July 16, 2013

Letter of the Week- Letter Z

Well, friends, this post concludes our Letter of the Week adventure.  And I can't lie...I am thrilled!  It has taken me almost 3 months just to finishes the last four letters of the alphabet because I'm so burnt out.  I wanted to teach my kids that you need to finish the things you begin so we did.  We finally finished the alphabet.  We had lots and lots of fun over the past 10 months and I would gladly do it again, but for now, I'm thankful for the break and for summer fun we are already having.
Click on the link below for my Letter Z week curriculum.

Addi got to use a q-tip to paint stripes on her zebra.

As we are trying to get better about patterns we made a "Zebra" bracelet (alternating black and white beads).

We found this fun little book series about a Zebra who loves all different types of things.

Addi made her last letter activity:  Zig Zag Z

Josiah and Addi both practiced their handwriting skills and drawing zig zags.  Josiah was doing great...until I turned my head for just a second.

We made a few zoo animal puppets.  I only got a picture of the lion because my camera battery died on me.  Bummer!

We used our puppets to act out some of the things we read in our zoo books.

Finally, we wrapped up letter Z week by introducing a-z connect the dot activities.  Addilyn actually did really well.  I was so proud of her.

July 10, 2013

God Just Wants My Joy

Today I want to introduce a sweet college friend.  Lindsay is an amazing woman.  She's a military wife whose husband has completed several tours overseas, a mother of two energetic boys, and will soon be having a darling little girl.  She is an encouragement to me because of her dedication to her family.  She loves the Lord and I'm so grateful she took the time to share what He's been teaching her recently.

The thing I love (and dislike) most about motherhood is the way it consistently makes me confront my own selfishness. It never fails that whenever I sit down on the couch and just get settled into the cushions, one of my children will shout that he needs to be wiped, that he needs another snack or to fix something broken, and I have to get up again.

Ugh. Selfishness. It’s always there. Early in the morning when my 3-year-old walks in the room and says “I need breakfast” it’s there, and at 11pm when he’s coming back downstairs for the eighth time, three hours after bedtime, asking for a different blanket, it’s there. My desire to do what I want when I want is a battle more often than I’d like. I’m thankful that God is willing to refine me through my role as a mom, but boy is it ugly!

But that’s what becoming like Jesus is supposed to be--- horribly difficult but ultimately good. Necessary pain. …. Right? Well, that’s what I thought until a recent conversation with my oldest broadened my perspective.

“Ethan, it’s time to get dressed and go have fun with friends. We’re going to play in a fountain, have some lunch, and we can even get some cookies afterward!”
“Noooooooooooooooooo! I must stay NAKED!!!” (Imagine writhing in the floor with kicking and screaming.)
“Ethan, did you hear me? I said FRIENDS and COOKIES! I have lots of fun planned for us today, and I would really like for you to cooperate, so you can have fun, too.”

I paused. What in the world did I just say? I want you to cooperate so that you can have fun.  Isn’t that what God tries to tell me on a daily basis? I fight obedience for crazy reasons, even when God has been nothing but good to me. Twenty years as a Christian and I’m still the equivalent of a spiritual toddler.

But God had more to show me later that day when I watched my boys laughing hysterically during a wrestling match. Watching them play and squeal was so delightful and so refreshing! And that’s when it hit me:

God desires my joy.  Just as much as He wants obedience, He wants my complete contentment. And He wants my obedience so that I can actually have contentment. I’ve had  head-knowledge of that for years, but my heart didn’t until I was a parent.

Growing up in a church that emphasized the sacrifice and trials of Christian life, it was easier to understand “peace that passes all understanding” than it was to embrace actual joy. When I think of Biblical heroes, my mind immediately recalls the anguish they faced while following God’s will. I think of Abraham being called to sacrifice his son, Job’s undesired mission to Ninevah, Paul’s imprisonment, John’s exile, Jesus’ crucifixion. The list isn’t short, and I expect following Jesus to be difficult and painful, albeit full of unexplainable peace. The old saying “If God didn’t spare his son, why would he spare me?” comes to mind.

But when I find so much joy watching my boys giggle together until they can barely breathe, I more fully understand the heart of God. My heart feels like it might explode when I see them enjoying life together. I am truly the happiest when they are happy. So, how much more must God want our joy? How much more does He utterly delight in our happiness and contentment?

While an unbelievable amount of sacrifice is required while mothering tiny humans, I find so much encouragement realizing that God desires my heart to be full, bursting with laughter and enjoyment of the life he’s given me… not merely trudging through with sighs and martyrdom. I can’t claim to know the secret of always feeling happy to serve when my body is exhausted, but the knowing that He isn’t seeking to make me miserable to make me holy is revolutionizing.

God just wants my joy. And that makes Him much, much easier to obey.

"Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.
If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love;
just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you,
and that your joy may be made full."
John 15:9-11

July 5, 2013


Back in May I was sharing with my small group that I felt so blessed because I just knew God was working in my heart. You see, I am normally very tempted towards anxiousness, but recently I’ve not been struggling with this at all. I had shared with them that although our family has goals and we are looking forward to the future, for the first time (maybe ever) I am perfectly content with my life and what God is doing, how he is doing it, and even okay with the time frame he’s doing it in. Whoa!

Well, I think Satan heard me boasting in the Lord and decided it was time for a little attack to shake things up. Over the past month or so I have been struggling with loneliness. This is something I’ve struggled with on and off for my whole life but within the past month, these feelings have just grown exponentially.

I wrote several posts about being busy. Some of you may have been wondering what could possibly be keeping me THAT busy. Or maybe you are wondering if I was keeping myself that busy, how in the world could I possibly be lonely.

Anyone who knows me could testify that I am pretty good at being intentional with friendships and over the past two years since I’ve been a stay at home mom I’ve been trying with much more intensity. I try to use my gift of organization to create opportunities for friendships to deepen. I’ve organized and hosted clothing swaps, busy bag parties, recipe exchanges, prayer meetings, bible studies, board game nights with other adults, birthday parties, wedding showers, baby showers, play date groups, and more that I can’t even think of right now. I’ve tried serving others through baby sitting, taking meals to others in need, hosting multiple people in our home for meals at least once a week, and running errands for others. I pray for others a lot (even when I don’t follow up with a card to let that person know). And I try being intentional in pursuing others through email, Facebook, texts, and phone calls on a regular basis for no particular reason at all except just to say hi.

I hope it’s apparent that I do all of this because I love Jesus and I love people. God calls us to love him and to love our neighbor as our self. Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of loving others greater than himself and he also promises to never leave or forsake us. He is our ultimate forever friend. However, God did not create us to live alone on this earth. His desire for us is companionship. We are not created to be independent but interdependent. No man is an island and especially for believers, we are called to live and be part of an active community not only for the glory of God but also for our sanctification. This is good news for me since I love spending time with people. I love deep relationships. I love getting to know how God has worked differently in every single individual. If you tried to find me on the introvert-extrovert spectrum, you would most likely see me dangling off the end of the extrovert side.

On the outside I may seem secure, independent, too busy to establish new relationships, or even like I have it altogether. But let me be real for a moment. Let’s peel back the onion layers and look at the inside. If I’m being truly vulnerable I must admit that in reality, I am still lonely.

How can this be?

Well, when you put this all together it does really makes sense. If we love others in the way we want to be loved it would stand to reason that I am doing all the things I listed above in hoping that others will reciprocate. You see, there’s an underlying motive (because Satan is tricky like that). For me, I plan events to meet women with similar interests as mine. I serve, pray, and pursue others to develop a deeper love and respect for them not chiefly because that’s what I am called to do but because that’s what I want someone to do for me.  Can you say twisted, manipulative, and selfish?

What’s so amazing is in the midst of finally realizing this was taking place in my heart, I saw God’s grace through this simple blog post that was shared by a friend on Facebook. The entire things is about what moms can do to encourage one another so that we are not lonely. After reading this it hit me, I’m not the only lady who struggles with this!

I’m sure we all long for a friend who loves us the same way we love her.

So, with that said, let me pause here and explain something. I do have friends. I have some really good friends who are incredible blessings in my life not because of what they do for me but because of who they are and who God has created them to be. I have friends from high school, college, and each of the places I’ve ever lived, worked, or gone to church. For the most part, I do try and keep in touch with many of them, even if it’s only on Facebook. I have friends living on six different continents. I have friends who live in over half of the United States. I have close girl friends that I can talk girl stuff with. I have friends from church who understand my convictions. I have friends who like the same hobbies I do. I have friends who are moms and even some who are grandmoms. I have my husband, who is my very best friend. So how can someone whose identity is rooted in Christ, with many good friends, and even with several really deep friendships ever feel lonely?

S. I. N. Yep, yet again- sin is the culprit. After much though, I figure it really just boils down to my sin. Discontentment. Unmet expectations. Greed. Whatever you want to call it, the fact of the matter is that I am grumbling and complaining about an aspect of my life that I have no control over. I am basically looking for someone to pour into ME and help ME so I don’t always feel so weary from pouring into others.

I am looking for a woman who passionately loves the Lord and see how he is working in every aspect of life. Someone who wants to talk more about what He is doing instead of the weather, the latest trends in books, clothes, or movies, or the shortcomings of others.

I am looking for a woman who respects her husband, speaks in a positive way about him, is real about struggles they have but never slandering him when seeking counsel. Someone who values spending time with her husband but does not make it an idol so much so that she can’t sacrifice time with him to invest in others.

I’m looking for a woman who has children and can understand the struggles and joys of motherhood. Someone who has similar thoughts about discipline, education, health, etc. No two sets of parents are going to raise their children exactly the same, but having some common beliefs about childrearing would be helpful when I need advice.

I am looking a woman who loves other people. Someone who is thoughtful and intentional about serving others and putting their love into action. This includes their family, their church, their friends, and the lost people around them. Someone who also strives to make sure others are included and will sacrifice comfort even if that means a few extra people join in what ever activity they are doing.

I am looking for someone who will reciprocate efforts to maintain and deepen friendship. Someone who will pray for me, text me, call me, or just stop by to see me without needing something (to do these things just because they want to spend time with me or are thinking about me). Someone who will answer her phone (even it’s just to tell me it’s a bad time). Someone who will occasionally sacrifice “husband time” for “girlfriend time.” Someone who won’t forget that my kids and I would like to be invited to play dates too (or goodness gracious, even over to someone else’s house to play).

Basically, I’m looking for someone who doesn’t exist. This is a reality for everyone of us. But here’s what we all need to realize: Although none of our friends will ever be able to meet every single criteria we have on our list of expectations, we have Christ who will never leave us or forsake us and who will NEVER let us down. In addition, we need to look at the friends we DO have and be thankful for each of their strengths and giftings. We need to stop giving Satan the small victories, we must push aside any self-pity we may be feeling, and delight in the Lord who loves us and is working ALL things for the good of those who love him!

Fit to Burst: Abundance, Mayhem, and the Joys of Motherhood

A friend and I were talking one day.  I was telling her how I’ve been told by several married ladies without children that they are not really looking forward to motherhood because of how all their mommy friends speak negatively about their daily hardships.  This of course broke my heart because although I have some extremely difficult days, the joys of motherhood far outweigh the trials.  This was back when I wrote Be A Grace-Filled Communication Pioneer and the follow up post to that.  It was at this point that she told me, “I think there’s a book that just came out about that same topic.” And believe it or not, there was! Fit to Burst:  Abundance, Mayhem, and the Joys of Motherhood by Rachel Jankovic.  I read the excerpt online and ordered it immediately.

Now, sometimes (okay, many times) I do things a little backwards. I read this entire book and LOVED it, and then I realized this was the second book she had written.  So, as I write this review please show me grace because I have not read her first book, Loving the Little Years.  I plan on ordering it very soon and I’m confident I will enjoy it just as much as I did this one.

With humor and sincerity, Rachel Jankovic encourages mothers to let Scripture define our theology of motherhood instead of the way we were raised, what our cultures deems as appropriate, or even how we feel in the moment.  She provides analogies and illustrations in every chapter that just about any American mom can relate to.  The chapters are short and simple but packed full of phrases, quotes, examples, and helpful tidbits that I want to tattoo to my forehead so I don’t forget them.    She covers a variety of topics from mommy guilt, getting our strength to endure from God, how to handle hungry kids and a home that just won’t stay clean, keeping perspective about nutrition, how to best help your husband love his children well, living a humble and vulnerable life in front of others (even when it’s a mess), and even how to have a sense of humor in the midst of discipline.  I really just can’t wait to get my hands on her first book.

June 4, 2013

Letter of the Week- Letter Y

Well, we are almost done with our letter of the week series.  Like I said in the Letter of the Week- Letter X post.  We read a lot of books but I forgot to take a picture of them before we returned them to the library.  Here is our curriculum and a few pictures of the fun we had.

Frozen yogurt dots

Addi loved the yarn weaving activity.

Here are our water balloon yo-yos.  The kids LOVED them.  We made more the next day!

June 3, 2013

Letter of the Week- Letter X

Click on the link below to see out Letter X activities for the week.

Addi was great at drawing the letter X.  we had them on everything all week long.

X is for xylophone.

X is for X-ray.  We looked at some we had in our medical files form when I sprained my ankle and some copies of our dental X-rays.  

Next we made our own version of an X-ray with chalk and q-tips.

Next we went on a letter X hunt.  We found lots of things that looked like an x but didn't want to take picture of every single thing.  Addi made an X with her whole body and also with just her legs.  

After explaining the concept of X marks the spot, we went on a treasure hunt.  I wrote clues on paper and while the kids were playing in one room I hid the clues all over the rest of the house.  Of course I had to read the clues.  I tried to make them challenging so she had to really process through it but simple enough to get without me helping her.  They were things like:

Your next clue is hiding in a place where we keep food cold. (Fridge)
If you were to wash your hands you would find your next clue. (Bathroom Sink)
When you blanket gets dirty, mommy gives him a bath.  Where does you blanket take a bath? (Washing machine)

The last clue was a "treasure map."  Please don't judge me on my 3 minute drawing of our living room. We talked about how X marks the spot and tried to find which spot the X was showing us.

When Addi found out "treasure box" she was thrilled to find out the treasure was snack for her and her brother to share.  Ha ha ha.

I usually include pictures of the books we read, but for letter X and letter Y week there are no pictures.  Simply because I forgot to take a picture of them before we returned them to the library.  Whoops.  Oh well.

Fighting for Faith: After loss and in the midst of uncertainty.

This week I would love for all of you to be encouraged by my dear friend Kate.  She has been through struggles I cannot even fathom and her faith in the midst of trials is astonishing.  I love hearing the story of how God has transformed her heart and is continuing to work in her.  Because we both stay so busy we don't hang out as much as I would like but she's the  type of friend you always feel comfortable with and can always pick up exactly where you've left off.  She is such an encourager and even on difficult days the joy of the Lord radiates from her.  So, here are some words to think on from Kate.

 Kate is due in November of 2013!
As you can see Nathan is thrilled with the news:)
I am honored to be the mommy of a two year old little boy on this earth, a baby that God is knitting together in my womb, and four precious children that I never had a chance to meet on this earth, but that I will worship Jesus with one day. I also have the privilege of taking care of some other children in my in home daycare. We have a busy, loud house and I love it!

After an abortion at 19 and then (10 years later) three miscarriages, God blessed my husband and I with a healthy, sweet, funny little boy that we not only got to take home from the hospital but also get to raise and point toward Jesus every day. He brings such joy to our lives and I am so thankful to be his mommy. 

Here we are, 2 years later, walking the same road of another high risk pregnancy. Things are going a bit differently this time around. I have some health complications (other than miscarriages) that make pregnancy challenging and that can cause health problems for the baby growing inside me. And although I am not doing things differently than I did with my first born things are just not going as I would like. My phenylalanine levels have been too high since week 8 of this pregnancy and I am now in week 16. Nothing seems to be bringing them down and whenever I think that they must be going in the right direction they go even higher than they were before. On top of health concerns for this baby we also have a few (minor) health concerns for our son, we are packing up and moving houses in the next month, and there are job transitions and changes that come with moving as well. This is a season of change, transition, and uncertainty. And God is teaching us through it all to trust Him more deeply.

In the midst of all the uncertainties and questions swirling around in my mind and heart I have to ask myself one thing day by day (and really moment by moment.) Am I trusting God in this? Am I resting in Him? Am I clinging to Him? (Ok, three things!) Honestly, in this season and in this pregnancy (much more than in the last one) the fight for faith is harder for me. I am so prone to worry and be fearful about all the unknowns.  Taking every thought, every fear, and every worry captive is difficult and I am learning now more than ever that I must do battle and fight for faith. 

So here is what fighting for faith looks like for me these days. I definitely do not have it all figured out (or even close to figured out!) and some days are better than others but here are some things that have been helping me to trust The Lord in everything that is going on. I have to stop and pray a lot throughout the day (and night) and with kids that means saying "ok, mommy needs to ask God for help now" and just praying right there as we are playing or eating or whatever we are doing. (I need to be doing this more with them anyway throughout our day, but thats another blog for another day!) There is a lot of confessing my need for Him, a lot of confessing my sinful, anxious heart when I am fearful, and a lot of seeking out, clinging to, meditating on, and praying specific promises in the bible and a lot of praying that The Lord would change my heart by His word. 

Jeremiah 15:16 says, Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts.

My prayer is that this may be true of me, that I would find His words, be nourished by them, and that my heart would remain joyful in The Lord no matter what the circumstances are. 

Here are a few verses that I have been fighting for faith with in this season:

Isaiah 41:10 - fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Psalm 121 - I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.

Psalm 139 - For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

Psalm 27 - One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.

Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

There are many others, but I will just list these! I am thankful that every promise is yes and amen in Christ Jesus. I may not know how this pregnancy or any circumstance is going to turn out in my life but I do know that this is true. 

Romans 8:31-32 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?

He is giving me exactly what I need and what is best for me. He is showing me now more than ever my need for Him and I would not know Him or trust Him in the same way if it wasn't for each of the circumstances He has walked us through and is currently walking us through. It is a hard battle to fight for faith and at times I am weary, but it is worth it.  I am not promised that I will meet this baby on this side of heaven but I am promised that Emmanual, God with us, is with me in this. He is not leaving me or forsaking me and in that I can rest.

May 30, 2013

Benefit of the Doubt

I remember about six years ago I went to a women’s fellowship at our church and someone spoke on the topic of loving others.  There was one specific thing that has stuck with me every day since then.  If we are to be unified we need to make sure to love others by always assuming the best about them, giving them the benefit of the doubt, and never questioning their motives. This was not easy for me.  I have always been skeptical of others and imagined what others thought about me (which led to great amounts of insecurity).  Instead, we should focus on our identity in Christ and whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things (Phil 4:8-9).

I have been trying to put this into practice and it has dramatically changed my relationships with others, but I've noticed one thing recently, I’m not yet in the habit of this with my children.

Let me be the first to point out that Addilyn is stubborn (and she definitely gets that from me).  She likes to make decisions and she likes to be in control.  Although these traits can be used in a positive way, it is very hard for a 3 year old to understand appropriate boundaries.  For a few months now we have been trying to foster a since of independence (and problem solving) but also helping her to understand that she is not the boss, she needs to ask for help, she must still submit to authority, and she will not always get her way.  Great lessons for a 3 year old.  Great lessons for us all.  However, in my pursuit to teach her this, I noticed that I don’t give her the benefit of the doubt.  I often assume her persistence in something I would not typically approve of is simply defiance.

I’ve told my husband on numerous occasions to pay close attention to Addi when she is playing or completing a task.  Many times if she is doing something that seems silly or inappropriate to us, she usually has a pretty good reason for it.  For example, the other day, Addi was moving a dining room chair across the kitchen floor and into the living room.  I asked her why she was moving the chair and she responded, “I need to.”  I followed with, “Why do you need to?” And her response was, “I just do.”  Now, normally I would keep at this and ask a few more questions or just tell her to stop and return the chair to its proper place.  However, I was distracted with a mess Josiah was making and let her continue with what she was doing.  While taking care of Josiah I noticed he had a poopy diaper.   I stood up and turned around to go get a diaper and there was Addi, standing there and smiling (with a diaper and wipes in hand) and said, “Mommy, I help you change Siah?”   She had finished moving the chair, so she could stand on it to reach the diaper bag (hanging at the top of the coat rack), so that she could bring me a diaper and wipes because she knew that her brother had a poopy diaper and she wanted to be helpful to her Mommy. *Sigh

She could not communicate all of that as clearly or in as much depth as I would have…because she just turned three years old.  Three.  I am 27 years older than her.  Why on earth do I expect her to act like me and know how to communicate like a 30 year old?

