… through all of this

This season can be tough for so many people and for so many reasons…. and sometimes life can be tough in general right? Parenting is hard. Relationships are tough. Work is never ending. Laundry is, well…. always there, but I want to encourage you with the promises that all things truly work together for our good. That things can change. That we can hope in hard times. That there are blessings and good in all things – even if we have to wait a bit, dig a bit, and endure for a little while. Beauty can indeed come from ashes. And, of course…. gotta share some music!

I walked into church on Sunday feeling so heavy and stressed……… after a message of how belief, trust, & obedience can open you up to more goodness than you ever imagined- for yourself and others. Along with the reminder that God is truly with us HERE as we endure and experience it’s so hard not to believe that you can truly have peace, joy, and abundance while you’re experiencing uncertainty or fear or hardship. “All of this” that we go through is coming together for  our good + singing songs of how Christ is Emmanuel, how he is God with Us all of the time, permanently………. that truth eased this mama’s heart.

Then these lyrics from Lauren Daigle’s I am Yours brought me to tears and helped me to pull my shoulders back, apply my lipstick, and commit to my everything I have to handle that day with boldness. The understanding & comfort that I belong to Jesus + he has an incredible plan for me reassures me and allows me to face the day fearless because he goes before me, walks with me, and has hemmed me in. Everyone I’m in relationship with or have to deal with are written in his plans. And, everything that we are individually and collectively dealing with is going to come together for our good. The hard stuff. The incredible. The scary. The easy. The uncomfortable. The enjoyable. The unknown. The promised. ALL OF THIS is for our good…..

….. Check these lyrics out

So I rest in Your promises
Now I am sure of this
I’m Yours
Let the waters rise
I will stand as the oceans roar
Let the earth shake beneath me
Let the mountains fall
You are God over the storm
And I am Yours

… can you function? lol…. combine that with Philippians 4:4-7 where we are encouraged to not worry, but to pray about those storms the rainbows…  to thank the Lord for everything is doing and for what is happening around us, both the large and small. I mean everything from you not losing your sh*t while your toddler lost theirs?? (THANK YA, JESUS!!) to much harder things like waiting for much needed provision and healing for your heart or body! That stuff isn’t for us to hold… yes we have a responsibility to respond well, but the Lord isn’t overwhelmed by the things that we cannot handle. At all. Then, he gives us peace and comfort in return. And, it’s real and lasting. It allows you to feel joy and give you hope where you may have felt hopeless.

… here’s a bit more

So I rest in Your promises
Now I am sure of this
I’m Yours
No power is strong enough
To separate me from Your love
I’m Yours

The Lord’s love is bigger and stronger and tougher and wider and forgiving enough and unconditional enough and merciful enough to want to be in relationship with us, protect us, and ever willing to embrace us no matter what.

… good stuff right?

 

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mom so hard

Mamas, you know what stresses me out? Of all the things there are to stress you as a leader of tiny people who have depended on you for everything from their blood supply + good gut bacteria to wiping their little booties + feeding them to kissing boo boos + giving them their snack in the right color bowl …. omg…. the exhaustion of it all. Overwhelm comes just by THINKING of what needs to happen………… 

what’s worse is the pressure of being and looking perfect while you do it. While you mom. While you mom + work. and, wife. and, build a business, and, work a 40 hour a week (plus) job. and, clean, cook, try so hard to keep healthy food + snacks in the pantry & fridge. and, keep the mound of laundry at a socially acceptable height. keep everyone clean. be positive. Roll your eyes as you put the car in park & jump out to unbuckle your kids from their car seats & apologize to your kids because you forgot to brush their teeth- again. 

…. oh, and take care of yourself. And commit to NOT getting an Elf on the Shelf not because the kids “won’t get it” but because one more responsibility may just make you stare blankly at the wall for 3 more minutes than normal. 

and, yes…. I’m totally qualified to talk about the stress of feeling the pressure of perfection because I feel it, too. 

The mom-parisions are real, okay?! On both sides. 

