My Doctor Said the F Word

I don’t like waiting. Traffic jams, grocery store checkout lines, airport layovers—basically anything that hinders my progress from point A to point B, I could do without. And I know I’m not alone. Most people hate waiting. It’s why Disney created the Fast Pass.

But you know what the kicker is? God does some of his best work in the waiting.

I know this firsthand.

For women struggling with fertility

Six years ago, I held a phone to my ear and paced my bedroom floor while my OB/GYN explained a series of lab results. After several months of trying for a second baby, I had finally consented to undergo some tests. Now I wondered if it was better not to know.

“You’re a bit of a mystery.” Not exactly what a gal wants to hear from her doctor. “Next steps would be to come see me at the fertility clinic.”

The fertility clinic.

That dreaded “F” bomb.

I never imagined it would apply to me.

Did you?

Even if you’re not struggling to conceive, we all know someone who is—or someone who defied the medical skeptics and is now raising beautiful impossible children. Fertility issues touch every woman either directly or indirectly, within your own family or community or close circle of friends. And we all have a responsibility to face it.

Why?

Because the Bible says so.

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. . . . Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:12, 15).

I’m not going to tell you how my season of secondary infertility taught me to trust God in ways I didn’t need to before, although that is absolutely true.

And I’m not going to go into details about how waiting on God can grant a deeper blessing than immediate gratification could ever hope to create. It really can.

Today I just want to admit that infertility sucked.

Yes, I said the S word.

Sucked.

As in, it sucked the joy out of me. It drained my energy and my marriage and the tears from my eyes. It blinded me to the present blessings of raising a happy toddler—because I was convinced she needed a sibling in order to be complete.

I know now that she didn’t, really. But that’s what a fertility struggle does. It consumes you from the inside out and casts shadows on your perspective until you can’t see or think clearly.

If you are that woman, the one who carries the daily heartache of longing for a child—whether it’s your first child or your next—can you please believe that God knows what he’s doing? I get that it’s hard. Infertility makes no sense to us. Yet your prayers are never wasted. God always knows something we don’t know.

And if that woman is your friend, you have a role to play. Don’t try to solve her problems or give her a pep talk (kind of like I just did). She is on a journey, and the Lord has placed her there. You cannot “perspective” another woman’s pain away. She must come to conclusions herself, in her own time, according to God’s plan for her life. Your job is to walk alongside her. Not to try to accelerate the race or bump her off the path of sorrow. God does amazing work in sorrow. Let him have his way.

Just love her. Listen to her. Pray for her. Cry with her. Step into her life for a while. Compassion in action will point her to Jesus more than any words you can spill from your well-meaning tongue.

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).

Sisters

I’m grateful to the women who walked through my waiting with me. If God had given me a fast pass to pregnancy, I would’ve missed out on some sweet encouragement from friends, among other priceless lessons learned. They were a bright spot on dark and weepy days. And in the end, when God chose to bless me with another child, those friends were the ones whose congratulations meant the most—because they gave all the glory to God.

My blessing is now a spitfire five-year-old who loves to run and jump and say “butt” as often as I’ll allow. Thankfully that’s the naughtiest word she knows. And when my husband and I took our girls to Disney World, you’d better believe I made them stand in line to see Tinker Bell and Rapunzel and Pocahontas. No Fast Passes allowed.

Because good things happen in the waiting. And we had each other to lean on—every step of the way.

Blessings,
Becky

Special note:
front-bigToday’s post was inspired by my friend Mandy and her husband Adam, who after several miscarriages have decided to welcome a third child into their family through adoption from Bulgaria. As part of their adoption fundraising efforts, they are selling these lovely T-shirts, printed with one of my favorite verses from the book of Ruth and designed by a mutual friend, with all proceeds going toward Mandy and Adam’s personal adoption fund.

I have no affiliation with this sale and no portion of it gets kicked back to me; I just wanted to support them and spread the word. No pressure to buy. A prayer for their family will be equally precious. Go to booster.com/nackfamily for more details. Thanks, everyone!


