Brittany Rust

Tuning into God's Voice in Motherhood

By Brittany Rust

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Washers and dryers running. Kids yelling as they chase each other around the house. Hungry baby cries. The inner to-do list for the day running through your mind. There’s no shortage of noise in the life of a mom. And that’s just the practical. You might also struggle with cultural distractions to mother with a certain finesse and play supermom. Comparison, fear, doubt, and insecurity clamor for your attention. You’re bombarded with voices all the time—and it can be both overwhelming and exhausting.

Elijah was bombarded with great acts that many assume God would be in. Yet, God wasn’t in the fire or wind—He was in the gentle whisper.

And he said, ‘Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.’ And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’
— 1 Kings 19:11-13
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In motherhood, it’s easy to be distracted by all the things. However, it’s never more important than in parenting to silence the noises and tune into one: His. It’s this intimate connection that gives you strength when you are weak. That gives you the tools to parent in grace. That sustains you in the exhaustion and discouragement. And it’s this connection that leads you in wisdom when it comes to discipling or correcting or leading your child. It’s vital to your role as a mother.

So, how do you tune into God’s voice and push away all the others? They are practical and may seem obvious, but these three practices are foundational to hearing His voice.

How to hear God’s voice

1.Read the Bible.

The Bible is God’s only definitive word we have and by reading it, you can learn about His character, discover what He cares about, and uncover His revealed will for your life. There is no doubt that if you aren’t in Scripture, you will have a hard time hearing from Him.

Even is it’s a few verses at a time, try to get something in you each day. This will help you in hearing from Him and lend to you flourishing in parenthood.

I know when you’re chasing kids around it can be a challenge to carve out a devotional time but it’s also the single most important thing you can do each day. If you’re not in His Word to be refreshed, you’ll start operating out of your own strength and in that limitation, struggle in your parenting. You need Jesus! And your kids will be better off with a mama who prioritizes her spiritual walk with the Lord.

2. Pray.

Regular communication is necessary for any healthy relationship and it’s no different in your relationship with God. Conversation helps to know one’s voice. When you take time to communicate with God regularly, and listen in return, you will be cultivating an ear for His voice.

3. Practice.

If you feel the smallest inkling to step out and act, do it. Put your faith into action. By practice, you will learn what is and isn’t God’s voice. Maybe you step out and find it wasn’t God’s voice—that’s okay. In that experience you’ll learn what isn’t God’s voice. You can learn from what worked and what didn’t work—and the more you practice, you’ll discern what God’s voice sounds like.

If you will start implementing these three practices in your daily routine, I am confident that you’ll cultivate a greater intimacy with God, learn to discern His voice, and have His guidance in the matters of motherhood.

** This blog is based on a portion of Brittany’s new book, Here I Am: Responding When God Calls Your Name. Grab your copy to further learn to discern His voice, how you can overcome doubt and fear, and learn how to step confidently into your calling.


Caring for Your Weary Family

By Brittany Rust

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Last week it was Memorial Day and the weather was finally nice, praise God! My husband and I decided to take a bike ride to a nearby park and enjoy the morning weather with our nearly two-year-old, Roman. We were having a wonderful time. That is, until, while sitting on Ryan’s lap down the slide, his little foot got caught between the zig zag in the slide and Ryan’s leg. The worst in my mama mind happened: Roman broke his leg.

Caring for a strong-willed, always on the go toddler with a leg cast is no easy task. It’s like having a newborn who is awake most of the day and constantly wants to be busy! I can’t leave the room, have carry him everywhere, and there’s little he can actually do.

Broken bones, pink eye, colds, and the stomach flu (just to name a few!) are all unfortunate events we experience in parenthood. Not to mention, some illnesses can take down a whole family for a week. Caring for a sick or injured child can be some of the most emotionally and physically exhausting days—taxing parents to the very brink of sanity.

Surviving When Your Kid is Sick or Injured

How do you navigate these difficult, weary days? Here are 5 thoughts to keep close when compromised health comes knocking.

