Healing Touch: How God Used Co-Sleeping in My Recovery from PPD
May 4, 2015
Mothering from Scratch- A Review
March 5, 2015
As I begin writing this post, I have been a mom for approximately 143 days, 11 hours, and 1 minute. That being said, I don’t have a ton of advice for new moms, except don’t hesitate to ask for guidance from moms who have had more experience than 144 days…
…preferably moms who have had many, many YEARS of experience.
That’s why I’m so thankful for Melinda Means and Kathy Helgemo’s new book, Mothering from Scratch: Finding the Best Parenting Style for You and Your Family.
Here are two women with years of mothering adventures who couldn’t be more open and honest about their triumphs and trials in motherhood. They both take turns sharing their journeys as mothers, as well as encourage the readers, moms like me and moms with a little more under their belt, to enjoy discovering how God made you unique, especially in raising up children and caring for your home.
Through stories of proud mom moments and personal parenting flops, Melinda and Kathy helped me not feel alone in my “momma-hood” hesitancy and questions. I especially related to Melinda because she described her struggle with people-pleasing and a performance-driven mentality that caused her to seek approval and compare herself to other moms.
Being a recovering perfectionist myself, very quickly after my son was born, I realized that I couldn’t say “yes” to everything anymore. Trying to balance responsibilities the same way I did before my son was born left me exhausted, stressed out, and spiritually dry.
That’s why sections like “Sifting It All Out” and “Mothering With Wisdom and Grace” were tremendously beneficial to me in my new role as a mom. Melinda urges the reader to remember that the most important person we need to let into our mothering style is Jesus.
“[Jesus] is the Guest of Honor, the gold standard against which we measure all other counsel. Spending time in His Word and prayer is the best way to know His standard and ways intimately enough to use them as our measuring stick” (pg 113).
Over the last four months, I have been trying my best to find a good routine regarding my time in the Word and in prayer as a stay-at-home mom. It hasn’t come easy because of all of the responsibilities that come along with raising a child and caring for a home full-time, but I know that time spent with the Lord is worth fighting for.
In the chapter “Feeding Your Soul,” Melinda and Kathy urge the reader to not forget about “quiet time” with the Lord and give practical ways to keep time with God a part of our busy day. This chapter alone is worth purchasing the book, in my opinion. Also, after every chapter, there are questions perfect for your reflection time with the Lord.
Are you a new mom?
Are you a mom with teenagers getting ready to head off to college?
No matter your “momma-hood” experience, this book is for you!
Grab your copy today at Familychristian.com, my momma friend!
January 27, 2015
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23, NIV).
I have read that verse many times, but the other day, I realized the importance of this instruction from the Word of God.
The enemy is so quick to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10a) the Word of God from our hearts. If we let him completely remove the seed of the Word of God in our hearts, he won’t just stop there. He wants to fill our hearts with his deceit and lies so there is no room for the truth of God’s Word and no opportunity to develop the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, and patience, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
If we don’t develop the fruit of the Spirit, we are going to have a very difficult time making disciples like Jesus commands us to do throughout the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
I want to focus on the first fruit of the Spirit, love.
There is no coincidence that love is listed as the first fruit of the Spirit. Without it, we cannot be recognized as a follower of Christ.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).
As I begin to think of how the enemy tries to steal, kill, and destroy the Word in our hearts and ruin all possibilities to cultivate the fruit of the love, I can’t help but wonder what seeds he also tries to plant.
Most would say that the opposite of love is hate, but I truly don’t think that is the case with the enemy’s tactics.
If God is love (1 John 4:8) and He embraces us in spite of our weaknesses and fumbles, the enemy would want nothing more than to hinder that kind of unconditional acceptance to grow within us, both for us to freely receive and freely give out to others and the Lord God Himself.
I believe the opposite of God’s limitless love and belonging has to be rejection.
Since Jesus commands us to love another as we have read in John 13, Satan tempts us to defy that command, not with straight hatred towards each other or even ourselves, but with rejection and sometimes undetected rejection.
The spirit of rejection annihilates the seed of love from ever growing in our hearts and hardens us to the core. Click To Tweet
It is spiritually deadly, both to the one knowingly or unknowlingly dealing it out and the one receiving it as truth.
Once we have received the seed of rejection and allowed it to take root, it begins to grow and strangle our heart like a disgusting weed.
I experienced this first-hand recently.
For the first three months of our son’s life, my husband was working a lot of over-time, beginning his days at around 4 AM and not coming home to close to 6 PM. So for three months, he slept in our guest bedroom so Isaiah’s late-night “partying” wouldn’t keep him awake, and he could get to work well-rested.
This was something that I COMPLETELY understood and even suggested, but the enemy definitely used it to his advantage to try to bring destruction in my life.
But because of some lingering Postpartum Depression symptoms from the hormonal imbalances I was experiencing (read more about that in my recent guest blog post at The Praying Woman), it often felt like I was raising Isaiah alone and I felt completely unstable. I struggled with feeling lonely and abandoned. It was affecting my mood and how I responded to people: not very kindly at all.
This, of course, is where the enemy tried to creep in my thought-life. He whispered lies non-stop. When I was awake, I sent up my cries to God when it got tough. When Paul got home from work, we would talk through my feelings so that a wall wouldn’t be errected around my heart and negatively affect our marriage.
With prayer and these daily conversations, the loneliness seemed to sub-side. But one thing that I’ve learned over the years is that if the enemy can’t get to you while you are awake, he will most definitely try when you’re sleeping.
I had three separate dreams regarding Paul leaving me and starting a life with another woman. I woke up feeling so rejected and unwanted.
The dreams were so vivid that it was seriously hard to shake the feeling they brought, even though I knew they weren’t real.
Finally, instead of wallowing in my emotions and accepting the enemy’s deceitfulness as reality, I spoke out:
“No more! I am loved. I am accepted. I belong to the King of Kings and I am a daughter of the Most High God! My husband adores me and will never leave! We have an amazing marriage and family! Satan, you are a liar and I reject your rejection right now in the name of Jesus!”
If I hadn’t recognized the lies from the spirit of rejection, the enemy would have continued firing these rejection arrows at me until I surrendered and allowed my heart to grow cold towards myself and everyone around me.
Now what I shouted to the enemy had to come from a place of understanding who I am in Christ, even if it took me awhile to remember it. I had allowed that truth to take root in my heart, so the enemy had no right to that revelation.
If you don’t renew your mind with the Word of God or pray daily, you will fall victim to the enemy’s deceit. His goal is to steal, kill, and destroy the life and fruit in you that the Word of God brings. You must keep watch over that fruit and cultivate your heart so that others may see Jesus in you and through you!
The enemy wants to stop that at all costs! He wants you bound in a pit of depression, unable to receive love or give out love, feeling like no one loves you or cares about you. He wants you to think you are completely alone and a failure.
But I am here to tell you: YOU ARE NOT ALONE! YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE! The Father loves you. You are His child and He wants you to be filled with His love so that you can pour it out to others!
When the enemy tries to send rejection your way, don’t take it! Send it right back at him and reject that rejection in Jesus’ name! And always remember to guard your heart so that Satan has no room to sow his seeds of lies any longer!
Rejecting Rejection is also posted on ibelieve.com!
Special Delivery: My Birth Story
October 27, 2014
Tonight, as I lay my little one down with a full tummy from his first middle of the night feeding, I can’t seem to keep myself from staring at this tiny miracle from heaven and reflecting on these past two weeks- they really have been like nothing I have ever experienced in my life. Although a lot of it has been hard work and exhausting, I truly have felt so much of God’s grace carrying me through.
I have reached a deeper revelation of my life verse, Philippians 4:13, for sure! I didn’t know how much I would stand on that scripture as I entered this new season of motherhood, especially in the delivery room.
Wow, the delivery room…
…that is a place and time I truly will never forget.
Not only because it was where I got to gaze into my son’s eyes for the first time, but because the Lord used that place and time to strengthen, heal, and restore three very important relationships in my life. I had planned on sharing the experience of the birth of our first child only with my husband, but like so many other times before in my life, God had other plans.
My husband was an amazing coach and was by my side for the first 15 of the 25 hours of labor alone with me. Because many hours had passed after my water breaking (I was sleeping at home when it happened in the middle of the night), the Dr informed us that I risked infection the longer I didn’t enter into hard, active labor. After my husband and I prayed, although we truly did not want any artificial intervention, we took the advice of the Dr to start on a small dosage of Pitocin. We wanted what would be best for our baby and wanted him to be safe.
Although I knew it would be difficult, I laid hold of my conviction to deliver my son naturally without an epidural. The pain was extremely intense, yet I kept Philippians 4:13, the name of Jesus, and my heavenly prayer language on my lips at all times. I knew that I did not have to endure this experience alone. God especially reminded me of that with the compassion and encouragement of my husband the entire time and then even more so when I heard my mom come into the room.
To be completely honest, my mom and I’s relationship wasn’t where it once was many years ago, but I’m here to testify that God did some major healing and restoration that day! I talk in more detail in my book, Yielded in His Hands (eLectio Publishing, February 2015), but to put it simply, I reached a point because of so much hurt, disappointment, and rejection from so many people in my life that I told myself that I couldn’t rely on anyone any longer, especially my mom.
Of course I loved her, but I kept her at an arm’s length away because I didn’t want to risk being hurt once again. I was a big girl now, I didn’t need my mom. But in that delivery room, although I had no idea, I needed my mom.
I remember looking up at her and crying out to her- even calling her “mommy” at one point, which I NEVER called her that before in my life. I truly believe it came from my spirit and the deep recesses of my heart. Having my mom there in that room, massaging my back, encouraging me, and holding my hand was one of the most special moments I have ever experienced with her in my entire life. I am so thankful for it and will treasure it forever. (Thank you, mom…I love you a bushel and peck and a hug around the neck!)
As the hours went by, another person who I struggled to fully embrace entered the room- my mother-in-law. Our relationship had become very surface-level over the last few years because of the same reasons as my mom and I’s relationship- I feared rejection and disappointment and put up walls around my heart, loving at a distance. She never stopped loving me and never stopped praying for me, even in that delivery room. I am so thankful for her prayers throughout the whole laboring process and so thankful for our now restored and renewed relationship.
I find it so absolutely beautiful that God would take such a physically painful experience and make something so wonderful and life-changing in so many ways for me. I saw years that the enemy had stolen from me be restored to me in an instant and God is healing and restoring even more still.
I thought that the birth of my son would be the only miracle I would witness that day, but God had so much more in store for me. I thought that day would be about me becoming a mother, but God had so much more in store for me as I got my mother and mother-in-law back that day. His love completely overwhelms my heart!
So now every time I look at my son, and I think about how much I love him and how I would do anything to give him all that he needs, I am reminded of how much God loves me and cares about all aspects of my life. I am able to pour out that same love without hindrance to all that He places in my life. I am forever grateful, Lord!