"I don't have time for cheesy." That's what I told my counselor the first time she told me to unspin the spiral of words in my head into mantras.
Now they bring calm to the chaos and to my little loves as well. I have three boys, and they also have minds that think and hearts that feel, so what a gift to help them find God's truth to ground in. I believe there is no greater gift we can give our children than what God says. My prayer is that they can release their own mantras to the world freely as they see us mamas releasing ours.
You can try these out for size, and create mantras for your home with me in my online course -- coming in March.
Because mamas need simple and steady. Mantras are a word or phrase that you repeat, bringing calm and kindness to the time you are in. When our root is in the righteousness of Christ, we know abundant life even in the middle of the flurry, the hard, the swept up, the pain, the sleep-deprived, and the weary.
Find the words you most resonate with and then stick them where you see them (bathroom mirror, next to your toothbrush, by your coffee pot, or save them to your phone) to make the most of these kingdom days on earth. I'm so proud of you for showing up in the swirl of motherhood.
What a miracle, huh?
P.S. Click the image, let the screen pop up, scroll down and screenshot the encouragement for the day you need it most.
Mamas, the chaos will come. It's inevitable. And chaos feels different to each of us.
Sometimes it looks like spilled mac n' cheese that broke the camels back of all the outside-of-the-home you carry.
Sometimes it looks like immeasurable grief over the hole in your heart that nothing can fill.
Sometimes it just looks like the world outside your window and acknowledging that raising kids in this place is hard.
But remember this promise,
"God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and sound mind".
In the chaos, He is with me. In the chaos, He sees me. In the chaos, He equips me. In the chaos, I hold the gift of power, love and sound mind. In the chaos, I find rest and know, He will see me through.
The sink is two days full.
The laundry is still in the basket.
The kitchen floor is sticky.
The toys are scattered, again.
Tempers have been flaring.
Sickness struck again.
Tears have been missed.
Little hearts are bursting in growing pains.
And marriage has hit the back burner to the noise of life.
How do we praise even then?
Psst.. we don't quench the Spirit, we let the Spirit in us dance!
So stop, find your little love, pick them off the floor, and swirl them around!
Father, I praise you!
I rejoice in and through this circumstance.
You've invited me to prayer and I spill my heart prayer here.
(Spill it freely now!)
And I thank You knowing Your will is perfect and complete.
Anxiety isn't foreign to me.
The gray days come. The breathing feels shaky. Sometimes there is warning, other times it shows up without prediction.
My hands find a cool floor, my eyes close. I breathe in, I breathe out. I hear the sound of my heart beat as I let the littles pitter and romp around me. I hold out my palms.
And in that space I remember, I am safe in this moment. I am unmovable, my hand is held by Safety. My body is safe, He holds me secure. My heart is untouchable, as His heart is before me.
I open my eyes, and breathe again.
The world is primed with comparison, opinions, every opportunity to see all that you are not. But soften your gaze to the grace before you.
Say it aloud with me,
"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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
You hold the grace that your littles need; to know that all they have and all they need is Jesus.
He is your footing.
He is your guide.
He is your teacher.
He is your strength.
I am learning every day,
I give them permission to learn every day too.
We know what it says.
But do we find rest? Do we accept it?
I have found one of the hardest things for myself and mama friends to do is just that. It's three fold.
The next time your plates are spinning, you're running out of air, your blood pressure is rising, the eye twitch is returning and your not sure what your child just said to you...here's your three steps.
1. Pause. Acknowledge that in this moment you are stopping what you are doing completely. If you can move on to rest, then do so. If you can't but know that this "time out" means you need it, then plan it for that day.
2. Rest. This can look like a five minute sit down with a hot cup of tea, a two hour nap where you pass the torch to your spouse, a walk as a family where you shut down the noise or an entire day that you grab a babysitter.
3. Restore. This part is critical because we can't run on empty. My top 10 go to's for restoring are:
2. Phoning a friend
3. That dusty book on the night stand
4. Getting out in creation
5. An epsom salt bath
6. Coffee date with friends
7. Time with my family with no agenda
8. Laying on the ground and turning on the music (Not joking even a little)
9. Air BnB getaways with my husband
10. A blanket and the remote
So, beautiful. Pause, rest, restore. You need it.
We whisper in their sweet ears, "He knit you in me, you are fearfully and so wonderfully made, my child!"
Well my loves, the same is true of us.
You were handpicked.
You were knit perfect.
You are wonderfully made.
And not just for an average story.
You were made for a glory story.
Your story is a thread of His story.
A testament to the gospel.
As you live it knowing how wonderful you are, how purposed you are, how intentional He was in the wonder of you (and for every person He has purposed to be cared for by you), You bring honor and glory to His name.
Do you believe it?
I am handpicked for glory.
I am handpicked for glory.
"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well."
Phew, the Lord is patient with me.
When I am running on weary, or feeling as though I never measure up, or that all of my 'doing' is in vain ... I get to say in the quiet of my heart or at the top of my steps in a puddle of frustrated tears
I give from the Giver of Life.
Of all that He redeemed for me, all that He gave up for me, all that He gifted me, I get to continually praise Him and give unto the people He's entrusted me with.
I don't do it well every day,
but I do see the treasured blessing it truly is.
"Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God."
But we are raising kingdom-bearers. And we bear kingdom love.
Every day we have with our little ones in the world is a day we get to show them what this looks like with our own mother, our neighbors, their friends' mamas on playdates. We get to show them with our speech, with how we respond in conversation or to the news. We get to show them with how we love and serve, with what rules are days. And daily I am reminded that they are more in tune than I may think.
Do they see righteousness, peace and joy outflowing from Holy Spirit?
Or do I have that dam plugged up pretty good?
So I repeat to myself,
I bear kingdom love.
They bear kingdom love.
"For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit."
In the moments where you have two choices -- either throw down the adult tantrum on the floor or pick up the white flag in surrender -- exhale this,
You lead me tenderly.
You give me all I need.
Your eyes help me to see.
I will walk as you guide my steps, knowing I am in heavenly footsteps.
You are good,
so I am good,
and I will be okay through this moment.
"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you."
Your ability to be bound to excuses.
"That's just my personality."
"It's how my family does things."
"I always respond this way."
Life with children is hectic, noisy, imperfect, fleshy, painful, stressful, emotional, tiring (and obviously incredible).
But we mamas in Jesus have a privilege and responsibility to bear. That is stewarding our moments well, including creating calm in the chaos.
In Jesus, we have His new nature in us. In truth we know He brings the calm. So we can strip the baggage rulings of hysteria, fear, anxiety, 'personality' hold ups and ground in this facet of who He is and then go be it for our people.
When chaos is loud, breathe this out with me...
You made the storm be still, I will still this storm. You brought gladness for the quiet and shelter that suited them. I will create a haven of calm in this minute and my children will smile.
"He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven."
"Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him."
In the moments that feel like this, I want you to say out loud (and model it to your babies!)
I can freeze this moment.
Then teach them,
Pause where you are.
Freeze your toes.
Rest your hands to your side.
What do you see?
What do you hear?
What do you taste?
What do you smell?
What do you feel?
Freeze in this moment knowing you are held, you are loved, you are not forgotten.
Sometimes we need to quiet all of the outside noise that's causing the breath to labor and see what is right in front of us.
But sometimes we need to see what's right in front of us to be able to move forward.
Wherever you are, you are not alone and your story is good.
But another truth I had to come by and then declare in my living... with Jesus, I have more of me I'm meant to give. Humility doesn't look like hiding who you are from the world.
No more apologies for how He has created me, I am a part of Him. No more feeling sorry for myself, or talking down to myself or feeling too prideful when I share of the things that make my heart sing. When I sing of the goodness of God, I honor Him by living out my (His)story and the beauty of His transforming gospel love.
When I say "More of You", it's because I'm hungry for His word, His sanctifying movement in my day to day journey.
And when I say "More of me" its because I want to discover more of Him as I allow myself to come unapologetically alive in Christ and see the grace in His transforming power.
How has His goodness, really truly changed me?
Am I holding back or inviting others in?
I want to see more of YOU my sisters, because in you I get to know Him in a whole new way.
"And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit."