Are you discipling your children out of fear or faith?

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The one thing I continue to ask myself when things get tough in the parenting game is, “Am I making this decision based on my fear OR based on my faith?” I have been using it as a guiding point since the girls entered school. Is it easy to operate like this? Absolutely not! But, I am learning the alternative creates more worry than God ever wants for our journey. I even ask myself if I am operating out of a need to control what happens next. Come on, don’t lie and tell me some of you DON’T do this! When everything lines up perfectly we feel almost liberated don’t we? If it is anything I have learned since becoming a mother, anything and everything can go wrong and anything I thought I had under control changes very quickly. I had to start asking myself about the decisions I was making for the girls. What was my motive? Was my motive to make myself more comfortable? Was it to lead them in a direction that was using their sweet little hearts to glorify God or even lead them closer to knowing who they are in this world?

“When my heart is overwhelmed lead me to the rock that is higher than I” Psalm 61:2

If this picture doesn’t speak a thousand words! Hands…Full…

A few examples this past year come to mind. We have always had the girls in the same class at school. But, we decided this past year to give them a chance to be in different classes, with their consent of course. My insides were filled with every “what-if” possible. What if they can’t be without each other? What if one has a great teacher and the others struggle? What if I can’t keep up with three different teachers, homework and little classmates? What if I was displaced and uncomfortable? I was noticing my fear was out of control. I knew God was pushing me to let them go down this path. I prayed for clarity and the first few months I felt a little out of control. My fears were running rampant. I remember reading one time this:

F.E.A.R. – Forget Everything And Run OR Face Everything And Rise

I think I would rather rise than run. What about you?

After a few months of getting my act together and noticing how the girls were coming home growing in different ways, I knew that my faith was bigger than my fear. They have all had blessings for teachers. Ones that who have really brought out the best in each of them. I don’t necessarily like to do 30 different spelling words a week, BUT, it is what it is and it’s not the end of the world. We have had some bumps in the road dealing with some matters of the heart. Things like being excluded from friends, being challenged academically, just not wanting to go to school somedays (especially days there was a substitute), – overall emotions of an 8 year old!

The fears will get larger as they get older. I fear that MY fears may keep them from being who they are meant to be and I do not want that for my girls. So, I am facing this head on now.

Posing – waiting to see PINK in concert

The second situation happened recently when we lost a friend of our family. My dear friend lost her husband suddenly. It was a conversation that brought a lot of questions in our house. It also brought up attending a funeral, which they had never done before. Again, in came that fear. Fear wanted to protect my girls from dealing with emotions that made them sad or fearful themselves. A sweet friend of mine with twins reminded me of something very important. That our faith tells us that our goal is to raise up girls who are compassionate, put themselves second to support another human and experience even the hardest things in life that build their hearts for God’s kingdom. This time, a big God told me “good job Mom.”

Do any of us want our children to feel pain? Of course not. But, how many of us want our children to be equipped when this painful worldly earth we reside in deals them a hand that is less than desirable – and everyone says – AMEN!

I encourage you to look at the end game when you look at your children. Think about WHO you want them to be in this world. Let that drive your decisions. There will always be the fear of them making the wrong decision and the pain you will feel as a parent. I am going to lean in the best I can and teach my girls that fear and faith have something in common. They both ask us to believe in something we cannot see. Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable and receives the impossible.

Put your own parenting fears aside and CHOOSE FAITH.

I invite you to share your own experiences and help us empower one another in this game of parenthood.

Blessings!

Unstuck

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How do you handle being stuck. You know, that place where you feel in limbo. You feel you cannot seem to get a grip. You even may feel out of control at times. Even in that unstuck feeling you still are managing racing your kiddos around, doing the grocery shopping, working the job, and all things in between BUT you still feel stuck in a space that leaves you discontent. Going through the motions.

I have learned over the years that these stuck feelings are peaks and valleys in the seasons of life and sometimes that are just bound to happen. I have ALSO learned that the stuck-ness may be God’s way of allowing us to pause and evaluate what is important. We are caught up is so much of the BUSY of life that we race from one thing to the other and sometimes we miss the good stuff.

Secondly, I have learned the hard way that if you are stuck TOO long you may need intervention. I have had several moments in motherhood where I walk through the day and sometimes the evening like a robot. Get up, make breakfast, lunches, get them to school and get home and literally stare into space wondering how to put one foot in front of the other. The days that the bed is calling, but then you think you may seem like a lazy if you take a “self-care, mental health” day. Oh, heaven forbid how does that look! Sometimes I don’t even want my husband, who works from home, to ask me, “What are you doing today?” It may be just a general question in his perspective, but inside my heart just can’t take one more obligation or self-judgment that I am not doing enough because what he may not know is that I am managing all my plate can handle…right this moment.

