Laresa Watkins

16/31 Days

Oct 16, 2017

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

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.

13/31 Days

Oct 13, 2017

I read an article last week about things that women can do to take care of themselves.  Of course there was the obligatory advice to “get plenty of sleep” and “eat nutritious food,” but there were also several paragraphs about the importance of friends. The article said that women’s brains actually release a hormone when we are around our girlfriends, and that it is relaxing and just really good for us.  (That is loosely paraphrased, of course.)

I found that really interesting and so true in my own life.  As I look back, I see that some of my very best friends today are friends that I have made since becoming a mom.  Ladies that I met at storytime or the park when I was pushing one baby in the stroller and carrying the other in my belly share memories with me that will never be forgotten.  We walked miles and miles around the park to lose baby weight, then we drove miles and miles taking our kids to museums and zoos, and we drank lots of coffee together to stay awake.

What I love most about my friends is that we can usually just look at each other and know what’s going on.  We know not to say, “You look tired,” because of course we’re all tired, and looking tired isn’t a good thing.  We know when to offer help, and when to accept help.  We know when to give advice and when just to listen.

Friends are so important for women, no matter the stage of life we’re in.  I went over to my mom’s house tonight because she might need me, and walked in to her kitchen to find it already full of her friends.  It was comforting to me that she has them, because I know they can fill a space that I just can’t.

Charles Swindoll sums it up beautifully: “I cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy. Let’s face it, friends make life a lot more fun.”



12/31 Days

Oct 12, 2017

I hope you all have a truth-telling friend.  One who just tells you like it is.  I do, and she brought it to my attention today that maybe I am not totally honest in my blog.  Well, she was maybe a little more blunt.

So I have some truths for you:

1-The other day, I wrote about the little magazine stand that the kids had at the end of the end of the driveway:

9/31 Days

Well, it was great and all, but I need to be honest about that day.  After we were out there about an hour, I found out that the police were down the road, and there was a manhunt going on.  I knew my friend (mentioned earlier) was on the way to our house to buy a magazine from Charlie and Maddie’s last picture, so we stayed out there until she came.  In my defense, I kept a very vigilant watch of the woods, and we went in the house as soon as she arrived and purchased her items.

2-Maddie is very talented.  She is good at almost everything she tries (athletically speaking), and right now is doing excellent in gymnastics.  Her dream is to try out for America’s Got Talent.  Out of all her many talents, what does she choose to do for her tryout?

She is going to make a pyramid of red solo cups.  She has been practicing all day, and is getting pretty good at it.

3-On Wednesday, we had apple pie for breakfast.  I heated it in the oven, and we even put vanilla ice cream on it.  In my opinion, fruit+dairy=breakfast.


So there are a few truths for you.  Don’t judge me.

11/31 Days

Oct 11, 2017

This year Charlie is in 3rd grade and Maddie is in 1st grade.  In addition to the workload of reading, writing, spelling, science and math that we were used to, I changed up curriculums this year, adding in history and language arts.  There is just more to do as the kids get older, and for the first time in my life I am dealing with a time management problem.

I guess it’s a good thing that I haven’t had a problem with time management until the age of 38, right?

One thing I don’t want to do is give up our field trips.  The kids love them, but I really think I love them more.  🙂  I get to see and learn new things, and hang out with my friends.  The fact that I get to count it as a school day is just a bonus.

Today we visited Homeland Creamery, a dairy farm about 30 miles from here.  We got to go on a hayride around the farm, learn how a huge dairy operation runs, see a lot of beautiful cows, and eat ice cream.

Hashtag Blessed.



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