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Liz Wann: When Being a Mom is Hard

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
May 20, 2022 2:02 am

Liz Wann: When Being a Mom is Hard

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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May 20, 2022 2:02 am

Is it possible to thrive in the mundane -- when being a mom is hard? Dave & Ann Wilson host author Liz Wann, who talks about rest, critical camaraderie, & making disciples in simple moments.

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Jesus really models rest, and I feel like in His ministry, He really shows a good balance for all of us, but definitely moms, of sacrifice and service, but also rest. Just, you know, Him going off and leaving and praying to the Father, taking a nap in a boat. He didn't go and visit every single town, so that means He had to say no to some things.

You know, Him embracing limitations because He was also fully human. Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Ann Wilson.

And I'm Dave Wilson, and you can find us at or on our Family Life app. This is Family Life Today. Okay, I've got a question for you as a mom. Okay. Do moms ever rest? No. How did you answer that so fast? No, I'm just saying.

You're talking about an oxymoron. Moms and rest. There's so many things. It depends on what your definition of rest would be.

There's a lot. But my first instinct was, we as moms, we just go, we do, and I think there's an art of learning how to rest, and it's hard. Yeah, and I just know I'm looking at a mom, you, that never rests.

I know. In fact, the only way you rest is I get you in a car and remove you from the house. You take me to the movies. Yeah, I mean, it's like you will not even sit down in our house, and we don't have kids there anymore or a dog. We have just us, and you're always moving. And I'm not saying dads don't do that as well, but I've noticed moms continually, especially when you have little kids, they're constantly on the go, constantly on the go, and they need help to understand how to rest.

And we've got help for them today. We've got Liz Wanda in the studio who wrote a book about motherhood and even rest. But Liz, welcome back.

Hi, thanks. Yeah, we had Liz here yesterday talking about her book, The End of Me, which is the definition of motherhood right there, right? Well, yeah, and the subtitle is Finding Resurrection Life in the Daily Sacrifices of Motherhood. And Liz, you're a mom, you're a wife, you have three kids.

Under the age of 10. You're a writer, and so you're still busy. Yes, definitely. Yeah, so when you, I mean, you wrote about it, but when you hear us even talking about moms and rest, moms of kids of your age and even younger than your kids, talk about how do they rest? Do they rest? Do you rest? I think- I mean, you're resting right now because you're away from the kids. Exactly. This is a form of rest, yeah.

Oh, let's just say, too, that Liz is also a homeschooling mom. Oh, man. Yeah, another lay area. Yeah, so how do you rest or do you? Yeah, well, I have to discipline myself to rest. I think in the beginning, I didn't do that so well. I had to end up realizing it when I had my first, I used to feel sometimes guilty. Guilty? Yeah, oh, yeah, you knew exactly, yeah, I would feel guilty like if I just want to get away from my baby for a little bit, I would feel bad.

Me too. Like I shouldn't want to get away from my baby, right? You feel guilty, like they're taking a nap and you're feeling- Oh, not that, no more leaving the house. When you're out of the house.

Really? I remember going to CVS and it was like 1030 at night and I got a cart. You don't usually get a cart at CVS. And I'm just walking around every single aisle thinking, this is amazing, like I'm loving this life right now. But then right after that thought, I thought I should be home.

What if the baby wakes up? You know, it's that- I'm there, I'm there taking care of everything. I know, but we still carry it. Yeah.

I mean, it's amazing how CVS and the aisles at 1030 at night can be like a honeymoon. Oh, right, just a car ride. A car ride.

A car ride alone. Yes. And so why is rest important? Like why did that become something, like if you're writing about this, it's important.

Yes, definitely. Because, well, I think it's so exhausting being a mom and just so depleting. You are giving of yourself so much. You need to refuel, recharge, you need to find your supply in the Lord, but even in other people, in other relationships besides your children. Right. Yeah, and just have your own network of support and relationships.

Adults, not children. So it's very important. And I think, you know, I even talk about in the book that Jesus really models rest. And I feel like in his ministry, he really shows a good balance for all of us, but definitely moms, of sacrifice and service, but also rest. Just, you know, him going off and leaving and praying to the Father, taking a nap in a boat. Just all these different things. He didn't go and visit every single town, so that means he had to say no to some things. You know, him embracing limitations because he was also fully human and showing us in that way how to be human, to rest. And you have a body.

