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The Boys Bathed in the Mud that Morning – Shelley Faust

There are some people who cross your path for but a brief moment – and without knowing exactly why, you decide you could really hang out with them. I haven’t had the opportunity to hang out with Shelley, but I follow her on facebook (not in a stalking kind of way). I met her at a writer’s meeting and know our paths will cross again (in a real-life kind of way). And I look forward to it. She’s such an encouragement, and know what? You can follow her too!

This is one of my favorite posts from her blog. This is the mom I want to be… if I had boys.

The Boys Bathed in the Mud That Morning

It was Spring Break and the boys bathed in the mud that morning. They also peppered the living room and hallway with forgotten toys and left-over crumbs from their microwaved lunch. But as I stared at the carton of chocolate delight all I could think about was surprising them with a double-decker, Rocky Road, waffle ice cream cone.

I walked outside and there they sat. Dirty and right in the middle of a home-made fort, built with broken pieces of outdoor furniture, leftover lumber, and any salvageable yard debris they could find.

My heart was giddy as my hands carefully held their dripping surprises behind my back. Certain my smile would give me away I tried to make small talk on the way to their newly constructed site.

“Whatcha doing, guys?”

“We’re just sitting in our fort.”

“That’s a nice fort. How about an ice cream break?”

Their eyes lit up when met with chocolate bliss and a gasp of happiness escaped their eight and nine year old mouths.

My heart overflowed in the midst of their messes.

Isn’t that how God is? He finds us dirty, sitting broken and scrounging for leftovers. And He finds joy in blessing. His Father heart desires to surprise us with extravagant gifts. Showing up when we least expect Him,He offers grace and opens mercy in the morning.

God sees you.

No matter where you are or what is going on, He knows.

And His heart overflows with love FOR YOU.

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39 

Shelly Faust is a wife, mama, writer/blogger, aspiring author, and Proverbs 31 Ministries OBS Team Leader. Her heart is to encourage, inspire, and love others while sharing Jesus through her words and her life – past and present. You can connect with Shelly on her blog (www.isthatyoulord.blogspot.com), twitter (@shellyfaust) or facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ShellyAFaust)

The Day I Was the Worst Mom Ever

Confession: There was a day I was the worst mom ever.

At least that’s what I told myself. It all started with an unmatched pair of socks. For whatever reason, I couldn’t find a pair of socks that matched for the kids. (This was before I bought the mega size packages of plain white socks. Or several packages. All white. You get the picture.) I had little white socks with pink hearts, or little pink socks with white hearts. There were rainbow socks and lace socks, but NONE of them had a match. Yes… I was THAT behind on laundry. All the matched socks were dirty. (This was also before any of my kids had ever re-worn a pair socks.) In a moment of frustration, I told myself what a horrible mom I was. “Bad Mom” is all I could think. In everything I tried to do, I found something negative about myself. The mantra in my head became “You are the worst mom ever!”

The negativity spiraled into a vortex of one angry mom quickly loosing her patience with the kids. The kids would then loose their patience with each other and everyone would walk around grumpy. For days, all I did was focus on what a failure I was. I spent so much time brooding, I didn’t get other important things done. The list of my faults and failures was really adding up.

Knowing my life at that time, the list probably included items such as:

  • forgetting to sweep
  • not picking up cherrios off the unswept floor before my husband got home and realized the kids were eating them
  • forgetting to switch the clothes to the dryer and having to rewash them- again
  • burning toast
  • forgetting an ingredient for dinner
  • yelling at the kids until someone cried
  • speaking mean words to my husband

All, in all, the list is not ideal, but also not worthy of total failure. It was a sad, negative cycle that left me feeling like the worst mom ever. That phrase is exactly what I spoke over  myself until I believed it, and in believing it I lived it.

One day I decided the only way to stop living like that was to – just stop. Start speaking words of truth – even if I didn’t believe it. So where do you find that truth? When your mantra is negative and thoughts of yourself are lower than low, where do you find the encouraging, positive words?  The Creator of all the positive words. The Creator of You.

Psalm 139:12-14

12 Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.

13 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You, for

I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.

I didn’t stop thinking those thoughts overnight, it took years before I actually believed I wasn’t a failure. (I can be stubborn that way!) But it happened. I woke up one day and the thought of me being the worst mom ever made me laugh. I realize it was easier to stay stuck in “I’m the worst” so I didn’t have to strive to be the best. I could be lazy because that’s what bad moms did. Once I started to believe I was WORTH being the best mom, I started to live it. Laziness and mistakes did not equal unworthiness. I began to look at the things I messed up as just that – mess ups. Now, instead of brooding over mess ups, I put them behind me and allow them to teach me how to improve.

What about you? What is YOUR mantra?

Stay a Little Longer – FMF

This is my weekly Five Minute Friday post! Lisa-Jo Baker over at Tales from a Gypsy Mama invites any blogger to participate. Check it out!

Stay

As I leave her room, a small voice whispers “Stay mama” but I am too busy, and too annoyed. I whip around, grit my teeth and push the words out, “Not right now, but I’ll be back in five minutes and we’ll see.” She controlls the sniffles, and I can tell she’s trying hard not to cry. My heart begins to soften, but I’m too busy to notice. I close the door and walk quickly down the hall, bumping into my teenager. Looking up into her eyes – when did she get so tall?- I compliment her on her hair and throw in “Where ya goin?” She turns from me and mumbles something. Words just popped out of my mouth, “Stay a little longer.” My heart completely melts, being busy doesn’t matter, and I’m the one fighting back tears. The little doesn’t last. They grow taller than us and are busier than we are. She smiles and walks off. I turn around and walk back into the little one’s room. I’m not too busy to stay, I decide as I hold her for just a little longer.

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