To The Stressed Mama

To The Stressed Mama

To the Stressed Mama: Give That Worry to Someone Who Doesn’t Sleep   I see you there. You’re taking a break from your chaos of dishes, laundry, and children to browse the internet. You stumbled here. I’m so glad you did, because I want to tell you something important. You’re doing great. Breathe. Now, breathe for real, because I know you didn’t just then. Breathe. In. Out. Something else I want to tell you that is super important: God’s got this. God’s got you. God’s got your kids. God’s got your finances. God’s got your spouse (not necessarily by the throat).  God’s got it all. In His hands. Always working. Always planning. Always loving. That’s How He rolls. I’ll tell you how I know: Because God doesn’t sleep. Shocking, right? But, the Bible states clearly that He doesn’t sleep. Psalm 121: 1-5 says,  “I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade on your right hand.”   I could probably get more work done if I didn’t require sleep. (My kids must think I don’t need sleep, since they wake me at all hours of the night – every night.) But, I require sleep. If I don’t have it, I am a big pile of grumpiness. God created the entire world and everything in it (to the...
The Second Snake

The Second Snake

The Second Snake My younger son is five. He isn’t afraid to pick up anything. Anything. His older brother knows that little brother will pick up and touch anything, so we often hear, “Hey, dude! Come and pick this up!” I recently ushered my kids out the door into the garage to play. I opened the garage door so they could start pulling out bikes and toys. I went inside to brush my teeth and get some shoes on so I could join them. In the middle of brushing my teeth, my older son came inside yelling about how I had to come outside. “Right now, Mom.” His voice told me he was serious. He talked on: “There’s a snake, Mom. In the garage!” I went on high-alert. In the garage. A snake. Great. I brushed my teeth quickly, put on shoes that covered my toes (very important when a snake is nearby, I learned from experience). I prepared myself mentally. I was going to have to catch another snake. I went through in my head what needed to be done. My heart rate increased. My mind was racing about the steps I was going to take next. All of that was dissolved the moment I opened the door to the garage. My five year old stood at the door, holding his arm up, with a snake dangling from his hand. The mix of emotion was bizarre. Pride mixed with fear mixed with relief. I was proud of him for doing such a crazy, scary thing. He was never scared. He knew how to handle snakes because he listened...
Never Want to Miss a Thing

Never Want to Miss a Thing

Never Want to Miss a Thing Baseball season has begun. That means, spring is really here, and summer is right around the corner! That means this mama’s hard work of pitching, throwing, and catching many many many balls with my kids will pay off on the field. I love helping my kids practice and improve. My oldest son had his first baseball game of the season last night. It was a beautiful day in Kansas — cloudy but warm. It was a fun game, with my son playing catcher and third base. He even hit a home run! It was a great start to his season! A friend of mine has a son just a year older than mine. He had his opening game last night as well (and played great). His brother was sick, so his mom stayed home with the sick one, while his dad was at the game. His mom was bummed to miss seeing her son play, which is understandable. She’s been a dedicated baseball mom for many years! She doesn’t want to miss anything her kids are involved in. I was praying for her this morning, and God brought something to my attention: God doesn’t want to miss anything either. I literally had to pause what I was doing to think about that. God is a Father. He takes joy in seeing us practice, learn, and grow. When we hurt, He hurts with us. When we rejoice, He’s there, cheering us on. Through the good and the bad, God the Father doesn’t want to miss any of it.  Psalm 139 says, “1 You have searched...
The Aching Heart

The Aching Heart

I don’t have many words lately. When I sit to write, I think about people near to me, and my heart twists and aches. I think about the number of people around me who are hurting by life, and I ache for them. My heart just aches. Words escape me. So many people are hurting.  The answer isn’t simply introducing them to Jesus. Most of them have a relationship with Jesus. But life has brought pain: grief, divorce, depression, adultery, abuse, neglect, anxiety, and fear. Their hurt is deep. I find that my words just won’t work. I can’t fix it.   So, I have been praying a lot for those who are hurting. Because God knows how to heal and bring them to wholeness. He will never leave them. For those of you who are deeply hurting: Be encouraged today, friend, that you are not alone. The journey you are on right now might be tough. You might be wondering when the road will get smooth again. You might be hurting today, feeling like you will never heal. You will. God won’t let you stay broken and hurt. Give God your hurt, so He can begin to heal your heart. I encourage you to reach out to others to find support and encouragement as well.   Through social media, I have been challenging people to act outside their comfort zones. I call it Daring Monday. (#daringmonday) I have dared people to do things like call a friend, write a letter, or buy a drink for a stranger at lunch. This week, I dared people to pray for someone. It isn’t hard...
To You, Mama

To You, Mama

To You, Mom: I want to talk to the Mamas out there. You know who you are. You feel like a failure. Yes, you. I see you. You’re holding back tears, trying to fold laundry, remembering that the kids need to be fed, and feeling overwhelmed. I see you. God sees you. You are not alone. Your value is not in completing to-do lists, or money, or well-behaved children. Your value is found in Christ. And He sees you as a beautiful daughter, full of life and joy. Christ sees you as complete, because He made you complete. Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” Whatever you do. Everything you do. Do it for Christ. And He sees it ALL. Cleaning toilets. Washing allllllllll those clothes. Sweeping floors. Wiping bottoms. Feeding mouths. Reading books. Washing dishes. Do it ALL for Christ. I had a day recently when I felt invisible — flat-out worthless. No one was listening. No one was picking up their messes. I was behind with laundry AND dishes. I watched my kids play, and I wanted to join in, but I held myself back. I felt my joy deplete as I thought about my mound of To-Do. It felt like that mound was going to swallow me up. I regret my attitude that day. I missed out. I resolved not to miss out again. My attitude changed, and today, while I felt overwhelmed at times, I stayed focused on Christ and working for Him. So, friend, I know where you are. It hurts....
Jumping with Faith

Jumping with Faith

The little blonde girl with her tiny pony tail struggled on the terrain. The boulders were bigger than her little 2-year-old self, laid out end-to-end all around her. The space between some of the boulders were massive voids, with depths too deep to get into without injury. She didn’t look far ahead to determine which path was best. She plodded onward, facing the situations in front of her, tough as it was. The red-haired woman, leapt easily from one boulder to another. She was not thinking of the distance between most of them. The rocks were anywhere from 2-14 inches apart from one another. Jumping from one to the next was fun and easy. She looked ahead as she jumped, deciding which way was best to go. Her 34-year-old body was full of energy, joy, and ease. When the distance between rocks was too great, she simply stepped down one foot to the ground and stepped back up onto the next boulder. If there was water, she chose a different path to stay dry. The location remains the same, but the perspective is different. For my daughter, age 2, it was a tough journey. She’s small but so capable to do whatever challenges lie ahead of her. (Plus, she’s got 3 older siblings to follow, so she must do what she can to keep up!) For me, the mother, it was not a challenging journey. But, I’m much taller, with long legs, and good balance. She’s two. She’s determined, but the journey was tough. In the midst of this, I had a brief look into how God sees us. (How...