Stay At Home Mom? Or CEO?

The term ‘stay at home mom’ definitely doesn’t make you sound cool or awesome.

In fact, to the world, being a stay at home mom puts you on a lower level then the cool, sophisticated women with careers.

Have you ever thought about it though…

A Women With A Career…

  1. Probably has training.
  2. Get’s paid.
  3. Has sensible working hours

A Mom…

  1. Has no training.
  2. Doesn’t get paid.
  3. Is on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Being a mom is definitely the hardest job I’ve ever done, and I jumped into it with no training.

In the mom career if you’re fed up with your clients, you can’t just walk out on them because you kind of committed to them for the rest of your life.

You can’t just hand the complicated matters or the ‘hard to deal with’ clients over to your boss because…

SURPRISE!!

You are the boss!

So you took on this mom career with no experience or training and then you also find yourself on duty all the time!

You can put up as many closed signs as you want and it still won’t stop these little clients of yours because if they decide they’re thirsty during the night, they know where you sleep!!

It is a full time job, I never get any time off because even if I have some time away from my kids, I find myself wondering if they are ok or I’m constantly thinking I should check on them before realizing, oh yes, I’m actually on my own right now.

They don’t even respect those 5 minute bathroom breaks you try to take… at least my kids don’t…

Every single time I close that bathroom door one of three things is almost guaranteed to happen.

  1. I hear a loud crashing sound, followed by a wailing child.
  2. I hear strange noises coming from strange places and I fear that they are up to no good. (those fears are very real and theres good reason for that, they are rarely unfounded.) 🙂
  3. There is at least one (often two) kids pounding on the bathroom door hollering: “Are you done yet?!” Or, “Come out here again!!” (seriously do they think I’m never coming back again or what?!)

No, my bathroom breaks don’t last an hour, my children just have a strange fear of a closed door standing between them and me…

But hey, who knows what that bathroom might do to me!! 🙂

I read this quote recently and it seriously cracked me up because, well, because I get it!

If someone asks me what my hobbies are, I’m like: ‘Well, I don’t know… I’m a mom… I really enjoy going to the bathroom alone.’ 🙂

In the mom career we are on duty all day, every day and we don’t have a penny to show for it.

Are moms underpaid or what?

Actually, I can’t say that I am.

No amount of money could exceed the blessings that come from being a mom. The list is endless really, from slobbery kisses and strangling hugs to sweet baby grins and a determination to be exactly where I am at all times.

Like literally in the exact same spot I am.

Like on the exact same square foot of space.

I will say again though, I have never been more blessed in my life, no money-making job has ever left me feeling so fulfilled.

So you see…

Even though I have no experience with running a company, I will declare to anyone who cares (and to those who don’t 🙂 ) I am not just a stay at home mom.

I am the CEO of this house.

I don’t know wether that stands for ‘Chief Executive Officer’ Or ‘ Child’s Entertainment Officer, but I do know that I think it fits the mom life perfectly.

And it makes me sound pretty cool. 🙂

A Bit Of My Journey.

Where did I get this crazy idea that I might be a CEO?

I don’t know if you picked up on it through my blogs or not, but since I have two kids instead of just one, it’s been a bit of an uphill battle.

I often found myself with no time for myself because at least one of my kids was up at 6:00 most days, they rarely took naps at the same time and by the time they were asleep in the evening I was too exhausted to stay awake anymore.

Basically what happened is I was extremely overwhelmed, which seemed to lead to grumpy kids which then added even more stress to my life. It was kind of a vicious cycle it seemed.

I tried different things to stop the cycle and everything helped but I still felt that somehow, surely there was a way to have a home that ran smoother and was less chaotic.

Surely I could do this mom thing without getting so stressed about it.

I mean, I only have two kids!!

I felt like God was saying that I should treat my ‘stay at home mom life’ like I would a job.

I was kind of confused, what does that even look like?

The first thing I did was try to change my mindset, rather then getting up in the morning thinking about everything I plan on doing today, I try to think about how I’ll spend time my kids and anything I accomplish on top of that is a bonus.

Reading a story to them is after all more important then a spotless house.

I kinda floundered around with the idea though because I wasn’t sure what treating my ‘mom-life’ like a career was supposed to look like.

Then I read someone’s blog. I’m stealing their idea to share with you guys, because for me it was an answer to prayer.

(If you’re interested the blog sight it’s called: ‘Club31 Women, a passion for husband, home and family.’ Check it out, it’s one of my favorites.) 🙂

I took her advice and I started a daily schedule. a routine that we follow like clockwork, on days that we are at home.

For me, the reason it works is because with a schedule, it takes away a lot of mental stress, adds organization and gives your children stability, it gives them an idea of what to expect.

I basically took the schedule she had written down and started following that, then adjusted it to fit our family.

Here’s what our schedule looks like.

  1. 7:30    Rise & Shine
  2. 8:00    Breakfast
  3. 8:30     Worship
  4. 9:00     Mama Time
  5. 9:30      Snack Time
  6. 10:30    Quiet Time
  7. 12:00    Lunch
  8. 2:30     Snack Time
  9. 3:30     Clean-up Time
  10. 5:00     Supper
  11. 7:00     Daddy Time
  12. 7:30      Baths and stories
  13. 8:00      Bedtime

I also created a weekly meal schedule for breakfast, lunch and snacks. I tried to only put each food on once because I use the same meal schedule every week, in other words every Monday we eat the same foods we did the Monday before.

I looked over the schedule and thought: ‘Wow, if I follow this I won’t get anything done in the morning.’

Let me tell you I get more things done in a day then I did before we had a schedule and this is why…

This schedule brings order to so many areas, for one it takes away frustration…

If the kids are hungry, I don’t need to stop what I’m doing to get them food, instead I tell them that right now it’s playtime and just soon its going to be snack time.

It takes away mental stress because I don’t need to think about what we are going to eat, I just look whats on the menu.

Kenzie is less clingy because I actually took time to play with her and kynaston. My goal for mama time is to pour into my kids through their love languages. Daddy time is half an hour where Checkers entertains the kids and I have a whole half hour to myself!! Imagine that! 🙂

It gives the kids stability. It didn’t take long before Kenzie’s questions changed from: ‘What can I eat?’ to ‘When is it snack time?’

I can tell that she loves the schedule, it seems to add excitement to her day or something. It’s kinda like: ‘Sure mom’s gonna work now instead of playing with us but that’s ok cuz its snack time now!’

Another valuable thing is the quiet time, when Kynaston goes down for his nap at 10:30, I get Kenzie to sit on the couch quietly with some books, and I take a break too. Even though the desire to get some things done is pretty strong, I have learned that having a quiet time helps a mamas brain to regroup. (another blog I read) 🙂

Also I slip odd jobs in wherever I can. For example a lot of the things listed are at half hour intervals but in reality only last 10-20 minutes.

After I started with a daily schedule, I realized that this is how I can treat ‘just being a mom’ like a job.

With a schedule I don’t get as wrapped up in the things that I want to do and accomplish today because my day is already planned out, my job is simple:

Execute that schedule.

I should add, this schedule only happens perfectly on days when we are home all day, other days I try to follow it as much as possible but the goal is to eliminate stress, so let’s not get stressed out over keeping a perfect schedule.

So, there you have it, another piece to my life puzzle of running an orderly home that stays focused on Jesus.

In 200 hundred years, very few people will even remember that I ever lived, so they definitely won’t remember how clean my house was or how beautiful my flowerbeds, but I can leave a lasting legacy through loving my children and giving them a Godly foundation to pass on for generations.

So let’s change Lancaster county and make people a priority over well-kept properties. 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

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You Are Loved… Right Now

Right where you are.

There isn’t one thing that you need to do before you are loved by God.

He accepts you for who you are… right now.

He won’t accept your sins, but he will accept you.

Way back when I had all these great ideas of what a real christian would look like.

In other words I felt like I needed to change who I was in order to be a real christian. For example, Public speaking is more freaky to me then a huge spider, (trust me, spiders are one of the worlds creepiest creatures) but I need to overcome my fears and step out of my comfort zone and learn the art of public speaking.

Right?

Yea, maybe… because we won’t get very far if we never take those steps of faith, but thats not what I want to point out here.

When I asked God about it, this is what he had to say:

I know the plans I have for you and I created you perfectly to fit into those plans, If I wanted you to be a speaker up on stage in front of people, I would have given you the ability to speak.

What?!

I felt like I had been set free to be exactly who I was instead of who I thought I needed to become, and it just made so much sense.

God created us, so he had the ability to make us however he wanted too, so why would he create some with a dislike for public speaking and then expect them to be  passionate public speakers?

Why would he create someone with a love for living in the spotlight and a talent for speaking and then expect them to work quietly and unnoticed behind the scenes?

He wouldn’t!!

Guys (as in all people 🙂 ), seriously, I want you to get this…

The core of who you are will never change.

We can grow in our weaknesses…

The quiet person can learn to speak publicly and maybe even learn to enjoy it, but they will never attain that natural gift for it because it isn’t in the core of who God made them.

The ‘life of the party’ people can even learn the art of quietly working behind the scenes but silencing the voice God gave them will never come naturally for them. (nor will it last long, so enjoy it while it does.) 🙂 (no worries, I really do love talkative people, in fact I envy them a bit sometimes) 🙂

Even so, the core of who God created you to be will never change.

If you love details, you will never naturally jump into something without knowing the details.

If you hate details, learning to plan carefully will never come naturally for you and that’s ok because God made you unique, he made you exactly the way you need to be to live out the mission he has for you.

We should always be striving to grow stronger in our weak areas, but lets not try to eliminate them because the truth of the matter is…

you can’t!

Meet people where they are.

Recently I came to the conclusion that, we as people, have a really hard time stepping down from where God has us spiritually, to meet people where they are spiritually.

As christians we are all on a journey with God and the longer we walk with him the deeper that relationship grows and the more we learn to understand his ways and know his heart.

I understand things now, that I didn’t usually understand.

Why then, is it my human instinct to turn around and wonder why not everyone seems to understand what I do?

It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and it is a marathon that doesn’t end until you die.

Which means you will spend the rest of your life learning about God and his great love for us.

You will spend the rest of your life growing closer to him and being transformed to become more and more like him.

News flash: He works on each of differently!

Just because the first thing he convicted you of was your bad language, doesn’t mean thats the first thing he’s going to weed out of everyones life.

Maybe they will walk with God for 20 yrs before he convicts them of that, because remember: he has a plan for everyone, he creates each individual to fit into that plan and guess what?

Even the often painful things he leads us through that mold us and shape us to become more like him are unique to each person to prepare us for the specific plans God has for each specific person.

We are humans, who live in a fallen world, so no matter how Christ-like we become we will always have a rough edge or two somewhere. If we allow him too, God will be sanding those edges smoother for the rest of our lives, but we will never see perfection this side of Heaven.

In DTS they did this thing where they asked us to rate our relationship with God on a scale from one to ten.

The average answer fell somewhere between 5-8, which most people explained as: well I feel like I have a good relationship with God, but I also know that theres so much more to learn and grow in.

Good answer right?

They told us we should always rate our relationship with God as a 10.

What?! My relationship with God is far from perfect!

Actually its not.

Your relationship with God is perfect!

Weather you start your christian walk at 10 years old or 90 years old your relationship is perfect because you can never advance beyond your current level of growth right now, you can always keep growing but in this moment you can’t be where you will be next year.

God isn’t disappointed in his relationship with you because he knows everything. He even knew that you would hit that dry period where you didn’t really grow at all for awhile, but he’s still not disappointed with where you are now.

Because disappointment means:  To fail to satisfy someone’s hope,desire or expectation.

So you see? Because God is all-knowing, you can’t actually disappoint him.

Which means:

Your relationship with God is always perfect!

Here’s the thing…

If God accepts us exactly where we are. If He can allow us to grow at our own pace and doesn’t rush us.

Then why? Can we not do the same for one another?

Why do conservative pastors preach against non-conservative churches?

Why do non-conservative pastors preach against conservative churches?

Every single denomination has legitimate christians in it, just like every single denomination has people in it who think they are saved because of the church they attend.

There is christians in the amish  and mennonite churches. Sure they might be living in  bondage but if the love of Christ shines through them, who am I to try to boot them out? Especially if God accepts them exactly where they are?

There is christians in ‘english’ 🙂 churches. Sure they might be less community oriented and might dress a bit immodestly sometimes, but if the love of Christ shines through them, who am I to try to set them straight? Especially if God accepts them exactly where they are?

I can’t tell you how much I long to see these two cultures fully accept each other. We serve the same God, so why can’t we lay all else aside?

I long to able to hang out with my people and not be judged for the choices I made that don’t line up with their belief system. (BTW I’m talking about the amish church as a whole, not any specific individual people.)

I also long to hang out with the non-conservative people and not feel like like they would like to knock all of the amish culture out of me because there is freedom in Christ!

There is freedom in Christ!!

Freedom to be exactly who you are!

Christ accepts us, with all our flaws, in a way that no church ever has, or ever will because who am I kidding?

We will never see perfection this side of Heaven.

I still think we can do better then we currently are…

I think we can pursue and grow in that Christ-like love, and while we will never perfect it, I think we should be able to come pretty close, because:

I can do all things through him who gives me strength! Philippians 4:13

Stop Hiding From the World

You live in it.

So, you really can’t hide from it, not even if you try.

You might have your safe little life, your safe little church and even your safe friends.

The thing is though, no matter how safe you try to make your life, you still live in this world so you will never truly be completely safe.

That’s why we long for Heaven.

A place where everything is perfect and safe. No pain, struggles, sickness, death or confusion will be there.

Just complete perfection.

Doesn’t that just make your heart all jittery with excitement? 🙂

I grew up amish and I saw holes in the church, I felt like I couldn’t trust anything they say because if they got some of it wrong, who says they were getting anything right?

We joined a mennonite church, I saw holes in the church and wondered if I could trust anything they say because if they got some of it wrong, who says they got anything right?

We did a DTS and I met people who took a relationship with God to a whole new level, surely I could trust these people to get it right because it seemed they did, but the longer I was there the more I realized:

These people didn’t have it all figured out either!!

I felt disappointed. Extremely disappointed.

All I wanted was someone who I could trust. Someone who would have all the answers and I wouldn’t have to question everything they were teaching.

I felt let down because if I couldn’t find this in YWAM, then where could I find it??

God, who can I trust?!

He said, “Everybody’s on a journey, everyone is still learning, no one is perfect, no one has it all figured out and no one ever will have this side of Heaven.”

The longing in your heart to know more about me is actually more then it seems, it is a longing for Heaven and it is a longing for that perfect connection with me that can only be completely fulfilled in your heavenly home.

Oh. That made sense. I still felt a bit let down but realized: For the rest of my life it was my duty to take everything I hear being taught and question it.

Is it legit?

Does the Bible back it?

Is this really what God says?

Living Safe Is Selfish.

Through different things I read, or comments people have made, I’ve come to realize that we try to live safely.

One comment that is used a lot is:

I don’t want my children exposed to that.

Trust me, I don’t want my kids exposed to everything this world has to offer either, but they live in this world so we might not have a choice!

Rather then trying to shield our children from everything, shouldn’t we rather teach them how to handle these things?

Yes, I know, as their parents it is our job to protect our children and shield them from things that their little minds can’t yet comprehend.

I have a question though.

If God calls you to live in and/or minister in the red light district…

Will you tell God: I can’t got because I don’t want my children exposed to that.

Or will you trust him to protect your child no matter what evil they meet in this world?

Would you go?

Will you do what he is calling you to, or are trying not to expose your child (or even yourself) to certain things?

I read about someone who sat in a doctors office and observed the crowd around her, from the person who was heavily tattooed with many piercings to the person who looked like they had given up on life. She ended her story saying how glad she was when she was finished there and could go home where all was safe and normal.

I read this in christian magazine, and I was disappointed.

I was disappointed that we who originate from the anabaptist culture think its ok to hide in our safe little communities and stay far away from those who obviously need Jesus.

When we open our Bibles we read about people who were sold out for Jesus, they were not safe, they were almost recklessly passionate about spreading the gospel.

Many gave their lives for the sake of spreading the good news.

Meanwhile, we are just over here trying not to socialize with people who might put our safe little lives in jeopardy.

We tend to avoid churches where tattoos and odd piercings are accepted.

Why?

Anyone who finds Jesus needs the community of a church, so the the question is…

Is it wrong for me to attend the same church they do?

Or is it wrong if my church makes them feel out of place?

(By the way I’m not taking a stand one way or another here on if tattoos are wrong or not.)

By staying in our safe circles we aren’t only missing many opportunities to reach people who will never enter our safe circles, we are also missing the blessings we could be receiving.

Like hearing their testimonies.

The crazier a persons life was before they met Jesus, the crazier their testimony is bound to be, and as we all know, hearing someone else’s testimonies of God’s faithfulness is encouraging, it gives us fresh hope.

There is ways that God moves that we will never even no about if we stay in our safe circles because we are too safe to even need him in some ways that people of the world may need him.

So, step out of your comfort zone and dare to meet that person who looks ‘interesting,’ don’t judge them because the chances are pretty high that their story is as interesting as their ‘look.’

The chances are also pretty high that they have a God-story that tops any of yours.

Ask them about the butterfly tattoo on their shoulder, because there is probably a story behind that too, and quite possibly it is a reminder of something God has done for them.

Stop judging and see them as Jesus would see them.

Because who am I to decide that my background of seeing tattoos and piercings as wrong is more accurate then their background of seeing it as ok?

God will be the judge.

He commanded us to love our neighbors, and he didn’t say to love only the ones who live up to our expectations.

We need to love them all.

So, lets love them well.

Let’s ask him for the ability to see each individual person as he sees them.