Loud. Besides orange shirts and purple shorts I think of…
What I don’t want to be as a mother. I don’t want my children to remember me as an angry mother. As one who lost her temper and patience all in the blink of an eye. I want them to remember me as a mother who laughed and showed grace and mercy. I resolve every day, sometimes every minute, not to be loud, but to be the mother God has designed me to be.
Do my children know that I not only LOVE them but that I LIKE them too. That I enjoy being around them? That they are blessings to me. When they describe me, loud is not the word I want to come to their minds. How are my actions and words showing them who they are to me? I want my actions to be louder than my words. I want them to know without a doubt that they are the awesomest people I have ever known and that I am so very thankful for them. I have so many memories as a child of “loud” and they’re not positive ones. I don’t want my children leaving my home with that same impression, or fear.
I want the noise of many children filling my home. I want that kind of loud. I want the loud that comes with laughter, brothers playing and learning together. I want the loudness of God’s blessings in my home. I desire a home spilling over with love. The loudness that comes with blessing, growing and learning.
The loudness of complete joy and love. That is the Loud that needs to be in my home.
I posted yesterday about a HUGE giveaway I’m part of. I have cloth diapered each of our boys. I have used cloth much more extensively with our last two that with our first two. At first, it was a little daunting, but now it’s second nature and is the easiest thing ever. So in anticipation of the giveaway, I want to tell you a little about how I do it and answer a few questions that often come up when I say I cloth diaper.
The first question I almost always get is “Do you use pins?”
Nope. They make these great little things called Snappis. They don’t poke the baby and they work great! I only use snappis if I’m using flat diapers or prefolds. My other diapers have snaps or hook and loop (fancy word for really strong velcro).
The next question I often get is “what about the poop?”
My initial thought is usually “what about it?”, but I know what the person is asking.
When my babies are exclusively breastfed, I just put the cloth diaper in the bag with all the others. I don’t rinse them at all. Once they start solid foods we rinse the cloth diapers in the toilet and put them in the bag to be washed. There are a couple of options for rinsing. Some people use a diaper sprayer, it’s a sprayer that attaches to the toilet (think shower head) and you spray the diapers off that way. I’ve never been able to talk DH into buying one, so I don’t use one. Instead, we bought a cheap pair of tongs and marked them (so they don’t get confused with our cooking ones should they ever leave the bathroom). I grab a corner of the diaper with the tongs and dunk the diaper until it’s “cleanish” and then just toss it in the wash bag.
What about all that laundry?
I do diaper laundry every other day, with 6 people in our family I don’t really notice the extra load. It doesn’t really seem to add to my work when it comes to washing. My washing routine is usually a cold rinse of the diapers, a cold wash and then a hot wash. I’ve found this seems to be the best routine for getting and keeping my diapers cleaner. I have been using the same routine and the same diapers since I started, they don’t have any stains and look almost brand new! I use my homemade laundry detergent for my cloth diapers and occasionally will add bleach to the hot wash or vinegar (never in the same load) if I have a particularly stinky batch. One thing that I really like to do is to hang my diapers out on the line in the summer to dry! Nothing makes me happier than having diapers hanging on the line drying.
What kind of diapers should I use?
There are a number of options when you’re going to cloth diaper. The cheapest option is probably flat diapers or prefold diapers with covers. I have several of these diapers and covers and use them often for my babies until they’re about 4-6 months old or so.
I also like using pocket diapers for outings and smaller babies. Pocket diapers are “stuffed” with an absorbent stuffer. For someone looking for “easy” cloth diapers, these are the diapers you want for sure! They’re uber easy to use and are thin under clothes.
I have some diapers that I call my “workhorse” diapers. They’re fitted terry cloth diapers that hold up to anything. They’re a little bulkier than my pockets or prefolds, but I have had the same set of fitted diapers since I started cloth diapering 9 years ago. They’re easy to clean, use and I have used them on babies from 8lbs to my toddlers right before potty training.
