Think About Such Things

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8.

The great adventure of motherhood brings with it a variety challenges, some of which can be life altering.  It’s easy, in times of struggle, to become focused on the negative, to try to fix what has gone wrong, or feel down about things that don’t seem to be going our way. 

One very difficult day in my journey of motherhood, I sat in my OB’s office, having received heartbreaking news.  I looked up to see an artful display of Philippians 4:8 on the wall.  Sadness, hurt, confusion and an array of other emotions whirled inside of me, but, in that moment, I realized that I had a choice.  I could spend endless time and energy dwelling on painful thoughts, or I could move forward, concentrating on the many blessings in my life, and praising the Lord for his goodness – having faith in Him.

Philippians 4:8 is a powerful message and has played an important role in my life – even though I often forget to follow the wise advice.  I believe the message is applicable to all things, and can help minimize even the worst of life’s many complications.  I am going to try, in my mothering, and in all areas of my life to remain focused on the good–and think about such things.

Baby Rolls on Etsy.com

Baby Rolls in my Etsy shop are on clearance with free shipping for a limited time thanks to my blogging friend Cheryl at momsinneedofmercy (see blogroll).  She will be doing a review of Baby Rolls on her blog and offering a special to her readers!  Check out the deals at http://www.etsy.com/shop/babyrolls

The Princess and the Frog

I would recommend waiting to rent this one if you have young children.  The frog love story was romantic and had strong underlying values, but I could have done without the ghoulish shadows and voodoo magic.  The use of blood was  particularly creepy for a kids’ flick.  When asked what their thoughts were, my two-year-old daughter answered, “it was scary” and my son replied, “the kisses on the frog were funny”.  Just as I was loosing hope in the plot, things started to turn around.  Most of the ominous characters got what they deserved, and good does triumph in the end, but there are several dark scenes not meant for young viewers.  While cultural aspects add enrichment and education to the story, some of the stereotypes portrayed go a little too far, resulting in semi-inappropriate humor at times.

A Mom Greatly In Need of Mercy

Just a few weeks ago, my good friend and author of “Moms In Need of Mercy” wrote a great blog about finding patients in difficult parenting moments.  The article was inspiring and packed full of great parenting tips and advice.  So, what did I do when my patience was tested this week?  Let’s just say that those great parenting tips were not utilized properly!

Early that day, I had caught my two-year-old trying to put a metal hair barrette into an electrical outlet!  That afternoon I noticed something strange smeared all over the dog’s back.  It was something white – dried into a crusty coating.  We have a Bichon Frise, so the mess was not very noticeable on her white fur, which made me wonder how long ago this had happened.  I remembered my daughter washing something off her hands in the sink earlier that day – telling me it was soap.  Could she have painted our dog?  What did she use?  I was not pleased as I searched the house for a mess of paint, a cleaning product, or whatever it might be.  Finally, she came to me with an almost-empty tube of doggy toothpaste.  I was thankful that there was no big mess and that it wasn’t paint!  And so we gave the dog a bath.

That evening, as I was looking for a quick dinner solution, my two-year-old began climbing in the refrigerator – trying to help.  After asking her a couple of times to stay out of the fridge, she climbed in once again, and this time dumped orange juice all over, coating every drawer, shelf, and everything on them with a sticky, orange coating.  So, I punished her and sent her to her room so she could stay out of trouble while I cleaned up the mess. As I cleaned, I started to feel bad about punishing her when she was just trying to help.  About then, I heard a noise behind me.  I turned to see that she had not only come out of her room and back downstairs but had climbed on top of her little table and was pushing the buttons on my cell phone!  This was the parenting moment in which a good parent might say a quick prayer or count to ten.  I didn’t do either…and I neglected to use every bit my friend’s good advice. 

I yelled some sort of lecture, and demanded that she get back in her room “Right Now”!  After I had calmed down, and she was back in her room, it occurred to me – if she was playing with my cell phone she could have called someone!  How embarrassing would that be – for someone I know to hear me having a bad-parenting moment.  What would the other MOPS moms think of that?  What if the voicemail at my husband’s office had picked up!  People might start to think that I’m not the Nicest Mom on the Block after all! 

So, with humility and regret, I looked at the outgoing calls on my phone.  Indeed, she had made a call.  It was to my cousin, fellow MOPS mom – my table leader.  Thankfully, as a fellow mom, she understood (hopefully giggled but we were corresponding over email so I can’t be sure) and said that she knew it wasn’t an intentional phone call when she heard “go to your room” being yelled in the background.  So, there it was.  I had failed to use my good-parenting skills and was being held accountable for my actions.  It wasn’t my husband’s co-workers, but I wouldn’t want for anyone to hear me parent like that!  My goodness, what if she had called my friend at Moms In Need of Mercy?  I would be the topic of her next blog for sure – “A Mom Greatly In Need of Mercy”.

So, I begin the process of self-reflection, and have to smile in awe of the creative ways God answers prayer.  After all, I was the one who asked Him to help me be a better mom!

Spare Change?

It seems that businesses are finding increasingly creative ways to make a little extra profit.  Rather than scare customers off by raising the cost of the Big Mac, our favorite, American burger stop has tacked on an additional fee for eating in – looks to be about 5% of the total purchase.  Now, as a parent of two rambunctious children who love to make messes and play for extended amounts of time in the indoor play place, it seems to be a fair tax.  However, I’m not so sure that more domesticated folks stopping in for a quick lunch would find this to be a good deal, especially considering that it isn’t a known cost – it just appears on the receipt as an extra tax item.  I have to wonder where this tax is allocated and why we have not been more informed of its existence.  I’m not too worried about the extra $.50 on my receipt, but I do have to wonder what will happen when other companies choose to follow suit?  This is somewhat reminiscent of the exponential growth of the American tip jar.  Are we going to pay $5 for a coffee, $1 tip, and a 5% tax to sit in our favorite coffee shop?  Hmmm, maybe so.

Kids Remember

Kids don’t remember that you didn’t have a lot of money, they remember that you were there when they needed you.

Kids don’t remember that you left the dishes in the sink, they remember that you sat with them and spent time together in the evening.

Kids don’t remember that you let the grass get a little too long, they remember rolling down soft, flowing hills of green.

Kids don’t remember how fancy their things were, but they will remember that you loved them and provided for them.

Kids don’t remember everything you say, but they will be affected by it and even more so by what you do.

Kids are not critical, they will love you for who you are, so be the best person that you can be – for them.  They will remember that!

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