1. Pray for the Fruits of the Spirit on the regular.

Kindness, patience, and self-control are just a few of the fruits you will desperately need when exhaustion kicks in. And exhaustion will likely kick in when health fails in your kid(s). They might be a little extra needy for you. Sleep might not come as easy for you or them. However it interferes with your daily life, exhaustion can lead to lack of patience and chip away at your flesh. Be diligent in inviting the Holy Spirit into your heart and home to produce fruit only He can produce. You’ll need them to make it through these tiresome seasons well.

2. Lean into His strength.

You might often find the end of your rope in these difficult times; your weaknesses become evident. But the wonderful refuge found in weakness is the endless strength God provides. When we are weak, He is strong. Turn to prayer often, confess your weakness, and ask for His unlimited strength to flood in.

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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
— 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

3. Take care of yourself.

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As a mom, it’s easy to neglect self-care. This can be especially true when sickness or injury knocks down your kid. But I would encourage you to find some outlet for self-care before you go crazy! It can be as simple enough as a hot bath and glass of wine at the end of long day. Perhaps it’s asking your husband for help (for those whom asking comes hard for). Maybe it’s napping when they rest instead of doing laundry or dishes. Honest truth: there are times when sleeping is one of the most spiritual things you can do. Remember, you are better for your kids when your heart is taken care of as well.

4. Be an extravagant giver and receiver of grace.

Being a giver of grace to your restless child may be hard at times. And receiving it when you get frustrated with their demands is necessary as well. Pray for grace in these hard times. Remember its incredible value. Just when you think you can’t do it anymore, pray for grace. He sure does love to extend it!

5. Remember, it’s only temporary.

And remember: all of this is temporary. It won’t last forever. Persevere through this trial as a light to your family. Show your kids and husband that perseverance is a godly and beautiful attribute to possess as a believer. You’ll be pointing your family to Him in the weariness and that, my friend, has significant value in the Kingdom.


Fearing Failure

By Brittany Rust

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For a long time, I was afraid to be a mom. Terrified that I'd pass on my baggage or project my past struggles onto a little human being. That my insecurity, anger, and selfishness would make me a bad parent. Honestly, I didn't believe I deserved the honor of being a mom. 

I'm so thankful God brought me through and past that fear because being a mom is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. But it hasn't always been easy and I certainly have so much to learn.

I still feel like a hot mess most days. Feel like I'm dropping the ball somewhere or that I'm not a good enough mom. Shame often creeps in and whispers how I've failed my son. Oh boy, does that cut to the deepest parts of my soul.

Maybe you've been there or facing it right now?

Shame is ugly. Heartbreak is real. The ups and downs of motherhood are both wonderful and exhausting. Times flies by when you're having fun and yet seems to creep along in the hardship. It's why, as a mom, you have to rely on Jesus instead of yourself or your husband or even your kids. Nothing will make you whole, sustain you, and make up the difference in your weakness like Christ will.

The verse that has carried me through my darker moments is 2 Corinthians 12:9:

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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Weakness is part of the human nature. And thank goodness it is or we wouldn't feel the need for Christ. It seems this is more apparent in motherhood than in any other role or season in life. Our weaknesses and failures are never more evident than here. It's also where fear can thrive if not careful.

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Fear of failing your family.

Fear will happen but it's not meant to stick around. God wants you to turn to Him in those frail moments and find solace in Him. He wants you to come with your weaknesses so that He can show up with His strength. Your areas of failure and lack of sureness create opportunities for God to move and be glorified.

It's why Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians that he would boast in his weaknesses. He knew that where he failed God flourished. And he would rather God flourish than for him to feel competent.

Mama, I know this journey is emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually exhausting. I know there are moments when you question your identity and worth; when you wonder if you can do it. That you experience lonely moments of shame and guilt.

We've all been there--struggled in our calling as a mom. Not because we don't love our kid(s) with all our heart because we do fiercely. But because we're human and none of us have it all figured out or are the perfect mom. We're not meant to be. Only Jesus is perfect and only he can lift you up to be the best mom to your kiddos that you can be.

Don't parent alone, friend. Lean into the Father, embrace His presence, and tap into His strength. In fact, welcome those moments of weakness as opportunities for Christ to shine brightly to those kiddos entrusted to you by Him!

