It's time to fit Mom back in


I'm burning a lot of food these days. Burned bacon is especially painful, because it's such a treasure for the boys. And burnt granola is just like burning money, with all those dried cherries and pecan pieces. I burned four packs of hot dogs all at once, on a summer day with so many kids jumping like cannonballs into the pool.  Because I dared talk with another mom, turning my back on the barbecue.  Then a child yelled, "The hot dogs are on fire!"  Turns out none of the children like their dogs "black".  So we filled their bellies on empty buns, carrots and watermelon.

Its collateral damage, this burnt food, as I try to master the fine-art of fitting me in again.  I've never multitasked well, and everything seems to be another task on top of mothering these little people; talk time with other women, exercise, a trip to the doctor, a stop at the store for a package of strawberries, a walk through the late summer rose garden, and a trip to get my hair cut.

Practicing the fine art of who I am is like practicing scales on the piano.  Practicing me.  Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti-Do...

So I'm burning a lot of food these days.

But better a few dogs and a batch of granola, charred, than my soul.  Because my soul gets all shriveled up and dead when I forget about her.  Like rolls in the oven, forgotten and hard as hockey-pucks.  I don't want those words to define my soft heart; "forgotten and hard as a hockey-puck!"

I've tried hard to flourish in this intense season of mothering, by turning to the Lord for His strength.  And He's honored my surrendered heart by growing me up as I've persevered.


Maturity image-2


However, in these last few months I've felt Him whisper new dreams to my heart.  Or maybe very old dreams, laid down for a time.  Calling me to pick them up again now that the boys are growing tall and strong.  That whispering voice sings, and the boundary lines expand just a bit.  Like tent walls widening and my lungs expanding and my old dreams all flooding back in and making their home within my heart again.

Here I am, just a few steps past the constant days of mothering young.  As my kids grow more independent, I'm experiencing a taste of independence as well.  Not entirely, but just enough to start fitting me back in.

Today they're just slivers; silver slivers of stolen time, sequestered, sanctified, and set apart.  But one day, a blink or two from now, the boys will be grown and gone, and the time will be all mine again.  I'm not wishing for those long days today.  They will overtake me before I know it.  But I am practicing me, their mother, his wife, in the interim.  Because she's valuable and needed.

Though we know it's right and good to lay ourselves fully down, it's ironically our family who needs us ALIVE most of all.  Alive and not sacrificed.

And your family needs you too.  They need all of you; every fearfully and wonderfully designed part you've laid down, that you might pick up that little swaddled person.  But a time is coming, for those of you who struggle to multitask yourself back into life;  a time is coming quick upon you like a crashing wave, when your boundary lines will stretch to the east and to the west, widening to the northern territories and those to the southern parts as well.  A time is coming.

But until then, it's a dance.  So keep on dancing.  Dance with your children each day.  Dance with your husband each night.  Dance with the One who whispers love and returns dreams long laid down.  And dance your way into stollen spaces of quiet time to find your pulse again.


Tell me now...

Tell me, how you fit unique and wonderful you into your busy life.  How do you fit yourself in amidst the folding, caravanning, teaching, holding, soothing, healing, cooking, cleaning, going, coming home, and tucking them all in with a kiss?

I'm a teachable woman, so share with me now:  How and when have you learned to fit mom back in without burning down the kitchen?



Dropping Anchor into this Abundant Life


When you've a child on your hip, another clamoring at your heals, and a third crying from their crib, there's not a lot of room. Then another little life grows inside, pressing into organs and oxygen, and now you've no room within or without. Add the noise of the world taking up space; emotions churning up the stillness; and the incessant flow of laundry, meals and dishes. Very little room remains for you.

Abundant Life

Can we really know this seemingly elusive thing called Abundant Life, when we are barely to fit in life sustaining breaths? Can there really be room to Live Abundantly? In Christ we find both.



The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10)


Jesus came to give us LIFE - that's eternal life - found through faith in Christ. But He doesn't have only good for us waiting on the other side of these long mothering days. He has abundant life for us as well. Again found in Him. 


I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13)


Absolutely, I would have despaired! And sometimes I did. I am just now on the other side of mothering my young.  Just north of constant correction. Three slow steps past a prolonged case of postpartum depression, hormonal imbalance and adrenal fatigue. While I don't know where one life-sucking disease stopped and the next started, I know this:  I didn't just survive... I came out through the other side understanding Abundant Life in the midst of a difficult life. And you can too.


dropping anchor


In the tight, there's-no-room-to-breath reality of my long days, I cultivated space. Albeit very small and far between, I learned to create places of quiet to sense the blessedness of life again.


I will take time for a moment of pleasure and peace, because it centers me, and I have decided I will last longer in this very long distant race, if I build anchors of serendipity into my schedule.  Sally Clarkson -


Anchors of serendipity. The image of being rooted, even as your child roots for Life sustaining milk. Rooted, as we root and cheer our children on. Rooted as the storms of daily life blow ceaseless and strong. And here I am, rooting you on to discover where to fit, what to fit, and how to fit in… room to drop anchor again.


I suggest 3 things to cultivate Room for this Abundant Life


 1) No space is too small.

Your little home, filled with little people, contains little moments. Small spaces crammed between sibling intervention, craft clean-up, and another trip to the grocery story.  Find them, cultivate them, and drop anchor.

30 minutes when Elmo entertains your young, and older children read independently.  Or the miracle moments when they all play happily together.  Then help those small spaces  fall into a daily rhythm. Let Elmo delight them each day at the same time. Give your big kids the gift of reading every day at the same time... then drop anchor.


 2) Guard yourself against broken cisterns.

My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. Jeremiah 2:13


Most mothers don't actively choose to forsake the Lord, but the second sin comes in stealthily. In our few moments each day, when we reach for sustenance, most of us turn in the blessed silence to Facebook or some other device... Broken cisterns that can't hold water.

Our need for connectedness is strong in this season of mothering young.  Needing to feel our own sense of autonomy beyond their small needs is great. But quick-witted comments and "liking" what our friends have to say cannot carry us to the finish line; they are broken cisterns that can't hold water.


 3) Hide truths in your heart.

Instead, as you learn to sanctify Room each day for anchors, let's turn first to God's Word.  Because Big Truth can be found in small spaces. Big truth also fits in the weary confines of your little heart.  Just a handful of verses from Philippians can strengthen our hearts to press on. A sprinkling of lines from Ephesians remind us how we ought to act during long mothering days.


Wendy Speake — Family


When these three were itty-bitty, a friend sent me Steven Green's Hide 'em in your Heart CDs.  Intended for little ones, these scripture songs with cheerful preschool voices became blessed anchors on days I couldn't fit in red-letter truth.


Jump Start 3

Now that my children are growing into hip young men (6, 8, 10) we listen to the pulsing rhythms of Jumpstart 3. Pure scripture, these songs rival current pop hits today. My boys love Jumspstart 3 so much in fact, I had to put a direct link on the sidebar, so you can purchase your own CDs!

Here's the point... There is room.

There is room in the tight spaces of mothering little ones, to grasp onto Life; Life Abundantly, rooted in truth, anchored to the blessedness of the season you're in.  You will find the room, not just to survive, but to truly Live! But it doesn't just happen. You have to cultivate it as you would a garden.


Wendy Speake — Because Life worth Living needs Room. Welcome To My Living Room!There is room in the tight spaces of mothering little ones, to grasp onto Life;   Living Abundantly, rooted in truth, anchored to the blessedness of the season you're in.  You will find the room, not just to survive, but to Live