Born of Cold and Winter Air

What is the mom of a Frozen-obsessed toddler supposed to do when, on the eve of the first snowfall of the year, she walks into her daughter’s room and finds her sitting in darkness in her crib with the curtain pulled aside, staring out at the snow, saying, “I can’t wait to go walk in it!”

Why, get her out of bed, bundle her up, put a cape on her (like Elsa), and take her outside, of course, pyjamas and all!

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“You go inside, Mom.  I’ll stay out here,” she told me.
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10The light in her eyes is the only thing that made this early snowfall somewhat tolerable!

On Signing Pacts and Needing Approval

I got an email today I’d been dreading.  Our church does this thing where you register your children every fall for their children’s ministry classes.  As a part of the registration, you have to sign a pact saying you understand you and the church are working together to teach your children about God, and to that end, you’re expected to volunteer regularly in the children’s ministry programming.

Last year when I registered, I was experiencing an uncomfortable pregnancy with two older kids and a traveling husband, and the idea of adding one more thing to our already packed schedule made me want to cry.  This year, I’m not pregnant, but I feel stretched just as thin as I was last year and actually did start to cry when I got the reminder email telling me to pony up and register as well as sign the pact.

I just…can’t.  I can’t do one more thing.  I can’t even do all the things I’m currently trying to do.  A good night gets me 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep.  I work 15ish hours a week and commute for school and random other things another 15ish hours a week.  I’m already trying to play keys with their worship band once a month, and to avoid childcare issues, Tahd is playing on a different Sunday once a month.  I skip showers because I just don’t have the time…now I have to volunteer more?  Not to mention, I spend nearly every waking hour with my children.  Actually with my children.  As in, one of them is physically touching me.  I don’t want to be touched by other people’s children, too.  Like I said, I just can’t.

Last year, I told the children’s ministry people this and they graciously accepted my recusal.  This year, due to my dislike of conflict and disappointing people, I figured I’d just skip the registration process and hopefully avoid any discussion of the matter.  Then, I got the reminder email, so I figured I’d actually have to manage it.

On the way in to worship team practice tonight while I stewed and panicked about the pact, I figured I could pray about it.  “God,” I moaned, “I don’t have it in me!  I can’t do all these things!  I can’t do this thing!”  This time, God talked back.

“I didn’t ask you to,” He stated.

Hm…

“But they asked me to, and now they’ll be mad and disappointed in me!” I protested.  Probably unreasonably, I might add, since they seemed neither mad nor disappointed last year.  But the approval addict in me panics over this sort of stuff anyway.

“But I won’t be mad at you.  And that’s pretty much all that matters.”

Touché!

I came home from worship team practice and filled out the form, and I didn’t sign the pact.  It’s not that I don’t think children’s ministry isn’t important, and it’s not that I don’t want to participate.  I’m super appreciative of the amazing volunteers who give their time to take such wonderful care of my kiddos.  It’s just that I can’t do it now.

Someday, I hope to spend me a lot of time rocking babies in the nursery and singing songs and telling Bible stories with toddlers.  But not now.  And, thankfully, God seems to be okay with that.

Crowns

There’s an old wives tale that says, “Gain a child, lose a tooth.” Pleasant, right?  Apparently, it’s supposedly not true, but since I’m currently in the middle of dental drama and have had dental issues after each pregnancy, I’ve decided it’s true.  I go for my cleanings and everything, but at some point during pregnancy I actually feel my teeth getting sad and weak and know that I’m doomed to spend several hours in the dreaded chair after the baby’s born.

Except this time, it’s more like four teeth.  So we’re sort of in dental triage mode right now.  A few crowns, maybe a root canal, and a few fillings and I should be good to go.

Don’t get me wrong – I love my dentist.  He’s amazing.  When he gives me a needle to numb me up, I almost never feel it.  He’s really good.  It’s just my teeth I’m not fond of, I guess?   And drilling.  I’m not a fan of the drilling.

I had the first crown placed last week, and since then, Isla has been obsessed with the dentist.  They gave her a pair of gloves, which was cute at first except she takes them off all the time and do you know how hard it is to put a pair of giant rubber gloves on small hands a zillion times a day?  She’s also managed to scoff a dental mouth mirror and a few paper bibs, and she found one of Tahd’s headlamps, which she wears as a light to better see the teeth.

The piece de resistance came when she found a decorative chipboard crown we used at Jude’s birthday party (more on that later).

Can you see where this is going?

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Yep, she lays out her animals and friends and installs the crown in their mouths, too.

She makes me laugh!

November Goals

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I kept track of monthly (or maybe weekly??) goals a while back, and I’ve been thinking I wanted to try it again.  I’m already starting a little behind since it’s the 6th of November, but I figure I still have 25 days to make progress, so I’m giving it a shot!  A blogger I read hashtags her monthly instagram photo of her goals with #makeitpublicmakeithappen, and I think there’s something to that!

Here’s what I’m hoping to accomplish in November:

1.  Kick off monthly newsletter on Loving Motherhood More

2.  Plan and host two kiddo birthday parties

3.  Create 2015 planning pages

4.  Flip-flop the kids’ rooms

5.  Paint the %#^) dresser mirror (finally…after almost 3 years)

6.  Buy ALL THE THINGS for Christmas (maybe not ALL the things, but most of them)

Who can believe it’s NOVEMBER already?  Yikes!  For sure, it’s my most favorite time of the year, but yikes.  Gotta hustle!

***Just a reminder – I’m giving away a beautiful custom piece of Mama Nest jewelry from Melody Joy Designs over at Loving Motherhood More.  It’s easy to enter – hop on over!***

melodyjoyjewelrygiveaway

Because 78 New Books Makes Me Smile

Want to hear my dirty little secret?

I love books.  Like, love them.  Family members asked me for a Christmas list, and as I made it, I realized I’d be totally thrilled if the only things I got off the list were the books.

I guess it’s not that dirty a secret.  The part I feel guilty about is that I don’t seem to have time to read all the books I’ve bought, and yet I still ask for more!  I keep adding them to my list of “Someday,” and each time I get to crack the next one I’m so excited.  I’m currently working on at least six books, and I have been for some time.  I make faster progress when they’re e-books because I can read them in more settings (i.e. at night with the lights off), but I also think there’s nothing like the feel of pages between your fingers.  Pros and cons, I guess.

I came across this amazing bundle of books and (of course) snapped it up.  Because, hello!  There are 78 books in it for $34.95.  Granted, I’ve just now exploded my “To-Read” list for the next six years, but I’m okay with it because I’m super excited about several of the titles.

The bundle contains books in categories like business and finance, Christian living, devotional books, books for kids, marriage, parenting, and evangelism, as well as a classic collection of Christian standards, including authors like Spurgeon, John Wesley, D.L. Moody, and John Bunyan (it’s Pilgrim’s Progress by him, which I’ve never read…please tell me I’m not the only one to have never read such a classic?).

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The first book I want to jump into is Nancy Leigh DeMoss’s devotional, The Quiet Place.  It’s a daily year-long devotional that contains short, 1-page thoughts, a length that seems totally attainable to me.

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Teaching Your Child How to Pray is also one of the books I’ll be starting sooner rather than later.  On Loving Motherhood More, I mentioned how handling issues of faith with my kids overwhelms me.  Growing up in a pastor’s family, faith so deeply permeated my surroundings that it was nearly second nature.  Now that I’m raising my own kids, I’ve realized it’s hard to address these issues (and address them authentically) when your family’s day-to-day life doesn’t center around church functions.

On that note, there’s an awesome book in the bundle called Christmas Celebrations by Kerry Beck that provides a road map for how to engage children with the truths of Thanksgiving and Advent in meaningful ways.  My upbringing was not liturgical, although Tahd’s was, and I love learning more about some of the traditional, historical aspects of the season and teaching their significance to my kids.

extraordinarygrace

In the non-parenting vein, the first book on my list is Extraordinary Grace, by Gary Chapman and Chris Fabry.  The subject of the book is described by saying, “God is not looking for perfect people. He’s looking for those who need his extraordinary grace. In this encouraging book, Dr. Gary Chapman and Chris Fabry explore the lives of people who abandoned themselves to the love and mercy of God.  God is ready to forgive, restore, and give an abundant life.  He wants to showcase His mercy and love through you.”  Doesn’t that just sound lovely?  It’s easy for me to be spartan about grace, but that’s not the choice I want to make.

If you’re interested in seeing what else the bundle contains, you can get more information here.  There’s “salesy” stuff at the top, but if you scroll down, you’ll see the full list of categories and can click on them to see which titles are included.

Here’s a quick summary of the pertinent details from the Ultimate Bundles Website:

When? 8 a.m. (EST) Wednesday, November 5 until 11:59 p.m. (EST) Monday, November 10 (or until 18,500 bundles are sold)

What? <https://us154.infusionsoft.com/go/cbundle/a2720/” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”>75 eBooks plus eCourses and more, PLUS over $160 worth of bonus products you’ll really use!

Where? Purchase the bundle HERE.

How much? Well now, that’s the best part. The entire package is worth over $1,140, and it’s yours for as little as $34.95. Sweet deal, right?

When you’re ready, you can either buy here directly, or right through the website. It’s fast and easy, and you’ll have your bundle sent to you via email within minutes.

Click here for more info or to buy now.

Remember, this bundle is available for 6 days only, from 8 a.m. (EST) on Wednesday, November 5th to 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Monday, November 10th (or until 18,500 bundles are sold).

Affiliate links are included in this post, but only because I’m excited about this collection of books and want to share it with you. Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

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