Conquering “Shoulditis”

SuperMomMyth_LOWRezBecky Kopitzke is a fellow mentor mom over at The MOM Initiative with a new book I thought you would all enjoy learning about. Her topic in this blog is “shoulditis,” and I know we all suffer from shoulda, coulda, why didn’t I?, why aren’t I as good?,  . . . we’ve all been there.  Becky reminds us that God made each of us unique with our own gifts and talents and all He expects is that we use them to His glory!

Enjoy this post by Becky:

Have you heard of a common debilitating condition infecting women today? It’s called “shoulditis”—otherwise known as I should do that disease. I’ve got it. You probably do, too. Symptoms flare up under the most ordinary circumstances.

When my friend calls to say she’s taking a Zumba class, I think of how long it’s been since my sneakers hit the gym, and my own voice whispers in my head, I should do that.

When I scroll through Pinterest and see a dozen photos of cutesy craft projects other moms created with their children, I’m deflated. I should do that.

When my parenting magazine plugs a recipe for brownies using hidden carrot puree, I think of the Duncan Hines box stashed in my cupboard. Carrots are way healthier. I should do that.

Vacation plans. Extreme couponing. Colon-cleansing diets. Reading lists, scrapbooks, chore charts, and hand-sewn purses. Monkey-face pancakes, are you kidding me? She does it! I should do it, too!

But I can’t do everything, can I?

Can you?

And that is the pain of shoulditis. It assumes we are supposed to be someone else—or a hundred someone elses. Our spirits inflame with an impossible itch to be as clever, resourceful, energetic, artsy, and self-disciplined as those other women.

Reality check. They can’t do everything, either.

We all have our own things—our talents, interests, commitments, priorities. Yours aren’t better than mine, and mine aren’t better than yours. They’re just different.

Why? Because God is fantastically creative, and He gave us each a unique blend of gifts. Trying to do it all is a waste of time. It’s like saying God got it wrong. On the flip side, doing what He created us to do—that’s worship.

 

“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us” (1 Corinthians 12:4–6 NLT).

So. Let’s slap some salve on that shoulditis, shall we? (Say that five times fast.)

The antidote is: I should not do that.

When the neighbors rent a mega bounce house for their son’s birthday party, I will tell myself, I should not do that. My children have winter birthdays, anyway. We can’t fit a bounce house in the kitchen.

When my friend runs a half marathon—good for her! But I should not do that. Stroller walks are more my pace.

When that sweet lady in the church choir raves about her make-ahead freezer meals, I definitely should not do that. This momma prefers to spend Sunday afternoon playing Scrabble with the kids. I will grab some frozen chicken patties from the supermarket and call them dinner.

So let’s all agree—you should do what you do, and I should do what I do, and together we will create a supportive, well-rounded community of women who love what they do and really can do it all—collectively.

“All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27 NLT).

This post contains an excerpt from The SuperMom Myth: Conquering the Dirty Villains of Motherhood (Shiloh Run Press) by Becky Kopitzke. Used by permission.

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About the book

Does your journey through motherhood look different from what you imagined?

Do you struggle to measure up to your own standards?

Do you sometimes wish you could be like that other mom who seems to have it all together?

You are not alone.

The Supermom Myth: Conquering the Dirty Villains of Motherhood, a new book by Christian mom blogger Becky Kopitzke, is designed to encourage imperfect moms to laugh at ourselves, forgive ourselves, and discover the beautiful moms God created within. Delivered with down-to-earth humor and carefully applied biblical insight, The SuperMom Myth explores eight personified “dirty villains” of motherhood, including The Grouch on the Couch (Anger), Worry Woman (Fear), The Calendar Queen (Busyness), and more. Throughout this delightful read for every mom, Kopitzke offers a gentle reminder to rest in the super power of our grace-filled God.

Visit www.TheSuperMomMyth.com for more information, including trailer videos, reviews, and details on where to buy copies for yourself and your mom friends.

About the author

Becky KopitzkeBecky Kopitzke is the author of The SuperMom Myth: Conquering the Dirty Villains of Motherhood (Shiloh Run Press). As a writer, speaker, singer, dreamer, lunch packer, snowman builder and recovering perfectionist, Becky believes parenting is one of God’s greatest tools for building our faith, character, and strength—and it’s not always pretty.

On her devotional blog, beckykopitzke.com, she offers weekly encouragement for fellow imperfect moms, pointing our weaknesses, blessings, and victories to God.

Becky lives messily ever after with her loving husband and their two young daughters in northeast Wisconsin, where a pink indoor trampoline fills half the once formal living room. Connect with Becky on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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Why We’re Better Together

Closing Keynote at Better Together Conferee

Closing Keynote at Better Together Conference

I’m back! I know that you have enjoyed our guest bloggers while I was on the road speaking. Stephanie Shott started out our guest month with telling us about her new book The Making of a Mom. Lillian Penner inspired all Grandparents to pray for their grandchildren on National Grandparents Day in Calling All Grandparents. Debbie Alsdorf’s Challenge in “90 Days to a Physical Renewal” broke all records on my website. Many of you told me how Cindi McManimen’s post on “When God’s Gift Is No” was just what you needed to hear. A big Thank You to these godly women who shared their experiences and God’s faithfulness with you.

The M.O.M. Initiative Better Together Conference

Today, I wanted to share with you some of the highlights of my trip to Florida to speak at The M.O.M. Initiative Better Together Conference. If you’ve been following me, you know that I am on the Mentor Mom team for this great ministry that focuses on moms mentoring moms, one mom at a time. Our first conference was July 31-August 2 in Jacksonville, Florida. I had the honor of presenting four workshops and giving the closing keynote talk.

Twenty other author/speakers came with one purpose—to equip, encourage, and engage other moms in their walk as a mom and in their relationship with Jesus. The speakers donated their time and covered their own travel costs—which gives you a window into the kind of serving ministry this is and how passionately The M.O.M. Initiative team feel about the missional ministry of mentoring moms.

Women Are Lonely

The theme of the conference was Better Together, and many of us used Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12 in our messages because it says so succinctly God’s plan for all of us while here on earth—whatever our role—we’re not to be Lone Ranger Christians. I love the Message version of this Scripture passage:

It’s better to have a partner than go it alone.
Share the work, share the wealth.
And if one falls down, the other helps,
But if there’s no one to help, tough!

By yourself you’re unprotected.
With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.

Women are lonely today. The common reason women say they join the Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry is because they are lonely and they want to meet another Christian woman. They would rather be matched in a mentoring relationship with a Christian stranger then continue trying to make it on their own.

There are lonely women everywhere—even in the church.Many women who shared their story in Dear God, Why Can’t I Have a Baby? said they felt the loneliest at church. When I was a single working mom, I felt isolated and lonely. Doesn’t that just break your heart? It does mine.

What Can We Do About Loneliness?

Last week, the news carried a story of a young mom of a 9-month old and 6-year old in Oregon who committed suicide and her body was found in a remote wooded area where she went to die. I don’t know the circumstances that led her to this dark place where she felt no hope, no help, and no future, but I can only imagine how lonely she must have felt in her pain and anguish. Maybe others noticed and did reach out to help her ease her burden . . . but maybe they didn’t.

If you are that lonely, distraught, and depressed woman, I beg you to get help. Seek out a Christian counselor who will assure you of God’s love and plan and purpose for your life. Join groups of other women at your stage of life. If you have pre-school children, MOPS is a para-church organization with moms who have felt just like you do. It so helps to know you are not alone. Or maybe your church has a group for moms of all seasons. For sure, there is a Women’s Bible study—go! You will find a group of women seeking to apply God’s Word to their life and they can help you find answers in the Bible. Of course, if there is a Mentoring Ministry at your church, join it and seek out a mentor who will pray for you and help you through this tough time.

I always say the first step to healing is helping. So get involved by serving in a ministry or community or your children’s school. There you will meet other women to fellowship and serve with and relationships will develop.

If you are a woman who has had some “been-there-done-that” experiences in your life and you notice women around you and in your church who are displaying signs of loneliness, befriend them and encourage them to become involved in women’s ministry at your church. Maybe you’ll start a Mentoring Moms group and Stephanie Shott’s new book The Making of a Mom could help you in that endeavor.

It’s time that we Christian women step out, speak out, and reach out to our fellow sisters-in-Christ and those who don’t yet know Jesus as their Savior. You never know when God might be using you to save a life—both here on earth and for eternity.

Because remember that we are always—Better Together!

Here are some pictures from The M.O.M. Initiative Better Together Conference and I hope to see many of you at the next one. Stay tuned for when and where!

Just arrived at Cracker Barrell

Some team members meeting for the first time while rocking together on the porch at Cracker Barrel

Ready for Opening Night

Gathering in the hotel lobby…ready for first night!

 

Kicking Up Our Heals Ready for the First Session

Kicking Up Our Heels Ready for the First Session

cupcake tree

Yummy cupcake tower

 

Teaching a workshop on Balancing Life and Ministry

Teaching a workshop on Balancing Life and Ministry

Introducing the speaking team

Introducing the speaking team

Closing Q&A

Closing Q&A

The Making of a Mom

In May, I  introduced you to you my friend Stephanie Shott who has a heart for moms and a burden for moms mentoring other moms, one mom at a time. Stephanie is the founder of The M.O.M Initiative, where I am a mentor mom!

God divinely brought Stephanie and me together from opposite corners of the United States–Stephanie lives in Florida and me in Idaho. But when we met face-to-face last year, it seemed as Stephanie talked, my words came out of her mouth and vice versa. God has give us the same passion for woman to woman mentoring, following the Lord’s direction in Titus 2:3-5.

Today, July 14, is the release of Stephanie’s book the Making of a Mom, which I had the honor of endorsing. We both hope to meet many of you at The M.O.M. Initiative’s first conference July 31-August 2.–Better Together. There’s still time to register.

Following is a glimpse into Stephanie’s story and her call from God to start The M.O.M. Initiative:

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I caught a glimpse of her as she walked across the parking lot. She looked to be about sixteen. Young in years, but great with child.

Reflecting on my own teen pregnancy, I couldn’t help but wonder if she was ready for the journey ahead. Did she grasp the greatness of her newfound role and how everything she had ever known was about to change? Would someone walk with through her motherhood or would she have to go it alone?

I was eighteen when my son was born and had no idea what it meant to be a mom. Oh, I thought the whole mom thing was going to be a breeze, but it didn’t take long to learn that my dream of motherhood was very different from my reality.

I wanted to be the mom who did all the right things, never had to count to three, and baked her own bread.

But instead, I was a single mom, without Christ, without a mentor, and without a clue.

As the years passed, I married, and not long after that I became a Christian. Everything changed except that I still didn’t have a mentor and I barely had a clue.

For me, motherhood was like a messy experiment and my kids were the guinea pigs. 

That was twenty-seven years ago, and as I reflect on the way I muddled my way through motherhood, I can’t help but wonder where all the mentors were. I remember looking up to several women in the church, yet for some reason I was never able to wiggle my way under their wing.

But it shouldn’t have been that hard, and no mom should have to go it alone. After all, mentoring should be woven into the fabric of the church. Right?

Mentoring moms is powerful. It’s how you and I can change the world. It’s not only a God-given way in which we can leave a legacy of faith, but it’s also an amazing tool to help us reach our communities and this culture for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Two years ago I started The M.O.M. Initiative—a ministry devoted to helping the body of Christ make mentoring missional. Evangelistic in nature, the mission is to begin M.O.M. Groups that not only minister to moms who know Christ but that we reach those who don’t.

Ultimately, our goal is to reach a MILLION MOMS for Christ. And if only 3 women in 1/2 of the churches in the United States would mentor just 3 other moms, that would translate into reaching a MILLION MOMS for Christ and impacting over 2.5 MILLION CHILDREN as a result.

Sitting in the parking lot, a ministry was born and a book was conceived. I wrote The Making of a Mom to be a unique dual purpose resource. A book to help lay a solid biblical foundations for real moms who are in the trenches of motherhood…to help answer the deep questions of a moms heart and to help each mom embrace the significance of her role as a mother. I want moms to know they are deeply loved and profoundly influential.

I also wrote The Making of a Mom to provide and in-reach and an outreach resource for the church.

To help the body of Christ weave mentoring into the fabric of the local church. As an outreach, The Making of a Mom equips local churches with a unique resource that will help them weave mentoring into the fabric of the church and to reach their communities and this  culture for Christ by mentoring moms in urban areas, in low-income apartment complexes, neighborhoods, prisons, homeless shelters, crisis pregnancy centers, the mission field and wherever young moms can be found.

You see, if we reach the moms of this generation, we’ll reach the heart of the next generation. but if we don’t, I’m afraid we’ll lose them all.

Today, you and I have an opportunity to change the world one mom at a time through the power and beauty of mentoring.

I didn’t have a mentor . . . and I don’t know if that young girl at the gas station will have one either. But no mom should have to go it alone. So, let’s step into our Titus 2 shoes and begin impacting our community and this culture for the Lord Jesus Christ.

We’ll have forever to be glad we did.

To find out more about how you can begin a M.O.M. Group, click this link.

To find out how to sign up to be ONE in a MILLION MOMS who would like to be connected with a mentor and raise your children to know Christ, click this link.

To find out how to order The Making of a Mom.

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God Given Dreams Do Come True

I hope you all had a blessed Mother’s Day honoring your moms and being honored if you are a mom. This week, I want to introduce to you my friend Stephanie Shott who has a heart for moms and a burden for moms mentoring other moms, one mom at a time. Stephanie is the founder of The M.O.M Initiative where I am honored to be a mentor mom!

As you will read here, Stephanie and I are kindred spirits and share the same passion for women mentoring women according to Titus 2:3-5.

Please welcome Stephanie Shott—

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A God Dream

Has God placed a dream in your heart but you feel like you’re in God’s waiting room? Wondering if your dream will ever come true? Like the Lord isn’t working fast enough and then suddenly everything begins to fall in place?

That has been my story for the past four years; but the tide has turned and I feel like a fly on the wall of my life as I watch the Lord put together the pieces of the ministry puzzle for The M.O.M. Initiative.  TMI LOGO ~ SMALL

The ministry has been in place for two years and the final piece of the puzzle is coming out in July—The Making of a Mom(available for pre-order)—the premier book to work in tandem with The M.O.M. Initiative.

It’s written for moms and also serves as a resource for the church.

A Book for Every Mom

If you’re a mom, I wrote The Making of a Mom to meet you in the messy places of real life motherhood—to lay a biblical foundation for motherhood and to help you embrace the truth that you are deeply treasured by God…that He sees you and He LOVES you. You weren’t meant to make this journey alone.

The Making of a Mom answers the deep questions of a mom’s heart. “Am I enough?” “Will I ever get it right?” “How can I not mess up my kids when I’m such a mess?”

A Resource for Churches

Uniquely written as an in-reach and an outreach resource, The Making of a Mom includes questions at the end of each chapter and planning guides in the back.

The Making of a Mom answers the three questions almost every mentor, ministry leader, and small group leader asks…

1. What will I say?

The questions at the end of each chapter serve as a catalyst for conversation.

2. What will I do?

The venue-specific planning guides in the back of the book provide the tools to mentor moms in your church, your home, and in your community.

3. What will I use?

The Making of a Mom is a dual-purpose book to reach moms who don’t know Christ and minister to the ones who already know Him.

An Invitation to be ONE in a MILLION!

Are you a mom who would like a mentor? Are you a ministry leader who is looking to begin a mentor ministry to moms? Have you been trying to figure out how you can reach your community for Christ? Would you consider the power of missional mentoring?

The ultimate goal of The M.O.M. Initiative is to impact 1,000,000 moms for Christ through the power of missional mentoring. It really is possible! If three moms in half the churches in the United States mentor three other mothers, over 1,000,000 moms and 2,500,000 children will learn how to live Christ-centered lives.

Exciting to think about, isn’t it?

I’m asking women’s ministry leaders to join me in August as we launch M.O.M. Groups and begin reaching moms through the power of mentoring.

I’m asking every mom to tell your women’s ministry leaders about The M.O.M. Groups and join one yourself.

I’m asking YOU to JOIN ME to REACH MOMS for CHRIST in YOUR COMMUNITY!

To connect with The M.O.M. Initiative to reach moms for Christ in your community, please click this link to find out more about how you can help us reach ONE MILLION MOMS for Christ.

We’re Better Together

Oh…and I can’t forget to tell you about BETTER TOGETHER! The Lord not only put the pieces of the ministry puzzle together, but also He did exceedingly, abundantly above all I could ask or think when He connected the dots for our first conference. (He’s really good at exceedingly, abundantly, isn’t He?! 🙂 )

We’re extremely blessed because Janet Thompson is one of the keynotes and she will also be sharing 4 workshops…so you won’t want to miss it!

BETTER TOGETHER is a conference in Jacksonville, Florida, July 31st – August 2nd, where 20 speakers are converging together to share 45 workshops for women of ALL ages and ALL stages of life! It’s a weekend of fun, fellowship, giveaways, and sound biblical teaching you can depend on!

Come be refreshed, refueled, encouraged, and equipped.

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If the Lord has tucked a dream in your heart, I want to encourage you to keep on keepin’ on for Jesus. Don’t give up and don’t give in. He who has called you to it will see you through it.

So, don’t lose heart. The Lord sees your hard work and He who began a good work in you will complete it. Dreams do come true…in His time.

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Stephanie Shott and me at our first TMI Mentor Mom Retreat

Interview with Julie Sanders, Author of “Expectant”

 

Today’s blog post is an interview with Julie Sanders, my fellow Mentor Mom for The M.O.M. Initiative,  about her new E-book release,  EXPECTANT:  40 Devotions for New and Expectant Moms

Tell us what we can expect from EXPECTANT.

EXPECTANT is a collection of 40 devotions for new and expectant moms that uses transparent stories and biblical truth to offer hope and wisdom to women transitioning into motherhood. If you have dreams and hopes of what mothering will be, your heart is already Expectant.

Women enter motherhood in a variety of ways, so EXPECTANT shares encouragement for every mom as she grows into being a mother. That may mean she grows a pregnant belly or a home study for adoption, but she will grow. By talking about real issues like changes in your body, your marriage, your work, and your schedule, EXPECTANT helps new moms think through necessary transitions to find hope and confidence right there on the changing table or playground.

Like spending time with a loving, honest mentor over coffee, EXPECTANT uplifts women. The devotions are organized into sections about you, other grown-ups, the baby, and your new normal. Each one includes words from Scripture to grow your heart, as well as questions to get the conversation started with a friend, mentor, or dad-to-be. It’s formatted so that it would be easy to do with a partner or small group of moms.

Each journey into motherhood is unique, but every mother’s heart is expectant.

How is motherhood different than you expected?

I knew I would love our children, but I never imagined how much I would enjoy our children. Every season has been amazing, but moving through the changes of childhood, along with the accidents and surprises, has kept me prayerful. Being a mom is great for your prayer life!

Being a mom has stretched me more personally than I ever expected. God uses motherhood to expose my weaknesses, my failures, and my sin. While I’ve been watching our kids grow, God has been growing my heart and life.

What are some of your favorite motherhood books?

Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Ted Tripp is foundational. Sharon Jaynes’ book Being a Great Mom, Raising Great Kids really challenged me when I was deep in the elementary years. I was so inspired to make the most of time with our kids. Vicki Courtney’s 5 Conversations books for boys and for girls gave me direction as JoHanna and Jacob were growing, especially since I never had a brother. I needed the wisdom from those authors!

One thing I’ve learned as a mom is that I should never stop learning, so I’m always excited to find a new book or resource to make me a better mom. If I ever think I’ve got all the bases covered, something changes and I’m sent to my knees, searching for wisdom!

Your website is called Come have a Peace. How do you find peace as a mother?

I’m convinced God means for us to live out our days experiencing His peace in the practical, real life, relational stuff of our days. For a mom, it seems impossible sometimes, but we aren’t meant to stay in heavy, discouraged places on our mothering journey. We’re meant to find peace, and Jesus said we find it in Him, (John 16:33). Mamas need that message all day, every day, and often through the night.

God has used major transitions, distance from family, and multiple crises in our lives to show me my “peaceful mom’s heart” does not depend on my circumstances. I’ve become a “pray all day” kinda mom who cries out often and openly to the only perfect Parent we know, God Himself. I’ve learned to give myself a lot of grace and let myself off the hook of expecting perfection, refusing to compare myself to moms around me. (Remind me of that, will you?) And I give our kids a lot of grace, trying to keep the “big picture” in mind as God unfolds His plans for them. He’s doing a great job with them!

The greatest complement I receive is when our kids have friends over and they say, “Your house is so … peaceful.”  Love that!

What was most difficult for you during the “young years?”  How did you grow as a mother?

When I delivered our first baby, it was quite a finale to our pregnancy! Nothing happened the way we anticipated. I was left with fear and disappointment, and it took a long time for me to feel whole again. Feeling fragile was not only hard, it wasn’t what I expected.

I always wanted to have children, but I also loved being a teacher. Making a transition to spending the day with the baby at home was not as easy as I thought it would be, and before long I found myself overcommitted and worn out. I was challenged to take a close look at where I found my identity and where I placed my trust. Motherhood turned out to be as much about growing me as growing our children.

It seems like women in their early twenties are discouraged to become a mother so young. What type of encouragement do you have for young couples ready to become parents?

No one is every fully prepared to be a mom, but giving yourself a chance to grow and mature in wisdom helps you be the best mom you can be and want to be. God is able to do extraordinary things with moms who start as ordinary women. If you wait until you’re perfect and have a well-padded portfolio and house with a fence, you might wait a long time.

A wise mentor once encouraged me not to rush through the sweet years of just being a couple. Strengthen your oneness during your pre-child season, and you’ll be better parents when the time comes. As you enter parenthood, you’ll find that it’s a lot about growing yourselves while growing your family.

I’m thankful my mentor slowed us down; God’s timing is unique for everyone. Seek Him together. The most important part of the decision about when to start a family is unity between the mom and dad-to-be. It’s never worth it for one anxious spouse to push the other forward. Your hearts must be longing and expectant together.

Will you be overwhelmed if you start young? Every mom is overwhelmed at times, regardless of age, but God will be there to Father you lovingly into an experience more amazing than you ever imagined. He has a tender place in His heart for moms, and He knows all you hope and all you anticipate, (Isaiah 40:11). He is the one who has grown your mama’s heart to be so EXPECTANT.

Stop by the EXPECTANT page to find out more and to purchase your copy for $4.99 on Kindle or for use on the Kindle App.

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