Category Archives: Motherhood

Hospitableness

One thing I am learning (albeit slowly and perhaps reluctantly) is that when God wants to get a message to me, He will use repetition. So when I come across the same message two days in a row, I start to take it to heart.

Yesterday at church our pastor talked a lot about hospitality and making others feel welcome. He gave a great example, reading the Bible story of Levi, the tax collector. Levi was so excited to meet Jesus that he immediately left his post and followed him. Then, he threw a party to gather all of his fellow tax collectors so they could meet Jesus too.

I was touched by this story, because lately I’ve been feeling a stirring in my heart and wishing I was more like this. More open and inviting, more courageous when it comes to sharing with others how amazing it is to know and interact with my Lord (not to be selfish, He can be yours too, of course).

And then we went home and got tangled up in the crazy busyness of life. Again. But God, being so gracious, brought me back to this lesson first thing this morning. As I sat down to drink my coffee and read my daily Scriptures, I caught the subject of my daily Upper Room Devotional email: “Welcome a Stranger”.

Sometimes these sorts of things are pure coincidence, or maybe just a case of the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, but I like to think of them as reminders from God.

I am certainly not the most hospitable person you know. It is not my gifting. However, in the past 12 months I have found myself thrust into a new life. I never thought I could enjoy staying at home, but I am embracing it. So far this new role has included housecleaning, cooking, keeping track of kids and their schoolwork, and scheduling. I believe all of it is important, and am determined to give it my 100% effort. And I suppose if God is trying to tell me we can add some hospitality to the mix, I’m all ears (pun intended).

I am not opposed to bribing the children

I had a wonderful afternoon with my son today. It was his last day of school, and it was a half day, so he spent the rest of it with me. Natalie went to daycare as it was still “officially” a school week, and that’s where she always went on Fridays during the school year. So Luke and I had some quality time. We ate hot dogs for lunch, snacked on carrot sticks and hummus, and had a good talk about what it’s going to be like being home with Momma this summer. I told him that I expect him and Natalie to have fun and make messes, but to clean up the messes before moving onto the next. I’ll be monitoring them and scoring them using the reward chart app on my Kindle. They will be able to earn stars by cleaning up after themselves, putting away laundry, helping Momma, etc.

Luke is totally on board with this idea and he already had an idea for a reward to work towards. I was thinking smaller rewards, to keep it going on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, but he had something bigger in mind. He wants to go on vacation to Great Wolf Lodge. I want to know who told him about this place, and thank them (<sarcasm font>?), but he tells me he saw a commercial. When? He hardly ever watches tv? Ah, he must have been at Grandpa’s house. We’ll talk later.

Anyway, hopefully a vacation is big enough and exciting enough to dangle above their heads and keep them in line through the summer. We’ll see. I suspect Natalie will lose interest with the reward chart and end up just following Luke’s lead. They are very close, even though they are 2.5 years apart. Also, she loves a clean room, so sometimes that’s all the motivation she needs (she did inherit *some* of my traits).

Oh! I can’t leave you without mentioning the new friends we met! There is an older couple who live around the corner from us, and they remember when Mike was a little boy (he grew up in the house we live in). We ran into them last night at the park at the end of our street. Their grandchildren are visiting for the week, so they were letting them play. Today Luke asked to go over to their house to play, so I accompanied him so that I could exchange phone numbers and make sure it was okay. Turns out, the woman knows my old boss and his wife, and their children. Small world there. And, she knows ASL! Because she used to teach deaf children! Get out of town! So she was using all kinds of ASL with me, and was able to share in my excitement about my upcoming ci activation. And then we scheduled an official playdate next week with the kids at the local waterpark. So exciting.

Oh, and ice cream. Natalie and I whipped up some brownies after dinner and threw them in the oven. I sat down to wait, but 30 seconds later Luke comes to me, excited that Daddy is taking him to Quality Dairy to get an ice cream cone. Mike asks if I want to come too. I am a sucker for ice cream in a cone. So yes, I’m in. We got our ice cream and drove back home and I am trying to sit down to finish the melting messy thing, and Mike and Natalie are trying to get my attention. “What? I’m having a moment here!” They are pointing to the kitchen. Because the oven timer is going off. And of course I can’t hear it. Yup. The brownies are Done. Thankfully they were only in for a few minutes longer than they needed to be, and since I always plan to undercook my baked desserts, they turned out just fine.

I am absolutely loving my new life. Why? Because I’m IN it. No longer working my tail off for some unrealistic expectation or human ideal. Just enjoying my family and friends and all that that entails.

Slacker

I’ve been kind of a slacker about writing, both here and in my private journal. It’s because of this darn trilogy. I just can’t seem to put it down! However, I think I’m keeping the necessities taken care of, showering, feeding the kids, morning devotions, etc.

The challenge I’ve recently taken on is that of NOT internalizing the “chaos” around me. It’s nearly impossible to keep a house neat and tidy while young children are present, so I need to be okay with that, and just relax already. It’s not like our house is up for sale, so who are we trying to impress? No one. We are healthy, happy, and we are together. That’s what matters and that’s how I can let it go.

With that said, there is one aspect of this new role at home I take very seriously. FOOD. I love food. Food is delicious, and food is fuel. I believe that you can enjoy eating healthy foods, and I strive to teach that to my kids as well. I want them to grow up with healthy eating habits. It will save them in the long run on medical expenses and counseling fees. So, each week I decide on a set of meals, and then make a grocery list. In the past I’ve had a friend take me to the store to help me with the shopping. That’s been nice, but that may prove more difficult having the kids with me during the summer. Mondays will be my kid-free day, so maybe I can find a friend who could take me on Mondays. That would be a great way to start the week, wouldn’t it?

What do you think? Do you struggle with feeling chaos at home? Do you have a book you can’t put down? Do you like to go grocery shopping? Are you seizing the day today?!

Can’t put it down!

Have you ever read a book that you just can’t put down? I was an avid reader as a child, but that went away as I entered the “real world” and responsibilities moved in and crowded out any time or mental capacity to read for fun. Lately, however, I am rekindling that love of reading. It started with a book my mom let me borrow (via Amazon Kindle, which is cool). It was a book I couldn’t put down, and when I finished it I had to find more books by the same author to devour. See, I’m so used to my time being limited that I am not so willing to waste my time (or money, I suppose) on a book I won’t absolutely love. So finding an author I know I like helps.

The book that rekindled my love of reading was “Don’t Let Me Go” by Catherine Ryan Hyde. The next book I found of hers was “When I Found You”, and then “Walk Me Home”. Each of those were just as gripping as the first. But free books are not always readily found, so I took a short break. When I returned, I found a special on a book by Annalisa Grant, called The Lake. It’s a trilogy, which requires much more commitment than I was ready to hand over, but the first book was free, so I downloaded it (I only read books on my Kindle because with my poor vision, the contrast of black ink on white paper is too tiring). I forgot about the book for several weeks, but then just last week I saw it and decided to give it a shot. The rest is history. I’m half way through the second book ($3 on Amazon) and I am loving it. I have shed more tears from these books (happy cries as well as sad cries) than I ever have with any other book. The last time I remember crying his hard from a fictional story was years ago when I watched “P.S. I Love You” (I was crying so hard I had to pause the movie for several minutes, and then I think I may have called my mom for consolation).

So there we have it. Now that I’m not wasting my time with television, I’ve replaced that vice with books. It’s very hard to break away, but kids are persistent and not afraid to tell you what they want or need, so I’ve managed to balance my renewed addiction with making peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and painting nails. Natalie and I even had a lovely time this afternoon, snacking on carrot sticks and hummus and sugar snap peas.

Mother’s Day and Recovery Day 2

Today is Mother’s’ Day. It is also day two of recovery from my CI surgery. I slept until noon, and woke up to a very nice surprise. Mike had made breakfast for me! And it was one of my favorites, eggs over easy with whole wheat toast and coffee. It was delicious! The kids are at Grandma’s until tonight. She is watching them so Mike can take care of me. Last Sunday Luke and Natalie gave me Mother’s Day cards, which worked out pretty well, since I am not able to see them much today.

I am feeling better than I expected to feel. I still have some dizziness, but it’s definitely better than it was before. And the pain is tolerable, unless I’m trying to go to sleep. The throbbing in my ear and neck are quite distracting, so I’ll take another pain pill when I’m ready to take a nap (which will be soon).

I sincerely hope all the mothers (and mother-types!) out there are having a blessed day!