Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mom2Mom & Dirty Dishes

It's been a while since I've posted. I was asked to be a presenter for a Mom2Mom group in one of our local congregations. I've been studying, praying and pondering for several months - wondering if there was anything of any worth that I could share with these sweet ladies. I worried that I wouldn't be able to fill the time I was given - I ended up cutting stuff out as I was speaking and still went over the time they had allotted for me. This is the second time I've been with this group of ladies and I enjoyed them so much. I appreciate the idea of moms mentoring other moms and wish I had taken advantage better of the resources available in my own church through Relief Society when I was a young mother. I think I had the idea that I had to do it all on my own. Not sure where that came from - maybe because my mother passed away shortly before I got married and I just didn't feel like I could be vulnerable with someone else enough to say: 'Help'! I was wrong. I should have reached out more. There was so much wisdom available to me that I didn't utilize.

A Christian mother (Rachel Jankovic) recently wrote on her blog: "Growing up in this culture, it is very hard to get a biblical perspective on motherhood... Children rank way below college. Below world travel, for sure. Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get." She then adds: (and I LOVE this!) "Motherhood is not a hobby, it's a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for."

As a mother - you are one of the most influential persons in the life of your child. Like Esther who was willing to sacrifice her life for a nation if need be - mothers are also willing to sacrifice all for their children. And we do in many different ways - sleep, adult interaction, lifestyle, and sometimes identity! How many years was I known as "Amanda's mom" or "Millie's mom"? That's not all bad - they were great girls and I was happy to be their mother - but sometimes I wondered who I had become in the process. I think I did a decent job of developing my talents and staying involved - but it is difficult when you are in the thick of it all to keep that balance.

I love some of the resources that I have found on the Power of Moms website, which is found here.

I would encourage young families to give your children the stability of a few well-chosen traditions. Family traditions tie love strings around your family. If you can start them early, they're one of the best organized offenses you can come by.

There is a song by Scotty McCreery called "Dirty Dishes" that you can listen to here. Let me share the lyrics with you...it puts things in perspective a bit.

Momma hollers "Supper time,
And don't make me tell you twice.
Wash your hands and wipe your face.
The table's no place for your toys,
And try to use your inside voice,
Don't dig in 'til we say Grace."
So we put down our forks and bowed our heads
And then she prayed the strangest prayer ever said:

"I wanna thank you Lord,
For noisy children and slamming doors.
And clothes scattered all over the floor.
My husband workin' all the time,
Draggin' in dead tired at night.
My never ending messy kitchen
and dirty dishes."

We all got real still and quiet,
And daddy asked, "Hon, are you alright?"
She said, "Dear, ain't nothing wrong,
Noisy kids are happy kids.
And slamming doors just means we live
In a warm and loving home.
Your long hours and those dishes in the sink,
Means a job and enough to eat.

So I'm gonna thank you Lord,
For noisy children and slamming doors,
And clothes scattered all over the floor,
A husband workin' all the time,
Draggin' in dead tired at night,
A never ending messy kitchen.

For my little busy bees
Beggin' mama, mama can we please?
Always wantin' me to call their name.
Loads of laundry pilin' up
Crayons crushed into the rug,
And those little sticky kisses
And dirty dishes."

How grateful I am to have been a mother on the receiving end of sticky kisses!
Motherhood may not have always been what I thought it would be - it was often so much more than I could ever have imagined!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

My 2011 Reading List

One of my goals for 2011 was to read more. I was shooting for one book a month. I read 13. And honestly - there was a month when I read 5 or 6 books (when I was reading The Great and Terrible series...seriously, I couldn't put them down!) and months when I didn't finish a book at all! But this is what I read last year.
A Mother's Book of Secrets by Linda Eyre and Shawni Eyre Pothier is an excellent quick read for any young (or not so young) mother! It offers hope and helpful suggestions for ways to be a better parent and gives insight on seeing your children in a different way - and maybe looking at parenting in a different way. And I loved the pictures of their children that are in the book. I would also suggest you check out their website: The Power of Moms at www.PowerofMoms.com. I would also check out: 71toes.blogspot.com

While My Sister Sleeps - it's a bit of a love story, entwined in a families struggle to understand one another and cope in the midst of a crisis.

The 17 Second Miracle may just change your life a bit! I enjoyed this book a LOT.

And if you haven't read The Help yet - you should!

One Week in December - interesting book - I have conflicted feelings about it - but overall, it was an ok read.

I read this series of books called 'The Great and Terrible' by Chris Stewart. It is an Excellent series of books that I would HIGHLY recommend.

Water for Elephants - loved the book although it does have a few raunchy passages in it. I was glad they didn't bring those out in the movie - but overall I liked the book.

The Message - another interesting read.

Not sure how my reading list for 2012 will end up - but I am looking forward to continuing the trend! I didn't quite finish reading The Book of Mormon again, and I've started reading 'Heaven is for Real'. What's on your reading list for 2012?