Sometimes I treat God like a spouse who I am just giving obligatory time to. I show up for the date nights but then live this married life without Him. Maybe you can relate. There are days where I spend time reading the Word and uttering a few prayers before rushing into my day, only to completely forget that I am living this day with Him. He is the One giving me each breath I take. He is the One I am to be serving and loving and thinking about.
While a relationship with Christ does consist of reading my Bible and praying, those things are not the end goal; God is. Bible reading and prayer are just tools to help me in knowing Him better.
Our earthly marriages are similar. I would never say that date nights are all that my marriage consists of. While they are good and extremely helpful, they do not make up the bulk of the day/week/month. No, most of married life is spent in the sharing of everyday moments, walking and talking with my spouse.
Our union to Christ is the same. Our relationship with Him is not made up entirely of early morning devotions. No, we walk together through the good and the bad, the big and the small. He is ever-present with us whether we’re desperately asking for His help or praising Him for His goodness. We can praise, worship and enjoy Him all throughout our day for He is always with us. Best of all, He has promised that He will never leave or forsake us. It’s a life-long, eternal commitment. We are His bride. He is our Bridegroom.
For our third and final post in our Sunday Series, we have compiled some breakfast ideas, as well as a couple of recipes that might help simplify Sunday breakfasts. These are all ideas that can be made ahead of time so that come Sunday morning, you have to spend very little time actually making breakfast.
Frozen pancakes or waffles.
Coffee cake (Pretty much any coffee cake recipe can be mixed up the night before and then baked in the morning.)
Cinnamon rolls (These can also be made the night before, refrigerated, and then baked fresh in the morning!)
⅓ cup oil
⅓ cup regular or brown sugar
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups oatmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Nuts or berries, optional
Mix all ingredients together and place in a greased 9-inch x9-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Serve with milk (like regular cereal.)
This can also be mixed up the night before and then just baked in the morning.
Overnight Bran Muffins
1 ½ cups Raisin Bran cereal
½ cup flour
½ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¾ cup milk
¼ cup oil
½ teaspoon salt
Mix all together and let sit overnight. In the morning, fill muffin tins ½ full and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Makes about 1 dozen.
Freezer Breakfast burritos
Make any combination of egg/cheese/hashbrown/meat filling. Place the filling in the burritos. Fold up the burritos and wrap up individually with foil. Freeze.
To serve, simply remove the foil and pop the frozen burrito in the microwave and heat for 1-2 minutes, or until the burrito is heated through.
Cold Cereal/Pop-Tarts/Instant Oatmeal
Do you have any favorite quick breakfast ideas that have helped make Sunday morning breakfast a bit less crazy?
During those nine long months of that first pregnancy, most of us first-time moms probably did all sorts of research about pregnancy.
First, we probably focused on figuring out if that new ache or pain that showed up during our first, second, or third was normal. Then, as that 40-weeks mark drew closer and closer, we studied up on signs of the onset of true labor and what to pack for the hospital. And then, of course, we read all about labor and delivery.
Finally, with each passing day, the anticipation heightened to where we were just ready for this baby to come.
And then suddenly, it happened: the baby that we had waited so long to come finally arrived!
The baby was in our arms.
We were now a mom.
What an incredible experience.
And then we realized that, despite all the studying and reading and researching that we had done, we hadn’t covered everything. We still had a lot to learn.
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, here are some of the things we wish we had known about being a mom and caring for our new little bundle of joy!
Postpartum is hard. For some women, those first few days and weeks might even be harder than labor and delivery, so give yourself time to recover. It is okay to give yourself permission to say ‘no’ to extra activities and allow yourself to take it extra slow those first few weeks. Your body just went through a major ordeal and you hit the ground running. Feel free to ask fellow moms about their postpartum experience, as well as their labor and delivery experience! Most women are more than willing to share their experiences in all these areas!
Milk let-downs are painful! No one warned me that in those first few months of breastfeeding there would be multiple times a day where my breasts would feel like there were a thousand prickles poking into me. They also didn’t warn me that I would be almost frozen in place while waiting for the sensation to pass. I thought something was seriously wrong and that I might have had mastitis. Eventually, it got better but I still didn’t know if it was normal. At a later appointment, I mentioned it to my doctor. She laughed it off and said “Oh yes! I can remember being in the store, just standing there waiting for it to pass.” Four kids later and I can now also attest, it’s normal.
Breastfeeding isn’t as easy as it might look. There are so many facets of breastfeeding that can go wrong. And sometimes breastfeeding can be hard. Really hard. So if your breastfeeding journey is so much harder than you expected it to be, it is okay to make the decision to pursue an alternative method of feeding your child. You are not less of a mom if you choose to not exclusively breastfeed!
Having a simple manual breast pump on hand is a lifesaver. Even if you’re not planning to ever use it, get one. With my first child, we had latch issues, so when my milk first came in, I was in so much pain! My little hand pump relieved the incredible pressure and helped me to endure during those first six weeks until I could finally say “Ok, I think this is how nursing is supposed to work!” I am so thankful for that little pump.
As a side-note, if you are having trouble with breastfeeding, getting an appointment with a lactation consultant is money well-spent! They take their time with you and are ever so helpful! However, if you’re tight on money, there are a lot of great, free resources online that offer help in this area as well. If you are on Instagram, @karrie_locher is a postpartum nurse and has an incredible amount of helpful information in her story highlights on postpartum in general, as well as tons of help for troubleshooting problems you run into while breastfeeding or pumping.
