“Mommy, leave Abby alone.”

My patience has been wearing thin lately.  It’s Sophia.  She’s talking non-stop, and she’s such a bossy little booger. She’s really enjoying playing with Abby, who’s getting around and interacting more than ever.  (Abby just started crawling and clapping. So sweet.)  But, she bossing Abby like a little Mommy.  Everything is “I need that!” or “Stop that!”  She won’t let Abby play with anything, yanking it out of her hand, or hollering “That’s mine. I need that!”  She even bosses around her Cowboy. This morning was disruption for me when she told me “Mommy, leave Abby alone.”  Alright, what’s up?!

The last couple of days we’ve also been struggling with hitting.  She’ll get upset because I told her “no” about something, and then she’ll grunt, and say “I’m mad. I’m going to hit you.”  We’ve had some talks about this, about using her words.  We’ve had some time-outs, she’s apologized… we’re getting somewhere.  She’s definitely learning that it’s not okay.  This begs the question, though, Where did she learn that? Ugh.  I can’t possibly police every minute of media that enters her eyes and ears.  We read books, she watches some age-appropriate t.v., she plays with kids at church, but she absorbs and then ‘tries out’ EVERYTHING.  Monkey-see, monkey-do, I guess.  So, maybe this is a phase?  Eventually, she’ll acquire a filter through which to process media?  What’s okay to try out, what’s not nice, what’s down-right wrong…

Here’s what I’m thinking about this morning: it’s the struggle with age/role-appropriate behaviors–between tones and words that are okay for Mommy to use but not okay for Sophia to use back at me or with other people.  For example, I can tell her ‘no,’ but she doesn’t need to tell me ‘no.’ Or, the fact that I can sometimes be bossy or seem bossy because I’m being Mommy… and, I don’t want her to be a bossy little girl. Maybe, I don’t know how to not be bossy.  I was a bossy little girl, too.  Thanks, Mom.  😉  What to do?

How do I teach her to be sweet, humble, and gentle? How do I model sweetness, humility, and gentleness?  Is it too early to expect anything greater than mimicking, and if so how should I be presenting myself in front of her?  Because, isn’t that the greatest lesson–how mother behaves with her family is a model for how her daughters should learn to behave in and with the world.  I came across an article recently.  It’s mostly on home-schooling, but there was a piece in there that really got me to thinking about my behavior in the home.  My role as daily-teacher is not just when I’m trying to help Sophia learn her letters or count to 20, it’s when I try to help resolve conflicts between her and Abby.  It’s when I am frustrated but chose to act out of love.  It’s my attitude when she won’t quit bugging me or Abby won’t quit crying.  It’s when I’m… being…

Well, I guess that’s my thought for the day.  How am I being an example of Christ to my babies today?

Come. Rest. Recover. Learn grace and freedom.

I’m reading through Matthew in The Message, and this is a passage that stuck out to me today.

“Are you tired? Worn out?
burned-out on religion?
Come to me.
Get away with me
and you’ll recover your life.
I’ll show you how to take a real rest.
Walk with me
and
Work with me–watch how I do it.
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.
I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.
Keep company with me and you’ll
learn to live
freely and lightly.”
Matt 11:28-30    (The Message)

Doesn’t that sound nice?  The invitation from Jesus, Himself:

Come. Rest. Recover. Learn grace and freedom.

I want to go. rest. recover. and learn grace and freedom from Christ, Himself.

I also want to invite others to come. rest. recover. and learn grace and freedom.

This is a beautiful picture of the Christ that I worship and the Christ that I long to be like.

heart.

♥ heart-n.

1 a hollow muscular organ that pumps the blood through the circulatory system by rhythmic contraction and dilation.

2 regarded as the center and source of one’s being, i.e. one’s thoughts, emotions and sensibilities.

This word heart has been on mind all week.  It stuck out to me immediately.  Here are the 2 main reasons.

1 For those of you that haven’t heard, my oldest daughter Sophia has a heart murmur that the doctors found only a few weeks ago.  She has an appointment with a cardiologist in about a week…

2 God has been showing me the bitterness in my heart lately.

It seems that He has chosen this word for me.

Sophia has this thing she does.  You may think it’s cute and charming.  She loves to put her bare feet on me. When I’m doing something with her at the table, when I’m sitting beside her… She’ll push her feet against me keeping me away from her.  She does it in the most playful way, but oh how it bothers me! She’s been doing it for about 6 months, probably.  Now she likes to put her feet under my shorts or in my pockets, and because she knows it bugs me, she does it even more.  Such a simple, innocent, playful thing that my precious daughter does.  Will loves it.  I can’t stand it.  It feels like fingernails on a chalkboard.  Why does it annoy me so?

Lately, I’m finding myself in this constant state of annoyance–sometimes even on the verge of blowing up.  Sophia won’t get her feet off of me, or she’s underfoot every time I turn around.  Or, the way that she says, “Momma, I want to hold you!” right after Abby starts crying.  And the extra time that it takes for her to do something “herself” is driving me batty, especially when I have to wind up helping her 5 minutes later.  Or, having to wait in hot, mosquito filled doorways while she maneuvers all the things she’s holding while trying to inch down the steps… oh, and wait she sees something! She couldn’t possibly move and talk at the same time!  I find the anxiety rising over and over again, and I just want to yell, “Come on! Move!”

Where does all this annoyance come from? Why is my heart so easily anxious, annoyed, and often bitter?

So, that’s my word. Heart.

a single word

I was reading a blog recently about “one little word” for the year.

I’d like to think of a word to ponder on as a reminder of where I am in God’s story this year.  Today is June 28th.  I wonder what God has in store this year.  I wonder what God can tell me with a single word.

It’s not January, it’s not the beginning of the year… but, it is the middle of the year.  I’m in the middle of this year’s story looking forward to the rest of it.  I’m in the middle of a lot of changes, a lot of waiting.  Yesterday at church, the pastor was talking about not dwelling in the past (in the shame of old sins) but looking forward to the future (as new creatures in Christ)–Phil 3. I thought that might be a nice place to start.

My brainstorm for possible words.

grace

embrace

heart

move

patience

life

family

I’m so curious how you read each word, how each word makes you feel, and where your mind goes to when you read them.

I’ll choose one of these words next week and get back to you.

Any words coming to you?

Sunday. Beautiful Sunday

I had the most wonderful Sunday.  There is much to celebrate.  My heart felt such joy today with my family and with “Sunday” things.  We went to a new church today, and Sophia went to the big kids room.  She was by far the youngest, and I was so worried about her.  Will she wet her pants, will she cry, will she suck her thumb too much or be too shy? She did so great.  Color sheet and craft bag in hand, she left the Kingdom Kids room confident and happy.  I asked her on the way home what she did at church.  She said, “Pway, song, color, watcha t.v.”

I said, “Watch t.v.! What? What did you watch on t.v.?”

My baby girl said, “Jesus.” Then a bunch of jibberish and pointing.  This much I made out: “Jesus… Church… Watcha t.v… Jesus…”

I don’t have any idea if she really watched t.v. and whether or not Jesus was on it… Her color sheet was a picture of Jesus as a boy with the caption underneath, “Jesus liked going to church.”  She also had a paper with the Luke scripture of Jesus’ trip to the temple when he began to teach.  I think maybe she was trying to tell me about it.  (Sophia is sort of obsessed with t.v. lately.  She can tell me everything about Caillou and Dora and Brobee and Foofa… So, to hear her tell me about Jesus was the warmest feeling in the world.  I can only imagine how God’s ears must melt when He hears His name spoken by a child.  

Tonight, I decided it was time to teach Sophia to pray.  She repeated me so well.

Dear God. (Deh Goh)

I love you. (I loff you)

Thank you for today. (Cank you day)

Thank you for my family. (Cank you famwee)

Amen. (A-meh)

I’m so excited to share my faith with her.  I’m so excited to tell her about the person of Jesus and about the heart of our Father.

I hope you had a blessed Sunday as well.