Hello. I grew up traveling the world as a military brat. I ultimately felt God's pull to Oklahoma Christian University where I met my husband. We now have 3 beautiful children and have settled in Mustang, Oklahoma.I am a homeschooling mom and with 3 kiddos it is a full time job! I am daily encouraged by God's great patience and grace in my life. In my free time I enjoy reading and crafting.
It’s 3:30 P.M. and I am DONE with this day. How in the world will I make it until Dad gets home? The baby just won’t take an afternoon nap anymore, which of course means she will be incredibly cranky by 6:00, but that’s far too early for bedtime. The big kids are in quiet time, but somehow I can still hear every single thing they do or say. My quiet time is obviously nonexistent since the baby has decided not to nap. Instead I’ll have a snack that I have to share. Did I mention I am thirty weeks pregnant with my fourth child? Or that I home school, so I am solely responsible for the needs of all of my children all day long?
OK, the baby is playing and reading books happily, I’ll get something to drink and catch up on Facebook happenings and my email. Then I realize I’d better be sure I have everything I need to make dinner. Speaking of dinner, what time will Dad be home tonight? I’d better text him to find out.
Me: Hey, how’s your day going? Him: Blah. Me: I’m sorry. Working late? Him: I won’t be early.
Great. Another late night. Another night that my duties just don’t end. It’s ok. Deep breath. Be thankful he has a good job that pays all the bills.
This is the moment my peace begins to crumble.
The big kids get done with quiet time and the battle to clean up their rooms begins. Everyone is bickering or distracted. Everyone is hungry and tired of each other. Here’s the thing: I know what to do in these situations, right? I mean, I have a degree in child development. I have an arsenal of clean-up songs and games and quick activities that can give us all a break. Except all of those things are lost in my pregnant brain…OK, prayer, right? I can say a prayer; read a verse; have a breath of fresh encouragement to pull from. Except who can say a prayer or read the scriptures when there’s a screaming banshee baby attached to my legs?
I’ll stop there. As you can see this scenario is set up for defeat. Mom is over-tired, over-worked, under-encouraged, and too pregnant! Obviously not every day goes like this. Some days the baby will nap, or Dad does come home on time. Occasionally, everyone can manage to get along. Some days. But some days are just hard. And in that moment, a mother can really start to spiral downward. Especially when there is no one else there to provide back-up, relief, or just run interference for a while. Single moms. Moms of overworked husbands. Working moms! Any mom can find herself here.
But take heart, Momma! There is hope.
Here are some verses I have found helpful and will be referring back to during these particularly turbulent days.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
Oh my goodness, yes! Isn’t it funny how the children’s fighting and the baby’s crying and the mother’s exhaustion can be so symbolically perfect with this verse? It can so easily feel like the earth is giving way and the mountains are falling into the sea. This verse is a soothing balm to my soul because I know the Lord is my refuge during these times. He is a safe place for me to rest, if only for a moment!
I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Step 5. Keep your eyes upon the Lord. I frequently struggle with this step. If I were able to keep a proper perspective in the beginning, I would not be so easily overwhelmed. However, we know that the flesh is weak but in God we can be made strong!
Encouragement on the Motherhood Journey
I hope that these verses can be an encouragement to you like they are to me. I find myself dealing with an easily overwhelmed spirit as I enter the end of a pregnancy and exhaustion creeps in. These verses are a great help to me in those times. I hope these can be a help in whatever trials you find yourself struggling through during your motherhood journey.
What are some ways that you find renewal during the particularly tough days of motherhood?
What encouraging words would you give to yourself or another struggling mother during the hard times?
God has blessed us with a great big world, and I try to go see it whenever I can!Admittedly, I have an unusual life where I get to teach what I love 8-9 months out of the year and then go travel and serve the Kingdom in my other home the rest of the time:Edmond, Oklahoma and Vienna, Austria. A lot of what I write revolves around what God teaches me through those experiences and I invite you to "travel" with me in those times! Basically, I want to be Rick Steves (the travel writer) and Lysa TerKeurst (Proverbs 31 Ministries) when I grow up! :)
I have a bunch of college "kids" I call my own, 2 dogs named Abby and McGee (yes, I love NCIS) andI get to be "the cool aunt" to 2 beautiful nieces and 3 handsome nephews.They make great play dates!
Given the opportunity, I want to encourage people when I can and remind them of the power of God in their life...or help them find Him in different ways.Fair warning:I'll ask you the tough questions!I treasure deep relationships - especially ones that will allow for "iron sharpening iron."
I love being outside, and I'm a huge fan of turning off the phone whenever possible to soak up God's creation! Actually, I'm a huge fan of turning off the phone in general...as the phrase goes: "Wherever you are, be all there", and if you are where I am, then I'm going to be all there!
I'm flawed, but saved by grace and learning daily to be loved by God.I'm thankful for the times he lets me wrestle with him because he knows my heart of hearts, and I'm ok with my hip being messed up (Genesis 32: 24-26) because growth comes from it.I encourage you to join me in the journey!
I’m not sure who came up with the idea of Spring Break, but I’m thankful, and God bless them! Come mid-March every year, I don’t know who needs it more, the students or the teachers…maybe even the parents! Regardless of whether you go out of town or do a stay-cation; go to the beach or the mountains; veg out in your PJs watching Netflix, or get up and cram as many rollercoasters as possible into a day, Spring Break is a glorious thing.
During this Spring Break, projects around the house have kept me occupied! I’ve repainted a bathroom, scrubbed from top to bottom, actually hung that pile of clothes in my closet, cleaned out the garage, and started elevating a layer of my front flowerbed. And this is only day THREE!
A Wilted Plant Brings Back Memories of Another Neglected Plant
Raising the flowerbed meant digging up the perennials and setting them aside until I could get it rebuilt. I pulled up some begonias, lilies, salvia, and some other plant I never can remember the name of. Because our winter was really mild this year, the plants were already well on their way to showing healthy growth for the season.
It only took me a few hours to build up the next layer, but in a very short amount of time, I looked over at the salvia and its leaves had gone from healthy, bright green, and standing straight up to the sun, to completely wilted and looking like a plant you forgot to water before vacation. You know what I’m talking about! It looked pretty pathetic. Seeing the sad little plant reminded me of something that happened in college…and it encouraged me.
The Busyness of Life Leads to A Sad-Looking Plant
My first senior year of college, my roommates and I lived in an apartment on campus. The apartment came furnished, so we didn’t have a whole lot of choice when it came to originality, but we made it home with our own unique touches here and there. I love plants, so that was one of my additions to the living room. An end table separated the sofa and over-stuffed chair, and the plant sat there, next to a tall lamp and family picture of one of the roommates.
As is the case with many college students, though, many things get neglected when you are in the rush of a semester’s end: doing laundry, eating healthy, taking a shower, exercising, making your bed, checking in with Mom and Dad…and watering plants. Out of everything on that list, I’m pretty sure watering plants and making your bed are pretty low on the “to-do’s” (assuming you ever made your bed in college to begin with).
One day after class, I came back to the apartment to eat lunch. While I was putting together a sandwich, my mom called to say hi and catch up. Sadly, we probably hadn’t talked in a couple of weeks, so it was nice to hear her voice for a while. I didn’t want to eat while we were talking, but as I was walking around our living room, I noticed I also hadn’t watered my plant in a couple of weeks either. It was pretty pathetic looking–droopy leaves hanging down over the edges of the pot, barely hanging on–so I walked back into the kitchen to fill up a glass of water and poured it into the plant in hopes that it might come back to life in a few days.
A Sudden Revival
While I was talking with my mom, I decided to sit down in the chair and just enjoy our conversation. I was looking at the poor plant while she got me caught up on Dad, my sister, brother, and life. All of a sudden, I found myself NOT paying attention to my mom but rather watching this plant come back to life right before my eyes. I’m sure I interjected our conversation with an occasional “uh-huh” or “oh, really”, but I can honestly tell you I have no idea what my mom said to me for the next ten minutes.
The once lifeless leaves, slowly made their way upright, in order to stand straight, healthy, where they belonged. It mesmerized me. I was amazed that something I had neglected for a while, by simply pouring in a glass of water, the plant did what it knew to do–to live–the way God created it.
Finding Living Water in Every Day
The biblical connection for me that day is probably obvious. But that day started something in me: a love for seeing God in the little things; everyday life devotionals.
How many times have I neglected the living word of God…that living water which overflows with abundance? Those precious life-giving words, particularly on the days when I really need to be reminded of their power?
Because of that plant-reviving day, one of my favorite verses has been John 7:37-38, where Jesus says:
“Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”
Drink God’s Living Water into Your Life
Living water is found in Christ; it is found in the Scriptures. On the days or even years where your spirit is dry, shriveled, and seems lifeless, I encourage you to drink in the power of God’s words into your life. We all get busy. We all feel pulled in a hundred different directions, and we all put things at the bottom of the list. But you can start putting the word of God into your heart by sticking a note on the steering wheel. Write it on your mirror, or read a daily verse on your phone!
Let God minister to your heart through his word.
Let him bring new life through living water to fill you back up and do what you are called to do–to live–the way God created you!
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