10 Things I Wish My Kids Knew

wish2In our house, we’re in the midst of the tough pre-teen and teen years. The easy days are few and far between. If it’s not one child having a crisis, it’s the other. Hormone-induced tears are a part of nearly every day. Some days I’m my girls’ best friend, and others, I’m the worst mom in the world.

Being a mom in this season is tough. You never really know which kid is going to walk through your door after school — the happy, care-free one or the moody, the world is ending one. There are days when I really would like to throw up my hands and just walk away.

But these two girls? They are the living extension of my heart. They are precious and amazing. They are mine. And there is so much they don’t know about what goes through my heart and mind as I parent them through these turbulent years. Here’s what I wish I they knew:

  1. I really don’t like disciplining you. I only do it because I want you to learn to make wise decisions. I want you to know how to exercise self-control and think about the feelings of other people.
  2. When you’re curled up in my arms sobbing your eyes out because of something someone else did or said, look up. There are tears in my eyes, too. Because I remember what it was like to be your age. Even though you think I don’t understand, I really do. I was your age once, and mean kids have existed since the beginning of time.
  3. When someone treats you badly, I’m going to tell you that you need to forgive them and move on. But even as I’m saying those words, I’m fighting my own battle to do the same.
  4. I don’t just make up rules to make your life miserable. I make rules to keep you safe and to teach you boundaries.
  5. I’ve never done this parenting thing before. I’m going to make mistakes. Please know that I’m doing my best.
  6. I am always praying for you because even though I mess up sometimes, God never does.
  7. I am trying to give you the space you need to become the person God wants you to be, but it’s hard. In my mind’s eye, you’re still my little girl.
  8. I am always on your side — even when it seems like I’m not. I always want what’s best for you. I always want you to succeed. I always want you to be happy. Sometimes, though, those things only come through tough lessons.
  9. Letting you fail at something is one of the hardest things for me to do. But I know that if I always step in, you will never learn the lessons that failure can teach you. Just know that when you fail, my heart hurts as much as yours does.
  10. I will always love you. No matter how much you screw up or how much you push me away, I will always love you. I will always be there to pick you up. When the days are long and the crisis hits, I will always be a safe haven for you.

 

Not So Picture Perfect

 

Pictures Once upon a time I loathed being the girl in the photograph.

I hid behind so and so. I offered to take the picture. Or I’d excuse myself to the restroom to the point I’m sure everyone in my family thought I had a bladder problem.

This at a time when I was the size of a toothpick, had not one wrinkle or gray hair and nothing sagged. (Mamas, you know what I am talking ABOUT…MMMMHMMM.)

Fast forward to today…

Where I am the proud owner of wrinkles and gray hair and flab (especially the kind that jiggles when you wave your arms.)  And the sagging? Oh friends…

Forget. About. It.

On top of the obvious differences between 28 and 38 and four children later, I also have a body that’s been through the physical ringer in the last few months.

Bruises in random places. Feet that turn blue and look like they have been borrowed from a 90-year-old man with frostbite. A face that is preciously puffy from steroids. Hair that’s thin on the top and looks like a small animal took up residence on the bottom. And lest we not forget the not-so-fashionable roots that only exist because I am NOT spending money on highlights that are going to fall out.

(Bless your little heart, Dave Ramsey.)

In other words, 2015 will never be called, “The year Sara looked like a supermodel.”

But you know what?

This mama has been in a RIDICULOUS amount of pictures.

Because the one thing I’ve learned in surviving a stroke, losing a dad and fighting through life-threatening health complications is this, my sweet, sweet, mama friends:

Pictures of us aren’t for us.  They are for the littles, the tweens, the college kids and even the grown-ups that are someday left behind.  And I promise you, they don’t care if you are a size 2 or 22, if you’ve had a bad hair day or even if your face is the size of a small planet.

All that they want is you in the picture.

You may find it hard to let go of your insecurity.  You may give yourself a pep talk every now and again (I know I do.)  You may even have to remind yourself that it’s not about you.

But as you enter the season of pumpkin patches and field trips and Christmas bedhead mornings, remember this:  You are just as beautiful as you were ten years ago.  And really?

You are probably even more so.

Because nothing is more beautiful than a broken vessel used to do great things. For the more we break, the more beautiful we become. And the more beautiful we become, the less we notice our broken bodies and the more we pay attention to the hearts they house.

