…..5 Things on Five Minute Friday…..

5 Things I Freaking Sucked at this week

  1. 7th grade Math aka rhombus triangles and imaginary lines
  2. Telling my daughter she could handle an issue her way, but then pushing my way onto her after saying that.
  3. Cooking supper. Can you suck at something you did not really do?
  4. Trying to be like Jesus.
  5. Coming up with 5 things I sucked at….because I come from the generation where we are good at everything.😀

5 Things I Freaking Rocked this week

  1. a baby….I rocked a baby
  2. reading nighttime stories to my 7 year old. The Adventures of Tom Trueheart, I may or may not have continued to read it long after she fell asleep.
  3. folding clothes. I folded a mountain of clothes, like twice.
  4. Trying to be like Jesus🙂
  5. writing a freaking awesome blog post: Do you only brush your front teeth?

Seagull flying toward the dunes at sunset

seagull dunes sunset

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Do you only brush your front teeth?

You know….the ones everyone can see? I was thinking about this last night as I was brushing my three year old’s teeth.

I had just finished chapter 2 of Because He Loves Me, and was trying to figure out how to put into words everything it made me feel, realize, and understand.

He was wanting me to get to the front teeth, because he knows they are the ones I save for last. He wanted to go play with his Legos before bedtime.

And those front teeth do need to look pretty! Because they are the pearly whites he shows off with his beautiful smile.🙂

Isn’t that how life is? Always trying to keep up with the world’s way of doing things, making sure we “look pretty” on the outside–rather it is a nice car, nice house, suitable job, good college, sports, popular friends, perfect body. I mean come on, the list could go on and on and fill up this whole blog.

But what if we were no longer concerned with things of THIS WORLD and instead put all our energy into something else? What would that something else be for you? If it could not be of THIS WORLD, what would you focus on?

When you dig deeper into your soul, what do you find? Is it rotten, like your back teeth would be if you never brushed them? Or is it already empty from neglect? Do you have anything in your soul, other than the things of THIS WORLD?

The attitudes of the world–self improvement, self-reliance, self-love, self-promotion, pride, independence, and self-worship–resonate within each of us and drown out our Redeemer’s loving words. (Pg 47)

When you read the first part of that quote, did you think to yourself “those are good things though, right? To be self-reliant, independent, to show self-improvement, to have pride in yourself, to rely on yourself….my goodness, is that not what we are trying to accomplish in this life?”

Read the New Testament and you may notice that we have been wrong all along. Those things are not important at all. Not if the thing you would put all your energy into, if you did not focus on THIS WORLD, is Jesus Christ.

1 John 2:6 says whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.

How did Jesus walk this earth? He walked in genuine love and compassion for others, He did not judge others, He fed the hungry, He defended and comforted the weak and oppressed, He prayed many times daily, His life mission was to share and teach the Good News, He did not seek out attention for His works (often times even asking the person to keep it a secret).

We get so carried away in trying to gain control and power in this world–in our relationships, with our children, peers, sport teams, careers, politics–that we lose sight of Him and His ways. We become relentless in our pursuit of “The American Dream”, that we brush aside any mention of His love, any whisper of correction He places in our hearts, because it may get in our way of winning “the race”.

Something I recognized in this chapter was the emphasis on the fact that Christians should always be GROWING, INCREASING in faith and knowledge.

It always saddens me when I see people bash other Christians for not modeling Christian behavior 100% of the time. Because not one of us is perfect, and the reason any one of us is a Christian is because we recognize that about ourselves, and are seeking Jesus Christ who WE LOVE imperfectly YES, but also IMMENSELY.

We should all be growing, increasing in our faith and knowledge of His Ways.

And to do this, we have to do more than just brush the teeth that everyone sees! We have to take care of the parts of our life (our heart, our soul) that no one else sees (except God). I know for myself, God knows my heart even better than I do. So I really need Him to be able to KNOW MYSELF.

We can not brush Him aside when we are sinning! Those moments of sin are the moments that define our walk in Christ, because they allow us to GROW and INCREASE our knowledge of His Ways. Find the Godly LESSON in your mistake! Don’t ignore Him because you are ashamed of your sin, OR because you want to keep sinning in order to get yourself ahead in THIS WORLD.

