God sees you

I write this from one woman to another. We are all different. And yet we are somewhat the same.

Dear mom at the supermarket, with a baby on your hip, and a toddler throwing a tantrum. Your cart is full, and you struggle to maintain your composure, wandering what everyone thinks of you. He sees you. He cares!

Her friends get married, one by one, and she wonders if the right guy will ever come along for her. She tries to be content in being single, yet she still wonders if maybe someday… God knows her heart’s desire. And He cares!

She shops absentmindedly. Her eyes see all the babies, and her heart yearns for one of her own. When she sees a child being treated roughly, she wanders why God allows someone who doesn’t seem to love their child, have children, while her womb remains empty. But God knows her aching heart’s cry. And He cares!

The sink is overflowing with dishes, and laundry is piled in baskets and tabletops, waiting to be folded. She hustles around, trying to put things in order, and steps on a stray lego that her son has scattered across the floor. Pain, and a sharp word slips from her tongue. He cares!

She runs into the store, hair a mess and clothing rumpled, to grab some medicine for her feverish baby. She sees the judgemental looks, and wishes she could tell them she was up most of the night, and she’s just too tired to care. Why are people so uncaring? But He sees, and He cares!

She sits in her wheelchair, the pain her constant companion. She wonders what good she is to anyone. Why did God let this happen? But her faith keeps her strong.  And while she sits, she prays for needs around her. She is a prayer warrior!  God sees her. He hears each prayer, and He cares!

The children are fighting again. Loud, obnoxious words being flung back and forth. She wants to pretend she is somewhere all alone where it is peace and quiet. But she rallies. Discipline is given, and she squares her shoulders for the next task. God sees her weariness. He cares!

Her to do list feels long. Clothes to wash, food to make, house to clean, bills to pay, and on it goes. But she says a prayer for strength. He hears her pleas, and He cares!

Sometimes she wishes they didn’t live on a farm. Other people are always going on vacation. They aren’t tied down to the daily chores that a farm brings. But she thinks of all the times her family gets to share together. The blessing of working together, of seeing new life come into the world, and she tries to be content and thankful. He cares!

She walks the hospital hall. She takes care of her patients, tenderly seeing to their needs. Her legs feel like they’ve walked miles, and they have. God sees her servant heart. He cares!

The cancer left her with a bald head, nausea, and a frame that’s much too thin. She longs to be at home with her Heavenly Father. She’s tired of the battle. God sees each tear she cries, and He cares!

She wonders if anyone sees her sadness. She longs for a hug, a word of comfort, but everyone seems so busy with themselves, they don’t even notice. Her heart aches for a listening ear. God knows, and he cares!

The list could go on. I don’t know where you are at this point in your life. But I know the One who holds each of us in His hands. And His hands are more than capable, and so strong. God will never leave us or forsake us. Trust Him 🙂

Be blessed!

Parenting a hormonal adolescent

It’s late on a Saturday night. Dale and the boys are having a father/son night with some friends, and I’ve put the girls to bed, but they are still talking. Or should I say, the little one is 🙂 Our night went well, till I gave them a few minutes of “reading time”. Our oldest loves to read! Meanwhile, the younger girlie played, and did what she does, make a bit of a mess. Not a big mess, just things scattered here and there. And I could hear her older sister talking to her, scolding her. And it went on till I’d had enough. I decided it was bedtime.

And that’s when the arguing with my 13 yr. old began. She said she is NOT picking up her sister’s mess. I thought it must be bad, but there was maybe 8 toys scattered around the room 🙂 And I told her I did not like how she spoke to her sister, that she is little, and little children play and make messes. And I raised my voice, and she raised hers. I told her I would never have talked to my mom how she talked to me.

