Category Archives: Parenting

Free Printable! (of a quote I didn’t like) (at first)

There is no perfect mother.

Click image for free printable file!

When I first read this quote, I didn’t like it.

Sure there are a million ways to be *JUST* a good mom. But shouldn’t I strive for better than that? Shouldn’t I at least try for something closer to perfect than JUST GOOD?

But what’s so bad about good?

I know, I know. The greatest enemy of best is good. Or something like that.

But when I only find “perfect” acceptable… Well, let’s be honest. When that’s the case, I usually don’t even try. Case in point: my daughter’s birthday. She turned five yesterday. And I had decided we weren’t going to have a party this year.

Here’s the deal: I don’t think it really matters if you have a party for your kid or not – but my motivation in this decision never felt quite right. My public reason was that she doesn’t HAVE to have a party every year, and it would be good for her to learn that early on. Teachable moments, right?

The real reason was that it felt like too much work and if I couldn’t do it “right,” then I wouldn’t do it at all.

Long story short, the sweet girl asked if she could have a few friends over to celebrate. And we did. We had five little girls over to eat pizza and watch Frozen. No decorations. No crafts. Literally just Domino’s pizza, Frozen, and a cake from the grocery store.

And my daughter was in heaven.

(The other little girls were too, by the looks of the video.)

It wasn’t perfect. But it was GOOD.

Please hear me: going above and beyond is NOT WRONG. Whether it’s birthday parties or keeping house or WHATEVER IT IS. Do what you do, and do it well, and do it with love.

But for the love, beware of the perfection trap. (Preaching to myself here.) If less-than-PERFECT (or Pinterest-worthy or Mom-of-the-Year or fill-in-the-perfection-blank) is considered failure, then it’s time to regroup.

I want to be a GOOD MOM. And thank You, Jesus, there truly are a million ways to be that.

Looking for more encouragement on this topic? It turns out I’m not alone with these thoughts – and neither are you! I just found this timely post from one of my new favorite writers, Bronwyn Lea: “Never mind good vs evil, the real battle is good vs best.” I think you’ll be glad you found her too.

Heart of the Home (+ the wisest thing you can do each day)

Have you ever felt like an emotional pinball machine? You may think you need a verse about emotions. But you probably need this instead. (Plus, discover the wisest thing you can do each day.)I’ve been an emotional pinball machine lately. Thrown to and fro, bouncing high to low, at the mercy of changing moods.

And not just my own moods (although I’ve got enough for all of us). If Owen’s crabby, I get crabby. If Molly’s dramatic, here comes Drama-Mama.

Sucked into this riptide of reactivity, I’ve felt powerless to lift my head above the rise and fall of the moods and circumstances around me.

When I opened my Bible today, I thought I needed a verse about emotions.

Instead, God gave me a verse about power.

While I bemoaned that I’m drowning and powerless, this verse cut straight through the riptide. It declared that I have, in fact, been entrusted with great power and influence:

A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands. (Proverbs 14:1 NLT)

I have the power to be a builder or a breaker. 

As a woman, I am the heart of the home.  This means the climate of my heart determines the climate in our home. Not my husband’s heart. Not my children’s hearts.

My heart.

True confession: I don’t know if this fact is good news or bad news to me today. I do know that it’s a huge responsibility. And not a responsibility I even WANT most of the time.

But like it or not, it’s true. And pretending it’s not true is not going to change it.

So, yes, it’s a big responsibility. But with that great responsibility comes incredible opportunity. It doesn’t mean I can’t have a bad day. But it IS a crucial wake-up call regarding the damage I can wield with my response to a bad day (or to someone else’s bad day).

But the verse doesn’t ONLY say a foolish woman tears down her house with her own hands. It is a just-as-crucial wake-up call regarding the GOOD I can infuse into my home.

The wise woman builds her home.

Build: (verb)
1. to construct by assembling and joining parts or materials
2. to establish, increase, or strengthen
3. to mold, form, or create

A WISE woman builds her home. She joins things and people together. She establishes, increases, and strengthens her home and those within it. She molds, forms, and creates the climate of her home.

Note that the verse does not say the crafty woman. Not the fashionable, the maternal, the Pinterest-worthy. A woman COULD be all these things. (God bless her! I am not her!) But EVEN IF SHE’S NOT, she can still build her home.

God in Heaven, how do I foster a life-GIVING and life-BUILDING climate in my home when I feel like the world is trying to suck the life FROM me ?

Wisdom. It’s the wise woman. Oh God, what does a wise woman do? And how do I become her?

I needn’t pine after every single womanly/motherly/whateverly skill I may lack.

I need wisdom.

And praise God, He delights to give it.

He doesn’t fault me for needing it. Or asking for it.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5)

Perhaps the wisest thing I can do each day is ASK FOR WISDOM.

Wisdom to navigate the tides and currents in my home and our lives. Wisdom to set my sail to catch the wind of God’s Spirit in our presence. Wisdom to remember I’m not the Anchor. Wisdom to honor the gravity of what HAS been entrusted to me: the power to build and the power to tear down with my very own hands.

Throwback Thursday: Scissornado

My kids just about sent me to crazyland tonight. So, for Throwback Thursday, I decided to remember it could be worse. In fact, it HAS been worse. Like the day they chopped each other’s hair off.

Ah, yes. Gather ’round and let’s re-live it together.

(Originally published December 10, 2013.)

scissorsnadoFB

It’s 3:00 pm. Rest time is over, and I look up as my children casually bound down the stairs to join me in the living room. I notice Molly is still wearing the purple headband she had on earlier, but now her hair appears to also be in a ponytail – which I find curious, as she isn’t able to do this without my help.

“Molly, where’s your hair?” I laugh.

Cue “deer-in-headlights” looks on both children’s faces. Not a good sign.

Sitting bolt upright on the couch (not laughing now): “Molly. Where. Is. Your. Hair.”

Bulldozed by reality, I enter an out-of-body state. Body paralyzed, my mind helpfully narrates, “This is the moment. This is the moment when your children cut each other’s hair. This is happening.”

Then, “Holy $#!%, I need to get this on video.”

Behind the camera, I barely control a unique combination of belly laughter and gut-wrenching sobs as I continue to drill my children in disbelief.

It becomes painfully evident that while my son has only a chunk cut from the front of his hair…

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… my daughter’s hair has been obliterated:

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(by these little WMD’s.) (Which have been banned indefinitely.)

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We have a stern little (big) chat about the danger of their actions (hello, miraculously uninjured ears, fingertips, EYEBALLS) and then proceed to the children’s salon to shape up Molly’s new pixie cut.

I require each child to pony up money toward the cost of the fix. $5 from Owen for cutting his sister’s hair; $5 from Molly for letting him. (It had taken them approximately 4 years to save the money – and it had taken Molly 4 years to grow her hair to her shoulders. Sounds about fair to me.)

Owen doesn’t get a professional fix. (Daddy’s clippers have been dying to get a hold of his luscious locks for quite awhile already. Pictures will follow as soon as I get Daddy to bite the bullet and shave the boy’s head.)

It’s been a week, we’re all still alive, and I’m starting to recognize my daughter again… Allow me  to introduce the sweetest little pixie I ever did see: