Tag Archives: motivation

Finding My Motivation When The Pep Talks Don’t Work

It’s another semi gloomy day here. Yesterday I wrote a post about what we had accomplished last week. While I was happy with what we had accomplished I was hoping that we had been able to get more done but I just didn’t have the gumption to do anything more over the weekend.

Then comes this morning. I laid in bed trying to find some motivation but it just wasn’t coming. I really felt pretty lazy today and the kids did too so I let them sleep in a bit. I crawled back in bed after getting dressed which didn’t help my motivation at all.

Finally after trying to give myself some pep talks about how much better I’d feel once I got a couple things done I managed to roll out of bed and head to the kitchen. I made a cup of coffee and fixed everyone some French Toast for breakfast.

Then it was off to start on chores. I really didn’t feel like doing any of those either. I pulled out my phone and started checking off my tasks on my FlyLady app.

One of my first tasks was to do my morning reading. I’m not sure where or when I got this book but it has been very helpful for various situations that I have dealt with lately.

Then it was off to the bedroom to fix the bed and gather the dirty laundry that had accumulated over the weekend while I was sick. Immediately I felt defeated because of how my room looked.

Even though I had spent the better part of last week in this room it really didn’t look like it this morning. I spent about 10 minutes and had the room tidied back up and put away EVERYTHING that didn’t belong, including the vacuum cleaner.

This past month’s missions have been a big effort to get all like items together in the same area. This goal is still a work in progress but it is coming along and we are seeing some great results. Just realizing this was a bit of a motivator to get me up and going.

With a load of laundry in the wash I set about getting to the other items on the list like cleaning the bathroom. Boy did it need a good cleaning! I also filled the oil diffusers and that in itself improved a lot. By this time it was almost time for lunch which was some leftover hamburgers and pasta salad from yesterday.

I went ahead and put some chicken thighs and Italian dressing in the crockpot for dinner later. I pulled out a box of Success Quinoa I had received as a trial and pulled out some frozen rolls so they could rise. With dinner taken care of I set about taking care of some of the weekly and monthly tasks on my list like wiping out the fridge and microwave and then cleaning the AC filters.

My morning was gone and my list still had quite a bit of tasks to complete so I finished the most important ones and then off to tackle a couple of missions in the Main Room.

I still wasn’t completely motivated to tackle any new missions though so I took a quick break. The kids and I stepped out to the porch to feed the fish. We really do enjoy watching the fish and the turtles come up to nibble on the bread. After a few minutes I headed out to the wash shed to swap a load of laundry and then the rain started again.

Just a quick break was what I needed before starting in the Main Room.Instead of looking at the whole room, which serves as a living room/dining room/home school area/and more, I am going to break it down into smaller sections like I did with the kitchen. Hopefully that will help me get this room organized and more functional for us.

I also know that our upcoming project will help out with the way this room functions as well so just thinking about that does give me a little bit of the motivation I am so desperately needing. Check back in later this week for a review of the progress we’ve made and some of the activities we’ve done this week.

Praying you all have a blessed week!

My self pep talks may not have worked as well as I’d hoped but I did get up and get started. I really don’t know why this decluttering/cleaning has been so hard for me lately but I’m determined to get it done.

If something just doesn’t seem to motivate you then find a way to make it easier. Once you get started then you’ll feel better about finishing the task at hand.

March 6, 2017

Hey there everyone!

It’s been a little while since I’ve been able to work on any new posts, other than recipes and meal plans, but I do have some drafts that I will try to get published soon. Life has been busy, so very busy, but so very good also. I can’t say how thankful I am for the blessings that God continues to pour out on me and my family.

I have been trying to savor every moment here lately. Storing up some wonderful memories for when I may have trying times to come in the future. Not only that but also for future trips down memory lane. Now is the time to stop and cherish these moments instead of wishing I had later on.

