Keeping Peace With Your Mother In-Law My husband and I met in college in 2011. We became best friends soon after meeting and started dating in 2013. Chris and I had developed a deep friendship before we dated so I knew a couple things going […]
Month: May 2018
Parenting: Expectations Vs. Reality
BED REST! Hearing those words from my doctor released an overwhelming fear flooding down to the very core of my being. The struggle begins! That sense to protect, to sacrifice, to love, quickly shifted into overdrive.
In the fifth month of my first pregnancy I was placed on bed rest because my placenta was pulling away from the womb, the source that gives life. The womb, my baby’s place to develop, a place that would supply nutrients for the next four months. The threat of loss was real and needless to say, caused me to cry out to God.
Fast forward, four months later. This healthy little person comes on the scene, but demanding everything! Moms have to learn how to distinguish types of cries, like the “feed me” cry, the “I’m wet” cry, the “I’m sleepy” cry, the “I’m not feeling well” cry, or even the “I just want attention” cry. Welcome to being schooled by someone that can’t speak, yet has the power to get what they need done, DONE!
I have been gifted with three of these little people, and somehow it’s worked out. The need to distinguish those tiny cries of demand eventually ceased and made way for the real speaking voices. (Especially that middle kid, and to this day, he’s just like the Energizer bunny, he has not stopped talking yet!)
I thought motherhood would just going to work and coming home, yeah right!
“Mom, I have PALS”
“Mom, I have band practice”
“Mom, I have student council meeting”
“Mom, I have volleyball practice”
“Mom, I have a national honor society meeting”
“Mom, I have junior achievement activity and drama practice”
And more and more! Where was Uber when you needed it? It did not stop there. Meals still needed to be prepared, homework needed to be completed, not to mention the upkeep of the home. Being Mom is a hard gig.
Parenting is NO JOKE. However, I would not trade it for anything. Not because I get everything right but simply because I love my “little” people so very much and that still has not changed. As parents, it is necessary for us to be selfless. Sure, you will need to have some me time, but ultimately you are not your prime priority.
Children don’t always like their parents. This is a tough thing to swallow but its reality. There are decisions that are made by parents that are extremely unpopular with the child and the friends of the child. Making tough decisions wasn’t a problem for me, but my struggle came when my children would become upset with me because they didn’t understand why they were not allowed to do certain things. Genesis 4:6-7 should have been our address! “If you do what is good, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is good, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to overtake you, but you must rule over it.” That scripture is what the kids were told by their dad repeatedly -almost daily, whenever they would leave the house. They could not always see the dangers that lurked. Now that they are older, each of them have said they understand why tough decisions were made.
God has allowed an unworthy me to not only see all my three gifts become adults, but now they have been gifted with kids of their own, my grandchildren. Psalms 127:3 says, “Children are gifts from God“. Parents must love their children enough to discipline them. (I know I could just start fussing at the older two and that youngest one would take off running to her room! I guess she did not want to get caught in the cross fire! Haha!) My husband and I were given advice long ago that we should raise our children so others will loved them. Raise them daily, instilling values into them so that if something were to happens to us, other people would not mind caring for them. Be consistent in rearing your children. Teach them the awesome Love of Jesus and pray for them consistently.
Like my placenta, children will try to pull away from the life source. But, Jeremiah 29:11 says, “‘For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Just as our Heavenly Father has plans for HIS children, we should then have that same attitude toward our children.
Written By: Ivy Dickens
I freaked when I found out I was pregnant with my first child two months after I got married. From tears of fear to wanting to trust God had a plan, I poured it all out on my poor husband. That was not our plan; and I was not prepared in any way. The thoughts of all the new things I would need to know was overwhelming. As an indecisive person knowing I would need to make decisions for a child I would bring into the world was terrifying. I needed help. I needed someone who could share wisdom with me. I needed someone to help me see the positive side of things. My best friend was already a mom herself, so of course she had great wisdom and insight to share including her excitement for the tiny little life growing within. She brought me into her community when we were in high school and it changed the course of my life.
“I need community” is a statement I never said or more fully understood until I became a mom. I would even say that I didn’t believe in the need for community until I started to trust in it as a God given entity and experienced its vast array of benefits.
As a teenager and young adult I had incomplete ideas about community. Thinking “It just happens. Look around you and see who’s there; and that’s your community. It’s people who like you and who you get along with. As life and circumstances change, so my community changes.” And those thoughts are all true, but only the surface of what community can be.
It wasn’t until I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior that my views on community began to broaden. God’s love and grace confronted my functional belief that community was as all about me, what I needed, and what I could get from it. Out of fear of what other people thought about me I protected myself through internal processing and mirroring others’ likes and dislikes. I made sure people who I thought would accept me, tell me I’m doing a good job, and encourage me to think about Jesus were part of my community. I was expecting deep, committed relationships from my community without being open, genuine and selfless myself. It made sense why I was often dissatisfied. I was expecting my community to give me what only Jesus could provide, unconditional love, acceptance and a new identity.