So go on, mamas, take that picture or two or twenty.

Take it for your loves. Take it for the one who has to fight to stay in it. Take it for the one who knows it might be her last.

Just. Take. It.

And even as the camera flashes, know that real beauty comes from a heart filled with Jesus-sized love and the rest is all just dust.

Sara Cormany guest posts on the first Friday of each month. Sara is mommy to six-year-old Grace, four-year-old Drew, one-year-old Sophie, and her new little miracle Maddie.  When she is not wiping noses, changing diapers or chasing her kids, she is a sometimes writer and a sometimes teacher to teenagers.  But her most cherished role is that of one who is perfectly held by Jesus. She loves watching Him take the broken, the messy and the seemingly mundane of her everyday and turn it into something beautiful. She recently began her own blog called Where Feet May Fail.

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Nobody Told Me It Would Be Lonely

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I’ve been told a lot of things about having a teenager. I was warned about the hormone swings. I was told about the attitude. I was given great advice about choosing my battles.

But nobody told me it would be lonely.

Nobody told me that many of my mom friends would go back to work and with the schedules of teenagers who can’t drive that we would see each other once every three months even though we live down the street from each other. Nobody told me that being the mom of a teenager would be as isolating as being the mother of a newborn was.

Nobody told me it would be hard to find five minutes to do anything for myself. Nobody told me that in a time when I needed the support of other moms more than ever, that support would be harder to find.

Because this is the truth about having teenagers: They suck almost as much of your time as a newborn does (but at least they sleep through the night). And they take a whole lot more of your emotional energy than younger kids do.

At the same time, a lot of the mommy support system you had in the elementary years changes. There are no more playdates where the moms sit around and talk while the kids play. There are fewer school activities that require your presence where you can interact with other parents. There are simply fewer opportunities to surround yourself with other moms who are dealing with the same things you are.

And you can end up feeling all alone.

We all need support. We can’t do this motherhood thing on our own. We need other moms who are striving to raise Christ-following kids to share our struggles and our victories with. We need a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen and a friend to laugh with. No matter what age our kids are, we need community with other moms.

As the ages and stages of our kids change, though, our community often changes. When that happens, it can be easy to step back and decide we don’t have the energy or the time to create a new community. It can be too easy to simply try to go it alone. And that doesn’t help us be good moms. When we go it alone, we’re relying on ourselves — on our own energy and wisdom. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have enough of either one to be a good mom for very long.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 tells us that even God knows we need community. “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who fall and has no one to help them up.

I’ve been in a season where I’ve been trying go it alone. I’ve been trying to do this mom thing without a good support system in place. I don’t recommend it. It will leave you feeling burnt out and frustrated.

But what do you do when your community changes? You build new community. You reestablish relationships that have fallen to the side, and you look for new ones. I guarantee that there are plenty of women in the same stage of life as you who are feeling as isolated and frustrated as you are. Reach out to them. Form a group that meets regularly for the purpose of simply sharing your struggles and victories as a mom and praying over your children. Find another mom to walk with or go to coffee with regularly. Reach out a hand of friendship to someone else. You’ll be surprised at how many other moms are feeling the same way you are.

Create community around you because being a mom shouldn’t be lonely.

It’s About the Big Picture

big picture

My younger daughter walked onto the stage for her choir concert on Monday night, and I didn’t recognize her. It wasn’t because she was wearing a costume or because she looked all that different. It was the distance.

We were sitting near the back of the auditorium, and from that distance, it was hard to recognize this young lady who was wearing her hair down and was dressed like all the other sixth grade singers. When I finally identified my child after a few seconds of looking, I was stunned at how grown-up she looked. It was as if she had morphed into an almost teen when I wasn’t looking.

This isn’t the first time this has happened — although it tends to happen to me more frequently with my older daughter who has changed dramatically in the past two years. But this time, it reminded me that in the middle of this motherhood thing, we sometimes have to take a step back to see the big picture.

When you’re in the middle of the homework wars or the potty-training nightmare days or the seemingly endless sibling fights, it can be really hard to see the good work you’re doing. It can be hard to identify the successes when so many days feel like failure. It can be difficult to see the big picture because all you can see is the mess right in front of you.

But if we take a step back, if we look at the long-term, if we view the big picture, we will find that our kids are growing and learning and becoming independent people. We will see the hand of God working in their lives. We will be reminded that these kids’ choices and growth aren’t dependent on us — they are dependent on God.

