Why I’m Not a Perfect Mom

Photo Credit: Pinterest (Unknown)
Photo Credit: Pinterest (Unknown)

There are many reasons why I’m not a perfect mom, and why I won’t hold out hope that someday I’ll suddenly become that mother who ‘does it all’. You know the kind of mother portrayed in Leave it to Beaver. Perfectly dressed, make-up on, and not a hair out of place. The house would always be neat and orderly, the kiddos would always be polite and presentable, and I’d be excited to host dinner parties for my husband’s business associates. This of course would all come after I made three course meals for my children and made sure they were involved in all the right social circles.

I’m honest enough and realistic enough to know that won’t happen. Not only am I more comfortable in a pair of yoga pants than I’ve ever been in a dress and make-up, my hair tends to remain in a messy knot on my head. I don’t like the feel of it on my neck and I don’t have the patience to create some intricate style that wouldn’t stay in place while I chased my eighteen month old son around or snuggled with my seven year old daughter.

As for dinner parties, those are so not going to happen. I’m almost positive God’s plan for me doesn’t include being a society maven. My idea of a party is snuggling under a blanket in my pajamas, reading a good book and drinking tea.

There have been times in recent years when I’ve wished I were designed for perfection. Where I wish I didn’t have my quirks. In those moments I spent too much time cataloging the reasons I am not a perfect mom.

I’m not a perfect mom, because I’m a perfectionist. I’m very ‘type A’ when it comes to the completion of anything. From projects to keeping the house organized. I often feel sorry for my daughter (and eventually my son), because I’m the mother that requires rooms to be neat and toys to be returned to their proper place when they’re not in use. The house is not a bounce house designed for jumping and screaming, and there is no playing outside without supervision–regardless of what the neighbor kids get to do.

I’m not a perfect mom, because I am an introvert. My perfect home would be far away from neighbors, have a lot of land for my children to play on, and have a fence to keep people away. Now, I’m not saying I’m completely a hermit, but the ability is there. Whenever I’m around people I seem to internalize their emotions and their energy. It takes me days to recuperate after any social event. My daughter on the other hand is an extrovert. She loves people, and going and doing. She very rarely needs time to recharge away from people, and is happier when she has social interaction all the time.

I’m not a perfect mom, because I am hormonal. I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, and that means living in a state where people forget what the sun is makes me melancholy and irritable.

I am not a perfect mom, but I also know that’s okay. I know that the LORD has a plan for me, and that he’s in control. He knows what I need, even if I don’t.

I’m not a perfect mom, but  each day I strive to be a better mom than I was the day before. Each morning I pray for strength, wisdom, and guidance. I pray for help navigating the path of parenthood. I pray for understanding and that my children and I will grow together in our faith.

I’m not a perfect mom, but I am a forgiven mom. I am a saved mom, and I am a faithful mom. Every day may not go the way I hope it will, but it goes the way it needs to go. Each day I learn something new.

Each and every day I try to be a little less of a perfectionist. I make the effort to get my daughter into social situations so that she can thrive. I do what I can to control my hormones, and to control my mood. The point is, I’m not perfect, but I’m me. I’m following God, and doing what I can for my children.

“As for God, His way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; He shields all who take refuge in Him.” Psalm 18:30

May the LORD bless you,

Sare

Snuggles with the LORD

I don’t know if many of you have heard of the DVD series, “Buck Denver asks…What’s in the Bible”. It’s from Phil Vischer, the creator of VeggieTales. When I popped in the first DVD and realized it was a bunch of puppets I was NOT excited. I dislike puppets. I was the weird kid who didn’t like the Muppets. In fact, I still don’t like the Muppets. I do however, enjoy these puppets now.

Each morning this week, after our one-on-one studies are completed, my kiddos and I take a break for some snuggles on the couch. We watch one of the thirty minute episodes (today’s was on 2 Samuel), and I smile when my youngest who isn’t quite a year-and-a-half yet, starts dancing on his bum. My daughter, who has seen many of these episodes in Children’s Church will giggle and sing along with the songs. I’m not ashamed to say I often find myself tapping my foot or my fingers to the beat as we all sit together.

