Sometimes God Yells Too. Loudly.

Sometimes God uses circumstances to speak. Sometimes He whispers. And sometimes He yells. Loudly. So this morning I had a conversation with God where he had to yell a little. Yell just enough to get my attention. And then discipline me with the same calm, reassuring, loving guidance that I hope to provide my own kids (but that’s a work in progress). He used a lesson about parenting my girls to teach me a lot about myself. My morning prayer started the same way that they all have for way too long. Me apologizing for the same things I have apologized for every morning for the last few weeks. Apologizing for saying I’m going to spend more time with Him and not doing it. Apologizing for saying I’m going to do things differently and then not doing them differently. Apologizing for not listening to things I know He has been trying to tell me. And this morning He got my attention. Loud and clear. “I’m tired of whispering so maybe if I yell you will listen this time. But I’m only going to yell long enough to get your attention. Now that you’re listening let’s talk.” So here’s what I learned from my conversation with my loving Father this morning. (If you haven’t read my post from yesterday you may want to read it first, as it has a lot to do with this one, and my journey towards being the best mom I can be.)

1. I get frustrated too. Just be patient. Your girls will learn eventually. And so will you. I’m still trying to teach you some of the same things I started teaching you 20 years ago.

So I’ve mentioned how frustrated I get with my two year old’s tantrums. But my five year old can be just as frustrating. Recently, we’ve been trying to teach her some of the same lessons. Over and over and over. We remind her about manners and attitude and compassion and empathy repeatedly. And she repeats the same mistakes over and over and over. And our conversation always goes something like this: “Abby, why did you do that? We have talked about how you should behave.” And her answer is always either “I just forgot” or “I can’t remember to do that”. And I always get exasperated with her and explain how I just reminded her a few minutes ago and you can’t possibly forget that fast. But this is what God said this morning:  She’s just like you. How many times have you apologized to Me for the same thing? And how many times have I gently reminded you and forgiven you for the same things? Over and over and over. Think about everything your girls are trying to learn. Be patient. As I am patient with you.

2. You don’t like it when I yell, neither do they.

So I have a problem with yelling. My husband is the calm and controlled parent. So sometimes I let him handle more of the discipline than I do. I know I will end up yelling. A lot. And my daughter is just like me. So we will both be yelling. And crying. But this is something I have prayed about a lot recently. For patience with my girls. And calmness. And the ability to control my tongue. But here is what He said this morning: Sometimes I whisper. I use subtle gentle ways to get your attention. Sometimes I have to yell to get your attention. Don’t you feel bad when I have to yell? Remember that your girls feel the same way. And that I don’t keep yelling, even when you don’t listen. Talk to your girls. Really listen to them. And just as I sent my Son to be a living example for you, be a living example for them. And for everyone else in your life.

3. No matter how many times you make the same mistake, I love you unconditionally. Just as you love your girls. Remember that. All the time.

Sometimes I can’t even imagine why my God would love me as much as He does. I mess up. A lot. But then He blessed with me with two wonderful daughters. And now I know. The love you have for your child is unlike any other. It’s the kind of love that causes you to cry before Kindergarten graduations (not ready for that tomorrow). That causes you to be fiercely protective and overly affectionate. The kind of love that makes up for sleepless nights and frustrating tantrums. The kind of love that allows you to forgive them for making the same mistakes over and over again. That causes you to find their faults cute or charming. The kind of love that would lead you to lay down your life for them if they were in danger. It’s an overwhelming, sometimes gut-wrenching, always rewarding, amazing love that is like no other. And that love pales in comparison to the way God loves us. Remember that. All the time.

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Terrific Terrible Twos

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My kids are five and two, so I don’t have experience yet with parenting and disciplining older children. I do work in a pediatric clinic where I work with parents on these tasks at all ages, and have done a lot of studying on various methods of parenting and disciplining. And I have come to the conclusion that there is no more frustrating task in life than parenting a 2 year old. Every age of childhood comes with its own challenges, and it definitely doesn’t get easier. But I think the absolutely most frustrating thing on earth is to try to reason with a 2 year old. Especially in public.