I came downstairs feeling so defeated! Like a mom that had no clue. What happened to my little girl? The one I rocked, and fed, and cuddled. She used to think I was the greatest. Now I get accused of favoritism, and unfairness.  And I wonder, should she have a room of her own? I know how little sister’s can annoy you, but it seems to be escalating here. Are we short changing her by making her share a room with her sister? Right now it’s our only option, unless we remodel, and I don’t see that happening yet. I remember sleeping in a full size bed with not just 1 sister, but 2. And I really don’t remember much fighting. Perhaps my mom would tell you differently 🙂 It seems like as the oldest, she wants to control all her siblings, and they have other ideas 🙂 I get so frustrated at this. Is this maybe a thing with being the oldest? To be in control.

This battling of wills, is just not something I feel qualified to deal with. How much do you chalk up to hormones, and how much is blatant disrespect? I truly think we are alike in some ways, and that is why we can really clash 🙂 I love when she talks to me, and we discuss things, and she listens! I just wish there weren’t so many flareups. I wonder sometimes if I am too harsh? Or too picky about things? I never remember my mom raising her voice to me. And I don’t want my children to say that’s what I did. I get my quick temper from the Brubaker side, I think 🙂

Any words of advice from some of you who are more experienced? 🙂

On a good note, she came downstairs and apologized, and I apologized too. As we shared a hug, I told her I love her no matter what. Because that’s what we do isn’t it? No matter what they throw at us, how they may hurt us, we love them unconditionally. I thought of how often God must feel like that with me. And how He forgives and loves me no matter what. Grace upon grace.

I may be new at this stage of my children’s life, but I do know if a child is loved, and they know it, they are not going to remember all your flaws so much.

I hope you are blessed with a good week, and that you don’t get to discouraged in your parenting. A verse that was shared at church that I love…  Psalm 127:3 ” Lo, children are an heritage from the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” Our children, our rewards. May we not take them for granted!

Being a Mom

I’m still learning how to do this mom thing. If another more experienced mom would have told me at 20 yrs. old what all I was getting into, I probably would have thought they were exaggerating 🙂

Last evening we were home, and I was out of lunch meat, eggs, or anything else that I often have for a Sunday supper, so I decided on soft pretzels. The kiddos all wanted to help make them. I wanted them to be able to help, but the neat freak in me was cringing inside. “Please keep the flour on the island”, “are your hands clean?”, ” roll up your sleeves, they are covered in flour”. And then the fighting began, and I forgot to grease the wax paper I put them on, and they looked they were all made my 4 yr. olds. Sigh. And then they were coming out of the oven, and Dale came in, and as fast as 1 pan came out, they were soon devoured. I didn’t count, but I would say it made 20-25 small pretzels. I got 2. Which is reasonable, but the pregnant mommy wanted another, and they fought over the last one! Needless to say, I was perturbed. Being a mom means servanthood, and I really struggle with that sometimes.

Being a mom means sometimes we let the messes go to do something more important. Like write a blog post. Ok, kidding a little, but right now my house is messy, and I chose to write instead. And this morning I felt a bit lousy, and Jenna wanted me to play a game with her. I so often choose the wrong thing, but this morning I played with her for 10 min., and she was so happy. Taking time for our children is always a good thing. It’s just not always what we feel like doing. Again, being a mom requires serving.

Being a mom means you are a walking wet wipe/tissue/burp rag. Got a booger, give that to mom. Snot nose, her clothing will clean that. Sticky mouth, wipe that good on mom’s outfit. It works great 🙂

Being a mom means that we clean, and wash, and bake, and cook, and discipline over and over and over again. Because we love them. And sometimes we do it while feeling very unloving. At least I do. But love should override feelings. Sometimes that selfish nature comes out, and apologies need to be made. And sometimes we need to give ourselves a pep talk, and change our attitudes. But love serves, even when it’s hard.

Being a mom means you make a great pillow, and your bed sleeps better than your children’s beds. And there’s always room for one more 🙂

You are the boo boo kisser, the dishwasher, the cook, the nurse, the story reader, the referee, the taxi driver, the cleaning lady, and so much more.

