The Struggle is Real: What to Write?

I honestly don’t know how many people read my blog posts. It usually depends on the content. Ironically enough I get more views on a post when it’s about my struggles than posts where I am trying to encourage.

To be honest…I’ve struggled with what to write. I’ve started and stopped MANY posts but I feel like they’re not good enough. Do my posts even help? Why do people want to read about my struggles?

At this time in my life I am happy. Probably the happiest I’ve been in the last few years. I finally have my anxiety under control. I’ve found a purpose for my life and I’m starting to make the Midwest my home. So what do I write about?

Well…I could write about getting sick twice within the last month with colds. Or how my husband and I started to open our home to groups of people twice a month. My daughter is on the verge of walking without her scooter. My dogs keep running away. My husband and I are training to become foster parents. We’re also preparing the house and bedrooms for these teens to come stay. Oh, and I’m enjoying A LOT of tea these days. Earl Grey is my favorite, but I still drink my morning cup of coffee.

Life is busy and full of change. I see our lives transitioning into a different season. In a good way. We’re preparing our home, hearts and minds to help teen girls. I know my busy schedule now will look so relaxing once we start receiving kids in our home. So no worries there will soon be lots for me to write about. But for now — this post is random.

For those few who read my blog what would you like to read about more? Would you like for me to be more transparent with my posts? More posts about mommy tips? Healthy food recipes? What I’ve read lately in my Bible studies?

 

 

No Ministry? No Problem

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“I need a bigger table before I can host a girl’s brunch.” As I look at my small table with four chairs, I realize I can’t fit a lot of friends around this thing. I need one of those long farmhouse tables. It must be perfect and have lots of room.

I’ve been saying this to myself for a few years now. Waiting until I have the perfect place to invite groups of people over. But one day I saw a quote that allowed me to see I already had a place.

“You don’t have to lead a ministry to be a ministry.”

Christy Wright, Business Boutique.

I realized that I don’t have to wait for the perfect size table. I already have a table and chairs. I have the tools to host people in my home. To invite others to enjoy a home cooked meal and some great conversation around the dinner table. I do not need a large table to turn my home into a ministry to the outside world.

My husband and I decided to invite several co-workers and friends over to our house for a dinner and game night. Since our dining room table is small we decided to pull out our 8-foot plastic folding table. I added a table cloth that transformed our generic table into an inviting place to sit.  When I friends came over we played games, ate dinner and had a lot of laughs. Never once did the type of table I had come up in conversation.

I am happy to say that in a few weeks I am finally going to host the lady’s brunch. I still don’t have a nice big table but I will make do with what I have. I’ve met so many women lately who just want to connect with others. That’s what I hope my plastic table can help do. I really want my home to be a place where people come to relax and feel loved. I even had my friend Heather make me a sign for my dining room. It’s from a David Crowder song. When I heard the lyrics I knew that’s what I wanted in my dining room.

“Come sit at the table, come taste the grace.”

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I think it’s easy for us to assume we don’t have the right materials to impact others. But God never said we needed things like a perfect dining room table to bring people together in his name. All we need is to offer what we have to those around us. Whether that’s serving meals to our guest on fine China or on paper plates. Use what you have. If you remember you remember when Jesus was dining at Simon’s home when a woman broke open expensive perfume for him. She used what she had to show Jesus her appreciation.

“She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” -Mark 14:8-9

What do you have that can be used to help others? Are you waiting for the perfect time or place to host a small group? I say don’t wait. There are people in this world who need to see and hear how much God loves them. It’s amazing what a warm meal and good conversation can do to help show that to others.

Pinterest loving, Cloth Diapering, Paleo Eating Moms are Human Too

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How Tea Time Helps Me Stay Connected

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It was more than 2 years ago my husband and I moved to the Midwest. We were excited to head to a new place but leaving family was hard. Now, they live about 12 hours away. With our busy schedules it’s hard to stay in touch with family on a regular basis. As 2018 is about to start I decided I wanted to spend more time with my family. Even if it is over the phone.

Yesterday, I text my sister and scheduled an afternoon phone call with “tea time”. We both asked our husbands to watch the kids while we went into a quiet room to talk on the phone. My sister enjoyed a hot cup of Chai tea while I grabbed an afternoon cup of coffee. We talked on the phone for almost 3 hours. (We did not expect it to go that long). It was great. I loved just talking to her about what’s been going on.

My sister and I always enjoyed drinking coffee and talking ever since I can remember. When we lived in the same city I would go over to her house and talk all day. We even liked going out for Starbucks and making a girls day out of it. Sadly, those moments are far and few between these days. Again, the distance and the fact we’re raising kids of our own can make it difficult to spend time together.