Here is a quick snapshot of our week:

Saturday and Sunday – Visiting family at the farm. Two year old plays hard without enough sleep. Two year old becomes excessively whiny and refuses to do anything that she is asked to do. Multiple tantrums which involve screaming and throwing herself on the ground, or curling up in a ball and refusing to move when told to. Screams and fights for 10 minutes to avoid getting in the bath, screams and fights for 10 minutes because she doesn’t want to get out of the bath. Screams for 20 minutes because she doesn’t want to go to sleep in her bed. Take her out of her bed to rock (since I am an understanding mom and know it is not her fault that she’s so tired), 5 minutes later she asks to be put back in her bed. Grandparents looking on with a smug smile, probably thinking “you deserve this for what you did to us as a child.”

Monday – Excellent day at daycare. Take her to kids night at Chick-Fil-A since she had no potty accidents all day. Continually stands up in high chair (we are back to the high chair because she won’t stay in the booth/chair). Finally, after much bargaining and screaming, eats 2 chicken nuggets and 2 fries so she can go to the playroom. Hides in corner of playroom and poops in her panties. Throws a screaming fit in the bathroom because I suggest throwing the poopy panties away. I leave the bathroom with poopy panties in my pocket, and a 2 year old who has stiffened her entire body as tight as possible. Carry the boardlike, screaming child to the table, grab my purse, tell my husband to let her sister play and we’ll see them at home. Meanwhile, everyone stares at the exasperated lady with the screaming child.

Tuesday – Dinner at our friends’ house. Everything is going great. Then she poops in the panties again (because the potty is “yucky”). Throws another fit about the panties. They go in the trash anyway. Refuses to leave. Refuses to get in the van.

Wednesday – First ever horrible drop-off at daycare. She loves daycare. Today she just wanted to “GO HOME!” Full out screaming as loud as she could fit. Had to drag her by her arm into the building and then lean on the door to keep her from escaping. Her favorite teachers try to reason with her. Ms. Twila ends up carrying the board-like child into the classroom and reassuring me that she will be fine (which I know she will). All other parents are staring at me.

Here is what I have concluded: Two year olds are just as frustrated as we are. That’s the whole problem. They get upset and don’t know how to handle it. We can try to teach them how to say “I’m angry or I’m frustrated” and how to control their emotions, but they just have to learn how to control it on their own. Don’t we all? A short few minutes in time out in her crib and she’s ready to apologize and is back to her normal self. The problem is all those fits that take place in public. Where you can’t just let them cry it out for a few minutes, because everyone else is trying to eat, or shop, or work. Where you are afraid to really discipline your child, because other people might judge you. You’ll be criticized if you yell. Criticized if you spank. Criticized if you put them in time out. But you’ll probably be criticized if you don’t do anything also. Parents of two year olds can’t win.

So, here is where you find comfort and hope. Not everyone is staring at you. At least a few people around you have a 2 year old or recently raised one. Those people are like me. They feel for you. They know exactly how embarrassed and frustrated you are. I often just smile and say a little prayer for these poor moms and dads cause I know how bad it is. For the rest of you: Don’t stare. If it’s been awhile since you had a two year old, try to remember that your little angel did the same thing at some point. They all do. If you haven’t had kids, you have no idea what living with a two year old is like. Even the best parents out there will have to suffer through at least a few months of these “terrible twos”. So cut them some slack.

The only advice I have is this: Cut yourself some slack. All two year olds are going to do it. Don’t give in to their demands. Leave if you have to leave. If you can’t leave, bribe them if you have to. It’s a lot less embarrassing for your two year old to throw a fit in public than your five year old. So deal with it now. Persevere. Continue teaching and disciplining even though it seems like it isn’t doing any good. Say a little prayer and ask God to provide you with love, and kindness, and patience. Or at least the ability not to cry in public. It’ll be over before you know it. And remember that there are thousands of moms and dads out there going through the same thing, may be even sitting at the table right next to you saying a little prayer for you.

P.S. – I actually kind of hate the term “terrible twos”. Yes, parenting a two year old can be crazy frustrating on a daily basis. But the two year old isn’t terrible. They are wonderful, beautiful, smart, funny, cuddly, terrific little kids who are just trying to find their independance and figure life out. Cut them some slack too.

Rain, Rain, Come and Stay

This afternoon after Maddy and I made a mad dash to the van in the rain, Maddy asked “Why is it raining?” Now, right now, this isn’t unusual. I hear the question “Why?” about 152 times a day. And my answer is usually just followed by another “Why?” But today was different. Today I told her that it was raining because God thought the flowers and trees needed more water to grow. And her answer this time was “Is that what happened to Daddy’s hair?” And I laughed out loud. And posted it on facebook. Maddy is always a little comedian, even when she doesn’t know it. She just made an observation, Daddy hadn’t cut his hair in awhile (since about the time he decided to grow out his beard, I blame Duck Dynasty).

