Following God’s pattern. (Even when it doesn’t make sense)

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I am loving the triangle scarves that I have been seeing lately and I always like trying to tackle a new pattern. I found a simple, pretty pattern from Hopeful Honey and I thought this is the one.

So I immediately went to work and noticed that my triangle was becoming lop-sided. I ripped it out and started again. The more rows I finished I again noticed that my stitches were becoming crooked. Ugh!

Ripped the stitches out. Again.

Try again a third time and still my stitches are creating a weird wave to the long end of my triangle.

I had been “following the pattern” but adding some different stitches here and there to each end trying to correct the authors “mistakes”. Well, that wasn’t working it was only making thing worse.

For the final time, I rip out my stitches and start following the exact number of stitches and in the places that I was told to put them.

Then things start happening. The scarf starts looking like what was pictured in the author’s pattern. In my attempts to fix the creators pattern my product was turning out all wonky because I thought I knew better than the author.

I can’t count how many times I have tried to manipulate situations because I thought I knew better than God. Or I sit and complain that God is not listening or isn’t loving because He is not giving me what I want when I want it.

There are many instances in the bible where the protagonist moves ahead of God’s timing only to screw things up in the process. We will never know the original outcome God had intended because men and women thought they knew better. One thing is for sure though. In the stories where they stepped ahead of God’s timing there are painful, lifelong consequences because of it.

One person comes to mind from the bible that hadn’t followed God’s original plan at first but started trusting God more and more a time went on.

Following God's Pattern

Abraham

Abraham and Sarah moved ahead of God’s timing and there were harsh consequences for Hagar and Ishmael. But since Ishmael was still Abraham’s son, his people became a great nation as well, just not the people group that Jesus would come from.

God kept His promise to Abraham and Sarah and gave them Isaac.

When Isaac was a young boy God told Abraham to take Isaac up to a mountain top and sacrifice him there. I won’t get into the whole sacrificing thing because that is a huge topic that I don’t have time to discuss that in this post.

Abraham’s great faith is to be admired. Hebrews 11:19 says that “Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.” (NIV)

What incredible faith!! As a parent, I cannot even begin to fathom the faith that it took to walk up onto the mountain with his only son Isaac and attempt to sacrifice him there.

I have heard many times that God can see the whole scope of time on the earth and knows every event that will happen. Even so, He asks us to carry out impossible feats in His power not because he needs to prove to Himself that He can do it.

God wants to use unlikely people for the glory of His name. Abraham was 100 years old for crying out loud when they had Isaac!

I think that faith requires a great amount of humility because we have to rely completely and totally on God to carry out the plans that He has called us to do. In order to do this, we have to humbly admit that we cannot not do anything without the power of God in us.

I am trying to learn to accept God’s pattern for how to live my life even when it doesn’t make sense. I can try to fit God in to the plan that I think is the best way to go or I can learn to humbly accept the mission that He has called me to however trifling that might be. Because in the end, if it is all for the glory of God, that work will never be small.

I feel that if I can rely on God with even the smallest amount of faith that Abraham had then I will learn how to face each and every challenge with peace.

Following God’s pattern through the most difficult circumstances will bring glory to His name. And, in the end, that’s all that really matters.

5 Reasons Why You Need to Stop Comparing Your Kids to Others Kids

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I saw a very disturbing Pinterest description the other day that really made me stop in my track. The picture was of a cute little girl with a very stylish haircut. The description read, “50 cute haircuts for little girls to put you on center stage.”

After reading that I thought, “Are we really putting this undue pressure on our kids to make us look good?” Are we breeding an unhappy life in our children from the beginning because we compare them to others and judge by what they have and don’t have? I’m getting ahead of myself here so I’m gonna share a quick story that will segue into why we shouldn’t play the comparison game.

I also want to mention that I am in no way the perfect mom never comparing my kids to others but I do try to make a conscious effort not to and try to remind myself not to when others are speaking about their kids accomplishments or negative behaviors.

5 reasons why you need to stop comparing your kids

I was at Target the other day (funny how most things happen there) and I was in the toddler clothing section with another mom. I was perusing the discount section when I heard her child begin to cry. I thought nothing of it because that’s what kids do so I continued my shopping.

