When You Realize You Aren’t Doing Everything Wrong As A Mom

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“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it,” is what Proverbs 22:6 tell us. I don’t know about you, but this isn’t always an easy scripture to follow. especially since I often feel like I’m still training myself! But, I do try. I try to raise my daughter to love God, others and herself. I’m trying my best to be intentional about leaving an imprint on Anya’s heart that  encourages her to read the scriptures, to apply them, to pray in all circumstances, to do what is right even when it isn’t popular, and to accept the grace and forgiveness that Jesus so freely has given her at the ultimate price. Do I think I’m doing a good job? Well, sometimes. But, I know that there are days that I just blow it! Days when I’m not a good example and my own attitude doesn’t reflect Christ. Those days I think to myself, ‘how is she going to listen to me when I just did the opposite of what I’m trying to teach her!” For example today I was annoyed because of her hesitation to do what I asked. I raised my voice and basically told her she needed to be more responsible. I didn’t handle it well. She did do what I asked and took the dog out. Then I heard her come back in and walk back out. I looked out the window and there was Anya sitting in a chair she dragged towards our steps reading the Bible.

Then my heart was full of gratitude. Once again God answered me. See, I had just been thinking that maybe I was failing, maybe I was too lax with her and all those other parenting self doubt bubbles that enter into our head when we’re feeling insecure about our parenting skills. But, at that moment I felt God saying to me in my heart, ‘you are teaching her about what matter most…me. ‘ It makes my heart swell with joy to witness how she is learning to nurture herself with God’s word. I give all the glory to God, because I know it is Him who is working in her heart. After awhile she came inside and showed me the scripture she was reading. We talked and cuddled for a long time.  I am not a perfect mom, I fall far from the mark, but every once in awhile I see the fruits of what I’m  trying to do and all the imperfect moments don’t mean so much. This was one of those moments.

Anya’s 10th Birthday Celebration!

I have a 10 year old!! Anya turned 10 last Tuesday and it was a lovely celebration! She didn’t have school because of the weather which then later cleared up (thank you God for  little surprises)!The day kicked off with a yummy breakfast, then off to Kibana Spa where she had a little sprucing, then we went to Bounce U, later she enjoyed a mani/pedi and we ended the night eating a delicious Italian dinner where we had the best waiter ever! She also had a Luau theme sleepover on Sunday where she and her friends stayed up until all hours! What was so wonderful about this birthday is that we spent it together just me and Anya. We had such a blessed and special time and I was reminded of how beautiful it is to experience this mother/daughter bond. That evening Anya thanked me for a perfect birthday. The funny thing is I was feeling that we should have done something really special since it was her 10th birthday, but for her it was perfection.  I feel so grateful that we have such a close relationship. There is no one on earth that I’d rather be with more and as we spent her 10th birthday together I got excited thinking about what the future holds for her and for us as mother and daughter! Here is a peek into Anya’s Birthday!

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When Our Kids Use The Fruits of the Spirit On Us!

I’m constantly amazed at how much I learn from my daughter. She has a lot of wisdom in the little nine year old body, more sometimes than I do! This evening was one of those nights that her nuggets of wisdom were laid heavily on my heart. We have bible study on Wednesdays and we haven’t been attending because of the weather and being sick. Tonight was the first night that the weather although cold wasn’t too brutal and we were both feeling well enough to venture out. After school we had some errands and a quick dinner at Panera we got home around 6:30 pm.  Anya had homework and I had some loose ends to tie up at work. She was moving slow and I wasn’t moving much faster. Time was ticking away and before we knew it the clock said 7:30. Anya looks at me pitifully and says, “I guess we can’t go to church.” I wanted to go, but I won’t lie I was feeling pretty comfortable on my couch and the thought of going back out in the cold didn’t have me jumping up.

I started making excuses, saying she still wasn’t done with her homework and we were going to be late and so forth. Then I got kind of annoyed because well… she was making me feel bad! Here was my 9 year old saying who cares if we’re late, the point is we’re going and I miss church. Yep, that made me feel like a real jerk. I started in on the homework again although I knew it was me, I will make an exception with unfinished homework because it really does mean more to me that my kid loves to go to church. After some back and forth we went to church. I’m ashamed to admit I wasn’t in the best mood. She went to her class and I went to mine. As I sat there listening to the lesson in Galatians on the fruit of the spirit, I realized I wasn’t using my fruit! But… Anya was as she convinced me patiently, kindly and gently why we should be at church. I almost left in the middle to go apologize to her. After class I went downstairs and I spotted her with her big smile and ponytails gleefully skipping towards me. She put her arms around me and I gave her a big kiss and said I was sorry.  She actually apologized to me because she thought she was kind of mean to me. I assured her she wasn’t and thanked her for encouraging me and loving church enough not to give up on going.

Wow! What a lesson tonight. I am so glad I went and I’m so thankful that I have such a sweet daughter with a love for God, church and me enough to know when her momma needs a push in the right direction. Out of the mouth of babes right?

Such an abundance of wisdom in this little one

Such an abundance of wisdom in this little one

A Sweet Slumber Party for My Super Sweet 9 Year Old!

My sweet girl is 9! I really can’t believe that I’ve had this incredible blessing of a human being in my life for almost a decade! Words can never adequately express the depths of my love for Anya, she is my heartbeat and I’m so overwhelmingly grateful for her! This year we had a slumber party and since her birthday fell on President’s Day we had the sleepover on Sunday with 3 of her friends. We did spa treatments, made flower crowns, ate, watched movies and danced. It was a  great time had by all! Here are a few snapshots of the weekend.

I wrapped the chair with burlap and stuck a  butterfly on it for a little whimsy :)

I wrapped the chair with burlap and stuck a butterfly on it for a little whimsy :)

This was the spa station!

This was the spa station!

I made the goody bags myself and just added little touches like the rolled washcloths and bowls for soaking their hands

I made the goody bags myself and just added little touches like the rolled washcloths and bowls for soaking their hands

I made the banner out of scrapbook paper and doolies and added lanterns and balloons

I made the banner out of scrapbook paper and doolies and added lanterns and balloons

I wanted the table to be light and pretty

I wanted the table to be light and pretty

A of course is for Anya

A of course is for Anya

We made flower crowns. Warning this wasn't that easy for little kids

We made flower crowns. Warning this wasn’t that easy for little kids

Anya loves chocolate so this was a hit!

Anya loves chocolate so this was a hit!

I hope her wishes all come true!

I hope her wishes all come true!

My Beautiful Girl

My Beautiful Girl

Get A Jump Start on Breakfast! Have the Kids Help

Mornings… Some of us love them others not so much. One thing is for sure your day can start out a good note if your morning isn’t chaotic. Don’t take on all the responsibility of the morning routine hand some of it over to your kids. One of Anya’s chores is to set the table for breakfast, this consists of her putting out her plate, napkin, cup and if I’m eating breakfast she’ll put out my plate as well. This helps me out, gives her a little responsibility, and hey its one less thing I have to do! Get your kids to fix the table for breakfast the night before and shave a few minutes off of your mom routine in the am!

 

Don't you love how she makes the napkin a little fancy :)

Don’t you love how she makes the napkin a little fancy :)

The Little Moments With Our Kids Is What Makes Motherhood So Big!

The one lesson that motherhood has taught me is that it is the small gestures that mean the most. It is those little moments of love that matter more than anything else. Sometimes in our daily exhaustion that comes with all the big things we have to do we find the little things hard to do, even impossible. But, I always find that if I muster up the energy its the little things that create memories and put the biggest smile on my daughter’s face. Its the little things that give me the biggest, “I love you’s and hugs and kisses. Even when I feel like I can’t play dolls one more time or bake that batch of cookies at 7 pm that I never should have promised in the morning when my coffee had kicked in and my energy level was on high, if I just do it, I always heap blessings in the mom department.

It is so easy to let those big things in life take away the joy from the smaller moments. The quiet moments that we can’t get back, but will wish for years down the road. Sometimes we have to push the big things aside,  so we get to experience what being a mom is really about which is the privilege of being present with our children.

Tonight when my daughter begged me to go outside in the freezing wintry weather to make snow angels, I tried my best to turn her attention to something else. I’m not a cold weather kind of gal. But, I looked at her face drop with every excuse and knew it was a moment that she wanted to have with me and so after putting on 20 layers of clothing we went outside. After awhile the numbness in my fingers subsided as I saw her face light up as we made snow angels and snow castles. In the midst of it she gave me a kiss and said, “I love you mom,” ahh and that is the joy that makes it all worth it. So never pass up the little moments…seek them, embrace them and remember this is what makes motherhood so big!

That smile does it for me all the time!

That smile does it for me all the time!

Anya’s Dream of Performing In the Nutcracker at the Kennedy Center Accomplished!

My 8 year old accomplished one of her dreams, a lofty dream I might add! Her goal was to perform in the Nutcracker at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Awhile back I wrote about the audition process and the elation I felt when I was ushered into an elevator to the ballet studio after being told my daughter was chosen to be in Ballet West’s Nutcracker. Well, that elation could only be topped when I saw my daughter perform on Saturday! She was beautiful!!! She lit up when she was on stage and was totally undaunted by the sea of audience watching her. I can’t do justice to describe all the emotions I felt, it was surreal and I was so proud of her for persevering through even the really hard times, for going to every rehearsal on time, for her sacrifice, for her kindness and compassion even towards those who weren’t kind to her, I was proud of her humble little heart and her desire to reach her dreams.It was 4 months of hard work and she did it! My little girl is amazing and I’m blessed beyond measure. She makes my heart soar! I’m not sure why God decided to give her to me, but I thank him everyday. The best compliment I received about Anya was yesterday when another sweet mom said to me how Anya is so humble and blessed. I know this won’t be the last time she accomplishes one of her dreams, in fact I believe this is one of many, but I pray that she stays humble, God loving, and as beautiful on the inside as she was created to be. Here are a few snapshots :) Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take any pictures with their costumes on.. yeah not too happy about that, but anyway here are a few!

Rehearsal Night at the Kennedy Center

Rehearsal Night at the Kennedy Center

I love her beyond what is possible

I love her beyond what is possible

Performance day! Proud Pap!

Performance day! Proud Pap!

My favorite picture!

My favorite picture!