Middle of the Night Motherhood {31 Days}



After the sun goes down, and the day winds down, it's bedtime. Supposedly. 

Everyone knows that parenthood is a 24/7 job, but when you are on hour 22, 23, or 24, on the 7th day or 7th week or 7th month? That's just crazy, ya'll.

Motherhood can be extremely lonely, but never is it more lonely then when you are actually alone. In the dark. In the middle of the night.

But know this.

You are NOT alone. 

Many mamas are fighting the good fight along with you right now. Serving, holding, loving, crying, pulling their hair out, losing their minds, calling out to God, cursing under their breath (or maybe out loud). 

You are not alone.

May the next month be a reminder of this as all our voices unite.

Military wives.
Brand new mamas.
School-age mamas.
Breastfeeding.
Bottle feeding.
Adoptive moms.
Doulas.
Stay-at-home.
Working moms.

You have a tribe. This is where we are coming together to share our stories. To encourage, challenge and make you laugh in the middle of the night.

Most of all, we want to hear from YOU! Introduce yourself in the comments below and let us know what motherhood looks like for you in the middle of the night!

Don't keep it to yourself! Share this series with your friends on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest!


Idolizing My College Ministry Faith

I'm over at iBelieve.com talking about missing the good 'ol days of college ministry fiery faith. How can I appreciate but not idolize the faith of my youth? How do I settle into the relationship I have with Christ in this season, while combating apathy and stagnancy?

Um. It's a hella hard balance, guys.


I became a Christian the summer after I graduated high school. This new found freedom and love in the arms of Christ, while also being welcomed into an encouraging and empowering Christian community, was one of the sweetest times of my life.

I went to church every Sunday. College group every Sunday night. Accountability group every Tuesday. Small Group every Thursday. Plus, quiet time every single day. Throw in 2 retreats per year, leadership meetings every couple months, leadership retreats, and additional weekly service opportunities, and I was clocking some serious time with and in service to God.

That was 15 years ago, and my life is very different. I still go to church every Sunday. Unless my son is sick, or I’m still recovering from having twins, or you know, life happens.

I still go to small group one night per week. It’s a wonderful time to connect with other young families and reminisce about the time we used to spend with God. How each of us used to serve more, have more regular quiet time, feel so connected and in touch with our God.


"A" - He is Almighty {Who is HE? from A to Z}

I'm up early this morning, sitting on my couch alone, waiting for the littles to roll around and wrinkle their little noses at the world. I'm NOT an early riser, so this morning stillness is a rarity. A perfect time for me to sit in my jammies, coffee in hand, and force myself not to scroll through Facebook or watch an old Top Chef, but instead think a little about our Almighty God.

God is Almighty, El Shaddai


"A" - He is Almighty

I'll actually be doing three posts on the letter "A." Almighty, Angry, Awesome. I love these three aspects of our God. I love the depth and breadth of what they each signify and how they paint a vivid picture of Someone who does and feels and is.

Our God is Almighty. 

I cozied up to my homegirl, Google, (she never judges me for my PJ choices, today's being lime green with pink polka dots and brown terriers. Don't be jelly.) and my other homegirl, Caffeine. And with these two by my side, I learned a thing or two about our Who HE is.

Almighty = El Shaddai


Apparently, El Shaddai is first used in the Bible in Genesis 17:1-2, "When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, 'I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless. I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.'" (NIV)

El meaning God.

Shaddai. Almighty. This is where it gets interesting.

The translation of Shaddai to our English "Almighty" seems to be debated. There are a few explanations for the word Shaddai.

First, the root could be the Akkadian word, sadu, meaning mountain. Which would translate El Shaddai directly to God, the One of the mountains. This could signify God's strength and power, but also his dwelling place or a place to go and seek Him, often described in the Bible as in the mountains.

This holds additional significance from a historical perspective. Many cultures and religions have worshiped mountains (Mount Olympus, anyone?) and viewed them as closest too or the actual dwelling place of their gods. Sacred mountains are viewed as a source of power that is to be awed and revered. 

El Shaddai isn't just any old sacred mountain. 

He's the ONE of the mountains. The ONLY One.

Additionally, sacred mountains are seen as the source of something vital. Blessing, water, life, healing. Which leads me to the second meaning of Shaddai. 

Second, is the Hebrew root, shad, meaning breast. Yep. Breast. 

A place of food, nurturing, provision, growth. 

In the Hebrew culture, mountains and breasts wouldn't have the same connection as in our own culture. The connection would NOT be a visual one, but more of action, the two providing food and protection, nurturing those who sought them for sustenance

The second half of the word, dai, is unique to Hebrew and means sufficient. So Shaddai, would also mean self-sufficient. A complete and sufficient source.

