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

 

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

Well Of Grace

Grace….. Something I don’t deserve but God bestows upon me despite myself.  New Year, new opportunities, new beginnings, and new grace.

I want my life to be a Well of Grace. I want grace to pour out of me.  I want to bestow grace unto my children, my husband, my friends, family, church family, and strangers.  I want to be so full of God’s grace that I pour it out to everyone, including myself.

Oh mommas how are we to give grace to others if we ourselves don’t allow God’s grace upon our own lives?  How are we to be gracious to others if we are not gracious to ourselves?  How are we to let the grace of God rule in our hearts and not let ourselves receive any of that grace?   I know we are hardest on ourselves.  We do not give ourselves grace at all.  Well I know that I have a hard time giving myself grace.  Then in return I find myself being less and less gracious to others.  We have to accept His grace so we can fill up on His grace.

You might ask,” Well how do I show myself grace?” How about not being so hard on yourself next time you don’t get that “To DO” list completely done.  How about you take a little time to read a chapter of a book and sip on a cup of hot coffee or tea without feeling totally guilty about it.  How about not being so hard on yourself when your homeschool day didn’t go completely as planned.  How about when you getting ready for bed and your house is a little messy you just let it go and give yourself some grace……

You will find when you allow yourself to let God’s grace rule in your heart you will have enough grace for yourself and everyone around you.  You will be a Well of Grace, you will be pouring over with grace.  Oh His grace is sufficient for you and me….  God wants us to live a full and victorious life but we can not do that apart from His mercy and grace.  So allow yourself to partake of His grace today.  Allow yourself to grow in His grace.

“Grace, grace, God’s grace. Grace that is greater than all our sin.”

– Pamela Henry

Recommitting To Motherhood

Motherhood is messy.  Motherhood is sleepless nights.  Motherhood is getting your hands dirty.  Motherhood doesn’t take sick days.  Motherhood is amazing. Motherhood is like nothing else.

So like many people I had preconceived notions of what my children would be like and how I would be the almost perfect mom.  I pictured sweet, quiet children sitting at my feet as I read.  Children that never argued or raised their voice.  I pictured sweet. loving, and always kind children.  The problem with the picture I painted in my head was I was picturing perfect children.

I never would have believed that motherhood brought out the best and the worst in me, but it does.   I am still learning a lot about myself as a mother.  I am learning to recognize my strengths and my weaknesses. I am learning how to connect with each one of my children.  I am learning that my children are always changing, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  I am learning to be more gracious, and to extend more mercy and grace.  I am learning of my need for more grace and how to accept it.

Everyday you wake up and you recommit yourself to motherhood.  You make a conscious decision to be aware of your actions, your attitude, your temperament, and your outlook. You make a commitment to be the mother your children need you to be.  You commit yourself to the household duties from reading to the little ones to cleaning up another mess.

Recommitting  my heart to be a servant.  Motherhood is about serving.  You have to have the right attitude to be a servant in your home.  I know for a fact that I do not always have a servant’s heart.  I know that my attitude towards dishes and laundry is not always a good one.  So I know that I have to recommit myself daily to keeping my attitude and my heart right.  I know that I have to recommit daily to having a Servant’s Heart.

Most important thing to me is recommitting my walk with God.  Without the presence of God in my daily life I am not the mother, wife, or person I need to be.  Everyday  I have to make a conscious decision to take time to read my Bible and pray.  I need to make a conscious decision to listen to music that is uplifting, praising God, and draws me closer to Him.   I have to make a commitment to my spiritual health daily so I can be the Mother I need to be.

Recommit to Motherhood

-Pamela Henry

 

 

 

It Starts With Me

I am learning that I set the tone in my home.  My attitude effects my home more than I would like it to.  It starts with me.  Are my actions lining up with my words?  Am I being the example that I need to be?  Am I teaching them kindness with my actions?  Am I teaching them forgiveness by being forgiving?  Am I teaching them mercy and grace with my interactions with them?

Very humbling to know that they are watching and learning from me.  I am not talking about learning from what I’m telling them but what I’m showing them.  I will be honest, I am not always the best example. Sometimes my patience runs very low.  Sometimes I get mad about all the bickering and I start to bicker also.  Sometimes I let the pressures of motherhood get me down and affect my attitude.

Attitude:  My husband likes to say your attitude effects your altitude. Your attitude can affect how you look at things, how you handle situations, and can effect how you react to others around you.  As a parent we want our children to have the right attitude.  As a parent we need to have a good attitude throughout our day no matter what is going on around us.

Actions vs Words:  Do we practice what we preach?  Are we living the attributes that we are trying to teach our children?  It is easy to say one thing but yet do another.  It is important to lead by example.  Our children are watching us, they are learning more from our actions than they are from our words.

Kindness:  Being kind is not just saying yes to everything your child wants.  It is not just smiling and letting your child do what ever they want.  You can be kind but firm all at the same time. You can discipline while still being respectful.  We can use our words to help and lead our child, or we can use our words to tare them down. I know I want my children to be kind to each other and to others.  I want them to be kind even when someone is not being kind to them. How are they going to learn to be kind to others if we are not kind to them in all situations.

Forgiving:  Are we being forgiving?  Do you forgive your spouse?  Do you forgive your children?  Are we showing our children how to forgive others?  Do you forgive and move forward?  Our children will learn more about forgiveness from us being forgiving.  We all mess up.  We all make mistakes.  We all want another chance. We all want others to forgive us.  So let us be forgiving of our children.  Remember they are still learning.

Mercy and Grace:  God extends mercy and grace to us daily.  We seek His forgiveness and we pray for grace as we move forward.  Are we extending that same mercy and grace to our children and our spouse.  Our children will not learn how to be merciful or gracious to others if we do not treat them with mercy or grace.

If I want a home full of love, forgiveness, kindness, mercy, and grace; It has to start with me.  It starts in my heart.  I need to make sure that every morning when I wake up that I pray for the right attitude.  I need to examine myself and make sure I am being a mother that is leading by example.

-Pamela Henry

Seasonal Clothing

It is that time of year again. Time to take out, sort through, fold, and hang up our Fall and Winter clothes!  Which means time to go through and put away our Spring and Summer clothes.

We have six bags full of light jackets and winter coats. Ones that are to small or to big for anyone to use at this time gets put back in a storage box.  Same with the long sleeve shirts and sweaters.

I also make sure everyone has what they need in the correct sizes. Which requires taking out the storage bins. Packing up the sizes that are getting to small and taking out the correct sizes.  If my oldest two need  something we make a list and go shopping. (My oldest is a boy, my second oldest is a girl.)

I have not posted anything lately because I have been drowning in Laundry!!!! Yes, it has to get done. A seasonal chore that can not be skipped over.

 

Real Life

 

Stay at home mom, homeschooling mom, you would think my house would be spotless.  After all I do have all day to keep it clean.

Here is the thing, we live 24/7 in our home. We have 8 people living here, 6 of them are 12 and under. We homeschool, so my children are home all day. I also have a 2 year old and a messy, curious autistic son. So messes happen, they happen a lot!

I am not trying to excuse a messy house. I am just stating that homes get messy at times. Do I leave it a big mess? No, that would drive me crazy. But the fact still remains that during the course of our day things get messy. You might find a pillow pet on the kitchen floor. You might think my main living area looks like a ‘what does not belong’ game. You might find dirty handprints on the wall.

You see I am not perfect. My home gets messy. My children get in trouble. I have clean laundry in a basket waiting to get hung up. I didn’t go grocery shopping this past weekend. I did not make a memu for this week. My husband was kind and got pizza on a Monday night.

So, never look at someone else and compare yourself to them. No Ones life is perfect. No one has it all together all of the time. No one has superpowers.  No one can do it all, all of the time.

So ladies be kinder to each other. Let us be more understanding. Let us extend more grace to each other.   Let us be more supportive of each other.

From one mom to another. Extend some grace to the lady in the mirror. Don’t be so hard on her. Don’t compare her to everyone else.  Give her the same understanding that you give to others.

-Pamela Henry

 

 

 

I Am Not Enough

I am not one of those “It takes a village” parents.  I also do not think I can do this journey of parenthood alone.  I am so thankful for my husband, Brian.  He is such a great husband and an even better father.  But the truth still stands that even on our good days as parents we still fall short.

God did give those wonderful children to Brian and I.  He did entrust them to us.  I am so honored that He did so, and not a day goes by that I am not thankful for our children.  God entrusted me with their hearts, minds, and their lives.  That my friend is not only a huge blessing, it is also a huge responsibility.  A responsibility that I do not take lightly.

You may ask, “What do you mean by you are not enough?”  Well, I mean without God and his strength I can not be the mother I need to be for my children.  I can not tend to their hearts like I need to without God. I can not teach my children what they need to learn without God. I can not effectively tend to the everyday tasks of life with children without God.  I am not enough with out God.  Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

I do not have enough patience. I am not a very patient person. I tend to run out of patience by lunch time. I am really working on this.  I know that I have to approach my children with the same grace and patience that God extends to me each day. I need to let God’s grace flow through me and extend it to everyone around me. When I get to the little Knot in my rope, I need to let go and let God work through me.  Clinging to the rope even tighter and trying  to make it in my own strength and power just makes me even more frustrated and does nothing good for me or my children.  In my weakest moments I am my strongest because that is when I see my need for God and He strengthens me.

I do not have enough grace.  Each morning when I wake up God gives me new grace for today.  He extends his grace to me. I have all the grace I need because God has a never ending supply of grace.  So why do I not have enough grace at times?  Well, it is because I do not go to God for His grace.  I do not go to Him  and ask for grace when my children need it the most from me.  Sometimes I let my Well of Grace run dry, and I do not go to God to fill it back up.  As a mother we need to extend grace to our children.  We need to keep our Well of Grace full and let God flow His grace through us.  Our children are constantly learning.  They are children, not adults. They are going to need grace as they are learning all about life.  We need to be teaching them all about God’s grace but more importantly we need to be giving them God’s grace everyday.

I do not have enough mercy.  There is a difference between letting your children get away with everything and extending mercy to them.  This is an area that I really am still learning in.  I do not have it all figured out.  My best example is Christ.  He extends mercy to me everyday.  Yet, I still have consequences to my actions, good or bad.  I know that I should be and that I want to be more merciful to my children.  The thing is I expect my children to be more gracious and merciful towards each other. Yet at times I do not lead by example.  I know that without Christ I can not extend mercy the way I need to.

I do not have enough time.  There is always more work to do than hours in a day.  I have to prioritize.  Working moms, stay at home moms, and work at home moms all have to prioritize.  We all have more work than time.  so, we need to be kinder and more understanding to each other.  A schedule that works for your family may not work for someone else’s family.   The one thing that we all need in at the top of our schedule is time alone with God.  Ladies if we are going to be fully equipped for our day, If we are going to try to have the right priorities for the day, if we are going to make the time we have count, then we need God leading our steps and we need time alone with Him.

I do not always have the right priorities.  Yep, I said it. I do not always have the right priorities. Sometimes I focus on nonessential things that are not really that important in the grand scheme of things.  Sometimes my focus is off.  Whenever I take my eyes off of God my focus is off and my priorities are off.  When this happens my parenting is off too.  When my parenting is off, my priorities are off, my focus is off everything becomes more chaotic around the house. That is when I start to feel less gracious, less merciful, and run out of patience and I get to the end of my rope. That is when I start to feel like I am loosing my grip on everything, so I cling even tighter. Do you see the downward spiral?  Yep, this is what happens when I do not keep God first.

So, when I say I am not enough. I am not saying I am not equipped to be a mother. I am not saying I can not do this.  I am not saying I should of not had all my children.  What I am saying is I need Christ.  I need Him to work in me and through me.  I am saying in Christ I have all I need to be the mother I need to be.  Philippians 4:13  “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

-Pamela Henry