Friday, July 16, 2010


Becoming a mother is always something I longed for. How many times did I make my brother David play the role of my husband as we played house and tucked our dolls in for bed at night? (He was such a great little brother!)

My cabbage patch doll Mamie had a daily schedule of feedings, naps, play time, and baths.
From the time I was maybe 16 I started a list of potential names for my some-day babies. (Is that creepy or cute? Not sure.)

And now here I 31 years old...mother to three.

Motherhood is everything that I ever dreamed it would be, but SO much more.

So much more of everything. Every emotion.

So much more intense.

So much more demanding.

So much more responsibility.

So much more fun.

So much more love...

As I have these days right now to lay here at home while my family is in Minnesota it has given me such special time to focus on the mother that I am. The other night my friend Carla prayed that this time of bed rest would be a time of refreshing for me as a mother. A time where I could focus and spend time thinking about, and praying for, my children - for them now, but also for their callings and their destinies...and I feel that I have had time to do just that!

For the first 30 weeks of this pregnancy it shot by me so fast. I was finding myself so busy and "full" with the boys that I never seemed to have the time to just sit back and anticipate the arrival of our daughter in to this family.

These past few weeks as I have laid here and felt her kick, move, and grow I feel that we have grown so close. I have even been talking to her a lot these past few days as we lay here alone together! I've been singing to her, reading to her, praying over her...and it's just been pretty special! I am truly thankful for this time alone I've been given with my daughter.

I have also, in the past few days, started reading "Shepherding a Child's Heart" by Tedd Tripp. It had been laying on my night stand for the past 6 months or more, but I finally picked it up and started plowing through it. Truthfully a while back I had started skimming through some of the first few pages, but I had then tossed it aside because it wasn't practical enough for me. I wanted it to give me step by step directions on how to handle exact situations that arose in my home, like the little boy laying on my kitchen floor screaming and kicking because he didn't get his way, or the two little boys who are shrieking at the top of their lungs while wrestling around the living room and trying to bite each other... and I didn't find those answers in the book!

What I have found so far in reading through his book though is his firm belief that parents must deal with the heart of their children. If we just respond to the inappropriate behavior and don't think about where that behavior is stemming from, we are not getting to the heart (haha) of the matter.

It just made sense to me. If you have a child who is, for example, caught in a lie, it is important that our child understands the heart issue about lying. Why don't we lie? What does the Bible teach us about lying? Who are we hurting when we tell lies? Why does it hurt ourselves when we lie? If we can get our children to understand the deeper truths and Biblical basis for how we live, then it goes beyond us being the ones who are running the show and telling them do this, don't do that.

So often I have already found that I can be a parent who disciplines my sons out of my frustration or irritation. If they are being too loud for me, or if they are disturbing my peace, or if their fighting is making me mad, then I react. This book talks about taking our emotions out of the equation. We don't punish and discipline to appease ourselves and our own selfish wants, we should instead do it because we care about our children! We want to raise them to be aware of the decisions they are making, and why making those decisions is important.

I have only made it through the first few chapters, and I still have a long way to go and a lot more dissecting to do, but I have really been gleaming a lot from it so far.

When it comes down to it though parenting can be such a daunting task! I so often doubt myself and my ability to be an effective mother to my children. I think about how many things I am doing wrong, or will do wrong along the way. I think about how much counseling they are going to have to go through to try and erase the memories of their childhood with their crazy mother! And the truth is...parenting is tough! Parenting is scary! Parenting is a HUGE responsibility! It gives me such incredible peace though to know that I'm not doing it on my own. First of all I am fortunate to have an amazing husband who stands beside me as an incredible father to these children. He truly is an amazing gift in their lives. But...he is also human just like me. Both of us realize that we need one higher than us to help and guide us along the way.

This book has also given me a bit of a wake up call. So much of parenting comes down to where our hearts are at too. What example are we showing to our children? How do I handle times when I am stressed? When I don't get my way? When someone has done me wrong? Do I lie? Do I show anger? Do I lash out at those around me?

If I spend all my time thinking about the hearts of my children but spend no time nurturing and feeding my own heart I will be of no good to them.

Just some thoughts...

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