Don’t be the person who accepts Jesus and then becomes blind and shortsighted, because you are not GROWING and INCREASING in your faith, because you are focused on your earthly agenda and have forgotten we all are imperfect and are in need of cleansing. And if you are that person, or when you are that person, find Him. Because He is ALWAYS there, and He NEVER changes. And He always loves you.

Ask Him to settle your heart and show you HIS WAYS so that you can GROW and INCREASE in your faith.

And to do this we HAVE to let go of THIS WORLD and put all our energy and love into HIM.

You are God’s treasure. He treasures you.

And your heart needs HIM to show you WHO YOU REALLY ARE.

So don’t be afraid….

For God has given us everything we need for living a godly life…He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may escape the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless and fruitless (stalled in growth) in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. The person who lacks these things is blind and shortsighted, and has forgotten the cleansing from his past sins. 2 Peter 1:3-9

Amen.

Lucas and I showing off our pearly whites!

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The Battle of Fear and Love

Last night, my oldest daughter, Kamryn, went to a local carnival with a friend and her family. I called to check in on her and instead of the usual “Hello”, she answered with excitement:

Mom, I am on a ferris wheel!

So we chatted about how she had ridden all the carnival rides already and she was having so much fun. It brought me back to my teenage years, living in a small town, and a carnival rolled through. It was like a slice of life rolled in with it!

And the whole conversation with Kamryn was fun and exciting and easy flowing.

Then as soon as I get off the phone, it happened.

Fear set in.

Dear God, please don’t let her to die on the ferris wheel.

What if she dies on the ferris wheel?

Oh God, she is going to die on the ferris wheel.

So so so irrational.

When Kamryn was an infant, she began overnight visits with her father, who I was never married to. We lived hours apart from eachother, so it was not an every other weekend arrangement. But he would consistently see her whenever he could.

And everytime, on my 3 hour trip home alone, after dropping her off, I would be in a state of panic.

Dear God, please keep her safe. Please Dear God don’t let them have a car wreck. If they get in a car wreck, please don’t let her get hurt. Please Lord don’t let her to get sick. Oh God, what if she becomes ill. Please keep her safe. Please keep her well. Please let me see her again, alive.

The prayers were panic-ridden, relentless, and tear-stained. And they lasted the whole ride home. It was exhausting for me. And probably God too.

I learned alot from those trips though. Sometime about 2 years into this, as I was doing my relentless panic praying routine, God whispered in my heart:

Dear one, what makes you think I am not with Kamryn when she is with her dad, the same as I am with her when she is with you?

Silence in my soul.

My whole world changed.

My heart settled. I was so relieved. I was finally released from my ritual of panic praying!

I was humbled and embarrassed. How prideful could I have been to think I was the one protecting Kamryn, and not God. And that without me there, it was inevitable all would go wrong.

I learned so much on those lonely trips home, with hours spent praying in a frenzied panic. But I would not have learned anything if God had not whispered into my soul.

No telling how long He had been trying to teach me this lesson, but my fear was so great that I would not listen. And finally He just burst into my brain and left me a direct message.

You just got to love Him.🙂 I can just imagine Him in His great throne thinking:

Here she goes again. Will she ever realize that I am there with Kamryn all the time, not just when Kamryn is with her?

Well, I did finally realize. But only after He blasted past the fear that was creating a fog around my heart. That fog of fear was making it impossible for me to listen to Him, to remember that I do not need to live in fear, because I am a child of God. But God stayed true to His love, and He drew the fog away.

On that day, I stopped parenting in fear. I stopped living in fear. And I stopped loving with fear.

And anytime I would feel the fear set in, my prayer would be:

Dear Father, I know you are in control. Please help my heart to settle down and not live in fear.

So I was kind of surprised last night when all those irrational panic prayers began rolling around in my brain, about Kamryn’s imminent doom from the top of a ferris wheel.

But it didn’t take long before I remembered I do not parent out of fear.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

I am not perfect. But my Savior is. And so when I find fear mixed in with my love, I pray for love to win and for fear to catch the next train to nowhere. I no longer pray in panic with an undying relentlessness. I pray for me to remember that fear does not control me.

