Motherhood is Hard, But It Isn’t Hard Forever

Motherhood is Hard, But It Isn’t Hard Forever

I went to the post office today without my older two. My 3.5 year old changed his mind last minute and came with me but I have, in the past, gone without him too. Then I came home and put the baby in his seat and he watched his brothers play Lego while I folded a bit of laundry.

Freedom.

Due to children, health problems, pregnancies, newborns, business,  you name it, I don’t often get to do what I want when I want. This morning was like a breath of fresh air.

And then I see moms in the thick of it with young ones, pregnancies, health issues… I feel your struggle. Technically I’m still there, with a needy 5 month old and a bad back. And, as low maintenance as older kids can be, I am still overseeing and nurturing 4 children.

How can I still (mostly) feel at peace? Because I know it won’t last.

Some days are so frustrating. Actually, most days are still spent either nursing or bouncing or holding a sleepy baby while doling out motherly wisdom from the couch. Dirty floor, dishes everywhere, and piles of laundry is just where I’m at right now.

How can I still (mostly) feel at peace?

Because I know it won’t last. Pregnancy wasn’t easy for me (except the first time) but I have never been pregnant forever, so it was hard but it had a very clear ending. Depression sucks but I’ve made it to the other side before. My back healing journey had a major setback but it is already improving. I didn’t know if my skin issues would ever heal but, by the grace of God, my skin is mostly clear now.

The baby will not be a baby forever. He will eventually learn that mornings don’t start at 5:30am in this family. He will learn to fall asleep without 10 min of bouncing followed by 10 minutes of rocking. Soon he will learn to crawl and won’t need to be in my arms all day.

 

Soon it will get easier. Hard right now is not hard forever. Whether it gets easier due to children moving through ages and stages, or miracles of healing, or maybe because you find a way to give yourself enough grace to just keep putting one foot in front of the other, this too shall pass.

 

We are not designed to stay stuck. We are designed to grow, heal, and survive. So, until you are done with this hard stage in your life, just keep plodding along. You’ve made it so far and you’ll make it out of the tunnel eventually.
Unexpected Pregnancy and Unassisted Birth

Unexpected Pregnancy and Unassisted Birth

In order to do his story justice, I need to start months before he was even conceived.
Right after my 3rd son turned two, I became pregnant. We were overjoyed as we had always wanted 4 children. We choose to keep my pregnancies secret for the first 3 months and this time was no different.

Actually, it was different. I didn’t have morning sickness or first trimester fatigue. After being sick for 7 or 8 months with my previous two pregnancies, the healthy feeling was a welcome relief. I had spent the previous two years making big changes to improve my health and I guess it helped.

I called the midwife and she had an opening and was excited to take me on. there was no midwife in the area for my previous pregnancy so I had no choice but to have an unassisted birth.

I felt the baby move at about 9 weeks, around the same time as his or her older brothers. It was a surreal feeling to have no morning sickness. If it wasn’t for the movement I regularly felt, I wouldn’t have believed I was even expecting.

I had a pattern of a miscarriage before healthy pregnancy with my first two and, when I conceived my third son, God told me to trust Him and I felt secure in the pregnancy. That was the first time I didn’t have a miscarriage. This time I felt like He was just telling me to wait on Him.

This time I felt like He was just telling me to wait on Him.

And wait I did. I believe my heart always knew that that baby wouldn’t be with us for a long time. Around 9.5 weeks I had a bit of spotting and it started to feel like a waiting game. I waited on Him and I waited to say goodbye. I miscarried the baby at almost 11 weeks.

After my first two miscarriages, I conceived on the next cycle but this time was different. Cycle after cycle came and went with nothing. Apparently God wanted me to continue waiting. Eventually I made peace with the fact it could be God’s will for us to have 3 biological children instead of 4.

After 6 pregnancies conceived after 1 try, pregnancy number 7 was an unexpected surprise after 6 months of waiting. As excited as we were, I still had that surreal feeling. I called the midwife and she was unavailable during the time I was due so I had to start wrapping my head around another unassisted pregnancy and birth. I didn’t have morning sickness. I still hadn’t felt the baby move at 10 weeks. And then not at 11 weeks.

