Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Not So Perfect Mom By Stephanie Shott

I always dreamed of being the perfect mom. The one who has all the right answers, never raises her voice and never has to count to three.

When I observed another mother applying some super cool new mommy approach, I would try it too. When her children were obedient, well mannered and sat quietly in church with what appeared to be halos on their heads, I would try to find out the secret to her success. 
"God did not design
cookie-cutter children,
nor did he expect us to be
cookie-cutter mothers"

After a little soul searching and Scripture digging, I realized Proverbs 22:6 beckons us to be very individual in the way we raise our children. Being a good mom meant I was to “Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Amplified).
How refreshing to know God did not design cookie-cutter children, nor did he expect us to be cookie-cutter mothers. I didn’t have to be perfect; I didn’t have to be like the other mothers. I just had to be the best mom I could be for each of my sons.

My boys are men now. And although I never attained the coveted title of Perfect Mom, and my children never sported a halo, they always knew I was their biggest cheerleader, their constant counselor and their most passionate prayer warrior. They still do, and I still am.

Dear God, thank you for making me and my children unique individuals. Help me to mother from who I am in ways that bless my children for who they are, and guide them on the path to knowing you always.

Stephanie Shott
is an international speaker, author of the new Bible study on Ecclesiastes, Understanding What Matters Most and part of a gifted team of communicators led by Kathi Lipp known as Speaker Chicks. www.stephanieshott.com

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dinner Disaster By Shelley Byrne, mother of three

The other night I tried a new recipe for dinner. It involved a bit of chopping, adding, stirring and quite frankly – a lot of monitoring to make sure it came out right.

Meanwhile, I took the easy route for a vegetable and popped some green beans on the back burner to simmer while I focused on this new fancy main dish. It had a couple of ingredients in it that I had never used, so when I started smelling something unusual, I just thought it was the new sauce. The odor became more of a burning smell, and I frantically checked my new entrĂ©e to make sure it was still on track. Well, my new dish turned out beautifully, but the green beans on that back burner slowly burned themselves to the bottom of the pan, thus creating an awful smell once it was too late to save them!
"I desperately want to
stay in tune to the
everyday needs
of my children."

While trying to scrub and salvage my little saucepan, I reflected on my dinner fiasco. I wondered just how many times I take the same approach with my children. How often do I assume that they are doing just fine and push them off to the back burner while I focus on something else of interest to me or something that is more demanding of my time?

I desperately want to stay in tune to the everyday needs of my children. I don’t want to miss the little signals that they send out when they need my attention. Fancy dinner or not, it’s my kids who need me most.

Dear God, it can be so easy to focus on the wrong priorities. This holiday season, lead me to pursuits that bind me to my family, and ultimately bring honor to you.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mom E-Mail - Honorng the Fallen

Honoring the Fallen
By Melodi Leih, MOPS Regional Developer 

When my son Mason was five, my family made a trip to Cabrillo National Monument, a lighthouse on a point overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Along our way, we passed a military cemetery. Mason noticed the headstones and asked, “Mommy, what are all those white things?” Sensing a learning opportunity, we decided to stop and let him ask questions, look around and discover what was there. He led the way and stopped in front of one of the headstones with an American flag on the top. He asked several questions about our country, wondering why the soldiers had died.

"Our family circled around
the headstone and prayed
for the man’s family."

After several minutes, Mason put his hand on his heart and began to sing the Star Spangled Banner at the top of his little lungs, saluting at the finish. Moved to tears at the tenderness in his heart, I resolved to take every opportunity to talk to my kids about the freedoms we enjoy as Americans and those who have given their lives to protect those freedoms. Our family circled around the headstone and prayed for the man’s family and gave thanks for his life before continuing our journey.

I am so glad we took the time to stop and let Mason explore that day. For his sake, yes, but also for my own. I rediscovered my passion for praying for and thanking members of the armed services for my freedom. Experiencing it with Mason allowed me to see it through new eyes, and for that I am grateful.

