I traveled to Phoenix for my first ever training as a natural health consultant and then the month flew by. It's ironic that the mom featured this mom is by far one of the most disciplined and healthy woman I know!
She has always amazed me- I met her also at Lincoln Christian School and her energy is unprecedented; I would try to listen closely to the things she would share and I heard things like "got up at 4am this morning" or "made my own bread for my family" the sort of things that make you stop and think- did she really say that? Is she here at 7:30am and full of energy? How does she do it? How does she juggle a family, work and still keep her health a priority? Well grab a green smoothie or herbal tea (he he) and learn with me about a truly amazing mom!
1.) What were your preconceived ideas about motherhood?
I had no idea what I was doing! Mark and I were the "jokers" in lamaze class-we didn't really pay attention and we had no idea what we were doing. My water broke 2 weeks early and Mark said " There's no way- it's NOT November yet" i just thought I was peeing on myself, I took a shower, ate and sat on the edge of the bed and looked up "water breaking" in the book What to Expect When You're Expecting. It said call the doctor- oh! We should call the doctor- ha ha. We were just winging it!
>>So What Changed?
When Clayton was sent to kindergarten in a private school- he came home knowing more about the Bible then we knew. We were super involved with our church but we weren't really learning anything. Mark and I were sent to a music conference in Dallas, it was the most amazing thing we'd ever done in our life. All we knew was that at the end of the service- they were so joyful and happy and what they had we wanted! We knew we needed to leave our church because you can't change from the middle, we knew it had to come from the top. So we were in between churches when Mark and I got filled with the Holy Spirit. We attended some John Bevere revivals and got prayed for- we were changed. Then we found Church on the Move and knew that's where we were supposed to be. Every Sunday after Pastor George spoke we would look at each other and say "we've got some changing to do" that was our line in the car. Everything was so new, we had lived our wholes lives thinking differently. We changed together- God supernaturally helped us move forward. Everything changed!
2.) What was your daily schedule like with 2 boys close in age?
Oh we did everything together- we just never stopped going. Grant never slept, he was not a napper. Clayton could sleep at the drop of the hat. They've been night and day since the very beginning- Clayton came out calm and quiet, Grant came out screaming. Clayton can sit still for hours, Grant cannot. From the time they were little, Grant climbed out of his crib right after he learned to walk. We've always been creative and fun.
They've never known life without somebody else living with us, we've housed maybe 6 or 7 interns. People who have lived with us, they don't know life without sharing their home. God placed it in our hearts when we moved to a larger home. It taught our boys from an early age that you continue to serve God when you get older. We've always opened our home- and we make it fun! We always wanted to be hospitable toward other people, not just come over and watch TV.
3.) I admire your commitment to a healthy lifestyle- when did that start?
I'll be 50 this summer, but I feel more like 35ish and I FEEL amazing! I've been somewhat of a pioneer in health. Around 20 years ago I was learning about eating right, exercising and natural medicine. My kids said "Mom you've always kind of been ahead of the curve" My kids don't know life without being healthy- I will tell them you are a spirit, soul and body: you nourish your spirit, you feed yourself on the Word, you build yourself up in the Word. If you don't feel good, if your mind, will and emotions are in the garbage because you've fed it garbage- how can you be spiritually your best? You don't want a dull mind or body! I never gave the boys junk in their school lunches, because they needed to be smart for the rest of the day. My husband is 56 and he eats great too- I'll leave the juicer on the counter and I've found that if any of the boys are hungry and want a snack I'll say just make yourself a juice and I'll clean up. It's the cleaning up that they don't want to do. I wish I had known what I know now- at your age. Clayton had strep throat all the time when he was little, he was on antibiotics all the time- I mean that's all I knew. Then when we started eating better, we took out things from our diet and all of our family felt better!
4.) How do you live such a disciplined lifestyle being a busy mom?
People want to go to church, they want all the blessings of God, they want to prosper and tithe once and have their world changed. It doesn't work like that, people want to go on 1 diet and have everything be different. It doesn't work like that- it's called the spirit of self-control. At some point you have to ask yourself- do I value the life that I have? It's a blessing... if I don't take care of me- look at all the lives that are affected! Your body is your temple, it is a gift from God.
The main thing is this: once the Lord has given you direction in your health, DON'T compromise! Don't ever let the excuse "I'm too tired" keep you from getting up early and spending time in the word and exercising. Don't compromise, once you know what your body truly needs give it that! Go back to the basics and don't let it get so complicated. Listen either your life can control you or you can control your life. Don't let circumstances and the devil ruin your life. Just don't compromise on what you need to do to be healthy!
5.) What characteristics have you consciously taught your children?
