Perfect Truth, Perfect Love

25
Mar
2014

God's Perfect-Love

Boy, I needed this chapter TODAY!  Seriously – today, and I need to remember this everyday.   No More Perfect Moms, Chapter 10.

I am NOT perfect, but God is.  

I often cause a lot of my grief and despair with my unrealistic expectations – I want to try with all my might to be it all – but I just cannot.  

Why can I not remember this?  Why do I often almost kill myself trying?

We must understand that the imperfect parts of our lives are counterbalanced with the reality of a perfect God who longs to shine HIS light through the cracks in our lives.

Such a great reminder…. I am full of cracks and need to share how imperfect I am so that others can rest in the comfort of knowing they are not alone and we can fine hope in the one thing that is – HIM.

Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.  Philippines 1:6 NIV

My soul needs to be reminded of this daily….some days…hourly.  He has presented us with challenges along our path to mold us into who He desires us to be.  We often fight against these challenges, do you get me?  

In fact, right now I am in the midst of a HUGE challenge that I am not really digging too much.  I am struggling, fighting to keep things the same, but I know there is something bigger on the other side, I just need to let go of the control and let Him lead me through.  Why do we resist?

So many parts of our lives are like that – we want to keep control.  We want the reigns…in parenting, motherhood, our marriage, controlling our space……it all comes to a head when we cannot allow Him to come in and do some switching around.  We can fight, or we can surrender…it is a choice.

God loves you and me whether we’re having a good mothering day or a bad one.

Can you remember that?  I have to say I have a real hard time remembering.  I wish I could sticky note that all over my house, my car and the inside of my eye lids.  I can carry guilt around so heavy that it is suffocating.  

I have to grasp how much He loves me, even when I disobey His commands and do it my way.  All the times that I know I disappoint myself and Him as well….He still loves me.  He never fails me…..NEVER.

How can you remember that God loves you even on your worst days?

What identity in the Appendix do you want to memorize about your identity in Christ?  I am still reading through to figure out the one I will hold onto.

How can you fit more time into connecting with the truths that God so lovingly wants to lay on your heart?  Is it through reading scripture, listening to worship music, meditating in stillness?

What is your biggest take away from this chapter?

Homemaking Tips and Tricks

20
Mar
2014

Homemaking-Tips-Tricks
As I sit and type, it is 2:12 PM on Wednesday, I am behind on my blog writing, I need to leave in 25 minutes to pick up my little guy from school, this post will likely be left to finish later, I just threw my first load of laundry in the washer, have two phone calls to make and I have no idea what is for dinner.

UGH!  But I was able to get together with my ladies for our bi-weekly bible study.  Sometimes days just do not go as planned!

“There are no perfect homemakers – just real moms, deciding what’s right for their families and working to create a warm, nurturing home for those they love.”

I share, because I want you to know there are days……often many days where I struggle a lot to keep things together.  For me, it seems to be especially when my hubby is out of town. 

After thinking though, I remember – I have some soup in the freezer that is perfect for days like this.  I was out of town at the Hearts at Home Conference all weekend and have yet to get to the grocery store, so when I remember those ‘bits’ in my freezer I am quite relieved.  {I still have to tell you all about my wonderful trip and the time I septa visiting with Jill in her home before my flight home….so treasured!}

I love this chapter of homemaking and learning tips (From No More Perfect Moms) on how to make it work a bit better for you.  We all have areas that we are strong at and areas we are weaker in.  For me, meals are a bit stronger, than say decorating.  I always seem to feel defeated before I even start with decorating, and right now while we are in the midst of ‘re-decorating’ or family room I am feeling very un-inspired.

Hospitality is also a weak area for me, but this year I am trying to stretch myself and invite more people into our home, even in the midst of it feeling like it is not together yet.  Will it ever be all together?  I think we can all feel like our homes will never be quite there, so instead of fretting and delaying, just step out.  I am doing that more and I feel so thankful.

What have I learned about these areas of homemaking?

There are no perfect meals, but there are ways to streamline the meal-making process!

Meals

I love the tips Jill gives and will reiterate a few.  I have already shared my little tip on preparing in bulk and freezing, think about all your family favorites and then out of those what can you cook in larger batches to freeze?  I bet you will be amazed.

I also use eMeals to help me plan meals and keep me sanity.  I honestly enjoy looking at recipes on Pinterest, but to take the time to put together all the ideas, make a shopping list and such is a bit too time consuming for the season I am in right now.  I love that I can grab my eMeals meal plan from my computer or even their new APP and decide if I like all the ideas on the menu or delete a few and add in some family favorite, like simple tacos or chili.  My life is made easier and it doesn’t break the bank, especially when I am trying to eat PALEO or at least Gluten Free.

Decorating

I am like Jill, not much of a creative thinker when it comes to decorating – but I can re-create an idea from Pinterest or a magazine. I can allow the negative self-talk get me down as well, but try to remember that I can’t be great at everything, so that I why I have friends who are gifted in decorating!

Hospitality

This is a goal for 2014 – creating and spending more time in relationships.  

“Hospitality is our opportunity to be Jesus to those around us.”

What resonates with you when you read that line?  Are you living out your life as The Lord would want you, sharing His love with others?  I know that I am not and am intentionally working on this.  I am happy to report I have stretched myself and it feels good. Relationships are important, in fact….they are almost THE most important thing.

Which of these areas spoke to you most?  What do you feel is truly at the heart of the issue and why you struggle?

Where did you learn about the art of homemaking?  Did you have a good role model or did you have to learn to ‘wing’ it?

In what way can you stretch yourself this week or weekend?

Please begin reading Chapter 10, I will see you Monday!

Be sure to come back tomorrow for a great giveaway you will not want to miss – if you care about improving your family’s health – do not miss it!

If you missed my post on Facebook {Which most do since only 2% of followers see it!!} here is the opening from the Hearts at Home Conference on Friday – it was incredible!!  The best part, the performer is none other than Jill’s son Austin.  It was incredible – take a minute and enjoy – YOU ARE AWESOME!!  

If you are reading this in your email – you will need to click through to the blog to see the video  ðŸ™‚

 

Finding and Embracing Margin in Motherhood

13
Mar
2014

Finding-Margin-Motherhood

This chapter is speaking to my heart, deeply.  I am such a control freak and realize that perhaps God’s way of getting in under my skin and helping to refine me is giving me the gift of mothering this sweet 4 year old little boy whom we’ve adopted and who has totally SHAKEN up my life!!!  {Yes, even after 3 years it is still shaking me up!!}

I realize that I often miss so many chances to just be in the moment because I am set on keeping things going and having a routine.  Don’t get me wrong, routine is good, great actually, but not allowing yourself to break from it can be a really bad thing.

I need to allow myself to be more in the moment, and break from my “schedule” of what I think needs to get done, be done or wish I had done.

“We need the perspective that the moment we are in is just as important as the moment we planned on that didn’t happen the way we thought it would.  Think about that for a moment.”

Those moments which comes into play that we can miss if we are too busy and overwhelmed, I admit….I often miss them and shoo them away because of my effort to accomplish more.

I think it is my DNA, as Jill shares – that tasks actually take priority over people and that is so backwards!  I need to keep focused on it being the other way around, where people always take priority over tasks.

Building Margin

I am working toward the sifting out of unneeded tasks and duties which can clutter my calendar.  I tend to have a list that is too long and truly unrealistic to complete.  Then I can get pretty darn negative on myself about not completing the list, but if someone else looked at the list, they would understand that it is highly unlikely anyone could get all those things done. 

I have unrealistic expectations on many levels.  I need margin.  I need space in my day to be able to feel good about taking a break and walking outside to look at the ducks with my little one, or to break away for an hour lunch date with my hubby, even when I feel so overwhelmed with tasks that I see it as a frivolous activity because of the other seemingly “more important” tasks.

But is is people over tasks, I must remember that as often as I can.

As I venture off for a few days to the Hearts at Home Conference, I am taking a look at the book Jill mentions in the chapter, Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives, by Dr. Richard Swenson.  I will have some “margin” time on the airplane and this will be a good place for me to start.

“Most importantly for an imperfect mom living out her imperfect days, margin is essential in handling the twists of everyday family life.”

I love the reminders given:

Trust Experience – being realistic with the time is actually takes to do tasks and/or arrive at destinations, always allowing for the unexpected.

Set Boundaries – having a set criteria around your time and what you will commit to and what you will not.  What adds value to your day and what takes away from your day.

Say No – this is always a big one for us mom, we want to please everyone and we are often the ones that feel like we suffer, but in fact I think it is often our families.  We just cannot do everything and the sooner we realize that the better it is for everyone.

Increase Time – so true!!  Whenever you have something to complete always estimate it will take longer than you think, always!  When you finish early you will be rewarded with a bit of extra time.  Love that.

Decrease Activities – this is my favorite and one that I have held dear for many years.  I love allowing my kids to have fun and do activities, but too many and it can ruin family life.  We can be a family so much on the ‘go’ that we are never home to enjoy our home.

Out of the questions near the end of the chapter, which spoke most to you?  For me, it was pondering, “What is I learned to accept the world as it is, rather than being frustrated with it, stressed by it, mad at it, or trying to change it into what I want it to be.”

I am writing that down to help remind me – Lord help me.

Next week we are doing two chapters in one week, so you will surely want to begin reading chapter 8, as we will discuss that on Tuesday and discuss chapter 9 on Thursday.  Have a great weekend!

