Saturday, January 23, 2016

New Website

I am excited to announce my new website, tynealewis.com. All of these posts can be found there, and I look forward to sharing more encouraging words. Please join My Momma's Heart at tynealewis.com.


Monday, January 11, 2016

This Year I'll Be A Better Mom

A letter to my daughters…

Happy New Year, sweet girls!

I know I have let you down this past year, and I’m truly sorry. Please forgive me for the times I was not the mother God wanted me to be. Forgive me for those times I was too tired to play what you wanted, those times I told you, “Give me one more minute,” those times I put work above you, when I took out my frustration on you, for not wanting to get up with you in the middle of the night, those times I was not respectful to your dad, and for wanting more time to myself.

I’m sorry you had to see that side of me. I’m sorry for being selfish.

You are each an incredible blessing in my life, and I know I don’t always show that. This year I will. This year I will hug you a little tighter, read another book before bed, soak up the smell of your freshly shampooed hair, and love on you a little more. I will not rush from one thing to the next. When you want or need my attention, I will gladly give it, and I will appreciate each memory we make, because I realize our time together is not going to last forever.

One day you will move out. You might have a family of your own, and I want you to be the best wife and mom you can be, and I know that starts right now by me setting the example.

I will live this year in the moment, for there were too many times that passed by last year where I was preoccupied with something else. I will say yes to the simple things in life and no to the things that pull me away from you. I will love you with a fierce love so you know how much you are cared for, adored, and appreciated. I will be the light that God has called me to be in your life so you can see him, know him, and love him.

I will love on your dad in front of you a little more. My tone with him will be much sweeter, and I will show respect so you know how to treat your husbands in the future. I will make family a priority each and every day because this is what truly matters. When you have families of your own one day, I want them to be a great value to you, and I know that starts by me showing it now.

This year is going to be a year for more love, laughs, hugs, and memories. I thank God for you every day, but this year I’m going to thank him even more and soak up everything I can, because this year you will grow more and more. My time with you is becoming less, so it’s about time to make these moments filled with more love and joy.

When you look back on your childhood, I hope you remember the love that was shown to you. I pray that I am a godly example of a wife and a mother. Each year is a chance to start fresh, but we are also given that opportunity every day.

Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Each day I fail as a mother, but God’s grace is there to meet me when I have fallen. How precious is that grace! How much of a blessing it is to start fresh.

Each morning I am going to find a way to be a better mom to you. Each of you is a blessing. Never forget that, sweet girls! And neither shall I.

Love,

Momma

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Comparison Game

The comparison game. Oh, boy!

Do I play it? Unfortunately, yes, all too often. How about you?

I’m in the midst of that struggle right now.

Her house is so much bigger…and clean ALL the time. My tiny house always has something out of place and crumbs everywhere.

Her clothes are gorgeous. How does she ALWAYS look that nice? I have spit-up on my clothes just about every day.

Her kids are so well behaved. How do they listen to EVERYTHING she says? My toddler turns to me and says, “Nah,” and gives me those defiant eyes.

Her marriage is perfect. They NEVER have arguments. I feel like a broken record asking my husband to pick up his socks.

Anyone else feel like everyone but you has it together? I sure do. It's all too easy to see the best of people and compare it to the worst of us.

Think about social media. Every day pictures and comments are posted that reflect the best parts of people’s lives: a newly remodeled room, an outfit that looks stunning, children getting along in perfect unity, and a smiling spouse posing in the perfect vacation spot.

When we focus on what other people portray to us, it’s easy to feel like we’ve failed. Since we know our own failures, it feels like we are never going to be good enough.

When we compare people's best to our worst, we're always going to feel like we don't measure up. ALWAYS. And when we get stuck there, it feels like no matter what we do is never going to be good enough.

What we don't see behind the “perfection” of someone else is the mess of dirty dishes in that newly remodeled kitchen, the struggle to find that perfect outfit because she's still trying to lose the baby weight, the following picture of her toddler pushing the baby sister flat on her face, and the argument that happened in the car that made her want to forget about even going on the vacation.

None of us have it all together. Some of us are just better at hiding that truth than others. But I wish we didn’t have to mask it. If we were more open about it maybe the comparison game would stop.

Let me tell you, my two year old put Aquaphor all through her hair on the day we were getting Christmas pictures taken. You have got to be kidding me. While it feels like stuff like that doesn’t happen to anyone else, I know it does.   

I fail every single day. And if you’re honest, you do too, but that’s what makes us human, and that’s what bonds us together on this journey. Instead of comparing what we have or don’t have, let’s share our hearts with those around us. Let’s be honest with each other. 

