Help! I’m a new mom!

help new mom

I read a wonderful blog post called How to Help a New Mom. It contained some really practical ideas. Having some friends who just had new babies, I was excited to put these to use.

However, I realized that I would not have accepted a lot of that help when my first baby was born. For some reason I was under the false self expectation that I handle everything on my own. I would be failing if I accepted housework assistance or too many meals.

This is ridiculous for a number of reasons. Here are three things we may believe that stop us from accepting help.

  1. My mom did it on her own, so I need to.
  2. Women have had babies and raised them since the beginning of time, I must be able to survive too.
  3. If I let someone help me, they will see how truly disorganized and chaotic I am. My cover will be blown.

Let’s look a little closer at each of these points and see how they hold up.

1. My mom did it on her own, so I need to.

My mom did manage to survive the baby stage four times without any extra help since we lived away from all our extended family. Now does she have tons of wonderful, positive memories from these time periods? Not really. As the oldest child, I also remember the intensity of those days with two of my sisters. Yes we made it through, but why not relieve the stress on marriage and family a little?

2. Women have had babies and raised them since the beginning of time, I must be able to survive too.

It was very common in the days of old for people to live together in communities, or very close to their families. Many women would share the load of new babies, cooking, and cleaning. If you had enough money you would have hired help, and even families who were not very well off had at least one extra helper around the house. When a new baby was born it was also common to send a younger sibling to live with the mom to give her a hand.

The women who did live in isolation, such as the pioneers, often suffered from deep depair. There have been diaries found of new moms suffering from postpartum depression in the 1800s, that illustrate such loneliness.

This isn’t always portrayed in the wonderful stories like Little House on the Prairies or my beloved Pride & Prejudice.

3. If I let someone help me, they will see how truly disorganized and chaotic I am. My cover will be blown.

Well I guess there is some truth to this. You might not be able to fake that you’re handling everything ok.

Since entering the world of mommy-friends, I have NEVER discovered one new mom who doesn’t feel overwhelmed, suffer at least slightly from baby blues, or who has a perfectly clean house.

So loosen up the expectations on yourself! When someone who has been through this experience offers to help you, they truly do want to be a blessing. They know how tough it can be.

I for one hate feeling like I am a burden, but when I am on the other side of the table, wanting to help, I am thrilled to serve. So don’t be the one to stop someone from using their gift of serving! Wave a red flag: “HELP! I’M A NEW MOM!”

If you don’t have any family near you to help out or you aren’t in a church family that has a ministry to new moms, check out this video from Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family and see his suggestions for avoiding parental burnout.


Re-Focus (Part 2)


I hope you had fun thinking about your goals for 2013! There has definitely been lots going on in my mind, it was hard to keep my goals limited. Like I said in my previous post about goals, some areas might naturally have more.

You can read the introductory post here.

Personal Goals

Marriage Goals

  • Stay overnight once this year without BOTH our kids.
  • Go on a date once a month without children.
  • Continue to daily read the Word and pray together.

Mothering/Family Goals

  • Enroll Caleb in a lesson (swimming, music, or something. We’re still deciding).
  • Potty train my toddler.
  • Go on a road trip with both kids.

Ministry/Friendship/Extended Family Goals

  • Continue attending my church Mom’s group (especially during the first few tough weeks with new baby).
  • Plan a play date once a week.

Business/Blogging Goals

  • Continue blogging a couple of times a week during my new baby transition.

Financial Goals

I had forgotten to include that Crystal from had also had financial goals.

  • Stick with monthly meal planning to help limit my shopping trips and stay on budget.

So now what? We have a list of goals…we need a plan!

What are you going to stay on track? Share your thoughts! I’m going to need some help.



A New Normal

With my husband’s work schedule, our typical Friday’s are a morning “off” together as a family, then he goes to work, comes home for supper and has youth til late into the evening.

The first few weeks I dreaded being alone on Friday evenings, and had a really hard time wrapping my mind around the evenings I would be alone, or the weirdness of having random mornings off together. How would I ever really find a routine?

Well today happened so naturally, I found myself excited for Andrew to come home for supper, for me to put Caleb to bed, and settle in for an evening of doing my own thing. No deep heartache over being by myself. Just good memories from a morning together, and excitement for some alone time.

Some of us are slower adjusting to change than others. This realization today encouraged me that we DO adjust to new circumstances and we can become comfortable in a new normal.

I think back to first having Caleb and wondering whether life would ever feel “normal” even though so much changed. And of course it did. And it will with the next one too.

Your New Normal

I love this quote, but especially this picture because I was a gymnast for eleven years and then a coach for five years. Physically pushing myself to do a new skill was a lot of work, and it often didn’t feel normal for my body, or my mind.

