SUCCESS! Our Children Stayed The Entire Sunday Service

A modern Western worship team leading a contem...

 

Have you read Touch Topic: Seeing Children as a Blessing, Even in Sunday Service and Touchy Topic: Training Children in Worship?

 

Last Sunday was our third Sunday bringing the boys in service. I was a little nervous we would be “starting over,” since we had missed service the week before due to illness.

 

After Sunday School, I went to get the boys from their classes. Conner ran ahead as I got Elias. When I made it into the sanctuary, Conner was already at our seats waiting on the sill of the frosted windows. I was relieved he remembered and seemed excited! Elias joined him happily!

 

As we had the week before, they were not allowed into their backpacks during praise and worship. They did great! In our arms, in the chairs, in my purse, dancing, clapping, on the bench. At one point I caught Elias dancing in front of me with his hand in the air like someone he was watching! LOVED it! Tried to catch a picture but he moved on too quick.

 

I did have to walk out with Elias twice. Once during praise and worship, and the other during announcements or service… I can’t remember. We walked out and I told him he could not yell out when we were supposed to be sitting quietly. I wanted to make it clear it was not just because we are in a church service because I want this to carry over for weddings, funerals, graduations, and other quiet events we may attend.

 

Once praise and worship ends, James and I usually rush to pass out our attendance notebooks during announcements. James was going to stay with the boys while I did it this week, but Conner wanted to come. I thought, “Well of course!” Serving together in our church is such a blessing, and I desperately want my children to learn to serve in the ministry and not resent it for taking their parents away.

 

So Conner and I went over to get the notebooks. I carried them for him to give to the first person in each row. He was a bit abrupt hitting their arm with it, but almost everyone had a wonderful smile when they turned to see a sweet THREE year old serving in his church!

 

I can just imagine… how different would our church look if everyone was teaching their children, at a young age, to start serving and worshiping together. Ahhhh 🙂

 

CALM DOWN… I am NOT condemning you for not bring your children in service, just a sweet thought of what could be if we all did…

 

After we sat down to listen to announcements, Ne (knee as the boys call her), came to join us for the service. Ne, aka Tina, is like a second mom to both James and I. She loves our kids as her own grand kids! AND, she is conveniently a HUGE supporter of bringing the boys in service. James has to leave us a lot during service, so I sat on one end and Ne set on the opposite side. Elias was in her lap much of the service. He was (mostly) quiet and Conner did well in his own seat, until about 10-15 minutes before service was over. Conner began to beg to go to the nursery.

 

We are soooo close! I am not going to take them to nursery now! We are almost through service! We CAN do this!

 

How about a snack? Good thinking! Too bad I forgot to bring some. Fortunately, I know that the nursery always has snacks for the kids.

 

I told Conner I would get him a snack. He began to loudly get angry and demand to go to the nursery. Well, surely we all know by now, he was certainly NOT going to the nursery now. Then he would know all he had to do was get loud and angry. I whispered in his ear that he was staying in service with or without a snack, and if he would like a snack then he needed to stop throwing a fit. It worked! Whew!

 

Ran to the nursery and brought the snacks in. WOO HOO! They were both happy and sat the remaining time during service, even after finishing their snack.

 

So, to sum up. How did it all go down? Praise and worship – offered nothing to distract them and conveniently a louder time so they don’t have to be completely hush-hush, meet and greet – Conner asks to go see his Wednesday night teacher, so we let them go say hello to people, announcements – began getting the backpacks out and let Conner serve with me, service – backpacks and snacks!

 

We made it through to the very end!!! I was ecstatic! Loving this and feeling so much closer to my kids and God in the process!

 

Did you decide to transition your kids into service after they were in children’s church? If so, share what worked for you? Are you thinking about? What’s holding you back?

 

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Touchy Topic: Training Children in Worship

child praying

Photo Source

I am so excited about today’s guest post. This topic has been on my mind for a few years and I am so glad Candace agreed to write it for me. Thanks Candace! 

Guest post from Candace at Sacred Mommyhood

After posting the article, Dear Parents with Young Children in Church, to my Facebook page, there was some discussion as to how to begin training your little ones to sit still during a worship service.  There was also some discussion about children’s church, and how that may be more age appropriate and beneficial for young ones.

There is not much more I can add to encourage parents to include their children in worship, as the author did a beautiful job explaining the importance of having your children in the worship service, and encouraging moms who are already doing this.

I would only add that by including our young children in worship, we’re setting the tone for life-long worshiping.  Google “statistics of young adults leaving the church”, and you’ll get article after article citing statistics as high as 91%, with many differing opinions as to why they are leaving.  My personal theory is this:  If we’re continually keeping them out of worship through infancy, adolescence, and teen years, why would we expect them in worship service when they’re adults.  We’ve already sent the message that a worship service is not important, or just boring at best.  After all, they’ve had “fun” all these years in nursery, Sunday school, and youth group.  We must remember that worship is not about us!  It’s about HIM!

In addition, families should worship together.  There is no biblical model where families separated into age-segregated groups to learn how to worship.  It was learned by being present.  So often, family members are going in all different directions throughout the week.  Then on Sunday, the children are placed in the nursery or sent off to children’s church, separating the family again.  With the cultural breakdown in families today, I can’t think of a more meaningful way to bind the family unit than to share in worship, together.

I am in no way saying that children’s church, nursery, or any other age-segregated group activity is wrong.  My heart feels for the tired, weary momma who just needs to worship and not train.  I’ve been there!  I just feel strongly that we’re sending a counter-productive message to our children about worship when Sunday after Sunday we’re ushering them out of it.  But this is definitely something each family has to think and pray about on their own.  And I know many churches these days are quite hostile to small children in service, making this decision even more difficult.

So for those of you considering including your small children in the worship service, here are some tips to help you in the training process.

You  Are Training

This is the most important aspect to keep in mind.  It is so easy to get frazzled and discouraged when your little ones are learning to sit still quietly.  Your Sundays will most likely feel like a chore rather than worship, but even this is an offer of worship to God.  Investing this time into your children is a sacrifice of praise!  This has been my life for many years!  I am perpetually in “training” mode.  But I’ve had the joy of seeing fruit.  My little ones can sit through an hour and a half service without being a distraction.

Try a Booster Seat

This may be more difficult in a pew seating arrangement (no place to secure the straps), but if your church seating consists of chairs, bring a booster seat for your older babies and toddlers.  Not only does this help them to stay put, it provides a flat surface (tray) on which to draw or rest books.  It’s also perfect for giving them Cheerios (or other snacks) to keep hunger at bay.

Provide Books, Crayons, and Paper

I know some families who feel strongly about not giving their children anything during worship, and prefer to train them without things to keep them busy.  I respect that and understand that each family will need to approach this according to their standards.

We, however, don’t have a problem with allowing our little ones to look at books or doodle while learning to be still and quiet.  Kids absorb more than we think when their little hands are busy.

Our church floor is hardwood, so we try to be selective about what we give them.  We only give our toddlers soft books since they tend to drop them more often.  And crayons make less noise on a hard surface than pens and pencils do.  So just be aware of those potential noisemakers.

Be Courteous to Those Around You

We attend a family integrated church, so all our children are with us through service.  We all expect a certain amount of noise every now and then…a baby getting fussy, something dropping, or the low murmur of a child asking mom or dad a question.  These types of noises are not distracting to us.  In fact, our pastor loves those sounds.  He understands the importance of children being present from the beginning and welcomes those sweet sounds.

But obviously, there is a point when noise will become distracting, so try to be aware of those around you and quickly remove a crying baby or noisy toddler.

If you do not attend a church where children are welcome in the worship service, you may need to be a little more vigilant when it comes to noise, but don’t let that deter you.  Try to sit closer to an exit so that you can get out quickly if necessary without distracting others.

Start Small

If you are pulling your child(ren) out of nursery or children’s church, ease them into worship service.  If you’re concerned about the length of your service, try starting with smaller chunks of time.  Twenty to thirty minutes may be all you and the child can handle at first.  Each Sunday, add five minutes or so according to the child’s ability.  If it’s an older child who has really loved children’s church, and is upset about missing out, perhaps allowing them to attend one Children’s Church a month would help ease the transition.