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I’ll See Your Five and Raise You Ten

My husband and I are frugal people. But we allow me one indulgence—my fancy face creams. Call it an aging thing, but my fight against the frump is much better armed with Rodan+Fields than Pond’s.

So imagine how giddy I was last weekend when I discovered a complete set of my products up for grabs at my daughter’s school fundraising auction. The starting bid was a mere quarter of its retail value. So I spent the night in a silent online bidding war with philanthropist no. 21138. Whoever she was.

I'll see your five and raise you ten

I placed the opening bid; she upped me by five dollars. I raised her five more; she programmed a proxy bid twenty bucks higher. I called her bluff; she answered with another five dollar increase. After two hours of good-natured leapfrog, my mystery opponent fell silent. I waited for her to bust me in the final minutes of bidding, but she must have given up. My counter bid was too high. I won the prize.

At still just 75 percent of the product’s actual cost.

Why? What made no. 21138 quit? I was prepared to go the full race. After all, proceeds supported our school—a worthy cause—and this facial regimen was an item I was bound to buy anyway. So it occurred to me that maybe my fellow bidder hadn’t actually used these products before. Maybe she didn’t know from experience what they were worth. If she had, she might’ve stuck it out ‘til the end.

When you know the value of a thing, you will persevere until you obtain it.

“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).

What are you giving up on these days? The Christian life is filled with opposition. Somebody or something is always trying to outbid us and bump us from the race. Marriages get hurt and hostile. Children stray. Jobs turn stale, dreams stretch beyond reach, and youth grows achy and wrinkled. Even the very culture we’re immersed in would tell us God is obsolete. But does that mean we’re supposed to quit? Not according to the Bible. God wants us to keep praying, keep loving, keep giving and serving and persisting even when the cost goes up.

I left that school auction Saturday night with a smile on my face and a load of loot in my arms. And you know what? The stuff was fun, but it wasn’t my only reward. My husband and I had a blast throughout the entire event. Being there was a kind of reward in itself.

Maybe if we all looked at our daily lives that way, as a celebration and not just another obstacle en route to the end result, then the opposition wouldn’t bother us so much. If you have Jesus, then you have what it takes to outbid any adversary. So keep pressing on. The process and the prize are well worth the cost.

Blessings,
Becky


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God Doesn’t Ration Candy Bars

I went way overboard on the Easter candy this year.

Saturday night, I filled my daughters’ baskets with various goodies I’d purchased and hid in my closet. My husband watched as I nestled crayon boxes, hair clips, bubble canisters and treats into the green paper grass. Then he let out a weird cackling sound—sort of a hybrid between a gasp, a laugh, and a snort.

“What?” I took a step back to admire my handiwork. Yikes. Even I was appalled at the sheer volume of sugar sitting in those baskets. Twix, Kit Kats, M&Ms, Peeps, and half-pound solid chocolate crosses—because we are a spiritual family, after all. Talk about a junk food party waiting for a tummy to dance in.

God doesn't ration candy bars

The next day, when my girls discovered they’d hit the chocolate jackpot, I relished their hugs and giggles. I let them nosh on a few treats in the spirit of celebration. But then, like any reasonable mom, I gathered all the candy into a bag and banished it to the cupboard. Starting today, my little Twix hounds are allowed only one piece of candy after lunch—if they eat enough grapes to satisfy my healthy standards.

Cruel mother! To give a gift and then to take it back! To limit it, ration it, demand my children to earn it!

Aren’t you glad God does not do that to us?

“For God so loved the world, he gave his one and only son so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,” (John 3:16).

God loves us. So he gave us a sweet gift—his Son. That’s the reason we filled those Easter baskets in the first place. Jesus’ death and resurrection means I have eternal life. And nothing can take it away from me.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” (Romans 8:38–39).

