But it’s not RIGHT!

Guest BloggerFaith, Motherhood1 Comment

I burned the first batch of bacon. The kids were playing outside after school. While I was trying to have a slightly-tense conversation via text with my husband, watch the bacon on the stove, crack eggs, add spices, and dip the French Toast, all the while washing my hands like a brain surgeon in between touching everything so as not to cross-contaminate – the bacon was burned. I marched downstairs to call the kids in for dinner, and no one came. As I angrily marched back upstairs, I saw my daughter, and sharply called to her. I went upstairs and waited. No one came. I was reeling. I opened the door, and right at the bottom of the stairs, my kids are just talking with the neighbor kids. I yelled at my daughter again, and she, baffled at my demeanor, comes in. (Neither of my sons, mind you; just my daughter.) I was steaming! I proceeded to unleash a boatload of mama drama onto my daughter for not coming when she was called. She said she didn’t know I was calling her. She said she saw me at the bottom on the stairs, but didn’t know why I was there. … Read More

The Myth of SuperWoman

Carol DunfeeFaith, Motherhood, Trials, Womanhood2 Comments

A close friend recently told me that she thought I was a SuperWoman. I laughed. I told her that she was a SuperWoman. Guess what. She laughed, too. We can all look at the highlights of other women’s lives and think that they are SuperWomen. It’s easy compare what we KNOW about our imperfect lives to what we SEE on the surface of another’s life. But our comparisons are so inaccurate. It’s like comparing apples to bananas. Or comparing a raw, unedited image of a model to a retouched image of the same model in a magazine. Even the model doesn’t resemble her own appearance in the picture. Because I live with myself, I KNOW that I struggle. I struggle with self-doubt, disorganization, cluttered closets, too-little-faith, and a lack of discipline in spending time with God. Not to mention the times I over-schedule and force my children to pay the consequences. Or how about when I gain confidence and boldness, only to over-extend myself and revert to doubt and fear. No one else sees when I cry because I can’t keep up with the kids’ health issues or even my own. I don’t often share the fear I feel every time … Read More

When Moms Get It Right

Jen CudmoreMotherhood3 Comments

She complimented my son. She said he packed the Operation Christmas Child boxes well, didn’t get sidetracked by friends, worked hard at making it all fit nicely together. And my mama heart swelled. That’s what we want to hear, right moms? That when our children are away from us, they behave with honor and integrity. That somewhere along the line, we did something right. The scripture tells us in Hebrews 3:13 to ‘encourage one another daily’ so we don’t become hardened by sins deceit. A kind word can make all the difference. Like when I assured a friend of mine that she was doing a good job raising her daughter, even though all she could see were her failures. Tears burst from her eyes as she struggled to accept my compliment. I had no idea she needed the encouragement until I saw her reaction. “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” Proverbs 25:11 The other day, I witnessed a mom failure. And while I tried to help, all I succeeded in doing was drawing attention to her mistake and telling her how to do it better next time. That would have been the perfect … Read More

A Great Time for Prayer

Jewel ZymurgyMotherhood3 Comments

My daughter and I sat together reading a book when a situation caught her attention and her countenance darkened. She gave a cynical snicker and kind of snarled as she said that one of the characters reminded her of me and the other character reminded her of a person who had deeply hurt her. The book described a person who was moved by conviction to correct a wrong that was committed. The character faced two people who, in my opinion, were described as polar opposites. Both were leaders in the character’s company and though the intention was to see only the president, it just so happened the two of them were in conversation and thus the audience of two. There were three people. The one who my daughter identified with was the person who was moved to the place of correcting a wrong. The character had a knot of tension in their stomach as they waited to speak to the president of the company. Humiliation and determination mixed together with fear as the implications of taking responsibility for actions previously made rolled around in their head. The second character was stern and had been described thus far as fair and … Read More

Sacred Moments

Jewel ZymurgyFaith, Motherhood2 Comments

The last couple of weeks have been a turbulent combination of incredible brokenness and wonder-filled moments that I have been just at awe in being able to be a part. As I talked with a friend of mine, I literally sat in a place of being peculiarly overwhelmed at the thought of what conversations and guidance I felt that I needed to have and pass on to my daughter as she is wrapping up her junior year in high school. I felt acutely aware in that moment of how fast time had been rushing by and just how relatively little that I had left with her. I looked at what felt like such a small amount of time and large amount of just heart conversations to have with her…and I mentally collapsed at the weight of it. “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6: 34 Unfortunately, I took my eyes off my Jesus for a time and allowed the weight of the lack to be bigger than my trust and rest … Read More

When Motherhood & Ministry Collide

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Marriage, MotherhoodLeave a Comment

I haven’t written a new blog post in several weeks, and if I’m being honest, that really bothers me some days.  I have committed to contributing to this blog and serving in this ministry on a weekly basis, but as time goes on, and my seasons of life change, sometimes motherhood and ministry collide.  I have good intentions, I have a brain swirling with thoughts that just beg to be shared, but sometimes it’s really hard to make sense of anything at all when you haven’t slept in a really long time, and you have a screaming toddler in your lap slapping the keys on the keyboard faster than you can push her little hands away. The insecurities deep within me shout the loudest in times like these. “Look at you! You signed up for this, and once again you can’t follow through. All of these other women have busy lives! They have families, jobs outside of the home, and other commitments just like you…so why can’t you keep up? They keep up! They’re faithful week after week, but then there’s you. There you are writing something last minute again,  as night creeps into another day.  You say it’s because it’s the only time you have, … Read More

Too Stressed For a Merry Heart?

Jen CudmoreFaith, MotherhoodLeave a Comment

Have you ever given advice to someone else, but you were really talking to yourself? This past Sunday, I woke with a terrible headache, which only happens to me maybe once a year. I knew immediately it was from too much stress and not enough rest, but what’s a busy mom to do? I worked overtime at the office during the week, still trying to catch up on projects, and sometimes in the evening nearly every day. I chose to spend 10 hours on Saturday at a tournament with one child, then stay up late with the other child, so I was moving from about 5am until 11pm, spending about 2 hours total at home all day. I know other moms can relate! I was exhausted. I didn’t want to go to church and I certainly didn’t want to teach my Sunday School class. So I did what any woman would do – I decided to show a video. But instead of grabbing a churchy cartoon, I grabbed something else. Teaching is my responsibility, and I needed to share some type of biblical truth with the kids, so I wracked my brain, and was reminded of a Scripture that is … Read More

Moms, Sons, and Growing Up (A Love Letter To My Son)

Jen CudmoreMotherhoodLeave a Comment

This Valentine’s Day, I’m thinking about my first-born, and how he will be moving away from home sooner than I’d like. I’m normally not this sentimental, but today I’m doing something a little different; I want to share a letter I wrote to my son. I believe there is a beautiful Mama out there who needs this. Blessings, Jen February 2017 To My Son, I don’t know why, but I have been emotional lately as I consider what little time you have left at home. Soon you will move out and start a new chapter of your life, and it’s a bittersweet feeling. It’s so strange, because I’m not normally a touchy-feely kinda gal. I wonder if people will think I’m being silly and dramatic. This isn’t really who I am. And yet, I have never experienced a child leaving home. So maybe this is exactly who I am. As I prayed for God to help me get ahold of myself, He reminded me that I am a writer. So here I sit at my computer, trying to figure out how to get all these thoughts and emotions under control. I had no idea that a mother and son could … Read More

Love is More than a Feeling

Carol DunfeeFaith, MotherhoodLeave a Comment

Do you ever feel like no one sees you? Your sacrifices? Your late nights? Your exhaustion? Yup. Me, too. Sometimes the demands of adulthood seem relentless. I wonder how I can fulfill all that is expected of me. But then God posed a question–a relentless question. His voice was persistent, asking the same thing over and over and over. I had to find an answer. This question was formed while I was doing a new Bible study about Jesus’ last words to His disciples. The author, Kim Erickson, issued a challenge: “…think of how you could serve in love only. Do not consider who ‘needs’ you. Do not consider what you can do well. Do not consider what others will recognize or value. You should only consider what you might be able to do in complete and total love.” (His Last Words, page 42) This challenge bothered me. I couldn’t make sense of it. If I stopped doing the things I felt obligated to do, nothing would ever get done. My kids wouldn’t eat. The house would be a disaster. We would wear dirty, wrinkled clothes. The church would be short a pianist. You get the picture. I knew that … Read More

Do As I Do

Rosalynn LasleyMotherhoodLeave a Comment

mother-daughter

Before I even begin, I think it’s really important to share something with you-my precious reader.  I’m not a perfect mother.  *shocking right?!* I don’t want to begin this blog with any false pretenses or paint myself with a hue that’s different than the truth.  I’m not a perfect mother, and I never will be.  I don’t say that to excuse my inadequacies or ungodly behavior.  I don’t say that as a way to justify my mistakes and shrug them off as a “meh, I’m not perfect, so who cares?!” I don’t say that as a sugar coat to the parts of me that are burnt out, and ugly.  I say that because there are going to be times that I get it wrong… really really wrong.  However, it’s my prayer that when I mess up, when I’m not the woman God is calling me to be, I will do the best I can to reconcile those moments with people, and ultimately at the foot of the cross.   Growing up I heard a phrase on a regular basis that made me roll my eyes so hard that I’m pretty sure that my actual eyeballs fell out at some point in my … Read More

Unto You

Rosalynn LasleyMotherhood, Prayer & FastingLeave a Comment

For me, October is a month FULL of birthdays. Both of my siblings have birthdays in October, and so do some of my aunts and uncles. I have a niece with a birthday in October, a co-worker with a birthday in October, and many dear friends with birthdays in October as well. I have friends who have babies with birthdays in October, and even my newest baby girl will turn one year old this October. October is full of birthdays, and birthdays mean life to me. I love birthdays most of the time! I mean seriously…there’s cake and ice cream, what’s not to love?! My daughter’s birthdays are always bittersweet for me. I am SO thankful that God has given me these children, but their birthdays are a reminder of how fast the years have gone. I look at my girls in awe of who they are, and with a little lump in my throat at the thought of how fast their lives have gone by. It’s true what they say, the days are long, but the years are short. I can hardly believe that my youngest baby turns one soon. At times it still feels like she was nothing more than a … Read More

I’m Not The Best Mom Ever

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, MotherhoodLeave a Comment

I sat down with my oldest daughter and asked her to help me prepare my blog this week. She didn’t know what my subject was, or how I would even use her response, I simply asked her if she would answer a series of questions for me and she agreed. I asked her to grab a pencil and a piece of paper and then I proceeded to asked her my list of questions. I had no idea how she would answer, and honestly, even asking her the questions made me nervous. Even though I’ve been her mom for 11 years, I still don’t feel cut out for this. I have no idea what I’m doing most days, and once I feel like I have finally mastered a season of life, the seasons change and we’re onto something new. As the next kid approaches the season we’ve just endured, it’s like starting from scratch. Different kids bring different versions of seasons. Some kids are like mild winters where the roads are manageable and the temperatures are tolerable. Other kids are like blizzards in Antarctica with white out conditions, hypothermia, and frostbite. You’re not certain how you’ll survive, or if you even … Read More

My Spiritual Gift Didn’t Make The Cut

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, MotherhoodLeave a Comment

I have written many blogs over the last year and a half, on behalf of Alaska Christian Women’s Ministry, and although I have poured my heart out in this blog, week after week, I feel like my writings are just a very small sliver of who I really am.  I have shared about my heartaches and my trials, I have shared about my greatest losses, and my biggest blessings. I have written about my trust issues, and what God has been teaching me, but I feel like I haven’t  let you in on who I REALLY am.  I know what you’re thinking… “Oh my word, what now? Is she a witch or something?”  But my friends, today you’re in for a treat! You’ll be glad I came clean about who I really am.  (If you listened to the radio interview last week on the Living Well radio show, you might know where this is headed.) I know that the Bible is true and complete, but I have to be honest…I think I have one of those spiritual gifts that just didn’t quite make the cut. I don’t know if it seemed inappropriate at the time to write down the spiritual gift of “making people … Read More

The right to remain silent

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, MotherhoodLeave a Comment

For those of you who follow my blog posts regularly, you may have noticed that last week I posted a previous blog, rather than writing a new post. I was suffering a bit from writers block, and more-so from a bad attitude. I sat down to write several times and felt like I had nothing beneficial to offer, so ultimately I decided it was best to say nothing at all. Last week was frustrating for a number of reasons. My body hurts, I’m very eager to be done with my pregnancy and holding my baby, customers at work weren’t exactly kind and I dwelled on those things a whole lot more than I should have.  “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Philippians 4:8 NKJV I was doing the complete opposite of that. I was thinking of whatever was inconvenient, whatever was discouraging, whatever was frustrating, whatever hurt my feelings, whatever left me feeling impatient and those were the things that were consuming me. It’s … Read More

When God Asks You To Do Difficult Things

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, MotherhoodLeave a Comment

Why is it, that God rarely asks us to do things that are easy? I mean, wouldn’t it be great if my conversations with God sounded something like this: “Rosalynn, eat 3 donuts before you get to work today…”  “Easy peasy Lord, challenge accepted.”“Rosalynn, sing some crazy song you made up off of the top of your head just to make your co-workers laugh.” “Sure thing Lord…you drop the beat, I’ll get the lyrics…”Instead it’s more like:“Rosalynn I want you to face difficult things in ministry that scare you to death and will make you cry..”“Uhhhh…Hold that thought, God…”“No worries my daughter, I’ve got time…”God works in mysterious ways, doesn’t He?! One thing you may not know about me is, that I volunteer in the youth department at my church. Every Sunday I spend an hour with 6th grade girls, trying to make an impact on their lives, the best I can with one hour a week. (And that’s if they come every week.) I’m not the only teacher in our class, so the other teachers and I take turns pouring into the hearts of these girls each week, praying that God will somehow make the most of the limited time we … Read More

When You are Bone TIRED

Carol DunfeeFaith, Motherhood, TrialsLeave a Comment

I’m tired. A new school year has brought a new routine, challenges, and many adjustments. I feel so inadequate for all the responsibilities laid before me. I see needs, but feel incompetent to meet them. I have tried to cut back on unnecessary demands, but so many others creep in. I don’t have enough of my own strength to be a good wife. I do not have the wisdom to meet my children’s needs. I lack the energy to manage homework, chores, AND bonding time with the kids. Frankly, there is not enough of me to go around. Finally, I am where God wants me. The apostle Paul experienced weakness, exhaustion, and inadequacy, too. He had a physical ailment that plagued him day after day. He begged God to remove it. God did not answer quite as he expected… “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, … Read More

What I Wish My Daughter Knew About Middle School

Carol DunfeeMotherhoodLeave a Comment

Our sweet baby girl just started seventh grade. Just yesterday, she was an bubbly chatterbox who celebrated carrying a lunch box to first grade.  Just yesterday, she cried about the tortures of writing multiplication tables in third grade.  Just yesterday, she jumped for joy over a first place science fair ribbon. Now, she is in junior high. Some call it middle school. Whatever its name, it brings terror to the hearts of parents across the country. Why? Because it is the hardest 2-3 years in school life. These children have maturing bodies and immature brains. They are experiencing a new social structure. Their hormones are awakening. Yet we expect them to act responsible, finish their homework, and find good friends. This volatile combination is freeing, confusing, thrilling, and terrifying all at once. Here is what I wish she REALLY knew about junior high… It’s all smoke and mirrors. The status symbols that thrust some into popularity limelight are pretty worthless in the real world. Life is not about who has the latest iPhone or coolest apps. After all, they won’t get you a job or help you manage adulthood. The latest styles are soon forgotten…and even laughed at. (Remember the … Read More

Calculators, Kids, and Complications

Jen CudmoreFaith, Motherhood, Prayer & FastingLeave a Comment

“Kids are a complication.” That’s what the pastor said. Right before I whipped out my Mama Bear claws. But then I paused, because the way he explained it caught my attention. I was puzzled when he said complications are not actually bad. I had always defined complications as being negative, but he made me see that they can actually be positive, too. Like when we went to Disneyland and had to wait for an hour for the ticket counter to find our reservations. For our trouble, we were given several passes that let us skip lines, making our visit to the adventure park much better! I realized that what had complicated my day had become a blessing. But at first it felt like a problem. Taking care of children means that moms have to give up time, money, and energy. A lot of it.  Kids are loud. (You can’t talk on the phone when they are in the room because you can’t hear the other person. What’s an ‘inside voice’, anyway?) Kids make messes. (Items dropped all over the house, drinks spilled in your car, rotting food in the bottom of backpacks. Gross!) Kids interrupt. (Your conversation. Your book. Your … Read More

When the Mom-Seasons Change

Carol DunfeeMotherhoodLeave a Comment

For over twelve years, I have a had at least one child at my side for all waking hours. The kids and I have graduated from diapers and baby food to bicycles and musical instruments. Suddenly this week, I have experienced the odd silence that happens when all of the kids go to school. It was sad. It was freeing. It was lonely. It was empowering. Other moms are changing seasons, too. Some are taking children to college for the first time. Some are transitioning to home-school. Some are transitioning to public school. No matter what the change of season brings, these transitions can be hard for us moms. Our children are born moving away from us. First they breathe on their own; then they walk, eat, run, and play on their own. Each year of their lives moves them further and further away from their dependence on their mommies. Yes, it brings us tears, but this process of separation is a good thing designed by God. I am just beginning this new stage of motherhood. Like many moms, I am just starting to figure out what this new season might bring. Here are some thoughts that have gotten me … Read More