living on pb & j

Ordinary moms living on Prayer, the Bible, and Jesus!


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Seasons

Let’s just be real. Who actually enjoys pregnancy and birth?

Ok, so maybe you were the glowing mom-to-be with a ‘perfect” pregnancy. Please don’t tell me about it; I might just go throw up again. 🙂 But for me, pregnancy is difficult and birth….well, I’m not sure ANY ONE on this planet could possible enjoy the pain and travail that comes in those hours of labor (hence. the word “labor”).

Birthing a baby is one of the hardest things a woman may EVER have to go through, but when that baby has been delivered, all negative thoughts vanish and it’s one of the most glorious of moments. As you cuddle that sweet baby on your chest, you feel that it was worth it all.

The process, however, was difficult–9 months of your body rebelling and refusing to allow you comfort and of sleepless nights and, then, the finale, birth.

YET, mamas, do you realize this is just a season. This is a season of 9 months and then it’s over (….and then you really have no sleep). …but seriously, it is a SHORT season that births a BEAUTIFUL gift from God.

Psalms 30:5b says “…weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning.”

Seasons come and go. Seasons change. Some seasons bring hurricanes, storms and power outages and other seasons bring crisp fall leaves, cozy fires and hot apple cider. Sometimes the same season can bring both.

In Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 it says, To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace

There are seasons of endless laundry and dirty dishes.  Too quickly follows the season of elderly widowhood–less laundry and no dishes, but also an empty table.

There are seasons of diapers and doctor visits. There are seasons of tantruming toddlers screaming “NO!” and sullen teenage mood swings. There are seasons of singlehood, honeymooning, childlessness, full quivers and empty nesters.

I’m not sure what season you’re in, but I wanted to encourage you to embrace it.

We are given today and this current season of life. What are we going to do with it? Are we going to mope about our busy schedules, our sleepless nights, our empty houses or empty dreams?

Remember, dear mama, that EVERY season brings a testing to our faith. 1 Timothy 6 says, “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”

Let’s live today in the reality of eternity. Enjoy the blessings that God has given in this season and embrace the opportunities for the gospel. Every day is a chance to be the hands and feet of Jesus, to your family, to your neighbors and to all those around you.

If you are childless, you can become a mother to children around you. If you are an empty nester, pour yourself into a young mom, giving her wisdom and strength for her journey. If you have a full quiver, pour into your children the gospel and teach them to, in turn, pour the gospel into others.

We have a choice in every season, to see the blizzard and power outage OR to see the warm blankets, the candles, the comfortable, cozy home, and the fun memories being made.

Philippians 4:11 says “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”

Today is the day that the Lord has made. This season is the season that God has given me. I will rejoice and be glad in it.

Rejoicing,

Joy

 

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Happy Mom’s Day

Mother’s Day is upon us and what a special day it is!  It’s a day to celebrate the sacrificial work that mamas perform, day in and day out.

Mamas are special!  I praise the Lord that He gave me an extra special one. She has been my mentor, my teacher, my nurse, and now my friend. Of course, I had no idea how truly amazing she was until I had my own children. But now I know and now I celebrate her…AND I want to celebrate YOU!,

Today, I want to celebrate you moms, because, let’s just be real, motherhood is hard.

B.C. (Before Children), we were able to take a sick day. If I was not feeling well, I just simply called into school or into the office and took the day off. Now, it’s a decision between lying in bed while the little ones jump around me and on me. OR crawling out of bed and limping around the house trying to feed and entertain them without passing out.

B.C. (Before Children), date nights were not needed because I had my spouse all to myself whenever I wanted. We went out about once a week and didn’t even consider it a date. Now… it’s a process. From getting a babysitter to preparing for the babysitter to getting cute-ified (the last thing on the list) …and well, it kinda shows these days.

B.C. (Before Children), I had never been with a family member admitted into the emergency room, let alone 7 times in 2 years, let alone to PICU stays and a surgery. I didn’t know what it meant to truly nurse a “sicky” and lose sleep over and over again until I became a mama.

B.C. (Before Children) – bedtime… DO I NEED TO SAY MORE?!!?!?

B.C (Before Children), after age 3, I thought I would never sleep in a crib again… but then I became a mom and well… you do what you gotta do.

B.C. (Before Children), money went toward the house, food, clothes and savings. (Wait, what is savings again?)  Now, it’s all the above AND lessons, medical bills, school, birthday parties, books, more medical bills…etc.

B.C. (Before Children), my coworkers and I had conversations. Now I am either coaching. (“Stop fighting”, “Are you arguing with me”, “share please”…) or answering 1 of 10,000 questions asked during the space of an hour.” …and let me tell you, I have realized how unintelligent I truly am. Even Google can’t answer some of the questions my son has.

B.C. (Before Children), I traveled, had friends and made plans at the spur of the moment, enjoyed a $5 coffee, had silence, and had days off.

Let’s face it. “Mommy-ing” is rough. It’s A LOT of work and doesn’t come with a lot of praise. It’s full of sleepless nights, empty checkbooks, sick days where you can’t be sick and guilt over decisions you have made. It’s a rough journey at times, with lots of sacrifice.

So from the bottom of my heart and for all the little ones that can not speak up yet, let me say: “Moms, thank you!”

Thank you for doing your best for the sake of your little ones.

Thank you for sacrificing your time, your money, your energy and your body.

