Friday, June 24, 2011

Discouraged and Inept?



Today is one of those days as a youth leader where I am discouraged. I'm not giving up, I just wonder if I'm the right woman for the job? I also wonder if I can do this and keep the teens interested. Doubts plague my mind, especially when suddenly I have teens backing out of the School's Out Blowout at the apartment. Games, pizza, movies, and a sleep over for the girls.

Today is the day where I wonder, I know I can relate to the girls and I'll do fine with them, but what am I going to do with the boys? I don't have a clue about being a teenage boy - how can I help the boys? I wonder if we're ever going to grow, if my feeling of concrete certainty that God has a plan for our small church to grow is real or if I'm just delusional? I hit this point in Sicily - where wondered if I was the right woman for the job too. Of course, then it was because I felt inferior to my beautiful and socially talented flatmate. Let me tell you being second fiddle to a runner up for Miss Alaska isn't easy - it tends to grab hold of you and let Satan make you wonder if you are really going to do a good job or if you should have stayed home.

I know I struggle socially - I always have. I know that growing up in an incredibly honest and open family who just said whatever was on their minds probably hurt me more than helped me. But then again it also equipped me to not play favorites. It taught me to listen to every one's perspective - even if I didn't like what they had to say.

So these are the things I know:
1. God did not move us to Everett, Washington without a reason and so if God has enough faith that He can use me to help our teens, then I have enough faith that He will lead me and guide me.
2. I know that while I may not always have the right thing to say, I do know that I have a heart for teenage girls and I understand how tough it is to be a young girl who is growing and changing into an adult.
3. I know that no matter what I cannot give up. Would it be easy? Sure it would, and yet I know that I need to stay the course and finish this race.
4. Rome wasn't built in a day and a youth group won't happen overnight. I know this is something that God wants, so if He can be this determined to not give up then so can I even when it means He is the one carrying me when I am discouraged.
5. Despite what I want to do - I need to not over analyze everything and take a leap of faith.
6. I can't give up on reading my Bible daily and praying - He is listening, even when it doesn't feel that way.

I hope you all have a good week and I will blog again on Monday unless otherwise led by God.
Love in Christ,
Maureen

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Teens & Dating?



When girls are little, they want to grow up and marry their Daddy. Sigmund Freud called it the Elektra Complex based on a Greek tragedy.

We all know little girls who would do anything to make their daddies happy.


As girls grow up their interest in boys begins to emerge and Dad is still important. More important than they realize a lot of the time. It is easy as your daughter becomes a teenager to walk away and stop working on having a good relationship with your daughters, but never is there a time when you are needed more. It is during those crucial years that a girl either feels loved or she begins to seek the love she wants from a boy.


Now I know that teenage boys are not evil - not by any stretch. They can be good kids just like most girls are good kids. The thing is between a teenage girls raging hormones and a teenage boys raging hormones for things to happen. It is hard for dad's to compete for their daughters attention, but in truth if a girl doesn't get the attention she needs from her dad she will go and seek it out somewhere else. This was something Chris and I had to really talk about at great length especially since he missed quite a number of Sarah's formative years. It took a while, but he made the connection in his head and he works hard to make sure he takes time for Elizabeth, Beka, and Sarah.


Here's the thing, it isn't just important for fathers to be active in their lives, but mothers too. And as parents Chris and I make it a point to be sure we have a good and open talks with our girls about sex. Open dialogue is so important. I know talking to your teens about sex is scary and can be embarrassing sometimes, but you don't have to go into graphic detail. It does mean though that you need to say more than, "Don't have sex before your married" or "We waited and you should too." I mean talking with your sons and daughters about the importance of waiting and why it is importance and why sex is a beautiful thing between two married people.


While I didn't make it to my wedding night, there is still something lovely about know that Chris and I learn a lot of things together. And I like that he is the only one who knows me that intimately. I can't imagine making a different choice and walking around knowing that more than one man knows me like Chris knows me.


Last but not least while speaking to your kids about the importance of abstinence but it is also important to have consistent discipline and structure. It is in those small lessons we teach our children about following the rules that we slowly teach our children how to a) follow the rules, b) that we care and love them enough to say no to them even if they don't like us very much; and c) that life means not always doing what feels good.


We live in a world that teaches our children that it is okay to have sex and that if it feels good that it must be okay. But the Apostle Paul tells us 1 Corinthians 10: 23 & 24 "'Everything is permissible' but not everything is beneficial. 'Everything is permissible' - but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others." There are a lot of things in life that feel good, drugs, alcohol, sex; however, we know that abusing drugs can kill you, as can smoking, winning feels good, but gambling destroys lives and families. . . I think you see my point.


