“Pinning Jello to the Wall!”

IMGP1260_250x188Sometimes kind people compliment me on my teenage/young adult sons, and for a brief moment I can’t help but wonder if I might have done something right… and then reality sets in…

Today was one of those “reality-days”.  I had absolutely no patience to home school my 10 year old, and trying to potty train my 3 year old was, like someone else put it, “trying to pin jello to the wall”

I just couldn’t do it, I gave up…for today at least…

Back in the “old country” I would have been branded an incompetent mother by now, I’m sure. All kids get potty trained at age 2, and no 3 year old still has a pacifier (called a dummy in South Africa). Yet, here I am, the mother who supposedly got everything right in her twenties, and I have to hang my head in shame! My little girl (who should have been so much easier than her three brothers) is still very far from potty trained, and lo and behold, she still desperately wants her pacifier at night.

It’s not that I don’t have a plan. I’m planning to succeed every day, but seriously, on the eve of 40, I simply lack the enthusiasm and the strength many days!

However, I honestly think it’s a good thing that I’m stripped from all my pride in the area of motherhood. It made me look again, from a different point of view, at mothers around me. I came to realize that every Mom I see around me is in fact a GREAT MOM! We love our kids and we try our best, and even those of us who don’t do such a good job, never intended for it to go so wrong. We have issues, jobs, relationship difficulties, financial crisis and health problems. Earth shattering things such as death and divorce happen to some of us, and still…we do our best for those little ones (and bigger ones) in our lives. All the MOMS I speak to desire deeply to be a good mother and to give their kids everything they need and want, in spite of their inability to always do so.

So here is to you, my friend and fellow mom, who are trying to “pin jello to the wall” this very day: You are an amazing extension of God’s love on this earth.

Forget about being the perfect mom, she does not exist. There’s only one thing you and I need to get right: Plug in with God daily so that His healing power, His wisdom, His love, and His patience can shine through us.

Love you girls!

Heleen

My Little Girl ripped up my Bible!

I guess things like these are inevitable when you have little kids. I recently paged through a Beth Moore study that I’ve done about 8 years ago and found pen scribbles all over the pages. This was done by the cutest little baby boy, who is now 9 years old. But this time it was my Bible! For crying out loud, is nothing sacred anymore?

I didn’t actually catch the little lady red handed. No she is quite the sneaky one. She loves to play on my bed, and always keeps herself occupied with some of my old jewelry that I keep in reach of her little hands for her enjoyment (and mine of course, I’ve had three boys before her remember:) So she went upstairs and I was calling her to hear what she was up to. “I play on Mommy’s bed” put me at ease and I didn’t check on her again until she came down after a few minutes. There was no sign of the big boo-boo Mommy’s Bible just suffered, she was just her sweet adorable self.

It’s only last night, after I tucked her in and kissed her rosy cheeks that I discovered the evidence. I picked up a towel that was laying on my bed and out fell a bunch of crumpled up pieces of paper. At first I had no idea what it was, it was thin paper, unlike the paper the kids use. Upon closer investigation the word “Genesis” jumped out at me. I was so shocked! I reached for my Bible where it laid innocently on my nightstand, and sure enough, pages ripped out and toddler art all over the book of Genesis.

Now I know I have to count my blessing: It could have been my whole Bible, but I was still sad. Amazing though how God will use just about anything to talk to us, it still blows my mind! There I was, crying over the state of my beloved Bible, when He simply said “I am so glad that you love my Word enough to cry over it”
My heart leaped and memory washed over me of an amazing time in my life, about nine years ago, when I fell head over heals in love with the Savior of my soul. For the first time in my life I actually wanted to read the Bible. I didn’t feel that I had to or I will go straight to hell anymore. It didn’t feel like a chore anymore. I didn’t feel guilty anymore about not getting “time in the Word” ticked of my list of things to do. No, I wanted to. I yearned for the Word of God when I didn’t read it for a while and when I finally got to read it I would press it to my heart and thank Him so much for His Word.

