Don't Make Me Come Up There!: Quiet Moments for Busy Moms

Don't Make Me Come Up There!: Quiet Moments for Busy Moms

by Kristen Welch
     
 

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A calm moment is a rare find in a mom’s chaotic day. But she needs it. She needs the moment to refocus and refresh her soul. She needs the inspiration to find God in the mess and the mundane that often defines her. She craves the solitude of a moment with the Master to quiet the storms. She needs to laugh and remember why she loves being a mom.

Don't

Overview

A calm moment is a rare find in a mom’s chaotic day. But she needs it. She needs the moment to refocus and refresh her soul. She needs the inspiration to find God in the mess and the mundane that often defines her. She craves the solitude of a moment with the Master to quiet the storms. She needs to laugh and remember why she loves being a mom.

Don't Make Me Come Up There! is filled with inspirational and hilarious true-life stories and reflections written by a very human mom. Moms will recognize themselves in the pages of this book written for real, everyday mothers who know what it’s like to catch vomit with one hand while starting a load of laundry with the other (and never confusing the two!). The fifty-two reflections encourage moms to revel in the everyday beauty of their lives and grow closer to God through it all.

"I couldn’t help thinking of the last time my children had scattered up the stairs and disappeared into a quiet abyss. Initially, I thought they were just delighting in one another’s company, holding hands, and making paper daisies. But that thought lasted for 1.2 seconds before I snapped out of my delusion only to discover my oldest giving her brother a “haircut” and my youngest smearing soap all over the bathroom. . . " from the book

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781426731341
Publisher:
Abingdon Press
Publication date:
10/01/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
712,645
File size:
360 KB

Read an Excerpt

Don't Make Me Come Up There!

Quiet Moments for Busy Moms


By Kristen Welch

Abingdon Press

Copyright © 2011 Abingdon Press
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4267-3134-1



CHAPTER 1

If the Mom Genes Fit


When I first started birthing babes, I was shocked at how hard it was to juggle everything. I'm not just talking about playdates, housework, and school projects.

I mean literally, juggling a diaper bag, a 100-pound baby carrier—not including a baby whose thighs resemble those of a small Sumo wrestler—and a purse, all while trying to keep a two-year-old from scraping gum off the sidewalk.

I've always thought that with the title Mother we should grow an extra appendage or two. Because, seriously, an extra arm would come in handy when I'm stirring dinner, loading the dishwasher, calling out multiplication facts, stepping over the mock kitchen my toddler has created underfoot, and paying bills online—simultaneously.

In one day, I accomplish more than some small companies. Heck, I am a small company. I've spent a combined total of nearly forty hours in labor delivering more than twenty pounds of human.

When I became a mother, I put on the mom jeans and developed mom genes. I can hear my baby blink in the middle of the night, read my tween's mind when she's giving me a dirty look, and unlatch a nursing bra without my hands.

And I'll be honest, when someone has the nerve to ask me in a questioning tone, "What do you do all day?" I've decided this will be my forever answer: "I'm a mom. What's your superpower?"

God created mothers to nurture, protect, and love their children unconditionally. He understands that children are their mother's heart because he designed us that way. When our tanks are empty and exhaustion is our middle name, God is the one who says, "Come to me. I will give you rest."

Lean on him. It's in our nature to do it all, but when we can't go on, he is there to sustain us. He is there in the middle of the night when our kids are sick. He is there when we don't know how to discipline. He is there when one goes astray.

As much as we love our children, he loves them more. Trust him.


Proverbs 3:5

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.


Prayer

Lord, sometimes I feel invincible and sometimes I feel exhausted from trying to do it all myself. Help me trust you with my kids and with my own life. Thank you for making me a mother. Give me strength to accomplish all that you've set before me and give me joy in my journey. Amen.

CHAPTER 2

They Will Let Anyone Be a Mom These Days


I was leisurely scrolling through the latest posts of the blogs I read every day. I was unbathed and pajama-clad. (Actually, I had lost my pajama bottoms somewhere along the way of rushing my older kids out the door, so I was half naked.) My priorities were in order: I was reading other people's business before I took care of my own.

My one-year-old sat in my lap while I worked on my laptop at the kitchen counter. My baby dug through the kitchen drawer as I intently read. She started squirming, so I sat her on the floor with a piece of plastic in her hand. At least that's what I thought it was, until she started screaming.

I whipped around and IN SLOW MOTION BECAUSE I'M A SLOW THINKER realized that the said plastic was SUPER GLUE, which was now dripping and full of teeth marks. I scooped her up and ran to the kitchen sink.

These words began flashing in my head: YOU ARE NOT MATURE ENOUGH TO BE A MOTHER. FIND AN ADULT IMMEDIATELY.

My daughter's hands were covered in Super Glue and her lips were glued closed.

Let me just pause and let that sink in: Baby. Lips. Glued together for eternity. Jesus, help me.

I'm crying. She's crying. I'm splashing water on both of us, praying for help, and begging for forgiveness. It did dawn on me in a surreal way how perfectly still my child became. She knew it was bad. And I think she was hoping for another adult to arrive.

The warm water and a little pressure helped part her crusty lips. THANK GOD. She didn't ingest the glue, and that seemed to be very good news.

I nearly passed out when I heard the key in the front door.

A host of heavenly angels ushered my dear hubby into the kitchen in search of something he'd forgotten. He saw the Super Glue, our crusty hands, and his baby's lips and took over.

I googled "baby lips and super glue," which I'm sure helped child protective services home in on my whereabouts. And I'm sure this was an Internet first.

According to reliable resources, acetone is the enemy to Super Glue. It's the kryptonite to the super mega adhesive. We dipped cotton into nail polish remover and scrubbed. Our one-year-old perfected her dirty look, and my husband didn't even ask how it happened.

"I've got to get to work," my husband said as he grabbed his jacket.

"What? You can't leave me. I cannot be trusted. It's not even 8:30 a.m. and I nearly wounded your baby," I said as I grabbed his pant leg and held on for dear life. He smiled at me. And left.

Have you ever felt unqualified to be a mom? I made a mistake that could have caused severe injury to my child and I couldn't get past the guilt. I was horrified at my negligence and berated myself until I finally had a good cry in the tub. I reminded myself that I wasn't a bad mom, just human. But God reminded me that I wasn't alone. He equips us to handle the tough mom stuff, the things in the future we can't even imagine. He won't give us more than we can handle.

Don't be too hard on yourself. It isn't an accident that you're a mom. God will enable you!


1 Samuel 25:28

Please forgive your servant's offense, for the LORD will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my master, because he fights the LORD's battles. Let no wrongdoing be found in you as long as you live.


Prayer

God, thank you for your protection. Please watch over those I love. Guard them with your angels. Keep my spouse and my children safe from harm. Amen.

CHAPTER 3

The Magic Eraser


Confession: sometimes I ignore my children. The other day, I was busy at my computer. My kids were home from school and done with their homework. Usually, I'm rushing around getting snacks, going through backpack papers, and trying to decide what to make for dinner with one potato, two cans of corn, and a link of sausage. Instead, I was in cyberspace.

My kids asked if they could use my giant box of Sharpie markers for coloring. Now, every mother knows you don't let your young children color with permanent markers. But shopping on the Internet for squeaky shoes for your toddler who isn't toddling can distort this. I said yes. So it seems.

About twenty minutes later, I looked up to see my children at the dining room table coloring away.

"What do you think you are doing?" I demanded, vaguely remembering I had approved their activity.

When I looked closer, I freaked out. Underneath the notebook paper was an entire scene of flowers, bugs, and robots in permanent marker on my beautiful table.

I am not proud of what happened next: I yelled. I screamed. I shook my fists in the air!

My daughter rolled her eyes at me and said, "You said it was OK," and stormed off to her room. My son's lips trembled, and he burst into tears. He grabbed my legs and begged forgiveness. He then slowly walked to his room with his head bent in sorrow.

I let my kids walk away.

Grabbing a rag and furniture polish, I scrubbed and didn't remove the ink. Digging through my stash of cleaners, I found a "Magic Eraser." It was unopened, and I needed some magic. I wet it and wiped the table. Every mark disappeared.

"Kids, kids come here. Look, it's magic," I exclaimed.

No one came.

That's when it dawned on me that I was a horrible mother. I brought each of my children downstairs. I showed them the magic. My daughter, with arms crossed, said, "That's cool, I guess." My son's shoulders still shook.

"It's OK," I said.

He burst into tears. "I'm sorry," he cried.

I got down on my knees and pulled my kids to me. This is what I said:

"I was wrong. I made a mistake. I shouldn't have let you use those markers, or I should have put a tablecloth down first. I'm sorry for yelling and blaming you. It was not your fault. Can you forgive me?"

My daughter shrugged and my son sniffled.

"I sinned," I confessed.

They both looked up at me. Surprise registered on their faces.

"I forgive you," my daughter said. "Me, too," my son whimpered as he wiped his runny nose.

They left me standing in the kitchen. I picked up the eraser to put it away. I still felt bad and angry with myself. I looked at the eraser and wished I could swipe it across my heart to remove the awful residue.

And then I remembered, I can.

We make mistakes. We feel bad, even sorry. We ask forgiveness. The sin is wiped away. Just like that. The Magic Eraser: I got to use two of them in one day. And I am thankful for both.


Psalm 51:7

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;

wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.


Prayer

Father, I am so human. I make so many mistakes. Please forgive me. Help me forgive myself when I mess up. I need your help. I can't do this on my own. Be strong when I am weak. Amen.

CHAPTER 4

The Bad Guys


We went and saw Bibleman in a live show the other night at our church. Bibleman is a superhero who uses Scripture to defeat the bad guys. Nearly every kid in the auditorium was dressed in a purple and yellow cape, with a mask.

Of course, in our family, we never lower ourselves to the lure of commercialization.

But she looked so cute in her purple cape.

Our kids have been defeating bad guys with their lightsabers and (their interpretation of) the word of God all week. Our toddler has a mask and some anonymity.

After some deep thoughts, she asked her sister if Bibleman was bad.

"No," our older daughter said. "Jesus lives in his heart, just like he lives in your heart."

Our two-year-old thought about that for a minute and shook her head no.

"Who lives in your heart then?" our nine-year-old asked her baby sister.

"The bad guys," our toddler said.

There are days I would completely agree. I'm just sayin'.

Our older kids have been trying to convince her to get saved all week.

She wants no part of it. Because she and the bad guys are living it up.

I've learned more about God and his grace from my kids than I learned in Bible college! They just say it like they see it. I love their honesty, and frankly, they are hilarious. I want to raise them to be Christians, but it's more than making them conform to what we think Christians should do and say. It starts with a transformation to Christianity rather than conformity. Guess who their model is? Yep.

There have been times that I freaked out when my kids acted especially unholy in front of other people. But it's OK to let them be themselves. We need to remember that even Christian kids sin. It's really the heart and the transformation that matter.


Romans 12:2

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.


Prayer

Father, I want to raise my kids to know you. I want them to have their own relationship with you. But sometimes I'm so caught up in making them act like Christians that I forget even Christian kids mess up. Give me wisdom in raising them and help me be the same at home and at church. Amen.

CHAPTER 5

Sometimes I Want to Quit


I like to think about good things.

I like to remind people they aren't alone.

I like to remind myself.

I try not to rant and carry on about the things I feel negative about.

I don't intend to start now.

But sometimes I just want to quit.

I hate even writing those words because I'm not a quitter.

I don't intend to start now.

But sometimes the want is there.

We've made an effort to teach our kids to be thankful. It seems, when we focus on this, a spirit of being unthankful and complain-with-every-breath sweeps through our house. It rears its ugly head more than I care to admit.

And when I plan special activities for my kids and they whine and gripe, I want to beat them.

I don't intend to start now.

My life is messy. It's not the clean, crisp (edited) life you always see. I yell (!) sometimes. I cry and dream of a full-time nanny. At times I feel guilty and sad and completely unequipped.

And even though it may sound pathetic, I want to be what others think I am. I set the bar high, occasionally I scale it, but usually I end up missing it entirely.

Being a mom is hard.

I don't intend to stop now.

I am not a quitter. I'm going to complete what I've started. I know I'm going to have bad days. I'm not perfect and neither is my family, but I'm not going to give up on them or myself.

