15 Things I Would Say to Myself as a Young Mama

15 Things I Would Say to My Younger Mama Self

  1. God gave you your children for a reason. You are the mama for the job. RECEIVE that truth. Believe it to the core of your being.
  2. Put the “How to ….” Book down. First, lean in and study your child. You will see and notice things that a book won’t tell you about.
  3. Trust your mama gut.
  4. Put down your phone. Be present.
  5. Love the current stage they are in.
  6. Write memories down.
  7. Journal your heart- the good, the bad, the ugly.
  8. LET GO OF MOM GUILT. It ain’t helpin’ nobody.
  9. Set up boundaries for yourself and for others especially when you are in the beginnings of motherhood and trying to balance out life situations/relationships.
  10. Be intentional fill your cup during nap times. I don’t know about you but doing laundry won’t ever fill my cup.
  11. Accept what Life is- the more you resist, the more we lose out on focusing what the Lord is teaching us in the moment.
  12. Invest in counseling/coaching now. Everyone around you will thank you.
  13. Listen to your body. Your body is always whispering things. Take a moment each day and admire the beautiful creation it is and support it the best way you know how.
  14. Mama, you are not alone. Find a group of friends to do life with. Be vulnerable. Be honest. Be real. It’s worth it.
  15. Dig into who God has created you to be. You are created for this season, this moment, these children, this family…ask God for His vision and get after it.

Listen to Kristin’s latest podcast episode for more about looking back at the younger years of motherhood…

Wholistic Hearts: A Mother’s Wholehearted Christian Approach to Spiritual Growth and Transformational Healing

Want More Encouragement?

Kristin would love to come alongside you to help you navigate the stretching times of motherhood. She offers Spiritual Breakthrough Coaching and you can check it out below.  

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Boundaries

​If you haven’t seen Jim Gaffigan’s comedy sketch on parenting back in the day, please do yourself a favor and watch it now.  It will make you laugh. At least I hope so. 

There is a line he says with his Jim Gaffigan way, “People ask me all the time, “What’s it like having four kids? Well, imagine drowning and someone hands you a baby.”  Joshua and I laughed so hard when we first watched this skit- we were in the deep waters of having all our sweet babes so young.  

Kristin- what does this have to do with boundaries? Great question. My mind is like an endless web of intersecting connecting points…I’ll get there.  

As Joshua and I were preparing for our “Boundaries” podcast for this week’s Wholistic Hearts show,  I remembered a time as a young mom when my boundaries became known very clearly.

Back in the Days of Young a Motherhood

 Let’s take a step back in time…

I walk into the church nursery to drop off my four little children on this Sunday morning. My eye on the prize- 45 minutes of uninterrupted time of listening to the week’s message. I sign each of my twin babies whom were 1ish, check to make sure I had all the things the nursery helpers could ever possibly need in the 45 minutes- even though I was in the other room. I say goodbye and headed to door number two to drop off toddler, he starts crying and clings to our legs. I leave my husband to help ease the separation anxiety because it is just better that way. I walk away to take child #4 to her big girl class right across the hallway and say goodbye. Deep breath- in and out. I return back to toddler’s room and he is slightly better. But it is now a drawn out process of bribes and desperation. I wonder if we will make it to the service before worship ends.  Then, a sweet woman approaches me with her name badge on and asks how I am doing. I give a half hearted and exhausted, “ok.”  She tells me how they are really low on volunteers and need more people to help sign up.  Instantly, BIG FAT tears fill my eyes as I could feel my soul dripping out the last of the empty well of giving. I just want one day of the week to have 45 minutes to myself.

Back to Jim Gaffigan Joke

“Imagine your drowning, and someone hands you a baby.” That’s what it felt like. In that specific moment of way back when, I was absolutely drowning in diapers, in little to no sleep through nights on end. And then I was asked to help on a Sunday morning doing the same thing I did all week long multiplied by however many kids were in the classroom.

Disclaimer: I LOVE MY CHILDREN. I LOVE OTHER PEOPLE CHILDREN. I LOOOOOOOVE and appreciate all the amazing nursery helpers, toddler wranglers, and children’s teachers/helpers/volunteers.
AND, if loving on that age while you are a young mama is your jam- my hat is tipped to you, and God bless you. However, it was not what I could give at the time.
AND PLEASE, for the love (in my Jen Hatmaker voice) don’t ask young mamas’ to volunteer in the nursery. I promise, they will approach you if they feel the fire in their belly to volunteer.
AND all you grandmas’ out there- THE CHURCH NURSERY IS THE BEST PLACE TO VOLUNTEER!!! Give your amazing experience in the nursery, in the elementary age, in the middle school, in high school- WE WANT YOUR WISDOM!!!


