Friday Favorites: Legacy edition
I’ve been grumpy this week. You wouldn’t know I’ve been in a chronic bad mood if you saw me out and about. I save my grumpiness for my family. Isn’t that nice of me? The ones I love the most get Miss Huff-n-Puffs while the friends (and even strangers) get Miss Congeniality.
I can explain; however, explanations don’t justify behavior no matter which way I slice it. So, know I recognize that fact even though I’m going to justify my grumpiness in the following diatribe.
I’m having a hard time figuring out my new role in Kaden’s life. I’ve been surprised by these feelings. Kaden (my eldest) and I have a great relationship and I enjoy his company immensely. I felt more prepared for my feelings last summer. I knew saying goodbye to Kaden was going to be brutal and beautiful. It would change us and grow us and define us all. And, the past year delivered all of those things.
But, I am now experiencing this surprise feeling of “oh, he really has moved out. And, moved on.” He doesn’t need me the way he used to need me.
And, y’all, I know I don’t want it any other way. I really don’t. God is answering the numerous prayers I muttered–through tears and desperation–for Kaden to love and chase after Jesus in spite of his mom’s futile attempt at parenting.
So, I’m in the midst of learning how to be a mom to an adult-ish child. The learning curve is huge and I don’t think I’m walking through it gracefully. In fact, I know I’m not. I’m fumbling through it. It’s like I’m right back in the “new-born” phase. Walking, limping, and sometimes crawling into this new phase of parenting. Except, the kid isn’t crying because he wants his mommy, the mom is crying because she wants the kid.
Wait, isn’t she supposed to be writing about Friday Favorites?
I’ve never been accused of being succinct. I’m getting there…
Added to this transition in my life is summertime. If I hear one more person say something about the “lazy days of summer,” I actually might go all Solange Knowles on them.
Summertime overwhelms me. It always has. I ALWAYS set myself up for failure. You would think I would learn. But, every summer I think it’s going to look a certain way, and it NEVER does. Not ever. I’ve learned to lower my standards on goals and objectives, but I fail to accomplish even simplified activities and uncomplicated goals for me and my children.
20 minutes of reading time for the kids each day? Nope.
5 minute studying of math facts? Nope.
2 hour limit of TV? hahahaha
consistent exercise? What was the question? I was too busy doing squats/lunges in my bedroom trying to stretch out my jeans that are all of a sudden too tight. Does that count as a yoga workout?
I think to myself every May, “Summertime is going to be a time of bonding and growth and discipleship with my children.”
By the time July rolls around I think to myself, “Who let me be a mom?”
I function best when I have space and margin in my life. I need quiet spaces and breaks in the schedule to be an engaged, loving, kind, and attentive mom and wife. Stefan’s busy season at work is summer. My kids busy season for travel, camps, social activities is summer. Therefore, my busy season is summer and breaks in the schedule are rare.
So, I’ve been grumpy.
But, I don’t want to stay grumpy.
I want my kids to remember a mom who loved them deeply, welcomed interruptions, engaged in conversations, and graciously adapted to summertime chaos.
Over the past 2 months, I watched one of my closest friends love her mother deeply, selflessly, and without reservation as her mom died of cancer. Her mom died last Saturday and, as with all of these kinds of situations, I didn’t know the words to say to my close friend. All I could think of was how incredibly grateful I am for my friend’s mom’s legacy. My friend is one of the most loving, kind, gracious, encouraging people I know and I am indebted to her mom for raising a daughter who is a tangible representation of the hands and feet of Jesus to so many, including me.
A reminder that I have some work to do if I want a legacy like that.
I want to leave a legacy of a loving, although messy and flawed, mom. Not Miss Huff-n-Puffs.
Here are some of my favorite ways to leave a legacy of love.
Friday Favorites–Legacy Edition:
1. One of my favorite things we do as a family is have a “question of the night” at dinner. This tradition started when I stumbled upon this Melissa and Doug box of questions. Some of our most beneficial conversations stemmed from a question of the night.
2. The only way I know how to make it as a wife, a mom, a friend, etc…is to allow Truth to seep into the darkest parts of me. My friend told me about the Journible a few months ago and I LOVE it. You write out (word for word) verses, chapters, entire books of the Bible on one page of the journal and on the other page, you journal thoughts, questions, requests, answered prayers, etc. I want my kids to know that their mom needed Truth to combat all the lies that are so tempting to believe.
**side note** If studying the Bible is scary and/or intimidating to you, I have 2 suggestions:
- Find an easy to understand Bible like “the Voice” or “the Message” or even the “Jesus Storybook Bible.”
- I’ve learned that I need some kind of structure for studying the Bible, and a few years ago, my friend told me about the “5 questions.” These 5 questions are often what I use after I read a portion of Scripture.
- What do you like about this story?
- What surprises you about this story?
- What do you learn about God?
- What do you learn about man (humanity)?
- How do you apply what you learned to your life?
You will be AMAZED at what the Spirit teaches you and how Truth transforms.
3. For several years (and I mean several!) Stefan would wash my car every Sunday afternoon. I thought it was nice the first couple of times. Then, I started to get frustrated. Eventually, I got bitter. Finally, I told him, “why do you wash my car every Sunday, when you could be spending time with me and the kids?” (reading that question makes it sound like I was very calm and civil. I wasn’t.) Through conversation we realized that Stefan is an “Acts of Service” guy and I am a “Quality Time/Words of Affirmation” girl. Because he feels loved when someone does something for him, he was exhibiting love in the way he receives it. Thankfully, he’s a quick study and doesn’t wash my car on Sundays anymore.
If we don’t know how our kids receive love, we can spend numerous unproductive hours “loving” them, only to learn that our attempts fall short. Let’s study our children and learn them!
4. Word on the street is that some people actually bake with their kids. I know! I was just as shocked as you. I’m telling you, people are crazy! Not everyone can be normal like us.
Anyway, if you are one of the crazies and enjoy baking with your kiddos, this is my favorite cookie recipe.
Oatmeal Crunkies (too good to call cookies)
- 1/2 C. butter (or butter flavored Crisco)
- 1 egg
- 1 C. brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. vanilla
Blend until smooth, then add:
- 1 C. oatmeal
- 1 C. flour
I’m fairly certain these cookies will take the grumpy out of all of us.