5 Things That Get Easier With Parenthood

By Becky Beresfod

A few weeks ago I was once again battling my tiny army in the great bedtime war, a daily occurrence in our home. Somehow amid the laughing and crying and question-asking, I heard my phone buzz on the counter.  Please let it be my husband saying he’s coming home early with a Starbuck’s latte in hand! The one-year-old was bawling, the toddler was fleeing the scene and let’s be honest friends, who the heck knows where my first-born was? Probably drawing on one of my walls or raiding the pantry or both. Kids are talented like that.  By the grace of Jesus, I miraculously reached my cell and checked the texts.

Not from the hubby. Actually, it wasn’t from anyone I was expecting. My brother-in-law sent the message and his words caught my eye.

You should write a blog post talking about the things that get easier once you become a parent.” 

And snap. I wish I could have taken a picture of my facial expression in that moment because WHAT?   

Was he for real? Things getting EASIER after welcoming little humans into your life? The same little humans who murdered my nice couch and punched holes through my drywall earlier that week? Those babies? He and my sister had just welcomed sweet girl #2 earlier that month.  I’m sure he was delirious and very sleep-deprived; a combination that makes you do ridiculous things. But out of curiosity, I kept reading.

Cause it seems like literally EVERYTHING gets harder after kids, but that can’t be true.” 

It can’t? I physically stepped back in an attempt to readjust my current negative thinking. Was there even one thing I could honestly say gets easier after having children? Help me out here, Jesus. And suddenly, in the middle of all the chaos, He gently took my hand, drew me out from the muddled fog, and placed me in the clear pasture of His grace. 


I knew His voice--calm and reassuring. I knew He had a ‘best’ He wanted to show me. And slowly I began to see my surroundings for what they really were.

My eyes saw the little boy running from me, but this time I caught a glimpse of his mischievous grin as he looked behind him, hoping his Mommy would come get him. He wanted me. He wanted my love and attention and cuddles. I saw the little baby reaching up for the one person he knew could make it all better. He needed me and only me. And I looked at the scattered drawings on the floor my eldest boy drew with the most intricate detail and care. He showed it to me a couple hours ago because he was proud. He wanted Mama’s approval. My opinion mattered...I mattered. 

God showed me His beauty in a matter of seconds and I was eager to see more.

I quickly replied.  “I’m gonna do it.  I need to do it.

So here I am, staying true to my word. But more importantly, I’m choosing to see joy in the midst of the mess.  There are only five points here, but I’m pretty sure I could have done more. Yeah, I’m surprised too.

1.)  It’s easier to lose your mind. 

For real. You go crazy when you raise mini-people. I have spent hours looking for keys that were in my pockets. I wake up in the middle of the night hearing screams from the monitor, but it’s dead silent. I can barely make sentences and refer to all items as “that thing over there.” I make no sense and it just comes with the exhausted territory. I don’t sleep. I don’t eat. And yet somehow I am expected to give of myself 24/7 without being able to take care of simple needs like peeing on my own or taking a shower once a week. If they know you are somewhere in the home, it’s over. Checkmate, my friend.  They will find you.

Let it be of consolation to you to know it’s normal to feel like you are going insane because you probably are. But good news! You are not alone. Every person who has a child, especially young ones, feels your pain. We are all in the same circus boat and even if it seems like it’s sinking, just know it’s going to be okay and we will survive. I mean, it’s highly probable.

2.)  It’s easier to let go of expectations because you will have lots of practice.

I always have these grandiose ideas and visions for creating family memories but I actually don’t think I can recall one ever going according to plan. Things pop up, kids freak out, schedules change…life happens. Flexibility is a given in the parent world, but often it’s hard to let that piece of reality sink in. And sometimes it’s even harder to let it become the norm. In an interesting turn of events; letting go can actually be a gift. I’s shocking. But true. The pressure to try and make everything happen the way you want it to can be intense.  If we allow Jesus to step in and remove our self-imposed burdens, the world will look and feel a whole lot lighter.

I have a son with special needs and our plans change by the hour. I used to freak out about it, but now I’m learning to make flexibility my friend. It isn’t easy in and of itself, but when we practice living with open hands and open hearts we give God the opportunity to step in and change our circumstances in a way that goes far beyond anything we could have dreamed. He is the God of abundance and His ability to make beauty out of the ashes will never fail. Trust Him.

