About Teresa

Hello! One of my greatest passions is encouraging and mentoring women to partner with God through the everyday circumstances of life. I am a speaker and also the author of Becoming A Peaceful Mom (Amazon). Connect with me at www.celebratethefamily.org!

For Moms: Live Forward!

How is this going to affect our relationship?
Have I hurt him so deeply that . . .
Ohh, I regret my tone of voice!
I wish I could undo . . .

I wrestled through thoughts like these countless times over the years of raising our children, beginning when they were toddlers and through the teen years. I wish I could say that I never wrestled again after that, but I have. Why? I’ve let words or behavior that I regret hold me captive. Worry seeps in, as do thoughts of negative possibilities.

Honestly, I don’t think that these types of experiences blanket our days. Rather, if we take time to remember, simple precious moments over countless hours will flood our memory—precious smiles and giggles, watching a child play or experience something for the first time, bedtimes, their excitement as they share a story or accomplishment, hugging our child or being hugged by them, that look that lets us see their love or gratitude, our phone calls . . .

So, why is it that painful memories haunt us or flare up whenever something goes sideways regarding a child? And why do those questions and worries seem to crowd out the greater evidences of sweet times?

God yearns for you and me to grasp His view—of us, of how He wants us to live in relationship with Him, of our role as moms.

He appointed us to be moms, when he wrote our days in His book before we were born. (Psalm 139) Nothing we say or do is a surprise to Him. He knows our history, our current life, and the state of our heart. His view of our effort is tender, loving, and abounding in grace—not critical, disappointed, and questioning why He made us mothers. Do you wrestle with believing this? The strategy to end the wrestling is a growing intimacy with Jesus Christ. Learn, for yourself, the truth about His view of you. God sees you and me as the person He knows we will become, as we partner with Him to love and raise our children.

We are disciples of Christ, which means we are lifelong learners of how to follow Him. One way we learn is through being a mom, and some of our practice will be hard.

Leave the past.  Only, leave it in the hands of our Almighty God.

Invite God to help you learn all that He wants you to learn from it. If a memory concerns or burdens you, unload it to God. Jesus died for all our brokenness. Lay it at the foot of his cross. Seek, receive, and embrace His forgiveness. Invite Him to restore your heart, your child’s heart, and your relationship. He will.

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavishes on us.” (Ephesians 1.7–8a)

Live forward.  Only, live forward in the path lovingly prepared for you by our Sovereign Father.

Mark the many beautiful moments of being a mom. Mark your growth, your child’s growth, your relationship’s growth. Mark change. Mark redemption. And thank God.

On the larger canvas of life, each season blends into the next. Each brush stroke has purpose, for the child and for us. Memories of hard experiences slowly fade, even heal, as God’s love covers all. The image that God has been painting all along reveals breathtaking beauty.

How To Give When We Feel Empty

I don’t have anything else to give.
I’m tired of trying.
I’m done.

Do you have anyone in your life who is just hard to love sometimes?  We try. We pray. We seek advice or perspective from others. We try again . ,. and sometimes we get tired of trying.

God knows we are going to struggle to love others sometimes, just like others are going to struggle to love us at times.

We pour out all that is in us—We encourage, help, listen, share time, try to be thoughtful, and express love. Yet, as we pour or give, we empty.  When we experience hurt or offense in the form of absence of appreciation, indifference, criticism, or judgment, it’s like the faucet gets turn on full blast. We’re drained dry. Our feelings of love and our desire to give deplete.

We are not created with a limitless reservoir of love inside. God IS the reservoir. “God is love.” (1 John 4.8b)

“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” (1 John 4.16)

We have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.

Have you come to know God’s love for you?

Do you believe He loves you as much as much as You’ve heard He does?

As we seek to know God, he grows our understanding of how great his love for us is.  It’s humbling to recognize how conditional our feelings can be.  And it’s a relief to discover that God’s love for us and in us is intended to be the means for relationship with others—not how we feel in the moment.

