Category: Motherhood

Merry Christmas…Adore, Need, Wonder, Sing

Merry Christmas List

It’s Christmas…

Eat || cookies

Drink || hot cocoa

Watch || children’s joy

Love || time with family

Enjoy || laughter

Teach || children to give

Take In || the beauty of the season

Merry Christmas...Eat, Drink, Watch, Love, Enjoy, Teach, Adore, Need, Wonder, Sing

Appreciate || your family

Give || time and attention

Write || a note of thankfulness

Make || memories

Thank || who we love

Try || to step back

Listen || with full attention

Pray || for those who are grieving

Reach Out || to those who have lost hope

Trust || our Savior to be with us in the new year

Remember || loved ones who are spending Christmas with Jesus

Read || Luke 2

Merry Christmas...Pray, Reach Out, Trust, Adore, Need, Wonder, Sing

Need || a Savior

Adore || the baby Jesus

Wonder || of God’s great love for us

Sing ||

Be near me, Lord Jesus I ask Thee to stay

Close by me forever and love me, I pray.

Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care

And take us to heaven to live with Thee there.**

Please share || the Christmas story.


Merry Christmas...Adore, Need, Wonder, Sing**Away in a Manger vs 3 John T. McFarland

What is on your Merry Christmas List?

Stop by to see where I link-up my posts each week: Link-Up List

November Mini Goal: Be Thankful and Look for Joyful Moments

Be Thankful and Look for Joyful Moments

Standard Disclosure: In order to support my blogging activities and provide free content on this blog, I may receive a commission if you purchase from the links in this post.
This post is part of my 12 Mini Goals Challenge.

Small daily habits can make a big difference over the course of a few weeks, months, or even longer. In 2016, I am going to focus on a new habit or mini goal every month. In January, I focused on Daily Movement or Exercise. In February, I focused on cutting down on evening snacking. In March, my goal was 30 days of pilates. In April, my goal was to clear my kitchen counters every night. In May, I attempted to clear out my closet 3 items at a time. In June, my goal was to reset my mornings and wake up earlier. In July, my goal was to drink more water. In August, I wanted to track our daily reading. In September, I got control of our morning and evening schedules.

I often hear about people who have a gratitude journal or write down a list of what they are thankful for each evening. It’s important to always be thankful, but I have never taken the time to write down a list. I believe that we are to have a thankful heart and that we need to focus on the many blessings given by our Savior.

 My November Mini Goal: Be Thankful and Look for Joyful Moments. Record the Moments in my Mom’s One Line a Day book each day

While I was originally going to try keeping a gratitude journal in November, I decided to do a variation of it. I have the Mom’s One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book and don’t write in it as consistently as I would like. The book includes one page for every day of the year and on each page it has room for 5 different years. I use the book to write in some of my daughters’ milestones but also like to write down things they say or do. I use it to write down memories and enjoy looking back at it. It’s helpful to write things down as I know I would otherwise forget much of what they say and do!


I am so grateful for my girls and so I’m going to try and write in the book consistently in November. Because I will be in the fog of life with a newborn, it will help me to step back and look for the joyous moments in my days.

Be Thankful and Look for Joyful Moments

Your November Mini Goal: Pick one of the ideas below!



If you want to read more about Gratitude Journals read: The Benefits of a Gratitude Journal and How to Maintain One

Here are a few more thankfulness activities:

Let me know if you decide to join!

I would love to have you join the 12 Mini Goals Challenge. Sign up for my mailing list if you want to be e-mailed the challenge each month. If we get to a month where the goal doesn’t fit into your life, you can always tweak it to be a mini goal that works for you.

Stop by to see where I link up each week: Link-Ups

13 Ways to Reduce Daily Stress

13 Ways to Reduce Daily Stress

We all have days that we are tired, weary, stressed, frustrated, and struggling with patience.

Small everyday stressors may be unavoidable some days, but finding a way to deal with stress and minimize the impact is key to the atmosphere of your home. As a mom, I know that my stress-level impacts my children and I try to keep my stress levels down. There are so many things we can do to decrease our stress levels in a natural way. Creating healthy habits can help to minimize stress and help to lift our moods.

While I can keep the small every-day stresses in perspective, I still need to find ways to get out of a down moment or stressful day.

Here are 13 ways to reduce daily stress:

Begin your day with quiet/alone time

I find that if I have even a few minutes alone in the morning, my day runs more smoothly. I enjoy waking up before my girls instead of with them, as this gives me time to enjoy my coffee, read my devotion, and hop on the computer. Consider creating a morning routine as a way to reset your morning and get your day started right.

13 Ways to Reduce Daily Stress: Begin your day with quiet/alone time, Exercise, Get outside, Look for joy, Pray, Let go. Don’t strive for perfection. Do not strive to do it all., Reset, Know what refreshes you, Make a grateful list, Stay hydrated, Get sleep, and Deep slow breathing.

Exercise

This is my main stress reliever. I start to get unpleasant when I go too long without exercise! If you are not exercising consistently, start by adding small amounts of exercise into your day. If you have trouble getting motivated, remember that the first step out the door is the hardest. Once you get out and exercise, you will rarely (if ever!) regret it.

Get Outside

Getting outside can restore your mental energy, relieve stress, improve concentration and focus, and improve your mental health. This article provides a list of the many other benefits of getting outside. I would guess the more time you are outside, the less you are sedentary. Get fresh air, exercise, vitamin D, and a change of scenery by getting outside. This is also great for children! Check out this scavenger hunt printable if you need an activity for your kiddos outside.

Use the Spire Fitness Tracker to let you know when you are getting stressed or have been sitting around too long. Then head outside for a quick break!

13 Ways to Reduce Daily Stress: Begin your day with quiet/alone time, Exercise, Get outside, Look for joy, Pray, Let go. Don’t strive for perfection. Do not strive to do it all., Reset, Know what refreshes you, Make a grateful list, Stay hydrated, Get sleep, and Deep slow breathing.

Look for joy

Even when frustrated, there is often a joyous moment around the corner. Even when my children are acting up and frustrating me, it’s usually only a few minutes later that I think they are most wonderful. I end up laughing with them and being completely overcome with love. A child’s laughter can bring you back.

When frustrated, I remind myself just to wait for the joyful moment as it’s probably just minutes away.

Pray

Ask Him for help. Lay your concerns on Him and trust that He is with you.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. ~ Philippians 4:6

Let go. Don’t strive for perfection. Do not strive to do it all.

Take a look at your schedule and commitments. Simplify what you can in your home. You may find non-essential tasks that are only causing stress.

It’s just not worth the pressure. I know that many struggle with this, but pick your priorities and stick them. Decide what you care about for yourself and your family and focus on that. Don’t let others expectations or standards wear you down.

Reset. Change gears.

If I have had a long day with my girls, a simple change can help to reset our day. If the kiddos are getting antsy, get outside or plan an activity to wear them out. Some days this is obvious and easy. Some days this will feel like too much work, but it’s often worth it.

Know what refreshes you

Figure out what quick activity or treat refreshes and relaxes you. If that gives you a little more patience to get you through the day…schedule it in!!

13 Ways to Reduce Daily Stress: Begin your day with quiet/alone time, Exercise, Get outside, Look for joy, Pray, Let go. Don’t strive for perfection. Do not strive to do it all., Reset, Know what refreshes you, Make a grateful list, Stay hydrated, Get sleep, and Deep slow breathing.

Make a grateful list.

This is something I have yet to try, but I hear so much about it! Get in the habit of writing down 3 things you are grateful for each night before going to bed.

Stepping back and finding something you are grateful for can quickly change your perspective!

Stay hydrated.

You will feel better if you stay hydrated, so remember to drink plenty of water! Your body will function better. Here are 8 Ways to Drink More Water Every Day.

Get sleep.

This is key! You will have much more energy, your brain will function better, and your physical health will improve. Your body restores itself while sleeping, so your entire body will thank you when you start to make sleep a priority. 

If you have trouble making sleep a priority, check out these helpful resources: 

Check your perspective.

Remember that we have all we need. Everything we need. His grace is enough.

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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

Deep, slow breathing

When you start to get stressed or anxious, your breaths may become short and shallow. The Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker picks up on your breathing rate and can notify you to take a few deep breaths. It can alert you in the moment and suggest breathing exercises that lead to putting you in a calmer and focused state.

If you are not good at sitting down quietly and breathing slow, the Spire Activity Tracker will guide you.

In addition to tracking your breath, notifying you if you are tense, and walking you through breathing activities, the Spire Activity Tracker also tracks your steps and active minutes. At the end of the day, I can see if I met my active minutes and step goals. I can set up notifications to notify me when I have been sedentary for a set amount of minutes. 

13 Ways to Reduce Daily Stress: Begin your day with quiet/alone time, Exercise, Get outside, Look for joy, Pray, Let go. Don’t strive for perfection. Do not strive to do it all., Reset, Know what refreshes you, Make a grateful list, Stay hydrated, Get sleep, and Deep slow breathing.

13 Ways to Reduce Daily Stress. Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker

What is your favorite way to reduce stress in your own life?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

13 Ways to Reduce Daily Stress: Begin your day with quiet/alone time, Exercise, Get outside, Look for joy, Pray, Let go. Don’t strive for perfection. Do not strive to do it all., Reset, Know what refreshes you, Make a grateful list, Stay hydrated, Get sleep, and Deep slow breathing.

This post contains affiliate links.

Stop by to see where I link-up my posts each week: Link-Up List

How to Develop a Pleasant Tone with Your Tribe

How to Develop a Pleasant Tone with Your Tribe

I would like to welcome Ruthie from Rear. Release. Regroup. I enjoy the wisdom that she shares on her blog and in her new book:
Count to Nine, 9 Liberating Steps for Mom Anger and Frustration

How to Develop a Pleasant Tone with Your Tribe
by Ruthie of Rear. Release. Regroup.

How to Develop a Pleasant Tone with Your Tribe

Do you have a pleasant tone of voice when you speak to your children or give them a directive? (Are you rolling your eyes at me right now?)

I will admit right up front that I’ve always struggled with this one. My tone of voice is awful when I’m irritated or even just focused on my own “plan” (quite possibly mowing others down in the process).

Proverbs 12:18 (NKJV) says:

“There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword,

But the tongue of the wise promotes health”

Does your voice sound like claws on a chalkboard when you speak to your kids?

I hate the way the first part of this verse sounds.

I don’t want to figuratively pierce my children’s hearts.

But I LOVE the second half of the verse!

I want a wise tongue that promotes health and healing! Don’t you?

Plan of Attack

1.) CHECK your tone before you speak. Take a few breaths, put your hand over your mouth if necessary (Proverbs 30:32)

2.) PRAY quickly and ask God for help

3.) PRETEND your child (or husband) is someone who just called and you automatically changed your tone so they’d think you were nice (SEE??? We ARE capable of it)!

4.) CREATE lists. Lists were my very best friend when getting my kids to do their chores or help with spring cleaning. If they didn’t have to hear it from me, somehow it went better! Kids love checking things off and getting it done! (Doesn’t everyone?)

5.) SPEAK HEALING to your child each day. Find ways to compliment for a job well done, a rare moment of sharing, or anything positive you can find. Make sure you’ve done this at least once before going to bed at night. And be SURE to always say, “I love you”!

As always, the best way to cut out old habits is to establish new ones. We must replacing our negative tone of voice with positive speech and affirming words. Even if we do slip up in a moment of anger (and let’s face it, we all do), if we make a practice of graceful speech, it will go a long way with our tribe.

Scripture Pillar

If you have been foolish, exalting yourself, or if you have been devising evil, put your hand over your mouth. Proverbs 30:32

Did you see that??? Sometimes, I just need to put our hand over my mouth. What about you? What a practical suggestion straight from God’s Word!

How to Develop a Pleasant Tone with your Tribe. Count to Nine, 9 Liberating Steps for Mom Anger and Frustration

My new book, Count to Nine, 9 Liberating Steps for Mom Anger and Frustration, presents nine essential steps to overcome anger. Offering Scripture Pillars (ACTION verses), Scripture prayers, a plan of attack for each chapter, this book will set you on the road towards recovery. The book is full of key Biblical strategies to help you parent gracefully and learn the Biblical approach to anger.

How do I know? I teach this method to a group of moms, and they are seeing wins and overcoming their anger by implementing Scripture Pillars (ACTION verses)!

At just $7.00, this book is a small investment to make toward a big difference in the dynamic of your family. Are you ready to take the necessary steps to freedom and let God control your anger?

Processed with VSCO with m3 preset

Ruthie Gray is a wife, mom of four, Gigi, and caregiver, living in the sandwich generation and blogging to keep her sanity. When she’s not snacking on plastic drumsticks with her two-year-old grandson, The Tiny Tornado, you can find her coaching other moms on how to raise responsible kids and enjoy them at RearReleaseRegroup.com.

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Thank you to Ruthie for sharing with us today! Stop by and check out her blog: Rear. Release. Regroup. or consider checking out her book: Count to Nine, 9 Liberating Steps for Mom Anger and Frustration

Count to Nine, 9 Liberating Steps for Mom Anger and Frustration (2)

This post includes affiliate links.

Stop by to see where I link-up my posts each week: Link-Up List

How to Develop a Pleasant Tone with Your Tribe

The Secret to Superhero Moms

Today I would like to welcome Keri from Living In This Season. I enjoy the encouragement that she shares on her blog and in her new book:

Why Just Survive When You Can Thrive – Tips for Thriving as a Mom 

Days fly by in a blur as moms everywhere are trying to be supermoms who do it all and balance more than we should. We drink caffeinated drinks for energy to sustain us and hope the little burst helps us accomplish just one more task. Our lists are long and never seem to be completely checked off. By evening, we sink deep into our couches, staring aimlessly at our phones, wondering why we feel so empty.

Does this sound familiar?

It hits all too close to home for me. I spent the first year of my oldest child’s life trying to be supermom. I wanted everything to be perfect. It was exhausting, draining, and typically left me frustrated and empty. I have a feeling that I am not alone in this struggle.

Superhero Moms and the truth behind them. When we step out and embrace our own gifts and talents, we are able to be supermoms. We are able to stop striving for what we are not created to be and rest in who we are created to be.

It is the struggle to be more and do more so that we can be supermoms.

There is this false image that supermoms do it all- they bring homemade goodies into the school, volunteer at the school, are team mom, have a perfectly decorated home, make homemade dinners, and always look well put together. This image is a lie that moms need to stop striving for.

The truth is that we are already supermoms. You, sweet mama, are incredible. You have so many amazingly unique talents, that only you have! Your child needs you- not a perfectly packaged you, but the real you, flaws and all.

The Secret to Superhero Moms. Learning the truth about superhero moms

When we step out and embrace our own gifts and talents, we are able to be supermoms. We are able to stop striving for what we are not created to be and rest in who we are created to be.

You are an amazing mom. You are doing an amazing work and you are the perfect mom for your children. Let go of the race to do it all, and slow down to be yourself. Be yourself and be a supermom!

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Thank you to Keri for sharing with us today. Stop by and check out her blog: Living In This Season or consider checking out her book: Why Just Survive When You Can Thrive – Tips for Thriving as a Mom. Keri’s book is available both as an eBook and paperback.

Keri’s book will give you encouragement and tips in the areas below:
 
The Practice of Self Care
Letting Go of Perfection
Freedom from Comparison
Confidence as a Mom
Embrace Your Season
You Are Not Alone
Letting Go of Anger
Choosing Joy
 

Why Just Survive When You Can Thrive. An encouraging book for motherhood.

This post includes affiliate links.
 
Stop by to see where I link-up my posts each week: Link-Up List