Thursday, September 10, 2009

my investment

the beginning of the school year is a great time for me to start over with my goals.

seems to work better for me than the new year cliche.

i really try to spend some time thinking through & praying about my vision for our family, how our home will function, & aspects of my mothering technique that i really wish to improve on.

i am far from the mom i want to be. its like i can see her out there but she's out of my grasp many days. i wish i could erase words said out of anger or change patterns that started long ago. but the truth is , i have just today. each day is an opportunity for me to lean on the grace of the Lord , to parent intentionally. i'll probably never be a missionary or a famous entrepreneur. i won't be known around the world for my philanthropy.
but i do have four girls,
they
are my mission field.
they are my investment.


this year i had four areas that came to my heart that i want to share with you




1~ peaceful responses.



i often times jump the gun with the girls instead of really listening to them. no surprise here, but that response can quickly lead to a defensive tone from them and sure enough, we're already off on the wrong foot early in a conversation.



i think i usually feel like there are a hundred things going through my head & i'm wanting to just get to the bottom line. but i'm praying this year that i slow down, give them the benefit of the doubt & really respond to them in a peaceful manner.




2~purposeful encouragement



while this sounds like a no brainer, i feel very compelled to make purposeful attempts that will build on the girls strengths. to come along side them & really lift them up. they are each at such a tender age. a time when the world & their peers can really beat 'em up. leave them feeling like they will never be enough, give enough, or do enough to succeed.



each of us has our own love language, the form in which when used we feel the most loved. we usually love others out of our own gift, but its so much more effective when we discover what another persons love language.

it can be physical touch,
words of affirmation, acts of service, or gifts. my goal is to study the girls & find what each of their language is &
"speak" it to them frequently.


3~ intentional engagement

this one really holds a special place in my heart.

my oldest, a high school junior will be out of the house in the blink of an eye. i'm well aware of the fact that my time with her is limited & i plan to be a good steward of the open window i have left.

the other three, figuratively speaking will be leaving the nest "right behind her'.

my goal is that both Dan & i are able to spend some time with each of them in a one on one setting. with four children, this can seem like a daunting task, not only logistically but even financially. intentional means i make the time in our schedule. when we're together i stay off the phone & not txt or chat with friends, just little things that let them know i am completely with them.


4~ journal daily prayers

i have a great silver leather journal, actually was a calender that my sweet man splurged on for me back in january. it has 5x7 page for each day. i chose to use this to journal thoughts & prayers for them on a daily basis.
again, i realize this sounds so simple, but making the commitment to write out daily what they're going through, a joy or achievement, something tender on their heart, whatever, helps bring these things to mind & helps me remember what's going on in their world.




I spend alot of time talking about parenting & most of the time about my inadequacies as a mom.

Our middle school program this year is teaching on characters in the bible that messed up & how God used them in amazing ways.
The Lord loves to take our areas of failure or humility and work through those very areas.


Our children are given to us for such a small time, they are ours to raise , to help shape & mold. But ultimately they belong to the Lord. I feel i will be accountable one day for my stewardship of them.
Although the goals I shared today are directly towards my children, I know the ultimate gift i can give them is to love & honor their dad. He is my number one, my best friend, my confidant.
Our relationship is of utmost importance. I know as mom's our days can be filled & usually overwhelmed by parenting responsibilities. But I am absolutely convinced, convicted, whatever you want to name, that our love relationship with our spouse needs to be our priority. When my children are grown up , moved on & starting families of their own, its so important to me that they will look back & see a strong foundation and commitment between Dan & I.


I hope my entry doesn't sound soap boxy or preachy. I want to wrap this up by sharing that honestly
my prayer today is that each of you that this blog reaches know how much He loves you.
right where you
regardless of your achievements or failures
regardless of how many times you've blown it
regardless of a failed marriage or a broken relationship with your family
he loves you



Romans 8.38-39
I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God

36 comments:

Maria said...

Paige,

This post totally spoke to me, to struggles I'm currently having with my parenting. I know you probably don't feel like you are spilling wisdom in your posts but you are. Even though I've never "met" you, your posts in many ways teach me as a mom with younger children. Titus 2 talks about older women teaching younger women and I feel so blessed to gain Godly insight nearly every time I log on to your blog.

Thank you SO SO much. I'll be thinking/praying for you as you invest in your husband and your beautiful girls this year!

LuLu said...

Beautiful post. It's raining here this morning and I just dropped my 3 girls off at school and thought of all I said to them this morning and hoping I didn't miss an opportunity to tell them something. Your post reminded me to stop and think about what I can do better and like you my children are my investment.
Praying for all mothers today,
LuLu

Nancy said...