Too often, we take the burden of our kids’ faith, their academic standing, their sports successes, and their relationships on ourselves. We think that if our kids fail at something, then it’s a reflection on us, on our parenting, on our own worth.

That’s simply not the case. Our job as parents is not to make our kids successful at everything. Our job as parents is to point our children to God. Our job as parents is to teach them the things they need to know to be independent. Our job as parents it to love our kids unconditionally.

The choices they make? Those are up to them. We can guide. We can discipline. We can advise. But we can not make their choices for them.

So when you’re in the middle of a day where all you can see is the mess and the failure, take a step back. Look at the bigger picture. And remember who’s holding the paintbrush painting the masterpiece of your kids’ lives. Because a little perspective can make us all better parents.

The Truth about the Proverbs 31 Woman

Proverbs 31

For a long time after I became a mom I tried to live up to this vision I had in my head of being the perfect wife and mom. You know, the mom that had it all together — perfectly dressed kids, dinner on the table every night, clean clothes always in the drawers and children who picked up after themselves.

My real life looks nothing like that. The reality is if it’s not written on the calendar, it doesn’t happen — and even then I’ve been known to miss an appointment or two. The floor might get mopped once every two weeks and the bathrooms cleaned about that often as well. My kids’ rooms often look like a war zone and more often than not you’ll find a hockey bag and a soccer ball in my living room where a coffee table should be.

For much of this journey of motherhood, I felt guilty about the reality of life. I felt like I wasn’t living up to the image of the Proverbs 31 woman — you know that girl in the Bible who is pretty much perfect. She works, she sews, she cooks, she cleans, she’s a great mom — and she’s pretty stinkin’ annoying.

But here’s the truth of the Proverbs 31 woman. All she’s doing is taking care of her family. That’s all she’s called to do. All those things she does, I do them, too. I may not be making bread by hand, but I have something she didn’t — a grocery store. I may not be weaving my own cloth, but my kids are clothed when they walk out the door. I may not be purchasing land and selling it, but I am working to provide for my family.

The picture we’ve been fed of the Proverbs 31 woman is that she’s this paragon of a wife and mother. She’s what we should all strive to be. But what too many of us have seen is something that has left us striving to be something God never intended for us to be. Are the attributes of the Proverbs 31 woman something we should strive to attain? Absolutely. Does that mean we all need to be the Stepford wives to do so? Absolutely not.

God calls us to as moms to care for our families. He calls us to offer wisdom, comfort and joy to our kids. He doesn’t call us to live by a checklist. He doesn’t call us to look like anyone else.

Our primary job as moms is to raise children who are seeking after God, making wise choices and becoming productive members of society. If we’re fulfilling that calling, then it doesn’t matter if you’re making your own bread, weaving your own cloth or cleaning your house every Tuesday. It doesn’t matter if you’re a stay-at-home mom, a work-at-home mom or a work-outside-the-home mom. It doesn’t matter if you breastfeed or bottlefeed. It simply doesn’t matter as long as you’re doing what you’re called to do.

So, let’s stop comparing ourselves to the perfect image of the Proverbs 31 woman and instead try to do what she did — follow our calling to take care of our families. Because the Proverbs 31 woman isn’t a description of a checklist we have to make it through to be a good wife and mom. She’s a representation of a woman following her calling to care for her family. And that’s what we should be striving to do, too.

Why We Should Stop Telling Moms to Enjoy Every Moment

Enjoy

I was in Aldi with both my girls the other day. My older daughter stepped on my shoe for the third time in the store. I turned around and said, “Will you please stop walking on my feet!”

As soon as I was done speaking, another mom with two young girls looked at me and said, “Oh, you ruined it. I was so hoping it gets better. I was just watching you and thinking how you were me in a few years. And then you said something that I say all the time in the same tone of voice.”

We had a good laugh, and I assured this mom that those moments she just saw were much fewer and farther between than they are when you have preschoolers. Then I opened my mouth to remind that mom to enjoy the stage she was in — and I stopped. I stopped because I remember when I was in the midst of those days when everyone needed something from me and I would have sold nearly everything I owned to simply get five minutes alone — even if it meant going to the grocery by myself.

We’re often quick to speak to another mom who is a stage or two behind us and tell her to simply enjoy the moment. We do it because we realize our kids are growing up quickly. We do it because we can view that stage with the rose-colored glasses of hindsight. We do it because we think we’re being encouraging.

But the reality is that saying those words to an overworked, overtired mom who is just in need of a few minutes of peace often just triggers guilt. What if she’s not enjoying the terrible twos (or the terrible threes, as we had in our house)? What if she’s so tired it’s all she can do to keep her kids well and fed? What if she’s in the midst of a rough stretch with her kids?

When we tell another mom she should enjoy the stage her kids are in, we’re implying that she’s doing something wrong if she doesn’t enjoy it. We’re simply heaping more mommy guilt on a mom who probably already feels plenty of her own.

I love my daughters, but I really didn’t enjoy the baby stage from about three months old to nine months old. I don’t miss those days, and I don’t want to do them again. They were hard, especially with my second daughter. Were there moments of joy? Absolutely. Were there moments that I loved? You betcha. Would I say even now that I enjoyed that stage of my life? Not really.

Not all stages of parenting are enjoyable. We really won’t miss some of those days. Yes, we should try to enjoy our kids as much as possible. But we really shouldn’t keep telling other moms to enjoy the stage they’re in. We’re not walking in their shoes. We’re not living the day to day in their house.

What we do want to keep in mind even in the tough stages of parenting is that God is growing us and our kids. He is at work even when it seems like He’s not. When there’s no light at the end of the parenting tunnel, God is still walking beside us in the dark.

So, the next time you see a mom with kids a stage or two behind yours, offer some encouragement. Let her know that the load does get lighter. But don’t tell her to enjoy the moment she’s in. She probably has lots of moments she enjoys. She just needs to know that this particular stage doesn’t last forever. She needs to know that even if she’s not enjoying that particular moment, day or month, she’s still a good mom.

Because, truly, as much as we love our kids, we don’t have to enjoy every moment. We just have to be faithful to being the parent God made us to be in that moment.

4 a.m. Mommy Moments

4 am

It’s 4 a.m. It’s dark and cold, and I should be sleeping. I’ve been awake for an hour. It’s one of those middle-of-the-night mommy moments when the weight of the challenges facing my daughters is keeping me awake.

My older daughter is struggling to recover from an ankle injury and adjust to a new soccer coach. My younger one is struggling to make friends. And it’s all just a bit much for this mom’s heart. Because these aren’t problems I can fix. They aren’t things that a hug and a kiss on the forehead will make better.

These are things my daughters have to struggle through, mostly on their own. I can offer encouragement and a shoulder to cry on. I can give advice and a hug. But I can’t fix it. I can’t simply wave my magic mommy wand and make it all better.

But I want to. Oh, how I want to. I want to save my daughters the tears and the struggles. I want to keep their hearts in one piece. I want them to have the smoothest road they can have.

But that’s not life. Unfortunately, in this fallen world we live in, struggle is part of the package. Our kids have to navigate the bumps in the road, sometimes on their own. All we can do is stand back and watch and pray.

So at this 4 a.m. moment, I’ve been placing my kids at the foot of the cross. I’ve been handing them over to Jesus — the only one who can heal their hurts and make it all better. Because when there’s nothing I can do to fix the problem, I know that there’s plenty that He can do.

Philippians 4:6 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” That includes our kids. It’s hard not to worry about our kids. It’s hard to lay them at the foot of the cross and trust that God is going to use these struggles as part of His greater plan. But He is.

I’m confident that the things my daughters are facing now are preparing them for some piece of God’s plan in the future. I know that God will use all of this for good. But, honestly, that confidence doesn’t stop my heart from breaking when my daughters hurt. It doesn’t stop the tears from rolling down my cheeks as I pray. It doesn’t make the 4 a.m. mommy moment disappear.

Those things are part of being a mom. Those moments of heartbreak and tears are as much a part of being a mom as the moment of joy when that little bundle of baby was placed in your arms the first time. When you love someone as deeply as we love our kids, hurting when they hurt is just part of the package.

So, in the wee hours of this morning I’ll be laying my daughters’ wounded hearts in the lap of the only One who can heal them. I’ll be giving my kids to the only One who knows them and loves them more than I do. And through the mommy tears, I’ll remain confident that He will mend their hearts and use their hurts for His glory in the way that only He can.