I hope you all have a good evening and that your week goes smoothly.


Love in Christ,

Maureen

Monday, June 20, 2011

SCREAMFEST 2011



It started as a quiet and uneventful day. The biggest excitement that occurred was we watched some Law & Order:SVU. And yet, nothing tipped us off that today would be the day of SCREAMFEST 2011!!!!!


Lizzie came home happy as a lark - which is good considering her meltdown on Friday. Okay so the burritos had to become tacos, because Mom forgot to purchase refried beans - this isn't unusual in my house, it's par for the course. And after keeping Beka inside while we waited for Lizzie to come home it seemed like a good plan to feed the kids and then take them to the park.


We walked the three blocks it takes to get there in good time. Lizzie found a group of boys she knew from school who actually know how to play nicely and so she took to playing soccer with them while Beka explored and I played with her. We went to swing on the swings, and she requested her favorite song "Honey, Honey" from Mama Mia (and no I did not let my children watch a movie about a woman who has three men who could possibly be her father and where Meryl Streep chronically takes God's name in vain. I do however, have the soundtrack and the girls listen to a few select songs.) After sliding, twirling, climbing and enjoying herself in general, Beka discovered that she can play on the Monkey Bars and is actually good at it. So we let her go to town and play. I tried to talk her into playing on something else. I thought about the fact that her poor little uncalloused hands, may or may not take too kindly to the abuse she was heaping on them. I did not however, anticipate the sudden blood curdling screams that met my ears when she suddenly realized, Hey my hands really, really hurt!


I tried to sooth, but she would have none of that. And so Sarah and I took turns carrying home a screaming and writhing Beka. People stared at us, they asked questions with their eyes and thankfully they didn't call the police. SCREAMFEST 2011 stinks! I can live without attending it again for a while. Carrying a child who alternates between heaving sobs and shrill screams of agony is not my idea of fun as a rule of thumb and yet I found myself in attendance come rain or shine.


Don't worry, Beka is currently in the bathtub with coolish water soothing her hands. Her sobbing requests for a band aid are temporarily quieted (although I am sure she'll resume her barrage of requests for band aids once it reenters her head) and all seems quiet once again.


We'll see what happens. Afterall, SCREAMFEST 2011 can always rear it's ugly head at the most inopportune times.


Have a good evening and enjoy the laugh.


Love in Christ,

Maureen

Serving Others

I know it seems a little one sided by the one picture,

however, I assure you Chris washed my feet as well.We made the choice to wash each others feet (albeit, we thought the water would be much warmer) because we felt it important to show that neither of us was more important than the other. We also got the idea from another wedding we saw on Youtube and loved the concept behind it.


We see a great example of this kind of servant's heart in John 13 when Jesus washes his disciples feet. He was demonstrating true love for them - he loved them enough to serve them and put them above himself. Even though Peter tried to argue with him that he should not wash his feet. And yet Jesus told Peter that if we did not wash his feet that he could not be with him. It was in those moments we realize how much Jesus loved his disciples and that as he washed and served his disciples that they were to serve others when he left them.


In today's world we are bombarded with the ideas that we have to take care of ourselves because no one else is going to do it for us. We constantly are told it's okay to be a little selfish, to put ourselves first and yet the Jesus speaks of how the least will be the greatest throughout his life and in the Bible.

I am sure there were some who didn't understand our choice. Especially, once I finished washing Chris' feet and he turned around and washed mine for me. And yet in those few moments we agreed that we would put each other ahead of ourselves. It took a while for us to get to that point too. We'd been married seven years when we renewed our wedding vows, but it seemed right. We'd come a long way from where we were when we first wed each other. The need to only look out for number one had died a slow agonizing death. It didn't happen from day one. It took time, nurturing and understanding that it wasn't about only me anymore before we came to a place where we could have a servant's heart for each other. And yet if you read Mark 10:43-45 you see, ". . .Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave to all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."


What do you think are important things to know before you get married? If you are engaged, have you discussed money? Discipline for children? Religious beliefs? These are all important things to think about and talk about before you become engaged to another person. Are you dating a person you consider a possible mate or are you just dating for fun? Are you willing to put others ahead of yourself? Because honestly, that has to happen before you can possibly get married and make it work.



I hope you all have a good week.

Love in Christ,

Maureen

Friday, June 17, 2011

Then & Now


Miss Lizzie had a tough day today. And when she has a tough day, I usually do too. We've come far from when we didn't even know what was going on and the days where she could not communicate with us what was going on.

Then, Lizzie would strike out at people. Now she cries and can tell us when she is hurt or needs something. Then, she would bang her head against the floor. Now she tries to tell us what is going on, but even now she struggles to communicate with me what is really bothering her so I have a difficult time knowing if she's really hurt or if she's just frustrated. Then she would do a lot of things on impulse, and now she is still impulsive but not to the same extent as before. She has gotten better about listening, and we are still working on eye contact.

Then, I used to protect her and be a buffer between Elizabeth and the outside world and children. Now I fight with ever fiber of my being to stand back and allow her to learn how to navigate life on her own (within reason of course). Now I fight to make sure she gets what she needs, but I also teach her how to talk to others and tell them when she is upset or they hurt her feelings. Now we are slowing starting to tease her a little to help teach her how to zing them back at us, so hopefully she will be able to stand up to bullies and others.

And yet we have so many challenges we are facing. She still confuses genders in her pronouns. A boy might accidentally be called, he or him or a girl may be called he or him. She has imaginary friends and no reservations about talking to them in school, on the bus or in public. At nine years old, it opens her up to ridicule and other children call her crazy. I talk to her about it, but it's going to take some time. She is making friends, slowly, there is a seven year old girl, named Madison who plays with her. She is a good kid but they often fight like sisters and tattle on each other. LOL! She's being picked on by a group of kids in our apartment complex and I am struggling to remain Christlike and nice in all of this. Then there are the little odd quirks in her speech - little Elizabethisms that you know Elizabeth to understand and sometimes not even that works. At least we no longer deal with her own Elizabethesse as much. But occasionally we still call one ponytail in the back, a Mulan; two ponytails are Kai-lan for Ni Hao Kai-Lan one of her favorite shows or Josie and the Pussycats who she loved for several years.

Then I used to have to constantly watch her or she would run out in traffic, hide in a mall thinking she was playing "hide-and-go-seek", or she might start getting into some stranger's car (yes she actually did that). Now I still have to watch that she doesn't talk to strangers or get into a stranger's car, but the hiding at the mall doesn't happen and she's starting to get a lot better at looking both ways before crossing the street. I could entertain the idea of letting her go with some friends of ours who live in Florida to look at the pond with an alligator in it because I don't worry she will try to touch it now. She's beginning to develop a healthy dose of fear.

Today was one of those days, a day where her teacher called me because Lizzie cried off an on and she was very upset. So tonight and this weekend we'll see what happens, we'll see if I can get her back on track and settled down. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a good day so she can go to church on Sunday because she loves to go to church. That is the neatest thing, she loves to go to church and God colors her life in a lot of ways. While we've still got a lot more ground to cover, I also know that God will help us the rest of the way.

Have a good weekend.
Love in Christ,
Maureen

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Adventuring Out




I decided to take the girls for a drive this evening. . . this is something the three of us enjoyed doing a lot while Chris was deployed during 2009. While driving around may not seem so exciting while living in Kansas, it is definitely a lot more exciting while living here in the lovely and very green state of Washington.



It's amazing to me every time I go for a drive - whether it be to the commissary or to take the girls out on a small adventure how beautiful it is here. To the east of us, we look over while driving on I-5 and see the gorgeous Cascade Mountain range and to the west I can see the ocean. Both sights are equally breathtaking, so seeing them while living in one area is awesome to me.


So in the spirit of adventure, I took the girls out further than the the exit to the commissary this evening and we might have gone all the way to Camano Island if it hadn't been a school night and if I knew I would definitely make it back in time to pick Chris up from work. Either way, it was still a neat drive. The photos at the top of the blog are pictures I took at a rest area. Yes, you read that correctly - at a rest area outside of Marysville, WA, they have a huge Big Redcedar Stump. Apparently it was over 1,000 years old. It's astounding the things you discover when you go out of your comfort zone.


I know that change is scary, trust me I've been learning to embrace it for most of my life, but without change you cannot grow. Not emotionally or spiritually. As Christians, it is easy to get into a rut and try to keep everything status quo, and yet it is often when we move outside of our ruts or the familiar that we begin to experience true growth. It is in those moments when you are going against everything you ever knew that you must trust solely in Christ and allow God to carry you and help you get through all of the things that He has in store for you. A good example of people whose lives grew and radically changed are the lives of the disciples. It was when they laid down their nets, tax collections, and various livelihoods and choose to follow Jesus that they began to truly experience a life in God.


