When a mom feels disconnected


How many times have I walked through my house, interacted with my girls, gone about my responsibilities, but known something was wrong?

Have you ever felt like that?

I’m here, but I’m just not really here.

My girls play really well by themselves, so it’s not uncommon for me to be working around them while they play some silly game they’ve made up. But there’s still just a difference sometimes.

If I had to rattle off the symptoms they would probably go something like this: my kids aren’t listening to me, I can’t remember what I’m supposed to be doing, when is my husband ever going to get home and save me from this madness, I just want to go somewhere and be by myself…

Now sometimes these feelings are caused by just ordinary, crazy motherhood. I know that. But I think a lot of moms would agree that there are other times when we know something is genuinely wrong.

When I begin to feel like this, and when I’m finally honest with myself, I have to admit: the problem isn’t my kids…

… the problem is me.

A lot of voices “out there” tell moms to just relax. Go do something for yourself… have some me time... Or the Christian version: There’s grace… there’s rest… just remember how much God loves you… He knows what you’re doing is hard…

Those things are true, absolutely, but when I jump to those before really dealing with the issue, nothing is solved, just temporarily passed over.

You see, I’m prone to wander. A converted idol-worshiper.

How quickly I slip from glorying and rejoicing in God to seeking my own pleasure and satisfaction in temporary things, maybe even my kids or domestic accomplishments. And from there it’s just a slippery slope to being discontented and unhappy with everything because loving God has been abandoned.

I try to take these feelings very seriously. As already said, I, by nature was born bent against God. Though His child now and blessed with unspeakable grace and mercy, it’s all too easy to forget.

The only answer is repentance.

I wish I could say that at the moment of realization, I repent immediately, but of course, that’s not always the case. The reason that I’m writing this now is because of two days that have been an absolute struggle. I wish that I had given in sooner.

I don’t think our kids keep us from God as much as we would like to think; they just manifest where we are with God in glaring, vivid color.

When things are turned back right, the day might not look all that different to an onlooker, but the heart will be different, and the mom will know.

Kristin: Ob/gyn to stay-at-home mom

Hello everyone and welcome to Mother’s Week! 

I’m so excited to pass along a story today from one of my dear friend’s here at our seminary. Kristin is one of the kindest and most caring people I know. Her love for Christ and her service to others were evident the first time I met her! She organized meals for our family after Mckayla was born, has babysat our children just so we could have an evening together, and regularly encourages all who know her with her sweet spirit. Several months ago, she shared her testimony with our seminary wives group. It was so touching; I asked her right after if she would let me put it up here. She was so sweet to say yes, and so I’m been saving it for this Mother’s Day week. I know you’ll love getting to know her and be blessed by the story of God working in her life.

Hi! My name is Kristin, and my husband Kevin is a Masters of Divinity student here at Shepherds. We should hopefully be finished by May of next year.

I appreciate the opportunity to give you all my testimony and share with you what God has done in my life. I, like many people, do not feel comfortable speaking in front of people so when Lucy asked me to do this, my hands typed back “sure” while the rest of my body said “NO!! Are you crazy?!” The very next day, we had a Seminary Wives Fellowship and our very own sweet Marsha gave us a talk on how to give a presentation. What perfect timing! Well, she talked about how important it was to have an illustration that could relate to people. Well, my mind began thinking of what I could possibly use…and in 5 months, I could only come up with one thing. And after my testimony, hopefully it will make more sense why this something is near and dear to me!

****At this point, Kristin held up a diagram of a uterus! We were all like, “Wha?” but just hang on, you’ll soon understand, too. = )****

Does anyone know what this is?

Right! A uterus!

Just in case you don’t know, it is the female organ which is responsible for our lovely menstrual cycles but also the wonderful organ that carries babies!

The uterus is an amazing organ. When a woman becomes pregnant, the uterus will stretch up to 500 times its normal size! 500 times! And it doesn’t bust open! That is amazing!

Well, God may choose to stretch you more than you think you could ever be stretched, but don’t worry, you won’t bust open either!

Let me tell you how God is stretching me!

I was raised in a Christian home. I heard the gospel, and at the age of 8 years old, I accepted that I was a sinner in need of a Savior. And that God had sent his son, Jesus, to die on the cross for my sin, so that I could spend eternity with him in heaven. I continued to believe this throughout the rest of my childhood and into my adult years. There were several years when my walk with Christ was not close, and there was little fruit in my life, but by God’s grace, he drew me near again about 10 years ago.

Let’s back up about 15 years.

I was in medical school pursuing my life-long dream of being a doctor. I knew I would get married someday, but I figured it would be when I finished medical school and then started my Obstetrics and Gynecology career in Denver, CO. The man of my dreams would be found skiing in the newly fallen snow on the slopes!

And then before I was able to finish medical school, I met my future husband, at a billiard hall. Oh, and by the way, he hates cold weather and certainly does not like to spend all day in it skiing! Good-bye Colorado….Hello sunny Florida!

Kevin was not a believer when we met, and he subsequently met weekly with the pastor of my parents church and by God’s grace, he accepted the gift of salvation. We were married in 2001 and then moved to Jacksonville, Florida for my residency. When we moved to Florida, we had no idea how to look for a church. The Lord was so kind to us and placed us in an amazing Bible-believing church where we could be mentored and our faith began to grow.

Kevin was immediately on fire for Christ and he just couldn’t get enough. He would get together with guys from the church and talk theology into the wee hours of the morning. He had truly put off his “old self” and was putting on a “new self.” And it was a totally different Kevin than the one I met in a pool hall and married!

I was pretty consumed with work, practically living at the hospital delivering babies day and night. That made it easier for me to avoid dealing with the fact that we were not growing in Christ together. I began to resent that he was trying to be a spiritual leader when he hadn’t even became a Christian until recently. I was the one who had been a Christian for a LONG time, who is he to tell me about God? However, I was becoming to feel more convicted about the double-life I was living, outside of church and inside church. And my now “goodie-twoshoes” husband wasn’t helping any!

Thankfully, God spoke to my heart, and with His help, and Kevin’s patience, we, as a couple, began to make some big life changes and grow together in the knowledge of Christ.

One big change was the desire to have children.

We didn’t think kids were for us. Whoa, being stretched here! Kids? Really? But God laid the desire on both of our hearts, so…well, I won’t get into that- you figure that one out yourself. But then we had our first child, Brendan in 2005, right before we moved to Virginia so I could join a private practice there.

OK…so now the uterus has been stretched a bit. That is good, right God? No more stretching necessary!

This is great! Picture this! I’m now a partner in a private Ob/Gyn practice. Did I mention it was a Christian practice? We gave Bibles to all of our 6 week postpartum patients with their baby’s name in it. I have the BEST office staff, the BEST hospital staff, the BEST patients. I have no financial woes. I am able to aggressively pay off my student loans. We have a nice house. I have a husband who has quit his job and has joyfully devoted his life to raising our children. We now have 2, Kayla was born in 2006. My parents live 5 minutes away and are available to help any time we need it.

Everything is great on the outside…except that inside, my heart is hurting.

I don’t get very much time with my family at all. Being responsible for the lives of moms and babies is taking a toll on me. I want to do everything right, I don’t ever want to make a mistake with a patient. I am obsessed with every detail of every labor, every delivery, every annual exam, every surgery. But in return, I am missing my own baby’s first steps, and first words, and preschool plays.

But Lord, who goes to school for all these years and then finally is a successful doctor, and then quits? To do what? Be a stay-at-home mom? What will my husband say? We agreed that he would stay home and I would work. What will my office say? What will my parents think? I can’t stretch that much Lord. I’m not going to say anything. I figure this is probably just a phase, and I’ll get through it.

Well, little did I know, that God had laid the same thing on my husband’s heart. He had heard a message by Alistair Begg about motherhood. And he became convicted that we were not following the Biblical guidelines for how a family should run, with me working and him staying home. Now, I understand that there are reasons that a woman works outside of the home and I am not passing judgment on anyone else or making a blanket statement. But for our specific situation, ours was purely by choice. Our debts were now paid off, there was no reason why I had to be the breadwinner anymore.

So, Kevin dropped the bomb and spoke to me about quitting my job and becoming a stay-at-home mom. He was so worried that I would have a negative reaction! He had no idea that I longed to be home with my children but I was just too scared to say anything. God had prepared both of us for this idea…unbeknownst to the other person! Wow God!

But let’s keep stretching that uterus. I start the process of quitting practice. It takes almost 2 years to jump through all the hoops and stop work. I’ll spare you the painful details. As we worked all of that out, Kevin and I started discussing what he would do. Would he go back into the secular work force, or would he pursue this growing desire to attend seminary? We prayed and felt that seminary was the way God was leading us.

Also, during that time of transition, God blesses us with an unexpected pregnancy. Yes, an Ob/Gyn doctor can have an unexpected pregnancy! My last day of work was the day my water broke with Josie on June 30, 2010. And then Kevin started seminary 2 months later.

And here we are! Josie will be 3 in June, her sister is 6, and her brother is almost 8. I am a full time stay-at-home mom and I love it. My uterus is still stretching but not because of any more babies (I think!), but now because in a little over a year, we will be done with seminary. And then I may find myself as a preacher’s wife! What??? Me? Sometimes I wonder if I can really stretch that much. But I know that God is in control and I am so thankful for Seminary Wives Fellowship and the ladies that pour into us here.