I pray for my children to love Him with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength. Because if they can do that, then they can get through life, no matter what comes their way.

I pray for God’s will to be fresh on my heart. To be fresh on my family’s heart.

Because my Savior lives and my Savior is Love. And He is in me.

The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1

Amen.

My Beautiful Kamryn doing the typical teenage picture of herself. This was probably her 100th picture of the day😉

Kamryn pretty1

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Because He Loves Me: Chapter 1

Why do I sometimes lose enthusiasm in following Christ? I can be rolling along, praising Jesus and really diving into and understanding His word. Praying constantly.

And then one day it is like I hit a brick wall and just stop.

Why do I have these pits and valleys in my walk with Christ?

Is this normal?

So in studying Because He Loves Me with some others online, I am hoping I can figure out my weakness in my love for Him.

So that I never lose enthusiasm again.

My scripture connections, revelations, and AHA moments for Chapter 1:

Scripture Connections

  1. Mark 14:27 to Mark 14:5
  • Jesus is The Shepherd. His disciples (including me and you and all Christians) are His flock. Why do we flee?

2.  Genesis 3:15 to Mark 15:19

  • The soldiers were hitting Jesus on the head. I think this is the devil mocking God for God’s punishment bestowed upon the snake/devil in Genesis 3:15.

Scripture Revelations

  1. Luke 4:18-19 When the words are not taken exactly literally and are defined, here is what I saw:
  • Poor is poor in Spirit. A rich man can be poor in spirit.
  • Captives are captives of addiction and abusive relationships
  • Oppressed are people abused and neglected, lonely, sick at heart, people stuck in a government where it is illegal to worship as a Christian, and people stuck in a family or peer group where it is discouraged to worship as a Christian.

2.  John 13:4-5 There are many scriptures in bible telling Christians we need to be servants. That is OUR JOB. And here, Jesus is literally doing a servant’s job, with NO explanation on His part. JUST PURE ACTION!

Often times I believe Christians do too much “lip service”. Many people who need to be reached overlook our actions as fake or even annoying. They do not believe our actions are genuine, due to all our “lip service”.

3. John 19: 15-16 I have always thought of Caesar as kind of the “king in the wrong place at the wrong time” mainly because of his wife’s nightmare, his reluctance to crucify Jesus, and how he “washed his hands” of Jesus’ crucifixion, as if the whole situation was disgusting to him.

But when you look at this verse alone, as it was shown in chapter 1 of Because He Loves Me, then it is easier to notice that as soon as the crowd says “We have no king but Caesar” this is when he relents and gives Jesus over.

I think this comment from the crowd inflated his ego! And all of sudden he didn’t want to “let the crowd down”. He indulged his ego by giving the crowd their wish. Pride won over his own logic of criminal proceedings, his own gut feeling, and even his wife’s urging to stay out of it!

EGO is a powerful force we have to watch out for!

4.  Romans 8:15 Slavery vs Adoption

Slavery is synonymous with no guarantee of love, a real fear of being sold or hurt, and NO INHERITANCE.

Slavery is The World

Adoption is synonymous with a guarantee of love, no need to fear being left behind, and receiving an INHERITANCE!

Adoption is Jesus’ Kingdom

AHA Moment (I will share only one, since my post is getting long)

 1 John 4:9-10 This verse has the word propitiation towards the end. And I was like “SAY What??!!” So I looked it up two ways.

Propitiation according to my bible’s side notes means “removed of divine wrath. Jesus’ death is how God can turn His wrath away from us.”

So basically propitiation according to the bible means that God can now turn His wrath away from our sin, because Jesus died on the cross for us.

Then I looked up the word in the dictionary. There it means: peace, calm, ease, and contentment.

YES! That is what my salvation through Jesus brings to me! Peace, calm, ease, and contentment!

Amen.

Follow this bible study at gracelaced.com and gracefullmama.com

ocean-rocks.jpg

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The boy who brings me flowers……

I was not a very patient mom today. I mean I had my great moments. Like when we went to the pediatrician’s office for Summer Grace’s fever. And while we were waiting the 15 minutes for the strep test results, I found every single scab, old scar, and bruise on Summer Grace and Lucas. And that was funny, because they had to make up a lot of stories for the “old forgotten wounds”.

