To the Best Mom Ever–That’s You!

I rounded the corner at Walmart this week to hear “You’re the Best Mom Ever!” It would have been nice if it had come from my kids, but I enjoyed it anyway. Apparently a friend of mine had decided to buy a rotisserie chicken for dinner and Voila!–that made her the “best mom ever”. Go figure! Now why didn’t I think of that!

No, I had only folded forty-two pairs of socks (I’m sure) and wiped the millionth jellied fingerprint off the fridge and scrubbed chicken poop off my flip flops that got worn into the coop again and made sure my kids had a clean toilet to sit on. Somehow I think that might deserve a “Best Mom” shout, but it didn’t come that day. Or most days in fact.

And yet…

It is true. I am the best mom ever. To my kids. And you are the best mom ever to yours.

Kaila with baby Lyza.

In a world of warm fuzzy Facebook posts and Pinterest perfect parties, it is easy to feel like there is soooo much more we should be doing and doing it with soooo much more creativity, and still have time to scrapbook and journal it into eternity. But let’s face it, motherhood is often about getting through the day and being able to say you showered. Shaving your legs is often the only “extra” you can manage.

And that’s okay. Because the best mom isn’t found in the Facebook perfect pictures.

Can we just let that sink in for a minute?

No, the best mom ever is found in those ordinary moments when you read that same favorite bedtime story again to your toddler, or when you let your eight-year-old make the pancakes even though it’s going to make a huge mess and take twice as long. It’s when you listen with sympathy to the drama of your tween despite having heard it all before, and when you keep hugging your teens even on the days you don’t like each other very much. And then it’s when you pray and pray and pray for your adult children although they don’t know it and can’t really appreciate it yet.

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It is all those ordinary moments that strung together make an extraordinary life.

Best mom ever…you…don’t waste a single moment trying to be more like “so and so”. Your kids just need you. I know there are times you don’t believe that. I know there are days you know you blew it over and over and over again and nights you went to bed exhausted and sobbing and wishing you could take it all back. I know. I’ve been there.

Thankfully, “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,” (Psalm 34:18) and “gives strength to the weary.” (Isaiah 40:29)

Now that long day is done and that night is over. And today you have another gift of time. It may not end up with anything worth tweeting about. You probably won’t receive any applause for answering to the call of “Mommmmmy” for the 150th time in an hour and you won’t likely get any recognition for staying up into the wee hours tonight to fold the laundry and put away the dishes. But it is enough. You are enough.

Yes, I know you make mistakes. But God never does. Of all the millions of women He could have given your children to, He gave them to you. You! And He tells you He’s got your back if you need it. “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, “Do not fear. I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:14) Oh what a promise!

The ones I'm the Best Mom Ever to :).

The ones I’m the Best Mom Ever to :).

So sweet mom, if you are worn out and needing a little encouragement today, know this. You are the best mom ever! Not a perfect mom, but the perfect mom for your kids.

It is not in the big moments that you are the best mom ever. It is in the muddling through moments. It’s in the rotisserie chicken-because-I’m-too-tired-to-make-dinner moments. It’s not in all the things you wish you could do, but in all the things you already do day after day after day.

Thank you for all you do Best Mom Ever!

What Kind of Parent Are You?

MWM blogger

MWM blogger

Don’t ask me why I thought taking this kind of quiz was a good idea. Perhaps I thought I’d find answers to why I act the way I do. Maybe knowing I’m a tiger mom or ostrich mom would make my actions throughout any given day make more sense.

Ha! Just ask my husband what a ridiculous notion that is!

Instead, I realized that I can’t be categorized any more than my children can or should be. I don’t like labels for them and I found I don’t like them for myself either. They seem to trap us forever behind their tag. Don’t get me wrong, personality quizzes are fun and can offer insight into our particular bent, but they are often misleading and can leave us feeling either superior because of them or judged by them.

After all, I’m every type of mother and I’m no type ever considered. I think the same is true of all moms everywhere. There are days and situations that call me to be a tiger mom who fiercely drives her children and days that I am the hovering helicopter mom because my child may need more protection than usual. And what about when I am more ten-year-old than fortyish-year-old and become another little monkey jumping on the bed? What would I be called then? Otter mom? Wait! That wasn’t on the list.

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My new-mama niece with her sweet one.

So what kind of parent am I? If you ask my children, I’m pretty sure four out of four will say a crazy one. Ask my husband, who’s crazy about me, and he’ll say I’m an awesome one.

Ask me and I say:

I’m a natural yeller who tries not to be.

I’m a comedian with no appreciative audience.

I’m an overscheduler and time-cruncher.

I’m a motivator, otherwise known as a demanding drill sergeant.

I’m a pusher of health food who can’t resist chocolate of any kind or ice cream.

But I am also,

A shameless cheerleader at soccer games and one-man (or girl) living room recitals,

A tireless nurse for any injury that band-aids and kisses can’t fix,

An unrivaled scones baker,

And a mother with four incredible reasons to keep on trying.

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One of those owies that needed extra snuggles.

God says:

I’m a redeemed mother–one who constantly gets it wrong, and yet through grace and mercy, keeps seeing it turn out right.