God’s love is so much better than chocolate. We can’t possibly consume too much of it. I predict that by next week, my daughters will have forgotten about their Easter candy. But they will still know my love. And they will still know that Jesus lived, died, and rose for them, long after I’ve wiped their sticky faces clean.

So for today, in the words of my two-year-old, I leave you with this beautiful truth, which I hope you will rejoice in all year round. “Jesus alive, Momma! Jesus alive!”

Blessings,

Becky

*Encouragement from the archives


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Share Nice, Children

I’ve been teaching my children to share since they were old enough to hold a Cheerio. But apparently I still have a lot to learn myself.

Share Nice, Children

“Where did you put them?” I shouted down the hall to my husband while I rifled through a kitchen drawer where my earbuds were supposed to be.

“Probably downstairs, honey,” he called from the office.

“Please find them.” By now I’d walked the hallway and stood in the office doorway. “Tonight, before you go to bed. Please? I need them in the morning.”

“Yes, wifey.” He flashed a mock pout. “I’m sorry I borrowed them and didn’t put them back. We share everything, right?”

No. No, we do not. He took my earbuds, people. My earbuds. That’s personal. I know I vowed to become one flesh when we stood at the altar thirteen years ago, but seriously? Sharing earwax was not supposed to be part of the deal. I don’t want to share everything. Isn’t it enough that we wrestle for the same bed covers, pinch the same budget, drink from the same travel mugs and pee in the same toilet? For crying out loud, man, let me have my EARBUDS!!!

Why do you think God created marriage to involve a man and a woman tossed together in one house, one life, one bed? I mean, we could’ve just procreated and then left each other alone. But no, God says coexist. Share everything. Raise a family together. Merge your hopes and dreams. Stick with this person through sickness and health, morning breath and smelly socks—let him borrow your earbuds ‘til death do you part.

Why?

Because marriage isn’t just about us. It has a higher purpose beyond our personal fulfillment, beyond raising the next generation of Christians, and beyond building a legacy or a happily ever after.

Marriage is God’s training ground for learning to love an imperfect person the way Christ loves you and me—lavishly, selflessly, unconditionally, and in spite of our many failings. The question is, am I passing the test?

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

Husband on lawn mower

The morning after my little sharing fit, while sitting at a coffee shop, I found a classical station on Pandora and plugged my earbuds into my laptop. After a few minutes of popping the buds in and out of my ears and jiggling the wires, I shot an e-mail to my husband. Following is the actual transcript of our conversation.

“My right ear is not working. You’re in trouble.”

“What. Why can’t you hear out of your right ear? Did you sleep on it wrong?

“You owe me, bucko.”

“They worked for me a while back.”

“Oh sure I’ll bet they did. Poop. xoxo”

“Hey Beavis , she said poop. Heh heh.”

What was I saying about teaching children to share? No worries. Tomorrow I’ll borrow his razor to shave my armpits. Because what’s yours is mine, right, honey?

 

Blessings,
Becky


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Some News I’ve Been Wanting to Tell You

My husband and I are big on setting goals. Every January, we sit down together and type a list of our goals for the new year according to category—family, career, personal development, spiritual growth, financial. Some years, we reach them all. Other years, we forget half of what we put on the list until we dig it up again the next January. Really? I said I was going to exercise? Pass me those Doritos, will you, honey?

Announcing my upcoming book

Last year, however, my husband added a bonus category—“new frontier” goals. These are the big pursuits, the stuff we dream of. There’s no chance we’ll forget those since they’re always on our minds, tugging at our hearts, filling up our calendars and streaming through our prayers. We’re keenly aware no frontier goal is going to come alive without God’s blessing.

And when he says yes—it makes for a really fun announcement.

Like this one.

I’m writing a book.

Earlier this year, I signed my first book contract with Barbour Publishing. My husband took pictures to mark the occasion.

Becky Kopitzke book contract
Notice the recycled hair in a ponytail and my home office glasses. What you can’t see here is the dinosaur coloring book and crayons parked on the end of my desk because I share my space with a couple short co-workers. Yes, the life of a mom writer is so glamorous.

Becky Kopitzke book contract
What’s my book about? For now let’s just say it’s about you and me and the evil women we become when we’re tired, worried, overscheduled or grouchy. When we compare ourselves to other moms or our kids to other kids, when we neglect that guy they call Dad, and when we give and give and give until we just can’t give no mo’. We moms turn into nasty versions of ourselves at times, do we not? This book will empower you to slay those villains.

And I am so thankful I get to write it for you.

“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).

Much love and gratitude goes out to my amazing agent, Blythe Daniel, for opening the possibilities on my new frontier goal. And to my husband, my greatest support, especially since he’s been taking over Dad duty with our girls many Saturdays so Mom can “do her boring work” as my five-year-old calls it.

One thing I promise you—this book will not be boring. So stick with me here each week for more mom-to-mom encouragement, and I promise to keep you updated on book news. And be sure to subscribe if you want to get weekly posts in your inbox plus my new monthly newsletter. Thanks so much to those of you who are already on the list. I appreciate you dearly.

So, then. Who wants to celebrate with me? Pop a handful of M&M’s in my honor today, okay? I’ll be here—writing, dreaming, and praying for you all.

Blessings,
Becky


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Love Your Kids. That Is All.

Every once in a while, God slaps me with a change in perspective. And it hurts.

Bad.

I sat at the family dinner table on an ordinary Monday night, cutting a pork chop and listening to our five-year-old rattle off her favorite activities of the day—our usual suppertime discussion. “I liked when we went to the park, when we blew bubbles outside, when Daddy came home from work. . .”

Just then I reached for a forkful of rice and heard it—a strangled, guttural sound coming from across the table. My head jerked up and in an instant my brain registered the source.

Our eight-year-old daughter was choking.

Love Your Kids. That Is All.

In a single motion, my husband leapt from his chair, lifted our daughter over his forearm and slapped a hand to her back. Praise God, the obstruction dislodged from her throat and she spit it onto the table. I wrapped my arms around her and didn’t let go.

In moments like that, a mom realizes what she has. And what she could lose.

“Are you okay?” I held my daughter’s face in both hands and searched straight into her eyes.

“Yes, momma,” she whispered and nodded.

“Well, I guess we’re not having those pork chops again!” My husband attempted to lighten the mood. But I knew it freaked him out, too. Our daughter sat on my lap for the remainder of the meal, although neither of us was hungry anymore.

The choking incident itself lasted a matter of probably seven seconds, but in my panic mode, I experienced the whole ordeal in slow motion. Then the adrenaline rushed throughout my body and I fought back tears. Suddenly I saw my daughter with fresh eyes.

Not as the girl I scolded two minutes earlier for poking her sister with a spoon.

Not as the child who would waste a perfectly good plate of vegetables then ask for ice cream before bed.

Not as the kid whose homework drains a portion of my dwindling energy night after night.

Again she was my gift. It was like the scales sloughed off my eyes, and for the rest of the evening and all the next day, whenever I looked at my daughter I saw her more clearly for who she really is—a treasured possession on loan from God. And I shuddered to remember he has the right to take her away at any moment.

The question is—how am I spending the moments he gives me?

I know on this blog I often focus on the common frustrations we moms face. The sibling bickering, the sleepless nights, the mommy guilt, the puking kids—you name it. If we struggle with it, I’m going to write about it, and I love that you’re here, joining me for the ride. I truly believe we can find God in the midst of our everyday annoyances.

But I hope you also know that at the core of everything we explore together, I love being a mom. My heart has grown ten times its size since parenthood rocked my little universe. And my children—my precious, beautiful children—are worth every single challenge the Lord has thrown my way and so much more. And the same is true for you.

It shouldn’t take a life-or-death moment for us to realize how much our kids mean to us.

So today I don’t want to whine about laundry or glitter or the ridiculous cost of braces. I just want to encourage us all to cherish our kids. Whatever busy work you had planned today, will you toss it aside for a minute and hug your children tight? Because none of the other junk matters compared to them.

