Life-Giving Moms Give Life

12
Aug
2014

Life-Giving-Moms-Give-Life

As I reflect on the past Eleven weeks of reading, pondering, discussions and prayer, I am feeling like I learned a lot about myself, yet once again!  I hope you feel the same.

This struck me as I began reading this last chapter:

“Sue, we did the best we could.”

Isn’t that all that matters?  Truly, we all want to do our best, and given different seasons of our life or different experiences – we all start at a different point and can only do the best we can do with what we know.  What our parents knew or were told about raising kids is completely different for the most part than what our generation is being told…..but that was what they knew.

Here is my transparency and authenticity – some of you may know this about me, but some may not.  I made the choice many years ago to leave my marriage and get divorced.  I felt at the time it was my only choice and I have taken responsibility for this choice.  I was not a believer in Christ, did not understand the full commitment of marriage and have held guilt in my heart for years because I made the choice for my kids to live in a divorced home.

I could live in this guilt and heaviness, or move forward in the best way possible.  I chose that.  Shortly after becoming a single mom, I did give my life to Christ and was blessed to learn how to live my life according to His guidelines.  I made choices that were not the best, but at the time they seemed the best.  I did the best I could.

“Learning to be a Life-Giving Mom without regrets requires embracing the season you are in.  You have to let go of the past and live in the present as you lay hold of the future.  At each transition you will likely shed some tears as you realize that you can’t go back and re-live the past.  You must move forward, facing the imperfections of your present, hoping for the future.”

Oh how I wish someone could have whispered these words into my ears 15 years ago!  I have grown to understand and embrace this type of thinking, but I wish I would have been given the grace – to myself much earlier in life.  I can’t go back, and completely realize that, I can only move forward.  God is using my mistakes, my failures to help others – I see it now, but would never have thought that years ago.

It is true, what Sue says, that all go through trials in our life and it is ONLY through those trials that our character is being perfected.  I would not be who I am NOW, if it had not been for the trials of before.

There are days I struggle to let go of the past and not dwell on choices I’ve made – but regret will get me nowhere but down.  I honestly think this had something to do with my depression for years – that I constantly could not give myself a break – there was no grace left for me.  Simple, but profound.

I pray that this study revealed areas of your life where you can rejoice over as well as ask for His guidance every single day. I think for me – I loved the prayers that I could use specifically asking for help – each and every day.  This is where the power is – receiving HIS power in my day.  

Because you see…..I can’t do this all myself.  And when I begin to get cocky and think I can – I stumble and fall.  It is my wake-up call to reach out to Him.  To surrender and allow Him to guide me and fill me.

“Living in the present is being content with who you are.”

9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom – Week Eleven

11
Aug
2014

Main-border-study

We begin week eleven of our journey reading Sue Detweiler’s book, 9 Traits of a Life Giving Mom: Replacing My Worst with God’s Best.   {Psst…. this is our final week!!}

I honestly get a little sad when we get to the end of a book study – we’ve gotten to know each other and bits of our story on the Facebook page and we all have had our own journey through the material.  Having an awakening (or not) on topics read.  This study has been great and I am so glad you joined me in the journey.

Week Eleven

Read  Chapter Eleven – Life-Giving Moms Give Life

I will be back tomorrow with a quick post on my thoughts about Chapter Eleven and will introduce some questions through out the week on the private Facebook page.   This will wrap up this study – so if you have time to catch up on the reading to close it out with us, please do! 

(you will need to click through to the main blog to view the videos)

Chapter Eleven Video

 

I will be back tomorrow with my thoughts as I read Chapter Eleven and I’ll see you on the Facebook page!

So Long Self-Indulgence – Hello Self-Control

5
Aug
2014

Self-Control

We all have our addictions…. or inability to reign in self-control.  It looks different for each of us, and sometimes very similar.  Where is your area of weakness?

I have a terrible habit, well actually a few – but I will share with you one here to be genuine and authentic.  I said yesterday that I really don’t struggle with food issues.  I would say that is correct, but it has not always been the case.  I went through periods in my life where food was very high on my list of needs and I didn’t always choose the best things to nourish my body with.

I was looking for a “good feeling” from the things I ate.  Thank goodness I have grown and can say that I can pass by the big piece of chocolate cake or stack of cookies – but it has been a BIG choice for me to do that and likely a strong WILL that the Lord placed in me.  Becoming Gluten Free/Paleo has helped tremendously in knowing what I can eat and what I shouldn’t eat.  For me, not only will eating something make my heart hurt and feel bad, carrying shame, but my gut will also hurt and I will be miserable.  So self-control had to come pretty darn quick for me.

But I still do crave salty foods and have often shared about my favorite salty snack of the time, whether it is Cheetos (which I no longer eat) or Doritos (yep, not in my pantry now either) or just crinkle cut potato chips (yep, I let that one in and it is my salty snack of choice).

“Self-Control is our opportunity to freely choose to make God the first love of our life.  Self-Control is our opportunity to deny ourselves and choose what our heart really craves – GOD.”

That quote really opened my eyes – it gives me new perspective with the one area that I do currently struggle with and that is time management.  Focusing on what truly matters in the big mix of life.  UGH!  I know I am not the only one.

I want to be the ONE for everyone, but the reality is that I just cannot.  I need to find self-control in my ability to shut down the computer, to walk away from my iPhone and disengage from Facebook.  Yep, the complete introvert has problems!!  Big ones!  To be a life-giving mom I need to be present and I need to have self-control.

I know I will likely face other areas of my life where I will need to lay down my self-indulgence and allow God to work in my heart.   I do think I overindulge in areas of my life and there likely are areas I am not completely area of, so I pray that God will open my eyes to other areas I may be struggling with that I am not aware.

Do you feel God is speaking to you in an area on this topic?

I loved these questions Sue poses:

  • What overindulgent habits are causing death, not life?
  • Who is my comforter?
  • What is my reward?
  • Who or what do I turn to in times of stress, anguish, or even delight?
  • What do you rely on more than you rely on God?
  • What do you turn to when your day is going really bad or really good?
  • Who is your secret lover?

This quote stuck with me, with regard to parenting:

“Our children have been over promised and overindulged day after day.”

This is a huge topic and I pray this is just the beginning to peeling back the layers for you.

9 Traits of a Life-Giving Mom – Week Ten

4
Aug
2014

Main-border-study

We begin week Ten of our journey reading Sue Detweiler’s book, 9 Traits of a Life Giving Mom: Replacing My Worst with God’s Best.   We are almost finished!!

I have to say that this is an area that I do not have huge struggles with self-control in the area of food, as Sue began sharing in this chapter, but God is opening my eyes to other areas where self-control is very hard for me. 

Week Ten

Read  Chapter Ten – Replacing My Self-Indulgence with God’s Self-Control

Trait 1:  Self-Control

We each have our issues and struggles, so it will be interesting what is pointed out to each of us during this week.  I struggle with time management (yep, I do!!) managing my time on social media (which is certainly a self-control issue) and other things that will certainly come to light this week.

I will be back tomorrow with a post on my thoughts about Chapter Ten and will introduce some questions through out the week on the private Facebook page.  

(you will need to click through to the main blog to view the videos)

Chapter Ten Video

 

I will be back tomorrow with my thoughts as I read Chapter Ten and I’ll see you on the Facebook page!

Replacing My Pride with God’s Gentleness

29
Jul
2014

replace-pride-gods-gentleness

I have to admit, I will start this post by admitting, I like to be right.  I do not like to be wrong, and if I am wronged, I certainly like to make sure that no one can mistake that I was wronged.  

I deal with pride all the time.  It is ugly, I am not proud that I have to admit it, but at least I am aware and will admit. It is when we deny that things can turn really ugly.

“It’s more important for you to be in right relationship with others than to try to always be right.  Admit when you are wrong.” 

I would say I lived a lot of my life in arguments, holding grudges and wanting to prove myself to others and make them admit I was right.  I wasted a lot of time and certainly increased my anxiety and emotional exhaustion.  It just doesn’t work to always be looking to make others “see”.

I am so glad that God has been able to weave into my heart a new way of thinking. I am certainly not perfect and struggle, I will be the first to admit it.  But as I’ve aged and learned a lot of hard lessons about my actions and how I could have responded differently to different situations, I have grown.

I also admit I am not ‘clothed in gentleness’ really either.  That would certainly not be one of the first words someone would think of when they meet me.  I tend to be a bit more harsh on most things….I am a black and white person.   I have to be very intentional to offer grace in many situations where other people may automatically just give it.  (Boy, I am revealing a lot here on this page, ouch!).  But you know, I have grown and I am better than I was even a few years ago.

I can see this is both my marriage but even more so with my kids, especially my older kids.  I can see over the past 5-6 years that I have been able to be calm and collected when they come to me with an issue or problem.  I can remember when my 16 year old daughter came and had to tell me she got a speeding ticket, she was terrified.  She thought I would rant on to her about her mistake…..but I didn’t.  I just asked her what we were going to do about it, and we moved on from there. 

Being calm and gentle go hand in hand.

I can agree with this statement Sue makes, and I hope you can too, if not….I suggest you pray on how you can get to this place to be ‘safe’ for your kids.

“Hopefully, you have this place of trust and safety with all of your children.  They know that if they open up to you, you will not judge them or condemn them.”

That is success as a parent in my book.  I want my kids to know I won’t FREAK out and try to make MY point, when all they really need is a loving and accepting mom.  Full of compassion and grace.

Where do you struggle with pride?  What relationships do you find suffer because of that struggle?