Monday, April 28, 2014

Being a Yes Mom

I want to be a yes mom.

I say no a lot. There is definitely a place for discipline and definitely a place for the word no. For example, does my child need to drive my car? No. Does he need to get on the roof and jump off like Spiderman? No. No is a good word. No keeps our kids safe, it keeps them healthy, and it keeps them from doing things that they may regret later.

But sometimes I think we say no just for the sake of saying no. Sometimes we say it just to show our children who's boss. And sometimes we say it because we're in way over our heads and the first person we lose patience with is our children {and probably spouses but I don't have one so I have no expertise on that subject}.

Sometimes when I'm exhausted or worried about something or just have way too much on my mind, I'll say no to Lincoln about something incredibly stupid. For example, one time I was tired {oh heavens, this is awful} and I poured him Gatorade in one cup and he asked for it in another one, and I told him no. He needed to just take the one I poured it in.

Oh my word. What is wrong with me?! {I still feel guilty about this.}

Was it such a huge deal for me just to pour the Gatorade into the other cup? No. It really wasn't at all. It was a little thing I could've done and it would've made Lincoln's day.

Lately, I've been trying really hard to be a yes mom. I don't want Lincoln to remember his childhood as an awful time where all mom did was say no. And ladies, we know we can say no in at least 20 different ways. No, you can't eat that. We're not going there. Don't jump off of that. Stop doing that. Pick a different book. It's almost as if we delight in saying no sometimes.

And the more I've thought about it lately, the more I realize when I say yes more often, we're both happier.

That doesn't mean I say yes to stupid things. If Linc asks for 30 pieces of chocolate in a day I don't say yes. But when it was his birthday week and he had a lot of chocolate in the house, yes I most certainly did allow him to have a piece before breakfast one morning.

So Saturday {without me even realizing it until bedtime} I was a yes mom. In fact, we had a yes day.

When I got home from work I helped my mom in the backyard rake up some leaves into piles. Wouldn't you know I looked over and Lincoln was picking them up and throwing them? And my first thought.. Tell that boy no! But the truth is, he was occupied, happy, and his hands are tiny so he couldn't pick many up anyways. It was a little thing, but he had a blast.




Later I really needed to clean my car out so I had him come outside with me while I did it. {You probably need to know that it was so messy Lincoln and I could live out of it. For two weeks.} I told him he could ride his bike around the driveway while I cleaned it out. I hadn't gotten five things out of the car before he asked me to ride bikes with him around the block. He wanted both of us to ride our bikes and I knew that if we did, we'd end up at the park and not get back for a while.

But when I started thinking about it, riding bikes would make him so happy. Playing at the park would make him so happy. And when it all comes down to it, he doesn't care a bit about my car and how clean it is. The car will be there forever, but he won't always be three and asking me to ride bikes with him.
And do you know what? We had a blast. He did SO great riding his new bike and we laughed like crazy. When we got to the park we ran and played and laughed. It was so good for my soul.




So we got back home and I tried {again} to clean out my car. I asked Linc what he wanted for dinner thinking he'd say chicken and I'd go inside and make some. When he looked in the back of my car he saw his beach toys and his face lit up. "I have an idea! We can go get food from Burger King, and not open it yet, and have a picmic at the beach!"

Sold. To the cutie who can't pronounce picnic.

I could've said no because of money. I could've said no because hello! My car is a wreck! But Lincoln thought of it all by himself and he wanted to spend time with me. We got dinner and drove to the beach and his little heart was so happy and so content.



Then we went by his friends house to pick up his birthday present and it was play-doh. It would've been so easy to tell him we had to wait till tomorrow to play with it because it was only 30 minutes till bed but I didn't. I let him play. And what joy.


Then Lincoln bought me flowers for taking him on picnic.
{Thanks Mom and Dad for footing the bill.} 

Saturday was so filled with joy and laughter. And to be completely honest, I probably would've been more miserable if I had said no to throwing leaves, a bike ride, a beach picnic, and some play-doh. His day was made yesterday because I said yes to a few things. I would have a clean car, but not a content child.

No has its place. But so does yes.

Yes may look like something different to you. It may look like a trip to the zoo when you're exhausted and need to clean the house. It may look like ten more minutes in the bathtub. Whatever it is, our children are more important than our agendas.

Our day was full of joy and laughter because I said yes to Lincoln. And Jesus was so good to allow me time to clean out my car yesterday.

{That's right. I can now see the floor.}

I honestly believe God blesses our time when we keep our priorities in the right order and our relationship with our children grows when we say yes to the important things in their lives.

I want to strive to be a yes mom.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Five on Friday!

You can call off the search crew. I'm back. We had such an eventful week last week for Lincoln's birthday so I've just been taking it easy this week. But I'm back today for Five on Friday, and I'm so excited about what I have to share today! Today is long, but I promise it's worth it!


 
{One}



 Lincoln's birthday week was so great! He got a huge surprise, had an awesome party, had an interview with me, and I wrote a letter that makes me cry every time I read it. But really, it was the perfect week. I tried to do something fun with Linc everyday last week to celebrate his birthday and then Saturday {his actual birthday} we went from sun up to sun down. It was great. God is good to have blessed me so much these past three years.

{Two}



One of my favorite bloggers, Courtney, and all of her sponsors for the month {that includes me!} are giving away a Starbucks gift card today! If we're being honest here, I'm totally bummed that I can't win it! So head on over to her blog and enter for a chance to win that. Once you enter to win, stay a while! She'd love to have you and you'll absolutely love her!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 {Three}




ONE. MORE. FINAL.

May 5th is my final for this class I'm taking and then I'm done with this semester! One step closer to being a nurse and doing what I absolutely love! Please be praying for me as I prepare for my final and on May 5th as I take it! Thank y'all so much for all of your prayers. Your prayers have made all the difference this semester and I'm so thankful to have people in my life who are willing to pray for me!

{Four}




In this post, I told y'all how I was going to order a couple books to reward myself for finishing this semester and I did! I ordered "The Antelope in the Living Room" by Melanie Shankle and "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers. I'm so excited for both books to get here and to spend my whole six days off {what a huge break} reading books that have no medications, side effects, symptoms, or contraindications on them. Seriously. So excited. {If you have any other book suggestions let me know!}

{Five}


 
My Jesus is good and He deserves to be bragged on.
 
I have been a little anxious about finances lately with me not working much and so many things to pay for lately: doctors/dentist visits, blood work for school, Lincoln's birthday stuff, wedding stuff, and tuition/books/gas for school. It's a lot and while I don't usually worry too much about it, this month I have. A few weeks ago I was at church and our pastor spoke on tithing and not worrying. At first I literally thought, God, this message isn't for me. I've never had a problem tithing. And it's true. I haven't had a problem tithing. My problem lies in giving the tithe, and then spending the rest of the time worrying about money. I never think, If I kept that tithe, I could pay for this, this, and this. But I do think, how am I going to pay for all of this? So during that message God really spoke to me about giving my worry up to Him, and trusting that He'll provide for me and Lincoln.
 
Yesterday I went on my school's website to pay for my Summer tuition coming up {which was a little over $1,000} and for the life of me could not find where the amount was. I checked a few different places and then went back to where I was pretty sure I usually found the amount I owe. And when I went back it said money owed: $0.00.
 
I looked at it and thought, this isn't right. Where is the amount that I'm supposed to pay? Remembering that I did my FAFSA the other day, I thought no. There's no way. So I started looking through the financial aid page, and there it was.
 
I qualified for the highest amount of the Pell Grant {AKA: money I'll never have to pay back!} there is: A little over $5600.
 
GOD IS SO GOOD.
This means that I will be able to pay my tuition and the rest will be given back to me. I will be able to pay my blood work which will probably be over $500, and buy books, and use the rest for gas to drive to school/clinicals and back two or three times a week.
 
Y'all. GOD IS SO GOOD.
 
I'm crying just thinking about it. To think that a God so perfect and blameless loves this single mom enough to provide for our needs. To see the worry and anxiety and stress on my heart over providing for my son and for Jesus to say, You give it to me. I'll bear your burdens and I'll provide. I'm just in awe. I'm speechless. The King loves me and Lincoln. And I'm just so grateful.

Sometimes it really pays to be poor. I'm kidding. Okay, not really.

So there are my five things this week! I love when my Five on Fridays are filled with my favorite things: my sweet boy, coffee, nursing school, reading, and my Jesus! I hope you have an amazing weekend! 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy 3rd Birthday, Lincoln!

Dear Lincoln,

Happy birthday to my very greatest gift from God!


There are no words to completely express how I feel in this moment. It's been three years since that precious day that Dr. Kuester placed you in my arms. It's been three years since my heart fell in love. It's been three years since you absolutely captivated all of me.





Your life was ordained by God. I wish I could say that your life will always be easy and perfect and I'll be able to protect you, but I can't. Above all, you are His child, perfectly knitted together in my womb. Every single part of you was known by Jesus before you breathed even one breath here on this earth.





You are wanted. You are loved. You are cherished.



Jesus was showing off when He made you. You're three years old and I've watched Him work in your life more than I could have ever dreamed of. Your life and your presence changed a family more than you'll ever know. He had dreams for you when He created you, He had dreams for you that precious Tuesday morning at 4:28 am. He has dreams for you today, tomorrow, and for all of eternity. How beautiful is it that you matter to God. He loves you with a relentless, passionate, never-giving-up love. He cherishes you. He has made you righteous through His Son's blood. May you never forget that above all else, Jesus loves you most and so much more than your mom ever can.



I pray you look back on our life, the unplanned moments, the hard moments, and the joyous moments, and you see Jesus. I pray you see a mom who is so in love with Jesus that nothing and no one can shake her. I pray you see that my loyalty and devotion is in Him, and Him alone. I pray you know that through Him we can accomplish all things. Our life and our victories wouldn't be possible without the Author of it. I'm so grateful that He is the Author of your life.




 You have so many people to be grateful for. Your Papa adores you. When we found out about you He just prayed and prayed. I have no doubts his prayers are what has sustained us through the last three years. He plays with you no matter how tired he is from work, and I pray one day you'll see that and thank him for it. Your Geesh is the most servant-hearted person I know. She loves you and would do absolutely anything for you. I have no doubts that she'd give up her life for you in an instant. She is the reason your mom will graduate from nursing school. Your Momo has loved you from the start. She teaches you and prays for you. She passionately loves you. Your Uncle Matt has stepped into a role he never had to do. I have no doubt that he loves you like a son. It takes a lot to step into a father role for a child who isn't yours and son, he loves you like a dad. Your Uncle Pearce doesn't get to see you often, but oh when he does. He teaches you so much about Jesus and storms the gates of Heaven on your behalf. He drove in the middle of the night to come see you the night you were born just because he loves you so much. Lincoln Fussell, you are not lacking in love, baby boy. These people love you with a love that will never be able to be put into words and I'm grateful for the way they love you so passionately.







Last night in the bathtub I watched as you laughed and giggled over and over, joy exuding from you. I see Jesus in everything you do. I see Jesus in your sweet grin, I hear Jesus in that precious laugh, and I see Jesus in those big blue eyes of yours.



 April 19th, 2011 you arrived at 4:28 am. Among Dr. Kuester, a precious nurse, your mom, Momo, Papa and Geesh, you were welcomed you with open arms.



 There are no words to adequately describe the love I have for you. I unconditionally love you. That isn't just a mundane phrase. That means everything. You are the greatest gift I have ever had the honor of receiving. I mean it when I say I am honored to be your mom. I am proud to be your mom.



 You're the best behaved three year old I've ever met. You have manners like I've never seen before and if a lady is 100 feet away, you'll still hold the door for her. You say please, thank you, and excuse me with the best of them. I pray you always treat people with respect.




 You're so intelligent. You love school and learning and you ask why nearly 500 times a day. You love letters, shapes, and numbers. Every time we see a '3', you say, "I be three on my birthday!" You love your friends at school: Cody and Foster are your favorites. You talk about your teachers, Mrs. Foley and Mrs. Griffin, constantly. You also love Mrs. Dee Dee, too.




You're incredibly meticulous. When you want something clean, you do it the right way. If something is in the wrong spot, you'll be sure to let everyone know. And it's not a knee, it's a knee-cap. You're a rule follower, and you're quick to let me know if someone {including myself} isn't doing something right.



You got a guinea pig two days ago. She was a surprise and you named her Brownie. You love her like crazy. I've never seen your face light up with so much joy in your entire life. You want her to lay on your tummy and play in your playroom with you.




You have the biggest heart that makes your mom smile daily. You're tenderhearted and you hate to do things wrong. You're quick to tell me you love me, and your love language is definitely touch. You love cuddling and kisses. You absolutely hate when people cry. You love reading your Bible and then a book before bed, but you're serious about the fact that we need to read the Bible first.



You love Jesus. Oh, sweet son, if I had your child-like faith. Every time we see a cross you tell me "That's where Jesus died!" Last night we talked about the men on the boat in the middle of the storm. I asked you if the storm was going to stop and you told me that Jesus would stop their storm. Then you told me, "And Jesus will stop our rain, too." Oh precious son, never lose that faith. Don't let this world take your faith or your joy. Jesus wants to stop the storms in your life, if you let Him. He wants a relationship with you, and I can't wait to see your love for Him grow and how He uses you to do mighty things in His Kingdom.



So I don't know where God has us next. I don't know exactly how His plans for our lives play out, but I know together they will be great. His love conquers all, son, and your life is a perfect example of that.



I'm so thankful for your life. You taught me unconditional love, complete patience, and you gave me a strength I didn't know I had. You've taught me hard work and you've taught me grace. Your life is precious and priceless. I am so grateful that God gave me you. Oh, my sweet Lincoln, Jesus is so good to let me be your mom.



So happy birthday, sweet three year old. I hope your day is as perfect as you dream and as wonderful as your sweet self. Your mom loves you more than monster trucks, all the way to Heaven and back.