Words (from the best of Mom2Momtoday)

Take a minute to describe yourself. What words come to mind? Are they words that build you up? Or tear you down? Do you think of words others may have said about you? Words are powerful. A well-placed word can do so much for a person, but a cutting word or remark does more, only negatively and much longer lasting. We need to use our words to build each other up. I can clearly remember the names I was called as a child. I also remember the good things said about me, but not as clearly.

As a child, I loved to sing. I sang in school, church, and at home to the songs played on the radio. I had gotten a really cool, battery-operated transistor radio with a little earplug for Christmas. I carried it around with me all the time. In fact, I used to get in trouble for always having the earplug in my ear and the radio on. The following winter, my class was having a Christmas party and the teacher said we could sing Christmas carols with a friend in front of the class. Everyone in the class was excited! One of the girls in the class and I decided we were going to sing “Silver Bells.” We practiced and were ready for our song. I don’t remember much more about that day –other than the comment from my teacher –that I couldn’t sing and should never sing again. Those words have stuck with me for 40 years.

As a teacher, my class and I sing everyone morning during Bible time. I still think my voice is awful, but my class loves to hear me sing. But that hasn’t stopped me. Their love and acceptance of my froggy voice makes teaching them a joy! I try every day to build my students up, say positive things to them, and pray that during the time they are with me they will love school and love to read and feel good about who they are. I also try to do the same thing as a mom. Sometimes we speak without thinking, we say the first thing that comes to mind, and the result can be disastrous. Or something we say gets taken the wrong way. Take time daily to praise your child and say something that boosts confidence. Put a note in a lunchbox, text your child something silly, tell them you love them. Let them have lots of good things to remember from their childhood.

Think about the words you said recently. .

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10 Truths For Today (from the best of Mom2Mom)

At dinner tonight, my daughter was telling us about a discussion she had in school that day.  The subject was 8 lies that could ruin your life.  I prefer to tell truths.  I can tell you some truths I have discovered over the years.

First, you never stop learning.  I am old enough to get a discount at Kohl’s but I do not yet know everything.

Second, what you thought was important when you were younger changes as you get older.

Third, when you finish college you do not know everything.

Fourth, your children can teach you a lot.

Fifth, time passes quicker the older you get-summer vacation and weekends especially.

Sixth, everything is more expensive than you think it is. Nothing is free.

Seven, you can choose how you feel about something, so choose wisely.

Eight, not everyone will agree with you every time- and that’s okay.

Nine, sometimes it is better to just walk away.

Ten, one step forward and two steps back is normal.

Truths.

Leigh@mom2momtoday.com

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Turn Around(from the best of Mom2Mom)

Time passes by so quickly.  But not daily.  People are always waiting for Friday to come, but when it does do they ever stop to think that a whole week has passed?  Days turn into weeks, weeks into months and months into years.  And as much as we complain about how long the workweek seems to be, time really does pass by quickly.

My youngest daughter thinks time passes by slowly.  You remember how slowly time passed when you were in school, don’t you?  So we have a little ritual to help the week go by.  We celebrate Wednesday.  We call it, “Woot Woot Wednesday!”  And we celebrate by stopping at Publix on the way to school and get a doughnut.  We started our ritual in August when school started.  Now, when the bakery manager  sees us he says,” Happy Wednesday!”   I know it may not be the healthiest way to celebrate, but it sure makes her happy.

But to me, the days pass by quickly, and the weekends even more so.  Have you realized that tomorrow it’s November?  Didn’t school just start?  Time keeps marching on and on and on.

Years ago we were heading on a family vacation to Florida.  My husband was driving and the 3 girls were sitting in the back, of course, each with their own space in the car- their
travelling blankets, pillows, movies, toys.  We were driving along and I turned around to say something to the girls.  And I looked at them…..and realized they were growing up.  Then and there I promised myself to regularly turn around and look at them and take a
mental picture and try to capture in my mind the memory of that moment.  I kept my word and I have been doing that over the years.

Yesterday I did it again.  This time it was just my husband, myself and my youngest daughter in the car. We were going on a college visit.  I turned around to talk to Sarah and looked.  My older two daughters weren’t there.  One was at college, the other at work.
My mental picture of the three girls was drastically different.  The thought was eye-opening.   One day I am going to turn around and there won’t be any children in the back.  For 20 years now, there had been one, two and then three car seats; and then as each girl grew, the car seats began to disappear.  There had been three girls in the car.  Now the three of them are only with us on isolated occasions. We are down to one in the car now, and even that has changed as my youngest now has her driver’s license.  And wants her own car. And time keeps ticking.

So the next time you load up the kids in the car, take a moment to turn around and take a good look.  Take a mental picture of your kids in the car or in the car seat and treasure it. One day soon, the car seat will be gone, the little child will be a teen and then. . .

Leigh@mom2momtoday.com

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If The Pieces Fit (from the best of Mom2Mom)

All my life I have enjoyed putting together jigsaw puzzles. When I was growing up, my mom had the perfect dining room table for doing puzzles.  Her table is big and long and has room for even the largest puzzles.  I would spread out all the pieces and right away I would start separating the ends so I could make the border and build my puzzle in towards the middle.  I remember living at home and doing puzzles and staying up late just to put one more piece in.  We had all kinds of puzzles.  One of the hardest ones I remember doing was a round puzzle titled, “Little Red Riding Hood’s Red Hood”.  It was round and red and that was it!

Fortunately my husband and my children like to do puzzles too.  We have done puzzles with flowers, winter scenes, mystery puzzles, like CSI where when you are done you have to solve the case, people, animals – you name it, we did it.  A few years back we began collecting Photo Mosaic puzzles from Disney where each piece has a tiny scene from a movie hidden on it.  Puzzles to me are relaxing, an escape from the everyday hectic pace that we moms always seem to run.  But we don’t always get the time to do puzzles.  Something is always going on-games, work, church, parties, cleaning, errands etc. It seems to me the only time I get to do puzzles now is when it snows.  Earlier this week one of my students brought me a puzzle-the picture was of a frazzled teacher, standing on top of a desk with a mouse underneath that was being chased by a cat. The room was full of students and it was just chaos.  It made me smile.  It also made me stop and think.

How often do I feel frazzled like that poor teacher in the picture on the cover of the puzzle box?  How hectic are my days where I rush from one thing to the next?  When will I ever feel like I have a minute to myself- to relax, to take a bubble bath, to do a puzzle, to think, to spend time with my husband and not just on the run, to pray, to read the Bible to be
still?  I have put together the pieces of this puzzle I call my life but maybe they don’t really fit into the frame like they are supposed to.   Maybe my puzzle has too many pieces.  Maybe I should spread them all on the table and find those important ends that hold me
together and put it together a different way, a way that doesn’t need all the pieces in it right now.  I guess I should go check the weather.  Maybe it will snow and I can work on my own puzzle.  Now I only have one question, “Honey, what channel is the Weather Channel?”

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A Little Nudge(from the best of Mom2Mom)

We have a cute and rather funny Miniature Schnauzer named Mr. Famous.  Most of the time we call himFamy but he has been called all different types of names, some he responds to and some he doesn’t. One time, being silly, we tried his name in different languages- Monsieur Fameux and Senor Famoso-he really liked being called Senor.  He got all puffed up with that name.  Whenever the doorbell rings, someone is surely here to visit Mr. Famous.   And he loves treats.  We play Hide and Go Treat and it is always good for a laugh.  He goes out on the porch and I tell him to hide his eyes.  Then I take some treats and hide them around the house.  When I let him back in, he runs all over trying to find them-he slips and slides all over the place in anticipation of getting a treat.

He also loves toys and hides them under a bush in our front yard.  If you look under there, he has a little storehouse of toys just stashed and waiting to be played with-kind of like a boy with a fort.  When he wants to play he will bring in one or two toys and lie on the floor with them next to him and wait for someone to walk by.  If you go to reach for one, he jumps up and is ready to run and fetch or be chased.  He is a funny little dog.  Every night at dinner he comes and stands next to me when I am sitting at the table and nudges me in the leg while I am eating to remind me he is there.

It’s funny but God has a way of doing that to me too.  And like Famous, we call God all different types of names too.  Father God, Heavenly Father, Lord, El Shaddai and He answers to any name we use. When things are not going the way I want and I start to feel low and it’s hard at times to look up, I cannot tell you how often God has nudged me, just like Famy, to remind me He is there.  He opens my eyes to what I have that I take for granted and then opens them again to remind me that I shouldn’t lose heart- He is always there and always will be no matter what. He answers prayers that I haven’t even prayed yet. And again, He nudges and reminds me every day of all I have.  And what I have is more than enough.

