Giggle Giggle Toot Roar

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


34 Comments

Parenting Advice from my Lawn Mower

Man alive, I had a rough week last week with my recently turned 3 year old twin boys! They went from my sweet boys to what people call “three-nagers” overnight! I was pretty desperate to find some mommy inspiration anywhere I could this week and it turns out that inspiration came while mowing the lawn.

I’ve only mowed the lawn a handful of times in my life. It isn’t that I refuse to do it, it’s just that I’ve been scarred since I was a teenager when I tried to surprise my dad by mowing the lawn and ended up giving it a professional scalp job instead! Since then I’ve mowed the lawn a few times since I’ve been married and my husband (and neighbors) lovingly laugh at me while pointing out the very neat triangle patches of grass I seem to miss every time. Oh well, I tried! It really is funny; last time I even stopped the lawn mower and walked all over the yard inspecting my work. Perfect! Then, later that night, I realized I missed a whole side! Seriously, it probably just grew really fast right?!

Anyway, here’s what I learned about motherhood while mowing the lawn…

Parenting Advice from my Lawn Mower1.
Mowing the Lawn:
The perfect straight lines are lovely, but it gets cut even if you zig-zag.
Motherhood: Quit trying to be perfect, they are growing up to be wonderful kids even with your imperfections.

2.
Mowing the Lawn: You kind of want to do it for the tan and the exercise.
Motherhood: You kind of want to do it to make sure you’ve got someone to take care of you when you’re old. (Come on, I kid.)

3.
Mowing the Lawn: You plow over the weeds and they disappear…until they come back bigger and badder. (Please just let “badder” be a word today.)
Motherhood: You can only cover up bad behaviors in yourself and your kids for so long until they turn into real problems.

4.
Mowing the Lawn: You have to stop for an occasional water break.
Motherhood: You have to stop for occasionally often coffee breaks.

5.
Mowing the Lawn: On hot days, you sweat a gallon of sweat.
Motherhood: On most days, you sweat worrying about them, even though you’re trying your best not to be a mommy-hovercraft.

6.
Mowing the Lawn: Sometimes despite your best efforts, you miss a patch of grass.
Motherhood: You try to do everything, be everything, teach them everything, give them every opportunity; you can’t do it all, but you’re doing your best.

7.
Mowing the Lawn: Sometimes you get blisters on your hands and your upper body goes numb from the lawn mower vibrations.
Motherhood: Sometimes you feel beat up and numb from exhaustion, but you’ve got to fight back against the negativity your ego is trying to feed you, because you’re a great parent!

8.
Mowing the Lawn: You just keep pushing even when you’re exhausted, because you just want to finish the entire lawn.
Motherhood: You just keep pushing even when you’re exhausted, because you have little miracles that need you!

9.
Mowing the Lawn: Sometimes you run out of gas or need to change the oil. When that happens, I call my hubby to help.
Motherhood: Sometimes you run out of gas and need to immediately schedule a massage and a date with a good girlfriend.

10.
Mowing the Lawn: There are always obstacles in your way, but it’s kind of fun to run circles around the trees.
Motherhood: There are always obstacles that pop up, but rather than stressing that things didn’t go according to your plans, choose a positive attitude and make it fun!

11.
Mowing the Lawn: You get in a groove, like you’re on auto-pilot.
Motherhood: When you get in a groove, you are quickly shaken back to reality, because the “norm” doesn’t stay the norm for long. Seriously, how can they love Goldfish one week and hate them the next?! And how can 12:30pm be the naptime sweet spot for 3 weeks, but then they don’t want to sleep until 2pm the next week?!?

12.
Mowing the Lawn: When you’re finished, you have an awesome sense of accomplishment.
Motherhood: You’re never finished, but they’re always yours and you’re so proud of them!

Have a great week! Let’s keep in touch! Please connect via Facebook or Twitter.

Natasha

I’d appreciate your vote! One click on the badge below = one vote.

TMB-approved-150

Advertisements


30 Comments

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

Please vote:

125-tmb (2)


26 Comments

Chronicle of a Serial Kisser

Does anyone else have a super affectionate toddler?

One of my little guys asks me about ten times a day for a “bik-ug,” aka big hug. Every single time he asks me, even if I’m wrist deep in raw chicken prep for dinner, I stop what I’m doing, get down to his level and give him his big hug (okay I wash my hands first if I have to). And then he goes off on his merry way until the next time.

I made a promise to myself when the hug phenomenon began several months ago that I would always immediately stop what I was doing and give him a hug when he asked, because let’s face it, he probably won’t be asking me ten times a day for a hug for very long.

I pray for my children that they will be able to show affection and be able to express their feelings, so hopefully he’ll be able to carry at least some of this sweet affection of his into his future.

Chronicle of a Serial Kisser

One day, grandpa took the boys to the park, so I could have a little precious “me time.” Later, he filled me in on the day and said they had a blast together, but mentioned that my little guy had to hug every mom at the park before he left. Yes, little man can be quite the charmer. I can just imagine my dad (grandpa) with shocked and nervous laughter trying to collect the little one and quietly put the hugging to a rest. I had a good laugh at the story and bookmarked in the back of my mind that I need to somehow teach him not to hug strangers.

Well, fast forward to today, we were in a cute local store and I was ogling their tea selection when a little old man that worked there came over and started chatting with the boys.

Well, it didn’t take long for my hugger to run arms opened wide toward the little old man and be swept up into his arms. He proceeded to give the man a huge hug, I’m talking the arms around his neck and head on his shoulder kind of hug.

I’m usually pretty cautious about stranger danger; I especially hate when strangers touch the boys’ hair (they have very cute curly/afro hair). I’m 75% certain that I might pat the head of the next person that pats their heads, just to show them how weird it is to pat a stranger’s head, even a toddler’s.

But, anyway, I digress, the below situation felt “controlled,” so I wasn’t too crazy about it…

I was about to collect my affectionate bear cub when he suddenly tried to give the old man a kiss. Now, the little old man was clearly from a different generation, one where he likely never even kissed his father or son, so imagine his great surprise!

The man finally figured out why the little dude was squirming so much, it was because he was trying to kiss him on the lips, of course the cheek wouldn’t do! AHHHHHH!

I grabbed the bear cub out of the man’s arms, threw the man a smile and said, “Honey, we do not kiss strangers. We only kiss mommy and daddy and brother and Grammie and Grandpa.”

Then I secretly laughed all the way to the cashier.

I know we need to teach our kids about stranger danger and all of that and I certainly don’t want my toddler kissing and hugging strangers….but I wish you could have all been a fly on the wall in that room to see the little comedy show I witnessed today.

Sweet little old man squirms in horror as he realizes overly affectionate toddler boy is attempting to kiss him…on the lips. The serial kisser strikes again.

Let’s maybe not go kissing strangers, but let’s learn to show affection to our loved ones as freely and openly as our kids do.

Does anyone else have an overly affectionate toddler?

How did you teach him who to kiss and who not to kiss!?

Love,

Natasha

125-tmb (2)

Check this out over at Miranda Writes’ Coffee Chat link up.


32 Comments

10 Ways to Share Holy Week & Easter with Toddlers

It’s never too early to start teaching our children that Easter is about more than candy, eggs, baskets, and bunnies. Holy Week carries with it heavy themes enough to make us as adults cry, so I obviously don’t want to scare my two and half year olds by sharing the week with them. However, kids always amaze me with what they understand and soak in, so I knew my boys would benefit from hearing about the events of Holy Week and Easter at least in a little lighter, kid friendly way. Below are some great activities we tried together and a few more favorites from the web.

I hope you enjoy and I’d love to hear how you share the real meaning of Holy Week and Easter with your family!

Here are 10 ways to share Holy Week and Easter with your Toddlers:rainbow feet 2

1.) Rainbow Feet: This activity helps you talk with your children about how Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. For set-up, I taped a large sheet of white paper to the floor and poured out onto the paper a bunch of finger paint. I asked the boys to sit down, take off their socks, and roll up their pants. Then I did my best to describe how Jesus washed His disciples’ feet in toddler terms of course:

  • Did you know that Jesus washed His disciples’ feet?
  • Where are your feet? How many feet do you have?
  • Jesus got down on His hands and knees and washed His disciples’ feet. Why do you think He did that?
  • He washed their feet, because he loved His friends so much and He was setting an example for them. If Jesus can wash His friends’ feet that means that we can wash each other’s feet too.
  • Now, let’s get our feet dirty in the paint, so we can wash them like Jesus did.

Rainbow feet 1Then they proceeded to have so much fun running and jumping on the sheet of paper making little footprints all over. Be careful, it can get a tad slippery. You will be left with a beautiful piece of foot painting art! I couldn’t help but be reminded too of the Footprints prayer.

2.) Check out this classic Jelly Bean prayer from Catholicmom.com.

3.) Foot Washing Sink Style: This activity is to demonstrate how Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. After the foot painting, I filled up our bathroom sink with warm soapy water and got a towel ready. Then, with the help of my hubby, we carried the kiddos into the bathroom and let them put their feet in the sink. They of course got a kick out of this. Again, I tried to talk with them about what we were doing:

washing feet

  • Remember how we talked about Jesus washing His disciples’ feet? Well, Mommy and Daddy are going to wash your feet now.
  • As we scrubbed the paint off of those sweet little toes, we sang a verse of The Servant Song.

