Mothering Is the Hard Part

Mothering Is the Hard Part

For most women it’s not hard to become a mom. Of course, that does not discount those who have been unsuccessful in their attempts to conceive. Still, for the majority of people, getting pregnant is easy. And it’s certainly common. Then comes 40 weeks, give or take. Weeks and months of nausea, heartburn, cravings, insomnia, and a swelling body that grows, nourishes, and protects a baby. Mama waiting for the day that little one can be held outside her body. Sometimes patiently, and sometimes impatiently, planning and preparing and praying.


As tough as it can be, it’s temporary. And in the grand scheme of parenting, that’s not the hard part either.


No – I say the hard part is mothering.


Nursing or making bottles. Changing diapers and rocking baby in the middle of the night. Kissing boo-boos and putting the band aid on just right, even if it isn’t really needed. Driving the car pool, going on field trips, teaching the Sunday school. Helping with homework and cooking dinner. Grocery shopping and doling out lots (and lots) of snacks. Taking loads of pictures (and never being on the other end of the camera). Planning birthday parties and (spoiler alert) playing Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. Cheering at the football game or dance recital…or soccer or piano or whatever. Buying clothes, school supplies, and the latest gadgets (hello fidget spinner). From teaching them to ride a bike to teaching them to drive a car. Staying up until they’re home and tucked in bed. Late night chats and countless lessons. Listening and loving no matter what. This and so. much. more. That’s the hard part.


Whether or not the child came from your womb. Whether or not you are legally “mom”. It’s the mothering that makes you a mom. And mothering is the hard part. So, on this Mother’s Day, I want to wish all you “motherers” a Happy Day. A pat on the back. A whisper in the ear – Good job, mother. You’re doing the hard part, and you’re doing it well.


Happy Mothering Day!Mothering

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On Changing Seasons (and Not the Ones that Trigger Allergies)

On Changing Seasons (and Not the Ones that Trigger Allergies)

  Over the last couple of weeks, my allergies have been worse than I can remember. I have tried everything short of acupuncture. Natural cures? Check. Over the counter meds? Check. Prescriptions? Check. Nothing seems to work. But all this focus on the season change that has triggered my allergies got my thinking about another kind of season change. These changes don’t trigger congestion and coughing, but they can trigger other problems: questioning, discontentment, stress, even anxiety. You see – the seasons of our lives change (sometimes frequently), and if we’re not prepared, these changes can bring about upsetting or conflicting thoughts and feelings.


We’ve all heard the expression “this is just for a season.” Whether it’s related to raising kids (oh the many seasons of that!), going through school, being a caregiver for an elderly parent…these, and more, are all simply seasons of life. But sometimes accepting a particular season of life is hard. It may be that you do not want the season to end. For example, maybe you’re struggling with your kids growing up. Or, it could be that you are so ready for the leaf that is this season to turn over. Maybe you just want to do it all, and wrestle with the fact that it’s humanly impossible to do so.


Can you relate? If so, I want to offer three tips for accepting the season you’re in… accepting the season when it changes…and being prepared for both.


  • Repeat after me: I cannot do it all. Then, prioritize. We have to let go of the external pressure to do it all (and do it well). Instead, we have to be willing to internalize the reality that we simply cannot do it all. You may want to volunteer for every worthy cause, work multiple jobs, wear multiple hats at church, be an amazing spouse, be the best parent a child has ever had, and more…but you can’t do it all at once. You have to prioritize what is most important to you in this season of life. The next step will help you do just that.
  • Keep a list of the things you are currently doing, what you may need to set aside, and what you are interested in picking up in the future. Write down every thing you are currently doing, and make a decision about what you can reasonably do in this season of life. This doesn’t mean you have to give up all of your interests for all time, but you may need to set something aside for right now. It may be the case that you have something burning inside of you, but fully recognize you don’t have time to do it well. Keep track of your ideas and journal about how God may build that for you in the future. If you are struggling with moving on to another season of life, writing your interests out will give you some ideas as to what to do next. It may be that you are not ready for your current season to end, but God is saying it’s time to move. Friend, it’s time to obey.
  • Be obedient to what God wants you to do now…and let tomorrow worry about itself. In Matthew 6:34, Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow. Instead, focus on today. If we get so caught up in the future (whether it’s wanting the future to arrive now or whether it’s wanting the future to come at a snail’s pace), we will miss the beauty of the present. While certainly God will use our todays to prepare us for our tomorrows, we can trust Him in the process instead of focusing on it. Simply be obedient to where and what God wants you to do in this season of life.


I know it’s not always easy to accept a current season of life or a change in seasons, but it sure is more peaceful than the alternative. Being prepared can help you stay satisfied in your current season of life, and help you move on to the next one when it’s time. No medications required.

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Struggling with Insecurity? Learn to Silence It – Part II.

Struggling with Insecurity? Learn to Silence It – Part II.

Insecurity. Clearly, this resonates with many of us. Whether it’s striving to be accepted or difficulty with knowing our true identity, it can be a real struggle. Yet, we can learn to silence it. Or, at least, turn the volume down on the voices (perceived and real) that whisper (or shout) that we aren’t good enough.

Friend, let me tell you, after a good number of years of bumps, scrapes, false starts, and restarts, I finally know within the fibers of my being that we are not merely defined by who others say or thinks we are. We aren’t merely a product of our parents, and we’re not even who we have worked so hard to be or believe we are.

We are simply who God says we are.

Let’s take a look at a few scriptures that reveal this truth in more detail:

Ephesians 1:4 says God chose us.

Ephesians 1:7 tells us we are forgiven.

Ephesians 2:10 states we are His workmanship (not our own).

We learn in 1 Corinthians 6:19 that we are God’s temple, in John 1:12 that we are God’s children, and in John 15:15 that we are friends of Jesus.

We cannot allow the world or even well-meaning friends and family to wrongly define and label us. When you start to hear that lying voice in your head saying you are not good enough, attractive enough,  smart enough, or simply enough, stop right there and tell yourself (yell it out loud if you have to):

“No, I am not stupid. I am God’s workmanship!”

“No, I am not unloved or unwanted. I am a friend of Jesus!”

“No, I do not deserve to be abused. I am a temple of God!”

Allow the voice of the Savior to be heard above every other voice…including your own. That is the only way to silence insecurity.

Want to read more on this topic? It can be found in chapter 12 of my upcoming book “Reclaiming Sanity: Hope and Healing for Trauma, Stress, and Overwhelming Life Events” to be released on June 1, 2017. Pre-order TODAY

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Struggling with insecurity? Learn to silence it – Part I

Struggling with insecurity? Learn to silence it – Part I

A number of years ago, I caught sight of a book on a friend’s coffee table. It was called So long insecurity: You’ve been a bad friend to us (Moore, 2010). It had just been released, and my friend who had long struggled with low self-worth and feelings of inadequacy had read it right away. I casually asked about, mentioning maybe I should read it too.



Oh, I don’t struggle with insecurity, but some of my clients do. Do you mind if I borrow it?


I wasn’t intentionally being deceptive…I just didn’t realize at the time the role insecurity played in my life. I’ve always tried to put on a tough exterior, never wanting anyone to see my weaknesses or vulnerabilities. In particular after becoming a “psychotherapist”…


How can a counselor have struggles?


<Note to Self: You are human.>


Maybe you’re struggling with insecurity yourself. Finding yourself feeling like you’re not worthy of something– of love, of attention, of time together, of forgiveness. Don’t feel wanted? Good enough? Smart enough? Attractive enough? Yep, that’s insecurity. Perhaps there’s a negative voice from your past that you keep hearing in your mind, like a song on repeat. Maybe the voice is your own. There might even be someone presently in your life triggering self-defeating thoughts and feelings through their words or actions. It could be they don’t even know. In fact, they may be insecure too.


The reality is this: Everyone is insecure about something. (As hard as it is to admit, “everyone” includes me.)


The good news is this: You can silence the insecurity. It may not work 100% of the time because we so often get in our own way, but we can definitely get a better handle on what’s been ailing us. It’s time to evict the critics that have lived far too long in our own minds. Those shaming, negative voices that weigh us down leaving us distracted from what really matters. You – WE – can break the chains of insecurity and be set free from this burden. It’s a process that takes time and effort, but it’s oh. so. worth. it.


But, I don’t want to get ahead of myself.


Stayed tuned for Part II of “Struggling with Insecurity? Learn to Silence It”. In the meantime, the comments are open and I invite you to share your struggles with insecurity, and any effective techniques you have found to help silence the critics in your own mind. I’ll share some of those along with my own ideas in my next post! Be bold and join with other voices willing to speak up about insecurity as we learn to conquer it together! I want to see you be brave. 

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On Apologies, Forgiveness, and What Really Matters: A Valentine’s Day Message

On Apologies, Forgiveness, and What Really Matters: A Valentine’s Day Message

The year was 2004, and my husband and I were spending our first Valentine’s Day together as a married couple. Being completely unaware about these types of things, we neglected to make reservations for one of the restaurant industry’s busiest nights of the year. As we drove around town seeing packed parking lots and learning wait times were far too long, my husband became increasingly hungry and angry – yep, hangry. In a moment of complete exasperation my usually calm, patient, and accommodating husband declared: “If we don’t find someplace to eat NOW, we are going to Wendy’s!” Well, of course, that was not going to do for this young bride of 6 months. Thankfully, the Lord intervened and landed us at a mom and pop Italian restaurant tucked away in a strip mall that wasn’t busy at all. We enjoyed a lovely meal, apologized and forgave one another for the spat that took place during our dinner search, and visited what became “our place” many times until we moved out of that state. While that hidden gem has long since gone out of business, my husband and I have enjoyed many more Valentine’s Days together. Not all of them have been as picture perfect as a Hallmark greeting card, but they are all treasured memories because of the love that we have shared in good times and in bad. A big part of our relationship has been learning to say “I’m sorry” – a lot. And forgiving one another even more. The forgiveness and grace we are able to offer each other does not come from our own strength. If that’s what I relied on, I might still be upset that my new husband wanted to take me to a fast food restaurant for our first Valentine’s Day! No, instead, our strength to apologize and forgive comes from the Lord. I love the way Daniel 9:9 tells us that “The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him” (NIV). And because of the forgiveness that I’m offered even when I oppose God, I am able to forgive my husband when we are in opposition, and he so graciously forgives me as well. The most famous line from Erich Segal’s novel Love Story, and the movie of the same name, is “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” I completely disagree. If we love someone, we should be willing to ask for forgiveness when we’ve done something wrong. And we should be willing to forgive as Colossians 3:13 says that we should …forgive as the Lord forgave us. Forgiveness, both giving and receiving, is so important in a relationship. As the years pass by, I realize more and more what really matters in marriage. Love. Perhaps next Valentine’s Day my husband and I will forgo the dress up and fancy dinner for a take out meal together at home, prayerfully with a little one seated in a highchair between us. There’s a Wendy’s right around the corner.


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