Thursday, January 31, 2013

Desperate Chapters 5 and 6

Once again we are back in the book “Desperate” by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson. I hope that you are enjoying it and maybe becoming a little less desperate everyday. I know that as I read this book I my eyes are being opened to so many things that I can do to help myself become a little less desperate. And I am being convicted in every chapter. There are actually a couple of chapters that I think that I need to concentrate on alone on here instead of 2 chapters a week. But that is coming. Today we are going to talk about chapters 5 and 6 so let's jump in.

Chapter 5

This was and is a very personal chapter for me. I have suffered from depression and slip back in easily. I don't necessarily agree with what Sarah and Sally say. Because depression is very personal and very hard to overcome. And it sometimes takes meds and counseling and not just diving into scripture to overcome that darkness in your life. That being said there are several quotes from this chapter that have really stuck with me.
“Trying to function through our days being down-to-the-bone tired can many any mama feel desperate. I felt like such a failure when I would be so tired that I just wanted to put on a movie for the babes, so I could grab a few more minutes of sleep.” SM (pg 56)

“Life is hard when you are emotionally inside out. No matter how great your circumstances are or how much you love your children...or Jesus, life is hard when you feel the darkness invade your spirit. And you can't just pull your boot straps up, no matter how cute they are.” SM (pg57)

These two quotes definitely show how I feel. A lot. And it is hard. But Psalm 27:1 says “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread?”
And reminding yourself of this is even harder when you are in the depths of depression but it really does help. (Along with some meds) And personally I don't think that people who have no clue about what depression feels like or does to you should ever tell you how to handle it (not the authors of this book). And since I could really go off on a tangent about how I feel about it all I am going to move on to chapter 6.

Chapter 6

I am an only child. My mom pretty much did everything for me because I was her “miracle baby”. I did know how to do laundry when I moved out and how to cook a few things. But housecleaning has never been my strong suit. It is my moms just not mine. She really never made me do it. There is a quote on page 68 that really strikes me and sticks with me in housecleaning, mothering, and losing weight. Sarah Mae says “Lack of discipline and a lack of training go together. In order to be trained in something, you must be disciplined.” Doesn't that make a lot of sense. And it really does work for me. I am using that quote for everything right now. My house is never completely clean. And I do mean never. The cleanest my new house will be is in a couple of weeks the day before we move in when I go to vacumn, mop, and paint. I never expect it to be spotless again. And that does not bother me. Because there are more important things that a spotless house. Like my four children. A mess is okay. Not a huge mess. I don't mean a filthy house. I mean a if the dishes didn't get washed today that is okay but don't leave them there for a week. If your child wants you to read to him then do it. Don't worry about there still being toys in the living room when you go to bed. “Clean as [you] go” (SC pg 74). Family is more important then a clean house. But there are also children in your house that have to be responsible adults one day so give them chores. Let them help you get the house clean. If you can make it a game. Get everyone involved and it will go a lot faster and a lot smoother. Look at James 1:5 and Hebrews 12:1-2. Turn there for wisdom and training. Turn to older women in your church and ask for their wisdom to help guide you. Use your resources.

Monday, January 28, 2013

God Sized Dreams- Taking Postitive Steps

This week our Dream Team is blogging about a positive step we have taken in our lives. So here goes. I have them in categories.
In my personal life-
Marrying John, having 4 boys, quitting my job to be a stay at home mom, focusing on growing my relationship with God and not so much on keeping up appearences.

Toward my dream of encouraging others-
Quitting my job to be a stay at home mom therefore having more time to devote to my blog and starting a new blog all for you!

That was my positive step.

(This post is very short because I am currently sitting in a hotel while out of town for my grandfather-in-law's funeral on Tuesday. So I am writing this Sunday night before going to bed.)

"The Do What You Can Plan" Week 3

This is the last week of our study on “The Do What You Can Plan” by Holley Gerth. I am actually writing this in my truck heading out of state to my grandfather-in-laws funeral. But I did not want to skip any posts so I am going to try and make sure that my normal schedule continues because I know that I missed last Fridays scheduled posts. SO here goes. This is our last week. How are you doing? Are you reaching your goals? Are you making progress? Let's see what this week has in store for us.

Day 15- Don't worry about getting it wrong.
“Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails.”- Proverbs 19:21

We learn from our mistakes. We grow from that learning. You might not get it right on the first try but that is okay because that means that you can make it better next time. Let's use cooking as an example. You get a new recipe and you are excited to try it out. And the first time you make it, it isn't that great. SO what do you do? Do you throw out the recipe and forget about it or do you try again? For me it depends on whether it was a complete failure because my family didn't like it or was it because maybe I did something wrong. If it was the latter then I am going to try again. Tweak it to fit what works for us. That is actually how I can up with my Taco Pie recipe. Trail and error for what worked for us as a family. Learn from any mistakes that you make. Let them go and move past it. Mistakes are there to help you grow.

Day 16- Stop being hard on yourself
“My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”- Matthew 11:30

Stop beating yourself up. Are your plans aren't going according to your plans realize that they are going according to God's plan. He may have slowed you down for a reason. Give it time. Breathe! Let those mistakes and hold ups build you up and make your dreams better.

