Jesica Swanson: Adios


Today when Sara opened up the floor to share about MOPS, I couldn’t even THINK of getting out of my chair without tears springing to my eyes. How could I share all the ways MOPS changed me, and my children for the better, without crumbling into a sobbing heap on the carpet? Obviously I couldn’t.

It’s too much to think of all the women, mentors, sisters, friends, volunteers who have given so much to me, when I came with so little to offer back? I think back to all those I’ve labored with in countless meetings, FB chats, group text messages and phone calls. We’ve shared tears, prayers, laughter, frustration, defeat, victory, and encouragement and it has left my life so incredible more full than it was 6 years ago. I’ve grown, but more than that, I’ve seen others grow. We’ve seen death, divorce, dysfunction and we’ve seen life, reconciliation, restoration. God has been faithful in each life, in each sorrow, in each joy, in each theme, and in each meeting.

MOPS is not magical, but it has provided a recipe for connection. It has given me sisters. It has given me mothers. It has made me feel the sting of conviction when someone shares something that challenges me. It has given me hope, when I was pretty sure I was the very worst mom/wife/friend of all time. It has made me feel like the dumpiest girl in the room (because we all have those days when everyone else seems to have it together) and it has made me feel like the prettiest girl in the room (because some days I actually did my hair, wore a non-boogered shirt, and brushed my teeth all in the same morning and someone noticed!). I have come empty and left filled. I have come filled and able to empty myself out to encourage someone else. It has given me a place to find my gifts and to grow in them. It gave me a place to be me, during a season when I had forgotten who I was. However, the very best thing God has given me through MOPS are my people. They know me at my worst and my best. They love me, they support me, they call me out, and they are better than a therapist. They are one of God’s overwhelmingly good gifts to me.

MOPS has been more than I ever thought it would be.

As a MOPS senior, it is only fitting to leave with my final will.  So, MOPS underclassmen, I will you the ability to be vulnerable and honest about the hard parts of this season and the good parts of this season. I will you the privilege of mourning with one another and rejoicing with one another. I will you the ability to give at least one person a compliment at every meeting. I will you the strength to leave your sobbing child in the arms of a loving volunteer and the knowledge that they will be ok (eventually). I will you leaders, the ability to leave it all on the table, when you serve. The ability to let your yes be yes, and your no be no. I will you the confidence to lean into your gifts and watch God use them in amazing ways. I will you the ability to keep going, when you don’t know if you can, because at least one mom will be changed for the better because of your selflessness. I will each of you the joy of the sisterhood of mothering, the grace to know you all will have that day, that kid, that hot mess of a moment and the kindness to allow everyone else to have theirs, too. Most of all, I will you the deep knowledge that you are loved and that you are enough.

With love and deep affection for you all,


Jan Roberson: The Strawberry Garden


We have a “garmungus” garden, to quote one of my very young friends. My husband is an avid gardener. He does the bulk of the work (because he loves growing things) and I reap the benefits. It’s a pretty good deal!


My one responsibility is the strawberry patch. My husband transplanted all of the plants to the space where he formally grew vegetables. It was a bigger space so the strawberry plants can grow and expand. I am in charge of weeding and picking this patch.


Early on in that first season, my strawberry patch was full of “former occupants”. There were cilantro plants in profusion, dill, volunteer potato plants; poppy plants galore, and, of course, weeds. I worked at pulling these things out every once in a while…not being the avid gardener my husband is. I also left quite a few cilantro plants to grow and give away.


When the strawberries were ripe, I easily saw the reason for weeding and getting rid of the other plants. The cilantro was so tall that I couldn’t see the berries of some plants; the poppies multiplied in profusion and grew tightly around the strawberries; the potato plants had large, thick tubers in the soil; and the weeds were going to seed. I tried pulling out some cilantro and accidently pulled out some strawberry plants because they were so closely connected. Many of the berries were hidden under layers of different sorts of plant leaves.


As I worked on this mess, I thought about the phrase, “The good is often the enemy of the best”. Never have I seen this so vividly illustrated as in my garden! Dill is good, Cilantro is good, Potatoes are good, and Poppies are good….but they are not the best things in a strawberry patch! We grow those things in other parts of our garden…this patch is meant to produce strawberries in abundance!


I needed to concentrate on and care for the strawberries, because they were the crop we wanted in that space. The other “good” plants had become enemies to the “best” plant for this section of the garden.


Wow. How often in my life do I do this? Take on all sorts of things without evaluating them? Are they the best things to do right now? Time is a valuable commodity, which becomes more valuable with age (my age). I want to be about what the Lord has for me right now, right here. I want to follow His lead for my life. I want to keep my ‘strawberry patch’ pure and available for His purposes.


The good is often the enemy of the best. I want to focus and concentrate on the best that God has for me right now; to tend the garden He has given me and do it very well.


Jillian Morrissey – We Can’t Afford Any More Diapers

hands-purple-child-holding-largeWe can’t afford any more diapers

It’s a lie of course, but I am desperate. I’m not above lying to a 3 year old. If you have potty trained a child who just doesn’t care, you will understand. This girl knew how to use the potty a YEAR ago and now prefers to just pee while she plays. I’m developing a nervous twitch. I will say almost anything at this point.

Here is where I came up with this lie.

Apparently I have always been a very frugal gal. As the story goes, when my little brother came along about a year and a half after I was born, my parents sat me down for a talk. They explained that he needed diapers and there was only money for one child to wear these things. There were only a few left, then I would be expected to use the potty. Apparently this seemed very reasonable to my 1 ½ year old self. It seemed, if they would have just mentioned that stupid diapers cost money, I would have given them up long before.

I really tried to sell this lie to her.

“There is no more money for diapers!”

“The new baby needs to wear diapers.”

“You’re such a big girl!”

“I’ll give you treats if you just poop in the potty!”

Please, sweet Jesus, just let her poop in the potty. I really don’t know how many more times I can bring myself to wipe poop off her giant man-child sized bottom. I even upped the ante; “If we buy diapers, then we won’t be able to buy treats!”

All to no avail…

I’m really thankful it’s a lie. I’m thankful we can afford to diaper this 35lb child well into Kindergarten. Do I want to spend $2 a day to wipe poo off her butt? Heck No! But, we can afford to. When my parents said it to me, I’m not sure it was a lie.

In a week or so, she might call my bluff. The true test of the lie will be my willingness to start putting her in undies. That, and washing an extra two loads of laundry a day.

Say a prayer for me.

Kayla Wells: Flourishing in the Spring

SplitShire_IMG_1308-768x512British moral philosopher, Bernard Williams, is credited with this saying, “The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day He created spring.”  In most cultures spring, as a season, signifies a renewal and a hope for future. It is a sign that the world will flourish beyond the cold and harsh months of winter.

Spring is a gradual warming that overcomes the cold and slowly melts the snow. The sun is slowly, one day at a time, in the sky a little longer, allowing for new growth. Things which were dormant in order to survive, begin to slowly test their surroundings. Trees begin to bud. Flowers begin to rise above the ground. The thing about spring is that it is a gentle season. It is an in-between the harshness season. A season for small steps forward.

As I have been studying about the things which make life a pleasant thing, hope (or the spring) is the one thing that I keep coming back to. Thanks to Jesus there is hope. 2 Corinthians 4:16 (NIV) says,”Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” Spring, flourishing, becoming new, it’s all about knowing that we are gradually blooming into what we are meant to be. We must remember that life is not one single year. Life is not one gathering of 4 seasons, but years of season after season. Often some seasons are longer than others. Some periods are fun and filled with bright happiness, some are filled with closings and endings. Some are dark, cold, and bitter, but the spring comes over and over too, renewing us once again.

So, if you are in a dormant winter, take heart sisters. Spring is coming. It might look like tiny little buds, mere moments that are happy and shine a little more light than the day before. In my opinion, life is found not in the extreme seasons. For me it’s all about the spring. It’s all about allowing ourselves to rise in the Son.





Kayla Wells is a member of Bigfork MOPS and former MOPS leader.  She is married to Dan and is a mom to three. You can find her at Mommy’s Soapbox.

Ida Fischer: 100% Qualified

48URC0M7Y2There are always moments as a parent when your shortcomings and weaknesses seem to overshadow the good you do. And sometimes it feels like a child’s actions are meant purely to drive you over the edge, push you to your outer limits where patience and kind words seem very, very far away. It feels so hard to react in a way that builds up, that shows love, when you yourself are at your wit’s end. At moments like these you might pause, eyes wide in fear and awful revelation: ‘Oh (mild expletive). I’m a bad parent. I’m ruining my kid.’ But you aren’t. Really. You are absolutely and by all means the very best parent out there for your children and here’s why:

You put in the time.

It’s as simple as that. That adrenaline loaded moment of pure ecstasy when your wide awake new born gazes up into your eyes passes, or that euphoric moment when you hold your adoptive son or daughter for the first time, and then it starts: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week of blood sweat and tears. Sure, you might return to work but mentally you are still 100% on duty. You are the one that gets to know every weird little tick and tendency. You can differentiate cries in the night. Cries of pain from cries of frustration or pleas for attention. You can see a fight between siblings brewing from a mile off. You know what kind of quiet you have to watch out for. You know exactly what your 2 year old is saying. You know more than you’d like to about their bowel movements. The list goes on and on.

Recently I got a call from the school nurse. My daughter, who had broken her leg, was juggling flags in PE class and, forgetting for a moment, jumped to catch one and came down on her broken leg. It hurt and she panicked, she was so terrified that she’d hurt it worse. The nurse sounded irritated when she called, my daughter had already been sitting in her office for 1/2 hour and wasn’t calming down; could I come get her. There was also blame; ‘she should know better, she shouldn’t be participating in the first place.’ When I arrived there she was, waiting for me in a chair by the front office looking small and scared. And oh, her eyes welled up and her lip quivered, ‘I want to go home with you.’

And I knew exactly what to do. I knew that it was more fear than pain. I knew her over-developed sense of responsibility was crushed and she felt like she’d messed up bad. I knew she didn’t need words from me – no more words – just my arms wrapped around her and my love flowing through her, accepting her. I felt her lean into me, we sat quietly for a moment then she picked up the book she’d been looking at. ‘Can I finish the book before I go back to class? It’s a funny one.’ And that was that. We finished the book, she took my hand and I walked her back to class.QIV7VQGW7K

When I came back by the office, I thanked the nurse for calling me and explained that she’d gone back to class. The nurse looked surprised, she’d given up. And that, my friends, is the power we have as moms. The power of knowing someone through and through. We truly can – and do- sweep in and save the day on a regular basis. Just like a super hero. So next time you are doubting yourself or your abilities as a parent, remember that beyond the innate love and connection that binds us to our kids, we’ve put in the time; enough hours to be considered an expert in the field. We’ve got battle wounds that have healed but left scars. We’ve sacrificed so much, and we’ve got heads so jam-packed full of knowledge of our children that other regular things (like remembering what you went upstairs for) slip our minds continually. But the things that truly matter are there for good.

Granted, it’s a steep learning curve but you are qualified, 100%, for this job. Don’t ever forget it.


Ida Fischer is a MOPS alumna.   She is married to Maarten and mother to Sam (10), Noa (8), and Mylo (5). She enjoys everything outdoors, reading, and spending time alone to paint. You can find her blog and artwork at Ida Fischer Art and Illustration.

Jan Roberson: Agape


Agape; Greek verb meaning to love.

JQBY35SC9KWe are approaching Valentine’s Day, a day that Hallmark cards created to celebrate love…especially that of couples. (Does that sound cynical?) It’s a day that my single adult children hate (I remember feeling the same). A day that finds some wives disappointed in their Prince Charming because he just doesn’t get it. A day, like most holidays, that the grieving and lonely hurt more.

