Full of Boys

Finding the adventure in the blues, greens and grays of life!

Learning from Friends (part 5 of 5) May 13, 2011

Filed under: Friends,mom — fullofboys @ 8:17 am
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Today is a little different because I am going to talk about 4 women who have been an amazing blessing to me as a mother. These ladies are my closest friends & the girls I know will be in my life 20 years later.

I talked yesterday about Mom Paine & I could not write about women who inspire me as a mother & not include her daughter, Christy. When I met Christy we were 5. We played outside all the time. I never imagined this person to be someone who would walk all of life with me but she has. She was the first person I ever told that I thought I was going to marry Heath & she was there when I said those vows in front of everyone. We have laughed a lot & cried lots of tears too. She has shown me that miles do not make a difference. We live at least a day’s drive away from each other. Yet, we make time to catch up on the phone almost weekly. On those phone calls we have cried together. We have laughed. We have prayed. In those conversations, there are no miles separating us. Through it all, she constantly teaches me the value of friendship! She has taught me that it is important to keep things open & honest & that motherhood is a journey that can be shared no matter the distance.

As a new mom, I was pretty nervous. Then, when I was pregnant for the 2nd time, we moved. As I moved away from my comfort zone & friends I was again nervous. But then I met, Leslie. I think the first time I met her I was sitting on a couch in a mom’s bible study & Joel threw up from a bottle he had just had. I was embarrassed. She remembers it & thought I was so calm the way I handled it. I think she might have been sleep deprived. J Regardless, we became friends. She was there when my mom was diagnosed with cancer a second time. She kept my children without reservation & she has been there for me ever since. She has cooked for me, listened to me & cheered me on when I thought I had to give up. She taught me that sometimes as moms we are given tough loads to carry, but with friends the journey can be made more manageable.

Soon around this same time, I met a woman that could make me laugh out loud…which was quite a feat. The first time I met Carmen she was pushing a stroller with a new baby boy. I cannot pinpoint the exact moment we became friends but it just seems as though she has been in my life ever since then in some fashion. Recently we were in a bible study together & since then I feel like we haven’t drifted apart. What I love about her is her ability to be honest & funny…sometimes at the same time. She has taught me that while at times motherhood can be an exhausting journey it can also hold humor & excitement.

Then, a few years ago, we made a big decision. We decided to go help launch a new church closer to where we lived. I drug my feet the entire time. I did not want to leave the friends I had made at my other church (Leslie & Carmen included!). I was reluctant to open up to anyone & yet, I was dying inside. I knew I needed a friend out here…a true friend that would walk though the craziness of life with boys. I met Rebekah & I quickly dismissed her as a possible friend. She was beautiful (& still is), she was classy & I really felt like I would be out of her league. Yet, she was a mom of all boys & over time we started to connect. The first time I went to her house I knew we would be friends. What I did not know were the secrets & stories we would share, the hours investing in each other & the ability to call her one of my best friends. She listens as I hash out my feelings, understands when I tell her a story about the boys & offers wise counsel when I am overwhelmed with choices. She has taught me that as a mom it is ok to have questions or concerns & that friends can help you navigate the rough terrain called motherhood.

I am a firm believer that friends make me heart happy. I believe God has been wonderful to me to bless me with amazing friends (many who I do not have time or space to list!). However, I am incredibly humbled that he has brought these women into my life & allowed me the opportunity to call them my closest friends. I think the most incredible thing to me is that these women are all able to walk through motherhood with me. Thank you girls for taking time to listen, invest & encourage me. I am a better mom for all you offer to me. Love you all!


Defining Motherhood December 10, 2008

Filed under: mom — fullofboys @ 6:00 am
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We recently wrapped up a series at church called ‘Dream Job’. God really worked on my heart during this series. There were several reasons. For some reason I do not think I fully embraced ‘being a mom’ as enough…I surely never saw it as my purpose. Yet, God is molding my heart to become more sure of His calling in my life as a mom. I have a lot to get to with this series. Over the next month or so I plan to share with you some of things that I feel God really taught me and revealed to me. I wanted to start with something that struck me fresh. And by fresh I mean left me in tears in the service as I began to repent for some of the ways I have treated my boys…some of the impossible standards I had set in motion in their lives.

It all started with Pete reading 1 Corinthians 13 from The Message. How horrible is it that I almost checked out at that point in the service. I had to take off my ‘I know that passage already’ hat and really dig in. At first it was the same things I knew, love is patient, kind, etc. I felt like I was hearing and old record played. But then, as it usually does with God, something happens. What it is I have no idea but something keeps me listening…something keeps me grasping. We read the rest of the passage and I felt tears well up in my eyes. They came on so sudden that there was no way to hold them back…I just let them flow freely. There were 5 things that stuck out in this passage…5 things that I circled that will forever change me (I hope!).

* Love doesn’t fly off the handle
* Love takes pleasure in the flowering of truth
* Love puts up with anything
* Love always looks for the best
* Love never looks back, but keeps going to the end

Maybe I was just ready to hear those words that day. Maybe I was looking for a definition of what it is to be a mom. Maybe I was just looking for Christ to reveal himself a little more intimately to me that day. I think it might have been all of those things.

Even now, I am fighting back tears. Those 5 things hit me hard as I struggle (almost daily) with those areas. Love is giving my children patience when I feel my quick temper button has been pressed so many times it is broken. Love is encouraging my children to be honest with everything and allowing them the freedom to share that honesty. Love is cleaning up sheets and bathroom covered in vomit and refereeing every battle of toys, food and friends. Love continues to encourage my boys to find their strengths and helping them to pursue their God given talents. Love is constantly aware of the end, the end of toddlers, adolescents and teen years and remembering that God has given me today to be Christ in their life.

For some reason, being a mom became relevant. It had a definition to me. It had a purpose. I had a map almost of what God would want me to instill in the lives of my boys. For the first time, I let being a mom define me…not using the mom as a classification. Here I am 6 years after my first child and I still struggle with this.

Would you add anything to the list what it is to be a mom?


Striking a New Balance October 22, 2008

Filed under: Family,Me — fullofboys @ 7:03 am
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Yesterday began a new journey for me…really for our family. I began a new job outside the home. Actually, a portion will be done from home too. I can not really explain how excited I am about taking on a new job. There are many moms that I know that work outside the home full time flawlessly. I am amazed by them as they balance home and work. There are also many moms that I think are the perfect ‘stay at home’ moms as they find joy in motherhood that way. Both of these moms are important and I think can take motherhood just as seriously. I remember a conversation I had sometime ago with a friend about children. She made a statement that has played in my mind often. Her statement was something like ‘I think I would not be a good stay at home mom, I would want to work’. My heart totally got that statement. I never saw myself as a stay at home mom….ever. Truth be told, I never saw myself as a mom….let alone staying home. Staying home has brought new challenges to my life. There have been days that I did not feel fit to be a stay at home mom. There were days I actually resented Heath because he got to get out of the house. I learned a lot about my selfish heart and I learned how to put my family first. Honestly I am still learning to put my family first. I am hopeful the reason for that is because we are always evolving as a family. However, I suspect it is because I am constantly battling with my heart. Recently I had to tell a couple people that I would be unable to pursue a job that would exist in the near future. I knew that to take on this job would require a chunk of my time during weekend. It was the hardest choice to make to tell them that I would not be able to do that job.
Then this job came to me. It is a perfect fit. It is taking all the things I have done in the past on a smaller scale. I can go to the office some and I can work from home some. The best thing is that my boss is a Christian and a mom. She gets me needing to keep family first. My day yesterday was wonderful. I had a great time taking on new tasks and learning the ropes. There is so much to learn! I am thrilled to have the opportunity to do it! I am sure you will hear more soon!
Now we are off to striking a new balance in our house. I am still a stay at home mom…I am just working too!

What do you do when it is time to strike a new balance?