WDIDT: Taco Tuesday #Write31Days

#Write31Days. 1 Topic, 31 Days, Lots of Thoughts.  This year I am reflecting on one small moment a day and why it mattered (or didn’t!). What did I do today?

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I made quesadillas for dinner.

Today, I ran. Non-stop. I would have given the Energizer Bunny a run for his money. I did not intend for it to be a go go go kind of day it just happened that way.

And then dinner happened. And it was quesadillas (I even managed to make meat and non-meat options!) and tortilla chips and salsa for dinner.

I had hoped for more. I had hoped to do better. The day just got away from me.

After I nursed the baby, our daughter set the table and I put out the food. Everyone sat down and we prayed and we ate. I was tired. Worn out.

But dinner! Dinner, is like MAGIC at our house.

To have all our small people (Kids Age 9, 7, 4, 2, and 7 months) around 1 table, sharing 1 (very un-fancy) meal for almost 1 hour…that is MAGIC.

Over quesadillas I learned all about the kids author that came to school today and how shocked my son was that she was in her 70’s. I learned that our preschooler got to play in the gym (her favorite thing) but was tired ALL DAY because of it. Our toddler was trying to tell the other kids the best part of his day was school (except he doesn’t go to school) and then my 7 year old surprised us all by saying there wasn’t one part of her day she thought was hard or difficult to overcome.

We wiped out every last one of those quesadillas and we all laughed as our toddler asked for yet another huge spoonful of salsa for his chips.

So maybe it wasn’t the most delicious or nutritious meal we will have this week, but it might be one of the most memorable.

What did you have for dinner today? Who sat at your table?

I Love My Littles…

I think I have been trying to deny it for quite awhile. I mean, I am not that bedraggled mom with 3 kids under the age of 5 who looks like she might need 3 weeks of sleep, a good shower and some (more) coffee.

oh. wait.

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Yes, yes I am.

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And before this stage passes I want to stop and relish it. I really do love my littles. Our oldest just turned 6, with girly about to turn 4 and baby not so far behind. This stage will not last forever.

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Part of me is a tiny bit sad that I may not have taken it all in like I could have, but then there is grace. Then there are so many fun things, sweet things, forever things that I will remember about these moments. The little moments matter.

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So today, this last summer with all the kids home, I want to live it and love it, every little bit. For tomorrow will come and the littles will be something new, different and I am sure just as wonderful.

Sleep can wait…

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Reminded. Humbled. Rescued.

Oh January…this has been the month of sickness for our whole family.  It’s easy as a mom after what feels like 1,000 loads of laundry and more cleaning then you ever thought possible to just want to lay my head on the table, cry and little and say WHY??? And then you find out…

Recently my 3 yr old was at the Dr. and it required a blood draw. She is a dear one with just a streak of the dramatic but this was tough, she already didn’t feel well. As the lab tech began to work we soon realized that she was so dehydrated that it was going to be really tough to find a vein.

2 lab techs and 2 nurses later (and lots of tears) they decided to try her hand. Poor thing was so tired she was in hysterics. It took all 4 of us to hold her still enough to get the draw without re-sticking her.

As I sat there holding her as tightly and yet gently as I could I wanted to stand up and shout “TAKE MY BLOOD!”

And then it struck me…

This is exactly how Christ feels about me. He loved me so incredibly much that he would not stand by and watch me struggle. He did stand up and say gently, humbly and without panic: “TAKE MY BLOOD!” And they did.

Unlike my useless desire to give my blood instead of my daughters, His blood actually made a difference. His blood was the determining factor that makes me well and completely whole.  His blood with stands all tests, even the test of time and heals the wounds of my soul, forever.

And this is how we begin the new year.

Reminded. Humbled. Rescued.
Sitting at the foot of the cross.

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After the blood draw
Resting in moms arms post blood draw

Princesses and Poise, or lack there of.

3.5 years.  It is a fairly short amount of time. (It takes 4 years to graduate college and that is focused study on one subject.)  So why do I think my 3.5 year old should know it all and respond perfectly?

My 3.5yr old princess
My 3.5yr old princess

The drama that comes with having (and apparently being) a 3.5 year old girl and my no nonsense personality often clash. Combined with the fact that I am an adult who doesn’t remember my own Tinkerbell stage and who occasionally rolls my eyes at all this silliness, princess poise hasn’t shown up a lot lately.

And then of course I read articles and blogs like this , this and this and begin to wonder. (And also appreciate the simple truths others bring to the table.) 

What am I not getting? Why am I lacking in simple compassion towards my own child? Why is my frustration about other things in life coming out in my “mom voice” with my 3.5 year old?

I haven’t figured it all out but I do know this, I’m still a work in progress. I have not conquered motherhood, womanhood or life.

I must live in grace.

I am in my own “princess” phase. I still throw fits about things that don’t matter, cross my arms in disgust and momentarily lose my ability to express myself in the right words. Sure, they are adult things, but my response is just like my daughter’s.

The more I think about it, the more I know that God wants for me, what I want for her.

To have listening ears: To hear what God has to say to her. To know in her heart that God loves her unconditionally. To be able to hear the needs of those around her.

An obeying heart: To live out of the overflow of what she knows God wants her to do. To obey out of a desire to show love to God. To have a sincere desire to serve those around her because she believes so deeply that God has given the ultimate sacrifice for her.

My daughter and I both have a princess complex.  We are daughters of The King. I am her role model on the poise of the princess life. How I respond to her, look at her, speak to her and treat her should be in the same manner The King does these things for me.

Grace. Learning,  living and loving all because of grace.

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raise us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly place in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is a gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”  ~Ephesians 2:4-10 (ESV)

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Toddler Tuesday: What if I pulled instead of pushed?

Wednesday night, finishing up some volunteering, my energetic son letting off a little more energy than necessary. I’m trying to wrap up, my daughter is getting tired, I just want to get home.

When I can’t take the boy energy and interruption anymore, I take him by the arm, stand him at the side of a cabinet, give him “that look” and tell him to stay and be quiet.

He proceeds to throw a fit.

I (selfishly) just want him to obey.  And in my second (selfish) act wonder why he won’t and then again (selfishly) think what is wrong with my parenting that he can’t be calm for 5 minutes?

I wanted the 5 minutes of calm, I wanted to go home, I was tired.  But what about him? What did he need? I will confess the thought never crossed my mind until the next day.

In frustration, hurry or just plain selfishness sometimes we separate our kids from us when what they really need is for us to pull them close. (Note: There are times for removal, etc. I’m just thinking out loud that maybe it isn’t the only solution or even the one I should use most often.) 

What if I pulled them close instead of pushing them away?

So over the last week I’ve been trying this theory out.  What would it look like instead of reacting in “worn down mom” mode I reacted in “I love you more” mode?

  • Instead of going to your room for hitting your sister, I want you to come sit next to me while I fold laundry and I want you to tell me of a time when someone hurt you. How did it feel? Do you want to do that with others?
  • Instead of going outside because your inside voice seems to be missing, come to the kitchen, pick a song and let’s sing it out at the top of our lungs.
  • Instead of having quiet reading time alone because you keep interrupting, let me read you a few Proverbs about listening and let’s talk about it.

Now, this hasn’t worked perfectly. In the midst of this I feel as if my method might be good but the message might be getting lost.  I am trusting God on this one, that He will show my kids the gospel in these moments.

In my own life I have been reading and exploring the idea of discipleship. I came across these verses:

At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:25-30

How will my children, who are in God’s graces, come to me, learn from me and find rest if I don’t pull them close, in gentleness, to me? I have been touched to tears at this one thing that God is showing me this week. I am ready to pull in, instead of push away.

Toddler Tuesday: Thou shalt not yell…

Today is a Q & A…if you have a mom thought you’d like us to discuss email me at rachael (d0t) judd (at) gmail (d0t) com

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Q: Someone suggested teaching our kids to be peaceful and having a peaceful spirit in our home.  I know there are a lot of things we could work on as a family, but I was really convicted about this one.  I don’t ever want my kids to grow up in a home where they feel like things are stressful, chaotic, and the exact opposite of peace.  I want home to be their safe place.  I feel like this is something I see in your home, and I was wondering if you could give me any insight into some of the things that you do to create a peaceful spirit in your home/family?

A: Mama, I think this is GREAT! You have to start somewhere! Off the top of my head here are a few things to consider…

1. What are some scriptures that talk about peace? Find them, read them, re-read them. Put them in your Bible and around your home. We have to know WHY we are striving for peace or we will lose heart. (See Deut. 6:4-9)

2. What does it mean to speak peace? It is more than just speaking softly or saying nothing. Think about what it would be to replace non-peaceful words with gospel truth? Maybe your child can’t understand it all now but we have to practice doing this. If we cease yelling but don’t replace it with anything we still haven’t changed.

3. Pray about it. It’s amazing how prayer changes OUR hearts.

4. A couple books for reference would be “Give Them Grace” and “Raising Kids Who Turn Out Right“. Also, if discipline is an issue check out “Creative Correction“. (“Give Them Grace” has had a big impact on my life over the last six months)

5. When you feel like screaming, whisper. This sounds ridiculous but even an angry whisper is a step in the right direction. A whisper will soften your heart and slow you down.

There is no magic solution but I have learned that most parenting changes come from a sincere heart change within me, the parent. Without the heart change we have actions and words without conviction behind it. And what better conviction to have than God’s Word and His Grace in our life!

You’re doing great!

Toddler Tuesday: Give Him Strength

We’ve been taking advantage of the last few days before winter sets in and our hours outside are mere minutes.

When we walk, my son likes to walk on the elevated edges around people’s yards and jump from edge to edge. Recently he came across an edge that was quite a bit bigger than he could cross. He looked at me and said “Don’t worry mom, I know that God gives me strength, I can do this.”

He jumped, he fell. (He was unharmed!). I caught my breath, this is one of those moments where he could get physically hurt but also, he was having a moment of belief and I would hate to see that crushed.

Instead, he surprised me. He said “Mom, God still gives me strength, that was just too big of a jump today.” Two seconds later we were talking about leaves and the moment had passed, but I was still pondering what he had said. (Even if his theology needs some work, he’s on the right track!)

I love that kids have so much faith.

So yes, I’m praying that God give my little guy strength, but not just strength to jump, but strength of heart, mind and soul.

What has your toddler taught you today?