A Joyful Start to Your Morning

8
Dec
2016

A Joyful Start to Your Morning

Now that winter is upon us, it certainly takes a bit more energy and coaxing to get out of a nice, cozy warm bed and begin our day. What helps you get your morning mood going in a positive direction? I have several must have’s for my mornings. I’ve shared my morning devotional time reading and about having a morning routine, but I have not really shared with you my secret – really yummy coffee!

Coffee.

I am quite the coffee snob for sure. You can ask any of my family members – they will tell you! I am picky about my coffee.  

There are a few things in life that matter a lot to me, and coffee is one of those things I put in my top ten. I love good, strong, dark coffee – with a little raw milk and ground cinnamon on top. It is perfection. Just for good measure, a few of the other things that matter to me in life are Jesus, my family and friends, my husband, the beach, my essential oils and supplements, worship music, and a nice glass of wine!

I love coffee so much that I am (almost) embarrassed to admit that in our house we have five coffee brewing devices. Um. Yes, we do. We are prepared for large crowds, fast brewing, and those with particular coffee desires – I mean, I can relate!

Morning Coffee

My favorite way to start my day right now is with a strong cup of espresso with some warm raw milk and a dash of ground cinnamon. Since giving up sugar in my coffee, I have been so intrigued with really tasting the marvelous flavors of different beans and the results when they are roasted.   

I had the pleasure to collaborate with Gourmesso and have been experimenting with some new coffee blends and let me say – I am in heaven! Gourmesso has convenient Nespresso compatible pods that come in 25 different varieties and they are mostly Fair Trade certified. There are many that fit my realm of strong, dark roasts, but I found two that were particularly fabulous.

Since I really enjoy a rich, deep roast, the House Blend Lungo is my go-to coffee first thing in the morning. It has a slightly nutty flavor and is full-bodied, incredibly rich and perfect with a velvety crema. It’s delightful!  

My other go-to is the Honduras Pura Forte. It consists of different roasts of 100% arabica beans. The beans are grown and harvested according to purely ecological guidelines. I love when a company really takes an interest in using sustainable farming practices that benefit the environment.

There is a benefit of enjoying the simple things in life. For me, coffee is a simple pleasure. It creates good memories, can reunite friends, creates warmth in a home, and facilitates good conversation. Finding a simple pleasure to begin your day and bring joy in the morning is very calming to your soul. These are the things that matter.

Since our move in September, I have taken inventory of what really matters and how I can find joy in the small things.  

Beach Walk in Seabrook

A walk on the beach out on a crisp cool morning is finished nicely when I return home to brew a cup of rich coffee. I love brewing coffee at home and having it taste better than what I can buy when I am out at a local coffee shop.  

Do you have a ritual or part of your morning routine that helps get your day started off in a joyful way? I’d love to hear about it.

I received complimentary coffee pods in exchange for my review and article. All opinions are my own and unbiased.

Five Favorite Devotions for Moms

2
May
2016

Five Favorite Devotions for Moms

The favorite part of my day is morning. I get up before everyone else, grab a cup of coffee, and sit down with God – reading my Bible, jotting down notes, journaling, and reading some awesome devotional material.

As Mother’s Day approaches, I wanted to share five of my favorite devotionals for moms. I am sure there will be a few little people in your life, wondering what you might like to receive on Mother’s Day. So why not share this post and give them a few heart-centered ideas. 🙂

The Quiet Place: Daily Devotional Readings by Nancy Leigh DeMossThe Quiet Place: Daily Devotional Readings

This is one of my all-time favorite devotionals. I will cycle through it every other year. Picking it up and hearing some familiar phrases and stories is a comfort. Do you ever read a devotional more than once? I enjoy Nancy’s writing, her style of vulnerability, and bringing her heart to the pages. I have it on my Kindle, so I can easily access it from my iPad or my phone too. But the imitation leather edition is really a nice gift idea. This is a full year devotion, which I love! Grab it HERE.

5 Minutes with Jesus by Sheila Walsh

5 Minutes with JesusLooking for a devotion that has several verses to get your journaling jump-started? This is the one. I enjoy that at the end of each day’s section, there is a “Five Minutes in the Word” section listing at least 4-5 verses that relate to Sheila’s writing. I enjoy simple and things that relate to my life. This one fits that perfectly. She gives a real strategy, even when we are so busy that we can and are blessed when we stop to take a few minutes to spend time in His word. Grab it HERE.

