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Archive for the ‘Being a MommyDear’ Category

Fabulous Family Friday–They Grow Up Too Soon!

Friday, August 5th, 2011


Cassia, Susannah, Leah, Jessica, Christmas 1993


My daughters are always so good about getting pictures up for their sisters’ birthday posts. They go through old pictures, scan them, and make a post, with a picture for every year.

They recently did this for Cassia, then someone put this picture as wallpaper on one of our computers.


Cassia is 3, Leah is 8 and Susannah is 5 in this picture.



Cassia, Leah, Susannah


They are now 18,  22 and 19-almost-20!!!


Mamas, they grow up TOO fast!





I almost have bittersweet  nostalgia seeing the older ones so small again!  I wish I could go back and enjoy them more!  Quit worrying about if I was parenting just so, or my homeschooling was up to par, or my homemaking was good enough!


Fifteen years later…..that stuff really doesn’t matter as much!   Oh, yes I know, we  need to educate our children and train them in Godliness, to love the Lord, and we need to keep our homes clean and orderly (well, somewhat….. ;) ), but….



Jessica and Cassia



I recently read a devotional by Nancy Campbell of Above Rubies about keeping an orderly home.  It’s true, God does all things decently and in order, but He doesn’t expect us to keep an “orderly” home at the expense of relationships.  As in so many things in life, we add rules and regulations on where He never put any.  We add so many things to our “list of things to do” that we are more focused on the task needing done than the people around us.



Jessica and Leah, 1988


After awhile, our children become a means to an end, instead of the chores becoming a way to knit our hearts together!  We are more concerned about being “efficient” and “good stewards of our time” and such, and we miss the whole point.


The point is not for my home to be clean and orderly, everything in its place.  Surprised?!


The point is for you to have relationship with your Abba Father and to gently lead your little lambs to Him.



Dallas, Trisch, Jessica-5, Leah-3 and Susannah-4 months


Chores and school can be a part of that, but don’t ever trade “doing school” for relational matters.  Marilyn Howshall has a saying:


“Character training adds time to every duty, and every duty should stop for character training.”


The problem is, we really don’t want to stop our “agenda” for character training—sometimes because it’s really our character that needs training!  We can become so busy with all that needs to be done as a young mama of littles, that we lose sight of the fact that the chores will always be there….the littles will not!





Here is a quote from the devotional I linked to above:


“I would also encourage you to cut corners—not corners of cleanliness, but unnecessary tasks. I remember when I first started homemaking nearly 50 years ago; I kept to the traditions of that time. Every week, without fail, I changed the bed sheets. We used to take the bottom sheet off the bed and put it in the laundry, put the top sheet on the bottom and a new sheet on the top! That was the norm back in those days. But now we have fitted sheets and it doesn’t work that way. Plus, I don’t believe that we need to change sheets every week. I have digressed from that tradition. If children bath or shower, you can keep sheets on the beds for two or three weeks at a time. That saves a lot of laundry, especially if you have a number of children.”



Susannah and "Molly"


“What about ironing? I also started out ironing about twice a week. I even ironed pillow cases (I had friends who ironed their tea towels!). Help! How did I do that with four children under four and then six young children? I certainly don’t do that now, even though my children have grown. I have better things to do. I try to purchase clothes that don’t need ironing. I iron only what is absolutely necessary. I try to hang up clothes from the dryer immediately so they don’t crumple. I will even throw a dress in the dryer to unwrinkle if it needs an iron.”



Charissa and Bekah


“Remember, you are responsible to keep your home clean and in order, but not to do unnecessary tasks. Make the use of this time to spend more time with your children, reading to them, teaching them and doing creative things with them. That will have far more impact than unnecessary household tasks.”


Jessica--a "little shaver"! ;)



I would highly urge you to go before the Lord, and ask Him for His “pattern on the mount” for your family.   So often we add to our housework, our schooling, our outside involvements out of a sense of duty that God never gave us.   There were many lepers and widows in Elijah and Elisha’s day, but they didn’t heal them all.  Jesus said He had completed the work the Father gave Him to do.  But weren’t there more lepers to be cleansed, sinners to be forgiven, lame and blind men and women to be healed?


Jesus spent time with His Father, yes, even after a long night of ministry!   I’m not advocating you deprive yourself and ruin your health, but perhaps write down what all you do in a week.



Jessica and Leah


How much time is spent running errands?   Are you running more than you should?  Has it become a “diversion” to avoid dealing with your flesh?


How much time is spent in cleaning that might truly be unnecessary, especially at this stage of your children’s lives?



Jessica, Leah and Susannah, Easter 1993



How much time are you spending doing formal school?  Are you adding and adding out of fear, vs. what is “the one thing needful”?



