I was sitting with a friend very dear to me and we weren’t just catching up – we were sharing some of hardest struggles and where God was leading us.
We were getting honest about our relationship, our different lives and our different paths and she just said it.
“You know I think I don’t read your blog because it’s just another reminder of all the things I’m not doing right.”
Oh my heart.
We kept talking and discussed comparison and the pressures of motherhood. And, how some days – that keeping our kids alive and trying not to cry seems doable. And, then there are some days you can get traction and see them learning and thriving.
What I know is that my friend isn’t alone because I feel the same way. I read blogs and books and the Bible and get defeated. I am reminded of my own weaknesses and “areas of opportunities.” I look left and right at my amazing crew of friends that walk on water in my mind and I just see where I am missing it.
The problem is that I don’t want to be responsible for adding guilt into your lives. I want to provide you simple tools and fun ideas to bring your families closer to Jesus.
I can help this issue by sharing as much or more of my struggle vs where I get it right. I can share as many bad photos as I do picture perfect. I can remind you that the goal isn’t to be like any mom out there – it’s to follow Jesus and to be the best version of you and lead your family that way.
You have to be your own filter. Decide on your priorities and insert only the best ideas for your family. Run them through the goals for each child and with your family vision. If an idea is so stinkin cute, but it would never work in your family – I give you permission to delete immediately. Remove it from your mind. Consider also setting boundaries for yourself on social media. I have cut a big portion of my blog reading and overall surfing time at night because I notice that’s when I begin inserting negative thoughts into my heart.
I am going to tell you right now – my family doesn’t do every single idea (to the fullest) that is seen on this blog. Some days – we do talk about love and kindness. And some days – we barely get by.
I am not the answer. Jesus is. And I spin my wheels and ideas to keep pointing your family back to Him. And, I much prefer to share you my real life (and my friends’) interactions and stories – when faith intersects with parenting. The cute and creative ideas are fun for sure – but when I can share “this is what happened and here is how God showed up” – THAT fires me up. Because it hopefully reminds you that he will do the same for you. We are all his children.
Switching gears but also on my heart tonight..
I will give you one suggestion as pre-homework before the book launches this Fall.
Before you can instill virtues, love and laughter – regain control of your home.
It happens every year, several times. I look around the house (exasperated!) and wonder when my kids took over. It may be after a vacation or a time when I said a LOT of yes’s or we just got lax on our rules – but those sneaky little bugs figured it out. They took over.
During “kids are in charge” seasons – it can make for one tense household. For those with tiny ones at home, they are testing and learning boundaries for the first time. For those with elementary age kids and beyond, they are retesting and pushing to see what you will let slide. They pretty much never say “ok” or “sure” to anything you ask. They are going to fight, whine, negotiate and skirt the rules all.day.long.
My Katie always reminds me, “You are the mom.”
And some days – I need to take my position back.
I have to remind myself FUN and BOUNDARIES are not enemies. They can live in the same home. I can be a fun mom … and bring gladness and ice cream and fireflies their way – while holding tight to the rules of our home. I can watch closely for a word of disrespect or a moment of defiance – while snuggling tight and later hosting a family dance party. Because if you smack your sister in the middle of the dance party – there’s a consequence for that.
I regained control back in last week after a great meeting with Tara from Home First Behavior and she gave me some great tips and reminders. I’ll share them with you soon.
In a matter of days, the tune of the house changed. I followed through on my threats. I was consistent. There was structure. There was still joy and there was seriously less yelling.
Ah, it felt so good not to feel like my head was going to spin off.
So, all of this to DUMP on you … can you remember that we are the same? That my house explodes with fits? That we aren’t skipping around singing memory verses every hour?
However, we do believe with all of hearts that Jesus works. And when our kids experience him in a real way – they want more.
Do not lose heart. You are enough. If you need to take a season off from reading blogs, let me first to invite you to do that.
No guilt. No guilt. No guilt.
All grace and love right here – Courtney