Has God nudged you lately?

Leigh@mom2momtoday.com

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Young Adult Children and the Person They Love!(from the best of Mom2Mom)

Happy Thursday!
Weekends are always interesting in my house.  Having three teenage daughters around, you never know what‘s going to happen.   Weekends often involve guests in my house.  That guest is now of the male persuasion.   I have learned some things by raising only girls, but it seems like there is still so much to learn.

Over the years I have heard moms say things like “I don’t know what my daughter sees in her boyfriend.  He’s nothing like I would pick for her”…….  Come to think of it, I’ve had that thought myself a time or two.   And then, it suddenly dawned on me, “Aha, there’s my first mistake.”  He doesn’t have to be like the person I would have picked.  I’m not in the market for a boy right now.  My daughter is.

I have found if I say that I really like the boy my daughter is interested in, she will drop him like a hot potato.  I have told my daughters, while they were “dating” a boy, that I actually liked him.  I said things like, he is polite, hard working, courteous, seems to have a plan for the future, etc.  You know the kind of things a parent looks for in potential lifetime mates for their child.  Then suddenly, the next thing I see on Facebook is that they are no longer in a relationship.  On the other hand, if I say anything negative, she will hold on to him even tighter.  There was one time one of my daughters wasn’t very happy with some of the rules my husband and I wanted her to follow, and her “boyfriend” was encouraging her to break these rules,  and she was threatening to move out or elope.  Of course, this was with a boy I would have not chosen for her.  I had made the mistake of pointing out how he could do things better and how he should respect the rules we had.   My daughter finally
came to her senses.  Whew!  My knees were getting sore from praying so much.  If only I had said how much I liked him instead of how wrong he was for her.  Live and learn!

And please remember, when your young adult child gets married, it is important to love their spouse like they were your own child, no matter what you think about them.  Nothing can put more distance in a relationship than not accepting the person your child
chooses to marry.  Keep your opinions to yourself. Avoid those, “I told you so’s.”  Pray and ask God to help you see what it is your adult child sees in the love of their life.  Maybe with new eyes, you can see it to.

Remember it is important to always be praying for your children and for their future spouses.  It is never too early (or late) to start.  We should begin praying for our children’s
spouses when they are very young.  God is going to be working in the heart of your child and He has a pretty good track record.   Turn it over to God.   He may just be using your child to teach you something.

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Smell The Pretty Flowers (from the Best of Mom2Mom)

When my children were younger, my older two went to preschool in the afternoon.  Back then I had 3 children ages 3, 2 and brand new.  I thought at the time it would be great for my older daughter to go to preschool and spend time with other children her age as well as another adult.  Her class turned out to be lots of fun for her.  The next year I sent my two older girls to the same preschool.  The girls were now 4, 3 and 1.  As the year passed, my youngest and I enjoyed our time together…sometimes we were home, sometimes shopping and sometimes she went to Mother’s Day out.  Wow!  You can only imagine how I felt to have some time to myself.  I could clean, vacuum, bake, shower –whatever I wanted.  And of course, those few hours I had alone were jam packed with errands and whatever else was on my never-ending to do list.  I was always rushing, here, there and then back to the church that ran the Mother’s Day Out program.  After picking up my youngest, we ran to get the girls from preschool.  My youngest at the time preferred walking (as most do) as opposed to me carrying her and rushing as I tended to do.  She would saunter down the sidewalk and I was always saying, “Let’s go, we’re going to be late”, you get the idea, right?  One day, she just stopped outside the school and stood there.  I walked over and she said “I’m smelling the pretty flowers.”

Leave it to an almost 2 year old to make me stop and think and realize what I was missing.  I have never forgotten that day and here it is 14 years later.  Time has flown by….my girls are nearing the end of their teen years and I wonder…did I miss any other
moments?  Did I make the most of everyday with them as they were growing up?  Or
was I too busy being busy? -caught up in the hectic day to day lives we all lead.

Those days and moments will soon be gone. Try not to miss even one.   Make a promise to your children, and to yourself, and stop and smell the pretty flowers as often as you can.

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