Tag Archive | stay at home mom

Memory foam

Back-to-school shopping…let the games begin! Researching and searching, making a list and checking it twice, trying on and taking off. It’s a process-much like parenting itself; part trial-and-error, part purposeful and planned.

Yesterday, it was uniform shirts and dollar store school supplies…today it was shoes and haircuts. Shoes. Aisles and aisles of choices ranging from funky to functional. It was a bit overwhelming at first, but after I had their feet measured we set out on our mission as we meandered the stacks.

I can’t believe he was wearing shoes that were 2 sizes too small.image

Yikes. The prices are a bit steeper than I recall.

How did we do this without coupons on my smart phone?

I have to steer her from shoes that create lightning strike effects in the movie theater…can’t make that mistake again.

As I help her tie up her tennies, he slides in next to me with his choice. Red tennis shoes with black soles. Somewhat surprised by the choice, I approved. “Those are sharp! Go find your size and bring ’em over.” She springs from her stool and runs double-time down the aisle. “They feel soooooo good!”, she tells the whole store in all of her excitement. Memory foam  is written on the side of the box. What will they come up with next? When I was a kid the man on the commercial would have claimed that it was made with “space age polymers” or something.  It really is a neat idea.  Memory foam is manufactured to react with heat and mold to fit the surface (or in this case- foot) it is in contact with. Smart shoes that take on the form of the feet that wear them. Ok…we’ll try them.

Just then, he comes to me with shoe box. When he opened it, I noticed that it was not the pair he had shown me before.

“What happened to the others?”

“Well, I noticed the price and thought that it was a bit too high- so I put them back.”

“Honey, what’s ‘too high’ ?”

This opened up a beautiful discussion between mother and son that was absolutely wonderful. You see, he has been earning allowance for certain chores and we have been teaching him about tithing and stewardship in the process. Just two weeks ago, he wrapped up some of the change he had been saving and proudly made a deposit to his bank account. (At age 8 he says he is saving for a car. You know what? I bet he’ll meet his goal.)  When he looked at the original price on the box it was steep, indeed. He missed the sale price. But, it was a proud moment for me. I know some adults who don’t have the common sense and conviction that this kid had today. Even though it was not “his” money he was spending, he wanted to be a good steward. He was thinking of this little “team” of ours and not himself. My heart sprouted wings right there in the store.

When we calculate allowance we have a category marked “above and beyond”. This is for the stuff that he may take initiative to do without being asked. For example, one day he emptied the dryer and folded all of the clothes (and sorted them into piles!) because a shirt that he wanted was in that load of laundry. He did this on his own without instruction. He got “points” for that. Today, he showed a real effort to contribute to our household when he made that decision in the shoe store. We sat down with him later and talked about it. My hubby said he wanted to give him “above and beyond” points.

His response?

“Oh, I don’t want points for that. It was the right thing to do.”

I think another set of wings just sprouted from my feet! He is getting it!

He is understanding humility, sacrifice, stewardship and so much more.

I hate to say it, but sometimes I need some affirmation. I pray to God regularly and ask Him to guide me…I want to know that I am steering these kids the right way…HIS way. But, am I doing a good job? That moment of affirmation happened, standing among the stacks of boxes…the memory foam in this child is working. God is pressing on him. Hubby and I are pressing on him. He is being molded and that “memory foam” is holding its form.

I wanted to share this with you- not just to brag on my kid (although I am definitely proud!)- but, to give you some hope and encouragement. There are times when you may think that your efforts are in vain. Those days when you feel like you’re banging your head on the wall are getting closer together and you wonder why you’re talking…and if anyone is listening.

THEY ARE.

Keep praying for them. Keep talking. Keep modeling…because they’re watching.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

Philippians 1:9-11

I pray this scripture for my kids often. I have it written on a card on my dresser so I can meditate on it. God is working. There is fruit here.

John 15:5 says:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

And that, folks, it just it…Apart from Jesus Christ, I can do nothing.

In study, in prayer, in daily scripture meditation, in application, by faith…through the Holy Spirit…I am being changed and transformed. I am a hunk of memory foam: my heart, mind and life. Whatever influence I invite to press upon me will be the very influence that molds me. I can testify to that- the good and the bad. I am renewed and redeemed.

