Lavish Hospitality 19

What is the goal of motherhood?

You know what – I don’t know.  I don’t have all the answers.

Basically – here is what I think the goal of motherhood it is.

With God’s grace, shepherd your children to see their need of Him.  If along the way you teach them how to do well in school, be model citizens, grow up to be a great wife or husband, be honorable, then they are good side effects.

But, the goal of motherhood is to point them to their Creator.  And point them is all we can do.  That has been the hardest thing for me to come to grips with – I can’t save my kids.  Only God can save my kids.

And, if we attempt to put on a mask of motherhood perfection – we are not being hospitable. Not to ourselves, our kids, our husbands, or our friends.  We will only let ourselves down.

Quote from Beyond Bath Time by Erin Davis

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As a mom of two preschoolers, two things I think about the most of anything is my children’s safety and their eternal life.  One I can do something about and one I can only point them in the right direction.

Its funny, this week my 4 year old had 5 shots and 1 toe prick to draw some blood.  All routine for a 4 yo check up.  As I was holding his arms across his chest as they were sticking the needles in his thighs, I watched him scream over and over again.  I didn’t feel like I was providing much safety for him.  And after the pricks were over, he was calling for Daddy – all he wanted to do was go see Daddy.  To have Daddy hold him.

Now, if something happens when Daddy is around, then he calls out for me.  So the kid can’t make up his mind.

And now thinking back, I think of me, holding his arms down, covering his face to he couldn’t see the needles being put into his legs, closing my eyes in tears as he screamed, wondering if he would ever trust me again.

Isn’t that often how God is.  We are safely in his arms.  Being held in the palms of his hands, nothing can take us out of his grip.  But, how often does his face cover our screams?  How often do you think that God cries and longs for our hearts when we are hurting?

On this earth, I think we are to be “little Christs”.  So, we are to be Jesus with skin on.  Being hospitable to people may be holding them in their pain, letting them cry, catching their tears.  My husband often does this.  And I think of the safety I feel in his arms.  And it makes me long for the Savior – who will never hurt me but was hurt for me.  So that I may rest secure in Him.

Quote taken from a new book by Lavon Gray (thanks New Hope Publishers) Tuning Your Heart to Worship

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We are halfway there.  Thanks so much for reading.  Can’t wait to finish out the month with yall.

Since becoming a mom, I think I’ve cooked less and less. I prefer simple meals or take out or Publix rotisserie chickens.  I’m tried throughout the day.  When my husband is home I want to do other things other than just stand in the kitchen and crank out a week’s worth of food.

I know cooking is healthier and easier on the budget for the family – but goodness, tough to get in the kitchen and do.  Especially when half of my people around the table may not even eat it.

But, part of my responsibility (in our family) is to cook and make sure we have food to eat.  My mister will cook but he is usually at work until dinner time, but he always gets up with the boys and gets them breakfast.  I’m extremely blessed – also, with a nearby Publix or Trader Joes.

So, how do I welcome my misters with food?  I thought I would be a wife and a mom who always had a homecooked meal on the table.  Usually I was that kind of wife, but I’m not that type of mom.  I mean, we eat every night.  But only a few days a week is it a fresh homecooked meal.

Here are my tips:

Little Caesars Pizza.

Publix: bagged salad mixes, chicken tenders or rotisserie from the deli.

Dollar menu items.

Bagged veggies with sweet potatoes

Instant Pot

Crock Pot

A local food delivery or pick up service (we found a local place that has freezer meals on hand you can pick up.  And a friend of mine does this as well).

Cereal.

Eggs, fruit, grits

Trader Joes freezer section.

Hope these items help you offer hospitality to your family by getting food on the table.  What are your quick go-to food helps?

Quote from Karen Ehman A Life That Says Welcome

 

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One of the deals with motherhood is that you tend to get interrupted.  Whether you need to change a diaper in the middle of a church service, breast feed in the middle of the night, calm an anxious heart in the wee hours of the morning, get out of bed before your alarm clock goes off because a preschooler wants some juice.  It might be to miss out on something you want to attend because you have a teenager who needs to get somewhere.

Interruptions come.  That’s just a fact of life.  The life of a mother, that is.

And I’ve learned that it usually doesn’t make me smile when I get interrupted.  I like to do what I’m doing and that’s that.  Whether its making dinner, working on a blog, or running errands, I want to do them how I want to do them.

I need God our gracious Father to show up in my heart and mouth and face when my little boys interrupt me.  I need to be ready to color with them, read with them, talk with them about the same topic I’ve already talked about for 4 hours that day, sing one of their songs for the 30th time, and watch the same kids movie with them that they know by heart.

Thanks to Sandra for writing this blog post where I pulled this quote.

Big and Little Coloring Devotional

posted in: Books | 0

When we set up our new home in late this summer, I knew I wanted to have a creative area for my boys.  A place where they could have coloring books, playdough, markers, colored pencils, etc – just waiting to sit and get all their creative juices out!

Well, we set up a little Goodwill table that I found before we moved, and put some bins of creative tools around it – and they sit their every day.  I love it.  I love having pieces of paper all around the house with scribbles and drawings on them.

Another great tool I’ve found for my boys is the Big and Little Coloring Devotional.  I found out about this devo coloring book from my friend Sarah on her podcast with the author Rachel Swanson.  Then I got to be a part of the launch team.  So much fun!

It is a top flip coloring book, made for two people to be coloring at once.  So, I’ve been sitting across from my older, him coloring, me coloring.  And the neat thing about this particular coloring book is that it is based on Scripture.  So, one side will have a (younger age) coloring page with God’s truth on it, the other page will have a more detailed coloring page with a short devotional on it.  These devotionals are perfect for you to read, be encouraged, and it may be a jumping off point for you to share these truths with your child – AS. YOU. COLOR!

Such a great activity for you and your child to do together.  And Christmas is coming – its a perfect gift for any mom of littles you know – I would say even up to 10yo or so – girl or boy.  So, grab some colored pencils, crayons, or markers, and get coloring – and shepherding your soul – and your child’s!

Lavish Hospitality 4

posted in: 31days, lavish hospitality | 0

Tonight at bedtime, doing it solo since my husband was out of town for the day, one kid was screaming in pain because of his tummy the other was pretending he was shooting me and saying he was scared of the dark because he wanted a story in a book read to him.

Not my finest hour – but all ended well.  And now, I’m waiting for my mister to make the trek back from ATL.

Parenting is not for the faint of heart – or yes, maybe it is – and that makes us lean on Christ all the more.  Practicing this type of hospitality at all times of the day is hard – but so necessary.

When we fail though, we can come to our kids and seek their forgiveness and point them to the Father’s unconditional love.

Quote from Sally Clarkson’s book The Mission of Motherhood.  Photograph: kcreatives

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posted in: 31days, Uncategorized | 0

 

“I gradually began to understand more fully that he was not a problem to be addressed, not the sum of his behavioral performance.  His worth to God was not about his ability to fulfill other people’s expectations or act according to accepted norms.  Instead he was a beloved child of the Father with a specific role to play in God’s ongoing story of redemption.”

Sally ClarksonDifferent

 

The Fall is a special time for our family.  We celebrate two birthdays and a wedding anniversary within 3 weeks time.

To say that I thrive in parenting would be far from the truth.  I have to tell myself everyday who I am in God’s sight, how He has equipped me to parent the exact boys I’ve been wonderfully given, and how I’m not like all the other moms out there.

When we compare our momselves to other moms – we are not lavishing hospitality – welcoming, grace – on ourselves or our children.  When we play the comparison game, get caught in its trap, we do such a disservice to our hearts.  And that in turn, doesn’t allow us to love our children well either.

To show lavish hospitality to our children is welcoming them just as they are.  Not only when they are obedient, or loving, or going to bed on time.  But, I’ve found for me, when I’m stressed about not being a good mom (because I’ve listened to other things besides the Word of God), I take out my unworthiness on my kids.

Let’s show lavish hospitality to ourselves and our children by staying out of the comparison trap!

 

 

 

Mondays Are Not As Bad As They Seem

posted in: Books | 0

Mondays are typically the day of the week that gets a bad rap.  I mean, just because its the start of the week and most people are coming off a fabulous weekend.

This past Monday our apartment complex booted us out of our parking lot for the day.  So, instead of sitting inside all day, we ventured to Senioa, a little town south of Atlanta.  We stopped by the Varsity on our way down there, eating chicken nuggets with paper hats on, and talking with the car hops.

Then we drove about 35 minutes and had the greatest afternoon.  We played with puzzles at the local library, we chased the ducks on the boys scooters, we threw pinecones in the lake, we played King of the Mountain.  It was finished off by some Baskin Robbins and dancing in our local store after eating Hulk ice cream!

This past month has been difficult for our preschoolers because we have moved yet again and they don’t always handle the unknown well.  I mean, they are 3 and 4.  Adults don’t often handle change well, much less kids.  We’ve tried to keep much of their lives the same, but still, we have had some difficulties.

I was first introduced to David Thomas and Sissy Goff on Surviving Sarah.  They are so practical in their counsel to parents.  I love them.  They have been super helpful in what I’ve heard.  I got their new book (along with Melissa Travathan) from Bethany House to review.  It is ideally for older children, but I found some of the topics still helpful for parenting my boys.

There are no SET guidelines for parenting – man, I wish there were.  But, as the perfect Creator God has designed every child perfect and unique – every one will develop differently. My boys are no exception.

Are My Kids on Track is a tool to help parents know how their children are doing in the areas of social, emotional, and spiritual growth.  Maybe you are wondering why your child is behaving a certain way in school, or why they don’t want to sit down and listen to family devotions.

Some parents would chalk this up to sin and discipline them.  Maybe in some cases it is.  But, the authors get to the why your kids might be acting in the ways they are.

Definitely a good practical read for parents!

Parenting with Grace and Truth (review and giveaway)

posted in: Books, parenting | 2

I’ve never counted them, but I would assume the parenting section at your local bookstore is probably one of the largest sections on the floor.  You can easily find a parenting book to help you through and part of the parenting journey.  From attempting to conceive, finding out your pregnant, how to birth the baby, how to swaddle your baby, how to get your baby to nap, get on a schedule, eat solid food, potty train, learn their ABCs.  All of these books can be helpful to some degree.

When reading parenting books, I often say read whatever you can get your hands on, write down some notes that seem likely to work in your given situation, with your kids, or ones that you would like to try, talk it over with your husband or the people who help you parent, maybe run it by a group of other moms that you meet with or hang out with, and then try it. If it doesn’t work, move on.  Don’t get so flustered.  Not everything you read in every parenting book is going to be the right thing for your particular child or family.

Parenting with Grace and Truth, a new book by Dan Seaborn (I always think of West Wing when I hear the word Seaborn), is filled with practical help.  To me, though, I felt it leaned more toward behavior and actions, rather than to the heart of your children, growing them with hearts that were pleasing to God.  I know that there needs to be right actions.  And at any stage of parenting you are working to get your kids to act right (we are working on manners right now, as well as many other things.

“Forgiveness was at the heart of Jesus, and as such, it is the foundation of the entire Gospel.  God sacrificed His only Son for the forgiveness of our sins – past, present, and future.”  – Dan Seaborn

He helps families work through many different things likes crises or trying to become a healthy blended family.  He wants to help you discover what your kids talents and abilities are – it is helpful to know what drives them and what makes them tick and what they are good at.  I did appreciate the questions that he gave his readers to think through at the end of each chapter.  When reading any book, if you are given questions, at least take the time to think through them – it will help as you digest the book and try to implement what you are reading.

If you would liked to find some great tips in this book, just leave me a comment.  I’ll be choosing a winner soon – and thanks to SideDoor Communications, you can get a copy of it!

Thanks to SideDoor Communications for the book.  All thoughts are my own.

Little Things on Valentine’s Day

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

So many years I was single.  Valentine’s Day wasn’t fun.  Back then nobody was really doing Galentine’s Day.

Then I started enjoying Valentine’s Day by loving on the married women in my life.  Just sharing with them how they had impacted me.

Then I got married.  Valentine’s Day is fun – and never going out is a key to that!  We do low-key – which is so good!

Then, I started doing special things for my girls that I had discipled over the years, married or single.  Just to share with them that I love them and am so thankful for them!

This year, I wanted to do something with our boys.  Just love on women who impacts our lives on a daily basis.  So, this morning, Trader Joe’s had single roses for 1$.  We bought 4.

One went to one of the ladies at Trader Joes who loves on us every Monday and has for almost 3 years.

The second one went to my son’s afternoon bus driver.

The third and fourth went to the girl who has been serving in the kid’s club at the healthy gym I go to in the afternoons.  My boys definitely give her the right to get roses.

When we gave them the roses – all of them were so surprised.  Its just little things yall.  Live in the little things. Love on people.  It took 4$ to make 3 peoples’ days.  I always want to teach my boys to love on others in little and big ways!

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