Tag: family

Shadows: A Mother’s Day Devotional

Shadows: A Mother’s Day Devotional

Editor’s Note: This is a guest story by Sheila Lloyd! Welcome back Sheila. I hope that this devotional can be an encouragement to you all today. Shadows lengthen on a mid-October lawn reminding me of Autumn afternoons of my childhood and adolescence in a veritable 

What Did I Learn Through My Husband’s Stroke? – a devotional

What Did I Learn Through My Husband’s Stroke? – a devotional

Editor’s Note: This is a guest submission from Sheila Lloyd. Sheila’s husband had a stroke in 2014, and this is part of their story of recovery. Thanks so much, Sheila! WHAT DID I LEARN THROUGH THE STROKE?  How I am more like Jesus because of 

Come Sit On Our Couch – a marriage devotional

Come Sit On Our Couch – a marriage devotional

Editor’s Note: This is a guest submission by Bhreagh Rowe. An awesome marriage devotional! 

I think the biggest thing I struggle with is feeling like a crazy person. I literally feel like I am the only person in the world who cries every time I see a baby born on TV, or when Sassy comes over that hill in Homeward Bound or loses it on every time my 4 year old hits that stupid fork on the table and makes another dent. What about when the paper boy throws the paper at the end of my driveway and I can’t NOT not drive over it because its right in my way, or that one dad at my kid’s school who literally takes the stroller out to push his 3 year old the 40 feet to the door. I know, I’m crazy.

There are very few times that I have felt normal or accepted and almost everyone of those times included a cup of tea, a cozy blanket, a comfy couch, a good cry and that one(or two) people who just get me and what I am going through. I can probably count on one hand the amount of times this has happened in my adult life but nevertheless when it happens, it’s beautiful.

Being a mom and wife was the life goal but when the wife and the mom thing fell into my lap I had this feeling of “k, cool, what next?”. I didn’t feel that instant fireworks and crazy attraction to my husband when we first meant and when they placed that little slippery baby into my hands I was more concerned about the pain of what was going on down “there” then those sweet blue eyes. All this to say, it didn’t come easy, naturally or without a lot of bumps and when I say bumps I mean like Everest sized mountains.

So, here I am almost 7 years into wifing and I’m just finally starting to figure a few things out I am not really sure if there was a defining moment that caused this change but I do know there was a big old slap in the face.

There are four people in my marriage, God, me, Daniel and Iris. I know I know, your like “Bhreagh, that’s kinda weird” and 3 years ago I would be like “I know right”.

Whose Iris you may asked? Well Iris is our counsellor, our “don’t pull that crap with me I’m gonna call you out and tell you how it really is” kinda counsellor.

Yes, we have a marriage counsellor.

Iris told me at one of our very first sessions that I wasn’t that great of a wife or a mom and that Daniel was a bit of a jerk (I mean it’s paraphrased a bit but you get the idea right?).

She was totally right.

Our marriage SUCKED before Iris. I mean, we made it look good and all but really we were struggling. We were struggling because we didn’t connect well with each other, we were struggling because we were stressed, we were in competition with each other, we had no mentors or role models, we had hurts, we suffered alone and then we decided to have a few kids cause, why not right?

Remember when I said I always feel like a crazy person? Well during those first 3 (or 4 – 5) years of marriage we went at it alone. We would fight and feel like we were the only people to fight, we struggled and felt like we were the only people who struggled, we were bad parents and felt like the only people who ever made bad parenting choices. We felt like crazy people because no one sat us down on the couch, made us feel like the normal people we are and offered some tissue to go with that cup of tea.

I’m scratching the surface here but do you see where I am going with this right?

Marriage is hard.

Being a family is hard.

Parenting is (SO) hard.

Iris saved us. Well, my husband who was wise enough to seek God, connect us with Iris and then made me go saved us. Iris made me feel crazy because I was. She made me face the hard stuff that was making me crazy and then, with a whole lot of tea and tissues, sat us on her couch and helped us learn the way. Without her even knowing, she opened a huge door for our marriage and family, pushed us through (while we were completely unwilling to go ourselves) and saved us.

So friend, come sit on our couch, I have lots of different types of tea and I am usually out of tissues but have rolls and rolls of toilet paper that you can use to wipe the tears or wipe the face of your spouse after you throw the tea at him in anger (disclaimer – I have never thrown tea at him but there was a tambourine incident) and hear this;

You are a little crazy.

But there is absolutely nothing that you have gone through, you have done, or you have experienced in your marriage and family that will shock or surprise me.

Nothing.

I know your thinking there is something but trust me, I did it or I get it.

We are all imperfect human beings trying to live, love and co-exist with another imperfect human being who, more than likely, is the COMPLETE opposite of you all while raising little humans who yell, scream and freak out out whenever I take that stupid fork away from him. We find ourselves in this big pressure cooker of life and if we don’t stop, sit on that couch and get ourselves some tools for the tool belt it will explode.

So find yourself an Iris.

Then find yourself a good cup of tea, a roll of toilet paper and a comfy couch to breathe out the crazy and breathe in the grace.

Friend, I really hope we can sit on the couch together someday and laugh at all the crazy but for now just know that you don’t have to do crazy alone.

 

Bhreagh is a Jesus follower, wife to Daniel, mom to Maverick and Asher and Salvation Army Officer in Mississauga ON (Canada). She’s a horrible cook, compulsive scheduler, closet reality TV watcher with a heart for the family. Bhreagh’s passion is to see families understand their purpose and live out their God given adventure with as much grace as possible. In her spare time she likes to separate lightsaber fights, attempt to grow veggies in her garden and have date nights by the fire with her husband. 
Joyfully Abandoned – a devotional

Joyfully Abandoned – a devotional

Editor’s note: This is a guest submission by Ann Grace. She has shared her story before – most recently here. Today’s devotional may be hard to get through as it’s very emotional, but powerful. Thank you, Ann. Is it even possible to be joyful in 

After the Storm – devotional

After the Storm – devotional

Editor’s Note: I thought I would just jump back right into posting devo’s! I have closed submissions for the time being – and you’ll be getting a fresh devotional to read every Monday morning for this fall! This is a guest submission by Heather Ream. 

It’s Time to Be Kind to Ourselves

It’s Time to Be Kind to Ourselves

Editor’s Note: This is a guest VIDEO devotional by Betsy Pendergrass. I’m so excited to share it with you today! 

The scripture Betsy is talking about today is right below. I always like to see the scripture in writing, too 🙂

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Mark 12: 30-31 (ESV)
Balancing Motherhood

Balancing Motherhood

Now ask yourself whose measure of accomplishments are we attempting to live up to?

Life is Chaos

Life is Chaos

It seems like no matter how much we clean the house or try to check off our never-ending to-do lists, we just cannot catch up. Ever.

Daddys Home

Daddys Home

Daddy’s Home

(Editor’s Note: This is a guest story by Holly McConnell. I can’t say I didn’t relate to Holly’s mom life devotional, Daddy’s Home. It is such a sigh of relief when my husband is actually home from work!)

 

It’s that sigh of relief when you hear the garage door open and the kids start jumping up and down or when he texts and says, “be home soon”. It’s a moment like no other. Your partner, your love, your friend, your help…he’s home.

 

To me, it’s a wonderful feeling, not only because he’s off work,  but he’s home!!!

 

Vaughn’s job has always been challenging for me. When we didn’t have children it wasn’t as bad. He would work 8:00-5:00 most days and it was a normal schedule. After Wade, his work changed. It’s a great thing! He has moved up in the company and deserves every promotion he has worked for. He is a hard worker and dedicated to his job. However, this requires more hours and more stress.
He works hard! He travels out of town most weeks and is gone two, sometimes three days a week.  I know I’m not the only one out there….right? I know there are men and women who work shift work, are on call, who work straight days, who sacrifice holidays, and time with their children. I wish I could wave my magic wand and all the mommy’s and daddy’s could be home together all the time. I wish it was that simple…However, it’s not reality.

 

Before having Wade, I read the book Power of a Praying Wife and did the study (Editor’s Note: Devotional Diva affiliate link). If you haven’t read it and you are married or soon will be…go get yourself a copy. It put things into perspective for my prayer life for Vaughn. I knew I needed to pray for him, but this laid it out so beautifully and took you through how to pray for your husband fully and completely. It opened my eyes! Two kids later, I struggle. I focus more on them sometimes. But, I pray for my husband. I pray for him to have wisdom and strength to get through his work day. I pray for him to be kind and respectful. I pray for him to give advice and be a mentor for younger and older employees. I pray he is an example of Christ while he is at work. I pray for him to strive in his job daily,to make wise decisions, and to be a light for those who might not know Jesus. I pray! I pray! I pray! I pray for my husband.

 

Something I have been doing lately is praying with scripture. God gave us a guide book, a life book…use it!!!

 

Psalms 90:17
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yet establish the work of our hands.
Prayer–Jesus, may the favor of our God be upon my husband. Please bless and establish the work of his hands and heart each day.
Ephesians 4:1-2
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one in love.

Prayer–God, Please help my husband to live in accordance to you will. Please allow him to be humble, gentle, allow him to have patience in stressful times, allow him to love people as you have asked us to.

I grumble a lot..ummm I do, about his work schedule.

 

It can be hard some days when he doesn’t get home till 7:00 and he left at 6:00 a.m. or earlier. But, I need to remember that God has blessed us and allows Vaughn to work. This job has allowed me to be a part time stay at home mom.. and truthfully I’m mostly just a stay at home mom. It’s the biggest blessing God and Vaughn could have gave me as a mom and wife.

 

So, I’m going to try to grumble less and pray more and remember that God hears my prayers. He hears my heart and my desires. He knows how much I love Vaughn and how much I want him home so we can be complete again. But, I’m also going to pray for myself that God would take this grumbling and negativity that I have sometimes towards his work schedule. I pray that I would speak kindness, have understanding, and love. And I pray that Satan would flee because you know…he’s the one placing those thoughts in my head. So, NOT TODAY SATAN!!! And not tomorrow either…pray for those husbands…and tell them to pray for you too!!

 

Holly McConnell is from Northeast Tennessee where she resides with her husband and two kids. She serves in her church as the women’s ministry leader and assistant youth director. She writes weekly on her blog at www.honestmom87.com about connecting scripture and words from God to mom life, adventures, and battles that she personally faces. Instagram @hollymcconnell87

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Why I am saying ‘Just Because’ a lot more these days

Why I am saying ‘Just Because’ a lot more these days

We simply gathered the kiddos into the car on any empty Saturday morning and headed from the Philly Suburbs up to NYC… ‘Just Because.’