living on pb & j

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


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“For This Child I Prayed”

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It’s hard to believe but my little boy turned 2 yesterday! It has been a fast two years. It has also been two years of learning to trust that the Lord knows what is best for my little boy.

In January of 2013 God blessed our family with our first boy. We were overjoyed! After two girls, I knew I was entering new territory, but I was excited to see what God was going to do with my son.

I didn’t have to wait very long. When he was 7 months old, his pediatrician was concerned because he wasn’t gaining weight as he should. I was nursing him and was waiting to start him on baby food because he seemed content and was sleeping well at night. Our pediatrician wanted him supplemented with formula and for him to have some blood tests. When some of his blood test numbers came back slightly abnormal, the pediatrician wanted him tested for cystic fibrosis and also checked for kidney problems.

I don’t think I have ever been as afraid as I was the night before his cystic fibrosis test. I don’t think I’ve ever prayed so hard. When he was given the cystic fibrosis test the next day, it came back normal as did the kidney tests. To say the least, we were relieved.

In the next months he continued to grow as a healthy little boy should. This past fall my mother-in-law asked my husband if we were concerned about our little boy’s speech as he wasn’t saying any words other than making baby babbling noises. Once again, he has been such a content little boy, and this hadn’t concerned us. Recently, we took him to his pediatrician and asked about our speech concerns. At the time, he had an ear infection which the pediatrician said could affect his hearing and speech. We are set to go back at the end of February for a recheck of his ears and from there we’ll decide if he needs to see a hearing specialist or perhaps even a speech therapist in the future.

I have to admit as a mother I struggled (still do) for a time, worried about my little boy, BUT God has been faithful even when I was fearful. He has used these situations in my life for me to see my need of praying more specifically for my children and their needs.

I remember how I prayed in the spring of 2012 for a son and found out a couple months later I was expecting. When I found out that fall I was going to have a boy, I wondered just what plan God had for this special answer to prayer. I’m just getting a glimpse now of the plan God has for my little boy.

So many times as parents we think God gives us children for what we will teach and train THEM about Him, but God gives us children so often for what He wants to teach US as parents about Himself.

God loves my little boy. He gave him an infectious laugh that fills my days with such joy. God knows why he isn’t talking much yet. God has all the details worked out. I need to wait and trust Him as those things unfold in HIS time. I can rest knowing He will give me strength for whatever lies ahead. I am so thankful I serve a God Who loves my little boy so much more than I do!

“For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of Him:” -I Sam. 1:27

“And therefore will the LORD wait, that He may be gracious unto you, and therefore will He be exalted, that He may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for Him.” -Isa. 30:18

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because He trusteth in Thee.” -Isa. 26:3Praying woman hands

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Comparing Moms

You’ve been there. You click online and scroll through your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. There is your mom-friend, boasting a new ‘do’ and a Starbucks. You can’t remember the last time you had a Starbucks, and your split ends tell you it’s been at least that long since you had a trim.

One friend’s living room just got a face-lift and it looks like it’s out of Pottery Barn. How can she keep that couch so white? She has more kids than you!

Another friend posts pictures of her 6-course gourmet, gluten-free, low-calorie, organic, hand-pressed, home-grown, all-natural, beautiful meal.

Mom-friend #4 is homeschool supermom! She has pictures of lapbooks, timelines, food projects, pet projects, and a house full of smiling, well-learned faces. She seems to start school on time every day, and keep the house neat as a pin.

The next friend just finished making pot-holders for Christmas gifts… mug cozies, a Queen-sized quilt, and oh yes, matching church dresses for her daughters.

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Sometimes being “connected” isn’t so great. When you wake up grumpy, and so do the kids. When you feed the kids chicken nuggets again. When your hair is in a ponytail… again. When the baby woke up before you could read your Bible… again. It can be so frustrating to look at all those supermom-friends and compare yourself. But God’s Word has something to say to us:

“For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” II Corinthians 10:12

If we compare ourselves to other moms, we will surely feel like failures. Nobody can be perfect all the time, or even much of the time. What you don’t see is that the day before that beautiful 6-course meal, hot dogs was the feast. Right after all the amazing home school projects, a battle of the wills was waged, and mother and daughter ended up in tears. We all put our best foot forward when it comes to the public eye. But if we use other moms’ “successes” as our pattern, we are being unwise. God and His Word are to be our pattern, our Guide, and our emergency manual.

When there are clear commandments in the Bible, there is no room to wiggle. None! But on many of today’s hot-topic parenting issues… organic, vaccinations, cloth diapers, breastfeeding, preschool, potty-training, etc., there is no right or wrong. Sometimes you just have to do the best you can, and pray for God’s grace and peace. But don’t compare your self! Don’t look around, Dear Mom… look up!

“For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.” II Corinthians 10:18

If Jesus says, “You have been a good mom today. You have loved your children, by My grace today,” then you are a success! There is such peace and freedom when you stop looking at all the other moms, and let God be the One who decides if you are a good mom.

❤ Joy


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Coffee With A New Mom

Hey there New Mom!

How’s it going? You just had a new baby, how do we all think you’re doing, right? 🙂 You’re tired aren’t you. Probably feeling a little overwhelmed? Maybe you’re little one is a newborn or maybe he or she is a few months old and the daily grind has set in. I’m currently going through my sixth newborn season. How about we commiserate together for a few minutes? Grab some caffeine (you know you need it), ignore the laundry, and let’s chat.

So maybe your spouse isn’t as helpful as you’d like, especially with those middle of the night feedings. I mean, seriously, doesn’t he understand that 2 A.M. is your prime sleep time? *sigh* Men.

Having trouble getting anywhere on time? Yeah, I understand. That little treasure loves to give out treasures just when it’s time to leave or better yet, they are absolutely STARVING and simply must nurse RIGHT NOW or that car ride is gonna be very loud.

You probably don’t feel like you look your best. Kinda hard to get to the salon isn’t it? And frankly, you still haven’t quite squeezed into your pre-pregnancy clothes yet. I totally understand. My closet mocks me every time I open it. I’m not even sure why I leave those clothes in there that fit me four babies ago. I know it’s just wishful thinking. A girl can dream though, right?

Do you feel pressured by your social media friends and family to post a photo of Junior every hour? Do you worry people might think you’re a questionable mom if in that next photo the baby has on the same onesie they had on in the previous day’s photo?

How about feedings? Worried that little bottomless pit isnt getting enough? What about that random rash or fever? What about finding a pediatician? Maybe you’re just feeling utterly inadequate to raise another human being to adulthood. Maybe, maybe, maybe, if, if, if.

Now, take a deep breath.

Take a loooooong sip of that coffee / tea / carbonated beverage.

If you and I could look each other in the eye right now, I would say to you, it’s all going to be okay. Maybe your husband doesn’t do 2 A.M. feedings or maybe he does. If not, just remember, your little one will sleep through the night eventually. I promise. Trust me, you’d rather have a happy, well-rested hubby than a tired and cranky one. And then you know what? Just when you get used to it, and start enjoying those infomercials they show during the times of night when you’re most vulnerable to buy that collapsable pasta strainer for the unbelievable price of only $9.99 plus S&H and by buying in the next ten minutes you get a second strainer plus a pot and a random flashlight, all free just pay separate S&H, (Maybe I know from experience or maybe I don’t. I’m not telling.) (deep breath) Junior starts sleeping five or six hours straight. Then you will wake up and run to his crib just to make sure he’s still breathing. Then you will start sleeping all night again. Wow! That sounds really good right now doesn’t it? 🙂

As for getting out of your house and not being late, eventually you will have your little darling worked into the family schedule. I also promise you won’t look haggard forever. People know you’re a new mom. They know those dark circles under your eyes are because you lack sleep because you’re a great mom who feeds her child. And only you know it’s also because you just couldn’t lay that little snuggler back down in their crib after that midnight feeding. (They’re so fun to snuggle aren’t they?)
Maybe you’ll never fit into that pre-pregnancy size again. After all, pregnancy changes the “lay of the land” for good. What better excuse to hit your favorite shops once your body shape figures itself out? Don’t feel bad about it. The new you is a badge of honor. Even if it doesn’t seem like it. You never liked that weird dress your mom got you anyway. (I’m trying to help here! 😉 )

And as for all those other things, don’t sweat it! Remember I said I’m going through my sixth newborn season? That means I’ve been on the other side of it five times now. I’ve been where you are. I’ve cried many times over the helplessness and inadequacy that I felt. Look here, don’t you be afraid to ask someone for help. You don’t get a cookie from anyone for “staying strong” and running yourself on fumes. Know your limits. You can do this! But everyone needs help somtimes. 🙂 And you know something else? The Bible says in Psalm 127:3 “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” If God saw fit to bless you with a child, He will sustain you in raising that child! He knows your greatest worries and fears. You can leave them all with Him and just love on that little whipper snapper.

As I leave my empty cup on the table let me say I’ve known a lot of new moms and I’ve been a new mom. We all put up a front, don’t we. But you know something? We all know that we are each going through the same thing. We all feel forgotten, inadequate, fat, frumpy, and hormonal sometimes. And that’s okay. Because at the end of the day, that precious little one is going to snuggle up next to your neck and you will be the greatest thing in their life. They won’t care if hormones are making your hair thinner (temporarily!) or if you are still hanging onto ten pounds of baby weight or if you haven’t had a shower in three days. They will look at you like a super hero. And they will be your greatest accomplishment. Giving birth. Creating and sustaining a human life. You go, girl! Always remember, God loves you. Your spouse loves you. Your family loves you. Your church loves you. And me? I may not know you personally, but you’re a new mom, and I love new moms.

Thanks for letting me spend some time with you. You’re going to be great at this whole mom thing! I’m cheering for you! (Minus the acrobatics. I don’t want to hurt myself! Haha!) Now while the little princess is snoozing like a little angel, go take a nap! 🙂

P.S. Some of you new mamas out there may have had the joy of adopting a baby and while some of the physical changes may not apply in your case, I’m sure a lot of the things I mentioned will. I want you to know that I think you are just as special as any mom out there and I am proud of you! That little tater tot you chose to love and raise may never know how blessed they are to have you in their life. You are amazing and I applaud you for making a difference in a child’s life!