How to Become a Mom Who Says, “Yes”

Speaking of phony, what are your thoughts on generic brands? Because I don’t really mind them. I’m all about saving some grocery money. So, I will buy the Smacker’s grape jam or the Not-quite-a-miracle whip. I learned the hard way, however, that there is no substitute for a good ol’ fashioned pizza roll.

I even buy the not-really-Oreos Oreos. They seem the same to me but, truth be told, I don’t even like Oreos anyway. I know, it’s crazy. Chocolate cookies and cream seem like a win-win combination. But, alas, they do nothing for me. My husband, on the other hand, loves a good Oreo and I am very guilty of buying the discount brand.

emily

I thought I would share with you a new thing I have implemented. Actually, that might be building it up a little too much. It isn’t really a thing – more like something that only takes place in my head but has helped my attitude a great deal lately.

I don’t know about you but, sometimes, my default response to pretty much any question is “No”.

Can we have ice cream for lunch?

No.

Can we play Uno?

No.

Can we take all of your measuring cups and use them in the bathtub?

No. 

It’s enough to make me roll my eyes at my own self, for crying out loud.

toys in the floor

So, I have come up with a new game for myself. Seriously, it’s just for me and I am the only one that even knows the game is on. Here is how it works.

When I feel myself getting a little too quick with the “no-s,” I play Three Yeses in a Row. {It is obvious when it’s time because the kids start prefacing their questions with “Mommy, I know you’re going to say no but can we…”}

In my mind, I decide that I am going to say “Yes” to the next three questions from any child. Now I know, going into this, that I may end up painting 40 fingernails or scraping dried bits of play doh off of the kitchen table for the next three days. I may end up getting my tail kicked in a game of Mario Cart. But, you know what, I always feel better. And I can’t help but giggle at the shock on a kid’s face when I say, “sure, you can have a cookie even though it’s 8:30 in the morning.” It’s just good fun is all I can tell you.

And it keeps the kids on their toes. Never let it be said that they have this mama figured out.

So, if you feel like you’re always being the bad guy. If you hear yourself saying “no” WAY too much. Then, I challenge you to a little game of Three Yeses in a Row. Let me know how it goes.

I love y’all more than a Sunday afternoon nap.


*Repost from the archives

Don’t Live Distracted

cropped-img_01921.jpg

I was sitting at a red light when I noticed the truck beside me slowly moving backwards. At first, I thought, “That’s weird. Why is he moving backwards?” Then, when I realized there were several cars behind him, I began to panic. “Why is he moving backwards?!” It didn’t make any sense to me why the truck would be going in the wrong direction and, for the life of me, I couldn’t fathom such carelessness.

That’s when I realized that the truck beside me was not, in fact, moving backwards. I was ever so slowly creeping forward! As I was people watching and being distracted by everything around me, I had relaxed my foot just enough that I was no longer holding my car in place.

Just enough is all it takes for disaster to happen. Thankfully, I caught myself in time but I could have just as easily caught myself a little too late. Let’s just say it wouldn’t be the first time I rear ended someone and found myself with my face buried in an airbag. (Don’t judge me. This was long before cell phones so I wasn’t texting. I was simply distracted.)

I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that, if we aren’t careful, distractions will be the death of us, y’all! Satan would love nothing more than to have us so busy looking at the shiny things before us or the people around us that we totally lose sight of Him.

Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things. – Psalm 119:37

It’s easy to do. One minute we are focused on the things of God and, then, we relax just enough to let a song, a show, or even a person into our lives that serves as a distraction.

We are faithfully gathering with fellow believers and, then, we relax just enough to miss a Sunday…then another…and before we know it we are quite comfortable on our couches instead of with our congregation.

We get distracted and, when that happens, our perception is distorted. Suddenly, we glance around and wonder where God went and when did He move? For the life of us, we can’t think why He would have left us like that.

If we could take a moment and focus, we would realize that God did not, in fact, move. It was us creeping ever so slowly away.

Let’s not live distracted, friends. There are things far worse than an airbag burn on your face. (Although, just for the record, don’t drive distracted either because folks don’t like it when you rear end them.)

You are loved.❤

 

 

What to do When Everyone Around You is Losing Their Minds

Has there ever been a time when we have been more obsessed with what everyone else is thinking, doing, watching, eating, etc.? My internet was down for about an hour the other day and I almost had to go to sleep without my final Facebook check. What if someone had posted a picture of their bedtime snack and I missed it?!? It was a close call, my friends.

church

Seriously, the emotion on the ol’ internet can be a bit overwhelming. It’s possible that we have gotten ourselves a little too invested in what our friends think. Please don’t hear any condemnation here. Hello, kettle. Pot, here.

There are times I want to reach through my computer screen and, one woman to another, yell, “Buy yourself a diary, sweetheart!” Oversharing is a real thing, y’all.

