Everyone has Limitations

We sat on comfy overstuffed furniture in the cafe and sipped hot drinks at the Mom’s Tea last Friday. The topic was escaping. When I had previewed the lesson, I thought, this doesn’t really apply to my ladies. I know them. They struggle more with not taking a break then escaping into alternate realities through the internet and other avenues, like drugs and alcohol. It is a relevant topic for today’s culture. Are we living in the moment with our children in the real world or are we too busy posting seemingly perfect pics on social media? I’m not against posting an occasional update for friends and family. I do that myself. What we were discussing was much more serious in nature, having to do with addictions and not living in real life in real time.

Through our discussion, I gleaned some information that I find are reoccurring themes with Moms. See if you relate to any of these.

  1. Moms feel guilty taking time for themselves.
  2. Moms work themselves hard and expect more from themselves than they do from others.
  3. Those Moms who work themselves like pack horses are often too exhausted to ever do anything fun or  reward themselves.
  4. Moms who work themselves too hard, having unrealistic expectations, are prone to not only physical exhaustion, but sickness
  5. Moms feel as if they need to be the best ALL  the time (Perfectionism)

As you can see, our conversation quickly too a turn from escapism to guilt. Do you find yourself in any of these statements? Can I let you in on a secret?  I see myself in every one of them at one time or another. Maybe one or two a day.



I’m speaking from the experience of a homeschool Mom, it’s almost as if there is some invisible edict floating around our culture that says if you choose to stay home, you had better do it perfectly. My house should be sparkling because I am home. My children should be clean, respectful, well-mannered, because I am teaching them. I should prepare organic meals that take me hours to prepare and my kids love to eat them. Or maybe you work part time, or full time and you believe that lie that you can have it all and do it all.

Guess what? I can’t do it all and neither can you. We are human. We have limitations. We might be bossed around by cultural edicts, but we can ignore them. Guilt might rear its ugly head if we don’t do everything all the time, but we can tell it to be quiet.(Tweet that)

We try to balance our bank account and not spend all the money so that we don’t have overage fees, yet we over spend our mental and physical accounts. When we do, everyone pays the overage fees. Our bodies shut down. We yell at our kids. We are cranky.  Instead of keeping up our standard of perfection, we crash.

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Back to the list. Guilt is a scary beast. Moms don’t like guilt. Don’t let it boss you around. Take some time for yourself. Jesus did.He wanted to get away from his public (Mark 7:24). I’m not saying run around town every day and ignore your kids and home. Schedule time to do something you like. Coffee with a friend. Writing. Crafting. Something you like. It’s important for your kids to see you doing something of value apart from them. Your children will eventually treat themselves the way you treat yourself. (Tweet this) 

As far as work goes, we Moms quote scriptures like ‘whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all of your might.’ That is a great scripture. Notice, it doesn’t say, do everything. How about one thing?  How about whatever is before you? Not the panoramic view. The one thing. (More on this in another post).

You are not a work horse. You don’t have to do everything all the time.

“Each day, ask God what god wants us to do today; then ask God to help. A simple request, but so profound and far reaching it can take us anywhere we need to go.

Listen: all that we want, all that we need, all the answers, all the help, all the good, all the love, all the healing, all the wisdom, all the fulfillment of desire is emodied in this simple request. We need say no more than Thank You.

This plan has been made for us and it is not one of deprivation. It is one of fullness, joy and abundance. Walk into it. See for yourself.”- Melody Beattie

Last, but not least, listen to your body. Don’t ignore the signs of stress. Don’t ignore that sore throat or exhaustion. God gave you indicators for a reason. Just as you wouldn’t ignore the oil light in your car, don’t ignore the physical and emotional signals that you need a break.

Ladies, we have physical limitations. We are humans. We hunger. We thirst. We need breaks and times of refreshing. It is profitable to take them. We reap a fresh outlook when we sow seeds of the proper sort of escape.

Linking up with Kristin Hill Taylor for Three Wednesday! Join us!


Play-dates for Moms


There has long been a debate about ‘me’ time for Moms. During my early parenting years, it seemed to be frowned upon (by the church body as a whole). Then it seemed to come back around to the idea that it was okay for Moms to spend time away from the little ones, provided they strapped a heaping helping of guilt on their backs.

I’m thankful that there has been a paradigm shift for Moms. If you are a younger Mom, you probably heard of Mommy time in a positive light. And that is good. I’d like to delve a little deeper into the concept of ‘me’ time or play-dates for Moms.Young Moms are fed the important truth of put your own oxygen mask on first. This looks different at different stages of our parenting journey. With infants, it could be napping while the baby does or reading an encouraging book or watching a movie with hubby. It could be having your momma over for the day to help, to talk to or my favorite to craft or created something for the home. Play-dates morph into other Moms coming over with their little ones to play. Moms talk intermittently while kids play. Kids eat snacks and make friends. Then this practice moves to soccer field sidelines, birthday parties, libraries, parks and farmer’s markets. Sometimes, these snippets of conversation are enough to sustain a weary Momma’s soul. But, there is a catch.


These play-dates are only helpful if they encourage.

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Here’s an example and it all stems from the book of Genesis.

I love watching home renovation shows. I could watch them all day long. Here’s the catch: watching HGTV is great for me (in moderation) if it encourages me to do projects within my budget (physically, emotionally, spiritually) i.e. it inspires me to be a better keeper of my home with excellence I love Holley Gerth’s definition of excellence-

“Excellence is doing what you can, with what you have, where you are, as you are.”

When renovation shows lead to inspiration that translates into improvements within my scope then they are beneficial. This translates into work (perspiration) which leads to satisfaction and I say, “it is good” (Genesis 1:31)

Colonial 5

HGTV is not good for me when it leads me down the path of discontent. When I watch a show and suddenly feel my house is too yellow, too old, too outdated, then I need to switch the TV off. It’s not building me up, it is tearing me down and I eventually tear my family down when I complain to my husband that my home is not _____ enough. Eve had the same struggle before the fall and she had it all. She let the deceiver convince her that what she had wasn’t good enough. She “saw that the tree was good (suitable and pleasant)for food and that it was delightful to look at” and she ate it and gave it to her husband. And that act of discontent changed the world.

The same principle apples to play-dates for Moms. Will the time satisfy our desire for connection and inspire us or incite our lust and give us a contempt for our present circumstances? When play-dates become the bait in the comparison trap, we moms need to spare ourselves the trip (Click to TWEET). We all have those times we leave an outing feeling deflated instead of encouraged. We have all had or been those Moms who is quick to  one-up during conversations to make ourselves feel better or hide the truth to make ourselves look better. Truths like it took everything within you just to get out the door to this get together. Kids were whining and hanging on you, You got peanut butter rubbed on your pants and had to change. A kid accidentally spilled the cats water on your freshly blow dried hair (true stories, I don’t have to make this stuff up). We Moms need to be authentic with each other in order to encourage one another. (Click to TWEET) We adoptive Moms who are raising children from hard places need someone to be real with. Someone who won’t judge us and make us feel like we are “all wrong”. We need support and encouragement and the hope that things will be “all right”.

So what does an encouraging play-date look like for us Moms? Does it have to be fancy? Or can it be out on the weather-worn deck with cups of coffee. Does it have to always be dressed up in real clothes instead of yoga pants and t-shirts? Do any of these things matter? Friday, my girls and i will be answering these questions:

What do you think an encouraging play-date for Moms looks like?

What do you think is the most encouraging thing a Mom friend could say to you?

What do you think a discouraging play-date looks like?

Who has been a great play-date friend and how did she accomplish it?

Feel free to join us and share you answers in the comments!

A friend loves at all times, and is born, as is a brother, for adversity. Proverbs 17:17

Linking up with Kristin Hill Taylor and Three word Wednesday!


Why Go Outside When the Electrical Outlets are Inside?- For Moms

We Moms sat around the picnic table with coats wrapped tight and chatted between taking photos of our teens/tweens at the WVU Adventure Challenge Course. Our offspring scaled a tower and rappelled down while peers belayed them. Down in the lowlands it was a comfortable sixty-something while up in the highlands it was bone-achy cold and yet such an enjoyable day just being outdoors.  (Okay, I moaned a few times about needing a hot espresso, but other than that….)


