A Mom’s Motto: “Semper Gumby,” Always Flexible!

As a mother, I’ve learned over the years to be prepared for just about anything, at any time. It’s not unusual for my husband to say, “Hey, let’s go to Taco Bell. Can we leave now?” Rather than responding with a wail, “I can’t leave right now, my hair’s not done!” I enjoy being able to say, “Oh, yes, that sounds like a great idea! I’ll be ready in just a minute!” This often requires being ready for the day as soon as humanly possible, so as not to miss anything. (Besides, being in the ministry means that anyone can come over at any time and for any reason, so it’s a good idea to be ready!)

The Marine Corps motto is “Semper Fi,” meaning “Always Faithful.” Well, I think the Mom Corps motto is, “Semper Gumby,” Always Flexible!” Be ready for anything, because anything can – and often does – happen!

I remember the time we were meeting a famous preacher in a southern state. Right after the formal introductions, one of my children decided it was a great time to get sick, and threw up right then and there! (So much for good impressions!)

Kid puking in a formal situation? Been there. Take someone to the ER in the middle of the night? Yeah, been there too. In fact, any mom has had ample opportunity to experience upheaval and disarray!

Here are some thoughts to help us mothers be Semper Gumby!

1. Plan, but expect some plans to change. Rarely do things go as planned. But does that mean we should throw planning under the bus? Oh, no! We should always have a plan, but be flexible enough to know that if  (maybe I should say “when”) our plans get changed, we don’t go into spastic caniptions and cause a small nuclear explosion in our home!

2. Let Go! Let go of perfectionism. Until we get to Heaven, nothing will ever be truly PERFECT. We will always have acne (even in your 40’s?? Oh, yes!) spots, cellulite, or scars, and someone will spill milk on your nice new carpet. If we let go of our perfectionism, we can slow down enough to enjoy the ride of Life.

3. It’s OK! Remember that God hasn’t gone on vacation, leaving His throne empty! Or worse yet, leaving it to be inhabited by a slew of sadistic and sour Algebra teachers! (Wouldn’t that be horrible??!!??) God is still on His Throne, and He knows what He’s doing. Yes, bad things do happen, but the Lord will eventually turn it to good.

4. Slow Down! Your schedule has just been deleted and completely over written. Take a deep breath and realize that some things will just need to change today.

I did that just the other day, in fact. I had my day all planned out to get everything done, but something came up in the middle of the day that required about 4 hours of my time. Zip! Out the window goes all those plans! So, I did a  little rearranging, and rescheduled some of those activities to be done at a later time, and, although it wasn’t ideal, it did work out ok.

If I would have stressed over the change, it would’ve made everyone in the house grumpy, and you know what that means: If I kick the dog, the dog bites the cat, and the cat swipes the baby. The baby cries and irritates mother….again!

So next time you’re faced with deletion of your schedule, hold up your spatula and shout with pride, “Semper Gumby!” and know you’re in the fellowship of millions of other Flexible Moms who face the very same thing every day!

 

Special Announcements:

  • I have many people who follow along on my Facebook page for daily encouragements, reminders, and exciting assignments! It’s a great group of folks – come join us!

 

Lionproof: Keeping Your Children from the Claws of the Devil is OUT! It’s now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and soon I will have it available here on TheCourageousJourney.com and Lionproof.com ! I AM SO EXCITED!

In this book, there is:

    • Not just information telling parents why kids are going astray, but proven parenting practices that have worked for generations that are successful in raising godly children.
    • Dozens of interviews from those 2nd generation Christians who KNOW what their parents did RIGHT.
    • Charts and graphs detailing the results of the interviews
    • Assignments to help the reader implement these principles in their own parenting.
    • And much, much more!

Linking up with: Monday: Alabaster Jar, The Better Mom, and Moms the Word, and Happy Wives Club Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum

Why Attending a Bible Preaching Church Really Does Matter to Your Kids

I’m doing a Parenting Series which is based on dozens of interviews I’ve conducted among 2nd Generation Christians which I’ve outlined in my new book, Lionproof: Keeping Your Children from the Claws of the Devil (soon to be released!) For more on this series, click here.