But it was also different because it got me thinking. Ever have one of those days when God seems to use all kind of small things to get your attention? A conversation about rain with my daughter. Me getting way too frustrated about the fact that my umbrella wasn’t where I needed it to be. And this morning there was another conversation about water. As I walked into one of my patient’s rooms I overheard his conversation with his mom. They were in the room that has a mural of Noah’s Ark in it and his mom was explaining why there were two of each animal and why God sent the flood. All of these things had me thinking about water. We recently did a small group study written by our small group pastor Janice Wood entitled Elements, which looked at how God used each of the elements and how he was represented by them. So all this water got me thinking about what God was trying to say to me today.

There are numerous references to water in the Bible. Water gives and sustains life. Literally and figuratively. Water is used to represent cleansing of our lives and our souls. But the reference that God lead me to today is from the Old Testament. I don’t usually look to the Old Testament when I’m troubled, but I’ve been teaching it with our elementary kids at church. 1 Kings 8:35-36 says “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and when they pray toward this place and give praise to your name and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them, then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them the right way to live, and send rain on the land you gave your people for an inheritance.”

I’ve been in somewhat of a spiritual stalemate recently. Not really content with my relationship with God, but not really doing anything about it either. Sometimes I get so caught up in myself and my sin that I forget all I have to do is say “I’m sorry”. I let my humanity and my sin put a barrier between me and God. It’s not visible, and sometimes I don’t even realize it’s happening. But it’s there. And all I have to do is come before God and say “I’m sorry”. It’s that simple. Clean slate. Fresh start. But we get so caught up in our need to make amends, or prove ourselves to each other when we sin that we forget that with God it really is that simple. But I am revived by this verse. By the reminder that we all have the opportunity to repent and be renewed by God’s living water. By the hope and the joy that rain brings. God loves us. He provides for us. He cleanses us and makes us new. It kind of makes me want to run out and play in the rain just thinking about it.

Nurses, Teachers, and Blogs. Oh my!

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My facebook has blown up this week with posts about Nurses Week and Teachers Week. Not sure who decided that we should celebrate these in the same week, but the more I think about it the more it seems appropriate. I’ve been blessed to work in both roles. First as a pediatric nurse at a children’s hospital, then as a nursing professor in a BSN program and now as a pediatric nurse practitioner in a clinic. And I’ve learned that nurses and teachers possess a lot of the same qualities. Don’t get me wrong, they are two totally different jobs and require different skill sets. And I didn’t always feel this way. I remember when I was in college and lived in the dorm and my roommate and I HATED the education students on our floor. We would be studying for days on end with very little sleep in the hope of doing well on a physiology test or a microbiology test. We would drag our tired sleep deprived selves out of the room to go to class only to find a bunch of education majors in the hallway complaining about making up games and bulletin boards. “If I have to make one more bulletin board, I’ll just die” they would say. I think we might have helped them with that wish if we weren’t so tired.

All joking aside, I have the greatest respect for both nurses and teachers. It really drives me crazy some of the pictures and E-cards that I see on pinterest and facebook. “Those who can’t do, teach”. “Nurses are trained to save your butt, not kiss it.” “I do this for the money, said no teacher ever.” “I’m a nurse, not a waitress”. While I appreciate that sometimes we deal with the fact that our jobs are crazy hard, overwhelming, and exhausting by using humor, I think we do ourselves a real disservice by posting these things. We greatly lower that amount of respect and admiration for our professions by making ourselves look rude and obnoxious. Because in all honesty, we don’t do it for the money. Or the schedule. Or the fame. Or at least I hope we don’t. We do it because we love the job. We love making people feel better. Or smarter. Or healthier. Or successful.

Now that I have worked as both a nurse and a teacher and have lots of interaction with both I realize that there are quite a few similarities. It takes a special person to do these jobs. Nurses aren’t the only ones who get peed on, puked on, and pooped on. Talk to a preschool or kindergarten teacher sometime. Both jobs require a “stomach of steel”. More importantly both jobs require someone with a great deal of patience, dedication, and perseverance. Both jobs leave you feeling tired, overworked, and underappreciated. Both jobs require people who enjoy working with other people, care about impacting the lives and futures of others, and are willing to work hard every day. Both jobs (if done well) require people who are genuinely invested in the lives of their patients and students. People who care about making other people’s lives better. Individuals who are willing to give more than they receive.

I had a hard time when I was a nursing professor because so many people go into it for the wrong reasons. I had lots of students who were in nursing school because their parents told them to. Or they thought they could make a lot of money. Or they knew they would be able to get a job. I know education students who were doing it because they thought it would be easy or fun. So here is my shout out to all the nurses and teachers who do it because they love it. Because they love others. Because God called them to do it. Because it is their passion not their job.

Thank you Ms. Vogue and Ms. Fast for helping me develop a love for reading. Thank you Ms. Tudor for teaching me that math isn’t really awful. Thank Mr. Sallee for letting us dance in your classroom and have fun learning about things that were sometimes otherwise boring. Thank you Mr. Moberly for teaching me that history doesn’t have to be boring and for comparing me to Mr. Rogers in a recommendation letter (I will never forget that one). Thank you Ms. Clark and Ms. Mardon for my foundation in sciences that got me through those physiology and microbiology classes. Thank you Stacie Trent, Dee Verdecchia, Karen Howard and David Coffey for teaching me most of what I know about nursing and what an awesome nurse is. Thank you Dr. Bentley for getting me through pharmacology and Dr. Fister for helping me discover pediatric nursing. Thank you Dr. Slusher for teaching me how to teach in my MSN program. Thank you Tony Smith and Dr. Callie Shaffer for teaching me most of what I know about being a nurse practitioner. Thank you Ms. Kinzye for loving on my sweet Maddy, worrying about her when she’s not there, and helping potty train her. And last, but certainly not least, thank you Ms. Kitty for teaching my fantastic little 5 year old how to read, add, subtract, and for developing the foundation of her future education (teared up a little on that one).

A Picture in Time

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So last night I went on a little facebook rant because I was mad at my husband. And I really try not to do that. I hate when people air their dirty laundry on facebook. I thought it would be funny since everybody laughs at how many pictures I take and everyone knows that Matt doesn’t. But now I am just overwhelmed with husband bashing guilt. And with “why do I get so mad at my husband for not taking pictures guilt” and with “why was I mad that he got to spend the sparkly dollar when it was my idea” guilt.

I guess I should back up and start at the beginning. The tooth fairy brought Abby a glitter covered 5 dollar bill when she lost her first tooth in February. And she has held on to that money for over 2 months. A couple of weeks ago I asked why she didn’t buy something with it. I expected her to say she was saving it for something. It turns out she was afraid that she couldn’t spend it. We shop at self checkouts a lot because Abby likes to be a “checker outer”. It turns out that she was worried that the sparkly money wouldn’t go through the machine. I reminded her that we could buy something where we handed the money to a person and she was so excited! So we started planning what she might buy with the money.

Then last night after the girls are in bed and Matt and I are getting ready for bed, Matt tells me that he and Abby spent the sparkly 5 dollars at Chick Fil A for breakfast. When they were getting ready for school after Maddy and I had left she came up with the idea so he took her. He pulled up past the window so she could pay for her meal herself. And what did I do? I got mad. Instantly mad. Because he didn’t take a picture. Or at least that’s what I told myself. And we had a little spat about the fact that her spending that money was a special moment and I couldn’t believe that he didn’t take a picture and I totally missed it. And then I found myself mad about a lot of things. Why didn’t he realize it was a special moment? Why did he steal my moment? The tooth fairy sparkly money was my idea. Why am I mad about this one moment? He’s her dad he deserves to have some of the moments. It’s just a glitter covered bill. There will be plenty more moments. More firsts. More lasts. Why do I cry every time I miss a picture? Or a picture gets deleted? Or someone doesn’t take a picture?

Matt always tells me that I can’t even enjoy the moments because I’m too worried about taking pictures of everything we do. He says I miss what happens in the midst of the picture taking. And I always disagree. So I’ve though a lot about it overnight. And in the past. And I have a lot of reasons. I worked on a children’s cancer unit for years. I’m morbid. I worry about death. Will we have pictures and memories if one of us is gone? What about when the girls are older? Will I be able to tell their children about them? And here is the simple truth: I don’t remember things. I don’t remember anything about my high school graduation. I can’t picture the faces of half the people I went through nursing school with. I remember falling in love with Matt on a date at Silver Creek, but not the details of what happened while we were there. I can’t remember details of the cruise we went on for our first anniversary. And here’s the really painful part: I can’t remember the way Abby said “cuddlebug” when she was two. I know that I loved every moment of nursing my girls, but I can’t remember actually doing it. I can’t remember Abby’s little girl voice, the way it was before the tonsillectomy. I can’t remember their newborn baby smell. Or what Maddy’s third word was. I can remember the events of their past, but not their details. And for some reason this makes me very sad. So I take pictures. Lots of them. Pictures of everything. And I scrapbook them. Not just the big events. But all the little ones too. In the hopes that I don’t forget.

All of this craziness over a picture of my child buying chicken with a sparkly bill reminded of an awesome blog post I read about a year ago. Someone posted it on facebook and I happened to read it. The mom that writes this blog (Glennon Melton) was writing about some of these same feelings. About how everyone told her she should enjoy every moment because it would be gone before she knew it. And I loved her description of time. In ancient Greek there are 2 words for time: Chronos and Kairos. Chronos is the word for the chronological time. The way we mark of time in seconds, minutes, hours, days and years. My scrapbooks are a chronological account of our lives. And then there is Kairos time. It is defined as a period of crisis, a time in which something crucial might happen. In the New Testament it was used to define the time in which God acts. Since I have spent a lot of time studying nursing research I like the definition that said chronos time is quantitative and kairos time is qualitative. But Glennon Melton says it best: “Kairos is God’s time. It’s time outside of time. It’s metaphysical time. It’s those magical moments in which time stands still. I have a few of those moments each day. And I cherish them.”

And this is what I told myself a year ago that I would do. I would cherish these special moments with my children. Those moments when I think “Wow. This child is a true miracle sent to me from God. How did I get so lucky to have this time with her?” Those moments when Matt is doing something simple, like washing dishes or playing with the girls and I think “How did we get here. This life we live is amazing. I am so lucky”. The moments when Maddy is getting ready for bed and wants to be my “baby duckie” while I sing to her. When Abby has just gotten out of bed and wants to come hide under our covers for a few more minutes. And I don’t think to take pictures of these special kairos moments. I get so wrapped up in the milestone moments that I forget about the more special kairos moments. The moments when Matt is talking and I don’t even hear what he says because I am just in awe of our love. The moments when the girls are whining or crying but I don’t notice because all I see is a new freckle or the way the color of their hair has changed. The moments when all four of us are having a giant tickle fight on the king size bed.

So, I’m not going to kid myself here. I’m not going to stop taking pictures. I love our memories. I love being able to sit with my girls and go through a scrapbook and tell them their story. I might even make more pictures now, because this has made me think about capturing more of the “every day” moments. And I will take Heather Reddick up on the opportunity to go through the drive through and recreate the moment I missed. Call me crazy. But I am going to pray that I will be more aware of the kairos moments. Of the moments when God is showing me that I should just slow down and enjoy who we are and where we are. When I notice that each one of us is an individual miracle from God and he deserves all the glory for who we are and the blessings we have.

God our Mother?

Sitting at the dinner table the other night Matt made the comment “This will be your 6th Mother’s Day”. It was made in passing, but has stuck with me for some reason. And now, every day, I have a thousand questions about what being a mother means floating around in my head. Not that that is any different from before the comment, because from the day I found out I was pregnant with our first daughter I have done nothing but question myself.

What have I done with those 6 years? How have I changed in those 6 years? Am I good mom? Have I given my girls what they need? Have I given them too much? Do I make life too easy for them? Or too hard? Do I yell too much? Do I discipline them too much? Not enough? Have I shown them that they can come to me with anything? What will they be like when they are 16? Have I shown them how to be independent, strong, and confident? Have I shown them how to do that and still be a lady? How to be gentle, kind, and compassionate? Have I taught them the importance of always doing your best and being your best? Have I shown them how to forgive themselves and others? Have I shown them how to have fun? Have I shown them Jesus? Have I shown them how to have a heart for God? Am I “rubbing off” on them? Are they going to be anxious? OCD? Easily frustrated? Lacking in patience? Will they worry about pleasing others, or pleasing God? If I don’t stop myself now, I could do this all day. And those are just the general questions. Then there are the guilt questions. Do I spend enough time with them? Do I work too much? Should I be guilty because I am glad that I work instead of staying home?

I know that every mom does this same thing. Whether you stay at home or go to work. Whether you have 1 kid or 5 kids. Whether you are a single mom or a married mom. We all question ourselves. God has given us the greatest responsibility there is. The responsibility for another life. Proverbs 22:6 says “ Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” I had a great example for a mother and I am surrounded by friends who are excellent mothers. So I find myself looking at other kids and their moms. Matt and I will say, “those people have really good kids, what do they do?” But why do we compare ourselves to others? Every child is different. Every parent is different. We all have different experiences, so why should I try to make my life like someone else’s?