How brave are you? Are you willing to let God move you out of your comfort zone so you can grow closer to him? Have a good week.


Love in Christ,

Maureen

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Father's Day

Father's Day is this Sunday and I have to be honest, I'm really having a tough time this year with it. It isn't that I don't love celebrating it with Chris - in fact, I love trying to make this an extra special day for him. But I am struggling to see lots of posts on Twitter and Facebook about my friends wishing their father's well and saying sweet things about them. Somehow, this year it just makes it a tougher. It makes me want to skip church and stay in bed (don't worry I won't give in).





As a young girl growing up, I HATED Father's Day. Especially in our church growing up. Not only did people not recognize my mom on Mother's Day as an amazing woman for raising the three of us kids alone, but then on Father's Day we got a sucker punch to the stomach as people oohed and aaahhed and gushed about their dads. I am not saying that people shouldn't celebrate their dad's after all they were usually very thoughtful about the fact that Dad was gone most of the year and this as the one day for them to make their dad's feel extra special. That is important for parents - to know that your kids don't take you for granted and they love you. I just wish it didn't feel like having my heart (or my mom's heart) ripped out when it came time for that holiday. So Mom and I finally got to the point where we just skipped church or made it a point to be travelling on Father's Day. It helped a lot as time went on, we were able to move forward easier instead of feeling like the scabs were being ripped off each year so the healing had to take place all over again.

Then I met and married Chris and we had Elizabeth and he had Sarah already. I had a renewed reason to enjoy Father's Day. Our first year together being married, I got him a card from Elizabeth who was still unborn at the time and I put it in his Army bag. He had annual training and I slipped it all the way into the bottom of the bag - thank goodness my tummy hadn't started popping out yet or I might not have been able to do that. He came home and told me how much he enjoyed his card from Elizabeth and Sarah. As time went on, I did what I could to make sure I made it a special day for him and I still do. The girls and I have great fun going out and finding him something awesome to wear or display later and they love finding him a card to give to him. And even better now is that we have Sarah living with us, so she makes it a point to get him an awesome card every year that makes him laugh. Father's Day doesn't stink anymore, it still smarts and aches a bit from time to time, but it isn't an unbearable pain and I don't feel the need to sit in church and bawl.

How do you show your dad what he means to you? Do you make it an extra special day for him? Do you buy gifts or do you make them?

Have a good week and God Bless.
Love in Christ,
Maureen

Monday, June 13, 2011

Potential

The neat thing about working as a youth pastor is working with teenagers. Teens while sometimes a handful, also have amazing potential. They are no longer small children, and yet they are not quite adults yet and so while in need of some guidance it is also amazing to get to watch them realize what their dreams are and watch as they grow in Christ. The truth is, I've only worked with one other youth group and that was as a Nazarene in Volunteer Service in Catania, Sicily. I worked with teens who already attended and the group was a good size thanks to the work put in by those who had come before me.

Now I find myself in an interesting position. I am working with several others at the church to get the youth group up and going again. We've had our first official two functions and the turn out was pretty good. I mean we didn't have double digits, but considering that when I first began to think about taking on this project we only had two teens who attended on a regular basis and one of them was my daughter, Sarah. What is the neatest about this is watching those who come to the group hungry to know God. We have one teen girl who went and purchased a Bible specifically so she could have one to bring with her to youth group and Sunday mornings. I know that each teen is different and it is going to be different to say the least, but I also know in my heart that this is where God is leading me.

So here are my dreams for our youth group. I would LOVE it if we grew to 15 teens by next summer. Even if we only make it to ten teens next Summer I would still be thrilled. Ten teens from a group that started out with only two teens is nothing to sneeze about. I hope to see several of our teens come to know the Lord and I plan to make some phone calls to youth pastors in the area this week to see about joining forces for several activities, to give the teens the opportunity to meet other teens who love God. I dream of seeing teens come to know the Lord and to grow spiritually. I dream of a discipleship program where we are able to pair up teens with older people in the church to spend time growing their relationship with Christ. But my biggest dream for these teens is that they come to know a personal relationship with Christ that will stay with them until they go to Heaven someday.


This is what I remember about being a teenager who loved God. It was lonely. I often felt as if I were the only one in school who wanted to live her life for Christ, of course, I was one of maybe three teens who attended our youth group who also attended the Senior High School in Great Bend. The neatest thing aside from going to youth camp, was also when we had a teen group come to see us from near Kansas City. Meeting a group their size one fire for God like those teens was inspiring. So I hope that in helping the teens meet up with other youth groups that they will feel less alone and more like they are in this with others who are their own age range.

