out the clothes!

Today it was easy! Conner has 7 casual shirts and made deciding much easier!

Now to my clothes :-/ NOT easy.

But I wear that… Sometimes.

It will fit again someday.

Yes I do need 3 different solid black short sleeve shirts!

So I started with short sleeve shirts. Decided to split up short sleeve shirts and short sleeve button ups so I could keep more haha. Defeats the purpose I know, but I was thinking of having another baby and breast-feeding. Button ups can be convenient, although I think I have the art of nursing in almost anything down by now.

It. Was. Hard.

So after I put a few in the donate pile and started feeling overwhelmed, I said to myself, “That’s a good start!” I continued on in this same manner as I went through the rest of my closet.

Now I’m on a new quest. I’m setting out to try to wear everything I have left, to prove that I do in fact wear it. And if I don’t, it goes in the donate pile.

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For me my husband’s was easy ;-). I’ve been wanting to clean some of that out for a while lol.

But wives, be careful. I made sure to keep it out for him first and told him what I was doing to give him a “say” in some of what stayed. He was sad to see some go and kept more than I wanted, but I told him, “That was a good start!”

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Our closets are “lighter” which makes choosing easier and quicker! I’m very happy and we were able to make a great clothing donation.

Have you cleaned out your closet before and found peacefulness?

Menu-Planning: 6/18/12

Boy! When I don’t plan a menu… things are CRAZY! I run around, insane, wondering what do we have that we can make. Not good!! And my poor husband! Well, he ends up cooking more than we both want. So, this week? A plan!!

Breakfast

Fruit

Cereal

Lunch

Sandwich

Tuna

Fruit/Veggies

Dinner

Monday: Chicken Nachos

Tuesday: Speedy Stovetop Lasagna 

Wednesday: Eat Out

Thursday: Pork chops

Friday: Barbell Burgers… Ooooo this a new one on sneaky chef’s site! Excited to try it out!!

Saturday: Left Overs

What’s on your menu?

Menu-Planning: 5/21/12

Ok so I actually made this on Tuesday and “posted” it. I haven’t been on the computer since then and just saw it never posted! Ugh… here it is!

We are busy, busy people getting our house ready to sell. Unfortunately I have slacked up on my blog and my menu :-/ So here we go… finally! (that was on Tuesday since I didn’t post it on Monday!)

Breakfast

French Toast

Fruit

Cereal

Lunch

Salad

Fruit

Crackers and Tuna

Dinner

Monday: Breakfast for dinner – Eggs and French Toast

Tuesday: Chicken Nuggets (hubby is making)

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Ribs

Friday: BBQ Chicken Legs

Saturday: Picnic for lunch and Eating Out for dinner

What are you eating this week?

Living Room Ministry

Living room in a holiday apartment in Germany,...

Oftentimes, as moms, it is easy to take out frustration and anger on our children. This could be a result of things going on in our life, unrelated to the children, or it could be a result of things they do, both intentionally and accidentally.

 

As Conner gets older, I see more and more how quickly he picks up things my husband and I do and say. He is learning with every minute. How I react to things, whether with patience or out of anger, he is watching and learning. Wow! What powerful pressure that puts on us as parents. Now, we will all make mistakes, and I believe it is just as important how we respond to those mistakes.

 

Moms may wonder what their ministry is in life. What am I called to do? Who should I minister to? I believe the answer is clear: our children! We are called to raise and train our children to make an impact for Christ in this world. I am only one, yet I can make a huge change in the world through my children.

 

Now, I am NOT saying we cannot still minister to others. If that is what you hear, then you are missing the point.

 

So what is my point? Our children are watching! What are they seeing? My most important ministry happens daily in my living room. My boys are looking to me to see how I react.

 

I have to choose how I respond when they accidentally slam their head into my noise. I have to choose how I respond when they deliberately disobey me. It is a choice. I choose if I allow my anger to get the best of me.

 

I used to let my anger control me, but over the years God has changed me for the better. I am a new person, but must make that choice still. It is easy to allow myself to get upset and respond out of lack of control, but with God’s strength and knowing my children are learning how to respond based on my response, I choose to wait and think through my responses.

 

Watching my children mock me is so sweet, but I want to know I am setting the best example of what to mock. My sons are also looking at my husband as an example of how to be the best possible husband, father, hard worker, and servant.

 

As parents, it is our responsibility to set the example of how to respond in situations, on how to serve others, and how to live our everyday lives.

 

God, show me how to make the right decisions. I pray Your Spirit will keep me in check and remind me they are always watching. If I make a mistake, help me teach my children how to apologize and ask for forgiveness. Thank You for blessing me with these sweet boys, and for trusting me to train them to go in the right direction. Amen.