Ok…now I have said my peace…

As a young mama, know your boundaries. Let your “yes” be your full cheerful wholehearted “yes.” And the word “no” is not a dirty word. And “no” is a complete sentence.

“Let giving flow from your heart, not from a sense of religious duty. Let it spring up freely from the joy of giving- all because God loves hilarious generosity.” 2 Corinthians 9:7 TPT

I give you permission to relax. Your season will come to volunteer, to deliver the meal, to say yes to the committee. Your heart is doing hard work- it’s fully loving the bundles of babies in front of you or guiding along the toddler or holding down the job and making sure you are connecting with your children. Set your boundaries. All will be thankful. Bless you Mamas. And Papas.

To listen more about boundaries, listen to our podcast.

You Can’t Make This S*$#% Up

I’m gonna say it. 

I think my testimony will be called, “You can’t make this shit up.”

I know, that’s offensive to some of you. It was to me, too. And that’s okay. But really…Holy Spirit is wild and so very liberating. 

When I first started learning about the Holy Spirit, the wildest things were happening. I had driven up to a retreat (WE REVEL) where I witnessed healing happen left and right: healing of hearts and healing of physical ailments, which totally blew my mind that this was real.  I was witnessing women of faith stop and listen and then speak things to people so specifically to people to encourage them.  I watched people give gifts to other people they had never met and witness their reaction to receiving such a personalized handwritten note.  

Then… this was where it got personal for me.  I was listening to one of the speakers at the retreat as I sat on their living room floor. I instantly found my ears perked up as she said, “Become aware of the things which you can’t stand. Sometimes the enemy will put his thumb on something that he knows is actually a provision from God to prevent you from fully walking in your destiny.” 

My first thought was a peacock.  I hated peacocks; I truly found them annoying. We have a local zoo which they roam freely in and squawk and display their feathers in a “look at me” fashion.  Each time we visited and saw them my gut reaction was, “They are so vain.”  Well, at the retreat, I wrote down in my journal- “Oh! Like the peacock!” Later on that day, I was sitting down to decorate my journal I had received with different varieties of scrapbook paper, and I noticed a giant piece of paper with a peacock. I thought to myself, “Huh. That’s funny,” and stuck it in my journal.  Again, we gathered up to hear a speaker and she handed out a prayer which printed on the paper was…a peacock.  Now my eyes became more attune to what the Holy Spirit was saying.  My faith was beginning to build. I had hoped He would speak to me, but I was so cautious. I didn’t want to get burned and feel silly and humiliated by even thinking He was directly talking to me. 

Fast forward to the evening at the retreat where we talk about the Holy Spirit.  They were handing out scarves as a gift- which is powerfully significant- (you should really go to a REVEL retreat)…The leader stops and says, “I feel like Holy Spirit has another scarf for someone that is different than this one I am handing out.”  Another woman attending stands up immediately and says, “I have one I am supposed to give away. Hold on, it’s in my suitcase.”  She runs to her luggage and comes bounding back in the room with joy and describes how she packed and unpacked the scarf multiple times and finally put it in her suitcase.  It was a peacock scarf! I stood up, shaking…and said “Oh it’s definitely mine!”  I was stunned. I was hopeful. I was instantly like a little child in wonder. 

I arrived at the retreat with the burning question, “Who is the Holy Spirit?” And through using nudges and words which might have been insignificant to others started a path of asking more of who is He and who am I? The next day I wrote down for the first time- I am His Peacock, displaying the colors He has created me to be.  I stepped into a place I’d never gone. I started to see how I had hid my beauty, covered up, and been ashamed of my feminity. The enemy no longer had the tightest grip on who I am called to be.  It was now a time of discovery and relationship and intimacy of asking questions with the Holy Spirit. 

He is so full of wonder and mystery.  He is infinite. He is intentionally with me. He is whispering to the deep places of my heart and yours. 

The Peacock Scarf and Journal

The Body Speaks- Loving and Accepting Our Whole Selves

Nine years ago, I was in so much physical torment. My feet felt like fire ants were stuck inside the bottom of my foot. My skin raw and blistering from the uncontrollable itching. Sleep was not an option with this intense rash on my feet which lasted for 5-7 days for years upon years. Questions played through my mind like a scroll that never ended. Why did it have to come every 21 days? Why could no one answer what was happening to my body? Why doesn’t medicine help? I went to doctors desperate for answers and each one giving me the look like, “Hmm…I don’t know what it is.” Referral after referral I got no where. I felt at the end of my rope over and over. Each month being hopeful that something would help- prayer, essential oils, supplements, medicine, etc.

But each month I felt like I was slapped in the face. After seven years of torment, I had a major epiphany. My husband sat next to me while I cried in frustration and said this pivotal annoying profound question, “Babe, what if it doesn’t go away?” I felt like an instant pouting child. I so wanted it to heal. I wanted healing desperately. I wanted breakthrough. I hated how my body was acting. There was a legit anger at my body for creating this rash every month. But something within me started to shift as I pondered this question. I started saying, “Even if the rash comes back, my body is still a temple. God gives me strength to be okay. I can still be a mom who loves her kids well. I can still show up.”

In the ugly moments of insomnia and racing mind, I began to see Jesus in the midst. I do not believe He caused this situation but I do believe He has taught me more than I could have without the rash.

Fast forward a few years past the conversation with my hubby, and the rash still continues though it seems it is fading. I have worked with my functional lifestyle coach for many years to discover the beauty of my relationship with my body. I am learning to love the parts of my body which speak very loudly especially when it comes to the rash. I am learning to trust what it is saying instead of fight against it.

Our body is telling us a story, and it is our job to listen. Sooner or later if we ignore it long enough, it will yell instead of whisper. Our body is a tool to listen. God uses the most amazing ways to speak with us. Through this thought process, I have spent multiple hours praying and asking what the feet represent. He answers. In your body, what is it saying? What is the Lord saying through your heavenly temple? Develop a relationship with your body which is based on love and not hatred. As I emerge from years of this place of hatred to a place of love, I continue to find freedom from pain, self-judgement, and walk more into who He has created me to be.

Do you need help guiding you through these conversations? I’d love to come alongside and coach you through. Contact me here.

Recommended Follow Up Books

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Zoom Call or Face to Face?

“Is your relationship with God a Zoom call or a face to face, in the the flesh interaction?”

With the quarantine’s protocol, our social world’s have tried to embrace the new way of meeting with using Zoom or Google Meet. Although it is better than not seeing another human face than my six lovely people I live with, I am not the biggest fan of Zoom. And yes, God bless the wonderful opportunity to have technology which allows us to see people across the country- i.e., Grandmommy reading books to my children thousands of miles from here. There are many great things about technology; however, it is not the same as in person, face to face interaction.

I was preparing for a zoom call this morning with some of the loveliest group of women I know, and I still had to pump myself up to log in to this virtual reality group meeting. I asked the Lord what is it which makes me frustrated about zoom…He showed me how I am easily distracted, and how I become focused on the things like “Am I too close to the camera? Should I interrupt? Does the audio sound ok?” If I am honest, I am partially listening. (Sorry, dear friends and family.) In summary, my heart is not totally vested in the moment. I long for the moment when we get to for real embrace extended family and close friends. The long awaited hug will be magical.

Then God dropped this in my heart- how much more is this parable of zoom vs. real life interaction when you look at our relationship with the Holy Spirit. I don’t know about you, but I long for the real deal. I long for the tangible, sink your teeth into relationship with the Holy Spirit which is talked about in Acts 2.

“‘This is what I will do in the last days—I will pour out my Spirit on everybody and cause your sons and daughters to prophesy, and your young men will see visions, and your old men will experience dreams from God. The Holy Spirit will come upon all my servants, men and women alike, and they will prophesy. I will reveal startling signs and wonders in the sky above and mighty miracles on the earth below. Blood and fire and pillars of clouds will appear.”
‭‭Acts‬ ‭2:17-19‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Can you imagine the powerful experience of this? In my own spiritual journey I walked for many, MANY years in the “Zoom Call Zone.” The past seven years have shifted my experience of the Holy Spirit from a touch point on a Sunday or Wednesday to the in-person interactive relationship. He led me in this transformation through people leading the way of what it meant to walk with Jesus in the everyday- not just in a bible study or in a small group where I crammed the day before- But in the everyday moments of sleepless nights and changing diapers and hearing whining from tired children and doing dishes and doing endless laundry and the anxiety which overwhelmed me….I began to see He was in all the moments, not just the 30 minutes in the morning.

