Tired Mama In Search Of Sleep {...Plus a GIVEAWAY}

These twins are teaching me new things everyday. Like how God is using their bedtime routine to remind me to invest in relationship, rather than put my faith in rituals...

tired mama sleep training baby twins

Do not be fooled. These smiles are a lie. We are deep in the midst of sleep training up in here, my friends. My deceptively "happy" twin baby girls have been fighting naps and waking at all hours. That makes for one tired mama. 

(I'm seriously considering putting an ad in Craigslist. "Tired Mama in search of a good night's sleep. Name your price." Except... Not really any price. I mean, I'm kind of on a budget. Twins are expensive, ya'll.)

What's most difficult about this season of sleeplessness is the horrible bait and switch. We will have a couple amazing days with 3 solid naps and only one night nursing session. Just enough rest and relaxation to get our hopes up, lulling us into a false sense of security. 

Then, BAM! 

I get punched in the face, hit by a truck, wind knocked out of me, with days of crying and wailing and fussing and nursing and nursing and nursing

Little to no sleep. All that effort with no reward.

Teaching My Kids About Beauty

I'm over at iBelieve.com discussing beauty. What definition of beauty will I pass on to my kids based on my use of the word toward myself and others? How does my life, my language, reflect my definition of "beauty"?

 Teaching My Kids about Beauty

I haven’t always loved what I saw when I looked in the mirror. I’ve liked my reflection, I guess. I definitely thought portions of my appearance were pretty. You know, the features people pointed out. My golden hazel eyes and long eye lashes. My thick, espresso-brown hair. But I still seemed to make a hobby of focusing on my long list of flaws. I’d make comments and subtle digs against myself. I’d hem and haw and humph over my appearance. I’d pinch my various parts and wish the excess away. I’d almost always turn away from the mirror with a sigh, disappointed, rather than grateful and confident.

And when out with friends, I’d give compliments with longing in my voice. Rather than making the compliment a blessing for my friends, I’d turn it into a curse… toward me. The grass is always greener. My life could always be better. If only I had her skin, her teeth, her arms, her abs, her thighs. If only I looked like her or her or her…then I would be beautiful.

Now that I have little eyes watching me, my son, my twin baby girls, I think about how they will grow to define beauty.... Read the rest at iBelieve.com

When A Stay-At-Home Mom Needs Hired Help

I'm over at Her.meneutics today, talking about stay-at-home moms who hire help. Lazy, spoiled, self-indulgent? Or just choosing the best for themselves, their children, and their homes?

My name is Marie, and I’m a stay-at-home mom with three kids.

And hired help.

Months before the birth of our twins, my husband and I decided we would hire someone to help me care for the kids and manage our home. We knew everyone would be happier for it. I posted a question on a Facebook page set up for twin mothers, asking what hours of the day most moms of a toddler and twins found they would benefit from an extra pair of hands. The overwhelming response? You don’t need help. You can do it all by yourself.

While I think most of the responders meant this as encouragement, I still find this reaction to be unfortunate. It reveals our society’s general lack of acceptance of a stay-at-home mother’s need for help. Stiff upper lip. You must shoulder the burden alone.

We didn’t always treat mothers this way...

Here's The Story of a Crying, Crazy, Fussy Baby and God's Love for Her Mama {PLUS, A Giveaway}

Jesus, be with the mama of the fussy baby. The crying baby. The wailing, screaming baby. The baby who just won't sleep. The finicky, particular little baby who wants to be held all the time, facing out, standing up, dancing around, shushed, swayed, swaddled, unswaddled, swaddled again. God bless these soldiers fighting the good fight to love the not-so-easy-to-love little one.

For I am one of them.

The first 3 months with twins and a toddler were crazy, and while some things are getting easier (nursing is much better, and we are almost sleeping through the night!), some things are still hard (like all the things I need to "fast" from in this season). I know this will be the way of things, an ebb and flow of difficult and wonderful things, coming and going and shifting with each developmental stage.

At this moment, my biggest test is their developing personalities...

My girls are almost 5 months old and nothing has shown me more clearly the kind of love God has for us than having two babies at the same time: one baby who is easy and one who is... not so much. 

fussy crying baby God Jesus love
Don't let that smile fool you.

When I wake in the morning, it's to an angry squawk. Then a screech. Then a wailing, whining, demanding, fussing, scream. A "come pick me up now, Now, NOW, I SAID NOW!!!" kind of cry from my deceptively adorable baby girl. As I wipe the utter exhaustion from my eyes and pick her up, all redfaced and furious as she is, I am greeted with a glorious, beaming, silent smile from her identical twin sister.

Identical in all but attitude.

As I feaverishly change cranky baby's diaper, amid persistent squawks of protest, sweet sister just continues to gaze and smile.

I hurriedly change the quiet and content one, to the great dismay of Little Miss Grouchy Pants. I quickly prepare to feed both babes, never fast enough for my demanding little bundle of fury, who hasn't let up one bit since before even opening her eyes. Sister #2 still waits. Silently, patiently. 

Finally, they're feeding, and finally, the screams cease. For now.

Oh, man. This fussy girl.

She's made me cry big, fat ugly tears, and she's forced me to my knees.

Never have I fought this kind of battle against my spirit, against my own body. A complete and all out war against every fiber of my being. In the midst of the wails and screams, forcing my limbs into submission. Willing myself to continue to hold, sway, sing, kiss, cuddle, all while cursing under my breath, and begging and pleading with my God, "Please! PLEASE! PLEASE!!! Let her sleep!"

And the other one, the calm, quiet, flexible one is just there. Soothing herself. Smiling sweetly. Ever so easy to love.

While I was being verbally assaulted by my infant during a diaper change, two scriptures came to mind. 

Thank you, Jesus! Just when my spirit felt most defeated, the most beaten and weary with enduring continued crying and wailing despite my best efforts, His word appears.

First, a challenge and a promise...

32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that." Luke 6:32-33

What a perfect picture of my experience. The ease of loving one baby that "loves" me, and the hardship of loving the one who "curses" me, to parallel the passage. 

The passage continues to challenge us to love "without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."

Merciful as He is merciful. And then this song bubbled to the surface.

"While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

I bounced and swayed and shushed and wept and wept and wept as my child continued to scream bloody murder in my face. My living metaphor for Christ's love for me. While I wailed in my sin, He continued to offer a warm embrace. Against every earthly instinct, He offers love.

And so must I.

I'll keep trying everything I can, reading every book and blog for tips. But in the midst of the battle, while my soul is being beaten by this tiny crying baby of mine, I'll sing it again. He demonstrates His love for us in this. While we were sinners, Jesus died for us. So, I, reflecting Him, will die to myself, demonstrating my love for this little one. A love not earned, not deserved, just given, as Christ loved me.


If you need some encouragement in those crazy mama moments like I do, here is just the thing. I'm giving away TWO CDs from Seeds Family Worship.

I have all their titles and I love each and every one. These are fantastic CDs with really well produced music and every song is a passage from the Bible. Seriously, it's the only way I can memorize scripture. I have sung these songs to myself in so many difficult moments and taught them to my son, as well. They are definitely songs your whole family will love.

The CDs in this giveaway are absolutely fabulous. I particularly love the focus on character: God's character and the character He would like to build in me. Wonderful reminders of Who is for me and who He has empowered me to be. I'm planning on focusing on one of these songs per week with my son this summer, to help him learn more about who God really is!

(Disclaimer: I was given free copies to review, but I would never recommend a product unless I was behind it 100%.) 

Check out more of their music on their website and make sure to enter to win. Each CD comes with TWO copies of the same album, so you will be able to share the love with a friend! You'll get one CD of each album to keep, and have one of each to share!

giveaway seeds family worship album

Just Say NO to "Flat Abs Fast"

Today, I'm over at iBelieve.com talking about the fitness goals, when they hurt more than help...

flat abs toned arms tight butt lean thighs legs

Several years ago, I lost a significant amount of weight. I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror, so I did something about it. I spent the better part of a year methodically and consistently working to lose over 60 pounds. (imagine dramatic before and after picture here)

Then, a couple years later, after the birth of my son, I found myself having gained half the weight back. I didn’t like how clothes fit or how I looked in pictures, and that “gross” feeling propelled me to lose over 30 pounds, and, once again, get back to my pre-pregnancy weight.


Even at my thinnest, I never felt completely confident and comfortable in my own skin. I bought into the hype and set the wrong goals based on false images and faulty measuring sticks. And I bet I’m not alone.

What are your “trouble zones?” Too much arm jiggle? Muffin top? Lower belly pooch? Do you long for leaner thighs, a tighter tush, flatter abs?

Have no fear! Magazine racks and websites are littered with tips and tricks to achieve these desired results. Complete with svelte starlets bearing their midriffs and touting their flat belly secrets, or dramatic photos highlighting depressed befores and delighted afters, promising “you can have THIS bikini body TOO” by summer.

Do these sorts of goals, and their associated images, do more harm than good? Why is the fitness conversation, even among Christians, so focused on molding our bodies toward some described or pictured ideal?