Now as a mom, I’m learning that community is far more valuable than I ever imagined! I’m not saying you have to become a mom to understand community. Thank God that’s not true. I’m just saying that it took me this long to finally recognize a healthy, God-given need for it. Two weeks before my due date my water broke at home. After 23 hours of labor, I had to have an emergency c-section which meant full sedation. My first days of mom life were not all smiles and laughter. Instead the reality that life would NEVER be the same hit hard. I did not immediately feel love and care for my baby. I was in pain from the c-section, exhausted from labor, and totally not ready for the responsibility that I had to take my child home with me. Haha. I desperately needed help. And who could I lean on? My community. Several moms from my church showed up with gifts, encouragement, prayers and advice. I couldn’t have made it through my first days as a mom without the many people who poured out their support. I experienced in the months and years to follow that I couldn’t have made it without community.
Community is work. It is two sided or rather, multi-sided. It is best when it’s full of people who are not just like me. Having been a mom for four and a half years now, I can confidently say after my husband and children community is where I want to pour my hard work into.
If I want to be told the truth, then I need to be able to tell the truth to others. When I need advice, babysitting, a shoulder to cry on, or an adult to converse with I call or group text with my community. When I need to be reminded that my season of sticky fingers, throwing food on the floor, screaming because words aren’t available yet, 17 month-olds not sleeping through the night, and crumbs in every nook and cranny of the car will end, I check in with my community. Especially when I forget and revert back to my old ways of “doing community” and not doing my part, community is quick to pull me back to the Truth. God ordained community. We need each other in all our many walks of life in order to know and experience God more.
Now I wholeheartedly believe that community is a gift from God. A few of the things I’ve experienced through community are healing, challenge and growth, humility, empowerment, a grounding in reality, laughter and joy, and bearing each other’s burdens. With passion and purpose I try to help others experience these amazing aspects of community, so they too can confidently say, “I need community.”
Written By: Alethea Savannah
This month we will celebrate Mother’s Day. The day where we all get dressed up and accompany our moms to church then brunch. We will buy her flowers to make her day more beautiful or give her chocolates to sweeten the deal. We pamper her and may even boast about how some of our moms were the only ones putting in the blood, sweat and tears it takes to raise a child. We shower them. This day is an awesome and needed day to remind ourselves to appreciate our mamas but too often when the calendar ticks over to the next day we forget again.
Motherhood, especially really good motherhood, is made up of tiny moments of self sacrifice and those moments easily go without acknowledgement. It’s those seconds right before you open your eyes when you know your kids are about to bust in your room to “wake you up” and you have to sacrifice those extra minutes in bed. It’s realizing you have probably ordered pizza too much and you need to cook vegetables for your kids tonight. It’s getting everyone dressed and ready and out of the house that leaves you sweaty. It’s bathroom trips with tiny fingers reaching under the door almost to say, “I know where you are…” and that’s if they don’t bust in. Its little sticky faces asking for a kiss. It’s crying babes waking you out of our dream to tell you they had an accident. It’s getting way too many bodily fluids on you and never knowing what you just put your hand in.
Motherhood is making the hardest decisions that seem like the biggest decision ever at the time. It’s worrying are doing it “right.” It’s frustration, sadness, and anger when you get it wrong and yell again. It’s realizing that this DOES hurt me more than it will hurt them. It’s receiving God’s correction in the same breath in which you give it to your child. It’s wondering why you can’t go square up with that bully who keeps picking on your kid. It’s wondering how she keeps it all together and sometimes realizing that she’s just falling apart in other areas.
Motherhood is hard as a mother.
My first Mother’s Day I was so excited! I was so excited for my flowers and chocolate and bottle of wine! I was excited to feel like I was getting a break. Motherhood is a profession that goes 24/7 but today I got to RELAX!
I wake up, feet hit the floor. I stand up breathe in the sun with a HUGE smile on my face look over at my husband… sleeping like he is in a coma. “DUDE, it’s Mother’s Day!!” He starts coughing like he’s been at a pack a day for 25 years. Sick. I go over to my son and he sneezed a big ol’ snot blob right in my direction…. Wow. Sick.
Not just sick, they couldn’t even stay awake. They would eat (barely) then sleep, then cry for me to hold them (yes my Husband too…) and I would get stuck between a small feverish body and a much larger feverish body watching S
id the Science Kid all on my own. My first Mother’s Day was…. Motherhood. It wasn’t getting a break even though I probably needed one. It was also learning how to draw from the well of the Holy Spirit for my relational, emotional, and physical rest. It was learning that being a Mom is a function in which I serve out my God given purpose of going and making disciples.
There is much insecurity, shame, fear, doubt, and frustration that comes in the form of tears, laughter, silence, and just powering through. Mama, you aren’t alone. You may be struggling but you don’t have to do that alone. We know. We hear you, grab a glass of wine and put your feet up so we can just remind you of who you really are.
This whole month moms are going to share their struggles with us. They are going to put their junk on display so we can be reminded that we are not alone and hopefully we will all leave with more insight on how to better kick of the butt of the things that’s been kicking ours. So if you aren’t SUBSCRIBED, you need to go ahead and do that cause this series is gonna to go Hard As A Mother.
Written By: Calah Jackson