Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Things That Make My Heart Smile...

Self Introspection

Sunday, I cooked this really good meal for my family called Mardi Gras Pasta.  I used my "best" andouille sausage. See the thing about the sausage is that I don't have "a lot" of it. Whenever I go home, I'll buy a good bit and freeze it and bring it back. I have not been able to buy the same sausage here. So I reserve it and ration is out for when I really want to make something good.  I also specifically make sure to save enough for winter time for my gumbo.

Sunday, I took the sausage out and cut off the amount I wanted and put the rest in different bags to freeze.  I cooked this meal and when it was time for Tyler to clean the kitchen, I told him to put it away and do not mix the fettucini noodles in with the meat/sauce.  See, I'd cooked enough for dinner but also so on monday I wouldn't have to cook lunch.  I knew that I would just need to add a little more shrimp stock, heavy cream and maybe butter to it and it would make more "gravy" if that makes sense.

The first thing that happened was Tyler had eaten two hearty plates and then I saw him piling on a 3rd. And I'm very flattered when people like my cooking, but there's a difference between satisfied and greedy.  I don't like the latter.  So I told him that was his last plate and the rest was going to be lunch the next day.  I said it in a very direct tone like "Do not play with me."

Well when he finished cleaning up the kitchen, I noticed all of this tomatoey stuff in the trash can. So i asked him "Did you pack away the leftovers like I told you?  He said yes. I looked in the fridge and what should have been a substantial sized tupperware container for the sauce/meat was small. I asked him where the rest of it was and he kept looking with this blank face like he didn't know what I was talking about.  Each time I asked him again, I was getting madder and madder.

Eventually he explained that he ONLY had a small tupperware container b/c the rest were in the dishwasher so he threw out some of the food so it would fit in that small container.  And at that moment, I was livid.  I asked him didn't I already tell him that it was suppose to be leftovers? Why would he throw it out when I specifically said pack it away? If he didn't have the right size container, why not just take one out of the dishwasher and I don't know hand wash it so that he could fit it all?

And then I walked away.

I was talking to a couple friends about the silly stuff that kids/boys do. And we were thinking about when we were kids and how parents would curse us out if we did stupid stuff like that.  I remember my mom cursing like a sailor. But I've been thinking about that some, my Aunt who I lived with NEVER EVER cursed. I can probably remember her cursing ONCE in the 18 years I lived with her and it had nothing to do with me but she was so mad her face was red and she was crying too.  So whatever it was, was the highest level of being livid.

And I thought recently, "What an example she was for me growing up."  How did she do that? LOL

I have been one of those women who curse when they are mad.. I've been a yeller. But in the past year or so I have felt very convicted about the way I express my anger, especially when my child makes a mistake.  it is one of the thing that I pray about often.  Help me to be firm with him, but also help me to be gentle so that I am always building him up and not planting any seeds in his life that are not positive.

And I've noticed that the more angry he makes me, the more silent I have to get. But when I was upset about him throwing away those leftovers, just as plain as day the phrase that came to my mind was, "You cannot bless him with the same mouth that you curse him with."  Ouch!  And so true.

When Tyler was a toddler, we lived in an apt with stairs. I remember him walking down the stairs one day and I could hear him trip.  He said, "Shit!"  At the time I thought, "How did he know how to use that word exactly relevant to his trip?"  But he learned that from observing ME.  I can say that now that Kayden is the same age, he NEVER hears me curse. I don't have to be afraid of anything he is going to say b/c i'm not saying anything "bad" for him to copy.

While this is an area that I'm consistently and purposefully working on, one of the things that I keep reflecting on is, "A gentle tongue [with its healing power] is a tree of life, but willful contrariness in it breaks down the spirit."  Another version of this same scripture says, "Kind words heal and help;
    cutting words wound and maim."  Proverbs 15:4

When I really think about HOW and WHAT I'm saying, these scriptures put it really into context.   I'm here to heal and help NOT to maim and wound.  And that's not just for my children, but for anyone I come in contact with.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

