The Mission of Motherhood book review

Let me just start by saying that as a mother, reading edifying books is one of the ways that I refresh myself . So when Sally Clarkson began to wrap up her message explaining how a mother whose well is dry can not continue to give to others without cratering, I was beyond convinced that this book is a treasure.

See Sally Clarkson has been more than a mentor to me .  She has served as THE mother of mothers to us in The Mission of Motherhood although she would probably disagree.

I am not the perfect mother but my vision and understanding of God’s design and intentions gives me a standard of maturing to grow toward.

-Sally Clarkson, The Mission of Motherhood

I have never read a book on motherhood that unapologetically addressed the Mother’s role in the home.  This book is filled with so much perspective and truth, which is so supportive and encouraging to those of us trying to be godly mothers in this satanic world. The book is filled with her (and her children’s) very own personal stories and testimonies. But not in a braggadocios way because ain’t nobody got time for that! But seriously, the personal stories and analogies are very thought provoking and bring much clarity.

One of the many things I took away from this book was the fact that I need to lighten up.  The behaviors I find irritating or unsettling in my children are normal, which confirmed my recent convictions to just allow my children to be children. I can be a bit of a drill sergeant and not only does that hinder my relationship with my children but more importantly, their relationship with God. And concerning that, I was reminded of how our emotions and attitudes influence the spirits of our children.  And by no means is that an excuse to let our children be manipulative (or bound with folly!), it’s just a sobering reality that should keep us on our knees. Which is another thing that I loved about this book. Sally talks about motherhood being a partnership with God. Which is true. Not only have we been blessed to assist God in bringing human life into this world but we’ve been given the noble task of nurturing their precious souls unto the Lord. NOTHING in the workplace can compete with that—Truly impacting generations for the better and ushering people into the kingdom. So, if you have a desire to be a good (godly) mother please check out this book because this review doesn’t do it any justice!

Group hug♥
Brandi

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My Breastfeeding tips for first time nursing mothers

Being a mother definitely marks a new chapter in a woman’s life no matter how many times she may find herself with child. And for me, this time around has been very different because it is my first time breastfeeding.

I have been exclusively breastfeeding our baby girl Lauren for the past 10 months and have been wanting to give other first time nursing mothers a “head’s up”.  So keep in mind that this is just information on how to get started.  If you would like me to share more things on breastfeeding like how I pump or  increase (and decrease!) my milk supply, my nursing diet etc. then just let me know and I’ll make additional parts to this post. But in the meantime let’s get started!

Now the first thing that I would recommend for those of you who are new to breastfeeding is Google. Yes, do your research and get familiar with breasts.

I read COUNTLESS books and articles while I was pregnant. I even watched (way too many!) youtube videos. Some of them were of animals! Now of course you don’t have to be that extreme but I would definitely encourage you to research the process and to examine yourself. The more comfortable (and knowledgeable) you are with your breasts the easier it will be learning how to breastfeed, especially from other people.

And speaking of other people,
Read blogs and talk to other women with experience.

Don’t get me wrong, “professional” opinions are okay but you want to get advice from people who are actually experiencing (or have experienced) what you will be. No shade but I prefer someone who could offer me a little more than book reports and word of mouth. But to each her own. If you are the type to get peace of mind from consulting with professionals, just make sure you’re getting help from EXPERIENCED doctors or nurses who are (or at least want to be!) mothers. And if you have friends or family members who have breastfed then that’s even better. I didn’t have anyone so I asked to have a lactation consultant come and talk to me during our stay at the hospital. She was very helpful. She helped me get through the first couple of days because the nurses were making my experience VERY stressful. Which leads me into the next tip..

Relax and get to know your OWN baby. Always remember that everything isn’t for everybody.

Like I mentioned before, researching is a good thing but setting laws and standards isn’t. Allow yourself time to grow. Especially at the hospital. Your baby is not only new to breastfeeding but to BREATHING in general. Be patient and gentle. Don’t let anyone, not even the doctors ruin  your experience.  For what it’s worth, a lot of the videos I watched on latching were useless. At least for me and my baby.  And that’s the thing, you’ll learn what works best for you and your baby. Each and every family is different so don’t take everything to heart.

And speaking of the heart, Guard it!

We live in a very perverted generation where women think there’s strength in being masculine. Embrace your true femininity. There is nothing more beautiful than a submissive wife and selfless mother. You have to be encouraged because the majority of women will have that “I don’t know how you do it” attitude. Especially selfish mothers or women without children! Don’t be afraid to stand your ground. Even if that means telling your husband that you don’t want any visitors until you guys figure some things out.

Get a manual breast pump

This will be your best friend. Especially if you have a fast let down or an over supply of milk like I did. Trust me,  get one while you’re pregnant and bring it to the hospital with you. And while you’re at it,  grab a few nipple shields too!

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The Lactation consultant at the hospital gave me this manual breast pump and some nipple shields. To this day, I have only used this pump. She doesn’t know how much of a blessing she has been!

Don’t buy into the hype

Now I have to throw this out there because there is nothing wrong with formula feeding! I didn’t breastfeed any of my older children and you wouldn’t know the difference (as far as development goes). Going forward my husband and I just decided to breastfeed because it’s natural and I am embracing godly femininity. Yes, I know that the food industry isn’t trust worthy but what I’m saying is, is just feed the baby.  Don’t let pride and/or idolatry creep up in it.

And last but not least, don’t give up! Just pray.

I’ve noticed that a lot of the things I learned in the beginning were not even applicable until I was about 3 or 4 months in. That’s why we’re repeatedly told not to give up. Especially not within the first 3 months. It really does get easier. I wanted to give up SO many times. So ultimately, my advice to you would be not to give up when it gets tough, just PRAY! That is what has helped me the most.  At the end of the day, no one can help you more with this than God. And not only because He’s GOD but because breastfeeding was all His idea!! He strategically designed our bodies to give (and to receive) His provision. So ask Him to help you and your baby do all that He had originally intended.

So yeah,  I hope that this post helps! And I would love to hear all about your breastfeeding experiences or aspirations!

Group hug!!

Brandi

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Me nursing Lauren❤

How to choose Modest apparel

For this is God’s will: that you become holy, that you keep away from sexual immorality, that each of you know how to possess his own body in holiness and honor, not in lustful passion like the Gentiles who do not know God. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4. NET)

If you haven’t read my post on how I dress as a Christian woman then you should also check that out because this post is just going to be about how to choose modest apparel.

Now, I know that there are a lot of “white washed” women out here but that doesn’t justify vanity or lack of discretion. Because either way,  a woman who is truly holy and God fearing will not present her body in a provocative (or worldly) manner.

Generally speaking , the outward appearance really is a reflection of the sanctification process that’s taking place within. I am a witness to this! I started dressing different because my MIND changed about what I used to believe was cute or appropriate for godly women. This is just one of the ways we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. Only then can we truly tell whether we are dressing appropriately or not.

 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)

It’s like how is it that we think that we’re so set apart when we look (and behave!) just like the women of the secular world. It’s because we’re deceived! And I remember being in that place, not even considering the fact that my clothes didn’t match my profession (which was that I was a Christian woman who knew God). Looking back I can admit that I was all talk. Obviously, I did not know God or have His spirit because if I did, I wouldn’t have been so comfortable dressing raunchy and provocative.

But again, this post isn’t about the way I dress. I believe that we need to leave our own personal convictions (or decisions) out of the equation lest we cause division. Therefore, I’m just giving you some things to consider in general as you get dressed as a “Kingdom Ambassador”.

Because that’s the thing,  if anything, we are to be exalting God, not our clothing! If you are still trying to express yourself through “fashion” then you are still a little immature. And that just real.  That immodest heart (and mindset!) is all about emulating others and worshiping Self. It’s about drawing attention from men (and other women!) to your body and sexuality.  It is about trying to be beautiful and desirable when you are should be continuously dying to yourself (your will and desires). On the contrary, true Modesty is about humbling ourselves and exalting God. It’s about honoring our body (which is God’s temple), other people (especially other people’s marriages and children) and the scriptures. I can still be feminine without being vain or inappropriate. In fact, godly femininity doesn’t even require all of that.

Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. (Proverbs 31:30)

If I really want to dress Modesty then the Bible tells me exactly how to do that. We are even told what to “put on” spiritually!

  • This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:17-20)
  • Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. (Romans 13:13-14)
  • Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.  (Colossians 3:12-14)

So after we start there, we can began to assess whether or not our physical clothing is appropriate.  You may even find yourself  shopping at different places then you would normally. I am 5’9 and I weight about 135 pounds so right now, in the current state of this world, the only place I can find modest apparel for my body type is at the goodwill.

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Me getting ready to see if I can find a “new” skirt or two!

Eventually I plan on making my own clothes but for now this is where I shop and STILL I have to check myself. When choosing the right apparel it can be very helpful to ask yourself things like:

Why do I like this shirt, skirt or dress (etc.)?

Am I at peace with it or am I indecisive?

Does this cost too much?

Do I find self worth or value in designer items? Do labels puff me up? Would I feel some type of way wearing cheap or resale clothes?

What type of people usually wear these prints or trends (etc)? Am I emulating celebrities or will I be associated with ungodly groups of people?

Am I seeking the admiration or approval of men (and women!) or am I seeking the approval of God?

Do (or will) I look like I have an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ wearing this or would people assume that I am living the American dream or the night life?

Is this clothing too tight or see through in the natural light??

