HOW MY DAUGHTER VIEWS MY MOTHERHOOD

For weeks, I felt the burden of “what do I actually do at home with my kids. What really is my work? How am I really contributing to the world?” And, just like that, the thing that was meant for good was stolen. My heart was weakened instead of spurred, and my foot slipped onto the path of not enough and poor me.

THE SAMUEL SERIES 6: FIRST LOOK

He slowly pushed, as if not to jostle my fragile, post c-section body. And it was that ride down that flooded my mind with every single question a momma in the midst of trauma could think of. I was apprehensive about my reaction to how he would look

THE SAMUEL SERIES 5: "RESUS TEAM"

he was desperately circling the Intensive Care team as a slew of doctors and support surrounded his 2lb 2.2oz body, begging as best he could with only his eyes for any information, anything that could tell him our son was going to be okay, that he was going to make it. He didn’t want to interrupt the care because frankly, it was lifesaving. So he just kept circling. He saw his chest collapsed, his tiny body covered in a warming plastic, tubes down his throat, and hands all over him.

THANKFUL TO GIVING: A FAMILY PROJECT

Our hope is to go from talking about how thankful we are (and then quickly moving on to the next holiday activity), to making a lasting connection between gratitude and giving. We want to be present this season, we want to slow down and not only feel the blessings but BE the blessing.

BOLD AND FEARLESS

The root of keeping quiet, of not speaking the truth, for me, is what other people will think, the opposition that will arise, and the discord that my stand could potentially bring. I want to play nice, I want everyone to be happy all the time, and I think that I can control that by saying or doing or not saying or not doing certain things. But the fact is this: the truth sets people free.

HOW I GOT MY BABIES TO SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT

The number one question I have been asked as a mom of three is: “How did you get your babies to sleep through the night?” The other questions like, “How did you get them to sleep independently, how do you get them to bed so early, how do you get them to fall asleep without the bottle or breast…” all stem from that first and most frequently asked question. AND BOY IS IT A GOLD MIND OF AN ANSWER!

3 THINGS TO OVERCOME FOR A POSITIVE BODY IMAGE

I didn’t feel the pressure to fit into a size 8, I didn’t rip off the ones that didn’t fit in utter disappointment, and I didn’t stand there after every failure and look at my unclothed body in the fitting room mirror with disgust. And even if I hadn’t found a dress that day, if I would have shopped for hours (which I did) and came home with nothing to show for it, I would consider this a win; something I overcame.

BEST FALL TACOS EVER

We love tacos. And I’m talking LOVE. So, I am always looking for new ways to spice them up, add ingredients, change the protein, or make things more efficient. So, tonight, in honor of what feels like officially Fall in the islands, I took my tacos to a very Octoberfest place.

THE SOWING AND REAPING OF HOPE

He didn’t fix my misery in that moment, he didn’t make everything better for me, but what he did do was speak a truth that caused me to shift in my response to the misery. It caused me to think about how I was facing the trial, who I was running to, how I was responding. It challenged me to think outside of myself, to see my kids and our family suffering in that time, and feel hope for the future.

THE SAMUEL SERIES 3: AMNIO

It was bitter to speak and it was bitter to think about, that I couldn’t physically help our baby and my body. I couldn’t DO anything, this was the bitter reality and all I could do was fall in line with it, be married to the tragedy, feel the pain my heart felt. All I could do was lean into the words of the Father and trust that the pain I was feeling would be for His glory.

THIS. IS. A. CHANGE. WORTH. MAKING.

Our bodies are so smart. It knows how to conserve energy, anticipate our habits; what time we will extend energy and how hard we will push ourselves. So, the change in workout, in movement, in duration, and in weight confuses the body, keeps it on its toes, frees it from boredom and deters plateaus.

FIERCELY FIND YOUR FAMILY IDENTITY

May I encourage you to resist the desire to find your family identity in someone else’s life? Their life is theirs and I challenge you to fiercely find yours. Own it, nurture it, and pursue it. Getting caught up in someone else’s greener grass is a trap for the discontent.

THIS WAS THE INNER VOICE I WAS GIVING OUR SON

I have heard that the way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice. Talk about pressure! And although I think there is a lot of my mess ups that get covered by grace, this saying spurs me to accountability. I can either choose to crumble under the pressure of my immense impact or I can shift and restore as things come up. The way that I react or respond will build up or it will break down. I am not saying that I can control the way my child feels or doesn’t feel, but what I can control is myself, as their mom. I get to either speak life and encouragement and blessing or not. And although I like to think that my motherhood is rainbows and butterflies, the reality is this; It’s not. It is hard, it pushes and pulls, it requires me to shift and to not exasperate. And the other day, the need for a shift was clear: I was breaking down my son.

THE SAMUEL SERIES 2: THE HOPE WALL

That wall was the place I had come in the heat of those two weeks, it was a place of safety for me, for our family. I would be in the living room, suddenly overcome by despair and cathartic weeping, and Steve would physically walk me to that wall, and have me verbally read aloud what I saw before me. It was our hope wall.

WHEN OUR BUSY LIFE DISCONNECTS US FROM OUR KIDS

I don’t want to miss her. I want to be in it with her. I want to notice, and see and listen to her sweet words. I want to sit and color and pretend and run next to her. I clumped all the kids needs into a single one, and then that change, those moments in this season, passed me by. She grew, she changed, and I missed that one. But I know in that moment as I looked across the room at her that I could choose one of two things: the wallowing in it or the grace. I chose grace. Here is what grace looked like for us as her parents: