Hello and welcome to MAMASTRONG! My name is D.J. and I am a Christian, mixed race, forty something, stay-at-home mother of five UNAPOLOGETICALLY IN LOVE with Jesus Christ! I started this blog because I am passionate about helping other mothers fight to walk with Christ in their womanhood. Of my five kiddos ages 8, 10, 12, 15 and 17, 3 have learning differences (ADHD is a blessing and a curse in our home!), one was born with a severe Cleft Lip and Palate, and one has been hospitalized several times with severe asthma and life-threatening allergies. I’ve got 2 in high school, 1 in middle school and 2 in elementary school. 3 girls and 2 boys. My husband’s job is very demanding and although he is an incredible, very present father he works 10 hour days and travels a ton of weekends. Not to mention I was an only child and never (ever) wanted to be a mom!
What can you expect from this blog? Transparency. Fun. Encouragement. Practical help. My best home management tricks and tips I’ve learned along the way of managing a large family. You’ll join me as I learn how to cook (yes, it is possible to feed a family of 7 every night great, nutritious mostly vegetarian meals even if you are a sub-par chef!). Maybe take a peek at my planner. Beauty and fashion tips for women who are (eh-hem) in bodies that show evidence of the crucible of motherhood (can you say waist-cinchers and a killer make-up technique that hides wrinkles?) And most importantly, I will (gulp) humbly share the Bible and hope to be a conduit for His encouragement and edification.
You know, motherhood is an incredible journey and privilege, but when I look at mothers I often see a group of women who are plagued with insecurity, competitiveness, busy-ness, anxiety and perfectionism. I know. I have been there as I have parented my kiddos and I fight to stay OUT of those places on a daily basis. And I do mean FIGHT. I have learned to be a brawler in 5 key areas of my life against the enemy, the world and my own selfish desires.
Those areas are:
MASTER, ME, MARRIAGE, MOTHERHOOD and MISSION. And they are listed in order of importance. If I imagine my life as a fortress, these would be the 5 walls that I inspect each day through prayer, discernment and counsel. That is what being MamaStrong is all about! It is based on Proverbs 31:25 (which, if you want to read about the baddest chic in the Bible, is the place to find her). She is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs (yes, LAUGHS) at the future. Do you laugh when you think of what the future might hold for your kids? Do you show yourself strong in endurance and patience when depression or the chaos of life with little ones comes knocking? Do you show dignity when your husband is insensitive or your teen is rebelliously embarrassing? And most importantly, do you have the strength, dignity and sense of humor to FORGIVE YOURSELF WHEN YOU BLOW IT? I wish I could answer “yes!” to all of those questions, but the truth is I am in this fight, too. There are days I look at my stretch marks and cry. Days when I am so overwhelmed the only thing I long for isn’t Jesus but a cupcake (or three) and Netflix. Days when I see my husband’s car in the driveway and I just want to turn around and leave.
But that ain’t what defines my life anymore.
I am learning that the weaponry provided by Jesus is invincible. Faith, hope, love, peace, discipline, patience, grace, gentleness, submission… these are more powerful than we can imagine IF we let them rule us. If we truly surrender to His purpose for motherhood. I CAN effect the hearts of my children as I cry out to God on their behalf. I CAN submit to my husband and have a healthy marriage. I CAN choose to believe the truth that I am adored. Protected. Valuable. So valuable the God of the Universe died so we could be together… and in light of that gift I WILL FIGHT AGAINST SIN. I WILL BE DILIGENT AND CREATIVE IN SERVING MY FAMILY. l WILL NOT LIVE LIKE HIS BLOOD MEANT NOTHING.
Every. Single. Day. I. Will. Fight.
I invite you to join me.
I invite you to be MAMASTRONG.
In Christ, DJ