A “Quick to Listen” Call Out

“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” (James 1:19) What a great truth to start off our days embracing…God, may each mom reading be quick to listen to the people in her life, especially her children, slow to speak and slow to anger today. We know that you tell us, ‘in your anger, do not sin.’ Help us not to hurt, over-react agitate nor bring about discouragement in another, particularly our kids. Help us to have patience, self control and to not be led by our feelings but by your truths. Let your principles dictate our behavior and the instruction we are giving out to our children. Have a great day moms!

So Long Dry Bones

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The BIG deals we make about little things can stay with our kids forever….let’s be dead to the small things that rattle us, including fatigue, the temptation to yell, the moment that we already yelled, where we blew it, where we are feeling frustrated and be alive to giving grace to our children just as we have received grace from the Lord. “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22) 

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be a mama who dries up her kids’ bones.

And it’s so easy to do.

Our tone of voice. Our words. Our demeanor can be deflating to those around us.

Drying.

Hit the pause button before reacting and pray. Pray for self control. Pray that if firmness is needed, you’ll be firm not angry. Pray that if you need to sit down, that you can steal a moment to regroup. Pray that if there is an opportunity to smile, that you will soften your cheeks and communicate joy with the motion of your lips.

Let eye contact and sweet tone of voice prevail in your demeanor so your children can be filled with the love and warmth you feel for them that may not always surface among the day’s running around and to-dos. We live by the list, don’t we? We are always on to the next thing. Rushing. Running.  I know you are tired. I know you are stretched. Early days of mothering (and the ones that come later) can be fatiguing.

You are pushed.

Pulled.

You just want a break.

Let’s take our days and the power of God available to us and receive His mercy, strength and love so that we can pour those very same attributes into our children and give them good, moist, strong bones. Regardless of our moods, they are going to grow and have memories of their home. Memories of you. A relationship with you.

Let’s make their bones strong with what we can deposit. 

“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” Phillipians 4:13

Let the truth of God nourish your bones today, mom.

 

 

Weary–Not!!

 

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For anyone who is feeling tired (ok, so you didn’t work out today), in need of grace (because even as moms, we blow it), longing to respond to circumstances in truth and with integrity (as we are often led by our emotions, feel pulled in the direction of what the world says we should be or swayed by the opinions of others), fighting for focus (we are sometimes scattered or distracted) and needing strength (we are at times, simply put, weak), God guarantees our success in all areas.  “My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me through your law. I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws.” Psalm 119:29-30

Oh mom, mothering is hard work. Where are you needing rest today? God really does want to partner with you and guide you in the journey. Look to Him and He will give you what you need to take the right steps.  Steps taken in His might, not your own. He is right beside you.

Where are you needing to depend on God today? One area at a time, one step at a time.

Who Were You Before?

I had the pleasure of speaking with many wonderful moms last week who shared the things they missed doing before they had children….not that they regret having children, but just miss the pieces of themselves that were there before becoming a mom–the passions and interests that made them who they are. Some shared their personal hobbies, surfing, horseback riding, even curling up with a good book. One mom shared how she misses being a good listener to her friends, another shared that she missed working while another said she missed personal, active dialogue with friends which has now been reduced to texting. What about you? Are there pieces of yourself that you long to have or miss?

A Plan for You

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.”  (Jeremiah 29:11)

If you feel disheartened, discouraged or anything in that “what’s the point or why bother?” category, cling to this promise above. God STILL has a plan, even when events seem completely upside down, confusing or lack order or purpose.

Trust in God.

The Song You Aren’t Singing

We are all singing different songs today, aren’t we? Perhaps you are far from feeling like you want to sing or your song isn’t very cheery. Some songs are more like cries or pleas that come from a scared, desperate or concerned place, either for our children, loved ones, or ourselves.  There are songs we can barely sing because we are just plain old tired or we maybe we have lost our desire, our passion, our light. We don’t want to sing. Maybe we are too busy to sing. Too worried to sing. Too weak. Maybe even sick. On the other hand, we have songs of joy and gratitude or blends and combinations of high notes and low. Maybe we are just bursting with songs of praise and thanksgiving.

For those of you who are not, you can sing a sad song.

That is okay.

If you can’t sing at all, that works, too. You are just not there. Many of us have days where we aren’t.

Where can you go for a song? For words and notes that are uplifting, that have meaning? Hhmm…I have a place. Yes, but I mean after Disneyland. And oh yes, after the chocolate cupcake with white icing and sprinkles. Actually, before.

Scripture. Prayer. One Another.

Will you let God put a new song in your heart, today through Him and through His vessels?

But you don’t know what I am dealing with. True. But God does.

But this is bad, things are SO bad.  God knows how bad. He has walked the bad. The ugly. The unthinkable.

But I just can’t get a grip…and I am worried, and scared and I am out of answers. God is powerful. Your Creator. He is involved. He already knows the outcome. He has the answers.

If you are awaiting results of something and are fraught with fear,  if you are worried about something with your child or are so doggone weary you don’t know how you are going to make it till 4:00 let alone 9:00 p.m., know this:

God can carry the tune when you can’t.

God hears the melody of your heart, the words to your desires, the inflection of your voice when you have a question that is circling about. You may not be able to give yourself a new song, but He can. He is pretty amazing that way. When you can’t lift your voice to sing, He can give you the ability and the means.  Your new song might not be void of pain but can be filled with direction, strength, focus, confidence, wisdom or trust.  Will you let Him give you that song to rest in the benefits? If you do, the tune you are humming might just take you through the day on a new, meaningful note.

And you can sing that truth all the way to Disneyland or to your favorite cupcake.

Scripture References

“But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love, for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.” Psalm 59:16

He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.” Psalm 40:3

“Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.” Psalm 96

 

 

Morning Glory: Not

And then there are the mornings…..unbelievable how some of them go….how we go. Okay, how I go. I shouldn’t throw you into my mix.

We can plan how we are going to handle a situation (determined, fierce, go into whatever it is we are facing like gangbusters) or equally, be impulsively reactive. Guilty! I admit it, I am a huge reactor. I need a human, built-in “pause” button app. Come on Apple, can’t  you craft one of those?

“Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:12-14)

I think when we pray for God to change our hearts and attitudes, the words we speak, the tones we use and the responses we have are calmer, purer, firm yet still loving, patient, steady and just plain old pleasing…to everyone and to the One who has HIS hand over our lives. Our emotions. Our fears. Our anxieties.  And isn’t everyone happier all around? Don’t we spend less time apologizing and more time conveying truth yet without the harshness, hurt and defensiveness that causes others to have pain? The pattern can create a vicious cycle.

Yes, things are going to aggravate us. People are going to hurt us and treat us and/or our kids unfairly. Should we pray for people to change and for their hearts to be softened? Sure. But more important, we need to pray for our hearts to be changed because the world is full of pain, unfairness and problems and we need to live with some of that muck and live with it well and righteously. Our right, Godly response is a far greater tool to have in our arsenals than the elimination of the problem in some explosive way. Let’s pray that God would shape our hearts since everything we are about comes from its condition. “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:22)

We do have power, we do have control and we do have the ability to take the high road when life presents the low ones. Why? Because God can take our hearts and molds them to be pretty awesome, and that’s because we are pretty redeemed.

And then afternoon will come with a fresh, new start….

Where Ya Going Today?

Where are you going today, mom? On a field trip with your child’s class? To work?  The park for a playdate or stroller walk? Maybe you are in the house more than you are out or running from place to place. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing (even if it’s the laundry!) is where God has called you to be. He has entrusted you with the responsibilities you have….nobody could do them but you…nobody could be the mom you are or the wife you are, the worker you are….all you have, He has given to you.  “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” And if you are feeling you aren’t doing these things “well” remember that you do them in faith. Our performance is not based on who we are but who God is.

What Will You Trust God with Today?

 

Oh, for a Little Truth

What “truth” are you listening to right now?

Something someone said or did that is hard to release?  Are you hearing  a voice inside that lures you to believe something discouraging about yourself or that pulls you in a direction you are not quite sure you are comfortable going in? Try not to be tempted to listen to those voices of negativity or doubt, but to God’s uplifting voice, truths and approaches.  And if in doubt, ask Him to show you.

He answers.

Whether it’s how to handle a difficult situation or an approach to take with your child, God does reveal His truth to us in so many personal ways (through pangs in our hearts, friends, a spoken word, circumstances, prayer and His word. He really does speak to us in ways that are meant for us to recognize.)

We don’t have to wrestle with…

Our thoughts.

Our doubts.

Our fears….or

Our own voices sometimes fraught with doubt, gloom and doom.

We can ask for guidance in the right and truthful ways in which to go.  “I, the LORD speak the truth; I declare what is right.”  (Isaiah 45:19)

As moms, it is not always easy to discern what is absolutely right when it comes to the little lives whom we are protecting and shaping…let’s pray and see how God directs us.  “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’ “ (Isaiah 30:21)

What truth might God be showing you today? Is it more tempting to listen to your voice rather than His? What happens when we do listen?

Battling Big Bugs: When Mama’s Sick, By Guest Author, Jenny Lee Sulpizio

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Battling BIG BUGS: When Mama’s Sick

                                    (An excerpt from the recently-released, “Confessions of a Wonder Woman Wannabe”)

Taking care of your children when they’re sick is hard enough as it is, but trying to take care of your kids when you’re sick is an entirely different story, isn’t it? When mama’s too ill to get out of bed, everyone and everything tends to suffer. All efforts to maintain the regularly scheduled programming are cast aside, and it’s as if our homes are literally turned upside down. The housework piles up, the kids are running amuck, and all we can do is lay there in the fetal position, lethargic, zapped of all of our energy…and completely useless.

 

 

At this point, there’s no denying that we’re in need of some serious assistance. No matter if it’s a spouse, relative, or family friend-when mommy’s ailing, we girls are in need of a reliable caretaker to see that the kids are fed, clothed, and (somewhat clean). We need help getting our kids to school, activities, appointments, engagements, and so on. But for Wonder Woman Wannabes, who struggle to ask for help in the first place, this can seem like an impossible task to accomplish. We feel awkward, uncomfortable, and more often than not, we’d rather just deal with it on our own, instead of having to bother anyone else.

 

 

However, it’s in these moments that we need to ditch our Supermom tendencies and call in some reinforcements.  I mean, not even Wonder Woman herself could claim victory over vomiting without enlisting some help from her Super Friends. So, let’s forget about our need for perfection, rid ourselves of any pride we’re holding onto, and devise an emergency back-up plan for when Supermom-I’m talking about you here-is super sick.

 

 

It’s time for the Buddy Back-Up Plan.

 

 

Now, the idea here is pretty simple: you’re basically setting up a structured schedule detailing your children’s activities and events, should your health suddenly decide to go South for a day or so.  By discussing this with your friends, and devising a system that works for all involved, you are teaming up to make sure that should the need arise, your kiddos are covered.

 

 

Wanna see what this type of plan looks like? Even better, want a printable version to keep on hand in order to start a pact with your friends?  Click here to view, print and download!

And how about a giveaway? Would you like to win a copy of the recently-released, “Confessions of a Wonder Woman Wannabe: On a Mission to Save Sanity, One Mom at a Time?” Enter below to do just that!

Author Bio:Jenny Lee Sulpizio is a wife and mother of three who enjoys writing about anything and everything under the sun, but especially loves to instruct, motivate, and guide other moms with practical advice, tips, and a whole lot of comic relief in the process. Jenny is a contributing writer for The MOB Society and Moms Together, and is the author of the recently released guide for all mamas titled, “Confessions of a Wonder Woman Wannabe: On a Mission to Save Sanity, One Mom at a Time.” To find out more about Jenny or to follow her blog, visit www.jennyleesulpizio.com.

 

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