Happy Mother’s Day, and A Tribute!

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My sister wrote this tribute to our mom yesterday and said I could share it here on the blog. Mother’s Day is now painful and beautiful, all mixed together. I go shopping for a Mother’s Day card, but it’s for my step-mom. I see all these cards I would like to buy my mom, and just wish I told her enough how much I loved her, and cared for her when she was still here on earth.

To those of you with children, Happy Mother’s Day! Enjoy your blessings.

To those of you without children and struggling with infertility, all I can say is press on. Don’t give up hope that God has a plan for your life. I’ve watched the raw painful journey of what infertility looks like, and seen that person continue to trust God over and over again, even though there are still moments of tears. God is faithful, despite trials.

To those of you who are missing your mom today, I understand. Those feelings are raw, and you never truly understand them until you have experienced it. I’ll never forget the horrible feeling that came over me when my best friend, my mother took her last breath. I was alone with her in the room, and I desperately wanted to somehow bring her back to life again. It’s almost been six years now, and God has been there to comfort me, and helped me through the tears and heartache.

Here is what my sister wrote.

“Her children arise up, and call her blessed.” Prov. 31:28

Mother and daughter

My mom with my sister
I miss my Mom every single day. This is a photo of my Mom helping me when I was a little girl. I have such wonderful memories of my childhood. My Mom was always watching out for me, helping me, teaching me, loving me, trying to encourage me to follow Christ. From my youngest years I remember seeing her face just light up when she smiled or laughed. She loved being with people, cared about them, enjoyed visiting, and was just in general such a happy outgoing woman. If Mom was happy, our entire family was happy. I remember thinking as a little girl how beautiful my Mom was. I hoped I could be like her when I grew up. 

Mom and daughter

My mom and myself (Caroline). I treasure this picture as I received hugs like this constantly from her. She was always there to comfort me, no matter how sick or tired she felt. 

My Mom was my best friend. I watched my Mom walk through health issues and other serious trials for most of the life I knew. She had Lupus for the last 17 years. I remember the days she almost died, I remember the entire year she spent in bed being so ill when I was 16. I remember ambulances, hospital stays, blood draws, more doctor appointments I took her to than I care to remember. She lived through such heartache. I wondered how she could possibly have the strength to go on. Truth was she told me, she didn’t have the strength. She had to cry out from the depths of her soul to God, and He gave her what she needed time and time again. He threw her a life jacket in the storms of life each time she thought she would drown. I watched her cry, I watched her fight, I watched her stand back up. Finally, I watched her die. I learned what really matters when you are about to enter eternity. I learned how to put life into true perspective. I learned I don’t want to waste the life God has given me.

My Mom taught me what it meant to have charity, the true love of Christ, for others. My Mom taught me to forgive. My Mom taught me there was nothing on earth more important than my soul and where it was in connection with God. My Mom taught me to be strong. My Mom taught me to look at people’s hearts, not just the outward body that was seen by my eyes. My Mom taught me to love the scriptures, to love beauty, to love listening to birds singing in the trees, to love being outdoors, to love music, to love singing praises to God. My Mom taught me to honor, respect, and care for those who were ill, elderly, and weak. My Mom taught me to be thankful for life itself. My Mom taught me to be grateful for the health I enjoyed. My Mom taught me what joy was. 

Mom and daughters

A happy mom with her two daughters! 

I wish so much I had told my Mom more often what she meant to me when she was alive. I wish I had talked to her more, asked her questions I never asked, hugged her a million times, told her I Love You all the times I didn’t.

My Mom is gone from this earth now, but I have her memory with me every day. I recognize and understand as a mother myself now just how blessed I was. I had such an incredible Mom! I hope in some way I can be a mother like her to my children. I love you Mother Dear!

A wonderful, godly grandmother!

This picture is a few months before she passed. The Lupus had gone to her brain at this point, but she still showed such beautiful radiance and joy, as she daily learned to keep putting her trust in the Lord. So thankful she was able to meet 4 of her grandchildren and enjoy them! 

In Which I’m Brutally Honest About My Mothering Journey

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This mothering journey can be complicated at times. I thought I’d be brutally honest, and share with you a recent experience I had!

I invited my sister and her family over for lunch on Sunday morning, but I extended the invitation at 10:00 on Saturday night (normally the way I work!). The house wasn’t horrible, but I wanted it cleaner for them to come over. I knew if my children would get up Sunday morning and quickly pitch in, they could get it tidied up while I got lunch going in the crockpot.

In which I'm Brutally Honest About This Mothering Journey. It's not for the faint at heart!

It all sounds good in theory, right? Cheerful children, a happy mom singing as she cooks, a husband downstairs diligently preparing his Sunday School class (he has taught a class on the book of Acts for the last 2 years at church!).

Home from church after teaching Sunday School Class for two years!

Home from church, with a big smile because his class of 2 years is finished! 

The only problem is, my children don’t always catch my vision. 

Instead of it taking 15-20 minutes, I spent the entire morning asking 2 of my children to keep working. Thankfully I had 1 diligent helper, but the rest of the morning I was scrambling by myself to get the parmesan chicken in the crockpot, baths done for two of the girls, clothes ironed, girls dressed and makeup on. There was no time for breakfast, and the girl’s hair was fixed at church.

It’s real life over here. I wasn’t yelling at the children on the way to church, but I was very firmly talking to two of them, and grounded one of them who really struggles with laziness.