In 2 Timothy, Paul warns believers about some evils to come. He speaks of deceivers and swindlers, gossips and abusers, those who are conceited and reckless. On and on it goes and, with every word, we could probably name a person with that trait.

Lack of self-control? You know that describes so-and-so and she probably doesn’t know it so I should take to the Twitter and call her out. Preach it, Paul. Should I tag her on my Facebook post or, perhaps, I’m gonna need a whole blog to truly shine the light on her wrongs?

Yeah, we read a passage like that and our focus is quick to go to others. But Paul sets his readers straight pretty quickly.

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed… 2 Timothy 3:14

And there is where I stopped.

love

As for you…

Whatever craziness is swirling around – whatever foolishness is being shared – whatever fear is spreading like wildfire – whatever other people are choosing to do, say or think…

As for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed.

When the gossip is flowing and the anger is rising…

As for you…

When folks begin to panic and the news is downright scary…

As for you…

When tongues are wagging, fingers are pointing and you’re feeling under attack…

As for you…

Nothing that happens externally changes what has already happened internally. We know what we have learned and we know what we believe and that is our focus regardless of how we’re feeling.

You are loved, sweet friends. Have a great week.

How to Hear From God When Life is Loud

FullSizeRender (2)

Life is crazy loud. Do you know what I mean?

For instance, at this very moment, I have some men remodeling my bathroom upstairs. I also have one child watching her 35th episode of Doc McStuffins, one child listening to a math lesson on the computer, and two children playing in the play room. I also have one potty training toddler who just peed on my foot and demanded a treat.

I also have had some devotional thoughts that I have wanted to share but I’m saving them for my newest devotional project which will be coming out next year. Every time I am tempted to blog them I have to remind myself, “You can’t tell those stories.” It’s kind of like when Kramer sold all of his stories to Elaine’s boss to be used in a book. Then, when Kramer went to tell a story to his friends, Elaine stopped him and said, “You can’t tell that story. It now belongs to Mr. Peterman.”

Sometimes I’m desperate to hear from God but I’m all, “Lord, what did You say? It’s too loud up in here!”

Then, I read this verse.

Be silent in the presence of the Lord God…  Zephaniah 1:7

It occurred to me that my world doesn’t have to be quiet in order for me to hear from God – I’m the one who needs to be quiet. Everything around me doesn’t have to suddenly be still – I’m the one who needs to stop and listen.

Maybe that speaks to you, too? Does life seem so loud that it drowns out the voice of the Father? I promise you that God can speak over any noise you have going on right now. It isn’t your home that needs to be silent, but your heart.

You are loved.❤

When All You Got is Crazy Hot

I don’t know about y’all but I stopped trying several weeks back. I stopped trying to fix my hair. I stopped trying to wear make-up. I stopped trying to do anything except sit in an air conditioned room and beg for mercy. What I’m trying to say, sweet friends, is that I’m hot. And when I stop to think that it isn’t even August? I can’t even. It’s too much.

I’ve been a bad blogger this summer (let’s blame it on the hot) but big things have been taking place. My family and I have moved from a city of about 40k to the cutest town ever with about 800 of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet. I’m talking homemade salsa, freshly baked doughnuts and sweet corn delivered to your front door kind of nice.

We ventured out into the heat to have lunch at a little cafe on the square where we immediately announced our presence by spilling an entire cup of pink lemonade on the floor. That’s just the way we roll.

sun

I saw a verse in a friend’s Facebook post and I have been thinking about it all day. It’s in the book of Isaiah and I particularly like The Message paraphrase of it.

While I wait for God as long as he remains in hiding,
    while I wait and hope for him.
I stand my ground and hope,
    I and the children God gave me as signs to Israel,
Warning signs and hope signs from God-of-the-Angel-Armies,
    who makes his home in Mount Zion. – Isaiah 8:18-22

There is something about these long, hot, humid (did I mention hot?) summer days that seem to be never-ending. They make a girl want to cry out, “How long, O Lord, how long?” Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration but only slight. We’re all just holding on and waiting for October.

There are seasons like that – seasons where success is simply making it through the day. We’re not waiting for cooler weather but we’re waiting for God to move it some way – to make His presence known. Everything seems hot and dry and we’re desperate for something to refresh us. Waiting is tough.

The prophet Isaiah knew a little something about waiting. Things were difficult and God was hiding His face from the house of Jacob. But Isaiah refused to lose faith. He was determined to stand his ground and continue to hope. He was so committed to His God that he offered himself and his children as signs of warning and of hope that would point others to the God who still ruled in Zion.

love

 

May that be our attitude even in the midst of the dryest season. No matter what fear and hysteria the world attempts to instill in our hearts – we can stand our ground and hope.

No matter the anger and anxiety flooding the news and filling social media – we can stand our ground and hope.

No matter the brokenness that invades our homes and relationships – we can stand our ground and hope.

We can live in a way and raise our children in a way that points others to the God who has not relinquished control.

You are loved.❤