When life knocks you down, get back up and fight

Encouraging, Faith

 

Life isn’t easy and that honestly goes without saying. It can take next to nothing for our lives to change. From a simple inconvenience to a traumatic event, anything can send our lives spiraling out of control. I think that’s the hardest for me—the moments where I have no control. It takes a lot of faith for me to walk through seasons of my life that feel like complete chaos.

Life will beat you down.

None of us are exempt from hardship. No matter how kind/good we are, at some point, we find ourselves in some sort of battle. It’ll feel like the wind is knocked out of you and all you’ll want to do is catch your breath. The pain will be exposed and the tears will come. 

One thing I’ve learned is that life doesn’t shift to accommodate me. Once I became a mom, my personal life didn’t become easier so I could raise my kids without trouble. I’m sure most of us had to deal with our own difficulties while juggling the effects of a pandemic. Life’s hardships don’t discriminate and it’s extremely common for us to go through problem after problem with no end in sight.

God doesn’t answer us the way we expect.

I’ve been in situations where I felt like I couldn’t take anymore. I’ve pleaded with God to stop the hurt and to get me on the other side of my struggle. But with God, it’s not always black and white. God has made me wait with QUICKNESS! There’s a saying that goes, “hurry up and wait.” God will allow us to go through things where we have no choice but to wait on Him.

If you pray to God for patience, He’ll give you a challenge that causes you to practice patience. If you have an issue with a coworker, God will make it so you’ll end up having to interact even more with that person. God doesn’t take away our problems all the time. He mostly creates scenarios for us to learn the skills to deal with them.

In Matthew 26:39 the account of Jesus says, “And He went a little farther, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” Even Jesus went through suffering but we know what the end result of his suffering was. Romans 8:18 reads,”…the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” While we go through things that can break us, it’s nothing compared to the glory we’ll come into once it passes.

Get up and keep fighting!

After Jesus prayed, he got up and kept going. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t tough but he knew there was something much bigger beyond his current circumstances. There’s a lot of things that we go through and because we are overcome by fear and hurt we can’t see the bigger picture. God can take every bad thing that happens to us and turn it around for good(Genesis 50:20). I’m sure we all would prefer that God take our cup of suffering away from us. We would rather never face another battle for the rest of our lives but that’s not going to be our reality.

We find our strength in the Lord. If you have to pray and pray again, then do so but get up. You have a purpose and the trails you face are sometimes a distraction other times its booth camp. Regardless, you can’t give up. There’s a breakthrough on the other side of the storm. You have to keep going even if you don’t know what will happen next, that’s when you rely on your faith.

The enemy would want nothing more than to shut you up and prevent you from reaching your destiny. Some people say his goal is to wear you out. He wants to keep you tired, broken, and panicked. Don’t let him win. Don’t let him take over your mind and have you question God. Fight! We struggle not with flesh and blood(Ephesians 6:12). There’s no use trying to find natural ways to handle spiritual situations. We have to fight using God’s word and prayer. 

2 Chronicles 15:7 But as for you, be strong and do not give up,

for your work will be rewarded.

Don’t give up!

Nothing that we go through will ever be in vain. We have to believe that God is going to use our trials for good even if it doesn’t seem like it at the moment. The hardest thing to do is to press on when you feel like your life is falling apart but that’s when we need to put on the Full Armor of God and head into battle. Turning away from God isn’t going to stop your problems. You’ll still have your struggles, they won’t go away because you quit. He wants you to turn to him.

Isiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

God is with us always. When we face a battle he is right there fighting alongside us. He doesn’t want us to be afraid or overtaken by our own worries. Even when we feel weak, He gives us the strength to keep going, to keep fighting. So keep fighting—whatever storm is raging in your life, keep fighting. God is with you.

No depression, anger, fear, grief, poverty, generational curses, addiction, infertility, loss, struggle, pandemic, sickness, or worry will overtake you. God is on your team and because of that, you can not fail. Fight and send the enemy packing!

