Tiny tots

Selfishness. It is the ugly root of many parenting problems. I've realized it, seen it and many times overcame it but it will rear its ugly head again on a regular basis. I've heard it said many times by my father my #1 goal in life is to raise godly children. This sounds so good to a new parent. Me too! Let's grab the list of rules and guidelines and get to work. Use this training method, say this not that, allow this and not that.......screechhhh and halt. Every method I've tried, every truth and principal I seek to follow while perfectly sound and good will be a failure if I don't have the selfless-ness to PATIENTLY follow through DAILY.
Why do I have these words in bold? I think every parent knows. Because those two words are the hardest part of parenting. It's not hard to set rules. It's not hard to come up with plans. It's hard to calmly in the face of defiance, attitude, child like indifference stay the course with a loving kind Christ like spirit every day. Recently while reading a wonderful book on mothering realized in the first chapter that many of my frustrations in parenting were due to selfish desires.
"Grrrr......why do I have to tell you so many times!?"
What's my real frustration here? Why do I have to take MY precious time to deal with your disobedience. Why do I have to interrupt MY schedule or my relaxation to correct or even love when the time arises. As parents we know many times the reason behind the outward behavior isn't always defiance but a cry for attention. I'm sure we can all see the thread of selfishness in every though and every word.
Little did I know the day those babies were born began a journey in shaving more and more of me away. Not the good and God intended creation he made me to be but the selfish only concerned with myself part. From the day they came home and kept me awake for hours thoughtout many months of nursing to potty breaks in the middle of the night, times of correction, times of teaching, times of loving. All of these times slowly work to take away the constant thought of Me, Me, Me. But I'll tell you ladies this only happens if a willing vessel allows the molding.
Yes, I've realized in the last few months how selfishness can wreck and ruin our peace of mind. But I have also realized that if I don't daily lay my selfishness down at the altar and pick up the commission of motherhood Satan will have victory in my life. Often it is easy to think, YES, one week of successful calm peaceful parenting! I'm a success, line up ladies autographs are free! Until the very next day we trip and land flat on our face.
I'm not saying to not take time for yourself or most definitely not encourage we cheat our spouse in this journey to self-less parenting. Every good things must have its place but to have any measure of success I must realize God has given me a huge and wonderful task of raising these wonderful children for his glory and that will only be accomplished if I stop running my life as a train speeding towards all of my desires.
Challenge: Parenting is not about ME! It isn't about me being happy or me being pleased. It's about pouring my life and love selflessly into my children so that they can grow to be godly children that please God with their loves. Sometimes that means the best thing I can do for them is to love their daddy or take some time for myself but I must make those choices with wisdom and not laziness. To do any of these things I must daily meet with Christ and hand over my heart and my desires. I must submit myself to his will and guidance. Without a doubt when I do he will guide me to be the best mother possible.
Help this mother Lord be the best I can possibly be for you and for them.

In the last couple months I've been able to take the time to read a little bit more about one of my greatest ministries, My Children. I've learned so much and it's made such an impact on our family. My pastor always says, "Study your ministry". It is very wise advice. So I thought I would post occasionally the Parenting Concept I've been learning about and Challenging myself to put into practice.
Parenting Challenge #1- Showing Godly Grace

This morning I was reading a blog update from Not Consumed.  She was talking about how to deal with the times when our children frustrate us by needing constant correction. She said the Lord convicted her about complaining to the Lord about her children and not showing them the same Grace He daily shows her.
This was for sure a great learning moment for me. It's so easy to get caught up in selfish feelings such as; "Why do I have to tell them the same thing constantly", "Why do have to constantly correct you?". The Lord helped me realize a few weeks back that these thoughts are just selfishness. Selfish because I'm really bothered that I have to stop My schedule in My busy day and My routine and My good mood to deal with their issues. My children need me to selflessly like the Lord take the time to guide them.
Fast Forward to today's lesson. I also need to show the same Grace to my children with their mistakes, challenges, learning curves and at times down right stubbornness that God ever day shows to me. There is no doubt that God daily can see the same problems in me as he looks down. But does he ever stomp off in a huff? Does he ever growl in frustration, "Why do you keep doing this?"? No. Our God of grace and mercy and love constantly loves and guides us in the best way possible for every situation. He always sees us as the best picture of ourselves and continues to lead us closer to that destination.
What a challenge! That's what I want to be! God help me show the grace that I can only learn from you.

Bundha in the house!
Bundha is the native word for closed and whenever any fraction of society is peeved about something the way their voice is heard is by participating in a "bundha". Which is where they close down business and transportation and protest. They can do this on as a small scale as a couple of blocks all the way to the whole country. They can turn violent if people try to "break the bundh" and drive vehicles or disturb their protests but for the most part people just take it as a day off, let people protest and rest in their homes. Both was seen in the country during the last two days.
The conflict that took place was generally outside the capital city where we live, that I know of anyways. The most exciting thing we saw was mostly naked little boys swimming in the huge puddles caused by the recent monsoon rains and the baby water buffalo snorkeling in another near by puddle:)
So we were under general lock down in the McTague house for two days. Things can get a lil hairy with two kiddos and two parents locked in a house together for 48 hours if some fun activities aren't created.
At the end of the second day, I can say we all survived with most of our sanity:) Here are some fun pics of our bundha adventures!
Day 1- Box Cars
We decided to make Savannah a car out of an old box. Her and her dad grabbed some colors and the sports car creations began. She requested a monster face and flames. To which my husband replied, "You are not a normal girl". She quite enjoyed her little automobile. She colored it, watched movies in it and eventually beat it to death! It was a short exciting life for the monster car.
Day 2- Mocha Caramel smoothies and Practicing our "MAD" golf skills.
We had some yummy mocha caramel smoothies....mmmmm My husband is a coffee addict to say the least. So any reason to add another cup to his day is welcome! We began this idea with my husband looking at me and saying, "Man, I could go for a Panera Mocha Smoothie!" Ok, all you other Panera addicts out there, shout Amen! For those who are not, ummm....why? Come on its amazing! Anyways, out came the coffee, chocolate syrup and ice. Then we remembered the leftover goodies from Cory's birthday. We still had coffee ice cream in the freezer and caramel in the fridge! Woo hoo throw it in! Well, this will not go down as my best diet day! Shhhhh
I'm extremely proud of his caramel!!! I made it from milk! Just Milk! Whole fresh milk after you add sugar and boil the beegebbees out of it turns to caramel! The only thing to make it better would be to have my Mom here to share. She is...shall we say slightly attached to caramel. I'm pretty sure she will be buried in a coffin filled with caramel with just her face popping out with a smile like Winnie the Pooh in a pot of honey!
Later followed by some leisurely golf. We had a fun couple of days but we are all itching to be out among the living again! Feel free to share your stories of keeping the munchkins occupied while home bound.

It's that time-Pre School time!
For the first time in my life I'm trying to organize and coordinate a k-3 program without any resources handed to me by a school. Our precocious and bouncy three year old is chomping at the bit to be a big girl and fill her mind with knowledge of shapes, colors, letters and songs:)
As you can see in the background we are still settling in from moving into our new home. We have moved twice in the last 2 months due to the 7.8 earthquake (and hundreds of aftershocks that followed) that recently crumbled our house and rocked our world. We first moved all of our belongings in stages to a friends house then the Lord blessed us with our new wonderful apartment. So in the midst of all this I began thinking....
"I've been teaching my daughter bits and pieces, but she is now 3 and I'm not sure what knowledge I should be imparting....???" ( FYI- I don't really think on this fancy speech:) It's more like, "ahhhh I'm in charge of my child's education!! Somebody rescue me:)"
So the research has begun. I have found some great resources on the ever favorite, PINTEREST! All hail Pinterest! My wheels have begun turning and I'm in the process of creating a program that is reasonable and attainable. I know, I know k-3 is for fun learning and she doesn't need to be able to do calculus yet but living in a world where English is not common place I know that 100% ( not counting Curious George and Thomas the train) of her exposure and teaching will come from me and I NEED A PLAN! Not counting trying to slip the native language in where I can...Lord Help:)
I have got out my trusty notebook and began cataloging all the children's books we have that will coordinate with the thoughts I'm trying to teach her. We have some great resources thanks to my good friend Lisa Files! Only thing on my wish list right now is some more Franklin books. My daughter sure enjoys them and they have lots of great teaching concepts. I found a great website that offers free curriculum and weekly planner.
It's been a great resource I plan on using. It had a very scheduled plan covering numbers, letters, textile writing, shapes, motor skills, bible knowledge and the website also has character lessons I'm very interested in using. This next link has some great themed worksheets to correspond with the school year.
Well that's the end of my researching at this point. Now to begin organizing, printing and researching some more. Props too all the moms who have done this before me!! This job is not for the faint of heart. Feel free to leave any helpful comments for our schooling journey.

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Thanks so much for enjoying the third world journey with me. I always enjoy kind and uplifting comments!