Why I No Longer Need Mommy Time

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When you look back in years to come, will you remember delighting in "mommy time" or delighting in your children? We're sharing about how to redefine the "needs" in our lives to make way for heaven to rule our hearts today on the blog.

It's like a page out of Thomas' Snowsuit - you know, the Robert Munsch book about the kid who gets wrapped in layers, goes outside, throws one snowball, then yells that he has to go pee.

Only in my case, it's not pee with my bundled-up three-year-old. It's poop. Every day I ask him if he has to go. He says no. I wrap him up in his snowsuit, he exits the door for about 5 milliseconds, then races in crying because he's desperate to make it to the potty in time. It's a flurry of mittens and neck warmers and hats - and most days, he makes it.

But on this particular one, he doesn't.

And I'm sitting there on the floor with him, all 38 weeks of my pregnant self, my womb aching from rushing to get the potty and now there's poop on the floor and on my hands and we're both crying, and somehow the cat has gotten in the house.

Yeah. Those are the moments (and trust me, there have been a lot of them, the more pregnant I become with my third child) that I beg God for Me Time. Mommy Time. 5 Minutes of Peace. Is that too much to ask?

But then.

My friend tells me about a family from her neighborhood whose house burnt down in a fire - and they weren't able to make it upstairs in time to reach their four oldest kids. Four boys. Now in heaven.

It's the hardest thing I've ever heard. I just weep and weep. Some things are too much and this feels like one of them.

No mother should have to outlive one of her children, let alone four.

And I want to cling to every single one of my children's moments, good and bad, long and short, messy and smudged with kisses, because I'm never going to look back and miss that Mommy Time. I won't even remember the Mommy Time. But I'll remember them. Their little arms wrapped fierce around my neck. My eldest gently touching my womb saying, "I'll protect you." My youngest exclaiming, "Mommy, I love you so, so, so, so much" - his arms extended wide.

Some moments feel like eternity, the ones in which we're so exhausted we can't think of a kind thing to say, moments that find us unraveled on the floor with poop on our hands. But what if we were to actually invite eternity into those moments?

What if, instead of lamenting how little "Me Time" we have, and resenting the ones who stand in the way of that Me Time (the amazing little human beings whom we'd give our lives for, whom we GIVE our lives for), we asked God to give us an eternal perspective? So we no longer see the mess, but the glory too?

So we no longer see a three year old in a snowsuit, but rather, the man he'll one day become? The warrior, the courageous pilgrim, the tender heart?

Another friend of mine says it like this:

"As a mom, I am learning what it's like to live for eternity because nothing is mine anymore! We resist it so often, searching to create 'me time' or 'boundaries,' but I am coming to a realization from our Gentle Father that it is the very moments, days, weeks, etc that are so full we feel like we don't even know ourselves anymore, that are leading me into an eternal way of living...preparing me for heaven when none of what I feel I must cling to on this earth will matter. All this giving away of self to the seemingly thankless mundane, it is really His gift - His way of preparing us to RECEIVE all of Him! "

Heaven is real, friends. We just need to invite the kingdom into the everyday-ness of our home. To allow bad to be redeemed, and hurts to be forgiven, and laughter to outlast the tears. To pull close, more than we push away.

Don't get me wrong. I still want Mommy Time. But I no longer need it.

No, I just need Jesus.

 

Love,

e. (www.emilywierenga.com

 

What God Really Wants for Moms with Young Children

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What does God really want for mothers of young children? He'll tell you this as you calm to hear him... "Sweet mama, these are your slow and gentle years."

I readied myself for what I guessed I had coming. 

I was tired, weary, and so far behind . . . in pretty much everything. House, crafts, cooking, laundry, and love. Never enough and not good enough. 

Hopelessly behind. 

Here I was 7 months pregnant with several other very young children at home. And I just couldn't seem to pull it together.