Let’s love our kids while we have the chance.

Amen?

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).

Blessings,

Becky


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We Don’t Want Your Glitter, Thanks

I hate glitter. I’m afraid of it, actually. Yes, it’s fun and sparkly and my kids love to smear it across art projects of every kind, but glitter is just so pervasive. It infects everything nearby and makes my table, my floor, and my socks all sparkly, plus it clings to my fingers and face long after I’ve swept and hand-vacuumed. How pretty is a random piece of glitter on your nose, right? And then nobody tells you it’s there until you check a mirror after you’ve already chatted with twelve other moms at school and the library.

What, is it just me?

We don't want your glitter, thanks

One of my sickest fears is getting a fleck of glitter lodged in my eye, requiring surgical removal or else a lifelong medical restriction from the MRI machine. Once I thought it would be fun to be an art teacher, but then I saw the huge canisters of glitter in the supply cabinet and decided to become a writer instead. (Okay, that’s exaggerating, but you won’t see any glitter within twelve feet of my laptop, just saying.)

My girls, on the other hand, are big glitter fans. They’re really proud of these matching pink shirts I got them for school, each with a big silver glitter horse pasted front and center. Are you wondering why I bought the shirts in the first place? Yeah, me too. Let’s just say the picture online was more than a little deceptive.

So last week, I washed these fancy shirts with a load of the kids’ laundry, and after I pulled them from the dryer I spent half an hour shaking glitter out of every sleeve and pant cuff in the basket. And where did it go? Onto my kitchen floor, of course. And so we begin again.

I hate glitter.

But there’s something I hate even more.

Spiritual glitter.

Have you heard of it?

“You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. ‘A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough’” (Galatians 5:7–9).

Glitter is kind of like yeast. It spreads everywhere and multiplies—or at least it appears to. The Bible here equates “yeast” to false teachers who were trying to impose more rules on Christians than Christ ever intended. These misguided statutes eventually permeated the church with unnecessary burdens.

Do this. Don’t do that.

Eat this. Don’t eat that.

Everybody must get circumcised! (Aren’t you grateful you’re a woman, hey.)

Thing is, we can read those words in Galatians and think they applied to some unreasonable troublemakers who lived long, long ago. But they’re still around. They show up in our women’s groups, our play dates, our PTOs and our neighborhood barbecues. They know the “rules” to Christian parenting and they kindly advise us all to adopt them.

Christian moms don’t let their kids watch that TV show.

Christian moms don’t wear those clothes.

Christian moms don’t take their kids trick-or-treating. And they sure as heck don’t do the tooth fairy.

Christian moms homeschool.
No, Christian moms enroll in parochial school.
Are you kidding me? Christian moms are advocates for public school. Our kids need to shine a light!

Aaaack!!! I’m so confused! Please, somebody tell me, what does it really take to be a good Christian mom?

“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37–40).

We’re awfully quick to impose our personal convictions on other moms, aren’t we. Sometimes we forget they are just that—personal. God laid some core, universal, biblical convictions for all believers to follow, yes. But most of them offer wiggle room for interpretation according to what works best for your family. Chief among these biblical commands is to love God and others. Are we showing love to other women when we judge them for making a choice that God himself does not condemn?

Just like that glitter tainted my entire basket of wash, superior attitudes from fellow Christians can taint a community of believers. Their “spiritual glitter” has a way of discoloring the varying hues God designed for his people. And it’s awfully hard to brush off once it sticks.

So the moral of my story is, read the product description before you order glitter horse shirts online. And show love to other moms, eh? So what if she likes the tooth fairy. If you both know Jesus, then you have in common the one thing that matters most.

