It’s another Manic Monday! I really hope it isn’t though, and even if it is, I am glad to have you here to get some Momspiration! As always, I think you are really going to like today’s post by Ruth-Ellen! She is talking about mom confidence today, so I really hope it helps you build some mom confidence in your own life today! Please don’t forget to share the love in the form of comments, shares and follow along with her blog too! As I always mention, don’t forget to follow along on Instagram with the hashtag #momcrushmonday and #followthedyers ! Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy!
My confidence to parent unapologetically derives from my ability to be able to look after myself and see the successes in it. It doesn’t come from a medal of honour or an award, but from knowing I am doing my best with what I have. To me, that is true confidence.
When you are asked to write something about parenting, it is easy for me to have initial thoughts surrounded by imposter syndrome. Not because I don’t have kids. I have a 16 year old son with additional needs and a 14 year old daughter, who both challenge my thinking daily. And therein lies my issue: I make mistakes, a whole lot of mistakes….but so what?
It is in our mistakes that we learn lessons that teaches us how to really live, love and laugh.
Let’s face it, the task of leading another human being and making them upstanding citizens that give back to this world is a mammoth one.
I had my children when I was 20 and felt like a child myself. And the greatest lesson in all of these years about parenting is this: Be you, because everyone else is taken.
So what does that really mean and how do you grow in confidence as a parent so you can lead these future great leaders? Let me share a few of my insights and perhaps they will help you:
1. Live Life With Passion
I live my life, and let them see what I do, not what I say. When push comes to shove, it is our actions that teach them to know how to act, feel and love.
2. Reframe Acceptance
Acceptance is the act of sitting with my emotions, giving self compassion because knowing if I don’t I will be blocking negative energy inside me.
Crying is ok. Sadness is ok.
Your circumstances are not who you are. They are your circumstances now, but do not dictate the future.
3. Define Who You Are
Your values and your why are super important.
Here’s to staying confident consistently. ✊
Ruth-Ellen teaches other about staying confident by taking imperfect action. Visit her blog, Confident School, and learn more ways to be confident. Also, make sure you are following her on Instagram too!
At our church for the next 6 months, we will be going through the Old Testament. As we journey through the Old Testament, expect to see some posts related to what we are studying here too. We just started our reading plan this past week, so I want to start near the beginning on today’s Wednesday Devotional. Today, we are going to look at the story of Sarai in Genesis Chapter 16 and taking a peek at how she failed to trust God and how culture equals unrighteousness.
Let’s read the Scriptures: Genesis 16:1-6 “Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said to Abram, ‘Behold now, The Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.’ And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. So, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her servant, and gave her to Abram her husband as a wife. And he went in to Hagar, and se conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress. And Sarai said to Abram, ‘May the wrong done to me be on you!’ I gave my servant to your embrace,and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the Lord judge between you and me! But Abram said to Sarai, ‘Behold, your servant is in your power; do to her as you please.’ Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her.'”
What It Says About Why Culture Equals Unrighteousness
Sarai gave into life’s and culture’s pressures. She was barren and wanted children. In those days, it was important to bear children, so you would have an heir for your possessions. God had come to Sarai and told her she would have children. She waited and waited, maybe for what seemed like to be forever, but still no child. She became impatient and decided to take things into her own hands.
How many times do we do this same thing to ourselves? Oftentimes, we may not even wait. We may react immediately without having any confirmation from God. We seek culture’s quick response instead of answers from God.
Today, in our culture, the pressures are overwhelmingly real. Social media, the news, advertisements-they all tell us how we should behave and all the things we should accumulate. “They” tells us it is okay to blur the lines and live on the edge. “They” say, “It’s okay if…” and put stipulations on situations where they need not be.
It was culturally acceptable for Abram to get a maidservant pregnant because he didn’t have a son to become his heir. Now, it is culturally acceptable for us to get a divorce because we ‘fell out of love”. These cultural norms equal unrighteousness in the eyes of God. We are not to live by cultural standards. Instead, we were called to live by God’s standards, which He clearly defines for us in the Bible.
