This is my job

It’s Monday again and so rolls the world in the ho-hum hundrum of everyday life.

I wonder at times if I am accomplishing anything.

Being a Mom of 4 kids ages  8,6,4 and 5 months means a lot of repeating myself. I have even started making a list of what I accomplished on some days next to my to do lists so that I can see I did alot- even if not what I had planned or hoped.

The kids were delivered to their lessons nearly on time. The baby was well cared for. Meals were prepared. Homework was finished. I ran his aunt to the store as we do once a week. . .

Yet somehow I get this lingering feeling that I could have, should have done more.

I didn’t have time to work on my online business, there was no time for marketing my products, there was no time for painting. I long to be selling more, but how does one build an online business? Others seem to do so effortlessly- for me it is sort of hit and miss.

And yet when the day winds down and the kids start drifting off to sleep and I am left with perhaps a couple of hours of quiet I am reminded that this is my job. Mothering is what I need to do now, here, today.

There were will be time perhaps someday for building a business more thoroughly, and chasing those dreams.

But for now I will delight in the sweet scent of my baby- and his cooing and babbling. I adore babyhood and it is such a fleeting time. How I wish there was some way to always have a baby in the house 🙂 But since there isn’t I will capture these moments in my heart, and on paper and photos.

And I will read Laura Ingalls books when my eyes are weary. And pray and talk for so long my arms go numb on the edge of the top bunk while my 8 year old shares his heart and thoughts about ozones, and life, and friends.

Because this is my job. . . . and I love it!

A Kind Word

We all walk through dark valleys in our lives- where it seems nothing or very little is going right.

Then all of a sudden a kind word of encouragement, a warm hug or a gentle nod of understanding. Perhaps even shared tears and or a thoughtful note are all it takes to help us through.

This year has started with much trial for our family- yet God has been kind, good and faithful.

Thanks to those of you who have stood by us with a prayer, a note or a word of encouragement. We love and appreciate you!

Through the Tunnel

A week has passed since I got back from my Mom-cation to living and surviving my real life.

The temp of real life is so fast, so rushed, so full. At times I feel overwhelmed by it all- yet in a positive light now.

This week I celebrated my birthday and meeting up with other friends who have infants I saw that they too are struggling and overwhelmed like I felt just 2 weeks ago before I went on my little vacation.

I have this visual picture of Moms going through this tunnel. Being a Mom and raising a child are by far the most difficult task I have ever known.

As a Mommy I know how you feel when you are sleepless, over-tired, and over-dramatic. A ticking time bomb waiting to explode with the smallest spark. A fussy toddler, a disobedient child, a word thoughtlessly spoken- each of this fuel to kindle your already raging soul-fire.

I know the guilt of feeling you ought to be a better, more patient, more organized, more healthy, more ANYTHING Mom.

I know the longing for peace- wholeness- and a healthy, harmony filled family.

I know that walking through these days of having young children seems like a dark tunnel at times. It may seem you have no time for you and your identity is disappearing into days spent doing monotonous everydays.

But YOU will survive. You will thrive. You will LIVE.

I can see that I have come through that tunnel and I had no idea how that could occur, For me the break into light was my mini vacation. For you it might be something else, but I want to encourage you to find time to be alone (or with your infant0 and sort through your emotions.

Today when I opened my Bible these words jumped out- perfectly spoken on this topic. ,

Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.”He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.

Mark 6:30-31 NLT

I know dear one that you might feel badly taking a few hours or days for yourself. I felt the same way, but the old saying goes, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

A quote I read the other day blessed me much, it is so true and helps keep perspective in our search for joy in life:

For most of life, nothing wonderful happens. If you don’t enjoy getting up and working and finishing your work and sitting down to a meal with family or friends, then the chances are you’re not going to be very happy. If someone bases his/her happiness on major events like a great job, huge amounts of money, a flawlessly happy marriage or a trip to Paris, that person isn’t going to be happy much of the time. If, on the other hand, happiness depends on a good breakfast, flowers in the yard, a drink or a nap, then we are more likely to live with quite a bit of happiness.”
— Andy Rooney


Why every Mom needs a Mom-cation

After 6 1/2 years of being a Mom and all the joys and stress that goes with three kids and a puppy and life I can tell you I was wound up, stressed out and easily angered. I found myself using the word “nervous” to describe myself and I had never done so before. I found myself impatient and tired, and just worn out.

My sister needed a break from her life, she invited me to meet her in England. I hesitantly agreed; with the requirement that I would go only if my husband could get off work for those 5 days. He did so- joyfully- and I found myself headed on a Mom-cation.

I must say the weeks and days leading up to that I was worried, feeling very guilty and wondering how everyone would do with me gone. I felt so scared as I flew away, wondering if I’d make it home safely again. I consoled myself with the thought, “if I am meant to die it will happen whether I am flying or at home.” (Pathetic? I know. But I was feeling dramatic).

6 days and 5 nights later I got home and now know that was exactly what I needed to get my life back where it needed to be.

So here is why every Mom needs a vacation.

  1. You have time to think, sleep, BE and sit in silence. 
  2. You come back feeling like a new person; the things that would have made you lose it before are no longer so irritating because you have “unwound.”
  3. You come home realizing once again that your husband is the best man and Dad and that he is TOTALLY capable of running the house without you or your constant bossing. He is the DADDY not the baby-sitter. 
  4. You see your husband and your marriage with new eyes of appreciation, which makes you feel like you are starting a new phase in your lives or perhaps a 2nd honeymoon 🙂 
  5. You have time to just be you. If you wanna shop, you do it. If you wanna chill in a coffee shop- go for it. The thing is that no one has any demands on your time and you can just live it up, or down ALONE or with a friend or sister 🙂
  6. You get your life readjusted and back on track and have time to gain the perspective you just couldn’t grasp while you were at home. 
  7. You realize you are strong in ways that you had forgotten or never knew (depending on what you do for your mom-cation). 
  8. You see your life when you come back through the lenses of peace- which makes you value your blessings where you had forgotten how. And prepares you for the challenges facing you.
  9. You have time to do the things you want to do: journaling, sleeping, shopping, sitting, walking.
  10. You realize that your position in life at this moment as a Mommy and wife is the best thing in the world and your favorite place to be and all you needed was to step back so you could see the whole picture.  . 

The Power of Words

 http://www.styledbysusie.co.uk/blog/uncategorized/giving-receiving-believing-compliments/

We have a couples Bible that has both text and great stories that make the truths of the Bible hit close to home with their real life stories.

I have always known my love language was words of affirmation. You know- the person who loves getting notes and needs to hear what they have done was appreciated? I’m that sort of a girl.

But the best story I have ever heard on the power of the spoken word is the illustration used in our Bible. It goes like this: (Couples Devotional Bible pg: 1131)

Years ago graduate students at an Ivy League college conducted an experiment. First they observed undergraduates until they found one of the most unkempt, most socially inept women on campus. 
They they drew up a schedule each would spend a month getting close to the woman. They would “happen” to bump into her Beeton classes. They would show up in line behind her in the dining hall. They would call her for lecture notes or assignment reminders. Moreover, when each was “on duty” he would compliment her insights, her clothes, express delight in her voice, her talents , her clothes. 
The first student performed well. In spite of his misgivings he began to speak to the woman, finding ways to affirm her. By the end of the month he found his task less onerous as the young woman started to respond. She smiled occasionally, combed her hair more often, and paid more attention to how she dressed. 
The second graduate student took the experiment a step further. He asked the undergrad out on an official date and spent the month showering her with gifts and compliments. 
The third month there was a new glow about the young woman, and the third researcher enjoyed her company more than he cared to admit. When the graduate students got together to share their experiences and laugh at the “progress” of the victim, the third student had to force chuckles through self-conscious embarrassment. 
The fourth member of the group never got the chance to lavish attention on the young woman because by then she was engaged to the man assigned to her during the third month. What started as a cruel and belittling pastime for the students turned into a love story. 

This shows despite the evil intent at the start that when a person receives positive attention both the one who gives it and the one who receives it change.  Imagine the place the world could be if we started giving, real, HONEST praise to others and who they and we might become!

This Day

With its early morning for tired kids. After a weekend of partying and a late evening for the celebrated girl with a names day. (They celebrate name’s days here in Latvia).

When you are trying to get 3 kids fed and out the door and accidentally zip up someones leg in their boot. Ouch. Sorry!

When you feel like you will lose it and are trying so hard to have it all together.

When the weather is just too brisk and chilly and the warmer clothes are still in the attic.

When your kids are whiny because its been that long weekend and they are not at their best for their lesson with their teacher.

When you have stayed up too late and your patience is ebbing and you are trying so hard to be the kind of Mom you want, dream and pray to be.

When you compare yourself, your shop, your paintings to those of all those how have already sold 4-8 things this month and the friend who has 500 sales over the last 2 years when you only have 147 in the last 4 years and you sell the same type of things.

When  you wonder why you compare yourself and try to stop and whisper a prayer asking God to help you. And bless your shop and bless you with sales and even as you sit listing your next item suddenly you sell a item (the first this month). Because God IS GOOD and HE answers the prayers of his children in HIS time and in HIS way.

When your kids are so wild, they are bouncing off the walls and no one wants to concentrate on anything they need to do.

When you finally have a quiet moment to take the dog on a walk and let the wind blow your head-ful of cobwebs away and you have time to think, and train that pesky pup and breathe.

