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? šŸ˜‰

 

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!