Tag Archives: Truth

A Letter to the Mamas,

I’m writing this to you because I think you need to hear it, but I’m also writing it to me so I don’t forget.

Hey, you. Yeah, I know you don’t have time for this. You need to get out the door and nobody has their coats or shoes on, and Baby has decided to take his pants off and run around the room. You’re going to be late to the kids’ doctor’s appointment and if it’s by more than 15 minutes they’ll make you reschedule. You’d think a pediatrician’s office would be more FLEXIBLE since, I don’t know, their dealing with CHILDREN WHO CAN’T DO ONE BLESSED THING FOR THEMSELVES SO HOW ON EARTH ARE YOU EXPECTED TO BE ON TIME? Anyway, by now you’ve gotten their coats and shoes on and Baby has on hand-me-down jeans from who knows where and you’re getting them in the car. Now one of them is crying because somebody hit her and Baby is whining and arching his back making it nearly impossible to buckle him into his car seat. As you use your best stern Mom voice to tell them “hands are not for hitting,” you notice you forgot to wipe of Baby’s face from breakfast and he has sticky syrup on his cheeks that has attracted every dirt particle from your home. He basically looks like a homeless baby. So you grab a wet wipe from the diaper bag and wipe his face off which makes him scream and you try to comfort him but you’re late so you figure he’ll get over it and jump into your seat. As you turn on your kids’ music or show, you find yourself starting to zone out.

This is where you need to listen, Moms.

As you begin to tune out all the car chatter, the voices in your head may take you down those old familiar roads. They are like a corn maze you can’t get out of. On your first turn, you head down the “What am I doing with my life?” path, then you take a right onto “Is this what motherhood is supposed to look like?” then hang a left on “Endless fighting and whining is not what I signed up for,” then merge onto “Am I even doing a good job?,” then you make a hard right onto “I suck at being a mom.” Then you’re basically there.

“Where?” you ask.

Right in the place the devil wants you. A place of vulnerability. A place where you’re so unsure of who you are and what your purpose is you are desperate for someone to tell you. So he does. He whispers things like, “No, you’re not really a good mom because what good mom yells at her kids/lets them watch THAT much TV/loses her temper/can’t get her kids to eat healthy foods/can’t get her kids to behave in public/doesn’t want to spend every second having “intentional” time with her kids/scrolls through her phone THAT many times a day/(fill in the blank with anything else that makes you feel like a crappy mom)…

And then the devil takes his toxic shame coat and drapes it over your shoulders and that’s how you live. Covered in shame.

This is where you need to listen, ladies.

Don’t let shame make you forget who you are.

Don’t forget that you are the woman that fed your kids today, you helped them get dressed, you held them when they cried, you listened when they told you about their day, you gave them encouragement when they doubted themselves, you washed their clothes, you picked them up when they needed to be held, you laid with them so they could fall asleep, you read them books, you helped with homework, you got them new jeans because theirs were getting a bit too short, you signed them up for camps, you made doctors’ appointments for them, you put money on their lunch card, you prayed for them, you prayed with them, you told her that she most certainly could not wear shorts that short, you said no to the party that was sketchy on the details, you called them out when they were being less than kind, you pointed them to Jesus with loving words, you corrected them and loved them, YOU DID SO MANY IMPORTANT THINGS.

Don’t forget that the God who made ALL the people gave you a few of His own to raise; because He knew you’d be the perfect fit for them. He chose YOU. He knew you would need help and He knew you would screw it up and He was ok with that.

See, the thing is, as much as we forget who we are sometimes, God doesn’t. If we have been saved through faith in Jesus, the Word says “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10)

I believe being a mom is good work. It can be exhausting and wonderful and mundane and sweet and aggravating and beautiful and just plain hard. Lots of times being a mom doesn’t feel good. When we feel like all we do is discipline and say no, it doesn’t really feel that awesome to be a mom. But my feelings are all over the place sometimes so it helps to go back to the Truth. “for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.” (Prv. 3:12)

Aaaaahhhhh. Nice to know that all our reproving means that we actually LOVE our kids…contrary to what our kids may say. We’re just trying to point them to Jesus and keep them out of juvie, am I right?

All that to say… Moms, you’re doing a good job. What you’re doing matters. I see you and you are good enough. Actually, scratch that. You are excellent. Now go forth into battle and don’t forget to put snacks in your purse.

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(This pic was taken many years ago but it reminds me that winter with littles is HARD.)

-Courtney

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Is comparison the ONLY thief of joy?

