Welcome to my weekly post I share a peek into our lives, talk about things I’m loving, share links to interesting articles or helpful ideas I’ve collected throughout the past week, and just talk about whatever is on my heart! 🙂
This week started with Jesse coming home from Peru (yay!!) but coming home incredibly sick with some sort of bacterial infection, high fever, and food poisoning. He was SO sick and we are grateful for modern medicine because he needed a lot of it! He finally began feeling more like himself around Wednesday afternoon and we are thankful he is okay and is now back to normal again!
I read this book this week and loved it — especially since the author spent 10 years in South Africa and you all know how much my heart loves that country! I’ll share more about how this book impacted me in me book post tomorrow.
I was honored to do a short interview for the Sorta Awesome podcast — one of my favorite podcasts. My interview is the last 12 minutes and I share some really honest thoughts about fear, lies, labels, and friendships. I also talk about my hospitality goals for this year and Discipleship Group.
Silas’ class presented in front of all of the school on Friday morning. They acted out details of the Punic Wars and then talked about how God has been so faithful in the lives of so many people throughout history. Silas chose to share on Noah and I loved getting to see him up on stage and how confident he is compared to the shy little boy he used to be a few years ago.
Two years ago, I was really struggling as a mom. I was often overwhelmed, frustrated, stressed, and scared about the future.
And it was because I was parenting out of a belief that it was my job to “fix” my kids — to be their Savior and Holy Spirit. In addition, I worried a lot about my reputation as a parent.
I wasn’t parenting to point my kids to Jesus; I was parenting to make myself feel better.
I didn’t recognize this, of course, and I wasn’t intentionally doing this. But it was the path I was on.
In essence, I cared more that my kids did the right thing, than that they were seeking a relationship with God. I wanted them to look good and be good in order to make me feel good.
So long as they made good choices, I felt happy and fulfilled. But when they made mistakes or struggled (which was much of the time, since they are kids and all!), I felt shame and guilt and discouragement.
On Wednesday this week, I stood up before a group of women in our church and got to share how God has transformed my heart as a parent these past two years. And it kind of blew me away to go back and remember the stress and frustration and shame and guilt I used to feel.
I’m so grateful for the transforming work of the Gospel… that it frees me up to stop striving and stressing. It frees me to wholeheartedly love my kids and patiently walk with my kids — through the beautiful days and the brutal days, without carrying the weight of shame & guilt anymore.
There is so much freedom and joy in this place, even on the hard days!
If you can relate to any of this or you struggle with Mommy Guilt and feel like you are always failing or are never doing enough or just can’t get it right as a mom, I highly recommend reading Mom Set Free.
This book is SO good. I slowly savored it — reading just a little bit every day — to make it last as long as I could and to really soak in the truths from it.
A few years ago, one of my friends announced her pregnancy. And I instantly felt all kinds of irritation toward her.
In fact, I didn’t want to see her or acknowledge her pregnancy. Why? Because she’d “effortlessly” had two babies in a short amount of time. All while I’d experienced disappointment month after month with secondary infertility.
I realized that my feelings toward her weren’t about her; they were about ME. I desperately wanted what she had… and I didn’t have it.
Here’s the thing I’ve learned from 8 years of secondary infertility: you can’t take the pain away. It’s always going to sting a little (or a LOT). And you will always feel that sadness and longing when you see a baby or a pregnant woman.
But being jealous of her or irritated at her won’t fix anything. It will only hurt you and prevent you from beautiful connections.
It’s the same in all areas of our life. And when I notice myself feeling frustrated or irritated at someone, I now stop to ask myself, “Am I in any way jealous of this person or something in their life?”
You guys! So much of the time, that question uncovers a lot of stuff in my heart that I need to process through… and when I’m finished processing, I realize I have no reason to be irritated or frustrated at them at all!
Let’s choose connection over criticism, joy over jealousy. We were created for community, not comparison!
Photo credit: @kellybeckleyshank
2018 Goals Update
1. Read 100 non-self-help books that will build me up/encourage me/inspire me/recharge me. (Fiction/story-driven/biographies/inspirational living books/devotionals.) See the list of 44 books I plan to read this year.
**Progress: 17 books read so far this year
2. Read through the entire Bible.
**Progress: I’m using the Robert Murray M’Cheyne plan and am all caught up— yay!
3. Write one handwritten note to someone every week.
**Progress: 14 notes written so far this year
4. Run 500 miles.
**Progress: 106 miles run so far
5. Go on an overnight trip with Jesse without the kids.Jesse and I went to NYC together in January.
6. Read 10 books aloud with the kids.
**Progress: I’ve finished one book so far.
7. Take the kids to South Africa.
**Progress: We nailed down dates for our trip!
8. Go on a family road trip.
9. Save up to pay cash to finish off an office for me and workout room for Jesse and me in the basement in our new house.
10. Replenish our Emergency Fund (we dipped into it to replace my car when it got totaled because of the carpet beetle infestation.)
11. Increase our gross income from the business by 8%.
12. Launch 5 new courses.
**Progress: 4 Weeks to a More Productive Life launched in January and Content Creation 101 launched in February. We launched the 4-Week Blog Coaching Program in March and we’re launching a few YourBloggingUniversity.com course in a few days!
Links You Should Check Out:
Hospitality on a Budget — Is it possible to show hospitality when you’re on a tight budget? Well, judging by the emails and comments I’ve received on this topic in recent months, this is something that many of you are struggling with. (I did a live video on this topic here, too.)
Ice Cream Soaked French Toast — Yes, please! (And it’s freezer-friendly, too!)
How I’m Staying Fit in This Season of Life — People are always asking me about fitness. Here are lots of details on what I do, what I don’t do, and how I keep it simple. (I did a live video on this topic here.)
P.S. Need a laugh? This gave us WAY more entertainment than I should probably admit!
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