As a Stay At Home Mom God’s Grace is My Super Power

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2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

As a stay at home mom (SAHM) of three children four and under, God’s grace is definitely my super power. The scripture above is one of my favorites because when I’m feeling overwhelmed and tired, I quote this verse and keep it moving. I know Jesus is my help. He blessed us with our babies and He has given us the grace needed to care for them.

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Our four year old, Elyssa, is a super energetic, happy, inquisitive,creative, helpful and talkative girl. She keeps me on my toes for sure.

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Our 22 month old, Elaina, is a nurturer, she’s also sensitive, observant, affectionate and a joyful girl.

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Our soon to be 9 month old son, Eddie VI, is busy speed crawling and discovering the world around him. He’s active, inquisitive and loving.

Eddie is doing a great job nursing, he has since the day he was born. He’s always latched great and my supply has always been high. I’m grateful to God that I had successful nursing relationships with all of my children.

As a SAHM, I where many hats and my job is never done. Some days are happy and productive. Other days are draining and completely unproductive. Some days the children are cooperative and happy and other days they struggle to listen, fight over every toy and whine about everything. My relationship with God keeps me going on the good and bad days. I can talk to him, mediate on his word, play some praise and worship music and know that He is with me and His grace is sufficient for me. I was created to be a great mom, not of my own strenth but of His!! It’s a great feeling to know that my Heavenly Daddy has my back. Hes leading and guiding my husband and I as we raise godly children. My husband and I are a great team and he’s a awesome hands on father.

So be encouraged mommies!!! You’re doing an awesome job. No one is perfect and no child is perfect but we serve a perfect, all knowing God, who promised to never leave us or forsake us. Rest in His peace and His promises!! And the next time the children do things to drive you up the wall, take a second to thank God that he blessed you with your children and ask him for a extra dose of His grace!! He’s faithful, he will give it to you!!!

You ARE Your Mama’s Child

This past weekend my mother celebrated another wonderful birthday. As I sat and thought about how blessed I am to have her, I began to think about all the things she’s taught me over the years. My mom showed me in word and actions what it meant to carry myself like a lady, to be a godly woman, wife and mother. She had a career, took care of home and served at our church for many years and she did it all with grace. She is a true Proverbs 31 woman and I am blessed to have her as my mommy and role model!

Now that I’m a mother and I can already see the influence that my husband and I have on our daughter Elyssa. She is a peaceful, joyful and talkative (baby talk of course) little lady at 5 1/2 months old. We make sure our home is peaceful and we’re always laughing together as a family and as a couple. Eddie and I love to talk and therefore Elyssa will often try to join our conversations with her own language. I see us in her and it’s so cool.

I believe that we as adults have a lot of characters like our parents and we know or don’t know different skills because of what our parents did or did not teach us. I work in the social work field and every day I see or hear of young people whose parents did not teach them the basics, the things that every child needs to know to be set up with success and it breaks my heart. A lot of family’s pass down the wrong things and don’t teach their children the right things.

This blog is a simple call to action for all the parents and future parents. Let’s love our children like we wanted to be loved as children. Let’s tell them how beautiful they are in the inside and out. Let’s remind them how much GOD loves them, which is why He died and rose from the dead for them. Let’s teach them God’s word and get them involved in a local church so they can have other positive children to spend time with and learn about Jesus. Let’s teach our children to love themselves and value their bodies enough not to allow others to misuse them. Let’s teach our children about sex and not leave them confused to learn from their friends or the TV. Let’s have open positive communication with our children and show them that we value their opinions. Let’s teach our boys and girls how to cook, clean, open a bank account and manage money. How will our children know anything else we teach them, unless we slow down our lives, cut off the TV, close the laptop, cancel some late night meetings and put down our smart phones and spend time with them. The world shows our children that they care by always being there to teach them negative things, the wrong things, so we as parents need to step up.

Proverbs 22:6 KJV

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he will not depart from it.

A prayer for the parents

Lord God, I come before you now thanking you for blessing us to be able to be parents. Thank you Lord for giving us the grace needed to care for our children they way you’ve called us to. Give us energy Lord when we will feel tired. Give us wisdom and guide us through our journey of parenthood. Send appropriate and safe people our way to help us with our children. Speak to us Lord and show us who should not have access to our children. Thank you Lord for providing us with all that we need to care for our children. Thank you Lord for time apart from them at times so we can get a break. Thank you Lord for all these things in your name amen.

*Question: What is something your grateful your parent’s taught you? What is something you wish they taught you that they didn’t?*

A Rape Survivor’s Letter To Her Unborn Daughter

Dear Elyssa Janee,

My sweet girl, I love you so very much. We have ten weeks until we meet and get to look into each other’s eyes. As each week goes by, I think about all that I want to tell you, teach you and shield you from.

 

My Love

Your father and I love you already, more than words can express. I want you to know that your father has taught me so much about real love. He has been dedicated, patient, selfless and compassionate since the day we met 7 1/2 years ago. I’m excited that you get to have him as a dad! You’re a blessed young lady! Your father and I have come to know the love of Christ and learning about how Christ loves us has taught us how to love one another and prepares us to love you unconditionally too. You will never have to wonder if we love you. You will always be loved, encouraged, challenged, praised and disciplined.

My Past

Over ten years ago, a man took advantage of me and I went through a very rough time. BUT GOD! With God’s grace, mercy, strength, comfort and the wisdom and guidance of friends and family, I became a overcomer, survivor, victor, never again to be a victim. I want you to know that you never ever have to be afraid of men, the world or anything. No weapon formed against you will prosper. God’s blood covers you. God has not given you the spirit of fear, but of love, joy and a sound mind.

I will not pass onto you a legacy of hate, unforgiveness, anxiety, bitterness or anger. I let all of those things go many years ago with the strength of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ because I knew that one day I wanted to be a healthy and free wife and mother. I wanted to be able to teach my children about the love, protection and peace of walking with Christ. I wanted to have children with a husband that was a protector and not one that would abuse his family verbally, physically or emotionally. By getting free, I broke the cycle or victimization over our family. You belong to God, you are His daughter and He is entrusting you to us.

My Promise

I promise to be the best mother that I can be. I promise to spend time in prayer so that I can have patience with you and receive guidance from God concerning you. I promise to always encourage you to have a close relationship with your earthly father and Heavenly Father. I promise to be open and honest with you, even when it makes me feel uncomfortable because I want you to trust me and know that I will never purposely watch you walk in the wrong direction. I promise to be selfless and take my role as your mother seriously. Ever since I was a young girl, I’ve dreamed of one day being blessed with a family and God has granted me that prayer; I do not take this honor lightly. I promise to take care of my body and you, for the next 10 weeks especially, so that you can continue to grow strong and be safe and comfy inside of me. Until we officially meet my lovely little lady, know that I love you and I’m preparing for you. I’m also continuly praying and confessing great things over you.

Thank Heaven For Our Little Girl

Yesterday at my doctor’s appointment, we found out that we were having a little girl. We were excited to know the sex and beginning preparing for our bundle of joy. I could hardly sleep the night before the appointment because three weeks earlier, we attempted to learn the sex but our princess was in the wrong position. We really wanted to know what we were having so we could properly prepare the nursery, pick a name, plan the shower and start gathering the needed items for our little one.

I am excited about having a daughter for many reasons but here are my top two:

1. I am a daddy’s girl 100%. My father was always there to protect me, teach me the word of God, discipline, support, encourage and compliment me. I knew I was his joy because he nicknamed me Joy. My dad has always spoiled me but also taught me good work ethic, how to carry myself as a lady and how to pick a good man to marry. My father has also been a great example to us regarding how a husband treats a wife. To this day, we have an awesome relationship.

I look forward to my husband having that same relationship with our daughter. My husband Eddie is very caring, giving, kind, loving, thoughtful, loyal, dedicated, hard-working and most importantly, he is a man of God, like my father. I can’t wait to watch Eddie love his daughter and show her what it means to be a great father and husband. He will also show our daughter how a real man of God lives his life. Our daughter is already blessed to have him.

2. I look forward to teaching our daughter how to be a virtuous, godly, strong, confident, classy, smart, sweet, thoughtful and successful woman. I can’t wait to teach her how to focus on her relationship with God and her studies and to not get caught up in peer pressure and boys. Our daughter will have goals, dreams and sweet spirit. I know raising children these days is tough BUT with God ALL things are possible!! We are anointed to be parents. God will give us the wisdom, patience and diligence needed to be godly hands on parents. Being parents will be the most fun and challenging thing we will ever have done but we are ready and excited for this new journey!!

If more women had had a father in their lives as young girls, I believe that they would not feel the need to dress half-naked to get attention, sale their bodies for money, have a bunch of babies outside of marriage, date married men, be angry, jealous, unproductive, immature or have low self-esteem. I’m not saying that every girl who does not grow up with a father will be like this but many women are negatively affected by being abandoned by their fathers. Every little girl needs a man who shows them respect, love, guidance, structure and direction. Every little girl deserves to be told that they are special, smart, pretty and loved.

For those who never had an active father in their life

If you’ve never had your father in your life or your children don’t have their father in their lives, you don’t have to worry. The Lord Jesus Christ loves you. He created you and He is ready and waiting to love on you and your children and make you all whole. We all have a Heavenly Father and His love is so great for us that he died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead on the third day. He knows are hurt, pain and disappointment. All we have to do is come to Him with open arms, give our lives to Him and watch Him clean us up and make us new!! Ask Jesus to come into your heart today, get hooked up a church home and I guarantee you that your life will never be the same!!

**Question for parents with daughter** What is the best part about raising girls and the most challenging?

5 Months Pregnant & Daydreaming about Life, Love & Sex AFTER Baby

Being pregnant and able to carry a child is beautiful and honorable. My pregnancy continues to go smoothly and in a few days I will be 20 weeks, half way there! Time is moving fast but we are excited and getting prepared. As the days goes by and my belly grows, I continue picturing life as a mother. I imagine several feeds and diaper changes a day, less sleep and having to stay in the house for a few weeks until the baby and I are safe to go out. Also I imagine life without frequent sex with my hubby, less hanging out on late dates and less quiet moments in the house. In no way am I complaining, I am just being realistic about the things in life that will be different. I did not say no sleep, no sex (after the 6 weeks :-), no dates etc, I just said less. We planned this pregnancy and we were overjoyed when God granted us our request. Now its time to prepare for a baby not only physically and financially but mentally and emotionally.

The day I go into labor and deliver our healthy child (we haven’t found out the sex yet) life will never be the same. As I think about it though, life already will never be the same. I think about the baby always, when I get dressed, how I sleep and what I eat.  Here are a few adjustments that I have already had to make gladly for our little bundle of joy:

1. Frequent trips to the restroom.

2. Having to eat small meals every few hours or I will get a headache

3. The way I sleep at night and how much sleep I need.

4. Getting hormone headaches and not being able to take meds often.

5. Watching what I eat and basically changing my diet. No sushi, soft cheeses, hardly any coffee or pop, hardly any seafood or lunch meat, the list goes on about the food but I won’t bore you.

Last night at Word of Faith Southfield, we had a special service split. The men received a message just for them in the chapel and the women received a service just for them in the sanctuary. Our first lady, Min Deborah Butler, opened the floor for question and answer. One of the discussions was really helpful to me and the new season that I am approaching.

The question was from a woman who was newly married and had two young children. She was inquiring about how she could fit more sex into her marriage with two little ones running around all the time. Min Deborah gave her three helpful tips 1) get the children on a schedule so they get used to going to bed at a certain time every night. Train them to understand parents and children time and just parents time. Put them to bed and then you two go in your room, lock the door and get it on quietly. 2) Sex doesn’t only have to take place at night, have sex in the morning before they wake up or other alternate times of the day. 3) Find another couple with young children that you TRUST and take turns watching each other’s children so both couples can have some alone time together.

I found these suggestions helpful because sex is a big part of marriage and by the time the baby comes we will have been married for 3 years. That means 3 years of enjoying each other whenever we wanted (hey were all adults here! lol) As the baby gets older (2-3 months) and we start to adjust to parenthood, we will need to start going out on dates and caring for one another’s needs, just like we do the baby’s needs. Life is busy right now with work, church, family, friends, house work, cooking, taking care of each other etc; now with God’s grace and mercy, we will add a healthy happy little one to the mix. We serve an awesome and faithful God who will give us wisdom, mercy, grace and patience and we have a great support system full of family and friends. I am curious about what life will be like but I am excited, hopeful and confident that we will learn, grow and do just fine!

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No Wedding No Womb Part 2: Clarity and What We Can Do To Help

Yesterday’s post on the No Wedding No Womb Campaign received a lot of hits. A few ladies posted some insightful thoughts on the campaign as well as what they thought about the message that was being promoted. I admit that I am new to the NWNW movement and can not profess to support something that I have not researched in detail. I changed the title of yesterdays post from “Why I support the NWNW Campaign” to “The NWNW Campaign.”

While the founder of NWNW is not coming from a Christian perspective, I still feel that she is promoting positivity in the black community and trying to raise awareness and help people to have standards when it comes to relationships, sex and parenting. I belive that just because an organization is not Christian based does not mean that Christians can’t receive little nuggets from the message the organization is promoting.

The campaign is not preaching abstinence and is not coming from a biblical perspective but at least NWNW is trying to educate and encourage the black community as well as assist in preventing unplanned pregnancy. The org is also promoting two parent homes and that is something that the black community is severely lacking. I was told by one single mother who follows the founder of NWNW on Twitter, that her message is negative and depressing to single mothers. I am not sure if this is true because I have only read a few articles on the NWNW website. What I do know is that we aren’t helping single parents by putting them down or passing judgement on them. It is only by God’s grace that all of us who have had sex outside of marriage, did not conceive children. All children are a blessing and a gift from God, no matter what circumstance brought them into this world.  Passing judgement, tearing people down or trying to scare teens into not having sex will not work as productive long-lasting preventative measures.

I do not believe that every couple who has a child together should get married but if people were selective in who they date and had a standard to require a wedding ring before giving up the goods, more children would be born into committed two parent homes. We as a people need to have self respect, standards with regards to relationships and concentrate more on our futures and purpose in life than we do our outward appearance, material possessions and whose hooking up with who. AIDS and STDs are real and they affect the black community more than any other population. Sex isn’t worth dying for. It is best to not have sex before marriage  (read 1 Cor 6:18-20) but if you can not wait, you MUST use protection.

 There are many different components that factor into when and why people start having sex and if those issues aren’t addressed, young people will continue to be sexually active, have children outside of marriage and possibly won’t be able to receive the No Wedding No Womb message.

  • What sexual messages teens are exposed to in their home, through the media and while their out with their friends (viewing pornography) will determine how they see themselves and how they value sex.
  • Many young people are surrounded by friends, family and others in their communities that aren’t married and have multiple children. Viewing this can make young people feel like having sex and babies outside of marriage is normal.
  • When young people have been abused sexually, physically or verbally, they can start to look for love in all the wrong places and find themselves pregnant or getting someone pregnant. They weren’t trying to have a baby, but in the midst of being sexually active, a baby was made.

The question becomes, are campaigns like NWNW affective in reaching these young people who have been exposed to so much and may have unhealthy views on sex, pregnancy, parenthood and marriage? The campaign maybe affective for some and not for others. 

Each of us can do the following to promote healthy holy living: single people can spread the news to others that is ok to be single and you can be healthy, happy and content in your singlehood. Single parents can continue to give their children their all and be dedicated examples. Single parents can admit that life with children and no partner is difficult and not ideal, and teach those around them how not to end up being single parents. Those that are married can promote stable, healthy, long lasting godly marriage because many people in our society never get to see that. Everyday each of us are walking billboards. Ask yourself, what are you promoting? Pray for those around you, witness to your family and friends, let them know that God loves them and wants whats best for them. Share your testimony of how God brought you out of difficult situations and made you whole again. This is my purpose in life, to spread the good news of Christ through sharing my testimony and lifestyle with others.

The No Wedding No Womb Campaign

I recently discovered the No Wedding No Womb Campaign and I have much respect for the message that Christelyn D Karazin is promoting to the black community. Ms. Karazin is the founder and organizer of No Wedding No Womb! (NWNW) an online initiative to address and find solutions for the 72 percent out-of-wedlock birthrate in the African American community.

As a social worker supervisor, daily I work with my staff to teach life skills and parenting skills to single mothers. Our clients are getting younger and younger and it saddens me to see a 21 year old woman with four children; the mom doesn’t have an education or a job, she doesn’t receive any child support from the fathers and limited family support. I believe that majority of women today do NOT know their value or their worth. If women knew that they were MORE than baby makers, they would have standards, take pride in their lifestyle and know that they deserve to be happy, healthy successful and loved, not hurt, angry and abandoned to raise babies on their own. The cycle must stop!!

I have a lot of respect for the NWNW campaign because their trying to educate the black community and break the cycle of black children continuing to be born into single parent homes. We must teach people about the importance of healthy relationships, monogamy, marriage and planning to have children. Gone needs to be the days of hooking up with people and shortly afterwards discovering that your pregnant. That behavior is dangerous, irresponsible and unfair to the children that continue to be born into broken homes. I am not saying that all children born into single parent homes are neglected, but studies show that children benefit from two parent homes. Every relationship/marriage doesn’t work out as planned but at least some people try to make those relationships work, even though they fail.

Here is a little information about NWNW:

  • What Is No Wedding No Womb?

No Wedding No Womb is a primary call directed to the black community to take action against the rampant births of children who are born without physical, financial and emotional protection.  It is a call for accountability for both MEN and WOMEN to be mindful of the huge responsibility and privilege they have when bringing a child into the world.

NWNW is a double entendre.  The phrase has two meanings.  The primary meaning of “wedding and wedded”, of course, is the marriage ceremony.  The secondary definition means “devotion.”  I chose “womb,” because that is the life source of children, it is the place that feeds, protects and nurtures the child.

  • Does No Wedding No Womb Seek to Bash Single Mothers?
  • Absolutely not.  NWNW calls for both MEN and WOMEN to put the needs of children first, and advocates that couples abstain from having children until they are emotionally, physically and financially able to care for them.
  • What gives you the right to do this?

I’m a baby mamma’ LISTEN TO MY MISSION: 65535 NO WEDDING NO WOMB-2.’  I do this for my daughter, and my daughter’s daughter, and all the children of our future.

To read more about NWNW and discover the answers to the questions below, please checkout the campaigns website

http://www.noweddingnowomb.com/

  • When you say, NWNW, are you saying that everyone should get married?
  • Is this just another abstinence program?
  • Are you bashing black men?
  • When you say, “No Wedding No Womb!” are you advocating that women get abortions?
  • Aren’t you being  judgmental?

**QUESTION** What do you think about the campaign? What do you agree of disagree with? Do you think the campaign will be affective?

If you enjoyed this blog post, I encourage you to subscribe to receive emails regarding future post. The subscribe button is located at the top left corner of the blog. Once you enter your email and hit “sign me up,” you will have to open your email and confirm the subscription. Thank you in advance for your support. Also please email the blog link to other ladies https://joannawillis.wordpress.com