Additional Resources:


He is Risen, A Special Easter Message

By Brittany Rust

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The two women didn't expect to find the stone pulled away, two angels before them, and certainly not the resurrected Jesus on this very early morning. No—they expected to find the body of a man they loved very deeply lying in a tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary, mother of James, were amazed at what they saw when they arrived on the scene. The tomb stone had been rolled away by one heavenly angel while another was in the tomb.

The two women hurried into the tomb looking for Jesus, but all they found were the outer garments he had been buried in. This, a symbol that Jesus had left his earthly boundaries behind and was now risen [as he proclaimed he would]. The angel proceeded to speak some of the most powerful words ever uttered,

“He is not here, for he has risen, as he said.”

Jesus, the man they knew as the Son of God now gone from his grave. A declaration not only to them and the Roman guards that stood by speechless, but to all that he was indeed God, resurrected from death. This...this was the very moment that changed everything for humanity.

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This weekend we celebrate what has become Easter, but more than any Easter basket or Sunday lunch with the family, we highlight this event. Easter weekend is all about him and what he did. Jesus didn't have to wrap himself in flesh and come to Earth, but he did. He didn't have to live in obscurity for 30 years, but he did. He didn't have to carry each of our sins and take our punishment of death at calvary, but he did.

Jesus did--for you and for me! He temporarily gave up the beauty of heaven to carry the sins of men from Earth, into death, and free us all victoriously back into Heaven. Now we get this incredible gift of grace, salvation, and eternal security with the Father if we put our faith in him. There is no greater gift or love you could ever receive than this.

When you wake up Sunday morning, you don't have to worry about the fate of Christ and carry any mourning. You get to wake up with eager anticipation that Jesus is alive and reigns victoriously, on Earth, in Heaven, and in your life. That is the hope you have and I pray you'll carry it like a flag you wave proudly in the streets of victory.

I encourage you to take time this Holy week to reflect on his final days. To pour through Scripture with your husband and kids about his life, death, and resurrection. To pray and give thanks for salvation. Easter eggs and family dinners are fun but they aren’t what this holiday is about—it’s all about Jesus!


7 Ways to Show Your Husband Love

By Brittany Rust

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When you’re married and have kiddos, Valentine’s Day is often a bit harder to make happen. Ryan and I use to make these grand plans on V-Day, get all dressed up, and go out on the town. The two years we’ve had a kid we haven’t gone out once. True story. Both years at least one of us has been sick on the day we were going to celebrate and couldn’t get a sitter to reschedule. So, we’ve had to get creative!

Here are some fun ways to love on each other at home and special ways to show your man some attention.

How to love your husband this week (and every week).

1. Make a special V-Day breakfast.

Start the day off with a little love in the house! And this is something your kids can join in to feel special as well. Maybe make some heart shaped pancakes or your husband’s favorite breakfast. You can also leave a note and gift at each place setting that is unique to each person in your family. Your family will no doubt start the day off feeling loved.

2. Meet your husband for a romantic lunch.

If your kids are in school or with a sitter, make plans to celebrate a romantic Valentine’s Day over lunch. It worked for Pam and Jim, although you might want to hold back on that much booze! This can be a nice opportunity to have some one-on-one time without fighting the crowds, sitter schedules, and sky-high dinner prices.

3. Flirt throughout the day.

This is a must! Guys like to flirt and love it when a wife gets a bit flirty—it makes them feel like a man. Put a special note in your husband’s lunch. Send some sexy texts (pics included)! Call him and just say you’re thinking about him. This will get your husband incredibly excited to get home to you!

4. Plan a special dinner.

Somewhat like breakfast, this can be a special meal for the whole family. A favorite meal or special entree not usually on the menu. Both years we haven’t been able to go out we’ve stayed in and made fondue. It’s easy, yummy, Roman gets a kick out of it, and there is an element of romance in it. And don’t forget dessert!

5. Tell him how much you respect and appreciate his hard work.

The words men often most cherish are respectful and express gratitude for hard work. Guys can put so much of their worth in work and feel the burden to take care of the family financially. Look your husband in the eye, tell him how much you respect him, and appreciate all the hard work he invests to take care of the family.

6. Put on something special and see where the night goes.

Am I going to talk about sex? Yes! And why? Because sexual intimacy is incredibly valuable in a marriage and we don’t talk about it enough in the Christian world. Sex is part of a healthy marriage. In 1 Corinthians 7 Paul wrote that a husband and wife should fulfill their partners sexual needs and not abstain unless for a short and agreed upon time to pray.

If the fire has been dwindling, now is a perfect time to reignite the passion. Put the kids to bed, put on something you feel sexy and confident in, and enjoy each other.

Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love.
— Proverbs 5:18-19

Honestly—just read Song of Solomon (which is packed full of love between a man and woman) and you’ll see the importance (and excitement) of sexual intimacy with your husband.

7. Share in emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual intimacy.

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There’s more than just physical intimacy—and we all prefer certain intimacies over others. Connect with intertwined bodies but also connect by sharing your deeply felt emotions, over intellectual conversation, and in prayer together. There are many ways to find each other’s souls and connect—find what your husband prefers and seek to connect with him there.

It goes without saying but hard to do—show special attention to your husband on all the normal, average days as well. You’re tired and depleted—yes. But if you don’t invest into your marriage now when the littles are running around, there may not be much of a marriage to enjoy when they’re grown and gone. Your husband and marriage must be a priority if you’re going to grow old together in a world that seems to do nothing but tear you apart.

The same goes for your wives: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs.
— 1 Peter 3:1

What is the True Meaning of Christmas

By Brittany Rust

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Christmas truly is one of the most wonderful times of the year. For many, there are warm parties, cozy homes, fond traditions to celebrate, and gifts to be shared. It’s a joyous time of celebration. However, sometimes we get lost in the season and forget the reason we celebrate it, to begin with. Among the hustle and bustle, our focus is lost and priorities are misaligned.

Most people can tell you the origins of Christmas—that it’s a remembrance of the birth of Christ. But either that’s the extent of their knowledge or they lose sight of this in the busyness of the holiday. Why do we truly celebrate Christmas? Not Santa Claus, or the Christmas tree, or any other of the various traditions wrapped up into Christmas. Why do we celebrate this occasion—what is its true meaning?

Christmas is a time when we remember the birth of Jesus. When God became flesh and lived among us on Earth.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
— Isaiah 9:6-7 (ESV)

For thousands of years mankind waited for the coming of Christ; they longed for their King to arrive and free them from oppression. The Old Testament is full of prophecies, including this one from Isaiah 9. The Bible is full of Scripture pointing directly to the One who would save mankind from their sins. When Isaiah described His coming, he described His coming as an infant. But this child would grow and establish a Kingdom of righteousness forevermore. When we celebrate Christmas, we are celebrating the moment in history when prophecy was fulfilled. God came to be with us.

But it was so much more than a birth. It was hope. It was cause for celebration.

Because when Jesus came, he also left us with the gift of salvation. His birth is significant because of His death. For thirty-three years Jesus lived a life free from sin so that He could be the perfect sacrificial lamb for the atonement of our sins. On Calvary, Christ paid the price and overcame death so that we could have victory over sin and condemnation. So, when that precious baby was born and placed in the manger, it wasn’t just another birth. It was the beginning of God’s redemptive plan for humanity. An act He didn’t have to take part in but He chose to out of love.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
— Philippians 2:5-11 (NIV)

We remember the birth of Christ on Christmas because it’s a celebration of when God entered this world.

This very act of humility and his choice to die on the cross is cause for bowed knees and lifted hands. I know the busyness of the season can cause time to fly and before we know it, the holiday has passed and we have forgotten to celebrate why we are celebrating it in the first place. But don’t get sidetracked—get perspective. Choose reverence and give honor where honor is due.

Take time this holiday season to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas by glorifying the One who gave it all. A child was born in humble circumstances and his sacrificial death reflected the same, however, both were significant for humanity. Without the death of Christ, salvation isn’t possible. So without His birth, neither is it possible. Jesus coming to Earth that night changed everything and it’s a moment we should celebrate with all our hearts.

Certainly, enjoy the parties and food and gifts, but don’t forget to point your heart, family, and those around you to Christmas' true meaning: Christ came with a plan for our redemption.


This article was originally written for and posted on Crosswalk.

A Celebration of Advent With Your Family

By Brittany Rust

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Christmas is a wonderful time of year when we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It's more than twinkling lights, beautifully wrapped gifts, and cozy homes filled with parties. It's so much more than what we've made it over the years. At the heart of Christmas is the celebration of Christ's coming to Earth more than 2,000 years ago.