Blessings,
Becky


P.S. If you liked this post, I invite you to subscribe to Time Out by e-mail.
Each new member of my e-mail list receives a whimsical 8 x 10 printable for your home or gallery wall designed by Megan Hagel exclusively for Time Out subscribers. You’ll also get exclusive content in my monthly newsletter — fun stuff you can’t find on the blog.
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For the Family: 20 Date Night Conversation Starters

“So, anything interesting at work today?” I stir a straw around my restaurant glass and glance across the dinner table at my husband.

“Nope, nothing much. How was your day?”

“Fine. I took the girls to the library after school. We got some new books.”

“Good. They like the library.”

“Yep. Books are good.” I stare at the ice in my glass and wonder what’s taking the waiter so long. Then I smile at my husband again. “So, anything interesting at work today?”

Date night conversation starters

Does your date night small talk lack that old spark? For a husband and wife in the throes of raising kids, it can be difficult to flip the switch from parenting to romance mode. Sometimes our intimate conversations need a little help.

Today on For the Family, I’m sharing 20 date night conversation starters for married couples. Are you ready to boost your connection with your hubby? Join me on For the Family!

* * * * * * * *

Smile. Because I Said So.

It started last Christmas. After weeks of thoughtful shopping, I sat giddy in front of my daughters, eager to relish their squeals over every toy and game. But each time my second-grader tore open a piece of wrapping paper revealing some much wished-for gift, all I got was a solemn face and a quiet “thank you.”

“Sweetheart, don’t you like your gifts?” I crinkled my eyebrows, wondering why she wasn’t jumping off the sofa in excitement. “You don’t seem very happy.”

“Mom,” she dropped her chin and peered at me over her glasses. “I’m excited on the inside, but serious on the outside.”

That is her personality in a nutshell.

Smile. Because I Said So.

As my sweet girl grows, I’ve observed a sober, pensive leaning to her temperament. This is how God made her, and I want to nurture that. However, sometimes our natural tendencies can work against us, and we need to stretch beyond them. Like last Saturday—at her eighth birthday party.

“Sweetie, remember to smile, okay?” I whispered in my daughter’s ear as she reached for the first gift. Fifteen lovely pals surrounded her, and each of them had contributed a generous present to the pile. They were anxious to see the birthday girl’s reaction.

Of course Momma knew what that reaction was going to be. And I thought our party guests deserved a little more, uh, outward evidence of my daughter’s gratitude. So I offered a few quick instructions.

“I know you’re excited on the inside, but try to show it on the outside, too,” I whispered some more. “Smile big and say a nice loud ‘thank you’ to your friends so they know how much you appreciate their gifts.”

She nodded and immediately flashed a stiff smile to confirm she understood. Precious child, for the next twenty minutes she worked those smile muscles so hard they ached.

Don’t we all need a little help sometimes? When our natural inclination is to withdraw or hide or appear ungrateful, we sure could benefit from a guiding whisper in our ear.

Do this.

Don’t do that.

Remember to count your blessings.

And by the way, do you know how much I love you?

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’” (Isaiah 30:21).

God isn’t just some big, benevolent grandfather in the sky. He’s here, walking with us, indwelling us, and gently whispering encouragements to our souls. When was the last time you listened for it?

Sometimes the clamor and busyness of everyday living drowns out his still, small voice and so we miss the cues. But he loves us enough to lean in and speak above the proverbial party noise so that even when everything around us overwhelms, we have the chance to hear him. And then we can go where he leads us.

My daughter returned home from her party with a bagful of treasures and an even bigger haul of memories. And I came away with a reminder that God is with us, guiding us, and showering us with blessings. Anybody who wants proof of a loving God needs only to look at a child. Eight years ago, I had no idea how huge my heart could grow.

Happy birthday, my love. I thank God so dearly for you—on the inside and the outside!

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Each new member of my e-mail list receives a whimsical 8 x 10 printable for your home or gallery wall designed by Megan Hagel exclusively for Time Out subscribers. You’ll also get exclusive content in my monthly newsletter — fun stuff you can’t find on the blog.
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If this post encouraged you, please share it. You might also like How to Get the Life You Always Wanted, If Birthdays Make You Sentimental, and What’s Better Than a Bed Full of Teddy Bears.

