Archive for April 2012

A Secret for Moms Who Need a Break

Before I had kids, there were lots of things I swore I wouldn’t do when it was my turn. Like roll out of the house unshowered in sweats that may or may not have come out of the laundry basket. I’d walk by these ladies (in my high heels) and silently wonder how it could be so difficult to just put in a bit more effort.

But if you’ve ever stayed home with young kids, you know how hard it can be to get a break. At least when I worked at Microsoft, nobody came and stuck their fingers under the bathroom stall when they needed something. 

I love being a mom and I’m sure you do too, but if you’re having one of those days where being home with your kids has you feeling like you’re about to lose your last marble, head over to your local Fred Meyer.

The larger Fred Meyer grocery stores offer moms a little piece of paradise called Playland. One hour of free childcare for kids aged 2 up to First Grade!

Here’s what you do:

  1. Check your pride at Playland along with your kids
  2. Round up your groceries as fast as possible
  3. Head to the magazine section, grab a few that look good, and then go directly to the furniture department
  4. Find a chair or sofa on display that looks comfortable, park your cart nearby, and then park yourself there. For a break. By yourself.

Other Tips:

  1. Not quite ready for the full Fred Meyer spa? Many of these stores have an onsite coffee shop.
  2. Use the time for a date with your significant other.
  3. Meet one of those childless friends that you hardly get to see anymore.
  4. Bring one of your haggard mom friends for some adult discussion! 

As a side note, I was a bit embarrassed at first and started out just sitting in the side chairs. Now I’ve moved on to the recliners.

Sometimes those former versions of me walk by in their high heels and look at me in horror, but I could care less.

I’ve traded my dignity for a small dose of freedom. And it’s worth it.  

What do you do when you need a break? Do tell!

How to Use Your Dirty Floors to Teach Kids About God

It’s not tough to figure out where my kids eat most meals. This is an embarrassing picture of the floor under our kitchen stools. I found our daughter Emma down there scavenging for snacks.

Disgusting? Yes. But I also found some teaching benefits in this dehydrated ensemble of blueberries and pasta.  

I called the kids over for a more careful inspection. The conversation went something like this…..

They reported the stuff was “all crusty and dried up.”

That’s right, I told them. It’s dehydrated. That’s a big word for what happens when things that have water in them lose their water. They get all crusty and don’t work the same way anymore.

Our Bodies Need Water So They Don’t Dry Up.

That’s why we get thirsty. Thirst is how God made our bodies to tell us when they need more water.

But did you know …..?

God Says There’s Another Kind of Water We Need

It’s called Living Water. Jesus tells us He is this Living Water.  

The Bible tells us about a time Jesus met a woman who was getting some water. He asked her for a drink. Then he told her something important.

Jesus told her he is a gift from God; that he is Living Water. If she asked him to, he would give her this special, Living Water that would be with her forever (John 4:10-15).

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”

13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again,14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.[b] The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water…”

You Can Have the Special Water, Too

It’s Jesus. God sent Jesus because He loves us and knows we need Him. Just like pasta and blueberries dry up without water, we get thirsty and dry up without God.

He made us to be with Him and we miss him and get thirsty for him when he’s not there.  Jesus makes a way for us to be with God all the time, forever.  All you have to do is ask.

Am I the only one whose floor looks like this sometimes?? Do you ever feel dried up and thirsty for God’s water?  I’d love to hear from you!

Off to get the broom now…..

 

You’re Not Less Talented. You’re More Afraid.

It took me a while to actually start writing. I’d usually just daydream about it during boring moments. But this all changed when Amy died.

Amy had never shied from confronting me with my own ridiculousness. In response to my whining, she’d often ask me how things would look in my “perfect world.” What if things could be the way I really wanted them to be?

Her death was a startling reminder of my own mortality and it prompted me to pray. I asked God if I was wasting my life. Why didn’t my real life look more like the life I dreamed about in my perfect world?

Not long after, He answered me through an old blog post written by Emily Henderson. It was an entry she wrote describing what finally moved her to audition for HGTV’s show Design Star. She said:

“i woke up January 1st, and was all, ‘ok, life, fine, you asked for it, Emily Henderson is about to care less about what people think and take a few risks. Cause, you want to know the real truth? I was sick of people that are less smart and less talented being more successful because they have less fear. You heard me, and you know what i’m talking about. Big words from a little blonde, i know. I hope that doesn’t come across boastful, cause i’m not saying i’m the smartest or most talented, but I kept seeing the same thing over and over, and was a tired of wondering why it wasn’t happening to me.”

After reading it, I could feel God tell me: “That’s you. You’re not less talented. You’re more afraid.” It was true. And I didn’t want to be anymore. I didn’t want to waste my life because I was afraid.  And I certainly didn’t want my kids to grow up living in fear like I was. So I stepped out in faith, started this blog and started submitting my writing for publication. Small, but a start.

Like Emily, I don’t think I’m the best, smartest, or most talented. And I don’t have to be all those things. I just don’t want to be the most afraid. So I’m going to keep writing. Because my “perfect world” has writing in it.

What does your perfect world look like? Take a step in faith toward it. Just one!