Generation Cedar


Mothers wear more hats than Minnie Pearl.  A friend recently called and described the feeling of “wearing 10 hats while riding a unicycle”.  Yep, we’re all nodding heads.

Which is why making deliberate moments of motherhood is so important.  Deliberate mothering involves, to me, those seemingly smaller things, that are actually the bigger things, that can get so easily crowded out in a busy day.

Things like lingering eye contact, both during instruction and to express deep fondness.  Taking time to cuddle small children–and big ones, read to them or just enjoy child-talk.

Taking walks, talking of God’s greatness, His provision for daily bread, His new morning-mercy, and His deep love for us–small moments of greatness.

Deliberate mothering is remembering to teach eager little hands how to crack an egg, and not get too upset when they drop it on the floor…because that moment holds an even bigger “deliberate opportunity”.  (I write it…but I’m still aspiring to live it.)

A word of friendship, a word of inspiration (“I love that part of who you are”), small moments each day that weave together a strong, beautiful tapestry of who our children will become.

I will interject a word of warning here:  the opposite it also true.  If the bulk of their days is spent receiving insult and injury, either by a parent or by peers who seem to default to “survival of the fittest”, so much is lost and so much of that tapestry is left thread-bare.

Gigantic days are made up of small, deliberate moments of motherhood.  Let’s make them.

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14 Responses

  1. Thnk you for posting this! I’ve been so overwhelmed by being at home these last 6 weeks on my maternity leave (with 2 older kids as well.) Sometimes it’s all I can do just to pray to survive the day without ‘losing it’ – and then I can still lose it sometimes… Never attempted anything so humbling in my life as being at home 24/7!

  2. Thank you for this encouraging post.I recently was talking to a lady at my church who has no children but just recently started fostering three.I noticed something about her that I wanted to implement in my own life. She encouraged and praised all that the children did including praising my own children. No task was to menial for encouragement.I immediately noticed them smile and their little faces light up at even the smallest task accopmlished. This was as natural to her as breathing.This struck me so much that I have pondered it for the last week.I was shamed by my own lack of doing this to my own sweet babies.It is in those little moments and encouragemnts that they see Jesus in us.I want to make those gigantic days .

  3. This post really brought tears to my eyes, Kelley. So wise, and so encouraging… thanks. I’ll carry this with me all day:
    “Gigantic days are made up of small, deliberate moments.”

  4. So beautiful and needed. My daughter had such horrendous growing pains for 9 months that we barely did school (it hurt her to hold a pencil), she even had a hard time walking, spending many hours writhing in pain. Then after a month of being free from that, she has 5 loose molars at once as well as her 12 year molars coming in 2 years early in the back. Needless to say, we have not done much school and I spend the day snuggling her and talking or watching something with her. I am feeling like a loser of a HS mom.
    Your message made me remember what I am doing now is just as important: giving comfort to my girl in pain. Showing her compassion trumps “to dos”, that dishes are less important than people, checklists of school can wait (we have all summer), and God’s grace is sufficient to get through this trial without complaining.
    Thanks for being willing to be used…again.

  5. Kelly, I feel like I am in survival mode most days. I totally agree with what you wrote, I just don’t know how to live it. My kids are 4, 5 and under and 1 due in August. There is constant chaos happening and they all have real needs that have to be met almost constantly as well. I love my children and honestly wouldn’t do it different if I thought I should/could and had the opportunity to, but it is hard and as Christie pointed out earlier, I all to often “lose it” Thanks for your encouragement on your blog.

  6. Kelli, This is very good. Thank you for being so encouraging. I feel like I am in survival mode a lot of the time. I have 4 children. 12,10,7,7. My oldest dd has cp. I sometimes feel like it just takes everything in me just to get the must do’s done in a day.

    I do have a question…..How do you deal with the “survival of the fittest” attitude. Things have been rough in our home for the last 3 years or so. Some family issues that we are dealing with and I see how my children get this attitude sometimes. I feel at a loss at times on how to deal with this.


