Dealing With “Mommy” Fears

By | Guest Posts | 11 Comments

mommy fear

Note from Kat: This post is from my good friend and monthly contributor Liz Griffin.

This photo of me was taken when I was discovered numerous 3-inch jumping spiders in my bedroom in Africa. That was pretty frightening, but I’ve learned that motherhood can be much more scary…

When the nurse practitioner told me that it could be cancer, my mind went blank. I started having strange symptoms two weeks ago. Went to the doctor’s office the next day where the nurse told me that we were gonna do labs and numerous ultrasounds to check for a possible tumor on my thyroid, pituitary gland and check for breast cancer.

Clearly, like any good mom I totally freaked out. How was I going to tell my kids? What would their life look like if I have to do chemo? I can’t bear the thought of not being there to raise them… It was the ultimate of mommy fears.

I’ll save you the drama, but the following week I got the results back and everything was fine. It was a simple benign problem. Thank you Jesus. However, my poor heart had to fight every day waiting for those results. Fighting to choose trust over fear.

I think every mom can relate to that battle. Maybe not a personal health scare, but some kind of send-your-heart-into-a-panic tailspin of fear.

What if I have a miscarriage?

What if my child is developmentally delayed?

How will I be able to financially provide for my kids education?

We feel called to missions, but what will happen to my kids if we move overseas?

Will my kids be alright without a father in the picture?

What happens if they grow up and choose not to follow Jesus?

Could my child get cancer or some other fatal illness?

The list goes on. So many things can overwhelm us with worry and anxiety.

It is only natural to try and protect our kids from harm or pain. I mean, they are our kids. But there comes a point where our thoughts and action move beyond being responsible parents to become fearful parents. Trust me, I know. I am a regular over in the fear territory.

It is a tricky line between being a wise mom and a fearful mom. I thought I’d share with you a few practical tips that I have learned to keep myself in check.

1. Evaluate if you are being wise or fearful. 

Wisdom is responsible, fear is not.

Let’s take the early years…As a mom it is good to know developmental milestones and talk to your pediatrician about any concerns. That is wisdom. But a fearful mom (ahem, me ) will read numerous articles about problems my child might have in the future, go over developmental checklists from multiple websites to see if my kids are on track, and compare my kid to all the others on the playground.

Wise moms notice problems, fearful moms look for problems.

2. Start your day off with a devotional time. 

When I am getting consistent time in the Word and in prayer, my fear level drops dramatically.

I am more on guard when fear tries to sneak in and I remember that with God I can overcome my anxious thoughts. One great way to make this a part of your life is to jump in with Hello Mornings. In fact, Kat has even written a free ebook to help you get your mornings under control and off to a solid start.

3. Tell a friend. 

I know it can seem silly and embarrassing even to admit you are dealing with fear, but I promise you aren’t alone.  Being in ministry I am constantly talking to people about dealing with fear. Fear of pain, death, rejection, tragedy…you name it. As moms it is no different.

If you feel yourself tempted to Google your child’s symptoms for the 5th time, call a friend. Ask them to pray for you to have peace instead.

4. Memorize Scripture

The Word of God is true. Our vain imaginations are not. All over the Bible we are encouraged to be disciplined in our thoughts. Pick out a few verses to memorize. When your imagination wants to run wild – in all the wrong ways – quote these verses and remind yourself to stand on God’s truth and not your feelings.

“Finally, brothers & sisters, 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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” – Philippians 4:8-9

5. Pray for someone else

Fear tends to make us self-absorbed. A great way to break out of that is to get in someone else’s boat. If you find yourself worrying about your children , pray for someone you know whose kids might be having a hard time or recently received a difficult diagnosis.

I am thankful that all my tests came back normal, but some of you out there may be battling an illness. If so, leave a message in the comments so we can pray for you!

I don’t know know what kind of worries you are facing at the moment. Financial struggles, a broken marriage, health challenges, kids having trouble in school or just plain anxiety. But I do know that God is faithful and we can trust him to take care of whatever we or our children are facing.

Have you dealt with fear as a mom? What have you learned along the way? Click here to join the discussion!

20130218-193106.jpgElizabeth is a church planter, speaker, writer and naptime abolitionist. She lives in Texas with her husband and two kids.Her other hobbies include wasting time on social media, trying to remember where she parked her car & browsing Pinterest for DIY projects she will never actually make. You can visit her over at Lark & Bloom or on Twitter @larkandbloom.

Mother Like A Firefighter

By | Get Inspired, Guest Posts | One Comment

firefighter
photo credit

Did you know much of a firefighters life is quite boring? They spend their days doing boring maintenance and following a boring routine. They do the exact same thing every time they run through their checklists.

They wear the exact same uniform, drive the exact same vehicle, work from the exact same building.

They are extremely routine and scheduled.

Boring.

But they become heroes in a split second.

Click here to read the rest of my post at MomHeart.org and find out what this has to do with motherhood…

The Power of Our Personal History

By | Guest Posts | 4 Comments

kat-post-kids-history1
(I’m over at SimpleMom today talking about the power of looking back.)

Would you send your kids to a school that didn’t teach history?

Is history necessary? I mean, it’s called history…it already happened. We can’t change anything about it. Shouldn’t our kids focus on subjects like math and science to get them ready for the future, instead of reliving the past?

Whoa…keep your tar and feathers in your hands and hear me out for a second.

This isn’t actually a post about school, education, or history. It’s a post about you. And me. And the power of our personal history.

We want our kids to learn about history because hindsight is 20/20. The wisdom we glean from the past is priceless for the future.

It’s true in the world as a whole and it is also true in our own personal lives. Yet how many of us regularly take stock of our personal history?

Oh, we have scrapbooks (if you’re like me, half finished scrapbooks) and we know when we were born, where we went to school, and a few stories along the way. But if we can learn so much from decades and centuries past, can’t we also learn from the recent past?

Read the rest of my post over at SimpleMom.net

Why Moms Need a Game Plan and How to Create One

By | Guest Posts | One Comment

kat-sport-kid
photo credit

(Today I’m sharing over at MomHeart.org)

Don’t stop reading.

I’m going to tell you a sports story, but even if you’re not a sports fan, read to the end because there is a vital motherhood lesson woven into this tale of a coach’s son, a last second shot and one of most memorable moments in sports.

It was 1998. The NCAA College Men’s Basketball championship tournament. A small, relatively unknown school, Valparaiso, had not only made it into the tournament, but they were playing number 4 seed (meaning they’re really good) Ole Miss. No one expected them to win…and they weren’t.

Valparaiso was losing 67-69 with 2.5 seconds left on the clock. They got possession of the ball 94 feet from their basket. Miraculously, they threw the ball in, the coach’s son Bryce Drew caught it and shot it from behind the 3 point line with milliseconds left on the clock.

And then…you clicked here so you could hear how the story played out and the valuable motherhood lesson it teaches us. 🙂

How To Be a Victorious Mom

By | Encouragement, Get Inspired, Guest Posts | 10 Comments

Katie Orr

I’ve been feeling quite a bit like a defeated mother lately.

Failure is my reality. Discouragement lingers. Condemnation hangs.

Truth is the only thing that can pull me out of the pit. Truth is what takes me from a defeated mom to a victorious mom.

The truth is, though I stumble, God is pleased with me.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2 ESV)

I can’t get enough of Romans 8. I am not condemned. I am set free. The Spirit of God dwells in me.

And there is so much more.

Today, I choose to cling to the truth that I am not condemned. The chains of my sin are gone. Though I still trip over them, no more are they attached to my wrists. I have a choice to live in freedom.

Victorious Mom.005

So I choose today to live as a victorious mom. Not a guilty mom. Not a burdened mom. A mom who is free to love, care for, and enjoy her precious children.

We are more than conquerors
through him who loved us so.
The Christ who dwells within us
is the greatest power we know.

He will fight beside us
tho’ the enemy is great.
Who can stand against us?
He’s the captain of our fate.

Then we will conquer never fear
so let the battle rage.
He has promised to be near
until the end of the age.

FOREVER.

We are more than conquerors
through him who loved us so.
The Christ who dwells within us
is the greatest power we know.

-Unknown hymn I grew up singing.

Let’s be victorious moms today. Lord, enable us today to walk in the freedom you have provided for us!

Are you feeling condemned today? What truths do you cling to when you are tempted to live as a defeated mom? I hope you’ll share with me. I could use some encouragement today.

 

About Katie 
HelloMornings Director

Grace-clinger. Truth-speaker.Pastor’s wife. Mommy of three. Auburn fan. Loves to equip others to walk with the Lord for a lifetime.

Learn more about Katie on her website KatieOrr.me. Follow her on Twitter.

A 6-step Process for Finding Your Mentor…Today

By | Guest Posts | No Comments

mary-poppins

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a Mentor Fairy? You leave your request under your pillow and then the next morning a Mary Poppins-ish mentor shows up at your front door, ready and willing to teach you everything you need to know.

If she could show up with a Dish Fairy, Bathroom Cleaning Fairy and Dinner Fairy, I think I’d be all set.

But, sadly, there is no Fairy Dream Team. The only way to get a Mentor is the good old fashioned way.

Ask.

A Simple Process For Finding A Mentor

We have talked about the importance of mentors, what to do if you don’t have one, keys to personal growth and more, but today we are going to talk about exactly how to find a mentor.

If you take an hour or two to walk through these six steps, you could have a mentor by the end of the day. Ready? Let’s go!

Read the rest of my guest post at SimpleMom.net…

What To Do When Your Love Doesn’t Feel Very Patient

By | Guest Posts | No Comments

Today, I’m posting over at MomHeart.org

“Love is patient. Love is kind…” 1 Corinthians 13

I want to be endlessly patient with my children, I really do. But so often growing in patience feels like using the Force. It’s an inaccessible superpower that I don’t seem to be able to master.

I think I need a Yoda – someone to show me the secret to this mysterious thing called patience. Someone to teach me how to harness it and master all of it’s complexities.

I pray that God will help me be better at it. I read books about it. I count to ten and take time outs.

But then I realize, in classic Kat fashion, I am WAY overthinking things.

Patience is actually quite simple. Like ridiculously simple.

Click here to read the rest of my post at MomHeart.org.

The Year of Motherhood: Healthy Meals

By | Guest Posts, The Year of Motherhood | 4 Comments

 

 

This post was written by contributor Jamie Ivey.

Teaching Healthy Habits

I try really hard to teach my kids about healthy living.  We play sports, try and work out, and try our hardest to put good foods in our bodies.  It’s important to my husband, Aaron, and I that we try and teach our kids about healthy food so that when they are older they can make these choices on their own.

 

As a mom that stays home, one of my jobs is to make breakfast for our kids and pack them lunches.  This also means that I need to make sure there’s food in the house to feed my kids three meals a day every day!  Aaron does most of the cooking at night, but I need to make sure that all four kids get a healthy breakfast and a healthy lunch packed five days a week.  That’s 40 meals I’m in charge of.

 

Why is this important?

I decided to do this as one of my challenges, because I know that sometimes I can send my kids to school with lunch money not because I want them to eat in the cafeteria, but because I chose extra sleep over making lunches, or that I chose lunch with a friend the day before instead of grocery shopping for my family.  I wanted to challenge myself to put something that I value so much, healthy food, as a #1 priority for the month.

This month has been fairly easy because I have made sure there was food in the house when there needed to be.  I have thought of different things for my kids lunches, and have found some new favorite breakfast ideas that we all loved!  Also if you aren’t on Pintrest, welcome to 2012.  You need to be on this!  I have tagged so many fun breakfast ideas and lunch ideas for my kids.  Y’all there are people that only blog about making fabulous lunches for their kids.  These people are great if you are in the rut of PB&J for your kids.

 

I have enjoyed knowing that my kids are starting their school day with great food in their bellies to help their minds focus and learn.  I also love knowing that I’m making a huge effort to send them to school with lunches that are not only good and healthy, but also exciting.  Every once in a while I even throw in a love note to my kids as well!

 

October Challenge:  Explore our city together

Next month will be my tenth challenge, and I must say that I’m super excited about the three final challenges for 2012.  They all involve our family and doing things together.  That is something that I love!  Next month our challenge as a family is to try something NEW in our city each week.  I LOVE Austin, and there is an abundance of things that we have never tried.  This will provide automatic family time, finding new things in our city, and hopefully many teaching moments as parents!

 

How do you and your family explore your city?    Any great ideas for elementary kids?  If you live in Austin, what must we do together?!?!  Click HERE to join this discussion.

About Jamie
Jamie lives in Austin with her husband, Aaron, who is the worship pastor at The Austin Stone Community Church, and their four kids. She’s passionate about loving her husband, following Jesus, talking about adoption, and trying to be the best mom she can be to the four cutest kids in the world. She loves family nights, reading a good book, and could eat Mexican food three times a day. You can find her blogging at DreamingBigDreams.net, or on twitter @jamie_ivey.

The Year of Motherhood: Fruit of the Spirit

By | Encouragement, General, Guest Posts, The Year of Motherhood | 18 Comments

Six months into the challenge ….

This completes the sixth month for my YEAR OF MOTHERHOOD challenge that I started this year.  My whole intention with this challenge was not to compare myself to others, or to see how bad I am at certain areas of motherhood, or to point out how good I am at other aspects of mothering; no the whole point in my challenge was to do just that, to CHALLENGE myself to look deep inside myself and allow myself to focus more in depth on certain areas of my parenting each month.

So far, I have gotten up before my kids each morning, not been on the computer while they were awake, spent one-on-one time with each kid each week (attempted to do that!), planned family nights, tried to encourage them daily, and this month we focused on the FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT that Paul laid out for us in Galatians 5.  Doesn’t all that sound like I’m automatically up for mom-of-the-year?!

Talking about the Fruit of the Spirit

This month was so much fun and a big challenge as well.  I started out by ordering a book that would help me plan different activities for the kids to learn more about love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  I basically just used this as a guide to a few activities that I did with the kids.  It was good and I’m sure everything that I did most of you super crafty moms could have come up with on your own, but for me it was a great help.

One night I was talking to Aaron on the phone while he was out of town and he asked me how talking with the kids was going, and I started venting my frustration about how they don’t really listen to me.  I felt like I was trying to give them truths from the scripture and they kept arguing, or fighting, or just not paying me a lick of attention.  I was a bit discouraged.

Two days later he was home and we were all around the table eating breakfast and Aaron asked them what they knew about the fruits of the spirit and to my surprise they all started saying stuff about each one.  I was amazed and super proud all at once.  He looked at me and I’m pretty sure I had tears in my eyes, because sure enough they had been listening even when I thought they didn’t care.

 

They are listening.

I think this is why God put these words for us in his scriptures, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontless between your eyes.  You shall write them on the doorpost of your house and your gates.

I learned this month that God really knew what he was talking about when he told us to constantly talk to our kids about His Word.  Even when we think they are not listening to keep talking.  Even when we think they don’t care, keep on talking.  Even when we feel as though they are too little to understand this, keep talking.  God commands us to talk about His Word with our kids, and I’m starting to figure out that He knows what He’s talking about and has great reasons for His commands to us!

 

Next month … lots of praying

For the month of July I’m going to be praying more specifically for my kids.  I pray for them daily, but I’m hoping that in this month I can really identify some specific things I can go before the Father on their behalf about.  I know that once again this will have a huge impact on our home, my kids and especially me as well. 

I’m asking that God opens my eyes to the power that our prayers can have.

 

How do you pray for your kids?  I know I’ll be using Inspired to Actions prayer calendar for kids that I love already so much.   Join me in this journey this month of going before the LORD on behalf of our kid!  Click HERE to join this discussion!

What To Do When You Can’t Find A Mentor

By | Guest Posts | One Comment

photo credit

Today, I’m sharing over at SimpleMom.net about what to do when you can’t find a mentor. If you missed my first post in the series, check it out here.

Last time I sat on the front porch and sipped tea with you here at Simple Mom, we talked about the importance of having a mentor. You nodded your head, eyes wide, eager to find that mythical creature for your own life.

But many of you came back with the same problem, “There’s no one around here to mentor me.”

That’s a tough one, but I’ve come up with a few ideas for you, so take another sip and keep reading.

Click here to hop on over to SimpleMom and read the rest…