As a Stay At Home Mom God’s Grace is My Super Power

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2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

As a stay at home mom (SAHM) of three children four and under, God’s grace is definitely my super power. The scripture above is one of my favorites because when I’m feeling overwhelmed and tired, I quote this verse and keep it moving. I know Jesus is my help. He blessed us with our babies and He has given us the grace needed to care for them.

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Our four year old, Elyssa, is a super energetic, happy, inquisitive,creative, helpful and talkative girl. She keeps me on my toes for sure.

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Our 22 month old, Elaina, is a nurturer, she’s also sensitive, observant, affectionate and a joyful girl.

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Our soon to be 9 month old son, Eddie VI, is busy speed crawling and discovering the world around him. He’s active, inquisitive and loving.

Eddie is doing a great job nursing, he has since the day he was born. He’s always latched great and my supply has always been high. I’m grateful to God that I had successful nursing relationships with all of my children.

As a SAHM, I where many hats and my job is never done. Some days are happy and productive. Other days are draining and completely unproductive. Some days the children are cooperative and happy and other days they struggle to listen, fight over every toy and whine about everything. My relationship with God keeps me going on the good and bad days. I can talk to him, mediate on his word, play some praise and worship music and know that He is with me and His grace is sufficient for me. I was created to be a great mom, not of my own strenth but of His!! It’s a great feeling to know that my Heavenly Daddy has my back. Hes leading and guiding my husband and I as we raise godly children. My husband and I are a great team and he’s a awesome hands on father.

So be encouraged mommies!!! You’re doing an awesome job. No one is perfect and no child is perfect but we serve a perfect, all knowing God, who promised to never leave us or forsake us. Rest in His peace and His promises!! And the next time the children do things to drive you up the wall, take a second to thank God that he blessed you with your children and ask him for a extra dose of His grace!! He’s faithful, he will give it to you!!!

A Mother’s Fear of Raising A Brown Boy in America

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My husband and I have the privilege and burden of raising a beautiful brown boy in today’s society. Our son is only four months old but I already cast down anxiety at the thought of raising him in a world that fears and hates him because of the color of his skin.

How do you tell your kind, intelligent and loving brown boy that some will fear him just because his skin is a different color than theirs. How do I tell him that no matter what he wears or how intelligent he speaks, some will pre judge him and see him as a threat.

How do we raise our brown boy to be cautious and aware but not afraid, angry or bitter? How do we teach him to love those who don’t value his life and are just looking for a reason to take it?
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How do we resist the urge to shelter him completely in a attempt to keep him safe? How do we ignore the fear that will try to creep up when he leaves to walk to the corner store or a local park to meet his friends? How do we build him up in a society that only wants to break him down?

While these are tough questions, in Jesus we must find our hope and peace. As believers, we are to pray over our children daily. We need to plead the blood of Jesus over them. We teach them that the word of God is true. We need to teach them how to be men of God. We teach them how to carry themselves in public and how to interact with those in authority in hopes that their lives can be spared. We educate them and teach them about God’s love, mercy, protection and forgiveness.

We teach them to be leaders and not followers. We provide them with peaceful, godly, respectful homes so that they won’t grow up to be angry, rude and worldly. We teach them that violence isn’t the answer. We tell them that not all cops are bad and that they are to respect authority.

Lord bless our brown boys. Lord comfort the Brown family. Lord bring peace and restoration to Ferguson.

11 Month Mommy & Big Girl Update

Today (3/1) at 11:55am, our little lady will be 11 months! For the past 7 weeks straight she has been sleeping through the night peacefully!! The doc gave me a lecture about getting her on a sleep schedule, putting her to bed earlier and not continually going in her room at night. I was nervous but I took the doc’s tips (which my husband had been trying to convince me of also) and it worked!! Now Elyssa sleeps from 9:30pm-7:30 am every night! She nurses at 7:30 am and goes back to sleep for an hour or two. We’re still working on the daily naps, she usually just takes cat naps but because she sleeps so well at night, we’re not complaining!
Sunday we noticed she has her fourth tooth coming in! It’s her first top tooth and it’s already broke through. She’s handling teething very well. She likes to take off her bibs and chew them and sometimes when we’re not looking, she tries to take a bite out of us! We gently tell her no and she just smiles and finds something else to relieve her gums.
 