Advent is a time when this focus is placed back at the center of the season. The word, in fact, means "coming." It's the celebration of the coming of Christ centuries ago and the anticipation of the coming of Christ yet to be.

Advent takes place the 4 Sundays leading to Christmas with the first 2 Sundays focusing on his arrival already made and the last 2 Sundays focusing on his arrival to come. I can't think of a better way to embrace Christmas and prepare our hearts to glorify Jesus before anything else than taking this Advent journey together.

Advent begins in 2018 on Sunday, December 2nd which means it’s coming soon. For my family, this is a new tradition I am eager to adopt! To build into our holiday celebration. If it’s new to you and you’re unsure of how to incorporate it into your tradition, or even why you should, keep reading!

Advent can be celebrated in many different ways. There’s the four Sunday approach, or over the course of 25 days leading to Christmas. There’s the candles or the calendar. But let’s jump more into the why before the how.

Christmas can be such a busy time of the year and if we aren’t careful, we can easily lose perspective of what the season really is all about. Christmas becomes the parties, concerts, and presents instead of remembering the birth of our Savior. Advent helps bring the holidays back into perspective; its celebration narrows in on Christ. It’s a beautiful form of worship for the family.

Now that you know the why, you may wonder about the how. Although traditions vary, here are a few ideas to get you going. Of course, feel free to peruse the internet for more ideas!

  1. Devotionals: There are many devotionals out there that will lead your family in Scripture readings focused on the coming of Christ. Some may be shorter and shared across 4 Sunday’s and some may be everyday. Here’s a free one from Lifeway that includes activities to engage the children!

  2. Advent Wreath and/or Candles: This is a more traditional form of celebrating Advent and it revolves around lighting 4 candles—one each Sunday leading to Christmas. This can be an intimate way of remembering Christ. Wreaths and candles are easy to find and by singing a song or praying together while lighting the candle, it makes the moment honoring. Just be sure you do purple candles for week 1, 2, and 4. And a pink candle on the 3rd week.

  3. Advent Calendar: This is a personal favorite of mine because it’s both a fun way to celebrate with kids and a great way to get into Scripture. Calendars are easy to find and come in a variety of styles like a house or Christmas tree. The idea is that on each day (some are 24 days and some are 25), a door is opened and inside is a little gift for the children. I like to place a piece of chocolate and a Bible verse about Jesus in each. This builds an excitement in the children’s heart leading up to Christmas (as we should all eagerly anticipate the second coming!) and sets our focus with Scripture.

This doesn’t include all the options of celebrating Advent but I do hope it provides some encouragement and inspiration for your holiday season. Whether you embrace the holiday or not, remember to keep your focus on Christ and celebrate his coming this season!

If you do celebrate Advent, we’d love to know how! Leave a comment below.


Pregnant with Expectation

by Brittany Rust

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A Gift from the Lord

Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift? the fruit of the womb his generous legacy? Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth. Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children!
— Psalm 127:3-5 (MSG)

Children are without a doubt a blessing from the Lord. It’s amazing how new additions to the family awaken, rejuvenate, and sometimes even bring healing. I’ve watched babies bring a tidal wave of joy to a family and increase the love tank exponentially.

If you’re reading this, you’re likely expecting your own bundle of joy! You’re probably experiencing a flood of emotions: excitement, anticipation, anxiousness, fear, and much more. All are completely normal!

First and foremost, your child was planned to be on the earth at this very moment by God before time even began. even now, God is knitting your baby together in your womb very carefully and purposefully. The Father has a special plan designed for your little one and with your prayers and guidance, there are no limits to how he or she will be used.

Pregnancy can be hard but in those moments, remember the gift that your child is. Celebrate his or her presence and purpose on this earth!

When Emotions are a Rollercoaster

Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city.
— Proverbs 16:32 (NLT)

Pregnancy takes us all on an emotional rollercoaster; even the husbands! As our hormones change and fluctuate, how we feel can change moment to moment.

I remember one time I got little sleep and woke really sore. As I began making breakfast and my dog sat at my feet, I instantly got annoyed with her and yelled at her to skedaddle. Then my husband came down and as we ate scrambled eggs, he asked me about something we had already talked about multiple times that week and I snapped at him. I mean, how could he not remember?! I immediately felt bad and knew he didn’t deserve the bad end of my morning grumpiness.

