Disconnect to Connect

A silent reminder to all of us moms… Don’t miss out on the life around you every day in your kids’ smiles, tears, feelings, growth…

Looking for the Good

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A gift from my son 🙂

As mothers, we are confronted with negative situations every day.

We need to correct that, clean this mess up, wash another load of laundry, issue some more discipline, etc.

It never ends.

It’s easy to forget the good things in life, the common, everyday blessings that can make us smile… when we see them.

This is helping me to look for more good in the everyday, common things.

The light breeze, the constant chatter of a 3-year-old, the “Mommy” turning into “Mom!”, the smell of fresh-cut grass….

How much good can you find today?

Showing Up For My Life

Sura Nualpradid - freedigitalphotos

In our digital world today, it can be so easy to get addicted to the internet. Believe me, I know. There was a time, a few years ago, when I could easily spend 6-8 hours a day in front of the computer… and I’m not even on Facebook or Twitter! And the majority of that time was not at all productive.

Since then, I’ve realized that was not the way I wanted to live my life, and things have greatly improved in that area.

Sure, there are times when I get carried away on Pinterest and waste a half hour, but most days the computer is only used for useful things during the day, like finding recipes and actual work.

Since I’ve stopped wasting so much time on the internet, I’ve been able to enjoy my children more, stay on top of housework and laundry, cook better meals, and find time to just BE.

I don’t want to look back in 25 years when my kids are all grown up and wonder what happened. I want to enjoy them while they are little and give them the time and attention they need and deserve. I want to form real relationships with real people, spend time with family and friends.

I want to actually live MY life, live my actual life, and not let a virtual world dictate who I am.

Sally Clarkson wrote about this in her blog post today:

Perhaps, on the internet, we build up a couple of thousand of friends–that does not mean they know us, our real lives, our silent aches of heart, our loneliness, our dreams, insecurities, needs or doubts, or love us. Often it just means, they, too, are trying to build their list. Our social networking friends cannot bring us a hot, delicious meal or a fall bouquet of blooming flowers when we are sick or depressed or just need to know we are on someone’s mind.

Our social media friends cannot hold our hand or give us a gentle embrace, when we pray through a heartbreak or sit and drink a real cup of tea on the porch as we watch a fall sun melt into the sky, and share secrets. Our social media friends are not here to touch, see, experience, giggle, to validate the memories of real life.

Our children also long for us to see them as the important ones–they long for our words of love and laughter at their jokes and engaging in their hearts and attention. Our children are only with us for a window of time, to receive our attention, loving touch, tasty meals, to celebrate life as we pour into their souls. If we are looking to the internet for our relationships, our children will look for love and attention wherever else they can find it–away from us.

We are their first choice, but they will settle for others if their needs are not met at home with our intentional and present attention.

I don’t want my children to turn elsewhere for the love and attention they need from me. I want to be there for them and not miss any more of my life than I have to.

The only way we will build great relationships with the people around us is if we spend less time online and more time in real life.

I just finished reading Sarah Mae’s e-book, The UnWired Mom, and found it very worth-while. Here’s an excerpt from her book:

An UnWired Mom is a woman of purpose who is not a slave to

anything, including the online world. She lives full and whole

and aware in the everyday, choosing to engage in the reality

around her instead of escaping to the Internet. She can work in

and enjoy the online space without having it consume her;

she shows up for her own in-the-flesh life.

I want to show up for my own life every day.

What about you?

the impact of my words

Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee - Freedigitalphotos.net

“Just hurry up!”

I catch myself saying that a LOT lately. It seems I’m constantly telling my son to hurry up with eating, dressing, undressing, going outside, coming in… everything.

It hit me the other day:

Do I really want my kids to hurry up about EVERYTHING?

Is that the message I want them to come out of childhood with?

The more I think about it, the more I realize that I want them to do just the opposite.

I want them to slow down. To enjoy life. To cherish every moment.

And if I’m always telling them to hurry up, how will they ever learn to JUST. SLOW. DOWN.

The words I say have a huge impact on the way their little minds think, the way I speak to them becomes their inner voice to themselves.

Is ‘hurry up’ really what I want their default thought-line to be? Is that what I want them to tell themselves, subconsciously, for the rest of their lives?

No, I don’t.

While there are times that it’s necessary to do things quickly, I do not want to instill in my children the feeling that life is a race against time, like if they aren’t fast enough, they aren’t good enough.

Because the truth is: they are always good enough for me, no matter how quickly, or slowly, they accomplish things.

I will always love them.

If I want them to know that hurrying doesn’t make them any better, if I want them to slow down and enjoy life, then I need to change the way I speak to them.

If I’m trying myself to slow down every day, then I need to make my words match my actions, so they can learn to do the same.

It’s going to take some time to break this habit, but I believe it’s worth it.

This Summer…

 

I get the most out of my summer vacation by “doing” the least. I get the most of my summer vacation by simply being — by simply “spending” hours.

“Spend the afternoon, you can’t take it with you.” That’s what Annie Dillard said.

~ Jennifer Dukes Lee

This summer, I plan to do as little as possible. Forget the projects, activities, scheduled events and the clock. I just want to spend my time enjoying life, family, and all the beauty around us every day.

I will accomplish very little, but enjoy every moment I can, and spend as much time as I can doing nothing.

This summer, I want to fill my hours and days with laughter, love, and just “being”.

What about you?

 

(Edited To Add: This post over at Simple Mom is all about embracing summer!)

 

Photo Credits:  Photo 1   Photo 2  Photo 3  Photo 4

Wife, Mother… Artist

I realize that title is probably making you think of paints and canvases and a huge mess, like you remember from art class when you were a kid. And while that is usually the first thing that comes to mind when the word ‘art’ is mentioned, this post is not necessarily about finger-painting or making clay sculptures with your kids.

Lately, I’ve come across various articles and blog posts dealing with the idea of creating beauty in our lives. And I’ve realized that no matter who you are, where you live, or what your circumstances are, everyone has the ability to create beauty and be an artist.

After all, that’s what an artist is: someone who creates beauty. And there are myriads of ways of being an artist.

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As mothers, we have more opportunities to be artists than most people. Creating beauty not only enriches our own experience, but also the lives of everyone around us. Simple things we can do every day have the power of changing the way our families see life and the world around them.

Picking a bouquet of wildflowers and arranging them in a pretty vase can add instant colour and life to a home and make everyone who walks by smile inside without even realizing it.

Lighting a scented candle, or playing beautiful music throughout your day can drastically change the level of palpable joy and comfort your family experiences in your home.

And there are more radical ways of creating beauty in your lives. Laughter, or just a simple smile, can turn someone’s day around. Sharing a good story, baking cookies, taking a long walk on a warm evening, singing a song, holding your child’s hand, opening a window, planting a garden… all of these are simple things, but when shared with those you love, they can change the way your family will remember the past.

And by giving them, and yourself, beautiful memories, you are also creating beauty in the future, not just the present. Motherhood is an amazing thing, isn’t it?

And the easiest way to create beauty? Just. slow. down.

Look around and let the beauty you see everywhere around you enter your heart, not just your eyes.

Just slowing down can give you instant beauty and joy.

By continually finding new ways to add joy to the lives of everyone we love, and in seeing the joy in their eyes, we find joy ourselves in the knowledge that we helped them see a little more beauty in life.

Us Moms… We’re NOT Just Ordinary!

Marcus - Free Digital Photos

Way back in August of last year, when I pressed “Publish” on my very first post here… my goal was to encourage other young moms like me, letting them know that they ARE a vital part of society, and not a lesser person for being “just a mom”. While I’ve veered slightly now and then, with more practical posts, a few recipes, links to other interesting articles, the over-all point was that we CAN be the mom we always wanted to be. I hope that has come through occasionally, and it’s not just staying in my head!

In today’s culture, moms (especially stay-at-home moms) are considered boring, ordinary, and nothing too special, at least compared to everything else a woman has opportunity to do. Why would you choose to stay at home with your kids when you could be making money in an office somewhere?

It’s like Kattrin Davida wrote: “[A new mother will] swiftly realize that in the balance of things motherhood is the most fulfilling role any woman could possibly experience in a lifetime. Placing everything into perspective, surely raising another human being well takes priority over almost anything else we could imagine?”

Life as a mother can sometimes feel like a rut that you’re stuck in for a long time. But a little perspective on what we do and who we are to the little ones around us can change our view on motherhood.

We have the greatest job in the universe, for we are molding and influencing the next generation of the human race, and thus, our future world, every. single. day.

 

All I am I owe to my mother.

I attribute all my success in life

to the moral, intellectual, and

physical education I received from her.

– George Washington