So when our kids were little and you were a mom with toddlers and snot and potty training and even training our puppy, I mean were you just exhausted all the time? I was exhausted. You were exhausted and you were usually mad at me.
And I was also mad. Yes, I was feeling like this is all your fault. Where's my husband?
Why isn't he here? Somehow I did get blamed a lot. Totally got blamed.
And most of the time it was my fault. 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 familylifetoday.com or on our Family Life app. This is Family Life Today.
It wasn't your fault. I think part of that is just being a mom is trying to juggle everything. And we we worry, we go through things. And so I think what's always been helpful for me is one God's word like that is my rock. It's my foundation is where I find my hope. You get to read that in the bathroom when you lock the kids outside.
I had bibles everywhere in my car, by the sink, by the table, because it's like I'd have to get those times in. But I also was always encouraged when there was a good book out that would encourage my heart. And we're going to talk about that good book today because we have Kirsten Watson with us today who's a great friend.
And she's written a great book. Kirsten, welcome to Family Life Today. Thank you for having me. I'm excited to talk to you guys. Yeah. And I heard you laughing over there. We're talking about young moms.
I love hearing y'all talk and just telling your story. I'm laughing all the time. And Kirsten is married to Benjamin Watson, who is in the NFL. We don't care about her husband. She's got this NFL guy. Here's her husband.
Who cares about him? We're talking to her. But they have seven children. And the last two are twins. And they're three years old. So Kirsten, how old is your oldest? Tell us the ages of your kids. Yeah, our oldest is 13.
So there's in 10 years, there's seven of them. So we have a 13, a 12, a 10, a 12, a 13, a 14, a 15, a 16, a 17, a 18, a 19, a 20, a 21, a 22, a 22, a 23, a 24, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, a 25, want to lay down somewhere if I could. For those listeners that didn't already listen to you and Benjamin that were on our broadcast podcast, I'd say go back and hear their story, because it's pretty remarkable.
You got to hear about the red pants woman, you got to hear that story. Let's start here, because we're going to talk about parenting, but let's start here. You have seven kids, who has time to have a good marriage?
You barely have time to do anything yourself. How do you make marriage a priority, because you talk about that. That's important to you. We listen to you all.
That was amazing. You have to find someone to listen to, and sometimes you're listening to the wrong people. It was always repeated to us early on in our marriage. God is a God of order, and that's for a reason. You can follow his order, or you can do what's best for you, but don't be complaining when you're in chaos, because you haven't followed the directions. So it has always been said to us, your relationship with the Lord, first and foremost, far second is your relationship with your husband, and then the relationship with your kids and family. And so we have done our best, not perfectly, but we have been intentional as we can be to make sure that our marriage comes first before our children. Not saying like, you know, I don't feed the kids, I feed Benjamin first. Not like that, but it's just like making sure we take time with each other.
And that has been the secret sauce. And when things are chaotic, it's generally because we've gotten stuff out of order, either I haven't spent time in my word and Benjamin and I are at odds. It's just the reality of things. And so in order for us to be best prepared to parent, we have to be most prepared in our marriage.
And so I think that it was told to us so much before we had kids, then as we had kids, we had to keep hearing it, and then we just did our best to keep doing it. And we still, right now, we're like, we need to find a babysitter so we can go out to dinner without these people. Like I don't want to cut up anyone else's food.
I love you, Benjamin, but I'm not cutting your food up. Can I go somewhere where we can just be adults? And so even when there's been times where we don't have someone physically to watch our children, it's still our talk and our desire and our prayer is that someone would come so that we can go spend some time together.
And so I think that has been how our parenting has been made a little bit easier, not easy, easier because we do try to focus on our marriage. So even, do you guys try to catch up during the week, even as you're home, do you kind of catch up a little bit when all these people are screaming your name constantly? It's awful.
It is so awful. I just try to finish a sentence and then I forget. I'm like, you know what? I'll talk to you tonight. I'll talk to you tonight, which is why we do an early bedtime. The whole thing for crazy that we have middle schoolers that have to be in bed, they just have to be in their room.
I don't care what you're doing, but do not come out unless you're bleeding or like a part of your body has fallen off is the only reason to knock on my door. And so we do that so that we can adult. I can actually get a full thought out of my brain to my mouth and have a conversation before I fall asleep because I'm exhausted. So you have a good 30 minutes to get everything out in your dreams. I think that's what we do.
We try to dedicate time throughout the day. And then whether it's us reading the Bible together, meaning that we reading the same passage and not literally holding hands, reading together, that'd be awesome. But like we can have conversations about like, Hey, did you read what happened in Luke? Yeah, I thought that was awesome.
Did you read that before? And then that that's the conversation it's in passing, but we're doing something together, but not literally like reading it word for word together. So we try to find these ways to still connect, even though it's really challenging. And then you just said, like, you know, I'm in my word.
I think our listeners are like, you have seven kids. How do you do that? Because even for me, Kirsten, before I had kids, I'd get this nice little chunk of time with God. I'm in the word. I'm praying. Then I'm like, I can't sit down unless I'm up at 4.30.
How do you do that? Well, it's a little, I will say that I, this is what I always say, I was like, there is, there are seasons. And so I'm in a season now where five of my kids go to school and two of them, we've just found a babysitter. So two of them are being watched for a couple hours in the morning. And so my time looks very different from when I had four, four and a half and under. And literally I can remember vividly saying, Lord, you're going to have to speak to me through VeggieTales because Bob and Larry are going to have to give me a word because I just, I can't stay awake long enough to sleep to read.
I can't, I don't have time to read. And I remember it was an older mom that told me that they're like, Kirsten, it's not going to be forever. It's just for a little bit. And so get in where you fit in. And so, you know, VeggieTales was speaking to me on my, you know, driving and I'm listening to what the message is and, and that literally just was what it was.
So I always encourage, like, it's hard when you're in it. You just feel like me and I'll tell another story. So I'm listening to VeggieTales getting my word and Benjamin would call me like, yeah, do you know what I was reading in Mark in the hot tub today? And I'm like, oh, in the hot tub, you're reading through Mark. That's great.
I'm so happy. Do you know what I'm doing? I, you know, whatever. And I was just so bitter because he was getting the word in the hot tub and I was listening to a cucumber. And so it just didn't seem fair. It did not seem fair.
Hey, let me, let me jump in. Let me ask how you moms deal with that. Cause that is a common, oh, bitterness, frustration. Yeah. I mean, you did it with me.
Oh yeah. I mean, I'm at work and she thinks my day is just, you know, I'm sitting by the beach with a iced tea, you know, I'm, I'm, I'm working hard. It's no, it's not easy, but I come home and it would be the comparison game.
Like I guarantee you, my day is harder than your day. I never said that, but I thought it all the time, but wait, I would say things like this. Wait, you had lunch.
Exactly. Wait, people? Yes, and you actually talked without any interruption and you didn't eat the crust off somebody's sandwich. Like, what is that like? My question is how'd you deal with that?
Cause that is a real frustration for a mom that's a stay at home mom. I remember being in Baltimore and we had five kids and it was, I was washing dishes cause it was, I was also homeschooling and I think I was just, oh yeah, right. So I was just doing nothing.
I was on the beach, like you said, with iced tea and I'm washing the dishes, looking out of the window. And I just remember hearing or feeling like this is not going to be wasted. And earlier that day, speaking of VeggieTales, it was the David and Goliath one. And it just, it reminded me that David was just a shepherd, right? Like he wanted probably to be with his brothers who were doing the important work, who were doing, they were like doing the stuff that was fun and exciting and he was just a shepherd.
And being just a shepherd, I prepared him for his time when he was going to face the giant. It came over me that this just a mom or this just a bill and what I was feeling like it wasn't fun. It was not in the limelight.
It wasn't in the hot tub. It was not going to be wasted. And so that was a surrender moment where I had to say, am I going to believe this? Am I going to believe that everything that I thought I was made for, and this was years into our marriage.
I mean, we're talking to our fifth kid. So it wasn't that, I mean, I was, had been a believer for a long time. Like we, we preached this. I mean, we were leading Bible studies and yet God was still saying, you are holding on to this bitterness of what you think you should be doing.
And you don't believe that I'm going to use everything you're doing right now for something that may blow your mind. I had to surrender all of that, like all of those ideas of he gets to do that. And I had to see that what he was experiencing every day, the comparison and the, all the things that I wouldn't want that in a million years. And thank goodness he got a time in the hot tub that he could go and meet with you God, because I don't even know how he deals with that, definitely not physically, but how he's dealing with that mentally and spiritually. And Lord, and so my praise became like, thank goodness he can meet with you.
It just switched how I was looking at it and that made all the difference. Isn't that sweet how God will speak to us or nudge us through the power of his word and this power of his spirit living in us. I can remember that same thing of this conviction. I was in this stage of just grumbling and complaining in my head.
I might fake it to the outer world, but in my head it was ugly. And I remember God saying, Ann, why don't you spend this time praying rather than grumbling and complaining about your husband? And it really... Amen. I like that. But it grabbed my attention because we just, we use our thoughts and our minds and we just go places and that becomes a habit.
And so for me, I had to stop myself from that comparison game, but it's not easy. And I think, yeah, I'm glad that the power of God's word can speak to us in any way. I love that he was speaking to you through VeggieTales, that's the best. All the time. He always spoke to me, God is bigger than the boogeyman.
I mean, there's so many great truths. I got to ask you this, because one of the things you wrote about, Kirsten, I've heard Ann with the same frustration and that was being a mom, feeling like I've lost my identity of who I am and you write in your book, it felt like motherhood, this job is so beneath me, you know, and I've heard Ann say the same things when our boys were little. How do you wrestle with that feeling as a mom?
How do I wrestle? Yeah, there was definitely moments where I was like, I was made more for Wheels on the Bus goes round and round all day and doing these hand motions and like, this is just ridiculous. Like, I have a degree. What am I doing? And so it's like the Bible tells you not to be in like of the world, you need to live in the world. It's like I had just totally drank the lemonade of like, I deserve better because of this. And it was totally opposite of what God tells me who I am. Like you have to realize, even as I was working in corporate America, they clearly got over the fact that I left, like clearly got another person who is able to do my job and it's like, I was replaceable. And that is something you don't want to think about for yourself because you think you bring this certain set of gifts and talents and I am making this company better. But I had to realize like I was replaceable and there are areas that God has given to me where I am not replaceable. That fact that I'm here and breathing, like I am clearly a mom and I am not replaceable in this role.
And so Lord, you've got to like, give me what I need because right now I'm feeling super inadequate. And that's the thing that with the motherhood versus working in a job, I was getting reviews. I was getting bonuses. Like I was always getting feedback on how I was performing. When you're a mom, all the feedback is negative. They don't like what you make, nothing is positive. No one's patting you on the back like, hey mom, that was a great, you know, I love doing that lesson in math today.
I'm so sorry. I had an attitude. It's like, nothing is, none of that is happening. And so you just feel like you're failing and that you're not doing it right and then everyone has an opinion.
And so it was just like, I'd just rather do what felt easier and get an approval from somewhere else and trying to get the approval of the people that I live with. And so the wrestling just happens. I think it continues to happen now where I'm like, am I doing this right? I don't know how they'll turn out because we make them go to bed at seven 30.
They might be dangerous in the future, I don't know, but you're just praying that like, Lord, give me the wisdom I need to make the best decisions that I can. And that's the honest conversation I have with my kids. Like guys, I've never done this.
I've never parented a 13 year old. I could have made doing this all wrong, but just, you have to trust that this is the best that I got. Like I'm giving you my best. I am like going to the Lord and I'm trying to use the wisdom that he's given me. And if I'm wrong, 15 years from now, I will apologize and apologize and apologize, but just trust me that I'm not trying to make your life miserable. We live in a harder day.
You are living in a harder time because there's this constant comparison on social media. We're wondering if we're doing it right. I can remember thinking, going to one of my friend's houses, a pastor's wife, and I remember watching her, she had these Legos on the ground and her house was all clean and neat and she had three little girls and they were building these towers, these cute little towers with the Legos. Our boys come in, they knock everything down, they crash the Lego tower and then they get something else out. And I think, oh, you know what? She's such a better mom than I am. Now women have like every single second of the day, they can be scrolling through thinking like, oh, I'm not enough. I don't have what it takes. How have you dealt with that, Kristin, of just like, no, I am the one that is responsible and God's given me what I need for my kids.
How do you do that? I watch what I look at, for one. I have to know my personality and I have to know when to cut it off and what not to follow and know what to follow. I always say when you see someone's highlight reel all the time, it's very hard to think about your life reel, R-E-E-L, in a realistic way. I just have to be mindful of what I let my eyes in and I have to just run my race. And I've also learned that, especially being in the NFL and being around people whose lives are in the spotlight, but then actually really being able to do life with them, you just never know someone's complete story and you don't know what's happening in the walls of people's homes and in their hearts and their struggles, because that's not what we show. I think because of our time in the NFL, I'm able to look at someone and say, Lord, is this really what's going on? Like, is this really, you know, like there might be a reason why I should be praying for someone if they're only putting something out. There may be something underneath that, maybe not, but I just try my best to understand that what we see is not necessarily always what's going on. That helps us with what I post and don't post. If anyone follows me, you realize I really don't post a lot because I just I think too many times people are looking for something to either validate what they're doing or to make it makes them feel bad about what they're doing.
And so I never want to be anyone's comparison because I'm trying to figure this out just like everybody else. How about you write about Dark Alley Friends? Yeah, I love that chapter. Sisters, who are your Dark Alley Friends? I know for guys and husbands and dads, we need guys in our life.
But how about moms and wives and women? Talk about your move to New Orleans and meeting people who became your lifelong friends. Well, first of all, I was always the new girl because Benjamin, we would move to a new city. And then so he kind of had like a built in friendship, not friendship, but like at least acquaintances, people that he would see. And then we would be moving to a new house, new neighborhood, new doctor, like I would just not know anyone. And so I was the new person a lot more than I would have liked. But then looking back on it, I see that God sent people, one, two girls in many of the places that we went.
He sent me friends for that season and then friends that will be hopefully lifelong friends. And so the idea around Dark Alley Friends, it's like for mom, it's like the girls who see you without your makeup, the girls who you don't clean up before they walk through the door. The girls who, it's like, there's no pretense. There's no mask. This is just, this is how I feel today.
Here's what's going on. You know, I don't like my husband, but there's no judgment, but you know, you're going to, you love him. It's all, it's those people that you can do life with. And so I think for many of us, we don't have those friends because we either secretly comparing ourselves to them or jealous of their kids acting so nice and ours being little, not nice. I think it's really hard sometimes for us to make friends and to, and to really be able to do life. I moved to New Orleans and it's just like, I just realized that God had brought friends in my life that are now my Dark Alley Friends in New Orleans.
He gave me more Dark Alley Friends. It's not a lot, but it's just women that I know God sent. And these are the women who I do life with. Like when something good happens, like we are all genuinely happy, like for real deal, no jealousy.
I am so happy for you celebrating, like we gave birth to you happy. And then when things are bad, you know, or things are tough or like things are going on in the marriage, we're like, okay, we want to hate him with you, but we're going to remind you that you chose him and that, you know, it's like, wait, you know, we're not going to go burn your house down, but we are going to be there and be angry with you and you know, but we still love, you know, it's just this different kind of community that I think that the body of Christ is supposed to have. We're called to mourn and rejoice. That only happens when we are able to put ourselves in the position to be vulnerable and real. And I think that draws people into letting their masks down. And I think that's when the true community start.
And so for me, it's, it makes me smile. Every time someone says Dark Alley Friends referring to the book, or if I think about my girls, like I can do nothing but smile. These are not girls that I've was with in elementary school. These are girls that I've known for like years. And they don't necessarily live close to you.
They don't live close to me at all. Like none of them live in the same state that I live in and we can pick up and like it never, like we never left. And you know, I'm praying for friends that are here, like close to me because I think there's something about doing life with someone and we just never had that opportunity because of the NFL. But you know, I know Lord, the Lord is putting, has always put people in, in a place for me to meet. And sometimes me having the eyes to see and, and hear and, but I think that makes all the difference when we do the thing called life because it's not easy.
It's not easy and you just need someone to do it with. You're listening to Family Life Today with David Ann Wilson and their guest Kirsten Watson. Kirsten's written a book called Sis Take a Breath, encouragement for the woman who's trying to live and love well, but secretly just wants to take a nap.
You can get a copy at familylifetoday.com or by calling 800-358-6329. That's 800 F as in family, L as in life, and then the word today. What does it feel like to love your spouse? You know what I mean? The butterflies in your stomach, dancing in the kitchen, the catch your eye from across the room feeling, maybe even your heart flutters from waking up to your spouse already making you a cup of coffee. Maybe you know these feelings well, or maybe they seem a little far off for you and your spouse this season. Well, the good news is that there are great tools to get you back to the excitement that comes from loving your spouse, and it starts with a weekend away. Let's get back to those little things that really make up the big ones and be intentional about the marriage that God has for us. At Family Life's Weekend to Remember, you're able to get away with your spouse while gaining tools to build a great marriage. And right now, all registrations are half off now through January 23rd. You can head to familylifetoday.com, click on the Weekend to Remember link and register today for half off.
And in addition to getting away to strengthen your marriage, you can build your marriage year round by getting all of our marriage small group resources that are also on sale right now through January 31st. All of that's at familylifetoday.com. I remember every year I would start a Bible study with these new lions' wives, and I can't tell you how depressed some of them were to come to Detroit, especially those from the south.
Like, where am I right now? You know, they knew no one. Their family's not there.
Their husband's at practice and work every day. And I remember saying every year, like, can you believe that God brought you here? And they're like, no, we cannot believe it.
And I said, but he's not a God that makes mistakes. There's something for you here. There's someone for you here. And we all in this group, we need the full you, right? Like, we need you.
We want you. And I think, Kirsten, what I've seen is after a while, when you start moving a lot, it's hard to do that. You know, you just like sometimes you think, I don't want to go through the work of trying to do that again. It's hard.
Whatever we do, it's hard to be vulnerable, to expose our pain. But I think those friends, those I love the dark alley friends. For me, I don't think I could do it without those friends. I need Jesus and I need my friends.
I need the Word. And that makes me a better wife and it makes me a better mom. 100 percent.
I agree. As we close, I'm wondering, could you just pray for moms, for women that are like, oh, I need somebody to pray for me today. Will you do that for us to close us?
I'd be honored. I'll try to keep it short because you tell me to pray and I'm just like, so much stuff will come to me. Come on, sis. Just take a breath. Just take a breath.
I've heard that somewhere. Somewhere. Oh, Lord, I am so grateful for the opportunity just to come before you. What an incredible opportunity. And Lord, today we just pray for those moms, those women who are listening, who just need a breath. Lord, I just pray that they would realize that there's no magic pill.
There's nothing that we can do to make our life easy. But Lord, you give us the power to walk in purpose and you can help change our perspective on what we have ahead. Lord, I pray that in the breath, Lord, we can breathe you in through your word, however that comes to us, Lord, and we would breathe out and exhale peace, knowing that you are with us and that we are not alone. So Lord, I encourage that woman today that no matter how hard the situation, the trial, or maybe how awesome the victory is right now, that you are in all of it and we are not alone, Lord. So let us feel you like we've never felt and see you and hear you so that we do know what to do next, Lord.
Because a lot of times we are just, we're just moving the best that we know how, Lord. So I pray that you would come in and that you would help guide us in our everyday things that we would see you and hear you in those as well, Lord. So I thank you for your son. I thank you for the spirit that gives us power to remember who he is and who you are, Lord. And I just pray for all of these women under the sound of my voice, that they would walk encouraged knowing that they're not alone, that you are with them and that they are loved because you created them. And we ask these things in your name. Amen. Tomorrow on Family Like Today, Davin and Wilson are joined by Bob Lapine to talk about how examining small issues in marriage could actually be the key to uncovering deeper problems. That's tomorrow. On behalf of Davin and 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.
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