covering your child in prayer

praying for our childrenby Jenny Sulpizio, Regular MOMtor Contributor

My kids are at a difficult age.

Really difficult, in fact.

The days of tending to their every need are gone. The late night feedings and diaper changes are but a distant memory as well. Yep, those sweet babes of mine? They’ve been replaced by tweens, pre-tweens, and one high maintenance five year-old too.

Ugh.

I guess you could say we’re in a state of transition within my household. Indeed, boundaries are being tested, hormones have entered the scene, arguments are quite common, voices are being raised (often), and this mama? Well I’m worn out and worn down. Worse? I’m struggling with how I’m supposed to deal with it all.

My kids are acting out. Disobedience has reared its ugly head. And the manners I thought I instilled along the way, somehow have yet to show up either. I can’t help but feel like I’ve totally messed up–like I’ve failed at this parenting gig.

Friends, it’s as if I’m completely powerless.

However, sitting here–typing these words to you–well it’s so clear as to what’s really going on. Because the desperation, frustration, fear (and yes–sheer panic) we mothers feel are all part of the enemy’s plan—his scheme. And I’m fairly certain this sort of trap? It’s one most of us have fallen prey to on more than one occasion.

But you know what I’ve realized? You and I?

Not when we’re able to hit our knees and beg God for help. Not when we’re able to call upon the Holy Spirit for assistance. Because it’s in these precise moments where God hears our cries, understands our pleas, and sees our hearts. It’s in these minutes, hours, days and yes—seasons(!) where our children and our efforts in raising them must be prayed for and over—where they must be covered.

Praying parents recognize their own inability to change their children’s hearts, and put their faith and hope in the God who can. –Brooke McGlothlin

So, pray and never cease. Understand that no matter how challenging our kids might be, or how frustrated we might become in our trials with them, we must continually pray. We must consistently seek God’s counsel and guidance. Just as we’ve got to recognize that this journey we’re on, and these children in our care? We’re never alone in any of it.

Pray, mamas. Cover your kiddos. Know that He’s listening, and understand that He’s got all of this: you, me, and these beautiful children we’re raising too.

He’s got all of us covered

Resources: 

Praying for Boys by Brooke McGlothlin

The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omaritan

Author of Confessions of a Wonder Woman Wannabe, Jenny Lee Sulpizio is a Christian wife and mother to three amazing Jenny Sulpiziokiddos. After hanging up her star-spangled bloomers (and that restrictive red corset) a few years back, Jenny now spends most of her “spare” time dishing out the latest in tips, hints, and practical advice when it comes to guiding other mommies through the trenches of motherhood. And when she isn’t cooking, cleaning, starting her latest load of laundry, or attempting to raise her kids right (as in manner-possessing, respectful, God-loving little tikes), Jenny can usually be found writing about it instead. Through her children’s books, personal website, blogs, and as a contributing writer for the online supersite(s), The MOB Society and Moms Together, there’s always plenty of information to relate to, and a whole lot of comic relief to go around.

To follow Jenny, read her blog, or to learn more about her books, please visit http://www.jennyleesulpizio.com.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jennyleesulpizio.author

Don’t miss out on our A Prayer for My Children printable!

Just subscribe below and download it for FREE!

Name:
Email:

what does it take to be truly happy?

how to find happinessIt gnaws at my soul.

I’ve spent years searching for it and chasing after it.

Over and over again, I find it —  for a while. Only to feel it slip away again.

Happiness is always elusive, isn’t it? We think, “If only this would happen, I would be happy.” or “If he or she would just do this or that, I would be so much happier.”

I’ve spent years attaching my happiness to career aspirations, my children’s behavior and view of me, other people’s opinions of me, my husband’s happiness, my level of financial stabilitythe list has been long and varied.

But you know what all these things have in common? They’re all dependent on people or circumstances for my joy. In my experience, neither have proven to be very reliable. People, even the ones we love so much, let us down. Circumstances are constantly changing and are usually out of our control.  That fact has sent me on a roller coaster of highs and lows and bitter disappointment.

So, it is possible to feel a consistent sense of peace of joy when the future is so uncertain? When the things that are making us feel happy today may change or disappear tomorrow?

I struggle with this everyday, but God is patiently showing me how to find unshakeable joy. Here are three ways I’m finding it:

Lowering My Expectations. That sounds really dark and pessimistic, doesn’t it? It’s not. We have to quit expecting that the things and people of this world can make us happy. God never intended for imperfect humans and circumstances to fill us up. Expecting them to is what leads to depression and despair.

In Jennie Allen’s Bible Study, Stuck: The Places We Get Stuck and the God who Sets Us Free, she says, “… we must consciously lower our expectations of people, of circumstances, of this planet. Let everything be human and flawed, and be completely taken and thankful when it’s good. Allow people to surprise us more than they disappoint us.”

Being More Grateful. Our tendency is to see all that’s wrong in our lives. To chase the shiny apple that is just beyond our reach. To look at others and compare our blessings.

I’m trying to practice more gratefulness. Savoring a relaxed and unguarded moment with my teenage daughter. Enjoying a hug from my teenage son. Waking up in a cozy bed and an air-conditioned house. And thanking the Creator who makes all these things possible — even though I don’t deserve any good thing.

Clinging to Hope. Can I be honest? It’s really hard for me to watch or listen to the news these days. I can feel my anxiety rising with each headline. It is a scary place we live in. It feels so broken and out of control. My hope can’t be tied to this crazy place.

As a child of God, I have the hope that one day, Christ will return and make all things right. Whatever I’m experiencing right now — either good or bad — is temporary. That does not mean God doesn’t see or care about our suffering. It only means that we cling to the fact that He has a plan to end it — foreverEven if we don’t know how or when. “Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” (Rom. 8:24-25)

So, how does this apply to mothering? We have to keep pointing our children to Jesus, moms. We have to set the example.

The One who knows the big picture, who loved us enough to die a terrible death for us and our precious children.

Only the Holy Spirit can keep our minds focused beyond the temporary. His help is something I ask for daily. I want to live for something bigger than today. For a future planned by a big God who loves me more than I can possibly imagine. I want that for my kids, too.

Because that is what it takes to be truly happy.

the lie our culture tells moms

the lie our culture tells momsI’m always surprised that something ordinary about being a mom becomes controversial.

In Harper’s Bazaar United Kingdom May 2014‘s. Actress Kirsten Dunst had the gall to speak in favor of motherhood and femininity.

This time, it’s motherhood being valuable.

What?

Isn’t that OK?

Apparently not.

Haven’t we been fighting for decades for recognition of our “Feminine Mystique”?

For the record, The Feminine Mystique messed with my mind as a college student. There I was educating myself, doing the one thing Betty Friedman said would, be the “key to (unlock) the trap of motherhood”.

…But I wanted to become a mom just as much as I wanted anything else in life.

I felt like God was calling me to parenthood. 

Uh-oh.

Then, there’s Kirsten…..

Kirsten Dunst is surprisingly outspoken on the subject of gender: ‘I feel like the feminine has been a little undervalued,’ she says. ‘We all have to get our own jobs and make our own money, but staying at home, nurturing, being the mother, cooking – it’s a valuable thing my mum created. And sometimes, you need your knight in shining armour. I’m sorry. You need a man to be a man and a woman to be a woman. That’s why relationships work…’

Betty Friedman fans are freaking out about now. Or they are just confused like I was. After all, Kirsten is right. Like it or not, we need a man to be a man and a woman to be a woman — or none of us would be here. 

For this is why I have called myself a Recovering Feminist. In the late 80′s, I found myself exposed to a National Organization for Women booth on the campus of Florida State University. Everything they said seemed to make sense to a naive 18 year old embarking on her first independent journey.

Unfortunately, they really weren’t promoting real liberation of women, but rather a much larger trap — even bigger than the one Betty called motherhood — of ideologies which included being enslaved by our sexuality and thinking that our femininity was an awful liability.

Only God can remove those chains of entrapped thinking. He liberates and elevates us as women to heights that even we don’t comprehend.

After all, 

 

when saying no to “having it all” means saying yes to motherhood

how to reach your goalsby Elisa Pulliam, Regular MOMtor Contributor

Within hours of finding out that I was pregnant with not one, but two little babies, I was laid flat out on the couch, overcome with a flu-like bug. I confess, this is something that has happened to me with every pregnancy. The pure shock of discovering I was pregnant seems to make my immune system collapse. It’s kind of funny when you think about it, because there is no other time in a woman’s life when needing to be healthy and strong would be as important.

I think my immune system knew what my mind was thinking and went on strike ahead of time!

“Oh, no. Houston, we have a problem. Her life is about to radically change. Forget her plans. Never mind her dreams. These babies are going to reroute everything. Quick, collapse and pretend it isn’t so.”

Of course, my “mental” illness passed quickly, especially as I began to accept the reality of my motherhood.. . . even when it happened way sooner than planned. . . when it wasn’t planned at all . . .when we got the two-for-one deal. While I was ecstatic about each bundle of joy placed in my arms, I found myself grieving inside the secret corners of my heart.

I knew, intuitively, that saying yes to motherhood meant saying no to those yet-unrealized-dreams.

I think that’s what made my heart and mind and body so sick. In the pursuit of my motherhood dream, I knew I’d be giving up things I loved, craved, longed for . . .

sleeping in on Saturday mornings
running errands at a reasonably productive pace
thinking clearly without being interrupted
taking off on vacations without a car full of baby equipment
enjoying business attire and meetings and accomplishing long-term goals

By the time my oldest was six, I realized that my dreams of “having it all” as a mom would never come to be. Really, it was having the twins that convinced me it wasn’t even worth trying to accomplish “it all” because I was so stretched beyond my own abilities. I was no longer able to manage the “perfect little family,” dressing the girls in matching clothes, fixing their hair with pretty bows, chauffeuring them to dance classes and playdates without collapsing in exhaustion, while keep the twins perfectly content to be hauled around in the baby carriers.

When I went from man-to-man defense to playing zone with four kids, life changed . . . for the better.

Bows didn’t matter as much. Dance class wasn’t essential to the development of a six year old girl. Playdates were a nicety, not a necessity. Heck, leaving babies in onesies for days until they were really stinky and dirty was all about survival. To think I changed my oldest clothes with each spit up!

Sure, I gave up the “have it al dream” while I was still in the diaper-duty season, but I honestly thought that when they all would finally be in school, I could do what I want when I wanted.

That’s so not the case.

Whether our kiddos go off to school or if we’re homeschooling (I did that for a year), our lives will never be our own again nor will their ever be a possibility to have it all.

When they are infants, they need our arms to hold them close.

When they are toddlers, they need our legs to chase them down.

When they are in the little years, they need our hands to caress their heads, help build their legos, show them how to hold a pencil, and braid their little doll’s hair.

When they enter those tween years, they need our tender words flowing often into their maturing minds, reminding them of Whose they are . . . while their bodies and minds are wildly growing and changing.!

When they transition into those teens years, they need our eyes to look beyond their face and into their hearts to help them process the world from God’s perspective.

When they finally arrive on graduation day, they need us to let go of our grip on their hands and while using our knees in prayer like never before.

Our children need us from birth and beyond, and it is meeting their needs that will keep us from having it all. To say yes to our babes is to say no to some of our dreams . . . not all of them . . . but certainly to the ones that keep us from making the the most of our motherhood opportunity.

Having it all . . . well, let’s consider that a myth, while embracing motherhood because that’s the better gift.

Elisa PulliamElisa is a trained biblical life coach, mentor, and speaker passionate about equipping women to experience authentic life change for the sake impacting the next generation. She is the founder of More to Be (moretobe.com) and author of Impact My Life: Biblical Mentoring Simplified. Elisa considers her first calling as wife to Stephen and mother to her house-full of children.

Connect with Elisa at http://elisapulliam.com.

Don’t miss out on our A Prayer for My Children printable!

Just subscribe below and download it for FREE!

Name:
Email: