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

Rosalynn LasleyMotherhoodLeave a Comment

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, MotherhoodLeave a Comment

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 OlsonMotherhoodLeave a Comment

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, MotherhoodLeave a Comment

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, MotherhoodLeave a Comment

 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, MotherhoodLeave a Comment

“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, MotherhoodLeave a Comment

“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 CudmoreMotherhoodLeave a Comment

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

Nudged by the Shepherd

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, MotherhoodLeave a Comment

Last night I couldn’t sleep. That alone seems strange to me, considering I have a newborn baby, and I’m utterly exhausted. I spent a majority of my day looking forward to when I could finally collapse into bed for the night, but when that time finally came, I was restless.  My entire family was sound asleep, and had been for a while, but not me. My mind was too busy, and my heart a little discontent to sleep. I thought about how tired I was going to be if I didn’t hurry up and get to sleep before the baby was up again, but that only made matters worse.  I thought about that idea of counting sheep when you can’t sleep, and that’s when I felt the nudge from the Shepherd.  In a last ditch effort to calm my restless heart I prayed. I laid there and talked with God for who knows how long, and before I knew it, my heart was calm. I talked to him about what was causing me to be restless, I talked to him about my family. I lifted up things friends had asked me to pray about, and I even found an unusual … Read More

Dumping the Mommy Guilt

Carol DunfeeMotherhoodLeave a Comment

The mommy phase of life is hard. The retching sound that wakes you up at midnight engages your sympathetic gag reflex. The child who cannot hear “clean your room”, but can hear “ice cream” a mile away, may try your patience. The tenth un-flushed toilet in two hours just might send you over the edge. The 3:30 announcement of a 6:30 concert makes you throw all other plans out the window. It is hard enough to keep kids clothed, fed, clean, and healthy. Then we have to make sure they get a good education and develop their talents. Already, we are talking about a full-time endeavor! Only that’s not enough. We try to make it even harder! We feel pressure to make each birthday memorable enough for a scrapbook. We feel negligent if we don’t have our child engaged in sports and music. We feel jealous of the fairy-tale bedrooms in our Pinterest feed. We feel guilty for not taking them on exciting vacations every year. We think our kids need all these extra things, but the budget won’t support them. So we take on extra work or extra debt to provide them. Only then we feel guilty for not … Read More

Why Every Family Must Get Away

Jen CudmoreMarriage, MotherhoodLeave a Comment

It’s that time of year when many people leave town. Last summer my husband and I planned an amazing vacation where we took our children on a road trip through three states. Although we were exhausted from the busy activities, we’re so glad we made the sacrifice to go. Because time away from home is essential for families. But why? Does it really matter? Should it really be a priority to get away? When I was growing up, my family was poor. We didn’t have electricity or running water, and all wore hand-me-down clothes. Yet my mother always made sure we took little adventures such as tent camping or huckleberry picking. Although we never went more than a couple hours’ drive from home, I look back on my childhood with fondness rather than disappointment because of times like those. For a little while, I could forget about my troubles and just enjoy myself. In those moments, life was good! It’s easy to make excuses as to why we can’t take a vacation, and sometimes we just don’t see the value. When I was first married, I really didn’t understand why taking trips was important, but now I’m glad my husband … Read More

Buried Treasure

Rosalynn LasleyMotherhoodLeave a Comment

When people speak of treasure, I often think of pirates.  Pirates are always on the hunt for treasure.  In movies you see them scour maps looking for buried treasure and I always wondered to myself, if people valued their treasure so much, why did they bury it? Wouldn’t they want to enjoy their treasure? I asked this question on my facebook the other day: “What would you say you treasure the most in this world?” a majority of the people who responded said their treasure is their family.  I would agree that my greatest treasure on this earth is my family.  If you would have asked me when I was a little girl what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would say “A wife, and a mom.” having a family has always been my greatest hope and dream.  The bible says to not store up treasures here on earth, but we ALL have something that is valuable beyond measure, something we treasure.  Maybe your treasure is your home, or your career.  Maybe your treasure is a pet, or a friendship.  Treasure doesn’t have to be something of monetary value, I think the greatest treasures are things that money can’t buy, … Read More

The First 5 Minutes: Why Our Mood Matters

Jen CudmoreMotherhoodLeave a Comment

As wives and moms, we have much influence over our family. We typically establish the mood in the home (or the car). And we have only a few minutes to set the tone.   Do you want to have pleasant interactions with your family? That first encounter – that first 5 minutes – is very important. Our family members will respond to our positive, affectionate manner just as much as our negative, busy, and frazzled manner. Here are some tips to create a peaceful, loving atmosphere.   Waking from Sleep:Be courteous when you wake your children, and be sure you’ve given them enough time to prepare for their day. Greeting them in their room is a matter of connecting with them and making them feel loved the moment they wake. Don’t holler into their bedroom–be present and personal. An alarm clock is impersonal no matter how old they are, which is why my husband, still prefers my voice to the blaring alarm. However, if your child wants an alarm clock to feel grown up and wishes you to stay away, then you may need to do it that way.How you handle each person will depend on  their personality and preferences, whether they are are morning … Read More

To My Youngest on his 5th Birthday

Jennifer BullardMotherhoodLeave a Comment

  It is a well known fact that I am going to cry on each and every one of my children’s birthdays.  So much so, that they begin to taunt me about it weeks before the actual date!  (Rotten children)  When my oldest son turned five, I cried off and on all day.  Five is something of a milestone.  You are no longer a baby, you are ready for school, ready to have a taste (!) of independence.  So as my youngest approaches his fifth birthday, I find myself saddened by how fast he is growing up and thoughtful about his future.  I thought that I should put down these thoughts for him.  Dear Oliver,As your fifth birthday is approaching, I wanted to share some things with you.  My memories, my hopes, and my prayers for you.  Someday you may need these words and someday I may need to remember saying them.  Your Father and I prayed for you.  As a family of three, we were happy, but we knew we needed you.  Your brother needed a sibling, and we needed someone for him to play with!  For nearly two years, we prayed for God to bless us with another baby.  … Read More

Power in the Blood!

Jennifer BullardMotherhoodLeave a Comment

Power in the Blood! I don’t know if it is a curse or a blessing. I guess it depends on the day or the way you look at it, but every single day of my life I wake up with a song in my head. Every. Single. Day. Some days it’s as fabulous as “The Lip” song by the Veggie Tales.  Sometimes it’s as thought provoking as Billy Joel’s “Only the Good Die Young”.  And sometimes I am pretty sure God is trying to tell me something.  That’s the way my oldest son’s last birthday went.  God can be pretty sneaky, you know? “There is power (power), wonder working power, in the blood (in the blood) of The Lamb”….was how my day started. A bit sarcastic to my core, I immediately thought of the mosquito meme from Facebook. (In case you haven’t seen it, It says, “I want to be so full of Jesus that when a mosquito bites me he flies away screaming “There’s power in the blood!” “) The meme stuck with me because mosquitos seriously seek me out for their feasts. If you see me out and I am in a long skirt, it has nothing to … Read More

When Entertainment is not “Christian”

Jen CudmoreMotherhoodLeave a Comment

When is it okay for a believer in Christ to participate in something that isn’t labeled as “Christian”? Scripture tells us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. (Phil 2:12) Temptations are different for every person because we’re all unique individuals. We must decide where to draw the line based on where we’re at in our spiritual journey. Where the line is drawn will be different for every person and family. Just because an item isn’t labeled “Christian” doesn’t mean we have to stay away from it. We certainly want to be about our Father’s business, but we must also make time to rest and relax. Yet we must be careful how much garbage we put into our minds, because one day we will have to give an account for our actions. Being constantly exposed to sinful behaviors does wear us down, making us numb and eventually more likely to participate in those activities. The enemy is subtle and can use items that seem harmless to draw us away from our faith. How many times have we used the phrase “It’s not that bad”?  Sometimes it’s easy to identify things that are detrimental and stay away from … Read More

A December Birthday

Carol DunfeeHoliday, MotherhoodLeave a Comment

Our youngest child, a boy, has his birthday this month. He was expected to be a January baby, but he gave us our best Christmas present ever when he arrived before Christmas.  Christmas was a little different that year.  On Christmas Eve, we drove forty miles to the new church we were helping with audio and music. It was in a small, picturesque business district of a small town. The church met in an old rented theater. The whole scene had the feel of a Norman Rockwell painting. In the service that night, my husband ran the sound board and our good friends led us in worship, while I sat in awe holding our newborn baby boy.  Suddenly I had the tiniest glimpse of what Mary might have felt on that first Christmas morning. The heartfelt music painted a picture in my mind. I could see Mary snuggling her newborn, sad to be away from her home, thankful for Joseph’s presence, and relieved at her baby’s safe delivery.  The baby I held was only human, but his sweetness took my breath away. Imagine how much more Mary must have felt, knowing that her sweet little baby was truly, perfectly God.  … Read More

What ARE We Teaching Our Kids?

Carol DunfeeMotherhoodLeave a Comment

A couple of years ago in our MOPS group, a guest speaker challenged us moms to decide what kind of adults we want our kids to be and to train them in that direction. Her words stuck with me. What DO I want for my kids? 4. I want them to be kind and loving.  3. I want them to be hardworking and responsible.  2. I want them to love Jesus and follow Him. 1. I want them to know first-hand the power available to them through the Holy Spirit.  I did not say that I want them to have many friends who make them feel comfortable and popular.  I did not say that I want them to win awards and recognition for their achievements.  I did not say that I want them to be faithful church-attenders who know how to follow rules, memorize Bible verses, and do all the socially acceptable churchy things.  I did not say that I want them to be able to state the proper doctrines of the Trinity, eschatology, atonement, etc.  BUT WAIT!!!!!  Which set of outcomes am I actually working towards??? What do they actually SEE me model? What do I reward? What do … Read More

Don’t Miss Out

Guest BloggerMotherhoodLeave a Comment

This is a special message MOMS need to hear: I don’t want to miss out on all who they are and who they’re becoming. Finding quality time with all four of them AND getting housework done AND meals prepared AND homeschooling them, all while loving my amazing husband, seems like a daunting task. Maybe one day I’ll crawl above the mess. But maybe I shouldn’t wish for that. Maybe just maybe I just need to relax, let time be what it is, enjoy these moments, live under GRACE, and accomplish what I accomplish. I know many of us feel the same way. The amazing thing is we’ve all been given gifts. Been gifted in different ways. It may be hard to see beyond the chaos to what those gifts are. But as we live life they come out. We all may not be the best housekeepers. Or the best cooks. Or organizers. We aren’t perfect mothers. We’re not the most amazing wives. But we are gifted. We are loved. We are made to live out to who we are. We have to look no further than to the one who has and will and does accomplishes all. Who did it … Read More