I was a young 25-year old with 3 children 3 and under. It was Sunday morning, and of course, my hubby was the pastor. (For those of you who don’t understand what that means, I’ll spell it out for you: I – had – to- get – the – kids – ready – for – church – all – by – myself! Yikes!) First off, I laid out Kathy’s clothes and got her started in the “getting-ready-for-church” process. Then I got Stephen, the baby, and fed him and got him all dressed. Last of all, I got my oldest son, all of 20 months, ready for church. By the time I got him ready, the baby messed himself and Kathy had put her shoes on the wrong feet!

It’s easy when you have small children to want to stay home from church. After all, it’s a real challenge to get the little ones ready, and by the time you’re dressing the baby, the oldest one has already begun undressing herself! And timing the feedings so that you can sit in on the services is also tricky.

Is staying home easier? Oh, yeah. But is it best? Absolutely not!

Statistics show that it is very important to have a solid basis of faith instilled in our children.

1. The habit of attending church is important– It’s easy to think, “Oh, I don’t care if we attend church or not. After all, I can be just as good a Christian in church as out of it.” Well, let’s just think about this for a while.

First, remember that the habits you instill in your children will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Habits like taking a regular shower, brushing their teeth, doing their homework, etc. are all good habits to instill. Attending church is another good habit to instill. Now, they may one day get out of church, but I can tell you as someone who does street ministry on occasion, that church never gets out of them.

I’ll never forget the time my family and I were singing some gospel songs on the street corner in Oceanside, California. Many folks laughed or jeered, but some slowed down to listen, and I could see a hint of recognition in their eyes. In fact, there was one time that a Marine stopped and began to weep. “Those songs brought back so many good memories of my childhood,” he told us with tears. “I’m so far away from God! I need to get back into church.” Those blessed memories never left him.

The Commission on Children at Risk sponsored by the Dartmouth Medical School Institute for American Values states that the recent study on young people in America showed that Religiosity and spirituality significantly influence well-being.” (see the abstract of the study here)

Also, to the parents who think they shouldn’t make their child go to church with them, I ask, do you make your children brush their teeth? Then it is perfectly plausible to make them go to church – with you, of course! (I know there are sometimes abusers at some churches – I’m not saying to keep attending those!  But that’s relatively rare, and I know some folks use that for an excuse.)

Lastly, if you don’t instill good habits in your children’s lives, what other habits will they develop? ‘Nuff said!

2. The teaching we receive at church is important– Although it’s useless to attend a church while doesn’t teach the Bible, it’s necessary to attending a Bible-preaching church, as it helps to instill the Word of God into our children. That’s one of the most important things we can do as Christian parents. In fact, God’s Word says, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.will not return void, it will accomplish that which it was sent out to do.” (Isaiah 55:11)

3. The community of like-minded believers we enjoy at church is important – life is not lived in isolation!

The church community provides encouragement

It provides accountability

It sharpens our thinking spiritually

The community will bind together in prayer for us when we need it.

The Lord can use others to point out error or apathy in our lives.

The Lord can also help us to be a blessing to others!

Here and here are some excellent articles about Why We Attend Church with Our Children.

When I was a young mother struggling to get my little ones ready for church, I didn’t think a lot about the future of my children, except that I knew that I was obeying God and that He would bless my efforts. Now, 24 years later, I think about my children: Kathy is a pastor’s wife, Jonathan is a faithful husband and father helping us start our church, and Stephen faithfully attends and sings at his church. And I’m so thrilled with their decisions they’ve made as they’ve grown to adulthood.

Attending a Bible-preaching church regularly does take a lot of commitment and effort, especially when you have small children – but it’s so worth it! It’s part of the whole package that the Lord has given us to pass on our values to our children.

Question: Why do you take your children with you to church? What are some difficulties you’ve had to surmount in order to be faithful to God’s House? What are some blessings you’ve had because of your faithfulness?

Special Announcements:

  • I have many people who follow along on my Facebook page for daily encouragements, reminders, and exciting assignments! It’s a great group of folks – come join us!

  • The date for release of my new book, Lionproof: Keeping Your Children from the Claws of the Devil, has been changed from September to October. That will, Lord willing, allow enough time for us to implement some deals I have planned for you! In this book, there will be:
    • Not just information telling parents why kids are going astray, but proven parenting practices that have worked for generations that are successful in raising godly children.
    • Dozens of interviews from those 2nd generation Christians who KNOW what their parents did RIGHT.
    • Charts and graphs detailing the results of the interviews
    • Assignments to help the reader implement these principles in their own parenting.
    • And much, much more!