AND I discovered they each have a hole in their stomach!!

They said it was something called a “belly button”. Yeah. So whatever. It looked dangerous to me.

But oh man. I had a few too many bad ones, where I let my impatience make me into a mean sounding mommy.

I actually just laid on the couch and cried at around 5pm, because I was so tired of being impatient and mean sounding to everyone. I really hate my womanly hormones. And I hate using that as an excuse, but it really was my problem today. So I am re-thinking this whole womanly life I am stuck in.

But Joseph says I would make a horrible man because I wouldn’t want to execute someone by cutting their head off and I hate the word fart.

And Lucas brought me two flowers today. One was a wild daisy and the other was a clover. He is sweet. And he is a boy. And I am going to teach him that cutting heads off is wrong. Because someone has to stop the cycle.😉

So for now, I am going to soldier on as a Gentle Parent. Today I messed up alot. But I am not going to give up.

Someone has to teach the world that the word fart is inappropriate. And this whole “belly button” problem needs to be solved too.

The boy who brings me flowers….

Lucas at OceanDr

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Someone Pinch ME!

There has never really been ONE person in my life who has inspired me to completely change myself, other than Jesus. I base my life on Jesus Christ and although I am so very imperfect, He is who I strive to be like.

BUT when I began Gentle Parenting, my inspiration was AND is Dr. Laura Markham at Aha! Parenting. I really needed help in changing my parenting style, and when I found her blog, I knew this was where I was meant to be. I knew it was where God wanted me to be, to learn how to better serve my family.

AND OH MY GOODNESS!

SHE COMMENTED TWICE ON MY BLOG! Once on my actual blog, https://thebondedmom.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/the-beginning-of-my-journey-begins-everyday/and once on a link to my blog site that I was bold enough to post on her facebook wall!

I can’t stop being so excited!🙂

I AM FAMOUS!

ok so maybe NOT famous.

But I feel like it!

Please understand, I am not putting Dr. Markham on the same plateau as Jesus. That would just be silly. But God definitely led me to her blog, and without her sharing her parenting wisdom, I would still be lost. Her blog introduced me to Gentle Parenting and I have since found a few other great blogs that I read consistently as well.

But when I began this journey, I literally read every.single.one of her articles on her blog. Countless, and I mean, countless hours. And then when I was up to date on her blog, I subscribed to her page, so I wouldn’t miss another article. I also purchased her book “Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids” and am still in the process of finishing it up.

I am so humbled and encouraged and excited. I don’t even know what to do with myself next.

I will be writing a new post soon, on something other than my overwhelming excitement.

I am sure I would have a new post up already but I have been awfully busy brushing elbows with celebrities.😉

just kidding, just kidding. My 7 year old has strep throat, so I am playing nurse right now.

I have to go now and check on the chef and butler to make sure they are managing the staff appropriately.

just kidding, just kidding. I do have to cook supper though. These kids think they need to eat 3 meals a day!!! I know, I can’t believe it either.

🙂

My hearts❤

3 kids at TXStAQ

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This Moment Brought to you by God

Last week my daughter, Summer Grace, stayed home from school sick. That evening, I went into her room for our nightly reading together. Before we began to read, she began to cry. Big tears. Breaking my heart tears.  She did not want to go to school the next day. You see, Summer Grace is my homegirl. Meaning she is my girl who loves being at home. Home is her safe place. And she prefers her adventures in safety!😉

So I knew this day at home, in the middle of the week, had really thrown her heart around in her chest. Causing anxiety about having to go back. Having to give up her safe spot.

So I let her cry. I hugged her. I stroked her hair. And then I asked her why?

The reasons poured out.

  • She was bullied.
  • She felt like a nobody there.
  • She was scared of failing a test.
  • She was scared of failing Second Grade.
  • She was scared of disappointing me with her grades.

WoW. That is so much baggage for a little girl to carry around in her heart.😦 Where do I start, I thought? every single reason was scary enough on their own.

I knew about the bullying. And I felt like the “nobody” comment stemmed from that issue. So I decided to tackle this one first.

