Five Things You Can Stop Feeling Guilty About

 

 

Moms know guilt. We wear it like a tattered old sweater we refuse to part with. We carry it with us like a dark cloud that threatens our happiness. And we reluctantly but faithfully accept it from strangers, causing us second-guess our every move.

Guilt can be helpful if it causes you to be a better person. But, if you’re like me, you take on a lot of guilt that doesn’t do anything but create stress and anxiety. That’s because we feel guilty about things that don’t deserve our attention. Here are five things I’ve decided I no longer need to feel guilty about – and I’m hoping you will join me!

Five Things You Can Stop Feeling Guilty About

1. Your parenting style. Being a mom is a journey comprised of a million decisions. Breastfeed or bottle feed? Vaccinations or not? Homeschool or public school? It seems no matter what you choose, you attract critics and haters. Family, friends and total strangers weigh in on your abilities as a parent. Even your children evaluate your skills and tell you what you’re doing wrong (maybe that’s just my children!). But guess what? It’s your job to make those decisions and you’re not getting fired any time soon. God gave your children to you for a reason – and he will equip you to be the best mom you can be to them. So make your choices based on what you feel is best at the moment and don’t look back.

2. Your work choices. Are you a member of Team LeanIn or Team StayAtHomeMom? A lot of moms feel like they need to take sides. I happen to fall somewhere in the middle, which makes it difficult to have allegiance to either team. But there are some maniacal fans on both sides and they can make you question your choices. One minute you feel guilty for not being home with your children and the next minute you feel guilty for “wasting” your master’s degree. Remember, God created YOU to be unique. He has very specific plans for you – and they don’t involve following the crowd. So, take heart and know that if your choices are in alignment with God’s plan there’s no reason to feel guilty. [Read more…]

Three Traits of a NOBLE Woman [Movie Review]

NOBLE movieExcuse me while I sound a little bit Hollywood for a moment…but I had the opportunity to interview a movie director last week! Yes, I got to “hangout” with my friend Erika Marie of OneSimpleMama.com and Stephen Bradley, writer and director of the award-winning movie NOBLE. (You can watch the video of our chat here – and hear what Stephen Bradley has to say about why he chose to do the film.)

The movie features the true story of Christina Noble, a woman who survives a traumatic childhood in the slums of Ireland to travel across the globe and rescue children from the streets of Vietnam.

I have to admit, the film surprised me in several ways. I expected an uplifting story of an inspirational and selfless woman. And I figured the movie would be family-friendly and upbeat. What I discovered was the incredible journey of a beaten but determined woman, who rose above every obstacle to fulfill her mission. The story of Christina Noble isn’t pretty – but it’s powerful and purposeful.

While I doubt God’s plans for me involve traveling to Vietnam to save millions of homeless children, I learned a lot from the movie about what it takes to be a NOBLE Woman.

NOBLE-8-1024x681Three Traits of a NOBLE Woman:

A NOBLE Woman is Faithful: Christina Noble grew up in an Irish Catholic community, raised in part by nuns (who were not exactly portrayed in the most positive light in the film). Yet her faith was not expressed in the traditional Catholic manner. I don’t recall seeing her say the Rosary or the Hail Mary or even attend Mass. But there are several poignant scenes in the movie where Christina confronts God in a church and demands a response from him. Her faith was stronger than religion. It wasn’t confined to scripture and ceremony. It was real and it was raw. And it carried her through the darkest of days. It was a reminder that God wants to have a relationship with us. [Read more…]

Have an Imperfect Lent

How to have an imperfect lentI made my family chicken soup on Ash Wednesday. I don’t know what I was thinking – except that it was freezing cold outside and homemade soup sounded like a good idea. But it was Ash Wednesday. The very first day of Lent and I had already screwed up. I’m not sure how you observe Lent, but our fasting requires us to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and every Friday during Lent. Well, I typically don’t pay much attention to this requirement because I don’t eat meat anyway. But I do cook it for my family. #LentenFail

So what’s a mother to do when she’s gotten off to such an imperfect start? As W.C. Fields says, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

I admit, I don’t think I’ve ever had a “perfect Lent” – one in which I stuck to my promise of sacrifice or prayer without faltering. In fact, I shared my story with Inc. magazine this week when they profiled three entrepreneurs who use Lent to form highly effective habits. (And yes, I’m still pinching myself to see my name associated with a Christian message in a popular mainstream business publication!) But if you read closely, you’ll see me confess that I didn’t quite make it through 40 days of my Lenten practice last year. So I’m convicted to making it go better this year! Although, I’ve come to realize it will never be a perfect process.

God doesn’t expect us to be perfect. He knows we make mistakes. That’s why he sent his beloved son to save us from our sins. The only thing God expects is that when we fail, we try again. So here I am…trying again. [Read more…]