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The Busy Mom’s Guide to Starting Your Own Quiet Time Routine in 2020!

Why all moms need a regular quiet time routine

As moms, one of the things we need the most but probably get the least is a consistent quiet time. And I’m not talking about the 2 seconds you break free to go to the bathroom. Let’s be honest – if you have little ones waiting “impatiently” outside the door – that doesn’t cut it for quality quiet time

They always seem so interested in what I’m doing in there. Lol

Having a “quiet time” seems like a misnomer in a home filled with loud little people running around. Quiet is a luxury most of us just don’t have. And time is the other luxury we seem to come up short on day after day even if your children aren’t little anymore.

Why all moms need a regular quiet time routine

Most of us press through each day trying to make it to the end, so we can get up and do it all over again. Kind of like Groundhog’s Day for moms.

We all know the benefits of practicing a regular quiet time routine – time to connect with the One who created us and allow Him to shape us into who He created us to be. Time to invest in ourselves and our personal growth, so we can be ready to live out the good life He promised.

But we so often feel like we can’t afford to take a few minutes for ourselves. That’s selfish and unnecessary, right? But I’ll step out there and say you can’t afford NOT to.

Why You NEED a Quiet Time Routine

You NEED time to recharge, rest, grow, and reflect. Notice I didn’t say deserve. Although I believe we all deserve our own deserted island and personal wait staff for all we do as moms – what we need jumps to the front of the list.

And we NEED a regular quiet time routine to be effective as moms, wives, and every other title we hold in our lives.

Without it we’re just pouring out from an empty vessel. And let’s face it – our job description as moms is pouring.

But something happens when we become empty – we still pour. Only what comes out then is resentment, anger, and burnout. Sound familiar?

We’re vessels who are desperately needed by our families so giving of ourselves on a daily basis is really our privilege to do so. So this “pouring” is something I get to do and not something I have to do.

But allow me to be transparent for a moment, as moms, we’re the heartbeat of our family. And we need to be sure our heart stays in great condition because if we’re tired, angry, frustrated, and filled with resentment – our family feels that and feeds on it.

Understanding the purpose of quiet time is key to tapping into its power. So we can stay filled up and pour out the love, help, support, and encouragement our family needs from us.

Related: Creative Ways for Moms to Grow in Faith When Life Gets Overwhelming!

The Purpose and Power of a Quiet Time Routine

The purpose of a quiet time routine is to connect intimately with Christ, our Savior so He can show us who He created us to be. And allow the process of transformation to take place in our lives.

And most of us think it’s literally just time in the quiet. Nope! There’s so much more potential here.

The power of practicing a regular quiet time is that you and everyone around you get to reap the results of your daily transformation by becoming – day by day – the person you were destined to be.

Most people believe that quiet time is for just getting a break and doing a list of activities like praying and reading. And while these activities are extremely effective to do during your quiet time; having the right heart and understanding of its purpose is how you really grab hold of its power.

Doing random things, no matter how good they are, without connection to a bigger picture rarely leads to substantial change.

Change is what we’re ALL after. That’s why we read books and articles like this one. That’s why we set goals and have desires for more opportunities to earn more income or start new dreams. We all have somewhere we want to go.

I firmly believe there are places we’re called to go and things we’re destined to experience, but we’ll never get the opportunity until we become the person who’s qualified to open those doors.

If you find yourself desperate to make a change, I’d love to share with you a book that was such a life-changing blessing to my soul. It’s Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe

Related: How to Find the Courage to Fearlessly Chase your Dreams

Are You Being or Becoming?

In other words, when we devote more energy on “becoming” that person we know we are on the inside and less on just “being” who we are now, the journey to our purpose becomes a whole lot easier.

Take a moment and visualize your dream self. What do you look like? Are you in better shape? Healthier? Happier? Richer? More fulfilled? Stable? Confident? Sexier? 😉 A better mom? Wife? Friend?

What will it take to become her? Not to try and manufacture her, but to actually become her?

One thing’s for sure – it’ll take work. But if you have that vision of yourself – I can confidently say that it’s your vision. It belongs to you and should be your mission in life to become that vision.

And to be clear, this isn’t about going on some mid-life crisis or selfish pursuit. This is about you becoming your best version of you so you can love your family from a place of fulfillment and joy. No more burnt-out mom who yells out of utter exhaustion, frustration, and the fear of never changing.

I’ve been there, feeling like a failure who’s better off not being their mother. One yelling fit after another with guilt piling up around me.

The truth is, I’ve always been an awesome, loving mom. But I was stuck in the cycle of stagnation. I didn’t understand the purpose nor the power of giving time to myself with a clear focus. I spent most days trying to survive and when late afternoon came around, I was rushing the day forward so I could see a new, better day tomorrow.

Sadly, the better days never came because I never created them. I was floating with no intentional focus on how I thought about my days and how I could make them better. I started each year with the hope things would get better and ended each year with the disappointment that everything was still the same.

It wasn’t that I was miserable every day, but there were things that I knew I needed to change, but just didn’t know how.

Now I spend my days living in the present moments and I use my daily quiet time to reflect on who I’m becoming and where I’m going. And even though I have a long way to go, I’m fulfilled in knowing that every day I’m growing toward my goals.

 

Related: The Truth About Mom Guilt and 4 Steps to Get Rid of It Forever

How to Get Started with your Quiet Time Routine

Let me start off by saying quiet time, especially for moms with small children, is a huge sacrifice. So exactly when and how much time you’ll spend for your quiet time is going to be different for every mom.

Just remember, anything worth doing is worth sacrificing for! But if you’re not currently in the practice of having a quiet time routine at all, start off small and work your way up.

Depending on the day, I spend 30 minutes to an hour very early in the morning before I start my work.

If you don’t have a quiet time right now, here are a few tips to show you how to quickly get started with your own quiet time routine!

  1. If you’re pressed for time, roll your alarm back 15 minutes earlier every day. I recommend starting light and adding more time as you grow. Everyone can get up just 15 minutes earlier!
  2. Use a journal sheet that has prompts, questions, and/or blanks to fill in. This helps you have a plan already set and you don’t have to do anything but show up!
  3. Have a place to go every day. Even if it’s your own bed and you just roll over, having a place set for your quiet time tells your brain that you’re serious. By the way, if you’re just starting out the bed isn’t going to be your best option for longevity.
  4. Be focused on change. Remember, having a quiet time isn’t just about doing stuff or having “me time.” It’s the time you set aside to become that woman you envisioned earlier. Quiet time is like a cocooned space you crawl into every day and slowly emerge day by day as your true, beautiful butterfly self.
  5. Read a devotional. I find devotionals a wonderful way to read and reflect on God’s Word. There are so many that are focused on whatever topic you wish to study or work on.

Here are some wonderfully encouraging devotionals I recommend for moms:

Related: 7 Simple Habits That’ll Yield Big Results in your Life

Getting the Most out of Your Quiet Time

The following are activities I do in my quiet time. I don’t necessarily do each thing every day or follow a rigid routine. I just start with my purpose in mind and go with the flow. I recommend you do the same until you find what works for you.

Pray

The way I start my quiet time is to pray. In other words, I talk to my Creator –  my Heavenly Father. I tell Him how grateful I am for having this new day in the first place. Then I honor Him by speaking highly of who He is. In other words, I give Him praise because He is truly worthy of all the praise I could possibly give! God has been so good to me!

I pray for my family, my community, and anything else that’s on my prayer list or that comes to mind.

I also ask for the wisdom I need for my day or anything else I’m facing. God’s Word promises that if we ask for wisdom, He’ll liberally supply it to us. And of course, I use this time to pray for others who are on my heart. Basically, prayer is part of my relationship with God and allows Him the space to speak to my heart at a time when I’m free of distractions.

Journal

Journaling is widely known to provide many benefits for our overall health, well-being, and success in life. But I personally love to journal because it works and has helped me so much in my life! I’ve actually been journaling since I was very young. I guess it’s the writer in me that needs to express myself.

Journaling is the time I use to also plan and reflect. I reflect on the previous day’s events and evaluate how I felt and what was good or not so good. I notate blessings that happened that day, missteps that I want to avoid in the future, and any powerful lessons I learned. I also allow it to be a natural tracker of my transformation progress. And when I’m in a planning period, I use my quiet time for writing out my vision and goals.

Here are some wonderful journals with writing prompts to help you journal every day.

Read

Reading is one of the most effective and powerful activities you can do for your personal growth. Just pick a topic to read and let the growing begin! I start off by reading my bible which is my foundation for everything else in my life. I’ll read based on whatever reading plan or bible study I presently have going on.

I don’t spend a lot of time reading, though. Just a chapter or so is all my time will allow during this season in my life. For my other books, I try to read a few pages per day. You’ll be surprised how impactful reading really is, even if you’re only reading a couple pages per day. Just be consistent!

You don’t have to do all the things I mentioned here. You can do one or totally add in your own elements. I just shared what works for me personally. But the key is giving yourself permission to invest in yourself. To press the pause button for a moment so you can be more effective every day and grow into your very best self.

Here are more of my favorite books I know you’ll love:

Related: 4 Surprising Signs You’re a Burn Out Mom and How to Get Out

Leave a comment below to share how you use your quiet time. Do you have any questions or suggestions on how you can easily add a quiet time routine to your day? Let’s get talking!

Moms are always juggling many things. Having a consistent devotional time for quiet reflect and bible study is so important to living your best life and keeping your sanity! #jesus #selfcare #selflove #momlife

Every moms needs a good quality quiet time with God. How to get started easily!

Creative Ways for Moms to Grow in Faith When Life Gets Overwhelming!

How to Find time for God

How to Find time for God

Growing in faith is an essential part of strengthening you at your core. I can wholeheartedly acknowledge I wouldn’t even be here if it weren’t for God!

I had a lot of challenges and struggles in my life early on. I had a good upbringing but somehow ended up a total mess as a teenager. On more than one occasion it was truly a testament to God’s love for me that I woke up the next morning.

That life feels like a lifetime ago and yesterday all at the same time. I share that because I never felt condemned by God. It was as if He has always been lovingly chasing after me my whole life, and still is. He’s chasing you too!

I have a deep need and desire to make the time to spend with my best Friend and Savior. I do this by having what most Christians call – quiet time or devotion time. I pray (talk to God), read His Word, and write my thoughts and His responses to my prayers in my journal.

Related post: The Power and Purpose of a Regular Quiet Time Routine

Grow in Faith in Your Season

I’ll be honest, my quiet time has varied greatly during the changing seasons of my life. As people do, I press in harder in the challenging times and wane in the care-free times.

Not as a deliberate choice, just something that happens. I’ve also had shorter and sometimes non-existent quiet times when I was in the thick of having a new baby and little toddlers running around. Growing in faith and maintaining a strong prayer life can be a real challenge for new moms.

But I firmly believe God loves us through it all and He knows our seasons. And is always waiting for us to pull in close or turn back to Him when we’re ready.

Depending on your current life season, you may have to tweak how you spend your quiet time to be sure you actually get that time in. And it doesn’t matter how much you treasure this time, it can easily get pushed aside in a crazy life!

Related: How to Manage Your Time Based on Your Current Life Season

How To Make Time

So here are some suggestions you can use to integrate a daily devotion time into your hectic life. And remember, you serve a loving and compassionate God who just wants our hearts to be connected with His.

He’s a whole lot less caught up in our form and fashion of how we like to do things. When we need to change things up a bit, He’s right there just enjoying the time with you – whatever it might look like at the time.

There are seasons in your life when you’re able to dive right into the Word of God with
an in-depth study plan. I LOVE those times because I love God’s Word! But also know when you’ve got a new baby or kids who suddenly find themselves in your bed at night, leaving you looking and feeling like a zombie in the morning – you’ve got to simplify your quiet time routine!

I suggest reading a daily devotional. These are typically 1-2 pages long with a scripture or two and maybe even thoughtful reflections at the end. Devotionals are so awesome for starting off your day in scripture.

You don’t need to pre-plan what you’re studying – it’s all there for you when you open up the book! You can also find some great devotionals for free online. Just be sure to do your best to get it in every day.

Not because you want to check it off your list, but it’s necessary to start your day with the reminder – you’re NOT alone! And I’m amazed how often I sit down and the reading for the day is EXACTLY what I needed.

Another tip is to listen to your Bible, especially during those very busy seasons of life. I find moms who have babies and little toddlers have a real challenge with reading their bible or any book for that matter!

Opening Communication

Reading scripture allows us to get close to God and know His heart. But the other part of a good relationship is having good communication. And prayer is our communication with God.

But again, when you’re living smack-dab in the middle of a crazy-busy life, prayer can sometimes go out the window. But let me caution you to not let your prayer time slip.

Having a relationship with God is like having a relationship with anyone we love. We must talk! If we never talked with our husbands, what would our marriage look like? Probably not good.

Our prayer time is like oxygen blowing on the flame of our life. It makes the flame burning on the inside of us bigger, stronger, and in-consumable. We need our internal flame burning hot – giving us the strength to do what we need to do in this life and the wisdom to do it God’s way.

It also provides peace and comfort in our most challenging times. I can remember many years ago when I cried out to God alone in my room because I was grieving the loss of my baby in the second trimester of pregnancy.
I was devastated and cried to God to take away my pain, so I could still be a whole mom for my daughter – who at the time was still a baby. I remember just as clearly as I sit here today, how a tangible peace literally fell on me and swept over me.

I stopped crying right at that moment because my heart was healed – completely. It was totally a miraculous event! The next day, I was able to go out and see other women big in their pregnancies and felt nothing but joy for them! We need prayer.

A Simple Prayer Framework

Here’s a simple framework for prayer you can follow every day. You can also keep a prayer journal to keep track of people or issues you’re praying for as well as your personal prayers.

You should also write down all answers to prayer. This serves as a simple way of recording God’s goodness and is also a wonderful source of encouragement when you find yourself in a dry season.

P.R.A.Y

Pour out your gratitude
Recognize the needs of others
Ask for wisdom
Your needs should be placed on the altar

This is a very simple way to pray and will help us remember to start with gratitude, putting others first, and receiving God’s wisdom before we ask for what we need.

How do you spend time your quiet time? Do you have a routine or a special place you go? Share in the comments below so we can share ideas and get inspired!

 

Read The Full Blog Series Below:

Why All Moms Need to be Intentional With a Regular Self Care Routine

The Epic Mind-Body-Soul Self Care Routine for Busy Moms{Blog Series Pt 1 Mind}

The Epic Mind-Body-Soul Self Care Routine for Busy Moms{Blog Series Pt 2 Body}

Finding time to have Christian devotions can be hard as a busy mom. Get simple tips to help you grow in faith even when your kids are little! #faith #jesus #devotions #christianliving

Making Quiet Time for busy momsHow to make time for devotionsThis epic blog series inspires busy moms to care for themselves well by creating a regular self care routine. This post shows how to care for your mind and heart by connecting with our relationships like friends and our spouse, and connecting to what brings us joy!

5 Strategies to Kick the Mom Funk and Find Your Peace

I love being a mom but I certainly don’t love every minute of motherhood. And I don’t know a single mom who does! Though I truly believe that motherhood is a gift, that gift also comes with many struggles.

These struggles commonly show up in the form of sleepless nights (at all stages!), overwhelm, mom-guilt, stress, confusion, anxiety, and even uncontrolled anger.

Whether you have a toddler, a school-aged child, a teenager, or all three like I do – motherhood is likely to be the hardest thing any of us will ever do!

Not because we’re bad mothers or aren’t fully devoted to our families, but because we care and love so deeply. 

We sometimes forget to lean on the One who gave us these blessings and consequently stay up all night in worry, forget to cast our care upon the One who cares so deeply for us, and neglect to fill ourselves up to our designated fill lines leaving our souls bone dry.

With the mission of motherhood, we get the good, the beautiful, the miraculous, the scary, the messy, and the downright ugly all wrapped up in one gift.

So how do we cope? Or better yet, how do we thrive on this epic adventure called motherhood? How do we find and live in this thing called peace?

That’s what I want to share with you now. My proven strategies for getting out of the mom funk so you can claim the peace that belongs to you. The mom funk can be anything from feeling “over it” and wanting to quit, to being too exhausted to do more than what keeps the authorities from knocking on your door. Been there!

Or maybe you’re not feeling super low but just want to keep your peace tank filled up. 

“Peace – a state of quiet or tranquillity; freedom from disturbance or agitation; Heavenly rest; the happiness of heaven.”

These highly effective strategies will help you avoid these hard places and bounce back if you’ve found yourself surrounded struggles, so you can get back to loving on those blessings without all the toxic baggage weighing you down. 

Why All Moms Need to be Intentional About Self-Care

5 Strategies to Get Out of the Mom Funk Fast

positive parenting techniques

1 – Look for The Root

I need to start here because we can’t do much to change a pattern of behavior or a toxic emotion from creeping in if we don’t know what’s at the root.

If you notice anxiety or constant anger and yelling creeping in, it’s vital that we take the time to find the source. This requires both courage and patience as we do the work to learn why we keep feeling this way.

What I’ve learned over the last few years is that negative emotions are most often caused by internal issues and not the external ones visible on the surface.

This means when your kiddos start fighting over the TV remote in the other room and you feel your blood boiling or feel a panic attack coming on, it’s likely not your kids causing you to feel this way.

There’s something else going on under the surface. When we leave negative emotions unchecked and unmanaged, it makes us react like a ticking time bomb. It’s like the science experiments we did in school. When certain chemicals are sitting calmly in the beaker, all it takes is the right pour and BOOM!

And many times our kids (and spouse) just have the worst timing. To break the cycle, start to train yourself to evaluate what was happening in the moments leading up to your blow up. 

Were you stressed about something else? Did you feel embarrassed about something? Did what happened trigger fearful thoughts?

If you avoid the temptation to ignore those emotions and do the necessary digging, you’ll be amazed at what you discover.

Surprising Triggers that Cause Mom Anger

2 – Have a Peace Plan

Peace in our hearts and homes is something that doesn’t get talked about a lot these days. But peace is something that every heart on this planet craves and desperately needs.

A lot of the wrong we see around us in the world today is a result of a clear lack of peace.  

Creating a plan for our peace means that we’re choosing to show up with intention for our peace. We’re essentially giving peace a place. That’s huge!

The first step in creating your peace plan is to create a vision of what having peace looks like in your day. Write down what you want to look like, sound like, and behave like when your triggers show up. We must fully know what change should look like if we ever want them to become a reality.

The next step is to create borders and intentional routines to help you achieve your vision. For example, if you find yourself getting more stressed or frustrated at a certain time of the day, it may be because you aren’t taking enough breaks. 

A simple 15-minute break to have tea, curl up on the couch, or read a book can do wonders to reset your mood. As moms, we are masters at being creative and “making it happen” when it comes to our kids. We need to employ that same craftiness when it comes to our own well-being. 


Simple Ways to Take Good Care of Yourself

The final step is to practice these borders and refine them as needed. Change never happens overnight – it happens in the commitment to persistence. 

Allow yourself the grace to mess up and fall back into the path of least resistance. Just don’t give yourself permission to stay there!

3 – Activate the 3 P’s

These are a powerful trio for sure. If you want to jolt yourself out of depression or a feeling that your joy has left the building, your answer is to activate the first P which is Praise.

When we offer a sacrifice of praise to the Lord, that means when praising or feeling joyful is the LAST thing we feel like doing – we do it. We open our mouth and praise God because no matter what is going on, He is always worthy of our beautiful praise. 

The Bible tells us that our praise is our weapon against the spirit of heaviness!

“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”

Isaiah 61:3

The next P is Prayer. Prayer is simply talking to God and our way to have a personal relationship with the Creator of the universe. So often we treat prayer as a last resort when nothing else is working.

Prayer should be our first resort. But life (for ALL of us) can distort our understanding of prayer causing us to forget again and again. I fall into this trap quite often. The Bible says that the prayers of the righteous make much power available!

The final P is God’s Presence. This simply means that you make time to spend quality time with the Lord. We can do this, of course, through prayer and praise but also by just sitting in a quiet place and inviting Him to be with you.

Put on some worship music and enjoy that moment…no matter how short it may be. Ha! You can also spend time with God by reading a devotional or a chapter in your Bible each day. 

I love taking long quiet walks and talking to Him as I walk through His creation outside. You do whatever feels natural to you. 

When we place Christ smack-dad in the middle of our day, our mess, and our sometimes crazy chaos of motherhood – He is happy to be right there with us. 

How to Start a Quiet Time Routine that Works!

4 – Choose and Practice Joy Every Day

Honestly, this can be a hard one. Especially if you aren’t naturally bent toward a cheery disposition. I know I can easily fall into the trap of pessimism and complaining. I’m actually really good at it. 

But the truth is, it’s as bad and nasty of a habit as chewing your fingernails. It erodes our joy and brings a dark cloud everywhere we go.

The good news is we have the power to choose joy! Just like love isn’t an emotion but a choice we make everyday…joy is too.

Science even reveals that we can train our minds to feel happier by doing things like smiling, writing down things we’re grateful for, and intentionally celebrating your successes.

It’s also helpful to find activities that you enjoy doing just for you. As moms, we tend to forget the things we love. Reclaiming those old hobbies and dreams will add joy and satisfaction to your days, replacing many of those funk feelings.

How to Find Your Joy in the Everyday Moments

5 – Adjust Your Expectations

We often become frustrated with ourselves, our spouse, and our kids because our expectations are through the roof.

Do we blow up when our kids are doing totally normal and healthy kid things? Do you get disappointed in yourself because you never got the satisfaction of crossing a single item off your to-do list at the end of the day?

Spend some quality time evaluating whether you’re simply shooting too high.

It’s totally healthy to take a closer look and rein in our own enthusiasm for excellence. Maybe what’s needed more is to take baby steps instead of leaping.

Giving yourself the grace to make mistakes and miss the mark is like a soothing balm to the soul of a tired momma. 

You are doing better than you think you are! This I know for sure. And using these strategies again and again will help you to find and keep your peace as you continue down the crazy path of motherhood! 

What are your strategies for getting out of the mom funk? Share them in the comments below!

11 Calming Questions to Ask Yourself When You’re About to Blow Up at Your Kids

Calming Questions

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve struggled on more than one occasion with losing your cool with your kids. I mean, who hasn’t, right?

Raising little people is hard and kids are kids. Enough said.

Calming Questions

I personally struggled for years with anger, frustration, and yelling more than I ever wanted to at my kids. 

It was through total surrender to the healing of my Savior, understanding what was triggering my yelling and anger in the first place, and learning to quickly gain a healthier and calmer perspective when I felt the anger and overwhelm rising up.

That’s where these questions come in! That’s where the questions on this list come in. This is not something you read and say, “hmm that’s nice to know when I’m in the heat of battle with my kids.”

No, it’s likely if you read this once, you’ll never remember a single question when you need it most. These are questions that are meant to reshape your thinking. Questions to reflect on daily or weekly or have posted up as a reminder.

All of these questions require practice and repeated attention to help train our minds to think and then as a result, ACT differently. 

We have the power to train ourselves to both think and act the way we desire. If we yell and get angry, it’s because we’ve trained ourselves to react that way. These questions are designed to help you retrain your mind and thinking so you can retrain your actions. 

“So many have a highway to stress and negative thinking and a dirt road to happiness.” – Tony Robbins

Let’s work on repaving our road to happiness and stop going the path of least resistance because we’d all agree that the old way isn’t working. And also know this is just a starting point. There are many hugely helpful resources available that I’ll share throughout this post.

1 – What does my child need right now?

When kids are acting out, not listening, or doing something that’s annoying us at that moment it’s super easy to feel like you’re going to blow. But one of the key indicators of our child needing something is their strange or even rude behavior. Kids at any age, really do have challenges knowing and articulating what they need and so when that need goes unmet they do the strangest things!

So when your son keeps flinging your couch cushions against the wall to see how high they can bounce and then when you tell him to stop, he moves to his real ball and starts bouncing it in the kitchen – it’s time for us to stop. We need to stop what we were previously focused on and get refocused on what in the world our little guy needs right now instead of getting heated before we blow. 

Sometimes our child just needs some attention and one on one conversation. Sometimes they need a nap or a snack because tired and hungry kids can honestly turn into crazy kids. Sometimes they want a fun and quiet activity to do but don’t know how to get started. When we stop and do some digging, we get so much more time back and peace in return.

9 Things Your Kids Really Need but Don’t Know How to Tell Us

2 – What do I need right now? 

There are other times when children are just being kids and doing just about anything can seriously wear on our nerves. Even if we realize they’re hungry and we get our kids some crackers to snack on, we can be annoyed by the sound of chewing. I had a day like that yesterday!

On those days, I’ve conditioned myself to notice when I’m really sensitive to the kids… and even my spouse. This is important because I used to not pay attention to what I needed and assumed it was always about the kids. When it’s not just that moment, but I’m feeling really edgy most of the day, I stop what I’m doing and do a quick self-evaluation. This is where I’ll go to the bathroom or take a shower if possible to collect my thoughts and grab a break in private.

Sometimes, that’s honestly enough… to just know that I’m super tired because I didn’t sleep well because of my restless toddler the night before. There’s a lie that rolls around our head that tells us when we get angry or frustrated that we’re terrible mothers and something is wrong with us. 

No, you are just human, with human needs. Meeting those very human needs is so important to our overall well-being and our ability to handle momlife well.

The Simplest Ways Moms Can Recharge When There’s No Time

3 – Am I feeling embarrassed or judged by others at this moment?

I know that nothing can set a mama off more than a public show of foolishness on the part of her lovely children. This can happen at any age, one of your kids decides to push your buttons in public at the store or at a family event with everyone watching. 

Again, your child may be overly tired or stimulated which is often the case, but instead of managing our child’s need and calming our rattled nerves down, we instead go into a heightened state of embarrassment because we often feel judged like everyone is shaking their head in our direction. And making mental notes of how bad of a parent we are or how bad our kids are. 

That’s why training your mind to ask yourself this question is so powerful. It makes you aware that though you may be aggravated at your kid for what they did or said, the added anger piling on top doesn’t have to be yours. You don’t have to sign for that package. Simply know that every parent in that grocery store line or at that family party has been there before with their own kids. And those who don’t have kids, simply don’t get a vote!

Just take it all in stride as yet another moment when your normally well-behaved child decides to act out in front of others like they have total manners amnesia. And just excuse yourself from that situation, address your child and their behavior, and move on. Let whatever negative feelings you do have be for that behavior alone and not all the judgemental stuff. 

4 – Is my anger right now reasonable? Is it really that big of a deal?

This is a very important question to ask anytime you feel like you’re about to explode or have already let loose. This is also great advice for spouses too. I remember getting so mad, like extremely heated, at my husband because he made a comment about me feeding my toddler son chicken nuggets for dinner that night. 

The comment wasn’t bad in and of itself but I as mentioned above was feeling judged and so that added to my anger in a major way. Let’s just say as the days went by (I needed several to get over it) I could clearly see that my anger was totally unreasonable.

And over the years I’ve also expressed totally unreasonable anger toward my kids too. It’s hard not to do because we are emotional beings but it’s necessary that we train our minds to think differently. 

That’s because it’s even harder to be on the receiving end of someone else’s unreasonable anger. We owe it to our family to see the signs and stop it in its tracks. Often, just seeing that we are going overboard is enough to calm down. The problem is when we never take the time to look.

5 – What is the specific emotion I’m feeling right now? 

Here is one of my favorite questions to ask myself when I’m feeling heated. What emotion am I feeling right now. Notice, I’m not asking myself “how I’m feeling.” Asking myself to name my emotion allows me to disconnect that emotion from me. To say feeling is something that feels a part of me.

You might be thinking, that’s easy, my emotion is anger. Nope, we need to go deeper! We are most often angry because we’re experiencing something else like disappointment, rejection, fear, or like shared above – embarrassment. This is where we have to be courageous to get really honest with ourselves in the moment. 

The Uncommon Truth Behind Why Moms Yell

6 – What’s really going on here? Am I offering them the benefit of the doubt or jumping to conclusions?

Oftentimes, we can jump to conclusions and consequently fly off the handle without having the full picture. Like when you’re super tired and go to your bathroom to wash your face before bed and see your two girls playing in your “mommy-only” makeup… which is now all over the bathroom.

Your instinct is to scream because now your make-up is messed up AND you have a bathroom and two more faces to wash! But what was really going on was your daughters wanted to surprise you with their own beauty makeovers. They wanted to put a smile on your face, but instead, they made you want to cry.

Sometimes when our kids do stuff that we don’t like, it’s just as we see it. But other times it’s not, and we need to learn to pause and hold back the screams and instead ask questions to find out what is really going on. When we jump right into scream mode, we often miss out on hearing our child’s perfectly sweet and innocent reasons for messing up your makeup.

When we go in too hot, they’ll reasonably cower and just apologize or shut down. Meanwhile, you missed a potentially sweet moment that while may be more work, is one to treasure.

7 – Am I trying to do too much in this moment?

This was a huge question for me to ask because I’ve always been a work from home mom and so juggling work, housework, and kids was my daily to-do list. I was constantly trying to pack-in too much in every waking hour.

And every time I tried, my kids would set me off. The funny thing is, most of the time they were just doing regular kid stuff yet because mommy was working I was expecting them to be robots. It doesn’t work well because for some reason kids have a sense about these things. It’s like when we’re on the phone, they suddenly have a lot of needs or have to fight with their sister! 

If you realize that you’re being unrealistic about what you’re trying to get done, stop and re-evaluate. Can you move some things around? Can you get the kids to help? Or if you’ve really got to get your work done, would putting on a good movie for the kids be a better way to keep them occupied until you’re done?

7 Surprising Reasons Moms Yell

8 – Is there any good in this situation that I can focus on – no matter how small?

This may be a hard one but it’s helpful in so many situations in life. Looking at the positive side of things helps to put our minds in a positive state which helps us make better decisions.

“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.”

Philippians 4:8

For example, my girls are both getting older and so their friend time is getting less frequent as they start enjoying their own individual interests. So when I hear them suddenly running around and rough-housing and laughing upstairs, I force myself to calm my annoyed nerves at the loud banging coming through the ceiling. 

When they’re being loud, but I hear laughter… I just let them do it and be grateful I don’t hear fighting! 

9 – If I’m honest with myself, am I really letting fear make me angry?

Fear is such a funny thing because it’s so sneaky. When your toddler who’s on a hunger strike refuses to eat and you find yourself at your wits end, you’re not really angry at your toddler – you’re afraid.

You’re scared that if he doesn’t eat, he’ll get sick and need to be fed at the hospital, you’re afraid that this means you’re a terrible mom because you’ve never heard of any other toddlers refusing to eat.

When your teenager talks back, refuses to clean up their room, and brings home another D you’re afraid that you’ve missed something as a parent, that they might never turn out the way you hoped. That you just don’t have the answers to figure it all out.

It’s that fear and feeling of powerlessness moving beneath the surface that drive your fear. When you realize this, you can shift your anger to compassion. I know… just stick with me here. 

Compassion is needed for you and for this situation. You feel stuck and need help. Feeling angry only distracts you from the answers and delays your progress.

Choose to treat yourself like one of your mom friends and give yourself some good advice and a good dose of understanding that none of us have all the answers. 

10 – What was I doing before I got angry? Could that thing be adding to my stress?

In all fairness to children, they seem to have the worst timing ever! You might have just gotten off the worst 2 hour customer service call to the cable company that made you consider clawing your eyes out and your kids run into the room asking you to judge who’s turn it is to kick the ball next. 

Literally, NOT a good time. In those moments it’s best to take a breath and answer the question quickly so they’ll run off and play or tell them to give you a few minutes. Say this calmly yet firmly because they’re likely to go into beg-mode if you don’t.

Taking a few minutes to breathe and collect yourself will help you better deal with the latest issue at hand without going ballistic. 

In fact, this has happened to me with my husband. He’ll be working in the office and I’ll pop in to ask if he feels like hamburgers or fish for dinner. In response, I’ll get a very sharp answer that doesn’t feel good in the moment. He’ll then come back later and apologize for his tone and explain that he just got off a terrible call or something.

11 – Am I letting love and grace lead my words or my anger and disappointment?

Being angry and/or yelling usually doesn’t help but only adds to the problem, making things worse. We tend to say things we regret, tears start flowing, and we feel guilt the size of Texas. Understanding this in the moment (as hard as that may seem) challenges us to look for a more helpful way to respond.

And we do that by focusing on grace – which is what we ALL need. Grace is our ability to see that we don’t all do it, get it, or say it right all the time. And when we mess up, we want others to give us the grace and love we need.

And when we practice giving grace to our kids when they miss it big time, it teaches them to show grace and kindness to others. This is a lost art in our society and showing grace to our children is a key ingredient in raising kind humans. 

4 Habits to Guard Your Family From a Life of Complacency

How to guard your family from complacency

Let’s face it, our world is a little crazy – too busy, too loud, and too connected. Now more than ever! Most of us are bombarded with stressful “opportunities” every single day whether we like it or not. We’re all going, going, going; and need somewhere safe to just stop.

And our home (our family) is supposed to be that place. Our place to quiet our minds, rest our bodies, re-energize, and connect with those we really care about.

How to guard your family from complacency

But with divorce rates over half, the home isn’t always what it was intended to be. Many spouses are working late as an excuse to avoid the fight waiting at home. And kids are picking up more activities after school to escape all the tension… just a little longer.

For many families, the home has become an all-out war zone. But it doesn’t have to be that way. And the truth is, we’re all just a few bad decisions away from it ourselves.

Why is Complacency is Bad Thing?

Complacency is dangerous for families because of its subtle nature. It seems harmless.

It’s definition even sounds innocent enough: a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like.

When we’re complacent, we step into a zone of vulnerability. And I don’t mean the good kind of vulnerability where we allow ourselves to be opened up to new experiences and share our inner secrets with the outside world. Not the Daring Greatly kind of vulnerability!

I’m talking about the vulnerability that a war general would see as a weakness or an open spot for the enemy to come trooping in and attack.

Complacency is simply the feeling that it’s all good in my house. Or there’s no problem in my marriage. Or I have a great relationship with my kids.

It’s not that we should run around alarmed or looking for an attack, but we shouldn’t be passive either.

Yes, it might be “all good” but that doesn’t mean we get to just recline in our quiet pleasure with our hands crossed behind our heads and our hat resting over our faces.

Anything worth having is worth working for. And our family is worth working for.

What do I mean by “working for?”

It means to be actively and continuously looking for ways to be intentional about the relationships in your home. It’s just too easy to let them slip into average.

Related: 2 Strong Enemies of a Healthy Marriage

Complacency Leads to Discontentment

I know this from experiencing it myself. My husband and I have been married for 14 years and dated for almost 5 years before that. We started our relationship as young best friends and haven’t been apart from each other for more than 2 weeks collectively over all that time!

We’ve always been extremely close – still are. But as we grew together and after our first two children, I began to become complacent in my marriage. Simply put, I took my marriage for granted. I was lounging in my quiet pleasure and security.

Though my husband wanted to do more together – without the kids – I didn’t think it was that deep. After all, we had a great relationship. It’s not like we were “working” on anything. Know what I mean?

But over the years, the complacency transformed into discontentment. And I wasn’t as excited about #TeamUs anymore. I wasn’t where he was.

After praying about it, God showed me that we both contributed to this point in our lives by not making the happiness and joy in our marriage a priority. Honestly, we didn’t think we had to. We thought we were just “that good.”

But none of us are. Joy comes as a result of consistent and intentional actions. Isn’t your marriage worth it? I know mine is. And I’m so grateful that we saw our fault and were able to fix it are still working on it. We should never stop working. We never get “fixed”.

Having intentional happiness in your family isn’t necessarily hard work. But it is work. And it’s so worth it. After all, you love each other, right?!?

But you as a team, have to decide to go for the big guns and not settle for the average home life… Let’s live a higher quality of life!

Related: How to Reverse the 4 Mindsets that are Stealing Your Enjoyable Life

Here are 4 easy habits for you and your family to implement that’ll help exchange the complacency for happiness, joy, and peace in your marriage and your relationship with your kids. Don’t ever settle for average again:

Habit #1:  Have “eyes only on you” time with each member of your family – every day.

Tricia Goyer shared this from her book Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom. It was so simple yet profound. But it does require endurance on your part. And it’s an investment of your time, depending on how many children you have! Yet, it’s time well spent.

If your spouse and your children each have your undivided “eyes only” attention each day, it sends a powerful message to them – YOU Matter. And there’s no revelation more powerful than that. Start out small with 10 minutes for each person, each day. And then work your way up as you develop discipline in this habit.

Related: 9 Things Your Kid Wishes You’d Do But Doesn’t Know How to Tell You

Habit #2:  Designate “unplugged” time for your family as a whole.

I know my family is guilty of being too plugged-in. But making deliberate time to look up from the screen and actually see each other is precious time spent. I’m not a fan of telling people how to spend their unplugged time because every family is unique and flows differently. But here’s a few suggestions:

  • Take a walk together after dinner – or even in the morning. Great for the lazy summer.
  • Have family reading time. You can all read your own books or read one aloud as a group.
  • Eat dinner together. This is a popular one but doesn’t always work for every family.
  • Play games. And this one, I’ll make an exception on the electronics. Game systems today are a great way to bring everyone together, as long as you’re all playing one game together.
  • Do a daily family devotion time.
  • Put a giant puzzle together.
  • Do a project together. This one is excellent for developing leadership skills in your kids.

Related: 2 Fool-Proof Strategies to Create More Joy in Your Home

Habit #3:  Have an Open Door/No Freak Out policy.

This is so important at every age and stage with your children and even your spouse. They need to know that no matter what they bring to you… you can handle it.

I remember my mom being somewhat of a “Freak Out” mom, whenever I told her shocking things.  Ummm, it’s probably because they were shocking… but moving right along.

I honestly, held back way more than I should have because I was afraid of her response.

We always want our children to come to us first with any and everything they’re dealing with. Don’t open the back door exit for them to go out and get advice from God knows who. You also want the opportunity to give wisdom to your child the way you want them to receive it.

So keep a pillow close by and when the conversation’s over, slam it over your face and go to town with a good scream, cry, or even a laugh! Just don’t let them hear you.

And you may be asking yourself how this applies to getting rid of complacency in your family. It’s simply creating an environment of safe and open communication that gets the conversation going – which is what’s lacking in today’s families. And as a parent, your older child and teenager will bring things to your attention that you’ll be thanking God they did because in the hands of another person, who knows where that conversation can lead if left in the hands of another kid. Plus, all this conversation is sure to keep you on your toes!

If you find yourself in a moment of conflict ask yourself these 21 questions before letting the conflict grow!

Habit #4:  Plan family vacations or stay-cations throughout the year.

We all have to manage a budget, so some of us can realistically afford only one vacation a year – if that. But regular time off throughout the year is vital for our health and our family’s. So if you can’t vacate, just stay-cate!

This is super easy with younger children because it doesn’t take much for them to get excited. My husband and I love the surprise approach. We just choose different activities like going to the beach, pool, park, movies, party, and don’t tell them until they get there.

Well actually, it’s a little hard to surprise them with the beach (bathing suits), but you get the point. They usually see where we pull into and start cheering as we get closer. I think it’s more fun for us than the kids.

Related: 19 Ingenious Ways to Save Money on Family Vacations and Entertainment

But when you have older kids and teenagers, I would suggest collaboration on the planning. They want to feel heard and appreciated. Let them brainstorm for ideas on how to spend your time off. You can even let them go online to research what’s going on in your city. Whatever you and your family choose will be great as long as everyone stays committed and connected throughout.

These are just some ways for you and your family to stay closely connected and avoid the subtle trap of complacency. In what ways have you fallen into the trap of complacency? How did you overcome it? Share your methods for keeping your family connected! Leave a comment below and share this post!

Related: 51 Ways to be a Fun Mom Even When You’re Stressed and Tired

Complacency is more dangerous to families than you may think! These simple habits will help you create more joy and connections in your family relationships today. #kidsandparenting #parenting #kids #family #homeComplacency is very subtle and is an enemy to your happy family. Learn how to effectively and easily guard your family from it! #kidsandparenting #familylife #parenting #momlife #kids

2 Fool-Proof Habits to Create More Joy in Your Home Today

2 Foolproof habits that create more joy in your home

Is joy flowing in your life and home on a regular basis? Or is frustration, conflict, or a general moodiness setting the tone in your home?

Joy is that elusive thing that we all want more of but don’t always understand how to walk-in outside of those happy, good-news moments in our life. But what if I told you that we don’t have to wait on the good stuff in life to make us happy?

2 Foolproof habits that create more joy in your home

That we could learn how to experience more joy on a daily basis regardless of what’s going on in our life. And not just experience it – but create more of it by practicing 2 seriously fool-proof habits.

Wouldn’t it be nice to “turn on” joy as we go about our day? Wouldn’t it be nice to teach joy to our children and practice in our families? That would lead to a better atmosphere at home, for sure. Don’t you think?

Joy is our strength.

And I don’t know about you, but I get overwhelmed and feel like quitting sometimes. I know now that it’s joy that helps me overcome tough seasons, and actually works like a hand that literally picks me up off the floor.

What? You’ve never dropped to the floor in an outright break-down during a tough moment? Guilty!

And I’ve learned that joy makes getting up and getting through, a whole lot easier.

And let me tell you something. Joy never came easy for me and is still an area that I need to watch on a daily basis. I have a tendency to get really intense and focused – with joy running behind like my 2 year old trying to catch up.

Habit # 1 – Choose Joy Over …

Joy isn’t the same as happiness. Happiness comes rushing in after positive and pleasurable circumstances. Like when you get a promotion or you get an unexpected check in the mail. That good feeling comes automatically without any thought.

But what happens when nothing good seems to be happening? When you’re experiencing what I like to call a valley-season where you feel vulnerable and exposed to the harsh elements of life; and all you can see is how far you’ve got to climb.

We all experience these valley-seasons and while they’re the right environment for us to grow and get stronger – they simply don’t feel good. What do we do then? How do we get out of the funk?

We make a decision. A decision to practice joy. That’s right you can practice joy because it doesn’t function like happiness. It’s not based on outward circumstances. Joy is a decision. You can choose joy over the disappointment, frustration, and negative thinking.

Related: How to Reverse the 4 Mindsets that are Stealing Your Enjoyable Life

Now, I totally get that in the midst of bad news, feelings of joy can seem nowhere in sight. And the thought of “doing” anything that produces positive feelings usually isn’t our go-to reaction. That’s because sulking or having an inner (or outward) tantrum feels good to our senses. We just need time to be in the moment.

Joy is a Decision

But if we get really honest with ourselves, we know that letting our emotions just run wild isn’t good for us. We know that when our toddler gets mad and proceeds to demonstrate his displeasure in the moment by screaming and hurling his toy across the room; we disapprove and quickly correct the behavior.

But when we are having our own tantrum – we all too often just “go with it.” There’s just one problem. A toddler’s memory of why he was mad in the first place is gone as quickly as it came. We, on the other hand, can hold onto negative feelings and emotions for hours, days, weeks, and even years in some cases.

So learning how to stop them in their tracks before they take hold is essential to cultivating joy in our family. Being about to call on, better yet maintain, joy through all our circumstances will serve us well. And teaching our children to do the same is one of the greatest gifts we can give them.

So, how to we do it? By trusting that hard times don’t last forever. That you’re not merely figuring out your life on your own. When we truly surrender, we can trust that Jesus is already working everything out for your good. And this problem won’t last forever.

Related: 4 Surprising Signs You’re a Burnt Out Mom and How to Get Out

Take Action

Just because it doesn’t look or feel like it at the moment, you can send a message from your heart to your head that it’s going to be alright. How do you do that? By doing what you would do if you had your desired result standing right in front of you.

No, I’m not saying you should run around faking it. I’m saying that we need to apply some faith to our situations. Which means that you believe you already have what you’re believing to happen. And if you believe it – then your actions will line up with your belief.

When you see a chair, you usually just sit down without thinking about it. That’s because you believe it’s going to support you. Your belief, or faith, lined up with your action of sitting down in the chair. If you saw the chair and didn’t think it was going to support you; your action would be to stay standing.

If we believe that our situation won’t stay like this forever and that God’s love for us is never changing – we’ll act in accordance with that belief. Now, some problems are more “weighty” than others, and we’ll need to remind ourselves of what we believe frequently.

Related: The Power and Purpose of Practicing a Regular Quiet Time Routine

Habit #2 – Freely Give Grace

Another way to create more joy in our families is to extend grace to our self as well as our spouse and kids. When we extend grace, we’re sending the message that mistakes are OK. We all make them and it doesn’t have to be the end of the world.

This doesn’t mean we disregard actions that need to be corrected, redirected, or punished. But grace helps us to deal with the action and still nurture the heart of the person.

How many times have you messed up and had a really hard time forgiving yourself? I know I have. But I’ve learned that if I can’t give myself permission to be human, then I won’t be able to do that for my family either. And when we’re all running around passing blame – joy gets trampled on.

Related: 21 Questions to Ask Yourself When Conflict Rises in Your Home

3 ways we can easily apply grace in our family

Giving grace isn’t always easy, but it is extremely effective in creating a happier home life. And I’ll add that’s it’s necessary.

We ALL need grace.

The following are 3 ways you can apply grace in your family.

Affirm more than we criticize or correct.

As parents and/or spouses, when we only open our mouths to points out how the bath towels didn’t get hung up, the beds didn’t get made,  how the socks are still laying on the floor beside the bed, and the only grade you mention in your child’s school folder is the one that fell below the others – that’s a BIG problem.

And it’s a major point of growth for me. And one that I need to constantly stay on top of when it comes to my kids and even sometimes my husband. I have a tendency to “point out” what’s not working right or not being done.

I’m learning how to affirm and encourage more which actually helps to motivate everyone in my house to do the things I told them to do in the first place! That’s because affirmation is a way more powerful leadership tool than criticism; which ends up wearing them down instead. With affirmation, your family will be built up emotionally and will enjoy their lives more.

Related: How to Speak Life and Encourage Your Children to Be Their Best

Eliminate the pursuit of perfection

When we expect perfection from ourselves and our children, we’re setting our family up for failure. That’s because perfection is an illusion that can’t be realized. It’s a chase that you’ll never catch up to.

And in the process, you’ll cause yourself and your children to feel like you can never measure up to unrealistic expectations. This ultimately leads to the regression of motivation due to the fear of making a mistake and “not being perfect.” And as Winston Churchill said, “perfection is the enemy of progress.” And oh so true are those words.

Related: Confessions of a Control Freak and How I Found Freedom in Letting Go

Choose to see the best in the person and the situation

In other words, giving the other person the benefit of the doubt. This is wisdom for EVERYONE but is especially helpful between spouses and siblings.

It’s amazing how I absolutely trust my husband’s love for me and know he’s never trying to hurt me. But in the midst of a heated discussion, I somehow become blind to that understanding and can feel like he’s out to get me.

It’s the same way with my girls. My youngest daughter is one of the sweetest people I know. She’s just naturally bent toward compassion. And her older sister is well aware of her sister’s pleasant nature. But when she notices that something of her’s is missing, for example, she can launch an all-out war to get it back. All the while, completely ignoring her sister’s good character.

After all, isn’t this what we want others to do for us? When something seems to look or sound bad we want others to give us the benefit of the doubt before passing judgment. And when we put this into practice in our family, it is sure to grow more joy in your home.

Related: How to Get Your Kids to Listen Without Yelling

Finally, Make Joy Permanent

I want to encourage you that these habits can take time to develop in yourself and your children. So, try creative and fun ways to remember them as a family. To get you started, you can have your kids decorate a small poster board with the 2 habits and post it on the refrigerator for the family to see throughout the day.

I also recommend having personal reflection time to write and keep track of those habits you want to shape and develop in your life and family. You may practice a regular quiet time routine like I do.

Or you may write in a journal. Either way, I find when we make time for creating habits, they’re more likely to stick! If you’re looking to make cultivating joy a priority, try journaling your transformation.

But most importantly, be intentional about implementing these habits into your daily family life and make a BIG deal when you see them in action!

Do you have any habits that you practice to cultivate joy in your family? Please leave a comment and share with us so we can learn from you, too. What do you think about these habits? Do you think your children will respond to them?

The home is where joy is suppose to flourish. These 2 super simple habits will help you create a home filled with joy. #parenting #kidsandparenting #momadvice #home #homelife

The Tired Mom’s Guide to Living and Parenting with More Joy

How to live and parent with more joy

Are you truly enjoying your life? Notice, I said LIFE – as in its ENTIRETY. Not simply the occasional summer vacation or other random, happy moment in your life.

Do you justify putting off fully enjoying your life for a “good” reason? Um… maybe after the kids get older?

The truth is, there’s no good reason to delay your joy. To put it off for a more appropriate time. The right time is NOW!

How to live and parent with more joy

I’m not talking about turning into one of those super happy-go-lucky people. You know, those people who never seem to have a bad day. I mean, that’s not a bad thing… but some of us just aren’t wired that way. And that’s OK too!

Some days I wish I could be like that but I’m not. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t learned how to capture the good moments on purpose and not delay really living my life for a “better” time.

There’s a phrase I know you’ve heard – Y.O.L.O. (You Only Live Once). Though this phrase seems an attempt to justify questionable behavior – I totally get the sentiment.

Enjoy your life to the full and don’t wait to do it because you only get one chance.

This is true. I mean, we only get one shot down here on this earth until we move on, so we should do our best to live it well.

Right?

So, why do we find ourselves living a good life but stopping there?

Why do we plan to do the things we really want…

when I …

when they …

when we …?

Related: 51 Easy Ways to be a Fun Mom Even When Your Tired

Stop Putting Off Your Enjoyable Life

Why do we find it so hard sometimes to be spontaneous and just not know what’s coming next? Not having access to life’s map and all the details is hard. And I think it’s human nature, at least for most of us.

Every time we get in the car, my kids always want to know where we’re going, whose’s coming, and what we’ll be doing. And even though I think pretty much the same way; when they do it to me it’s no less annoying. I’m always telling them to relax and enjoy the ride.

I believe that’s what God is whispering to us. Just enjoy the ride of this life. Rest your head on your headrest and stare out the window as His beauty flies past your window. Soak it in. Go with the flow. Don’t wonder where you’re going, but be excited about the ride there.

I’ve learned along the way that my enjoyment is just as important as the work I do each day. Who is it important to? Me, my spouse, my children, my friends, my church, my community, and to God who sent His Son to give me this enjoyable life.

Related: Confessions of a Control Freak and How I Found Freedom

Happy is an Emotion – Joy is a Choice

The actual word enjoy clearly lays out its purpose. The prefix en means to be “in” the cause, place, or state named; confined in.

So enjoy really means to be confined inside of joy. Imagine being confined, sealed off, and protected by joy. Soak that in for a second.

Joy means the passion or emotion excited by the acquisition or expectation of good; that excitement of pleasurable feelings which is caused by success, good fortune, the gratification of desire or some good possessed; or by a rational prospect of possessing what we love or desire; gladness; the exhilaration of spirits. Happiness; felicity.

I don’t know about you, but I like the idea of being confined in that. Everyday.

But let’s be clear about something – joy isn’t an emotion. It’s a choice and a deeply personal belief that we’re not alone in this life and God is working all the mundane, the crazy, and the just plain disappointing stuff out for our good.

Happiness and joy get mixed up a lot, unfortunately. Happy is an emotion totally dependent on your circumstances. And I’ve lived long enough to know that circumstance we can’t control shouldn’t be the drivers of how much we’re able to enjoy this life.

Life throws a lot of curve balls and joy gives us the ability to tap into the power of experiencing an enjoyable life… no matter what it looks like!

There are also clear mindsets we can adopt that will outright rob you of your enjoyable life! So, to help you actually claim joy for yourself, here are 4 mindsets that are probably stealing your joy right now.

As you read these, allow your heart to be softened to getting and staying free once and for all.

Related: The Truth About Mom Guilt and 4 Steps to Get Rid of it Forever

Mindset #1: Waiting for the Perfect Time

This mindset is probably the most common and far-reaching one. The mentality is simple, “I want to do ____ but” or,  “it’ll be better if I wait until ____”

Many single people wait to travel until they have their future spouse to travel with. Little do they know, their spouse may not be waiting for them in their hometown – but in that land, they’re waiting to see.

Many couples wait for more comfortable finances before they start having children. Little do they know, a business or career opportunity could be waiting to be birthed as a result of being a parent.

The point is, to stop waiting until you move into your dream house before you update your furniture. Stop waiting until you have your own backyard before you go outside to play with your kids. Stop waiting until you feel more comfortable before you start pursuing that dream.

Your joy comes when you do those things you desire – NOW. Many people never got the chance to live their dream because they sat waiting for perfection to come and pick them up. But perfection is always a no-show.

She’ll always leave you sitting sadly on the porch with your suitcase in hand. You don’t need to wait to be picked up anyway. You just need to get up, grab your suitcase and start moving – TODAY.

Related: Present Parenting: Simple Ways to be a More Present Parent Today

Mindset #2: Needing to Control Everything

I am a recovering control freak. My husband might actually take issue with the “recovering” part. But I’m certainly better than where I was!

I’ve learned that control is rooted in fear and from that control sprouts anger, discontentment, and depression. To say the least, control is not good.

This need to control everything and everyone stems from the fear that something’s going to go wrong if we don’t do it our way. We won’t get there on time if we don’t go my way. They won’t be healthy unless they follow my health plan. It won’t get done unless I do it. She won’t get it right unless I teach her.

And all that mindset does is dull the gifts, ability, and drive of your spouse and children. They’ll eventually become resentful of your control and as a result; never have the opportunity to thrive.

A family can’t experience joy if they aren’t allowed to thrive. To thrive means to grow or develop vigorously; to flourish. When we step in to dictate, instruct, and save the day; we rob from them their ability to flourish – to grow vigorously.

And the only way to reverse this mindset is to lay down your crown.

I give you permission to control your decision to not control.

It shows wisdom when we yield to others’ ideas and do it their way. Control has no place in the family. We need to invite collaboration and unity. A democracy instead of a dictatorship.

That’s not to say, you don’t get to be a parent. I’m just talking about the unhealthy compulsion of control. Discipline and boundaries, on the other hand, are necessary components of a family, but that’s another post entirely.

Related: How to Get Your Kids to Listen Without Yelling

Mindset #3: Being a Time Counter vs. a Moment Catcher

This mindset is a type of control but deserves its own category. Think of a time when you had a week off from work or your regular routine. This was vacation time for you and the family. The first day is awesome! You’re letting your hair down as you step foot onto the grounds of Do Whatever You Want Land.

This continues until around day 5 when it suddenly occurs to you that you only have 2 more days left before you have to return to the real world! Your heart starts to beat a little faster and you feel like you’re having a mini panic attack.

And no matter how hard you try, from day 5 until the end, you chunk everything you do into tiny time frames.

Wow, this pool is so nice. Wait! We only have two more hours before the day ends and that means there’s only one day left!

That can go on until the last hour of vacation. This mindset is truly an enemy of your joy because you can’t feel joy while you’re counting the time.

This is a mindset that I’ve always struggled with and the danger of it is really simple – when you count the time, you can’t be present enough to capture the moments.

While you’re swimming in the pool with your kids and allowing your mind to be overtaken with the countdown; you’re missing stuff. The good stuff. And if you’re not careful, this mindset can invade your every day – not just your vacations.

The only way to reverse this mindset is to train yourself to get lost. Not in a physical place – but in the moment you’re in. If you’re putting together a puzzle with your kids, remove all clocks from view and just keep going until it’s done or you and the kids are tired of putting it together.

Related: How to Show Love to Your Children in Their Love Language

Get lost in it and choose to forget what’s next. Pay attention to their faces while they’re trying to fit the wrong pieces in and their excitement when they get one right. Be present to guide them through how to wait for their sister to finish putting in their piece before diving in to put their own.

Smile, laugh, really live.

There is freedom in being present. There is bondage in being torn between your schedule and your moments.

At the end of your life and the end of your children’s lives, there will only be moments. Time won’t matter a bit.

Mindset #4:  Comparison

Comparison always leads to a lack of healthy confidence. You can’t compare a priceless one of a kind painting to anything else. We understand that concept, but don’t understand that each of us is priceless, too. One of a kind creations. We can’t rationally compare ourselves, our lives, or our moments to anyone else’s. But we do – every day.

In order to reverse this mindset, we must learn to see our bodies, our spouses, our kids, our homes, our vacations, and our school routines as unique and made for us and no one else.

The key to joy is keeping your eyes on your own beautiful yard and not letting your eyes wander into your neighbor’s. Sure, there are weeds that pop up from time to time, but those are your weeds. And you work together as a family to rid your yard of them.

But NEVER, ever allow your mind to wander and compare your husband with another woman’s. Or your child with someone else’s. Your family with another family. When we do; their flaws, cracks, blemishes, and imperfections become magnified and eventually repel us.

Related: 2 Strong Enemies of a Strong Marriage

One moment you liked your husband’s quirks, the next you’re annoyed by them. This happens through the seeds of comparison.

Your family isn’t like anyone else’s. And that’s a good thing. It’s through the cracks and imperfections in your family; that God’s light can fully shine through – lighting up the world.

Joy is a decision that is our responsibility to act on and live.

What are some barriers to joy that you’ve experienced and overcome? Leave a comment and let us learn from you!

Joy can be hard to find with life is hard. These positive mindset shifts will help you start living your enjoyable life right now! #personaldevelopmentLiving with joy requires the right mindset in the face of disappointments and challenging seasons. These 4 mindsets will have you living with more joy right now! #joy #personaldevelopment #selfimprovement #faith Learn the simple way to live and parent with more joy today! Yes it is possible! #momadvice #motherhood

As moms, we're great at getting things done, but our joy along the way isn't always a priority. Enjoying your life is just as important as living it. Click the image to learn how to reverse the 4 mindsets that are stealing your enjoyable life.As moms, we're great at getting things done, but our joy along the way isn't always a priority. Enjoying your life is just as important as living it. Living an enjoyable life that's richly satisfying is something we all want, but most of us struggle to actually live out in our day to day lives. That's because there are four powerful mindsets that we tend to see life through, that are actually stealing our ability to live enjoyable lives. But we can reverse them!Experiencing more joy in your life can be hard and you need to first change your mindset. Here's how!

What it Really Means to Love Your Body & How You Can Love Yours Today

How to love your body

How to love your body

Do you love your body the way it is right now? Maybe you’re answering me with the side-eye. But seriously… what does it really mean to love your body? In order to answer the body-love question, we need to talk about what love is.

When you love something, you give it your attention, you care for it, and you want it to be in the best condition possible. If we love our bodies it means we give our body the right attention, we care well for it, and we want it to be in the best condition possible.

It doesn’t mean that when we look in the mirror, we see an image of perfection starring back. That’s not love… it’s admiration.

While you may have goals to achieve a higher level of fitness or lose those baby pounds still hanging on from ten years ago, finally loving your body means to care more about the condition of your body than how you fit in your skinny jeans.

The fact is, we only get one body… and when that one is done working – that’s it. As harsh as that may sound, it’s true. And what’s also true is we often put our physical needs at the absolute bottom of the priority list.

I don’t need to give you the car maintenance analogy here. You’re too smart for that. You know our bodies need preventative care and attention in order to stay in top condition. And we need to fuel up on the best nutrition for our individual bodies – not the kids’ leftover scraps and breakfast bars in the cupboard. Guilty of that one, some days!

We also need to go in for annual check-ups and physicals to be sure there aren’t any problems we’re not aware of. And listen to the built-in warning bells that go off in our bodies when something’s not right.

They tell us when we’re too stressed, too tired, or something more serious is going on. In short, we need to take our health seriously. And yes, that’s all a part of loving our bodies!

Love Your Body Through Good Nutrition

What goes into your body is the fuel it runs on. And if you’re like me, you’ve got a thriving family to take care of, a boat-load of work on my desk to do, and iceberg sized dreams I’m working on revealing to the world; so I don’t have the luxury of running on cheap fuel.

I’m guessing you don’t either!

The buzzword today is “healthy.” Eat healthy. Cook healthy. Live healthy.

The truth is healthy can mean different things to different people. And we need to take the initiative to investigate what’s good for us and our family. And just to be clear, I’m no health expert. But none of us need to be rocket scientists to figure out what is and what isn’t good for us.

I’ll also add that I’m not a huge fan of diets because most diets were created to do for a short season and not built for the long haul. And in some circumstances that may be the right call. But most of the time people pick up outlandish diet plans on their own without the help of their doctor.

They may even lose weight, but end up gaining it all back and then some because they didn’t have a transition plan for the rest of their life.

So in the general sense, I’m a total fan of lifestyle changes. Things that you either add to your life or take away and stick with forever. For example, switching out all white grain products for whole, unprocessed grains is something you can easily do and stick to forever.

You can make the decision to stop drinking sugary drinks like soda. Still working on this one!

If you’re not currently filling your body on a daily basis with wholesome, nourishing foods I urge you to do some research to find an eating plan that works for you. And stick to it!

To get you started here are some basics that anyone can add to their lifestyle every day:
Drinking water. The more the better.
Reducing or eliminating processed foods. Using frozen is oftentimes better than boxes meals, but certainly not in every case.
Adding whole foods like veggies and fruits to every meal. They add fiber and nutrients that your body needs for peak performance. Think premium fuel.
Swapping white, bleached grains for the whole version (brown rice, whole wheat pasta.)
Reducing the added sugar in your diet. But NOT replacing them with artificial sugars either. The real sugar is better than the fake. So, make small changes if needed.

Related: 7 Simple Habits That’ll Yield Big Results in Your Life

Love Your Body Through Exercise

Getting exercise is something you either love or hate. There’s rarely a middle ground with exercise. But one thing we all want is to be “successful” in life and our businesses.

What if I told you most successful people exercise as a priority in their daily routine. There’s totally a close correlation between high productivity and high physical activity.

If you’re on the fence about working out, think of it this way – exercise just may be the key you need to take your life goals to the next level. And you’ll get a rockin’ body in the process!

One of the other FABULOUS benefits of physical activity is the burst of energy that comes with it! And the older I get, the less I care about my Mommy Tummy and the more I crave ENERGY!

And as crazy as it seems, you have to give out energy to get more back in return. But it’s so well worth the time and effort. Studies now show that exercise helps combat depression more effectively than medication – without the side effects!

And there are so many other benefits like helping you actually stay on track with your eating. You just worked really hard and aren’t going to let your kid’s Twinky take you down! Your mind becomes more clear and my brain fog goes away. My energy level soars and I don’t feel like I’m dragging my body around anymore. And of course, your butt gets tighter and everything else with it! I’ll take that!

I don’t think it’s always necessary to have a specific plan or get overly analytic when it comes to exercise. But if you have medical or physical challenges, you should always consult with your doctor before starting any exercise plan.

But overall, if you find something you love or at least enjoy that gets your heart pumping every day – I say go for it! I personally can’t get to the gym at this season in my life, so I exercise in my living room in the evenings with my kiddos and this gives us all something fun to do together.

And the best part is it gets them wiped out for bedtime!

Love Your Body Through Style

Do you feel like a woman every day? I mean, yes you’re a woman. But I’m talking about expressing the woman before the baby weight, throw-up or food stains on your shirt, and yoga pants.

I’m talking about the woman before sneakers, jeans, and t-shirts became your signature look. This is not as much as an issue for moms who work outside the home because obviously you’re required to look presentable for work. Right?

But for those of us who stay or work in the home – I’m talking to you. Everyone always envisions the one day they’ll be able to work from home where they can tromp around in their PJ’s and bunny slippers all day. Though this is great for vacation days, it’s not recommended for everyday use. Sorry to wreck the dream.

Getting up and putting real clothes on in the morning will do wonders for your productivity and overall mindset!

You’re sending signals to your brain that this isn’t the weekend or a vacation day. That there’s real work to be done and it’s important.

I personally wear jeans and a cute yet comfortable top every day. It’s my uniform. I have a collection of flats that are comfortable and stylish that I can slip on instead of athletic sneakers. If you need some amazing style inspiration for real mom life, check out GetYourPrettyOn!

I’m always dressed in a way that allows me to be ready for anything. If the mailman rings the doorbell I don’t need to run and hide. If the school calls and I need to run to pick up my child, if I have a meeting to attend, or if I need to run a quick errand – I’m always ready.

In addition to getting dressed, I also put on makeup and make my hair presentable. Now, I know some of you are naturally gorgeous and don’t wear makeup. That’s awesome for you! Seriously, I’m jealous.

But for me, I need to cover some things up and accentuate others. But to be clear, I don’t spend nearly as much time on my face and hair as I did before kids. I used to flat iron my long hair every day. And I haven’t done that in years. In fact, I’m not sure I ever will. I have a lot of hair!

But the point is, I’m still doing what makes me feel good. And that’s what’s important. If you don’t put on makeup or brush your hair and avoid looking in the mirror – STOP!

If you don’t feel beautiful, that’s a shame. You are beautiful and should feel that way EVERY DAY. For the most part, most of us won’t be walking around feeling like supermodels, but we don’t feel like we’re scaring the children either.

You deserve to feel like a gorgeous woman! And I’ll go further to say you deserve to feel sexy, too! Feeling good isn’t hard – it just requires your permission.

These are small examples of ways you can start loving your body today!

Leave in the comments what you’ve deciding to focus on to give yourself your BEST! This post and the entire series is ALL about caring about yourself.

Remember, you deserve it!

Read The Full Blog Series Below:

Why All Busy Moms Need to be Intentional with a Regular Self Care Routine

Super Easy Ways to Feel More Intentional, Connected & Fulfilled in Your Life

Creative Ways for Moms to Grow in Faith When Life is Overwhelming

The truth about really Loving your body

Simple Ways to Become a More Connected, Intentional & Fulfilled Person

Feeling like you're drifting through life? It's time to stop drifting and learn how to get exactly where you want to be! Start your new journey of intentional and fulfilled living today with these powerful mindsets. #personalgrowth #intentionalliving #growthmindset #personaldevelopment

 

Do you ever feel like you’re drifting in life and going through the motions? Do you feel truly fulfilled and satisfied with where you are in life and in your relationships?

If you don’t feel like you’re in the best place in life, the good news is you how the power to get up and leave that place! I’m not talking about a physical place or a union like your marriage, of course. I’m talking about the state you’re in.

Feeling like you're drifting through life? It's time to stop drifting and learn how to get exactly where you want to be! Start your new journey of intentional and fulfilled living today with these powerful mindsets. #personalgrowth #intentionalliving #growthmindset #personaldevelopment

So for example, if you are frustrated with your marriage, you have the power to change the state of your marriage. I’ll give you some tips on that in a bit! So stay with me.

Way too often we do everyday, ordinary things in our days and somehow expect extraordinary results. Ummm, let me just get this out the way now… that doesn’t exist! 

Everything worth having is worth sacrificing and working for.

I was having a conversation with a very close friend yesterday and she was sharing her successes in her fitness and health routine. She recently experienced a highly stressful few weeks prior and relaxed on her normal routine. As a result, she felt bloated, tired, and extremely foggy. All from a few days off her usual regimen!

While we were talking, I suddenly a light bulb moment!

I realized that yes, it’s a pain in the behind to spend time planning, prepping, and faithfully eating your carefully crafted meal plan. But the proof is in the results. And this applies to every other area of our lives.

Related: 5 Ways to Make Your Dreams a Priority When You’re Overwhelmed With Life

The Key To Being More Intentional

Doing average, ordinary activities will NEVER create the amazing life we really want. Doing mindful, intentional, repetitive and even mundane things every single day is how you get to where you really want to be. 

So what are those things we should be doing?

Only you know the answer to that. Start with your list of things you’ve been wanting to do but find yourself procrastinating. The truth is, you’ll likely still not love doing all the things to need to do to have the life you want.

My friend doesn’t love to diligently plan and prep her meals every single week. But she loves the results! And when she decides that she wants to live a week like all her friends and eat whatever she wants, her body goes into a fit and she pays the price.

The key to being more intentional and purposeful in our lives is to make peace with ourselves that change isn’t easy and it’s a process that lasts as long as we’re on this earth. Once you understand that change requires constant work, adjusting, attention, focus, and diligence… change can finally happen.

Start with the areas in your life that don’t look like you want them to look. Decide what things you need to do to make an impact and start doing them… and don’t stop doing them. And when you finally see results… don’t stop doing them!

Remember, this is a forever thing. As soon as you get your results you may make adjustments to your process, but you’ll never stop working and maintaining your success!

Complacency is a killer of all good things in your life.

Related: 7 Simple Habits That’ll Yield Big Results in Your Life!

How to Feel More Connected

Now, there’s another area that many of us struggle with and that’s feeling connected to other. Connected in a meaningful way in our friendships, marriages, and our families. We need to feel connected with others. And fake social media friendships are eroding this essential need. Telling our Instastory online isn’t the same as sitting across the table from your bestie at Starbucks.

We need to hear a voice on the other line who’s talking to us. Reading blogs and watching inspirational videos on social media is fine, but we need people who are connected to us.

Here are some ways you can nurture your relationship and feel more connected.

Get Connected with Friends

I don’t know about you, but finding the time to set up lunch dates or play dates with the kids is a real struggle. And so often our friends with kids are struggling in the same area, which becomes a recipe for isolation.

Isolation is a breeding ground for depression. You don’t have anyone who can pull you out of your funk. Know what I mean?

We need someone to tell us it’s going to be alright and this will pass. Or that what you’re going through isn’t crazy but totally normal! When all you listen to all day is your critical thoughts playing on auto-repeat it’s hard to feel strong, emotionally speaking.

Being a mom is hard work!

But hearing that it’s OK from another mom in the trenches is sometimes all you need. Once I started having children and working from home… life got lonely.

Over the years I looked up and realized I didn’t have many friendships at all. Life was going on around me and I just felt alone.

If that’s you, reach out and talk to a friend. Even if it’s been a long time. Or, if you don’t have many or any friends, find some mom groups where you can get the kids out and meet some new moms. Don’t be afraid to step out there!

Get Connected with Your Spouse

Your marriage is also a major cornerstone in your life and that relationship needs to be nurtured too.

If you’re a single mom, don’t skip this section. If you desire to be married, apply this wisdom to
your dating relationships and future marriage.

Your spouse is someone you fell in love with and decided to start a life together. But over the years, the passion for one another can fade – if you’re not careful.

If you’re in a good place in your marriage, that’s fantastic. But you need to work to keep it there. That doesn’t mean that every couple needs a weekly date night. Though, some would argue with that.

You do need to make each other a priority. And the single most important priority in your marriage is communication. Talking to each other is essential to staying close and maintaining intimacy.

Related: 4 Habits to Guard Your Family From a Life of Complacency

Get Connected with Your Mind

Outside of nurturing and improving our relationships, we need to nurture and improve our minds. Many of us do that through the love of reading. For me, and so many others, reading is a personal experience. I love books!

I’ve always been a reader since I was a child, but somewhere along the line books became those things I collected but never actually read. I loved the idea of reading a particular book but after an exhausting day, I couldn’t get past one paragraph before I was snoring.

Now, books for me are near and dear to my heart and a very important part of my personal development. I prefer to read non-fiction simply because I get more out of them for the time I spend reading them.

If you love fiction, and they bring you joy then go for it!

I understand though, books are not a love for everyone. Maybe you like listening to podcasts, audiobooks or music that fills you up.

Here’s a post from VerilyMag recommending the best podcasts for women right now. Read it here!

I would also strongly recommend giving yourself a daily reading or listening goal just to keep you on track. Even reading just five pages a day will reap amazing results in your life!

Here are a few of my FAVORITE books!


Related: 12 Habits of Highly Effective Goals Setters for Moms

 

Joy Brings Fulfillment

Outside of becoming more intentional and more connected we also want to feel fulfilled. And part of feeling fulfilled in life is knowing we are doing something that really matters.

This can be a touchy subject for women, especially moms. We spend many of our life seasons taking care of others’ needs and we often end up unsure if the work we’re doing really matters. Or is significant enough.

Let me help you create some peace and balance in your life by asking yourself a few questions:

  • Is my life helping someone who can’t help themselves or needs constant assistance?
  • Is my life being used to provide financially for others?
  • Do I spend regular time considering how I can do more with the time I have?

If you’ve answered yes to any of those questions… you’re right now doing work that matters. Work that should bring you fulfillment!

If you’re a stay-at-home mom who spends all your days changing diapers and managing your home… you’re doing work that matters! And you won’t be doing this work forever. It’s a season – and one that goes by way too fast if you ask me. You’ll have another season where your life will be doing other meaningful things.

me-time isn’t necessarily something you need to schedule every day, but it’s something you need to put on the schedule regularly.

And I’m not talking about the general “me-time” activities like getting your nails done. I believe getting your hair and nails done (if that’s something you choose to do) should be categorized as your regular grooming, not your me-time.

Me-time is something special and unique to you as a person.

It may be gardening in your family’s garden. But if you are simply gardening because it’s time to harvest your monthly veggies but you don’t have any real love for gardening – it’s NOT me-time.

Photography could be a me-time where you go out into nature and take breathtaking photos for a couple of hours uninterrupted.

Me-time is anything that simply brings you joy. It’s not your business or other money-making venture, it’s not something your family relies on, or an activity people are waiting for you to complete.

This is a no pressure activity!

Related: How to Find the Courage to Follow Your Dreams

Do What Brings You Joy!

Something purely for YOU and you alone. I bet if I asked most moms and women in general if they had an activity they love that they did regularly purely for themselves – most would answer a big, fat no.

And I’d add that most probably wouldn’t even know what that thing is off the top of their head! I know what you’re thinking – how can I do something all for me when I can’t even get a babysitter for things my family needs?

All I can do is urge you to realistically put yourself on your calendar. Remember, this isn’t something that needs to happen every day at 6:00.

It’s a date you make with yourself at least on a monthly basis. And if you’re that one who doesn’t even know what you’d do, take time to go back in time. Go back to when you were in your 20’s, a teenager or even younger.

Think about the things you loved to do before all the demand on your time. Rediscover a lost part of yourself and bring it back into now. You never know how much it can add to your life!

What’s your idea of me-time? Share in the comments your favorite way to nurture your emotional needs.

Read the Full Series Here:

Why All Moms Need to be Intentional About a Regular Self Care Routine

What it Really Means to Love Your Body and How to Start Loving Yours Today

Creative Ways for Moms to Grow in Faith When Life is Overwhelming

Feeling like you're drifting through life? It's time to stop drifting and learn how to get exactly where you want to be! Start your new journey of intentional and fulfilled living today with these powerful mindsets. #personalgrowth #intentionalliving #growthmindset #personaldevelopment

become a more connected intentional and fulfilled person

5 Ways to Make Your Dreams a Priority When You’re Overwhelmed With Life

Moms are the masters of multitasking, but what about raising a family, working, and pursuing your dreams? Is there time for it all? Even when it's scary and you're overwhelmed with life, there's still a way to pursue your dreams and still keep your family first.

Moms are the masters of multitasking, but what about raising a family, working, and pursuing your dreams? Is there time for it all? Even when it's scary and you're overwhelmed with life, there's still a way to pursue your dreams and still keep your family first.

What is a dream for a mom? A vacation on a deserted island being served umbrella drinks poolside while drenched in the glorious sun? Umm yes, but that’s more of a fantasy. Sorry.

I’m talking dreams here. You know, those passions, business ideas, and talents we desperately want to put to use. We all have a dream deep inside waiting to come out. The dream of who we were “destined” to be before the demands of life and motherhood came knocking at the door.

Maybe you’ve always dreamed of creating a clothing line, starting a design business, launching a nonprofit that’ll serve your community, writing a book, or starting a blog like this one.

These are real dreams and are tied to our gifts, talents, and our desire to make a difference in people’s lives. My dream has always been to become an author. I used to write mini-books on stapled pieces of notebook paper when I was a kid! Cute huh?

It took me MANY years before I finally found the courage to put my writing out there. I’m talking adulthood. I was too afraid to be vulnerable.

I’m so glad I finally found the courage to let it all out!

I’m now working as a full-time writer. I write for this blog as well as for the companies I’m hired to create content for. I haven’t reached my goal of becoming a published book author… yet! But I’m closer today than I ever was before because I stepped out of my fears and insecurities.

How did I do it?

I first got clear on my vision, did my research to find out what I needed to do to reach my goals, and surrendered those plans to God as I learn to trust Him along the way.

 

Get Clear on Your Vision

The first thing to do before anything else is to firmly grasp your dream. The more you understand it the better. There’s a phrase people love today and that’s Follow Your Bliss. It’s not a bad phrase, it’s just not complete.

Following our bliss means we’re seeking only what we want and what makes us happy. And while that’s also not bad, we should be mindful to consider that we’re part of a bigger plan. One that not only causes us to be fulfilled but also uses us to deliver fulfillment, in some way, to others.

So starting with our passion and what brings us joy is a great place to start. We just need to understand how our passion connects with others outside of ourselves. True Purpose is never selfish. It always connects with others.

Writing it down is not just a good idea – it’s biblical. The Bible tells us to write the vision and make it plain. Basically, get your ideas on paper and don’t be tempted to make the super deep. Keep it simple!

Focus on what you want to accomplish, who you aim to serve, and why you want to do it. If you have those three points established – you’re well on your way!

Take Out the Trash

Sometimes, we need to do some work to remove all the self-limiting beliefs and other garbage that keep us from living our dreams. In fact, I needed a dump truck to take out all my mind-garbage!

Cleaning out the clutter in your mind and heart may be easier or harder depending on where you are. Even if you have your dream all mapped out, you can still find yourself standing in front of your vision terrified.

If that’s you, I say – BE BRAVE. If your dream looks nice, simple, doable, and very manageable – IT’S NOT YOUR DREAM. Or at least, it’s a very watered down version of your dream.

I’m going to lean in for a second, so get ready. Our dreams were never designed for us to fulfill on our own. They were never meant to be easy or simple. They don’t live in a box with a pillow and a comfy blanket to curl up in when we get uncomfortable.

Our dreams (our purpose) was designed to be BIGGER than us, WIDER than our own abilities, and will reach FARTHER than our own influence can take us… if we’re willing to make our dream a partnership with the Creator of the universe. He’s pretty qualified, I promise.

The phrase fear not occurs 63 times in the Bible. And the promise, I am with you is given 35 times. God boldly and lovingly tells us over and over not to be afraid because He’s right there with us.

Why do we need to be told not to be afraid? Because the dreams and visions, the real dreams and visions, that we were given are too big for us to completely understand and carry out on our own. If your dream scares you – good. It’s supposed to!

Related: How to Reverse the 4 Mindsets that are Stealing your Enjoyable Life

Protect & Feed Your Dream

Once you get your vision clear and remove the trash that’s in the way, you must protect and feed your dream. You can keep your vision before your eyes in many ways.

One way is to create a detailed vision board. Most people use vision boards to “bring in” the stuff they want like the house, cars, and lifestyle they desire. This is where the belief that the universe is returning to them what they desire and focus on the most.

This principle is true in the sense that we will bring in whatever we focus on the most. What we bring into our heart is then pumped through our spirit. Those thoughts, ideas, and visions (because we’re focusing diligently on them) become the words we speak and eventually the actions we take.

Whatever we focus on the most – hopes and dreams or problems and stresses – will eventually become our reality. The psychological term for this is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

There’s nothing wrong with creating a vision board of the lifestyle we want, but it would be more
productive to start with your dream first because “it” will lead you to the lifestyle you desire. It’s
not a good idea to look first for the fruit without first planting the seed.

Our purpose creates a harvest for a lifetime. Wanting the harvest from a crop you didn’t plant will cause you to spend your life chasing down more fruit.

Another way to protect your dream is to journal every day. There are so many benefits to journaling daily. I personally find that writing to no one but myself is cathartic and helpful in guiding my thoughts into a productive place.

When I’m overwhelmed or I start hearing that familiar, “this is impossible tune” playing on repeat in my head, writing it out allows me to see my situation from another perspective. I end up refreshed and inspired after writing it out and have a new plan to move forward.

Related: How to Successfully Balance Your Passion and your Family

Carve Out Your Own Space

You just got the run-down on protecting the dream inside of you. That’s all because dreams are vital to your enjoyment and Blogging Pitfalls Infographicfulfillment in this life. Unfortunately, moms going after their dreams can be a hot-button issue.

And in many ways, it should be because, as moms, we have more to be concerned about than ourselves and our own desires. Once we’re blessed with children, the priorities change. And first should ALWAYS come first. That means your marriage too!

This is where the struggle begins, for us dreamers. We’ve been given this beautiful family to love and take care of, and we have this dream inside that’s begging to get out also. So what do we do? Take care of our family or pursue our dreams? My slow answer is this – BOTH.

Your family doesn’t go away and they will always need to come first. And as a mom, you must be sensitive to the current season you’re in, and make adjustments for that. If you decide to put your dream on pause for a season – THAT’S OK! You must follow your heart, and not try to do it ALL at the same time.

But when the time is right, you will need to carve out your own space. Rarely, will 8 hours a day of free time just fall in your lap. Whether you may stay home full time with your baby and small children, work full time outside the home, or work at home as a freelancer for income; you’re short on time. But it’s possible.

When I started this blog, I made the sacrifice to get up every morning at 4:00 am and work for 2 hours before I had to get my older kids up for school. Then when my baby would nap, I’d fit it in there too.

Related: 27 Ways to Pursue Your Passion as a Crazy Busy Mom

Have Faith in the Process

Even if you invest one hour a day in your dream – you’re so much further than those who invest zero! Don’t believe the lie that you can’t do big things with little time. Jesus multiplied the little boy’s small lunch to feed thousands. How much more can he multiply your sacrifice of time!

It won’t be easy but it will be worth it. And I’m not leading you down a path where your children must learn to fend for themselves while mommy “finds herself.” This is a process where you must sacrifice – not them.

I firmly believe, though, that you and your entire family deserve to have a mom who loves everything she does and doesn’t put herself and her dreams on the back burner. Waiting until
your kids are grown and out of your house before you learn who you are is dangerous and no different than waiting until your kids are out of the house before you date your husband.

You’ll be staring across the dinner table trying to connect with a stranger. The same is true for you. Getting to know yourself and honoring your dreams and your purpose is necessary for your growth and fulfillment as a person and a mother. And the more you grow the better wife and mother you’ll be.

Related: Why Every Mom Needs a Regular Quiet Time Routine

What’s your dream? Share in the comments below what you’re excited to commit to today!

 

Moms are the masters of multitasking, but what about raising a family, working, and pursuing your dreams? Is there time for it all? Even when it's scary and you're overwhelmed with life, there's still a way to pursue your dreams and still keep your family first.Do you have dreams and passions just waiting to get out of your heart? Get 5 simple steps to manifest those dreams even when your life is so crazy busy and full with motherhood, raising our family, and financial obligations. It's so simple to get started!Do you have dreams and passions just waiting to get out of your heart? Get 5 simple steps to manifest those dreams even when your life is so crazy busy and full with motherhood, raising our family, and financial obligations. It's so simple to get started!

/>Pursuing your passion and dreams doesn't have to be overwhelming. Follow these 5 steps to start living your dreams today!

 

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