Maybe some of you always thought you would end up here, but I sure didn’t. But I know that God will equip me and I already see how he has provided such wonderful people to help me along. One last uterine fact, the uterus starts out about 2-3 inches big, then expands to up to 500 times its normal size, then after birth, it goes back to about 4 inches big. Not the original 2-3 inches, but closer to 4 inches. God will stretch you, sometimes farther than you ever expected, but he will be with you the whole time and will protect and guide you. And you may never be the same again, but it is all part of God’s sovereign plan. God is molding you and making you just what he wants you to be.

I want to close with a verse. I have carried around an index card in my purse for many years with the scripture verses Philippians 4:6-7 on it. As my life goes in directions I never thought it would go, it is easy for me to be anxious about the future. What does God have next for me? His Word says, “Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus, our Lord.”

Thank you so much, Kristin! Your story is an inspiration to me every time I hear it. 

It’s all about love! what I just finished reading

9780312499440_p0_v1_s260x42051bYIGEBUQL._AA160_Since I care a great deal about accuracy, I feel inclined to tell you that I didn’t just finish reading these. But both of them were completed in the last several months ; John Donne first, Uneclipsing the Son last. But as a young mother of four little kids five and under, I’m still basking in the accomplishment of finishing two books.

Also, it’s been a great while since I did an actual book review. I didn’t enjoy it then, and I don’t plan on enduring it now. So I will try to tell you why I read these books and point out some things that were especially enjoyable or valuable to me. That sounds a lot better then going through my old Composition text and writing point for point a good book review.


Poetry first.


I dearly love poetry, but have only come to realize this since being married. One of our favorite hangouts as a couple is Barnes and Noble; I remember the first time I decided to browse the poetry section. Hmm… Dylan Johnson, there was a poem of his I loved in high school. Egh, but not right now. Tennyson? Longfellow? John Donne. Oh yes, this is what I want.

“Batter my heart three-personed God!” rang in my ears. I wanted to read more of this guy.

These poems were definitely a stretch for me. Sometimes I would have to read it two or three times to really understand. There are a lot of references to ancient mythology? history? I didn’t get all those, but it didn’t hamper my understanding too much. In his introduction, Charles Fowkes relays how reading Donne’s love poems connects with the feelings of your own heart. His writing truly captures the universal emotions associated with romantic love: jealousy, discontentment, peace, adversity, desire, worry, infatuation, joy, loneliness… you know you’ve felt them all; and he will put verse to your feelings, my friend. = )

Warning: I wouldn’t suggest these if you’re a dreamy teenage girl. It’s perfectly cool if you’re married, but maybe a little too intense otherwise.

One of my favorites was entitled “His Picture.” It tells of a young man going off to sea who gives his picture to the girl he loves. He hopes that when he comes back, “weather-beaten… a sack of bones… with care’s rash,” that she will remember what he was, and maybe even appreciate him more for what he has become…

That which in him was fair and delicate,

Was but the milk, which in love’s childish state

Did nurse it: who now is grown strong enough

To feed on that, which to disused tastes seems tough.

Ah… I love it.


Switching topics completely. I’ve written before here about my desire to simply grow in my love for Jesus this year. Some messages we heard at our church and seminary convocation last year really helped me formulate how this could happen. They were preached by Rick Holland, pastor of Mission Road Bible Church. (Here is his blog, approachingdamascus.com).

Uneclipsing the Son, was the basis for those messages. Rick Holland sets out to prove that the answer to the problems Christians face is answered in one word, Jesus. Amazing stuff, I know. Here are a few excerpts from his beginning statements:

You’ve spent hours in church, listened to countless sermons, compiled enough notes to sink a battleship. You’ve had enough good intentions to compete with Mother Teresa and enough failures to compete with Peter’s denials and Thomas’s doubts. Still, something is woefully missing. There is a shadow, a pall over your very, very “normal” Christian life.

I am not so arrogant as to think that the book you are holding is the answer to all your questions and the cure for all your soul’s ills. But I am convinced that Jesus Himself is that Answer and Cure. I have experienced dry times in my faith and tried everything I could to quench my heart’s thirst. But nothing has made a lasting difference, except Jesus.

The entirety of the New Testament is devoted to getting Jesus right. These biblical books are not a mere directive for a new way to live, but a manifesto of the amazing greatness of Jesus. Get Jesus wrong and you lose everything that matters; get Him right and you gain everything that matters.

Every single chapter in this book was valuable and helpful. You are slowly brought along, disabused of misconceptions, and inspired to follow Christ in a way that is real and doable. Here are highlights from a few chapters that were especially helpful to me.

Chapter 3, Eternal Life Is Not What You Think. Yes! We are not talking about a mere fire escape from hell and ticket to forever happiness in heaven. Eternal life is knowing Jesus Christ, John 17:3.

Chapter 6, The Word And Words, is a faith-strengthening call to rely on the Bible for your knowledge of Jesus.

Chapter 7, Satan’s Associates. If we are to love Jesus and to pursue knowing Him above all else, it will require making war on the idolatrous passions of our heart. A great chapter on sin in the Christian life; it takes away our excuses.

Chapter 9, The Lost Supper. This was my favorite chapter of all. I plan to reread it often. Did you know that there is a God-given way to “accelerate your spiritual growth and rekindle your love for Christ”? It’s not a gimmick, not a formula, not an incentive, not anything man-made, but it works every time. And I’m not going to tell you what it is! You have to read the book! How valuable just this one chapter of truth was to me!

This book did not impact me on an intellectual level. It was aimed at my heart; that place that every day experiences the warfare between loving God or loving myself.

On the note of writing style, I found Rick Holland’s blend of theological proposition and conversational informality to be evenly balanced, giving the reader equal opportunity to think hard and then mentally breathe.

This book could be read by anyone.

I would strongly recommend it for someone who knows and cares nothing about Jesus, what have you got to lose? There’s always something to be said for expanding your horizons.

I would recommend it for someone who might be struggling with their own salvation or finding the Christian life more difficult than expected.

I would recommend it for someone who has loved Jesus for a long time; there’s nothing sweeter than rehearsing our Saviour’s greatness.

I would recommend it for someone who is coming alongside a younger believer; it’s full of practical and compelling truth regarding living the Christian life.

Here is the Amazon link again for Uneclipsing the Son, by Rick Holland.


Thanks so much for reading about what I’ve been reading! I love to hear about books. What have you been reading and why…

“If I Be Lifted Up…” an Easter sermon from Dr. Doug Bookman

Have you ever wondered Christ had to die on a cross? Or did he have to die on a cross?

Why the crucifixion?

I know at different points in my life I’ve asked all these questions and more.

The Easter sermon we heard last year, dealing with this exact topic, had an impact on me that lasted all year long.

I am planning on listening to it again in preparation for Easter Sunday, and I would love it if you would, too.

If I Be Lifted Up…

by Dr. Doug Bookman, (one of Paul’s favorite professors!)

Hello February

2007-2009 334Hello February… a week and a half late.

Hello shortest month of the year.

Hello my husband’s birthday month.

Hello busy month.

Hello month that I’ve decided to not read blogs.

What? Screeeeeech!!! Slow down, and say that again.

Hello month that I’ve decided to not read blogs.

This was a hard and easy decision for me. I began reading blogs about two years ago; it’s been a constant source of inspiration, entertainment and relaxation ever since. But the truth is, I’m not that purposeful with it anymore. One leads to another, to another, to another; before I know it, it’s way past my bedtime. And what do I have to show for it? Not much. The thought crossed my mind that for a month I should not read any, and right away I knew it would be a good thing to do.

I’ve been feeling a definite pull in my heart away from devotion to Jesus, a disconnectedness to my children, and an apathy toward my marriage.

Are blogs causing this? No! My heart is the cause of this. I love myself so much that I’m willing to sacrifice what’s best for me (sleep, preparation, prayer) for the temporal pleasure of reading interesting posts or looking at pretty pictures of decor.

So, in honor of the month of love, I’m casting something away with the hopes of learning again to love Jesus supremely.

So far, honestly, it’s been a little rough. I find myself during the day thinking about it or looking for an excuse to check my email or something. It’s amazing how quickly we can set ourselves on mommy-autopilot without even realizing it.

I was sort of on the fence about whether to cut out Pinterest or not, but am pretty sure that at least for now it needs to go, too.

There’s no official plan of action besides just cutting out my nighttime pastime for right now. I’m not expecting instant results or trying to go about it in a A.B.C. no-fail manner. Just saying no to my desire for “down time” which inevitably leads to “wasted time.”

So… we’ll see what happens.

Hello February.

NYR: A goal about love

It just occurred to me as I was sitting here reading online, that maybe I should only have one resolution this year.

You see, there is so much that I’m horribly mediocre at; I long to grow in my decorating and cooking abilities. I want to become a consistent disciple-maker of my children. I want to read more and make better use of my time.

But the one thing that I feel that I want the most often becomes the last priority on the list.  Which we all know means I don’t really want it at all.

I want to love Jesus. But I just love myself too much. It doesn’t matter what I say; my actions speak the truth.

So what if this year my one goal and resolution was to love Jesus?

I know that you have to put more arms and legs on it than that, but here’s my idea for right now. What if at the end of every day, or at the beginning of each morning I survey the past twenty-four hours and ask myself, “Did I love Jesus? Was love for him the motivation behind each action and the constraint behind each refusal?”

I will have to think on this more. I do know that while I look back at this year and am satisfied to see tons of improvement, there’s something major missing. Last year’s goals were great, but it’s time to go farther.

(God is so faithful to lead when we seek Him. Just after these thoughts occurred to me, I came across these posts from girltalkhome.com)