I once heard Joyce Meyer say, “You can either get bitter or better, but you can’t be both.”

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Before I got better, I was definitely getting bitter. I was becoming a hard to bear person; I had mental affliction and became very needy. My husband could not do enough! I became insecure, which put a strain on our marriage. I was making him feel as though he was doing something wrong.

Where was this coming from? I’ll tell you where. It came from me believing that my identity and worth was determined by my career or the accomplishments under my belt. I gave in to the lie that if I wasn’t working or didn’t carry a “title,” I was a nobody. I believed I was insignificant and had nothing to offer.

When I was a stay-at-home mom, aka domestic engineer, people would ask me, “What do you do for a living?” I would choke up every time trying to think of a great comeback to counteract the stigma in the minds of others and prove that what I was doing was significant and meaningful. But how was I going to prove that when I wasn’t even completely sold on the calling for myself? If you’re not a believer in the idea, no one else will be either.

People perceived me the way I perceived myself. I did not place value on being a stay-at-home mom at that time. I would see other women with successful careers and businesses and envy them, wishing that was me. In the middle of my wishing, I was hit with all the regrets of the things I could’ve, should’ve and would’ve done. I would meditate on what my life looked like if…. I entertained the thought, “If I could start over, what would I have done differently?” I had too many regrets from my past that were destroying my present and my future.

“Don’t be trapped by the regret of the past or the routine of the present. So busy with the routine of the present that we don’t give much thought to designing the future.” – Jim Rohn

I didn’t acknowledge the fact that my children were one of my greatest assets and largest investments outside of my husband. I used to say things like, “If I had no kids, I would have finished school or had a better career or been more successful.” These are seeds of resentment and their roots embedded themselves deep into my soul. Every trial thereafter watered that seed until it grew into a large oak tree. Those branches reached to my mind, my will and my heart. This tree shaded everything, and the roots were choking out all the good in my life. I was living in the shadow of the tree of envy, resentment and shame. I lived in darkness; rarely did I step into the sun. This affected my relationship with my husband and my children.

I looked at my children as a burden instead of what they really were: a treasure, an inheritance from God. My only regret now would be that I wish I had placed more value on them instead of looking for outside investments like money, titles and things. Because of the depression that grasped me, I had lots of gloomy days that caused me to miss many important details in between. I thought I was doing the right thing for my children by trying to find ways to generate income so I could continue to be a stay at home mom. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but my motive was to feel important and wanted instead of adding to the household income. I was hustling hard and chasing the dream, but I was leaving my kids behind. I used them as an excuse for my motivation when my true reason was the quest for self-worth, which can only be found within.

Jesus asked a question He knew the answer to: “What does it profit a man to gain the world and lose his soul? Or what will one give in exchange for his life?” I say, What profits it a parent to gain success by the world’s standards at the expense of your own flesh and blood? Parents who take the time to invest in their children see the fruit of their labor. I’m not saying that God won’t cause our children to be successful, because He will. What I’m saying is to not continue in that same deranged mindset, but shift your thinking today to do better tomorrow.

In short, I want all women who sacrifice their dreams, visions and goals for the investment into their family for a season is to be honored and quite an accomplishment. Know that your labor is NOT in vain and you will reap a harvest of the precious seeds you have sown. Also note that God can pick up where you left off as if no time had lapsed. He is a redeemer of the time we believe has been lost. And who knows, you may get a witty idea or invention that can allow you to generate income while you’re tending your first ministry.

Get your copy of Thank You For The Ice Cream. Click HERE!

Take the time to write down something you are thankful for…

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