Category Archives: Motherhood

I’m Trying to be Perfect…Again

This Texas “fall” is killing me, y’all!!

It was seriously over 90 degrees yesterday – on November 2!

Getting 3 kids in and out of the car multiple times, helping with buckles, answering questions, meeting delays and demands, school pick-ups, errands, playground, HEAT!

Ugh! I just don’t have the patience for it anymore! I get super duper grumpy when I’m hot and am staring down the sun whilst children do what children do. I need to move to Alaska to be a better mother!

Trying to be perfect

Don’t I?

No, I think I’d complain about being cold… Hmmm.. ok California then! The weather there is perfect year round (so I’ve heard!).

Nah. Too expensive. Then I’d have to work more and commute more and yuck. Those are on my “least favorite” list.

Colorado – I love Colorado!

Nope – they actually have real winter for almost 6 months. I’d love the other 6. That’s it – I’ll become a snowbird!!

Hmmm, then I’d lack community and family and stability for my kids.

Ok, ok, so maybe I’m just not a great mom and it has nothing to do with my circumstance!

Once that air blasts me in the car, I’m all of a sudden smiling and engaging my kids in the “good mom” way again. I’m praising God – but what about before? Yuck!

I know God covers my sinful moments with His grace. I know it – but I want to be perfect! I don’t want to mess up.

…I’m idolizing myself, aren’t I? I’m trying to be God again instead of letting Him be who He is and transform me at His pace and worship Him. I want to be worthy of worship instead.

And I’m barely worshiping these days as it is, but in my one reading I made it to this week, was this:

The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. (1 Corinthians 14:42b-44, NIV)

I know God will fulfill the desire to cast off this nature in Heaven, and in the meantime and for eternity, I want to turn the worship of myself all to Him who is truly worthy!

In those difficult moments, I need this reminder that Jesus is the resurrection of the dead – He is the king. He’s greater and more worthy of worship than any comfort or convenience or strength that I have.

How are you trusting in God’s word today?

Why I Became a LuLaRoe Consultant

Alright, so there’s a reason my blog has been a little stale lately – besides the fact that it took an amazing amount of effort to sit down and write during nap time!

I became a LuLaRoe fashion consultant!!

Why I Became a LuLaRoe Consultant

What is LuLaRoe? LuLaRoe is all about freedom.

  • Freedom from not being able to find something gorgeous in your size. I carry sizes XXS – 3XL!
  • Freedom from paying retail price for low quality clothes. LuLaRoe clothes are designed well, cut well, and sewn well.
  • Freedom from looking like everyone else. LuLaRoe only produces 5,000 items from each fabric! Each item is limited edition, so you get to be uniquely you, whether that’s black and gray from tip to toe or crazy color and patterns and raccoon prints (uh huh).
  • Freedom from dressing in uncomfortable clothes. The tagline is “simply comfortable”, and to be perfectly honest, that’s the only reason I wanted to find out about LuLaRoe! I can’t handle uncomfortable clothes!!
  • Freedom from paying all profits to huge corporations. My prices range from $25-$70, with half off my items squarely at $35. I’m making a great profit, and I’m a small business owner!
  • Freedom from working full time. I can work as much or as little as I want with my business, and I choose only what works for my family.

I could go on and on – literally, I deleted a few so that I could keep this post concise!

Like many moms, I’m a mom whose family requires that I make an income – pretty normal these days! And trust me, my family and I have pared down our budget to the bare bones and still required me to make an income.

Because of LuLaRoe, we’re changing what the working mom looks like in our family! I get to weekly show women that they were created beautiful! I’m grateful God brought this to my life!! I can meet more women who might be changed by the gospel and actually make money doing so?

Crazy crazy crazy! And way cool.

why-i-became-a-lularoe-consultant

My dress has snails on it, y’all. Snails.

Please let me know if you have any questions about LuLaRoe! You can email me anytime at

lularoestephiepete at gmail

If you’re local, I’d love to help you earn free clothes by hosting a pop up boutique at your home or office.

Join my LuLaRoe Facebook group, where I regularly post my inventory and style ideas. https://www.facebook.com/groups/LuLaRoeStephiePete/

And of course, if you’re like me and can’t stop thinking about becoming a LuLaRoe consultant, just use my join link to partner with an amazing team! https://join.mylularoe.com/StephaniePeterson/join

 

 

Intentional June – Connecting Gardening to God’s Glory, Week 4

Connecting Gardening to Gods glory

In June, I am picking a relevant scripture each week to focus on. My conversations with my kids will be about the verses, and bonus! – I’ve picked a craft to help us (and you!) talk through spiritual things.

Don’t forget – you’re the primary influencer in your kids’ lives, so be intentional about sharing God’s truths with them! I’d love to hear if you have success with these. Share in the comments!

Week 4 – Our Summer Experiment

We started an experiment at the beginning of this month. I asked the kiddos where they thought a baby seedling would grow the best – in a pot or in the garden bed?

summer experiment

We talked about the scientific method and hypotheses. What we didn’t talk about was gardening – we do that quite a lot around here (I post some pics on my Instagram), so they’re pretty familiar with the life cycle of a plant.

But how can I connect this to the Bible? There are plenty of ways to talk about plants and Scripture: new life, God’s providence, creation, His order.

But I wanted to talk about growing in godliness. That though Jesus has completed the work of salvation on the cross, God has still given us a life to live for his glory and to produce fruit (i.e., make disciples) – hallelujah for our mission!

Scripture focus:

 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith excellence, to excellence, knowledge; to knowledge, self-control; to self-control, perseverance; to perseverance, godliness; to godliness, brotherly affection; to brotherly affection, unselfish love. For if these things are really yours and are continually increasing, they will keep you from becoming ineffective and unproductive in your pursuit of knowing our Lord Jesus Christ more intimately. (1 Peter 5:5-8, NET)

I love the connection here – we’re growing in godliness, “increasing in measure” just like a plant. When we put on godly qualities, we will be more productive in our relationship with Christ! We will actually be more intimate with him! Amazing!

I really want to emphasize with my kids that our salvation is sure, and we still have a mission on this earth – to give God glory in every way!

Intentional June – Connecting Water Fun to the Gospel, Week 3

Connect Water Activities to Gods Love

In June, I am picking a relevant scripture each week to focus on. My conversations with my kids will be about the verses, and bonus! – I’ve picked a craft to help us (and you!) talk through spiritual things.

Don’t forget – you’re the primary influencer in your kids’ lives, so be intentional about sharing God’s truths with them! I’d love to hear if you have success with these. Share in the comments!

Week 3 – Water Balloon Pinatas

Oh my oh my, I can’t wait to do this activity! We’re going to make water balloon pinatas to hang from our trees!!! Fill regular balloons with water, tie with string to your tree, and grab your light saber pinata stick for some water gushing fun! Like this pin:

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/170785010848225800/

Hey, this is Texas. We play in the water every chance we can get. It’s necessary to stay cool.

I really love this activity because it’s rather easy to connect to the gospel and scripture! Have an intentional conversation about how God’s love has been poured onto us while dumping water on our heads? Yes, please!

Focus verse (context: Paul is talking about peace and hope and follows this verse with “when were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.”

 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:5, NIV)

Homemade Father’s Day Gift

(Pssst – Brad, you’re not allowed to read!) 😉

Does the homemade Father’s Day gift elude you? Maybe your husband is like mine: he doesn’t spend all of his time golfing or fishing, and he never wears a tie.

But – he has a sentimental heart, and he prefers words of affirmation to tangible gifts. The kids and I made him something special as part of our Intentional June series. We’re pairing this with two tangible gifts we know he will love as well.

Homemade Christian Father's Day Gift

In June, I am picking a relevant scripture each week to focus on. My conversations with my kids will be about the verses, and bonus! – I’ve picked a craft to help us (and you!) talk through spiritual things.

Don’t forget – you’re the primary influencer in your kids’ lives, so be intentional about sharing God’s truths with them! I’d love to hear if you have success with these. Share in the comments!

Week 2 – Follow Daddy as he follows Christ

Father’s Day is this coming Sunday! There are so many wonderful “daddy” oriented things we could talk about – God is our heavenly father. We are adopted into God’s kingdom through Jesus. Honor your father. So many!! Please choose your own intentional way to spend Father’s Day.

For us, we’re making our good earthly daddy a gift to show him how we see him striving to follow Jesus, our Savior. He encourages us to press harder into our faith! For our daddy, there could be no greater compliment.

And who doesn’t love kiddo footprints?? Nobody. Nuff said.

How to Make a Homemade Christian Father’s Day Gift from Children

Homemade Christian Father's Day Gift

  • Choose a heavyweight paper, such as cardstock. You may also use an artist’s canvas. We will probably store ours at some point, so I wanted to make it flat.
  • Examine your husband’s shoe tread (haha!). Choose a pair of shoes with a “good looking” tread, but don’t choose his running shoes or work boots – you don’t want to ruin the stickiness of his shoes! I used acrilyc paint, which is water based and probably fine, but I certainly didn’t want to take a chance.
  • Don’t dip the shoe in paint! Instead, use a foam brush to brush the paint only on the tread you want covered. Notice, we left the arch blank on purpose.
  • Create the daddy footprints by rolling the shoe from heel to toe on the page, and let dry. The drying takes about 30-45 minutes.
  • In lighter paint, brush paint on your kiddo’s foot. Be sure to decide whether you’re doing a left or right foot before you paint.
  • Support them and help them step and press their foot onto the page.
  • Repeat with 3 kids, including a baby in a bouncer seat. Ha!
  • After drying, choose the scripture focus for your dad. John 3:16 is a great alternative to the one we used. Add the verses to the page.

The verse we focused on is:

 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1, NIV)

That’s what our daddy does – he sets a great example of a humble man following Christ! And we want to follow in his footprints.

Use Your Beach Trip to Talk About God

Use Your Beach Trip to Talk about God

In June, I am picking a relevant scripture each week to focus on. My conversations with my kids will be about the verses, and bonus! – I’ve picked a craft to help us (and you!) talk through spiritual things.

Don’t forget – you’re the primary influencer in your kids’ lives, so be intentional about sharing God’s truths with them! I’d love to hear if you have success with these. Share in the comments!

Week 1 – Talk about God at the Beach

This week, my family is on staycation!! We’re heading down to the coast for an (insane) there-and-back-in-the-same-day trek. So our craft for this week has to be on the beach!

Since I’d like to avoid bringing a bunch of supplies, and we’re going to be in the sun all day, we’re going to do some shadow activities! Here are the ones I’d like to try:

Taking a family “shadow picture”, like this: Idea here.

I also think making a sundial would be really easy and neat for the kids.

But we might just make a sand volcano (not a shadow activity) b/c that sounds really fun!

Verse focus for shadow activities:

“…you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.” Psalm 63:7

This entire psalm is so powerful to pray for reliance on the Lord. God is our protector and our refuge!

And… let’s not make this too complicated. We’re at – THE OCEAN. Besides talking about God’s creative nature in designing the ocean, this passage from Job contemplates the infinitude of God.

“Can you fathom the mysteries of God?
    Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?
They are higher than the heavens above—what can you do?
    They are deeper than the depths below—what can you know?
Their measure is longer than the earth
    and wider than the sea. (Job 11:7-9, NIV)

 

Sowing in Tears – A Pastor’s Wife on Sunday Morning

I’m thrilled to have my friend Colette Loudin sharing a post with us today – this post is so personally challenging to me, and I know it will be to you, too. Please give her some share love on Facebook, Pinterest, etc., and check out her blog Lessons from the Sparrow.

I hugged him close as he clawed and scraped and tried to kick his sister over and over again. He was so frustrated, and I was too. He grunted and groaned quietly as he thrashed about, giving no ear to the message his dad was preaching right in front of him. I tried to calmly restrain him as tears streamed down my face.
Sowing in Tears - Sunday morning

“Sundays are just so hard, Mom.” I know, sweetheart. I know they are. But they’re worth it, too.

This precious son of six years is life and energy and cuddles and punches. He’s the one that hears the gospel over and over and over again as I hold him close and talk through what went wrong. He brings tears and fears and joy and laughter. Sometimes I don’t know how to love him well. Sometimes I wonder if I’m getting in the way of his seeing Christ. Sometimes I absolutely lose it on him. Because I can’t understand how in the world he could do the very thing we just talked about not doing. And then I see me. And my sin. Over and over and over again. The Israelites followed that path. And so often I have, too. And God disciplined them. He showed grace. He broke, and He mended. He fought for His people. And God disciplines me. He shows grace. He breaks, and He mends. He fights for me.

My eyes closed and opened to look at my husband standing behind the pulpit. And this vision came into my mind—my tough child, grown. A man, tall in stature and wise in heart. Standing at that same podium in that same church. The sunlight beaming through the stained glass behind him. And as he speaks to the people whom he now joins in faith, he looks at that front row where he spent his youth. I’m there—the whispers of years and time have painted my hair and kissed my face. And as he looks at me on that front pew, our eyes meet. A flood of memories washes over him. Our battles against sin…together. His face softens as he remembers the hard Sundays. And he understands in that moment the beauty of those struggles. The reward of it all.

My heart quieted. There was hope in that vision for me. Hope that, maybe one day, I will see the fruit of this labor.

“Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.” Psalm 126:5-6

I have no guarantee that my son will grow into a wise man who follows the Lord. There’s no protocol I could follow to produce a man of faith. That is entirely in the Lord’s hands. And there’s a freedom in that, too. It doesn’t depend on me. However, I do have the holy and heavy responsibility to diligently display God’s patience and goodness and grace to my children. To fight alongside them toward victory. Bearing the daily weight of that in the living out brings weeping and sorrow in response to my son’s sin. It is no easy thing to mother.
This Sunday, we will sit together and pray. He will pray, as he often does, that God will help him to listen and to obey. That God will calm his body and mind and help him do what he knows he should do in the church service. And he might find victory this Sunday. And he might not. But when he messes up, I will hug him close, love him gently, and speak the same truth into his little big heart. And I’ll hold that sweet vision ever before me. That one day, just maybe, I shall come home with shouts of joy because of the beautiful work God has done within him through these years of sowing. And I will look my precious, grown boy in the face, and our hearts will join with the Israelites in proclaiming, “ The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.”

 

Colette LoudinColette is a lead pastor’s wife and mother of four whose passion is to awaken women to the great need of rightly studying the word and being an active part of the local church, no matter what season of life they are in. She loves all things birth and newborns, conversations about food allergies and gut health, and reaching out to the overlooked. You can follow her blog at lessonsfromthesparrow.wordpress.com.

Teacher Gift Tag for Chai Latte – Free Printable

We love to bless our kiddos’ teachers. In fact, we work hard at it all year, bringing them little drinks, snacks, and gift cards. If I were a teacher who couldn’t leave campus to eat or grab a quick drink, a hot chai latte would be a blessing! And a cute gift tag wouldn’t hurt, would it?

Teacher Gift Tag Free Printable Chai Latte

Well, I’ve gotcha covered there! Apparently, I like puns, as this tag plus my free chips and queso gift tag will attest.

Before school pickup or dropoff, run through the drive thru and grab a latte. Slap a glue dot or piece of tape on that tag – or a ribbon if you happen to have cute things in your dungeon of a closet, like I do.

Or, if you happen to have the best-in-the-world chai mix on hand, make your own!

Deliver with a smile and a child who behaves well in class. 😉

Get the free printable here:

Chai Teacher Tag

How to Make a Summer Plan for Kids

School is rapidly winding down – what is your summer plan for your kids?

I work part-time and am home with my kids for the most part. As a planner myself, I don’t do well with much unstructured time. In fact, might be the one lousing around the house saying “I’m bored!”

OK, maybe not.

I think it’s healthy for kids to have a break – they have a recovering perfectionist as a mom, so they need to see me resting and set a good pattern of rest for themselves.

However, I believe a loose plan sets us all up for happier, more engaged days. Less boredom equals less fighting (I hope!), more brain activity, more fun, and more relational capital.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens. (Ecclesiastes 3:1, NIV)

How to make a summer plan for kids

How to make a summer plan for kids

1. Plan vacations, camps, and VBSs first.

We have a staycation planned for this year since we took a large vacation last year and also had to replace our van. We’ve set events for each day and a budget for the week. That was the first thing on the summer calendar.

Plan vacations first - summer plan

We’re hosting a front yard Bible club this year through our church, and they all happen the same week. Now that we have a kiddo in school, I’m really excited to see this pulled off!

I have already planned for each of my kids to attend one summer camp – using budgeted money that won’t be spent on preschool. I decided to not have their camps on the same weeks so that the big kids get a little more of their own time with me. Well, with me and baby Katherine that is. 🙂

2. Plan adventure days and bucket list items next.

Is anyone else as excited as I am about Finding Dory coming out?? That might have gotten on my summer calendar ahead of the kids’ summer camps.

Look at all of the possible adventures in your city. Check out that local Pinterest board you’ve pinned to but never thought about again. Search your city’s blog for fun things to do.

We’ve lived in our city for 8 years, and there are still many things we haven’t done yet. Some of those are on our summer plan list. A few have hard and fast dates; others are just on “the list” for those free days.

There are also so many fun backyard adventures to have – I have a ton pinned here:

 

3. Plan the “standard” day last.

Once you have the big items on the calendar and a few of the one-off adventure days planned, think about what each “regular” day should look like.

Things I considered when making my loose, daily plan:

  • Spiritual goals: Evaluate where your kiddo is spiritually and choose some things that might enrich them spiritually. For the older teen, this might be your summer camp. For the grade-schooler, VBS might be your go-to. I encourage you to also think of a few things you can guide them in.
    • Maybe memorize 1 scripture applicable to them each month with a celebration at the end of the month (Fighter verses is a great app for memorizing.)
    • Perhaps the great reader can check out the Adventure Bible.
    • Your preschooler might be mastering the ideas of the gospel through loving conversation and discipline.
  • Educational goals: Our grade school teacher was great about giving me the growth areas for our kiddo as well as some great summer tools. For my kindergartner, I’m making goals for
    • reading
    • writing
    • math
  • Physical goals: Summer means water! Swim lessons or just having water time for familiarity is a big deal in our family. Maybe your child has a sport they regularly play and can incorporate some extra drills in a regular day.
  • Fun goals: What’s something fun your kid can’t always enjoy during the school year? Here are some ideas:
    • Video games (ours are off-limits on school days).
    • Play dates
    • Park days and picnics
    • Cooking kid-friendly recipes
    • Leisurely imagination or dress up play
    • Challenges (such as summer reading, music, or engineering)

Whew! That’s a lot, and really there’s more you can consider – in fact, I’d love it if you would share ideas in the comments or on the Facebook page!

4. Structure the day, but keep it loose.

Our regular day is going to look something like this:

Breakfast and get dressed

School activities, about 30 minutes. I will use a handful of on-level tasks plus a challenge task each day.

  • Kindergartner:
    • Handwriting – Name and Title case practice, Proverb a Day, Sentence structure practice
    • Puzzle worksheets – crack the codes/word search/crosswords (math and reading)
  • Preschooler:
      • Letter writing and sounds – I really like the School Zone books

Guided craft or free craft time with bin of supplies. Incorporate Scripture.

Physical Time! Kid yoga, tag, trampoline, play date, going on a walk or pool time

backyard fun - summer plan

Lunch, kid cooking when time/interest allows

Reading: 2 books or Smarty Pants cards as a group. 2 chapters of reading each day for the Kindergartner

Quiet Rest Time – I will have separate areas for the kids to have quiet play time with toys/books for a set time

Video game time – We love the educational app Starfall! My child who is not as interested in learning loves it, and I’ve seen her improve in letter sounds yay! It’s a steal for $35/year.

If there’s time left in the day, we will have more free play, which my kids love: legos, dolls, puzzles, board games, science experiments, backyard digging and play, etc.

This looks a little too structured, but I guarantee you, there’s time for it all plus some. Once I’ve made a plan, I stick to it generally and don’t feel any guilt whatsoever if I decide to change it later! After all,

Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. (Proverbs 19:21, NIV)

As always, I will continue to re-evaluate my kids’ needs against the existing plan and modify as necessary. I’m looking forward to a (semi-planned) summer of fun!

 

 

Intentional May – Connecting Kids’ Crafts to the Gospel, Memorial Day, Week 5

Intentional May

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bayasaa/2693171833/ (changes mine)

In May, I am picking a relevant scripture each week to focus on. My conversations with my kids will be about the verses, and bonus! – I’ve picked a craft to help us (and you!) talk through spiritual things.

Don’t forget – you’re the primary influencer in your kids’ lives, so be intentional about sharing God’s truths with them! I’d love to hear if you have success with these. Share in the comments!

Week 5

Today is Memorial Day, and we’re going to do this easy firework craft.

salt-fireworks-4th-of-july-craft-for-kids

The scripture focus is:

Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. Philippians 2:15-16 portions, NIV

This verse is about being a witness for Christ in a depraved world. We shine God’s light (1 John 1:5) when we act out of obedience to God.