How to Be Free by Letting Go
Spiritual Growth

How to Be Free by Letting Go

Whitney
Whitney

Sometimes I feel I have it all together, but most of the time I feel entangled in worry, stress, and being overwhelmed . The more I try to wind myself together neatly the more I create a mess. If I try to fix one end of my mess the other end gets even bigger. As a Mom I can never manage keeping a clean house, visiting family and friends, exercising, finances, grocery shopping, devotionals, and oh wait keeping my sanity. If I work extra hard keeping the spotless clean house, my family and friends lack my attention. When I pay visits to all the people I care about, I’m left with a kitchen full of dirty dishes. When my soul feels the urge to be get healthy, I lack following my daily time with God. As a Stay-at-home Mom I should have it all together, but I don’t and that’s okay.

My soul fights to be the Mom and Wife I want to be, but no matter how hard I try I can never measure up to the person in my mind. Maybe you struggle with similar battles? My mind wrestles with reality and the perfect vision I have for myself. Not only at home, but at church too! I want to be the humble Christian who walks in without a judgmental eye, or anger in my heart. I want to speak kindly. I want to browse through Pinterest and Facebook and not feel like I am failing. I want to let go of the words people have hurt me with, and the ugly person I see in the mirror. But How Can I just Let Go?

Letting Go of Your Dirty House

Are you tired of chasing after a cleaning routine that actually works? As a part of the “Letting Go” series, I want to encourage you to stop searching for a solution to keep a clean house. So, wait..you’re saying keep a dirty house? No, not at all. I am suggesting we let go of the guilt we carry for not keeping our house the way we strive to. It doesn’t matter if your house is dirty, full of clutter, or needing a detailed cleaning. We all have the same inner voice crying, “Am I cleaning enough?”

Someone once asked me how often I clean my walls. My stomach sank in trying to think of the last time a washcloth even touched my walls. I am not the clean freak Mom I want to be. I choose time with my kids over cleaning. My dishes don’t get washed everyday, and if someone  robs me, they won’t get past all the toys covering my floor. There’s cobwebs filling the areas neglected, and I would never pass any white glove test. My guilt pours in after hearing knocks on my door. Asking myself, “What will they think of me?” I waste several hours searching for a way to keep my house spotless while taking care of my family. So how can we let go of not having a perfectly clean house?

Here’s the first question we should ask our-self; “Is my family happy?” If we take all our extra time keeping our house picture-perfect, we lose quality time with those who matter to us the most. Time we can never get back. Are your kids desperate for your attention, or seem extra irritable? This is a sign we need to take a break and focus on them. Here is the second question we should ask, “Is the environment of my house stressful?” If your kids can’t walk without tripping over stuff (Believe me, I’ve been there), then it’s time to focus on cleaning up.
It’s hard to keep a balance, but if we strive to make our house manageable we can stop feeling guilty. It’s okay to LIVE in your house. You don’t have to make your house look all put together.

1 Corinthians 14:40 says, “ Let all things be done decently and in order.” The verse doesn’t say perfectly, it says “decently.” Let this be your guide to keeping your house clean. Let’s settle for acceptable, not “Pinterest” clean. Release yourself from being a maid and be Mom. Stop feeling guilty for constantly letting your own expectations control how you live. Balance with acceptable, not perfection.

Digging Deeper

“Excuse the mess, but we live here.”― Roseanne Barr

“My theory on housework is, if the item doesn’t multiply, smell, catch fire, or block the refrigerator door, let it be. No one else cares. Why should you?”― Erma Bombeck

“Perfectionism means that you try not to leave so much mess to clean up. But clutter and mess show us that life is being lived.”― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

How to Let Go of Hurtful Words To Our Kids

The discouragements from today grew louder than my children fighting beside me. You are worthless, you will never be good enough, just stop trying, the thoughts of doubt played over. I tried to focus my attention on my two little ones, but I couldn’t pull enough energy to play with them. I should win the Worst Mother of the Year award, and that’s exactly where he wanted me.  Satan had pulled me down once again, leaving me to give up for the day. He wanted this to happen, and here I was allowing him to take over.

My daughter grabbed her Little Tikes school bus pushing all her Little People around. She was happy, confident, and gleaming. Her gracefulness would make any mother proud. Then everything came unglued. Her brother, trying to get my attention, grabbed the bus screaming, “School bus!” My daughter screaming louder, “Mine!”

As they played tug of war I waited. I waited for them to solve their dispute, and for them to just to be okay. My mind just needed a break. A moment full of happy sharing children, but my vision was shortly interrupted with reality.  They both began to cry, so I yelled, “Gracelyn, just give him two people!” The moment arrived. The time where the rage starts creeping in, and we try so hard just to be nice. I cracked, and I knew I could make the situation worse, but my feelings were uncontrollable.

