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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

My little snowflakes

I wanted to give a shout out to a very encouraging book I read this week called Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches It was so helpful in just reorienting my heart and mind as a mother of 3 now.

Here are some of the good thoughts I took away from the book.

"It is no abstract thing-the state of your heart is the state of your home. You cannot harbor resentment toward your children and expect their hearts to be submissive and tender. You cannot be greedy with your time and expect them to share their toys. And perhaps most importantly, you cannot resist your opportunities to be corrected by God and expect them to receive correction from you."

"God gave me this to do. I may not be overwhelmed about it. I can try as hard as I can, and maybe fail sometimes...but I may not be overwhelmed. Actually, I may be overwhelmed, but I may not say that I am overwhelmed! The words have real power over us. If you say it, you allow it for yourself. You give yourself that little bit of room to say "But I can't!"

"Most of the time the children don't know that what they are doing is overwhelming. This is because they do not forget that they are individuals"

These were just a few of the great thoughts in this book. The hardest thing for me to do right now is to take my thoughts and emotions captive. No sooner do I than they run off again. I know that if I don't keep them in check they run away and cause havoc, but it's just. so. hard. I know alot of the difficulty IS circumstantial, but I also know that it is my responsibility to be true to obedience no matter what the circumstances are. I've been allowing myself alot of "overwhleming-ness" lately. It is easy with three little people and one worn out mom running around with nothing to do except painfully wait to go home. Yesterday, Evolet vomited on the couch, Josie started crying because she fell over something and skinned her knee, Keira burned her hand on the iron, and then Josie got into the mini-fridge and squirted ranch dressing all over the floor and was playing in it and eating it. Yum. Somebody pooped. Somebody fought with a sister. All this happened in the same hour. I wanted to use that word "overwhelmed" and then thought "No. I'll think/deal with each situation individually and we'll get through it." You know...each thing really wasn't that bad. And sure enough we survived another day.

It's also very easy for me to just think about the most practical way to get through the day. I've started to just orgamize them and maybe micro-manage their every move to just streamline how we get through the day. Some of that is a benefit and actually helps...some of it probably makes them feel like I see them as things and not people. Still trying to find that balance and probably about the time I do we will be going home and have to find a new happy medium that works for us. So...as I'm struggling to teach their little hearts, God is teaching mine as well.

This isn't from the book, but as I was reading it I started thinking about snowflakes. Each snowflake has certain silmilarities to every other snowflake, but God made each one really unique and different. Profound--I know. Each of my kids is so very different. They each handle situations differently and they have their own sets of strengths and weaknesses. The stupid me of 4 months ago really thought that parenting 3 would just mean like Josie tripled. It is so much more complex than that! Beautiful in a way I never imagined, but oh so not simple. I still feel like I'm getting to know my kids. Their likes, dislikes, emotions, strengths, and weaknessess. It's impossible to treat them all exactly the same and yet isn't that what you're supposed to do? Some days that tension really confuses me. But there is grace for every day. Grace enough for them and for me. The tricky thing is making sure they know that without spoiling the mess out of them.

We've had a messload of fun lately! The kids still enjoy making mudpies/cooking with pots and pans outside and making mud soup. Evolet even brought me "mud coffee" (oh she knows her mother so well:) We've been learning songs, letters, numbers, colors, how to spell our names. We really do all have a blast together! Not to sounds horribly repetitive, but I really can't wait to get home so everyone can meet my awesome kids and enjoy them like I do!
Two silly sisters sittin' in a tree.
Keira being funny

Shaving cream rescuing me from the insane-ness that is bathtime! Praise God the fascination with the shaving cream beard crosses all ethnic boundaries:)


  1. I LOVE this post and need to get that book! I too often find myself putting my bad moods and frustrations into my parenting. I too need to take my thoughts captive. Years from now you will look back on your time in Zambia and realize that God gave you that long stay so that you could build an amazing relationship with your daughters. They may not realize it now but years from now when they have children they will thank you for your sacrifice for them. You are an awesome mom and your girls are beautiful! I cannot wait for ya'll to come home! I love the pic of Josie and Evolet they obviously have a bond already. And the picture of Keira being silly is PRECIOUS!!!!

  2. Okay I need to look for that book. I just love your way of writing. Reading this post today is exactly what I needed to read at the exact time I needed to read it. So I thank you. I just love the pictures of your beautiful girls. They are all so precious and I can't wait to meet Evolet and Keira. Josie has grown up so much since you have been in Zambia and looks like she is loving having two big sisters. I agree with Jennifer that you will look back on this time one day and see why you spent so much time in Zambia. I know our trip to Poland was only 2 months so not nearly as long as yours. But before and during that time I didn't see the why behind having to stay so long. But even though we have just been home a month as of this coming Saturday I can already see the why. Having that time to focus on our children, bonding, attaching, learning about them and teaching them what it means to have parents and be a part of a family without the pressures of the "real world" interrupting us was amazing. I can see now why God had us spend two months in Poland. It allowed us to get a good firm start on forming a real relationship with our kids before coming home to the real world. They act like they have been home forever and it's already hard to remember life before them. I know you will feel the same way.