A Love Note ….for the Mama Still in her Sweatpants

A Love Note for the Mama Still In Her Sweat Pants

Hey you,

Yes, you, still in your sweatpants and un-showered, hours into your day. This love note is for you.

Between seven a.m. when they wake, alert and ready to tackle the world and you and any sibling that accidentally touches the edge of that notebook that one-time a long time ago used to be theirs, and lunch you will field dozens of questions. The shade snapped, up, when seven arrived and you’re right in the thick of a motherhood that looks a lot different than when you prayed for their hearts in the dark, just a few minutes earlier.

In your mind, they were quiet and jammy-clad with the night weighing down their eyelids — and you poured out quiet prayers for their souls.

With seven a.m. came bodies that bolt and jump and climb right out of that placid sleep and into dress-up clothes and dolls and drama.

The older ones, they wear their layers — maybe not as loud on the outside but roaring beneath their skin. Where the littles count minutes until snacks and sweet treats, these older ones they hunger, too. They’re hungry for answers to all the questions you’ve just barely had answered yourself and the ones you’re still asking. You see them, awkwardly fumbling through who they are and who you’re not and trying find their one niche in a world that doesn’t know them but wants to own them.

Each child is a bell and they ring with their needs, sometimes all together.

All at once, this loud cacophony of sounds and needs and aches and you wonder how in the world God even allowed for a mother, much less you. They all need Him. Those bells, they ring and remind and hang out in your once-quiet space. All of them are needy for way more than your frame — still ringing its own bell of need and ache and hunger — can supply, yet they call you Mommy.

They Call You Mommy

So, you, the world wants to tell you that Mommy is that one who is harried and stressed and all caught up in worry. She’s the one who’s put all of herself on the shelf — though still not completely sure why — to tend to the myriad of needs she’ll never meet, but will certainly grumble about later. Mommy, to the world, means supplanted and second-class and just-can’t-wait-to-get-out-of-that-baby-stage-and-really-live.

Mommy is something to endure, according to the world.

She can’t wait to climb out of her skin and find passion, again. She wants to be led by love, but is trapped in a season where duty trumps all. Her sweatpants are an appropriate uniform.

But you want to know the truth about this season for her, for this Mommy? For you?

It’s scandalous.

You barely step outside your bedroom door to referee a squabble and another child’s broken a glass, downstairs, and the baby is crying — all at once — and there’s a Face behind that moment. You see that moment as loud and disruptive, but He has removed your ease so that you might find something better.

As I pour myself out over disparate legos and another broken glass and hours of referring squabbles, there is a concurrent story. The hot pursuit of a Love that shows up in the unlikely, just to show me that He is more than a God to be studied, but one to be encountered.

Experienced.

The scandal is in the sweatpants and the fingerprints on the walls and the sink full of last night’s dishes. We want to wrap those up and put them away so we can get dressed up and really love, and the God who scudded from the birth canal on to the dusty earth of the inn whispers “my Holy Spirit lives in your messy motherhood.”

So, you, mama, let go of the lie you’ve believed.

Ease isn’t the gift for the mom to hold out in front of herself like a carrot, counting the days she moves closer towards that as her babes move out of diapers and into big beds and onto college, out of the house. Ease is the enemy of the mother who really wants to fall in love with God.

Because falling in love with God often happens in the muss. Always, in the muss.

It starts with one encounter. One quiet (or loud) whisper in the middle of the crazy-mundane can make me lift my eyes and even shudder at how near He is to me.

This day — this long day where I crawl into my bed and wonder if I can do it again tomorrow — is the day the Lord has made. For me.

It’s my day to say, God, show Yourself as so near to me. Let me feel Your breath on my skin, today.

It’s my day to fall in love, right here in my sweatpants.

Club31AprilPinterest

Post originally posted on Mothers of Daughters.

For Your Continued Pursuit: John 1:14 | Psalm 23:1-3 | Colossians 1:27 | 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 | 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 | Psalm 118:24

Second photograph by Julie Cannon

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet4Sara Hagerty is the author of Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet: Tasting the Goodness of God in All Things.  “This is one of the most beautiful books I’ve read in a very long time. Sara Hagerty is a particularly gifted writer (she has the most lovely writing style!) and her story touches the deepest of places. I found myself stopping many times while reading and just staring off as I pondered the truth of what she had to say. Inspiring, convicting, and touching. I highly recommend this book!” ~ Lisa Jacobson

How A Simple Kindness Can Change Your Marriage

How A Simple Kindness Can Change Your Marriage

So I had this really hard day.

Or, to be more accurate, I had a really hard week.

And I was close to tears by late afternoon.

He asked me what was wrong and I’m sorry to say that I snapped at him.

Was it not obvious? Hello…? You’d only have to take one look at all the pressures I’d been under the last five days.

He stared at me and I felt a bit of guilt for the hurt I saw there. Taking it out on him. Undeserved.

But not feeling guilty enough to apologize. I was too wrapped up in my own struggles.

I figured it was about to get ugly and, frankly, I had asked for it with my snotty attitude.

Then I saw his countenance visibly change – from offended to compassionate.

He didn’t exactly understand where I was coming from – but then again, he didn’t need to. What mattered was that I was in a bad place.

His eyes softened.

He reached out with a gentle touch.

Asked if I’d like run into town with him. A mini-errand date.

He also announced to the kids that Mommy was turning in early that night.

And then later ran a hot bubble bath for me.

So, yes, I did end up crying that evening, but these were very different tears. They were the tears that come when someone shows kindness to you that you didn’t necessarily deserve.

My husband is the hero in this story. But you know what? I learned something afresh.

I was reminded of the power of offering a simple act of kindness in a relationship.

Offering Kindness in Your Marriage

A loving look. Sometimes you don’t need to say anything at all. Just look at your spouse with loving eyes and communicate that you care and you’ll always be there.

A soft voice. It’s possible to completely turn around a situation by returning harsh or unjust words with a sweet response. A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger (Prov. 15:1).

An encouraging word. Often our meanest moments come from our own discouragement or feeling of defeat. Those are the times when we could most use a friend (or spouse!) to cheer us up with kind, uplifting words.

A gentle touch. Reaching for his hand, rubbing his knotted shoulders, a loving kiss – these small gestures can have a powerful effect on the one we love.

A thoughtful act. Going beyond the ordinary to do something special or meaningful to the other person when they are down, or “in a bad place”.

Like any skill, kindness must be practiced repeatedly and untiringly in order to really master it.

And, like any gift, it is not up to us to judge another person’s talent, but far better if we simply focused on developing our own.

So, I don’t know about you, but I’ve recently renewed my commitment to showing kindness to my husband.

Even in those times when he doesn’t necessarily deserve it.

Maybe even especially in those times.

Because kindness is simply changing our marriage.

*What kinds of things do you like to do to express kindness in your marriage? Please share! I’d love to get some ideas from you.

In His grace,
Signature small

100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

 (This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Raising Heavenly Minded, Down to Earth Kids (small)*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get 2 FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).

What Every Daughter Desires to Hear from Her Mom

What Every Daughter Desires to Hear from Her Mom

It’s not easy to define what success in a relationship means because relationship is a very fluid thing.

It moves and breathes.

It changes with time.

But I can tell you that my mother and I have a successful, close relationship. And I’m pretty sure this is one of the main proofs:

I’ll call her until the day she dies.

My mom and I talk as much as we can in our busy lives. When I traveled around Europe, as I prepare to move across the country—it doesn’t matter.  If we can’t talk in person, we use the phone.

You see, my mom is not just a “person” in my life. She is not just the woman who gave me birth, she is the woman who gave me life.

Because of my mom, I know I can fly. She is the first person I want to cry to and the first person who hears my good news.

So, this mother of mine asked me to write about what every daughter desires to hear from her mom.

And this is my answer—for all the women who were perfectly made to be the moms of their precious daughters:

I will listen.

It’s no secret that girls are usually talkers. We have lots to say, and even if we don’t initiate the conversation, it’s very likely we still have lots to say. If your girl is a talker: let her. If she is quiet, give her time and space to open up. Create opportunities for her to tell you the secret things.

I value you.

The power a mother has over self-esteem cannot be measured. It is limitless. Communicating and saying, I value who YOU are as a person, I value your gifts, I value who you were made to be, can change your daughter’s life. It can give strength to her soul. It will give her the strength to fly. Every girl is different. Value her, just for her.

You are my friend.

Your daughter will always have to face enemies. So make sure she knows you are her friend. Be on on her team. You are rooting for her. Include her in your life. Ask her advice. Tell her that you are going to be best friends for life. As she grows older, eventually, this can come true.

And lastly,

I love youno matter what.

Love is transcendental. Love is safety. Love is approval. Give your daughter your love. Tell her. Show her. Approve of her with your looks. If she is different than you, rejoice in her giftings. Don’t try to make her like you.

So there it is.

And mamma, you just hang in there with that little girl. We grow up. But we will always need you.

Really, you have always been the perfect thing we needed.

~ Savoury Jacobson

100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

 (This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Raising Heavenly Minded, Down to Earth Kids (small)*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get 2 FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).

Your S.W.E.E.T. Guide to Marriage Communication

Your S.W.E.E.T Guide to Marriage Communication

I have the wonderful privilege of working alongside my husband, each and every day.

We both sit here with our desks set just right so we can look at each other, share our Paraguayan tea (terere), throw out tidbits of news or input, ask a question, and get into deep discussions.

Marriage is . . . an amazing adventure and a significant challenge. (Lisa Jacobson)

There was one particular day, as we sat at our desks that he laid back in his chair with his feet propped up, and I knew he wanted to discuss something that was on his mind. Being married for almost 14 years, you learn about your spouse and I knew his posture well, this was not going to be a short conversation.

We began talking about a particular issue, yet – instead of guarding my words right from the beginning – I let them roll, one after another.

My words were not supportive, as I pointed out his failures.

My words were not wise. Instead, I compared him to another.

My words did not edify my husband.

My words did not encourage him, but hurt him.

My words did not communicate thankfulness, for this amazing man who God gave me.

And when his words came back in response to mine, they stung me. His words hurt deep. There were words that I never thought I would hear from this husband of mine.

I never imagined that once he leaned back in his chair to talk, it would have ended in a war of words and one hurting the other and vice versa, but that is exactly what happened.

And, of course, here is where I would like to say that we asked for forgiveness when we finished the discussion . . . but we didn’t.

My husband went back to his work on the computer, and I went off to find something to organize or clean. The discussion was over, and it was not going to get any better if we did not part for some time.

Later in the day, we did forgive each other, and once again, we were ready to move forward in our marriage.

Your S.W.E.E.T. Guide to Marriage Communication

There are two things that I want to bring out with this story.

I first want to emphasize that my husband and I struggle like any other husband and wife. We may be missionaries overseas, but we are far from perfect. We daily have to decide to be committed to our relationship, because marriage “… requires that you invest heavily in your relationship.” (L. Jacobson)

Secondly, I see the importance of investing in my speech. Ephesians 4:29 says, Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Your  S-W-E-E-T Guide to Marriage Communication

*Are my words supportive?

“Express enthusiasm for his plans and ideas.” (L. Jacobson)

*Are my words wise?

“A wise woman knows when she should wait to speak or never mention it at all.” (L. Jacobson)

*Are my words encouraging?

“Kind words can have such a powerful impact on your marriage.” (L. Jacobson)


*Are my words edifying?

“Speak only those things that EDIFY.” (L. Jacobson)

*Are my words thankful?

“Babe, you’re the champion of my heart. A true winner. And I thank God for you.” (L. Jacobson)

Now, friend, there is nothing magic about what I am sharing.  I know that there will still be wars of words, because life just isn’t that simple. Yet as I grow as a wife who loves her husband, I know that to be sweet with my words is a few ways to say “I love you” and I value our marriage relationship.

Marriage truly is “a life-long journey of learning to love each other” and Lisa Jacobson’s book, 100 Ways to Love Your Husband, was a wonderful tool to help me on my journey of loving my man!

*Will you join me in not only applying these 5 S-W-E-E-T guide words as you communicate with your spouse, but also read Lisa’s book and be challenged to love your husband more?

Serving Him wholeheartedly,
Trisha Goddard

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

100 Ways to Love Your Husband

In Paperback: 100 Ways To Love Your Husband

On Kindle: 100 Ways to Love Your Husband

 

**********************

 Now in Spanish

We’re very excited to announce that 100 Ways to Love Your Husband and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife are now available in Spanish as well!

100 Maneras de Amar a Su Esposo by Lisa Jacobson

In Paperback:  100 Maneras de Amar a Su Esposo

On Kindle:  100 Maneras de Amar a Su Esposo

*This same article can also be found in Spanish: Un Guía Dulce para Comunicarme con mi Esposo.

Trisha GoddardTrisha is a born again believer, created and called to express her faith through love, especially by finding ways to serve her family and women in ministry. Trisha enjoys traveling and reading. She is married to Mike, and they have three children. They live in Paraguay, where they have served in ministry since 2004.

You can read more about Trisha on their website: www.mtgoddard.com .

Un Guía Dulce para Comunicarme con mi Esposo {A S.W.E.E.T. Guide to Communication with My Husband}

Une Guia Dulce para Comunicarma con mi Esposo

Tengo el maravilloso privilegio de trabajar junto a mi esposo cada día. Ambos nos sentamos en nuestros escritorios, colocados de forma que podamos vernos, compartimos nuestro tereré, lanzamos ideas y aportes, hacemos preguntas y nos sumergimos en discusiones profundas.

Es “…una aventura increíble y un desafío significativo.” (L. Jacobson)

Hubo un día en particular en el que, al sentarnos en nuestros escritorios, él se recostó en su silla con los pies levantados y yo supe que quería discutir algo que había en su mente. Al estar casada durante casi 14 años, aprendes sobre tu esposo y yo conozco bien esa postura, no iba a ser una conversación corta.

Comenzamos hablando sobre un tema en particular, pero, en lugar de guardar mis palabras desde el principio, las dejé salir, una tras otra.

Mis palabras no eran de apoyo, sino que apuntaban sus fallos.

Mis palabras no eran sabias. En lugar de eso, lo comparé con otra persona.

Mis palabras no edificaron a mi esposo.

Mis palabras no lo animaron, sino que le hirieron.

Mis palabras no comunicaban gratitud por este hombre maravilloso que Dios me dio.

Y cuando sus palabras llegaron como respuesta a las mías, se clavaron en mí. Sus palabras me hirieron profundamente. Hubo palabras que nunca pensé que escucharía de mi esposo.

Nunca imaginé que, una vez que se recostó en su silla para hablar, terminaríamos en una guerra de palabras una más hiriente que otra, pero eso es exactamente lo que sucedió.

Y, por supuesto, es ahí donde me gustaría decir que nos pedimos perdón cuando terminamos la discusión, pero no lo hicimos. Mi marido volvió a trabajar en su computadora y yo salí a buscar algo para organizar o limpiar. La discusión había terminado, y las cosas no iban a mejorar si no nos separábamos un poco.

Más tarde ese día, nos perdonamos uno al otro y, una vez más, estuvimos listos para avanzar en nuestro matrimonio.

Your S.W.E.E.T. Guide to Marriage Communication

Hay dos cosas que quiero destacar con esta historia.

En primer lugar, quiero enfatizar que mi esposo y yo luchamos como cualquier otro marido y mujer. Podemos ser misioneros en el extranjero, pero estamos lejos de ser perfectos. Diariamente tenemos que decidir comprometernos con nuestra relación porque el matrimonio…”requiere que inviertas fuertemente en tu relación”. (L. Jacobson)

En segundo lugar, veo la importancia de invertir en mi forma de hablar. Efesios 4:39 dice, “Ninguna palabra corrompida salga de vuestra boca,  sino la que sea buena para la necesaria edificación,  a fin de dar gracia a los oyentes.”

Se me ocurrieron un guía dulce para aplicar a la hora de comunicarme con mi esposo, ¡y pensé que también podían ayudarte a ti!

¿Mis palabras son de apoyo?

“Expresa entusiasmo por sus planes e ideas.” (L. Jacobson)

¿Mis palabras son sabias?

“Una mujer sabia sabe cuándo debería esperar para hablar o nunca mencionar algo.” (L. Jacobson)

¿Mis palabras son de ánimo?

“Las palabras amables pueden tener un poderoso impacto en tu matrimonio.” (L. Jacobson)

¿Mis palabras edifican?

“Habla solo de aquellas cosas que edifican.” (L. Jacobson)

¿Mis palabras son de gratitud?

“Querido, eres el campeón de mi corazón. Un verdadero ganador. Y agradezco a Dios por ti.” (L. Jacobson)

Ahora, amiga, no hay nada mágico en lo que estoy compartiendo. Sé que aún habrá guerras de palabras porque la vida no es así de simple. Pero al ir creciendo como una esposa que ama a su marido, sé que ser dulce con mis palabras es una de las maneras en las que puedo decir “te amo” y valorar nuestra relación matrimonial.

El matrimonio es “un largo viaje para aprender a amarse el uno al otro” y el libro de Lisa Jacobson “100 Maneras de Amar a Tu Esposo”, ¡fue una maravillosa herramienta que me ayudó en mi viaje de amar a mi hombre!

¿Me acompañarás no solo a aplicar estas 5 palabras al comunicarte con tu esposo, sino también a leer el libro de Lisa y ser desafiada a amar más a tu marido?

Sirviendo al Señor incondicionalmente,
Trisha Goddard

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

100 Maneras de Amar a Su Esposo by Lisa Jacobson

In Paperback:  100 Maneras de Amar a Su Esposo

On Kindle:  100 Maneras de Amar a Su Esposo

100 Maneras de Amar a Su Esposa by Matthew L Jacobson

In Paperback:  100 Maneras de Amar a Su Esposa

On Kindle:  100 Maneras de Amar a Su Esposa

Trisha GoddardTrisha es una creyente, creada y llamada para expresar su fe a través del amor, especialmente al encontrar formas de servir a su familia y a las mujeres en el ministerio. A Trisha le gusta viajar y leer. Está casada con Mike y tienen tres hijos. Viven el Paraguay, donde sirven a Dios desde el 2004.

Puedes encontrar más sobre su ministerio aquí: www.mtgoddard.com .

The Answer to that One Question He Really Wants to Know

The Answer to that One Question He Really Wants to Know

At 7:30 p.m. my son was leaving the house for a dodgeball intramural tournament at school. (Can you imagine doing that for fun?)

Mom, if I brought laundry down…he said.

Oh no. Please don’t tell me you need your choir outfit for tomorrow’s concert, and you’re just now thinking about it, I said.

Well . . . he said.

This does happen at your house?

But he’s my baby, and he’s about to graduate, so I was gracious. Soon he was off to play, and I was bent over his hamper of dirty clothes.

My husband came downstairs to visit with me while I sorted.

He should do this laundry himself, he said.

Probably, I said.

It was quiet for a minute.

When he’s gone, will I be enough for you?  he said.

I looked up quickly.

Of course! I said.

I looked back down at the bright green sock in the hamper.

But maybe right now isn’t the best time to ask me, I said. Then I was staring up at him with tears pooling in my eyes.

Oh baby, he said, and I was wrapped in his arms.

Soon we were upstairs snuggling on the couch, and Matt picked up his Nexus. In the fall, our church had gifted us with a weekend get-away, to honor Matt for 10 years of service. We decided we would use the gift soon, while our son was gone on choir tour.

Do you want to help me choose what kind of room we get? he asked, typing the resort name into the search bar.

Do you want a fireplace? (People in Montana still need to consider this in April.)

Do you want a lake view?

As we dreamed about an extravagant two nights away, it wasn’t hard to imagine that the answer was yes.

He would be enough for me.

I woke up in the night thinking about Matt’s question to me, but this time I could hear Jesus speaking.

Am I enough for you?

Paul writes to the church in Ephesus about wives and husbands, but at the end of his talk he says:

This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:32 ESV)

This relationship we have with our husbands is an echo of the relationship Christ has with His followers.

I can see myself bent over the laundry hampers and the cold lunch boxes and the reading logs that need signed, caring for my children day after day for a few decades. Loving them with all these little chores I do. But always there is this question.

Will I be enough for you?

And I need to say yes to my husband, because in this I learn to say yes to Christ.

We have to get good at this, my husband said to me a few years ago. We have to be good at enjoying each other, because pretty soon the kids will be gone from home.

So we’ve been practicing.

Going on dates.

Laughing over silly things.

Holding hands.

This is marriage.

And marriage is the picture of what it means to know Christ –working to find joy in our relationship with Him and looking to Him to fill the deep places of the soul.

May we be women with satisfied hearts.

~ Christy Fitzwater

*So what are some of the ways you’ve been “practicing” at getting good at enjoying each other? 

100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

 (This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Raising Heavenly Minded, Down to Earth Kids (small)*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get 2 FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).