So I think just even that is just very important to see that this was modeled for us in the Bible as well. What did that look like for you when you didn't rest? When I didn't rest? Yeah.

Well, I'd be very stressed out, which I can get that way even with rest, or just a little more angry, just more uptight, more tense, or just extremely tired. Did you ever say, I have no time to rest? Because this is my life.

Yeah, I think I'm pretty sure. I have no time to rest. I do everything around here.

Yeah, I've said that. I do everything around here. Because then you get into the martyr mode, too. Like, I do everything. I can't rest. The world would fall apart if I took some rest.

That's exactly what it is. The word martyr is very good, to remember to our mothers and not martyrs. And to know that we do need rest, and we're not super mom. And to not feel guilty about it.

Because if Jesus modeled it, we need to do that. Let's talk a little bit through that. You talked about having friends and the importance of having a community to be with, maybe without your kids.

Talk about that, what that's looked like in your life. Yeah, well, I mean, for me, it was getting together with other moms. I mean, sometimes with our kids present. It is important, though, I think, to get away from them as well with other women or adults. But just even talking to other moms was still helpful.

Just to realize, oh, you struggle with this, too. Or just to commiserate together or relate to one another. It's kind of, then you realize, oh, okay, this isn't that abnormal to feel this or to go through this or for my child to act this way.

Like, their child does this. It kind of builds a camaraderie and, like, a unity. And it helps kind of encourage you to keep going, you know, to keep running the race and to keep persevering. It makes you feel like you're not alone.

Yeah, exactly. And then I know that I've had that for years with my friends. For friends to hear it and say, oh, yeah, I did that. Or I've felt that.

Or I've done that. And then with our group of friends, we've just prayed over one another and text each other the next day, hey, I know that was really hard what you went through yesterday with your kids. I'm praying for you.

How's it going today? So there's a sense of accountability and love in that, that it just brings life into your soul. And when you bring the Jesus aspect of friendship in it as well, it's just a reminder that we need community and we need Jesus in that. I know one time, I think our kids were teenagers. And I'm with a group of women that I've been doing life with. And we were talking about how all we ever do is nag our teenagers. And our hearts were good, like these guys are getting ready for the world. And so we need to train them. There's not much time left. And so the more we started listening to one another, at the end of that conversation, we were like, man, it must be terrible to be our kids.

All we're doing is critiquing them, telling them what they should be doing and what they're doing wrong. And so we committed with one another. Let's go one week.

We'll meet next week again. Let's go one week without critiquing or nagging our kids. Can I tell you, that was one of the hardest practices I've ever done.

And it made me realize, I think 98 percent of my communication is nagging and critiquing our teens. We should do that with our husbands, too. I wonder if we did do that. I don't think we did. That's a good one.

No, you didn't. Anyway. But I think that's really good that you talk about the importance of resting. And sometimes we rest with friends. And I think, you know, as a husband, at least watching Anne, and I know it's true for many of my buddies' wives, women have a really hard time embracing that idea, separating from their children for a date night or a vacation weekend without the kids. Talk about that for a minute. Because I think for us guys, often we're like, oh, that's a good thing.

Let's do it. And I'm not saying every guy's that way, but I'd be much more apt to say, OK, let's schedule it right now, where Anne would be like, I don't know if I want to. And most moms feel that connection. They don't want to leave them, even though they would say rest is good. I need rest. I'm just not going to do it, you know, until five years from now when I feel like they're old enough to. So talk about that, because moms need it, but it's so hard for them to do.

Yeah. I mean, that's why I think it's something that I've realized, even for myself, I'll let time slip by. And then I think I started wising up and realizing, like, I need to prevent that breakdown. Like, I need to, like, put something, like, make this like the rhythm of my life. I think that's what I was thinking to myself. Like, make this a rhythm of rest. Even if you have to schedule it, you know, like, schedule it, be disciplined about it, prioritize it and say, this evening we go out as a couple and that's my rest, this evening I go out by myself or go do something for myself.

However it looks, practically, yeah. I mean, it is one of the Ten Commandments. And God did that on the seventh day, so I think it's pretty important for us to do it. And it's a weekly rest, usually once a year, once a—it's every seven days.

I've shared this, I think, before, but I was, you know, as a pastor, I was preaching on the Sabbath principle of rest years ago, and I try to do it every several years, but I'll never forget this. I was in a meeting talking about the message I was going to give, and somebody said, hey, do you know that they rest bowling pins? And I'm literally like you, Liz looked at me like, what? And I'm like, what are you talking about, they rest bowling pins?

They take them off the alleys, they put them on a shelf for a month, they put them back on, they have more life. I'm like, that's not true. I went to a bowling alley because it was right across from our church and I went over there and I said, hey, there's this rumor out there, you guys rest the bowling pins. And the guy goes, oh yeah, want me to show you? I go, yeah, we took a camera crew over, goes back there, there's this whole room.

I go, what are you telling me? He goes, we take them off the alley, we put them in the shelf, they sit there for a month, the wood actually gets life. You put them back on the lane, professional bowlers will tell you, oh, I just got rested pins.

I'm like, what? He goes, they jump, they jump, even creation needs to rest. And I just remember I have a bowling pin in my office as this reminder. If God created the world in such a way that wood comes back to life with a little bit of rest, what about us? And so as a mom or as a dad, as a husband or as a wife, you take time to obey one of the Ten Commandments, which we sort of just push it away like that's not a big deal.

If it's not a big deal, it wouldn't be one of the big 10. I mean, come on. God said rest is that important for a mom. And I remember John Maxwell saying, we change when the pain is so great. Like when you have a heart attack, you change your diet. But until then, you're like, I should eat better when a mom breaks down. Then she says, I need rest. And you just said we need to make that a rhythm so we don't get to the breakdown point. So I'm thinking there's a mom listening going, oh, yeah, I'm breaking down.

And I would say, God's saying, this is a rhythm that I created for you. Take it. You're going to be a better mom and your kids are going to thank you someday, even though it feels hard to pull away from them. It's needed. And Dave, I think that physical and that pulling away rest is important. But there is also emotional rest because you might pull away. But as you said, we moms, man, we can be thinking constantly about our kids, worrying about them, thinking about what's going on in school. And so, I mean, I even love and you mentioned this as well, Liz, Philippians 4, 6 and 7, like this. This is my verse, man, especially parenting. And when you're worried, if I were you as a mom and if you're a worrier, I would put this verse in your car. I'd put it by the sink wherever you're doing life. And it says this, don't be anxious about anything. Just right there.

How do you do that? And then it says, but, Paul says, in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And listen to this part. So now you're telling him what you're feeling, what you're experiencing. You're praying about the things that worry you. And then the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, listen to this part, will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus. Liz, talk about that a little bit of how that has impacted you and even that scripture, how that's impacted you. Yeah, I think just to realize that when I'm not having peace, to realize that that's something that I need to bring to the Lord. And through prayer, like that verse says, that through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, just make your requests known to God. Instead of it worrying in your head or whatever's happening with your body or whatever worries you have, to bring them to God and to just lay them at his feet and have him help you carry the burden.

You know, he can carry the burden. Yeah, so I think that's just how it's applied to me. And I've also noticed, and I can see it even sitting in here with two moms, that's easy said, hard to do.

I mean, it's hard for anybody. But because a mother's heart just carries them, it's like they're with you 24-7. And Ann, like I said, we're grandparents now, so they're not in the home. But she still carries that, so to be able to let go of that and say, okay, I'm not going to worry about them, I'm going to cast them, that in a sense is rest. Right, because you're giving them back to the Lord.

They're his anyway, but it's a way to get out of the rest. Okay, so talk about this. Another big part of what I've heard you write about and Ann has said is the mundaneness of being a mom, or being a parent really. It's just so mundane.

You know, it's like there's not these highs, I mean there are, but there's so few and far between. So how do we thrive, how do you thrive, I'm talking about moms, in the mundane? For me, just having to remind myself, and I don't do this every day to remind myself this, but sometimes I do feel okay with the mundane. Again, I've been kind of trained by it, like, okay, this is where God has me. All Christians were called to the mundane and the ordinary.

It doesn't always look like these mountain top, high peak experiences all the time. What's your mundane? So, yeah, I mean my mundane would be just, I am home with my kids, and so then I, you know, just preparing meals, and it's okay, three meals a day, and then cleaning up after it, and just repetition, just a lot of repetition. And then since I do homeschool, that's even repetitive, you know, we're going over the same lessons, I'm preparing the night before a little bit. So it's, yeah, a lot of repetition and the same thing over, or just even behavior issues, again, telling them the same thing, do not punch your brother, please. Okay, don't do that again, you're still doing that. So it's, just realizing even that's repetitive, all the same behavior problems in the home, that would be the mundane. Yeah, and even just, you know, cleaning up and doing laundry and picking up, like, clean up your room, again, I just cleaned it, let's clean it up again, how about you guys help me clean up, clean up, clean up, clean up. Well, I love what you wrote, you know, when you're talking about the ordinary days and the mundane and the repetition, I'll read you what you wrote, and I'd love to hear you comment on it. You said, what if we're missing something? We need to discover how to spot these daily beauties and cherish them, because God created them, He made repetition.

How did you discover that, and are you able to do that? You know, personally, as someone in ministry who has raised financial support for over 20 years, which I have, I found that without my ministry partners, my ministry literally wouldn't happen. It is a partnership. They make it possible for ministry to happen. It's a partnership between the one who gives and the ministry, of course, but it's really about partnering alongside God and entering into the joy of seeing Him use something as common as money to advance His own kingdom. That's really the special part about what it means to give and see God use your donations for the glory of Jesus Christ.

Now, in light of all that, I've got some really good news. We've had some friends come alongside Family Life and offer to double any donation that comes in this month up to $300,000. And if you become a monthly partner, they will double your gift for the next 12 months. So every dollar that you give turns into two because of their generosity. So you can find out more at

You can give there, or you could give us a call at 1-800-358-6329. That's 1-800-F as in Family, L as in Life, and then the word today. All right, now back to Dave and Anne with Liz Wan on the importance of finding beauty in the mundane things of life. I'm not always able to do that, but sometimes I do try to look. There are beautiful moments in the sense where, like, okay, something does really break through with my child, or we have this really great conversation, or he confesses something to me or is vulnerable with me or even feels free to confront me on something. And I think that's great to have that kind of relationship with your child where they feel free to kind of bring something to you about how they're feeling that you did. So even just moments like that or some kind of a connection, like I do love to read with my kids. It's like I make a big priority to read with them. And we do a lot of read-alouds and we sit on the couch and just even times like that when just things click with them and we connect. And there's like, there does feel a warmth at times. Yeah, at times. It's in those mundane where it's repetitive, but that's where a child's heart is being shaped and formed and their values and their morals.

Exactly. It's through the daily repetitive things. I mean, I think about God creating Adam and Eve and he had them care and tend to the garden.

I'm sure they were doing some of the same things. But it also says in the cool of day, God walked with them. And I feel like we don't realize that in the mundane, our hearts are being shaped and formed as well as our kids' hearts and lives. I remember this one time I had this little piece of paper that I had journaled and I'd share this at the weekend to remember marriage getaway. And it says, my life is so boring. I said in my next words, and it's so mundane because yesterday Cody had an ear infection and somebody got sick and Dave's out of town. And I feel like I've made the same meal a million different times and the laundry is never done.

And my life feels like what happened to you and something like that. And then I said, but then tonight, and I think we all have those, but then tonight. And I say in this that I think our oldest was five and he was crying.

He was going to bed and I said, what's wrong? And he said, Mom, I've just been thinking about Austin. And our oldest son had just he'd really kind of grasped the gospel. And I had been sharing like I had shared with them all the time the story of the gospel. And I would start out saying God created Adam and Eve in his image and he walked with them and he loved them, but he also gave them a choice. And so we talked about separation from God and how there was separation from God, which meant when we would die, we wouldn't be separated from God. But I said, but God had a plan that he would come later as Jesus's son. So it's the gospel and he would die for us, die for our sins.

