How to Shape a Life You Love

Any life involves of a lot of the mundane. It doesn’t matter if you’re a doctor, a mom, a teacher. You still have clothes to wash, lines to wait in, errands to run. There are always dishes; you will need to eat; you have to make the bed in the morning and occasionally clean the toilet. Ok, I realize the bed thing is questionable for a lot of people but you have to wash the sheets once in a while at least.

Motherhood can seem like the ultimate combination of mundane activities. There are no exciting surgeries, no teacher awards. Nobody applauds when your child finally reaches those milestones you thought might never happen, although you might get a handful of facebook likes from that one. You never completely finish anything. Makes college classes seems nice, doesn’t it? So how do you learn to enjoy motherhood?

How Self Care Works for Me

One of the first things my oldest learned in his kindergarten curriculum was the days of creation. It always strikes me that God used six of His days to work but He reserved a whole day to rest. A whole day when He, God Himself, never gets tired and never sleeps.

We mamas do a lot of creating and making. We make beds and we make tiny humans. We make dinner and snacks. We make grocery lists and we make routines that work for our families. We create the environment that our families live in every day. And there’s a big battle over rest.

God made our bodies with a need to rest. Even our minds need rest from constant work and stimulation. Motherhood is often portrayed in our society as the position where rest is no longer attainable. It’s got to be a special kind of arrogance to think we no longer need to conform to God’s design.

Body Image: Practical Steps + Perspective Shifts

Two Saturdays ago I decided I was going to find something different to wear to church the next day and started digging through the closet. I tried on exactly three things and decided that I looked just like a walrus and might as well give up on life since I still had 12 weeks to go in this pregnancy. It’s only going to get worse, right? Obviously, drama never happens over here.

I walked the boys down to the playground a few hours later and was still thinking about the clothes. I decided that first of all, I had to stop referring to myself as a walrus, even just in my head. I’d never want my best friend to call herself a walrus and therefore I can’t call myself a walrus. (Simple rule for living: you too should stop calling yourself names.) Then I started thinking about all the pregnancy-related things I had to be thankful for. I’m so thankful for how healthy I am during pregnancy- to not be on bedrest, to be able to keep up with the boys and our life. I’m thankful to still be pregnant (which is why I’m getting bigger) and to not have a preemie in the NICU. I’m thankful that my body has been a healthy home for this baby so far.

Dear Mama Who Feels Mediocre

A lovely reader emailed me and when I got to this part I about choked laughing/trying not to cry since it had been a hard day and I wanted to send everyone to bed at four in the afternoon.

I’ve read that you say you don’t have it all together, and no one really does, but have you always excelled in homemaking or meal planning or time management? Or, if you don’t mind, what’s an example or “outline” of ways you’ve grown a lot in an area that you felt you weren’t successful in? 

It feels like pretty much everything I do is mediocre when I desperately want to be confident, poised, and capable in life.

Dear Mama Who Feels Mediocre,

We never arrive. I know it’s easy to say and harder to believe. Anytime I think I get a handle on something, I move on to something else. Once I do that a few times, I drop the ball on that first thing and have to start all over there again. But not as quite back as far as I was at the beginning. I’ve learned a little better. It’s easier to swing back in the routine. The more and more I do that, the more I realize that life is a cycle and I’ll constantly be throwing the balls back up into the juggle.

Mixed Emotions: Anticipating a New Baby

I’m finally thrilled to meet this baby. Not that there wasn’t always an element of thrill but it was masked in a lot of other things: shock, concern, busyness, for starters. Now I sit and watch this baby roll around, seeing his movements through my belly, and I can’t wait to hold him in my arms. In 10 weeks, give or take, Luke’s going to be kissable. My boys will finally see the little brother they’ve been waiting on. I’ll watch my beloved become a daddy all over again.

There’s also a good amount of apprehension with the excitement. That breath-catches-in-my-throat moment when I realize I’m going to be in labor again. My body is going to contract and agonize in order to bring this baby out to be kissed and there’s no getting around it. I’ll face those moments in the delivery room when I’m not sure that I can keep going and yet realize that I have no choice. There’s no other way but through.

A Manifesto for Confident Christian Women

Imagine a generation of Christian women looking to Jesus instead of each other. Imagine churches and communities full of women using the gifts and talents God gave them. Imagine a generation of women so busy serving God and loving others that they had no time to compare themselves or their work to their sisters. Imagine a group of women simultaneously learning from and teaching other women while resisting the temptation to copy each other.

It sounds like a dream but it starts with you. It’s living with confidence and encouraging other women to do the same.

Confidence is walking the path God has laid out for you.

4 Obstacles to Mothering Well + A New Project

One of my frustrations of the current women’s movements is the dismissal of motherhood. Every endeavor that a woman could embark on is applauded as noble and worthy and she is capable of rising to the challenges. At least until the challenge is this small person who needs love and direction; suddenly that challenge is beneath her. A friend even showed me an article last week that stated it should be illegal for mothers to stay home with their children because they could be contributing to society. As if mothers- that are really mothering- aren’t contributing to society.

Motherhood is often not seen as a worthy endeavor. One of the reasons for this is how mamas act. We don’t treat it like it’s worthy. Then, not only do other people not think it’s worthy, but that viewpoint is never challenged by what they see. What they observe affirms their mindset and they never budge from that.