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!!!

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Pretty Brown Girls With Pretty Brown Hair

Muppet Wikia published the back story of how the song I Love My Hair came to be. Read a insert of that post below.

“I Love My Hair” is a Sesame Street song performed by an Anything Muppet girl. She sings about how proud she is of her hair and the many ways she can wear it. The girl is voiced by Chantylla Johnson and puppeteered by Kevin Clash.

The video was posted on Sesame Workshop’s YouTube channel in October 2010, and quickly garnered online attention for its positive message.[1] Following the original debut of the segment, other airings feature a modified music track.

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My 2 1/2 year old daughter Elyssa and I love the Sesame Street song I Love My Hair. The puppet is a pretty brown girl with a mini afro just like my daughter. In the video, the girl sings about how special, beautiful and unique her hair is because she can do it in all types of styles. Elyssa’s eyes always light up when she watches the video. She rubs her hair and dances around. Words can’t describe how happy it makes me feel to see her at such a young age celebrating and embracing her hair. After watching the video one night she laid in her bed and said “Mommy, I love my hair, I’m beautiful!” I smiled and said “Yes you are baby!!

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My husband and I have been blessed with two girls, Elyssa (2 1/2 yrs) and Elaina (8 months) and we call them our pretty brown girls. We tell them that we love their brown skin, hair and eyes. When I comb Elyssa’s hair I tell her how pretty it is. In a world that tells our girls that they need to have light skin, with skinny bodies and straight hair to their butt, we as parents MUST teach our children that they’re ALL beautiful and special just the way God made them. We oil Elyssa’s scalp and comb her afro and let her pick out which bow she wants to wear and we tell her that she’s pretty, smart, holy, kind and a child of God. I’m not trying to raise self centered vain daughters, I’m trying to teach them early to love the skin they’re in. Our girls are fearfully and wonderfully made, Psalm 139:14 NIV.

Psalm 139:13-16 Message Bible

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.

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I grew up attending mainly private schools where the African American population was small. In the 80’s and 90’s it wasn’t as cool to wear natural hair as it is now. I remember the white female students being so curious about the texture of my hair and the hair styles I wore and asking lots of questions. I remember being different and not always feeling special about it. While I loved my brown skin and big lips, I secretly wanted my hair to be long and silky straight permanently, not just for the few hours after my mom pressed it. My mom taught me that I was beautiful and made in the image of God. While my parents did a great job building my self esteem, I don’t believe that brown girls were embraced and celebrated like they are today. Today there are more brown baby dolls on the shelves, cool cartoons that feature diverse female characters like Doc McStuffins and organizations like Pretty Brown Girl and Black Girls Rock just to name a few. I believe that it’s so important for children of color to see faces and hair styles like their’s being celebrated; therefore we make sure that our girls have books and dolls that feature brown children as well as other races. We are all children of God and He made no mistakes when He created us. If we don’t teach our children to love themselves then who will?

Her name is Elyssa Janee’ Willis and she loves her hair!!

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Sesame head writer Joey Mazzarino told New York Magazine:

“ My wife and I, we adopted our daughter from Ethiopia, so we’re two white parents raising an African-American daughter. We knew issues of skin color would come up, and then hair came up a bit last year when she wasn’t really loving her curls and wanted to have long, blonde, straight hair. She would put on wigs, she would want her hair like her mom’s or a Barbie, and I thought maybe it was an issue because she was being raised by white parents and she sees us every day.

But then when Chris Rock’s film Good Hair came out, I was talking to my executive producer about it and I realized, ‘Oh, this is a bigger issue. This isn’t just my child, it’s [happening with other] African-American girls.’ So I asked my executive producer, ‘Hey, can I take a shot at writing something for this?’ So I quickly sat down in my office and thought about what I say to my daughter, and we wrote this song…

http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/I_Love_My_Hair

Life With Two What To Do?!

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On June 13, 2013, I became a mommy of two! Two car seats, two cribs, a double stroller and a house filled with toys and pink clothes and bows galore!! Our oldest daughter Elyssa, is now 28 months and she is smart, sweet, funny, full of energy and curious about everything. Our baby girl Elaina is now eight weeks and she holds her head up, laughs and loves to nurse. Our girls keep us on our toes but they keep us laughing and enjoying every moment.

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So the title of this post is a very valid question; life with two what to do!? How do you chase a toddler around the living room when you have a infant crying to nurse, a husband who has needs and a house that’s in desperate need of a cleaning?! For me the answer is simple, breathe, ask God for patience, wisdom and grace and let my love for my family keep me going. The word of the month for me is organization. I’m trying to stay on top of the housework and the laundry so that I don’t find myself overwhelmed. My helpful husband and I work opposite shifts so he cares for the girls while I’m away and I care for them while he’s away. He cooks sometimes, I cook sometimes. We try to keep the laundry from piling up and try to keep Elyssa’s toys from consuming the whole house. Some days I say forget it and I just enjoy my family and pretend as if I don’t see the piles of clutter lying around.

As mothers we’re usually the first ones up and the last to go to bed. The ones doing majority of the cooking but the last to get to sit down and eat. We work hard to make sure that the house is run smoothly and somehow have the courage to continue to add more children and more responsibility to our plate as the years go by. WHY do we do this to ourselves?! I know my answer, I love being a mom. I love nursing, serving, cuddling, teaching, playing and watching them grow. Being a wife and a mom is the hardest but funniest and most rewarding job I’ve ever had. I was made to do this! I don’t know what I will do when Elaina becomes mobile and I have two girls to chase around but you know what, God will give me the grace and the energy just like He continues to do now. Parenting a two year old is no joke and I don’t always get it right but I’m grateful to God for a hands on husband and the support system that we have around us.

Being a mother of two for this first 8 weeks has been lots of work and lots of fun. I will post about my mommy experiences as times goes by. Until then, stay strong mommies and know that you’re doing a great job!!

Why PDA is Good For You’re Children To See

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I read a cool quote today that said, “Be great parents, gross out your kids.” The pic showed a mother and a father kissing. I agree with the quote and the picture made me smile. My parents have always been affectionate and loving towards on another infront of my brother and I. I grew up in a loving, peaceful, affectionate family and for that I am truly grateful to God and my parents.

My husband and I have been blessed to provide the same type of environment for our daughter (soon to be two daughters). Our daughter Elyssa just turned two years old on April 1. On her birthday we were taking pics with her and she pushed our faces together so that my husband and I could kiss. I thought the moment was very special because she was grinning from ear to ear. At the tender age of two, our daughter knows that her mommy and daddy holding hands or kissing is very special and to be celebrated. Sometimes we’re all sitting together on the couch and she’ll push our hands together so that we can hold hands either as a family or just he and I together. She walks around the house saying “kissin” and smiling. She likes it when we laugh and play together or turn on music and dance.

We have the peace of God in our home and for that I am grateful. We pray, play gospel music and keep a calm atmosphere so that our daughter feels safe, secure and loved. It’s important for children to see their parents happy, communicating appropriately and showing each other love and affection. Of course my husband and I have disagreements but we talk them out or table them until we’re both able to talk through them effectively. It’s important to us to be role models for our daughter becuase we know she’s watching us. When she and her sister Elaina (arriving in 8 weeks or less) get older, they will be grossed out by mommy and daddy’s public displays of affection and thats ok. I will show Elyssa the pic that we took on her 2nd birthday and reminder of how she thought her parent’s kissing was the cutest thing.

How To Be a Super Mom, Love Machine, Career Woman, Chief & More

Phil 4:13 (KJV) I can do ALL things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Phil 1:2 (NIV) Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Shout out to all my hard working wives and mothers holding in down inside and outside the home, inside and outside the bedroom, kitchen, playground etc 🙂 As godly, diligent and productive wives and mothers we operate daily under God’s anointing to complete all the task needed.

Yesterday after church my husband had to work so Elyssa (16 months old now) and I had a mommy daughter day. We played in her kiddie pool and enjoyed blowing bubbles and taking pictures. I also did some major house work; I cooked a few meals, cleaned the kitchen from top to bottom (including scrubbing the floors) and did a few loads of laundry. I did some work for my job once Elyssa went to bed and I watched some TV. It was late when I turned in for the night but by God’s grace I still had energy to enjoy my honey and end our night right 🙂

When we submit our lives to Christ and ask Him to give us the strength, grace and wisdom needed to be all that He’s called us to be, He’s faithful to walk with us and help us. I know that I could not do anything successfully without my Heavenly Daddy’s help. He calms me when I feel anxious or frustrated, He heals me when I’m sick and He gives me patience when my love walk is tested. I don’t know how people operate day to day without the Lord.

Tips for Being Happy While You Do Your Daily Balancing Act

1. Spend time in prayer daily. In the Lord’s presence is peace and He will speak to us and give us direction on what to do and how to do it.

2. Organize your day and be realistic (don’t put too much on your to do list)

3. After the cooking, cleaning, phone calls and play time, be sure to save time and energy for your hubby. Remember that he needs attention and loving too. It’s important to keep the marriage bed hot and fresh!

4. Take time for yourself weekly. We feel refreshed when we take time either away from the house or just have alone time once everyone is gone to bed. Sometimes we need to take off our multipurpose hat and just breathe.

5. Keep a positive attitude. Phil 4:8 (NIV) Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Often times we can feel overwhelmed and tired because no matter how much we work we do, there’s always something else that needs to get done. Phil 4:8 reminds us to rehearse in our minds positive uplifting things, not negative, overwhelming things. We have to remember to adopt an attitude of gratitude.

A Prayer For Grace

Lord we thank you for our families, jobs, ministries etc. Thank you for giving us the grace needed to be Prov 31 woman. Thank you for helping us to love and respect our husbands always. Help us to serve them with good attitudes and kind, willing hearts. Help us to be to confident and free in and outside of the bedroom. Lord help us to be patient and loving towards our children. Help us to be present and playful with them but affective disciplinarians as well. Lord please take away anything in our lives that keep us from growing in you more. Thank you for loving us always and continuing to show yourself strong in our lives. In Jesus name amen!

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.