Y’all. We are all incredible. It’s our kids who are nuts. Not us. Hear me – it’s not you. It’s the insanely adorable little people we live with who have made us manic. I saw a graphic the other day that said something along the lines of “all of us are a mess, some of us are better hiding it than others.” Then, ran across a C.S. Lewis quote that said “We need fewer Christians singing about Christianity and more Christians singing about everything else.” Whoa. Can we apply that to mom-ing?? 

You may think bc I have on make up and a decently put together outfit that I’m solid….. yea, no. My heels likely need a for real visit to the Shoe Hospital to be re-heeled (which is why I rotate the same few. #letsbereal) and my car looks like I don’t know what. The inside is just indescribably………….. awful. Anything you can think of is in their. Jackets. 3-4 pairs of shoes, lollipops stuck to the carpent, Cutie slices in between seats because the girls “no want it” anymore. Water bottles are everywhere. Wipes. Used, not packaged. You would think I was PigPen in real life. #shitsonottogether 

Since when does perfect and put together equal good. Why do we equate the two? When does it mean emotionally stable? Why are we so stinking impressed by it (aside from the fact that someone would actually choose less sleep to do “all of that”. It covers the crazy, okay?!) 
Hailing someone a super mom who wears an invisible cape and juggles career, relationship, motherhood, etc perfectly doesn’t mean ANYTHING unless they are loving people well, affirming, pouring into, + spending time their children, encouraging others, growing as a person, living with standards and morals…….. slip ups are real and life is hard, and it’s EASY to look at someone else who has it together from top to bottom and want to appear the same way and think her life has to be something special if she can consistently come out of the house looking like that with kids that look like that. Seriously. We all want to look nice- none of us want the snot clad tee, bags (under eye, not shopping), & junky car. 

This isn’t easy, but comparing ourselves to others isn’t going to (shouldn’t!!) make us feel any better or worse about our preferences, gifts, or circumstances. And, if you’re a single mama like me…… girl. It ain’t easy. But, we can do this. We are doing this. And, just doing it as we learn to enjoy our babies in every “age slot” they’re in makes it a lot easier. more enjoyable. They aren’t burdens and their presence is a gift, seeing them as such and recognizing that we have the ability, power, blessing, and responsibility to train them on how to behave, respond, treat others etc should motivate us to be more present, kind, patient, & enduring. Right? 

Super moms are the ones who give it everything they’ve got everyday. Make up or no make up. Heels or not. Designer this or that or not. It doesn’t matter. Who we are to our housemates, families, our coworkers, strangers, teams, etc is what matters. That’s what lasts. That’s what matters. It’s who we are growing to be, it’s being teachable, and kind, and becoming better for ourselves and those around us. 

Let’s start honoring that. The pretty hair & make up + put together is fantastic, but more incredible than that is who we are on the inside & who that causes us to be on the outside. 

Mom so hard, mama. Know that you’re valuable and worthy because of who created you and who loved you first rather than anything else. and, that I’m rooting for you!! 

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If I could teach them anything…

My girls are my most prized possessions………………………….. next to Jesus. And, it’s my God given responsibility to teach them to be responsible, productive, God fearing little ladies. There are sooo many things I’ve done horribly wrong, some things have gone better than expected, and some things have gone really right. The good and bad of life can’t always be controlled, but they are dependent on our choices and how we view ourselves. Good choices and a strong, positive mindset will determine their quality of life…

Our quality of our lives depend on the quality of our choices.

Most people don’t come into the world making good choices and operating awesome habits. It has to be taught. Like many of us, I haven’t always made good choices. I’ve done some reflecting and there are quite a few common themes that I believe have impacted my choices. While there are many things I want to intentionally teach my babes, these six lessons are at the top of the list. (and, yes, I’m still learning myself.)

If I could teach my girls anything, I would teach them to be bold and assertive yet kind.
It’s a balance that some will forever have difficulty finding (my name is at the tippy top of that list) because hard conversations are tough and we, as women specifically, are somewhere, somehow taught that it’s not nice to be vocal and say hard things. But, I believe this is an important lesson to learn because I don’t want them controlled by another person’s feelings when communicating their expectations or desires, but cognizant of them at the same time. Be gentle and caring.

If I could teach my girls anything, I want to teach them to be dreamers. 
How silly is it for me to teach them that with God all things are possible and with him we can do mighty things, if I’m going to put a lid on what can be? There is a great big world with so much beauty and opportunity. They have a God given imagination and heart desires that are there for his glory. I want them to dream big and believe that they can do anything they set their mind to! Lack of dreaming comes from a low belief in what we can do… it comes from not being able to see what is possible. If I can instill big belief in my girls, they will more than dream large, vivid, and audacious dreams!

If I could teach my girls anything, I want to teach them to be go getters.
Go after what you want… with passion, determination, fearlessness, and drive. Make a plan and execute, reflect and adjust, then keep going. Listen for wisdom and guidance, and ignore the naysayers and those that speak negativity and limitations. No one can limit you but you. No one can discourage you without your permission. You hear and see what you focus on, so focus on what the Lord has given you and do everything you can to accomplish what you set out to do. The noise can sometimes be so loud, drowning out the quiet voice that says, “Yes you can.”

If I could give my girls anything, I want to give them the freedom of living out their dreams. 
I can already see my girls bent towards certain things. One loves to sing and picks up on music very easily. She is also a little fashionista in the making. The other loves to flip, is incredibly athletic, and loves to take pictures. And, I want to put them in cheer and I’d love for them to cheer though college… along with whatever else they want to do! That’s my dream for them!  My girls will know that their dreams don’t have to be mine… there is no pressure to be me. They don’t have to be Plexus ambassadors (although the opportunity for financial freedom is a no brainer), they don’t have to want to be mamas (even though I’d love some grandbabies in about 25 years), and they don’t have to want to do what I’d love for them to do. They can’t do what they are called to do if they’re pushed to do what I want them to do. My goal is to shape them to be who God created them to be and watch them to big things! Giving them the freedom and support to follow their own dreams will help build their confidence knowing that they matter, that what they think, and what they want are important.

If I could teach my girls anything, I would to teach them that it’s okay to “not be strong”. 
What’s it’s not okay is to whine and do nothing to fix the situation. I want them to be strong, self sufficient, and capable of handling life’s struggles.  Faking strong isn’t strong. Not communicating, not seeking help, suffering for the sake of appearances,  struggling silently, stuffing emotions is not healthy, nor is it strong. You can be, you are,  strong when you cry and find help to sort through the hurts and hardships of life. You’re not weak because you prioritized yourself over someone else, you didn’t fail just because things didn’t work out the way you wanted and expected them to. You’re strong when you do what’s right no matter what else another person is doing, you’re strong when you walk away from pain inflicting people and situations, you’re strong when you know when to be quiet and when to apologize (and actually do it!)… strength isn’t ugly or hard or unforgiving. Breaking down, ice cream accompanied nights of tears, and shutting life down for a day doesn’t make you weak. It makes you human. A strong one.

If I could teach my girls anything, I would teach them to listen to wisdom and make good choices based on facts more than feelings. 
Now, their mama is a feeeeeeeler, which means it can be difficult for me to make choices based on what is versus unfulfilled potential and what is yet to be. So, we’re all gonna have to work on that because this is where life quality is established. When we base choices on short sighted wants versus the long term benefits, we likely won’t end up in good situations later on. I’m totally a feeler, so it takes MUCH effort, time, and self control to make choices based on facts and feet (action) versus potential and hopes. lol. Still at 34.  It’s so important to have a support system of people who have your best interests at heart. Ones who’ve walked though life a little bit longer than you have, who have strengths in different areas than you, and who you trust to help you learn to make better choices. Decision making can be tough… some decisions being harder to make than others. When you consider how much better your life could be because of one choice you made, it motivates you to choose smarter.

I want to teach my girls to be happy and confident people who love others well and follow their dreams. I want them to be happy more than anything. Life is hard and it’s such a blessing for them to have each other to do life with. There’s nothing greater than having people in your corner that are pushing you to be your greatest self who challenges you and holds you accountable. Lots of lessons learned, lots of weaknesses strengthened, lots of strengths sharpened and smoothed out. Thankful for growth and the opportunity to better my babies’ lives because of what I’ve learned!

 

 

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