Little Dreams – a poem for mothers

Marys-TreasuresYou.

Heavy eyes.

Arms wrapped

we rock.

You.

Nuzzled rolly neck

of graham cracker smells

and stickiness.

You.

Tiny fingers lightly pinch

your brows

eyelashes

lips.

You.

Far away smile

halfway to dreams.

Baby-Boy-Smiles

I.

Drink it in with

mother’s heart.

Drop lips upon your

sun-kissed hair.

Remember other tiny heads.

More kisses for those

bigger now.

I.

Soak your sweetness in.

Wistful how

it flies.

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19

Blessings, Christy

I Am My Beloved’s

When I was young I watched someone do something I did not approve of.  I told my mother:  “I’ll never do that.”

My mom wisely responded:  “Don’t judge until you’ve been there.”

I scoffed.  I was young and full of knowledge.  In fact, I probably knew it all.

Life has taught me otherwise.  I am almost constantly reminded of that conversation and my mother’s wise words.

IMG_0630My extensive knowledge was directly challenged the moment I married and had children.

I managed to keep it together after #1.  Then #2.  When I got to my third boy I wasn’t so sure.  I wavered a bit.  Beds went unmade.  Bathrooms were not always clean.

Then I pulled myself back together.

Fourth baby.  This was a bit rougher.  I remember trying to get everyone out the door for some errands after my mom left and my husband went back to work.  I was changing the baby’s diaper, getting shoes on the toddler, and directing my “big” boys and I thought:  this is a lot of people.

I became pregnant with my fifth baby and everything went to pot.  My husband worked nights, which meant he left the house at around 4, right around the time I could no longer function.  I served a lot of cereal and mac’n'cheese over those few months.

What have I learned from having these children of mine?

  • I’m good at blaming my emotions on other people.
  • My plans are nice, but they’re not what’s going to happen most of the time.
  • Rules and schedules and routines make me feel secure, they don’t make me lean on Jesus.
  • Children bring me out of my innate selfishness and teach me oh-so-much about the love of God.

Most days I struggle with anger and frustration.  Most days I struggle with finding my identity in being a Good Mom and Getting the Laundry Folded.  I struggle with letting my children be their own people – not extensions of me.  I fight the contrast of what I thought mothering entailed with what I am now as a mother.

Things have turned out a lot differently than I planned.  My mother’s words come back to me:  don’t judge until you’ve been there.

Yes, mom, you’re so right.

I never could have guessed what having 5 children would mean.  I never could have guessed that the downturn in the economy would mean the end of a business and a job for my husband.  That years of figuring out what was next would engulf us.  I couldn’t have guessed that our marriage would suffer huge setbacks, or what those setbacks would be.

Without this marriage and these five sweet children I would have no idea:

  • how to eat while the volume in a room of seven people actually exceeds the levels at most rock concerts
  • that night-time hours rocking babies can be the sweetest hours ever known (but not always)
  • how easy it is to look at the ways I’ve failed and forget the things I’ve done right
  • what surrender means – my plans versus God’s plans
  • how to address my frustrations and anger and give them over to God
  • that my identity is in God, not my plans or my actions or my choices – not my husband or my children or anything they do.
  • and most importantly

I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine. Song of Solomon 6:3

I would have no idea what it means to lean on God as my beloved, and the acceptance I find in being His.

 

Me and Kids Mother's DayBlessings,

Christy Halsell

www.christyhalsell.com

This post is a part of our “Who We Are” Series. For all posts visit,

“Who We Are: The Stories Behind TBM Writers”

Who We Are at The Better Mom

Graduation Day – Focusing on What’s to Come

You thought it would never come.  Graduation day.

graduation giftYesterday you were changing diapers and today you’re preparing for graduation festivities.  I think we all have moments of surprise when our children get to lifetime milestones.

Where did the time go?  I was gonna…

It can be tempting to wallow in our memories and our sadness.  It’s easy to think about what wish we’d done, or that our child is gone forever.

As Christians, we know better.  We know that God can redeem anything we feel we didn’t do quite right.  We know that God is in charge of our child, as He ever was. We know that He’s got our children in His hands. So on this day of change and new beginnings, let’s bless our children with our own excitement for their future.

In honor of the graduation season, we’d like to provide you with wall art you can have printed.  These images can be printed and framed to serve as gifts for the graduates in your lives, or as centerpieces for graduation festivities.

1. Click on the images below for a printable 5×7 pdf file (see bottom of post for jpegs – some print shops might require these).

2.  Print up yourself (cardstock might work best) or have printed locally (Office Max, Costco, Walmart, etc.)

3.  Add a frame!

4.  Excellent grad gift!

Numbers-Grad-Wall-Art-Printable

Numbers-Grad-Wall-Art-BoyYou can check out my website for more free graduation printables, or my Etsy store for custom graduation posters.

jpeg of Numbers Printable {girl}

jpeg of Numbers Printable {guy}

“graduation caps” photo credit (Dr. Seuss quote added)

Blessings,

Christy

Saying No To 100 Things

We all want to be the best mom, wife, employee, PERSON, we can be.

We all struggle with who creates that criterion.  As we walk through this month together trying to find balance as busy moms, I wonder if we can talk about why we’re so busy.  Who or what dictates what makes us best?

Am I the best mom if I attend PTA meetings?  What if I am room mom?  Does homeschooling give me extra points?  How about team mom?  What if I keep score at the baseball games?  How about leading AWANA?  Driving carpool both ways every week gets me something, right?

Do the best wives make dinner every night?  Do they keep the house clean?   Are they always at home?  Do they listen well?  Does attending couples Bible study count?  How about reading Power of a Praying Wife and then actually praying?

Being on time and having a good attitude puts me in the running for employee of the year, doesn’t it?  What if I bring snacks once a week for everyone?  Oh, twice a week?  I bet remembering all coworker’s birthdays will make everyone like me, right?  And what about volunteering for the projects no one else wants to work on?

I know many of these questions go through my head and they just make me tired.

focusNot only do NONE of those things make us the best mom/wife/employee, etc, but focusing on so many things makes us tired.  And spread thin.

Are we allowing God to tell us what makes us best or are we letting our society dictate what’s expected?

“The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.” Psalm 138:8

Steve Jobs gave a talk when he came back to Apple and turned their prospects around.  What he said can apply just as much to mothers as entrepreneurs:

People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.

Our first order of business:  what is our focus?  Please hear me:  not every woman will have the same focus.

Some mothers have small babies, some have older children and need to think about schooling them at home or sending them to school.  Some families have all of their needs me by one income, but some women need to work – outside the home or from home.  Some children have special needs, bringing up a whole new focus for Mom.  Some families value athletics while some value academics.  The list is long and varied, so please understand that

your focus might not be the same as someone else’s, and that’s okay.

Here are some ideas for focuses:

  • God
  • family
  • work
  • home
  • church
  • children’s sports and activities
  • involvement at school
  • sleep
  • health
  • fitness
  • outdoor family time
  • indoor family time

Once we choose the focuses that matter to us, we start saying “no” to the things that get in our way.  Just because something sounds good, doesn’t mean it will help us attain what we’re focusing on.

Tell me, what things are getting in the way of your focus?  What should you start saying “no” to?

Ultimately, what makes me the best mom/wife/employee I can be is Jesus.  His guidance, His love, and His acceptance.

This post is part of our series Finding Balance as a Busy Mom. 

Please check the series page for all of the posts!

Finding Balance as a Busy Mom

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