Author Archives: amothersheritage

5 Practical Helps when Mama is Sick

5(1)Most of the years of my chronic illness I was homeschooling, having a baby every two years and nursing a baby the years I wasn’t pregnant. Having 8 children 19 down to 4 it was never convenient to be on the couch. But, God’s ways are not our ways and even when we do not understand it, His way IS perfect. Here are a few practical suggestions for those times in the thick of physical afflictions:

  1. Remember you are the perfect mother for your children. When you feel discouraged over all things you want to do or feel you should do but you are hindered, remember God chose you specifically for your children’s mama. He knew your strengths and your weaknesses. God sanctifies us through our trials, but guess what? He has carved this trial out for your children too and is growing them through it! This is especially important to remember if you are struggling with depression, because our minds are constantly telling us the opposite. Your children love YOU as their mama!
  2.  Carve out a comfort area. When I was super sick I felt like my life was spinning out of control. You can imagine lots of little children and the messes that our house can have! I have had OCD and been so perfectionistic that clutter and mess would literally affect my entire brains ability to function. One of the bits of council I received was to find one area of my home, whether it was as small as a closet or my master bedroom that I could keep exactly the way I wanted it to be. Some area off limits to messes and where I could retreat and breathe deep if needed. Which leads me to my next point.
  3. Give yourself permission to rest. This is a season where you need to realize you are sick. With things like adrenal fatigue and depression, it is hard because we look ok outwardly but inwardly we feel like we are dying. Extra rest and allowing yourself to get away and get quiet might be a necessity. Don’t get to where I did where I was on a forced 6 week sabbatical because I crashed. No one benefits from mama wearing herself out. In my blog post Is “Me Time” Biblical? I share how early in my mothering days I felt that time away from my children was selfish and that a mama should never need time alone or with other adults. But, now I believe it actually to be a duty of a busy mama, for the sake of her family, to take time to recharge and gain back strength for her calling. In another post I write about 12 Tips for Biblical Me Time.
  4.  Don’t feel guilty about having your children help you. We have had a buddy system where an older sibling can help a younger sibling. This kind of responsibility is good for our growing children. Let them help you with the housekeeping, teach them how to cook a meal, have them do their own laundry. In our home the only two children that do not do their own laundry is my 5 year old and 4 year old. The rest—from the 11 year old girl on up are responsible for their own laundry.
  5. Simplify your life. Prioritize what is most important for your family. Ask you husband what house duties are most important to him? Does he not care if the bed is made but dishes in the sink drive him crazy? Then focus on getting the dishes done. Does mess and clutter not bother him, but a hot meal on the table is important? Then make dinner your priority over the mess? Use paper plates, have a hamper to put your clean towels in a hamper and don’t worry about folding them if you need to. Say no to outside commitment. Trim your life down to the essentials as much as you can.

Remember struggling mama, there is grace from the Lord for those that are quietly waiting for Him in their trials and afflictions.

“The Lord gets His best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.”
― Charles Haddon Spurgeon

~~Feeling weary and worn down physically or mentally? Make sure to read my health testimony and my journey with adrenal fatigue and depression. If you’d like more info on the protocol that God has blessed me with connect with me on facebook or email me at sandjervin@gmail.com

 

 

5 Ways a Mama Can Worship with Young Children

How to have private devotions-2

Daily time with the Lord is an absolute must for a busy mama.  Just like we need to eat often, we need fresh supplies of grace from Christ on a regular basis.  But, the age old question is, when you are a mama with lots of little ones how do you get away from your children to be able to worship the Lord in quiet.  The answer is: You don’t.  😀

Today I would like to share with you 5 tips for how a busy mama of a large household can make that important time with the Lord when it is hard for her to find even a moment of quiet. My secret? Take them with you as you go to the Lord! Here are a few ways I have done this over the years.

1. First of all, remember that the Lord understands about distractions. We all know about the times we have been in the middle of prayer and someone opens the door for the umpteenth time and we yell “HUSH! I am praying!!!”

Right????

Let’s not pretend we have never done that. Here we are seeking Christ and then getting so angry and frustrated in our hearts. But, we have to remember the Lord understands the mamas that have broken prayers that are interrupted many times. He is not looking for perfection in our eloquence but for sincerity even in our sighs towards Him.

2. Have some quiet toys or books that the child/children can play with in the same room as you.  Coloring is sometimes a good thing as well. Having 5 boys– a bin of cars they can play with on the floor was always a hit. If there is more than one child you will want to separate them onto different couches or areas.  Explain to them this is Mama’s time with the Lord and they have to play with their mouths closed for a few minutes.  This might take some time in training but eventually they will get used to this quiet time.

3. Worship the Lord in the yard or on the front porch while they are playing outside.  They can run, play and be loud while you are reading and praying. Susanna Wesley used to throw her apron over her head when she needed a moment to pray. I am sure it was crazy all around her at times.

4. Take a walk with your children, let them run ahead or next to you, but take that time to be memorizing a scripture or praying.  Maybe even put ear plugs in and be listening to scripture while you are pushing the stroller.  I LOVE Bible Gateway for audio!

5. Read and pray out loud.  It is good for our children to hear their mama praying and pouring her heart out to the Lord. To hear the bible being read aloud.  They are listening they are observing, they are learning.  Lately, I have been reading on my front porch while my 4 year old putters and plays around the yard.  Today though, he wanted me to scoop him up on my lap and listen while I read.  Then I walk either around the yard or down our quiet road.  He follows with me and I pray while he walks next to me.  Sometimes we walk round and round while I am talking to God.  I know if the neighbors look out from their windows they might wonder about the crazy lady walking around waving around her arms in deep conversation.  LOL!

In short, include your little ones in your time with Jesus.  What a blessing for them to have a memory of playing at your feet or walking next to you while you were with the Lord.  Maybe this is a practical way we can be leading our little ones to God!

When Mama Blows It

When Mama Blows It-2

I am reading a book called Miracle Mornings for Network Marketers (Gasp, yup I am a NM and love it even though I wasn’t going to work from home). I have been challenged once again to try and supercharge my mornings.  Now, to those who don’t know me well, I am allergic to mornings.  Seriously, mornings and I do not get along.  One of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue is an upset circadian rhythm—upside down where your energy is best at night instead of in the mornings.  So it is a continual battle for me.  But, even though I have literally just gotten through the introduction of the book, I am challenged again to do what I can to make my mornings more productive.

It takes 21 days to make a habit, so I told my husband that for the next several weeks (the month of Feb) I was going to be attempting to be hitting the sack at 11 (EARLY for me) and up at a more reasonable time in the morning.  Day one was fantastic.  I was so productive and felt so great about everything.  But, sickness has hit our family big time the past couple of weeks and one morning shortly after my son was home and had my phone and forgot to wake me up.  I was upset.  My perfect plan was foiled!

But, you know what?  Why are we so black and white about expectations we put on ourselves?  Why am I such a perfectionist?  If I have a bad eating day why do I throw in the towel and binge on a bag of potato chips because I have ruined everything?  Anyone else relate?

So here’s the thing.  When we sleep later than we planned, when we mess up our perfect eating menu, when our schedule gets off kilter.  When we lose our cool with our children, forget an appointment that was scheduled, mess up AGAIN

We start fresh.  We do what we can. We take baby steps back.

Because life is not about doing it all right.  Life is about leaning on the Lord.  And guess what His word says,

It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. Lam. 3: 22-23

So did you blow it today, mama?  Take it to the Lord.  And start afresh by His grace.  His mercies are new every morning.  I am so glad, aren’t you?

~~Feeling weary and worn down physically or mentally? Make sure to read my health testimony and my journey with adrenal fatigue and depression. If you’d like more info on the protocol that God has blessed me with connect with me on facebook or email me at sandjervin@gmail.com
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What is Adrenal Fatigue? (In Layman’s Terms)

What is

Many of you have read about the day I stopped functioning and the years of my health struggles.  You remember the depression, the fatigue, and my inability to handle stress or make decisions that built over many years.  It was my midwife who was the first one to mention that I needed to check out my adrenals at some point.  That was the beginning of much research and learning about this little understood hidden illness.  I am not a doctor, nor do I pretend to be any type of professional.  I also am not going to give deep medical explanations about what adrenal fatigue is.  There are other sites for that.  I am going to give you in simple, layman terms some description of this misunderstood silent illness.

First, what do our adrenals do?  In short, our adrenals sit on top of our kidneys and are responsible for our “fight or fight response.”  When your body reacts to stress it is our adrenals that give the signal to our bodies to release cortisol to enable us to rise to the occasion of the stressful situation.  We have all heard of the superhuman moments people can have in an emergency.  A mother lifting a car to get her child out from under it.  A person ignoring searing pain to rescue someone.  This is all stemming from our adrenals.  Think of it like the gas petal on your car.  Our adrenals rev our engines and enable us to go.

The problem is that this adrenaline response is supposed to kick in and then relax again.  But, in our high stress society we don’t sit on the front porch anymore and kick our feet up and watch the sunset.  We move from busyness to busyness and before we know it we are entering a state of exhaustion.

If our adrenals begin to be in a constant state of stress then they can get stuck “on”. At that point you see things like insomnia kick in.  Panic attacks, anxiety, a feeling of not being able to relax. Our body begins to be a continual cortisol factory.  And guess what?  Cortisol steals progesterone.  Now as women we begin to experience hormone issues as all our hormones get out of kilter. Our monthlys may become abnormal.  We may develop a cortisol belly and cannot lose weight. Our adrenals control our blood sugar so we may begin to see pre-diabetic symptoms beginning.  All from these two tiny organs on top of our kidneys.

I have an especial burden for mamas like me who have had baby after baby for so many years.  We have been bearing babies and breastfeeding, giving to our children but not caring for ourselves.  Many of us homeschool and we are seeking to follow the Lord in the diligent raising of our families.  But, we are breaking down physically and finding it harder to function day by day.  As the fatigue increases, the inability to make decisions gets harder.  Now, small stressors begin to loom mountain like.  Non-stressful situations now become like blaring alarms in our system and we are on a continual loop of “emergency mode”.

Adrenal fatigue and all the ailments that go along with it can be very lonely.  We look fine to people around us.  And for a long time we can put a front on so that everything looks ok.  We smile outwardly but inwardly we are spiraling downhill.  The ability to get out of bed every morning gets harder and harder and making it through the day becomes a matter of survival.

At this point, we may begin to feel the guilt of the lack of joy we are feeling.  We may feel distant from God.  We chide ourselves, knowing we are so blessed how can we possibly feel depressed?  (Ask me how I know).  Our spiritual lives suffer.  We pray, cry out to God, we may even be memorizing scripture but our bodies are crying out for rest and help.

THIS is part of why I now have this strong burden to help other moms who have been struggling like I was.  Because the battle is real.  Satan would love to discourage us in our most important job of raising this next generation for Jesus.

But, I am here to tell you the health of our bodies distinctly can affect the health of our souls.

When Elijah was discouraged and asked the Lord to die.  Did the Lord chasten him for his lack of faith?  No, the Lord addressed his physical needs. God gave him sleep and food. Sleep and food.  Then after his body was refreshed the Lord encouraged his soul. So my sisters, in caring for our bodies we are following the example of the Lord Jesus.

There are different stages of adrenal fatigue ranging from mild to severe.  I was pretty severe before I began my journey of healing.  It is my hope that many will recognize the symptoms earlier on and begin to care for their bodies before they crash as low as I did.

Adrenal fatigue IS real.  While you did not hear of the term as often 50 years ago, Adrenal fatigue has always been and still is a very real condition.  In fact, our modern steroids that are commonly prescribed were origianally made from natural adrenal glandulars.  With the introduction of synthetic drugs the steroidal prescriptions like prednisone took it’s place. Many allopathic doctors do not recognize it unless you have reached complete adrenal failure (called Addisons’s disease). Your doctor might even tell you your physical weaknesses are simply because you have a large family. But more and more people are beginning to take seriously the reality and natural doctors have long seen the importance of paying attention to these little organs in our body.

If you can relate to what I have described, I would love to talk with you and share more about what my protocol is that has helped me so much. Email me sandjervin@gmail.com or find me on Facebook. I also have an adrenal fatigue support group that can be an immense source of encouragement.

Take heart!  There is hope!