Monday, August 22, 2011

Mama Monday

Today's Mama Monday is a local friend of mine. Robbin (with 2 B's!) is a kind and thoughtful friend. She always says the most interesting things in the most interesting ways. I love that when I ask her a question, she will pause and actually *think* about the answer. Sometimes her words are unexpected, but it's always a good thing.
Here's the other thing I like about Robbin. She had been reading my blog (anonymously) for a while. I guess it got the best of her and she "confronted" me at church one day and "confessed" that she read my blog. hee hee. I love it when face to face friends will tell me that they are reading my blog, or comment to me on something they have read on my blog. Otherwise it's like this "secret" thing where I feel they are reading my thoughts and not telling me about it. Ha-ha. Anyway, I appreciated her telling me!
You are all in for a treat with Robbin's answers today. Read and enjoy. Ladies, I bring you

Greatest thing about being a mom
I think for me the greatest thing about being a mom is seeing growth. Physical, Emotional, Spiritual Growth. It’s like watching a miracle as each child passes through their developmental stages. In one way they each travel the same road, yet for each of them the road is unique. They do it their way, in their style, in a way that’s just right for their personality; and somehow each one passes along their personal road in such a way that it affects me as a person, in a new way, at the right time. God completely uses their journey not only to grow them, but to grow me too.

Hardest thing about being a mom—

Growth! Growing is hard work. It stretches us, challenges us, breaks us at times. When I see a less than stellar behavior in one of my children, and I realize it’s a reflection of what I have modeled..ahh…my heart breaks. My emotions flair. I know I need to change in order to better present God’s love and His plan for life to the little ones he has entrusted to me. Hard Work!
When I see that one of my babies is struggling, unsure, uneasy, I am challenged to walk the line of helping them yet letting them learn and make their own way. I can’t always rescue them. Admittedly, there are times I don’t even know how to rescue. That is when I need to turn them over to God and trust that He knows.

Favorite blogs/websites—
I know most Mama Monday Mamas tend to reference wonderfully inspirational blogs that invoke us each to grow spiritually and glean knowledge to become more godly women, and I do LOVE those blogs, but chances are you already know where to find those, so here are a few of my other kinds of favorites:
A long time friend of mine blogs here about her rummage sale and thrift shop adventures. Her collections make mine look like a half-hearted beginning hobby. Svelte Stuff

Currently our family of 5 people and three small pets live in a 1070 square foot house, but this is by far the largest place we have called home. This blog gives great ideas for decorating in small places with small budgets. Loving Living Small I just love her color inspirations.

As a homeschooling mama, I look to these websites each time I consider making alterations to our curriculum. We are slowly working our way into becoming a Charlotte Mason inspired homeschool family, but with deep roots in my curriculum junky mindset.

When I am looking to read a wise or sarcastic little snippet that has nothing to do with anything in my everyday life I go here: DDHR . It’s where another friend from long ago writes what he calls “unfounded opinions on trivial matters”. There is no color here. Nothing fancy. No eye-candy. Pure simple words on a white page.

We don’t have cable TV, my children have never been to a movie, but on occasion, when the mood strikes & it becomes movie time at our house, I like to visit this site to read a review before deciding if a movie is an appropriate choice for my children to watch at their ages and based on our family’s beliefs and standards: Plugged In

How do you find balance in your life—

Honestly, I do not have balance. I am a person of extremes. I focus well on one thing at a time, while often times completely losing sight of everything else. If one thing is checked off the to-do-list then I am almost guaranteed to also have things on the list that I have overlooked or just plain neglected. My family keeps me in check a bit. They remind me when I have worked on a project too long, to the point of forgetting to plan/make/serve a meal. They remind me when I have spent far too long researching something online and have failed to notice that a need is not being met. I should not need these reminders, but too often I do need them. The Lord also sends me little reminders when I have allowed busy things in this life to take away from the time I should be spending with Him. These reminders come in the form of an urgent prayer request from a friend and I realize I must reach out to God in that moment. These reminders come in the form of an unexplained awakening in the night paired with a nagging feeling that I need to come to the throne. They come in the form of a verse popping up again and again during the course of a day or a week like little personal notes from my Father. Perhaps a day will come when I find balance. In the meantime, I both appreciate and am humbled by the little reminders.

One word that describes you
Well-intentioned. “Having good intentions, even if producing unfortunate results.”
I want to do the right thing…think about doing the right thing…plan to do the right thing…try to do the right thing. But, boy of boy, does it turn our wrong more often than I would like. I forget to send the note. Put off making the call for fear of saying the wrong thing. Wait too long and miss the opportunity. I share my thoughts at the wrong time, to the wrong person, in the wrong tone of voice or with the wrong word choice. Relationships suffer. I become more hesitant the next time. And yes, I know Andrea spoke wonderfully about this issue in a fairly recent post, but it is still a major area for improvement in my life.

I am reminded of a time long ago when I tried to donate blood at a blood center. A friend needed help and I wanted to help. When I sat down to begin, by blood pressure dropped to the point that I was unable to donate. The staff gave me a sticker to wear that read “Be Nice to Me. I Tried”. Sometimes I wish I could wear that sticker every day! {I absolutely love that. I need a sticker like that too! I think all moms do..}

Favorite color—
For me it’s not about a favorite color, it’s about an abundance of color. In theory, I love the look of someone’s home or a magazine layout with tone on tone, white on white, crisp clean environments. For me, strolling through the Getty Center, designed by my favorite architect Richard Meier, is an enthralling experience. In practice, I live with color. Every room in our house is painted with a different color. Patterns and textures abound. You would be hard pressed find a quiet place to rest your eye in my world.

There is a color that I find most versatile, usable in all varying forms. That would be green. In its deepest forms of rich evergreen it can be soothing, comforting, grounding. In its brightest seagreen tones it can be invigorating and lively. If you look around in nature, you can see God’s amazing use of greens all around you, and if you allow it, you can experience a full range of thoughts and emotions evoked from the greens around you. God uses this green as a backdrop for his other colors. I use it often in my decorating. I guess for me: Green is the new white.

I love to create things. I have been known to sew a little, scrapbook a little, bake a little and cover everything I can find with paint. My paintbrush is my favorite tool. I have used the same 2” Purdy brush since I bought if over 8 years ago. It has painted the walls of three places I have lived, re-painted the table top of the first piece of furniture my husband and I bought together. When I am stressed, bored, feeling energized: I paint! {wanna come over? ~Andrea}

I also collect things:

Buttons: Mostly old buttons. I love the colors, the shapes, the age and patina. I string them together in matching sets and place them in glass jars with like colors. I think about using them for craft projects. Occasionally that happens, but mostly I just enjoy finding them and looking at them, touching them.

Rhinestone pins: for mostly the same reasons and treating them in a similar fashion, only in drawers rather than jars. When I was about 7 years old, I joined a friend at her grandmother’s house. She was the type of grandmother that kept many old things on display in her home, but in her basement she tucked away her old jewelry. My friend and I spent what felt like hours trying on each piece and imagining life in fancy clothes at fancy parties. At the end of the day that grandmother allowed me to select one piece of her collection to keep as my own. That was my first piece of rhinestone jewelry. I still have it, but it is no longer alone in the drawer.

I couldn't live without—
Of course we all think there are things we can’t live without, a good cup of coffee or our iPhone, both of which, along with my Birkenstock sandals, I would only give up while kicking and screaming. I could also mention the often cliché answer of my bible which I don’t want to belittle, but on a day-in-day-out practical level, having my husband call home sometime during his work day is what truly makes my day. Hearing his voice, his concern, his interest of plugging back in to the family even though he must spend hours away, that is what makes my heart sing most days. It’s not a perfect world and we don’t have a perfect marriage, but more often than not, I am in a better place after he has checked in.

What helps me through tough days---
Kind words. I crave a kind word. Something encouraging, something lovely. From friends. From Family. From God. Often times that is all it takes to stop a downward spiral and turn my world upside right again. Ironic since I struggle to find the right words to share, yet yearn for one to come my way. I do purpose to seek the words from God first. I have had a bad habit of seeking everywhere else first and coming to His words last. Thankfully He is always there with something to say! {me too! ~Andrea}

What the Lord has been speaking to you about lately—

Contentment and Patience. For me, these go hand in hand. There have been a series of events in my life over the last few years that were not my plan. Not my intention. Not my idea. I wanted other things on a different time table. God has showed me that His plan is better. He wants to bless me, if I would only be content with where he has placed me for this time in my life. While I learn this lesson, I truly find it makes me a more patient parent. I realize that things outside of my control (which is much of the parenting experience for me) are really just opportunities for something good to come along unplanned. Even in moments of disobedience or disrespect from a child, (if handled properly) that moment can become a teachable moment and a chance to grow a stronger bond with my child.

What do you like best about yourself—

I do like my eyes. For color reasons. No surprise there. They are hazel. When I was little, they were more brown. The older I get, the more green they become. They do appear a little different depending on what I wear. I think my mother’s eyes are the same way. I think my oldest daughter’s eyes may follow the same pattern. It makes me feel connected. It makes me smile when I look in the mirror and see something different than what appeared the day before.

If I could encourage a young mother, I would say—
Don’t ever give up. Don’t stop trying. Don’t wish away the early years of a child’s life. If we allow God to grow us, we can more fully enjoy the process of joining our children in their growth. Accept that it will be hard work, but with the hard work comes blessings.

One book you would recommend to read--(besides the Bible)
If you can separate out the author’s apparent unwillingness to accept God’s truth as the only truth, and if you are already grounded in confidently knowing what Spirit means to you, and you are fully aware that power does not come from within yourself but from God, I highly recommend Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach. It is written out like a daily journal, with a reading for each day of the year. As you read through the book from beginning to end, from beginning of the year to the end of the year, I think you will find that you are more the person you want to be at year’s end.

Thank you Robbin!!


Aimee said...

I love all of her thoughtful answers to each and every question...what a woman of depth and beauty and authenticity. This was a delightful afternoon read for me as I sipped limeade and enjoyed some quiet moments.

Aimee said...

and how in the WORLD have you kept the same Purdy paint brush for so long!?! do share your cleaning tricks!

tonia said...

What a treasure you've found, Andrea, in Robbin. I found myself liking you more and more, Robbin, as I read along. *grin* Although, you had me at the rotary telephone. *hello*

If you find any "Be nice to me I tried" stickers, I'll take a dozen. I was just bemoaning to my husband how my intentions and my results are always so far apart. *sigh*

Thanks so much for sharing yourself, Robbin! It was a treat to hear your heart.

Anonymous said...

I love you, Robbin, and I loved learning about you in this candid way. You are an interesting and sweet person with so many gifts and unique qualities. Thank you so much for sharing a bit of yourself.

Alicia said...

What a beautiful and authentic woman.. wish I could sit down for coffee with Robbin (love the 2 b's that make her name unique, too) and listen some more.

Thanks, Andrea, for introducing us!

svelteSTUFF said...

There can only be one, true Robbin with 'TWO B's'!! Love that Ladie!!
S~ (svelteSTUFF)

ROBBIN (with 2 b's) said...

Thank you all for your sweet words.

Aimee, The key to keeping your paint brush in great condition is to always wash it right away. I sometimes even wash it mid-painting if it's getting gunky. I rinse in hot water, reshape the bristles, lay flat to dry then put it back in the cardboard sleeve it came in. Oh, and treat it with LOVE!

Children of Eve said...

Loved this little peek into your thoughts. You are too hard on yourself with the “Having good intentions, even if producing unfortunate results.” As our pastor said last Sunday, "You know a tree by it's fruit". To look at the fruit of your family and your friendships I can see that you get it right more often than you think. You have an abundance of sweet fruit.