Friday, May 27, 2011

Parenting our children to serve others.



One of my biggest fears as a parent is raising my girls in a way that causes them to be selfish minded. In a way that takes away all of their freedom causing them to fight for their #1, themselves. I want to have children that look outwards to others. Who regard others before themselves. Who freely serve just because they see a need not because they feel obligated or because they want to get something out of it for themselves.

I feel like God is taking me on a journey of how to keep my kids hearts open to me. I am on a journey of figuring out how to parent in such a way that shows my girls that they are incredibly important to me, even more important to me than "myself." Teaching them by example. Like Paul says in his letters follow me as I follow Christ. I want my children to be led by right motives, and to serve others with all of their heart, like mom does.
Yikes, high calling.

To regard someone above yourself. To sacrifice yourself for the sake of another. Is that not biblical? Now I know this is probably funny to some... since...well as a mom don't we all do well EXACTLY that? What I am on a learning curve right now about is ... HOW do I teach my children to embrace loving others while I continue my journey to lead by example? What are the starting points?

Here are a few things that I have been thinking about.

1. Getting into a consistent routine of making sure my kids know that they are FAR more important than any "thing" that we have around us. Example. One of the kids breaks something. The first thing that comes out of my mouth HAS to be. "Is the "thing" more important than you, Kassia? NO!! Kassia you are FAR more valuable to me than anything!!!" (There may be consequences... but that should always be presented as a learning experience not a moment where their value is on the line.)

2. My children's joy should never never be stifled!!!! Even when they are being loud or rambunctious. They need to ALWAYS know that their joy is FIRST important... (As a side note I don't mean happiness, their "happiness" can be fleeting, I am referring to the innocent sparkle that you see in their eyes when they are genuinely having fun.) then I give direction on how they can serve others while they are being silly and playing. "Hey babe, I love that you are having fun and playing, that is sooo cool. Would you be able to do that in a quieter voice so that the adults can talk and have fun too?" This is very difficult to me because my first response tends to come up as a selfish motivation of my comfort first your joy second.  

3. Teaching my kids that in all circumstances loving others is top priority. When feelings are hurt. When they have a toy that is rightfully theirs. The other is always more important than the thing, or selfish ambition. .... and then after that acknowledgement... then we will deal with the circumstance and make things right.



What a journey... as much as this is a parenting tool... it's such a lesson to me to make sure my priorities are right. Am I loving others to the same extent that Jesus loves me. Am I putting others above myself on a consistent basis?




What are you thoughts?
For those moms who have been before me what are somethings you have done to teach your children these things on a daily basis?

Friday, May 13, 2011

"I knew I had too much to live for." by Rachel Jantzi

I am overwhelmed, to be able to share this post with you all!

Rachel, like I said before, I am beyond words to express how thankful I am that you took the time to put the entry together. The way you shared your heart, not only encourages us to embrace life and the moments we are given but it is also an incredible reminder that no one will go through life without trials. We will all go through, difficult and sometimes traumatic circumstances... but man o man having prayer surrounding you, family by your side and choosing not to throw a pity party is vital to getting through it in a such a beautiful and inspirational way!!

 
"I knew I had too much to live for."
by Rachel Jantzi


I'm pretty sure Nicole asked me to write this a month ago and I've been delaying and trying to think of something spiritual or profound to say. All I can say is, I love my family.


I was diagnosed with stage 3 ‘locally advanced inflammatory breast cancer’. Its a very rare, aggressive cancer that most often affects older, African American women. I remember the day we met the oncologist. My mom, mother in law, Dan, Alysia (designated note taker), and I all sat in a room listening. Everyone left while the doctor examined me and when they came back to the room all of their eyes were red. I remember shaking my head and moving my chair to face the door saying ‘if you guys are crying I'm not going to look at you!’ it seemed like they all thought I was going to die. I knew from the beginning that wasn’t going to happen. I knew I had too much to live for. Jack was only 6 months old and wasn’t about to start changing diapers on his own. And Dan only knows how to make one thing in the kitchen: spaghetti . I love them so much and decided I'm not ready to say good bye to anyone for a long time. I haven’t seen any of Europe yet, I don’t know how to surf and I haven’t mastered a souffle yet. There's just too much I want to do in life!!


(Dan and Jack about a month after being diagnosed)

Jack is absolutely the best, cutest, most amazing baby and he was AWESOME motivation. I love teaching him things and watching him learn and grow. I know that I am the best mom for him and gosh darn it I am going to be the best!! I remember at one chemo treatment I was thinking about being a crazy ‘soccer mom’ - I'M SO EXCITED!!! You better believe I will be at all of his hockey/soccer/baseball/whatever games cheering, wearing the team colours and probably bring baked treats for the team after the game!!

I didn’t really start thinking about actually having cancer until one day when I was in the waiting room at radiation. I thought, holy balls, six months ago I had cancer, real life cancer and now I'm fine (almost, new boobs coming early 2012). For me, not focusing on actually ‘having cancer’ was huge. I tried to live as normal of a life as I could during treatment. And I'm so thankful that everyone tried to keep it normal too.


The biggest thing I learned in all of this was to enjoy life. This is lame, but life is short!! I don’t want let days pass by while I do nothing. we made a list of things (I’m into making lists) that we want to do. Some are exciting like visiting New York and Chicago and some are lame like walking with Jack at night. My favourite one is the European cruise we are planning for September!!!! It is going to be EPIC!! That's the name of the ship. Epic. I would never use that word in real life.

Don’t get me wrong, chemo was very hard and having a bilateral mastectomy was not easy either. Having the most amazing family EVER made it bearable. Dan was so great through everything. He really loves me. Even with no hair, no boobs and going through menopause. He was awesome. Thanks Dan, I couldn’t have done it without you.

(Dan and I getting ready for the ‘chemo is over party’)

p.s. thank you so much to anyone and everyone who participated in the fun Friday gifts, called, sent a card, flowers, email and facebook messages. I cant even handle how many people encouraged us throughout all of this. Thank you

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Mommy Testimony (My first "blog")

Happy Mothers Day ALL!!!! WOW what an incredible day to celebrate women and mothers!!
I thought it would be a really neat time to re-post a note that I made two years ago about my journey into motherhood. It's amazing to look back to where we have come from and reflect on what all has happened since. I hope you enjoy my first ever "blog."




My mommy testimony!!
by Nicole Brodrecht on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 at 9:52pm



This is just a note to encourage all you young moms out there!!!



Life as a young mom??? Well it is one fantastic journey. I am so blessed to have been given four beautiful girls to invest my life into. I thank God for always being with me everystep of the way.

Leanna Harmony
 My story begins 6 years ago as a newly married girl on April 12 2003. 19 wonderfully overwhelmed with all brand new experiences and responsibilities, 3mths into our marraige came quicky. Adam walked into the washroom of our little apartment where the "test" was, he looked at it and smiled at me...WE WERE PREGNANT!!!! O my goodness!!! We were not expecting that since we were on the so called birthcontrol pill. The .1% was a surprise. But excited beyond belief we prayed for grace, pulled up our socks and got ready for our thrust into adulthood. Leanna Harmony was born on May 4th 2004.


Cadence Victoria
 Time sped by a year and two weeks later we had our second baby girl Cadence Victoria May 16th 2005. God was so faithful. Times were tough. Adam was working his butt off but we were still not quite "making it" It was amazing though how God was always there. We had a church that brought over a box FULL of food, families who brought over groceries, an anonomous person sent $40 to us each month to help with diapers, our parents give us much support, I never needed to worry. God took care of all our needs. I was also blessed with a womens study group that kept me going and truly helped me understand who I was and who God said I was. I learnt through journaling that God believed in me as he spoke to me out of my heart onto paper. I realized how valuable I was, beautiful I was and how much he loved me. Which at the time I didn't know. Having the mindset of a 19yr old's figure, the body of a new mommy came as an absolute shock. I was also being valued by moms who had been there encouraging me. My favorite passages that I stood on at the time was the one where God tells me that He will not give me any more than I can handle and James 1:2 (consider it pure joy through trials of many kinds...)


