Power in Motherhood: The Way She Sees Things

Selected to be a part of Tribe magazine’s short story compilation on The Power in Motherhood, I wanted to show my youngest daughter’s strength and tenacity through a simple metaphor. I used a flower in all its innocent beauty to highlight the raw delicacy and grace of my little firecracker. Come on over to Tribe Magazine and check it out! I am among 12 amazing writers who also talk about motherhood in their very own unique and thoughtful ways.

(Photo credit: Martin Vorel )

“She is here and now. This moment is her strength because she is planted right in the deep, dark soil of it.”

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Three Ways Frozen’s Elsa Taught My Daughter to be a Strong Woman

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Hi followers and friends. It’s December 1! Can you even believe it? I am still in shock over how fast this year has passed. Anyways…I have a fun post up on Red Tricycle about Disney princesses and how they influence our kids personalities. Would love some views, comments, and shares! This was a neat article to write and I really got to explore a more childlike side of myself while writing about my preschooler’s take on femininity based on Elsa’s character in Frozen. Hop on over and check it out. I promise that you’ll be super entertained!

As always, thanks for your faithfulness to read my words. I don’t take your loyalty for granted. I appreciate you!

Here’s a bit from the article:

“As you very well know, strong women are in dire need these days. The Elsas of the world need to rise up to their full potential and fearlessly behold their strength in the face of ice-cold circumstances. Take this challenge from my spunky three-nager and repeat these words out loud until you believe it: “I know I can!” Then sing your way into victory! (You know you want to.)”

What’s your fave Disney princess? Do you see some of her characteristics in yourself? Leave me a comment (after you have read the piece) and let me know for some good ol’ fashioned fun. 🙂 Happy Thursday!

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Photo Credit: Paul Green 
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Shared on Mom Life Monday’s Blog Link-up 

Moms, It’s Okay to Embrace Your Mushy Side

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Hi friends! I have a post up on my fave site, Her View From Home, for all my mamas out there. I have discovered a new side to myself since having children- sappy! (And I’m loving it, though it does make things awkward at times.) Come on over to HVFH and check out my newest piece if you’re constantly feeling that tug to tear up over things your kids do. I promise you’ll find some solidarity with other moms in my words.

 

“These opportunities come our way whether we like it or not. We have to decide if we’re going to let them steer us further into relationship with our child, even if that means shedding a few tears, or if we’re going to let them push us out of connection with them. Seeing life through our children’s eyes will evoke emotions from the hardest of hearts. Our children seeing life through our eyes will help them see that we, their parents, are simply human. Just. Like. Them.”

Read more… 

 

I’ve also linked up with Mom Life Mondays. 

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Photo Credit : Jon Flobrant 

Pregnant at 35: The Good, the Bad,& the Wet Pants (mine- not the kids)

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So, I guess this is my official social media announcement: We are expecting baby number 5! Are we excited? Yes! Are we a bit overwhelmed at the thought of another baby in our already bustling household? Yes. But we are blessed and that is that. 🙂 In honor of our news, I wrote a piece for Her View From Home about how my body is reacting to baby this time around- at 35. Here’s a snippet:

“When we first found out that I am pregnant, some crazy emotions crept in. The big one that took over my thoughts and caused me some anxiety was my age. I am 35 years old. I know, I know…I’m not old. BUT I’m not young either. My first three children were born in my twenties and when number four came along I was 32. Let me tell you something- the whole experience was different. Like, more aches and pains, more weird hormones, more emotional breakdowns, more binge-eating. Seriously, getting pregnant over 30 is not for the faint of heart.”

If you want a little mid-week chuckle then continue reading about my journey so far HERE.  I promise, you won’t get bored. Thanks! Happy Wednesday!

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My Addiction to Fear

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I’m learning that I can’t be the mom who saves my kids. From a lot of things. 

I have operated out of fear, in the name of protection, for too long. And it has taken from me. My sanity, my ability to trust, my peace.

More importantly, my fear has taken from my kids. Their love of new things, their desire for adventure, their confidence in their decisions. Yeah, I did that. (Or rather, I allowed my fear to do that!)

I couldn’t see it before because I was happily living in a padded room of my own making. Quite like the rooms you see on t.v. in the haunted mental institutions. This was my brain on fear. I was safe but isolated, left to deal with my tormenting thoughts all on my own.

What sobered me up was my gut-wrenching decision to put my kids in public school this year after only homeschooling them for the past 6 years. Just making the choice to do it felt like death hovering over me as I shook from fear withdrawals.

I felt sick at the thought of letting them go when all I (and they) had ever known was our home, our rules, our ways. But then, after the waves of nausea started to decrease, I felt something new and, honestly, it scared me.

Freedom.

Not in the sense that freedom is only delegated to the school-going families. No, freedom in the sense that I could actually walk away from something that was no longer working for our family. It was keeping me bound in despair as I wrestled every day with watching my kids cling more and more to me and less to their own amazing personalities.

You know when you just get to that point when enough is enough? You are afraid of the new thing staring you in the face but you know that the old thing has just been done way too long? That’s where I was when my husband came to me and introduced the idea of putting them in school. I had a choice to make, albeit painful.

I decided that I was not going to be a fear-addict any longer.

So, we did it. And it’s been great! It’s also been hard some days. But better all around. They are standing on their own two feet and learning to take responsibility for their choices without me there to prompt them. They are embarking on new friendships and engaging in activities that they would have not had the chance to do otherwise. Most importantly, my fear of them not needing me anymore was proven totally unfathomable. They get to take care of themselves when not at home but the evenings are my time with them. Time for snuggles and homework help and bedtime prayers.

They say fear is an illusion. I say fear is also a drug. It incapacitates you and leaves you wanting more and more of it until it’s all you can think about. Thank God I have a husband who listens to God’s voice and calls me higher when I’m living beneath the level of freedom God has for me.

Thank God, the taste of freedom is way more satisfying then the taste of fear.

Childhood Fears as an Adult

The physical darkness in front of me doesn’t negate the heavenly Light I carry within me.

I am a grown woman with a childhood fear that just won’t let go. I am the mom who makes her kids have nightlights in their rooms because I’m scared that they might get scared in the middle of the night.

Am I a fearful person? Not really. I am very into confronting your fears and living on the edge. After all, the Bible even says in 2 Timothy 1:7, (and I quote this verse often to my tribe),
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear,

but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

But when the room is pitch black, all of the blood rushes to my head and I instantly blurt out whatever expletive or shrieking sound I can muster to get someone, ANYONE, to turn the light back on.

I thought that maybe this was a major problem and I needed some counseling or something. I even considered forcing myself to sleep in my bedroom without the bathroom light shining in from down the hall to somehow face my fear head on.

Then it occurred to me recently as I was struggling with letting my youngest sleep (per her request) without a night light- The physical darkness in front of me doesn’t negate the heavenly Light I carry within me. Aren’t I called to be the Light? To be a flickering flame shining HOPE in the night hours? A glimmering speck of FREEDOM that guides the captives out of their gloomy cells?

My three year old knows this truth better than I do it seems. She sings songs like “This Little Light of Mine” and “Jesus Loves Me” to herself in her bed at night. What a picture of faith. She is worshipping the Light Giver even though her eyes only see darkness. That image preaches itself.

If I force her to have that night light, I would be enabling her to be afraid of the dark just like I have been for too long. I would, in essence, be passing my fear onto her.  Notice, I didn’t say that I want her to constantly live in bright, well-lit places and never encounter darkness at all. I think, many times, this is where we miss it. (I know I did!) But the cool thing is, my fear of the dark has actually introduced my heart to the safety of the Light. However, always living comfortably in the warmth of the sun by no means instills a longing for more light. In fact, it leaves you hot and a little presumptuous that life will always be full of sunshine.

No, the nighttime seasons make us long for the morning rays. I want my kids to experience the dark because it is in those moments when they will come to realize that the Light never left them. Isn’t that what hope is, after all? A knowing that the darkness will not fully overtake us because we have a Savior who lives inside of us and to Him, “the night shines as bright as day.” (Psalm 139:12)

 

The Sisterhood!

Sisterhood is worth the fight. .

Hey my beautiful friends! I am over on Flourish today with a post that is super important to me. I feel like God has given me a voice to encourage and motivate women towards unity. With all the ways that the entertainment community, big wig politicians, social media, and our male dominated society has undermined our value, I want to highlight our inherent worth in as many posts as possible. This is what I wrote about on Flourish: Unity, Friendship, and Strength in Numbers. 

“The days we are living in are brutal. Our minds, bodies, and souls are literally taking blows from a variety of sources on a regular basis. Can we choose to look beyond a woman’s mistakes or opinions long enough to realize that God never called her to figure this life thing out on her own? In fact, none of us were called to be alone. It’s time for the collective voice of women to rise up over the nagging insecurities and questionable choices that plague each of us behind closed doors.”

Read more here! Comments are always welcome as long as they are supportive and friendly. Thanks! ❤ 

Want to read my other Flourish posts? Check them out under the Flourish Posts category! 

To Yesterday’s Friend, Can we Try Again?

 

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We meet and our hearts leap at the prospect of a new and exciting friendship. We mark our calendars with important dates (e.g., Girls Night Out). We plan outings with the kids at family-friendly coffee shops and neighborhood parks as well as talk on the phone daily. Shoot, we even friend eachother on Facebook (which, as we all know, is the official marker of a solid friendship)!

Excitement grows as we get to know more about one another. Our lives intersect and it’s okay that we aren’t perfect because we know we can be real with eachother. We feel whole, like we have found the missing piece of the friendship puzzle that our hearts were designed to hold.

We foolishly think that things will always be this way.

But, life happens. Babies get sick and we have to cancel our lunch dates. Work commitments pile up and our fun weekend escapades get put on the back burner. Running the kids around from doctor’s appointments to school activities leaves us tired and desperate for more Zzz’s and less interaction with the human race. (Even the really important people that make our souls come alive.)

Now it’s been six months since we hung out and I can’t even remember what our last conversation was about. Was it on the phone? Did we actually meet in person and catch up on eachother’s lives? NO, I’m sure we just chatted over text. That’s easier than actually talking or seeing one another. And I’m just too busy for one more thing these days.

One. More. Thing.

That sounds so dismissive. Like our budding friendship isn’t important enough to be a priority in my crazy life. “But it is important!” my inner voice screams. It’s just hard to keep momentum going when I am being pulled from ten different directions at any given moment.

Why can’t I remember how important it is for me to make time for her? 

Oh, my heart aches for what our friendship could have been. We might have started a business together. Maybe we could have bought a condo on the beach and vacationed there every summer. Who knows what adventures awaited us that now we won’t experience due to life getting in the way?  Due to me allowing life to get in the way.

That’s really what happened. I let everyone else dictate my schedule and forgot to make our friendship a vital necessity. It really is vital and it really is a necessity. Remembering this fact every single day instead of just in moments of stress and overwhelm is the only way to keep it alive, however.

Let’s keep it alive. I don’t want our friendship to be known as something that was almost good but could really have been great. I want it to last longer than my ever changing feelings and inconsistent schedule. We’re both worth the investment, after all.

Yes, I will reschedule twenty times if it means that I eventually get to spend time with you. The reward, your beautiful soul-mending, life-giving friendship, is worth the effort.

Can we try again?

You Can Do This, Mama.

Hi folks! It’s been a few days since I have posted anything because my hubs and I went out of town to NYC for a romantic getaway. ❤ We had a blast- ok, you talked me into it. Here’s a pic of us enjoying a rooftop club in Manhattan:

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Anyways…I wanted to hop on here and share my newest piece on Her View From Home! It’s a shout out to all you mama’s out there who feel tired, neglected, ignored, or just plain scared. (Don’t we all feel these things in a variety of ways at different times on our mommyhood journey?)

Here’s a snippet:

You can use your unique voice to impart lasting words of wisdom to your little ones. You can laugh out loud in the middle of folding laundry and cry tears of gratitude as you stumble over piles of Legos. You can see your reflection as a timeless reminder that you tirelessly fought to be your own kind of beautiful, the kind that only you can be. You can boldly love those babes with fierce abandon; with a certainty that calms every fear inside of their hearts.

I hope you scoot over to Her View From Home and give it a glance. Pass it along to any mama friends that you think might need some encouragement to keep on being amazing! Noone can do your job- God picked you to love those kiddo’s in your home. Pat yourself on the back and put one foot in front of the other on the hard days. It will be SO worth it!

Read more HERE!

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The Mom She Needs

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Happy Tuesday, friends! I am over on Her View From Home again today with a piece about postpartum depression. I share my story of dealing with it for a little while after my first daughter’s birth. I hope you will take a peek into my life for a minute and read about my experience. Many moms struggle with this and I want to be a voice of freedom for them to also share their very personal experiences. Life (and all of it’s moments) is meant to be shared, right? Thank you for checking it out HERE.

Here’s a sneak peek:

She came home. Only to scream ugly comments to me that poke at the very identity of who I am. She said she wished I was never her mother. Doesn’t she know? I ache every single day because I AM her mother. The truth that she is a gift that I barely received is something I carry with me everywhere I go. It is a part of who I am.

 

To read more, click here! For more Her View From Home posts, click on the HVFH category in the drop down menu. I generally write about motherhood, faith, and grief along with other amazing mommy writers. Thanks!

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