How to be a Productive Mom- Part 1

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productive mom 1

Mom’s are busy people. We wear many hats. Much that goes on in the home rises or falls based on us. So, it is important that we strive to be productive women. (and productive about the right things!)

I had 14 children- so life was very busy and it was so important for me to find ways to be productive in order to make the home run as smoothly as possible, so that there was time and energy to focus on the important things, like relationships and training.

Here are some very simple, practical tips that have helped me to do this:

1. SPEAK TRUTH TO YOURSELF

Psalm 90:12 says, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”

This has been one of my favorite verses as a mom. Why is it that it’s so easy to get distracted about the laundry, the housework, the meal prep, the yard work, washing the windows, etc, etc. and take our eyes off the big picture? Maybe because we are responsible to see to all those everyday details!  But, we need to speak God’s truth to ourselves daily to keep us on the right track.

Continue reading How to be a Productive Mom- Part 1

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A Fun Tradition for Family Trips (and happier travels!)

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family trips

Taking a vacation is always a very exciting time. As the weeks and days gradually bring you closer to the date to leave, you can feel the swell of anticipation in the air. The only problem is, that in order to reach the glorious vacation destination, you have to take a trip; and if you have children, you know that traveling can often be a bit of a stressful experience.

I mean, I get it! It’s hard to sit in a vehicle for hours upon hours (and to kids- an hour seems, I think, at least double what it does to an adult!) when you are already excited. All those emotions and antsy-ness, and small spaces are bound to create some…. “moments”.

So, in an effort to make the actual traveling time a little bit more fun for everyone, I began a little tradition.

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How To Be an Encouraging Mom- Part 2

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encouraging mom part 2

When my kids were little, I would lie down with them at night when I was putting them down to bed. I’d pray with each one individually. I’d try to think of even one thing they did that day that was good and I’d mention it to God in prayer as I prayed with them. Sometimes, I’d peak and see a big smile spread over their face as I mentioned their name to God in prayer, thanking Him that “_________” did a diligent job today as she wiped the crumbs from the counter (for instance). The next day, I’d notice she was extra diligent at her job of wiping the counters. She realized that I had noticed she’d been trying and even mentioned it to God which reminded her that God does see all that we do. When we do a good job at even menial tasks we are doing our best for our Lord.

Colossians 3:17 “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”

Learn to become alert to opportunities to encourage your kids. Learn to watch them as they attempt to do things. Watch their eyes, listen to the excitement in their voices over some project they attempted or want to attempt. Don’t be the person who “throws cold water” on every idea they come up with. Let them attempt to try things that you maybe know won’t even work. Failure is one of our best teachers!

Continue reading How To Be an Encouraging Mom- Part 2

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How To Be an Encouraging Mom – Part 1

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encouraging mom part 1

Don’t you hate it when you’ve worked hard on a project, and full of excitement, you show it to a friend who immediately points out several things they think are wrong with it? Your excitement just deflated like a balloon. That’s exactly what I DON’T want to do with my kids. You weren’t asking for a critique of your project. Now, after the excitement dies down, sure, you want to get some suggestions to help you improve it; but initially, you want some encouragement for all the effort you made getting it to this point.

That analogy helps me to view life from my child’s point of view. The best parent continually learns how to do this. Step into their shoes and try to imagine how they are feeling before you speak. We as parents are responsible to guide our children, to steer them in the right path, to admonish when they are doing wrong, and to lovingly allow them the freedom to fail and learn from their failures. Continue reading How To Be an Encouraging Mom – Part 1

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Summer Quiet Times- a daily respite for kids and mom

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summer quiet times

I want to share with you something that I try to do with my kids most days in the summer. We call it “Quiet Time“. I’m sure this is not a new idea to most of you, however I think it is worth “re-mentioning” because I think it is a wise practice and very worth-while!

What is it? In a nutshell, Quiet Times are an intentional, specified time where each person is to be alone, occupying themselves quietly, and not allowed to disturb others. (not even mom!)

For my children who are young, but no longer napping in the afternoon, Quiet Times happen all year long. But as some of my children have gotten older, and their school days have stretched longer- taking advantage of this practice during the school year has pretty much worked itself out of our schedule. However- in the summertime, when our days aren’t filled with schoolwork and the responsibilities and schedule are different, everyone participates in Quiet Time. And you know something? We all enjoy it. Actually, my older kids seem to like it the best! I find that it provides a needed break from all the ‘togetherness’ and also a little structure to an otherwise care-free schedule. Neither of those are bad things, but too much of a good thing can quickly become tiresome and stale.

This is what “Quiet Time” looks like in our home: 

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How to Be a Happy Mom

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happy momOne thing that is so hard to endure is to be around a grumpy person.  I cringe and want to get away from them as quickly as possible. As a young Christian I was given a little paperback copy of Proverbs from the Living Bible which was pretty “in” back then for young people. ( I was saved at age 16, married at age 18 and had my first baby on my 20th birthday)

I began reading my “daily Proverb” when my first child was napping. I would ask God to show me which verse He wanted me to focus on that day and I’d write it on an index card and hang it on the refrigerator.One day my verse was Proverbs 15:4. “Gentle words cause life and health; griping brings discouragement.” Wow! I began to contemplate that verse and asked God to help me “live it”.  I began to realize that when I complained it not only discouraged everyone around me, but it discouraged me too! I remember making a conscious decision asking God to help me daily to choose cheerfulness.

Continue reading How to Be a Happy Mom

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