Tag: Bible

What I know, what I wish I knew

I'm not even going to hide the fact that my toilet is dirty. That's how we roll in my house. My Smalls was "going" and I gave him privacy only to hear, "Mommmmmyyyyyy, my boooook is in the toy-yet!!!" That's life!
I’m not even going to hide the fact that my toilet is dirty. That’s how we roll in my house. My Smalls was “going” and I gave him privacy only to hear, “Mommmmmyyyyyy, my boooook is in the toy-yet!!!” That’s life. Life is messy!

Y’all, I am a hot mess. Literally. I am hot all the time (if you know me in ‘real life’, you know) and I am literal mess. I’ve either got someone’s food smeared on me or someone’s pee saturating my clothes. Like everyday. And I re-wear clothes. Like all week long. The same clothes. It’s gross. I’m gross. And when I go to bed at night, I haven’t always had a #Mommywin day. Some days are really hard. Most days, actually. But I learn from them. Mostly.

I’ve learned a LOT in my almost four and a half years of being a Mommy. Probably more in that time than all the rest of my life put together. And I’m still learning. I don’t think one stops learning.

I’ve learned that not every day is perfect. That I’m not perfect. And my kids aren’t either. Although fearfully and wonderfully made, they are professional mistake makers. That’s what they do. They will learn. And continue to mess up. Just like me. I, too, am fearfully and wonderfully made, and I am messing up daily.

And that’s okay. I’m learning that it’s okay to mess up. Kids, in general, are incredibly forgiving. When I have a bad day, we start over in the morning. While that is hard when you are still wounded by things they say and do, it is a blessing when you’ve had a crummy day as a parent. Something we should remember and practice, ourselves. Likewise, God’s mercies are new each morning. Remember, He made us out of dust. He wants to love and protect what He’s carefully made. He, too, lets us start new.

“Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” – Lamentations 3:23

I’ve learned the value of fellow Mommy friends. During my first year as a parent, I was pretty isolated. I didn’t know many other Moms nor did I venture out much. Target was my outing of choice (still is HA!). When my Bigs was almost one, I joined a kids’ gym, and met my first group of Mom friends. It changed my whole life. It took me out of my comfort zone. I finally had people that understood my daily struggle! Then I joined a Mom group in my church and my friend groups, faith, and fellowship grew even more. I am constantly meeting new friends through both of these groups and am so blessed by each Mom that I meet. Each one has something new to teach me. And I am hungry to learn. To soak up those bits of knowledge that have been imparted to me.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” – Proverbs 27:17

I’ve learned that it’s okay to let your child fail sometimes. It’s so hard, as a parent, to sit back and watch your child hurt. And it’s equally hard, as an extremely Type A personality, to watch my child do something “wrong”. I’m learning that it might only be “wrong” to me. My boys have taught me (without trying) that there are more solutions and different ways of looking at things.

“Train child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” – Proverbs 22:6

I’ve learned the value of community. Accepting the help or advice from my fellow parents has been such a valuable lesson for me. Surrounding my children with strong and faithful families has not only strengthened my own faith, but my children’s (without them knowing).

“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” – 1 John 4:11

“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” – Psalm 133:1

I am learning patience. Apparently, I was not born with it and didn’t develop it very well, despite thinking that I wasn’t THAT much of an impatient person, prior to having children. It’s a struggle, y’all. Oh, the struggle!

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” – Ephesians 4:2

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” – Romans 12:12

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9

I am learning to let go. There are so many things that I could hold on to, that just don’t need be be held on to. And to let go of the control I keep trying to have over all the details of my life. My God is huge, my God is awesome, and my God is in control.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11

As always, I am a HUGE work in progress. Every day, in some way, I’m learning something new, about myself, about Motherhood, and I’m asking forgiveness for my mess-ups, which are frequent. I am not perfect, nor do I want to be. I just want to be the Mom God made me to be.

Many blessings,

Kristin

Parenting, Police, and Biscuits

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I feel as though I am constantly messing up as a parent. It’s a really hard (but so very blessed) job. I find myself changing my tactics all the time, after learning or reading something about studies showing how harmful that particular tactic is. It’s exhausting. And I’m sure it is for Bigs and Smalls too. One day Mommy acts like this, the next day, a different Mommy. You’d (I’d) think that I’d have it “down pat” by now, but the truth is, I don’t. I don’t know what I’m doing. Probably in life either. But, I love that life (and my boys) give me second, third, fourth, etc. chances. Even if I have a particularly horrible “Mommy Day”, the next day is a new day, a clean(er) slate, of sorts. I was going to write mostly about biscuits and meatloaf today, but I read another article on “correct” parenting behavior this morning and how the antithesis of that negatively affects them. It’s so much pressure. And there are so many articles. I am actually sitting here feeling bad for myself and for them. But there’s hope. There’s ALWAYS hope.

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I think I’d like to try a more “Back to Basics” approach, since I literally cannot possibly keep up with all that I am supposed to do. The Bible says in Proverbs 22:6, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Surely that is enough to get me ‘started’ on this whole parenting thing (that which does NOT come with an instruction manual), right? Here are some other verses which are helping me.

Psalms 139:13-16 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” 

Sure, my kids are supposed to obey me. But they also see my reactions and imitate. That’s something I need to constantly work on.

Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. 

Colossians 3:21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

I am taking this to be directed at ME, as well, not just “Fathers”.

This isn’t saying that we shouldn’t discipline our children:

Proverbs 19:18 Discipline your son, for there is hope; do not set your heart on putting him to death.

The Bible says, in fact, that we SHOULD discipline. I think it’s just how we go about it.
Proverbs 29:17 Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.

My job as a parent to Bigs and Smalls is to provide structure, discipline, my love, kindness (and a million other things). I need to bring them up as God wants and build up their confidence in this world.
[CAVEAT: I hope you take this as I intended – as a Biblical guide that can be a starting point. I am (quite, humbly and obviously) not a perfect parent (SO far from it) and am learning everyday.]
[CAVEAT II: I was discussing this with my husband and he was telling me that parenting does not come with an instruction book (as I mentioned and you all for sure know) and that all these articles cannot tell us exactly how to parent. We just change the things we want to change. Ahhh so simple – men see things so very differently!]
You know what else I don’t do so great (even though I HAD instructions)? Gluten free, dairy free biscuits. Or “hardtack”, as I am now calling them.
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I thought I’d “whip” up a batch for us for dinner last night. The dough wasn’t so bad.
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I did like that I could over-mix the dough without the fear of making it tough.
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Oh, I SHOULD have had the fear of tough biscuits, however.

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Those suckers came out like baptism wafers. The hard kind. Luckily, my husband sort of likes those.
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Don’t let this picture fool you – they were still white as snow. And hard as rocks.
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But so very strangely addictive. Especially with butter and honey.
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Look at that height (LOL)!!
Seriously. Weirdest things ever. I had to make them dairy free as well (the recipe was just GF) so I am not sure if THAT is where things went wrong? Who knows. Did I have ALL the proper ingredients? No. But whatever!! I’m the Queen of Improvisation and Replacements!
Here’s the REAL recipe, if you are interested:
http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2013/03/gluten-free-buttermilk-biscuits-recipe.html
(I used almond milk and vegan butter and coconut oil since I, naturally, ran out of vegan butter.)
Some adjectives I heard around the dinner table: hard, white, chewy
By the by, they get harder. I went for one this morning and almost broke a toof.
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I served it with some gluten-free (usually I use breadcrumbs and remembered too late that I had cornflakes I could have used instead) meatloaf. I used about a pound of organic, grassfed ground beef to which I added fresh parsley, dill, and rosemary (from my neighbor’s garden), and a Mrs. Dash seasoning packet. I made the beans and carrots I always make. I also served it with sliced pears, cranberries and candied nuts.
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And we’ve really made an effort to get back to the Simple Life these past few days.
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The kids plucked our very own (SOUR) tangerines off of our tree.
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We tasted those sour little boogers.
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And my husband grilled out while the boys and our dog pretended to wash the pool deck.
It really is the simple things.
Also, today is Police Day in Bigs’ class!
Police Themed Preschool Lunch
I cut out “P O L I C E” on a piece of bread and made a PB&J (always) on that bread. I used my Food Writer to make a “reds and blues” police light boarder. I served red tortilla chips (sorry, I KNOW these have mega red dye in them!) and corn. And for dessert, I picked the red and blue Smarties out of the little package I’d frozen since Halloween and some peppermint yogurt covered raisins. On the baggie, I wrote, “Police Lights Dessert – Eat last or go to jail!!”. I hope he likes this lunch! 🙂 It was a fun one to make.
Remember that we are never too old to learn, and there is always hope – to grow, to change, to make things better.
Hope you eat your healthy food first today!
Kristin

A Simple Kind of Life

It is SO easy to get caught up in the not-so-simple ways of the world. I fall victim to it, myself. I’ve only had a “smart phone” for maybe a year and a half. It’s been life-changing. In good and bad ways. I can easily and quickly snap pictures of my beautiful children that my previous phones would not allow me to do (so easily). But I can also find myself with my nose in my phone, missing out on the very moments for which I should be emotionally (not just physically) present. I vow to change this. I want my boys to remember me present. And I WANT to be with them.

Although it should be a “no, duh!!” (I’m a 90’s kid, what!), I’d love to make it a priority to have fibers from The Simple Life woven into every day. We have a very busy life, but if I can find a way to slow down, even if for a minute, and show my boys the simple pleasures in life, I feel we can live so much more of an enriched life.

“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life. ” – John Burroughs

A bike ride, playing on the playground, drawing with sidewalk chalk, making muffins with Mommy, scavenger hunts, gardening with Daddy (Mommy has a brown thumb), trips to the library. I need to slow down. For my kids’ sake.

The other night, we went to our neighbor’s house to chat. We adore these neighbors. They were our first friends in this neighborhood and have remained our best of the bunch. They are older than us (which we love) and treat us like family. And the boys adore them. As do we. They have a beautiful and magical yard (they spend lots of time outside and cultivating their it). And they have grapefruit trees and herbs. It’s awesome. The boys enjoy learning about all of those things.

Baby Running

Smalls is holding a grapefruit and running in this picture.

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Here is Bigs picking a grapefruit.

Grapefruit Tree

I love living in a neighborhood where citrus trees grow rampant.

Digging Around

The boys love going in their bushes and planters.

Herbs

Look at these fantastic herbs they have. Aren’t they lush and gorgeous?

Mint

I only wish my own backyard looked like this!

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In addition to taking home grapefruits, I took home a bundle of fresh “neighbor” herbs: two kinds of mint, chives, parsley, rosemary, and dill. Just lovely.

Ahhh, the simple things.

25 “Slow down. Take a deep breath. What’s the hurry? Why wear yourself out? Just what are you after anyway?” – Jeremiah 2:25 (The Message)

Speaking of which, since it IS the weekend, I made a simple dessert for you (for me).

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Chocolate Devil Bars

Makes 16 bars (or less, depending on how much you eat in one sitting)

Adapted from:

http://www.ilovemydisorganizedlife.com/2013/11/peanut-butter-gooey-bars-25-days-of/

  • 1 C peanut butter (or 3/4 C peanut butter + 1/4 C Biscoff, as I did)
  • 1/2 C butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 package Devil’s Food cake mix
  • 1 C semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 13ish oz can of dulce de leche
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine the first four ingredients in a bowl.
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  • Press half of the mix in a lightly greased 8×8 baking dish.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Layer the chocolate chips, followed by the dulce de leche (I put spoonfuls down).
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  • Pat down the remaining cake mix.
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  • Bake for 30 minutes.
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  • Once cooled, cut into squares. It came out gooey for me. Which I love.

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It was tasty. And quite rich.

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I froze some to give to my Mom and Dad and also sent some across the street to our lovely neighbors.

I hope YOU enjoy them if you make them! As you can see (if you click the link to the original recipe), I made changes to almost every main ingredient, so this recipe is quite customizable to both your tastes and what you have on hand (as it turned out for me).

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

The grass certainly isn’t always greener on the other side. Enjoying what God’s given us and opening our eyes to what we actually have is life-changing. In the best way.

Here’s a great post (Daily Hope) by Rick Warren about the Bible’s take on slowing down and enjoying life.

http://purposedriven.com/blogs/dailyhope/index.html?contentid=4971

Here’s to doing just that – slowing down, putting technology aside (for the moments that count, the moments WITH our children), and enjoying this beautiful life God’s gifted us.

Blessings,

Kristin