Christianity, Faith

Strengthening My Faith in 2019

As a new year begins, many of us declare a fresh start. In the past I have decided on starting fresh by resolving to eat healthier, work out more or stopping a bad habit that had developed over the past year. These resolutions don’t usually make it past three or four months, before I am back to my old ways. The starting over plan goes down the drain, along with the remnants of the unhealthy meal I had just eaten. After a few weeks of contemplation this past month, I have decided not to start completely over, but to build upon the structure God has provided me. I will do this through the focus of strengthening my faith in 2019.

In the Bible, faith is defined as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” Hebrews 11:1. Though I have always been a believer in God, there have been times when I have questioned my faith. Times such as, being bullied in middle school, my parents divorce in high school, a traumatic student teaching experience at a Catholic school and the loss of our daughter in 2015.  Through these events, I have found my faith again through different methods. Methods I continue to practice when I feel my faith wavering. This year I plan on building a more solid relationship with God, by continuing these methods while also using new approaches to strengthen my overall faith.

I am no expert in religion. In fact, if I were forced to sit down and define or recite certain aspects of the Catholic faith, I would fail miserably. As I have grown older, I have realized that each person has to practice their faith in the best way they know how.  Whether that means diligently going to church every Sunday, reciting the rosary before bed, reading a passage of the Bible several times a week or taking time to talk to God at the end of the day.

In the past my methods have included: going to church, prayer and devotional readings. While these past few years I have not been consistent with going to church, I always take time at the end of my day to talk to God. While laying in bed, I review the day with him. I ask him for guidance as I make my way through a particularly difficult season. I use that time to enjoy a one-on-one with him. Whether I am praying for answers or thanking him for the daily blessings he has given me, that time has become sacred and has noticeably strengthened my relationship with him. This year, I will add more prayer throughout my day. I will take the time to send up thanks and praise throughout my day, rather than just at the end of the night.

Earlier this week I received a women’s devotional bible in the mail. Though I have read devotionals in the past, I have never sat down and read through the Bible. This year, I plan on using this gift to continue strengthening my faith through reading selected passages based on the specific topics presented to me in the back. I will also take the time to find passages that speak to me in this particular season and focus on their messages, while instilling them in my life. This year I will focus on messages relating to marriage, motherhood, forgiveness and grace.

In the past I have had very few Christ-centered women in my life who have made an impact on my faith. Recently this has changed. I joined a wonderful organization of Christ-centered women and mothers who have strengthened my faith in more ways then I can count. By surrounding myself with these women, I know my relationship with God can only grow. It is through this growth, that I recognize God has provided me with a support system that can only do good for my faith.

My hope, is that through the strengthening of my faith and relationship with God, I can better myself as a wife, mother and Christian this next year. I recognize there will be days when I struggle with my faith, but by continuing to actively pray and work on my relationship with God, I can only grow stronger as a believer in Christ.

What are some ways you have strengthened your faith over the years? How do you build a secure relationship with God? Feel free to comment!

Love and blessings,

Molly

 

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Motherhood

Strong as a Mother

It wasn’t until I was pregnant with our first baby, that I truly learned to appreciate everything a mother does for her child. Whether biological or adopted, the love a mother has for her child/children has no bounds. Motherhood has shown me that moms are the superheroes of the world. Moms are some of the fiercest, hardest working and most compassionate beings on this earth. Mothers are also the least recognized for the sacrifices they make for their families. I want to take a moment and recognize this amazing group of women.

For the single mothers who are taking care of their children without the help of a partner. I See you!

For the mothers of rambunctious boys, who are learning to love tractors, messes and wrestling matches. I see you!

For the mothers who put their careers on hold to stay home and raise their children. I See you!

For the mothers who work a full time job and still come home to take care of their house and family. I See you!

For the new mothers trying to figure out how to take care of a baby for the first time. I See you!

For those new mothers who have just spent nine months growing another human being, only to put their body through even more pain to deliver them. I See you!

For the mothers trying to breastfeed. A process that is suppose to come natural to us, but is another added challenge. I See you!

For the mothers suffering from Postpartum Depression or Anxiety. I See you!

For the mothers who look at themselves in the mirror and cry, because their bodies have changed and will never be the same. I See you!

For the mothers who are sleep deprived, because their baby, toddler or even their teenager keeps them up at night. I See you!

For the mothers who get out of bed and continue to take care of everyone, despite being sick and exhausted. I See you!

