A prayer for you this week!

 I think as a mom, we live daily with victory and regret. If its a "good" day, we feel victorious. If we have an especially bad day in Mothering, I (we) tend to suffer defeat; an overwhelming sense that I must be doing something wrong. I am a failure.

I have said it many times that I am by far not a perfect mother. There are no perfect mothers, but man, I can see how easy it is to compare ourselves to others and be very envious of the fact that they seemingly have it all together. It's also very easy to pass judgement on others. Maybe we feel superior. It helps us to think that there are others who face challenges like we do. Let's face it, it is reassuring when you see a mom struggling with their 2 year old the same way you do. It can be easy to pass judgement and say to ourselves, "well, at least I do that better than so-and-so. LOL.

The truth is we all have up and down weeks, some worse or better than others. It is what we have been given. When we choose to become parents, much like falling in love and getting married, there is risk. You never know what you are going to get.

For instance, take dealing with a child that has special needs. Now, special needs to you may mean a child with cerebral palsy or Down Syndrome. It can mean 24/7 care to a child who is blind, cannot walk and has severe developmental delays. To others it might mean dealing with a child  who has a diagnosis of ADHD or Autism, learning disability or a child with emotional or behavioral challenges.  For some it may be a medical issue or chronic illness with a very small child. It can be overwhelming. We all have challenges, but I tend to think that other parents may have more challenges than we do. Or vice-versa. Maybe you see other families and think how lucky they are. They don't have the challenges you do.

Well, that is a lie, because that same mom may be looking at me seeing something that isn't there and comparing herself to what I am doing. That is the problem with comparison. It leads to no where. The grass is not greener on the other side. What you may be struggling with may be different than the mom you are comparing yourself to. So, in essence, we see our weaknesses and think we are the only one. Other moms see our strengths and think we have it all together. When in reality, if we would just be real with each other and stop comparing and accept our strengths and weaknesses as part of our growth process we would be a lot happier.

At the end of the day, for me at least, I have to remind myself that I was made to be the parent to my two boys. God created me to be their mom. Nobody else is designed to make my family fit together. And being a parent means there is risk. There is hurt, pain, disappointment and fear. And if you allow it, it will consume you and cripple you as a parent. It is false. Untrue. A lie. I don't know how many other ways to put it.

But even with all the challenges, God has reminded us over and over again in the scriptures that we need to think about whatever is good. Noble. True. Holy. Pure. Judgment and comparison do not fall into those categories. So instead of focusing on the negative, focus on the Truth.

It boils down to where we place our security. Is it in how other people view us, even people very important to us, or how God views us? Is it in whether or not our child behaved like the other kid who never seems to act up or noticing the small positive changes in behavior when working on a particular issue with our kids.

It's easy to get discouraged. It's easy to believe the lie. To feel like you are never going to win. That life will always be challenging. But there are new mercies new every day! Amen!!!!

So today, I ask for serenity. I ask for new mercies. I ask for strength to get through this moment in time. Not to worry about yesterday or be concerned with tomorrow. To be in this moment. For the courage to change the things I can. To accept what cannot be changed and the wisdom to know the difference.

I've included the entire prayer that Reinhold Niebuhr penned in the 20th Century below. It is primarily used as a prayer for those recovering from addiction but I can tell you it IS a prayer of serenity and it is a prayer for everyone.

God, give us grace to accept with serenity

the things that cannot be changed,

Courage to change the things

which should be changed,

and the Wisdom to distinguish

the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,

Enjoying one moment at a time,

Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,

Taking, as Jesus did,

This sinful world as it is,

Not as I would have it,

Trusting that You will make all things right,

If I surrender to Your will,

So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,

And supremely happy with You forever in the next.


I was going to make a list of 5 things to do to help us moms survive summer. But honestly, I could only think of one. Keep a sense of humor.

Let me break it down for you. Have fun with your kids. Be silly. Laugh. Dance.

It's Summer....

It's Summer. And as moms, you know what that means. Unless you are a homeschooling mom, you now have your kids home from school. If you have more than one child, you are dealing with bickering, fighting, laughing, playing and maybe a few hits. Or is that just at my house? Fighting over toys, movies and of course, who is annoying who the most. It's enough to drive a mom to drink more coffee!

I envy those moms who embrace and enjoy (almost) every aspect of their children's lives. You know those moms, you might be one yourself. You are happy! You are excited. You are most likely YOUNG (LOL). All of which I am typically NOT. :)  Maybe I'm just bitter and jealous of all those moms who seemingly have it all together with endless patience and a plan. :) Comparing ourselves to other moms is deadly. It will steal and kill your joy.  You just have to come up with a plan. And if I can do it, I know you can too. Which leads me to my plan for summer.

Structure. Planning. Rewards. Consequences. Reaching the Heart. Dependence. My dependence on God to ENJOY and EMBRACE the summer. The time with my children. To teach them to get along, not just referee fights (it really doesn't solve anything being a referee in case you haven't noticed). To grow and learn myself and to be truly THANKFUL for the blessings I have.

Conviction. I have really been convicted about being a really good mom. Not a perfect mom. Not a great mom, even though I aspire to greatness, of course. But being involved in my kids lives. Doing things with them instead of just assigning things to them to keep them occupied (In case you haven't figured that out, it really doesn't work). Setting up a structured environment. Having a plan. Yes, they are both in activities this summer (Hallelujah!!!!!). But if I truly want to enjoy my kids and have a great summer, I just won't be waiting until the next break, but enjoying living in the moment with my kids, the frustrating moments, one and all!!!

That being said, taking advantage of the breaks is important too. Just because your kids are home all summer doesn't mean you have to go crazy. There are bunches of free activities to do and I will add their links at the end of this post. Also, there are some really expensive ways to plan for your kids summer but there are also very reasonable, depending on your budget.

Here is my list for the summer.
1. (Almost) Free Movies - I am sure most of you have heard of these or taken advantage of these. I am going to attempt this with both my kids and see how the three year old does. Click HERE to learn more.
2. Free Bowling- Click HERE to see how your kids can plan 2 games
3. Library Summer reading programs, totally free. Just check with your local library.
4. Vacation Bible school!!! Where would we be without VBS??!!?? It's free. You can find multiple locations. And it gives you 2 to 3 hours of quiet. I have even found one my three year old can go to. Woo hoo!!!

My kids are also in a summer Mother's Day Out program two days a week (YAY!). We are signing both up for swimming lessons. I know some of you guys may not have the budget to pay for things for your kids. But, at the minimum, see if you can get a local babysitter to come in once a week to give you a few hours of free time. Or barter with other parents to have play dates and trade off so that you will have time by yourself. There is strength in numbers, I have found. When I have a friend over with her kids we kind of end up being like a community and we all help each other out and the load is not so hard to bare when it is one mom against the world. And you can usually find time to sit and chat between interruptions. :-)

And in case none of that that works. Just BREATHE. Listen to great music. Take a hot bath during nap time. Find time for yourself when you can get it.

We will do this. We will survive. We will not only survive we will flourish. And we will have fun.

Happy Summer!!!!!