A Life for His glory

As moms, each of our children are precious to us, beyond comprehension. But there is a special place in many of our hearts, a place where we keep the memory of those babies we don’t have on earth with us. While I know loss has not touched every mama, it has touched many. Whether once or more, a shared or private grief, the fact that the life was here and given is a blessing. It is a sorrow and heartbreak when it quietly slips away. When you hold a little life in your womb or your arms and that life you love is now gone, a part of your heart breaks and will never be the same again.

But, what do you do with that brokenness? While it makes us sad, we cannot allow it to become bitter; while it forever changes your perspective, let that changed perspective be beneficial to you and those around you. So many who suffer an early pregnancy loss grieve in silence, and this makes me sad. We need our families, our friends to not just rejoice with us in the life but to grieve alongside us in the loss. We can encourage each, help heal hearts and remember those short lives, calling them by name, remembering their lives and acknowledging their live was precious and a gift.

“If we choose to let the moments make us and not break us,

motherhood leaves an imprint of beauty, even when brokenness formed us.”

As we take the hearts that have been broken, what is the imprint left in our lives. Will we allow it be used and form us for God’s glory and His use? Will we let Him break us and mold us to be more Christ-like”? Is it possible that little life was designed and given to shape our perspective and allow our lives here to reflect His glory more?

“But without walking through the long, deep places of release,

our view from up high would never be the same.”

As I think of my own “glory babies”, those little ones gone before we were ready, I often wonder “why”…. Why would God give their lives to us, and then “take them away”. I have come to realize it must be for His glory, He is glorified in their short lives and I must see their lives as for His glory and then live in such a way that reflects that.

My life will never be the same since having their lives in mine, but that is a good thing. Their little lives have shaped mine into who I am, still an imperfect wife and mama but one with a clearer sense of mission and perspective, a longing for heaven and a greater desire to be the mother I need to be for my children here. Through their lives, my life has gained much and I will be eternally thankful for each one and the impact they have on my mothering.

And not just those little ones, my 6 precious ones here are faithful to remind me often of the treasure they each are, how much I need Christ daily to be able to mother them well and give me reason to be intentional, purposeful and humble each and every day. 

And so today, I remember with each of my mama friends, the countless un-named little ones and the ones I do know….. Gedaliah, Aderyn, Tristan, Violet, Whitney, Jonathan, Peter, Noah ….. They are not forgotten and each are precious in His sight.

 

Quotes in burgandy above are from the book {Why} Motherhood Matters by September McCarthy, a read I highly recommend to any mom

More on my thoughts on miscarriage…..

 

 

Gospel Centered Mom {Book Review}

I was recently given the opportunity to read through, study and review this book before it’s release date. The title intrigued me when I first saw it. As a Christian mom, I desire to point my children to the gospel regularly and in every aspect of their lives but I don’t always know exactly what that might look like or practical ways to incorporate it into our daily lives.

As I was reading through the book several thoughts stood out to me as key to the whole thought of a gospel centered mom…. the first was the idea that there is “more than just now”- that concept that as we keep eternity in view, the rest of life starts to fall into place.

This was especially meaningful to me as while I was reading the book some events happened that really caused me again to look at life in light of eternity, trust in God’s plan even when it is not what “I” wanted and was reminded once again of the reality of the hope of heaven and the sweetness that day will bring.

The next concept is really what I feel most of the book was about…. and that is, it’s not our kids, our home, our life….

It’s US….. it’s us turning to Jesus at every point, every turn, every hour, to immerse ourselves in the Word and as we grow and live out our faith, our kids are watching us and learning from our example.

Our kids see the change or the impact Jesus and the Bible have in our lives and they are able to mimic us. As we become more like Christ and focus our thoughts on truths in the Word; our actions, our words and our lives reflect better the Gospel message to our kids and other around us.

There are definitely many other wonderful truths in this book, Brooke has done a wonderful job writing out her thoughts and then backing them up with Scripture references as well. A mom in any season of life will benefit from this book and it would make a wonderful small group study as well with discussion questions in the back. I am glad I was able to read this book, it was especially poignant in this season of my life, and I would highly recommend it to all of you moms!

The book releases today, August 1, 2017….. Read more about the book and purchase it HERE!


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Love this quote and need a reminder on your fridge? Check out our shop here……

Invest in YOU today!

So, you know it’s important to take care of yourself. We also know how hard this is to do in real life 😉

I was just talking this afternoon with a couple friends about this struggle, the need to heal, restore and maintain our own selves so we can be the best women, wives and moms we can be. But, it’s hard to spend the money on “me”. Well, ladies, that is what sales are good for. Below are 3 different opportunities to invest in your self and make a difference in your own life and thereby the lives of those around you, all at a wonderful deal! How can you pass that up? 😉

As always, the links below will use my affiliate links to various products, however, using these links offers me a small bonus when you make a purchase but doesn’t change your price at all, you still the great low prices! I appreciate you using my links and sharing them with your friends as these little things do add up and help me out here at home!

 

 

 

 

First, the Gut Healing e-book and course bundle is happening now through Monday, March 27. Click the logo below to see all the wonderful resources included, there are a variety of topics, from grain free to healing candida to adding good fermented options into your diet. Plus don’t miss the free bonus opportunities, those alone almost cover the cost of the bundle itself!

 

And next, the week is Beth’s birthday, the founder of Fit2B. To celebrate there is sale happening ON FRIDAY MARCH 24 ONLY! However, it’s a good one. The best deal is the premium membership which includes access to all the workouts plus access to all the e-courses as well! Click the logo below to see all the details, all the membership levels and e-courses are on sale if those are more what you need!

And then lastly, below is the copy of a post I posted this week on Facebook. I would love to share more about this product and business opportunity if you are interested. I have a small live Facebook event happening through this week with several very knowledgeable and fantastic individuals who are coming alongside me and helping me learn more and answer any questions you may have. Send me note at jen@claffs.com or click the Facebook link at the end if you would like to join the event and learn more!

What dreams do you have that you are chasing today? When you look around your home where do you want to see yourself, your family and your children in another year, another 5 years, another decade? Sometimes in the busy-ness of the day to day life, this perspective can get lost in the to-do’s of life. But, it’s good to look at and reflect on and keep working toward those long term goals.
I am realizing more and more that taking the time and effort to invest in myself, and to invest in my husband, in turn will become an investment into our children and those we love around us. These investments we make today towards restoring and maintaining our physical body will, Lord-willing, serve us well in the coming decades.
Recently, we have found something so simple, and yet so valuable, that has helped both my husband and I to invest in our health to help both now and in the future so we can function most optimally for each other, for our kids and for serving those around us well into our “older years”
By feeding our body this one whole food every day, we have seen an increase in energy, mental clarity, a decrease in inflammation (and the issues that in itself can cause), and so much more. By naturally restoring our bodies, we have seen it start to naturally self-correct and become more vibrant. It is has also been beneficial to give to our kids so we can know they are getting the nutrition their body needs every day. For us, finding natural, God-given solutions to steward our bodies in the best way possible is important in our day to day lives so that we can continue serving Jesus with our whole selves.
If any of the ramblings of my heart struck a chord or intrigues you, or if you simply just want to know more about our story on this journey, comment below or PM and I’d love to share more with you. Here’s to investing in today, so we can live life to the fullest tomorrow and every day after!

<<< Click here and join my FB event to learn more!>>>

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Rhythms of Life

As each moment passes, each day, each week…. the weeks turn into months and the months into another year. I realize that life keeps marching on, some days pass quickly and others I just want to push fast forward, the next day I am looking for the pause button but through it all life keeps moving. Each day has a rhythm of its own, sometimes fast, sometimes slow but those rhythms flow together to make the song my life is playing.

I realize I want to make the most of these days, the kids are growing quickly and yet seem to last forever in that stage in which we are struggling. There are days when I wish for a circle of moms to give evening awards….. “good job for you, you made 3 meals today;, “mom of the day for realizing your child’s snow boots are 3 sizes too small”; “wife of the moment, you were actually ready for bed the same time he was”; “teacher of the week, you got 2 pages of math finished”; “lady of the day, you got out of bed and made it through the day”…… that circle of friends that realizes and appreciates what an effort something was and rejoices with you in the large and small victories of the day. A circle of friends to encourage and spur on to another day, another step toward living with intention, cherishing each moment, loving always and speaking with grace and kindness. 

I love to read and I have read many encouraging books. In fact, its a rare moment I am not in the middle of at least one “mama, encouraging, wife, parent” style book….. {currently I am reading Life Management for Busy Women by Elizabeth George and Rhythms of Rest by Shelly Miller and The Life Giving Home by Sally Clarkson} But there are a couple books I will re-read each year. Pursue the Intentional Life by Jean Fleming is one of them. It’s one I like to read this time of year as we begin another calendar year and remind myself of the need to live with intention, regardless of the season of life I am in. Jean Fleming is an author I have read many times over the last 12 years, her “A Mother’s Heart” book being one of the first books on mothering I ever read and another one I have read numerous times.

To start out this year, I have decided I’d like to read through this book with some of you. Perhaps its a book that sounds interesting to you. Maybe you just need some accountability to be building God’s Word and good truths into your life, maybe you need a circle around you to encourage you on a daily basis….. this is for you. Because it is the easiest format for many people, I have created a small group, a private forum on Facebook for this group. I have quite a variety of ideas of what we could do in this group and while I am still meshing some things together in my brain, this is something I have been mulling over for awhile already, I decided I just need to start somewhere and see what may come together. 

My plan is to post daily, Monday through Friday, a short something on each chapter in the book. Conveniently there are 31 chapters, however, in order to give some room to catch up and with the weekends, we will take a little longer to go through the book. I have a Bible reading to go with each chapter with the intention of being in the Word on a daily basis as well as gleaning truth and encouragement from the words of this book, Pursue the Intentional Life. My plan right now is to start Monday, January 9th.  In addition, I hope to use this space as a place for us to encourage each other, get ideas for struggles in our daily life, bring some joy to each day and accountability to build habits into our lives. I hope to read through some other good books through the year, as well as e a place for habit building in the areas of menu planning, exercise or other areas the habits need built up in.

If you are interested in joining us, go HERE and request to join the group. You can also email me at jen@claffs.com for more information. And if you would like to join in and aren’t on Facebook often, you can download an app for Facebook that is just for groups, you do need a Facebook account but then you can access just our group from this app and not the rest of Facebook if that is something that works better for you.  Access Google Play store HERE or the iTunes store HERE, it’s a free app on both!

You will need to purchase this book that we will be reading through, but trust me, it is well worth the money and is a wonderful read! Click here for the best Amazon price currently, plus it’s my affiliate link, so I get a little tiny kickback though your price won’t change!  {Oh and look, look….. it’s available in an audio format too if this is an easier way for you to read!}  Once you are in the group, I will make sure you have the daily Bible reading plan that you can download or print and of course, there will be the daily posted encouragement and thoughts for each day.

I’ll be using the #rhythmsoflife and #rhythmsoflifemama hashtags in other social media venues and blog posts, if you would like to use as well you may!

So…. who’s in? 😉

 

Lifestyle Learning

_Think Outside the Classroom_

It’s a little book with a pretty aqua and cream cover. A short read, only 56 pages long. But, as you read it, prepare to be encouraged, strengthened and renewed in your homeschooling vision and direction. Think cover 1

I don’t know that I read anything new to my brain personally, {however, if you follow a strict “school classroom at home” format, you may be greatly challenged by some new concepts!} but I was so encouraged as I read through the book one evening because as Kelly shared her family’s approach to their home-school, I found myself agreeing. Those truths I knew in my brain and heart Kelly was able to articulate in writing. Those dreams and goals I have for my children, those ‘end results’ I desire to have in our own home-school, Kelly and her family were using and achieving. 

