Monday, November 12, 2012

Thanksgiving Traditions!

     The Thanksgiving season will soon be here, so a post about family traditions seemed like a great idea when I heard about this week's "Joyful Mothering" theme.  For those of you who know me, you know that fall is my favorite season...and Thanksgiving is the main fall holiday.  So, Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday.  It seems to be less "stressed-out" than Christmas, and it is a good time to help your little guys remember to think about all the things God has blessed us with! 

     When I was a child, we did not have the blessing of living around my extended family.  So, my mom went out of her way to instill special traditions and times for our family even though we could not take place in larger family celebrations.  I am very grateful for this, because it taught me the importance of having traditions for your own family, even if you can't take part in traditions in your extended family. 

     Thankfully, we live by family now, and so my boys have the extra blessing of being able to take part in larger family celebrations and traditions.  One of our main traditions at Thanksgiving is going to my parent's house and eating Thanksgiving dinner with them. Because my mom took the time to have our own traditions, there are certain things that we do every year that make it special.  We always have turkey, and we eat on the "best" dishes--the ones that only come out a few times a year.  But there's something important about tradition--it doesn't have to be elaborate or expensive!  One of our favorite things as kids was that on Thanksgiving, we always made celery sticks with peanut butter in them to snack on while we waited for lunch to be ready.  This is not a complicated thing, and it is something that can be done any time, but because we always did it at Thanksgiving, it has stuck in all our minds as a tradition.  Even if we have them at other times of the year, I always think of Thanksgiving when I see them!

     And that's really the purpose of traditions--at Thanksgiving or any other time--the memories they create.  I'm sure you can all think of something that makes remind you of a certain holiday or season whenever you see it, even if it's at a different time of the year.  Building these memories is why we have traditions--it's so important to pass on a sense of belonging and togetherness to your kiddos!  Kids love traditions...they thrive on the security of being able to say "It's this time so we get to do this thing."  If we didn't have celery and peanut butter, it just didn't feel like Thanksgiving! :) 

    So practice some of your traditions this holiday season!  Go check out the other mom's ideas and traditions.  And if there's something you've always wanted to start, now might be a great time to get that tradition off the ground!  Don't worry if it's not always never know what will stick in a kid's memories--like celery and peanut butter!  :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Joyful-Mommying: Our Inspiration

     This week's "Joyful Mom" theme is Scripture passages that have helped us on our journey as moms.  I have blogged about some passages that have struck me at different seasons in my life--here and here.  I have also blogged about why we do what we do as moms--that was a can see those here and here.

     One passage that has always been an inspiration to me has been Ecclesiastes 3: 1-9.  This may seem like an obscure passage for inspiration, but the realization that there are seasons in our lives has always been comforting to me, especially when I am in a "trying" season!

     As moms, we are very familiar with different "seasons" in our lives.  If you read this passage with the eyes of a mom, you realize quickly that sometimes the "seasons" change within days of each other!  Birth and death, planting and harvesting, and building and breaking are all part of our daily lives.  One week you may be comforting a child over the loss of a favorite pet, and the next week be preparing to bring a new sibling home from the hospital!

     Planting and plucking up that which has been planted, times to kill and heal, and times to break down and build up can of course be physical occurrences in our lives, but to me they have a spiritual impact as well, especially in the area of child-training.  We as moms are constantly planting seeds of Scripture in our child's heart, and we have to be on guard to "pluck up" things that are planted by the world in their minds and hearts.  "Kill" is a pretty dramatic word, but maybe this should be how much we want get rid of sins such as lying and rebelliousness when they crop up in our households.  And of course, healing is a big part of being a mom--from Band-Aids on cuts, to heart-break over lost friends.  Lastly, every mom knows that it is a constant struggle to maintain the right balance between "breaking down" the sinful, selfish natures of our kiddos, and "building up" their good character traits and qualities.

     I encourage you to read this passage, and as you do so, don't just focus on the physical applications that seem obvious, but delve a little deeper to find the spiritual applications God has for us.  I think you will find that no matter what season you are in as a mom, wife, single girl, or wherever else God has you, it is encouraging to remember that God has a plan for us, and no "season" lasts forever.

     And I have to say, as a mom, this may be the most encouraging thought of all--NO season lasts forever... The new baby will be here soon!  Potty-training will be accomplished!  One day, everyone in your house will be able to buckle their own set-belts!  Reading can be learned!  Times tables can be memorized!  So hold on--season change is just around the corner!  :)

     Don't forget to visit the other "Joyful Moms" to see what inspires them!  :)