Making sweet love on a bad day

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“Finding myself, this morning struggling with the beginning of my day, I was reminded of a story from a few years back. From a time when my littlest one was usually naked, and my oldest one was still learning multiplication and I did the usual thing  I do when I’m struggling. 

Lost it. In one way or another.

If you are finding yourself like me this morning, or any time at all, really… struggling to get yourself together – perhaps my broken life can lend a little hope to yours, and help your day shine bright.”

February 2011~

Today was a bad day. I was a very cranky momma.

Oh, it’s hard to pin point the exact reason. I started the day out “by the book,” up early, before the kids. Time in the word, time with my man, I made a sweet little homemade breakfast, read to the kids. It should have just worked out right; right?

Wrong.

And looking back, I can’t quite figure out what finally made me snap. Oh, it could have had something to do with the three hours it took one of my children to be ready for her day and start school; just too many rabbit trails to find herself on. Or, it could have something to do with the extensive handwriting lesson one of my other children had to do because her brother almost suffered a concussion when he hit his head on the coffee table during a fun pushing game.

Or it could be the 100th phone call I knew I had to make to AT&T because they can’t seem to bill us correctly and they like to make me sit on hold for 20 plus minutes each time. Maybe it was because I am crazy and allowed my children to get three kittens for Christmas?

Perhaps, the wonderful cold snow isn’t so wonderful anymore; or maybe it’s because we just moved to the town I grew up in and I’m secretly afraid someone will knock at our door and see that it is absolute chaos, and I’ll have to use the line… “Hey, at least we’re learning.”

But then again, It might just have been one. of. those. days. But, perhaps I could just chalk it all up to a girl thing and blame it on my psycho thyroid and the fact that I have yet to find a doctor down here to get it under control.

Whatever the reason may be, I lost my temper, yelled at the kids. Felt the sweet momma in me run dry and went into my room and cried.

So then, I dried my eyes, gave myself a little pep talk, realized that I’m a total worthless parent without God and continued on with my day, teaching Judah the letter X, helping Jordan read the word, frog; again, talked to Alli about how Italy is shaped like a boot, and put Emmyn on her sweet “big girl time blanket” to play with blocks.

At lunch, we talked about Making Sweet Love.

As the children ate, I put before them, four little cups.

One overflowing, three empty.

We talked about the marshmallows, how yummy and sweet they are. They resembled our sweet love. The love we have to share with others. I asked the kids, how can “Mommy share this love with each of you?” They said things like,

“snuggle us”

“kiss us”

“read to us”

“take us places”

with each thing they said, I gave them some of my “love.”

Eventually, their little cups were full of love and mine was empty.

I said, “Oh, no… look! Where is mommy’s love?” (Of course, Judah reaches into the bag of marshmallows, grabs a big handful and says, “Right here, mommy!” But the girls understood. “You’ve given it all out to us.”

Then I told them about how a mothers love is like Jesus, it never runs out. But unlike Jesus, mommas get tired and need some love.

I perked up, “SO! Who has some love for momma?”

“I do!”

“I do!”

“Here is a kiss”

“Here is a thank you”

… the list went on and on, they were racing to see who could fill it up quickest. All of a sudden we all had plenty of love, to equally share. And we were all happy.


And Jesus Said, 

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.  John 15: 12-13

Oh, The day carried on like normal, we got on a good track, the house was a complete disaster, we learned, played, laughed, got in more trouble, made really delicious chicken and noodles, and after we were all finished,  sat and rested a while during tea time.

We sipped on coffee, nibbled on egg whites, and enjoyed a glimpse of summer with delicious juicy oranges while we listened to a story, my very favorite story of all.

I haven’t read it since March. Unable to handle the truth of it all, afraid I would come unglued. Each time I read it, silly I know; but I feel like it was written just for me.

And I was right, my eyes filled with tears, my mind filled with thoughts and it was almost more than I could handle.

I. read.very.slowly.

Breathed.very.deeply.

Max Lucado writes:

“He deserves lots of dots,” the wooden people would agree with one another. “He’s not a good wooden person.” After a while Punchinello believed them. “I’m not a good Wemmick”, He would say.

Judah asked, “Momma, those real tears?”

I paused, “Yes, Judah they are real tears.”

I continued the book. Reading about Eli, the Maker.

Eli explains, “The stickers only stick if they matter to you. The more you trust my love, the less you care about their stickers.


