Raising Hope: How We Are Changing the World

“I don’t want to play with her anymore!”

“Bubba,” I calmly corrected, “It’s not nice to tell your sister that she can’t play with you. Can you please scoot over and let her play on the other side with her toys too?”

Tears streamed down my daughter’s face as her brother’s words sunk into her heart.

“Bubby!” she shouted in protest. “I want to play too, Bubby!”

“No! I want to play alone!”

My daughter continued to cry. My son refused to change his position. And I sat overwhelmed at what felt like an impossible situation to fix.

Impossible situation.

There seem to be so many of them.

The health crisis surrounding the Ebola outbreak.

The wars in the Middle East.

The unspeakable truths surrounding the terror that is ISIS.

And our own domestic turmoil here at home.

And I wonder to myself, “How am I supposed to stop wars overseas when I cannot stop the battles in my living room?”

There are moments when it feels like the most I can do is try to keep the peace in the four walls of my home. When the ordinary tasks of filling colorful cups and Disney character plates with apple juice and cheese sandwiches feel like trying work. When changing diapers, washing sticky faces, and cleaning up Legos all seem like more than I can handle.

How am I ever supposed to change the world on top of that?

How am I supposed to do more when it feels like taking care of my family requires all of me?

I called my son over to me and got down on his level. “Sweetheart, look at your sister. Do you see her tears? What do you think is the right thing to do?”

He stopped for a moment, and then, I watched as my son walked back over to his sister and agreed to let her play.

And in that simple moment of kindness, I realized that I am changing the world. I am raising hope.

I am teaching compassion. I am teaching love. I am teaching my children to look for those who are hurting, lost and broken. I am teaching them to be those who will go and reach out when the world needs hands and feet.

Friend, I know that there are moments when you need to be reminded that the work that you do is important. So, let me be the one to say, in a world of impossible situations, what you are doing matters. The work that is done in your four walls is important. Together, we are raising hope for the next generation as we show our children how to stand for what is good.

Tomorrow’s future is being shaped at our kitchen tables and in our living rooms. And while we may not be able to change today’s impossible situations…

We can find hope in knowing that we are equipping those who will face tomorrow’s.

 

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To the Momma Hanging On By A Thread

 

To the momma hanging on by a thread:

I have no idea what last night was like for you. Maybe you got a great night of sleep and you woke up this morning ready to conquer the day. Or maybe you spent hour after hour holding and rocking and feeding a fussy baby, or a sick baby, or a baby who just refused to close their eyes.

Maybe there were small hands that shook you to tell you that they had a bad dream.

Or maybe the transition into a big boy/girl bed isn’t as easy as you hoped, and last night was another night of being kicked in the face by a tiny toddler who slept much more soundly than you did.

Maybe a restless night has made today feel like an extension of yesterday… And yesterday an extension of the day before.

Maybe all of your days seem to run together and you are standing in a place where tomorrow looks like more of the same.

I get it. Momma, I totally get it.

Maybe you woke up and were ready for today to be different. Happy attitudes, extra patience, and no yelling

And maybe by 8:15 you realized that it was going to be another day full of fussy babies, demanding toddlers, and guilt from losing your temper when you could have just taken a deep breath and calmly said it again (for the 100th time.)

Maybe breakfast is still out on the counter, or lunch or dinner, and you can’t stop to clean it up because you have to find another pair of Buzz Lightyear undies because all of those articles on how to potty train your kid in 36 hours were a bunch of bunk.

Maybe you’re out of diapers, and the milk went bad, and the bill you paid a week ago got lost in the mail.

Maybe you’re on your 3rd ear infection this month or it feels like you have visited the doctor’s office so often that you should have your own parking spot.

Maybe everything that could go wrong has gone wrong and nothing seems fixable – you don’t know how you’ll make it, but you keep going because there are no other options and if you sink – the whole ship goes down with you.

Momma – I get it.

Sometimes I want to scream when I read posts that tell me to cherish these moments. These moments of pure exhaustion when you’re hanging on by a thread.

When you don’t remember the last time you had a proper meal or felt like you weren’t in charge of EVERYTHING.

Because we already know it’s true. We know that one day we will look around and miss all of this madness… but today… today in the middle of it… we don’t need to add guilt to our exhaustion.

We just need hope.

I have been right where you’re standing, and while I cannot promise an easier today or better tomorrow. I can tell you that you’re going to make it.

It won’t always be this hard. It won’t always be this demanding.

There will come a day when you look around and realize that everything doesn’t seem quite so overwhelming. You won’t be able to pinpoint the exact moment it happened, but it’s just not as hard as it used to be.

That day is coming, friend.

But until then borrow my hope, friend.

Has anyone told you today that you’re doing a great job? That you’re an awesome Momma? Because you are! Those little ones love you more than anything, and most importantly, they know that you love them too.

Take a second with me. Listen to my words. You’re going to make it. You really are. And I’m so glad I get to be the one to remind you.

So, before you do anything else, hug those precious babies. Hold them tight and remind yourself that there is no greater joy than the little lives wrapped up in your arms. And every day is completely worth it to get to be called their momma.

From another momma in the trenches,

 

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What I Need My Kids to Know About Finding “The One”

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When I met your Daddy, there weren’t any sparks. Things didn’t move in slow motion, and we didn’t lock eyes while music played in the background. Actually, that’s not true. The mall always has music playing… but it wasn’t some romantic ballad. It was just a regular Wednesday at work.

I worked at a kiosk at the mall, and Daddy was working at a shoe store nearby. I would only be there for a few months until I went back to school in a town far away, and Daddy was busy walking his own road.

But that summer, for reasons that we didn’t see coming, our paths crossed.

And I am so grateful that they did. I am so grateful that I met your Daddy, and that I get to spend forever with him – even if I never thought in a million years that I would marry the guy who sold me shoes.

Listen to my heart, sweet children.

I have prayed for the people that you will marry since before you were born. I have prayed that they would love the Lord with all of their hearts. I have prayed that they would follow Him all the days of their lives. And I have prayed that together you would do great things for the Kingdom.

Yes, at this moment, while Doc McStuffins and Octonauts are your favorite shows, God already knows exactly who each of you will marry.

He isn’t surprised by anything, is He?

But I need you to listen to Momma for a minute.

There will be many in your life who put a tremendous emphasis on finding “The Perfect One.” They will encourage you to find the perfect match to your heart. They will remind you that God has someone perfect chosen just for you.

But I need you to know something.

Sometimes, perfect looks a little flawed.

Because none of us are perfect, are we? And while I believe that God has someone special for each of you, I think that sometimes we forget that we aren’t marrying God’s perfect plan. We are marrying a person. We are marrying flesh and blood and thoughts and ideas and attitudes and personalities. We are marrying someone who may or may not let us down. They may or may not hurt us. They may or may not make decisions that ripple through the rest of our marriage. Because they aren’t perfect. None of us are.

So before you ever have a chance to doubt your choice or wonder if you have really found your perfect match, I want to speak this peace to your heart.

More important than the perfection of the person you will marry, or the perfection of your relationship, is the perfection of the Lord as He continues to guide you both as one.

Because the only One perfect in any marriage – is HIM.

So, many years from now, after you have said your “I do’s” should you find yourself questioning your decision, I want you remember these words.

Your spouse doesn’t have to be perfect to be the right one for you. You just have to learn to find grace for each moment of imperfection, and trust that the One who leads you both – loves you.

And that truth will carry you through any trial or uncertainty that you might face.

So while it might be an ordinary moment at the mall, or a basketball game, or even next year in pre-k, God has a way of taking the most ordinary things, and through His love, creating something extraordinary.

And that is my prayer for you. That you might experience an extraordinary kind of love in every imperfect and ordinary moment of your marriage.

 

I try and stay in touch with my readers on a personal level through social media. Share this post to pass it on, and then click here to find me on Facebook.