Thursday, March 20, 2014

Mama Needs A Reboot {yes it's here!!!!!!}

Today is the first day of Spring- a new beginning, a fresh start, the season of renewal. It's the time of year we reevaluate ourselves, our homes, and do some purging. I chose this time of year to release my very first e-book because this is a new chapter in my life, and what better time to talk about rebooting and reevaluating how we are doing things? I am beeeeeyond excited about this guys. Thank you for your support, encouragement, and excitement throughout the writing and editing process! It really helped me keep going (I'm kind of a quitter at heart...) and reminded me of where my focus should lie in the midst of the many attacks of the enemy on this book.

So, here it is, Mama Needs A Reboot, published and ready to inspire you! Click the title or here to purchase for just $3.99.

If you could leave feedback on Amazon I would so appreciate it! And any spreading of the word really helps, as Facebook makes it a little difficult for me to reach all my readers. Thank you thank you thank you! Enjoy the read, and get yo reboot on! :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Being A Gracious Wife When You're Hurting {part two}

This post is honest and raw, and a picture of just a piece of marriage. My husband is, in my honest opinion, the very best there is. He is loyal, kind, giving, he cleans without me asking for help, he kisses my forehead, he is Prince Charming to our little girl, he is constantly putting himself last and seeking to give me happiness. He completely adores me and our children. But every marriage comes with hurts, disappointments, and mistakes. Even the tiny ones can cut deeper than expected and truly leave an ache. Let there be no mistaking my husband for anything other than the godly man that he is while reading this post about the realness of being married to a human being and being met with disappointments. 

He had hurt me, again. The fairy tale marriage just wasn't happening, and even though I had heard it was all a myth, I must have had hidden expectations that it could be real, because the ache in my chest was nearly unbearable. I played the scene over in my head one more time- the truth, the tears, the anger to hide them from him, the yelling, and aching, the running from the conversation. Locked in our bedroom where we get ready for church together each Sunday, cuddle in the sweetness of sleep, talk about having more babies, and act out a love so deep and pure it has made me cry, I am angry and bitter. How could I go from all that to this in the very same room? Marriage. 

I know I have allowed my flesh to react in this situation, and as the anger begins to cool, I know I have to face my actions as well as his tonight. The thought of that makes me sick, and so I pray. Why is it that I pray after I've already taken the reigns and ruined a night that could have been an opportunity for growth, healing, and grace? I always pray just a little too late, and I hate that about myself. Regardless of my human timing, I come to the Lord and ask Him to just speak to me, because I don't know what to say. As the Holy Spirit enters the room, I am drawn to confession- my thoughts, my words, my actions. I caused him hurt because that's what he gave me. God gently places the hard question in my thoughts, If you were given everything you gave, what would you receive? This makes me uncomfortable and I squirm, nearly getting up to just get this over with and talk to Brian before I'm ready. I quiet myself again and listen. You came to me last week and asked for help in being Christ to him. 

I imagine what Jesus' reaction would have looked like in my situation, and flinch when I think about mine one more time. Ouch. Flesh takes over so suddenly. It's the very first reaction and requires no thought to come into play. Faith and being Jesus to somebody (especially your husband) requires not only thought, but deciding to do so before he offends you. It requires walking with Jesus every step of each day, and keeping grace at the forefront of your heart and mind. To be your first action, grace must be ahead of your flesh. 

Sitting on our marriage bed, I think about what I did in my reaction to the hurt, and I begin to pray against those fleshly thoughts and words, and replacing them with the truth of God's Word and His love for my husband.

You will pay for this mistake.
I am choosing to work through forgiveness for the sake of God's will and this marriage. 

I am so angry at you, I don't think I'll ever forgive you.
I am angry right now, but I promised to work on this relationship, so I'm going to calm down and take my heart to God. 

Being Jesus is unnatural to us, but that's the point. If it were easy, we would have no need for a Savior, and every marriage would bring glory to God. To stand out, to bring glory, to be different, to not be the half of marriages that end in divorce or the other percentage that are married but unhappy, takes work. It takes a lot of sweat, dedication, keeping promises when he doesn't, focusing on Jesus and what He would have you do rather than on what your husband deserves. You reap what you sow. Sow forgiveness, grace, and dedication and you will reap it in return. You have God's word.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Bella's New Bed {a DIY post}

When we moved last month, we decided Bella would have her own bedroom while the boys shared. We got her a twin mattress, which of course led to needing a "big girl" bed. I perused Craigslist for a week or two and then one day... $20 for this perfectly perfect bed frame, which came with all the hardware and pieces. I got to work on it right away (and my I, I mean Brian).

Brian got his automatic sander out and roughly did the whole bed.

Then he used a 3M medium-grit sanding sponge for the corners and crannies. 

The wood on the sides of the bed frame was cracked and split, so Brian used Elmer's wood filler to fill it before sanding these pieces. 

Next Brian used a basic grey primer. He just did a quick, light coat, then let it dry before painting. We chose a gloss white from Valspar for the paint. It's wipeable, and crisp-looking- perfect for a kid's bedroom. 

We let Bella choose her own bedding, which was (sadly) really hard for me to do! Control freak much?
It is definitely not what I would have chosen, and maybe it's not Pinterest worthy, but she loves it, and it suits her perfectly. And the smile on her little face made the effort worth it :)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Being Jesus To My Man in Daily Life

Tonight I opened my Bible to Mark chapter six, and read about Jesus and his disciples. There is a point in the chapter where the disciples are very tired from traveling on foot and preaching on Jesus' behalf. Jesus says to them, "Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest awhile." This is not a very imperative part of this chapter (a few verses later, Jesus feeds the five-thousand), but it struck me and convicted me in my marriage.

We, as Christians- Christ followers- are supposed to be Jesus to other people, right? When you apply that to your marriage, doesn't it kind of make you squirm? Maybe it's just me, but when I apply this particular thing that Jesus did for his disciples to my marriage, I see a lot of wrong on my behalf. The disciples were weary, beaten down, aching, and in desperate need of food and rest. Jesus isn't thinking of his own agenda and all that needs to be done, all the people they need to reach and heal. He pauses for them, loves on them, and gives them the gift of guilt-free rest.

There have been many times where my husband has come home from a long day at work (he does electrical work for a large company in San Diego, and his daily duties are physically tiring), and been very tired, but I had some birthday party or baby shower being held at our home that weekend and gave him a to do list before he could even take his boots off. I'm not gonna lie, it's because I'm afraid he'll sit down to rest and not get back up, and I have things I need done now.

Other times, my husband has been in a difficult season of life, battling something, beaten down by weariness or depression, and at first I'm the good wife- doting, caring, encouraging, prayerful. But once I hit my fleshly limit of his tough season, things change. I get frustrated, start throwing sighs out left and right, start hinting around about things that he's been slacking on. I stopped relying on the Lord's strength and my human patience got maxed out, so all hell breaks loose, and our marriage suffers.

What I need to do is be Jesus to my husband. All the time, not just when I feel like it.

Letting go of my own agenda, reminding myself what is truly important (my husband's tired soul or that ugly wall that needs painting) is key. Taking a moment to breathe and tune into God's strength will turn me into a godly wife, a wife that my husband will be blessed and joyful to call his. Our husbands are human, and when they're hurting or struggling, it can come at an unfortunate time, but it is our calling to be Jesus to them.

How can you be Jesus to your husband this week? Share in the comments or on my Facebook page, and let's encourage one another in bettering our marriages!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Being A Gracious Wife When You're Hurting

Each and every one of us falls short of the glory of God. We are sinful by nature, and if not for the grace of our Creator and the mercy of the cross, we would be suffering our deserved fate. Sometimes, we forget this grace applies not only to us, but to these guys we're married to as well.

Every husband has flaws too, inward battles he's fighting, and heart issues that God wants to touch and heal. We wives have all these things too, whether or not we'd like to admit it, but today I want to discuss something hard. What do you do when your husband has a major heart issue he just isn't dealing with? And what if you can see it damaging your marriage and family behind-the-scenes? What if talking to him about it hasn't changed anything?

I understand this so very much.

Let me be clear. I am not talking about any harmful habits like abuse or physical neglect of your children. I am talking about heart issues- emotional, spiritual, and mental habits that are not in line with the Word and God's will. The kind of things that make you hurt for your husband and angry at him for not breaking the cycle. These are the types of issues that lead to bitterness and break families apart. So what's a wife supposed to do when it has nothing to do with her, and her husband holds the only key to making changes, but won't use it?

After trying anger, screaming, crying, manipulating, fighting, pressuring him, praying for a little while then giving up, threatening, and every other non-godly trick in the book, I finally cried out to God. Through some godly counsel at a women's group and fervent prayer, I have since learned how God wants a wife to handle these very hurtful and disappointing circumstances. To be honest, I fail often, and will admit that this is a very hard road to walk, especially when you're not seeing changes and the enemy is feeding you his lies. But God is good, He is the healer of all areas in our lives, and His will for us is goodness, fullness, abundance, and joy everlasting! So anything we pray over our husbands that lines up with that will be blessed! It's a patience and timing issue ((the hardest issues to deal with!)).

Today I'm sharing the first thing I learned after handing this burdensome issue over to the Lord. He brought me to the over-used verse 2 Corinthians 10:5…

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

I want you to do what I did on a day that changed my heart toward this issue with my husband, and re-read that verse very slowly, while thinking about what it is in your marriage that's causing you anger and resentment. "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." Wives, this is such a powerful key to our marriages! I began practicing this verse in my actions, and uhhh wow... I sucked at it, and it was very difficult, especially for me, as I am fairly....feisty. It physically hurt me to take my thoughts captive and keep them from becoming words. But let me tell you God rewards obedience! Not the way I wanted/expected him to ((by changing Brian)) but by changing me.

My heart became softer, a little at a time, and God began to show me some of my husband's hurt that was causing his heart issues, and keeping him from moving forward into positive changes. He began replacing anger with compassion, and bitterness with grace. Not one thing had changed in Brian, but I was becoming a different person! Our thoughts are not sins, but allowing them to linger and continuing to think upon things that are not good and praiseworthy is a sin, and this is where we must obey and take captive.

My challenge to you today is this: take your thoughts captive today, and command them into obedience to Christ. Don't let them fester and get to your heart, and do not allow them to become words! If you have a victory, share it on my Facebook page wall to encourage other wives to do the same. Let's tackle this problem that is defeating so many marriages across the world. Choose not to let your marriage have the most common fate by being the one who takes action!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Fearing Intimacy with God

I recently joined a new Bible study, where the book we are going through shone a light on a dark place in my heart. The first two chapters reveal our souls' need for solitude and intimacy with God. This isn't a typical post on a mom blog about finding time to spend alone with God. I know how to find that time, but once I get there, am I really intimate with God? Am I really seeking solitude in my life? As I read the pages and looked into my heart, I realized that I am actually running away from solitude.

I realized I am utterly terrified of total solitude, and of intimacy with the Lord. 

If I find solitude- real, raw solitude- what will come out of me?
What emotions will surface?
If I completely open myself to God, what will He say to me?

I realized my terror of the truth of who I am and the reality of intimacy with the Creator of everything, and I was ashamed of myself.

But in this life, what else is the point? Is the point really only to become a Proverbs 31 woman and serve my family, raising my children to further God's kingdom? Didn't God create Adam because He was longing for relationship? Doesn't God want intimacy with us? And isn't He a kind, gracious Lord that we can be our true selves with? After all, doesn't He already know the entirety of our hearts and want us anyway? Why am I so terrified of accepting His offer of closeness?

If I was created to walk in relation with, and to be completely intimate with my Creator, then why is the fear of this intimacy come so embedded in me? Because of the lies the enemy has fed me my entire life. 

You're not a good person.
Look at you... what a hypocrite. 
Nobody even likes you.
You're turning to food instead of talking this out with God? You're pathetic.
God is mad at you for failing so miserably last night. 
You're messing up your children.
God doesn't want you to have more kids. You're already overwhelmed. You're messing up too often.
You're not fit to do God's work.
You're a horrible wife.

These harsh, hurtful little sentences creep into my mind, and over time, I believe them. They are the unseen cancer infecting my heart. Because of them, I am afraid to sit at the foot of the throne of God. I cannot enter His presence because of who I believe I am because of who Satan says I am. I forget that the throne I wish to sit at is the Throne of Grace and that in Him grace abounds! I forget who I am in Christ.

I am free from the law of sin.
I am complete and whole.
I am loved unconditionally.
I belong to Jesus, and the evil one cannot touch me.

And so, with tender steps and a timid soul, I am learning to walk to the throne of Grace, where my Heavenly Father sits waiting for me. I accept his offer of intimacy, and take off my guilt, shame, and leave the enemy's lies at the door. I am a daughter of the King, forgiven and loved, desired and cherished! My purpose is to be in a relationship with Him and for all my earthly relationships to be directly affected by it. I am letting go of the lies, and my walking has turned into running, arms pushing against the wind, feet flying, heart thumping, soul yearning, and joy bursting. This is where I belong.

Monday, March 10, 2014

5 Things That Go Out the Window Once You Have A Third Kid

1. Leaving the house whenever you need to/want to/feel like it.

Two kids was manageable as far as running errands, shopping, or going anywhere besides the park. But with three, my arms are outnumbered by people, so I can only do so much. It's not that I can't leave the house; I just don't want to deal with all it entails nowadays. It's just easier to make lunch out of leftover Mac & Cheese and carrot sticks than it is to get myself and everyone completely dressed and go grocery shopping with three hyper, loud little humans. I'll wait till the hubs is home and starve till then, thanks.

2. Peaceful play. Peaceful anything, actually.

Sibling rivalry has recently entered our home full-force. All hell has broken loose, people. With two, you just have to break up one situation. With three, even though my third isn't even two-years-old yet, I have to break up fights within the fights. Two are arguing over a toy while the youngest screeches, the oldest is mad at the noise the youngest is making while fighting for the toy she wants, the middle is slapping the youngest to get him to stop the screeching, and the youngest is continuing to screech while being slapped and suddenly realizing he would like that toy they're fighting over as well, escalating the scene further. 'Nuff said.

3. The possibility of having spoiled kids.

Unless your kids have millionaire grandparents, it is impossible to spoil them when there's three or more. My poor third child could probably count the amount of brand-new items of clothing we've bought him on his fingers ((if he could count, that is)). Our children have great imaginations because the only time they get new toys is birthdays or Christmas, so they make do with the toys they've got, and when they get bored, they have to get creative, and that's that. We can't afford extravagant shopping sprees or grabbing the latest toy while at Target. And even if we could, there is so much constant sharing necessary as a child in our home, getting the newest toys would be counteracted by having to share with your siblings a hundred times a day. No brats over here, people!

4. Finishing your sentences.

I can't remember the last time I said "hey honey..." to my husband and actually got the rest of the idea communicated before some kid started screaming "to infinity and beyoooooond!" or interrupted us with some very random question like, "when you fart does it go all the way to Africa?"
There are just too many little people around at this point, diminishing my odds of completing a sentence completely. "Teach them not to interrupt" you say? Oh sure, then all I have interrupting me are physical impairments like someone grabbing a giant glass of water off the very high counter instead of asking me to get them a drink. Interrupting is the lesser of two evils until they're older. I haven't completed a sentence in about three years and there's no end in sight. It's all part of the package.

5. Decent exposure.

Somebody is always naked in our house. Sometimes it's me running frantically from shower to dryer for some underwear, my children gazing wide-eyed and afraid of all that jiggles. But usually it's one of the boys because they pooped in, spilled on, or wiped dirt on their clothes for the third time that day and I've either given up or run out of clean clothes.
Exhibit A
If you ask me, going from two to three kids is a major jump, bigger than having a second kid for sure. It's a total game-changer. And if you're on the brink of deciding if you should have three, or know you want it but are not sure when to try, or are pregnant with your third and unsure what to expect, let me tell you this...

Having three kids makes your heart grow fuller than you ever thought it could. It opens you up to selflessness and being a better person. Your kids become this little group, and watching them play, hearing them discuss things, and seeing the relationships they develop with one another is completely worth all the craziness. I promise. Sure, you won't be able to pee alone for at least five years, but you will never be bored or lonely or for lack of a reason to laugh with three different personalities under your roof. Yes, I go crazy on a regular basis. But what is life really all about? The things that don't matter are what you lose when you let your heart grow this big. Besides, the best moms are always a little crazy. *wink*

What If I Don't Like My Child?

As a blogger, I've always had this set-in-stone ideal that I can't write about something until I know it inside and out. But that only worked well with practical posts, like a DIY headboard or styling your hair in soft waves. With heart issues, I just couldn't get it right. I'd master something, like serving my husband every night after his work day, but it would end up being just for a season. Something else would eventually come up, get in the way of my vision, and take up my focus. Before I knew it, I wasn't serving my husband like I should. I have recently realized that this is called life and being human, and I have cut myself some serious slack. So today, I am sitting on my bed, listening to acoustic music, and writing these words while I wait for my iPhone to update. I don't know how I ended up writing... I didn't intend to when I sat down, but here I am and here are these words, pouring onto this page as the wheels of my head spin wild and the ache in my heart grows a little heavier.

oopsy daisy photography
I am such a terrible mother sometimes. No, really. My middle child, Leland... he really gets to me. I have read countless articles, blog posts, and books about how it's okay, we all fail and we all need grace. I've read reminders of how precious our children are and how these fleeting moments that make up our days make up their childhood, and we must be purposeful. I know all of this, but I just can't live it out every day, or even every hour... without messing up. I've even written posts like that with my own fingertips. But I keep yelling, snapping, reacting. I feel like this is too brutally honest and maybe that's why I haven't read about it before. But what if you have a hard time liking your child? 

Of course I love my son. I love him to the moon and back and beyond. I would do anything for him. I often tell my husband that he has a special place in my heart, although ((and probably because)) he is my most difficult one. We have some beautiful moments together talking about Thomas the Train, singing "The Story of My Life" as loud as possible in the car, reading books, sharing fro-yo, and dancing in the living room. He is my baby, he is my son, and I feel a mother's love for him like every mother does. 

But to be honest, there are a good amount of days I just don't like him. I know that sounds horrible, and maybe you can't relate. Maybe you're where I once was- one perfectly easy child, looking at the messy motherhood of others with disdain. Maybe your fiery, strong one hasn't been born yet, or maybe you won't get one at all. I don't know. What I do know is that I have a child who pushes all my buttons, stretches every boundary. And sometimes I end up locked in the bathroom with tear-stained cheeks before the afternoon even rolls around. This isn't because he needs to be spanked more or put on time-out more often or scolded more sternly. Trust me.

I read once that a strong-willed child is like a cat who got outside once, but was scolded and kept from escape ten-thousand times. The cat will still try to get out, remembering that one time he made it. That's Leland. Always trying, always scheming, always looking for a way around obedience. It's completely exhausting. Add in a whiny voice, constant tantrums and time-outs, a screech that could wake the dead, and incredible fierceness. It's a wonder my hair isn't ghost white at twenty-six. 

This three-year-old boy has me at my wit's end, on my knees before the Throne of Grace almost daily. And that's just the point. Without Leland, I wouldn't reach that point very often, and I would need a Savior just a little bit less, and I would talk to Jesus less, and I would be humbled less, and I would not smile at that desperate mom with the crying kid in the bookstore, and I would not feel a wave of gratefulness for the simple act of Leland crawling into my lap. 