Rayne Symphony
 With our third move 16mths later Rayne Symphony was born September 4th 2006. A new job came for Adam in the perfect timing and we found our home church. Stability started flowing over our house as we learnt so many lessons and decided to commit to embrace the trials. Our prayer grew from one of God give us grace to Lord give us the lessons that will produce the best out come. Boy o boy what a crazy prayer. The piles of laundry continued to grow, dished became more overwhelming and there was always a child on my hip but I pressed on taking every moment I could to pull out my journal, my bible and to slide into a hot bubble bath. I started learning of the importance of creating a peaceful, pleasant home full of things that encouraged every sense to enjoy.

 
Kassia Lyric
Yet changes were again in the cards. 16mths from the birth of our third, we had moved into a home of our very own and our last little bundle of pink came. Kassia Lyric was born January 23rd 2008. I had my hands full. Now the kids out numbered me but with my hands tightly grasped onto Gods and my husbands. I have stayed sane. And not just sane but Invigoratedly, tiredly fulfilled.


As my girls grow and my mothering matures, the tears, the laughter, the excitement and the anticipation continue to grow. At times I feel like a child ready to stomp my feet and storm into my room.. and sometimes I do, but with God by my side to turn to, everything is handlable. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! I actually believe it now.

I don't know what the future holds or where we will go from here but what I do know is that God is faithful every step of the way. Every circumstance, every moment He wants to take care of me and refresh me and give me a continuous peace.


Be blessed friends!!

Thanks for reading my story.

Love,

Nicole




Since that point on October 19th 2010 after one misscariage and quite a long pregnancy, Shaylee Carmen became part of the Brodrecht Clan. What a blessing. Even though this concludes one season of life. Man am I ever excited to move into the next!!! Thanks for coming along on the journey friends.


Our Future to unfold (Shaylee Carmen)


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Motherhood is Unique and God designed. by Diana Wilhelm

I can't think of a better way to head into Mothers Day weekend, then by featuring my own mom.

Behind a great mother is a line of incredible women who set an amazing example. We can always learn something from those who are in our lives.

Thank you mom for setting a beautiful example of motherhood. I am blessed to call you my mom!!




Motherhood is Unique and God designed.

by Diana Wilhelm

Mothers day is around the corner and I was inspired to write about Mothers who have moved and impacted me personally, some unconventional but all motivated by love. I would like to believe that these people were a few who have helped shape me into who I am today.





My Mother, My Mentor



The memories of my mother are happy ones. She always loved and protected her little ones. She always provided the best for her children. She could sew or knit anything, and worked very hard to keep us all looking amazing. She encouraged my Dad to take his little girls out on Daddy dates. She made sure we had holidays at the seaside. She showed me how to be a great mother and wife. I will always be thankful for her influence in my life. She was also an adventurer and an explorer. She and my dad made the decision to move to Canada from England. Alone with four children she boarded an airplane for a new adventure. Meeting my Dad who traveled ahead three months earlier. This was the best decision they ever made.

My mother taught me that family comes first. I never heard the word divorce ever as a child. I always new my mother and Dad were totally devoted and loved one another. What great teachers. ♥







Betty and Bea my Unconventional Mothers



After I was married I moved a distance from my own mom to start a new family. This is where I met my unconventional Mothers, two sisters who were in their senior years. Bob and I were completely accepted into the lives of our wonderful friends. They were such a support to our little family. They had no children of their own but touched the lives of so many. I could not count how many lives they influenced. Their age never stood in the way of being, camp Grannies for girls camp for many years. They were a shoulder for many a homesick girl to cry on. They volunteered for the weekly breakfast club for a nearby school. They spent hours making something beautiful out of gently loved used dolls. They made new clothes for them and they were given to charities. They opened their home to many people some who were not so fortunate. Also had a ministry for teen girls making porcelain dolls. I spent many hours enjoying their company.



These two Mothers taught me how to give without ever getting anything in return. They taught me charity and unconditional love. ♥


The Girls Camp that Betty and Bea have been involved in for YEARS!!


Grandmother Lois my prayer warrior.



Lois Perrin was born in the early Twentieth century 1912 to be exact. This tiny premature baby was holding on to life with all of her might. Her twin didn't make it. She was placed in a box and put in an oven just to keep her warm. This feisty little one was determined to live. God had purpose for her life.



When I got married I was missing my Grandparents. My Grandad had just passed away and I was feeling an empty hole in my heart. The very first day I met this Classy lady she completely and totally took me in as her Granddaughter. I had the honor to spend a month living at her home while she healed from a fall sadly breaking both of her arms. This happened while she was catching a bus to the grocery store. Nothing could stop this lady, she had spunk that I admired. There are many things that I could say about my Grandma Lois but one of the greatest influences on my life was the fact that she prayed. She was a true prayer warrior. She spent many many hours praying for her family, her friends, her country. We always had a peace that no matter what was going on in our life, we were covered everyday with her beautiful prayers. Sadly for us but with the rejoicing of the angels, my Grandmother Lois passed into the arms of her savior, singing Glory songs with all her heart.



My Grandmother Lois taught me how important prayer is. What would this world be without the prayers of Gods people ♥

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

"Look at the Birds" by Sarah Brown

I can't think of a better way to head into a new season than from hearing such timely wisdom from a passionate young woman. Sarah thank you for taking the time. Beautiful words!


"Look at the Birds"

by Sarah Brown


As a kid, I hardly could have suspected how tight things were financially for my family. My four energetic brothers were bottomless pits at the dinner table and I have to admit I stayed pretty neck-and-neck with how much they could put away. Thanks to thrift stores and hand-me-downs we had enough clothes to keep the laundry full of sweaty socks and muddy jeans. The mud was mostly from playing in a beautiful big yard behind a house that, if not for a God-loving older couple that were radically generous, my parents would have had no hope of moving into.



But my parents were always giving. My mom gave me and my brothers amazing home-made presents on birthdays. My Dad tithed on how much money they spent instead of how much money he earned, because they sometimes had no idea where the much-needed money came from. I suspect Mom followed Jesus’ example and multiplied loaves of bread and jars of peanut butter, though I didn’t ever find 12 baskets left over.



I’m twenty-one now, and my family is in a different place, financially. But my mom and dad are in the same place of generosity. Really, no matter how much money you make, giving generously is always expensive. It always costs us. But, somehow, the price looks smaller as our love for people and trust in God gets larger.



I’m saving for college next year, and certainly don’t feel like I have a lot to give away at this stage in my life. Maybe you don’t either. I’m challenged to give anyways. God offers us both the wisdom to spend wisely and the confidence to give extravagantly! Let’s not worry about not having enough for ourselves or our loved ones or the bills. We do have a responsibility to those things! However, they aren’t an excuse to not be generous. We are far too valuable to God to ever need to worry.



Matthew 6:25-26 “...I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?”



So throw away your worrying and get creative! It’s sometimes surprising how doable (and fun!) it is to be more generous. Some ideas that come to mind for me are:

- thoughtful (not necessarily expensive!) gifts

- encouraging cards/emails/FB messages

- a timely phone call or conversation

- give someone a ride--you’re going that direction anyways!

- offer to take someone’s kids for an afternoon or evening for free

- a surprise coffee or chocolate

- a four-second hug

- a memorable photograph



So, passionate woman (or guest reader of the male gender!), how about you? If you’re old enough to read, you’re certainly old enough to have picked up a thing or two about giving. What comes to mind for you? What’s a special gesture of generosity you’ve discovered?



Next time you see a bird fly by, look at it and remember that you have full permission from God to worry as little as it does.