As we quickly approach a brand new year I thought it might be helpful to you to share a tool that we use often in my family.
I had a graphic designer create this for the At-Home Tribe ladies to help us focus on our healthy habits each month. This coming year, my entire family is jumping in and we’re tracking our progress towards our goals each month using this sheet.
I’ll put a link below where you can access the PDF file and print it for yourself. Before you do that, though, stop and ask the Lord to help you decide on what He is calling you towards. Ask Him what your ASSIGNMENTS are for the days, weeks, and months ahead. Spend some time praying about which ones will have Kingdom Impact, which will be personal, which might be for your family or home, or even for your church or workplace.
Set your intention, letting Him guide the way, and then WRITE THEM DOWN. It matters and it will help.
As always, I’m here- praying for you and CHEERING YOU ON!
Click HERE to get the printable file.
(Also, ladies, if you happen to see this before January 4th- you still have a few days to jump in and JOIN US in the AT-Home Tribe. We close the doors on 1/4 and won’t open again until March. Find all the details at www.athometribe.com ).
If being quite honest, I’d tell you it’s my least favorite day of the whole year. And I figured maybe…maybe some of you may feel that way, too.
No matter how amazing Christmas Day may be, it’s possible to struggle the day after.
Maybe it’s because Christmas came and went and things didn’t go anything like you planned.
Or maybe it’s because the day was so wonderful, you’re sad to see it end.
Maybe the relationship you’ve been holding out hope for didn’t reconcile, and the fences so badly needing mended weren’t.
Maybe the diagnosis you recently received hangs heavy or the upcoming surgery date scares you to death.
Maybe the wayward child you prayed home didn’t return this holiday, or the parent who you hoped to see didn’t even call.
Maybe the unemployment check is about to run out and you’re staring at an empty bank account.
Maybe the gifts you gave weren’t cherished like you’d hoped, or the ones you most wanted weren’t given.
Maybe the Christmas miracle you keep praying for hasn’t come and you don’t understand why.
Maybe the ache of missing a loved one seems more painful and real than ever before and the thought of another day without them seems more than you can handle.
Maybe you’re heading back to a job you hate, or traveling thousands of miles back home when all you want to do is stay with your family.
Maybe the child you’ve been praying to conceive still isn’t in your empty crib or maybe watching an aging parent struggle is tearing your heart in two.
Maybe you spent this Christmas alone and you’re wondering if anyone even noticed, or maybe you spent the holiday surrounded by people yet feeling totally unseen.
Maybe the holiday was another reminder that you marriage needs work and your children seem distant.
Maybe it all just feels like too much.
Can I remind you of what the Lord just reminded me?
The message of Christmas doesn’t change just because the day in which we celebrate it has passed.
If anything, it holds even stronger.
Because Jesus came, I can face tomorrow.
And the next day. And the next. And the one after that.
Because Jesus came, my weary heart can rejoice. Not just on that one ‘oh holy night’ each year at the Christmas Eve service, but also on the nights when it’s just me sitting on my dirty kitchen floor asking the Lord why it has to be so hard.
Because Jesus came, that broken marriage, that wayward child, that scary diagnosis, that homesick young adult, the grief, the infertility, the financial struggles, the loneliness…all of it is just a place where we can watch the Lord show up, rescue, and redeem.
See, He wasn’t just a sweet little baby, He also is a conquering victorious King and that changes EVERYTHING.
The miracle, the hope, the promise of Christmas doesn’t change just because the calendar flipped to December 26th.
So this year, I’m going to rejoice.
I’m refusing to mourn the season ending because Hope has come, and Light has dawned, and I get to walk in JOY even when my circumstances may not feel happy.
I get to walk in peace when my path may feel rocky.
I get to walk in victory when it seems like all hope is lost, because Jesus CAME and that won’t ever change.
Be encouraged today, friends.
Praying for you and cheering you on.
This afternoon I scrolled through the memories on my Timehop app, and I read words I’d posted ten years ago today- They literally took my breath.
I had posted on Facebook: “I’m not sure I’m very good at this whole mom thing”.
That’s exactly what I posted. I’m not sure what prompted it. Not sure of the reasons or motivations behind why I decided to declare it to my corner of the world, but there it is, in black and white ten years later: I’m not sure I’m a good mom.
I may have written that I wasn’t sure that I was a good mom, but the whole truth was that I had decided and determined it to be true that I was, in fact, not a good mom, and that it wouldn’t ever change.
Here’s the crazy part: I never even realized I had bought so deeply into believing this and can’t pinpoint even how it began. Although I had my own struggles with post-partum issues (story for another day), and I delivered two healthy, strong-willed babies, I don’t know how or when my role as Mom became one I believed I would never be good at.
I’d make comments with friends or in our small group such as “We aren’t having any more kids- I’m just not good at being a mom”. I’d often criticize and critique my every perceived parenting fail as if I were weighing evidence to prove my lack. In my mind, the judge had determined his verdict: Kara: not a good Mom- period, end of story.
Just typing those words makes me tear up.
A couple years ago I had a friend reach out to me and in firm, kind words she called me out on it. She told me that it wasn’t true, she pointed me back to Scripture, and she told me to STOP IT.
After I recovered from the shock of reading her words , I realized that she was totally right and that I had bought hook, line, and sinker into the lie that I wasn’t good at this important calling. More than that, I’d decided I never would be.
Why am I sharing this with you?
Because whether you’ll admit it or not, there is someone out there who will read this tonight and get it.
You’ve bought into the lie that because parenting doesn’t look like you thought it would, that the reason is because you aren’t a good Mom.
Or maybe it’s another reason such as:
-your kid won’t behave
-you send them to public school when others around you don’t agree
-you homeschool when others around you don’t agree
-you chose to bottle feed them formula and not exclusively breastfeed
-you lose your temper and sometimes scream so loud that you scare yourself
-your kid loses his/her temper and screams so loud that they scare others
-your kids are constantly in trouble at school
-your child has strayed far from you and their faith
-you put your kids on a normal vaccination schedule
-you put your kids on a delayed vaccination schedule
-your house is a total wreck
-your forgot to pick up a kid from soccer practice
-you don’t love every moment of being at home with a screaming baby
-you miss the days when you didn’t have to worry about anyone else
-you are often short-tempered and count the minutes until bedtime
NONE of these things (or about a million more that I could list) make you a bad mom.
Here is what counts, friend: You show up.
You show up and you do what you can.
I didn’t come up with this phrase but I’ve sure clung to it and declared it over my own weary heart: BAD MOMENTS DON’T MAKE BAD MAMAS.
We don’t have to define ourselves by our mistakes or our areas where we feel like we are lacking when compared to someone else. We don’t have to let the enemy tell us we aren’t qualified. We don’t have to assume a title of ‘broken’ when the Lord’s already declared you ‘forgiven’.
You don’t get it all right, that’s true, but you keep trying.
You give them what you’ve got and you pick yourself up when you don’t know how you can.
You may not do it like all the experts tell you to, but sister, hear me: If you’re still showing up and still trying, YOU ARE DOING IT RIGHT.
Your kids don’t need a perfect mom, they just need you. Out of every single woman in all of creation that has ever lived from the beginning of time, God picked YOU to be their mama.
You’re EXACTLY the right woman for the job.
You’ll mess it up and you’ll want to give up, but you won’t.
You’ll keep going and you’ll try again because love means showing up, and going low, and being willing to do the hard work we sometimes most don’t want to do.
You’ve got this, Mama.
I’m cheering you on big.