A Message From My Heart.....

I wanted to write a very special blog post sharing my heart.

First, I want to start out by saying how humbled I am and amazed that God wants to use me. I mean, I know that is why we are here, to glorify and worship Him. He has gifted certain people with certain talents and we all have a choice in whether or not we are going to truly fulfill our purpose in Christ. I don't really understand the "why" but I know I am compelled to follow, surrender and accept the call on my life. I never really set out to have a speaking ministry, but that is where it has led, and I feel that the more I surrender, follow and obey, God is going to do amazing things through me, in His power, to accomplish His plan. I just want to be open to His calling. It's not easy surrendering and following. Sometimes I doubt, have fears, and disobey. Surprisingly, God still wants to use me.

Second, I really want to make it clear that I am not a perfect mom. Period. I struggle in certain areas. I lose my temper. Say things I wish I hadn't. I want do-overs with my children. I worry that I am not doing a good job. I struggle with balancing being firm yet grounded in love. I want to give my kids roots and wings. So, I want to make it clear that I am not an expert.

If you could see me on Sunday mornings trying to check in my kids for childcare at church, which often includes long lines attempting to hold on to a 2 year old and making sure the 5 year old doesn't run off or start acting out in front of everyone solidifying the fact that, I am indeed, less than, you would see clearly that I struggle. Usually this goes along with having a very hectic morning at home getting ready for church, trying not to run late but inevitably doing so. I am often frustrated, frazzled and grumpy as I walk into church to worship the Lord. More than once, I have had to go back to the check-in desk and apologize to the nice people who checked us in because I was rude. Really.

Being a mom humbles me EVERY day. I think that is just part of it. If I had a perfect marriage and kids then I don't really think I would have much of a message. I mean, I would simply say "do as I do and you, too, can have perfection". That's not going to happen.

Some of you have known me for a very long time. The thought might cross your mind, "Who do you think you are telling me how to be a mom, how to raise my kids"? Well, again, let me make it clear that I AM NOT doing that. I don't know how to be a great mom, or wife, for that matter. But in Christ, I am. And I believe it, because I have seen His work in me. It's not me, it's Him. And it leaves me humbled and amazed every day. That is what is so exciting about this. You can actually see Him at work in your life when you get out of the way.

As a wife and mother I struggle. I have shared some of those struggles on this blog. Most recently, being delivered from fear and anxiety following the birth of my last child. I still struggle with this. It is a daily process. I am sure there are others out there who struggle with depression, fear, insecurity, doubt....all of the above. The message that God has for you is that He is big enough to take everything you have ever gone through, all your shortcomings, your fears, hurts, pain and shape you into a beautiful image of Himself. And He uses these experiences as moms to do this.

There is a lot of pressure in today's world for moms. Some of us work. Some of us are single and we carry the load. Some are work at home moms and spend 24/7 with their kids. Some of us are overwhelmed. Some of us have broken marriages and disenchanted views of this life that we have and really wish we could go back to those carefree, single days, even though we prayed and prayed for this life. Now that we have it, sometimes we would just like to give it back.

This IS what I know. God has given me the opportunity to use my gifts and talents to bring Him honor and praise. He has a message to moms. And, apparently, He wants to use me to get that message across. Now, that may mean I speak to 20 people or 2,000. I don't know. I don't really care. I don't even care if you or the outside world see my ministry as a success. That's not what this is about. It's about obedience. Surrender. Knowing that what you are doing is not your own. Period. I am SURE, given the last five years of being a mom, that God has PLENTY more humbling experiences to keep me in line with His plan for me.

I am doing this because of the passion God has put in my heart for moms just like me. The imperfect mess. Because I know that through HIM I can do all things. His grace is all I need. His strength is made PERFECT in my weakness. Because God is able to do exceedingly above all that I ask or think.

That means He has it covered and instead of trying to do this on our own He is calling me and you to Himself. He has your back. He's got it covered. And there is so much that He wants to teach us and show us of His mighty power and strength that He blessed us with children to remind us how fallible we really are. And how BIG He is.I know I am not a perfect mom. But when I focus on Christ, surrender to Him, trust Him and allow Him to BE God in my life, then the pressure is OFF.

And that is what I want to share. That is the heart of every message. I want to be real. I want to be authentic. I don't have all the answers. But praise God, I serve the one who does. And His love casts out every fear, doubt, imperfection....the list can go on and on.

We don't have to be an expert. We don't have to have it all together. We don't have to be perfect. Because He is. And if you are a mom, that is your calling. It's no accident that we were blessed with these kids. Yes, even YOUR kid! Through this journey, God wants to teach us what He can do and accomplish through us. That means breaking us of our pride, the gods we place before Him (which sometimes, lets be honest, are our kids), and to prune, shape and mold us into His image through this journey.

I really hope you come along with me. I am so excited. I am so passionate. I am so....imperfect.

The Mom's To Do List

Next month I have the honor of speaking at my church's women's event at one of our satellite campuses. I am very excited as I will be speaking for the very first time under the Reflections of a Mom ministry!!! I will be speaking on anxiety and fear...two things I know just a little bit about, unfortunately. I am so thankful that God is able to deliver us from anything! I am thankful for the journey that grief took me on and the ride with post-partum depression. That sounds crazy to say, but through that journey came a crisis of belief, and once again, I came face to face with all of my doubt and mistrust of my savior. And once again, as always, God proved his love for me and the fact that he welcomes me with open arms. Of course on my end was repentence, surrender and a decision to believe that He is good.

It sounds horrible doesn't it, to say that you doubt the One who loves you unconditionally? But yeah, during that time I was angry with God. I allowed myself to be deceived into believing that He is not kind, loving and good. I allowed satan the foothold on my heart. It was a slow process, but it happened nonetheless. But I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for that journey. I am glad I chose Christ. I am glad I choose Christ on a daily basis. I can trust Him. He does have my best interests at heart.

So, the next few blog posts you might be getting a glimpse into what I am going to be talking about in a few weeks...including some humor in there as well.

Because I have just a oh-so-few things on my plate and I can still struggle with anxiety and feeling overwhelmed at times, I decided to make out a to do list to help schedule my time better and to prioritize all the things that I needed to do in preparation for the launching of the Reflections of a Mom ministry and this upcoming speaking event.

What I got out of this was simply laughable. I am not going to share my to do list, but it quickly became this very long, excruciatingly painful to look at, list of things to get done in the next six weeks. Then I started adding things in there just to lighten my mood, because this list was not making me feel any better. You know, perfectly doable things like, " create peace in the middle east"....LOL! I actually did put "schedule exercise weekly and DO daily". Yeah, I'm thinking peace in the middle east may actually happen before that one gets checked off the list.

I'm not a very organized person (although I have fooled many people into thinking that I am, I don't know how, but they have told me that I am organized), anyway, I love making lists. I have always loved scheduling things, writing lists, planning out how I am going to do things, etc. Then, I never do them. When I was younger I would spend weeks planning a diet that I was going to go on. I would research what eating plan I should go on, what kind of diet. Then I would write out my meal plans, figure out what I was going to eat, when I was going to eat it. Then the day came to go on the diet. Unfortunately, all that planning was for naught. I usually never made it past the first couple of days. But man, I came up with some really GOOD diets. I probably had a book's worth. Oh, well, I digress.

Now that I am actually married, a busy mom, working part time, attempting to start a new ministry, making lists actually calms me down. Checking things off my list, I believe, actually releases seratonin in my body. Really. The anxiety goes out the window. All I have to do is make a list and check a few things off and I feel much better.

I guess that is why making this list didn't do too much for me because everything that I have to do seems very daunting. I should be having a panic attack about now. Except, I rely on the truth of God's word. If I dedicate my day and time to the Lord, and follow what He has called me to do, and do what I need to do on my end; work just a little bit at being better organized, everything on that list will get done in time AND it will work out exactly how it is supposed to work out.

And, hopefully, there won't be too many sleepless nights between now and April 30th!