Jessica and Cassia



I think one of the hardest things to realize, is how much we parent and homeschool out of fear.  We as women want security, and because of the sin nature, we will try to maintain “control” of situations to help us feel secure.


But it doesn’t work!



Jessica and Susannah


Usually it stresses us out, whether it’s the way we like the dishwasher loaded, or the way we want the books to be put away in a bookcase.  Or the way we want to have all the budget nicely divvied out in its place so there are no surprises….


Maybe it’s the way you do school.  You can’t let go of a curriculum because you “paid good money for it” or “what will my friends/neighbors/parents/in-laws think?”




Jessica, Leah, Susannah, Cassia

I’ve learned over the years that letting go is the way to peace!


Sometimes God has had to pry my fingers off, like a parent does a foolish toddler hanging onto garbage instead of letting go and receiving a treat from the Father’s hand.



Charissa and "her" baby, Noah!


I have had to let go of a lot of “normal ways to do things”.  I have been laid low with miscarriages, health issues, sick parents, a husband with a major head injury…things that kept me from being able to “just push through” and do my agenda.   I had to cry out to Him, to look up for HIS agenda, His plan for my days.



Jessica and Leah


There are so many things I wish I had taken time for!  What was so important, that I didn’t have time to….


*write in a journal often what we did, what we ate….things they said…..that would be so much fun to read today?


*keep up with reading to them every night?


*pray with them as much as I should have?


*take them to see grandparents and great-grandparents more often?  (Oh, but we had to do school…..)


*take them to the park more and swing on the swings with them?


*keep up our hymn singing we started?


*make them more doll clothes?


*have tea parties with them?


*just sit and hold them?



Mama, my “little girls” are now 24, 22, 19, 18, 14, 12 and 10!!!  This time has flown all too quickly, and although I did do a lot of things well, I have regrets.   No one is perfect, I realize that.


But I also know the Lord nudged me different times to focus on relational things that would last for Eternity, and I was “too busy” with temporal things.


I wish I had made fewer issues of things, which turned into power struggles, and only made discipline for true issues.


I wish I would have quit worrying about what others thought of me, or my homeschooling, or my homemaking, or my parenting…..




….and just enjoyed them!


Mamas, take time…take time. Don’t let the tyrrany of the urgent steal your time with your little ones.    Don’t be “too busy” with things God has not called you to do, and be like the parable of the servant in I Kings 20:39-43, who was “busy here and there” and his charge “was gone”.



Anna :)


As the song “Goodnight Kiss” by Steve and Annie Chapman goes:


“For I know too soon they’re up and gone, and walking out the door,


and I’ll never have a child to kiss, good-night, anymore.”


Yes, too soon, they’ll be grown up–and even though they may still be in your home, still love you dearly, still kiss you goodnight and still call you Mommy….



They’ll never be little again!




Jessica, Leah, Susannah--The Three Musketeers!






Before the time is gone!


Isaiah and Charissa


It All Goes Back To Relationships

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

The theme of my life, my motto, my principle to live by.



I’ve preached it a lot here on my blog!



This morning, I awakened much earlier than usual and had an extended quiet time with the Lord.  I was pondering different things and had some thoughts that at first seem to fly in the face of what a lot of wonderful people have shared.



But on digging deeper, it isn’t so much that what I will share is going to negate what others have said.   It’s dealing with the driving force, the reason behind it all.

Don’t worry!  I’m not going to preach some heresy here!  



As wives, mothers and keepers of our homes, we want to be efficient, we want to be good stewards of our resources and time.  There is certainly nothing wrong with training our children to work, to help out, for everyone to pitch in to make the load lighter.   There is nothing wrong with using a day planner to keep track of your time and make sure the important things get done.  There is nothing wrong with training children to obey.






That is your primary focus.  What do I mean?



I find myself getting more focused on getting things done.  And guess what?  There ALWAYS seems to be more and more "things to get done"!   When I save some time here, five more things rush in to fill it up over there!



I am not a super-organized person.  I still struggle to implement writing stuff down so I don’t forget (can a type A firstborn be a scatterbrain?!)   I work on those weaknesses in my character, but I am finding I must be careful on what the bottom line motivation is.




The bottom line cannot be "running the home more smoothly".  




The bottom line cannot be "making it easier."




The bottom line cannot be "getting more done."




The bottom line cannot be "being more efficient."




The bottom line cannot be "first-time obedience" (hang on–you’ll see where I’m going!).




The bottom line, the motivation, the driving force behind it all is Godliness—in myself, my family, my home.




If I do all the above–run my home smoothly and efficiently, get lots done, have all my children obeying right away and helping in every way; if I let that become the goal and yet I don’t have hearts, I have missed something very important.








I remember Michael Pearl answering a letter in one of their newsletters.  I don’t remember the whole thing verbatim, but this thought stood out to me–to resign being the boss, the prison matron, so to speak.  To resign from "getting things done" and instead, go after their  hearts.  Spend time with them. Delight in them.   Enjoy having the children around.




I can’t do that when my purpose and my goal is to have my home run smoothly.  Or to have first-time obedience.  Or all the other multitude of things we put first.  Academics.  Outside activities.  Church.




If our "bottom line", our goal and motivation isn’t Godliness formed through relationships, then all the rest is but dung.  Nothing. 




Mamas, please remember you are forging relationships that will last into Eternity.  THAT is your most important focus.




Young ladies, please remember that you can seem obedient, helpful, academically smart and quite proficient in becoming a homemaker, but if you do not have love towards your siblings, if you don’t really enjoy being with them and with your mama and daddy, you just have an empty shell.




Perhaps I’m the only one finding myself slipping into "getting things done".   I am yielding my life, my "schedule", my routines, my homeschooling, my homemaking all to the Lord.   That doesn’t mean I am not going to plan, and have a "que será será" attitude towards life.




But I plan to take the days, the opportunities, the moments, to build the most precious thing in the world–




Eternal relationships.




I firmly believe that the other things "shall be added unto me" as I focus on the most important thing.




Getting hearts.  Keeping hearts.  Tying heart strings.




Enjoying each other.





Yes, it ALL goes back to relationships.




Have a blessed day delighting in your family!




Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Over at Generation Cedar, Kelly has this wonderful story by Ann Voskamp, and I’d like to quote some of it here:


"The mundane, ordinary things are genuinely tremendous undertakings requiring Christ-courage. Who has the courage to live a life of little, unnoticed sacrifices? Loving an angry child, making a bed, kneading dough in the kitchen.

Voluntarily picking up a trail of discarded socks. Gratefully, folding up a damp towel abandoned on the bathroom floor. Carefully placing a tossed pair of shoes into the closet. This is our life: a mosaic of little things, daily sacrifices in small, quiet pieces.

At its very essence, this Christ-life is about the little things being the greatest things of all. Christ Himself told us: Whoever wants to be great in God’s kingdom must learn to be a servant of all.

And when will I hands-and-mouth-and-feet-remember that this little stuff is the truly noble stuff—the Jesus-stuff? Didn’t He too do great things that seemed so little: washing feet, and gathering children close on lap? Dying on a tree.

In His kingdom heroes live hidden, medal-less lives, lives laid down."

I thought this was so good!  You can read the whole thing at Ann Voskamp’s site:  A Holy Experience, the Making of Heroes .

It’s convicting to me, that’s for sure!   Sometimes we get discouraged doing the mundane, daily things.  Yet that is the stuff greatness is made of.

Lord, help me to be great in Your sight, to serve with a happy, joyful heart in all the routine, ordinary stuff of life.  And may You, the Master Weaver, take all the threads and weave them into a beautiful tapestry–the tapestry of our family life.   Ultimately, may it glorify and point to the One Who gave the materials, the skill, the wisdom, the strength, the grace, the guidance, to the weak individuals that make up the tapestry. 

A Tapestry of Divine Love.

A Tapestry of Divine Grace.

A Tapestry of Eternal Life.

A Tapestry of Divine Glory.

A Tapestry of You in our lives.

For Him Who Is My ALL,

~ ..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´ ..·´ -:¦:-
-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´*
"Home and family seemed by providence
to be my special field of duty."
                                     ~America Holton Ford, 1889~



I’d Rather

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

Last week my 19 year old daughter gave me a present.  Well, she gave me a clue that led to a scavenger hunt, collecting more children as we went along!  I had quite an entourage by the time I got to the end!  



The story is a bit funny, so I’ll back up a few days.  I have been wanting the book , "Passionate Housewives, Desperate for God", and even had it in my Amazon.com shopping cart.  I was waiting to see if another daughter was going to order and we could combine orders for free shipping.   That daughter decided not to order, and I had thought about just going ahead and getting it.   But I didn’t think I did.  Then I get an e-mail from Amazon saying my order had been shipped!  Boy, I thought I was a major scatterbrain for sure to not remember going ahead with the order, but nothing would surprise me around here!



Therefore I was quite relieved to find out it was my daughter that had ordered it and not me!  Whew!  I’m not as scatterbrained as I thought!



As much as I wanted the book and am thoroughly enjoying reading it, the greater gift that was in that box is priceless.  Absolutely priceless.  And I’m going to share it with you.  Remember, especially you younger mommies, it will be worth every ounce of investment (prayers, sweat and tears) that you put into those little ones.  They will rise and call you blessed, and even though you know you weren’t the perfect mommy, things like this will warm your heart.  More than all the awards I won in high school (including being valedictorian of my class) that are now in a box somewhere, more than any praise by any one else outside our family, more than anything the world can offer, these sweet, priceless gifts my children give me from time to time mean the most.



