“Completely”

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Songs can be so moving…and inspiring…and chill producing can’t they?!
Singing is my absolute favorite thing to do in the entire universe and I have been belting out words and notes since the days of being a little bitty thing sitting on stacked up song books in service. Being a lover of songs since as long as my memory stretches, I can be completely captured by a song. I remember singing with my whole 4 year old heart and voice “He Will Pilot Me” and being adored by the congregation for it. I also remember singing “None of Self and All of Thee” and having such a hard time meaning it. And now when I sing, I am focused on doing that His way and meaning every word I sing, not ignoring the message or awaiting the “awwww Tressa, you sing so beautifully and I love listening to you.” My heart sings to Him. And He hears every word.

Some songs produce a laughing inside and out, some tears as flood gates being opened, some a simple smile, and some a piercing in my heart -good and bad- and I am constantly sending my sisters a “hey, heard this?”

My listening pleasure has been an area effected by my choosing “more of You, less of me!” Songs which producED a wrongful desire in my mind I came to understand needed to go -dear Justin…it’s not you, it’s me.- so that my mind could be fixed on things of value and goodness and purpose and HIM. Don’t get me wrong…JT has great songs I still listen to A LOT, I just steer clear of the ones that put me on a secluded island with him openingly and unashamed committing acts of filth. I want my mind consumed with thoughts of being a better wife to my actual husband (insert laugh – I could not resist) and how to love my sisters/brothers more and what to do about those people who hurt me and what I am telling Jesus when I choose what I want over what He says and my sin…oh my sin…put my King on the cross. I want to be inspired to do small selfless things to inspire my children to be selfless and giving. Anything and everything to make me more of who I am supposed to be! Hopefully, you will love this song as much as I do! Give it a listen, see what happens.

“I let Your gifts take the place of You
But You pulled up my selfishness from it’s roots
I am a broken and fragile me
But I’m where You want me to be”

……think about this Tressa, over and over and over and over!


Like your mother!

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“You are so much like your mother!”
Every single morning (it seemed as every single morning at least) my sister and I would be awakened to the joyful and happy -translated in sleepy girl language would be aggravating and over-the-top) sound of our mother singing “It’s time to get up, It’s time to get up, it’s time to get up this morning!” My sister and I shared a room as kids and so mom could “kill two birds with one morning song!” And I would love nothing more if you could hear it through reading the way she sang it. It was beautiful. My mother was (and still is thankfully) a very affectionate and loving mother…she always always made sure her children were hugged and kissed and told “I love you!” There were many many mornings I am certain she was exhausted, stressed, tired, worried, or just plum give out and yet she seemed to have that break in those “weights of the world” when it came to waking her children. The feel of her long strong fingernails scratching up the bottom of my feet…the flipping on of the light…and the way she seemed so so happy to be calling her offspring’s attention to the new day, although not very appreciated then, is one of my favorite childhood memories. I am absolutely positive at some point, in the awakening to Shea the Opera Singer days, I thought…”If I ever have kids, I will NEVER wake them up like this!!” Ever think like that?

It’s extremely funny how we as women will often times think “man, I will never be like my mother” when we envision our lives as wives and mothers. Very commonly, women will pick out the absolute most aggravating and annoying traits/habits/characteristics about their mother and make a check list of sorts that reads “this I will do” and “this I will not do.” It’s probably just as common to do the opposite and say “Oh I LOVE that my mother is _________ and I hope I am the same way with my husband/children!” I know for me, my mother was a “Super Woman” in my eyes as a child. There was not anything that woman could not do! She was amazingly talented in so many areas…like, if she wanted new curtains for our living room, or kitchen, or her bedroom, she would go and pick out fabric (on sale most of the time) and just sew her up some pretty window dressings and bam…new look for the room. Arrange the furniture a little differently, change out some of the decorations in the room with another room and it could look totally changed. There were plenty of times she would have to throw away vases, or flower pots, etc. due to the illegal football game that took place while she was at work (and every single whipping I received for this disobedience I totally deserved!). Bless my and my sister and brother’s hearts, we tried to super glue things back together and turn them in a different direction praying mother would not notice. She always did. Moms are smart like that. She was an unbelievable cook and everyone around our little community had the “favorites” she made…like potato salad was a must at every church dinner. HER dressing was a must at every Thanksgiving and Christmas. She made a strawberry jello salad every Christmas that made me and one of my first cousins fight for the first bite! We still do that BTW. She canned everything she could. She would prepare every single thing my dad or granddaddy would raise in the garden. She was so good at not wasting anything. Which to a 12 year old girl who would have suffocated herself if she had to store ONE. MORE. PLASTIC. BAG was so annoying. “Here Tressa, take this aluminum foil from the ham and cover your dad’s dinner plate for tomorrow.” I was like “really, its brownish and got black stuff from the ham on the roof of it and its gross, can I not just throw it away and get a new piece?!!” And yet she saw the value in reusing what could be reused. I did not. She was SO, oh my heaven stars, SO thoughtful of everyone she knew. Again, to a 14 year old girl who just wants to spend every minute with her boyfriend, going to visit a great aunt in the nursing home is NOT how she wants to spend her Saturday, and yet mother set the perfect example for me of taking time to do a small act of kindness for someone. She took care of everybody who needed care…and without question, without complaining (well I never heard it), without thinking of herself first. My dad was a blessed man to be taken care of by her, we as her children were extremely “spoiled” by having such a hard working/caring/loving/strict/compassionate woman mothering us, her dad was honored by the way she cared for him until his last breath, and every soul who had her hand extended to was very appreciative. I will not go through each and every person and the “story” of them but you get my point. My mother was amazing to me as a child. Yes I got frustrated because I did not always have “what” other kids had -name brand crap for example- but never ever ever did I go to bed without hearing “I love you baby!” and even then I knew she did because of what she did to take care of me…her words were not just words. She used the entire day to prove her love and then summed it up with 4 little words when the day was over. I never doubted her. I mean of course I rolled my eyes when I heard the “Tressa, don’t you think you should be more concerned about the blessings you do have instead of complaining about the stuff you don’t have” speeches I would hear because I would pitch a fit because I could not go to the “New Kids on the Block” concert my friends were going to…or tell her “_______’s mother loves her more than you love me cause she got her a cabbage patch doll!” oh me…I would not have made it without life in prison if I had to raise me.

As a child, I did not FULLY appreciate or understand the sacrifices my mother made for me, my dad, my brother/sister, and everyone else. That puts me in the same category as 98% of other children I presume. However, the day I saw my first child for the first time upon exiting my body and entering this world…I IMMEDIATELY knew. The very first thing I said to my mother…”I am so sorry for not appreciating all you did for me. I NOW know how MUCH you love me.” And years have past and another child has exited my body and that truth still stands. I know more and more and more of exactly what it took for my mother to do the amazing things she did…and continues to do to this day. She is STILL talented, she is STILL an unbelievable cook, she is STILL not wasteful, and she STILL is the most giving person I know. I could easily write a post on all the things I “wish were different” about my childhood, about her rules, about her in general…every child could…she by no means was perfect. However, she was perfect at one thing: setting a godly example for me in areas of service for others. I learned, by watching not by being beaten over the head with words or commands, how to “just do it” when your parents are ill and need your help. I learned from her how to be mindful of expenses in unnecessary areas of spending. I learned to cook and can and put up garden produce and clean a house and wash clothes. I learned how valuable it is to someone to just do a small act of kindness. I learned that all this “work” is service to others yes…but more importantly…”work” for our Lord’s kingdom. You see, in being who she was -not telling me who she should be- she taught me about being selfless. In being who she was -not demanding I should be just like her- she taught me that belonging to Christ meant obeying His commands to serve others. In loving her husband in the “better” AND the “worse” -not leaving because she was mistreated/under appreciated/over looked- she taught me that vows. mean. everything. and fulfilling my vow to God means fulfilling my vow to my husband. In holding me accountable for my choices -not making excuses for my behavior like “well, she is just a kid”- she taught me the value of training a child to OWN his/her choices and suffer consequences OR reap rewards for them. She very well could have spent my entire childhood VERBALLY telling me what I should do, how I should be, where I should go, or what I should believe…instead, my mother SHOWED me what to do, how I should be, where I should go, and what to believe. Showing does not require a single word. and yet I heard every single word her actions said.
Oh the wisdom we gain from time allowed. Oh the value of a mother’s love. Oh the wonder and awe of God’s plan. Oh that I too would teach my daughter with actions and not words.

So when I hear “you are so much like your mother!” I realize that some times people are referring to my loudness…or my eyes…or my bossiness (that one we are working on mom haha)…and I am prayerful that some times people are referring to my service, my sacrifice, and my love for my God -my husband -my children -my parents -and everyone I know! I will never be able to thank her enough for doing SO much teaching without ever opening her mouth! Lesson learned mom. You rock. I love you, like for real.

What do you value in your mother? Does she know this? Have you ever told her one of your favorite childhood memories of something she did? TBH, she will LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAve hearing this from you!
Maybe the woman you value most is not your mother, does this woman know how much you appreciate her? Make it a point to show AND tell her what she means to you and your life.
What lessons are you silently teaching your daughter? Be mindful your actions speak. DO so good for her that she hears your words from listening to your ways, not your voice.
All of this is written to make us think.

Free foot note:
I sing “it’s time to get up, it’s time to get up, it’s time to get up this morning!” to Autumn and Scout every now and again. I am absolutely positive that it is translated “aggravating and over-the-top” to them as well. of course, this is my motivation for it so SCORE ONE FOR THE MOM!! Bam.


Questions I ask…do you?

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“Am I in this for the right reasons?”
“What am I REALLY doing?”
“Does this even matter?”
“Will this make a difference to them?”
“What are they learning from me?”

If you are a mother, there is a really good chance you have asked yourself the same questions before. I am the first to admit that before becoming their mother…I gave like zero thought to these “types” of questions. If you’ve read “A little bit of the beginning” post on here you know that I had NO desire to be a mother. I did not grow up thinking “I cannot wait to have a baby” or “I will name my kid ____ ____” or “I want 2 girls and 1 boy!” A little more of the story of me becoming their mother is I love TJ so much that I KNEW after becoming his wife that I would quickly suffocate him. Like, not kidding, I could be in the presence of that man 24-7 and never get tired of being able to look at him. It’s sickening…you do not have to tell me. So knowing this about myself AND knowing he is NOT the same and could NOT be in my presence all the time -not because he does not love me but he has things he likes to do, places he likes to go, hobbies and such…plus he has A.D.D and cannot sit still for very long lol- I knew I needed something to occupy my time. Insert this-it’s crazy sometimes how we cannot see at the time what The Lord is doing, like I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science the week before we married. I did not have a job but was confident I would quickly land a great one. I began applying for jobs after the summer since I worked at an indoor pool facility teaching swimming lessons and water aerobics for therapy patients until September. I applied at every single place that was hiring…banks, lawyers offices, accountants offices, etc. and was not hired. This caused a great deal of stress and depression for me because I was assured in my ability and personality and intelligence. However, hindsight quickly revealed to us that there was A REASON for those opportunities not being awarded to me…and her name is Autumn Daye. Between my own overwhelming crazy love for my husband and the need to have more of him AND The Lord’s will for my life to be a wife/mother…I was convinced that I was made for this purpose. I was made to love someone else other than myself. I was made to sacrifice my own desires and goals and wants for the good of someone else. I was made to be a helper for my husband to become the man who God created him to be and the mother of his children so he can lead them in The Lord’s way as well.
What I realized:
When I (at no demand/push/desire of anyone else) made the commitment to become his wife…I made the commitment to God I would fulfill His commands to wives.
When I (at no demand/push/desire of anyone else) made the commitment to become their mother…I made the commitment to God I would fulfill His commands to mothers.
JUST as I did when I (at no demand/push/desire of anyone else) made the commitment to be His child…I made the commitment I would fulfill His commands to me as a Christian woman.

WOW. How did I miss this? How did I not know what I was REALLY DOING when I made these commitments? Being married is just for fun and to share money and to get out your parents house right?? I mean, babies are for dress up and bragging and cuddles and loving right?? Being a Christian is just believing in a guy named Jesus and doing some good stuff and going to church and not murdering, stealing, cheating kinda stuff right?

Thank God for in His time He allowed me to humble myself and accept His way over mine.

It’s natural for us to question ourselves…our decisions…our actions…our behaviors. It’s good actually. We should never get to the “place” in our marriages/parenting/CHRISTIANITY that we are satisfied with how we are/where we are. There’s always room to improve…to grow…to mature…to get better! We as women should bond close friendships to other women so that when we begin a new “stage” of life, there are those older and wiser to help us understand them and not pull our own hair out by the handfuls! I am not claiming to KNOW The Lord’s intent, but it makes sense as to why He would command that of older women for younger women. It is like He knew that it would be crucial for women to teach other women about how to be a woman in His kingdom, a wife for her husband, and a mother to her children. Who better to do that??!!!
And again…I am thankful for His time. I am thankful to be the older woman. I am thankful to be in a time of learning, growing, and maturing with/from older women of like mind and faith and to be sharing, teaching, and passing on wisdom to younger women with a desire to be a Godly woman. All while being HIS child, his wife, and their mother.

So when you begin to question yourself…for any reason with any question…remember this: there is a woman, or a group of women, whom has/have been right where you are – some will have good sound advice and other may offer a “good luck” at least. Never ever feel alone, you were never intended to feel that way. Overwhelmed – yes. Exhausted – yes. Sad – yes. Fat – yes. Gross – yes. but alone….oh NO my dear sweet sister. You are NOT alone. In any of this life junk, in any of your spiritual walk, in any of your high days and your low ones…you are not alone. To boot, you are probably NOT the first woman to ever feel, think, experience, say, react, believe, not believe whatever it is you are feeling, thinking, experiencing, saying, reacting, believing, or not believing.

This is happening. Women are rising to the call. We are focusing our attention on the importance of obedience in this call of being the woman other women need to learn from, and by doing this fulfilling His commands. There is a desperation in today’s world for us to reach out to one another — love one another — help one another — therefore passing on this obedience to our daughters and then on to theirs.

What are your questions? What are your concerns? What are your doubts? Reach out to those around you. You may be the very woman another woman is in desperate need of at this very moment. You may be the woman who is desperate for help in “now how do I fit mommy, wife, diapers, supper, clothes, house, bills, groceries, stamps, medicine, parents, and helping sister so and so out ALL IN ONE DAY???!” You may be the woman who HAS the answers. Let’s share. Let’s reach out. Let’s truly do kindness. Let’s love for real.
I challenge each one who reads this to call, text, or visit a woman -young or old- sometime this week and just say something simple like “hey, how is it going?” …just to let her know “I’m here if you need anything!” We could all use a little more of that couldn’t we?! It is amazing at the small things we could be doing for one another that would make such a BIG difference in our lives!



Soooo…whadaya do?

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Ever KNOW what God has said and just consciously chosen to do whatever you wanted anyway? Sure. We all have. So, when God says that He will do ____ when we do ____, and then we do _____, is it not only right that _____ should happen? Sure it is. And yet sometimes God shows mercy. Every breath we breathe after that wrong choice is Him being merciful. He gives us breaths to repent, ask for forgiveness, and commit ourselves to making right and obedient choices in our future.

Being a parent is SO much like that! I have been told by TJ “don’t say it if you don’t mean it” before about setting a punishment for a crime. I am the warden remember?! Being the mom and with them 99% of the day is challenging in this area because (see previous post) the “things” our children do on a daily basis can quickly get on our nerves. THE main thing TJ and I desire for our children to “get” in this parenting/child relationship we have is this:
“We are here to train you. We are to show you, guide you, point you, allow you to walk on your own sometimes, and sometimes just outright grab you by your shoulders and force you to walk in His way. You are a soul. A precious soul who sweet Jesus took those nails for, allowed His blood to be poured out for, and He is worthy of your obedience. Everything we do, every decision we make, every punishment we set is for the training of obedience of your soul to Him Whom died for it. THAT is our responsibility. THAT is what we focus on for you. SO THAT when you are making decisions completely on your own…you are making them with Him as THE Leader of your thoughts, your plans, your desires, and your choices. T.H.I.S our sweet children is HOW we show you we love you. And oh heaven stars we love you!
You as children are here to be trained to have and desire to have a relationship with your Creator. You are to be trained to be obedient and you are to receive that training with a pure and honest heart. You are to LOVE HIM with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength for ALL He has done for you. That love produces obedience. When you say you love Him, it will be by your obedience that He knows your words have value. You are to understand there are rewards for obedience and punishment for doing things your way. Your way is crap. Your understanding is crap. It is IN HIM and HIM alone that you will find peace, happiness, and salvation. You trust in you or some other created soul…you will be tormented, sad, and lost. Seek Him. Listen to Him. Trust Him. Obey Him. Bow down your face to Him. He loves you. And He has proven that. Honor that with your life.”

So…whadaya do when a punishment has been set for a certain repeated offense and then that offense is committed that next time? If you read the post “So my kids are getting on my nerves,” you will know what I am referring to here. It was the very next night…let me paint the situation for ya:
TJ was in Chattanooga for the week. It was my 39th birthday. I have been guilty in birthdays past of being consumed with “MY DAY” and this one I have been in “selfish rehab” for for a while. So I am dealing with trying to be a big girl with my most favorite person in the entire universe 4. hours. away. from me on my birthday. Hard to handle for a big fat birthday loving baby like myself just let me confess. On top of this, it had iced AND snowed the night before. We had spent the night with my brother and his family since TJ was gone and I am NOT a big panty wearing mom when it comes to being alone with her children and an ice storm threatening to make our power go out…with the growing level of irritation that exists with teenage and annoying. Orange is not my color and I feel as if I would not survive if I had to deal with ALL of this by self. Some call it being a baby, I call it being smart. My children thank me for it. So, no TJ…no getting out…no going to work/school…no sunshine…nobody going “Tressa birthday cray cray” for me…did NOT help the situation of the kids getting on my nerves. WHICH BTW, I admit AND recognize IS NOT their fault in any way. Moving on. It was late at night, I was on the phone with my precious sister in law, and Autumn and Scout begin the war of teenage vs annoying. “Stop Scout!” Scout trying to pull cover away from Autumn. “Let me lay down beside you Autie!” “Quit Scout!” Scout does not stop. “Scout, leave her alone!” I whisper while on the phone. 4 times this is repeated. 4. Remember the “if this happens again” part of the last post? Well, it happened. Surprise said with sarcasm. So, I calmly tell my sis in law “I will have to call you back” and hang the phone up and immediately a “come to Jesus” moment is occurring. Right there. In front of my sister in law and my niece and nephew (who are stair stepped in age with A and S…14, 13, 12, 11). Teenage and annoying are summoned to the couch for a “do you remember what I said would happen IF you did this again?” convo. “HOLD HANDS!” I take the picture. And then something occurred that I did not see coming. My daughter sincerely and honestly pleaded for mercy. It was not a “please please please do not do this to me mother” kind of whine. It was a “mother, let me fix this myself please and do not humiliate me in this way” plea for mercy. Her face was SO mine when I have pleaded with God for His mercy. It was a lesson to be learned FOR ME as well as a lesson to be learned by her…and Scout. After listening to her case…after knowing she sincerely asked for forgiveness and another chance to make a better choice…after hearing she would be more conscience of her actions…after seeing the fear on her face of the punishment she was about to endure…The Lord allowed me to see ME in her. He allowed me to witness me pleading my case…sincerely asking for forgiveness and another chance to make a better choice…telling Him I will be more conscience of my actions…and Him seeing the fear on my face of the punishment I am about to endure…He shows me mercy. He forgives me.
WOW. Could He have been any smarter than to make parenting in the image of Him being our Father???!!!! (note: as I am typing this and listening to a Christian station on satellite station, “Overwhelmed” just came on…tears.) I need a minute.
“I delight myself in You, in the glory of Your presence, I’m overwhelmed…I’m overwhelmed by You! God I run into Your arms, unashamed BECAUSE OF MERCY, I’m overwhelmed…I’m overwhelmed by You!”
I mean really!!!

MERCY. What a value lesson learned. For all of us. My daughter learned in that moment what MERCY looks like, she witnessed her plea and the granting of her desire to be forgiven and spared for another chance to do better. Scout witnessed the same…and yet different. He did not plea. He was granted the same mercy based on compassion. He was asked if he would appreciate the same mercy being extended to him and he (with his big overwhelmingly beautiful green eyes) humbly replies “yes m’am…please?” I learned in that moment how weak and sad and pitiful I look/am to Him when I repent and beg for mercy and forgiveness. I SAW IT. I saw the fear of the punishment, the sadness of heart, the desire for one more chance to get it right! Using my own children to show me what I need to see…How thankful I am for lessons He continues to teach me through this beautifully blessed role I have as their mother!!!! My prayer is that I never turn away from the lesson He is trying to teach me in the moment(s) I am trying to obey Him in my role as their mother…and that my children see Jesus in me as I show them compassion and mercy and love for their souls in doing for them what it takes for them to be saved. That is afterall…exactly what He did for me. “I’m overwhelmed!”

(Some things to add: my brother and sister in law were SO good to us for our “iced in” adventure! He made me peanut brittle the old school way, which is MY FAV, and she cooked me pinto beans, cornbread, turnip greens, and fried taters for my birthday dinner, which are ALL MY FAVS!!! Our kids LOVE being together and that seriously helped in being away from TJ and iced in for my birthday. They are good people. I will keep them.
TJ came home the next day and had the BEST GIFT(s) for me…a card which began with “My Wife…’it’s just another day’ you say. ‘it’s no big deal’ you say. But to me, the anniversary of the day YOU came into existence is about the biggest deal there is.” and ended with him writing “It’s your day AND mine too. Because it’s the day that God created you…for me. Sorry I wasn’t there with you on your special day, but my heart is always with you!”
He has this way about him…I totally forgot anything prior to THAT moment. He is irritating yes…but I beg for God to allow me the privilege of a long lifetime of him. Aggravation and all.)

When the moment comes to extend mercy…God asks me “soooo…whadaya do?” For every time I want it from Him, I should be willing to give it tenfold to my children. I KNOW how much I love them, and to try and comprehend that HE loves me (and them) more…unfathomable.

How thankful I am for Him.

I wish I could share the picture with you. Just know it is being kept JUST FOR ME AND THEM as a reminder of:
1) disobedience causes this
2) disobedience is sin
3) sin is ugly
4) God will grant mercy when your heart is pricked and changed
5) mother is good to you…cause you look pitiful in this picture. Gotta have a funny reminder too!

Pray for my children. And me. Thank you 😉


So my kids are getting on my nerves…

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children

If you are a mother whom has NEVER thought, felt, or said this out loud (to your BFF counts the same as if you said it to your kids btw)…you are one of 2 things:
1) a mother to imaginary children whom really do not exist
2) a mother of divine children with no mouths or eyes or hands or shoulders or feet
and since I know NOone whom fits either of the 2…your kids get on your nerves. It’s ok. Let it out. Hold your husband’s hand and say it out loud. Call your BFF and take a deep breath and just release it. Repeat after me: “my kids are getting on my nerves!”
See. The world did not stop. Time did not cease. You were not arrested. You were not visited by your local child care authorities to have your offspring taken from you.
You are completely and utterly normal. Children are challenging. Yes, I know babies are precious and toddlers are cute and kids are so enjoyable…but this post is not about that side of mothering. It is all about “I am about to make you hold hands and I am going to take a picture of you loving each other and posting it on Instagram, Facebook, AND the school website. OH, and I am sending it to your boyfriend as well. Try me. Open your mouth one more time!” kind of days. I, with a 13 year old daughter and a 23 day away from 12 year old son, am having these days like pretty regularly.
Let me clarify something real quickly…my kids have ALWAYS gotten along with one another. Autumn was 18 months old when we brought Scout home and she does not remember what life was like without him, so they have always played well together. So moms with small children and newborns…do not panic. Those children will not feel “left out” or “overlooked” – well, unless you are actually doing that to them #shouldntdothat – they will not remember MOST of being 3, 4, and 5 so try and not stress yourself too much with those “worries.” Back to my blessings, the ONE major area that I have had to deal with over and over and over again with them is Autumn is very much like a certain grown woman she lives with –not naming any names but this woman is loud, organized, opinionated, strong, confident, and “demands” the everything has its place rule– so being the oldest of the two she has a natural characteristic of being bossy. And that in itself is not the issue…it is how she sometimes forgets that SHE is NOT SCOUT’S MOTHER. And little Scout has characteristics about him that sometimes cause him to be pushed, and soft, and led, and bossed and he just takes it. He is our alien child because neither of his biological parents have those characteristics. Bless him. Example: when they were small and would play games like hide and seek or tag, all would be going well until Autumn would get found or tagged and then she would change the rules to benefit her and give her the advantage to win. Scout would never argue. He would just say “ok seeesthy” (in that sweet little voice with a touch of a lisp—God I miss that!!!). And IF he ever caught on to what she was doing, and decided he was not for the change, she would just stop playing that particular game and move on to something else. It was a win/win for her. And for Scout too because he just did as he was told. Anyone picked up on the brewing disaster I was witnessing as they were 3 & 2, 4 & 3, 5 & 4, and so on????
See we sometimes are not grasping “what” is really happening in our children’s behaviors, habits, characteristics, and attitudes. Raise your hand if you have said “they will grow out of it!” or “they are just too little to understand!” or the even famous “just let em be kids!” I have. But for the most part, I have tried to “see the bigger picture” in this whole parenting thing. I have focused on the what is to come for them…how is this going to affect their person as an adult…would this be good for him/her in the long run? I only have 18ish years to train these humans to be decent and clean and respectful…I can love them forever.
Back to the nerves issue. Being that my kids have always gotten along has spoiled their momma in the long run. I did not know that Miss Teenage grown up pants would begin to be annoyed by Mr Annoying cannot stop bothering pants. Like, blind…did NOT see that coming. Well, it did. It is here. She has outgrown him and he annoys her. And MOTHER is TiiiiiiiiiiiiiYURED of the “stop Scout!” and “get away from me you idiot!” and “come herrrrre Autie girl!” and “let me give you sugar!” and oh my heaven stars the boyfriend…the amount of annoying usage this has brought to the game for Scout is about to cause me to pull my own teeth as a distraction. AND if you only knew how I am about pulling teeth. Vomit.
It is all the time. It is every day. It is overwhelming. And yes…I realize these are first world “problems” and in all reality we have no real “problems.” But still….my chart for “tolerating this mess” is maxed. Last line filled. Over it.
I have conversed with the eldest about being patient and understanding that he is a boy and much less mature right now than she and to understand that he does not know life without his sister and her attention and having fun with her. The magical land of teenage has captured his sister. She needs to see this through his eyes in the most possible way.
I have conversed with the youngest about trying his best to respect his sister and the magical land of teenage she now resides in. I have told him to not annoy her….”when she says for you to stop–you stop.” He needs to see this through her eyes in the most possible way.
But come on…a girl trying to understand a boy and a boy trying to understand a girl…is this not what actually caused the civil war???!!!
Autumn is being trained (really, like in the best way we know how) to “see the bigger picture” of what she is doing and training herself to do when she bosses him and yells at him and belittles him. Sisters need to understand that “how” they talk to, treat, respond to, etc their brothers is setting a pattern for how they will talk to, treat, respond to, etc their husbands one day. AND by doing that to him now, she is setting a precedent in Scout’s mind for “how” a woman is supposed to talk to, treat, respond to, etc to him. I told her one time when they were smaller “Autumn, if you do not stop talking to him like that he is going to grow up to marry a woman who beats him!” Funny? yes. True? even more yes. She cannot develop traits of being bossy and nagging and demanding and overbearing (even when it is completely and totally called for) and be a submissive, obedient, patience, enduring, compassionate, long suffering wife and mother. HOW she is choosing to behave NOW will GREATLY affect HOW she will behave THEN. #thinkaboutit
The same principle is being applied to the training of Scout. He has got to “see the bigger picture” of being aggravating, and lazy, and junky, and self absorbed with “what HE wants to do.” Brothers need to understand that “how” they talk to, treat, respond to, etc their sisters is setting a pattern for how they will talk to, treat, respond to, etc their wives one day. AND by doing that to her now, he is setting a precedent in Autumn’s mind for “how” a man is supposed to talk to, treat, respond to, etc to her. I told him that he cannot develop traits of being aggravating – annoying, lazy, junky, and self absorbed and be a solid, leading, responsible, affectionate, selfLESS husband and daddy. HOW he is choosing to behave NOW will GREATLY affect HOW he will behave THEN. #itstrueladies

And…for now…in my desperate for resolve of the teenage vs annoying stage of mothering, I came to this decision this morning in my bathroom…while brushing my teeth at the same sink as teenage and annoying and after JUST hearing “you liar (teenage)” and “whaaaaaat, I didn’t do anything! (annoying) for like literally the 278th time THIS WEEK…

“When I hear ‘stop’ or ‘get out’ or ANYTHING from your sister that leads me to believe you are annoying her — which produces the bossy and demanding from her — I am going to sit you both down on the couch, make you hold hands, and smile for the camera. That picture will then be posted on Instagram and Facebook with a caption of MY choice (which only affects teenage) AND your Ipod (which affects only annoying) will be given to your sister. Do YOU BOTH understand the words coming out of my mouth?”

two rounds of spitting later…I got 2 “yes ma’ms!!”

Score one for the madre. Fist bump.
#praythisworks #justtilifiguresomethingelseout


Limited and narrow

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This was the statement that made my little mind go….”woooooooooooow!” :
“I don’t know how anybody could be happy when you are so limited and narrow!”

One would expect this of an individual whom may not know his/her Creator, one who may be full of doubt, or even one who admits to not fully understanding the word/will of The Lord right?! However, this statement came from a professing Christian. It was made by an elected Bishop in “God’s church.” It was made by an individual claiming to fully know and understand the word of The Lord and His church. It was made by a preacher of God’s word. It was made by a international teacher of the bible. It was made by an influential individual whom is forming and molding minds to believe a certain way in regards to God’s word. It was made by a leader. It was made by someone who professes to study God’s word and live according to what He has said.

Characteristics and Roles this individual holds:

*Professing Christian
*Bishop (Elder)
*Member of “God’s Church”
*Preacher
*Teacher
*Leader
*Influential
*Student of God’s word

This statement was made by a woman. Any “shock and awe” in your mind right now?
It was a result of a discussion among other women, older and younger, about the “place” or “role” of women in the church. Which led to this Bishop asking a younger woman “would you vote for a woman president?” The young lady responded with “no, I do not believe I would.” The younger woman confessed that the man is to be the head. Which obviously BLEW the woman elder’s mind. She was “seriously concerned” that younger woman in today’s world would have this view. She said (to her husband none the less), and I am paraphrasing here, “you would expect this from an older person, but in this generation where there are so many more opportunities…not expecting young women to have that type of persuasion.”

So, like normal…my mind goes into a “write this down because this is a good lesson for the younger women.” If we are taught that happiness comes from fulfillment of SELF and what WE want and being GIVEN the opportunity(ies) to do as WE please in The Lord’s church…then that is EXACTLY what we will strive to gain. We all want to be happy. Happy is good. Happy is fun. Happy is so much better than sad. Happy is where it’s at man. Happy is what we are ALL trying to be. Happy Happy Happy. And the same goes for if we are taught to be happy in The Lord, His word, His way, His instruction(s), His church, and the roles He created for us to fulfill…then that is EXACTLY what we will strive to gain.
Think: What happy are you being taught?
What happy are you seeking?

Is it easy for me to “claim” to be obedient to what God has said for me as a woman to be doing? Is it easy to for me to profess I love Him? Is it easy for me to tell everybody I that I am a “Titus 2 woman” or a “Proverbs 31” woman? Is it easy for me to look like a Christian woman? Sure it is…so does the lady bishop who made the opening statement that made me hit the rewind button like 37 times to make sure I was hearing her correctly. So…HOW do I know that I am what I claim to be/do what I claim He tells me to do?

Sweet Jesus. He tells me. He tells me exactly how to “prove” that I love Him. His sweet apostle John tells me. He tells me how I know I know Him. All of those obedient and precious and life giving apostles tell me. And upon knowing what I am told to do as a woman…if I am doing that — I am who I claim to be and am doing what He tells me. If I am doing more than he tells me…I am adding to what He says. If I am doing less than he tells me…I am taking away from what He says. So there IS a line. There are limits. It is narrow. Right?!

When I realized I was on a wide path, with many other people around me on it too, I realized I was NOT on the narrow one. I knew Jesus said something about a wide gate and a narrow path but I also felt very comfortable and safe and warm and fuzzy in the nice place I was in. I knew what He said. I knew He meant what He said. BUT (Anna, I am working on it but have NOT perfected it yet…haha) I liked the company. I liked the safety. I liked the acceptance. I liked my faith. I liked what I stood for. I liked where I was. There…I admit it. It was ALLLLLLLLLLLL about “I.” Shocking, I know. (sarcasm at its finest btw)!

So began my search for the narrow. I found limits. I found happiness. I found contentment. I found joy. I found peace. I found fulfillment. Allllllllllllll in God’s word. All in the words of God which reveal the roles that I have as a follower of Jesus, a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend, and an example. By NO means am I going to paint the picture that the journey from the wide to the narrow has been fun -or completed- because it has physically worn me out at times. I have hit the floor overcome with tears and sadness. I have ached inside for the losses I have experienced. I have mourned over the “old Tressa” being gone…I liked her so much better! Many of my sisters still say “where’s the old Tressa, she would not take this crap!” Heaven stars I am trying…I am trying. Patience.

And I am spiritually happy with that.

I am happy with the responsibility of being submissive and obedient like Jesus. I am happy with being TJ’s helper and being submissive and respectful to him. I am happy with being a nurturing and loving (don’t laugh please…yes I struggle with this one at times) mother to Autumn and Scout. I am happy with being the teacher to my daughter and other younger women of how to love her/their husbands and children, and to have the characteristics that The Lord commands godly women to have. I am happy with being the weaker vessel. I am happy with having the same title as Christ’s church…a bride. I am happy to be taught His word. I am happy to learn. I am happy to have the world call me crazy. I am happy to ask TJ to read and approve what I write before I post. I am happy to be led. I am happy to be blessed with SUCH a beautiful and unique and special place in His kingdom. See, I am learning to see “happy” the way Jesus did…and to avoid satan’s parade of pretty, easy, accepted, natural, and comfortable. The struggle is real. And if I want to be where Jesus is…I have to do what Jesus did to get there…
Submit and obey. “…yet not my will, but Yours be done.” Jesus was limited and narrow in His desire to obey His Father. His Father’s way was the ONLY way He accepted, the ONLY path He traveled.

My happiness truly—and honestly—has come from seeking The Lord’s way for me. Seeking has led to finding and finding has led to doing and doing has led to happiness. The happiness that He promises…not the world. I advise you to look up the biblical definition of happy…compare that to the human definition. Glad I did. The leader of this world is so tricky and smooth and good at deceiving me. And yet my trust is in my God…who will never deceive me but only tell me the truth. Whether I will accept it or not is totally up to me. And sometimes..honestly..I just do not want to. I want what is pretty…easy…accepted…natural…comfortable. And THIS always comes to my mind when satan leads me to that kind of thinking…SO. DID. JESUS. But His want was overridden by His obedience. “Oh, how I love Jesus!” If I truly do, if I truly obey Him and what He says, if I truly seek His will for my life, if I truly fulfill my roles in His kingdom…I will be —

Limited and narrow.