Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Managing and Mothering, But Not Too Smothering

During this wonderful week 3 of the Let. It. Go. online Bible study, I have received encouragement from Karen and the obs leaders on letting go when it comes to managing my home and my family. They also have give me awesome guidance on how to be the thermostat of my home rather the thermometer...an analogy that will stick with me for years to come. Below are some reflections of what I've read and learned:

"She watches over the activities of her household"~ Proverbs 31:27 HCSB

This verse really speaks to my heart because it describes perfectly the kind of mother and wife I want to be. The woman of the house comes in all shapes, sizes, and spirits. The spirit I’ve always admired most is the quiet, watchful mother and wife. She is a source of wisdom, strength, and comfort for her family. She is the essential glue holding it all together. She is always the first one up and the last one down, and constantly puts her family’s needs before her own because she knows that is what the Lord has called her to do. She mends broken dolls and teddy bears just to see the smile on her little one’s face, and wipes every tear with a gentle kiss. She doesn’t buy the affection of her family with toys, clothes, or other things of the world. She is effortlessly loved by her family in response to the love and care she gives them everyday. Whenever any member of her family is tired, sick, hurt, or scared, her presence let’s them know that everything is ok. Most importantly, she keeps God alive in her heart and her home. She never lets a day go by without thanking God for her blessings and leading by example for her family to do the same.

I honestly try to be the thermostat, but unfortunately, when I let myself get worn out instead of making rest and health a priority for myself just as I do my family, I quickly turn into the thermometer….at about 180 degrees. I’ve been battling with that for awhile now. Though I have been praying for strength, I know I haven’t yet put my heart into making this situation better, and I have to…not just for myself, but for my family. My child and my husband deserve better. God deserves better. It will be a step by step process, but I will get there. Reading this chapter was one of the many steps I needed to take, and it truly spoke to my heart. I have so much to be thankful for, and I don’t want to take any of my blessings for granted…especially my Lord and Savior, as well as the people I love the most.

Like many mothers, I am a micromanager for sure at times. I was much worse when my daughter was younger, but as she gets older and her desire for independence gets stronger, I continue to realize that while I will always want to provide and protect my child, I don't want to smother her and possibly keep her from becoming the person God wants her to be. Though there are still many are still many areas in which I need to loosen those maternal reins, I have learned that it is so much more gratifying to back off and watch what my daughter does and admire the person she is trying to be instead of trying to hover over every move she makes. I mean yesterday as soon as we walked in the front door, she began yodeling! It was evening time, I was tired, and had very little time to do a mountain of chores, but do you think for one second I worried about any of that once she started belting out her self-discovered fluctuating tune? Absolutely not. This as an unforgettable memory in progress that she had come up with on her retry own! I was impressed, joyful, and laughing to tears. We didn't shush her! We got out our cell phones and pressed record!

I've always known that when it comes to my husband and I, and the relationship we share, there have never been any coincidences. God had His hand in it every step of the way. As a result, we have a relationship that thrives on loving and supporting each other. My husband knows that I do my best to keep our house in order. But sometimes, my working part time doesn't allow much time for chores during the week. Most of the time, this is ok. But this week, I had scheduled a little dinner meeting with a few of my girlfriends and I won't lie. Even though I know they would love me regardless of the condition of my house, I enjoy being able to welcome my friends into a nice, relaxing, clean, cinnamon-swirl smelling home where we can sit, talk, and enjoy each other's company. My husband knows this, and knows that I generally keep a to do list of things to clean when company is expected. Before I came home from work, and after he had worked a full day, my husband retrieved my list from the counter and preceded to make my life easier. I came home that evening to a clean kitchen free of all dirty dishes, freshly swept and mopped floors, and the last load of laundry toasting in the dryer. I didn't walk around with a clip board inspecting his work to ensure that each task had been performed to my specifications. It was such a tremendous weight off my shoulders to have that work done. But more than that was knowing that my husband had done these chores not because it mattered to him. He did it because it mattered to me, and I matter to him. Then we got inspired to spend this Saturday working together getting things done around the house. We got excited talking about helping each other do house work and lightening our load together.

"Shoes strewn about means you have children who can walk. Mud-spattered uniforms means you have children who can run, jump, and kick. Homework papers left on the dining-room table means your kids have a functioning mind and are able to learn, absorb, and live quality lives” (pg. 124).

The words of Karen ares the very words that spoke to my heart the most when reading these two chapters because they are totally true. I have so much to be thankful for simply because I have a healthy and happy family to spend my days and nights with, and a Heavenly Father who loves me and will be with me everywhere I go. Even on my worst day, I know I have more blessings than I deserve, and I am so thankful to have a family so understanding and a Father so merciful, and this is the encouragement I've gained this week and will hopefully never lose. Like many wonderful wives and mothers, my plate may be constantly full, but my cup runneth over.

Friday, February 15, 2013


"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for The Lord, not for men." -Colassians 3:23 NIV84

(Love this translation!  Thanks, Melissa!)

 A few simple ways I tried and will continue to try and live out the reflection verse listed above:

While working at my profession, I try to remember the big picture that yes, I have an earthly boss (a couple of them actually) and I do have to carry out the duties expected of me.  I do not, however, and have never been forced to do something that in my heart I know is wrong.  I am a Christian at work as well as home.  I make an honest effort to walk the Christian walk in the tasks I perform, my interactions with patients and coworkers, and even when faced with difficult situation.  

At home, I try to maintain a peaceful environment, but more importantly, a loving one.  Where my child is concerned, I never forget that while I am her momma, God is her Father and she is a gift-a gift the God has given to us to love and care for everyday through every situation.
Overall, when I go through life living and working to please The Lord, not humans including myself, I walk in peace and happiness.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Blog-Hopping Week 2

Ok here we go on week 2 of this awesome online Bible study and attemp 2 at "blog-hopping".  Blog-hopping goal for this week:   ACTUALLY FINISH!!!!!!!!

