Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dear Me,

You won't always be this exhausted & worn out. You've made it through 3 teething babies who didn't want to sleep & you will make it through this one! 

This is just a season!

There's not enough coffee or Spark in this world to give you the adequate energy to homeschool a 3rd grader, a kindergartener, & a toddler all the while breastfeeding a baby! Oh & the energy to keep your house clean on top of being a momma, & there's that whole wife thing, & you're still potty training the toddler because like his big brothers he thinks his poop is too good for the toilet! 

Your list of things to do is longer than the paper you have to write it on. You feel overwhelmed most of the time & question your capabilities as a wife & momma. 

It will get easier!

Having a new baby in the house is always hard. Remember? You've done this before & not only did you survive, you've thrived! Look at your amazing boys! They're proof that you're doing a good job. You know you're not Super Mom, but your 4 blessings & your husband think you're pretty super anyway.

Deep inside you feel like your head is barely above water, but you know God will not let you drown (Isaiah 43:2). He is holding you with His righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:13). The Lord delights in you (Zephaniah 3:17). 

Take a deep breath & give yourself some grace. It takes time to figure out how to work with new challenges & a baby no matter how cute, comes with a lot of challenges especially when you have so many other things vying for your attention & care! 

You're doing a better job than you think! 

Cast ALL these cares on God (1 Peter 5:7; Psalm 55:22). Your doing a great Kingdom work & when your children are grown they won't remember the dirty floor or the ever present laundry on the couch that needs to be put away. They will however remember the times you took to play with them, the things you taught them about Jesus, about loving others & being kind. They will rise up & call you blessed (Psalm 31:28)!

By the way, the Psalms 31 woman had help maids!!! (Psalm 31:15). So seriously, cut yourself some slack!

Now rise up & press forward! Be blessed in the Name of Jesus! 

Sincerely & much love,


PS- Come back & read this as often as you need to! Your tired momma brain forgets a lot. :) 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

God Said October

In November 2011 we were celebrating Keller turning 1, God had just called us out to share about my abortion, it was a whirlwind of a time! Yet with all that was going on Brad & I had a longing to have another child. We knew it was crazy to even think about knowing we just had a baby a year ago, finances were very tight, our house was already feeling too small, but the longing was there. 

So we prayed. 

The Lord told us to wait until the following October. Anytime we doubted we would ask God again & He always gave us October. When October finally came around I had been tracking my cycle on an app for months to make sure everything was normal. It wasn't necessary really because thankfully my cycle is normal, 28 days, ovulating days 14-16. We didn't use hormonal birth control, but rather counted my days & prayed. 

As October began we were in a big financial bind! Money had been more tight than normal & I had taken a part time job to help make ends meet. Because of this we decided to wait until November, not that we thought a month would change our finances that much, but we just needed more time. Basically, our faith was lacking, because God said October. This month my cycle also started early which it NEVER had before; I didn't even know what to make of it. I plugged it in my app to try & make sure I knew when I'd be ovulating so we wouldn't get pregnant. On top of that Brad got sick during the supposed fertile days so we were certain that NO baby was conceived! It was pretty impossible.

On October 31 I took the boys to a friend's house for a play date & she asked if I was pregnant. I told her the whole story, but she reminded me that God said October & He was never wrong. Though I knew she was right I had no doubts that I was not pregnant, because, after all, we hadn't done the thing that needs to be done to conceive because Brad had been sick. There was just NO WAY!!!

But when I got home I couldn't get her out of my head, so I took a pregnancy test I had left over from Keller to prove her wrong. And to my great surprise

I immediately started crying tears of joy thanking Jesus! I was amazed! Stunned! I made the boys get in the car & we drove up the road to the Dollar General to buy another test. All they had was an old school one that cost $1. You know the kind where you have to pee in a cup, use a dropper to get the pee in a tiny hole to even take the test...a science experiment no doubt! :) Sure enough it was positive! 

I facetimed Brad to tell him. I couldn't wait until he got home & I had to see his expression. Just like me he was shocked! 

No matter what our plans were, or our lack of faith, God kept His promise! He told us we would conceive in October & even through our doubt He created a beautiful baby! 

Whenever we had this sonogram I was 5 1/2 weeks & we could hear the heartbeat! My doctor was worried because the heart rate was low & I was spotting a little. I was in danger of miscarrying. I was not going to let doubt or anything else get in my way this time! I had faith that this child was going to be fine because GOD SAID OCTOBER!

I had to be on bed rest for 2 weeks until we went back to the doctor. The sonogram showed Chapel had grown & all was well! She had a strong heartbeat of 161, the bleeding had stopped, & my severe nausea & vomiting had begun! I had never been so excited to puke!

Stay tuned! I plan to write more later on about how I knew this baby was a girl because of another promise God had given me years ago!

Isn't He beyond amazing!??! I'm thankful that He is faithful even when we are not!

Be blessed friends!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

20 Momma Truths

1: I LOVE being a momma! I really do!

2: I'm not a perfect momma...I mess up a LOT!!!

3. Some days I feel like Super Mom. Not many days, but there have been some. Everything flows together, the kids get along, I take advantage of teachable moments, the laundry gets done, I cook dinner that we all eat together at the table;  you get what I'm saying. I've worn my cape proudly on those days because...

4: Somedays I feel like an utter FAILURE! These days I have to do serious battle not to let myself become overwhelmed with guilt, shame, condemnation, worthlessness...etc! That's right where Satan wants me! I've yelled at my kids when I've lost my temper, snapped when my patience was shot, & sadly I've even spanked in anger! Those moments do not define me as a momma! I can either let them become habits & wallow in my guilt or I can repent. I not only ask Jesus for forgiveness, but also my boys. Thankfully they're always eager to give their momma grace & lots of love! :) 

5. Failure also tries to kick in when I lose track of managing my home! Ugh! This is my greatest struggle. Between homeschooling my 2 oldest, having a toddler, & now a baby, my time is shot! Not to forget a husband who also makes messes. With the 6 of us dishes have to be done everyday, there's always laundry to be done, dusting, sweeping, mopping gets behind, clutter ensues & so forth. It's hard to keep up, but I do my best & when I get too far behind I ask my husband for extra help. After all, I'm not Super Mom ;P

6. I play with my kids as often as I can. Even though there are always a million things to do, those things will always be there to do at anytime, but my kiddos seem to grow up VERY fast! In my opinion it's more important to stop & play with them than it is to get the dishes done in a timely matter. Also, boys like to play fight. I HIGHLY recommend investing in styrofoam swords & Nerf guns! Talk about stress relievers! You get to play with your kids while beating them with swords or shooting them with soft bullets, which allows you to unleash all the frustration & impatience they stir up in you!!! It's pure GENIUS! They laugh at you attacking them, you get releases from the stress of mommy hood & in the end you all feel better & have a good time! You can thank me later for sharing this!

7. My kids watch TV & play video games more than I like to admit. What? Judge me all you want on this, but sometimes a momma's gotta do what a momma's gotta do! I do try & make sure they're educational shows & games as often as possible. There are just those moments when I need them still & quiet so I can do the dishes or laundry or have a cup of coffee in peace. Remember, bad moments don't make bad moms! Refer back to #2.

8. I make the most of the seasons. I want my kids to have tons of fun memories & traditions to look back on when they're older. In spring we go to the park & various playgrounds as often as possible & enjoy the weather.  In the summer we hit up the local pool as a family. I intentionally make time to stay in the water & play with them even though I'd rather be laying out reading a book. (I do make time for that, but as needed, not always.) Autumn takes us on lots of adventures from the state fair, to the pumpkin patch, leaf hunting etc. Winter is much harder after the Christmas traditions. I'm not a fan of the cold! We'll go hang out at Barnes & Noble, Bass Pro Shop, or anywhere indoors that's fun & free! We always pray for a day of snow & make it as extra special as possible! Since we live in the South the weather is typically on the warmer side which gives us year round fun walking & riding bikes together in the evenings.

9. I let my kids make messes often, even if it means more work or stress for me. This goes back to making memories. Whether its painting, play-doh, or some craft, I want them to enjoy creating & using their imaginations to make something new. I often let them play in the mud & like I mentioned in #6, hosing them off with cold water not only gives me a good laugh, but it's also a huge stress reliever! Not that I like causing my kids pain, but hey, if they enjoy it so should I...right?!?

10. I do my best to feed them lots of fruits & veggies! I want my kids to be healthy & strong & not have the food issues I do. We often talk about which foods are healthy & why & where they come from. This could be the nerd/teacher in me. I let my kids eat M&Ms & Skittles every week. It's true while I teach them about healthy foods, I make sure they understand that its ok to have a treat; everything in moderation. Once a week for snack they get a bowl of popcorn with Skittles & M&Ms mixed in. It's something simple & small, but they think it's a big deal & proclaim I'm the best momma in the world for giving it to them :) 
(I also let them eat frozen pizza, hotdogs, & Spaghetti O's...sssshhhhhh!!! [refer back to #2]).

11. I discipline them. The Lord shows love for us when He convicts us & leads us to change, I believe that disciplining my kids shows my love for them. I spank only when necessary. It has to be something severe & something they do to intentionally misbehave. I give them a dab of vinegar for tongue issues like lying, excessive whining, screaming, etc. I've only had to this twice to the big boys. They get the point now. I'll ask them if they need it & the memory of how gross it is gets them back in line. If I say I'll take something away I do it. I do NOT make idle threats!!! I do however offer grace & mercy. My boys are really awesome & well behaved for the most part & I believe it's partly because I've trained them through discipline & love. But let me tell ya, just like their momma, they're not perfect! 

12. I choose joy. Motherhood doesn't always come naturally. Sometimes I want to be selfish, but I realize that my kids are a HUGE blessing & I try my best not to take them for granted. I did that when I chose abortion 15 years ago & live that regret everyday. I've seen friends go through similar pain of losing a child to death by miscarriage, stillbirth, diseases, & accidents. For me, these are constant reminders that even when my kids drive me insane I must remember they ARE blessings & CHOOSE joy.

13. I call on Jesus everyday! I know before my feet hit the floor in the morning I must talk & spend time with Him. When I don't I know my day isn't starting off right. All through the day I talk to Jesus. I won't lie, most of the time it's for strength not to go all nutso on my children. I have little patience, therefore I MUST call on Jesus for help! Where I'm weak HE is strong!!! Having open communication with the God of the universe is the best weapon a momma can have! Interceding for your children protects them & covers them with strength & peace in hard times. When my head hits my pillow at night I pray some more thanking The Lord for allowing me to be their momma, asking for forgiveness where I messed up, & for guidance in the next day.

14. I pray with my kids as often as possible. They have a headache, we pray for healing. They're fighting with each other, we bless our spirits with love, peace, kindness, & self-control. Doing this has taught them to pray with each other. On many occasions I've caught them laying hands on one another praying for healing if they hurt themselves outside. Totally melts my heart & reminds me that even in my mess ups, I must be doing something right.

15. I don't compare myself to other mommas. I used to, especially when I first started staying home; Brady was 3 & Rylan was a baby. I'd see a momma do something great & think they had it all together & I was just a piece of crap. The truth is NO ONE has it all together & I am a piece of crap...apart from Christ! I realized as long as I'm dwelling in Jesus & doing the best I can that is all that matters. God has given each us incredible gifts, talents, & strengths. Do not give Satan a foothold & compare yours to other moms'! Celebrate & compliment them, offering blessings & praises! That really makes Satan mad! Let them inspire you! If you see a mom doing something fun with her kids try it with yours. Ask her for advice or help! We've got to stick together! Our kids outnumber us!! :) And I promise there's very likely a momma who admires YOU!

16. I won't bash my kids on social media! There's a difference in saying you're having a rough day with your kids, or seeking advice from those out in social media land & calling your kids names or posting something you know would hurt or embarrass them later. Blessings & curses, life & death are in the power of the tongue & I believe it translates to the typing tongue as well.

17. I have a close circle of mom friends I know I can go to with anything at anytime! Not all of them are like me. Some homeschool, some don't. Some work, some stay home or work part time.  Some share my convictions, some do not. Some are young, some are older. Some are new mommas, some are well seasoned with older children. Some have 2 kids, some have 6, others are all in between. All of these things are beneficial because they help me see things from a different perspective when needed & encourage me I'm doing what's right.

18. One thing I believe helps me be a good momma is alone time! Hello sanity!! Whether its time out with my friends or a long bubble bath, I HAVE to have time to myself! This helps me decompress & take care of myself which helps me be a better momma! I no longer feel guilty about taking the time to work out or shipping them off to the grandparents! I devote incredible amounts of time to my kids & when you're constantly pouring out you need to also be refilled. At this very moment I'm trying to freeze enough breast milk so the Mr. & I can get away for at least a night!

19. Tying in to number #18, I love their Daddy. Not love like the generic "love" as in the feeling, but love as in the verb! Now yes I am in love with my husband, but showing my kids that I love him is something different. They see us hug & kiss (not the gross PDA kind), they hear how we talk to each other, & ask about each other's days. There have been times in years past when they heard us argue or be rude to one another, but no more. This is due to both of making a conscious effort that when we disagree to not let it overwhelm us & to remedy that certain things just simply must not be talked about in front of them. 

20. I tell them I love them & I show them I love them. You can't say it & mean it with out doing it! Lots of hugs & kisses & tickles, but also like with my husband, I ask them about things. How was their day? What was the best or worst part? I ask their opinions on dinner, tv, or what we should do for fun. I tell them about things that happen in world, good & bad. Talking to my kids, keeping them informed on the world around them, asking their advice shows them I love them because it shows them I value their thoughts & opinions. 

I'm sure there are a ton of things I could've added but this is the list I came up with. I hope you enjoyed it & that it encouraged & inspired you. Have a blessed day sweet readers!

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