Everyday Stuff, How to get into the Bible and get something out of it, Parenting

5 Great Resources to Jumpstart the New Year: A New Resolve for the Busy Mom

I know, like you need one more thing to do, right??

This year commit to stand strong as never before!

I love New Year’s! In my mind I see it as a chance to step back, reevaluate how things are going – what’s working and what needs work – a chance to push the “reset” button on my life if need be.

The Lord’s mercy and loving kindness endure forever. (1 Chronicles 16:34) Miraculously, He never grows tired of us and throws up His hands in frustration. He never stomps off declaring, “That’s it! I’ve had enough! I’m done!” No, incredibly enough…

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Everyday Stuff

Live Like You Mean It!

So here we are. Another new year is off and running. I hope you are finding it fulfilling and energizing. I want to share something I hope you will take with you into this year to help you get the most out of each day. Live your life on purpose!

There is a trap I often find myself falling into. It is the “just getting through each day” syndrome. I’m sure many of you have been there. You feel as if you are merely fighting to keep your head above water from day-to-day. Fighting just to stay caught up (or to catch up) and not really making any significant progress in the areas of your dreams, vision, and purpose. But the fact is, (more…)

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Everyday Stuff

Essential Summer Living: Deciding What NOT to do This Summer

So, it is almost here, and I for one cannot wait! Summer!!! Honestly, I do not know who is more excited, me or the kids. I have said that many times in jest; however, I am realizing as we draw closer and closer to the end of the school year that it is, in fact, very true.

This has caused me to pause and ask myself, “Why is it that when someone asks the kids how many more days of school, I can answer quicker than they can!?” (Eight days not counting weekends.) Why is it that my heart yearns for that last day as much if not more so than it did when I was in elementary school? Could it be that this is a sign of an overcommitted mama?

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy all of the things that I take on and volunteer for and participate in throughout the school year and sports seasons. In fact, a huge reason why Tim and I have chosen for me to stay home is so that I can be available and involved and plugged in. I highly encourage volunteering and plugging in at the kids’ schools and sports teams, so that you do know what’s going on. The other parents know you, and you know your kids’ friends, and oftentimes this will allow you to address issues before they become problems. Kids will open up to you more, and you will be much more in the know just by being around. This being said, it is possible that you can get so plugged in and so committed that your extra obligations, all in the name of supporting, encouraging and being there for your kids, pull you away from the one place you are needed most – your home. Sometimes this is a physical pulling away, but more times than not it is a mental and emotional pulling away. If you’re running ragged and pulled in so many different directions to support so many people and give so much of yourself to the next big project that your children and your husband only get the leftover, exhausted, grumpy bits of you then are you really serving your true purpose?
These are the questions I am currently grappling with, and I am intentionally not overbooking our summer to allow plenty of time for deep connecting with my kids, relaxing and actually thinking through what things are essential and what things are not truly adding benefit and value to our lives. When might taking on one more thing no longer qualify as worthy when compared to the inevitable trade-offs?
Many of you know I am a podcast junkie! Recently, I was listening Season3, Episode12 of the “This is Your Life” podcast with Michael Hyatt in which Michael interviewed speaker and author, Greg McKeown about his book,Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. This interview was so thought-provoking for me that I could not get it out of my mind. For the next week it seemed like everyone I listened to was referring to this book. Finally, I could no longer resist buying my own copy and digging in.
While I am only about 1/4 of the way through it now, already I have come across some great points that I am savoring and find myself meditating on for hours on end – while I run around and do the multitude of year end things I have to catch up on, of course. McKeown says, “The way of the Essentialist rejects the idea that we can fit it all in. Instead of making choices reactively, the Essentialist deliberately distinguishes the vital few from the trivial many…” He also talks about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate in your highest point contribution by doing only what is essential. A point he continues to drive home is: Less but better.
So I’m asking myself – Could I do less, and yet be more? Could I do less and accomplish more? Doesn’t doing less make me any less? What if doing less actually makes me more of who the Lord created me to be? Greg drives the point home by really hitting at the heart of our mommy guilt when he says, “It’s about the emotional discipline necessary to say no to social pressure.”
The diagram below (from chapter 1) is one I absolutely cannot get out of my mind. It describes so much of how I have been feeling over the past year+. It makes perfect sense. In fact, when I turned the page and saw this (at 10:30 at night with Tim sleeping soundly beside me) I gasped, “That’s me!”
I truly plan to spend the next couple months by the pool or on the beach (Thank you, Lord that I live in a Florida beach town!)dissecting my life and my commitments and attempting to totally renovating how I make decisions in the way I run my home, live my life, and give of my time and energy. I highly recommend this book for your summer reading. Take some time to reevaluate whether you are overcommitted. Are you struggling to do a little bit of everything, or are you truly doing all you can with the few things that matter most?
I could keep going, (I mean really, when couldn’t I?) but I really want to get back to reading! I’ll close with one final quote from the book. “The ability to choose cannot be taken away or even given away – it can only be forgotten.” Have you forgotten that, yes, in fact, you do have the right to choose what you give yourself, your time and your energy to? And by all means, don’t forget the trade-offs! Saying yes to someone else usually means saying no to your family to some degree. Now, hang on…calm down. No, this doesn’t mean you can never say yes to anyone else, absolutely not, but are you saying yes to others far more than you’re saying yes to your home and your highest calling? I challenge you to slow down and give it some thought. Do you love your life – because you should!
“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it [a]overflows).” John 10:10 (AMPC)
“She considers a [new] field before she buys or accepts it [expanding prudently and not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties]; with her savings [of time and strength] she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard.” Proverbs 31:16 (AMPC, emphasis mine)
“Every wise woman builds her house, but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands.” Proverbs 14:1 (AMPC)
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Everyday Stuff, How to get into the Bible and get something out of it, Marriage, Parenting

5 Podcasts Having Massive Impacts on My Mom-Life

So, over the past year I have become a self-proclaimed podcast junkie! In May of last year I read the book “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson. This book set me on a quest for personal development, and on my journey to a more empowered, confident, well-rounded, accomplished me, I have found so many incredible resources that I never even knew existed!

Now, of course I’ve come across many great books which will serve well for another post in the
future; however, this go-round I want to focus on the power of the podcast! Seems like every few weeks I am discovering another incredible podcast. These people inspire me to be the best version of myself, to keep reaching higher, to fulfill my God-given potential and to put feet on my goals and dreams, all while I go about a life that, let’s face it, affords me very little time to read without my dozing off after 2 pages! Whether it’s understanding why I need to set clear, attainable goals, finding ways to walk my kids through tough times, feeding me practical guidance from the Word for my every day struggles or inspiring me to rev up my love life, these podcasts listed here have had noticeable impact on my life and relationships. So here are some of my tops right now (in no particular order):

     This podcast by incredible wife, mom, and ministry servant/leader, Karen Stubbs is both inspiring and practical. It only takes a few minutes, and with her down-to-earth personality and sweet southern charm you will feel you are right there in the room with Karen and host, Sunny Williams just chatting it up with your great girlfriends. Birds on a Wire is an incredible ministry “that encourages and equips moms to reach their full potential in motherhood.”
     Perhaps no single person has had a greater impact on my life and spiritual growth over the last decade than Joyce Meyer. No one tells it like it is quite like “Mama Joyce!” If you are looking for practical, powerful guidance to set you on the path to fully intertwining your everyday life with the power of God and His Word, look no further!
    San Diego based marriage coaches and Christian couple, Tony and Alisa DiLorenzo are so not afraid to go there! And when I say there I mean absolutely anywhere!! Sex is God’s greatest gift to a married couple, and Tony and Alisa will inspire you to jump in there and unwrap that baby! They may make you blush, but they will also make you think. Their frank talk of “sex, love, and commitment provides couples with the tools, resources, and strategies to overcome their intimacy challenges.”
    I love this woman! After a couple months of listening to Arlene Pellicane‘s podcast I find myself feeling happier and more peaceful just from the sound of her voice. Arlene has authored some great books, including one of my new favorites, “Growing Up Social: Raising relational kids in a screen-driven world,” which she co-authored with Dr. Gary Chapman, best-selling author of “The 5 Love Languages.” Arlene encourages you to find more…”More happiness, more closeness to God and others, and more purpose in your day-to-day life.”

   When it comes to inspiring and motivating you to reach your fullest God-ordained potential there is no one like the late great Zig Ziglar.  This podcast (many of which kick off with a clip of Zig himself) will drive you to not only improve yourself but to seek to empower and encourage those around you as well.

While there will never be another Zig Ziglar,  Zig’s son, Tom and show host, Kevin Miller are ensuring that the Ziglar legacy lives on. If, by chance, you are not familiar with Zig Ziglar, STOP! Do not read another word further until you have taken some time to get to know who he was and what his name still stands for today!

Whatever you may lack in inspiration for those under your charge, Zig’s got you covered. I promise, in no time his wisdom and insight will become a game-changer for you and your family. Case in point – I had only been listening to The Ziglar Show podcast for a month or so when, in the midst of trying to make a decision about the kids, our 7 year old, Mikaela pipes up and asks, “What would Zig Ziglar do?”
 With Zig’s fierce optimism and rock solid faith, this podcast is a winner for the entire family! Introduce your kids to Zig Ziglar now! I promise it will impact them for the rest of their lives.
Zig was firmly convinced that “we are all endowed with the seeds of greatness,” and after listening to him you will be too!

Ok, friend, I hope you’ll check out some of these, or discover some great ones of your own. (If you do, feel free to share them in the comment section below!)

You may think you don’t have time for listening to a podcast. That’s what I used to think. But now that I can listen to everything on my phone, my podcasts are constantly playing as I’m get ready  in the morning, making dinner in the evenings, or riding the bike home from dropping the kids off at school. Folding laundry? Perfect time for a podcast! 🙂 Cleaning the house was never so inspiring!

 My prayer is that this post will inspire you to keep going and keep growing. No matter what stage of life you find yourself in, don’t settle for settling down! Yes, be comfortable, enjoy life and by all means pursue peace. Don’t take on more then you can take on while remaining calm! At the same time, challenge yourself and grow yourself. Be and do all you can to reach the fullness of all the potential the Lord has put into you. In the words of Zig Ziglar, “You have the seeds of greatness in you!” 
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