5.22.2014

The Day I Lost My Smile

I looked at my schedule and an overwhelming sense of dread started creeping into my heart. “What’s wrong with me? Why am I always running late, running behind, and running after my people who all seem to compound this issue?”

Because time refused to stand still while I pondered, it was necessary to jump right into task mode. There were lunches to pack, permission forms to sign, and tangles that needed gathering up into ponytails. I put one foot in front of the other and kicked into automatic, mentally crossing off one thing after another on my morning routine checklist.

I gathered up backpacks and lunchboxes and started announcing from the front door that we had to leave right this minute. And then I said it again. And then I yelled it in a tone that finally got my kids to appear. I quickly checked to make sure we didn’t repeat yesterday’s mistake of letting one leave with no shoes on. Then I marched out of the house while tossing out a stern reminder to please shut the door quickly so the dog didn’t get out.

But the dog did get out.

As I slipped the car in drive, the dog darted right out in front of me causing me to simultaneously slam on the brakes and spill both cups of orange juice I had gingerly perched between my purse and the little stacks of toast.

I jumped out to usher the dog back into the house and let hot tears just have their way. The green numbers of the dashboard clock seemed to simultaneously mock and remind me I had no time to sit and cry it all out.

I handed my kids their soggy toast and in a rare moment of silence, they took it without protest.

We pulled into the carpool line at school and I stared at the long line of cars ahead of me. I imagined all the wonderful smiling mothers who were doing this better than me. They probably had organized systems for packing lunches the night before and making sure their kids kept up with their shoes. They probably did family devotions each morning, ate breakfast at the table, and sang songs all the way to school.

I compared all that to the realities of my morning and came to one heart-sinking conclusion: “I stink at this.”

Almost at that exact moment my phone buzzed with a text message from a friend: “I had a really hard morning with my kids today. I’d love to have coffee some time and learn how you do it all so well.”

I couldn’t believe it. I half sighed and half chuckled at the irony.

I turned around to my kids in the back and said, “Hey guys, I’m really sorry Mommy was such a grump this morning. I think I misplaced my smile. So I just want you to know while you’re at school today I’m going to do everything I can to find it.”

After I dropped them off, I called that friend and told her what a gift it was to get her text.

I shared with her. She shared with me.

Together, we brainstormed better ways to prepare for these morning pitfalls we both kept finding ourselves in.

Together, we gave ourselves the permission to admit how hard motherhood can sometimes be and that it’s okay to feel caught off guard by the endless demands.

Together, we listed reasons to be so very thankful.

Together, we found strength.

Together, we regained our sense of dignity.

And it wasn’t too long until we both found ourselves laughing together.

It reminds me Proverbs 31:25, “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” But sometimes it takes a friend to bring us back to the place where we can live this verse.

We need each other. The key word that day I processed life with my friend and gained a better perspective was, “together.” It’s such a powerful word and the exact reason I wrote this post today.

You are not alone.

Oh, how easy it is to lose our smiles and forget to laugh at the craziness of our lives. I need reminders, like the truth of Proverbs 31:25 and that sweet time spent with my friend.

I imagine, though the circumstances might be different for you, you know that place where I was. And maybe you need a reminder to laugh too. We all have times where we feel like failures. We feel like others are doing life so much better. We feel so very alone in our struggles and issues and chaotic emotions. And we look up one day and feel like it was a lifetime ago since we laughed.

So, I slip this little encouragement into your life and whisper, you’re not alone. You’re doing this so much better than you think you are. God has entrusted you with your life, your loved ones, your unique challenges because you are perfectly equipped for it all.

Just don’t lose your smile. And if you run into me today looking a little worn out, might you remind me of this as well?

5.9.2014

The 5 Mom Prayers You Need

Being a mom is wonderfully amazing. Until it isn’t. And I find myself awake at 3am wondering what I could have done better … or beating myself up for all the ways I fall short … or convincing myself I sometimes just flat out stink at being a mom.

Ever been there?

Deep fear grips the heart of a mother who feels quite inadequate and unsure of what to do next.

I beg God to appear in my bedroom with the fix-it plan and assurance that it really is going to be okay.

After all, He’s the perfect Parent, and has dealt with imperfect children since the beginning of time. I think He offers the best advice around.

But He doesn’t appear. Not in the flesh anyhow. Instead, He leads me to open His Word and put pen to paper. I scribble truth, thoughts, and prayers.

And then I wonder if you ever feel like me.

For those who sigh and say, “yes,” I put together a 5-day devotional with accompanying prayers you can lift up for yourself as a mom. I thought this might be the perfect piece of encouragement for you this Mother’s Day.

To sign up to receive “The 5 Mom Prayers You Need,” pop over to my Instagram @LysaTerKeurst or by clicking here. I’m posting inspirational graphics and in my profile you’ll find the link to sign up. Here’s a sneak peek at what I’ve been posting …

The 5 Mom Prayers You Need - Lysa TerKeurst
The 5 Mom Prayers You Need - Lysa TerKeurst

Happy Mother’s Day!

5.3.2014

Don’t Delete That Photo…

I had seen several posts on Instagram of couples looking so fun and whimsically romantic that I decided to look for a moment like this for my husband, Art, and me to capture. We were on vacation so surely this would be a realistic endeavor.

That night, we walked out from dinner just in time to see a beautiful sky swirling with a magnificent sunset. “This is it!” I grabbed my phone and tapped the camera option.

Y’all. It wasn’t pretty. No amount of editing, cropping, or filter-adding would have made this picture (or the several attempts that followed) look like the ones I had seen on Instagram.

But I’m learning to embrace something: it’s moments that simply happen, not the ones manufactured, that truly capture life.

I’m posting more about this over at (in)Courage today. Click here to read the rest of my post and to join in on the conversation!