Periodically most mommies get overwhelmed. I say most because you may be one of those special people who are so organized, have perfect children, have a nannie, or just don’t let things bother you. But if you do get overwhelmed from time to time, you are not alone.
I have a bit of experience in the area. I have 6 children. They are all in the 40’s now so I can positively say that we survived, however, there were a few times in their upbringing that I lost it. These days with the added elements of electronics and now with the current pandemic, to be a mom you really have to put your armor on every single day.
When I say put your armor on, I mean to be able to take the slings and arrows that hit moms every day. But, even with said armor, you can still get overwhelmed.
So, lets define overwhelmed. This state may be different for different moms and situations. After, of course, the normal stresses of having twins, my first children, it didn’t take long for my house to get into a yearlong mess. I am not naturally a meticulous housekeeper and have even tagged myself as lazy, however, with the care and feeding of these two very demanding children, I admit that I got overwhelmed on several occasions. Overwhelmed for me at that time was the anxiety of a messy house.
My friends and family helped some and when the “second,” actually third child came along 16 months later several church friends came by to help with both the children for a day and to do some straightening. This was so welcomed and as they put me into my room with the new baby, they took care of the twins and cleaned up. They asked about the clutter on the counter, I said, “If you throw it away, just don’t let me see it!” I know my issues and it took all the will power I could muster to keep from opening a box of my clutter on the street! This was me, overwhelmed. They certainly were the best helpers ever. Even if just for a day! Don’t be afraid to help a young mom. You may just bring a meal or babysit for a few hours, but this is a real stress reliever. I know I will forever be grateful for any help I received from my husband, friends, and family. One time my sweet sister just happened by with a gallon of milk. We need to all be ready to help, even in a small way, our overwhelmed moms.
Housework is not the only stress for moms, but for me, it was a real issue. Later, when I had my 6th baby in 6 years, a friend saw my housecleaning dilemma and recommended a household helper that would clean for a few hours a week and help. I had her come many times for several years and she became a good friend, she even babysat!
Fast forward to schoolwork. This can be a stressor. If I could go back in time, I would have been more attentive to my kid’s schoolwork, unfortunately, I was more into their basic needs, food, and transportation. That said, they all graduated high school, and some college, so we are good. Except for typing 6 science projects, schoolwork was not one of my daily anxieties. I know that especially right now, if you are doing schoolwork at home, keeping up with assignments, etc., can overwhelm. So, what do we do? My recommendation is to monitor but let your child, if old enough, take charge. Just like cleaning their room, it takes time and help for them to “get it” but ultimately, they must take some responsibility. I think it’s even overwhelming for you and your child for you to think you can do all their work for them. That eventually catches up with them.
Off track from the overwhelmed theme, I think children today are missing “consequences.” Which means, if they don’t do the work, they don’t make the grade. When we as parents allow them to experience (after, of course, making sure they know the instructions) the spoils of their work, this is a life lesson that moves them into a positive future. Diligent monitoring and checking are hard work but pays off for both of you. You are not their partner, you’re their boss.Continue reading
What Are You Afraid Of?
It seems that we are all afraid of something. I will share some of my fears and I would like you, as you read this, to contemplate yours. Fears take on different aspects, they could be inward or outward, but this is not about the fears themselves, but what we do with them.
I’ll start with one of the fears I have identified in myself. That is, fear of success. By that I mean, some of the opportunities I have been faced with over my life, may have produced good results, however, I got in my head and declined to proceed or went a little way and then gave up. One way these fears have manifested is my confidence in writing. Although I have had a blog for twenty years now, and have even self-published a children’s book, “The Gospel Parade,” I have failed to put 100% into the process, some because of limited funds, but also because I have a habit of saying to myself, “Who would read this? Would ‘they’ be interested? Who really cares what I have to say?”
I am currently working on a book, “Why Do You Want to Go to Hell?” and have gone through most of the negative head-speak through the process. Except for prayer and patience through writer’s block, I would have given up on this, now, yearlong project. But in an effort to press on, I am still working on it and should have it ready by years end.
As an aside, my 92 year old mom decided to read all of my blog posts (professionalmom.com) as a pastime the other day and when I asked her what she thought, she said, “You should be a writer, I didn’t know you could write!” “You should write a book.” It reminded me of the time I sang a song in a Junior Miss pageant and when it was over, she said, “I didn’t know you could sing!” It’s funny to me, and kind of a “left-handed” compliment, but it made me feel so encouraged and special, even though I have been a “writer” for many years and have published a book. Thanks, Mom!
But I digress. Fear of success. This is my most relevant fear. Recently, I was stuck in a rut with weight loss. Although I have never, until recently, had a major spike in my weight, it seems that I could not lose, no matter how hard I tried. I had spent more than I will say on tricks and pills, so needless to say, I was done. This is what God did for me. He sent me a weigh loss, health program that actually works and I am now enjoying the success of this new adventure.
Years ago, I launched a modeling career. It was quite bold for a mom of six and it was very local, however, I would not work certain hours and besides being a petite model before it’s popularity, my family came first and my “career” was short lived. Fear of success, maybe.
I’ve taken piano lessons, can’t play, tennis lessons, no team. What in the world am I afraid of?
Do you have something that you have been putting off with non-productive “self-talk?” I encourage you to take it to the Lord in prayer and if there is a positive “go-ahead,” from above, just do it! Fear of success has a stronger hold than fear of failure, in my opinion. I have seen people hold back from many ventures and adventures because of it. What are you afraid of?
My theme of “Fears” has taken a track pertaining to what we do. But there are other fears just as relevant. I don’t mean like fear of spiders, snakes, or rats, although these are at the top of my fear list. I am thinking of fear of sickness or fear of death. Or fear of these things for loved ones. We have all crossed this path at some time in our life, if we are old enough.
My greatest comfort in all of life’s fears is knowing Jesus as my Savior. He tells us in His Word, to “fear not.” Not just once but many times. Whether it’s fear of failure, fear of success or fears such as sickness or death, our only hope is Jesus Christ and praying for His will to be lived out in our lives. It doesn’t hurt to jump into an adventure with the hope of blessing, and it doesn’t hurt to go down a path that is uncertain, with Godly direction. It does hurt when our fears keep us from living a life that is “the best” and just settling, or worse, living a defeated life.
Let’s strive to do whatever it is God has for you, the best, the most abundant life possible. Use your gifts, not just for gain, but to bless others. And finally, “Fear Not!”
John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Monsters by Vector
By Patti McDonald, Professional Mom
We are human, that’s a fact. We ask WHY. Another fact. Have you ever wondered why something happened, or why it happened in the way it did? I have.
For example, why did the log pop out of the ocean, just as the little boy was walking on the beach. And kill him! Why did the car swerve just in time to miss the oncoming traffic? Why did it hit?
Some of the WHY questions for all of us are: Why am I sick? Why did my husband die? Why did I miscarry? Why did my child die? Why did I wreck my car? Why did my house burn down? Why did the flood come here? There are as many WHYs as there are people. Why did my wife get cancer? Why did the tornado hit my house and not my neighbor’s? Or vice versa.
These and many, many more WHY questions are sent to a Holy, loving God every single second. So, how does he answer our WHY?
Sometimes the WHY is far off. Sometimes it is immediate. There is only one answer. The answer is to trust God. We don’t see with “God eyes.” His power and omnipotence are not in our realm, these qualities are higher and more intense than human hearts can understand. In our weakest moments, He is strong.
Still, there is sadness, mourning, anger, and grief in our suffering, whatever the reason. I have gone through seasons of WHY. If yours includes the finality of death, to me, it is much harder to understand the WHY and for some and some situations, we will not understand fully until we see Jesus, however, there is a glimmer of understanding in God’s Word.
Genesis 18:12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, after I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?
So, what shall we take from this “physiologically incomprehensible” forecast from the angel visitors? Abraham had been promised to be the Father of Many Nations by God. Here we have the inside view of Sarah as she overheard the conversation of her husband and his heavenly messengers, one of which, I believe was Jesus, but that’s for another day. She laughed within herself, scripture says. As a woman, I can see where she was coming from. Her husband was 99 years old and she was not too far behind, probably 90 or 91, according to historic accounts. The problem here is Sarah’s unwillingness to believe God, hence, the laugh.
LACIE LET ME SHARE HER STORY:
Life gets busy y’all. I’m not kidding. I blinked my eyes and I am in my 60’s. How did that happen? I am grateful for my life, don’t get me wrong. God has blessed me with countless blessings. Unfortunately, one of those blessings was to eat anything I wanted, any time I wanted. Now, this was great during my years when I had hormones and metabolism, now, not so much.
Since my late 30’s, when I absolutely discovered the scale for the first time in my life, other than doctor visits when having the 6 children I already had at that time, it became my constant companion. And for many years, decades really, I have weighed myself consistently, as if as a daily devotional task.
Up and down, up and down, never really down as far as I wished, and many dollars and hours of wasted effort later, I kind of gave up. I say kind of, in that, I vowed (a teeny tiny vow that was to nobody in particular) to never spend another dollar on weight-loss products. The piece de resistance of my plight was the word OBESE on my doctor well visit reports that I kept getting for the last few years. Just knock me down why don’t ya?
When you talk about emotional rollercoasters, you need only look at me. Although my highs were higher than my lows were low, I still bought a Spanks something every time I shopped. I had up and down confidence issues about my weight both in my job and at home. I had read years ago that when you look good to you, that doesn’t mean you look the same to others. This caused me to second guess every outfit. My closet looked like a war zone and I ended up wearing the same thing for every occasion. Black was my favorite color. My prayer became, “Lord, I’ve tried everything, now it’s up to you…”
My final health journey which I plan to be on forever until I die and which I am smack in the middle of right now, started this past February 1, 2020. I went to Hawaii to visit a close friend over New Years, she has always been thin in my remembrance and is in her 80’s now, spry as a 16-year-old. Good metabolism, I presumed. Anyway, I was at my all-time highest weight and as we walked her dog together, I even had trouble getting out of her car, clasping my shoes, etc., we discussed different remedies to my dilemma. My weight kept going up, not down, no matter what I did.
I traveled home, loving my friend and my trip, but still disappointed about my weight. A final (I’ll explain) OBESE check up was rendered when I got home.
I had been seeing some posts on Facebook and Instagram of before and after pictures of people who had lost significant amounts of weight. We, as consumers are bombarded with these pictures everyday from some company or another. But this was different. A person I had graduated with in Little Rock in 1970 had become my friend on FB and was now a “healthcoach” for a company that I had to search her profile to find. This was different, no mention of the company, no selling, curious…
I looked up Optavia and it was a food thing. But I was still interested in finding out how these people had gotten such amazing results. And it was not packaged as a lose weight fast program, which I knew I could work with. It (the weight) hadn’t gotten on fast, I knew it would take some time.
I called Gail, who had moved about an hour away from me, and asked to meet her for lunch to “talk about” this program she was offering. We had lunch and she explained the program, 5 “fuelings” a day and 1 big meal you make yourself with good food choices, called “Lean and Green.” I asked about supplements, “no supplements,” she said. I said, “Sign me up!”
That was January 2020, now June 2020 and 22 pounds lighter (still going) I feel better than I did in my 40s. The science and ideology behind this program, which by the way, has been around for over 30 years, is pretty awesome. It puts you in a slow fat burn which, for me, works great. A lot of people, mostly younger and with tons more weight to lose, lose more quickly and greater amounts, but I am happy with my “slowness.” I just remember, each month when I order my fuelings, why I’m doing this and that I can’t wait to see my doctor in July!
I’ll post an update when I reach my goal weight loss of 30 pounds, in the meantime, if you are interested in learning more about this phenomenal company and health program, let me know, as now, I have become a health coach for Optavia! #professionalmomhealthcoach #optaviacoach
I wish you the best healthy day!
Professional Mom, Patti McDonald here to bring encouragement and inspiration to moms and caregivers.
My topic today is the 23rd Psalm from the Bible. This usually comes up at funerals and that’s not a bad thing, however, have you ever stopped to meditate on the serene comfort of this passage? “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.” This is only the first verse, of course, but think about it. The very God of the Universe is our Shepherd.
You must know a little bit about sheep to understand this passage fully. Back in the day, (even in modern times in some countries,) the shepherd looked after his sheep as full guardian of their being. He rested in the exact place that the “enemies” could enter to protect them, and this also kept the flock from wandering. According to Max Lucado, “Safe in the Shepherd’s Arms,” the flock can’t even sleep without the preparation and help of the Shepherd. Even for them to have green pastures, the shepherd had to find and prepare the best fields, removing rocks and briars that would hurt them. Sheep must be fed, and all manner of their needs met for them to rest. We need our Shepherd for this as well.
When the Psalmist speaks of green pastures, still waters and a robust table set “in the presence of my enemies,” he is telling the great care that God has for us. When we are disturbed, hungry or sick, our Shepherd moves in to woo us to himself. He is our comfort. He is our all.
Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” John 10: 27.
I choose to be a Sheep with Attitude because I choose to follow my Shepherd, Jesus. The world will have you follow the crowd to the trucks headed to the slaughter. Sheep have a way of following the leader, much to their detriment, sometimes. I am choosing Who to follow. I choose the Shepherd who died in my place. He will take care of me, no matter what!
Come with me and follow Jesus, you will know the care of THE GOOD SHEPHERD FOREVER. “I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD, AND KNOW MY SHEEP, AND AM KNOWN OF MINE” John 10:14
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures,
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul; he leadeth
Me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s
Sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of
The shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou
Art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the
Presence of mine enemies; thou anointest my head
With oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all
The days of my life; and I will dwell in the house
Of the Lord forever.
*ARTWORK COPY BY SARAH MCDONALD PRICE
While everyone is getting on the advice bandwagon, wouldn’t Professional Mom have to get out there and provide some insight and opinion? Of course!
My inspiration for you today is to Trust God. Trusting God every day is a great mind-set. Through good times and bad, God has been there for us. History tells stories of terrible hardships that we as a people have weathered and by the mercy of God, people pull through. Perhaps things will change, perhaps our schedules will be modified in some way that will never be restored, however, when there is nothing else you can do, Trust God.
The Bible says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3: 5 & 6
Ironically, but purposely, the next verses speak of your health, wellbeing and substance (wealth,) being impacted positively when we trust God.
You may say, I’m trusting God and my family is being negatively impacted by the current situation with the Coronavirus. If you are familiar with the Bible, you may have read the book of Job. Yes, he was the most horrid example of a person trusting the Living God and being negatively impacted. He never stopped trusting the One True God and was restored graciously in the end.
So, let me ask you something. Have you given all you have to God; all you have or ever will have? This is no easy question to answer. This is a test, the test that will show your faith in Jesus Christ. The current events are “out of our control.” God knows. God knows.
If you don’t know God through Jesus Christ and His great sacrifice for our sin, it would be a good time to trust Him. It’s very simple but takes a deliberate act of your will. Trust God.
If you know Jesus as your Savior and Lord, I say to you now, Trust God. Should we be complacent and do nothing, well no. However, first, we must pray, get our priorities straight. I know I’m used to getting my own way, I’m confessing that as I write this. It’s God’s way, as I pray, I am asking God what I should do to help with this national dilemma.
Although it pains me for all the “shutdowns,” especially the churches and schools, I am so proud of the efforts of our pastors, leaders and teachers for jumping in with alternatives to gathering. We must continue to “gather together and pray corporately (virtually if necessary).”
I don’t think it’s an accident for God’s Word to say to us, “If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14
Pray with your children, pray with your friends on Social Media and by phone, lift up those who are ill or in need and pray for our national leaders to have wisdom in this extraordinary time.
We are on the cusp of a revival. If we pray, God will hear. I cannot stress this enough. Trust God today and he will heal our nation.
Professional Mom (Patti McDonald)
When Joe and I married, I didn’t ask him if he believed in Santa Claus or if he would want to teach our future children about him. But I did ask him if he believed in Jesus.
At the time, I was not as close to my Savior as I should have been, however, within a year of marriage, I began to miss going to church and that started a whole realization that Jesus is Lord of ALL. I had even said (didn’t tell Joe) that I didn’t want to have children, but this “opening all the closets of my heart” started a whole new direction in my life. I gave my whole heart to Jesus and asked Him what HE wanted for my life.
The trajectory of my life changed immediately as all my goals and deepest wants were about being pleasing to God. Within a few months, I was impressed by the Holy Spirit to quit my job with a local endodontist, get off birth control pills and in what I now call, getting ready for God’s plan, began to get more involved in Bible Studies, church events, and used my home time to listen to radio programs with awesome Bible scholars like J. Vernon McGee, and others who prepared me for the road ahead.
It’s Okay Not to Be Okay
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6 (NLT)
My darling mom died two years ago. I miss her every day. I don’t think anything quite prepares you for saying goodbye to your mom. After her funeral in Scotland, I stayed several days to help my sister, Frances, go through Mom’s things. One treasure I brought home was the little Bible that always sat by her bed. She’d received it in December of 1942, when she was 13 years old. She wrote on one of the blank pages, “Grace is undeserved favor. It is love stooping.”
We spent several hours going through Mom’s big red box of family photographs. “Did you really mean to have purple hair?” my sister asked with a smile, holding up a photo that showed one of my more creative choices. “Yes,” I said, grinning back. “Sadly, that was intentional.”
I paused on a photograph from the day I graduated from seminary. I remember that day so well. I was 21 years old. My hair in that season was dark and very short. I had to have most of it cut off after a disastrous experiment with a perm. I looked at my smiling face, confident I would now go out and change the world for Jesus. I remember my mom saying to me that day: “God began this good work in you, Sheila, and He will continue His work until you see Him face-to-face.” I wish I’d listened to those words more carefully. I wish I’d understood the liberating truth that God is the one who begins His work in us, and He will complete it. I thought it was up to me.
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