God created this boy of mine to do great and mighty things for His kingdom. He created him to be a fighter and a fierce lover of all things pure and good and holy. He created him to serve his Maker wholeheartedly. For Leland to grow into this, he has to be strong now. He was born difficult for me, so that I would be pressed closer to my Father's heart, desperate for His guidance, unable to rely on my own strength. He was born strong and born to me of all people on this earth so that I could be the hands of God, molding his will into strong, humble, mighty, unstoppable godly leadership for wherever God is taking him. That is not going to be an easy job. It's not an overnight fix. It isn't a week spent at home being extra firm and consistent. It's a childhood spent in the home of two parents who got closer to their Savior because their strong-willed one pushed them there, who loved him unconditionally, who gave him grace because God gave it to them, and who messed up a whole lot, but kept on keeping on. 

oopsy daisy photography
Life as Leland's mom is really hard sometimes. Sometimes he does something naughty just to be naughty, and that just makes me mad, and I don't like him then. Sometimes he screams "no!" a thousand times and puts up the biggest fight over a simple request, and I don't like him then either. But sometimes he looks up at me, deep brown eyes filled with wonder and asks "what is that, mama?!" And I get a chance to teach him. Sometimes he feels remorse and says "I'm sorry" and I can see the heart felt apology on his face. Sometimes he holds his sister's hand all the way through the grocery store. And suddenly it's easy... I forgive him, and I love him so much I can't believe I was ever mad at him. That's a mother's love and grace from God- that I am able to forget and let it go and love again. 

Being the mother of a difficult child is a beautiful burden to bear. It's an opportunity to really be Jesus to someone. Sometimes I disrespect my husband just because I'm irritable. Sometimes I hold my iPhone more than my baby. Sometimes I'm selfish and rude and mean. Jesus adores me, forgives me, holds grace out to me. Being Leland's mom is an opportunity to grow and do the same for him. It's an opportunity to become a better person. 

oopsy daisy photography

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

When Willpower Isn't Enough

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Today, I'm at Homemakers Challenge again, talking about those New Years resolutions you set, and why you probably haven't kept them now that it's the end of January. God brought me a solution to this problem, and I am sharing it with you today. 

Note: this isn't another post about how to keep your resolutions. This is different; this is much more. 

I have read that the most common New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, yet I have never personally known someone who made that resolution, then stuck with it to the finish. I am so guilty of this! Let me say right now that this isn’t just another post for the New Year about why you should get healthy, that it should be a lifestyle, not a diet, and that you will feel so much better if you take care of yourself. While that is all very true, that’s not why I chose to write this.
In my experience, nobody, myself included, makes a positive change in life without getting to the heart issue, then letting God work on it. Right now I am overweight. I am not where I want to be, and not in a vain way. I am medically in need of some healthier habits, and was technically on the obese side of the BMI chart, although I’m not a fan of those things (there isso much they don’t take into account!) before I recently lost a little weight. My personal goal is to drop two more pant sizes, but why have I had such a hard time getting there? Why did I just suddenly give up the fight and stop trying, even after I saw some success?
Because that is how far my willpower will take me. It isn’t enough. 
To continue reading and find out what God showed me that changed my life, click here.
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Monday, January 20, 2014

The Killer of Living in the Moment

I recently told friends and family I would be deleting my Facebook account. After so many relatives were worried they wouldn't be able to see photos of my kids and family updates (apparently not everyone prefers Instagram- whaa??), I decided I would keep my account but clear my news feed. Have you ever done this? I hadn't realized why I had so much disdain for Facebook until I went through it purposefully. I hid everything and everyone who was chronically negative or discouraged me. Needless to say, my feed is now nearly empty.

The issue of social media has been heavy on my heart for months. I even started a hash tag movement to help alleviate some of what I've seen rising so quickly {talking more about that later}. But it's more than that; it's this lingering feeling that everyone is trying desperately to one-up everyone else. Focusing specifically on Facebook, it's the status updates sharing waaaay too much. I kid you not, the other day I saw an update from a wife that came right out and said she and her husband were currently engaging in foreplay.

