The Joyful Parent

A Christian mom blog by a work-at-home mom.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005 Community

I urge everyone who is even possibly interested in homeschooling to check out a new blogging site for homeschoolers. There is a wealth of information to be found there, mainly from a Christian perspective.

My blog there is at Come by soon and say hello!

Friday, June 24, 2005

I am a Soccer Mom!

Well, sort of. Chase just finished his very first, week-long soccer camp. What fun it was to watch him and the other 3- to 5-year old kids attempting to master the sport of soccer. From figuring out which way they were to run with the ball to remembering not to pick the ball up, watching how they did not play by the rules was as fun as watching a more formal soccer game.

Chase has had a ball making new friends and they usually play together at the playground after the camp. He gets pretty wiped out from soccer and sleeps well at night as a result. Alyssa was pretty agreeable and pleasant and not hardly fussy while waiting for her brother to finish playing. I bought a small ball with us that she plays with on the grass then she eats a snack and before you know it, it is time for us to leave.

I have enjoyed chatting with the other moms. Overall, it has been a fun week with terrific weather to top it all off.

Soccer moms of the world look out- here I come!

Wait a minute, there is a problem. We do not own a minivan. Oh well. I guess my soccer mom status is on hold for now.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Church Picninc Photos

Check out these pictures of summer fun at my homeschool mom blog.

Can you tell how much I love summer?

Friday, June 03, 2005

More Summer Fun

I just love to watch the kids having such a ball, especially Chase. We have had a fun time the past few weeks with lots of great kid activities for Chase. He has been so excited just to have the chance to play outside in the sunshine! The winters seem so long around here. Even if it is cool in the morning, he insists on wearing shorts and a short-sleeved shirt because "It's summertime Mommy!"

Our church, New Song Church, had its church picnic on Memorial Day and we all had a great time. Sam's parents and one of my sisters joined us. I had a chance to catch up with some homeschool moms that I had not talked to and they were full of encouragement and good advice. Sam took a lot of terrific pictures and had fun chatting about digital photography with some of the guys. Chase ran so much and played so hard that it was difficult getting him to eat or go to the bathroom.

Alyssa was the little darling of the picnic and the little girls delighted in picking her up and hugging her and she of course enjoyed her favorite past time. She loves to get dirty playing in dirt or sand only to come to me and ask me to wipe her hands off. Such a funny girl!

These kids personalities are just blossoming daily and I love to see them unfold.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

We Went to the Fair!

We call it the Orange Jubilee and we had a great time. I love to watch my little ones laughing, playing and enjoying life. Of course, they ate too much junk food and Alyssa got pretty tired out and over-excited but a good time was had by all. I ran into some old friends and was blessed by someone I did not know who gave us some free tickets for the rides.

It was a perfect sun-kissed day here in Northeast Ohio and I am glad to be alive. I thank God for my wonderful family and the wonderful blessings he has bestowed upon us.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Journey to Motherhood Part 4

My struggles to obey God in the matters of my vocation in life reminded me of the Biblical story of Sarah, Abraham's wife, and her efforts to produce an heir for her husband. God had promised to fulfill that desire of her heart. But could she just patiently wait for him to do so? Could she wait for God, he who had promised to be faithful? No. She had to take matters into her own hands and and have Abraham impregnate her maid instead. Her actions led to birth of Ishmael but Ishmael was not the heir that God intended. Sarah ended up with less than God's perfect plan for her life because she acted outside of God's timing. I was in danger of creating my own Ishmael as I waited for God to create a family for me.

I just praise God that before I stepped out and married the wrong man or even worse decided to have children out-of-wedlock, God stopped me long enough for me to put him in charge.

Approximately 1 month after my submission to God's will, I met my husband-to-be. Within one year we were married and within 2 years we had given birth to our first child, a son. I felt fulfilled beyond anything I could have imagined. I only get a slight twinge of regret when I think of how long I spent searching for something that was so easy to find with God's help. If only I had long ago let the Lord be my light and his word a lamp to my feet. Of course, I know that all things come together for good for those who love the Lord, even those things that the enemy may have meant for harm.

My regret never lasts long. Instead, I dedicate part of my life to sharing my story with younger women, many of whom have deep, hidden desires to "just" be a wife and mother but they feel too ashamed and confused to admit it. I validate their feelings and encourage them to seek the Lord as they plan their futures. I am thrilled when I see young women walking confidently into God's purposes for their lives.

Journey to Motherhood Part 3

This post continued from Journey to Motherhood Part 2 here. Read Journey to Motherhood Part 1 here.

I knew it was God's will for me to start a family. The very important missing piece, however, was a husband. I prayed and prayed for God to send me the "perfect husband". Nothing happened. I prayed some more for God to send me the man of my dreams, my knight in shining armor. Still no results. (well, no one appropriate anyway).

I became more assertive. I let everyone know that I was looking. I went on blind dates. I even tried the personals! With every date, I felt I was moving further and further away from finding a suitable marriage partner.

God seemed silent. "How could you set me up like this!" I cried out to God. He had flamed my fires of desire for starting a family and was encouraging me to become a wife and mother. How could he refuse to send me a husband? Disappointed and dejected, I finally did exactly what God had been waiting for me to do: I gave up and gave it to all to him. I fully surrendered all of my dreams of my idea of a perfect husband to him. I really completely gave up. I prayed "God, I have no idea what to do or where to go. Do what you will with me and my relationships. My worldly efforts have failed. You take over now."

God spoke into my heart that I had it all wrong. I had been focused on finding the husband who met all of my needs. I had completely ignored the fact that I was to provide something to my future husband as well. I had not even considered taking the time to be sure I was the woman that would make a ma a good wife. I was only focused on finding a good husband to supply my needs. God wanted to send me a husband and children not just for my happiness but for my spiritual growth in Christ.

My prayers changed. I prayed "Forget all the requirements I was looking for in a husband. I trust you Lord. You choose him and I will follow. Just give me the wisdom to recognize him when he comes and make me a good wife and mother. Send me a family that will challenge me to grow."

Monday, May 16, 2005

Journey to Motherhood- Part 2

I had a hard time accepting what God was trying to tell me. His message for me to embrace distinctly feminine roles was in direct opposition to the values that I held in my heart. I took feminist women's studies courses in college. I knew that it was taboo for a woman to think of her role as wife and mother as being important. In fact, most of my training was an attempt to ensure that I would not be "stuck" in such menial roles. I was taught that a woman had to know herself, live for herself only and reject all societal and religious notions of what a woman should resemble.

"But wait a minute here", I found myself saying. I had done all the right things and I still did not feel so great. Single, with no decent prospects and working up to 100 hours per week completing my medical training, I felt frustrated with my life. Professionally, I was accomplishing so much. That was supposed to be my fulfillment. Why was I still so miserable? Could it be possible that God was right, I stupidly wondered. Did I really need to become a wife and mother in order to be fulfilled?

I began to pray as I had not done regularly for some time. I prayed for God to show me what roles he wanted me to fulfill. I prayed that I would reduce so that he could become more in me. I prayed that I might submit myself to his will so that I might be led to the perfect place where he wanted me to bloom. Was I to remain single and childless or perhaps adopt? Was I to pursue a religious vocation such as becoming a nun? (Yes, I was serious about that- if it was in his will). After an intense period of silence, I began to feel a sense of peace. I still did not have an answer, but I did have a sense of peace. Once I relaxed and stopped trying to figure everything out, I felt that I had received my answer.

I was indeed being called to the roles of mother and wife. Okay, God, I hear you now and I accept what you are saying. There was only one thing still missing- a husband! Now how is God going to make this miracle happen, I wondered.

Mommy Wars

Sometimes, I wonder if the emphasis on Mommy Wars is overplayed by the media. I have met some stay-at-home moms that can not stand working moms and vice versa but that seems to be the exception.

I know many more stay-at-home moms that are willing to help a working mom with babysitting in a pinch and working moms who applaud the decision of moms who stay home.

What have your experiences been?