Monday, March 30, 2009

Mama Monday

Today's Mama Monday (albeit a tad late!) is the lovely Aimee from the blog Living, Learning, and Loving Simply.
Aimee talks about many things on her blog: living simply, loving her family, learning about the Lord, and of course, her beautiful embroidery and sewing projects. Aimee oozes serenity and peace. I love to visit her site. I am excited to share the wisdom that Aimee imparts with you today.

Aimee and her family. Number five is due in July.

Beautiful embroidery by Aimee.

A peaceful home.

Ladies, I bring you Aimee:

1. Greatest thing about being a mom

The greatest thing has been how God has used motherhood to totally change me for the better. It's been the biggest character-building role that I can imagine! Being a mom has made me more sensitive, more kind, more giving, more's pushed me to learn homemaking skills like cooking, decorating, sewing, gardening and opened my mind and heart to love learning...things that I probably would have never discovered without being a mother at home. It's stretched me and broken me and caused me to know grace and love...and motherhood has given me beautiful glimpses of how God parents me.

2. hardest thing about being a mom

Being a mom has brought out my selfishness and pride and insecurities and caused me to see so much sin in my heart. It's one of those "hard, but good" things :) And another hard thing for me is the 24-7 unrelenting needs and demands that are constantly calling all around husband, my children, my home...finding that balance of working hard and well yet not being a slave of driven-ness or perfectionism.

3. hobbies/interests

I love to gather information and learn new things/concepts about education, green living, simple living, holistic living, and homemaking/hospitality. I used to really enjoy scrapbooking, but in recent years I have found a love for sewing and embroidery that I swore I would never have!!! My mother and sisters are long-time sewers and I just *knew* that wasn't for me. But I got bit by the sewing bug by finding so many cute and simple projects in the crafty blog world! I also enjoying reading, cooking, traveling, camping, blogging, and crafting.

4. how do you find balance/refreshment as a mom

For this season in my life, balance and refreshment has come by being VERY discerning about what kind of activities/commitments/responsibilities I allow into my life. I try to keep a minimal amount of standing commitments on my schedule and like lots of margin in my days. I find that if life isn't too demanding and busy, I thrive and therefore my relationships with my husband, children and friends thrive too. I have my two middle children in school this year which has also really given me a healthy balance mentally/emotionally because of the quieter days and quieter demands. Healthy mama, healthy family :)

5. some favorite blogs/websites

In the blogosphere I totally LOVE AND ADORE Flourishing Mother :) Andrea and I have gotten to know each other the past few years and it has been such a REAL and deeply encouraging connection.

I love Susan at High Desert Home and Laurel at Happy at Home. I have always found Randi at I Have To Say a breath of fresh air too.

Two favorite websites are:
1. Sew Mama Sew...this is the best source to find great sewing project tutorials and inspiration
2. Craft Magazine Blog

6. what the Lord has been teaching/speaking to you about lately

How little I trust Him and how much I fear. Since getting unexpectedly pregnant with my 5th child and having my husband come so close to death in the airplane crash on the Hudson, the Lord has continually seemed to ask me "Do you trust Me?" "Do you really believe that I am sovereign AND good AND loving in ALL my ways?" I have to revisit the character of God and ask Him to really allow me to KNOW Him as perfect and true. I desire to have a quiet trust that isn't shaken in the face of the unexpected or the traumatic. I am learning to WALK BY FAITH more and more and not by my feelings, doubts, troubles, or fears.

7. describe your family

I have a calm, people-loving, fun-loving, dry-sense-of-humor husband who has unlimited patience and grace with my intense personality and loves me as-is. He is the greatest gift and my best friend. My oldest child is Sam (10) who walks to a beat of different drum...very generous and loving and kind yet quirky, hyper-focused on his passions and therefore distracted from everything else in life! Katie (8) is my only daughter...she is extremely social, very mentally sharp, funny, and very emotionally even-keeled like her dad. Her passion is fashion right now! John (5) is always barefoot and has his clothes on backwards. He's a total naturalist who loves bugs and frogs. He also has an incredible sense of rhythm and agility. Will (2) is the chunky-cheeked, LOUD, yummy, hilarious little one that we all dote on and adore. His passion is puzzles and eating all day.

8. one word that describes you:

I asked my husband and he said "zesty, spicy, colorful, and feisty"!
I would probably say "interesting"...probably because I love to talk about a variety of topics/issues/ideas and have lots of opinions :)

9. things you love:

Flip-flops, blueberries, red, yellow, fondue, guacamole, Brie, champagne, the beach, sunsets, Lindt truffles, beaded jewelry, grosgrain ribbon, white distressed furniture, fresh flowers, Pina Coladas, chicken salad, strawberries with fresh whipped cream, gourmet hot chocolate, Santorini, growing herbs, lemons and limes, reading, sharing recipes, deep conversation, outdoor dining, grilled steaks, playing games, laughing long and loud, kindred couples, talking in bed in the dark, researching new interests, traveling, hiking, buying gifts, making handmade gifts, celebrations, kissing on babies, encouraging children, yard sales, daylight savings time, fireworks,cotton and denim, wearing skirts, Christmas music, receiving a handwritten letter, pedicures and facials, convertibles, swimming, long hot baths, down comforters, Target, palm trees, front porches, ric rac, fleece pj's and blankets, campfires, half aprons, slinging a baby, gingham, freshly squeezed lemonade, pottery, popcorn, Ben and Jerry's ice cream, Publix, aromatherapy, trusting my mothering instincts, dinner guests, Settlers of Catan, great reality TV, stationary, journals, libraries, museums, festivals, nature walks, camping, questioning everything, used bookstores, cafes, volunteering, baskets, home organization, real-life learning

10. advice to moms:  

Relax. Relax. Relax.
Seek to be a mother at peace resting in God's sovereignty and not a mother driven by fears.
Don't take yourself or ideals so seriously...He is good and loving and WILL accomplish HIS purposes.
Understand that He gently parents us in love and grace and calls us to the same style of parenting with our children. His unconditional acceptance of us as mamas was bought at the Cross...we can't add to it or perform for it...IT IS SETTLED!! WOO HOO!

11. I couldn't live without

The spiritual and true answer is Jesus.
The fallen-human answer is COFFEE!!!

12. life verse?

I don't have seems that I gravitate to different verses during different seasons of my life and hold on to one for a few years and then move to another one that I really need to know/understand/comprehend. Right now it's Romans 8:35, 37-39!

Thank you Aimee!!


Beverly said...

I so enjoyed reading this, Andrea. Aimee's sweet spirit shines through her amswers on this post!

Anonymous said...
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Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

Andrea... this is the most encouraging series. Thank you.

Thank you!

Aimee, may I just say: you exude Jesus Joy!

This: "Do you really believe that I am sovereign AND good AND loving in ALL my ways?" Yes. A question that takes us a lifetime to answer... But yes! Just like you said: He WILL accomplish His purposes.

Can I echo you? Whoo Hoo! ~warm smile~

An absolute delight to rest here with you, Mamas....

Thank you for the grace...

laurel said...

I have been checking all day, waiting with anticipation for your mama monday post. It was even more exciting to see that it was our beloved AIMEE!!!

Susan L said...

Oh, I just adore Aimee! And this was so much fun to read. So like her-- sweet, honest, real, deep, fun, simple... so many good things. Andrea, you are doing a really cool thing with these posts. I look forward to them, too.

And, by the way, I didn't comment back then, but I deeply appreciated your post about the introvert. I can't tell you how nice it was to read just at a time when someone was trying to convince me that introversion is selfish. I read your post and thought, Ahhh, Andrea *understands*! So, thanks for the perfect description and the encouraging post.


Andrea said...

Thanks, Susan.
That's why I wrote it. To help people understand *me* and for other introverts to voice themselves. =) We are very misunderstood, that's for sure!!

titus2woman said...

LOVE THIS!!! So glad to visit your blog again~it's been a long time, and I am refreshed, from your growing baby boy to mother culture. *THANK YOU!* (((((HUGS))))) sandi

packey said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.