The One Tip to Simplify Holiday Gatherings with Littles

The Holiday season throws more curveballs and new experiences at our kids than a Disneyworld ride. One day we’re cozied up on the couch with hot chocolate, the next we’re all “no sugar! no television!” One weekend we’re at a party where they’re running around with kids and playing all the games, the next we’re at an extra church service where they can’t talk or move. It’s a bit unfair to expect them to adapt to every situation without a little preparation–thats where “the pep talk” comes in.

Why We Chose to Homeschool

It’s such a strange thing to type, “we chose to homeschool.” Have you ever stumbled into a life you’d never choose for yourself but know beyond the shadow of a doubt it’s what’s right for you, right now? That’s where I find myself. I still wouldn’t be able to say I “chose” to homeschool, but I can say this with full confidence: I have been called to homeschool this year and I’m going to offer my desires, ideals and fears up every day to see what the Lord has in store through this year with my guy.

My Favorite Bible Resources for Kids

One question I receive over and over again is “What are your favorite resources for teaching your kids about Jesus?” And the answer is long, because it’s a lot of things and also, it’s one thing. We use little flash cards our church sends home with the kids to memorize scripture with Oshiolema. We read a bible story every morning and evening. We do different devotionals and listen to worship and bible verses in song. We do catechism questions and repetition…but mostly, I do my best every day to look like Jesus. And I believe that, along with scripture, is the best tool we have. 

Real Talk

I’ve been doing this thing lately where I dread excursions, no matter how excited I am about them, because I’m nervous about how my kids will act. I have to say, my kids happen to be my favorite 3 and 1.5 year olds on the planet. This goes without saying, of course. But I still felt I should. They are genuinely very well behaved with hearts of absolute gold. That being said, I don’t know if I’m the only one but I figured out recently that my kids try out different things they normally wouldn’t when we’re in a new environment. I have to say, it started to eat away at me.

It doesn’t affect me whatsoever when my friend’s kids have an all out tantrum, throw their food or have a hard time sharing. They’re kids! Of course that happens! But when my kids do the same, I completely lose focus and all hopes of me feeling present and enjoying the moment are lost.

If they ignore me (it’s happened.) if they talk back to me with attitude (happened for the first time last week.) if they kick someone (it’s happened.) if they lean over their friend, shoving them into the ground (…take a guess.) Rather than thinking of their needs and an opportunity for teaching and growth, I am scared of what their behavior says about me.

This is a normal feeling. It’s natural. But it’s not right.

I had to remind myself the other day the truth. My kids were not created to be robots-doing everything I say. My kids weren’t created in my image, to bring me glory. My kids were not created to reign in our home, following whatever whim and want they come across. My job as a mother isn’t to strive for perfection, pride or indifference. It’s to reveal to my children their need for a savior and introduce them to the love of Christ.

This also brought up another thought in me-if I’m not alone in these feelings and struggles, why do so few mothers talk about it? On social media we’re so eager to stay “surface close.” We’re sure to give our support in the form of likes and comments. We reach out to ask things like “where did you get that outfit!?” or “how do they like that snack/toy/book?” but when it comes to really supporting each other in stewarding the hearts of these children entrusted to us, it can be pretty quiet.

The more I’ve opened up to dear friends of mine with littles of their own about the difficulties of the current phases my kids are in, I’m so comforted to know they’re often in the same place. The isolation I experience can be so brutal I often forget I created it myself. So here I am, extending the same freedom to you.

I’d love to hear how I can pray for you in whatever season of motherhood you find yourself in right now. Whether it’s finding grace to survive endless sleepless nights with a nursing baby, guilt and stress while navigating the unpredictability of your toddler, a strained relationship with a teenager or even with your grown children.

I’m working on re-centering my focus, removing it from me and even from my little loves and placing it back on the Lord. The weight of the world was never meant for my shoulders, it rests light as a feather on His.


Thoughts for my Mother on Mother’s Day

I wrote the piece below on Mothers Day in 2013, almost exactly a year before I’d find out I was pregnant with a baby of my own. My mom is the complete opposite of me. I spent my whole childhood confident I’d never understand her, and yet three years after becoming a mother myself I realize we are all called to mother in our own way. We’re given children just for us. Grace just for us. Wisdom just for us. Endurance just for us. And inspiration from our own mothers, just for us. If I didn’t have a penny to my name, no roof over my head and no one to call mine- I’d still know the goodness of God because he chose me for my mom. Happy Mother’s Day, friends.