6.24.2015

When Satan Steals Your Motherhood

A photo I might not have normally shared...my kids dressed themselves and they don't look as "stylish" as I usually prefer and there's a little mess in the background...however look at their smiles! Their true, genuine, happy smiles! How tragic not to share this amazing photo just because it doesn't fit my image of the "perfect" mother.

Motherhood is amazing. It is. It's a gift from God and it's amazing. Yet, I somehow find myself complaining about it and going on and on about how "busy" I am and how my house isn't clean enough and how I'm always late to soccer practice and how I don't consistently make nutritious meals for my kids and how I'm failing in so many areas as a mom. 

And Satan loves me for it. He revels in my uncertainty. He wants me to feel inadequate and he gets pure joy when I feel less than as a mother. It makes him happy when I lose control with my kids and when I feel so overwhelmed and stressed out and broken.

Satan is trying to steal my motherhood. 

God gave it to me, He gifted it to me, I prayed every day for it...and yet here I am letting Satan take it all away from me.

Good news: it stops now. 

Lots and lots of links make their way through Facebook. Some I skip over, some I read, some I take to heart and then some completely change the way I look at life. Some change the way I look at my children. Change the way I mother.

Like this one.


It is there, and it creeps up like a silent killer. Maybe it is the wet underwear that you found floating in the hallway bathroom. Or the cat food that has been flung out on the floor like tiny marbles waiting to trip up a passerby. Or the loud thumping and yelling and tantruming as if we live in some sort of primal age where roaring and beating your chest were the only way to get other’s attention.

And all of that madness and anger? It wasn’t the kids. It was me.  The mother. The one who left a pair of Superman undies in a bathroom we rarely use for days, fed the cat without my glasses after someone else forgot, and the loud, obnoxious, downright scary human being I can be when I have just had more than I can handle.

That’s the kind of thing that happens when you allow satan to steal your motherhood.

No, it’s not the mistakes. It’s not the forgetfulness. It is what happens on the inside that no one else sees. And he knows just how to get to you.

He admires you, you know. But only when you yell at your kids, complain about tasks that need to be done regardless of how many people are in your home. He loves it when you wish you were the mom with the skinny jeans and tall boots and shiny hair with the perfectly groomed kids at the mall play area. You look at her and think you are sub-par. Satan loves that.

Satan also loves it when you get scared because someone posted a random video online of how their four year old can read, so you freak out that YOUR four year old is more interested in roaming outdoors and  playing with bobby pins and giving them names, so you panic because books are the last thing on her mind. Satan is clapping now.

Satan also adores you when you get on the phone and ignore your kids, when you hide your true feelings and dreams and frustrations with your husband with a weak “I’m fine”, and when you feel like this fun birthday party at the park for your children isn’t “the best” compared to someone else’s insanely expensive Pinterest celebration.

Satan wants you to fail. And to feel alone. And to feel inadequate to what Someone Else has CALLED you to do.

Because I might as well have left the front door unlocked and allowed a thief to come right in my home yesterday. I mean, why not? I let satan in. After all the fussing and nagging and utter bone tired exhaustion, I crawled into bed with my three year old for a moment. Just to apologize.

“I am so sorry today was so rough”

“I didn’t think it was rough. I thought it was fun!”

“Really? Which part was fun?”

“The part where we played on the couch like we were on a boat. Where we ‘fished’ with your belt as a fishing line, and used the couch pillows for life boats”.

Tears started rolling down my cheeks.

“Please pray for me. That I can be a better Mommy”.

“Oh, I did! Earlier today. When it was sunny. Right before we played the boat game”.

Today I’m locking the door tight to whatever evil enters my heart and home.

Today I am going to remember the One who GIVES LIFE and knows I am a mess and LOVES ME ANYWAY.

I washed the undies. The cat took care of the food. That four year old is now six and can read like a champ. But she still names random things. And it’s cool that my hair is “shiny” because it is unwashed and I can’t wear tall boots because they make me taller than the guy that loves me to the moon and back.

Roll those cars down a ramp, read one more princess story, forget how “busy” you think you are and what the world thinks you should accomplish in a 24 hour period and for heaven’s sake, LOG OFF OF PINTEREST.

Take your kids and an old, worn blanket, reheat that coffee and hold them tight and just rest at the feet of Jesus for a moment.

Today? It is going to be okay. Take back your motherhood. It is a gift. Listen to the life-giver, NOT the liar.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. {John 10:10}


*This article originally appeared on Letters From The Nest.

6.16.2015

And I Kept It All!

 

I've been receiving Stitch Fix to my doorstep now for almost exactly three years. You can see my first fix HERE (still one of my favorites to this day) and yet, I've never kept an entire box before. I would say 80% of the time I keep at least an item or two, but never took advantage of keeping the whole shebang. Until now, 'cause see, my shipment came in the mail the other day and item after item I was all..."I love this! And this! And this!"

For those that don't know, Stitch Fix is a personal styling service where for just $20 a month, a stylist sends you five different items - it can range from jeans to sweaters to dresses to purses and/or accessories - and it's all based off your own personal style. You sign up and then fill out a detailed questionnaire about your tastes and price points, and once a month a package arrives on your doorstep with items hand picked for you. You keep what you want, send back what you don't. And the $20 a month goes towards whatever you decide to keep, so no money lost!


It's pretty awesome, trust me on that or I wouldn't be going strong for three years! Ok so on to what I kept this month...which was everything...oh yeah, and did I mention if you decide to keep the whole shipment you get a 25% discount? 'Cause you do. And it's radical.


- I wasn't so sure about this black top at first, but after I put it on and saw it in pictures, I had to have it. It's a little on the classy side for my taste (remember I'm all about the hot mess express) however it has just enough edge to cement it's place in my closet. That and...how cool is the back detail?


- This embroidered top I knew I wanted the second I pulled it out. Casual, flowey, a little hippie...done. The necklace also came in my Stitch Fix package and I've yet to take it off. It just goes so well with everything!


- Putting this sweater on in 90 degree heat felt a little weird, but come fall I'm pretty sure I'll live in this thing. And it was beyond comfortable and soft and no sisters you cannot borrow it!

Not pictured: a totally awesome pair of deserted denim jeans that I'm totally keeping but are a little too snug right now...which is totally okay because I'm always losing weight, right? (And if I say "totally" one more time I will totally punch myself in the face.)

So there you have it...my most successful Stitch Fix order to date! Sign up yourself HERE!

6.09.2015

Saved By The Bell? More Like Saved By Skimmies!


In case you haven't heard, summer has arrived. Which means pool parties, playdates, water balloon fights, melty ice cream hands and late night bonfires. Ahh, the perks of being a mother of two little bats-in-the-belfry kids. Sigh.
 
However, summer also means adult pool parties, adult playdates, adult water balloon fights (um, so. much. fun.), adult melty ice cream hands (don't judge) and adult late nights out. It also means that I am going to need something to wear for all these fun events, and if you are anything like me, I look into my closet and instantly declare, "I have nothing to wear."
 
When the truth is, I have a lot to wear. Tons of things to wear. A slew of cute flowy dresses that are just hanging in my closet beckoning my name; however, I never end up wearing them for a plethora of reasons. You know the ones girls: reasons like Friction Affliction: a bow legged stride that aims to keep a dreaded thigh fire from ruining your day; or perhaps the Flash Cycle: Trying to keep covered when an unexpected breeze picks up.
 
Totally legit problems if you ask me. 
 
And guess what? I now have the answer. The answer that will allow us to wear our cute flirty skirts and those amazing white pants that show every little detail underneath. You ready? Ok, but don't say I didn't warn you, because once you discover the secret, you will never have another reason to look inside your closet and weep that you have absolutely nothing to wear. 
 
Enter the Jockey® Skimmies® Slipshort. It is a super lightweight slipshort that covers your bum, keeps pantylines to a minimum and offers anti-static defense for flowy skirt days. No modern woman should be without them and 9 out of 10 customers love them. 
 
Count me in for one of those 9 customers! As you can see in the photos posted above, I finally got to wear one of my all time favorite flowy dresses; however, I kept putting it off because the static that came along with it was out of control! I tried spraying anti-static products and to no avail, but once I put on the Jockey Skimmies Slipshort, my static problem disappeared completely. Not to mention having that extra boost of slimming down my thighs and hiding a few lumps and bumps always makes a girl feel good. 
 
There are three different types of Skimmies:
 
Original Skimmies
Smooths like a slip, covers like shorts. Offers a smooth, polished look under fitted-to-flowing skirts and dresses. Silky-smooth microfiber stretch fabric for smoothing coverage without restriction. Available in short and regular lengths. 
 
Anti-static Skimmies
Resists static and allows clothes to glide. Wear under pants or other cotton fashions and say goodbye to cling. Wide, flat leg hem for a stay-put fit. Targeted stretch zones flatter your natural curves. 
 
Wicking Skimmies
Breathable mesh panels keep your comfortable and dry all day. Perfect for working out. Moisture-wicking, quick dry fabric helps prevent chafing. 
 
Girls, believe me when I say the Jockey Skimmies are amazing. I can testify for them being very lightweight but working well to cover all our problems when it comes to dressing ourselves in our favorite clothes. And the best part is, they don't just work well with dresses and skirts. I laid out a couple different outfits so show you that Skimmies can help with our entire wardrobe.
 
Like your favorite pair of white pants that although you love them, can also be prone to showing off maybe too much - Skimmies solves the problem!


You can also pair Skimmies with your stylish pair of shorts for a smooth, sleek look and feel.


The possibilities are endless. And the solution is so simple! I will definitely be wearing my Jockey Skimmies Slipshort all summer long, my only problem now is that I need to buy even more dresses! Ugh. #girlprobs
 
So now you tell me! How would you like to be #SavedBySkimmies? Tell me in the comments for a chance to win a $100 Jockey.com gift card!

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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
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6.04.2015

Basically The Most Amazing Coverup Ever


I live for a good cover up. And let's just get it out of the way that my bikini top was slipping off. I know in these pics it looks dangerously low but once I realized it, I had already changed back into my sweats and wasn't about to get all dolled up again for blogging purposes. Anyway.

This cover up? This amazing cover up is due to none other than the amazing Jessica Simpson. Sorry not sorry but she may have fallen off the radar when it came to pop music and boy band husbands, but she nailed it when it comes to apparel and shoes. In this case, THIS awesome swim cover up (and HERE is the swimsuit to match)!

And I love it. It's under $65 but feels like I'm wearing some super big brand name.

That's all for today. Short and sweet and it's gonna be 100 degrees plus this weekend. I have lots of amazing plans in store so be sure to follow me on instagram!! Username @ravenasmith.

Have a good weekend. Go hard!

PS: Don't forget to check out a campaign I'm part of with Discover Boating! If you are a boater (or want to be!) this is the website for you!