Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Grieving the "old" you

In the last week I've had several moms talk to me about a common concern among women: losing their identity when they became moms. It can be rather traumatizing to be pregnant one day and have a baby the next. When you leave the hospital you arrive home with another person! From the get go your needs are put on the back burner. Since you have better coping skills than your infant your needs can wait. Unless we are careful we put those needs on hold indefinitely. Somewhere in the early years it's easy to lose ourselves in all that we must do for our babies. That loss can bring about periods of grief.

After my first child was born I did most of the things I loved but I did quit running. Why? I have no idea. She is now ten and I'm finally running again. I'm in training for my first half marathon. My kids aren't suffering because I'm running. If anything I've noticed that they are excited to see their mommy so happy about doing something she loves. They are rooting for me, they know the date of my race, what town it's in, and how far the race is, etc. For me, doing the thing I love best is actually making me a better mom.

When my kids were tiny babies I don't think I would've had the energy to run like I am now. But I do regret quitting altogether. There are numerous benefits to exercising post partum. It's good for our bodies and minds. I regret that I was sedentary for a few years. The science alludes me but I do know that exercising helps you have more energy and sleep better, it also improves your overall feeling of well being.

What do you miss about the "old" you? What did you used to spend time doing that now you've let go? What hobby do you miss? If you have a little baby, this season will quickly pass. I strongly suggest you keep up your hobbies or interests. Sure, you'll need to spend less time and energy on your favorite activities for now but keeping involved in them will do wonders for you. It's inevitable that you will spend some time grieving the "old" you...your body, your lifestyle, your activities, your interests, your pastimes. But don't let go of all of it, please don't. It's what makes you YOU. Yes, you are a mom now. But you are still you, too.

Be lifted!

Joel 2:25
I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Treasured possession

Do you remember the very first time you held your baby? To be honest, the first time I held my first child it kinda freaked me out! I'd been in labor a LONG time and I was ready to sleep for an even longer time. So when they cleaned her up and put her in my arms I had no idea what I was supposed to do. It's as if I finally understood the whole pregnancy thing but I never understood that I would hold a real person. Isn't that weird? But it's true. But I remember holding her and treasuring her. I was in awe of her face immediately. I longed to hear her peeps and squeaks. When she would jerk around with her arms and legs I giggled. I would rub her hair over and over. I counted and measured her fingers. I enjoyed changing her diapers so I could rub her sweet belly. There was nothing I didn't enjoy about her. Sure, the crying was annoying and the sleepless nights made me a crazy person. But the baby, she was precious. I treasured her.

Somehow over the course of ten years some of that has dissipated. That breaks my heart! But to be honest, stubbornness and disobedience have taken a toll. Talking back and fussing have made it hard for me to continue being in awe of my kiddos. It's hard for me as an imperfect mother to not let their problems affect how I feel about them. Yes, I love them always always. But some days I don't like them as much as I would like to. I have made a concerted effort lately to look at all of my children and try to remember what it was like to treasure everything about them. I've come to the sad realization that I will never be able to look at them exactly like I did when they were hours old. But the best part of that is that I can actually look at them with deeper affection because I've known them and loved them for so long. I have more things to love about them than just their fingers, toes, and squeaks. With life experience I've grown to admire certain qualities, adore their quirks, and treasure the gifts and talents God has blessed them with. I grin at their humor, smile at their creativity, and sigh at their competitive natures. God has blessed me with time with them which has led to a much deeper gratitude for them. Yes, I wish I could rock them all and just watch them sleep. But time marches on.

If you still have a baby, don't let go of them! People will tell you to put them in their cribs. I'm telling you, I don't still rock my older kids and wish I could! That time flies by. Hold on tight. And as they age you will learn how to hold them in brand new ways.

And to top it off, God treasures them even more than you do! Let that sink in...

Be lifted!

Deuteronomy 7:6b
The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.

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Friday, March 13, 2009


Transitions are a natural part of life...especially as a new mom! My 4 year old will be entering kindergarten this year, my "baby" is two and talkative, and I'm expecting a new baby again in the fall! Nowadays, I'm easily irritated and pooped out every 2 hours or so. Do you remember those days in your pregnancy? If so, please tell me about them so I don't feel so lame. :)
I'm taking on some new projects (speaking at women's retreat, teaching Losing Weight After Baby classes) and as a result, I'm going to take a hiatus from blogging with Totally New Moms. I'll miss checking in with you on Fridays. I hope the blog has been a blessing to you. I will continue to blog regularly on my Losing Weight After Baby blog, so please feel free to come over for a visit whenever you like!
May the God of all comfort and strength bless you in EVERY SEASON of your life as a mom!

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven." Eccl. 3:1

With love,

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I've just gotten home from my trip to speak at a church near Nashville, TN.  I'm frankly so tired that I could cry and I've not yet eaten dinner.  I'm so sorry but I can't write today.  I'll write something special next week!  Please forgive me.

As the spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more.

2 Corinthians 3:18b

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Friday, March 6, 2009

One Super Mom I Met

Pictured here is Chelle Stafford from this month's issue of Women's Health Magazine. She was featured as a weight loss success story.

Weight before: 178
Weight after: 123

I was so excited for her because Chelle and I went to high school together! Through the magazine, we reconnected and I interviewed this mother of 3 about her amazing weight loss journey. She was such an inspirational guest on my Losing Weight After Baby podcast. Hope you'll be able to listen. The show is titled "How One Mom Lost 50 Pounds."
After several children and miscarriages, Chelle found herself over eating, depressed and hitting the drive thru up to 3 times a day. Her turning point came preparing for a New Years Eve party and crying in the dressing room because none of the clothes fit. That's when she decided to get a personal trainer. When she first started with the trainer, she would have to psych herself up into going to the gym, and then she'd be sitting in the parking lot, not wanting to get out of the car. It took her 2 years to take that baby weight off, but she did it! As you listen to the interview, you'll be able to relate to her struggles and victories. It doesn't matter where you start, but how you finish! Finish strong moms, you can do it!
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phil. 4:13

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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Praying for your children

Here are 31 biblical virtues or characteristics you can pray for your kids.  You could print this out and place it by your calendar.  This is a simple way to pray in a specific way each day of the month for your child (and for yourself).  If your child is older, these would be great memory verses, too!

Pray for... Bible reference

1.  Salvation Romans 10:9--If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

2.  Growth Luke 2:52--Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men.

Hebrews 6:1--Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity.

3.  Faith Hebrews 11:6--Without faith it is impossible to please God.
4.  Purity I Timothy 5:22--...keep yourself pure.

5.  Honesty 1 Corinthians 13:6--Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

6.  Gratitude 1 Thessalonians 5:18--Give thanks in all circumstances...
7.  Humility 1 Peter 5:5--...clothe yourselves with humility toward one another because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.

8.  Trusting God Proverbs 3:5--Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  

9.  Obedience Numbers 15:40--Remember to obey all my commands.

10. Self-control Titus 2:11-12--For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.  It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.
11.  Self-esteem Ephesians 2:10--For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared for us in advance to do.

12.  Encouragement 1 Thessalonians 5:11--Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

13.  Confidence Proverbs 3:26--The LORD will be your confidence.

14.  Kindness 1 Thessalonians 5:15--Always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.

15.  Gentleness Philippians 4:5--Let your gentleness be evident to all...

16.  Identity Galatians 3:29--If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

17.  Perseverance Philippians 3:13-14--Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

18.  Prayer 1 Thessalonians 5:17--Pray continually.

19.  Compassion Zechariah 7:9--Show mercy and compassion to one another.

20.  Generosity 2 Corinthians 9:7--God loves a cheerful giver.

21.  Peace-loving 1 Corinthans 7:15--God has called us to live in peace.

22.  Respect 1 Peter 2:17--Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.

23.  Hope Hebrews 6:19--We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.

24.  Joy 1 Thessalonians 5:16--Be joyful always.

25.  Boldness 2 Timothy 1:7--For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

26.  Service 1 Peter 4:10--Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others...

27.  Love Hebrews 10:24--Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.

28.  Holiness 1 Peter 1:16--Be holy because I am holy.

29.  Witnessing Proverbs 11:30--The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.

30.  Good example 1 Timothy 4:12--Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.

31.   Readiness Colossians 4:5--Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt so that you may know how to answer everyone.

I challenge you to pray over these things in the upcoming month.  Be lifted!  And lift your children up in prayer.

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