I have had no problem telling medical professionals most of my life how I feel and I have never had a problem seeking counseling to work through this feeling of being stuck. God tells us the only way the light gets through is to push it through the darkness. (I am paraphrasing). I encourage those of you who have not made that step, PLEASE do so. It can be empowering and it is such a relief to do something to get “feeling” back into your sweet life you are leading.

Lastly, if you are someone who struggles with any type of illness, whether that is chronic pain, autoimmune, disease, or just flat out something that reeks havoc on your life. I SEE YOU and I FEEL YOU. Women battle so much especially after we give birth. Nothing is EVER, I repeat, EVER the same as it was once before. Your biology, physiology, psychology, and everything else under the sun. Almost eight years into the life of my triplet girls and I am learning how to manage all the change. AND add turning 40 on top of that. WOWZERS.

I say all this to encourage others that the STUCK is ok. Just don’t hang out there too long. If you find yourself being in that place too long, reach out for help and tell those around you that you are struggling. Even if you are struggling to put into words how you feel, tell someone that too.

Your loved ones, friends, family, your tribe, needs to know how to surround you and lift you up to a place of wellness. A place of what balance (as all women are laughing) for you.

Isaiah 60 says, “Rise up and shine, for your light has come. The shining-greatness of the Lord has risen upon you.  For see, darkness will cover the earth. Much darkness will cover the people. But the Lord will rise upon you, and His shining-greatness will be seen upon you. 3Nations will come to your light. And kings will see the shining-greatness of the Lord on you.

 “Lift up your eyes and look around you, and see. They all gather together. They come to you. Your sons will come from far away, and your daughters will be carried in the arms.  Then you will see and shine with joy. Your heart will be glad and full of joy, because the riches of the sea will be turned to you.”

Trust God to navigate your life and to guide you through the stuck moments. He has already gone before you. He has already traveled the road and He will deliver you from these trying times. Also, please seek help from those who know better than you, medical and otherwise.

Rise up my dear friends. The light is much brighter and the sun is warmer on the other side. Hang in there!

They remind us to be childlike.

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The Lord tells us that “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring are a reward from Him,” Psalm 127. But, how many moms and dads are ready to take a deep breath from the longest winter break on earth? I almost feel guilty saying that it’s time to get back into the swing of things, especially since we all know our time is so precious with our babes.

How many of your children are gonna report to class this week and when their teacher asks, “How was your break? What did you do with your family?,” you know they are going to say, “Well, we really didn’t do much.” ARGGGGG! I have had to remind myself during the trips to the trampoline park, indoor playgrounds, bowling, movies etc., that their little minds may just not remember all the fun things we have done. They may just remember today. They may only tell the teacher what you did the night before or even that morning. All that work to “create memories” and lasting visions of the best Christmas break EVER comes down to “we didn’t do anything!” As frustrating and exhausting as it can be it makes me think about their little short term memories. God wants us to live in the present. He wants us to have a childlike faith and if you ask me, have fun just like a child.

Surprise Oklahoma snow day 2018!

In the grind of the day in and day out with our children, we pour all we have into making sure they have a memorable childhood.

Psalm 139: 13-16 says, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made, your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Being a parent is so much more than racing around and bouncing from activity to activity. When you stop and think on it, it is overwhelming the responsibility we are charged with from God to raise up these little humans to have character, do the right thing (in the absence of an audience), be kind, love themselves and love others. I am reminded by our parents that the days are long, but the years are short.

First introduction to Santa 2012

This picture reminds me of those memories we strive for rain or shine, too young or not. Looks fun right? Hahaha. It certainly reminds me of all the life that has happen in the middle since 2012. I mean no one wants to be that mom who doesn’t take their kids to see Santa right? But now, I have seven-year-olds who had no interest because they said, “You know that is just a store Santa.” My. Heart. Just. Shattered. That was just a store Santa, but you still LOVE that Elf on the Shelf crap! Excuse me, but that is another example of what we do to create magic in their childhood. Bottom line, I am sure none of us would take it back. I know I would not.

