Laresa Watkins

30/31 Days

Oct 30, 2017
mommyinbonlee

A friend of mine posted some pictures on Facebook today, and the caption along with one of the pictures said something like “I’m living the life I once prayed for.”

This is so true for me.  I vividly remember my middle school self sitting on my bedroom floor, my back against my white iron daybed, holding my Bible in my lap.  It was a white KJV, and I had a hard time understanding what I was reading.  It was always clear to me, though, that I would be ok.  That my prayers for a nice life one day with a good husband and kids and a home would all be answered.  I just knew it in my heart, and I know now that God was with me every step of the way.

Now here I am, living the life I prayed for 25 years ago, and now I find myself often wondering, “And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14b, ESV) I know that these words were spoken to Esther when she was faced with saving the Jewish race, but I can’t help but feel that God also means them for me.

The reminder that I am living the days that I once prayed for gives me new perspective.  The mundane days full of teaching and cleaning and cooking and laundry don’t seem so unimportant.  God put me right here where I am for a specific purpose and this is my “such a time.”

 

23/31 Days

Oct 23, 2017
mommyinbonlee

Today was a good day. We didn’t have to go anywhere but to the post office (and may or may not have gone by Sonic for milkshakes), and the kids didn’t even take off their pajamas for that.  We got tons of school done and I got the laundry room cleaned out.  Now I’m sitting here with Jason, the windows open so we can hear the storm outside.

I love days like this, but also feel a little anxious whenever I feel like I actually have it together.  Anytime I do seem to have everything under control, a day or two later and it all goes to you-know-where.  I’m constantly reminded that I’m not the one in control here, and I’m good with that.

Fear not, for I am with you;

be not dismayed, for I am your God;

I will strengthen you, I will help you,

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

Something else I am currently feeling VERY anxious about: the kids have set up booby traps all around the house.  I have knocked over 2 cups of water when opening different doors, and when I got into bed I sat on a small, clear lego that had been strategically placed.  😮   I still couldn’t get comfortable, then finally found a plastic cup hidden in my pillowcase.  I’m not sure what else they have done…

Not sure what God’s plan is for this particular anxiety-causing fiasco, but I’m sure it’s something good?

22/31 Days

Oct 22, 2017
mommyinbonlee

He will not allow your foot to slip;
your Protector will not slumber.
Indeed, the Protector of Israel
does not slumber or sleep.
Psalm 121:3-4

 

I came upon this Bible verse this morning and it really spoke to me.  I have encountered some people lately who are on a bad path, and it reminded me of where I could be today if it weren’t for the grace of God.  Looking back at my life, I remember making so many bad choices.  The only reason that I am where I am right now is because God was watching over me.  He was with me every step of the way, pulling me out of the pit over and over again.

If you’re struggling right now, I want to encourage you: just trust in Jesus.  He’ll get you right where you need to be.  He doesn’t rest or sleep or take a break from taking care of you.  Even if you’re making bad choices like I did, he’ll use those bad choices for good if you let him.

It’s such a relief to just believe in him.  Believe that he is Jehovah Rahh (our shepherd), Jehovah Rapha (our healer), Jehovah Shammah (he is here), Jehovah Jireh (he will provide), and Jehovah Shalom (he is peace).

He is all of those things and more.

16/31 Days

Oct 16, 2017
mommyinbonlee

My MOMS group is a small, fabulous group of women. We come from diverse backgrounds, have varying goals and dreams, and run our households differently, but we are bonded together by the great equalizer of motherhood.

As part of a meeting that we had a couple of years ago, we were challenged to list five things that only we could do. Just five things. Doesn’t seem too hard, huh? But when I brought up the question that had been asked of us (What are five things only you can do?), I was met with silence and blank stares. No one started furiously writing as I had expected, no intense conversations began between this group of deep, thoughtful women.

I tried to give them ideas, but they were shot down one after another.

“Could anyone mother your children like you do?” I asked.

“Sure,” one woman answered. “My mom could do it.”

“What about being a partner to your husband?” I suggested, “I’m sure no one else could do that.”

Another woman said, “He could find another wife.”

I said to a friend known for her fabulous pound cake, “No one else could make a pound cake like you.”

“Actually,” she responded with a laugh, “I put the recipe on Facebook yesterday. Anyone could make that pound cake.”

I had nothing to say. My mind was blank, because I myself couldn’t answer the question. Is there anything I uniquely do that no one else could ever do?

“We don’t think highly enough of ourselves, ya’ll,” I half-joked, moving on in defeat to the next question.

When I got home that day, I started an experiment. Every single thing I did, from common chores to playing with my children to talking on the phone with a friend who had a problem, I asked myself, could anyone else do this?

Sometimes the answer was yes. I laughed to myself as I balled up my husband’s underwear and shoved them in his drawer, thinking that he wouldn’t have any trouble finding a woman who could do this chore better than me. As I heated up bowls of instant oatmeal in the microwave, I knew that my kids would gladly welcome someone who made better breakfasts than me.

But I also found things I do that I knew could never be replicated by anyone else. Like the time Maddie and I spend together in the mornings, curled up on the couch under a blanket, me doing my devotion while she watches Scooby Doo. Or fixing the perfect cup of coffee for my husband every morning (It has taken me 15 years to do it right, so I seriously doubt anyone else could ever replicate it!). Or sharing Charlie’s excitement over a silly joke that no one else finds funny.       

As moms, I think we tend to downplay what we do every day, thinking that anyone could perform the mundane tasks we perform, but realizing that every one of us is unique is very important.

No one else could ever love our children like we do. Sure, other people could provide for their physical needs, but we were specifically created to raise those little people.

No one else could be the partner that we are to our husbands. We were made for them. No one else could ever team with them the way we do to live the lives we have created together.

No one else could do our mission work the way we do it. Whether it’s homeschooling, sharing the love of Jesus with someone at our job, helping an elderly person grocery shop, baking pound cakes for our sick neighbors, or leading a Sunday School class, no one else could do it like we do, and there is a possibility that it wouldn’t happen at all if we didn’t do it.

Ladies, what if we realize our worth? What if we acknowledge our importance? That there are some things that only we could ever do?

Would we perhaps be braver? Would we go about our mornings with a different attitude, knowing that the cup of coffee we pour is important in how our husbands start the day and that no one else could do it right? Would we consider the time spent cuddling on the couch imperative for our children, and understand that no other woman could take our place? Would we do our mission work with a different attitude knowing that without us, this work of God would not get done in the same way?

Knowing that we’re the only one is scary, but empowering. Let’s be brave, own our worth, and see what happens. What if….

15/31 Days

Oct 15, 2017
mommyinbonlee

I have written on mom guilt before:

Letting Go of Mommy Guilt

This was 3 1/2 years ago, and I while my mom-guilt is so much better (a result, I am sure, of better sleep and generally improved sanity) it still pops up sometimes.

Yesterday I felt guilty because we didn’t go to a festival in a nearby town.  We went to a dairy farm last week, spent several days either at friend’s houses or with friends here, and this week we’re going to the fair one day, zoo another, and pumpkin farm another.  WHY, then, do I feel guilty that I am not providing my children with this fall festival experience?

Is it because I have friends who took their kids and posted the pictures all over Facebook and Instagram? Or because I made the kids stay home and clean their rooms instead? Or because the real reason we didn’t go is because I just didn’t want to leave the house? I really don’t know.  I just know that I felt it.

I have to go back to the verse that I used in my first mom-guilt blog post:

“The thief’s purpose is to steal and

kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich

and satisfying life.”

John 10:10 (NLT)

Such a relief to remind myself that every day I have is a blessing, and God means for every day to be rich and satisfying.  Maddie and I thanked God tonight in our prayers for all of our blessings, that we have each other and that we get to do so many great things.

I’m just going to hang onto that.

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