The emotions you experience throughout pregnancy can seem intense and early on, a bit unfamiliar. It’s completely normal to go through these changes and in some ways, the expression of emotions can be healthy.

However, you must be careful to not let grumpiness, anger, or dissatisfaction lead your actions. It’s wise for you to learn to control your emotions and rule your feelings instead of the other way around.

Anxiousness

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
— Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV)

When pregnancy and the reality of caring for another human being has set in, you might experience a host of anxieties. It’s natural for both parents to experience this at different points throughout the pregnancy but it’s also important to learn how to navigate the emotion.

Some areas you might become anxious in, if you haven’t already, is in parenting itself. There’s no doubt you want to steward this gift well but perhaps you’re not sure if you will because your own example wasn’t great. You might also be anxious about the delivery of your baby, their future, and the finances to make it all happen. There’s no shortage of anxieties for a parent!

Philippians 4 encourages us all in many situations but I believe it’s a particularly helpful verse for parents because let’s be honest, anxiety comes with the territory. However, it doesn’t mean we’re suppose to live there.

If you find yourself becoming anxious about any of the above, or perhaps something else, turn to this verse. Find direction here to turn to prayer and thanksgiving as a refuge from your anxieties. Find peace here, in the presence of God and away from the worries, to carry you through these moments. Anxiety might be an easy place to go as a parent but don’t allow it to take your focus off of the Father.

Fear

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
— Isaiah 41:10 (ESV)

Anxiety, if left unchecked, can snowball into fear, which is a dark place to live. It can be especially draining in a season that should be filled with wonder and excitement.

I get it though. Sometimes when you feel a cramp, or don’t feel the baby move for a few hours, or think about how you’re going to afford childcare, fear can set in. I’ve had moments on my own 40 week journey and as a parent, there’s a whole new level of concern for another that enters your life.

I would encourage you not to live in fear. You might experience small moments or glimpses of it but don’t let the fear overwhelm you. Don’t let it steal your joy.

Remember, God is your strength and He will uphold you. God is on your side and has the best for you in His heart. Lean into His strength and peace when worry and fear starts to creep in. That is your safe place and your refuge.

When Weariness Sets In

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.
— 2 Corinthians 12:9 (ESV)

You’re going to experience a level of weariness you’ve probably never experienced before. Days you’re so tired you have to take an afternoon nap. This happens in the first and third trimester, girls! Moments you feel so nauseous that the only place you want to be is lying on a bed in the dark. Evenings when your feet are so sore, ankles so swollen, and back so achy that labor can’t come soon enough.

What I’m trying to say is we all experience weariness at some level. And the emotions we talked about don’t help either. There will be days when you feel like you’re hanging on by a thread and honestly, that’s completely normal so don’t beat yourself up. Give yourself grace each day because you know what, you're growing a human inside of you!

2 Corinthians 12:9 is a verse I lean on often, not just in pregnancy. There’s so much comfort and peace in knowing that God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness. On those days when you’re tired and in pain--when you’re operating out of weakness--ask God for strength.

Confide in Him that you don’t know if you have the energy to extend kindness to people, or to get through a day of work, or to be patient with your spouse. If you can admit those things to Him and ask for His help, He’ll extend a supernatural strength to you that will carry you through your weariness.

Keeping a Priority on Your Marriage

Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.
— Hebrews 13:4 (ESV)

If you’re married, you’re experiencing one of the greatest gifts in the world. I do want to be sensitive to those who may not be though, and to you I say I have incredible respect for you. Pregnancy is hard and parenting significantly more even with a spouse; with someone there to lean on. To those beautiful ladies making the journey alone, I honor you. You’re a superhero in my book!

To this ladies who are married, don’t take it for granted. Your days can be long and hard sometimes but a husband can be such great support in this journey.

Don’t be afraid to share your emotions and struggles with your spouse. There were times I wouldn’t share something with my husband because I was embarrassed or didn’t want to burden him, or I would hold something in and snap at him. My husband would then so graciously just ask me to share those things with him. He wanted to know and share in what I was experiencing (and he certainly didn’t like being snapped at!).