Dear God, thank you for the men and women who serve our country in the armed forces. Protect them in their service, and support the families they leave at home. Help me never fail to honor their sacrifice.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Speaker Notes From Yesterday's Meeting

Hey Everyone!

Yesterday was a first for us. We had our first speaker come and visit our group. Pastor Jeremy Powell from Hayden First Baptist Church came and spoke to us about looking at the whole perspective, not judging other moms and how to focus on the bible in our families lives. Here are some key note from his time with us!

When you are more concerned about what other people think than your are with the Laws of God, the Principles of God, and the Wisdom of God, then you teach your children that they should fear people more than they fear God.

         Kids see where we spend our time, what we worry about, what we read and listen to, etc.

Because of these points, the majority of kids leave the church when they graduate high school. Here's what we can do to work toward stopping that....

1) Learn the laws of God - The Bible needs to be your guide. - 2 Timothy 3:16
                 "All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in           righteousness."

2) Teach them to your children- Proverbs 22:6 "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it"

3) Care more about your child's relationship with God then you do about anything else. God isn't going to ask your kids how to throw a chop block or do a pirouette, he is going to look for the relationship they have formed with him. All of those other things are important too, but not more important then their relationship with God!

The bottom line, that I personally took away, was that we need to learn how to teach our children to fear God, not other people. I personally vow to make that a habit in my daily actions with my family! I feel so passionately about MOPS and the meaning of the group. We are here for this exact purpose. We want to help build relationships that encourage a healthy relationship between Christ and you as a mom. We hope that this only helps you bring Christ into the center of your family!

We thank Pastor Jeremy for taking the time to come speak with us and I encourage everyone to come again next month. We meet again, Tues Dec 13th @ 9am at the Reid House at FBCH. If you have any questions please contact us at HaydenMops@hotmail.com or call Becky at (205) 647-0282.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Preschooler Generosity: Is it Possible?

Here is the Mom E-Mail for this week. Cute story and an AWESOME prayer at the end!
Preschooler Generosity: Is it Possible?
By Erin MacPherson, mom of three.

I admit, I had asked the unthinkable—requesting that each of my children part with their hard-earned dollars, dollars saved from birthday presents, allowances and the tooth fairy—to buy a toy for someone else.

After wildfires raged through our hometown of Austin, Texas, destroying more than 1,500 homes in one day, my husband and I decided to help. And, since this disaster hit close to home affecting several of our friends, I really wanted my kids to have a tangible understanding of what it meant to give generously.
So I asked them to donate to the cause. And, as expected, they refused.

Not ready to give up, I sat them down on the couch and explained. I told them about kids who had nowhere to live and nothing to play with. Then I asked them to each spend time praying that God would show them how they could make a difference. Talk about laying it on thick.

Five minutes later, they came and asked if we could go to Target. They headed straight to the toy aisle where Joey carefully selected a Star Wars toy and Kate selected a pink pony. 

I could see the emotions in their eyes as they carefully counted out the bills from their wallets and handed them to the cashier. Trepidation mixed with joy, disappointment mixed with pride, and I knew that a huge lesson had been learned.

Dear God, please show me creative ways to teach my kids how to live generously. Help me set a meaningful example of giving as I mother them. Amen. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Book Review: Good Night Scout

Good Night Scout has quickly become one of my one year old's favorite books to play with.  It reads a story or sings a song about a night time routine.  It is a very fun, interactive book that helps to introduce your child to reading.  The book is very durable and has hard plastic pages that are easy for a little one to hold on to and turn.  A bonus for parents is that the book has a button on the top that plays a different track when pressed.  This helps the book not to be too monotonous by hearing the same thing over and over, and really keeps the child's attention once they learn to push it.  Overall, I would say that this book is a fun way for a child to learn about night time routines and it definitely nurtures a love of reading books for infants and toddlers.