restoring womanhood

Give the Best Christmas Gift This Year

This Christmas marks my 27th year of finding the perfect gift to unwrap on Christmas morning. Of course, like you, my heart has always been to keep Jesus the reason for the season.  At times, the expectations of the holiday have threatened to steal my joy.  Oh, it’s not the expectations of my family that bring the anxiety.  It’s a self-inflicted pressure to truly bless my family with a quality gift that brings joy and lasts for more than just a day.

If you’re like me, you’re wanting to bless your family with the best gift ever as we remember the greatest gift of all time. So here’s a list of Christmas gifts that will last a lifetime!  In fact, these gifts can seem so basic that we forget to remember that they truly are the greatest gifts, the foundation for which we can remember that precious baby Jesus! 

~A Peaceful, Hope-Filled Home:  For many, a home is the center of all the celebration.  Even if you spend Christmas morning at another home, day in and day out, all through December, our home is the “base camp” for the holiday season.  Our home can even be the life-bridge to someone in need.  And this is the very place where the enemy attacks.  Many times, responsibility falls on the very one trying to create such wonderful memories.  Stress, holiday cooking, expectations and fatigue can steal the very peace we’re striving to maintain.  By far, a peaceful, hope-filled home will be one of your family’s favorite memories!  You have the privilege to bring peace into the most stressed-filled moment as you provide a safe haven for all who enter your home!

~A Peaceful Marriage: Maybe you feel like a load of bricks was just dropped on your shoulders. So many dynamics happen during the month of December and many times, our marriage takes the brunt of the stress.  Being around family members you rarely see, strained financial pressure and missed expectations can lead to strife and conflict in the core of our home…our marriage!  In fact, statistics tell us that the word “divorce” is often the most searched word on the internet with the idea that once we get through the holidays, we can find peace.  But peace will never come as we walk away from oneness.  Rather adding more tools to our tool belt of healthy communication offers the hope we desperately need for peace in our marriage.  This holiday season, take the time to slow down and practice some self-heart care.  Seek the Lord as He defines your identity.  Then ask the Lord to give you a heart of peace and love as you communicate with your husband.  You might be surprised to see what small steps taken this month can make a huge impact on the next. A peaceful marriage is the starting point to a peaceful, hope-filled home.

~A Contented Mother: If you’re like me, my heart doesn’t really hunger for things under the tree, at least not for me. My temptation comes in wanting to give my children, husband and family the absolute best.  The pressure comes in meeting expectations and even more, my own expectation of wanting to see joy-filled, happy faces.  But a present under the tree will never be the gift that lasts!  A mother content in the Greatest Gift of all time, that baby Jesus, is content with whatever provision He gives.  A heart that rests in the Lord knows that as she seeks first His Kingdom, He will provide for her family’s needs.  He is faithful provider!  Find rest in Him this CHRISTmas.

~A Contagious, Joy-Filled Woman: The greatest gift a woman can have during the holidays is an overflowing joyful spirit! No matter our circumstance or how another reacts, we can choose joy!  For some, circumstances surrounding the holiday season can be harsh.  Perhaps, grieving a loved-one, a recent health crisis or even family strained relations can leave the holiday season with a covering of a hopeless gloom.  Joy finds rest, peace and hope even amidst the most dire circumstance knowing the best truly is yet to come!  Because that baby Jesus came, we have eternity to celebrate!  Against the backdrop of hard days, be the refreshing memory of a joy-filled woman!   But be careful, a joy-filled heart is contagious!  You may just partner with God to bring joy and hope to a heart in need!

~A Heart-Connected Mother and Wife: So many times, we fall into the trap that a holiday full of crafts, a Pinterest worthy home & tons of family-busy memories will be the lasting memories of happiness to our children.  But many times, our family would rather us slow down, play a game, bake some cookies or share a special heart-connected talk over coffee/tea.  Busy shopping trips and large wrapping sessions might seem the best use of our time but less gifts and more heart-connection is truly a desired gift!  A temptation to work overtime to provide for that special, desired gift may bring the temporary Christmas morning high but will quickly fade away.  Take the time to slow down and really listen to those that you love!  Gift the gift of relationship this year!  It may just be their favorite Christmas ever!

~A Heart that Ponders:  All too soon, 2018 will pass away and the demands of 2019 will blaze a new journey!  There is a day coming for reflection and vision for the days to come.  I’m excited to share what God has been laying on our heart in this regard.  But today, don’t forget to ponder!  Begin each day reflecting on the our Lord and Savior Jesus so our eyes can wipe away the earthly pressure and usher in the eternal.  Store up in your heart the way that your family looks, acts and smiles.  Set aside the busy and embrace God’s gift for us this season.  That baby really did come and it changed EVERYTHING! 

I pray that this holiday season is the best one ever as you give your family the gifts that truly last a lifetime!  Merry CHRISTmas!

Today is Someday

Today, I'm changing another diaper. Washing a sink load of dishes. Running a potty trainer to the potty.  Looking for another missing sock.

Today, I'm starting another load of sheets from a night's bed wetting.  Standing in the shower far too long in hopes to awaken my soul.  

Today, I'm fighting for joy in my home, feeling small against the giant called mundane. I'm watching you run through the sprinklers on the hot summer day, dreaming of cool fall days to come.

Today, I'm wondering once again what I should make for dinner, tired of the rut in our meals.  I'm cutting up carrots and making another peanut butter and jelly. 

Today, I'm rushing to get a towel to soak up the milk that spilled.  I'm sweeping up another pile of cheerios crunching beneath my feet. 

Today, I'm breaking up another sibling squabble and once again training their little soul.  I'm reminding myself to keep teaching and training even though I said the same thing for the exact same behavior yesterday.

Today, I'm tending to the needs of your little body, wiping noses and bottoms as needed.  I'm reading the same book for the thirteenth time, almost completely from rote memory.

Today, I'm singing 'Jesus Loves Me' again and teaching you your ABC's.  I'm once again choosing to be present when my mind is drifting to a day dream.

Today, I'm saying I'm sorry for the times my tone was harsh, when the things of "me" (phones, social media, books, phone calls, outings) distracted from the things you needed.  When my self lacked control and I failed to make use of every opportunity to point you to Jesus.

Today, I'm reassuring you that what you're thinking and feeling is normal.  I'm doing my best to stay awake for those late night conversations as you move closer and closer to adulthood. 

Today, I'm striving to be patient when your daddy doesn't meet my every need.  I'm choosing to rest when I'm tired so that I can love and respect him lavishly. 

Today, I am trying and today I am failing. Today, I am doing my best.

Today, I am soaking in God's grace and falling asleep dreaming of a better tomorrow. 

What will you remember SOMEDAY?

 

The Way of Motherhood

"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable~ if anything is excellent or praiseworthy~ think about such things." Philippians 4:8

Tomorrow is the day we celebrate MOTHERHOOD.  Mother's Day!

Becoming a mother at a tender young age, I have been honored and blessed to bear the "mother" name just 30 days shy of 27 years.  27 years of loving, heart captivated by the children God gave me to mother.  27 years of learning, and growing. Giving and receiving. 27 years of failing and finding better ways to mother.  Perhaps more than any other, motherhood has gifted me a desperate walk with my Lord as I entrust these eternal souls to Him and make every attempt to point their heart to the Savior that has captured mine. That promises to gift my children the same saving grace that they and I desperately need.

As much as I love being a mommy, in the secret moments of my Mother's Day celebration, when the handmade cards are being passed about, my mind can drift to the negative. The days when my heart was tempted by anger. When my way became more important than their little heart. Deep in the pit of my stomach, a churning reminds me of the moments when I was so busy cleaning the house or filling in every box for school that I forgot to treasure the moment that slipped into yesterday.  

So, on this Mother's Day Eve, I've decided to claim victory over the Celebration of Motherhood! Using Philippians 4:8 in light of motherhood, I'm setting my mind on things above.  Things that are true and noble, right and pure. Lovely and admirable. These are the things that I want to focus on this Mother's Day.  

The truth is, the enemy and my own pride and self-focus desire to point out the times I've failed. The moments when my attitude and words became smothered in grace as apologies and forgiveness paved a way forward. 

The truth is, there are very few undertakings than that of a mother, be it biological or not, that are more noble and right. An admirable calling to devote your whole heart, unadulterated and pure in the care of another. Yes, mother, you are lovely!  The eternal souls in your care desire to celebrate you!

As I ponder on nearly 27 years of motherhood, sifting away the negative and setting my heart on the things above, I've decided to share a few things I've learned on my WAY of MOTHERHOOD. Here are 5 things that I believe have had a great impact on my children and my home as I mother.  I pray that it would encourage you!

***Encourage*** Mothers who encourage their families have a HUGE impact on the heart of their children. Be the mom that uses your every word, as much as is possible, to encourage your children and your husband.  Use practical examples from their real-life decisions, personality, gifts and talents to encourage them in character and the ways of the Lord.  This is not the same as pampering or becoming child-centered.  That is a huge temptation for parenting in our day.  There is no need to overwhelm your child and friends with how great your child is.  This can actually cause great pressure for a child to perform instead of being loved for just who they are. The most effective encouragement comes in the secret. In the quiet. What others don't see and never should.  This is where real character grows. In the secret of your own home, encourage your children verbally and often. Don't allow them to wonder how proud you are of them as their mother!  Let your encouraging words be quick to recall in their mind and ring in their ears. Even better if you can tie scripture to the character that they are displaying.  Encourage your children to follow after God's heart in every way.

***Respect*** Much in the same way, respecting each child as an individual with their own will, way, heart, personality, and talent is a very effective way to mother.  It can be easy to see a child as just that, a child.  Always keep in mind that this little person has an eternal soul and will one day become an adult.  Slowing down and really seeing the little children in your life with their very own valuable insight and way of being speaks loudly to the heart of your child.  There is a way to mother, offering boundaries and Godly authority in the heart of the child while also maintaining unconditional respect for their heart. This takes Godly wisdom and balance but the rewards are long-lasting for the heart of your child.  The younger years are filled with teaching, the child learning to obey and honor you as mother. As the child grows, our role moves toward coaching and offering insight in the proper time and way.  In the right time, with a healthy balance of discipline, encouragement and respect, these littles grow to become our greatest friend.  There are some fantastic days ahead!

***Joy*** There is almost NOTHING more impactful than a happy mother.  One who has embraced the lovely calling of being their mother. Admirable Motherhood.  We've all heard the saying, "If mama ain't happy, no one's happy." And truly, there is an element of truth in this saying.  Choose joy.  Walk on contentment as you cling to your Faithful Savior and be the one to set "JOY" as the tone in your home.  Your children will want to be around you. Your husband find you delightful.  Fight for JOY and when you fail, get some sleep and start again tomorrow.  I know that this is so very hard, especially when we're tired, serving constantly and dealing with very real pressures in this adult life.  Loss, health issues , financial strain, relational challenges, even parenting children can steal our joy.  With God's strength, He can gift you more.  Fight for it. Choose it.  And often, the temperature in your home will become joy-filled!  The JOY of the Lord is our strength!

***Nothing in the way*** Okay, momma.  This one can be tough.  Effective Mothering involves setting about the "busy" FOR your family. For your children.  There's a million ways to be busy and almost all of them are good. Choose the BEST in your family today and set about meeting the needs and hearts in your family above all else.  This isn't about a rule. If you can do this effectively while maintaining your hobby, business, friendships, church or community opportunities, then do so.  If you need to set aside some good things to focus on the best, then do so.  But don't let anything distract you or keep you from mothering the eternal hearts that God has blessed you with!  Sometimes different seasons require different things.  But in every season, a child (or adult child) needs their mom.  Make room in your heart to keep your focus of bringing joy, encouragement, respect and guidance to your children.

***Marriage Done Right*** If you are married, you must war for the heart of your man. Yes, you've heard this term before. I am 90% on my way toward completing my book, 'Warrior Women, Warring for the Heart of Your Husband.'   I believe the greatest thing you can ever gift your child is a love and respect for your husband, so much so that I had to write about it.  Left to our nature, we will drift apart as life gets busy and various challenges and pressure bombard our family.  Fighting for a heart connection with your husband paves the way forward for great relationships with our children.  It's worth every hardship!  Keep warring for his heart!  The whole family will be blessed!

