His child

Holding Tatum in my arms today during the singing at church, I couldn’t help but weep. The Spirit of God overcame me as my body filled with goose bumps and my eyes flooded with tears. Tatum heard me sing out to the Lord and as I did, I held her closer. She is my gift…my precious present that I lift up to HIM daily.


She got it this morning, as she actually comforted me as I held her. She could sense His Spirit moving me. As my dear friend Dick said, children really do sense God; Jesus even tells us to have that childlike faith. I sense she has that even at 21 months. How does she know to be silent every night as we pray before bed? So many little clues of her precious faith; the kind Jesus wants us all to have.

The rest of the service reminded me of how blessed I feel to know the women of City of Grace. Elizabeth is one of them, and it is no coincidence that she used to work with my mom. We have playdates with her adorable little 2-year old, and we both think they’d be a tremendous couple in 30 years when I allow her to start dating. Good thing I have her husband picked out, so she won’t even need to date! 🙂

When we arrived home, the doggie couldn’t wait to throw the ball and play.


Then as we went upstairs, I realized I needed to go back down and talk to my mom. As I did this, Tatum took it upon herself to go into her room, grab three books off her shelf and go into my room and read. Again…”coincidentally” she picked the ONLY three bible books she has. Weird. Just crazy amazing.

 Tomorrow is Labor Day, and I shall celebrate this LABOR OF LOVE that God has bestowed upon me.

Crashing the class

Panic-stricken. Yes, this was me at the start of this SAHM journey. What could we do all day every day?

This is when I looked at resources. They are out there, you just have to look. Little did I know how valuable they would be for Tatum’s development (and me as well as I learn how to teach her!)

It started with swimming when she was only 6 months old. I did not necessarily do this for her development, but more for us to bond and do something together. Since then we have continued. She has gained (besides swimming skills):
1. Listening to instructions (she may fight it, but then we have a lil chat on the side of the pool)

2. Being with other children and “playing nice”

3. Patience and waiting your turn.

4. Being silly and having fun.

We added Little Gym in the summer, but I decided to remove her from this, not only because it was costly, but because it was too unstructured, too large of a class, and parents did not enforce their children to be polite and listen to the instructor. It was terrible modeling for Tatum.

I now have added Musicology on Fridays. This class is terrific in that it is more intimate, structured and it teaches her rhythm, movement, and SHARING! Also, the mommies seem to model listening, following directions, and being polite. BONUS.

The rest of the week, I have now been trying to figure out what is best. The library is a little known FREE secret. Here is what we have tried:

1. Story Time: Excellent only if the parents would model for the kids to stay seated when the lady is reading.

2. Shake Rattle and Roll: Pure movement and fun. A bit of looseness that Tatum needs, and I don’t worry about the structure.

3. TODAY: we crashed the TODDLER TIME class (you have to be 24-36 months): This was excellent because the kiddos had to stay in their little letter square. Tatum had the “D” for “Dog” as I hoped it would keep her sitter sitting! I loved how strict the instructor was with the kids in staying put. The parents also modeled so well, and Tatum got to see that it was polite to pay attention and yet NOT GET UP.

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It worked for the most part, but then…IMG_5276

I had to reel her in. I think after coming a few times, she is going to learn this. More importantly, I am preparing her for her days in school. It’s a pure pleasure and HONOR to be in her life at this age. Had I known what I was missing, I would have done this earlier (although I don’t know how I could have!)

We will continue to hit the library with their FABULOUS preparatory,  FREE, and FUN classes.

Again, Thank you FATHER for allowing this time with my little TOT. We are bonding and she is growing into a lovely young girl (with a precious heart.)


Can gratitude erase stress?

Gratitude can overtake one’s life just as easily as stress. The stressors of anyone’s life are only as heavy as one allows them to be. The conversation this morning discussed stomach aches. It occurred to me that ever since I can remember, I have been plagued with all types of stomach problems. Whether it is slicing cramps, bloating, nausea or just plan doubling over aches, I’ve been there done that a million times over. Who knows whether the root cause is dairy, gluten, fruits, the way the planets are aligned or my big toe. The commonality which has always been present in my life is stress, right? Isn’t that the norm for all of us?

So what is different now? I still have stress! Shoot, I have a 21-month old child who I adore with all my heart and soul. However, the gratitude I have for this ULTIMATE GIFT supersedes any stressor I have ever experienced. Stomach aches? Sure, they are still present. But now, they are not as bothersome. My focus is on HER.

Today was one of those days where you think, how do I deserve this amazing child?

She sat at her table reading her Jesus Loves Me book as I sat in another chair working on my laptop.

The spurts of her playing independently are getting longer every week. Then she opened her little doll case which I filled with various buttons and boxes. This kept her going for oh…about 3 minutes! A lifetime in Tatum years.


Then, back to more books but now on her green chair. This time? A “where is it?” book. This one was her infant book and she has rediscovered it.

IMG_5262She then discovered her new toy which I spent literally one hour airing up…Mr. Panda. This was to be her new pool toy, but I caught her sitting on it doing….what do you think?? YEP. Reading her favorite book. (I Love You Forever)


When she first met Mr. Panda, she looked at him square in the eyes, said “Hi,” and kissed him. She seems to kiss everything to show she likes them. This will work for at least now, or if she moves to France.
After the library and “Shake, Rattle, and Roll” class we headed home for her to play in her kitchen and relax a bit.

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It was the perfect Tatum day, and we made it all together. Together. This is why gratitude overflows in my being.

An answer to prayer 21 months later

A community

A bible study.

All answered in one day.

Thank you, MOTC. (Mom’s of the City).

This amazing group of women (all mommies) meet twice a month on Tuesday mornings. They provide child care, food, fellowship, and so much encouragement. Now that I get to be home with Tatum, this provides something ALL MOMS need. When working, you just have no time for anything like this. If you did attend a group, it takes away from “quality time” and that cannot happen when you need every minute together.

Then, to my utter surprise, on the alternate Tuesdays, there is a women’s bible study WITH child care as well.

I get fed.

The ladies in the child care center were in awe of Tatum; they said she was like no other child. She is AWARE and so mature. I just know I’m blessed beyond belief to have her and ….

now to have a community to encourage and be encouraged by.

Thank you, Father!!

The puzzle helped me solve the puzzle

Whenever Tatum and I sit down to work a puzzle, she just tunes out. Her little fingers grab the peg, and she tries to place it correctly, but then she gives up. No interest.



Then, the other day, she wanted to open one of her real puzzles (which I was saving for when she was older). images-1She wanted to open it, so we did (and I hesitated). I talked it out as I solved it, showing her I started with the corners then I looked for eyes and faces to complete. She kept saying, “eyes…eyes..” She loved it!
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This coupled with her always choosing books as she points to faces, I realized…AHA! She is so visual and relatable. She seems to need to relate to something. I don’t know what is “normal” since I’m new at this, but seeing her love this puzzle as she looked for faces/eyes to complete it and seeing her LOVE books as she talks through them with her babble (while by herself), it became apparent to me her visual nature.

Whatever it means, it is fun to see her be excited about something on her own.

Band-aids aid

Who would have thought that a bunch of band-aids could aid in keeping Tatum entertained and occupied during Pastor Terry’s sermon today?


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As she carefully placed each one into my empty coffee cup, she shook them out and watched them fly. Then, it was pick-up band-aids one by one back in the cup. After that, I needed another idea, so I tore up the sticker pad into mini-confetti pieces and placed it in a plastic soap container.

IMG_5242This became another pouring activity. Anything Tatum can pour or place, she is gleeful.

Pastor Terry spoke about stewardship today, and how everything… I mean EVERYTHING we have been given is a gift and should be shared to the glory of God. This puts a whole new perspective on our “things.” Also, I can completely give my daughter over to Him, trusting that He is in control. I pour my heart and soul into her as a devotion to Him. This way, when it feels like work, I can be reminded she is a gift I hold dear and preciously take care.

At the end, we even committed to a promise that:
“Today I choose to embrace my position as manager over everything God has entrusted to my care; I will trust. I will obey. I will obey. I will steward all of the resources of my life to the glory of God.”

Simple. (but not easy)

But, with Tatum and the Holy Spirit present in my heart, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Those band-aids kept her happy, and they also aided in helping her mommy hear the message loud and clear.