Momming Gracefully

Guiding Kids to an identity in Christ

The battle for our kid’s identity starts now. It came today when our oldest made the elite basketball team. He was all smiles when we told him, but I thought of last year when he cried in the kitchen when he didn’t make it. Both reactions caught me off guard. Of course we all feel disappointment and excitement depending on the outcome of important events, but I didn’t want my kid to think less or more of himself because of team selection. He needed reminding that sports are not identity. Christ is.

My mind fast forwarded to high school and how crushed he’d be if rejected from the team, or how lost he’d be if injury kept him from playing. So instead of saying ‘I’m proud of you’ I said ‘I’m proud of all your hard work and I’m happy for you that this makes you happy.’

I don’t know if that was right or wrong by parenting magazine standards, but I felt the Holy Spirit wanted me to separate my pride from the outcome. The truth is, most times it doesn’t go our way in life. But we can still be proud of our efforts, of our obedience in using the gifts that God gives us faithfully. That’s what I want to establish in this home, however imperfectly it may occur.

I don’t know if there’s anything more important than helping your kids establish an identity in Christ. Reminding them that last year when it didn’t work out, Jesus loved them. And this year when it does, Jesus loves them for who they are not what they do.

Let’s start the work now of celebrating with our kids, but reminding them it’s not what they do but who they are in Christ.

Andrea Chatelain

If I’m honest with myself, I still struggle with that concept as an adult. I get busy and start thinking God loves me more when I do more, serve, more, accomplish more. Not true one bit. So let’s start the work now of celebrating with our kids, but reminding them it’s not what they do but who they are in Christ.

What does this look like practically for you? What conversations do you need to have with your kids when they win or lose? How can you model a steadfast identity in Christ dealing with failures and accomplishments with humility? Perhaps it looks like praying thankful prayers in both cases, paraphrasing scripture like 1 John 3:1 to your kids in those moments reminding them of God’s love.

I suppose it will look different in all our homes, but it starts with our intentional thoughts as faithful moms and dads who desire to raise strong kids not successful ones.

Filling up so you can fill others – Eggroll in a bowl recipe only for mama

Look at me cooking with onions like I don’t have 3 kids! Mama when’s the last time you made what YOU like? Let me tell you, it was glorious to slurp up eggroll in a bowl. Yes I will eat it for the rest of the week because nobody else will touch it, but I needed it.

We cannot keep serving well if we never take care of ourselves. I’ve had to fight back self guilt trips galore, but as I read books from trusted Christian authors like #rhythmsofrenewal I’m reminded that the Lord longs to take care of me the way I take care of my family.

Ladies let Him take care of you by agreeing with him that your physical, emotional, and spiritual health matters.

Now go eat you some fancy noodles!

Q: what have you done to fill yourself up lately?? What’s your comfort food nobody else will eat??

RECIPE: Andrea’s Egg Roll in a Bowl

Ingredients: All the veggies you like that no one else will eat. I chose 1/2 cabbage, 1/2 red onion, handful of carrots, handful mini bella mushrooms, 2 celery stalks, cilantro, ramen noodles, and seasonings.

Put it together: Steam veggies in 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water til they’re soft. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt and 1/2 t onion powder. Mix 1/4cup coconut aminos with a tablespoon rice vinegar, a squeeze of honey, and 1/2 t ginger powder. Pour over your veggies and stir. Serve over ramen noodles or rice, garnish with cilantro and everything bagel seasoning. Boom you’re welcome! Then get it out tonight when everyone else wants chicken nuggets.

Stop self-shaming

500 decisions a day. I read somewhere that’s how many little choices a teacher makes and why they’re so tired. Motherhood is a whole lotta teaching. And even more second-guessing. I guarantee that you wondered, regretted, feared, or worried last week, if not today, that your way of momming was wrong. Me too. I heard some wise words to help us snap out of our self mom-shaming.

My friend said, “We’re all on the same page, but we use different fonts.”

Oh man, for a writer, that was golden.

I imagine the curly font moms dressing their girls in fluffy matching dresses, when my kids’ socks don’t match. What about the Times New Roman? Steady and unshakable. Do they ever yell? There’s bold font moms who enroll theirs in EVERYTHING at age 2, and skinny font moms whose idea of organized activity is a family walk. There’s organic Helvetica, much different from drink-from-the-hose Arial. And how ’bout car-pool Courier vs. take-the-bus Geneva.

I could go on. But you get it. It’s ridiculous that we walk around comparing our motherhood. This is the job God gave us, the kids He paired perfectly with you and me. Because God knew my kids didn’t need you and yours don’t need me.

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” Ephesians 2:10 ESV

Walk confidently, sweet mama.

Each individual motherhood is a divine appointment, a good work set out before time was created. For us to love a few people deeply the way only we can.

Each individual motherhood is a divine appointment, a good work set out before time was created. For us to love a few people deeply the way only we can.

Andrea Chatelain

That’s why as we run around trying to be another woman’s version of the perfect mom we get it all wrong. Because we ARE the perfect mom — for our kids. But how practically do we mother our best? We accept God’s love to our core, write our identity as chosen on our soul, and love out of that place of wholeness.

What’s keeping you from claiming that you’re an awesome mom? In what areas do you still believe you’re parenting all wrong? Let’s be bold. Walk lighter knowing you are rocking this, just by being you. (Thanks Mr. Rogers). Read your Bible often to remind yourself that you’re loved abundantly. Then pour out of that reservoir, not someone else’s.

XO Andrea

%d bloggers like this: