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Thursday, December 12, 2013

It's the Little Things

Sometimes the "small" gifts can be the greatest gifts.  I've already shared a few ways I feel doing small or simple things can really make a huge impact in a mother's life.  

This week, God has done several things - small things I guess you might say - to strengthen my faith in Him and His goodness - and I'm so very thankful.  They may seem little or not important.  But to me - they're big.  

I've been looking on Craigslist for Legos for my oldest, who is four.  She loves to build with the blocks she currently has but they're larger and only one size so her creativity is a bit more limited.  And I had no idea before but Legos are expensive!  

Enter Goodwill.  The exact same tub of PINK Legos I had been searching for - $6!  I frequent this Goodwill quite often and have never, ever seen Legos.  Plus I went in the evening so I'm assuming they must have just put these out right before I walked in the store because surely they would't have lasted very long on the shelves.

Ri is gonna LOVE these!
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! - Matt 7:11

I also found some more containers for my girls' lunches (I try to pack them ahead of time - saves my sanity at lunch time).  

I had two and lost the top to one.  This was absolutely driving me crazy to have a container with no lid.  Then a friend had a stray top that fit mine - how perfect!  But the next day, my two year old broke the container.  

But that same night at Goodwill…found two of the exact same container for $1 in great condition. And actually, I like these better than the ones we had before.  I was upset about losing the ones I had but God gave us an upgrade. :)


While at Goodwill I was looking for some clothes for myself.  I very rarely buy anything for myself, let alone clothes.  And that's not to brag - it's just honestly because I don't think about it.  I'm always drawn to find the best clearance deals on kids toys and shoes and clothes.  And then I'm worn out from deal-finding.  Plus clothes shopping for myself isn't really very fun right now anyway.

I found a couple of shirts at Goodwill.  But honestly, I really needed pants.  And I LOATHE pant shopping; especially now.  I'm not back in all of my regular pants so I had been rotating between two different pairs.  

So yesterday I was at my neighbor's house and she remembered someone gave her some clothes but they didn't fit her.  She gave them to me to take home to try.  

And they were just. my. size.  

Plus, a couple of the pants were a short length (which I need).  On top of that, I got a cute extra purse that I had been wanting but couldn't bring myself to buy another one.  


Lastly, this past weekend, I had gotten a few shirts at Target without trying them on.  When I got home, they were definitely too tight…discouraging to say the least.  I mean, they looked huge when I held them up!  Let's just blame it on nursing for the time being ok?  

So anyway, I ended up returning them to a different Target store and they had the SAME shirts on clearance for $3 - that's cheaper than a used shirt at Goodwill!  Plus I got a pretty fantastic Captain America shirt because, well, it fit and was also $3.  


Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.  - Luke 12:7
Sometimes I don't feel like all my work to save money and get the best deals is worth it.  And I obviously have to use discernment in it all, but this week, I just felt like the Lord was saying "Hey, I know you try so hard to be a good steward of what you're given.  And sometimes it doesn't work out how you hoped.  But I really am in control.  And all you can do is your best.  So here ya go.  Here are a few things I picked out just for you."

Thanks be to Him!  He has encouraged my heart this week and proven to me that He loves His children - even in the "small" areas.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Pressure

These three girls - man do I love them!  I never would have thought the Lord would have given me a house full of girls!!!  I'm just not the girliest person and I've never considered myself the greatest homemaker.  

I've shared with a few friends the pressure I feel as a mom to three girls.  I'm the example to them of what a godly woman is.  How I treat my husband, their father…how I care for my home…nourish my family…control my emotions (let's face it, girls struggle a lot more in this area). 

Many times I feel like I'm failing them.

Will they become nurturing to their families? Emotionally and spiritually?

Will they have the skills to prepare meals for themselves and their (hopefully future) families?

 Will they be educated to face our very confusing and ever-changing world?

Will they know how to effectively and efficiently run a household?


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Will they even desire to have families and children of their own?  Will they see children as blessings?

Will they feel brave enough to try new things and approach situations that seem bigger than them because their God is bigger than anything?

Will they be able to develop relationships with others - sincere and loving relationships that will encourage their souls?  

I know a lot of lessons will also come from their daddy.  But because they are girls and will eventually be women, a lot of what they are learning for their future is going to come directly from me.  And I can tell them all day and night what they should do.  But for me to actually live it out in front of them; well, that's just a bit harder. And it takes a bit more work.  

So I feel a lot of pressure not just because I am an example to my kids but because I'm an example to my kids who will grow up to be women.  And I desire so much for them!

I know I will fail.  I already have.  And where I fail the Lord's grace prevails!  But I still can't help but feel that extra pressure as a mom to three girls.  

Recently, the book we are reading in my Bible study encouraged my heart in this area (it's called Ezer - good read and highly recommended!).  I'm realizing that I struggle with this fear and desire to control.  

****CLICK ON PICTURE TO ENLARGE****


I love to strive.  My pride desires to "look good".  I desire perfection from myself as well as from my children.  But this is unrealistic on this side of heaven.


This is SO me - I don't want to ever mess up.  And while desiring to do what is right is a good thing, God has shown me that the root behind it is usually my pride and not my desire to please and honor Him.  


Through this, the Lord is showing me that my "hard work" is strangling me.  It's putting this pressure on me that's not necessary.  I do have a responsibility to my girls.  I am to present to them the best I know how the way to live as a godly woman of God.  But I cannot beat myself up every time I mess up.  I can't let my pride be the reason I'm striving to do right.  Because if my heart's desire is to be pleasing to the Lord, I shouldn't feel pressure to be perfect.  Because I will mess up.  And I can show my girls Christ even in those failures.  


My prayer is that I will be able to seek God continually as I parent my girls.  I would love nothing more than to see them come to know Him as their Savior - and to be well-rounded citizens, of course. 

And now, on a lighter note…

I just love this picture.  :)