He is God Almighty.

The One of the mountains. Our sufficient nurturer and provider. 

As blueletterbible.org puts it, "This refers to God completely nourishing, satisfying, supplying his people with their needs as a mother would her child. Connected with the word for God, El, this denotes a God who freely gives nourishment and blessing, He is our sustainer."

Guys. I GET this. As a mama, as a nourisher, sustainer, protector. But I'm not sufficient in these things. Not like He is.

I love knowing the depth of this meaning and seeing it in context. 

I love that our all-sufficient nurturing/providing/sustaining/nourishing One and Only Mountain was referred to as El Shaddai forty-eight times in the Old Testament, and thirty-one of them were in Job. If anyone needed to remember God's nurturing/sustaining/nourishing Mountainous properties, it was Job. Am I right?

In calling Him Almighty in his affliction, Job was recognizing both the reverence and awe and power of the One of the mountains, but also his ability to nourish and sustain and provide for Job. 

I love that when God first calls Himself El Shaddai to Abram, that He does it combined with the covenant to grow his family to a mighty nation. Highlighting both his power to do so and the fact that he will nourish and sustain the family and nation He is promising.

I love that I understand this side of God more deeply as a mama striving to nourish and sustain and provide for my own little people. I love that He is an All-Sufficient source of these things for me and them. I love that He is a strong, powerful, awe-inspiring Mountain. And I pray I can walk before Him blamelessly as Abraham did.

He is our All-Sufficient powerful, Sustainer, Nourisher, Nuturer, Provider.

Remember. He is ALMIGHTY.

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty." Psalm 91:1 (NIV)


What do you think? How does this change and expand your view of God? How are you worshiping Him as ALMIGHTY?







Who is HE? From A to Z {A NEW Blog Series about God's Character}


It's a new school year! And even though I'm not in school, I love this chance to press "reset" and start fresh. New pens, new highlighters, new mindset, new me. And a NEW Blog Series!

I know I've been strangely quiet in this space, and I've been missing it. I've been missing you. I've been missing the time to reflect and discuss and share and learn. Out loud. So I'm returning this new school year, with a series I hope will cause much reflection and discussion and sharing and learning, and also, growth.

At the beginning of the summer, my husband had to go out of town for a couple days. I freaked myself right out while I was home alone with the kids. Like, seriously petrified, people. I couldn't sleep at all. Each night, I was wide-eyed, terrified at every noise and creak and shadow. I texted a wise girlfriend, asking for prayer and calming words, and she told me that she recites the attributes of God in alphabetical order to help her fall asleep. (She is a much better and much more spiritual person than I.) I attempted listing God's attributes in alphabetical order and all I could think of was "Awesome." A. The End.

It got my wheels turning and my heart longing for a deeper understanding of my God. That, paired with my 3-year-old's OBSESSION with the alphabet, and something clicked!

I want God's attributes, titles, and character to course through my veins. And my son's. So I'm starting a weekly series digging into the attributes, titles, and traits of our God, alphabetically. There will be some guest posts along the way. Some crafts and activities to do with kids. But more than anything, we are going to reflect, discuss, share, and learn about our God. From A to Z.

I'm super excited! From All Knowing to Zealous. From Beautiful to Worthy. We are going to know Him deeply and praise Him more fully.

Let's do this!

What traits, titles, or attributes of God are you most interested in? Are you excited for this series? Please leave me some love in the comments below!

Fall is for New Friends (also, pumpkin EVERYTHING!)

I'm over at iBelieve.com talking about my excitement for fall bible study, pumpkin EVERYTHING, and gabbing with my girlfriends. Oh... and gearing up to make new friends, too.

***

It’s Back to School season. My kids aren’t in school (yet), but that doesn’t keep me from eagerly anticipating another “back to.”

Back to Bible Study!

I’m so ready for summer to be over, for the weather to get cooler, for the plethora of pumpkin-flavored confections to emerge from their year-long hiatus, and to get back in the swing of my weekly ministry routine. 

Fall means I can get a Pumpkin Spice Latte… on the way to BSF (Bible Study Fellowship)! Or I can get a Pumpkin Smash Smoothie… after MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers)! Or my husband and I can have some tasty pumpkin pie… at our Young Families Growth Group! Fall is seriously the best.

New Friend Season
Get in my belly!
Every activity that took a break for summer is now back with a vengeance. I feel like I’ve been counting down the days ever since summer break began, longing to return to my weekly dose of encouraging and challenging bible study. But most of all, I enjoy the time set aside with my long time friends. 



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