“Confident Moms, Confident Daughters,” by Maria Furlough

“Confident Moms, Confident Daughters,” by Maria Furlough, caught my attention in the author bio. As a fellow mom of an eleven-year-old daughter, I knew the words Maria wrote were meant to help equip my heart. A tough age, in fact one that now has it’s own, “tween” category, is difficult for this mom …and I’m sure many others …to process. Maria offers advice that is soothing and encouraging, Biblical, and relatable. (I normally follow standard procedure and reference the author by their last name in reviews, and I mean no disrespect to this author by not doing so. It’s the highest compliment. I truly felt, and believe all of her readers will as well, as if I was talking to another mom over coffee about the desires of our hearts to raise our daughters to be confident in who and Whose they are.)

“Our bodies carry a purpose, they carry importance, and each part is uniquely equipped with a certain set of skills. May be focus on this. May we rest here until the thoughts stop coming that our bodies are only for looking at and shaping up.” Maria Furlough, “Confident Moms, Confident Daughters.” 

In twelve chapters, Maria enlists the expertise of a pediatrician, a nutritionist, and a Christian counselor to come alongside her in breaking down the root of our insecurities. Each chapter has a “Confident Mom Challenge,” “Confident Daughter Discussion Questions,” and “A Mom’s Prayer.” The prayers are heartfelt and powerful, as we know all prayer is. I personally love when an author reserves page space to incorporate prayer into the word count. “My prayer is that you will do your own digging and soul searching with this question in mind: What do I want my daughter to learn from my outward adornment’ choices and philosophies?” Maria asks her readers in Chapter 4, “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall.” 

I highly recommend this book to moms and caregivers of tweens. Its convicting, caring, and confidence building. 

(I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.)

Click here to purchase a copy of “Confident Moms, Confident Daughters.”

“M.O.M. Master Organizer of Mayhem, by Kristi Clover

“Motherhood adds a new dimension to the difficulty of staying organized,” Kristi Clover, “M.O.M. Master Organizer of Mayhem.” 

I picked up the this book September, which has seemed to trump May in mayhem! At just the right time, able to catch my breath in the car pick-up line, Kristi’s tips and the tone were spot on! Coming out of the business of summertime into the schedule crunching fall requires a tactful approach to save some sanity. Clover’s three phases: The Foundation, The Framework, and The Finishing Touches, walk readers through a manageable way to streamline family life. 

Clover offers Toolbox Tips throughout the book. “I always completely empty the garage when I’m cleaning it out,” she advises in one tip, “I sort things as I take them out oath garage, so I’m not having to move things twice.” The “Unlocking Joy” sections at the end of the chapter help readers apply the advice to everyday life. “Emotions can often cloud our judgement,” Clover writes in Chapter 5, titled “Clear the Clutter.” 

This book is an easy and enjoyable read, delivering on what it promises to do …organize the mayhem. Yet, readers are not challenged to reach a standard of perfection. Rather, encouraged to find the right functional balance for their family. From “The Power of Routines and Habits,” to “Organization and Meal Planning,” the chapters are each intriguing on their own and yet flow nicely into “unlocking joy” each step of the way though the book. I highly recommend this to moms and caregivers!

(I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.)

Click here to purchase a copy of M.O.M. Master Organizer of Mayhem.

“Grumpy Mom Takes a Holiday,” Valerie Woerner

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in  me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” Psalm 139:23-24

This is a prayer I pray daily. Motherhood, like nothing else, catapulted me into a massive growth spurt in my faith. I had no choice but to cling to Him as I learned …and am still learning …how to be the mother He wills me to be for the lives He’s entrusted in my care. 

This book comes alongside mothers looking to accomplish the same feat. It’s an ongoing process, and the author’s humor and Biblical knowledge fill the pages of this book with laughter and tears. 

The book is broken up into five parts, “Surrender,” “Replenish,” “Develop,” “Connect,” and “Thrive.” Chapter 7, “On Empty, Say Hello to More Energy,” and Chapter 8, “What’s Next Papa? Say Hello to More Joy,” resonated with me the most. No matter what book I am reading, God always finds a way to speak straight to my heart, and He did so in this Chapters. 

“Grumpy Mom Takes a Holiday” will be a refreshing read for any momma seeking reassurance from the Father that she was made to raise her kids. It can be so overwhelming, and Woerner let’s us know that it’s OK to feel and talk about how overwhelming it all really is!!!

“We don’t default to joy. We have to fight for it. Scripture gives us a rather surprising command about joy: ‘Always be joyful.’ (1 Thessalonians 5:16) “

Click here to purchase your copy of “Grumpy Mom Takes a Holiday.”

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Rip it Off …Love While Healing.

Motherhood is like ripping band-aids off before the wounds have scabbed over. My hurts are exposed before they’ve healed. Before my kids started to grow up and experience deeper hurts, I could leave mine safely covered by the bandaids. While they remained covered and healing, I played in the park and participated in back yard picnics. I strolled down to the water and all over town to explore everything new alongside their innocent souls. 

The Bible says that children are a sign of God’s blessing. My life is living proof.

“Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.” Psalm 127:3 NLT

In ancient times, children represented more than just a possession, as inferred in this verse. They represented heritage, “without children the inheritance of the land would be lost.” (NIV Study Bible Notes.) Our job as parents is to set them on the right path, and keep them on it or as close to it as we can …but the final decision on their direction is up to them. 

My kids didn’t know me before them, or see how becoming the mom they needed me to be pulled me out of a dark season, set me back on my feet and renewed my faith. They were indeed a “more than I could ever ask for or imagine” blessing that I didn’t deserve.

I can no longer hide the places the darkness has touched behind picnics and park playdates. Now, my mistakes have the power to protect my daughters if I cut them in on the healing. The Bible says to be wise we have to share our mistakes in hopes our children are less apt to repeat them. 

“My children, listen when your father corrects you. Pay attention and learn good judgement, for I am giving you good guidance. Don’t turn away from my instructions. For, I, too was once my father’s son, tenderly loved as my mother’s child.” Proverbs 4:1-3

This is Solomon, one of the wisest people ever to live, advising his son not to repeat his mistakes. Parent from a place of compassion.

“You’re going to make mistakes,” I told my daughter during one of our after school hear to hearts, “and sometimes things just happen to you.” 

She looked at me as if I couldn’t possibly understand what that was like, so I ripped off a band-aid.

“I don’t like to think about it,” I continued, “but it’s hard to forget.” 

I know all too well how one mistake can taint years of hard work. The pain of loss …the shattering hurt of a broken heart …and the failure to prepare that derails dreams. I’ve lived through everything crumbling. I watched 9/11 happen on live TV. I know what it feels like to travel down a road approved by everyone else …but me …and certainly not God. I’ve been the victim unfair circumstances. I know what it feels like to turn on my heels and run, dig a hole too deep to climb out of, and crawl back to Christ.

In the ten steps it took my daughter her to cross the room, her tears transformed from anger to empathy, loneliness to loved, ashamed to understood.

In the midst of my beautiful mess, God showed me who He made. I’m very careful not to glorify, excuse or leave out the painful consequences of my choices. Nor the unfair kind of pain we suffer from at the hand of someone or something else. As time marches on, mom becomes a little more human. It’s hard for my daughters to believe I could ever be anyone but who they perceive me to be …but it’s crucial they understand who I am. I’m never ready to rip off a band-aid, but I persevere so my kids have a choice to escape the some wounds, and reconcile why others happen to them. Mother’s will do anything to protect their children.

“Why does God let us chose, Mom?” she asked.

“What if we didn’t have to?” I asked, “Or, get to?” 

God is good. He doesn’t need anything from us, but we need Him. When I am tempted to go back and re-defeat myself over a season that God has proclaimed victorious He reminds me, “you are the same girl I have always loved.” 

We are so tempted to equate our worth to our actions, mistakes and accomplishments. Walking with Christ inspires us to do better, but we will never outgrow mistakes and consequences, nor outrun pain and suffering, this side of heaven. 

His love for us never changes. Just like I will never see my daughters or love them less because of mistakes, who we are to Him doesn’t change. What a gift in perspective, motherhood is. 

Happy Healing, Megs 🙂

Megs

The Mom (#jammed daily devo, day 354)

December #jammed: Grace, gifted.

Day 354: Aim for average.

Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. Luke 2:29 NLT

Motherhood is ridiculous. It completely changes us from the inside out. The outside DECJAM20starts falling a part, and the inside grows more rapidly than our emotions can keep up with. Every concern about what society wants to squeeze the outside of us into disappears when the inside catches a glance of the reason(s) we’re able to claim motherhood to begin with.

Imagine the lessons Mary learned as the mother of the Son of God. She was still just a mom! A very special person, but just a mom. A faithful servant, chosen by God. She just said, “OK” to her God. Few of us know exactly how much children will change us until they get here. I can’t imagine Mary knew the grand scope of the way her heart would be moved by heaven from the manger to the cross.

The most important part of motherhood is being there, and she was. From His birth to His death on the cross …from one pendulum of pain to another, she was there. How was she there for Jesus? Just like we are there for our children. God purposely places our children in our care.

Do we, as mothers, know how much like Mary we are?

By simply saying, “OK” to God, each day of motherhood, we are honoring Him and guiding them to His feet.

click to tweet graph, dec jammed

Father, Praise You for Mary, and the wonderful example of Motherhood she gives us. Thank You for motherhood. Forgive us for allowing ourselves to drown in the sheer hardship of if, and embrace the purpose that You laid in us. Bless us to guide our children to Your feet, and to teach them to listen to Your voice over all others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Stepping,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80.