Friday, November 1, 2013

Connect to someone

Today we had a MOPS meeting. Thank goodness. Our topic was Avoiding Mothering Comparisons, which is a very important topic and hits most of us right in the heart. This type of topic tends to open us up to other types of comparison.

It just so happened that in our small group today we had a women who was born and raised in another country. She has married an American and was sharing her story of coming to the US and her impression of it.

She was excited and nervous coming to America. Her friends tried to put her at ease; she would be in a Christian community. She had some hurdles of her own to get over from being in a new country and needing to learn everything at once. It was stressful and hard, but she was managing slowly and difficultly. She relayed stories of where she had to start and how difficult it was, on so many levels to be where she was, when she, but knowing this is where God needed her to be.

She talked of things that she liked in both countries, but she made some unsettling observations. One of which has been napping me. It was the lack or loss of a human connection. In her country, she is surrounded by her family, friends, and church community. People visit, help, and support you. They know what is going on with you they connect on a level that we may have lost. They don't need to be asked to help. They just do it. She felt this gaping hole when she was here and hearing her speak about it I feel it, too.

We are taught to be independent. To grow up leave home and go out into the world. We are taught to use computers and text message. We are using online banking, emailing customer support, and direct depositing our offering. We are becoming more technologically savvy and we are losing our "Care Connection" to other people.

Sure, we all care about those starving kids in Africa and the people sold into slavery, but do we talk to our neighbors. Do we know their names or any of their stories? Would we be willing to help someone who didn't ask for it? Or would we be willing to ask for help?

People are willing to Scream for help after it has gotten too much for them to bear or they are so desperate because they can't handle it on their own. Have we lost those moments that we know a friend is sick and we make them soup? Or send them a card? Have we called someone lately just to hear their voice to let them know they are not alone?

Even in a Christian Community we seem stand off-ish and want to stay in our "Circle of Trust". We are who we are because of the relationships we build. We grow because of what we experience, not just learn. We are social people we need to connect on a level deeper than texting and FB chatting. We have the need to Care about other people. When we choose not to or cannot fulfill that need we will fill it with some "Thing" else. We are lost and we need help to find our way.

I am in this boat, but have made efforts to fix it. With my neighbors: I share food, make things for them, and help to shovel snow. I don't want to be floating in this ocean all by myself and I don't want my children to feel like that is what they are meant to do. Remember you are a teacher. You are responsible for helping to shape and care for children that are meant to carry on the teachings. Let's give them the most we can- let's give them lifelong friends, social skills, and a caring conscience for all of mankind.

Hebrews 10:25
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Controlling Your Emotions

Do you ever make a mess for yourself by losing control?  You know the days where you didn't sleep well, no one else did either, little things just start to bug you, then all of a sudden BOOM! You're yelling, screaming and completely over reacting. You don't care who sees, because you can't see past your emotions.

There are four different reactions types when dealing with your emotions.

1. Exploders Who Blames Others - "My kids just pushed me over the edge. Why do they have to be so loud when I am trying to finish dinner. I just need five more minutes.

2. Exploders Who Shames Themselves- "The sale price didn't ring up right on your coffee. That was it the checker was incompetent and you told them all about it. While others watched."
3. Stuffers Who Build Barriers- "Say your fine when you really are not then you shut down communication."
4. Stuffers Who Collects Retaliation Rocks- collecting "proof" while pretending everything is fine. "Taking offense when some gets you a diet Soda instead of regular, because you think, that they think you are out of shape." Seeing things that are no there.

After looking at this list, I am sure you have found yourself in one or more of these situations and reactions. There might be one or two that are your M.O. when dealing with your emotions.  It is hard to take responsibility when we are in the moment and feel you need to react.

Once you target where you are when you start to feel like you're going to lose control you can better deal with the emotional repercussions.

1. Take a breath and a pause. Are you going to address the issue or just explode? If your addressing the issue then go ahead. If you are going to explode take a longer pause. Some situation will just take longer to address. This is not a race it is life.

2. Get perspective. if this is the worst thing that happens to me today it is still a pretty good day. Take a moment is this the worst thing that could happen. More than likely "No".

3. Stop pretending, keep communication open. No one is getting anywhere if they don't know there is an issue or won't address it. Set up clear boundaries to help you feel comfortable and keep communication open to grow your relationships.

4. Prove it.  Are you trying to Prove or Improve your relationship. You can't do both.
Take a minute now think  about how you usually react to situations. Then decide how you might change that the next time you are in that position. It will help you be more comfortable with the outcome knowing that you took the time to improve the situation.

 It will also help to give your kids cues on how control their emotions, which let's face can make a world of difference in our emotional state.
Even imperfect progress is still progress.

But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.


Sunday, September 1, 2013

A Beautiful Mess Starting September 6, 2013

It's September and our first meeting is Friday! Yes, Friday Sept 6, 2013! I hope you're ready because it should be an interesting year. 

This year's theme is A Beautiful Mess. Ephesians 2:10 "For we are God's Masterpiece. He has created us a new in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago."

 Every day I am sure you struggle with everything that should be done, needs to be done, and what actually gets done. Whether it is on a personal level, family, domestic level (cleaning that bathroom), or spiritual level. We all struggle with the everyday messes. The things that we may just feel embarrassed by. Our ponytail hair style, lack of make-up, or love of yoga pants when we go to the grocery store.  Yeah, I know, I am there too. 

We tend to focus on the mom or family that has it all together. That don't seem to have any messes just the beautiful part. Here is a little secret; we all have a mess somewhere, some of us keep it hidden very well, but there are things that we would like to or need to change about ourselves.

This year we are going to take a look at the beauty. These "messes" teach us  there is something beautiful in every mess. It could be a lesson we learned, a friend we made, or a God Moment.  This a time to just let go and be yourself. We don't mind if you wear your yoga pants, don't fix your hair, and we don't care if your house is clean.

We are excited to start this year with old and new friends. If you would like the theme book for this year is "The Artist's Daughter: A Memoir" by Alexandra Kuykendall . You are encouraged to read the book.

See you soon.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Lana H- Crime Fighter

Growing in knowledge and faith in the Lord is one of the most important things to Lana. She wants to lead her children Matthew (10), Nathan (10), and Megan (3) in the same path while living a well balanced life. She enjoys healthy food like Raisin Nut Bran or Multi Grain Cheerios.  She loves her husband David, but it drives her crazy when he picks at and eats part of dinner while she is making it.

She journals about her kids life, the place they've been, how they reacted,  what they saw, and sentimental prayers. She loves being a wife and mother, but wishes she could remove insecurities of strangers, guns, and evil everywhere. At sixteen she was invited to help the police. Her crime fighting started (and ended) by going to Illinois to purchase cigarettes in an effort to find out how many places carded her and a friend. 

Her advice best bit of Mommy Advice came from a fellow Mom of twins when Lana was pregnant with her boys. "Remember, you were a family before your children. You aren't starting a family, you are adding to your family. You are still a daughter, sister, aunt, granddaughter , friend, etc." Then  she directed to the book "Baby Wise" that supports that thinking and has good ways to keep a routine for feeding and sleeping. 

When she needs a Mommy Time out she spends some time on her couch when it is cold outside or on her porch swing.  Her family likes to hike together.  The chore that she does not like is cleaning bathrooms.  She  loves listening to music to help recharge after a long day."How Great Thou Art" by Carrie Underwood at Opryland and other praise songs bring her closer to the Father through His Spirit.

If she had one wish she would  like to live and travel around the world. She would love to  observe and live with other people in different countries.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Hello, Karen H.

One of our hostess with the mostest.  Karen was born and raised in St. Louis.  She has two beautiful daughters Julia (2) and Hannah (8 months) and John, her husband. She dreamed of becoming a ballerina.  Dancing around with two daughters might not be exactly what she dreamt, but it makes her days interesting. 