“Never think of yourself as a nobody. God created you. And that alone makes you somebody so special. Look at your human body, how complex it all is. God spent alot of time creating you. He put alot of thought and detail into you. You are no accident and you will never, ever be a nobody. If someone calls you a name or says mean things about you, that DOES NOT make those things true. You are in charge of who you are, no one else can make you into something.”

Pretty good stuff, right? Yep, I won’t take credit for it. Somehow God put those words into my mouth at just the right time.

Now it was time to tackle the school work stress. The six weeks had just ended, so she had just went through Math benchmark testing, reading, and spelling tests the week before. So this was a fresh stress.

When we began talking about this stress, it quickly became clear that her main concern was disappointing me with a bad grade or failing Second Grade. (I am not sure why she is so concerned with failing a grade? Maybe she heard some kids talking about it at school.)

Apparently she had overheard Kamryn (my oldest daughter) and I discussing her math grade. At the half-way point of this last six weeks, it was shown that Kamryn needed to drastically improve her math score. Kamryn and I had discussed ways for her to do this (turning in extra work, asking for tutoring, etc). Apparently Summer Grace overheard this conversation, and to her little ears and her sensitive heart, the worry set in for her.

At this point I just really hugged her. She was crying very hard, telling me all these things. This was a heavy burden for her. Then I said to her:

“I am so sorry I ever made you feel like your grades were that important to me. If you ever make a bad grade or even fail a grade, I will still ALWAYS love you. Nothing will ever take my love away from you. I know you will always do your best in school. And Summer Grace, when you go to heaven, do you really think God is going to ask you about your math grades?

She giggled.

Exactly! Absolutely NOT!  The only thing God is concerned about is your heart. And so that is what is most important to me too!”

Then we talked about how God has a BIG plan for Summer Grace’s life. God’s plan is different for each person. For me, His BIG plan is to be a mommy who stays home. And while that may not seem like much to some, it is BIG for me and my flock of little people that God has entrusted me with. For Summer Grace, His plan might be that too! Or it may be a doctor, a lawyer, a missionary.

And I continued with these words (again, God placed these words on my heart):

“And so when things are going wrong in your life, God sees the whole picture, His whole plan for you. He knows you are having a tough time. And He will use these hard times to build you into that person He needs you to be for your life plan. And whatever His plan is for you, it is BIG because it is His plan. And so always remember, you are a somebody and you are God’s!”

Then we got to reading. We always start with her bible story. My sister from Missouri bought her a beautiful little children’s bible called The Jesus Storybook Bible. And it just so happened this night’s story was on Joseph, the favored son of Jacob who had the rainbow coat and the prophetic dreams that drove his 12 brothers into an evil jealousy. We got to the part of the story where the brothers sold Joseph into slavery (how scared Joseph must have been!) and the story read:

That’s the end of that dreamer! they thought. But they were wrong. God had a magnificent dream for Joseph’s life and even when it looked like everything had gone wrong, God would use everything that was happening to Joseph to do something good.”

I just paused. Speechless.

It was such a God Moment.

Summer Grace even, on her own, saw the connection between what I just read to her and what we had just talked about.

It was an amazing, beautiful, miraculous moment.

It was BIG!

Isn’t it something? God knew I was going to read that particular story that evening, even though I had no idea. And God knew the burdens on Summer Grace’s heart.

It could have been so easy for me to just shrug her crying off, telling her “you have to go to school tomorrow, there is no point in crying about it.” That would have been the easy and fastest route to go. And you better believe it crossed my mind!

But instead, I paused and embraced her moment, walked her through it, talked her through it. We just have to remember to embrace moments. Don’t rush over them, so busy with life. Because you never know what God has coming around your corner. He can orchestrate the most beautiful moments, so perfectly, and so unexpectedly. But first we have to be willing to live in the moment, not rush through it.

Are you worried you won’t know what to say in such moments? Just live your life focused on God everyday, as best as you can with constant prayer and growth in His word, and when those moments arrive, God will put the words into your heart. He will guide you through the moment.

Because He can turn little tears into a big moment. And you don’t want to miss that!

Summer Grace and I, in 2005 at the National Seashore in Corpus Christi, TX

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