256: What Mindsets Breed Discouragement in Motherhood? with Bethany Kimsey


Can we be real? Motherhood is relentless–even if it is a blessing. How can we have the right perspective about our ability to be “enough”  as moms, despite ongoing parenting struggles? Our guest today, author, speaker and mom of 8 Bethany Kimsey, shares powerful advice on renewing our motherhood mindset for any mom feeling disillusioned, tired, or worn out.

Can we be real? Motherhood is relentless–even if it is a blessing. How can we have the right perspective about our ability to be “enough” as moms, despite ongoing parenting struggles? Our guest today, author, speaker and mom of 8 Bethany Kimsey, shares powerful advice on renewing our motherhood mindset for any mom feeling disillusioned, tired, or worn out.



  • [04:51] Have You Put Filters on How You Show Up As a Mom?
  • [08:38] Thoughts of Performance & Comparison Originate From The Enemy  
  • [11:08] Who Sets Your “Pace” for What It Means to Mother Well?
  • [20:20] Finding Contentment in Motherhood Seasons Where You’re Not Seeing the Fruit 
  • [27:22] A Warrior Mama’s Prayer Journal – The Importance of Praying For Our Children
  • [30:13] Alicia’s Reflections: What Mindsets Cause You to Feel Hopeless as a Mom?


[04:51] Have You Put Filters on How You Show Up As a Mom? 

Bethany shares that there were three mindsets she struggled with in motherhood. The first one was a negative filter. Bethany says that her natural tendency is to look at what did not go well instead of the entire experience. For example, if someone told her that she had a cute dress on, she would think of the one thing going wrong and correct them. She was filtering everything through that one negative. She had to learn how to submit this back to God. The moment these negative thoughts would infringe on what was happening she would say, “God, you are in charge of that.” 

Another mindset that Bethany struggled with was making everything a catastrophe in her mind. She may have been hearing her children screaming in the backyard and she already decided that someone had a broken leg and she would run outside in full force. This thinking was birthed out of a painful year that she went through. Because she and her family experienced a year where it felt like everything was going wrong she’d developed  the mindset that everything was a catastrophe. Once this difficult year was done and she noticed this thinking was lingering, she spent time working on that mindset.

Bethany also saw that she compared herself to other moms and this created a filter that she was never good enough as a mom. She says we  need to be honest about where our eyes are and ask ourselves “Are they on Jesus or are they on everyone around us?” This is often sneaky and we may have to surrender it to God over and over again.

[08:38] Thoughts of Performance & Comparison Originate From The Enemy 

Bethany says that the Lord helped her understand that thoughts of comparison and performance can also originate from the enemy who wants to discourage us and have us compare ourselves. We also live in a culture where everything is built on comparison and performance. We have to understand that every single day we are immersed in it, without even realizing it. Every ad that we see encourages us to live with the mindsets of performance and comparison. We can choose to focus somewhere else, yet it is still all around us and we must fight against that.

Bethany also shares that everybody is measuring you when your kids are little to see if you have good kids. Then when they are teens, people want to see if you have a good product. There is an external pressure and there is an enemy of your soul who would love to hype it up and make you feel even more discouraged. The way she has learned to combat this is by praying on 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 which says. “We have divine power, to demolish strongholds to take these places captive.”

[11:08] Who Sets Your “Pace” for What It Means to Mother Well?

As a mother of eight children, Bethany shares that she always thought that when her children turned 18 then parenting was done. She shares that she thinks parenting over this age is more difficult because there is more on the line and you have to deal with consequences. 

Alicia shares that motherhood is relentless, even though it is a blessing. It is ongoing, does not stop, and is almost like running a marathon. You have to learn how to pace yourself and what you need to do every day to keep yourself strong enough to run this race. We have to keep God’s word and perspective at the forefront of our minds and keep these other mindsets at bay.

Bethany agrees and says if we look at motherhood as a race, we need to watch people who run races. They do not run by themselves, they run with a team. One of the true runners of the team is the pacesetter. They will help the marathon runner keep that pace but they cannot run this pace for all 26 miles. When they get tired, a new pacesetter comes in. 

All this to say, we do better in community when we have a “pacesetter” among us. Many of us have bought the lie that we should not expose why we need a pacesetter and we just need to keep on a front. Bethany shares that there have been many times where she was lagging in motherhood and she wanted to give up. This is when you need community the most because they will run with you and remind you that you can do it, she says. Some of us have been hurt, rejected, or wounded by friends but community is different. Community is a space where other people are committed to holding up truths in our lives in a firm way. Many of us have lost this sense of community. 

Alicia shares that we are often afraid to ask for support because in asking, we feel as if we failed. We have become an “I will fix it myself” society because we have things like Google. We lean less on each other and we often think “Can’t I just figure this out on my own?” If we admit that we need others’ support then there must be something wrong with us. But in reality, the people who are at the highest level in life have people around them who set the pace. People come in different seasons but we need to show up and say “I was made for community” and allow the support. 