I didn’t feel pregnant.

Maybe I wasn’t really willing to believe I was, just in case. The midwife, who had become a friend, was able to get me booked in for an ultrasound, as per my request, which is something I hadn’t wanted for my previous pregnancies.

At 12 weeks, the day before the ultrasound. I thought I may have felt the baby move.

Thankfully the ultrasound technician confirmed what my husband already trusted to be true: we were going to have a baby!

I experienced only two weeks of morning sickness, from week 14 to 16. Though my uterus got huge (people commented how I must be excited for my Christmas baby and were shocked and embarrassed when I told them I was only 5.5 months) I didn’t have any water retention and didn’t feel like I gained as much weight as my previous children. (For the record, I did. I just carried it differently. I gained over 70lbs each pregnancy.)

I hired a doula who I met when she and I both attended my friend’s birth. She seemed a bit unsure about an unassisted pregnancy and birth but, as she got to know me better, became more comfortable with the idea. We exchanged birth resources (I have quite a home library) and swapped pregnancy and birth advice. She came to pray for me and encourage me when I ended up in the hospital at 35 weeks (for a non pregnancy related incident).

I sent her a text a few weeks before my due date to let her know I had been having fairly strong pre labour contractions every evening for a week. I kept thinking, hoping, I would wake up to have a baby but they always stopped when I went to sleep. It was very similar to my first three experiences of prelabour: 3 days for my first, 5 days for my second, and 8 days for my third.

The week after I had nothing. I hoped for an early birth because I get SPD pretty bad near the end and spent most of my day sitting on my couch so I didn’t injure myself. After 5 days of no prelabour, I figured God wanted me to keep waiting. I made peace with the fact that it would be another two weeks before I could meet my baby and be done with the SPD pain. That was Thursday morning. My doula let me know she wanted to head to the city on Friday (a drive of more than 2 hours one way) and I joked with her about bringing back 3 or 4 Ikea bookcases for me.

That evening I went to bed and snuggled with my 3 year old. I cherished his nighttime snuggles, knowing it was nearing his daddy’s turn to take over his night-time needs. He curled up around my belly and I breathed in the fresh scent of his dirt and grass infused hair.

I woke up around 4:30am to go to the bathroom. (I don’t think I mentioned another symptom I didn’t have was a baby sitting on my bladder so nighttime potty breaks weren’t a regular occurance.) Our bathroom is down the stairs and on the other end of the house so, after traipsing through the cold house, I was very ready to crawl back into my nice warm bed.

I was nearly asleep again when I got what felt like a contraction. I checked the clock (it was 5am) and started timing. 6 to 7 minutes apart. I started 2 minutes apart with my third son so I figured I had lots of time but, after 3 or 4 contractions, I realized I couldn’t sleep through them. Poked my husband and told him he wouldn’t be going to work because we were going to have a baby. He mumbled and I headed downstairs. I started my contraction timer app and noticed that walking downstairs had shortened the interval to 2 to 3 minutes. I shouted up the stairs to Adam to get the pool ready and sent a text to my doula. She didn’t respond so I waited until a contraction was done and called to let her know she should probably reschedule her trip to the city. It was pretty close to 6am at this point and she was getting up anyway and lives less than ten minutes away.

She came in the door and was surprised by how far into active labour I already was.

Adam was heating water on the stove and filling the pool. I was so concerned about the pool because it had a leak and I was convinced he hadn’t taped it up well enough. The hose also didn’t fit on our faucet so I was concerned about the water spraying all over the kitchen. She got right to work and held my hips and rubbed my back in a way that calmed me. We were joking around in between contractions and Adam was making fun of me for being so obsessed with the pool issue (that according to him wasn’t an issue at all).

Jesse, the 3 year old, came down the stairs first. He was some great comedic relief as he jumped on the mini trampoline beside me like a bouncy little energizer bunny. I love how he asked why the pool was downstairs and we told him the baby was coming and he just went with the flow. Birth is not something thst kids naturally fear. Caleb and Isaac, almost-9 and 6, came downstairs right after I got into the pool. They were so quiet but so excited to see me in the pool and knew that the baby would be out soon. I thought they were quietly excited anyway. Apparently they were making fun of the noises I was making. (I’m a pretty vocal birther). Jesse was holding my cup of water and made sure to offer it every time I looked up at him. My doula was holding my hand. Adam was telling the boys to be more polite and keeping track of the water temperature and level.

So that is what the rest of them were up to while I did my thing. I am always surprised by how coherent I am, even during the final stages of labour. I laboured in the pool for a while and gave myself pep talks about how I could do this and to breathe the baby down in between contractions. During contractions I would say, out loud so everyone could hear, about how it wasn’t working and that I just wanted to be done and that I was taking too long and things didn’t seem to be progressing.

During pushing contractions my inner pep talks all but stopped as I tried to figure out why the baby wasn’t out yet and why it was taking so long. I quickly discovered the baby wasn’t in a good birthing position and I went from hands and knees to upright on my knees. He immediately went from being pushed backwards to going forwards and crowning . I told them all I didn’t know what way he was going to go, behind me where someone else would have to catch him or forward where I could grab him.

His head came out and I felt something very soft and squishy. During pregnancy I had thought he might be breech so I wondered if that was confirmation. Then I felt his eye and breathed a quick sigh of relief, knowing his head was out and the hardest push was done. It felt like ages until the next contraction came and his little body came sliding out into my waiting hands.

He opened his eyes and looked straight at me the instant he was out of the water. He has been awake and moving all during labour and was totally ready to greet the world. I kept saying, “he’s MY baby!” The emphasis on “my” because he is the first of my sons that I see myself in. It felt like a little me looking back at me. He looked over my shoulder at his brothers and I said to Jesse, “he sees you.”

My husband was in disbelief and asked, “it’s another boy?” That was when I realized I didnt actually know and should probably check. Sure enough, he was all boy.

Since the day my husband and I started talking about having children, we wanted 4. I always said I would rather have 4 boys than 4 girls and, over the years, my heart grew more and more fond of the idea of 4 sons. With Asher, which means “happy” in Hebrew, I felt like my heart would burst with joy at my dream coming true.

He is now over a month old and I still spend most of my day on the couch, snuggling a sleeping baby or starting into the eyes of a very attentive newborn. People have asked if I’m disappointed to have only sons. I tell them I couldn’t be more happy.

Asher was born at 7:28am and was 7lbs and 18.5 inches long. What felt like a long labour was only about 2.5 hours with only 6 pushing contractions. I thank the Lord that everything went so smoothly!

If you would like to read about my third son’s birth, it was a truly spiritual birth experience. I also plan to make a list of my top 10 favorite birth books so sign up for my newsletter to hear when I publish that resource.

Motherhood is Hard, But It Isn’t Hard Forever

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Introverted Unschooling

Introverted Unschooling

It’s not that we don’t enjoy visiting and going out, we do, it’s just that we enjoy staying at home too.
Late morning and my 9 year old is reading a novel beside me on the couch and my 6 and 3 year old are playing quietly in the play area with the marble run. The 4 week old is sleeping on my chest and I’m typing this out on my phone. A bit earlier the 3 bigger boys went outside while I sat on the couch with a sleeping newborn listening to podcasts (this position is the one I hold most of the time lately). The afternoon will probably look very similar, though I’ll get a nap in and maybe finish folding that basket of laundry I started with yesterday.

 

Our trips outside the home this week included about an hour to town for a chiropractor appointment for me and visiting friends Friday morning. That’s truly it. We didn’t go to church last Sunday and didn’t need to do groceries this week. We don’t have classes or co-ops or more than one playdate per week. And our home is filled with an incredible peace.

We don’t have classes or co-ops or more playdates. And our home is filled with an incredible peace.

Jamie from Simple Homeschool wrote a great post with 15 resolutions for being an introverted homeschool mom that I printed out at still refer to regularly. Her third resolution is about honoring the person God created you to be. I think that unschooling lends itself well to being an introvert because I don’t need to pressure my kids to do things and my main job is to facilitate and observe. My role is to learn about my children so I can parent them in the way that they need.

What is one thing that have been adding to your or your children’s schedule because you feel you “should” be doing it? Are you brave enough to let it go?

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Unschooling Reading Resources

Unschooling Reading Resources

I’m always on the lookout for good unschooling reading resources. The big question to consider when strewing any resources is how do your kids learn? I’ll be upfront and say that I do very little actual teaching to read and my biggest role was to offer the boys opportunities to learn and then sit back to let them choose what works best for them.

My three older sons all learned their letters and letter sounds around two. (The newborn obviously isn’t reading yet.) My eldest started reading just before his 7th birthday and now, 2 years later, is reading far above grade level. My second son, age 6, is reading some words and, if he decides to sit and practice more regularly, will be well on his way to above grade levels within the next year. My 3 year old is practicing writing letters and pretending to read by sounding out words.

These are some of our favorite reading resources:

Letter Factory DVD

Tad the frog goes to the Letter Factory and Professor Quigley lets him sit in on the lessons as the talking letters learn their sounds. My boys have all loved the characters and Leap Frog has done a fantastic job in making each letter and sound memorable. For example, a “monster” walks into the “A Room” and all the little A’s scream “Aaahh!!!”. Don’t worry, it isn’t a scary monster, just the professor in a fuzzy purple costume. The “P Room” is always a favorite as the P says “P” and pops like popcorn. I recommend this to every mama (or grandma) that I know who wants to introduce their child to letters in a fun way.

Letter Factory Flashcards

We bought the DVD and Flashcards as a bundle and these cards have been played with a ton over the last 8 years. They’ve seen better days but, by some miracle, we have managed to keep all 26 together. The kids love to ask their littlest brother what each letter says and the older two build words and ask each other to guess which word it is. The only downside with word-building is that we only have one of each letter, which limits the amount of words. But they are still a great tool to introduce letters and beginner reading.

Talking Words Factory

(Can you tell that we love Leap Frog? They didn’t even need to pay me for this.) This show came with our initial purchased bundle and shows the Leap, Lily, and Tad going to the Talking Words Factory. I think some of the talking letters must graduate to this factory because it is all the loved letters from the previous show, except this time they go through the “word whammer” and get stuck together, along with the icky, sticky letters (vowels). This is the movie that has gotten both of my older boys interested in building words and all I have to do is hit “play” while I’m making dinner.

The big question to consider when strewing any resources is how do your kids learn?

Originator Apps

These Apps are available for Android and iPhone. We have installed Endless Alphabet (vocabulary words), Endless Reader (sight words), Endless Wordplay (spelling/word building), and Endless Numbers (counting and early arithmetic). The Android version (not sure about the Apple store version) has a few words or levels as a free sample and then you can buy the rest as packages. As of this post, I have not purchased any of the expansion packs for three reasons: I can’t figure out which app I should buy an expansion on (which one the kids would get the most out of), I don’t know if the expansion packs will work with my Google account or if I will have to purchase the pack separately for each tablet. They aren’t cheap, if you move beyond the free versions, but the letters and words make fun sounds and are simple enough for even my toddler to drag and drop. Plus it is really cute to watch my 3 year old kinesthetic learner imitate the goofy motions of the letters!

Reading Eggs

We started out with the free 4 week trial that they offer new users. Then got an email to extend the trial for two weeks… then another few emails. We ended up getting quite a bit of free time playing this game. The boys ended up liking it so much that I bought a subscription. The jist is that the child does a lesson full of games and catchy songs and fun characters to guide them, and then they get to hatch an egg with an animal in it (or they hatch an acorn if they are doing a Mathseed). They boys love figuring out which animal they will  get at the end of the lesson and get excited every 5 lessons when they get a new map.

