REAL mom Wednesday

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You know you are a REAL mom when…

*you’re kids are playing so well together outside on a gorgeous afternoon but you tell them to come in and watch tv because the yard guy decided to come and spray.šŸ˜”

I can’t say I didn’t want to say some choice words to the guy or at least point out that they were playing so peacefully in the sunshine. Oh well. Here’s to the rainy day today and all the inside play time my kids get to havešŸ‘

Part of our story

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Today I was walking into the gym with Nora by the hand, Bennett on my hip, and my belly bulging under my shirt. It was very reminiscentĀ of the days just before Ella joined our family (minus the “working out” part of course) and I was reminded yet again to not pray for the life I want but the life God knows I need.

Most of my friends know this but I’m not sure how many people outside of them do. When I found out I was pregnant with Ella I cried. Not happy tears but tears of what the heck??? See while I was pushing out Cooper I declared (in my headĀ of course) that I was never going to have another baby ever again. Yep. Out loud it sounded more like “lets wait a few years and reevaluate where weĀ are”, but I was donesky. Because, you see, we were dirt poor since I had quit my job to stay home with my babies not too long before that. We weren’t struggling but things were tight. Very tight. And I wanted a more relaxed life, not counting our pennies in and out so carefully (looking back these were some of the sweetest days ever). Maybe a life with more vacations and nicer stuff and new clothes every once in awhile.

Fast forward many years and more babies later. Here I sit living the life I never prayed for but would never trade for the world. Seriously. It’s simply the craziest, most humbling, exhausting, best thing I never knew I needed. And if it weren’t for God knowing what life would humble and sanctify me the most, I wouldn’t be able to share this next story becauseĀ Ella (none of our other wonderful kids after her) would exist.

Garrett and I have prayed for big things for our kids (and little things, don’t think we haven’t/don’t pray for more sleep or better attitudes). We have prayed and talked to them about loving Jesus and what he’s done for them. We talk regularly withĀ them that Jesus is a friend to sinners and a friend to those who the world says aren’t worthy of friendship and even a burden to this world. We have prayed that they would be a friend to those people because of Matthew 25:40 “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”

Anyway, a few weeks ago Ella’s preschool teacher shared with me about what a wonderful friend she is, especially to a little boy in her class named Evan. Evan is completely wheel chair bound and has delays and can’t verbally communicate. He has an aid with him who takes care of all his needs.

God has given our Ella the sweetest, most nurturing heart (maybe not so to her siblings or always to her cousins…she is still a work in progress, right?šŸ˜‰ ). Her teacher explained that most kids in their class are apprehensive around Evan but Ella is his best friend. She talks to him like a peer and plays with him and can now tell when Evan is getting a bit overwhelmed in class and needs to be left alone. She genuinely loves being his friend and told us all about Evan and didn’t mention anything to us about him being different except he didn’t eat snack with them every day.

God has given her a heart to just see people for who they are and that they have value. God is already answering the prayer that she would be a friend to the outcast.Ā If God had answered my prayer for a more comfortable life overĀ five years ago, I wouldn’t have this to share but I might have fewer ruined things and fewer stained clothes and a cleaner car. But all the praise to God that He knows what I need before I even knew I needed it! Praise God that He can see my own selfishness and need to be softened in ways I didn’t think I needed to be so I could see His command at work in the lives of all my children. Because, trust me, there are endless stories of how awesome the kids God has given us are and I only share any of them because it is truly the work of God in His goodness and kindness, and not us as parents.

So pray for the life God wants for you because His will is better. And if God gives you children, pray the big stuff and pray it hard because He hears the cries of us selfish parents but He knows better than us what we needĀ becauseĀ isn’t that true of any truly, good father?

“And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, ‘Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:2-4

 

REAL mom Wednesday

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You know you are a REAL mom when…

*Monday was a MONDAY.

This past Monday all my kids had school off. Monday is typically my run errands with the babies day to get us going good and strong for the week but it was going to end up being take all six kids with me to run errands to make sure we have food to eat.

BUT, the catch was I had to go in to do my three hour glucose test. Bleh! It always leaves me feeling pretty crummy for the rest of the day but a mom’s got to do what a mom’s got to do. (I know, I know. I could have said no to the order or asked for something else to be done but sometimes I feel like things just aren’t of enough importanceĀ (for me at least) to raise a stink on every little thing. You do you on this issue and I’ll keep on chugging the nasty, sugary drink.)

By the time I arrived home the crummy feeling had well settled in. Garrett was making breakfast burritos, which was awesome but I ended up frantically cleaning up the kitchen as the baby was screaming (he needed a nap) and trying to round up all the kids on a beautiful day to make the trek to Costco. We made it though!

By the time we got home, I was shoveling food in my face because #lunchat2:30. Nora had an appointment to get her mullet trimmed (seriously, mom’s trim your child’s mullet. No one thinks it cute even if you are doing it for the sake of growing their hair out. Cut it. It looks awful. And don’t get all sentimental about it because it’s just hair. Kapeesh?).

I digress…we get to the hair salon 10 minutes late because #sugarcrash #toomanykidstobuckle #notenoughcaffeine. I won’t explain how it happened but the moment I got all the kids out of the van my entire purse with my chapstick, phone, and wallet were locked inside. Thankfully it is a friend who cuts our hair so she actually still cut Nora’s hair and then the kids and I walked around NewBo for about 2 hours waiting for Garrett to come rescue us.

The thing is he had forgotten his phone in his car so he didn’t get my voicemails asking for help until a loooooooong time after I left them. And sadly, his is the only number I can remember and I’m cheap and wasn’t about to call a locksmith when I knew my hubby would rescue us. But in true Hufford fashion we looked like white trash since two of my kids were in snow boots (who doesn’t wear brand new snow boots with the tags on, on a 60 degree day in October???), the baby was covered in chocolate (thanks to the giant brownie we bought using the money Eden had in her purse), I was covered in Nora’s hair trimmings, and Nora was without shoes but refused to sit in the stroller.

The kids and I sang all the jolly phonics songs we knew and we talked about what we were going to do if daddy never came with the spare key (we were going to get jobs at the coffee shop and popcorn place and rent an apartment and forever live in NewBo district).Ā All in all it wasn’t bad. It was just a normal day in our lives.

Stuff our family loves

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I am always on the hunt for stuff other people love for their families. So I thought maybe it would be fun to share what we love and use in our home. We have so many different organizational systems, cleaning systems, meal planning, and food storage that I would love to share but I’m going to start with what is most important at our home…Jesus!

We have used many different tools to help teach our kids about Jesus, knowing it is ultimately God who will choose to turn their hearts to him. BUT, here are some books and such that we have loved (and even had to replace because we love them so much).

  1. The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His NameĀ  – Ā This was one of the first non-gift Bible we ever bought our kids years and years ago. It was a game changer. No more corny stories or unbiblical truths that we had to manipulate. Straightforward stories that show us the love God has for us and the plan He put forth, even in the old testament which is hard for adults to grasp and even harder for children.
  2. My 1st Book of Questions and Answers Ā – Ā I tacked this book on to an Amazon Prime order a couple of years ago. We were looking for an easy way for our kids to learn the basic catechism, since it is rich with information that all Christian’s should know. It was recommended by John Piper and RC Sproul, so I knew it was something we had to get. Since then I have ordered all the other little books for our kids. We go through this usually at dinner on nights when it seems we can handle the fun (yes, it’s fun!) and actually answer the questions.
  3. Ronnie Wilson’s Gift Ā – Ā We actually bought our kids all three of Francis Chan’s children’s books last year for Christmas. But, Ronnie Wilson’s Gift is my absolute favorite. I can’t get through reading it without shedding tears of joy over God gently reminding me that doing something for the “least of these” is doing something for Him. We don’t have to be doing something flashy or overseas for God to see our hearts of compassion for others. I love that this book gives the parents the opportunity to share the gospel story and not rely on prewritten text.
  4. Dangerous Journey: The Story of Pilgrim’s Progress Ā – Ā Pilgrim’s Progress is a book that I feel like every Christian is told to read…but I haven’t read it. I know. I should. But I have read the kid’s version several times. It opens them up to a lot of questions and exposes them to true underlying sin. I know not all our kids understand, but it is a great place to be speaking the truth that following God’s path is not easy, in fact it’s quite hard, but God will be with you through each tumultuous turn. (I just bought the pre-teen version of this book this summer that we will be reading soon.)
  5. Chalkboards Ā – Ā Give me all the chalkboards. For real. These have been a wonderful addition to our home’s decor. We tend to write verses or hymns on them that we want to surround with. The main one we have in our kitchen has our family’s mission statement on it right now (Grow to know, love, and serve God with everything you have.). We try and have our kids memorize some very basic scripture in hopes to have it written on their hearts for them to lean on as they grow. God’s Word is so important and there are things we can teach our kids (the importance of regular bathing, teeth brushing, butt wiping, and reading and knowing God’s Word).
  6. Prayer Ā – Ā This one seems so simple but it is so hard for me personally. Not because I don’t see the value in praying but because I know God has ordained the days of my kids lives and I know that I’m just a tool He is using. Anyway, I’ve been feeling the weight of my lack of deep praying (I’m good at the surface stuff or the immediate stuff), so I’ve been praying through scripture. If I don’t have the words…GREAT! God does! Just open up His Word and not only does He tell us how to pray, there are AMAZING prayers already written. So, pray the big prayers for your tiny people. We have seen God answer prayers for our children that bring tears to our eyes because of the kindness He has shown us by answering them when they are so little. So, pray, pray, pray. Pray the important, big prayers.

We have a bunch of other books that we have liked but they aren’t necessarily the things our family reaches for on a regular basis (yet). We also think a valuable resource for us as a family is just good old fashion opening of our Bibles and praying with our kids. Nothing fancy and easily doable.