- How many children do you have? I am the mom of three children
- How old are your children? ages 13, 11 and 7
- Are you a mom of girls or boys? All girls
How does having this treasure of Christ influence and transform your approach and ability to mother?
For me having Christ changes everything.
As a mom I vacillate between feeling really accomplished and really inadequate; sometimes all within the same day.
Having the unconditional love and grace of Jesus allows me to resist the temptation of being perfect and allow God to lead. I will never get it all right. I’ll be late picking up my girls. I will drop the ball on a birthday or event, and I am sure to get frustrated. However, knowing that I don’t have to be the perfect parent because God is, takes the pressure off of me in a way nothing else can.
I am also a single mother so juggling it all is just a necessary evil, but I am never without the reality that it’s Jesus and his keeping power that sustains our family.
I tell my girls every chance I get to look to Jesus for the ultimate example of what it looks like to love unconditionally. I encourage them to run to him when they are afraid, uncertain, or need guidance.
It’s my hope that as I show them the One who has the full ability to handle every single situation they encounter, that their faith can grow. As much as I love my children and want them to feel comfortable coming to me, I will fail them, but Jesus never will.
Modeling this is a huge part of my parenting journey. Our children need to see us running to Jesus when we struggle, admitting our lack of power and submitting to God for each and every thing. My prayer, when my mothering days are over, is that my children will remember how I trusted God and showed them to do the same.
How do you pursue rest from God?
Pursuing rest from God has become my number one priority when it comes to being the best mom I can be.
It may be hard to understand at first how finding rest in God can be critical to becoming the best mother for your children, but there is a deeply rooted connection.
As life throws its curve balls, children become ill, and events and practices rule the weekends. It can be very difficult to find rest. Bodily rest is necessary but spiritual, emotional and mental rest is key just as well.
God has the ability to provide a rest to you that is internal at its nature. It penetrates the heart and provides a peace that a simple solution to your problem never could. That’s the kind of rest I need to persist when I’m challenged by the exhaustion of motherhood.
To help me find rest from God I use the acronym R.E.S.T as a simple reminder:
R– Remember who you are. As mothers, although we wear many hats our first identity is found in Christ. Remembering that your solid, unchanging identity is found in God reminds us that success is not measured by what we do as mothers. God’s grace covers that too.
E-Engage your barriers. Instead of running from your imperfections or struggles you can engage them. You have the power to tackle them head on with God’s help.
S-Set your passions on fire. Just because you are a devoted mother doesn’t mean your dreams have to end. God has a specific plan for your life that includes your job as a mother and that thing you can’t get out of your mind when you sleep at night. Trust God to bring those dreams to pass even if it looks different than you expected.
T– Teach yourself to own and live your story. Your unique story with all its flaws is so very powerful. Finding contentment in the life God has given you frees you to simply rest in his love and mercy. Even if things don’t go according to plan, find joy in each moment. Release yourself from the idea of perfection. Live your story, it’s an amazing one.
What are some routines that help make your day run more smoothly?
A great morning routine sets the tone for my day.
On good weeks, when I’m able to prepare for hectic mornings the night before (i.e., get lunch packed, clothes prepped, and in bed at a decent hour) it shifts my morning. Preparation for the unknown of the next day prevents me from feeling overwhelmed. I am a working mom in this season so there is always a morning rush to get out of the door. Making sure everyone has every item they need to have a successful day comes with an immense amount of pressure.
When I was a stay at home and a homeschooling mom, mornings still gave me a sense of rush. To assist with this I often ask myself “what do you need to make this a great day?” My answers still are a good night’s rest, time to adequately get myself ready, time with God, and some type of preparation the night before. You have to know your bare minimum needs to have a productive start to your day.
So, ask yourself, “what do I need to thrive today?” Once you ask yourself what you need, then it’s important to start implementing these things one at a time.
I love a good To-Do list. I use lists to prioritize my needs for the day. Place your needs down on paper, post it and somewhere you can see it daily. This is a very important step. You may not be able to implement everything all at once, and that’s ok. Give yourself grace. The most important part is knowing what you need.
Taking care of yourself is one of the best ways to honor your motherhood journey.
How have you managed Mothering a child living with chronic illness, mental illness, or learning/developmental disabilities or special needs?
Managing my daughter’s learning disability, dyslexia, has been a journey of uncertainty, education and advocacy.
The beginning stage of becoming aware of your child’s learning differences, getting to diagnosis and then acceptance can be quite an experience.
For me the beginnings were very confusing. I felt ill prepared. I desired answers and to simply fix the problem, but through this experience God was growing faith deep inside me and my family.
As I navigated testing, the new financial burden of tutoring, and the overall mental shift that was necessary to support her, my faith in Christ was growing.
I went through a period of intense pain, disappointment, ‘why me/ why her’, and so many other confusing thoughts. I didn’t want my child to be different. I didn’t want her to be bullied for not being on the same level as her peers. My daughter is beyond smart and has a special knack for seeing the bigger picture, but initially it was hard to see anything other than her struggles and how they would change her life.
After the uncertainty came a period of education. I educated myself on everything I could about dyslexia. I read the books, researched the curriculums, and attended the webinars. There was something empowering about learning everything I could to support my child. I encourage anyone with a child that has special needs or a learning disability to become their best support by educating yourself. With education and lots of prayer I began to feel more equipped to transform into my daughter’s greatest advocate.
Advocating for a child with special needs means being willing to do tough things. That could range from prayer and fasting over the right school or therapies for your child to working an extra job to pay for services.
One thing that remained the same for us throughout our journey is God’s faithfulness. No matter what the diagnosis is, no matter what the doctors, therapist or teachers say, you are your child’s best advocate.
Through Christ your child has the ability to achieve a good life just for them. It may not look like the life you envisioned but it’s the life that God has blessed despite its challenges.
Since our inception in 2020, For the Moms has received over 2500 views in over almost 30 countries!
I am all the more grateful for the women (like Kelly) who have chosen to join me on this journey of transparency. I can’t thank you enough.
For the Moms is an annual written blog series which aims to ignite and connect Godly Women in various stages of Motherhood toward the revelation of their Divinely given assignment and their impact as the gatekeepers of the home.
The purpose and mission is to elevate Christ and conceptualize Godly character in Motherhood – and to reach down and pull up those Mothers who are just starting, who are understandably worn, or who have somehow lost their way.
Further, For the Moms is a movement that is calling to attention the warriors within us for the times in which we live. We will aim to unravel the mistakes and cycles of generations past. We will wage war for our families. And, we will diligently seek the Lord’s face concerning His will for our children, and who we are becoming through our Motherhood.
My prayer is that the women who lay eyes on the For the Moms Series, will be encouraged, emboldened, and all the more hopeful.
For the Moms,