Lilypie - Memorial

Josh

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Tradition

This was my article from the Nov/Dec MOPS newsletter.

Those of you who know me, may not know that I’m a fan of musicals. One of my favorites is “Fiddler On the Roof”. If you’ve never seen it, it’s about a Jewish family in Russia who is dealing with the changes in their family and community. The father sings this great song called “Tradition” . He doesn’t know why things have to change—after all, they’ve always been done that way.

Musicals aside—I’m sure most of us have traditions, especially around this holiday season. Baking something special, decorating the tree, going to grandmas, a favorite restaurant. When I was young, our tradition was cutting our own tree (well, my dad and brother did the cutting!) and then going to Pedro’s afterward for lunch.

Traditions are good—they cement our family relationships and give us something to look forward to. Hopefully, as you’ve become a mom, you’ve thought about some traditions you want to keep, or start with your own children.

One tradition that I hope all of us choose is teaching our children about the true meaning of Christmas— God, in a manger, born to save us all.

It’s easy to focus on all the fun of Christmas—snow, cookies, ringing bells, giving presents, stringing up lights both inside and outside, visiting Santa at the mall, watching old Christmas movies, caroling.

Let’s not lose sight of the real tradition—the tradition that God shares with us each year of remembering how very much He loves us. There’s no better gift you can give your children this year then teaching them about Jesus. There’s no better way to celebrate the season then to take some time to focus our attention on the story of Christmas. If you don’t already, why not start a new tradition?

Chosen

Here's the article I wrote for the October MOPS newsletter...

I got hooked on this TV show recently called “Switched at Birth”. I watched the whole first season, thanks to Netflix instant streaming. Basically, two teenage girls discover they were switched in the hospital. They spend most of the episodes trying to decide where they fit—exploring the family they might have been a part of if things had been different.

It made me think about our children. It’s no accident that your children are in your family. Whether you became a mom by childbirth, marriage, or adoption—you were chosen by God to parent your children. You are uniquely designed to meet their needs. You are the one God has asked to guide, nurture, and direct their steps into adulthood. It’s a major responsibility, isn’t it?

I wish that children came with manuals—but that would take some of the fun out of the adventure of discovering who they are and how they are perfectly fitted into your family. Our families are all different—some crazy, some more serious, some have been established for a long time, and others are new.

Wherever you’re at in parenting—a first time mom to an infant, or seeing your youngest go off to school, or maybe even a mentor mom facing an empty nest—we all have things to learn as moms. We all have needs and desires, challenges and opportunities.

Aren’t you glad for other moms? Aren’t you glad for their wisdom and experience? On those days when you wonder if you really are a good mom, remember, you were chosen for a reason. Your child is in your family for a reason. Decide to be a better mom, whatever that looks like. Decide to learn something new. Decide to pass on something you’ve learned to someone else.

After all, you and your child have a unique bond that you won’t share with anyone else—take advantage of it!

Housekeeper wanted...

The following is an article I wrote for our September MOPS newsletter.

My house is a disaster. Maybe yours is too. The kitchen counter is piled with all the stuff that I can’t seem to put away. Dishes are either dirty and waiting to be washed, or in the drying rack waiting to be put away. There are basketfuls of laundry in my bedroom waiting to be put away. The toys are overflowing from the toybox, if they actually made it there at all. I haven’t dusted in months.
There are times when I clean. For instance, when my in-laws are coming over. Then we move in to frantic mode, and I hide as much as possible behind closed doors, and make sure the public areas are presentable. Or when...well, I can’t really think of another time. I clean (the really good kind of cleaning) to make my home presentable for outsiders. When it’s just us, we can live with a little clutter and mess.

Do you ever think that you should clean up because so-and-so is coming over for a playdate? And then think to yourself, “nope, she won’t care what my house looks like.” That’s MOPS...moms whose houses are just as crazy as yours. I’m glad that people don’t clean up when I come over – it’s comforting to know that I’m not the only crazy one.

If you’re one with a clean house – you go girl! I’m sure there are other areas where you feel frazzled and just as overwhelmed. And you will find just as many moms who have been there. The beauty of mom friends, the kind you find at MOPS, is that someone has been in your shoes – and will accept you just as you are. You don’t have to hide all your clutter behind “closed doors”!

So dive in – get to know the other moms in your group. If you find one in your same boat, share the burden a little. If you find someone with wisdom to share, take it. And if you find anyone with a really clean house, send them my way, please!