Let them swing, climb, and hide. Teach them every nursery rhyme. Allow them to stay clueless on the popular song or dance. Pull them on your lap and teach them all your old favorites along with all the words to, “Jesus loves me.” Spread out the crayons and put down the tablet. Pull out the blankets to cover chairs for the bear cave. Keep the shoes at the back door, or maybe, no shoes at all.
Keep them little by showing them the big. The stars, the mountains, the ocean, the sky, our Savior.
Pretend with them, believe, bring fairy tales to life. Light up history and spark the flame of the desire of knowledge. Get down, bellies to the ground to watch the ants. Put your elbows to the grass as you watch the puffs of clouds disappear. Let them feel a pencil in their hand with real paper to grab instead of a screen. Read the stories for their minds to paint beautiful pictures. Add a constant source of fuel to their imagination and protect it against the tarnish. Let them be wild, with tangled manes, and dirt under nails. Let them scream, laugh, sing and dance.
Watch the yard get torn from treasure hunts and dragging feet under the swing. Let them pull every flower to give to their mama. Watch them snack straight out of the garden. Put them to bed early, tuck them snug, pray, read, sing the sweet songs. Whisper Jesus loves them and all things right and true.
Keep them little, let them be little.
The time is approaching. All of this gathering in the kitchen over the holidays is a lovely thought but it also means colds, sickness, bugs, and flu. I’m not kidding when I tell you I barely survived last year. For about two and half months we were all stuck in the house either coughing up lungs, giving breathing treatments, throwing up, settling fevers, you name it! It all knocked me flat on my butt. I am determined this year to be as prepared and ready as possible to help me stay sane and capable to take care of all the needs of my family.
Here are my tips and things I will do differently in hopes it helps some of y’all out.
1. Take as many precautionary measures as possible. Start serving out the shots of Elderberry syrup the first sign of a sniffle.
2. Be very diligent about applying Thieves essential oil to the bottoms of all of their feet before bed. If they do get something, it certainly won’t last as long.
3. Get you a diffuser and work that baby overtime, continuously running day in and day out…I actually need to order more diffusers… I was borrowing them from people last year to stick in everyone’s room when they went to sleep. *I have been pre-ordering RC essential oil all year. It was absolutely amazing with all of the respiratory issues for my baby boy.
4. Have your Thieves cleaner ready to wipe down all surfaces were they have gathered, nothing fancy, but real quick to kill whatever is there. Plus it smells great.
5. Pre-make some homemade chicken and noodle soup to stick in the freezer. Have some other family favorites to have on hand. Dinner was a nightmare unless some members of our sweet family bought food, which was such a blessing!
6. If at all possible do a nightly laundry load of all the blankets, pillow cases, and pajamas from the day they had been wearing. Hopefully the germs won’t continue to spread around which is exactly what happened last year.
7. Plan a drive out. I think the cool fresh air and different scenery can do wonders.(Don’t do this when your little one has complained of a belly ache…yep, she threw up all in the backseat)
8. Get together your favorite movies or a list of favorite Netflix shows EVERY child will agree on. The last thing you want is tears because they can’t agree on something when they are feeling terrible already. Also try to pick ones that may be educational without them knowing. This is for the mom guilt as you watch your children stare at a screen all day, makes you feel a little better when you can say, “At least it’s educational”
9. Have some books ready. To help break up them monotony have some books sitting there ready to be read when they are tired of the TV..if that would even happen.
10. JUST HOLD THEM!
11. Sneak in showers whenever you can, feed yourself whenever you can, take elderberry, drink lots of water and PRAY!
12. I asked my husband as I was writing this for his input and he gave great advice which was to ACCEPT it. Quit going on with daily life and trying to continue your normal to do list. Just sit still, let them pile on your lap, and take care of them. LOVE IT!
Do you have any tricks up your sleeve to prepare yourself for taking care of sick little ones? Subscribe and share!
photo credit by pixabay
When you find yourself many years from now in the thick of life, remember the blessings that got you thus far.
When your eyes are begging for rest as you hold that sweet baby close in the dark hours of the night, remember this to shall pass.
When you reload the dishwasher or switch the laundry AGAIN remember you are modeling servanthood for the sweet ones under foot.
When you listen for the fourth time about how the ant crawled over a rock, just smile and know how blessed you are they choose you to tell.
When dinner time sneaks up on you and you would rather just say the kitchen’s closed, remember your feeding and nourishing the next generation for God. Feed them well.
When the reading, writing, and math overtake you. Take a deep breath, grab their favorite story and get lost in their book.
When the shoe isn’t in the box and the sock match is missing, just grab the first sock you find and start the shoe scavenger hunt.
