Monthly Archives: January 2014

Enough

 Photo: Some rights reserved by cursedthing

Have you seen it yet? Have you seen the fabulous photographic call to end the mommy wars? If not you can see it here.

I applaud these women for standing up and saying enough to the crazy war we are waging against each other. This war can have no victors only victims. There will never be a clear winner because there is no clear objective. It only serves to beat ourselves senseless instead of building each other up.

It takes courage to parent. It takes courage to make the best possible choices for you and your family in your specific circumstances. Regardless of what “everyone else” is doing, your family situation is your own, unique and challenging. You need to do what is right for your family, not what is right according to the consensus of others (who are probably not being totally honest anyway).

Recently our family had the privilege of bringing a 6 month old infant into our home for ten days. With baby came the instant reminder of what life looked like when our littles were preschoolers. It was as if instantly our family schedule, order and organization went out the window and the victories I had gained in keeping our house clean and orderly (not spotless or H&G worthy) went out the window. Laundry started piling up. Dishes didn’t make the dishwasher. Dinner was late. We were late. Schoolwork started to fall behind.

I started to wonder if I had somehow started to lose my ability to keep up. Then I remembered. This, this is exactly what life was like 24/7, 365 when our littles were this little. I fully remembered feeling like my housekeeping skills were non-existent, my ability to prepare and serve meals had gone out the window and I had zero energy for anything but survival!

At that very moment I felt compelled to tell all other mommas going through this stage to hold on sister! Hang in there beautiful! It does get better. It gets better not because you figure out how to get it all done, nor because you wake up earlier or your kids get better at letting you accomplish things. It gets better because your kids get older!

That’s it. Simply. Honestly. Truly.

Your kids get older and more independent and you find your way through the tasks that need doing. You find a system that gets the important things done. Your littles get big enough to learn to take responsibility for some of the load (we’re not raising men who can’t find the laundry hamper, right?).

Eventually you’ll have new systems, new challenges and new levels of chaos. But that season where it feels like you just can’t succeed? That season will pass. I promise.

Hang in there momma. It will get better. Every momma who has weathered that season before you knows in her heart what it’s like to be there. Those of us who have been there are not judging you on your ability to keep up. We’re cheering you on… you can make it and you will!

Photo courtesy Creative Commons:  Some rights reserved by cursedthing

Advertisements

Bold Enough To Be

4046234527_90c26d358d_zRenewing. Refreshing. Recommitment. Recharging. Rewarding. Restarting. Reviving.

Growing up in the church I have heard a lot of ‘re’ words and have witnessed a lot of people (myself included) trying to ‘re’ something into their spiritual lives. There was always this feeling that we weren’t quite living up to something. Many of those ‘re’ words left me feeling like I was just not doing enough to live up to the wonders and power of a truly close walk with Jesus.

I wanted a close walk with Him. I wanted to experience the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through me. I wanted intimacy with Jesus. I wanted to know His voice and be so sure of His calling. I wanted to live an overcoming life. I wanted to live in revival. I knew I wasn’t. At least not in the way I felt I was supposed to be. Certainly not in the way I assumed others were.

So I doubled up my efforts. I read my Bible more. I prayed and journalled longer. I got rid of music I assumed would be too unholy. I became certain of what I was against: I didn’t smoke, drink or chew and didn’t go out with guys that do. I made sure I volunteered at church for everything I could. I went up for every altar call if I thought it might in any way apply to me, even if it was a stretch. Yet I didn’t feel any more revived or closer to Jesus. I felt more aware of how far I was from where I wanted to be.

Over the last 11 years I have started to realize that the problem was that I was trying to make it happen. I was the one working to earn approval and favour. I was doing what I thought I needed to do so that God would see me as faithful and would maybe, just maybe, decide I could be one of the special ones in the inner circle who got to live in the power of His Holy Spirit. I was trying to EARN God’s favour and approval. I was trying to EARN the gift of the Holy Spirit. I was trying to PROVE I was committed enough to be trusted by God and used by Him. It was all about what I could do.

In the last 9 years my need to prove my commitment and EARN God’s approval has started to subside.  Becoming a mother has given me a fresh perspective of how God must love me. When my littles have a bad day, seem to run head long into the boundaries we have established for them and can’t find their way to even token politeness I may be disappointed, even frustrated, but I would never disown them, ship them off or give them away. I don’t stop loving them. My love for them doesn’t even lessen. If anything, once the dust settles, my heart aches for them because I know what it’s like to feel like you just can’t get it right.