Linking up with: Playdates With GodTitus 2sdaysWedded WednesdayGrace at HomeThriving Thursdays, Mom 2 Mom Monday Link Up, Tuesday Talk, and Things I Can’t Say.

Ditch the Mom Guilt

I love my kids. But—I don’t love everything about raising them.

“Mommy, will you build a tower with me?” My four-year-old sat on the carpet, surrounded by mega blocks. She looked up at me and grinned with her teeth clenched, pleading. “Please, Mommy?”

“A tower?” I stalled. I’d just settled on the couch with my iPad, investigating chicken recipes for dinner. I kind of wanted to stay there. But, instead, I drew a deep breath and flipped the iPad shut. “Sure, I can help you build a tower.”

Because good moms build towers with their kids. Right?

Ditch the Mom Guilt from Time Out with Becky Kopitzke

I have a running list of “good mom” expectations like that.

Good moms play Candy Land without going brain numb.

Good moms are never distracted by e-mail or Pinterest.

Good moms buy organic. They would rather die than feed their children Kraft mac ‘n cheese.

Trouble is, I don’t live up to my own standards. I stink at it, quite frankly.

Sure, I’ll play Candy Land. But I might reply to a text while I’m doing it. And then I’ll serve my kiddos a bowl of fluorescent orange noodles for lunch, which they love. Yum.

I am not proud of that.

But hey, I do other mom stuff really well! I do!

Tell me to bake a killer cupcake and I am ON it. Baking is my thing.

Dare me to hug my kids ten times a day and I’ll show you twenty. Affection and encouragement come naturally to me.

And if good moms take their kids to the library and the zoo and sign them up for piano lessons and soccer and karate, then I am AWESOME.

Are you?

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10).

It’s taken me a while to learn that the “good mom” standards are a bunch of garbage. God made us all with different gifts for different purposes. Some moms love delving into a child’s world, building forts and stacking LEGOs, while others are better at listening or cooking or showing up on time to preschool. We each have our own strengths, and they’re all valuable. So instead of feeling guilty about the areas we lack, why not celebrate the areas for which we were built to excel?

Consider this. No woman is a superstar in every aspect of parenting. If we met a mom with my flair for baking and your energy for crafts, plus somebody’s else’s unshakeable patience and another mom’s passion for family fitness or serving in soup kitchens or finishing the baby book—if this woman had a piece of the best of everyone’s gifts—then she would be THE perfect mother.

And let’s be honest. We’d all hate her.

I find comfort in knowing other moms are just as challenged as I am when it comes to mastering or simply mustering enthusiasm for certain aspects of parenting, don’t you? Because our challenges make us genuine, vulnerable, and dependent on God. He already knew our gifts before he laid the first babe in our arms—these precious children, designed uniquely for our families by a purposeful, flawless God. Only he can fill in where we fall short.

So imagine a world teeming with openly imperfect women who need God and share a desire to encourage and not judge one another. Where we can all ditch the guilt over what we think we “should” be, and really embrace the moms God made us to be.

Wow. In my eyes? That’s as close to perfect as parenting will ever get. Will you join me?

* * * * * * * *


P.S. If you liked this post, I invite you to subscribe to Time Out by e-mail.
Each new member of my e-mail list receives a whimsical 8 x 10 printable for your home or gallery wall designed by Megan Hagel exclusively for Time Out subscribers. You’ll also get exclusive content in my monthly newsletter — fun stuff you can’t find on the blog.
Don’t miss a post. Sign up here!

If this post* encouraged you, please share it. You might also like For Inadequate Mothers Everywhere, I Should (Not) Do That, and How a Wiggles Movie Changed My Life.

Linking up with: Playdates With GodTitus 2sdaysWedded WednesdayGrace at HomeThriving Thursdays, Mom 2 Mom Monday Link Up, Tuesday Talk, and Things I Can’t Say.