Toddlers to Teens….Raising Arrows

by frazzledmama on July 15, 2016

At the moment I have a few close friends who have 2 and 3 year old children.  Spending time with them takes me back to when my kiddos were tiny humans trying to explore and understand their world.  And I remember….

It’s exhausting.

If you have a precocious child you understand this fully. Your days tend to feel like a never ending trip into an alternate universe where anything and everything can happen in the span of 2 minutes.  For example:

X has squeezed chocolate syrup through the kitchen and dinning room area. As I was mopping the floors he then climbed to the bathroom counter got the toothpaste and squeezed all of it into the toilet, while peeing on the floor. Oh did I forget to mention he’s in the “rip my diaper off” phase???

I laughed when I read this Facebook post from my dear friend, as I’m sure she will laugh about it 10 years from now.   But in the moment, it’s maddening.  When I was drowning in babies, I remember Mr. OverKill coming home at the end of the day to a completely trashed house, dinner if he was lucky, and me saying “All I did today was put out fires.  What on earth am I doing here???”

When we started having children, Mr. OverKill and I decided to try an experiment.  We decided to put our best effort forth in raising our children the way the Lord says they should be raised.  Quite literally putting all of our eggs in one basket…but it was HIS basket.  We have sacrificed financially, emotionally, and physically in our desire to follow the Lords directions with regards to our children.

Deuteronomy 6:7 – And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

This verse has been the cornerstone of raising our children.  Deuteronomy 6:7 was a pivotal verse for me, as I came to understand that in order to follow God’s direction  I needed to be home with my kids.  It wasn’t easy.  I had goals, plans, dreams even of what my career might hold. Sometimes, I even allow myself to linger over those thoughts today.  Where would I be?  What would I be doing? Sometimes I mourn the once promising career that now is a distant memory.

But I digress.

I believe that Deuteronomy 6:7 gives us such a great picture of motherhood, at every stage, but especially during those exhaustingly busy years of cleaning lipstick off walls and calling poison control to find out if drinking perfume will kill your son.  The Lord knew we would have these days, and He also knew how important it would be for parents not to throw up their hands and give up.  He knows how crucial it is for parents to be engaged and relentless in teaching their children….alllll the time!  Walking, sitting, going to bed, rising up…Granted there are days with much less sitting than walking…or running.

I want to encourage you moms of tiny mobile humans that all your efforts will pay off.   I want to encourage you that when you feel invisible to the ENTIRE world, especially that 2 year old currently peeing NEXT to the toilet, rather than in it, God sees your efforts. He sees that you are doing messy Kingdom work.  And He smiles on your work.

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I think sometimes verses become too familiar to us and they loose some of their potency to impact our hearts.  Let’s not allow that to happen here.  Think for a moment about arrows in the hand of a warrior.  What is their purpose?  They are to be launched towards the enemy for the purpose of causing injury to said enemy, correct? This is the image the Lord has given us of our children. What a powerful picture! We MUST train up our children in the Lord, so that we may launch them into the world, into our culture that is filled with the enemy(Satan, sin, and flesh… not people). Why? So that they can be a force to be reckoned with.  Right now, that two year old IS a force to be reckoned with, and our job as parents is to mold and shape and encourage our children to use theirs skills and talents, even their strong willed natures, for the Lord.

And guess where that starts?  It starts teaching a 6 month old to lie down when it is nap time. It starts with staying consistent with a relentless two year and their honey pot antics. It starts when we require obedience even on issues that seem inconsequential.   It starts with a commitment in your heart to stay the course and preserver through the tough spots.  I promise you, it’s worth it.  I had a VERY rebellious two year old.  My heart ached and my body was weary from the day to day battle to bend her will to obedience.  Fast forward 12 years and she is the sweetest most compliant teen.  She doesn’t rebel over clothing or make up, rather we have conversations filled with love and respect.  Most importantly, her heart is tender toward the correction of her Savior.

Mr. OverKill and I have not done everything perfect with our children….and I’m sure we will make our share of mistakes as the years continue….  And our children are far from perfect.  But we are out of the “little child” phase and are in the throws of the teen years, and I can honestly say all that exhausting work during the little years, has paid of exponentially during the teen years.  I am tremendously thankful now that I gave up my plans for my life at the time and followed the leading of the Lord in my family.  His ways are not my ways, but they are blessed ways, they are ways filled with hard won victories.

Please feel free to print the above graphic for personal use :)

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All the reasons I haven’t been blogging lately.

by frazzledmama on May 3, 2016

Wow…what a title. Get ready for some excuses y’all.

Not really…..but…

It has been almost 2 months since my last post.

Oh. My. Word.

I’m hoping to starting posting regularly again….I know you’ve heard that before. But really, I am.

I had some software issues after upgrading to Windows 10 a couple of months ago, and simply did not have the time to attempt a fix.  Apparently, other people had the same issue and let Windows know about it, because when my computer updated a week ago, it fixed itself.  (You don’t hear that too often!)

