To The Woman With The Screaming Child: Don't Worry, I Know You Are Doing Your Best

This post has been on my heart for quite some time now.

It all started two months ago during Mass. My family and I were sitting in the cry room (my three year old has been having trouble sitting through Mass lately, hence the cry room) in the back row enjoying the service when a woman and her young daughter took the seat in front of us. From the moment this woman entered the pew her little girl was crying, not really crying more like screaming. It was obvious the mother was extremely embarrassed and frustrated. Her daughter looked to be around the age of 5? I couldn't tell for sure how old she was because she never spoke. No matter what this mother did her daughter continued to scream. The mother was calm at first but as the minutes ticked by she became more and more frustrated. Sitting her daughter roughly in the pew, speaking sternly and sharply to her, etc.

I did my best to pay attention to Mass so I would not add to her embarrassment (it is an awful feeling when all eyes are on you and your child is misbehaving). I began to silently pray for his woman. "Lord please grant her patience, help her to see beyond her child's misbehavior, please help her".

There was another woman in the pew with this struggling mother who also recognized she was having a hard time. It was during the sign of peace that I witnessed a very beautiful moment. The woman on the left of the struggling mother reached out and touched her shoulder gently and gave her a warm smile. The struggling mother smiled with relief and said quietly, "It has been a rough day".

It is so easy to judge. Instead of a caring gesture, the woman to the left could have passed judgment, instead she offered hope and encouragement through a smile.

If you have ever had a misbehaving child in public you know what it feels like to be judged.

It reminds me of a time recently when I took my two young boys to the small quiet grocery store in town. My three year old began to throw a HUGE fit because he wanted a treat. If you want to talk about a bad place for my child to misbehave, this would be it. I think if you listened closely you would be able to hear a pin drop, the store is that quiet.

When my son is throwing a fit he is very determined and LOUD. The entire store was filled with his screaming. Even though I really wanted to shove my items onto a random shelf and cover my face, I calmly and quickly grabbed the last few items on my list and stood in the checkout line while he continued to throw a fit. I saw numerous judgmental stares and a few understanding smiles. Those understanding smiles were worth a million dollars! The last thing I needed in that moment was judgment. I can still see the grocery store owners wide eyes as he rang up my items.

I cried on the way home, telling myself I would avoid that store for a couple years to avoid anyone recognizing me!

What I'm trying to say is, I know raising children isn't always easy. I know you are tired momma. I know you need a break and it has been a rough day. I know you need a smile.

Next time you see a struggling mother, show her understanding instead of judgment.

Photo Credit

To the mother with the screaming child: it's ok, I have been in your shoes and I know you are doing your best.

Faith Friday: Never Too Late

I was watching one of my new favorite shows (NY Med) tonight. In case you haven't had a chance to catch an episode, here is a synopsis:

"Each episode in this eight-part series toggles between the renowned surgeons of Manhattan's New York Presbyterian Hospital and the gritty world of trauma surgeons at Newark's University Hospital where the ER is a doorway to the mean streets of one of America's most violent cities. Sometimes poignant and often uproarious, this limited series takes a deep dive into high stakes medicine through the eyes of unforgettable characters, including a hilarious trio of returning ER nurses who must cope with tricky personal crises while caring for some of the nation's most bossy patients. Mehmet Oz rounds out the character roster with his extraordinary surgical skills on full display as his deft hands work to fix damaged hearts and save lives."

Watching the patients with life threatening conditions is heartbreaking yet inspiring. Hearing the patients talk about themselves and their families it is obvious that they are not ready to die. They go into the operating room with hope that they will wake up and faith in the doctor that he will complete the surgery successfully. We all make choices in life and some of those choices lead us closer and closer to deaths door (whether we know it or not).  We also make choices that bring us closer to heaven or closer to hell.

After watching the show I began to think of the Ultimate Healer, Jesus Christ. He is the only one who can heal you inside and out. He can take away the wounds of this world in the blink of an eye. He cannot do this if you do not trust and have faith in Him. I was talking with a neighbor of mine yesterday and she revealed to me that her son was born with a hematoma on his head. She was very worried and prayed for her son. On the morning of Easter Sunday her sons hematoma was completely gone! 

Watching these people recover after surgery is so inspiring, God has shown them just how precious life is and has given them a second chance! It is never too late to change. God can give you a second chance. All you have to do is come to Him, open your heart, ask for forgiveness, let Jesus take the burden of your sins from you.

It is never too late to change, it is never too late to give your life to Jesus.

God Bless

Perfect Pasta Salad

One of my favorite side dishes to bring to summertime BBQ's is a good ol' pasta salad. Pasta salad is super simple to whip up in a hurry and tastes great!

Perfect Past Salad Recipe

12 oz Spiral Pasta Noodles 
Can of Sliced Olives (2.25 oz)
4 oz Sliced Pepperoni
2 Mozzarella cheese sticks (cut into rounds)
1/2 Green Pepper  (cut into strips)
1/2 Cucumber (peeled and cut into rounds)
2 Cups Zesty Italian Dressing

Cook your pasta according to the package directions. Once the pasta is cooked, drained and cooled place in a large serving dish. Add in your can of olives, pepperoni, cheese, green pepper, and cucumber. Next pour in one cup of salad dressing and stir until pasta is evenly coated. Allow the pasta salad to chill for one hour. Before serving add in the remanding cup of italian dressing and stir to incorporate. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

This recipe is linked to: SassyMomsInTheCity

Faith Friday: Barabbas

Barabbas is on my mind today.

Who is he and what significance does he have? According to Mark verse 7, he was a rebel who had committed murder in the insurrection. According to John verse 40, he was a robber. He is significant because he is chosen by the people to be set free and Jesus takes his place. Barabbas was a criminal who deserved to be in prision for his crimes. Jesus was an innocent man without sin who was sentenced to die. Jesus took his place.

Don't you see. Barabbas is YOU. Barabbas is ME. We are all sinners. Our sins make us prisioners. Jesus takes our place and sets us free every.single.time. We deserve to pay for our sins but Jesus came and died so that we may live and be forgiven. Jesus loves us so much that He became like us, He was ridiculed, judged, hated, and crucified so that we could one day join Him with His Father in Heaven.

When we sin we are saying, CRUCIFY HIM.

When we sin we are placing the crown of thorns upon His head, driving the nails into His hands and feet, mocking and spitting on His helpless and beaten body.

Jesus took your place when he died on the cross.

We so often carry the heavy cross of sin on our backs and Jesus wants to relieve this burden. You do not need to carry that cross when you believe in Jesus Christ. We can be forgiven. We can live all because Jesus already walked that path and gave His life.

Matthew 11:30 
29"Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30"For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

Mommy Monday: Tips For Mothers With Baby #3

First of all congratulations! Baby number three is a huge adjustment, well it was for me anyways. Baby #3 means that you are now outnumbered even with your partners help. My mother (who raised 7 children) says that adjusting to the third child was the hardest for her. So I guess its smooth sailing after the third! Haha I wish.

Even though this is my third child I do not feel like an expert in child rearing, at all. I wanted to share with you some tips that I have learned along the way thus far (I still have a lot to learn she is only 7 weeks old). Oh and please know to take it easy for as long as you need after the baby is born. Giving birth is not easy!

Tip #1
Get the baby on a sleep schedule. I allowed little miss to show me the way when it came to her sleep schedule. After I noticed she was taking longer naps during the day (at 6 weeks babies can sleep up to four hours without eating) I took a week and wrote down when she would go to sleep and when she would wake up. It was pretty consistent. She typically will wake up in the mornings around 8 and go down for a short nap about two hours later. When she wakes from her nap (which is usually two hours long) she will be awake for two to three hours and take another nap. The second nap is longer usually around three to four hours. By then it is in the evening and she will hang out with us for a couple hours and be in bed by nine. As she gets older I know her nap schedule will change (newborns sleep a lot!). I am pretty easy going with the nap schedule but I make sure she is in bed by nine every night, I want bedtime to be consistent.

Tip #2
When baby is napping get things done! When I had my first, I would nap when he napped (which was amazing! He was such a cuddly baby I feel like that is all we did). When you have multiples, mommy naps go out the window. My other children need my attention, the laundry needs folded, the house needs picked up, someones behind needs wiped, the list goes on and on. If you are super tired try putting on a movie for the older kids and lay on the couch beside them for a short snooze (I am a light sleeper so this works for me once in awhile).

Tip #3
Do not be afraid to ask for help. If you have family and friends that live nearby do not be ashamed to ask for help if you need it. I have a hard time accepting help even when I need it so I totally understand avoiding this but it will benefit everyone, including the person helping you. It is good for the soul to help others!

Tip #4
If you like a tidy house I suggest making a cleaning schedule, a couple small things to get done everyday. This will help keep things manageable and reduce stress. On the weeks that my cleaning schedule goes out the window I find myself cramming it all into one day which isn't enjoyable for anyone.

Tip #5
Keep a calendar posted where it is easy to see. If I didn't have a calendar hanging on the fridge I would forget what day it is not to mention what events we have going on!

Tip #6
Make sure the older siblings feel important too. A baby needs lots of attention so make sure the older siblings can help out with small things. Even if it is 5 minutes a day try to spend one on one time with each of them individually. I try to watch the boys play cars while I am feeding the baby/getting her to sleep instead of being alone with the baby while they play together.

Tip #7
Don't forget about mommy time. Everyone needs different amounts of alone time, some may need very little while others require more. I like to think I fall somewhere in-between the two but don't get me wrong if I do not have 'me' time I will have a mini meltdown. My 'me' time starts when the kids are tucked in bed for the night (this is where a consistent bedtime comes in handy). I stay up a little later than I should but I need that time to zone out at the end of the day and relax or take a shower! Don't forget about yourself momma, your state of mind influences those around you.

Tip #8
Let go of the mommy guilt. Relax, breathe, know that this time will pass in the blink of an eye. If things are tough right now, know that tomorrow is another day and it will get better. Your family dynamic is different now and even though you need to spend more time with your newborn, your older children know that they are loved.

Tip #9
Take it one day at a time. Some days will go smoothly and you will feel like supermom. Use those days to get you through the tough ones. I have had more than a few tough days! Know that tomorrow is another day and it will get better.

If your house looks like this sometimes… don't worry mind does too!

Ok that is all I got for now!
Do you have any tips for Mothers with Baby #3? If so, I would love to hear about it.

Faith Friday: Jesus Heals

File:700 Club logo.png
photo credit
Have you ever watched the 700 Hundred Club? I randomly came across it last year and was hooked. It is very uplifting, inspiring and informative. The show has a segment where they heal people, or rather they heal in Jesus' name. Individuals who had been healed while watching the show were interviewed testifying to the healing. To be completely honest, I thought it was fake. I had never seen anything like it therefore it had to be fake.

It is not fake.

How do I know?

I was healed.

I will start from the beginning. I have had neck problems since high school. The right side of my neck would become sore, stiff and send shooting pain upwards if I overused it. I went to the chiropractor which did help but the pain would always come back. Fast forward to co sleeping with my two children for four years. So four years of sleeping with a little one on my arm and my neck being in an awkward position. My neck began to get to the point where I would have daily pain. I began to accept the fact that my neck would always hurt.

Fast forward again to our vacation last year. We planned a summer trip to one of our favorite amusement parks which was seven hours away. I sat in the front and found myself constantly turning my neck to attend to the boys in the backseat. I knew this was going to cause problems for me later on. When we arrived that night my neck was beginning to feel sore and stiff. I went on with the evening, enjoying pizza with the family and my in-laws.

After my husbands and our boys were asleep, I stayed up to watched t.v. I was flipping through the channels and came across the 700 Club. I found it odd that it was on so late at night. I began watching the show and it came to the healing segment. The man on the show said, "Lord please heal this woman, she has neck pain, sometimes shooting pain up the right side of her neck. You are healed in Jesus' name amen" (or something to that nature). I immediately knew he was talking about me. I looked around, still in shock. It was me! They were talking about me! I couldn't believe it.

From that day last year on summer vacation, watching the 700 club, I have not had neck pain.

Mark 5:34
He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering." (NIV)

Luke 17:6
The Lord answered, "If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, 'May you be uprooted and thrown into the sea,' and it would obey you!

God is good!

Sweet Summertime: Baked Zucchini

I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer! One of my favorite vegetables during the summer is zucchini, or really just squash in general. I love it because it is easy to grow, easy to cook and easy to eat!

Here is a super simple recipe that we enjoy every summer.

Baked Zucchini

1 large zucchini
2 tbl butter
1/2 tsp garlic salt (or to taste)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice your zucchini into rounds, then slice the rounds into quarter pieces. Place zucchini pieces into a baking dish. Divide the tablespoons of butter into four pieces and distribute among the baking dish. Next sprinkle the garlic salt on top. Cook for 30-45 minutes, until squash is soft. Give the squash a good stir after the butter has melted (about 5 minutes) and another good stir before serving. Serve immediately. 

I like to cook yellow squash this way or I also will cook zucchini and squash together using butter and garlic salt and it is also delish!


This recipe is linked to: sassy moms in the city, orgjunkie
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