There is also a kind of diaper called “all in one” it is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a filler and cover all in one. These are even easier to use than pocket diapers! The biggest draw back for me is that they take a while to dry after I’ve washed them. Otherwise they’re fantastic! One the cost scale, these tend to cost just a bit more than pocket diapers.
Already sold on cloth diapering? Want to try it, but aren’t sure where to start? Be sure to come back and enter my giveaway! You could enter a life time supply of diapers! A $546.00 value (which is HUGE in the cloth diaper world!)
Would you like to win a LIFETIME SUPPLY of cloth diapers?!
The Go Green ♥ Give Charity Cloth Diaper Giveaway Event sponsored by Booty Buns Cloth Diapers starts this Saturday, March 24th!
Over 175 blogs are coming together to present this fantastic fluffy giveaway hosted by Daily Mothering. Mark your calendar because you don’t want to miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win an entire stash of one-size cloth diapers!
ONE WINNER will receive a gigantic cloth diaper prize pack valued at $546!
And, the winner will get to select their choice of diaper colors!
This amazing prize pack will include:
20 Booty Buns One-Size Cloth Diapers
(these true one-size cloth diapers fit 3-45 lbs!)
20 matching flannel/terry cloth wipes
40 microfiber inserts
20 cotton flannel liners
(picture does not show inserts or liners also included)
This giveaway will be open to U.S. and Canada.
Come back March 24-31 for your chance to win it all!
Blessedness of Forgiveness and of Trust in God.
1 How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered!
2 How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit!
3 When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away
Through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.
5 I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I did not hide;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”;
And You forgave the guilt of my sin.
6 Therefore, let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found;
Surely in a flood of great waters they will not reach him.
7 You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble;
You surround me with songs of deliverance.
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.
9 Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding,
Whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check,
Otherwise they will not come near to you.
10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
But he who trusts in the LORD, lovingkindness shall surround him.
11 Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous ones;
And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.
Brave. I’m not.
I shy away from intense discussions with those around me. Something that I would have never done when I was younger. I don’t like the conflict now. I don’t like the uncomfortable stuff that comes with confrontation. I take a lot before I’m pushed over the edge into confrontation. I was yelled at this week, in public, in front of people I knew. I didn’t confront the yeller no matter how much I wanted to. I didn’t tell the person it was totally inappropriate and that they were embarrassing themselves. I just stopped talking. I’m the kind of person who walks away and thinks of what I should have said, what I should have done and that I should have been brave.
I wish I were brave.
I shy away from sharing my faith “too much”. I’m ashamed of my chickeness. It’s not because I’m afraid of the impression of others, but because I am afraid I will be responsible for turning them away. I will say something that makes them think “I want nothing to do with that God of hers” and I will be responsible for driving them away from the God that will save them. I don’t want that kind of burden, but I wonder why I’m so willing to bear the burden of what could happen if no one ever shares with them because they aren’t “brave”. Satan wants us believe that we aren’t, we can’t be, we shouldn’t be…brave. He wins a victory when we aren’t brave.
Ephesians 6: 10-16
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness inthe heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, 15 and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Psalm 37: 23-24
23 The steps of a man are established by the LORD, And He delights in his way. 24 When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.
Isn’t it wonderful to be reminded that our steps are established by the Lord? I tend to be a planner. I like to have my plans laid out for the day, for the week and even better if for the month. In reality, I can plan all I want to but unless my plans are in accordance with God’s will, my plans will be for naught.
God has directed my steps, He has a plan for me. For me, that is incredibly comforting. When I am in charge (or pretend to be) of my own plans, there is always that little fear that maybe I’m making the wrong plan. What if I choose the wrong curriculum for home school? What if we make the wrong job choice? But with God, He has already set a path before me.
But…it’s not always going to be a smooth road.