3.)  It’s easier to laugh at it all. 

Kids have this uncanny way of bringing joy into the mundane. They see life through their innocence and experience it with fresh, pure hearts. There’s a reason Jesus says, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Luke 18:16). Kids understand what matters.  And they know that one of the most important things you can do in this life is just to laugh and have fun! 

I love my goofballs. Sometimes I’m in the worst mood and I look at my sweet child’s face. He smiles ear to ear and it completely captures my heart. I’m a sucker for baby hugs and cutie kisses. But man, you add in their belly laughs and I’m gone! Soon my grin is as big as his.

I catch myself laughing during the precious times and the ‘Sweet-Jesus-help-me’ times. When it’s psycho nuts in my home and I’m just standing there not knowing what to do or who to take care of first, I just start laughing! It’s like my brain doesn’t know how to respond so it says, “Okay, this is too much.  Let’s crack up.”  And that’s when I begin to cackle like a crazy person.  See point #1.

4.)  It’s easier to beat yourself up like never before. 

I’ve always had a problem with shame. It’s my thing. But when you are in charge of raising decent human beings, let alone keeping them alive, things get real. I am certainly the hardest on myself when it comes to taking care of my family.  They mean the world to me and somehow each day I think I’m majorly screwing things up. I promise to reimburse them for whatever therapy they may need later on in life. But here’s the thing…every single parent thinks they are missing the mark! I have never met a mom or dad who thinks they have it all together. Instead, they feel like they are not good enough or too much or someplace in between. And the guilt can be so defeating. Luckily, we don’t have to live there.

The goodness of our Jesus is unending. He isn’t about perfection, which is great since no one is perfect. He’s about our transformation and I can’t think of anything else in life that changes you more besides being a parent. Your kids see your rough days. They see you mess up over and over again, but when you come to them and say sorry I truly believe it gives them a sense of relief! Not just because you are pursuing reconciliation, but I really believe this helps them avoid the unrealistic standards of perfection they may place on themselves in order to gain your affection. They will know they are always loved no matter what they do, and that model of unconditional love will stay with them wherever this life leads them. 

We are all doing our best. God knows that and He covers us in His grace. Whenever we feel weak, we know He is strong and more than able to fill in the multiple gaps.

5.)  It’s easier to understand the heart of God. 

The instant you hold your child for the first time, your relationship with Jesus goes to a whole new level. It’s the most surreal, humbling, and scary feeling in the world. God has entrusted this precious life to you. This beautiful creature that you would literally die for…they are your heart walking outside of your body. The love you have for them is nothing less than extravagant. 

In that divine moment, God looks at us, His beloved children, and softly whispers, “I love you even more.” It’s almost unbelievable and yet, it’s the most important thing we need to believe. This is the Love that surpassing all understanding. This is the Love that endures forever. Our Heavenly Father’s love stretches past any human’s capability to love on his or her own, and that includes parents. As much as you love your child, it’s just a glimpse of how much God adores you. You are loved perfectly and wonderfully just because you are you. 

And as if that weren’t enough, when we experience God’s love more fully, He gives us the blessing of passing on His love to our kids. There’s really no greater honor.

We can all agree that parenting is a complicated ordeal.  You don’t get a handbook with all the answers, but hopefully, we can encourage each other along the way. Just like being in love or picking out paint colors, it’s comforting to know that the simple and the hard can coexist.    

So take heart, fellow parenting-warrior.  With all the other complexities you may be facing today, let me reassure you just as my Jesus reassured me.

You are doing well, my friend. Very well, indeed.

The Danger of DIY Motherhood

By Lindsay Dryer

mcftmh (3).jpg

Pinterest Fail

Oh, Pinterest. It’s amazing how I can both love and loathe something all at the same time. Pinterest always comes through for me when I’m looking for a quick and easy recipe, nail color inspiration before my next mani, or ideas on how to style my new shirt. Usually somewhere along my search, I see something cute that catches my eye — some kind of DIY project that looks so easy my kids could do it — and I think, “Oh wow! I’m totally going to try that!” *Clicks “Pin It” button. (Insert audience laughter here.)

But looking at Pinterest usually has a way of reminding me how creative I am NOT and how I’ll probably never get around to trying all of those DIY projects I’ve pinned (and if, by some miracle, I do try one out…it will probably be a #pinterestfail).

DIY Motherhood

I was reminded of a similar reality recently as I was reading through Romans 7. Check it out with me. (Hint: I find it easiest to understand this passage when I read it outloud. But read slowly. It’s a bit of a tongue twister!)


For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do. Now if I do what I do not want, I am no longer the one that does it, but it is the sin that lives in me. So I discover this law: When I want to do what is good, evil is present with me. For in my inner self I delight in God’s law, but I see a different law in the parts of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and taking me prisoner to the law of sin in the parts of my body. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?
— ROMANS 7:19-24 (CSB)

In other words…I have big plans of doing good and great things, but I can’t seem to do them! Instead, I keep doing wrong or bad things.

Can anyone else relate to this passage of Scripture? Especially in the realm of motherhood?

This feels like a description of my daily battles. Every day I set out to love well and lead well in my home. I plan to speak with a kind and gentle voice, to demonstrate patience and long-suffering towards my kids, and to parent selflessly, putting their needs above my own. 

And every day…I fail. When I want to do the right things, sin is always close by. As Trillia J. Newbell puts it in her study, If God is For Us, “Paul [the author of Romans] rightly describes this battle as a war between the truth we know in our hearts and minds and the desires of our flesh. These two aspects of our being are waging war against one another."

It’s a really good thing this passage in Romans doesn’t stand alone because it’s painful to read! I don’t know about you, but it leaves me feeling a little drained of hope.

We must keep reading, friends. The good news is next in verse 25,“Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Who will rescue me from this ongoing battle? JESUS!

And we can’t stop there! As we move into Romans 8, we see the most beautiful explanation in the Bible of how the truth of the gospel is worked out in our hearts. And… spoiler alert: it’s not a DIY project! (Can I get an AMEN?!)

Read Romans 8:5-6 with me. I love the way it’s paraphrased in The Message version:

Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.

WOW. Did you catch that?

When we think we can do this life on our own—what I’m calling “DIY motherhood”—we begin obsessing over ourselves and become so inwardly focused that we can’t see God at work in our day-to-day, moment-by-moment lives!

Upward Focused

Instead, we should:

  • have our minds set on the Spirit (vv. 5-6),

  • recognize the work that God has already done on the cross (through His Son) and is continuing to do in our hearts (through His Spirit).

So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!
FTMH Quote Share (1).jpg

I don’t know the details of your story or what’s on your planner for tomorrow, but I’m certain that you have things to do and places to go. You have babies to raise, hearts to shepherd, dreams to accomplish, and more! And the best way to do it all? Don’t do it yourself.

Look upward, not inward. That’s where the real, lasting hope lies.

Apply It:

Take some time this week to read, study, and meditate on the truths packed in Romans 7-8. When you find yourself measuring your “moral muscle” or becoming discouraged by the battle described in Romans 7, stop and remember that God never called you to DIY motherhood. He called you to life IN HIM.

One Day

Guest Post by Char Reid


The ‘one day’ I knew would come has come. You know, that day everyone warned you about—the day the children would be grown. The day they really have moved on with their own lives. That day!!!  

Pouring all you are and have into seven (yes, I said seven) wonderful children occupied my very being. Not to mention an awesome husband who was pastoring a couple hundred people.

I have to say, when you look back you don’t remember the hard days as much as you do the good days. Take heart! Although there were tears shed over laundry for nine! There were the never-ending questions that harassed my every day:      

  • What’s for supper?

  • Who has a ballgame today?

  • Did I finish all of our homeschool work today?

  • Has everyone heard they are loved today?

  • Has love flowed from my words and tones today?

  • Was Jesus pleased with me today?

 You know, those things that matter to us as moms that creep in and make us feel like failures if we didn’t do them. I can recall days when I was convinced I was the greatest mom God ever created. While also feeling there were those days I was the absolute worst mom ever.

My heart, as I sit here in silence missing all the noise of little voices, reaches out for young mothers. There is an aching that longs to wrap my arms around you and fill you with words of encouragement and love. To say I loved being a mama is the understatement of my life! Being a mama is still my most favorite calling on my life. I tend to mother everyone now. Thus, my nickname Mama Char!

