Giggle Giggle Toot Roar

Striving to answer the call to motherhood and wifeyhood with joy, Jesus, and crazy dancing.


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An Index Card Affirmation Exercise

We are under attack. Constant attack. From media. From society. From strangers and even from well-meaning (hopefully) friends and family. And we can even be under constant attack from ourselves.

I absolutely do not believe the old adage, “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

Today, in the world we live in, words can most certainly break us. I should say, negative words can break us, if we allow them to have that power over us. And we often do allow them that power.

You are enoughHave you ever received a compliment from someone that starts with, “Now this is a compliment…” You know immediately that whatever follows will most certainly not be a compliment. A few weeks ago after teaching (and rocking) a few songs in a friend’s Zumba class, someone came up to me after class and said, “Now this is a compliment…you are such a pretty girl, but you look so much better with your hair tied back and not in your face.”

On that particular day, I was having a good day, so I smiled, said thanks, and laughed it off in my head. Well, actually in my head I said, “Awhhh, thanks so much and you look so much better with your mouth shut.” (Hey, I’m not perfect!)

I didn’t allow those words to rule the rest of my day or week. BUT how many times do we allow words to ruin us.

How many times do we allow words to take us off course or totally wreck our confidence?

Too often.

Enough is enough.

Hawk Nelson has an awesome song called Words. Check out the entire song here: Words.

Here is my favorite part of that song:

“They’ve made me feel like a prisoner, they’ve made me feel set free. They’ve made me feel like a criminal, made me feel like a king. They’ve lifted my heart, to places I’ve never seen. They’ve dragged me down back to where I began. Words can fill you up. Words can break you down. Start a fire in your heart or put it out. Let my words be life, let my words be truth. I don’t wanna say a word, unless it points the world back to you.”

We can control how we speak to other people.

We can control the words we speak to ourselves.

We need to stop the negative thoughts floating around in our head.

Have you said any of these things to yourself either in your head or out loud?

“I’m a bad mom (dad, friend, sister, etc.).”

“Nothing ever goes right for me; I failed again.”

“I’ll never reach that goal or dream.”

“It’s too hard.”

“I’m just not good enough.”

“Susie is so much better at this.”

Enough is enough!

Speaking life needs to start at home. We are our home. We need to speak life to ourselves every day. We need to stop those negative words of doubt, anxiety, fear, and failure. We need to crush those negative seeds in our head before they have any chance to flourish and kill our confidence and significance.

Just this week I got an email that I allowed to get in my head. It was regarding the business I’m working on building. Someone more or less said “no” to me and I allowed myself to translate that no into “I don’t think I can do this,” “everyone will say no,” and “I don’t want to annoy my friends and family.” I felt the negativity and self-doubt threatening to take over, but I thankfully made it through with persistent prayer and perspective.

How easy it is to allow yourself to race down that rabbit hole!

Enough is enough.

My Index Card AffirmationsToday, I took an index card and wrote several affirmations on it that I plan to say out loud to myself every day, several times a day. I taped it to my bathroom mirror, so I will see it as soon as I wake up and throughout the day. I will speak those words of life to myself every day!

I will speak those words to myself, because I am loved. I am cherished. I am enough. And I’m human, so I need to be reminded.

I challenge you to do the same! Grab an index card. Write down affirmations to yourself. Put your index card in a place where you’ll see it throughout the day. Proclaim those words out loud to yourself, because you are loved, cherished, and worth it.

You are enough.

Your affirmations may be about attributes you are working on, how you treat other people, your role as a mother or wife, about your business or job, or about any other place in your life that you need to shine some light with your positive thoughts and words.

Here are some great examples from Joyce Meyer’s book, Change Your Words Change Your Life if you need a place to start:

“I do not have a spirit of fear, but of power, love and of a sound mind.”

“I do not speak negative things.”

“I am a positive encourager. I edify and build up, I never tear down or destroy.”

“I am a believer, not a doubter.”

“I have compassion and understanding for all people.”

Let’s speak life to ourselves and others.

Toby Mac’s song Speak Life offers more encouragement. Click here for the song: Speak Life.

Love, Natasha

PS: Doesn’t “ENOUGH” totally look weird spelled in all caps?

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Whips, Chains, and Water Features

I had a really interesting encounter today. I swear, I am a magnet for these things.

The boys and I decided to walk around downtown and enjoy the sunshine-y morning after the gym. We made a quick stop at a coffee shop where mommy fueled up with some java and we shared a lemon-blueberry “cookie” scone (really just a scone, but I called it a cookie hoping they’d be satisfied with it instead of the real cookie they were begging for…50% of them were). Anyway, we continued on our walk to the center of the downtown, which houses a large grassy area where we could run around a bit.

Once we arrived, the first things that got the boys’ attention were the large water fountains spraying water into the air. I never really got these specific water features. Sure, they are “cute” and add something to the downtown, but are they for ascetics only or are kids supposed to play in them or are you just supposed sit down on one of the benches fixed directly around them and take in their understated glory? It’s no Bellagio show! Seriously, where are the “rules”?

Whips, Chains, Water FeaturesAnyway, the first thing that caught my attention was the twenty-something couple that entered the park and proceeded to lay down together in the center on the cement. The woman had what appeared to be a short chain-linked dog leash around her neck and the man was leading her around on it.

Enter my internal conversation: Huh, I must have just seen that wrong. right? I bet that was just a long necklace. Huh, nope, nope, he really is walking her around like a dog. That’s normal, right? Nope, nope, not normal.

The conversation in my head continued with my plan to keep the boys’ backs to the couple, because I really wasn’t in the mood to A.) explain to my toddlers why we shouldn’t walk another human being around like a dog or B.) see my toddlers inevitably walking each other around like dogs later that day.

Well, my plan worked. It worked until the couple came right over by us and the water features. One of my little boys was in the process of working up the courage to touch the top of one of the smaller water features. The other of my little boys was 10 feet away screaming at the lunacy of getting wet in the water feature.

Dog leash lady came over to us, shaved head and neck full of chrome, and asked my son, “Do you want to see something fun?”

My response while taking a few steps back was, “Like fun-fun or fun-terrifying?”

Her response: To rip off her coat (don’t worry she had a tank top on) and run back and forth through the fountains until she was completely drenched. I’m talking water-logged drenched.

One child looked on with utter delight and one watched in confused terror.

When she stopped running through the fountains, she came back over to us and while I pretended to act like this was all cool and normal, I said something to my appalled child like, “See honey, she had no fear!”

What I was saying inside was: “What the beep is going on and how do I get the beep outta here. And how does this weird stuff always happen to me?!”

Me looking at her completely drenched clothes: “Wow, I hope you don’t have to be anywhere anytime soon; your clothes are soaked!”

Her: “I just wanted to do something to cheer him up!” she said while pointing at my little guy who had been screaming. “I like to do anything to make children happy!”

Her Boyfriend: “Well, we do have that meeting with my boss in 45 minutes.”

We talked for a few more minutes and I learned that they were currently staying at the Salvation Army and that they have a four month old son in foster care that they are trying to get back. And that he works for a friend, who was “pretty cool” and probably wouldn’t mind if his girlfriend shows up to the meeting completely soaked.

I couldn’t help but ask about that dog leash though….

Me: “So, what’s with the dog leash?”

Her: “It’s an inside joke between friends, because I get lost easily. So, he has to lead me around.”

Me: “Oh, well, can I tell you what my honest first impression of it was?”

Her: “Sure!”

Me: “Well, honestly all I could think of was how it was so objectifying to women; I mean you are letting him lead you around on a leash!”

Her: With sincere surprise in her eyes like she had really never thought of that, “No, no.”

Him: “I didn’t like the idea of it at first either.”

Me: “Anyway, just thought I’d tell you my honest opinion. So…good luck with your little one and at the meeting with your boss. Thanks for trying to make my kids smile. My parking meter is almost up, so…..bye!”

And at that very moment my water loving child ran face first into the water feature and came running back to me shivering and smiling with delight.

I’m not going to lie, I judged the pants off these people and I tried to avoid them. Given everything scary that continues to happen in our world, in normal public places, in large cities and in small communities, I suppose my initial response wasn’t really that crazy.

It wasn’t until she told me that they were living at the Salvation Army that I felt something soften slightly in me and I felt my demeanor towards them change. It was that instance that I realized I was talking to Jesus’ people.

Maybe the woman who allows someone to walk her around on a leash and the man that “leads” her around are the tax collectors and prostitutes of today. Those were Jesus’ people then and these are Jesus’ people now.

I was pretty emotional actually on my drive home thinking about my interaction with these people. I felt like I not only interacted with Jesus’ people, but also with Jesus himself.

Was I kind to Jesus?

Did I care enough about Jesus?

Did I judge Jesus unfairly?

Did I cloth Him or feed Him?

Did I listen to Him?

Did I love Him?

You just never know when you’ll meet Him. Well, actually, you know exactly when you’ll meet Him…the next time you meet or interact with ANYONE. It’s just so hard to remember that sometimes.

Keep running through waterfalls,

Natasha

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Book Worm Wednesday: 52 Simple Ways to Talk with Your Kids about Faith by Jim Campbell

52 Simple Ways to talk with your kids about faithThis is a great little book that is organized in a way that invites you to read it from cover to cover or to skip around by chapter based on your interest or where you want to strike up a conversation with your child. Each chapter is about three quick pages and is broken into helpful sections such as, “Natural Teachable Moments,” “Starting the Conversation,” and “To Help You Connect/Pray/Listen.” The author provides useful tips on how to talk with your child about different faith topics and backs them up with suggested Bible readings and prayers. Campbell does a great job of reminding parents to really listen to our children without judging or correcting them.

Below are some of my favorite quotes from the book. I’ll be keeping these close as my little ones grow up. Not only will these reflections help us drum up meaningful conversation, but they will also help me, as momma, reflect on the kind of parent and example I want to be to my little ones.

TOP TEN TIDBITS:

1.) As parents, you are “Serving as Your Child’s Image of God” (from Chapter 1)

2.) “Blessing Your Child” (from Chapter 2) We can bless our child wherever and whenever we feel it is needed; we don’t have to wait for Sunday for a blessing!

3.) “How can you nurture your child as the sacred person he is in God’s eyes?” (from Chapter 4)

4.) “If your child made a list today of what your family’s priorities are, where would God rank?” (from Chapter 6)

5.) Let you child know, “that prayer happens whenever she becomes aware of God’s presence and shares her own presence with God. God is everywhere, so she can pray everywhere. Prayer can involve words, but it does not have to. Prayer can also be silent listening, meditative reflection that uses the imagination, or simply the feeling of being embraced by God’s presence.” (from Chapter 17)

6.) Chapter 24 is an important reminder to take back Sundays (keep them about God and family). It is entitled “Beginning the Week With a ‘Family Sunday’.”

7.) Chapter 26 is about “Praying for Someone’s Needs.” Great reminder when teaching children about prayer, “Explain that in our prayers we don’t just pray for those in need, we pray about them. When praying for people, it’s possible to form an aloof separateness between those persons and yourself, but in order to pray about people, you must acknowledge your inherent connection with them and their meaning to you personally. We remember that, like us, those in need are children of God and deserve dignity, love, and respect.”

8.) I love this reminder from Chapter 42 about what it means to be holy, “A holy person is not always perfect; a holy person responds to God’s call to love him and serve others. Holiness means saying yes to God’s constant invitation to a deeper relationship with God in prayer, in church and the sacraments, and in our daily lives and relationships with others.”

9.) Practicing the Beatitudes as parents: “We are poor in spirit when we recognize that we are dependent on God for help. We mourn when we are saddened at the way people suffer in the world. We act with meekness when we are slow to anger and gentle with our children in difficult times. We practice mercy when we truly forgive them. We are pure of heart when we share with our children our commitment to promote justice in the world. We have many opportunities to be peacemakers in the way we love and restore harmony in our families and in our protection of the dignity of each person.” (from Chapter 43)

10.) Powerful reminders from chapter 50 for us to remember as we speak to our children: “Does criticism of our children come more easily than praise? Do we find ourselves quicker to critique a child’s accomplishments than to build his self-esteem?”

Blessings on your parenting journey!

Thanks for reading.

Love,

Natasha


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Joy in the Junk of Life

Joy is pretty awesome right? I mean, I’ve always loved the idea of joy. I know there are times I definitely feel joyful. I enjoy pinning joyful reminders to my inspiration board with thousands of other joyful Pinterest users. I always covet those shabby chic signs made out of barn wood and hand-painted with joyful messages.

“Choose Joy!”

“Joy is a choice you make every day.”

“Got Joy?”

To me, joy has always kind of been in the same category with grace. Both, super awesome. Both, have a God connection. Both, would leave me stuttering for a few seconds if someone put me on the spot asking me to define them.

How do you define joy? What is the first thing that pops into your head?

Many people define joy by quoting instances in which they feel joyful. Joy is being with my family. Joy is a great conversation with a friend. Joy is giving back to my community. I feel joyful when I do X. But, that isn’t really defining joy, it is just stating when you feel joy.

A quick dictionary search of the word joy returns defining words such as delight, elation, glee, bliss, and jubilation. Certainly those words describe joy to some extent, but all of those words are feelings. So, they aren’t really defining joy either, but rather they describe the feeling you get from joy.

Is joy a feeling? Maybe, but I’ve always felt joy is more of a state of mind or even better, a state of heart.

I recently heard Kay Warren speak at a Women of Faith conference. She shared that on the absolute worst day of her life, the day she found out her son had committed suicide, she still managed to choose joy. I thought, if she could choose joy while in the midst of a mother’s worst nightmare, what does that mean for the rest of us?PicsArt_1414758402715 We all experience challenges, stresses, and sadness in our lives. Choosing joy in those tough situations, doesn’t mean we are celebrating them. It doesn’t mean we’ll proclaim from the roof tops if we hate our job, “I love my crappy boss!” We won’t sing and dance with joy if our car gets totaled or our water heater quits working. We won’t high five strangers if we get robbed. We won’t knuckle bump our waiter if our order comes out wrong or if our food is cold.

Joy is not a feeling you feel in a happy moment that just goes away; true joy is a state of being.

Joy is rooted in your belief that God is in control.

To have joy, is to have confidence that God’s got your back.

Joy is a lack of anxiety, because you are at peace, fully trusting in the Lord.

PicsArt_1414758945807

When I asked my husband if he bought into the idea that joy is rooted in our relationship with God rather than merely a feeling, his response nailed exactly what I had been trying to describe. Leave it to my wise hubby!

He said,

“When you are right with the Lord, it’s like armor, you will still get hit, but you will be more resilient.”

The morning after I wrote the majority of this post, I opened my bible to the reading for the day and God delivered the perfect verses.

“Draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil.” Ephesians 6:10-11 

“In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:16-17

Things happen in life. We will have bad days. We will have sad moments. But, I truly believe if we have a spirit of joy in the Lord, it is like armor protecting us, helping us to not be totally consumed by darkness. If you have joy, finding joy in the “junk” of life is easier.

Sometimes your spirit of joy gets widddled away from years of junk or from one terrible junk filled year. I’ve heard that many people  gain two to three pounds over the holiday season and then don’t lose that weight. In one year, two pounds doesn’t seem like a big deal. But if you multiple two pounds times 30 years that means in 30 Christmases I’ll be 60 pounds heavier. Pass.

I’ve definitely had my joy widdled away in the past. A year in an awful job, years of infertility, the death of my sweet father-in-law, and an awful, traumatic experience a few months ago…while I’ve been able to have happy moments and see my many blessings through it all; these things have left my joy lack-luster and me worn out.

These things test us, they pile up, and widdle away our joy. We can’t let them. We need to remain close to our Lord especially in our darkest, most lonely moments. If you feel joyless, try working on your relationship with God. I’ve really been focusing on my relationship with God and I can honestly say I feel like I’ve finally gotten my sparkle back. Sure, I still have moments when I want to scream or cry, because my boys won’t stop screaming or crying. But, I feel that sweet armor around me, I feel rooted in His joy.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 “The Lord is my strength and my shield, in whom my heart trusted and found help. So my heart rejoices; with my song I praise my God.” Psalm 28:7

Love, Natasha


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Blue Thing, Lego Snuggles, & Protecting Your Relationship with Him

Blue Thing, Lego Snuggles, and Protecting your relationship with HimSome toddlers build a bond with snuggly things like their special blanket or favorite stuffed animal. They drag it all over the house and yard, bring it along on outings, and snuggle it close during nap time and bedtime. One of my little guys has a favorite stuffed animal named “Blue Thing.” Blue Thing was once a giraffe, but in a fit of new motherhood, I snipped off the giraffe’s horns (I left the ears) for fear my son might bite them off and choke on them. Because Blue Thing is so loved, we secretly have four of them that get rotated on a cleaning schedule. Two of them were purchased a few months further into my motherhood than the first two; they both still have their horns.

My other little guy, despite my best efforts, prefers to cuddle with hard plastic objects, usually Legos. The Lego color depends on the day, but it always has to be the one with eight bumps. He also enjoys snuggling with a small toy ambulance and one night when I went in to rock him back to sleep, he was clutching his small blue plastic drill.

The other obsession at the moment is anything that looks like a cross. They loudly and enthusiastically yell out, “Gigi cross!” (Jesus cross) anytime they see anything that remotely resembles a cross. It could be the medical cross on the side of a clinic, two popsicle sticks that happened to fall just right across each other, and even the letter T (which I thought was quite profound for two year olds; St. Francis would be smiling).

So, can you imagine how crazy it got here today when mommy started to build crosses out of…wait for it…Legos?! (Oh, I know, your skin is just tingling.)

I built my little Lego snuggler a Gigi cross out of Legos and he immediately put it safely in the basket of his tricycle. My boys just started actually using the pedals of their bikes last week and I’m amazed at how fast those tiny little legs can pump those bikes to warp speeds. We’ve had a few tumbles, many brotherly crashes, and they’ve ended up stuck in the rocks or grass more than once. They haven’t quite mastered the slowing down bit yet.

So, the Lego snuggler has his Lego Gigi cross in his bike basket. He’s zooming around, lovin’ life, and then I look up from a sip of coffee and he’s totally flattened out face first under his bike. From a far, it looks like quite a crash, so I’m expecting some scratches. I move the bike off of him, give him a hug (no blood), and he pops up and with his most concerned voice, yells, “Giiiigiiii!!!” He runs to the wreckage to find his Lego Gigi cross broken into three pieces. I quickly pop the Legos back into place, he grabs the Gigi cross, puts it back into his bike basket, and is back on his merry way.

I was of course very happy my little boy wasn’t hurt and impressed he got back up and tried again (“sometimes we fall down, but we always get back up”). As I thought about the incident more, I was struck by something else.

What if when we fall down in life, our primary, most urgent concern was Jesus and our relationship with Him? 

My soul clings fast to youWhen difficult things happen in life, we run to God, we pray, and we might even beg for His help. We struggle, we cry, at times we might even doubt His presence. Things aren’t going how we wanted them to go. We might get angry with God for not listening to us, for not answering our prayers. We have clearly clung to God, but it’s been all about us.

What if in our adversity, we instead chose to cling to God just to cling to God?

What if we screamed “Jesus!” at the top of our lungs?

What if our first concern was to protect our precious relationship with Him?

What if instead of begging and making deals, we just demanded to stay close?

When we fall down, let’s lovingly cling to Him. Let’s warmly call out to Him and make sure we do everything we can to pop back together any broken pieces of our relationship. Let’s protect our relationship in the bike basket of our hearts.

We will still travel through difficult times, but with a renewed faith and fortified relationship with God.

“My soul clings fast to you; your right hand upholds me.” Psalm 64:9 

Love,

Natasha


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Book Worm Wednesday: Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul by Deepak Chopra

I’m a book worm. Reading is near the top of my list of fun things to do. As a mommy however, I don’t always dedicate as much time as I would like to reading. I’m working on that starting…now. If I can find time to watch brain deadening shows like America’s Next Top Model and The Bachelor, I can find time to read, right!?

What I enjoy even more than the actual reading is taking copious (possibly pointless) notes on whatever I am reading and then looking back on those notes to help me remember all of the awesomeness and inspiration learned.

The truth is, I’ve always enjoyed taking notes. I remember taking great pride in keeping a notebook for each college class and extracurricular and filling those notebooks with well-organized notes. The other truth is that I have a selective memory and while I’m inspired and awed at times by what I have immediately read, I rarely remember it (the selective part is that I’m great at remembering pointless things).

So, for me note taking is both functional and fun.

Book Worm Wednesday - ChopraIn the spirit of reading more and sharing my notes, I’m starting a series called, Book Worm Wednesday, in which I’ll share my TOP TEN favorite quotations, thoughts, or snippets from a book I’ve read.

Here is my first ever, book worm Wednesday from Deepak Chopra’s book, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul.  How to Create a New You.  Chopra can be a bit out there sometimes and I don’t always agree with everything he writes, but for the most part his books leave me feeling challenged and inspired. I like books that make me slightly uncomfortable and that challenge the norm.  This one does that!

Book Worm Wednesday: Top 10
Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul. How to Create a New You
By Deepak Chopra

1.) “…identical twins, born with exactly the same DNA, look very different genetically when they grow up: certain genes have been switched on, others switched off. By age seventy, images taken of chromosomes of two twins don’t look remotely the same.”
Genes actually change and adapt as life unfolds. You’d think once identical twins, always identical twins, but that isn’t the case! That means we have a chance to impact what we are dealt.

2.) “On August 7, 1974, a French acrobat named Philippe Petit breached security at the Wrold Trade Center. He climbed onto the roof and, with the help of confederates, strung a 450-pound cable between the two towers. Petit balanced himself with a twenty-six-foot pole as he walked out onto the cable, which stretched 140 feet. Both towers were swaying; the wind was high, the drop below his feet was 104 stories, or a quarter of a mile….He made eight crossings on the wire, which was only three-quarters of an inch in diameter.”
Chopra used this story in his section discussing how the brain is flexible, ever-changing, and capable of constantly learning. He claims you can “teach an old dog new tricks.” We are all capable of amazing, we just have to unlock those possibilities. I was fascinated by this story. It left me yearning for a simplier time when a guy could get past security with a 26-foot pole and pull off an innocent (although dangerous) stunt like this. It also left me wondering, what could we all DO if we had NO fear?

3.) “Seeing is active.”
It is up to us how we choose to see other people.  When you see a homeless person asking for money, do you see with fear and suspicion, which causes you to assume that person is lazy, dangerous, or just going to squander money on alcohol?  OR do you see them with love and compassion, which causes you to sincerely want to share your wealth or words with them, because you see them as a brother or sister.

4.) “Being the opposite of bad doesn’t make you good.  It just makes you the mirror image of bad.”
I’m reminded of the Matthew West song, Do Something, “It’s not enough to do nothing, it’s time for us to do something.”

5.) “The existence of a Saint Francis, an Einstein, or a Leonardo da Vinci indicates that human potential can reach amazing heights.”
Chopra described the above people as being at the cutting edge of evolution for their time.  How fascinating that we could all be at the cutting edge of evolution for OUR time if we tried.

6.) “People expend a lot of subtle energy in pushing down thoughts they don’t want to face.  Denial and repression seem appealing as short term solutions.  What you don’t think about may go away.  But there’s a sticky quality to bad thoughts…”
This is so true. Do you sometimes find yourselves remembering the “bad stuff” of the past?  For example, I remember few things about grade school, but I will never forget being put in the “slow” reading group, the time another kid switched my perfectly colored weather mobile pieces with his shoddily colored ones and that the teach thought I was lying about it, and losing the first student council race I ran in. We easily remember the bad and push it down deep, so we don’t have to deal with the pain. Those bad thoughts totally are “sticky”!

7.) “Don’t identify with your thoughts.  They aren’t you; they are passing events in the mind.”
As parents, who can’t identify with this one!? I mean, hello, mommy guilt. Have you been here too?: I yell at my kids. I feel horrible for yelling at my kids. I tell myself I’m an awful mother for yelling at my kids. Therefore, I must be an awful mother right? YIPES, time to cut the negative internal talk momma! You yelled at your kids once, but that doesn’t make you an awful mom, it makes you an awesome mom that identifies she needs to do better next time (thanks for joining me on that tour of my internal thoughts).

8.) “Don’t fixate on being right all the time. Being right is just a disguise for making other people wrong. In the shadows, you secretly fear that something is wrong with you, which is why you fight so hard to appear infallible – you think it makes you good.”
Does anyone else have any Nancy-Know-It-All’s in your lives (no offense to Aunt Nancy)? I mean, honestly, you have an opinion on THAT too?  Why do you care? Well, maybe Chopra has something here. Next time I encounter a Nancy-Know-It-All, instead of giving myself a headache from all of the internal secret eye-rolling, I’m going to remember that deep down, maybe “Nancy” just doesn’t love herself as much as she should (even though it seems like she loves herself way too much).

9.) “I had posted a mental plan about having a good day, and piece by piece the things I expected didn’t come true….Expectations don’t come true, and the result is disappointment.”
Sometimes as parents, we try to plan perfect days for our kids, because we want them to have fulfilling experiences filled with learning and fun. In our obsession to make everything just so, we lose it when things don’t turn out as we had envisioned. It rains, so we have to cancel our picnic. Kids get sick, so we can’t have play dates with other kids. Kids poop right before it’s time to leave, so we are late for our appointment. We know this stuff happens, because it always HAPPENS! If we could just calm our expectations down a bit, we wouldn’t let the inevitable unexpected (oxymoron much) stuff ruin our day or mood.

10.) “I am enough”
Chopra talks extensively about the ego in this book and the ego’s vision of fulfillment.  The ego is fulfilled through material things, winning, accomplishments, keeping score, and being in control even at the expense of others. The ego needs more, more, more.  What if we lived with the philosophy of the soul instead, “I am enough”? Don’t take this the wrong way (don’t see it like the ego would). “I am enough” doesn’t mean you don’t need God or anyone else, it means enough with the want, want, want. Enough with the searching for fulfillment and happiness everywhere else instead of within.

Hope you enjoyed these tidbits. Happy Book Worm Wednesday!

Love,

Natasha


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Finding Jesus Like a Two Year Old

My two year old boys are starting to put multiple words together and every time it happens you’d think they hit a grand slam, because of how excited I get! Single words were exciting; their first favorite words were: shoe, sock, milk, more, dada, car, caca (cracker), cheese. BUT double words are so cute and even MORE exciting; red car, blue door, dada home, go home, garage door, momma byes, more caca, more cheese.

Finding Jesus Like a 2 Year old

This morning I was standing in the kitchen, checking emails on my phone, when one of my little guys came up to me, pointed, and said, “blue gigi.” I honestly kind of ignored him until he kept pointing at me and saying “blue gigi,” “blue gigi!” Frankly, he was pointing at my waist area (and below) and I was thinking, “why are you pointing at mommy’s privates?” I ignored the weirdness of the pointing and answered, “yes, mommy is wearing blue jeans.” He persisted and got louder, “blue gigi,” “blue gigi!”

blue gigiFinally, I looked down there to figure out what the heck he was checking out. He was looking at the button on my jeans. The button was sewn on with blue string in the shape of a tiny cross. Then it clicked!  “Gigi” is how my boys say, “Jesus.” He was saying “Blue Jesus” in reference to the little cross on my jean button.

Geeesh! Thank goodness that is sorted out, because a gal can start to get paranoid when someone keeps pointing and yelling at your parts! A weird moment turned into a proud momma moment!

We’ve always taken the boys with us to church on Sundays, we pray with them before meals, before naps, and at bedtime, but frankly, I wasn’t sure anything was sinking in. During mass they are wiggle worms, they eat their weight in crunchy loud snacks, and they are packing up and saying “all done” before the final song starts. They fold their hands during the Our Father and point at “Gigi” up on the cross, but other than that I’m pretty sure they are really in it for the after mass donut hole (or two).

During bedtime prayer time they are usually riled up, jumping all over, running down the hallway and back, laughing, screaming, multitasking with toys, but we do it every night anyway.

Even though they appear to be oblivious to our attempts to bring Jesus to them, we remain consistent. And you know what…something has stuck with them, because they are finding Jesus in the smallest places…even on mommy’s jean button. That is a win!

On this same morning, we were reading a book about fire trucks, my little guy pointed to the medical cross on the ambulance and again said, “blue gigi.” Later outside, he pointed under his bike saying, “Gigi.” When I looked under his bike, I saw the pin holding the bike together was in the shape of a cross.

This little dude found Jesus three times in about an hour! I can go an entire day sometimes without seeing Him! How wise are our little ones!? How much more open are their eyes!?

sandbox jesusI snatched up the teaching moment and we embraced the beautiful fall-ish morning by building “Gigi” crosses out of things we found around the yard. We built crosses out of grass, rocks, in the sandbox. We even made crosses out of things that usually annoy me like the little helicopters that fall off of the trees and litter the lawn or the pine needles that blanket themselves over my landscaping. This was another reminder that Jesus is in everything (even the stuff/people we don’t like or that annoy us).

This is what usually happens to me. I seek to teach and am instead taught.

Thank you to my two year olds for finding “Gigi” all over the place! Thank you for teaching mommy to open her eyes to see Him better. Thank you for reminding mommy that He is not always where I want to find him, but He always is. Thank you for helping mommy see Him in nature, in people, and within.

Have your kids ever helped you SEE or caused you to have a Jesus moment?

Love,

Natasha