Wow! Having 2 girls myself, i am right with you. I love your goals and the timing of them with back to school. Thank you for a beautiful and encouraging post. Blessings!

Simone said...

Paige

This is such a great piece of writing - it really spoke to me - so much that I am going to print it out so I can read it regularly.

If you ever have a day when you think your blog doesn't make a difference, please know that it does - today was that day!

I had no idea you had four girls....wow! And aren't they beautiful girls. I have just one girl and just one boy....my daughter is just 8.5 but is definitely on the verge of some changes right now - and I am finding it hard. I am not feeling I am doing very well as a parent right now.....I need to learn some new stuff, especially how to respond better.....it's hard isn't it!

I really appreciate your post - and I really love how you write, you have great honesty and a really good way with words.

Best wishes to you,
Simone

Anonymous said...

The last several weeks having been difficult for me - medical issues exasperated by personal challenges. You remind me to remember my children, and that I owe them the best of me. I fall short more often than I want to admit, but my heart wants so much for my 3 blessings, my college senior son, my high school daughter, and my elementary girl. Opportunities are plentiful, and you remind me to build on each of them. Thank you for your offerings, each entry you make is refreshing and enlightening, and reminds me that with God and family I can do today what I did not do yesterday.
Thank you!

Jboo said...

Oh Paige -- what a great post -- so thoughtful, well written and timely. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing and reminding me to be present in the moment with my daughter, sons and family.

Janet

Kasey said...

Paige..that's a beautiful post that we can all take to heart.
I myself could stand to use a few...
Beautiful investments!

ASHLEY said...

ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh....i love this post...i have lots of questions for you...but i'm taking my son to preschool...i'll come back...bless you!

Ramona said...

Good Morning Paige ~

You are such a great Mom! This is a beautiful post...gonna print it and gonna read it often. Well done...what a lucky family!

Smiles ~ Ramona

Lissa said...

this is such a lovely post! I love how how worded your goals! The purposeful encouragement one really speaks to me. So much to do and learn on a daily basis! I'm feeling overwhelmed. But completely love and agree with this post 100 percent!

Farmgirl Paints said...

Oh Paige you are such a great mama!! I loved this post. What precious words. It's like you were writing my thoughts as well. I feel exactly the same way. My family, my girls are my mission field. It all starts at home doesn't it?? Thank you for sharing your heart. YOU are such a blessing.

Jerri said...

Paige,
Although I think you are a kinder, gentler person than myself, you remind me of myself and how I tried to raise my now grown/growing children! I did fail a bit in the hubby dept., as far as time & prioritization but I/we are working on that now that the nest is empty!
Hope we get to meet in person someday...ps I love Seaside, FL! That's actually where we wanted to have AR's wedding next Spring but not driveable from here so its going to be Charleston, SC.
Keep loving those babies because as you said, before you know it, they are gone! pss...but because of ours investements, they like to come home alot!! :)

A.Love said...

This is a beautiful post!! It reminds me that instead of looking at all of the ways that I am discouraged with the mom I AM, I should pray on and be purposeful about the mom I DO want to be! Thank you for sharing your heart in such a deep and meaningful way!

Heather Bullard said...

Heartwarming, encouraging and thoughtful post. Your words are so beautiful. Wishing you a lovely weekend with your girls.

Cstargel said...

WOW! I've always felt this way about the relationship i have with my spouse but it's always great to have a reminder! Love the four things, especially the one about not texting, talking on the phone when with them....I've GOT to get better about that! Thank you for your blog! It's so inspirational!

tara said...

Paige, you are so sweet, I love this post and it reminds me since my punk is so little I have so much growing as a mommy to do and so much I am sure i will mess up and wish I could do over...but for now I want to be intentional always! :)

Tracey said...

Oh Paige what a beautiful post! It is so easy to beat ourselves up as moms about so many things, this I know. Your list is wonderful and inspirational. And, as always, your girls are truly beautiful young ladies! Enjoy your weekend!

:) T

Kristin said...

Beautiful Paige, just beautiful and perfect!
Love you!

Anonymous said...

I hardly ever comment, but read your blog daily. I love your zest for life, your love for God, your husband and your girls. You are an encouragement to me.
Thanks for such a beautiful post.
Chris in Iowa.

Heather H said...

you inspire me with what's important.

you challenge me with goals.

you make me smile b/c you are so darn real.

you encourage me to know that i am not alone.

you give me purpose to my daily reliance on Jesus - to make this real in my life.

thank you.
xo
HH

The Flying Bee said...

Paige,

Thank you for this post. I needed to hear this. There are so many days that I feel I fall short as a parent. You have encouraged me to really choose to be intentional.

Beautiful girls!

Have a wonderful weekend.

Adrienne

Lemonade Makin' Mama said...

What a precious post considering that most all of us mothers have and do feel that way from time to time.

Before I had kids, I was a lot like Mary Poppins. I was the perfectly perfect mother in almost every way.

Then I had kids.

And now I am constantly reassessing my goals just like you. Crazy, that!

Blessings,
LMM

Amy said...

Such a timely post for me to read Paige, as I process my learnings on the role of influence as a mother and wife through attitude. I have just linked to you from my post this morning - thank you. Strengthening words.

duree26 said...

I thank you Paige...you have said the words that I need to do also. I want to be the bast mom and woman I can be for the people in my life I love. I have 3 wonderful children and I hope I can be that mother for them. I read your blog daily and you have helped me be in a better place in my life and closer to god and my children. (it has made my mother happy) Thank you so much for just being you and sharing with us...God bless you, Paige

PS: My name is also Paige

SoSoBella said...

how incredible was it to read that. you are gifted. your writings are beautiful, just beautiful.
i am so happy to be a follower of your blog. and so happy that you share your thoughts with us.
being a mom. how great it is and how important it is.
thank you. thank you for being able to remind us of our investment.
xo

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

What a thought provoking and uplifting post!! You are such a wonderful Momma, but it seems you are always striving to be better.....that is so inspirational!! Everytime I visit here, I leave with a big old smile on my face and with my mind deep in thought!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend with your sweet family!

Lisa

Jennifer said...

Paige,
Not too preachy at all...in fact I think it was quite beautiful! I too need to take time to think of more peaceful responses. I often times say the first thing that pops into my head and that's not always good. It's great that you are being more intentional in different areas. Your girls are lucky to have such a great mom. They are your treasures, but I am sure you are theirs as well.

Firefly Hill said...

Paige,

You are so eloquent with your words and such a beautiful, thoughful parent. I know those girls are turning out just lovely...

Wishing you all a beautiful weekend.
annie

Donna said...

Such a beautiful post Paige! And so true. Love your devotion to your family. You are right, we are to be teaching our children to walk in His ways and that means we have to be doing that ourselves. Something I work on everyday.

3 Peanuts said...

Paige...this is so beautiful. I work on being a Mom more than anything too. But I am often falling short. I am constantly talking to my best girlfriends about it. We do one on one Dates with the boys and it is so enriching for our individual relationships with them. I had a date with each boy last weekend and it was so wonderful. Will and I went to the art museum on free day so they don;t need to cost any $ if you plan. It is hard to make time in the schedule though....

Do you have the book the Power of a Praying PArent? My Moms group is doing series on it right now. I keep it on my bedside table and have for ears. It prompts me to pray for very specific things for each child....

The one I am working the hardest on right now is peaceful responses. One of m close friends has the MOST amazing relationship with her Mom and when I asked her they key...she told me that when she was in middle and high school and she confided in her mom that her Mom never overreacted or freaked out. She told me that because her Mom always listened calmly and never gasped ...she always felt like she could confide in her.

I am so sorry this is so long but I LOVE this post...it inspires me to do better in every single one of these areas. think I am going to print this and read it every morning. Thank you for posting it.

Hugs. Kim

3 Peanuts said...

P.S.Please excuse all of my typos.. I am the WORST typist and awfully tired too:)

Wendy @ The Shabby Nest said...

Thank you for this lovely post, Paige.

You are such an insightful woman! Thank you for sharing your insights with us.

PS~Erin said...

Wow. I'll be revisiting your goals soon... I just set mine (tomorrow's post) and they are so basic. I think after I get back on track, the peaceful response and intentional engagement will be on the forefront. Thank you for this encouragement! I think you've got to be way on track, just having given this much thought to your goals.

Beautiful, beautiful family!

© Jennifer Raley said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting yesterday. I came back by yours today. Committment to God and family. Amen! (Beautiful photos and family). But I was happily surprised to see you also quoted Romans 8:35 - which I quoted the other day on my blog. I love when the same message comes from God through a variety of sources. :) wow. Thanks.

Sande said...

Great goals. Seeds that will definitely pay great dividends

Vintage Girl said...

You have touched my heart with your words. Just beautiful and so very true. Blessings, Heather