Thursday, April 24, 2008

Needed: Mother

I wrote this poem on Tuesday evening. David says I'm being way too hard on myself, which I do have a habit of doing - however, I still want to share this.

I want to share it because it really and truly described my thoughts that night. I offer it as a prayer for correction where I need it. I wonder if it will encourage my children someday when they are discouraged as parents. Maybe it will even encourage them before then that I wanted to be a good mom and am praying for God's help to do so. And, I imagine many other moms will read this and shake their heads in agreement.

Tears fell as I neared the end of the poem - it was a pouring out of my heart on paper. I hope you won't think less of me for having these struggles - but even if you do, I pray that God will allow me to look past that and be open to His correction and change in my life.



My children need a mother.
Have you seen where she's gone?
There's a woman who lives here
but it seems playing is a bore.

She'd rather keep busy
it seems much better that way.
It's either that or
have lots of fiascos each day.

You know what she means, right?
Throwing fits, undue tears, obedience often equals a fight.
Whining, no sharing and even less caring
it goes only downhill from here.

So busyness seems much easier most days
but she can't help but feel guilt in her ways.
Why can't she enjoy examining a leaf, scooping dirt or dancing around?
Why not stop to bounce the ball, read a book, everywhere opportunity abounds!

She's selfish and lazy and really - afraid.
She selfishly tries to avoid all the conflict,
she's lazy at handling it right.
And not so deep inside she knows a list of failures
will surely give her a fright.

Now, don't judge her too harshly - she loves these children to pieces
and her heart's desire is to lead them to Jesus.
She plans fun things to do, but it seems never enough.
Her head and her heart often scream, "Just give up!"
She's tired, she's grouchy and her head really aches
and it seems her littles just take, take, TAKE!

Lord, I'm glad being a mother isn't easy
or I'd forget to rely on You.
Now, Lord, I do ask that You soften my heart
and lead me in ways that are true.

I want to enjoy my children, Lord,
my failures are all I see.
My children desperately need a new mother,
Oh dear Lord, please let it be me.


PS: Today, I'm especially praying for kind words and a pleasant attitude. It seems when I'm sleep deprived and pushed at by toddlers, these things don't come as easily as they used to.

50 comments:

Meredith said...

Monica, I don't think a single one of us have escaped days when you feel like that.

You are a good mother! You can do this!

Anonymous said...

I love your poem!! I think many Mothers feel the same. I have three children...21, 15 and 3 years. Slow down...and enjoy. Monica, you are a very good Mother. Your children are very blessed. Your feelings are felt by many. You have a good heart. :o)
Thanks for sharing yourself on this blog!

TamaraP. North Carolina

stephanie said...

I think that poem captures life as a mom of littles (I have three myself) ... a good reminder to me to keep myself humble before the Lord as I get frustrated with parenting.

Tracy said...

REJOICE!!! For when you are weak, HE is strong!

Monica, my babies are 17, 15, 13, and 9. Believe me I struggled when they were younger. (I still do, but it's much lass than it used to be)

No mom is perfect. Take each day at a time, and lean on Him who is able to help you.

Anonymous said...

Dear darling daughter ~ I know you have very high expectations for yourself, but you also have very big demands on you at this time in your life! You have three precious and very young children, not enough sleep, a home to maintain, a husband to love and care for, and only two hands! You are doing a great job! I felt the way you describe in your poem many times when you and Carrie were small and wish I had done things differently ~ and look how you both turned out! Be encouraged, dear daughter ~ the season of life that you are in is temporary. Your sweet children know you love them, and though they won't remember much about these very early years, they will look back at photos and know that you created wonderful times for them. I love you ~ Mom

*carrie* said...

Monica,

Thanks for sharing these thoughts. I agree with the other women that I think we all can relate, and also that you are a great mom.

I think we have to find a balance somehow of being hard enough on ourselves as sinners that we want to do better, but not so hard that we feel too down and discouraged.

I love you!

Anonymous said...

I often think to myself there is no way I could do everything you do and even have a blog on top of all that. Your loving caring attitude comes through in everything you do. Please do not be too hard on yourself!

Jenn said...

Monica,
As a mom of 6 I can relate! Try to live in the moment. It's so easy to get caught up in day to day activities as the means to an end that we miss life in the process, at least I have felt that way in my own life. I have also used activities an an escape of sorts for myself at time.