Communication is key in marriage and that becomes even more important as your family expands. If this has been a struggle for your marriage, or you’re noticing it could be improved, now is a great time to grow in this area. It can also be a great catalyst for bonding, leading you and your spouse into a time when you’ve never felt closer.

I encourage you to remember that marriage is a gift and after your relationship with God, is the most important relationship in your life. Even when your little one comes, keeping your marriage a priority is one of the most important things you can do.

Your Baby’s Future

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
— Philippians 1:6 (ESV)

What an incredible gift God has given you to lead, nurture, steward, and care for another human. This opportunity will provide you some of the sweetest and most cherished moments in your life! You can start carrying this blessing now with your prayers and care for your little one.

Prayer is and will continue to be one of the most important things you can do for your child. Prayer changes things. Prayer sets the table. Furthermore, your posture of prayer will stand out to your child one day.

Here are a few things you can be praying for; be sure to add your own!

  1. Healthy pregnancy, delivery, and above all, child.

  2. That their purpose on this earth would be clear to them and ordained for God’s Kingdom.

  3. They would pursue godliness above all else.

Be confident in Philippians 1:6 and know that God will start a good work in your child and bring it to completion one day. That everything that will happen in your child’s life will have purpose; the good and the bad. God has designed your child to have great value and purpose in this world. Be a good, loving example of following God, serving others, and how to be a kind human. God will take care of the rest!


4 Ways to Navigate Transition With Your Kids

by Brittany Rust

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Transition is hard, particularly when your kids are involved. It can take an already stressful experience and make it messier, more complicated, and emotionally taxing. And nothing can tug at the mama heart like seeing your little one(s) struggle through the change.

My family has recently gone through a lot of change; more in the last six months than the previous three years. And it’s been really, really, really hard. In addition, change is harder than ever before because of our one-year old son. As a woman who has loved and served God for 17 years, I’ve learned to persevere. But when I see the struggle in my baby’s face, I want to throw up my hands and call mercy for the sake of my child. Unfortunately, that’s not how life usually works.

I’ve had to learn to adapt for my son and show up for him in new ways to help him through the change. I haven’t perfected mothering a child in transition, but I have found 4 ways to help navigate my family through the unknown. I pray this helps resource you for your own upcoming transition.

1.       Give quality.

For our family in this transition, our son has had less time with my husband and myself. I struggled with immense guilt over this and sought peace over it. What I’ve come to discover is that quality matters. Parents can be there but not really be there, if you know what I mean. Your kids won’t necessarily remember how much time you spent with them, but rather, the quality of the time they did have with you.

Whatever time you do have with your child(ren), make it good. Make it really good. Put down the phone. Spend less time with the tv on. And really be present. My son loves to snuggle up with me, but he notices if I pick up my phone; he doesn’t like mama distracted. So, every night I put aside the phone as much as I can and make myself present for him. On the weekends, we have fun. All the writing and podcasting and on the side gigs can wait until he’s in bed because baby needs his mama!

2.       Speak to their heart.

Communicate, communicate, communicate. Kids know when something is off and if left in the dark, can become confused. Even if your child is young and unable to communicate, speak life over them. Cover them with words of assurance and comfort. My son doesn’t understand all my words, but he sees the empathy in my eyes and hears the tone in my voice.

Connect with your child’s heart by asking them how their heart is doing. Soothe them with your sweet words of endearment. Communicate so they don’t feel left out.

3.       Go through it united.

Let your kids see you go through the change as a united family. This will especially prove valuable in how they see you and your husband walk it together. Stay in communication with your husband and navigate the journey together. If your child(ren) see a divided marriage, they will likely feel fear and doubt.

4.       Jesus.

Spending time with Jesus as a mom but also as a family is so important all the time, but especially during times of change. Your kids lean on you which means you need to be leaning on Jesus, mama! Spend time in the Word. Play worship music in the house and car. Let your little one(s) hear you praying over them at night. Usher in the presence of Jesus into your home and pray your child(ren) bask in Him. Invite Him into the change and ask for protection over your kid(s) mind(s) through the unknown.

Transition is hard and when you go through it as a family, it can be even harder. I pray for you, dear mama, as you walk this journey.