Tag Archives: Mommyhood

Lest They Become Discouraged

 

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This trend of sharing less-than-favorable information with, well, essentially, with the world, is not limited to our husbands.  Our children can also be the victims of our snarky comments, and tendency to over-share.  Often the kid-version is a “cute” (but potentially embarrassing) anecdote, or a bit of gossip couched in a “prayer request.” 

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And, it starts before the kids are even born with more than a few whiney status updates about morning sickness.  Eventually, those progress to complaints about the aches and pains of late pregnancy, accompanied by the impatience of waiting for baby to finally make an appearance.  That morphs into subtle protests about newborn-induced sleep-deprivation, exasperated comments about the 2-year-old’s temper tantrum at the grocery store, the 5-year-old’s difficulties with friends at school, the sibling squabbles, and the teenager’s sullen attitude toward…well, everything.

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I know that life as a mommy isn’t always perfect.  There are difficulties.  Some days are just plain hard.  And, I’m not at all suggesting that we should not be able to look to friends (both flesh-and-blood and the online variety) for encouragement, support, prayer, or a hug.  And, I realize that sometimes these comments are simply the result of sharing “real life.”

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But, just like with our husbands, these online communities can appear to offer a “support group” of sorts, where other mommies are quick to commiserate with our plight, and offer words of sympathy, and a ready chorus of “I know what you’re going through.”  Again, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  Sometimes the support, encouragement, and prayers of others are very much needed.

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But, sometimes, hard as it may be to hear (read), we need to be exhorted us to take our eyes off of ourselves and our difficulties, discomforts, and frustrations, and think about what our words are doing to our children’s reputations.

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“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” ~Psalm 127:3

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Scripture calls children a blessing – a reward! Is that how we see them?  Put another way, do our online friends know that we see them as blessings?  Or do they only know the difficult, problem-causing, undisciplined children that we complain about multiple times a day?

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

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When I was a teenager, my parents and sister decided that it would be funny to share my (naked) baby pictures with my friends.  Although the nickname stuck around longer than I would have liked, in the grand scheme of things, the humiliation was relatively short-lived. 

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Today, the internet has taken the embarrassment-potential, and the shelf-life of that humiliation to a whole new level for our children.  Now, every potty-training accident is reported in real-time.  (I’ve even seen some moms live-blog their child’s potty-training escapades!!)  Every disobedient act is broadcast.  Every teenage crush, romance, and break-up is documented.  And, the naked baby pictures?  The world has now been invited to view every goofy and embarrassing photo in your collection.

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Beyond the embarrassment factor, sometimes, I just have to cringe when I read what moms write about their kids.  Because, some comments reveal more than just “real-life” parenting moments and missteps.  They reveal a consistently discontent, frustrated, complaining spirit that, honestly, leaves me wondering if this mom even likes her children…let alone thinks of them as a blessing or a reward!

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Some kids may still be young enough for mom to “get away” with this.  But…does that make it right?

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My daughter is only in the beginning stages of learning to read.  She is still a long way from entering the online world.  But, sometimes I do wonder what she would think if she could read my status updates on a regular basis.

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Would she be unduly humiliated by information that I have shared about her – her personality, her character, her behavior, her mistakes?  When I complain about how boring, how difficult, how unfulfilling, it is to be a mom, should she conclude that she is a burden, an inconvenience, a hindrance?  Is she free to share her heart – struggles, concerns, and joys – with me?  Or, should she worry that whatever she says or does is fair-game, and may very well end up as blog fodder?  And, not to pick on the pastor’s wives (again), but if your kids already have to wonder whether or not they are going be next week’s sermon illustration, shouldn’t we, as their moms, give them a little break in our online world?

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One fact that these hastily typed statuses and tweets often overlook: Children grow up.  Quickly.  They grow out of “phases.”  The “terrible two’s” don’t last forever.  But, apparently, tweets do.  Now, every snarky comment, every cutting remark, every negative or discouraging observation, is being saved for posterity. 

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I lived through the embarrassment of having my naked baby pictures shared with my friends.  And, mercifully, most have forgotten about it. 

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Will our children have the same opportunity?

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“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” ~Ephesians 3:4

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Filed under Biblical Womanhood, Life in Ministry, Mommyhood

I’ve Got Sunshine…

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Filed under Hannah Elisabeth, Mommyhood, Wordless Wednesdays

Wise Words for Parents

“You cannot control your children, you say.  Then the Lord have mercy on you!  It is your business to do it, and you must do it, or else you will soon find they will control you.  No one knows what judgment will come from God upon those who allow sin in children to go unrebuked.”

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~Charles Spurgeon

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Filed under Mommyhood

A Very Merry 5th Birthday Party

We turned our home into “Wonderland” for Hannah’s 5th birthday party!

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Admittedly, we mixed themes a bit…The table was a combination of the “Mad Hatter’s Tea Party” and “Painting the Roses Red”.  The cake was (supposed to be) the White Rabbit’s pocket watch.

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Our craft idea came from the “Golden Afternoon” scene…Each of the girls made flower hair accessories!

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Hannah’s wonderful daddy used his artistic ability to create our game: “Pin-the-Smile-on-the-Cheshire-Cat!”

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Hannah invited several friends from church and Cubbies to help celebrate!
 We are so thankful that the Lord has blessed her with such sweet friends!

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Filed under Hannah Elisabeth, Mommyhood, Traditions & Celebrations

On Loan

My mom used to listen to Rush Limbaugh quite regularly when I was growing up.  And, my sister and I were often a captive audience, as we rode in the car, or cleaned house while his program was on.  He used to start out his segments (and, I don’t know, maybe he still does) by describing himself as having “talent on loan from God.”  Sometimes, I wonder if he knew just how accurate that statement was.  Not necessarily as a commentary on his talent, simply the statement itself.  The recognition that whatever talent or gifts that he – or anyone – has truly are on loan from God.

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All we have has been given to us by God.  But, in the giving, ownership has not been transferred.  Our words, our homes, our children, our time, our possessions – are all given to us from the hand of God.  But, these things do not, in actuality, belong to us.  They are, as it were, on loan – from God.  We are simply stewards, charged with caring for His possessions until the time comes for us to offer them back to Him as an act of sacrificial worship. 

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Samuel was the much-longed for answer to Hannah’s prayers.  And, yet from the moment he was born – perhaps the moment he was conceived – she understood something most of us miss.  Samuel was not hers.  He belonged to God.  She was simply the steward, the caretaker of God’s precious child.  And, in obedience to the vow she had made, she willingly gave Samuel back to his rightful owner.  Like Samuel, our children are not really ours.

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“She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly. And she vowed a vow and said, ‘O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life….And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, ‘I have asked for him from the Lord…  For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.’” ~1 Samuel 1:10; 20; 27-28 (ESV)

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When you borrow a book from a library, typically on the front or back cover, and often on a page in the middle of the book, is stamped the name of the library.  This inscription helps to ensure that the book will be returned to its rightful owner, and not added into to your personal collection. 

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In the same way, our children bear an inscription declaring their rightful owner…and the name on that inscription is not mine.  It is not my husband’s. 

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It is God’s.  She is God’s.  She is not mine.

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We, as parents, are only stewards.  And, someday, how we handle that responsibility of stewardship will be called into account.

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When we look at our children, we need to see them, not only for who they are, but for whose they are.  They are only on loan to us.

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The magnitude of that truth should not be lost on any of us.  It should shape every single choice and decision we make – in parenting, in discipleship, in education, in discipline….

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To whom do your children belong?  Do you need to reevaluate certain choices, or areas of your life, in light of the truth that your children are not yours, but are, in fact, “on loan from God”?

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Filed under Mommyhood, Thinking Biblically