Chapter Seven – No More Perfect Days

11
Mar
2014

No-More-Perfect-Days-Expect-Unexpected

As we read through this book, and for me it is a second time reading – I discover that each chapter it what I need to read RIGHT NOW!!  They just keep getting better and better.

I will be the first to admit, I rather like controlling things – especially when it comes to having routine, everyone following along and coloring inside the lines.  So, I am very weak at ‘going with the flow’, which affects everyone in my home in a ‘not so perfect’ way.

“Learning to live with kids requires making major adjustments in our realistic expectations.  We have to learn to expect the unexpected, find flexibility, and increase the margin.  Instead of getting frustrated, let’s stop expecting a fantasy and instead embrace reality.”

Ohhh, that sounds so good, huh?  I can tell from the comments yesterday on the Facebook page that I am not the only one who loves control and routine.  I would say 80% of us do.  Why is that?

I was reminded though of how special my time is and I need to focus on activities and being present with my family.  It is not always about the to-do list, items will get done, or if they don’t oh well {except blog posts which are expected!!} but those moments with my family will be missed if I don’t stop and allow myself to be distracted from my agenda.

I was really reminded of what I am missing and how little fun I am scheduling in my life when I went zip lining in Hawaii last week.  I seriously had never smile and laughed that much – I experienced beauty, friendship, victory, and FUN.  If you missed the video, let me share it again – it was so fun!!!

{If you are reading through an email update you will have to click through to view the video}

 

I am a practical gal, who doesn’t see the need to spend the money on impractical things – which zip lining to me would be impractical.  But I was given a new perspective on what it means to be a bit impractical and do those things we sometimes pass up because of fear or our need to be more practical.

Looking back, I am glad the zip lining was included in my all-expense paid trip, but honestly, I have now ben able to look at opportunities a bit differently.  If I could take my entire family zip-lining and it meant we didn’t eat out for dinner for an entire 6 months – I WOULD!  I am not sure I could say that 2 weeks ago.

Okay, back to the study  ðŸ™‚

“Control is really a mirage.  The only control you and I can really have is self-control, and the Bible says that is a fruit of the Spirit.”  

BINGO – that is what I need to remember……I need to learn to control my own actions and responses better and in a more Godly way.  Which means making myself available and not feeling confined to my ‘lists’.

We’ll talk more on this chapter and dig in a bit deeper on Thursday – take some time in the next few days to really examine what areas you struggle with and also this term margin.  It is a HOT BUTTON of sorts, making sure you have enough margin – I have flunked!

Do you have enough margin in your life to have the pace and space to allow real life to happen?

Did you download the discussion questions yet for this week?  You can do that here.

And, yes …. I am getting very excited to go to the Hearts at Home Conference this weekend!  I am hoping to meet Jill Savage!!  So fun….I will be posting lots of pictures for you all too!

No More Perfect Moms Week SEVEN

10
Mar
2014

Main-No-More-Perfect-MomsOh, boy……this week will really hit home for so many of you.  It sure did for me – especially watching the video to kick things off.  We juggle so many things as moms and there is hardly a spare minute ever!

I had to laugh at my husband the other night, as he was a bit upset as the past few weeks I have just wanted to sit down in the evening to watch the Olympics with my family and have a glass of wine!  He was miffed that I didn’t want to “do an activity” like a game, or go bowling or ________  {fill in the blank}.  

Okay, let me explain a bit, I am often very tired in the evening, I will admit that – but in the past month we have spent only about 10 days in our home as we’ve been having painting and hardwood floors refinished, I was behind on writing blog posts as I have had no “work hours” to actually write – I’ve squeezed writing into my day and it means it takes me 3 times as long to write a posts as it would be otherwise, when I don’t have a 4 year old needing me too, interrupting me.  Plus, I was out of town for 5 days in a lovely vacation.  I am not complaining, but this old mom can only take so much!!

My house is a mess, furniture is not back where it needs to be, pictures are not on walls and dust is everywhere!  So, I just laugh at the fact that he doesn’t quite see my day as I do and pray that maybe he will – one day!

Motherhood is the ministry of Interruptions – I loved that!

 

Here is the agenda for this week:

{If you are viewing this post via email, you will need to click through to the website to view the video}

 

Week 7:  March 10 – 14 , 2014

Monday – watch the video, download the discussion questions for WEEK SEVEN  

Tuesday – come prepared by having read Chapter Seven, join the conversation

Wednesday – check in over at Facebook for a few questions 

Thursday – read the blog post on applying what we’ve learned this week; get started reading Chapter 8 {next week we will be doing chapters 8 and 9, so get ahead!!}

Was there something that spoke to you in the video?  

Are you a mom who can roll with the punches during the day or are you better with schedule and routine?

Please share in the comments and hop over to the Facebook page.