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“Comparison is the thief of joy.” -Theodore Roosevelt

I’ve liked this quote since the first time I heard it. It’s one of those that made me say “Exactly! That is so right!” So many times in my life I miss joy because I’ve compared myself or my circumstances to someone else’s.

Recently I’ve found something else that steals my joy. Expectation. Expectation has been the thief of my joy. What I’m finding to be true in my life is that when I put my expectation in anything other than God, it’s coming up short. When my expectations are not met, it leaves me angry and irritated.

An example of this happened just last week. I had gone to a doctor’s appointment at 7:30 in the morning. It was going to be a long appointment because I had to receive an infusion (for my UC) and those last usually between 2.5-3.5 hours. After it was finished I was told I needed to get a scan done. My appointment for the scan wasn’t until 1:00 but they were sure I could be “worked in.” So a little after 10:30 I finish my infusion and walk over to my next appointment. They check me in and I take a seat. I wait. And wait. Then I wait some more. Finally after an hour, I go up to the desk to ask if my name has been called and I somehow missed it. She went back to check then told me no. She also asked me if I was aware my appointment was at 1:00. Yes, I told her, I know but I was told I could be “worked in” (Don’t worry, guys, I didn’t use air quotes.) She said ok, they’re just a little backed up. Then she proceeds to tell me that I’m next on the list for this scan. Perfect. I don’t mind waiting a little longer. Another hour goes by. At this point, I want to leave but I feel like I’m too invested. I’ve waited too long to leave now. If I leave now, I’ll just be a schmuck that fell for the old “You’re next in line” bait. (Side note:: I couldn’t help but think of the Friends episode when Phoebe stays on hold for a day because the recording kept telling her she was the next caller. I feel you, Pheebs.)

Finally after 30 more minutes, I get up and walk over to the front desk, hand her my clipboard, and tell the lady I’m leaving. She asked if I wanted to reschedule, I said I’d call. I had let myself get to the “I’m so angry my voice is shaky because I’m trying not to cry I’m so angry” place. It was really a precious sight. I walked out of that place at 1:30. I had waited for 2.5 hours. I felt like a schmuck.

I had the expectation that I could be worked into their schedule and when that didn’t work out I let the waiting steal my joy. The people-watching was sort of phenomenal so at least there was a bit of a silver lining. So often in my life I let my expectations hold my joy. If I put expectations on Kyle and he doesn’t meet them, I’m disappointed. If I put expectations on my kids to be kind to one another or not fight and they do it anyway, I’m irritated. If I plan a day perfectly and it doesn’t work out that way, I feel defeated. If I exercise and eat healthy for 5 days and my body doesn’t change on the outside, I want to give up.

Then it’s like God taps me on the shoulder and whispers in my ear, “You’re putting your expectation, or HOPE, in the world. The world was never meant to fulfill your HOPES. I am the only One who can do that for you.”

 

When I was looking for affirmation of this in the Word I found many verses that supported the truth that our hope is to be found in the Lord, not the things of this world.

 

“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.”   1 Tim. 6:17 (ESV)

 

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”   Heb. 11:1 (ESV)

 

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”   Rom. 15:13   (NIV)

 

“Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”   Rom. 8:24-25 (ESV)

 

When I let my hope, or my expectation, reside in this world I always get what the world has to offer me: disappointment. I’m learning there’s a reason for that. When I allow the joy of knowing Jesus Christ to fill me up, I quit expected Kyle to fill me up. When I remember to deal with my kids the way Christ deals with me, I don’t expect them to be perfect. When I allow for flexibility, or grace, in my schedule, I feel at peace with the day. When I rest in the fact that God doesn’t care if I ever weigh 125lbs again, I can workout hard and know that I did what was best for my body even if the scale doesn’t move. These are the things I need to remember. The world can’t offer me this kind of hope. It’s just not capable of doing it. The world tells me I have to look a certain way or have a certain body to be considered pretty. The world also tells me if people don’t make me happy I should leave them. The world tells me I’m only as good as my Pinterest board or Facebook page makes me look. The world tells me that my job as a parent is to make my kids happy.

The world is full of crap.

The world has made idols of these expectations. These are things we’re supposed to strive for then our lives will be perfect. Have you ever wanted something so badly and then when you got it, it was just ok? This is what we’ve fallen into. We think if we can just be this, or do that, or reach this goal, then we’ll really be somebody. Then when we get there it’s just…ok. If we put our trust and in the God who created us and knows us, this is the only chance we have at joy. He’s the only One with the ability to give it completely.

Expectations are the thief of joy.

Yes, I think this statement is much more accurate.

 

PS–Waiting rooms are also the thief of joy.

-Courtney

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