So I hesitantly approached this seasoned mother - the godly woman and lovely example that she was - to receive the admonition I was sure I deserved. 

Waiting for my Get it together and Get tough and Get going. Yes, I had it coming . . . .

But her actual words surprised me.

Gentleness. That's what you need, dear mom, gentleness.

Her answer was so unexpected that I didn't know quite what to make of it. 

Then she softly explained, "He gently leads those with young. If you're a mom with young children, He desires gentleness for you."

He will tend his flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs in his arms; He will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. ~ Isaiah 40:11

Isn't that beautiful to know? That our God doesn't want us running around until we drop. He doesn't desire for us to take on more and more until we can hardly see straight. We were not meant to buckle up our little one in his car seat, unbuckle, and then buckle up again. Over and over. Running to this meeting and that appointment.  Pressures everywhere we turn.

Slow down, dear mom.  

Your God wants to lead you tenderly and carefully. He would never drag you around at a pace you can't keep. He is a good Father who cares about you and recognizes the precious work you're doing by loving your little ones. 

This is not a season to take on more, but to live with less.

This is your Slow and Gentle Season. 

Ways to Slowly Bring Gentleness into Your Life

  • Reduce your social obligations (or increase them, if you've got cabin-fever)
  • Take a sabbatical from meetings, committees, volunteering, etc.
  • Simplify the meals you make: basic, healthy, and nutritious is just fine
  • Settle for "tidy" in your home, rather than ultra-clean 
  • Make it a high priority to get your rest
  • Stop to enjoy your pregnancy. Be still and feel that baby moving around. Sing and pray over your child. 
  • Take time to get on the floor with your toddler with no other agenda than the sheer joy of it.
  • Meditate on Scripture verses that quietly turn your heart toward God.

So if you're feeling pushed around or pulled apart, then maybe . . . quite possibly . . . it' s not God who is leading you.

But rather other things and other people. And they don't need to determine your pace. 

Only God. 

And He leads gently, dear mom. 

Lisa Jacobson, Club31Women

Lisa Jacobson

Lisa is the happily-ever-after wife of Matthew L Jacobson and together they enjoy raising and home-educating their 8 children. She's also rather fond of dark chocolate, French press coffee, and deep friendships (though not necessarily in that order). She encourages women to embrace the rich life of loving relationships and the high calling of being a wife and mother. You can find her sharing her passion for husband, home, and family over at her blog, Club31Women Take a look at her new book: 100 Ways to Love Your Husband 100 Ways to Love Your Husband

Verses For Lenten Reflection

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We are currently in the midst of the Lenten season - a time to reflect and be mindful of what Christ did for us on the cross.  This time of year is especially meaningful for those of us who follow Christ. Observing Lent gives Easter an even deeper and richer meaning than when we just choose to celebrate the time from Good Friday to Easter.

Lenten Reflection Printable

I wanted to create some printables this month to help us really focus on the sacrifices of Christ and what His death and resurrection mean to those of us who are His followers.

At breakfast in the morning I like to take a few minutes to remind the kids of the season and it's meaning.  I've also been playing a hymn on the iPad that we can learn together.  Recently the hymn has been "O Sacred Head, Now Wounded." 

I've been playing this version, as it's fairly easy to sing with and shows images from the movie The Passion, helping the kids understand what the song is about.

Printable Verse Cards For Lent

We can also use Bible verses in our personal prayer times or with the kids to help us focus during Lent.  I'm providing verse cards you can print and set around the house to read as you go about your day.  My prayer is that they'll help all of us have a deeper focus and reflection on Christ's sacrifice.

Print Lenten Reflection Bible Verse Cards

Print 8x10 Lenten Verse

What are some of the meaningful ways you observe Lent?  Do you have any favorite verses or hymns for this time of year?

Blessings, Christy

Christy Halsell

Christy lives at the beach, loves on five children, and drives a minivan with too much sand on the floor. Homeschooling mother by day, graphic designer by night, Christy writes about letting Jesus heal the hurts of life and adds snippets on tricks she's learned about running a family of seven.

Bi-Weekly Meal Plan for March 1–14

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Welcome to The Better Mom Whole Food Meal Plan.

These easy & Healthy turkey breakfast sausage patties not only make a delicious breakfast but are also great for dinner too!

These easy & Healthy turkey breakfast sausage patties not only make a delicious breakfast but are also great for dinner too!

Our free bi-weekly GF menus open into a convenient pdf that includes links to each of the gluten-free recipes featured making it easy to access them with just a simple click.

Once you click on the graphics below, you can easily save these gluten-free menus to your computer for easy access anytime you need them. Then, simply click on the links within the meal plan pdf to gain instant access to each of the recipes. (Please note: Many mobile devices and tablets are not able to open links within a pdf document. So be sure to save the meal plans to your computer first.)

March 1–7 GF Whole Food Meal Plan

Bi-Weekly Whole Food GF Meal Plan for March 1–7: (To print the meal plan provided below, simply click on the graphic or click here and it will open a pdf into a new window for easier saving and printing. Remember, many mobile devices and tablets are not able to open links within a pdf. So save the meal plan to your computer first.)

March 8–14 GF Whole Food Meal Plan

Bi-Weekly Whole Food GF Meal Plan for March 8–14: (To print the meal plan provided below, simply click on the graphic or click here and it will open a pdf into a new window for easier saving and printing. Remember, many mobile devices and tablets are not able to open links within a pdf. So save the meal plan to your computer first.)

In addition to the gluten-free meal plans above, we're pleased to provide you with a free meal planning template perfect for creating your own custom meal plans:
• Meal plan template PDF 

To learn more about meal planning, please check out my FREE Video Course: Mastering Meal Planning. My hope is that this will be a great resource and encouragement for you whether you’re just getting started with meal planning, or are a seasoned expert.

Always a treat to share healthy meals with you! Let’s give thanks to the Lord for providing us the opportunity to nourish our families in this way!

Joyfully Serving HIM, Kelly at The Nourishing Home

Kelly Smith

Kelly loves the Lord, her family, and sharing her passion for gluten-free, grain-free cooking and meal planning with others. She is a full-time homemaker who loves spending time with her awesome hubby and two sweet boys. Kelly's whole food, gluten-free journey began six years ago when she was diagnosed with a chronic autoimmune disorder. Since then, the Lord has blessed her with an amazing recovery - a testament to His grace and the health benefits of eating whole foods. Kelly shares her knowledge and love for whole food cooking at The Nourishing Home.

Why Loving Your Husband Makes You a Better Mom

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Why Loving Your Husband Makes You a Better Mom

I've learned over the last 15 years of marriage that loving my husband has made me a better mom. It wasn't until after we had our first child and she began to mimic me that I began to understand this to be true. Now, nearly 14 years after her birth, I have watched our baby girl grow up and become a wonderful young lady. I have also realized that some of her character traits have been influenced directly by the way she sees me love my husband.

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Holding Fast in the Storms of Life

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Sitting in the dark shadows of my small cozy library as the sun went behind the mountain, found me and one of my older children talking quietly of struggles, challenges, battles of life, and long term endurance. The deep friendship, shaped over years of shared life, had knit our souls quite together.

I wasn't expecting this moment to be a memorable one. Just a normal moment in the dusk of day, that shaped a soul-satisfying memory.

"Mama," my grown child tenderly whispered, "One of the greatest things you have ever accomplished is to keep our family together through love, faith, laying down your own life, and enduring with as much grace as Jesus could give you, so that our lives could be whole, healthy and strong. I know that only God will know the ways you have chosen to give and serve and forgive,  when you had to make the choices to do so. But all of us kids have benefitted because you were willing to weather the storms of life for us and hold us together."

Sometimes, I think mamas hold the whole world together. Their work is that important.

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