I'm so sorry to hear you are struggling, but encouraged to see that you are seeking the Lord for direction. Balance can get easily offset, but you will find it, because you care.

Those everyday little moments, don't seem like a lot, but they add up to memories that last a lifetime. When we look back on memories, it is often those little things that we fondly remember.

I have fallen short on so many levels, so much of the time, it is downright frightening at times. I will pray for you, Monica, for peace, endurance and renewed vision. God has given your children a wonderful mother, and it is you!

Hugs,
Jenn

Anonymous said...

Hi, Monica:
I can relate to your poem... your words are all too familiar. I am such a task-oriented, check off my to-do list kind of gal that I find it hard to do the very things you mentioned - just sitting, being with my children and enjoying playing with dirt, pushing trucks over the sofa, building block towers, reading the same book for the 100th time, addressing sibling squabbles, etc. I, too, find that when I am tired, or have something else that I'm trying desperately to finish, I get short with my kids. I pray for myself and all moms who struggle with this, that we would remember that God has given us these children, and that they would grow up under our watchful, gentle care to know and glorify HIM. The children ARE my "work" and I shouldn't see them as interruptions or inconveniences. Parenting is a lot of hard work but God sees our struggles and every tear that falls. Call out to Him and He will answer. God bless you!

Kelly M.

Amy said...

Oh, Monica! I so relate to this! Although I only have two girls, I had them in somewhat close succession (18 months between), and I know exactly what you're writing about! The Lord has impressed upon me lately that I've been trying to live up to others' expectations (real and/or imagined) instead of His. The ONLY person your really have to please is HIM0--and His "burden is light"! Take comfort in knowing that you are a good mother (truly!) and that Jesus is pleased with your efforts!

wyndesnow said...

Monica,

thank you for sharing such a personal poem. I cannot tell you how many times those same thoughts have come to mind. My boys are all close in age 5, 4 and 2. And everyday in our house a new challenge develops. I find myself saying "Lord, just help me get through this day." At night I pray "Lord, thank you for helping me get through this day." And every Sunday as I sit in church, I always say "Lord, thank you for helping me through this week and please guide me through this upcoming week." These early years are hard but you are doing a great job!! Again, thank you for sharing.

Tammy said...

Oh Monica, it's like I read this post today and you and the Lord were speaking to me. My girls are 20 months apart and I feel like I rely on them to entertain each other and then get frustrated when that doesn't work out. With the warm weather outside the girls have wanted to spend every moment playing outside...and well, I just have too much to do inside. I've been feeling guilty that I've hired a 12 year old mother's helper to play with them outside for 1-2 hours here and there. This allows me to get my chores done without disruption (and so much quicker). Now, as I read your poem I kept thinking "oh, of course she is busy, oh, she shouldn't feel guilty, the kids are fine and will be fine, oh Monica, you are a great mother" Then I sort of stopped and thought, if I could only be so kind to myself. Thank you for sharing Monica. My mother's helper charges $2/hr. So, for $4 I get a lot done and best of all I do have more time to "play" when my chores are finished.
Maybe you have a mommy-in-training in your life who would be willing to play once a week?
God bless.
Tamera

Angela said...

I can so relate right now. The tears run down my face because it seems like I'm so struggling in this same area. You are a great mom, You prepare so many fun things for your family, I have been so blessed by you. The other night on a family night we went to Sonic, we were excited because there is one in our area now, we never had one before. I had my camera ready and when we pulled in I took a pic of the big sign to show we all went to Sonic-I thought of you the whole night. You inspire me to take more time for the kids, to capture even the small moments of our lives! God is using you even with your imperfectism to other moms-don't forget it. Will be praying for you at this time. Also remember having a new baby is a real challenge to the whole family for awhile but it will balance out!

Angela

Patty W said...

Monica, big hugs to you honey!

My goodness, you are way too hard on yourself! You are a busy woman with a lot on your "to do" list!

Is there someone close that can come by to help now and then? Even if it's a young neighbor girl, she could play with the girls for a bit or do some simple chores or read them a book...anything, to give you a little time.

Remember to treat yourself as well as you treat others. YOU are just as important as the others.. I know how hard that is to do, believe me, Moms always come last! (or so it seems)

I don't know how you do all you do and have a blog that is so full of good things! Maybe you need to cut back on some of the things you expect of yourself each day.