My kids are all growing so fast and learning so much. I have been trying to just spend as much time with them as I can and encourage them in their daily adventures. Momma is still square dancing, and I say this with a big grin on my face, and loving it! We have still been doing our rock painting and the kids are loving that. They are really enjoying church here lately too. School is going well for the most part. I haven’t been posting a lot to my Instagram lately as I have had to devote more one on one time to the two girls who are learning multiplication, division, and working on lots of word problems. While the boys are still so very interested in dinosaurs!

Well, I probably need to finish this up as I am trying to multitask while making dinner. We are having Chicken Stir-Fry, Chinese Fried Rice with Veggies, egg rolls, and steamed veggies with Japanese White Sauce. Oh my does it smell good in here right now. The stir-fry was a bag mix that I got from my Sam’s Club grocery trip (I will do a post here shortly on that) as were the egg rolls and the frozen veggies.

Let me tell you all that I am still recuperating from that shopping trip! It was well worth it though as I was able to get the majority of the groceries we need for the whole month. Talk about planning! I was so out routine that it seemed to take me forever to get that grocery list and trip planned out.

I’ll check back in with everyone soon. Gotta go call the kids in for supper!

I pray that you all have a very prosperous and blessed week!

The Two Frogs Tale

This is one of those kinds of stories that I love to read to my kids. A story with a moral that teaches an important lesson. It can be so important for us grown ups to refresh our own memories on some of these morals as well.

One of the traits of being a Godly Woman is learning to control your tongue. Yes, this can be an almost impossible task at times. Sometimes it is best not to say anything at all if you just can’t say anything nice.

We need to remember the importance of using kind words. Words that can encourage others to help them succeed. This story is an illustration of just how damaging words can be and shows how they can indeed make the difference between life and death in certain circumstances.

The Two Frogs Tale

A group of frogs was walking through the woods when two of them fell into a deep pit. When the other frogs saw how deep the pit was, they told the two frogs that they were as good as dead. The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit with all their might. The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead. Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and gave up. He fell down and died.

The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and just die. He jumped even harder and finally made it out. When he got out, the other frogs said, “Did you not hear us?” As it turned out this frog was deaf and could not hear what they had been saying. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time.

So we what do we need to learn from this story? We need to see just how powerful our tongue and our words can be. If we speak an encouraging word to others it can possibly be the motivation that they need and help them to get through a difficult time.

However, if we speak the wrong words it could send them into a downward spiral.

Make a conscious effort today to use your tongue and your words to encourage someone around you. Ask God to help you choose your words and to help you keep your mouth shut when you can’t. Make your words count and use your tongue to bless others in a positive way each and every day!

Life in 2016

Reflections of 2016

December 30, 2016

December 27, 2016

December 21,2016

December 6, 2016

December 5, 2016

December 3, 2016

December 1, 2016

November 28, 2016

November 27, 2016

November 26, 2016

November 20, 2016

November 18, 2016

November 8, 2016

New Year’s Resolutions

I know most of us set goals and make resolutions at the beginning of the year. I know we have the best of intentions when make them but often times we start out strong and then just kinda let our goals fade out of sight. Sometimes we just keep procrastinating on getting started and before we know it the year is gone.

This year I am setting my intentions on becoming a better mother, a better friend, a better steward of my blessings, and a better keeper of the home. I also have other goals like losing weight, being more faithful in my prayers and devotions, and getting our homeschool stuff more organized. Some of these goals are being carried over from last year. I did make progress on them but I know that I still have a long way to go. Many of them are written down in my prayer journal and I try to pray about them on a daily basis.

Here is a quick list intentional goals that I have made, as I know that I must set my mind to wanting to do something and praying that God will lead me and give me the desire and willpower to accomplish things according to His plans for my life.

  1. Create more peaceful routines.
  2. Create routines and activities that help each of my family members to develop and grow in their own unique ways.
  3. Create a place home that is calm, peaceful, and nurturing. A place where everyone who enters can feel safe, loved, and cherished. A place where my friends and family can find rest, comfort, and peace when then need it.
  4. Create a budget and routine that allows me to be a better steward of my blessings.
  5. Create a more dedicated time to prayer and devotions.
  6. Create a better schedule for planning, organizing, and rotating our homeschool activities.
  7. Create a better schedule for my daily workouts. I would like to lose 10-15 pounds.