There is something about the face to face encountering of Jesus which cannot be replaced. Our bible studies and our virtual Instagram quotes (as beautiful as they are) will not replace the FIRST-Hand experience of a relationship with Our King. He longs to meet with us- FACE to Face. He wants to hear the hurt, the pain, the frustration, the heartbeat, the unspoken communication, the uncomfortable-ness. When we meet with a friend face to face, we cannot ignore the demeanor in which they walk in the room- neither can the Holy Spirit pass over the recognition of the state of our hearts IN PERSON. When we settle to drop in like a zoom call on our knowing ABOUT God, we miss out on the intricacies of which a relationship is built on. There is beauty and intimacy in the presence of one another. How wonderful to be able to invite Jesus into these spaces? I am continuing to walk along this road to a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit and I want more! I want to live in His presence and not the second best Zoom call. I want to tangible smell like Him. I want to feel the heartbeat of who He is. I want to be in His grill! I pray you don’t settle for the Zoom call and reach out for the more, my friend.

“I’m done pretending, I want the real thing”- Dante Bowe

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcokc1sM-TU

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Awaiting the Feast

The Bird House

I wandered outside in the midst of needing some fresh air. My back porch offering solitude after a great solid week of focus on trying to “homeschool” our four kids.  It was a sunny and mild Saturday- an offering of sweetness after a few days of cold, snowy, rainy spring like Colorado type weather. The birds were chirping and singing about this new warmth coming in as the day awakened.  I stood out on my back deck overlooking our winterized yard and desperately wanted to bring back life. I decided with excitement to go get my beloved bird feeder my niece handmade for me and hang it back up on one of the trees in my yard.   I felt like a little kid at Christmas about to see how my brand new toy really works. I filled up the feeder in anticipation for the variety of birds to come and eat. The seeds were overflowing onto the ground below. I walked back to my chair on the porch. I was ready.  I sat down and waited.

I had a moment which I like to call a preacher moment. When I have these moments, it’s like I suddenly have to smile at the realization that the Father is teaching me something. Just as I sat in my chair with great expectation for the birds to come and feast and enjoy the spread I laid out for them, so does the Father lay out a feast for us to enjoy.  I love picturing Him laying out a beautiful table full of pleasures and delights and sitting back waiting for His bride to come and feast.

So, next time you sit and watch the birds come to your feeder, let it be a reminder to your heart that it is an invitation for you to come and in-JOY feast upon the kindness of God. 

Embracing the Moment

I am currently sitting in my quiet home office listening to the rain/snow hit my window. It’s very still in my home, very peaceful.  But there is an atmosphere of change occurring because of the threat of this COVID 19 virus. So many emotions enter where I feel a bit frozen in my fingertips to write, yet I don’t want to lose capturing this moment.   We received word last night that our children will be home for the next two weeks or so, to help stop the spread of the virus. This includes sports activities, as well. As much as it is disappointing, I can’t help but feel a soft anticipation for the enveloping peace which will hover over our family.  It is a gift to slow down, be present, and be grateful for what we have. This is an amazing opportunity to show love for our neighbors, to stand in what we believe offering hope and joy. There is beauty even in disruption. We have a God who is not shocked, nor thrown off His rocker by this. He is ever so kind. He works everything out for the good of those who love Him.  I choose to embrace this moment to love well and intentionally. I pray for the ones who stand on the front lines- nurses, doctors, EMTs, firefighters, etc. a special protection over their bodies. I believe we will see a rise in the hearts of people around us. Communities will join forces. We will collectively see hope as we lay down our agendas. Sure, our home will be chaotic at times and loud and wrestling matches will burst out in the middle of the kitchen floor, but we will choose to see this as a time of coming together.  I cannot wait to see how Goodness will chase us down. 

Let my heart be tipped upward and not tempted by fear. Let my mind be renewed by hope and wisdom and understanding. Let my hands carry healing. Let my arms open wider to embrace my children, my husband and those around us.  Let my words be Life and not bring death. Let my mouth utter gratitude and joy. Let my house be that of peace and a refuge. Let us be ever mindful of the needs of others.