I remember learning to do a front handspring over the vault with a springboard instead of a mini-trampoline. It felt weird to my body, and my mind was completely freaked out. The mini-tramp gave me a lot of momentum, and I basically flew over the vault no problem. The springboard need me to use a lot more of my own power, something I wasn’t sure I had in me. (watch the video below for an example of the front handspring with springboard)



There were many times I stood at the end of the runway visualizing myself hitting that springboard with all my might, attacking it and flying over the vault. Very soon, this skill became normal and I was able to move on to more complex moves.

Living a life where we are never having to master or attain something new, is really boring. As human beings we are created to grow, change and develop. Each new thing that eventually becomes normal, conditions us for handling whatever comes our way in life.

As you look towards the overwhelming that is to be your “normal”, envision yourself living it successfully and remind the Lord of his promises of strength and peace as you follow him.

“The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace.”

Psalm 29:11




Beautifully Tempted

Since my arrival to Pinterest, I have never seen so many enticing photos of perfectly in shape bodies telling me that I only need two weeks to get these abs, or this butt, or those legs.

Being pregnant always makes me extremely unsatisfied with my clothes. I walk through stores and it looks like this year happens to hold the clothes I love the most, that are least flattering to a baby bump.

New make up promises a “flaw-less” finish to my face. I am immediately enticed, yet always seem to look in the mirror and see the same flawed face staring back at me.

When my emotions run wild and I’m discontent, the first thing I want to do is buy something. Anything. A Starbucks, a new purse, new make up, NEW anything.

I’m not meaning to be hard on myself, in fact I know that this is deeply engrained within our female nature. I’d bet almost anything that you have felt the same way too.

This starts back with the very first woman to walk the earth. Eve. When she was in a moment of weakness and the forbidden fruit was presented to her in the garden, notice in this verse what she saw.

The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her.

Genesis 3:6a

Oh it’s so beautiful, it looks so good, it seems delicious! This will definitely improve me! I’ll be wiser, smarter, more desirable and maybe even more lovable.

So she ate the fruit, and consumed all of the lies, death and destruction that it held. Instead of it solving her problems, she experienced insecurity should could have never imagined. 1977395252

What does this tell us about ourselves at women? We are drawn to the beautiful, delicious and appealing. We want to improve ourselves; to look better, be wiser and ultimately gain more acceptance from ourselves, our spouse, even God.

This in itself isn’t wrong. But we can so quickly get sucked into all the consumerist ways of our world if we don’t step back and evaluate our deeper needs in the moment.

I still want to buy new things and definitely hope to improve myself as a person over the years. But this realization has helped me to recognize when I’m being drawn towards something simply because it’s appealing to my desire to fix my insecurities.

The chances of the latest “pin” truly holding the secret to the best abs in 5 days, is pretty unlikely. She may look beautiful and the results seem great, and we may really want to know the wisdom the article is offering. However, slow and steady is usually how results come. Hard work. Things that build character in ourselves, as well as muscle.

Don’t let the enemy hold up the new, beautiful and delicious and measure you against that! You’re confidence comes from the Lord, he will perfect you! These things won’t satisfy and will leave you craving more!




“Teach, and live with purpose.”

While reading in 2nd Timothy 3, I was challenged by three things that Paul said were obvious to the man he was mentoring.

But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance.

2 Timothy 3:10

I was struck by the importance of the three items mentioned in the first sentence.

2 Tim 3

I began asking if I know the answer to these three questions for myself? Do I know them about those who I regard as role models or leaders in my own life?

As a wife, mom and influencer of people, I realized this held a great personal catch phrase, a motivational one liner for myself.

“Teach, and live with purpose.”

If I could keep this in my mind at all times, this would guide my words and actions.

However, before you start living by this little phrase you need to know the answers to the three questions listed above.

What do you teach?

How do you live?

What is your purpose?

I found that each person who impacted me lived out the answer in these areas. They didn’t even have to speak.

Examining my heart and asking God for direction helped me to narrow down some answers for my own life. Here is a concise version of what I came up with. Some of these are very specific to what I believe my message and calling are all about.

teach that all people are loved and valued by God, so much so that he sent his son to die on the cross so we could have salvation for our sins. Jesus Christ then defeated death by rising again and he is now seated in glory and honour in heaven. If you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart than you will be saved.

I live to bring glory and honour to the Lord. This is done through consistently seeking His face, reading His word and valuing meeting together with other Christians – I am committed to my church. I endeavour to live a holy and set apart life that puts the Lord FIRST, and then my family. I seek to live a life that is always improving and becoming more like Christ.