I arrived at church in a funk, but was hopeful that things would improve. It wasn’t meant to be though.

My 12 month old fussed all through Sunday School class. I walked all over the church building, gave her a bottle, tried to entertain her with a neat book, a squishy block that she normally likes, but she was having none of it.

Sophia drinking a bottle

Our first baby to be on formula. Yes, we are done breastfeeding. It’s a long story! I’m at peace though. 

Finally, I just gave up. My husband was finishing his very last Sunday School class, and I really wanted to hear it. Instead, I choked back tears, got in the van, and went home with the baby.

She was laid down for a nap right away, and I threw myself on the couch. A number of things popped in my head that I would like to do, but I decided to read the last chapter of Acts myself. At least I could finish the 2 year long journey that way.

It’s always amazing how the Lord can turn rainclouds into blessings.

I turned on some music, and enjoyed the quiet house. I’ve been working on keeping the house cleaner, and putting more effort into cultivating a lovely environment for my family.

Wildflowers given to me from my children!

Wildflowers given to me by my children. 

Instead of the paper plates I was planning on using, which would be served on our old, desperately needing refinished table, I got out the new tablecloth I had just found at Target. My husband had just blessed me with a brand new set of dishes, and so I unpacked those and set the table.

Lunch ended up being a success, and I was able to bless my sister with not cooking for a change, and to enjoy a pretty setting herself.

Dinner table set with new white dishes and a tablecloth from Target!

It was a short moment of encouragement. The baby woke up, fussy and in a bad mood again. But the Lord had given me that brief period of time to be refreshed.

We are tempted to think we are all alone in this mothering journey.

Discouragement can weigh us down, and we begin a pity party. Our children will never behave the way we want them to, the house has never in the past, or will never in the future be clean, we are destined to live our lives with clothes that have spit up, food (and worse) on them. Our life feels like it’s over, because it only consists of baby toys, how long do we have until we nurse the baby, change a diaper, or hear the next argument taking place.

Don’t believe the lie that you are alone! I’d love to encourage you, by sharing with you a short series of free videos that two mommy bloggers put together. It’s real life conversations between two popular mom bloggers, who have 8 children and 20 years of mothering experience between both of them!

Here’s another brutally honest statement. I didn’t get anything out of the first video when I first tried to watch it. However, I turned it on again when I was really needing some encouragement, and I did receive a big pick me up from watching it. So give them a try, you can watch them here.

*FYI – you will want to watch all three videos, because something super, duper special comes at the end!



A Vision for Family Meetings

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This post was written by my husband, Sean. This is part 1 of a 2 part series.

Oh, the family meeting. Could I take a moment to recommend these to you? The fact is, your family needs to get together. You need to sit down and talk, and you need to do this frequently. You are a family after all, right? You’re in this thing together, right? You’re a unit. You’re a team. You’re stronger together than you are apart. You have big plans, big hopes, big dreams and you need everyone’s participation to help make them a reality.


Does your family view itself like this? If it doesn’t, it won’t do a lot of good for me to go on about family meetings and such. Let’s start by laying out a vision, and then we can get to some nuts and bolts later.

We’re still working on this, but there was a time when my family felt like it had nothing to work on together, but lots of things to work on apart. Do you know what I’m talking about? Dad has his work, his interests. Mom has her work, her interests. The children are content to be merely spectators, waiting for the next meal to arrive. Eventually, though, the whole family gets the message – “Just find something to do and do it, but don’t expect a lot of help. It’s ok. Everyone’s busy and we need to stay out of each other’s way.”

Might I suggest to you a better way?

You can read the rest over at the Character Badges Blog!


Dear Mom – Don’t Give Up

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Dear Mom,

Maybe you think that others don’t see or understand the work you do every day, but there are those of us that do see. And what we see, when we allow ourselves to, is frankly astonishing at times. It doesn’t make sense, certainly not in this “survival of the fittest” world we live in today. You’re human and as such one would expect you to be inherently selfish, but so often you are found battling back the baser tendencies of your flesh and pouring yourself into other people.

You can't quit mom. You're simply too important. To others your work doesn't look like much and I know it often doesn't feel like much but if you left off sweeping your kitchen and nursing bruises and staging impromptu tea parties and the thousand other things you do to enrich the lives of your children, the world would fall apart. So carry on, dear mother. Let those who have eyes to see look on and marvel; for in you we see the love of God.

Only these are not simply people. They’re little, very vulnerable people and save it were for the compassion that you, and others like you, have on them they wouldn’t have a hope in the world. I’m speaking, of course, about your children.

In a very strict business sense, you have nothing to gain by helping your children in the immediate future, maybe not ever. They come to this earth fully equipped with an array of needs and wants that couldn’t care less about your plans or expectations. This is why during the time you’ve set aside for sleeping they wake you 4 times by their crying because they’re hungry. Or, after you’ve cooked your meal and readied your table, they dump their plate, spill their drink, or simply pull the table cloth, and everything on top of it, plum to the ground. It’s why they mark your walls, break your dishes, stain your carpets, and get sick at the most inconvenient of times. It’s why they weary you with questions, scream to get their way, treat things as if they didn’t cost money, and seem diametrically opposed to tidiness.

Click on the link below to read the rest of this post! My husband wrote this and I was personally so encouraged by it. 

 Read The Rest Here: The  Character Badges Blog