This year I kind of/sort of committed to getting back in shape (some would use the word “goals” in this sentence, but I’m not a “goals” kind of gal). For a decade I ran a baby-making factory, with production now halted, the factory is getting a wee bit run down. In February and March a fellow, former baby-maker and I signed up to meet with a physical trainer. Even though I didn’t see any obvious changes, it had me moving in the right direction. Recently a friend invited me to a “Body Shred” class (picture Jillian Michaels…screaming while sweat pours off your body). It’s only 30 minutes. And I can do anything in 30 minutes, right?


Imagine two minutes of cardio mixed in with weight training. You get “active recovery breaks” which means “do some push-ups” which is not exactly my idea of a break.

And you just. want. to. stop.

But I didn’t give up, because before the class started our instructor asked a simple question: “Why are you here?” Whether it’s to get healthy, shed a few pounds, gain muscle, whatever it was, she wanted us to identify our ‘why’s.

Then she informed us, “You are going to want to give up and in that moment you need to keep the ‘why’ in your mind.” In order to get the maximum results she wanted us to give it our all in those thirty minutes–don’t save any energy for running on the treadmill later, push ourselves to the limit.

Midway through this torture experience, she instructed us to jump high enough to tap both knees. My brain told my legs to jump, but nothing happened. Nada. I looked down and my feet are barely leaving the ground. If I could have jumped, I would have. Even though I kept my ‘why’ in mind, my body was just not fit enough yet. Of course, this moment reminds me of mothering the boys.

Some days I just want. to. stop.

But keeping my ‘why’ of raising godly men in mind, helps recharge my spirit.

How to Fight Mommy Regret with One Phrase via The MOB Society

On the days, when my thoughts turn negative, when I’m convinced I’ve ruined the boys with too much screen time or not enough books or over-correcting or inconsistent parenting I regret the over-reaction to their misbehavior.

But just like how my legs wouldn’t jump even though I wanted them to. I realize if I could have made better parenting decisions, then I would have.

If I could have been less frazzled, I would have.

If I could have been more patient, I would have.

If I could have been more gentle, I would have.

But I hadn’t developed those spiritual, godly, mommy muscles yet. My efforts were the best I could do at that time. And yet in my reflection I criticized my efforts as “not enough”.

 “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him,having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,” Ephesians 1:16-18

None of us is perfectly “Christ like” yet. You and I are on a journey to fully grasping the mystery of Christ and His sacrifice for us. May we recognize this is process of growing in wisdom and having our heart-eyes opened to the true hope & future awaiting us.

Mothering boys is a workout. Each day is like 24-hour Body Shred class. You and I need to keep our mind fixed on the ‘why’, the hope He has called us to, recognizing that where our weakness ends, His strength begins and most importantly, dropping regret, with the simple re-centering phrase:

If I could have, I would have.

(Need more help re-centering? Check out Heather’s weekly GodCenteredMom Podcast. She interviews seasoned moms, parenting experts and gals like you.)