Happy Mother’s Day

This day used to hurt so much. This was a day that I wanted to stay in bed, pull the covers over my head, and weep. I didn’t. I got up, put on a smile, wished all the mothers a happy day at church, and prayed harder than ever for a baby. 

I have a wonderful mother who I have always loved to celebrate! My mom is amazing and sacrificed so much for me and my brother. She put her career on hold so she could stay home and care for us! Mother’s Day is one day in the year that we set aside to celebrate mommies like mine. 

But knowing that I didn’t have the desire of my heart, a baby, made this day so hard. This year my heart is so full! Having my sweet girl here with me to hold, kiss, and love makes my mommy heart happier than ever! 

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mom’s out there! Happy Mother’s Day to all the women who want to be mom’s! My prayers are with you today.


More Than a Teacher

Have you ever walked in to a place and felt at home? Somewhere you’ve never been or seen until then and just known that it’s the place your supposed to be? I’ve had it happen a few times in my life and a month ago I had another one of those experiences. I walked into Calhoun Elementary School and immediately felt at home. It was welcoming and almost screamed “You belong here!” The three administrators I met with were inviting and pleasant. I could picture myself working for them and alongside them. I didn’t get the sense that I shouldn’t mention my husband, daughter, or faith. I believe that it was welcomed to mention things about who I am away from school. 

So many times teachers are asked to come to work and be just a teacher. When we are at school we are not a wife, mom, Christian, or republican. We are a teacher and only that. I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t work that way. I am always a Christian. It doesn’t matter where I am. I am praying while I teach. I am shining my light for Jesus everywhere I go and I cannot put it away when I walk into work. AND… the only reason people call me Mrs. Ruff is because I am married. I cannot pretend that my husband doesn’t exist for 8 hours a day 190 days a year. I should be able to talk about him while I am at work and not be sorry for it. To top it off, I finally became a mother last year and I will not avoid any conversation about my sweet girl. I am a Christian first, wife and mother next, and teacher last. I have been able to be all of those things and so much more at Cartersville Elementary School for the past 6 years and I felt that I could be the same way when I stepped inside of Calhoun Elementary School last month. It was so nice to know that other schools allow their teachers to be so much more than just a teacher!

The Mission of Motherhood

Mommies, you are important and called by God to disciple your children. You have an influence that no one else can have on your children. I know life can feel monotonous at home with the kids, but what you are doing is so important. I just finished reading Gloria Furman’s Missional Motherhood:The Everyday Ministry of Motherhood in the Grand Plan of God. I have read a few of Furman’s books and love her style of writing. I appreciate how much scripture she uses and can feel her heart in how she writes about God. This book takes a look at God’s plan for mothers, what it means to mother (it doesn’t always mean biological children are involved), and what discipling children (or other mothers, other people’s children, etc.) looks like/means. In the conclusion Furman says, “The world says that you are just a mom and that your mothering ministry is not newsworthy. The world says your work is mundane, but every mothering and discipling moment in your life is actually unique–unprecedented in history and never to be repeated. Your work in evangelism and discipleship done through the power of the spirit gives Jesus praise that echoes in eternity.” I love that she points out that each moment in mothering is unique. All of my friends who have multiple children point out that their children are different and cannot necessarily be approached the same way. Potty training one doesn’t mean you will potty train the next toddler the same way or at the same age. Even with my one child I feel like each moment is unique. One day blowing raspberries makes her happy, the next she hates that and loves bouncing. Who knows what she will like tomorrow?!? Furman wrote a great book that points out your unique ministry and mission field. Grab a copy! You just may realize how important your ministry at home is.

What does Jesus say?

Hannah is 3 months old!!! Where has the time gone?

She loves to swing, kick, laugh and smile. But more than anything she loves to have a nice warm bottle of milk. Since I have gone back to work I have been pumping non-stop to keep up with her. Each day as I sit alone in my room at school to get Hannah’s food I pray. I pray a selfish prayer. God, please release me from pumping. Lord, give me peace about not breast feeding anymore. Jesus, can I quit? The pressure to produce enough, the loneliness at work, the time restraints of having to get back to my pump in time…I pray to no longer have to do this. Then I feel guilty because so many moms want to breastfeed and can’t for whatever reason. I am blessed to have a way to feed my baby without the expense of formula. I have a baby whose tummy loves what I can give her. 

Every time I bring this up to Kyle he simply asks me, “What does Jesus say?” He knows I pray about it and he knows Jesus hasn’t released me from this motherly task yet. So until he does I will continue to provide for my sweet girl. Until I am freed I will thank Him for giving me this ability that so many mommies want. While I continue to provide for my baby I will pray and try to be less selfish. 

My Heart May Explode

Baby girl is two months old… where did the last two months go? 

As I am enjoying my fall break (yes I went back to work two weeks ago 😔) I can only express my feelings by saying my heart feels like it will explode with love for my sweet pea. She has brought so much love and joy into our lives! We feel so blessed!

My Last Week

This is my last week of maternity leave and the thought of next Monday morning breaks my heart. I love my daughter so much and the thought of not being with her all day is devastating. I would be a stay at home mom in a heartbeat but that is not in God’s plan for me right now. I know that God called me to be a teacher, so I must put my teacher hat back on. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love teaching. I love seeing students’ eyes light up as they learn new things! I love inspiring students and figuring out how to make learning come to life for them! I love what I do! I just love Hannah more. 

So my last week will be full of staring at my beautiful daughter, holding her as much as she will let me, praying over her and praising God for her, bouncing her, dancing with her, and cherishing these last days while looking forward to the next full day with her. This week will be for us. 

Four Way Failure

1. At 2:30 am when your husband has been up for 2 hours with a baby and needs sleep because has to go to work at 9 and you are frustrated because you need sleep too…wife failure! I got up, and stayed up with baby girl but struggled to defend my husband in my mind (what I have to do when I know he isn’t trying to hurt my feelings, but my feelings are hurt). 

2. When you’ve only had about three hours of sleep the entire night and your daughter is crying (again) and you don’t have a clue what she needs…mom failure! Baby girl loves to be up at night and then only sleeps in two hour stints during the day. By the time I’m convinced she is really asleep and then I fall asleep, I normally only get 30-45 minutes of sleep before she fusses again. Then I go through the list of things she could need (diaper change, food, burping, gas, etc.). But when I get to the end of the list and nothing has worked…I burst into tears too!

3. When you check your work email and have another parent complaint about the substitute teacher…teacher failure! My students shouldn’t have to suffer while I’m out and parents shouldn’t have to deal with this bad situation, but I can’t do anything from home…and my daughter needs me more than they do. I hate that I have left my teaching partner with this and the students and parents too. It stinks!

4. When your boss text you asking about the paper work for your maternity leave and the papers are still in Marietta at the doctors office…employee failure. 

At this point I lost it! I’m talking total meltdown. Tears streaming down my cheeks, sniffling nose, hair a mess, need a shower, baby girl crying, home alone,… I think you get it. It was bad. 

I’m not used to failing. Or feeling like a failure. I try my best at everything I do. I want to bring glory to God in all of my actions and today I felt like I let my husband, my daughter, my students, their parents, my teaching partner, my bosses, and God down. 

My husband came home at lunch and affirmed me and my efforts as a mom and wife. My mom went to the doctors office for the paperwork for me. And a shower and lunch helped to stop the tears and sniffling nose. But I am constantly reminding myself that I can only do this thing called life with God on my side. I need God to supply my rest and strength. I have to trust that God will take care of my students and prepare me to go back to work. I know God has my daughter in His hands. But my failures are real. Scripture reminds me that God’s, “’grace is sufficient for [me], for [his]power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”(‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:9‬). 

So today I am bragging about my weaknesses, down falls, and failures. Because the only reason I can keep going is with Christ turning my mess ups into power. 

I still can’t believe I am a mom

I don’t know when it will be real, but I still can’t believe I’m a mom. I can’t understand how someone so tiny was gifted to me. I have no clue what God was thinking when he sent me such a precious girl, but I am so glad he did. 

She is 10 days old already and I don’t want to ever let her go. My heart is so full of love!

Today means so much

Do you have certain dates that are significant to you? Dates that may mean nothing to everyone else, but you cherish them? Today is one of those days for me. August 15th will always mean something to me. 

Three years ago today, Kyle told me he was ready to start a family. Little did we know that our family wouldn’t be expanded for almost three years. Little did we know the ups and downs of trying to have a baby. Little did we know about infertility treatments, medications, and heart break. Oh how little did we know. 

But today, as I lay exhausted staring at my 5 day old daughter I am overwhelmed with joy. God’s timing is perfect and if any other time had been our time we wouldn’t have Hannah. I am beyond blessed and continually find myself crying out in praise for her, crying out in the weight of being her mother, crying out in thanksgiving. 

So today, I will remember just how much it means in my heart to finally be a mom.