I don’t know what the mom was saying to her daughter because I was trying not to pay attention. But after one more correction, her daughter cries even louder as the mom proceeds to put her in the shopping cart. Then what I hear breaks my heart. The mom says to her toddler who is acting out, “Do you see anyone else acting like this?”. I thought to myself, “Honey, you caught on a good day because mine are usually the ones doing the crying.”

I wanted to go to the mom and say, “Don’t worry about it. Every kids does this.” but then I thought that would embarrass her more so I pretended not to hear her crying child. But I was saddened that she was comparing her crying child to mine.

Many times I’m not sure what to do when that happens because I want to be helpful and extend mercy. But what I don’t want to do is draw unnecessary attention to them either. In my head I have said what that mom said many times. “Why can’t my kid act like theirs?” Why do those kids get (insert whatever I’m coveting) and mine don’t.” “Why don’t my kids listen like theirs?”.

Here’s why we need to stop comparing…

1) It puts our kids on pedestals

When we compare our kids to someone else’s, our minds usually goes one of two ways. When we think, “Why can’t our kids be like them?” it shows that we have an expectation of what our child should be and it is not being met. This puts a harmful burden on our child that they are not good enough. They will begin to think that they can never do right by you. And, in doing this, you put someone else’s child on a pedestal.

Or we swing the other way and put our child on the pedestal. Thinking our child is better than everyone else’s setting them up for failure because they can “do no wrong”. This also puts a great deal of pressure on your child and they will become humiliated when they fail to meet with your approval. I feel this also encourages our children to be puffed up and that no one can do anything better than your child.

2) It creates an entitlement attitude

Our mentality is that we should always have the latest and greatest things. And when others have those things, we need them too. My child is just as good or better than yours (again comparing) therefore they need whatever that is to make your child great in the eyes of others. If their child has one, my child needs one too. (Whether or not you can afford one.)

The trouble with this mind-set is is that someone is always going to have something you want. Someone is always going to have a bigger house, more money, better clothes, better car or a “better life.” And if we are coveting and comparing ourselves to others you can bet that our kids will learn to do that as well.

Entitlement comes from a prideful attitude. Just like Eve in the Garden. She thought she should be entitled to know everything that God knows. Satan lies to us and tells us that if other children have it then so should then mine should too.

3) It teaches them to be ungrateful

It’s not enough to teach a child to parrot the word ‘thank you’ when they are given something. We need to really encourage gratefulness in our children.

We will never teach our kids to be thankful and grateful for what they have if we are always trying to keep up with what the world tells us we need. Are we purposefully thankful in front of our kids to help them learn to be thankful? Or do we nitpick and complain that we don’t have the newest iPhone or the lastest fashion?

If we do not make a conscious effort to be thankful in front of our kids, they will learn that they will always need something new and fantastic to make them happy. Madame Blueberry, anyone?

4) It fosters discontent among theirs peers

Children at a young age become aware that others have things that they don’t have. I remember being envious when I saw friends or relatives opening presents that I wish I had.

I am beginning to have the mind-set not to open gifts in front of other children because I don’t want to teach them to be envious of my child. Or to teach mine to be envious of other children.

How do you teach a 3-year-old to be happy with what some else has that they don’t? I admit I am not always quick to be happy when someone gets something that I have always wanted. I received many wonderful gifts from my family when I was younger so I wasn’t lacking in gifts but maybe those ideas of discontent stem from comparing my gifts to those around me?

5) It teaches them that their self-worth comes from others and things

When we teach our children to compare what they have with others it begins to shape their thinking that their self-worth comes from what they own and how they look. I do think it is important to look nice and presentable but we need to look at why our kids should be presentable.

Do we want them to have the best because we want people to admire us and how our kids look? Or should they be dressed decently in clean clothes because we are a reflection of Jesus Christ?

Look, I’m not down on moms who want to dress their kids in cute clothes. More power to ya. But when I see that your child HAS to have name brand clothes I feel like their attire is more about you then them simply being dressed.

And then when you get frustrated with them because they spilled food on the clothe you spent x amount of money on, you are telling them that their clothes are more important then their feelings getting hurt.

So what it really boils down to is this…

Are we trying to help them be more like Christ today than they were yesterday?

That’s the only comparison we should making of our children because He’s the only one worth emulating.