“I’m not sure I understand”, Punchinello says.

I understood today.

I asked the kids, like I always do, “Do you ever feel like you have a lot of grey dots?” I continued, “Mommy does.”

I said, “Like when momma yelled today…” “You see,” I said; “When momma does that kind of stuff, I spend the whole day feeling terrible,  like I am not a good mom, like I’ve let God down in the job he has trusted me with.”

I continued, “But, that isn’t the truth is it? That isn’t trusting God’s love, is it?”

Oh mommas, it is a hard day sometimes. Always wondering if we’ve made the right choice, always regretting something we’ve done or said. Battling things from the past, hiding emotions we are having and putting on smiles for our little ones. It isn’t always easy, and it doesn’t always happen. And when our little cups run dry of marshmallows and we cover ourselves with gray dots… all we can do is fall back into the arms of our Maker and let him stand us back up straight ready to right the good fight for one more round.

Eli smiled. “You will understand, but it will take some time you’ve got a lot of marks. For now, just come to see me every day and let me remind you how much I care.” 

-Max Lucado

Alli whispers to me afterward, “Mom… thanks.”

And she gives me a wink.

A trick to help siblings get along this summer.

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“Words have the power to both destroy and heal. When words are both true and kind, they can change our world.”

The Buddha


 

I have six kids.

Two are boys.

And they are all boy.

They fight.

Sometimes for fun, sometimes not so much.

One more thing? They’re dirty.

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Well, most of the time.

This, however. THIS is for certain.

When those boys of mine decide it’s “fun” to poke fun, fight, or be just.down.right.mean; there’s this thing we do.

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Words.

I sit my little boys down and have them write 10 things they love about each other.

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Then, they read the list to each other.

“I like his smile. I like the way he laughs. I like how he plays basketball. I like how he dresses…”

“I like his skin color. I like his missing tooth.”

The silly list goes on and on.

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And it does– what sweet words always seem to do.

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Words make everything better.

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From one momma of boys to another,

Kati

 

 

Slow down, your kids are watching. A 13 year old’s view of a busy mom.

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A few months back, I was drowning.

There I was. A wife to one, mom to six. Between homeschooling, work, several different kid activities a husband in full time school–I felt the world closing in around me.

I never knew she was watching.

At the peak of my despair (can we call it that?) I felt the lord gently telling me [well, actually more like, scream at me] “Let it all go, live simple, love big and sit more.”

So, I did it. We stopped swim-team, stopped packing the days full of activities, I made a better shopping schedule — to keep from spending all week in the car running back and forth to the store; and we even sold the puppy.

I started sitting more. I started saying no. I looked at my phone less. I stepped away from social media. I stopped trying to be everyone’s savior.

A few weeks after this change had become the new “me”, my Alli, just a teenager read me a poem she just so happened to have laid on her heard during the night.


Slow Down, Your Kids Are Watching

Why is life so busy?
People to see, places to go,
Someone to call, to text.
Gotta update my Facebook status,
I should Tweet  that.
Why are my kids always
Asking for food?!
Homework, bills,
Deposits, withdrawals,
My boss is mad again.
She just had a baby,
What should I cook for her?
I need to get them a wedding gift and
Wish them a happy honeymoon!
Happy Birthday to you,
Here’s a card.
Sorry about my handwriting,
I was in a hurry.
My husband and his job,
He’s never home anymore.
Prom, seriously?
Time to mow again,
Should probably water my garden
it’s close to dying.
My glasses broke,
She needs braces?!?!
Summer’s almost over,
School starts soon… school supplies.
New shoes! Guess it’s time.
I need groceries!
Soccer, football, basketball practice.
Doctor’s appointments on Monday.
Please feed your fish.
When does church end again?
The crock pot beans should be done soon
I have an email to send before three.
Library visit, okay!
Almost out of gas.
Sick? Wash your hands!
Go take a shower now.
Did you brush you teeth?
Are you ok?
Get well soon!
Remember the old days when life wasn’t as crazy as this?

~Alli Gibson

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Wow. Only God knew she saw my good intentions as just another stressed out momma.

A good little reminder maybe? A reminder to live simple, love big and sit more. We only have this life, and they are watching.

From one busy momma to another,

Kati

Read more, write more, and guess what!?

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You have asked and I have FINALLY listened! writingwithintrees in on Facebook! Check it out by clicking HERE: writingwithintrees on facebook! For those of you who ask often for the link to share with friends, feel free to invite them to “like” wwt on Facebook, that way they can stay up to date with posts also! You can either click the link above to connect or simply search writingwithintrees in your Facebook search bar.

Remember, I don’t have a personal Facebook, so feel free to reach me there.

You can also follow goofy pictures here:

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Last thing, I know! It’s all “businessie” [i just made that word up] today! But I have a question for you?

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Do you have cute little people in your life who make an awesome story? How about the most adventurous life ever? Do you simply drive to work with words in your head day in and day out? Are you, or someone you know just dying to pour those words onto a screen?

Please do! People tell me all the time: “I would love to write things I think of but creating a whole blog is not what I want to do.” OR “I’m scared to death. I love writing but have no idea how to run a website/blog.”

If this is you? I’d love to share your words. Have a story lying around? A new mercy or hope that crazy Jesus of ours has shared with you? Are you are wanting so badly to share that news with others? How about a parenting lesson you’ve learned the hard way? A story of loss that’s changed your life? I’d like to share YOUR story. Give me a shout!

You know what?

You’re wonderful.

Much love today & always!

Kati

Related Posts [to sharing your story]:
His grace covers the drug addict, time and time again.
Why Cinderella and her crazy story is totally bogus.

Why you don’t need to have family devotions

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It is the hardest thing to do as a family.

We can gather for a movie, gather for work in the garden. We can gather for a family game, even gather for tea-

every.single.day.

But you mention devotion– family time talking about God and his goodness- and it’s like the earth spins in a different rotation.

Everyone needs to sit still. Everyone needs to be ready to listen. The person delivering the devotion needs to be well prepared. We need to have at least 30 minutes to an hour of uninterrupted, totally silent time.

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Why?

Maybe it can happen- right there. Where other stories are told. Where we share about our day. Where we talk about last nights game, yesterdays lunch menu, silly stories of childhood; next weeks plans.

Where the random sock sits waiting to be put away.

Maybe in the car, waiting at the doctors office, walking around the track? What about while shopping for groceries?

Maybe there, we can just share a little bit of that Jesus goodness with our children. With our spouse. With our mom or dad.

Maybe 10 min a day adds up to over an hour a week. Maybe something magical happens when we just make it “normal” to talk about Jesus?

Maybe thinking of it as just “life” rather than “devotion time” it will actually happen.

Even with the socks sitting on the table.

Much love,
Kati

Excellent family devotion resources:
The Adventure Bible & Devotion
What’s in the Bible
Our 24 Family Ways Devotion Book
Bible flash cards from your local book store; you can usually find them for around $1.99

Ideas our family loves:
We have a basket that sits on our sofa with bible books and bibles. When the kids wake up in the morning- they tip-toe out to the sofa and dive into those books every morning. The kids know, these are the only books they can look at when they first wake up. (shhhh, they’re learning quiet time and they don’t even know it!) This is the delight of my momma morning! <3

The Living Bible Translation is easy for children and new Christians to understand (psssttt… it’s my favorite) =)

Related Posts:
How to trick your kids into love
That Stinkin’ Proverbs 31 Woman Again


GUESS WHAT?! You have asked and I have FINALLY listened! writingwithintrees in on Facebook! Check it out by clicking HERE! writingwithintrees on facebook! For those of you who ask often for the link to share with friends, feel free to invite them to “like wwt on facebook, that way they can stay up to date with posts also! I don’t have a personal facebook, so feel free to reach me here.  Much love. ;)

You could tell me all day long I’m horrible & I might listen better.

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We have this place.

In the kitchen, where we seem to gather most. Just an $8 bottle of chalk board paint, an empty wall and scrap wood for makeshift frames. We share lots of words there.

The encouraging place. It’s where every soul in our little home has a place to be loved a little special. We call it the, “speak life wall”

And there, she has written something to me.

The mom.

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My oldest, a lover of words, like me– she simply writes:

“You’re so… thoughtful, giving, and kind.”

And I think…

“Is she speaking to ME?”

Because those words don’t want to settle within my soul– no way. I can feel myself pushing them out.

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Why do we do that? At what point do we, “adults”, go from thinking we’re awesome, wonderful, and capable of doing anything (like the six little children in my home think) to thinking we’re just a mean old lady?

How do our men go from thinking they can be a super hero and save the world to thinking they are no better than the desk he sits behind at work? Why can’t they dream big anymore?

Words.

Words are where it started. Somewhere in the middle– somewhere between acne, leg hairs, bad grades, and 90’s big hair; we lost the “amazing” in our life and just started to settle for, normal.


We started seeing the yucky. We started feeling the dark little parts of our soul.  We let ourselves become identified by our worst, rather than our best.

We let the words within our souls go from, “You are amazing” to, “You can’t even get THAT right.”


How about this?

Today- What if we let the words of others sink into our souls. When someone says you’re pretty- say, “Why thank you.” Rather than, “Oh, thanks… it’s a bad hair day.” When someone says, “You did good!” Don’t reply with, “Oh well… except that little part…” Just say, “Thanks!”

Let those words heal. — I know I need healing.

Today- Let’s be givers of words. Encouraging every little soul who walks by.

“You look pretty today.”

“Wow, kiddo… you’re so strong!”

“My goodness, honey- aren’t you handsome today?”

They won’t want to let the words sink in at first. But if we keep doing this little test of love… I bet they’ll start realizing, they’re fearfully and wonderfully made.

Let’s praise HIM by using healing words, speaking into others lives.

Because those around us are wonderfully made.

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

Psalm 139:14 NIV”

I’m right there with ya!

Loves,

Kati


Someone you know, perhaps? Share the love today.

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Some of you have asked how to receive posts in your email: it’s simple. On the lower right hand side of the screen there should be a “follow” button. Click and enter your email. It’s totally safe.

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Um, yeah… is there an ad below here? A creepy ad  (yes, directly below here, some strange video, perhaps?) I didn’t put it there = / And I didn’t choose what it will advertise. Sorry about that.

The reality of mothers day.

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Walking from my bedroom into the kitchen I find this:

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Curious to what the surprise may be–I grabbed the bell.

I walked the hallway ringing the bell.

Smiling big.

From the closed bedroom door peeks my oldest daughter.

“Don’t come yet- mom. Triston peed his bed and he’s in the shower.”

This.

This is Mother’s Day reality folks.

Happy day!

:-) Kati

There are hundreds of reasons why I’m not a good mom.

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Throughout my day- I hear them.

I hear them all.day.long

The voices.

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Among the toys strewn out– all over the yard. The mower that man of mine still leaves parked right in front of the house.

The voices tell me.

“You’re such a failure.”

Any mom could do better than you.”

“What were you thinking? Six kids? Half of a dozen? Maybe more one day? They would be better off — only children.”

“You.yelled.again.”

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It happened all of a sudden. My body decided to go against me. Go against my to-do list. Go against my plans, my work, my mothering, my everything. And I wound up lying empty in the hospital on my sons eighth birthday needing an emergency surgery.

Right there, written on my arm– the words of strength. “She is clothed with strength and dignity– she laughs with no fear of the future…”  You know. That Proverbs 31 Woman.

Well. This momma worries about the future every single day. And finding myself broken down, sick, and empty was just another easy target for the enemies lies to sink deep within my mind. Fighting for my heart.

You see, those words written on my arm don’t do a very good job at keeping the lies away or the hospital bands away– they don’t even keep the ugly hospital gown away. ; )

My savior has to do all of that.

There are hundreds of different reasons I am the worst mom in the world.

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But from very moment I became a momma, thirteen years ago, those voices have been telling me that.

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And every day since I surrendered my life to that sweet Jesus; HIS voice keeps telling me,  “I’ll trust you with more.”

“I know you can do it.”

“Slow down. Speak soft.”

“You’re lovely”

“You’re beautiful.”

“They.love.you.”

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And when the voices say,

“I don’t even know why you keep that scripture in the window? It’s not like you practice it everyday…”

My savior says, “You think those verses are only for you?”

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And when the voices say, “You’re just the same girl you once were.”

My savior says, “No, my dear. You’re not.”

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And when I think, nobody ever even notices-- He simply reminds me:

“Six little souls are watching you closely.”

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“And someday? Someday they will say…”

“You were perfect- flaws and all.”

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For the mom who thinks she’s never good enough. For the mom, like me, who thinks there are hundreds of reasons someone else could be doing this job better…

THIS is for you:

God made you, you. And he doesn’t make mistakes.

You, my sweet one, are loved.

Happy Mothers Day.  <3

Kati