Emmeline turned 15 this past week! Such a dear girl to me. I will always talk of and remember
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Thursday, January 19, 2017
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Friday, December 16, 2016
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Thursday, October 6, 2016
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Monday, May 16, 2016
Raising girls, raising young women, raising my grandchildren's mothers, young mens' wives, raising daughters-in-laws for another mother - raising sisters and girlfriends. These are all the titles and more that my three daughters will fulfill in their days to come.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Sunday, May 1, 2016
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Every single time I race around with my phone to take a picture of my handsome two eldest sons, they scatter. This morning they kinda thought better of it ... don't know why, but I gave silent thanks to God. I really value picture of our days together, every Sunday morning I am blessed afresh when I see them present their best for our church service not because we want to look like we are anything but because they want to present themselves as their best. If that's a clean, pressed t-shirt then so it is.
Our heart shows through in our outward presentation.
So here they are. It took one second and I was happy! Now just to get them ALL together in one place for one moment in time ... psst! they have agreed to have a photo shoot together next week whilst I'm away - I asked Charlotte to take over the planning. It will be my Mothers' Day gift. Isn't that a good idea!
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
My two daughters, 16 months apart and raised as twins these past 14 years. My hopes and dreams and especially, my prayers, for them continue today. To be godly, faith filled, joyful and sweet daughters, girls and women.
In this life, our home is quiet. We do not have extended family, have not found like minded faith by and large in our church family, suffered church splits, ridicule and shunning. Today we are in a church body we are most grateful for yet the years have meant not so many friends or comings and goings for us and our children. We are quiet by nature, preferring to keep out of church politics and all the usual circles that people operate in it seems by default. We have made our mistakes, sinners by nature too. Yet, we are forgiven in Christ!
Our children have raised up faithful and obedient but dare I admit - lonely. To this end and particularly lately we have introduced out of the home activities for them. Each considered with much prayer and thought but this week two things have me feeling thwarted at best and a little cheated as well.
Our daughter was being briefed for an upcoming activity and had to squirm in her seat when assaulted with way too much information on upcoming rules and regulations between her and her co-horts in this activity. Good moral boy/girl rules yet could they not have been put with the correct anatomical phrases instead of what I'll call street slang? To God's praise because of how we raised her, she came home and told us everything as she does each activity but to see this young girl's reaction to what she heard and how she felt was just disappointing to this Mum.
My immediate reaction - pull her out! Yet what then? Is there anything better to offer her? The tyranny of decision -
boredom and it's inherant ills
the chance to season and engender resilience in her all the while praying she can swim and not be engulfed and drown in it ...
I don't like those chances.
We monitor, keep talking, watch and pray but still ... I don't like it.
My middle son during the course of an accredited college course is offered and instructed on alcohol use and taste all the while under age!
Thank God for relationship and conversation with each child yet the perils and disappointing seasons of parenting. Is there anyone who cares about my child as I do. Well, no. That's the point isn't it of our children and not just having them but raising them. Of taking the time day after day, year after year to pour values and principles into them. Faith and words to live by when life's storms blow and even when just winds of change cross their face. Of forging relationship with them by our time, our heart, our prayers, our hopes and dreams. Of letting them go that first time they are ready to "lift off". Of watching them fly, maybe sputter, maybe crash and burn even.
Somehow I expected they'd be more ready, there'd be more care for them, more interest in their welfare from strangers but there isn't. People are by and large good. Not godly but good. Yet no one really cares about your own as you do.
Lord, help me to graciously accept your hand to me today. All the while trusting and hoping in you alone. In your promises to me and to my children. Amen.
Thursday, February 11, 2016
How wise is this? It is so key that it isn't so much what we say as parents as what we do.
Our children watch us, we all watch something, allow ourselves to be influenced by some thing, person, culture, tradition etc. As people we love to follow something. Let's make sure our children are spending enough time with us to be able to watch us. To follow us. May we be worthy to be followed!
For me that means keeping close to my Lord God. Following His commands and precepts in grace and forgiveness which I find in Christ, alone.
Monday, February 8, 2016
We are well past this stage in our lives. Although it is still possible, I don't think it's likely for us. To the dear friends of mine who are, this is for you.
Each of our babies has been prayed for and waited on. Each one we believe to be an answer to prayer and to come complete with an eternal soul and great purpose according to God.
From the moment we know we are pregnant we begin to talk about the new baby to our other children as though this baby will come and join our family. We anticipate how that will work in their little day to day routines and get them ready to share their toys, their personal space and their mummy and daddy with a new best friend.
We faithfully read several books but these are my favourites:
Each night during our bedtime routine we read the usual books and finished with these. It was a way to anticipate what it would be like in their little lives when the new friend came home from hospital. With older toddlers, it gave way to fascinating conversation no matter how limited by their tiny understanding and/or vocabulary of what they were expecting or even worried about during this exciting time in our family.
We were given early on in our marriage two pieces of wisdom I continually employed and that made all the difference to those first few months after bringing a new baby home. They also proved a great foundation for the peace of our home.
First, to "bring the baby to the family" as opposed to "bring the family to the new baby". The risk of being "child centred" instead of Christ centred. Did you know the family begins with the marriage - Mathew and I are the primary relationship, the family. The children are welcome and most blessed additions. Right here, it set me on the right foot as far as attitude to these little ones who are straight from the heart of God to our home.
How much agony is it to all of a sudden have to tip toe around the house because the new baby is asleep. Let the baby come to the family within acceptable limitations of course. Our fourth child, Emmeline, was a newborn when we were extensively renovating our home. I also had our son Budd at 30 months at the time. When the builder started up the band saw inside our house and it was nap time, I made sure to put them down in the middle of the noise. They slept through it all.
Second, if the older child and the new baby are crying or need attention at the same time, prefer the older child. Of course make sure the baby is comforted and safe but allowing for that, the baby can wait. The older child will far benefit from knowing you are still there for him or her. Calm or comfort them whatever the situation then together see to the baby or better still if Dad or another family member can help, do that. There were days when I was on my own which was most of the time. This advice became key to me.
Lastly and very practically, the Crockpot - oh my! LOOOOOVE IT!!!!!
The time was 0900 and my dinner was on and smellin' fine. Yay!
Our little team would help with everything for bath to change time to meal preparation. No matter how menial or time consuming - let them help. It pays far more dividends over time. Our last baby was Jedidiah some 10 years ago. Charlotte my eldest was 12 at the time and completely able to care for that child on her own. And she wanted to. I made sure not to overburden her little mother's heart but my goodness what a blessing she was. Jed's older brothers, Josh at 10 and Budd at 7 were so proud big brothers and so tender with a new mummy who cried a lot ** Emmeline was 4 a few days after Jed came home and allowed a tired mummy to give her a store brought chocolate cake (this gave me much mummy guilt at the time) and little Phoebe was 3. She was just a doll helping me with her very own life sized baby doll :-)
** I faithfully begged to go home from the hospital and then felt I wasn't ready yet when I got there. The last "bringing home the new baby" moment I was determined to do better. And I did.
I arrived home to the oohs and aahs and little hands clambering all over me and Jedidiah in my arms. I felt the overwhelming feeling wash over me and the tell tale tears begin to flow. I sat down on the lounge with my babies all around me, set the new baby in his bouncer at my feet and hugged my children and wept. When they asked why I told them the truth - I felt afraid that I could be a good mother to my new family. I let their sweet ministerings just flow over me and trusted this great God I love so very much. After not that long I was OK and so I was.
So plan, communicate, imagine and then most of all be thankful and enjoy every moment of
Bringing Baby Home!