Category Archives: Marriage and Family

Hope for the Weary Momma

Matters

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It was 2:30am and I was still awake cleaning my house. I had gotten sick so my normal pickup and decluttering got neglected. I knew that unless I sacrificed some sleep, the to-do-to list would just pile up even more. So despite having to be to work at 8:30 the next morning, I kept going until it was finished. Or so I thought….

It seems like every time I check one thing off of my list 2 or 3 more things pile back on. I’m never done. I’ve got a child to keep alive and a house to keep decent. Between cooking, cleaning, nurturing, and picking up after everyone I am left with little time to do things for myself. I can’t tell you how many times I haven’t sat down and relaxed on the couch until 9pm or later.

I’ve had moments of frustration and anger. Moments when I just wanted to run away because I didn’t want to be a wife or a mom. I’ve felt exhausted and overwhelmed. I’ve thought like I can’t live up to what I am supposed to be. And you know what…. I’m pretty sure I am not the only woman who’s felt this way.

We are woman
Nurturers
Care Givers and a fighters.

Our armor consists of baggy eyes, spit up, and cold coffee in our cups. We fight hard for our people because we desperately want what is best for them. We sacrifice  for those we care about and will do anything to make them happy. We love hard and oftentimes, that means pushing our desires to the side.

We complete the task ahead of us and the bags under our eyes don’t define who we are as a wives or a moms. What we do matters and it is appreciated. We will love our people hard and give them our because that’s what the Lord does for us.

Momma, I see you. I see those dirty dishes on the counter and that basket full of laundry. I see the living room that keeps getting messed up even though you’ve picked it up like 20 times in the last hour. I see those dark circles and that extra big cup of cold coffee. I see the weariness and I wish I could hug you and tell you that it’s okay. Fighting is hard work. 

Keep goin’ momma. What you do matters even if you don’t see it and don’t feel appreciated. It’s totally cool to choose sleep over that shower for the second day in a row. You gotta do what you gotta do.

Find joy in that mundane to-do list and don’t forget to ask God for energy. Love your people hard and hold them close. God sees your sacrifices and uses it. You are doing great.

~ Lovelle ❤

Chaos Ain’t Got Nothing On God

Chaos

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I sat in the parking lot of my local Walmart and listened to rain drops pelt the roof of my car while my baby chattered in her carseat behind me. I tried not to dread what I was about to face outside and gave myself a mental pep-talk that looks a little something like this:

“Girl, you CAN take this kid into the store. That rain ain’t got nothing on your bad-self. That half and half you need for that recipe is only like 2 minutes away and it’s gonna taste soooooo good. A little rain is good for the soul. You got this!”

I took a sip of the Dunkin’ Donuts coffee I got myself for motivation and got out of my car so I could take on Walmart like a boss. Should be easy right? I only needed one thing. My kid was in what seemed like a reasonably good mood and it was an in-and-out job.

Said no mom ever…

I get my recently changed kid out of the tangled up car seat and place her on my hip. I speed walk into the store and realize my hip feels really wet. Maybe the rain got underneath my umbrella and child’s legs?? NOPE!

My kid decided to have the biggest blowout of her life right in the middle of the Walmart isle. I grab my half and half and dash to the register. The sooner I checked out meant the sooner I could get to the diaper bag that I had mistakenly left in the car.

We get to the car and I think it’s pretty straight forward. Pee isn’t that hard to clean up right? Lies… All lies… It wasn’t pee. It was diarrhea. Stinky, gross, get all over the seat of the car diarrhea. Oh, and I also forgot an extra change of clothes.

I began to take of her clothes in the pouring rain while the umbrella kept trying to escape. The whole time my kid just screamed at the top of her lungs. To be expected, water, nakedness, diarrhea, and little room to move don’t really make a person very happy. Especially not a tiny one.

I get her changed, and wipe all the poop off of the seat. (thank you Jesus for leather seats) I calm her down and strap her naked self into the car seat. Then I climb into the car and take a deep breath. I made it.

I think to myself, “I definitely earned this coffee” and take a big swig. We make it home and of course my daughter poops again. Lucky for me my husband got home just in time to change it. Our wonderful Lord answers prayer.

The whole point of this hilarious real-life story is to remind you that our God is good and faithful in our chaos. He turns our hardship into laughs and most importantly, He cares. Even when we want to pull our hair out and throw up our hands in frustration.

Whatever you are going through today. Whether you are doing 5 loads of laundry, cooking, and cleaning, while trying to keep a human alive or studying for 10 exams because college is no joke. God’s got this. He’s in the midst of the stress and there is no problem too big or too small.

P.S. to all those moms who grocery shop with children all by yourself on the regular. I lift up my Dunkin’ and solute you.

~ Lovelle ❤

 

Setting Aside Your Dream

Season-1 final

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One year ago my life changed forever when I saw the faint pink line on the pregnancy test. Since I had graduated college only 6 months earlier, being a stay at home mom had never even crossed my mind. I’d worked 5 years to obtain that expensive piece of paper. Surely, I’d use it right? Wrong.

I’m hanging out with my friends at God-Sized Dreams today. I’d love it if you would join me.

 

He Knows What’s Best For Me

Mantra-1

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At only 3 months old my daughter is a pretty determined and stubborn kid. She also has this talent of downing a bottle in like 3 seconds. When the bottle is empty she still keeps trying to suck that liquid gold out, and heaven forbid you take the bottle away if she hasn’t unlatched.

She’ll get mad and start screaming. She doesn’t realize that sucking on the bottle with only air coming out will give her a tummy ache and hurt her. She’s blind to the consequences but her dad and I are not.

I relate to my daughter so much because like her, I tend to be pretty controlling. I want every detail of my life drawn out with every step carefully plotted. Maybe even with a contract attached to it that says in big bold letters, NOT SUBJECT TO CHANGE.  I am unaware of the consequences and I tend to forget that in reality, my life belongs to God.

Like my daughter holding onto that bottle, I tend to hold onto the plans I’ve made and then I get upset when God changes them. I tend to forget how much pain I cause myself when I try to take matters into my own hands.

This past year God has changed all of the carefully drawn out plans I have made. Let me clarify… He didn’t rearrange them or tweak them a bit. He spun them 180 degrees, flipped them upside down, ripped up the contract, and dropped the ones I had made off the face of the earth. I handled the change about like my daughter. Maybe even a little worse. I walked into the new and unexpected season kicking and screaming.

My God loved me through my stubbornness. He wasn’t impatient or mad. He simply held me close and taught me a lot. When I mourned the life I wanted and walked into motherhood afraid of the unknown, He gave me peace and reminded me that everything was going to be okay.

I will never know what pain may lie ahead due to my carefully drawn out plans because God did what He knew was best. He guided my life the way He wanted because that’s what a parent does. My daughter is the gift I never knew I needed.

Motherhood is hard and scary. There’s times I am so overjoyed at her growth and theres times when I want to pull my hair out. I’d be lying if I said that at times I didn’t struggle with staying home. In those moments, I seek God and trust that He will give me the peace I need. Over and over again, I find myself saying, “Where you have me is enough.” I am learning to give up control and seek God before even making plans.

This is my new mantra: Lord, help me approach life with the confidence that You know what’s best for me.

~ Lovelle ❤

P.S. I’m doing this new thing called #soulseedsaturday. It’s a little bit of encouragement for your soul while you take on life like a boss. If there’s a specific topic that you could use some encouragement, I’d love to hear about it! You can post it in the comments or contact me here.

P.P.S. I am booking speaking engagements for 2018. I know right??? It’s here already! If you’d like me to come speak at your event or church click on over here and I’ll prayerfully consider your request.

 

The Gift of Family

adopt

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I had just moved into a new town and was about to start my freshman year of college. I was in-between jobs due to the move and had used up all my savings on bills. My first paycheck was about to come in so I was holding out hope that my gas tank would last a few more days until it could be filled.

Most cars tell you when you are low on gas. I didn’t realize that my ghetto 1993 Chevy Cavalier didn’t so I found myself stranded on the highway completely out of gas with no one to call.

This is what it’s like to be an orphan. There’s no parents to give you a couple bucks to tide you over. No place to crash rent free with a full fridge. No extra car to borrow if yours breaks down. No place to go on holidays, and certainly no one to celebrate achievements with.

You learn to fend for yourself and plan for everything. At the age of 18 years old I knew how to change my oil and the breaks in my car. At one point the antifreeze container broke so I went to the salvage yard to pick up a new one and borrowed someones tools to change it out myself.  You are constantly on edge and questioning everyones motive because as much as you hate to admit it- you are vulnerable and you can be easily manipulated.

I want you to take a second and think about all the things your parents do for you. Think about everything they taught you. Now take all that out of the equation. That was my life. I learned what I could and did my best to survive.

November is National Adoption Month. I am so lucky to have a support group when there are still many who don’t. There aren’t enough words I can use to express my gratitude towards God and His faithfulness. He gave me parents at the age of 21. The past 3 years have been so wonderful. I may be a little bias but I think I have the best parents in the world.

If I need any help they are only a phone call away. No more being broke down with no one to call. No more having to know anything and everything about my car. I enjoy holidays and look forward to spending them with my parents instead of working. I don’t even have to air up my tires anymore. There’s so much freedom that comes with knowing and utilizing support.

This holiday season I am going to sit with my family and thank God for all He has done. I am going to watch my little girl experience the holidays for the first time and smile knowing her life will look way different than mine. I’ll hug her close and thank God for the gift of family.

~ Lovelle ❤

P.S. Today’s my mom’s birthday! She really wants 40 little girls in poverty to grow up to be fiercehearted women. She’s teaming up with compassion and would love for you to team up with her too! You should head on over to her website and say happy birthday. If you feel led, maybe even sponsor a kiddo. 🙂

 

Here I am Lord Use Me

Use Me

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Two girls sit down on the couch with a cup of coffee and reminisce about life. They talk about how they both expected to be in completely different places. Both equally determined and hard working individuals who are in completely different life stages. So different, yet so similar. They relate to one another and acknowledge that a healing cup of coffee and the simple words, “This isn’t where I wanted to be” is good for the soul.

One girl is married with a child on the way. The last day at her “job” is only a few short days away. Never in a million years did this girl expect to be a stay at home mom. She loved working outside of the home and still has that desire but in this season, it isn’t financially possible. The thought of working to pay for daycare and missing out on all of her child’s milestones just isn’t worth it to her, and it isn’t what God has called her to do. 

The other girl is single and is a blessing to everyone she she comes into contact with. She has a heart for others and a strong desire for community. Her Friday evenings are typically spent socializing with friends, unlike the married woman who typically stays at home watching Netflix with her husband. She thought she would be married by now with one or two kids. Instead she’s single. Even though she’s pretty social, that longing for a husband still pops up every once in a while and sometimes it’s hard to ignore. Even in the middle of a social engagement.

Two girls with polar opposite lives and yet, they still manage to be close friends. They both thought they would be walking in the other persons shoes. They lift their coffee cup up to heaven and say confidently, “Where you have me right now is enough.” They refuse to believe the lie that each other’s “job” or stage of life is more important. Titles mean nothing in the kingdom of heaven. Instead they refill their cups and hug each other. They talk about God’s faithfulness in their lives and are reminded that He will continue to be just as faithful.

Life is full of bittersweet seasons. You know, the ones where you are excited for what’s ahead but sad that it didn’t look the way you wanted. Maybe you’re even scared and afraid that you aren’t qualified to do the task God has asked you to do. I’m learning that it’s okay to feel that way sometimes. It doesn’t make me a horrible person and it doesn’t mean I love God any less.

This I do know: The Lord is faithful and His plans for our lives are better than we can ever imagine. In the moments of confusion, happiness, and even when I feel sad because something didn’t go the way I thought it would I will find a friend, grab a cup of coffee, and confidently say, “Here I am Lord use me.” 

~ Lovelle ❤

#MomFails Don’t Disqualify Me

HeIsStrong

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It’s 4 in the morning and there is no hiding the bags under my eyes. After dealing with a child that was screaming her head off all night I just couldn’t take it anymore. In fact, her screaming was about to cause me to scream.

I was  angry because I couldn’t understand her needs. I was upset because I felt like I just wasn’t cut out for this whole mom gig. I felt guilty because in that moment, I was wondering if there was a return policy…

It didn’t matter how many times I googled, “reasons a one week old cries” I couldn’t seem to find an answer that would help my daughter calm down. So… I gave up. I promptly laid my child down in her crib, turned on the video monitor while making sure it was on mute, closed the nursery door, and went to our bedroom to wake up my husband. “I just can’t do it” I told him as I shook him awake. “You deal with it.”

He got up and went to console our daughter who was screaming bloody murder at this point and he closed the bedroom door. I covered my ears because I just couldn’t take the crying anymore. The moment I heard that door click I just lost it. I screamed into my pillow and cried about as much as my daughter was crying in the other room.

As I look back I can’t help but laugh. My poor husband woke up to not one, but two crying girls and let me just say, he handled it like a champ. In that moment though, there was absolutely no laughter involved. Just guilt because the adversary loves to hit us in our weak moments.

For some silly reason I thought that putting my daughter down meant that I had abandoned her. I associated seeking help with failure. I didn’t realize how quickly the adversary would fill my head with lies. I guess I thought there would be a week or 2 of peace before the battle??? I was wrong, completely naive, and not prepared at all.

In my weakness the Lord is strong (2 Cor. 12:9-10). As I step into motherhood this verse has a whole new meaning. I’m learning to look at my #momfails with grace.

  • Putting my 3 week old down while she’s screaming will not cause her to be emotionally scarred.
  • Accidentally hitting her head lightly on the faucet while attempting to put her in her bathtub is not abuse. It was an accident. She will be okay.
  • No, I am not my biological parents. My child is so loved and with God’s help, despite my many #momfails (and more to come), my child will turn out okay.

So… Where do I go from here? Well, I’ll start off by treating myself to a pumpkin spice latte since I’ve successfully kept my daughter alive for 3 and a half weeks. Those little successes in life matter too. Then I’ll keep holding on to God’s truth.

I’ll make sure to remember that in my weakness, the Lord is strong. When the Adversary tries to feed me lies, i’ll quiet my spirit and listen real close for God to whisper his truths deep into my heart. In your moments of failure my prayer is that you do the same.

~ Lovelle ❤