Encouragement for the Emotionally Weary Mom

Encouragement for the emotionally weary mom

Sometimes I feel like I have to have it all together.  Actually, since that’s the goal I feel like I should all the time and consequentially I feel like a failure because I don’t.  My house isn’t perfect.  My form of discipline is constantly needing tweaking.  I don’t have the perfect come back to the snide remarks people throw.  Speaking of the upcoming election, I don’t understand how our country got to this point.  It would be laughable if it wasn’t true.  SNL doesn’t need to do a parody of the debates because they’re funny on their own.  Funny and simultaneously disheartening.  I don’t know if I’m going to homeschool for the rest of my children’s schooling lives.  Some days I don’t know if I can make it through the week.  I don’t know if I will ever lose those 20 pounds I promise myself I’ll lose before the next family picture day.  I don’t know what to do with the jute rug I bought that sheds all over the place.  I hate it but it wasn’t cheap.  I don’t know if we’re going to the beach as we had planned because there is an impending hurricane coming to the coast.  Actually, maybe I know that one but I don’t know if we’ll reschedule before it gets too cold or hold off till next year.  I could go on and on and on but you get the point right?  There is so much that I don’t know.

I don’t know as many Bible verses as I wish I did but I’m working on that.  I wish I remembered more from my theology classes from college.  I wish everything wasn’t a debate these days so I don’t have to win these arguments…even if they are only inside my head.  Is smoking bad?  Should Christians drink alcohol?  What kind of music most honors God?  Is kneeling during the pledge wrong?  Matt Walsh stirred up an old question, can a Christian be pro-choice?  Ahhh, I think I know the answers to these questions.  I’ve spent hours and hours and hours thinking about them and others like them.  You know what dawned on me today?  It’s not a new revelation but it felt new today.  I don’t have to know it all.

I don’t have to have it all figured out.

I don’t.  The end.

It’s good to know what I believe and why.  I believe in teaching doctrine from a young age.  It’s important.  Everything else though, it’s okay if I don’t know it all.  I’ll never know all there is about God but I don’t think that yearning for knowledge should ever stop.

I don’t have to win every breastfeeding/bottle feeding debate or cloth diaper/disposable diaper debate.  I don’t have to have the debate in my head when I read one going on on the internet.  I can scroll on.  I don’t have to know the pros and cons of CIO/attachment parenting methods.  I’m past that stage now and I don’t need to stay up to date on those debates.

I don’t know what the future holds but as cliche as it is, I know Who holds the future.  I do.  I’m intimately connected with Him.  I can talk to Him anytime I want.  No appointment necessary.

So what if my house isn’t completely clean?  I have kids and I’m pouring my life into them right now.  They’re constantly growing which requires me to change discipline methods sometimes.  That’s a good thing and it doesn’t mean I’m doing something wrong.  I’m just adapting to the situation before me.  …and it’s okay if I do mess up.  We’re human, right?

We don’t have to have it all figured out.  We’ll learn as we go.

Bible Truths for Coping with Cancer

Last year began with the C word – cancer. My mom called sometime mid-January with her diagnosis.
I usually begin a new year with some trepidation, always wondering what journey this new year will take me on. Will my kids stay safe? How will the Lord challenge and grow me? How will the next 12 months end? These are just a few questions that I have to fight off each year. They rob me of my peace, take the joy out of my moments and without restraint, the worry could consume me.

Last January the question was: Will I lose my mom this year?

And so the battle began. The battle to take my thoughts captive and bring them under the obedience of Christ.
Cancer can lead you into a very dark place. The journey for the one with cancer is very different than for the loved ones watching from afar. From afar I was afraid. I was afraid of all the what if’s. Each morning I fought against those fears with Truth. Each Truth began with “no matter what” because I needed something to ground me and keep those fearful thoughts obedient to the truth of the Word.
The Truth of God ALWAYS fights those paralyzing fears. The Word ALWAYS shines light into those times of terror that consume us in darkness.

Bible truths for Coping with Cancer

These truths were the stepping stones that I stood upon, one step at a time, one day at a time, through my mom’s journey with cancer:
•  No matter what I shall find strength within because the Lord is the strength of my life. (Psalm 27:1)
•  No matter what, whether in death or life, in Christ there is victory. (1 Corinthians 15:54)
•  No matter what God is good and his mercy continues on. (Psalm 100:5)
•  No matter what no one, nothing could snatch you from the Lord’s hand. (John 10:28)
•  No matter what the Lord crowns the year with His goodness, and His paths will drip with abundance. (Psalm 65:11)
•  No matter what the Lord is my refuge and my fortress and I will trust Him. (Psalm 91:2)
•  No matter what God is the El HanNe’eman, the faithful God. (Deuteronomy 7:9)
•  No matter what perfect peace is possible when I trust in the Lord. (Is. 26:3)
•  No matter what when I lay my fears before the Lord, He will hear me. (Psalm 34:4)

What truths can you add to these that either helped you find your footing through a dark time or are the current rocks beneath your feet during a dark journey you are walking through?

If finding your footing has been hard and fear consumes you at every corner then begin with the truths above. Then seek the Lord for more. He is a faithful companion and will walk you through any journey shining the light of His truth until you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

By the way, my mom is doing well. The cancer journey was rough for her. But with the Lord’s mercy we were all able to get through the roughest moments standing on His truth.
Blessings, Rachael

Free Ebook: Pilgrim’s Progress

pilgrims progress

Right now you can download a free copy of Pilgrim’s Progress from Amazon (originally $5.99).   The price of this ebooks is currently $0.00, but that could change at any time so be sure to verify the price before checking out.

