Moms Know Moms Day 23: Tamika

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family life.

I am married to a man that is so good to me and for me. I am mom to three precious gifts: one 6 yr. old, one almost 2 yr. old, and one sweet baby that went home to be with the Lord at 10 weeks. I stay home with our children and we are in our second official year of homeschooling.

Tamika Clouds Full of Rain Logo

What’s the name of your blog/website? What is the significance of the name, and how long have you been blogging?

My blog name is Clouds Full Of Rain. I wanted something meaningful, and became inspired by a scripture from the Bible. The first part of Ecclesiastes 11:3 says, If clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves on the earth:. . . I was hoping to settle on a name that reflects how I feel about life. This particular verse stuck out to me, and for good reason. When I looked into it further, I found an explanation that really resonated with me. The following excerpt is from Gill’s Exposition of the Bible:

If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth,…. They do not retain it; sad would it be for the earth if they did; but they let it down softly and gently, in plentiful showers upon each of the parts of the earth without distinction, by which it is refreshed, and made fruitful; nor are they losers by it, for they draw up great quantities again out of the ocean, and so constantly answer the ends for which they are appointed.

I want to give of the bounty I have been given, only to be filled back up and give again.

Tamika Diaper CakeFor many, sewing/crafting is a big part of who you are as a person. Why is “creative expression” important to you and how has it affected the quality of your life?

I believe we were born to create. We see it from the very young to the very old. Mankind is always coming up with something. Seeing different aspects of the way I like to create has been such an interesting journey of discovery. I have learned that I work well with my hands: developed a love for writing/journaling when I was young, learned I could draw in middle school, started doing hair in high school, communicated messages through the art of pantomime during college, and now learning to sew. Of course I have always loved to craft as far back as I can remember. There is a unique beauty germane to each activity and these experiences have been so rewarding for me.

Working inside or outside of the home (or running a blog or website on a part to full time basis) can be especially tough Tamika Pillowsbecause of the difficult choices we have to make with how to divide our time between work and family. Have you ever felt guilty about the choices you’ve made, and what advice would you give to someone struggling with those same types of feelings?

In the past, I have felt a lot more than guilt concerning my family/work flow. My husband and I became pregnant 5 months into our marriage. At the time, we both worked outside of the home. I knew I wanted to be home once the baby arrived, but my husband asked that I still work. Out of respect for him I continued working after maternity leave ended. One of the hardest things to do was drop our baby off with a complete stranger, head to a job where I gave everything only to have nothing left at the end of the day to give to those closest to my heart. I was miserable and my home reflected that on every level. I felt like I was in this cycle of working just so I could pay for things to be able to go to work (i.e. daycare, gasoline, clothes, etc.)

Tamika Number QuiltMy world changed when I left my job and came home. My attention no longer had to be divided and my family got all of me, first. It has been a slow and intense process of changing my focus and priorities. But, I have never felt more free and alive. It’s important to me that my husband and children feel loved and cared for. Everyone and everything else gets from the overflow. Oh, how I wish I could say I have perfected this. There are times when I’m just running on fumes, and don’t have much to give at all. I simply cannot give from an empty cup. Hence, the desire to be a cloud full of rain.

Coming home and away from expectations to be a super woman is part of my story. It won’t be the same for every woman. However, I do believe that we must figure out which of our many hats are the most important and cater to those first. It’s o.k. if certain hats don’t get worn as often as we would like or how we would like. For me it’s loving God, loving my husband, and loving my children—then everything else. At one point, I thought I might not get to anything else because I was so lousy at the first three. Surprisingly, being at home has allowed my heart to come alive in ways I’ve never imagined. It is so freeing to know I’m loved even when I’m lousy. It’s also nice to have a husband that is a “doer” and takes my thoughts and helps me to flush them out. I’m such an internal processor that without encouragement to “move” I would probably think my life away. Lol.

Finding the time to mother AND craft or sew can be a big challenge. How do you carve out time to create? When your children nap or are at school? Or have you found other ways to “sneak in” some time?

Finding time to create can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. Especially if you’re like me and can craft while Tamika Patchwork Skirtforsaking all else. I will forgo mopping to cut out a pattern any day. It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of cleaning the house. I have the Myers Briggs personality profile to prove it (INFP for the familiar). It also probably helps that I don’t have a ton of deadlines when it comes to crafting. That may take the fun out of it for me, I don’t know. My hat is off to all of you crafty moms in business. You amaze me!

In this season of life, I have a daughter that absolutely loves crafts. So, her project times are my project times. That’s if I can keep my baby boy from removing pins from my tomato cushion or running one of his cars up and down the sides of my serger while turning the dials at the same time. If I can’t make time for crafting during the day, theres always the evening after the kids are down. Sometimes my husband likes to be close to me while I’m sewing, so he’ll camp out wherever I’m set up. He likes the sound of the machines. This is also the man that likes to watch the clothes spin while he’s doing laundry. Hilarious. Hey, no qualms with that, I only have to do laundry in emergency situations. I don’t have a specific crafting area, so I am usually making a mess of the dining room table.

