What are helpful disciplines you implemented into your life to help with the daily tasks?
-Try Try Try and keep on trying to carve out time for regular Bible reading, prayer time and listening to worshipful music, and other good reading. Not just novels!
-Laundry-I hate it. I picked a day (for me it was Monday). All of the laundry gets done on Monday or it doesn’t get done until the following Monday. Washing, any ironing if necessary(yuk), and putting it away all gets done on Monday. I made sure everyone had enough pairs of sox and underwear for 10-12 days. I never make appointments or out of the house plans for this day. Surprisingly, emergencies hardly ever happen on Mondays! When kids come along, they fit right into learning about household chores.
What are some of the most valuable mothering lessons you learned over the years?
-Regularly read to kids. You can pour such equipping truth into your life and theirs this way. Even when my son was “keeping his distance” as an adolescent, he still liked being read to.
-Limit TV and be selective (You and the kids!)Stick to your values about this junk-does creep in. As the joke goes: how much doggy poop are you willing to tolerate in your delicious brownie?
– Practice speaking kindly – and it does take practice. You don’t have to yell, be sarcastic, rude, snippy, etc., even if you feel like it. You don’t like it when people treat you or speak to you unkindly. It is better to leave a room or just keep quiet. You might be thinking, well things just slip out sometimes, and that is why I say it takes intentional effort and practice.
-One more thing: practice a responsive face, not a reaction face. This goes along way when kids come along and get older.
How did you handle the changing seasons that come with our lives as WHAMS?
They are difficult for me because I guess I don’t like change. I was very sad when my son thought it was uncool to be seen getting a hug from his mother. I didn’t much care for lightly punching him in the arm or a passing bump of the shoulders as the only acceptable touching allowed. I really thought I would “die” when they went off to school, eventually college and even across the globe to distant and dangerous places as adults. And it never occurred to me that I would be taking care of my parents. My husband snores so loud now as he gets older that I sometimes go down the hall to sleep in the guest room so that I can get a good night’s sleep! I never thought snoring would become such an issue.
I had to learn, and am still learning that it is ok to be sad, impatient, annoyed, fearful, etc., sometimes for long periods of time but to keep on trusting the Lord, pouring my heart out to Him, abiding in His Word and doing the daily things. Reading books written by missionary women (married and single) were very instructive (Betty Stam, Darlene Rose and Elizabeth Elliot were and still are my favorites, and Barbara Johnson, of course, always made me laugh).
Thank you, Mary, for taking the time to share a little of your life with us! More insights coming tomorrow….