Beautiful Work

Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands…. Psalm 90:17a

a more experienced WHaM – part 2 March 31, 2009

Filed under: Homemaking,Keeping inspired,Mothering,Wife-ing — Kate @ 6:00 am

Here are the remainder of LaNae’s answers!

How did you handle the changing seasons that come with our lives as WHAMS?

We have experienced a lot of change in our married life. Roland has had a couple of career changes. We’ve moved away from family. Roland has gone back to school, entered into full-time ministry… I think the key to my sanity amidst our many changes has been communication with Roland. We have not always been able to do a weekly date night, but we have made it a habit of talking for an hour or so after we put the kids down. During this time, we reconnect. We talk about our day. We encourage one another. I share the challenges of my day with Roland and get his input…How does he want me to handle this issue with the kids? Should I take on another ministry responsibility? Am I thinking on truth in this area? What should I let go of in my schedule?

What are helpful disciplines you implemented into your life to help with the daily tasks?

The most important discipline for me throughout motherhood has been daily time in the Word and prayer. Mothering young children is physically exhausting, so often it is tempting to eliminate that from our schedules when we are tired. But I would encourage you to do what it takes to make time for Bible study and prayer. We cannot hope to be intimate with the Lord or walk in the Spirit without it. We cannot be patient and loving with our children and husband on our own strength. We need the Word of Christ to richly dwell in us (Col. 3:16).

 

a more experienced WHaM March 30, 2009

Filed under: Homemaking,Keeping inspired,Mothering,Wife-ing — Kate @ 6:00 am

I am so excited to share some wisdom from a more experienced godly woman in my life right now!  I have been blessed to get to know LaNae this year as we serve along side one another in the K-1st grade room on Sunday mornings, are in Bible study together and are able to talk through out the week while walking together.

Please tell us a little about your experience as a wham.

My name is LaNae Sanchez. I have been married to Roland for almost 19 years. We have three biological kids-ages 11, 9, 7 and are in the process of adopting twin two year olds from the Philippines. Roland is the Family and Children’s Pastor at Faith Bible Church in Spokane.

What advice or encouragement would you give a young woman who is newer in her journey as a wham?

The advice I would give to a younger woman is to find a mentoring wife/mom whom she respects. Ask her to disciple you. Hang out with her and learn from her. Spend informal time in her home. Ask her questions about everything from time management to discipline to marriage.

What are some of the most valuable mothering lessons you learned over the years?

One thing I have learned to be true is that time really does fly by. The baby and toddler stages are so short! I know many older women say that, but it’s true. While you’re in it, it feels never-ending, but those precious years will soon be gone forever. Enjoy them.

Looking back what are you glad you did as a WHAM?? What worked and has had the most impact?

I am thankful to the Lord that we emphasized first time obedience when our children were young. No other single thing has reaped such a rewarding harvest. If I could encourage young moms with one thing it would be to train your children to obey you the first time, every time. Require that they say, “Yes, mommy” and do it happily. Do not allow them to whine, complain, or tell you “no”.

It is not impossible. It is hard. It is time consuming. It is exhausting. It requires numerous spankings. But it is worth it! Your children will transfer that same obedience to grandma, babysitter, and Sunday School teacher. They will, through the process, learn to respect authority. They will learn self-control. They will be a joy to be around as they grow older. And they will be a blessing to those around them.

 

FYSF – California Edition March 27, 2009

Filed under: Free Your Space — Leah @ 6:00 am

Alrighty girls, We’re in California visiting my parents for the week and I’ve officially kidnapped Free Your Space Friday from Andie….!

This week’s challenge it to hit that backyard and TOSS THOSE TOYS that don’t have all their parts, the broken toys and the ones that you are just simply sick of looking at.  You know- the Walmart golf set that is now scattered all over the yard,  the cracked boots, the water toys that don’t hold water, the bubble blowers that are caked with dirt…etc.

No excuses my snowy friends, I know you have things hidden in the drifts. Send the kids on a snow mission this week to find things out there.  :-)

 

“Older” and wiser WHaM #2- Day 2 March 26, 2009

Filed under: Homemaking,Keeping inspired,Mothering,Wife-ing — Leah @ 6:00 am

Day 2 with Amy- Here it is!

What things did you do to keep your marriage vibrant especially during the baby stages?
Vibrant during the baby stage? Is that an oxymoron? : )

It does take a bit of finessing at that stage, doesn’t it? For Rick and I, we needed to go out and have fun together. It was important for us to connect on an adult level. My parents live close by and have been a huge blessing to us. They would take our kids for a few hours or overnight occasionally and give us some couple time.  There was also a season when we swapped babysitting with another young family–once a month they’d watch our kids and Rick and I would get a date, and once a month we’d watch their children. We saved money on a babysitter and the kids had a blast!

Looking back what are you glad you did as a WHAM?? What worked and has had the most impact?
I’m glad that I encouraged my girls to like each other, to root for each other, and to be on each other’s side. They’re all three so very different, but I do believe they have a foundation of friendship that’s served them well. Do they get along perfectly? Nope! But I think they respect and love each other, and that’s a good start.

Serving together was also good for us. When my girls were grade school age, every summer for several years we found a volunteer opportunity. From Meals on Wheels, to visiting the elderly at a nursing home, to cleaning a needy couple’s home, the girls learned to see a world outside of themselves. They also learned that serving others isn’t always convenient, but it’s rewarding and close to God’s heart. And it wasn’t only good for the girls. It was good for me too. It helped me gain an appreciation for the struggles of others in a time of life when I was tempted to get “tunnel vision” myself.

What are some of the most valuable mothering lessons you learned over the years?

  • Seek your husband’s advice;  oftentimes he sees things you don’t. 
  • Study your children and learn to love the things they love.
  • There’s a ton of practical application in the book of Proverbs. 
  • Grandparents have a lot of wisdom; glean from them. 
  • Pray together.
  • Wherever you are, be all there.

I hope you were encouraged by my interview with Amy.  PLEASE comment any questions you might have, I’ll pass them on!

 

“Older” and wiser WHaM #2- Day 1 March 25, 2009

Filed under: Homemaking,Keeping inspired,Mothering,Wife-ing — Leah @ 6:00 am

Here is Day 1 of my interview with my “older” and wiser WHaM-friend Amy.  Amy is married and has three amazing daughters – 7th, 9th, and 11th grade.  Her life as a wife, homemaker and mother has greatly encouraged me and challenged me to be the very best mom that I can.  Amy and her husband have raised three daughters who love and serve God with their whole heart and I have been looking forward to sharing her interview answers with you- – – SO, here they are! 

What advice or encouragement would you give a young woman who is newer in her journey as a wham?
You won’t regret the investment you make in your children. Be consistent—although there are days where it feels like you’re not making any progress, consistency pays off in the long run. You will reap great rewards in the future. (I promise!) And don’t forget to have fun and laugh with those little ones. 

Put your husband first, before the children. So many times our hubbies get the shaft because we’re nurturing those very needy children of ours, but the truth is there will be a time in life when the kids are grown and gone and you’ll only have each other. Foster your friendship.

Don’t compare yourself to other moms who always seem to have it all together. God created you to be your child’s mother. You are uniquely equipped and suited for the job! Yes, look for opportunities to glean ideas and encouragement (I’m guessing that’s why you read this blog), but don’t imagine that there is a perfect mom out there. We all have strengths and weaknesses. (I joke with my teens, “Hey, put it on the list of things to get counseling for later. J) Be humbled by your weaknesses and encouraged in your strengths. Yes, strive to be the best mom you can be for your kids. Just don’t be too hard on yourself. Give yourself grace.

