Thursday, February 14, 2019

To Be Like a Child with Your Relationships {Faith & Homelife}

To be childlike. What does that mean? So many different interpretations! Sometimes I feel lost when I hear that statement.
A lesson, not just in faith but in relationships as well...

My *almost* 3-year-old came into the room in which I had just taken a seat, having just woken from a nap, and asked me to hold her. I had a bunch of things I still had yet to finish and I had just sat down hoping for a few minutes of peace before having to get back up again. I did not want to tell her ok. But I did anyway. I scooped her into my arms, laying her across me with her head in the crook in my elbow as if she were a tiny baby like her little brother. Her thumb in her mouth, her not yet fully-awakened-self curled into my arms, and her eyelids fluttered between open and wanting to remain closed made my eyes begin to well up with tears. All she wanted was her mommy. complete and utter attention. In her childlike way, she had sought me out.

For a brief moment, she was like the baby she was before. I could see her tiny body resting peacefully in my arms before finally drifting off to sleep. I could see her as she was cuddling into me, sick with fever and only wanting the comfort of mommy. I could see the future of her, losing the baby look in her face as she becomes a little girl too big for me to hold.

When was the last time I had held her like that?

She woke finally. A brief moment of concern showed across her face as she scrunched her eyebrows from the sight of tears in my eyes. But as I smiled at her, her eyes shown back as she smiled at me. Just those few minutes of holding her, those few minutes of attention gave her joy, showed her love, and all she had wanted was some time with me.

Such a simple thing.

It's amazing how far such a simple thing can go.

Such devotion from a small child.

I have been rather surly. I can feel the irritation come out in my interactions with the children. I can feel it even more so in my interactions with my husband. There is so much stress piled on me on a day to day basis it's affecting how I respond to my family members. This has been a long time building. I am frustrated with so much around me: the mess of toys strewn across the floor, the dishes piling in the sink, the hampers full of clean clothes waiting to be folded and put away or the dirty clothes waiting to be washed. Where is the joy in these mundane tasks? My frustration carries over to the next event, the next conversation, to whatever comes next.

My little guy, so fresh and new, was so content in my arms. Having fed I had set him down beside me. we were on the bed, I had laid down as well and it was peaceful. Quiet. A moment without fussing. He was looking around, studying the familiar surroundings of my bedroom. After a few moments, he started to squirm, shifting his weight around until he was right next to me. I looked at him to find he was staring at me intently, as only a baby can. He smiled at me with his glorious baby smile when he saw me look at him. I couldn't help but smile back at his sweet face.

My child saught me out.

A whisper in the back of my head. Childlike.

I had been praying for some sort of response to my frustration and seeking out the joy in the relationships in my life, my overwhelm of motherhood and wife-dom. When this whisper, all in the course of the day, was playing out to me. Be childlike.

Childlike in faith? What? What does that have to do with my relationships?

In reference to my relationships, seek them out and show the happiness of just having them there. Like your children seek you out and are just happy to have you there, do the same for those in your life.

My oldest usually gets off the bus, then climbs into the car with a smile on his face. As soon as he gets into the car it's like a switch goes off and he's harping at his sisters complaining, asking them to stop whatever it is they are doing. Usually, it involves some form of questioning with a very close proximity to him. They missed him. What started out as a happy, exciting moment in our day quickly turns sour.

I asked him once. Why is he in such a bad mood. I was probing and questioning. Did something happen at school? Did something happen on the bus? We are all so happy to see you, we've missed you. It hurts our feelings when you snap and complain.

His response?

"Mom, I miss it when you pick me up at school. I miss it because you come and get me and give me a hug."

He just wanted a hug.

I had been sitting in my car at the bus stop. Every day. Sitting in the car and waiting. for him to come to us. Expecting him to be happy.

He just wanted to be the one who was sought after.

As a parent, our children are constantly seeking us out. Seeking us for comfort. Seeking us for questions. Seeking us for answers. Seeking us for the love we have for them. Childlike.

Sometimes it is nice to know, to feel, that we are sought after as well. Be Childlike. Seek out our children, our family.

There are so many ways  "being like a child" can be interpreted, especially when what we often see is their childish means of accomplishing whatever they set out to accomplish. But those small, pure, unhindered moments we can see their sweetness. So much of what happens in life limits those pure moments.

I, still picking up the oldest off the bus, get out of the car and greet him with a smile and a hug. For now, he smiles in return and hugs me back. He answers his sister's questions in the car, smiles at their excited greeting.

Perhaps striving to make those pure moments, like seeking out and feeling joy for just having a person close to us, is in part, what it means to be childlike.

If my son, after a hard day's work of learning at school, just wanted to be sought after who is to say adults do not want to feel that as well. My husband, after a hard day at his work, comes home and is expected to be the one to come to us and feel happy. He gets cranky. He just wants us to come to him and give him a hug.

Not that it is easy. At those moments to remember, despite all that is going on, to seek out those who have not been home. Not been there to experience the day with you and with each other.

It's a part of feeling wanted and feeling loved. Be childlike. take the time out during the busy day, the busy week to seek out each other and just feel joyful for their presence.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

2019 finish a long: quarter 1 goals

A goal this year is to have my sewing machine grace us with its presence out of its carrying case. And, not just during Halloween!

Samara's Quilt

This is my main priority. Gosh Golly, Gee Whiz. It needs to get done. I am such a sewing slacker!
What still needs to be done:
finish the last border (green fabric)
baste (the backing is a pink minky she had picked out)
bind (in a gray and white striped fabric)

Abacus Quilt

I have not the expectation to get to this. But, just in case.
I need to:
cut pieces
sew remaining blocks
assemble to top
border if necessary 

Band Shirt Memory Quilt

I am adding this in, though I am sure that I will not complete it (let alone even get to it!) this quarter. I'm debating another border or calling it good (I'm leaning towards calling it good!). The black large notes is a flannel and have since decided against that. The backing will be Jazz Jam from Andover Fabrics. The colors and notes are perfect for this quilt!

I need to:

First and foremost is Samara's quilt, since I haven't made her one in her 5.5 years of life. Poor Thing. Though I have made her more clothes than any of the other children. 

What do you have to finish?


Sunday, January 6, 2019

Happy New Year: Goals {2019}

I look into the mirror trying to avoid looking to see if the lines around my eyes are becoming more prevalent. But where else is the to deflect my gaze as I was my hands in the sink? My countertop in the bathroom is a cluttered mess. The mirror itself is covered in water droplets. I could list a handful of other things not right in that room

After all. It is the new year. Time for reflection. Time for rejuvenation. Time to start over fresh. Resolve to make changes. Resolve to be better.

How often do we set New Years Resolutions without the follow through? 

Why do we think so negatively about making resolutions?

They really are just goals. Things to make happen during the course of the year. Goals for the success of one kind or another.  

I look into the mirror at my reflection. The lines aren't too bad, yet. My pants still barely fit, but I did just have a baby 4 months ago. It's ok.

There is nothing wrong with making goals. There are things I want to do in my house and in my life. I can call them resolutions, but I think I will call these my goals for this year. 

I know, I did just share my One Word for this year, with you. I do still need to work on that, and Rest is my focus for this year. Both Mentally and Emotionally. Physically, there are things that I have been wanting to get done.

Somewhere along the way, I have come across people who have said it's not enough to just create the goal. You need to create a situation to help you achieve it. Seriously, as a writer of IEP (individualized education plans) for students, I should know this. Goals were a big part of those documents. SMART (simple, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) goals are prevalent all over the internet.

1. Lose the baby weight
     I have at least 20 pounds I would like to shed. I have pants I would like to fit into without having to spend money on more.
     I will do crunches/some kind of core workout in the morning, at home, after drop off 2 days a week.
     I will walk the sidewalk path at the school after drop off the other 2 days a week.

2. Finish writing my novel
    My NaNoWriMo story from 2017. It's sitting in my brain and I need to finish it.
    I'm about halfway through it. I plan to write 500 words a week. I should be done by the end of the year.

3. Get out of Debt
     As long as we stick the budget, we should have it paid off within the year! I've been saying this for years. Things come up and the budget gets shot. Once a month I need to include Brandon in the budget building and maintain it every paycheck.

4. Minimize Toys
     with the kids getting older (how is my oldest 8 already?!) The toys need to be gone through. I'd rather have this done fast. like a band-aid. But, I also want them to make the decisions.
     We are working on getting the girls to share a room, and in order for their things to be easily moveable, they need to pair them down quite a bit. I'm hoping to use the third room as a transition room. As Elias gets older he may share a room with his brother for a little while and the girls can have a break from each other then they can switch. We will see how that goes. But there is too much already. Quite a bit of it they have outgrown.
     The first Saturday of the month we will pick a category and go through either konmari style or practicality.

5. Minimize sewing supplies
     I have way more than I need and what I can actually use.
     No new fabric or supplies without purpose. It needs to be an immediate project.
     1st Friday of the month the husband has off from work, this will be my opportunity (when he isn't on overtime) to be able to take some time and work on my own things.

6. reestablish routines
     Cleaning schedule - 30 minutes a day
     Laundry Rotation
     Dishes and sweeping of floors every night

When you create goals for yourself, how to you go about seeing them through?

Friday, January 4, 2019

Happy New Year: My One Word {2019}

Another Morning. The sun has not yet fully risen. It's light is casting a glow in the sky as it starts creeping up to rise above the mountains. The baby is starting to fuss in the bassinet by the bed, hunger and the need for a diaper change have woken him up.  I can hear the kids clamoring in the kitchen, their noises of excitement for the new day growing louder as the baby's cries increase. After all, there is no need for them to be quiet now that he is awake.

A quick glance through the blinds have proven to me, it did happen. It has been years since the last time. I poke my fingers between two of the metal strips and separate them to see better. The ground is blanketed in white. It snowed. Our desert ground, the cacti, and trees are covered in snow. The children, in an excited rush, start grabbing layer upon layer of clothing items just so they can go outside and play in the ice.

We live in the desert and a winter blanket of snow is not something we see very often. It had been 4 years since we last saw snow. It is an ordeal to get dressed just to spend 30 minutes in the stuff. The kids may have grabbed their layers. But it was coupled with grunting and screaming and crying because "the pants are too tight" or "I can't get my pants off" when they came back inside. Never mind they put their socks over the leggings they were wearing under their pants, and they had neglected to remove those prior to the removal of the leggings. By the end of it, I was exhausted and had no desire to finish the rest of the day.

Most days seem similar to the excited rush and frustrating ending to playing in the snow. I am either in the excited rush getting ready to get things done or am frustrated as I try to peel the layers and straighten up after whatever happened to take place. The in-between goes by so fast it seems it might not have even happened. Those things that should be so fun leave me stressed to get ready for it and stressed in the aftermath cleanup.

So much stress for a short amount of fun.

so. much. stress.

remember. to rest.

Spend the time before and after to rest.

With the clamoring and excited rush to go outside in the snow, I forgot to take a moment of rest and peace so I was able to fully enjoy the gift presented us on the new year. Being a desert dweller and really not getting to experience the snow, let alone 2 days in a row like we had the 1st and 2nd days of 2019, I needed to take a few moments to see it as the gift it was. I have never woken, ever, 2 days in a row with snow on the ground. What an amazing gift for my children, 2 of whom had never seen snow before that week.

Coming into the house, shoes, and pants soaked from snow angels and throwing snowballs, hot cocoa was just the thing to warm the children's little bodies. A cup of coffee was just the thing I needed as I sat with them and reflected on the events of a morning of playing in the snow.

Rest for me is not just about sitting and sipping coffee, but about a reconnection. I have missed participating in bible studies. I have missed the lessons, the thoughts and the connection gained through those studies. I need to take the time out for prayer and praise, which in the last few years has gone to the wayside.

I was searching before the snow fell upon the ground for what others have said about rest and I came across Matthew 11: 28-30. I had read it time and again, but this was written in the message translation and it struck me as different. Yes, rest is the word for this year.