A Word on Babies in Worship

I have had a baby in my lap during service for the past twelve years.  Of course, I’ve had the help of my husband and older children, but essentially, my babies are with me.  I’ll often glance around while the congregation is singing, and notice the moms with babies on one hip and the hymnal in their opposite hand, and it makes me smile.  Not because I think they’re better for keeping their babies with them, or because they look cute.  But because they’re making a sacrifice.  They’re forgoing a little freedom and ease to instill something bigger from the very beginning.

Babies hear the sounds and take in the sights of “church”.  As they grow, so does their understanding of what’s happening around them.  Those babies grow into toddlers, who in most cases, already have an inherent knowledge of what to do.  It’s been modeled for them since birth!  They can sit through worship, and for the most part, be quiet.  I have seen this in my own children and those around me.  Are they perfect?  Of course not.  Do they require discipline from time to time.  Absolutely!  But the transition is much smoother than that of a toddler who has been used to happily and noisily playing in the nursery.

So whether you’re contemplating bringing your children into worship service with you, or you’re just getting started, I hope you have found encouragement here.  I understand that this can certainly be a touchy issue within the church body, but one that I pray would never cause division among believers.

But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs
the kingdom of heaven.”  Matthew 19:14

You Are What You Eat

surrounded

Well guess what?! This is NOT about food!

The actual title should read:

         You Are What You Eat Read

Or

         You Are What You Eat Listen To

Or

         You Are What You Eat Surround Yourself With

While I do think what we eat and put into our bodies is very important, it is not my focus today.

Have you noticed how things you read on Facebook, in a book, or things you hear people talking about, affect the way you act, talk, or your mood overall?

I notice this all the time! I have especially noticed lately. I’ve been following quite a few blogs by homeschooling moms with large families; like The Marathon Mom, Smockity Frocks, and Sacred Mommyhood. I’ve also read many of Peacefulwife’s blog posts and as always, my wonderful Above Rubies magazines!  In addition to their posts, their wonderful Facebook updates also encourage me! All this, along with daily scripture readings, have and are continuing to mold me into the woman, mother, wife, friend, and overall person I want and God wants me to be.

You know what I discovered? My attitude towards my children, my husband, and what my life was like, was being changed.

Before I surrounded myself with positive things everywhere, I would read friends posts on Facebook, and lets face it, oftentimes it was complaining

         about all the housework that HAD to be done

         the children that were nagging them

         bitterness about their husband not being home enough 

        how they needed a break from the kids and couldn’t wait to get away from this life they have

and the list goes on and on. Now, before you attack me :), I know as moms and wives we do need some me time. We do need some breaks, BUT we chose to get married and to have children, and I believe God has called us to that life, so why not make the most of it?!

So what’s my point? Is it to tell moms to stop complaining and get over it? NO!! My point is to simply show how different my life became once I surrounded myself with positive people.

Now that I am reading and seeing, DAILY, wives and moms who LOVE their lives and talk about them in a more positive way, I find myself feeling the same way. Is cleaning the house and changing poopy diapers a blast? Um not really, but is it going to be anymore fun if all I do is complain about?

I love following these wonderful women! And why? Because they talk about real life, which is not always glamorous, but can be a fun ride!

I choose to surround myself with women who act like they want their children. Who are not looking for the quickest way to get rid of them (school, day care, friends houses, etc.). We get such little time with our children (approximately 18 years of their 70-80 or so years) and it flies by! And for those who send their children away to school, they get even less time with their children. (Side note: I am NOT condemning anyone who sends their children to school, I am talking about those who CANNOT wait until they finally go back to school)

I want to make the most of this time! I want to enjoy it rather than dread it. Will I need a break in that 18 years? Yes!! But if I don’t get one should I complain and cry in my poor pathetic life? Absolutely NOT! I should figure out how to enjoy it and make it work for me! Maybe my break is after the kids go to bed, or before they get up. My breaks are my workouts, or my blog times. I choose to be creative! It is my life and I want to enjoy my children in it.

My mother-in-law is a great example of this! She is a great example of a woman who loves her kids and grandchildren. She loves staying home and taking care of her house and husband. What a wonderful example of an above rubies woman! Is she perfect? Sorry Janey… but no! None of us are, but we can choose to enjoy our lives and do what God has called us to do as women!

I also choose to surround myself with women who love and respect their husband. As I have mentioned on here before, this has not always come easy to me. As a former feminist, I came into the marriage a bit dominating. I held “old fashion” views on being a wife and mom, but did not exactly want to do them. The women I learn from, respect their husbands. They are true examples of helpmates! I want to be a Proverbs 31 woman! I want to be a Titus 2 woman! What better way to do this than to learn and surround myself with great examples of these.

The Bible gives clear direction that as young moms and wives we are to learn from those ahead of us. I want to learn from those being led by God and setting a good example of what I want to be. I DO NOT have time, or want to waste my time, on those who insist on being negative and live in bitterness and resentment. I CHOOSE because it is that, a CHOICE! I am what I surround myself with!

What do you surround yourself with?

Thankful Thursday: My Parents

I am so incredibly thankful for the support and help that my parents are to me and my family!

Both my mom and Laurie (step-mom) have watched the boys during the day so I can work small jobs I have had. Most recently, they have agreed to help me with the boys when I start a small part-time job soon… the job is also a blessing because I am able to bring the boys with me!!

Dad and Laurie have watched the boys overnight on a few weekends so James and I can have time for ourselves. My mom watches them occasion so we can go out on dates. Because of their generosity, and love of our boys, we are able to have some husband and wife time without the kids! We appreciate this time more than they can imagine!

When we bought our house as a foreclosure two years ago, our intentions were to sell after 2-3 years and make a profit. Selling the house will allow us to pay off ALL of our school and medical debt and save some for the next house!

My parents have been great through the process. Both sets agreed we could move in with them until we find our next place. My dad is going to help us put in bamboo flooring, and Laurie is going to watch the boys.

I feel certain I am forgetting countless other things they have done for us over the years, such as helped us financially, helped us move, stayed up all night through Conner’s birth, prayed and helped us through Elias‘ hospital stay, bought diapers, etc., etc., etc., I know this list goes on and on and on and on again!

We are blessed by them daily! I love them so much! Thank you Mom, Dad, and Laurie for everything! I cannot thank you enough for how amazing you have been to my family, and of course all the many years before I had my own family!

Don’t worry, the in-laws will get their post soon! They have also been a huge blessing to us!

How have your parents been a blessing to your family?

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?

 

Touchy Topic: Co-Sleeping

When we first started co-sleeping, it was by complete accident. Conner had been sleeping in a bassinet and we would get up often to nurse through the night. As a new, inexperienced, breastfeeding mom, I would prepare to nurse in bed while James got up with him and changed his diapers. I would place pillows behind me and grab my Boppy.

I giggle now at the memories: worrying about every little detail, having to have things absolutely perfect, and all that sleep we lost.

I’m not sure how many weeks this went on, but I remember that night pretty well. The night we first started co-sleeping. I had nursed Conner, but he would not go back to sleep in his bed. Every time I put him down he would start screaming, even if I had nursed him or rocked him to sleep first.

We are against the “cry-it-out method,” so we had to do something if we were going to get any sleep. So in the bed he came.

It was as if he felt a sudden peace over him and had no problem going to sleep. Not only was he now sleeping, he was sleeping for longer stretches. Ah! This was so nice. Sleep? What is that? Well, we were finally finding out!

I remember other moms talking..

You just need to let him cry.

He needs to learn.

I didn’t understand what they were learning by crying. Learning that I didn’t want to comfort them? Learning that I didn’t care they were crying? What if he is hungry? What if he is scared? What if he just wants to be held? How will he tell me what he wants and needs? Isn’t that what crying is?

As a new mom, it can be overwhelming. There is so much advice out there and so many people telling you what you need to do with your kid.

I also remember being told…

Don’t start that or he will never get out of your bed.

It is going to be a fight to get him in his own bed.

I remember thinking, “How many 16-year-old boys sleep in bed with their parents still?” I really didn’t see that this would be a problem. And, just for the record, Conner is now 2 1/2 and chooses to sleep in his own bed! We didn’t go through stages of fighting with him, and we still allow him in our bed if he is scared or just needs some extra snuggle time. I know one day way too soon, he will not want to snuggle anymore, so bring it on!

While other moms were Facebooking about getting no sleep because the baby was up all night, we were starting to get several hours of uninterrupted sleep. We wondered why more people weren’t doing it, but I have since discovered, I think there are a lot of closet co-sleepers.

People voiced their safety concerns…

There are more SIDS cases in co-sleepers.

You can rollover and kill the baby.

I must express my deepest concern with co-sleeping safely!

Including statistics with those under the influence of drugs or alcohol is unfair to those of us who practice co-sleeping safely. As far as SIDS go, there is a lot of research that actually shows the opposite is true.

As I was researching, I came across Dr. Sears and his list of co-sleeping benefits. I was already loving co-sleeping, but this just encouraged me further.

So why do we love it?

  • More sleep!
  • Nursing while laying down
  • Snuggling with my baby
  • Waking up to see his sweet smile
  • Laughing and giggling at night and in the morning
  • Etc.

So when Elias came home, he was used to sleeping in his own crib at the NICU. He did this for the first few months, especially since he was still on oxygen and monitors, but once everything came off, it wasn’t long. He was up and crying and needed to be nursed. I was tired and in need of rest, so in our bed he came, and we’ve been loving and snuggling ever since.

Do you enjoy co-sleeping? What are the benefits for you?

Touchy Topic: Attachment Parenting

Not long after becoming a mom, I discovered attachment parenting. I have grown to love this parenting style; it suits me well!

I remember, as a new mom, people would say, “Don’t spoil the baby.” This was in regards to holding the baby too much, or responding when the baby would cry, etc. I HATED this! How in world can you spoil a BABY?!?!?

To me, it only made sense that a baby must cry to communicate. How else does he tell me he is hungry or needs to be changed? I did my best to make sure he was taken care of and didn’t need to cry, but sometimes things happen and he needed to communicate that he was unhappy.

So many people offered advice and strict rules that needed to be set to keep things in order.

You must feed your baby every 3 hours. No more. No less.

Lay your baby down at the exact same time everyday for naps and evening.

Baby needs to cry-it-out in order to learn that you are in charge.

These rules did not fit my parenting style. They did not work for me or my husband. Attachment parenting seemed to lead in the direction my heart was going.

What is Attachment Parenting? (according to Dr. Sears)

  • Birth Bonding – Skin-to-skin contact immediately (or as soon as possible) after birth, and rooming in if you are at the hospital.
  • Breastfeeding
  • Babywearing – I love having my baby close, and this allows me to get things done when the baby is fussy and wants to be held. Personally, I use the ring slings when they are smaller and for quick trips, like walks and grocery shopping, and I use the Ergo as they get bigger.
  • Bedding Close to Baby – This is probably the most controversial of all of the attachment parenting choices. Co-sleeping can be done directly in your own bed, or by making your bed “bigger” with a crib or beds made specifically for this.
  • Belief in the Language Value of Your Baby’s Cry – Babies cry to communicate, not to manipulate. Learn to listen to the cries and take care of the needs of your baby.
  • Beware of Baby Trainers (Baby Wise, Cry-It-Out, etc.) – AP teaches to watch your baby and his cues instead of a clock or some rules.
  • Balance – Don’t lose yourself in AP, but learn when AP is necessary, and when you need to make time for yourself.

Benefits of Attachment Parenting

  • Giving
  • Shaping – Studies have shown that babies who are a result of AP turn out to be caring, compassionate, connected, careful and confident, and the parents are confident too.
  • Sensitivity
  • Promotes Independence
  • Baby Cries Less
  • Improves Development
  • Babies Are Smarter
  • Reduces the Risk of SIDS

James and I have enjoyed many benefits of AP. We strongly believe it is why our children are so happy and feel such a close connection with both myself and my husband. Our children also sleep great and know they are welcome to snuggle anytime.

You can find more information at www. attachmentparenting.org, but I prefer Dr. Sears website. It is easier to navigate!

Do you use the attachment parenting style? How well has it worked for you?

Thankful Thursday: Conner’s First ER Visit

So, Conner is a MONKEY! There is no doubt about this. I have often been rather surprised he hasn’t had more accidents. I praise God for this daily!

Well, the rest of us have had ER visits in the last 6 months (I had appendicitis, James had a mini-stroke, and Elias had strep)… CRAZY… except Conner. Until last night.

Yesterday, I had my first appointment with a set of midwives that deliver in a hospital, so we had a late lunch. When we started to eat, Conner climbed down from him chair. He must have slipped or something, because as soon as he got down he kept complaining that his nose hurt.

I didn’t actually see him hurt it, but shortly later, he would not stop complaining and would cry at times. He wouldn’t touch his food anymore, and wanted to sit in my lap. He was suddenly very tired and kept shaking. I found this very odd, and Bo (Krystle) came down stairs and noticed his odd behavior too.

I worried maybe he broke his nose, but this thought seemed crazy since it seemed like such a small incident. His nose looked slightly bruised and he wanted to lay down, so I let him. Why make him suffer if he can sleep away some of the soreness?

When he woke up from this nap, he immediately started screaming and crying frantically. I began to really worry. Fortunately, James came home right after work (instead of doing his side jobs) so that I could go tutor. He came in as Conner was screaming. He calmed him down and as I left he was laying back down.

While I was tutoring, he woke up and immediately threw up twice. By the time I got back home he was asleep again. James and I began talking about the possibilities and what might have happened to him.

We worried he had a concussion or a broken nose. He would not eat dinner and kept crying and complaining about his nose hurting. We gave him some Tylenol and decided to go to the ER. You can never be too careful with a head injury.

By the time we loaded up in the van, he was starting to act his normal self of course! Isn’t that how it always works? Just when you decide to take them to the doctor, they start acting fine so you can look like the parent who is overreacting ;-)!

We didn’t have to wait too long. Nurse came in. Looked at his eyes, up his nose, and checked his hand-eye coordination. Fortunately, he is so young he does not have bone in his nose yet. So no broken nose. And there was no blood up his nose, so that was a good sign too. She said it was not a concussion because he would still be throwing up if that were the case.

She said it was a minor head injury and said he would probably have some bruising and pain still tomorrow. She told us to get Motrin and Tylenol for the pain.

I am so thankful the news was so minor! We had wonderful family and friends praying for us, and some that rushed up to be with us! We felt so loved!

I worried at the many possibilities that could have come about, but God watched over my little one and protected him.

He woke up very upset and a little dizzy this morning. I am still thinking maybe a minor concussion (but that is just my “pro”fessional mommy opinion). We woke up him up last night and I am keeping a close eye on him, but now that he’s has meds, he’s running all around me, playing with Elias!

I love my boys!! Thank you God for watching over my family!

Touchy Topic Tuesday: New Series

When I started this blog, God laid some strong topics on my heart for discussion. I have avoided some of these topics out of fear. Fear of offending. Fear of losing readers. Fear that people may disagree.

Despite these fears, I have decided to lay out there what God has placed on my heart. You may not always agree, and I am prepared for some friendly discussion, but I no longer want to hold back what I feel I need to put out there.

It bothers me when people (especially Pastors) avoid telling the truth or sugarcoat what God’s word says, out of fear they may offend. I can’t stand to hear someone say it is okay to do something (even just a little bit) that the Bible clearly states is wrong. Now, just to clarify, I am not stating that all of my topics will be “clearly stated in the Bible” topics. I am simply saying, that if I know God has clearly shown me something, then I can no longer keep it inside. He led me to start the blog, so I must follow.

So am I the expert on all things? Am I the perfect mom? Will every topic or opinion work on every kid, for every parent? NO WAY!

I want to bring out the touchy topics and tell you what has worked or is currently working for me. I want to show what God has shown and is showing me.

So who am I? I am a mom! I care about my kids and being the best mom I can be for them. I have their best interests at heart. As I go through the topics, I will tell you more about me and why I felt led in the direction I chose.

We joined in this journey together, and I look forward to learning from you too. Thanks for joining in the ride!

Do you have a touchy topic you would like to share? I am looking for guest bloggers to post their touchy topics.

Mom’s Prescription: Take Time for Yourself

So I was on a roll with my blogs. Loving life. Loving blog life. Then, BAM!!!! Mastitis 😐

I’ve never had mastitis before. Conner was nursed over 14 months, and Elias now over 11 months (so far). My right side has always been my worst side. Burning, stinging, cracking, bleeding, severe pain while nursing here and there, I was used to that and knew how to handle these situations. Frustrating and painful? YES! But this?

Well… there are just no words. Which is why I have been at a loss for words until now. I have missed y’all and thought of things to write, but could not get the words out. I will write more on mastitis later. I’m still on the end of it, so I have not overcome it yet.”

Having said all that, moving on for now…

As strong women. Wives. Moms. We all need rest, relaxation, time to meditate, time to recharge, time to just be us! My husband blessed me with this last night! After he showered, he prepared an Epsom salt bath for me.

I am so blessed with an amazing and supportive husband!”

As I sank in, it hit me immediately. Ahhhhh!!!!!!!!!!! This is EXACTLY what I needed–I am certain more so than usual, seeing as I have felt terribly ill and miserable for days. When James comes home and allows me to shower quickly, even just 15 minutes, without the kids around, wow! I feel such an energy. This was exactly that and more.

As I looked around, he had thought of everything.

My fancy soaps: foot scrubs, body washes, lotions. You remember these (maybe ;-)): the kind gifts your friends/family give you, or that you naively buy, thinking, I will make time to pamper myself regularly.

My bath mat. The one I bought a couple of years ago to take wonderfully relaxing baths in regularly. You know: the one that still had the tags on it and was just thrown up on the window sill above the tub.

A rag, a fresh new razor, and my clean dry towel hanging up waiting for me. He’s so sweet and thoughtful!

I had time to… do nothing, think of nothing. Busy moms… I had time to shave! I don’t mean, “shave” while I am rushing through my shower as I am watching children outside the shower door, or rushing because I need to get out to check on them. I mean like close, smooth, sexy legs! Busy moms… I had time to use a foot scrub. You know. JUST FOR MY FEET! Which I followed up with a foot lotion.

Most days I am lucky to get a shower where I wash my hair and body. Shave? HA! When I finally have to, and just real quick.

As I laid there, I could reflect on who I was. I could be calm in my skin. I could feel happy as a woman in MY body. There was no one there to judge me, need me, compare to me, like me, hate me. NOTHING! Just me! As a mom, it is important for me to take this brief time.

I came out and told my husband how much I appreciated him. I explained that as much as I want to and enjoy having sex with him, I think I would want and enjoy even more, with more days like this!

I was NOT saying, if you want sex you will do this. Sex is not a privilege I give to him for doing the right things. It is something we enjoy as a married couple.

I WAS saying, if I had time to relax and reflect for 30 min to an hour like this a couple of times a week, I will probably want and enjoy it even more! (This statement can be true whether you have a great sex-life or not… surely this would help you relax in preparation for the evening.)

Anyways, my main point- moms need time for themselves. I hear this all the time, but really who has time? James and I don’t always have money to go out on dates, or for me to get away to a spa or anything. Some people don’t have family, friends, or money for babysitters to get away.

Despite all these excuses, if you are married, you should be able to have and make the time for a break. For me it’s the break to shower, or take a relaxing bath, WITHOUT the kids! I’m just honest with James. He comes home and gets to take a shower, usually kid-less, so I ask he return the favor on the nights where that is possible. Some nights there is no time for this, I know that, but it can happen a couple of times a week.

Does your husband already give you a specified break from the kids each day or a couple of times a week? What do you do during this time?