Day 17- Get rid of what doesn't work for you
“David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to the. “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off.”- 1 Samuel 17:39

Ok, have you ever set up furniture in a room based on what you thought in your mind will work and it be all wrong? Too many pictures on the walls or to many knick- knacks on the shelves. So you rearrange and take down the “extra” until it actually works in the room. That is what you have to do with the path to achieving your dream. Say your dream is to write a book and your writing area is a cluttered corner of a room with 5 kids running and screaming around you with the TV blaring in the background, and you are getting nothing written because of all the distractions. Try moving a small table into the corner of your bedroom and shutting the door to write or going to a local coffee shop and writing there with no distractions. Figure out what is holding you back and change it or get rid of it. No you can't get rid of your kids until the book is finished or your spouse for that matter.

Day 18- Remember Everyone has Bad Days
“He knows for we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.”- Psalm 103: 14

Self explainatory. Let yourself have bad days. You are not alone. Just don't dwell in them. Shake it off and move on from that bad day.

Day 19- Resist the Urge to Throw a Pity Party
“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 3:13-14

We all do it. Misery loves company so when we are in a bad mood we want someone else to sympathize with us. So we tell everyone. I am guilty of it. For years I have used my personal blog as a platform to whine, vent, or whatever you want to call it whenever I wanted. Because I really didn't have anyone to talk to when I needed to vent and so I just blogged. Now (mainly because my husband started reading my blog and I realized that most of the time I was insulting him and that was not going to work) I actually have a handwritten journal that I do that in. And it works because I can type a whole lot faster than I write so by the time I actually handwrite it out I am not as mad. So I don't invite others over to my pity party anymore. I don't discourage others with my negativity. Try and stay positive. Have that buddy that you can go to when you need to but remember that in the end God is in control so just hand it over to him and try to cheer up and be positive.

Day 20- Know What's next for You
“You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Break camp and advance into the hill country...Go in and take possession of the land that the Lord swore he would give to your fathers- to Abraham, Issac, and Jacob- and to their descendants after them.”- Deuteronomy 1:6-8

By now, I hope, that your dream/ goal is defined more than just an idea. So do you know where you are going to take it next? Do you have a plan? This might actually go past just day 20. Make a plan. Know your path.

Day 21- Keep On Keepin' On
“Surely I am with you always.” -Matthew 28:20

Ok gals! This is it! You made it! You are at the end of the study. Now keep going. Don't just stop because you finished the book and the srudy. Keep working hard and don't give up. I pray that you have seen God working in your life through this book and these past 3 weeks. I pray that you keep working hard on your dreams and that they come true. Keep it up!!!!


***Thank you so much for joining me in this study! I hope that you have been blessed as well. ****


**I received “The Do What You Can Plan” in exchange for my review (done at the first of the month). All opinions expressed in the review and also in the study of the book are my own.*****

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Getting Organized in 2013

I fear that this will be a VERY short lived series as I am not doing that well in organizing anything in my home except a home management notebook and minimally my cabinets and fridge. However this week we are going  to talk about packing for a trip. Why you may ask. Because I will be packing my 8 year old son for a trip to Tennessee with his grandfather today. I am a list person. When we start talking about going on a trip I start making lists. There is the packing list for clothes for each person, the list for what we need from the bathroom, and the list for everything else we need. Then there are the To Do lists that come with everyday leading up to the trip so that it doesn't all just get dumped in a bag. And I've been known to unpack and repack to make it all fit better. But remember, we are a family of 6 and I hate having to go to the store for anything we may have forgotten. So here is my list for my 1 child this weekend- Friday through Sunday.

Clothes-
3 pairs of jeans
6 shirts (layering)
1 pair of pajamas
4 pairs of underwear
4 pairs of socks
tennis shoes
coat and hat

Bathroom-
Soap/ shampoo
Toothbrush/ toothpaste
comb
flossers

Other-
DSi/ charger/ games (in the case)
2 books
notebook and pencil
Pillow and blanket for the truck

And what do I hope to actually come home from this trip-
At least one full outfit
toothbrush
DSi and accessories
books.
extra money

I know my child and at least half of what I pack will be left at his great grandparents house. Which is fine because I will just get it when we go up in a couple of weeks. So if that is my list for one child going up there, can you imagine my list for when 6 of us go? Every child has an outfit for each day plus an extra one. Same for me and John. All the bathroom stuff plus my makeup and blowdryer/ hair stuff, and the other list is about 2 pages long. But I rarely forget to pack anything. Except when we have to go in a hurry. Then I forget stuff because I don't have time to make the lists. How do you pack? What works for you?

***Update- This above list turned into everyone in the family but our 2 year old. My husband's grandfather died as I was packing my son so I had to multiply all this times 5 plus funeral clothes. Lists are VERY good things.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

"Desperate" Chapter 3 and 4

I hope that you have your book and that you are reading along or ahead. And I hope that this book is blessing you as much as it has blessed me. So we are covering chapters 3 and 4 this week. And I am really glad that we are doing these two chapters together because I don't think that I would have been able to seperate them. They both cover descipline, formulas, and training your children.