Now, I don’t want to use this as a means to justify sinful actions, but just to remind myself of her age and her capabilities.  I also think it is good to challenge your kids and push them to become better in areas.  So, for example, continuing to have the dialog so that she can learn to articulate her plan.  I pray that God will give me the patience to listen to her form a thought, and maybe stutter through it, or repeat things that don’t make sense.  Either way, this can be a way I can love her and promote peace and unity in our home.

Just for kicks, I wanted to share with you several other examples all from the same exact day.

Every morning the first thing we do when Addi wakes up is take off her pull up and put on her panties.  This particular morning however, we got into an argument because she didn’t want to put on panties.
“Addi, please go take off your pull up and put on panties.” 
“Mommy, I have panties but I need a pull up.” 
“No, hun, you are not a baby, you are a big girl.  You don’t need a pull up.  Go put on your panties.” 
“I HAVVVVVVE panties!” (Accompanied by crocodile tears). 
“Addi, I know you are upset, but you need to listen and obey mommy.  Go get your panties right now.”

She walked away crying and I heard her dresser drawer in her room open and close so I assumed she was changing.  I went to get Josiah out of his crib and noticed the poor thing had a blow out.  After changing him, I returned to their bedroom to remove Josiah’s sheets.  I figured if I was going to wash his sheets, I would go ahead and change Addis sheets too.  Her sippy cup was lying on her bed and had evidently been dripping for a while creating a huge wet spot. “This is the exact reason we don’t allow cups in the bedroom,” I thought, becoming angrier at her disobedience.  About 20 minutes later I found her panties I had asked her to put on lying in the floor.  I called her in the room to speak to me.  Fighting to maintain a calm tone of voice, I said,
“Addi I told you to put on your panties. “ 
“Mommy, I have panties.” 
“No Addi.  You panties are right here.” I held them up to show her.  “Here let mommy help you.”

And then it hit me like a ton of bricks.  All the dots were starting to connect.  I had a flood of understanding the second I touched her.  She DID have panties!  She had slept in them all night and was soaked clean through!

The night before was our small group night.  She was supposed to be in childcare.  We had put her in pajamas but planned for her to play and then get into a pull up before actual bedtime. However, she and her brother had few meltdowns, which made Josh and I to decide to put her and Josiah to bed early.  I forgot to put her in a pull up.  She tried telling me, but I did not listen! I assumed the worst about her.  I did not give her the benefit of the doubt.  She had a reason for saying and doing what she did, but I was not paying attention.

The rest of the day I was much more attentive to this.  Especially when she kept asking me to carry her around the house.  I could not figure out why she was acting so needy but through a series of questions I discovered she had a cut on the bottom of her foot and she didn’t want to walk because it hurt.

After naptime Addi was continually begging for snacks.  She had already had two and I could not figure out why she was so hungry.  Eventually, it came out that Josiah stole her peanut butter and jelly sandwich from her plate and she had not actually eaten her lunch like I thought.

Later that evening, bath time shed light on another example. Addilyn will, on occasion, throw a huge tantrum about not wanting to take a bath. That evening was no exception. Through many tears, she told me, “It hurts my hair.”  By the grace of God through the lesson I was learning I was able to translate that to “ I don’t want to take a bath because I know we will wash my hair. And, since I have tons of curls that get tangled easily, it hurts when we have to brush it out.”

I share all of this with you to encourage you to take a moment.  Listen to your child.  Ask questions and assume that there is a reason they are acting the way they are.  If we can apply the same principle to our children that we do other relationships we can show them grace, love, and mercy and ultimately show them a picture of Christ.

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