Hello there, friends! I have been wanting so much to sit down and write, but it seems like every time I try, there is a sick kiddo or crisis of some kind, or I stare at the blank page with a serious case of mom=brain and feel like I have nothing to write!
Over the past few months I have been praying about this blog and what God would have me use it for – He has taken me on an amazing journey over the past few years, and this blog has been an outlet for me to process my faith walk on a deeper level, to grow in confidence and boldness in speaking (typing!) and also just as a creative outlet for myself when I need to be something other than “Mommy”. I originally started it as a way to reach out to others who may have found themselves on a path similar to mine, one of obstacles, healing and faith. I wanted to encourage others in their faith and in seeking our Father in their day to day lives, no matter what that may look like.
I’ve often struggled with what to share here as many aspects of my private life are, private, or don’t involve only me, so I don’t want to share. On the other hand, oftentimes the things that I would share are just everyday things, and it seems like there are enough people out there already (over)sharing those things! I feel called to strengthen and encourage the faith of other believers, and to share what God has been teaching me – often that leaves me feeling like I have nothing to write to you, if I haven’t had any deep “theological” thoughts lately. I was just thinking this the other day and I feel as if God nudged me in that moment and said “So? Just write what life is right now. Write what you’re learning, even if its simple. Write about being where you are now and don’t worry about it being deep. Others are going through the simple too.”
So. Here is where I am now – I have had a few conversations lately where I haven’t shared anything deep or theological, but it resonated with others (mostly mamas also!) who find themselves in the same place as me – in need of practical truths as we raise up these little souls entrusted to us in day to day life.
I am mom to two now and a few times a week, we also have two other little friends over for the day. I was feeling disjointed and “off” a few weeks ago and realized that I have been clinging so tightly to what “works” for me – up super early for coffee and quiet time before the girls are up, breakfast on time, walks in the morning before our friends come, etc. – that I had been down on myself before the day even began if I missed my alarm or slept in because we had a rough night, or a late night the night before. Almost as soon as my eyes were open, I was mentally punishing myself for “missing it” yet again. But lately, I have been trying to remember that its ok to aim for that ideal, but the reality is that every day looks different, especially with little ones, and that my flexibility is probably going to be my best trait approaching these days. We are not robots, and sticking to a regimen, come what may, sometimes just squeezes the life right out of the day before it even has a chance to begin! So instead, God has prompted me to be sure I start my day with earnest prayer, no matter what else, and to take the rest of the day as it comes; sometimes that means waking up early for time to read and pray and sometimes that means waking up with a little one in my bed; sometimes that means coffee and waking up in the quiet on my own, and sometimes that means never having a quiet moment at all; but I am practicing always weaving prayer throughout our day, both alone and with the girls..
Here are some other things that I feel the Lord has been teaching me:
- When I try to do things in my own power, my blessings quickly turn into burdens. Everything – from washing the dishes, to doing laundry, to activities and outings and correcting behavior – must be done through the power and strength of the Holy Spirit alone, or I begin to feel frustrated, joyless and selfish. Pretty soon those little ones I prayed for for so many years become too much for me to handle, and everything else becomes inconvenient, difficult or just downright annoying. Spirit-led living is the only way to live in abundance!
- We cannot trust what others say about the Word of God; we MUST be reading it on our own, asking the Holy Spirit for discernment and wisdom. We cannot trust what others say is the truth – I have been disappointed by several prominent Christian teachers lately who do not preach the actual truth found in the Bible, as well as listening to artists, etc., and finding them lacking in truth. And not to mention the “social media gospel” floating around that is usually taken out of context, misquoted from the Bible, and used to support something else entirely. We must be reading the Word for ourselves!
- As Christians in this world, we have to navigate the complexities of living with both truth AND love. It is getting harder and harder to do, as the voices around us are loudly proclaiming anything and everything as “truth”, regardless of its Biblical backing. I get overwhelmed sometimes because to truly live as Christ means to call out the truth boldly and often that leads to disagreement and dysfunction; learning how to navigate that can be tricky and painful, especially in close relationships, but it does not mean that we do not do it.
- I have just now realized, as our oldest is 4 and learning more about what the Bible says about a righteous life, that in raising Christ-following children, we are essentially setting them up to be social outsiders, misunderstood, and unpopular. It’s difficult to think about setting your kids up for those things, but with that we are also handing them the greatest blessing of all — the key to peace that passes understanding through Jesus Christ! I dearly want my girls to remember that this world is not all that there is, and that a righteous life will come with trials, but will lead to abundance and life everlasting in Jesus!
- Taking care of ourselves is not selfish. I know we read that all the time, and maybe this one is just for me, but God gave me this body to use for His service, and in the service of others, and I cannot do that if I am unhealthy, overtired, and run down! I have struggled for as long as I can remember with my weight and my love of food, and recently re-discovered the importance of eating healthy and listening to what my body needs. In submitting that to God, I finally feel like He has given me victory in that area of my life, and am enjoying feeling healthy and strong! I can’t wait to see what He has in store for me and, through Him, want to be as healthy and energized as possible to take it on!
- I have learned to be careful what I say. When you start hearing things come out of your kids’ mouths, you really start to evaluate yourself! One of the things that I’ve heard myself say, and have tried to stop, is “Mommy needs ________…” (usually “coffee” fills in that blank around here!) But we all do it. It’s a tough day and we revert to “Shew, I need a glass of wine!” or “The kids are driving me crazy, I need some coffee today!” or even “I am upset, I need chocolate/a chick flick/etc.” Now, I won’t deny the healing power of some chocolate and a good movie, but the truth is that we do not need these things, we want them. But the more we put them in the “need” category, the more we begin to rely on them when we are upset, frustrated, angry or hurt. The only thing we truly need in those moments is Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit, and to speak that power into our situation through prayer. When we allow something else to take that space of priority, it becomes a crutch for us to reach for first, and then before you know it, you have yourself an idol set up right there in your kitchen. When you can’t have your coffee or wine or chocolate or whatever your “thing” is, you become someone no one wants to be around! We have to be careful what we say, and what we give power to in our lives.
- Prayer. Just prayer. ALL THE TIME. It is amazing that we have a direct line to the God of the universe and I wonder all the time why I don’t just keep it running all day?? He loves us, He hears us, He answers us – that alone changes so many things in life and we should use that power more often!!
So there you have it, friends. My simple lessons I am learning in this season of a house-ful of littles. I hope they have been an encouragement to you and I’d love to hear what you are learning in your own season right now! God bless you!