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Monday, February 22, 2010

The greatest job is being a Mom

Proverbs 31:27-28 says "She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her."
In my Bible under this verse I have written out 2 prayers (being at the end of the book of Proverbs, there is a big blank spot perfect for note-taking, or prayer-writing for me!) from 2 very different times of being a mother and both times my prayers are very similar: Lord make me into the Proverbs 31 woman, as I fall short in so many areas! At the Legacy Discipleship Women's Conference this past weekend at Bellevue, I was reminded of my greatest duty as a mother: to disciple my children and leave in them my legacy. Am I doing this? When my girls and (future) son grow up, will they remember their mother as a Godly women who was always in God's Word and always praying with and for them growing  up? Will they remember their home that I've made for them as one of chaos and constant mess or will they remember our home in order but a place that they can find comfort and love? Its not just about cleaning house, I understand, but if Proverbs 26:14 says "As a door turns back and forth on its hinges, so the lazy person turns over in bed" then being lazy isn't an option. I can't justify sitting on my couch when there is work to be done in my home. This makes me think immediately of the several areas in my home (my closet first, my office second, and my garage third, not to mention almost all of the bedroom closets!) that I have put off decluttering and cleaning for several weeks now. Why? I can make excuses of not feeling well with the pregnancy, being too busy, etc. but the truth of the matter is, Satan uses this laziness against cleaning out stuff to hinder me in "Keeping my affairs of my household in order" on a daily basis.
Being a good mother to me is more than just 'being' with my girls, though this is important sometimes, but its about nurturing them, and actively teaching them throughout the day. Its about having my Bible out and in a visible place so that my children KNOW that Mommy is seeking the most important book there is for everything! Its about praying with my girls when they are struggling and even when they are not so that I help instill in them that talking with the Lord is not an option but a constant thing to do.
Being a good Mother is making sure my children are "clothed in scarlet" (Proverbs 31:21) and making sure they have clothes that fit and look tidy. Yet, I see SO many mothers (including myself at times, I admit) be so so so concerned with whether or not our children are clothed in perfect outfits, new styles, the best name brand shoes, etc. when does this really matter? I grew up not even knowing what 'brand names' were as long as our clothes were clean and fit well. My mother focused on important things like who we were on the inside rather than whether or not we all reflected HER on the outside. She let us pick out our clothes and I'm sure this could be very humbling for her at times especially considering my personal taste in fashion and style from a VERY young age! lol. So if my youngest wants to go to the gym or run errands wearing her cowboy boots with an outfit that does NOT match cowboy boots (most outfits I believe...) and a headband on backwards on the back of her head, its okay! If her outfits to church or Mother's Day Out aren't necessarily smocked or brand name and she begs to wear pigtails ("tigtails" according to Haven) instead of a matching bow that I bought to match the outfit, then difficult as it can be, I should let her! What is more important in the grand scheme of things? Defining who she is by what she wears or instilling in her the belief at a young age that its what God is doing INSIDE her that really counts. I need to work on this for sure. If our children are a reflection of us, we want them to look adorable, of course. But even as Micah gets older and more independent, I hope that she reflects me in so many other ways other than my fashion sense. Although I do hope she inherited that as well.. lol.
I also pray that my girls will see their mom give them a healthy example of balance in the home and the independence of a job that they love if they choose to do so. I honestly believe I have the best of both worlds being able to be a Mom during the day and earn an income just working once or twice a week with my jewelry shows. How great is this? I can supplement our household income "She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable; and her lamp does not go out at night." (Proverbs 31: 15) and yet still be at home for my family. I still provide meals for them, a comfortable home, clean clothes, etc. yet I have always sought ways to make some extra money if we need/want it. I can buy my children clothes, decorate my house, purchase groceries and things we need with the money I earn and take away some of the stress of my husband doing it all. He works so hard, its my job to be his helper. This is one of the ways I do this, and I hope my girls will see that working hard is beneficial and what God wants for us as women, whether its working from home, or otherwise. But I do hope they'll follow the mother and grandmother's examples: working from home and being a Mom full-time. I understand some moms have to work outside the home, but I also believe "having" to work full-time and "needing" to work full-time are 2 separate things. I thank the Lord my husband provides so that I don't have to leave my kids with someone else to hopefully disciple them.
At the conference this weekend, I regained my passion for fulfilling my purpose as a wife and mother. I need to watch my tongue (which I continually struggle with), I need to be an Godly example, I need to disciple my children in God's word, I need so much help and grace from our Lord in all these areas! I don't get a second chance with my children, God has only loaned them to me for a short time. What will I do with this time? What will others, and more importantly, GOD Almighty say about my children's hearts when they are older?
Lord, please guide me as I work the hardest--and greatest--job you will ever give me!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Super Easy Fish Tacos--YUM!

