I am a mom.

I am a mom.

I have three kids.

I had two natural births with an epidural. One c-section.

Two went full term. One was a premie.

I bottle fed one, I nursed two.

I let two babies “cry it out.” I held one through the night.

I don’t let my kids sleep in my bed. Ever. (Maybe one time I did.)

I give baths. Sometimes.

I let my kids choose what they want for breakfast during the week and I make them pancakes on the weekends.

I lay out clothes for two and I let one stay in her pajamas all day if she wants to.

Some days I brush their hair. Some days I don’t.

I let my kids watch a lot of t.v. but they are still creative.

I say, “I’m busy” all the time. But sometimes I don’t.

I say NO all day long, but sometimes I say, yes.

I scream and I yell, but sometimes I don’t.

I do laundry. LOTS of it. Sometimes it doesn’t get out of the basket, but sometimes it does.

I clean noses and put bandaids on non-existent boo boo’s.

I give instructions all day long.

I tuck in my babies and help them say their prayers. Sometimes we even say a bible verse and sometimes we forget.

I post tons of pictures and anecdotes about my kids, but sometimes I keep things to myself.

I drive all day long, at least it feels that way.

I put blankets in the back of my kids shirts because they want to be superheroes.

I give squishy hugs and kisses on end.

I laugh.

I cry.

I say, go away and come here.

Finish your dinner. Pick up your shoes. Don’t make a mess. Brush your teeth. Be nice. Don’t do that. Those are some more things I say.

Oh yeah, I also say, I love you all the time.

All of these things are things that I do because I am a mom.

And because I am a mom I also have prayers that they might not ever know I prayed. Prayers for my kids to be all they can be. To reach their potential. To love God above everything else. To know who they are in Christ. To never, ever believe the lies of this world that they are worthless. To know with everything they have that they are chosen and loved. To know that no matter what they do and no matter what path in life they choose, I will always love them and be there for them. To know that they were woven in my womb and that they are fearfully and wonderfully made.

I am not perfect and I make mistakes all the time.

I try my best and ask God to help me be the mom that He wants me to be.

I love my kids with all my heart.

I am a mom.

 

 

When God Surprises You

It’s been six years since I became a stay at home mom. That decision was kind of a no brainer for my husband and I. We had a one year old daughter and we knew that me staying home would be the best plan for our family. I had taught kindergarten for 4 years and we were pretty much rolling in the dough. Not really, but we were pretty well off. We had a house in downtown Las Vegas. We didn’t really worry much about a budget and if we saw something we liked, we would buy it. Especially if it was from Costco. You know they have tons of goodies there! So, even though we were living comfortably, we went ahead with our decision. We knew that this was what God was calling us to do and that he would provide all our needs. Just like his word says in Philippians 4:19. The next few years would come with a lot of challenges that we did not anticipate. We ended up having to short sale our house and move into a rental. Even in the midst of that trial, God showed himself faithful. We were able to sell the house in just a few short months when it normally takes over a year for a short sale to close. There have been so many other miracles that God has done in our family to keep our faith strong in him and to keep us going in this journey. More recently, as a matter of fact just this past weekend, God showed me his faithfulness once more. Sometimes, we think that God only cares about the big, important things in our lives and that the small things don’t really matter to him. We recently started attending a new church (to us) and they had been announcing a women’s event that they were hosting. I saw the announcements and thought, “That’s cool. It’d be nice to attend,” but I left it at that. I never mentioned to my husband that I would like to attend because I knew that at the moment that was not an expenditure that we could make. As the weekends went by, they continued to announce the event and my interest in attending grew even more. Again, I didn’t mention it to my husband and just kinda wished I could go. I guess you could call it an unspoken request. It was a desire that was hidden in my heart that only God could see. On Friday afternoon, the day before the event, I received a text from a sweet friend, asking me if I had any plans for that Saturday. I didn’t. She went on to ask me if I wanted to go to the Women of Influence conference because she had an extra ticket.  The more I processed what had just happened, the more I began to understand that God was providing a way for me to be at this conference. Not just because he knew I wanted to go, but because he had a purpose and a plan for me. He knew I needed to hear and listen to the stories that would be shared by the wonderful women that spoke at the event. I am still processing all the amazing stories and testimonies I heard that day. I learned so much and through his vessels was able to hear his voice speaking to my heart very clearly. I’ve heard it said many times, “where God leads, he provides,” but it isn’t until you experience it in the flesh that you are able to fully understand what that means. It might seem like a small gesture from a friend, but to me it was God whispering in my ear saying, “I still have your back. I will take care of you.” There have been so many instances where I started doubting and thinking that I should just go back to work. That we would be so much better off if I contributed financially to our family, but God reminds me each and every time that where he leads, he provides. I am so excited for our future. I am so excited to see how else God will continue to show himself faithful to us. Not so I can brag about it and make myself feel good, but so that I can brag about the awesome God that I live my life for. My prayer is that God would use my journey and the journey of my family so that others would come to saving knowledge of Jesus because in the end that is what it’s all about.

