Skip to main content

TAKE THE QUIZ – Are You a Peaceful Mom?

IMG_5795

Photo by Fineas Gavre on Unsplash

The Peaceful Mom book releases March 27th!

Nine years ago, I would not have described myself as an “unpeaceful” mom. But as I reflect on my heart and approach then, I only had fleeting flickers of peace. Peace seemed to last only a few minutes—or a few seconds. I hadn’t ever experienced a continual stream of peace before. I didn’t even realize that was possible.

I became a Christian at the age of five. I thought I was a strong Christian woman, wife, and mom. I went to church multiple times a week and read my Bible every day. I prayed constantly. I only listened to Christian music. I could quote tons of Bible verses. I wanted so much to impact the world for the Lord and be a light to those around me. I wanted to be the best possible wife and mom.

Sadly, the fruit of my life did not reflect my intentions or the fruit of the Spirit. As God invited me to examine my life in December 2008, I could not say that I was overflowing with His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22–23). I really didn’t understand what was wrong or how to fix it.

 

The Quiz

Let’s do a bit of a self-evaluation together and see how you are doing with being a peaceful mom.

 

  • Do you often feel spiritually exhausted and empty?
  • Do you regularly lose your temper with your children or feel impatient?
  • Do you notice your mind racing with worry and all the scary what-if scenarios that could happen?
  • Do you put your kids and your desires for them above the Lord, your husband, or your marriage?
  • Do you excuse yourself from modeling for your children a strong, life-changing, unshakeable faith in Christ?
  • Do you tend to feel like you are the only one who truly knows what is best for your children and who trusts God to lead them?
  • Do you feel like you just can’t overcome your negative and/or hormonal emotions, such as anger, fear, or sadness?
  • Do you often act like a people-pleaser, martyr, or control freak, or love your children with strings attached?
  • Do you sometimes grapple with holding on to grudges, unforgiveness, or bitterness?
  • Do you feel like you would finally experience real peace and happiness if only you had better children, a better husband, or better circumstances?

 

How Did You Do?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, you are not alone! In my experience, most moms struggle with a lot of these issues. I know when I began my journey, I was filled with anxiety, worry, doubt, fear, bitterness, resentment, loneliness, and discontent.

Being a peaceful mom doesn’t come naturally. But if you are looking for peace as a mom—and as a woman—you have come to the right place! Be encouraged. Help is on the way! I have such great news to share:

All of us have an invitation to live a life of constant peace.

Real peace begins when we allow the Prince of Peace to sit firmly on the throne of our hearts and lives.

I have been on this journey for over nine years now. And no, I am not a perfect woman, wife, or mom. But I am not who I was. I am not where I was emotionally and spiritually. God is changing me. Growing me. Transforming me to be more and more like Jesus. Not by my heroic efforts or human wisdom, but by the power of His Spirit and His Word.

That is what I long for every mom to find.

I’d like to invite you to check out the resources I have for you here:51cXWa6UBDL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_

Blog posts to encourage moms on their journey

Videos and skits for moms on my Youtube channel, April Cassidy

The Peaceful Mom—Building a Firm Foundation on Christ As Lord – Available for preorder on Amazon now. The book releases March 27th, 2018 – just in time for Mother’s Day!

 

 

 

Be True to Your Word – Guest Post by Nina Roesner

 

respectdare18

From April:

I’m so excited to welcome Nina Roesner (author of The Respect Dare) to the blog to share with us from her new book! What an honor to have you, Nina. 🙂 God has used you in powerful ways in my own life on this journey to become a more godly woman and wife. I’m glad you are also addressing parenting issues, as well.

FROM NINA:

 Do you ever wish you knew what to do when your teen or tween is mouthy? Does that bother you like it does me sometimes? Do you ever feel like your teen or tween thinks you work for them? Do they ever get bossy and directive? “Take me here, take me there,” it can be non-stop driving!

Sometimes we forget to respect ourselves – and then we’re modeling the wrong thing.

I’m really honored to be back here sharing a dare on Peacefulwife.com! This story is from our new book, With All Due Respect: 40 days to a more fulfilling relationship with your teens & tweens (Thomas Nelson, 2016). I’ll be chiming in now and again today in the comments! Stay tuned til the end and we’ll tell you how to grab MORE parenting tips!

 

Dare 18: Be True to Your Word

 

“All you need to say is simply let ‘yes’ or ‘no’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”

—Matthew 5:37

 

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

—Proverbs 31:25

Loretta and Jacob pulled into the driveway. Immediately Jacob scurried from the car and commanded, “Be ready in ten minutes! And I’m hungry. Make me a sandwich!”

