Raising Girls

Everyone always said raising girls was different from boys…. I agree 😉  I have 4 boys and 2 girls and they have their own unique quirks, challenges and of course, personalities. When my first daughter was born after having 2 boys, I was so excited to have a girl, and all things pink and frilly, when Little A came along as #5 I was happy for not just another girl but a sister for our Big A. But with these girls, comes the responsibility of teaching them and showing them those “all things girls”; teaching them about their bodies and how they are created and how things function and raise them to appreciate and be comfortable in their bodies.

{Oh goodness, so little & cute!}

{Side note- yes, we need to do this with our boys too, and I do- and dads can be involved too- perhaps more with the boys than the girls, but yes, this is important to encourage and support and teach well to all our children and to have good affirmation and love from both parents….. but for this post, I’m just focusing on me and my girls 😉 }

As my girls grow and mature, I am realizing how inadequate I feel to teach them well. It can be uncomfortable to talk about some of these subjects and how the body works and matures. And sometimes its hard to figure out how to approach various topics, what information do they need to hear, what ages to start being more intentional about sharing with them the “girl things” of life…. these things are running through my brain as my oldest girl is quickly approaching her 9th birthday. So, I was thrilled when, over a year ago, Beth at Fit2B started talking about creating a girls course. A course designed just for girls, to teach them these things we older ladies and moms all wish we had learned about sooner than we did. This course has finally come to fruition and I was privileged to part of the pilot group going through the content before its formal release to the public.

“Fit2B Girls is a radically different body education course for young girls ages 9-14. If you’re raising a girl, you will love how this course empowers her to respect her body and keep it healthy. It’s not about sex or boys. It’s just all about girls.”

I am so excited that this course is now available and you can go buy it right now! But before you do, let me tell you a few things I really loved about it.

First, it’s broken down into small chunks, a short video accompanying each topic along with a written portion as well. Each topic has a note from Beth expressing some of her thoughts and notes on the topic and then each section closes with a short and simple quiz. to review what was covered. The videos are short enough to hold attention and not get into too much detail but yet, enough to cover the subject and teach the girls.

Next, because it’s all wonderfully broken up and the topics don’t blend too much, we as the moms, can determine what content our girls are ready for without going into content that needs to wait for later. For example, some of the topics are great for the girls at any age and other topics may be better to wait and share with them after they have started cycling and still other topics may be better once they are much older and approaching adult life.

Plus, this course is still growing and when you purchase it now, not only will you have access to it forever, but as new content gets added, you will have that automatically as well.  {And, if you already have a premium membership….go look at your account, you already have access to this course as well as all the other courses Fit2B offers!}

And, the topics are not all taught by Beth! While she has some notes to share on each topic, most of the topics are covered by others, experts in their fields, moms (and dads!)  with hearts to share this knowledge and a vision to see this next generation of women grow up strong and knowledgeable in all aspects of their life. It is all presented in a simple, straight-forward -using proper terms, but not explicit in their content- way, with the ability for moms to take the subject and content and expand on it personally and as needed with their girl. While the course is fairly broad and covers much of what a girl may need to know, it also leaves many avenues open for further discussion and learning as the girls grow and learn more. It is a great way to springboard conversations and provide a way to start talking with your girls and allow them the freedom to learn and then ask more questions and learn some more!

 

“It can be done all at once in a special weekend. It can be done as part of a science study over a semester. It can be done in pieces as your girl needs each lesson. A few lessons can be done now, and a few more next year, and a few more the year after that.”

Overall, I cannot praise enough the value of this course. I am excited to go through it with my girls. My oldest has already listened to several topics with me as I previewed it. I am already culling through several of the topics and figuring out how to share them with my boys as they are ready; because they need to understand the differences between male and female and they need to learn to appreciate and value those differences and grow in their respect of girls and ladies, knowing that someday they may be married to one! I know she will appreciate their being aware and have a basic understanding of them as well.

This course is all about empowering girls to understand and respect their bodies and to learn how it works and how to keep it healthy. What mom wouldn’t want this kind of content in her arsenal of raising her daughter well?

You can read more about the course on this blog post HERE – or watch the short intro video about it HERE – and you can go buy it RIGHT HERE!

This course has just released this week – and it is currently being offered at a discounted rate. It will be on sale NOW through Cyber Monday Sales but there is a special coupon offer for a free Luna pad to the first 100 purchases of the course, so don’t wait too long!

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? 😉

 

Strength for Today

As your day 1

When I read this verse, I was so struck by the phrase “as your days, so your strength shall be” ….. whatever my day brings, there will be strength given to handle it. The verse goes on to say “there is none like our God”, “who rides through the heaven to your help” and “under His everlasting arms” – what encouraging words to hear! With the prevalence of social media and the ability to ‘see’ and know what is happening in others lives instantly, it is often easy to play the comparison game; to wish your situation was different, to think if only I could do things “that” way or I don’t know how she handles that incredibly hard “whatever it may be” and yet, we are not given the strength for someone else’s “hard” – we are given the strength to handle – to handle with grace and joy – to be able to go through our days with a thankful and gracious heart – whatever our day brings, whatever our hard is, that is what we are given the strength to handle.

Where the ideal and reality meet

I know we have all done it, taking a few minutes of quiet over a weekend where we have planned out our menu and routine for the week ahead. It all seems so doable. So reasonable. Enough space to breathe and yet be productive. Accomplishing school and exercise goals. Making and serving simple and healthy meals. It gives a peace and satisfaction to know the week ahead is gonna be good.

And then, life happens. It’s a rare day when life even glances at my plans. A change of plans for dad’s work day, getting caught up in some un-planned yet necessary re-organization, a bright sunny and beautiful day enticing the kids to play happily outside…..

{and that was as far my blog post draft got before life happened….now 3 weeks later, I will attempt to finish my thoughts! Read to the end, some coupon and giveaway info there!}

There are many moments through a day that little thoughts cross my brain, a word of encouragement I want to share with a new mama, a quick text to a friend to check on her kids that have been sick, an idea for a blog post, something I’d like to do with the kids in our school time…..the list could go on. Somehow I often feel stuck in the “everyday” – going from one thing to another and as I feed, clothe, nurture and disciple the kids, take care of the house and husband – it almost feels like I spend all day just getting things back to “ground zero” ready for the next day of the everyday.

And then I realize the truth of these two quotes…..

This job
This job
Work well
Work well

 

…..both of which hang in poster size frames on my living room wall – and I remember I am doing what I need to be doing. In these days of busy little ones and young elementary school age kids, this is what my days are designed to be. Doing the next thing. Showing my kids love, kindness and joy in the everyday tasks. Being faithful with my little ones and my home because this is what I am called to be.

Reminding mamas of this truth is one of the reasons I so enjoy making and using for myself the photos in my shop……I know I need reminded often of these truths and when they can catch my eye on refrigerator door or in a frame on my wall, it moves again to the front of my brain and heart these truths that can so impact my thinking. (Want another good read, I really loved this blog post here….worth the read!)

 

So, sweet friend, which of these prints – or the others here – do you need hanging in your home? Ready to remind you of your value and importance in your mothering.

I currently have several coupon codes available for you to use….please use them and let me bless you in these little reminders and feel free to share with friends as well!

  • 10% off any order ($5 min) – code: 30daysbible
  • free 4×6 print with magnetic sleeve ($15 min) – code: free4x6
  • always free shipping on orders over $25 after discounts – will automatically apply
  • All coupons can be combined & coupons expires 7/31/15

 

>>> If you will take a minute and browse my shop and tell me which print you love the most for your current season of life and leave the name of it in the comments below – I will pick randomly one or more of you and slip it in the mail to you……feedback on what prints and quotes and photos are meaningful to others helps me continue to grow and build the shop effectively!

Also, I am participating in a friends blog series “30 Days in the Bible” – click the photo below for a wonderful giveaway full of many fun resources, including some items from my shop! You can also read all the posts to date in the series from there, mine is coming next week sometime, so keep an eye out for it!

Great ideas and a great giveaway too!