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As I get older, I find myself seeing the real importance of life. People. I would trade everything to have more time with my family and friends. I also know we are not promised tomorrow. I want to make the best of each day. Last year, I struggled a lot with depression and anxiety. I had very few people who knew. Even fewer who reached out to  see how I was doing. Now that I am doing better I want to make sure the people that I love don’t go unnoticed. It’s so important for us to take the time to see others. To ask how they are doing. To stop and schedule some time to talk with a friend or family member.

That’s why in 2018 I hope to spend more quality time with family and friends. Even if it’s over the phone. By scheduling an hour to sit and talk is important to me. I’m hoping to add more of my friends and family to this new tradition. As my husband and I journey into becoming foster/adoptive parents I know we will need support. We will need to have strong relationships around us. No matter the distance.

What are some ways you stay in touch with family and friends? Is there someone you need to reach out to?

Leave your comments below. I want to hear from you.

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Breakfast with a Friend

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“Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonest.”- Titus 2:3-5

If you read my blog post, “Cultivating Friendship,” then you may remember where I challenged myself and my readers to go out and find another mommy friend. I’m happy to say my challenge couldn’t have come at a better time.

Last Saturday, I had breakfast with a dear friend from church. I first met Michele at a Memorial Day picnic, but it was my Mother-in-law who connected their family with ours.

Michele has been married to her husband for 16 years and has four children. Her kids are older than my daughter, but I knew I wanted to connect with a veteran mom who’s been where I am now.

I remember waking up that Saturday morning with excitement. I couldn’t remember the last time I met a friend for a meal. I would love to say I went went to breakfast dressed nice from head-to-toe. Instead, I wore a hoodie and yoga pants. That’s the mommy fashion anyway, right? I knew Michele wouldn’t mind.

Michele and I met at Bob Evan’s for breakfast. I had never been there before so I wanted to try it out. It was amazing! An upgrade from IHOP.  When arrived, Michele was already there with a table. I was so thankful because I had yet to have my morning cup of coffee. The days I try to function without it seem like a mess.

Michele and I began to talk about our week. I remember it being a stressful week for me at work and home. Then, Michele began to tell me about her week. We were so in depth in conversation, the waitress approached our table several times to take our order.

During the time we placed our breakfast order and got our food, we were learning a lot more about one another. This was the first time Michele and I had a one-on-one conversation. I told her about my family and she told me more about hers. We went from talking about things we liked to how both of our husbands love Dr. Pepper. I even discovered we have a similar passion for the show, “Fixer Upper.” The more we talked the I began to realize how much we had in common. It was refreshing to not only connect with another mom, but one that has similar tastes. As time passed, our conversations became more in depth. It was as if we had known each other for years. By the time my plate was empty we were on the topic of how overwhelming motherhood can be. We were not complaining about it by any means, just opening up about those difficult moments. For me, I explained how I felt like a failure that week because my husband had to feed Aurora  formula. Until then, she was strictly breastmilk fed. I was struggling with production, but still felt like it was my fault.

As we were gathering our things to leave, I remember telling Michele why I asked her to breakfast. I explained my struggles finding other mommy friends. I was a little nervous to say those words out loud because I felt embarrassed. Michele replied that she was dealing with something similar when she first moved to the area as well. She went on to suggest we do something like this once a month. That’s when I learned Michele wanted to get out of the house more herself. That was a wake-up call.

By asking Michele to breakfast I was thinking it would be more for me than her. She’s been a mom longer than me and has other friends so I felt honored that she gave up her time on a Saturday morning. However, I realized that she needed those few hours of mommy friend time just as much as me.

It goes to show that no matter how long you’ve been a mother or what season you’re in, time with other moms is needed.

Did you take my challenge? How did it feel to connect with another mom? Are you making it a monthly or weekly thing? I hope you were able to feel the relief when connecting with your new mommy friend. Here is my next challenge.

First, go re-read the verse I included at the beginning of this blog post. Titus 2:3-5. Let the words sink in for a few seconds. Then, I want you to write down at least 5 moms that you know. They can be older than you, younger, a sibling or friend. I challenge you to connect with them throughout the week. It can be a quick text message or Facebook message. I encourage you to ask how things are going in their life, ask them how you can pray for them that day or throughout the week, and send them an uplifting message or scripture.

Maybe you can go a step further and meet them for coffee or FaceTime for 15 minutes this week. As you go throughout your week, remember to pray for them. Even if you don’t know what to pray about. As the week goes by, you’ll be able to see how God is working through you to reach other moms. You may even see how God is working in your life as well.

Feel free to share this post with other moms. I would love see a week where mothers encourage each other versus comparing or judging one another. Once you’ve completed the challenge, post your experiences in the comment section below. You never know what mother you will encourage to make a difference.