Episode 300- When You Never, Ever Feel Like Enough

Episode 300- When You Never, Ever Feel Like Enough

We all are prey to the way the enemy tries to take our mistakes and twist and turn those failures into making us believe that that is who we are.  But failure isn’t final and it isn’t fatal.  If you never, ever feel like enough, this is the podcast for you!

When we replace those lies with God’s truth, we start to change our thinking, our hearts and our behavior.

Join Kathi and Sharon Jaynes as they discuss Sharon’s new book, Enough, Silencing the Lies that Steal Your Confidence, and how clutter is all about a discontent heart.  They talk about that if we don’t deal with the heart issues of why we don’t believe we are enough we will just replace our clutter with more clutter, addiction or other things, and how knowing the 2 universal lies will help us see the areas we need to speak God’s truth into the lies we’ve believed.

 

 

Giveaway

Leave a comment about one of the lies you’ve believed for the chance to win one of 3 books we’re giving away!

when you never ever feel like enough

*US residents only

Bonus

Truth Cards

Meet Our Guest

Sharon Jaymes

Sharon Jaymes

Sharon Jaynes is a conference speaker, devotion writer for Girlfriends in God and Proverbs 31 Ministries, and author of 22 books. Her latest book, Enough: Silencing the Lies That Steal Your Confidence will help you accept God’s grace and move past failures and pre-load your heart with truth to fight your deepest insecurities.

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How To Stop Hanging On To All Your Kid’s Stuff and Still Be a Great Mom at the Same Time

How To Stop Hanging On To All Your Kid’s Stuff and Still Be a Great Mom at the Same Time

Behold, the boxes of guilt…

These are the boxes of drawings, ticket stubs, participation certificates and sportsmanship trophies that have taken over your garage and basement. They are the boxes that have layers of regret as thick as the layers of dust covering the Lucite tops.

Because, you see, these are the boxes a “good mom” would have turned into loving scrapbooks with pictures of your kid’s idyllic childhood and quippy sayings accompanying each photo mounted on acid-free paper for future generations to bask in and enjoy.

But instead, you have mounds of stuff no one has looked at in years, except for the occasional glimpse accompanied by that twinge of guilt.

Now, you just want to pass the boxes along and get them out of the garage, but how do you do that without overloading your kids with clutter?

 Pre-Sort Before Your Kids Get Involved.

One of the biggest mistakes we can make is to dump a thousand photos, stuffed animals, certificates and miscellany on our kids and say, “Here.” As parents, we have some responsibility to guide our kids through the process.

  1. Not every memory is worth keeping. I’ve kept exactly one picture of me and my first husband. It was when we were in high school on a church youth trip and we were just getting to know each other. I had a huge crush on him and everything at that time was fun and possibilities. I kept that photo because when I see it, it makes me smile. The rest of the photos of just the two of us – gone. And here’s the good news: I don’t miss them at all. This move was not out of anger; those memories are just not happy ones and I moved on a long time ago. I’ve kept a few pictures of us as a family for our kids.

Your kids also don’t need pictures of relatives they met one time when they were three, cousins they don’t know, or family vacations before they were born. You can pre-sort anything you know they don’t care about.

Same goes for picture with people whose names I (and my kids) don’t remember, or pictures that are associated with not great memories.

  1. Now that you’ve had the chance to evaluate the memories, it’s time to choose the best of the best. Do you really need/want 32 pictures of your daughter’s fourth birthday, or would three pictures be enough? Do you need to keep the third-place trophy of your daughter’s homeschool bowling league, or would a picture of the trophy suffice?

Choose the best of the best, and get rid of the rest. We only need one photo to spark a good memory. Let it be the best photo in the bunch.

Schedule a Time With Your Kids to Sort Through The Rest.

Once you’ve presorted, then it’s time to get your kids in on the process. It’s a lot easier to make group decisions after you’ve culled everything you know nobody wants.

  1. Decide. Ask your kids if they want input to the evaluation process. Some kids will want to be sure to have their input, and some could not care less. Either answer is fine, but they need to know that if they don’t participate, they don’t get to complain later on.

And be sure to let your kids know that they will not hurt your feelings if they don’t keep everything. Remember, not every memory has earned the right to be preserved.

Here are some things you’ll want to discuss during the sorting process:

a.) Who is keeping these treasures?

b.) How much space do I want to dedicate to storing photos and memorabilia?

c.) What should happen to certain items if the person keeping them no longer wants                                     them? (For example, maybe Mom would keep the artwork Suzy painted in high                                         school if she eventually decides to get rid of it.)

2. Display. If you’ve been a part of the Clutter Free Academy, you know I have three criteria for                 whether you keep something:

a.) I love it.

b.) I use it.

c.) I would buy it again.

This is great criteria for you and also for guiding your kids when deciding what to keep.

  1. Digitalize. For pics of my pics without the glare, I use PhotoScan by Google. This way, I have a digital record of what I need.
  2. Distribute. Make sure your kids have access to whatever photos they want, whether it’s the actual photos or the folder where the digital copies are.

I want memorabilia guilt to be a thing of your past —not part of your kid’s future. Decluttering before you pass those items down, and then helping them decide what to keep and what to toss ensures they’ll have all of the memories and none of the guilt.

Ready for your chance to win a copy of The Mom Project? To be entered into the drawing, just comment on this post and you’ll be entered to win. *Only US readers are eligible to receive the free book.

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The Mom Project, Chapter 4: Home, A Safe Place to Land

The Mom Project, Chapter 4: Home, A Safe Place to Land

Welcome to The Mom Project. For the next few weeks, we’ll be launching my book The Mom Project by hosting several mom friends who have tried it out for themselves. They read the book, completed a project from the book with their kids, and wrote all about it. And these are real moms. Busy moms. Unsure-of-themselves moms. Single moms. Special needs moms. Working moms. Stay-at-home moms. They do the hard working of mommyhood every day, and have found fun ways to connect with their kids in the simple activities found in The Mom Project. Read on to hear their experience:

The Project

“I have an idea.” This is one of my favorite lines that my family hears me say right before I introduce a new plan. I’m sure over the years those words have evoked concern to some and excitement to others since my ideas tend to be outside the box and usually require some work. Like the time I said, “Hey Brian, I have an idea. I want to be a surrogate and carry other people’s babies.” That story is for another time, but more recently, about 3 years ago I had the idea to downsize and become a part of the “Tiny Home Movement.” My family was quickly on board. We decided we wanted to have a tiny home so we could have more time for our family (instead of maintenance on our things), to keep our current house as an investment/rental and most importantly to make financial changes so I could work towards being a part time WAHM (Work At Home Mom) so I could have more time and energy for our family. Despite the close quarters with 2 teen girls and the love-hate relationship with a tiny home that has brought, we have loved the “easy-ness” of simplifying our lives and being able to have more time to make memories as a family. As a part of this season of life, I’ve been reading The Mom Project and have loved all the fun and simple ways it gives to connect and make family memories. So now I have an idea! I’m going to share with you how I did one of the projects from the book with our girls. Welcome to our world.

The Plan

Since our girls are both in the phase of wanting to re-decorate their rooms, the project “Add a Few Creature Comforts” is perfect. They both literally have printed out inspirational photos from Pinterest in their rooms of how they want their rooms to look. If only we would be chosen for Fixer Upper, we would all be in heaven! (We only live a couple hours from Chip and Joanna Gaines, so if any of you have a connection, hook me up!) For the project, I am going to take the girls to the store to have them pick something special that will help make their tiny space more of their own and more enjoyable for them. To start off I had to choose the time and the place. Since we live outside of town and the girls go to a charter school, I get to drive into town and pick them up every day from school, so I chose a day that we didn’t have anything scheduled after school. I also chose Hobby Lobby since it is located in between school and our home, has lots of home decor and styles to choose from and I had a gift card! That’s a triple win in my book. I also let the girls know ahead of time what we would be doing since they are at the age that they tend to make plans in their head for their own lives and time and always appreciate a heads up.

Results

I picked the girls up from school and reminded them we were going to the store so they could pick out something for their rooms. They had forgotten, so they both were excited for this after school fun shopping trip. After some time wandering around the store checking out all the options, they both fairly quickly made great decisions. Trinity chose a black storage box and a white wooden organizer. Selah chose a metal organizer and two storage boxes (probably for all her homemade slimes).

What I Learned

I was surprised that both girls chose storage and organizational items! I thought they would choose more “fun” decor pieces like a mirror, wall hanging, pillow or candle. I loved that they chose pretty, yet practical pieces that would help them stay organized and keep their rooms and stuff under control. When given the option to make decisions for themselves, our girls often surprise me with mature decisions. Sometimes we as parents, just don’t give our kids enough opportunities to choose for themselves or we don’t allow them to have the natural consequences of their choices, good or bad.

Extra Tips

To add to the fun and challenge, I gave both of our girls a $15 limit. This meant they had to do the math to figure out the cost of what they wanted (since a lot of decor items were 50% off) and they had to stay within budget. These are everyday life skills that we all need and that I like to throw into the girls lives as much as I can. Also, don’t forget to take pictures when you are making memories. Don’t overdo it though. Make sure you find the balance of being in the moment and taking pictures to help keep that moment forever. Enjoy our pics!

Hope you loved this peek into our tiny world. For more ideas on connecting with your kids, check out “The Mom Project.”

“Ready for your chance to win a copy of The Mom Project? To be entered into the drawing, just comment on this post and you’ll be entered to win. *Only US readers are eligible to receive the free book.”

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 Bio: Written by Tiffany Jo Baker, a mom who has birthed 7 children, but only 2 of them were her own. This 3x Surrogate, now Couples Life and Fertility Support Coach, continues to help couples birth their dreams and thrive thru infertility. Are you “Thriving Thru Infertility?” Free Quiz Here.

 

The Sneaky Way Clutter Invades Our Heads

The Sneaky Way Clutter Invades Our Heads

 

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10, NIV).

Have you ever met a woman and wondered, “How does she do it all?!”

I know I have. I see the mom who has the kind of house where everything has a place and kids with perfectly coiffed hair and coordinating outfits and I wonder, “What does she have that I don’t? How does she do it all?” The same goes for the homeschooling mom and the mom who recreates every DIY Pinterest idea to perfection. I make judgments: They must be super-human. They mom way better than me.

Yet there are also those who would say the same about me.

When outsiders look at me, they see what I do: full-time PR pro, ministry volunteer, grad school student, wife, mom, part-time consultant … the list goes on. They think I’m organized and accomplished. They jump from the facts to judgments: intelligent, super-human, even perfect. They want to know what I have that they don’t.

Sound familiar? Have you ever had these thoughts? Would you believe that somewhere out there, someone thinks the same thing about you?

Our perceptions and judgments are comparison clutter, and they secretly interfere with our relationships. Comparison keeps us at arm’s length. The desire is there to go deeper and know each other better, but we have to dump the clutter to get there.

Others use their perception of what I do to highlight what they think of as weakness in themselves. I get it. I see gifts in others and think of my own deficits. But Hebrews 4:13 tells us that it’s God to whom we must give account – not each other. I do what God created me to do. These gifts were made for me, not for others. Just like the gifts of organization and crafty creativity that come so easily to others missed me by a mile. Comparison clutter is sneaky. It separates us not only from each other but also from what God has designed us each uniquely to do.

This is where I hope we can remember the spirit of Ephesians 2:10. God created us individually to do good works that he already has prepared for us. We all have a sweet spot when it comes the number of hats we wear. Some of us can be working moms who invest in their marriage and in their community. Others can’t handle more than just a couple of roles before feeling over-extended. It’s by design. You were made to do what you do, just as I was made to do what I do. Neither of us gets salvation bonus points by reaching beyond God’s desires for us.

We often wear our busyness like a badge of honor, an outward sign of our importance or our sacrifice. This is like putting the welcome mat out for comparison to enter. What if we instead looked to live life within the margins our creator designed for us? What if instead of comparing ourselves to others, we celebrated the way we each use the gifts God has given us?

One Small Win  

Write down all you do – all that keeps you busy – in a given week and pray over it. What on that list has God created you to do and what might be meant for someone else? Consider what can be delegated or eliminated and take the appropriate action, knowing you are fulfilling God’s design.

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Tonya Kubo is the illustrious, fearless leader of Kathi Lipp’s Clutter-Free Academy Facebook group. She and her husband, Brian, are raising two spirited girls in the agricultural heart of California. Want a free gift to help you in your battle against Clutter? Download, “Four Lies You Believe About Clutter and the Four Truths That Win Every Time” today.

Episode #299 Hand Me Down Clutter

Episode #299 Hand Me Down Clutter

You’ve been given a gift, a hand-me-down that you’re hanging on to for dear life but it is has outlived it’s uselfulness. Or maybe it was never all that useful but out of guilt you’re holding onto it. When you get hand me down clutter, your parent’s stuff can weigh down your life.

Join Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory as they give you Three Easy-Peasy Steps to deal with clutter that has been handed down to you.

  1. Just get started
  2. Know the truth about the stuff
  3. Give yourself a firm deadline

It’s easier than you think and more freeing than you could ever imagine.

Meet Our Guest

Cheri Gregory

Cheri Gregory

Cheri Gregory is a teacher, speaker, author, and Certified Personality Trainer. Her passion is helping women break free from destructive expectations. She writes and speaks from the conviction that “how to” works best in partnership with “heart, too.”
Cheri is the co-author, with Kathi Lipp, of The Cure for the “Perfect” Life and Overwhelmed.
Cheri has been “wife of my youth” to Daniel, her opposite personality, for twenty-eight years and is “Mom” to Annemarie (25) and Jonathon (23), also opposite personalities.
Cheri blogs about perfectionism, people-pleasing, highly sensitive people, and hope at www.cherigregory.com.

Trading in Comparison and To-Dos for Meaningful Traditions

Trading in Comparison and To-Dos for Meaningful Traditions

Welcome to The Mom Project. For the next few weeks, we’ll be launching my book The Mom Project by hosting several mom friends who have tried it out for themselves. They read the book, completed a project from the book with their kids, and wrote all about it. And these are real moms. Busy moms. Unsure-of-themselves moms. Single moms. Special needs moms. Working moms. Stay-at-home moms. They do the hard working of mommyhood every day, and have found fun ways to connect with their kids in the simple activities found in The Mom Project. Read on to hear their experience:

When I first became a mom over 20 years ago, I had this perfectly reasonable idea that if I could just follow a certain list of things that “good moms” did then surely I would ensure that my kids would turn out OK. The problem was that the hospital must have forgotten to give me a copy of the list because I left with a tiny baby bundle and no clue what I was doing. As a young mom I quickly fell into the comparison trap. I thought that if I could just copy what other successful families were doing then we’d be fine.

So I started looking around, taking notes on all the things “good parents” did. You know the usual: reading to your baby, getting them into the right pre-school, sports teams and activities, sign up to be class parent for every grade, volunteer with the PTO, and so on. But every year that passed the list seemed to get longer and longer. It was becoming hard to keep up.

One area where there seemed to be a never-ending list of to-dos, for example, was birthday celebrations. We have dear friends and family members who have a gift for hospitality. They love throwing parties for every birthday and holiday. And early on I felt pressure to have big parties too, even though it’s not one of my “gifts”. But after having our 4th child we realized that big birthday parties every year for each child was just not in alignment with our values or our budget.

Our focus shifted from checking boxes and trying to do all of the things to considering what we really wanted our kids to remember about their time at home?

After we gave our family permission to trade-in the to-dos for meaningful traditions, our birthday celebrations became small and simple but meaningful. The birthday person gets to choose the meal and dessert of their choice on their special day and they get to use the red “I am special today” plate. Then we go around the table and take turns sharing what we love about the birthday person.

It’s become a sweet, fun and often funny tradition in our home.

As I started to think more about what memories and experiences we wanted to create together as a family I began to look for ways to make our time together special. Little every-day events have become reasons for celebration.

For example, Friday evenings have turned into “Toto’s Fridays” where we head to our favorite pizza place for dinner, usually after our youngest son’s baseball game, and catch up on the week’s events.

Other ideas for family traditions:

  • Family reunions
  • Annual camping trips
  • Donuts or a special treat on the first day of school
  • First day of summer scavenger hunt
  • Family game night Fridays
  • Ice cream sundae Sundays

There are definitely times when we need to check off to-do lists but when it comes to creating family memories each family is wonderfully different. Let’s choose to celebrate our time together by creating meaningful traditions that are in line with our family’s values rather than consume what others are doing and potentially miss out on some special opportunities.

One small win: We have limited time while our kids are at home, creating family traditions can be a great way of celebrating your family’s uniqueness and create memories together. Consider what special or ordinary events you’d like to find ways to celebrate.

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Ready for your chance to win a copy of The Mom Project? To be entered into the drawing, just comment on this post and you’ll be entered to win. *Only US readers are eligible to receive the free book.

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Zohary Ross is a life coach, speaker and author of the Aligned Parenting Workbook. She is passionate about equipping and encouraging women to let go of the never-ending hustle for perfection and live with alignment instead. Connect with her at zoharyross.com

Looking for the Positive

Looking for the Positive

Welcome to The Mom Project. For the next few weeks, we’ll be launching my book The Mom Project by hosting several mom friends who have tried it out for themselves. They read the book, completed a project from the book with their kids, and wrote all about it. And these are real moms. Busy moms. Unsure-of-themselves moms. Single moms. Special needs moms. Working moms. Stay-at-home moms. They do the hard work of mommy-hood every day, and have found fun ways to connect with their kids in the simple activities found in The Mom Project. Read on to hear their experience:

The Project

I’m an encourager by nature so it’s not hard for me to look for the positive in my children. But I have discovered a major weakness: undivided attention. From the moment my feet hit the floor in the morning, I am on the go – and on my phone. I check work email while I make coffee, scroll through the day’s headlines while brushing my teeth and message back and forth with friends and colleagues on social media while getting everyone else in the family up and ready for the day. I never sit down.

I can’t count the number of times my 3-year-old has asked me to just look at her. My 8-year-old has figured out that my phone is the way to connect with me. When she wants attention, she asks me to look something up on my phone or offers to show me a YouTube video. She’s even started asking if I’ll read books to her from my phone. It’s hard to look for the positive in my children when I am not making eye contact with them.

Then I started reading The Mom Project, which offers easy ideas for connecting with your kids that benefit the whole family. For our project, we adopted a phone-free Sunday, and I’m here to share the impact it’s made.

The Plan

Just the idea of this project put a pit in the bottom of my stomach. A whole day without a phone? Impossible. What if work needed me? My husband, Brian, suggested we both go phone-free with some lenience. We could be on our phones if the kids were asleep or entertaining themselves but the rest of time, we’d focus on each child individually and together as a family. Throughout the day, we would intentionally look for positive traits and actions to acknowledge and praise.

Results

My older daughter takes equestrian lessons every Sunday. Usually, Dad takes both girls while I stay home to catch up around the house. This time, we decided to divide and conquer. He’d take Lily and instead of sitting in the car while she rode, he would go to the arena and cheer her on. I would stay home with Abby and be fully present. While Brian and Lily were gone, Abby and I made muffins, cleaned the kitchen and played dress-up. At the end of the day, I made dinner while the girls spent time with Dad. Then he led bath time while I tidied up and I got the privilege of  snuggles and reading bedtime stories (from real books with pages, not on my Kindle app).

 

What I Learned

Our girls have different personalities and needs for us to fulfill. The nuances are lost on us when we’re distracted by devices. In making muffins with Abby, I learned how important it is to do things herself. Complimenting her on taking initiative without worrying about the mess she was making with flour EVERYWHERE was hard for me but left her glowing. Her joy melted my anxiety and impatience. Her love for dress-up role-playing allowed me to observe the richness of her internal world. Until Brian fully focused on Lily’s riding, neither of us realized her fear of falling was preventing her progression. Being the dad that he is, Brian set out to solve the problem by teaching Lily to ride a bike that afternoon. After 30 minutes of encouragement and applause for getting up after every fall, Lily was riding up and down the street all by herself.  Abby was jumping up and down on the sidewalk cheering for her big sister, and Lily beamed with pride.

Extra Tips

Looking for the positive is easy when your kids are compliant, but what happens when they aren’t? If you’re going to try this project at home, the first thing you’ll want to do is decide how you’ll handle the situation if your children won’t follow the plan. For instance, Lily wasn’t interested in time with me. At first my feelings were hurt. She always wants my time when I don’t have it to spare. Rejection is tough but instead of pouting, I told Lily I was proud of her for feeling free to speak her mind (she said “no thank you” – at least she used her manners).

 

WIN!

Ready for your chance to win a copy of The Mom Project? To be entered into the drawing, just comment on this post and you’ll be entered to win.

*Only US readers are eligible to receive the free book.

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This is written by Tonya, a full-time working mom of two spirited girls. For our readers, Tonya is offering a free download of Why You Need a Mommy Dream Team. When she’s not managing the Clutter-Free Academy Facebook group, she writes about overcoming comparison, clutter and compulsion at www.tonyakubo.com.

How to Have Mercy for My Mess

How to Have Mercy for My Mess

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31)

I walked into the beautiful home of a new friend for the very first time. She is a single mother of 3 young children, successful entrepreneur and multi-business owner.  As I was ooo-ing and ahh-ing over the impeccable decor and the stunning architecture of her home, she repeatedly asked me to overlook the “mess.”  After a couple mentions about the kids’ toys I stopped and quickly replied, “One of my superpowers is that I only see messes in my own house, not in others’!”

It’s so true. So many of us have unlimited mercy for other people’s “messes,” whether that be a cluttered home, a wayward child, a disconnected marriage or even difficulties getting pregnant, but when it comes to the messes in our own lives, we seem to have run out of compassion.  Why are we so hard on ourselves? We can be rocking it in so many areas of life, but we beat ourselves up over the one or two areas that may be a little bit messy.

God’s Word is clear.  The second greatest commandment that Jesus gives in Mark 12:31 is for us to love others as we love ourselves. Leave it to Jesus to be able to strategically maneuver two crucial commandments into one simple message.  In order to love others well, we first have to be able to love ourselves well! No matter who you are, the number of degrees you may have, or the amount of talent you may possess, it isn’t realistic or possible for any of us to have success in every area of our lives all at the same time.

It sounds ridiculous even saying it right now, yet, we can become our own biggest critics when life isn’t going as planned.

Do what Jesus says. Love yourself and others well. Have mercy for your own mess.

One Small Win: Today, I want you to think of one area of your life that is messy.  Now, take a look at it through the superpower of mercy, just as you would see it in someone else’s life. How do you see your mess now?

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As a Couples Life & Fertility Support Coach and 3x Surrogate that has carried five children for three families dealing with infertility, Tiffany Jo Baker spends her time speaking, writing and helping women and couples birth their dreams and navigate the road and relationships well while trying to conceive. Married for 18 years to her polar opposite, yet best friend, together they have two teenage girls and have built a life and family based on faith, core values, humor and forgiveness. She loves to laugh, eat french fries, find amazing deals and create new memories.?? www.TiffanyJoBaker.com

 

 

Practical Ideas for Connecting with Your Kids on Focus on the Family Today!

Practical Ideas for Connecting with Your Kids on Focus on the Family Today!

Friends, I am excited to share with you that Focus on the Family is running an episode today in which I share tips on “Practical Ideas for Connecting with Your Kids”. Head on over as we discuss some helpful suggestions for developing strong relationships with your children from my new book The Mom Project: 21 Days to a More Connected Family. I hope you enjoy and share with your friends.

Check out the episode by clicking here.