Monday, January 26, 2009

A New Day

This is the life! Sitting here this morning drinking my 'guilt free' coffee. More importantly I feel more at peace as a parent...and my daughter Grace is happy! This Playful Parenting book is really changing the mood in our household.

I've realized I have been pretty stressed lately. Christmas hoopla...the economics of this world...getting connected to a new's all compounded. I realized I was stressed when I started grinding my teeth (rather the dentist pointed that out). I didn't realize how it affected my parenting and mood in general. But I am changing my mind to be more playful and fun, for the sake of my kids, and wow, I feel great myself!

A happy mommy is a happy home!

Time to play! :)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Truce

Alright the fight is over! In more ways than one. I have been trying to give up coffee since March! I wanted to give it up during my pregnancy but couldn't I humoured myself with a half decaf coffee once a day. Now that baby is born I can indulge in a little more coffee, but my preference would be to not drink it (I hear it ages your skin and it also dehydrates you). Although, I don't think it's the caffine I need. As I posted before it's about the ritual of making it, the aroma, and then the amazing flavour in my mouth. It's a break for me. Sitting at the table with my laptop, husband, or good friend, drinking this goodness out of my homemade mug bought on a trip to Hornby Island. Ahhh that's good stuff.

I have also been fighting with my two year old. Sigh. She's going through a defiant stage (at least I hope it's a stage). I hate the parent I am some days. Especially yesterday. So this morning I cracked open a book I have had no time to read (there's a few other titles I am also trying to get through) and started reading. The book is Playful Parenting. Eventhough I have just read the introduction and parts of ch 1 I am hopeful and ready to end the war between my daughter and I through play, and creativity.

So the wars are over. My little coffee ritual is my playful time, and I need that. My little daughter needs her playful time too. I am determined to change stress and conflict in our home into laughter, smiles, and understanding. I'll let you know how the rest of the book is. It comes highly recommended from like minded parents.

Oh and further ponderings from the last Saturday's posting...I have been attending a weekly Yoga class, also going out with friends (for short periods) sans children. I can't believe how renewed I feel doing something for myself. When I get home I so miss my little ones. I highly recommend doing something for yourself moms! Your kids will love you for caring for yourself!

Oh and an update on Grace's weaning...she's doing much better than I am/was with coffee. I've given up that fight too. I have to forget about the pressures of our 'western culture' to wean her sooner rather than later. Kids all over the world are still breastfeeding upto age 5! At 2, my nursing daughter, is still a baby!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hope not Fear

Today Obama is sworn in as president of the USA. I am pretty excited to see some change under his leadership. His speach was very encouraging. I particularly liked his comment about the people of the USA choosing hope rather than fear.

I think about that as a parent and how I want my children to be full of hope and not fear. I don't want my daughters making decisions based on fear. Fear drives people's decisions each day. I really need to evaluate some of my decisions to see what the motivation is behind them.

I also think of the fear tactics Christians have used in order to "win souls". "Do you know where you are going when you die?" God is a loving God. He is a good God. He is full of grace! Fear of the afterlive doesn't equate faith! I know many people who have not cared to hear more once they get the "speach". It's out of God's love that people will respond to His invitation.

I want to be a love bearer, not only to my daughters, family and friends but to my global community. But where to start? My good friend has challenged me to take action. It's something I always think about and seek out but don't act least not with full force! I think I want to particularly focus on children. When I look at my girls, the smiles on their faces, my heart melts. They are so precious. Knowing that children around the world are suffering, hungry, and unloved is unsettling. My hope is that through this blog (although not many people know about it) people would be encouraged to love their kids. Sharing frustrations and ideas.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Love Is

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 1 Co 13

I've been meaning to put this up on my fridge now for a few months! I want to constantly be reminded to LOVE in all my relationships. I was just remembering today that this passage was read at my wedding. In those early years I never imagined how much these words would really need to be proclaimed. Now that we have children it is a whole new story! I love my kids very much. But at 2:30am when the 2 year old is crying and won't go to sleep and the baby is on the verge of being woken up, it's not easy to be patient, kind or not envy the people everywhere who are getting a good nights rest!

I realize God is the only one who can LOVE perfectly in the way Paul writes about. But through the spirit we too can bring real love into all our relationships. For the past 2 years I have been making this a priority raising my children. Now I want to know what this means for all my relationships. Sometimes it's not as easy as it might seem. Even with those closest to you. Hence the need for daily reminding!

