Becoming an inTENtional Mama

Mamas out there – I get it. Mamas with infants up at night, mysteriously crying, in need of constant snuggles – you there with the tired eyes, you are seen. Mamas with toddlers climbing and jumping, “helping” as they undo what you’ve done, defying you and adoring you – you there with the headache and need for a break, you are amazing. Mamas with kiddos running free, full of energy, bursting at the seams with ideas and enthusiasm – and you, trying to keep it all running smoothly, you are precious. Mamas with young ones who rise early and teens who keep you up with heart-to-hearts in the wee hours, as you struggle to function on four hours of sleep, meeting needs of the mouth and needs of the heart – you, you are doing a holy work.

I Heart Mommy

Photo source Dane via Flickr

To you mamas who set out with high ideals of speaking truth and identity into your little ones, of striving to infuse responsibility and strength, longing to teach by example to your brood who God is and how unconditional is His love – to you who feel bogged down by the day-to-day demands that sap your energy and vitality, this is for you.

There is more. Not more “to do” or more “to achieve.” There is more freedom, there is more hope, there is more God-filling to be had.

We have a God who is greatly intentional with us. And we long to live our own lives with such God-directed intentionality. But the tyrannical urgent comes in and puts a wedge between our passions and our present.

Remember, the first thing God ordained as holy was a period of time – the Sabbath day. He gave us time – not a place, not a practice, not a process – but time to remember Him and what He’s given us.

And, in the midst of our everyday chaos, where beauty and mess intermingle with predictable regularity, we can take time, little bursts of time, to refocus, to meet our kids where the are.

In my newly released book, The inTENtional Mama, we’ll dive into ten ways to use 10 minutes with your kids in order to strengthen the bonds you have and keep your mama-sanity at the same time. You will encounter practical suggestions to make ten minutes count. Ten minutes can make a huge difference in a relationship if they are used intentionally.

God has incredible plans for you and your children. You are part of their plans just as they are part of yours. It’s a mysterious and exquisite weaving, this relationship of mama and child.

So, for all you mamas with kids at home, in the middle of the hustle and bustle, you can make an investment on purpose in your children. You can do it without burning yourself out, without spending every waking moment focusing on “doing more.” You can reap beautiful relationships and sow a little each day into these priceless lives with ten intentional minutes at a time. You do not have to be perfect. (I’m certainly not!) You already care, you’re already meeting so many needs. I want to encourage you as you read, that you are already amazing, just as you are right now.

The inTENtional Mama is now available through Google Play, iBooks, and Kindle. For all you mamas out there who long to live with greater inTENtionality, check it out and be blessed!

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Ebola and Other Conversations We Didn’t Need When We Were Kids

Wash your hands. Why? Because I said so. Wash your hands! WHY? BECAUSE I SAID SO. WASH YOUR HANDS! WHHHHYYYYY? Because you don’t want to get Ebola.

It was just the other day that I actually heard these exact words come out of my mouth. As with most moms, reminding my children to wash their hands is an ordinary occurrence in our life. But recently, it has taken on a life of its own. While I am nowhere near panic mode, you could say that I am teetering between a heighten since of awareness and gerMOMphobic.

The constant stream of news outlets providing frequent updates on the confirmed case and unfortunate death of the first person in the United States to contract the virus who happens to be right here in Texas, has certainly contributed to my angst. Now that there is a second confirmed case, I can’t help but to wonder what happens next and how do I protect my children?

Protecting My Children

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how different of a world my children are growing up in compared to when I grew up. I was well in to my adult years before I knew or understood what a terrorist was. Unlike today, when I was growing up, there were very few reports of children who were missing from their front yard. In many ways, I am saddened that today’s children will only know of a time when everyone boarding a plane must remove their shoes and be subject to a body search.

I am disappointed that my children will never know the excitement of hanging out at a friends house all day, only to dash home just as the street lights are coming on. I am also concerned that it may become commonplace for my children to wear masks when in large crowds, as if it were a normal accessory. I have spoken with my boys in great detail about the importance of washing their hands and being extra careful when touching items that are in public places, but I do I have to admit that I have greater concern about many things in general but when it comes to Ebola, my fear is that the health officials and local authorities are really making this stuff up as they go. For the first time since becoming a mother, I am questioning my ability to protect my children against things that were never a concern for me as a child.

Children today, have so many things demanding their attention. Which means the role of a parent has also increased. Not only do we have to prepare them for life, we also have to protect them from the many things that life may present. So until the officials can get together and decide how we are to go about our daily lives with Ebola, I am committed to reminding them as many times as necessary to wash their hands, cover their cough, and try not to touch certain items while in public places.

What conversations are you having with your children that weren’t needed when you were growing up?

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