Friday, October 21, 2011

More than words...

Sometimes song lyrics can describe where we are at so much more than we are able to ourselves. Here's my song of the week, month, year..... ;-) The video is embedded to the right.

Father, let the world just fade away
Let me feel your presence in this place
Lord, Ive never been so weary
How I need to know youre near me
Father, let the world just fade away

Till Im on my knees
Till my heart can sing
He is
He was
He always will be

Even when it feels like there is no one holding me
Be still, my soul
He is

Father, let your Holy Spirit sing
Let it calm the storm inside of me
As I stand amazed
Lift my hands and say

He is
He was
He always will be

He lives
He loves
He's always with me

Even when it feels like there is no one holding me
Be still, my soul
Through every fear
And every doubt
And every tear I shed
Down every road
Im not alone
No matter where I am

He is
He was
And He always will be

He lives
He loves
He's always with me
Even when it feels like there is no one holding me
Be still, my soul
Be still, and know
Be still, my soul
He is

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Summa Time and the topics are Rough!

I can't believe that it is almost the middle of August as I am writing this post. I feel like the past two months have literally flown by! We have been so busy with birthday parties, story time, play dates, swim lessons, and did a mini vacation to Great Wolf Lodge.

It finally hit me the other day. I am going to be sending my baby away to "school" in about a month. The preschool decision was a BIG one for me. As a teacher I understand the importance of learning young, but as a mother I long for more years of not worrying about anything beyond scraped knees and princess overload. Being home this past year taught me a couple things though.

1) I cannot be mother and teacher to my child. I am not against homeschooling, but that will not work for our family. At least not with Johanna, and not right now. We did a lot of homeschooling preschool activities and when it came to anything but crafts, we about killed each other. We are WAY too much alike and I admit that I am way to hard on her when she doesn't do something to the best of her abilities. When she isn't trying her best I want to discipline her as her mother not as her teacher. A teacher has a greater buffer zone than a mother which I think will be really important for Jo's personality. Just not for us.

2) Now, I know that she would be fine even if I kept her home with me and didn't focus on anything educational for the next year. She could enter Kindergarten the following year and be perfectly on track. However, is that REALLY what is best for her. I had to face the fact that doing that would set her up to face challenges that she shouldn't have to face and would be better conquered in a smaller classroom environment- i.e. preschool. We are not talking ABCs here people. She's known those since she turned 2. We are talking life and social skills. Let's face it, my child is an only child with a very strong personality. She knows what she wants and she is more than capable of communicating that to you in a timely and articulate fashion! She is an excellent leader and has a heart that wants to make everyone around her happy. The problem is that in the "real world" you don't always get to be the line leader. You don't always get to answer every question that the teacher asks. Sometimes you have to tow the line. But, I want her to learn to do that without compromising her strength. I have learned this is something I cannot teach her myself. She needs some life experience with a class full of 14 other bright children who also want to be the line leader and answer every question. She needs to learn how to handle those situations and to do the right thing even when Mommy isn't standing right there.

I visited several preschools after doing copious amounts of research. The last one we visited was Beginnings Christian Day School. Johanna and I prayed before we went in for the appointment. Johanna asked, "Why do we need to pray, Mommy?" I told her, "This is a really big decision for Mommy and I need to know that we are doing the BEST thing for you in Jesus's eyes." I quietly prayed that if this was the place Johanna was meant to be that I would feel completely sure about it when I left THAT DAY.

I wish I could describe the difference between this visit and the others. All the schools had been very nice, with nice facilities and teachers. However, this place was just different, in a good way. Not only were the teachers friendly and qualified (Johanna's teacher has her master's degree), but somehow it felt like family. These were people that I would totally hang out with! The school was a perfect fit for Johanna, and I felt sure about it before I walked out the door (dragging my child because she didn't want to leave!). It was the kind of peace that you know can only come from God, especially for us worry-wart moms! Another visit later with Dad (who needed to see for himself!) and we were registered. The teacher side of me was excited to get her into their pre-kindergarten class which uses the kindergarten A Beka curriculum which I know is challenging. Johanna is already reading so I wanted a program that offered challenging academics for bright kids as well as a comfortable, family and Christ-focused social environment.

I would be lying if I said that I didn't ever have "oh-my-gosh-what-am-I-doing" moments about her going to school everyday. BUT, when I stopped to pray about why I was feeling that way I discovered something worth writing about. I realized that I didn't question whether or not this was the best decision for Johanna. I was worried about what other moms would think of me for sending my only child to this program. THIS IS A PROBLEM. Parenting is difficult enough on its own without having to worry about what other people think. Why is it that some Moms seem to get it in their head that what is best for their family should be best for every family? I have absolutely NO JUDGEMENT on moms who choose to parent their child differently than mine. Homeschooling, private school, public school, spanking, time-outs, co-sleeping, or cry-it-out. I say whatever works for your family- go for it! I guess I have to admit that I do judge parents who I feel aren't meeting the basic needs of their child- food, shelter, love, etc. However, who am I to tell you that my way of meeting my child's needs is the best way?

3) Unfortunately, I feel like this is a huge problem within the capital C church as well. I know SOOOOOO many moms who have been turned off to God because of how His children have acted. I certainly have my opinions about things like vaccination, schooling, and discipline. I will even share those opinions with you if you ask. HOWEVER, they are just opinions and are never more important than someone establishing a personal relationship with their creator. Pretty sure when we die, God won't ask whether or not we vaccinated or if we sent our kids to public school before we are permitted to walk on the streets of gold. I encourage those of us who are already His children to not cripple our testimony by being "IN YO FACE" about things that do not matter in the light of eternity.

Being a mom is about doing what is best for your children and that can look 100s of different ways. The bottom line is that moms need support. We need support from other moms. So, let's all lay down our battle axe, pick up the white flag, and call a truce.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

30 things I learned by 30

I figured my 30th birthday would be a good time to reintroduce myself to the blogging world. Oh blog, how I have missed you. It has been a long time.

I have to admit that I am sort of nervous about reentering this world. This has previously been a fun outlet for me (and a great way to keep friends/ relatives updated on miller life), but there are some things in life that are just too difficult to write about. So, we will just skip over all that stuff and get back to our regularly scheduled fun and poor attempts at sarcasm and humor :-)

So, without any further ado- 30 things I learned by 30:

1. Trampolines are fun no matter how old you are

2. I TOTALLY take back all the times I didn't want to nap when I was younger

3. Anytime that I decide to stay up late to do something fun, my child will either 1)wake up needing something right after I actually go to sleep or 2)think that 6:30 a.m. is breakfast time. Probably both.

4. It's ok if someone doesn't like me and has no bearing on how I feel about myself.

5. There is a lot that I DON'T know

6. Good intentions don't always yield good results and they don't justify bad decisions

7. What I want isn't always (or even usually) what God wants for me. Thankfully he knows better than I do. I have to remind myself of this everyday.

8. Take a deep breath- Nothing is as big of a deal as it seems to be at the moment.

9. Gilmore Girls is AWESOME and can always make me smile.

10. Sometimes you have to give yourself a break. Each situation has a good, better, and best action. Sometimes all I have in me is to accomplish "good" and that is ok.

11. All natural peanut butter rocks my world

12. Being a parent is the greatest blessing and the most difficult job EVER.

13. The things that frustrate me most about my child are things I dislike about myself

14. Don't buy cheap paper towels- It's not worth it.

15. Really true good friends are few and far between and they are a blessing from God.

16. Sometimes what people need to hear is not what they want to hear. A good friend will tell you what you need to hear.

17. I don't know where I'd be without 1) God and 2) my family. They see me at my worst and still love me.

18. Feeling competitive with friends is stupid and unfortunately common among women. Thankfully I outgrew this in my mid twenties.

19. Contentment is about attitude and not circumstance. I think I will learn this throughout life.

20. Cute shoes are worth the pain...maybe I'll change my opinion before 40

21. Don't look at other people's lives with envy or judgement. Everyone has their own "stuff" to deal with- including you.

22. If I focus on helping others, my problems are put into perspective

23. Laughter is the BEST medicine. Snorting rolling on the floor laughter. Hang onto the people that can take you there!

24. I cannot change anyone but myself

25. I have the cutest, funniest, and sweetest kid in the world!

26. Be honest. Lying to "protect" someone is often an excuse to do something you shouldn't.

27. Coffee is one of the greatest things EVER

28. Make new friends but keep the old- one is silver and the other gold (thank you girl scout days)

29. Regardless of what everyone says, remembering middle school math helps me shop and save $$ (says the math teacher!)

30. Don't wear socks unless you have too

There's my 30. But you know my mantra- Go Big Or Go Home!! So, here's one more that I have been learning throughout the past year-

31. Life is not about making me happy, but it is about making me holy (thankfully they are not mutually exclusive). My decisions need to be made on what I KNOW as truth and not on how I feel.