Sometimes, choosing to focus on the grace in my days is hard.  Sometimes, I’m don’t want to look for that grace because it takes work, and wallowing in self pity is easier.  Other times, like the past few weeks the hard keeps building pressure and I find myself desperately clinging to each of the tiny bits of grace I can find.

We are currently dealing with more health struggles for our Audrey, causing us great concern and cancelled weekend plans.  There also some big changes pending in our future and friends/family who have their own hard going on that affect us.  It’s all stuff that can weigh me down but today in an effort to keep my eyes on grace I don’t want to write a post, spewing it all out.    

Instead, here is my grace:

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Family & Fish – Corey’s Dad dropped us off some beautiful fresh, ocean caught cod & halibut this past week.  It was so kind of him, but it was in whole and, as non-fish eaters we had no idea what to do with it.  My Dad re-arranged his evening plans to run over and help Corey cut & package it all.  The kids were thrilled to have an evening with Papa & I was thrilled to not have to touch that sliminess myself have the help!

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 Girls Days – Due to all that’s happening with Audrey’s health our spring break plans were all cancelled.  She wasn’t well enough to travel, and on the day that we’d planned to spend out exploring with my mom she wasn’t even well enough to leave the house.  Instead, my Mom came over to hang out with us.  

A day that had started out disappointing because plans had changed again, turned into a wonderful day.  We cuddled, watched movies, laughed, colored and tried on my wedding dress.  It was exactly what we needed!

 

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Silk Tie-dyed Easter Eggs: I saw this tutorial a few years ago over on MommyKnows and vowed one day we’d do it.  This year we did, and they turned out beautiful!  We ate the last one this week and I was a little sad to see them go.  We will definitely be going this again next year – thanks Kim!

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This love: I can’t put into words how much I love the way these two love each other.  They can fight (and play) with the best of ’em but when someone’s not feeling well, has had a bad day or is just down, the other one is right there to “fix it”. 

 

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Old Spice Advertising:  Their commercials/ads are ridiculous, lame and yet somehow completely genius.  I actually let out a snort & almost spat out my tea in the drugstore when I saw this.  Everyone could stand to believe a little more in their “Smellfs”…ya know?  Also, “I’m on a horse”

Here’s to grace, God’s beautiful Grace hidden all through every day life.

Grace in Small Things is a social network created by Schmutzie to wage a war against imbitterment!  Check out my first post here.

 

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Walk with me Daddy

Over the years, on this journey of raising daughters we’ve done a lot of learning.  Starting with “everything you thought you knew, you didn’t” and ending with…HA, I’m funny, like learning ever ends!  We’ve had best laid plans go straight to hell and have had to learn to adjust to surprises along the way.  Many of the things we thought we’d do – we haven’t, the things we thought would work – didn’t and things we thought were ridiculous – worked like magic.

By far, one of the most powerful discoveries we’ve made is that we aren’t actually responsible for the actions of our children. You can’t make them eat their peas (seriously, you can jam those suckers in there but they can spew them out just as fast!), you can give consequences for bad behaviour but you can’t stop it.  You can teach them the difference between wrong & right but you can’t make them do the right thing.  You can love them completely but you can’t protect them from everything.  Trust me, you can try until you feel like you might physically die but you can’t stop all of the hurt, all of the time.

God has given us these precious children with a responsibility to guide, educate, love & encourage them as they are becoming the people He wants them to be.  We are shaping their futures with who we are and we need to do it so carefully. 

As mothers of daughters we know the power of our words.  We’ve been warned to keep negative self talk silenced because it will become our daughters’ inner voice.  We don’t let them hear us call ourselves ugly or pick at our “fat”, we do our best to shelter them from our worst so they can become their best.

The thing is, I don’t feel like fathers are given the same message.  You can buy DADD shirts – “Dads against Daughters Dating”, sideways comments of “oh, she’s not going to date until she’s 30″, or “no daughter of mine’s gonna date” easily slip from their lips and the jokes of dads wielding shotguns are endless. 

It’s all done in fun, in that twisted way that guys use to show a female that they love her but it’s destructive.   The message that our daughters get is completely the opposite of what they need.  These words tell them men are bad, & dating is wrong.

The reality is our girls will one day become women, ones who will want a partner, want children, want someone to spend their lives with and deep down we want them for them.  They deserve to be loved, cherished, respected, protected and guided by their mate, but if we don’t tell them that who will?  

