Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Girl in the Mirror

A couple of months ago, I looked in the mirror and I was not pleased with what I saw. “How did this happen?!” I wondered. Then I decided to do something about it. I joined a dance class. Even after 4 classes, I just couldn't keep up with the fast-paced, bouncy hip hop moves and I couldn't handle watching myself in the mirror. So I did what any postpartum sleep-deprived woman would do - I left class early and cried all the way home! And I refused to go to class the next week. I have a bad case of what I call “Mommy body!”

How about you? When you look into the mirror, do you like what you see? Chances are, if you are a female, then you have dealt with body image issues at some point in time. We compare ourselves with other women and often unrealistically so. No matter what the number is on the scale, we tend to fixate on the things we don’t like about our bodies. One woman says, “I wish I had curly hair,” while another woman wishes hers was straight. One woman wants a flatter tummy while another wishes for a curvier figure.

What’s a girl to do? How do we find contentment with the girl in the mirror? Perhaps we need a different perspective – God’s perspective. You’ve probably heard these truths before, but we all need a reminder now and then.

Genesis 1:27-28, 31
“God created man in His own image…male and female He created them.
God blessed them…God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.”

Psalm 139:14
“I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

I Samuel 16:7
“For God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance,
but the Lord looks at the heart.”

I Peter 3:3-4
“Your adornment must not be merely external…but let it be the hidden
person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which is precious in the sight of God.”

(Written by Heidi Songer for the Westwood MOPS May 2011 newsletter)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Are You Tech Savvy?

I came downstairs one morning and found my 6-year-old son already on the computer. “Whatcha doin’?” I asked him. “Updating my website,” he responded casually, as if that was a perfectly typical thing for any 6-year-old child to be doing!

It got me thinking about how tech savvy our children are compared to us and how we grew up. I remember how exciting it was when my dad bought our first computer, a Commodore 64. I think I was 8. I learned to type in 8th grade. I got my first email address and first used the Internet for research in college. (Man, I wish the Internet had been available in high school!)

That conversation with my son also got me wondering, how tech savvy are my peers and their children? So I surveyed some MOPS moms and here are some of my findings.

Tech Savvy Moms

90% of the 39 moms that responded say they belong
to a social networking site. Facebook is by far the
most popular with 34 moms belonging. 8 moms use
LinkedIn, 2 use Twitter, and 1 mom is on MySpace.

All of the moms surveyed have at least 1 email account. 82% say they check their email several times a day. 10% check their email at least once daily and 8% check it less than once daily.

67% of moms use websites to share photos or videos. Shutterfly was the most popular with 17 users. Snapfish was second with 10 users. 5 moms use YouTube, 5 use Flickr, 5 use Kodak, and 3 use Walgreens.

28% of the surveyed moms have their own blog or website.

Tech Savvy Kids

Of the 33 moms that responded to this survey, 24 allow their children to use the computer. Just 6 of the children have their own computer.

How much time do your kids spend on the computer each day?
8 said 10 minutes or less
6 said 10-30 minutes
8 said 30-60 minutes
2 said 1 hour or more (That would be MY kid! But just for the record, he doesn't watch TV much.)

What do your kids do on the computer?
19 use Games
8 use Word or Excel
7 visit websites
7 use photo/video/music software
6 do artwork
1 does school research

Recommended Websites for Kids
Club Penguin
Disney Junior
Google Maps (My son spends HOURS on this site!)
Moshi Monster
Nick Jr.
Peep & the Big Wide World
school website

By the way, my son uses to create his websites. He logs in to my account and uses the "Share" sites to work on 2 of his own sites. It's easy to add photos from my Shutterfly albums and he's added text, maps, weather, links and more. It's easy enough for a Kindergartner!!

Written by Heidi Songer for the Westwood MOPS April 2011 newsletter

I'll Pray for You

I wasn't feeling motivated or inspired to write anything for the April MOPS newsletter. Then I came across this blog post on prayer by a friend of mine. She gave me permission to use it in the newsletter.

Click on the title above to read her article.
Or visit her blog at

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Big Picture

“Don’t sweat the small stuff.”
“Pick your battles.”
“Major on the majors and minor on the minors.”

Good advice for moms? Sure, but it’s easier said than done! Sometimes we make everything into a big deal. A dirty diaper. Another load of laundry. Junior refusing to eat his peas. Sometimes we lose sight of what’s important. Well, what IS important? That’s the first question author Julie Barnhill asks in her book One Tough Mother. Here’s her words: “In the light of eternity, what do you want out of this whole mothering thing?” And here’s her answer, “I want to raise children who will want to return home as adults. (Return as in visit. Not live indefinitely.)”

So I asked myself this question and I came up with four things. Yes...four! Maybe it’s because I’m an over-achiever, or maybe I just couldn’t narrow it down to one!

1) I want my children to follow Christ.
We recently celebrated Abby’s infant dedication at Westwood. It was so affirming to hear the congregation say “we will” as they gave their agreement to help us raise our child (and children) in the ways of Christ. I do realize that ultimately my kids have to make their own choice whether they will follow Christ or not. But I will keep this desire in mind as I make decisions each day. And I will pray and pray and PRAY!

2) I want my children to have an authentic lifelong relationship with me, their father, and each other.
I wrote this with my own family dynamics in mind. I have a great relationship with my mom as an adult. She would be the first one to admit she made many mistakes as a mother. Yet the fact that all 3 of her children still adore her makes those mistakes trivial. On the other hand, I wish I had a closer relationship with my siblings and I hope to instill a lasting closeness between my children.

3) I want my children to become positive contributing members to society (unless physically or mentally unable).
I grew up with an “I want to change the world, or at least a piece of it” mentality. My husband learned a very strong work ethic from his family. I guess that’s why this is important to me. It’s not that I expect my kids to become doctors, missionaries, or president! Their career path is their choice. It’s more about the attitude. I just want them to be hardworking, compassionate, generous people, using their unique gifts and abilities in a positive way, regardless of their worldly success.

4) I want my children to be safe, healthy, and loved.
To me, these are the basic minimum requirements of the job of parenting. It isn’t my job to play with my kids all day long, but it is my job to make sure they’re safe. It isn’t my job to give my kids everything they want, but it is my responsibility to meet their basic needs. My parents struggled financially, so I didn’t have the nicest things. But I never doubted that I was loved. That’s what I want for my kids too.

Those are just MY answers. Perhaps I’ve given you some inspiration to think about the big picture. So what do YOU want out of mothering? I encourage you to write it down and share it with your husband or a friend. And then, “Don’t sweat the small stuff!”

(written by Heidi Songer for the Westwood MOPS March 2011 newsletter)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ordinary, Flawed & Used by God

I’ve heard it said that God uses ordinary people to do His work. Look in the Bible. David was a shepherd. Joseph was a carpenter. Peter was a fisherman. Yet David became probably the most well-known king of Israel. Joseph was chosen to be the earthly father of Jesus. And Peter is known as the founder of the church. These men didn’t start out to change the world. They were just regular people, but they were obedient to God.

But let’s take it another step further. Not only does God use ordinary people; He uses flawed people. Selfish, sinful, disobedient people. Again, look at the Scriptures. King David committed adultery, yet he was known as “a man after God’s own heart.” Rahab was a prostitute and still God used her to help and protect his people. She is even included in the geneology of Jesus. Paul participated in the arrest and murder of Christians but after his life was changed by Jesus, he became God’s #1 spokesman.

So, can God use me? Ordinary me. Flawed me. Absolutely!! For the past 1-1/2 years my husband and I have been leading worship at a small church (a very small church – about 30 people on a good Sunday!). I am constantly amazed at how God uses me. He uses me when I am in a bad mood. He has used me during pregnancy sickness, anxiety attacks, even through coughs & colds.