I know that I must work at each and everyone of these in order for them to be achieved successfully. Some of them will require research and work on my part while others just require me to get motivated.

I have already started on many of them. I have read that it takes 21 days to form a new habit so I wanted to get a little head start on it. I am also reading some books to give m inspiration and ideas to motivate me towards my end goals. I will list these at the end of the post.

When you set your goals try to be as specific as possible and find ways to hold yourself accountable. It is also helpful to break the goals down into short term goals so you can evaluate your progress and make changes as needed to reach your end goal. Be sure to ask your friends and family to help you stay motivated.

Remember that it’s OK if your goals and resolutions change through the year. Sometimes we set unrealistic goals for ourselves and then just quit or throw them out the window because we feel like a failure. Don’t give up, just sit down and revise or rewrite your goals. Life happens, circumstances change, and so many things are beyond our control. Just focus on what you can control and make the best of it.

Books I am currently reading.

Starting Your Day Right: Devotions for Each Morning of the Year

First Light – Women’s Daily Devotional & Journal First Light – Women’s Daily Devotional & Journal

The Lifegiving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming

The Lifegiving Home Experience: A 12-Month Guided Journey

The Organized Homeschool Life: A Week-By-Week Guide to Homeschool Sanity

Becoming a Woman Who Pleases God: A Guide to Developing Your Biblical Potential

Reflections of 2016

Can you believe that this year is almost gone? I can’t but I am ready to start 2017 with a fresh, positive, and energized outlook. I know in my heart that this new year will be better than last year. I also know that God has some truly amazing things in store for me and my family. I can’t wait to see what He has planned for us in the upcoming months!

We have been through alot this past year. The year started off really rocky. There had been some nasty rumors and gossip that caused us to leave our church and lose contact with some people. It was also filled with some nasty messages, hateful comments, and posts from people who chose to believe the rumors.

I’ve learned to forgive even if you don’t feel that they deserve forgiveness. Forgiveness lets you move on and heal from the pain.

My oldest daughter finished up boot camp and then DD17 and DS21 took a road trip to Missouri to bring her back home. Then we had a lot planning to do for DD19’s wedding. It was really hard to stay strong for my kids and my family but I refused to let the chaos and nastiness get me down.

I filed for divorce after being separated for nearly 2 years. It was a painful and difficult decision that I prayed a lot over. It was not the outcome I wanted but it was what needed to be done at the time to protect my family and myself from his behaviors and actions. We have come a long way since then and are working to be the best parents we can be to our children.

I am learning to be content in whatever situation I am in and wherever I may be. I will change the things I can change, focus my attention on God, and let Him handle the things I have no control over.

Our family got larger with the additions of a niece and a nephew, both of which I absolutely adore. There was a camping trip where I got to go salt water fishing for the first time and I loved every minute of it. This was a welcome relief prior to the stresses of the wedding where we had last minute changes that threatened to ruin the whole thing. I am pleased to say that it was a success and it is now a beautiful memory for us to cherish.

During those stressful times I found out who my true friends were and became closer to my best friend. She really came through for me when I needed her. I had another friend who also came through and was a lifesaver, quite literally, and he was the calm in my storm on a few occasions.

There was a brief romance where my already tender heart was shredded and ripped apart. This was harder on me than my divorce as it came at me unexpectedly and then it was over without any warning or explanation. I lost someone who I considered to be one of my best friends with the end of that relationship. I know that my questions will continue to go unanswered and I know that there would never be anyway to get back what it was that we had. It still brings tears to my eyes but I do treasure the moments we had.

I am learning that it is much easier not to question God when something happens but rather to embrace it and trust that He knows best. 

Then I attempted online dating which I quickly learned wasn’t for me. I did meet a couple of really nice people and I went on a couple of dates but we didn’t really click. I quickly found that dating by text is not for me either. I need to be able to see the person and hear their voice. I want to know that they are not a figment of my imagination. I did make a friend through the dating site and we still text on a semi-regular basis.

We had another camping trip where I took the five kids and myself. It was an adventure that we all enjoyed and thankfully survived. There was moment that I wasn’t sure if I would make it as I had fallen in the river. Luckily I had a life vest on and I was able to stay calm until someone was able to reach me. The crazy thing was that he was able to walk out to me but I was just a little bit too short to reach the bottom.I think I swallowed my yearly quota of river water that day.

I’ve had many more episodes of the gossip mill. There were days and weeks that I felt I should just write a soap opera about my life. I finally realized that the problem wasn’t really with me but with the ones who were starting and spreading the rumors. This was a big turning point for me and the way I handled the stress and drama from those situations. I also had some painful revelations about family and friends.

Then there was the flu bug that hit us around Thanksgiving. I was upset that we were not able to visit with family but fortunately God did give me the strength and supplies to make our own impromptu dinner. I wasn’t able to eat but I made up for that at Christmas dinner with my daughter and son-in-law. That was definitely a dinner to remember as the police showed up twice!

I have learned to be ready to receive a blessing at any moment and any time.

These are just some of the ups and downs of my past year. There have been a lot of firsts like the salt water fishing, a low country boil (I actually had twice this year), and online dating. I can say that I have lived, loved, been loved, and have been truly blessed. Life has taught me a lot about myself, relationships, and God’s will for my life. There have been many surprises, good and bad, but all in all it was a wonderful year.

I hope you can also look back on the past year and see what has happened. Take a moment to reflect on what you’ve experienced and then think about what you want to experience in the 2017. I pray that each and every one of you will be blessed abundantly in the upcoming year. I pray that God will touch your lives and supply your needs, whatever they may be.

 

 

 

My War Room

I don’t know how many of you have read or watched ‘The War Room’. This is one book and one movie that I can read and watch time and time again because the message is so powerful.  Even before watching the movie and reading the book I had a desire to have my own little quiet space just for me. After watching the movie and reading the book that desire grew.

So with the recent changes of rooms in our house I had intended on turning a corner of my closet into my private little area. My ‘War Room’ if you will. Things just didn’t work out as planned when we first changed rooms. My closet had turned into the catchall for everything that didn’t have a home.

Some other events happened and it made me realize there was some things that I needed to get rid of. While clearing out those things I was able to make room in another area of the house to move our pantry cabinets that had previously been in my closet.

I also had a desk on the porch outside that my brother had brought to me before with the intention that I could use it in my private little space. It has been touched by the weather and isn’t quite as pretty as it once was but I enlisted some strong muscles to help me bring it in.

I also gathered a few little items from our shed and from around the house. Just a few little things that meant something to me, things the kids had given me or things the kids had made for me. Some of them were items that others close to me had given to me.

I moved a collection of Bible verses to hang on the wall. These had been hanging on the bulletin board in the kitchen but kept getting covered over with other things. Now they can give me inspiration and motivation to start my day with.

I also brought in a small bulletin board that wasn’t really being used. I may use this to post little verses or maybe even pictures that kids make for me. I reclaimed a small CD player and gathered up some inspirational and relaxing CDs to play. In another closet I found a basket to put all of my current books in there to set on the desk.

I put up a couple of small shelves, one of which my oldest son had made, to use for knickknacks that people have given me. My oldest son had given me a tiny turtle, a little peacock came from my sister, and a couple of beautiful mugs that other people have given me.

I had a peacock clock, which if you don’t know already I enjoy collecting peacocks, that is now sitting on my desk ticking away.I also placed one of my favorite coasters on the desk to hold a drink or a cup of coffee.One of the drawers is now home to my prayer journal and my daily devotionals.

There’s even a space for my laptop. I was able to run an extension cord from an outlet close by so I have a little bit of power in my little room also. (This is only temporary until I figure out a better solution.) DD 17 gave me a little lamp from my desk and I was able to finally unpacked some Christmas gifts from a couple years back.

Among those gifts was a water globe to hold pictures, I intend to put pictures of my kids in it, a small little battery powered fountain which makes a very soothing sound, and a beautiful candle holder that may hold a scented candle in the near future.

My space is not big but it’s cozy and it’s filled with things that remind me of the people that I love the most. So while I’m sitting in my little space I can look around and see things that remind me of my friends and family and it helps me just to get in touch with those feelings and those people that I’m praying for in a deeper way.

I have some other ideas about things about a few things I may add. I will probably add an aromatherapy device of some sort as I know that Santa has brought me some oils. I may hide a stash of chocolate in one of the drawers for emergencies. I’m sure there will be a few other things as well that I think of but I plan to try to keep it as decluttered as possible.

This morning was my first day to enjoy my little space and let me tell you it was so relaxing and peaceful.  I was able to come in and put a CD on very softly, go through my devotionals, go through my prayer journal, and  give thanks to our most awesome God.

It is a very humbling experience to actually be able to spend time in the presence of God. To just sit, relax, and be still. I thank Him every day for all the blessings that He has bestowed upon me, my family, and my friends. I thanked Him today for bringing the images of what I needed to do to rearrange my house in my life in order to have this little space. I thanked Him for the awesome sense of peace I had this morning while in my ‘war room’. Note: I need to put some tissues in a drawer.

This morning I went through my normal activities and had so much peace from them. I prayed about a few things like the fact that our furnace has not been working properly. I asked God to touch it and to guide me as to what I needed to do. I got my answer and I will be replacing the thermostat soon.

Another prayer is something I have been praying about everyday for the past several months. It concerns a person, I don’t know who this person is yet for sure, but I am praying for God’s wisdom and guidance for him and for myself. Today I heard the words ‘Prepare him room’. (I know this is a phrase from a song we hear at Christmas but I wasn’t playing a Christmas CD.)

I will be taking that phrase quite literally as I’ve seen what needs to be done. I have faith that God is working for my good and that He has marvelous things in store for me. I’m telling you that this morning’s experience in my war room was one of the most humbling, gratifying, and blessed time that I have spent with my Father.

I desire to have more of these moments and experiences in the near future. I know that now I have a place where I can truly ‘be still’ and listen for His voice. It is His voice of wisdom that I have been so desperately seeking and that my heart yearns for. I long to hear Him whisper the promises of His love and His plans for me. Now I have a private place to meet with Him. I left my closet with a happy heart!

My desire now is that everyone can have a place like this to go to.I know a lot of you may not have a spot in your home or a closet big enough but just try to make some little space for yourself to spend time with God. This has been over a year in the works. Before this ‘war room’ my space was a little ottoman beside my bed. My nightstand held a stack of books and a small lamp. The top drawer of my nightstand held my prayer journal and devotionals. It was a very comfortable little space and I enjoy it so very much. However it was not my own little private space as my kids would often come in. I enjoy having them around me but sometimes Momma just needs a place to get away for a minute or two.

I challenge you each to find your own little corner, your own little closet, or just somewhere that you can go into and quietly spend some time alone doing something that makes your heart happy.

Have a blessed day! While I was finishing up this post my furnace started working! God is so good!

  

See also:

Pray In Secret

So Much More Than A Basketball

Wow! Well, I had written this article last December after we had the surprise pleasure of meeting with the ‘Basketball Cop’. I came to revisit this post only to find out that is GONE! I’m not entirely sure how this happens but I have had some comments from others that this has happened with some other posts on my blog as well. I do apologize and will try to find out what is causing this.

This picture was taken December 25, 2016 in Gainesville, FL. We had went to my oldest daughter’s place for Christmas dinner. There were a lot of people, mostly kids, crammed into a small apartment so it was a bit noisy. We were in the middle of exchanging gifts when we heard a loud rap on the door.

Immediately we all stopped what we were doing and my son-in-law went to open the door and found a police officer standing at the door. Our first thought was that someone had called in a noise complaint but that wasn’t the case at all. She explained to us that she had some gifts she would like to pass out.

