Moms in Progress: Janelle Gibbs

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Anna

Hey, moms! Today we get to talk to one of our writers, Janelle Gibbs! You’ve probably read her texts on the blog, but you may not know much about her yet. We think it’s important for you to get to know the writers and give a little context to the blog conversations that you read!

So Janelle, tell us about your family photo! 😄

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Janelle

Hi, everyone! This is our most recent half decent family picture 😁. It was taken on the 4th of July. As you can see, our middle daughter is holding a duck. She has two of them and loves them very much! Our dog Zoey is also constantly hanging out with us while we work in the yard. Our few acres provides our family plenty of opportunities to work together as we care for the animals and land.

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Anna

How cute! I just love that you have this little farm and work on it together. Tell us a little more about your kids!

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Janelle

We have 3 kiddos, ages 11, 8, and 2. They are a lot of fun and also constantly forcing me to rely on the Lord for parenting wisdom and strength! The oldest loves reading, Legos and guns. The middle one loves ducks, frogs and pigs. And baby girl is very fond of shoes, babies and cleaning!

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Anna

Whoa, I wish one of mine was fond of cleaning! Let’s hope she keeps that preference as she grows up!

Do you wear any other hats in addition to your [big, gigantic, hugely significant] mom hat?

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Janelle

I enjoy teaching barre twice a week at the YMCA, playing piano at church, keeping up our home and “mini farm”🐖 and writing for Texting the Truth! 😀

Anna
Anna

Yes! I have heard that you are a fabulous barre teacher.
What is your favorite book, podcast, or blog?

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Janelle

Right now I’m reading the book Boundaries and I’m learning a lot — like what I’m responsible for and what I’m not. Learning to take responsibility for my thoughts, feelings, and actions, then acknowledging I’m not accountable for others’ choices is very freeing.

Anna
Anna

Yes, it is! I’ve been doing the Boundaries video subscription online: boundaries.me! I love it. I think a lot of their content is great for moms, especially. We can easily get sucked into thinking that we are responsible for everyone’s feelings and actions.

On to shopping! What is your favorite mom product?

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Janelle

I don’t know if you’d consider ClickList (Kroger Pick-up) a product, but it’s amazing! Right after our youngest was born, I started grocery shopping online and found it to be the most convenient thing ever! I could grocery shop in my rocking chair while nursing the baby! And I didn’t make any impulse purchases or have to haul three kids to the grocery store who would also talk me into buying extra things! It’s a win-win in my book.

Anna
Anna

I totally agree! ClickList keeps me sane some weeks.
Speaking of groceries, what is your favorite simple meal to throw together?

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Janelle

Recently I made shredded pork in the crockpot from homegrown pork. I served it as tacos with all the fixings. It was super simple and really yummy.

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Anna

Simple and yummy are all I aim for these days! I’d say that’s a mom win.

Now onto perhaps a deeper question. Can you share a recent experience that challenged your mothering?

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Janelle

My 6th grade son had an oral report due and he waited until the night before to start working on it, even though I had reminded him about it a couple days previous. (Ahem… anyone else have a procrastinator in their family?!)

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Anna

Um, YES. I think my kids actually think it will only take ten minutes, no matter what the assignment is!

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Janelle

Right! So when he finally did ask me to help him, I told him that I was busy with something else for a few minutes, but then could help him look up a current event for his report. He took that to mean that I was never going to help him and I didn’t care about his project… and it was all my fault that he was going to fail. 😳(Insert — drama king…) I went on to explain to him that this was his project, not mine, and that he needed to take responsibility for his own failure to begin working on it earlier. Also that I would indeed help him like I said I would, just on my own timetable, not his. After some time thinking about it, he came to me and apologized for his attitude, for freaking out, for blaming me for his lack of diligence. And guess what?! I happily helped him find an interesting topic for his project!

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Anna

You go, mama! It can be so frustrating when our kids melt down and say something is “all our fault” — but it sounds like you really kept your cool and held your ground. Such a good learning experience for him too.

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Janelle

Thanks. But I was thinking — isn’t this just like we are with God sometimes? I know I am impatient and prideful at times, insisting on my own way. “God, I want this to happen, and I want it to happen now.” The problem is, God doesn’t operate on my timetable, nor does He tolerate my prideful insistence. He is patient and kind and merciful, but just as I teach my children to respect me and my time, God also tells me to wait sometimes. It’s my choice how I will respond. Am I going to throw a fit about it or choose to trust Him? I love what God can teach us through mothering our children! After all, God is our Father and He desires to give us good things! Maybe just not on the timetable that I have planned!

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Anna

Wow, I definitely have to keep reminding myself that God isn’t working on my timetable!

Let’s end on a funny note. What is the funniest thing your kids have said or done recently?

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Janelle

We live in the country and the fly population has been extraordinary this year. I even hung some fly strips around the house to help with the problem!! I am constantly swatting flies, and will every so often vacuum them off the floor. Needless to say, the other night as we sat down to dinner, there were a few dead flies on the kitchen floor.

My middle daughter loves frogs. She has several frog stuffed animals and she decided it would be nice to have a couple of them join us at the table for dinner. (One of them is as big as she is!) Not only did she settle in her frogs at the dinner table, (complete with baby sister’s bibs tied around their necks), but she also got a paper plate and went around picking up all the dead flies for her frogs’ dinner! 😜 (The creativity of children cracks me up!)

Anna
Anna

That’s adorable and I can just picture it! Bibs and all!

Do you have any last general words of encouragement for other moms in the trenches?

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Janelle

You are your kids’ mom for a reason! He will give you the strength and wisdom you need when you need it. He promises to never give us more than we can handle without His help.

Do you have a story to tell? Would you like to be featured in a future Moms in Progress post? Just click here and answer a few questions to share the details of your story. We will do the rest!

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