For Your “What Is My Life?” Moments

I’ve had a few What is my life? moments lately.

I shared that thought with my husband a few nights ago before bed. Sometimes life just doesn’t work out like we thought or expected. Often we are surprised, shocked, even resentful of what we face in life.

The next morning I read more of the story of Noah. When Genesis 8 starts, Noah had been in the Ark at least 150 days, maybe longer. I would have felt forgotten and slightly claustrophobic and tired of those people on the Ark with me. Then Genesis 8:1 says, “But God remembered Noah.”

So rescue, right? Noah got off that Ark then? Nope. Noah sat on that Ark for months longer. Now, if I were Noah, I would want God remembering me to be synonymous with God getting me out of that Ark. Move, change things, come fix this. But Noah was right where God wanted Him and he was not forgotten.

6 Reasons Why I Sleep Train

I’m a fairly relaxed sleep-trainer. We need to be flexible because of our lifestyle; we will not be home every single night at 8:30 to put the baby in his bed. (You need to know why you are sleeping training and what results you want to be successful at this. Don’t just adopt someone else’s plan.) I want to have a consistent nap routine and bedtime and to be able to put him in bed awake and him go to sleep on his own.

This is not a how-to post. There are tons of great resources on sleep training that you can Google. You can even take my favorite method: read a bunch of different stuff on it and cobble together something that works for you. This is a WHY post. I want to share why I sleep train and why that makes a difference for our family. Our home needs to work for everyone and this is one of the ways we’ve made that happen.

(And, as always, if you don’t sleep train, feel free to click away and go on with your life. No judgment here. This is what works for us.)

Episode 70: Living Outside Your Comfort Zone

We’re back!! While breaking for a few months (when I had Luke and we both dealt with some personal issues), Phylicia and I have changed the format of the podcast to allow us to produce more content with less recording time. This week, however, you get a normal podcast episode. Thank you for listening!

This week we are tackling the topic of comfort zones: why people like them and why we should embrace opportunities to step outside them.

  1. Discomfort is the only way to grow.
  2. See discomfort as a challenge instead of a hindrance.
  3. Discomfort shows God’s grace and strength to others.
  4. Discomfort shows us our need for God.

Stop Telling Yourself You’re Tired (even if you are)

I wake up tired and go to bed tired these days. That’s life with a newborn.

At least that’s what it easy to tell myself.

Now don’t get me wrong; that is life with a newborn. But not just life with a newborn. That’s life with a job with a crazy schedule. Or life when you’re ill. Or pregnant. Or caring for a sick child or parent.

My real problems- not the exhaustion- start when I think I’m the only one. When I think I have it worse than anyone in the world.

That is my go-to reaction when I’m tired: self-pity. I’ve learned to constantly reframe what I’m thinking. There are a lot of people that are tired. For most of us, it’s a season and we will one day get more sleep.

5 Things I’d Tell You: Creative Edition

What we behold is what we become. Input determines output. However you want to phrase it, what’s in front of our faces shapes us. When it comes to creativity, I have intentionally cultivated steady sources of inspiration and education. Today, I thought I would share five things that you might enjoy too.

Andrew Peterson I first heard Andrew at a homeschool conference this past spring. I attended a concert and heard his teaching session and was thoroughly impressed with how he incorporates so many different creative talents into his work. His music a little different from what I typically listen to but I love it.  (Also, I was fascinated to learn that he co-wrote several of my favorite VeggieTales songs.)

Mamas Are the Magic Makers

I cut the slices of banana bread, trying not to drop any crumbs on the head of the wrapped baby that’s nestled under my chin. I take a moment to kiss his head before the two-year-old helps me fill the plastic minion cup with water. Playgrounds are thirsty places. I break up fights, shove my phone into my pocket, and slide on my flip-flops before locking the door behind us.

Those walks to the playground happen early, before we even sit down for breakfast. These are 90 degrees days and we are trying to slip out and back in before it hits the mid 80s. We look at leaves with purple edges and watch birds of prey circling around the edges of the treetops. We investigate a dead stink bug and throw sticks across the fence. We deal with bad attitudes while we climb across the playsets.

These can seem like bleak times. We are surrounded, inundated if we choose to be, by news of genocide and terrorism and hatred. We can turn on the tv or log onto twitter and see so many things that are wrong with the world. Even our own personal lives, blessed though they may be, can be overwhelming and discouraging as we plow through times of hardship and struggle.

When Life Reveals You’re a Liar

How’s life with a new baby really going, you ask?

Honestly? Everything I thought would be hard with a new baby and three older boys is hard. Not bad- there’s no need to stage an intervention unless that intervention involves naps, coffee, and pretzels. It’s just hard. I was apparently under no illusions about what having a baby is like; this is fully what I expected.

I don’t want any of it to change. I love my boys. I love this opportunity to mother them. I just want to be better at it. And you can’t skip steps like that. The only way I’m going to get better at it is by doing it.

It’s just like starting a workout program. Even the basics are hard in the beginning. You’re going to puff and huff trying to jog half a mile. You’re going to find that your muscles are shaking after five pushups. Even if you’ve done it before, if you haven’t done it in a while you have to start over. The only difference is that you know how to do it and that you can do it.

When you start a workout and you complain to a friend that your muscles are sore and you hate getting up to go run and everyone else is doing a more intense/exciting workout than you, they don’t say, “Poor thing. Sorry your life is so bad.” They say, “That’s ok. Keep going. You’re going to get better. You’re going to get stronger and faster and you’ll be doing those things soon too.”