Faith, Family and cooking/ baking are the most important things in her life. She enjoys making her own hot coco mix to enjoy. She can enjoy it with Cinnamon Oat Crunch is her favorite cereal.

She loves to make a mess of her kitchen to recharge after a long day, if only she didn't have to clean up afterwards. Surprise, her least favorite chore dishes.  She likes to go on walks with her family as you could tell since she walks to most of our meetings.  She confesses she is a pack rat.

When she needs a time out she will spend it in the kitchen or in the shower (hopefully uninterrupted). Karen knows she is loved, was born to serve, and prays that she can  serve and love well in return. She wants  her children to know women are worth much more than their looks.  Best bit of advice she would give is: "we are all human, forgive!"

Her favorite sound is the crackle of a warm fire. She could sit back and enjoy Pride and Prejudice (book or movie version) or listen to "God Bless the Broken Road, More Life in my Day, and Smell the Color 9.  Really bad puns tickle her funny bone.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Introducing Emily

Emily is extremely competitive, a procrastinator, but always manages to keep her house clean so it is ready for any visitors to pop in at anytime.  (I think that last one might be a wish.) 

Adriel is her husband. They have two adorable daughters Eliana (3 years old) and Noelia (1 year old). Her faith, family, and cause in life are the three most important things to her.  Her favorite sounds are songs being sung to the Lord and complete silence in her house.

Cream of wheat is the way she likes to start her days. Unless, it is a Saturday morning then she shares a Big breakfast with her family. She loves the smell of cinnamon, wonder if she makes cinnamon rolls. If she gets time she may spend some time with Anne of Green Gables or hold a perfect head stand for 2 minutes (just because she can). 

She would like to change the worldly push to be self-focused, to make the world a better place.  To make her own world a little better you can go over and do her dishes.  It is her least favorite chore, because they never end.   Please, don't interrupt her it's her pet peeve. However, she is aware interrupting is one of her greatest faults.

Create a routine, not a schedule is best advice she would give another Mommy. Her Mommy time out spot is the bathroom. At the end of a busy day running the Moppets, she likes to sit on the couch with her husband and eat caramels.  They may re-tell each other funny memories to laugh with each other.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Meet Tracy N.

There once was a  girl named Tracy N. She was born a little while ago in St. Louis , Missouri.  She had dreams of growing up to be a doctor or a scientist who would discover a cure for cancer and AIDS.  

Along the way, she met a handsome man named Scott.  They had so much to love that they decided to make the love multiply and had three children; Kara (4), Brendan (3) and Ella (7 months) have added love and chaos to their lives, along with Riley the cat.

Now, she starts her mornings enjoying her Honey Nut Cheerios as she contemplates how to change the world so her children don't get hurt.  When she is interrupted by whining which makes her blood pressure raise. All of a sudden, she hears her baby Belly Laugh and she giggles along with her, as her other kids act silly and slap happy.

Maybe tonight she won't need to put herself in a Mommy Time out in the bath tub with bubbles while enjoying chocolates.  Her greatest tool from her Mommy Experience is to whisper at her children to get them to listen. It is easier said than done, but with practice it is very effective. As everyone settles down she thinks back on how fun being 22 years old was and how wonderful it is to be a Cancer Survivor of almost 12 years.  She loves the smell of snow and can't wait for early spring.

Oh No! She still has laundry to put away, but scrapbooking  or watching Miss Congeniality would be more fun.  Finally, she resigns herself to do work before fun.  "Whatever You Do" starts to play on the radio making her least favorite chore not so bad.  Then she starts Dance Party when she hears "Just Another Day in Paradise". 

With a family trip to the zoo planned for tomorrow; she remembers how she use to do gymnastics and then coach for 14 years. Wow, how life has changed! As her day comes to an end, she thinks about the most important things in her life: god, her family, and sleep. With all the blessing she enjoys everyday her one wish is to get a full night's sleep.