Tag Archives: Motherhood

Hope for Each Day {a Review}

My kids are in the great in between now…they’re not preschoolers there not tweens. There kind of in the middle, which means that a lot of things are either too mature or too babyish for them. We’ve very much loved our beginner’s devotionals, but the story lines are for preschoolers.IMG_5870

When I was looking at the books I could review from BookLookBloggers.com I saw that there was a new one from Billy Graham, called Hope for Each Day: 365 Devotions for Kids. It piqued my interest. It came a few days later in the mail and we all ripped it open, ready to evaluate whether this was worth it’s weight.

It’s great! We read the entry for today (February 25) and it right away grabbed Avelyn. It talked about how glass is made, transforming something something gritty (sand) into something beautiful, and how God can transform us. We skimmed through a few more and we all agreed, this was going to be a good read. It was immediately placed in the seat of honor, the window by the kitchen table.

While there aren’t any pictures to engage the youngest readers, the text and verses are more than interesting to older kids who can handle 3 minutes of a devotional without a picture. All in all, it looks like it’s going to be a great little addition to our Bible time!

*I received this book for free through the BookLookBloggers program; the opinions expressed are entirely my own. You can read my disclosure policy here. This post does contain affiliate links, which means I get a small percentage of the sale, at no additional cost to you.

We Will Now Return to Our Regularly Scheduled Program

And just where have I been?! Surviving and trying to eek out whatever enjoyment I can from our craziness!

It’s been another busy summer. We just finished up with the fair, we have one more festival to do, the farmers markets are still going for another month, and then we will breath. In the meantime, we’ve started our second year of homeschooling and just got back on Monday from a weekend at Hershey Park (it’s a tradition).

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It’s been a good summer though. The kids and I spent a ton of time at the pool, to the point that I am the tannest I have been since high school….just call me freckles!

Kids Pool

All of the kids (except Peter) are swimming and able to go from pool to pool without constant observation. They all thoroughly enjoyed swimming lessons and are missing their teachers and the rest of the guards. AND, I’m no longer afraid of doing things with the 5 of them by myself.

They’re all growing up; and while we are all enjoying this new phase, I’m inconsolably saddened by the disappearance of my babies. It just gone too fast! It always does, no matter if it’s your first or 5th. I think you just realize how fleeting it is as you progress in your motherhood, making it a point to stop in a moment to enjoy it more.

What other things have I been up to?

If you’re on Instagram, I’m definitely posting more frequently over there, you can find me @JessicaM.White. Since the triplets dropped their naps last winter it has been taking it’s toll on me. I don’t get much time to sit on a computer when I’m awake enough to actually accomplish something, which means that writing (and my other creative pursuits) has kind of taken a nose-dive.

How have you been? How was your summer?

Pride and Poopie Diapers

Pride and Poopie Diapers How God Convicted Me About My Own Stinkiness @JessicaMWhite.com

Amidst all of the changes we’ve been going through, since vacating our home and moving in with the in-laws one of them is that we are no longer using cloth diapers. My in laws have a front load HE washer and radiant floor heating {making diapers not easy to wash and dry} and, quite frankly, I didn’t want to possibly destroy my diapers or, even more horrific, their machines. It’s been tough. I genuinely LOVE cloth diapering and its kind of been bugging me that I’m not doing it.

Here we are…spending a $100 a month {that we really don’t have} on using ‘sposies on our triplets. It’s killing me. Kill.ing.Me. Not because I feel like a failure or a fraud about this passion for cloth, but because I genuinely love cloth diapering and saving money. Even though I was to the point of being beyond done with the wash-dry-stuff-repeat of diapers times three, and the kids bladders wetting through them in one go, I really did not want to stop. I really do enjoy cloth diapers, but I had to admit to myself that a home renovation warrants some liberties.

See…I have this thing about doing cloth diapers. I clothed diapered 4 kids at once; I really don’t understand when people can’t be bothered to cloth diaper even one kid. I don’t get it when they say it’s just too much work. It seems really ridiculous to me when they just can’t deal with that extra load of laundry.

Pride and Poopie Diapers How God Convicted Me About My Own Stinkiness @JessicaMWhite.com

And that…those feelings and thoughts…are absolutely wrong.

For me, my being able to cloth diaper 4 kids, then 3 kids at once for the past few years, is a huge source of pride. I am proud that we managed to do that. I patted myself on the back when others were impressed when they heard that. I take secret pleasure in having other moms call me supermom.

And that’s wrong.

I wasn’t able to breastfeed my kids exclusively and I tend to get “upset” {on the inside} when someone says that they don’t get why moms can’t breastfeed their kids, that it’s so much better for them, and all those other things that I completely agree with. But then, in my mind, I turn around and make those same comments and have those same prideful thoughts about people who don’t cloth diaper.

I had never really thought of this before, that I was being prideful about cloth diapering my kids, until I entered the rabbit hole of the internet and through a series of links found this post. While reading it, I kept thinking to myself, “This is ridiculous. So what, you had twins, what’s the big deal with cloth diapering 2 at once?”

Throughout the whole piece I kept defending, to myself, the validity of cloth diapering. I wanted to type a ridiculous comment, “I managed to cloth diaper 4 kids at once, it really wasn’t that big of a deal.” But there was absolutely no benefit to posting that comment.

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful
for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Ephesians 4:29

Here was a mom saying that she was struggling with PPD and deciding to not continue cloth diapering helped, and all I could think of was a comment that would certainly not be helpful and would be very hurtful. Even hours later, I kept huffily thinking, “Well I managed to do 4!” Because I had been convicted in my own thoughts.

It’s pride. Plain and simple, and boy does that hurt to say.

Pride, which is one of the seven deadly sins, and considered by some to be the worst of them. We are all guilty of it, on some topic, on some level we feel that others should be able to do what we do, simply because we do it, and that they are somehow not on par with us because they don’t.

Pride, is no good. It doesn’t do anyone any good. It makes other’s feel less worthy and makes the prideful put themselves on a pedestal. It’s destructive, it’s hurtful, it pushes others away from us. It’s physically impossible for us to be full of pride and to love and embrace those around us.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
~ 1 Corinthians 13:4

I don’t think I’ve ever actually said anything hurtful to anyone about cloth diapering. I knew I didn’t want to make someone feel bad, but I know the thoughts were there, and for that I’m sorry. That even though I didn’t say it, I was thinking it: That in my thoughts I am just as guilty as the other moms who champion their mom-battles, thinking less of others, and making others feel less of a mom.

Pride is a tough pill to swallow.

This post was originally published on my other blog on May 5, 2014.

How to Have the BEST SUMMER YET!

How to Have the BEST SUMMER YET! (and what does that even mean) @JessicaMWhite.com

It’s official: Summer is here!

School finished last week, swim lessons are soon, and the temperatures are rising: There are just some things that just ooze summer. Particularly when it comes to magazine articles and ads all toting the same message: “MAKE THIS THE BEST SUMMER YET!” That somehow by using this product or buying that gadget, our burning desire to experience the ABSOLUTE BEST SUMMER YET will be fulfilled.

Here are some easy tips, that I’ve tried, that certainly help me to enjoy the best Summer has to offer:

How to have the Best Summer Yet
{in 3 easy steps}

How to Have the BEST SUMMER YET! (and what does that even mean) @JessicaMWhite.com

Stop

Stop racing around, feeling like there are a thousand things to accomplish, because summer is only so long. If you’re racing all over the place, you’re not enjoying what you’re actually doing. Look at the schedule, make some changes. Maybe it means not having the kids in so many activities, canceling a few engagements, or reprioritizing what’s on the agenda.

Drop

Once in a while drop what you’re doing and take 10 seconds, 10 SECONDS; close your eyes, breath and feel what’s around you, really taste that berry, or relive a favorite memory. Don’t even think about telling me you don’t have 10 spare seconds in your day, because ain’t nobody that busy. Those 10 seconds will give you enough time to process what your thinking about, and give you a momentary respite from the chaos.

Roll

Roll with it. If you have a crazy whim to forego dinner and get the kids an ice cream…it’s seriously not going to kill anyone, but I can guarantee you the kids will remember that ONE TIME {or more} that mom let them have ice cream for dinner. If someone calls you about a spontaneous get together, do it {even if it means going to the grocery store and bringing a deli salad}. Or invite them over. Don’t think about what your house looks like, think about spending time with your family, a friend, a neighbor.

If you can do those 3 three things, I can pretty much guarantee that your summer is going to be the best yet, because you actually took the time to remember it, to experience it to the fullest.

Those advertising people are sneaky. Somehow they convince us that we need their things in order to be happy; to have a Summer that is actually worth bragging-rights come the Fall. Psst….we don’t. All we need to have the best of any thing, any experience, is to actively pursue God’s desires for us in this life, which is to enjoy the world He has created for us and the people he has blessed us with.

“But seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Matthew 6:33

Now, this doesn’t mean since we were kind enough to include God in the things that we think are the “best” for us, that it will be given to us. We must pursue what God deems best, what He would have us find fulfillment in, which is Him; activities and things which will draw us closer to Him. That is always what is Best.

As long as we are seeking our own enjoyment, we will be left disappointed. Having missed out on what truly is the best of anything. As long as our heart is motivated for ourselves, not God, we won’t find fulfillment in what the world deems the best-ever-of-all-time anything.

Summer is here, a time of year we all rejoice in. Seek not the best of the world, but the best of God in the world. The beauty He has created for us to enjoy, drawing our hearts and minds to Him, and all the best He’s created just for us.

“The heavens declare the Glory of God; the sky proclaims the work of His hands.”
Psalm 19:1

Every summer already is the “Best summer yet”, because every day is new, every day is a fresh start, a new day for us to seek God and His will for our lives, to go deeper in His word and draw closer to Him. Why settle for less, when God will ALWAYS give you the best?

How do you plan on truly enjoying your Summer?

 

This post originally appeared on my other blog, on 6.30.14.

Mamas…it’s OK to Not Love the Things of Mommyhood

Mamas it's ok @JessicaMWhite.com

Maybe you’ve spent years and thousands of dollars to have that little one your holding, maybe you just wanted to be a mom and it happened, maybe you weren’t planning on being a mom, but it happened anyways. No matter, I want to tell you something…it’s OK to get tired of it sometimes. To get tired of the demands, the discipline, the whining, the not being able to just do “whatever” for dinner. It’s OK.

Just because we CHOSE, or were chosen for, this life of mommyhood doesn’t mean that we have to love, or even like, every minute of it. Just because we may have been through hell and back in the getting and having of these little people doesn’t mean that we’re NOT beyond grateful for them in spite of the tough times. Or that we’re not allowed to struggle with all of it.

Mamas it's ok @JessicaMWhite.comI remember going through infertility and thinking “I will never complain about anything, because I will just be beyond ecstatic to FINALLY have a child”.

Sometimes I still feel guilty complaining, then chuckle to myself about it, because, honestly, no one knows just how motherhood will be. Nothing and no one can prepare you for what’s ahead.

No other mom, even your mom, can tell you what it will be like, because no one is doing what you’ve done before. No one has mixed your personality with those of your little ones. This is more than once in a lifetime.

Just because someone else makes it look like a cake-walk with their own kids, doesn’t mean that your life should too. Or that their life even looks like that all the time. There are moms with more {and less} kids than us that I look at and think, “Boy, I couldn’t do that”, and I know others look at us and think the same thing.

I love my kids, but I don’t always love the stuff that came along with them. Our children, while a package deal {every child comes with poopie diapers, sleepless nights, and tantrums etc}, doesn’t mean we have to love the THINGS. Because, honestly, all those other things are just that, things.  And it’s OK to not love things. It’s more important that we love them, our children; the little people they are, the big people they are becoming.

You’re not less of a mom because you don’t appreciate every iota of baggage these little ones come with, because if we were all honesty with each other, none of us do. Yes, some of us handle different things better than others {honestly vomit, poopie diapers and poop-splosions don’t bother me in the least, but pull my hair or whine without ceasing and WATCH OUT!}, but that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate the little people we’ve been blessed with.

We’re not meant to do this mommy thing alone.

In what other “job” do you receive zero training, zero support, zero breaks, zero pay, and be expected to love every single stinkin’ second of it, with a maniacal smile on your face? It doesn’t exist. It’s OK Mamas, to be weary; to be tired of the endless pointlessness of picking up toys and clothes, dirty dishes and dirty diapers: It is OKAY! But this job is still so, SO worth it.  And your value of it isn’t determined by the tough minutes, but by the sweet moments. In the choosing of doing, day after day.

We’re not meant to do this alone, to keep our frustrations all bottled up inside. We’re meant to do this with God, in community with Him, our spouses, and other moms and dads. Even Jesus wasn’t too keen at times on the job He was called to do! But he sought God when he needed Him most. Mamas, it’s OK to be overwhelmed and frustrated, as long as we remember to draw near to the One from which we will always get our strength, the one who loved us first.

This post was first published on June 5, 2013 on my original blog.