In a world where female sexuality is being exploited our girls need more love, guidance and support from their fathers than ever.  They need to be shown that their worth extends past the size of their clothes, or their willingness to take them off.  As they learn from us that being confident and self sufficient is strong, they also need to learn that asking for help, leaning into someone else’s strength doesn’t make them weak.

Dads, right now you are the man in her life.  You are her world, the strongest, smartest, funniest man she’s ever known and she adores you.  Take this time, while she’s wrapping her self tighter around your finger to wrap yourself even tighter around her heart.  

Instead of telling her tales of how your going to pull out your shot gun the first time a boy comes over, tell a different story.  Tell her how you can’t wait to meet him, to talk with this boy who’s caught her eye.  Remind her that you expect great things from him and she should too, if he’d like the gift of dating your little girl.

Rather than being against her dating, be involved in her selection.  As she grows teach her, her value in the world and what it feels like to be special to a man.  Open her door, pull out her chair, complement her, laugh with her, dry her tears and encourage her heart.  Tell her how you know that the right man for her will respect her, will listen when she’s talking and will look in her eyes when he speaks.  

She may have to wait to a certain age to be allowed to date, but remind her that in those years leading up to “dating” she has the opportunity to get to know these boys truly.  Invite them into your home, let them be her friends and become theirs.   Those boys who are friends may never become her dates but they will become your eyes and her guardians.  If they do become her date, you’ll be so glad to have taken those years to get to know the men they’re becoming.

Dads these sweet creatures that you call your little girl need you, in a way so much bigger than kissing “boo-boos” and killing spiders.  They need your help to determine their future, and shape their hearts, it’s serious business and I’m begging you to treat it that way.

So, next time your little girl says to you “Daddy, Aaron at school is sooooo cute, I have a HUGE crush on him” bite back the urge to crack a joke, bury that cringe deep inside and hug your girl.  Put down that shotgun, stretch out your hand and say, “Oh honey that’s great, I can’t wait to meet him.”

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Gluten Free Animal Crackers Recipe

April 3, 2015

I’ve always done a lot of baking, a lot of cooking, spending hours in my kitchen.  It’s my happy place, it’s my “thing” and it’s what keeps my family happy.   I love the challenge of trying new recipes and experimenting with new ingredients.  There’s always been such victory in the successes and even some […]

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Finding Grace in Small Things – The Musical Edition

March 22, 2015

  I truly believe there is nothing in life that can’t be soothed, celebrated or healed by music.  Crying babies, potty trained toddlers, celebrating graduates & googly eyed newlyweds all find exactly what they need to say, to feel in the lyrics of a song.  The melodies have the ability to lift our spirits, push […]

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Anger & The Strength Found Inside It

March 13, 2015

*Warning: This post is long winded & bordering on complaining.  I’ll completely  understand if you click away without reading it.* Tuesday was 1 month from the day I received the phone call that Audrey had officially been diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  Some days it feels like it was an eternity ago, while others it feels […]

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Keeping it clean with Garnier Clean+

March 9, 2015

I have skin issues.  They began some time around 13 and they’ve never gone away.  I’ve had stage 4 acne (complete with boils that left scars), I’ve had back-ne, there’s been dry patches and oil slicks.   At one point or another I’ve been every “skin-type” except normal, with a nice case of sensitive skin to […]

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Finding Grace in Small Things #17

March 5, 2015

For the past 3.5 weeks life in our house, in my heart has been chaotic, uncertain and quite simply shifted right upside down.  While we are scrambling to adjust to Audrey’s diagnosis, to the changes we need to make, the world we need to discover and all the things in between, regular life has had […]

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Gluten Free Recipes – Cheddar “Annie’s Bunnies/Goldfish” Crackers

February 20, 2015

It’s been a week since Audrey’s diagnosis of Celiac disease.  We’ve run the gamut of emotions, faced a few challenges and wrestled our way through the pain of her first cross contamination experience (awful, so awful). We, and by we I mean, I have been buried under a cloud of gluten free flour, recipe experiments […]

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Audrey Update: The First Diagnosis

February 10, 2015

After 5 years of questions, pain, suffering and more doctors than I can count we have received our first diagnosis for Audrey.  Before I get into the details of what that is I need to make a huge request from you all: Please no advice, no shared stories, no “I know how you feels”.  I […]

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Hot Wheels – The BIG Boy Edition

February 2, 2015

Growing up I remember spending hours with my brother setting up & playing with his Hot Wheels tracks.  Shooting cars through loops, having races & maybe the odd argument over who’s car was better*.  They were a great source of entertainment & whether it was in the house or out in the mud, if there […]

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