My Word for 2015

5
Jan
2015

Marin-2015-word

I began focusing on having a word of the year in 2013, in the blogging community it became the popular thing to do.  I chose Perseverance.   Then in 2014 I quietly chose Grace.  So, as I read through The Best Yes and shared with you all through our study,  I realized many of my decisions and issues revolved around time management and being involved in too many things, I have chosen the word Margin for 2015.

I am overworked, overcommitted, overextended and tired of being a victim instead of in victory over my time.

I need margin.

What is margin you may ask?

In his book, Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives, Richard Swenson, M.D. describes margin like this:

Margin is the space between our load and our limits. It is the amount allowed beyond that which is needed. It is something held in reserve for contingencies or unanticipated situations. Margin is the gap between rest and exhaustion, the space between breathing freely and suffocating.

Margin is the opposite of overload. If we are overloaded we have no margin. Most people are not quite sure when they pass from margin to overload. Threshold points are not easily measurable and are also different for different people in different circumstances. We don’t want to be under-achievers (heaven forbid!), so we fill our schedules uncritically. Options are as attractive as they are numerous, and we overbook. 

I am overloaded and often can feel like I am suffocating.  That truly resonated with me.  I am not exactly sure when I transitioned to that space where margin was gone…. but I do not like the life I have been living.

Reading The Best Yes gave me some tools to help me navigate learning how to say no and know what were the activities, commitments and relationships I was to give my time to…. now I just need to follow through intentionally.

So for 2015 I will:

1.  Set boundaries around my time spent on social media

This is a hard one, as I really do love sharing online, I am a blogger for goodness sake.  But what often happens is I tend to get stuck on there and then my family receives my left overs as I have placed too much value on the other relationships.  This is wrong and I am trying to find a balance where I can enjoy that, but also set away and not feel guilty.

2.   Setting realistic goals with my writing for the blog

I can often feel that I have to write 3-4 times a week and if I don’t I am letting my audience down.  After some reflection I do know that you all do not have hours upon hours to read blogs!  If I can post two times a week some encouragement and something valuable then we are all better off.  As I look into 2015 I will have to balance that with my desire to run the online book studies as well.  I truly feel called to create community in this manner, but it takes time and help.  I was so thankful for the moms who volunteered and helped me facilitate that last study.  It was fuller and had a larger impact due to many being involved – I loved it!

3.  Putting myself first

This may come out wrong but if you are a mom who is overextended, I think you can identify with what I am saying.  I will put all other tasks above my own needs and it only negatively effects everyone.   I need to prioritize my need for physical exercise, time with God, time to read, meet a friend for coffee and just be.  There is rarely a time that I am not doing something and I think that needs to stop.

4.  Being intentional with my family

I have been guilty of this more than I care to admit – putting everything else above my family.  I have felt incredibly anxious and guilty about my to-do list – whether it is in regards to my home or my two businesses I run – I have done a poor job of being engaged.  I know this has to change.  I have gotten myself into this rut of feeling like I don’t deserve to have fun because my work is not done.  Is that not silly?  But it is amazing what your mind can begin to tell you.

I want to have that “extra” time that having margin will bring.  This will not just happen and I am not kidding around here by saying this will be easy, but I do know that something needs to change now.   My health is important and I am the one who can take control and be intentional.  Otherwise I can just end up blaming others, which is truly a sin.

I am excited to move ahead and find new ways to do things that I felt overwhelmed with and honestly, hopeless.  I can feel empowered and transformed.  His grace is sufficient and I know that He desires me to change.

Thank you for joining me in this journey and allowing me to be vulnerable and honest with my faults.  We are all in the together!

Do you have a word for 2015?  I would love to hear it!

Week Six – The Best Yes

24
Nov
2014

 weeksix

We are on the final home stretch.   I know many have struggled to keep up with the reading, I so encourage you to at least read the chapters for the end to finish strong with us.  I will not lie…. I will be pushing myself to read the end of the book to get ready for my final blog post tomorrow as well as prepare for the Facebook Chat at 6:15 PM Pacific.

