Thursday, April 17, 2014

being free and brave & a GIVEAWAY

I am 4 months into 2014 and I feel like I am making progress with my word for 2014. I wanted to be free in my relationship with Jesus, marriage, motherhood, friendships, blogger and myself. I will most a more detailed update in June (halfway through the year!) but for now I wanted to share with you one of my favorite quotes.

Take Chances. Make Mistakes. You have to fail in order to practice being brave. 
Mary Tyler Moore

This print is from MercyINK shop and it is by far one of my favorites! (Although it's hard to pick a favorite from her shop, I mean check out this one and this one!

Lauren has the sweetest heart (check out her blog here) and she also is working on bringing home their little girl from Democratic Republic of Congo! So a portion of all the proceeds from the shop go to bringing her home. 

I decided to hang my print in our room next to my desk. It's a place I can see it when writing, near our big calendar where we put the boy's activities and ours and I LOVE it!! 

It is beautiful, inspirational (especially for my word of the year) and encouraging. I love passing it and when I sit down I love to look up at it. 

Mercy INK is a sweet shop and is owned and run by Lauren. A wife to Adrian and mom to 3 little ones at home. She blogs about inspiring ordinary women to follow Jesus, live brave, love well & change the world. 

Now for the giveaway! 
ONE lucky winner will win this print!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received this print from MercyINK shop in exchange for my honest review and these words are my own. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

6 tips to not feel defeated as a mom

Picking the clothes out each Saturday evening now the past two weekends for Ben because I can't seem to contain my excitement. Josh just smiles and shakes his head but he also knows how much this means to me.

My four year old is playing soccer or more he is learning how to play the game. The first game, 10 minutes in, he had tears streaming down his face because he didn't understand and said he didn't like soccer. Josh was ready to go. Yet when you are the mama you know. You know when you need to push your child a little bit. 

We gave him a moment to rest, take a drink, some hugs and quiet talks. Then I pushed him to go back out and try, nice but stern, because I knew. I knew he would love it. Guess what? He can't stop talking about catching the tail (the flag) and being a superhero as they call it while fixing the cones when other knock them down. 

He has been twice now and he loves it. Yet, 10 minutes into it the first time he was ready to quit, give up. Thinking about it the past few days it reminds me of life. You push, pull, drag, stomp and suddenly with your hands in curled up fists, tears about to come you want to give up. 

But God. He is there. Saying it is an endurance race, not a quick jog through life. You can feel defeated on those days when milk has spilled twenty million times on the table, floor, etc. You can feel defeated when you can't seem to have a moments peace. But God is there. Saying to run with endurance. Run with faith not with sight. 

Take a deep breathe. 
Realize this age is such a short amount of time you have to actually be with them and them wanting to be with you. You are shaping hearts, not personalities. Just keep saying that. 

Step outside and take the littles for a walk to explore. 
Go exploring! Find some butterflies, birds, worms, fish, etc. Anything! Try to see if they can draw them or explain what letter they begin with. 

Turn on some music.
Turn on some praise music or turn on your Katy Perry radio and let them dance! The boys loved to dance to "Can't Hold Us". It's our go to song on tough days. 

Give them hugs. 
While Ian was sleeping the other day and Ben was quietly talking to me. I so desperately wanted to finish my book but I placed it to the side, looked at him and asked if he wanted a hug. He said yes and we just hugged and cuddled for 5 minutes. It was bliss, refreshing, encouraging to us both. Sometimes a hug will cure those defeated feelings, anger quietly creeping up to calm down and go away. 

Diffuse some oils.
We do this sometimes when it is becoming a rough day and I also will rub some lavender on the boys wrist and my own. Bring some calm into our home and hopefully rest.

Call or text a friend
Sometimes you need encouragement from other mamas in the trenches of motherhood too.

So I learned that day at soccer from my 4 year old that when I am wanting to give up and crying and saying please make it go away. You need to push because that is what He is telling you, He is encouraging you to push through with Him right there. Cheering you on. You can do this. Just breathe and plow through with grace friend, I am right beside you cheering you on also. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Surprised by Motherhood

I am celebrating the birth of this new book by one of my all time favorite bloggers- Lisa-Jo.  When I first heard about the book I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I kept checking my local bookstore and when they finally had it in stock, I grabbed a copy.

I always wanted to be a mom. Always. I grew up in foster care and was adopted at 10 so I have always had this fire burning inside of me to start anew and be a mom. Then when my mom (adopted but felt so much more like blood than anyone else) passed away after battling ovarian cancer for a year, I wanted to be a mom even more. I was 18 and she was gone.

I never knew how to braid my hair until this passed January. She always did it for me. I never thought to ask questions about motherhood and marriage. Although I did talk a lot about what my someday wedding would look like to my then boyfriend who I married nine months after she passed. When you are 18 and bracing yourself in the storm of your mom battling the hardest war of her life you don't think to ask the questions you will suddenly ponder so much when you get married and become a mom.

I felt that hole in my heart on my wedding day.. something was missing. I felt it when I had my first son and again when I had my second son. I feel it more it seems the older they get. Different events, stages in their lives and my own seem to trigger the hurt of her being gone.

I was surprised by motherhood with....

how quickly I could love another little boy when Ian (my second) was born
how many emotions well up inside of you when they place your newly born infant on your chest 
how hard motherhood can be, no one or anything can prepare you for it
the joys and irresistible happiness you feel each day you hear your littles call you "Mom" or "Mommy"
how much you hurt when they are hurt 

Who knew I would have two boys? I had always dreamed for a daughter, a girl so I could form a close bond just like the one I had with my Mom. But God knew exactly what I needed. I see bits and pieces of myself and my husband mixed up between the boys that I have truly been surprised by how motherhood has stretched me, molded me and carried me through so much in the past 4 and half years since I first laid eyes on Benjamin.

As Lisa-Jo says in her book

Becoming a parent is a lot like breaking up with yourself. 

I have grown up so much since I was a brand new 20 year old Mom learning how to feed my son, train him to sleep well through the night and fit back into my pre pregnancy jeans all at the same time.

Another quote I love in the book is

Losing a Mother doesn't happen in a moment, it takes years to appreciate the impact of what is gone. 

It rocked my world when I lost her but over these past almost 7 years I have noticed even more of the impact it has taken on our lives since she is gone.

You ready to buy the book? I hope so because you will cry, laugh, smile and nod many times over throughout all the chapters.

What surprised you about motherhood? 

Check out this awesome contest!  a Rafflecopter giveaway