And I do not feel guilty about my standing with God. I'm so thankful Jesus the One and Only made that right when He took the fall for all the ways I miss the mark of God's perfect standard and made it possible for me to be in relationship with a loving, just, compassionate Creator.
But my natural tendency is to operate out of guilt about a lot of everything else. And these days, we moms (especially those of us who “stay home” and theoretically have time to get everything right) have plenty we can feel guilty about.
Here's the thing: what you do as a mom matters. It does. You are nurturing eternal souls, but what that usually looks like is driving someone somewhere or doing laundry or trying to come up with something for dinner.
I'm hoping this blog will encourage other moms who are doing this work that matters so much but who feel overwhelmed sometimes by all the "shoulds" and "should-nots" thrown at us while we're doing it. At the very least, I hope you'll feel great about yourself in comparison to someone who didn't allow her kids to fingerpaint in the house, never got around to sending them to summer camp, and doesn't even try to get her family to eat kale or quinoa.
"Experts," doctors, talk-show hosts, morning news anchors, and certain skinny actresses have lots of advice for weary moms. Don’t feed your kids anything white. Especially, heaven forbid, sugar. Do feed them fish. And quinoa. And kale…lots of kale. Make sure they exercise an hour day. Don’t let them watch TV. Read to them. Do crafts with them…lots of crafts. Make sure they are brilliant in math and science…they are the future of our entire nation and, indeed, of civilized society as we know it.
Really, it all just makes me want to give up and feed my girls straight-up high fructose corn syrup and red dye #5 while they sit around and watch “Dance Moms.” But because of the aforementioned guilt, and because I love my family, I cannot give up and so am trying to do a few “right” things in the midst of lots of “wrong” things.
And I’ll cover all of it with lots of chocolate. Which I do not feel guilty about.
Thanks so much for reading this far! I'd love it if you ever came back, and if you do, here are a few things it might help you to know about my little family (me, plus my husband and two daughters—and for the record, the 3 of them are some of the most wonderful, precious, kind, loving, delightful, and likeable human beings God ever created):
2. My daughters watch too much TV.
3. We drink pop sometimes (that’s soda for you East-coasters).
4. I, personally (now this is JUST me I'm talking about), think scrapbooking is the 10th circle of hell. Cropping and Cricut-ting for all eternity. I have many friends who love it and are gifted at it, God bless 'em. But I don't have a crafty bone in my body. I have a chocolate bone instead.
5. We never eat fish even though I know we should. My husband I like it, but our daughters don’t even like the idea of it, and I'm just too tired to figure out what’s safe to eat, ecologically friendly to eat, affordable to eat, and appetizing to eat.
6. We live near Battle Creek, Michigan, Cereal Capital of the World, where the air sometimes smells like Fruit Loops.
7. We are not locavores. We buy out-of-season foods shipped from many miles away. I feel guilty about this, but bananas are a go-to fruit serving.
8. I am a terrible photographer. I don’t understand apertures or shutter speeds, and I’m too tired to figure them out. Plus, I don’t want to. I am only including limited photos on this blog because I, personally, hate to make a recipe if I can’t see a picture of it first. The bonus here is that any recipe of mine you make will undoubtedly look better than the picture of it does.
9. We send our girls to public school. Yes. See "Lists and Laughs," "With Apologies to My Firstborn," #3. See also "You Might Be a Home Schooler If...(A Guest Post By Someone Who Knows)."
10. We are followers of Jesus, saved by grace, redeemed by His perfection, and seeking to develop what Christian recording artist Steven Curtis Chapman calls “the magnificent obsession”—with Who God is, what He wants, His Word, and His will for our lives. More specifically, I’m currently feeling guilty (see above) about not feeding His sheep, other than the three who live in my pasture. I’m trying to figure out what God wants me to do about that and am hoping He'll give me some really clear direction really soon.
In the meantime, I'd be thrilled to hear from you (ecstatic, actually). What's the "next thing" that you want to do/know you should do/need to do? Where could you use some mom encouragement? Did you let your kids fingerpaint in the house? That sort of thing...
Oh my goodness, I laughed out loud at your list. There is a chance we might be soul sisters. I'm from the south. We call everything carbonated Coke. :-)ReplyDelete
Aw, thank you, Jennifer! ;) I'm always delighted to meet a soul sister! What a riot about "all things Coke." I've just been reading about you on your site and thanking God I clicked on Michelle/Grammie Time's post today so I could meet you. Thank you so much for stopping by. May the blessing of God be on you...or, as you might say down south, onya! :)Delete
Just found your blog as a recommendation from Jennifer Carsen. You're very funny! I'd love to feature you one day on my site startamomblog.com :) To bring some humor to my technical posts. :)ReplyDelete
Oh my goodness, thank you, Suzi! (Insert undying gratitude to and admiration of the fabulous Jennifer Carson.) I'd be so honored to work with you...am PMing you as soon as I get the semi post-apocalyptic scene in my kitchen (otherwise known as "after dinner") cleaned up! ;)Delete
I'm pretty sure this is the best "about me" list I've ever read. Would you like to come and write one for me next? I'm not sure I've ever bothered. If only the air around here smelled more like Froot Loops, I may be more inspired.ReplyDelete
Love your blog and looking forward to reading more! :)
Well, Kristin honey, if you aren't just my new favorite person! I've just been trolling around your site instead of dusting my house and will now be driving you crazy with my enthusiastic devotion. It's fabulous to know we mamas can be united in sleep deprivation and other maternal realities whether we home school or unschool or, as in my case, ship our kids off to be taught by people who don't make them cry during math class! ;) So glad to meet you! P.S. Yes, you should write a list about you, because people like me want to read it!Delete
Hi Elizabeth! I just happened upon your blog this morning as I was googling "Chocolate Chip Cookie Week!!" Ha! I love your list--I feel that we would be friends :) I myself am a Jesus-loving, chocaholic, stay-at-home mom to 2 little boys and I felt like almost everything on your list was describing me! I only cook fish for myself (and only for lunch), because my husband doesn't like it. Also, we drink soda over here in California, too, but I grew up calling it pop because my parents are from the PNW (pop-loving folks up there!). I dabbled in the world of blogging a few years ago, a recipe-based blog also based on my love of chocolate. However, I got tired of that after a year, but I love to read other mom and recipe blogs! I am expecting baby #3, my oldest is starting Kindergarten this fall, and I am growing increasingly worried about how my kids are going to handle all the pressures and temptations awaiting them as they get older. Lots of prayer going on over here! I'm saying a prayer for you and your family today too :) Sorry for the long post, but I always love to find other moms who are keepin' it real. Keep it up! It sounds like you're doing a great job with your kids. I look forward to following your blog some more, and maybe making those CCC from 2 days ago!!ReplyDelete
Aw...hi back, Allison! Haven't you just made my day! Thank you for taking time to share so much...I LOVE it! And my goodness...if you still had your blog, I'd be over there in a heartbeat. I can certainly see why you set that aside for now, busy mama that you are. I absolutely understand your concerns for your precious kids, but from where I'm at, you're doing the most important thing: praying--a lot! I will gratefully return prayers for you, especially as you await #3. How exciting! I'm so honored and delighted that you found me, and I look forward to keeping up with you as you have time to come back to my little piece of the blogsphere. And by the way, if you'd ever like to do a guest post and/or recipe here, I'd be thrilled to have you! I don't have a huge audience, but you would be welcome to send me something any time. Maybe it would be the fun of blogging without quite so much work? ;) Thank you again for stopping by and for your lovely comments!Delete
Hi Elizabeth! Just discovered you. So glad I did. You've made me laugh a lot already :) Love your site, your humour, and that you're a mom I can relate to! Have signed up to your list...I'm always looking for great posts to share on my page...think I've found some right here. Thanks! Looking forward to more.ReplyDelete
Hello, Joanna! I'm so glad you found me so I can find you! Am off to track you down in just a minute, but first I just have to say THANK YOU for your sweet words of encouragement. Bless you, mama! Can't wait to "meet" you! xoxoDelete
I love the way you listed out these fun and interesting things about you and your family! Nice to "meet" you in this way! :)ReplyDelete
Thank you, Kendall! I've just been enjoying your family story. WOW! 33 hours of conversation in 2 days. That's quite the beginning....love it! Thanks so much for taking time to come over from the #Shine100!Delete
Hi Elizabeth! I want to say, nice to meet you, but I feel like we're past that stage. We've "talked" enough through blog posts and comments for me to confidently consider you one of my blogging friends. I feel like your sentiments above (your list included) was my inner-monologue written and published. For instance, I too can't stand scrapbooking. I attempted it several times in my short life, but I just...can't. Your mission statement echoes mine as well. Supporting mamas and providing a space where they can validate what they're doing (even if it doesn't fall within the realms of the shoulds and coulds of the world) is something I aspire to do daily. Mothering is hard enough, let's not make it harder by pointing out each other's faults and beating each other down...you know what I mean?ReplyDelete
Thanks for linking up with #shinebloghop100 this week. As always, it's a pleasure reading your words :)
Aw, thank you so much, Maria! Your kind and "me, too" words have made my day! I felt we were kindred spirits before, but now with the "scrapbooking simpatico factor," I'd say our connection is solidified! ;) Bless you and all the #ShineBlogHop hostesses for your encouragement and support...and happy, happy 100!Delete
Found your About Me page through #SHINE100. I agree with the other ladies - you're hilarious and I enjoyed your list as well. The big one I worry about is whether or not we let too much technology into our kids lives, especially since it works like a robotic babysitter for my daughter since she's 3. But sometimes I need that bit of time to get something done around the house. Glad I found you through SHINE Blog hop.ReplyDelete
Hi, Candace! I'm so glad you took time to so kindly leave this sweet comment, because I saw your lovely like on my Facebook page and was trying to see if I could return the favor. Now I've tracked you down! ;) I absolutely know what you mean about technology overload with our kids today. I fought it, too, and tried for a best balance most of the time. Which, in the end, is pretty much how I've approached mothering in general. I'm so glad to "meet" you via the #SHINE100 and am headed to your FB page right now! Blessings on you, mama!Delete
Oh, my word! You crack me up! "scrapbooking is the 10th circle of hell" LOL! To me, scrap booking is fun, but there are other things (ironing, for example) that definitely fall into that particular category. Why do wrinkles on a shirt make it a bad thing? It went thru the washer and the dryer and then was smashed in the laundry basket, poor baby. If one more round in the dryer doesn't do the trick, I just find another shirt, and I do not feel guilty about it. ;-) I am so happy to have met you! -Marci @ Stone Cottage AdventuresReplyDelete
Aw, thank you, Marci...both for this lovely and entertaining comment AND for not taking offense at my personal view of scrapbooking! You very correctly understood I was not condemning it or those, like you, who love it...it's just not my thing. I craft in cookie dough instead. Also, I am SO with you on the ironing, which I think we can agree must be the 11th circle of hell. ;) Thank you for giving me this chance to get to know you a little better!Delete
I don’t know how I ended up here but I did. And my word! I think we are long lost friend soul-mates! I could have described myself the same way and I wouldn’t be lying about any of it. Glad I found your blog!ReplyDelete
Hi, Jennifer! I'm so very glad you DID end up here...however that happened! ;) I am always thrilled to meet another soul mate! Thank you so much for taking time to poke around a little and to say hello...you've made my day! :)Delete
hello from very hot, dry southern california! just found a link to your blog (i think on facebook but i can't remember now) and think that we could be friends!! of course, i am MUCH older and a grandma to 10 but hey, it could work. i also blog, mostly just about life, nothing too serious. i do it for my grandkids. i do share my faith on there though. have a lovely day!ReplyDelete
terre at 'zoomama speaks...'
Just went through your "10 Worship Songs I’d Be Fine with Never Singing Again (And Why)" article over on crosswalk.com and wanted to thank you for being brave and putting that out. I'm actually an employee at church in the worship department and I sing in the choir and on our praise team - sometimes I wish I had a better way to express why I'd prefer not to sing certain repetitive songs. Your article was thoughtful and respectful and certainly appreciated. Thanks again.ReplyDelete
Order Anti-Anxiety, Detoxifying, Pain Relief, Sleeping & Weight Loss Pills online, without prescription at the best price in the United States - Medical Pharmacy USA.ReplyDelete
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