A Mothers Purse

A Mothers Purse

A Tribute to ALL Mothers

Isaiah 66:13: “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you.”

Once upon a time when Ellie was two she was put on medication to help  ease her constipation. Now, if you have ever seen my purse then you know it is always full of everything my kids could possibly need throughout the day. However, of all days that day I forgot the wipes  and extra clothes. While at a friend’s birthday party her medication worked… FAST. I smelt something! She looked at me and I looked at her and down her legs I saw what every mother fears most. Poop! Runny Poop! Smelly Runny Poop!!!! It was horrible. I quickly picked her up and raced her to the bathroom where I discovered that while I had diapers I did not have wipes or clothes. I pulled her soiled clothes off just in time for more poop to continue pouring from her body and onto the floor. I had to literally wet toilet paper to clean her up because I had too much pride to ask the mother of the party for help. I used a towel in the bathroom to clean up the poop on the floor and stuffed it in my bag because there was no way I was leaving it there. I cleaned her up and put her in a new diaper and did the walk of shame out of the house and to our car. This, my friends, is why we had to Move to Washington, Illinois. The embarrassment was too much!  

I don’t know about you, but as a mother I often feel like I am dropping the ball. There are moments in life when motherhood feels too much. I lose my temper. My kid has to ride home in just a diaper. I send my child to school with an empty lunchbox that I thought I filled. We go weeks without reading.  Truthfully, there are times when I don’t feel like I am enough for my children. I feel like I am letting them down. It often feels like my mama purse is completely empty. 

When I was in Elementary school my sisters and I would walk to school everyday. It wasn’t far but it felt like a walk across the country when facing that Texas heat. On really hot days my mom would show up with a washcloth that was frozen. We would put it around our necks to help us stay cool on the walk home. It was just what we needed.  

As mothers we always seem to know what our children will need throughout the day. That’s why, I believe that we carry large purses. There is no telling what you will find in a mothers purse. From applesauce packs to diapers we can agree that it is normally crammed with it all. 

In Luke 10:38-42 we read the story of Mary and Martha. Jesus comes to visit and Martha is anxiously running around preparing dinner for her guest. Meanwhile Mary is sitting at the feet of Jesus listening intently to His every word. Martha becomes angry and scolds Jesus because He was not the least bit concerned that she was making dinner alone while Mary was sitting at His feet. It seems as though Martha was hoping Jesus would set Mary straight by telling her to go help her sister but instead…

Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42, NIV)

There is nothing and no one more important than Jesus and the time we spend with Him.  Mary understood this. Do we? As moms we sometimes show up without the wipes, missing snacks, unpacked lunchboxes and so on. However, even when we show up with it all and extra for the struggling mom it’s still not enough. What?!?! Not enough?!?! Will I ever be enough?!?! Way to boost my mom ego Helena!! 

Grab you a Diet Coke and calm down!!! Listen!!! 

It’s not enough without Jesus. We are not enough without Jesus. Nothing we do is enough without Jesus. Our physical purse might be packed with it all but does our spiritual mama purse have all she needs? Are we ultimately depending on Jesus to guide us, shape up and prepare us to be the mother He has called us to be? Are we allowing Jesus to walk with us as moms daily? 

I sometimes feel like The Snack Mom. I like it too. Personally I think I deserve a shirt! Just to make it official. It is not unusual for me to find a child  (Not my own) digging in my purse looking for a snack or juice box. I find it to be an honor. I almost always show up with a snack or two. I spend a lot of time packing my purse each day. I check, double check and triple check to make sure I have everything that might come up needed throughout the day. Reflecting on this has me asking the question… Do I spend the same amount of energy on having the things of Jesus with me throughout my day? Our mama purse might be filled to the brim with all the physical things we think our babies will need each day but our spiritual mom bags really are empty without Christ. What we carry in our spiritual purse is far more important than anything we ever pack in our physical bags. 

I compiled a list of 4 items we all have in our purse and what they remind us of in our spiritual lives…

  1. Our Phone: Reminds us that we need constant communication with Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
  2. Keys: Reminds us that we have access to His word. (Psalms 119:105)
  3. Planner: Reminds us that God has a plan for our future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
  4. Snacks: Reminds us that we are created for fellowship with other believers. (Hebrews 10:25)

If we want to be the mothers God has called us to be. If we want our spiritual mama purses to be overflowing with all we need from Him then we have to be a Mary. We need to daily and many days moment to moment be sitting at the feet of Jesus soaking in all His words, all His love, all his compassion, His forgiveness . We need to continually soak in all that He has for us. Our spiritual mama purse is so empty without Him. We are incapable of being a Mother without His strength and love. We can have all the snacks, juice boxes, diapers and spare clothes for our kids and still we will show up as mothers empty If we are not connected to Jesus at all times. 

