Friday, February 28, 2014

"It Works For Me" - Dana's Table - February

"It Works For Me"

Lisa - Make a point to take child out for lunch once a month with just you to spend quality time together.

Dana - Uses Safeway delivery for her groceries. Order online (free delivery with promotions offered), save a trip to the store, stay on budget & not tempted to splurge on items you see in store. Deliver into your house onto the counter for you :)

Lisa Lee - Uses a jar opener to her advantage to help her with many different items in the kitchen. Even to impress her husband and open his beer for him.

Emily - Puts GoGurt in the freezer and then gives it to her toddler to keep busy while she is helping the older kids. 

Melanie - Made a chart for age appropriate chores for children to do around the house. When they finish a chore they get a ticket that goes into a jar and can earn little prizes (dollar store) for their help.

Rose - bought a $30 slide(it folds for storage too) which you can get at Walmart or Target and created a park inside her family room to entertain children during the winter months or when kids are sick and you can't get out of the house.


**If any of the above names are wrong please let me know as I try my best to get all of the correct info down quickly but need help with names at times :)

It's Raining Men... at MOPs

There are certain things a mom is accustomed to seeing at a MOPs meeting.  Some examples include a wide range of adorable accessories (because MOPs is a great excuse to get gussied up a bit), diaper bags and other baby paraphernalia, and a huge table full of delicious hot food (hallelujah and amen, amiright?)   But this week we had some UFB's (unusual foreign bodies) in our midst for our Husband Panel.

Pastor Jon Byron, Pastor Gordon Rumble, Tom Westfall (husband of our own beloved Mentor Extraordinaire, Julie), BVCS Superintendent Bobby Kirchner, and Pastor Scott Stubbert courageously joined us to share their thoughts on marriage and parenthood.  With a combined total of more than 120 years of marriage, 18 children, and 11 grandchildren, these guys definitely had some great tidbits of wisdom to bestow upon us.
Without rehashing every question and answer, it's safe to say there were a couple of recurring themes.  All of our guests, in some form or another, described the importance of quality time, good communication, and humbly serving one another in love.  These things are easy to type, but not always easy to implement, especially when we're shuffling through the long days of early motherhood, often feeling as if we're one tantrum away from total insanity.  That's where MOPs President and CEO Sherry Surratt's message comes in handy: Our attitude matters!  She shared Ephesians 4:2-4 with us:

"Always be humble and gentle.  Be patient with each other, making allowances for each other's faults because of your love.  Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.  For there is one body and one Spirit, just as you have been called to one glorious hope for the future."

Humble.  Gentle.  Patient.  (Not prideful, harsh, or nagging.)

For me, it was helpful to hear from other husbands many of the same things that my husband tries to convey from time to time.  I even showed him my notes, and it made for some great conversation.  We can't control everything that happens in our marriages, but we certainly have a great deal of influence.
We just have to use our influence with a servant's heart, keeping the big picture in mind.  And as hard as that may seem some days, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."

Monday, February 24, 2014

Mentor Moment #1 by Julie Westfall

It’s been one of those crazy, exhausting weeks. As I look back on my week, I realize I just really want everything in life to go smoothly.  I want to have all the answers; in other words, I want to be an expert at life. If I were an expert at life, I would know how to raise a teenage boy who loves to argue. I would know how to encourage my homesick college student. I would have enough energy to go out and play basketball with my seventh grader because she needs quality time. I would know how to make my fourth grader responsible. I would make healthy dinners and have the time to go to all my kids sporting events. I would clean my house with a smile and not yell at my kids, I would know exactly what to say when dealing with hurtful comments…. 

Today, my desire is to know how to do it all. I’m tired of struggling and being confused. Parenting somehow seemed easier when I watched my parents do it. I guess I thought I would turn 40 and things would all of the sudden make sense, but I’m realizing I don’t think I’ll ever get to a point of having it all together… and you know what, I think Jesus is fine with it. He isn’t surprised by my inadequacies (I wonder why I am?). Jesus simply wants me to follow Him. That’s the only thing He asked the disciples to do when He called them, and the only thing He asks of us as well. Jesus knows when we follow Him we will change and become more like Him; all it takes is a willingness to follow. 

So today, I surrender my desire to be an expert, my desire to have it all figured out, and instead, I humbly take Jesus’ hand and ask Him to lead the way. The next time I feel completely inadequate as a parent I will get down on my knees and ask Jesus to take up my slack, to bridge the gap between who I am and what my kids need. I will remind myself that I’m not meant to have all the answers, but I serve a God who has all knowledge of every situation. The next time I can’t remember the last time I fed my kids a vegetable, or I forget to pick up a neighbor for carpool, or leave a school project for the last minute, I will give myself grace and forgiveness for not having it all together, and I will remind myself that Jesus isn’t surprised that I’m a mess. He simply calls me to follow.

Matthew 4:18-22
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers; Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him.
Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Christ could have chosen anyone to become His disciples, yet He goes to the Sea of Galilee and asks four young fishermen. He wasn’t seeking royalty or scholars. He wasn’t asking those with all the answers, but rather uneducated men who were willing to leave everything to follow Him… once again proving that Christ isn’t after perfection, but rather a humble and willing heart.  

Christ gave each of us a unique set of people to live and do life with; they’re called our family. When Jesus called us to become parents, He wasn’t thinking we would be perfect, that we would have all the answers, that we would never fail, rather He was instead asking us to simply follow Him and He would make us fishers of men. As moms, we are fishers of men; we are proclaiming Christ every day to the children in our care. He asks us to follow Him and He will take care of everything else. We simply need to give ourselves the grace and forgiveness to keep moving forward.

Julie Westfall

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Mom of the Month: February

Mom of the Month: February

Lili Leiva

Who is in your family?
My husband Leo and me, Lili Leiva. We were both LL's so we thought we'd keep it going…We have Linelle (8), Lileahna (5), Landez (3), little Leo (20 months).

Do you have a favorite event in the winter olympics?
I'm so bad…I haven't watched the olympics at all! But, my favorite is figure skating with the couples- so romantic!

What is the nicest thing someone has ever done for you?
Once we had an older neighbor that would mow our lawn…all the time. When I had the baby, he delivered a package of goodies for us… it would have popsicles, fruits, juice, and frozen dinners. This went on for about 3 months. Let's just say we miss him very much!

To what would you like to devote more time?
I would like to devote more time to my husband. Between Bible study, MOPS, kids' school, gym, cooking, housework…list goes on and on…at times he gets the leftovers of me at the end of the day…which is not fair for him. I would like to actually go every month to date my husband…this task is easier said than done!

What advice or encouragement can you offer to the moms in our group?
My advice for young moms is to take the time and enjoy your family. Making memories is priceless and they will be gone before you know it. Housework will always be around but not our kids.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Kiddo Connection

There are a million things moms can debate about, and everyone's entitled to their own opinions.  But I think it's safe to say we can all agree on one thing... Parenting is a tough gig.  And if you're anything like me, and your kids are anything like mine, you may have found yourself staring at them and wondering where your sweet cherubs have gone.

I often find myself in that awkward space where I'm spending great quantities of time with my children, but the quality isn't there.  It's easy for me to make excuses like "I have mountains of laundry to fold," or "I just don't know how to relate to boys."  But the truth is that we're all longing to feel loved by one another, and when I let the busy-ness of life take precedence over being present with my children, our connection with each other suffers.
Live @ MomCon2013 
This week, the amaaaaaazing Kathi Lipp gave us (via video) some really great tips for connecting with our kids.  She encouraged us to pray for our kids and with them, and to pray for ourselves as we navigate through the daily grind.  (The latter is something I often forget to do!)  And ya know those times when life gets off-the-charts crazy?  Her biggest sanity-saving suggestion was to keep up with simple routines (bedtime rituals, etc.).  It restores a little normalcy and comfort for your kiddos during times when they may feel a little lost in the mix.

The biggest take-away for me was Kathi's challenge to reframe our own attitudes about our kids personalities.  "Bossy kids will grow into great leaders, and quiet kids will turn into thoughtful adults who really care about people," she explained.  We're with our children so often that we tend to gloss over many of their positive attributes because their more challenging personality traits need more attention.  But if we put forth the effort to really understand our kids' personalities and love languages, we'll be able to show our love more effectively, and better understand how they show their love for us.

The Five Love Languages of Children is a great resource, and so is the link Kathi provided to take a little personality quiz.  (Click HERE to take the quiz.)  I answered the questions with my oldest son in mind, and it was 100% spot-on (He is equal parts "expressive" and "driver" in case you were wondering) and it has awesome suggestions for how to support his particular tendencies.

Just going through the motions isn't good enough if I want to have a close, loving connection with my boys.  Kathi's message was a much-needed reminder for me that with a little observation, and a lot of prayer, I can be intentional in my parenting and our whole family will reap the benefits.

To learn more about Kathi Lipp, check out her website, follow her on Facebook and Twitter, and be sure to sign up to receive her email newsletter!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

It Works For Me - Emilee's Table - January

"IT WORKS FOR ME" - JANUARY (Emilee's Table)

Nancy - To avoid bickering, let kids pick breakfast and lunch from list of options, also let kids take turns picking out movies.

Becky - To save time and sanity, no longer sort and fold socks. Put in child's room and they can choose to wear mismatched socks, or match them up themselves.

Melody - Has kids help unload dishwasher.

Dana - Has a tea party with 2 year old in order to get her to drink water.

Emilee - No whining rule in house. When child starts to whine, lead child out into garage and tell them "We don't whine in this house" tell them they can come back in when they stop whining.

Thank you ladies for sharing your tips & tricks!

Hi ladies,
Sorry for the delay on this month's "It Works For Me" post. Somehow it slipped my mind after last meeting that I needed to write this post :)