Did you see verse 24? “When he falls, he will not be hurled”…. When not if. We’re going to fall. Even if God has directed our steps. We’re going to trip while we’re on this journey. Sometimes it will be because we don’t fully trust Him and His will for our lives, so we make a choice that isn’t the best. Sometimes we trip because we allow ourselves to take our eyes off of Him and look around us and begin to fear what the future holds. Sometimes it’s because tragedy has come to our lives and we don’t know how we’ll ever make it through.
I am reminded, as I think of friends who are experiencing difficult times or when I think of the loss of our son Knox, that God doesn’t allow us to be hurled headlong. We will fall. It will hurt. But God is holding our hand. He will help us up. I remember after Knox was born that I felt like I wouldn’t be able to smile again, I wouldn’t be able to engage in life again. I had fallen. But God holding my hand, helped me heal and while I still grieve, I am standing. I am following the steps He has designed for me.
We’re not promised an easy road just because we trust in God. But we are promised that He is guiding our steps and will keep us from being hurled headlong.
Sometimes there are no words…just empty. It’s so easy to get lost in our day to day living that we forget about the substance of life. This week was one of those weeks for me. I was so busy trying to survive most days that I completely forgot to take joy in my children and my family.
I am ashamed to say how many nights I went to bed this week feeling guilty because I was working from the time I got home until my children went to bed. So much so that I didn’t hardly engage in conversation with them. I always went to bed vowing to do better the next day and yet I fell into the same trap the next evening.
I could make excuses for it. The fact that I am teaching full time, that the days I spend in the office are often 14 hours days (usually 2 days a week or so) or that I’m also teaching online for 3 other schools to help make ends meet. I could blame it on the fact that my husband and I work hard to juggle our schedules so that we can home school our children while both working outside the home. Or I could own up to what I think it really boils down to…Sometimes I’m more worried about what others think of me than what my children think of me. I want someone else to praise me and to recognize the “good” job I’m doing, but I’m not willing to give the same weight to the opinion of my kids.
I take for granted that there will always be another day with them. There will always be another chance to spend time with them. But what if there isn’t? What if? I am assured that there is ALWAYS work waiting. I want so desperately to be at home full time with my children. I anticipate the day that I come home full time almost hourly. But yet, there are evenings that I am guilty of not putting them first. I fail at trying to “have it all”. I live so often in the future of “I’ll have more time when” or “if I can just get this project done, I will…”
I am reminded though, that God’s design is for me to be at home. Not just my body, but my mind and my heart. Mommy sitting on the couch working on a lecture or grading papers isn’t what God has designed for my family. It’s not what He has designed for my children. My priorities have to change, I have to be better at setting boundaries, but most of all I have to remember what I was made to do. The best that I can do is pray for wisdom, discernment and obedience to God’s prompting. I spent time talking to my husband. Seeking his guidance and advice for the change that needs to take place. There is a definite end to this mess in sight. I’m not at the point where I can say it yet, but I can see the light. In the mean time though, I’m unwilling to continue going to sleep feeling like a failure as a mother because I put work ahead of my children.
I am ashamed to say that I was empty this week. I spent so much time giving to my work that I wasn’t able to give to my family. They’re so often left with whatever energy, time, or stamina I have left. Unfortunately this week, I was completely empty.
This blog post was part of a Five Minute Friday Link up. The idea is to write for 5 minutes with no editing on a specific topic. This is what came to mind with the word “Empty”.
Visit the link up here…
Since this is a new blog launch and I know that I have some new readers out there I thought I would take a blog post to tell you a few things about me.
I grew up in a small Mennonite town in Kansas, much of our family still lives in the area. I loved living in the country and one day hope to be able to raise my children in the same kind of place where I grew up. I married my high-school sweetheart when we were 19. My husband proposed the August after he graduated high-school. He poured concrete during the day and painted my parent’s barn in the evenings after work to pay for my ring. He has always been a hard worker and for that I am thankful.
