Reviving Motherhood

Learning on the Journey


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I’ve Moved!

Hello, dear friends.  Thank you for your patience as I haven’t written over the past few months.  If you’re curious about what has been going on with me lately, you can get up to speed at my new blog.  I won’t publicize it till the New Year, but I wanted to give my faithful readers a little heads-up.  A little excerpt to whet your appetite:

Prayers are sometimes answered in the strangest ways.

After several weeks of increasingly severe and strange health challenges in our family, the situation peaked and my husband finally said,

“It’s the house. It has to be mold.

We’re leaving.  Now.”

We fled like the place was on fire.  Dirty dishes all over the kitchen, the house a humiliating wreck, we carried almost nothing but a toothbrush and the clothes on our backs.

Won’t you come read the rest here?  And join me on a whole new journey?


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31 Days: Ann Voskamp on Overcoming Fear

In this interview, Ann discusses her journey out of fear.  It’s an hour long.  Put it on while you wash dishes or fold laundry…well worth it.

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This post of part of 31 Days of Fearless Mothering

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Please feel free to like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter!  I would be thrilled!

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In my upcoming ebook, Fearless Mothering, I tell about how God helped me to overcome a lifestyle of debilitating fear.  Look for it in November!


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How I’m Helping My Toddler Communicate

Recently my littlest has taken to shrieking.  It’s a piercing scream that can just about break glass.  And it goes on and on.

At first I corrected him.  “No, buddy, don’t scream.  Use your inside voice.”

He’s a year and a half.  He knew exactly what I was saying.  He grinned.  And the minute I walked away, he did it again.

Here is where I diverge from my old, failed way of parenting.  In the past I would “lather, rinse, repeat,” until BY GOLLY HE QUIT SCREAMING!  I had to win.

Now I’m a more thoughtful mom.

I wondered what could be causing this scream.  Is he doing it just because he can?

Nope.  I noticed that the scream comes after he has been in the oversized play yard his daddy built for him–for a while.

He can see everyone, he’s more or less in the middle of things, but he’s still confined.  And when you are less than 3 feet tall and a very active, social little person, any enclosure must feel isolating.

And he’s had the same toys in there for a long time.

He’s bored.  He’s tired of being alone.  And he just wants some company.

When I take him out, he stops screaming.  Or if I send a buddy to play with him.  That works too.  Or if I get him some new, fun toys or books.

My not-yet-very-verbal little guy has found a no-fail way to get my attention, and he’s using it.

Now it’s up to me to read his cues and recognize when he’s getting frustrated.  Or better yet, to not even let him get to that point.

He’s a sweet little boy.  He just doesn’t like being alone for too long.  Can you blame him?

He’s not trying to be willful; he’s trying to tell me something.

It’s up to me to help him learn a better way to say it.

How do you recognize your child’s needs?  How do you teach them to communicate appropriately?

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Please feel free to like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter!  I would be thrilled!

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Look for my eBook, Fearless Mothering, this fall!

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Linking:

Fellowship Friday

Beholding Glory

Mommy Teaches


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Fearless Mothering

I grew up afraid.  When I had my first baby at 22, that fear spilled right over into my mothering.

What if, what if, what if? 

Every potential scenario would flash through my mind, from the possible to the outrageous.  I was frozen by fear, almost too afraid to leave the house.

Fearless parenting has been a recurring theme in my life.  Not because I am good at it, but because I’m not.

But fear doesn’t come from God, fear paralyzes, fear makes us cocoon us and our children forever so that we all grow warped and restricted and never break out, grow up, and fly beautiful and free.

The thing is, fearful mothering simply shows that we don’t trust Him.  Do you worry about your childrens’ future?  Does their misbehavior give you a sense of panic?  Do your friends think you are ridiculously safety-conscious?  Do you constantly say “no” to new adventures?  Do you always try to manage and control?

It might feel like these things aren’t a big deal, but in truth, they will destroy your kids.

God has made us to live in faith and freedom.  I don’t mean stupidity or recklessness.  But we can raise our children with confidence that He has authored their lives.  Fear makes us hold on with iron clutches.  Fear makes us rail at our kids when they mess up.  Fear makes us negative people who raise frightened, crippled children.

Bad things ARE going to happen.  We live in a broken world.  We can’t stop all of them.  We need to listen to God in case he is warning us about one of those things.  But we shouldn’t let the possibility—the assurance—of bad things make us withdraw, wrap up, and isolate.  The bad things that will happen are probably not the ones you worry about!

Mamas, stop letting your imagination control you!

I officially gave up fear a long time ago.  It’s a weak spot that tries to come back.  But I can’t describe the crazy joy of walking in faith and freedom over my children.  When one of them struggles with a besetting sin, I can entrust him to the world’s great Heart-changer.  When God calls one of my children on a mission trip a world away, I can rest peacefully in the knowledge that she’s cared for by the Best.  When politics and world events make me want to cry, I remember: God made my children for such a time as this!  When I see that one of them has a heedless, impulsive streak, I watch carefully and I pray hard.  Because I will parent these little ones imperfectly and I can’t prepare for every eventuality—but God can.

I’m still not good at fearless parenting.  Panic and control still try to horn in and run my life.  But I’m a lot better at resisting it.  At resting in God.  At trusting him.  Because I can’t protect my kids the way I’d like to.  But the Perfect Parent?  He’s got it under control.

~linking up~

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Feel free to like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter!  I would be thrilled!

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If you read here regularly you might have noticed some erratic posting patterns.  In an attempt to be a better writer and more effective blogger, I’ve been experimenting with different things…Thanks for your patience as I learn!  I have lots more thoughts about Fearless Mothering…Hope you’ll stick around to read them!


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Best Sugar Cookie Recipe

Need a super-easy and really delicious sugar cookie recipe at the last minute?   Reposting from the archives!

1 cup coconut oil (I’m guessing softened butter would work just as well, or its evil twin, Crisco)

2 c. sugar

2 eggs

5 T. water

4 t. vanilla

1 t. salt

1 t. baking soda

3  1/2 c. all-purpose flour, chilled (I keep mine in the freezer.)

Cream coconut oil, sugar, and vanilla.  Add egg and water, mix well.  Mix in dry ingredients.   You are aiming for dough that’s the consistency of stiff play dough, but not crumbly.

Roll into 2 smooth logs.  Roll logs in granulated sugar.  Wrap in waxed paper and chill completely.  (Actually if you use flour from the freezer like I do, you sometimes don’t have to chill…)

Slice into 1/4″ slices and place far apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes.  Remove from pan immediately.  Enjoy with a glass of milk!