  7. Ladies, my heart hurts for you! I wish I were near you so I could come alongside of you and help. I hope you are all in a wonderful church somewhere. May I suggest that you find an older woman and ask her to come alongside of you. Mayhap she could ease some of the burden you bear.

    Momma always tells me to do the best I can and let the rest go and I suggest that to you as well. Lord Jesus knows your burden and He will carry you through.

    In Christ’s love, may peace be bountiful in your heart.

  8. Miranda,
    My oldest child also has cp. We had quite an episode on Easter, after a nice day I hid some empty plastic eggs for them to “hunt.” There were no prizes inside, no big deal about being “the winner,” or anything like that.

    Anyhow, of course my cp child had less eggs than his brother, who is younger than him. My youngest was not bragging about having more – he was just excited to play. But my oldest was very upset and basically threw a mini-tantrum. I really felt for him – but at the same time I do not think it is a good idea to ruin the fun of the youngest, who already makes a lot of accommodations in daily life for his brother, so that his brother could win. I also think my oldest can have success in lots of other ways and that “letting” him win really sets a bad precedent.

    Ugh. No one teaches you how to deal with these things and when you have the opportunity to parent a child with a real disability, it is hard.

    As a mom it is important, I think, to pray a lot to be nice to your children! We love them, but they try our nerves so often. The more mindful you are of your tongue, the easier it gets. Also, there are so many parents out there who seem to never say “no” to their children and let them run wild. I am the opposite – I need to try harder to say “yes” to the fun sometimes. “Not now,” just falls from my lips so easily. 🙂

  9. I wish I could be there to help ALL of you. I am praying that the Lord would be please to have the house behind me sell to family with as many children as could possibly fit in it. I really do!
    A great granny who loves God, husband, children, grandchildren and great grands.
    I am so blessed. Joyce

  10. To the several comments about getting past “survival mode” and handling attitudes, etc…

    Can I just say that first, we all deal with the daily struggles of juggling duties of a home with being a wife and mother–you are not alone!

    I don’t have earth-shattering advice. But I have a few things to offer, though without knowing details of a family’s home life, I may not be offering anything new.

    First rule of thumb when demands are high: “Do the next thing”. Or as Saved by Grace said, “Do the best you can”. If attitudes are a lingering problem, tying heart strings is crucial. Sometimes removing everyone from a “normal” day can help. Try laying aside the routine for one day, and spending it outside, picnicking, etc.

    If daily tasks mounting up are part of the stress, organizing a “task force” can be helpful, especially if it can be done with some degree of optimism. (I’m not above gathering everyone and saying, “OK…we’ve got a lot of extra things that need to be done today. If you will all really be diligent and pitch in, afterward we’ll watch a movie.”)

    Attitudes are matters of the heart. Discipline can only go so far in curbing them; the underlying problem is wrong heart motives. Remembering that when I’m trying to figure out how to deal with an issue helps keep me focused. If the children are young, it may be a matter of simply reshaping habits and helping them learn how to speak to and treat each other.

    Older children with repetitive attitudes may need a more introspective look at themselves in light of Scripture and mothers are perfect for leading their hearts to truth during the daily struggles.

    Don’t forget to strengthen yourself by a steady diet of spiritual food. You wouldn’t skip meals because you know you would quickly become weak. Think of your spiritual strength in the same way.

    Above all in a busy household, cut outside activities to a bare minimum–even trips to the grocery store. If your weeks are laden with going places, expect chaos and exhaustion. The sheer instability of a schedule is a great hindrance to peace in a home.

    Oh and the last thing, told to me by several older mothers around, “You will be out of this stage sooner than you think and you’ll actually long for it again”. This too shall pass…make it count 😉

  11. @ Liz – I can so identify with the need to say “yes” …we’re working on it, too. I was with a family this weekend who doesn’t say no – I’m well aware that every family is different, and we all have our share of “bad” days, but lets just say I’m glad to be working from no to yes, instead of the other way around ;).

    Kelly – “do the next thing” – the great equalizer – it’s all anyone can do, really. Sage advice.

  12. another beautiful inspiring post! thank you! off to do the next thing! 🙂 blessings, jen in al

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