Replacing My Frustration with God’s Patience

1
Jul
2014

Replacing-Frustration-God's-Patience Um, I really feel like I have no business even discussing this topic.  I am truly the most impatient person – EVER!  I do know that God is trying to build me in areas that I am not already proficient at though, by allowing me to stay in this role of motherhood a little longer, by the adoption of our youngest almost two years ago. I guess he felt I really needed more time to have the fruit of the spirit developed in me and allowing a beautiful little child who needed a home to help me work through it all.

“Being a mom can vacillate between the sweetness of hugs and kisses to feeling like you are in jail.” 

Do you feel like that sometime?  It is true, we can often feel trapped and helpless…..overcome by what our to-do list has on it and the lack of un-interrupted time we have to do it in.  We are exhausted and putting severe pressure on ourselves to be perfect.  UGH!  That perfection can drive us really crazy.  If we just gave ourselves some grace….some much needed grace. I related to Sue’s discovery that she was choosing to be frustrated.  I can let myself easily fall into the same pattern.  I can control my thoughts and when I allow frustration to seep in, it will quickly destroy the environment.  My day can go down the drain and my attitude goes to the gutter.  I am ashamed to admit that I can easily get really frustrated, impatient and sour. I have to learn the true meaning of sacrifice.  I am serving this beautiful family of mine and when I can remind myself of this and have THAT be the expectation I can keep my attitude in check, along with my patience.  But when I allow the daily grind to overcome the feelings of a servants heart, that is when things fall apart. Spending time with the Lord daily is KEY!  The days that doesn’t happen are days that begin to fall apart for me early on.  Also, Sue reminds us that building strategies and routines into our day can help us have a buffer zone that will hopefully prevent melt-downs – yes, those melt-downs of our own!   When we lose our patience and yell or scream, it is us who have the melt-down, no our kids.  As adults, we are called to be adults and learn to manage our emotions – truly something I am still learning to do.

“Sometimes it is the simplest of things that restore peace and order to a mom’s perspective.”

I need to make to sure build into my day little bits of time where I can find restoration in the midst of busyness and stress.  I like to make time to workout – that is a big stress reliever for me, so making this a priority is a must.  I especially love my routine right now with my Focus T25 – doing it first thing in the morning has it crossed off my list and feeling very accomplished!!   I also like to play soothing music at home and it can make a huge difference in my state of mind.  Having Pandora has been a life saver for me, I can pick from so many types of music easily and without a lot of trouble.  Making time for myself to eat is another one I have to be intentional about.  I know for us moms, we take time to feed our kiddos the best stuff, and often we skip meals or just eat the left overs.  Your body need nourishment and you need to make it a priority.  Being hungry is a trigger for me to become cranky and irritated very fast! What are your tips and tricks to having more patience in your day?

The Benefits of Being a Selfish Mom

26
May
2014

Benefits-Selfish-Mom

Do you know your family is likely begging you to be more selfish?  Perhaps that seems a little far-fetched, but I do think it is true.

This thought came into my head last week as I was out for a 7 mile run, something that takes me a bit of time I will add!  This is usually a 2 hour commitment for me, with preparing to run, running, cooling down and showering, etc.  But you know what?  

I feel so much better when I give myself this gift, and I know I am much better with my family.

Perhaps even thinking of it as a gift may be wrong thinking.  It is a necessity.

So it has me thinking how often we moms make excuses that we don’t have time or can’t make the time to care for our own “seemingly selfish needs.”  I wrote a post a few weeks back on Not Being a Martyr Mom and I think this term Martyr comes into play in the same manner when it comes to caring for our own needs.  We like to kinda throw the “woe is me” card – or perhaps that it just me?

I have a choice each day, I can either play the victim and not take my needs seriously or I can be proactive and take charge of my time, my tasks and make the time to care for my needs.

What needs am I talking about?  The list is really endless, but for me it would entail – caring for my body in a physical way (running, strength training, a relaxing bath, pedicure, yoga, walks) caring for my spirit (daily quiet time, prayer, real quiet time with no noise and no “to-do” list, appreciating my blessings, journaling, writing).  That’s a start.

But I also know that depending on the season of motherhood it can be hard to get time, but it is oh, so important for you to do that.  When you do, do you know what happens?  Let me share with you what I know it does for me. 

Rested

I feel more rested and better about myself when I can take the time to care for my needs.  We sacrifice a lot – by choice, don’t get me wrong – motherhood is good, believe me, but it is OK to care for our needs too.  We do not always have to give, give, give and give more.  You are not created to run on fumes, so refueling our bodies is really necessary.

Connected

I find myself feeling refreshed and able to connect with my entire family more often when my needs are met.  I am more engaged in activities rather than trying to carve out any bit of silence and alone time, especially since I am an introvert.  I am happy to plan activities to share together – I am just plain more fun!  My entire family likes this, so came my question, “Do you know your family is begging you to be a selfish mom?”  They want you completely present, refreshed and energized, rather than just “there”.  Wouldn’t you agree?

Priorities

You can get to a place where you learn to prioritize better, that is what I have found.  I know that things will run smoother when I take the hour to get some exercise or get up an hour early so I can sit quietly and read.  I know my body and I know what it needs.  I can then use those same principles to look at other areas in my life and manage them as well, whether tasks, time with my husband or writing obligations.  It is a balancing act and learning how to care for our needs is important.

Happy Mom = Happy Family

Honestly, the bottom line for me is, I know I am much more pleasant to be around when I step up to the plate and take care of myself.  When my body feels good, my spirit is fresh – I am much better able to handle those curve balls that come into play – you know exactly the ones I mean.

So what can you do today to gov yourself a break and be selfish?  I am sure your family will actually thank you for it! 

8 Ways To Fit More Reading Into Your Day

14
Jan
2014

 Finding-Time-To-Read-Moms

I share a lot of books with you all that I read, and I am often asked, “How do you find time to read?”  I thought I would share with you how I find time to read – and that is the key word – FIND!

Time doesn’t just magically appear.  You have to put a priority on managing the time you have for the things that are important to you.  So if reading is important, you will need to carve out time purposefully as well as use the time that often goes unused in effective ways.

As we look to start a new online book study in a couple weeks, I want to challenge you to make time to read, be prepared for the discussion each week and be committed to reading, both for pleasure as well as to improve yourself as a mom, wife and woman.

Here is how I find time to read, amide the juggling of motherhood duties:

Morning Hours

Morning is by far my most favorite time to read, before everyone else gets up.  I have a regular routine of getting up before my family, it fluctuates on time, but it can be anywhere from 5:15 AM to 6:30 AM depending on circumstances of the evening before  {Like the other night, I didn’t get to bed til after 10 PM because I just HAD TO watch Downton Abbey – I mean priorities right?}  So I didn’t get up til 6:30 AM.  But I much prefer having more time in the morning for my devotional time and then diving into whatever I am currently reading.

Make Waiting Time Count

All that time can be lost or put to good use, the waiting.  Whether it is waiting for an appointment, waiting in the car pool line, waiting on hold, the grocery line – if you add up all that time, it really counts.  Have a book with you at all times, you can pick it up and read a few lines and benefit from that time rather than really looking at it as wasted time.

Portable books

This is where things really pay off.  A lot of us have portable devices to carry our books with us very easily.  Most have heard of Kindle books, but even if you do not have a Kindle, you can enjoy the incredible benefits of having a book on several devices all at once.  You can download Kindle reading APPS for your phone, iPad, Mini-iPad and computer.  I love the flexibility of reading a book on my iPad Mini, but also having the same books on my phone.  By downloading the Kindle APP for my phone I can access the same book I was reading in the morning on my iPad later in the day while waiting at an appointment and it knows exactly where I left off.

This is by far one of the easiest ways to get more book reading for your time costing you nothing!

Exercising

I haven’t been real good lately with reading while I am on the treadmill, but there was a period of time when I was walking that this was a great way to get ahead on my reading.  Now, I am running, which makes it a bit tricky to keep my eyes focused on the page, but it can be done – if you are skilled!  So if you are a walker, use your iPad on prop it up, or you can even use your phone and hold it while walking on the treadmill.  If you are an audiobook fan…..keep reading!

Audio Books

If you enjoy listening to podcasts in the car, then why not add books to your options?  Our library system has a wonderful set up so that I can download audio books right on my phone and play – love it!  You can also enjoy audio books on the treadmill so as well as grocery shopping {sans kids!} and doing household tasks.  Did you know that there is an option on amazon.com to pay a bit more on a kindle book and get Whispersync on some eligible books, which allows you to switch back and forth between the text version and audio?  It is so cool!

I have used Audible.com before I enjoy the ease of downloading books and their selection.  You can grab a 30 day free trail too, which gives you a chance to try it out and see if it works for you.  The variety of books is pretty amazing, more than what my library offers for free.  

Ax the TV

I had to set up some perimeters with my kids with regard to the TV watching in our home.  It all started last summer and I was the bummer mom in everyone’s eyes!  I decided that from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm the TV would stay off.  It works well, and amazingly enough, I even benefited from it being off – I was able to pick up a book more often and enjoyed some quiet reading while my little guy played outside or was in the bathtub.  See what turning the TV off will do with your reading time!  I dare you!

Self-Care 10

How about that little task that appears daily on the Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner - up at the top – Self-Care 10?  You can grab 10 minutes a day at least and apply that towards you needs of caring for yourself.  If reading is something that you enjoy and that fills your tank up, use that as one of the fun things you can do each day to care for yourself.

Before Bed

This one can be a bit tricky for me, as I tend to drift off really easy when I read, most especially in the evenings.  Half of the week I am home alone, my husband travels and my older kids are at their other parent’s house, so it is just me and my four year old.  So at 8:30 PM, I am left to my very own agenda – no one else but me and what I want to do.  I often will crawl into bed and open a book.  I love the quiet and can often read a chapter or two before the sleepiness overcomes me.

When is your favorite time to catch up on reading?

Don’t forget the FREE class tonight – if you can’t make it – don’t worry, you can view it anytime you like using the link provided or click here

Find-Your-Mojo-Energy

Keeping It Real

4
Dec
2013

 Keeping It Real in the Home

Chapter Twenty One:

Wow, can you believe we are at the end?  Well….it may be the end of the study, but it certainly is not the end of the process.  We have a lot of tips, strategies and the like from the book that can be revisited over and over again, keeping us on track – or getting us back on track!

A few key sentences that got my attention:

“I want to leave you with encouragement from the Word of God for the challenges you will face to bring order and pear into your life

“Insecurity plagues the most confident woman at times.”

“Only with God can you start over more than once with an unblemished, untarnished, 100 percent, still-intact potential.”

The big one for me:

“To stay on course and live a life or priorities, order and peace, we will need strength beyond ourselves.  many don’t believe that and are certain of their own power.  I know – I lived that way for many years.  Believing in your own strength keeps you walking on a path parallel to a life of victory.

I think for me one of the areas I am left with as a continual battle will be one of the things Glynnis talks about during this last chapter – Learn to Finish Well.  I am not the best finisher – in fact today, I got home after dropping my little guy at preschool knowing I had a set agenda for what “work” items I need to work on, and I felt the need to clean my carpets.  I have a procrastination problem at times and then will procrastinate finishing!

“Great intentions are easy, but establishing consistent follow-through has taken years of work.”

This is an area of great diligence ladies.  We must focus moving ahead and changing bad habits.  What does that look like for you?

Remembering that it is not our call to do it all – “For every yes there is a no.”  Remember that.  I have to – even in the midst of wanting to please others.  What do I need to remember:

  • Keeping my commitments simple and within my realistic ability.

  • I need to finish something before I start the next – this will solve a lot of my problems – self-discipline.

  • Realizing that I do not have to be perfect and not allowing what others think of me to jeopardize my self-confidence.

Getting over the hurdles – I especially loved this section, as I am right now going through a hurdle time in my life, but I can take heart knowing that I can learn to overcome, or the other option is to allow it to consume me.  When given time to think about it, I know I want to overcome, not sink.

Consider these questions, answer them in your journal, comment here or you can leave your comment on the private Facebook page.  

  • What is your biggest lesson from reading this book?
  • How can you challenge yourself in the weeks to come to stay on track and conquer more areas?
  • To finish your race well, what needs to happen?
  • What goal do you have for yourself – what can you start doing today to make it a habit?

I did mention on the Facebook page that I am considering another study after the New Year.  I would love your input, suggestions and ideas on how to do this again.  I was very happy with the success of my first online study and look forward to serving you in this way.  I currently have started reading, “Choose Joy, Because Happiness Isn’t Enough” by Kay Warren.  I think it would be a great focus to begin 2014.

Tackling Organizing Your Child’s Room

3
Dec
2013

 Organizing-Childrens-Room

Chapter Twenty:

A few key sentences that got my attention:

“Her heart was in the right place, but the more she “organized,” the more overwhelming the project became.”

…organization isn’t a skill that is taught once, then caught forever.  It’s an ongoing process to teach children how to categorize items and make discriminating decision about what should go where.”

“The Bible teaches that it’s better to give than receive (Acts 20:35)  One way to help your child apply this lesson is to build times of giving into your year – ideally before a time of receiving gifts.”

Start your child on a lifelong habit of keeping track of upcoming events and responsibilities on a calendar.”

The big one for me:

“There are no right or wrong organizing practices.  What works well for one child won’t work for another.  Become a student of your child, and understand how she thinks  What would make the most sense to her?  How does she process information?  Armed with that information, you’ll be better equipped to bring order to your child’s room.

I honestly think going in to organize a child’s room is the worst!  I hate it!  Talk about being overwhelmed.  With my personality type I can get easily distracted with “their” stuff and not understanding how important simple items are to my children.  Things that seem to be such non-sense, are important and I have to be careful to not just go directly to my reaction of throwing things out.

I really liked how Glynnis gave steps in helping us navigate our children’s rooms.  Creating zones is a great tip and strategy to help them develop habits about where items go and will also help build skills on doing this as they get older.   Consider simple storage options that are easy for little hands to operate.  Baskets are great, drawers tend to me more difficult.

We’ve managed to have a book shelf in the closet of our kids’ rooms which opens the space in their room allowing for more play area.  The same is said for putting the dresser in the closet as well.  This works really well until they are about 12 or so, when clothing tends to be more on hangars and takes more room in the closet.

I love to label items and using pictures is a great way to help your child who is not at the age to read.  This simple step makes it easier for them to see where things belong and they can be encouraged to clean up on their own and do not need your help after a few times of ‘together’ clean up.

If you have not gone through toys and clothes lately, this is the perfect time to purge those areas before more comes in your home!

Consider these questions, answer them in your journal, comment here or you can leave your comment on the private Facebook page.  

  • Does Glynnis’ Step by Step Plan outline seem like a realistic plan of action?
  • Do you have a system for keeping school papers and sharing them with other family members?
  • Do you have a calendar in your child’s room or at a place he was refer to that is just his?

Don’t forget to jump over and listen to the last call in our series – I just got off from recording the call with Myra and it was perfect!  A wonderful way to wrap up our study and enter the Christmas season too!

Myra-Hope-call-1