Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~My Life as a Ring Master~ April 24, 2014

I have oftentimes described my life as a circus.  Having 5 kids, this is a pretty spot on description as I tend to have to be in 3 places at the same time on any given day.

These last couple of weeks have exhausted me to the point of having little to no time to write and it is seriously weighing on me!  I get a little moody & snippy when I’m run down and even more so when I feel like I have to let something I love go to the wayside to make room for yet one more thing for someone else.  Man, I sound like a selfish whiny-pants, right?!

The reality is, my right now is only a season and that simple phrase has become my mantra, “this is only a season, this is only a season, THIS IS ONLY A SEASON!!!”

Sleep deprivation, overcrowded calendars and lack of me time can bring even the “super-i make everything from scratch-have boundless amounts of energy-mom” down.  I’m sure you can imagine what it does to this “super simple-poptart slingin-my butt is draggin without my coffee-mom”!!  So this morning, before I even sat up in bed, I prayed this little prayer, “Lord, help me today to focus on you and not my hectic schedule.  Remind me that this life is a gift, even in the busyness, and I should act accordingly and not like a bratty two-year old.  And one more thing Lord, give me the strength to perform each and every task I have committed myself to with excellence as unto you for it IS you who deserves all the credit.  Amen”

To my fellow overworked, underpaid, totally exhausted, baggy eyed mommas, I salute you.  We can do this for we can do ALL things through Christ who gives us strength.  (It doesn’t hurt to toss in a pot of coffee and some nutter butters to nudge things along, just sayin’)  May today be abundantly blessed, productive and our eyes be open to the beauty of the chaos.  Now, go do this thing!being a mom

 

 

~Prayer From Paul~ March 19, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 9:31 am
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Some days, I question why God has placed any trust in my ability to be a mommy.  I have a very active toddler, a 6 year old diva, two pre-teens trying to find their way and one teenager who knows it all…sounds like the making of a good joke, doesn’t it?!  The problem with this vast range of ages is that every day presents a new parenting challenge.  Somehow, I am supposed to be able to transition from overseeing timeouts, to monitoring social media, to talking about sex, to navigating peer pressure and back to time out corner to release my prisoner.

I’m not gonna lie, it gets incredibly overwhelming.  How in the world is it possible for my husband and I to do this kid-rearing thing without ruining them or going bonkers in the process?!

One word, prayer.

It is very easy for me to get wrapped up in the moment and let my mean momma come out when my kids disappoint me.  I want to throw out not-so-helpful words rather than taking the time to allow God to give me the words that I should speak.

I want to be effective with the things I do and say to my kids.  The truth is, most kids only pay attention for a brief time, so if you are rambling on, they tuned you out after about the first 5 minutes.  In order to make that tiny little window of opportunity count, we should be giving careful attention to how we choose to deliver a valuable life lesson.  To ensure that we are giving our absolute best attempt at this parenting thing, we need to be in prayer for ourselves and for our children.

While I pray that God would help me to control my fleshly side that sometimes wants to trade in my precious babes for billy goats, years ago I determined that this would be my prayer for my kids:

“I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.  For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.  May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation-the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ-for this will bring much glory and praise to God.” (Philippians 1:9-11 NLT)

My desire is that we all would continue to move forward in our faith.  It is definitely a process of growing and maturing together, learning from one another how to be Jesus guys & gals and conducting ourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel while living in a world that is going to hell in a hand basket.  To achieve this goal, we must remain in the Word and continually seek guidance as opposed to going at it in our own stubborn way.  andystanley

 

~Parents Need to PARENT~ March 10, 2014

I have determined that middle school is where sweet little kids turn into 3-headed dragons.  The chatter that has been circulating among parents and what little I can drag out of my own children would even make unsavory characters blush.  These kids are 11-14 years old and getting away with things that I didn’t even think about until college!

  •  Foul language is considered part of normal conversation.
  • “Twerking,” is the new craze at the dances…thank you, Miley Cyrus for your contribution to society.
  • CHILDREN are making out during school and some have already engaged in sexual activities.

Are you kidding me?!

So what’s a freaked out momma supposed to do when her kids have no other option than public school?!  How can I ensure that my kids can be stuck in the middle of these atrocious environments and come out unscathed & still living for Jesus?

Proverbs 28 is riddled with verses that we parents can pour into and pray over our children.

When your child is surrounded by a group doing all kinds of wrong and is unsure what to do:

“The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions.” (vs 1)

During school, when they see everybody getting by with doing whatever they want as opposed to what they should be doing:

“Blessed are those who fear to do wrong, but the stubborn are headed for serious trouble.” (vs 14)

“The blameless will be rescued from harm, but the crooked will be suddenly destroyed.” (vs 18)

If you have little disciples like we do, anxious to share the Word of God but fearful of rejection, who may be tempted to join the masses:

“Those who lead good people along an evil path will fall into their own trap, but the honest will inherit good things.” (vs 10)

What happens when their closest friends turn from their church-upbringin’ roots and decide to embrace the false teaching that is attacking them from every direction:

“Young people who obey the law are wise; those with wild friends bring shame to their parents.” (vs 7)

“It makes good sense to obey the Law of God, but you disgrace your parents if you make friends with worthless nobodies.” (same verse, CEV translation)

I am so utterly disappointed in the job that parents are doing these days.  They are succumbing to the pressures of this world by allowing their children to set the standards and the rules instead of demanding a certain level of respect and personal integrity.  These children that are acting out in public are belittling themselves.  God created us all to be spectacular and by behaving with so little self-respect and absolutely no dignity they are falling well below their potential for greatness.

I’m sorry about the soap box, I am just horrified at the downward spiral that are young people are falling into.  We can only expect so much from their educators and Sunday school teachers, at some point, Mom & Dad need to step it up a notch.  For those of you who may be living inside a bubble, oblivious to the hell your kids are raising when they walk out your door, I pray that the Lord would thump you on the head and open your eyes!  I can only pray that we are doing a decent enough job with ours because I know they are just as susceptible to temptation as the next kid and boy have my kids messed up at times.  So I am seeking the Lord on my behalf too.  I want my kids to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.  Mom & Dad, Nana & Grandad…it is time to hit your knees to protect your babies.steering

That is all.

 

~Wise Child, You Bless My Soul~ March 5, 2014

“My child, if your heart is wise, my own heart will rejoice!  Everything in me will celebrate when you speak what is right.”
(Proverbs 23:15-16 NLT)

As a momma, I can truthfully say that nothing brings me greater joy than realizing my kids “get it.”

We have 3 pre-teen/teen children, 2 boys 1 girl.  Our girl is our little evangelist.  She will tell anyone and everyone about Jesus and try to lead them through the sinners prayer before they even realize what’s going on!  Her and several of her Jesus-girl friends have started a Bible club at school where they talk and share prayer requests….IN SCHOOL!!  Go girls!  They are shining their lights so bright and out in the open that there is no doubt in my mind that they are absorbing every bit of what we and the church leaders are pouring into them.

Now my boys are a different story.  Most of the time they seem so checked out and goofy that I’m pretty sure they haven’t heard a word of the sermons preached, lessons taught or correction given at home.  Then the little jokers surprise me.

Just the other day, one of my boys randomly walked in the kitchen and announced, “It just gets on my nerves.”

“Ok, son, what exactly are we talking about here?”

“Well, when kids at school talk about how much the looooove Jesus then turn around and cuss or act rude to someone.”

I kept my cool but inside I was doing my go Jesus dance!  Not only did he disprove of the immature behavior of some of his peers but he immediately recognized that their actions didn’t line up with what they claimed their beliefs were.  And it made him ill.

An overwhelming sense of pride washed over me as I watched the aggravation cover his face as he talked about how annoying it is to listen to people say one thing and then live in complete opposition of what they just said.  My boy is listening and receiving what we’re preaching.

This isn’t the only time they’ve melted this momma’s heart.  Boy #2 is my macho, tough guy, joke playing little sneak.  He thrives on trying to make people laugh regardless of how foolish he looks in the process, he is his father’s son.  So I tend to think there isn’t a serious bone in his body.  Until the day he came to me about a little girl in school who is struggling and had opened up to him and another friend about her self-deprecating thoughts.  You could see the tenderness in his expression and the compassion in his voice.  He was truly concerned about this girls well-being.  I just wanted to burst into tears and hug his neck but again, not cool, so I listened intently while my heart was bursting with the realization that we must be doing something right.

Being a parent in the days that we are living in is painfully hard even on its best day.  Our kids are faced with issues and temptations that we can’t even fathom.  It is scary.  Most parents think they are failing miserably at the job of raising confident, godly children, but when they give us those little “aha” moments, what joy it brings to our souls.  Keep at it, weary mom & dad, I promise you they are hanging onto your every word & looking to you for an example.  That’s a heavy load, and one that I pray you and I will take seriously.  If you want your children to live a life that honors the Lord, check yourself and make sure that there aren’t some changes you might need to make.what you teach

 

~Spare the Rod~ March 1, 2014

We have all had those moments as parents when we’d like to crawl in a hole because of embarrassment from our children’s behavior.  My personal best came in the middle of a very crowded superstore.

It’s been a couple of years ago now, but boy do I remember it clearly.  My sweet little Emma was going through a fit-throwing stage like I have never witnessed before.  Truthfully, I thought that type of behavior was a myth or at least something that only happened to other people.  My children would never pitch a fit in public, I trained them better than that.

Wrong.  Seriously, I was wrong.  I suppose I underestimated the power of the flashy toys & sugary treats strategically placed at toddlers eye level at the front of every store in America.

My mother and I were attempting to get my 5 children to the checkout line when Emma spotted something she desperately wanted.  I said No.  Cue the meltdown of epic proportions.  She flung herself down in the floor and screamed like I had just beaten her within an inch of her life.  People started to stare as I tried to talk rationally to my little “princess.”  That’s when it happened, I smacked her little behind, right there in front of everybody.  For those of you who have done the same in public, you can imagine the looks of disgust that were thrown my way.  The fact that she has a face like a doll and had crocodile tears rolling down her cheeks was not helping my case.

Thankfully my momma handled the rest of my children while I dragged Emma out to the car and attempted to strap her in to the car seat.  It was not going so well for me as she was still writhing and screaming at glass breaking decibels.  Finally I managed to strap her in and stood leaning against my mom-mobile as I waited for the rest of my brood.  The screaming continued from inside the vehicle as concerned passers-by looked on with mixed emotions.  Most of them wore looks of judgment as if I had somehow failed as a parent because my 3 year old was uncontrollable.  For all I know, they were the same ones who had witnessed the “whooping” inside the store moments before.  But I was cool with it because I know what the Bible says about discipline.

“Discipline your children while you still have the chance; indulging them destroys them.” (Proverbs 19:18 Message)

You see, I could have easily given into my crazed child in the store when she demanded the toy “or else” and completely avoided the embarrassing fit.  However, my logic is that it would be more humiliating to see that child grow into a disrespectful adult with an undeserved sense of entitlement because I didn’t parent them while I had the chance.  I want to give good gifts to my babies, too, but I have learned that those things need to be earned to teach them ethics and build their character in the formative years.

I know it’s hard to punish your children, especially when it has to be done in front of others.  It is natural that we are concerned how outsiders will view our choice of correction, but they are not going to be held accountable for the upbringing of our kids, we are.  Proverbs 13 reads : “Those who don’t correct their children hate them.  But those who love them are careful to train them.”  While it is difficult to explain to our children that we are disciplining them out of love when we are in the midst of doling out punishment, point out to them that God also disciplines the one He loves and we are following his leading.

One day, when they turn out to be well-rounded, respected adults, they will likely thank us for not catering to their demands but instilling in them biblical values and moral standards that they would have otherwise missed out on had we chosen to “spare the rod and spoil the child.”parenting

 

~Silence is Deadly~ February 10, 2014

This past week my mother was staying with us.  I had just gotten home from dropping off the older kiddos so I was down to one little person in the house.  Mom & I were hanging out in the kitchen, fixing breakfast and talking when Mom suddenly stopped.

“It’s quiet.  Should we be concerned?”

“Yup.  Quiet is always a bad sign in this house.”

Well there that is.  Quiet never spells anything good in our home.  It’s an indicator that something not so good is about to hit the fan.

Silence is the number one relationship killer.  I guess I should say relationships because all good ones require communication, not just the one with your spouse.

You want to have a successful marriage?  Never stop talking.  I’m sure all my male readers just clicked “unfollow.”  Sorry fellas, but if you’re wife goes clam on you and suddenly your little chatter box barely breaths a word to you…you in trouble.  BIG trouble.  You see, a woman talks because she believes that you care enough to hear every little thing that she feels, thinks & cares about.  If she stops the communication, chances are it’s because she thinks you’ve checked out and could care less about what she has to say anyway so what’s the point in wasting her breath?

If you desire close friendships, be open with people.  Talk about your struggles, your dreams your success and in doing so, it allows others to feel comfortable to do the same.  If there is one thing I’ve learned through blogging, it’s that people respond to realness.  If you drop the act and get down in the dirt where life is lived, people will be drawn to that and connect with you on a more personal level.

How bout the parent/child relationship?  So many parents think communication with their kids is a one way street….wrong.  Not that I have all the answers, but come on now.  Yes, Mom & Dad are in charge of their brood but does that mean you can’t give explanations behind your rules and expectations?  While children may be under our authority, I believe they should have some freedom to speak their minds.  With 5 kids living in this house, they may have come from my husband and I but they couldn’t be more unlike us in some areas.  It’s unbelievable!  I catch myself looking at them and thinking, “Dear God, this can’t be my kid.  They are nothing like me!”  That is why I feel it’s important to communicate with them; you talk they answer and back and forth you go until you have a better understanding of one another.  Couldn’t hurt.  Just sayin’.

It is my opinion that there is one thing that brings a screeching halt to all communication, regardless to which type of relationship you are dealing with.

You ready for this?

Assumptions.

Don’t make me spell it out, but we’ve all heard what assume really means when you put a couple of perfectly placed spaces.  I’ll give you a hint, it has something to do with a barn animal who appears in the Bible a time or two.

So many times, I have been guilty of being tight lipped because I assumed I knew what the other person was going to say in response.  I’d press it down, fight it out within myself and leave the other party completely out of the conversation.  Acting like this is horribly unfair.  You and I aren’t giving the other person a chance to prove us wrong.  (It is possible that we are wrong, by the way.)

I’m going to give you a real simple statement to say to yourself the next time you find yourself assuming you know what someone else is going to say or do:  “I don’t know nothing.”  (Grammar teachers everywhere are cringing.)

Because truth be told, if you never give the other person the opportunity to engage in open conversation with you, then you really don’t know a thing about them.  Not one thing.  I may elaborate on the this some other time, but for now, TALK to the people in your life!  Disregard all preconceived ideas about who you think they are and how you think they will react, open your mouth & your ears and communicate!conversation

Here is a two step plan to ensure that your conversations will be free from judgment.  You have to complete step one in order to make step two happen:

1.  “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

(Colossians 3:16 NKJV)

2.  “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

(Colossians 4:6 NIV)

 

~Hypocrite~ January 14, 2014

yellingEver found yourself living in a contradiction?

Let me paint you a not so pretty picture.

Two of my older kids have been at each others throats for the last few days.  They pick non-stop, mess with the other’s belongings, “accidentally” bump into one another, etc, etc.  Last night, I’d had enough.  They were supposed to be washing the dishes but all they were getting accomplished was a whole lot of smart alack comments back and forth.  The more aggravated they got, the louder they got.

After I had reached my limit- “STOP YELLING!!!”….I yelled.  (You can’t see me but I promise I’m hanging my head in shame.)

Well hello there pot, how bout we leave kettle alone and deal with ourselves!

I was so frustrated with them and myself that I just went to bed.  Laying there I couldn’t help but realize that I was a part of the problem in my attempt at being the solution.  Granted, there are times as a parent you have “elevate” your voice to get your child’s attention.  However, in this case, my raised voice only added to the chaos and I am fairly certain I did not get my point across so I basically yelled & made myself feel bad for nothing.  I knew there was a Scripture for my predicament but I couldn’t recall it to my memory.  So this morning, I searched “what does the Bible say about leading by example.”  What I found made me want to cry:

“Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.  Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example.”

(1 Peter 5:2 & 3 NLT)

This verse is under the heading of “advice for elders” but can easily be applied to parenting.  Most people, including the little ones in my care, will typically be more responsive to my instruction if I do as I say.

Maybe, just maybe, they will be less likely to rip each other’s heads off if I control my tongue even in the midst of my anger towards them.  If they see me taking pause to check my emotions and speak calmly and rationally, perhaps they will start to do the same.  I believe they will learn better from that example than they will from me simply telling them that’s what they are supposed to do regardless of how I behave.

I don’t want to be a hypocritical momma.  When my kids are grown raising their own brood, I want them to think “I hope I can be for my kids what my mother was for me” and not “I hope I am nothing like my mother.”  Ouch.  Even typing that stings.

So today, how about a little prayer for all my parent friends out there:

Dear Lord, help us to be more like you and less like ourselves.  Help us to put aside our shortcomings in order to be the very best moms and dads we can be.  Let us look for ways that we can improve our parenting techniques and in so doing improve the quality of life of those in our circle.  Most importantly, remind us that we can call on you for help when we feel overwhelmed and under- equipped.  In Jesus name, amen.

 

~Fun Friday~ January 3, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 9:30 am
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Yesterday was a loooong day at this house.  I’ve been attempting to clean out, deep clean, throw out- all with 5 kids underfoot.  Hubs was working a late night so, as always, in his absence, bedtime was not going my way.  I laid the little princesses down and did the required “fore-knocker & joop” (it’s our thing, too hard to explain).  I crawled back up the stairs to FINALLY rest.  Butt hits the coach, girls come peeking around the corner.  Back down the stairs, repeat ritual, back up stairs, minutes pass….and again, little stinkers!  After about the 5th time, I was in the kitchen whipping up a fabulous, queen sized bowl of ice cream.  Please don’t judge, I earned it.  My mother offers the babes a cherry to entice them back to bed to no avail.  So what does this mom-of-the-year do?

“Girls, if you will go back to bed & STAY there right now, you can have ice cream for breakfast!”

“YES!!!!”

And that’s how you do it, folks.

They both marched obediently down the stairs, crawled into their beds and the discussion of what toppings they would have on their “breakfast” commenced.  And I was granted the quiet time to enjoy my treat with my mom & oldest daughter.  Score.

So, what kind of mother bribes her kids with dessert for breakfast?  In the words of my mom, “a pretty awesome one!”

I know all the health-crazed, non-bribing parents everywhere are cringing.  It’s ok, let it go.  You can’t change me.  Desperate times do in fact call for desperate measures and nothing screams desperation like the need for some sugar combined with peace & quiet.

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Besides, look at these happy babies.  I totally made the right call!

The lesson for today kids:  Sometimes we just need to say yes to what we would normally give a resounding no!  Hope you all enjoy your fun Friday…I know these two are!

 

~Imperfect Progress~ November 15, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 7:08 am
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It’s 7 o’clock at night and my 2 year old is already in bed.  And all I can think about is waking her up to tell her how much I love her and how mommy’s so sorry she yelled.

But I won’t.  But I will write down the accounts of my evening that led to my now guilty heart.

I came home from my run to find my house in total chaos.  I’m fairly certain that every toy, book and crayon we own were scattered through every room in the house, with the exception of the boys room because they had enough sense to lock their door.  My dog, Kansas, is in heat so as I step over the broken crayons I see the tiny little spots all across the floor because apparently I am the only one equipped with the super-human powers it takes to wet a paper towel and clean it up.  The above mentioned 2 year old is screaming.  Why, you ask?  No reason, just because she really likes the sound of her voice at inhumane levels.  But I didn’t yell.

Next up I attempt to finish cooking dinner while Bella insists that the center of my closet size kitchen is the only place to build her blanket fort.  I somehow manage to convince her 2 sisters to clean up the messy house that they had no part in making, (yeah…right).  Bella takes off down the stairs after her sisters and I’m starting to feel pretty good about keeping my “raw emotions” in check.  As I wrap up dinner and call for the kids to come eat, little miss comes tearing around the corner…naked from the waist down.  “Bella,” I said rather cheerfully, “where are your pants?”  She snaps the towel from the counter and says,  “Dem’s wet so I threw em down the steps.”  I peek around the door down the stairs and I see not one, not two but three dark puddles on our lightly colored carpeted steps, three different steps naturally.  So as the kids sit down to eat, I scrub.  But I didn’t yell, yet.

Finally the mess is clean…enough…and I fix my plate right about the time that Bella decides she doesn’t want mac n cheese, she wants cheese crackers.  I give her a simple no, and her world as she knows it comes to an end.  Or so you would think had you seen the fit she threw herself into.  I stepped over her and attempted to eat with her kicking my arm and swinging her baby doll at my chicken and rice which was quickly losing it’s appeal.  (My life groupies are laughing, thinking I should have taken Carol’s advice and served myself first.)  And still, no yelling.

Finally I think our evening is calming down and that’s when I realize it’s quiet, way too quiet.  “Bella??”  No answer, dang it.  I hear someone in the bathroom, Lord, please don’t let that be my precious little one getting into trouble.  Sure enough, I push open the door and there she stands on top of the toilet, pant less again, looking for her toothbrush.  There is a puddle at her feet & on the floor around her.  Now…I yell.  I mean seriously, she was in the bathroom for heavens sake…on the toilet no less, and yet she manages to pee her pants again?  This mommy had reached her peak.

So, I fuss about her accidents and messy behavior and not eating her dinner, you know, because surely she knows exactly what I’m saying.  This is when I declare “It’s night-night time right now!” a whole hour before her normal bedtime.  Of course it was met with protest, “Mommy, noooo!”  “Sorry kid, momma ain’t having it anymore.”  (My fellow Unglued ladies are shaking their heads at me right now thinking, ‘I know what we need to discuss next week.’)

I drag her to bed and listen to her cry for a whole 2 minutes before she went out like a light.  I knew she was exhausted since she has also recently determined that she’s too good for naps.

And that’s when the guilt crept in and I had to resist the temptation to wake her so she would know that mommy isn’t really mad, just tired from an aggravating day.  But I let her rest.  Why should I disrupt her just to make me feel better about myself?

As the night wound down and I was able to sit and reflect, I stopped shaming myself for my not-so-nice mommy moment because the fact that I immediately realized I had overreacted revealed to me that I am in fact making progress.  That’s the beauty of bible study & devotions, if you are plugged into applying what you read, it will seep in and find it’s way into your heart.

There is a line from our book “Unglued” that sums up the woman that I desire to be.  Guys, don’t feel left out, it could easily be reworded to include you.

A Jesus girl who rises up and unexpectedly gives grace when she surely could have done otherwise reveals the power and the mystery of Christ at work-in her life and in the world. -Lysa TerKeurst

When looking back at how my night played out, I initially felt justified when I unloaded because look how much I had let go before I finally lost it.  But there isn’t to be a limit to our grace, the life of Jesus teaches us that.  Had I taken a moment to think before I spoke, I would have remembered that it isn’t my little girl who I am war against, it’s our enemy, Satan and I wouldn’t have given him a foothold into my night had I simply paused before reacting.

Today, amidst the pile of toys, accidents, crayon marks down the wall and whatever else may come at me, I am choosing to remind myself, “I am not an angry woman, I am a child of God.”

 

~I Am Not Cut Out For This~ October 4, 2013

Ever have one of those days where you are pretty sure you’re not getting anything right?  You are actually fairly certain that you are doing everything wrong.

Welcome to my Friday.

I just returned home from unloading the majority of my brood and I am completely exhausted.  How is this possible you say when I’ve only been up for 3 hours….children.  I have children.

I’m not sure about the rest of the population, but my little blessings can sometimes make me question my sanity.  We have the exact same routine every morning and yet they seem to suffer complete amnesia within each 24 hour period.  Today was no exception.  Mix in short-tempers, whiney pants and sleep deprived momma’s and you get disaster of epic proportions.

I came unglued.  I did not allow myself a pause before I reacted.  I let my mean girl out and she brought her “A” game.  And then I felt guilty.  So, like any good Jesus-loving momma would do, I gathered my kiddos into a circle in the living room.  I told them I don’t care if we’re late, we are going to hash this out right now.  I explained that this was no way to begin our day and we prayed that God would soften our hearts to one another in the mornings.  After all, we are in this together, aren’t we?

No sooner had I said amen did I realize 5 year old daughter is crying.  “What’s wrong now?”  “I MISS DADDY!!!”

Win.

So, today I am thankful for God’s mercies which are new each day because I am pretty sure I empty that cup daily.  I am thankful that this day is Friday and if Jesus loves me even a little, (and I know He does), I along with all my children will sleep-in tomorrow morning.  I am thankful that my family is resilient and forgives me my shortcomings when I admit I am wrong.  And I am thankful for the Daddy that my daughter cries for when Mommy has lost her mind.

Happy Friday, friends.  Hope my manic ranting has brought you some comic relief on this lovely Fall day.  Please enjoy the advisory poster below, brought me a good laugh just when I needed it.

mommy chart