Chapter 3-

I have read a lot of parenting books. And I have tried a lot of different parenting/ discipline methods. And I have an incredibly stubborn child that none of it has worked with. I mean NONE of it. Including loving him and talking everything through to spanking him and time outs. Every book that a doctor or a friend has recommended I have read and tried the methods that they talked about. I have a great blend of all of them that works well with my three other children. But not this one. He just doesn't seem to care. My feelings of desperation come from this child. My feelings of failure come from this child. When he wants to be is the best child. He is loving, smart, well mannered, the perfect child. But that is only about 10% of the time. The other 90% is spent having tantrums, talking back, hitting, fighting, sulking, refusing to do anything that he is asked, etc. And I don't know what to do. There is no training manual with this child. You never know what is going to set him off. I am at my wits end. So reading this chapter about training your children was important to me. Not for a method but because of the multiple messages all through it. And I just can't help it- I am going to include A LOT of quotes from this chapter. So here goes:
-”Formulas don't create guilt, but failing to get the desired results from following the formulas most certainly can lead to horrible feelings of inadequacy and guilt...”- SM (page 28)
-”The only formula I want my children to tuck deep into their hearts is this: God has weaved each hof us uniquely, and we are wonderfully made in his image. We have sin-tattered hearts, but Jesus mends them when we lean into Him and trust Him with our lives. There's the formula. Give Him the bad, and He'll give you the beautiful.”- SM (pg 29)
-”Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him” Psalm 103:13
“But we've got to know that, ultimately, the most important thing is laying our children at the foot of the cross and praying that Jesus will call them to Him......So pray for your children and show them Jesus.”- SM (pg 31)
-“I believe that there is no “one right way”. God calls each of us to seek Him, to look for his wisdom and to follow where He calls us by faith, and it will be a different story for each family, marriage, and individual mom or dad. To walk that uncertain line, we must trust that God will be faithful to lead and guide us.”- SC (pg 35)
-”It is vitally important for women to learn how to think biblically for themselves instead of being enslaved to other people's thoughts and opinions. To follow God with everything in our lives, we must learn to develop discernment.”- SC (pg 35)
- “A mom is exactly the person that her children need; God created it to be that way!” SC (pg 36)
-”He will be with us. “The fear of man brings a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted” (Proverbs 29:25) SC (pg 36)
-”God has made each couple with the freedom to create their own family culture. The sooner you decide to embrace your own values, preferences, strength, and weaknesses, the more you will become who God made you and your husband to be.”- SC (pg 37)

Sarah Mae also has 4 “tips” for the “out of the box or stubborn child” on pages 30 and 31:
  1. “Love them”
  2. “Give them words of affirmation.”
  3. “Consider several didderent discipline techniques. Each child responds differently to methods of discipline, and it's important that you study your child and figure out what works with him or her”
    4. “Remember that you have a bent toward sin just as your little ones do.”

Your turn:
Hebrews 7:19- “(For the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.”


Chapter 4-
This chapter is a continuation of chapter 3. More about child training. And I am going to just jump in with the quotes that spoke to me.

“If you expect perfection, you are bound to become angry more often, with yourself and with your children. Children do not thrive with authoritarian, perfectionistic parenting, because they can never live up to perfection, and neither can you. If you want them to know the real message of Jesus, then you need to live out His life of gracious, forgiving love while becoming more mature in His ideals as you grow.”- SC (pg 40)

“...our children struggle just like we do. They have to fight the ugly in themselves, and it's no fun for any of us. They are operating our of what they know, and it's our job to civilize them....This means we need to offer them loads of grace and affirmation, so that they can be confident that we get it and we are on their team.”- SM (pg 42)

“He understands that without God he has an ugly heart, but with God he has a beautiful heart.”- SM (pg 43)

“We are all just a work in progress.”- SM (pg 44)

“I believe that if moms understand how strategic their roles were in this battle for the hearts and minds of the next generation, they would grow in excitement about this great job God created them to fulfill.”- SC (pg 45)

“Just as we are lost without Him, and in His mercy He saved us and granted us redemption, when we are lost as mothers, he wants to empower our lives and fill our homes with His presence. He desires to give us the strength to bring life into our homes and redeem them. God is a God of grace, and I have seen that he has done more than my works could ever accomplish. He has wrought miracles in the lives of my children.” -SC (pg 47)

“We cannot be sucessful as moms alone, no matter how hard we try. But God with us is more than enough to build a wonderful legacy and influence.” -SC (pg 47-48)

“Getting angry and upset for children being selfish and demanding creates stress and havoc in the mind, emotions, and body of a woman. Prepare yourself for the battle and accept the limitations of your husband, children, and home- and of yourself. And then determine that you will, in time, subdue your home, overcome the fight for the hearts of your children, and find God's joy and blessing through your obedience.”- SC (pg 49)
Your turn-
Romans 7:19-20- “For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me.”

Romans 8:1-4- “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin. He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

Next week we start section 2- chapters 5 and 6.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Marriage

I know that my regular Wed post don't start until next month but I really wanted to mention a book. "Beyond Ordinary" is an amazing book. I don't care if you have an amazing marriage and think that it needs no work read this book. I am only half way in and I am loving it. It is the best marriage book I have read. I will do a more in depth review when I get done. I am just so excited about it that I wanted to mention it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

God Sized Dreams- The Buddy System

Two are better than one. It is easier to get a big project done when you have someone to help you. Whether that means talking you through a crisis or just telling you that "you can do it". Encouraging someone else is an important thing in our lives. This past week's assignment from Holley was to find a buddy. Someone that you can confess your dream to and get encouragement. And I have 2. They are two separate parts of the same assignment. I have a buddy that I encourage and a buddy that encourages me. And I already love them both. They are both amazing women! There is Teri Lyn, whom I encourage and there is Aubrey, who encourages me. I am enjoying them both.Go by both their blogs and get to know them too. They are amazing women.  Who is your buddy? Why are they your buddy?

Photobucket Linking up today with Holley Gerth and The Dream Team.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Do What You Can Plan- week 2

So starts our second week of “The Do What You Can Plan”. I hope that you are progressing with which ever area of your life you are applying it to.

Day 8- Celebrate the Little Sucesses

“The joy of the Lord is your strength.”- Nehemiah 8:10

Celebrate the little things. You can't run a marathon without running a mile first. It running that mile was probably the hardest thing that you had done at that point. If you want to write a book you have to have an outline first. Then you have to write a first chapter and so on. If you want to start a blog to encourage other moms and women you have to have a plan and start the blog. I have so far in this journey started a blog just for this purpose. I still have my personal blog that covers what is going on in my family and will continue to keep it. But this is a seperate blog with a singular purpose. I created a blog button with a picture that I took in Tennessee. It took me some time to figure it out but I did and I celebrated that small success.

Day 9- Say a Hard “No”

“All you need to say is simply “Yes” or “No”; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”- Matthew 5:37

We have talked a lot about saying “yes”. “Yes” to your dream and to yourself. But there are times that you just have to say “no”. Don't overcommit yourself. Say no if you feel like it is going to take away from your family. If your dream is to be a professional speaker, you don't have to say yes to every offer that comes your way. Say no every once in awhile. Don't overload your schedule. Be there for the things that are important to you. Say no if it feels wrong.

Day 10- Find your pace
“The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.” Proverbs 4:18

Slow and steady wins the race. We have all heard that saying. And we all know that it is true. Finding your pace is incredibly important. And it may not be the same as someone else's pace. I started this blog with only a couple of posts for a couple of weeks and now I have a schedule that works for me. Right now it is only 4 days a week. Next month it will be 5. And I will be honest, I don't write them all the day that these posts. I sit down and write one day a week. I have found the pace that works for me. And I am enjoying it so far. I don't want this blog to become a burden and not fun.

Day 11- Overcome the days you want to quit
“He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philipians 1:6

I have had several days since I started this journey that I have wanted to walk away. As recent as this week. It is hard. And I can feel Satan fighting me everyday. But I can't give up. I want my children see me accomplish my dream. It may take me awhile to do it but I have to remind myself that I want to keep going.

Day 12- Do something differently
“See, I am doing a new thing!” Isaiah 43:19
If at first you don't succeed, try and try again. If the first thing that you try doesn't work for you, try something different. If that doesn't work, try something different. Keep trying until you find the thing that works for you. If you know that writing one day a week doesn't work for you then try two days. If that doesn't work write three. If you find that writing five days a week is just too much for you then back down. I know that writing five days a week will not work for me. I know that I will be writing at least two days though. It works with the importance of being there for my family. As I write this, my 12 year old is at a sleepover, my middle two are watching a movie, and my two year old is taking a nap. I am writing when they are having “down time”. This works for me after a few weeks of trying to find the best times to write and to get everything that I want down. I was trying to do everyday. Now it is just 1-3. That works for me.

Day 13- Avoid Comparision
“Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else.” Galations 6:4

I know that my blog is not the “best” one out there. I am not trying to be my favorite bloggers and emulate their wonderful blogs. I am trying to have the best blog for me and my purpose. And I will grow into a better blogger just by doing it. Reading other blogs is great. I love to do it. But I will not compare myself to others. That is not helping me on my journey and my purpose.

Day 14- Keep your heart in it
“So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.” Nehemiah 4:6

Have you ever started a project and not finished it because you lost interest in it? I have. Or I will finish it but I can tell that by the end I didn't care anymore. Same goes for school projects with my kids. They start of with good intentions and quickly lose interest and so the finished project is not that great. Keep your heart in the dream. It is your dream for a reason. Don't give up on it and don't lose heart.

Have fun with week 2!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Five Minute Friday- Cherished

Every Friday Lisa Jo over at the Gypsy Mama gives a topic and we write for 5 minutes. No editing, no pre-planning, just impromptu writing for 5 minutes on a topic. Then you link back up with her post for the week and read what others have written. This weeks topic is "Cherished".
Start-
It is hard to feel cherished in a world full of little people and a husband who works two jobs. It is hard to make your husband feel cherished when you rarely see him and when you do he is so tired he doesn't have 5 minutes for you. It is hard to feel cherished by your children when it seems that all they do is dis-obey.
But then they come and climb in your lap and just want you to hold them or walk up and just hug you out of nowhere. And then the cherished feeling fills you. Or your husband just says thank you for all you do and you realize that he does cherish you even if it is rarely shown. And you try to make your husband feel cherished with the little things like making sure he has clothes or fixing a supper that he will like even if you won't. Or going to a store that you hate just because he likes it.
Cherishing is a choice. And feeling cherished means looking at the little things that others do for you and choosing to feel cherished. Not everyone cherishes others in the same way. It is realizing how others around you show you that they cherish you that matter.
Stop-

Linking up today with The Gypsy Mama.

Getting Organized in 2013

I am hoping that by doing this series I will actually get more organized myself. So we will see how it goes. We are going to start with a home management notebook.
Okay. I really want to encourage you to buy this book! Because this notebook has changed my life. Everything is in one place. Information, calendars, meal plans, to do lists, inventories. All I have to do is grab this one notebook and I am good to go. So since I love it so much I am going to dedicate today to it.
Get a 3 ring notebook. I have a 3 inch binder. Make a cover for it and if you want to make your own dividers you can. I just cut scrapbook paper down to size and slid it in a page protector with a label inside for that section. You can have as many sections as you want or need for your household. (Buy the book so that you can see what each section is for and why. Also for the printables). The sections in my book are:
Calendars
Home Management
Finances
Meal Planning/ Inventories
Important Numbers and Addresses
Inspiration

I am actually rethinking the calendar section at this point because I have a planner and also a wall calendar as well as my phone. So I think that it is just a little overkill for me. But I like the idea of having a calendar in this notebook as well. Of course all of my master project lists, to do lists, dvd/bool inventories are in the home management section along with a cleaning schedule. Finances has our budget in it and a spending tracker. Meal Planning has our monthly meal plan, shopping lists, and inventories of the pantry, fridge, and freezer. Inspiration has all my blog planning stuff in it.

Kayse does a much better job in the book “Getting It Together” explaining the purpose of each section and she also provides printables of all the imporatant aspects of the notebook so that you don't have to make your own. So buy the book. Become more oraganized.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Reading List for 2013

I have seen these posts all over the place so I am jumping in on both blogs. I read alot during the year and I have never planned books to read. I of course of my calendar marked for all the fiction books being released that I know of this year. And I have about 75 books on my Nook that I have gotten free recently that I have not read yet. So this is my planned list. We will see how it goes.

Fiction:

Mary Higgins Clark- "Daddy's Gone A Hunting"(Releases April 9)
Kristin Hannah- "Fly Away"(Releases Feb 26)
Karen Kingsbury-"The Chance"(Releases March 5)
Charlaine Harris- "Dead Ever After"(Releases May 7)
Jodi Picoult- "The Pact" (Finished reading Feb 17)
John Stephens- "The Fire Chronicle"(Fired up to be next book read)
Rick Riordan- The next Percy Jackson book whenever it is released. 

Non-Fiction:
Justin and Trish Davis- "Beyond Ordinary"(Finished and a review is posted here.)
Jill Savage- "Real Mom Real Jesus"
Lysa TerKeurst- "Unglued"
Karen Ehman- "Let.It.Go"
Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson- "Desperate" (Finished. Join the discussion on Thursdays!)
Holley Gerth- "You're Made For God Sized Dreams"(Reading it now. I am loving it! Review will be up on March 1!)


That is as far as I have gotten for now. I will try to come back and update as I finish them.

"Desperate" Chapters 1 and 2

I certainly hope that you have gotten your copy of “Desperate- Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe.” Because for the next 7 weeks we are going to be studying it. Two chapters a week starting this week. So if you don't have it order it and join in and catch up. Please comment and join in the discussion. I have no clue how to do link ups so add your blog post link into the comments if you want to join in on your blog. So here goes.

I am going to be honest. I have cried reading this book, sighed with relief, and even gotten mad. So if you feel any of those- YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I love this book. I wish that I could put one into the hands of every mother that I know. It is a wonderful resource of encouragement and knowledge. That being said.

Chapter 1-
In the letters that start each chapter Sara Mae says “I am really struggling with being a mom today. I feel overwhelmed and underprepared.” (p2) I will honestly admit that I feel this way everyday. I stuggle a lot. I'm not saying that I feel unprepared everyday with everything but I have so many different stages in my house that it is definitely a learning process. At the beginning of the chapter Sarah Mae (SM) talks about how before she had children she had the ideal of a 1950's housewife in her head. And how she struggled to be that ideal. I have never had that ideal in my head. Maybe it comes being raised by a single mom with a dad rarely in the picture after elementary school and a divorce. My ideal was that I would be a working mom, with well mannered children, and a clean house. That is a laugh. I am now a stay at home mom after working or going to school for all of the last 12 and half years. My children are well mannered about 60% of the time and a clean house is just a dream. So in the overall sense I get how she feels and I feel the same way. I seriously lowered my ideal for myself after my 2nd child was born. I had to. And yet it still feels like I am sinking most days. Sally Clarkson (SC) goes on to talk about her shower guest's well meaning advice of “I feel I owe it to you to warn you about what is ahead” (p7). And I wanted to laugh because I wish now that someone had said that to me and followed with the truth. No one ever has. And I certainly have never said it to someone. (Although I will occasionally tell people to stop at 1 or 2, not to have more than that- in a joking manner of course). On page 9 SC says “This is the true beginning point- God. He is the one who created babies bursting with life and the mamas who love to care and watch over them.” What a reminder. Because most days I pray for God to give me the strength to keep going and to handle my children's multiple adventures. And I never think to thank him at the same time for creating these wonderful creatures and creating me to be their mother. He made my boys to be the hard headed, trying, strong willed children that they are. He made them so different yet so the same. He made me to make them. And when I read “Understanding that the best and most lasting “work” I would ever do was wrapped up in my call as a mother gave me a grand scope for my life such as I had never known before,” I just nodded my head. I also felt that clutching fear of failure. Which is why the first verse in “Your Turn” spoke straight to me.
Isaiah 41:10- “Do not fear, for I am with youl do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

and
Matthew 11:28- “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

“Remember- a woman who is alone in motherhood becomes a target of discouragement for Satan.” (p12)

Chapter 2-

“I know I need friends and community, but when? How? I'm tired.” (SM p14)
This is the chapter where I sighed with relief saying “I am not alone!” I suffer from depression and feeling completely alone. I don't have a lot of time for me and community outside of the computer or my house. Let's face it- I am a stay at home mom who homeschools with a husband who works 2 jobs and shift work. There isn't a lot of time for “me”. I do try and do something by myself, away from the house about once a month but it doesn't always happen. But after sighing in relief I also found myself becoming angry. I need a mentor, an encourager. I don't really have one for this. I have judges- I have plenty of those. But not really anyone who encourages me as a mother. I crave one. I crave the community of that. Fortunately for me I am good at online friendships. I have several online friends who are in the same boat but it is just not the same as a face to face mentor. This is my struggle chapter. The one that made me a little angry and depressed for what I do not have. But I also realize that this is where we are lacking as moms and women. We need to step up and mentor others. We need to assert ourselves to find a mentor.

Ecc 4:9-12 says “Two are better than one because they have good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie doen together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.”

Titus 2:3-5 says “Older women likewise are to be reverent to their behavior, not malicious gossips, not enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subjects to their own husbands so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”




Next week we will discuss chapters 3 and 4. See you then!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

God Sized Dreams Week 2



This week we are talking about what one step we took in the last week towards our God's sized dream. My one step was to sign up to host an (In)RL meet up in my home on April 27th. I know that it wasn't a huge step and it wasn't a great step but we had an interesting week and weekend resulting in this being my step for the week. I am really excited. I am tossing around a couple of ideas about how I am actually going to do this but the main idea is that I am. I am hosting. It will be a small group with the idea being a retreat. A in town get away. Because I have always wanted to go to a conference and they are either not on a weekend I can go, too far away, or too expensive. And this one is FREE and I can attend AT HOME. No travel, no extra cost (except food and door prizes). You can sign up and go to. Click on the banner below. Sign up today. Find a meet up in your town or make your own. It can be just you or a group of people. The point is to go. To attend. To grow in God and in community.
So my small step this week was signing up for a conference where I can grow and I can encourage. What is your small step this week? 

Linking up today with Holley Gerth.

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Monday, January 14, 2013

"The Do What You Can Plan" - Week 1

I hope that you have bought your copy of Holley Gerth's book -”The Do What You Can Plan-21 Days to Making Any Area In Your Life Better” because for the next three weeks we are going to be digging in. So here goes week 1.

Day 1- Start Small
“Sow your seed in the morning and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed , whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.” - Ecc 11:6

Start small may seem obvious and simple but if you are like me that is not really how it goes. I tend to bite off more than I can chew as the saying goes. I have a tendency to jump in full force and then be so overwhelmed that I give up and never finish anything. So I have started making lists (a lot of them). There is the master list (the BIG idea) and then the list that divides the master list into meal sized portions to make it more manageable. And in some instances there is even another list that is item specific. (Think giving your kids a chore list- you have to be detailed). Sometimes my lists take over and nothing gets done. But for the most part it works. I get more done. And I surprise myself with how quickly. So starting small may be just having a blog that you update once a week. Or sending a card once a month. The point is if it will help you to meet your goals and dreams no matter how small it is that is the way to go. Get your feet wet before you just jump in.

So get a journal and write down your big goal and then make smaller goals. Work on one at a time. Don't overwhelm yourself.

Day 2- Be Specific
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”- Proverbs 16:9

This goes along with what I said about goals. You have to be detailed. Like kids' chore list detailed. You can't give a child a chore of cleaning the living room without details when you first give it to them. They will more than likely be like my children and pick up 2 toys and say they cleaned. You have to be specific- pick up all the toys, dust the furniture, vacuum the floor. You have to do that with your goals too. Let's use me for an example. My ultimate dream is to write a book that inspires and encourages women to be closer to God and to be better moms and wives. Saying that is easy but doing it is another story. So I have decided that since my goal is to inspire and encourage women then I will start small. I will blog, send cards, lead small group studies, and believe in them. Then all that breaks down into smaller goals, more specific goals. Like the blog- I will use my blog for book/product reviews, leading some small studies, writing encouraging posts. So be specific. Break it down. Do a little at a time.

Day 3- Take the next step
“She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.”- Proverbs 31:13

So far you have started small and made specific goals. Not the hard part take the next step. Actually do what you wrote down on the list. Honestly the hardest part for me is starting the project when I decide to do something. Like cleaning the house. Not everyday cleaning- real cleaning. Like deep down into the pores of the house cleaning. I will move it a lot on a to do list because I just don't want to. But once I do get into I either get overwhelmed and give up or I finish it and feel better for it. So don't procrastinate- get started. Take one step and then another- you can do this!

Day 4- Don't go it alone
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up, But pity anyone who falls, and has no one to help them up.”- Ecc 4:9-10

Tell someone your dream. Don't feel like they are going to judge you. Tell them. They can encourage you and help you when you need it. Don't try to do everything by yourself. We all need help and encouragement. I have my “dream team” to rely on for support and a couple of very close friends. We pray for each other and we encourage each other. We all need that.

Day 5- Stop waiting for the perfect time
“Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.”- Ecc 11:4

There is no such thing as the perfect time. And nothing will ever be accomplished if you keep waiting for it. SO JUST DO IT! Prime example: I left my full time job back last July to home school my children. It was not a great time to do it but we decided to go ahead. I continued with the company as a PRN employee and have enjoyed it so much more then before. As of today I am 100% unemployed. The company closed. But unlike others there I have had 6 months to get used to the loss of income and plan for the future a little better. It worked out well for me. No it wasn't the best time to quit before the trucks were paid off and several other things but since I did make that decision I am better prepared.

Day 6- Push past the fear
“So do not fear for I am with you, so not be dismayed for I am your God, I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”- Isaiah 41:10

Do it despite your fears. I fear being laughed at or not writing well enough, and of failure. But I am blogging anyway. Whether 10 people read this blog or no one reads this blog I am doing it anyway. Fear is just Satan trying to slow you down and attack your confidence. So do it anyway.

Day 7- Seek God and work hard
“He sought his God and worked wholeheartedly. And so he prospered.”- 2 Chronicles 31:21

Pray. Pray a lot. Take everything to God. Tell him your fears and struggles. Yes he knows them already but it will help you to say it out loud. So pray specifically. Even if you feel silly doing it. Pray.

(In)RL 2013






One of my favorite things last year was attending the (In)RL conference AT MY HOUSE! I have always wanted to go to a conference for me. Non work related but for me. For my personal growth. And last year I had the chance. And I didn't have to go anywhere. I was able to attend from the comfort of my house. I had planned to actual have a get together around it but there were so many conflicting events that weekend that I ended up attending alone. And I learned a lot. I was inspired and I walked away a better person. This year the conference is FREE! (Last year it was $10). AND registration opens up TODAY!!!!!! With FREE gifts! So not only do you get an amazing day of your favorite bloggers and authors you also get a FREE calendar. This year I am again planning on hosting a get together at my home complete with coffee and chocolate! And gifts. I already have people coming and I am ready. I can't wait to share this amazing experience with them. So don't hestitate. You don't have to go anywhere. Just grab your laptop and sit on your couch and join thousands of woman all over the world as we talk about what it takes to stay rooted in community.Just click on the picture above and sign up! Consider hosting your own get together or finding one in your area. After all we all need community.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Honestly

I know that the blog is very slow right now but I promise it will pick up. I am working on it. Here is my "plan" for the next couple of months:

Mondays-"The Do What You Can Plan"- really looking at the book and working through it.

Tuesdays- "God Sized Dreams"- focusing on dreams and working on them

Wednesdays- "Marriage and Mommyhood"- starts in Feb

Thursdays- "Desperate"- we are starting a revolution!

Fridays- "Five Minute Fridays"- writing for 5 minutes about a topic set by Lisa Jo over at the Gyspy Mama. AND "Getting It Together"- working on organizing your household.

Saturdays and Sundays will be spotty because I need the weekend break.

So do you need a copy of any of the above books? Go to Barnes and Noble or Amazon for "The Do What You Can Plan" by Holley Gerth and "Desperate" by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson. For "Getting It Together" by Kayse Pratt look in my sidebar and click on the link.

Please join me in all these fun studies.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

God Sized Dream


Today I am sharing my dream with the world. It makes me incredibly nervous but here goes.
My life statement tells my dream in simply form so here goes:
I believe that God created me to encourage other mothers and women by believing in them and offering them community, friendship, and encouragement.
I want to encourage other women- other moms- who struggle with today's call to be supermom and feel like they are failing. I want to encourage others who feel alone like I do since deciding to stay at home. I want to build community and friendships for these women through my blog and maybe one day a book. But for 2013 (because I am not superwoman or supermom) my dream is to encourage you. To build you up. To help you and I grow with God and to not feel alone. I want to help you and me both become better moms because we are better woman. Through encouragement, through scripture, through community. I dream that I reach women all over the world and that somehow my words and my personal struggles encourage them to keep going and not give up, to stand a little taller and be more confident. To know that they are not alone.
What is your dream for 2013? Where do you need encouragement? Let me know and I will pray for you and encourage you however I can.

Linking up today with the amazing Holley Gerth and the rest of my Dream Team.


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(Top picture found on Facebook page Run Fun)

Monday, January 7, 2013

"Desperate"- a review



Movement - desperatemoms.com

 I received this email about 3 weeks ago talking about a "Desperate Launch Team" and opened it. I found an opportunity to read a book written by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson in exchange for a review. I was skeptical at first because I already had 2 other books on my plate and Christmas coming. But when I went to the website and saw "Have you ever said I just can't be a mom today", I was hooked. I signed up for the ebook and when it came I started reading. I still have not finished the book because I am attempting to get everything that I can out of it. I am even ordering the hard copy today. On each page I find another just for me sentence of paragraph. Another piece of encouragement. Another sentence that makes me sigh in relief that I am not alone. Just a few of my favorite quotes from the first section of the book are:

"The woman who is alone in motherhood becomes a target of discouragement for Satan."

"I really wish there was a formula that had all the right answers on how to raise my kids well."- Sarah Mae

"The only formula I want my children to tuck deep in their hearts is this: God has weaved each of us uniquely and we are wonderfully made in his image."

"A mom is exactly the person that her children need; God created it to be that way."

Do you see why this book is so good? This book is amazing from the front cover, the forward by Ann Voskamp, to the open and honest chapters written by Sarah and Sally with passages for study at the end of each chapter. Do you want a copy yet? You can buy a copy at Barnes and Noble or on Dayspring. You can also go to any major book store and buy it. This book will start a revolution among us moms. It will bring us together and encourage us to reach out and stop feeling so desperate all the time. You can also go to Sarah Mae's website for some amazing give aways all week.

Towards the end of the month I will also be doing a book club/ study on this book on Thursdays. More details to come.


Friday, January 4, 2013

Five Minute Friday- Opportunity

Opportunity-

It comes and it goes.
You take it or you leave it.
It can be the right choice or the wrong one.
It can be the difference between making it and breaking it.
But you have to follow your gut.
You have to seize the moment when you get it.
It is the thing that you have going for you all the time.
Seen or unseen.
Grab it.
Follow your heart.
You may never get it again and then there will be the regret.
It is not missing out on first steps and first days of school.
It's missing your paycheck but realizing how much richer your life is without it.
It's quitting your job to stay at home and homeschool 4 kids.
It's realizing that you can be part of something great and submit an application to a wonderful author and being accepted.
It's knowing that God will support you and carry you if you jump at it.
It's knowing that God is telling you to follow him and trust completely.
It is your opportunity to make  your dreams come true.


Linking up today at Five Minute Friday with the Gypsy Mama

Thursday, January 3, 2013

One Word 2013- DREAM

A lot of this year will be spent focusing on God Sized Dreams. So when I heard about picking one word for the year to focus on I decided that Dream was obvious. I have several dreams and this year 2013 I plan to reach one of them. I will reveal my big dream and the smaller part of it that I plan to focus on in 2013 next Tuesday. I am a little nervous and excited about it. It is hard to put everything out there in the open for everyone to see. So please don't judge. And please use this forum for encouragement only- to me, to yourself, and to others. So what is your one word for 2013?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The "Do What You Can Plan"- a review

I am a day late in getting this up and I apologize but the flu has hit our house and my 2 year old wants to be held a lot.
Monday, I reviewed a book that I am excited to about and am using in my own household this year. That was my pick for a household management book of the year.
Today, I am reviewing a book about you building. Holley Gerth's brand new e-book released yesterday. The "Do What You Can Plan" is a 21 day journey to making your dreams come true. I am truly inspired by this book and I am starting my 21 day journey today. Holley breaks down all the little stumbling blocks that come along and encourages you to look at each one to overcome it and not give up. I know that it says 21 days but really this is the way to do everything in your life. Finishing school, starting a business venture, writing a book, encouraging others through a new blog, and the list goes on. And it makes so much sense. It is like I am sitting across from Holley at a coffee shop and she is talking to me. So I encourage you to buy your copy today and make 2013 the year that you achieve your goals and make your dreams come true. You can buy your copy at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.  


This book will be on my top books of 2013 and it is only Jan 2.
Next week launches the God Sized Dream Team series on Tuesdays and this book will be part of it. I am excited that I am a part of something so huge this year. So on Tuesdays I plan to be bearing my soul when it come to my God Sized Dreams and encourage you to join me in the journey. For now Happy New Year!