How has God changed you to set a better example for your children? Do you have some great advice in this area?

 

During and Post Miscarriage with Jonah

I feel empty. I feel gross, and saddened.

You see, this gross is a different kind of gross. It is not just a gross like you’re on your cycle, you are literally bleeding the death of your poor baby. It’s like this weird way your body cries with you, and yet it makes you feel miserable.

Last time I miscarried, I didn’t bleed as much, and I had very little pain. I know this may seem strange, but I hated that. I felt like my poor baby lost her life, so I should have to suffer some.

This time I bled much more and was in more pain. It was not as intense as it would be if I were further along, but was more intense than last time.

I can’t get over how empty I feel. There was precious life inside me, and now there is nothing.

I loved this baby so much! I was so excited for my sweet December baby who we have named Jonah.

I don’t know why God is not saving my babies. 2012 has been a hard year so far, but I look forward to what God is doing in our family. He has big things in store for us, and I know we will grow stronger because of this.

Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers. I appreciate them greatly. I feel loved because I know my friends and family are heartbroken with me.

You will never know how much your words mean to me. Your texts. Your notes. Your love.

Last night was hard. I didn’t sleep much. I was a mom sandwich for some of the night! Which is exactly what I needed; both boys snuggled right on each side of me! But the remaining time, I thought of how two more children should be snuggled with us. I was sad at thoughts of Hope and Jonah. I was in pain and felt as though I was truly experiencing Jonah’s loss. It was hard.

So now what? I feel like God wants me to remember me and what He wants to do with ME! What do I NEED that maybe I am forgetting or putting off? Time for myself. Time to workout. Time to be alone. Time to read… WAIT… What?!?! <You don’t read!> Yup! I want to read! Time for chick flicks. Time to be healthy. Time to dream. Time for me. Time for me and God.

Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean I don’t want to get pregnant again. I desperately want that! I just want God’s plan for my life and I want to lead my best life possible. God wants to use ME, as me!

God, please use me! I don’t know why this is happening. I don’t know the purpose in losing two babies. I don’t know where you are leading us, but I know you are with us every step of the way. I may be angry with you at times, but thank you for not leaving me.

Thank you for trusting me with the two precious boys I have. Thank you for the most amazing husband. He is strong for me when I cannot be. He keeps things going when I fall a part. He is such an amazing rock. Thank you for my family! I am so blessed.

I may be angry for what you have allowed to be taken, but I am thankful beyond words for what you have allowed me to have! Wow! What an awesome life I have, and an awesome life to come. God, continue to use me! Continue to use my family. Amen”

In my sadness and emptiness, I’m feeling strangely good right now. At peace. It’s odd. Maybe it’s just for a short time. I just feel like it’s ok. God has a plan and I look forward to that plan. My heart is broken yet I know everything is ok. Right now I will be still and wait.

Do you understand this feeling?

Thankful Thursday: In the Midst of a Miscarriage

Again, I am brokenhearted. Today is 6 weeks and 1 day, and I have miscarried. Same week. Same day.

Being Thankful Thursday, I find it difficult to want to be thankful, yet also find myself thankful for many things.

Yesterday I began bleeding. I knew what this could mean since I had just had a miscarriage two months ago. Immediately my mind went to the worst. Last night it was next to impossible for me to stop crying. I bawled all the way to church. During church some. And then in bed.

This morning I woke up and found myself thankful for my two boys. The first miscarriage reminded me how blessed I am that I have children. The second miscarriage is showing me, more than ever, how miraculous it is that anyone of us are able to get pregnant, stay pregnant, and have healthy babies.

I naively took for granted an “easy” pregnancy with Conner. He was a surprise for us, but we were so happy! I remember thinking, “Some people would love to get pregnant, but are unable. I will never be disappointed by a pregnancy, even an unexpected positive!”

Wow! Looking back now I know how blessed we were to have that amazing surprise. He went a full 9 months. Water broke on due date. I am thankful.

Elias’ conception was more planned, so we weren’t surprised. He did surprise us though! About 3 1/2 months early, but he came out crying. I am thankful.

Hope. Our dear sweet Hope! She was another “surprise” pregnancy (we don’t do a lot to prevent since we want so many kids, so it really isn’t a huge surprise) and we were so very happy! We couldn’t wait to hold her and love on her. We lost Hope at 6 weeks and 1 day. Same as today. I am thankful for Hope.

This pregnancy was planned. I mean PLANNED. Those who know are sharing a laugh with me! I am a numbers person and thought it would be cool to have a 12/12/12 due date. I knew I was probably ovulating the night that this would be possible, and I made it happen ;-). Needless to say, it worked! I am thankful. I am thankful that I can conceive.

As today started, I began thinking of the few other reasons I could be bleeding. Fortunately, I had met with a set of midwives a week or two ago, so they already had all my information. I called them as soon as they opened and they told me I could come in to get checked.

Krystle went with me to the appointment, and Laurie (step-mom) offered to come over and take care of me and the boys for the next two days, so she stayed with them while I went to meet with the midwives. I was glad I didn’t have to go alone, or worry about the boys during the wait. I am thankful.

Not long into the appointment, as she was about to check me, she saw the blood and then found tissue. She told me I think you just miscarried the baby. She was able to collect the tissue to be tested. The baby hadn’t been growing for a week or two :(.

I was glad that I was there, with my super sweet midwife, and not in some dark, cold ER room. She was apologetic and you could truly see her heart was breaking with me. Much different from my last experience. I am thankful.

I was glad that I didn’t flush this poor sweet baby down the toilet. For those who don’t know, this early on it is very common to flush the tissue. It is often unrecognizable, and next to impossible to catch the baby, especially if the baby has fully formed correctly. I am thankful that they handled him with care, and can do tests to determine causes or abnormalities.

So now what? Well honestly, even though I am so very thankful, I don’t feel thankful right now. I feel scared, angry, sad, depressed, worried, lonely, loved, confused, shocked. I feel nothing and everything.

It is difficult to explain how I feel right now. I can’t stop crying, and I feel all cried out. I want to get pregnant again soon, and I never want to get pregnant again. I worry I will never get over this, and I know “this too shall pass.”

I am feeling selfish. I want to lay in my bed. All alone. I want to sleep. Sleep???!!! I want to watch chick flicks. I want to watch movies my husband won’t watch with me. I want to blog. I want to hug my kids, but not take care of them right now. I want to finally take this old toenail polish off, and put new polish on. I want to be selfish! I don’t think that is too much to ask for right now, and thankfully neither do my family and friends. They are taking care of my kids and I am laying in bed.

Don’t worry, I won’t be in here forever. I just need a few days. I want to mourn the loss of this little boy (I’ve felt it was a boy from the beginning!) and rest. I am thankful, but in my own way.

Want to say something? Check out my “What Should I Say” post. 

Menu – Planning: Week 4-16-12

No mystery shops this week, so we are eating home almost all week! We are planning on doing a lot of deep cleaning and getting rid of a lot of junk, so easy meals!!

Breakfast

Cereal

Fruit

Yogurt

Lunch

Left-overs

Tuna

Dinner

Nachos

Hamburgers (these were so yummy!)

Hubby is going to grill steaks! Yum!

Breakfast for dinner… French Toast

Menu-Planning: 4/9/12

Well my week is full of mystery shopping dinners and my husband’s theological discussion group at Panera (YUMMY!), so that means I get to plan less!!!

Breakfast

Fruit

Yogurt

Cereal

Lunch

Salad

Tuna

Dinner

BBQ Chicken Legs, Mystery Mashed Potatoes, Salad (2 nights worth)

Spareribs, Squash, Salad

*I use Cozi for my menu planning… well and all our planning! LOVE IT!!

What’s on your menu?

On the Verge of Ruining My Child’s Life

Am I the only one?

I feel like Conner is at THAT age. You know the age that you either make or break them?

Being a mom is tough! Conner is now 2 1/2 and we are really having to teach and train him right and wrong. This is where it hits me. Every decision I make now as a parent, either helps him or ruins him.

Come on, you know what I mean! You know how all our parents screwed (sorry to put so bluntly… just trying to be funny while making a point) us up because they did ____ (fill in the blank). I am just waiting. Any day now, I will do that thing. The thing that years from now, Conner still refers to as, “And that is when my mom ruined my life!”

Ok, so really, I am trying to be funny. Did you catch the dry humor? If not, it was all there.

I know… or at least I hope I know, that I am making wise choices, and I am not going to “ruin” Conner’s life… at least not yet ;-), but I do think of these things. I want to choose wisely when I discipline. He needs to understand the punishment and we need to figure out how to resolve the issue.

Years ago, I knew being a mom would not be easy. I would have to make tough choices. But isn’t it crazy how quickly that happens!?!?! I know it will all work out, and naturally, as I have done everything else, I will figure out how to be the best mom for Conner.

I will make mistakes. Maybe the importance is showing him that it is ok to make mistakes. We all do it and it doesn’t mean that we are ruined for life because of these mistakes. If my children see me being honest and open, and apologetic in my own faults, then we will be less likely to reach the, “my mom ruined me” stage.

Prayer and tough love! That is how we will make it. I worry because I love my boys very much, but I know God has not called me to worry.

Have you ever felt like you have “ruined” or are “ruining” your child’s life?