“Will you let me be your servant, let me be as Christ to you. Pray that I may have the grace to, let you be my servant too.”

4.) Check out these Resurrection Sets from Catholic Icing using toilet paper rolls and printable characters.

Bread5.) Baking Bread Together: This is a great family activity to do while discussing The Last Supper. Find your favorite bread recipe or try a new one. I picked one with simple, straight-forward ingredients and one where we didn’t have to wait for the dough to rise, because let’s face it, the boys’ attention span wouldn’t last that long (I used Deborah Madison’s, Irish Soda Bread with Bran and Oats). Have the kids help you get all of the ingredients together and measure everything out per the recipe. While you are making or kneading the bread, take the opportunity to talk about The Last Supper.

  • Who do you think was at The Last Supper? Jesus and His friends, we call some of His friends disciples.
  • What do you think they ate at The Last Supper? Good guess, but not chicken nuggets, they ate bread at The Last Supper. That is why we are making bread together.
  • What do you think they drank at The Last Supper? They might have had milk, but they for sure drank wine at The Last Supper.
  • What do you think Jesus said in His prayer before they ate? He told the disciples the bread and wine were His body and blood and He was sharing Himself with all of them. He blessed the bread and wine and gave it to His disciples to eat.
  • When Mommy and Daddy go up to get communion at church, we are receiving Jesus just like the disciples did. Some day you will get to receive Jesus this way too.

Then we marked a cross on the bread and I let them touch the loaf before I put it in the oven. They got a kick out of playing with the leftover flour on the counter. Once the bread was done, I fully expected to break the bread and share it with the boys in “a moment,” but by that time of the night, I was so exhausted I stood in the kitchen by myself slathering slices with butter and honey. Yum. They eventually saw me and helped themselves to several bites too.

6.) Check out this paper plate Cross Craft from Glitter Magic.

praying hands7.) Praying hands: For this activity, I traced the boys’ hands on paper and then cut the outline out and folded it in half. We marked, “My Praying Hands” on them and now keep them at the kitchen table as a reminder to pray extra hard this week.

  • We talked about how Holy Week is a special week for us to remember and pray about Jesus. The praying hands help us remember to pray, just like Jesus prayed in the garden before His death.
  • I reminded the boys that they can always pray to Jesus when they need help, if they are scared, or if they just want to say thank you.
  • Then we folded our hands and said a little prayer together.

8.) Stay Awake Flowers: This activity recalls when Jesus was praying in the garden and His disciples could not stay awake to pray with Him. To make the flowers, we used clothes pins that we colored with markers, paper to make the flower’s face and stem, and a plastic cover recycled from one of those little margarine containers, to give more support to the clothes pins. As the boys colored the clothes pins and pinned the clothes pin petals onto the flower, we talked about:

  • stay awake flowersJesus was praying in the garden and He asked His disciples to stay awake and pray with Him, but His disciples kept falling asleep.
  • This is going to be our “stay awake” flower. Our flower helps remind us to pray and to stay awake for Jesus.
  • We do not know when Jesus will come back to earth, but we need to make sure we are ready for Him. That’s why we need to try to be really good boys every day.

9.) This one is a classic. Check out these Empty Tomb Rolls from The Girl Who Ate Everything.

Res Reminders10.) Resurrection Reminders: This activity is a chance to talk with your kids about Jesus’ resurrection. Supplies include colored popsicle sticks and pipe cleaners. Twist the pipe cleaners around the popsicle sticks until the crosses are secure. Super easy! Make several and have your little ones hand them out during your family Easter celebration to remind people of the real meaning of the day. While making the crosses I told the boys: Jesus died for us on the cross, but He is risen, Alleluia!

What is your favorite Easter tradition?

How do share Holy Week and Easter to your children?

Have a blessed Holy Week and Easter!

Natasha

I’d appreciate your vote! One click below = one vote:

125-tmb (2)


20 Comments

Book Worm Wednesday: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Book Worm Wednesday Happiness ProjectThis book idea came about when the author, Gretchen Rubin was contemplating her life one day. Sure, she was happy, but could she be even happier? The Happiness Project is “an approach to changing your life.” It is a year’s worth of monthly themes to help you focus on pumping up your happiness in those specific areas. The book feels relevant especially because of the extensive research and random facts Rubin shares throughout.

While reading, I couldn’t help but feel she is a kindred sista of sorts, because we have many things in common, such as our obsessive note taking and list making. While I love her “12 Commandments” of life and her “Secrets of Adulthood,” if I ever met her I’d remind her not to get too bogged down in rules and lists! Sometimes the very things we hope keep us organized and on track are the same things that keep us stiffly in our box.

