4 Ways to Kick Fear to the Curb

Someone once said that one of Satan’s greatest tricks is to make you believe that you are whatever you fear you are.

Do you fear being alone? The enemy is going to make you feel that you truly are alone.

Do you fear that you’re invisible? He’ll do everything he can to reinforce that feeling.

For many of us, one of our greatest fears is that we may be bad mothers. It always seems that someone else is doing it a whole lot better and scrapbooking the whole experience while carrying a monogrammed handbag.

I can’t be the only one that has been awake at night wondering what I could do tomorrow to undo all the mistakes I made today. {The best I’ve ever come up with, by the way, is caffeine and chocolate.It doesn’t undo anything but it sure makes a mama feel better.}

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Whatever it is that Satan is whispering in your ear, here is the only thing you really need to know. Satan is a liar. If the voice in your head speaks things that are death to your spirit, you can know that it is not of God. 

You’re not alone. You’re not invisible. You’re not a bad mother.

However, there are things in this world that cause little seeds of fear to plant themselves within our hearts. If we don’t deal with those seeds, they can become big problems which crowd the peace and joy right out of our spirits.

How should we respond when fear rears its ugly head? When we get that diagnosis? When there is more month than money? When friends walk away? When jobs are deleted? When hearts get broken and dreams get dashed?

We could lie.

Everything is fine.

I can handle it.

We could hide.

We could stay in our pajamas and binge-watch Parenthood on Netflix. We can skip church and cancel plans with friends.

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The enemy would love for us to lie and hide. The problem is that lying and hiding never take away the fear. It only covers it in shame. What should we do when we feel the anxiety creep in and the tension take over?

Let’s look at Genesis 32: 7-12. {Go ahead and read it; I’ll wait.}

In verse 7, we see that Jacob is greatly afraid. He’s not nervous or a little anxious. He isn’t uncomfortable. He is GREATLY AFRAID. Can you go there for a minute? Think of a time or situation that has had you feeling that  way.

Now, watch Jacob’s response.

4 WAYS TO KICK FEAR TO THE CURB

  1. Turn to God. “And Jacob said, ‘O God…” (Genesis 32:9.) What if our first response to fear was prayer?
  2. Acknowledge your place before God. “I am not worthy…” (Genesis 32:10.) What if we didn’t try to solve our own problems and, instead, realized that we were never meant to go it alone?
  3. Confess your fear. “I fear him…” (Genesis 32:11.) What if we didn’t play the I’m-okay-you’re-okay game?
  4. Remember God’s promise. “But you said…” (Genesis 32:12.) What if we stopped focusing on our fears and, instead, pondered God’s promises?

Remember, sweet friends, that perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18.)

You are loved (with a perfect love.) ❤

How to Pray Scripture Over Your People

The world is so complicated that, at times, it’s hard to know what to pray. In those moments, learn to pray Scripture. I have several that I use as general guidelines when I pray over my family – certain ones for my children and others for my husband.

This is one that I pray over my babies because it covers many things that we, as parents, tend to want for them: God’s presence, provision, and protection.

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Psalm 20 (A Mama’s Paraphrase)

Child, may the Lord be quick to answer you when you are struggling, hurting or lonely. May the name of God protect you when you aren’t even aware that you need protection.

May He send you help when the enemy seeks to do you harm and may His angels support you when you’re too weak to stand.

May He remember all your acts of obedience and regard with favor your pleas for forgiveness.

May He grant your heart’s deepest desires and give you success wherever He leads you.

Your mama will shout for joy over your salvation and I will praise God for what He has done in your life.

My child, God knows how to protect what is His. You be faithful to listen because your God is faithful to speak. There is no hole so deep, no mistake so grave that His mighty right hand can not save you.

Some people around you will place their trust in money, power, government, popularity, or prestige. Not us, dear one. Our trust is in the name of the Lord our God and nothing or no one else.

You watch because, in the end, they will all collapse and fall while God’s people rise and stand tall.

O, Lord , save my children and answer them when they call.

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You are loved.

Mom Talk: Trick or Treating with an Easter Basket

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. Colossians 3:23 NIV

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I am super proud of myself because all of my children already have their Halloween costumes AND candy buckets three full weeks before Halloween. To fully appreciate this you would need to understand that, last year, I forgot the buckets and sent my kids door to door with old Easter baskets.

Trick or treat! (Also, He is risen). Whatevs – in my day, it was perfectly acceptable to use an old pillow case. You know what, it held WAY more candy than a plastic bucket with a handle that breaks before you get to the end of the street.

It was a confusing time and more than one person commented on the unusual choice – as if I had the two options before me and decided to go with the blatantly inappropriate one. Sometimes, a girl is just doing the best she can, y’all.

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When you see that mama at the store and her kid is screaming in the buggy and folks are giving her the stink eye? Yeah, she’s doing the best she can. No one needs to comment on how her kid would never act like that or that child should be at home taking a nap.

The other day I saw a woman at the store and she had two kids dressed in boots and jeans like it was about to be a blizzard, two kids in shorts and flip flops like they were on their way to the beach and one child still wearing what she slept in the night before. That poor woman – fine, it was me – was doing. the. best. she. can!

So, if some sweet child knocks on your door and says, “Trick or treat,” while holding a frilly basket decorated with Easter eggs, just give her some candy for crying out loud. And, if you are one of the ones who choose to hand out oranges or toothbrushes or mints from the Olive Garden (true story,) we will know that you’re doing the best you can.

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It’s all any of us can do – the best we can. Our kids may still make bad choices. We will still make bad choices. We will wish for do-overs and have to settle for grace overs. We will say things we regret and regret the things we didn’t say.

Here’s my promise to you. When I see you fall, I’ll lift you up instead of laugh. I’ll listen to you instead of judge you. We can love each other without looking like each other. I will try to understand even if I’ve never stood where you stand.

We can do this thing together doing the best we can.

You are loved. ❤

American Ninja Mama

I am a huge fan of shows involving obstacle courses. I love to cheer on the underdogs and, perhaps, I’m a little pleased when the overly proud ones slip early on and eliminate themselves. I am not even remotely athletic so I’ve always wondered why these types of shows appeal to me so much. Then, I took a shower last night and it all made sense. Every time I enter my bathroom it’s as if I’m participating in an obstacle course without ever signing up for it.

If you’ve ever gone to the restroom and realized (after the fact) that someone used the last roll of toilet paper and failed to replace it – then you know what I mean. You jiggle. You shake. You yell to see if anyone is within earshot. (They never are, by the way. Not unless you’re opening a candy bar.)

Then, there is the shower obstacle. You attempt to place your feet somewhere in between the Barbie dolls and the Hot Wheels. Just the other night, I pushed all of the toys to one end of the tub but failed to notice the white, rubber ball which blended quite nicely with the white tub. That was almost the one that eliminated me from any further competition.

A photo by David Cohen. unsplash.com/photos/wD5LMt3ElT4

My personal favorite part of the show is when I attempt to wash my hair and must determine which bottles actually contain shampoo and which ones have been filled with week old bath water. Trust me, getting that one wrong is quite unpleasant.

Let’s say, by chance, you are one of the superior competitors who survive the shower scene. That’s about the time you open the linen closet and find that the towels have all mysteriously disappeared. Oh, sure, there is one limp, slightly damp towel laying on the floor. Do you dare?

Why is the towel wet? Did it dry a clean body fresh from the shower or was it used to mop up an overflowed toilet? You take a quick sniff and go for it. This ain’t your first shake yourself dry on the potty, almost die from a rubber ball in the shower, wash your hair in dirty bathwater and dry yourself off with a questionable towel obstacle course.

No, ma’am. You can do this thing.

How to Become a Mom Who Says, “Yes”

Speaking of phony, what are your thoughts on generic brands? Because I don’t really mind them. I’m all about saving some grocery money. So, I will buy the Smacker’s grape jam or the Not-quite-a-miracle whip. I learned the hard way, however, that there is no substitute for a good ol’ fashioned pizza roll.

I even buy the not-really-Oreos Oreos. They seem the same to me but, truth be told, I don’t even like Oreos anyway. I know, it’s crazy. Chocolate cookies and cream seem like a win-win combination. But, alas, they do nothing for me. My husband, on the other hand, loves a good Oreo and I am very guilty of buying the discount brand.

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I thought I would share with you a new thing I have implemented. Actually, that might be building it up a little too much. It isn’t really a thing – more like something that only takes place in my head but has helped my attitude a great deal lately.

I don’t know about you but, sometimes, my default response to pretty much any question is “No”.

Can we have ice cream for lunch?

No.

Can we play Uno?

No.

Can we take all of your measuring cups and use them in the bathtub?

No. 

It’s enough to make me roll my eyes at my own self, for crying out loud.

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So, I have come up with a new game for myself. Seriously, it’s just for me and I am the only one that even knows the game is on. Here is how it works.

When I feel myself getting a little too quick with the “no-s,” I play Three Yeses in a Row. {It is obvious when it’s time because the kids start prefacing their questions with “Mommy, I know you’re going to say no but can we…”}

In my mind, I decide that I am going to say “Yes” to the next three questions from any child. Now I know, going into this, that I may end up painting 40 fingernails or scraping dried bits of play doh off of the kitchen table for the next three days. I may end up getting my tail kicked in a game of Mario Cart. But, you know what, I always feel better. And I can’t help but giggle at the shock on a kid’s face when I say, “sure, you can have a cookie even though it’s 8:30 in the morning.” It’s just good fun is all I can tell you.

And it keeps the kids on their toes. Never let it be said that they have this mama figured out.

So, if you feel like you’re always being the bad guy. If you hear yourself saying “no” WAY too much. Then, I challenge you to a little game of Three Yeses in a Row. Let me know how it goes.

I love y’all more than a Sunday afternoon nap.


*Repost from the archives