Let’s show the good, the bad, and the ugly of our lives instead of pretending we have it all together.

Ending the comparison game brings much needed rest and joy to our lives.

A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. (Proverbs 14:30 NIV)

I want a heart at peace. Don't you?

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Are You Passionate About What You Do?

Are you passionate about what you do? Do you love getting up in the morning to do your job well?

I can’t say I always have.

When I was in high school, I generally dreaded Saturday mornings because that meant going to work. What happened to the days of enjoying a weekend?  

When I finally got to college, there were days I didn’t want to go to class. Why did I have to spend that time studying when I just wanted to get out in the real world?

But once I was out in the real world, I wished to be back at college, where life seemed so much easier. The stress of each day made me look forward to the time I would get to be a stay-at-home mom. That was the plan, after all, and that’s what I eagerly anticipated.

But you know what? I can’t say I’ve been thrilled every single day that I’ve stayed at home and taken care of every need of my girls and the house. Why doesn’t the sink stay empty for more than two hours? Why do I never see the bottom of the hamper? Why is there always dirt on the floor?

Discontentment. It has been strewn throughout my life.

It’s a song I no longer want to sing.

I have been more than blessed in every season of life, yet the natural reaction has been to look at the difficulties in the situations and yearn for something else instead of looking at all the good that surrounds me.

The problem is that I’m looking to the things around me to bring fulfillment in my life, which is only going to continue to leave me empty. God is the only one who can fill any hole in my heart.

I also neglect to work for God.

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters" (Colossians 3:23).

Our work, no matter what it is, should be done for the Lord.

God has placed me right where I am for an incredible purpose.

Sometimes it doesn’t seem magnificent to be wiping butts, mopping up spill after spill, and walking on crumbs all day long, but if I look past all that, I see what truly matters. I am raising two beautiful children to know God. I have the privilege of pointing them to Him. I have the responsibility of pouring into the lives of these little girls because one day they are going to pour into the lives of others. I am building a legacy within my home.

There is nothing more important than that.

Sure, I don’t get to sleep in. I don’t always get to eat a hot meal. And I can’t do what I want when I want, but those smiles, hugs, and sparkling eyes make it all worth it.

I remember the first time I heard our oldest daughter pray on her own. We had no idea what she said, but God knew her heart, and mine swelled with joy. Her relationship with God was taking shape. What an incredible thing to witness. This is the most important work I will ever do, and I am blessed to be called a mother.

It’s time to stop looking at what I’m missing out on and start focusing on what God is using me for in this moment.

There’s nothing ordinary about it.

Whether you make six figures, minimum wage, or nothing at all, know that God has called you to be right where you are. He has an incredible plan for your life and for the lives of the people you interact with every day.

Don’t forget the incredible power God displays through ordinary people. It matters. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

When Life Is A Blur

When I was in high school, I played field hockey. Being on the field made me forget about everything else. I didn’t worry about my grades. I didn’t worry about the guy I had a crush on. I wasn’t thinking about the upcoming weekend. I was consumed by the game. That’s where my thoughts were focused.

On more than one occasion I acquired an injury during a game. The extent of it wasn’t revealed until I sat on the bench. Only then, once my adrenaline was no longer pumping, could I assess my wounds. My focus changed because I was quiet.

Some days I feel like I have tunnel vision. When I played field hockey, I could only think about getting that ball in the net. These days, my thoughts are consumed with my day to day responsibilities. My thoughts are focused on my young children and all their needs. Some days I’m drowning in laundry, play-doh, spit-up, and tears.

Sometimes life feels like a blur. These are the longest and shortest days, all at the same time.

I need to be still. I need to pull myself away from all of the demands calling my name, and I need to sit at the feet of Jesus. I need to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and I need to be instructed by our Father. I need to take the time to assess my wounds because they need treated before I can get back in the game.

“…Be still, and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10)

Oh, it’s so hard to be still.

This past weekend I was on a retreat, and we had an hour where we spent alone with God. No Bible. No notebook. No nothing. Just us in front of our heavenly Father. It wasn’t easy, but it was needed. It was refreshing.  It was eye-opening.

Did I get to take in the beauty of creation? Yes.

Did I get to pray, pray, and pray? Yes.

Was I convicted of certain things? Yes.

Did I leave perfect? Absolutely not, but I was bandaged.

Won’t you join me and be still before God? Even if it’s for five minutes. Even if it means staying in the bathroom a couple extra minutes. Let’s quiet our hearts so our lives can be illuminated instead of blurred.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Bragging On Your Hubby

I have a Facebook friend who regularly posts pictures of her and her husband, sharing what he means to her and how proud she is of him.

It makes me think about my own relationship. My husband brags on me all the time. 

Sometimes it makes me want to slink back into the corner because I don't want the limelight. All eyes on me is uncomfortable.

Even though my cheeks brighten and I feel a little embarrassed, I do like that he wants others to know what he loves about me or what I've done that's so impressive to him.

But do I do it for him?

With my head held in shame, I must say that I don't. I should. And I will. He's incredible. After all, he puts up with my craziness.

The other night I had a note sitting on my desk from him. I had to chuckle because it was folded using that famous middle school fold, but inside were not the words of a seventh grader. They were words of encouragement from my dear husband. Simple words, but heart stirring words.

He is my biggest fan. He is my voice of reason. He’s my blessing from God. I want him to feel the same about me.

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. (Proverbs 31:10-12 NIV)

When my husband thinks of me, I want him to see me as worth more than rubies. I want him to have confidence in me, and I desire to bring him good. Every. Single. Day.

What does that good look like? An encouraging word? A selfless act? Cooking his favorite meal? Being the wife that God has called me to be, the wife my husband needs.

The challenge I have for myself and every other wife is to brag on your hubby. He desires it, and I guarantee relationships will be strengthened.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Covering Our Children In Prayer

My oldest daughter’s second birthday is quickly approaching. I stop and reflect on the past two years and how much has changed. On this day two years ago, I was pregnant. My husband and I had no idea how drastically life was going to change. We had no idea how much joy and love was about to fill our hearts (and how many dirty clothes would spill from the laundry basket).

I remember wondering how she would look. Whose features would she have? What type of personality was going to shine through? Who was she going to become? What type of mother was I going to be? So many questions floated through my head because everything was unknown.

The future is still unknown, but it is unfolding before our eyes every day. Almost two years of her life are in the rearview mirror, and what precious memories we hold in our hearts.

It makes me think about when we were expecting her. Before my husband and I would go to bed each night, we would pray over her. We had no idea who she was at that moment, other than our precious child who was already loved beyond words. We knew God had and has a plan for her, and we wanted to lift her up to him.

The power of prayer is real, and I’m going to take every opportunity to cover my children in it. I’m going to pray for them as they’re small. I’m going to pray for them when they grow into young adults. And I’m going to continue to pray for them when the time comes for them to have their own families.

I’m going to pray for them when they do something that makes me proud and when they frustrate me. When they’re near and when they’re far. When I’m the most important thing to them and when they think I’m the worst. I’m going to pray for them without ceasing.

Won’t you join me and pray for your children as well?

Lord,

Thank you for the blessing of my children. You have an incredible plan for each one of their lives, and you have placed me on that path to help them grow and discover how you can use them. I am not equipped to raise them on my own. I need your wisdom to bring them up in a way that is pleasing to you. You know their needs better than I do.

I don’t measure up. Many times I fail, and it seems like other moms have it together. I know they struggle too, but sometimes it’s hard to see. Calm my heart and keep me from comparing myself to what I see with my human eyes. I’ve messed up so many times as a parent and as a wife. Please cover those moments with your grace.

I know the seasons of this life change, and the needs of my children change as they grow. I ask for wisdom and resources to meet their needs in each season. Help me to stay grateful and appreciative through the frustrating moments. Each step of this journey is part of your amazing plan.

My heart longs for my children to know you. I pray that you will reveal yourself to them and show them the incomparable love you have for each one. I want their faith to be their own, not something they feel forced into. I want them to know you intimately. I want them to want to follow you all the days of their lives. Open their hearts. Open their arms to serve you. Guide them as only you can.

Help me to show them love, support, and understanding. Lord, take away my own expectations of parenting so you can shine through. Let me be a vessel for your truth that needs to be spoken into their lives, and I ask for eyes to see them the way you do.

You have graciously given each one special gifts. I need the wisdom to know how to help them use these gifts to honor you. Do incredible things in their lives individually, and I ask that you use our family to be a light in this dark world.

May I be transparent when it comes to my walk with you so that I can set an example for them. Even in the midst of struggles, failures, and mistakes, may they see your grace, love and forgiveness.

Thank you for entrusting these children to my care. With your strength and wisdom I will embrace the path laid out before me. Thank you for always being present in my life. I watch with anticipation as you reveal yourself to my children, and I thank you for using them to reveal yourself to me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.