A brief intro My MOMspiration Series…
For those who may have missed it, I wanted to share a little bit of an intro into how the idea of this series came to mind and how it all began. If you follow me on social, you likely already know where all of this is coming from, so feel free to scroll down the page the section titled “Week 1: Expectations vs. Reality” to get started.
Well friends, . I’m, officially launching my **hopefully** once-a-week faith-based, mom life chat. I have toyed with this idea for a while now. I’ve always felt like sharing my current struggles and how I use my faith to work through it was placed on my heart, but I guess I was afraid to pull the trigger.
What would all of you think? Would it be well received? Do people really care about this kind of thing? Is what I have to share even really that relatable or am I just an overly-anxious, stressed, control freak, type-A kind of mom that people will look at and think, “woah! she’s got issues!”?
But, after an overwhelming response from all of you on Instagram telling me that you enjoy this type of mom life chit-chat as well, here I am. My hope for this series is to share a glimpse into my life as a mom and what I am currently struggling with and how I use my daily devotionals, prayer and faith-based tools to navigate this crazy journey through motherhood. My goal is to use this as a way to connect with all of you on a more personal level. I want to help you work through some of the many things we mothers struggle with on our journey, but often times hear nothing about because it’s as if they’re somewhat “too heavy” to talk about. Or, we may feel that we’re not being grateful for the many blessings we’ve been given.
What to expect each week…
I plan to keep these short, so you can easily read them in about 5-10 minutes each week — my goal is to keep them closer to 5 minutes because I get it… mom life. I want you to be able to use them as a way to grow in your faith and feel less alone as a mom. So you feel like can take something with you from these into each week, I’ll chat a little bit about what I am struggling with, what I feel like God is trying to tell me/teach me, and then end with some bible verses and questions for you to ponder as you start the week.
For those interested in reading the devotional I am pulling my inspiration from, you can find it on Amazon. It’s called Trusting God In All The Things, and it’s written by 2 of my favorite devotional authors, Karen Ehman and Ruth Schwenk. I have all of my favorite devotionals linked on my Amazon Storefront under the list titled “Good Reads.”
Week 1: Expectations vs. Reality
Anyone else struggle with giving up control like me? How’s it working out for you? Because, for me personally, I fail at it miserably — pretty much daily. And it’s defeating right?! We have all our ducks in a row. We set ourselves up for success in every way we can, and it still goes off the rails. You take every vitamin you can, get 7-8 hours of sleep, get a flu shot, and yet the entire family manages to get Flu A, along with every other germ crawling around. Or, you try to implement a relatively routine schedule with naps, meals and screen time, but then your kid(s) decide to refuse a nap, the baby hits a sleep regression, teething starts up again or you get behind on house work, and need to lean a little more on screen time to help you get some things done. What happens? Schedules go out the door and tantrums, attitudes, and sudden refusal to eat their favorite foods come in full-force. Come on! Like, I’m trying here! Throw me a bone already!!
As you might imagine, both of these scenarios have happened to me over the last week — honestly, they’ve consistently happened to me over the last several months. You too? It’s exhausting, right?! You feel like you can’t get anything done or just when you think you’re caught up, something else gets thrown at you.
Not only has this been happening in my personal life, but to share a bit more of a personal story, this has consistently been happening with me on social media since the fall. It’s been one thing after the next. I’m doing all the things I am supposed to be doing, but I am getting nothing in return. I plan content. I share consistently. I’m adding value — I’ll spare you the other boring details, but you get it. Nothing was working.
Then it hit me. I’m trying to control things again. I’m the one making the plans and creating expectations from my plans. But, you see, that’s the problem. That’s where we often times make the mistake. We’re the ones making the plans, and we’re asking God to bless the plans we have made. That’s not how it’s supposed to go, which is what I feel God has been trying to tell me in several aspects of life over the last year, and it’s likely why I haven’t started doing this sooner. As Ruth mentions in the Day 45 Devotion: Surrendering Expectations, when our expectations are not matching our currently reality, it’s likely because we’re doing it backwards — we’re not trusting in God’s path for our motherhood journey and trusting him with the details.
Now, you’re probably thinking, “Ok, Candace. That’s great. Thanks for help. I’ve heard this 100s of times in 100s of different ways.” And, you probably have. It likely sounded something like this: Trust God’s plan. Trust the journey. Have faith in what’s meant to be. Focus less on the things you can control and more on the things can. All great advice, as I am sure you can agree, but it doesn’t help us work on changing our behavior or mindset.
I will preface all of this by saying: None of these things are easy to do. You have to remind yourself daily, sometimes multiple times a day to do these things. And, some days you forget about it altogether. But, it’s on the days that you put these things into action that you start to see the benefit in the work you do as a mom, business woman, mentally and emotionally. So, here’s a few suggestions on what I’ve been doing + a few things to think about if you find yourself in the same boat.
Ok, But whaT can I do?
- Recognize it. When you feel like your expectations aren’t in line with your current reality, recognize it. Again, it’s likely because you made a plan and had an expectation of how something was going to turn out, and it’s not aligning with your plan. Often times the expectation we have for a situation is the thing we can control the least, if even at all. Example: You take care of all your child’s basic needs, and have explained that he or she will not be getting a toy in Target today. You enter Target, and your child throws a fit because you told them no they can’t get the toy. Your expectation: Child will not throw a fit. Reality: Child throws a fit. This is tough for those like me, but we can’t control this. It can be a hard realization when all of Target is staring at you, and your child continues to throw a fit. But, focus on you. You can control your reaction, which is to continue the trip and ignore others around you, or you can end the trip, take your child out of the store and go another day. It sounds simple, and it is. Recognize it, and realize it’s out of your control. Move on with your day.
- Think about the situation. Were these plans you made, and simply expected God to go along with? Often times the answer to this is yes. Or, maybe you thought you were supposed to go one way, but you’ve been proven wrong. So, think: Did you ask God for guidance? Did you pray about it? Did you say, this is what I am doing, and then ask God to help you through it? I think most times you will find it was the latter, and you need to go back to square one. You may think you can’t hear God, but you can. We may be seeing all the signs or hearing that little voice in our head, but we’re ignoring it.
- Lean into a support system. When things don’t go your way, God is trying to teach or test you. Or at least this is what I have believed to be true. These are often the best times for us to lean into God first and foremost, but also a family member, friend, our church community…etc. When things don’t turn out as we plan, this is a sign to reach out to others who may be going through the same thing or have already gone through it. Sometimes we are given trials in our life as a test to see if we will turn ourselves outward rather than inward when we are struggling. Why? Because it’s a way to bring us closer to God, and that’s ultimately what he wants: For us to grow closer in our relationship with him. Secondly, he wants us to lean on one another and love one another through the hard times. God places people in our lives for a reason, and it’s often the the tough times that bring us closer to those we hold near and dear to our hearts.
So, as you take on the week ahead, remember these 3 things and put them into practice when things don’t turn out quite the way you planned. They really help me to take a step back, re-focus, remember what’s important and work towards that balance all we mothers strive for each day. Recognize when you’re trying to take control of something you should leave in God’s hands. If you can’t control it, why worry about it? Instant stress reliever. Think about your current reality. When things aren’t working as you think they should be or your expectations are not being met, ask yourself: Did you pray about it? When we pray about everything, it assures that God is always there with us and guiding us to make the right plans. Praying always helps to clear the mind and helps you find clarity. And finally, the reality is that life is hard. Heck, Jesus even admits in the Bible on multiple occasions that life on earth is hard. He gets it. So, lean on those you love. Talk to them about what you’re struggling with. Who knows, they just might be going through the same thing and could use the support too. Or, maybe they’ve been where you are, and can give you some wisdom on how to work through it. But, always remember, God places people in our lives for a reason. We were never meant to take on this life alone.
Proverbs 3:5 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
Romans 8:28 – And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Psalm 37:5 – Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.
Hebrews 11:6 –And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
I’d love to connect with you in the comments! Share some things you’re struggling with below. How does this shift in perspective help you to rethink your expectations? How do you plan to use these tips to help you?
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Thanks for being here with me! We’re going to have so much fun!