Or, it’s a fun day of giving and receiving cards and candy and flowers. A fun day of hearts and kisses. A day of bringing treats and valentines to school. A day of thinking of others.

Regardless of how each of us approaches this particular holiday of expressing love, one fact remains: we are loved. Each of us, individually. You are loved. Even if you don’t feel loved. You are loved.

This week I was studying the book of Ephesians in the Bible. I looked up a word in the Greek with all of its definitions and references. The word was love. The Greek has several words for love, but this one is usually reserved for describing God’s kind of love.

I have known about this verb for a long time, but I was struck anew as I read this definition. To love (agape style): To delight; finding one’s joy in someone; regard with strong affection; to esteem; to direct the will to love someone; willful direction to love.

The Bible repeatedly uses this word about God toward us. God delights in us. God finds joy in us. God regards us with strong affection. God willfully directs His love to us.

Not only this, but also we find in the Bible that God is the source of all love. He is love. He cannot deny His character of love; love is who He is and what He does.

You may not believe the Bible or believe in God; you may or may not go to church; you may or may not have been raised in a loving home; you may or may not feel loved by family and friends. None of this changes the fact that you are personally loved by God, the maker of the Universe.

I have found that people everywhere respond to love. When a person knows and feels loved, they act differently. They seem more positive, more confident. And a person who is loved seems to find it easier to love. Love spills out and makes more love.OV26AOMUMI

God’s love is not the garden variety of the word love that is thrown out everywhere for everything. God’s love is powerful and life-changing. This is the essence of the gospel, the Good News about Jesus Christ. God is love and He has poured out this love and affection and delight on all of us.

There is a caveat: Do we choose this love or not? We can stand under that beautiful, powerful waterfall of unfailing love or we can look at it from a distance. We get to decide. This is where it starts.

“This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” I John 4:10



Jan Roberson has been a mentor in the Bigfork MOPS for 8 years. She has taught in public and private schools, homeschooled and has been a private tutor. Dan and Jan have two adult children, Caitlin and Nathaniel, and have lived in the Flathead Valley for more than 20 years.

Jesica Swanson: Clinging to Hope

What a beautiful life I have been given, full of dear friends, 35 years of living under my belt. I simultaneously feel young and old. The words of Solomon ring loudly in my ears. “For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.”(Ecclesiastes 1:18) The more life I live, the more people I treasure, the more I experience broken heartedness, financial strain, and anxiety. It seems 2015 was a banner year for those stressors. As my calendar neared it’s yearly end, I found myself feeling extremely optimistic about what 2016 might hold. I was hopeful that it would be a truly NEW year. My optimism bubble was promptly burst as I sat in the auto body repair shop waiting for an estimate on the 5th of January.

WBRQODG12L2016 didn’t start out shiny and fresh. I have heard more stories of hurt, divorce, loss, and worry. I look out my window to the grey, rainy day and feel like the weather reflects my spirit. I feel grey. The brightness has gone. It’s too early to think of summer, but to far into winter to feel excited about more snow.

It’s depressing.

I’m depressed.

I want a simple fix for this heartache, for this weariness. Why does it seem that I only find the daily drudgery of the routines of life?

I’m a person that needs to have something to look forward to. It helps keep me moving from one point to another. In the past I’ve been motivated by a girls weekend away, or trip to see family out of state. When I was in the madness of the littlest babies in my home, I would look forward to Fridays, when my husband was home. I looked forward to taking a real shower and even sneaking a nap. Having hope has always been a marker of my life, even when I was in extremely hard situations, but somehow I have lost that. Being an adult is not easy and it certainly hasn’t been fun the past year. In many ways it has felt like the things that I had pinned my hopes on were sabatoged by real life and responsibility.

Proverbs 13:12 says “Hope deferred makes the heart sick…” That was my 2015 in a nutshell. Heartsick.

The truth is, I still need hope. Likely, we all need hope.

Whether it is the hope that our child will finally use the potty consistently or that the amount we make will be enough to cover the expense of our essentials. We might hope our husbands see our needs or that we meet a friend that “gets” us. We might hope we get pregnant or that we can just keep the kids we have alive.

