Posts tagged #family

Why Entrusted?

entrustedwithachildsheartparentingclass

I took Entrusted with a Child’s Heart a little over 7 years ago. So much has changed since then.

I was a young, new mom with one child-- a sweet little 12 month old boy. I had chosen to pause my career to stay home with him, and we spent most of our days building forts, taking walks, and dancing to the karaoke channel On Demand.

I remember realizing when he was born that, for me, being a mom was much more natural than I’d ever anticipated. I just seemed to know how to hold him and how to comfort him, and other than having absolutely no clue how to change a diaper, the rest fell into place pretty easily. But I also felt a great weight of responsibility for his soul, and for the kind of man he would grow up to be. As easy as it was to calm a crying infant, I knew that it would not be so easy to navigate the waters of parenthood that would surely deepen as his needs became more complex and I had to teach him about the world beyond our four walls.

Entrusted was recommended to me by a couple of women at my church, so I signed up that September, knowing I would need the teaching for the years ahead. The next 9 months gave me a foundation of wisdom and deep friendships with Godly women that have lasted to this day.

Today, that baby boy is an 8 year old young man, whose two huge front teeth show up in a giant goofy embarrassed grin if you ask him about girls. He’s silly, and sweet, and sometimes angry, and curious, and loves to read, and hates spelling. He has a 6-year-old sister, an almost-3-year-old brother, and a dog. When I took Entrusted the iPhone wasn’t invented yet. Can you imagine? In the tips in Betsy’s class, she talked about printing out driving directions! And now, my son uses Siri for a dictionary.

The world, and my world, has changed so much in 7 short years.

I’m not the young mom anymore who can stay in pajamas and snuggle the day away. We don’t have much time for playing or dancing anymore. It’s moments like this that you realize how precious that time was, and you regret how the busyness of life and the need to get it all done has trumped the fort building and the story reading and the playing at the park. He has school, and homework. I have a small business I’m trying to build. We have swimming lessons, and baseball practice, and birthday parties, and house projects. There’s the ever-present pull of our to-do list. It changed in a blink.

What doesn’t change is the foundation.

I looked back tonight through my Entrusted class notebook with a sense of wistful nostalgia and a renewed sense of urgency about the three hearts I’ve been entrusted to raise. Am I the mom I set out to become? I was surprised to see notes about things I have held so tightly for so long that I forgot where they came from. Biblical principles that I learned how to put into practice in that class, now so ingrained they’re like second nature.

parentingclass.jpg

I’ve clung to Christ and his word as the authority in our home. I try to make my marriage a priority. I’ve chosen a career that will allow me to work on my own schedule, and to be present in my home. Betsy encouraged us to define our non-negotiables, and though I’ve never done anything perfectly, I’ve tried my best to stick to them. In that regard, I’m encouraged to see I’ve stayed on course.

But I’m also convicted, as I read through the notebook, about all the time I’m spending doing, and not just being. Being with my kids, being in the word, being still and savoring God. How can I not be making time for playing and dancing with my 8 year old?

Looking through the class curriculum, the reminder is overwhelming: “Every Day Counts!” That message is on the book cover, and the wisdom that unfolds throughout is all about how high the calling of wife and mother is, even in a world that tries to devalue those roles more with each passing minute. It’s a practical blueprint about how to be an intentional mom. About how to not have a child-centered home (we should have a Christ-centered home), yet still make one that celebrates and nurtures your children to the fullest. It was a good gut-check for me to be reminded of the things I learned, and to reshuffle the priorities on my to-do list.

The Entrusted class isn’t something you take once and forget. It’s a foundation for a faithful journey through motherhood, one that I’ll always be grateful for.

 

Posted on April 15, 2015 and filed under Building Your Family.

Creating Memories of Dad

Sadly, my father passed away when I was pregnant with my first child. Obviously heartbroken, I was determined to help my children experience as much of their grandfather as I could summon. One undeniable fact about him: my dad had great style.

 

Whatever the occasion, he was prepared and dressed appropriately. So when I found out I was expecting a son, I chose five favorites from my dad’s dress shirt collection. I didn’t know exactly how I was going to utilize them, but I knew I had to have a touch of my dad’s style in the baby’s nursery. A pillow case turned out to be the best use for those stylish threads.

I am a novice seamstress, so typically I see a picture or get an idea in my head, and just figure it out as I go. Thankfully, this is one of the easiest projects I’ve tackled.

how to sew pillows from mens shirts

Simply buy a pillow form, remove the shirt's pocket, cut the shirt into two squares—making sure to leave a 2-inch border around the pillow for sewing. Next you turn the squares inside out and sew three sides together. Turn the pillow case over, insert the pillow form, and sew the final side. (More detailed pillowcase sewing tutorials can be found on the web.) I am in the process of embellishing the light blue pillow with ribbons. Many fun details can be added should a simply-patterned shirt be chosen.

A couple of tips about this project:

  • Leaving the button seam as a detail allows for a washable slipcover!
  • Resew the pocket onto the front to place sweet notes in for your child.

Fast forward a bit… I am now expecting my third son and I love having a keepsake of my father’s style for each of my boys. When I see the pillows, it reminds me to talk about my sweet dad. I intend someday to put memories of him in that front pocket, and to encourage my kids with something my dad would love about them.

I will also admit that I am looking forward to the day I bring home a baby girl and I get to make her a little dress out of one of Dad’s shirts. Until then, I will cherish every tickle match that occurs on the fabric of those treasured pillows.

Posted on March 5, 2015 and filed under Building Your Family.