Toddler, Teens, and Everyone In between

The fun thing about having a bigger family is all the ages and different stages. Sometimes it is hard, everyone needs something different from you. You feel pulled in a million directions. But they all bring something wonderful and unique to your heart and home.

I love watching the older children interacting with the younger children. Something special about their relationships. They have a unique bond. I like watching the older ones teaching the younger ones something new. I love seeing them work together. I love seeing them snuggle.  I truly enjoy seeing my children kindly interacting with one another.

I now have two teenagers in my home and one preteen.   Sometimes that comes with its own drama.  I am not a drama momma, so I ask them to resolve their differences in a peaceful, respectful way.  Doesn’t always happen that way, but that is the goal.  I also have a special needs son that is nine. The two littles are seven and four.  They are always up to something mischievous together.  Well not always, but they are always getting into something together.  Sometimes they have their own drama, and I am trying to teach them how to resolve their differences.

I am learning that every stage has their own set of challenges.  I am learning that life is never perfect. I am learning to love each day and each stage.  I am learning to embrace the mundane.  I am learning to be more flexible.  I am learning to never take one second for granted.  My oldest is fourteen and just started ninth grade.  Oh my, what a wake up call…..   He is taller than me, and I have seen him grow right before my eyes.  The last few years passed in what seems like seconds.

I am not saying that it is easy.  I am not going to say that you will enjoy every second of every day with your children.   I am not going to say you won’t get exhausted.  I am just letting you know that it goes by fast.  They will not stay little for long.  Everyday they are growing.  Everyday that are changing in little and sometimes big ways.  Everyday is a gift, so don’t let that gift slip away….

-Pamela

 

 

 

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Invite Him In

 

img_8063“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”  Revelations3:20

If you want Jesus in your life, you have to invite him in.  If you want Him in your everyday activities, you have to invite Him.  If you want Him to be apart of your home school, you have to invite Him.  You want Him in your home, you have to invite Him in.   He never barges in.  He wants to be apart of our lives but He will never force Himself into our lives.  We have to invite Him…

I need Jesus.  I need to hear His still small voice.  I need to spend time with Him.  I need to seek His wisdom.  I need to go to Him for strength.  I need Him in the midst of my mundane tasks of everyday life.   I need Him for guidance and direction.  I need His light to shine on my path.  I need Him to walk with me on my journey.   Oh how I need Jesus, and I need to make it a point to make sure He is apart of my day, everyday.

Sometimes we need to stand still and listen.  He is knocking, and He is calling out to us.  We just need to tune in and listen.   He wants a relationship with you and me.  He wants to sup with us.  He wants to be apart of every area of our lives.  He wants to help us and guide us.   We just need to slow down and take the time to let Him in and spend time with Him.

-Pamela

 

The Path Less Traveled

wood-nature-dark-forestSometimes in life you find your self on a different path from everyone else.  It is a path that can be scary, dark, and lonely.  It is a path that only a few have trod.  It is a path less traveled.

There is always beauty to find along the path.  You will discover beauty that others do not have the privilege to see.  This less traveled path is full of wonder and only a few get to pass through.

There are lessons to learn.   God gives His Wisdom to us when we ask Him for it.  There is wisdom that comes with this path, but only if we seek it.

There is the strengthening of our faith.  I like to think of it as a path of faith.  With each step forward I rely on Christ to lead me to my next step.   I ask Him to guide my steps.  I ask Him to light my path.  It takes faith to travel on a path that few have traveled.   It sometimes feels like an uncharted territory.  Oh but I know my Christ knows this path, and I know it isn’t uncharted to Him.

There is joy on this path.  A joy that comes from our journey along this path.  Oh the joy that comes from the beauty we find.  Joy from lessons we learn.  Joy from the people we traveled with on this path.  Joy from the strength we obtain from this path.  Joy from the Lord as we travel our path.

So next time you find yourself on an off beaten path; just remember to try to find the beauty, lessons, faith, and joy in the journey.

-Pamela Henry

Disability

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When people think of disability they think broken, not working properly, and not able to do something.

So here is the thing.  I have a son with many disabilities and I have never thought of him as disabled.   Last year someone sent me a link on Face Book about Disability Awareness Month.  I read it and I turned around and asked my husband, “Does Aaron have a Disability ?”  My husband just looked wide eyed at me  and responded with a yes.  He was shocked that I even asked.

I never really thought of my son as having disabilities.  I know that sounds naïve. He is nonverbal and there is lots of things he can not do.  When I start listing the things that he can do, most people don’t think it is a lot.  Some people might say that his accomplishments are small.  Oh but I don’t listen to most people.  I think He is pretty amazing.  His smile and his laughter is contagious.  He lights up my day when he comes and snuggles with me.   He has taught me so much about love.  He has taught me how to communicate better.   He loves life and even though his life has many challenges he is almost always happy.  His life is simple and I love that about him.  What if we all had the ability to live a simple, happy life and love life?!

So don’t feel sorry for my son or other people with disabilities.  Just pray.   Pray for grace, acceptance, and love for all children  and adults with disabilities.  Pray for their families and pray for the challenges they may face.  Look at them through a different lens, see them for who they are and not their disability.

-Pamela Henry

The Unseen

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He will make a way.

With God all things are possible.  As a believer we know this.  Our minds know this but does our hearts believe it?

Faith is trusting in what you can not see.  So when things are uncertain we need to have faith.   We all know that as a believer we are suppose to have faith in God and we are to put our trust in Him.  If you were to ask most Christians if they have Faith they will answer yes.  The truth is most of the time we don’t.

The unseen, the unknown, the unpredictable future when hard times hit in our lives can sometimes rock us to our core.  Sometimes we can not see how anything good can come from our current circumstances.   Sometimes we question God.  Sometimes we look around and all we can see is the wilderness, desert, and a place that is undesirable.  That is when we need our faith the most.

Sometimes the future scares me.  When I think about my children and their futures it scares me a little.  Especially when it comes to Aaron.   Who is going to take care of him?  Who is going to make sure he is safe?  A million other questions pop into my mind at times.  That is when I cry out to God.  I look for that stream in the Desert.  I look for that rock that is higher than I.  I pray for that peace that passes all understanding.  I look for His unmistakable path in the wilderness.   Because I know that God will always make a way.  Even when I can’t see the path in front of me and every step seems as a leap of faith, I know God will light my path.  I know that He will go before me and He will direct my path.

“He will make a way, when there seems to be no way.  He works in ways we can not see, He will make a way for me.  He will be my guide and draw me closely to His side. ”  I love this part of this song.  It reminds me that no matter what is happening in my life God got this!

-Pamela Henry

 

The Lies Satan Tells Us

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It is Monday Morning and the house literally looks like a tornado hit it.  The laundry is backed up again because you decided to take a Sunday laundry break.  You didn’t exactly do a grocery shopping run because time seemed to run out.   Your head didn’t hit the pillow until around midnight.  It is early and you keep falling back to sleep while reading your devotions.  Coffee is your breakfast this morning because well you just don’t have the energy to fix anything else.  As your children wake up one by one you point them to the kitchen so they can fix a bowl of cereal or a frozen waffle.   You look around because quiet time is over and you try to decide where to start first.  In your mind you think, can I just camp out under the covers and hide there all day.  You try to get your head together and make a to do list.  Then you remember that it is Monday and we have school to do also.  You feel overwhelmed and you just don’t even know where to start.  Then your little one starts crying.  You start to cry.  In that moment Satan starts to whisper, “Pamela, You are such a failure, just look around.  You know other moms have it together and you don’t.  You can’t do anything right. There is no hope.”

Here is the crazy thing about these Lies, we believe them.  We believe these lies.  We fall hook, line, and sinker for Satan’s lies.  Well, I don’t know if you do fall for them but I know there are times that I do. Way to many times I let myself fall for these lies.  It seems as Satan whispers these lies in my ear when I am at my weakest, when things are not going right, and when I am feeling defeated.  I whisper back defeated, “I know.” At that moment I believed Satan’s lies over God’s Truths and promises

I forgot who I am, I am a child of God. I am the daughter of the King.  I have forgotten where my true strength comes from, it comes from God.  I forgot that He gives me grace, mercy, joy, and strength.  I forgot about the promises of God.

” From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalms 61:2

We all have found ourselves overwhelmed by life.  We all have found ourselves overwhelmed with the tasks before us.   When you are drowning in Satan’s lies remember you have a rock, You have a hiding place, and you have a shelter in Jesus Christ.  You have strength in Christ to complete the tasks that are before you.  You have a unlimited source of mercy, grace, and joy for each and every day.  So when Satan comes at you with his lies, come at him with the Truth of God’s Word.

-Pamela Henry

Love Language

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Five Love Languages:  Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch

Quality time: spending one on one time together.  Word of Affirmation: praise and encouraging words.  Receiving gifts: small or big gifts; even the smallest things mean a lot.  Acts of service: doing things for them.  Physical touch: snuggling, cuddling, and hugs.

My love languages are quality time, physical touch, and words of affirmation.  My husband’s top love languages are acts of service, physical touch, words of affirmation.

I knew the importance of knowing our love languages.  I really never thought about my children’s love languages.  So last valentine’s day I asked them questions and tried to discover their love languages.  I also asked them again today because as we grow sometimes our needs changes.  Here is what I discovered.

Austin:  His top love language is receiving gifts. Second is words of affirmation. His next one is quality time, and his last is acts of service.

Naomi:  Her top love language is quality time. Second is words of affirmation. Third is acts of service. Last is receiving gifts.

Abigail:  Her top love language is receiving gifts. Second is physical touch.  Third one is quality time. Lastly words of affirmation.

Aaron:  He loves praise. His top love language is words of affirmation.  Second is physical touch.

Colt:  His top love language is physical touch.  Second is quality time.  Third is words of affirmation.

Alana:  Her top love language is receiving gifts. Second is quality time.  Third is physical touch.

As a parent I believe we should know how our children feel loved.  I think we should try to know their individual love languages, and try to show them love.   We need to remember that each of our children are different and feel things differently.  So if you haven’t done so yet try to learn your child’s love language.  You might be surprised at what you discover.

-Pamela Henry

Paper Hearts

img_4608I want to teach my children to be diligent and mindful of their heart.  I want them to be caring and loving, yet not leave their heart exposed.  I want my children to guard their heart with all diligence.

When it comes to matters of the heart we need to be wise.  We need to teach our children to be wise about their friendships and what they expose themselves to.   Our hearts are like paper hearts at times.  They can be blown away, torn apart, and just left behind by others.  That is why we need to teach our children how to protect their hearts.   I am not saying build a wall that no one can penetrate.  I am not saying let your heart become cold and unloving.  I am just saying to have wisdom and be diligent when it comes to the matters of the heart.

I have one daughter who is super sensitive.  She cares deeply, she loves deeply, and she is just a passionate person.   When she dives into something, she dives in with all of her heart.  Her heart gets broke and as a mom it breaks my heart.  We go over how to protect her heart without loosing her passion for others.  Oh how I wish we could save our children from all pain, but we can’t.  All we can do is love them and help them put up safe guards around their heart.

As our children grow and as they mature we want them to find meaningful relationships.   We want them to grow in Christ.  We want them to have a Christ like love for others.  We want them to show others the love of Christ.  We want them to flourish and bloom in life.   We want them to use wisdom and discernment as they go through life.  We want them to use their head and their hearts as they go on their journey.   We do not want them to have paper hearts flapping in the wind.  Teach them diligently to have  balance and have wisdom when it comes to their hearts.

-Pamela Henry

Chore Charts

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I have decluttered and organized every room in the house.  Now I want to keep it clean and organized.  I had a chore chart and I really tried to stay on top of it.  A few days ago I read a blog post about chore apps.  So I decided to go and find one that fit my family.  I have children ranging in age from thirteen to three.  So I needed something that would work with every child.  I also didn’t want to pay a lot.  I decided to try ChoreMonster .  ChoreMonster and Mothership work together.  Mothership lets you customize your child’s chores and rewards.  Landra also works  with Mothership, Landra is for teens only.

These apps track points for you.  It replaced the chore chart completely.  Everyone has done their chores and has done extra work for extra points.  Big win for MOM!  So if you are looking for something  to replace that chore chart check it out! Best part is it is FREE!  Yes it is free!  Got to love that!!!

If you already use a chore app that you love please share your thoughts about it in the comments.   If you decide to try these apps let me know how it works out for you.

Thank you for stopping by.

-Pamela Henry

Day 9 Decluttering and Organizing Challenge

Master Bedroom

1. Make sure you have a bin or basket for your donation and keep pile.

2. Have a trash bag and recycling bag with you.

3. I like to start with the dressers. One drawer at a time. I don’t like getting overwhelmed.

4. I like to get the top of the dresser next.

5. I like to get under the bed next.

6. Lastly the nightstands.

Dresser Drawers Done

donation bags ready to go

Thank you everyone for doing this project with me…

-Pamela Henry