Top 5 Scriptures for the exhausted mom

As a mom of 3 young boys, it’s almost impossible to find free time.  Most of the time, any free moments are dedicated to a very rare commodity: SLEEP!  My days start at 5am and typically end at 9pm and it is at that time that I get so excited at the thought of having a little “me” time.  That thought lasts for about 2.3 minutes, right before I unknowingly drift off into a deep sleep.  Even as I write this, I feel my eyes getting heavy……..so sleepy…can’t type….need sleep….ZZzzzzzzzz………..Oopsie daisy! Sorry about that. And I’m up again.

Take for instance this week, I fully intended on waking up at 4:45am to have a little extra time before kids were up to pray, workout, pack lunches, make breakfast, iron clothes, and the list goes on and on.  Nope. Not happening.  Between projects, and sick kids, and bills, and work, and mountainous piles of laundry, it just wasn’t happening.  This morning, I was feeling more rested so I decided to make time for scripture.  Although I haven’t quite got the hang of the busy working mom of 3 schedule just yet, I am making it a priority to seek His word as often as I can.  Even if its for 5 minutes a day.  Those few minutes will eventually add up to a lot of minutes of much needed healing. And we all need a little daily healing, don’t we?  Can I get an Amen?! Exhausted moms, take heed: we are doing holy work. Through all the good, the bad, the ugly, the busy, the chaotic, the craziness of parenthood, we should be inspired everyday.  There is nothing that can renew your spirit better than the word of God.  Although there are many scriptures that can encourage even the weariest of moms, below are the 5 scriptures that I lean on most often.  So if you ever need a shoulder to cry on or someone to lean on, no worries.  He is always available.  And if you can’t find time, make time. So scoot your overworked butts over mamas, and let Jesus take the wheel.

I hope these renew your spirit and strengthen your weary heart, just as they do for me.

  1.  Yes, my soul, find rest in God: my hope comes from Him.  Truly He is my rock and my salvation.; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.  – Psalm 62:5-6  Make that your motto: I will not be shaken.
  2.  He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”  -Psalm 46:10  Be still means to not worry.  I know from experience that anxiety is second nature to motherhood.  This one is a tough one, but something we must practice everyday.
  3. Even the young 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  Do you hear that mamas?  We are eagles. Even if most times we feel like crows, we are like the eagles. Remember that.
  4. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. – Matthew 11:28-29  Find rest in Him.

And for my favorite go-to scripture when I’m feeling exhausted:

5.  When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I. – Psalms 6:1-2  Sometimes we have to hit rock bottom to discover He is that rock at the bottom….

 

What are your go-to scriptures?  Share them with us.

Check out this dad killing it with this old school rap! Great message for parents and kids.

This dad seriously has some skills! Love the motivational message behind it.  Now here’s a little something I threw together for you —

He’s a motivational speaker by day and a rapper by night

I came across this video and thought it was alright.

I must admit sometimes I like to throw out some lines.

I really like his daddy rap, now do you like mines?

Word to your motha’.

HA! Okokok, maybe I’m not a grand master rapper, but I do appreciate a good rap when I hear one, and this dad’s got skills. Derek Clark is not only a rapper, but he’s also a motivational speaker and has a very positive message to give out to kids and also other parents. This is a little about Derek’s story.

“I had a rough start in life and felt rejected and broken for many years, but despite my childhood growing up in foster care, I’m really trying hard to give my kids a better life and break the cycle. I try to show them a positive outlook and to never let a mistake or the past infect their future, to never give up on their dreams. My dreams are what kept me alive during the hardest times of my life. Despite what the haters write about me… Rapping Dad is vehicle to connect… it’s all about having a fun and unique way to connect with my kids creatively. Every parent has the ability to show their kids that they are important…just listen to them and be fun, fair and firm. There is nothing wrong about being a fun, enthusiastic and optimistic dad. My kids will tell you I’m not their best friend. I’m a fun dad but my job is to help them find their calling in life. It’s all about passing on generational blessings instead of generational curses. I’m not perfect but I do try to bring light to the ones’ that are lost in the dark…for I once was too. I sincerely thank you all for following my page, for supporting and sharing our videos…for your wonderful messages and comments. You. Are. Amazing! and I appreciate you all!!!” – Derek Clark

And that’s a rap, folks!