Thank you for giving up a good night of sleep to cuddle your sick child.

Thank you for giving up “peace” in order to provide some godly men and women for our next generation.

Thank you for giving up your $5 coffee and your date nights with the girls.

Thank you for the sacrifices you make every single day.

Thank you for carrying that baby even when you felt like you couldn’t one more day.

Thank you for the stretch marks that tell the story of each child your bore.

Thank you for praying diligently for your children even in those dark nights.

Thank you for not giving up on your child. Thank you, moms. Thank you!!!!!!!!! You are special! You are a blessing! You are needed.

Love,

Joy T

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Busy

“So, how have you been?”

“Busy”,  I replied and then went on to list the next 100 things that I needed to finish that week.

I, in turn, asked my friend how she was doing and she replied with the same dialog.

You see, busyness is almost a badge of honor in motherhood.  We identify who we are by what we are doing.

Image result for list… but this is a lie that the devil keeps trying to make us believe.

It is NOT about what we are doing but WHO we are.

I am first and foremost God’s daughter and if I am too busy to spend quality quiet time with Him, then something is terribly out of whack.

I am my husband’s wife.  I am the only one who can Biblically provide for his needs.

I am my children’s mother.  I am the only one who can really truly do this job and do it well.

It is not so much about what we do but who we are.  You see my child runs to me when he gets sick or hungry.  Why?  Because I am his mom.

So with all these responsibilities we can safely assume we will be busy, BUT we often overlook an important gift that God gave us.

Let’s go back to the beginning of Genesis….

Have you ever sat down and really meditated on creation?

We often teach little kids that there were 7 days in creation. Ok, then, what did He create on the 7th day?

Why didn’t God just say He created the world in 6 days?   If that is the way that it was written then we would most likely infer that He was done after the 6th day and that He rested.

Have you wondered why He put the 7th day in the creation story?

What did He create on the 7th day?

He created Sabbath.  Sabbath means peace, tranquility and rest.

He didn’t simply just take a rest.  He created a whole day to rest. He was busy working and then he set up boundaries so that REST was a part of that plan.

If God Almighty, the omniscient, omnipresent Creator of this world decided that rest was important enough to take a whole day for it, then why do we feel we don’t need it?

Why is busyness next to godliness?  Why do we walk around acting like our long list of stuff to do somehow makes us better moms?

Well, first off it doesn’t.  I don’t know about you, but I can be constantly doing and doing. That accomplishes nothing but stress for my kids and family dynamic.  There are days that life is so crazy that my quiet time gets skipped and I am fighting life all day with an empty tank.

Ladies, please let me encourage you to slow down.  You need your rest.  I am not talking about ME-TIME.  I’m talking about family-time.  I’m talking about God-and-you time.  I’m talking about simply relaxing and enjoying people.   I am talking about making cuts in your life so that your family gets more of you.  This doesn’t have to be a special activity.  Just simply being together.

One of my favorite quotes is this:  “Let us be silent that we may hear the whisper of God.”

As the prophet Elijah in 1 Kings 19 learned, God is not always in the storms and the busyness and loudness. Sometimes, He is in the quietness.

If we are not getting the rest and quietness we need, then we are living a crazy lifestyle that God is not a part of.

Ladies, do you want rest?  Do you want peace?

Then make sure to block out a specific time every day to spend with God in His Word.

For me, this is quiet time.  My daughter takes a nap and my son plays quietly.  During that time, I make a hot drink, grab my blanket, a heating pad and my devotions and curl up on the couch.  I place the heating pad on my neck, curl up in the blanket and open the Word of God.  It is such a relaxing time every day; when I get up from that time of rest, the energy that I have is like no other. I am physically relaxing my body as well as spiritually refreshing it.  IT IS POWERFUL!!!!!!

As a pastor’s wife and homeschool-mom with lots of stressors, there is nothing ….NOTHING.…that provides more energy to my broken-down body and mind than that time every day.

We have to learn to say no.

We have to learn to prioritize and create that rest-time.  If God thinks it’s important, then we should too.

One last thing to think about is this.  God CREATED peace.  Rest doesn’t come when I am done with my list.  (Is it ever done?)  Rest comes when you INTENTIONALLY create the time.  If we want Sabbath, peace and tranquility, we must be intentional.

Friends, we must learn to say no and to question our reasons behind what we do.

Let’s make this applicable–ask ourselves some questions.  These are some great questions for your husband and you to work through whenever you get offered new “busyness opportunities”:

  1. How does this activity better our family and or our ministry?
  2. Will this make my family stronger after I am done, or weaker?
  3. What can I take out of my life to create peace?
  4. What do I need to remove to make sure that I am having some refreshing time with God?
  5. Could someone else do this ministry?
  6. How many activities will we allow our family members to be a part of (great discussion to have with your husband about your kids, as well)?
  7. What is the most important ministry goal we have?  Are we staying true to that goal or are we adding other things that we could say “no” to?
  8. Is this what God had in mind for me?
  9. Do I have enough time that is quiet enough that God can speak to me?

I have had these discussions with other moms. Some moms would argue that they are just too busy but I truly believe that in EVERY stage of life, there is time for personal time with God.  God would not give you so much to do that you couldn’t have time to spend with Him.

At the end of the day, we need to ask ourselves:  God created rest on the 7th day, so what can I do to create rest in my home?

Rejoicing,

Joy