This first thing I think of when I hear the word Mom is that we all need to learn to forgive ourselves for what we perceive as our failings in motherhood. We also need to forgive our own mothers for the places where we feel they have failed us. We must remember that we are only human. We are the hands and feet of Jesus in our children’s lives, but we are not God. We are sinners by nature and therefore we will have times where things do not go perfectly according to our plan, but that does not mean it’s not still part of God’s plan. We will have times when despite our good intentions we fail miserably. Just as God provides us grace for our failing, we must also provide grace for ourselves and our own moms. All moms wonder at some point if they are making terrible mistakes with their children, but we press on in doing the best we can with what we have. In those places where you give yourself grace to make mistakes, you learn a little bit more about the heart of God for your children. Our mothers were once right where we are, making choices in our best interest to the best of her ability with the skills she had learned to that point. I think this is why Grandmothers are usually such amazing and inspiring people in our lives. They have already walked in our shoes and made the mistakes we have yet to make. They speak such grace into our lives from years of experience and sacrifice for their children and families. They were not perfect at motherhood either. We will all one day sit at the feet of Jesus and learn the answers to why things happened the way that they did, but until then, give grace to yourself, your mother, your friends, your families.
Posts tagged ‘Mothers’
Linking with www.lisajobaker.com for another sisterhood of writers who were surprised by motherhood and together work their way through the daily joys of raising a family. Today’s prompt is Grateful.
Start: 6:23 am
It can be so hard to be grateful when the world feels like it’s crashing in around you. Often we feel like everything is so wrong that there is nothing right in our lives, but what we have to remember is that Christ died for us so that we might have eternal life. He took on the weight of the world and our sin so that we might live a life we didn’t deserve to be given. So, today, be grateful for what you have even in the midst of all the chaos. Take time to thank God for the things that make your life worth living; the things that draw you closer to Him. He is our rock and our fortress. He is our comfort in times of trouble, and for that I am grateful today.
What are you grateful for? What gets you through the tough days that you don’t think you can make it another step? Who pulls you out of the trenches or better yet gets in there with you and helps you to dig your way out? When all else fails, when everyone seems to have their own agenda, who can you call upon for strength and comfort? God is good all the time, and for that I am grateful.
Stop: 6:28 am
Almost 4 years ago my great-nephew, Gabriel Lamar, was born and came home from the hospital to my house with his mother and almost 2-year-old big brother, DJ (Daniel). It was the most amazing experience and since that day my daughters and I have felt a special bond with these little guys. They are my sisters first grandchildren and in many ways, my first grandchildren as well. They lived with us for about a year and a half, at which time I remarried after being a single parent for 13 years. I felt it was time for us all to spread our wings and move onto a different phase in our lives.
For the next two years we spent time once a month with the boys, taking them to the pumpkin patch, the art museum or the Christmas tree farm, giving them experiences that I wish someone had given my children when they were young. Every month we would pick them up for a weekend or more to give their mom some time of her own, and more selfishly, to give us some much-needed “D” and “Bebo” time (that’s what we called them when they were little). We loved the time with them and often hated to take them home at the end of the week or weekend.
Seven months ago I saw an opportunity to expand our part in the lives of my niece and her boys once again. Easter Sunday I had a long drive home from my Dad’s house in the pouring rain with just the three of them. We had a talk about where she wanted to take her life with a stable 8 to 5 job and some schooling to give her a leg up for the sake of her children who were growing by leaps and bounds and would not be young forever. We also talked about the fact that DJ would be starting school in the Fall and needed to be somewhere consistent where he could get to school and back without worrying how he would get there from day-to-day. God was working in both of our lives on the drive home that day. We agreed that I would keep them during the week and she would have them on the weekends. This would allow her to work during the day and go to school at night. So, beginning that moment, I had two additions to my household. Thank God my husband didn’t faint when I got home and told him what I had done.
I immediately set out to take care of some things that needed to be done to get the boys enrolled in school. These included getting power of attorney, necessary shots, etc. I lined up my daughters to take care of them while I was at work half-days in the summer and full days during the school year. Thanks to one of my best friends who was raising her grandson, I did not have to spend a lot of money on clothes. She gave me all of his hand-me-downs, which were in great condition and came from a store where I bought everything else they need. God had a plan and we were just following it through.