Moms in the Spotlight: Audrea shares her difficult journey to motherhood

This is Audrea.  She is a dear friend and colleague of mine.  She was one of the first people I talked to about starting a blog dedicated to mothers.  We talked about how I wanted to share my own experiences, as well as stories from other moms.  Every woman’s journey to motherhood is very different.  I don’t pretend to know everything there is to know about parenting or the struggles women face in their journey.  On the contrary, I have so much to learn.  I have not been through many of the experiences that other women have endured. That is why I hope to learn from other inspiring women and share their experiences with others.

Audrea’s first reaction to hearing about the blog was wanting to share her journey.  She has gone through issues with fertility and endured the heartache of a miscarriage.  Its a subject not many women want to talk about.  I am so proud of my friend for wanting to share this with others, to reach out to those who have gone through or are going through the same heartache.  Her story is beautiful and I hope you watch to the end as she reminds us all that we must weather the storm to find our rainbow.  There will always be a rainbow, as that is God’s promise.

Watch her story here and please share it.  Lets make it reach women everywhere who may be in the midst of the storm, so they know they are not alone.

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Audrea!

Must watch make-up tutorial for the busy mom

This really made me lol!  Usually when watching a makeup tutorial, I feel just like this mother. Who has time for all those steps?  And I have no clue about all the different tools and terminology featured in many of these online makeup videos.  Am I the only that has no clue what the heck BB cream and CC cream are for?  Contour this and contour that, conceal this and conceal that.  When it’s all said and done you transform into a totally different person.  Maybe that’s the point, but its a little scary how different you look after the 20 steps of makeup in all these online videos. I appreciate the honest and hilarious perspective of this particular tutorial. This mama can relate!

 

Saying goodbye to the daughter I never had

I am a boy mom.  I love being the mother of 3 remarkable boys. I feel blessed in such a way that if I sit and think about it for too long, my eyes well up with tears.  My cup runneth over.  Yet, every now and then, there is a teeny tiny part of me deep down in the depths of my heart, that sometimes aches just a little.  I never thought I would have 3 children.  I always longed for a big family, but for many reasons, I never thought it would become reality.  I remember finding out I was pregnant for the first time.  It was a complete shock and one that took my husband and I some time to absorb.  We weren’t ready for it.  Come to find out, though, you never really are ready for it.  After the initial shock wore off, we learned our baby was going to be a boy.  I remember the feeling of pure bliss knowing that we had our very own prince on the way.  As scared as we were to be first-time parents, it pales in comparison to the overwhelming love this little baby boy brought to our household. Its the kind of love you can’t put into words, it is something you can only feel.  Years later, we decided to expand our family and we also decided against finding out the gender of our other two babies.  We wanted it to be a complete surprise.  Each pregnancy had us guessing throughout the entire 9 months.  It felt like the majority of our family and friends were rooting for a girl. I was just rooting for a healthy baby.  Although, I couldn’t help but wonder how life would be with a little girl. People were so matter-of-fact about knowing that I would have a girl and their self-assurance made me giggle inside.  I knew they said it because they wished it for me.  I had my boy, and they thought I needed a girl to be complete.  I would sometimes feel slightly offended on behalf of the baby, thinking that if he were a boy, he wouldn’t appreciate all this girl talk.  Maybe I felt a little slighted because although I wouldn’t admit it, I had an inkling that God would give us another prince.

However, as I had 9 months to wonder about the gender, I had plenty of time to contemplate life with a girl. I pictured her having her dad’s kind heart and her mama’s free spirit.  Stubborn in her ways like me (which in reality scared me to death) yet with a caring and compassionate nature that would move her to do great things in the world. I wanted her to have a very sophisticated, dainty, and classic name.  This little girl would be my best friend for life.  And her name would be Elizabeth Pearl.  I was a bit of a fiery child.  That may or may not be an understatement.  I feared the thought of Elizabeth because if she were anything like I was as a child, then I had my work cut out for me.  Yet, I was still fully prepared.  I knew that regardless of its challenges, my princess would be worth every struggle.  I wondered how she would be, what she would look like, and how my life would change with her in it.