Book Worm Wednesday: Top Ten Tidbits
The Happiness Project
by Gretchen Rubin

1.) De-clutter High:
I don’t know about you, but when my house is a mess, I feel stressed. I’m not talking about the kids toys are all over every room, kind of mess. That’s just life with kids. I’m talking about the ketchup fell out on my foot again, the pantry is puking half eaten packages of crackers at me, and when are those lazy laundry elves going to come and tackle these piles, kinds of messes. Rubin dedicates a whole section of her happiness project to tossing, restoring, and organizing. If you need a quick happiness high, try cleaning out a junk drawer! It seriously works and you’ll crave more!

2.) “Give proofs of Love”: 
Rubin appropriately selects to “Remember Love” in the month of February. One of my favorite goals in this section is to “give proofs of love.” It’s wonderful to share the words “I love you” with our loved ones, but it’s even better to prove it through our actions. I’m not talking about showering someone with lavish gifts here, but rather how we can simply show love to our family and friends. Leave your spouse a love note. Bring a pregnant friend dinner. Offer to babysit. Ask someone if they are okay. Just do anything that says you thought of them and care!

3.) “Enjoy the fun of Failure”:
I nearly broke out into hives in this section, because I hate failing! Failure… fun?!!?? Come on Gretchen, you’ve got to be kidding me. I think we all know deep down that we learn from our failures and that we try not to make the same mistake twice and that our failures make us stronger and all that jazz. BUT failing makes you vulnerable and yuck, who wants to be that?  Okay, I’m being a little silly here, clearly we want to raise kids that know “sometimes we fall down, but we always get back up.” It’s healthy for them to learn that everything in life won’t always be perfect and that that is okay. So, let’s do like Rubin and know: “If you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough” AND that there’s a time to “nudge myself out of my comfort zone into my stretch zone.”

4.) “Sing in the morning”:
Rubin has the advice to “sing in the morning” in her “Lighten Up” parenting chapter. I say, life’s a musical, why not sing…all day long, like one big crazy Glee-athon?! I may not have my brother-in-law’s amazing Josh Groban-y voice, but I can seriously rock out some Jesus Loves Me and Baby Beluga (okay, and secretly some Patsy Cline). One of my littles, chants for the “ray-o, ray-o” (radio) to be turned on during breakfast. Music has amazing mood altering abilities, so don’t be afraid to sing and dance crazy with your kiddies. Even if you really stink at it, they probably think you’re the most talented singer/dancer they’ve ever seen and they will try to copy your every word/move (I have two year olds, I’m guessing if you tried this with teens they would think you’re cray-cray).

5.) “Take time to be silly”:
Is there anything better than your child’s laughter? “Taking time to be silly means that we’re infecting one another with good cheer…”

6.) “Master a new technology”:
I told my husband before we had kids that he better stay up on all of the latest technology, so he can be “cool” to our kids and know what the heck they are up to. Now look at me, I figured out blogging. In fact, I’m so saturated by social media that I occasionally take fancy breaks like thousands of other mommy bloggers. We can these breaks “social media vacations” or “social media fasts” or “I quit Facebook.” Anyway, mastering a new technology does make me happy (ish) or at least like my kids would think I’m cool if they were teenagers.

7.) “Stimulate the mind in new ways”:
In Rubin’s mindfulness section she says, “As I looked for ways to become more mindful, I realized that using my brain in unfamiliar ways would enhance my experience of the present moment and my awareness of myself.” I like the idea of using the mind in different ways; it’s gotta help keep you young right?! Just try something new: yoga, drawing, dancing, comedy club, join a gym, go for a hike, volunteer…something out of your normal routine.

8.) “Laugh out Loud”:
We are so serious. A speaker I heard on the radio the other day reflected that when crazy things happen to us we say, “some day we’ll laugh about this.” She countered, “why not laugh now?!” Laughter has the power to calm boiling point moments. In those moments, it could either get ugly or get funny. I bought those disposable sippy cups with a straws for my boys. They really like drinking out of straws. I can’t tell you how much milk has been donated to my counter, floor, and face since I bought those darn cups. Just this morning, I carefully secured the cover only to have milk shoot up from the straw into my face. In that moment, I had a choice, I could throw a mommy tantrum (and I felt my blood boiling) or I could laugh it off. Luckily, laughter won that round.

9.) “One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy; one of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.”

10.) “The days are long, but the years are short.”
Amen!

Thanks for reading.

Love,

Natasha


14 Comments

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


17 Comments

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