Tag Archives: belonging

Pillow Presents

This is a photo of a pillow in my home office comfy chair. The Curious George pillow, lumpy and bumpy as it may be, is special to me. It was made (by my daughter) from a shirt that my youngest son had worn a lot. I didn’t want to get rid of it when he finally outgrew it. We felt like it was very fitting for him as he seemed so much like the famous little lmonkey character!

On this Mother’s Day Sunday I wanted to share an idea with those of you who have younger children (or even some older kids). They may require “help” in getting a present ready for next Mother’s Day (birthday or Christmas).

You can plan ahead over the course of the next few months or so and notice when your child outgrows a special shirt! You might suggest to him/her that you would like it and ask if they mind if you make it into a pillow and see their reaction.

Your child might be old enough and motivated to get in on the pillow project or even make it themself. If not, you could make it and let them give you the finished product.

For the how-tos just do a Google or Pinterest search for instructions.

Basically just trim the body into a square/rectangle shape (circles are trickier and would definitely require a pillow form) leaving enough fabric to form the sides and seams. Sew your seams inside out leaving enough open space to stuff with pillow stuffing or insert a pillow form to fit. Then turn right side out, stuff and stitch closed. And there you have it! Your keepsake pillow gift.

What do you think? Is this the type of keepsake that appeals to you? Do you think it might be meaningful to your child/children?

I do not tend to be very sentimental about things. There are just a handful. That’s probably a good thing with certain rabble rousing children. The idea of cherishing items from my children’s growing up years may not mean much to them right now. But hopefully in time it will be additional evidence that I love and cherish them.

Mother’s Day can be hard. It was hard today. But I was not surprised. I maintained my calm. Mostly. Lowering the pressure on ourselves and on the rest of the family to make Mother’s Day or any other holiday a picture perfect event can help.

My youngest daughter (whom I have had some extreme relational struggles with) had volunteered to make peach ice cream for Mother’s Day. I strategically waited until yesterday evening to take her to get the ingredients when it would be just me and her and not a regular grocery shopping trip. But the local grocery stores did not have fresh peaches yet and the produce stands were closed for the day. Yikes! But calm prevailed. I got up early and drove about 30 minutes away to “Peach Park” where I knew they would have fresh peaches. It was very much worth it in more ways than one! (Yum!)

Your child might be old enough and motivated to get in on the pillow project or even make it themself. If not, you could make it and let them give you the finished product. Helping them to participate in a way that says “we’re family” can dislodge another brick in the walls of resistance to relationship that may have been built as a result of trauma. There were some small (but huge!) Connections made today that could have been easily overshadowed if we had tried to pull off a larger event (that would likely have been an epic fail).

How about you? Do you have any helpful strategies for lowering the stress levels for holidays and events? Post them in the comments.

ALL My Needs

“All my needs” . . . what does that cover?

ALL is the sum total, leaving nothing out. And “my needs” includes financial needs, daily food, shelter and clothing. I think it also includes the needs I have for relationships and belonging, purpose and value.

The Bible verse I have on our kitchen wall tells me that all my needs will be met (provided for) by God. Not my husband, my child, my friend, my pastor, my parents, my government or my local church.

Philippians 4:19 New International Version (NIV)
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

I think it is important to understand that while God can use any or all of these people and these avenues to meet our needs as he chooses, that’s the key phrase, “as he chooses”.

I copied a quote from one of the older Bibles we have, the WOW Student Bible article “The Twelfth Man” on the tradition of Texas A & M University football (a good read, but I won’t go into that here). This led to the story of Melchizedek, Biblical Priest and fore-runner to Jesus, the perfect 3-in-1 LEADER – – Prophet! Priest! King! Each of these, the Twelfth Man, Melchizedek, and Jesus arrived in an uncommon way.
And here’s the quote:

“Help doesn’t always arrive in the proper uniform.”

Of the many ways that this quote may be applicable, it has reinforced something that has been driven into me in my life recently. God has allowed my expected sources – – people I have counted on to meet some of my needs – – to dry up! Leaving me flipping out like a fish out of water, I had to settle down, breathe and wait for God to show me what my next move needed to be. Talk about HARD!

But my God came through as he always does and showed me that leaning on him – – and him alone – – was the answer. And enough. Because he has the solutions to whatever I need. He has the solutions for you as well.

Another hard thing was recognizing that all my flipping and flopping like a dying fish was prolonging the agony and keeping me away from the solutions he had waiting. I needed to focus on him and be ready to take the next step when he showed it to me.

Help may look different than what you expect and if you aren’t careful you might just miss it – – or delay it – – while you keep trying to wring help from the dried up sources you are holding on to.
God can use anyone or anything for his purposes. He seems to delight in blessing his people through unexpected sources. (When’s the last time you saw water coming from a rock, or saw a burning bush that was never consumed by the fire?)

I implore you, open your eyes, your heart, your mind and prepare for God’s unexpected blessings in your life. Get ready for the next step. He is more than able to meet your every need.

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Real life is often emotional and kid’s from hard places often have overwhelming emotions. As a parent, I want to help my children learn to use positive coping skills and give them helpful tools.

I have begun using some fantastic essential oils and other products that make a big difference in helping some of my family members with often overwhelming emotions, to manage and focus better.

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