15% OFF Valentine’s Day Decor from FamilyLife!

Valentine’s Day is a perfect opportunity to teach our kids about God’s love!

Ever Thine Home®’s How Do I Love Thee? devotional set gives you the tools to do just that! Plus, it brings warmth and beauty to your Valentine’s Day decor!

For a Limited Time, Ever Thine Home® is offering a 15% OFF on the How Do I Love Thee? set. Simply click the graphic below (affiliate) and use promo code “SCRATCH” at checkout. 

How Do I Love Thee?

How Do I Love Thee? offers an easy, practical way to teach your family about love. The characteristics of true love, found in 1 Corinthians 13, are woven into short family devotions, complete with a suggested prayer.

Display the collection of 15 hearts on the versatile metal chain garland. After Valentine’s, keep the chain up year-round to showcase artwork, report cards, and notes of affection.

Learn to let Christ love through you this year with “How Do I Love Thee?” Resource includes:

  • 14 “heart-crafted” family-time devotionals written by Barbara Rainey
  • A decorative chain garland for displaying the heart-shaped cards
  • A multi-purpose fabric pouch useful for holding the cards or other items

* Mothering From Scratch is a part of the EverThine Home® (the holiday and home collection from FamilyLife) Affiliate program. We each received a set of “How Do I Love Thee?” at no cost from EverThine Home®. However, all opinions expressed are our own.

a short conspiracy theory about mommy guilt

mommy guilt

Why do we have such a hard time understanding that the Gospel message applies to one of the most important parts of our lives — mommy guilt.

Why do we have so much trouble allowing God to move in our mothering?

Here’s a short conspiracy theory about mommy guilt of mine:  

If we feel that we are failing, we want to stop trying. The fear of failure stops us from moving forward. Whether we feel that we have completely botched something up or whether we feel we just will never “get” a certain aspect of mothering, we stop.

Sometimes, dead in our tracks.

Let’s look at how we can take these mommy failures and turn them around.

I’ll start by admitting some of my favorites:

I have done all of the following. Some, twice, and three times. (Ok, 30.)

1. Forgetting or missing 90% of the award ceremonies at school.

Now, this is a real conspiracy. It never fails. They schedule these things when the least amount of people can actually attend. Early, early morning — well, I’m busy. During the dinner hour — well, we’re eating dinner. If they would just set up a tent on my front lawn and do it there, I would be there everytime.

2. Giving my kids way too much sugar/salt/fat.

I like to cook. Sue me. Feeding four different kids with four different appetites and four different palates is IMPOSSIBLE. I am not a Denny’s short-order cook. I cook what I like to eat. Hence, it’s not the healthiest food on the planet. Let’s just say when I see everyone at my dinner table consuming something green — ALL AT THE SAME TIME — I hear angels singing. They’re singing, “Oh thank heaven, she finally got it right tonight!”

The conspiracy here is that someone in the upper echalons of nutrition research has yet to declare chocolate-chip cookies a necessary staple in a healthy diet. It’s really been working against me for over 20 years. Don’t they know that I can manipulate children much better when they get that kind of sweet reward? They must never want me to fell competent.

3. Snooping on my child’s cell phone and accidentally taking a video of myself doing it.

The conspiracy theory that I have with my kids and cell phones consists of 3 cold, hard facts:

1. Only the back pockets of skinny jeans that fit on teenagers can hold these phones with any level of security.

2. They have an infinite IT network to depend upon for any glitch.

3. Information clearly flows more quickly for those under 20 than for those of us over, um….29.

4. Forgetting a child at church.

In my own defense, this only happened once. I thought he (my husband) had her, he thought I had her. So, he shares in this snaphoo. At least she knew how to call my cell phone from the church office and let me know that she couldn’t find either one of us. The church ladies have never let me forget this one. “Don’t forget Gracie, now Kathy! Ha, ha, ha! Remember that time she had to call……”

Yes. Trust me. Every Sunday I anxiously make sure that all children are accounted for. Thanks to this episode, every Sunday feels like a Kindergarten field trip. Really, thanks.

What can I do now about these “failures”?

Nothing.

That’s right. I can’t make them change or wish them out of existence. However, I can’t stay stuck.

Moving our momma feet when they feel like they are in the concrete of failure is hard. We just can’t let the cement set. It’s got to be a quick and decisive action.

I have to have hope. I have to see that God has transformed me, brought me closer to Him and given me grace and mercy despite my complete inadequacies.

We can joke about being the “slacker mom” or the wanting to be the “cool mom”. But deep down, we all want to be a good mom. Quantifying that title has always troubled me.

Good is as good does —- today.

Not yesterday. Because we’ve all “failed”. Every single last one of us. The good news is that we have the opportunity to either stay there or move.

Let’s encourage each other to move. To go forward. To seek forgiveness and to seek change.

Will I still make cookies for my kids? Yes, and for my grandkids.

Will I still stalk my children on social media? Yep. I can’t become uninterested in their lives, real life and virtual.

Will I ever forget a child at church? Ok…….No. I promise not to ever do that again. Once was enough to ruin my record. Twice? That would cause serious concern about my sanity. (As if there needs to be anymore!)

What “mommy failures” can you turnaround?

What can you do today to allow God to show you His mercy and grace?

How can you move forward in an area that you have been struggling with today?

Kathy Helgemo

Would you like to learn more about how to silence the condemning voice of mommy guilt?

Check out our new book Mothering From Scratch: Finding The Best Parenting Style for You and Your Family! It’savailable now on Amazon and releases in bookstores January 20th!

Mothering From Scratch

Valentine’s Day Giveaways from FamilyLife!

Teaching our kids about the love of Jesus is the single most important thing we can do for them. 

Jesus said it Himself in 1 Corinthians 13: “And these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

That’s why we’re so excited to offer these amazing Valentine’s Day giveaways from FamilyLife’s Ever Thine Home® collection. These products will help you share and teach the love to Jesus to your family!

FIVE winners will receive a packet of “Be His” Valentine Cards.
ONE GRAND PRIZE winner will receive a “How Do I Love Thee?” set AND two sets of “Be His” Valentine Cards!

Here’s some information about these great products:

How Do I Love Thee? set

How Do I Love Thee?

This resource offers an easy, practical way to teach your family about love. The characteristics of true love, found in 1 Corinthians 13, are woven into short family devotions, complete with a suggested prayer.

Neutral cream-colored hearts with weathered red writing give a classic feel to your home and inspire love in the hearts of your family.

Display the collection of 15 hearts on the versatile metal chain garland. After Valentine’s, keep the chain up year-round to showcase artwork, report cards, and notes of affection.

Learn to let Christ love through you this year with “How Do I Love Thee?” Resource includes:

  • 14 “heart-crafted” family-time devotionals written by Barbara Rainey
  • A decorative chain garland for displaying the heart-shaped cards
  • A multi-purpose fabric pouch useful for holding the cards or other items

“Be His” – Valentine Cards

Be His

Little cards with BIG truths. These 15 Valentine cards declare God’s heart for His children.

Perfect for class Valentine’s Day party sharing or mailing to grandparents and friends.

 

To enter for a chance to win, simply Tweet about the Giveaway, follow us on Twitter and/or visit our Facebook page via Rafflecopter below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

5 ways to feed your mom soul

feed your mom soulWe all want to be “good” moms. 

But  what does being a “good” mom really mean anyway? Everyone has a different definition. And even our own definition of what it means to be a good mom can change from moment to moment!

One Mothers’ Day a few years ago, my pastor challenged the moms in the audience to shift our focus from trying to become a good mom to becoming a godly woman instead.

He explained that when our drive and desire is to know God more deeply and to love and please Him, the result will show up in our mothering in a big way.

Our choices will be more God-driven. We’ll more naturally demonstrate the fruits of the Spirit — things like love, patience and self-control. What mom couldn’t use more of those? 

Life is busy. We get distracted and discouraged easily. So, focusing on becoming a more godly woman requires a plan. We have to be deliberate. Or else our good intentions just get buried under a pile of laundry or lost in the shuffle of home and work responsibilities, car pool duties and taking kids to soccer practice.

Here are five ways to feed our mom soul so we can become more of the woman and mom God created us to be:

Have a devotional book handy.

My kids are teens now, but when they were younger, I spent a lot of time in the car. Like half my life. I tried to keep a devotional book and Bible handy in the car, so I could take advantage of those small pockets of downtime while I waited in the parent pickup line or for soccer practice to end. 

When they were really small, I kept a devotional book in a basket in the bathroom for those times when I was actually able to be in the bathroom alone!

Keep Scriptures around the house. 

Find verses that help encourage you in the season or struggle you’re experiencing right now. Tape them to your mirror and/or the sun visor of your car. It’s amazing how those little, but powerful, truths throughout the day can change our perspective and keep us encouraged. 

Pick a book of the Bible and read it 20 times.

Someone recently told me that she read that it takes reading a book of the Bible 20 times before we truly internalize it. Apparently, that’s when the magic happens and we are able to gain new, deeper insights from the Holy Spirit.

That can sound overwhelming. Start small. The book of James is a great place to start. It is a short book and it is packed full of amazing, challenging and practical truths.

Focus on a chapter or passage to read.

Grab your Bible commentary. It provides so much insight about the historical context. You learn what scholars have to say about why the writer used certain imagery and metaphors.

I can’t tell you how much this enriches your understanding of the Scripture.

Go through a Bible study either in a group or by yourself.

When the kids are small, it is hard to get together with a small group to do a Bible study. Do it if you can! We can learn so much for each other. And it provides a level of accountability that we often need (at least I do!)

However, if it’s just not possible right now, don’t hesitate to buy a Bible study book and go through it by yourself at your own pace. Better yet, ask a friend to do it with you. Even if you can’t get together in person, you can still talk about what you’re learning over the phone.

God wants to meet you where you are. In all it’s busyness and messiness. He knows the mom you long to be. He sees your heart.

We can never be truly good. But thankfully, He always is. 

Melinda Means

 

 

Check out our new book Mothering From Scratch: Finding The Best Parenting Style for You and Your Family! It’savailable now on Amazon and releases in bookstores January 20th!

Mothering From Scratch