Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Comparison Game

As mothers, it is easy to get caught up in the game of comparison.

We compare our own children to each other in casual conversations with friends at the park: "Oh, Bobby started walking at 9 months, but my youngest Sarah started walking at 15 months. He always seems to be ahead of where she is."

Or you hear mothers comparing their children to other children:

Mommy 1: My daughter knew her ABC's at 2.

Mommy 2: Yeah, my son isn't there yet.

Mommy 1: Oh, I'm sure he'll get there (said with a twinge of satisfaction).

I hear it all the time. And there is not a doubt in my mind that I've played into it from time to time. It gets the best of us. Ugh.

Not only do I compare my kids to other kids, but I compare myself to other mamas all the time. I start to feel like I should be doing more. That I am not enough. Been there before?

It's that comparison bug. Once it starts it spreads quickly and is quite contagious.

In those moments when I feel insecure and doubtful of myself, I hear this speaking to my heart:

I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb...
Jeremiah 5:1

Then I am humbled by the fact that in God's eyes we are all equal. He doesn't compare me with my Martha-esque mommy friends. God isn't keeping score. He doesn't have a condemning "bad crafter" or "impatient" sign to put on my back. He isn't keeping a tally to see which kid poops on the potty first or memorizes multiplication facts first.

That's just stuff to God. He cares about our hearts.

Instead of complaining to God about all of insecurities, let us offer praise. Let us try to replace the negative self talk with praise. Praise for arms to hug our babes, legs to chase bubbles with littles, and ears to hear "I love you" throughout the day.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Psalm 139:14

Much love,

Sunday, April 24, 2011


As we were heading home from the Carlsbad 5000, we slowly stopped when we came around a corner and noticed flashing lights.

There was an ambulance and several police cars. We could see a man with nice dress shoes on strapped to the stretcher inside.

I always feel so sad when we pass accidents. It amazes me how quickly things like that can happen. I was in a car accident about 10 years ago and I still can't believe how it seemed to happen in an instant. It is crazy how one second you are on your way to your destination and the next you are in an ambulance.

I said to the boys, "you know, when I pass an accident, I say a silent prayer and ask God to protect the people involved in the accident."

My oldest, Luke (8) who does not speak about his faith often with us said, "I do that too. Like when I am playing with my Legos and I can't find a piece, I pray and when I open my eyes, I find it."

I love the simplicity of a child's faith. Oh, how I need more of that in my life.

We went on to discuss how God tells us that he desires us to come to him with our requests.

I wonder, why then I try so hard to do it all on my own?

Today I was reminded to not limit God's possibilities and abilities. I was reminded to trust that He knows what I need and to not go to Him last after my plans and efforts have failed.

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
Phillipians 4:6

Much love,

Sunday, April 17, 2011

LEGO Easter Story

Last week, I gave a little preview of the LEGO Easter video Kevin and I were making with the boys. Our intention was to show the boys the events of Easter in a meaningful and age appropriate way. Now, I thought I had come up with the greatest invention known to man until I went to upload my video on youtube and realized that there were a ton of LEGO Easter videos.

Hee hee! Go figure!

Please feel free to repost this youtube link on your blog or FB. Thanks for watching.

*Turn your volume up a bit since the narration is a little soft.

Much Love and Happy Easter!

I'm linking up to Heather's Life Made Lovely Monday. Nothing is more lovely than the story of Jesus' ultimate act of love.


P.S. If you dig the hubby's music, you can listen to his tunes here.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lego Easter Video Preview

I've been pondering how to make Easter more real and meaningful for my boys. Luke is the oldest. He's 8 and can tell you the Easter story. The other boys get the birth of Jesus and the resurrection mixed up, so one day Easter is about the resurrection and the next it is about three wise men bringing gifts to Jesus.

I think they just like the gift part.

So I thought to myself, "how can I personalize the Easter story to make it more applicable to the lives of two preschoolers and an eight year old?"

The answer was quite simple.

What do my boys love most of all?


What does mama love?


As in theatre. However, there's plenty of the other drama to go around here too.

Luke was the set designer. He skillfully built each scene lego by lego.

Daddy was the director and sound engineer. Luke and I narrated from verses from the gospels.

The other boys were able to help with costume design, props, etc. Within a few minutes they lost interest and were off to play downstairs. They are 3 and 4. I'll cut them some slack.

We are going to piece the video together this weekend and put it on youtube. Check back on Monday to see it posted and share it with your littles, friends, and family.

Until then, here's a preview:

Much love,

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

real deal

There are times that I struggle with coming to God.

I feel like I need everything to be just right.

The right quiet space.

A calm spirit.

A good solid time frame.

The list goes on and on.

And when I do come before Him, I often find myself listing off a bunch of quick requests, maybe throw in something I'm thankful for, and then ask for forgiveness for having to dash.

Then I had one of those days today with my kids. Charlie was particularly tired and feisty. Yes, he made me question my sanity more than once throughout the course of the day, but there's one thing that didn't change despite Charlie's less than desirable behavior...

my love for him.

As I rested next to him at bedtime, we chatted and prayed. I thought how nice it was to have my sweet Charlie back after the rough patches earlier in the day.

It reminded me that we have a God who takes us as we are...moody, tired, or indifferent.

Like a loving mama cuddling her babe at bedtime, God just wants us to be near to Him.

We don't need to have the perfect attitude, setting, attire, or prayers. He just wants us to be real with him and to bring ourselves, just as we are, before Him.

But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.
Psalm 73:28

Much love,

Sunday, April 10, 2011

An Event That Changed a Heart by Janna

This is an amazing post from Janna. What I love about Janna is how she is the real deal. There's no fluff with this Mama! Enjoy!

This weekend I attended our church’s Women's Ministry Event. I was on the team who planned and carried out the event, and was amazed by how my involvement proved to be a divine appointment. 
DSC_0048Sure the event was fun – a fashion show, a guest speaker with a phenomenal story, and lunch while reconnecting with friends.  However, it ended up being so much more to me.
My friend Nancy encouraged me last year to join a team with her.  She had participated in planning past events and was stepping up as a team leader.  Our first meeting was scheduled for a Tuesday night, and it was earlier that same day that my daughter’s teacher  approached me about concerns she had regarding my daughter. 
On that day I began the process required to either rule out an Autistic type disorder or to get a diagnosis. It was an emotional roller coaster.  Little did I know when I was recruited by my friend to participate in the planning of this event, that the timing would coincide directly with events in my life to prepare me for this.
During our last team meeting before the event, I was able to tell this story to these ladies – my teammates and new friends - a handful of ladies who for the most part didn’t know each other.
I am convinced that sometimes God reaches down from heaven to put His arms around us by sending certain people & and situations into our lives at just the right time.  In addition to my church friends, I’ve had an outpouring of encouragement from blogger friends with similar stories.

Please leave a comment and visit Janna's blog here.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

messy rooms

Today was stressful for me. I rushed with the normal Thursday morning routine of making breakfast, packing lunches, changing kids' clothes, and asking (hate to admit...ordering) all the kids to hop in the van, "or we'll be late!"

Don't mornings sound pleasant in this neck of the woods?

To add to the stress, I was prepping for speaking at MOPS (Mothers of Pre-schoolers). Although I am used to speaking in front of an audience due to my teaching days, there is ONE MAJOR difference. Back in the day, they were 6 years old. 6 year olds tend to think you're pretty much a rock star no matter what you say.

Even though I knew the women and knew that I was in gentle hands, getting up in front of a room of grown ups is intimidating. Unless you're my awesome friend, Mandy. In moments like today, I still feel like I'm in 5th grade giving a speech on how to wrap a present. Anyone else ever feel like a kid trapped in an adult body?

Anyway, I'm on a street going no where. Let me rein it in.

After sharing with the welcoming ladies, I headed home. I walked in my house and I felt my head swirl. I had left the house in utter disarray. And for a type A chica like me, a mess makes me nuts. The counters were covered with "stuff" and piles of dirty breakfast plates sat in the sink.

Dinosaurs and Lego's were scattered about on the coffee table, and a combination of kid projects and a world map for my oldest who is drawing a flag for each country. Yes, he's the kind of boy who does those things in his free time just for fun. Gotta love a kiddo like that.

So I walked in, still feeling the adrenalin from speaking in front of the MOPS group, looked around my house, and felt panic. It didn't help that I tried to avoid the mess by heading upstairs to only find a pile of dirty sheets in our laundry area and piles of clean clothes layered on our unmade bed.

I really needed to take a deep breath, think straight, and make a decision to tackle one thing at a time. It seemed as though it would take me all afternoon to take care of it all, but it was surprisingly simple once I shut off my mind to everything and took it in baby steps. 30 minutes later, my house looked like my home again.

I can't help but relate this to other areas in our lives. Sometimes we get so bombarded by messes in all the "rooms" in our lives. We don't know how to tackle them and they seem like they will take so much more work than they really will. In reality if we address each mess at a time, stay focused on that one mess, it will be much easier to clean than if we try to clean a bit in each "room" all at the same time.

Yes, life gets messy sometimes. Which "room" in your life can God help you clean today: marriage, parenting, friendship?

I am thankful that I don't clean the messes up by myself. I have a God who knows my messes well. He knows my needs and he has all the supplies necessary to make my "rooms" clean.

Much love,

this is the day

"Mommy, can I get up yet?" was the first thing I heard.

I slowly opened my eyes in a half sleep state of mind, and tried to figure out what time it was.

I knew one thing was for sure, it was still dark outside. I don't know about you, but in this abode, no sun=no waking up.

However, Jack (3) is the earliest riser in this house.

I keep wondering why I thought that it would get easier with each little that came along. He's the hardest on so many different levels. Don't get me wrong, I'm blessed to be call Mama by that boy, but I don't mess around when I say that he's brought me to my knees.

I realized that I was still sleeping on the sofa. I was up late, which is what happens when Kevin is traveling for work. I just find it nearly impossible to settle comfortably at night when I am alone at night with the 3 boys.

I quickly ran upstairs in hopes of getting him back to sleep before his booming voice that kept repeating, "Mommy" woke the other 2 boys up.

Despite my efforts to coerse him back to sleep, he was ready to go downstairs. So I begrugingly headed down with him.

I was not happy about it.

At all.

And that attitude stuck with me throughout the morning as I prepped breakfast and lunches and took the two older boys to school. I found myself grubbling and complaining in my head about every task.

Then as I pulled into the garage, this popped into my head.

This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.


Yes, I was up early. Yes, I was exhausted. Yes, Jack and Charlie were fighting over the dragon castle knight. Yes, I had to rush to get ready for MOPS even though I wanted to crawl into my bed and shut myself off from it all.

But, this is the day the LORD has made...

What a precious gift.

No, I will not take that for granted. I have a choice about how I will use that gift today.

we will rejoice and be glad in it...
Psalm 118:24

Much love,

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Caught in the Act…Hopefully

Hi, Friends. Meet Melissa. She is my dear friend from long ago high school days. We used to TP my now husband's house and served as camp counselors for jr. high and high school camps. It is a good thing we had each other or I don't think we would have survived those camp days! Even though she and her family live in Texas, we are still buds and enjoy sharing our mom experiences with each other. She is not a blogger, but God put it on her heart to share with us. Thanks, Melissa!

Caught in the Act…Hopefully
by Melissa D.

At church several weeks ago, the pastor asked a question, “What will Jesus find you doing when he returns?” This has been haunting me in everything I do. Each time I turn to bark orders at my five year old, I pause slightly and think of how it would look if Jesus returned at the exact moment that I lose my cool. (Chances are high that He will return in one of these rapidly reoccurring moments of weakness.)

Then it hit me, He is here…NOW. Seeing everything I do. Even worse; hearing every thought.

I put on a happy “Mom of the Year” face when I pick her up from school or when she shows her strong willed determination when we are out in public. But when it’s just the two…err... three of us, the manic mommy comes out. There's a raised voice, censored four letter words, and some overly exaggerated hand movements. I sure am glad Jesus doesn’t react that way toward His children.

Count to 10…take a deep breath…say a prayer…

Whatever it takes, I’ll be doing it. I hear the same thing from every mom I know. They want to SLOW DOWN, whether it’s to cherish the lost childhood moments or to be more child like with our children. It seems to be the hardest, but most sought after accomplishment.

What will Jesus catch you doing?

“My friends, while you are waiting, you should make certain that the Lord finds you pure, spotless, and living at peace.” 2 Peter 3:14

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ̴̴ Maya Angelou

(Since my pastor asked this question, I have heard it asked in 2 other messages by 2 additional pastors…Message Received)