Fearfully Made: How Do I Live With Fear?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Motherhood comes with many things.  Love, awe, gratitude, patience, and selflessness.  These are the wonderful things I've grown in (sometimes begrudgingly) since I first set eyes on my own offspring.

But, something else that comes with motherhood is worry...and lots of it.  As my children grow, so do my fears.

It starts off small, checking on them while they are napping to make sure they're breathing; knowing where my phone and the nearest ice pack is at all times as they learn to climb; praying for them at school as they start to develop beyond my grasp.  And on and on.  Many of these things seem within my control, many of these worries are calmed by the illusion that I have the power to prevent them if I plan enough, work hard, and pay enough attention to detail.

Then I get on Facebook, or Instagram, or watch the news at all.  Turns out just about anything can kill us at any time.  I've seen reports about the dangers of flip flops for heaven's sake!  Articles about how babies get injured from this or that seem to inundate my newsfeed at all times.  Child abductions and horrible diseases become part of my regular checklist in praying for protection for my family.

And I am afraid.

Are these fears reality?  Am I crazy to be anxious about every little thing?  Is it okay to NOT worry about something, or does that make me an uncaring mother???

We can work ourselves up to the point of worrying about worrying and suddenly all the mothers I know are flooded with more anxiety than a chihuahua on Redbull!  WHAT GIVES?!

I can't take it anymore.  I am tired of being afraid.  I am over letting my joy be stolen by worry for things I do not have control over.  I am done with feeling the burden of fear when it is not mine to carry.

Psalm 139:14 (NIV) 
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

The word "fearfully" here does NOT mean that I live in fear of the world around me.  The word actually reflects fear in the sense of respect and reverence (i.e. "fear of the Lord") and a healthy acknowledgement of HIS sovereignty.  We were made to hand over our fears to God - in full acceptance that His works are wonderful and we revere His divine wisdom to act in His perfect will.  

1 John 4:18 reminds us that "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear..."so I can rest in God's perfect love for me, reflect that in my life through faith and action, and rid myself of the fears in this world.

We can't worry about everything.  We just can't.  (Trust me, I've tried.)  It's exhausting and impossible and futile.  But, we worship a God who has no need for worry.  Not only can He take on all our cares and concerns, but He extinguishes them and can help us steer clear of them in the future.

My big secret to driving out fear?  Focus on His perfect love.  

When I feel the lies creeping up on me (you know the ones:  You're not good enough.  You're ruining your children. You don't deserve this.) I take a deep breath and pray to the God who made me to hand Him my insecurities.  

When I feel the worries crashing down on me (all the what ifs! What if there's a shooter at school?  What if it's not just the chicken pox? What if, what if, what if...) I read the Scripture or sing a worship song and refocus my thoughts to truths that are steadfast regardless of what the day holds.

We live in a fearful world that's ready to amplify our worries if we let it.  But we serve a God who created the universe, and nothing is too major for Him.  

Yes, there are terrible tragedies that many of us will encounter in this life.  It sucks.  I hate it.  I do not belittle pain or grief or turmoil that we each experience.  But, my hope is that we can encourage one another to not let those fears control our minds, hearts, spirits, or actions.  

So, when you see that fear pop up in your newsfeed today - stop it in its tracks!  Text someone an encouraging word.  Hug your kid.  Kiss your husband.  High five a friend.  Take a deep breath and drive out that fear with the perfect love God has for you right now in this time and place.  

And take joy in the thought that you are wonderfully made. 


Heaven Sent: Why I Love Earth Mama Angel Baby

Friday, November 6, 2015

I recently wrote a post all about breastfeeding, where I mentioned how much I love Earth Mama Angel Baby's Natural Nipple Butter.  Since then, I've gotten to try out some more of their products and mamas, let me tell you - this stuff is heaven sent!
It's rare for me to blatantly endorse products, I save my soapbox for only things I truly love.  So, while this is only my opinion, I hope you take my review here as an honest mama's thumbs up for the following products! (I don't sell these or make any money off of this, I promise!)

I'll even send a FREE SAMPLE and $1-Off coupon
to the first 5 people who EMAIL ME,
subject line: HEAVEN SENT!

Natural Nipple Butter: This stuff is awesome - as I've already told you how it is fantastic to prevent cracked, sore nipples when breastfeeding.  But, did you know it could also be used for chapped lips, backup diaper cream, drool rash, or even as breast pump lube?  Woohoo!  I'm all for the multi-purposing of this product, and I love that it is safe for mom and baby.  Be one of the first five people to email me and you'll get a free sample!

Organic Milkmaid Tea:  Fall is here and winter is on the way - warm up your insides with this yummy tea and help your milk production at the same time!  If you are a tea lover, you'll love this.  The fennel seed gives it a slightly licorice-y flavor, which I personally like, and it would probably make a good iced tea as well if that's your preference.  While I don't exclusively use organic products, it's wonderful to know this tea is super safe for my milk production.  This sweet sipper is USDA Certified 100% Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified and Certified Kosher. I like to sip it in the morning and afternoon...and maybe with a cookie or two (shh, don't tell.)
Booby Tubes: Got ouchie tatas? You mamas gotta try these!  At first I was a bit skeptical how something gel-free could be comforting, but once I stuck these puppies in the freezer and used them after a feeding - ahhh, serious relief!  What I love most about them is that they can be used either cold (to reduce swelling or tenderness) OR hot (to promote let-down and milk flow and also prevent clogged ducts)! Again safe for mama and baby, they are natural and made with a 100% organic cotton shell and filled with all-natural flax seed.
A Little Something for Baby: My FAVORITE by far! Mamas, if you don't get this at a baby shower - buy it yourself!  This little kit is perfect to welcome a new little one into the world.  I've used mine on baby Vivian and I'm excited to take it with us over the holidays while we travel (the products are perfect for on-the-go!)  The bath products have a delicious, vanilla-orange scent that will make you want to nibble your baby all the more.  Vivi was calm and relaxed as I bathed her and lotioned her and I was thrilled to see her diaper rash disappear after a few uses of the bottom balm.  I also used the baby oil on a couple spots she developed cradle cap and it made it much easier to remove.  This kit is perfect for a gift too, so I'm thinking Santa might be putting another one in baby Viv's stocking this year!

Let me know if you have any questions about these products!  I don't sell them at all - but I'll give you my honest opinion!  You can find all these and more on the Earth Mama Angel Baby website and almost anywhere that sells baby products. Be sure to email me for a coupon!

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