As a mom, you may not have qualified for the Rio 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 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 I have the privilege to introduce you to a good friend of mine, Lindsey Dennis!
Hi! Most days, this is what I look like:
Hair up in a “Mom bun”, no makeup and workout clothes (in the hopes that I’ll get in a workout or just be super comfy for the day). I love this photo because I look a bit tired and unkempt. Strange that I love it and would share it right? But, what I love is that my son doesn’t care how I look, he just wants to be with his momma and in this photo, though my first instinct is to say “girl, go put a little lip gloss on at least”, what I really see is that real joy is found in the imperfect, mundane moments of life.
And this is why I love you. ☺ That is my usual mom uniform as well and I love your point about our kids caring so much more about our presence than our appearance. (But PS I think you look great and Jaden is such a cutie!!)
Do you wear any other hats in addition to your [big, gigantic, hugely significant] Mom Hat?
Probably more than I really need to wear which I’m ever trying to prioritize. But the ones that make the top of the list are walking with Jesus, loving and serving my incredible husband, Kevin, and my family. I also co-lead our Campus Ministry team with Kevin, investing in the lives of college students who are a part of the internship program at Walt Disney World and our staff as we help them walk with Jesus and make him known. I also write and speak occasionally and seek to care for women I meet via my blog and other places who are walking through some of the similar experiences that I have. [ To follow Lindsey, go to www.vaporandmist.com or on instagram: lrdennis]
I love seeing all of the ways God uses you and your heart. So tell us about your kids…
I love sharing about my kids, I have 3…2 who are with Jesus and 1 who came into our lives through adoption.
Our first, Sophie, was diagnosed in utero with a condition that would not allow her to live once born. We celebrated her life as we carried her to term and she was born on September 1, 2013, with a loud cry that no one thought she would make and an independent and fighting spirit that we got to experience both in the womb and in her precious 10 hours of life.
As we grieved deeply we were still trusting the Lord for more children and I became pregnant soon after with our 2nd daughter, Dasah, who much to the shock of us and our doctors was diagnosed with a similar condition. We cherished our time with her as we carried her to term and she was born on November 13, 2014 wiggling, cooing and giving us quite a display of her vibrant personality in the sweet 12 hours of life God gave her. Our daughters have and continue to teach us much of the goodness and faithfulness of our God and carrying them to term and getting to hold them in our arms for 22 hours were the greatest privileges of my life.
In February of last year, our son, Jaden, was born and came into our life through adoption. At almost 1 year old, he is crawling around, curious about everything and has a smile that will melt your heart. He has brought so much joy to our home and is such a sweet gift to us.
There are no words to express how much your journey has influenced me. You have walked this hard road with such grace and vulnerability. It has been incredibly inspiring. And then when God brought Jaden into your life and you so transparently shared the news, I cried big tears of joy for you. ❤
Well, switching gears, what is a recent mom win you experienced that took time and perseverance to accomplish?
Letting go of control of nap times! Well, I’m not sure I’ve completely done that, but today at least I relinquished some control. I’m an introvert and cherish (more than I should) the space I get to recharge when Jaden is napping. However, the last couple of weeks he has been fighting his naps more and beginning to change his routine which has thrown me for a loop. I so desperately want him to be on my schedule and battle my own selfish desires as I seek to care for him well. Today I decided I’d let him nap on his schedule and not mine, not trying to force it and choosing to trust the Lord with the space that He gives me and the energy to engage well with my son if it’s not the space I expected. Today has been a huge win, of trusting the Lord with my independent little son, and finding more joy than I anticipated in the relinquishing of control (not to mention my heart is not racing with frustration). Maybe I’ll practice letting go tomorrow too. ?
You said that so well. I definitely remember those days and definitely still care too much that my girls nap! That time to recharge is really important for me too — although it’s sadly waning for me! Next time my girls don’t nap as planned, I will try to remember your words of relinquishing control and trusting God to give me what I need. ?
What is a mom win that you would text your best friend?
I love watching all the “firsts” that Jaden is doing! Over Christmas he was on his stomach and working so hard to try to sit up, I was tempted to just pick him up but I let him struggle and after 5 minutes he finally got himself up to seated. I was so proud of him!
So sweet! And good job, Mom!?
Any words of encouragement for other moms in the trenches like you?
I’ve worked in full time ministry for 15 years now, and though the last few years have taken us on a journey where my capacity in ministry is much less, this season of caring for a little baby surely takes it out of me. It’s hard to remember that when I’m reading Jaden a book about cow’s going “Moo” for the 10th time, that I’m doing work of eternal significance.
Perhaps the biggest thing God is trying to wrap my heart and mind around is that faithfulness in caring for my son when he’s crying, when he needs his diaper changed, when I’m making food for him, when we’re exploring something outside is just as significant as sitting across from a student sharing the gospel. Our lives are measured not by what great things we accomplish but on how we are faithful and obedient to what God has called us to today. I’m investing in the next generation of Christ-followers as I invest in my son day in and day out, ever learning how to shepherd his every growing heart, and that is the most significant thing I can be doing with my time and energy. I daily need that reminder and I imagine most moms do too.
Wow, Lindsey. Such encouraging words. I need to hang those up on my mirror and read them daily. May we internalize the truth of our significant role as moms. ❤
Thank you so much for sharing your heart and what you’re learning as a mom. ?
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