There are times that I sit at my computer, asking God what I am to type as my heart has not a clue.  There are times I find myself questioning my posts, wanting validation from God that was the message He wanted to use me to deliver.  

Not today.  Today, I am more certain than ever, this is the message God has given me to share.  I hear it in my mind but more importantly, I feel it in my heart and depths of my soul.  

I have vowed to be authentic, and authentic I am.  While my life is full of blessings and wonderful moments, I am also real about the moments that don't quite fit into the wonderful category. 

God allows pain, struggle, exhaustion and suffering all as a means to His end.  I have become keenly aware of this over the last few years and for me personally, hiding behind my dark moments only makes them darker to me.  By sharing my struggles and challenges I feel a load has been lifted and I have allowed light to shine on that which Satan would love for me to keep in the dark.  

I totally understand how some people are more introverted and private and that is A Okay!  I kind of wear my heart on my sleeve and have learned how sharing my own stories of trial and tribulation often has helped in delivering others from theirs.  

When I first gave my life to Christ, one of the first things that I did was study women.  I wanted to know what God expected from me and I desired to know my purpose in His big plan.  

A scripture I was drawn to was Titus 2:3-6 we learn God has called women to be reverent in the way that they live. teaching what is good, so they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self controlled and pure, to be busy at home, kind and subject to their husbands as not to malign the word of God.  This is loosely paraphrased, but that is jist of it. 

What I loved about this scripture, is still what I love about it today; women need other women.  It is right here in God's word.  He knew how much younger women, new to being a wife and mother, would need to support and encouragement from an older, wiser woman, who has been there, done that.  

God knew that on those lonely, exhausting nights, you are pacing the floor with a colicky baby, you would need to advice and compassion of a seasoned mother.  You would dote on her assurance that this too shall pass, knowing she survived it, so can you.  

God knew on that day, when your heart was crushed beyond your capability to stand and you had lost all hope that your marriage could survive, you would need that woman who had walked through the fires of hell in her marriage and came out the other end more beautiful and stronger that she was before.  You would need to see that redemption can win and you would need to see it coming from someone who could understand every tear that ran down your face.  

Titus 2 is not just about older women instructing and teaching younger women it is more about supporting them, loving them and encouraging them through the storms of life that are bound to come.  
I need other women.  I need other Mamas.  They get me.  They understand me.  They feel my pain, my frustration, my exhaustion.  They can look into my eyes and remember when they experienced that same weariness in their soul and want nothing more than to take it form me, knowing full well how much it hurts.  

This... is why I share my stories.  This... is why I make a great effort in being authentic and real.  This... is why I am honest about my struggles and challenges.  

Mama... that lost it with her children yesterday... I need you.

Mama... that was so angry at her husband that she was ready to walk out the door and never come back... I need you. 

Mama.... that spent 30 minutes crying in the bathroom out of pure exhaustion... I need you. 

Mama.... who is struggling to find the joy as a wife and mama... I need you. 

Mama.... that is ready to fall apart trying to handle and balance it all... I need you.

Mama.... that has lived in the dark pit of anxiety and depression.... I need you. 

Mama.... that lost her cool at the grocery store because your child throwing a tantrum was the straw that broke the camel's back that day... I need you.  

I need you and ALL your imperfection.  I need to hear your story.  I need to hear that life is not always a walk in a beautiful meadow but it can be stinking hard and some days you lose it.  Some days you cry.  And some days... you want to be anyone else but you.  

It is not the falls and the failures that define us... it is the strength and grace we project as we get back up and keep going!!  

Mama's we need each other and we need the real, authentic, messy you.  The only way to teach another person how to triumph over adversity is to lead them down the road, we know is right because we once walked it ourselves!

I have the utmost respect and love for you Mamas.  Your job is hard, let us not let is harden our hearts!!! 

Peace and Blessings
Your Friend 
Missy
 
 
I recall doing a Bible devotion with my children several years ago that happened to pop into my mind the other day.  It was an eye opening devotion that taught me something about myself as well as teaching my children a valuable lesson.  Here is what it said....

"Am I stealing the time and energy of others in my family by not doing my share of the work?" 

WOW... I thought!!  Stealing?????  I had never thought about it in that manner, however, my heart had surely felt that way.  My days are full and I very often feel as though I can never get done what I am wanting to, and I do not even work outside the home.  Yet, my children very often leave messes for me to clean up, neglect to do their chores (even simple ones), and stop me while I am busy doing a household task to ask me for things they are more than capable of getting or doing themselves.










After reading this devotion.... I was stunned as that is exactly how I feel when they do these above mentioned things... as if they are stealing my precious time!  And you know what... that is exactly what they are doing. 

Now, let me clarify!  My job is to care for my children, I do this day in and day out and I do not consider meeting their needs and nurturing them stealing my time, however, when they choose to be "lazy" or "demanding"of me, asking me to do things that they themselves, should and could be doing... that is stealing my time.  In turn, leaving me exhausted from the extra work that could have been prevented by them doing their part!




What I learned about myself is I am hands down an accessory to their "crime."  I am very guilty of doing a lot of the extra work myself to avoid conflict, bad attitudes or possibly having to do it over again as it is not to my "standards."  Rather than calling them back downstairs to clean up the dishes they left in the family room, I just do it myself, justifying that I am headed to the kitchen anyway and it will be much quicker!  If I continue to constantly do the chores they should be doing themselves, then I have to take part of the blame for my exhaustion. 

It takes both time and energy to properly train my children how to properly make their bed, load the dishwasher (yes, I know dear, I need help with this as well!!), fold laundry or hand up clothes, but long term, that is the goal of parenting.... to TRAIN our children in the way they should go.  I often fail at this.

As I explained this to the children, they were enlightened as they do not ever want to be known as stealing.  The scripture that went along with this was just as enlightening....

"Let him who steals, steal no longer; but rather let him labor, performing with his own hands what is good, in order that he may have something to share with him who has need." Ephesians 4:28


I have to say... this has been one of my favorite devotions to date!!!  It has also been very applicable for me as I am now even more aware of stealing other's time and energy.... when it is something I could be doing myself!

A great lesson for all who choose to embrace it!

Peace and Blessings
Your Friend In Christ
Missy

 
 
I sometimes receive the blessing... of holding someone's precious baby. I find myself staring at them thinking..." I cannot believe my kiddos were ever this little!"  But... I know they were.... I can recall when my biggest worries were sleepless nights.... explosive diapers and feeding times!

Then over the years.. how the worries evolved into... temper tantrums and throwing food.  Now...as my children become even older... and the worries have once again changed.... to sassy little mouths, a fight for their independence and video game and TV limits!!!  The preteen/ teen years bring even grander challenges of endless lists of expensive material items they would like to own (very soon if possible) guarding their eyes and ears and relentlessly convincing them that they really DO NOT know everything. 

 No matter what the age... what the challenges.... my heart always goes back to one focus.... their laughter... their smiles..... the special moments when I can be laying on the couch or in my room and hear the sound of their laughter and joy as they hear a funny joke or watch a funny clip on TV.

These are the moments to live for.... these are the moments that you will truly miss.... these are the moments God brings to fill your heart with joy in the midst of parenting woes.  Just as the first smile of a newborn brings to much joy and happiness to a parent..... someday... it will be the sound of their laughter.

As quickly as we sometimes forget.... children are a blessing... a gift from God.....  Children are a heritage from the LORD,  offspring a reward from him. Psalm 127: 3  Parenting is not always easy.... this is very true..... but if you stay focused on God's purpose for these precious lives..... this will be your reward!!  Enjoy this little poem God inspired in my heart!

The Laughter Down the Hall

A newly wedded couple.....
laying on their bed.....
remembering yesterday....
dreaming of whats ahead....

staring at the ceiling....
echos of silence fall....
as they hear the distant sound...
of laughter down the hall.....

Holding hands they pray....
that someday very soon....
God would fill their hearts....
by blessing his wife's womb....

10 months down the road....
laying in that same bed....
comes the very sound....
they had come to dread.....

a tiny little screeching....
echoes down the hall....
giving not a care to the time at all.....

Tired and exhausted ......
they fulfill their call....
for someday they will hear...
the sound of laughter down the hall...

10 more years shall pass them......
their babies all grown up.....
instead of tears of hunger.....
they are hearing..."mom... make him shut up!"

The laundry is never done....
and there is a mess in every room....
with one hand she stirs a pot....
with another pushes a broom.....

When the clock strikes 10:00...
into bed she and her husband fall....
but  through the exhaustion.... smile.....
as they hear the laughter down the hall....

10 more years shall pass them....
their babies have grown and moved away.....
It almost seemed impossible....
they would ever see this day.....

Laying in their bed.....
they feel the tender tears begin to fall.....
As through the unwelcomed silence....
they still hear the laughter down the hall....

that very precious sound.....
the music to their ears....
the sound that brought them comfort....
for so very many years.....

Growing old together....
there is no sweeter memory they can recall....
than laying in each other's arms....
listening to the laughter down the hall.....

Don't wish it all away......
for a full night of sleep....
or pray the years will pass quickly....
so your free time you may keep....

For as you blink your eyes....
this will become your past.....
So pray for each precious moment....
In your heart to always last....