Karen and I took the same blogging course, online, and that is how I met her. She is also a mom and parenting blogger. Karen weaves humour into most of her daily posts, leaving her reader with a refreshing outlook on parenting and everyday life. You will enjoy her feature – I dare you to not laugh!
A Little Bit About Me
Thank you, Cindy, for allowing me to share my story here.
A Virtual Hello
With four sisters, I grew up surrounded by pink. My poor Dad had to settle for a male dog who was yappy and passive-aggressive and had to eventually be given away. At least that’s what they claimed…
But the real plot twist came when I had four boys. As our second son explained, “Our parents only have one recipe – X-Y.”
I’m so thankful to have these boys in my life, as they offer steady writing material. Not sure what I would even write about if I didn’t have them. They are currently 16, 14, 12 and 6. These are full days of growing pains and grocery shopping.
I am married to my hubby Marc. I loved him enough to trade a simple last name of Hamilton for Gauvreau. He has been in full-time ministry for our whole marriage. I owe a deep debt of gratitude to my sisters who met him first and woke me up saying, “We found your future husband.” We’re 20 years into married life, so I think they had good instincts.
Our Daily Life
I was a high school teacher but chose a sixteen-year maternity leave so I could be home with my Little Boys Blue. We happen to live in one of the most expensive cities in Canada, so we have become creative with earning extra income. I’m a freelance writer and run a swimming business each summer. I also tutor from my home. Every time I had a new baby, I would make sure I only had female students so I could nurse the baby if needed. I celebrated finally getting paid to breastfeed.
One thing that makes our family a bit unique, is our entrepreneurial spirit. It has become part of our family’s fabric. Our eldest was trying to earn money shovelling, but when the weather didn’t cooperate, I offered him another business idea. I suggested he start a mobile car detailing business and within 5 minutes he was door knocking. Two years later, at 16, he is the Car Clean Teen. Many Moms hire him regularly to de-cracker their vehicles.
Two of our boys also shop at thrift stores for brand items they sell at a profit. And our second son has begun to tutor kids in French and Math.
Since we aren’t able to give our boys money for a lot of extras, we support them in their jobs so they can earn spending money. They are also seeing first-hand how we make sacrifices in some areas so, we can have the privilege of me being at home. (although they are trying to tell me to ‘get a job’ these days – which may mean they want to sneak more cookies after school).
Struggles of My Day
Joys In My Life
One thing that brings me a lot of joy is seeing how God is helping to write our children’s individual stories in unique ways.
When our eldest started taking piano lessons years ago, I received a phone call from his music teacher that he offered to back up the choir on the piano in the spring musical. He was still only learning the right hand at that point. While we had to bow out of that opportunity, his tenaciousness has served him well. A few weeks after he started playing acoustic guitar, his friend said, “Ayden. If you were just a bit better, I could listen to you all day!”
We discovered he has an incredible talent for playing keys and bass by ear. This has tethered him to our worship team at our church, at a time where he may have started objecting to even attending. So deeply grateful that we were able to foster that love of music without even realizing its importance.
One other boy is shining God’s love to others in quiet, sincere kindness. Last year an elderly woman in our church lost her brother then her sister a few weeks later. Rylan, who was 11 at the time, didn’t even know her but quietly got up and sat with her for the rest of the service. Proud, does not begin to describe my feeling that day. He is spunky and has an emotional intelligence that amazes me.
Great joy came from our decision to have our fourth child. When I was pregnant with Landon, we affectionately called him Now or Never since I had just turned 40. Watching his big brothers with him as an infant, was magical. And 6 years later, it still is. At a time where the older boys are less expressive with us, they still beam at their little brother. They may not want a hug from their parents, but they scoop up Landon and squeeze him at the end of each day.
One hilarious moment was recently listening to them all trying to convince him that they should be his favorite brother. They kept mentioning offences of the other brothers that should disqualify them. (“Don’t you remember when Rylan opened the front door and you wanted to?” “What about when Liam spilled your pop?”).
My Dream and My Calling
Parenting is my most humbling and faith-building adventure.
I have always shared my messiness as a Mom with friends, but now it is slightly more public on an actual website. As one friend said, “I feel so much better about my parenting after talking to you.” Um. Thanks?
When deciding on a name for my blog, I tried Frayed but Unafraid. I wanted to emphasize the messiness of being a mom, but the confidence and hope that comes as a Christ follower. But when you squish the words together, it makes tuna.
I don’t even like tuna.
Back to the drawing board.
In a facebook brainstorming session, one friend said my blog name should reflect humor.
That was the day Lightly Frayed was born.
Lightly Frayed: Parenting With Hope and Humor.
Isn’t that we need? Humor – so we don’t take ourselves too seriously. And hope that the God who created us, and our children, will be our coach and encourager as we parent them.
This is my dream. That my words will encourage Moms. That I will point them to a Savior who loves them deeply.
Since you asked, a secondary dream would be to take our boys on a vacation. On a real airplane. To see them experience a different part of the world. If only they would stop eating so much, we might be able to save for plane tickets.
Moments With God
God has proven himself so faithful to me as a Mom. I am learning to give up control (or the illusion of control) and entrust him with my babies. As Gary Thomas says in Sacred Parenting, “He is using parenting to change me. One jagged edge at a time.”
My favorite verse reflects my need to continually hand over my anxieties to our loving God and to trust Him completely. Especially now that we are entering the teen zone. Bless us.
I’d love to connect with you personally. To make you feel better about your parenting by sharing my crazy mishaps and missteps, and the hope-filled story of God making something beautiful in my mess.
You can find me over at: www.lightlyfrayed.com. I’ll be the one in pink surrounded by a sea of blue.
I hope you enjoyed Karen’s lightly frayed life and story! Karen shares a lot of truth about imperfect parenting, read another woman’s story of how she gave up trying to be the perfect mother, click here: Perfect Mother’s and How They Never Existed
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