Editor’s Note: She’s back again, our veteran writer with my favorite name! Maggie Meadows Cooper! While home on quarantine, I have had the privilege (and let’s be real…sometimes headache) of homeschooling my sweet babies. One is in preschool, preparing for the start of Kindergarten in …
Editor’s Note: This is a guest story by Tiah Lewis. Devotional Diva Moms, do you ever relate to that feeling of not getting enough done in a day? I certainly do! Be encouraged today.
“It’s Bigger Than Your Accomplishments”-Balancing Motherhood
Many of times I would find myself asking, what have I accomplished today? Sound familiar? Have you ever felt that way? Often we are moving so fast in our lives with daily schedules, kid drop offs, meetings, kids sports, the list goes on, only to feel at the end of the day that we have not accomplished anything and are still holding the same list of To Do Items we started with at the beginning of the week!
For me, this was a frustrating and daunting feeling, until I experienced a shift in my mindset. I want to share how my perspective changed on how I now define accomplishments in my day to day life.
Then I began asking myself to define accomplishments. Well
Now ask yourself
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34) NIV.”
Be blessed and go out and accomplish great things today!
Tiah Lewis is a stay at home mom and author. She enjoys being a wife and mom to her four beautiful girls. The recommitment of her life to Jesus Christ began four years ago and she hasn’t stopped being in awe by the power of the living word and her desire to share it with the world. Follow Tiah: @Tiahlewisauthor
[This is a guest story by contributor Ann Grace. Ann’s post last month was “Longing for Loneliness” and this post gives more insight into Ann’s spiritual journey after the death of her first husband.]
This week has been filled with tears, laughter and exhaustion. It’s been 4 years to the month that my late husband, Shane, and I took our children to Colorado on a ski trip. For years I wanted to go again, but the fears of traveling alone after my husband died, kept me from ever embarking on this adventure.
Traveling with 5 children is A LOT.
Not to mention going back to the same place that we went with Shane. Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Sigh. To think of the emotional journey alone was just overwhelming!
But we finally did it! After 3 days on the road, the kids and I arrived in Colorado safe and tired. Well, take that back… I’m was tired. Kids seem to have regained a massive amount of energy and were ready to play in the snow! Haha.
At first, I just figured that the kids could go outside and play with each other as I rested on the couch. But then, reality hit me. I realized that they don’t have their father to play with them anymore.
They needed me. Tired and worn out Mom.
So with a quiet prayer asking for some strength from the Lord, I picked myself up and we headed to the snow covered hills to sled and have a great snowball fight! It was SO much FUN!!! It’s been years since I’ve just been able to act like a “kid” with my kids. For years, it was Shane who was the “fun” one while I took the “Martha role” of our family.
“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.’ ” Luke 10:38-40 ESV
Now don’t get me wrong. I do believe that my role as a wife and mother was to be that “Proverbs 31 wife/mom” for my family but NOT in the way I believed of having to be “PERFECT“.
I forgot the high calling of just being “MOM” and enjoying my babies.
Did that mean sometimes sacrificing the dishes being washed or the house NOT being spotless?
YEP! But in my quest for perfection, I just couldn’t let “playtime” with the kids interfere with my plans. And now…
Everything in my old world has faded away.
I was talking to a friend today over the phone and as he was telling me about church today. Our conversation led to my desire to be “perfect”. Then, in pure love, he reminded me of Christ’s love and how I needed to let the Lord take complete control of my life. I needed to accept His grace in my imperfections and believe that I am NOT a failure because the kids have mismatching socks! I needed to enjoy life to the fullest! I spend so much time trying to be a “perfect” mom, that I miss out on playing with my kids.
The idea of being a “perfect wife/mother” has now vanished.
The Lord just wants the imperfect me! He wants me to be “a Mary” and just sit at HIS feet and bask in HIS grace. The desire to control my world was just keeping me in bondage. I want to rest in Jesus’ arms as tears flood my eyes every-time I feel my life is out of control.
This vacation was our new journey of healing and restoration. It’s exactly where the Lord wanted our family to be.
Broken and Imperfect.
“But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.’ ” Luke 10:41-42 ESV
Lord, As perfection drifts away, may I find Your love and grace in my life until the day You take me home and make me PERFECT.
Ann Grace married her first husband, a Marine and Firefighter in 2002 and they were blessed with five beautiful children. She was widowed in 2015 and re-married in 2017. She had a stillbirth in 2017 and now seeks to share her passion of how Christ rescued her with other grieving women and children.
“Jesus, I thank You that You love Joelle so much. She is so special to You. I thank You, Holy Spirit that You work in her heart. Please help her to obey Mommy and Daddy; it makes You so happy when she obeys. Please make Yourself real to her. Thank you for my beautiful little girl. She is such a gift to Daddy and me, and we love her so much. Thank you that You have such good plans for her.”
I know many of us are traveling right now, and one question I get asked a lot is “How do you travel with a 2 year old?!” I thought I’d put together a travel series this summer with some of my tips for traveling with kids.
There is one affiliate link in this article — Devotional Diva’s affiliate policy is at the bottom of every page of Devotional Diva in hot pink font. Thank you for your support of Devotional Diva!
My husband is in the US Navy and so we have traveled a lot to move, we have traveled a lot to visit family, and we have traveled a lot because we live in Europe and we want to take advantage of it! I probably cannot count the number of flights my 2 year old has been on because so many of them are short little ones between countries! I can tell you how many countries he has been to – Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, France, Germany, Austria, and Hungary. 7!
He hasn’t been to as many US states unless you count the cross-country road trip we took when I was pregnant!
But, he is well-travelled and my husband and I are well-seasoned travellin’ parents. We’ve gone back to the states twice now to visit and let me tell you, preparation is needed to get a toddler through a 10-hour flight.
But you will get through it!
Tips for Traveling with Kids Part 1 – Getting There
- Bassinet: If your child is small enough (under 22 lbs or 10 kg) and you have a long flight, try to book a bassinet! These are only available on certain airlines and certain planes (big ones for the long haul flights), but it was awesome for our first trip back to the states with little O. You need to call to book these, and there are only a few per plane. Beware that if there is a lot of turbulence or your pilot is extra careful about putting on the “fasten seatbelt” light, the flight attendants will make you take your child out.
- Travel with a backpack carry on: A lot of flights I travel alone. I did the last international flight alone and my only carry-on was a big backpack. I baby-wore little O in my Lillebaby* (affiliate link, thank you for your support!) carrier in the airport and wore my backpack. I do this most flights to be hands-free.
- Instead of a car seat, try Kids Fly Safe Harness: In the same vein of traveling light, I bought this Kids Fly Safe harness (not sponsored or an affiliate link, seriously just wanted to travel light and I wanted to provide the link) for little O on the most recent international flight in March. He was not sure about it. He sat in it kind of sometimes? And then wriggled out of it other times. He fell asleep in it once but was woken up by the captain. Then couldn’t fall asleep in it again. It wasn’t his normal car seat seatbelts, it was a strange place, he wasn’t happy. I may have to try it again when we go back to Europe though. I know many people have had success with it, but O wasn’t
entirely sure. But it helps you travel light, and for take off and landing it’s very safe.
- Bring little packets of powdered Toddler Drink to help them sleep: Some kids like to have milk to go to sleep, but on long haul flights, how will you have milk for them? (I couldn’t find a reliable link for these, sorry.) Flight attendants aren’t always able or willing to give it. I discovered small packets of Toddler drink for our first long haul flight last year, and it seemed to relax O and help him sleep. It was kind of a treat. If you have a child that still needs that, or even if they don’t, Toddler drink might be a good option. If you need real formula, I know they sell little packets of formula too, just not everywhere. This is good, too, because if you’re on a plane, when it takes off and lands it helps with their ears popping.
- In a car or plane — a variety of small toys: Try to look through their toys and bring a variety of different ones, that do different things. Bring a stuffed friend, bring something that their little hands need to work on, bring something that lights up, bring something to chew on (if teething).
- For road trips — Get out of the car for a little while: We do drive with O a lot, actually. He does pretty well. We set him up with a movie usually and have toys back there for him. We try to drive for a while and then get out of the car at a gas station for a bit for some food. European gas stations usually have pretty good restaurants in them! A break seems to reinvigorate O if he is getting restless.
- Bring as many snacks as you can regardless of your travel method. Always have them. One little pretzel stick may just do the trick!
STAY TUNED FOR PART 2
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