Hey mommies! I am just recently out of my first-year-as-a-mom-of-two-boys self-declared hiatus. Adrien turned one in April which means that I am free to slowly but surely evaluate what’s important to me outside of motherhood, what goals I want to re-focus on.Why did I take this hiatus? Why did I need it? Well, because social media has a way of making mamas feel like they have to bounce back into all the things and in all the ways and all at once. In a humble protest against this societal pressure, I gave myself a break to be a mom. I’d heard so many mamas talk about how they didn’t remember their second child’s first year of life due to all the hustle and bustle.
And, while it is true that you don’t take as many pictures of your second child, I was very intentional about being present in my two boy’s life while we as a family navigated this wonderful new change. Along with welcoming Adrien into the world, we moved into our home, started serving at a new church, transitioned Ayden into a new daycare, and Devin and I both started new jobs.
I needed to give myself this grace!But now…oh boy! I feel like a force to be reckoned with. Nooo life isn’t a cake walk, we are still navigating balance and discipline to stick to the schedule we’ve created so that the day-to-day doesn’t become cluttered. Still, I fee like I have the margin to explore some of the goals I set my sights on at the top of the year.
I am sure that the process with be neither linear nor perfect…and I’m okay with that! What I’m NOT okay with, though, is settling in and playing it safe. I wasn’t created and endowed with gifts to play it safe. I’m willing to take a chance on me – for my kids, for our family legacy, for my soul’s happiness, for my Father’s good pleasure.
What got me to this point? Well, if you’re a mama, you’ve probably seen SING a trillion and one times. It would seem that this is how many times it took for me to get my butt in gear – haha! The piggy mama in SING is #MomGoals…she was enterprising, unwilling to compromise her dreams. She was also simultaneously unwilling to let her babies suffer because of her dreams.
This mama devised means to make it all happen, and we know how well that turned out for her! So I’ll leave you with the clip from the movie here…because #MomGOALS and a digital kick in the buttocks (the same one’s I’m squatting and praying come back LOL!) to get you up and after your goals. Don’t sit out on the sidelines! Do what you have to in order to become who you envision.
Whether this means building a team to take your business to the next level, hiring a nanny to help so that you can write your book (or just relax!), facing your fear of failure and taking that exam for the next step in your career, or just setting aside time to write out your goals…YOU CAN DO THIS! You are brilliantly enterprising and equipped for every good work.
Cheers to Enterprising Motherhood,
Have you ever been sitting and thinking when you realized that you’ve let your faith get stale, that your light has grown dim, that minimal fruit is being produced from your life? If I were to sit down and talk to you, I am almost positive that you would tell me this state of mediocrity didn’t just appear overnight. It’s true, actually. Whenever we fall off the wagon of faith and intimacy with Christ and obedience to Christ, it is seldom an immediate occurrence. That is to say, we can actively live passive, sluggish, lethargic lives that lead to a status of discontentment.
While this conversation could go several ways, I would like to hone in on how prayer and connection with the Holy Spirit directly effect our lives. There are several passages of scripture in the New Testament that talk about how God answers when we pray, how that we must pray, how that our motives must be pleasing to God as we pray. Check out the following scriptures before I continue:
Matthew 7:7-8, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
1 John 5:14-15, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”
Each of these scriptures provides a pattern of prayer where an exchange takes place after the believer takes the necessary step towards God. The thing about prayer we must always realize is that it is an active dialogue that engages God, not a passive thought process that assumes God knows. Is God all-knowing? Absolutely! Thus, prayer does not magically allow God in on our deepest desires, biggest problems, and most critical petitions. Prayer does, however, compel the believer to be active, to make a confident request of heaven based on who God is!
Have you ever been so focused on not complaining, not worrying, not mumbling, and not becoming overwhelmed so that your life is in agreement with Scripture? I have. While this is good, we can become so focused on NOT doing the negative things that we forget to enact the parts of scripture that bring forth a response from God. Take a look at Philippians 4:6-7. While this passage tells us not to be anxious, it also emphasizes the necessity of prayer–making our requests known to God and thanking Him for his answer. Do you see? There is action that must take place on our end.
Fairly recently God spoke to me about becoming more active in prayer, more intentional with my faith, and more expectant of His answers. I learned from the Holy Spirit that when I am not active in prayer and faith that I am being passive. Notice in the scriptures I listed that the pattern is: (1) person prays with proper motive and according to the Word and (2) God undoubtedly responds. When I am a passive believer, I am passed when “answer time” comes around. I cannot in all sincerity expect an answer when I have not made a request–according to God’s pattern of prayer.
So today, take a moment to ask the Holy Spirit how you can be more instant in prayer and active in faith. Whatever His answer, be willing to obey, let go of old habits, and live in the joy of fellowship and answered prayers! There is nothing that increases faith more than answered prayers and heightened awareness of the Holy Spirit’s presence! Let’s commit to letting go of passivity and grabbing hold of a passionate faith.
Cheers to a sweet prayer life.
Hello, friends! It’s been way too long right? I know (tisk, tisk). But, now that I’ve made it to the other side of morning sickness, book-writing, postpartum recovery, and a host of other life transitions, I thought it’d be nice to hop back into this blogging life with an oh-so-yummy recipe.
Salmon cakes are one of my favorite dishes to prepare because they are easy to throw together, make great leftovers, and satisfy everyone’s hunger (I have three growing guys to feed—eek!) in a healthy way. Devin (my hubby) is partial to anything sweet potato (ever heard of spaghetti and meat sauce with a side of yams? sigh). So, it goes without saying that this is an all-around family favorite!
Take a look at the recipe below, try it out for meal prep or family dinner and let me know how things go!
Cheers to eating well (and Happy New Year!).
You will need:
· 8 ounces of fresh salmon (or 1 can wild salmon)
NOTE: Season a fillet with salt and pepper, broil for about 12 minutes, remove from oven and flake.
· ½ cup cooked quinoa
· 1 medium sweet potato, boiled (use a large potato for extra sweet potato yumminess)
· 1 large egg (optional)
· 4 green onions, minced
· ½ red bell pepper, finely chopped
· Fresh basil, several leaves, coarsely chopped
· 3 – 4 tbsp. cornmeal (depending on moisture content of mix)
· 1 tbsp. stone ground Dijon mustard
· 1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
· 1 tsp. black pepper
· 1 tsp. garlic powder
· Olive or Avocado Oil
- Place flaked salmon and all other ingredients in large mixing bowl and mix until well combined. If mixture is too soupy, add more cornmeal or quinoa.
- Form salmon mixture into patties. This recipe should yield 6-8 patties.
Heat oil in large skillet, medium heat.
Cook salmon cakes for 5 minutes on each side.
· NOTE: Allow first side of salmon cakes to become brown and crisp so that your patties don’t crumble when you flip them!
- Serve with jasmine rice and asparagus. Top with Sriracha for an extra kick!
I didn’t clean the bathroom. Maybe the baby wouldn’t have gotten sick if I had washed his hands after coming from the mall…two weeks ago. I’m not attractive to my husband anymore. I feel so badly that I missed her birthday party—some kind of loyal friend I am. How did I not know this song was on the worship set for this weekend? The laundry is piling up and it’s your wifely duty to make sure there are always clean clothes. Dinner should have been done earlier tonight. I shouldn’t be a stay-at-home mom—I’m smothering my kid. I shouldn’t have started working again—I’m neglecting my kid. It’s so selfish of me to even be thinking of going back to school. Why do you need time for yourself again? You’re a minister and you should really be at every bible study. Worship is your thing, so why aren’t you feeling God’s presence in service right now? Literally, there is something wrong with you for spazzing out like that—you’re a horrible person…
This is the kind of running dialogue I have battled with countless times. Honestly, it’s a battle that I have not always emerged from victoriously. I have not always taken control of this internal interchange in order to speak truth and life into my identity. And although I pretty well know the words to speak in order to counter this life-draining dialogue, I usually don’t have the strength to do so…because I sometimes fail to embrace God’s grace over my life.
In my experience, God’s grace creates margin in our lives so that we are able to live with boldness, freedom, clarity, and power to carry out purpose. Think about it. When was the last time you had a really rough day and the negative, accusatory thoughts ricocheted from one side of your heart to the other? Were you able to gain clarity and security and peace outside of the remembrance of God’s grace for you? I greatly doubt it because of the truth found in Isaiah 26:3. It says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you: because he trusts in you.”
We must remember that there is grace for living as long as we remain connected to the one Source of our peace, joy, and ability. The ironic thing is that while there are multiple versions of guilt-inducing thoughts and emotions there is only one version of grace. We gain access to this grace through Christ. And simple as they may be, we must revisit the truths of scriptures like Philippians 4:19 that remind us of our ability in Christ as business women, wives, ministers, athletes, missionaries, mothers, and friends.
There is enough of you to go around—as long as you are doing the right things in the right season. Sometimes I struggle to grasp this reality because I forget who I am in God, I overlook the truth that He has crafted me, equipped me and strengthened me for every good work (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17). I also sometimes forget that a lack of ease in a season of my life does not mean a there is a lack of grace being extended to me. In the moments when I feel weak, I tend to notice that my posture is not conducive to placing me in view of the grace being poured out…right in the middle of my toddler’s poop explosion. When the posture of our heart is focused on the challenges at hand and not the gift of grace, we essentially open the door for the chatter of that critical voice that causes us to be unsure again and again.
Let’s be real, the voice of guilt is usually over exaggerated. No, you did not respond well to your husband’s innocent question about how to thaw out the Cornish hens (you are the one obsessed with Rachel Ray, remember?). But, this also does not make you the worst Christian wife in the history of all wives. In the moments where guilt tries to cloud our perspective concerning our identity, we must remember to take these thoughts captive and choose new thoughts that align with what Christ has already declared over us. However, if we choose to engage thoughts and emotions that disregard the truth of who we are in Christ, we give guilt what it wants: the power to stifle us from doing and becoming.
On the other hand, it is grace that empowers us to become who we are destined to be. It is also grace that empowers us to do what we were made to do. Therefore, when we wallow in dark, cavernous places that were never meant for us, we forfeit our destiny for lies that can always be combated with eternal truths. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” This scripture is a wonderful reminder that each of us was created on purpose and for a specific Kingdom mission.
God did not make a mistake when he prompted you to take the lead as the teen pastor. He did not misspeak when he instructed you to quit your job and build your company. Sister-friend, the Father knew exactly what he was doing when He blessed your womb with a fourth child—giving you four little ones under four years old. Maybe you are having a hard time coping with a divorce…the Father still says that you are of great worth and full of purpose. Regardless of the season of life we are in, there is always grace to fulfill our purpose.
Over the last two years, as I have grown into my role as first-time mom, I have had to rely on grace in a whole new way. I am reminded of a time when our son, Ayden Michael, was about six months old. It had been a long day of stay-at-home mommy-ing and I was exhausted from the inside out. The day was not over, however, because I was scheduled to be the guest worship leader for a church’s anniversary celebration. Not only was I tired, but I was also out of practice (having been on maternity leave and all) and out of confidence. Nevertheless, I put on my brave face and led worship. It went well. But all I wanted to do after the service was run to my car (baby carrier in tow, of course!) and ball my eyes out. I drove home tearfully that night and for the next few days I beat myself up about how inadequate of a job I had done at leading worship and how weak I had become. At what seemed like the culmination of this internal struggle, I received a text from the guest pastor who spoke the night of that church’s anniversary. This particular pastor is a very well-known church leader who I know personally and is a father figure in my life. As such, I tried my best to put on my best church smile that night so that I could fool him and everyone else.
Epic fail. He told me that he could sense that something was not right with me. So, after “thanking” God for bursting my bubble I explained my mommy woes and feelings of insecurities. His response to me that day was so simple, yet so profound. It has changed my approach to every hardship, trial, and difficult season. He said, “You have to learn to rest in the grace that God has already provided.” What a breath of fresh air that was for me. In that moment, I felt the Father affirming me, mildly rebuking me, and maturing me all at once.
I realized that I had spent days demeaning myself and my gift when there was grace being extended to me. I had allowed the accusatory voice to paint a picture of my Father turning his nose up at me in disdain when all the time He wanted me to receive His grace! How many days have we spent unaware of grace? How many times have we been overwhelmed, overburdened, confused, disappointed, or ashamed and neglected to accept this wonderful gift?
Yes, there was grace extended to us when we first received Christ, but there still remains fresh grace for us. Day in and day out. One way we can become more aware of this reality is to make time to get into the presence of God. Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” This is a clear invitation to us, the daughters of the Father, to slow down and bring all we are to Him. Whether in good times or bad times, there is grace that helps us press forward into purpose and freedom from here to eternity. Even still, it is necessary for us to learn to be still and create margin for awareness of the grace that has been provided for today.