Lord, help me fake it till I make it.

The thing is, it has been an overwhelming couple of months.

And I know that I probably have an overwhelming 18 years or so in front of me.  Because there is just always something.  Always a new phase, always a child to worry about, a behavior to correct, a heart to shape, a book to read, a scrape that needs a band-aid, a bill that needs to be paid, a decision that needs to be made, dinner to cook, a soccer practice we need to get to...and there is always, always laundry.

This is what the mamas do.  They do all of this hard and holy work all day everyday.  It's miraculous, really.  But it can get pretty overwhelming.

And when I get overwhelmed, I want to hide in my room and come out when life gets easier.  But that is not a thing.

SO, I'm making my list.  So, that instead of hiding, I can go into my room and take a deep breath, and pray that I become this kind of woman in the midst of the overwhelming.  Basically, I'm praying the Lord will help me fake it till I make it.

I will not give up.

I will stay in the pool.

I will depend on God.

I will remember that "my" children belong to the Lord.

I will fight for them not against them.

I will find joy and fulfillment in God alone.

I will enjoy my children.

I will bless my husband.

I will keep my eyes on eternity.

I will speak life.

I will stop to pray.

I will put my phone down.

I will be present.

I will extend grace.

I will not react; I will act purposefully.

I will not hurry.

I will be quick to listen and slow to speak.

I will not have idle hands.

I will remember that holy is hard.  And just because it's hard doesn't mean I'm failing.

I will choose joy.

I will let them be little.

I will allow the Holy Spirit to guide me.

I will love, love, love.


How do you preach to yourself when you're overwhelmed?


For the Moms

What can we even say about our moms?  Who has loved us like they have?

I am so blessed to have a mom who is unwavering in her love for me.  I have never doubted it.  We are very different people, but I have always known her love for me.  I am so grateful.  During her last visit, I was watching her play with Silas - this silly card game (if you can even call it that) that Silas made up.  She took the time to sit with him and just be silly.  She let him direct the "game" and she just went along with it.  They sat there for probably a half an hour and he laughed and laughed.  It reminded me of my great-grandma Ruth.  We could always get her to play something ridiculous with us. It's always the small moments that matter, isn't it?  It reminded me I need to slow down.  I need to be silly with my kids and not so structured.  Thanks, Mom. I love you more than words can say.

Joe's mom asked me to call her "mom" when we got married.  I thought it would take some getting used to, but it really didn't.  They have always treated me like a daughter (without the "in-law tagged on the end).  I am blessed to have another mom who listens, encourages, and loves unconditionally.  I will never forget the phone call that brought us to our knees almost three years ago.  Cancer.  I remember standing in their kitchen when she brought out a brush full of hair and announced "it's starting".  I scrubbed that kitchen while she napped like I could somehow scrub the disease away; spilled my tears all over the floor begging God to let her stay.  I am so grateful He said yes.  So grateful.  I love you, Mom.  Thanks for raising the best man I know.

My kids are so lucky to have these two beautiful women as their grandmothers.

Which brings me to my gram.  We have a pretty special relationship.  Not everyone is lucky enough to have close relationships with their grandparents.  I was and am so lucky.  My grandma always says that when she went to stay with my parents the week I was born, she and I would go for walks out on the farm on those warm August nights.  Just the two of us - so Mom and Dad could get some sleep.  She says that's when our bond began.  Being that my mom raised us by herself after my Dad died, my grandparents helped a lot.  We spent nights at their house while my mom traveled for work, they came to tumbling meets and baseball games, took us to practices and made us treats.  I have learned so many things from her.  My grandma showed me what it means to be a wife who blesses her husband.  She always reminds me not to take time with loved ones for granted.  I think one of the biggest things I have learned from her is how to be a woman of prayer.  My grandma is a very faithful woman.  She prays for our family, and for so many others, daily.  I have no doubt that those prayers, woven through the years, have made all the difference.  God bless matriarchs who pray for their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

I am thankful for these women.  I am thankful for my Grandma Bea - who I wish I would have had more time with.  We had just kind of figured out our relationship when she was called Home.  I love hearing stories about her (a mom of four boys) and imagining what kind of advice she would give me in raising my little boys to be men.

I am thankful for all the other women who have been motherly to me at some point in my life. The ones who have taken the time to invest in relationship with me, who have taught me how to be a better woman and mom to my kids. Teachers, coaches, mentors.  Too many to list.

I am thankful for all my friends who are "other mothers" to my kids.  These women have helped care for them, have prayed for them, have been examples to them.

I am thankful for my sister-in-law who is an awesome mama to my two nephews.  I am so proud of how she advocates for Jack.  She has handled a difficult diagnosis with grace and love.  She knows the road that lies ahead and she is committed to living in hope for her boys.  Amazing.

I am thankful for my kids' godmothers.  Chrissy, Mary, Angie, and Suzee, where would we be without you?  I am confident that your prayers sustain us on the hard days and inspire the good days.  I have no doubt my kids will be closer to the Lord because of you.

On Mother's Day, I am praying for the friends I have that have lost babies or have lost their moms. I am praying for the friends who want to be moms but aren't.  I know how special days can seem awful sometimes.  I am sorry.  I hope you feel how incredibly loved you are today.

And, of course, I am thankful for my four beautiful blessings that call me "Mom".  I am not a perfect one.  I wish I was better.  And I will keep trying.  But my prayer to God is always this:  "In spite of my failings, let them know Your unfailing love."  Roman, Judah, Silas, and Nora, I hope you will always know my love for you even when I fail.  And I hope that you will come to know and love the One who will never fail you.

Happy Mother's Day