“Mommy, Are You Happy?”

Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 7.44.27 PMMommy Monster has been on the prowl.

I’ve just found myself in a little funk in which I’ve been quick to anger and acting like a hormonal teenager in the way I have been snippy and quick to anger with my kids. After a middle of the night battle with our three year old not sleeping, my husband referred to me as the midnight dragon. Thanks, honey.

If that’s not an eye opener, my three year old has started asking me in the midst of my anger, “Mommy, are you happy?” The genius of this somewhat rhetorical question is that it stops me in my angry tracks and illuminates how silly I am for letting a three year old work me up this much. Making an angry person articulate why they are angry is the best counseling strategy known to man. Well done my preschool counselor. Well done.

The question, “Mommy, are you happy?” has rocked me. It has struck a chord and revealed to me that in that moment I am not living out the gospel in front of my children. My three year old is fearful of my emotional stability and as someone who is trying to teach her about Jesus and model what it looks like to follow him, I have totally blown it.

I’ve been studying James and listening to Jen Wilken teach it more in depth and have really been chewing on the verse 1:19.

“…let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.”

James is telling us that a mature believer in Christ is someone who is slow to anger. Slow to anger when children blatantly disobey. Slow to anger when one kid hits the other. Slow to anger with temper tantrums are rampant. Slow to anger when naps are interrupted. Slow to anger when sleep deprived. Can we do this on our own will? Heck no. I can’t make myself just not angry. Momentary behavior change is not heart change.

I need the Holy Spirit to do the changing on the heart level. I need his help to reflect on the truth that God is slow to anger with me! In his eyes my behavior really isn’t much different than my preschooler’s. I get upset about silly things that don’t matter. I disobey when I KNOW I am disobeying. I pretend I don’t hear his voice. I even throw my own little temper tantrums (especially when it involves lack of sleep). My heavenly father sees it all and is slow to anger with me. He’s already lashed out any wrath on Christ on the cross and because of that I am seen spotless. Sinless. He’s not angry with me because he took out his anger towards my sin on Jesus.

When I dwell on this and really think about it, I am softened. I am humbled. I deserve the mommy monster to unleash her fury on me but I have a savior who is in heaven interceding for me. What a relief! I am free from the well deserved punishment of sin AND I am freed to not be an angry mother.

Dwelling on this truth in addition to a few other scriptures has helped me walk through this funk. It hasn’t fixed everything or dissolved all my anger issues at once. I still struggle and probably will until I meet Jesus. But it gives me hope. I’m not a slave to anger (Rom 6). God is not angry at me. In fact he is patient with me as I struggle (2 Peter 3:9).

In the past few days, I haven’t been asked the question, “Mommy, are you happy?” very much. To me, this is a good sign. This is fruit. The fact that my three year old can sense her mommy is a bit more at peace is a good sign. God is working and even though I may not see it, my three year old does. I have hope that with each day and each season, God is slowly killing off the mommy monster and replacing it with himself. That is what I hope and pray for.

If you identify with the mommy monster, here are some resources you might like:

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 9.28.00 PMGood and Angry

Parents often feel angry when their children do the wrong things. But responding to children in anger rarely brings about the desired result and can even have a damaging effect instead. Yet anger doesn’t have to be the enemy. It can be a trigger that makes parents even more effective. Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller show them how.



Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 9.28.59 PMDon’t Make Me Count to Three

Do you find yourself threatening, repeating your instructions, or raising your voice in an attempt to get your children to obey? Are you discouraged because it seems you just can t reach the heart of your child? Through personal experience and the practical application of Scripture, Ginger Hubbard encourages and equips moms to reach past the outward behavior of their children and dive deeply into the issues of the heart.


Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 9.30.23 PMOn the Job Meditations

These 25 Encouraging Bible Verses (NIV version) are designed to help you get creative in your time with God, allowing you to practice “on the job meditations.” Place these cards where you traffic the most and lift your eyes up all day to your Father in heaven.

up & up Products for Babies (+100 Target Gift Card Giveaway!)

Up&Up diapers and wipes
Every mother has their fair share of poop stories (what a fun way to start a blog post, huh?). But seriously, you get moms talking on this topic and the horror stories of blowouts, horribly timed leaky diapers, being found altogether diaperless in a public place, bathtub floaters, and other unmentionables come flowing out. No pun intended. I’m tempted to share my story that my husband and I call “Poopocalypse” but I’ve already shared one too many poo stores in the past month (see this post if you are interested in that one). I find you a little strange if you clicked on that. ANYWAY… I recently had the opportunity to try out Target’s up & up line of diapers and wipes.
New Target up & up Diaper Image 


Here are some factoids about them: Diapers

  • New cotton-enhanced dryness layer provides quicker absorption & is softer on the baby’s skin
  • Newborn through size 2 diapers include a wetness indicator
  • Comfort features include cotton enhanced core and soft hypoallergenic liners
  • Soft Stretch waist and sides make for a perfect fit

My review: I must admit, if someone were to have put these in my nursery from day one, I probably would have been faithfully using them. I am highly motivated by saving a buck. They worked great. I particularly liked how secure they fastened in the front AND the stretch waist. stretch waist

Wipes Factoids:


  • up & up wipes are made with botanic fibers blended with cotton creating an absorbent, ultra-soft and durable wipe
  • Botanic fibers are made from 100% plant-based materials derived from trees grown in sustainably managed forests
  • Wipes are gentle enough to use on baby’s face and hands (alcohol free)
  • Available in Sensitive, Unscented, and Scented variants
  • Individually packaged with flip top lids for ease of use.

My review: Coming fresh off a day full of dirty (and I MEAN dirty) diapers, I can confidently say that these bad boys did the trick. In my opinion, a good wipe is thick and has a little “grip” to it. I won’t go into detail why that is needed… up & up wipes fit the bill for both of my wipe qualifications. I sound snoody saying that but a mom has got to be snoody when it comes to the wipes she uses. A cheapo brand will not cut it. Anyway, I’m happy that I got to try out the up & up brand and honestly can say I wouldn’t hesitate to use them again.

Now the part you’ve been waiting for… A GIVEAWAY! Oh, how we love to give our faithful readers, friends and family (hi mom) fun things like $100 Target GiftCards. Want one? Yes, I bet you do. I want one. Can I enter my own giveaway? Probably not.

Anyway, back to you. You can win one $100 Target GiftCard! What a fun shopping trip that would be, right? It’s super easy to enter. Simply answer this question for a chance to win: Where is a funny place you’ve had to change a diaper? If you don’t have a good response for that, answer: Where would be the worst place to be found diaperless? I very much look forward to giggling at your answers to these questions. 

Sweepstakes Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 10/22/2014 – 11/22/2014.

Be sure to visit the Target’s brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!


Top 10 Must-Try Pumpkin Recipes on Thriving Home

Top 10 Must Try Pumpkin Recipes

This is one of those friend-to-friend blog posts.

Like, if I sat next to you at work or lived next door, I’d probably tell you about how great the Pumpkin Banana Bread is or Polly might gloat about mention how much her small group loved Crock Pot Pumpkin Spiced Latte. Hey, I might even send one of my littles over to your front door with a few samples of Pumpkin Muffins with Crumble Topping. That’s what friends and neighbors do, right?

So, friend/neighbor, here are 10 of Polly’s and my absolute, must-try pumpkin recipes on our blog. We hope you’ll pay forward some pumpkin goodness to one of your friends or neighbors soon!

Crock Pot Pumpkin-Spiced Latte

crock pot pumpkin latte recipe

Pumpkin Muffins with Crumble Topping

pumpkin muffin recipe2

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes

whole wheat pumpkin pancake recipe

Blueberry Pumpkin Baked French Toast

healthy baked french toast recipe

Pumpkin Banana Bread

healthy Banana pumpkin bread recipe

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Chocolate Waffles

healthy waffle recipe

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

healthy pumpkin muffin

Pumpkin French Toast

pumpkin french toast

Brownie Baked Oatmeal (with Sneaky Pumpkin)

baked brownie oatmeal recipe

Chocolate Pumpkin Banana Muffins

Whole Wheat Chocolate Pumpkin Banana Muffins

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