Staying Sane this Summer

I LOVE having my kids home during the summer. This momma bird sings one happy tune when my chicks are back in the nest. But, I have to be real. Once the newness wears off and the fighting begins, I need to get creative.

Here are some things we’ve implemented to maintain a healthy balance:

Technology Timeout – As my kids have gotten older, it’s easy to fall into a routine where we all have electronic devices in our hands. They model me. I’ve found that I have to be very intentional about turning off the computer and not texting or talking on the phone. Technology takes away from quality time with my kids.

Quiet Time – I’ll never forget when my youngest gave up naps. Oh, that’s an adjustment! In lieu of, my kids normally have an hour of quiet time in their room. They read books or play, often building a fort.

Play “School” – I want my kids to have a relaxed summer, but I also want them to retain what they’ve learned. We randomly do fun, educational activities. I don’t call it “school,” but simply pull out the worksheets and flash cards. I continue as long as they’re happy. As you can see from the attached sign, we need to work on homophones (allowed, aloud). Ha! On another note, my eight-year-old recently researched vegetables and made an extensive list. Every week, we try a new vegetable and she adds up our ratings for the vegetable’s total score. This has been a fun project for all of us! We also do summer reading programs through our library and local grocery store.

Dinner Devotional – During the school year, we would read our family devotion when we tucked the kids into bed. With later bedtime this summer, we were too tired. So now, we’ve started discussing it at dinnertime. This has been a wonderful change, one we’ll definitely keep!

Early Riser – I let my kids sleep in during the summer. The earlier I wake, though, the more productive I am. God keeps putting a verse in my heart. In Proverbs 31:15, the Bible says, “She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day.”

One last thing … even on the craziest of days, I try to enjoy each moment. I’m so thankful God gave me these unique, amazing kids. Motherhood is such a gift!

We’re all in this journey together so let’s share ideas. What works for your family? What have you implemented this summer to maintain your sanity?

 

Am I Clingy?

As I watched the furry caterpillars wrap around his sweet little hands, I couldn’t believe how they clung to his skin. It was like plush tape on his fingers, needing to be peeled off. They were completely attached, hanging on, resisting separation.

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When you think of the word “cling” – what comes to mind? For me, it’s my sweet four-year-old son screaming, in different tones and at various noise levels … “Mommy, Mommeeee, Mommmmmeeeeee!” I hope I’m not the only one who experiences this lovely array of sounds. I love it, but really, he needs me ALL the time!

In Luke 17, beginning in verse 11, we learn about the ten men with leprosy. They seek Jesus so He can heal them. They yell, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” Those men clung to Jesus with desperation for the hope of healing.

Jesus gave them instructions to go to the priests. And, they were healed. I love this extra lesson here – listen to God always, even when the instructions may not make sense. Jesus could’ve healed them instantly, but He chose to give them directions. They listened and were healed.

Then, we learn in verse 15 that only one returned to thank Jesus. Life was good now, all was right with the world, and only one had the time to praise Jesus for this miracle. The audacity of those ungrateful nine little punks! No more clinging or crying out to Jesus in desperation.

Ouch! I’m guilty of being an ungrateful little punk, I shouldn’t judge. I remember the recent storms in my life – miscarriage, prenatal depression – the days when I was desperately seeking God. I would let nothing separate us. I was like a clingy caterpillar constantly praying … Jesus, carry me through this moment. It’s You and me, Jesus. Only You can do this, I cannot.

Then, God healed me and blessed our family. I was so thankful for the restoration. But today, as things are going well, I no longer constantly think those thoughts. I am grateful and thank Him, but I don’t desperately seek Him like a clingy caterpillar. I’ve gotten caught-up in my worldly bliss and busyness.

I will strive to cling, to grasp, to seek God with every decision. I will be like my son, seeking a parent ALL the time. I will desperately hold on to Jesus always, not just for life’s tumultuous storms. In every moment, I want to be a clingy caterpillar.

“Barricade the road that goes Nowhere;
grace me with your clear revelation.
I choose the true road to Somewhere,
I post your road signs at every curve and corner.
I grasp and cling to whatever you tell me;
God, don’t let me down!
I’ll run the course you lay out for me
if you’ll just show me how.
God, teach me lessons for living so
I can stay the course.”
Psalms 119:29-33 (The Message)

 

 

10 Things I Never Said … Until Motherhood

Out of my 2011 posts, this was rated as the most viewed! Thanks for reading, I had fun creating this list 🙂

10.       “It is not okay to pull down your pants and pee, when waiting in line at Six Flags.”

9.         “I love my minivan.”

8.         “You did go swimming this afternoon, so you don’t have to take a bath.”

7.         “We can maybe go to a Justin Beiber concert.”

6.         “Oops, I only had time to shave one leg in the shower.”

5.         “You are not really the blue Power Ranger. Please stop drop-kicking everything, including your sister.”

4.         “I’m glad the puke is on me, instead of the couch.”

3.         “Do not pee on the floor, the wall or in your room. The only place we pee is in the toilet, and please aim for the water.”

2.         “You cannot eat dinner naked, with only your Batman cape. At least, put on some underwear.”

1.         “I love you bigger than the world.” {literally}

Motherhood is a gift to enjoy, but it is definitely not for the weak!

{Yes, an entire bag of potato chips scattered in our living room as he yelled, "Surprise!"}

What would you add to this list?