Episode 73: Meal Planning Q+A

In this week’s listener Q+A, we tackle how we both handle meal planning. (Just for context, Lisa has a family of 6, Phylicia has a family of almost 4.) Our meal planning strategies have changed some over the years but it still saves the evening witching hour.

Here are some ideas for menu planning:

-make a list of easy to cook, easy to modify meals and cycle through those
-repeat the same breakfast and lunches
-keep a pinterest board of new recipes and try one a week
-start food prep earlier in the day
-pick a time to prep food for the week
-pack your lunches if you’re regularly gone at mealtime

There’s not one right way to meal plan. Just find something that works!

For the Mama Who Never Finishes the Work

I’ve been a mama for over seven years now and each time we’ve added a baby it’s added a lot of work. Laundry, middle of the night feedings, more food, more discipline. All the good stuff lives on work.

I have just tackled the added work and went with like a machine. Not only did I do this but I felt like I had to. That’s what good women do. Good women have a clean house; they have perfectly-behaved, beautifully-dressed kids; they cook organic, from scratch dinners, etc, etc, etc, with all the cultural standards (bonus points if you’ve been taught they are Biblical as well) for mamas.

At some point you think I would figure it out. But honestly, I like taking care of my family and occasionally I’m a slow learner.

Then I started coaching ball last year and toned down a lot. There was regularly laundry waiting to be folded. We ate in the van frequently. I constantly tried to juggle cleaning and doing school. Then we had another baby and summer happened and I’ve been forced to slow down.

Episode 72: How Do We Deal with Surprises

This week you get your first “How Do We” episode! We both take a turn discussing how we handle surprises in life. Not fun surprises like birthday parties but surprises that are more like interruptions or unwelcome circumstances.

Lisa’s advice:

-Remember God is sovereign
-Pray
-Share with trusted friends
-Make a game plan

Phylicia’s take:

-Look to Jesus as model
-Remember reactions affect others
-Pray and apply Scriptures

Fighting Overwhelm When Life is Crazy

Four is the number of children. Not the perfect number (unless that’s what you have, of course), not the number to aim for, not the number because it’s “even.” Four is the number when people start counting your kids when you go in public. I always wonder if those people think they are being subtle because I can almost see them moving their finger from head to head as their mouths drop open. And then they ask, “And that baby is a boy too, isn’t he??”

Yup. Four. All boys. Yes, they are all mine. No, you don’t need to feel sorry for me.

Of course, there’s a certain amount of crazy you sign up for when you have four small kids. It can be crazy when four small children all need something at the same time and you’d be surprised how often they all need something at the same time.

Doing Kingdom Work When You Don’t Have a Platform (Or Even If You Do)

A friend and I had a Voxer conversation over the weekend about discipleship and doing small things and where God has given us opportunities to serve. I shared some thoughts with her that have been bouncing around in my heart for a few months now: thoughts that have impacted how I spend my time. Then our pastor’s sermon on Sunday morning echoed some of those same concepts.

What do you think the big work of your life is? Where are you investing your time? 

Those are powerful questions because they shape what we do. This blog- as much as I love writing and hearing from you- is not my big work. The podcast is one of the most fun things I do online but it’s not my big work. I’m speaking to a MOPS group over Skype in November and, as excited as I am about that, it’s not my big work.

When You Don’t Know Your Calling

God’s will used to be a totally mystifying subject to me. Was I going to grow up and be a missionary? Was I supposed to be a teacher? A lawyer? A stay-at-home mom? Would I have two kids or ten kids? Who would I marry? Where would I go to college? What was my calling in life?

Are those things important? Sure. But at that time all of those things were years down the road. God’s will- in my mind- had nothing to do with today. That’s where I was wrong: God’s will has everything to do with today.  That’s why those questions aren’t the starting point. The starting point is doing what He has given you to do today.

Wake up each morning and commit to faithfulness in whatever God has given you. It’s not the actual “thing” you are doing. It’s why. Do it because God gave it to you. Do it because it’s your gift back to Him.