Through the years, there have been many God moments that have arrested me and gone way down deep in my soul, to the bedrock of who I am. One of my husband’s favorite sayings to our discipleship classes is, “Let the moment be the teacher.”  These are the times we allow what is happening in each moment to be what offers us life’s most precious lessons. These moments are the ones we receive the light that God shines on each circumstance; which leads us into His likeness and nature. I call these ‘Aha’ moments—the, ‘I get it now!’ moments. I want to share with you one of my personal ‘Aha’ moments that has helped me so much. I wish I would have known it as a young mom and I pray as I share it, it will help you as much as it helped me.

While going through a very heart-breaking situation, I realized I had given my heart to so many different people. I had given them control of my heart and my feelings. Hurt and disappointment came through family and friends, church congregations, and even my husband and precious children. I consider myself a people person and am outgoing, quick to give my heart to whoever I found myself with. I was completely capable of allowing my heart to be controlled by so many different situations and circumstances. One day, through my tears, I begged the Lord, “Please talk to me! I don’t know what to do with all of these feelings!”  In all of His kindness, He answered me that day.

FTMH Quote Share (4).jpg

He said, “Daughter, when I said for you to love Me with all of your heart that is exactly what I meant for you to do. Your heart is Mine. I never meant for your heart to belong to anyone but Me. Not your husband. Not your children. No one but Me. Your heart is safe with Me. I will not crush you or hurt you as others can and will. You can trust Me with your heart. When your heart is fully Mine then you are free to love others fully.” 

 I can’t even put into writing what happened to me in that moment. I felt a freedom that I had never known. I realized that although I said I loved God with all my heart that I had really given my heart to everyone I had ever met! My heart wasn’t safe in His care when it was out there for my children and everyone else to abuse and hurt. I felt so vulnerable in that moment. I wanted to take all the pieces of me I had so carelessly given away and scoop them all back into me and make a fresh offering to the Lord. That was the day I realized my life as a wife, mother, and friend was really only about one thing: my relationship with God and Him alone. I learned, with my heart being secure in my love for God, I was free to be the wife and mother that my husband and children needed me to be. My position in Him was to receive His love and give it away.

It became so clear that my identity must be in belonging to Him and living and loving from that amazing place. If I love Him, with all of my heart, and I learn His nature and who He is then I become like Him and my husband gets the wife he needs. If I allow what is in Him, that makes Him so nurturing and kind, in me my children get to have the mama they need. If my heart is open to be changed with every fruit of His Spirit then my friends get the friend they need. And if I can just love Him and be His daughter, then I get the me, the real me, that I need to be for myself. The one whose heart is safe in my Fathers great love. Loving and living from this place has been the most freeing and fulfilling experience I have had as a wife, mother, and friend.

I pray you find this place of freedom, which will allow you to enjoy God’s love. A place of loving and living safe in His wonderful care. Blessings to you all! 


Jesus answered him, “Love the Lord your God with every passion of your heart, with all the energy of your being, and with every thought that is within you.
— Matthew 22:37 (TPT)

As a passionate lover of God, Char enjoys pouring out her life lessons learned from marriage, motherhood and ministry. Pastors wife and mother of seven (7), her nurturing nature is a true representation of the Kindness of the heart of God. Her greatest passion is spending time alone with God and Hearing His love. After journaling for years, she has recorded in this book her own encounters that have blessed her and many others.

Buy her book here.

Wrestling With Your Identity

By Joy O’Neal


I know the normal thing in this season is to write about the beauty of Christmas and the birth of our Savior but for a moment I would like to press pause. I want to discuss a topic that has been a recurring wrestle in my motherhood journey. I’m talking about identity. Throughout the many waves and seasons of motherhood, I continually find myself asking questions around true identity. When did it become such a big deal? Why does my flesh hunger for it? Why do I continue to search for it?

All these questions came flooding in while sitting on the porch with my dad on a warm South Carolina night. Casually, my dad asked, “What’s on your heart; what’s God been saying to you?” Without hesitation, the words poured out. “Dad, I am so confused by this obsession both for myself and those around me over identity.” You see moms, it felt as though everywhere I turned I was surrounded with the concerns of what others thought, who they said I was and how I appeared to be. Also, during this season of my life, it seemed like I needed to prove worthiness. Everywhere I looked, identity appeared to be lost. The question of HOW are you was replaced with WHO are you.

