Wednesday, September 14, 2011

There is no such thing as a coincidence!

I have been planning the girls' birthday parties for a few weeks now...The fact that their birthdays are two weeks apart does not make it easy on my stress level or our bank account...
I always have these huge dreams about their parties...Dreams that aren't indicative of our wallet. I imagine yards of tulle, twinkle lights, and glitter. And tasty finger foods. And candy. And punch. And cake. And...There I go again!
I have been obsessing over these parties. I talk about them to Rob and he gives me the "and who do you think is gonna pay for all that?" look.
I promise all this has a point...Bear with me!
I found the most gorgeous birthday invitations for Leah's party from They are exactly what I had been searching for: a precious little ballerina invite with soft colors and flower accents. They are slightly more expensive than the pre-packaged ones that I could get at Party City. Okay, a lot more expensive!
Well, y'all, God is good! He ALWAYS gives me what I need...Today, He gave me something I wanted! I opened my email this morning to discover that the website RueLaLa just came out with a new division for kids...Guess what one of today's deals was?? $20 for $40 worth of invitations from Coincidence? No way! Thank you God for a 50% discount!

Psalm 108:4 For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your FAITHFULNESS reaches to the skies!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What can we learn from Irene?

One thing that has struck me the past couple of days is how much we, as a general rule, have this sense of entitlement...I know that there are some real saints out there who only ever think of others, but for most of us, there is this instinct to look out for number one. I found myself getting annoyed when I saw that some people had gotten their power back and I hadn't. Or, worse yet, hadn't ever lost power. Then, I got mad at the power company...As if they had purposefully chosen not to restore my power. After all, my husband and my dad BOTH work for Dominion! Don't we have some pull somewhere? I lose sight of the fact that the men working on those lines all day and night have families that would rather have them at home with them.
Irene has also exposed the princess living inside of me...Having to heat Cana's milk on a grill?! Having to sweat?! The nerve! The first couple of hours are a little fun...It is kind of like camping...So, I channel my inner Juliette Gordon Low and start doing things like hand washing dishes and opening a few windows to get some air. Soon, the novelty of it all wears off and I realize that this is certainly not my thing. But why not? I feel like there has been a dramatic shift over the years in what we consider to be basic necessities. The basics are food, clothes, and shelter. By the world's standards, having these things means you are pretty well off. I have now added electricity to my list of necessities. We, in America, have a certain level of comfort that we are willing be happy about. For me, that comfort level doesn't include sweat and cold showers...Say it with me everyone..."selfish!" I mustn't forget that what I consider "roughing it" is what most people have to do every single day just to survive.
Unfortunately, my children have become products of their upbringing...Leah kept asking about watching a movie or playing a game on the computer. You really start to realize how much you depend on something when you don't have it. It is all too easy to plop the kids down in front of the television and go about my day. I had to actually be creative to keep my kids entertained the past few days.
Thankfully, our power has been restored. I definitely appreciate what I have more today than I did yesterday. Instead of watching a movie, maybe we will go outside and play today. You better believe I've got a load of dishes in the dishwasher and laundry in the washer and dryer. Baby steps, people, baby steps.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Love them more than the laundry...

It is amazing to me how God uses my children to grow me in areas that are lacking...PATIENCE: I don't have much. I need more. God gave me children.
One thing that I DO know for sure is the fact that I don't know everything there is to know about raising children. Cana and Leah are so different in so many ways. Leah would wake up every morning around 7:30 and then would fall back asleep in my arms for at least another half an hour. Cana, on the other hand, wants to be UP at 6:00 every morning. I try, selfishly, to snuggle and get her back to sleep, but she will not have it. The morning starts with her playing with my fingers and eventually escalates into her making shrill shrieks that could wake the neighbors! Not shrieks of anger, mind you...She just likes to hear herself talk! So, in an effort to help her big sister sleep a little longer, I surrender and take her downstairs for breakfast. If her bottle/food is not ready in -2 seconds, she starts...She bangs on her highchair tray, throws her head back, and screams at the top of her lungs. She doesn't play around when it comes to food. I can totally relate!
(Can I be honest for a minute? One of my major mistakes with Leah is that I always felt like she was out to get me. That somehow, at just 9 months of age, she knew just what it took to really annoy me and she was determined to do it. Of course, this is completely ridiculous! I never thought that she might actually have a need that I wasn't meeting, whether it be hunger or just needing some affection.)
Cana needs her sleep. Neither of my kids were/are the type to fall asleep in the stroller while I shopped all day...Nope. My kids are the ones screaming, hanging halfway out of the stroller, while others look on in pity. This has been a hard lesson for me to learn. I have to fight all of my pre-baby urges to get out and shop. It is better for my children (and my sanity) if we just stay home.
Like most women, I often get frustrated by children who will not let me get ANYTHING done...Whether it is being right under my feet all day or ripping apart newly folded laundry. I lose sight of the reason I do what I do. Who am I folding that tiny laundry for? For me or for them? Thankfully, I have a gracious (and smart) husband who never asks what I have done all day!
What makes me successful as a mom? The fact that my house is pristine or that my laundry is folded perfectly in a drawer somewhere? No. Do my children know that they are loved and that they are the most important thing in my life at ANY given moment? Am I able to look back on my day, regardless of the meltdowns, and know that I was the best mom I could be? Being a mom is not a hobby, it is a calling. A calling to sacrifice. A calling to put the needs of others above your own. Being a mom doesn't always change a person, but it absolutely should.