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” ~ Proverbs 19:21 NIV11

There have been several time when my plans have not necessarily been what God's plans were for me.  When my daughter was born, I wanted nothing more than to stay home and just be her mommy all day long.  But our financial situation required me to maintain my full time position as a nurse.  I'm blessed to be able to have an 8 to 4 job and not a 12 hour midnight shift, but even still, my heart 
ached every time I had to leave my baby.  Eventually,when she was a little older and we we in a better situation financially, my husband and I decided that I could work part time.  I went to my bosses and 
told them that while I knew it would take some planning, that itching the next few months I wanted to work part time so that I could be home more with my daughter.  What was made to look like a hopeful outcome at first turned out not to be.  At that time, at a follow up meeting a week later I was advised by my superiors that they were not going to be able to help me at this time.  I was crushed.  As soon as I got to my car and headed down the road home, I shouted out "ok God!  What do you want from me?  
I thought this is what you were leading me to do and I just got the door slammed in my face!  What do you want me to do?  What do you want from me?"  At that moment, amongst all my frustration, 
"be still" rang in my thoughts.  So I thought "ok.  I can be still."  Now was I completely still?  No.  The overwhelming guilt of feeling like I was picking my job over my child was  consuming 
me.  So I started to job search...hospitals, rehab centers, nursing 
homes, doctors offices.  However, every avenue I traveled down I 
was literally smacked in the face with deterrents.  I knew night shift wasn't an option for our family, yet every place that sang a doctors office was offering only midnight shifts.  When I asked a colleague about a particular doctors office in the area, she said " oh my.  I interviewed there before I came here, and its horrible!  I was told in the interview that nurses leave t lunch and don't come back!"  Slammed door!
When I am desperately seeking God to lead me in the direction I am meant to go in my life, I always beg Him to just knock me down with the obvious because the last thing I want to miss is Gods plan for my life.  Well He did just that.  Any door I attempted to go through was slammed shut, smacking me in the face.  It was the greatest feeling.  It didn't take long for me to finally say "ok Lord.  I hear you.  I will be still."  About nine months later a part time position opened up and I met my goal to be home more with my daughter than away from her.  What an absolute blessing.  She and I spend our days playing, cooking, dancing, watching our favorite movies, learning about the life of Jesus and God, taking trips to the library, doing crafts, everything. It is wonderful to be able to spend 
time doing things with her, having the energy to play with her, and I also appreciate my job more.  Once again, The Lord had His best just waiting right around the corner.  He was just waiting for me to be still.  
Lord, I am so thankful that you are in charge of my life.

Let Go, Girl!

"When we willingly accept our lot in life, welcoming all that God is trying to teach us through it, we lose the drive to over control, to micromanage in an all-out attempt to appear perfect and ensure everything is 'just so'."  LIG p54

God, thank you for being so patient with me and my inability to more times than not give you complete control over my life.  My desire to control situations, people, and other aspects of my life is an enormous burden on my heart brought on by fear-fear that if I don't control, everything will go wrong.  Please remove this burden from my heart, Lord, and replace it with peace and security of your love and control over my life.  Help me to remember that you will never leave nor forsake me, and that you will be with me wherever I go...and at the beginning of the day, you, not I,  always make everything the best it can be in my life.  Thank you.  

Stand By Your Man

The Biblical dance step that is easiest to follow in my marriage is my submitting to my husband, and the love and respect I have for him-that we have for each other.  He makes it so easy because of the respect and patience he has for me.  I watch other marriages around us and the communication within them.  I've seen husbands condescend to their wives, and it's disappointing and disrespectful.  My husband doesn't ever act like he is entitled to my submission to him and our marriage.  He is grateful, as am I.   I've seen many husbands behave the exact opposite both in and out of the presence of their wives, and it's disappointing.  My husband and I are best friends, and we share a mutual love and respect for each other.  Neither one of us acts superior to the other, but we see each other as equals.  Another dance step that is easy for me is the ability to influence, not manipulate.  It is one of my pet peeves to see a woman cry in order to get something she wants from her husband, or anyone really.  I've never considered that respectful or grown-up behavior.  When I would like my husband to do something, I ask him.  If he doesn't want to do it, and it isn't that big of a deal to me, that's basically the end of it.  If it is a big deal, I express that to him. The simple fact that it matters to me makes it matter to him, and I extend the same courtesy to him.  
A dance step I do have trouble with is backing off and giving him control, especially where our child is concerned.  He is a fantastic and involved father, and a blessing to parent with.  Though I'm a little more laid back now, when our daughter was an infant, in my mind, I was the only one who knew everything she needed and when she needed it.  I think that is common with mothers, but unfortunately, I also think it can make our husbands feel as if they don't know what they are doing.  My need to control everything about how my child is cared for instead of backing off and letting my husband take the reins and make some decisions of his own can really crush his self-confidence as a father.  As his wife, that is wrong for me to make him feel that way in any situation, whether it be child care, house work, cooking, anything.  I need to be nothing but supportive and trusting of the decisions he makes in our lives, and especially with our child.  My husband is intelligent, loving, and a true blessing to me and our daughter. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Let. It. Go. Online Bible Study

I have received the blessing of a lifetime by starting this online Bible study of Let. It. Go.   Author Karen Ehman has really hit home with me and my struggles with control.  I experienced a complete revelation just by reading the first two or three pages!  

"Blog Hopping" is just one of the great exercises involved in this awesome Bible study, so here is my first attempt!