Friday, March 23, 2012

I WILL Be the Parent God Wants Me to Be

As I sit down this evening, for what feels like the first time all day, my thoughts are about what makes me a good mother. Is it that I clothe and bathe my child, or perhaps that I look out for him to make sure no harm comes to him? Is it that I pray for him?...and is that enough? Am I even a good mother?

Before I became pregnant with Malachi, I had some very specific ideas about what "being a good parent" meant. I swore my child would never eat certain things, or that they would never fall down the stairs, or that they would NEVER throw a fit. Now looking at the monitor beside me where I I can see my little 17 month old boy snuggled up in blankets, I feel so foolish, and so humbled. And a quick side, I would like to apologize to everyone out there, random people at the grocery store, or someone I know, who I ever judged for not being a "good parent". The Lord must be teaching me something, because everything I thought I would have in hand with my child, I now struggle with daily.

When I look at my little boy, I see so much of myself. How many times have I run from something God has requested of me? How many times have I pitied myself for the "huge sacrifice" God was asking of me. And how many times have I complied, but complained. How many times do I not sincerely believe that God cared about my little situation because "how could he let this happen if He really saw me down here?" Something I'm learning about through all of this is how incredible God's love is. How patient He is. How many times have I been short with Malachi and struggled to be patient with him. Yet, my offenses, which were greater, God has just forgiven. I always feel like I don't deserve good things from God, that I'm not worthy of His love. But something I'm learning is that God doesn't have to give us good things in this life. We can still successfully live a happy Christian life without any of those things we just "want". -But God delights to give us good things. That right there is actually hard for me to believe, but it's true. It's so easy for me to believe that no one would really love me if they saw all my icky bits, much less want good things for me. But how many times has God just popped in with just a little "gesture" to just remind me that he loves me and wants me to be happy? I realize that God doesn't just give us every little whim we think we want. Just like I am wiser then Malachi and I can see that it's not good for him to have an extra piece of cake or that piece of hard candy he's just dying for. God see's whats best for me. But how happy I am in the times when I can give Malachi something that makes his little heart so happy. And I am filled with joy because of his joy. No matter how many times I realize the magnitude of God's love, sometimes it still sneaks up and whacks me over the head. I remember one time, a couple years ago, I was at work and I was feeling so burdened about a financial need. I prayed and asked God to please just let me know that He even saw me, much less cared about my needs. Just a few minutes later a random lady came up to me and said, "I just want you to know that I care about you. You are a great employee and you always make my shopping experience better because you're here.", and she handed me a $20. I admit it, I balled like a baby. It was like God hit me in the face and said "you don't think I'm listening? I know when you really need something, and I've got it covered." All that being said, that doesn't mean I don't still struggle with this same stuff. But I'm getting better. :)

Well enough of that rabbit trail. So often it is hard for me to put my head knowledge into action. But that is what I am working on with disciplining Malachi. There are so many days that I just wanna have a break down and not have to deal with the situations that arise. But it is my aim, with God's help, to parent intentionally. It's not enough to just "do the best I can". I have to do the best I can with God's help. That's a totally different thing. I am responsible for a soul. A never dying, everlasting soul. The soul of someone I care about more then most anyone. It is my intention to see him in Heaven. There are so many times I just wanna let "this one time" slide, but if I do, then all the good I've done will mean nothing. All the battles I've won, all for no reason. I must win, I must lovingly show him the way to Jesus. Because if he can't submit to me, how can he submit to God? This also means that I have to live the same principles I'm teaching my son. I have to be kind, and not complain. I have to be respectful and patient. I have to truly love those around me, and not always "win". So it is my goal to keep fighting this good fight. Public shrieking sessions, fits of anger, getting kicked by my toddler, yes that has all happened. But I will stand firm and discipline my son for his benefit, even when I can't seem to get off the couch. It is my duty. I will not give up! So if you see me in a store trying to wrangle what appears to be a little psychotic person, please know that I really am doing the best I can. And with God's help I am a good mother, and I intend to be a great one. Please pray for me. I need wisdom. Lots of it. And patience. Lots of that, too.

This whole thing started out as a pep talk to myself, but I hope that it serves as an encouragement to all you other moms out there. Goodness knows I draw encouragement from you all!

Ps 127:3-5
Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

Ps 78:5-7
He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which He commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget His deeds but would keep His commands.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Another great thing to do for a baby shower decoration is to make diaper wreaths. Very inexpensive to make and they are adorable! Not to mention the diapers are still usable after the shower! All you need is some scrapbook paper, clothes pins, and piece of foam board, a hot glue gun, and of course diapers!

So I recently had to do the decorations for a baby shower, and I was trying to come up with something creative and cost effective for the center pieces. I adore flower arrangements, but that can get pretty costly, especially this time of year. So I came up with "diaper flowers". We've all heard of diaper cakes, and we've seen the little baby socks and bibs done into flowers, but I had never seen diaper flower. So this is the finished product. It only cost me about $30 to make 108 flowers! And a huge plus, the lady I did the decorating for can use the diapers after the shower!