I ask that you please keep lifting us up in prayer that God speaks to Hank and I as we lead the teens.

Thank you and have a good week.

Love in Christ,
Maureen







Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Importance of Good Manners

More and more lately I am beginning to realize that more and more parents are dropping the ball in a very important area. I am not speaking in specifics towards any one of my friends I am just noticing it in children in public. I see children who are no longer taught respect to their elders, they don't know please and thank you. Children taught to take what they want when they want it, and to have very little regard for other people's feelings.

Some of these parents see teaching good values, kindness, compassion, thoughtfulness and good old-fashioned good manners as teaching their children to be weak. However, I argue that the opposite is true. It takes more grace and dignity to allow someone to insult you (making them look like a jerk) without saying something in return. It is much harder to remain silent when others are not polite or do things that make you crazy - whether it is touching another person's laundry instead of patiently waiting your turn or it's as simple as cutting in line at the store because for some reason you think you are more entitled to being at the front of the line than other people who have waited their turn. We see examples of this each and every day. And it is hard as Christians to wait and trust that even though they are being jerks right now, doesn't mean that they won't reap what they sow, but the Bible tells us this is true. We see it in Job 4:7 & 8 "'Consider now: Who, being innocent, has ever perished? Where were the upright ever destroyed? As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it." Also in 2 Corinthians 9:6 "Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will reap sparingly and whoever sows generously will also reap generously."

It is when we are kind, generous, and thoughtful to others that we show them how Christ wants us to live. Never is this more important than in the lessons we teach our children. It's good to see a larger number of parents slowly teaching their children to be thoughtful and courteous to others. Think of teaching your children manners in this way - when you teach your children to say "please, thank you, and yes sir/no sir etc. . ." You are teaching them a portion of the golden rule. They are treating others the way they want to be treated. I know it isn't always a popular concept these days in a world where we are all told how much we are entitled to this or we deserve that and yet, it is because of the world we live in that it is extremely important to raise our children (and yes even your special needs children) how to live by the golden rule. Even Elizabeth is expected to speak to those who are older than her with respect, it's rude to interrupt, say "please and thank you" and to wait her turn in line. We began these teaching when she first began to become verbal and we made it a point to live it out in front of our girls. I have a friend who worked in customer service for a cellular service provider and she often found that when she would stop, listen to the customer and used excellent manners that the most irate customers often calmed down and she was able to help resolve their issues. I too found it very true while working customer service for a cruise line company and a kitchen ware catalogue company I worked for. So the saying, "You attract more flies with honey than with vinegar" really is true.

Most people want good customer service and they desire to have people in the world speak to them with kindness and patience. Even if they don't give you the same courtesy, it is still important to show them kindness. You never know what seeds you'll be sowing by being kind to others.

I hope you all have a good rest of the week and that it goes smoothly and without a lot of excitement. :D
Love in Christ,
Maureen

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Isaiah 33:5 & 6

"The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high; he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness. He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure."

I know that in today's world it is very tough to keep our eyes on Christ. Especially when we are constantly bombarded by the radio, magazines, newspapers, and television/movies telling us that believing in God is foolhardy. I've seen more than a few science fiction shows on television or movies that make Christians look like insane, or stupid radicals. The truth is, wisdom is important, yes, but not worldly wisdom. It if trusting in God and making him your foundation that will impact the world. It's when you not only meet someone halfway, but actually go an extra mile for them, whether that be helping them get groceries, giving someone a ride to a doctor's office, helping with feeding the homeless in our church on Mondays or if it is something as simple as sitting and listening without judging a person for their choices. It is when we place God as our foundation - we trust in him, just he has the best intentions in mind for us and that he really does love us and his instructions really are the best way for living life that we will make an impact in the world.

Our youth groups verse for this year is 1 Timothy 4:12 "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity." I know that as young people it is tough today to fight what the crowd is saying is right. Especially since the message they send seems to be more and more - if it feels right then do it. The problem with that philosophy is that it goes against what God tells us in the Bible. He never promised us that life would be easy, in fact, he tells us that we will be persecuted and ridiculed for our beliefs and choosing to love Him. The problem is, that following him means we must travel the narrow path, because that is the path that leads to righteousness and eternal life. The world travels a broad path and it leads to destruction. I am not saying that everything and everyone in the world are evil - but they are not the wisdom we as believers should be following.