Hope is essential.

So I’ve started searching. (Cue thank you speech to Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts)

I search for hope now, more than ever. I’m like the greedy magpie that steals cat food from our deck. I am sneaking around, watching from my perch, looking for the morsel of hope in each day.

This week it has come unexpectedly.

  • My 5 year old daughter, belly laughing in the car as she burps in the mirror, while we wait for her brother to get out of school.
  • My son, reading with fluency one more chapter, willingly, while we snuggle, side by side on the couch.
  • PNFSQE66VDMy husband, who has not always understood my subtle hints, bringing me a fresh, bright bouquet home from the grocery store.
  • Two friends gathered in my home, seeking with me the good gifts in our lives and understanding the hard places in between.

Has being an adult gotten easier this week? Nope. In fact I just had 4 cavities filled and don’t have dental insurance. Adulting is hard, but maybe if I can look for just enough hope for this day, then I can become convinced, again, that God is faithful. He is, of course, I just don’t always feel it.

So, I keep my eyes open and I am beginning to see that he does bring enough hope for each day. And, if he can bring enough hope for each day, he can certainly bring enough hope for each month, each season, each year, and each trial. I’ve decided to put into practice Psalm 147:11, “The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.” I am certain He owes me nothing, He gave me all He had on the cross, but I can find hope in His steadfast love. I can find hope in the millions of little things that show His love to me each day.

Maybe 2016 won’t be the year I get my stuff together, or the year I make a large deposit in my IRA, or even the year that joy comes easily, but it is to be hoped that 2016 will be the year I learn to hope again.



Jesica Swanson is wife to Norse and mother to Boden & Isley. She’s a big fan of marriage, wholehearted friendships, and loud laughter. While still trying to figure out her marketable skill set, she spends her time goofing off in Montana and writing candidly about spiritual life, marriage, motherhood, fun books and music, and whatever else pops into her head at .


Jillian Johnsrud-Morrissey: Small Goals

Bill Gates is quoted as saying, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”

I love the new year. I love the fresh start and the feeling of limitless possibilities. It can be tempting to over shoot in our New Year resolutions. Charlie Munger was a friend and business partner of Warren Buffet, and had the theory that everyone should work for themselves for an hour a day. Instead of just investing time for other people or organizations, an hour a day should be set aside to create something for yourself. As a mom with 4 little kids at home and one about to be born (tomorrow!), I feel like an hour is a bit ambitious.

Maybe 5 minutes? Maybe 5 minutes total, because sometimes 5 consecutive minutes can be hard to come by. What if we didn’t attempt to change our whole life in one year? Instead we focus on starting a habit. We find 5 minutes a day to set a trajectory for our year. Will it get us to total victory by 2017? No, but we are laying ground work and building habits that will change our path. Let us not despise the small things.

How about we set goals so small we can’t fail? Goals that take 5 minutes or less a day. So to lower the bar even more (remember baby is coming tomorrow!), let’s just pick one. After a month or two of feeling victory after victory from achieving our tiny goals, we could add 1 more. Here a few that I already have and a few that I recently added just for some tiny goal inspiration.

smoothieHeath: drink 1 green smoothie a day. Now this isn’t to replace a meal, or at a certain time of day. I just have to add one at some point. Start to clean up I can make one in less than 5 minutes and even have a little smoothie station in my kitchen now to help me get going.

Fitness: 1 minute of exercise, 5x a day. I can never seem to find 5 uninterrupted minutes f20160108_155047or this, so I try to carve out 60 seconds. I will do squats, lunges, bicep curls, jumping jacks, etc. for 1 min, then move on to what ever child crisis has occurred in the last minute. Because that is almost a guarantee.

Personal Finance: Use a budgeting app. I started using “Good Budget”, it’s free and I can log our daily transactions within 2 or 3 minutes. Add in another 1-2 min to remind my sweet hubby to add his and we are set.

Personal Growth: Read one blog post a day. There are a few blogs I like to follow, and each are really short. 2 minutes to read something thought provoking and challenging, 1 min to contemplate.

Reducing Stress: 1 minute of deep breathing up to 5x a day. My house can have a “full” feel to it. It’s small, busy and noisy. That 60 seconds is the difference in me acting like “crazy mom” and a slightly more mild response to toddler tantrums. Sometimes I hide in the bathroom to do this. Beings I’m 40 weeks pregnant, I have to pee all the time anyways. Mom multitasking right there.

What ever your big goals or plans are for 2016, the most important step is starting. 5 minutes might not get you 100% of the way there by next year, but your will have set a new trajectory that you can build on. Success builds on success. So set your wins small and as they start to pile up you will maintain the motivation way past February. Note: another app I have been enjoying is HabitBull. It’s also free and will let you track if you track up to 5 habits, plus it will take less than 5 min to set up for your new habit.

Kayla Wells: The Nativity & The Cross


This season as we were decorating for Christmas, my five year old son asked me, “Mom, where is the CROSS?!?!” He was genuinely concerned that among the sparkly ornaments and bright lights, we had lost the nativity cross. Last year we lost Jesus for a while so, it isn’t a totally unfounded concern. We explained to him that there was no cross at the manger because the manger was where Jesus was born, not where he died.

Later that night as I was sitting in my festive house, cup of cocoa in hand, tree lights glittering beside me, the conversation came back and I wondered…

Did Mary in her birthing of the Christ wonder if her agony would be worth the pain? Did Joseph wonder what he had gotten himself into or if he had mistaken the angel? I can’t imagine life that year was easy for either of them. They had traveled for DAYS with only a donkey to ease their steps. I can’t imagine riding on a bumpy Donkey was all that comfy for Mary, in her state. It says nowhere that Mary would have an easy pregnancy or birth. The year leading up to Jesus’ birth was likely not an easy one or a fun one. I imagine Mary had her share of sideways glances at the well. I can see her sitting there as all her “used to be” friends gossiped and pointed as they walked by. Mary hadn’t ASKED for this, but here she was. I am sure it wasn’t easy Joseph facing a life with Mary already riddled with gossip and whispers. What must it have felt like to be traveling to Bethlehem for tax purposes at 8 or 9 months pregnant anyway? How frustrating. Then add in the heaviness that must have come from KNOWING ahead of time that her precious baby was destined to save the entire world. Rarely do great changes come without great sacrifice. Mary had to have known that as she birthed her son in a stranger’s stable, filled with dirt and hay after spending hours riding on a donkey. How disheartening it must have felt.

I will be honest with you all. I have struggled this Christmas to find joy. 2015 has been HARD. I have mailed more sympathy and condolence cards than I have congratulations cards. I have said goodbye to numerous friends and relatives. I have watched people I love deeply suffer in agony with loss. I have sat helplessly by, in waiting rooms and financial aid offices as friends go through trials, praying that God would meet their needs. Folks, 2015 has been rough and I am not sad to see it go.

However, after thinking about it, this is what my heart is crying to share with you: If Mary could “do life” with all that was against her for the simple reason that I needed a savior, then who am I to question the obstacles in 2015? Instead I choose to believe that after a time of great grief and misery will come a time of joy. It may not be in big bold letters. It may be in the silence. My silence.

Join with me friends, in seeking just what God would have us see of HIM in 2016. As we celebrate the birth of our Savior, we also seek the cross. May we be mindful that for Jesus, for Mary, for Joseph and the shepherds, before they knew what would happen in their futures, it was all about a cross.





Kayla Wells is a member of Bigfork MOPS and former MOPS leader.  She is married to Dan and is a mom to three. You can find her at Mommy’s Soapbox.


Marci Truckey: Rest Easy

I literally had two minutes to rest. That’s what the timer on the washer said, “2.” So, instead of going anywhere else, I just laid down. Right outside my upstairs laundry room, on the carpeted hallway floor, I laid down. I laid flat on my back, stared at the ceiling, and didn’t move. In my mind, it was the best decision. If I moved, there was a chance I would make a noise, and one of the three sleeping children would wake up. “Not worth the risk, I’m just going to rest here for two minutes,” I thought.

843D85B223Two minutes came and went. The washer whirred to a halt. I was focused on how good it felt to just be laying down, not doing anything, not making any decisions. I wasn’t helping my potty training, 22 month old in the bathroom. I wasn’t picking up the blocks on the living room floor. Again. I wasn’t endlessly rocking the 2 month old. No, they were ALL sleeping. It took me a few seconds to realize how silent it was in the house. . Instead of getting up and switching the load over, I found my body was paralyzed in that spot. All my aching back and tired mind would let me do is roll onto my side. So, again I just lay there, now staring at my daughter’s door. (Is that the faint smell of urine I smell?) I tried to enjoy those precious, silent moments, that I was positive were not going to last for long. Even though I had stopped, my brain was still moving,  “What if Brian [my other half] walked in right now? What would he think?” “I wonder if I know anyone who owns a carpet cleaner.” “I should just go to sleep right here, right now, because I can.”

Guys, momming is hard.

It doesn’t even matter that I have 5 kids right now. Even when I had 1, I struggled through parenting and balancing life. There is no guaranteed way to do this, where everyone comes out perfectly ok. I am not the perfect mom. I’m just glad I’m ok, most of the time, with the mom that I am. I often wonder, what was it like for Mary to raise the “Perfect Man”, “Mr. God in a Bod”, sweet little Baby Jesus? I mean, we all think our babies are perfect, but Mary’s was ACTUALLY perfect. What did that look like? Did Mary ever have to run down to the river because Jesus pooped in His cloth diaper, all the way up to his ears? Did He ever sneeze carrots all over Mary’s brand new tunic? Did Mary ever have to resort to counting to three because toddler Jesus was having “one of those days”? Did the Savior, Redeemer, Son of the Most High God, ever cause His mother to think, “How am I going to do this?! This is hard!” Even if He was the perfect baby, whatever that looks like, she was still human, just like you and me. Think of the pressure she must’ve felt.

As a God-fearing Christian, I am fully aware that God is always watching over me and my children. I count on it, in fact, when I’m praying for the kids playing on the stairs while I have to give my complete and total attention to the potty training, escape artist. Lord, help me. I am thankful that He is there. Even Mary, who was raising GOD’S son, who KNOWS that God will always be watching over His son, has a moment of panic that most of us are familiar with. She and Joseph realize Jesus isn’t where they thought he was. She’s quoted in the bible (Luke 2) as saying, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been terribly worried trying to find you.” I’m pretty sure I’ve said those exact words to my 12 year old who had wandered off at the mall. Has any mom, in the history of moms, ever had it easy? I’m pretty positive the answer is no.
Be encouraged today, mom friends, that you are not alone. Whether you have 2 kids or 10 kids, there is a beauty in the struggle that makes it all worth it. You are most certainly not alone611E343F6D in the struggle. The dirty laundry will always be there, the dishes will always need to be done, there will inevitably be fighting between one or
more family members at any given time, but the love is real. This is the kind of love that can only come from God. We are all in this together, and you’re doing just fine. Pray for your children and point them towards God, because while WE are not perfect, He is. Let Him fill in the gaps that you can’t fill. Be brave in your trust for the holy, perfect Father, for His love can conquer all problems and obstacles. Remember, God knew that you would be the perfect, hot mess, tired, sometimes cranky, almost always worried, over protective, but always loving mom for your kids. So, rest easy knowing that you’re probably not doing everything wrong, even if it feels that way sometimes. Rest easy, even if it’s only for a few minutes on the floor in front of the washer.

Marci Truckey is a highly-caffeinated, stay at home mom and Volunteer Area Coordinator for Flathead Valley YoungLives (an outreach ministry
geared toward teen moms.) She has been a MOPS mom for 5 years now. Brian and Marci have 5 crazy kids, 2 dogs, 8 chickens and a rooster. They moved from the Midwest to the valley 3 years ago.