And guess what? Sometimes being a mom means we can do what we feel like doing. Within reason 🙂 And tonight I felt like making these, because baby wanted some chocolate 😉20160208_194810These are so easy! I may have shared these before, but since I don’t remember, and I feel too lazy to look back, I’ll share again.

I make 1 brownie mix (9×13), bake at required temp, throw on marshmallows to cover and put back in oven for another minute. Cool a bit. Mix 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup peanut butter, and melt together. Add 2 cups rice Krispies to chocolate and peanut butter mixture, and spread on top. And eat with a glass of cold milk 🙂

To all the moms out there, hang in there, take a deep breath, and keep serving your families. It is a high calling for sure. And if you’re not a mom, I hope I didn’t scare you from it 🙂 Because it’s so worth it, every bit!

And now I have to take a breath myself, a very deep one, and referee a big fight happening here 🙂

The mommytude

I’m pretty sure the ole devil smiled at his grip on me the other day. I start every day the same way right now, but for some reason that particular morning when I drug my body off the recliner, the mess in my kitchen sent me over the edge. Now let me start off by saying my husband is great at helping out right now with the children, and I appreciate that. But I am convinced he sees no messes in the house, especially not dishes 🙂 Because my sink can be overflowing with dishes, and they just keep piling them up. The children don’t see them either I guess, because they don’t do any thing with them unless prompted. Maybe they think I wave my magic wand, and they all go away 🙂 Thankfully on that morning, the only words I said to my hubby were, “This kitchen looks like a pig sty!” Because I wanted to say more. So much more 🙂 Instead I stewed away inside myself while I cleaned out the dishwasher and loaded it, feeling so healthy and nauseous the whole time.

And thus the mommytude started, and never left me too long for the whole day. I knew I was grouchy. I sighed and moped in my spirit. Why can’t I feel better. Why can’t Jenna play nicer. Why doesn’t no one notice the messes? Why does this family have so much laundry. And on and on it went. I tried distracting myself with my phone. And it worked, somewhat. But God kept putting little eye openers in front of me. One of them being the song by the Mullets” The Wambulance”. I think God has a sense of humor 🙂 And this made me think.

But I still felt irritable. Tristan was home from school not feeling the best, but still good enough to fight his sister. So that made me happy. Not. And then big brother brought his homework home for him, with each paper nicely labeled with instructions. And he proceeded to remove all the sticky note instructions, and then had no idea what went with what paper. But of course, he had a mother. She would figure it out.

And because I didn’t feel well, we heated leftovers for supper. Which some didn’t like. And it didn’t taste good to me either. Nothing much did that day. I’d had 2 evenings  this week that I felt better. Why couldn’t it stay. Why?

And when bedtime came, I knew apologies were in order. And then we prayed together, and I prayed that I would be a good mom, and not get so discouraged. Because they needed to hear me say that. And my heart filled to the brim as I heard each of my children, pray that I would feel better, and that I could go to the Christmas dinner we had the next day.

I dislike myself when I have bad attitudes. And it all comes from focusing on all the wrong things. It’s a weakness I need to work at.

How about you? What are some things you do to help you stay focused on what really matters?

I hope you have a restful Lord’s Day, and a great week ahead of you!end of march, misc. 2015 014

The good ,the bad, & life in general

If you came to read deep thoughts, you won’t find them in this post. I am worn down and a bit discouraged with this morning sickness, but on the other hand, I am grateful to God for this babe growing inside me. I muddle through each day, mostly on my recliner. Some days are better than others, and for those I am so thankful. I am going to whip this house into shape when I feel like working again 😉 It makes a huge difference having older children to help out, and we have been doing ok. We were blessed with so many meals, gift cards, casseroles, and some of you even help fold my wash, wink,wink 🙂 It humbles me a bit to be on the receiving end of all this kindness, and I can’t wait to pay it forward.

The children say our life is boring right now, but we were able to spend Christmas with family and friends, and that was a blessing.

