Picture of Gratitude

I crept through the quiet apartment turning off lights so that Lee and I could turn in for the night. I caught a glimpse of his boots beside our lit Christmas tree and a calm contentment fell over me. I stared for a moment, allowing the feeling to sink in while reflecting on previous Christmases. Three years ago Lee spent Christmas in Afghanistan and last year he spent it in Iraq, but this year all five of us would be in Korea celebrating Christmas together. I took a quick picture to keep as a reminder of how blessed I truly am. Those boots meant that my soldier would be home for Christmas.

Under different circumstances I likely would have carried on without pause, turning off the lights and heading to bed. I fear that had we never been apart from one another I would have looked at the tiny, artificial tree and I would have seen a reminder that our decorations are limited this year because many of our belongings are locked in a storage unit across the ocean. The homemade ornaments that cover our tree might have been invisible to my distracted eyes, and the boots just another pair of shoes to be put away.

The challenges that preceded that moment changed this picture from one of indifference to one of gratitude. This picture represents the five of us working together to find the perfect place for this little tree. It represents the sound of giggles and Christmas carols. It represents sipping coffee with my husband as we watch the kids carefully place each ornament on the tree–and then noticing that the spot on the tree where most of the ornaments are clumped together is a bit higher this year as the kids have grow taller.

This picture reminds me to be thankful that we’re all together this year, but it also reminds me to be thankful for the deployments that demanded intentionality and unknown strength. I thank God for the challenges that produced the perspective to appreciate the richness of this picture. This picture of gratitude.

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Dear Uncertain Me

Seven years ago, when my husband approached me about wanting to pursue a career as an Army Chaplain, I was uncertain of exactly what that would mean for our family. Now, as we  prepare for a second deployment, I’m taking time to reflect on some of the lessons God has taught me over the past seven years, and especially the past three years that Lee has been active duty. When we started this journey, I had no idea what our future held, but if I could offer that “uncertain me” some words of encouragement, it would look something like this.

Dear Uncertain Me,

You are at a pivotal time in your life, wrestling with all of the potential scenarios for your
future. A new scenario has been put on the table; Army Wife. Your husband speaks with
gentleness, but also with a sense of urgency, “Pray about it,” he says. He wants to be a chaplain for the United States Army, but only if he has your full support. You feel the weight of this decision on your shoulders. If you say yes, what does it mean for your husband, your small children, and for you? But you don’t pray about it—not really. You say the right words, followed by an empty “Amen,” and then open your laptop to explore the wisdom of blogs and news articles that fill the Internet. There, you discover the dangers of The Middle East as you read old information with new eyes. You uncover stories of soldiers, even chaplains, returning from war with PTSD, or worse, not returning at all. You learn of long deployments followed by rocky times of reintegration, sprinkled with frequent relocations of the entire family. You have your answer–a resounding “no,” because you can’t bring yourself to put your children through this.

Then the Holy Spirit gently nudges you and you begin to pour your heart out to God.
“I’m not strong enough for this life,” you explain. And the Lord answers, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” You pray, “If this is your will for us, then give me peace.” And the peace of God described in Philippians 4:7, peace which surpasses all understanding, covers you. Supernatural peace. Your eyes meet your husband’s and you say, “For what it’s worth, I’m all in.” “That’s all I was waiting for,” he replies.

Uncertain Me, there are a few things that you should know about the journey that awaits you. The first is that even when you don’t understand what is happening, you must stay focused on God and trust Him to bring you through it, because He always will. You will expect the process to move quickly, but it won’t. Be patient. God will use this time to mold you and to prepare you for what lies ahead. After years of waiting, the time will come for you to leave your old life behind and start a new one. This new life will bring times of uncertainty, but “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:17) Your marriage will be challenged as you experience high stress circumstances and long separations brought by trainings and deployments, but in those times, you will discover new depths to the love you share for one another. You will recognize that you once took each other for granted, but will begin to look at each other with new found admiration as you serve together, while oceans apart. You will cry with your children and doubt yourself, and then be reminded of God’s faithfulness once again as you watch your children learn that “Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.” (Isaiah 40:31) The joy of the LORD will fill your hearts, even in the face of adversity, and your home will be full of love and laughter.

