Stay at Your Post

God has you where you are for a reason, even though you may not understand what that reason is. None of us fully understands God’s plan at work in our individual lives. It’s tempting to think that something really important, something that makes a lot more sense, is out there somewhere.

“That something else is, in our imagination, a very important thing, and it has an imagined importance that makes sense to us. It is a creature of ours. And if it makes sense to us, then it is a sure thing that we are flying blinkered and blind.” -Douglas Wilson, Ploductivity

Trust the Master Planner. He is working all things together for His kingdom, and He has given you a part in it that is uniquely yours. Continue reading “Stay at Your Post”

Did you enjoy mothering and staying home right from the start?

Question: Have you found it more enjoyable to be home with your children the more you have had and the older they have gotten, or did you really enjoy staying home and mothering right from the start with one baby? I love staying home and I love my baby, but sometimes I wake up in the morning and think, “what do I do all day long with a 1 year old!?”

Sometimes I prefer the days when I am also babysitting other people’s kids and there is more going on, or when we go help at someone else’s house, but I also want to take good care of and enjoy what God has given me. I want to make the most of my time but do not always feel very productive or fit to the task of staying home with my baby.
Maybe that’s more than one question!

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The children found this nest on the ground with one beautiful egg.

My long and rambling answer: Thanks for the good question; it has been helpful for me to think through my answer over the past few days.

What I hear you saying is that you are somewhat underwhelmed with your job right now, you feel lonely some days and you sometimes feel inadequate for the task at hand. I hope I have understood the heart of your question correctly.

As I have thought this over, my answer has turned out to be longer than I thought it would. 🙂 I don’t ever mean to sound “preachy”; truly these are all lessons that God has taught me along the way, little by little. He is so gracious and He leads us along gently.

I hear you and I understand. To be perfectly up front and honest, I haven’t always enjoyed staying home. I don’t always enjoy it now. Continue reading “Did you enjoy mothering and staying home right from the start?”

Quarantine Edition – in which we hear from some of you!

I wanted to create a “collage” post of ideas and thoughts about this quarantine period. So, a few weeks ago I asked– What has God been teaching you? What activities have you been doing with your family that are a little bit different from your normal routine? What recipes have you tried? Has something funny happened that you’d like to share? Has your family found a unique way to encourage others? Please send me anything you’d like to share, and I will put it all together into one post.

I have been so blessed and encouraged by the various contributions that were sent in. Keep it up ladies, building your homes during this time! It’s what we do best! God has uniquely gifted you to provide a haven and a place of comfort for your dear ones.IMG_5922

Thanks to everyone who took time to contribute to this post.

From Connie (my sister in law, mother of four boys, ages 11 and under):

Take a hike! No, seriously, with all this “stay at home” going on, those of us with children need to get them outside and run that energy off. If we don’t, it turns into sibling rivalry, unpleasant attitudes, discontentment, and general mayhem at home. Continue reading “Quarantine Edition – in which we hear from some of you!”

12 Strategies to Squelch Sibling Squabbling

Question: Hi Jennifer, Could I ask you for some parenting advice about dealing with sibling squabbling? This is a new problem I am just starting to have in the last few weeks. The girls are just bickering constantly. It’s like they can’t be in the same room together without fighting. It’s just non-stop pettiness…

“She said I did a bad job on my chore.”
“She keeps moving my paper into her box.”
“I have more grapes than you do.”
“She glared at me.”
“I’m glad I didn’t get your chore.” etc etc etc etc.

I alternate between feeling like I need to referee each incident to deal with the problem-causer and try to teach good manners and virtue (We don’t say things to hurt others. We use a nice voice to talk to others. God wants us to be kind, etc.) and being overwhelmed and telling them I don’t want to hear about their bickering and they need to work it out (which they do not seem to have any ability to do). Any advice would be much appreciated!

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Apparently I don’t take pictures of my children when they are squabbling, only when they are having angelic moments. So on this post we will picture angelic moments while we talk about squabbling.

Answer: As I’m sure you’ve realized, there isn’t a fix-it-all answer to this question. Squabbling between siblings is just an inherent part of mothering. There are, however, various approaches that can be taken at various times. I will list my ideas here in no particular order.

1.) You gotta nip it in the bud. (We don’t normally turn to Barney Fife for parenting advice, but in this case, he’s on to something.) This is probably the most effective approach, but the caveat is that it requires mom’s attention and listening ear, and the children need to be playing where mom can hear them. As soon as mom hears the first child mis-step in their behavior, she nips it. Continue reading “12 Strategies to Squelch Sibling Squabbling”

I don’t mean to disagree with my husband

Steve said these are arrows, not dominoes.

At Joshua’s high school graduation, as I envisioned each child reaching this same milestone in quick succession, I remarked that the “dominoes were beginning to fall.” Steve replied, “Not dominoes. Arrows. Today the arrows are beginning to fly!”

edit4I know he’s right, of course. They ARE arrows and it’s super exciting to watch them fly.

But I have to be honest, it sure does seem like dominoes at times. All of a sudden, I find myself looking around and thinking, “Where is everyone? Is this everyone I’m supposed to have?” Continue reading “I don’t mean to disagree with my husband”

Saying Goodbye to Windy Hill

Moving is beyond exhausting, and when in that weakened frame of mind, you arrive at the moment of saying goodbye to your home of thirteen years, it can be pretty tough. And so, the heart-wrenching moment had come.

As we explored the familiar spaces for the last time, our voices echoed through the now empty rooms.

Our minds went back to when we, so young and naive, first bought the old place, and the farmhouse adventure began. Continue reading “Saying Goodbye to Windy Hill”

A hidden gem on Amazon Prime video

In the craziness of the past few months, I will readily admit that my children have had too much screen time. Nixxing the flix has (sadly) not been happening. We have been in survival mode. However, through this period of insanity, we have found a little treasure on Amazon Prime video. I wanted to share it with you! Continue reading “A hidden gem on Amazon Prime video”

Your Home and God’s Kingdom

Be encouraged today, dear ones!edit5I know it’s easy to get discouraged. We hear bad news everywhere. Kids are departing from the faith. Hate and violence overwhelm our streets. Churches are shutting down. Families are splitting apart. Unrighteous lawmakers seem to prevail. Children are abused. Our world seems to be going crazy in many respects.

Fear and sadness grip our hearts as we hear of these things. But is this the whole story? Are there any battles being won for righteousness? Are there any advances being made for the kingdom of Christ in our world today?eeditOh, yes. Yes, there are! Continue reading “Your Home and God’s Kingdom”

Real Life Romance

The picture on Instagram spoke volumes. It grabbed me immediately. (I wish I could give credit to the person who posted it, but I have no idea who it was now.) A mom and a dad were sitting in the front seats of a minivan, holding hands. The pic had been taken by a child in the backseat. The lady posting it said one of her children had gotten ahold of her phone and taken the picture. She discovered it later. She said that she and her husband always held hands when they went places as a family in their minivan.

This, I thought, is real life romance.

You have the fairy tale kind of romance, and then you have the real life kind.edit9The fairy tale kind of romance is Continue reading “Real Life Romance”

Our first family song video!

I’m kind of amazed that this video has become reality. With Joshua planning to leave for college in August, we really wanted to preserve some memories of our family singing together. And with Ethan becoming our go-to guy for all things technical (especially filming), we decided to go for it. I truly hope it will be a blessing to you.