Life has been a crazy, wonderful mess since welcoming our fourth child a month ago. I have come out of the little valley that most mammas of newborns go through and am starting to juggle again. The fog is clearing, and I am starting to once again feel the joys of a larger than average family and once again be reminded of my conviction to raise them for God.
Through this month a common theme has been ringing as I’m sure it will continue for a few more months. It is saying “Let go of any expectations!”
An expectation is a strong belief that something should happen a certain way. That is simply unrealistic in my stage of life right now…really in any stage of life. To assume we can expect a certain outcome because we have done this or that is foolish.
I am seeing now that all of my expectations I put on myself and those around me were all selfishly motivated. To have true freedom in this life takes dying to self every second of the day. It not about me and what I expect to happen. It is about God and His plans for that day. His Plans are not our plans…
The more and more I can grasp this concept the fuller my heart becomes. I am seeing that it’s not about how many things I can get checked off my to do list or how clean I got the house that day. If it were about that, then having kids wouldn’t be in the equation.
Instead it is about THEM. My husband and Children. Dying to self, serving them, and letting go of my expectations will be the key to my success.
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I have always tried to be 100% honest with my writing in hopes to find others that can relate and be encouraged. Here is my attempt on that as well as a description of the heavy heart I had earlier in the week and how God is once again chiseling.
I was on such an adrenalin rush after the birth of my son. It is true what they say about the hormones and the bonding. It was magical. I felt the biggest relief of it just being over…the anticipation, the pain, all of it.
After the first week of healing in my room with my sweet baby, reality started to settle in and the devil started whispering in my weak moments. As I type this I can see what a vicious lyer he is, but in the midst, it’s hard to block him out. I started to hear the word failure over and over. A failure to not heal as quickly as I had hoped, a failure to not be able to take care of my three other children, a failure because I felt the patience I once had was GONE, a failure because I was tired of visitors and people offering to help, a failure because I wasn’t having joy that I know was mine to claim.
This past Monday night the fake smile melted away to some hormonal tears in my room clenching my Bible knowing that time with Him, with shift in perspective was the only way to clear the fog.
I cried out to God in desperation to help me break this cycle of self-pity. Immediate relief came. I know this is not always the case, but in that second it did. I realized something…When I am on top of my game, when I have the patience of Job, when I am in shape and healthy, when I am full of hospitality, when I am juggling all of the many jobs as wife and mother…it not because of me. It is only through Christ when I have it all together. Pressure is off. The devil had one part right, I CANT DO IT! I do know who can. He lives in me with the key to joy unspeakable. He equips me with it all. My job is to trust and walk hand in hand with Him.
The next day I let God help me. What a difference when you don’t rely on your own strength. I am sure to some this may all seem a bit dramatic…the devil is real and is out lurking around to steal what God has given freely to those that love Him. Don’t give him another second of your life by believing the lies, instead hold on to God’s truths. This does not mean every day will be perfect, I am fully aware of this, but I know whose hand to grab to pull me back up.
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Alright every body, my hormones are a mess right now. Seriously, I don’t ever remember nesting this much, crying so much, or getting furious at the drop of a hat.
Here is a picture of my coping mechanism at the moment:)
I know God has all of this…but my mind is racing a million miles a minute. Thank God we are planning on going to church tonight! Lord knows I need it!
I want to spend this last month reading to my babies, sitting out in the sunshine, enjoying my sleep, and soaking up the sweet kicks and hiccups.
Lord, help me to give the anxieties of this world over to you. Let me see your abundant blessing all around me that I so often take for granted. Let me find my care free spirit again that loves you and my family more than anything…
Y’all ever felt like this? Any tips to calm this crazy girl down?
I’m sitting here so excited about the day ahead. I have no special plans, no date night planned, no time to myself today. TODAY is all about my family. My husband comes home from the fire station this morning and he will be with us all day. I guard these days very carefully because they don’t happen often enough. If they were a continuous occurrence, like most things, I would take it for granted.
When he is here we are complete. The normal routine of the day goes right out the window. There is a lot more running, screaming, tickles, and laughter when he is here, and the kids know it! The house gets messier, I snack a lot more, and we do less real school. It’s like a mini vacation day when dad is here.
I usually fix something a little better for supper when he is here. Tonight it will be…
Split Pea and Sausage Soup – I got the base for this recipe off the back of my grocery store’s green split peas bag, and of course added extra of all my favorites.
- 1 lb kielbasa sausage
- 2 cans of beef broth
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
- 2 cups split peas
- salt and pepper to taste
Cut sausage into bite size cubes. Reserve 1/4 of sausage and place other 1/4th in blender with about 7 ounces of beef broth and puree.
Pour remaining broth in your pot. Bring to a simmer while adding your diced onion and sausage cubes. Add your pureed mixture, the bay leaf, and your salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Add your sliced carrots then continue simmering another 10 minutes
Add split peas into the pot. Simmer till soft not mushy.
Of course you can’t have soup without cornbread🙂
Enjoy! What are your family days like? Any special recipes?
You see it in every inspirational momma magazine, devotional, blog, Facebook, and Pinterest quotes. You know, all the sayings about leave your dirty dishes in the sink and rock your babies. Then there is the one about leaving the cobwebs and dust to read to your children and build a fort or play candy land. I love all of these sweet reminders of how to view motherhood. In fact, I wholeheartedly agree that it is about all of the small moments of mothering that build these little souls into God-fearing men and women. But…the question I ask is…
When the heck do you ever wash those dishes in the sink that have been piling up? They aren’t going to wash themselves. I am not super OCD with my house being clean but it NEEDS to be functional and tidy to just keep on living. There are so many great resources out there about cleaning schedules for your home, list of activities to do with your kids, how to prepare amazing dishes every night on a budget, so on and so on. What about how to do all of that??? There are no books or blogs about doing it ALL. Sure there are some that talk about getting up early or staying up later only to find other opinions that explain the importance of rest so you are refreshed for your children. Let’s face it there aren’t near enough hours in the day to even come close to fulfilling all of the requirements we put on ourselves.
For a little honesty, I compare myself to others sometimes but most of the time I compare myself to this idea of who I think I should be in my head. It is a constant battle going on of trying to decide the best way to utilize my time. For example, the other day I let my oldest stay awake during nap time to finish up some school stuff and read to her. To make that decision was tough! Y’all I LOVE nap time. My mind needs those few moments of quiet to help me make it through the later part of the day. We ended up having such a great time together that I was thinking I needed to let her stay up more often. Here I am the very next day with every kid upstairs in their beds while I type fiercely about all of these thoughts that encircle my poor brain all day.
As I type out all my thoughts I am seeing that there really is no right or wrong here. Sometimes the dirty dishes need to stay put, other times I need to tell them, “Go find something else to do I have some work to get done.” It’s decisions that can only be made in the moment. One thing I know for sure is how greatly I need the grace of God for the momma guilt that seems to seep in no matter what decision I make and for the discernment to make the right decisions.
For some of you reading this it may seem so trivial. You that I would have all day to accomplish this so what’s the big deal? For others you see right where I am coming from. We aren’t just raising kids to say yes ma’am and thank you. Its sooo much more than that. We are raising men and women of God, leaders, and Jesus followers. It’s hard not to crack under the pressure this is a BIG deal. I am confident that with every calling He equips us with everything we need to do the job well.
In conclusion I have no solid advice to offer except to tune into God and do the next thing He has on the list. He very well may be telling you to get those dishes clean!
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Do you ever feel stuck? Like God has something planned around the corner, a desire to be met, but it’s just not happening? That is the way we have felt for the past several months. It’s no secret to those who know us well that we want to be on a long dirt road in the country, gardens everywhere, with noisy kids and animals filling up the yard. Yet, here we are on the side of a paved road with neighbors at every turn of our head. Its hard not to get discouraged when a dream you have in your heart isn’t happening as fast as you want. You feel like your spinning your wheels, wasting time and potential.
Something Ive learned recently… just because I’m not there doesn’t mean the plan isn’t in progress. It doesn’t mean the way isn’t being paved. God puts strong desires in our hearts for a reason. Sometimes He gives us our desires immediately, other times He builds patience, perseverance, and contentment allowing us to do His work right where we are. The key is we are never truly stuck. We are always moving forward. Rather its good useful progress is up to us. God is always working, molding, and pushing. Do we conform to His image or resist and have a pity party?
So whenever your sick of waiting remember we never really are. We are making strides in His perfect plan.
What are you waiting for today?
I’m not sure what it was about yesterday.
We had our first day back at our home school group CC where I tutor one of the classes. Normally it kind of stresses me out. There is quite a bit of preparing that is involved not to mention getting the kids looking half decent, lunches packed, and us all out the door early in the morning.
Yesterday was different. I felt calm, relaxed, and overall more joyful. I didn’t feel stressed or pressure like usual. I didn’t collapse on the couch from exhaustion when we got home, I was still nice to my kids, and I didn’t feel like a complete failure.
I was telling my husband all about it and we came to the conclusion that of course it’s all about GOD. Ya see, here lately, I have been secretly wondering how in the world I am going to take care of another baby while keeping up with a 5, 3, and 1-year-old. God knows my heart. He knows how desperately I want to obey Him in raising these children well. I believe with all my heart that He gives us days like yesterday to build up strength and confidence. The thing we have to remember is that none of this in ourselves or our own abilities. It is ALL from Him alone.
I say none of this to pretend that there are not VERY difficult days. God gives us a dose of what we need on a daily basis. Look at it as your prescription for the day to make you more like HIM. I’m not sure what today will bring but I am confident in the one who has given the day.
What is your prescription for the day?
It has now been a year since I started blogging. I never imagined I would love it as much as I do. Thanks to all of you that read, comment, like my post on Facebook, and send text of encouragement. I am so grateful for the community of women I have found and the encouragement I have received. This blog has melted away a lot of insecurities for me and has opened my eyes in many ways to what all of us moms, wives, and women go through on a regular basis. I really can’t thank you all enough for all of the love and support everyone has shown me.
Here are the top five post that y’all loved the most!
2. God’s Plan
This upcoming year I plan on writing my little heart out about passions, convictions, encouragement, and real life momma stuff. This year is going to be a lot of love, laughter, stretching, growing, and learning. On this 28th year of my life I will continue to strive to move forward in my walk with the Lord and discover more of his truths. I will continue to learn strategies of how to keep my husband first, and I will learn how to be a mother of four. I know that no matter what obstacles come my way, God is directing every step. I am blessed beyond belief and I can’t wait to see what this next year has in store for us all!
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Telling them mommy loves them one more time.
Holding a faithful man’s hand as the children fight for a spot on your lap.
Applying the mascara one more time due to pregnancy hormones that keep you sappy.
New God-given perspective each year.
Kissing sweet foreheads.
Forgetting the bad days, and choosing to only remember the good.
Unwrapping God’s beauty each and every day.
Lingering a little longer when they put their arms around you.
Never giving up.
Early bedtimes 🙂
Simple unconditional love.
Thankfulness is a mindset to gain the perspective of God.
I have collected this list through many other blogs I have read, things the Lord has shown me, and from my own childhood.
Give your home to God…EVERYTHING.
Laugh a lot.
Kiss your husband like you mean it.
Keep a routine with the occasional spontaneity.
Don’t over think.
Play, color, wrestle, swing, and slide.
Be at HOME (Don’t over commit).
Be quick to forgive.
Be even quicker to ask forgiveness.
Try to at least have the kitchen clean before you go to bed.
Remember there is always tomorrow.
Put the kids to bed early.
Keep the coffee stocked.
Put down the phone.
Encourage your children to be best friends.
Turn the radio up and just dance it out with the kids, even to “Old Macdonald.”
Look for ways to bless others and do it.
Every day carries different circumstances with different ways to find the joy. It’s always there, it’s just a matter of bringing it to the surface as often as we can.
How do you turn your home into a happy one?