I Did Not Survive “The Mommy’s Group”

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I am constantly making a joke with my friends about being a horrible mom.  I’m not really a horrible mom but I think all mothers, at some point, feel like they are.  I’m the type who takes it up a notch (a lot) with my friends to see who can trump who with the “I’m the worst mom ever” award.  Stand back, ladies … It’s all mine.  Why? Because I’m the mom who got kicked out of “The Mommy’s Group”.

Are you apart of one? You know, the private Facebook groups where all the mommies come and share their experiences, successes, failures, etc?  Yeah, I got kicked out of that.

I actually got kicked out a long time ago and didn’t realize it until I wanted to ask a question and realized that I needed to be ‘added’ in order to join.  **Insert ridiculous crying emoji and punching fist.**

I mean, I guess it makes sense.  I really don’t give a crap whether you breast feed or formula feed, homeschool or public school, vaccinate or not vaccinate, and I tried the Baby Bjorn strappy carrier thing like 2 times and it made me and my child sweat like crazy,  and couldn’t figure out how to wrap my most recent baby with the wrappy thingies that everyone is spending thousands of dollars on 18 different colors!  I don’t have a clue about essential oils (although I’m not against them), I think Mary Jane … or Matilda Jane, whatever her name is, clothes are really ugly, and I let my 7 year old watch the movie Mean Girls the other night.  I was NEVER going to survive the Mommy’s Group. NEVA!!!!

I’m not trying to hate on the mommy groups, I’m just poking fun to get to another point.

In order to be apart of this particular mommy group you had to continuously abide by their rules.  Now, their rules weren’t bad but they had the typical rules such as the “Vegas Rule … what is said here, stays here.  Fair enough.  But they also had rules where you needed to post so often and attend their outings, and some others that I obviously didn’t read or keep up with which led to my demise in the group.

I’m writing about this now because something struck my heart over the weekend.  I am a working mama.  I pretty much always have been over the past 8 years with a couple of breaks here and there.  I love working! I choose to work.  Where I live that is not the norm.

We were attending a church a while back and I hit it off so great with another mommy.  When we finally exchanged numbers we could not wait to hang out until she asked me THE question, “Do you work?” Let’s just say that particular mommy and I never hung out and not only that, but we never really talked after she found out I was a working mama.  No hard feelings, seriously.  I totally get that working mamas and stay at home mamas are on two different schedules … but really?  Just one more area where I don’t fit.  Please don’t misunderstand this as a pity party, if you’ve read any of my posts about being a misfit this just goes right in line with those.  You check out those posts here and here.

The whole point of this post and what is stirring on my heart is simply this: If I measure my mommy success by which groups accept me then I will always be a failure… maybe not at first but eventually.  I just can’t keep up.

If you allow others to set the rules and standards for your life, you will always be living up to their expectations. You will always be striving to gain their approval and what happens when you can’t keep up?  What happens when you get kicked out?

God has revealed many things to my heart during this season of life.  We constantly laugh at the fact that I couldn’t even stay accepted in the Mommy’s Group.  I could easily be a victim but I’d rather find the humor.

I pray that you’ll stop striving in this season.  Stop trying so hard to fit and force people and opportunity in your life.  Stop letting people’s opinions and standards be the driving force for your agenda.  Stop letting the fear of pleasing people take away from your God given talents and gifts.  You were made for incredible purposes.  You were designed with treasures that only YOU can offer to this word. If you are constantly conforming to the pattern and behaviors of this world, you are robbing us of all the great things you were put here to share and accomplish.  We need you, not a carbon copy of someone else.

Authenticity either draws people to you or pushes people away.  People are pushed away because your realness scares them.  Your realness stirs the realness in others and when people are not living authentic lives they are afraid your light is going to expose their darkness… and so they run.  But when people are real, your realness makes their soul leap with relief!  You know that saying, “real recognize real”?  Your authentic heart comforts their authentic heart like a warm blanket and makes them feel as though they are not alone in this world.

We need more realness, ya know?  So whether you’re in the Mommy’s group or not – you’re needed, wanted, and accepted.  Don’t miss the places and people that truly love you because you’re so focused on the ones that rejected you.  Trust me, if I can carry on, so can you.  I mean I am the one who got kicked out of the Mommy’s group.  ;o)

I’ll leave you with Romans 12:2

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

…What do we need to let God change?  Our thoughts.

You are loved!

April

Breathing

Breathing

Are you breathing? Are you breathing properly?

Did you know that 95% of people do not breathe properly?  Okay! I totally just made up that statistic so don’t EVER quote that! haha! I just figure in today’s fast paced life people are not breathing properly.

A couple of months ago I was dealing with some health problems and my chiropractor told me to practice breathing.  I can’t even begin to explain how breathing properly has changed my life forever!  When I took my first deep breath it hurt so bad because I never use my lungs to that capacity.

I’m pretty sure I have not breathed since I was a baby.  Watch how a baby breathes.  Watch their little tummies inflate and deflate.  They breathe properly.  We don’t.

So in this season I have been taking time to breathe.  Life has just gotten so busy that we’re not even breathing.  What the heck?!?!

Check out this scripture about breath:

Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. – Genesis 2:7 ESV

God breathed into our nostrils.  God spoke and other creation came to life but specifically with man, God breathed into his nostrils.  So intimate and detailed.

Take a moment to think of God putting his mouth on your nose and breathing life into you.  Close your eyes.  Imagine.  That brings tears to my eyes.  Who are we?!?!?  We were formed from dust and yet God would love us so much that He would put his mouth on our nose and breathe life into us.

Think about that in a deeper sense than just a physical lifeless human lying on the ground in need of breath.  Think of where you’re at in life right now.  Think of what God has done for you.

I know in my current season God is breathing life back into me.  Dead things come to life in His presence, ain’t that right?!?! You just can’t stay dead around Him.  That’s His thing!

I want to encourage you to breathe today.  I want to encourage you to bring the dead things in your life into His presence today.  If it’s your heart, come.  If it’s unforgiveness, come.  If it’s jealousy and envy, come.  Dead marriage, bring it! Broken relationships, yup… those too.  Prodigal children, bring ’em.  Struggles with addiction, depression, worry, … all that!  Bring those to Him.  Your relationship with Christ, definitely bring that!  He will breathe life into you and your life.

God was able to breathe fresh life into Adam because he was lifeless.  Adam wasn’t resisting.  Are you in that place?  Come. Come and receive life again.  Come and receive breath.

You are loved, valued, and worthy beyond what you could ever imagine!

April Poynter

Come Boldy

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16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. – Hebrews 4:16

Let us come boldly.  There is no more shame, guilt, or condemnation in Christ Jesus.  If those thoughts in your head are telling you that you’re pathetic, worthless, you’ll never change, you messed up again, you’re not forgiven, you’re hopeless – take those thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ.

Those thoughts are a set up to get you to run away and sit in misery.  You have a choice.  You can listen and believe those thoughts or you can listen and believe Jesus.  It is finished! He has already taken the penalty for you and for me.  Come boldly to Him.  He’s waiting for you.

You are loved!

April

The Prison of Performance

performance

Stage – a raised floor or platform, typically in a theater, on which actors, entertainers, or speakers perform.

Perform – present (a form of entertainment) to an audience.

One of my favorite field trips in school was when we visited the local theater.  I loved watching performances! I loved how the actors really owned the personality of the character they played. They would make you fall in love (or hate) their character.  My eyes would stay locked on the story and it gave me great delight to watch the story unfold.  At the end there would be a roar of applause and if it was THAT good, there would even be a standing ovation.  But then it was over.

I saw the outward show. The perfected result of much practice. The performance was for me and I felt very happy and entertained.

The problem with performance is that the gratification doesn’t last forever.  The applause and standing ovation only last a couple of minutes and then it’s over.

If you’re simply seeking the applause you’ll constantly be seeking the applause. It takes you high and then it drops you low.

This has been an ‘interesting’ season to say the least. I honestly don’t even have words to make sense out of all that’s going on in my heart.  I believe the lack of words is due to the fact that God wants me to treasure this season with my heart and not with my mouth.

From the outside people (who mean well) give me this downcast face and offer their prayers as if what I’m going through is sad or hopeless. I know they mean well so I’m not holding that against anyone. There are some BIG things that have happened but those are not the markers of this season.  The markers, the BIG DEAL MOMENTS, are what God is doing in my heart during this season.

The biggest weight lifted so far – hanging up my character suit and surrendering the performance.

When you’re not chasing the approval and applause of humans you experience freedom.

When you don’t always get it right – but instead of not getting it right or being locked up in fear because you may not get it right, you just GO, BE, DO … and trust that if you get it wrong, God will lead you back, is freeing!

There was a sweet God moment yesterday where I felt God wanted to use me and I spoke to The Holy Spirit and said, “Oh, Lord.  Let me not get in the way of what you want to do here.” and His response was, “Oh!  You’ll get in the way. But don’t worry, I won’t let you stay there long.”  = FREEDOM.

We’re going to get in the way.  We’re going to be selfish.  We’re going to have our own agendas.  Whether we mean to or not – we’re just simply bent that way, but to not fear getting in the way is freeing.  To surrender and trust that God will go before me and even clean up behind me sets my soul free.

I love how the MSG version of Romans 7: 17-25 puts it:

17-20 But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.

21-23 It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.

24 I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?

25 The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.

My whole life as a Christ follower has left me chasing the things of God rather than just chasing God alone. When we chase after the things of God those things become our idols.  We manufacture godly things and we do a lot of good stuff but we’re left tired and empty and no good for the purposes God has actually set up for us.

I don’t know about you – but if God has more, I don’t want less.  I don’t want my plans or dreams anymore.  I want His. By continuously striving for my own is saying that God’s plan isn’t as good as mine.  No – His plan is better, I just have to give up control in order to experience the fullness of His plan.  Which leaves me with one question from The Lord, “Do you trust Me?” … which leaves me with two options for an answer –  yes or no.  I’m choosing yes.  What about you?

So here’s to tossing off the cloak of performance and living life abundantly the way Jesus intended when he said, “It is finished.”

**Big inhale, big exhale** … so this is what living feels like!

Has anyone else experienced the prison of performance?  I’d love to hear from you.

Love to you!

April