I’m still breastfeeding and loving it. Now when I get home from work, Elyssa doesn’t want hugs or kisses, she wants her milk and she’s not playing! After she nurses she gives me smiles and starts telling me about her day in her special baby talk language. Even though Elyssa has teeth, she rarely bites me. 99% of the time she is gentle and when she starts being silly and tries to bite or play with my nipple, I pull her away and say no. If I put her to me again and she does it, then we take a break. Most of the time, she’s so ready for her milk that she doesn’t bite or play.
 
I continue to make her baby food in the blender with the breast milk. We purchased a portable high chair and she loves it! It’s her big girl seat and she enjoys eating with us up high. Currently I have 100 oz of frozen milk and I continue to pump twice a day a work. Daily I confess over my body that it will produce milk for Elyssa as long as she and I need it to. I won’t allow others to pressure me into stopping nursing when she turns one. Of course everyone has a opinion but my decision to nurse or not is not up for community vote. My husband and I agree that I will continue to nurse and do what’s best for Elyssa and I.
Elyssa is enjoying learning how to drink from her sippy cup. Some days she likes to hold it and chew on the nipple but I’ve seen her lift it up correctly and actually drink without our assistance. That was an exciting moment, esp since she never took to bottles or the pacifier well. 
Elyssa started walking in January when she was 9 months. She’s walking like a pro now and even trying to run. She has lots of confidence and walking and discovering things brings her such joy. She has escaped from her barricaded play area a few times, which was surprising, scary and funny all at the same time. I left her in her fortress (that’s what we call her play area) and I looked up and she was standing in the bathroom with me! This occurred one hour after I put on her new walking shoes. I say those shoes gave her some baby power because she’s been a walking, running, escape artist ever since! We have a gate up and she has to be in her pack in play, activity chair or booster seat if we have to step out of the room for a second. She enjoys following us around the house like a little duckling, just walking, clapping and laughing. She’s a happy, peace and smart baby girl. Thank you Jesus for blessing our family with such a amazing child. She has brought us all so much joy! I will write a post about her 1st birthday party. The special party plans are underway! 

It Always Feels Like Somebody’s Watchin Me

This Valentines Day, my husband gave our 10 month old daughter her first Valentines gift. He brought her some soft toy flowers and a cute basket. I  enjoyed watching him present her with the gift. Elyssa looked happy, surprised and intrigued by her new gift. The purpose of him giving her the gift was to start the tradition of being that special man in her life and being a godly role model of a father and husband to her. It’s so important for us parents to practice what we preach. Our children don’t need to see us talking the talk but not walking the walk. Their always watching so ask yourself what you’re showing them.

The night before Valentines Day, my husband came home with my vday surprise. He asked us to go in another room while he set it up. When Elyssa and I came out, Eddie had a beautiful arrangement of flowers, a huge I LOVE U balloon and my favorite candies and chocolates. We kissed and hugged and Elyssa watched us and grinned from ear to ear. It was as if she knew that something special was happening and she liked seeing us happy. I want to always provide her with the loving family that she needs and deserves. I will work hard to glorify God in my marriage so that she can see what it means to have a peaceful household with two parents that love God, each other and her.

Today I challenge you to be the best that you can be because people are watching you. People need to know that there is hope and they need to see Christ in you. Watch your words and actions. Live your life as if God is walking with you everywhere because He is even though you can’t see him. People are always watching you, esp once they find out you’re a Christian. So think twice before you speak badly of your boss or join in with others as they gossip behind each other’s back. Some people will never go to church so we have to bring the church to them. By setting a godly example for your children, friends, coworkers, you become a blessing and a walking example of God’s love.

Eye Spy: What We Learn About Relationships From Our Parents

Last night, my husband and I attended a 1 year Anniversary Celebration for a group called Truth Parties. Truth Parties are a group of singles that meet once a month to discuss different topics surrounding healthy relationships. Mrs. Nneka Owens, the founder of the group, is my supervisor for my counseling licence. Nneka is a licensed counselor, an awesome woman, wife, mother and Christian who lives according to the word of God. The celebration included dinner, comedy, poetry reading and dancing. The special guest was Horace H.B. Sanders, a Christian comedian who was seriously hilarious!!

