To the Mom Who is Scared

As a mom of a one year old and three year old, fear has never been stronger. We need to talk about it. The enemy is attacking my heart and scaring me to raise these babies in a world like this. In a world full of so much tragedy, and so much pain.

Someone told me when I was pregnant with my first, “I don’t know why anyone would bring a child into the world we live in.” They didn’t know I was pregnant at the time, but I truly felt taken aback that someone would even think that fear would stop them from starting a family.

Now I am scared every day. The “what if’s” happen every time I leave my kids with someone else, every time we are out in a crowd somewhere, and every time I put them to bed. Fear is trying to take over my parenting.

All I can do is pray. I pray for peace. I pray for wisdom. I pray for protection. I pray for for the strength to tell fear that it is not welcome here. I will not live in fear. I will not be robbed of the joys that motherhood brings. I do not know what my children will go through in this life, but I know that if I live in fear, I will miss out on so much.

As a mom of two toddlers, I make a choice daily to focus on raising them well. Raising them kind. And raising them to know Jesus and His extraordinary love for us. There are things in this world I can’t control, but I am in control of how I raise my children and how I can love them well. I choose to focus on that. Let’s encourage each other to not live in fear. It can be tough raising babies, toddlers, teenagers. It can be scary. Let’s do our best to raise them well, raise them kind, and to tell fear it is not welcome here.


“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:33-34


This calling of motherhood is not an easy one. But we need to remember that as we are doing dishes, picking up clothes, wiping noses and making sure everyone is fed, we are doing kingdom work. We are fulfilling the call placed on our lives to take care of our family. And what an honor. What a joy it is to be a parent. What a joy it is to have clothes to fold! And noses to wipe! Mamas, we are called to this. We can’t let fear take over our motherhood.

I will still worry, because I’m a mom and that’s what we do. But I will not let it take over my motherhood. I will do my best to focus on what I can control, rather than the things I can’t. We can’t control what is happening in our world, but we can love our families well. Let’s start there.

 

 

Polk County Activities Your Kids Will Love!

As a stay at home mom, I’m not very good at staying home. I like to leave the house at least once a day, and it’s generally for an outing in the morning – so we can wear them out for nap time (you know you do it too!). We generally stick to the same places. They are all in Polk County and my kids (three years old and almost two) LOVE them. Here’s some of our favorite Polk Country activities!

26908901_10103141598214294_1281825498_o

1. Bok Tower’s Children’s Garden (Lake Wales, FL)

26828761_10103137276320404_2068542131_o

Bok Tower is our absolute favorite right now! We have been members for almost a year and it has been worth every penny. I cannot say enough about this place. Please go and you will see the amazingness that is Bok Tower! I have an almost two year old and three year old and it is perfect for them. I love that it is an open door to explore. There are so many things for the kids to do, but it all includes playing, exploring and using their imagination! There is also one way in and one way out – which makes it much less stressful for moms!

  • Price: Kids under 5 are free, kids 5-12 are $5, adults are $14. They also offer annual passes which I think are totally worth it!
  • Hours: 365 days/year; 8:00am – 5:00pm

Check out Bok Tower’s website to see more details.

2. Explorations V Children’s Museum (Lakeland, FL)

15202720_10102285684242754_8852848453439942297_n

Our favorite spot in Lakeland! It is perfect for a rainy day or even those really hot ones that hit us so often in Florida. I’ve really enjoyed this place, I mean my kids have really enjoyed it. It’s enjoyable all around! We invested in passes last year and will be renewing soon. It’s another one that is worth it to us. They have three floors and each one will keep your littles busy and happy for a while. They also offer classes while you are there. We have been there for art class and music class and have loved them both! There’s so much to do here, you really can’t go wrong! Oh, and there’s a gated tot area – we all need one of those!

  • Price: Children under 2 are free, children and adults are $9.
  • Hours: Monday – Saturday 9:00am – 5:30pm

3. Toddler Time – Lakeland Public Library

We’ve gone to a few different libraries, and this is our favorite! Toddler time is geared towards children two to three years old. They do songs and stories, and usually integrate activities based on the theme. My girls both LOVE this and really look forward to it. It lasts about 25 minutes, then we head over to the play area that has legos, puzzles, coloring and of course books. We generally spend another 20 minutes there. What I love most about this is the time it starts. They begin at 10:00am. For the little ones that like to nap around 11:00, this is perfect! We highly recommend it! They also have a preschool class and baby class on other days!

  • Price: FREE
  • When: Every Wednesday at 10:00am

4. Open Gym at Gymnastics Etc.  (Lakeland, FL)

26906056_10103141522945134_1440687708_o.jpg

Open Tot Gym is another favorite of ours! Gymnastics, etc. opens up a huge area of their gym for kids aged 1-5 years old. They have two long trampolines, large areas just to run around, an inflatable bounce area, and a ton of things to climb on and play with! My girls love it.

  • Price: $5/first child, $4 each additional
  • Hours: Wednesday (during the school year only) and Thursday 11:00am – 12:00pm

5. Common Ground Park (Lakeland, FL)

26855285_10103141538409144_1471319710_o.jpg

Parks made me pretty nervous when I had my second child. Especially once she started moving and I started chasing two around! Common Ground has been a great park for us. We try to go during the week when it’s not too crowded and I dress my girls in bright colors to keep track of them! There’s a large sand pit, and a play area for older kids as well as younger kids. It’s our favorite park in Polk County!

6. Chick-fil-A (Winter Haven, FL)

Let’s be honest. Every mom loves Chick-fil-A. You really can’t go wrong with the most amazing food and a play place. If we want to get out the house with minimal effort, Chick-fil-A if our destination of choice. We prefer the one in Winter Haven. It’s always SO clean and it has a great play place. And of course, the staff is incredible. Also, if you’re not doing mobile orders yet – it’s time to start. We order it when we leave our house, and it’s ready when we get there. No waiting in line – yes, please!

 

Thanks so much for being here! Drop a comment below and let me know what you and your children love to do in Polk County. We are always looking for new things to do!