Constant Giving

I learned something I already knew last Monday! (And you already know it too, but it bears repeating so I'm gonna remind you anyway *bwah ha ha!* *winks*) 
My parents had been out a lot that day—spending time with each other and running errands—so Joseph and I were “in charge” while they were gone. I had a very busy day--a day leaving me with very little “me time”. My goals for that day? Well, they didn’t get done… exactly
After dragging myself out of bed and eating breakfast, I helped Nathan with his History homework. Then, before I’d finished my coffee, Nathan eagerly whisked me off to the living room to play Lego’s (so the coffee came with me *winks *). We played for a while, I made lunch, we played some more, mom and dad came home. I was then able to work out, eat lunch, and shower. Mom then gave me the run down of whose schoolwork needed to be checked and who still owed her what, before she and dad headed off again :D I wanted to go shut myself in my room, mess around on the computer, and get the grading/checking done, but Bethie so badly wanted to play Nancy Drew (PC games) with me, (and I had this blogpost poking around at my conscience *winks *) so I agreed to play with her. As she started to play, everyone decided they were hungry for dinner! :D So I finished potatoes (mamma started them!), heated up corn, and ‘sliced’ (read ripped) the meat off a rotisserie chicken mom and dad had brought home for us earlier. Bethie brought the computer up to the kitchen table where we continued our together time, as I went back and forth between watching her play, eating my dinner, supervising, and doing bits and pieces of kitchen cleaning in between. The winter Olympics came on, and as we watched them Hannah ironed clothes and I folded and delivered them, and Heidi did dishes during commercial breaks. Hannah made Puppy Chow and a (HUGE—I mean, seriously! She made them in cupcake tins!) Homemade Reese’s for me with my natural peanut butter for filling *smiles dreamily *. Nathan and Joseph played some battle game and watched the Olympics back and forth. It was fun. Not perfect—there were the sarcastic comments and sibling squabbles here and there—but overall it was a fun evening! When mom and dad came home, I settled down with those answer keys and homework notebooks and checked and corrected the kids’ work… … and then I was finished.
*Phew! *
A full, busy, productive, even fun day!
But I felt a tad bit weary!
I realized I hadn't really done much of what I had personally (selfishly?) hoped to accomplish today, (But, with such a good workout and long, hot shower, I really could not complain!:D) but it had still been a great, fulfilling day.
I also realized something about MOTHERHOOD. I had a head knowledge of it for some time, but today, I had a better heart knowledge of this fact: 
Mamma’s GIVE
They give A LOT
A lot of themselves,
A lot of their time,
A lot of their energy
Their focus
Every day
All. Day. Long.
And they don’t just GIVE.
Not “give up” as in “wimping out” –huh uh!!
(they can't do that, although surely there are moments when they want to LOL!)
No! They give up their goals, their to-do lists, their time, their lives
To invest love, learning, and life into their families!
It’s fulfilling and wonderful <3
But at the end of the day it leaves a woman weary!!!
So for all you young ladies reading this right now, I encourage you to take a minute, go find your mom, and give her a hug. Thank her for all she gives every day in a million tiny ways (and moms are so good at giving of themselves to make the lives of their husbands and children better, that often, we don’t even notice all the work she really does, because she does such a flawless job!) And if your mom’s not around to hug and thank right now, purpose to do so later!!!!!
And, sweet sister, if your desire is to be a mother some day should the Lord will it, it would be an awesome idea to begin preparing for this constant giving of oneself by “practicing” a little! See if there is anything you could do daily or even just weekly around the house to lighten your mom’s load or to lift up your brothers and sisters! It would be a blessing to all those involved! :D 
And while most mothers are great examples of “constant giving”, and while it is great to follow their examples and even prepare to set our own—bear in mind our greatest Example of living a Life of constant giving! :D

"Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others." 
~~Philippians 2:3-4~~ (verses 5 through 7 could also be applied!)

 PS!! I need your help! What other verses that apply can you add? After/while reading this post, what Scriptures (about Jesus being our ultimate Example of giving) pop to mind? :D

A Fun Sister

Hello, dear readers!
Since my last post, a handful of ‘mini-posts’ have been collecting into a little puddle in the back of my mind. I’ve been kicking myself to get back on here or to simply sit down, take time and write. them. down. *Sighs at self *
One of these inspirations came in the form of my Dad, my youngest brother, and mountains of snow.
You see, I work weekends at a consignment shop in a nearby town. I usually drive to and from work, but because of all this winter weather (AKA adverse driving conditions!!!) my Daddy drove me to work last Saturday. When he came to pick me up that evening, he brought my youngest brother, Nathan, with him :D
After Daddy puttered around a little with a router he wanted to buy and Nathan “shopped” and goofed off with me as I chatted online with a friend, we packed up and headed to Wal-Mart before heading home.
By this time it was about 8 o’clockish, dark outside, and snowing—fat, luscious flakes!—once again.
As we pulled into the parking lot, we were met with a mountain range! The snow once covering the parking lot had been plowed (probably numerous times!) into giant mountains of snow in several matching rows!
Whoa! Look at that!” Nathan exclaimed from the back seat. “It would be so cool to climb one of those! I bet I could do it!”

It’s cold.
It’s late.
It’s dark.
It’s past dinnertime… so we’re hungry.
It’s a public parking lot.
We have more important  things we need to do!

Any of these statements could’ve been used as perfect “reasons” (read excuses) for a parent (or older sister!) to deflate Nathan’s enthusiasm, brush aside as unimportant, or shoot down as immature.
But my daddy didn't do that. :D
He said something to the effect of ‘well, let’s get our shopping done first’ (which was followed by ‘do you have on boots?’ ‘Any gloves?’—he, he! :D)
We completed our errand, and as I paid, Dad and Nathan headed out to the parking lot to conquer the snow peaks! Well, Nathan scaled their frigid heights. Daddy stayed in the car and supervised lol.
But this struck a chord in me. It blessed my heart, as the observer. I found myself thinking, I want my husband to be like that—a fun daddy. One who lets the kids go with their fun impulses (within reason and Biblical parameters) and goof off once in a while, whether or not it’s convenient in the moment or “grown up” enough. In fact, I want to possess those qualities as well as a {future} mother! The ‘fun mom’. Not the one who doesn't let her kids be kids because she’s so concerned with making them ‘perfect’. :(
Climbing Parking Lot Mountains could be considered a silly thing to do…
…But Nathan sure had fun!
And daddy let him. <3 :) <3
As I got in the van, I thanked Dad: for being the dad who let his kids climb in the snow (where every other customer could see that ‘crazy kid in the snow’ *wink *) jump in the puddles, play in the play place, stop for an unplanned play at the park, Take a short break from our schoolwork to goof off and get the squirmies out.
For letting us be kids.
What is the point, you may ask?
How often do we as elder sisters squash that enthusiasm in our younger brothers and sisters? :( How often have they come to us while we are knee-deep in a project (or project bent) and begged us to play Legos or a game of Set with them—but we were too busy?? Watch a movie or play computer together—but that wasn’t as important as what we wanted to do? Or how often have we been so ‘concerned’ with them behaving ‘properly’ that we missed out on a chance to bless them? How often have we been so insistent they ‘do things right’ that we forget that kids are and will be kids and probably need to be nurtured in that and loved because of it!? How many chances have we missed to invest in them, love on them in a random, silly way… yet a way they’re likely to remember the rest of their lives!? :(:(:(
I know I am so. guilty. of this :(:(:(
I want to be a fun mom one day.
But I need to be a fun and loving sister right now! It is the now that is preparing me for the future!!!
And it means. The. World. To our younger brothers and sisters when we take time to set aside our agendas (however valid and genuinely important as they may be!) for a while and focus—all of our attention, all of our love— on them! They may not even consciously think, “wow! My sister loves me! I’m important to her!” but rest assured it is buried deep within their subconscious! They won’t have to think it.
They will KNOW.
And no, I’m not saying we should not handle wrong behavior when it arises; that being silly or constantly goofing off is the standard we should seek to emulate; or that we should just chuck encouraging our siblings to be mature. No! I am simply saying, once in a while, as my sister Bethie would tell me, “Everything (or everyone) does not have to be “perfect” (what is perfect anyway!? lol).
So I encourage you today, big sister! Set aside ‘me’ time for a while. set aside ‘adult-ness’. And go love on your sisters! Go wrestle with your brothers! Invest (your time, energy, and love) in them and let them be kids (and o my soul, YES! I AM PREACHING TO THE CHOIR!!!! Ask nearly anyone!) And HAVE FUN!

"But I my sister and I don’t get along."
"Talking to my brother is like pulling teeth!"
"You don’t know my little sister! She is so weird!"
"But my brother can be so annoying!"

Trust me I know. :D
And they’ll be the first one’s to tell you that you’re too bossy. 
That you never play with them. that the things you do are weird to them too, and that they find it annoying when you hum while they’re doing math.
I once read a quote by a sister concerning similar thoughts: “God gave us siblings to develop patience… not because we already have it!” *winks * Your relationships with your brothers and sisters are some of the most important ones you will ever have! I promise you that they are so worth pursuing!

And one more thing: please! Don’t! Ever! Let your peers pressure you into feeling as though a close relationship with your sibling is uncool. :( Ever. :( 

What are some ways you ‘practice’ the art of being a fun sister? What are some ways you are preparing to be a mother? (Yes, you can even do this now as a single young lady!) Do you ever see good/Godly qualities in good, Godly men you hope your husband will one day possess? Please share!