I'm not usually one who thinks enough of my recipes to take pictures of the final product and post the recipe on my blog. However, a friend of mine mentioned making fish tacos not too long ago using fish sticks and I thought, 'Hmmm...we can eat that!" So I thought I would make my own version of fish tacos including a homemade special sauce and a seasoned rice borrowed in part from a fellow blogger. So here goes, and be sure and stop by to let me know if you made this or have any additions of your own!

Super Easy Fish Tacos

18-24 fish sticks (3-4 per taco)
whole wheat flour tortillas or white corn hard shell tacos
chopped tomatoes
shredded cheese
Old El Paso Low Sodium Taco Seasoning
a lime
1/4-1/2 dill seasoning
sea salt (I used citrus sea salt crystals)
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup butter
canned or frozen corn

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and cook fish sticks as directed. Meanwhile, to make my sauce I combined the sour cream, mayo, dill seasoning to taste, and about a tablespoon of the taco seasoning. I also juiced half a lime and added it in. The consistency should be lighter now almost like a thick salad dressing. Set aside. Cook rice (we used minute brown rice) and then add the butter, 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning, and juice the other half of the lime. Stir. Cook your corn. 
To make the tacos, place 2-4 fish sticks in each hard/soft taco shell and top with some sauce (oh gosh this sauce is so good). Add desired lettuce (we used spinach leaves), chopped tomatoes and shredded cheese. Put the rice and corn as your side dish and "ta-da!" enjoy fish tacos for supper tonight!

(you can also use cumin, cilantro and coriander in lieu of the taco seasoning if you'd rather go fresher)


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The woes of pregnancy

So I am now 16 1/2 weeks pregnant and still the lame sickness hasn't ended. I warned people that I am a very complaining pregnant person, but I'm sure no one was prepared. This has been the worst! Sick every day at least at some point, usually ate night around bedtime, but often all day long as well. I go to bed at night just to get some relief from the nausea. Smells and sinus drainage make me vomit on a semi-regular basis, which of course is TMI, but that's the beauty of having my own blog. :) I wish being pregnant gave me the right to tell guys that there is no need to dump the entire bottle of cologne on themselves. I also wish I could tell guys that, despite the Axe commercials, spraying massive amounts of Axe on yourself will NOT cause women to attack you in elevators or sniff your armpits after a Motorcross competition.  So please cut back. Women, you are generally okay, but please don't hug me because I will now smell like you for the rest of the day which will cause me to gag more than once. Its not that you smell BAD, its just....well, there is such thing as moderation and its a blessed thing!
I have also enjoyed getting bigger quicker with this 3rd pregnancy because the comments I get from people are so wonderfully uplifting and fantastic. My favorite was the lady at my Zumba 2 training this past Sunday who asked me how far along I was, to which I answered 16 weeks. She then proceeded to tell me how much bigger I am than her 25 year old daughter who is also 16 weeks but isn't even showing yet. "In fact," she said, "I just knew you were going to say how much further along you are because you are just so BIG compared to her!" To which I replied "Oh it must be her first. This is my 3rd. I taught aerobics bearing my midriff for the first almost 6 months of my first pregnancy, so just wait til she has a few more, it will just pop on out there!" Meanie. Okay I was being mean, too, but for crying out loud, is it really all necessary? I have pregnant friends who are getting the same thing and they look great--why is it ever okay to say anything other than "You look AMAZING!" to a pregnant woman? My only revenge is to lose it all afterwards. Hopefully.
Also, the food cravings are out of control these days! I mean, remember my Diet Coke-bashing blog a few months ago? Yeah, it was definitely my drink of choice for several weeks there, much to my dismay! But water made me gag! And I had run out of Perrier, which was my drink of choice for the weeks prior to that. It was pickle juice from the jar before that, though, so I feel that I've come a long way! haha. I also found myself picking off burnt cheese from the pan I baked my family's chicken in last night. What the crap--? And many of my friends and fam know about my Lenny's Pepper Relish purchase ("Oh no, sir, I don't want this dinky little $5 jar, give me the $20 gallon-jar please") but the other night I literally had to stop myself from going into Olive Garden and purchasing a bottle of their store Italian DRINK. Oh the madness...
So all in all, I hate my body when I'm pregnant, I hate the fact I gag and spit all day long and when I cough it is so loud that Haven will say "Bless you Mom" from the other room, I hate the wacko dreams that wake me up at night, and I can't stand the fact that my skin resembles that of a 15 year old and this will strongly affect my fashion statements when sleeveless comes to town....but the thing that is more powerful than all of that hate? The fact that in just a few months I will be holding one of God's greatest miracles in my arms and it will have all been forgotten. Isn't that the beauty of it all?