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(Holy buckets, do I rarely blog anymore or what?  Tis okay…just not feelin’ it, I guess!)

BUT…Stephen turned 7 months old this past week!  He’s crawling and all over the place.  It’s also fun that he’s started solids, but I have to be careful to see what Phinehas tries to feed him!

Here’s his scrapbook page:

month7

 

And some pictures:

Stephen7Months

 

One last thought from “Desperate: Hope For the Mom Who Needs to Breathe” by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson.  In a letter from Sally to Sarah, she writes:

“I always wanted to be a hero – to sacrifice my life in a big way at one time – and yet, God has required my sacrifice to be thousands of days, over many years, with one more kiss, one more story, one more meal. “

I’ve often wanted that.  I wished weight loss worked that way: one big effort (over the course of like 1 day), then you just coast.  Or financial success: one big effort (over the course of like 1 week) and all your past financial mistakes were fixed.  Or if you worked one really hard project at work, you wouldn’t have to work hard again (like ever!).  But life doesn’t usually work that way.

And mothering is one more kiss, one more story, one more meal.  When you don’t feel like being touched anymore.  When you feel like reading something meant for an adult.  When you feel like eating junk food.  It’s lots of little sacrifices.

The good news is that I can’t remember regretting a sacrifice.  I can’t remember climbing into bed at night and thinking “man, I really regret reading ‘I Love You Stinky Face’ 20 times today.” I can’t remember saying to myself “I really wish I wouldn’t have made vegetables at dinner.” I just don’t.  Sacrifices – even the small ones – have a way of reminding you how cool these people in your life really are.

 

 

 

Another lesson learned from  “Desperate: Hope For the Mom Who Needs to Breathe” by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson.  The quote:

“Many voices in motherhood today want to make a law out of everything – the activities that are best for a child, how to spank or not to spank, and how to secure obedience; working outside the home or staying at home; what clothing is acceptable for our girls; what movies, music, or books are or are not acceptable; dating or courting; adopting; drinking; even eating – there is no place where the grasp of legalism cannot and will not reach.

And yet, Scripture clearly speaks to the opposite.  It tells us in Romans 14:22, “Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.”  The worry of what others are doing or are expecting us to do will indeed kill our souls.”

When I read this, I didn’t automatically think of the supposed “Mommy Wars”, but, instead, I thought of the tendencies inside me.  Oh yes!  This is me!  I want rules that pretty much guarantee good results – in my child(ren) and in me!

I have got to chill out when it comes to thinking that there are easy answers to be had.  I have got to chill out when it comes thinking that there is 1 way to raise a kid.  To have a good marriage.  To live a happy life.  Chill out Jayme!

 

Following the theme of being more grateful and actually documenting them

Today, I’m grateful for:

41.That today is the primary election day.  I’ll be voting, but really, I’m grateful that a huge chunk of the political ads and phone calls will end!

42. Kids that nap at the same time.

43. Kraft Mac & Cheese Shapes.  Love ‘em!

Enjoy them!

Another thought from from  “Desperate: Hope For the Mom Who Needs to Breathe” by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson.  They say:

So many moms try to micromanage every single behavioral issue with their children and feel a need to win every battle, especially when they are young.  As I observe how God treats me, I realize that I keep learning and growing in my weaknesses, sometimes in areas I was not even awar of.  It seems He shows me one area at a time.

And yet, other parents let their children misbehave and be out of control so much of the time that their children are a burden to all who come into their wake.

And so discipline is an issue of training, little by little, year after year.  Do not expect a toddler to behave like an older child who naturally has more self-control and maturity.  Learning to be consistent in teaching and training is a way of life.  It is quite exhausting if a parent makes everything an issue for the child and the parent.  And be sure to enjoy each stage of your children-have fun, giggle, distract, lighten up, and win their hearts.  Children are more likely to respond to discipline if they feel loved and affirmed.  Be sure to extend grace to your young children, and also make sure they have lots of time to play outdoors to wear out their energy and fill their need for activity.

This kind of hit me between the eyes, so to speak.  For a while there, I was so concerned about getting the right behavior out of my child, that I wasn’t really enjoying my child.  Certainly, life will never be 100% enjoyable – not with a child.  Not with a spouse.  Not with myself.  There will always be “I wish I didn’t have to do this” moments.  But I had forgotten to ENJOY HIM!  I had forgotten that he was still VERY YOUNG!

I heard it once that “Children define love this way: P-L-A-Y!” and “Your child’s favorite toy is you.”  May I remember that more often!

 

When did I stop?

A few weeks ago now, I was reading “Desperate: Hope For the Mom Who Needs to Breathe” by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson.  I had seen it referenced by quite a few of the bloggers that I follow, so I checked it out.  I can’t say that it was life-changing or anything, but it was a very encouraging read.

I don’t feel desperate about parenting right now, but I did several months ago – about the time that Finn was 20 months old.  It seems like that was a very rough time.  Stephen was just a month or two old, but that didn’t seem to throw me any curveballs.  It was the beginning of the Toddler stage that was giving ME fits.  He was starting to challenge things he never had before.  He seemed to suddenly get super tall overnight, causing him to be able to reach things that I thought were safe (i.e.: knives on the counter!).  He developed the ability to open closed doors.  Before, countertops and closed doors were boundary-defining.  Not so much any more.

It’s all normal, of course, but this was the beginning of “true parenting” for me.  Until then, I had pretty much just been keeping him alive.  Now the real teaching and instruction was beginning.  And I was uber confident that I was doing it all wrong and it was just a matter of time before the police department brought him home in a squad car for spray painting a bridge or something.  (Remember: He wasn’t even 2 yet.  I was clear over-reacting!  This I know.  But this I didn’t feel.)

Anyway, a quote from this book stood out to me:

“As the undeniable reality of my own sin nature convicted me of how I view my children, I was reminded of something I had read in one of Sally’s books.  In Mission of Motherhood, she wrote about being frustrated with her children.  She felt like her efforts weren’t proving fruitful, and no matter what she did with her children or how many times she told them what to do, it wasn’t working.  Clay said to her, “Honey, at what age did you stop sinning?  Because that’s when our children will stop.”

That really helped drive home the concept that I am in this for the long haul.  There are some things that I’ll have to tell him once and he’ll listen.  But there are many, many, many, many things that I’ll have to repeat myself for.  Just like I know that it’s wrong to be short-tempered or jealous (but I do it anyway), my son knows it’s wrong to put his feet on the table or to throw his food (but he does it anyway).

It was just a nice reminder that I am no better than my son; just a little more sophisticated!

 

Following the theme of being more grateful and actually documenting them

Today, I’m grateful for:

40. Having a large extended family!  Going to a cousin’s graduation party means that there are at least 1 grandma, 4 aunts and 3 cousins who want to hold your baby.  And at least 2 cousins and 3 kids-of-cousins who want to play with your toddler!

41. Recipes that double really easily and make 14 burritos for the freezer!

42. Book recommendations from friends – especially ones that are at the public library!

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