Nneka said something at the party last night that stuck with me. She encouraged the parents in the room to make sure they were demonstrating healthy relationships in front of their children. She reminded them that their children are watching and what they see will affect them as they grow up. Nneka asked the crowd what they remember seeing in their homes regarding their parents interaction as children. She had a friend of her’s read a poem that she wrote about relationships and how people are affected by the negative and positive messages that they see and hear growing up. In the poem, Nneka talked about messages people receive about unforgiveness, divorce, low self esteem, rejection etc. The end of the poem spoke of the truth that the women in the poem later embraced after learning to see herself how God sees her, after she received her healing from the past and made a conscious decision to do better and live better for her children. It was a powerful message.

Now I ask the same questions to you. What messages did your parents teach or show you growing up? Were they positive or negative? Maybe you observed a lot of arguing, domestic violence or grew up with an angry struggling single parent. Maybe you grew up in a two parent home but they were distant and rarely appeared to be happy together. Maybe your mom told you “Don’t trust men. They only want one thing and if they get you pregnant, they will leave you all alone,” or your dad told you “women just want your money. Never give your heart to a woman, just play the field.”  Whatever those negative messages may have been, you have to FIGHT to renew your mind and DETERMINE in your heart that you will not accept those thoughts and live in that mindset anymore.

My dad is the best dad in the world but his father was far from that to him and their family. My grandpa was not an active parent. He went to work each day, helped pay the bills and to my knowledge, that was pretty much it. He cheated on my grandma, he didn’t go to any of my dad’s sports events, he wasn’t loving, affectionate or encouraging must of the time. He was a nice man and he loved his family but maybe he was only doing what his father taught him about what it means to be a man, father and husband.

We must break the generational curses in each and every one of our families!! As a social worker, I see many families where the grandmother was a single mother, high school drop out with 8 kids. She did not teach her children about healthy relationships or the importance of getting an education, therefore her children dropped out of HS and had babies outside of marriage too. One of her children would become my client and have the same issues going on in her family. It would be up to that parent to make sure her children have a better life. She would need to make sure the children got up every day and off to school, she would need to teach her children about sex and the importance of respecting their bodies. If we don’t teach our children these things, who will????

My parents got saved when they were 19 years old and they decided that they were going to live according to the word of God and abandon ideologies of their past. They both made up in their minds that they would be better parents and better spouses than what they had seen. I say that to say this, we can no longer live in the excuses of “I’m like this because of what my parents did.” When you know better, you must do better. I’m truly sorry that some of us did not get the love, nurturing, affection, support, encouragement etc that we deserved BUT this is a new day and if God woke up you, He has given you all that you need to be successful!

If you are struggling with your past experiences regarding your parents, relationships, self esteem etc, you need to seek godly counsel to get restored, renewed and recharged. Make it a point to do that soon, don’t wait. Read your word, talk to a minister at your church, get with other saints and seek their support. Find out what the word of God says about you. You don’t have to be another statistic. If you are a parent, remember your children are watching the verbal and nonverbal messages you are giving them about relationships, life, men, women, parenting, religion, work ethic, etc.

As yourself, what would you like to have seen growing up regarding healthy relationships and then make sure you give that to your children or future children.

Here is a little more information on Truth Parties. Truth Parties are designed to bring  men and women together to discuss relationships in a candid and respectful manner.  The goal is to heighten awareness and promote longevity in relationships, while also exposing negative thought patterns, through purposeful communication. Truth Parties are not about men vs. women; it’s not about male or female bashing.  Truth Parties encourages individuals to assess where they stand in their relationships, and decide if they need to define or re-define their position.  Truth Parties are intense, educational, fun and sometimes entertaining!

Truth Calender:
May 21, 2010 – What would you do if…..? Part 2 Role Plays/Discussion

June 25, 2010 – Summer Kickoff – Grilling on the Patio (discussion to be determined)

July/August – Break

September – Back to the Truth

Location:
The Fairlane Club
5000 Fairlane Woods Dr.
Dearborn, MI 48126
off hubbard/across from fairlane mall

http://nnekaowens.net/TruthPartiesforRelationships.en.html

Nneka J. Owens, LPC NCC
313-999-9888
2312 Monroe
Dearborn, MI 48124

info@nnekaowens.net