Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Beautiful Moms - Prepare for Winter

My mind is full of something the Lord laid on my heart this morning concerning thankfulness and offering the sacrifice of praise - however, I am not quite able to tie it in with my Beautiful Moms theme. So, be sure to check back tomorrow for "We Bring the Sacrifice of Praise."

In looking through Proverbs 31 for an appropriate topic for today, the Lord smote me with verse twenty-one: "She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all the household are clothed in scarlet."

I live in upstate New York. In case you haven't heard, we get feet upon feet of snow almost every year. Worse than that - it gets COLD here. For those of you who live in Texas, Florida, etc., COLD does not mean 45 degrees. Come up for a visit mid-January, and good ole New York will introduce you to numbers you never knew existed - such as the BELOW ZERO range.

This means heavy coats, boots, mittens, and hats for each family member. Let's see - there are nine of us. That's 9 coats, 18 boots, 18 mittens, 9 hats, 9 scarves, 7 snowsuits (for the kids), and, often, 7 more coats just for church, etc. That's a lot of paraphenelia.

Oh, the joys of stepping over wet boots in the mud room. More joyous still are the sounds of "That's MY hat!!!" lilting through the house as 7 little people get ready to play outside. How my heart soars when one comes to me and tearfully says they cannot find one of their mittens (which one? Oh, they are kind enough to take their turns).

For all of the above reasons, I have put off the winter clothes shopping this year. I'm almost positive that gloves will be lost before the first real snow fall if I get them while the leaves are still on the trees. Kind of like my daughters winter boots were worn out after being worn all summer.

Don't ask.

However, it is now November. I've lived in NY all of my life and I don't know if there has been a year when it didn't get REALLY cold in November. We've voted in the snow a few times. We've driven to Thanksgiving dinners in snowstorms. Time is running out. I HAVE to get my family prepared.

Not only have I waited so long that my children may not enjoy the first real snow for lack of things to keep them warm, but I'm going to have to pay full price for most of the necessities. This is a year when 6 of my children need new boots. The hand-me-d0wns have been worn beyond recognition and each child seems to have that pesky problem of growing feet. A wise woman would have looked for sales last year (though, in my defense, it is very hard to gage the rate of growth for young children) or set aside some cash for these purchases throughout the summer months instead of breaking the bank all at once!

This verse slapped me across the face. Waiting to the last minute is NOT what a wise woman will do. I go to church with a woman who is constantly on the look-out for clothes to use throughout the year. All of her children are grown and now she blesses our family with her great finds. However, I don't believe she ever feared the snow while her children were home, because she was prepared. This is a wise woman and she truly is a Beautiful Mom. I could glean so much from her example.

Lord, forgive me for being so foolish; for being more like the sluggard than a virtuous woman who honors you by taking care of her family. Help me to learn from this experience - this fall -and be more prepared for the next cold spell.

How about you? A mom's mirror is often her family. Are they ready for winter or are they shivering? If they're getting frostbite on their fingers, like mine are, we moms still have more grooming to do. If your children are ready for winter and have the uniforms to prove it - congratulations on being a Beautiful Mom!!!


Janice said...

When we are weak then is He strong! Or another way to look at this whole thing... it is an opportunity for God to show you just how big he is!

I am sure all of this wasn't on the list of "Things I wish to neglect"... if such a list actually existed! And I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the great bargains you will get!

Don't forget- the stores are already getting their swimsuit line up's ready for display! Before you know it they will be having back to school tables out in April just when we are ready to look for all the summer merchandise that is going on clearance!!

Don't you love retail?!

Jenna said...

I just had to laugh about wearing boots in the summer. I can picture them romping all over the place in boots beacause they are easy to slip on and off! My little sisters do the same thing. :)

the reynolds said...

How well I remember those days! NY winters really presented a challenge. It seemed we had to have 2 and sometimes 3 of everything!.....boots for church, boots for play (which in our case meant barn boots and on a dairy farm you didn't wear your "barn" clothes to someones house). So, if you invite us over for sledding, I would hestiate to put their church boots and coats on for fear of rips, etc. Hence the 3 outfits -
1.barn 2.church and 3.going away (not good enough for church, but not our raggedy, stinky barn clothes)

Last winter I bought my daughter her first winter church boots since moving to Ohio.5yrs ago. I do not own a winter coat (for 'good') We do not have enough snow to warrant it. Now if you talk to a native Ohioan they will say different, but then again - they never lived in NY. Oh and we lived in the SNOW BELT! SOuthern Erie/Wyoming/Cattaraugus Co. Ahhhhh warm memories!!
Maybe when winter begins to drag you can come to Ohio to visit us!

heather said...

Let's face it, there will always be room for improvement in every area of our life & when we become perfect in every aspect we will be, well...dead! I've learned do what I can & try not to come down hard on myself with all of my short comings otherwise I would just be defeated all the time. What will your children remember about you when they are older? They won't care if you were all ready for winter in August, they will remember that you took time to read to them & to be with them & spend time with them. They will realize even more when they become parents themselves of what a great mom they have & how dedicated she is to her family. You're a great mom, Vicki! Thanks for the reminder for me to be the best mom I can be to my kids! We are blessed beyond measure & sometimes it is easy to lose sight of that.

Margo said...

I knew there was a reason I have so much time on my hands right now! Since we are not in Minnesota now, we are not doing the "don't let 'em freeze" rush. And honestly, I miss it! Love you Cousin!

kristina said...

I laughed right out loud at the comment about your girls wearing their winter boots throughout the summer!! I have memories of all my kids doing that when we lived up there.

Be encouraged, Vicki, we are all not going to get every thing perfect in our lives! You have been an amazing example of an incredible mother! In reading Proverbs 31, the struggle I face is "rising while it is yet night"!!! Oh how difficult that is for me! When I see that you get up at 5 a.m., I must admit,I am envious. You are certainly very diligent in all that you do!
Me, on the other hand, I love to shop, so I am a master at preparing for every season and event that may be coming my way! (Yes, we have two seasons down here in sunny Florida!) At times I can be neurotic!! Don't even get me started at matching them all, and the accessories, etc.!!

Really, we are all unique, and you have accomplished far more with your children than the average Mom. God knows your heart..and will provide your needs! Believe me, I pray before every shopping trip that I will find the very best deals, and I am not joking when I tell you that God has come through every time with super clearance deals!!! He truly cares about these things!!!