Hmm . . .

Loretta wondered if aliens had abducted her fourteen-year-old and replaced his brain with someone else’s. Her family never treated each other like that. Loretta decided not to respond while she was irritated and instead chose to wait before addressing the issue. Giving herself that time helped her stay calm.

“Thank You, Father, for this opportunity,” she whispered.

Knowing that teenagers are frequently in phases of hormonal flux, she also chose not to take his behavior personally. Loretta sensed the Lord’s prompting for a teachable moment, and instead of carrying out her son’s request, she went upstairs, lay down on her bed, and started reading a magazine.

Jacob burst into her room. “We have to leave! We’re going to be late. What are you doing? Where’s my sandwich?”

Oh my. Father, help me be Your love to this man/boy.

It was time to push the reset button.

“Jacob, I love that you have all these friends and fun things to do. I usually enjoy taking you places, and I love to see you spend time with your friends. However, I have noticed that you have been increasingly bossy the last few weeks, and though I’ve talked to you about this a few times, you haven’t changed your behavior. As a result, I’m not going to make you a sandwich, nor am I going to drive you over to your friend’s house. You can go, but I won’t be the one getting you there. If you want to walk, that’s fine,” she told him.

His mouth fell open, eyes wide. “But . . .”

Then she got up, left the room, and went out the front door to get the mail. She knew he needed to chew on what had just happened. She chose to give him space to process.

When she came back in, Jacob was waiting. “You’re right, Mom. I’ve been really rude and bossy. I’m sorry. I haven’t been respectful, and you don’t deserve to be treated like that. It must make you feel like I take you for granted. I really appreciate your driving me around and stuff. Will you forgive me?”

“Of course I forgive you. Thank you for understanding how I feel. I do feel taken for granted. I don’t want to feel that way in our relationship, and your apology and how you treat me in the future will impact that. Thank you,” she replied.

“So can we go?” he asked.

“Honey, you can go, but like I said, I’m not going to drive you over there. Let’s see how things go, and maybe tomorrow or the next day I’ll feel like driving you around again.”

“But you forgave me. I’m confused,” Jacob replied.

“I love you and I do forgive you, but there are consequences.”

Jacob eventually managed to talk his friend’s mom into coming to get him, and when he returned, he was a kinder, more respectful, gentler young man.

Bottom line: Say what you mean, mean what you say, and keep your commitments—this will change your relationships!

There is a line we walk daily as we interact with our children between respecting the temple of the Holy Spirit (ourselves) and serving our family. Sometimes our children don’t fully understand our role in their lives, and expectations can creep in that don’t lead to mature behavior. It is important that we don’t allow our children to manipulate us into getting their way. Once we state that we are not going to do something, we shouldn’t let them tug on our heartstrings to make us back down on our decisions. Simply let your “yes” be “yes,” and your “no” be “no,” without emotion. Accept their apology, but once you’ve stated a consequence, follow through. This will give them time to process their mistakes.

Remember, too, that it is important to develop your own relationship with God so you know how to handle the situations that present themselves to you daily. If you stay connected to God, you’ll be wise to the enemy’s lie that you are a doormat when you serve. As a mom, you have the opportunity to gently teach the next generation to respectfully treat you with dignity.

 

What About You?

  • Do you ever feel taken advantage of in your family? Is it by your kids or in other relationships? If so, what might you do to push the reset button and set some healthy boundaries for yourself? Remember, boundaries are for you; they aren’t punishment for other people.
  • What do you think of the way Loretta handled the situation?
  • Notice Jacob called his friend’s mom to come get him. How would you have felt in that situation? If you saw the mom the next day and she complained about coming to pick him up, what would a healthy response—one that respected her and honored your boundary—look like?
  • Do you have difficulty letting your “yes” be “yes” and your “no” be “no”? Explain.
  • How do you generally react when your child makes demands of you, or are your kids considerate of your time? Do your reactions need to change? How?
  • Is your relationship with God so close that you hear His voice when opportunities for a reset present themselves? Discuss what might need to change in order for this to happen.

Pray with me?

Heavenly Father,

I will admit that at times I have allowed my children to take advantage of my generosity. Sometimes I feel I need to always respond to my children with love, so I continue to take them places and acquiesce to their requests when, in reality, I need to be teaching them how to respect others, especially me. Lord, am I modeling self-respect in these situations? Is there something I need to be doing differently rather than always responding to my children’s demands? I love that You know me, Lord. Give me strength to teach my children rather than just meet their needs.