Let me assure you that I am not the lucky one. God wants all of us to feel that way about Him and His Word. Legalism has put God in a box and made fellowship with Him feel like a duty rather than a joy! You can also fall in love with God in a way that you never dreamed of. I found that loving Him was the true reason behind my freedom and the only way I still stay free from Food Addiction.

In Week 2 of my 12 Week Online Program for women struggling with food I talk about how all of this happened in my life and how you too can have an intimate love relationship with God. Nobody ever gave up an idol because someone forced them to do so, but we freely give it up if we find a greater love that can fill all of our deepest desires. Think about it…

As for my little girl… I showed her my Bible the next morning and explained that it was not a nice thing to do and that it made me sad. She wrapped two chubby arms around my neck and said “Oh, I’m sorry Mommy!”
You know it… all is forgiven and forgotten… who can resist a little face like that…

Kids and Worries

Face it, the two go together like fish and chips, or peanut butter and jelly (in America). If you have kids, you have had some worries.

I have heard it being said that we waste half of our lives worrying about things that never happen. This could easily be true for me, especially when it comes to my kids. Today I was pondering on this worry-pattern that I have going. I saw my 9 year old laying on the couch, reading a book. This warmed my heart and brought a smile to my face, because for the last 3 years, since I started teaching him to read, I have been worried: Will he ever be able to read fluently? Will he ever love reading? Will he ever read a whole book on his own?

This is not the first time I went through this. I have four kid, and for crying out loud, you think that I would have learned something by now. I remember distinctly being very worried about my eldest son when we moved to Oregon about five years ago: Would he forever be scarred by this move? Will he ever make close friends again? Is this going to ruin him? Well, of course he’s not ruined. In fact he has more friends than ever, loves God and is a thriving 19 year old.

I remember pushing the kids to get involved in music: What if they could have been famous musicians and I just didn’t push them enough? What if I ruined their future because I couldn’t afford music lessons? Well, lo and behold, my middle son just one day picked up the guitar and started teaching himself to play. He is now on a worship team and loves to play without any help or motivation from Mom.

 

So, I should stop, right. No such luck! I have a two year old and I am already worried that she will never get potty trained, never stay in the church nursery without crying about Mom, and never learn to count to ten without leaving out 4 and 8.

 

Oh well… fortunately God made mothers, so I know he gets us. However, he does remind me quite frequently to cast my cares on Him. And when my anxiety levels climb too high, he calls me into his presence so that I can make all my needs known to him through prayer, petition and thanksgiving. Then, of course, peace follows as I am reminded that they are after all God’s children first, and I can trust him to take good care of them. I am also reminded that prayer is the most powerful tool God has given me as a parent. Worry doesn’t accomplish anything, but bringing my precious kids to the throne of God has always made all the difference in the world…

My son’s offering

IMG_0443Today my 9 year old son did something that made me so happy.

I guess he was thinking about God for a few days, because he’s been asking questions about the rapture and he told me out of the blue that he really likes God. Now make no mistake, he has his moments, so little tokens like this makes me a very proud and happy mommy indeed.
He made a tiny basket and attached it to a helium balloon that we had floating around after a New Year’s Eve Party. He wrote a tiny note to God, wishing Him (God) Happy New Year and also told Him that he loved Him. I felt so privilege that he asked me to come and see the balloon float to heaven, and we ended up having a little church right there in our back yard. I couldn’t hold back the tears. I needed a touch from God, a special touch, and I got it. Right here, in the most unexpected way. While watching the balloon turn into a tiny speck, I imagined I could see the smile of God fill the heavens. I was so aware of His presence, His greatness and his love for me and my son in that moment.
Aren’t you grateful for times like this. It keeps us going, it gives us new hope, it strengthens our faith that waver so easily. I don’t want to seem greedy, but I found myself asking for more tokens of affection like that. In fact I’m sure I miss many of those, I don’t want to, I need to be reminded that God loves me and that He’s beauty is all around me.

Look for the little tokens of His love and beauty this year, it’s all around you too.