All in The BetterMom Updates

We’re operating on two different levels today, aren’t we?

Genuine smiles light our faces. We’re surrounded by glittering trees, glowing candles, precious people, and mouth-watering food.

We’re grateful. Full of joy and goodwill.


There’s something deeper. The pain of loss. A heartache. The something that hurts or haunts. The reminder that peace on earth is not yet reality.

Why I'm Giving Gifts to My Children This Christmas

His eyes are the eyes of a thousand sleepless nights and I’ve never seen such shadows on a four-year-old boy. “Who is that?” I whisper to Trent while the children’s choir sings and the church is decked out in holly and ivy and Jesus in a manger.

“That’s one of the *Fritz boys,” he tells me, and I turn back to the boy with the tired eyes and I’m crying. He and his brothers and sisters lost their mama recently, and mothers make Christmas, and I want to run up front and pick them up and rock them happy. Forever.

"Sometimes I feel like I'm failing because I'm not joyful all the time." This was written to me by a friend of mine in a Facebook message, but I could have written it myself.

I think perhaps I tend to think of joy as "happiness" but it's not. There are many times when I'm honestly not exactly sure what joy looks/feels like.

Lately, however, as I combat an underlying spirit of anger and anxiety, I'm asking God more and more to show me what true joy is, because I'm obviously confused.

How To Be Most Effective in Ministry

As women, we often have a heart to naturally help people. Typically we want to nurture the hearts of other women or children. Sometimes we minister to our own hearts' as we help others. But we need to ask ourselves, "What is my ultimate goal? Is it to be used by God?"

There is ministry outside our doors just as there is inside. Sometimes it's in the church, sometimes it's in the neighborhood or surrounding community, and sometimes it's overseas. There is no shortage of need and we were never meant to hide our lights remaining cooped up in our homes. However, there are still a few basic factors we need to remember in order to do ministry that's effective.

What are the elements for doing effective ministry while in the thick of motherhood?

One of my favorite Christmas carols is “Joy to the World.”

I love just about everything about it: the tune, the words, and the message.

With Christmas right around the corner, most of us are beginning to hear songs like this one ringing through the air of shopping malls, grocery stores, vehicles, and maybe even our own homes.

We sing about joy and celebrations and about all the reasons we have to be overflowing with happiness…but we don’t always feel joyful.

At times, even though we say “Merry Christmas,” some of us (if we’re really being honest), don’t feel merry at all.