“No way, Mom. I found a shark's tooth!” My six year old’s sun kissed face was beaming as she held up to me with both palms her tiny treasure.
The day before, a kind couple had passed our family on our way off the beach. They were older and looked at our young girls (and us as parents with our arms overflowing with beach necessities) with a “we remember when” gaze. They knelt down and asked our kids if they’d like a shark's tooth to take home. They had found so many today. “Yea!” Our girls squealed, accepting in awe the small, inky blank, pointy objects. The couple then showed our girls what to look for at the water's edge to find more.
I had gone to this same beach for over 30 years and never, not even once, in all my seashell hunting had I found a shark's tooth. Here’s what Iearned from the sweet couple and my own kids. The shark’s teeth have always been there. I just hadn’t discovered any because I hadn't been looking for them.
What we seek we find. That’s exactly what looking for shark’s teeth and our view of the nearness of God have in common.
Can I give it to you point blank?
So often I am completely stilled that the God of the universe would answer my greatest and deepest desire with the story that he has.
From as early as I can remember, I have always dreamed of being a mom. As the oldest of four children, I always felt like I was my siblings' second momma. When I was little and someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was always “a mom”, or “I want to work with orphans and love them as my own.” It's funny how God plants those little seeds in our hearts from the youngest of ages.
However, God's timeline was different from mine, but gracious. It was perfect. The miracles he has worked in my life have drawn me closer to him in ways that I never imagined possible. He took that desire to care for orphans and children and made it my story through adoption. So, THIS is my story and my greatest heart’s desire is to use all for His glory…
The past summers I’ve had a babysitter come throughout the week to help me while I juggle work and kids. But, this year looks different. Summer 2022 is the summer I’m home and fully on mom duty. My work hasn’t disappeared. I just want time with my littles before my oldest heads off to Kindergarten.
I don’t know about you, but I was overwhelmed when the last week of school hit. What are we going to do all day? How do I juggle it all.? “Okay, Kaley, breathe.”
When I stepped out of the panic, I realized I wanted this next few months to be purposeful. A summer that’s intentional and fun. One where core memories are made. And, that’s not just going to happen by itself.
So, here are three simple things I did to get a family plan together to have the best summer ever with our kids.
When you speak a blessing, you are declaring favor and goodness over people and reminding someone who their God is to stir faith in them. If faith is stirred through speaking blessings, and faith can change the world, why couldn’t we shift the hearts and perspectives of ourselves and our children by deciding to speak blessings over them each day?
If you need somewhere to start, here are five blessings to speak over your children...
I’ve found that "mom guilt" is more accessible than it should be and easier to yield to than I am willing to admit...
Here’s the truth. Mom guilt started way before motherhood; this is not something that magically appeared after giving birth to a fun size version of myself, it has always been there. There’s always an array of guilt, we have just done a great job at putting words in front it. Now there's- job guilt, wife guilt, friend guilt, food guilt, shoppers’ guilt.
Guilt is guilt no matter what word we place in front of it.
For me, this started as a little girl who was groomed to meet the unyielding expectations of others. If I dared to not meet them, I would be greeted with rejection, feelings of abandonment and words that affirmed I wasn’t good enough. These repeated moments wrote the words to a novel I was never designed to be a character in.
Through these exchanges, I learned how to easily deem myself guilty. The judge was my unresolved issues of the past throwing down the gavel, validating my charges and sentencing me to guilt prison.
This isn’t new, it’s just matured....
The term "mom guilt" has conveniently given guilt permission to grow with us into motherhood and occupy space in different areas of our lives.
So, how do we choose God's grace over "mom guilt"?
Kaley Rivera Thompson is an author, copywriter, Bible teacher, speaker, and worship leader. When she's not championing other women, cheering on the rising generation, writing or playing her guitar, Kaley loves to sip strong coffee, go on hikes, or take a day trip to the mountains with her family. She takes the most pride in being a mom to three little girls, Lina, Lili and Ceci. You can follow her on instagram at @kriverathompson or find out more on her website at kriverathompson.com.