Today we made plans to celebrate their 4th and 6th birthdays in the next few weeks, and realized that we will not have them forever; the current plan is for them to go back to their mother at the end of the school year, just 7 months from now. It’s going to be very difficult for all of us at my house, but I’m sure not as difficult as it was for their mother to entrust her world to us for 14 months of their lives.
Amber, I love you! I love your boys more than you will ever know. I am thankful for you, DJ and Gabe. You mean the world to me! I pray for you and the decisions you will make for the next 14 years with regard to the direction you will allow God to take you and the boys. Thank you for letting me be their Nauna when they already had a Nana. They are and always will be your babies. They trust you to do what is best for them every moment of every day. I am so thankful for you and for our boys! Thank you for sharing them with us.
Super Mom at Heart(ourcrowdedheart.wordpress.com)
I am thankful for my daughters. I learn every day how to be a better person through them. I see them do things in ways I would never have thought to do them. I see them pull themselves up and strive to do better next time. I hear them treating others as they would want to be treated. I hear them loving themselves, their families and their friends as Christ asks us to love others. I see them helping the poor and the Orphans. I see them helping each other. I see them genuinely concerned for our nation on this election day. I see them concerned for their future and that of their children, and taking steps to make that future better.
Today and every day I am thankful that I have strong, opinionated daughters who will not back down. They will stand their ground and make their voice be heard. They study the Word of God and hide it in their hearts. They research the pros and cons before they make a decision. They want others to make the right decision as well and they share their hearts with all who will listen.
I am so proud and thankful that God has raised my daughters up to be women of wisdom and courage. That He has brought them through the fire, and purified their hearts. Our God is faithful. He has given me the daughters I have asked Him for, and today, and everyday, I am thankful for them all.
Yes, Ness, this includes you!!
How proud and thankful are you for your children today?
- Thankful Heart: Day 1 (ourcrowdedheart.wordpress.com)
As I sort through it all, I save worksheets and strategies into various files for use in my classroom next year. I ponder the thoughts that are being conveyed. I apply God‘s word to my life sometimes in ways that are similar to those who are writing, and at times in very different ways.
I am in awe of the women who blog daily with such insight and thoughtfulness. Often they share Biblical truths that I need at that moment for myself or to aid someone else in their journey. I am intrigued by their ability to write so freely and so often.
I am envious of the teachers who not only prepare for their own classes, but help me prepare as well.
I dream of the charmed lives these women must live in their perfect homes with their perfect children. Obviously, they are able to juggle life in a way that I can only imagine or watch on television.
Today I read several posts about just how imperfect life is even for these people who I have put up on pedestal. They have the same fears and challenges that I face on a daily basis, and they are not afraid to share those truths along with all the rest.
Then I realize that these women are no better than the rest of us. They are me! I don’t see what goes on behind the scenes, or what they deal with; what trials they are battling.
We often think others are so much better off than we are or that their lives are so much easier, when we all live in this crazy world and have our own battles to fight, our own children to raise, own houses to clean. We all have friends who support us and enemies who challenge us. We all put our pants on one leg at a time.
I think my 19-year-old daughter who reads my blog said it best when she advised me, “the people who read your blog must think you are normal. They would never know you are really crazy!” We laughed and my other daughters agreed.
I must have done something right to have daughters who can speak from their hearts and tell me the truth without so much as batting an eye. I am as blessed as those other women and my daughters hearts are proof of that fact!
As a mother I often wonder where my children will be in 5 years, or 10 years. Will they ever grow up and be able to make it on their own? Will they ever be able to survive without me. Seriously! My children want to live on their own, but life makes it so difficult to get there.
I remind them that they need a plan. Whether it’s a two-year plan or a four-year plan, they need a plan. They need to decide now, where they want to be in that time frame; where they need to be in that time frame.
From the time they were born they have always had a plan, but someone else has always been in charge of that plan. Parents make plans for their children until they are at least in school. Teachers make plans for them for the next 13 years. Every stage of their life they have someone helping them to plan the right direction to go and the right steps to take, until they get out of high school. Yes, some go on to college or trade school, but that’s a choice. That’s a plan they make for themselves, unless they have parents who strongly push them in that direction.
I think it’s time, as a parent, to let them start planning for themselves. Then again, I am a planner. I love to plan things. Whether it’s a birthday party, a school event, vacation or just a date with my husband. I like to plan things. Doesn’t everyone? Lol.
The first step is deciding where they eventually want to be. What do they want to do when they grow up, or even two years from now? Will it need college, trade school or just experience in a certain field? They can easily find this information online. What did we ever do without the internet?! Next they need to decide the time frame it will take to carry out this goal. For my children, the goal has to do with moving out. So, they are setting a time frame for accomplishing the goals necessary for being able to move out. They are planning on completing a certain phase of school before making the move so that they are able to support themselves in their new lifestyle.
As a former Family Consumer Science teacher, I have always taught my students and children to be proactive; to plan everything out in advance. They need to plan for the obvious as well as the unforseen. High school and college age young adults do not all think about the ins and outs of living on their own. They don’t think about the deposits they may need to pay to turn on utilities, or even the cost of providing for their own cell phone, internet or car insurance. Those things just happen without effort, right? Lol.
So, I have asked that they put together a list of expenses they expect to pay once they are on their own. I have also asked that they put together a list of what they plan to take with them from the house when they leave, and what other items they will need to buy. It is really an eye-opening experience for them, and possibly for a parent as well.
As a parent, are you planning to allow your children to take everything in their room when they leave? The bed, the furniture, the television and DVD player?
As a young adult have you thought about providing dishes, cookware, and appliances for your own kitchen once you move out?
There are several good resources online when you type in “child moving out”. There are checklists available to give them reason to put more thought into the idea of moving out before they take a giant leap they cannot undo. Even if they are not willing to look this up for themself (because they know-it-all already), it would be helpful to know when you are planting information in their ears. Believe it or not, they are listening and will gain some value from what you tell them.
It it also important that they follow God’s plan for their lives. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV). If they are moving out-of-state or out of the area, whether for school or for a job, it is so important to instill in them the need for a new church as soon as they arrive. This can be one of the most important connections they make in setting up their future!
Planning and goal setting go hand in hand. A teacher on my campus has a sign on his door that says “the most important thing about having goals is having one.” It’s the first step without which there would never be a second or third step. Set your goals and make plans to reach them. They do not happen without planning and succeeding with those plans.
I put a lot of thought into naming things, from my children and pets to my companies and now my blog. For example, my children’s names all begin with “Ch” have an “l” in the middle and an “ey” at the end. They also have their fathers initials, as do I and my mother.
People often ask how I come up with names, or if I have a “thing” for names. The answer is “yes!” I have a thing for names. I want them to have meaning. I want them to have a story behind them just as there is a story behind how I was named and how my children were named.
So, in naming this blog, I started making a list of words that related to my name. I wrote down crowd and heart to go with my last names, Crowdis and Hardisty, and it was exactly what I needed. I feel that as a mother, teacher, aunt, friend, sister and wife my heart gets so crowded with daily happenings that I have to stop and make sense of it all. I have to “un-crowd” my heart to see clearly which direction I should go, which role I should put on the front burner at the moment, which I can let go of for the time being.
This is so typical of all mom’s, actually of women in general. We want to be everything to everyone. We do not want to let anyone down or leave any one out in the cold. We enjoy having our hearts crowded with more love than there are people to receive it so there is a never-ending supply when we are called upon to help or even just to listen.
The hard part is slowing down and un-crowding our hearts; letting the Lord take over and be in control. Thus is the purpose of this blog, to un-crowd my heart, get it all out in the open and possibly help someone else in the process; uncrowding our hearts! I guess it’s kind of circular reasoning, in uncrowding my heart, I also help others which is what tends to crowd it in the beginning. I want this to be a ministry, not only to others, but to myself as well.
We often hear the Lord speaking to us in the way we speak to others and I am looking forward to what He has in store for us all.
- Thankful Heart: Day 3 (ourcrowdedheart.wordpress.com)