Ten Tips for Navigating Motherhood

13226801_1107791052625520_6856197906297404978_nI found myself sitting in the bathroom eating a candy bar last night. I had the shower running to give the illusion that I was doing something productive. I know that some of you just cringed at the thought of eating in the bathroom. I regret to inform you I just don’t care about stuff like that. I also don’t care if the McRib is made out of real meat or if my children are wearing matching socks. I do, however, care that Toby from This is Us is not really overweight. I feel lied to now that I know he’s wearing a “fat suit.”

I just choose to not get worked up over certain issues. As I sat there alone with my Almond Joy, I was thinking about a conversation we had in Sunday School on the humility of Christ. How was He able to not get worked up all the time and to maintain humility when the people treated Him so poorly? Here’s what I think. Jesus was completely confident in who He was as God and in His ability to do what God had sent Him to do. It didn’t matter if the people mocked, questioned or refused to believe. He knew He was God.

People who are confident in who God created them to be and the task God has given them to do can be humble. They don’t have to be the loudest voice in the room. They don’t feel the need to air all of their thoughts on all the things. Humble people hear other people. They are not threatened by the opinions of others. So, when that mom sees your photo on Instagram and is all, “I can’t believe she doesn’t

roses1have her child rear-facing; he’s only thirteen,” you can smile and move on with your life.

I’m about to tell you something that will set. you. free. You don’t have to attend every argument to which you’re invited. You can humbly decline the invitation when you are confident in your God-given mothering instincts and abilities. 

You can handle this mothering gig, my friends.

You are loved. ❤

 

 

Ten Tips for Navigating Motherhood

  1. Have a heart that is humble.

  2. Have a faith that is firm.

  3. Be careful with criticism.

  4. Choose the Word over the world.

  5. Have a character that is kind.

  6. Let go of guilt.

  7. Embrace grace.

  8. Follow Christ – not the crowd.

  9. Be more concerned with authenticity than appearances.

  10. A side of yogurt makes any meal healthy.

 

How to Hear From God When Life is Loud

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Life is crazy loud. Do you know what I mean?

For instance, at this very moment, I have some men remodeling my bathroom upstairs. I also have one child watching her 35th episode of Doc McStuffins, one child listening to a math lesson on the computer, and two children playing in the play room. I also have one potty training toddler who just peed on my foot and demanded a treat.

I also have had some devotional thoughts that I have wanted to share but I’m saving them for my newest devotional project which will be coming out next year. Every time I am tempted to blog them I have to remind myself, “You can’t tell those stories.” It’s kind of like when Kramer sold all of his stories to Elaine’s boss to be used in a book. Then, when Kramer went to tell a story to his friends, Elaine stopped him and said, “You can’t tell that story. It now belongs to Mr. Peterman.”

Sometimes I’m desperate to hear from God but I’m all, “Lord, what did You say? It’s too loud up in here!”

Then, I read this verse.

Be silent in the presence of the Lord God…  Zephaniah 1:7

It occurred to me that my world doesn’t have to be quiet in order for me to hear from God – I’m the one who needs to be quiet. Everything around me doesn’t have to suddenly be still – I’m the one who needs to stop and listen.

Maybe that speaks to you, too? Does life seem so loud that it drowns out the voice of the Father? I promise you that God can speak over any noise you have going on right now. It isn’t your home that needs to be silent, but your heart.

You are loved. ❤

4 Gifts in the Wilderness

In my mind, the wilderness is rarely (and, by rarely, I mean never) a pleasant place to find yourself. The wilderness is the scene in a movie where the creepy music begins playing and the lady running in stilettos from a would-be kidnapper is about to trip over a tree root and fall helplessly to the ground.

A couple years ago, we were housesitting for a friend and I decided to take a walk through the woods. It seemed like a good idea when I began. There came a point, however, when the sun had begun to set and every shadow seemed like something off of a Criminal Minds episode. Let’s just say that the walk back to the house didn’t take me nearly as long as the walk out.

No doubt, you have had your own wilderness experiences.

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God has recently revealed something to me about the wilderness. The wilderness is not a place of punishment. We think that, don’t we? We look at every struggle and we wonder what we did wrong. We see others living seemingly easier lives and it all seems unfair. I know what you’re thinking – Get outta here with that “unfair” talk. Fine, maybe you don’t use the fair/unfair argument. Whatever. I’m just going to leave it there on the off chance someone else has ever felt that way.

