Tuesday, November 26, 2013

No Longer Being the Perfect Mom


Saturday morning, at Hearts at Home, started with speaker Jill Savage. Besides being a mom to five and grandmother to three, she is an author, speaker, and founder of Hearts at Home.

I had the opportunity several months ago to read Jill's book No More Perfect Moms. It isn't a book where you will learn so many news things, but instead you'll finish reading saying "I know that, but why do I keep forgetting?" You'll want to reread and remind yourself there are no perfect moms.

In her keynote speech she asked us 4 questions:
  1. What if I gave myself and others a chance to fail and make mistakes?
  2. What if I actually had realistic expecations of myself and others?
  3. What if I took off my mask and was honest with others?
  4. What if I replaced being perfect with being perfected?
Failure is something I struggle with daily. I feel like I have to always prove to myself and others I am a good mom, that I can do it. I have always struggled with the fear of failure and because of that I always second guess myself and my ability. Giving myself a chance to fail and make mistakes, I believe, would relieve pressure I put on myself. 
Mistakes have the ability to make us better and smarter. A child learns not to touch a hot stove by touching it one day when mom isn't looking. Your child gains wisdom through their mistake. Is it failure on our part? Did we not spend enough time telling them not to touch? 

Our expectations of our child is to be the perfect child and always listen to mom. Do you know any child who listens to authority all the time? If we change the expectations our children from always being perfect to they will fail, our expectations for ourselves start to match the reality of parenthood. We do need to expect our kids to listen and obey, but also that they will fail. 
When we start looking at our life as messy, so far from perfect, and that there will be times that we fail, our perspective starts changing. We begin to see our ministry as moms. We are in the ministry of being available. Our mission is to take time to look and listen to our children, guide them in decision making, and be there for them when they make their mistakes in life. 

Other moms are struggling just like you. Unfortunately, we moms tend to pretend everything is fine. We want to brag about the good stuff and bury the negative. Instead of talking things out with peers we hide behind our masks. If one person starts taking off their mask and being real, others will start to follow and then we moms will no longer feel alone.
Why do we wear masks? Three simple reasons: control, compare, and criticize. I have really started to see how we do this in our everyday life. Everyone else seems to have it more together then us. Looking around our neighborhood it would be so easy to fall into the trap of Keeping up with the Jones's. What we see on the outside doesn't tell the whole story. Maybe our neighbors are in massive debt and facing foreclosure, but don't want to give up that nice big house and brand new cars. They could be considering divorce yet appear to be the perfect couple. Mom may seem like the perfect soccer mom, involved in everything but on antidepressants and feeling very depressed and alone. Our masks tell others only what we want them to see. If we are all wearing masks how will we ever know what our real story is?

We know we aren't perfect and never will be, so why not let God work in our lives by perfecting us. Jill shared Isaiah 64:8 "Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand." I love this verse because it gives us a great image of what could be. I am not an artist and have worked with clay a few times. If I sat down to make a beautiful vase it would look like an strange lump of clay, but if I let a potter step in a mold the clay what will it look like? Our lives are the same way. When we try to control everything, it turns into a huge mess. When we step back and say, "God mold today into a mom and wife you desire me to be," no longer are you relying on yourself alone. What beautiful creation could God create if we stepped back and let Him control instead? 

That night Jill asked an additional question: What if we stopped the mommy wars? I have been fortunate to be in a place where I don't see this as much. We are all moms and struggle with similar issues. Instead of tearing each other down we need to work on building each other up. Our culture does too much tearing down moms already that moms need to step up and be supportive of each other. 
Knock It Off Moms

Monday, November 25, 2013

Weekly Goals

I haven't been doing very well with my goals the last few weeks but I am giving myself a huge break on that. I was sick two weeks ago and then spent all last week trying to get caught up and get my strength back.

This week my goals are pretty simple:

For me and my family:
  • We want to make sure that our devotions are done everyday and we are spending time praying together
  • Since it is a holiday we want to spend time enjoying our extended family
For me:
  • Not worry about the holiday and making sure everything is perfect. 
  • Start packing Wednesday night to take some of the pressure off packing Thursday and Friday morning.
Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

How To Stay Organized With All Those Kids Clothes

With three kids under the age of five, it has been a struggle to keep clothes under control. If you have young kids you know how fast they grow out of everything. This past year I have started being able to move clothes from one closet to another but with the extreme changes in weather Minnesota brings, not all clothes stay out all year long. 

If I don't stay on top of clothes this is what it looks like:

 For my older two, when they outgrow clothes or we change seasons I get out the tub for their sizes and put it right in the laundry room. As the clothes come out of the dryer or off the clothes line, they go right in the designated tub. I start doing this as the weather starts changing. After a few weeks almost all the clothes are put away.  

I have also learned that the best time to change sizes are when the seasons change. Since my oldest was two she has been sizing up as we enter summer. I have the clothes stored in their rooms and under their beds for the next change of sizes. I can do this a month or two before size changes allowing me to better see what the needs might be for the next size of clothes.

For my youngest, I do something similar. The main difference being that her clothes will be gotten rid of in the near future. 

This fall I had my first garage sale. I've explored other options but with all the clothes I have currently to sell, a garage sale was the best option (it also forces me to go through the house and grab things we don't need). 

It can be time consuming to price everything and that is why many chose not have one. Since everything up to 18 months is already priced and in tubs, most of the work is done already.

As my youngest out grows her clothes I take an evening and sort through them. Soak some that have stains, throw away some that are in horrible shape, and grab a few items that I love and want to hand down to my future nieces. Then I start pricing clothes that are left. There are usually one to two tubs per size, so it takes about 30 minutes if I'm not interrupted.

Our town does two city wide garage sales, one in May and the other in September. My goal is to have two a year. I know there will always be things to sell for the next several years. With everything priced ahead of time, it will take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to set up my sale.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Perfect Mom?


 This past weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to attend Hearts at Home in Rochester, MN. This was my first time attending and I came away from it feeling refreshed and better prepared to be a better mom. 

The theme this year was No More Perfect Moms. What a great theme. We as moms tend to have the idea that we can be a perfect mom. Then the first child is born and reality hits. Perfection is only achieved by Jesus Christ. Moms we will never be perfect, we will always make mistakes. 

The weekend started Friday night with Moms Night Out. Meredith Andrews provided the music for the weekend. It was a wonderful experience hearing over 2,000 soprano and alto voices worshiping together. Our entertainment for the evening was Anita Renfroe. She is a Christian comedian that offers some unusual insight into women and moms along with a few pop culture parodies. If you need a laugh today check out the links below.


Over the next few weeks I want to share with you what I have taken away from the Keynote speakers and the 4 sessions I attended. I hope you will enjoy and take away some of the insights I have.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Weekly Goals

This Weeks goals:


  • Exercise 5 times this week
  • Devotion daily 
  • One new recipe, sewing pattern, or craft 
  • Write one blog post
  • 3 days of preschool with the girls
  • Nightly family devotion
Around the house:
  • Complete my weekly cleaning list
  • Leave the kitchen clean every night
  • Have the girls do one chore every day

Friday, November 1, 2013

Why I Choose to Homeschool?

The past month or so I have come to the conclusion that I need to write down the reasons why I want to home school my children. My husband and I have agreed to home school at least through Kindergarten and there always seem to be someone who wants to know why.

I've been in Kindergarten classrooms before and know that my kids don't need to be in a glorified daycare. The teachers are wonderful but unfortunately since it's now a full day, there are kids that shouldn't be there but are because parents don't have to pay daycare costs.

After Kindergarten we will see where the Lord leads us. One thing I do know is that even if my kids are in school, I will be home when they leave for school and when they come home.

  1. Cost: Preschool in our district costs $80 a month. Starting this year and for the two years there would be two in preschool at the same time.The total cost for preschool would be almost $6,000 for all three years.
  2. Flexibility: My husband is unemployed for four months of the year. He finds odd jobs that friends and family need done during the winter. Where most families have their vacations in the summer, we have ours in the winter. Homeschooling gives us a flexibility to spend more time with Dad when he's around and home school when he is working.

  3. Moments: I love teaching. I went to school to become a teacher. I love seeing a child finally understand something. I love watching a child work hard and succeed. I love helping kids. I love their endless questions. There are no kids I love teaching more then my children. If my kids were in school, someone else would get to have those moments that I want with my children.
  4. Influence: I won't put my kids in a "bubble" as much as I'd really like to. When kids are in school for 8 hours and are surround by positive and negative influences, will I be able to influence them in a positive way? Getting home after work, making supper, helping with homework, light house keeping, and bed time, where do I get the opportunity to make sure they are being positively influenced to become someone who loves God and others.
  5. Calling: I feel that God is calling me to do this. God has given me three beautiful daughters to raise. Homeschooling feels so right for me right now. I don't know when God will call me to do something different but I am trusting Him to lead our family in the right direction.

My husband and I are choosing this path for our family. We know many families who send their kids to public school, there are many that go to private and still many who home school. The only right decision is the one God is calling you to. This is a sacrifice of my time and ability to work outside the home, but I know God rains down blessings when we follow His plans for us.