So Mom and Dad, on those days when you are praying hard for your kids, maybe banging your head on the wall or sitting in your room crying…wondering if your kids hear….God gives strength to the weary.

Do you not know?

Have you not heard?

The Lord is the everlasting God,

the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary,

and his understanding no one can fathom.

He gives strength to the weary

and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary,

and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the Lord

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40-28-31

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More than I can handle (part 1)

One thing I hope you see as I write about daily life in this blog is that I am human. There is no perfection here, just a wife and mom seeking the Lord. I have ups and downs like any other and share with you how God “reels me in”…or in some cases, as I learn the hard way as I sit kicking and screaming.

Just last week, I wrote a blog on passing on blessings. I used a week of “me-time” to help others and count the blessings which were passed on to me. I wrote that on Wednesday…by Saturday morning, I was unraveled. The kids had come home from vacation and my in-laws were staying over. I was so glad to have the kids home and was looking forward to enjoying some time with them, but when I woke up Saturday morning my “to-do” kicked in. I got up, put on my work clothes and went to the gas station to get fuel for the mowers. Wrote out the list of things that I really wanted (at that moment each was a desperate need) and I set to work. The problem  is, everyone else was enjoying a leisurely pace. The in-laws were shoving off to continue their vacation adventure and hubby was hanging out with the kids…watching me spin my wheels. He came to me and asked me what was going on. In a bit of a frantic tone, I told him, “There is so much to do… and I should have gotten it done while the kids were gone…but I didn’t…and now I am behind…and I have to get it done…why did I wait? I should not have waited until they were back to do this!”

Just like that. All of those moments helping others and all of those blessings I had received were crushed by two hands of toil.

Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.

Ecclesiastes 4:6

Selfishness.

Me, My, Mine.

I confess it folks. I had that thought, ” I should have not spent so much time doing other things for other people…I should have been home working on my own stuff.”

Hear that ugliness? (Sigh)

Hubby always has his white horse saddled up and at the ready. He asked me to prioritize my list so he could pick a task to knock out and we both set to work. At about three o’clock, I came to him and said, “Ok, I am out of my tree now. We can stop. Let’s pack it in and swim with the kids and have some fun.” I could see the relief on his face. I apologized for my insanity.

The rest of the afternoon was positively wonderful.

Then came the phone call….

My bro-in-law was in the ER again. He is an athletic, young 40’s dude and looks perfectly healthy. Looking at him you would not see the struggles that he has had and continues to have daily. He has had a few strokes and they have caused major lifestyle changes…among other things…and he has aphasia, which makes it hard to get the words in his head to come out of his mouth. Except when he is talking about God or God’s word. He may not be able to do the IT job he held before the strokes, but he is the recreation director at his church and pastors at a summer camp. I firmly believe that even in all of these health struggles he and his family have endured…that God’s plan is being hammered out in his life.

I thought she was going to tell me he had another stroke, but instead- he had a seizure. And then another in the ambulance. This is something that he has never had a history of and she told me that they were big ones. Within 20 minutes, our family was packed and we were in the car. Over the past four days, the ER and ICU doctors have been testing, re-testing…trying to get him straightened out. It may be a reaction to medicine and completely unrelated to his past history. It’s just one more thing. Please pray for my sister, bro-in-law and their kids.

Sunday evening, we packed up again and headed for home with two extra kids and our nephew’s new puppy in tow. And we’ve been here enjoying each other’s company ever since. Nothing like cousins and canines frolicking around the house!

Last night, I was telling my sister that having all of the kids and doggies here has been wonderful. I told her about my Saturday morning in my crazy-tree and shared with her just how ridiculous I feel now about that moment. All of the stuff on my list was just “stuff”. Helping her and these kids is so much more than that. God stepped on my coattails and re-centered me on Him and my purpose and direction under Him. What could be more important that fixing my kitchen sink, overflowing gutters, overgrown lawn, and sinkholes from the septic repair?

Well….everything.

Encouragement during the race

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds

Hebrews 10:22-24

In my last post, I pointed to this scripture and indicated that “how we may spur one another on” was something that God was really pointing to in my purpose going forward. I had no idea that He’d start convicting me to move on that this morning. I am so glad He did.

Last night, a friend asked how our son did in the 5k over the weekend. I told her that he finished and I was so proud of him, but I was really proud of my husband. He is, what I like to call, a competitive jerk. We both are. When there is a competition between hubby and I (cards, video games, volleyball, marksmanship…you name it) we are…well…boisterous about it. Hubby had been training for this 5k and was looking forward to knocking time off of his last race. Competing against himself. When our son decided that he would run with his Dad, they were both excited.They had already talked about the possibility of getting separated during the race and had a game plan to meet up at the finish line. It was all mapped out- so we thought.

At one point in the race, our son decided to turn back and look for me. I was walking with the dog and his sister near the back of the pack. What he didn’t realize was that his sister’s little legs had worn out early (and the dog saw a rabbit that nearly resulted in shoulder dislocation) and she asked if we could turn back for water. I had given her a pat on the back for her effort and we set some training goals for next time. When my son couldn’t find us he turned and started running with the pack again. Because he had turned around and doubled back, he had run further than most and became tired. When my hubby happened upon him, he was walking and looking for a shady place to rest. Hubby stopped to encourage him. He noticed that our little runner had a shoe untied, so he helped him tie it tight. Then, he sat with him on the curb for a moment of chalk talk. They continued the race together at a slower pace and at one point my son ended up riding piggy back. They both crossed the finish line together. WOW! For those who know my hubby- you know how difficult this must have been for him. When I was telling the story last night- I imagined that he had some teeth grinding and some muffled frustration and it definitely went against everything in his nature to stop his race to walk with our son.

…in HIS nature.

It definitely wasn’t his nature that caused him to stop and spur our son on and offer encouragement. It was God’s nature. I am so very proud of my husband for the sacrifice he made to encourage our son. He threw his goal, race time, competitive nature and himself out the window and focused on that boy. What a wonderful picture.

wpid-20140603_080935.jpgThis morning, when I woke up our son was sitting in the living room watching TV. He is an early riser and always has been. He had already made his bed, ate breakfast, packed his lunch and his uniform was on…he was ready to roll. As I saw him sitting there- a nudge from the Spirit. “Consider how we may spur one another toward love and good deeds.” But, not just love and good deeds…toward God himself. I asked him to turn off the TV and come to the table with me. I start my day with prayer and scripture. When he became a Christian in September, he did a morning devotional as well. While he still prays for his classmates in the morning, he has let his devotional book gather a little dust. When I opened the page to where he had left off, the lesson was  this “If you fall, Get back up”. Ok, thanks for the nudge God.

As I sat there with him, reading- I began to tell the story of how I learned to ride my bike. When I was young, I liked to ride my bike up and down the step on the side of our home. One day, one of my plastic training wheels cracked in half. I never went back to that bike. Later…much later, I set a goal for myself. I wanted to learn to ride a bike before my son. Yes, 30 years later at the age of 34- I finally learned how to ride a bike. My son never knew that about me. So I continued….

When I was 11 I became a Christian. I studied my Bible in church, in youth group, on mission trips and retreats. We were always very active at church and in serving others, but all of my “study” consisted of what I was fed by teachers and leaders. When I went away to college- ALONE- It didn’t take long for the slide…the slow fade to begin. I never got off of the baby food.

in fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

Hebrews 5:12-14wpid-20140603_070841.jpg

I shared with him my shame. It was 18 years before I had my Josiah moment. I returned to the Lord and was brought to my knees. How in the world did I get that far from Him? From the truth? Outside of His will for me? That little boy could see the urgency in my eyes and hear it in my tone as I told him, “Don’t rely on what you are taught in class. You have to spend time with God alone- daily. When you are saved and have that blessed assurance it’s time to RUN…not walk…not sit.”

It’s time to get back in the race.