So my main question is how to love my children as God loves them and in a way that reflects his love that they would grow to know God as all loving, all the time! This is a daily question I need to ask myself, I am sure it will help shape my parenting decisions as they come. As long as I don't act out in my frustration! I need to get a hold on that. Thinking back I know I could have been a lot more loving (ie. patient) with Grace early this morning. God help me show your love to Grace and Joy through my parenting. May your spirit guide me and prompt me to not act out of frustration but to LOVE.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


This morning I had lots on my mind. I met with some new friends for coffee last night and discussed faith. Mainly how we are saved through grace alone in Christ Jesus. As we talked I thought to myself, we keep saying the same thing over and over, I think we should get it by now. Then on the drive home my new friend asked me about my denominational doctrines. I couldn't believe how hard it was to reiterate this to her (which is not like me since my vocation for the past 8 or so years was to teach these doctrines). I was quite confused as to why I felt this way. I went to bed thinking, and got up thinking. This morning I think I understand my feelings a little more, it all came into perspective watching my 2 year old role play a sacred act between mother and child.

My husband and I were busy talking about the days events. He was getting Grace ready to go and wanted her to put her coat on her, when we both looked down at her and realized she was nursing her baby doll under her sweater. She looked up at us with the sweetest face and said "baby wants milk". Both of us stopped in out tracks and took in this simple moment between mother and child.

It's amazing how the actions of a 2 year old can put such confusing subjects into perspective. My explanation of my doctrines felt insignificant after a conversation that brought faith to it's simplest meaning - Christ Jesus. And hearing it over and over is what I needed (and will always need) because we are always bound to get caught up in the rules, doctrines, and routines of life pulling us away from the core meaning. Joy is now 2.5 months old, her life is so simple. Nursing, cuddling, smiling, and sleeping! She is content in the arms of her mother who loves her. Just as I am content in the arms of Jesus who takes away my shame and loves me always.

After the baby doll finished nursing we asked Grace to pose for this picture. Then we took the time to help our daughter cloth and assemble the necessary "baby" goods for the trip in the car. No one rushed. We all took our time and simply cared for the baby doll.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Saturday Morning Coffee

Last night I actually got out without kids for the first time! (Other than a quick trip to the grocery store!) It was nice. Today, eventhough I am incredibly tired, I have a renewed energy for my kids. I have been thinking all week that I really need some "me" time and have been contemplating signing up for a weekly Yoga class (the yoga at home just doesn't seem to be working!). Anyhow, I can see this morning how even a little time out gives me such a change of heart and mind. Mommy's it's important to take time for yourself. I have always been told this, but for some reason don't believe it for myself. Give yourself some grace and take a break. God knew what He was doing when he talked about Sabbath rest. We all need a break from whatever our life's work is. I have learned this lesson many times...and He keeps having to remind me! Why would I always choose to ignore this gift?

Another little tidbit this morning...I have been attempting giving up the morning coffee ritual. I feel better physically having some green tea on the morning. (I've been limiting coffee outings and social settings). But going through the ritual of making and drinking the coffee is so comforting to me. Gives me perspective with Grace and her weaning. Poor girl, mommy taking away her comfort ritual. I have some renewed compassion for her this morning.

Thanks to Grace and Joy who allowed mommy some coffee time this morning to write and savour my coffee!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Reflecting on 2008

It's been a crazy year for us as a family. Last year at this time if you would have asked me where I'd be Jan 1st 2009 I wouldn't know what to say. It all started with my husband's pursuit of a firefighting job back in our hometown. By March we knew that he was on the list to be hired but did not know when this would happen. March was a crazy month for us. We chose to celebrate my 30th birthday and our 10 year anniversary in Maui. Once our trip was booked we found out we were expecting another child. Our week in Maui with our 1 year old, Grace, was a welcome vacation. We knew that the months ahead of us would be busy. When we returned from our trip we found out that my husband would start his new job sometime in May. Our house was quickly put in the market and I began winding down from my career as a youth counselor. May was a crazy month as we packed, saw my husband move all our things, and Grace and I lived with a friend for 2 weeks. We made it to our new home just before June 6th, our wedding anniversary. June was spent living with our parents and deciding on a house to buy. Which was hard since we still had not sold our other house. We finally made a deal to buy 12 acres in the country but close to town. We moved in July 2nd. The next few months we settled in, did some renovations, and prepared ourself for the arrival of our second daughter. Joy was born in the beginning of November in our home. The birth was beautiful, and fast! Christmas came very quickly, and now it has passed. 2009 is before us. I hope that is it less eventful than 2008! I hope that it is a year to enjoy some of the life changing decisions we made in 2008.