As we continue to grow in Christ as a youth group, my prayer is that God would plant his word deep within your hearts and help you as you struggle to live a life holy for him in the world today. Know teens, that I am praying for you as are people in our church. We aren't just praying for youth group growth, we are also praying that God moves in your lives in a might way and that you may all rest secure in the knowledge that He loves you and longs to be Lord of your life.

Love in Christ,
Maureen

Friday, June 3, 2011

Silver Linings

We all have an outlook on life. For some of us, it is an outlook that is positive or as some people call it, "The glass is half full" outlook on life. Some of us always seem to find the negative. And even an optimistic person has down days where it seems as if the glass is half empty instead of half full.

As a rule of thumb, I try to be an optimistic person. I like to find the bright side or silver lining in a cloud. While Chris was deployed another Army Reserve wife called me and she had just experienced a series of bad days. She was telling me how she had fallen down a set of steps that had been covered with ice and she hit the same spot on her tush on each step so it had a rather large bruise. After listening to her, I remarked, "But just think it could have been much worse, what if you'd hit a different spot every time you went down. Then your entire tush would be sore." She was quiet a moment before responding, "You know Maureen, there's this book called Pollyanna. Have you read it?" I started laughing and so did she. But that is a perfect example of how I operate. Even when the crummy stuff is happening I try to find the bright side of things. Until I have a series of bad days.

When I have a series of successfully awful days, that is when Debbie Downer comes out with great force. Even my sister who is normally Negative Nelly notices it - which says a lot. She told me, I'm pretty upbeat until Chris deploys, then I'm very negative. It's amazing how that works isn't it. Stress, bad days, all those little things that make you want to pull your hair out and scream - they can really affect your mindset. Or does our mindset affect our days?

In one of my Psychology classes we talked about Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. Basically, the concept that if you expect bad things to happen to you, then they will. But on the flip side of that coin, if you expect good things to happen, they will happen as well. It's interesting how in Psychology they are finding out that in some - not all but some cases it is about mind over matter.
Does it stink that the minivan had to be worked on while we were driving to Idaho during our move? Yes, but on the upside, it happened at a time when we were able to make it to a mechanics place so Chris could fix it. Also thankfully we had AAA and so we didn't have to attempt to drive to the NAPA store on two lug nuts (which I assure you, Chris would never have done in a million years because it would have been too dangerous). Do bad things happen? Yes, but it is in those bad things like house fires, tornadoes, car wrecks, or other disasters that we find out what people are made of and who our friends are in our lives. I guess what I'm saying is that there really is a silver lining even in the most tragic of circumstance.

I hope you all have a good weekend. I am signing off for the rest of the weekend so I can get things ready for our first teen event this weekend and spend time with the girls.

Love in Christ,
Maureen

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bedtime and Rituals

Yes, that would be Beka - asleep at the dinner table after refusing to eat her peas or meat. This has become a common battle with her - Lizzie went through the same problem too. She only wanted to eat her favorite foods. Sorry Sweetpea, but Mommy's food budget doesn't leave room for picky eating. However, Chris started a new trend when we moved into our apartment.

Chris started letting Beka crawl into bed with him so she could go to sleep and of course, I'd have to carry her to bed before I could go to sleep. Not ideal, but it worked - for him. . . I brought it to his attention that in a short time he would be on second shift and that meant a disruption in her routine again. I have to give him props. As soon as he thought it out, he realized he had to start getting her into her own bed to go to sleep. It's a good theory, but I foresee a few issues arising in the future.

We have a bedtime routine, but with the upheaval of the move, it seems that the girls are constantly wound for sound. So we're going to have to weather the storm. We have a bedtime routine, baths, jammies, teeth, a few snuggles, then bedtime - or and of course, story time. It's very important to have story time. Do you have a bedtime routine? Did you have trouble getting your kids to go to sleep or were they good sleepers? I think everyone struggles in one area or the other - whether it's picky eating, bedtime procrastinators (come on, even the best children like to procrastinate at bedtime a little), or it might be battle of the wills about what they wear. We all have obstacles to overcome, and we can do it. It's about consistency, patience and occasionally some good old fashioned discipline (grounding works for our kids better than a spanking any day of the week. . . it's more prolonged and isn't over quite so quickly).

I hope you all have a good weekend. I will be offline for the weekend to spend time with our church teens and the two older girls while Chris is with Beka in Idaho for a wedding.

Love in Christ,
Maureen