 

So what kind of parent are you? How about the perfect one for your child!

I think I’d like to talk more about that sometime. But for now, trust me on it. Some days you will be more strict and firm, other days relaxed and flexible, and that does not equate to inconsistency. Rather, like the ebb and flow of the tide, it can be beautifully predictable unpredictability.

Who can possibly put one label on you, mothers? You are far too beautiful and important and all-encompassing to describe so simply, but Proverbs 31:29 says it best perhaps:

“Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”

I hope you believe it.

Rested and Ready

MWM blogger

MWM blogger

Well, I am so excited to say I am back to my writing and back with each of you. Thank you so much for your patience with me as I took the summer off from blogging. I have not only missed my writing, but I have missed you. Your comments and our conversations have become an important part of my week and I value them so much.

As many of you know, I spend my summers on an Alaskan beach commercial fishing. It is absolutely beautiful and quiet, but it is also primitive. I have no electricity and no indoor plumbing, so when it’s cold and raining, you have no idea the dilemma I’m faced with! Should I make a run for the outhouse or hold it until it stops? Trust me, it’s a difficult choice.

Aside from bladder issues, however, life is pretty basic. With no emails to check and no phones demanding my attention, I have the chance to simplify and enjoy the most important things in life. I can sit carefree along the shore and watch the waves or the eagles. I can take unhurried walks on the beach with my girls looking for agates and ocean glass. I can reflect, re-focus and re-center. It is a gift of time that brings purpose and joy and I hope in some way I can pass that gift on to you.

Motherhood can be exhausting so if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed, or frustrated, or worn out, or if you just need a break from all the “noise” around you, then I hope you’ll plan to grab a cup of coffee each week and join me on this journey. Together we’ll learn to slow down and savor the moments we’re given and not waste a single one thinking about what we didn’t do or what we can’t do or what we won’t get the time to do. Instead let’s help one another enjoy what we are doing, knowing that today’s ordinary moments can be tomorrow’s extraordinary stories.

I invite you to share your journey with me and I hope you’ll enjoy a peek into mine. Have a great week and I will chat with you soon.

 

Summer Yogurt Fruit Popsicles

Here’s a simple recipe kids can make themselves and even toddlers can certainly help.

Summer Yogurt Fruit Popsicles

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Start with three ingredients:

  • 1 c yogurt (I like Greek vanilla yogurt)
  • 2 c fresh or frozen fruit (berries or peaches are our favorites)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

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Add all ingredients to blender or smoothie maker and blend until smooth.

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Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.

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Ahhhhhh, the reward!

 

 

 

My kids love these and there’s no end of possible varieties. Enjoy!

*This recipe makes 4-6 popsicles.

It’s a Meaningful Life

 

MWM blogger

MWM blogger

It’s been two months already since my last birthday, and I wonder how I ever became forty-something when I still feel like twenty-something. Well almost, except for maybe the extra lines on my face, veins on my legs, aches in my back, fat on my hips…okay so some things have changed a little.

It’s not that I mind getting older. It’s just that sometimes I look back and wonder what happened to the last 365 days and what have I done with them besides eat too much and sleep too little? Time seems to move much faster the closer I get to the finish line, and I just want to pause the moments and savor them knowing that all too soon they will become my history.

I’ve discovered that getting older is much easier when I feel like I’m investing in what brings me a sense of purpose rather than chasing fleeting moments of happiness. It’s somehow easier to accept the passage of time if we know we are leaving behind a legacy rather than a stribirthday_cakeng of meaningless activities.

So how do we do that? While I can’t say I’ve figured it all out, I do know God gives us timeless advice to ensure that each day that passes becomes part of a beautiful story instead of just a check mark on the calendar.

Making Each Day Matter:

  1. Ask God what His plans are first instead of after we’ve botched up our own, knowing that He has “plans to prosper [us] and not to harm [us]…” (Jer 29:11 NIV). I’ll take His plan over mine any time.
  2. Strive “to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).Oh that I could make the days count instead of just count the days!
  3. Learn to be fruitful instead of just busy. Jesus said “I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain” (John 15:16). Being busy is just activity; being fruitful is sewing into what will “remain” after we are gone. Sometimes for me that means spending my time sharing a dress-up day with my little girls over shopping for the latest fads. The clothes wear out, but the memories never will.
  4. Waste no time worrying about wrinkles and gray hair realizing that while our bodies are temporary, our spirits are eternal. “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away…inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:16). Our society may place too little value on the aged, but God doesn’t. He not only honors the elders but places a call on us to teach those behind us.

So, I have another year behind me and another year racing past. I don’t know what tomorrow holds. But I have today. I won’t waste it looking back with tears, longing for what no longer is. Nor will I look ahead with doubt or fear and be robbed of this moment that will never come again. Instead I will try each day to appreciate this blink in time and to live it to the fullest so that I can declare with sincerity, “This is the day the Lord has made. [I] will rejoice and be glad in it” (Ps 118:24).

May you, dear mamas, enjoy meaningful moments that become meaningful days that become a rich and meaningful life.