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

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

 

 

Yes, They Are All Mine

imageEver since I was a little girl I always wanted a large family. So for those that truly know me best are not surprised at all that I have six children.  To me I don’t have a very large family. I don’t see myself as having “so many” children.  The truth is I had always planned on having way more than six, but I decided to be content with how many children God gives me.

I am always amused when we go out in public.  From peoples stares and reactions you would think we drove up in a bus and 30 people stepped out of it, lol.  I have gotten so many different questions and comments from people that I am kind of use to it. I always think it is funny when people start doing a head count to see how many children we have.  Sometimes we get the famous question, “Are they all yours?” I always respond with a smile, “Yes, they are all mine”. Then comes the comments about how full my hands are.

Well, I am busy. My hands are full. I always have a lot going on even if we don’t have a lot going on.  I really am just a typical mom, just like every other mom.  I don’t have extra patience. I don’t have some hidden super power. I don’t have it all figured out.  I had my hands full after I had my first child, and I just keep adding to it. No matter if you have one child or nineteen we are all on this journey of Motherhood, so be helpful and kind to each other.

-Pamela Henry

 

 

 

Embracing My Life

Yes my life is not perfect, but I am learning to embrace the imperfections and just enjoy my life.  I am learning that everything doesn’t have to be picture perfect.  I am learning that everything doesn’t always have to go as planned. I am learning to just embrace the moment, to embrace my life.

Embracing my challenges.  Everyone has challenges. Each and everyone of us faces day to day challenges. Are all our challenges the same? No they are not the same, but the truth is we all have them. Challenges are good for us. Challenges help us grow. Challenges do just that they challenge us, they help us to reach higher, to go further, and to do better. I do not want my challenges, my weaknesses, my obstacles in life to stand in the way of my happiness. I don’t want my challenges to become impossible obstacles that I let stand in my way. I want to be an overcomer. I want to be a person that sees my challenges, my obstacles,  and my weaknesses and figures out a way to overcome them, to find solutions, and grow stronger.

Embracing motherhood. Now I have to say motherhood is different than I thought it was going to be.  I am still not the mother that I want to be. As my children are growing, I am growing as a mother.  I am constantly learning. Being a mother has magnified my weaknesses and my strengths. I am learning to just embrace the ins and outs of motherhood. I am learning to embrace the ups and downs of motherhood. I am learning to just enjoy my children’s unique characteristics.  I am learning to embrace each child for who they are, and celebrate it.  I am learning to embrace each part of motherhood.

Embracing the mundane.  I learned along time ago to live today. I learned to enjoy today. I learned to celebrate  today, because there might not be a tomorrow.  I do not believe in skipping over the week days to enjoy the weekends. I do not believe in skipping over the every day to get to a holiday.  I believe everyday is a special day. I believe everyday is a day to celebrate. So embrace the housework and be thankful you have a house to clean and work in. So embrace the day to day task and be thankful that you are able to do it.  Embrace the mundane, because that is where majority of our time and life is. That is where all the little things in life are.  Embrace the little things in life, because they add up to be the important things.

Embrace differences.  One thing that I love about my husband is our differences. We complement each other.  I embrace those differences. I do not let those differences become a wedge between us, I use those differences to help us grow stronger as a couple.  I found that the things that made me attracted to my husband was our differences.  Our differences are what makes us unique, make us who we are as a person.

Embrace Life. Life is always changing. Children are always growing. We are always meeting new people and making new friendships.  I am learning to embrace each moment in life, the good and the bad.  I am learning to embrace each new chapter in my life, and I am learning to embrace the closing of each chapter in my life with grace.  I am learning to embrace the unexpected, because life is full of unplanned adventures.

God sent His Son so we can have life and have it more abundantly. God wants us to have joy. God wants us to embrace everyday.  So, as we head into the weekend remember to find joy in each day. Embrace each day as a gift, because that is exactly what it is.

-Pamela Henry

 

Balancing Act

Proverbs 11:1  “A false balance is abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is his delight.”

Sometimes as a mom we tend to take on more than we can handle. Life can feel more like a juggling act in a circus. Sometimes we try to do to much. We try to cram to much into our schedule. We think we got it all under control, until it all comes tumbling down.

When people ask, “how do you do it all?”  I let them know that I don’t. I am just one person.  I can not do it all!  I have only 24 hours in a day just like everyone else.  I do not have some secret formula that gives me super powers to accomplish the impossible.

We all need balance. Without balance you would constantly fall over. That is why it is so important to not have a false balance. We constantly need to be evaluating what occupies our time, what is not needed in our daily schedules, and what needs to go. We really need to pray and ask God to show us the right balance he has for us.

Juggling is not balancing. I do not like feeling like I am juggling. When I feel this way it is usually because I tried to take on to much. I gave myself a false balance, and find that I did not have any balance at all.  That is when I loose patience and find everything in a mess.

A big mistake we make as moms is comparing ourselves to other moms.  We all have different strengths and different weaknesses.  The perfect balance God has for me probably will not be the right balance for you. We need to stop comparing and just start praying. We need to seek God and ask him to give us the wisdom, grace, and balance we need for today.

-Pamela Henry