As I study Scripture, I have learned some interesting things about the wilderness. It’s not a place of punishment. But the wilderness IS a place of:

  • Protection: (Exodus 13:17-18) When God rescued His people from the slavery they were enduring, God did not take the quickest route. When I set my GPS, I always choose “quickest route.” But God knew that the quick route held dangers of its own. God chose to lead His people into the wilderness to protect them from the poor decisions they may have made on the fast track home.
  • Passion: (Hosea 2:14) The world is loud and full of distractions. Sometimes, the Lord leads us into the wilderness to remind us of His love for us – to refocus our hearts on Him. He wants to stir up the passion we once had for Him.
  • Prayer: (Luke 5:16) Jesus would pray in the wilderness. In fact, Scripture says that He “often” withdrew to “lonely places.” Have you ever felt incredibly lonely? Could it be that God purposely puts us in those lonely places so that we are perfectly situated to hear from Him?
  • Provision: (Psalm 78:19) If your wilderness season includes financial struggle, there can be a lot of fear and uncertainty. Your God can provide a feast in the wilderness, my friend. God will provide an abundant harvest in a place the enemy can only plant seeds of doubt.

If you are currently in the wilderness, there are three things you need to know.

  1. The wilderness is not an accident.
  2. The wilderness is not for always.
  3. You are never alone in the wilderness.

There are gifts in the wilderness: Protection, Passion, Prayer and Provision.

You are loved. ❤

Stacy

 

 

Sleep More, Worry Less

We are just going to pretend like it hasn’t been six weeks since I last blogged. M’kay?

Also, the whole daylight-savings-fall-back-get-an-extra-hour thing? It’s a lie, y’all. There is nothing extra to be found in children who wake up earlier than they should. All you get is a child who is tired but doesn’t know it and refuses to do anything about it. Instead of sleeping, she gets in this position and cries big, pitiful tears…for hours.

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I have been studying for several weeks now on the topic of worry and anxiety. I will be speaking to a group of ladies on this very topic and, well, I’m a bit anxious about it. (The irony is not lost on me.) I take speaking engagements very seriously. I consider it an honor and a privilege to stand before others and open Scripture. I feel a great responsibility to do it well.

As I have been reading, two very familiar passages came to mind. The first is in Acts 12 when Peter is imprisoned awaiting execution.

Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. – Acts 12:6

Peter is bound with chains. There are soldiers on both sides. There are people guarding the doors. Herod has killed James and has plans to kill Peter. And Peter, well, he’s sleeping.

I lose sleep over bills, writing deadlines, silly arguments and whether or not I have served too much chicken this week. Peter’s life is on the line and he is sound asleep. Here’s the thing. It would not have done any good for Peter to stay awake and worry! Psalm 127:2-3 tells us that is it useless for us to stay up light or get up early due to worry. God gives His beloved sleep. We can sleep knowing that we are watched over by the God who never sleeps (Psalm 121:4.)

The other passage that came to mind was Jesus calming the storm in Matthew 8.

And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves….

And they went and woke Him saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” – Matthew 8:24-25

It’s easy to jump straight to the “ye of little faith” part and judge these men. Let’s not do that. They were in a tiny fishing boat, friends. There was a “great storm” and their boat is taking on water quickly. So, yes, they were feeling a little anxious.

They did not, however, sit there wringing their hands and worrying. They did not take a moment to contemplate all of the worst case scenarios. What did they do? They went to the One who could actually do something about the problem at hand. What a concept!

Sweet friends, worry never works anything out. You have never had a problem that, when all was said and done, you thought to yourself, “I am so glad that I spent those nights worrying about that.”

What are you worrying about right now?

That situation could end up two ways:

  1. You can worry and lose sleep and stop eating and it could end up being nothing as bad as what you are imagining.
  2. You can worry and lose sleep and stop eating and it could end up being exactly as bad as what you are imagining.

Either way, your worry did nothing to change the situation. Do you want to know what could change the situation? Go to Christ with it. Cry out for Him to show up and do what only He can do.

Then, go to sleep. ❤

Hide the Word (week 4) and Ice Cream Bread

Today begins week 4 of our Hide the Word challenge for 2015. I hope you have been able to keep up but, if not, just keep plucking along. This is not a competition.

Here is the reading for the next seven days.

January 22 – Genesis 30 and 31

January 23 – Genesis 32, 33 and 34

January 24 – Genesis 35, 36 and 37

January 25 – Genesis 38, 39 and 40

January 26 – Genesis 41 and 42

January 27 – Genesis 43, 44 and 45

*****

In other news, I saw a post on Facebook about someone making Ice Cream Bread.

Ice cream. Bread.

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Bread. Ice cream.

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I have to be honest. I just couldn’t see any negatives to this. So, I grabbed some leftover ice cream {I know, who has leftover ice cream?}  from the freezer and gave it a whirl.

ice cream bread 3

I found the recipe on a blog called The Hungry Housewife. If I were a superhero, I would call myself The Hungry Housewife because it’s a really great name.

ice cream bread 4

She makes a point of saying that this recipe doesn’t work as well with low fat ice cream. Low fat ice cream? Don’t even get me started.

ice cream bread 5

So, here is the final result. I’m not going to say it’s the best thing ever, but it would certainly do in a pinch for a little something-something. My girls all enjoyed it and I may have enjoyed it twice.

Now may be a good time to try that new exercise video I just got. Or to sit in the recliner and watch HGTV. I’ll let you know which one I choose. Actually, I won’t. You can use your imagination.