You and I are made to be loved by God.
Say it out loud… I was made to be loved by God.

Slow down and let this truth move from your mind into your heart.  Invite God to sink this amazing truth into the deepest place of your heart—God, You loved me as you formed me, and You want me to enjoy Your love every day.

When we draw deeply from the reservoir of God’s love for us, His love flows through us. He replenishes our exhausted heart.

Filled with God’s love, we can release to Him the hurt or offense, and forgive.

Filled with God’s love, we can experience His healing, strengthening, and grace to begin anew.

Filled with God’s love, we can have a conversation with that person and remain calm.

Filled with God’s love, we can love our child through his rebellious days, just as God loves us through ours. Our child experiences, “I’m for you. I love you. I’m not going anywhere.”

Filled with God’s love, we love WITH HIS LOVE.

God’s love transforms hearts, beginning with ours.  When we draw from His reservoir, and let His love fill us full, it’s His love that overflows to others.

Dear God,
Thank you for your love. Help me come to know and believe more fully your love for me. Please remind me to draw from your unending reservoir of love, and help me be a vessel of Your love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

The Best Way To Work Through

What are you trying to work through?  If you’re like me, often it’s not just one thing. Whatever it is, it can consume our thoughts, drain our energy, and sink us low.

. . . heartbreak . . .a frustrating job . . . an unfair outcome . . . financial issues . . . a stressful relationship . . . an ongoing health matter . . . overcoming a fear . . . completing something  . . .a devastating loss.

I have been studying the book of Haggai, a two-page history near the end of the Old Testament. It’s been several years since I read it, and I thought I’d zip through in a couple of days. I was wrong. God is holding me in His words here, helping me learn more deeply Who He is and how He loves us. God speaks through the prophet Haggai and tells His people to first consider their past way of living and now to consider Who He is and how He wants them to live forward, how they are to work now.

And when God knew He held their attention, He assured them of His love: “I am with you, declares the LORD.” (Haggai 1.13)

Their obvious work is to rebuild God’s temple, a daunting and monumental job. Yet, I imagine among all these workers, they are working through personal struggles with any number of the themes listed above–not to mention the fear of attack from enemies. God knows this. He sees their heart and assures them of HIs commitment to them.

God sees how you and I sometimes work through things—by self-determination, by denial or avoidance, by complaining, judging, or jealousy. He sees our fear, grief, anger, or waning hope. I have wasted much time working through circumstances and relationships leaning on my emotions, on what I think, on whatever evidence is tangibly in front of me—rather than leaning in to God who is right here with me.

God loves us in our weakness, even when we lean away from Him. He doesn’t scold or shame us. He doesn’t ridicule or react as though He’s surprised by our behavior. He doesn’t leave or step back to give us space to figure out that we need Him. God remains near. He keeps His word:

“I am with you, declares the LORD.”

Back to Haggai…  God speaks again to His people, as they work.  “Be strong . . . Work, for I am with you, declares the LORD of hosts . . . My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not.” (Haggai 2.4-5)

This. God is making us strong warriors.
He assures us that we can be strong as we work through anything because He is with us, because His Spirit is in our midst.

God knows the strength you and I need when circumstances wear us down or cause us to worry, to fear. He wants us to rest secure in His strength. How do we get there? We practice every day by getting to know Him through His Word, talking to Him, and learning to listen to Him.

This strength He calls us to is poured in to us and grown as we walk with Him. His pour is not like an energy drink that lasts for a few hours. When you and I lean in to Almighty God, He provides a sustaining stamina that compels awe in us.

When we depend on God’s strength, trusting HIs presence with us, His peace transcends the circumstance and He grows our faith to trust, He’s got this. We partner with Him and work through—and continue to become who He created us to be, all to His glory.

Dear God,
I don’t want to work through any thing on my own anymore. I am sorry for all the times that I have leaned away from you, rather than toward you. Thank you for your patient love. Thank you that you are always with me, in my midst. Help me believe this and trust you more. Amen.