Uncertain Me, you should also know that you will lose much of your current identity along this journey, but in Christ, you will discover a new one. After 12 years of teaching, you will set your career aside—a choice that you will make so that you can be constant for your children in an ever-changing environment. After 13 years of volunteering at the same church, you will no longer be at that church—or any church, as your family will attend chapel on Sunday mornings. You will struggle at times, feeling like you’ve lost a piece of yourself. You will look for opportunities to get involved and find role models to emulate in an effort to discover your purpose, but you will continue to struggle until you recognize the truth—it’s not about you or how people see you. Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

In Christ, you will find opportunities for teaching, serving, and pouring out yourself to others in ways that you never could have anticipated. You will be given opportunities to partner with your husband in ministering to military families, recognizing that the call to ministry is a call that envelopes your entire family. Finding your identity in all of your accomplishments will leave you feeling empty, but finding your identity in Christ will uncover a life of purpose.

Spend time studying and growing. Listen to the godly men and women in your life with humility and remain teachable. God, in his faithfulness will present the perfect opportunities for you to serve using the gifts and abilities he has given you. Keep your eyes on him so that you will be ready to “…do it all for the glory of God.” (Corinthians 10:31)

So, Uncertain Me, you have been sent to serve. Be bold and go where God leads with
confidence. It won’t always be easy, but the journey will be well worth it.

Sincerely,
Me

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Through the Storm

With a crash of thunder I was jolted awake. I fumbled around in the darkness, feeling for the throw pillows and a couple of books that occupy my husband’s side of the bed during his deployment. I tossed the items on the floor, clearing a place for my four-year old, who entered with a whimper right on cue. Like a well choreographed dance she and her blanket found themselves into my arms and then over to Lee’s side of the bed, her head perfectly positioned below my shoulder. Her quick, sharp breaths became slow and heavy as her fear subsided. In spite of the crashing thunder and flickers of lightning that continued, her breathing remained steady.

Over the past few months I’ve found myself in a similar position. My storm began when I kissed my husband goodbye and sent him to a combat zone over 7,000 miles away. I cried out to God, and I ran to Him. God already knew of my storm. In fact, He doesn’t only protect me during the storm; He is in control of it.

As I’ve been studying the life of Daniel, the Holy Spirit has reminded me that my life is ultimately not my own. When Daniel was stripped away from his home and was taken to Babylon, he put his trust in God and remained faithful (Daniel 1-2). He trusted that God had a plan for his life, and God used him to accomplish His purpose. When God gave him the interpretation to Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, thus saving numerous lives, Daniel cried out to God saying,

“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding…” Daniel 2:20-21

Daniel was faithful, and God gave him everything he needed.

Have I put my trust in God and remained faithful during the storm? I can find peace in Him when I realize that He alone is in control. He will give me everything I need.

Lord,

Thank you for the storm, because through it I’m reminded that everything I need is in You. May my life bring You glory.

Amen.

 

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Consider it Joy

We joined the United States Army knowing that it was only a matter of time until deployment would be our reality. My kids and I don’t wear the rank, but I’m learning more each day that “we joined” is an accurate statement, as every area of our life is affected by this community of which we are now a part.

After spending five long months apart during the initial training, seeing each other only for a short visit here and there, we were finally reunited. We spent about 2 months together settling into our new home, making new friends, getting the kids settled into their new school, and creating a new normal. Then the time came. Lee was told that he would be getting orders soon and would be serving in Afghanistan.

I took a deep breath and started wondering how the kids would react, which occasions would be missed, what conditions he would be living in, and how each of us will change during our time apart. I remembered the verses that helped get me through our first separation:

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4

A few weeks later we said goodbye. My 4 year old clung to her Daddy crying, “I just want you to stay.” “Consider it pure joy…” I sent my husband to a combat zone and then returned to the comfort of our own home without him. “..whenever you face trials of many kinds…” My 6 year old sat on her bed sobbing silently with the picture of Daddy clung to her chest. “….because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” My 7 year old prayed, “Thank you for letting us have a good Daddy who will follow You no matter what.” “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

This deployment will change us, but it will not break us. We will cry, but we will also laugh. We will be weak, but we will turn to Him and find strength. We will trust Him to work through Lee in Afghanistan and through us right where we are. We will learn, we will grow, and we will persevere. And when we face trials, we will consider it pure joy.