For the mothers who have put friendships and hobbies on hold to care for their family. I See you!

For the mothers who adopt a child and bring them into their loving home. I See you!

For the mothers who have lost a spouse and continue to raise their children with the love and compassion of two parents. I See you!

For the mothers who give up their food so their children do not go hungry. I See you!

For the mothers who will stop at nothing to protect their child from someone intent on hurting them. I See you!

For the mothers who are forgotten on their birthdays, anniversaries or holidays. I See you!

For the mothers who make sure everyone is fed and clothed, before worrying about themselves. I See you!

For the mothers who have a spouse that works long hours, and they do the majority of child care on their own. I See you!

For the mothers who make sure their children know the love and sacrifice of our Jesus Christ. I See you!

And lastly,

For the mothers who have suffered the loss of a child and continue to care for their family and themselves. I See you!

I want all mothers to know that you are recognized, respected and loved. Even if it doesn’t feel like it, we see what you do for your families. Mothers continue to make sacrifices on a daily basis for their children and they are the strongest and most selfless human-beings I know!

Thank you to all the mothers in my life. You have shown me that though motherhood is not the easiest journey, it is the most worthwhile.

Love and blessings,

Molly

Aidan, Finley, Motherhood, Parenting

Life’s Greatest Role Yet

Have you ever been to a play or even the circus? If not imagine it is your first time as a guest in the audience. You are so ecstatic as you find your seats. You can smell popcorn and other goodies in the air. The lights start to dim, the music plays and the performance begins. You sit in awe of the dancers, singers, jugglers or actors. Everything around you fades away as you become part of the performance. As a member of the audience, you rarely catch mistakes that are made by the performers (unless you have been in the business at some point). Before you know it, the show is over and you are already planning your next visit. When the curtain closes, the performers go back to their dressing rooms and you head home. While you were sitting in your seat and snacking on popcorn, the performers were hard at work doing everything possible to make sure their performance would entertain and keep you entranced. They had been practicing for months to get this show perfect for you (someone they don’t even know). Working long hours, seven days a week, these men and women put their other interests and aspirations on hold, because this is what they want to be doing. This is their job and they want to succeed at it. They want to make a difference in your life, even for just two hours. Their abilities are critiqued by experts, by their fellow performers and themselves. Their job while enjoyable, is physically, emotionally and mentally exhausting. They have put every ounce of themselves into being the best they can be. Each day, they take the mistakes made during the performance and work to improve on them. They will be even better next show, because they have learned through trial and error what works best for the audience.

I’m currently starring in a production called “Motherhood.” Many of you have held the same role. I currently play the lead part, which is very time demanding and stressful. I work seven days a week and 24 hours a day. When I go to bed at night, my performance that day plays through my head on repeat. What could I have done better for my audience (kids)? Did they enjoy the performance (their day with mom)? Did they understand the morals and values taught to them during that short time? Will they go to sleep that night remembering the good parts and wanting to return for another performance? As a mother, I feel like a performer. Constantly juggling the many responsibilities of a parent, while trying to balance on the beam of sanity. I absolutely adore my children and am playing the greatest role of a lifetime, but that doesn’t mean it comes without struggles. Each day is a new performance. It either goes really well or needs improvement. I am critiqued by others around me. Some have negative opinions and will gladly share them with you. These critics you just want to hand a stale bag of popcorn and a watered down soda to. Other critics recognize the role you are playing is tough and you are working on it daily. Many of them have been in the same boat and are cheering you on. They are the ones who are giving you the standing ovation and continue to support you in your endeavor as a performer. I have found that the toughest critic is the lead actor. Most days I am very hard on myself. Second guessing my performance on a daily basis. It isn’t until I hear from the only critics that matter (my kids), that I realize I am not doing so badly after all. When they wake up in the morning with a huge smile on their faces and shouting for me, I remember that the performance the day before doesn’t really matter. I should only focus on the day ahead, while making the improvements needed to better myself as a mom.

My children mean the absolute world to me. They have given me the role of a lifetime. A role I wouldn’t turn down for anything in the world. Despite the hardships I face, I know that these little boys love me and are appreciative of everything I do for them. I also recognize that they are my favorite critics, because they are the ones in the audience who cannot wait to come back for another performance. They are very forgiving of the mistakes I make as a mom and are willing to help me improve on my performance. While this role has been challenging, it was given to me by the greatest director ever (God). I couldn’t ask for a better life.

Sorry for all the similes. This post came to me in the middle of the night, while nursing my youngest. I have realized that when inspiration strikes, I have to quickly write my thoughts and ideas down or my mom brain will forget it all. Very much like the wet laundry that has been sitting in the washer for the past two days!

I hope you are cherishing your roles in life. Whether you play the role of parent, teacher, spouse or some other important role, know that our director chose you for a reason.

Much love and blessings,

Mommy Molly

Felicity Marie, Hope Mommy, Loss, Motherhood

Miss You Everyday

As the month of October (Child and Infant Loss Awareness month) approaches, my daughter is on my thoughts more than usual. She would have turned three on October 4th, if she hadn’t passed from Turner’s Syndrome. I miss our daughter everyday and wonder who she would have been. Would she have had my blue eyes and her daddy’s personality? Would she love running around on the farm and chasing our dog Storm? It is a challenge to understand most days why we were chosen to travel such a difficult path. While we may never know God’s plan for us, I know this journey was never meant to harm me, but to strengthen me. My favorite bible verse has always been Jeremiah 29:11. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. This verse is my daily reminder, that my hope and future is the strength of my love for my husband, the blessings of our two boys and most importantly my faith in Jesus Christ. I miss our Felicity Marie. I see her in every little redheaded girl I pass. I see her in Aidan and Finley and I know she is watching over them. Our boys have their sister as their own personal guardian angel. I can’t change the past and as much as I wish she were here, I know God had other plans for her and our family. As hard as that season of loss was, I cherish the seven months I carried her inside of me. Felicity made me a mother for the first time and she will always be our little angel. Over time the grief of her loss has become easier to bare, but the longing to watch her grow remains the same. Nothing would make me happier than to watch all three of my children go through life together. Since that is not possible, I will take each moment with my boys and treasure them even more. Though she is not physically on this earth with us, she will always be cherished and loved by her mommy and daddy. I remember you Felicity Marie. You will always hold a special place in my heart. I love you sweet girl and one day I will hold you again!

Aidan, Creating Memories, Family, Fatherhood, Finley, Motherhood

A Letter to My Boys

Aidan and Finley,

The moment you both entered into our world, were two of the best days of our lives. Holding you for the first time, changed me in ways you will never understand. You make me so incredibly happy to be your momma. It has scared me bringing you into a world that seems filled with such cruelty and destruction. I look around and I am afraid of all the what ifs that could happen as you grow up. As a mother, all I ever want for you is a life filled with happiness, health and love. I pray you find the good in this world and you help spread the compassion and love I have seen in you since day one. My boys, you are the greatest treasures I could have ever found. When I look at your smiling faces, I know your daddy and I won the jackpot having you both as our sons. I never expected I would be a “boy mom,” but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Each day is a new adventure with my little explorers. Not only do we discover fun things to do together, but I learn more and more about each of you. Aidan you have such an amazing personality. You make me laugh everyday. You are also as ornery as your father and both grandpas. Finley, your smiles and laugh can light up a room. When you see your big brother coming, you beam with delight. I can already tell, that you both will bring happiness to all those around you. Your bond as brothers has been inseparable since the beginning and I truly believe you will grow to be best friends. Though you are still young, your daddy and I already know you will both do great things in this world. My boys, you are the reason for life itself. You have made me realize my destiny has always been to be a mother. Your mother! God has given your daddy and I the greatest gifts. I write this letter, so that on the bad days we can remember that each day is a fresh start. I also want to remind you both and myself, that to see the good in this world, we have to be the good. That means to show kindness to everyone, even those who have hurt you in the past. Always forgive those who have hurt you. Most times, it is unintentional and that person hasn’t been shown any kindness. Also, forgive yourselves for the mistakes you make. We are all human and have to have grace with ourselves. Remember, to always do your best in all areas of life. Working hard will only bring about positivity and blessings in your lives. Respect and honesty are important in all relationships. Make sure you show it and receive it. Finally, God and family should always come first. They are the ones who will always be there for you. The love and support you will find is endless. Your dad and I pray that you remember these lessons through your walk of life. It will not always be an easy road. You will face struggles, no matter what paths you take. We will always be here to support you and give you advice. I will never turn down a hug or a snuggle session on the couch. As you grow older, our love for you both only grows stronger. Never doubt the love we have for you. My boys, I truly cannot wait to see the men you become. I know you will both lead remarkable lives and I am so proud of you both! Your mommy and daddy love you to the moon and back!

Love momma