Posts Tagged 'moms'

Momma Bears Part 3

bear hibernatingMomma bears know how to rest.

I’m not talking about sitting down for a minute and catching our breath – I’m talking about real, true REST.

One of the worst things someone can say to a mother of young children is, “So, what did you do today?”.

You don’t really want to know and sometimes we can’t even articulate what happened – it’s as thought the day happened TO US, instead us making the day happen {can I get an ‘amen’}.

But the difference between “crazy mommas” and being a momma bear is that we know when we need to, and how to truly stop and rest.

Did you know that some bears hibernate for almost 8 months?!

They don’t eat, drink…they even have such a low metabolism that they stop peeing!

Hmmmmm…that sounds a lot like some of my days. I eat when I can, drink the rest of the kids’ pop and I’ve learned to hold my pee for a very long time.

I want to be a momma bear that can let go and rest – this is NOT an easy task for me.

I’ve taken one of those “strengths assessment” things a couple of times and my #2 strength is {drum roll please}

achiever

I don’t accomplish things for accolades. Nope, I just am not satisfied with finishing one thing and then stopping. Before I finish a task I’m already thinking about the next one and planning my approach.

My husband said it best, “It is exhausting being married to you”.

Before you throw angry looks at your screen please know that he supports me 100% and he loves my drive – but I need him. He reminds me to stop, look around and enjoy where I am in stead of always looking ahead.

So, being an achiever, the word “rest” is like a nasty 4-letter word to me..well, it used to be.

Call it age, call it experience, call it parenting for 13 years – I’ve FINALLY begun to appreciate the act of and the necessity of resting. My life is balanced and it has been for some time. I’ve been practicing this technique and putting an emphasis on resting ever since I started writing “Mom Essentials”. God broke me down and showed me just how ugly and broken I really was and THEN He allowed the Bible Study to be completed.

The process took 3 years – I’m a slow learner I guess.

As I’ve been focusing on this “rest-filled” mindset I’ve found comfort in some beautiful words from my devotions and scripture. I hope you’ll read these and find the same encouragement. Sometimes as moms we just have to stop and breathe. Deep breaths in and out and just focus on breathing for a minute.

From Jesus Calling – July 21…

“Rest in My presence when you need refreshment. Resting is not necessarily idleness, as people often perceive it. When you relax in My company, you are demonstrating trust in Me. Trust is a rich word, laden with meaning and direction for your life. I want you to lean on, trust, and be confident in Me. When you lean on Me for support, I delight in your trusting confidence.”

From The Message…

Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG) “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Wow.

I’d LOVE to live freely and lightly. It doesn’t mean I live without care or concern – I still have to do laundry, make dinner, go to work…the list goes on and on…

But amongst my list…within my crazy day…I can rest.

One minute I’m a momma bear with her roar known and the next I can be them momma bear sitting back, playing with her kids and truly resting.

Resting in the truth that I’m not the only one on my side.

Resting in the truth that God is enough.

Resting in the truth that tomorrow’s worries cannot be remedied today so I might ask well rest in the moments God has given me.

I hope you are able to rest this week and enjoy your cubs. let’s hibernate together and trust that God’s hand is on us – almost creating a cave of protection. Rest momma, He’s got this.

Blessings –

Kasey

Checkout  all the posts in this series…

Meet the Momma Bears

Momma Bears Part 1

Momma Bears Part 2

For-GIVE-ness

Open BibleHave you ever been hurt, I mean REALLY hurt – to your core – by someone you thought loved you? I’ve met more mothers than I’d like to admit who’ve been hurt by their families, husband, even their children. Hurt happens because we live in a fallen, sinful world. So praying the next line in our series can become VERY difficult when we’ve been hurt. However, because we are committed to making the Lord’s prayer our own we can’t ignore this very important, yet sometimes difficult line…so let’s start from the beginning and pray for God’s guidance:

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
 

     Throughout my travels I find myself blessed to meet and speak with women from across the country who are dealing with the same issues, temptations and frustrations. We’ve been hurt, forgotten, used up and some of us have been truly abused. So when we experience this kind of betrayal how do we move past it?

    Karen (not her real name) approached me after a women’s event and shared that she recently discovered her husband of 27 years was having an affair. To make things worse, her husband’s mistress was young enough to be her daughter and was pregnant. I could see the hurt in Karen’s eyes. We hugged for quite a while and I wondered how this woman was handling things with such grace and strength.

    She’s beyond denial and anger. Karen is now dealing with what it will mean to forgive. Not forget or ignore – but forgive. The evening we met I had shared with the group my favorite challenge from Oswald Chamber’s “My Utmost For His Highest”. I’ve shared this quote in other posts but I believe it was what the Lord wanted Karen to hear that night and I believe it’s a challenge that can change ALL of our lives. Chamber’s writes:

“Do I really dare to let God be to me all that He said He would be?”

    If I DARE to let God be my everything I won’t have room for fear, anger, resentment, despair…all the tools Satan tries to use to bring us down. No, no, no. God said he would be my hope, my strength, my source of identity, my refuge, my strong tower – HE CAN BE MY EVERYTHING – IF I’ll let Him.

    Karen and I discussed how much easier it is to hold on to a hurt than to let it go. When we are holding on to our hurt, when we boldly display a red “V” for victim on our clothing and life – we have an identity. Suddenly we are so focused on our pain we can’t see any way out, we don’t hear anything else and we can’t feel any other way. We are consumed.

    But my God is a God Who came to free us from the traps of this world. He sees our hurt and I believe He hurts WITH us. He longs for us to have joy and peace. Thankfully He is a patient God and He knows what we need, even in the darkest hour.

   So if God is taking care of us, what keeps us from finding freedom and being able to forgive? One word: fear.

   Don’t be afraid to let go. The situation still happened. That person is still (most likely) in the wrong. When we refuse to forgive we wear a heavy robe of darkness and despair and each day it becomes more and more difficult to take it off.

God wants to release you from the weight of being hurt. Let Him be everything He promised He would be. In our darkest hour God’s light can shine through. Even if it’s a sliver of light, follow it…hold on to it…more is coming…don’t give in to the darkness of an unforgiving spirit!

God has forgiven us, we are ALL sinners saved by grace. In our humanity it is difficult, but not impossible, to forgive those who hurt us. Don’t let someone trespass on your peace and joy. Don’t allow them that power over you. Your God is bigger, stronger and mightier than the hurt. Let Him come in and heal you – He loves you so much!

You are a blessing to me and I pray you feel God’s presence throughout your day. When we are willing to let God be our everything we can find the strength to freely GIVE the forgiveness that was so freely given to us by our Creator God. It’s a new day, you are an amazing woman and your strength is awe-inspiring!

Matthew West’s song, “Forgiveness” is an amazing prayer. Click on the link below to hear the story behind the song and to hear Matthew perform it. Enjoy!

The Song

The Story behind the song “Forgiveness”

Missed earlier posts for this series? Check them out here!

The Lord’s Prayer Week 1

The Lord’s Prayer Week 2

The Lord’s Prayer Week 3

The Cut

A few weeks ago I shared our dilemma with James’ hair.  It is beautiful, red and well – I have learned from experience that when you cut a boy’s hair and everyone can see their forehead they suddenly look like a teenager! Okay, so maybe that’s a little drastic but I was truly dreading the big cut because it was just one more reminder that my little guy is growing up and there’s NOTHING I can do to stop it.  This weekend he turns 4 and I was headed to get my hair cut and he quietly mentioned that he thought it was time for his hair to be cut too.  So without much drama, regalia or announcements we did it – well, Janie did it, I just watched in awe.

Tomorrow morning we are headed to play group and I can’t wait to hear and see everyone’s reaction – James’ hair has been a huge part of his personality! So with tears in my eyes and video camera in hand I trusted my sweet boy in the hands of our amazing stylist – Janie.  She talked me through it, let me take pictures.  She even asked if I was doing okay – I felt like such a needy mom – but nevertheless she helped me enjoy the whole process. 

So the entire haircut is documented, bit by bit, on our video camera and I will cherish that little moment of growth and transition forever.  It might sound silly, but I really do think that even now as I say goodbye to a phase of life represented by his long beautiful hair, I’m reminded that he’s not mine. I don’t own him or his future and no matter how hard I might try to I can NOT stop time. My brain knows these things but sometimes my heart is slow to catch up.  

My kids are gifts, not idols to be worshipped, coddled and frozen in time – nope – these are beautiful individuals that God is trusting me with and I don’t take that lightly.  So whether it’s saying goodbye to his long hair, walking away from his kindergarten classroom or dropping him off at college I’m going to let myself grieve – even if it’s just for a moment – and enjoy each moment of this journey.

My sweet baby James isn’t a baby anymore and I’m excited to see what’s next!

so…what do you think?  It’s okay if you don’t like it – it’ll grow back – but seriously – what do you think of his new look!?!?!?

No wrapping required

On Friday I celebrated my birthday.  To sum up the day’s events I need only one word – AWESOME! I was given a gift that cannot be measured, contained or exceeded.

The gift started on Wednesday night when Matt’s Mom and stepdad arrived from Texas. They make me laugh, they take care of us and they LOVE our kids. 

The gift kept coming Thursday night when I arrived home, walked in my house and my parents appeared in my living room.  They live in California and I was NOT expecting them to be here.  I had been so sad all week because I thought they couldn’t make it – but I had made my peace with the whole thing and let go of my expectations because hey, reality is a real bummer sometimes. Thankfully reality didn’t win and my parents were able to fly out.   They jumped on a plane, made the long trip and I felt like I could really celebrate now that my best friend – my mom was here.

On Friday (my birthday) I enjoyed an amazing day of shopping, eating and hanging out with my mom and Matt’s mom; I arrived at my friend’s home on Friday night.  About 50 of my closest friends and family came to help me celebrate the release of my first book.

My mother-in-law, Dee, kept talking about how wonderful my friends were.  How they just jumped right in, helped set out food, stayed to clean up the house, took care of details throughout the party and never once asked for anything in return.  She reminded me how blessed I am to have such loving, supportive friends!

So I stood there, in front of everyone and said thank you.  Words aren’t enough to tell these blessed people how much I love them, how much they mean to me and what a big part they have played in helping me realize my dreams.

Friends really are the best gift a mom can have. My true friends accept me, know me and partner with me – no matter how crazy my adventures become.  Whether I’ve had Bell’s Palsey or I’ve thrown a party – they are there through thick or thin.

I hope I can be as good a friend to them as they have been to me.  To all my friends…

THANK YOU!!!!  You are the best birthday gift a mom could hope for!

Much love and gratitude!

Kasey

Unsung Heros

awardI use to think moms should have business cards but now that I’ve been one I realize that is an impossibility.  They don’t make cards big enough to hold all the words it would take to describe the multiple job titles we hold.  A few titles that come to mind are, cook, housekeeper, counselor, financial planner, laundry service, fashion consultant and negotiator.  The one title that I think is most important is: helper. 

Proverbs 31:27 describes a woman of God as someone who “watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness”.  As mothers we are NEVER idle and we have the opportunity to support and help each other in a multitude of ways.

We know that our efforts are important but it’s easy to forget the amazing impact we can truly have not only on our family, but the world around us.  I have some wonderful women in my life that have been exactly that – invisible but very much noticed to the people they are ministering to.  These unsung heros make a HUGE impact in a behind-the-scenes kind of way.  Here are some amazing stories from my own little circle of friends:

One mom spent months organizing meals for her friend’s family.  Her friend was not only mom to young children but was married to a wonderful man fighting cancer.  My friend stayed in for the long haul and spent countless hours praying over, talking to, crying with and supporting this family. 

Some of the moms in our Sunday School class have gathered around various women who have struggled during their pregnancies.  They don’t ask, “How can I help”, they just help.  They show up with meals, they send cards to each other and they call – just to check in on the women battling illness and hormones during those 9 months of transition.

Another mom I know agreed to help a couple who could not conceive.  The situation was such that they simply needed someone to carry their baby for the duration of the pregnancy.   This woman had already given birth to three of her own children, but she pressed on, sacrificing her body and time so that this couple could know the joy of raising their own biological child.

Speaking of children, one of my friends endured the exhausting and expensive process of adopting a precious baby.  They had a family of five and now they have six.  My friend reached out in love and compassion to a young woman who wasn’t ready to be a mom – what a brave thing to do!

Recently I was honored to host a baby shower for my dear friend who is an unsung hero in my mind.  She is a prayer warrior in the most active way possible.  She has always been aware of others and their needs.  When she says she will pray for you she means it.  When you need something she puts her time and energy into meeting your need.  Now that she’s expecting her second child we’ve all been able to honor her and help her and it feels great to do so. 

Now it’s your turn.  Proverbs 31:29-31 says, “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”  We might not be at the city gate, but would you take time to post a comment and give recognition to an unsung hero in your life? Without using their actual name (unless you get their permission) can you share their story with us?  I’d love to give credit where credit is due!  Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day! 

Kasey


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