Thursday, September 19, 2013

33 things I've learned

I turned 33 this week. I know, I'm old.  I prefer "experienced" or "wise". So I decided to compile some of the "wisdom" I've gained over the years.  It was a short list, but an important one.  Much of it has come since becoming a mother.  You just see the world differently when you're responsible for someone other than yourself.  

So, here we go. 33 things I've learned:

1. God loves us.  We don't deserve it and we could never earn it, but His love is there just the same.
2. Love always wins, even in the darkest moments.  
3. Kids' laughter is the best sound in the world.  
4. Fair is not equal. 
5. Someone out there would be happy with much less than you have.  
6. The public library is a remarkable resource.  Use it.  
7. Lower your expectations.  Sometimes just keeping yourself and your family alive is enough.  
8. The world can be a scary place.  Bad things will happen. Be brave.  
9. Sometimes a walk around Target with a Starbucks drink and no kids is all you need to feel like yourself again.  
10. Cloth diapering isn't that hard or gross. 
11. Minivans are a necessary evil.  Just go with it.  
12. Invest in a good diaper bag and decent bras.
13. Look people in the eye when you speak to them.  When someone is speaking to you, do the same.
14. Drink more water.
15. Read.  
16. Turn off the technology for a little while each day.
17. You cannot do it all by yourself.  This is not a sign of weakness or defect in your character, it is just a fact.
18. Education is never a bad investment, no matter what your bank account says.
19. People judge you far less than you think they do.  
20. Give grace, even when you don't want to.
21. Sometimes all you can do is plan for the worst and hope for the best.  
22. "The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice." --Peggy O'Mara
23. The most growth happens outside your comfort zone.
24. Don't only hang out with people who agree with you.  It's important to interact with people who have differing opinions.
25. Travel as much as possible.  There's a big wide world out there.  
26.  You do not know what people's lives are like behind closed doors.  Be kind and gentle.
27. There's not a lot you can control in this world except how you react to things.  
28. There is beauty everywhere.
29. Spend some time each day in prayer/meditation/Bible study.  
30. When everything feels like it's falling apart, start counting your blessings.  
31. Eat more vegetables.
32. Do not measure your worth in things.  
33. Marry someone who makes you laugh.  

And one more for good luck:
34. Love is a daily choice.

What wisdom would go on your list?

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Beautiful Mess

This year's MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) theme is "A Beautiful Mess".  I am on the Bureau County MOPS steering team this year as the publicity chair, which means I've been out and about sharing the MOPS message and theme with lots of ladies in the past few weeks in preparation for our first meeting of the 2013-2014 year, which was held Tuesday night.  

The theme has been very well received. Most of us moms have been waiting to hear this simple truth: our mess is beautiful, because Jesus loves us and has plans for us. He is using our mess to refine us into the moms He wants us to be.  In fact, this year's Bible verse mirrors this message:
  (Image taken from

Anyone else needing to hear this lately?  

My proudest moment from our meeting on Tuesday was showing an iMovie we created of our "beautiful" messes. Each member of the steering committee submitted pictures of real messes of her house and kids. 

Beautiful Mess (2) from Christina Krost on Vimeo.

It is our goal this year to inspire our MOPS moms to live transparently and to give each other grace and encouragement.  And we do that by being real and honest. None of us ever really has it all together, no matter how much we try to make it look like we do.  We all struggle with something, though our struggles may differ. Having a support system of other moms can make those struggles easier, or at least less isolating.

I encourage any mom who has kids from birth through end-of-kindergarten to find a MOPS group.  Go to to find a group near you!