My daughter looked at me with a face describing every bit of her rightful emotions, you are supposed to help me. He is the one who should be in trouble. I tried to resolve the problem, but my feelings took over my tone and my words.

“Why don’t you listen to me when I am talking to you?”

“Give him two people.”

“NOW!”

“I am going to take away your toy for not listening.”

“Can’t you just be nice and share.”

“Grrr…that’s it I’m done.”

“You won’t get to play with your school bus for the rest of the day.”

I could see her lip quiver, and her tears form. She was trying to be strong and not show how hurt she was by my words. She was being bullied, and I wounded her gracefulness only sending harmful thoughts to her — you are not good enough. I knew my son was wrong, but he doesn’t listen like she does. My tone and anger scared her. I was supposed to protect her, and I let her down with my harsh words. Something I can never take back, and this wasn’t my first blowout moment with her. As a little girl our hearts are tender, easily wounded. So how can we fix these moments? The moments when everything around us caves in and our feelings are taken out on our children.

The most powerful step to take is to bow down and give your children a hug. Say, “I’m sorry, will you forgive me?” In the book, How to be a Hero to Your Kids, Josh and Dick say, “asking forgiveness is a soft answer that can turn away our anger and make things right.”

In Proverbs 15:1 it says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Wouldn’t you feel better if someone asked you for forgiveness promptly after doing something wrong? The feelings of pain don’t have time to linger when someone asks us for forgiveness. So how do we let go and be free from guilt? Before I had kids I thought being a Mom was going to be a lot easier than it is. I had everything planned out and lists of things I would do differently. I didn’t know it would be hard to be patient, kind, and loving all the time. The job of a Mom is complex and difficult, but no Mother is perfect. We can learn by our mistakes, and set ourselves free by letting go.  We were not great in that moment, but that does not mean we won’t be an awesome Mom in the the next hour, day, week, or month. If you can’t escape your guilt, write down all your bad mommy moments on a piece of paper. Tear them up and say God forgives me. Now throw those moments away! All we can do is move forward and keep trying. Like we tell our kids: Never Give UP!

Digging Deeper

From Mom Life Today:

Remember God can help strengthen us in any time of weakness. Pray for grace, wisdom, and courage. Asking God for help to control our actions does not make us bad Moms, it creates a better version of one.

Letting Go Worry

The glimpse of uneasiness didn’t hit my face until we brought our first newborn into our home. The big question hit, now what? Little doubts started popping into my mind; what if I put the diaper on wrong, what if I don’t wake up when he cries, how will I know when something is wrong? Then the impossible happened, every mother’s worst fear. My baby, three months old, went to be with Jesus. My heart ached thinking what I did wrong, and what I could do differently.

As you could imagine, when my baby girl was born a whole new set of worries kicked in. I could barely breathe anticipating every breathe of my new chance for a family. I lived in fear because I couldn’t trust God with my family. I thought He would rip by baby from my hands, and leave me childless anew. A year later, we were blessed with another boy, and my anxiety started all over.

When our children are born, worry is born with them. You don’t have to lose a child to understand the greatest fear every parent holds. We worry — are we doing things right, are we making the right choices, and what or whom will harm our baby? We get stressed out over the little things because we want our kids to have great memories, everlasting moments, and we desire to grow a deep longing connection with them.

So, why do we need to let go of our worries? It’s okay to worry. Concern is a natural emotion as a Mom, but I have seen the dark side to keeping these feelings locked in. They become so powerful they can take over the present moments we do have with our children. These harmful emotions motivate us to take control over our life, rather than letting God manage the good and bad. You might be wondering how I gained trust with God after my son died. The first thing to remember,  I still doubt our Father. I fear He will let my family die, and leave me here all alone. When we are wounded it can be hard to put trust in Him. But through the loss of my son, I have gained a new understanding to life and I have found a passion through my struggles. God can turn any bad to good. He can use our pain and turn it into purpose. When we see this we can understand why we need to open up our worries to the Lord.

How can we be free from worry and stress? Well I am not the perfect Mom I want to be, or I would have all my emotions in check. I am human. I doubt God, but I try to be hopeful. We just have to make small steps of faith believing God is doing the best for our family. Leaving Him to handle our mess. He cares about every tear that sheds down our face. He wants us to give him control, so we can enjoy the blessings given to us. So, start now. Let’s live free by giving our doubts to God, and receiving his strength and comfort. Try it. Be hopeful, and let me know how God works in your life.

Going Deeper

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.”– Leo F. Buscaglia
“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.”– Elbert Hubbard

Letting Go of Being the Perfect Mom

Have you ever struggled with not being the Mom you always wanted to be? The lingering question in our minds, why can’t I be like her? Our hearts twinge wishing we could be a fraction of the Mom we see. Our expectations lead us into a larger disappointment. When we fall short from our perfect vision we feel like failing mothers. We are left with a hole only to be filled with “How to Be” articles. There’s a reason why these articles exists. They are the most viewed blog posts around. While Reading my bible study book, Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge, I discovered a new understanding to woman I never put together before. Woman feel they constantly need fixing, we feel broken, and we search for a way to mend ourselves together. As the author Stasi explains;

“We feel unseen—even by those who are closest to us. We feel unsought—that no one has the passion or the courage to pursue us, to get past our messiness to find the woman deep inside. And we feel uncertain—uncertain what it even means to be a woman; uncertain what it truly means to be feminine; uncertain if we are or ever will be.”

Now let’s translate this into a Mom version;

We feel unseen—not noticed for anything we do, even by those closest to us. We feel unsought—no one desires to be the Mom that we are, or to get past the messiness of our emotions deep inside. And we feel uncertain—uncertain what it means to be a Mom; uncertain what it truly means to be a good Mom; uncertain if we are or ever will be.

She is the Mom at church, the woman at the library, and sometimes my best friend.

We notice her in the organic aisle

Her organization skills color coded to perfection

She looks fresh out of a Fashion Magazine

The makeup on her face is natural

The grace in her words are to die for

We see her house as clean as can be

Her happiness and beauty shine far across the room

She is the woman’s new Master-chef

The flawless Christian society thirsts for

We witness her kids mind without a spoken demand

She can balance Mom life with ease

We see her everywhere and she’s everything I am not.

Isn’t it easy to compare ourselves to the other Moms we see? There are so many times when I let what I observe, tear down my confidence as a Mother. She is everything I will never measure up to. So how do we let go of this perfect version we desire to be? First, we have to understand we are not the only Mother struggling to be Super Mom. We all have doubts, moments of disappointment in ourselves, and parent difficulties. The most beneficial way to get let go is to share our feelings with another Mom. We are in this journey together, and we need to encourage each other with our struggles. We are breathtaking Moms who love boldly and generously. We are noticed. We are important and desired. We are needed and we rock at being Mom! Let’s be open and free, and see the perfect Mom is within us. All we have to do is believe.

Let Go of Pain and Gain Remarkable Courage Being Mom

I could feel it in the pit of my stomach, my eyes developing a sudden flow of water from nowhere. The burden heavy on my heart, waiting to pounce at the right moment. Any more words of discouragement would break the dam on my eyelids. Knowing I would crack any minute, I quietly tip-toed to the bathroom locking the door. Finally, I’m safe. Safe to burst out all the pain soaked into my soul. At least for a few minutes anyway…

No matter where you are in your life, we all have experienced the sudden shock of pain. Before  “Mom Life” started it was easy to sit on the couch and cry out our emotions. We could have our breaking points anywhere, eat a pint of ice cream (without sharing), and recollect ourselves without the responsibility of another human being. But when we’re Moms we hold a natural tendency to hide our emotions. We don’t want our children to worry, or see us sad. Especially, if these melt downs come often in our lives. And what Mom has time to have those crying sessions we used to before our kids arrived?

We stuff

We hide

We repeat

I only know this because I’m a stuffer. It’s easy for me to put the my feelings aside and deal with them later. Only, I never seem to have time to schedule in these sessions, leaving me to continually have emergency lock down moments in my bathroom. I become easily irritable and angry with the little things going wrong in my life. I have moments where I feel the urge to just break down for no reason at all. My body is in need of an intervention. A way to let out all the things I keep hidden from everyone else. Do you need one too?

It takes courage to deal with our emotions because let’s just say, they’re confusing! It takes even more courage to make time to figure them out. This week, I want to encourage you to Let Go of hiding your pain. It’s okay to cry in front of our children. It’s okay to take time to give yourself a self-diagnosis of— what is going on with me? Irritability and anger are warning signs we shouldn’t ignore. We want to be the best Mom we can be to our kids, and in order to be a great Moms we must take time to deal with our emotions.

  1. Wake up 30 minutes before our kids get up
  2. Stay up after our kids go to bed
  3. Schedule an hour a week for a spouse, a friend, or family member to watch the kids
  4. Take some time during nap time, or schedule an hour of quiet time per day
  5. Go to a church service/ Join a Bible Study Group

Make these times mandatory, like your soul depends on it. These times might seem simple and over-talked about, but they are easy to be an “I’ll do that when..”, or “I’ve tried that before”.  No matter what, there will always be an excuse of why you can’t. Turn the reasons of why you can’t into why you should. Find a way that works best for you. Let me know when you decide to take the leap of courage, and comment below! I want to be a part of transforming your life as a Mom! Thanks for reading!

Digging Deeper

Never be ashamed of what you feel. You have the right to feel any emotion that you want, and to do what makes you happy. That’s my life motto. –Demi Lovato
Feelings are something you have; not something you are.” –Shannon L. Alder
There’s no right way to Let Go of our emotions. We can hide in the bathroom, or share them with the world. But we can’t ignore the reason for why they are there. –Passion Brewing Momma