So, here is Leah’s rendition of  "I’d Rather" by Meredith Gray (She tweaked the first stanza, dropped a stanza, used one other original one–the fifth in this poem–and she wrote the rest).


I’d Rather


I’d rather be a mommy

than anyone on earth,

Raising up a child or more

of unpretentious birth.


I’d rather be in the kitchen

with my children all around–

than sit at a desk the day long

without one childish sound.


I’d rather have a home

with dirty walls, broken china and piles galore–

than I would a show house

and an empty heart which reveals that indeed I’m  very poor.


I’d rather teach my children

of all God’s wonderful works–

than teach a class of strangers

of man’s many strange quirks.


I’d rather wash a smudgy face

with round, bright baby eyes–

than paint the pageantry of fame

or walk among the wise.


I’d rather raise up warriors

and maidens for God’s Kingdom–

than build up fame, and much claim

in the world’s wide regions.


I’d rather wait awhile

and receive the Lord’s "Well done",

I’d rather give my life for Him

and be His and His alone.



If that weren’t enough, there was this note with it:


To Mommy


Thank you for being my mommy, my teacher and my friend, and for raising me to be a maiden of virtue.  "I’d Rather" be a wife, mommy and homekeeper  because of your ongoing training, prayers, and example!  I love you….love your favorite Leah"


Humbled and Grateful to God,




Extreme Sports

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

My husband was looking at the weather this morning on the internet and clicked on something which brought up a video on some extreme sports (I guess that’s what they called them!)  There was this guy who was trying to climb an arch in the middle of some sea, and one handhold he had to jump to reach it.  He fell into the sea below several times, then he got it–I mean, how can you catch a handhold and hang on while swinging from the momentum?!


Then it was mountain bikers.   Talking about breaking wrists, losing teeth, separated shoulders (OUCH!) from their crashes.  You know these guys (well, and girls)–they go down a mountain at the speed of light and flip their bike upside down then land on a tire and keep going.  Sometimes they land and smash!   That’s when they do the teeth/wrists/shoulders thing.   I wonder how they’ll feel in 40 years?! 


I decided that I, too, am a part of an extreme sport.  Sorry guys, this one is only for the ladies.  I birthed 10 children.  I actually went through 22 pregnancies. 12 of which miscarried and 1 was a stillborn.   9 regular births and 1 c-section.  Yep.  Done it all! 


Not only that, I breastfed them, too.  Some longer than others.  Now, that’s usually a pretty easy, natural thing.   But we’ve made it so complicated.  Do we schedule?  If so, how far apart?  If we demand feed, how do we go to the bathroom?   Do I get them sleeping through the night?  Or do I co-sleep?  My word, you can make a new mommy’s heart faint with terror with all that!   It took me about 7 children to start relaxing and enjoying them and learning the rhythms of life (I like calling it "responsive feeding").   And then I had to field the "Are they sleeping through the night yet?" questions.   I don’t remember anyone asking me that much until around baby #4.   What changed?   I don’t know, but  I went the other way.  I decided to be a part of the Extreme Team.


You never heard of it?  Well, that’s the mommy team that does what is best for their children and husband and family!   Not only that, but she dares go against the PC flow and pour herself out for her children.  Now, daddies can get it on the sport here.  It’s just the birthing and breastfeeding that they have to forego!    


So here I am, involved it the extreme sport of a lifetime–being a mother.  Not just a mother, but Mommy.  I figure it takes a lot of guts and sweat and tears to get your 21, 19, 16 and 14 year old daughters to call you Mommy.   And they do!   It takes a lot of grit to raise them to be feminine.  And they are!


More than that, it takes a lot of love poured out like Jesus poured out for me for them to see Him in my imperfect imitation of Him, and to love Him and live for Him.  And they do!


I highly doubt anyone will be featuring me on a short video about mothering, but something the arch-over-the-sea-climber said resounds with me:  "Sometimes you just keep trying and trying, and when you least expect it, you get it."  (Not a verbatim quote!)    Well, it’s that way with parenting, too!  And although these people do their sport for the adrenaline rush and will probably have some achey bones in the future, I do it for the long-term reward of my children, sons- and daughters-in-law, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and more arising up and calling me blessed!  And to have them all with me someday in Heaven.   Yeah, I might get some achey bones, too, but my rewards won’t be some dusty trophies sitting in a closet (or a barn)!


So, if you’re a mommy loving your children, doing what you feel is best for them, especially if you’re going against the popular flow–welcome to:


The Extreme Mommy Team!

Now go give yourself a pat on the back and have some chocolate!