Care Less, Why I’m Questioning & Challenging My Focus

I have had this post in my drafts for about 6 weeks now. I’m not sure if it was a lack of sleep, something I ate, conversations that I had with others, or if I am just loosing my ever lovin’ mind. But something sparked, clicked, or possibly exploded and it came out as word vomit. I’m sorry. I know that isn’t the best or most visually pleasing expression to use, but it’s the only one that makes sense. After a period of sitting on this post I finally decided to click the publish button. 

I feel I should put out a disclaimer to warn you that I am speaking from MY heart. What I have to say is completely directed towards myself. My goal is not to offend anyone, just to share how I am feeling.

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How We Fight to Keep Our Marriage Strong

In the spirit of being completely honesty, I avoided writing this blog post for pretty much the entire day on Sunday… and Monday. I was lost at the direction I wanted to take and the advice I wanted to give on the topic of marriage. Do I look at the marriage Russ and I have and feel like we have things are going well for us, yes! But putting into words the details on how we are doing that throws me for a loop. Now would also be a good time to point out that we certainly have our fair share of disagreements and annoyances. Our relationship is by no means perfect. 

Finally, after staring at the computer screen and trying to get my thoughts organized for what felt like forever, I decided to just start writing. Wouldn’t you know it worked like a charm. I don’t think what I have to share is anything groundbreaking or new, but I do hope it encourages you to work on strengthening your marriage. 

Keeping your marriage STRONG. God, marriage, children. How and why we have set our priorities.

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Interruptions Are Your Work, How Four Words Changed My Attitude About Mothering

I was sitting in church like any other Sunday morning when the pastor began to tell a story. He spoke of a college professor and the sign that hung over his doorway. The sign was there to remind him to keep his attitude in check every time that someone walked through the door. It read…

Interruptions Are Your Work!

He went on to speak of how as Christians, we should embrace this mindset. Interruptions are our work. We are constantly given chances to do or to serve but how many times do we grumble or complain when they come at “the wrong times”. It was an oh so truthful and oh so powerful point. After the sermon concluded I couldn’t shake those four words and for the past two weeks they have weighed heavy on my heart.

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Thoughts About Red Pens

I started using red pens to grade the girls school work this year. I bought them impulsively on a quick supply trip the day before we started our homeschool year. I had always avoided using them before, but for some reason I thought they might help to make things easier, especially with two students. The first day of class while grading Marissa’s math I pulled out a pen and put a red X by an answer she had missed.

Then I just sat there and stared at it.
I hate red pens.

I have always hated red pens. It began when I was a kindergartener who was sent home with a red sad face drawn on her paper. I cried in the car of the school parking lot and begged my mom to go inside and make the teacher change it. Something inside me cringed over the failure the red pen highlighted.

As I added more red X’s on Marissa’s paper, memories and thoughts flooded my brain. I wondered how she would feel about my red pen. Would she eye roll the marks it left, groan at the sight of them, would she ever hide it from me when I left the room, and cry over her schoolwork?

Then my thoughts went deeper…
I began to wonder how marks left by a red pen would make her feel about herself.

How a red pen reminded me of the power of words
The world is full of red pens and people who use them recklessly. Countless times every single day we are given the chance to leave our mark. We can label failures, criticize choices, or put giant x’s across the things we don’t like about someone. We can shake confidence, make someone doubt self-worth, and beat them down with our words, attitudes, and actions.The mark we leave on the lives of others is overwhelming.

Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.
Proverbs 18:21 The Message

This, this is something I struggle with. Some days frustrations get the best of me and without thinking I find myself spinning out of control. Saying things I can’t take back, leaving marks that won’t erase and causing pain that is so familiar to me, in the life of another. Often my girls fall victim to the momster I become.

I want my words to speak life. 

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Psalm 19:14

She opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
Proverbs 31:26

These verses are the prayers and the meditation of my heart.
It is an ongoing, every moment battle to be aware of the life or death that is coming from my mouth.
But it is one worth fighting for.

What comes from your mouth when you speak?
Life or death?

What marks are you leaving?
Ones that build up or ones that destroy?

What is one step you can take to change?
Today make your mouth a fountain of life.

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Do you struggle with mom anger? 
I want to encourage you to check out this book, Count to Nine: Nine Liberating Steps for Mom Frustration and Anger. It has been a life changing tool for me and I know so many of you would greatly benefit too.

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Beth at Our Pretty Little Girls | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Liz at Chasin’ Mason | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Jessica at Sweet Little Ones | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Ruthie at Rear. Release. Regroup. | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Stephanie at Wife Mommy Me | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Justine at Full Hands, Full Heart
Sarah at Abiding In Grace | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Becky at BYBMG | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Laura at Life Is Beautiful | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Christina at Waltzing In Beauty | Pinterest | Instagram
Meghan at The Adventure Starts Here | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Tina at Go Big or Go Home | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Whitney at Polka Dotty Place | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram

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Finding Balance In Motherhood

Yesterday we said so long to summer break and went back to school.

It’s a weird time for us because on one hand nothing seems to change, but on the other hand everything changes. I go from being summer fun mom that keeps pretty loose rules to teacher mom who tends to be overly strict in the blink of an eye. I don’t like it one little bit friends and sometimes I don’t know how I can find balance.

Do you ever struggle with that as a mom?
Finding balance?

Finding BalanceIn Motherhood
Some days it feels like I am in the circus.

I feel like I’m 25 feet off the ground on a unicycle with clowns balancing on my shoulders. It probably looks like sure failure to spectators, but I am naively optimistic that things will work out fine. I keep heaping more and more on myself not considering the weight of my load, how high up I am, and what is at risk. At a certain point I get nervous, what have I done? But by then I feel like it’s too late to back out and I just have to go. Sometimes I make it across, but there is always a cost. I am exhausted, sore, angry, and useless, sometimes for days on end. Other times I fall and the mess it creates is nothing short of chaos.

The analogy may be creative, but I think the picture it paints rings true for so many moms.

Why do we twist the phrase ‘finding balance’ into something literal?

We convince ourselves if we find the perfect way to stack it all up, we can carry as much as we want. After all, we got this! I recently hung a picture over my desk that says those very words, you got this. As I look up at it while writing this post I feel overwhelmed with conviction.

Conviction of bearing loads to heavy for me to carry well and the way I treat others when the stress of the load I gave myself is too much. Conviction over portraying a twisted picture of balance to other moms. One that says: you too can do it all, just keep piling it on just right. Conviction of relying on myself and my strength far too much.

Talking about #motherhood and #balance in today's blog post. Click To Tweet

I’d love to say that I have answers for you. Here are 5 steps to find more balance in your life, a formula that guarantees success in a week or less. The truth is I don’t really know what that looks like right now.

So my challenge for you is to think, pray, and dwell on this:
Are you piling more on when you should be laying things down?
What happens when the load gets to heavy?
How do you respond?
How can you lighten the load you carry?
Why do you think you can do it all?

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30 ESV

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It’s your turn to link-up for this weeks Tuesday Talk!

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Beth at Our Pretty Little Girls | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram 
Liz at Chasin’ Mason | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Jessica at Sweet Little Ones | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Ruthie at Rear. Release. Regroup. | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Stephanie at Wife Mommy Me | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Justine at Full Hands, Full Heart
Sarah at Abiding In Grace | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Becky at BYBMG | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Laura at Life Is Beautiful | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Christina at Waltzing In Beauty | Pinterest | Instagram
Meghan at The Adventure Starts Here | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Tina at Go Big or Go Home | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram
Whitney at Polka Dotty Place | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram

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Love Is…

If I asked you to pick a word that is frequently misused, what word would you pick?

I’m sure there are several good options out there. A few that come to the top of my mind are busy, tired, poor, and hate. All are words that I know I use way too often, generally as an excuse or to make myself look or feel better about something.

But I can’t help but think of a different word… love.

Love is

We throw this word around so flippantly. We say it loosely, cheaply, and our definition of what love really is, is so far removed from truth. I have found myself wrestling with this word lately and what true love looks like. But every single time my heart is pulled to this.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. ~ 1 Corinthians 13 4-8

This, this is love. 
I want to love like this and so often I fail.

Love is patient, love is kind. Wrestling over the true meaning of #love in today's #blog post. Click To Tweet

I lose my temper, I grow resentful, I have little to no patience.
I love selfishly, but expect others to love me perfectly.

Love isn’t about becoming a door mat, it isn’t sarcastic, it stands up for what is right. Love doesn’t always look the way we want it to. Love is far from easy and on this earth, love will always be tainted by sin. Try as we may we will never achieve perfect love.

There was only one man who loved perfectly and he died for us.

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ~ Romans 5:8 ESV

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