Prowling.

There is a lot going on in the United States right now. If you look at the world with a Christian worldview, it’s easy to look around and feel defeated. overwhelmed. hopeless. heartbroken.

My pastor is amazingly gifted. He does not ignore current events and will speak on them from the pulpit. I so appreciate that. Recently, he preached a sermon that clearly addressed those current events. The thing that struck me is that our Kingdom – the Kingdom of Heaven – cannot be shaken. Everything else? It was shake and tumble. You’d better know what you’re holding on to.

For me, all this has freshly reminded me that there is a real entity out there prowling.

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

It’s not a joke. It’s not a myth. It’s a battle that is happening around us. I’m not trying to be hyper-spiritual or freaky. But seriously, readers?

Pray for your children. Pray for their future.

Pray for your friends and their families.

Pray for your pastors.

Pray for the voice of truth to be present in our society.

Although we know how the book ends, so to speak, we are living in times that are challenging. Our belief system is ridiculed and mocked. It’s far from the trials that Jesus’ apostles faced – but it is challenging. Don’t just pass it off as some issue that doesn’t affect you because you don’t believe in those things. It affects you. It affects your children and their future.

Mommas. We need to take up a fresh and brave banner of prayer. I will confess that I’m a terrible pray-er. {Is that a word? It is now.} I am great a bullet prayers but the deep, hard, on your face prayer times? I’m awful. God help me.

I need to be praying more for my children and these issues. Can anyone else relate? Are you feeling like you don’t pray enough for your children, family and friends? Let’s pray for each other, that the burden would be so great we cannot ignore it. Leave me a comment or email me at the address in the side bar. I’d like to pray for you.

My Favorite Things: Podcasts

myfavoritethingsThis topic came up recently in a discussion with some friends. Podcasts. I am a podcast junkie. There are others that I listen to but I narrowed it down to four and will listen them here. First, what are podcasts? The official definition:

pod·castˈ
podcast
1.a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or portable media player, typically available as a series, new installments of which can be received by subscribers automatically.

Basically they are recordings of sermons, interviews or just discussions that are available online through an app on a smartphone or directly from a website. How do you find them? Well, I’m a dedicated iPhone user so I cannot help you if you use a different type of smartphone. On my iPhone, there is a podcast app that comes preloaded into the phone. It’s purple. You click on it. Then you tap the search icon. And then you search. It’s complicated, I know. 😉

When do I listen to podcasts? When I’m walking, in the car, when I’m working, when I’m cooking – any time I can pop in a pair of earbuds for a few minutes. I don’t always get to listen to one podcast from start to finish all at once. And sometimes I have to listen to one a couple of times before I really feel like I’ve grasped everything. Podcasts help keep me thinking about good topics and challenge my slowly-melting mommy brain. I like listening to something that makes me think. So what are my favorites, you ask? Here they are!

1. Homeschooling In Real Life by Andy (aka Fletch) and Kendra Fletcher. Fletch and Kendra are very funny, very transparent and very encouraging. I don’t think this podcast is just for homeschoolers either. They talk about a variety of topics including coffee, apples, keeping control of our mouths, andcurrent events as well as homeschooling.

2. The God Centered Mom by Heather MacFadyen. This one is a bit new to me but I’ve been binge-listening to it for a few days now. SO good. There are a couple of great episodes for parents with strong-willed children, hand raised, and I like that Heather is completely honest about her struggles. Heather is not a homeschooler and has four boys – pretty much a total opposite of me – but I love her podcast.

3. Inspired To Action by Kat Lee. I’ve subscribed and unsubscribed to this podcast a few times. It’s not one that I listen to every single episode but I do find a lot of Kat’s topics interesting. These podcasts are usually ones I have to listen to twice, because they are often loaded with great information.

4. The Wired Homeschool by John Wilkerson. I first heard about this podcast through Homeschooling In Real Life. I love that the episodes are fairly short and very helpful. The social media series is awesome. If you have a child with access to the internet or a smartphone, you should listen to it.

You can also find a plethora of sermons through podcasts. I’ve listened to a series from The Village Church called A Beautiful Design more than once. The podcasts on women are amazing. I have also enjoyed podcasts by Nancy Leigh-Demoss.

Am I missing one? What’s your favorite podcast? Share it with me! Maybe you’ve never listened to podcasts… I hope this helps you find something you’ll enjoy and find encouraging. Let me know what you’ve listened to!

The Reality Of It All

So this little corner of the web has gotten a bit more traffic lately. When the right topic gets shared on the right social media page, things get a little busier. I’m humbled that people would want to read the words that I throw out there. It’s bizarre and exhilarating and strange and amazing. But can I confess something to you?

I’m scared. Scared that you’re all going to find out that I’m a big fraud.

Just because God has wired me in a way that makes it easy to put words together doesn’t make me an expert. And not that I’ve ever claimed to be one, but I just want to make it abundantly clear to any reader that finds her way over here. I have no idea what I’m doing.

I may write about what strong-willed children need, but I shake my head and wonder what in the world will get through to that child of mine.

I toss out words about words but still lose my temper and spew out the ugly things.

I still grab my phone rather than my Bible, eat the ice cream when I should be trying harder and judge other moms rather than just loving them.

I forget to check the planner or the chore chart. My laundry goes undone for days. The kitchen is piled with dishes.

I have no idea what I’m doing! And, if they were being honest, I think most bloggers would tell you the same thing. Putting the words together is the easy part for us. Living them – so our children grow up knowing that mom lived what she wrote? – that’s the hard part.

So if you’re new here, I’d love for you to stick around. Drop me a comment or an email. Enter a giveaway. But don’t think that I know anything, because really? I don’t.

Choose Hope

I am excited to be part of the Hope for the Weary Mom Blog Tour with Brooke McGlothlin and Stacey Thacker. {You can find out more and join the tour by clicking here!} Do you want to know what I’m not excited about today? Having teenagers.

There is no weariness like it, really. I guess you could argue with that, but I think all moms can pretty much unite on this one. There are just days, sometimes entire seasons, that stretch out long and hard and weary in mothering. We do not glory in this weariness but coming to a place where we can admit that it’s there is powerful. Because when we admit that we are weary, God can step in to fill our hearts with hope.

Hope for The Weary Mom, by Brooke McGlothlin and Stacey Thacker, is a powerful book that helps moms to come to a place where they can admit to the weariness and find hope. Hope that God is able to be strong in the middle of our weakness and that He has grace to sustain us.

unnamed (2)This new edition is completely updated, with new material and more hope. Brooke and Stacey have shared more of their hearts for their readers on topics like Mommy Guilt and Comparison plus much more. It’s sure to be a powerful book for any mom that feels like she needs to be reminded of God’s goodness.

As I thought about reading the new edition of Hope For The Weary Mom, I pulled up my old blog posts from the first book. The Dear Weary Mom posts can be found here. My favorite? Perfect. I feel like it was one of the first times I really just let out what God has put in my heart:

It’s hard. We are raising the next generation of world changers. Let’s not be embarrassed or afraid to say I’m struggling with anger. I’m sad and weary. I need more of Jesus and don’t know where to start. It’s okay to admit we are weak. That’s when He is strong. It’s okay to need help.

I’ll start, okay?

I am so tired.
I feel like a failure most days.
I lose my temper too easily.
I eat salty things when I’m frustrated.
My bedroom & bathroom are really messy. I close my bedroom door when people come over so they can’t see how bad it is.
I struggle with comparing myself to others and coming up short. Very short.

Jesus can and does still redeem my mess. That is my hope and the promise I cling to for my daughters. That He can use this foolish thing to shame the wise. That they would see Jesus in my mess.

 

I could have written this again today. Different struggles than I had two years ago – we didn’t have a teenager yet. Ha!  – but struggles just the same. And you know what? God is still the same. He can sustain me. Hope for the Weary Mom is a book about letting God meet you in the messy places of motherhood and finding true hope. You can find out more information here!

I Surrender.

I recently had a conversation with someone that turned rather negative when I mentioned that I work from home and homeschool my children. And honestly? The first thing I wanted to do was jump online and write a scathing response on this site. But after some time to cool down and some wisdom from my boss, I settled. Then I saw this video.

I surrender.



I will not fight in the Mommy Wars. Because we are all just parents trying to do the best we can – no matter what life choices we’ve made. So yes, I’m a conservative, Christian, homeschooling, work at home mom. But please God, help me to love all fellow moms from a pure heart. Judging only promotes hate which in turn creates bullies and mean girls. And aren’t you sick of bullies and feeling like you’re not enough of a mom because you don’t _____? I am. Now, don’t get me wrong. If you ask me what I think about something, you’re probably going to hear my conservative Christian worldview. But I pray it will be from a loving heart. Because nothing in these Bible verses says that I’m to only love Christians.

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31