Give me the strength and wisdom to hold fast to the boundaries and rules I have set for my children. Help me teach my children to trust that I will do what I say I am going to do. Let them learn from me to have integrity and be true to their word by letting my “yes be yes,” and my “no a no” – I need help with that!

May my prayer be Psalm 139. O Lord, You have searched me and You know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue, You know it completely, O Lord. You hem me in behind and before; You have laid Your hand upon me. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast. For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Lord, help me respond to my children well, modeling the truth that You fearfully and wonderfully made me.

In Your Son’s name,

Amen.

So what about YOU? How did you experience today’s dare? Looking forward to seeing you in the comment section!

And if you want more stories like this, feel free to sign up for them on our website at www.GreaterImpact.org We’re giving a book away to the 307th person who signs up for more marriage or parenting tips today! We’ll mail you a signed copy of the book!

Love to you,

Nina

FROM PEACEFULWIFE

Related Posts:

Let Your Yes Mean Yes and Your No Mean No (in your marriage)

25 Ways to Respect Myself

Healthy VS Unhealthy Relationships

Join The Peacefulwife for The Respect Dare – Expectations (for marriage)

Reminder:

There are about 24 tickets left as of this morning to the Peaceful Wife Conference in Branson, MO this coming Friday and Saturday. If you want to register, please click here or on the button at the top right of my blog. The cost is $25 per person which includes lunch on Saturday. All women (and teenage girls) are welcome regardless of marital status.

“Can I ‘Have It All’?”

pbk-1

firework

From a wife and sister in the Lord, Veronica Alejar, from the Philippines – with her permission:

I used to think that I “had it all”. I was a TV news anchor/mother of 3/wife/businesswoman-baker, etc. etc. People always stopped to ask how I could multi-task and well, have it all!

I thought that I was glorifying God by being so busy.

After all, it was Him who gave me all these talents, right? I can sing, dance, act, do newscasts, bake/decorate, etc… and I felt that everybody wanted a piece of me. And I gave it my all to all, which made for a “spread-too-thin” woman. Thing is, I think I was able to fulfill all roles to the max, as in 110 percent. But I knew for sure, something or somebody was suffering amidst all that busy-ness.

But, weirdly enough, it is now that I have given up my career in broadcasting and am focusing on our 4 kids including an infant, and submitting to my husband, that I feel most at peace and dare I say it, happy and fulfilled.

I am not closing doors to going back to a career in broadcasting. But I have lost my desire to be a “superstar.” Praise God! I  have realized my deepest fear before was to be deemed “a nobody“. Being that busy in my career made me feel like “somebody.” But that was a fluke. That’s a deception by the devil. That was my idol — pride in self disguised as low self esteeem —  adding onto the self to make me feel that I mattered. 

I know now that I don’t need to add onto myself any accolade or achievement. I mattered simply for the mere fact that I am a Child of God. 🙂

My journey is just beginning and already I am reaping the benefits of following God’s lovely Design for Marriage! I feel so loved by my husband. I feel so protected under his leadership. I feel so peaceful. 🙂

Guess what? I have barely been practicing submission for two months, but just yesterday, while hubby and I were shopping for furniture for our new home, he said out of the blue,

I want you to blog about your journey. Write your own version of the Peacefulwife’s blog for the Philippines. Our country is in dire need of role models to follow. I am sick and tired too of hearing about husbands and fathers saying that the worst thing that can happen to a man is to get married and have kids. Why do most men feel that way? Shouldn’t we feel happy that we got married and have children?

He also said something that made my heart leap. 😀

“I am enjoying this, whatever it is you are doing. I am reaping all its benefits. I wish for more married couples to experience this.”

Praise God!!!!! April!
My husband is enjoying my submissive spirit, to the point that he wants me — ex-controlling, scared-to-death of the submissive journey, but obedient daughter of God, to minister to the women in our country through the net! Like you!

I am still discerning this, April, but I will follow my husband when I am ready to start writing. All this is sooooooo new and alien to me, I am daunted to be honest, to write anything about it, but if the Lord so wills (after much prayer), I will have to do it. Please pray for me too, okay, sis? 🙂

Your posts are truly a rich find and not just written for the sake of writing. They are well thought of, discerned, and full of love.

God bless you dear sister in Christ. You are a joy to us wives. 🙂 God surely is pleased with your ministry.

—————————————————————

FROM PEACEFULWIFE – A FEW THOUGHTS:

It’s important for us to look at the messages we have been consuming all our lives and question them in light of God’s Word before we just swallow what we hear and build our lives on ungodly premises – which is what I did for a long time, sadly.

The truth is  – it can be almost IMPOSSIBLE to do all of these things well all at the same time – being a wife, a mom, work a full time job, take care of a home and have any kind of quality of life and enjoyment.  That can be an extremely difficult balance to try to achieve.

Younger ladies, before you go down this path – talk to some women in their 40s or 50s who tried to have it all and see where they ended up.  There is only so much time in the week and in each day.   If you are working 8-9 hours/day, then you actually only have supper and bedtime with your children (if you work from 9am-5pm on week days).  You will be rushing ALL the time.

  • You rush in the morning to get yourself ready for work, your children ready for school.
  • You rush home and try to handle supper as quickly as possible.   When you have young children, many of them go to bed by 7pm.  So you have to get them fed, bathed and put down for bed right away.
  • Time becomes the priority in preparing meals, not nutrition, enjoying each other’s company or keeping costs down.
  • You rush through supper (if you even sit down as a family together at all- many families eat fast food in the car on the way to the next sporting activity or musical lesson).
  • Then you try to get the children to rush through their homework.
  • You rush the children through getting ready for bed and then rush them to sleep.
  • You rush through trying to catch up with all the dishes, laundry, vacuuming, sweeping, dusting, bill-paying and chores once the children are in bed because there is no other time to handle all of this

Relationships and intimacy require TIME.

THE FIRST THINGS TO GO

A woman who works full time or even part time, who is a believer in Christ, who is married, who has children and a home to take care of has to let things go somewhere.  She cannot do everything.

Usually here is what goes:

  • patience – when we are rushing – we are NOT our best selves for anyone.
  • time with God – We say God is our priority.  But relationship with Him takes TIME.  Serious time.  We can’t spiritually starve ourselves, never talk to Him and never be still and calm and quiet and listen to Him and have a strong, intimate, dynamic, powerful, Spirit-filled relationship with Jesus.  But “the tyranny of the urgent” takes over and all the urgent things that need to be done so quickly consume our time at the expense of our greatest priority in life.
  • time with our husbands – we are so exhausted and stressed that we are up late helping kids with homework, finishing chores, walking the dog, cleaning up from supper, ironing the clothes for tomorrow – that we collapse exhausted into bed at 10:00 or 11:00 or 12:00 at night and have ZERO energy left to give our husbands.  We don’t have time to hear about his day.  We don’t have time to hear about what he wants in his life or about his dreams.  We don’t have time to connect emotionally – and then because we are so exhausted and don’t have time to connect emotionally – we would rather sleep than connect sexually.  And we miss out on building those times of spiritual, emotional and sexual intimacy that keep our marriage going strong.
  • time with our children – (Working moms – if you are not able to change your situation right now – please do not read this next part – I am targeting women who have not had children yet so that hopefully they can think about these things before having children – I don’t want to add an ounce of guilt to women who are working and already struggling with balance and don’t feel there is a choice for them right now.)   When we are working full time or even part time – there are so many little precious moments that we miss out on because we aren’t there.  That first smile, the baby’s first steps, her first word, his first tooth, her first wave.  But we miss out on more than just the milestones.  We miss out on that daily interaction, reading together more, going on walks, going to the zoo, cuddling, talking about God, teaching our children to love God’s Word, singing together, making forts together, building train tracks together, discovering the Robin’s nest on the front porch together, talking about what the bully said at school, visiting her at lunch each week, the ride home from school when he is most likely to share all the details about his day.  We also miss out on monitoring friendships and priorities and hurt feelings and misunderstandings in our children’s hearts.   We aren’t there and it is much harder to control the worldly influences they are exposed to after school before we get home.  It’s super easy for working moms to feel overwhelming guilt.  Our children grow up so quickly.  We don’t get another chance at this life.  This is our one shot.
  • time for friends – When we are so crazy busy – we lose touch with godly girlfriends and even our own mothers and sisters and extended family.
  • time for self –  Another thing that is very difficult to fit in when we are working a lot is time to exercise.  Time to just relax.  TIME TO SLEEP!  Time to eat healthy meals.  Time to savor nature.  Time to enjoy a book.  Time to do a hobby.  We miss out on these self-nurturing, important things that replenish and rejuvenate our hearts, minds, souls and bodies.

When our time is limited because we are working so much – we cannot give everything we want to give to our jobs, our children, our husbands, God or ourselves.  We end up spreading ourselves VERY, VERY thin.

Sometimes we don’t have a choice.  We just have to do the best with what we have.  God is able to use that – even if it is a painful time – for our ultimate good. He is sovereign – even over situations we don’t want to happen that we can’t change.

But sometimes – maybe we have more choices than we think we do.

Or – maybe God might be able to open doors or change circumstances in ways we never imagined if we begin to pray for His will in all of these important areas and seek His power to move our lives according to His desires, His priorities and His greatest glory.

My husband didn’t want me to stop working 24 hours/week part time as a pharmacist in 2009.  I wanted to be home more with our children.   Three days before Christmas that year (and 1 week before our daughter’s birthday and 2 weeks before our son’s birthday) – Walgreens cut my hours from 24/week to 8/week without warning.  Then last April, my 12 hour/week job at an independent pharmacy suddenly got cut to 3 hours/week.  Soon my job will be back to 12 hours per week and my husband is very thankful.

God is sovereign.  

I can trust Him.  I want to seek His will – even when things look impossible or I can’t see what the answer might be.  He will move mountains when we put all our faith in Him and seek to obey and honor Him and submit to Him in everything.  And even if our circumstances don’t change, He will change US.  Sometimes that is the most important thing.

My part as a disciple of Christ is – am I willing to lay it all down and be content in Him no matter what happens in my circumstances?

If you are interested, I will add a little bit in the comment section about how God tested my greatest fear when I began to submit to Greg’s leadership.  My greatest fear was that Greg would want me to work more.  I believed God wanted me to be home – ALL the time.  I didn’t think Greg would listen to God back then.  Every month for the first 6 months or so that I was committed to honoring Greg’s leadership, I got a new job offer for more hours out of the blue – that I didn’t want or ask for!  If you’d like to hear what happened-  let me know and I’ll give you the details.  It was pretty interesting!  And terrifying for me at first.  But God tested me to see if I would trust Him to lead me through Greg or not.  And He tested me again… and again… and again…  Eventually, I learned to live in His peace even in uncertainty.  I am sure I will have many opportunities to do more of that in the future!

WHAT IS IMPORTANT?

The truth is – wives and moms NEED time to spend with God, time with their husbands to relax, time with girlfriends, time to exercise, time to sleep, time to take good care of their own spiritual, mental, emotional and physical health!  That’s just how we are made.  We are NOT above the limitations of our bodies.  If we ignore our needs and don’t take good care of ourselves, we’ll run ourselves into the ground and be pretty useless to everyone!

***  Younger ladies, please keep in  mind that your body is designed to be most fertile to have babies in your 20s and early 30s.  If you decide to have your career first and think you’ll have time for babies after you are 35, you may be set up for huge heartbreak!  I pray that believing women might work with their biology when making plans!

WHAT WILL YOUR DECISIONS LOOK LIKE?

I am definitely not in any position to tell you what God wants you to do with your life. 

My desire is for each woman to seek God and be in the center of His will for her life.  As believers in Christ, it is our job to lay every part of our lives and ourselves before Him in total submission and surrender – allowing Him to lead us however He thinks is best.  He is our LORD.  He is in charge now, not us.  It is about what He wants now, not what we want.  We die to self and seek His priorities and His honor and pleasure now.  That means, we seek what God wants even if it is unpopular or weird or anti-cultural or not politically correct.  If He is Lord – only His opinion matters to me.

  • If God wants you to work full-time – awesome!  Be in the center of His will for you and bring glory to Him there and in your marriage and family!
  • If He wants you part-time – wonderful!  Be in the center of His will for you and bring glory to Him there, in your marriage and family!
  • If He wants you home all the time – terrific!  Be in the center of His will for you and bring glory to Him there!

No matter where He calls us to be – the key is what HE wants – not what we want.

These are things that each woman and each married couple must hash out with God and between themselves.

When I was making career choices and decisions about what I would want in the future as a young woman, I didn’t see much information out there about how to prioritize and strive for balance and keep the important things central.  I see God use me in the pharmacy to minister and bless people.  My husband wants me to work 1-2 days per week – so I do.  I’m thankful for my job and I am thankful for the chance to be home so much with my children.

I pray that you will be able to find just the right balance and fulfillment in your life that will most honor Christ and most bless your husband, children, marriage, and those in your sphere of influence.

Much love to each of you, my precious sisters in Christ!

RESOURCES:

The Life Ready Woman by Shaunti Feldhahn is a GREAT book about seeing God’s will for His people, for women in particular and then for us as individuals and about how to keep our priorities truly our priorities in practice in our lifestyle.  I HIGHLY recommend this book to ALL women – single and married.

God’s Spiritual Authority Structure

%d bloggers like this: