Guest Post: The Rough Side of the Mountain

Guest Post: The Rough Side of the MountainPlease join us in welcoming Faith & Family Guest Blogger Brandi Jeter-Riley. In this season of celebrating American independence, it is easy to lose sight of how much God needs us and how much we need him. We are never alone–and when we try to be totally independent, we make things harder than necessary. 

Every Sunday when I was growing up, I would listen to gospel music on the radio with my Grandmom before we went to church. This was before the days of internet radio, and back when you could only hear gospel music on AM stations except for Sunday mornings. My favorite song was “Rough Side of the Mountain”. I loved to hear my grandmother sing it, and I would dig deep into my soul to my Southern roots and sing right along with her.

Guest Post: The Rough Side of the Mountain

The lyrics, “I’m coming up on the rough side, of the mountain. I must hold to God. His powerful hands. I’m doing my best to make it in.” spoke to me even at a young age. It’s not that my childhood was terrible, but there were definitely some challenging parts. My parents were super young when they got married and had me, so in a lot of ways, we were growing up together. Fortunately, I was raised to know Christ at an early age, so even when the going got tough, I knew that I could “hold to God”. It wasn’t until I was older, though, that the song really resonated with me on a deeper level.

I was thinking about “the rough side of the mountain” earlier today, and about how, sometimes I climb up the part of the mountain that is more rocky and more dangerous than normal. It’s not because I have no choice, but it’s because I let pride or shame or fear stop me from taking God’s hand and letting Him guide me. Listen, I expect mountains. The Bible tells us in Genesis 3:16-19 that we will face difficult times, but even still God will  be here for us. The thing is, I often make things even more difficult than they even have to be. Trying to lean to my own understanding….honey! Let me just tell you, that is the fastest way to find yourself stuck on the side of a rough, rocky mountain with no safety harness.

I’m learning to let go and let God lead me. I’m trying to decrease myself and be patient and make moves when He tells me to move, as opposed to when I think it’s time. I’m trusting in Him, and I’m letting Him be my safety. We all know that mountains are dangerous, and I’m not trying to fall.

Do you allow God to guide you, or are you trying to climb the mountain alone? 

Guest Post: The Rough Side of the MountainMeet Brandi 

Brandi Jeter-Riley lives in Northern California with her daughter and husband (both of whom she shamelessly posts pictures all over the internet!). She is the co-founder of the Pushing Lovely writing group, and blogs at http://www.mamaknowsitall.com. Brandi is passionate about community and education, and is a champion for authenticity. Tweet her @BrandiJeter, follow her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mamaknowsitall and find her on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/mamaknowsitall

 

Guest Post: Re-embracing Motherhood

Guest Post: Re embracing MotherhoodWe are happy to share a guest post from one of our Faith & Family Bloggers, Cindy Dudas from Whatever Works. Cindy shares how she finds herself re-embracing motherhood. 

One of the things I’ve learned while dabbling in the social media field is that people like to read statisics.  Well, here’s one for ya: I’ve been a mom for more than 1/4 of my entire life.

For the past 10 of my 39 years here on this earth, I’ve spent a lot of time changing diapers, fixing lunches, arguing the importance of completing the before-school ritual prior to playing video games, making beds (ok, not really so much on the “making beds” part because I do hold to that theory that Hey, you’re just going to get back in it in a couple hours so why make it), BUT I digress…

Bottom line: I’m a mom.

Out of those 10 years ( minus time spent completing all the motherly tasks and sometimes sleeping), I think I have spent the majority of my time playing with my kids.  After about year 8, I got tired of it.

Yes, you read that right.  I didn’t want to play anymore.

I got tired of Candyland.  I didn’t want to make forts.  I completely stopped enjoying the swing set.

I just wanted to sit back and observe.

I started to get annoyed when my kids would ask me to join them in every single thing they did.

No, I don’t want to ride bikes.

No, I don’t want to jump in the sprinklers.

No, I don’t want to play.

Then one day I heard myself say that out loud.  And it sounded so incredibly horrible that I wanted to jump out a window.  I felt like Mommy Dearest.  What was wrong with me?  Why couldn’t I just play?

All I could think of was the catch phrase “Seven Year Itch”, but in my case it was about motherhood.  At the same time my kids craved my attention, I craved to go off to foreign lands…like any store other than Target, Justice or Five Below.  My kids wanted another teammate for a pick up game of tag, and I wanted to sit in the sun.  I wanted quiet.

Was I becoming a horrible person?  Was I really done with all the fun of motherhood?  Did I give up on my kids?

No.  To all of that self-depricating talk. . .  Just no.

When I was playing all the time and not enjoying it, I was feeling down on myself.  I wasn’t really playing; I was fake playing.  And how is that good for anyone?  The kids might have an extra body to complete their basketball team, but that’s it.  I wasn’t teaching them anything.  I wasn’t smiling.  I was actually quite childish when I forced myself into their games.  I’m not proud of it by any means.

I felt very selfish about wanting to be alone for a while.  But I realize that I must have needed it.  In some way, God was telling me to step back and reevaluate the situation.

So I said no when my kids asked me to race them in MarioKart.  I declined their invitation to a dance party.  I chose to talk with my friend on the bench instead of climbing the equipment at the playground.

I needed to show my kids that I am a person outside of being Mom.  They needed to see me doing things that I like.   And to be honest, I needed to remind myself what activities and things I actually do like!

As weird as it may sound, it made me feel strong again. Once I re-embraced my own self, I was able to re-embrace motherhood, too.  Now I feel like I can do anything.

…Even play a game of Monopoly all the way through.

 

Guest Post: Re embracing MotherhoodMeet Cindy

Cindy Dudas is a work-at-home mom who started blogging as a way to get her feelings out there.  She is a freelance writer currently writing for the Parental Guidance section of NJ.com and her own blogs Whatever Works and What the heck’s a bonbon?  

Follow Cindy on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.