I haven’t really posted anything about our family goings on since before Christmas, and so I’d like to do that in this post, and then maybe I can get back to James. ;)

We decided this year, rather than take one long vacation, which is hard for Mr. OverKill and I to do with the business, we would take a few long weekend trips.  We kicked of the New Year hiking in Providence Canyon, Georgia.

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This place is amazing and I highly recommend making a visit.

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Mr. OverKill and I are adjusting to having 2 teens and 2 more nearly teens.  It’s definitely an adjustment, but we are also finding that it has fun moments and we often have more opportunities to spend time just the two of us. It’s neat to watch them grow and become more independent. It’s kind of sad too.

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We had a first this year, after 10 years of ownership, we finally got the van stuck in some mud.  All I have to say is, I wasn’t driving ;)

I’m not sure if I mentioned it here on the blog or not, but we expanded our business with a second shop more dedicated to hydraulic repairs, and also making custom hydraulic hoses.  We started the transition last summer, and it has been quite a ride!  The Lord has been blessing us, and it has been going very well, but it has also been keeping us rather busy :)

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I have basically started working part time doing bookkeeping and inventory at the new shop.  Another reason the blog has been quieter lately.

Of course that didn’t stop me from tackling a bedroom makeover in February. That will need to be a post all it’s own.  I’m SO pleased with how it came out and owe tons of thanks to my friend Crazy Kristen for all her help.

In March Little Man had surgery to remove a cholesteatoma  from his right ear.  You can read more about that here.

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He did great, and the surgery went extremely well. One of the bones in his middle ear had been eroded by the cholesteatoma, but they were able to replace it with a titanium  prosthetic ear bone. He is healing nicely and we will see the doc again this week, at which time I believe they will perform another hearing test to see if he has regained any hearing.

Also something I’m not sure if I have mentioned here or not….In the fall the girls auditioned for a youth symphony over on the coast and were accepted. So they have been playing with 2 groups this year.

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It has been a great experience for them to play with a full symphony, but it has also been one more time commitment…excuse….tomato/tomahto.

Bubba and I were able to tour Florida Polytechnic last month and I believe he has decided that is where he would like to attend college. He’s been taking some classes through dual enrollment, and will continue to do that over the summer.

And once again the kids participated in the FACCS competition this month.

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They all played well and have advanced to the State Competition.  Here’s a clip of the trio that they played. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7kxC0JZXDw&feature=youtu.be

As soon as they finished playing at FACCS we headed out to Savannah for one of our weekend trips. It was great, and we got to spend some time with Mr. Overkill’s Uncle, as he generously allowed us to stay with him…allll weekend…..alll 6 of us.  I’m pretty sure he took a nap when we left on Monday ;)

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And now that we are back home, The Three Strings are working hard to finish raising money for summer camp. Here’s some info on them an what they are doing.  They’d love it if you would follow them on Facebook :)

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So there you have it.  The last 4months in a nutshell.

Here’s hoping I can be more regular with posts.

I know, don’t hold your breath.  LOL!

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A Good Good Father

by frazzledmama on March 9, 2016

I have been so blessed by this song over the last few weeks.  But I always felt as though something in my heart was…hesitating to completely embrace the the statement, “You are perfect in all of your ways.”   In my mind I can acknowledge that fact.  But my heart…my heart remembers that sometimes God’s perfect ways involve pain, heartbreak, and sorrow. I kept identifying the feeling I was having as “hesitating” until the Lord revealed to me what I was feeling.

I do believe that God is a good, good father, and that He is perfect in all of His ways, and that He is faithful and loving to His children.  But I also have come to learn that those things don’t always look the way my heart and mind would portray them.   The longer I walk with the Lord and learn of Him, I see that sometimes His perfect plan brings difficulty into our lives.  But He is GOOD and He never leaves us to walk through the difficulties alone.

I no longer sing words like “You are perfect in all your ways,” and “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders” with great, wild, naive abandon. I now sing with great reverence, seasoned by experience. Yes, my soul longs for these things, but my heart knows what it may cost and my flesh trembles.

And yet, He is a good, good Father.

And yet, He is faithful.

And yet, I tremble, and I cry out with many saints of old, “I believe, help my unbelief!”

What I initially thought was a hesitation to agree that He is perfect and good, is not that at all.  It is a deepening of my understanding of God and who He is.  My idea of perfection is not His idea of perfection. When I sing “You are perfect in all of Your ways,” there is a deep feeling of reverence and awe for who He is, a deep respect for His ways that I have learned bring joy and pain, sickness and healing, loss and gain.  When I sing that He is good and perfect I can now recognize that my view of “good and perfect” are simple, basic, almost childish when compared to His view of “good and perfect.”

And so, I will sing…I will offer my praise of who He is as I beg for the faith to do so.

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