Finding Balance In Motherhood

Yesterday we said so long to summer break and went back to school.

It’s a weird time for us because on one hand nothing seems to change, but on the other hand everything changes. I go from being summer fun mom that keeps pretty loose rules to teacher mom who tends to be overly strict in the blink of an eye. I don’t like it one little bit friends and sometimes I don’t know how I can find balance.

Do you ever struggle with that as a mom?
Finding balance?

Finding BalanceIn Motherhood
Some days it feels like I am in the circus.

I feel like I’m 25 feet off the ground on a unicycle with clowns balancing on my shoulders. It probably looks like sure failure to spectators, but I am naively optimistic that things will work out fine. I keep heaping more and more on myself not considering the weight of my load, how high up I am, and what is at risk. At a certain point I get nervous, what have I done? But by then I feel like it’s too late to back out and I just have to go. Sometimes I make it across, but there is always a cost. I am exhausted, sore, angry, and useless, sometimes for days on end. Other times I fall and the mess it creates is nothing short of chaos.

The analogy may be creative, but I think the picture it paints rings true for so many moms.

Why do we twist the phrase ‘finding balance’ into something literal?

We convince ourselves if we find the perfect way to stack it all up, we can carry as much as we want. After all, we got this! I recently hung a picture over my desk that says those very words, you got this. As I look up at it while writing this post I feel overwhelmed with conviction.

Conviction of bearing loads to heavy for me to carry well and the way I treat others when the stress of the load I gave myself is too much. Conviction over portraying a twisted picture of balance to other moms. One that says: you too can do it all, just keep piling it on just right. Conviction of relying on myself and my strength far too much.

Talking about #motherhood and #balance in today's blog post. Click To Tweet

I’d love to say that I have answers for you. Here are 5 steps to find more balance in your life, a formula that guarantees success in a week or less. The truth is I don’t really know what that looks like right now.

So my challenge for you is to think, pray, and dwell on this:
Are you piling more on when you should be laying things down?
What happens when the load gets to heavy?
How do you respond?
How can you lighten the load you carry?
Why do you think you can do it all?

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30 ESV

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Love Is…

If I asked you to pick a word that is frequently misused, what word would you pick?

I’m sure there are several good options out there. A few that come to the top of my mind are busy, tired, poor, and hate. All are words that I know I use way too often, generally as an excuse or to make myself look or feel better about something.

But I can’t help but think of a different word… love.

Love is

We throw this word around so flippantly. We say it loosely, cheaply, and our definition of what love really is, is so far removed from truth. I have found myself wrestling with this word lately and what true love looks like. But every single time my heart is pulled to this.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. ~ 1 Corinthians 13 4-8

This, this is love. 
I want to love like this and so often I fail.

Love is patient, love is kind. Wrestling over the true meaning of #love in today's #blog post. Click To Tweet

I lose my temper, I grow resentful, I have little to no patience.
I love selfishly, but expect others to love me perfectly.

Love isn’t about becoming a door mat, it isn’t sarcastic, it stands up for what is right. Love doesn’t always look the way we want it to. Love is far from easy and on this earth, love will always be tainted by sin. Try as we may we will never achieve perfect love.

There was only one man who loved perfectly and he died for us.

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ~ Romans 5:8 ESV

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One Important Summer Sanity Saver For Moms

Today I am so excited to have Ruthie from RearReleaseRegroup.com sharing a piece of her heart and talking about her new ebook Count to Nine, 9 Liberating Steps for Mom Anger and Frustration. Ruthie is a treasure friends. A seasoned mom, with excellent advice and she doesn’t shy away from talking about the hard things… like mom anger. In the spirit of being completely open I have had my fair share of struggles with this department and Ruthie’s advice helps to keep me grounded. I hope you love getting to know her and listening to what she has to say.

Happy summer, mom! Kids about to stress you out from constant requests and squabbling? Need a summer sanity saver?

One important thing to help moms stay sane during the summer months.
Let me ask you a question: How often do you yell when you’re frustrated? Does it develop into a full-blown scream? Are you having trouble keeping a lid on your temper, and does it seem impossible to overcome?

I’m a mama of four grown kids so I’m not pointing any fingers! I’ve been there, and I feel ya, sis.

Most moms have anger issues. Sometimes we’re just too embarrassed to admit we need help.

Here’s what I’m learning:

The Importance of Scripture

When Christ was tempted of the Devil, He refuted him with Scripture every single time (Luke 4:1-14), and He was strengthened by it.

And Jesus returned in the power of the spirit to Galilee (v 14), ESV.

 

Think of it! Christ, Who had all power, was strengthened through the Word. How much more then, should we use God’s Word when tempted?

Scripture is our sword – our weapon, our main defense in the battle over anger. Its our summer sanity saver.

Kids are stressful, there’s no denying it. It takes a lot of fortitude to deal. Eventually, you get worn down by the day-to-day, and you kick into survival mode.

But God wants to use you, even then. When you think, “There’s no way I can make it through this day without losing it,” you feel despair, and I know how that is.

BUT.

God’s power is limitless! It is like nothing you can ever imagine. And so, He wants us to be mold-able. That’s all. Be the clay. He does the rest. By being clay, you choose to trust.

Jesus said,

You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you, there is more of God and His rule. Matthew 5:3, The Message

 

WOW.

If we say yes to God, He can do amazing things in us that we never thought possible.

I’ve seen it happen in my own life –victory over areas I’ve struggled with for years. How? Through our greatest weapon: the Word.

Pray the Word. Memorize the Word. Write it on 3×5 index cards and post all over your house (especially frequented areas such as the kitchen window and bathroom mirror).

God will help you with your frustration and anger!

We can learn to overcome the temper by committing it to the Lord through prayer and Scripture. God wants us to succeed – remember, mom, He’s on YOUR side!

Since Scripture can be our summer sanity saver, I want to introduce to you a brand new, valuable summer sanity saver that contains Scripture and Scripture prayers! The preceding devotional is just a snippet from a book I wrote on mommy anger. It’s called, COUNT TO NINE; 9 Liberating Steps for Mommy Anger and Frustration.

Order Today - COUNT TO NINE; 9 Liberating Steps for Mom Frustration and Anger" By Ruthie Gray

I wrote this ebook because as a mom of four myself, I dealt with a LOT of anger down through the rearing years, and I struggled to handle it well. As I seek to mentor younger moms, I notice this same pattern emerging.

A battle with anger-induced rage. And these moms want change.

My new ebook, Count to Nine, 9 Liberating Steps for Mom Anger and Frustration, presents nine essential steps to overcome mishandled anger. Offering Scripture Pillars, Power-Packed Pillar Prayers, a Plan of Attack for each chapter, and much more, this book will set you on the road towards recovery. The book is full of key Biblical strategies to help you parent gracefully and learn the Biblical approach to anger.

How do I know? I teach this method to a group of moms who are tracking wins and overcoming their anger by daily implementing these Scriptural strategies!

This book is a small investment to make toward a big difference in the dynamic of your family. Are you ready to take the necessary steps to freedom from the power of anger gone wrong?

You can do this, mom. Let me show you how through COUNT TO NINE. At just $7.00, this ebook is an affordable investment toward not only developing positive reactions to anger, but patterning them for your children as well!

I’m praying for you!

BONUS JOURNAL (1)

PS As an extra BONUS to the book, we’ve included a beautiful, printable journal with Scripture cards and Thankful cards, designed by my friend Jessica through her Etsy shop! You will love this actionable, gorgeous addition to the book! Grab your copy today!


I know what it's like to struggle with anger. As a mom of four and Gigi of two, I've been in your shoes. This is a plan to get you started in the right direction. Won't you join me?

Ruthie Gray is a wife, mom of four, Gigi, and caregiver, living in the sandwich generation and blogging to keep her sanity. When she’s not snacking on plastic drumsticks with her grandson (The Tiny Tornado), or snuggling his sister (Baby Cakes), you can find her coaching other moms on how to raise responsible kids and enjoy them at RearReleaseRegroup.com and Mom Time Out. You can also connect with Ruthie on Facebook.

My Perfectly Imperfect Faith

This isn’t what I wanted to post about today. 

Penciled neatly into my brand new planner was a recap of the month of June according to #’s. It was supposed to be easy to write, something I could schedule way in advance and a light-hearted post for a Monday morning. However, my heart has felt everything but light lately. What I planned to post and what I feel I should post are two very different things. In the end my heart won out and now I’m sitting here unsure of where I should start.

Over the past week I was slammed with a phrase, by someone very close to me, that I can’t stop thinking about. Their words were spoken out of anger when my actions didn’t meet their approval. I have been thinking about any truth that could be found in their statement but more than that the lies that live in the head of someone who would say these words.

“And you’re supposed to be a Christian”

Phrase it 10 different ways if you’d like, the variations are countless. This phrase is likely one that anyone following after Christ for any amount of time has been attacked with in one way or another. The thing is this. I can’t help but think a person who accuses someone with these words is void of any understanding about what being a Christian truly means.

The world sometimes holds Christians to an unattainable level of perfection. Are Christians really perfect?
Being a Christian does not mean that you are free of temptation or sin. It doesn’t mean that you make the right choice every time. It doesn’t give you a strong marriage, all the money you need, well-behaved children, and an annoyingly effortless love for people. Being a Christian doesn’t give you super powers.

The problem with this accusation is that it comes with the impression that being a Christian makes you perfect, which simply put is a lie. The truth is there was only one person who ever lived a perfect, sinless life and he gave himself as a sacrifice to pay for our sins, my sins, the sins I continually struggle with every moment of every day.

And that is what is tearing me apart. That people buy into lies that Christians actually believe they are perfect. That someone expects me to live a perfect life and if I stumble I have not only given them a reason to mock me , but an excuse to continue living a life void of a relationship with God.

Where do I go from here? First I’d like to say that I’m not angry and forgive the person for the words they spoke. I love them very much and will continue to pray for them daily. Secondly I’d like to repent. If this false image of Christian perfection is one that I have portrayed through my words and actions, I am sorry. I want to live a life that is pleasing to God and continuously points others to him, through good times and bad.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17 ESV

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Thank You God For This Day

It started just like any other morning would: Trip to the gym, mom life all day, and some blog work scattered in between. I picked up Russ from work and as I was walking in the door my phone rang, finally. I frantically dug through my purse finding everything except the phone I so desperately wanted. After digging for what felt like forever I answered. “Hello?!” I heard “Is this Emily’s mom?” to which I answered “This is she.” And from that point of the conversation onward things just spiraled and something in me broke.

I stood in the quiet retreat of my closet for minutes after hanging up the phone. It is always the best place to take a phone calls… and to hide. At that moment hiding is exactly what I wanted to do. I braced myself against the wall, the tears began to flow, and I asked the question we all gravitate towards in hard times. 

Why? 

I had told myself I wouldn’t be upset. I told myself it was only a chance. I told myself that if God wanted it to work out, it would. I wouldn’t put my hope in it, I would put my home in God. But when He answered with a no, I crumbled. I felt helpless, scared and angry.

I hid in that closet for as long as I could, but knew I would soon be missed. Dinner time went something like forgotten ingredients, over cooked tater tots, burnt green beans, and a husband who pitched in to do half of the work because I was physically in the kitchen, but mentally somewhere else. The only good parts of the meal were the ones he handled, if not for his help we would have ended up with cereal for sure. In the last-minute chaos to get everyone to the table before the food was cold Marissa asked if I would pray for our meal. Sure, why not! I just wanted to eat.

My prayer started like this “Thank you God for this day” and then I stopped. In my head I wanted to go on but I physically couldn’t continue to speak. My throat swelled, my eyes flooded with tears, and no words came out.

Giving thanks to God in the hard times of life.
Thank you God for this day. 

Thanking God when it feels you have nothing to be thankful for. My thoughts are on the #blog today. #faith #christianliving Click To Tweet

Finally I mustered the strength to quickly finish my prayer but afterwards I sat there thinking on the words that had just choked me up. Thank you God for this day. THIS day? This day sucked. Looking back on this day there was no earthly reason to feel any thanks. Yet when I turned to speak to my Father, my heart immediately thanked Him. Call it what you want a routine way to start a prayer or a chance but at that exact moment God used those 6 simple words to speak to me.

I was reminded of the grace he shows us, the love he pours upon us and the faithfulness he has shown us on so many other days and seasons of our life when it seemed like we had nothing to be thankful for.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
1 Chronicles 16:34

Thank you God for this Day.

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Scriptures To Stand On, Clinging To God’s Word

Oh how life has been a whirlwind lately. In these moments of life when things are hectic and tiring it is easy to be tossed around. Lately I have felt like I am floundering, grasping. My faith that God is always good in ALL things is unshaken, but to continue clinging tightly to that I have to root myself firmly into the word of God.

The community that I have found in the world of blogging has been amazing. So much love and so much support. Messages, comments, emails, and texts have been abundant. I know that in this rough season of life we are being wrapped in prayer. Recently I reached out to some other bloggers and asked them to send me scriptures that they can stand upon during life’s tough times. I was so encouraged when so many sent me verses that they find truth and life in. 

Today I want to share a few of those with you.

Scriptures to stand on during any season of life.
Sharing scriptures to stand on, on the blog today. Let us cling tightly to the word of God. Click To Tweet

Keri – Living In This Season

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
2 Timothy 1:7

Whitney –  Work It Mommy & Becky – BYBMG

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11

Holly – While I’m Waiting

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding
Proverbs 3:6

Stephanie – Wife Mommy Me

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
Romans 12:9

Michelle – Grammie Time

Do not be afraid, for I am your God, I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

Ruthie – Rear Release Regroup

Peace I leave with you;  My peace I give unto you.  Not as the world gives, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
John 14:27

Jessica – Sweet Little Ones

…he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’  I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.  Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Tina – Go Big Or Go Home

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
Luke 6:45b

Laureen – Chateau Deveau

You have been told, O man, what is good, and what the Lord requires of you: Only to do right and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

Emily – Dear Owen

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
40:29-31

Crystal – Hall Around Texas

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Psalm 51:12

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
Romans 8:18

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
Philippians 4:4

And here are a couple that I have loved over the years.

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
John 16:33

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Philippians 4:6-8

It is my hope and prayer that these verses speak to you in good times and bad, just like they have spoken to these women. So many of these verses were sent to me along side stories of difficult times and faith in a God who is bigger than any circumstance or problem.

Let us hold tightly to the one who holds all things together in the palm of His hand.

What verse do you stand on?

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