We Moms compared notes about our early outdoor experiences. We all had the common denominator of spending multiple hours outdoors (at our parents’ insistence). It was a building block of our childhood. We spoke of building pine needle forts, climbing trees while watching younger siblings, playing in the creek, eating lunch in an ancient graveyard. And the lists continued for hours. I picked their brains for this month’s focus on Positive Adoption- PLAY. 

“Many members of my generation grew into adulthood taking nature’s gift for granted; we assumed (when we thought of it at all) that generations to come would also receive these gifts. But something has changed. Now we see the emergence of what I have come to call nature deficit disorder.”- Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods

 Today, I want us Moms to chew on these questions: Why go outside when all the electrical outlets are inside? Why should moms play outside? Nature deficit disorder is not just for children, it affects us moms too!


“In the space of a century, the American experience of nature has gone from direct utilitarianism to romantic attachment to electronic detachment.”- Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods

We live in a new era where yards are smaller, green space more limited in suburban and metropolitan areas. We have everything at our finger tips. YouTube and Animal Planet provide plenty of the footage of the wild world. Servants like dishwashers and clothes dryers do our dirty work. No need to pound the rugs outside with a rug beater when Mr. Dyson will do the work, we just have to plug him in and give him a little push. We can chat for hours with friends on our Ipads without ever stepping out the door.


During my childhood years, my parents took us kids on five- and six-week vacations across the nation, from the east coast to the west in a VW van, camping in a tent most nights with an occasional hotel night. There were no electronics available. The places we went you couldn’t view online (there was no online, only real life). You had to go there. We threw snowballs in July in the Grand Tetons, stretched our bodies over New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado in the Four Corners, swam in frigid waters with pebbly beaches, watched Old Faithful erupt and stood face to rock face with George Washington,Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, at Mount Rushmore. From the Redwood Forest to the beaches of Virginia, Maryland and the Carolinas, my family experienced it all.


When we arrived home with Grandma in tow (we picked her up in Arizona), we aired out the tent and the sleeping bags,unpacked and got back to the outdoors, weeding the garden, moving, and my younger siblings’ favorite, catching crawdads in the creek. Then there was apple picking! My older brother climbed the tree while we girls held a sheet below. He shook the branches and apples rained down on us.

Fast Forward to my early Mommy years. I was home alone, with a baby in a townhouse, suffering from postpartum depression (though I didn’t know it at the time). I didn’t see the necessity of going outdoors. I had my childhood memories tucked safely away to pull out at will, but I didn’t really think about the message my parents taught me: Go outdoors, often. Unplug. I worked indoors with my servants and caught up on Brady Bunch reruns. Then one day, a wise, more mature Mama told me I needed to get outdoors to lift my mood and restore my sanity.

Outdoors I went, with kits, cats, sacks, baby and blankets to sit and enjoy nature. Jerry or I strapped Audrey on our backs while we hiked up back country roads. My mood improved. My house left behind, I enjoyed fresh air and gained a new outlook. Sticky floors didn’t bother me while I played outdoors. They were in another time and place indoors. And I started back down the road of my childhood, trading four walls for an expanse of sky, trees, birds and the gift of NATURE.

As I write this, I am sitting on my back deck, birds are chirping, my laundry drying in the sun and I don’t want to go back inside. Nature is my medicine. It calms me. It is my playground. Why do I go outside? To restore. Renew.

I logged fifteen miles of walking outside last week. It is my necessity, not my luxury. Nature sedates parts of me that need sedating and invigorates the parts of me that need invigorating. And the play in my flower garden, clipping a bouquet, pulling out weeds, eases the tension and brings my world back into perspective.

I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.-e.e.cumings

Why do you go outside? What do you consider play outside?

Tomorrow,  we will be giving away a free copy of:

book coverSo join us for Totally Broke Tuesday and leave a comment to enter in the drawing! We will draw a name Tuesday at 3:00pm!