It is wonderful to know that something created for kids can still entertain an adult. It is even better to know, that even though we don’t watch a lot of television- preferring books for our entertainment- that there are shows out there that teach wonderful things. This show has opened up the stories of the Bible in a great way.

I love being able to snuggle with my children while they learn about the LORD…

Okay, I admit it, I’m learning too. 🙂

Snuggles and the LORD…a great way to start any day. 🙂

Sare

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4

The Well-Trained Mind

Homeschooling is a very new adventure for my family, and everyday we find something new to learn about it. We spent a month working on a unit study of volcanoes and working on a lapbook of them. That seemed to work well. During that time my daughter also worked through Life of Fred Butterflies for her math. We snuck in grammar and history through various things, but I just didn’t feel it was solid enough for us.

So I did what I do.

I read.

At the beginning of this journey I did a lot of reading. I read everything I could get my hands on that had to do with the homeschool highway. While reading I noticed people talking about “The Well-Trained Mind”, and it didn’t sound like anything I was interested it.

Until, after days of praying for a better way, I was.

So I bought the book and read through the chapters dealing with the Grammar stage. This is the learning stage my daughter is currently in. Then I borrowed the book, First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind. I was floored. This is it. This is exactly what I was looking for, but didn’t realize it.

It’s the Classical Approach to learning, and it is what I know in my heart we need. At least for this season. I’ve prayed about it, and like with the knowledge I needed to homeschool, this feels right.

On Monday, we’ll be beginning our first official day of learning in the Well-Trained Mind. We’ll learn from FLL and from Story of the World Volume One. We’ll continue with Life of Fred, and all our reading we do. We’ll begin learning about animals as outlined in TWTM, and we’ll continue to spend time with our Lord.

This is just another step in our learning process. It may not be forever, but it is for this season. I’ll continue to turn to God with my questions and problems, and he’ll continue to guide me along this path for as long as is right.

Do you homeschool your children? If so, what approach do you use? Please share with us in the comments below.

May God Bless You All,

Sare

Push Back the Dark

Yesterday the effects of the stress and strain that’s been my constant companion the past two months won out, and it was a horrible day. I skipped my daily PIYO workout, because I knew I needed to use that single hour of ‘me time’ — the time my daughter completes her independent work, and my son naps– to connect more completely with God.

Darkness was overtaking me and I felt like I was drowning in a pit with no way to free myself. I needed help in a BIG way. Even though I keep my Faith (there’s MY word of the year!), in our Lord, sometimes I find myself holding onto too much of the burden instead of truly letting it go to him in not only word, but deed as well.

For me, it’s easy to tell Him I’m giving my troubles to him. It isn’t so easy to actually DO it. I’m finding as I travel this path, there really is a difference.

Even after my hour of quality time with the Lord, I wasn’t better. The darkness had lessened some, but it was still there. Anger still clawed at me–threatened to turn me into a raving lunatic– I still felt alone, I still felt the seductive allure of my past calling to me. “Drink, Sare! It’ll make everything bearable. If you don’t care about anything, you won’t feel anything.”

Here’s a side note. I haven’t drank a single drop of alcohol in three years. I’d like to say this happened, because I knew I had a problem, but it didn’t. I stopped drinking mostly on accident. Three years later I consider it a happy accident, but at the time I didn’t even realize I wasn’t drinking away my problems. What happened was, I got hired on as a lifeguard and took my job seriously. I didn’t have enough time between shifts to drink and still feel secure in my ability to keep people safe.

When the dark takes over, like it did yesterday, it concerns me. Not just because it’s darkness and I’m a creature of the light, but because I worry how many times this can happen before my children are scarred by it. How many “Momma is feeling dark” days can I have before all they will remember about growing up is how angry I was? Let me just say, those worries do nothing to bring me closer to the light. Those worries don’t help me push back the darkness. In fact, I’m pretty sure those worries come from another place entirely, and that’s a place I don’t want to visit.

I know I’m new to this and that even people who have known God their entire lives have days where the darkness wants to consume them. Whenever the darkness starts pushing up on me, and I need to push it away, I repeat over and over the only verse I’ve managed to actually memorize. (That’s a lot harder than my daughter makes it look while memorizing verses for Awana!)

“Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.”– Psalm 52:12

What are some verses you turn to when you need help to push back the dark?

Today, Lord I pray you will help me push away the darkness and allow my home to be a place of peace, love and joy. Amen.

Sare

Joyful Hearts

The public school here has been in session since the 5th, and every day I am thankful for the Lord placing homeschooling on my heart.

I’d love to say each day is a picnic on the beach (one where sand doesn’t get all up in your potato salad), but really, what part of life ever is? Miss K and I are finding our rhythm and learning how to learn together. This is made a little complicated by the now walking and getting into even more mischief, Mr. D.

The Mister has been away at another school for the Marine Corps, and our little family has felt a little smaller without his larger-than-life presence.

While we deal with the responsibilities of daily life, as well as the new found availability of snuggles in our home, we have the Lord to thank for all these blessings.

Every night my heart grows a little happier as I listen to Miss K saying her prayers. She always prays for her daddy and that he will do well on his tests and will stay safe while he is gone.

We are all growing in our prayer life, and when we say grace we have started adding one thing each we are personally thankful for. Little things like being thankful for the sunshine, or being thankful for the game we got to play.

So, while we are always growing and changing,  and with those things often come discomfort, we are grateful for the new closeness and love that is flourishing within the walls of our home.

May you and yours be blessed,
Sare

When Your World Crumbles

What do you do when your world crumbles and turns to dust? When everything you’ve ever known, or thought you knew is destroyed by actions out of your control?

Recently, this happened to my little family. In a big, big way. Our lives were turned upside down by the selfish and unconscionable actions of another person.

What did I do? What did we do? We turned to God. A year ago I don’t think I would have made that decision. A year ago it is likely I would have ended up in a dark and lonely place that would require hundreds of hours of therapy, and having to search for the desire to climb back to the light.

It is such a blessing to realize how different, how much lighter my life is with His love. Even though things can’t be undone, and those actions have affected multiple families, my heart is filled with forgiveness and joy.

God hasn’t left us. He never will. He will be there holding our hearts so we don’t lose the pieces as they crack, because of the sinful nature of the world.

Even in this time of darkness, His light shines on.

Blessings to you and yours,

Sare

Bible in a Year

On January first I began reading the Bible cover to cover, with the intention of finishing it by January first of 2015. Somehow, I’ve managed to fall behind, and unless I give up sleeping I won’t be finished by that day now.

Do I feel discouraged by this revelation?

Thankfully, not anymore. There was a few days there when I felt the sadness about being off the schedule, but then I realized something even more important than finishing on ‘time’. It’s reading it and meditating on the living words.

This morning my daughter asked to do her Bible study with me, and she was surprised when before I opened my Bible to read today’s selections, I prayed. She joined in with me, and I hope the LORD will move her to do that regularly, like he has with me.

When I first began this Bible reading journey, I wasn’t sure how to go about it. The few times in the past I’d tried to read the Bible it hadn’t clicked with me. I couldn’t form any type of connection with what I was reading. I didn’t want that to happen this time. So, I asked a dear friend of mine, and he told me to pray before I read. To ask God to guide me and to help me understand his Words and how to apply them to my own life.

You know what? This has made all the difference. Every day is a new adventure, and each time I open my Bible, I feel more relaxed and settled. That quiet time I have with our LORD is everything I need to make the day happier and brighter. When I get my study in first thing in the morning, the whole day goes better. When I do it later in the day, it gives me a much needed pick me up.

Will I finish the Bible in a year? No, I won’t, but I’ll learn the things God has planned for me this time through. I’ll read things that will help me get through each day, and not worry about some self-imposed time limit. Instead, for the time being I’ll enjoy the Psalms and Romans (3 chapters of the old testament, and 1 chapter of the new) and gratefully accept the blessings of the LORD.

Have you read the Bible all the way through? What is your favorite book? Could you share the verses that have helped you the most?

Many blessings,

Sare

A Few Changes

Hey guys! In the coming months (dare I hope, years!) you’ll be noticing some changes on this blog. Granted, so far it’s pretty new so there isn’t really a set standard. However, since the LORD has placed homeschooling on my heart, this will also cover my family’s adventures in homeschooling.

Yes, I want every post to be positive, but as with all things in life, there will be ups and downs. I view myself as an honest person, and trying very hard to portray myself in an honest light. That includes times of struggles. Will every day be hard? I’m sure it won’t be. Will every day be filled with sunshine and roses? I can most certainly guarantee that won’t be the case either.

My daughter and I are as different as we are similar. We’re two of God’s unique creations. That is a huge blessing in so many ways. Though I’m nervous about this adventure we’re on, worried I won’t do something right, I know that as long as I place my Faith and trust in the LORD, we’ll thrive.

I hope you’ll continue to join me on this walk, and maybe you’ll find your own answers, or get an idea for something new to do in your walk as well.

 

Blessings,

Sare

Power of a Positive Mom

Recently I’ve been doing my daily devotions with the book The Power of a Positive Mom. For those mothers who are looking for God’s grace during the stressful times of motherhood, I highly recommend this book. Karol Ladd has made me smile even when I want to cry.

I’m not saying I’m naturally a positive mom. Quite the opposite. I find that I often don’t smile, not because I’m not happy, but just because I don’t ‘think’ about it. Truth be told, some days I can’t imagine smiling, because things just pile up until suddenly I’m lucky if I’m not walking around with a permanent scowl on my face.

For instance, my son has decided recently that his favorite thing to do is refuse to eat. It doesn’t matter if it’s his favorite food, he’ll throw it on the floor without tasting it. Do not pass go. This has been going on for days. Eventually he’ll finally eat, but sometimes the battle gets to be a little too much for my nerves.

My daughter has been actively testing her limits as well. She’s six, and I know that at this age, it is usual for them to start thinking more in terms of me, me, me. That knowledge doesn’t make the moments any easier to deal with. Especially when I know that my daughter is a beautiful child inside and out, and that she is generally gracious, caring, and helpful.

In my devotion this morning I read about the power of a smile and smiling even when you don’t want to. Not an hour after I decided I was going to do this did I fail. Miserably. However, with a lot of prayer for guidance and strength, I know the LORD will help be with this. I know that smiling at my daughter when she walks in a room will lighten her heart, and the same for my husband and complete strangers.

Smiles are contagious, and we should spread them like a very happy and healthy plague.

Like I said, I’m not a naturally positive mom, but I’m not a Debbie Downer either. It’s time to make sure I don’t become one.

Have you smiled today? I’d love to hear your stories. Please share them in the comments. 🙂

 

May the LORD keep you and yours,

Sare

Falling Behind

I’ve fallen behind on chronicling my walk of Faith, not because it isn’t important to me–it truly is. The last several weeks have been crazy, busy, and emotionally draining.

My father was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, so we’ve been going through the steps to start treatment. There has been a lot of prayers coming from me in recent days, but there are truly times when I’m not sure I’m as good and faithful as I should be.

I’m never sure if I’m leading my children to the LORD or if they’re just along for the ride. I’m not sure if my actions are showing the changes the LORD is making in me, or if it is only something I see. Each and every day, I give the day to Him and ask that He blesses me and opens my heart to His word. To allow His light to shine through me so others may find His grace.

Each day I read about Christians who are making a difference in the world, and I wonder if there is more I should be doing. I’ve been active in my church, but as the days go by I wonder if I’ve taken on more than I should have, and if being involved in so many things is truly what the LORD had planned for me.

My daughter and I have slowly merged onto the Homeschool Highway. We’re reviewing the things she ‘learned’ in first grade. In most things I’m very grateful to her first grade teacher. We’ll be going full swing as soon as I’m sure we’ve got a good footing. This is a new adventure, and with everything else going on, it has made for some really stressful and scary moments.

I don’t often second guess myself, even before I realized our Heavenly Father was with me, but there have been days when I’ve had to send my kiddos to their rooms so I could have ten minutes to re-center myself with His word. There has been many, many moments of asking God if He was certain this was His path for me. Am I really doing the best thing for everyone?

So far, we’re still with it, and until the time when God opens a different door for us, it’s where we will stay.

May God Bless You and Keep You,

Sare