I do feel like I fail my children right now. I snap at them too easily, and when I have to see someone doing something that I usually do, and not at all the way I think it should be done, it just really tries me. That sounds like I am a control freak. Maybe I am a little 😦 If I’m feeling too bad, I don’t even care, and that’s probably, sadly, better.

I clicked on a website that said “10 signs you have a strong willed child.” I think all of our children qualify, with 1 or 2 scoring 10 out of 10. Yup, we have our work cut out. I was also getting some tips on how to raise a strong willed child, because I need all the tips. I was greatly encouraged by the fact that a strong willed child is often a good leader, isn’t swayed by the crowd, and can go on to do wonderful things, if they are taught well. I can only pray we get some things right.

This week I went for an ultrasound to check some things, and I got to see baby moving around in there. What a miracle! I have an app on my phone that tracks each day of pregnancy, and shows a video each week how baby develops. I always thought of a child as a miracle, but looking at these videos, and seeing how each part, each organ, is formed, it amazes me all over again. Life happens, only because of a God who ordains it.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll be ready for Christmas vacation to be over. The kiddos need to have something else to concentrate on, other than the way their sibling annoys them. I honestly hope someday they get along better. The tension exists more between the 2 oldest, and they act like they despise each other, but there’s still hope for a bond to form 🙂 Every once in awhile it surfaces 🙂

We are home this evening. I told Kirsten if I feel better, maybe we can go to Longhorn for her birthday supper. They get to pick a restaurant to eat at for their birthday, and that was her pick. Her birthday was in November. Yes, that’s us, so on top of everything 😉 But alas, I didn’t feel up to it, so I’m sitting here listening to the girls play doctor, typing this up. Dale picked up food for supper. He said he’ll get whatever sounds good to me. I said,”I don’t know :)” That’s me right now. I start the day with a ritz cracker and toast. Then we eat fruit, and I always eat Campbell’s chicken noodle soup, because it’s what I can stomach. I never want to see a can of that again when I feel good 🙂 And I’ve been eating a tuna sandwich almost every day. I sip on gingerale all the time, and eat pretzels when I’m gagging. And for supper, I usually eat what they do, just small amounts. I seriously have to eat almost every 1/2 hr. or the gagging gets worse. Anybody have a food that tasted good to you when pregnant? I’m up for trying. I did start taking Unisom and B6 at night, and I do think it takes some of the nausea away. If you are one that throws up all the time when pregnant, I feel so bad for you. I absolutely HATE throwing up, and I haven’t thrown up once, even though I’ve come close. It’s so weird how everyone is affected differently.

This post wasn’t supposed to be so much about morning sickness, but I guess that is our life right now. I know from experience that when that sweet baby is in your arms, all that you suffered seems small, and so worth every bit. It’s why we mothers keep having more 🙂

If you are going through something hard like cancer, a death, depression, financial stress, a hospital stay, whatever it may be, I want you to be encouraged. Encouraged that God sees each and every one of our stories. In fact, He is the Author of our story. And He has put us there for such a time as this. Hold tight to His love, and rest in His strength.

2nd Corinthians12:9&10 But he said to me,” My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I’m excited for the new year, and all it holds. I hope 2016 holds so many blessings for you. Thanks for reading!

Christmas thoughts

I am sitting alot these days, and it has really made me ponder this busy season. While I do not enjoy this part of pregnancy, I’ve realized there are some aspects that I’m appreciating this year. I am always stressed over Christmas time. There is cookies to bake, Christmas gatherings, Christmas programs, buying gifts, cards to mail, extra school activities, etc. I also feel pressured to be creative with decorating, & gift giving. I am missing some of those things. Others, not so much 🙂

This year, I just don’t care so much. And it’s ok. It’s made me realize that simplicity is perfectly fine. It is freeing. 

I do not judge anyone for their Christmas traditions, or the way they celebrate. For us, each year can be a bit different. For this year though, we told the children we are not spending a lot, and we would like to give money where it is really needed. I ordered gifts for 3 of them online on cyber Monday, and dear hubby went and got something for our farm boy 🙂 It was so easy. I dislike shopping, by the way 🙂

It bothers me that children, ours included, seem to feel entitled to gifts at Christmas. I know, it is special, and I know the meaning behind gifts. But they will not make a child happy. Maybe for a little, but then they want something else. You know, this is sadly how I am too sometimes. I’ve noticed that for a day or 2, the Christmas gifts get played with, and it’s nice, but all too soon they are found lying around, not as much fun as they were when they received them.

They will much sooner, treasure the memories of being together, time spent as a family.

However you may choose to celebrate this year, I hope you can find time for each other. And time for those that really need an extra dose of love. And if you can’t do extra things, relax. I promise, Christmas will still come. And it will be just fine 🙂

#TheStruggleIsReal

Yes, it’s been very real today. You know it’s real every day, at least it is for me, but some days it’s really real, if you know what I’m saying 🙂

It was a dreary day here, but I didn’t mind. And when Dale volunteered to take the children to school this morning, I was grateful. A bit of alone time. Yes, sir 🙂 But I did know there would be guys in my kitchen fixing my backsplash. That’s fine. We have other rooms in the house to drink coffee in 🙂

Jenna and I did a grocery run, which went ok. Besides the bill, but I’m rarely ok with that 🙂

The afternoon went downhill. Not in a horrible, tragic way. More like a slow, continuous battle. Today was vision therapy day for my son. We drove through rain, but got there in time. So that was nice. Also, a confession after my rant about running red lights. I think I hit about 10 yellow lights today 🙂 I went through some easily. Stopped for others. And I kind of went through one that turned red on me. Shame on me! I felt immediate guilt, because of all that I said about this. I really think God tests me when I say things 🙂

Anyway, that all went well, and then came home, threw some hotdogs and kraut in the crock pot because I’m nutritious like that. And I wasn’t going to cook with the tile guys in my kitchen. Don’t judge 🙂

Then milking time. Maybe I should correct myself, and say that’s where the struggle started 🙂 The weather turned muggy and humid, and our barn was a sticky mess. It affected me. And the cows. And the children. And the husband. You get my drift. Really though, the cows seemed uptight, hitting me in the face with their tail, kicking off milkers, chewing on them. And then the boys decided to race their bikes around, yelling loudly, till mom lost it, and hollered. Shame on me again.

Time for supper. Realized the hotdogs were on low 😦 Turned up the crock pot. One child is losing it that he made a mistake on his homework, call the teacher NOw, Mom, call her NOW. The other child ran around throwing folded wash on the floor. Another trying to tell me something, and yelling that she can’t talk because ev.ery.one interrupts her. One comes in stripped down to his skivvies, fussing that his brother threw sawdust on him, and he’s so itchy, and his sister is lecturing him on immodesty. Aand the mom yelled,”What next???!!”  And started dishing out advice, and thank goodness the hubby is coming in the door!

And then more homework, and bathtime, and bedtime. I told them I couldn’t wait to put them to bed. That probably wasn’t the nicest thing to say. I really felt like that though. I wonder if I’m cut out for this job of mothering sometimes. My post last week about life, and how quickly it can be gone, should make me think. And it does. But then why do I mess up over and over again? I can picture God sighing about me some days.

Like I said, not a terribly, horrible no good very bad day. Just a day that felt like I didn’t cope well with my attitude and my children.

I feel a bit silly now that I wrote out my feelings 🙂 But I also feel better. And in about 5 minutes, I’ll be feeling better yet. Because I will be eating an apple dumpling from my sweet mother. And it will be very yummy 🙂 Don’t judge 🙂

Feel free to share your struggles in the comments. I admit to sometimes feeling like I bore you over my life, and have little interaction with you 🙂 My stats show that someone is reading this blog. Maybe not many, but still some 🙂 And I love reading comments, so please share if you find time 🙂

Now… about that apple dumpling;)