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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Yes. No. Wait.

After we moved from Florida to TN, my son started praying that we would have snow on Christmas.  I was so sure that it would snow; I figured that God would answer a sincere little boy’s sweet prayer request.  But, well, it didn’t happen.

Christmas came.

It did not snow.

I was not happy.

Yes. It was immature of me. Yes, I knew better.  It doesn’t help that I have been a Christ-follower for years and that I am a pastor’s wife.  You would think I would know better.  But I simply thought that this would be a great way to build my son’s faith and teach him how God answers prayer.  I didn’t “get” why God didn’t “get on board”.

Well, a few weeks passed and it finally snowed. I was furthered annoyed, questioning why God could not have brought it earlier.  But I decided to make the most of it. I bundled up our two little ones, grabbed our new sled and took off up the hill.

We went flying down the hill, giggled, threw snowballs and enjoyed the white beauty.  As we were climbing up the hill, my son started talking about God. “Mom, God told me to wait, didn’t He?”  I tried to decipher what he was talking about; when I understood, it hit me like a ton of bricks.

My four year old trusted God better than I did. “A” realized that God had heard his prayer. It wasn’t that God was ignoring him. It was that God had different plans.  God brought the snow when He decided to bring the snow.

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“Yes, ‘A’, God had you wait.

…but when He brought you snow, it was perfect. It was beautiful, it was fun, it was exactly what we needed.”

I’m so thankful that God doesn’t give up on us. …AND I am thankful that my son has learned to trust and love God even when his mama messes up.

Rejoicing,

Joy