Kelly Crawford is a lady I greatly admire and consider one who is worthy of offering advice, truth and encouragement into my life. Though I have never met her in person, her blog posts and the life she lives has shown me that she is a mama ahead of me on a similar journey, a mama of many children, a mama who has “graduated” several of them and so I know the words she speaks come from not only Godly wisdom but practical life experiences too.  Her other book “When Motherhood Feels Too Hard” is one I keep near and have read through often over the last few years.

A Lifestyle of Learning(1)

I would encourage any homeschooling mama to pick up a copy of this book and read it through. The concept of “Lifestyle of Learning” is so key, I believe, to a quality education. That concept that we are teaching our children to not just recite facts and figures back to us but rather teaching them how to learn, how to find answers to their questions, how to think and how to articulate clearly their own thoughts. Kelly includes in this book not only a concept and style of learning, but practical ways to implement this in your own home.

 

“With life-learning, there is no start of finish, no taking off, no being behind….. just a constant readiness to learn something else.” ~ Kelly Crawford

 

This short phrase sums up so well this book “Think Outside the Classroom”, a desire to teach our children to learn, to view each day and each moment as an opportunity to learn and grow. A lifestyle, that once mastered in the childhood years will carry on throughout their lives, well preparing them for their lives ahead.

highest goal -3
For this print and other encouraging quotes and verse on learning, visit our shop page!

 

 

{I did receive a copy of this book to read and review, however all thoughts and the review above are my own!}

{Affiliate links used, thanks for your support!}

 

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Who is your ‘everyone’?

everyone1

 

As I read this verse a couple weeks ago, I was struck by the words in these few sentences. “Christ in you, the hope of glory” is the overarching theme, this is bottom line, Christ is in us and we have the hope of heaven and glory with Him.

And then I was struck by the “everyone” that is repeated 3 times….. “warning everyone & teaching everyone” – this pretty much sums up the life of a homeschooling mama 😉 Most days if I am not actually teaching the kids something at any given moment, it seems that I am disciplining, training or reminding of rules or manners…. and yep, “everyone”, all 6 kids, going from one to the next all. day. long. From keeping the bigger boys on track to complete tasks, school and chores, to spending time teaching the kids and making progress there, to training them in words, actions and attitudes. It never ends.

And yet, keep reading….. what’s the goal dear mama? “to present everyone mature in Christ”. Honestly, this is my bottom line goal with my kids. Yes, schooling and learning is important. It is good that they know to flush the toilet and wash their hands, they need to be motivated to complete tasks and take pride in their work. But at the end of the day it’s growing these little souls into strong, deeply rooted and mature in Christ and that their hearts and souls belong to Him.

It seems to be an overwhelming task. But I love how the verses close out….. it’s with HIS energy that HE powerfully works in me. Yes, we toil and yes, we struggle but He gives us the strength to complete the task He has set before us. In His energy and His power He chooses to work through our lives to reach their little lives.

As I read this and saw my children in “my everyone”, they are my focus and task in this season of my life, but perhaps you are in a different season. Maybe your “everyone” is different from mine. It doesn’t change the fact that God desires for His energy and His power to work within you, to reach those in your sphere for Him, to show His glory and truth to those around us.

Who is your everyone? How can you be encouraged today by these words?

Perspective {10 years after a miscarriage}

Perspective

Perspective…… so much of what we see depends on the perspective we have. We may not see the big picture of all that is happening around since. “You cannot see the forest for the trees in the way” or “Hindsight is 20/20”, pithy little sayings reminding us that our view of life is limited.

 

I remember my second pregnancy quite well. It lasted just 10 weeks. Exactly 10 years ago today. And when it ended in a miscarriage, one Tuesday afternoon in the doctors office there were many different emotions playing through my brain and body that day. Driving home that day with my 10 month old firstborn in his carseat and a small specimen container holding the remains of our baby, I was sad and yet at peace, the miscarriage happened in the best possible scenario; my husband was with us, able to drive me to the doctors office, everything happened quickly and completely with no complications. We were given the option of keeping the baby and we able to bury him in a special spot. This provided good closure and completeness to his short life. As we drove home, we talked about the fact we both were both fairly sure the baby would have been a boy and choose to treat him as such. I asked if we could name him, without realizing it at the time, this was a big part of the healing process and allows us to treat this child as that…. one of our children. All of our kids know who he is and that they have a brother in heaven. 

As we talked about it, a song came on the radio. It was a popular one at the time, “Great is our God” by Chris Tomlin. As we listened to the song play, Kieran asked if we could find a name that meant “great is our God”. Once home I started searching through names, I found one, Gedaliah, that meant “God is great” and so that was his name. 

While we mourned the loss of this baby, God in His grace gave us another just a short time later and we welcomed our second-born 11 months later. When the kids ask about Gedaliah and how old he would be, it’s hard to comprehend that had he lived we wouldn’t have our Colm. God knew who we needed and He is working His good for His glory in our lives and each of our children.MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Gedaliah’s short life has given me a great appreciation for the sanctity of life. Seeing his small body, just forming, yet with head, arms, legs, belly and even the start of fingers and toes able to be seen, I was given a glimpse of the hand of God as it forms each little person. And it has given me an empathy I can share with other moms who experience a miscarriage, it’s a hard process to go through, yet I am thankful for the growth and strength that comes from it.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:12-16 ESV)

And perspective; Gedaliah’s life gives my life perspective….. it’s a reminder that heaven is real and I can look forward to the day when we are able to see him again….. it’s a reminder that life is precious, each and every life….. it is a reminder that our God is great and greatly to be praised, that He holds each detail of our lives in His hands….. that little life accomplished much in my life and I am thankful today to have experienced it and be able to share him with others.

great is our God

This photo above was taken from near the spot where we buried Gedaliah, a peaceful piece of ground with a pretty view as a reminder to us of the greatness of our God.

Have you experienced a miscarriage? Tell me about your little one and what you learned through their life in the comments below.

 

Dear Mama, your crockpot is a game-changer…. #triggersbook

posted in: gracewords, homeschool, Reviews | 0

Dear Mama,

Do you ever get to the end of the day, you know, like around 3:30 p.m., and just want to be done with your day? I know I have sure been there. My morning may have started great, a quiet few moments before the kids woke up, a nice breakfast, even squeezed in a shower and got dressed. The kids accomplished something profitable in the school and chores, the laundry actually got into the dryer. All in all, it was a good day…. and then there’s that late afternoon slump. And you realize everyone, including your husband, are going to want dinner. Preferably something hot and yummy. By now the kids are hitting that marvelous period of time just before dinner, the boys are running track around the kitchen island, the girls have gotten out every.single.doll and doll clothing item they can find, the toddler is whining at your leg and the baby needs fed. It’s all set for the ‘perfect mommy storm’ – that last straw that breaks the camel’s back – the end of the rope – and mama explodes in frustration. I know for me, it’s not usually one thing. I can handle one thing. One little trigger of back talk, one little trigger of a child disobeying and pushing limits, one trigger of needing a nap. For me, it’s multiple triggers all hitting me at the same time. And then, I loose it.

As I have been reading through the new book, Triggers, this last week, I have realized that yes, I can be that angry mom. That frustrated mom. The mom that looses her patience {again, and again} with those precious little children that she loves dearly and yet, can drive her to the point of crazy. I love how Amber and Wendy take those ‘little triggers’ and pinpoint them and separate them and help you think through- what am I really getting upset at? What are the triggers in my life that will make that “boom of mad” go off? As they walk through the multitude of triggers we have in our lives, they walk through ways to handle them better. Ways to stop and realize what is actually going on and help you think through -in advance- the better way, the more Godly way to respond to those situations that come that will be triggers for you to loose it.

So, where does the crock-pot become a game changer? As I was thinking through my days and various triggers and things that cause stress, I realized how thankful I was for my crock-pot. You see, I use my crock-pot A LOT. There is something so calming and reassuring when that late afternoon slump hits and the kids hit crazy, I know dinner is taken care of. I can go ahead and sit down and just read books for a little with the little ones, I can challenge my boys to a game of chess, we can all head to the playroom and play ‘clean up’ together- ’cause you know cleaning is much more fun when mama helps out and I get the added bonus of a cleaned up room and I have found that when the kids start cleaning and have space to play, they almost always find something to play- nicely and quietly and together- at which point I can slip out and work on something else. The joy of having dinner under control is an incredible sanity saver for me and if you struggle with that late afternoon madness and are ready to not be ‘angry mom’ any more, you might find utilizing your crock-pot a little more often will help alleviate some of those trigger points in your life.

I know for me, I don’t want to be an angry mom. I want to enjoy these moments and days with my kids. I want to be able to use my self control and teach my kids to do the same. To have a calm response. To replace that scowl of frustration with a smile of joy. I am working on my second trip through this wonderful book, Triggers, and it is truly blessing me and changing me. I love the many, many Scripture references through the book, reminding me of the truth of what is being said. I love the practical aspect of steps you can take and positive changes you can make.

I love this thought from the book:

“Let yourself imagine a home where your words set a tone of loving-kindness. A home where your first reaction is compassion instead of annoyance. Where you replace the fiery cycle of anger and guilt with conviction and spiritual growth. A place where you draw the hearts of your children toward grace and where every one of you thrives.” ~ Amber Lia

This is my hope and desire for our home.

And I would love for you to be blessed by these ladies and their words as well…. you can purchase the book Triggers HERE and if you would like to work on using your crock-pot more, here’s a couple recipes for you to try out. If you have a favorite crock-pot meal, leave it in the comments below! I am always wanting new recipes too ;- )

Shredded Chicken

  • 2-4 chicken breast (frozen or thawed, just adjust cook time accordingly!)
  • 1-2 cups salsa OR 8 oz diced green chilies, 1 onion chopped and 2-4 TB minced garlic

Pour salsa or green chilies over top the chicken and cook on low 4-6 hours.

With a large fork, shred chicken and stir in water/salsa/chilies in crock-pot.

This makes great chicken for burritos, tacos, salads- pretty much anything 😉 Leftovers often even end up in a chicken chili or stew of some sort.

 

And to go with your shredded chicken, here’s my favorite recipe for re-fried beans in the crock-pot. This is super easy- and can easily cook overnight, freeing up your crock-pot for something else during the day. I know bean and cheese burritos is one of my kids favorite lunch options, and it’s really is very simple to do 😉

Refried Beans

  • 3 cups dried pinto beans, washed and rinsed (if you like, you can soak these beforehand, but they work just fine not soaking as well!)
  • 7 cups water
  • 2-3 TB chili powder
  • 1-2 TB cumin
  • Salt to taste (I always add at end of cooking and blending so I can add to taste, but will probably need at least 1 TB!)
  • Optional: 14 oz can of tomatoes, 4-8 oz can of chilies, a chopped onion or couple cloves of garlic

Put the beans, water and spices in the crock-pot and cook on low 8-10 hours.

When beans are cooked, using a hand blender, blend/mash the beans to desired consistency. (Your water ratio above should be good to cook the beans well but not leave you with runny beans!)

Salt to taste, can also add additional chilies or other seasonings at this point.

Serve and enjoy! These last great in fridge a couple weeks. And should freeze fine as well, though I rarely do since we go through them so quick!

Need some more idea? Check out these blogs……

Crockpot365- A year of slow cooking is a great site for new recipes and ideas.

Mrs Criddle’s Kitchen – a wonderful source for THM crockpot ideas

Counting All Joy – a good source for those on GF, DF or other restricted diets

What is your favorite way to use your crock-pot?

 

And the word of the week is…. Maintain

posted in: ESV Bible, Fit2B, gracewords, thoughts | 2

just maintain.....

As I thought about this last week and assessed how it went, what I got accomplished and just overall how the week flowed the word that came to me was “maintain” – I feel like I spent much of the week just staying at the ‘maintain life’ level. Picking up the playroom, doing laundry, straightening the living room, doing dishes, feeding the masses – repeat every 3 hours 😉  Due to some schedule and weather interventions, my major grocery shopping ‘in the city’ didn’t happen this month, so as we get toward the end of the month it becomes a little more of a creative menu from the pantry game. Not that we are starving or anything, I just find myself not having some of my more normal pantry items around and am working on using the odds and ends items up that really need used anyhow. My husbands work schedule has been a little sporadic and he’s been around more which also kinda messes with my routine too.

While it might have been just a ‘maintain’ week, it was good too. We were able to sleep in more than usual and have a more relaxed week, we got school done and my older boys impressed me with some good math pages, we reviewed our last section of history and moved forward there. My little ones have been into coloring and drawing lately and I have some fun horse drawings by my 5 year old and princess and dolphin and horse drawings by the girls. All in all, it was a good week. And I am looking forward to next week and seeing what it brings!

One thing I am hoping improve on this week is doing a couple of the new workouts on the Fit2B site. There is a new walking one and a new “bag-a-better….” routine, both of which I am wanting to do. It’s always a challenge for me to find time for me to exercise but I do feel better when I do, so I need to work on making it more a priority in my days. And just a quick note, prices on Fit2B are going up February 1st…. if you have been thinking about joining for either a monthly or yearly option, NOW is the time to do it. You will lock in your membership at the “old” prices and be able to continue to renew monthly or yearly at those prices. The increase will not be huge, but minimal, especially as they now have a mobile app option with links to challenges and weekly reminders and courses included in the membership as well as all great workouts on the main site! {Don’t forget to go over to my resource page for a special coupon code for the yearly membership!}

I was reminded that it is good to just rest and relax in the peace of God, to just bask in grace and stand firm. To know that the off weeks, the weeks that we don’t know what we actually accomplished, we know that God is at work in our lives, strengthening and establishing and we can take joy in that truth.

1 Peter
{click image to see in the shop}

 

Joining in the link party here

 

2016 “word of the year”

posted in: gracewords, thoughts | 2

Cherish 1

 

As I thought about what this years ‘word of the year’ would be for me, there were several that came to mind but when the word CHERISH flirted across my brain I grabbed it and realized that was what I wanted to focus on this year. As I work {hard} each day to establish good routine and habits with my kids – who are growing up quickly – my baby is now 3 and my oldest heading toward 11, it becomes easy to let the schedule drive the day and when the schedule gets messed up it seemingly ruins the day {in a mom’s eye of productiveness anyhow!}

And while I know the routine and habits are important and key to our day, so is taking that moment to grab the camera and capture the cute outfit they put on, or go out and get a tour of the backyard snow forts or to sit down and play a game of chess (with your son who always beats you!). I want to have a balance in my life of enjoying their childhood and making those sweet memories and continue to grow them in the direction we are heading.

When I looked up the word CHERISH, I loved the idea especially of ‘nurture with care” and “indulge and encouraging” – I want to look back on the year and know I have done this better, nurtured my husband and children, indulge in those moments and enjoyed their childhood and encouraged them in their journey and most of all, held them dear each day.

This moment

One of my favorite prints in my shop is this one of my youngest as a newborn, when I knew then how fleeting those precious newborn days were and just took those moments to hold him longer, to cuddle him close and to appreciate the baby days. A couple weeks ago, I snapped this picture of him – now 3 years later – and realized those moments do pass quickly!

This moment 4

 

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