I Love Weekends

  • I get so much joy in doing "normal" stuff with my boys.  Today was our usual routine of church, grocery shopping and a long Sunday nap.  
  • Since the church is being renovated, Kayden is sitting in church with us. He's a busy body.  But today he was moving around a lot, switching seats a lot, but quiet.  During fellowship time, he was walking around shaking hands and smiling at people. #mommasheart
  • Little things bring them pleasure like - making icecream floats for them or having garlic bread with their meals.
  • Kayden routinely says, "Thank you mom. Thank you mom."
  • Trips to Walmart for groceries mean he speaks to lots o strangers. "Hi there! Bye! I said bye!" LOL
  • Yesterday Kayden and I went to Waffle House for breakfast b/c we had to drop Tyler off at a community service project very early.  Kayden insisted he wasn't hungry and didn't want to eat.  But as soon as we sat down at our booth he screamed "I want eggs with cheese mom. I want juice."
  • I appreciate him being able to communicate his wants to me.
  • We had a great day in the park yesterday that included jazz music, pizza and lots of space for a toddler to run around.  Here are a few photos of our weekend..
Sunday dinner  - A new recipe for Mardi Gras pasta

 My future tiger :-)

 New Hair color. No more dark roots!
 The breakfast turn up!
 He has a new Spongebob electric toothbrush and he wants to brush his teeth ALL day!

Saints fans start early


Day 30 - Praying About Your Seeds & Soil

Today is the final day of the Prayer Challenge!  I hope that you have gotten something out of this month's challenge to write your prayers and pray daily.  When we began this challenge, most of us listed a few things we would be praying for during the month.  We committed to trying to write our prayers down so we'd have a record of prayers and answered prayers later on.  When we began on August 1st, we didn't know that on August 9th Ferguson would happen.  We didn't know that during the month we'd be challenged and attacked by different things in our own lives.  It's just a reminder to us to always be proactive in our prayers and in everything - pray first.

Today I wanted to wrap up our challenge and talk a little about the seeds we sow and our soil.  I included this photo of the pretty roses I got from Kayden's daycare.  I've talked about how much time she spends outside in her yard tending to her plants.  During the colder months, she is preparing the soil.  Then she's turning over the dirt and fertilizing it and then planting seeds.  And even when spring arrives and her roses are in full bloom, while she gets to enjoy the beauty of her flowers and the smell of roses permeating her home, she still does maintenance on them.  When she gives me flowers, it's b/c she's had to cut some of them and prune the plants.  She's told me that "The more flowers I cut away, the more return in their place."

"The point is this:  whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully."  2 Corinthians 9:6

So I'd like you to reflect a little on the seeds you are sowing in your lives.  You may not be purposely sowing seeds, but you are always sowing seeds.  So what kind of seeds are you sowing?

When I commit myself to prayer and studying God's word, I'm planting seeds in my life so that when I keep reading and studying his word, it will eventually take root in my heart.  Whenever things come up, the word will bloom and I'll remember how the Bible says to handle those situations.

When I spend time "training my children" in our faith, those seeds may take years to bloom, but I will see evidence of the seeds. How?  When my son has a heart to see his friends also have a relationship with Christ.  Or when he observes his fellow man in need, he wants to step in and help.  And even when I have a trying time and I forget my first line of defense (prayer) he reminds me, "Mom maybe we should say a prayer about this."

"Now the parable is this:  The seed is the word of God."  Luke 8:11

And what about our soil?  "A sower went out to sow his seed.  And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it."  Luke 8:5

What does your soil look like?  When you hear the word, are you meditating on it?  Or as soon as you hear it you've already forgotten it b/c your soil is full of other junk that is contrary to it?  What kind of things are you reading, hearing and watching and even saying? Do they conflict with the new seeds you are trying to plant in your soil.

Are you allowing the weeds to choke out those seeds of prayer that you are planting?  Have you undergone the process of removing and tilling out the soil of those things that you don't want a harvest on?

So for the final day of the challenge, I'd like you to reflect upon the seeds you are sowing and also your soil AKA your heart and mind.  Then pray about the condition of it and ask God to help you plant good seeds and that your heart and mind be open to not just hearing his word, but planting it and tending it and feeding it, so that when it blooms it will be what you want.

Finally, since today is the end of the challenge, I would like you to share something you've learned about prayer, something you've discovered about yourself during this challenge or even an answered prayer during this month.  It has been a blessing to me to share with you and to hear how prayer changes things.