What to do with Mom Exhaustion

This past weekend, Jeremiah and I agreed that we won’t do a garage sale again with a toddler.

Curious John was into everything and we should have known. The china cups, clothes hangers, picture frames. He was into opening and closing the screen door to our friend’s house, exploring the lawn, and to top it off, he darted out into the street to follow me as I was loading stuff into the car (marital miscommunication among who was watching him). I was frantic and felt like an awful mother for that to have even happened.

I should have never expected to do anything else with the sale but to keep my eyes on him and train him on what not to touch. Jeremiah already said he would organize everything.

At the end of the day, I left the sale frustrated, exhausted, impatient, and my feet were killing me being 21 weeks pregnant. I began to think, Is this life as it is? Cause I’m going to go crazy if it is!

Lately, I’ve had a hard time adjusting to the amount of energy required of a 20 month old toddler. At times, I feel there is nothing left to give at the end of the day. I don’t know where the strength comes to cook, clean, write, love my husband well, catch up with friends, or be on mission in serving others.

Yet often the real problem is me. I don’t go to the Source of all strength.

That evening as I sat in bed and John was sound a sleep, I came to my senses again. This season of life for him is so precious and before I know it, it will be gone. He will no longer be a toddler, but a big Kindergartener. This is his stage. His season of life. And it’s my job as his mommy to treasure that.

As mother’s, God understands the exhaustion we feel. He knows the ever-changing moods and emotions. He knows the pressure put on our marriages when not only raising children, but raising them well. He understands when we just need to vent and cry and hide in the closet. He has reminded me that his strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). His grace is always available.

I’m so thankful he understands, especially when I somehow think that no one else does. I’m thankful I can draw to Him through His word and prayer so that he can meet my spiritual, emotional and physical needs. When I’m listening and confessing my inadequacies, it’s then that I’m renewed to help meet the needs of my son. I’m more patient, loving, and understanding.

The garage sale was a good lesson for me and I know other hard days will come. But I also know that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. Thank goodness!

Do you ever experience Mom (or Dad) exhaustion?

Being on Mission with Your Children- Part 1

This is part one of a two-part series called “Being on Mission with Your Children.” Part one will consist of being a Mommy on Mission and part two will deal with being a Daddy on Mission. I encourage you to read both parts.

Kelly Sauer‘s Twitter bio caught my attention the other day. It read: I dream big and change diapers.

I just love that and it made me think of a little mission statement that’s been ringing in my head since I’ve been re-reading a book I had to read for my Child Developmental Psychology class in college called The Power of Mother Love.

My new-found mission is: I want to change the world, one diaper at a time.

To tell you the truth, however, I didn’t know this would be my desire until God gave me my son John.

I’m learning that he is my mission. He is 15 months old so of course he doesn’t know it yet, but how I give my love away to him now will profoundly influence and shape his life and character and ultimately, who he will become one day.

Many of you know that I’m fresh into being a mommy so I’m not a pro, but I’ve found a little secret that’s helping me to be “on mission” with him each day and to value, above anything else, the importance of who I am to my child.

This might seem way too obvious, but it starts with Slowing Down.

It requires a lot of intentionality on my part to see the world how John is seeing it, to get off my computer or i-Phone, to stop doing the dishes or the laundry, or worrying about this or that, but to really be all there with him. He invites me in to his world every time and his world is already at a much slower pace than mine. The choice is if I will choose to be still, within my own spirit, and embrace his world with him.

I’ve found that when I’m still and engage with him, I’m able to meet his deepest emotional needs by letting him know I hear his words and see each little step he makes. We’re able to capture moments together like when he first says “t-e-n-k you” or learns how to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on his own. Or when he’s offering to kiss me on the cheek or give me “that look” when he needs something. I can sense his needs easier and I’m there to nurture him whenever he needs it. And he always has a way of knowing whether I’m fully there or not.

My love is more available when I slow down.

Being on Mission as Mommy’s starts with slowing down, to where we are meeting our children’s deepest emotional needs, but that is not the end, it’s the means to the end where we’re slowing down so that we can best live out our faith and instill biblical truth into their lives.

In a hectic, over-worked, disorganized schedule it’s difficult to be all there and live out our faith in front of our children. Nine times out of ten, over commitment results in frustration, anger, restlessness, impatience, depleting quiet times and prayer and we end up not being who we want to be. I’ve been there and it has affected my home. I’m convinced that the tiniest moments of slowing down will help define the huge moments of how our children will grow and come to salvation in the Lord later on.

Of course, their salvation is an act only by God, but we have a huge part to play in how they view and love God for the rest of their lives. What a challenge and responsibility, but what a joy and privilege to help lead them to the cross and have them join us in God’s mission.

If you’re a mommy, and like me, have been wondering where your ministry is and how you can best serve God, remember that you are on mission right where you are, the best place you could ever be…

In your home.

The place where you were meant to help change the world, one diaper at a time.

Will you join me in this mission?

Question: What are some other ways you’re giving your love away and being “on mission” in your home?

IT’S A…

 BOY! We found out last Tuesday, June 3 that we’re having a baby boy- our heart’s desire. I had always wanted a boy and it’s so neat that God is going to be giving us just that. Our ultra-sound tech went through all the parts of the baby to make sure they were good and healthy. Our hearts were beating so fast because we couldn’t wait to hear what she would say. Finally, she asked us if we wanted to know what it was.

We both said, “YES!” She smiled and said you have yourselves a little boy! I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t stop smiling the whole day. Seeing all the intricate parts of him inside me was so amazing. He was sleeping when the tech was looking at all his parts, but he finally started to wave a little when she moved my belly more firmly. I couldn’t believe he could sleep with all that was going on.

It was such a precious, surreal moment. That night I baked a cake with blue icing and our best friends here in Dallas, Jay and Julia celebrated with us and decorated it with sail boats. They also bought us pacifiers (I got teary eyed when opening them up), bottles, and an adorable newborn outfit. It really began to hit then and it’s hitting more and more now that I’ve outgrown my clothes and should start gaining a pound a week.

I definitely have fears about being a “Mommy” and bringing a new life into the world. I have fears about the responsibility and what it will be like. I know these are probably natural though and my prayer is that I will continue to learn and grow through this pregnancy and be all that I need to be for this precious life.

We’re at the 21st week- half way there. And baby boy Krieger is due to arrive in this world on October 17- give or take. Will he arrive on Jeremiah’s birthday, the 20th? We’ll see.

A Creative Mother’s Day Gift

It can be really frustrating figuring out what to get our Mom’s for Mother’s Day. My Mom and Dad came into Dallas last night for some appointments, so we celebrated Mother’s Day early. I decided to go with a hands on approach in regards to my Mom’s gift.

I washed her feet for her. I had purchased Earth Therapeutics’ cool mint foot mask, soothing booties/socks with tea tree oil, and mint/tea tree oil foot wipes (I got these surprisingly at Kohls but Whole Foods has this line as well). Playing calm ocean music, Santori Splendor, I filled a small tub with lavender bubbles and washed her feet. Then scrubbed them with a pumice brush. I dried them and spread the foot mask all around her feet and toes for 30 minutes. She loved the tingling feeling from the peppermint. I loved peeling the mask off- I felt like I was back in third grade peeling the Elmer’s glue off my hands. Her feet were now smooth and like new. The whole time, she was just soaking it up and smiling, saying “Oh this feels so good.”

I couldn’t believe how much she loved this gift of being pampered. I know, every woman enjoys this, but I had never seen my mom enjoy getting her feet washed so much. This was my first time washing her feet and for me, it was incredible knowing I was serving her and that I was so grateful for all she is to me as a Mom. She works hard on her feet everyday, serving those she loves.

I could have given her clothes or jewelry, but this act meant much more than something material. So go ahead, take my idea, I’d love for you to bless your mom like this too.

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