Just a Mom

I am sitting here this morning listening to an alarm upstairs that has been going on for half an hour.  The laundry has been started, bed made, drinking my Keto, and trying to find some “fuel” through lds.org.  My alarm on my phone just went off for the 4th reminder…I hurried to turn it off, so that hopefully the littlest one will stay asleep for just a minute longer while I try and prepare for the day.

As I was looking at a couple of inspirational things at lds.org, the thought came to me that I am more of a preschool mom.  It was hard work trying to care for 3 little ones under the age of three, 10 years ago.  But I loved it.  I loved all the new experiences they had daily.  I loved the pure joy in their faces of learning something new.  I loved reading to them…because the books only took a few minutes each to read, and we could get through a whole stack of them and I felt accomplished.  I loved preparing fun extra activities that went along with their lessons.  I loved singing and dancing and acting goofy, and my children laughed right along with me.  I loved throwing fun birthday parties and hand making invitations.

Fast forward to today.  This school year I have an 8th grader, a 7th grader, a 5th grader, and a kindergartner.  This teen/tween stuff is hard.  Hard conversations, harder books, harder math, harder language arts, harder attitudes.  They don’t enjoy school like they used to.  It is now just something they have to get through for the next 5,6, 8 years because if they want to be able to get a job and support a family, they just have to do it.  They roll their eyes at all my goofiness and songs and dancing.  I hurry along the tasks of the day because we have to get to the next task, the next project, the next book the next activity.  Where did the joy of learning go?  Is it because my attitude has become such that we just need to get it done to move on to the next task?  Have I aided in the hardening their hearts towards the joy of learning?

My prayer today is that my heart can be softened towards my children.  To look at my struggling reader and speller and truly know how to help him.  To have the compassion towards him that the Savior has towards me when I make mistakes.  To know how to love each of my children the way they NEED to be loved.  To find joy in the journey of my life.  To enjoy those hard conversations, because I am hopefully preparing my boys to be good fathers and stay true to the principles of the gospel.

Like I told the kids on probably the worst first day of school ever this year…this is the “career” that I chose…to be just a Mom.  And today I’m going to try and be the best Mom my kids have!

Sunday Thoughts

Yesterday was one of those Sundays.  The kind that you’re filled with nothing but gratitude at the end of the day for being close to God.  It’s not that it was an easy Sunday.  In some ways it was…Shaun and the older boys are at Boy Scout camp this week.  That meant I only had 2 little ones to care for and get ready for church.  There was less animosity because there wasn’t as many people to fight and argue with.  I played church music while we were getting ready.  We were on time.  It was good.

When I got in the van, Carson had it already cranked up and had the BYU Radio on.  One of the highlights of the talk that was on was the parable of the 2 axmen.  A smaller man and a larger man were in a competition to see how many trees they could cut down in a day.  The smaller gentleman kept taking 10 minutes breaks every hour.  The larger man questioned his opponent’s methodology and kept on chopping as fast as he could.  He knew he was WAY ahead of the game and chopping down many more trees that his opponent.  At the end of the day, the trees were counted and the smaller man came up victorious.  The larger man, quite angry, asked him how could that be?  He had worked all day and not taken any breaks, while the smaller man had taken so many breaks, it was crazy!  The smaller man replied to his anger, “I was sharpening my ax during the breaks.”  The moral was we HAVE to take time to renew ourselves and “sharpen” our axes by reading the scriptures, praying, strengthening ourselves through God’s word.  If we give 10% of our time to the Lord as well as our money, He will strengthen us and make up for those things that we lack.  All will be taken care of.

There was another story of a mission president’s interviews with the elders versus the sisters.  The question was asked, “What could you have done better on your mission?” The elders acted like they needed a couple of days to think about it…because apparently they had done such a great job.  The sisters, however, almost seemed as if they had a full page of things they could have done better all ready to regurgitate.  The moral was…sometimes we are too hard on ourselves as women.  We need to let go and let God.  We need to realize that we can only do so much.  If we rely on the Lord to guide our lives, we will be able to accomplish so much more than we ever dreamed possible.

When we arrived at church, we sat down near our regular seats.  I sat on the far left of the pew next to the wall.  Carson and Ellie for some reason sat on the far right end of the pew.  Church started and then Jenny slid in and came and sat down beside me.  I asked if it was just her that day…and she said it was.  For some reason, the thought that kept coming in my mind all during the passing of the sacrament was to have a conversation with Jenny about bringing Hunter to church every Sunday with her and staying for the whole time…Primary included.  I brushed it aside, because it’s really none of my business.  The thought kept coming back.  My heart started racing because I don’t like hard conversations…and I felt like that would be one.  And again…it was really none of my business…  The speakers gave wonderful talks.  Aubree gave a wonderful talk about loving one another.  Zack gave a talk about the small and simple things (which kept on pressing more in my mind to have the conversation because the little steps are really what defines a person as a whole…coming to church every week might not seem like a big deal, but little by little, that commitment strengthens us).  And Alyssa gave a great talk about the Atonement.

After the closing hymn, I asked Jenny if she wanted to go and get the items she had left at my house the previous day, and we walked outside to my car.  Then my heart started racing.  I knew I had to have the conversation…I pushed it aside and then the spirit spoke to me so clearly…NOW… So I did.  I hope that the conversation was taken as it was intended.  I love her, Brandon, and Hunter.  I want them to be able to enjoy the blessings of the gospel fully as a family.  Our family isn’t perfect…we have our things that we all need to work on.  I hope that we can work together to uplift one another and help each other.  That’s what this life is about.

Last night we went to bed a little early (9:30).  I woke up around 10:15 in a panic.  I was filled with such anxiety about all the tasks that are needing to get done.  So I did a brain dump…filled 2 pages full of things that have been on my mind.  One of my commitments that I needed to make was to get up earlier to have scripture study.  So I set my alarm for 6:30…and I DID get up this morning and do my scripture study.  Avalon had asked us to read a passage of scripture for next week’s Sunday School lesson, so I read that… D&C 105:1-13.  As I was reading, I heard Spencer’s alarm go off (go figure…they aren’t even here to turn it off).  I headed upstairs to turn the alarm off.  I noticed that his room was a disaster. I went into the other boys’ room and it was a disaster.  I looked in the hallway and stared at a million things that needed to be gone through and put away.  I opened the hall closet and saw the mess that awaited organization.  And I felt so overwhelmed again.  Yet, I looked on the second shelf and there was my D&C student manual that I had at BYU.  The exact one that would give me more insight on my reading that I had just studied.

So…I have read this morning.  I have pondered.  I have studied.  I’ve got this little by little.  The thoughts that kept coming to me this morning were to do a little at a time.  Echo had mentioned that to me a couple of weeks ago…that she is going through one drawer at a time…one cabinet at a time.  And it’s okay to do little by little.  My projects usually don’t end up like that.  I take everything out at one time, have to take a full day to go through everything, go to bed that night feeling exhausted, just to do it again the next day.  But that isn’t bringing me the peace that I need.  So time to change things up a bit.  I’m going to try doing a little bit at a time and see the progress I can make over the next couple of weeks before school starts.

I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who knows us.  He knows us better than we know ourselves.  Gerri gave a great RS lesson yesterday on this exact topic.  God’s care packages are so much more fulfilling than a care package we could give ourselves.

ACTIONS FOR THIS WEEK:

  • Daily scripture pondering
  • Strengthen my relationship with Ellie and Carson
  • Re-visit goals daily to keep on track

Goals

We all set New Year’s Resolutions…and then life sets in, and they seem to wane.  But what sets those people apart that can set goals and actually attain them?  How do they get to that point, that their goals are worth achieving?

I’ve let 6 months pass by.  I had the goal to start a space where I could take the time to record how I am trying to better myself.  And I failed.

BUT…there’s always hope.  There’s always a new beginning.  And today I’m going to start. Start trying.  Start achieving.  Start bettering myself.

During the school year, I get neglected.  I spend my days frazzled, trying to accomplish elephant size tasks into an ant size framework.  But we got through the 2016-17 school year.  So many things I wish I would have recorded when they happened.  I was too busy trying to survive when I really want to THRIVE!

So here are 5 goals right now, that I am going to work on to help me get to where I truly take the time to enjoy my life:

**Realize I am an extrovert/introvert.

I love people!  I love interacting with them.  I love socializing and recharging my                  need to converse with other adults.  I also love to be quiet.  I crave quiet.  I love to take the time to think through things.  And that’s hard sometimes when I am over-scheduled because of my own doing or the doing of those that I love and am close to.  How am I going to remedy this and create balance between the two?  I can still  schedule time to be with my friends.  And my kids can be with their friends.  But learning to say no, and being okay with saying no.  It’s not going to be the end of the world if we don’t participate in an activity.  I’m just going to have to be okay with that.  Especially when I need the time to recharge myself.

**Enjoy nature more.

Last week we went to Boone and Crumpler.  I admit…I always feel a little homesick when I come back from a trip to the mountains because being there literally rejuvenates my soul.  The beauty is breathtaking.  The air is clean and smells so sweet.  The slowed down pace is exhilarating.  I want to be able to enjoy God’s creations, and take the time to do so.  So how can I recreate that here in my hometown?  Find beauty in those things around me.  Go to our land and explore with the kids.  Find unique parks around here that foster that sense of joy.

**Begin my day with God.

Consult with Him.  How can I better serve Him throughout my day?  I always seem to have it together more when I realize that yes…I make my own choices…but I would always rather those choices be consistent with the One who knows me best and knows my potential.  So how can I accomplish this?  Wake up a little earlier to enjoy the quiet that comes with the early morning.  Sit down with a notebook and scriptures and record those things that are spoken to my heart.  Refill that spiritual tank!

**Listen to my children.

I tune out a LOT.  I hear things my children say…but it’s usually hurrying them along so we can move to the next task.  To achieve this goal, would be to put my phone down.  Have set times that I don’t have the constant inundation of beautiful things on Pinterest to distract.  Or see the beautifully decorated homes on Instagram.  And the fun crafty things on Facebook that will probably never get done around here.  Those things fill me up at the time, but leave me empty at the thought of the time I could have better spent creating memories with my children and truly listen to who they are.  I chose to be their Mama.  And this is the time in my life I need to prioritize that role!

**Set time to work on my Antique Booth

This has become something I love!  It’s almost like a treasure hunt!  I love finding unique items to share and bless the lives of others with.  I have been able to find some really good deals on things to also bless our home with.  I have been able to meet some really neat people through some of the auctions we have gone to…and the Flea Market in Boone (Mr. JR Bryant was one of them).  The kids really enjoy helping me find things too, so this could be a family effort.  Shaun has really gotten into it as well, so it’s been a fun way for us to spend time together and better our relationship.  Because it is a family thing, I don’t feel so bad allotting some of my time to it.

 

FIVE…that’s a number I can manage.  Five goals to work on.  Well …6 if you count me trying to keep up on the accountability end of things and writing here on this space. I can do it.  And I hope the things I write about will be able to help you, as I am helping myself.

 

a fresh start

I have thought a lot the past few months about the life I have been given.  What is it that I want to contribute?  How do I want to be remembered?  Join me in this journey as I try to figure it all out through trial and error, but keeping grounded in my faith in my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  I’ve heard the saying, “They won’t always change our circumstances, but in the process they will change us.”  So I hope that through my faith, on this journey called life, I will be able to have a better me to give.