You may not have qualified for the Olympics, but you certainly deserve a spot on the podium in our eyes. There are no “perfect scores” in motherhood, but if you had a discipline breakthrough, managed a middle school meltdown, or found time in your day to pursue a dream, then we want to take a moment and celebrate alongside you. Even the little “victories” add up to be big wins in the long run; so let’s champion each other–after all, we’re on the same team.
Today we are happy to welcome mom and teacher Andrea Thomas to the blog. Hi Andrea! Thanks so much for writing with me. I hope you have a good summer off from school.
Hi. I know you said this was my summer writing project, so I just barely made it! This is my crew of 8 kids and my husband Jeff.
What a wonderful picture. How you got all of you dressed so nicely and looking at the camera and smiling is a mystery to me. ❓ And you look adorable! Tell us about your kids.
We have 8 children from ages 17 to 3, made up of 3 girls and 5 boys. They’re an active bunch but we still try to preserve some family time. Sometimes it’s only moments or a quick, shoveled in dinner before practices start, but still a bit of time together.
It must be hard to get everyone together. But I bet they will remember how you made it a priority for the family to stick together and I bet it makes a huge difference to them now too! Do you wear any other hats in addition to your [big, gigantic, hugely significant] Mom Hat?
I teach 2nd grade and have taught for going on 19 years!
Mom and teacher! Two of the best titles a girl could hold! What is a recent mom win you experienced that took time and perseverance to accomplish?
Earlier in the summer I was good about taking a few minutes every morning to read my devotionals and pray. To sit with the Lord for just a few minutes. I was glad the kids could see it too. To know that it was important enough to take time to do. As we traveled in July and my routine got shaken, I lost the consistency of my prayer time. It kept getting pushed off until it was time for bed and had never been accomplished. Then, August 1st came around and the emails about getting back into the school building. The need to get clothes, shoes, and other school supplies ready. The emails about fall teams and practices. The desire to have the house in the best, most organized shape before I return to school. The other commitments that were taking time and energy. It only took until August 2nd for me to feel the anxiety and be overwhelmed with everything. I stayed in that state, panicky and anxious, most of the day. I was dropping a child off and trying to figure out what to attack next on my to do list when it occurred to me that I hadn’t taken the time to actually pray that day or really the last several days. At that moment, I decided that it would be the first thing I did when I got home, regardless of all that was waiting to be done. When I got home, I sat down to read my devotional starting with the first one missed and it was clear why I had been nudged to return to prayer. The scripture and reflection were from Luke 10, the story of Martha and Mary. It was so clearly written for me in that moment. It instructed me to be still and rest in Him. To put aside my to do list and allow God to transform me. That Jesus doesn’t want our scurrying and stressing, he wants our hearts. I was so grateful to God and my worries melted away. I renewed my commitment to praying at the start of my day and bringing forth the Mary within me. And those to-do lists, they aren’t nearly as fearsome.
Oh, Andrea, that’s so encouraging. I love those moments when we listen to the Holy Spirit and it makes such a difference in our day, but also in our routine and in how we can approach our “lists.” What a good reminder to seek God first and allow the rest to come in second place. What is a mom win that you would text your best friend?
I was feeling pretty hesitant to go school supply shopping for all 8 of the kids this year. There were so many lists, so many common items, and so many little people excited to shop! I’m usually more organized and make a spreadsheet but it was a last minute decision to go and hit a sale so I wasn’t as prepared. I was beginning to get worked up when it occurred to me that my two oldest could use their phones to get the school supply lists online as well and they could help their younger siblings. So, that’s what we did. We split into three groups, each tackling their own lists and making sure that we got everything we needed. It only took about 20 minutes and everyone was happy and engaged…no whiny preschoolers because they were helping as well! It was a win all around!
Twenty minutes of school shopping for 8 kids! That’s not just a win, that’s a miracle! 👍 Any words of encouragement for other moms in the trenches like you?
It’s okay if your kids don’t like you every now and then. Our jobs are not to be their best friends (although we want them to trust us enough to let us into their world) but to get them to heaven. So, if they don’t get mad at you or “hate” you at least once a day, you’re not doing your job.
Thanks for that good reminder! And thanks for taking time out of your summer to share a piece of your journey with us! We hope you have a great 19th year of teaching!
If you would like to be featured in our mom win section, contact us here. We love to get to know new moms and celebrate life’s victories with you!