I pray that whether you are a seeking to honor your mother, in the midst of the hustle and bustle with the blessing of children in your life or longing to embrace motherhood someday with a little one of your own, you would treasure the wonderful blessing of motherhood!  Happy Mother's Day!!! 

 

 

 

His Strength in my Weakness

It was never my intention to launch 'Restoring Womanhood' only to have it sit idle. Such a funny season this has been. With each step of faith taken, it felt like a million obstacles were thrown in my way...emotionally, physically, financially, spiritually and mentally.

I truly have been wondering if I should close the blog before it even began. So much to risk. So vulnerable.

I guess truth be told, my heart has been in need of a little restoring myself. There is no shame in admitting that fear and doubt have been crippling. As always, Jesus always shows up best in my weakness!

I can assure you that my flesh would love to walk away and simply tend to the needs of my family. As you can imagine, there are many.

But God has been leading me to continue for the sake of any glory or encouragement I could pass along on His behalf.

Today, we launched our first resource for Journey up Ministries...an introductory issue of Journey Up magazine found on the home page to encourage and equip your family from the honest, raw vulnerability of ours. The best part is that it is completely FREE. 

There are a few article that are unique to us woman, with more to come in future editions should there be need. Feel free to pass along your thoughts or ideas about specific questions or articles that might encourage your family through email! I hope to include those in future editions.

My prayer is that you would be blessed with the resources that we are developing as the Lord grants vision, time and finances. Thank you so much for your prayers as we 'Journey Up' alongside each other! God Bless~

Restoring Womanhood

There was a beginning...when her childhood was abruptly engulfed by womanhood. With little insight into the meaning, womanhood began the defining. 

Womanhood gave birth to motherhood. Motherhood thrust her into adulthood and all three introduced her to life in the 'Real World.' 

A now broken woman sank to the bottom and discovered a saving grace leaving the bottom forever untouchable. But the lies of being unlovable entangled deep around the crevice of her heart. An outer, strong shell veiled the softness of the woman she once was.

A KNIGHT in shining armor sent by the beloved Father battled for the crack where the ashes of hope lay amongst the graveyard of broken dreams. And the breeze fanned the embers, a flicker igniting ablaze.

The defining continued sometimes with darts of failure and defeat. Somewhere in the middle, all was lost and the surviving took over. Still the KNIGHT and the FATHER kept the embers safe and the wonder years slowed while the knowing years emerged. The knowing of how the unimportant matters, the wrong can be made right, and the lost woman will always be found. That is if the lost finds safety in the restoring of her Heavenly Father! 

Still, the finding was found in the secret. The peace was fierce as was the task ahead.  Plunged into the deep, she kept her head to the ground and finished her work. 

And she was left with words unsaid and a wonder in her heart. What is the purpose of womanhood?

Though 100 interests would come her way, only one passion kept the fire growing. 

Jesus came for the sick and the lost. He came for the broken and the hiding tender heart that needs restoring.

He came for me. And He came for you!

Yes, the woman I'm describing is me. Without my faithful Father in Heaven, I would still be the lost woman I once was! And I know full well that in and of myself, I have nothing to offer, no secrets for a restored life! But in Him, everything needed for life and godliness is found. (2 Peter 1:3)

Most of you are aware that I have written for a few years at Lymegreenpastures.com. I will continue to write and encourage those who suffer as this is so dear to my heart. I also have a heart for teen pregnancy, the Church, being a wife and mother, maintaining a heathy family and so much more. And that is why I am so excited for this day!  For today, I write for all of those and for all of us!  I write for the Restoring of our heart as a woman, the impact we have on our family and friends and the Reviving impact we can have on our church!  Above all, I pray that we find our place, a vital role in the Retelling of God's Story!  

God is about redemption!  He's all about the Restoring of Womanhood!  

Humbly and boldly, I ask that you would consider giving to our new ministry.  A one-time year end gift can be made on our home page as well as monthly supporters are needed.  To find out more about how this ministry will seek to equip the family and church, please go to our home page!   Thank you for your heart for those in need of restoration!