Your Sunday is coming.

I recently went on a road trip and I made myself a playlist. I love music and I love many different genres. I have a lot of old songs as well as a lot of newer songs. One of the songs I added to this playlist was one of my favorites by Tree63, Sunday! Since going on that road trip, I’ve found myself listening to it over and over. Maybe, it’s because Easter is approaching, or maybe because it’s just such a great song. I’ve been a Christian for practically my entire life, but it isn’t until the last few years that the Easter season has really become a time of reflection upon it’s significance to the world and to my life personally. You see, the reason I love the song I mentioned so much is because of the line that says, “it’s Friday, but Sunday is coming.” As I think about Jesus’ death on the cross, the thing that always stands out to me the most is the promise that he wasn’t going to stay dead. When he would talk to his disciples about it, they couldn’t fully understand what he meant. In fact, after Jesus died, they were in mourning and weren’t exactly sure what would happen next, even though Jesus had already promised them that on the third day he would rise. The disciples weren’t the only ones who didn’t have a full grasp on the events that would come to pass in the next couple of days. After Jesus took his last breath and expired, I can imagine that the devil had a sense of victory. Little did he know that his dance party would only last for the weekend. The devil thought that Jesus had been defeated and that evil had won. Matthew 28:5-6 says, “The angel said to the women (Mary and Mary Magdalene,) Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, JUST AS HE SAID.  Every time I read this passage, that phrase always jumps out at me. Just as he said. He made a promise and he kept it. What everyone thought was the end, was only a pause. A moment in waiting. Maybe you’re in a situation that feels like it’s dead. You know that God promised it to you. You know that you are following God’s will for your life, but things are just at a standstill. You might be feeling defeated. You might be feeling like your life is over and you have nothing else to offer. It’s Friday, but Sunday is coming. You are not defeated, your life isn’t over. You are living in Friday. This is only a pause. A moment of waiting. The devil is looking down at your situation and he thinks he has won over your life, but he hasn’t. You have a promise over your life. Jesus said that he came to give us an abundant life. There is a miracle brewing as you wait. There is a lesson to be learned as you wait. Go to the tomb and see if your problem or situation is still there. You aren’t going to find it, because JUST AS HE SAID, his promises will come to pass and there will be a resurrection in your life that you have never experienced before. Wait for it. Your Sunday is coming. 

Moms Encouraging Moms

I went to Wal-mart today as I often do during the week and as I was putting my things (by things I mean my items, not my children hehe) in the car I saw another mom pull into a parking space. She parked and then started getting her kids out of the car. She held an infant in one arm and managed to unbuckle her toddler daughter out of the car seat and take her out of the car. The little girl looked so cute. She was wearing a tutu skirt and some flowery leggings. The mom was dressed in a t-shirt, some yoga pants and sneakers. As I glanced over we kind of noticed each other and just smiled. By the time I was done getting my bags in the car and buckling my kids in their car seats, she started walking over to the store. I could hear her having a conversation about going potty with her little girl. You know, the one that goes something like this, “You need to go potty?” “Yes, mommy.” “We’ll go when we get in the store.” It’s such a familiar conversation, which in fact I had just had with my four year old son right as we walked into the store. When I got into my car, an idea came to me. There we were. Two moms. Doing the same thing. Every day. I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be great if I had gone up to her and gave her some encouraging words about her mothering? So many times we hear stories about how people make inappropriate comments to moms who are just trying to get through their day. Comments like, are they all yours? You have your hands full, don’t you? And the list goes on and on. We complain about such comments and we post them online. There are even articles about what not to say to moms and mostly to moms with multiple children. Which by the way, according to my friends daughter (who was four when she said this,) if you have three kids, that’s a bunch of kids! She now is in a family with a bunch of kids, too. Anyway, I digress. I want to change that! Here’s my plan. I want to encourage moms. Not just on Facebook or Instagram. Not just on a blogpost. I have nothing against that, but I think it would be great if we could just go up to a stranger who is a mom and give her some type of encouragement. It could be anything. You’re doing a great job! Keep up the good work! You’re children are beautiful. I don’t know. Anything. Let’s be intentional about this. Let’s pray before we go out to run our errands and ask the Holy Spirit to lead us and to give us the words that person needs to hear. If you feel led to pray for them, do it! It is scary and nerve wrecking to go up to strangers and just start talking to them. At least, for me it is, but I want to muster up the courage to do this. I want to see what happens. I have no idea how people will react, but that’s not my concern. My concern is to know that I was able to be a blessing to a mom out there who might be feeling alone even though she is surrounded by her kids all day. A mom who is constantly asking herself if she is making a difference in her kid’s lives, if she’s raising them right. If you don’t feel like you can talk to a stranger, write some notes in some cute note cards and carry them around with you and just hand it to a mom that you see at the grocery store or at the gas station or at the nail salon. I think I will start with that because frankly, I might start crying as I’m trying to encourage another mom. But, that’s just me. So who’s with me? If you can, take a picture with that mom and (with her permission) post it online with the hashtag #momsenrougaingmoms . Let’s start a revolution! Even if you only do it once.

I just can’t do it anymore, but…

As a stay at home mom, there are days where it just feels like I can’t do it anymore. Especially after nights where a kid keeps waking up during the night and I’ve had a sleepless night. Or after spending the day cleaning after your son who refuses to be potty trained. I’ve felt this way SO many times to the extent where I even feel like I should just go back to work. Then, I am reminded that God has a “but” for me.
“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; BUT those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (‭Isaiah‬ ‭40‬:‭30-31‬ NIV)
What a wonderful promise that when I hope in the Lord he WILL renew my strength. He will not let me stumble and fall. Life has a way of making us feel defeated at times, but when we put our focus and hope in God, we are given a Hupomone. I learned this word while in college. My professor described it as a sticktoitiveness. That no matter what frustrations come our way, we will not give up. So, today, let’s rest in this promise and soar on wings like eagles. Don’t give up!

With God, there’s always a but…

As always, I got an idea as I was laying in bed trying to fall asleep. Just thinking about life and all the things that are going on. John 16:33 was the first thing that came to mind. The second thing that came to mind was, there’s always a but with God. Most of the time, the “buts” we hear tend to have a negative connotation. We relate them to making excuses, but when it comes to God, we can see the “buts” as better options. They are words that bring us hope in light of difficult situations.
I decided to start a blog series on ‘but’ verses. I haven’t blogged in a long time and I have been wanting to start up again. So, once a week I will be posting a verse where God gives us a ‘but.’ I have two goals in doing this, 1) To do a personal topical study of the bible and 2) To share my findings with the purpose of inspiring you to take your situation and look at it through the ‘but’ that God presents to us.
So, here it goes.
With God, there’s always a but…
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. BUT take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
We tend to think that because we are believers in Jesus our lives are going to be handed over to us on golden platters and everything will be perfect. Jesus himself guaranteed us that in fact we would be faced with difficult situations and that’s why I love this verse. He didn’t promise a life of unicorns and glitter (progressive insurance reference.) He promised us that in the midst of difficult moments in life, we can take heart and know that the one who has overcome the world will be walking beside us holding our hand to get through those trying times.

Moms have a super power.

Last night as I gave my daughter a bath, she said to me, “wow, mom that was a fast bath! How did you do that?!” I instinctively replied, “It’s because I have a super power.” “You have a super power? No way!,”she replied. And then I said something that even caught me kind of off guard. I said, “Yeah, the super power is called, Philippians 4:13, all moms have that super power.”
As 2013 was coming to a close I really began to think about the new year that was ahead of me and what I truly want to accomplish. Being a wife and mother of three means that most of my goals revolve around my family and I couldn’t help but keep thinking about Philippians 4:13. In the Christian circle, this verse has become almost like a cliche and we quote it all the time like it’s a lucky charm or something. Even as it kept coming to mind I thought to myself, do I really believe that if I put my complete trust in Christ I can tackle all the things I’m about to face in 2014 or am I just saying it as an empty ritual? If we look at some prior verses in Philippians, the apostle Paul talks about the fact that he knows what it is to live in poverty and in abundance and be content in both situations. Then, he says, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me because he has experienced it. He has lived it in his own flesh and blood.
It’s easy to focus on the hardships and how challenging motherhood can be, whether you are a stay at home mom or have a job outside the home. Focusing on those things only brings defeat. It makes us focus on our weaknesses and our shortcomings, which only results in giving up. It begs the question, is this worth it? Why am I putting all this effort into raising my kids when all I see is chaos and basically a huge mess? (Literally and figuratively speaking.) Then, Philippians 4:13. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. It’s not just a cheer to get you through the day or a chant like the little engine that could. I think I can, I think I can. It’s about surrendering myself to the will of Christ every single day. Every single moment. It’s about telling my Lord, you know what, I can’t do this on my own I need your wisdom. I need your strength. I need to see my husband the way you do. I need to see my children the way you do. I need YOU. I surrender. I can’t do this on my own, but I can do it through You.
I don’t know what this looks like for you, but for me it’s about bringing every thought captive to the authority of Christ (see 2 Corinthians 10:5.) It’s about refocusing my mind on Him when I begin to have thoughts of defeat and wanting to give up. It’s about focusing on what is good and lovely and noteworthy (see Philippians 4: 8.) It’s about remembering all the times in the past that I have seen God’s hand over my life. I recently listened to an interview with Dr. Tony Evans and his daughter Chrystal. She was talking about some hardships she had gone through in life and she said, “I don’t know how I made it through, but I know that God was with me.”
I don’t know how we’re going to make it through this year, but I know that God is and will be with us.
I’ll leave you with wise words from my youth pastor back in the day, Let’s do this!