 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15:5-8 

Above all else, stay connected to Jesus. Without Him we can do nothing but with Him we will move mountains. 

Isaiah 66:13: “As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you.”

If you  are anything like myself, you spend all day chasing your kids, wiping bottoms, filling sippy cups, changing diapers, helping with homework, showing up to class parties, praying over ouchies, and so on. Moms have alot of jobs. (This is not me taking away from a fathers role! Your day is coming!) Teacher, nurse, activity planner, you fill in the blank.  By the time we reach the end of the day our energy is depleted. We just want to hide under the covers scrolling pinterest drinking diet coke with the only sound being the sound of silence. We love our kids. We find joy in them each day. However, even with all the love we have in our hearts for our children, it’s not enough without Jesus. It’s ok to acknowledge that mommyhood is tough. Many moments as a mom are so good. You know when your kid says Thankyou out of nowhere for something you do for them often. Or when they really show off with their behavior in public.  I think when moments are good as mothers we forget that we still need Jesus. In the good and bad moments we need Jesus. The moments of joy and the moments that test our patience and leave us exhausted are the moments we need to hide under the covers talking to Jesus allowing Him to refill us with all we need to continue rocking Mommyhood. That’s what Mary shows us how to do in Luke 10. She knew if she was going to have any amount of energy for all of life then she needed to be with Jesus first. We might forget the wipes, juice boxes, extra clothes and lunch boxes but if we remember Jesus then we have all we need.  Jesus is all we need and our kids need us to solely depend and trust in Him. OUR KIDS NEED US TO SOLELY DEPEND AND TRUST IN HIM!!! Let that sink in on this Mother’s Day! 

Happy Mother’s Day!

Rest in Him

Kids have this amazing ability to fall asleep pretty much anywhere. They are great at resting. As adults, it seems, with the pressures of life, falling asleep in our own bed is a struggle.

“In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

When we trust in God, while life still brings its struggles, we find ourselves able to rest in God. Like a child we can rest in any circumstance if our focus and trust is truly in Jesus. He has already overcome! 

I pray that today, no matter your current circumstances you will find peace, comfort and rest in Him. 

“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 NLT

Jesus is calling each of us to find rest in Him

Kindness Matters!

Yesterday I had the honor of speaking about Kindness and the impact it has had on me to a group of 60 Student Council Highschool students. It was so much fun. Thanks to Laura Willman Moore
for the opportunity. Laura is amazing at what she does for these kids and I’m thankful to know her and be her friend. Thanks to New Life Washington for opening your doors to this amazing group of kids who are making a huge impact in our community.
Below is what I spoke about…
Kindness Matters!
Ellie started kindergarten this year and let me tell you it is the epitome of drama. She recently got in the car at pick up and immediately started in.
She said that a kid at school said “I don’t care” when she shared with him that she was going to see a movie after school. Before I could respond she continued that the same friend left his blue play dough at the play dough center and when he came back it had yellow mixed in and he accused her but she was adamant that she did not squish two colors of play dough together. Still, he told the entire class that she is a “play dough squisher!” To end she told me that this same boy does not act excited about the same things she gets excited about. Oh yes and we can’t forget that the glitter girls club that she is in broke up because all the girls want to be bossy. I said “sorry about the glitter girls and to be honest that boy sounds like a little he is having a bad day!”
To which she responded “Yeah but I’ll just kill him with kindness!”
I guess it’s pretty clear to all of us that there will always be individuals in our life who we have to kill with kindness. Am I right?
One morning I showed up to math class in junior high and my teacher Mrs, Chaung had invited a past student to come speak to us.
He had come to encourage us to stay in school and follow our dreams. He took time to ask each of us what we wanted to do when we grew up. One of the things I mentioned was that I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. I had a dream of being a published author. Shane was so kind to write each of us a note telling us that he believes we can do whatever we set our mind to. This encouraging note came the morning after I was sexually abused. It was one of the kindest things anyone had ever done for me and it changed my entire life.
This kindness Shane demonstrated is part of the reason that today, 20 years later I am a published Children’s book author. I believe Shane’s kindness at the worst time in my life played a huge role in who I am today.
Each day we have the opportunity to show kindness. We have to have the opportunity to be a Shane in someone’s life.
Kindness doesn’t mean you like the person who receives your kindness. It doesn’t mean you even know them. Kindness simply means you are choosing to leave a positive impact on every life you encounter and not a negative.
Shane made such a small gesture. He had no idea what I had gone through the night before. He chose to show kindness to someone who he didn’t know before class and had no intention of seeing again. But his small gesture changed my entire life. His small gesture gave me hope that not all guys are bad. His small gesture told me I was still worthy to have dreams and ambitions.
We have the opportunity to be a small gesture of kindness everyday. It’s a choice. Some days it is easy to be kind. Other days it is not. But kindness is always a choice.
Never take your kindness shirt off. Allow kindness to follow you everywhere you go and every person you encounter. You never know whose life you will change or whose dream you will help grow.
How has kindness changed your life?

Cling to Him

I remember, at night after my step dad passed away laying in bed with my Bible clinging to it as if I were a two year old child with her favorite blanket. I clung to the word of God and I prayed until I fell to sleep every night because He was the main source that kept me from losing heart and giving up. I want to encourage you to do the same. Regardless of what you are going through let God lead you through. Cling to Him. Life is hard and is filled with ups and downs. I’m encouraged this morning that no matter what I go through God will always be my source and I can always cling to Him in good and bad times. ❤️

“I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely.” Psalms 63:8 NLT

Mom Breaks!

A friend and I were working at the church. I couldn’t find my hot glue guns anywhere. I have 100 but could not locate one. In my head I started going through the motions of packing my kids up (I only have two but it seemed like a marathon) and hauling them to the Dollar Tree. For a 20 minute event I knew that I was going to spend an hour because one kid was going to have a blowout and the other was going to want me to look at EVERYTHING!! Without hesitation, my friend said…
“Just go. I’ll watch your kids.” Let me tell you how fast I ran out of that building. I was driving down the road to the FURTHEST Dollar Tree, singing at the top of my lungs to Ellie’s favorite Kids Bop CD, sipping my Diet Coke, bopping my head and feeling like a fly mom. I love my kids but can we just please normalize taking a break from our kids. Moms need a break. It’s ok to take that break. There is nothing wrong with taking care of yourself so that you can be a better mom. Today, in honor of Mothers Day coming up, find a moment to take a break without guilt. For some that’s going on a car ride alone and for others it might be putting the kids to bed extra early. Do what you can for a moment to yourself. Take a deep breath and breathe. You got this! Keep being the amazing mom you are. ❤️

Forever One Short!⚠️ Sensitive Topic: Miscarriage ⛔️

Forever One Short!
⚠️ Sensitive Topic: Miscarriage ⛔️

I can’t count the number of times I catch myself looking for our middle child. I find myself standing there saying…
There is Ellie!
There is Jay!
Where is the middle one? The one who would be three this month?

For a few moments I stand confused to why I feel like I’m missing the one I never held. I never held him, I never counted his finger and toes and we never named him but he was there for such a short time. He was there long enough to leave an emptiness. I might always feel that loss while here on earth. I might always feel like I’m missing a child. I’m might always look for the middle. Miscarriage reeks of pain, emptiness and guilt. It leaves you in a constant search for your child. It leaves you in moments of panic feeling you lost sight of one of your children. There is hope in Jesus though. There is hope that while I might catch myself searching for years for my child here on earth I know he is in heaven with Jesus and we will meet one day.
On earth I will always have that “Forever One Short” feeling. In heaven though we will be reunited and that pain will be no more. The search will be over. The grief will disappear. The celebration will begin.

My baby never got his heart beat but I’m 100% confident that Jesus knows him, loves him and is with him right now. They are already celebrating! And one day we will all join in on that celebration.

“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

How beautiful it is to know where our middle child is. How wonderful it is to know he is being loved on by the one who loves him more then I ever could! How much peace it brings to know that he is in his forever home; safe, loved and delighted over. He is in perfect peace, happiness and care.

This April I get to add the number three candle to his collection. Each year I buy the number candle that represents the age he should be. I never want to forget that he existed, he matters and there is a place in my heart that will always be searching for him. I never want to forget the beautiful gift God gave me even if it feels our time with him was too short.

Happy birthday to my middle child! I know your celebrating in a glorious way.

Rugrats!

When I was a kid we were not allowed to watch Rugrats because they had colorful hair. 😂 Now look at me with pink hair and sporting the Rugrats shirt. Sorry mom!!!

With Mother’s Day quickly approaching I know there are those of us who start to feel the mom guilt. Maybe our kids are grown and not living the life we raised them to live or maybe we are new mothers trying not to mess up this mom role we have been given.

The truth is, our kids will do things to disappoint us. Like the time Ellie pushed a friend down a flight of stairs. That was very disappointing! However, if you are raising your child to love and serve Jesus you must trust that He will follow them throughout their life. They will mess up. They might mess up in BIG ways. They are human but as moms who trust in Jesus we must continue to pray for our kids as we point them toward Jesus. Pray while they are young and don’t stop when they leave the house. As a current mom I still need prayers.

I don’t think my mom cares now if I watch Rugrats or color my hair pink. I believe she is happy to know that I’m serving Jesus and raising my kids to do the same. The pink hair is just me living out my wild child like ways. Honestly, following Jesus is not about being perfect and getting everything right. It’s about knowing Him on a deep level. It’s about knowing I can run to Him when I am in trouble, broken or sick. I can run to Him even in my Rugrats T Shirt and pink hair.

What is a strange childhood rule you had growing up?

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Your moment is now

Once upon a time I was not in a place to be able to have one of my Childrens books published. It was on my goal list for many years. In fact I wrote The Chicks Save Easter 10 years before I was able to have it published. Tomorrow I am sharing the original story unedited and in my own illustrations. We all struggle with the “I can’t” mentality at times. Maybe it’s finances, life circumstances or even lack of confidence that keeps you from going after a dream. I want to encourage you to start some where. I began my journey to become a childrens author when I was teaching in a private preschool. The kids would ask me to read my Paper Books to them almost everyday. I started with poster board and crayons and the kids loved it. Don’t waste that God given talent on the perfect moment. You’re moment is now. What are you going to do with it?

Every little bit of six

Recently in the car I had a Kids Bop CD playing. Ellie asked, mom can you change it to some Jesus music? I did and she responded…

“It calms my heart.”

I pray Jesus is the one who always calms her heart no matter what life throws at her. Ellie has always talked about Jesus and made sure everyone else knows about Him as well. However, this past year I have watched Him move in her heart in a different way. He is no longer a relationship mom and dad want her to have, she truly loves to worship Him and she desperately wants others to know Him as well. I believe Jesus speaks to her heart on a deep level. She gets so broken hearted when a friend tells her they don’t believe the same way. However, what others believe has never changed who she knows to be true and real. I pray her relationship with Jesus continues to grow so strong that nothing and no one can change who she knows to be real, true and alive.

This past year has been a leap of faith not as much for Ellie as it has been for Jessie and I. We have trusted Jesus in sending her to public school, she now gets to walk over to her friends house to play (it’s next door) 😂 she earns an allowance and this coming school year we might just let her ride the school bus that she has been begging to ride. Not sure if we can take that last leap yet. 😂 Ellie walks into each new freedom with a smile on her face and is slowly learning that every ounce of freedom she receives comes with responsibility. I truly hate that she’s growing up but I’m thankful Jessie and I get to guide her in that growth. Here’s to believing that six comes with a little less attitude and sass. 😂 No matter what, this is six and I’m going to enjoy it… every little bit.

Stains!

I love finding matching shirts and pajamas for Ellie and Jay. It’s even more of a treat if they are gender neutral so eventually Jay will fit into Ellie’s. However, Ellie or Jay always seem to permanently stain their matching clothing. Maybe that’s a sign they are not into matching!?!?! No matter how hard I try I can’t not see the stain. The shirts are not the same. They stay hanging in their closet because they no longer feel good enough to wear. I just can’t seem to look past the stain.
I’m so thankful that Jesus can look past our stains and see our hearts. Even when others cannot. Even the big stains. Not only can He look past our stains and see who He has called us to be but when we ask for forgiveness He does just that.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

When we receive His forgiveness and turn away from what we know is not pleasing to Him, His word says that He no longer sees our sin.

“For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” Hebrews 8:12

When Jesus was hanging on the cross one of the criminals hanging beside Him asked for His forgiveness. Guess what? Jesus gave Him just that. Jesus chose to look beyond his criminal past and respond with love.

“One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!” But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Luke 23:39-43 NLT

There are family, friends and strangers who have yet to show you grace and forgiveness. That’s their choice! You can’t make anyone show you forgiveness. Only Jesus can lead a person to a place of healing that allows them the strength to forgive. In a figurative way, maybe you feel they view you as one of the criminals being put to death? They are punishing you with unforgiveness. You can’t wait for earthly people to forgive you before you allow yourself to walk in God’s freedom. FOCUS on this truth: If you are truly repentant Jesus will forgive you. He will forgive you even when the world will not. He will forgive you and those stains, all of them, including the set in deep ones that no amount of OxiClean can rid will be washed away, removed, blotted out. Gone!