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.

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.

Being a Safe Place for Other Women

Female friendships can be sticky. When we had our podcast meet-up we had a large conversation about friendship and all the topics that apply to building relationships. We’re in the middle of a series on friendship on the podcast because every woman wants close female friends but they can be hard to find.

I have a few friends I say a lot of stuff too. Stuff that I wouldn’t say to most people, whether it’s jokes, serious issues I’m struggling with, or things I need them to pray about. There are a few other women that I’m not as close to but they have proven themselves to be masters of discretion and I would also trust them with more serious issues. But there are a lot of women that I don’t let past the surface of my life.

All of us need a safe place in friendships. I have discovered that I can’t fix my friend’s problems. I can’t mend their broken hearts or give the perfect piece of advice or make their kids quit fighting. But I can be a safe place. I can be a place where they can come when they need to talk or when they need someone to pray for them.

Why Sex Isn’t Bad (Wait, What?)

So much of our public stance is made up of reactions. Instead of reviewing the facts in light of our worldview, we look at a group we don’t agree with and take the opposite position. We don’t seem to be the slightest bit hindered from doing this even if we take up positions that we don’t actually agree with.

This is a danger for Christians in particular because it matters what position we take. It reflects on more than just our own opinion when we say that God wants us to do something or that something is right or wrong.

For years as secular culture has gotten more “free” with sex and what’s acceptable and what’s shown on television, the church has answered by doing the opposite. We have shouted about the dangers of sex and the problems of immorality and left the message there.

The problem with this approach is that there is little clear Biblical teaching about God’s actual design for sex. Not what He says is wrong- there’s plenty about that- but what He says is right.

5 Things I’d Tell You: Pregnancy Edition

I love going out for coffee with friends, especially if I can sneak out once the boys are in bed or while they are working on a project with my husband. There’s nothing like sipping a drink or eating a brownie while discussing the best and hardest parts of life. And since I was 20 weeks pregnant this week it seemed the perfect time for some maternity talk. So grab your drink and chill for a few minutes this Friday.

1. I run the gamut of emotions between the wonder of a child growing inside me to the realization that soon this baby will be in my arms and I have to reorient our entire schedule to handle that. When I’m energized I think I can handle it; if I’m tired I’m sure that we’ll never adjust. But we’ve brought home three already so surely at some point we’ll find our footing. (Right?) For that very reason, part of my prep time praying for a coming baby always includes praying that God will prepare my heart and our family.