Let's back up for one quick sec, shall we? So, you're lying in bed with your husband and doing whatever you do before fully coming together, and... "hang on one sec baby. This is so great but let me just tell everyone we know what you're doing to me." Is it just me or is updating Facebook totally not on your radar during sexy time either?! Awkward doesn't even cover it.

This is, as far as I know, not an every day occurrence, but it makes a point. If that status update got twenty-something "likes" by the time I came across it and spit out my hummus, then it is considered acceptable, and maybe even normal. I want to take a bat to my computer and yell "WHATEVER HAPPENED TO TRUE INTIMACY?!"
If you haven't seen Fireproof you won't get this at all. 

Seriously though, what happened? 
What happened to quiet whispers and kisses in the dark being just between a man and his wife? 
What happened to a romantic text message without a posted screenshot? 
What happened to living in the moment instead of Instagramming it? 
Must we share every single thing?

Do you know I heard a conversation between two women at a restaurant recently about how they weren't sure if an old high school friend had a good marriage because she is so private? Are. You. Kidding me?! This makes me so mad because that is exactly what posting and sharing everything does. It makes it normal, and those who don't are assumed about. 

Let me say that I believe social media can be used for so much good! Blogs need Facebook pages to keep up and grow, and as wives, part of our responsibility is to praise our husbands when they are not around. For me, Facebook can play a part in that, as my husband isn't on there. But there is a giant difference between saying something sweet about your husband and something kind he did for you, and telling everyone that he gives you good foreplay. There is also a difference between sharing that you love him and sending the public a photo of an emotionally intimate conversation between the two of you. Enjoy life, people! Enjoy the texts, enjoy the sex, enjoy the fleeting moments and stop telling everyone you've ever met what's going on because guess what...they don't even really care, and you are missing out on what's happening right in front of you!

There's another side to this. What about the wife at home with her children who doesn't have a sweet, romantic husband? She sits down in the middle of a long, hard day that included a blow-out fight with her husband, checks her phone to escape for a minute, and sees a post about how incredibly amazing someone else's husband is. She aches even more now. 

Do you see what I am saying? There's a difference between praising your husband, and boasting or bragging. There's a difference between being an encouraging wife by tagging your hubby in a post, and just rubbing your perfection in everyone's face. And let's be honest, if someone's life seems perfect online, we all know it isn't, so why do we even bother comparing? 

I have also seen how my beloved Instagram can cause us to play a mean game of comparison. Ladies, just because someone takes beautiful photographs and has a knack for capturing a beautiful moment in every day life does not mean their life is only beautiful moments. To be perfectly honest (which I feel the need to do after preaching on this here pulpit), there have been plenty of days where I posted a picture of my adorable children holding hands or frolicking in a nearby field, and then screamed at them on the car ride home, or skipped cooking that night because I was mad at my husband. Yes I have done that before. Judge away. The point is, we are real. We are human. We are flawed and fugly. Yes, I meant to type fugly. We all have bra-less, makeup-less, greasy hair days, but they won't line up with each others. So, odds are, on your fugly day, someone in your Instagram feed is going to be having a fabulous hair day and wearing a dress while walking hand-in-hand with her husband on the beach. Oh well. Life goes on, because you will have a great day soon too if you get out there and make it happen and be happy with what you have and with who you are. 

So, check in on all your social media networks and clear your feeds. Get rid of the unreal and the negative and the boasters. And then, practice logging on and seeing all your friends and not comparing your day to theirs. My prayer is that our generation of mothers can learn to live in the moment and enjoy it in full, not Instgramming every single one, so that our children will be tide-turners who don't have to learn to disconnect like everyone else will, because we already taught them what the focus is- real life happening right now.

P.S. Have you joined in the Imperfect Motherhood challenge yet? I challenge you to show us your real life- the mess, the bad hair day, all the imperfections that make us sigh, laugh, and pour a third cup of coffee. All you have to do is be on Instagram, follow me at @allie_thatsme, and post your beautifully imperfect photo with the hashtag #imperfectmotherhood. Please note that if your account is private, you have to tag me if you'd like me to see it, and unblock your account for other mamas to see. 
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