 

My eldest had issues with the timed lessons so I often sat beside him to turn off the ticking sound and would cover up the timer and tell him we would just practice a few times. He now realizes that the timer is irrelevant and he has learned to turn off the sound and ignore the visual. A great lesson for him to learn how relax enough to think under pressure.

 

I like that it lets you redo the game as many times as they like, though some of those silly songs from lessons the boys did a couple years ago are still stuck in my head! (1,2,3,4,5, once I caught a fish alive. 6,7,8,9,10, then I let it go again.) I have also figured out how to skip lessons (hint: change the lesson or map number in the address bar of the browser) which comes in handy when some of the buttons are too small to hit or my son really understands the info and just wants to move on.

 

My eldest has finished all the maps in Mathseeds and Reading Eggs and isn’t interested in Reading Eggspress (too much boring reading and questions is what he decided). My 6 year old loves to cruise through 4-5 lessons in one sitting and then doesn’t touch it for a couple weeks. I don’t force him to sit down but I did put a box on his sticker chart. He does his “morning high-5” and then gets to hatch an egg or seed. Again, I’m not super strict about it and give him the option to do it or not. He often decides that he wants to and I have learned to be okay when he doesn’t.

 

Books, books, and more books

The final resource that has helped my kids with learning and loving to read is to surround ourselves with books. I’m partial to non-fiction books with lots of vivid pictured but I do keep a good stock of quality fiction stories around too. My husband reads a chapter of a read-a-loud every night and I read a lot, both for myself and with them, so reading is just a normal part of their lives. My 9 year old has even started reading a bedtime story to his brothers every evening. I know that the library is ideal for getting fresh books but I love to get books from the thrift store to fill our own shelves. They are super cheap and then the kids can read them over and over again. I also often have a book on hand regarding whatever topic they’re interested in. They don’t have to wait until we make a trip to the library and can delve into that book for however long they want. (Though I have noticed I have a gap in my home library when it comes to geology. Guess I need to make a trip to the thrift store soon, yay!) Sometimes they pull a book of the shelves and get interested in a new topic that way. While I agree that libraries are handy, they do not replace a home library.

As you can see, we love both technology as well as old fashioned paperbacks when it comes to reading. We don’t do phonics lessons, or forced reading assignments and probably never will (unless a child asks for it). My goal is for my kids to grow up thinking reading is a normal part of every day life. We love Leap Frog and also purchased a LeapReader Pen and LeapPad a couple months ago. So far they are well loved and I believe they will both contribute to the boys’ growing love of books and reading.

What are your favorite ways to foster a love of reading in your children? In yourself?

Introverted Unschooling

It's not that we don't enjoy visiting and going out, we do, it's just that we enjoy staying at home too. Late morning...

Unschooling Reading Resources

I'm always on the lookout for good unschooling reading resources. The big question to consider when strewing any...

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6 Tips for Surviving When You Feel Like You’re Drowning in Motherhood

6 Tips for Surviving When You Feel Like You’re Drowning in Motherhood

Exhausted, brain not thinking clearly, no time or energy to do much of anything so you’re overwhelmed and behind. Parenting is sometimes like that, isnt it? Sometimes it is because of a round of sickness, sometimes it is a season of busyness, maybe it is cabin fever after a bout of bad weather. For me right now it is a newborn.
Those on my email newsletter or who follow me on Twitter may have read my announcement that our fourth son entered the world just over a week ago. As I type this out, he is sleeping in my arms as I sit on my couch. Other than getting up to change a diaper or get a cup of milk for the 3 year old, I have been doing next to nothing since he was born. By noon my brain has turned to mush and having a complete intelligent thought is nearly impossible. (I don’t think I was ever this bad with the others!)  I felt like I was in a similar position after a round of a stomach virus hit us last winter.

By noon my brain has turned to mush and having a complete intelligent thought is nearly impossible.

