How Can We Love Them in the Moments We Really Want to Strangle Them?

6397Last night was sucky. The cherubs were in prime summer agitation mode. They have been home too much, around each other too much and just off schedule all together. They were bickering, nitpicking and just being all round rotten. One is passive aggressive, one is aggresive aggresive and the other two do a variation. I had reached my limit.

When I reach my limit I usually do this thing where I feel that since I have been patient enough I now am justified to let loose. Honestly, it always made me feel better to yell. I come from a long line of yellers. It is a comfort zone thing. I am making progress on breaking that pattern but every once in a while….

Anyway, as I lie there in bed fuming, getting more and more irritated I prayed. This is my favorite prayer for these times. It goes something like this, “Dear God, I would like to beat all my cherubs right now. I am really mad and fed up and frankly I do not like them at this moment. Please help me to love them the way they need to be loved right now”

The end part of this prayer always keeps me from jumping over the ledge. It gives me perspective that this is temporary and that my cherubs need something specific.

I take a deep breath and go into the living room. I, relatively calmly, ask them to separate and leave each other alone. They argue, they defend their positions, but I am silent. (Silence and prayer are the two most powerful parenting tools around.) This is followed with some hugs and more of me insisting they leave each other alone. It is truly amazing to watch. When I yell and get in the mix it turns into this ridiculous moment of explosion and strife but when I am silent and hug the situation just fizzles. Don’t stoke the fire mommas. Let it die.

I may not get the initial satisfaction I get when I yell, but this ends up being so much more peaceful and effective.

I figure God is always loving us the way we need, even when we act up, so I should try and extend that same love to my family.

Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

 

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Mother Earth Four Seasons of Mother Earth: Summer 2015

11737925_10153400271499098_4367294883785814757_nMother Earth Brewery has done it again. Their Summer Season release: Bourbon barrel-aged Tripel with sweet orange peel and hopped with Mosaic.

This Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel coming in at 10.2% is affectionately known as “Bouyah!” This Belgian Ale is a blend of rested barrels that spent between 6 and 8 months maturing in Buffalo Trace & Four Roses Barrels. It is nicely balanced and should mature beautifully.

The flavor – Apricot, Orange, Bourbon and that lovely Mosaic hop flavor

Style – Tripel

Scent –Fruity, boozy and a little pine. Very pleasant on the nose

Pour-  Medium pretty amber with a creamy white head

Body – Sweet body, smooth and not sticky

ABV – 10.2%

Finish – Creamy, slightly bitter, not much alcohol on the back end

Cheese Pairing –Triple Creme Brie would be DELISH (add some prosciutto)

Food  Anything with prominent basil flavor. A nice peach cobbler would be great for dessert

Side note: I totally love their artwork

4 out of 5 stars

4 out  of 5

Nerf Bullets and Other Things I Miss

download (1)Yesterday I passed a home that had about 100 Nerf bullets lying around the yard. A veritable shrine of harmless shrapnel left behind from an afternoon of fun by some little family. It made me sigh as I realized how much I missed seeing Nerf bullets spew from every crevice in my house. When the cherubs were little it used to drive me crazy. Everywhere I looked I would see Nerf bullets, legos, super hero action figures and pellets rolling around. I used to cajole, beg and nag them to pick them up. I even provided color coded buckets. They would comply to the best of their 6 & 8 year old ability. But let’s face it they had the attention span of a gnat. There was still stuff everywhere. We would sit on the couch and get a little batman hand in an uncomfortable place or step on a lego on the way to the bathroom

It got me thinking of all the things that used to irritate me. In retrospect they were really precious fleeting moments. I wish I could have appreciated them at the time.

That is the funny thing about parenting. Almost every moment is precious, you just don’t know it until it is gone.

Below is my list of some things I wish I could have as a do over;

  • One of my cherubs could not fall asleep unless I rubbed their back. I just wanted to go to bed. Exhausted I would fall asleep too. But 9 out of 10 times I would wake up later with a sweet little chubby arm around my neck.
  • GHMILY_homepage_05_fullpageReading “Guess How Much I Love You”? 5 times in a row every night.

