Tuesday, December 17, 2013

“Stop! Only love today." - Hands Free Mama

I read a blog post last week and I cannot quit thinking about the writer's words. Every time she writes, she speaks directly to my heart.  She inspires me on my quest to transform.  As I walk this weight loss journey, I believe the changes that take place emotionally, mentally, and spiritually hold the key to the success I will have on the scale.

Rachel Stafford is the founder of Hands Free Mama, and a vessel God is using to touch the hearts of moms every where. Her post titled "The Bully Too Close To Home" convicted me like no other.

In the post, Rachel states "Calling all the shots was a mean voice in my head. My internal drill sergeant was continually pushing me to make everything sound better, look better, and taste better. My body, my house, and my achievements were never good enough. Holding myself to such unattainable standards weighed heavily on my soul and my inner turmoil eventually spilled out at people I loved the most."

Numerous times I have devoured food over this inner turmoil.  The guilt, the voices, the thoughts seem to only soften with just one more bite.

As I pondered this post this past week my busy life continued.

The author writes,   "Sadly, there was one person in particular who bore the brunt of my discontent: my first-born daughter".

I hate to confess it, but this is also true in my home. I am happy to say I am making progress as I stumble along the path of transformation, however during the week this discontent roared again.   My oldest child's eyes burned with tears as she sobbed, because her mama was too busy to listen, to busy to trust, and to busy to choose better words. I over reacted to a situation she was in, because of some discontent within myself.

My youngest child asked me to play and I responded with maybe after we get things done.  I say no , not right now, or in a minute more often than I say yes.  I did not realize how those words were affecting my daughter...the same day I said we would do something tomorrow and her words were "you'll be too busy."

I had some emotional eating moments this week, which then led to me bullying myself. 

Hands Free Mama says:
 " It’s hard to love yourself with a bully breathing down your neck.
   It’s hard to love yourself when the one person who’s supposed love you         unconditionally doesn’t.
   It’s hard to become the person you’re supposed to be when you aren’t allowed to fall down and get back up."

Yes!!!  Yes, it is. 

In the post she suggest we “Stop! Only love today."

So I tried it with my oldest first. We used to cuddle before school for a few minutes, but it seemed we never got ready on time...so we stopped. She and I love these moments, so I gave them back to her this week.  I had to “Stop!" many times as the voices in my head told me we don't have time, and I had to choose to “Only love today".

My youngest child, as I was tucking her in bed, asked if I had anything to do...she wanted me to lay with her for a few minutes.  Wow, I come across so busy that she has to ask. I choose to respond with the author's suggestion of “Stop! Only love today."  It was a beautiful few moments.  I laid there holding her in my arms and said "Do you know that you are more important than the busy stuff?"  She shook her head telling me no and I told her she was. 

When I left her room, I proceeded into my oldest child's room and told her as well.

I love how Rachel Stafford taught me this simple, effective technique this week. “Stop! Only love today."

I was able to love myself on this night as well.  It was a non scale victory....with the weight loss I have had...I was able to lay comfortably on that small twin size bed filled with stuffed animals and a small child. I pray I continue to use this technique with myself. In the journey to health, I will fall down, its not a journey of perfection.  I want to allow myself and those around me the grace to learn from mistakes and as Hands Free Mams says “Stop! Only love today."

Thank you to the Hands Free Mama for speaking to me. I pray that God will continue to help me apply this to myself, my children, my husband, and others.


  1. Shelly, you have blessed me beyond measure today with your story. To know the impact of my story on your life & the lives of your precious ones is the greatest gift. I am so glad the mantra "only love today" is working for you. I adored the examples you gave and it brought me to tears when you told the girls they were more important than the busy stuff! Sweet, healing words! May God bless you and encourage you as you overcome the critic in your head and hear the victory song of self acceptance (that is something I talk about in my book.) With love! Rachel

  2. Thank you! Thank you for reading this post and sharing your stories with us. I am looking forward to your book coming out.


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