Hugs!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your poem; it really touched my heart. I don't think there is a single mother on earth that hasn't felt this way. My kids are 13 and 11, and I still feel this way! I don't know you personally, but I know from following your blog that you are a mom completely devoted to her family and the Lord. Hang in there! You are doing a tremendous job!!

~Rebecca

Who we are... said...

I understand. Mine need a new mother, too. Praying for you as you work through this, as well. Your words touched my heart on a difficult day here as well.

Katie said...

Your poem was very touching. I completely relate to all of it. I've noticed myself feeling this way often, and I feel frustrated, tired, and *short*. When my hubby is gone for extended periods of time, these feelings seem to creep in especially. If I find myself getting frustrated with the children or the other duties, I'm asking for their forgiveness (as I love them to pieces too and they are blessings!) and I find myself so ashamed and ask God to help me. Praise Him He is faithful and He knows our failures and weaknesses and that He has a plan to mold and refine us. Furthermore, I am so convicted as I'm telling my children to do things in certain ways or with certain attitudes....scriptures come to mind, and I'm thinking...boy..God wants me to do that towards Him!! Times like these, however, make me so grateful for God's mercy, grace, and love ~ and I find myself going to God asking Him to help me with issues I'm dealing with...and He does! :-) I fall so short, but God knows we all do....and He gives grace to the humble. So, I completely relate to your poem and wish I could give you a big hug. I have to say, when I visit your blog though, your genuine posts inspire me to be a better mother!! I thank God your girls have you as a mother!! :-)

Thanks for your sharing your heart.
Blessings,
Katie
2 Thessalonians 2:16

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for some time but I don't think I've left a comment. Today, I felt I had to. I feel this way often. The irony is that just yesterday while reading some of your archives I was trying to figure out how to be more like you. You have such amazing devotion to your family and the Lord. It seems that you manage to make each day a reason to celebrate life and to love and enjoy the people around you. Take a deep breath and know that this shall pass. Thank you for sharing.

Stacy

Katie said...

ooopss...meant to get verse 17 on there too. :-)

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

but since I'm leaving another comment, here's another verse for encouragement:

2 Corinthians 12:9

Jenny's Vegcafe said...

I have to admit that I don't like playing either. Not when there are dishes, laundry, etc etc etc staring at me in the face. But, I know playing is more important to them.
Hang in there. We know how you feel!

Tania said...

I admit it too. I don't enjoy playing either. But I do love to read books to the kids and I try to make a point to drop everything a couple of times a day to cuddle with them and read.

Thanks for sharing this as I just recently had these same kind of moments.

Funny thing is I just used you as an example to my sister-saying that I liked how you make extra effort to make special times with your kids. Like your tea parties and Easter Day post. I know I don't know you in person, but I sure think you do a good job from my perspective! (-:

Anonymous said...

Oh Monica you poor thing, I do remember all the struggles of being a new mom to three. It will just make you want to run screaming out the door when your husband steps on the threshold. But don't dispair you will see the challenges change. And soon your sending them on their way. Hoping wondering did you do enough? And you did! From what I see you are a very good mother, just remember to take some time to yourself to recharge! My kids are all in grade school and middle school, and I now long for the days when they were my babies! It will get better!
Kim

LynnMarie said...

Hang in there - this too shall past. I had 2 children who where in the hospital a lot, I felt like you do now. You will look back on these times and see God's grace. Hang in there.

Cheryl said...

Monica,
A big hug to you for stepping out and sharing how you feel.
My two children are 16 and 13 now and I felt as you did when they were younger. I felt the pressure of "the house has to be clean, the dinner needs to be ready for hubby when he comes home and on and on. I am a very to do list kind of person, so not getting everything done would make me feel like a failure. As the children grew, I realized, the piles of clothes that needs to be done, the dishes that need to be done, and whatever else will be there waiting for me. So, when the kids came to me and asked if we could go to the park, or play outside or read a book or have tea parties or whatever, I learned to drop what I was doing and "enjoy" being with them. It wasn't easy, but I did. They are only little once and we can never get the time with them to make those memories again.
My husband and I also realized that in order for me to be all I needed to be as a mom and wife, I needed some "down" time. Just me time to recharge and refresh. You would be surprised what a few hours would do to change your outlook. Wished I lived nearby, I would be there in a hot second so you could get a respit.
Don't be too hard on yourself. Rely on the Lord and he will give you strenghth.
Hugs to you,
Cheryl

Just Jenny said...