When the sound of, “mommy” rings in your ears, just know some never get the chance hear the sweet sound.
When you want to give up and lock yourself in the bathroom, rest assured every momma does.
When you want to go back and crank up the country music, pull them close and dance the day away.
When you wonder what happened to your old self, remember she is there, only now you are a better version.
When time seems to disappear into thin air, make every. moment. matter.
When the regrets of yesterday blur your eyes for today, remember His mercies are new.
When that man who promised you forever walks in the door, make sure you love him well.
When the runny noses and upset bellies come to linger, grab blankets, movies, soup, and chocolate for yourself.
When you messed up and feel like you crushed their spirits, make a batch of my chocolate chip cookies.
When your planning birthdays and feeling pressure to make them special, don’t look beyond your four walls.
When your clothes feel a little snug, be grateful for health and unconditional love.
When you start to feel that you’re not good enough, don’t forget that YOU were called to do this.
When your eyes start to linger to long on the sparkle of the world, remember the grass isn’t always greener sweet girl.
When things don’t seem to be going so well, keep your grass watered.
When you wonder if all your efforts of being a good, Godly woman to your husband, a good mother to your children are worth it. I am here to shout from the rooftops that they are. Your labor is producing fruits that will spread from one generation to the next for lifetimes to come.
So for my girls…It is my privilege to watch you grow, and give you my all, and watch the fruit of your lives bless me and all the people who God has in store.
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Photo credit Pixabay
I have a vivid memory. I remember it just like it was yesterday. I was pregnant with my first baby, my daughter, Willow. I was on my way to the hospital for my night shift as a nurse jamming to Chris Brown’s, “With You,” with the windows down and wind blowing through my hair. Though that song is meant for his girlfriend, in that moment it became me and my girls song.
“And you mean to me what I mean to you and together baby, there is nothing we won’t do
Cause if I got you, I don’t need money, I don’t need cars, girl, your my all.
And Oh! I’m into you, and girl, no one else will do. Cause with every kiss and every hug,
you make me fall in love”
I remember feeling hot tears of thankfulness fall down my cheeks as I rubbed my hand over my belly. Not just for my sweet Willow, but for this gift of motherhood.
It’s all hard, oh so hard, but never in my life have I ever felt more complete. This is my purpose. She made me a momma.
I have been having the time of my life ever since she was placed in my arms and all the sweet ones thereafter.
This is quite the beautiful mess I’m in. I’ll linger as long as I can and praise God for the privilege. Even if it is through a Chris Brown song:)
I am still in survival mode as I write this. My sweet #4, baby Easton, whew..that boy. I’m still learning him. Learning his personality and all of his quirks. For now, I’ll share my survival tips that have carried me thus far in case your in the crazy boat too:)
1) Let go of the guilt. Yes, you love your baby, but yes, they are difficult! That’s OK! Just accept it. “Hello I’m Brittany and I have a difficult child!”
2) Love on that rotten baby like there is no tomorrow. I mean it. They simply require more of us. We are their mothers, so let’s be what they need. Hold them, sing to them, cuddle them, whatever they need be there for them. You aren’t spoiling them!
3) Surrender. They say this wont last forever. I feel much more sane when I let go of my own agenda and plans for the day. This is only a season.
4) Speak positive words to them and about them to your other children. Pick one or two people you can vent to, but leave the rest of the words to uplift your sweet one even as an infant. Words hold power.
5) Pray. all. the. time. God knew exactly what He was doing when He hand-picked your children. He called you to this task and He will help you survive it.
6) Have some super quick dinners ready to throw together when they are screaming at your leg. One of my go-to favorites is this: I warm up several cans of black beans. I then throw a handful of tortilla chips on each plate, cover with warmed beans, shredded cheese, sour ream and salsa. There you have it. Nachos! That meal has saved me more than once.
7) Get the breaks when you need them, ask for help. If you have no one available then stick them in the car seat and go for a little drive. Sometimes, the change in scenery helps.
8) I have found that the outdoors does wonders. I recommend getting outside as much as possible. If they are old enough, a sandbox is very helpful too. Most of our days this summer have been spent in the yard with some bags of sand with a book in my hand.
I’m not going to lie, I had planned to give you 10 tips, but this is all I have. Hang in there, love on your baby, and remember you are being refined and sharpened into an even better and more patient mama! You’ve got this because He has this!
Any one else in the crazy boat too? What helps you cope?
Happy first birthday to my hip rider, my molder, my partner in crime, and my second half.
Easton, you have stretched me, humbled me, and have shown me that picture perfect is only an expression. Life is messy, unpredictable, and it’s all about how we relinquish the craziness that makes it so great.