Are areas close to my private parts (thighs, stomach, cleavage etc.) exposed? Are my private areas showing? Would they show if I  bend/ lean over,  sit down, reach up etc.??

Do I feel sexy or fierce wearing this? Do I feel socially (economically) puffed up wearing this?

Do I get fashion inspiration from celebrities or from other people on social media who don’t know or love God?

These are just some things to think about. We should be asking ourselves these kinds of questions because not only are we to abstain from the appearance of evil but because Modesty is an attitude. So is my attitude concerning the way I dress selfish and prideful? or am I thinking of others?? And if the process has just begun, am I willing to let go of all my favorite clothes that do not glorify God because I love Him more than anything and I understand that I am not my own!?

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

So, now that we know that we are to dress with humility in a respectable manner not being inconsiderate or flashy, we do not seek to draw attention to ourselves knowing that our true beauty and identity comes from our godly character in Christ Jesus. I love you all my precious sisters and if you are able to, please share your transformation pictures and/or stories with us!

With nothing but love,

Brandi

 

Being a homemaker: Why I quit my job to stay home full-time

“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”(Proverbs 31:27)

In a generation where being a “boss” chick takes precedence over assisting your husband and raising children, it’s no surprise that quitting my job to stay home full-time seemed to be anything but noble.

I remember old friends and family members being a bit concerned because financially speaking, we shouldn’t have been able to make that move. But that’s the thing, I didn’t become a stay at home wife or a homeschooling mom to try and keep up with the Joneses. My husband and I understood the seriousness of fostering a godly family.

We knew that there was no way for me to truly be attentive to my husband (or available for my children) working a full time job with crazy retail hours. And for me, the solution wasn’t to just get another job because taking a step down (or working part-time) in some ways still meant neglecting my God-given responsibilities.

You see homemaking is so much more than just lounging around in your pajamas all day long, and it is certainly more than just cooking and cleaning or doing NEVER ENDING laundry. So I want to share what it is that I actually do at home, and I hope in the midst to encourage some of you who are either new to homemaking or weary in well doing.

So first things first, being suitable for my husband.

Now I married a man who loves God and is seeking His kingdom and His righteousness, so that means that he is often a target for hatred and ridicule. My job is to not only BE but to create (and maintain!) a peaceful, loving and godly place for him to rest and to regroup after a hard exhausting day.

Now I don’t know about you but there is NO peace or love or gentleness or GOODNESS in and of myself. I get these qualities from walking very closely with the Lord. If I were still out  working some stressful and unfulfilling (or exciting and “fulfilling”) job, I wouldn’t have the time, energy or even the desire to spend my extra time praying and reading the Bible or marriage blogs! And I’m just being honest. Staying home allows me to go as deep as I want with the Lord, without any vain distractions or divided loyalty between him and work . The Lord is my foundation. So first of all, I spend my days at home seeking him. THEN I can begin to built or “make” my marriage pleasant with a renewed mind and with fruits of the Spirit.

“Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” (Proverbs 14:1)

Discipling my children

Before I got married I was a single (and working!) mother of 3 children, so I understand that you have to do the best that you can do. But now that I am married with a working husband there is no need for me to work or to desperately allow my children to be raised by daycare providers and teachers unbelievers.

This world is blatantly pushing Satan’s agenda and I would be a fool to just volunteer my children over to the system. God has given us parents such an awesome (but big and serious!) responsibility to teach our children about Him and His ways.

It’s like we’re always looking for some grand opportunity to witness to somebody as we overlook our very own children who also need to hear AND SEE the gospel. And by no means does this mean that my children are perfect (or exempt from anything) but that’s okay because I’m not raising them upright for my own pride or glory anyway.

This life is not a game. And even though ultimately they have to live their own, my job as a parent is to lead them (by example!) onto the right path in hopes that they’ll go on to follow Jesus.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

So yeah, this is why I quit my job to stay home full-time. And what a blessing it is to be able to commit like this!

Much love,
Brandi

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Being Modest: How I dress now after my encounter with Jesus

 

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On my way to a New Year’s eve church service, 2012

When I look at old pictures of myself I just can not believe how unseemly I carried myself as a woman claiming to be like Jesus. We, as in Christian women are so entangled in this world that now we’re dressing up vanity as Modesty which has nothing to do with apparel. We are being taught that being modest means throwing on a “cute” dress with some heels and some jewelry! But true modesty is about character. It’s about humility which yes, can be seen in the way we carry ourselves but it does not stem from how we dress. 

“I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.” (1 Timothy 2:9-10)

You see a woman who is truly modest will most likely go unnoticed because she isn’t trying to draw vain glory to herself, not even through her clothing. And I know that some of you may think that God isn’t that concerned about the outward appearance but in context, that is not true either. We are to glorify God  (not our flesh!) in our bodies and our spirit.

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Cor 6:19-20)

I have been led to cover my body with long, loose fitting skirts and dresses because it is not God’s will that we be objectified or stumbling blocks to other people. 

Now just for the record, I don’t think that it’s sin for a woman to wear pants. Are there pants that are inappropriate and completely demonic!?? YES. But in a general sense I believe that the scripture being referred to here is really just condemning homosexuality and cross dressing. But then again, I am not God so my opinion doesn’t even matter. You have to make sure that you are being led by His spirit.

So with that being said, I encourage you to seek the Lord concerning the way you dress because there is no godliness or modesty in emulating celebrities or other worldly women on Instagram. I’m just sayin’…

With nothing but love,

Brandi

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Now, a typical outfit for me would be a tank top tucked into a maxi shirt, and when I leave the house I usually throw on a cardigan or my denim jacket. If you’re interested, I blog more about How To choose Modest apparel here

Being Humbled: My Head covering experience

Funny how we’ll jump head first (no pun intended) into anything that this world suggests but when it comes to this bible we claim to believe, every little thing is questioned. Now even though I am not here to debate head coverings because the scriptures are very clear on whether or not Christian women should cover their heads..

“But if anyone wants to argue about this, I simply say that we have no other custom than this, and neither do God’s other churches.” (1 Corinthians 11:16)

I just want to encourage my sisters who want to grow in the Lord to learn how to submit to something other than their feelings. The truth is, is that only a woman who is ignorant and carnal or vain would have a problem covering her head in public when its time to pray because we sure don’t have a problem tying our hair up in scarves to make fashion statements! 

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(I’ll use myself as an example!)

I started covering my head about a year ago but to be honest, it was mainly because I had cut all of my damaged hair off. I thought that my intentions were pure but as my hair grew, my confidence too and my true motives were exposed.

Now even though my head covering journey started off completely in vain, I have grown from covering my head in so many ways. First of all, it is humbling. Like I said, wearing a head covering quickly exposed the pride and vanity in my heart. And even though a woman choosing to shave her head (to feel empowered or liberated)  is shameful I believe that God allowed it to bring me low. It forced me to deal with my insecurities and now I am starting to embrace myself without validation from other people.  

Wearing a head covering has also been a blessing to my marriage. 

2017-11-29-12-10-17 (1)-1Through it the holy Spirit has taught me so much about submission and my position as a woman. Not only have I become passionate about honoring men and their GOD GIVEN authority over women, but I have learned how to “help” instead of hindering them with my physical appearance. I am softer (as in gentle) and quieter than I’ve ever been before and even though meekness is generally frowned upon, it is admirable to God.

“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;  While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”

(1 Peter 3:1-4)

Now as far as my prayer life goes, all I know is that I have had a desire to pray more but there are some amazing testimonies out there from other sisters who can confirm becoming more effective concerning spiritual warfare. If you’re one, I would love to hear your story so please share and may the Lord bless us all in pursuing His will 🙂

Much love,

Brandi

Being Natural: Why I no longer wear makeup or hair weaves

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Now I want to address this topic because there are a lot of women coming forth saying that God told them to stop wearing makeup, and there are also a lot of women who are truly pursuing the Lord and just want to know if they could or shouldn’t be wearing it. Now unfortunately, this is a very controversial topic and everyone’s opinions seem to be very biased but we have to be careful not to try and justify OUR OWN desires because our desires apart from God are satanic. They’re carnal!

We as Christian women really need to mature in the Lord because painting our faces and wearing hair sacrificed to idols (research Tonsuring and Chudakarma) shouldn’t even be up for discussion. Wearing makeup is worldly and it doesn’t produce any truth or righteous fruit. So no, I no longer wear it. What’s the use?

It’s vanity, which has no place in the lives OR HEARTS of those claiming to be like Jesus.

 “But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

What’s in our hearts plays a major part in influencing the way we carry ourselves. So if you want to talk about the issue of the heart the issue of the heart is pride, no matter how you try to spin it!

We want to adorn our flesh because we aren’t abiding in the Spirit, and some of us are just so insecure that we’re seeking validation from this world.

I don’t care what’s trending or changing with the “culture”, the holy Spirit has never and will never inspire us to modify or to pervert God’s creation—that’s satan. When we try to “enhance” ourselves, in our hearts we believe that God didn’t make us good or “fun” and appealing enough. But who told you that!? Again, that’s a LIE straight from the devil himself!

Now am I saying that those of us who don’t wear makeup are going to heaven?  No. Not necessarily because being natural alone does NOT make you holy. God desires that we repent of living sinful lifestyles so understand that throwing out your MAC and bundles just a start! It’s been about 2 years now and I’m STILL transitioning so I can assure you that if you won’t even give up a tube of lipstick you have not truly given your LIFE to Him.

With love,

Brandi

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