Tamika Oven MittsWhat’s the best mom advice you’ve ever received?

What our children say and do is a reflection of what is in their hearts. Behavior is not the basic issue and if I really want to help my children do good, I need to be concerned with the attitudes of the heart that drive their behavior. It’s not about momentarily changing their behavior to what I deem more acceptable. If I only do that I have not accomplished much.
Example of this principle in action:

My daughter was playing with her little brother’s truck when he noticed and quickly moved over to her to get the toy. This turned into a full out tug-of-war. My almost 2 yr. old is a tank and can hang with her. My daughter’s response when I intervene, “But mom, I had it first!”

On the surface, it may seem to only be an issue of justice. She had it first so she should be able to keep it. At the heart level, selfishness drives them both. It’s so funny how we don’t have to teach children how to do wrong; they already come here with that in them. While my son is too young to understand his heart condition, I had an opportunity to engage my daughter’s heart. With my words and questions I wanted to help her see that she was only concerned about her own happiness at that moment. What that meant for her brother was of no concern to her. Some may think this is taking it a little deep for a young child. We do have to know what our children can handle mentally, and to the best of our abilities try and meet them there. In the grand scheme of things we only have a short window to capture their hearts and influence them for good.

In terms of family, career and motherhood, how do you define success? Tamika Messenger bags

This is my success: To love Jesus and be loved by Him.

I’m not concerned with having it all and doing it all. My goal is not to reach perfection as a wife, raise perfect children, or retire with a fat pension. If I can learn to be loved and to give love, in my mind, I have done it all. If I can love well, I will be in right relationship with those around me. That’s where I want to invest.

How has being a mom changed your life perspective?

In more ways than my conscious mind is probably aware of. This is such an interesting journey for me. At this point in my life I feel I am a parent that is learning how to be a child. There is such a pureness in them that is amazing. They don’t have a care in the world. Even in the toughest of circumstances, there is something that drives them to live and to “make it”. They forgive with ease and finesse. They make the most of every moment.

I did not have much a childhood that I can recall. I was an only child not primarily raised by my mother. She came and went in spurts. So, you can probably imagine the anxiety I felt when it sunk in that my test was positive. I had no clue what to do with a baby. We are still learning together, and I feel blessed for this opportunity. I’m thankful that I don’t have to fret anymore over what I don’t know. When I mess up, I know how to ask them for forgiveness. Tomorrow is not promised, so I’m learning to live in the moment.

Line-2Tamika, thank you for sharing with us today.

You can find Tamika at Clouds Full of Rain.

Don’t Forget to  Enter Week 3’s Giveaway!

Want to continue the conversation? Join the Moms Know Moms Facebook group for more tips, information and resources.

A Question for You:

What valuable lessons have you learned by watching your children?

11 Comments

  • Jacqueline mukweto says:

    What a wonderful interview so ecuraging and refreshing. Bringing success back to its root. I love it! Watching my children I have learned to laugh more. There is joy in all things they are really good at finding it.

    • Jacqueline Mukweto says:

      Sorry about the typo I cant figure out how to edit my comment from my phone. :/

    • Shannon_CC says:

      I agree, Jacqueline. I’m always amazed at what my children find amusing. The smallest thing can have them rolling all over the floor laughing. So freeing.

  • Priscilla Randle - Dallas says:

    AWESOME! She reminds me so much of a good friend of mine here in Dallas. I had an ah ha moment when she spoke of helping her children understand their heart condition – because I’m always concerned with my own. I actually never thought to engage my strong willed daughter from the perspective of her heart – “BIG SIGH”. Thanks for sharing.

    To answer the blog question, the biggest thing I’ve learned from my children is unconditional love. No matter how much I fuss, they still want me to hug on them so they know my love is still there even if I’m fussing. 🙂

    • Shannon_CC says:

      The unconditional love floors me every time, Priscilla. Their hearts are so wide open that it causes me to inspect the condition of my own heart. They are a great reminder to “let go”. (It’s a work in progress, but I’m learning.)

      • Priscilla Randle - Dallas says:

        I’m learning as well. I feel like I repent just about every other day because I make some small thing a huge deal. Yesterday, my daughter said, “Mommy, calm down, please”. I knew I had done it again….Thank God for grace and another chance.

  • Rachel says:

    It’s been so nice to get to know Tamika better

  • Kim | a little lunch says:

    What a pleasure to read Tamika’s interview… great questions, by the way, and ones that made me think and re-evaluate “life as I know it” even though my children are grown. To answer your prompt, I’ve learned that my children aren’t mine… they’re gifts to enjoy, nurture, love, and do the best you can for the short time they’re in your care. The rest is up to God, as Tamika and you so wonderfully illustrated. Thank you. This blessed my day!

    • Shannon_CC says:

      I agree, Kim. I’m in a new stage now that my older kids are moving into their preteen and teen years. As I watch them turn into “little adults”, I realize just how fleeting childhood is. GOD has allowed us the gracious opportunity to “help” shape them and prepare them for life ahead, but their life is not my life. It’s theirs to lead. It’s sobering for sure.

  • Tracy King says:

    I loved reading every word. Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *