How to Stay Healthy, Naturally

Many of you know that about a year ago, my family took a drastic turn toward health. We decided that what we put in our bodies, and how we help them heal, is important.

Both of my parents have Type II Diabetes, which means that my brother and I have a 50% chance of developing it, too. The combination of this info + looking at myself in the mirror + really taking a look at the junk I was putting in my body (and training my boys to put in theirs) was eye-opening, to put it mildly. At thirty-five years old, I knew that if I didn’t do something, I was going to end up a Diabetic. So we made the change.

You might wonder why a #HopeWarrior like me would want to use my online space to talk about healthy living…

Here’s the truth: I’m just as passionate about being a #HealthWarrior for my family as I am a #HopeWarrior for you (and me). I truly believe that I can do more for the Kingdom of God—be a better wife, better mom, better friend, better writer—when I’m healthy.

I truly believe that I can do more for the Kingdom of God—be a better wife, better mom, better friend, better writer—when I'm healthy.

It’s one more way I find grace in the messiness of life, preparing myself and my family to face it head-on from a healthier place—both spiritually and physically. It takes both, really, to be all God wants us to be. To minister and grow spiritually, I have to stay in God’s Word and walk in His strength. To have the energy I need to do these things, I have to stay well physically.

You already know I want to help keep you well spiritually, but from time-to-time, you might see me post here about what we love to eat…things like my yummy, healthy bread recipe. Other times, you might see me post about my attempts to exercise more (this is THE hardest thing for me to do, but I’m determined to start small and be consistent). And finally, you might even see me talk about how using Essential Oils has radically changed our family for the better. They’re a part of our ongoing health changes, and we’re turning to them more and more often instead of OTC meds when we need relief.

So for today, here’s a round-up of some of the posts I’ve written on this topic over the last year. I hope you’ll find them inspiring as you work to take of your family’s needs, naturally!

How to Stay Healthy, Naturally

Recipes for Healthier, Happier Kids

How to Ease the Pain of Teeth Clenching and Grinding with Essential Oils

Why a Weary Mom CAN Keep Fighting

10 Free (or cheap) ways for a Weary Mom to Find Rest

Natural Health Solutions for Boys

A Quick Testimony about Helping Stubborn Men

3 Simple Essential Oil Room Sprays to Liven Up {or Quieten Down} Your Home!

How to Be Healthy Without Being a Nut

We Will Be Hope Warriors

How Essential Oils are Changing Our Family

Troubleshooting Your New Healthy Lifestyle

Essential Oils for Healthy Eyes (how we eased Pink Eye without going to the doctor!)

20 Ways to Use the doTERRA Family Physician Kit

Spring Sports Savers with Essential Oils

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor guys, so I won’t pretend like I have all the answers to your questions about healthy living. I just wholeheartedly believe that when we take care of our bodies—spiritually and physically—we’ll be better equipped to walk out our calling as children of God. The things I mention in these posts are based on my personal experience, nothing more, nothing less. I hope they’re encouraging to you!

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We Will Be Hope Warriors

When my two uncles, friend, aunt, grandfather, and baby all died in a six year period it occurred to me that it might be easy to lose hope.

I didn’t lose it easily for other people. I still prayed for good things in the lives of my friends, and I still asked the Lord to move in situations outside of our family. But I did struggle with wondering if God had decided not to be good to me anymore. During that season—many, many times during that season—I wrestled with a persistent feeling of expectant grief and lost hope.

Like I was waiting for the next sucker punch of life.

I lived that way—like the next major loss was hiding around the bend—for several years. Even smaller losses crumbled me, like totaling my car, or losing our beloved English Bulldog, and in many ways, I felt like God was being silent. I couldn’t hear Him well, my times with Him in His Word were dry, and when I wrote here in this space it was raw and fragile. I wore weariness like a straight-jacket, all bundled up inside of my low expectations and heartfelt disappointment.

Thankfully, things have changed.

I’m still easily emotional. I still have a gut response to take things personally, and I still wonder how God can seem so far away even when He says He’s so close. But in the last two years I’ve realized the secret behind why a man (or woman) can say of the Lord, “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him (Job 13:15, ESV).

Hope is a Choice

Weariness is a feeling. Grab onto that for a second with me?

Today, I choose hope. I will be a Hope Warrior, and fight for it with everything I have.

Hope is a choice. Weariness is a feeling. 

Feelings can lie, and they don’t have to direct our lives. But we women, we get a little feisty when someone tells us our feelings are wrong, don’t we? We say things like, “don’t tell me how to feel,” and, “I can’t change the way I feel!” But the truth is, if our feelings don’t match up with the Word of God, something needs to change. Only one source can be 100% right, and I’ve walked this road long enough now to know that when I feel the most right, I’m probably wrong—in presentation, if not in truth.

If my feelings and the Bible don’t match up, what needs to change? Me.

Here’s where the application comes…

During my season of grief, I often felt like God wasn’t there, like He didn’t see me, didn’t hear my prayers, didn’t care. But the Bible says all of those feelings I had were wrong. It doesn’t negate my feelings to know they’re wrong—I very much felt alone, and unheard, even a bit unloved—the Bible simply tells me a different story.

God loves me, hears me, sees me, and yes, is fighting for me, even if I can’t see it. 

I believe it’s true, because God’s Word says it’s true. And it’s that simple truth that kept me from staying in a place of perpetual hopelessness.

I’m not trying to say our emotions are always wrong or that we don’t have a right to our own feelings. Sometimes our emotions are very good, alerting us to danger, or revealing a deeper issue within our own hearts that needs attention, healing, and the grace of God. But they certainly can be wrong . . . or at least in need of tweaking. God gave us emotions as a barometer—they tell us both what’s happening in our hearts and in our surroundings. Sometimes, they’re right on the money, but more often than not, they need to come under the authority of the Word of God.” (From How to Control Your Emotions, So They Don’t Control You: A Mom’s Guide to Overcoming).

Oh, my weary friend, I know you feel like giving up sometimes. I know you feel like God is far away, and that maybe He doesn’t really care about what you’re going through. But it simply isn’t true. He sent His Son to die for you, to prove His love, and really, what more could He sacrifice to prove it than to give up Himself? He loves you…and today?

Today, I’d like to start a hope revolution.

A movement that says, “WE WILL CHOOSE HOPE! We will be hope warriors—fighting, clinging, desperately holding to the truth of God’s Word that says He loves us, and is fighting for us, even when we can’t see it or feel it.”

Why could Job choose hope? Because He knew who God was. He trusted God’s character in spite of great loss, great disappointment, great grief. He chose to believe in things unseen, and trust in truth over feelings. We can, too.

We can fight for hope with everything we have. And as we choose to believe what God’s Word says about our lives over what our circumstances tell us, no matter how horrible they are at the moment (remember the story of Job), we’ll find that our feelings will follow suit. I don’t write this as a woman who has never known pain, or heart-wrenching loss. I write it as a woman who knows loss and disappointment, and has come out on the other side.

This is the secret to joy in the midst of pain. This is the secret to overcoming on a daily basis. This is the secret to finding, and keeping, hope.

Today, I choose hope. I will be a Hope Warrior, and fight for it with everything I have. I hope you’ll join me. (<<—Tweet that!)

Pray with me, friend?

Jesus, help me. I do believe, Lord, help my unbelief (Mark 9:24)! Sometimes, when I just can’t see You, or feel You near, I lose hope. But today, with your help, I choose hope. I will be a Hope Warrior. Help me fight for it with everything I have. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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Why a Weary Mom Can Keep Fighting

I had a fight at obscene-thirty in the morning.

Maybe it was because I was alone in the hotel room, and felt vulnerable. Or maybe it was because I’d had my breath taken away with an insult two days before, and was fighting to hear the word of God over hurtful words. Or maybe it was just that I held the weight of 120 women in my heart who had come to us for hope.

Whatever the reason, I was in a fight with the enemy of my soul at about 5:30 in the morning and I was determined to win.

I’d spent the day before telling mamas not to give up…to keep fighting for their children. During my Hope for the Weary Mom talk with Stacey Thacker, I’d shared the story of how God told me my children needed someone to fight for them, and that He’d chosen that person to be me. It’s a powerful story…I know it is because it’s one of my most tweeted posts here…and one that He reminds me of every time I throw my hands up in the air and want to quit.

Brooke and Stacey in NY

But there I was, lying in the bed, feeling the temptation to quit fighting. 

I’ve fought the fiery darts of the enemy for a lifetime—fear of being hurt, fear of rejection, fear of failure. But the difference between now and ten years ago is that I know what to do with it.

Fight Anyway

It occurred to me though, as I laid there in the bed telling the enemy where to go, that I hadn’t told those mamas who filled up the chairs, packed the floor, sat in the closet, and spilled out the doors into the hallway during our session, why they can keep fighting.

It’s one thing to tell her to keep fighting. But when a mama is having her moment…when she’s done, deflated, depressed, and ready to denounce motherhood altogether…she needs to know why she can. Because it doesn’t feel like she can (<<—Tweet that!)

Why can a mama keep fighting for her children, even when every ounce of her fight is gone?

She can fight for her children, because God is fighting for her. 

“And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” Exodus 14:13-14 ESV

Do you remember what it felt like to have your mom or dad cup your face in their hands and tell you they believed in you? Or maybe a good friend just looked you in the eyes one day and said, “I’ve got your back.”

It’s kind of like that, only much better, because this time, the person who’s on your side, fighting for you in ways you can’t even understand, is God Almighty—the one who loved you so much He let His Son suffer and die in your place.

  • When you’re convinced that thing you just did is going to be the thing your daughter talks about with her therapist later in life, He’s fighting for you, giving you strength to go ask for forgiveness.
  • When you can’t imagine going back in that house, back to the noise, back to the bickering, back to the same thing every single day…He’s fighting for you, giving you energy to open the door.
  • When that loved one sucker-punches you with words meant to crucify, not edify, He’s fighting for you, making His word and His heart available to help you choose the truth.
  • When you’re scared and vulnerable, He’s fighting for you, protecting you within His will.

God is on your side. He loves you. You’re the apple of His eye. He’s got your back.

So you keep fighting, mama, because the God of the universe is fighting for you

Pray with me, friend?

Lord, sometimes I want to quit fighting altogether. I don’t know why life has to be so hard, or why people have to be so mean, but I know You’re there fighting with me, for me, and in me to give me hope and the strength to be victorious. Help me to never give up. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

Red Letter Words Comments Graphic

P.S. I stole that photo from Stacey’s IG account, but I know she doesn’t care. And yes, we’ve been told we look a little alike in it. We think it’s the glasses.

a special treat for today only!

Thanks for heading over to learn more about the Praying for Boys Companion Guide! The FREE giveaway associated with my Proverbs 31 Ministries devo was for yesterday only (3/18/14), and is now over.

But there’s good news!

You can still get a copy of the Companion Guide for your Kindle (or Kindle app) for just $1.99! And if you’re a mom who struggles with feeling like her son is her enemy, I would love to invite you to sign up for my newsletter so we can keep in touch. I’ll be sharing more encouragement about this issue over the next few months!

Welcome to my online home! If you’re a boy mom, like me, be sure to check out your online home for all things boy, the MOB Society! 
*This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through my links, I receive a small percentage of the cost. Thanks for supporting my ministry!

Creating a Culture of Prayer in Your Home

I’m excited to be over at The Better Mom today talking about how we’re creating a culture of prayer in our home.

In case you’re saying, “huh?? What’s a culture of prayer?” the easy definition is just that I want my boys to grow up talking to Jesus as much as they talk to me. So we’re taking some intentional steps to try to make that happen.

And in case that’s not interesting enough for you, head over to the post and you’ll also find the story about how I recently dropped a large, heavy cutting board on my toe and lived to tell about it.

There’s always that.

Go over to the Better Mom! (And PLEASE mark your calendars for March 18th?? I have something so exciting to share with you that day and I do NOT want you to miss it!)

what in the WORLD do I do about Lent?

And what is Lent, anyway?

I didn’t grow up in a church that observed Lent, and because of that, even as an adult, I sometimes still struggle to grasp the full meaning of it. I mean, about five years ago I decided to give up watching Days of Our Lives for Lent, and I’ve never gone back (don’t judge me…it’s the only one I ever watched, and they felt like family).  But really, giving something up has been the extent of my knowledge of Lent.

I know I’m supposed to feel the lack of what I give up. Somehow, it’s supposed to make me feel closer to Christ and prepare me for a more meaningful Easter. But honestly, there’s got to be more to it, right?

Enter this amazing Easter resource from my friend, Amanda White:

A Sense of the Resurrection

Here’s why I’m pumped to start this study:

  1. Amanda is amazing. I’ve gotten the chance to get to know her a little better over the last couple of years. Her heart for kids, and showing them the power of the Gospel, is nothing short of inspiring. She’s the real deal. She desperately loves Jesus, desperately loves kids, and she knows what she’s talking about. In other words, I believe you can trust her.
  2. If you’ve done Truth in the Tinsel (we did for the first time last Advent season), you just know that this one will be amazing too. And while it’s a totally different study, Amanda’s heart to help your family experience the Word of God is the same. I believe my boys walked away from last Christmas with a better understanding of what it truly is than ever before—because of Truth in the Tinsel.
  3. I’m personally all in favor of experiencing a deeper, richer Easter season. I want my boys to think of it as more than just an opportunity to hunt eggs and eat chocolate.

So grab your copy of A Sense of the Resurrection right now. The good news is that you can start anytime. The even better news is that it’s only $7.99. Best eight bucks you’ll spend all day. Promise.

*This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something using them, I’ll receive a small portion of the profit. Thanks for supporting my ministry!

winner of the Red Letter Words art piece (& a favor)

The winner of February’s Red Letter Words art piece (for participating in this community by leaving a comment) is Amy! Check your email, friend!

While we’re here, would you do me a little favor?

This book of my heart has been out and available for purchase for right at two months now, which means some of you have read it and had time to pray through it.

If that’s you, would you take a moment to tell me how God has used Praying for Boys to work in your heart, or that of your son?

You can leave a comment here, or email me at prayingforboys@gmail.com, whatever suits you best. Leaving your testimony gives me permission to quote all or some of it in promotional material. Please tell me if you’d like your comment kept anonymous, otherwise, I’ll use your first name.

Thank you!

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Encouragement for moms from REAL Titus 2 Women

Tuesday, I wrote a post dedicated to those women who have already raised their children well. It was my way of begging these amazing moms to be nice, and leave a legacy of grace for those coming behind them.

Sadly, it doesn’t always happen that way. Sometimes, older moms feel the need to crucify rather than edify. 

Right after the post went live, I received an email in response from a dear mentor mama in my life. Funny thing is, I only just met Jan Skaggs a couple of years ago, and she lives in Austin, TX. It’s not like I get to see her every day, or sit on her (amazing) front porch and sip sweet tea as we talk about life. But since I first met her, she has deliberately pursued me with grace, taking every opportunity to pour life, truth, and encouragement into my heart.

When someone does that, I listen. 

Reading her words confirmed everything I know to be true. They were so good, in fact, that I felt compelled to share them with you. So what follows are Jan’s words of encouragement to me after I was criticized by a mean mom.

But I also thought it would be fun to collect the thoughts of some other Titus 2 women I know who are getting it right. After Jan’s thoughts, take a minute to read some more encouragement from my friends Kate Battistelli (Francesca Battistelli’s mom, ya’ll), and Sally Clarkson.

Encouragement from REAL Titus 2 Women

We tend to view our precious ones in “snap shots” of time, but we’re really living an epic movie.

Note: It really would be helpful for you to read Tuesday’s post first. Take a minute and then come back?

From Jan

  1. Raising children is a loooooong process! We tend to view our precious ones in “snap shots” of time, but we’re really living an epic movie. The goal of godly, spiritually mature adults is still way out in front, and no one can (or should ever) be judged by one frame in a lifetime.
  2. It’s not a matter of “controlling your children,” it’s a matter of training them. Again, a process. My favorite wisdom about this comes from my brother: “Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard.” Over time, they’ll get it.
  3. The woman whose words were so hurtful probably either has NOT raised her kids as well as she thinks, or she HAS and she’s taking credit for it, not recognizing the incredible grace of God to her. There is a mystery to how children “turn out,” due in no small part to their own personalities and choices. The good Lord, our perfect Father, recognizes that children have a mind of their own—He gave it to us—and parents of little ones are not responsible for everything their children do (or don’t do).

From Kate

It’s an amazing honor to raise children to serve the Lord. Those of us who’ve done it have survived the daily battles/joys/frustrations of parenthood and lived to tell the tale! Our job now is to encourage women younger than ourselves, to affirm they are doing a great job and also to remind them this mothering gig is not easy and it tests every bit of Christian virtue we think we have!

As a mom with a grown child, I encourage older moms to help younger moms in these three ways.

  1. Remember. Try to remember what it was like when you were a young mom. We’ve been out of those days for awhile and just like the pain of childbirth, it’s easy to forget what it’s like when you’re no longer in the trenches. It’s easy to throw around cliched comments, easy criticisms and lame advice. It’s far more fruitful to offer to lend a helping hand or a warm hug, time to talk and cup of tea. Take time to get to know the young moms. They need someone to tell them they really are doing a good job and sometimes they will make mistakes but it’s ok and it rarely does any lasting damage to their children. Please don’t constantly remind them how quickly their children will grow up. When you’re in the day-to-day, believe me it doesn’t seem as if it will EVER end, especially if you have toddlers or elementary-aged children. Cut them some slack and try to remember you didn’t run a perfect household with perfectly behaved children either.
  2. Times have changed since we were moms. Technology exists today we didn’t have. Cell phones, social media, the internet. These are all new and provide young moms unique challenges and distractions we never faced. Information continues to explode, the world is getting more confusing, not less, and they are facing temptations we never had to deal with. Be patient and be gentle. Our job is to help give them concrete examples of eternal principles as they raise their families. We teach by example, by modeling biblical womanhood. It’s a process. We teach and admonish, correct when necessary (if we’re given permission to speak into their lives), set a Godly example and be the woman they want to imitate. Live the truth and the truth is this: love rules!
  3. Use your words oh-so-carefully. Death and life are in the power of the tongue. Words can be creative and build up or deeply destructive and tear down. Avoid criticism because, well, see point number 1! I want to remind younger moms, including my own daughter, that they are doing a remarkable, world-changing, incredibly difficult job in a world growing darker by the day. I want to offer them hope and remind them they CAN do it and also, the season they’re in will come to an end. I want to be a light to guide the way and a signpost to point them in the right direction. Let’s be women they want to follow. Women who can say with confidence, “… this is the way, walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21

From Sally

As a mother who has raised her children, my desire is to encourage and give hope to the mama’s who are right in the thick of the battle. God has not called me to judge young moms, but to help them. Having made so many mistakes along the way, and often feeling so alone in this great calling, I did not want other mamas to go the road without providing some encouragement, hope and help along the way.

Motherhood is a very long-term journey. God intends that each child have someone devoted to them their whole lives—a mom! But each mom needs her own coach and cheerleader to walk beside her—to mentor her and to help her understand spiritual righteousness; to help her patiently love her children so that she will give emotional health; and to teach her to create a haven where the lives of their children might thrive in a loving, protected and stimulating home that the mom has created.

Yet, today’s moms are supposed to do all of this without help or training or support systems—or next door neighbors to help her in times of need. All of us have good days and bad and lots in between. But the role of a Titus 2 woman should be to give hope, inspiration and training to the mom who feels alone in her home.

One of my favorite aspects of Jesus’ words this year in my personal study is that He is “gentle and humble of heart,” and He then says, “Learn from me” (Matthew 11:29). When someone is humble, merciful, gentle, kind towards me, then my heart is open to learning from them, because I trust they will have my best in mind. However, if I fear I may receive more criticism or harshness, I will run far from that person. And so in the spirit of Jesus, let us come to each other humbly, in gentleness, to give hope, to walk as a shepherd tenderly caring for her sheep—as that is the picture I think Jesus gives us, so we may guide and encourage the mamas He brings into our lives.

*******

I’m so blessed by these precious women who truly get what it means to pour into the next generation. What a treasure they are to those of us still mucking through the trenches of motherhood. Thank you for being so loving and kind, ladies!

Pray with me, friend?

Lord, my heart is hurting for those among us who don’t have a real Titus 2 woman in our lives to help us walk through life with grace. So I want to lift those women up to you now, and ask you to meet this need in their lives somehow, some way. In Jesus’ name.

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Like this article? You might find these resources helpful:

Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe (Sally’s book co-written with Sarah Mae).

Growing Great Kids: Partner with God to Cultivate His Purpose in Your Child’s Life (Kate’s book).

Hope for the Weary Mom: Where God Meets You in Your Mess

How to Control Your Emotions, So They Don’t Control You: A Mom’s Guide to Overcoming

Surprised By Life: Five Ways to Respond Well When Life Doesn’t Go as Planned (Free)

*This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something using them, I’ll receive a small portion of the profit. Thanks for supporting my ministry!

to the older moms, who’ve raised their children well

Someone took the time to write a comment on a blog of mine the other day (not here) that was long, and I think, intended to teach me a lesson (it’s been taken down, so don’t worry about trying to find it). And while I don’t think she was trying to hurt me, she did.

From her comment, I can deduce that her children are grown, and doing well. Women in this season of life have a unique, special, and God-given opportunity to minister to women like me, teaching me along the lines of Titus 2:4-5 to love my husband and children, and be self-controlled. Honestly, the church needs more women in this stage of life to rise up and invest in the next generation. We’re desperate for help, wisdom, someone to tell us we’re doing OK, and gently instruct us in how to do better.

But I’ve been seeing something among the body of believers that just breaks my heart—women who have raised their children well, totally missing the point of Titus 2—cutting instead of cleansing, bruising instead of bandaging, crucifying instead of edifying.

why is it that we would rather bruise than bandage?

Why is it that we would rather bruise than bandage? (<<–tweet that).

What I wrote about was a specific season of our lives—a specific day really—that was tough and felt out of control. And while I do write a lot about those days (because I know we all have them, and I want to encourage you to cling to God through them), our days aren’t always out of control. We have some good ones too. But she somehow missed that, and assumed that our lives are like this all the time.

I’m strong enough in my faith to evaluate what people say about me through the lens of prayer, scripture, and my inner circle of friends who really know me. But even though I went through this process with her comment, and found it to be untrue, I had a hard time shaking it off.

We’re coming out of a rough season at The McGlothlin Home for Boys. Surgery, sickness, and book deadlines have made us all weary, and in some ways, our defenses are down. So each time my boys have disobeyed me this week, I’ve heard her words accusing me, “you need to control your children…” and honestly, it’s  been an intentional fight on my part to put those words firmly in their place (behind me…).

Mean Mamas

I’ve written before about how the online space seems to give us license to be mean, but this type of mean literally breaks my heart. Not just because of the way it affects me, but because I know that many of you out there who read what I write aren’t in a strong place in your faith. You’re grappling, struggling, and holding on by a thread.

Beyond that, not all of us have easy children. Some of you are dealing with situations out of your control that literally crush you under a weight of guilt and fear every day, and it takes every ounce of strength you have to trust Jesus through it.

There’s no place for “you need to control your children…” in that.

Please understand, I’m not saying we don’t all need to work hard to teach and train our children (to obey, to love others, to be kind, to love Jesus), but when you don’t know a person…don’t really know what they’re going through, and only have a small glimpse of the life they lead, those words are just better off unsaid.

So here’s my heartfelt plea to you, mama—the one who has raised her children well, and now has a wonderful opportunity to pour into those of us still mucking through the hard season of mothering.

Be nice. Use your words to build us up, not to crush our spirits. If you see things from afar, keep your thoughts to yourself until you’ve taken the time to know us. Because what you see from afar might not be the reality. This works both ways, actually. If we’re obviously struggling, reach out and give us your time, space, ministry, and love. And if we’re smiling on the outside, we might be dying on the inside. Reach out, give us your time, space, ministry , and love.

Your words carry more weight than you know, and the enemy of our souls wants to take them and allow them to eat away at our confidence in God’s ability to redeem our mess.

We need you to be nice.

We need you to speak life. We need you to care more about the health of our souls than putting us in our place and making us feel bad for our mistakes.

Don’t miss this opportunity to leave a legacy…especially if you did it well.

Next time you get a criticism (whether online or off), consider following these simple rules to figure out if it’s worth your time.

  1. Pray and ask Jesus to protect your heart, but also to reveal any truth you need to see.
  2. Go to God’s word and let it teach you on the subject at hand. Are you wrong? Is the person who has hurt you approaching you with a correct spirit? Are they trying to edify or crucify? The answer to those questions go a long way in how you receive the criticism.
  3. Ask the people who know you best how they see the criticism. Be open to their answer, even if it’s negative, but in general, trust the people who really know you over people who don’t. Words written on a page can be misconstrued. It’s harder to do that when you’re walking out life with someone.

Pray with me, friend?

Lord, we all get it wrong sometimes. It can be hard to see our own faults, especially for those of us just trying to survive a difficult time. We do need people to come alongside us and show us our sin, and we know you discipline those you love. Protect us today from those who come only to bruise instead of bandage, and bring us loving women who have raised their children well to come alongside us and lead us to you. In Jesus’ Name.

Red Letter Words Comments Graphic

Like this article? You might find these resources helpful:

Encouragement from REAL Titus 2 Women (a follow-up post)

Hope for the Weary Mom: Where God Meets You in Your Mess

How to Control Your Emotions, So They Don’t Control You: A Mom’s Guide to Overcoming

Surprised By Life: Five Ways to Respond Well When Life Doesn’t Go as Planned (Free)

*This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something using them, I’ll receive a small portion of the profit. Thanks for supporting my ministry!

Yesterday was a mess, but there’s hope for tomorrow

Yesterday was a mess.

It was one of those days when I really would’ve liked to throw in the towel on motherhood, turn in my pink slip, or let the boss know I was done.

I find that there are a lot of those days in this season of my mothering, and that most of the time I just have to find a way to keep putting one foot in front of the other, remembering that growing godly kids takes time.

But a few years ago, I grew tired of just surviving my days, and started investigating how a weary mom can find strength for this task on an ongoing basis. I wanted (was desperate for) something I could turn to that would provide relief every time, exactly when I needed it most. So I looked to the Bible for wisdom, and found it.

I’m sharing at The Better Mom today about how a non-crafty mom, a Thanksgiving Tree, and a total holiday flop led me to a place of hope that has radically changed my mothering. I hope you’ll join me over there!

I also told you yesterday that I would be sharing a fun announcement today on the blog. I’ve been trying to think of ways to make this blog a blessing to you, and make it a safe, fun place to share your heart. My friend Dee, from Red Letter Words, and I talked it over, and decided that we wanted to work together to reward people who take the time to comment on my blog. Here’s the scoop:

Red Letter Words Comments Graphic

So starting today, when you leave a comment on this blog, you’ll be entered into a monthly drawing from Red Letter Words for a beautiful 5×5 print from Dee’s collection (one winner each month)! We’re so excited to be able to bless you this way. Dee’s art is nothing short of inspiring, and the pieces I have remind me daily of God’s love for me. I know they’ll do the same for you!

And finally, could I beg your prayers, friends? The last month has kicked my tail. I’m sure I’ll have hilarious stories to tell as a result, but right now, things don’t feel that funny—just chaotic. My husband’s ACL surgery has knocked us for a loop, and while he’s getting better every day, it’s put a stress on our family that was more than we bargained for.

The good news is that our amazing local community has surrounded us well. We’re being loved on, and we’re so grateful for the gifts they’ve given. But if you have a moment to leave a prayer in the comments for us, I promise to soak in each and every one.

In addition to his surgery, the new Hope for the Weary Mom manuscript is due March 1. I need prayers for words to fall like manna from heaven. And I need prayers that I can hold everything together for my family without losing it in the process. My husband has given so much for me over the last year. I want to use this time to serve him well AND meet my deadlines AND continue to fight for my boys.

Thanks!