So here is my charge to you wives. Abram was influenced by his wife. She was the one who suggested he sleep with Hagar to get her pregnant. Similarly, Eve was the one who swayed her husband into eating the fruit God told them not to eat. So here it is ladies. Are you ready? Be careful not to tempt those you are close to, namely our husbands, into wrong doing. It may feel good and even be culturally acceptable. It can even benefit you, and you may have the right cause in mind. However, these cultural aspects do not equal righteousness.
I am preaching to the choir here too. This lesson is one I had to learn and constantly have to remind myself. Being a pastor’s wife, it is easy to want to sway him into some decision that benefits me selfishly. I have to be on guard to check my feelings and desires to determine what is best for the church and not what is best for me. There are times when it might feel better for me to go after what I desire, but it is unacceptable for me to chase an unrighteous choice.
Also, be careful not to take the easy road. God doesn’t call us to take the easy route. He calls us to take the righteous road. Yes, it was easier for Abram and Sarai to take matters into their own hands and have a child with Hagar because they feared they would not have children in the future. Since they did not trust God, their path became more agonizing.
Seek the Lord on every decision. Abram didn’t seek God’s wisdom on whether or not he should get Hagar pregnant and neither did Sarai. Therefore, God remained silent and Abram and Sarai moved forward in their sin. So let me say it again, culture equals unrighteousness.
We often like to think, “Oh, God will step in and prevent me from messing up.” NO! This thought is not true! If we don’t seek the Lord, He may remain silent. Furthermore, culture may tell me it is okay to pursue this route without even needing to seek God, but the Bible tells me to look to God in everything I do. Culture equals unrighteousness.
So be careful how you are influencing others, seek God and pursue righteousness. Don’t end up like Abram and Sarai, where they spent years trying to untangle themselves from the mess they were in from trying to do things their own way. God will still work even when we mess up, but it will be much more painful.
God, thank You for always turning my mess into a magnificent glorification of who you are. Forgive me for being self-righteous and not seeking You in my decisions. Help me to seek You in all I do. May I always seek righteousness instead of my own selfish ambitions. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Are swaying your husband the wrong direction? Do you take the easy road instead of the righteous road? Do you seek the Lord in all your decisions? What can you do to guard yourself in the future from cultural unrighteousness?
Did you catch last week’s Wednesday Devotional? If not, you can find it here!
Welcome to Monday! I know some of you hate Mondays, but I am loving them because I get to share so many wonderful posts from other amazing bloggers! This Mom Crush Monday series really makes my heart happy to read such fantastic stories from other mamas! Today, Carrie shares with us a very important topic of how we can stop the mom guilt. Tell her how much you love her post in the comments below and check the end of the post to follow her blog too! Also, make sure you are following along on Instagram and use the hashtags #momcrushmonday to share a mom you think is pretty special too! I hope you enjoy this post as much as I do!
3 Ways to Drop the Mom Guilt
Mommy guilt may be at an all-time high. Today we have more information at our fingertips than previous generations had in a lifetime. This causes us to second-guess our instincts and look over our shoulders at what other moms are doing. Also, women today have more choices: work full time, stay at home, or something in between? Cloth or disposable? Breast/bottle… ad infinitum. With more choices comes more analysis paralysis.
Motherhood is supposed to be enjoyable. Here are three ways to lose the mom guilt.
1. Know Your Values
Speaking with a dear friend the other day, I lamented that looking at other people’s spotlessly decorated homes on Instagram made me feel inadequate. “But stuff like that has never been important to you!” she declared. “Also, most people are up to their eyeballs in debt for all that new furniture, and you guys aren’t. You should be proud.”
Hmm. She’s on to something there.
We’re all different, and we’re happiest when we make choices that align with our highest values. Knowing those values is an anchor when we’re tempted to compare ourselves with others.
2. Learn to Laugh
Motherhood. You gotta laugh to keep from cryin’, eh? When the baby has a stomach flu and the dog just barfed too, the teenagers are hormonal and you just burned lunch; just laugh. Put on a comedy podcast, watch Nacho Libre, bust out your silliest 80’s pop. Do whatever to remind yourself that this motherhood thing is a temp gig. Keeping yourself in good humor does wonders for the mood of the entire family.
When you do make a mistake with your kids, acknowledge it, and ask for forgiveness. You’ll model healthy relationships, and your kids’ respect for you will grow. Guilt is designed to be a proactive emotion: we don’t like how it feels, so we avoid doing things that will trigger it. Harness it by developing skills around things that trigger you. Keep a journal of times you “lost it”, and look for patterns. Did you yell because of clutter? Fatigue? Too much caffeine? Learn from it and make some tweaks, and forgive yourself!
Carrie Willard is a homeschooling mom of 7, and she’s on fire encouraging moms to make time for what they love.
Make sure you head on over to her blog and read some of her great posts there too! Don’t forget to follow her on Instagram and Pinterest too!
Friends, I am super excited about the special guest post I have today and the message she has to share with you about how her father was so influential in her understand about God, the Father. Meg’s social media sites are listed below. You should connect with her and make sure to check out her book, Sketchy Tacos! I started it already, and it is a really fun read!
A Child’s First Glimpse of God
Growing up, I thought my dad hung the moon. Twice a week, he would kick our tails on game night. In the summer, he would chase us around with a hose, making rainbows in the hot sun. He would tickle my sister and I until we couldn’t breath. He was the master mouse-catcher and spider-killer. He could fix almost anything. He fought fires.
He was the bravest, strongest man I knew, and he still has the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever met.
Those memories sparkle in my mind. Still what had the biggest impact?
Every night he sat at the head of the table and said grace. He sang my sister and I to sleep with hymns, and he led family devotions. He not only taught us about God, but he tried to model Him in every way.
So when the Sunday School teacher told us God was a kind and loving father, I had no trouble picturing that.
My dad isn’t perfect. There were days when he got frustrated or angry or discouraged. Perfection isn’t possible. However, he did his best, and that’s what I remember.
I was so incredibly blessed. I’ve known too many people who struggle with their understanding of God because of their relationship with their parents. Strife or inattention made them believe God doesn’t care. Unattainable goals set by parents made them believe they could never be good enough to obtain God’s love.
Parents are a child’s first glimpse of God. A parent’s actions and attitudes will affect how a child views God for years to come.
Be a light for your kids, pointing the way straight to God. Shower them with unconditional love. Discipline them not out of anger, but with a desire to guide them to the right path. Be there for them through thick and thin. Ask yourself, “How am I demonstrating God’s love today?”
Meg D. Gonzalez is a tea-sipping, adventure-seeking, pug-loving kind of girl. She’s crazy for God and wants to share His love with awesome young women around the globe.
Check out Meg D. Gonzalez’s new teen travel novel, Sketchy Tacos. Explore the relationship between mother and daughter through teenage artist Mila Gulick’s eyes while she struggles to find herself and her faith in vibrant, fun-filled Mexico.
Oh, the power of positivity! We see these posts everywhere, right? Especially with it being the new year, I see “New Year, New You: Be Positive This Year” everywhere I look. Even still, and it is February.
The problem with the Power of Positivity way of thinking is that it leads to a Health and Wealth thought of Christianity. To be completely sincere, prosperity and positivity are not what Christianity is all about at it’s core. Just because you think you should be the most successful person on the face of the planet does not mean you will be. Read the book of Job for crying out loud! Honestly, you cannot create anything by just thinking it. Moreover, we cannot do anything outside of God.
You may be thinking, “Lady, are you crazy? Your verse for the day is Philippians 4:8.” Okay, I might be crazy, but that topic of discussion is for another time. Just hear what I have to say before you throw your virtual stones! First, let’s take a look at the verse.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, about these things.”
What It Says About The Power of Positivity:
It sounds like I am telling you to use the power of positivity, doesn’t it? Well, not really because I am telling you to use what is true. Not necessarily what is positive because something can be positive without being true! I can tell myself I can fit into that size 7 shoe because they are the cutest ones I have ever seen, but that doesn’t make it true! Being true means it is real and authentic. Reality tells me I will not fit in a size 7 shoe because my foot is too big and my toes would be too cramped to walk! We studied truthseveral weeks ago and came to the conclusion the Bible is true. Therefore, we must think about what the Bible tells us because it is true, and our positivity will follow from our confidence in knowing the truth of the Bible.
Furthermore, I am saying we, as Christians, should think about what is honorable and just. It means we should live by bringing acknowledgment back to God in a way in which it is guided with truth and rightness according to the Scriptures. We should also be thinking pure thoughts, lovely thoughts and commendable thoughts, and we should be thinking thoughts which come from God, delightful thoughts and thoughts worthy of God’s presence. It’s not about positivity because it’s about being in God’s presence and being so caught up in worshipping Him, we don’t even need to think positively because we automatically do it.
Now this idea takes some action on our part. I know, I know, I am going to talk about it again! Nonetheless, I have to talk about how we can accomplish this task!
How? I’m so glad you asked!
Put away past sinful behaviors. Get away from reading the dirty jokes, obsessing over money, pornography, violent television, gossip, boasting or whatever it is causing you to sin.
Feed the Holy Spirit. Read the Bible. Pray. Listen to sermons. Sing worship songs. Memorize scripture. Spend time with other Christians. Read Christian books.
So let us, as Christians, stop looking to the power of positivity and start look at the power of God in order for positivity to seep from our pores.
God, thank You for always being true. Forgive me for not living with an urgency to bring You glory. Create in me a pure heart, O God. May I honor You with my life. Help me to live according to Your Word and not this world. Help me to have thoughts which gratify you and help me to run from thoughts which do not. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
What do you need to do to let positivity from God shine through in your life?
Hey Friends! I would really love your help! I have a survey about my blog, and I would really love for you to tell me what you think of Follow the Dyers. I value your feedback of Follow the Dyers because you, as my reader, are so important to me. If you could take a few minutes to fill out the survey to analyze my blog, I would greatly appreciate it!
Happy Monday! I continue to be blown away by my Mom Crush Monday guest posts and today is no different! I am loving today’s post by Emily, who is sharing about how motherhood gave her self-confidence she never knew it could. As always, please tell her how much you loved her post in the comments and follow along with us on Instagram using the hashtag #momcrushmonday and #followthedyers , and make sure to stop by back next Monday to read from another awesome mom blogger too!
Gaining Self-Confidence Through Motherhood
Awkward, socially anxious, filled with self doubt… just a few of the ways
I felt about myself well into adulthood.
I unwittingly spent hours worrying whether my shirt matched my shoes
well enough. I would wonder when, WHEN, would that email I sent get a
reply? Had I insulted the recipient in any way? Were my questions too
insipid to merit answers?
Pregnancy fed into my worry-prone personality. I had a whole host of new
things to stress about… my health, the baby’s health, what to buy to
prepare for his or her arrival, how I would handle returning to work, etc.
After I gave birth to my son, I was filled with all of the typical (and
probably some extra) new parent worries. I had no experience with babies –
I didn’t know what was normal, and I didn’t want to do anything wrong. I
tried to breastfeed and was challenged because my son wouldn’t latch to
drink my milk. Nothing felt right.
As the days turned into weeks, I slowly got the hang of mothering. My
son’s weight slowly but steadily crept up the growth chart. He smiled for
the first time. I felt comfortable taking him out with me alone without
my husband. We muddled on.
One afternoon, already a year into my son’s life, I left the house with my
son and headed to the bus stop. I walked along purposefully and all of a
sudden the most unexpected of thoughts hit me. I felt good. I felt
self-confident. Yes, I was tired and stretched thin between motherhood and
work. I’d hardly put any thought into my appearance before leaving the
house. I didn’t know what I would cook for dinner, but I felt happy.
With all the worry that motherhood brought me, I did not expect to gain
self-confidence as a mom. It took me time to realize it, but giving birth
and nurturing a child into toddlerhood made me feel proud, and it made me
As a mom, I discovered I was capable of so much more than I thought. I
realized that all the little things I used to stress about just don’t
matter. I might still be prone to anxiety, self doubt, or worry, but I can
see now there is so much more to life than dwelling on those feelings.
Emily is a mom to a very active 1.5 year old boy. She is a regular at the
neighborhood playground. She and her husband are from the USA, but
currently live in Hong Kong for work. Struggling through the early days of
motherhood while trying to breastfeed spurred her to launch her website, FreshMilkMama, in hopes of supporting other women who find breastfeeding a
Again, I apologize for missing last Wednesday. Today, I am back and ready to conquer Ephesians 6:16. Get caught up on the past weeks as this is week 4 of us looking into Ephesians 6-The Armor of God. To easily get caught up, click through these links to quickly access the past posts: Ephesians 6:10-11, Ephesians 6:14 and Ephesians 6:15. Now, let’s look at how God is our shield of faith when Satan is consistently throwing flaming darts at us.
Now, we all know that Satan exists, right? However, I think we too often forget that he is looming around in the world literally trying to destroy our lives. I mean, how many of us actually think about this concept on a daily basis? I know I don’t. It’s scary to think about it, so I choose to not think about it! I mean yes, I think about it when things are going really bad, but I don’t think about it all the time. Even though we are not always thinking about it, Satan is always there. He is always trying to bring us down and always trying to bring God down.
Ephesians 6:16 says, “In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evils one…”
What It Tells Us About Flaming Darts:
Ummm…flaming darts? That sounds pretty serious! What are these flaming darts the Bible is talking about it? They can be any sort of sin-our pride or doubt in God. Maybe it is an intense pressure to deny God daily or a pornography addiction.
Ephesians 6:16 tells us we should pick up our shield of faith to deflect the flaming darts heading rapidly in our direction. Faith means we trust God. Therefore, our shield is to trust in God.
So we use our “shield of faith” to protect us. Isn’t that what a shield does? You put it out in front of you to protect you from the flaming darts coming in your direction. So we have to put our faith in God knowing God will protect us from the enemy’s attacks. So we must remember that God, Himself, will protect us. He will be our shield.
I know I keep making this comment over and over again, but it is so true: we cannot sit idly by and expect God to do all the work. We must take action in this battle against the enemy. We have to do our part, our daily part, of constantly putting our faith in God and know He will protect us from the enemy.
Let’s put this in perspective for a moment. Here is a good way to figure out if you are living a life completely trusting in God’s faith: In the midst of a trial, do you immediately go to the worst case scenario or do you look at the trial and realize it will all work out in the end? Let me take it a step further, can you rejoice in the midst of your trials? If you can rejoice and have certainty whatever you are going through will work out for the glory of God, then you are living in complete faith with God being your shield.
Now, don’t be discouraged. Even I cannot say I choose the right answer in this scenario. I worry, and I know it is something I need to work on in order to be living fully in faith with God.
Yes, it is scary when I think about Satan continually coming at me with flaming arrows. Nonetheless, I have to remember I am not in this battle alone. We have brothers and sisters standing beside us in this battle, and most importantly, we have God, who is our shield. Like many soldiers will tell you, there is a deep bond that develops among those who fight together. We develop a strong bond with other Christians as we fight this battle together, and we develop a stronger bond in faith with God as we fight this battle with Him as our shield. Through the battles, we come to know things about others and God that we would have never come to know otherwise. God allows Satan to come at us with his fiery flames because in the end it draws us closer to God.
God, thank You for being my Protector. Forgive me for forgetting to trust You in the daily battle I face against Satan. Help me to always trust You will protect me. Give me peace in the trials I face. I love You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
How can you begin to work on allowing God to be your shield of faith today?
First off, I want to apologize for not getting a Wednesday Devotional up this past week. We were on our 2 day voyage back to Thailand from the States, so I wasn’t able to get one up. If you aren’t already, you should really check out my other series “Wednesday Devotional”. Check out my latest post here. Anyway, I am glad to have you joining us today for Mom Crush Monday! The guest post today is so good, just like all the past ones! Her story was very touching, and I hope you like it just as much as I do! Sara is talking about something I fear will come too quickly-the empty nest. Show her some love in the comments and follow along on Instagram with the hashtag #momcrushmonday every Monday! To read other awesome mom bloggers, make sure to come back here every Monday!
The Empty Nest
It felt like my heart was being crushed. That is how the emptiness first arrived.
Tears I never expected poured out.
I’ve always heard of the empty nest syndrome and choked it up to moms who can’t separate their identity from their child’s.
Here I am, crying my heart out. Feeling as though my child was yanked out of my heart.
I, for the first time in my son’s life, was not in control of where he slept, whom he spent his time with or even that he ate properly.
The empty nest syndrome can be likened unto grieving.
Before dropping my son off at the airport, I was numb. I knew the change was coming and disagreed with his choice. I let him go anyway.
Once we said goodbye and he boarded the plane, my heart sank. It was a physical pain akin to having an elephant (I think) standing on top of your chest.
I disconnected from life, spent a lot of time sleeping, comforting myself with carbohydrates and crying.
It may have been harder on me because my son moved over 2,000 miles away, just turned 18, and graduated high school.
It may have been harder on me because I let my son go knowing full well that the decision he just made might be a bad one. One he will regret. One that can possibly harm him.
Parenting is being responsible for another’s life, but, also, allowing that other life to slowly and eventually transform into a “separate but together” relationship.
You find that parenting isn’t just about guiding, but also about letting go. It is painful.
One year later my son returned home – broken, hurt, embarrassed and much wiser.
Am I happy about the fact that I was “right”? NO, no, no However, I’ve learned that even though something seems overwhelming, impossible and tragic, I (and my son) can get through it.
I didn’t die and neither did he and, believe me, there were times this overpowered any rational thought in my mind.
Children are a gift and a huge responsibility.
No matter how old they are, you, as their mother, will grieve. Learning how is the key to traveling this road we call motherhood.
Have you experienced a situational loss in your child’s relationship? How did you get through it?
Sara Duggan is a mom of 2 boys, 21 and 16, traveling the road of motherhood, growing pains and all. She’s a virtual assistant to business bloggers and writes about productivity and taming to-do lists.
It’s Monday, friends, which means it Mom Crush Monday. Today, Kaitlyn shares a mom story that is dear to my heart about why she takes medication for her postpartum depression and anxiety. I know there are many mamas who struggle with this same issue, and so, friends, I ask you to please read! Also, keep up with us on Instagram and follow the hashtag #momcrushmonday and #followthedyers every Monday to check out the awesome mom bloggers showing up right here on the blog!
Why I Take Medication
These are all things I felt when I became a new mama to my beautiful baby boy in January of 2016. This was not like what I heard motherhood was supposed to be like. Why didn’t I feel joy in taking care of this tiny human? Why didn’t I feel a bond with him like every mama talks about? Worst of all, why did I feel like I was the worst mom on the planet?
Little did I know, I was suffering from postpartum depression and anxiety. This made it extremely difficult for me to think clearly and to even begin to comprehend that motherhood is the best thing in the world, which I fully believe now.
The reason I now know that is because I started taking medication to help with the depression and anxiety, and I am not ashamed of it. I need the medication so that I don’t start to have scary thoughts of hurting myself and my baby again. I use the medication so that I feel hope for the future. I must take the medication so that I don’t get scary angry. I need the medication so that I can be a good wife and mama, and believe that I am.
There is a stigma in our society that if you take medication for mental health issues, you are in the wrong. That is so not true! You are facing the reality that you can’t do it on your own. For that, you are stronger than you will ever know.
Stop trying to be wonder-mama or wonder-dada. It is okay to ask for help. It is okay to admit when it is too much. I am so grateful that I did, or I would probably not still be here to watch my baby boy grow.
Kaitlyn Brough is a novice mama to a beautiful baby boy. She has come to realize in the last year that there is no such thing as a mama that has it all together. She loves the show “Parenthood” and spends her days snuggling her baby boy and husband. She is running a half marathon in June. She spent 5 days in the hospital earlier this year after the struggle with PPD became too much. She has made it her mission to help every mama realize that they are not alone in their fight against their mind. This is her sole purpose in launching her blog at the end of 2016.