The Changing Seasons

It’s almost October. The season of falling leaves and busy calendars around here. It’s also the month that contains two birthday girls in this house and they’re big birthdays this year. My beautiful blonde Alyssa is going to be 13. Thirteen. Thirteen years of her sparkly blue eyes and hilarious personality and of learning to live with her food allergies. And our little Addie, our baby that didn’t want to breathe when she was born, will be 6 in two short days. And tomorrow morning? Tomorrow morning, they’ll all get ready and load into our truck and happily go into their first weekly enrichment program of the year. Most likely, they’ll go without even looking back at me for reassurance.

They’re growing up.

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I always thought that I wouldn’t be one of those moms. You know, the sappy moms that stared longingly at the young mom surrounded by little faces that needed her. Although I don’t miss crying babies (canigetanamen?), those little faces that needed me? Sometimes when I realize they’re not so little any more, my breath catches. They’re growing up. They’re learning how to do this thing called life on their own. Because no matter how cliche it sounds, it’s true. To everything there is a season. Babies don’t keep. And one day you really will wake up, only to realize that your crowd of little faces aren’t so little any more.

There are moments during our average school day when I find me wishing I could clone myself. The oldest has to get to her science class, but the 8th grader that is doing so great in pre-algebra needs me for her daily lesson and the very bright little 1st grader has finished all her work for the day. She’s bored. And the 4th grader? She’s outside with the rabbits instead of doing her handwriting. Every one needs me, and a different part of me. But more and more, I’m finding moments when everyone has gone through their checklist for the day. They’re working in their rooms or at the table. And they don’t need me at all. Almost every afternoon I find myself in this weird position of not knowing what to do with myself. Everyone is doing their own thing, whether it be working or school or just playing. There’s no more nap times or ‘help me, mom!’

And I realize I really have become that mom. Young moms – no matter how exhausting and annoying and menial the day to day is, just love it. What an honor! Just look at them. Those little faces were given to you my God to nurture and raise and teach. And the menial things? They’re laying the foundation for the not-so-menial things that will sneak up on you before you know it. Because any mom that’s not so young can tell you that little children exhaustion is nothing compared to the emotional and mental exhaustion of older children and teens. Watching your children walk through real hurts or issues is so much harder than potty training. I promise.

So young moms, take it from this not so young mom and just pause for a moment to love the little people that surround you. And not-so-young moms, don’t mourn for too long. We’re raising world changers and they won’t learn anything if we’re trying to hold them back.

 

{I’m going to go wake my almost 6 year old up so I can hug her now.}

{review & giveaway} Total Family Makeover

I’ve read a lot of parenting and mothering books. After leading a moms’ book study for 6 or so years – I feel like I have every book on the subject! Sometimes, as a first-generation Christian, it was hard to relate to everything that was written in these books. Maybe it’s just my personality, but I wanted a book that would clearly lay out how to do daily life in a Christian home. Yes, I know the Bible is our instruction book for life. Don’t get me wrong. But I always wanted a clear set of steps for how to turn this faith inside of me into something that filled our home and our children without piling on unrealistic expectations and Momguilt. When I read this, I realized that I had the very book I’d been searching for in my hands:

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The Proverbs 31 Woman: Self Control

She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.
She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.
She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.

Proverbs 31:17-19

Why self control with this section of Scripture? Well, what do you think it takes to stay up all hours of the night making things to sell? TONS of self control!

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The Proverbs 31 Woman: Diligence

She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
She brings her food from afar.
She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.
She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.

She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies sashes for the merchants.

She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.

Proverbs 31:13-16, 24, 27

Diligence. Kind of ironic that I’m a bit late in publishing this post, considering the subject matter but it is kinda good for a Monday morning!

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The Proverbs 31 Woman – Virtue

{For the introduction to this series, go here.}

Let’s start by remembering one very important fact. The 31st chapter of Proverbs is a remembrance of the words spoken by King Lemuel’s mother. The woman that is referred to in verses 10 through 31 is a wish list, of sorts, in my opinion. This is not the diary of an actual woman – it is a mother, instructing her son and perhaps her daughters as well, what kinds of qualities are honoring to God in the life of a woman. We can find freedom and life in these words, not condemnation, when we dig in to find the character qualities that the Proverbs 31 woman would exude. It’s not a checklist of everything we need to fit into a day. It’s a story full of character qualities that we can build up in our lives so that we too are honoring to God.

First thing that King Lemuel’s mother lists – virtue.

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