We told them to never compromise on who they were made to be- we wanted our kids to always know who they were in Christ! Not who the mean kids at school told them they were- but what the Bible says about them! We also tried to expose them to real world stuff, we took them to New York City and saw things they had never seen. Homeless people all over the streets and drug dealers on the subway trying to talk to our family was a real eye opener. We also wanted them to understand real world government and finances.
6.) What's a piece of advice you'd give a new mother?
You know more then you think you do. Babies don't come out with an instruction booklet, but you have the Holy Spirit. You figure it out, you gave life to them, you figure it out. Don't over think it, when you start to over think it you miss the joy in the process.
You're not going to be perfect, you're going to make mistakes. The first time you do everything it will be wrong, think about the first time you changed your babies diaper- it wasn't the best way! Think about the first time you tried anything- you messed it up. Why would parenting be any different? Don't beat yourself up about it. We used to say- are you bleeding? Is anything hanging off? Then you'll be just fine. Don't stress- babies sense that. God gave them to you- don't you think he's going to help you the rest of the way? Don't freak out! Did you know what was going on every minute he was inside your belly? People over think things. No baby has ever died from crying. Let them cry, they will be just fine. So what they didn't have a bath last night? You may be the only one smelling them-who's smelling them but you? Seriously. Enjoy your journey- if you don't enjoy your journey you've missed the whole point in having kids.
I also think moms make things too hard. They put too much pressure on themselves- to be the perfect mom and what's the "right thing"? Ya know, it's back to the BASICS. Feed them: Spirit, Soul & Body. Nurture them spiritually, their mind, will and emotions.
Remember that when you compare yourself with other people you become discontent, you have to look straight ahead and do what God's called you to do! Not what that other person or your besy friend is doing.
Lastly, when your kids aren't with their dad, talk about him. Say things like "Dad would love this" or "Dad would be so proud of you" and "You are big and strong like daddy' Even though dad may not be home at that moment the kids are always on his mind and this way you keep dad on the kids minds too! Keep dads in their minds with a verbal presence and this helps honor dad as well!
7.) What are some of your boys favorite childhood memories?
They said it was never boring growing up- when Clayton wanted to be a ring master in the circus- we bought him the costume and encouraged him, when he wanted to be a zoo keeper, we would spend lots more time at the Zoo!
Our puppet shows- we always had the BEST puppet shows! We always loved to make something out of nothing, we were driving by one day and saw this old Coke sign at a QT right around our house. So we asked if we could take it out of the dumpster and bring it home. It needed more screws and had to be put back together- but we made the coolest puppet theater! It wasn't just a puppet theater- they used their stuffed animals! We added curtains and "Coke" was out sponsor- ha ha! Clayton always had a script and Grant never said his lines right.
When they wanted to be Archers- we set up targets out of old t-shirts and painted them! I wanted them to think differently- if they wanted to try something new, instead of thinking let's go buy all the gear- what about making it first? See if it's something we really want to do.
They said I always told them who they were in Christ. I always reminded them who they were- no matter what, good day, bad day- I always went to the Word and told them who God said they were!
They said they loved the discipline of praying in the car together, everyday no matter what from the time we got in the car until we got to school we prayed! We prayed for the nations, we had our list. If we had extra time we would pray in the spirit. We give our angels charge over us, we plead the blood and we take authority over the enemy. I'm not someone who could memorize the chapter and verse of a scripture easily, but it's in my heart.
My kids said they were glad I trained them to eat healthy. And more importantly they are glad I just never really gave them a choice, we were just going to do it. It was never an option to not eat what you put in front of us- to this day they eat everything! I didn't give them an option- they just ate the healthy food I made.
I always encouraged the boys to write down miracles, write down the things that the Lord has already done for us. So that we can rehearse the little things to help build our faith.
They were grateful I didn't let them watch TV all day- I made them go outside and play. We would play in boxes, cut holes out for faces, paint the boxes etc.
They also told me they were grateful I didn't let them compromise. Compromise on their integrity, on their health issues- no matter what others are doing- THIS is what we're doing.
8.) Now what was one of your favorite memories with the boys?
We never allowed the boys to purchase greeting cards for special occasions... they had to make them. I have 20 years of heartfelt homemade cards... more valuable to me than anything. The cards reflect their artistic ability, what phases they were in, because that is what was usually drawn on the card and their verbal expression. It was awesome to watch them go from "I love u mommy you are the best because you make me yummy food" to "thanks for all you do in helping me grow into the man of God I'm called to be"
>>Wow! I was really challenged by this interview (have I said that every month?) I've started setting my alarm earlier and spending that early morning in the Word and praying. I knew I was using the excuse of being tired and boy oh boy did Gayle hit the nail on the head! It's not really an excuse. Somehow when we give the Lord our first moments of the day he gives us the extra energy, clarity and wisdom throughout.
I'm so blessed and grateful for each mom who's let me interview her! Can you believe I only have 9 left? What other new things will I learn this year... I'm excited :)