So, here is the epiphany I have had this week. My pastor frequently talks about how our perception of our earthly father affects our perception of our heavenly Father. Dads have a great example set for them. The Bible is full of references about God as the Father. Where is our example of a mother? And as I thought about all the mothers referenced in the Bible I realized that our example is the same as for the fathers. While God is often referred to as the Father, He has also taught us how to be a mother. Titus 2:4-5 says “Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” In this passage the “older” or more mature, experienced women are told to train the younger women on how to love their children. Which brings me back to Pastor Joe, who always tells us that love is not just an emotion. Yes, the first time I looked at each of my girls I was overcome with an emotional love. An instantaneous, overwhelming, I promise I will do anything and everything for you kind of love. I looked up the greek word for love used in this passage “philoteknos” and found that it is the only time in the entire Bible that this word for love is used. Philoteknos is defined as a maternal love, a love of one’s children. I’ve definitely got that part down. But, we are told in this verse that we need to be trained how to love our children. I love my children when I’m losing my temper and yelling at them, which is not okay. I love my children when they see me speeding and question why I am sinning by breaking the law, which is not okay. I love my children when they see me stub my toe and say something I shouldn’t, which is not okay. I need to be trained by God on how to love my children.

There are many scripture references to how we should discipline our children and what we should teach them. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Proverbs 29:15-17 says “ A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother. When the wicked thrive, so does sin, but the righteous will see their downfall. Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire.” All my questions come from, what is the best way for me to do this? How should I be teaching my children? What should I be teaching? When should I be teaching it?

So this is where the epiphany comes in. God is our example of how to be an amazing mother. Not only do we have to love our children unconditionally, but we have to teach them by example. I can sit around and worry about what I’m doing every step of the way with them, or I can just make the best of every moment I am with them. I can read the Bible with my girls every night, provide discipline when they need it, teach them right from wrong. But what they really learn is what they see me do. I see it in the way Abby “disciplines” her little sister. From the way she yells at her blanket when she can’t get it to lie on the bed correctly. From the way Maddy fusses at her sister for being slow. But I also see it in the way Abby cares for Maddy when she is sick and the way that Maddy loves sing. Watching my girls is like watching myself. So if I am constantly striving to be more like Christ, then my girls will emulate that behavior as well. I don’t have to worry about every single little decision I make. It’s okay for them to see me make mistakes, as long as they see me ask for their forgiveness, as well as my heavenly Father’s forgiveness. It’s okay for them to see me get mad at their Daddy, as long as they see us forgive each other. It’s okay for them to see me get frustrated, as long as I explain to them that I shouldn’t do that, and that God is teaching me to have patience and self-control. When I make mistakes I just need to show them that I seek heavenly help not to do it again. The most important thing I can teach them is the most important thing that God has taught me. Love. Grace. Forgiveness. Compassion. There is nothing He will not forgive and there is nothing I cannot accomplish without His help. In the end, many of these decisions that I agonize over won’t matter. They won’t remember how much money the tooth fairy brought or if we took a vacation the summer they were 6 or if one time when they were 5 I yelled too loudly at them when they wouldn’t listen. They already know that I’m not perfect. But they will know who I was and Who I represented. If I can show them the love and grace that my Father God has shown me, I will have accomplished everything that I need to as their mother. So I guess you could say everything I need to know about being a mother, I learned from my Father 

Faith. Family. Patients.

I follow a lot of my friends blogs and I LOVE to read them. I love the insight into how other people manage their crazy lives, what they learn from their experiences, their journey through faith and family. So I decided I would try to share my insight too. I was trying to think of a name for my blog this morning, and since I went to bed watching Duck Dynasty, the first thing I thought of was their slogan: Faith, Family, Ducks. I realized my life was pretty similar. It pretty much revolves around 3 things, my faith, my family, and my job. And what all three of these things have been trying to teach me lately is that I need patience. Not patients, I have a lot of those (although I always welcome more!). And not just patience, but other fruits of the Spirit, self-control, gentleness, and faithfulness. Some of these fruits come naturally to me, like love and joy and kindness. And others not so much. So this blog will be a glimpse into my journey towards a better me. My journey with my faith, family and patients as I try to become more fruitful. And hopefully a little comic relief here and there from this crazy journey I’m on!