I pray that this was an encouragement to you. I pray that God gives you the strength to keep fighting no matter what you’re going through. As always, Hugs and Love.

 


It takes courage to have faith

Encouraging, Faith

 

It’s what I’m supposed to do.

I often wonder how my children trust that I’ll always provide for them. And when I say provide, I mean way more than the essentials to keep them alive and comfortable. They have a laundry list of things they pray I’ll get for them. “Mommy, can you get me…” is something I hear regularly. They believe with everything in them that I’ll be able to get them what they’re asking for. Honestly, their confidence in me is both humbling and comforting. 

I’m their mommy, so of course they expect me to provide for them. If not me, then who? It’s inspiring to think that no matter what, they believe in my ability to take care of their wants and needs. I then relate that to my relationship with God. He’s my father, so if I don’t believe he’ll provide for me, then who? And God is so wonderful that his perversion can come in so many different forms. Many times in ways we never imagined. 

 

God is able

Whenever I pray for something I have to remind myself that God can do anything. Often times I think about my circumstances and put limitations on God. “How can you do this if things are going so bad, Heavenly Father?” God’s ability to answer my prayers has nothing to do with my situation and everything to do with Him being a Mighty God. I have to give Him free rein of my life and stop putting training wheels on His power. 

Seeking earthly logic with an illogical God is a waste of time. Not one miracle in the Bible was logical in the natural sense. Truthfully speaking, if everything was done logically we wouldn’t need faith.  Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. With faith, there is no formula and the only step you take is believing that something is possible. 

 

You just gotta have faith.

All God needs is a little faith, faith the size of a mustard seed. He can do so much with that. He isn’t concerned with how much you have in the bank, your education, or your work history. There is literally nothing that God needs you to have outside of faith to act on your behalf. For we live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 

Understand that having faith isn’t always easy, especially when you’re desperately waiting on God for something. It takes courage to have faith. Not even every believer has a limitless faith. Some assume that there are some situations God just can’t help with. Learning to trust God’s plan and timing is something that might seem crazy to some but for me, it’s how I remain hopeful.

 

Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith, it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” God wants us to believe He can do anything. He wants us to be like little children that trust their parents can give them the world. How beautiful is that? God wants us to release our doubt and have faith in Him.

Are you struggling with having faith? Is it due to a situation that seems impossible to overcome? Mark 9:23 “If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Jesus was addressing someone who told him “If you can do anything…” and Jesus gave a response that shows us that the first step to seeing our miracle is believing it is possible. Do not be overwhelmed by fear and doubt. Use Joshua 1:9, (“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”) as a reminder to remain in faith for God is always with you.

I pray that this was an encouragement to you and as always, Hugs and Loves.

 

When words are not enough

Encouraging, Faith, Mental health, Motherhood

I don’t always know what to say

At times I can’t put into words how I feel. There’s no amount of explaining I could do to express myself fully. I’m a mom, so you can imagine I use words daily…every waking second it seems. Yet, there are moments where I find myself speechless. 

Maybe it’s the rollercoaster of life or the intensity of motherhood—maybe none of the above and it’s simply my overthinking that throws me through loops time and time again. It’s not easy to admit that I tend to panic during difficult moments. I worry and create scenarios in my head that I fear might happen. Thoughts about life, family, friendships, and parenting are always wrapped up in a chaotic imaginary bow.

My mind has a lot on it but I can’t speak a word

Sometimes I have no words because I’m trying to figure out how to stop the scenarios in my brain from happening. I know as God peeks at my thoughts he probably thinks to himself, “I didn’t give her creativity for this.” I’ve honestly asked him what did he expect when he gave me such a wonderful imagination? I doubt it was to create make-believe tragedies but here I am.  

Image by Steven Arenas

There have been moments where even with a million things going on in my mind, I have nothing to say. God has found me on quite a few occasions fumbling over what to utter. When that happens, I think about Romans 8:26, KJV: “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”


Even when all I can do is ugly cry, I’m still heard. It brings me such comfort to know that God had thought about us in such detail that he knew there’d be points in our lives when words are not enough. He knew that we’d be faced with situations that would knock the wind out of us and bring us to our knees with barely the ability to breathe. He was prepared. The Holy Spirit intercedes for us when we are at a loss for words. How humbling!

When you have no words, God can still hear you. He knows your heart. Don’t get caught up worrying about not being able to pray, go before God anyway.  Even if you have the words but you can’t fully express them, God knows your heart. Psalm 44:21 Would not God find this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart.

Whether it’s under a moment of pressure or an ongoing struggle, I pray you find peace in knowing that God is fully aware of your needs even when you don’t say a thing. As always, hugs and love!

 

 

Seasons of motherhood and remembering yourself

Children, Encouraging, Mental health, Motherhood, Parenting

 With motherhood comes growth

Being a mother, you find yourself in different seasons within your life.
Sometimes those seasons can be smooth and some seasons will pull at your
heart. No matter the season, do not allow it to pass you by
without learning a lesson, that you can share with other mothers
along the way.

Unexpected changes

I walked into a season of my life, years ago, where I met a handsome little six-
year boy whose mother had died when he was just a baby. I stepped in and become his mother at 23 years old. Not having gone through the nine months of carrying him and preparing for him as a newborn, I had to dive in deep. There was such joy within his eyes to see that God had given him a second chance by giving him another mother that would love him and accept him. 

Stretching myself thin

I was married at 23 years old and become an instant mother. No
longer was I responsible for myself alone. I had to be responsible for two
more people that I would have to pour into. My husband and I became pregnant with our firstborn son right after getting married and then his brother came along the next year. The heat was turned up with me having a newborn, a toddler, and an eight-year-old. My plate was getting full.

Glass half empty

I poured my all into my family and forgot about myself. It felt like I had no time to take care of me. I was too busy giving to everyone around me. My cup was running dry, and I didn’t
realize it until my body started to break down. That was the beginning
of my new season, a wake-up call saying it was time to pour into myself
as well.

Take care of you

Mothers, you are valuable. If you are not here on this earth for your kids, they would have missing pieces of a puzzle they can’t solve without you. As a mother, you
must allow yourself to stay physically, mentally, emotionally spiritually
hydrated so you can pour from a full and alive cup of life.

Isaiah 43:4 “Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you,”

God is faithful even when we’re not

Encouraging, Faith

Thankfully, God’s grace is not dependent on whether we’ve earned it or not

Often times I think about how much God has done for me. It amazes me when I remember all the moments when I felt completely hopeless and God came in, like a superhero at the end of a movie, to save the day. If I had to count them, I’d run out of fingers and toes. Sometimes I was living solely for God but there have been times where I had strayed away a bit. Though I found myself in situations outside of God’s desire for me, He showed up anyway and helped me.

I believe we’ve all been there. We mess up and think, “God isn’t going to help me. I put myself in this mess.” But the God we serve is ever so wonderful that He blesses us even when we’ve gone against His will. Yes, it does hurt His heart when we stray away from Him but He loves us so much that He instantly welcomes us when we finally turn back to Him. We can find comfort in knowing that He is so good to us regardless of past transgressions. 

God is faithful…despite our shortcomings

Motherhood gives me a better understanding of God’s grace and goodness. Once kids get to a certain age there are just some things they automatically know they’re supposed to do or not do. They know the way they are supposed to behave in public for example at the store and school can’t be the same way they behave at home in a casual setting. They know certain household tasks are their responsibility and they must do it. Of course, my kids are six and under but the idea remains the same. 

On a few occasions, I’ve told my kids to do something that a particularly awesome reward was attached to. Admittedly, they don’t always meet my expectations even with my specific instructions. I have to be completely honest and tell you that a lot of times they still get the reward. Isn’t that how God is with us more often than not? When He gives us directions on how to live and we come up short or do the complete opposite, He still gives us a blessing. He doesn’t do it because we deserve it but because He loves us and wants us to know that He’s a good father. 

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Psalm 103:10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.

We serve a God whose favor is endless

One of the best things about God is that He is a loving parent. It doesn’t matter how many times we mess up, He always treats us with love. He wants the best for us and though sometimes we don’t go after the best for ourselves, He works it out in the end. God is faithful but He doesn’t have to be, He chooses to be.

How amazing is it to know that God’s desire for us to be okay is bigger than His desire for us to be perfect? He knew we’d struggle in life but He constantly gives us favor to offset our mistakes and guide us back to Him. He wants us to succeed and in spite of the times where we try to achieve success on our own when we failed once we go to Him, He’ll bless all of our endeavors.

Psalm 90:17
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!

We can trust that his faithfulness will always remain

A great example of God’s faithfulness is how He rescued the Israelites from Egypt and provided for them in the wilderness. Time after time He made miracles happen for His people. Though they had moments of doubt and sometimes complained, God continued to bless them and in the end, kept the promise He made to Abraham so long ago.

He could have given up on them or rejected them the way they rejected Him but he didn’t. When we act in ways that go against God’s desire He still stands with us. God is faithful to us even when we’re not. Even when we aren’t faithful to Him, He remains ready and willing to come to our rescue.

We may lose our grip on God with sin or our unbelief but God never loosens His hold on us. Feelings of weariness and hopelessness might come upon us and cause us to do things that God doesn’t like yet He still helps us in our hour of need.

2 Timothy 2:13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.

I pray that no matter what challenges you face, you remember that God will always be faithful to you. You are never too lost for Him to find and never too far in the deep for Him to save. I hope that this post gave you much-needed encouragement and always, Hugs and Love!

 

Trusting God even when you don’t know what he’s doing

Encouraging, Faith

 

 

 

 

 

 

Often times, you’ll see that I compare my relationship with my kids to my relationship with God. My kids freak out easily, they can be very impatient at times, and they tend to question my judgment on things that I know best about. In the moments when I’m panicked and wondering what God has up his sleeve, I reference my kids and imagine God speaking to me the way I speak to them. “You’re alright”, “It’s going to be okay”, “I know what I’m doing.”

 

If I see it that way I’m fine. If my mind races past any kind of rational thinking, not even the connection to my kids can help me. I dislike being a blubbering mess. I don’t like feeling lost. Many times during prayer, I find myself crying the way my kids do when they need a nap or when they want a certain color cup.  I become dramatic. “But God, I don’t understand!” I have said this many times during my fear takeovers. For me, trusting God is a no-brainer but in moments of struggle, I admit it can be hard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m not going to lie and say I’m always optimistic because I’m not. I fight off fear and anxiety multiple times a week. There’s always something lingering in the back of my mind. It sucks being creative when you’re also anxious. I have come up with so many crazy scenarios of doom in my head that I could probably be a great action or drama screenwriter. I sometimes feel God’s presence as I make up situations in my head. I can picture him telling me to relax. I only ever shrug and tell him he gave me a creative mind so what does he expect. 

He expects me to be still, to trust him. I have a hard time trusting my own judgment so when God tells me to trust him when I’m at the edge of a cliff, I find myself searching for a rope, a parachute, or a helicopter to get me out of there asap. Even though I know every hard time I go through is going to build my fate, I would rather skip it most times.

Trusting God isn’t always easy. I don’t always understand what he’s doing. At times I just wish he’d hurry and get me out of certain situations. Like any good parent, God does what’s best for us, whether we know it or not. There have been many times that I’ve had to watch as my kids cried while I clean their booboos. All they think about is the sting not realizing that the thing that causes the sting will help prevent them from getting something more serious(like an infection.) I’ve had to convince my kids, during ER visits, that the treatment they were getting was for their own good. They either trusted me and calmly went along with it or kicked and screamed and still had to go through it. 

and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”

I can either trust God and go along with his plan or put up a fight and still have to go through the difficult times just a lot more stressed. Truth is, having faith is wild. You hope for something that in the natural seems impossible. Trails and tribulations that seem to hit you back to back can be discouraging but it is better to look to God for help and strength than go it alone. Even when it seems hopeless and makes no sense to continue to believe in something keep the faith and trust that God will be by your side through it all. 

Grace wins

Encouraging, Faith

Have you ever found yourself at the end of a grudge match? You’ve battled with bitter, angry, and hateful feelings towards someone whose actions or words you dislike. Someone you cared about might have broken your trust. Maybe a disagreement turned nasty and now the idea of speaking to a certain family member, former friend, co-worker, or acquaintance drives you mad.

I’ve been there. I’ve carried warranted and unwarranted distaste for some people that have come into my life. I’ve harbored anger towards them, even resentment. 

As a believer in God, I still struggled with forgiveness. I’d forgive but not forget so when someone expressed or showed a desire to change, I saw it as comical. Really? Them, change? Never in a million years could that person change. 

I would list all the reasons why people didn’t deserve another chance. I told Jesus I was sorry but I wouldn’t allow myself to get struck on my other cheek willingly. I’d foolishly think, Jesus couldn’t possibly understand what it’s like to forgive someone who hurt him, someone who didn’t deserve it. Silly me. He understands it more than I could ever comprehend.

I was okay with grace as long as it was for me because I never did wrong. The things I did weren’t that serious compared to others. I was a hypocrite. 

James 4:6 says, But He gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Every time I saw myself as above the people that hurt me or did me wrong, I was filled with pride. I had to question what good would it be if I continued to live like that?

I stopped looking at people in a whose sin is worse than mine, way. I accepted that some people really do change and even if they didn’t I had to love them anyway. I had to pray for them even if at first I’d grind my teeth together in an attempt to speak life unto their name. It was hard. I hated it. I hated praying for people that disrespected me. I wanted so badly to curse them out and put them in their places instead of pray. Whenever God would put it on my heart to pray, I’d roll my eyes and pout like a toddler. ”Why should I pray for them to have a good day when they just ruined mine, God?”

I came to the realization that the prayers we’re just as much for me as they were for the people that I was praying for. God was softening my heart. He was preparing me for the droves of people I would come in contact with that needed my prayers more than I need to prove a point. He was opening my eyes to see that if I wanted grace, I had to be willing to give it.

After all, I’ve changed. Who I am now is drastically different from who I was five years ago. It took work. It took a lot of self-reflection and acceptance that I wasn’t mentally and emotionally the person I should have been.  The woman I use to be rejected any idea that my temper was a problem or that my readiness to fight someone who gave me a little attitude was unhealthy. I wasn’t a mean person but I was very quick to anger and had no patience for disrespect. 

When I remember that part of myself it becomes easier to understand others. I don’t ride on my high horse acting as if I never needed to be forgiven. My past attitude had always affected the relationships I had with people and myself. And while there are times that I find myself in situations that test me, I don’t take things personally. I know that a person’s words and actions can come from a place of loneliness and pain much like mine once did. So when I’m questioned about why I continue to forgive people that have hurt me, I simply tell them that I myself have needed to be forgiven many times.

Grace is not something that we hold on to for dear life so that only we can reap its benefits. Grace is something we should share freely with others. And in the end, even if we still have strained relationships with the people who have done us wrong, our conscience will be clear and our hearts at peace.

 

As always guys, (HUGS & LOVE)


 

Book review: Skedaddle

Children

 

Book review – Skedaddle

 

 

Skedaddle is a children’s book wonderfully written by Jacqueline Leigh and beautifully illustrated by Erika Wilson. In this delightful book, you’ll meet the main character, Nellie. All Nellie wants to do is go to bed but she finds it impossible with the racket that’s going on above her head. Loud noises from an unwanted guest, who has decided to make a home in her attic, hinder her ability to fall asleep. Unfortunately for her, she is the only one troubled by the hubbub while the rest of her family is fast asleep. Nellie tries to find clever ways to get her new guest to quiet down. In the end, she solves the problem in an unexpected way.

 

Nellie can hear all the commotion in the attic

 

I read Skedaddle to my kids as soon as I got it. On the first page, the meaning of the word “Skedaddle” was explained which was great because my kids did ask what the word meant. I thought it was extremely helpful to have the word defined before the story started.

Almost immediately my kids were laughing hysterically. The illustrations really brought the story to life. I love the way this book is written because it gives the reader the ability to play around with how they read it. I made sure to be very dramatic when I said certain words and it had my children cracking up. There are big exaggerated words written next to the illustrations. And this book gets extra points for that because, after several reads, my kids were able to recognize which words were which. 

Nellie can’t take the noise anymore.

 

I find Nellie’s character to be so relatable and my kids weren’t shy about telling me how I sometimes look like her when I’m tired. What I love about her is that even though she really wants to rest, she tries very hard to remain kind and considerate. As a parent, I appreciate the underlying message of showing kindness no matter what. I also enjoyed the ending of this book because it was such a silly twist.

Skedaddle is a great book for children. My kids are two, four, and five years old and all of them love this story. I’ve read this book to them every day since I’ve gotten it. My kids ask me to read it to them as soon as they wake up and also as a bedtime story. During each reading, they laugh as if it’s their first time hearing it. They even run around the house saying “SKEDADDLE.”

I highly recommend this book! And if you would like to purchase it for your kids, it’ll be available on October 1st on Amazon. I’ll share the link to purchase then. Meanwhile, you can be apart of the SKEDADDLE: Virtual Launch Party by listing yourself as “Going.” As stated on the page, This will be your opportunity to get your hands on the first official copies of the book. All copies will be personalized and autographed!   You don’t want to miss that, so make sure to join and celebrate Skeddadle’s release with us.

I want to thank Jacqueline Leigh for allowing me to review her awesome book. Check out her website here.   And if you would like to follow her, head over to her Facebook and Instagram.  You can catch up on her work before Skedaddle‘s launch by purchasing her first two books Time for bed with Ford and Red and  The Spill.

Hoped you enjoyed this book review. As always (HUGS and LOVE!)

 

 

 

 

I believe in miracles

Encouraging, Faith, Motherhood

Bad things happen to us sometimes

Life has a way of throwing things at you when you least expect it. While good things happening are always welcomed, the thought of anything negative happening to us can be paralyzing. I’ve had my share of disastrous experiences but nothing could have prepared me for the challenge I’d face after surviving a horrific car accident. 

January 27, 2020, is a day I’ll never forget. For some reason that entire day I felt like listening to worship music and thanking God for all he’d done for me at that point. After leaving work with my twin sister and three young children, my sister and I kept talking about how blessed and grateful we were. We headed to the grocery stores to pick up some much-needed groceries. I got some stuff for my friend who had pneumonia and I also saw a jobless single mom that I’d helped from time to time and bought her a few things as well. I was happy to be in a position to give than a position of need. 

We can be in need within the blink of an eye

On the way to deliver the things I had gotten for my friend, once again my sister and I thanked God for everything and I do mean everything. We thanked him for our family, the food we had just bought, for the car I was driving, for the ability to give to others as much as we could. The entire drive was filled with praise. There was a level of peace that we felt. 

 

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About nineteen minutes into our drive, police cars went blazing down the street. We were in the right lane about two minutes away from our turn. A van that was all the way on the left lane slowly came over, slowed down, then stopped in front of us. We sat there for a couple of seconds before we heard what sounded like an explosion. At first, I felt disoriented. Everything looked hazy and I could see white and red around us. A few seconds later, another explosion. I had come to the realization that we were rear-ended and the impact caused us to then hit the van in front of us. My sister went into a panic and after I hopped out of the car and couldn’t get my kids’ doors open, I started screaming and calling on God. I thought to myself that there was no way God could allow us to be seriously hurt or worse, not after how much we were thanking him for everything, including life. 

Fear began to creep in

I knew at least one of my kids was hurt because she was bleeding. She was behind me on the drivers side. When we were hit she flew foward hitting her face against the back of my seat. I rushed to remove my four-year-old from her car seat. As I did this, a man tried to open the back passenger door to free my one-year-old son. I saw his attempt fail, then he frantically tried to break the glass, which he also wasn’t able to do. Another man came to the passenger side and waited for me to pass him my oldest. My three-year-old daughter, who was in the center of the backseat was next to get handed off to a complete stranger. My son was the last one to be freed from his car seat and once I got him out I ran around the front of the car into a ditch next to the crash. 

I couldn’t believe what was happening

There were so many people there helping us, giving us blankets, praying for us. The driver that we hit after being rear-ended was an EMT in training and he came over and checked all of my children. The cops and ambulance were there in no time. Part of me thinks that they might have been some of the crew that was already on their way to another emergency.

While being rushed to the ambulance, I saw the back of my car and thought, Thank you, God!  The trunk was gone and the backseat was so close to the front seat. I later found out that the backseat was pushed at least eight inches forward. The EMTs were shocked that we were alive, even conscious.

At the hospital, my three kids and I were all in a room together. My sister was rushed to the adult side of the hospital in an entirely separate building. Our bosses were at her side in less than thirty minutes. My coworker and friend, who we were taking food to, drove her beat-up car that hardly ever worked to the hospital to see us. She was there in about fifteen minutes. She looked weak from fighting off pneumonia but hey, she was in the right place if she thought she’d pass out. 

I believe in miracles

Going through something like that, you’d think it would be discouraging but it wasn’t. I believed, through faith, that we were going to be okay both physically and mentally. Almost instantly we were seeing blessings come. My boss bought us some groceries the day after the crash. Thirty minutes later my friend, who lived near us, brought us a care basket, and later that night we got food from the outreach center my sister volunteers at. We never lacked a ride to get important things done because someone was always offering to take us wherever we needed to go. My cousin even lent me her second car. We were never in true need. 

I feel that every bad thing can be turned into a blessing. We got to see how valued we were by the people around us and by strangers. One of the men that helped us even said he thought about not stopping, which people around here normally never stop to help victims of an accident. I believe the prayers of my sister who had jumped out of the car and dropped onto the grass to pray redirected him. I don’t think I’d be able to process the trauma of the accident, the loss of my vehicle, or the realness of mortality if not for my faith.

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In every situation, I pray and believe that all things are working out for my good. I don’t worry or let fear affect my beliefs. Faith has really been my coping mechanism and the only way I stay so optimistic even when things seem impossible. I can look back on my life and see how believing in good outcomes instead of being fearful has helped me to truly overcome all the negative experiences I’ve had. It’s not easy sometimes but I stand on a firm foundation of believing that faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. If I have nothing else, my faith will be enough to carry me through anything. I believe in miracles and the goodness of God.

My confidence is sure

Whenever I feel mentally exhausted, because that does happen, I put on worship music and dance around with my kids and sister. I create joy in situations where there is none because weeping may last the night but joy comes in the morning(Psalm 30:5). I grip on to that hope. I’ve learned that even if I can’t control the chaos around me, I can control how I react to it.

The same way grapes are crushed for wine or olives are crushed for olive oil, I believe the moments where we are crushed is not the end but the beginning of a new and beautiful us. I’ve learned to find strength in times where I’m expected to be weak and frail. Giving up or caving into the pain of this world is not an option for me. Not because I think I’m undeserving of going through it but because I know that I’m not the first or the last and I’m going to make it out. 

There’s a certain level of confidence I have because of my faith. It’s not arrogance or a sense of entitlement. I genuinely believe in either a reason for things happening or a miraculous outcome from such events. It’s not easy to always see the bright sides of things but it is possible to. Everyone faces challenges and hardships in their lives, some more than others. Having a positive and optimistic outlook on life through faith is my driving force.

People always ask me how I manage to keep going and I simply say, “God.” Even the people that believe in God wonder, “That‘s it? There has to be something more.” With all the things I’ve been through it seems unfathomable to some that faith is the only thing I rely on to fight depression, anxiety, insecurities, and even hurt. Believe me, it’s a mental battle as much as it is a spiritual one.

I stand firm like a stubborn child who refuses to drink out of the wrong colored cup because I know sitting and wallowing in pain and sadness is the wrong cup to drink out of. Instead, I choose to be happy despite my circumstances. I choose to celebrate all the good I’ve been blessed with and overlook the bad. Sure, I have to fight the thoughts that say I shouldn’t be happy right now, that I shouldn’t rejoice. But I rebuke those thoughts and smile anyway; I press on. I have gained immense strength from a faith that says I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me(Philippians 4:13). That is all I need to know that I can and will make it through every difficult situation. 

As always, Hugs and Love!

 

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Mothers need support not judgement

Children, Motherhood, Parenting, Unity

 

Before we had kids, many of us had all these ideas in our heads of what motherhood would be like. We imagined our children and created their personalities in our minds. Truth is, there’s no build a child workshop. As much as our actions and teachings mold our kids, they come with their own personalities. 

Being a mom is hard. Sometimes I can’t help but feel bad when my kids are acting up and I pass another mom whose kids are calm and behaving. I want to whisper, “What’s your secret?” Honestly, there is no secret. Kids have good days and bad days. They have times where life seems to be a ray of sunshine and moments where they are completely overwhelmed. Throw in a missed nap and who knows how rough a quick trip to the grocery store might turn out. 

A while back, I had to pick up a few things from the store. My twin sister decided to stay with my kids while I shopped, lucky me. I shopped, as usual, enjoying a peaceful trip. No one to tell me they want some nasty cereal because their favorite character was on the box. No complaints about being touched by a sibling while they’re all in the cart because they get a little too friendly with strangers. 

After getting everything I needed, I headed for the self-checkout. In the distance, I could hear blood-curdling screams. I thought for a moment about the poor mom that had to be so stressed. I knew the feeling of trying to hurry up because my kids are crying at the top of their lungs. 

Even after I was done I could still hear crying. I saw some older ladies roll their eyes in disgust as I could only assume in the direction of the mother and child. As I headed to the exit, I glanced over to this family only to recognize them. It was a child from the daycare I worked at, a former student of mine. I thought about going on and minding my business but something in my heart wouldn’t let me. 

I went over to them. The mother was renting exercise equipment, an older brother around seven stood next to her, and the crying toddler sat in the front of the cart. I called the child’s name then greeted the mother. This two-year-old was not having it. He couldn’t have cared less about my existence at that moment. I thought to pick him up and maybe he’d calm down from being held but he used all his weight against me and even began to cry more. I felt defeated. I had no intention to make things worse. 

I wanted to leave right then but as I peered around at all the bad looks this mother was getting, I thought maybe I can’t make this little boy feel better but I can be some support for her. I started a conversation with this incredibly calm woman. She told me that he seemed to be getting sick. I suggested that maybe he was cranky because it was the time he’d be sleeping at daycare. She nodded and said that he recently got up from a nap but wasn’t sleeping well at home. It was amazing how I couldn’t hear his screaming anymore as I rubbed his back and talked with his mother. He hadn’t stopped crying, though it seemed that way. 

His mother added that his dad was away for football training and wouldn’t be back for a few months. Her mother concluded it had to be separation anxiety, that’s why being in a cart and not in his mother’s arms was so hard for him. It made me realize that there were probably so many similar stories or rational reasons for the seemingly obnoxious tantrums that kids throw. 

We said our goodbyes once she had the items she was renting. She left with a smile on her face. I saw her. Not as a mom with a screaming toddler but as my sister. I saw her as myself, a woman who was going through a tough time, and my kid was the external reaction to my internal feelings.

Sometimes we need to take a moment to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. No judgments or harsh criticisms. Be there for the mommies in our circle or complete strangers who might be way too overwhelmed to force a smile on their face. Whenever we can, we need to let other moms know that we see them and that we get it. Being a mom is tough but we can all do this tough job with support from each other.