Perfect Moments + Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day.  We reserve this blog for the best of the best, and even then we still don’t post all that we want to.

These days, I navigate through life with fewer expectations of other people, and greater acceptance of my own inability to do it all.  This is an interesting development since I am one who delights in things being “just so”.  Last year in church, a leader dear to my heart shared something that has helped expand my perspective on things.  He said this. “We are imperfect people.  Yet, we can have perfect moments.” Since that talk, I’ve thought a lot less about how perfect things are in my life, and a lot more about how to rejoice in the perfect moments with others that God blesses me with daily.

PERFECT MOMENTS www.thevintagemother.com

I had one such experience yesterday.  But I’ll start with what happened the day before.  I had just dropped one of my kids off to catch the bus.  We’d been racing from an early piano lesson.  The bus drove away when I looked down to notice an art project my daughter had been working on…recycled art…one I knew she needed at school to receive a good grade.

I know it seems like no big deal.  Take the art project to school and meet her there when she gets off the bus, right?  But I needed to be home for a few Moms who were dropping their kids off for babysitting co-op, AND I was out of gas.  Not literally, but I’d been running on fumes for too long, hadn’t taken the chance to get any, and there was nobody to rescue me (like Bill when he saved me last month when my tank ran empty) Yep.

So I was bugged. Bugged about the project being left.  Bugged that I would let these Moms down.  Bugged that I had to stop and get gas.  And bugged that here I was running to rescue one of my kids–after deciding just the night before to let “natural consequences” happen a little more often in our home.

And to add a little extra fuel to the fire, the gas station attendee/wanderer asked how I was doing and if I had any fun plans for the weekend.  Seriously?  I wasn’t in the mood for chit chat.  But I obliged out of courtesy.  “I’m doing fine.  No, just a regular old weekend.”  She said, “Well what about Mother’s Day?  Do you have any fun plans for Mother’s Day?” My reply: “Not really.  Just the regular thing.  Go to church and I’m sure my husband and kiddos will take care of me.”

Silence.

Me again. “What about you? Do you have children?” (just going through the motions and not caring as much as I should.)

More silence. Ugh.

Her: “Yes I do have children….but I don’t.”‘  Silence.  “I lost my husband and 2 children all at once.  You know they always tell you to cherish those moments.  Be in the now.  Enjoy your children because in a blink of an eye, they can be gone.  And you know what? They’re all right”

And I sat there, completely overwhelmed with the sudden dip this conversation had taken me… into emotional depths I hadn’t anticipated.  And all I could think to do was say, “I’m sorry for your loss…”

This flood of feelings washed over me as I got back in my car.  Everything from gratitude and sorrow, to humility and pain.  If God was going to teach me something right then, it was a good time because my heart was open to learning.  Two things popped into my head.  The first one being that I should take her a Mother’s Day gift.  The second one being that yesterday marked the 2-year anniversary of when Millie almost drowned. And who was it that RESCUED Millie?  Miss Besty.  The child I was running to rescue.

This beautiful perspective popped in my mind.  How blessed I was for the CHANCE TO RESCUE…to serve my children, to be there at the perfect moment….sweep in and do what was needed.  And how grateful I had been to Betsy, who had done the same for me–had spared me from an otherwise difficult journey of resentment and guilt.

Betsy Art www.thevintagemother.com

And so I took Betsy’s art and got there just a few seconds after the bell rang  Gave her a hug and I was on my way.  Grateful for a perfect moment to help, extend, assist, and do.

And throughout the day, I couldn’t get that lady off of mind.  I had to do something.  I grabbed her a gift, talked with a store clerk (this was a grocery store gas station) and found out when her next shift was.  Tomorrow.  Floral department in the store.  Between 2:30 am and 10:30 am.

And so yesterday, I delivered a little gift to my new friend.  She was in the middle of making a pink balloon bouquet.  I  told her how much I had been thinking of her and  expressing my gratitude for helping put things in perspective.  We hugged.  I wished her Happy Mother’s Day, and told her how much she had made mine.

www.thevintagemother.com

www.thevintagemother.com

 

And I relished in this perfect moment, recognizing that the Lord was aware of what I needed to feel today.

And so with that, I’m publishing this imperfect post, and hoping it extends to women everywhere that life is never perfect, people aren’t either…but it’s made up of perfect moments…moments that bring peace and perspective.

And it’s about others.  Not you.

It’s about rescuing.

My hope is that we seek to love, nurture, build, care for, connect, and shape everyone with a perspective that God blesses us with perfect moments so we can more easily recognize his love for us.

Happy Mother’s Day.

…and Valentine’s and St. Patrick’s Day, and Easter…You can catch up with Ginny and I on our Instagram Profiles where we try as best as we can to keep things up to speed in real time.  (katie_vintage + ginnywilsonwinters)  And we hope whatever we share on here, whenever we share it, will be worth the wait.  xo

Day In | Day Out

The Ordinary Acts | www.thevintagemother.com

School is well under way.  We’re in our daily grind of ins and outs.  There’s a ton of lunches to be made, carpools to coordinate, places to be, and homework to be done.  We’re getting in the groove of what will be the next several months of our life here in our home.

It’s easy to let the ordinary tasks of caring and mothering work into a systematic, even robotic condition of: wake up, do everything, repeat. And it’s easy to find a little discouragement and dissatisfaction along the way.  With this, many of us find ways to escape the humdrum and monotony of daily life.  Which can be good and bad, depending on what we do with our time we choose to escape.

I like to think I’m not alone when I stop to wonder if I’m teaching all my children the right things.  Am I giving them the opportunities needed to help them learn what they need to?  Do they value the same things I do?  Have I ruined them for life? Haha.  Maybe.

But the older I get, the more I’ve realized the power of the ordinary acts that make up each day. What lessons am I teaching my children when I cheerfully welcome them home from school, or when I do laundry with love in my heart, or when I make a home cooked meal that they truly enjoyed?

What attitude can they feel from me as I participate each day in the daily grind? 

I know I can do more to recognize and welcome an attitude of remembering there’s power in the ordinary acts of daily life.

Will you join me?

The Gift of Heart

The Gift of Heart | www.thevintagemother.comDoing things with love has been on my mind a lot lately.  How we act, speak, and do can be influenced directly by whether or not we’re doing things with the right heart or in the right spirit.

Don’t be fooled.  Our family, neighbors and friends can feel when we do things in the spirit of love.  They can also tell when we’re doing something just to mark it off our list or for the satisfaction of others.

I get really tired of the harshness of the world.  There are a lot scary things out there that I don’t want to be a part of, nor do I want my kids to dabble in them either.  But one thing scary I don’t think we think about, are the day to day interactions with whom we love.  How are we treating those whom we love the most?  It’s so easy to go on in life, thinking we’re adequately serving, adequately giving, adequately doing whatever has to be done.   How sad!

I think there’d be a lot more love, happiness and good if we adopted the idea to do all things, even the smallest of things, with love.  If it means making the 100-millionth lunch for my kids for school, if I do it in love, they will feel it.  If it’s done as a chore, they’ll feel it. Think of the profound affect this would have on our children if we taught by example, there is genuine good and love in the world.  We’d show them when they are faced with the harsh realities of life, they can have hope in the goodness, sincerity, and peace that comes from being genuine in our actions, words, and deeds.

I’m quite certain LOVE is the most powerful weapon we have to combat hard things.  This mother’s day, give yourself The Gift of Heart and adopt the idea of doing all things with love.

Enjoy this FREE 8 x 10 PRINTABLE.  Download {HERE}

www.thevintagemother.com

The Gift of Goodness

Cottage Rose papers - small roses red

What is The Gift of Goodness?

A couple of years ago, my sweet cousin Izzy shared a story at a retreat I attended for the women in our family.  It is a perfect story to demonstrate The Gift of Goodness.

One day Izzy had purchased a beautiful bouquet of roses.  The roses were so beautiful that she wanted to share them with others.  She thought of a friend in her neighborhood that would love a rose.  She went to her friends home and gave her a single rose.  It of course delighted her friend.  What Izzy did next is the best part of the story.  She said to her friend’s, “I have another rose, to whom shall I give it?”  Her friend thought about it for a minute and then shared the name of another woman in their neighborhood.  Izzy set out to take the next woman a rose.  When she arrived to the woman’s home, she did the same thing.  She gave the woman a single rose and then said to her, “I have another rose, to whom shall I give it?  The woman shared the name of another woman in their neighborhood.  Izzy continued going home to home, giving a beautiful rose to each woman that was thought of by another woman, until all of her roses were gone.

I love this story.  To me it shows the good heart of women as we think about each other and support one another.  I love how giving the rose brightened the day for each woman that received one, but that asking each woman to think of someone else to receive one, did something entirely else.  It created the ripple effect of doing good.  Once we do something good it is easily passed on to someone else.  Izzy has shared roses several times and has even taken roses to women that she has not known, but did it because they were chosen by another woman to receive one.  My cousin Izzy is such a wonderful and courageous woman and mother and I am so grateful that I have her example to follow.

A while ago I heard a quote somewhere that said, “She lived, she loved, she left proof.”  I love these few words.  I think of my cousin Izzy and how her sharing of roses accomplished these exact words.  I have no doubt that the women that received roses that day will always remember being apart of something special.  I think that is how it is with motherhood.  We have it entirely in our power to look for the good, to be positive and actively look for good in ourselves and others.

I hope this Mother’s Day we will give ourselves The Gift of Goodness by realizing all the good that we do every day.  I hope we notice that when we do something good, we feel good and in return start a ripple effect of good things in other people’s lives.

Press {HERE} for this 8 x 10 printable.

She.lived collage | www.thevintagemother.com

A Generous Thought {The Legacy of Telling a Story}

My mother in-law was Susan Bennett Winters.  She was a wonderful woman and was the mother of 5 children.  She adored her husband and supported him always as he provided for their family.  Susan was very talented and was a beautiful pianist.  She was a calm and quiet woman. She was the kind of person that when she spoke you listened, because what she would say would be worth listening to.  Susan was a peacemaker and kept the balance in their home.  She was truly a Vintage Mother.

Nate and Susan Notre Dam | www.thevintagemother.com

Susan died at the age of 54 from cancer when my husband, Cort (the youngest child) was just 18.  It was such a tender time when she passed away because she was so young and had touched the lives of so many people.  I was dating Cort as Susan was dying.  I remember the feeling in their home during this time. There was a special sacred feeling for months as her body and spirit were being prepared to leave this earth life.  It was a humbling experience to see all the people that came to her funeral to honor her and her family.   I will be forever grateful to her for raising a wonderful son who truly emulates so many of her qualities.  I knew that Cort would make a perfect husband and daddy one day because I saw how he treated and loved his mother.

Nate and Susan with Cort | www.thevintagemother.com

Lately, I have been thinking about the responsibility we have as mothers to teach our children about our families and the people that lived before us.  I recently read an article in the New York Times titled, “The Stories That Bind Us”.  In the article the author suggests that “the single most important thing you can do for your family may be the simplest of all: develop a strong family narrative.”  The author also says that children “that know a lot about their families tend to do better when facing challenges”.  I loved reading this article because it reminded me how important it may be to tell stories and talk to our kids about the families they have come from.  There is much to be learned from stories we tell our children.  Not all stories may be stories to share, but when we can teach our children life lessons through people that are apart of their family heritage, I can not think of a better teaching tool!

Last week I was sharing a story with my daughter about her Grandma Susan.  It is one of my favorite stories and you may be surprised to have heard it before as well. Although I did not hear this story from Susan herself, I have heard this story many times from my sisters-in-law and father-in-law.

President Kimball (a former president of our church) lived in their neighborhood.  He was a simple man and wore the same suit and tie day after day.  One day Susan noticed President Kimball in a new gray suit.  It was beautiful, but he wore the same old tie.  Susan had a thought.  She would make him a new tie.  Susan asked her father to bring her some fabric next time he traveled to New York.  He did just that.  He brought back some beautiful silk fabrics and so she began making the tie.  Susan had never made a tie before so she took a part a tie of her husbands.  She was able to take a pattern from the tie as well as learn how to sew it together.  I love this part of the story.  I can just see her carefully unpicking a tie of her husbands and handling the silk fabric so delicately.  Susan completed a beautiful hand sewn burgundy tie.  She set out to take it to President Kimball.  As Susan was approaching the Kimball’s home she had a thought. “Who am I to take a tie to President Kimball?”  She started to turn to go back home just as President Kimball’s wife, Camilla opened the door.  Susan told Camilla the story of how she had handmade a tie for President Kimball and was feeling silly about giving it to him.  Camilla listened to Susan and then said to her, “Never suppress a generous thought.”  Susan gave the tie to Camilla to give to President Kimball.  He wore it often.

I love this story.  It teaches me so many things.  First of all, I believe that as women and mothers we are blessed with thoughts and feelings to bless the people around us.  I have loved knowing this story for years and can’t tell you how many times this quote has popped into my mind as I am questioning doing something for someone.  “Never suppress a generous thought.”  It is so simple, yet it has the answer.  If you have a thought to do something kind for someone else, just do it.

Secondly, I love this story because it teaches my children about their Grandma Susan.  From this story we learn that Susan was a caring woman who thought of others.  We learn that she acted on a prompting which is a wonderful quality.  But, we also learned that she second guessed what she was doing and felt the encouragement from someone she loved and admired.  When this happened she followed through and completed what she had set out to do.  Look what I can teach my children from telling them this story! This is the perfect example of stories that should be apart of our “family narrative”.

Nate and Susan with baby | www.thevintagemother.com

Now, I have 5 children just like Susan.  I think of her often and wish that I could ask her things and get her advice as I am trying to be a good mother.  I look to my 3 sisters-in-law and see what a great tribute they are to their mother by being the wonderful women and mother’s that Susan taught them how to be.  I am so grateful that years ago they shared a story with me that has reminded me to “never suppress a generous thought.”  I think of Susan whenever this quote pops into my mind.  Isn’t it amazing how Susan’s legacy keeps living on?

Enjoy this free 8×10 printable by pressing HERE!

Generous Thought | FREE PRINTABLE | www.thevintagemother.com

The Giving Envelope

Ginny and I have a pretty awesome friend named Heather.  We love everything she does and asked her a while back if she’d be willing to help us out with a few projects on our blog from time to time.  She’s passionate about creating all things handmade, but best of all, she does everything with heart.  I’m sure you’ll see as we go along.  But first, I can’t wait to share this sweet and easy little project she helped with.

Introducing a new Valentine’s tradition of The Giving Envelope.

The Giving Envelope {www.thevintagemother.com}

It’s very simple.  Make an envelope from wool felt by sewing the edges and creating a pocket.  Embellish it with more felt or buttons, or anything that makes your envelope special.  Write a little note, put inside, then SHARE THE LOVE!  Deliver with some yummy Valentine’s treats.  Encourage the recipients to do the same by passing around the envelope from one to another.

The Giving Envelope {www.thevintagemother.com}

Make it a Valentine’s tradition and do this each year!  Our kids look forward to opportunities to doorbell ditch our neighbors and friends, and we’re always looking for more ways to share love within our own homes!

Happy February!

The Giving Envelope {www.thevintagemother.com}