June 18, 2014

Summer 2014- a more Heavenly home

My goal this summer is gentle order and general kindness.

I'm focusing on mornings, meals and bedtime.
I'm making sure we enjoy the outdoors, serve others, and have fun together.

I expect a tidy home, but I do not want my life to revolve around housework.

My basic day will be morning zones (done by 10), mid-morning activities, and naptime quiet afternoons.

No screen time before zones, practice something, make something, play something and read something. 
That's how we roll.

My best summer post is- Chore Charts and NON-consistency.
It's pretty good and has been read by a lot of people (I still remember the quiet morning I wrote it, I'm still embarrassed by how long it is and my poor capitalization...).
I still use that basic outline, but we have dish jobs and house zones.

I was grateful my cousin reminded me of this great idea- wipe off checklists!  (Read her post here- expectations.)  It was just what I needed to get back into a routine.  I also love that she had the kids check off their jobs with an older child.

I started the Sweet or Skinny Club.
Kids who are sassy or unkind will be moved from sweet to skinny.
(I just say "that's one, that's two" then I move their name.)
When we have an opportunity for treats (Popsicles, ice cream, popcorn, etc.) the skinny folks won't join us.  
Haha!  I know-- Don't analyze this too deeply, I may be unconsciously promoting sassy anorexic children with this method.
Yes, we will require a sweet treat recommend.
Yes, they can do a Mom's Choice job to earn back their standing in the kingdom.
I'm nice like that.
I should modify my sign to say Be Nice or Work Hard.  

I love being a mother.

I imagine that sometimes I might also let the sweet kids stay up later or come on special outings with me, while the skinny kids stay home.
Haha.  I think I'll be laughing at myself all summer long.

(I usually buy juice Popsicles and let the kids have one for a snack every afternoon.  My kids will do an awful lot for a Popsicle.)
And, we will have treats more often if we have too much attitude.  

Do you have any great summer ideas??
Please share your favorites!

Summer is good!!
It feels good to lead in my home.  I know that as I TRY to mother and teach, I am blessed with grace, power and ability greater than my own.
Yes-- my measly loaves and fishes are enough.
My 15 year old groaned when we had a discussion about limiting screen time.  He said, "Mom, you've been trying this summer stuff my whole life and it isn't working!  You have no idea how much time most of my friends spend on the computer."  I looked into his eyes filled with the love I have for him and said, "Jakob-- you are a beautiful child.  Something I've done has absolutely been working."
And, I believe this.  I'm so glad our family is different.

Children are worth the investment of time, effort, energy, prayer and work we put into them.
No service, however small, is ever wasted.
These daily efforts will work together to mold and influence eternal souls.
Light and goodness is more powerful than darkness and evil.

I'm getting tired of reading blogs (even my own) that continue to describe out of control homes with the idea that "we are enough".  Yes, we are enough.  Yes, we all have days when we are absolute failures.  Yes, being a mother is hard but it is also way easier than NOT parenting our children or NOT caring for our home.  Work is easier than bed rest.  Work, patience, kindness, forgiveness, respect, diligence, and love is easier than trying to stay sane when our life is crumbling around us.  There is much in life that is harder than dealing with toddlers who write on our walls or come out of bed 15 times.  (Trust me!!  There may come a day when you WISH you were at home frustrated with your kids instead of hooked up to machines frustrated with blood clots.)

Wishing we could go back and love instead of spank is harder than summoning that last ounce of patience we have today.  Wishing that we could take back unkind, impatient words is at least as hard as not saying them in the first place- isn't it?  Living as a single mother is at least as hard as learning to love an imperfect man.  Buck up ladies!!  We've got this!!

We aren't just barely enough, we are GOOD and powerful leaders.  We CAN create a home environment that is clean, holy, and beautiful.  We can teach our children to be kind, helpful, responsible and smart.  We can serve in our homes, our churches and our neighborhoods.
We CAN do this.
Maybe we will never be perfect or flawless or completely healthy or divinely disciplined... but we can be GOOD.
We can be the best we can be... and that is pretty dang good.
I know MANY beautiful marriages, MANY functional, happy families, MANY mothers who train their children in love, nurture, and patience.  I know couples who work as partners.  I know wise, refined, selfless people who have allowed years of service to mold their souls and shape their nature.
It is beautiful.
Wow-- this work that we do has great power to help us become.
We have power to influence others for good as we serve and love more.  We have GREAT power.

God's work and His glory is to bring to pass the eternal life and immortality of man.
He is really good at His job.
He is helping us.
We can be pretty dang good at our job too.
I know it.
I need to remember this today.
My summer is going to be WONDERFUL and good.
I know it.
I'm so grateful for the work that I get to do each day.
How blessed we are to be alive, to have power to choose, and to feel the power of God work in our lives each day.
He is helping you.  I know it.
Life is SO good.


Marie said...

Beautiful post, Jen. What a difference a year makes! So very grateful you are here and looking forward to your gentle summer in your new perfect corner of the world... So many lessons learned, so many things to be sincerely thankful for, and so much to look forward to! Love you, lady! ❤️

Jenifer Moss said...

Thanks Marie! Your words always touch my heart.

Stephanie said...

I LOVE your spunky optimism! Your message that we mothers are "more than enough" is one that NEEDS to be heard right now! I was brought up by a mom who believed the same thing you do: that work is easier than not working, in the long run. Her attitude totally blesses my life every day! You are SO right. It's a scary message to share in our victimized culture, but it's an important message. "We've got this, ladies!" Amen, sista. We can do hard things, right, and find joy in them at the same time. I am always the most happy when I choose to be productive, no matter how tired or burned-out I feel. I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength! :-) Have a great summer!

Kimberly said...

Sweet Jennifer! Thanks for the positive post...this mamma needed a little reminder nudge. Here's to a beautiful summer!

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