Love is More than a Feeling

Carol DunfeeFaith, Motherhood0 Comments

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 LasleyMotherhood0 Comments

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 & Fasting0 Comments

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, Motherhood0 Comments

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, Motherhood0 Comments

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, Motherhood0 Comments

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, Motherhood0 Comments

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, Trials0 Comments

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 DunfeeMotherhood0 Comments

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

Weary

Rosalynn LasleyMotherhood, Prayer & Fasting, Trials0 Comments

I’ve found myself a bit discouraged lately. Physically I’ve not been able to keep up with all that I’d like to. My house is decorated with baskets of laundry as far as the eye can see, there are half-finished projects everywhere, and yet I find myself on the couch or in bed early in the evening because my body just can’t keep up.  On top of that, the kids were sick last week (so I missed work during our busy season) and now I’m sick from taking care of them. This means more missed work, more to catch up on, and I’m weary. It’s discouraging when you can’t do it all. I’ve battled this discouragement for close to a year now. I had my accident at the end of December and that left me physically unable to do all that I wanted and needed to do. That left me relying on others to help with daily tasks (thank the Lord they were willing) and sometimes the battle of my physical capabilities and what I’d like to do leaves me discouraged.  Now I’m at the tail end of my pregnancy and as much as I’m trying to push through the aches … Read More

Calculators, Kids, and Complications

Jen CudmoreFaith, Motherhood, Prayer & Fasting0 Comments

“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 DunfeeMotherhood0 Comments

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

A love letter to my daughter on her first day of 6th grade

Rosalynn LasleyMotherhood0 Comments

Dear number one baby girl, It might seem strange to you, that I’m writing you a note on the internet rather than on paper, but the note on paper will probably get lost sometime over the course of your life. The Internet however, is forever. (Let that be lesson number one my love.) I’ll write to you here, so someday we can look back, and remember all that you’ve taught me, since you were a little girl only 11 years old.  As you started your first day of 6th grade (which is your last year of elementary school) I found myself struggling more now, that I did the day you started kindergarten.  How did the time go so fast?! It seems like it wasn’t all that long ago, I waddled my VERY pregnant self down the hallway to your kindergarten classroom, and your journey of elementary school began.  You were still an only child back then…that week is when God gave you, your first sister. What a big week that was! You have been the best big sister I have ever seen, and the way you love and care for your sisters makes me love you that much more. Your … Read More

Music, Laughter, and a Dash of Humility: Fusion 2016

Jen CudmoreFaith, Motherhood0 Comments

Humility comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. I learned that last weekend at Fusion Alaska, the statewide youth conference. My days started at 6am and ended about 10pm. I rose early to cook meals, pray over the event, and prep for my classes. I had errands to run. I had teens to feed and transport. I had normal responsibilities at home. As a mom, I can handle a little chaos. Sometimes, we even thrive on it! But this time I was far from thriving. I had developed a cold that made my head hurt, my throat sore and my body temperature constantly fluctuate. I was a mess, and my prayers for good health didn’t seem to penetrate God’s heart. I had no idea how I was going to make it through a 3-day conference. But I knew one thing – I wasn’t going to let the enemy win by quitting. I had to figure out how to make the most of it. Despite being terrified that I would make a fool of myself with my excessive sweating and hacking, I showed up. Stocked up on cough syrup and throat lozenges, I held my head high, kept my misery … Read More

Walking Into Deeper Waters

Sarah OlsonMotherhood0 Comments

You call me out upon the waters The great unknown where feet may fail And there I find You in the mystery In oceans deep My faith will stand… Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders Let me walk upon the waters Wherever You would call me Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander And my faith will be made stronger In the presence of my Savior ~ Portions of Oceans, by Hillsong Many of you don’t know me because it’s been a while since I have had the chance to write for this blog, but I am a momma in the making. I am almost 5 months pregnant with my first baby – a girl! Her name is Aspen. My heart’s been processing something for quite some time and I finally both have the time to write and a grasp on my heart to be able to write it out. The last time I sang the song Oceans, I found myself moved to tears. I also felt a deep, spiritual heaviness within my womb. I never realized just how strong a momma’s bond is to her child until now. When I sang those words, “… … Read More

Lessons in the Sleeping Bag Aisle

Carol DunfeeFaith, Motherhood0 Comments

All I needed was a sleeping bag. But there I stood in the camping aisle unable to even focus on what the options were. Three small treasures were bouncing up and down the aisle. “Look, Mom!! What about this one?” said one curious child. As soon as I touched a fabric sample, it was ripped out of my hands by another curious child. The third one had to point out all the sleeping bag prints he wanted, which of course didn’t match what his sisters wanted. Seriously. Choosing a sleeping bag shouldn’t be this hard. Except when you’ve lost half a night’s sleep for the fourth time in two weeks. Except when the amount of input attacking your brain is too much for its sleep-deprived state. Especially when you are the kind of girl who needs 8-9 hours a night to feel like a real person. Even more so when caffeine is not an option. Ugh. In the sleeping bag chaos, I thought back to a Facebook post Margaret Feinberg wrote on June 25. She said: “Years ago someone asked me, “What is the biggest thing that causes you to sin?” After thinking about it I came to the conclusion: … Read More

Dear Younger Me

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Motherhood0 Comments

 One of my favorite things to do is to think about how life has ended up for me.  I know I’m still young, and my story is still unfolding, but when I look back at how things have gone so far, it’s so different from what I had imagined it would be.    I love to think about times like before I fell in love with my husband, before I even liked him.  I love to think about how life has changed over the last 16 years.  I think about that young girl, the high school freshman who thought he was a total jerk.  I think it would be fun to whisper to her “you’re going to marry that guy someday…and have his babies.” I’m certain the look on my 14 year old face  would have been priceless. Every time I think of our love story I smile, and thank God that He had better plans for me than I could see for myself.  The funny thing is that before I started really getting to know my husband (back when he was just a guy in my P.E. class I wasn’t fond of) I had been praying about our life together.  I didn’t know it at … Read More

Review: Praying Circles Around Your Children by Mark Batterson

Jen CudmoreBook Review, Motherhood0 Comments

“You don’t become a praying parent by default. You do it by design, by desire, by discipline. Spiritual disciplines take sheer determination, but if you determine to circle your children in prayer, you will shape their destinies…” Mark Batterson Before my babies were born, I knew I had to develop a prayer plan to help shape their futures. Parenting is a big job and we can’t do it alone – we need God’s help. It can be physically and mentally exhausting some days, but God is bigger than our mistakes, and can guide us with His wisdom if we ask. I sought out books for help, and recently came across Praying Circles Around Your Children by Mark Batterson. Based off his best-selling book The Circle Maker, it’s fairly short but full of truths, and has plenty of powerful tools for parents to use. Mark also offers some great ideas for sharing your prayers with your children! Summary: Mark Batterson shares a perfect blend of biblical yet practical advice that will revolutionize your prayer life by giving you a new vocabulary and a new methodology. You’ll see how prayer is your secret weapon. Through stories of parents just like you, Batterson … Read More

Review: Your Girl by Vicki Courtney

Jen CudmoreBook Review, Motherhood0 Comments

“Our worldly culture is exposing our girls to situations they are not equipped to handle. They are being forced to grow up too fast.” Vicki Courtney I’ve been shocked more and more over the years with the amount of adult attitudes that little girls express, the physical attributes they copy, and the material items they possess. Why does an eight-year-old need a Facebook page (especially when the rule is age 13)? Why does a third-grader need an iPhone? Why does a sixth-grader need thong underwear? Because everyone else is doing it.  Because they want to emulate women they love. Because it makes them feel grown-up. But then what do they have to look forward to when they get older? I often felt a little lost as a parent, which is why I asked God to show me books that would provide good, Biblical advice. One author I absolutely love is Vicki Courtney. She has many books and Bible studies to help moms understand how to navigate raising children. In her book Your Girl, Raising A Godly Daughter in an Ungodly World, Vicki states “As mothers, we must accept the reality of current times and live in today’s world, all the … Read More

Mom vs. Mom

Jen CudmoreMotherhood0 Comments

Not long after my son was born, I overheard two young mothers from my church discussing another woman with a toddler. The conversation centered around potty training and how this woman had done it all wrong; she regularly took her son to the bathroom rather than letting him make the decision on his own. What I learned from that discussion: I’d best do everything right as a mom because all the ladies in church would bad-mouth me behind my back if I didn’t, and I wanted them to approve of me. Isn’t this a struggle for most moms? Although at my bridal shower the pastor’s wife warned me to never compare myself to other women, I didn’t listen. I tried to live up to the standard of the “perfect Christian mom” I created in my head. I studied a lot of parenting resources provided by Christian organizations because I was determined to raise my kids right. And sadly, I judged other moms who failed to parent their kids the way I thought was best. Gradually, God showed me that my attitude was all wrong. He wanted me to give other women the freedom to make their own decisions, even when the choice didn’t seem right to me. Sometimes … Read More