Almost exactly 4 years ago I overheard some friends talking one night about a local Bible study they attended on weekday mornings that offered childcare. I was instantly offended and didn't understand why these girls had been holding out on me. As we all know, "childcare provided" is a magical phrase that makes me sign up for things.
A few mornings later I was sitting beside them in a circle of other new-ish moms listening to this woman talk about her husband's career path and how it affected her as a young mom with four little kids at home. She was mid-sentence when she caught my eye, stopped and said, "What?!" (I can only assume my face was the picture of understanding and empathy).
Now please understand: At this point in my life on an average weekday morning I was either crying over my lot in life (yes, literally crying) or barking in frustration at my toddler and/or infant. By "barking in frustration" I actually mean yelling. I'm not proud of where I was; I was stuck and it was not pretty. When my husband left for work each morning I would FREAK out internally over how the next 12 hours would be spent. Someone was always crying, needing a diaper change or wanting to sit in my lap. Nothing was easy. No one understood. I had no clue how on earth I was going to survive the next 18 years.
Enter Karen Stubbs. In response to her, "what?!" I replied, "but that's not FAIR!" (spoken just like a petulant teenager.) At this point in my life I felt like my husband had it way better than I did. He got to leave the house, do something other people respected him for, get paid, eat a lunch he didn't have to make and do other super glamorous things EVERY STINKING DAY. I got screaming kids, no freedom and stretch marks.
As a young child my father drilled into my head that, "life was not fair," but I think I believed that only in a very global sense. Not in the intensely personal sense that your husband will have a job he loves and be well-respected and you will get to nurse the baby and do lots of laundry.
Karen popped that bubble. She was the first person to confirm that it might not be fair and that frankly it didn't matter. I had an amazing opportunity in front of me and I could take it for what it was or I could spend my days crying about it. It was precisely what I needed at that moment.
Since having this big a-ha moment I've become a Karen
On Friday evening (March 20th) and on Saturday (March 21st) Karen will be speaking. During the day on Saturday you can sign up for two break-out sessions led by veteran moms that will be incredible as well. Anyone familiar with Sandra Stanley?? There will be break-out sessions for blended families, moms of kids with special needs, one on discipline and another on time management, one on boundaries and one on marriage. Sounds amazing right? Because Karen understands #momlife so incredibly well, the conference goes from 8pm-10pm on Friday evening and from 8am-5pm on Saturday. It's only one night out! Only one day away from the family!
I'm considering it an investment in my job that I know will pay huge dividends.
If you've ever read anything here that made you think I enjoyed my children or might have an admirable insight into motherhood to offer, Karen Stubbs is the reason. I desperately want every mother who reads this blog to check out Karen's ministry and group studies. If you're local (or want a purposeful weekend away) sign up for SOAR and come get away from your people with me.
And now here's the exciting bit: I want someone who needs it to come along to this conference for free. Do you need to be encouraged in your role as a mom? Do you have a friend who is struggling as a single mom? Know someone who feels overwhelmed with a new baby and a toddler? Who feels alone in their experience as a mom of a special needs child? If you're already signed up, which amazing friend do you want to come with you FOR FREE???
Share this post and nominate yourself or a friend for this amazing experience! Tell us why you want to go to SOAR or share why your friend is an amazing mama! Encourage her, love on her, celebrate the beauty of what she's doing everyday.
How to enter:
1. Nominate yourself or a friend by sharing this post on your Facebook/Instagram/Twitter feed and tagging up to two friends. Leave a comment letting me know how you shared it! (1 entry for each feed shared and each friend tagged.)
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