There are moments on days like that when I see in my children’s eyes the question of what they might have to do to earn back my love. They don’t realize at that moment that they may need to mend fences, but they haven’t lost my love at all. It is my love and commitment to them that makes sure those boundaries stay firm for their protection.

When I have those moments with my children I pull them close and remind them that there is nothing they could ever do to make me love them more. And there is nothing they could ever do to make me love them less. I may not like what they do, but I will ALWAYS love them because they are mine.

In moments like that tears well up in my eyes because I begin to realize that my Father sees me the same way. He loves me. Full stop. Do I believe Him?

In the book “Believing God” author Beth Moore asks if we believe in God or if we believe God. There is a big difference between the two. I can believe in God, but not believe He loves me. I can believe in God and not believe He is pleased with me. I can believe in God and not believe He has met all my needs according to His riches in glory. I can believe in God and not believe that the gifts of His Holy Spirit have been given to me. I can believe in God and not believe Him when He says He will never leave me nor forsake me. I can believe in God and not believe Him when He says that the same power that raised Christ from the dead is alive and working in me.
When I realize that I must choose to believe God at His word then all my DOING is revealed for what it is: my lousy, pathetic attempts to bribe God into accepting me on my terms instead of me receiving His love on His terms.

All of my work to have renewal, revival, recharging, recommitment, revision starts to be revealed as my attempt to earn belonging and love. I can’t earn what God has already freely given me! I have to believe Him and take Him at His Word. I am my Beloved’s and He is mine. I can stop doing and start being His daughter.

Photo: Courtesy of Pink Sherbet Photography , Some rights reserved

New Year New…

1228281080_f40150c22fIt’s a new year! Have you made your resolutions? Isn’t that what everyone asks at this time of year?

I’ve made one. One single resolution: to make goals instead of resolutions!

If you’ve ever made New Year’s resolutions you probably have a drawer full of well intentioned resolutions that amounted to nothing much. Those 2 weeks at the gym were very expensive. We intended to go all year but let’s face it our resolve lasted about 2 weeks. And those small sized clothes? They’re still in the back of the closet. If resolutions worked, well we would be living a very different life than the one we are.

According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary:

res·o·lu·tion

noun \ˌre-zə-ˈlü-shən\

: the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc. : the act of resolving something

: an answer or solution to something

Did you find a solution? Not by resolving to lose weight, or get fit, or make more money. No list of dreams for the coming year, no yellow sticky of affirmation, no frequently visited list of hopes will solve a problem just because we want it to.

Resolutions can lead to discouragement if they remain resolutions without being turned into action plans. We need clear steps and plans to turn those hopes into reality. Buying a gym membership is no guarantee of reaching your fitness goal. Opening a savings account will not change your finances. Cutting out photos of beautiful beaches will not whisk you to your dream vacation spot.

Let’s take the common resolution to lose weight this year. Ok, how much weight? How long will we keep it off? How will we do it? What are we willing to change in our life to accomplish this? What are we willing to get rid of? What are we willing to add to our life? Do we have the time? Is it that important? These are questions we need to ask before we begin the journey. Why? Because losing weight is not something that happens by accident or by good intention. It takes effort, and it takes change in a lot of areas of our lives. Just wanting to do it this year is likely to leave us disappointed.

How about getting out of debt? A great and noble desire, but without clear steps to do that we are likely to end up in a bigger hole at the end of 2014 than the one we started in. We need a plan with specific steps, tangible goals and measurable results in order to succeed.

The beginning of a new year is a great time to take stock of our lives and make course adjustments to help us reach the goals and dreams we have. It’s a great time to create sensible plans with manageable steps to achieve our goals. Sometimes we need help figuring out how to create those steps and plans. This is where having a great coach helps.

Buy a book from someone who truly has a track record of helping others achieve the same goals they claim to have reached. Take a class and learn about what it takes to make those dreams reality.  Ask questions.

This January you can begin a new year with new goals and dreams coming true. It’s going to take work and patience, but you can do it. This year instead of resolving to… let’s set goals make step by step plans for transformation.