Get prepared for talk of insecurities, growth, togetherness and more.

This week we are reading Chapters 16-19 of The Best Yes.  

This quote touched my heart and almost made me cry (okay, I was having an extremely emotional day and it did make me cry!)

“Together is a really good word.  Together is what we need when we hit tough patches in life.  Making decisions when life is making you cry shouldn’t be done alone.”

Doesn’t that just nearly melt your heart?

I want to learn to be wise, seek wisdom from those who are further in the journey than myself and then share my experiences with those coming up behind me.

Join us tomorrow evening on the Facebook page for a fun time of sharing, refreshment and celebrating our last week of The Best Yes!  I’ll remind you one more time tomorrow during my blog post – but you can mark it on your calendar now.  🙂

FB chat-1

Practice Making Wise Decisions

28
Oct
2014

wisdom

I have been known to procrastinate a time or two…..or maybe ten or twenty!  UGH!  It sometimes really amazes me I have made it this far in life because of how paralyzed I can be at times – not knowing what to do, so I do nothing!!!

Do you ever feel paralyzed?  Just fearful of making the wrong decision so much that it just keeps you from doing anything.  I get that way, I avoid and I think if I just don’t think about it, said “it” will just not be there the next time I turn around.  But, it is.  And causes me more anxiety in the process.  

From big decisions to little ones, I can get bogged down with the details so much that it prevents me from moving ahead.  ACK!  I hate admitting that, but it is true.  I can feel lost and flailing and I am so glad that Lysa shared the three questions that we all can and should consider when we are looking to make any type of decision.

  •   Have you been reading and praying through God’s Word lately?
  •   Have you been applying God’s Word in your life lately?
  •   Have you sought Godly counsel and insights from wise people who know specifics about your    situation?

“We have to put our hearts and our minds in places where wisdom gathers, not scatters.”

I love feeling empowered to make decisions that are good when I incorporate knowledge, insight, and discernment by using the above questions as a guideline for myself.  I love knowing I can grab hold of those questions the next time I am feeling a bit underprepared for making a decision, which I am sure will be within the next few hours.

When Lysa shared her experience of having to navigate the decision a to whether they would open their home to a friend….. I could relate to those feelings she was sharing.  I loved that she added four more aspects to making a wise decision:

Physically – can you say yes in this area?

Financially – can you say yes in this area?

Spiritually – can you say yes in this area?

Emotionally – can you say yes in this area?  (this is the one I rarely even consider, although it seems it may need to be closer to the top of my considerations!)

I tend to over-extend myself in the area of “emotions” – thinking I can do more or give more than what I realistically can handle.  This is an area I need to be very aware of especially since I know that my depression and hopelessness can stem from being bankrupt emotionally.

A few things to consider this week from the Study Guide: 

I loved this suggestion and wondered if anyone else would be up for the challenge?  I often am doing a lot, but my motive is not from the heart and I can be bitter about being put out.  I want to work on this area, so won’t you join me?

  • Be servant-hearted.  Do something for another person without grumbling.  Trust that God sees, God knows, and through this act of service, God will develop your character to match your calling.

Truth is always something I need to focus on rather than my feelings.  This is an area I need to be reminded of.

  • Stand in assurance.  Trump your feelings with truth. Just because you feel incapable/offended/insecure doesn’t mean you need to be incapable/offended/insecure.

My words can often be short and snarky – yes – I know.  In the haste of daily routine I can get an attitude or feel overworked and my words show that.  Here is another area to be mindful of.

  • Tuck wisdom into your life.  Practice it in the things you say and in the things you choose not to say.

Hop over to the Facebook page tonight at 6:15 PM Pacific time or 9:15 Eastern time to join our LOVE CHAT, I’ll be giving away a prize tonight and I know you will love it! 

FB chat

The Best Yes Online Book Study

16
Oct
2014

The Best Yes Online Book Study - Free to Participate!

I am absolutely THRILLED to announce officially our next online book study.  It has taken a bit to get things organized and finally, the day has come to share with you all.

The Best Yes, by Lysa TerKeurst Online Book Study is coming Monday, October 20th – our official start date.  Go grab your book now, paperback with Prime Shipping it will get to you in time, but no worries if not – grab a kindle copy or just start a couple days late…. WE WANT YOU!!!  {You can read the first chapter free here}

Details:

The book study runs here on this blog page, I will be posting on Monday’s with the weeks reading plan and then either on Tuesday or Wednesday I will share my thoughts in a short post.  Feel free to comment on what you are learning as well.

The built of the community and sharing will take place on our PRIVATE Facebook page, you can click here to join.   

The Best Yes Online Book Study - Free to Participate!

Questions, quotes and community will be shared there, so if you are looking to get a bit deeper into the study, I highly suggest coming over the to the FB page and joining us.

During the course of the Six week study, we will have three Facebook Chat’s – taking place on the PRIVATE group page, sharing with each other what we are learning.  This is a new feature I am trying this time around – looking forward to new adventures.

I am saving the best part for last!!!

This time around I have a group of like-minded moms from my community who have stepped up to help monitor the Facebook page and share in the journey.  This has been an incredible blessing to me and an answer to prayer.  I am only one person, and was feeling conflicted in how much I can continue to offer, so this was truly a miracle.

Without further ado – please meet your “The Best Yes Moms” who are probably very similar to you and I know will add a dimension and dynamic that will bless the entire group!

KimKimberly Gates

 I am a creative, thoughtful, nature/animal lover, God – loving, deal finding money saving Mom.  I am 45 years old and work full time as an Animal Care Supervisor.  I have been married for 13 years and have 3 children ages 21, 19 and 9. I am a stepmother (to the older children) and the youngest child was adopted.  My children have made my heart grow bigger and I am a better person and mother because of them, I love them dearly.   I enjoy encouraging and supporting other mothers, to enjoy and value time with their kids and to keep life simple. It’s a jungle out there!

KellyKelly Smith

I am a wife and mother of three kids, ages 10, 8 and 9 months.  We make our home near Birmingham,
AL.  I am a stay at home mom during the week, and an Occupational Therapist at an area hospital on the weekend.  I lead a small group at our church for moms with kids in all ages and stages.  My favorite activities outside of caring for my family are reading, writing, and running.  I believe we were all created to live in community and I am thankful for the women in my life that enrich my spiritual journey, both in person and online. 

Jess-LassJessica 

I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 17 years.  We have 4 amazing boys – ages 13, 12, 9 and 6 – all of whom have multiple food allergies and were blessed 2 years ago this month to welcome a little girl from Russia to our crazy house.  I am a SAHM who tries (and often fails) to balance family and a part time photography and cake business.  I love reading, home (little bit of a homebody…), Jesus, adoption and families – I am passionate about supporting other moms! 

allison-finalAllison Burke

I am 35 years old with 2 precious little girls – ages 4 & 12. I work FT as a paralegal at a reputable law firm in the Birmingham area. I love my family and feel they are the most important thing in this life that has God has so graciously blessed me with. If I had to describe myself I would say I LOVE to laugh and have a huge heart and always try my best encourage others. I consider myself to be pretty crafty and Pinterest is my guilty pleasure.

DanielleDanielle

I’m a Midwesterner at heart, married to my college sweetheart for ten years with four incredibly curious children (ages 1, 3, 6 and 8) who keep me on my toes!  We are a Navy family with four moves, a couple deployments, and an untold number of new experiences under our belts. Currently stationed in San Diego, I can most often be found trying to wear my children out at the playground, tinkering in my kitchen or garden, figuring out how to streamline some aspect of homemaking and trying to teach my kids to clean up after themselves to leave more time for family fun.  Mothering is by far the most challenging and fun role I’ve had in my life; I’m blessed to have a short term memory for the exhaustion and frustration that can accompany it!

I look forward to meeting you and sharing ideas about what struggles you face in identifying and living your Best Yes!  

Okay, I just got chills after reading through their introductions to you!!!  I am beyond thrilled with their backgrounds and unique giftings that they will bring to this study – so excited!

Here is our schedule  

The Best Yes - Reading Plan - Online Book Study -Free to Participate!

You can print out the reading plan in PDF format HERE.

Also for those who enjoy Pinterest, here is the Pinterest board I have created for pinning posts, quote images and more.  

Make sure you are signed up to receive my blog posts – check the box right below this post to add yourself and they will be delivered automatically to your inbox.

Link to all posts on The Best Yes Study:

Week One

Obeying God’s Instruction

Week Two

Practice Making Wise Decisions

Week Three

Making the Best Choices

Week Four

Expectations, Disappointments and Reality

Week Five

Are You Choosing to See?

Week Six

Together in Hard Places

 

 

 

 

 

 

When God Allows Pain

6
Oct
2014

Pain-post

You know how God has to ‘allow’ something in your life to get your attention?  I think for me that happened this past week.

  • It was confirmation for me of a few things that had been tossing around in my head:
  • I needed to cut some obligations from my schedule
  • I needed to change my perspective and settle in the simple things

I knew the choice for the next book study here at The Confident Mom was correct for me – especially me – Lysa Terkeurst’s The Best Yes.

You see, my schedule has been jammed packed, my to-do list overloaded and my body beginning to show signs of running out of steam.  I tend to ignore those ‘signs’ as long as I can, but Wednesday morning as I met Shaun T (Focus T25 Shaun T) for my workout, I did a squat and something tweaked in my back.

As the day progressed my back began to fight me and pain wrapped my entire back and spasms began.  I was on my own, as my husband was out of town which made things even more difficult.  I was in severe pain and finding myself desperate for relief. 

I was forced to STOP and do nothing.  Sitting was painful, laying down was a bit more comfortable – but what about my to-do list?  I had blog posts to write, emails to send and work to be done.

But I was forced to stop.

I feel God allowed this back episode to happen in order to get my attention that something needed to change and if I wasn’t going to do it on my own, He would lend a hand.

So this weekend I am reminded of what truly matters and how I need to make time for it.  Interestingly enough I had just made a huge decision for me and turned down an opportunity to travel all expenses paid to Ecuador for a Master Leaders Retreat in November with Young Living.  I had the opportunity to begin living out The Best Yes path – making wise decisions in the middle of all the demands.  

I knew it would be a lot for my family to endure if I left home for a week right before the holiday season.  Even though the learning I would get would be amazing, it is all relative to what I would have to give up to make it happen.  

It just wasn’t something I was comfortable to do.  So I declined the invitation.  I was a bit sad, but I feel confident in my decision now.  Even empowered by it.

You see I need help – EACH AND EVERY DAY to make wise decisions with my time, energy and commitments.  There are so many demands so even though I know this study will help many others, I am doing it selfishly for myself.

I need this help – this reminder, this outline to make decisions that are right for me and my family.

This weekend I had to stop, I was forced to relax (which I do not do very easily I will admit) and seriously enjoyed some time walking the beach, because honestly – it felt much better for my back to walk than sit.  I spent more time just wandering than I would have otherwise.  It was one of the best weekends I’ve had an awhile.  Not what I would have planned, but it was just what God had in my plan.

So get ready for our next online book study, The Best Yes – starting October 20 – November 28, 2014.  It is a 6 week study and I will provide more details on October 16th.  Go grab your book now, either on kindle or paperback and get ready to join me.  We will have a private Facebook page as well – and it will be hosted by other moms who have joined me in the journey.

Isn’t that exciting – that we can all grow together and I have also realized I cannot do it all on my own any more – I need help too!  I had an incredible response to my request to get some help with this next study – I am in awe of how God provides!

Quote-Best-Yes

I leave you with a quote that is so perfect to sit with until our study begins…… I pray it touches your heart.

And here are a few snapshots of my weekend – things I could have possibly missed if I had been trying to work my “to-do” list instead of having to get out and walk.  What a glorious weekend it was!  {Oh, and a little secret, I slept in both Saturday and Sunday til 7:45 AM!!!}

Beach-weekend