Monday, December 23, 2013
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Kendra is a mother of 3. Before being promoted to the full time position of mommy, She was the former Orbitz director of communications where she was able to travel all around the world. Kendra has personally been to 28 countries on 6 continents and has been quoted in the news about seasonal travel trends and destinations all over the United States. She loves to write about travel trends and tips
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
We've spent the last couple of months in the barn getting 2 steers and three heifers ready. Trust me when I say that we spend way more time on their hair than I ever spend on my own! Over the years my brother Joel, his wife Karri and their daughter Lauren have acquired so much knowledge and skill in the world of show cattle, we have been blessed with their expertise as well as their willingness to give of their time and energy in helping Hannah. Showing cattle requires a lot of hard work and it may not be what the average person would choose to do with their summer, these cattle shows are not the relaxing, fun filled vacations that most people are used to, but it's what we love!! Catching up with good people, looking at good cattle, working together as a family. Traveling to cattle shows in the summer makes up a lot of my childhood memories; so many of the people that we run into at these shows are people that I got to know through the years at various Hereford shows when I was the one at the end of the show halter. One of the most vivid and treasured memories was when Coby was a baby and our single cab pick-up no longer had room for Joel or I, so we got to travel in the comfort of the nose and front end of the gooseneck trailer, with our steers in the back compartment. I still see the looks of surprise on people's faces when Dad would let us out of the trailer at gas stations! Can you imagine the trouble that we would get into today if we stick our kids in the nose of the horse trailer and proceeded down the road? Right this minute I am pretty tempted as Kade has reached the limit of what he can handle being contained in his carseat and Hannah insists that she is most comfortable with her feet stuck up in my face!
We are going to need all of the prayers and helpful tips we can get when we hit the road for Kansas City in a month!! No, it may not be everyone's cup of tea for a family vacation, but it's part of the life that I love and I feel blessed!
Tomorrow look for a guest blogger, Kendra Thornton, who will be sharing some really great tips and advice about traveling with your family for the summer. Kendra is a stay-at-home mom who was formally the Director of Communications for Orbitz. She is a great resource for summer vacation know-how. If, however, you are needing tips and advice on how to survive a summer filled with traveling to cattle shows....ask me at the end of the summer I bet I'll be a lot more in the know :-)
Blessings from the Courageous Mommy
Monday, May 27, 2013
"This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends." John 15:13 The Message
Friday, April 19, 2013
Saturday, February 2, 2013
This was so good for me, because as I was writing it and tying it in to this holiday associated with love, I came to and important realization. The best way that I can show love to my husband and my children, and really anyone who God places in my life, is by loving them with this selfless, sacrficial type of love that comes from a servant's heart. This is so contradictory to what the World teaches us, the examples that society gives us of love is not selfless or sacrificial, and it certainly does not require taking the role of the servant!
I also realize that it takes a lot of courage to love this way, it's risky to put ourselves in the postion of the servant and love in a way that is opposite of what the world says.
But I am telling you that in my own experience, when I love in this way, where I am willing to become less in order for others to become greater, Christ's love in me is increased! And this is worth far more to me than flowers and candy!
Saturday, January 12, 2013
In all honesty I have to say that the biggest reason I haven't written on "The Courageous Mommy" blog is because I have felt less than courageous for the past several months. Dis-"couraged" is more like it, along with defeated, disheartened, and at times in despair, but not very courageous. I suppose that every mother goes through periods like this, but sometimes it feels like a very lonely place. As a result I haven't felt like I am qualified to write a blog about parenting. I've felt like a failure more often than not, have had more days that have ended in frustration and regret than in victory and confidence. Each day that I sit down at the computer and try to figure out what I'd like to write about, I end up closing the lid on my lap top and giving up because I feel that I have nothing to offer in the way of encouragement to other mothers. Not every day is like this, just too many of them.
So, what has propelled me to write tonight? Just the realization that this is life, part of a phase that I am going through as a mom; and maybe, just maybe, others will gain as much from my experiences of failure and discouragement as they will from my experiences of victory and joy in motherhood. Maybe even more so.
Why am I feeling discouragement and defeat? Because I am the mother of a teenage girl and I can't do anything right in her eyes right now. And I am the mother of a preschool boy that never stops... never stops moving, never stops talking....unless the t.v. is on.....and the t.v. has been on a lot lately. I feel like most days are spent either arguing with Hannah or apologizing to her. Most nights are a literal fight to get Kade to bed. I feel like most nights I go to bed close to tears and feeling like a failure, wondering how I should have handled certain situations differently. Each morning I wake up with a new perspective and determination, spending time in Quiet study of God's Word, reflection and prayer. And then my family starts waking up and I begin making those mistakes all over again.
I look at other mothers in my sphere of influence and it seems like they have it all together; they have good relationships with their teenage daughters, they have a handle on their young son's or daughter's energy and enthusiasm (or they at least have enough energy and enthusiasm themselves to handle it). They don't forget orthodontic appointments, or show-and-share at preschool. They don't talk too much and therefore irritate and annoy their teenagers. So many of them are preparing beautiful, nutritious meals and then sharing them on Pinterest or Facebook, while more often than not I am serving cold cereal or hamburger helper because that's all I have the energy for. I'm sure that no other parent eats their words more often than I do. I don't see any other mothers embarrass their kids, but I seem to do it every time that I open my mouth! I have a hard time imagining other mothers being as cranky as I am. I describe myself as "prickly" because that's what it feels like to me and my family; like if anyone gets close enough to me they're gonna get poked! And I've often convinced myself that I am alone in my fear that I am irrevocably messing up the lives of my children by the mistakes that I am making as their mother. OK so realistically I know that other moms are struggling every bit as much as I am; but oh how it feels like I am all alone in this challenging phase of parenting!
So, even though I am feeling overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacy and insufficiency, why am I choosing to write now? It's not so I can complain and bemoan my life in order to gain sympathy (trust me, I know that most of you will either say "Me too!" or "Toughen up Mama, this is life!"); but it's so that through my discouragement others may find encouragement. Because deep down I know that I'm not alone in all of these feelings. And I do know that this too shall pass. Maybe at that point, the point where Mike and I are old and grey and our kids are grown and raising kids of their own, I will be able to lend some wisdom, but right now all that I can offer is empathy and support.
Because I know that ultimately none of us is adequate or sufficient to handle this responsibility given to us. Without the Lord and His wisdom and grace I know that I can't move forward but will be stuck in a parenting rut where fear and despair take over. This isn't what I want for me or for my children. I want an abundant life for my family, where we are intentional about the life that we lead, where we respond to one another and not react, where we are guided by love and respect for eachother and not selfishness and pride.
I know that I've been in a pit for a while, and I also know that I don't need to remain in that pit. God has given me the tools that I need to live life and make the choices that I need to make in order to insure that we are living for His plans and purposes. Each day is a matter of making those choices and using those tools that He's given to me. We all have struggles that we are dealing with, some are much more serious than having a teenager and preschooler in the house. I know that there are some of you who are facing health problems or behavioral problems with your kids, some of you are dealing with difficulties in your marriage or financial hardship. Life is a struggle, but it's also good and I feel that goodness when my little boy wraps his arms around my neck and tells me that I am his best friend, or when Hannah and I have a long conversation about things that are deep and meaningful, or when Mike and I take advantage of the quiet and can just be in eachother's company. The only way to gain victory in the ups and downs of life is with courage. I refuse to lose courage just because life gets a little rough! So the Courageous Mommy is back, hopefully with as much grit and determination as ever!