And CJ connected with it, this five-year-old, and he said, I've just been praying for Austin, who's three, because like, what if he becomes an old man and he doesn't surrender his life to Jesus? And I am like, yes, yes, it's in this mundane sharing the gospel as I'm cutting up their meat for the millionth time. Like, oh my goodness, like this matters.

And the things that I'm sharing, they don't always hear, you know, and I don't even know if they understood it. But that's what's being formed, these spiritual lives and hearts and emotions and values. There's beauty to that. And it also, it glorifies God as we're cleaning our toilets. I remember cleaning a toilet one time thinking, this is the most boring thing, Lord.

Is this what you've made me to do? And then I thought of Jesus washing the disciples' feet. Has there been moments in your life where you've been able to do what you say in the book, step back and go, this is a mundane, but it's a beautiful moment? But it's miraculous, too. Yeah, well, I relate to your story, yeah, because I've had moments like that with my kids where I'm like, okay, this is a little bit of fruit here that I can grab onto.

Like you said, the fruit of the mundane. And when you see that, if you just grab onto that, that is helpful. And sometimes you have to really look for it.

Yeah. And sometimes it's obvious, and sometimes you have to really look for it, but it's there. And I would add, Liz, pray for it.

Pray that God would give you ears and eyes to see what he's doing in the midst of the mundane. I remember one night I saw it. I don't think I've ever shared this. And we wrote a parenting book, and I didn't even put it in the parenting book. And as you're talking, two moms brought this memory to my life. And it was a Monday night at home on our deck with food and stuff. I think we ate out on the deck. And the boys were little, and there's food everywhere, and the dog's licking it all off. It was just a messy family night like most families have with little kids, and they're screaming and moving around. And I remember sitting there with this thought like, every night this is this, and we're going to have to clean all this up.

And we've got to do baths, and we've got to get them to bed. And as I was thinking that, I don't like my life. And I can't imagine what Ann's feeling, because she worked to make all this happen.

Here's the thought that hit me. Last night I was in AT&T Stadium with the Detroit Lions standing on the sideline watching Calvin Johnson catch passes a few feet from me. That's life. Eighty thousand people screaming. We won the game. That's the most spectacular thing.

Who wouldn't want to be on that sideline? And here I am on my back deck 24 hours later with these boys, and it finally hit me. It was like when you said, Ann, God give us the eyes to see, I saw in that moment like I am changing the Wilson legacy, which was alcohol and adultery. And here are my boys. They're precious little boys who don't have a clue yet why they're on the planet that maybe one day they'll grow up and take a godly legacy to the next generation. I was able to go, this moment right here is more beautiful than the stadium I was in last night. And that's what we miss as parents. And Dave, I think that's why it's important sometimes to get off of social media, to get back in the Word, because it gives us perspective.

That's where we find life, through Jesus, through the Word. And Liz, thanks for being with us today. And I'll just say this to you two moms, thank you. Liz, thank you.

I'm not in your home, I don't know your kids. Just reading your book and hearing you talk and listening to Ann, for all the men and all the husbands and dads that I represent, we say thank you. I know you feel like what you do is unseen and it's mundane and it is. You are making disciples that will change the world.

Thanks for what you do. That's Dave and Ann Wilson with Liz Wan on Family Life Today. You can get her book, The End of Me, at Or you can pick up the phone and call us at 1-800-358-6329. That's 1-800-F as in Family, L as in Life, and then the word Today. There are a few Weekend to Remember events happening this weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada and Jacksonville, Florida. We'd love it if you'd take a sec and join us in prayer for those couples who are attending in those two cities. And next week, Dave and Ann are going to be talking with Kristen Clark and Bethany Beale about how to cope when life throws you a curveball. Hope you're able to worship in your local church and rejoice in the grace God gives us every moment. On behalf of Dave and Ann Wilson, I'm Shelby Abbott. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a production of Family Life, a crew ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-11 03:47:49 / 2023-01-11 03:59:43 / 12

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