Monica, I have been in the same state of mind. Short and impatient recently with my sweet chldren. I have been a little blah. But found as I read my scriptures early this morning a prayed that I was inspired to make some simple changes. We all go through these stages of feeling like you are right now.You are not alone.

Just Jenny said...

Monica, I have been in the same state of mind. Short and impatient recently with my sweet chldren. I have been a little blah. But found as I read my scriptures early this morning a prayed that I was inspired to make some simple changes. We all go through these stages of feeling like you are right now.You are not alone.

Melody said...

I think being a parent is one of the hardest things I have ever done. Being a godly parent is even harder. I know exactly how you feel. I feel like I am always correcting and never playing. That there is always something around the house that needs my attention. When the biggest thing in my house that needs my attention is my children.

I am sure your husband is right as mothers we do tend to judge ourselves pretty harshly. I don't know you personally but seeing you through your blog I think you are a great mom. You have so many wonderful ideas and things that you do with your children.

Your blog has been a blessing to me and I know that God will answer your prayers. :)

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

I will certainly pray for you hon. I would think toddlers could try you on the best of days.

Anonymous said...

Monica,

I read your blog everyday, and I enjoy your ideas and thoughts. I am a mom who is on the opposite end of the spectrum from the organized mom with a spotless house. All I do is play, read, pick flowers, feed, bathe, and enjoy my one-year-old baby boy. There are days when I think I'm not accomplishing much, and I do work to keep the house half-way clean and the finances in check... However, my thoughts always go to how quickly babies grow up.

As cliche as it sounds, you will not look back in 20 years and think, "I wish my house had been cleaner." I stay home with my son to be his teacher and loving mom, not to keep a sparkling kitchen sink. From reading your blog, you are an AMAZING mother, so just slow down, take a break (enlist Daddy time!), enjoy your babies, and remember they will be grown up much too soon.

Sincerely,
Annie-Laurie

Katy said...

Oh monica...i think now would be the absolute perfect time to tell you what I think of you....
I have looked up to you soo much since I found your blog. I tell you that, not to put stress on you to feel that you have to be a perfect example, but rather to let you know that I think all the wonderful things you do for your children show them how much you love them! The tea parties...the family night's....reading with them...all the crafts and fun activities.

I think you are such a wonderful person and I am so glad God led me to your blog. I have drawn such inspiration from you!
I totally relate to your poem and constantly feel that I am never good enough and that when I am tired and worn down and don't want to "read another book"...i feel that I am being selfish.
I agree with your husband that you are way too hard on yourself and God would never desire that for you. All we can do is the best we know how and stay in continual prayer for our children.

My kids fight some days and I feel like curling up and bawling! I feel that when they don't act right...it is a reflection of my horrible parenting...and to a point, i guess it is...but i know it is also that they are kids.

I will be praying for you....i really will. And also praying for my mothering as well. We can all improve and please know that you are such a blessing to me!

Katy said...

And I wanted to add....becareful that there is no post partum stuff creeping in there! God doesn't want you to be miserable!!! xoxo

rcsnickers said...

what a beautiful prayer poem. you described me for sure. Lately I have clung to the verse "create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me." I wonder at times why my heart is so wicked? i love my children and act the opposite! i guess it shows the children that even Mom has to rely on the lord for strength and help... so do they!

thanks for sharing!

Simple Fancies said...

Oh Monica, I have a 2 and 3 year old and you have put it out here for the whole world exactly what I cray at night to my husband. I believe that so many of us feel like this. Some say occasionally but I must admit to feeling it more often than not. I love my wee ones however sometimes even think of things as an inconvienence. Then I'm on my knees, in tears, crying out to God for help and then we have a wonderful day the next day because my mind is so fresh of the day before.

I don't know you personally but on your blog you have such a wonderful spirit. Keep going.

MyHeartIsAlwaysHome said...

Oh Monica! I think you have put into words what so many of us feel. There have been many night when I lay my head on my pillow and tell my husband what a failure I am. He assures me that I am not a failure and am being too hard on myself.

I understand the stuggle of trying to do it all, and do it perfect. I juggle my daughter, home, husband and caring for my daycare children. Some days it is really hard!

I just remember in those moments when I am not my best to pray for guidance.

You are a good mother, hang in there!

Mrs Nespy said...

You can see here that we're all in this together. I love my little guy "to pieces" (to quote you), but I get so frustrated at times that I feel guilty as well. Please know that you will be blessed for raising your children to love God--even if it is not easy. They will love you for it--especially when they have children of their own and realize how much you love them and how much you did for them. I know that I have a new found appreciation for my mom since I became one.

I understand your being hard on yourself--I do it too; too often. However, you (and I) are not alone and we just need to rely on God to get us through those days. In the end, I'm told we will forget all of the bad days and just remember the joys.

gail said...

ohhhhhhhhhhh monica, i just want to wrap you up in a big hug. we all can relate. just last nite i was at my wits end with my #1 son. i really appreciated what your mom said in her post.

hang in there, God is faithful, and you are doing a good job!

gail in idaho

char said...

Monica - I am in agreement with Jenn. I also liked your poem.. and agree with the heart of it. I believe that we are not to struggle through or get through this period of our lives with the belief that we can just make it to the other side.

There should be a joy in these moments and not a longing for them to be over.

This thing called mothering is so much more than a means to an end. Our passion and devotion to our children is one expression of an outpouring of our love, devotion and passion for Christ.

So I think that the frustration that we feel is that tension between our flesh and our desire to do what would please God.

Our grief comes appropriately, but motivates us to seek Him, rely on Him and let Him be our motivation.

I hope that I am always ready to be with and help children grow in the Lord Jesus. Whether it is a child that God has blessed me with, a grandchild or any child that the Lord puts in our path.

Being all there for our families is giving them a rich deep legacy of Christ, while conveying to them that children are indeed a blessing, that they are wanted, and that God perfects us through them in our weakness.

I share your struggles (as you well know!), but most of all share your desire to struggle through them and come out where He wants us to be. I am thankful for the Refiner's Fire.

Love you char

RT said...

I'm right there with you, sister. Sometimes motherhood seems like the toughest job on the planet--there's drama, expectations, guilt, you name it. Praise God for his mercy and grace, given so freely. Praise him, too, that we love our little ones so incredibly! He is good... Thanks for being honest; sharing our weaknesses helps point others to the One who is strong.

Sara said...

Monica, I don't have children but I've always admired your ability and the fun things you do with your kids.

I also think you should jump over to Mrs. Wilt's and read this today - it will encourage you!

http://thesparrowsnest.typepad.com/the_sparrows_nest/2008/04/the-invisible-m.html

Sara

Lauren said...

Monica,

You said exactly how I feel sometimes. I have 4 kids ages 17,14,6 and 2 and we homeschool so like you I am with them 24/7. I love being with them but there are times I need "me time" and I don't think that is selfish at all. God wants us to take care of ourselves so we can take care of others. I can tell you are a terrific mom!! You are right God wants us to lean on him for guidance and rest. I can relate about you keeping busy because I have noticed if I leave my little ones home with the teens my house is TRASHED when I come home! So it seems ongoing maintenance works. I too want to try to stop and smell the roses instead of thinking what I need to do next. It will get easier as the little ones are able to do more for themselves. Hang in there :o)

Anonymous said...

I feel the same way! I would have had no idea you were feeling this, because sometimes I read and see the fun things you are doing with your children and feel guilty that I am not doing the same or that I don't enjoy playing with dinosaurs, etc.
I have heard from older moms that we should take time for our little ones though, because the laundry will always be there, but the children will not always be small. I certainly don't want to be all 'Cats in the Cradle' with my kids, but I definitely struggle for balance.
Thank you for sharing your heart. Elise

Rachael said...

Hi Monica, I have been reading your blog daily for sometime too. I felt JUST LIKE THAT last night. I absolutely crashed in a huge pool of tears, my hubby didn't know what to say. We have four girls,ages 9, 8, 5 & 2, with a little boy due in 3 mths time (yay!) we also homeschool, so I am just feeling at the end of myself at the moment. My husband is an elder in our church and they are dealing with some very difficult stuff at the mo. Anyway, your poem describes right where I am at.

Lots of hugs.
Rachael

Liz said...

Hi Monica,

You are so sweet and hard on yourself (aren't most mothers - I thought it came with the job!) I have 4 kids and I can tell you when I had 2 toddlers and a newborn it was the most physically challenging and exhausting period of motherhood. You will cross this bridge and things will look better on the other side. Going from 3 to 4 kids is not that hard, but for some reason going from 2 to 3 is overwhelmingly the hardest transition. We always heard that it is because you are going from "Man on Man Defense to Zone Defense" and that is a different style of parenting! You are doing amazing - BELIEVE me - I have been there!
Elizabeth

Anonymous said...

Oh, Dear Sweet Monica:

Your poem describes every mother at one time or another, I think, but I agree that you are much too hard on yourself. You have very high expectations and the demands on you and your time are humongous in this season of your life.
I agree with everything your mother said & all of the other comments too. You are a WONDERFUL little mother. You should know how much I brag on you!
Please try not to expect so much of yourself. You are doing WAY MORE than most people with your responsibilities. And remember, God understands your situation. He knows your heart & your deep desire to please & serve Him and He will honor that desire.
Remember Lamentations 3:22-23
Thank you for sharing your heart. I will know better how to pray.

I love you dearly, Grandma

Grace said...

Monica! I can't write much more then has already been written. Just know that I am going through the exact same thing and I don't do nearly as much as you do with your children. Most days I see my children as an inconvenience and then night comes and another day has passed and I will never get it back. and I feel like a big old failure. I don't have any advice because I haven't figured it out for myself yet. again hugs and know that you are not alone.

Christy said...

Oh yes, Monica. I have those same feelings. Sounds like many of us do. Sometimes I wonder what's wrong with me ... why I don't enjoy playing with the kids.

What helps me the most is to set aside some alone time, specifically to be filled with God. Then from His overflow I am able to pour out to my family. For a season, every Tuesday night I took my Bible and journal and concordance (no laptop) to a coffee shop and just delved in the Word for two hours. For a season, I got up an hour before the kids and prayed and read my Bible. And every now and then (once or twice a year), I go away alone for a weekend and use that time to open up my heart to God and pour myself out to Him ... and He pours Himself out to me. Occasionally (but rarely) I was able to find someone to watch the children for a morning/afternoon/day and I would go to the park and take a book, my journal, a Bible, etc.

I still struggle with feeling guilty for taking time away from my family, but it reaps renewal and peace for all of us!

Another thing that has really helped is praying WITH my husband regarding our children.

And lately, I'm trying to practice smiling at my kids ... when I talk to them, when I look at them as I pass through a room where they are playing, etc.

Blessings to you. I received much encouragement from your post and from fellow commenters. Thank you for being vulnerable and real. Hugs.

Amy said...

Monica-

I know, I know, I know. I have felt this in more ways than I can count. All I can say is that I love you, my friend, and am always amazed at what a great mother you are. It is normal to feel this way, especially as a new mommy. Please take to heart that we all love and support you!

Caroline said...

Dear Monica,
You don't know how much your willingness to be vulnerable is a gift to other mothers. God is using you in so many ways. I can tell you are doing a great job with your precious little ones. I have learned that it is important for your children to be able to see you when you're vulnerable, too. It's okay to let them know that mommy sometimes gets tired, cranky, frustrated, depressed, etc. Even very small children can use this as an opportunity to minister to mommy. I can't tell you how many times I've had to just lie down in bed and rest and my sweet child has brought me a cold, wet cloth to place over my eyes. He knows this always helps me feel better when I have a headache. Sometimes he's just brought me whatever he thinks I need, like a banana, a yogurt, a bottle of water. Don't try to keep up a "super mom" facade for anyone. You are in my prayers. Blessings to you and your family!

Susana said...

Hi,

Keep your chin up, you can do it!

I wonder if you'd enjoy my poems about motherhood?
http://homespunprose.webs.com

Thanks for being open and honest and making yourself vulnerable.

God Bless you!

Anonymous said...

I love reading your blog and was reading some of your older posts and stumbled on this poem. I believe God led me to this very poem because I have been feeling the exact way lately. I have 3 kids and one of them is a difficult toddler that doesn't like routine like her mother. :)Your blog is so encouraging and I just want to thank-you for being such an inspiration! God bless your family! Kristin