Devotions for the Beach and Days You Wish You Were There by Thomas Nelson

Devotions for the Beach and Days You Wish You Were ThereYes, I am a little beach crazed, so it should be no surprise that I enjoyed this devotion as well. Even in the Kindle version you have some images that are so nice and often overlooked in these versions.  

You have a verse, a writing, and a short prayer you can end with. If you are looking for something to change up your routine, this one is great, only 90 days long, and perfect for spring!  Grab it HERE.

Quieting Your Heart: 6-Month Bible-Study Journal by Darlene Schacht

Quieting Your Heart: 6-Month Bible-Study JournalThis is not necessarily a devotion – however, it will help you focus and begin journaling your prayers and observations during your quiet time. I often find it difficult to focus and really dig in a bit deeper, so this book has been a great resource and guide for me. I love that I can doodle and color on the pages, yet it has some points which help me clarify what I am reading: 3 things I am thankful for, finishing the sentence “God is…”, and more. If you struggle with what to journal, this one is great. It’s a 6-month book and the price is very reasonable! Grab it HERE.

First 5 AppFirst 5 App

If you have not discovered this App full of incredible devotions and teaching – hang on – it is going to ROCK YOUR WORLD! It is created by the folks at Proverbs 31 Ministries and it is incredible. They are covering complete chapters of the Bible with teaching, some memorization, and on the weekends you get a video wrap-up, which is my favorite part of all! It’s like you are sitting in the living room with these ladies. GO NOW to grab it, and it’s FREE!

Do you have a favorite devotional you would add to this list?

My Favorite Self-Care Practices Right Now

18
Apr
2016

My Favorite Self-Care Practices Right Now

Fictional Reading

Most of my reading tends to be non-fiction, self-help type books – which are great, but there is nothing like picking up a story to just sink into and enjoy. I recently read this one – All the Way to Heaven – because it was free on Kindle and I loved it. I also picked up this one to read next – Out of a Dream – because it was free. I enjoy being frugal for sure! Do you have a book recommendation for me?

Moving My Body

I feel so much better when I get some daily movement. I am an avid runner, but different seasons of my life required me to slow down my running schedule or cease it all together. I am getting older and my body doesn’t perform as well as it once did. I have done Shaun T’s Focus workouts before, as well as the 21 Day Fix, but have recently started PiYo and I think I have found my love! It is a combination of yoga, pilates, and stretching – but gives an incredible workout. I am adding in walking on my treadmill as well as some occasional running. It is perfect for me now, as I don’t want to spend money on a gym membership and I need something I can easily do from home.

Hiking

I shared in my post last week that our family has been implementing a Sabbath each week. If you are interested in exploring this more, I enjoyed this book – Do No Work: Beat Burnout, Find Inner Peace, and Strengthen Your Faith by Studying the Most Overlooked of the Ten Commandments, by Andrew Gilmore. One of the activities we’ve been doing as a family is hiking. It has truly been such a wonderful experience for me. I do enjoy the outdoors but would often find excuses to stay behind my desk and work. It certainly refreshes my soul and creates great family memories too.

Social Media BLACKOUT

Oh, how this one is hard for me! However, I am desiring some change in my life and it involves getting off social media and truly being in touch with those real people in my life – my family. I honestly feel like it is a slight addiction for me and a struggle to shut things down each day. I have blocked out time on my planner where I am focusing on different areas of my life, so it means that I cannot multi-task. I need to be 100% present. So evenings are one time I am devoting to my kids and my husband. To say it is easy would be a lie. This is extremely hard, so for me I know it is a problem and addicting for me. So it needs to be broken.

Music

I am known to play Pandora in my home 14 hours a day. I love music, especially praise and worship music, to help settle my soul and help me focus on His strength to get me through. Motherhood can be tough sometimes! My favorites right now playing on my rotation are Lauren Daigle, (How Can It Be), All Sons and Daughters (Live), and Bethel Music (Have It All). What favorite music do you have playing in your car or in your home?

Lifting My Mood

I have been using essential oils for over three years now to help support my emotions and boost my mood. Each day I have my diffuser running (well actually several in our home) and I love that I can choose from a variety of oils to permeate the air in my home and give me more energy, increased joy, decrease my stress, or diffuse bad attitudes – and yes, sometimes that bad attitude is my own. The incredible power of inhaling essential oils has literally been a lifesaver for my family. It can change the atmosphere within minutes!

What are you favorite ways to care for your soul and refresh yourself as a mom?

12 Uplifting Bible Verses About Grace

14
Jan
2016

12 uplifting bible verses about grace

There are those days – you know, where it seems from ten minutes after you get up, things begin to fall apart. That was my day yesterday.

So, after I beat myself up a bit – I know I am not alone in this – I decided to focus my energy on picking out what God has to say about grace and His love and mercy. Just so I could fight back with some ammunition.

I wanted to share these uplifting Bible verses, as I know other moms struggle with bad days – days when we feel we can’t do a thing right, when we aren’t good enough, and the list goes on – but we must STOP those thoughts. You need to control your mind and allow it to be filled with His mighty words.

Here are 12 uplifting Bible verses for you to meditate on during the hard days:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3: 23-24

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ. Philippians 1:6

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Cor 12:9

But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. Ephesians 4:7

May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. 2 Peter 1:2

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16

And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. Acts 20:32

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” James 4:6

But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace. Romans 11:6

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10

Grab this Scriptures about Grace with all these verses – print it out and place them where you need them!!  CLICK THE LINK ABOVE or THE IMAGE BELOW.

Bible verses on Grace

I am working to reverse years of damaged thinking and emotions. It will not happen overnight, however God is here in the midst of it all – and I can focus on HIS amazing Grace! And it never hurts to put a little Peace & Calming or Joy in the diffuser either!

My Motherhood Resolutions for 2016

4
Jan
2016

My Motherhood resolutions 2016

I would not say I am all about making outrageous New Year’s resolutions, but I do take time to evaluate my previous year.  Reviewing and making some intentional changes are where new habits are created and you break free from habits which do not serve you well.

Do you have a list of things you are intentionally working on in 2016?  Here is my list and a few tips on why I chose them and how I will implement them.

Have an Effective Morning Routine

I have shared the importance of a morning routine many times over the years….and I will just say “DO IT”.  Over the past few months I have neglected my routine and began getting up later and later.  I did not have the time or space to set my attitude for the day and get my much needed quiet time.  Today was the first day back and it felt really good!

Giving Myself Grace

As a recovering perfectionist, I am the worst at giving myself the grace I so desperately need.  Why do we treat ourselves the worst at times when things don’t go as planned or we make a mistake?  This is an area I am working on.  This book has been enlightening for me “The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are” by Brene Brown.

Be Silly More Often

I am pretty darn serious, and when you have a six year old in the house, you have to let things go sometimes.  I struggle with trivial games, silly songs and non-sense activities – but I know they are what kids love.  I need to be more like a kid sometimes and let lose!

Schedule Time for Me

Big FAIL in this area.  I am a big one for self-care and being an introvert makes it especially important for me to get time alone, and I have done a terrible job at scheduling this in so it actually happens.  As we know, if we do not schedule things into our calendar, the time will not just magically appear.  And if we look to others to fulfill that need – meaning a magic fairy will just come and take care of it all and arrange childcare to allow you time away, it will not happen.  I must put it in my calendar and take care of finding childcare so I can get refreshment.

Get Off Facebook

OUCH, yes …. I did say that.  As a blogger who thrives on community as well as a business owner who helps empower others with supporting their Wellness, social media is a two edge sword.  It is a fabulous tool for interaction with others, when you guard you time.  I have done a poor job with that and have recently set up some boundaries for myself on when I can access Facebook and when it will be off-limits.

Enjoy a Hobby

This goes along with scheduling time for me, but in a different way.  I have some ideas on activities I would love to do and they have fallen by the wayside because I do not allow time for them.  As a Work At Home Mom, it can be very easy to work way more hours than needed because their is no schedule, unless you make one.  I would love to get back into my running routine and train for a race or learn to snowshoe this winter.  I have a desire to read more and enjoy some activities that are new to me.

Invest in Community

I am doing good in this area, but need to keep it on the top of my list.  Having others to walk alongside you in life is critically important.  This fall my husband and I started a life team in our home, meeting weekly.  This was a step in obedience and it has been a wonderful blessing to making new friends and connecting in new ways.  I was intentional in attending a new bible study at my church as well, which has been a huge blessing too.  As moms, and women in general – I do feel we do better in our life when we are in community with others.

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