So, the next time you're ready to throw in the towel and turn in your dishpan hands, remember that motherhood isn't defined by a single act or one bad day. It's cumulative: it's a thousand hugs, a thousand apologies, a thousand times you are there for your kids. You probably won't ever get credit for all you give, but he is keeping count and giving you the grace you need to continue.


1 Corinthians 9:24

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.


Prayer

Heavenly father, help me run with perseverance. When I get tired, encourage me. When I want to quit, carry me to the finish line. Thank you for being so faithful to me. Amen.

CHAPTER 6

Just Send Me Your Therapy Bills


I think I've failed my children.

You be the judge: at breakfast this past weekend, something had obviously been bothering my son because between bites of scrambled eggs he said, "Mom, why didn't you tell me I was a mammal? I didn't find out until I was in kindergarten."

And considering he is now halfway through the first grade, I'd say he's been holding this in for a while.

My third-grade daughter offered her mammal opinion:

"Well. It doesn't even matter because you are not a mammal. You don't feed your young milk from your body, do you?" she asked.

"Plus, the dolphin is the smartest mammal."

Well there you go.

Strangely, that got me off the hook. And no, I didn't even correct her. It's certainly NOT because I don't know my mammal facts. I do. I think.

Later that day, my kids were playing with action figures and I heard some smashing and crashing.

And then I heard this: "Oh, no, he fell. He is really hurt. He is really suffering!"

"You know what this means, don't you?"

"Yeah, we'll have to put the guy out of his misery since he's hurt so bad."

And then I heard all sorts of frightening sounds.

Did my kids just choose euthanasia for a parachuting action figure? I'll just add that talk to my to-do list. But just in case there are permanent effects from this recent behavior, I'll have them send their therapy bills to me.

Sometimes I worry about my lack of parenting skills. Since I'm learning as I go, I pray that God will fill in all the pieces I miss and protect my children from my mistakes.

They belong to him anyway. I forget that. God created my children. He's giving me the honor of raising them, but he is ordering their steps. He took care in making them:


Psalm 139:14

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

He will order their steps:

Proverbs 20:24

A man's steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way?


Prayer

God, please protect my children. Protect them from my mistakes and from their own. Keep them healthy and safe. Guard their hearts in Christ Jesus. Give me wisdom as their mother. Amen.

CHAPTER 7

Is That Bad?


A friend and I stopped by Chick-fil-A the other day. I leaned into the speaker and ordered a large sweet tea.

"OK, Kristen. That's $1.67," the speaker answered.

As I pulled around, I could feel my friend staring at me.

"What?" I asked.

"That lady, in the speaker, she knew your name!" she said in disbelief.

"Oh, that. Yeah, I come here. A lot. It's funny, she recognizes my voice now and ..." my words trailed off because she was really staring now. Intensely.

"What? Oh, is that bad?" I asked guiltily.

It never dawned on me that it wasn't normal for fast-food restaurants to recognize you before they saw you.

Besides knowing my name and debit card number, the Chick-fil-A lady frequently comments on how easy it is to make sweet tea at home and how fattening it is.

I still go back, even though I know it's not the healthiest habit. I do it because it's important to me. It's a simple moment in my day or week that's about me. I have to remind myself that it isn't bad to think about myself in this busy mothering season I'm in.

What do you do for yourself? Do you take a moment for you? In order to refill the demanding souls around us, we need to focus on ourselves every once in a while. Our kids aren't afraid to ask for what they need, usually with persistence. Moms need to acknowledge the needs in their own lives: a moment alone, time away, a girls' night out, or a sweet tea (that you don't have to share!).

Remember that thinking about you every now and then isn't bad. It's necessary.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Don't Make Me Come Up There! by Kristen Welch. Copyright © 2011 Abingdon Press. Excerpted by permission of Abingdon Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Kristen Welch is a mom just like you and me--only funnier. Her blog, “We Are THAT Family” (www.wearethatfamily.com) is read by over 70,000 women a month, who enjoy her often-hilarious, always-honest reflections on motherhood, marriage, and Christian life. In 2010, she went to Kenya as a blogger for Compassion International, and regularly contributes to online magazine Blissfully Domestic and (In)Courage, an inspirational blog for women. She lives in Texas with her husband and three children.

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