Dear Groovy Mama,
We have a crazy sports schedule right now. I don’t handle it well. It feels so selfish on my part because I know the sports are good for my boys. I just get to the point where I feel like I’m always on the go and we aren’t connecting as a family. There are evenings that the first conversation my husband and I get are when we lay down to go to bed. Not ok. Do you have any ideas for me? –Tanya C.
Sweet friend, life can certainly be busy. Staying connected and making time for family can be a challenge. In order to stay on top of it all, we need to have a game plan.
If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until it gets so ugly you can hardly bear to look at it.
A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.
This quote, by one of my all-time favorite authors, immediately made me think of Philippians 4:8.
“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.” (NIV)
I don’t know about you, my friends, but I sure need this reminder on a regular basis! May we think on lovely things today, yes?
Grace and peace,
Photo credit: Featured image by HalfPoint at bigstockphoto.
Dear Groovy Mama,
My 4 year old suddenly won’t participate in our family prayer time. He just wanders off to play and refuses to pray himself. I’m worried that he’s no longer interested in spiritual things. What have I done wrong? –C.L.
First off, let me assure you that you are not doing anything wrong! In fact, it sounds as though you are doing something very right, modeling prayer time as a family. Young children don’t understand abstract concepts like faith, prayer, and God. What they do understand is what they see, and seeing you talk to God, lifting up the needs and requests of others, is a beautiful foundation that the more difficult concepts will build on.
“Can we hang out tomorrow, Mama?” My 13 year old daughter asked. I assured her that we would indeed make the time to do something together, glad she wanted to spend time with me. We chattered a bit more when she said something that struck me like a hammer.
“You know, I love to go shopping or play cards or walk with you, but it means a lot more when you are the one who asks me. It tells me that you actually like hanging out with me.”
Now, I pride myself on being the sort of mama who will set aside the to-do list whenever possible if the kids are needing some mommy time and that’s indeed a good thing. However, I realized that I have fallen into the habit of allowing the kids to direct when those times happen. I wait for them to tell me of their need for quality time rather than taking the reigns and suggesting it myself. It honestly never occurred to me what message it would send if I were to occasionally ask them for some time.
So now I must ask myself, do I actually want to spend time hanging out and chatting with my kiddos, or are they just another duty to check off my list? The answer is easy. I really, really like my kids. I love spending time with them, seeing what ideas they come up with and watching the wheels turning in their amazing brains. There’s no one on the planet I’d rather spend my hours with than these four precious people and their daddy.
The real question then becomes, do they know that? Do they know that this mama is absolutely over-the-moon crazy about her chicks? That I think they’re fun and interesting and worth spending time with?
They sure will now, because I want my actions to say loud and very, very clear: Mom thinks you are super groovy!
Grace and peace,
Photo credit: Featured image by dolgachov at bigstockphoto.
Instead of the usual Friday Q&A, I want to take the opportunity to share a few sites to help you plan the upcoming holiday, and since I’m actually on vacation at the moment, loving on my own peeps, I’ll keep this short and sweet.
For your overly active little people, here’s a great article with some games to keep ’em moving…and hopefully to run off some of the inevitable Valentine’s Day sugar high!
Active Valentine’s Day Party Games
Here’s some ideas based on love languages. These ideas would be great any time of year!
25 Valentine’s Gift Ideas Based on the 5 Love Languages
And here’s some fantastic ideas for family activities that incorporate faith and serving others with your holiday fun!
10 Ideas: Valentine’s Ideas for Your Family
Being Valentine-challenged, I loved these articles! I hope you enjoy them too and that they spark some fun and creative ideas for you to use with your family this Valentine’s Day!
Grace and peace,
Photo by Actina at Pixabay
“If I hear you two argue one more time today I’m going to duct tape you together until you learn how to get along!”
The kids knew I was teasing…sort of. They also knew that when I uttered this lighthearted threat, I really was at the end of my emotional endurance with their bickering and arguing. Nothing frays my mama nerves quite like sibling conflict.
Last week’s Q&A was from a mama who is at her wit’s end with the kid battles, and while Cristina Grau and I answered from more of a heart training angle, I think it’s worth also looking at some positive ways to foster love between siblings.
Dear Groovy Mama,
My seven year old son and six year old daughter are best friends one minute and then the very next minute they are fighting. My son easily gets angry with his sister. She enjoys teasing him and seems to be thrilled with getting her brother upset. It makes my heart sad to hear them call each other names, say mean things to each other, and try to get each other in trouble. I try to let them work it out. I do my best to teach them healthy ways to communicate. I set fair fighting rules. It’s horrible to see this and I am worried that I am not helping them enough. How do I know how much direction they need to work out their problems? It seems like I make matters worse sometimes. I don’t want to take sides. Sometimes I feel like I have to. It’s a confusing mess. –Amber
First off, I want to tell you that this is all very normal. Virtually every mom since the dawn of man has had to deal with this sort of sibling conflict. The Jekyll and Hyde nature of children, best buddies one moment, bitterest of enemies the next, can leave us mamas exhausted trying to restore peace, civility, and sanity to our world. You are not alone in this!