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Mother’s Day Outing:
I’m not sure if it was when the ticks started crawling on my shirt or the mile left to the car that caused me to enjoy my mother’s day present slightly differently than expected.

My husband wanted to take me and the kids hiking for Mother’s Day. Since we are both outdoor lovers and needed a day out, I was really excited to have the chance to enjoy nature (and of course it was FREE).

We had the infant carrier that my husband wore and I was in charge of our 20month old daughter. Someone chose the 1.8 mile “strenuous” trail. I think “strenuous” translated into “slightly uphill” in our minds. Oh no. It was UP hill, rocky, stumpy, underbrush-laden terrain, complete with climbing over tree roots and dodging branches and thorns. Add an 8week old and an under 2 year old to the mix, plus rain, and it was not the smartest walk we’ve ever taken. Why did it take us a whole mile to figure this out?

We wanted to get to the scenic lookout, marked on the map between “T3” and “T4”. By the time we got tired, we knew we had to be close. We saw a marker, oh glorious marker, but when we got there it said “T2” and we were still a whole inch from T3 on the map(.5 mi), NOT to mention the return trip we would have to take if we kept going.

A Realization:
To shorten the story, we completely missed the scenic lookout and ended up at T4 dumbfounded and tired. Then the ticks started falling on us and I had enough nature for the day. The 20month old insisted on collecting rocks, sticks, bugs, and foliage(hopefully not poison ivy), which kept lengthening our walk, so I picked her up and practically ran back down the trail to get out of there.

Tonight while I was doing the dishes(and combing my fingers through my hair for the umpteenth time making sure I didn’t miss a tick, and shouldn’t someone else be doing the dishes on mother’s day?), I was reflecting on the weekend of celebrating moms and how disastrous it seemed. It didn’t make me feel refreshed, but overworked and tired.

That’s when I realized that for me, Mother’s Day should be a day where I renew my focus on God’s plan for me as a mom, and not my own failures or mistakes, or huge list of things I need to get done. Therefore, I am writing a reminder for myself to be an encouragement as I face another year of poop, bloody knees, dirty clothes, messy faces, and beautiful children.

My Commitment:
For the next year I will commit to the following:
• I will remember that God gave me my children, perfect, just the way they are, and He intentionally chose me as their mother. “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14, NIV

• I will trust God for wisdom in discipline and not discipline out of anger or frustration. “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6 “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31:26, NIV

• I will study the Bible on a regular basis so that I will be a godly example for my children. “I have hidden your word in my heart that I may not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11

• I will not be lazy. I will do what needs to be done to have a safe, loving, and stress-free home. “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 31: 27, NIV

• I will remember that God is by my side every step of the way. He is there for me to enjoy, obey, rely upon, talk to, and have as the ultimate example. Nothing or no one else can take His place. “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5, NIV

Whether you are a mom, honorary mom, or support staff, please be encouraged and please encourage moms around you that they are not alone and that God has a beautiful plan for their life!

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