We brought all of the kids outside and she began passing out gifts only to realize that she didn’t have enough girl gifts. Well, the kids were not that concerned as she let them choose a boy gift. She promised to return with some girl gifts later on.

Later on she did return with more gifts and more people. It was then that I found out who was responsible for the gifts and this prompted me to investigate further. I had seen the ‘Basketball Cop’ on the news, after his YouTube video went viral, and I had told people about how wonderful he was but I never imagined how much he and the Basketball Cop Foundation did for the community.

If you have never heard of him or his foundation I encourage you to take a moment and check out the link I posted above. He is also on Facebook and Twitter too!

I really hate the fact that my original post was deleted and I am looking for an original that may have been posted elsewhere. I can’t go back and recreate that post or recapture the excitement I felt when I was writing it. I do pray that you will feel a bit of excitement yourself if you happen to check out the links and see what an amazing thing has started.

Pray In Secret

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. – Matthew 6:6

I’m sure we have all heard or read this verse at some point in our lives. It has been my desire to have a ‘secret place’ to pray. After reading ‘The War Room’ this desire became more intense. While I do feel it is important for my kids to see me praying, sometimes I just need my own little space.

Yesterday morning was one of those times. It was a bit cold in the house so I decided to turn on a heater in the bathroom before my shower. My plan was to have some quiet time while the bathroom warmed up a bit. I was sitting on the ottoman beside my bed trying to read my devotional when DS3 popped in. He had a million and one questions, maybe more than that, and he was super excited about Christmas.

Well DS14 heard little brother’s excitement and decided to make some noise of his own. His room is right next to mine so it just added to the disruptions. I was able to settle down the little one and send him back to his room for a few minutes. However DS14 was up and at it.I had to take a few minutes to get him calmed down and settled back into his bed.

I checked the bathroom and it was still a bit chilly for my liking so I attempted my quiet time again. I prayed about a few things that had happened the night before and asked God to show me what to do. I also went through my prayer journal and reviewed some of my previous requests. One of them was to be able to create a little space for myself, a prayer closet of sorts, where I can find some peace and relaxation.

I don’t know for sure if it was the Holy Spirit or just my imagination, which would have had to have been influenced by the Holy Spirit, but an idea popped into my head. I know it sounds crazy but I kept hearing the words, ‘pray in secret’, and some visions flashed in my head. I saw what needed to be done. Every obstacle was no longer an obstacle as I had seen the solution to fixing several issues, even the issue from the night before.

My faith and energy was renewed as I finished up my prayers and quiet time. I hummed a little tune as I showered and got ready for the day. I worked with a purpose to finish our morning tasks so I could set about making the vision become a reality.

Well, at nap time, it happened. I was able to rearrange some furniture in the laundry room to make room for our pantry cabinets. The pantry cabinets had been in my closet as we had no other place to put them. They had previously lined a wall in my bedroom when I had one of the smaller rooms. When we switched rooms a month or so ago I had planned on making a portion of my closet into a quiet area but the cabinets had taken up more space than expected.

Once the cabinets were out of the closet I had more space but some more things needed to be rearranged. I wasn’t sure how to do it but I had faith that it was going to happen. My dad helped me to carry in a desk from the porch. My brother had brought me the desk when we had switched rooms as I had all intentions of using it at that time. This poor desk had gotten wet and didn’t look as nice as it did before but I intended to use it anyway. We brought the desk in and left it near the closet door.

Then came the measuring and trying to decide where to put it and what would need moved. My closet is kind of a catch all for many other areas of the house. I have a filing cabinet that holds cleaning supplies, some paper supplies, and some files. There are a couple of shelves that hold other various items like my crafting tote, my sewing box, and my sewing machine. And another that holds the surplus of items that are bought at Sam’s club.

Not too mention that I have totes upon totes overhead that hold our party supplies, party decorations,camping/overnight supplies, extra bags, etc. And of course my clothes and shoes have a place in there as well. It is not really a huge space, even though I had once thought of converting it to a small bedroom, but it holds a lot of stuff. Last week I had went to my closet to hide for a bit as I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and needed a place to clear my head. Well, that wasn’t the place but after spending a few minutes in there I was motivated to declutter and organize it. This was a good thing as it made this project so much easier.

It took about another hour to finish the rearranging and moving stuff around. After taking a stroll through the house and shed to ‘shop’ for things I was able to pull it together. There are still a few more things I may add but I don’t want to clutter it up as I want to be able to relax and just ‘be still’.

I will be writing another post in the next day or so to show you my ‘war room’ and what I’ve put in there. So until then I pray that you may be able to find your own little ‘private space’.

See My War Room for how it came together.

Kids’ Morning Routine 

I have posted several ideas about routines that help keep our home running smoothly. Most of those ideas were meant for me to follow but there are a few for the kids.

Below is a picture of the morning routines that are posted in each of the kids’ bedrooms. We really struggled with mornings for a while. I would have several half dressed kids stumbling to the kitchen to eat. Their hair would be a mess and so would their attitudes!

They were in public school at the time too. Every morning was a hectic rush to make sure that they had gotten dressed and fixed their hair. It also never failed that someone would need to pee when we got to the bus stop which was right out our gate. Not too mention that their rooms would be a mess when I went through to do my normal checks in the morning. Something had to change!

I had come across a post, I tried to find the original post but haven’t yet, and there was a ‘Morning 5′ routine. It was so simple and easy. I decided to give it a quick try and it worked! My first list was just hand written. I then printed out some clip art and added to it for the little boys and for my special needs son. This picture is from one that is still posted in the little boys’ closet. This was in our ‘pre-laminator ‘ days and it really needs to be redone to look a little neater.

Just a very simple checklist of things for them to do before coming to the kitchen for breakfast:

  1. Go potty. When you have kids who are potty training this is such an important reminder for them. My special needs son also needs reminding of this as well as food is usually his top priority in the morning!
  2. Make your bed. Yes, this is a must in our house. I also make sure that my bed is made in the mornings as well.
  3. Get dressed. I usually lay out the little boys clothes the night before so they just have to go to the closet and grab an outfit. They can also pick something out of the dresser if Momma forgot or if they don’t like the outfit I set out. DD8 & DD9 can pick out their own outfits and DS14 will pick out his outfit and show to me before getting dressed. His wardrobe has pretty much been set up so that almost everything will coordinate but sometimes he will bring out a pair of shorts when it is really cold or a long sleeve shirt when it is really hot.
  4. Brush your hair. For the boys this is not really a big deal as they usually have short hair cuts. For the girls though this is a must as they have long hair and it is usually a mess when they get up.
  5. Hug Mommy! This one is more for fun and it kinda helps set the mood for a good day. (Watch for a post about the Attitude of Gratitude.) Plus DS14 really likes hugs!

This has made the world of difference in our house. It has also helped to promote independence and responsibility in my kids. These are all simple tasks that can be done without much supervision and my kids know that they are expected to complete them each and every morning. It has also helped them to develop a sense of accountability as well.

Not too mention that it gives Momma a chance to get breakfast fixed and on the table while they are busy getting ready for the day. It takes a lot of stress out of the mornings as Momma doesn’t have to constantly remind them to do these things. I really enjoy getting those hugs first thing in the morning too!

December 12, 2016

Good morning! I had intended to write this post about the peaceful mornings but plans changed. I started my day as usual and the kids actually slept in a bit so I was not being hurried to get breakfast ready and on the table.

I sat down with my coffee and reflected on a few things. One of which was yesterday’s sermon about clinging to grace. We need to remember that when times are hard and nothing seems to be going right that we still have grace to carry us through. We need to keep holding fast to the promises that God has given us. He has a plan for us and He knows what we need even we don’t really have a clue.

I have had many a day when I have felt so discouraged and sad. Part of this is due to the fact that I don’t have someone to walk alongside of. Someone to share my little joys with or someone to hold me when I am down. I do miss having someone to hold my hand or the feeling of someone coming up behind me and wrapping their arms around me and holding me tight. I sometimes long to have someone to talk to about my day or being able to listen to someone tell me about their day. I miss having someone to snuggle close to when the nights are cold or when I don’t want to get up in the morning.

I try my best not to dwell on these feelings as I know that God is in control. I know that right now my focus needs to be on Him and the rest will fall into place. He is always there and will never leave me. He knows the innermost thoughts of my heart and all of my desires. He will comfort me like no one else can. I know that if it is in His will for me to have someone beside me He will allow our paths to cross.

So for now I will continue to pray for His wisdom and guidance, not only for myself, but for the one He has chosen for me. I pray that God will bless Him beyond measure and supply all his needs. I pray that  He will guide him and protect him and that He will surround Him with people who will encourage him. I pray that God will continue to mold him and shape him into the man God intends him to be.

I don’t know God’s will or His plans for my life but I know that He loves me and only wants the best for me. I also know that a lot of my problems have been because I wasn’t patient enough and didn’t wait for Him to reveal His plan to me. I tried to do things my own way and they didn’t turn out the way I had planned. I’ve made so many mistakes and suffered so many failures.

I pray that God will continue to work in my life and mold me and shape me into the person He wants me to be. I know that He can turn mistakes into miracles and that God has not forgotten about me. I pray that if it is not His will for me to have someone to walk with that He will fill my heart with joy and help me to be content where I am right now.

Right now, I will keep my focus on Him and on the job He has blessed me with as a mother and a keeper of my home. This is an important job that He has placed on me and it is full of responsibilities. My attitude and behavior will influence everyone around me especially my children. God calls us to show His love to all of those around us and I pray that everyone I meet can see how His love overflows from my heart. I pray that everyone around me will always feel loved, welcomed, safe, and comforted when they enter into our home.

Yes, it would be so much easier if I had someone to help me shoulder the many burdens of raising a family and keeping a home but God will give me the strength I need. I don’t really look at my role as a burden as I try to do everything with a servant’s heart because I love my family. So I will try not to be discouraged and I will keep singing His praises because God is so good to me! He has blessed me, an unworthy sinner, and He has loved me and shown me His grace and mercy. So for now I will indeed continue to cling to that grace and allow it to carry me through this difficult part of my journey.

St. Nicholas Day 2016

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This was our first year celebrating St. Nicholas Day here at our house. I am hoping to keep this new tradition and continue to build on it as we go through the years. Below are some of the ways that we celebrated today:

The night before, after our Advent Study, we set out our stockings. Many traditions involve setting out shoes, but we chose to use our stockings because Momma didn’t want to put the shoes on the table. The kids also made some chocolate chip cookies with DD17. Then they left a glass of milk and a plate of cookies for St. Nick to snack on.

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Sometime after the kids went to bed St. Nick made a visit by our house.

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They each received a book, a coloring book, a small toy, and a few candies. (Santa picked all of these up at the Dollar Tree.) The kids were eager to check their stockings first thing. He even left a few items for Grandpa, DD17, DS21, and Momma.

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After everyone’s curiosity was satisfied we had a special breakfast…. Santa Pancakes!

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We happened to be having some really heavy rains today so Momma cancelled school due to the internet being really slow. Good thing Momma had some other activities planned out. (You can find a list of activities HERE.)

We read the Santa Who? book. We also had some coloring sheets and activities that I had printed from my St. Nicholas board on Pinterest. We also watched a few videos about Christmas.

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We also put up our Christmas tree! This was probably one of the most exciting things about the day for the kids. (We also watched a video about how the Christmas tree became to be a symbol of Christmas.)

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All in all it was a really good day. I think this will help us to keep the focus that Jesus is the reason for Christmas while also answering the numerous questions that arise about Santa Claus. It also honors the work that St. Nicholas did.

Guess Who’s Coming to Santa’s for Dinner?

I would have loved to invite Santa for dinner but I didn’t know anyone who would be available on such short notice. (I do have a Santa outfit in the building that we use for our Polar Express parties.) If you decide to start this tradition in your own house then do whatever you want to make it special to your family.

Merry Christmas!