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Lessons Learned

Twelve years ago I sat, a timid college student, days away from completing my internship teaching seventh grade Science.  I prayed that the principal who agreed to interview me for the fourth grade teaching position at the school next door would fall for my confident façade. Apparently she did because a few days later I received the exciting phone call welcoming me aboard.

And now, just like every other year, I prepare to turn in my keys. But this time is different, because this time I may be turning them in for good.  The whole experience is bitter sweet. I’m looking forward to learning what it means to be the wife of an Army Chaplain, and I’m over the moon about having more time to spend with my children, but saying goodbye is never easy, and in this case I’m saying goodbye to a piece of myself.

I look back at the past 12 years (9 years teaching elementary students and 3 years teaching high school students) and realize that nothing happened by accident. Every situation, every emotional high and low has helped shape me into the person I am today, and each moment has played a part in preparing me for what lies ahead. From sneaking some crackers to a child who comes in hungry to crying with a child on the last day of school because she doesn’t want to say goodbye. From helping that senior finish an assignment for another class, moments before it’s due so that he can graduate on time, to pushing a student harder than she has been pushed, helping her accomplish more than she knew she could accomplish.

I’m thankful for all that I’ve learned about teaching and about life through my students and through all of those who I’ve had the privilege to work with over the past few years, and I can’t help but reflect on where I started and how far I’ve come. If I were to have a conversation with the 22 year old me and offer some advice, what would I say? I’ve sat in classes and learned about best practices. I have a degree in elementary education and a minor in Spanish along with a Master of Education in Divergent Learning, so surely I would offer advice about reading strategies and differentiated instruction, right? Well, maybe. But what I’ve come to recognize is that teaching is so much more than ensuring that students can conjugate a verb or solve an equation. If I could offer my younger self some advice, it would be this:

  1. Your students will remember how you treat them over what you teach them. The content is important, but your students will be so much more receptive to what you have to teach them if they know that you truly care about them. Time taken to get to know them and to let them get to know you is not wasted time. It’s a valuable investment.
  2. Prioritize. While spending 10+ hours at school each day and taking work home every night may seem like the only way to get everything accomplished, it’s not. You will get burnt out and quickly lose your patience, your effectiveness, and possibly your mind. What will really matter in the long run? Do those things, and do them well. If it takes you hours to make something that looks impressive, but it doesn’t add a lot of value, let it go. Save time and energy for your family, your friends, and yourself. You’ll be a better teacher and person.
  3. You won’t be able to connect with every student, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. One of the greatest opportunities you’ll have as a teacher is the opportunity to walk through your classroom at the wee hours of the morning and pray over each empty desk, each one representing a child (or teenager) who will occupy it that day. 1 John 5:14 says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” Some of those children don’t have anyone else praying for them or cheering them on. Use that opportunity and don’t take it for granted, because it could make a difference in the trajectory of their life. Pray that God will prepare you to help that child carry whatever “baggage” they bring with them to class that day. Whether they steal your heart from day one or are as tough as nails, each individual is worth getting to know, and a little kindness goes a long way.
  4. Forgive yourself. You will mess up daily. You just will. When you say the wrong thing or have a day—or year—when you can’t seem to get anything right, learn from it and then move on. Forgiving yourself isn’t always easy, but it’s necessary in order to move forward and continue growing.
  5. Forgive others. Expect a lot out of your students and peers, and you’ll be amazed to see how they rise to the occasion. However, sometimes they won’t. Sometimes there will be things going on that you don’t see or understand, and sometimes they will act like they’ve completely lost their minds. Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” What an amazing example to set for young minds to absorb! Holding a grudge is agonizing and uncomfortable. Always make things right and give them a safe place where they know they belong, even after they’ve messed up. This will completely change the climate of your classroom.
  6. It’s okay to have fun. Everything in life can’t be fun, nor should it be, but great things can happen while having fun! If you enjoy the ride, others are more likely to enjoy it with you.
  7. Stay emotionally engaged. The emotional highs and lows of teaching can be draining, and sometimes it would be easier to grow emotionally numb. Don’t allow your emotions to control you, but never stop feeling for those around you. Pray that God will give you a heart that loves others and be willing to do whatever He asks to help those in need.

My time in the classroom has come to a close, but these lessons will go with me. I’ve come a long way since that first interview, but I have a long way to go, which brings me to lesson 8–keep growing.I’m so thankful for everything the past 12 years have taught me, but I know the next chapter of my life is going to bring just as many opportunities. I can’t help but wonder what advice the “me” in 2028 would offer to me now? I guess I’ll have to weather the journey to find out.

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The Day it Became Real

In actuality, it was real all along. I look back now and see how God has been shaping and forming us, as individuals and as a family, for such a time as this. Lee’s background in the military, my background as a missionary kid. It seems almost too obvious, except for the fact that I was determined to put down roots and grow old in one place. But Isaiah 55:8-9 reminds us that, “‘My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.…’”

So here’s our story:

When Lee and I were just a couple of kids, right out of college and engaged to be married, we would talk and dream about the future. There was talk of how many kids we would have and where we would live, where we would spend holidays and extravagant trips we would take to celebrate anniversaries. And in all of this talk, occasionally Lee would slip in, “If I ever went back into the military, it would be as a chaplain. I’ve seen the need.” As the years went by, Lee worked a couple of different jobs; they were good jobs, but never anything that he would consider a career, and on occasion he would mention, “I could still see myself being a chaplain in the military one day.”

Then came the day that changed everything. Lee had been working as the discipleship pastor at Fort Mill Church of God for about three years at that point. We had a one year old, an infant, and were expecting our third. We were happy, and we felt like we were right where we were supposed to be, so I was taken aback when Lee came home talking more seriously than ever about the chaplaincy. His father, the senior pastor at that time, had encouraged all of the staff to evaluate their calling and prayerfully consider if the Lord was still calling them to FMCOG or if He had other plans for them. Lee took this seriously. He came home and said that it was time for us to diligently pray about our future and look into the chaplaincy so that we could either pursue it or lay the idea to rest. Over the next few days he and I prayed about this major life decision as we did our research on the subject. I must admit, there was a lot more research than prayer on my side. Chaplain Richard Pace had agreed to call us one afternoon in order to give us information about the job and lifestyle as well as answer our questions. Leading up to this phone call, I had read blogs and articles and anything I could get my hands on related to military life, specifically that of a chaplain’s wife. Lee sat down beside me as we waited for the call. I looked at him with tears in my eyes and confessed, “I can’t do this. I’m not strong enough.” He said, “Okay,” and assured me that we wouldn’t do anything if we weren’t both on board. I began to pray, “God, if this is Your will for our lives, give me peace, because I can’t do this in my own strength.” The phone rang. For two hours we listened and asked questions. We heard much of the same information that had terrified me just moments earlier, and for two hours I experienced the peace described in Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” When we hung up the phone we looked at each other, smiled, and I said, “For what it’s worth, I’m all in.” “That’s all I was waiting for,” he replied.

The next step was intense, raising a newborn, a one year old, and a two year old while Lee was working toward a Master of Divinity with an emphasis in chaplaincy, and both of us working full time. A couple of years passed and Lee completed his masters. Two more years of ministry experience were required at that point, so he continued, determined to give his all in his current position while going through the process of getting endorsed through the Church of God and submitting his application to the army that ended up being a document just short of 100 pages. And then the hard part came. The wait. In April of 2015 we finally received the news that Lee had been selected…but his training wouldn’t begin until January of 2016. More waiting. Psalm 27:14 says “Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.”  The wait was hard, but we look back and see how God was strengthening us and preparing us during the wait.

And that brings us back to today. The day it became real. I’ve had time to think and process, but today when we made the announcement reality sunk in. While the kids and I aren’t leaving just yet, I am preparing to say goodbye to my husband. That’s assuredly the hardest thing I’ve ever faced up to this point in my life, but the truth is that “If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 4:11.

Thank you, Lord, for your strength. May you receive all the praise. Amen.

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On Nine Years of Marriage

The phone rang, shaking me from the pseudo-sleep I’d been drifting in and out of since my alarm went off about 30 minutes prior. “Happy anniversary,” said my mother-in-law on the other end. Oh yeah. It’s my anniversary.

To be honest, I had completely forgotten. I had dropped the ball on getting the traditional 9-year gift of willow, much to my husband’s chagrin, I’m sure. Lee and I stumbled out of bed, wishing each other a happy anniversary and giving a quick peck as we moved on to our normal morning routine. Our kids, 2, 3, and 4 years of age, came running in, greeting us with smiles and hugs as we attempted to match them in enthusiasm. We worked together to get children dressed, breakfast made, and shoes on, then shoes off and back on the correct feet this time. Lee made up his usual silly songs as he folded some clothes and fixed breakfast. I tested my creativity as I made special ponytails for a child who thinks she’s an actual princess.

And so it goes. It’s what we do. Day in, and day out; like clockwork.

Nine years ago today we were walking down the aisle. And now we’re walking down the walkway with Annie, Ella, and David Lee skipping ahead of us. We congregate in the driveway, giving hugs and kisses to the kids as we rush to our appropriate vehicles, then rush back for a forgotten hug, kiss, and quick, “I love you,” to each other before returning to our vehicles and heading off to work. Every day.

Nine years ago today, we were pledging our love to one another. Today I texted to say, “I love you.” He texted back, “I love you too. My alternator died in my car. Can you pick Annie and me up on your way home from work?” Of course I did. “Happy anniversary,” he said. “I was going to buy you flowers, but then my car died.” I responded with, “I was going to buy you a card, but I was stuck in a meeting.”

And so it goes. Cars break down. Meetings run long. Life happens.

Nine years ago today, Lee gave me a ring and made me a promise. He has kept that promise. The promise we made to one another was deeper than flowers and cards. It was deeper than remembering each other on the special occasions and then going back to normal the rest of the time. Those two kids who exchanged rings nine years ago today had fairy tales and fireworks in mind, but God had so much more designed. He gave us a life together. A life that is real. It has real ups and downs, real joy and heartache, and real love that is selfless and true. Our life isn’t glamorous, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m thankful for a husband who works hard every single day to make my life fuller and more meaningful. He puts my needs above his own. He prays with me and for me, and shows me a love that grows with each passing day.

 

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (ESV)

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

 

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Embracing Motherhood with Love

With motherhood comes pure delight as well as deep discouragement. It brings excitement and frustration. How can something so incredible, something that brings new levels of joy also bring anxiety? When I was first beginning this adventure, I think that on some level I believed that I was the only one experiencing this vast sea of emotions that came with a new bundle of joy. I now know better.

Over the past four years, since having David Lee (my oldest), my eyes have been opened to something that I never knew existed until having children of my own.  While I have been fortunate to experience the loving encouragement given by those closest to me, my eyes were also opened to the judgement and criticism that often exists within the community of mothers.  Strong opinions are shared, whether solicited or not, and many don’t see their views as opinions at all, but as facts.  Instead of offering much needed support and encouragement, these comments can put a new mom on the defense and begin feeding the lie that being a good mother means measuring up to everyone else’s expectations; an impossible task.

When David Lee was just a few weeks old, I was sharing with another new mom about the struggle and frustration that came with not being able to continue breastfeeding as long as I had hoped. I longed for reassurance and acceptance. She responded by explaining that for her, her child is top priority, which involved doing whatever it took to  breastfeed her child.  I internalized the implication that my child was not my top priority. Exhausted and emotional, I barely made it home before I began to cry, guilt creeping over me. I should have done more. I had failed my child.

After that, there were countless other times when I allowed outside voices to confirm my failure at motherhood. “He’s only 6 weeks and you’re already back at work? I couldn’t do it!,” “Homemade, organic food would be better for him,” “Vaccinations could give him autism,” “You already have him sleeping in his own room?,” and so on and so forth. Out of my insecurities came a desire to defend myself, but even as I defended the decisions I made for our family, I was always left wondering if I would ever measure up?

Taking care of that sweet baby boy was a special gift. His Daddy and I loved on him and laughed with him. We sang songs and danced together. We read books and counted his tiny toes. We tried hard to memorize the sound of his sweet giggles. In the midst of the giggles and singing, however, there was still that tiny voice that would creep in and whisper that I wasn’t enough.

And then came baby number 2. Ella came along when David Lee was almost 16 months old. She brought with her even more love and laughter, as well as the challenges that come with a new baby. The self-doubt continued to creep in. With two kids under two, I already had moments when I was completely overwhelmed and sleep deprived, so why not add a third?

Annie came along almost 16 months later. At that time, I had a newborn, a one year old, and a two year old. Yes, there were moments of utter chaos, but with those moments came something wonderfully unexpected. I was so focused on trying to SURVIVE that I began tuning out the negative voices around me. Between teaching full time and raising three children under age three there was little time to think about myself.  It wasn’t helpful to spend my time defending my parenting choices, and with that realization a weight was lifted off of me.  It occurred to me that I’m not the only one trying to get everything right. How much good could I do if I replaced my defenses with encouragement.

There was a time when I felt like I had to be perfect. Not only did I want to be a perfect mother, but I wanted to have the validation of those around me. And I wondered why I was exhausted?!  Then came the realization that there is no other “me” in the world. There is no one else who is like my husband or my children. Our family is unique. We, as a family, are one of a kind. We were brought together for a specific purpose, and that purpose is to serve the Lord our God using each of our unique gifts, abilities, and even our quirks. My goal as a mother shouldn’t be to do things the “right way” or to prove to others that we’ve got it all together. My goal is to live out God’s love, and trust Him to take care of us when we mess up.

When I hear people defend the choices they’ve made as a parent in a way that is arrogant and judgmental, I no longer feel defensive or resentful, but rather sympathetic.  I feel sympathy because I know how draining it is to constantly defend “your way” and demand everyone’s approval. I know how emotionally tedious it is to interpret everything that is said as a direct attack.  It’s remarkable how liberating it is to discover that it’s my job to love my family the best way I know how to love them, and then just trust God with the rest.

I know that there are some “hot buttons” that really get people fired up, and I do have opinions about those issues, but the only thing worth dying for is Jesus Christ. If I’m going to try to get on my soapbox about something, shouldn’t it be something that lines up with His teachings? 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.”

Romans 14:19 says, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”

I’m saddened to see how many moms are already too hard on themselves. Shouldn’t we be the ones to encourage one another in love,  and even celebrate our differences?

  • To the mom who works outside of the home, your kids are so fortunate to have a mom who loves them enough to make the sacrifices necessary to take care of them and go to work each day. You set an example of hard work and dedication, and as you take them to daycare or school you are helping them learn how to be confident and independent individuals. You are working hard to provide every possible opportunity because you love them.
  • To the stay at home mom and homeschool mom, your kids are so fortunate to have a mom who loves them enough to make the sacrifices necessary to stay at home with them and spend more time with them during these formative years. You work hard to provide opportunities for them to excel in every area you can because you love them.
  • To the organized mom who has everything on a schedule,  how fortunate your kids are to have a mother who puts intentional thought into everything you do because you love them.
  • To the free spirited mom, your kids are so fortunate to have a mother who loves them enough to jump on one adventure after another with them.
  • To the moms who are extremely health conscious or feed your kids ice cream for dinner, sleep with a child’s foot in your face or let him cry it out in his own bed, let your kids roll in the mud or carry wipes with you just in case your little one encounters a bit of dirt…

You are beautifully unique, and God gave you the matchless ability of raising your children in the unique way that only you can. No other mother will mother like you. Embrace it, and choose love.

1 CORINTHIANS 13:1-3 SAYS, “IF I SPEAK IN THE TONGUES OF MEN OR OF ANGELS, BUT DO NOT HAVE LOVE, I AM ONLY A RESOUNDING GONG OR A CLANGING CYMBAL. IF I HAVE THE GIFT OF PROPHECY AND CAN FATHOM ALL MYSTERIES AND ALL KNOWLEDGE, AND IF I HAVE A FAITH THAT CAN MOVE MOUNTAINS, BUT DO NOT HAVE LOVE, I AM NOTHING. IF I GIVE ALL I POSSESS TO THE POOR AND GIVE OVER MY BODY TO HARDSHIP THAT I MAY BOAST, BUT DO NOT HAVE LOVE, I GAIN NOTHING.”

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