Parenting is not all black and white. I started my parenting journey thinking it was going to be pretty cut and dry as far as teaching my kids what is right and wrong and training them with yes or no. Boy, did I ever have a lot to learn (and the water is only getting deeper). For example, my child has a meltdown. Now I not only have to address that their fit is wrong but also evaluate their little heart because it is not wrong for them to have sadness in many instances. So here I have to correct sin while at the same time caring for genuine emotion. Parenting takes a lot more grace and wisdom and TIME as we nurture little hearts!
It is okay to make exceptions to good habits. Working to establish routines and schedules and sleep habits and so on can feel all-consuming at times. And then, when bedtime ends up being an hour later than usual or a road trip throws routine all out of whack, it is easy to feel like all of our hard work for the little progress that we have made is being thrown out the window. But you know what? In the end, it usually doesn’t end up being as bad as we expected it to be. So relax, take life as it comes, and try to not stress too much about those exceptions when they come your way!
Parenting reveals the sin in my heart. Before I became a parent, I had no idea that God would use parenting as a tool to help me grown in my sanctification. I am slowly learning that more often than not, it is my own sinful heart that is to blame for a rough day of parenting, not my child’s misbehavior.
Being a mom is definitely not an easy job–so many ups and downs, joys and sorrows. However, there really is nothing that can quite compare to the incredible joy of having someone call you Mom!
We recently welcomed baby #4 into our family. What an exhaustingly sweet time! With each addition to our family I have been amazed at the creative and loving ways people have shown up for us in these seasons of transition. Today, I’m sharing some of my favorite ways to bless a momma with a newborn so you can also show love and support to those moms that are in your life.
Set up two weeks of meals for after baby arrives ( Here is an extremely easy tool to help you set something like this up. https://takethemameal.com/ )
Help prep freezer meals that she can pull out later.
Give local restaurant gift cards for her pull out in a pinch. (Subway, Pizza Hut, etc.)
Drop off a year supply (can be less 😉 ) of paper plates, silverware, etc.
Set up a diaper/wipes pounding.
Offer to come over and clean/vacuum while she takes a bath/shower.
Text her and let her know you are praying for her.
Write notes/verses on a bunch of newborn diapers so she can smile while she’s doing changes.
Make a goodie basket for her to pull out whenever she goes to nurse. This can include mini water bottles, snacks, verse cards, lanolin cream, fun little gifts for her to open, etc.
Drop off new toys/books for any older siblings to help keep them entertained while they all adjust to large amounts of time being taken up with nursing/feedings.
Take any older siblings to the park or library so Mom can snatch a quick nap.
Offer to sit with the baby while Mom goes and does something with any older siblings in order to give them some needed quality time together.
Babysit ALL the kids so she and her husband can go on a date.
Offer to vacuum out their family car. (Someone did this for us with baby #4. I had never even contemplated it as being a helpful idea but this allowed the van to become a clean space for my brain to relax in every time I had to load all the kids up. And instead of being greeted by a mess, I was reminded me of just how loved I am.)
The past year has been different in so many ways for all of us. Most of us have spent a lot more time at home and a lot less time with people; perhaps we’ve also had to do without or get creative with essentials. And undoubtedly, we have all had to redefine “normal.” Yet even with all the changes, a lot of things have stayed the same–we are still wives, mothers, homemakers, friends–and so some advice we have been given by other women over the years rings just as strong and true today as it ever has. We hope these little nuggets of advice that have been helpful to us will be a blessing to you and encourage your heart as you go about the roles and responsibilities that God has placed before you!
“There are times when my husband doesn’t deserve my service and that’s when I just say ‘Lord, this service is for you!’”
A dear friend of mine shared these thoughts at a time when I was really struggling with submission. Her timely comment helped me to remove my husband from the situation in my mind and realize anew that my service is ultimately an act of worship to my God. – Chrystal
“Make your plans in pencil.”
A missionary lady shared this with a group of us when I was in Bible College. The point is that we can make plans but as we make our plans we must remember that God is ultimately in control and we should hold those plans in an open hand. There have been countless times over the years where I have gone to write something in my planner, set down my pen and gone to find a pencil. There have been many times that I have gone back with the eraser and been thankful for that perspective when I made those plans in pencil. – Rachel
“When I was having a rough day with my kids, I’d put them in the bathtub and let them play for a while. Some days they took three baths!”
My older friend shared this with me and we both laughed over it. Her frankness about parenting not always being easy was such an encouragement to me! And it also gave me the freedom to use her idea on my own rough parenting days. – Chrystal
“Just do something!”
When asking an older, wiser woman for advice on how to know God’s will for my life, she gave the illustration of a parked car: it isn’t going to go anywhere as long as it is parked, but once the car is moving, the driver is able to steer it in one direction or another. Similarly, when wondering whether something is God’s will for my life, many times I just need to do something instead of waiting around for the answer to fall in my lap. God will then open or close doors, as He sees fit! – Angie
“Live your life in such a way that for those coming behind you, it will have mattered that you were here.”
Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth shared something along these lines at one of her conferences and I have thought about it many times since then. I may never meet my grandchildren or great-grandchildren but the choices I am making today can make an eternal difference in their lives. – Chrystal
Ask yourself “What can I do now to help make life easier later?”
This is the question that I learned to start asking when I read The Lazy Genius by Kendra Adachi. As simple as it seems, this question has been so helpful during my current season of life with young children. It has made me learn the importance of redeeming the time and realize how helpful it is to pick up a few toys quickly or do some simple prep for supper during naptime. – Angie