Friday, June 15, 2018

Habits and meals

In the middle of serious post-partum blues, when nothing seemed to give me rest or joy, I instituted a new family ritual: a pre-dinner dance party. At first it was a little forced and awkward. It didn't give me joy and I was still sad. But now, it has taken shape and we are able to occasionally have fun together all goofing off to a song or two. 

I have been obsessively going over priorities in my mind since our Tommy was born. What is really worth doing in a day? So many possibilies. So little time. I came to the conclusion: habits and meals. Habits as in the little pieces of work that you put into something everyday that develop into a skill or something you learned. For me, it's piano, reading and knitting I'd like to work on a little each day. Do I? No. But I'd like to.

It's easier to see in kids and it's easier to work on their habits. Helping them eat fruit or brush their teeth everyday. Read stories and see them memorize the stories.

Also, meals. The Eucharist, of course. I loved this Bishop Barron podcast on that. And a meal together as a family each day. Those are things that we also need to do a little of each day. And it builds up to something beautiful we can't always see. 

Friday, June 08, 2018

We love you Goo Goo

These are pictures of them holding Tommy at breakfast. They are always asking to hold him. 

Davy calls Tommy "Goo Goo" and we don't know why. Ever since he was born. It's so catchy that we all call him Goo Goo regularly. 

Everyone asks if there is jealousy between them. I honestly can't say there is. There is aggression, territory-defending, toy stealing, etc. A lot of hitting and pushing. But there is an intense sibling love that I was not expecting and that is beautiful. 

When I think about the birth, the post-partum, the nursing, the finances, the incredible amount of time and energy and readjusting a baby requires of all of us... I think no, it's not worth it. No, we can't have any more kids. 

But whenn I think about Goo Goo, it's a completely different picture. He is small and doesn't move much or have much personality yet, but I can't imagine my life or our lives without him. He is so sweet. I love him so much and I can't express why. Maybe it's those tiny hands and feet. That expression of openness in his eyes. His shy smile. All I know is we all love Goo Goo. He's already a part of our family. Addie and Davy came out of their swimming class the other day and ran to hug Goo Goo. They always remember him and include him in conversations and playing. He might not have as much of my undivided attention as a first-born does, but he has triple the love. 

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Loving the Little Years quotes


Image result for loving the little years rachel jankovicI didn’t like this book. The attitude was completely different from Sally Clarkson’s and I felt it was a little smug and gave too much advice. There was also too much mention of spanking for my taste. But there are some good quotes I would like to share with you. I am wondering what to do with it… do you keep books you didn’t like very much? Or recycle them?



“But God took me out of that life and threw me into the rock tumbler. Here, it is not so easy to feel godly, because we spend our days crashing into each other and actually getting our problems addressed.” Pg 13



“But our children sin against us, annoy us, and mess up our stuff. We want to hold it against them, complain about them (if only to ourselves), and feel put upon by their sin.” Pg 14



“It is no abstract thing – the state of your heart is the state of your home.” Pg 14



“So think about your language with your children. When they disobey, do you talk about your own hurt? Are you pointing to all the work that you have to do now that they screwed up? Do you want to elaborate at all on how bad, bad, bad that particular thing was?” pg 18



“It is something I love about fruit-bearing trees and bushes – that God tole them to make something, and they do it enthusiastically. They don’t care about what happens to the fruit. They do not measure their efforts or fuss when no one appreciates it.” Pg 31



“The more you throw yourself into heavy branches, the more inviting the fruit, and the more inviting the fruit, the more people it is likely to feed.” P 34



“You cannot know the depth of His plan for your fruit. So throw it out there on the ground when you have no plan for its future. Waste it. Waste homemade pasta (and the mess it makes) on your family. Don’t save cloth napkins for company only – sew a dress your daughter doesn’t really need.” Pg 34



“You will need to see it happening and get the grace for it in advance. You will need to develop some skills for coping with it that do not involve blaming your children.” Pg 48



“I must take a bad attitude with a lot of spin and turn it into a quiet little ball rolling across the floor.” Pg 75

Monday, June 04, 2018

The Ministry of Motherhood quotes


Image result for the ministry of motherhood sally clarksonI didn’t like this book as much as I loved Desperate, but there were still some good ideas and nuggets of wisdom. I really appreciate Sally Clarkon’s voice, listen to her podcasts now whenever I can and look forward to reading more books of hers in the future. Here are some of my favorite quotes.



“I realized with the passing of each day that spiritual and emotional maturity would not just happen to my children because I wished it so. It would not come just from a passive example of my being good. Effective spiritual, emotional, and social training in the lives of my children would have to be both intentional and planned.” Pg 13



“Perfection is not a standard he requires of me as a mother, for his grace extends to me as well as to my children. My heartfelt trust in him will be the fuel that energizes my days as I see him draw my children through this gift that will serve them their whole lives.” Pg 29



“If I want them to be open to my messages, I need to be willing to serve them – to voluntarily give up m rights and my time to meet their felt needs – just as Jesus was willing to give for his disciples.” Pg 33



“Giving our children the gift of inspiration – helping them understand their spiritual purpose, which is to glorify God and to make him known – is one of the most crucial tasks of Christian parenting.” Pg 66



“As an introverted dreamer type of personality, I require some alone time just to gain equilibrium for daily tasks. This need has driven me to develop the habit of getting up between half past four and half past five in the morning so I can have time to myself to think, pray, sit, read , and prepare for what the day will bring.” Pg 69



“The disciples tried to shoo away a group of children whose mothers wanted them to be blessed by Jesus. But Jesus looked past al the runny noses and sticky fingers to see the open, innocent hearts of the children and the hopeful love of the mother.” Pg 90



“The best way we can give the critical gift of faith to our children, in other words, is to exercise faith in our own lives – to accept the difficulties of life and choose to trust God in the midst of them. This means we will choose to be thankful, choose to be joyful, choose to be mature and strong, and try to be an example for our children. It also means we will talk to our children about why we’re choosing to respond in this way and share with them what God’s Word says about faith.” Pg 113



“If Jesus himself had trouble getting through to his disciples – even with miracles! – we human parents shouldn’t be surprised when the process of training our children hits some difficulties.” Pg 145



“I have, however, come to terms with the fact that the ministry Jesus calls me to is rarely convenient. People who need me never seem to wait until I am fully rested and organized and ready to help them. Instead, their needs always seem to intrude into my already busy life.” Pg 182



“Most worthwhile endeavors – whether they involve housework and chores, schoolwork, serving outside the home or providing hospitality within it, or training out children to be servants of the Lord – end up taking more time, energy, effort, and character than we ever thought they would.” Pg 197



“More important, I’ve also learned from Jesus and Peter that even we passionate, visionary types can live past our failures and disappointment and actually get the important work done.” Pg 200



“In the end, the measure of my success as a mother will not be how well I have taught my kids or cared for them but whether I have been faithful in helping them respond to God’s call on their lives.” Pg 209

Friday, June 01, 2018

Desperate by Sally Clarkson quotes

Image result for desperate sally clarksonI read this book Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe and it changed my life. Okay, so I say that about every book according to my neighbor. But this one did too. And I want to reread it sometime soon. It's not often I want to reread books. This book touched upon my deepest intuitions and confirmed that they were God sent and also that God loves me. That's something for a book. I feel like I need to reread it because I'm like an alcoholic that counts how many days he's been sober. Except I say, "It's been X days that I've been aggressive with Addie." "It's been X days since I've given in to discouraging thoughts." I have gained a little more peace, knowing that it is normal to feel this way as a mom. I know a tiny bit more how to deal with these feelings now. Ignore discouraging thoughts, pray more, take the initiative for friendship, etc. I highly recommend this book for all moms. 



“My home, then, became my kingdom over which I longed to rule well as I was crafting lives, my own children, for His glory. This kingdom of home is the place of refuge, comfort, and inspiration.” Pg 10

“… I can see clearly that motherhood is a process, a journey. It was fraught with so many moments and days of failure, anger, stress, and exhaustion. Little by little, I have learned grace, joy, patience, and hope, and slowly my soul is being shaped into His image.” Pg 11

“One minute I was Mrs. Expert-in-Control mom, and the next I was falling fast, feeling waves of pressure and mounting responsibility. My children were staying up later, they were exerting their wills and my control began to slip. Failure loomed over me as I realized I couldn’t seem to catch up with my ideals. I made lists, read books, and tried harder, abut I just kept failing at doing all the things I wanted to do…” Pg 17

“Going at it alone is, without a doubt, one of the most common and effective strategies that Satan uses to discourage moms. A woman alone in her home with her ideals eventually wears down and becomes a perfect target for Satan to discourage.” Pg 19

“Through the centuries, women in the home usually had a mom, aunt, sister, or grandmother living close by. They would walk out their back door and talk to each other as they hung clothing on the clothes line or shared a cup of tea while their children played together outdoors. Families living in community generally had the same values and faith and could pass on a legacy of confidence and security to the children and young moms.” Pg 20

“The first step when I was in a new town would be to find a group of moms and attend activities at a church. As I would get to know some women and families, I would initiate a coffee time together to get to know these moms. Then I would extend an invitation to my home for a ‘mom’s night out.’ It would usually involve something as simple as lighting a candle putting out something hot to drink and a small snack on the table, and inviting a friend to joining me in fellowship in an environment in which the Lord could show up.” Pg 21

“But I learned that I had to become an initiator if I wanted to have friends and fellowship for myself, as well as for Clay and the kids. Having a friend who shared my ideals was essential to my own well-being and the emotional health of my family.” Pg 21

“I have had to start almost every group to which I have ever belonged. One of the first lessons I learned was not to be discouraged if others did not invite me.” Pg 22

“Cultivating friendships is a real talent and skill developed by mature and wise women of God. With practice, it becomes an art of love.” Pg 22

“The reality sunk in: Caroline was not going to fit in any box. There would be no pat answer for how to raise and discipline her. I was not prepared to raise an out-of-the-box (as Sally calls her) child.” Pg 28

“If she wasn’t obeying, it was my fault; I was doing it wrong. Of course I felt like a terrible mother.” Pg 28

“There’s the formula. Give Him the bad, and He’ll give you the beautiful.” Pg 29

“I can’t and will not give you the formula for dealing with your little ones, the ones who sometimes make you feel crazy or leave you crying on the hallway floor. But I can offer suggestions, some things that greatly helped me as I’ve learned how to slow down and figure out my children.


Love them. Hug them, kiss them, cuddle with them, spend more time rubbing their heads and holding their hands. Give yourself to them without rush. Pray with them, and let them twirl your hair in their little fingers. Look them in the eye when you talk to them.


Give words of affirmation. Tell them, whether you feel it or not, that you delight in them, that they are a delight (if they don’t feel like a delight, ask God to give you those feelings). Tel them, ‘You are beautiful and smart and God loves you. I’m so glad you’re my child.’ Tell them that they can never lose your love, no matter what. And mean it.” Pg 30

“Often, well-meaning believers felt free to tell us ‘God’s wills for our lives,’ according to them. I call these Job’s friends. (…) Our ‘Job’s friends’ would question the dreams that we had, in faith, followed. Early on I realized that all of the times I had found joy and freedom and pleasure in my life were when I listened to God’s voice in Scripture and pursued the dreams God had put on my heart. What other people thought of our path was irrelevant.” Pg 34

“I see so many young women today who live by fear – fear of what others will think, fear of how they might ruin their children, fear of the expectations of other people, fear that the will not fill in all the holes in their children’s lives. I also see women who are afraid to be themselves.


Often in this peer-pressured world, a close second-place motivator to fear is legalism, living by rules and works, So many women are exhausting themselves trying to appease everyone’s expectations of them. Following every blog and every piece of advice from books, whether good or bad, they are wearing out themselves and their children.” Pg 35

He has created home as a place that is to be enjoyed and celebrated. A home is an environment designed by God’s own hand, more than sufficient to prepare children or their adult lives. A mom is exactly the person that her children need; God created it to be that way! A happy mom who is secure in herself and at ease in her life is a rare gift that children love and appreciate.” Pg 36

“We wanted our home to feel like the best place in the world to them, so we planned activities, traditions, family feasts, games, and read-alouds.” Pg 36

“I love who you are and how God uses you. When you learn to hold his hand and walk by fiath and obedience, you just might find yourself in the Hall of Faith of those who followed hard after Him and were allowed to tell a story of faith in their lifetimes.” Pg 37

“Honey, at what age did you stop sinning? Because that’s when our children will stop.” Pg 42

“I have understood that the home is a battle field where sin and selfishness must be overcome, and that the taming, subduing, and civilizing of a home will be to a woman’s honor.” Pg 45

“In our culture, we prepare women for their careers, for fashion, for romance and how to win a man, and most often in this modern time, for sex, and yet even our churches neglect to train and instruct young women on how to create a life-giving home.” Pg 48

“They didn’t suffer as terribly as I assumed they would because there were days when Mama barely did more than kiss and feed them. And those kisses and that food, it was enough. We all got through by His grace.” Pg 57

“You’ve isolated yourself. You’ve thought about how much you’ve failed your children. Your motivation has dwindled. You’re comparing yourself to others again, and of course, you see yourself as the one that’s no good. ‘Why bother, I’ll just mess up again’ has become a common phrase from your lips. These are the signs. And the bed that knows your apathy is the bed that you can’t leave. This is depression.” Pg 58

“The daylight comes and everything seems okay and you think, Life isn’t so bad, after all. It’s the battle between the light and the dark, and it’s as old as time. And make no mistake, it is a battle.” Pg 58

"I can only offer what has helped me: making a very conscious choice to be in the Word, eating the bread of life every day, and recognizing that I am not my bad days. I will not let the dark tell me who I am.” Pg 59

“If we put in the hard work now, we have a great possibility of seeing the fruit later. If you want to do the hard work, there are two things I can recommend as being beneficial; commit to being faithful, and then walk out your commitment by faith.” Pg 83

“One of the marks of a godly woman is that she takes responsibility for her soul’s ned for joy and delight. A woman is a conductor, who leads the orchestra of her surroundings in the songs and music of her life. God is a God of creativity and dimension, and so He is pleased when we co-create beauty in our own realm, through the power of His Spirit.” Pg 86

“At some point, if you want to find relative happiness and peace in your home, you must accept the limitations of your children and husband, who will regularly make messes.” Pg 109

“Picture yourself as an artist. Crafting beauty, color, aromas, tastes, fun and humor, love, and comfort – these are all aspects of creating a life-giving environment in your home.” Pg 112

“I want to be the one volunteering in the nursery; in fact, I want all of us who have raised our children to be the ones in the nursery, so that the moms of little ones don’t have to be. Let’s remember, so that we can be the Titus 2 women that our generation is so desperate for.” Pg 121

“There are forty different ways to parent, but we need to ask, ‘Lord, how do you want me to raise my kids?’ There is only one person we are going to be accountable to at the end of our lives, and that’s God. We are not accountable to all the people giving us advice or telling us what to do.” Pg 133

“There are so many voices in contemporary culture, that it could make any parent feel overwhelmed. Since the beginning of time, people have been listening to all the wrong voices.” Pg 134

“As I sought Jesus, I was constantly making decisions that did not fit into the box, and yet ultimately created peace, love, life, beauty, and joy in our home. I am so very glad that Jesus did not create one box that he wanted all mothers to be stuffed into.” Pg 138

“You have your personality for a reason – probably for the special work He has for you to do in this world.” Pg 139

“It is accomplished when we choose right in the little things: to get off the computer when our little one wants us to read them a book. To cuddle when our children watch a movie. To kiss our husbands instead of push them away, so we can finish cooking dinner. To spend an hour making our bookshelf look ordered and pretty. To light a candle at dinner. To take the time to feast on the Word. To pray earnestly and with vulnerability. To hold our tongue when we want to scream. To hug tighter when we want to hurt.


Living out our intentions is not easy but it is rewarding.


And we do have a choice. We can choose to live little by little, by faith.” Pg 144

“She made me feel so special, taking the time to use her talent to bless me and my family. She created beauty around us, and to this day every time I sit in my living room, I sigh a happy sigh. She did what I want to do for my children. I want to offer them a space where there is life and beauty and warmth. I want to spend time creating beautiful places for them, giving them something to see and touch and look forward to being in.” pg 156

“We worry about their schooling and their diets and their playtime and their bedtimes and their chores and their salvation and… You get it. We worry. (…) The fact that we even worry if we’re good mothers or not is a wonderful indication that we probably are. We care enough to worry!” pg 158

“Don’t neglect to see the beauty of the life around you while being overwhelmed by the duties of life.” Pg 159

“I always wanted to be a hero – to sacrifice my life in a big way at one time – an yet, God has required my sacrifice to be thousands of days, over many years, with one more kiss, one more story, one more meal.” Pg 166

“In garnering friends and advisors close to you, seek out those who hold similar values and convictions to your own, and who resonate with your ideals and convictions. It is far easier to walk through life with someone if he or she is headed in the same direction as you!” pg 174

“One morning recently I was experiencing some very dark and overwhelming thoughts about some circumstances I was facing. Yet, because these sorts of thoughts are not a surprise to me, I knew that I could go to the Lord and give them to Him and simply wait for Him to show me how to move forward into these challenges by faith. The story of Jacob came to mind. (…) Jacob is a picture of what God wants us to do – to prevail, to keep holding on, to seek Him and expect Him to bless us.” Pg 181

“Satan know that the righteousness and faith of the next generation are in the hands of parents, and particularly the moms, who interact with their children every hour of the day. Satan would just love for us to think our labor is in vain and ineffective, and that we are not adequate for the task.” Pg 183

“I wish that I would have trusted God more and worried less. I regret not being more careful about the voices I listened to. Thinking back no, I should have enjoyed my kids instead of worrying whether I was always doing it right.” Pg 202