What are helpful disciplines you implemented into your life to help with the daily tasks?
I’m a girl who needs a plan! It’s true that plans are easily thwarted by a crying baby or needy toddler, but it’s been helpful for me to have an idea of what I’d like to accomplish for the day. I’m a list maker.  To be able to check off “load dishwasher” or “make dinner” is a motivation for me. Also, breaking down household chores into daily to-dos is helpful. When my girls were very young I made a little pocket chart with 3×5 cards. Each 3×5 card had the name of a specific chore and resided in 4 or 5 clear pockets for that day. I’d fill out the chart at the beginning of each week and the flip the cards over as the day progressed and the chores were done. (If I didn’t get a chore done I either moved the card to a different day or just flipped anyway. One week without dusting isn’t going to hurt. : )

In another season of life I made a daily check-off list of all my daily chores (laundry, load/unload dishwasher, sweep kitchen) and left space for weekly and seasonal chores (dusting, changing sheets, vacuum furniture) and my menu plan. I found chore planners at Motivated Moms helpful for gleaning ideas.

A daily quiet time was a discipline we implemented early on. As a mom, I needed to know I had a quiet moment to look forward to. I’d feed the girls their lunch and they’d be off to quiet time. Then I’d eat lunch at a leisurely pace by myself, usually with a good book to read. Pure bliss! Quiet time started with just 15 minutes (we set a timer) when the girls were very young and gradually grew to an hour as the girls developed the discipline. I’d save special toys or books for their quiet time. My only rule was they had to be in their room on their bed and quiet. (Books on tape were perfect for quiet time!) I found the girls came to enjoy this time, and we all came away more refreshed and ready to take on the afternoon.

Part 2 tomorow!  PLEASE comment any questions you might have, I’ll pass them on!

 

Hearing from experienced Whams March 24, 2009

Filed under: Homemaking,Mothering,Wife-ing — Andie @ 12:21 pm

Hello friends! Apparently, my scheduled post for yesterday didn’t post. We are finally in Oregon after 4 days and more than 26 hours of driving(how much, I do not know… 26 hours doesn’t count the stops). Here are two days worth of posts- this is the first, they are backwards.

All of us at Beautiful Work are all very happy to be whams and to share the little things that we are learning. However, we are very pleased to bring you some input from some more experienced whams for these next couple of weeks. A panel of these lovely ladies have answered questions for us that we will post over the next two weeks. Here is our first wham, Mary. The thing I love about Mary is that she is very real and takes a “warts and all” approach to life.  I have been blessed by her frank, biblical input into my life. The interview questions are in bold and the responses are in italics.

Please tell us a little about your experience as a wham.

I am mid-fifties, married in 1973.   I left college to get married and raise a family.  I knew my husband for about 6 years (in high school and after) before we got married.  He was a Vietnam Vet who finished college on the GI Bill and went into Public Accounting, eventually corporate finance.  I stayed home with children, managing the homefront and developing productive and enjoyable hobbies such as:  gardening, specialty cooking, knitting and sewing.
 
I married with an expectation of “home, children, security and respectable status.”  It took many years and friendships with a number of more mature, “married longer,” good and godly women for me to come to grips with the fact of  being married to a man and all that comes with the package.  If course I love him! But I was surprised by many things.  I wish I had realized sooner that the ways he was and is different from me are not bad or meant to make me crazy or sad. 

So, what is some advice you’d give to a woman who is new in her journey as a wham?

 I think some things would have been better early on if I had made a good effort to find out as many differences as I could  between my husband and I. I need a lot of conversation – serious and sometimes silly, girly and emotional.  My husband can only take so much  conversation and he doesn’t always understand where I’m coming from. He meant and still means me no harm when he doesn’t understand me. It has been helpful for me to  make acceptable personal adjustments instead of trying to change my husband.  Healthy, supportive friendships with women filled in the gaps for his “shortcomings”  in meeting all my relational needs.    Over the years I have developed wonderful friendships with godly, praying women that are supportive of men, marriage and family life and pose no threat to my marriage and have a great sense of humor. They helped me a lot.

 

Interview with Mary continued

Filed under: Homemaking,Keeping inspired,Mothering — Andie @ 12:13 pm

 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….