Little guy, you and me have a special bond. You know it, and you love me without fail. You find your greatest comfort in my arms. You’ve taught me the mess doesn’t matter, how to take one day at a time, and how to turn lemons into lemonade. You made my dream come true and turned me into a stay at home momma. Your smile is one of a kind. The best way to see it is to put you in sunshine. You thrive when your out in the open and getting dirty.
Buddy, I don’t think I’ll ever forget all the crying you have done your first year of life. (I am smiling as I type this) One day, I’ll pull you up in my lap and tell you all the stories. I’ll show you all of the pictures I have of you with your arms wrapped around my leg. We will laugh as I tell you how you pushed your sibling away from me. I’ll tell you about the first time you looked at me in the middle of the night (Yes, you loved to randomly play and have parties in the middle of the night) and said “Momma” for the first time. I’ll show you the video of you strapped to me in the baby carrier dancing and singing in the kitchen “I Will Survive.”
Today, I celebrate you sweetheart. We survived the past year…now it’s time to watch you thrive.
We love you Easton! Happy Birthday!
For that first time momma…He sees you. He sees you google every sniffle. He watches as you put your face parallel to her chest to make sure you see it rising as they take in a breath. He sees all of the books you have been reading and hears the endless conversations as you try to figure out this motherhood thing. He is watching you try to figure out how to go about living your life when something so precious depends on you for their every need. He watches as you get up for the fourth time that night and He sees your mind twirling, wondering if you’re doing it right. He sees the exhaustion in your eyes, yet the fullness in your heart of giving your baby everything you can. God sees and placed that baby in your arms.
For that high school girl…He sees you. He sees your frustration every time someone ask what you are going to do with the rest of your life. He watches your eyes as you scan a room of your peers thinking they have their life figured out. He sees you run from school, to practice, to your part-time job. He sees you try to fit in that Wednesday night youth service when your worn out and tried. He sees you as you sit between childhood and adult hood not knowing which move is next. He sees you studying, applying, and crying. God is watching you start down a path He knew from the beginning.
For that momma of many…He sees you. He sees you try to remember to savor the moments. He sees you as you put in that fourth load of laundry. He watches as you lift them on the counter to pour in the macaroni. He sees you keeping that smile on your face though you wonder if you will ever be able to eat a warm meal again. He sees you changing the diapers, cleaning the messes, and keeping lids on the markers. He sees you on your knees praying for wisdom and patience to keep it all together. God sees the rewards for your work.
For that single momma….He sees you. He watches as you try to combine two roles into one. He watches as you pray for guidance and healing and direction. He sees your mind turning as you wonder if you’re doing enough. He sees the struggle yet beautiful life unfolding through full reliance on Him. He watches as you go into unmarked territory with no road map and figuring it out as you go. He sees that yearning in your eyes for a break or shoulder to lean on. God sees the capable in what you can’t.
For that working momma… He sees you. He watches as you try to be two people. A professional woman on the outside and the emotional baby loving momma on the inside. He sees you as you do your best to balance meals, deadlines, bedtimes, suppers, and meetings. He watches as you drop them off wishing you could have stayed with them a bit longer. He sees the pressure from your job and watches you overcome with every ounce of strength you have again and again. God sees your efforts.
For every woman out there in every stage of life God sees, hears, and catches every tear. He collects every achievement great or small. NOTHING goes unnoticed in His eyes. Our days may be filled with what we call meaningless task, but God sees the heart and has the story already written. He is walking with us cheering us on. His love is unfathomable even at our lowest point of the day when we yell at the kids, serve cold cereal for supper, or even cry ourselves to sleep. Remember today, that He is near and is full of love for you.
One of the toughest things for me in my homeschooling journey is figuring out where to spend my time and energy. The possibilities are endless. There is every kind of activity to get involved in such as Bible studies, piano lessons, sports, art lessons, co-ops etc… The list goes on and on. It can be quite an overwhelming feeling to be responsible for your children’s education. I always wonder if I am doing enough, too much, or the right things.
I am sure this is even true for those who send your children to school. Your children are gone all day so you try to fill up your afternoon with fun things they will enjoy and activities to help them improve and be better people.
What if through all this we are missing the point all together?
Nowhere in the Bible does it say to enlist your child in 3-4 activities a week, make sure they are in a sport to learn how to be part of a team, make sure they take lessons on a musical instrument to help them be well-rounded, and make sure they are involved in some kind of art to encourage creativity.
All these things are wonderful, but can never be substituted for our real job as parents.
We are called to teach them diligently the love of God so they can show it to others. We are required to model and show them how Jesus lived on earth ministering to others, loving them, and telling of His goodness.