My purpose is to impart into others the fact that they are called by God and he has special works for them to do. Each person has a destiny that God desires them to walk in. My purpose is to encourage them to see that the only one holding them back is themselves and that what the enemy means for evil in their life, God can turn for good, and save many people from it.

Identifying what my purpose is helps me to filter my words, actions, and even priorities through it. Knowing that I value encouraging people to walk in their destiny, I will spend my time on encouraging over other ministry opportunities that aren’t in line with that.

I’d love to hear what your purpose in life is! If you don’t know, take time to ask God and he will show you. Often the things closest to your heart reflect what he has given you a message about!



run.This is a much overdo post since January is almost over! It has been percolating in my mind as I have thought about goals, vision and “resolutions” for the new year.

Since becoming a stay-at-home-mom, I have found that I need goals more than ever, so that I can see some progress in my daily routine. There are many things to be kept busy with, but they usually are the never-ending type. Rarely do you see something last (especially if its clean clothes, a good meal or a tidy house).

I came across a website a while ago that was started by a christian mom named Crystal. It’s called MoneySavingMom. I would definitely recommend checking it out. One blog post that was particularly helpful to me was her goals for 2013 (read them here).

First I want to say I understand the debate surrounding setting New Year’s resolutions. This is not what I’m talking about. I have three times a year that I refer to as my “Re-Focus” zones, where I evaluate where I’m at with goals, decide where tweaking needs to happen, and usually get a burst of creativity around organization and some times even home decor! These are the three times that come naturally for me:

1. Beginning of a New Year

2. Spring Time 

3. September

So that being said, I am at a natural time in my year for a “Re-Focus”, and that’s what a lot of January has been about for me. You’ll know the times that are best for you.

What I found most inspiring about Crystal’s 25 Goals for 2013, was the areas that she broke them down into.

This isn’t the only time that I set goals, and I often have daily ones (don’t yell, drink coffee, get out of house…just kidding), that motivate me to get stuff crossed off my to-do list, and to make sure I’m purposely enjoying my family.

Here were her five areas of goals:

Personal Goals
Marriage Goals
Mothering Goals
Ministry/Friendship/Extended Family Goals
Business/Blogging Goals

With this being a “new baby” year for us, I’m wanting to keep my goals extremely realistic. I decided that I am going to set ONE goal for each of these, then if an area naturally has more, I can go with it. My husband will be my perspective bringer and will honestly tell me if he thinks they are reasonable. 

I have most of these in my mind already, but I’m going to take a little more time to think and pray about it. Want to join me in setting some goals in these areas? We’ll compare notes in a couple of days!

A verse that encourages me with settling goals and sticking to them is found in Habakkuk 2:2.

Then the Lord answered me and said:

“Write the vision
And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.”

Writing down our goals and placing them before us gives us something to run toward, and motivation feels good!


Why Is It So Hard?

so hardWe were watching a movie where a couple brought home their second baby. In absolutely exhaustion the wife cries and says

“why doesn’t anyone tell you this is going to be so hard?”

The husband replies, “I think they do, but you’re just not listening, or you don’t believe them.”

When we found out we were pregnant for the first time, anything I was told about the challenges seemed covered over by a romantic hue of baby infatuation.

20 months later, and I still am completely overwhelmed at times by just how hard this parenting job is. Maybe it’s entering into my third trimester that has me sensitive. Every situation that happens with my son, I  ask myself how I’d handle it with two kids.

Then I freak myself right out, because I don’t have an answer.

I  didn’t know how much kids got sick, or how isolated you feel when sickness won’t leave, a huge dump of snow comes, followed by a -40 windchill warning.

I didn’t know the depth of loneliness that comes in those times of not making it to church, mom’s group, play dates, or even a date with my husband.

I didn’t know the conflicting emotion that would come from holding your sick baby. I could be so angry at a cough, and so frustrated with a fever, and so overcome with compassion and love for the sniffling kid in the same moment.

I have learned through having one baby that you do figure a lot out as you go. The mountains that seem so big, quickly dissolve when you start sleeping longer than two or three hours at a time.

And the truth is, it is hard because it is hard.

Parenting is going to be the hardest thing I have ever had to follow through on. It’s the hardest thing that I can’t, won’t and don’t ever want to escape. It’s the most exhausting, frustrating and rewarding task I have ever undertaken. It holds the most cliché emotions, and sometimes you wonder if you actually are bi-polar, or schizophrenic or something because why else do I feel SO OUT OF MY MIND RIGHT NOW?

But it’s when I get to this point, that the Lord usually comes through with something big. Like something that really shapes my character, deepens my influence, and rocks my heart.

He said this to me:

“Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.”

Psalm 9:10



Not even for a minute.

In the middle of the night when my sick baby is coughing uncontrollably, he’s still there.

When I crawl back into bed, and my unborn baby is flipping out inside me because of all the screaming, and I can’t fall asleep. He’s still there.

It seems so simple, but have you ever got to the point where you need to know God is with you so desperately, that when he tells you he is there always, and that he WILL NOT abandon you, it flows through your heart and out through your mouth like the greatest shout of victory you have ever heard?

That’s where I’m at. I’m exhausted, 6 months pregnant, mom to a boy with a fever and a cough, and I’m scared out of my mind how I’m going to be a good parent to both these kids, a good wife, and a good follower of Christ.

But today all God is asking me to focus on is the true fact that He says:

Heb 13-5


Inspired by the Vujicic’s

After sharing this video to my Facebook page yesterday, I have been reading a little more about the “man without limbs”, Nick Vujicic. I have to say I am nothing short of awestruck, inspired and challenged by his story.

I visited his website and the first thing that I saw was “tell them about Jesus”. After spending a total of thirty seconds on his non-profit’s site, you can see they are determined and focused on leading people to Christ.

While I am incredibly motivated and encouraged by him, I have to say I’ve been thinking a lot about his wife. I can’t see to find very much about her, but what little I do know really started me thinking about a few things. Kanae-Miyahara-Nick-Vijicic-wife-pics1

Kanae Vujicic is an example of what it means to truly believe in your spouse and look at them with eyes of what they CAN do instead of what they can’t. Her husband has certainly proved to the world that he is capable of overcoming great obstacles, but there will certainly be struggles for them.

They recently announced that they are expecting their first child, and my first selfish thought was how she would have a big job without much physical help from him. There are obvious limitations.

However, they speak time and again that they want to live a life without limits, which really means not focusing on the limitation.  My mind seems to need a little more of the freedom they have.

Thinking about her devotion to Nick, I couldn’t help meditating on 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter. Love is not selfish. Love does not insist on it’s own way. I saw some pictures of these two on their honeymoon and she was pushing wheelchair on the beach in Hawaii. They looked incredibly happy. Where some people could see her feeling burdened, Kanae was smiling with delight.

I took three specific things away from their relationship to apply to my own marriage.

  1. Don’t look at what your spouse can’t do, marvel at all they have done and will do. Be their greatest cheerleader. 
  2. Remind yourself daily that marriage isn’t selfish, you will be the biggest blessing when you love through serving, not just looking out for yourself. 
  3. Make faith based decisions, not fear based. Don’t look at the limitation and run, seek God for wisdom and strength to jump over it. (Nick demonstrated this best when he tackled the stairs in the clip I linked to above.) 


Love will not give up on your spouse, love will never lose faith in the person they can be, love will never stop hoping and love chooses to endure through whatever hardship is thrown your way.

That’s easy to say, but harder to live out. Let’s make this verse a prayer for our marriages and for ourselves, that we would possess these qualities of faith, hope, love and endurance.


Accepting $1.00

I love finding the opportunity to bless or help someone. It is so exciting to be able to be God’s hands and feet at work.

I find it hard to be the one receiving the blessing, if it makes me feel needy or humiliated. I’m not talking about when God comes through in some big way and all of a sudden your mission’s trip is paid for, or something awesome like that. I mean more the small everyday things where I can get embarrassed.

Yes, there is a personal story tied to this.

Our family was out running some errands the other day and time was ticking away faster than I realized. Suddenly pregnant mommy and toddler were starving. The golden arches of McDonald’s shone within Wal-Mart, guiding us towards the days quick hunger fix.

We have been experimenting with a budget plan for close to a year now, trying to implement some of Dave Ramsey’s baby steps. My wallet was filled with extra change and I thought this would be a good time to use it up, not pulling out a card to spend from a non allotted area.

The lady at the till rung up my order, and I count out my change realizing I’m almost exactly one dollar short.


My husband offers me a gift card to use up.

The lady at the til doesn’t know how to use this gift card and is visibly annoyed that I’m trying to put one dollar on another card.

So I pull out my debit.

She loudly announces we’ll have to cancel the whole thing and start over.

The hungry line up groans. Today I get to be “one of those” people.

A kind lady, who also had a crew of hungry kids steps in. “How short are ya, hun?”

I swallowed hard. “About a dollar.”

She hands me the dollar as my cheeks flush red. I manage to squeeze out a thanks, I appreciate it, and we all move on with our day.

Sitting down to our meal, I look at the bill and realize that it had been rung in wrong and I was over charged close to three dollars. I felt humiliated and angry. That whole experience had been unnecessary.

I tried to remind myself it was just a dollar and it wasn’t like she had just donated a large part of her grocery budget to feed my family.

Giving is a wonderful avenue to bless others. My reaction to receiving a gift, challenged me in whether I allow my own ego to enter in to the gift I give. Do I truly give as from the Lord? If I can’t receive a blessing, how can I give a blessing, deeply from the heart?


The unexpected blessings that we receive are from above. I was in the wrong to be embarrassed rather than show gratitude to God. Blessings we can bestow to others, come also come from above, when we don’t rob God of his glory in it!


Woman of Influence


Have you ever wondered what life would be like if you weren’t here? How would the world be different if you were never born? How would the people you rubbed shoulders with today be different if you weren’t here?

These questions we’re asking need to be reworded.

How are others lives affected because I am here?

How is the world different because I was born? 

How were the people I rubbed shoulders with today made different because I live?

Influence is a powerful thing, where you don’t have to do or say anything. Being you just changes a situation.The dictionary defines influence as “the act or power of producing an effect without apparent exertion of force or direct exercise of command”. 

You might feel like you don’t have what it takes to make a huge difference in someone’s life. Words don’t flow easily and your tongue gets tied up when people shared difficult details with you. Influence doesn’t imply doing or saying anything drastic. Your very presence, and how you handle life can have sway. 

When we are fighting anxiousness and ask God to bring peace to our life, it isn’t for just our own benefit. The peace that you then take with you from the house to your child’s soccer game will soothe others. You can influence.

Convictions that you hold deep within your heart that you choose never to let go of, will become evident. Modesty, purity and self-respect are not just preached, they are modeled. You can influence.

Displaying kindness to a person who publicly belittles you, might be humbling, but it is not weak. God’s strength will be shown. You can influence.

Refusing to gossip can be awkward, but you will pass on the courage to not get involved to someone else. Sometime’s another woman is just waiting for someone to stand with her. You can influence.

You may feel that you have messed up too much to still have influence. Don’t be fooled, you have sway. Is it for good or evil?

Isaiah 15:19 promises a second chance at positive influence for those who turn to the Lord.

This is how the Lord responds:

“If you return to me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve me. If you speak good words rather than worthless ones, you will be my spokesman. You must influence them; do not let them influence you!

We must influence!

God, make us into women who are willing to lay down our own pride to influence others for you. Allow our very presence to make a change. Not that we live under the pressure of perfection, but that we live within the freedom of knowing that you’ll speak through our mistakes and achievements. Give us the courage to be leaders, not followers. Give us your eyes to see ourselves with the power and potential you filled us with. 

When we recognize our ability to influence, that’s when God can really move through us!



Where It All Started

where it all startedWhen I lay on my left side (the one they say is best in pregnancy) in bed and look up a little, I see two pictures. One is in a frame that is newly cracked from my son throwing something at it. Usually I see them vaguely, the times I stare at them the most being those that are

They are two wedding pictures. One with my flowers and our rings. The other a surreal looking moment, that seems apart from pain, sadness or fear.

The nights that are the longest or the days that are the most frustrating, usually point me to these photos. They seems to speak of a time that knew no exhaustion, frustration our self doubt.

For a while they made me cry. How had things changed so quickly?

Our marriage was fine, but I was feeling the after shocks of a few big decisions and lot of different responsibility rumbling through our world.

Where was there time to be best friends, lovers, business partners, child-raisers AND Jesus followers?

One day I realized this was simply just where it all began. The beginning of a story that would be marked by challenges, tiredness, new life, fights, joy, frustration and much celebration. It all started from a place of love.

I have forgotten this at times. It was from a place of love for each other and love for the Lord that we offered our lives completely to Him.

It’s from a place of love that children come, and despite the difficulties in raising them, they then multiply our love.

It was from a place of love that we looked at our future with excitement and expectancy, knowing that there would be hard days, but we would make it through together. No matter what.

Some days may not be oozing with love, or time or affection. But that’s where it all started. Remembering that gives me strength to continue going on.



There will always be different seasons, I look to my friends and family to see examples of that. There will be mountain tops and valleys. But remembering why were are where are, and holding up vision for where we are headed, breathes new life into my view of our marriage.

It’s from a place of love that I can look confidently to the next step.

We aren’t completing a “life to-do list”, we are walking out our life together.

If life and love have changed rapidly for you, take a moment to remember where you came from. May fresh love fill your heart as you renew yourself to walking out life together.