Hey mamas! My name is Mackenzie. I get to be a part of the Thrive team as your prayer team leader - and it is a privilege to pray for you and your families. I'm honored to share on the blog today!
A year ago this month, I kissed my husband and 10-month-old goodbye as I hopped on a plane from Montana to Indiana. I spent four days at the Influence Conference (which is put on by the encouraging and very welcoming Influence Network). These four days were life-changing, inspiring, and so, so refreshing. It was a highlight of my year.
I'm unable to go to the conference this year, which is quite sad for me. But my experience from last year is still affecting my life. I'd love to share a few things with you that I learned last year, with the focus of being a mom. What I'm sharing today will hopefully encourage you whether you are going to the conference this year, or if you'd never heard of it before today.
Take time to be vulnerable with other women.
Bleh. Vulnerability is really scary sometimes. But what I experienced at last year's Influence Conference is that vulnerability is worth it. Women truly thrive when we have people in our lives that we can be ourselves with, cry with, and be honest with. Moms tough it out all day long - so we need some moments during our week to just be us. Don't bottle it all up; spend time with women you trust and let them in to your life.
Also, sometimes getting vulnerable is much easier when the kiddos aren't around. I recognize time away from the kiddos isn't possible in all seasons of life, but it can be if you think creatively. Join a mom's group that has childcare. When your kids go to bed for the night, let your husband have the night to himself while you grab a late night coffee with a friend. Drop the kids of at grandma's while you meet a friend for lunch.
YOU need to grow, not just your children.
We pour out all day long, and so we've got to be re-filled. I don't have hours a day to research Biblical history, but that doesn't mean I can't connect with God. I've read online devotionals while I breastfeed. I've sat on my front porch with the baby monitor flickering next to me as I read an inspiring book. And my favorite prayer spot? The shower, in between poking my head out of the shower curtain to check on my son. However you connect with God, find a few minutes each day to do so. It will change your life, and your parenting.
This sometimes feels like a joke as a mom. When do we have time for our passions and dreams? But last year's Influence Conference left me hungry to pursue the things that make me come alive. I can't do all the things that I'm passionate about today, or maybe even in the next few years, but I bet I can find a way to start with something. For example, I love to pray for people. I don't own a huge prayer room where I get to pray for people all day long, but I do have 15 minutes during naptime to pray for two three people. It's a small start, but I still get to live out one of my passions.
The Gospel is for you.
There's no criteria we have to meet for Jesus to love us. He just simply does. Your credentials, your terribly painful family life, your lack of having it together - none of these things make you lovable or not. You just ARE loved. Let Him love you today. Invite Him in to your mess. His grace, His faithful love, His renewing is for YOU.