Then came my boys.  Each time at the hospital, I remember the almost impossible-to-bear anticipation of meeting our baby for the first time and discovering what God blessed us with.  Each time, I would stare intently at my husband’s face as he was the first to see each baby born and the first person who would tell me if it was a boy or a girl. There was so much emotion packed into those few seconds, as I waited for the verdict.  What I heard from my husband is the same thing I would hear all 3 times at the hospital, yet still each time was just as exciting. “It’s a boy!”….then almost 5 years later…”It’s another boy!”….and 3 years later…”(laughing) OH MY GOD, its another boy!”  Each time I felt an indescribable happiness.  I had 3 little princes in my life and alas, I would remain the queen of the castle…..but I can’t pretend that there were moments I didn’t feel a tiny sting in the deep down depths of me.  I can’t say that there wasn’t a little part of me that struggled just a little to let go of the idea of Elizabeth.  After all, I had such a vivid image of her and how she would be.  I pictured her bossing me and the boys around, yet still having us wrapped around her little finger. I pictured long talks about hair, makeup, and boys. I pictured her crying on my shoulder as she went through her first heartbreak.  I pictured her dancing on daddy’s shoes then eventually fitting into mine. However, I knew I had to let her go.  It was time to tell her goodbye.  I can’t lie.  Letting go was a little difficult, but it was made much easier knowing my heart is filled to the brim with the 4 greatest loves of my life. They are my gift; a gift that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the universe and God knew exactly what each one of those boys needed in a mother.  I’m eternally grateful that He chose me to be that for them.  What an overwhelming thought it is that God Himself carefully chose me out of the billions of people on this earth to raise these 3 beautiful souls.  That is what finally made it so easy to let go of the thought of my little girl.  She wasn’t meant for me.  She was meant for someone else.  I accept that.

So, goodbye my Elizabeth Pearl.  Wherever you are and whoever God carefully chose as your mother, I know that someday you will do great things in this world. I know someday you will move mountains and our world will be better because you are in it.

 

5 things you should never ever ever say to a preggo SMH

In the past 10 years, I’ve gone through 3 pregnancies. During each pregnancy, I experienced all of the classic symptoms – morning sickness, swelling, fatigue, cravings, backaches, the list goes on and on. I remember feeling overwhelmed by the lack of control over my changing body.  I was also surprised at how many people took these changes as a free for all to say whatever they wanted and offered unsolicited comments that made me feel awkward and many times downright offended.  Most of the time, people mean well and are just trying to be friendly, but those “friendly” comments can quickly take a wrong turn into the land of Ah Heyell No and What the Ffffff……

So if you have a pregnant mama in your life or most especially if you are a complete stranger, please take note.  These are 5 things you should never ever ever say to a pregnant woman.

  1.  You look tired!Well thank you, Captain Obvious.  Its either from being up all night sick, peeing the night away, or lack of sleep from failing to find a comfortable position that will accommodate growing a tiny human!  All of those are unpleasant side effects of pregnancy, so thank you for stating the obvious and sparking a conversation about said side effects and for letting me know that I look just like I feel.  AND what if I was actually having a good day and was feeling well-rested? Saying that I look tired when I’m actually not, is just a covert way of saying I look like crap.  Not exactly what someone who is already going through so many changes wants to hear.  So when in doubt, just plead the fifth.  Rest assured, that you have the right to remain silent.
  2. Are you having twins? – Grrrrrrrr….this one’s a classic.  My knee-jerk reaction in my mind was always thinking “no, are you?”  While I came close many times to blurting that out, I instead had to awkwardly laugh and semi-politely explain that I am not having twins, I guess I just look big.  I obviously had a growing belly and while it’s a beautiful thing to be pregnant, the increase in size and weight can be a difficult change for a woman especially when she has spent most of her grown life watching her waistline.  So to not only point out that I look pregnant, but to emphasize that I look VERY pregnant made me want to scream. And some mama’s will do just that.  Not all women are able to maintain their ladylike etiquette when met with such intrusive commentary.  So speak at your own risk, or simply refrain from this undercover insult altogether.
  3. You shouldn’t be eating that… – Ummmm…come again?  Since when did you become my nutritionist?  Unless you are my doctor I politely ask that you mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy.  For the most part, I ate healthy and was always on top of my pre-natal vitamins.  However, there were many moments of necessary splurges, cravings, and treats deserving of someone who is sometimes on the brink of insanity from not only dealing with the effects of pregnancy, but putting up with comments such as this one.  And FYI, telling someone they shouldn’t be eating something only makes them want to keep eating it…and more of it….right in front of you….with a smile on their face….as you watch in shock. So there.
  4. You look like you’r ready to pop! – Welp, this one’s a doozy.  Every time I heard this gem, it made me want to say, “the only thing ready to pop is your face on my fist”.  No worries, I never actually said such a terrible thing, it was just a comforting thought.  Thank you for your not-so-subtle observation, but it could be a variety of things such as swelling, a sudden growth spurt, or even clothing that make me look like I could burst at any second.  None of which are reasons to express your concern over me suddenly “popping”.
  5. Can I touch your belly?  –  The truth of the matter is that some women don’t mind it, but many MANY do.  Unless you are a very close family member or good friend, this is pretty much a no-no.  STRANGERS, this one applies mostly to you.  Although it may be tempting for you to rub a woman’s round belly as if she were buddha, it is best to keep your hands and germs to yourself.  It feels intrusive and awkward and unnecessary.  So GOTB, please.  Get Off The Bellllaaaaay!

Some honorable mentions for unsolicited remarks about a woman’s growing body are the following:  Wow, your boobs look big. You sure are packing on the pounds. Look at the big belly poking out. Wow, you’re feet are so swollen.  Really the list could go on and on, but hopefully you get the picture.

Instead of any of these unwanted observations, I’m going to drop a major truth bomb.  I will now reveal 3 simple things that work magical healing powers for pregnant women all over the world.  These 3 comments will not only magically turn a pregnant woman’s hard day into a great one, you may also be so lucky as to see her smile.  I hope you take these pearls of wisdom and always use them for good.  Here goes…drumroll please….if you are ever in a situation when you really feel the need to make any of the aforementioned comments, simply substitute them with these 3 magnificent phrases:  “Congratulations!” “You are glowing!” “You look great!” That’s it! Simple, yet very effective.

Many of the comments are really not intended to be harmful and come from people feeling the sheer joy of baby coming into the world soon.  Pregnancy is just a tricky, interesting, and weird journey, so this is just a reminder to make a mama’s journey a little easier by being careful with your words.

Any other things to avoid saying during pregnancy?  Tell me in your comments!

 

Daddy Diaries: You just cannot watch without crying – Troops coming home

I have a profound respect for our troops.   I’m in awe of their sacrifices and immeasurable strength.  I’m equally in awe of the strength of their families.  I look at my children and I can’t imagine having to be apart from them. Seeing these families reunited is hard to watch without tears.  However, its necessary to watch so that we get even a small glimpse into the ultimate sacrifices they make for their families and for you and me. In the chaos of everyday life, in the struggles of parenthood, in the midst of the craziness that we sometimes want to escape, remember their sacrifice.   That should be enough of a reminder to love the beautiful mess of motherhood just a little more deeply and to hold your babies everyday, as there are many who can only love from a distance.

This mom’s poem on motherhood is on point. Its no wonder it has over 6 million views.

Ted Hughes Award winner Hollie McNish on motherhood

“Someone said that mums are the rocks that never crumble.I don’t think that’s true, ‘cause I do.” Lines from poet Hollie McNish, who’s been awarded the prestigious Ted Hughes Award.

Posted by Channel 4 News on Thursday, March 30, 2017

“What’s my name again?” starts with Hollie McNish, an award-winning poet and mother, as she reads a poem about a mom’s identity from her book, Nobody Told Me.  The book is a memoir of poems about parenthood, but this one in particular is so completely relatable.

As parents, it’s easy to lose our identity.  We are entrenched in the lives of our children and become a different version of ourselves. Not necessarily in a bad way, but in a way where we have to constantly remind ourselves of who we are as people outside of motherhood.  While we spend our time worrying about the care and the needs of our own children, we forgo our individuality. Holly’s poem touches on so many relatable areas of parenthood, that it makes me feel relief knowing how many mothers far and wide, across countries, share the same sentiments.  I love her words.  Words are powerful and can carry so much weight.  She inspires me in her creative expression.  “Someone said that moms are the rocks that never crumble,” she reads. “I don’t think that’s true, ’cause I do. . . . We are parents, but we are people. . . . We are rocks crumbling sometimes in love that’s so heavy. We are storytelling experts and our stories are many.”

Thank you for sharing, Hollie.

www.holliepoetry.com