Monday, November 18, 2013

The Purpose of This Blog and a Mommy Testimony

      So now that I have been up and running for a little while, I've been really thinking about my intentions and purposes while blogging. Everyone has an opinion, and there are lots of voices out there sharing, some kindly, others ... not so much.

     For one, I do believe I have things to share! My opinions and methods may not be unique, but I have ideas and systems that have made my life easier, my family healthier and my stress-level lower. I desire to share those types of things with more than just the people I know off-line, and pray that they can help more women.

     I also believe that as Christian women, we have a mandate to embolden woman younger than ourselves to teach what is good and kind, to encourage self-control and purity, to promote industry, and to help them become better wives and mothers.(Titus 2:3-5)

     However, several recent conversations with friends as well as posts on blogs that I admire have encouraged me to write this "disclaimer post", if you will. Any blog has limitations and mine is no exception. The written word is limited, because the emotion behind the words can be misinterpreted.

There is a tendency online, even more than in real life to misinterpret, to lash out in anger without taking the time to fully read and try to see a point of view different than your own, and to insult any viewpoint that you disagree with. So here is my attempt at giving you a little insight into who I am and how I see things.

     Pictures- Pictures can be misleading. I love taking beautiful pictures of outdoor scenery, beautiful food, adorable pictures of happy families, children and babies. It's easy to look at someone else's picture and think "Wow! She's got it all together! Her home is beautiful, her kids are obedient, her dinners are 5-star restaurant quality" Whether my own pictures have conveyed any of those thoughts or not is up to interpretation, but here's what I will tell you about what goes on "behind the scenes".

      I am a left-handed, right-brained creative-loving person. =) Organization is NOT natural to me. My house is often messy, sometimes down-right dirty, and while I do absolutely promote organization and cleanliness, know that I do so "from the trenches", not because I have achieved either of these goals fully myself! My pictures are taken in a small "picture studio" that we use and a nice camera that takes really great up-close shots. There's often a mess that I am "editing out" of the cooking progress shots. =)
   Parenting- When I first became a parent in 2005, I was very prideful. I had worked extensively with children before becoming a parent, had waited the "prescribed" 5 years into marriage before becoming a parent and was sure I was going to take the world by storm with my amazing children who would show everyone how it should be done. (okay, maybe I didn't exactly think of it that way at the time, but looking back that's how it feels LOL)

      My first son was an easy baby in many ways. He slept well, he loved his swing, he would lay on a blanket on the floor contently for quite sometime (maybe my house was just quieter!). I was a "natural-minded" parent. I cloth-diapered, wore my baby in carriers, made his baby food from scratch, used natural remedies when he got sick. I still do many of these things now, but my attitude has changed. I used to tell everyone I knew about "the right way" to parent, to comfort, to feed their babies. There was no Facebook back then but if there was, I'm sure I would have been the mom constantly bombarding other mom's with articles on the right way to do everything! (I'm really glad there wasn't a Facebook back then! LOL)

     My second baby was born, and I realized something. "I" wasn't this great, amazing parent who had it all figured out!! I thank God for my little "humbler" who taught me through excessive screaming that some babies refuse to be comforted, and this is not always a reflection on what way they are parented. He taught me that some babies HATE being restricted in a carrier and will scream any time they are placed in one (and believe me I had them ALL and tried them ALL) and he taught me that babies do blow out their diapers, even in cloth, some babies do better in disposables (and depending on where you live and how often you have to use the dryer, no cloth is NOT always cheaper).

     He also taught me that some toddlers hit, not because they were parented with anger, but because they naturally have a inclination towards anger. I'm not excusing allowing your child to go around and hit people by any means! Merely stating that some children will take longer to train to stop hitting than others. He also taught me about a lovely thing(insert ironic face here) called breath holding spells, where a child stops breathing when they cry, turns pale, eyes roll back in their head and they pass out! Nothing like watching your one-year old turn pale and go limp in your arms to bring up your blood pressure!

      By the time he was 8 months old, I was a wreck of a mom and completely humbled from my former pride. It was a time of reformation for me as a mom and for our family as a whole! We turned back fully to God, we improved how we related to each other as a family and I got myself organized to maintain my sanity! Since then we have found how true these verse are:

"There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
     a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
     a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
   a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
   a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
     a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
   a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace." Ecc .3:4-3
     I want to be an encouragement you as a mom. Maybe I can help you avoid some of the pitfalls I faced, and maybe I can just remind you that your not the only one facing them! I want to remind you, and me, to keep striving, keep working toward becoming a better wife and mom, but never assume that means I'm there having achieved success or that I believe I have the one perfect method that will solve all your problems!

     And finally, no matter what I want you to understand that my intention is never to encourage you that if you try hard enough, work long enough, or believe enough you will achieve anything. NO! It is Christ who strengthens us, who gives us our gifts and even who sends us our trials. Not everyone will achieve health, not everyone will achieve "worldly" success, and sometimes the best laid plans fall to pieces before our eyes. I want to inspire you to lean on Christ through the good times and the bad, to have the courage to do what's best for your family even when it goes against the current and to use the Bible as your guide to life.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10


  1. Oh, my...I totally get it!

    All too often wonder what or how much do I share, how open to be, etc. It is too easy to sit behind a screen and miss the meaning or to be offended by something and just blurt out hurtful words we'd never do if face to face with someone.

    I had been in children/teen ministry for years--have an undergrad degree in that field in fact, nannied for years and was a foster parent to difficult children early in our marriage. Yes, I too thought I was going to be the best parent in the world. I mean, after all, compared to most parents I had tons of experience under my well as years.

    I was proud of our choices and parenting style...yet, not much of it worked with our first. God brought her first in my life I always say, to teach me to rely on Him and to humble me to reach beyond my own strength. He's still doing that. My third was much like your first. He's been a balm God gave me to keep me from feeling defeated all the time. :)

    Oh, how we can look on paper, erm, on screen. But He can use us to encourage and uplift others. He is not finished with the work He is doing in our lives...and in our children's lives.

    Thank you for sharing and for your honesty.


    1. I appreciate this comment so much Trish! I'm glad (in a "misery loves company" sort of way) =) that I'm not the only one who needed a child of my own (or, you know, two in my case) to make me realize how little all my parenting philosophies mattered without Christ! It was honestly such a revelation to me when I realized that I could discipline my children and yet not withhold my affection and love and the same time. (I worked with troubled kids too!) Each of my children has taught me new lessons about myself, that I would never had been willing to see, or so invested in changing about myself without my precious children as my motivation!! =)

  2. Dakota, This is a great "disclaimer" post. I love it. You make yourself so real to us. Thanks for that. Blessings, Amy

    1. Thank You Amy! I'm very glad it came off as the "real" me, because I that is something I want to strive for online as well as in person! =)

  3. Hey Dakota, way to keep it real. No biological children of my own yet but had the joy of foster parenting. Like you, I though I had it all figured out until the Lord placed a certain little on in my life that made me questioned everything I knew about children (i have a Phd) but in the process also revealed to me true love.

    1. That's great Corine! Sounds like you have an awesome story to tell there as well!! I'm very thankful that God humbled me through an adorable little child, because it would have been a lot harder to take without all that cute thrown in! ;)


I love to hear your thoughts and get to know you better! "He who restrains his words has knowledge,
And he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding." Prov 17:27
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