Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Just a Name?

Growing up, my parents had good friends that us kids referred to as aunt and uncle so and so. My friends called my parents mom and dad. I didn't think twice about it when my kids started calling my new inlaws grandma and grandpa. So why am I all freaked out now that my kids are calling their soon to be stepmom mom? 

Well, number one, and probably the only real reason: because I am their MOM. I gave birth to them and up until this point, I have been their only mother figure. I have never called my step parents by anything other than their first name. I have never called my inlaws mom and dad. I never called my friend's parents mom and dad. In my mind, only two people get to be called mom and dad- the two that made the child. (Unless, of course one chooses to be an absent parent in which case, they're giving up that right.) Aunt, Uncle, Grandma, Grandpa- those are all names by default. No disrespect meant to ANYONE. It's just that those people didn't choose to be aunt, uncle, grandma, or grandpa. They are because two people, MOM and DAD made the CHOICE to have a kid together. 

I posed the question on Facebook: "If both parents are involved, is it ok for kids to call the step parents mom and dad?" A couple of people said no but overwhelmingly, the answer was more along the lines of yes, if that's what the kids want. From the beginning, my husband and I have told the boys that he is not their dad and isn't trying to take the place of their dad. He loves them and cares about them but their dad is still their dad. And, as a result, they've always called him by his first name. Not out of disrespect toward him but out of respect for their dad. Now, of course, I'm wondering if that was the right thing to do. Not because I want tit for tat but because this whole thing has really got me thinking.

Is it really that important that my kids don't call anyone else mom? What exactly does it mean if they do call someone else mom? Of course I FEEL like it means that they love her as much as they love me and that they're one step closer to preferring her over me. But really, is that the case? I'd like to say NO! But I haven't quite convinced myself of that yet ;) However, a couple of the comments I got on Facebook were quite helpful in easing my mind. One friend said: "Life's too short to worry about what's socially acceptable. You're doing great, your kids are amazing and these things really shouldn't matter over the heart issues of a child." And another said: "Getting close to someone else doesn't mean getting further away from you. I know words can hurt but the grown ups are better equipped to deal with that."

{{{Deep Breaths}}}

So is that what it comes down to? It's not about me or how I feel, it's just a name and if the kids want to call her mom, I shouldn't be bothered by it? Oh my... I'm working on that. I really am. But it's SO hard to do. So, I just keep telling myself my kids love me, I am a good person and a good mom. My kids can call her whatever they want, that doesn't change anything between US. I am not going to lose my kids to another "mom".

Someday, maybe, I'll believe it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Deep Breathing

Not because I'm in labor... yet. Still 11 weeks to go. (Which is good because we are still so far from being ready!)

I found out yesterday that my ex is getting remarried next month. I figured this was coming and I've mentally prepared myself for it. Nevertheless, I wasn't sure how I was going to react to the news. Not because I'm jealous or have regrets but because there are SO many factors to consider. I think it all went pretty well, though, and hopefully it will continue to go that way.

The one thing I am unsure and uneasy about is how it will affect the kids and our relationship. They're going to have a step mom. They're going to have a new brother and sister living with them, going to the same school as them, and all inadvertently infiltrating my life. At school, I won't be the only mom for our family. I will be sharing with someone who really, I have never actually met.

When I think about it, though, having a step dad hasn't changed the boys' relationship with their dad and when we got home last night, Aidan wanted to cuddle with Dan and he gave me and my belly a giant hug before bed. Then, this morning, he made me the most beautiful heart painting. These things really made my heart happy. I most definitely needed them at that moment!

Overall, I'm extremely happy for everyone. Divorce is not a fun thing, it's not something I would wish on anyone. Yet, we all seem to have come through it fairly well and life is good :)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Truth or Lie?

Words are such a powerful tool. They have the power to build someone up as well as tear someone down, as my girlfriend talks about in her blog. While I was reading it, however, it occurred to me that a lot of times when I'm hurt by something someone says, it is because my own view of myself/ the world has skewed how I receive what's being said.

For instance, last night, my husband was telling me about how he's got a lot on his mind and he's got X, Y, and Z to do and what I heard was that the boys and I take up too much of his time.

Whoa! Where did that come from? I'll tell you. A big fat lie from the devil. My husband and I have a super marriage. He's my best friend. I don't ever want to live a day without him. And you know what? That doesn't make the devil happy and he's going to attack that at every chance he gets.

When this happens, it's important for me to realize what's happening and then to ask myself "is that the TRUTH or is it a LIE?" I challenge you, when something that is said offends you to do the same. I think you'll be surprised to find that a lot of times what we think it our head to be true is, in face a lie from the deceiver.

"The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full." John 10:10

CHOOSE to believe the life-giver, not the deceiver.

**NOTE: Thank goodness I have learned the practice of asking myself this question. Imagine how it would have gone down had I started spouting responses to what I was hearing instead of what was being said. Yikes!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Fun!

Happy Valentine's Day to all my readers! (All seven of you, ha!)

I know that Valentine's Day is a "Hallmark Holiday" but it's just so FUN!

Here are goodies I made for some important people in my life:

Fuzzy Sock Cupcake for Secret Pal at Bible Study

Card for my Dearest Hubby

Candy Filled Jars for the Boys

Swedish Fish for the Boys' Teachers

Everything was done fairly inexpensively and like I said, I just had a ton of fun doing it. I hope that the people I made the Valentines for are blessed and know they're loved and appreciated. Not just today because it's a holiday and that's what we're supposed to do but every other day also.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Blessed to be a Blessing

I'm not going to lie. I used to do stuff because I liked the attention it got me. My friends thought I was super woman and aspired to be like me. Whenever there was a need, I was there to help meet it. I opened my house to gatherings, hosted showers and parties, took meals to people who were sick or just had babies, babysat kids, and the list goes on...

 I like to help people, I truly think that hospitality and helps are my spiritual gifts but instead of using them for God's glory, I was using them for my own. I was looking for approval and popularity and acceptance. All in the wrong places and going about it the wrong way. I went on like this for years and started to get burned out. I didn't see it but those around me did. It wasn't until after I separated from my husband and a lot of those friendships went away that I was left feeling very alone and took a step back and examined my life and what I was doing and why.

Now when an opportunity presents itself to help someone in some way, I consult God on it first and examine my heart. Most of the time, what I do is between me and the person I help and God. No showboating to my friends or posting about it on Facebook and yet somehow, I'm more fulfilled than I ever was before.

I had the opportunity not too long ago to do something for someone that I know just made their day and you know what? I think it made my day more than it did theirs! It just blessed me to be able to bless them in that way (and I have to give special thanks to my husband who helped me!) Seriously, when I said "can I do this for you?" and they were so excited about it, it almost brought ME to tears. It's just wonderful being obedient to God, doing His work, and being able to help others, with no ulterior motives, without expecting anything in return, and with no worldly recognition.

Along the same lines, when I did my blog post before about the progress being made in getting ready for the baby, I mentioned my girlfriend who helped me and how some day she would need my help and I would return the favor. She commented that no favors were expected. I know this. That's not the kind of person she is but when the time comes, if I am able, I will help her. Likewise, I don't ever do anything expecting something in return. I know we are all in different stages of our lives and have different gifts and talents and not everyone I help is going to be willing or able to help me in return. I do what I do because it pleases God.

I guess I said all of that to say this: it's so much more freeing to live life to please God and not man. It's a beautiful thing to walk in obedience with Him and to seek only His approval. It truly is a blessing to me when I can bless others.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Pity Party

I'm trying really hard not to have a pity party for myself. I can't share why, it wouldn't be fair and really, I don't want any one's pity. I just want to wallow a bit. But the problem with this is that by wallowing, I am not focusing my eyes where they should be.  

Philippians 4:8 says "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."

And Matthew 12:34 says "out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks."

Wow. If that right there isn't enough to convict me... 

So here I am, focusing on what is good, what is true, what is lovely so that in my heart, I am thankful and happy. After all, that is most definitely what I want to come out of my mouth! Thankfulness, happiness, kindness not sadness, pity, and ungratefulness!

What is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable in my life?

My home is filled with love
My husband cares for me and the kids and would do anything for us
My kids light up my life
I am loved by my family and friends
God loves me so much that he sent his son Jesus to die on the cross 

I am forgiven!
I am loved!

What more does a person need?

Friday, February 1, 2013


Wow! Things are starting to come together here. Many, many thanks to my dearest husband and girlfriend for their help! You can see what Dan and I got done over the weekend in this post from earlier in the week and on Tuesday, my girlfriend came over to help move some boxes. It's so hard for me to be "weak" and let someone else do all the work but I really tried to refrain from lifting too much heavy stuff. We also got in a sweaty workout and cleaned the freezer out. Horray for super people in my life, getting projects done, and working out with my friend! Some day soon, she'll be moving and I'm already looking forward to helping her out and returning the favor. Next up: carpet in the basement!

Future Baby Room a Week Ago

Future Baby Room After

My friend blogs at www.loveencounters.wordpress.com and she is such a dear, sweet friend, and encourager that I wanted to share her blog with my readers! Make sure you check it out!

Have a blessed weekend. Enjoy your families and try to stay warm!