Somehow our society tells us that all this isn’t good enough. In the meanwhile we find ourselves exasperated trying to fit it all in. The Lord didn’t plan out a life of complication and aggravation for us. We do that to ourselves.
When you find yourself overwhelmed ask yourself if you are truly doing what God commanded you to do as a parent. I have found that whenever I feel heavy burdens with the busyness of life that I have lost sight of my true purpose.
We can have the highest educated, well-rounded, artistic, and musically inclined children, but without the love of God and for people in their hearts we have failed.
Let’s put God back in the center of our education and see those minutes stretch a little longer and our time be blessed.
Who is with me? Let’s hold each other accountable. Instead of applauding the momma who spends everyday out taking children here and there, let’s encourage the slower pace to truly see the work that needs to be done around us. With our children let’s roll up our sleeves and get busy doing kingdom work!
I didn’t know what having my first baby would do to my heart, mind, and body.
I didn’t know that love never had a boundary.
I didn’t know how full and complete my life was going to be when we bought you home.
I didn’t know that when you were eating cheerios in your high chair while I danced around the kitchen making supper to make you laugh that we were making life long memories ingrained in my heart.
I didn’t know that the vision of your sweet nursery where you slept would be one of the favorite rooms I ever spent time in.
I didn’t know the joy it would bring me when you smashed your hands in your first birthday cake and ate the whole thing. We had to wash you off in Granny’s sink.
I didn’t know that 5 years later I would retell the story laughing of how I tried to take you on walks when you were a toddler. You tried to knock on everyone’s door, run in the road, and pick every flower. I always had to carry you back home kicking and screaming while 9 months pregnant with your sister.
I didn’t know that I would cry when I saw you ride your bike for the first time.
I didn’t know how many times I would have to apologize to you for getting frustrated.
I didn’t know how many prayers I would pray for me to get this mommy thing right.
I didn’t know that you were going to play your role of big sister to three so far… so well.
I didn’t know that you were going to help shape me into what God wants me to be.
I didn’t know that you were going to start our tradition of Krispy Kreme doughuts after you asked Jesus in your heart that day.
I didn’t know you were going to lead your sister to Christ, then remember that we HAD to go get doughnuts again.
I didn’t know I was going to be one of those mammas that jumped out of her chair and screamed when you scored your first soccer goal.
I didn’t know that I was going to want to spend every day with you and teach you all the good things in life.
I didn’t know that you were going to be the party girl to pull me out of my shell.
I didn’t know how beautiful, smart, and funny you were going to be.
I didn’t know how kind, giving, and spirited you were going to be.
I didn’t know that I was going to cry typing this out, in disbelief you are six tomorrow.
I dint know that time flew till I held you in my arms.
I didn’t know time stood still till you wrapped your little arms around me.
I didn’t know that I was going to jump and down and call your daddy the first time you read to me.
I didn’t know that you were going to make friends with everyone you ever talked to. (You say every one is your best friend)
I didn’t know your favorite food was going to be chicken legs, your favorite color was going to be every color, or that you could draw all day.
I didn’t know that you were going to teach yourself how to hula hoop, do cartwheels, or climb trees.
I didn’t know that you were going to state that it was a different stuffed animal’s birthday every day just so we could have an excuse to party.
I didn’t know until I met you what God had created me for. He created be to be a mother and show His face through it all. I have failed many times but you have shown me how to keep at it everyday. Thank you sweet Willow for being so full of adventure, love, and Jesus. Happy 6th Birthday! We love you crazy girl!
Let me tell you about these two.
They are a set of inseparable best friends. They stay up way past bedtime every night sharing giggles in their room. They wake up early together with ideas and schemes for tea parties and something new to celebrate that day. They color together, swing on the swing set together, run through the sprinkler together, eat together, watch movies together, and usually try to drive me crazy together:) There is a bond there that will never be broken.
I am confident in the fact that satan will always try to tear up this dynamic duo. But I know a God that is stronger and He knows my prayer to mend their hearts together to achieve great and mighty things in His name.
Well, yesterday satan got a smack down…
As I watched from a far at 7:30 in the morning, still in their pajamas, on our living room couch, Willow led Zoe to the Lord.
I had the blessing and privilege to see them looking through their picture Bible together. I saw two little heads bowed with eyes closed as Zoe repeated the sinners prayer after her big sister.
Soon after that Zoe told me that Jesus IS in her heart, and that she believes He died on the cross for her so she could go to heaven:)
These two girls now have a spiritual bond that with God can move mountains. The devil better look out because these sisters are a force to be reckoned with. They have a praying Momma and Daddy behind them and the spirit of the Lord inside them.
3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth…