WFMW: Mother’s Day Free Printables

Mom doesn’t expect the perfect gift this year. She would trade pearls for a macaroni necklace, a breakfast at Tiffany’s for paper napkins and a messy kitchen. She is hoping for a little bit of quiet, a lot of harmony and chocolate. Still looking for a thoughtful, inexpensive gift? Check out these free printable ideas!

Cute photo gift ideas:

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The Advice that Changed the Way I Mother

It wasn’t a deep meaningful conversation.

I don’t even know her well.  We were just chatting, watching our kids interact. You know how moms can have nothing in common, but talk about everything, sharing the thread of motherhood…

I don’t really know what she believes or what she dreams of or if we’ll ever talk again.

But I will never forget her words.

She looked at me and asked, “Do you know what your kids really want from you?”

Cell phones, I said and laughed.

This mother looked in my heart and her eyes filled, “We spend a lot of time trying to figure out what our kids want and need in this life.”

I thought of how often I try and figure out what’s really wrong. When my kids were babies I spent countless hours and gobs of energy trying to discern hunger from exhaustion. Now that they are older, it’s such an emotional relationship. How do I help them with their friends? She is hurting, what can I do? He needs confidence, how do I instill it? The questions are endless.

I waited for her answer.

“Your kids want you.”


“When they say ‘Mom, watch me’, they just want you. When the pull you away from your current distraction, it’s you they want.”

And then the conversation was over. But the awakening in my heart had just begun.

There was such freedom and conviction in her words. My kids don’t need to me fix their problems, they don’t need me to provide more stuff or help them try and keep up with everyone else. How often do they just want me to stop what I’m doing and pay attention? Be present in the moment.

They need me, but even more, they need Him. I need Him because this mothering thing is awesome and hard.

When I look back, I won’t remember the days. I will remember the moments. And I’m thankful for that because there are days I don’t want to remember!

I want to remember the drive on the way to school this morning. The way she laughed. The moment she opened up and shared her heart. The way our hearts connected. The rest of the day-the eye rolls and loud sighs-the ups and downs that have already come, are just part of this job.

Instead of asking myself Is her room clean? Did he ace that test? I’m asking: Did I connect with them in a way that I will remember 20 years from now? Did I listen when she called my name four times? Did our hearts meet for a brief moment? Did he know that even when I couldn’t fix the problem, I was there?

Because the hard days, the challenges in this mothering thing are a given. They are at every turn and easy to find. It’s the connected moments I want to look for, the treasured seconds when we stopped everything and just love each other–that’s what I want to capture.

This Mother’s Day, I’m giving myself a gift. I’m letting go of some of the pressure and the guilt and the “I should haves.” I have one goal: to connect with my children on a heart level every day.

The rest is gravy.

Six Quick Things

Two posts in one day?
I know. Cool.
I also have a tattoo. (My mother-in-law still doesn’t know. No Internet at their farm, plus there’s always socks.)

  1. I wrote about shutting my big mouth over at (in)courage today. I’m on a word fast.
  2. I spoke at a women’s event in Dallas on Monday about God-sized dreams. They blessed Mercy House with a God-sized offering and we nearly sold out of product.  My big kids and hubby ran the table while my youngest ate people’s left-over cupcakes right off their plates.
  3. We played hooky at the Great Wolf Lodge (our first visit-loved it!)
  4. Mercy House t-shirts (women’s v-neck) are on sale for only $10 (while supplies last)
  5. My Blessings Unlimited Store (sidebar) is having a very fun Spring sale (up to 75% off)
  6. A few weeks ago, my hubby (@nascardad on Twitter) cashed in his Christmas Groupon gift from me and raced around the track at crazy speeds. He’s hot.

That is all. Y’all have a happy weekend.

Date night is happening for us. What do you have planned?

Life is Full of Music

I hear the stray notes everyday. She plays scales so high my ears ring. She feels the music deep. Her flute a constant.

He hunts the keys on the piano. He has music in his bones, searching for the harmony.

She bangs out her own chords and lives in crescendo.

We search for melody.

I didn’t know I would raise musicians. I didn’t know their making of music would make me.

It’s hard not to cringe at the off notes in life. The long days when you feel so out of tune as a mother. Nothing is harmonious: the kids nitpick, the biscuits burn, the dog carries mud, the marriage limps along on a difficult day.

But somehow, someway He turns the noise into music.

Her ear-splitting scales create the breathtaking notes that becomes Sonata, a masterpiece.

His hunt and peck of the keys are practice being made perfect, a recital in-the-making.

These off notes are choreographed into the symphony of our lives. When singled out, they don’t sound right or make sense. The up days when everything flows, mix with the down days when nothing goes right. It mirrors the staff on a sheet of music. Up and down. Down and up.

But when all our days are woven together, they are music.

And I know this to be true: God is God in the high spots–just as He is God in the low places. He never changes. He is the constant.

It’s all music to Him.

Life is a concert.

Play for the audience of One.

WFMW: Closet Organizing Tips

I’m in Spring cleaning mode.

The other day I realized that nearly every space in my life was a mess–from my garage to my car to the yard.

I’m tackling one space at a time. I’m not on a perfection hunt, just a this is better than before state of mind.

So far I’ve managed under the sinks, the yard and a partial garage-I know– and the linen closet. I am woman, hear me roar.

We are going on nine years in our house. By most standards, we have plenty of space, but most of our spaces are full. I’m working on that.

My biggest challenge are the closets and hoarding. Ok, I just kidding about the hoarding, but do any of y’all have kids who are savers? Mix that in with toys (we don’t have a game room), clothes and my daughter’s love of shoes and we have issues.

I dream of closet organization like this. Don’t we all?

Simple tips to closet organization: (I’m saying this out loud so I will be accountable. Ahem).

  • Clean it out: don’t be afraid to toss or donate-if you haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it
  • Everything has a place: label shelves, color-code hangers, whatever helps little eyes remember where things go
  • Cubbies and containers are your friend. Baskets work too.
  • Go vertical: add extra shelving around the top of the closet for more space
  • Store clothes, toys, keepsakes in a separate space. Keep closets for practical, everyday use

Organized closets work for me!

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