Also, several folks have requested review copies of the book, but I’m having trouble connecting with you (I think it’s a case of technological retardation 😉 So if you have a blog and would like a review copy of the book, let me know, even if you already contacted me before. Email me at: lisaraub at rocket mail dot com, and I’ll give you the details. I only ask that when you’re done reading the book, you post about it on your blog!

Linking up with: Monday: Alabaster Jar, The Better Mom, and Moms the Word, and Happy Wives Club Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum

Bad Attitude = Bad Life

20130401-174546.jpg

Right now I’m sitting in a hospital waiting room, while my husband has a cardiac ultrasound. He’s been in the hospital since Saturday night, when I brought him in because of pain in the chest. Lord willing, he will have a clear bill of health and be able to come home tonight! For those of you who have been praying for us, THANK YOU!

Meanwhile, I write this in the ER waiting room, so if it reads a bit choppy, that’s why!

I’ve had a multitude of responses to my many pregnancies over the years. Of course, the larger my family got, the more stares and jaw-dropping my round figure elicited. Folks were surprised and some were shocked, but after meeting my children, almost all of them said, “I wish I had more.”

Except once.

I was going through the checkout one time when I was pregnant with my 6th child, and I (of course) had #1-5 with me in line. The cashier took in my family in one quick glance and said, “I wish I had never had any kids. I had 5 of ’em, and it was **** the whole time. I hate them!” It was my turn for my jaw to drop! I couldn’t believe it!

When I left the store, I couldn’t help but feel terrible for that woman. She could not have been happy when she was younger, and she sure wasn’t happy now. How awful her life must have been.

Since then, I’ve been through a few valleys (like hospital waiting rooms!) and on some mountaintops, and I’ve had my share of heartache, but deep down, I’ve always had joy.

Last month, we looked at how we can improve our marriages. If you missed any of the posts, you can find them here. And on Facebook there was a lot more discussion and some additional ideas.

But for the next month, I’d like to examine Joyful Motherhood, and see if we can find greater fulfillment in our lives as mothers.

To become a joyful mother, we first need to understand what the purpose of motherhood is.

As women, we have the unique opportunity to actually bring a new life into this world. Think of it! That God would use us to add another soul to this earth is incredible.

But being a woman, and more specifically, being a mother, is more than that. It is the dramatic opportunity to shape that soul and to make him useful to God and to others. The saying “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world” is still true today.

Every king, prince, or president has been taught and trained by a woman. Every athlete, writer, or doctor has been shown love and life by a woman. Every preacher, entrepreneur, or manager has been inspired by a woman. That woman is mother.

Our purpose as mothers is to train up children for the glory of God. Often we tend to have this backwards, and we want to have children for ourselves. When we have children for selfish reasons, there is no fulfillment, because we cannot find fulfillment in selfish pursuits.

As I walked away from the store with the unhappy cashier, I realized that she had had her children out of selfishness. Perhaps she just got pregnant accidentally, or maybe she wanted to have children to show off to others. Whatever her reason (or neglect of a reason,) she ended up hating her children, and ultimately, her life.

Being a mother has the potential to bring much joy…or much misery. It depends on our attitude.

Attitude check! Take a few minutes to write down three things that you love about being a mother! If you feel brave, share them with us here!

Linking up with: Monday:
Alabaster Jar,
The Better Mom,
Raising Arrows
What Joy is MineWhatjoyismine.com

Tuesday:
Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife

Wednesday:
To Love Honor and Vacuum

The Best Occupation…

20120913-165004.jpg
Little Luke, our 3rd grandbaby

I’d rather be a mother than anyone on earth
Bringing up a child or two of unpretentious birth…
I’d rather tuck a little child all safe and sound in bed
than twine a chain of diamonds about my [carefree] head.
I’d rather wash a smudgy face with round, bright, baby eyes
Than paint the pageantry of fame or walk among the wise.

— Meredith Gray

God has been so good to give us jewels on this earth, and even grandchildren! May this weekend be a wonderful weekend of enjoying your family, your very own precious jewels.