When Words Hurt

I was picking up my daughter from the nursery at church. The worker seemed annoyed, so I asked if everything went alright. She started by telling me briefly about her job, but I can’t remember what she said because for a moment I was so confused by her words. But then came the rest of her explanation –

If you spent less time trying to teach her to read at 3, and more time disciplining her then she wouldn’t be so difficult to handle.

I was crushed.

What she didn’t know is that I wasn’t trying to teach my daughter to read at all. She just was picking up books and watching Sesame Street. Didn’t know that I was exhausted because it seemed all I did was discipline and direct this little ball of energy. She didn’t know that I was struggling with how to train her to listen to me, when all this little one wanted to to was talk and move and ask questions. so many questions. This tired nursery worker just assumed something, based on the 40 minutes she spent with my precocious toddler and judged my parenting.

So how do you respond to such a statement?

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The Proverbs 31 Woman – The Original Pinterest Mom

We’ve all seen it. We get on Pinterest and see photos of these amazing supermoms and their perfect crafts, school projects, and perfect meals with all prepared with a smile. Plus it all coordinates and her house in the background of every photo is spotless. Even her laundry room is cute! How in the world are we – normal, every day, clinging to Jesus and a cup of coffee moms – supposed to compete with that?! So then we go to the Bible and find the Proverbs 31 woman. Hello! She’s the original Pinterest mom! Seemingly perfect and untouchable.

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Five Things Friday: the Hope edition

5 things newOn My Heart: Moms. Being a mom. Being a mom to daughters. Being a mom to teenager daughters. It’s so hard. Obviously we’ve not been promised a life of ease but wow. Some days, I grit my teeth until my head aches and channel my disappointment into cleaning rather than spew out the angry words that are running through my head. I pray. I clean. I fume. I clean. I pray that God will use the moments that I allow them a little slack in the line, so to speak, for them to make their own decisions. And I pray that when they don’t make the decision I wanted them to make, that I wouldn’t hold onto the disappointment. Just like learning a newborn’s cries and weaning a demanding toddler, parenting teens is a process of mistakes and grace and moving on.

On My Mind: Honestly? New curriculum. We switched math programs this week for the two older girls. It was a process (that word again!) but I think it will be worth it. I’m looking ahead to fall already and thinking through my options. Even though Addie won’t turn 5 until Oct. 1, she is totally ready to start school. I’m thinking over all the fabulous phonics and kindergarten curriculum I never had the chance to use with the others. If you could recommend any phonics curriculum, what would it be? I would love something fun, thorough and pretty all-inclusive.

On My iPhone: Pinterest. I’ve reinstalled the black hole of distraction! What am I doing?! I don’t know. So far, it hasn’t been that bad. I’m loving Spotify and a bit more freedom in choosing what I want to listen to.

On My DVR: We had a bunch of free movie channels this past weekend, so we took the opportunity to record a bunch of movies we haven’t seen. The Butler, 12 Years A Slave, Captain Phillips, Moms’ Night Out … and others I can’t remember. It will take us forever to work through all of them but it’s nice to have so many movies to choose from.

On My List: I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of a pre-release copy of Hope For The Weary Mom and am looking forward to sharing my thoughts with you (although I know it’s good already!); our church starts it’s Upward basketball season this weekend – there are some excited girls in this house!; another edition of My Favorite Things and I think this one might be surprising!

{review} The Desperate Diva Diaries

I have a hard time finding books that both my older girls like to read. Lael likes reading and is pretty agreeable when it comes to books. But Alyssa – my ourdoorsy girl – does not like reading as much. A book style she has enjoyed is the ‘Dork’ and ‘Diary’ books. I love that she found something she likes to read but the content? Not always so great. From snotty characters to disgusting content, I’ve tried to keep those books pretty limited around here.

When I was offered a chance to check out a book in a similar style, but told from the perspective of a Christian girl, I jumped at it. Although the author, Angie Spady, is one I wasn’t familiar with we have fallen in love with this new book series! Here’s what the publisher says about this great new book:

Meet, Catie Conrad – a typical, tween, Christian girl with, oh, the weight of the world on her shoulders. And if it isn’t bad enough that no one seems to understand the social pressures of being the greatest at everything, donning the latest fashions, and carrying the trendiest technology, Catie’s dad is about to uproot her and her family to an Indian reservation during spring break for his job. Throw in a school dance, a major art contest, and an arch nemesis known only as Miranda Maroni and there’s bound to be an epic meltdown of biblical proportions. Or, maybe not…Finally a voice in the tween genre that is relatable and no less humorous for girls aged 9 to 12 by author Angie Spady. The first book in a new series titled Desperate Diva Diaries, Catie Conrad: Faith, Friendship, and Fashion Disasters chronicles both the small triumphs and general mishaps of sixth-grade Christian want-to-be diva, Catie Conrad. While her Christian journalist father is often a co-conspirator to making Catie’s life interesting with mission trips and church projects, Catie never ceases to realize God’s hand in all situations.

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The Desperate Diva Diaries, Catie Conrad: Faith Friendship and Fashion Disasters! is an excellent example of a fun book with great values. Catie’s adventures and thoughts are written in the popular diary style, with lots of sketches and drawings to keep things interesting. The graphics really are great! I love this style of writing for tween girls because it gives them opportunity to “hear” how the character processes situations. Whether it be Catie’s quiet admission that her mom is usually right and she should be more thankful or her loud , heavily illustrated frustration over THE dress she has to have – Catie shares from the point of view of a girl that’s just trying to love Jesus and figure out how to serve Him.

IMG_2161I would recommend this book to girls ages 9-13. There is a bit of middle school drama, with boys and crushes and mean girls, but Catie processes everything from a Christian worldview. Both of my daughters – even the one that doesn’t enjoy reading – really enjoyed this book, so much that they’ve asked when they can read the next one in the series!

So if you’re looking for books for your tween daughter, keep an eye on Angie Spady. She is publishing some great books!

{I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and no guarantees were made.}