Typical. Emily – Always funny
Avery with her new sweet Luna girl
Camdyn and Murphy

In my rant about raising kids and making sure they are having a blissful life existence, please remember this. Who they are matters, not what they do. Now, please don’t take that the wrong way. I am all for family experiences, traveling, learning, projects, sports and activities etc. Let’s spend 2019 focusing more of the WHO and not so much the WHAT. Hone in on challenging your children to think about others. Teach them how helping humanity makes our world better. Show them love by being love. Being happy. Being healthy YOURSELF. It’s not easy. It’s not easy to be YOU and be there for them. Many of us sacrifice for their well-being over our own. But, let’s remember that God entrusted us with this responsibility to build up our world. To teach more about love. AND to raise these children to know there is always someone who needs someone in their life. It is not just all about them. Remember to give more of what is important to your children, so you can firmly plant your heart in who HE says they are in this world and not who the world says that are supposed to be or do.

More surprise snow ball fights at night (for those who did that as well), random nights out to dinner even when its late, and family personal missions filled with doing for others.

And also, let’s hope they actually tell their teachers they had a great time with their family – if that’s all they do remember!

Love and blessings to you all.

We’re Back! Did you miss us?

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Nothing like a two-year hiatus from Life in the Coy Pond right? Do not fret because the Coy family has not been in hiding nor has life slowed down since they entered Kindergarten. My absence in blogging should be an indication that I have yet to get my bearings on this thing called “school” life.

In true triplet fashion, life has come three-times as fast and been filled with three-times as many adventures, memories and challenges.

Welcome to 2nd Grade!

The last time I posted the girls were going into Kindergarten. We survived! We also survived first grade. Now, we have seven going on 17 year-olds. Our biggest change this year has been different classrooms. Per their request, we separated everyone. I knew as a mother it would shake my insides when it came to logistics, such as schedules and homework and parties and volunteering. But, God moved our little family forward and we have done the best we can with grace and patience. They have really come into their own this year. They have wonderful teachers and it has given us an opportunity to see their strengths and where we need to improve on helping them be successful individuals.

As their mother, I have been a little lost this year. God has shown me I cannot be everyone as once. I think this was His plan all along. It has been a tough 2018 on many accords. He always has a bigger plan and I am happy to follow His lead, which is always better than my own. It does take humility and swallowing my own emotions to put His plan above whatever my own may look like for these girls and our family. I am tired. Seems that is an on-going theme since their birth. Physically and emotionally I am just working through how to live in the moment with joy and contentment. I believe most mothers are working through this whether they have multiples or not. How do you stop in the moment and experience joy? How to you listen to God and discern what He wants you to do as you navigate life and motherhood? It is an ongoing challenge I want to continue to explore in 2019.

Emily Ray – Age 7

This beautiful girl is so funny. Quirky and smart and just an all-around crack up. She is working on new songs everyday. Usually songs that don’t make much sense, but if you knew our family (and their daddy) you would not question it much! She is loving basketball and loves her class and all the boys in it as well! Help me Lord!

Avery Lynn- Age 7

Avery is sweet and sensitive and still a rule follower. She is not one to rock the boat, but we are encouraging it. She gets indecisive and has a hard time choosing things for herself. Being in her own class is helping her open up her OWN possibilities and we love seeing her growth.

Camdyn Lea – Age 7

This one I have to watch out for in her tween years! She is a teen in a tiny little body complete with her love for fashion and make-up (in the house that is…) and dreaming of being a grown-up. Oh my sweet child, slow your roll! She is determined and loves her teacher who pushes her out of her comfort zone.

Luna Bear – Age 9 weeks

Lastly and oddly, in comes another living creature into the Coy Pond. Pretty sure some of my last post were about Murphy.

Murphy – Age 3 with her new buddy Luna

My husband thinks I am certifiable. I think I agree. I think I have learned that when life seems unmanageable or God leads us in directions we don’t have control over, I have the need to love and nurture living things. So here we are again with another puppy and more sleepless nights. Remember that thing about joy and contentment? People that know me know I love dogs. The ladies as school see me rolling up with a big 90-lb fur ball in the passenger seat and I think they get how I may be just a little “off.” Chaos is just how we operate. Trust me, I may squeeze in learning my boundaries and limitations and how to NOT take on so much this year. But, let’s be honest mamas, it is highly UNLIKELY!

Wishing you all peace, blessings and good health for 2019! See you soon back the Coy Pond!

The Big K: Survival of the Fittest

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Avery, Camdyn and Emily

 

 

It has been a while since I blogged about the girls.  My last post was about beginning of a new era: Kindergarten.  Nine weeks have gone by and I think I could have written a novel just filled with emotions and all the changes it has entailed.  I titled this post, “Survival of the Fittest,” because that is what it has felt like.  I feel I have been to battle and back.  Adjustment after adjustment, tear after tear, but I believe we are slowly turning a corner just right in time for the holidays!

Any mother can relate to the day you first watch your kiddos walk through those big school doors and look back and say, “Bye, Mom!”  I have had a million people ask me if I cried.  Well, I am human people!  I did wait until I got in the car with my husband.  It was the ugly cry no doubt.  I knew they would be happy and have a great day.  They have an adorable teacher.  Going to school six hours a day, five days a week has been exhausting on the girls.  There have been several, “we have to go again today?”  Unfortunately,  yes you do my loves.

 

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Emily, Camdyn and Avery on their way to Kindergarten (Photos by Anne Schmidt)

 

It has been hard on both of us.  I feel empty nested.  I don’t have a baby or toddler to go home to when they go to school.  I don’t work outside the home.  The big question, “What do you do with all your free time now?”  I got passed being somewhat insulted by this question.  Some people are just generally curious and I get that.  I have had six years of utter adventure and a non-stop physically taxing job raising them to this point.  It has been sort of a bitter sweet symphony (insert theme from Cruel Intentions).  We are all navigating this new season together.

 

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Emily Ray

 

This sweet girl above has hit me out of left field with some separation anxiety.  It has broken me at times seeing her in tears and upset just about going to school.  As much as you can nail down a five year-old, I have explored every issue that could possible be the reason why she doesn’t entirely like the school process.  Bottom line, she just misses time with her mama.  Boy my girl, me too. You have no idea.  In true Emily resilience, things are moving upward!  You go my big girl!  We are exploring her gifts and giving her space to be the silly little one she is.  She has a heck of a swing, so maybe golf or tennis in her future!

 

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Avery Lynn

 

Avery takes on challenges in true stride.  Not much shakes her and her confidence is something to be admired.  She is trucking along about to learn a back handspring at tumbling and taking on dance once again in a mini-hip-hop class.  She is super eager to read by herself.

 

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Camdyn Lea

 

Camdyn…Oh Cam..She is the ultimate teacher’s helper. Seriously loves all things school.  Has been incredibly happy and is such a sweet friend to new friends at school.  She is also doing tumbling and her confidence has really soared.  She used to be really hard on herself if she didn’t get something right away.  I have seen over time how practice is making perfect or at least teaching her she can accomplish it if she wants to.  She is also doing dance!

Although this post is greatly delayed all of the emotions are still ringing true for this mama.  My faith in the Lord has pushed me to feel and to conqueror this season with new hope for the future.  Thank God he meets us right where we are every day.  We all know some days are better than others!

Those days of bottles and a mountain of diapers are gone.  I never in a million years thought I would grieve for those days.  Ok, I lied.  I don’t grieve for any of that.  I am more than happy to put that behind us.  But, the littles.  The little fingers, little toes, little words, just all things little are growing into bigger girls engaged in a bigger world.

Lord, thank you for our health and these gifts we get to call our daughters.  I promise to pull up my bootstraps and get on with it!  Haha.

Blessings,

Mama Coy

Reflection: The big “K” is coming

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The big “K” is coming.  Yep, Kindergarten.  I blinked and we are here.  I wanted to get these emotions out early, so I can attempt to celebrate their first day.  Let’s be honest, this will not be easy…on me.

For a straight year, I have heard a few reoccurring statements.  The inevitable, “What are you going to do with all your free time?”  and “Are you going to go back to work.”  I won’t lie, at first I took these two comments very personal.  I even shed some tears thinking to myself, “Am I not worthy enough just being my girls’ mother?”  I never thought the moment I dropped them off at school for the first time I had to have a plan.  I didn’t realize I turned off “mothering” until 3:40 p.m. when I will pick them up.

I prayed this last year for clarity from God about my next step in life.  I was a professional for almost 12 years before they came along.  I fought hard to be successful and be known as someone that was hard working employee and someone of value to a team.  Little did I know the spontaneity of their coming into this world is the most challenging and biggest blessing I have ever had in my entire life.  Everything I thought I needed, everything I thought I wanted changed the moment they were brought home from the hospital 43 days after their birth.  The past five years, we have put up our dukes against any challenges that came our way.

Steph with Girls1

We took on years of sleep deprivation, potty-training, and the 24-hour bug (that should be called the two-week bug once they had all passed it around). The joys of taking your kiddos on playdates and to lunch and to experience all the world has to offer through the magnified anxiety and physical challenges.  Those early newborn cuddle sessions were not things I look back on with bliss in my heart.  Sadly, those moments rarely happened.

I told myself that regardless of how hard this would be to be “normal” I was bound and determined to live that life for my girls.  Not to toot my own horn…ok…I will…I think I kicked ass!  The fog called raising a newborn, toddler, etc..is slowly coming to close and I will celebrate that with joy in my heart.  Many mothers may be thinking, “how in the world could she wish those moments away…they were the best times of my life.”  I have many “best times” I will hold so dearly close.  First trip to the beach.  First trip to the zoo.  First time they tried pizza.  First time they all slept through the night at four years old…YES FOUR YEARS OLD FOR EVERYONE TO NOT WAKE UP BEFORE MORNING.  First times they learn something new and I glowed with excitement with them.  First time they experienced pre-school.   I am not a mother who missed anything.  I got everything.  And I got everything times three!  I am a blessed woman.Me and Girls with Sunglasses summer 2014

As I navigate this next season, I have chosen to not look back but to celebrate looking forward.  To being a happier and healthier mother to my girls.  To enjoy their successes and to cuddle their failures.  To participate in things at their school.  To just frankly, BE AVAILABLE.  I am choosing to continue to be their mother.  I thank God for presenting this clarity wrapped in the amazing Word.  Women, we don’t have to be multi-faceted to be successful.  We don’t have to conqueror the world in order to prove our importance and value.

I do plan to do some soul searching on how to get back a little piece of me.  Don’t get me wrong, this will not be easy.  I truly believe a woman loving her life is the best example to our children.  They will know I am a person and that person just happens to be their mother.

But who am I kidding?  I will be choking back tears as I let go of their hands and give them to someone else for the entire day in a new environment with new things to learn.  I am honored to be their mother.  I have three of the most beautiful girls God could have wrapped into one womb.  Trust me, there wasn’t run for much more!

I hope they know I adore them.  Their hearts are beating for God. Their smiles melt me.  Their bickering even lets me know that I am living and life is in full effect.   They are growing into such amazing little ones.  I cannot wait to see their future, but I plan to continue to mother in their “present.”

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Good luck to all the first-time school moms out there.  I will be flashing back to those moments they were first born right along with you!

Blessings always from the LORD!

Stephanie

 

 

Just one of those dayz…

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The title says it all.  Just one of those days.  Many of my friends may remember this old Monica song:

Just one of them days
That a girl goes through
When I’m angry inside
Don’t want to take it out on you
Just one of them days
Don’t take it personal

The girls have just been overly whiny and demanding lately.  We are not sure what is going on or if this a taste of what three girls with PMS will look like in our future.  Don’t get it wrong, the picture above is in no way promoting child labor.  But, after Avery broke an entire bottle of OPI RED nail polish on our master bathroom floor I knew the day was not off to a good start.  I typically don’t freak out over things like this.  I have way too much patience for that and know things just happen.  I was about to implode and they were sort of laughing which even made it worse.  Grab a toothbrush girls and get scrubbing!  Of course, this lasted maybe five minutes and it took me more than an hour to turn my bathroom floor back into somewhat normal when it was a crime scene!

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I tried everything!  Nail polish remover to baking soda to Clorox to pumice stones to scrub it out!  Just me and a toothbrush and nail polish remover for more than an hour.

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Secondly, you know this wonderful idea that I had to get a puppy?  Well, she I like a fourth child right now.  The adorable-ness of these dogs is what makes it worth it, but seriously, come on!!!

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The girls like to wake up at night and so does the puppy.  She has an excuse.  She is a puppy.  They are almost five!!!!  I find myself resorting to old parenting ways of just putting Miss Murphy in bed with us so I can sleep a few hours.  Then I remember that does not help in the future. The part that does not make me happy is the poop.  “MOOOOOOMMMM Murphy pooped in Emily’s room AGAIN.”  If you are a Mom, poop is not really a big deal.  At least it never was to me and I had lots of poop going on in this house.  But, I will say throw up on all accords I absolutely despise.

WARNING!!! This photo is not for the weak stomached. Yep, that is MASSIVE throw up from our eight year old Boxer, who we took to the pet ER last week.  I literally thought she was dying.  She does have some issues to investigate, but put it on the list right?

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Things can always be worse and in this house they have been in the past!  But this day just really had me spinning and my blood pressure out the roof.

So, if any parents out there have tips on the following please help a sister out!

  • puppy training
  • attitude adjustments – This could actual be good for me and my hubby as well as the kids 🙂
  • why dogs eat EVERYTHING!
  • why kids don’t want to eat certain things!
  • why we still can’t get a full night sleep in five years?
  • why somehow I still find all of this somewhat humorous
  • why I still have not checked myself into some type of retreat for crazy people
Prayers for a new day because God always makes the sun come up tomorrow!!!
Love,
Mom on the Edge