Newborn Mom

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I really didn’t like kids. Curious confession from a mom of four boys.

The truth is, I like my kids now. But eleven years ago, my life as “Mom” was filled with tears, exhaustion and the sinking feeling that I was an utter failure!

Desperately needing some advice, I called my mom. She said something I think every new mom should hear, “Whitney, you’ve brought home a brand new baby who doesn’t know how to eat or even sleep through the night by himself. Sweetie, what you don’t know is that when you bring home a newborn baby, you are a newborn mom. You don’t expect Cooper to grow up overnight. Don’t expect that from yourself either.”

So where are all the new mom’s out there? Right now, breathe in and remind yourself, “I’m a new mom, and I’m going to learn and grow just right along with my baby.”

For more encouragement, sign up for our next Online Bible Study.

Related Resources:

Encouragement for Today by Lysa TerKeurst, Karen Ehman, Amy Carroll and other P31 authors

The Books of 1 & 2 Samuel Experience Guide

Check out all of Proverbs 31 Ministries Resources

Jesus Fills the Gaps

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So I missed my boy’s award ceremony at school because I was on a plane to go speak at a women’s event.

That’s the life of a mom. You miss stuff; you feel guilty. People often ask how I do it all, and here’s the answer. I don’t!

I miss awards day, I’m not room mom, I can’t go on all the field trips, but here is what I’m learning. Our inability to do it all, bring it all, be it all leaves wonderful voids for Jesus to fill. Jesus is present when we are there and when we’re not.

For the awards days, Jesus filled the gap with an amazing husband and dad who left his ridiculously high pressure job to attend four awards ceremonies. He texted me mid- ceremony, and I think, I’m so glad he’s there.

Mama’s don’t sweat the cracks in your life, Jesus fills them just fine.

For more encouragement, visit Proverbs31.org.

Related Resources:

Encouragement for Today by Lysa TerKeurst, Karen Ehman, Amy Carroll and other P31 authors

The Book of Joshua and Judges Experience Guide

Check out all of Proverbs 31 Ministries Resources

Recipe for an Apology

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I was explaining to my son that he needed to make better choices and not fight with his brother over silly little things.

“Like when you and Dad had that big fight about whether we should button the top button of our shirt?” he asked.

Well yes, Dylan, exactly like that. Isn’t it awesome when conviction comes from the mouth of your kids?

Parenting has provided me with plenty of opportunities to practice the art of apologizing. So I paused my well-prepared sermon and apologized to Dylan for arguing with my husband over something so silly. I explained that Jesus is still working on my heart too.

I hope that the sermon of my life lasts a lot longer and shouts a lot louder than any speech I could give my boys. Today’s lesson was the recipe of a good apology, served with a side of humble pie.

For more daily encouragement download our FREE app First 5, and spend your first moments of each day with God.

Related Resources:

NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women

The Book of Joshua and Judges Experience Guide

Check out all of Proverbs 31 Ministries Resources

 

Only God is Good at Being God

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Sometimes I struggle trusting God with my kids.

When my middle daughter chose her college, I wanted to give her a list a mile long on why she absolutely should not go to that school.

But God. He had a plan I never could have imagined.

He had a woman at the school praying for her. He had friends waiting to love her. He had small group leaders waiting to show her how to have a real relationship with Jesus. And He had a young man waiting to fall in love with her and make her a preacher’s wife.

He also had a powerful lesson for me. Planning out my children’s lives isn’t my job. My best job as a mom is to be obedient to God. God’s job is everything else.

Because God is good. And only God is good at being God.

For more ways to experience God download our FREE app First 5, and spend your first moments of each day with God.

Related Resources:

What Happens When Women Walk in Faith by Lysa TerKeurst

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Check out all of Lysa’s Books & Resources

Reality Discipline with Younger Children

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Reality discipline for younger kids … is it possible?

It has been a while since my kids were preschool age, but I do remember holding on for dear life sometimes exclaiming this too shall pass! My reality discipline ideas, during that phase, seemed to be centered around privileges.

When my kids played with their toys correctly and put them away when asked, it showed they were responsible enough to have a few extra minutes added to their bedtime. But if they were defiant, this showed me they needed extra sleep, which meant fewer privileges.

Whatever the consequence, I made sure it was tied to the action. I tried to make sure that I thought of safe and reasonable consequences before my kids pushed my buttons.  Otherwise, emotions pushed over the edge will often cause us to throw out threats we won’t carry through.

For more encouragement, sign up for our next Online Bible Study.

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Am I Messing Up My Kids by Lysa TerKeurst

Godly Friends for Our Kids

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If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s that there’s no magic formula for raising kids.

If a new mom were to ask me for a secret formula, I’d say pray for wisdom to know how to balance discipline and grace, work and fun, saying yes or no and pray that they’ll find really good friends. The friend’s part is huge.

I’ve made plenty of mistakes as a mom. But one thing I’ve discovered I did right was praying for godly friends for my daughter. She’s not the kind of girl who will ever have a ton of friends. But I want the friends she does have to be good influences. So, I keep praying.

For more daily encouragement download our FREE app First 5, and spend your first moments of each day with God.

Related Resources:

The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst

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Peace

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Okay here’s a news flash. Whether you have one child or five, some days get a little whacky, and I’m sure that’s not really earth shattering news for you.

Isn’t it good to know that we’re not alone? I don’t know about you, but there are some days I feel that all I do is bounce from one situation to the next.

So how do we find peace? I know that when I take time to pray and study my Bible in the morning, I’m just more prepared to face life. Those days I don’t start off with Jesus, my reactions are harsher, my perspectives are a little more self-centered and my emotions, a lot more on edge.

If my heart has been prepared with God’s perfect help, it produces a peace that helps me handle everyday … even the whacky ones.

For more encouragement, sign up for our next Online Bible Study.

Related Resources:

What Happens When Women Walk in Faith by Lysa TerKeurst

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Check out all of Lysa’s Books & Resources

Don’t Give Up On Yourself

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On days when I blow it as a mom, I can feel like such a failure!

In fact, I remember one day not too long ago, I let the overwhelming stress of motherhood get to me. I had way too many things on my to-do list and decided to run way too many errands with my toddler. At the fourth store, she started whining and misbehaving, and I just wanted her to sit still and go along with my plans!

Every other mom I saw that day looked happy, but I was secretly miserable. Then I felt guilty for not enjoying my daugther. By the end of day, I felt like a failure as a mom. You know, come to think of it, it’s how I feel every time I expect too much of myself and my kids!

Sound familiar? Aren’t you glad our feelings don’t determine our worth as moms? I know I am!

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Related Resources:

A Confident Heart Devotional by Renee Swope

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Seeking Significance

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Sometimes we can get stuck feeling like we’re just a mom or just a wife?

I used to get down on myself thinking that the things I did as a mom, wife or even as a friend didn’t really make a difference. I’d ask God to show me something significant He wanted to do with my life, but I couldn’t see it happening.

Well, one afternoon, God started to change my perspective. My neighbor, Janet, came over to thank me for a thank-you note I’d sent her. To me it was JUST a thank you note, but to Janet it was more. Some things I’d written had really touched her heart and it meant a lot to her.

I began to realize, I wasn’t JUST a mom, JUST a wife, or JUST anything! I was a significant part of God’s plan to encourage my family and my neighbor. I didn’t need to look for something significant God wanted me to do. I just needed to see that where I was serving, was significant.

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Related Resources:

A Confident Heart by Renee Swope

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Check out Renee’s Books & Resources

Love Notes To Lighten Their Load

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Yesterday I tried to pick up my son’s book bag and couldn’t lift it, because it was so heavy!

I found four textbooks, two big binders and some old candy wrappers inside the backpack. I wondered, how can Andrew carry this heavy load all day?  It dawned on me that high school had increased his physical burden but also other burdens as well.

I’ve decided to help lighten his load this year; I am going to put little notes in is book bag.  I can just picture him smiling about my crazy drawings or some fun phrases that we just say between the two of us, or even like a prayer or Bible promise.

Notes tell our kids we’re thinking about them, and that they’re not alone. A funny stick figure can bring laughter to their stressful day. Love notes can actually lighten their loads and lift their hearts!

For more daily encouragement follow us on Facebook.

Related Resources:

A Confident Heart Devotional by Renee Swope

Connect with Renee on her blog, Facebook and Twitter

Check out all of Renee’s Books & Resources