This is my life. This was my day. This little bit of nonsense. This life I don’t understand. This sometimes meaningless existence in this BIG world.

And God is in Heaven and here with me, and all are well and at peace in my little world! 

The Golden Day for Her

What a cutie pie!
Today is a golden day for the only and dearest sister I have in the whole wide world. It is special to her because it is her “golden” birthday and it special to me because it celebrates her. 
I don’t have a gift for her yet, a golden day seems so unworthy of normal gifts. And so I wanted her to know that despite living a world apart I have not forgotten her and that she is the best sister any person could ever hope to have. 
And so my dear sister here the reasons I celebrate you in victorious, golden applause; because you- dear one have reached the “golden” age. (they are not in order of importance)
I love your hair!
  1. You are mine. Everyone needs a sister, but you really need one if you are female. Sisters have a bond unlike any other relationship on earth. Sisters understand, sisters feel with you, sisters laugh at and with you, sisters tell you the truth, sisters stand together.
  2. You are a dreamer. Everyone of us kids was and is a dreamer, but you top the cake in that your dreams were more wild than the rest of ours. I like that you dream big and wild! 
  3. You are passionate about Revelation. It is as if the things that scared me always fascinated you and it amazed me how you were so into everything Left Behind and End Times, etc. Your enthusiasm is admirable and I thank God that you know Him and serve Him. 
  4. Your excitement for the old-fashioned. I love how we always had such great fun watching Road to Avonlea and all kinds of old-fashioned movies. I love how we used to wear those lovely dresses and such- we have such lovely memories. Thanks!
  5. Making music together: I love how we both play the piano and sing. I loved how I used to get to accompany you on your solos and how we could just be together though music.
  6. You give great hugs. Or more like torture your sister squishes, but even though I complained, I’d sure love a good hug right now- wish we lived closer!
  7. You are a great friend. I never knew anyone who cared more for their friends and took care of those relationships better than you. You always have gone out of your way to spoil your friends. 
  8. Reading Together: Whether it were the walks we used to take where you read aloud or just talking about books we’ve read and when the movies are coming out or which version is the best I like that we both love to read.
  9. You are always in the loop: You seem to know the latest about everything, and are a source of information to those who need it 🙂
  10. Our adventures: We have seen so much, and done so much and traveled so much together. I love that we share that interest! 
  11. Your down to earth attitude. You aren’t too proud or dignified to crawl on the floor with your nephew or be silly.
  12. Your silliness. You ability to be silly for fun and for the fun of others amazes me. I love how you are so free in yourself!
  13. Your frankness. I am always trying to be polite and nice and you aren’t worried about that as much as I. You can be frank when it needs to be that way- that is awesome! 
  14. Your crazy ideas. You are a wonder for having wild dreams and ideas- but it is what makes you unique!
  15. Your curls. Do you know how many times I’ve wished I had curls like yours?!
  16. Your helpfulness. You are willing to help when you can, and have done so much for others over the years.
  17. You are so talented. Whether it is photography or music videos or music, God has blessed you and I love it when you use those gifts!
  18. You are beautiful. With your black curls, dark eyes and ivory skin you could be Snow White. You are lovely, from the inside out! NEVER forget that! Care for yourself dear one!
  19. You are a good Mommy! With your sweet little ones and your busy life you are doing an awesome job! 
  20. You are a fighter. Life hasn’t been easy for you and even when it was calmer you have always been a fighter- seeking to reach your goals and aspirations and doing it the best you can!
  21. Your uniqueness. You are the only person I ever knew who wanted their room metallic gold and painted it that way- nothing better describes your golden personality than that 🙂
  22. You are fun. Every memory and thought of days spent together and things done with you makes me smile. That is who you are, you make others smile! 
  23. You believe. You want to think the best of people and believe in them, your acceptance of others helps them!
  24. You admit when you are wrong. We all make stupid mistakes- but a truly repentant heart is not often found. Thanks for being willing to say when you are wrong. Thanks for not letting pride reign in  your life.
  25. You do your best. Whatever it is required of you- making tacos, or photography or anything you do you give it your best shot! 
  26. You remember where you have been. I like that you treasure the past through photos and your music videos. You live today but with an understanding of who we were and what holds us together. Living today with our roots in yesterday is good as long as long as we don’t get stuck there. Thanks for helping us all remember how we have become who we are!
  27. You are a drama queen.Crazy VBS roles were done better than anyone could have hoped. Your costumes, your acting, your YOU-ness 🙂 You always have been the best drama queen I know!
The future is bright. I am so excited for future plans  we have and for the person you are becoming and will be as you follow your dreams that God has blessed you with!
    I love you my dearest sister,  dressed in the golden splendor of 27 years well lived!