Now I get teary every time I look at that dusty book on my shelf and realize no one wants me to read it to them.

  • Brushing their teeth – By the time I wrangled them to the bathroom and had them sit still for 2 minutes I was tuckered out. But my memory is of how sweet their little faces were looking up with such trust.
  • Baths seemed like such a mess at the time, especially when 2 or 3 of them were in the tub together. Actually it was such a sweet time of laughter. The mess seems insignificant now.
  • Playing games in the car or in a restaurant. At the time I just wanted a little peace and quiet.I did not want to play I Spy again. Now I have plenty of peace and quiet. I am not complaining. I appreciate this time but I really wish I had just enjoyed a few more games instead of powering through them to keep everyone quiet.
  • “Mom come in the pool, please mom, it isn’t very cold. Mom get in the pool”  30 times over and over. – for the love all I wanted to do was read a magazine and make sure everyone was safe. Now they drive off to the pool or the beach and give me a hug goodbye. I would love to soak in how tickled they would get when I actually got in the pool.
  • Santa exposed – I have to be honest the first year cherub #3 grew out of Santa was pretty sweet. No more evading the “Is Santa real”? question. It took a ton of pressure off. I wasn’t secretly buying and hiding gifts weeks before Christmas. I didn’t have to sneak home on my lunch break to wrap them. I didn’t have to write the letter of thanks for the cookies in a false writing to throw them off the scent. It was a super easy Christmas. That lasted about a minute and then I realized that it had changed forever. It isn’t a bad change but it is different and it will never be that way again.
  • Little people crawling into bed in the wee hours. Sure it meant an occasional foot in the face or slap upside the head in the middle of the night but it also meant smelling their sweet little toddler smells and kissing their hands that still hadn’t formed knuckles. Now they don’t smell very sweet and they have giant hands with knuckles.
  • 81KLgGUhNbL._SL1500_Those noisy toys. It is not that I miss the noise. I am actually glad that is over, but I miss their delight in playing with them and watching their little chubby legs waddle around pushing or pulling whatever it was. Now it is earplugs in, tuned into technology or studying for school. I miss playtime.

 

. What about you? When you look back what do you want to remember? Think about what bugs you now and project out 10 years when your little cherubs are driving off into the sunset on whatever adventure they are going to without you.

You will have lots of time to cook, keep the house clean, exercise and all that stuff that seems important now and you may realize it was never important at all.

 

 

For the Love….. I am so tired of hearing myself complain

8263543900_d3bc61849e_bAs many of you know I use my walks  to spend QT with God. I go technology free and trudge up those hills. I try to pray and talk to God the entire time (albeit my mind wanders to my shopping lists, to do lists etc.) but I reign it back to prayer. I have this visual of Jesus and me walking around hand in hand or sometimes he has his arm around me.

It is by far the most centering time of my week.

Well last week during my QT with God  I was very frustrated with where I am in my faith walk. I was frustrated by what a crappy wife and cranky mom I have been lately, I was frustrated that I pray for opportunities to serve and when they turn messy I get exasperated and burnt out. I was frustrated by our finances, our car… you  name it.

I basically spent my entire walk complaining and moaning. I even went as far as to complain that I was complaining.

Poor God, If I get tired of hearing me, He must really get tired of me. I picture Him deep sighing and then settling in for our hour walk.

 

I am not a patient person. I want to be Godly now. I want to walk around exuding this light that points people to God. I want to serve selflessly and never get tired or overwhelmed. I want to speak with only kindness and understanding. I want to spew pearls of wisdom from my mouth that point people to God. I want to happily turn the other check 70 times instead of begrudgingly turning it once. I want to appreciate my lame car and all my blessings instead of not being satisfied with the abundance I surrounded by.

During my spiral I had this little quiet thought pop in my head. “Look how far you have come” “You just have to be better today than you were yesterday”

It was such a relief.

I took a deep breath.

It was nice perspective. Thanks God

It is a manageable goal.  Each day I just need to try to be better than yesterday. When I see my own cherubs trying to be better there is nothing that gives me greater joy. I feel like that is how God must feel when he sees us really trying. Even if we falter, as long as we pick ourselves up and power forward.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.