We have been blessed with 4 sons here on earth and 3 children in Heaven. We had 2 early miscarriages (2003 and 2009) and lost our 5th son Knox at 15 weeks in December of 2011. You can read my blog posts about how he touched our lives here. We are trusting God for more children in His timing and are learning to rest in Him. Our boys are 9,7,3, and 19 months. I have had 3 c-sections (my first 3 births) and my 4th son was born at home with a fantastic midwife who believes in the body that my creator made. I am passionate about birth and birth choices for women.
I am a nurse. I teach for a local community college and online for several schools. I currently work outside the home 2-3 days a week. When I worked in the hospital I worked in labor and delivery and I miss it sometimes. Nursing has always been where I felt like I was called to be. However, in the last few years God has really been calling my heart home with my family and children. It is our hope that there will come a time when I can be home with our children full time in the near future.
We home-school our children. We feel as though we have been called by God not only to educate them at home, but to disciple them. We have many family members who are public educators, they have difficult jobs and we commend anyone who provides education to someone else’s children. We are thankful God has given us the opportunity and the provision to be able to teach our children at home.
I am still learning to be a wife and mother. My husband and I half-joke that we have been married for 11 years, the last 7 of them have been really great! The first few years of our marriage were rocky to say the least. We both had a lot of learning to do about being the spouses God wanted us to be. When we were first married my husband was an unbeliever and through God’s grace was brought to a saving faith shortly before our first son was born. God is continually stretching and growing me to become the woman He’s called me to be.
I enjoy gardening, music, cooking and spending time with my family. I am teaching myself to sew and am learning to enjoy running. I am working towards running a 5K in May. I am an avid reader. I usually have 2 or 3 books in various stages of completion sitting on our end table. I enjoy writing, but until the last year or so have really kept the things I write to myself. I found after Knox was born that writing helped me put meaning to my feelings and allowed me to express things that I had too many tears for if I tried to say them.
Now for some fun facts that some of my usual blog readers may not know about me…
I play the drums in our church worship band. I played in high-school, but never played the trap set. When our drummer got married and moved away I got nominated. I enjoy it more now that I have a drum set in our basement and can practice. I also play flute (although drums sound more exciting don’t they?)
If I couldn’t make it in nursing, I wanted to be an actress. I enjoyed being the center of attention when I was younger and enjoyed drama a lot. I used to participate in forensics meets when I was in high school. I’m not as excited about being main stage now, but still enjoy drama and think about doing some community theater every now and then.
I would like to learn how to swing dance. My husband is a little harder to convince, so I’m holding out for the day when one of our boys is big enough to dance with me and we’ll learn then.
I blog partially to make myself write down the memories and things happening around me. I’m not the most disciplined when it comes to keeping a journal, but this gives me a creative outlet to do so. My children are growing so quickly and I’m afraid that I will forget what an awesome blessing it is to watch them grow up. I also hope that what I write here will touch the lives of my readers and bring glory to God.
Welcome to FillingQuiver, I encourage you to explore my site and read some of my other posts. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for reading and may your time here be blessed!
I have been working really hard lately to redesign my blog. Here are the top 10 reasons to come on over and visit me at Fillingquiver.com.
10. To see what that crazy girl has gotten herself into now.
9. To catch my blog design skills in action!
8. Learn all about our family vision and why you might consider making one for your family.
7. Find a new recipe
6. To see how our larger than average family does it all.
5. Highs and lows, see how God’s grace helped us move through the grief that comes with losing a baby.
4. Highs and lows, to see the joys of raising small children.
3. Homeschooling — why we do it, how we do it and what we’ve learned about learning at home.
2. To see what God teaches about being a wife and mother, while honoring and serving Him.
1. Pictures of my cute kids! (Many of the pictures I use on my blog, are ones I take at home).
Welcome to Fillingquiver.com. Come back often, leave comments and tell me what you think . Join me on this journey as we purpose to Raise godly children for His glory.