Category Archives: Mom Stuff

Give some grace

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So six months later, I was reunited with the world around me. There is a threshold that babies seem to cross around this time for us. They start to take pleasure in the things around them. They start to take consistent naps, sleep at night. (Most of the night anyway)
If you’re one of those moms who has it all together and is tsk tsking because your child slept through the night at 8 weeks I applaud you and wish I had it together just like you. If there is one thing I have learned it’s that I definitely don’t have all of my ducks in a row. One of those ducks is usually off making a mess while I focus on the others. We’re just not too impressive. But we do know, and get hit upside the head on a regular basis, with the fact that we need Jesus. And that’s not such a bad place to be.
I’ve definitely questioned my worth with my accomplishments. In even little things like potty training. I’ve literally heard someone say, “do you know how old their child was when they were potty trained?” That is no joke! There are people who actually care about someone else’s child’s ability to go on the potty! The only children I care about going on the potty are my own. Purely selfish reasoning there.
There are times it’s tough not to allow your little accomplishments make or break you, but the one thing that has helped when I feel I’m missing the mark are my grace giving mommy friends. I don’t deserve them, but when I’m stressing about something, there are a handful of women I know who are level headed and ready to give some grace. Ready to encourage me with stories when they were there. Ready to let me know that reality sometimes mean pull-ups longer than you thought. Or not such a well rounded diet. Or a house that isn’t even close to what I would like it to be. It’s ok. My security is only in Christ and this path that I’m on with little ones in toe, is definitely not going to be perfect. It’s going to be fun, hard, rewarding, disappointing, heart-stopping, tiring, amazing, messy, lovely and a few hundred more emotions along the way. But always worth it, especially on the days it doesn’t feel like it. So if you’re needing some grace find a mommy who’s had a few years under her belt and you can see it in her eyes or hear it in her voice. Share your questions and let her share some grace with you. But always pass it on to another mommy in the trenches. You never know what they’re going through. Perfection will never help them. Give some grace.

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For Those Stressful Times

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There are phases in life that are just plain old stressful. As a mother this stress tends to spill over onto my sweet children. Or usually not so sweet at that moment. Isn’t that a nice way to put it ? “spills over”, more like explodes all over. And all I am left with is guilt and nothing changed but worse off than they were moments before. I see it affect my relationship with my husband and the sweet understanding we once had is turned to sad indifference or frustration. To the point we just can’t connect very well at all. I’m sharing all of this because I want you to know you’re not alone. As our third child arrived into our family during a tough time as it was. We were overwhelmed by some stresses that I know can make or break a marriage and family. Some days I felt like I didn’t know if God was for us or against us. Sometimes the feelings and frustrations just overtake you emotionally. When something went right I was almost indifferent to it.
But God always gives grace just when you need it. He gave us a little break and allowed us all to reconnect and enjoy life in general. I felt refreshed and ready to tackle life again. Sometimes we just need to talk to a friend, get away or find a babysitter. He always gives us help in our time of need. We are not forgotten though it may feel that way. My point in sharing is really to encourage you. A real marriage has bad days. A real mother has moments she regrets. A real life has stress and there is no way around it. It may feel like this is going to be the way it is from now on, but don’t let yourself think that way. It is hard especially in the midst of life’s changes. Even good changes are hard.
Don’t let it consume you, His grace is sufficient.

Yaelle’s Birth Story part 2

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My due date arrived and my closest friend, who I grew up with, volunteered to come and help. She arrived that night and I went into labor around 3 am. Contracting consistently, then things seemed to settle down and I was able get a little sleep. I Got up the next day contracting off and on. We went to the Doctors office across town. She checked me and said, “go get your stuff and head to the hospital you’re having this baby today.” I was a little apprehensive wanting this girl to come completely on her own but the contractions were clearly getting stronger and closer at this point.
We went home got our stuff said goodbye to the kids and headed over to the clinic.
Arriving in our room I was pleased with the room and the fact that my favorite nurse was on call, but no English speakers. Turns out the Internet was down that day and the a/c in our room wasn’t working. Kind of disappointing.
So we got unpacked and labor was in full swing at this point. I remember lying there closing my eyes listening to the call to prayer across the city thinking, this is it, the thing I have dreaded for the past month or so, yet somehow The Lord allowed me to experience labor this way. It was an amazing reminder of Jesus’ perfect love which casts out fear. The whole reason I was sweating, hearing kids in the hallway, labor pain interrupted by that call. It was for Him, not for us. His love for me sent him to the cross. If he can endure that, I can endure this pain that millions of women have experienced in much worse conditions. And really it’s nothing in comparison.
As time went on and things got harder I realized I needed to focus, open my eyes relax, breath, or this pain was overtaking me. All of those things truly worked. Its like running, get through the painful moment one at a time and you’re ok.
Every so often Tyler would have to leave when they would check up on me. Not fun when you only have one person there with you. But the nurses would hold my hand and help me breath through the pain.
The time came, 7 cm, broke my water, and I had to move. I was glad I knew this ahead of time. They put me on a wheelchair and through a couple of contractions they pushed me down the hall to the delivery room. (I was in transition at this time ugh)
About 4 contractions later it was time to push. Tyler prayed and The Doctor asked if I wanted to see the baby right away? “of course” I told her. We pushed three times and it was over. I cannot put into words the complete relief I felt at that moment. I’ve cried after each birth but this time I sobbed. It still brings tears to my eyes to think about. We did it! Thank you Jesus! That’s all I kept thinking. And then this overwhelming love that you have for someone you have never seen up until that moment, it just takes your breath away.
After they took her to clean her up they put me to sleep! I never expected that, but I actually appreciated it at the moment. I slept for 15 min. Things weren’t necessarily according to my birth plan, but that’s exactly why I didn’t have one. In the end it was all just wonderful. Only The Lord could have worked out every detail like he did.
Back in the room we discovered the a/c did work. One of the nurses came and turned it on ha! No one waited long enough for it to kick in. At this point I was just glad to rest comfortably with a new little love in my life.
Ana Yaelle Masters
(“ya’el” – God’s strength)
7lbs 1oz, light brown hair. And the sweetest little rosy lips I’ve ever seen!
The verse we chose

Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength: (Isaiah 26:4)

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All Grace

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Where do we come up with the idea that we deserve all that God has blessed us with?  So many times I wonder as I am truly grateful for the three healthy pregnancies I have had so far, but what about my sweet friends who have had some pretty tough days losing babies before they could hold them or holding them only for a short time?  My children have been pretty healthy, but what about those mom’s in the hospital holding their babies all night who are fighting for their lives?  I recently have dealt with someone who has expressed this idea because of their wealth and healthy children they have worked hard for it and deserve it.  But I have to ask what about those who have had loss or poverty?  Does God just love them less?  are they less deserving?  Obviously the idea is ridiculous.  Most of the people I have witnessed go through some pretty tough roads in life are pictures of strength from the Lord.   They have been used by Him to shout to the world of His goodness,  even in tragedy.  The problem with the idea that “I have worked for all I have and deserve it” is when things go wrong, then what? where do you turn?  Some turn to their past and try to shift the blame on someone else, it was my mother’s fault for not hugging me enough or maybe my dad wasn’t around.  It’s just never enough to blame shift, because it never fills that void.

There is no answer for why God chooses for some to struggle in certain areas and others not, I believe He gives us glimpses as to why, but we’ll never truly understand until we are with Him.   Looking at the cross we can see God’s goodness no matter what we go through He has been there.  He loves us ultimately and blesses us far beyond anything we deserve.  I think we all know ourselves well enough if we are honest we don’t really deserve much.  This world has created an “I deserve the best” mentality, but truly we are dust, the very air we breath is a gift from God.  When we approach all of life that way, the little things don’t get to us as easily, and the big things are given to us through the loving hands of our Savior with a plan to use it to gain maximum glory.

As I sit up late thinking about and frustrated over this “I deserve better mentality” I am humbled to realize I have had the same attitude in a different way.  If I am not careful I begin to take the amazing blessings I have been given for granted.  Instead of looking at the things that seem to be so frustratingly out of my control as burdens, I can begin to see that ultimately He has our good in mind, and I am never in control anyway.   So as disgusted as I am with those who use the gifts God has given them to shake their fist or use it to hurt others or even against God himself.  I realize any pride even if it’s not that blatant is still pride.  It is all His grace that we make it to another day.  Any blessing we have is only by His amazing grace.  If we all got what we deserved, what about Jesus?  Didn’t He deserve better?

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Coming soon!

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When we arrived in the states we found out we were expecting #3. It was so exciting, we wanted more children, but were waiting on God’s timing. This seemed like an awkward time.
We decided because we were between countries, maybe we would just wait until the birth and then move. It was a couple of months difference.

After visiting the city where we are moving. We just couldn’t shake the feeling that we needed to get there soon. There is such an open door right now, so we changed our plans and are leaving about 10 weeks before the due date! It’s been a roller coaster of emotion thinking about all that needs to be done and going to a new place to have a baby. But I’ve never been more excited for an opportunity to trust God in this way.
This sweet girl already has a special place in our hearts. Her name is Yaelle a different one but it means “God’s strength” the Hebrew version of Jael. And once I heard the meaning it brought tears to my eyes, and I knew that was it. We are praying He will give all of us His strength. As I was reading the other day I came across her verse!
Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength: (Isaiah 26:4)
Pray for us that all will go smoothly with the move and all the complicated details that go along with that, but mostly that He would be glorified through it all, and the birth of another soul who, Lord willing, will bring Glory to His name.

Broken

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Since we’re working on being honest this post may cause you to think differently of me, but that’s ok.

When we first started this journey I was all about the mission field and maybe the excitement for living for something so much bigger than myself seemed amazing. (I still feel that way) but somewhere along the way I lost sight of what it’s all about. For me, it was getting married and then children, and I really had something to lose. It wasn’t just me anymore. But don’t let that fool you, it may sound nice, but it’s really just selfish and plain old idolatry. As the years passed I tried to focus on The Lord and how he would take care of us, but in the back of my mind I always wondered what was in it for me? How would this benefit me? Or my children, would I have to make a decision that would make us uncomfortable? After all we were leaving our family behind! I also developed the attitude of I deserve certain things like comfort and praise and if I wasn’t getting it I felt jipped.

So obviously the Lord saw fit to break me, and it wasn’t pretty. Some of which was humiliating the other just tough. He really had to take me to the point where I knew I was nothing. That feeling of failure in every avenue of life.
I really can’t explain it other than to say He knew when I was ready to have my eyes opened to the truth.

The fact is this desire I had to go to a far away place to share Christ’s love, had been buried under my own desires and expectations of God. I ended up going along with my husbands work promising I was going to be a good wife and serve alongside of him. Yet when times got tough I secretly blamed Him. Sometimes not so secretly. As I’ve gone through this process The Lord has shown me He gave ME this life, He gave my children this life. they are not missing out, I am not missing out. We are beyond blessed. This is not my husbands job or field it’s just as much mine. I am called to North Africa just as much as my husband. We are one.

I used to get stressed thinking, “how are we going to be comfortable and happy enough?” to realizing none of that matters and that’s not where my joy comes from anyway. It’s easy to feel like the grass is greener. But the truth is, the grass is green just where we are, we’re just not looking at it. We are too busy looking at the other grass, to see our own, if we would just look around us, we would see the truth. I have seen The Lord change my heart from one of selfishness and feeling as though I deserve for all the “sacrifices” we make, to one more able to trust him with gratitude, Knowing He gives abundantly above, and most importantly it’s just not about me!
Life is just more beautiful when we let go and say it’s all about you Lord. Not about my time, or place, or status, or position. There’s such a freedom in admitting to God, It’s truly you and your will because wether I give it or not you will get the Glory. It’s humbling to think we could have any part in that.

The unending “To Do” List

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I know most of you may have already started and stopped resolutions, some haven’t even bothered, and others are sticking to them with gusto! So yes I am quite behind on this resolution bit, but I still wanted to really stop and think about it. Instead of waking up on New years day with the usual “exercise more, read more, clean more, organize more….” I really have tried to take the time to think about my priorities and what I have been doing wrong. As I searched for Motivation to tackle this new year, I decided that was not what I needed at all. Maybe what I really need to do is have the right perspective. Not necessarily add more to my unending “to do” list. I might need to just take off a few things and do less more effectively. If that makes any sense. So some of my decided resolutions have been…

1. Take Time, take more time with the Lord, take more time with my Husband and children, stop cleaning, (it isn’t meant to be finished anyway) and play with them while they still want to play with me. Think about those around me more, and less of myself. There are so many sweet moments and blessings that I tend to miss being so distracted by the unimportant little issues of life.

2. Give myself a Break! Stop caring what anyone thinks or says, stop trying to keep up, stop feeling a push to do do do, stop, stop! I know God made me the wife to my husband only I am capable of fulfilling that role. Why should I feel pressure to do more, when My husband is perfectly happy with the way I am. My kids have more fun when I am happy to be their mother just the way God made me. No pressure to be more.

3. Perspective. Like I’ve said before we can all find things we could be down about or get on ourselves about, but we are so blessed. So instead of being frustrated by my constant failure to keep my house spotless. Be thankful that I have wonderful people in my life to care for. Instead of being frustrated by the things I have or don’t. Being content breaths such peace and simplicity. It’s so much more desirable, than any THING we could ever have.

4. Balance! instead of Going on a crazy diet, I’m trying to take each day at a time, and just have more balance. I have all of my goals in that department, but really just try being more aware and balanced in all areas. Allotting time for exercise, time for social media, time for cleaning. There are a million things to do, and not nearly enough time to do them. I could never sleep and still not have enough time. There has to be some limit. As we take this fresh start to focus on where we are and where we want to be, I like to really dwell on and apply some attainable goals. Goals that will help me to put my priorities in order. Not just add some more things to my “to do” list.

Phillippians 4:4-8

4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.