Here are some tips for surviving when you feel like you’re drowning in motherhood:

Stay hydrated

We all know the benefit of drinking enough water yet many of us still have a hard time doing it. Find ways to make it easier on yourself. Set a timer to remind yourself to have a cup every couple of hours, have a big cup first thing in the morning with breakfast and have your regular coffee afterwards, use mason jars or water bottles and commit to when you want to finish them, remember you don’t have to drink just water. (I have fallen in love with the Takeya ThermoFlask Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle. We found it at Costco a few weeks ago and it is everything the description says it is. My husband fills his with ice water every evening when he games and he was totally surprised and impressed when he filled it for the second evening and there was still ice in it from the night before! I try to drink 2 of the 40oz bottles each day, in addition to a coffee, milk, and sometimes tea. Sometimes I throw a lemon wedge in there too.

Sleep

Go to bed early. Nap. It is critical to health and sanity and we all know it. Yet so many moms refuse to do it. I understand you want to have some kid free quiet time in the evening but you’ll find that it doesn’t compare to the sanity gained by an adequate amount of sleep. Napping gets a bit tricky when kids get older and no longer nap but lock the doors, throw on a show or pull out the playdough, and doze on the couch, within earshot. (One of my most popular posts has some more tips on how to survive on interrupted sleep.) Even 20 min of resting your body and mind can be very rejuvenating. My current bedtime is around 9:30pm. Sometimes I go to bed earlier but never later. I sacrifice time with my husband (he does bedtime routines for our older 3 at 8pm and comes back downstairs around 8:20 on non gaming nights) but he and I have been through this stage before and know it is only temporary. Even when I am through the exhausting newborn phase, I still rarely go to bed after 10:30 and set an alarm on my cell phone if I find I’m making excuses to stay up later. And the older boys have learned they are to stay in bed until 7am. The 3 year old sometimes wakes up at 6 but he is still in the side-carred crib, next to my husband, so they snuggle until 7am. Teach them how to read a clock young.

Easy Food

Hit up the frozen meals aisle. I normally prefer to cook from scratch (or mostly scratch anyway) but during this season I’m relying on frozen lasagnas, frozen pizza, canned soup, and easy prep foods and snacks like toast, cereal, yogurt, grilled cheese, noodles, precut veggies, and bananas. Even my 3 year old can prepare himself a simple breakfast and my older two can start the oven and pop a meal in. I’ve also been blessed with an amazing church family and friends who have dropped meals for us.

Maintain Peace

Sometimes this means allowing your 3 year old to have a chocolate chip cookie during breakfast. This may mean using technology more than normal. Or using it less, as it goes in my house. Sending kid to separate rooms for a portion of the day when squabbles get heated. Part of my peace comes in the boys clearing all the toys out of the living room before supper. I have barely looked in the playroom but I breathe a little easier when my main room has some semblance of order after they go to bed.

Housekeeping

Ignore the mess. Truly. Yes, you’ll get behind and yes you’ll feel overwhelmed when you are finally able to catch up but you will catch up, step by step. The only one putting pressure on you is you. All you really need is moderately clean dishes (there are no housekeeping police saying you can use breakfast’s toast dishes for lunch’s grilled cheese and a veggies and dip snack) and moderately clean clothes (no housekeeping police here either so wear the same jeans all week and make your kids do the same and don’t worry about folding and putting away for the time being).

Enlist help

More often than not, our spouses are willing to help out. They just aren’t always good at seeing how much we need or what they can do about it. Let him know you feel like you’re drowning and that you need him to rescue you. And give him bite sized and practical solutions. Don’t say the housework is overwhelming, can you clean the house? Tell him the dishes are stressing you out and can he please fill and run the dishwasher. Or the laundry needs to be switched over, or gathered from bedroom floors and tossed in. And be honest with him (and yourself) about what is most important. If the toilet isn’t bothering you, don’t ask him to clean it. If you still have clean clothes, don’t ask him to do laundry. Kids can do the same. They are often more capable than you give them credit for. Be honest with them about the need to come together as a team to keep the household running.

Some seasons of parenting are harder than others.  There is no way around that. But you also don’t have to drown. So take care of yourself, let go of the housework, and focus on relationships and teamwork within your family. I know that I will get through the newborn hazy days, and I know that you will get through the tough seasons too.

Do you have any other tips to get through the tough seasons? I’d love to add them to my list. I’m sure that there will come a time when all 4 of the boys will get sick at the same time and I’m not looking forward to that!

Motherhood is Hard, But It Isn’t Hard Forever

I went to the post office today without my older two. My 3.5 year old changed his mind last minute and came with me...

Unexpected Pregnancy and Unassisted Birth

In order to do his story justice, I need to start months before he was even conceived. Right after my 3rd son turned...

6 Tips for Surviving When You Feel Like You’re Drowning in Motherhood

Exhausted, brain not thinking clearly, no time or energy to do much of anything so you're overwhelmed and behind....

Dealing with Worries as a Mother

Fevers and illness, daring activities that lead to injuries, potential kidnappings, government interference... there...

Dealing with Worries as a Mother

Dealing with Worries as a Mother

Fevers and illness, daring activities that lead to injuries, potential kidnappings, government interference… there are so many things that we worry about as mothers. It’s so easy to spiral down into those worries and start to panic.

As an INTJ, my typical response to worries is that I make a plan to deal with it and imagine myself coming through the other end. I like to plan out the alternative paths the particular concern could take and my potential responses to it. Usually that helps bring me some peace about the situation and puts things into perspective to remind myself that it isn’t the end of the world and that, no matter what, we’ll make it through to the other side (even if the interim is unpleasant, to say the least).

 

After plotting out all my potential conclusions, I remind myself that my kids are not my own. They belong body and soul to God the Creator. And as much as I love my children, God loves them more. I give them, and all of my worries surrounding them, back to Him and to His master plan for them.

As much as we love our children, God loves them more.

Moments like that are a good reminder that we aren’t in control. Which can be scary but, if you really analyze it, is actually a good thing. You and I don’t know everything that is happening or how everything in this world intertwines to affect each other. It’s a good thing that God does. All knowing and all powerful. It doesn’t mean that things will always make sense to us. It just means that we can trust that He really does know best and have our ultimate best interests at heart. Worrying is a sin. It shows that we lack trust in God’s power and love.

I read a great quote a while back: “We just think we are in the land of the living and that we are going to die, but when we believe in God the opposite is true. We’re in the land of the dying and because of Jesus we’re going to the land of the living. The land where there is no more pain, no more tears, and where we’ll be with Christ for eternity.” (The Kissing Bridge by Tricia Goyer) As Christians, we can find comfort in the fact that this isn’t our world. It’s easier said than done, especially when our worries seem very big and legitimate, but it’s the plain and simple truth.

We act like worrying is a natural part of mothering but worrying is a sin. It shows a lack of trust in God’s love for us and His ultimate power over this world. I need to give my kids back to God every morning and every evening. I had been daily giving my pregnancy and my birth plans to God. A few weeks ago I had a scary incident that resulted in an ambulance ride (for myself, at 35 weeks pregnant) and a couple nights in the hospital. With no answers as to what happened, that’s one I give to God anytime it crosses my mind. I have some chronic health problems that made me worried I wouldn’t be able to hold my baby properly to nurse and cuddle when he arrived (which was 4 days ago, St Patricks Day, by the way. Stay tuned as I plan to share his birth story in the next month). So many things I could dwell on! I’m learning to trust Him more every day. So today, and every day, give your worries to God and trust that He’s got this. I know it’s easier said than done and this is a sin that many of us struggle with on a regular basis.

What worries have you been holding on to lately? Feel free to share them in the comments so we can pray for you. Or just say a prayer right now to give them to God. And give it back to Him every time you find yourself spiraling. Regular prayer time is critical to our walk as Christian mothers.

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