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!


{affiliate link, thanks for your support!}

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? 😉

 

an open thank you note

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Dear Beth and the Fit 2 B team,

As you are celebrating your 5th anniversary of launching the online workout site of Fit2B, I wanted to take a minute and say thank you. I first met you over 2 1/2 years ago thanks to an Ultimate Homemaker bundle and another blogger. As I read a post about that dreaded “mommy tummy”, I related to her quite well. You see, at that time, I was about 4 months postpartum with my 6th child, I had a newborn, a 1 1/2 year old, a 2 1/2 yr old, a 4 year old, a 6 year old and an almost 8 year old. As a stay at home mom, homeschooling and helping my self-employed husband, my life was busy to say the least! While I love each and every one of my babies, 6 babies in under 8 years had left me with bulges and pounds that were discouraging to me. I was ready to “get back in to shape”. The problem was I had no idea where to start. I didn’t even know what was wrong with me. I just knew I had to do something. Now, I have never been an “exercise chick”, you know, one of those gals jogging down the street, being a proud card carrying member of a gym, really, doing anything ‘athletic’, just wasn’t ‘my thing’. Even growing up in a large family and going to soccer games, baseball practice and swim team with my siblings, I always said “spectator was my sport” 😉

So, here I was, about to change my life. I started reading on the Fit2B website articles like “do you have a diastasis?” and “129 times to turn on your transverse abs” – I didn’t know what my transverse was or how to pronounce diastasis!  After being able to talk to you, Beth, via a phone call I was encouraged to get going. The support and encouragement I found in the private Facebook forum was incredible. All those silly little questions were answered and I found other ladies with similar struggles and we encouraged each other.

I started my journey doing what is now known as the Foundational 5 workouts. I also purchased a splint and began wearing it. My diastasis when I started measured easily 8 fingers, probably closer to 10. That’s really big! As I began doing 2-3 workouts a week and wearing the splint as much as I could slowly but surely I began to see progress. I was so happy I had taken photos when I started and continued through the months as being able to look back I could see progress being made. Within about 4-6 weeks I had taken my gigantic diastasis down to about a 4-5. I continued splinting and doing just a couple workouts a week. I would love to tell you I did at least a workout a day, but to be honest, I didn’t. As much as I tried, with all the kids and things I had going on, it just didn’t happen. But as I did just those foundational workouts, I started seeing how I use my core in day to day life. How I needed to support my core well as I picked up toys off the floor, got the baby out of the crib, washed the dishes and all the other little things through my day. For me, this was one of the biggest realizations, learning and training my body and core to move right. As I made those changes, adjusted my body, it was healing. Over the course of 16 weeks, I took that 8+ diastasis down to just under a 3. I stopped splinting and over the next 3 months I kept doing workouts 2-3 times a week and most importantly paying attention to how I move and function in my everyday life. Around the time my baby turned 1, my diastasis measured about a 1.

Honestly, I couldn’t believe it. I had gone from not knowing what to do, what my body needed to healing my core. And more that just healing my core, because as my core healed, I found my emotional and mental health being uplifted and in a more positive state. As I learned what my core was and how it is suppose to function and it’s incredible ability to heal, it was truly a healing in every aspect of life.

As I have continued increasing the cardio aspect of my workouts and focusing on building strength in my core, I continue to be inspired and encouraged by you Beth, and your team. I love the variety in the workouts, the new ones added regularly to expand my horizons and continue this path of strengthening my body by focusing on good and true core safety in my workouts. Beth, you are truly one of the most encouraging ladies I have ever ‘met’, your heart and love for the core, tummy safe fitness and more than that, each lady that comes across your path. No one is insignificant, no one too broken to heal, no one too healed to not be strengthened. belly 1 yrYou see, Fit2B is your business but it’s also a huge ministry. As you teach, demonstrate and encourage me, you show God’s heart and His love and His healing power to all those around you. This, this aspect, has blessed me beyond measure and I say thank you, thank you from the bottom of heart and core, for caring enough to take the time to teach, to answer questions over and over, to tell again the proper way to move, to remind good alignment and posture.

I cannot wait to see what the next 5 years hold, I am so looking forward to going through the new Foundational Five e-course in the next couple months, refreshing myself again on the basics and moving my self forward.

May you and your family and the other families on your team be blessed and encouraged today and every day as you continue on!

With love and appreciation, Jen

P.S. to my readers, for more information You can read more about Fit2B on their website. Be sure and look for the free workout in red on the list HERE and I also highly recommend the e-courses as well, you cannot but help come away encouraged and smiling and ready to move forward! (and if you want to try it for yourself, don’t miss my coupon code on our resource page!!!!)

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And right now Fit2B is running a rare sale – and the last one of this year!everything in the store is on sale except yearly memberships & membership start up fees are waived, sale runs NOW till October 15, 2015.

USE COUPON CODE ‘fit2b5’ for 20% off!

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Be sure and check out the Fit2B On Your Skin line as well. I absolutely love her stuff, I have tried the tummy cremeyou can read more about it here. And the Balance spray is still one of my all time favorite scents and sprays of all time. And yes, it really helps me keep my hormones in balance. I have also made our yearly “keep the bugs away” spray from her Away blend and it has worked beautifully. Karyn is wonderful lady and so willing to answer my questions and work with me on getting me what I am wanting. This is a great time to check out her shop as well. The same coupon code above will work on these products as well!

Fit2B