Category archives: Parenting

What to do with your hard things

  One morning, I sat on the couch and had coffee with my Hope girl. Well, she had some creamer, with a little bit of coffee in it. I asked her if there's anything she's been thinking about lately. She only just had ten things. Ten very big, heavy things, that made her cry into her coffee cup. Ten things that she's been carrying around in that little tender heart of hers--things that made her feel scared and afraid. Some of those things that had created anxiety in her chest, were words I had said out loud to my friends, about my own fears. I didn't realize she was quietly listening. We forget that us grown-ups can process out loud and then be fine. But, kids absorb and worry. There were some words I had rashly and flippantly spoken, that I had to apologize for. So, w[...]

If I Could Sit Down and Chat With My Younger Self

When I was carrying my first babe, I decided that about six months in, of my belly growing out big, that I would shut the computer down at the office, and clean out my desk drawers and just work from home. Only, I didn't have a boss anymore. And I didn't have any deadlines. Or a paycheck. Or emails to keep me busy. I just had me and my little babe stretching me out, and my house to clean and some food to cook. Honestly, it was overwhelming. I was so tired already. And how was I supposed to know what to do everyday? No one was there to assign me any tasks. No one was around to tell me if I was being successful or not. Well, there was Brent. But, he was figuring out what it meant to have a stay at home wife, so he encouraged me as best as he could, but I still felt a bit lost. [...]

On Motherhood and Marriage and Finding God

I love being a Momma. All of it. I love all of it. All the joy. The learning. The growing. The stretching. Yes, even the struggle and strain. I find that it's the hard parts of motherhood that help me most become like Jesus. When I was in my early twenties, I remember going on a bike ride in my neighborhood. (I was still living at home with my parents because I was afraid to leave home and there were other factors weighing in on that, but I won't get into that now.) Anyways, I remember passing this empty house. I stopped in my tracks and paused there on the road and wondered if I'd ever buy a house. Or marry a best friend. Or have any children. And I decided then, on that patch of pavement, that all of that was impossible. It wasn't that it was impossible for anybody else, it[...]

Thoughts on Eight Years of Motherhood

One day, I had this baby. He was just a little thing with a whole lot of hair and a round face. I was nervous. I was scared to death in the middle of the night at that hospital, while my baby slept in the bassinet beside me because I had never been a momma. And now here I was, completely responsible for this intricately formed, tiny human being. But the music played on the CD that I had brought and in the night I cried through my fears and into God's comfort, "God of all I am, You are the Great I AM, holding all the world inside Your hands. Maker of all I see, Your love has captured me, More than all the grains of sand that fill the sea, You think of me."  (from the Praise Baby Collection) Deep down, I had mostly always wanted to be a momma. I had played it a thousand time[...]

How I'm Blessing My Baby (Before I Know Their Name)

When I found out I was expecting a fourth child, (and even though we were planning and hoping for another little one) I still groaned. I groaned because I don't like having a big belly. I just don't like the way I look or feel, at all, with a big-o belly. A couple weeks went by, and every time I looked in the mirror, I felt disappointed. Disappointed in myself for never losing the weight from the second kiddo. And somehow I let that disappointment turn into regret for this new life. There's something in our culture that seeps into our thought process, without us being aware that it's happening. It's this notion that children are an inconvenience. An unwanted burden. It pervades our society and even when we don't want to buy into it, even when we know better, somehow we still l[...]

When You Feel the Weight of Things (And How to Feel the Love of God)

Some days I wake up and feel the weight of the aching world upon this little chest of mine. I don’t even know where all the angst is coming from. Is it really that bad, or do I just need some breakfast? My children need a hundred things from me. How did they become so awake in just five minutes and need all these things? Someone starts to scream. Someone’s kicking someone. Someone just stole someone else’s chocolate milk. Someone says they are NOT going to the library with the rest of us today. Someone's hiding in the closet. That sounds like a good idea to me. I sigh. I need a hundred things from God. Like hope, comfort, energy for these little ones, and a protein breakfast, just to name a few. Mostly I just want to be held. Is that too much to ask from the Maker of the[...]

Diary of a New Momma

  Today, I came across an old note I'd written, right after I had my firstborn. (That was nearly seven years ago. Wowsers. How do I have a  nearly seven year old?! Aaaagh!) Okay. Anyways. It went something like this: .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... I’ve only been a momma for about three weeks, but oh, the whirlwind of thoughts and emotions I’ve been having. I've never felt this sort of terror before. The sheer weight of responsibility all of a sudden. I'm only confident of this one thing—I don’t know what the heck I’m doing!!! I took Gideon to the grocery store. No o[...]

Dear Children, If You Could Just Learn This One Thing (This One Really Hard Thing)

Brent and I, we’re raising this little tribe of kids. It’s the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever experienced and yet the hardest job I’ve ever had. So much of raising kids is trying to teach them how to live together in love. Seems like God provides a family for us, to learn just that. It’s like He knows that if we can learn to love our family—the little brother who’s always crashing our block towers and pulling our hair when he gets mad-- then we’ll be pretty equipped to love the world out there, hateful as it gets sometimes. The family is the best training ground. At least, that’s how it ought to be. It’s meant to be a community of deep knowing and unconditional love. Because who knows you better than the folks who see you first thing, with the morning breath and the bed-head?[...]

What the Summer Days are Teaching Me

Today, as the kids played in the warm sunshine out back in the yard, I remembered how much I love summer. And then I recalled all my growing up years under an Arkansas summer sun. There were popsicle days and creek exploring afternoons. There was honey suckle dripping on the tip of our tongues and strawberry nibbling.  I vividly remember the dandelion blowing, dirt digging, frog catching moments and the times when the afternoon storms would blow in and we’d dance around the yard in the rain and “take a shower” in the waterfall that flowed from the eaves. I used to begrudge my momma for having us play outside so much in the hot sun. We’d sit in the shade and make tents and forts from old sheets and me and my little brother were sure we were languishing out there in the heat. But, [...]

More from Maggie

Sign up with Maggie to keep finding glory in the grime!

Enter your email address to subscribe