Hitting my stride

As I stood at the kitchen sink, washing up after dinner-I could see them clearly. They were swinging. Higher and higher. She jumped off the swing and began to run. Oh, her run. It’s so free. It makes me smile. She has a quick step and she tends to throw in a little skip or two to vary her step. She runs…and runs…and runs. She has two speeds: Off and On. As a matter of fact, at the library on Wednesday I had to caution her to slow down. Her response? “But, Mom…I am so excited!”.

sheruns

Thinking about her…running…excited…and RUNNING. Kids. Seriously- think about it…they RUN seemingly non-stop. Our little family participated in a 5k on Saturday. We have done this one for the past three years. The first year, I had both kids in a jogging stroller. The second year, our son “graduated” to walking and our daughter floated from stroller to walking and back again. This year, all four of us suited up; some to walk and some to run. Afterward, I was chatting with a friend and was telling him how proud I was of our son. He had run his first race with his father. My friend kind of chuckled and said, “And because he’s young he will probably go home and run another five miles in the back yard.” So true.

So as I watched her scamper around like the vibrant, energetic four-year old that she is I wondered…When do we stop running? Why?

Somewhere down the line we slow down, become more focused on “things” and “stuff”, worldly responsibilities creep in and consume our time, we smile less and complain more and even worry a little. Why is that? You’d think that as the days pass on- as we get one year older and one year closer to the Lord- it would be more natural to speed up instead of slowing down. That’s a lot to ponder.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)

 Recently, I started walking through a Bible Study called “Restless” by Jennie Allen and I have been nothing but restless ever since. In the video, Jennie opens with a story about running that really opened my eyes. (Maybe that’s why watching my daughter run struck me the way it did.) I will refrain from writing a blog on the race…because, frankly my sweet sister in Christ, Danielle, has already made a masterpiece of that in blog form.  Anyways, while walking through the study last week, I had a restless revelation. After talking a spiritual gifts test (again) and reflecting on past hobbies etc…I came to the conclusion that I was wrong. Last week, I had no clue what my gifts and talents were. I thought I had none. Sure, I was good at stuff…but, did I have a spiritual gift that could be used to serve the Lord? What is MY purpose? Through this study on that particular morning I discovered that not only was I wrong, but I was wrong and actually USING my gifts and talents. While there are some areas that I need to allow God to fertilize and plenty of room for growth…I am blooming where I am planted. I was blown away. When I sat down to speak with my hubby about my discovery he said, “You really sell yourself short. I think that makes it harder for you to see the gifts and talents God has equipped you with.”

There is much, much more to this particular restlessness that I am experiencing, but it was too much for one post. I wanted to share this part today because I am excited. After beginning the race as a young girl- RUNNING; I stumbled and spent many years of watching the race from the sidelines. I re-entered the race with a cautious walk and eyes wide open, but I think in this portion of the race I have finally hit my stride! (At least in my current season.) To have confirmation from the Lord during that study and prayer time was just what I needed to hit that stride with the confidence I should have. IN HIM.

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds

Hebrews 10:22-24

I have always loved that word…”Unswervingly”. Part of the purpose I believe God is pushing me toward is “how we may spur one another on” and I am excited to see what’s next.

Drenched by a slow drizzle

One of my friends sent me a text…”when it rains it pours”. It sure seems like that when the rain comes.

The past two weeks have been tough. I could compare myself to Job, but that would be ignorant. While hubby’s company seems to be struggling, he still has a job and we still have a roof over our heads. We have to dig up the front garden so we can get to the foundation to take care of some leaking or seeping there. Last week, our pup was sick and our septic system went into failure. We cannot do laundry and must wait another week until they can come do the perc test…which includes digging up a substantial portion of our front lawn. I cringe at the forecast of rain because that directly affects the root issue. (sigh) Our daughter is not feeling well and we just can’t pinpoint the cause and I have been struggling with a sinus and ear infection. As a matter of fact, we have been in a doctor’s office every day this week except Monday. The timing of the mounting medical expense is not good. After all, this septic thing is not going to be cheap. BUT, God has always provided for us and He is walking us through one step at a time. Until now, I had been taking everything in stride. After all, God is and has been very good to us. There are others around us who are struggling with life threatening illnesses and much larger struggles than the issues I just mentioned. Job? No. I have not lost my whole family…only one very important member.

It was supposed to be Spring Break. We were staying with family and were going to go to the zoo and maybe take in some museums. Yet, one thing after another seemed to de-rail that plan. On Tuesday, I tried to drive home with the kids but couldn’t go through the tunnel because of the pain in my ears and sinuses. The route we chose was so congested due to accidents that we finally turned around and stayed one more night. It was nice. More time with family and another night of antibiotics was just what I needed. The next morning we set out to go to the zoo, but ended up in an Emergency Care place instead. After a lot of tears (from me…not my kids) we finally made some headway and had lunch with a friend. Then I got the call…hubby said when he got home from work, he found our 11-year-old dog collapsed on the floor. He was struggling and things didn’t look good. I put the kids back in the car and we finished our drive. He called again when we got into the immediate area. The vet thought that Muddy had a tumor that had suddenly burst…his body temperature had dropped drastically and we had to hurry. The hardest part…telling our son that we were on our way to the animal hospital to see our dog for the last time. The second hardest part…watching my hubby cry as my son sobbed. The worst part ever…Muddy still had a fighting spirit and was trying to get up off of the floor as we lay there with him. He looked scared. But, I am so glad that this all happened suddenly and he didn’t have to suffer for a long period of time.

One rain drop at a time…a slow drizzle over the course of weeks. Now I am saturated…heavy…sad…worn. Like a sponge that has been completely immersed for a period of time, I need to be squeezed. A hug, maybe. I need God to wring me out. I am thankful for the truth speakers in my life: the ones who point me back to God when I am too focused on my stumbling feet. Especially the one who reminded me that my focus had shifted. I normally try to dwell on the positive and through God’s grace I had managed to remain a Philippians 4 girl.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Yes, my friend was right. I am looking more what is wrong this week and allowing that cloud to cast shadows on the abundance of what is good and right in my life. But, I have to be real with you- I am struggling this week. Walking with God doesn’t mean everyday is happy and sunny. Walking with God means that when it rains, God is the umbrella that gives me protection. Those periods of rain have the potential to result in beautiful growth.

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

Matthew 7: 24-27

It’s not a matter of if the storms come…it’s just a matter of when. When the rain started falling and the water began to rise I looked down…I guess that’s natural. However, now I choose to rely on Him and not myself; Upon the strong foundation that HE built.

If you have been with me from the start of this blog then you know that I am a mom like many others. God teaches me through experiences with my kids, shows His face in the simplest of places and through everyday experiences. I love sharing those things…the good, the bad and the ugly. Most of those blogs include a positive lesson…something that God has shown me that I need to work on…or some affirmation or empathy. I struggled to write this particular blog today because, frankly, it’s a big downer. I am down but I am certainly not out. It’s time for me to start documenting my blessings more diligently again. Let’s get real-there is not one catastrophic event in this whole post. It’s not pouring…it’s just a slow and steady drizzle.

Then comes a blessing…the first one on the list as I start counting again. A sweet, small voice singing quietly in the back seat of the car. She sings like an angel. Do you know what song she chose?

Nothing could be closer to the truth. Amen.

Please pray for me this week. Pray for our daughter and her tummy troubles. Pray for our family as we try to deal with the loss of our “first child” and fuzzy companion. Pray for hubby as he endures challenges at work and at home. There’s a lot going on here and our sponge is saturated at the moment. Pray that the Lord will embrace our little family and squeeze out some of this heaviness today.

Out of the fire and hit with the frying pan

I had a dream last night. It was long and vivid…and now that I know what it means, I feel like I have been punched in the gut. While there was no sense of urgency in my dream- there is a very real sense of urgency for me today.

The dream:

We were all sleeping snuggled up in our beds when I woke up to realize that our house was on fire. The fire was in the basement- so for some reason…in my mind…we had a little time to spare. My first impulse was to save our family photos. We keep them in a large flat plastic storage box under our bed so they were easily accessible. I pulled the small aluminum latches on the screen in the bedroom window and pushed the screen out. Then, I lifted the large plastic box of photos up and pushed them out onto the deck in the rear of our home. By this time, hubby was awake. I told him that we needed clothing and he grabbed a duffel bag and began to toss some clothes in. After all, we would need clothes when we left this house and so would the kids. Running back and forth around the house we began to collect things that we wanted to salvage…the diamond necklace he had given me…my wedding rings…a picture of our son feeding his newborn sister…and other items that had intrinsic value. We grabbed the kids and went outside. We had to get the car out of the garage before the fire spread that far. We tossed everything in and pulled the car out to the road. By that time the firemen were all there and the Fire Marshal was not too pleased with us. “This fire started small and could have easily been extinguished if you hadn’t been running around doing all of that other stuff!”, the Fire Marshal snipped. “…and furthermore, you should never remain in a burning building!”, he shouted as he turned to finish his work.

wpid-20140411_102845.jpg

The frying-pan moment:

You’ve heard the phrase “out of the frying pan and into the fire” before…this time I came out of the fire to be HIT with a frying pan. God has been leading me away from women’s studies and ministry and onto focusing on family ministry in the past month or so. In following His prompting, I have revisited the study called “The Power of a Positive Mom”. I have purchased the 8 session series and am considering a study/play group here in our home over the summer. Yesterday, I decided to incorporate “30 Days of Encouraging Your Husband” and “The Love Dare for Parents” into my morning Bible study time…again shifting the focus to God’s desire for me to minister to my family. Today, I opened up the “Love Dare” and my heart sank. I have already been very aware that we needed to slow down and take more time to recreate and be together as a family. We need more FUN! But, today when I read the first day of the Love Dare and the challenge I realized how far off the mark I am when it comes to our son. His “love language” is quality time and physical touch. He’s a snuggler who needs dedicated time. I know this about him because I am the same way. But, what I didn’t realize is that I have not been speaking his language at all lately. I have been so wrapped up in dinners, laundry, shuttling us from here to there, ladies Bible study and church activities…that we have not had much time together. As a matter of fact, when he comes home from school- he plays with his sister while I cook dinner. He and his sister are two peas in a pod…but, our relationship is suffering. While I say “I love you” all the time…it’s possible that he may not be experiencing that love.

Then I read…

When love is the fertile soil, truth becomes a more fruitful seed. By working together, truth and love build deep trust between you and your child In contrast, when parents force truth into a relationship that is poisoned with anger, bitterness, insecurity or emotional isolation, those truths tend to become twisted or rejected over time. Pain and misunderstanding become silent weeds that can choke out what you are trying to communicate. Even when you speak clearly, your wise words may fall on toxic soil. That is why past hurts must always be uncovered and dealt with compassionately to gain a child’s heart and ear again. (From The Love Dare for Parents by Stephen & Alex Kendrick)

Our communication has been lacking lately…his listening ears have been busted and I my frustration has been increasing. Could it be that not speaking his “love language” is causing the soil to turn? Are weeds growing?

Oh my…the frying pan just hit my head. And it hurt.

I called my hubby and told him about the dream and what I had read. When I woke up this morning I had no idea what that dream was about or what it meant. Yet, God placed all of this together in the span of less than 4 hours.

Our house was on fire and I was spending my time preserving photos and gathering clothing instead of putting out the fire!

I am now fully aware of the danger here in our home and how it could affect our children and our family in the future. I have to put this fire out while it’s small – to avoid further damage. It’s time to apply the brakes and carve out quality time…not just for our children, but for my hubby and I and more importantly ALL of us as a family unit. I am going to have to rearrange some things: do more housework and tend to the lawn and garden more during the week. But, if it frees up the weekends for family fun, then it’s worth it. If we have to stay up thirty minutes passed bedtime to snuggle and read…so be it.

As I was hanging up the phone with hubby he said something that is going on my list of blessings in big bold letters…praise the Lord for hearing ears and discernment. I am so thankful to have a thriving relationship with God…one in which He leads and I follow. And praise the Lord for frying-pan moments that result in awareness and awakening.

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

Galatians 5:25

Is there a fire in your home or life that needs to be extinguished? Are you paying attention- would you hear the warnings if the alarm was sounded? Or are you too busy running around (chasing the wind) to take the warning seriously? It’s easy to get wrapped up in the tasks that accompany motherhood that we forget the “mothering” part. It’s equally as easy to become so wrapped up in serving, that you neglect the relationship with the God whom you serve.