kristywyatt.com Motherhood

Music After Motherhood

No matter what language you speak, there are certain things that seem to be understood universally: a smile, head nod, and music. In my opinion, music has magical powers. A song can take you to a different time and place. It can make you feel something deep and unexpected. Regardless of the language in which it’s sung, or if there are no words at all, music can lift you up, or bring you down.

As we grow, music begins to mean something different. For instance, when you become a Christian, worship music becomes a whole body and spiritual experience. And when you become a mother, you realize that some of the music you may listen to may not be all that appropriate and that some music now takes on a whole new meaning.

Suddenly, songs we sang along to absentmindedly, mean something. Now when we sing along with “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “Forever Young”, we have all the feels. And then we come across songs like “I Hope You Dance” and “My Little Girl”, and we can’t help but think about our kids, their future, and how we only have them for a little while.

From the time my kids were born, I sang “Yellow” to them as we cuddled before bed. This is a video of my youngest and me singing “Yellow” together about 5 years ago.

 

I’ve compiled a small song list for parents. There are so many songs out there, but these are just a few that I love.These are songs about being a parent. About raising your kiddos to be the best people they can be. About how short our time together really is, and to cherish every moment. 

Some of you are mothers, some step-moms, some grandmothers, some aunts – no matter what your title, if you love a child, these songs will touch you!

“I Lived” One Republic

“Slow Down” Nichole Nordeman

“My Wish” Rascal Flatts

“Wish For You” Faith Hill

“My Little Girl” Tim McGraw

“Imaginary Tea” Jon McLaughlin

“Forever Young” Rod Stewart

“I hope You Dance” Lee Ann Womack

“Yellow” Coldplay

“Sweet Child O’ Mine” Guns N’ Roses

“Dear Daughter” Halestorm

Free Song Download!

My daughter, who is a dancer, requested that I record “Dear Daughter” for one of her solo dances. And now, I want to pass this song on to you for FREE! If you want your very own copy of my version of “Dear Daughter”, click HERE to receive it right in your email inbox!

I know this is a short post, but I want you to spend some time just listening to these songs. With Mother’s Day around the corner, let’s celebrate the blessing of motherhood. Love and prayers to you all.

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Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed Luke 1:46-48

Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Proverbs 31:25-31

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Who do You Think You Are?

If someone were to ask you “who are you?”, what would be your answer? We often confuse who we are for what we do. For instance, I might answer, “I’m Kristy Wyatt. I’m a writer, musician, and (most importantly) a mom.” And while those are all parts of me and what I do, they are not who I am.

Who we are, and who we think we are can be very different things as well. People who kristywyatt.com who do you think you are blogdon’t have a clear understanding of their self-worth will likely have skewed self-esteem also. This is something I’ve struggled with for years. When someone tells me I’m beautiful, I reply, “I’m fat.” When someone compliments me on a talent I have, I deflect the compliment by telling them something I’m not good at – like visual art, for example. I know I’m not the only one out there who can’t seem to accept that someone else sees something good in them. But, why? How did we go from the innocent child who accepted compliments as truth, to this woman who doesn’t believe she’s worth a whole lot?

I imagine the answer to that would be a little different for every woman out there. We all have our own stories. But I’m willing to bet money that we all have one thing in common: We’ve lost sight of who we are in Christ. Our true identities lie in Him. But we tend to look elsewhere for our self-worth and identities.

If God can see our worth, why can’t we?

  • We have let society influence us. We are constantly shown the disillusion of perfection. Magazines, television/movies, and social media have wiggled their way into our subconscious. We can’t help but compare ourselves to others in looks, finances, success – the list goes on. We forget that these things are not the whole truth. Often times, they’re not the truth at all.
  • We listen to the naysayers. If you’re like me, you have people in your life that are your biggest cheerleaders and those in your life who are your biggest critics. Constructive criticism is helpful. But there are those people who are perpetually negative. There is nothing positive in what they say. And yes, we tend to listen to these critics far more than our supporters. We need to remember that people who are overly negative and bring you down are usually projecting their issues onto you. Find a couple of people you can trust for truth. Be careful who you allow to influence you.
  • We’re disconnected from God. (If you’ve read this blog for any period of time, you’ll see this tends to be a theme.) When there is a disconnect with God, we lose sight of His plan for us. When we aren’t living out his plan for our lives, we start to feel as though life is meaningless. I’ve been in both places, and I can tell you from experience that when I lived life for myself, I had never been more unhappy or lost. But living my life the way He has led me to is giving me such purpose and an inner joy like I’ve never known before. Sure, I have a long way to go. But every day, when I spend time with Him, seeking His will, my skewed vision of my self-worth becomes a little clearer.

So, who are you? You are the daughter of the king. That’s right, love! You’re a princess. kristywyatt.com who do you think you are blogGod loves you. Take a deep breath and digest that. He. Loves. You. What have we done to deserve His love? Nothing. His love isn’t based on merit, good deeds, or because we totally rocked the talent show in 6th grade. He loves us more than our human minds can understand because we are His. He has never seen anything more beautiful than you. He has never been more interested in anything more than His interest in you. He has never wanted to spend time with anyone more than He wants to spend time with you. Are you feeling special yet?

Most importantly, you are worth the cost of forgiveness. You were worth the price Jesus paid on the cross for our freedom. You are worth it.

I can’t stress this enough to you beautiful, talented, amazing women reading this post. You are worth more than anything. You are loved by the one true God. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. He knows how many hairs you have on your head. (Which, c’mon, changes constantly, right? #IShedLikeMyDog) He cares so much about you that He gave His only Son to make sure that He could spend eternity with you. Stop looking for your worth in things of this world. You are worth the love of God. And there is nothing greater than that.

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Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Luke 12:7

She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25

God is within her, she will not fall. Psalm 46:5

When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. Proverbs 31:26

Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. 1 Peter 3:3-4

You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way. Song of Solomon 4:7

(I couldn’t choose just 3 verses. LOL)

kristywyatt.com Music

“Who You Say I Am” by Hillsong YouTube

“Who You Say I Am” by Hillsong Spotify

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How To Balance Home And Work Lives

In my previous post, 3 Ways To Make Time For What Matters Most, we discussed why we seem to have less time and how to make more time for the most important things in our lives. However, even with taking those practices into account, we may still find ourselves overwhelmed with our to-do lists. We tend to think about home schedules and to do lists while we’re at work, and think about work while we’re at home. 

How do we balance work life and home life?

  • Stop using the word “balance”. The definition of “balance” is an even distribution of weight of someone or something. Work and home are not, and should not be, even, and therefore, our time should not be evenly distributed between the two. Rather, take a good honest look at how much time we should be spending at work/working and how much time we should kristywyatt.com balancespend at home. Once we have that nailed down, we can schedule that time to maximize our productivity.
  • Be 100% present. We can’t be productive if our head isn’t in the game. If we’re working, but can’t stop thinking about if little Johnny’s baseball uniform is clean for the game, how productive can we be at work? And later, at the game, we go ahead and check our work email and miss Johnny hit a home run! When we’re at work, be at work. When we’re at home, be at home. We have to make sure that our minds are at the same place our bodies are.
  • Make lists. There will be times when our brains wander off to home and/or work when we’re not there. Usually, it is something important that we shouldn’t ignore. Write it down. Keep a running list on your phone for work and one for home. When you think of something, add it to the list, and then go back to being present. This way you won’t forget that important thing, but you’re giving yourself permission to keep your attention where it needs to be.

How do we get the most out of our time?

  • Block scheduling. This is new to me and I’m loving it! This form of scheduling takes our cyclical tasks and blocks them together. For instance, if we spend thirty minutes every Sunday to make a weekly meal plan, spend an hour and plan thekristywyatt.com Balance 3 whole month. Go ahead and make the grocery lists too.
  • Schedule Social Media. Have you ever found yourself sitting there, scrolling through Facebook, mouth slightly open, and have no clue what you’re looking at? No? Is that just me? When we scroll aimlessly on social media, we can actually go into a trance-like state, and not even see what is in front of us. We waste so much time watching videos we don’t care about when that time could be spent doing something productive. But… it’s fun! I get it. I love social media too! We just have to be mindful of how we use it. Schedule thirty minutes to respond to notifications, and scroll social media. Once the thirty minutes is over, stop. It’ll be hard at first, but eventually, you’ll love it!
  • Turn off phone notifications. What?! Am I crazy? Not in this case. I can’t tell you how many times I find myself glancing at my phone because a notification popped up. New email from Target, New message on Facebook, so-and-so liked your photo on Instagram. I made a tally mark for each time a notification distracted me from my work one day. 33 times, I stopped what I was doing to look at my phone because I saw a notification pop up in my peripheral vision. 33 times! These distractions are giving us a new version of ADD. Turn them off. Schedule a time to check/respond to email. Schedule your social media. Don’t let it distract you from doing what you need to accomplish.
  • Check your schedule before bed. Make sure you double check everything the night before. This helps to mentally prepare you for the next day.

These are small, but mighty tips in making sure your home and work lives coexist in a healthy way. Everyone wants a piece of our time. It’s our responsibility to make sure we protect our time and spend it where it matters most.

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Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people.  Colossians 3:23

Commit your work to the Lord, then it will succeed.  Proverbs 16:3

Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically.  Romans 12:11

kristywyatt.com Music

 

“Thrive” by Casting Crowns YouTube

“Thrive” by Casting Crowns Spotify

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Spring Into Change

The birds’ songs ring through the morning air, little plant sprouts have shot up seemingly overnight, andwilfried-santer-233377-unsplash the sun has finally made an appearance through the break in the clouds. The warmer air and tree buds give us a sense of renewal and we can’t help but feel good. Welcome to Spring.

By now, we have likely given up on our New Year’s resolutions, but there is just something about spring that lights us up with possibilities. It’s our second chance. We’ve still got ¾ of the year left and we’re determined to make it great. Yes, springtime is a perfect time for resolutions – take 2. But before you choose to renew your resolution, or make a new one, may I make a suggestion?

Let’s change our frame of mind. That’s it. That’s my suggestion. Let’s work on thinking differently.

camila-damasio-259515-unsplashLike the rebirth of spring, each day is a do-over. We have the opportunity to start anew, or hold on to the pain of yesterday. We can choose to view the day as a gift with a new attitude and outlook, or continue to cling to the negative attitudes we tend to have. You can take two people in the same situation, and they could say two very different things about the situation based solely on their frames of mind.

It’s easy to complain about the rush hour traffic, and get angry when our workload is overwhelming. When our kids don’t do what we want them to, we lose our tempers. And the worst thing is we allow these things to ruin our entire day! We let these feelings and frame of mind to turn us into pessimists. Before we know it, we view every interaction and experience through the skewed vision of our negative frame of mind. We start to question people’s intentions – we’re sure they aren’t just being nice, they must want something. We complain about imperfections in everything. But since when has anything been perfect? Why is that suddenly an expectation? Everything we experience is filtered through our destructive mind, forcing even great things to look terrible.

I went on vacation to a beautiful resort in Mexico a couple years ago. This vacation was long overdue and I just couldn’t wait to arrive! I was greeted with cool, damp towels and shown to my luxurious room. But my heart was on the beach, so I wasted no time! As I stood taking in the waves, breathing in the salty air, I heard someone say to their spouse, “This is the ugliest beach I’ve ever been to! Look at all the seaweed!”

To me, the beach was pretty darn close to Heaven. I’d come from a long Kansas City winter, so the sun, sand, and water were exactly what I needed. Sure, there was seaweed and I, too, had been to beaches with prettier sand and water. But I didn’t care. I found it beautiful, because I wanted to.

We often forget how much is affected by our frame of mind. We forget to appreciate ourethan-robertson-132225-unsplash children when they’re trying our patience. We forget that our job is a blessing. We forget that the long drive to work is an opportunity to be alone with God. One day, when our lives look different, we will wish we could go back. We’ll give almost anything to experience our kids at this age again. We won’t remember the work we do, but we’ll remember the people we worked with fondly, and wish we could talk to them again. Think about this for a moment: One day, years from now, you will miss the very thing you’re complaining about. One day, you will wish you would have lived it happily instead of just existing in it.

We also tend to hold on to our mistakes and guilt. We drown in our pain when we’ve been hurt and refuse to forgive. We hold on to our misery until it’s the “right day” or “right season” to let it go; to start over. But that isn’t God’s plan for us. We should be spending time in prayer, asking God to help us let go of all these negative things daily, allowing the next morning be a brand new start. By doing this, you will find it easier to set, and achieve goals instead of resolutions.

A few friends of mine and I are reading “Your Best Year Ever” by, Michael Hyatt. This has been eye opening for us. He talks about setting and actually achieving goals – and mindset can make or break you! I highly recommend this book to everyone! You can change everything about your life by simply changing how you think.

Don’t limit self-evaluation, and resetting your mindset to only once or twice per year. Do it daily. Allow God to show you who you are in Him. Allow God to show you that you don’t need more things, or certain circumstances to be happy. You only need to choose happiness to have it.

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Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.  Romans 12:2

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.  Philippians 2:1-2

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-19

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“Life Is Beautiful” By, The Afters YouTube

“Life Is Beautiful” By, The Afters Spotify

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From Mom-Shaming to Mom-Celebrating

pexels-photo-116151If you’re a mother, you’ve been there. In that moment, you’re desperate. You’d do almost anything to quiet that kiddo down. You tried bribing – something you swore you’d never do. You attempted to bargain with God – “Lord, if you magically put this kid to sleep, I swear I’ll do anything you want!” But, no can do. That monster of yours has just reached a high screech that makes dogs whine, and there is no calming them down. You’re this close to pulling your own hair out. You shoot apologetic glances to those around you who have to listen to your screaming child. And then it happens. Mom-Shaming.

There is nothing worse than standing in a long line at the store with a child who’s throwing a fit. Unless of course, there is someone who is telling you what a terrible mother you are while you’re standing in line with a child who’s throwing a fit. That is most definitely worse.

I’ve often wondered what is going through the mind of a mom-shamer. Do they think their harsh words will give you some sort of ah-ha moment that will make you mysteriously get your kid to stop crying? “Wow! Thank you for telling me what a terrible mother I am – I’ve seen the light!” Does it make them feel superior? No offence, but they should aim higher as that’s not exactly a mother’s best moment. Maybe they really think they have the answers. But if that were the case, what about that delivery is helpful? I try to always assume the best intentions of those with whom I interact. But no matter how I try, I can’t come up with a positive spin on mom-shaming.

It breaks my heart to think that women can be so mean-hearted to one another. Motherhood is hard. (Understatement of the century, right?) So why is it that when we see a mom in a moment of struggle, we decide to (metaphorically) kick her?

Everyone has their own idea of the “correct” way to raise a child. Most mothers are open to advice, especially if this is their first rodeo. But if you get nothing else from this post, please understand this: no one wants advice in the form of hostility. That is not helpful. In fact, it makes the situation far worse. Which brings me back to the question of intention.

Here are three things I’ve learned about mom-shaming.

  1. Mom-shaming isn’t about you.

Most mom-shaming happens from someone who has no idea who you are, or what you have been through. In the example I used at the beginning of this blog, the mom-shamer probably doesn’t know that your child caused most of the items in aisle 15 to fall on the ground in the store and that he hit his sister not once, not twice, but three times in the last pexels-photo-235554ten minutes, and he’s screaming at the top of his lungs because you said he couldn’t have a KitKat bar. She doesn’t know that due to this chain of events, you’ve reached your limit. She also has no idea that you kissed his boo-boo earlier, how he always says “pwease and tank you” thanks to your superb mommying skills, or how you read to him out of a children’s bible every day. It’s in this chaotic moment, with your red face, the vein popping out of your forehead and wild eyes, that this person judged you. I promise it says more about that person than it does you.

  1. We’ve all done it.

Many of you are fiercely denying that we have mom-shamed before. But think about it. In your whole life, have you ever looked at a mother and judged them? The answer is yes. We mustn’t forget that we all make mom-mistakes and that mom-shaming only makes these mistakes harder to get over. Listen, we are forgiven by the creator of the universe for everything we have ever done and will ever do. This is not limited to motherhood, but everything. If the creator – the one true God – can forgive us anything, who are we to cast judgement on a mother just trying to do her best? Would it kill us to say something nice and encouraging to her? What if we said, “do you need anything? Can I help you in some way?” Or “I’ve totally been there. It gets better.”

  1. In the end, it doesn’t matter.

The mom-shamer will go their way, and you yours. Sure, your pride is hurt and you’ll tell someone about that mean person at the store. You’ll question why God gpexels-photo-532389ave you these children when you’re doing such a “terrible job” raising them. But then your baby, the very one who seemed possessed in the store, will crawl on your lap and look at you with big eyes and say, “I love you, mommy”. And you’ll feel sorry for that mom-shamer because she only saw the worst instead of what was really there: true, pure, unconditional love.

Mom-shaming is no different than bullying. People are so quick to judge other moms when we should be celebrating moms. This mom gig is hard! We shine sometimes and just plain stink other times. But isn’t that life in general? I challenge you to “Mom-celebrate”! When you see a mom doing great, show kindness and pray for them. When you see a mom struggling, offer to help, show kindness, and pray for them. It’s really very simple. Choose kindness. Show love. Mom-celebrate!

 

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And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6 (NLT)

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Hebrews 4:16 (NLT)

Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32 (NLT)

 

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“With Every Act of Love” by, Jason Gray YouTube

“With Every Act of Love” by, Jason Gray Spotify

 

 

 

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