I am on this journey of Motherhood like all moms. I, again, am not perfect in this but who wants to join me in a pact of teaching humility and gratefulness to our children?

Think I am crazy or are you crazy with me? Let me know in the comments below!

 

6 Ways to Decorate Your Home for Free.

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Every time I walk through Target I dream about all the ways I can decorate my home. But since I don’t have any unlimited budget (cue the sad music) I tried to find some ways I could decorate my home for free.

Many things come into our possession that could easily be made into something cute but we don’t have the vision to see what it could become. And thanks to Pinterest, others have shared their ideas to upcycle every day items into something new!

So here are a few ideas to get those creative juices flowing!

1) Wild flowers and other plants

Whenever I go for walks with my kids my oldest is always picking flowers “…from an obliging field.” (Name that movie!) This is the simplest, easiest and most frugal way to decorate your home. Keep an eye on the foliage around you and see what you can use to bring some life into your home decor.

2) Rocks

The next time you are out and about, either camping or going for a nature walk, take a little look around and find yourself some smooth stones. (No, we’re not going to slay any giants. Not today at least.) Then bring them home and wash them off. Grab a few of your kids paints and have at it! Pinterest has so many ideas for painting rocks.

Don’t have a green thumb? Just paint your plants!

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Or you can make these cute and simple rock photo holders!

rock-craft

3) Greeting Cards

Many people have quite an accumulation of greeting cards at their disposal for creativity but don’t think to use them. I don’t keep many cards but I do keep a few to decorate with. I came across this idea when one of my sister-in-law’s was pregnant and have been meaning to do something like this ever since.

It is butterfly hand punched through cards and placed inside a frame. It would look super cute in a girls nursery!

4) Plastic bags

I have been remembering to bring my reusable bags when I go grocery shopping but forget to take my old plastic bags back to the store to be recycled. So I found some ways to upcycle them and use them as free decor!

This Christmas Wreath from Popsugar looks like feathers!
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Or cut plastic bags into long strips and crochet a sturdy basket!

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5) Tissue Paper

Do save the tissue paper from gifts that you or your kids receive? If you don’t you are missing out on so many DIY home decor freebies!

There are so many things you can do with tissue paper that I am only putting one up this garland idea that I haven’t tried before. This one would be another great one for Christmas.

5steps

6) Plastic bottles

This kitty planter is really cute and will need to try soon! It will appease that cat lady in me since we can’t get a cat yet. Just ask people for their empty soda bottles and you’re in business. You cut the top half of a soda bottle off and then paint the kitty or another four-legged furry creature on it. You can even cut four small holes into the bottom of the bottle so your plant doesn’t get water-logged.

DIY-Kitty-Cat-Soda-Bottle-Planter-Salty-Canary-34-of-35-copy

What ways have you decorated your home for free? Please let me know in the comments! Like other DIY Projects? Check out these older posts!

Spring Decor. Hanging coffee cup sign.

Projects and photos are from:

  1. dreamsandcaffine.com
  2. onelittleproject.com
  3. bridal buzz.blogspot.com
  4. Popsugar.com
  5. Instructables.com
  6. lorrieeverittstudio.blogspot.com
  7. saltycanary.com

Happy crafting!!

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A Letter for Moms After Mother’s day.

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It’s the day after Mother’s day and things have gone back to normal for the most part. We resume business as usual and most everyone forgets the day before how moms were celebrated.

If I could sit and talk to you the day after Mother’s day what would you tell me? Would you say that it was one of the best you’ve had or was it hard because you didn’t actually get to celebrate for one reason or another?

Since I can not be with you, I wanted to write you a letter in the hopes that you will be touched and remember that someone is still thinking about you the day after Mother’s day.

This letter is for the mom who…

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DIY Mother’s Day Gift: Hand Print Key Chain

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Since I have only been a mom for four years (I include the time in the womb) I don’t readily think about what I’m going to do for Mother’s day because I am usually thinking about what I want to do for my mom and mother-in-law. So when I saw this the other day I knew what I wanted to make for the special mama’s in my life.

I love handmade gifts! Especially the ones made by those you love. J asks me almost every day if he can make a craft. I try to prepare things ahead of time so that when he asks I can just whip out the project and he can easily put it together by himself. This one is so easy that there is really no need to prep. Continue reading