When my third child was born, my first was still three. And they were all active boys. My life was colored in shades of blue. Even my living room was blue. Bright robin’s egg blue. Painted by my husband when I was on a women’s retreat. Apparently we should have had a discussion about appropriate shades of color for living rooms.
For the next few years, my life was immersed in masculinity. I didn’t think much of it until one shopping trip to Target (the only place I could get popcorn and Icee’s to bribe my children sufficiently.) There were the cutest tennis shoes I’d ever seen. And they had them in women’s and girls’ sizes. And for a moment I thought, “I wish I could buy those.” And I walked away.
Then I thought: Wait a dog-done minute … I’m a girl. Why can’t I buy them for myself?! And I went back and bought the tennis shoes.
It’s so easy to lose bits and pieces of who we are in the process of mothering children. It happens because it’s a joy to sacrifice our wants and desires for them. Which is why I watched knew all the Barney songs and read Tom’s Rainbow Walk over and over again. It’s why we went camping for years rather than staying in hotels. And lunch with the girls was at McDonalds with play lands.
For the most part, this is a good thing. Motherhood teaches us self-sacrifice and humility. I mean really, can you change the diaper of a three-year-old boy who talks like a little adult (and who just doesn’t seem to mind a dirty diaper) and NOT be humbled???
With children, I learned to set aside my self-driven priorities in exchange for the new priorities God gave me. But the danger for me and many other mothers is we forget that God has plans for us that don’t include our children.
I need to understand in my head and heart that God has plans that are just as good, if not better, than the current stage of parenting I am in. However, if I hold on too tightly and try to make things stay the same, I can miss what God has in store for me next.
One of my biggest regrets in the past is when faced with change, I have not always looked forward with anticipation. I have not trusted God to bring something good out of what only seems like loss to me.
For example, when we moved across country for two years, I was devastated. It was only for two years but you would have thought I was being shipped to Mars! And it was to the South … where they make really good BBQ pork sandwiches and sweet tea! But sadly, I didn’t think God was going to bring anything good out of those two years. Thankfully He surprised me – in spite of my bratty attitude.
I learned an important lesson through that hard experience. God keeps His promises! If He said He can bring good out of something that looks sad – He will do it!!!
Sometimes all I think about with my children is how much I’m going to miss this or that. But what I need to think is “God, what wonderful thing do You have for me next?”
So I’m choosing to think that now. I don’t know what’s coming next. Isn’t that the way life works? But I’m believing that God has something great planned. I just don’t know what it is yet.
And I believe God’s got something great planned for you too. Do you want to join me?
Isaiah 43:19, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”
Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the goodof those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.“
Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
If your home is anything like mine, after-school time can feel like a tornado stormed through my house. Books, backpacks, shoes, balls and so forth are spread from the front door to the kitchen table.
When everyone walks through the door, I want them to feel a sigh of relief, thinking: Home! Finally! So there is no correction of where they’ve dropped their stuff initially. But I don’t want things to stay a mess. So it’s important that everyone knows where to store their supplies once we had a chance to go through them.
Years ago I invested in a child-size, free-standing coat rack. This stands by the door, and is once everyone has done homework, their backpacks are hung up and ready for the next day.
Other options might be baskets, or a chest of drawers, or wall hooks. What matters is your children have a “home” for their school necessities. Here are some ideas:
Bringing order to my home, helps bring order to my mind. I just can’t think in chaos. And bringing order to my home helps my children prepare for school the next day. Which hopefully means more peaceful mornings. And less forgotten homework!
I’d love to hear your ideas for organizing children’s school necessities. Post a comment so we can learn from each other.
Grace & Peace,