There is no other place where my personal identity has felt attacked more than in motherhood. As mothers, we want so deeply to get it right and since we’ve never held the title of mom until we hold our first child, it sparks a season of seeking. We research, question and, in true times of desperation, we Google. In the midst of this search, I believe there can be a dangerous shift that takes place. This shift somehow creeps in through thoughts of doubt and before we know it we are doing it as Sally does and how Jamie does and … well, the unique identity that was given to us and ONLY us is lost. Hence the start of a journey to lost identity.

Reeling over these thoughts I began to blame it on social media and the way our society lives a life on display, then my dad stopped me. What he said next gave me a revelation I’ll never forget around identity. He said, “Joy, this is no new thing! Go to Genesis. What is the first thing God said after the lies of doubt—when the first identity theft took place?”

I found it in Genesis 3:11; the first time identity was stolen. Genesis 3:11 “Who told you that…” Again my dad explained scripture in a way that comes straight from the Holy Spirit. I saw it, felt it and understood. The enemy inserted doubt to the God-given identity of Adam and Eve which caused a desire to cover themselves. They began to glean from the wrong source.

My soul made the connection in an instant and through the lens of grace, I began to see the search for significance for exactly what it was. The moms around me and myself were simply covering ourselves with “the perfect way” because somewhere along the line we started to listen to the wrong source.

After this conversation with my dad, I went on a journey. I asked God the deeper questions of my heart. How do I avoid the trap of lost identity? How do I silence the voices of doubt? How do I quiet pride and the desire to be seen and heard? And the biggest question, if my identity is in You then how do I see myself as You do?

The answers to these questions brought confusion at first because it was two names that rose to the surface of my quest. Mary and Rahab. I had to laugh! I wasn’t sure how the Virgin Mary and the prostitute Rahab were going to come together but I was willing to dive into scripture and find out. I found two very different women living very different lives with very different identities but somehow uttering the exact same sentence.

The first proclamation is in Joshua when the two spies speak with Rahab about the plans of attack on her city. Joshua 2:21,

‘Let it be as you say.’

The second is in Luke after the angel appears to Mary and tells her she will be the mother of Jesus. Luke 1:38,

I am willing to be used of the Lord. Let it happen to me as you have said.

If the Virgin Mary and the prostitute Rahab could arrive at the same mindset then possibly there is something here for us too.

Musing over the previous conversation with my dad on the topic of identity and this new parallel it was beginning to come together. God had already declared Adam and Eve’s true identity. They had no knowledge of nakedness until they listened to the words of doubt. Their desire to cover came directly from listening and believing the voice of confusion. Their source was wrong. Oppositely, Mary and Rahab were able to boldly declare, “Let it be as you say” simply because they listened and believed the right source.

As moms, I’m positive our identity will continue to be challenged. Reminding ourselves to remain confident in what scripture says about us is the strongest weapon in fighting against the identity crisis that seems to meet us at each new season. Just as God did in the garden, can I challenge you to ask yourself the question, “who told me that?” When you feel the urge to cover with accomplishments, credentials, degrees and labels, pause and remember who God says you are. And just like Mary and Rahab, when truth speaks be women that are ready to boldly declare, Let it be as you say!

Merry Christmas mamas!

Finding Balance (and Rest) in Motherhood

By Brittany Rust

mcftmh (4).jpg

Finding balance and rest in motherhood is perhaps one of the hardest things to master as a mom. Sabbath days are like most days. Vacations are trips. An outing becomes work. It can be challenging to find balance and rest when your little one keeps you on your feet. Parenting is exhausting, am I right?!

I'm still trying to find a good balance here. I work from home which means, when Roman takes his two naps each day, I'm working. I try to fit in cleaning and laundry in the few moments he's occupied with his toys and cooking dinner usually means him attached to my leg, begging me to pick him up.

How have I found balance? Good question! Honestly, rest doesn't look the same now as it did before kids. I've had to redefine what it means and how it looks. Let's be honest--rest just looks different now. Here are a few ways I do try to incorporate balance into my life now:

  1. A Devotional Time: I've found that if I don't incorporate a devotional time early into my day, I'm a mess! It was hard for me to carve out time as a new mom with a new way of life, but now I've found a groove. As soon as Roman goes down for his nap, before I get to work, I take thirty minutes. I put on worship music, read Scripture, and pray. I have to! But don't feel pressured to do it the same. For a while, when I was working, I found ways to incorporate this time at work, in the car, or as I was doing tasks around the house. It can look different for you, too. The point is, find time in your day to connect with Jesus. The good news is, you can do this multiple times a day in ongoing dialogue while cleaning, doing laundry, or rocking your baby. 
  2. Retiring to Bed Earlier: I use to go to bed around 10 PM every night, but now, I retire to bed at 9 PM, read for thirty minutes, and then it's lights out. Holding to this allows me to soak in some mental and spiritual edification and get to bed at a reasonable time so that I can hit the ground running the next morning!
  3. Not Taking on all Responsibility: Sometimes as moms, we feel the need to do all the things. To be supermom. But I can promise that doing it all will leave you empty. And not doing it well. Don't be afraid to ask your husband to help with some things around the house or to do errands on the way home. I remember I use to get frustrated with Ryan because I felt I was doing more. But in reality, I was taking on more myself. Finally, one night when I broke, he said he had no idea! If I would just ask, he would be happy to help. Boy, was that a relief! People may want to help but if you don't ask, they don't know how to.
  4. Taking Time for Yourself: Mamas need downtime, too! Take a bath after bedtime. Go watch a movie at the theater on a Saturday afternoon. Go get that massage once a month. Add in little indulgences and find ways to get some time to yourself to replenish. Treat yo' self, mama!

These aren't for everybody but they are examples of what I've done to implement better balance into my life that perhaps spark some ideas for how you can too!

Honestly, the only real answer that will refresh you is found in Matthew 11:28-30:

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.

The rest and balance you seek are found only in a life surrendered to Christ. Here you will find freedom and a refreshing outpour of His love. Life won't be carefree and easy, but it will certainly feel a bit less chaotic and tiresome. Get with Jesus, confess your exhaustion, and receive the power of the Holy Spirit.

We want to know: how do you find balance and rest as a mom? Let the community in on what you've learned so that we can edify each other as mamas!

Why I Don't Want to be a Great Mom

By Brittany Rust

mcftmh (1).jpg

Roman has been teething the big guns (molars), which is much more challenging than the other teeth, let me just say. It's teething on steroids, which is no fun for anyone, baby or parent! I'll be honest--it's been some of the hardest parenting days I've had so far. Produced moments when I wasn't sure if I could keep it together. Frazzled, frustrated, and fatigued, I've been reaching my "keep it together" limit.

Part of me feels guilty for expressing such hidden thoughts, yet I can't imagine being the only one. If this be true, then let this be a release to myself and other moms: we all have such moments and it doesn't mean we're cray cray. In fact, it's normal to experience nights when our husband walks in the door after a long day and we throw our arms in the air in defeat, "you're up!" whilst taking a bubble bath and sipping a glass of wine.

So, I was in the throws of teething last week. When Roman went down for his first nap, I did what I always do that first nap: I pulled out my Bible to get in some much needed sweet Jesus time. I was already exhausted from the morning and needing a little refill in the mama tank, and tapping into Him always gives me that much needed boost.

But then I realized something, as I began to pray. Here's how my prayer started:

"Jesus, please help me to be a good mom today, for Roman. Actually, Lord, help me to be a great mom!"

Then I stopped. There wasn't anything inherently wrong with praying to be a great mom, but I felt the Holy Spirit give me that gentle little nudge to realign with Him. Sure, I could strive to be a great mom that day; giving my all and trying to hold it all together. But that would mean operating out of the flesh and out of my own strength, which would be exhausting. I realized I didn't want to be a great mom. No, Roman needed more than that--than just me at my best.

That's when my prayer became: "Lord, I want to be a Spirit-filled mom."

Being a Spirit-filled mom meant access to a strength and power I never could muscle up on my own. If I would walk in the Spirit rather than the flesh, I wouldn't be on my own. I'd have access to God's unlimited strength, patience, and kindness. More importantly, my little guy would experience the power and presence of God to a greater degree.

Motherhood is beautiful, but it's also hard. It's even harder when we try to be a supermom, bouncing around to fix all the problems and do all the things. And being a woman trying to be a good or great mom is exhausting. In fact, it's down right defeating because you'll end up coming to the end of yourself and have nothing left to give. 

I’m learning how to stop pursuing the idea of a great mom and embracing my weakness to find His strength in being a Spirit-filled mom.

I'm learning how to stop pursuing the ideal of a great mom and embracing my weakness to find His strength in being a Spirit-filled mom. If you're with me, here are 3 prayer points you can weave into a Spirit-filled day.

  1. Pray for Him to increase as you decrease (John 3:30). A key to a flourishing life is learning to lean into your weakness so that His strength might be made perfect. It's giving up your control for His perfect will. It's seeking your own decrease so that Christ can increase in your life. Imagine how the atmosphere in your home will lighten; imagine the peace that will fill your house. Your kids will be forever impacted by that kind of presence of God in the home.
  2. Pray for humility, gentleness, patience, and love (Ephesians 4:2). I'm constantly praying this verse as a mom. I crave the Holy Spirit would fill me up with these attributes so that I can extend them to my son. Will you, too, acknowledge your deep need of all four in order to parent well? Ask Jesus to help you in these areas on a regular basis.
  3. Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). How many times a day do you realize the need for Jesus?! For me, a ton! But let me undo any pressure you might feel to pray unceasingly because it can cause some anxiety for people. Praying without ceasing doesn't mean you can't stop praying, but rather, it means carrying a prayerful spirit. It's inviting Jesus in on a regular basis and asking for His wisdom, strength, and patience. Essentially, it means you'll make it a habit to ask for help in the trenches of motherhood at every difficulty and express gratitude for every win He empowers you to experience. Develop a posture of prayer as a mom and your child will be impacted both momentarily and eternally.

So, are you with me, mama? Are you ready to stop striving to be a great mom and ready to start embracing the life of a Spirit-filled mom?!

10 Things I Learned My First Year of Parenting

By Brittany Rust


This past weekend my son Roman turned one! One year ago he entered the world and made it a better place with the joy and love he shares each day. One year ago I held him in my arms for the first time and my heart melted—I was smitten. One year ago he made me a mom.

Parenting hasn’t always been what I thought it would be like. It’s been better than I could have ever imagined but it’s also been more challenging in some ways. All in all, though, it’s been one heck of a journey! 

In honor of this one year celebration and reflection, I thought I might share some things I learned over the past twelve months. Maybe you’re expecting and this will give you some insight into what’s to come. Or you’re a new mama needing to know you’re not crazy. Or maybe you’ve been on the journey a few years and have your own insight to offer—please do so in the comments. Remember, we’re all in this together! 

To be honest, I learned many things this year but here are the top ten lessons from my first year of parenting.