 

Something Precious

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I have a mommy confession.

Wait.

Scratch that.

It’s more like I have a mommy obsession.

Every fall, I find myself in valiant pursuit of that one precious all-the-children picture.

And every year, there is one backdrop that has never let me down…

The Weston Red Barn Farm.

It’s rustic and charming and surrounded by all things precious.

But this year, as I pulled out my camera, I sensed failure when my husband said, “Honey, do you think we should just go to the grocery store fall thing?  I mean Weston is a hike and…”

To which I interrupted with, “But it’s tradition and lovely and the kids can ride the pony and remember the apple donuts?  DO NOT forget about the apple donuts.  Heaven in a bag, babe.”

(Truth be told, I had him at the word “donut.”)

So we went to the charming farm.

I knew we were toast the second we got out of the van and Drew said, “Mom, I am SOOOOOOO hot.  I think I might die.” But I still shot him my “Suck it up, kid.  It may be 80 + degrees and your long-sleeved black Halloween shirt may be an oven but this is for posterity.”

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Not two minutes later, I was with him, dying and all.

My sweatshirt was now a sauna. My hormones, a hellish monster. And had another minute passed, I would have wholeheartedly launched into the pig trough for sweet relief but mercifully, I was distracted when I heard the word “pony.”

(Sweet heavens, if I hadn’t promised them all a pony ride.)

The pony was up the hill…the heinous hill of no return.

Combine the not-so-sturdy Snap and Go with pebbled terrain and my not-so-graceful gait and we might as well have been climbing Everest.

Not to mention that I had already said “excuse me” more times in that one hour than I have my entire life.  Every time I tripped and stumbled, I bumped someone. Because to the point, THERE WERE SO MANY BLESSED PEOPLE THERE.

(I swear someone told them about the donuts.)

But for tradition’s sake, we still oomphed and umphed and excused ourselves up the hill. It was only after reaching the top of the precious thing that we came to the tragic realization that THERE WERE NO PONY RIDES.

Bless. My. Sweatshirt.

So we turned around, trod back down the pebbled path and just about the time I convinced myself that the disappointment would build character, my dear eldest pipes in with, “This is boring,” which prompts me to say, “I’ve got nothing, sister…just go jump in the straw.”

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(Try not to be intimidated by such mom awesomeness.)

It was at this point my hubs felt the need to reiterate, “I think the fall festival two miles away would have been a way better tradition.” I didn’t even protest. “Ugh…you are probably right…why did I think this would be magical?!?!?

The hubs wisely stayed silent.

But as we made our way back to the pumpkins, I barfed the most unholy words,

“Let’s just try for one more picture.”

So we did.

And then it happened…

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Children screamed.  Babies were almost dropped.  Sophie bolted through the barbed wire.

And I kept promising donuts to anyone who would listen to me.

Then the picture-taking devolved into pumpkin-picking and to the entire public that visited the farm, I wholeheartedly apologize.

We were yelling.

Not “I’m so mad” yelling.  But the “Lord-please-don’t-let-us-lose-a-child-now” kind. We were just so close, so focused, so intent on getting the hoot out of there that we just had to keep it together.

It was ugly. Full-on. U-G-L-Y.

But remember the donuts? Across the street? The ones I referred to as heaven in a bag?

Well, I ate FIVE…and it helped.

Seriously, y’all.

IT. DID.

But even as the cinnamon and sugar dripped most gloriously from my mouth, I came to a conclusion.

Precious pictures are needed.  They remind this memory-challenged mama of how I really feel at the end of day when all the chaos has quieted.  When I can run my hands through their sweaty bedheads and touch their perfect little noses and see the messy beautiful so clearly in each of them.

But I’m finally to a place where I need the 29 ridiculously accurate pictures too.

If only to shout, “WE ARE A REAL FAMILY!!!!”

One that messes up and falters and falls.  One that skins their knees and has to apologize.  One that can plan to have a magical experience and end up with the pumpkin patch on steroids.

One that needs Jesus, people.

Oh, how we need Him.

So as you plan the Thanksgiving dinners and take Christmas card pictures and deck the halls and all that jazz, remember my family and the yelling and the donut therapy and rejoice in this:

Real people have real families that really need Jesus.

And even though we may have more pictures that end up awkward and bizarre and more crazy than cute, in the end, when we’ve tripped and stumbled and fallen all over ourselves, when we’ve tried and failed through all those 29 moments in-between, He surprises us with what we have been looking for all along…

Something precious.

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Sara Cormany guest posts on the first Friday of each month. Sara is mommy to six-year-old Grace, four-year-old Drew, one-year-old Sophie, and her new little miracle Maddie.  When she is not wiping noses, changing diapers or chasing her kids, she is a sometimes writer and a sometimes teacher to teenagers.  But her most cherished role is that of one who is perfectly held by Jesus. She loves watching Him take the broken, the messy and the seemingly mundane of her everyday and turn it into something beautiful. She recently began her own blog called Where Feet May Fail. Be sure to check it out.

They Don’t Need Supermom

supermom

I want to be supermom.

I want to be able to do it all.

I want to have cookies after school and homework without tears.

I want to have a successful blog and write a book.

I want to be a great writing teacher who inspires kids.

I want to make nutritious dinners and have fun family nights.

I want to be a great wife who makes her husband feel valued and loved.

The reality is, though, that I don’t succeed at these things even half the time.

Many days, my kids are lucky if there’s food in the house to have for a snack and homework time often degenerates into frustration and tears.

My poor blog can go days, sometimes a week, without my attention, and that book is currently sitting in my head.

On the days that I teach, I’m sometimes lucky to have a lesson plan, and I’m often less than inspiring.

Nutritious dinners are, at times, found in the apples included in a McDonald’s happy meal. Fun family nights consist of telling jokes in the car on the way to soccer or hockey practice.

My husband and I can go days without having a decent chance to have a conversation of more than two sentences without being interrupted. We can be ships passing in the night as we go separate ways to take children where they need to be.

This is my life. This is the life where I often fail as much as I succeed. This is the life where I don’t get to be supermom. This is the life where many days I simply put one foot in front of the other to make it through the day.

And, yet, I find I don’t need to be supermom. I don’t need to be perfect. I don’t need to be any more than what my kids and husband need. Because they don’t need perfection. They don’t always need a mom or wife that has all the answers, makes the perfect dinner, writes books and conquers homework without issue.

What they need is a mom and wife who loves them. What they need is a mom and wife who is doing her best to follow Jesus. What they need is not perfection but a mom and wife whose weaknesses are used by a gracious, loving God to guide and love them. What they need is for me to fall at the feet of Jesus and let Him build me up to be the mom and wife that meets their needs.

 

It’s OK to Let Your Weakness Show

weakness

This poor little blog has been ridiculously neglected for the past two weeks. We’re still struggling to adjust to a new normal of both kids in school, me working outside the house two days a week and the new soccer and hockey schedules. Add to that a kid who has been sick for a week, and finding any semblance of a “normal” schedule has been ridiculously difficult.

I know many of you are in the same boat. So much of our life as moms is spent struggling to figure out what normal is going to be. And just when we get it figured out someone gets sick or the schedule changes or something else unexpected happens. Too often we feel like we’re just struggling to get through this one day, never mind the next day or the next week. And we feel like failures because we look around and everyone else seems to have it all together.

We see our friends and acquaintances and we think they must never show up at the wrong time for soccer practice. We watch children piling out of cars in the school dropoff line, and we assume that those moms didn’t have the same struggle getting everyone out the door on time that we did. We show up to work still tucking in our shirts, look around and assume our coworkers didn’t put their makeup on in the car.

But you know what? Everyone struggles. Everyone has days where nothing goes right. Everyone has seasons where they feel like they’re barely making it through the day. We’re just all really good at hiding it and pretending that we have it all together.

Hiding our struggles and failures, though, isn’t what God wants for us. He wants us to be real. He wants us to bring those struggles and frustrations to Him. And He wants us to be honest about them with others. Because it is through our struggles that we learn that we don’t have the strength, the grace, the joy that we need. It is through our struggles that we discover that relying on God is the only way to be successful. It is through our struggles that our friends and acquaintances see God. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

When we refuse to acknowledge that we can’t do it all, when we refuse to make known our struggles, we deny God an opportunity to be seen. We deny ourselves the opportunity to let God use our weakness to strengthen us with His power.

So, today, sweet mom, lay aside the mask. Stop beating yourself up for struggling to find “normal.” Turn your weaknesses over to God, and let Him make you strong. Let others see God’s strength in the midst of your weakness.