“I’m just in awe of you! You have four kids, you stay home AND homeschool, look amazing and run a food blog! Please tell me some of your secrets so I can be like you!” she gushed.
I was standing in a room full of people at a Christmas party that involved my husband’s work when a colleague of his came up to me. I literally just stared at her speechless, before nervously laughing and glancing at my husband with a silent look of “help”. Later I asked him, “What have you been telling people?!”
Just two hours earlier I had been laying on our bed with my face burrowed into my husband’s shoulder, crying my eyes out (not to mention staining his shirt with mascara) because I felt like I was a terrible mother, that I couldn’t do anything right, that I was ruining my children, that they weren’t going to be prepared for the world, and that I felt like I was losing my mind because my three month postpartum hormones were erratic and irrational.
Basically, I was one hot minute away from lunacy!
As I stood in the middle of that party, feet throbbing because I was wearing heels that have never been comfortable but matched my dress (priorities) with the above scene running through my head, I was also quickly trying to come up with a helpful, depreciating response because I could tell she wasn’t just being complimentary for the sake of being complimentary. She really did think I had it all figured out!
Well, I don’t. And I told her so. I told her that every day I feel like I’m falling short of the mother I want to be for my kids and that I think I’m screwing them up! A look of relief washed over her face and she immediately responded with an, “I do, too!”
As we talked for a few minutes I was reminded of a verse that I had tucked away somewhere in my brain. Colossians 2:10 says,
“In Him, you have been made complete…”
But then Colossians 3:12-13 goes on to say,
“So as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.”
Complete, Chosen, and Forgiven.
In Him, I know I’m complete because His word tells me so. Lies are not in God’s character. He believes in our potential to become better wives, mothers, and followers of Christ so much! He gave us His handbook (the Bible) to be better because He not only loves us but believes in us…because it’s His strength that enables this.
He chose me to be a wife to my husband and a mother to my four beautiful children. He chose me to be His child! He sees me every day, faults and all and still continues to choose me and provide encouragement in His words and comfort in His grace.
He forgives all of my shortcomings in my walk with Him. He forgives me when I’m less patient and snap at my kids. He forgives me when I’m dismissive to my husband. His love and forgiveness is infinite! And while I know this verse is also referring to forgiving others as well, I would add that we should also extend a little forgiveness to ourselves sometimes, too.
I offered her the only two quick suggestions that I could think of off the top of my head. Since she’s a working mom, I imagine dinner time is hectic. I mean, it certainly is for me and I work inside my home. So, I suggested involving her two young sons in learning to set the table to help her out.
When training our own children, we have always kept a bottom drawer in our kitchen that is just for their plates, bowls, cups, etc (and I don’t even try to keep this organized because it will never stay that way) so that they can easily pull out the drawer and pick whatever they like. We always let them have placemats with fun prints, pictures, or characters on them, too.
My other recommendation was to keep the meals simple, at least during the work week. Utilize one pan meals, meals that can be made in advance, or use my favorite invention ever, the slow cooker! One of the most kid-friendly meals in our house is “Trainwreck,” a wonderful crockpot creation we inherited from my mother-in-love. It even sounds fun! The kids can choose what they want for their “trainwreck,” and eat with their hands or their forks. The prep takes maybe 10 minutes and the rest of the ingredients come together just before sitting down.
It’s a tried and true family favorite recipe that everyone will enjoy.
To paraphrase Viola Davis in The Help, repeat this to yourself on those hard days: “You are complete. You are chosen. You are forgiven!”
Trainwreck Crock Pot Taco Salad
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 15 oz can stewed or diced tomatoes
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- 2 tsp chili powder adjust to taste
For Serving (use any or all of the below, or add your own!)
- Tortilla Chips we recommend Juanitas!
- chopped iceberg lettuce
- kidney beans
- grated cheese cheddar or a Mexican blend
- sour cream
- hot sauce
Brown ground beef in a skillet.
Add tomato sauce, seasonings, and ground beef to slow-cooker.
Set slow-cooker to low heat and allow to simmer all day, if possible.
Prepare other serving ingredients and toppings and place in separate bowls with spoons.
Allow each diner to prepare their own version!
Chels, Catz in the Kitchen
Chels is a born-again believer who dreams of living with all four seasons in Central Oregon. She’s a wife and stay at home mom to her four vivacious kiddos whom she home schools. When she’s not schooling or chasing after her munchkins, she enjoys reading, bubble baths, and finding clothing/kitchen treasure at thrift stores. But more than all of that, she finds refuge in her kitchen where she and her husband can be found cooking and baking up a storm for their family and friends. You can read more about her culinary endeavors at CatzintheKitchen.com.