  1. There’s no joy comparable. Nothing touches a woman's heart like being a mom. That moment you hold your baby for the first time is an explosion of happiness. But also, each day brings opportunities of joy shots right to the soul. The way they look at you, or snuggle into your arms, or learn something new--it's all full of overwhelming happiness. Being a mom truly is the best gift in the world; a gift that keeps on giving!
  2. It’s ok to ask for help or advice. I think sometimes we feel we need to be a supermom and give the impression to others that we have it all figured out. But no mom does and you shouldn't carry such a heavy weight. Being a mom at all (because all kids are different), but especially a first time mom, brings so many questions with it. Don't be afraid to ask for help or advice. I've turned to Facebook when I was unsure of something and it's been amazing to see the support from other parents out there! Know that you don't have to, and shouldn't have to, go at it alone. We are part of the Body of Christ and the kind of community we have there is a beautiful thing.
  3. Be careful not to parent your spouse. I'm not saying every woman does it, but I imagine it's not unusual. When we're parenting our kid all day it happens that sometimes we transfer that over to our husbands. Or think we know what's best for the kid so we try to tell the dad what to do. This act can be very damaging to your marriage and it's important you steer away from developing this habit. Here is a blog I wrote on the subject for more insight and encouragement.
  4. You will feel failure but that’s normal. Being a mom will likely make you feel like a failure perhaps more than anything else in this world. It's because of the immense amount of love you feel for your child and the desire you have to be a wonderful mom, both of which are noble things. However, it can also lead you to be hard on yourself. Learning to manage these moments of failure will be so valuable to your journey as a mom. Here is a post I wrote on the subject if you'd like more tools on overcoming failure.
  5. A baby is just that...a baby. Sometimes in the frustration or exhaustion we forget that we are dealing with tiny humans who have no other form of expression but crying. There have been times I've wanted to talk sense into my little one but I've had to remind myself that he's just a baby. I can't rationalize with him when he has emotions he can't understand, or when he doesn't feel well, or whatever else may be frustrating him to the point of irritability. Just remember that crying is really the only form of communication they have and try to be patient. Perspective goes a long way!
  6. Celebrate the milestones but enjoy the time it takes to get there. Especially as a first time mom, you are always looking for and anticipating the next stage. "I can't wait til they crawl! And then walk! And then play on their own!" At least for me, I was looking forward to the next milestone out of excitement or next season because the one I was in seemed hard. But what I have found is that now I'm missing those earlier seasons and I wish I wouldn't have rushed through them so quickly. If I could encourage you, I'd say enjoy the season you're in. I've heard that before and shrugged it off but truly, you will miss what is behind. Enjoy where you are at while you can. Besides, the next milestone brings its own challenges ;)
  7.  You’re understanding of the Father deepens. It's incredible how becoming a parent changes your relationship with the Father, in a better way. Being a parent and knowing that kind of love and sacrifice gives you insight into the Father's love and strengthens a bond with Him you didn't have before.
  8. You’re not crazy. I can't tell you how many times I thought I was the only one going through what I was going through. But then I'd be reminded in the middle of the night when I was feeding Roman in the dark that there were other mamas out there doing the same thing. Or I'd share a struggle on social media and moms would say, "Me too!" Just know you're not alone, and know that you are not crazy! We all go through hard and crazy moments as a mom...we're all in this together!
  9. Being a mom makes you a better person. Being a mom sure does have a knack for pulling the selfishness out of you. It's a wonderful at pulling the unlovely out of you! Your flesh will fight the pruning at times but receive it, knowing God is using the challenges of motherhood to make you more like Christ. It's a wonderful school of becoming a better person.
  10. Cherish all the moments. It flies by. Soak up ever single moment!

I hope this helps some other mamas out there. Truly, motherhood is a gift and we can cheer each other on in the journey! If you have something you’d like to add, please do so in the comments! 

P.S. Here are a few pictures from his birthday, in case you're interested!

The Gift of Motherhood

By Brittany Rust


This week my little man turns a whopping one year old! Where does the time go, mamas?! As I’ve been reflecting on this past year, I’m obviously feeling all the feels. 

Even today, it’s been one exciting moment after another. Roman learned to climb on top of a box to reach the tv—little stinker! He ate grapes for the first time, mastered a new toy today, and moved kitchen chairs around like a master puzzle solver in order to get to his ball. I’m just in awe of how quickly they learn and grow.

Just now I finished his bedtime routine and rocked him a bit longer than usual. I didn’t want to put him down in his crib—not with those beautiful blue eyes staring right into mine as he held my hand. All I could do is pray, declare gratitude for being his mom, and cry (of course!).

I’m sure you know all of the above well. The pride and joy of being a mom. The love that just overwhelms you. The desire to gobble up your kid out of sheer cuteness (cute aggression is a real thing, am I right?!)

As wonderful as all of these experiences are, I also know that motherhood isn’t always easy. In fact, it can be downright difficult and defeating at times. 

Which is why I want to remind you today the blessing that motherhood is. The gift you have been given. 

Don’t you see that children are GOD ’s best gift? the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
— Psalm 127:3

You have been chosen by the Most High God to be a mother to the child(ren) you hold in your arms. To love them through their hardships and cheer them on in their wins. To cover their cuts with kisses and bandaids; rock them gently with a lullaby when their sick; to extend patience when they don’t quite understand their own emotions. 

You have been given the GREATEST gift in this world—to be a mom. You have the most important job in the world—there are people who depend on you.

I hope you know, today and every day, how valuable you are.  And my prayer for you is that today you’ll hold your little one a little closer and a little longer. Thank God for choosing you to be their mama and remember there is no one else like you in their world.