Friday, October 19, 2012

Staying {Relatively} Sane in an Imaginative World

If you told me 6 years ago that I would be a wife and mother (let alone a stay at home mom), there is no way I would have believed you. It was not my plan when I set off for college. But boy am I glad His ways are not my own and that God has a better plan than I could have EVER dreamed of for myself! And his plan has led me to this:

{a wife and mother of three loving and cheerful children}


Being a stay at home mom has been one of the greatest gifts my husband has ever given me. Not only do we have three beautiful children (with another due in a few short months), but he works so hard every day so that I can stay home and be the primary influence on their lives. That selfless and burdened task of being the "bread winner" to a growing family shows me that, to him, our family is worth certain sacrifices, that he trusts me with our children all day/every day, and more importantly that he believes that I would be the best teacher and guider for them as they grow into adults. 

Being with my children during the day is a beautiful things as I watch them develop and mature. To see a child learn something that you taught them is the most humbling and incredible experience (unless it is behavior that I might not be so proud rolling my eyes). But don't get me beautiful as it can be, it can be just as challenging. 

When imaginative games consume your day and the only conversation you have is with a 4, 2 1/2 and 1 year can start to get a little stir crazy. Things are tight and date nights are scarce, the closest civilization is 25 minutes away, not to mention you live in the country where phone service is limited and its a treat when you can have a conversation with an adult longer than 7 minutes. Whether it is interrupted by someone needing more juice or a dropped call, sometimes the outside world seems so far away. So what do you do to keep it all together? 

I used to think, "I need some ME time!" I would demand it from my family and be unhappy until I had a moment or two undisturbed by myself. But I found, it isn't "me time" I needed...its time with Him. I needed that daily drink of His word in order to function, be a leader, have patience, and be the mother that God intended. I was finding that when I went a couple days without a  quiet time (and by quiet, I mean reading a verse or two before being needed :) ) I was unable to have an unlimited supply of patience, understanding, tolerance, etc. All the traits needed to be a stay at home mom that my children deserve. So I came up with a system. We have this lovely chalkboard window in our kitchen {where a  lot of our time is spent}:

so I utilized it with little reminders that help point me back in the right directions:

Each reminder helps get my attitude, spirit, and body right. So every time I look at my chalkboard, I have to pick one thing to do. The only rule is that I have to do each of them at least once a day. And let me tell you...I have seen a  WORLD of difference. The best part? My kids have been doing them with me! Who doesn't like a phone call from a child just to say I love you? And you should see their push ups...hysterical :) Anyway, when I catch myself in a funk or having a day filled with extra battles from a strong-willed child, any one of these reminders helps me to clear my head and focus on whats really important...that spilled milk? Or talking with God? Or being thankful? Or staying healthy? Or singing the kids' favorite song on our front porch? 

I am finding that when I seek God in my daily routines, I find more of the things that make this life so beautiful. I find purpose and strength for those tough moments; those days when nap time seems like it will never come. With little exercises or filling my mind with bible verses, my heart and body are ready to conquer tasks because I know that I'm not alone. I have a merciful and gracious heavenly Father, a trusting and supportive husband, and forgiving and loving children who make this life worthwhile :) 

{The man that makes all this possible by following Christ and leading our family}

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