According to this blog I haven't written anything in a while, a long while. That is actually not true. I have no less than 18 drafts waiting to be published here. So you see, I have been writing. I have just failed to finish anything. Apparently in my mind, there is a difference. It is time to come current on a few things:
My heart is so full I could burst. My (slightly) younger brother and his wife (of course) had their first child. A perfectly delicate baby girl. She is so dainty and feminine in a way my two rough and tumble boys never were. Her name is Evelyn Amie (called Evie). If you didn't catch that, my name is Amie. Yes, she is named after her auntie, me. They kept her name a secret all through the pregnancy. When, at around 1:30am on Oct 6th my brother came out to the waiting-room to tell me she had arrived I was thrilled. When I learned her name, I was weepy. What an honor!
I don't deserve to share a name with such a special little person but somehow I get to. It makes me want to be a better person. I hope someday, when she is school aged, and she gets the assignment to learn how her name came to be, she thinks of me with a smile. Unfortunately for my brother and sister-in-law, this means I will have to spoil her. Auntie will say yes, Evie. Ask auntie, ok.
They have both asked me separately for some survival tips. I stood before them with a sort of 'duh' look on my face. I should also mention that I stood before them in yoga pants I may or may not have been sporting for two days (for reasons having very little, ok nothing, to do with exercise), and some kind of childhood goo smeared into each shoulder. What could I share with them that has worked for me? Hmm.
My Brood :
Under my roof is a 2 year old boy, a 3 year old boy, an 8 year old boy, a 11 year old girl, my husband, and I. If you know me or have been reading this blog any length of time, you may be wondering about the 2 older children. Please don't. Just accept that they are here with no explanation needed. We saw an opportunity to be helpful and took it. Easy. Ryan and I are beyond blessed to have them in our care. We love them bunches and bunches.
So you can guess, I am up to my eyeballs in mothering. If you are caring for one child, you too are up to your eyeballs. Mothering/parenting is an all-the-way kinda gig. You get into it, and immediately sink up to your eyeballs. Fair warning.
That brings our kids in care count up to 5 right now. No, I didn't miss count. 5. One baby boy on the way! Lest you think that this one shouldn't quite factor into the kid count quite yet, this one is already zapping my energy and keeping me up at night. Thanks for the midnight writing time precious little one. No sarcasm there, this is a precious one. Hope growing from the inside out.
We are teeming with life over here and life is good.
Here is where I intended to tell you 13 things that have made me a better (more sane) mother. Things I was thinking to share with the parents of my favorite little infant, Evie.
I love getting tips. I love sharing tips. But somehow when I was reading through them this morning and I just felt…..ick.
My 3 year old got so mad at me this morning. I was feeling very frustrated with him as well. Somewhere in the middle of all the frustration he started yelling for his daddy, knowing full well that daddy was at work. He was so done with me. I was done with me.
I thought I would take a moment to write about the task of mothering a little, and I realized that I don't feel I have much to share on the subject. It is not a banner mothering day over here.
When my children think back on my mothering of them, I want it to be marked by love. On every page I want them to see that their mom loved them and taught them how to love well.
The tips I was about to give were mostly about being more efficient, blah, blah, blah…. (Maybe I will share those tips in a later post in the hopes that you will share your tips with me too. I do love working smarter, rather than harder.)
But, I am thinking about love right now and what that looks like. It is very popular to have 1 Corinthians 13 1-8 &13 read at a wedding. Especially verses 4-7, as a good reminder of how to love your spouse.
I am reading it now with my kids in mind. And now with just anyone in mind. Let my posture be love.
1 Corinthians 13: 1-8 & 13
13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil (or injustice) but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away...
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
I love my children, no one would question that. All the acts of service I perform each day are because I have love. Interesting though….verse 4-8 is all about what love is and it doesn't mention all of the tasks I take on. It talks about what is happening on the inside and how it is showing up on the outside.
Verses 13 1-3 talk about all the great things you can do, but without love, it's all meaningless.
Why doesn't it say: Love is wiping bottoms, faces, counters, and windows? Nope, it's all about the attitude I have while I serve and not about what I did to serve. It is wiping the bottom of a still un-potty trained toddler with patience, kindness, and no age record. It is an approach to life that is more attitude centered than task centered. (My 3.5 year old man is fully potty trained now, by the way.)
It only counts when it is done with love. Ouch!
I am trying to to keep this description of love in my mind when I am serving my family. Not always easy.
My Tip: Learn to Love, Live to Love. (This keeps me very busy.)
Awww yes, and finally:
Home Baked Bread Here is where I declare that I have been baking (and slicing) my own bread and planned to continue to do so into the foreseeable future. (Wow, who was that chick? I love her but…wow.)
And right here in this post, is where I spread those words on store-bought pre-sliced bread and eat them.
Many, many moons have passed and I haven't baked any bread. The week leading up to my bread making hiatus was plagued by bread that only stood about 2.5 inches tall. What happened? Why was bread that was so easy to make before suddenly falling flat each time? I really don't know....and it doesn't really matter. I just want to feed my family. If someone can bake bread better than me, thank God, and I am willing to pay.
My husband happily made and ate a handful of tiny finger sandwiches for lunch, thanking me for baking yummy bread. When I mentioned the stature of my bread he pretended he hadn't noticed. When in frustration I asked that he pick up some bread while at the store, he brought home two extra-large loaves from Costco. Hmmm.... A hint maybe.
And so.....pre-baked and sliced bread has reentered our home awhile ago, a long long while ago.
In my spare time….ha, I sip cocoa with these cuties.