If you haven’t read this before you’ll want to snag it while it’s free.  I often think of the illustrations from this book that I haven’t read in many years.  It’s a fabulous book!

A Confident Heart Only $.99

I absolutely adore Renee Swope’s book A Confident Heart.  I feel like she wrote it just for me.

Now that it’s currently on sale for only $.99 I hope you’ll pick it up too!

You can buy it on Amazon here.

A Confident Heart BookYou don’t have to have a Kindle to read it either.  You can download the Kindle app to read on your iPad or PC.



It’s Not Just Me

Friendship is born - so true!

When you are going through something in life.. that “something” that seems to take up every spare inch inside of your heart, soul, and mind…and you finally get the courage to speak up about it or write about it – are you surprised when you find out others are going through something similar? That you aren’t the only one who feels those feelings?

What’s that about?

When you are feeling lonely and so many others come out of the woodwork saying they, too, feel lonely.

When you are feeling empty, angry, or weak – and so many others chime in that they are dealing with those emotions too.

When you felt as if you were the only one and suddenly you realize it’s impacting not just a few…but many, many others? Why does it seem that themes of emotion in life occur to multitudes all at once?

Maybe…just maybe..is it so that we can help one another through it?

Maybe is it so that we can teach each other because of it?

And maybe, just maybe is it possible that God is trying to bring us together instead of allowing Satan to push us further into isolation and apart?


All I know is that so many times I have struggled with something and finally, when I’ve felt like I can barely think or breathe anymore and I come out into the open and speak of it – I’m touched and renewed to know that not only is it not “just me,” but that there are others who are ready to give me just the words and hope I need at that moment because they’ve been there. They know “there” so well.

It’s not just me.

It’s not just you.

We are a gift to each other. We just need to have the courage to speak up so we can lean and learn from one another. For that’s God’s built-in blessing to us. Each other.

Don’t Do This Alone

Carrying His CrossAnd he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

Taking someone a cup of coffee when she has treated you unkindly.

Coffee Gift

Smiling at the cashier when he has just spoken harshly.

Doing one of your spouse’s chores and hoping that he doesn’t even notice, much less reciprocate.

Taking on extra at work when you know that it will just encourage your coworker to give you her extra more regularly.

Working Hard

Getting down on the floor with your child rather than sticking him in front of the television so that you can read.


Denying yourself is wearying. Taking up your cross daily sometimes seems almost impossible.

Some days it almost seems easier to throw myself in front of the lions for Christ’s sake than to live my life for Him. Most days I’d much rather live for myself.

To die for a religion is easier than to live it absolutely. ~ Jorge Luis Borges

To deny myself and take up my cross every single day seems daunting and lonely.

Trying Hard

Perhaps the lonely part of that is what makes it seem so daunting.

After all, the same Christ who told us to take up our cross had help carrying His own.

And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. 

So gather around yourself those who are also striving to carry their cross. Seek out those who will encourage you to deny yourself.

Help Each Other

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 

Imitate Christ in ALL His ways…for we were not meant to do this alone. 

Hold Each Other Up

Art credit: Photo of Christ carrying His cross by Asta Rastauskiene

It’s Hard To Give Up What You Love

Have you ever prayed so hard for something but when it finally started happening, you found the transition to be hard?

It is hard to give things up. It is hard to sacrifice.
I found that out.

I had been longing for years to move to a warmer climate. But wanting something and actually putting in what it takes to get that something are two different things.
I loved my home. My beautiful home. My “over 3500 square foot” home sitting on an acre about 20 mins out of town. I loved hearing the horses and the cows in the summertime. I loved the “buffer” zone we had between neighbors. I loved the greenery. I loved my beautiful big kitchen with the huge island in the middle and the openness between rooms in my house. I loved my walk-in closet and my big bathroom.
So wanting something different in locale meant giving up something that I loved. To gain, you usually have to give up something. And that was true in this case.

I was excited to finally be doing something. To be working towards something I’d wanted for so long. But the day we put our house on the market, I cried. I didn’t expect to, but I cried. I realized my house was a part of me. So many memories there. And I was so thankful for it. I knew it was a blessing. When we first built our house, I told God that I would always use it for Him because I knew it was a gift from Him. And I did. I let the youth group have parties at our house, we hosted missionaries, and we opened our doors to others.

Our house sold in two weeks. TWO weeks in a market that was still shaky. Exciting? Yes! Scary? Absolutely. Hard?? Most definitely.

I’d walk around my back yard in the season that I loved living in my house the most. I knew I was going to miss it. Terribly. I had no idea where I’d live next. Would it be a tiny little house? Would I even have a grass backyard much less an acre? Would my kitchen have beautiful hardwood floors? Would I be proud of my house. 

And the verse kept going through my head over and over again – “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”  Matthew 19:24

I never considered myself rich. But I finally FELT and understood the words in this verse. It is hard to give up blessings and good things in life. It’s hard to give up material things. And it is at that point when it’s hard, that we have placed them too greatly in our lives.

Sacrifice is always hard. No one said it would be easy. But if we refuse to do it at all, then we are just like that rich man who values what He has more than He values God’s kingdom.

I still had a hard time letting my beautiful house go. But from that moment on, I could look at it and see that a house is just a house – no matter how much you love it. It’s the family that lives within those walls that makes a house a home. And that can be done in any building.

I don’t want to be like that rich man. I don’t want to be too selfish to give up the beautiful things in my life. It may not be easy and I may trade them in for something that isn’t quite as beautiful; but a rich life isn’t in things….it’s in people. And it’s good to remember that.