We often buy the lie that we “should” already have the answer. There is another lie out there that motherhood should come naturally. When we realize this is not the truth and that we are all learning along the way, community can help us. We can show up while being open and honest with each other about where we are at and this will invite others to support us in different ways.

[20:20] Finding Contentment in Motherhood Seasons Where You’re Not Seeing the Fruit 

The thing that the Lord has taught Bethany is to remember that His timing does not look like her timing. God posed this question in her mind during a tough season years ago, “If it takes until you are 85 for your child to lay everything down and say I want to follow Jesus, would it be worth it?” To this, she answered yes and she decided to trust in this.

In another season of life, Bethany did not like one of her children. She says she loved him but did not like him. Her way to escape was to get outside and go in the yard. 

One day, she went out in the yard to garden for a bit, she looked over at her neighbor’s’ yard and saw their Bradford pear trees. She was in envy of those trees for two years because she loved landscaping and did not have anything in her yard. She created a plan for the landscaping and bought everything. When it all arrived, she asked about the oak tree she ordered. It came and looked like a terrible-looking bush. She ended up putting it in the backyard where it could not be seen. 

Two years later, every day she would go outside and say that she should have spent her money on the Bradford pear trees. She was crying out for support from God saying that her child was not turning out right and it was her fault. He told her to go look across the street. She noticed that her neighbor’s Bradford pear tree had cracked and fallen over in their driveway from a wind storm. She could almost hear God saying “I am in the business of making oak trees, not pear trees.” 

She began to research the difference between a Bradford pear and an oak tree. She found that the Bradford pear tree has a root system that allows it to grow very rapidly. Their roots sit right against the trunk and are right under the ground. Bradford pear trees are soft and they can snap and break very easily. When an oak tree is planted, it will send down a cone-shaped root and then once that root is in place, it will send out others that are very deep and go on for miles.  Oak trees become very strong and stable as they slowly grow underground.

God was clarifying to her that we will not see the root development in our children. We will not see the roots going out. Growth cannot happen until these roots are created. In our culture, we often think that growth needs to be fast. But God is in the business of making oak trees and our children may emerge into an oak tree, even if it is one day before we die.

Bethany has designed tools for moms and one of them is “A Warrior Mama’s Prayer Journal.” This is a year long journey of learning a rhythm of praying scripture over the life of your child and journaling about it. This came from a tough season of life where Bethany did not know if God was hearing her prayers. God started to teach her this rhythm of praying on His word. He taught her that she could stand on His word and pray on behalf of her children. Doing this will impact their character, integrity, and will cover and claim scripture for their life. They will also learn to abide by Him and to make good decisions.

Using a prayer journal to pray for your kids is not about performing for God to get them to change. When you use the journal as a space to join Him, you have the opportunity to look back on other months and see how your prayers are changing from month to month.

[30:13] Alicia’s Reflections: What Mindsets Cause You to Feel Hopeless as a Mom?

Bethany shared so many great metaphors and I want you to ask yourself, which of these spoke hope back into your journey? 

We all struggle and I hope this conversation reminded you that you are not alone. We need to lean on community as much as we can. And of course we always must trust Christ as our anchor.

 When I was younger, I was in a group with other young moms. We learned everything from potty training to fire safety but the most valuable part was seeing these ladies show up and share their struggles. We all did not know how to handle things and the realness of that group helped me during those moments of motherhood. We are not made to seek an answer and quick fix from Google. We are made to be in groups sorting through life together with Christ. 

I would encourage you to take some of the nuggets from this conversation and go to the Lord about them. Ask him questions such as “What is causing this hopelessness I feel as a mom?

How can I deal with the disappointment I am feeling?” We need to continue to connect with God and then find people around us who can be the “pacesetters” as we talked about. This does not mean that you need to find a specific “mentor”. The Lord brings all kinds of people around us all the time who can be a “mentor” for us. You may meet with them at a book study, you may listen to them on a podcast, or you just check in with each other on Sunday mornings. Take that next step to connect with others and to receive.

I am in a small Bible study group right now for parents of teens and this has been my saving grace. My husband and I go every week and we talk about the Bible, share our struggles, and ask for prayer. Make sure to be around other people who are in similar seasons as you. This has made a world of difference because all of the parents in there can relate to one another. 

Make sure to check out Bethany’s prayer journal because I know for me it has been a powerful way to remind myself that I am being faithful and obedient to pray over my children’s lives. And I believe it will help you too. 

If you are struggling and need prayer through this season, please DM me on Instagram – I would be honored to pray for you. And if you haven’t already, please remember to rate and review the show on Apple Podcasts. Then take a screenshot of the review and send it to hello@vibrantchristianliving.com and we will send you 50 “I am” statements that you can listen to or read that are about your identity in Christ – for free!


Looking for a simple way to bring more peace into your day? Check out my Christian Meditations for Daily Calm where you can refresh your mind + dwell in God’s peace (in about 5 minutes!) when life is stressful. 

Connect with author and speaker Bethany Kimsey


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