He uses me in spite of my imperfections. There have been numerous times when we’re driving to church and I’m telling my husband that I’m not sure I should be doing this. I mean - I don’t completely have this Christianity thing figured out myself. I don’t pray as often as I should. I don’t read my Bible every day. Am I really worthy to be up front “leading” these people? The truth is, I’m not worthy, but if I have been called to this by God and I obey, He will honor my obedience.

Just this past weekend after singing one song, I had planned to tell a brief story. When the time came, I ended up saying something completely different than what I had planned. Even at that moment, I wasn’t really sure why. I just believed that it was a God-thing. I might never know why. Perhaps He knew that somebody there needed to hear what I said (and not what I had planned to say!).

So I want to encourage you - don’t wait until you’ve got it all figured out (‘cuz it won’t happen!). You don’t have to be a super saint. Just be ordinary, flawed, and obedient – and wait and see how God uses you. Then come and tell me about it sometime!

(written by Heidi Songer for the Westwood MOPS February 2011 newsletter)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My Current Top 22 songs

Here it is - RockStarMom's Top 22 songs, not necessarily in order! They are not necessarily new songs, just the songs that seem to be impacting me the most right now. These songs convey the themes of healing, God's love and beauty. As you will see Bebo Norman, Casting Crowns and Tenth Avenue North are currently some of my favorite musicians/groups!

No Matter What - Kerrie Roberts
Before the Morning - Josh Wilson
Body and Soul - Susan Ashton
Voice Of Truth - Casting Crowns
Hide - Joy Williams
I Will Lift My Eyes - Bebo Norman
Rescue - Desperation Band
If We've Ever Needed You - Casting Crowns
Inside Out - April McLean
Singing Over Me - Building 429
You Picked Me - A Fine Frenzy
My Constant One - Michelle Tumes
Pull Me Out - Bebo Norman
Anyway - Nichole Nordeman
Beautiful - Bethany Dillon
The Real Me - Natalie Grant
Into The Day - Bebo Norman
Healing Begins - Tenth Avenue North
Strong Enough to Save - Tenth Avenue North
By Your Side - Tenth Avenue North
Hold My Heart - Tenth Avenue North
Love Is Here - Tenth Avenue North

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year, Time to Refocus

A couple of weeks ago my mother was in a car accident – a fender bender. She said it was her fault; she was distracted and wasn’t paying close attention. The accident really made her think – yes, she was distracted, not just in her driving, but also in her life and her walk with God. It’s like God was saying, “Pay attention!”

I get distracted too – by the daily demands of motherhood, household responsibilities, work and whatever else! I’ve been thinking lately that I don’t do a good job keeping God in the center of my life and my priorities. And then I wonder why my son doesn’t display as much spiritual interest as I’d like. Hmm. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it?

I felt convicted at church last week, when our speaker talked about putting Christ in the center of our lives. Oh, He is a part of my life, but sometimes I try to keep Him on the shelf and just take Him out when I need Him. How can I put Christ at the center? How do I make Him my priority and allow Him to fit the rest of the pieces of my life together?

First of all, I have to make the decision that I want to and I’m going to “refocus” my life. I can do this anytime, but right now at the beginning of the year seems like a good time. This year I want to “Turn my eyes upon Jesus” (words we sang at church!). I want to “Fix [my] eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of [my] faith,” (Hebrews 12:2).

It might mean giving up control. Gulp! That’s hard for me! Maybe before I make my to-do list today, I should pray, “God, what do YOU want me to do today?”

It means, asking myself, “How do I model for my children what being a Christian looks like?” Do they see me going to church on Sunday, but losing my temper on Monday? Do they ever see me reading the Bible? Do they see me obeying God or am I modeling disobedience, or even indifference?

One thing we just started doing as a family is a weekly memory and application verse. Here’s our first verse:

And whatever you do in word or in deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus. (Colossians 3:17)

My husband talked about going to work with a better attitude. I talked about doing cleaning and other chores as if I was cleaning the house for Jesus. We want to very honestly share with our kids that we are trying our best to follow Christ, and we don’t always get it right, but we keep trying! Our hope is that our children will follow our example.

(written by Heidi Songer for the Westwood MOPS January 2011 newsletter)