When a Capable Person becomes an Incapable Mom

I've always been capable. I got A's in school. I succeeded in college. It's true, I couldn't do sports, so I just avoided them at all costs. Instead I did the things I knew I could succeed at, like academics, leadership, and drama.  

I was always a capable Christian. I'm not saying that I didn't accept God's grace and I based my whole life on works. I knew I was sinful and needed God's forgiveness. I knew I needed grace for my failings. I knew deeply the need for God's saving grace. It was his sustaining grace I didn't understand. Because I was generally capable to do the daily tasks God set before me, I didn't lean on him as the provider of everything I needed for life and godliness.

Then I became a mom. Motherhood did not come naturally to me. Suddenly I was no longer capable of simply completing the task set before me. And there was no avoiding this job. There was no accepting failure and finding another route. I couldn't send my baby back until I was better prepared for him. No, I needed grace to sustain me through every long moment of every overwhelming day. 

I've been back in the Gospels lately. Not particularly because it is Lent season, but because I felt a tugging to go back and read about Jesus again with the my new unsupermommy perspective. I quickly reached the Beatitudes in Mark 5, and I've been stuck there for a while because they're just so new again.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:3

I knew I was sinful and need of grace before motherhood, but I don't think I had ever experienced true spiritual neediness. I didn't know what it was like to start my day with nothing in my tank to give. I didn't know physical, spiritual, and emotional emptiness until motherhood took me far deeper than my personal capabilities. But Jesus looks upon that kind of lack as blessed. It's the opportunity to receive the kingdom of God anew. 

When I reached the end of my emotional, physical, and spiritual rope, I landed at the foot of the cross. There I found a renewal of saving grace and his endless sustaining grace. I offered the emptiness of my poor spirit and received the fullness of Christ and I would never go back to being capable again.

If the pieces of your life have fallen apart in the work of motherhood, let Jesus bind up your poor spirit and fill you up with his sustaining grace. Grace upon grace. More than enough for today, tomorrow, and forever. 

Unsupermommy is here!

Hey Unsupermommy Friends!

I'm so excited for you so many of you to get a copy of Unsupermommy in your hands, because I know God has a plan for it in your life. My words are imperfect, but I'm praying for the Holy Spirit to reveal how the gospel can be practically applied to your life as mom as you read it.

If you're not a mom, and you plan to read it, I believe God still has something to teach you through it. That's the best part about God's truth, it applies to every situation we experience. I hope that through Unsupermommy you'll know God better.

Will join with me to help new people find Unsupermommy so they may experience more of God through its message?

Here are a few easy ways you can do that:

  • Post a picture of the book or a quote to your social media. Be sure to tag me @unsupermommy so new people can find their way to the book!
  • Write amazon or good reads reviews, or both! These two resources are invaluable in getting the word out. Honest, heartfelt reviews help possible readers determine if Unsupermommy is a good fit for them.
  • Tell a friend. Old-fashioned word of mouth is still the most effective way for people to hear about a book. If Unsupermommy helps you, I hope you'll share it with a woman you know could use this message.

God has already done so much more than I ever expected with Unsupermommy when I started frantically typing bits and pieces on my phone during late night feedings three years ago. We serve a great and mighty God!

Please join with me to help other moms find freedom from unrealistic expectations!

So grateful for each of you!

How To: Date Night Edition

If you've been around here for a while, you know I'm a big fan of date night. I've said before that dating isn't an extravagance. It's an essential. After the birth of our second son, my hubby and I hit a low point in our marriage. Transitioning to two had been very stressful. We weren't communicating well, and we weren't finding time for each other. Hubby left on a two-week trip to Europe for his MBA program, and I was at home with my two-year old and six-week-old and boy was I resentful. But while he was gone, he had an epiphany. He came home and told me he needed more time with me. He needed my undistracted attention. He wanted to date me.

Ladies, when your husband tells you something like that, you make it happen! We worked out a plan to have two dates per month. Honestly, it felt like a stretch, and sometimes it is difficult to do, but it's always worth it.

I've had a lot of friends ask me questions about the logistics of it. Since enquiring minds want to know, here's how we date night:

  1. Two dates per month: one date a month we ask the grandparents to baby sit (they often take the kids over night which is ah-ma-zing). If you don't have grandparents around, try asking another couple to kid swap with you one night a month. Boom, free babysitting. The other date we pay cold hard cash for a babysitter. Yes, babysitters are expensive, but they aren't impossible. There is almost always wiggle room in a budget somewhere, try coffee or clothing or eating out, but find the money if you absolutely can because paid babysitters can't back out on you.
  2. We date alone: There are the occasional exceptions, but generally we don't use our two nights a month doing something with other couples. On the occasion that we do a double-date, we try to spend only part of the evening with the other couple and still some time for just the two of us, alone together.
  3. I don't expect my husband to plan them: Maybe your husband loves planning dates, but for mine it's the equivalent of pulling teeth to get him to plan a date. That's totally fine. The date is no less legitimate or meaningful because it was planned by me.
  4. I put a little effort into my appearance:  First, I ditch the joggers pants or leggings and I put on some jeans. I know. Wild. I go beyond basic with my jewelry. I put on a little makeup and possibly style my hair. If my husband is really lucky, I wear some heels (usually of the wedge variety...because otherwise I can't walk). The point is, I'm taking time on myself to show him I care enough about this time to try to make it special. Plus, it helps him to see me with those "fresh eyes." 
  5. Do an activity: I strive for every date to have two main components that seem to fill each of our love tanks well: an activity and a communication time. When possible, start with the activity. It seems to break the ice and get our minds past our children or our jobs and focused on each other. Sometimes this isn't possible, but it's always great to do it first. Our favorite activities:
    • Movies: I'm not sure why people see movies as a date cop out. We honestly both love movies, and love to talk to each other during (sorry, we are those people) and talk about them afterward. We allow ourselves one movie a month because they're expensive.
    • Fun Errands: This is such a parent thing, but there are quite a few errands that can be fun when you don't have your children with you. While we've been planning and building our house, we've really enjoyed running errands that related to our design plans for the house.
    • Ikea: Roll your eyes, but Ikea is fun. Maybe this should fall in the errand category, but I think it's a true activity unto itself
    • Laser Tag/Adult Arcade: I'm awful at laser tag, but I love it. My husband is amazing at it, so we beat all the twelve year old boys we play. Competing as a team against other people is always a fun, relationship building activity
    • Mini-golf: We just have to make sure we don't go too crazy with the competition aspect
    • Hometown tourist: We just look up the top things to do in our city and it's suburbs on trip advisor and choose something we haven't done before
  6. Make time for undistracted communication: Sometimes you have to force yourself to really talk. This usually falls into the eating portion of our date night, but sometimes it's walking around a lake with ice cream or even focused attention on our couch at home after we send the baby sitter home. When I was writing Unsupermommy, I asked Wes what I could have done differently to help him adjust better to fatherhood. I'll never forget his answer. All he wanted was for me to spend more time really communicating with him. Yikes. As women, we often assume that we are the ones who require communication. Don't assume your husband doesn't need to talk to you as much as you need to talk with him. Make time for focused communication with your husband.

At-Home Date Night Note: A lot of couples with children find success in at-home date nights. I love the idea, but my husband and I struggle to implement them well. We are both highly distracted by tasks, phones, and even our favorite tv shows if we are at home. But if they work for you--do them!

That's our date nights, in a nut shell. If you have any questions I haven't covered, please feel free to ask them in the comments!

Now go forth, and date your hot husband!