Help an Imperfect Mom…

Do you have a blog? Just love Facebook or are a Twitter fiend? Would you like to be on our launch team for my latest book “I Need Some Help Here!” Hope for When Your Kids Don’t Go According to Plan.

All you need is at least one kid and a less than perfect parenting record. Qualify? Click on the link to apply!

I just spoke for a group of moms where one of the mentor moms asked me where I got the ideas for my books. My response, “I usually write Lipp_10_2Cout of my own weakness. My next book is all about how we as moms can feel that we are not good enough as parents and how to rely on God in those weak times.”

The mentor mom replied, “Oh, I never felt inadequate as a mom.”

This book? It’s not for her.

My hope with I Need Some Help Here – Hope for When Your Kids Don’t Go According to Plan is that every mom who thought that her parenting journey would be different. Who thought that if she just tried her hardest, her kids would fall into place.

This book is for all of us who have done our best, but our kids — whom we love and adore — are not necessarily on the path we would have chosen for them.

If you have doubts as a mom, join me. We want you to assure the moms that you influence, that you speak to through your blog and via social media, that they are normal. They are OK. They are cherished.

And while we try with all our might to do the best we can with our kids, ultimately, they belong to God. And that is the best place for them to be.

Thanks for your willingness to bring hope to a world of women who desperately need it.

Click below to find out more!

Hope Hero Application

The Ideal Prayer for Busy Moms

Ideal-Prayer-for-Busy-Moms

I don’t know when exactly I stopped praying. Just that, gradually, in the exhaustion and life changes of new motherhood, I stopped regularly reaching out to God.

I knew I needed God. Boy, did I need him. I was a mess. An exhausted, weepy, milk-leaking time bomb of a woman.

But other than frequently asking God, “Are you sure you meant me to be a mother? Really, really sure? Because I’m not at all convinced that I’m the right one for the job,” I wasn’t managing a whole lot of prayer.

I wanted to have quiet time with God, but many days I couldn’t even seem to find the time to take a shower. At night, during the three seconds between my head hitting the pillow and sleep overtaking me like an oncoming trailer truck, I would think, Oh I didn’t pray today. Again.

Part of the problem was my limited idea of prayer as this hour you spent with God very early in the morning. I constantly felt guilty for not doing this. Praying first thing in the morning is a beautiful way to greet the day, and I know that it works well for many, but at this stage of my life, the thought of getting up earlier than my lark of a baby was daunting, to say the least.

So I was thrilled to discover a prayer ideal for praying at night.

It’s an ancient Ignatian prayer called the Examen, and since it is an examination of your day, it makes the most sense to pray it at nighttime.

First, you reflect on where you felt closest to God in your day.

Second, you think of when and where you felt furthest from God.

Finally, you ask God for forgiveness for any ways in which you strayed and ask for help in doing better.

I love this prayer. Often I go through the three steps fairly quickly and then fall asleep. Other times I find myself lingering with God in thanks for something or working through a time when I messed up. It is so joyful to reflect about those times in which I feel close to God, which for me usually come when I am with my children or in fellowship. And I find that I don’t even dread thinking about those times when I have gotten angry (usually also with my children) or otherwise erred because I am asking forgiveness and resolving to do better. I actually find myself looking forward to these nightly strategy sessions with God.

Yes, I am still exhausted when I fall into bed at the end of the day, but having this agenda for my prayer makes it so much easier to do it rather than just feel guilty about it. (How much time do we waste feeling guilty about NOT praying?)

When it comes to prayer, I don’t think God cares much whether we do it at night or in the morning, just that we do it.

Mom Seeks God jacketI still pray the Examen at night before I fall asleep, and I still get to be woken up in the morning by my early-rising boys leaping into my bed and snuggling into my arms. And that is a beautiful way to greet the day.

In the comments please share your tips or favorite way to pray. We will choose THREE winners to receive a copy of Julia’s book Mom Seeks God. You have until Friday, April 7. Or you can purchase Mom Seeks God today.

 

Julia Roller lowresJulia Roller is the author of Mom Seeks God,  the story of her journey to reconnect with God through ten essential spiritual practices that she did her best to fit into the chaotic life of a mom with small children. She lives in San Diego with her husband, two sons, and miniature dachshund.

 

Ten Ways to Connect with Your Kids Outside

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Spending time outside does not have to just be camping, as much fun as that is, but there are many ways to get the kids outside in the fresh air while spending quality time connecting with your children. Ones that don’t include going to the bathroom in the forest.

Ten Ways to Get Outside and Connect

1. Go for a treasure hunt in your neighborhood. Here’s a short list of things for your kid to look for: a leaf bigger than their hand, a rock smaller than their little toe, and something they can recycle.  You can also have them make up the list to keep them interested.

2. Tape a large piece of butcher paper to your fence or outside wall and paint a mural.

3. Sleep outside.

4. Go fishing.

5. Jump rope on a date with your child.

6. Watch a sunset while having a picnic dinner.

7. Wash the car together.

8. String lights in your backyard.

9. Run through the sprinklers.

10. Play cards outside (but not on  windy day).

 

The biggest thing to remember is to prepare for any event that you do.  This means everything from planning on what you are going to eat on your picnic to being dressed warmly enough in case it gets windy. Encourage each child to find something in the activity that they connect with. For the expressive child, it might be the beautiful colors. For the athletic child, it might be games you play while running in the sprinkler.  Try to connect with each child no matter what way you choose.

How about you?  How do you get your kids outside? What are some fun ways you connect with them while outside?  Tell me in the comments and you will have a chance to win my book all about connecting called 21 Ways to Connect with Your kids.

 

How Can I Teach My Children to Serve?

Teaching-Kids-to-Serve

Connecting with your child is important to the atmosphere in a home.  There are many ways you can connect with your kids. Serving is not only one way, but a commandment from God.

Here are three ways that you can teach your child to serve:

Model service yourself.

This one should be such a no brainer, but often the things we are trying to teach our children are usually areas that we need a little more work on in order to grow our character.  Show your children how you are making a meal for the new mom.  Let them know that the extra time on the computer was writing a letter to an aunt who is having a hard time.  When you take them to a nursing home to play games with the residents, you will be showing that service is important to you and it should be important to them. You will be showing them how ordinary families can do extraordinary things.

 

Explain to them that serving is not only one action but it is a demonstration of love.

Every time you fill a cup in the name of Jesus, you are showing His love to another person.  Explain this to your children.  Tell them how He healed the sick and how our families can be like that as far as healing people’s lonely hearts. Tell them that sometimes you plan on serving like going to a homeless shelter and other times God brings unexpected opportunities to serve someone, like an urgent call to watch a neighbor’s child if the mother had to go somewhere.

 

Reward Them With Praise When They Serve

When you see your child clearing off the table by himself without being asked or you see a note written to a grandparent just because the child wanted to…go gangbusters and tell them over and over how great that is that God prompted them to serve like that!  They will be much more likely to want to do it again!

 

FREEBIE ALERT!

What is one way that you teach your kids to serve?  One person who comments will get my book 21 Ways to Connect to Your Kids!

5 Ways to Make Your Home a Haven

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Burning a candle is a sure fire way (See what I did there?) to create a warm and inviting atmosphere in your home.  But that is just one example of the outward atmosphere. We need to think about the heart of a home in order to really make it a haven. Here are five other ways to make your home a haven.

1. By reading together.

The most haven -producing thing I did as a mommy is simply to read to my kids. I even read to my child when he was a teenager!

2. By weeping and rejoicing at the right times.

We are to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. When a child has a difficult day, scoop her up into your arms and cry aongside. When she makes a great choice, jump up and down and celebrate with ice cream.

We’ve lost the importance of outdoor play. Even if it means walking to the park with your kids or swimming alongside them, dare to move beyond the our walls of your home to venture out to see God’s creation.

4. By limiting media.

Steer your children away from mindless interaction with the TV or video games. Set limits and stick to them. Dare to believe your children are creative, innovative kids who can create instead of idly recreate. {click to tweet}

5. By letting kindness reign.

Determine to treat your children and spouse with the same kindness that you would give a stranger that you are trying to impress. Remember it is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance. What makes us think anything different would evoke our children’s repentance?

 

What is your favorite way to make your  home a haven?

15 Things You can Say to Encourage Your Kid Right Now

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Loving your husband will go along way to make a child feel loved and encouraged. And doing things for your child is a great way to connect with them. But with today’s busy schedules, it is not easy to do special things for the kids all of the time.

We think that saying things should be easier, but

using our words to fill the heart is one way that us mamas think we do, but sometimes forget.

{click to tweet}

 

This list will take you to the end of March with a variety of things that you can say to your child to encourage and connect with them.

 

15 Things you can say to encourage your kids right now:

1. I am so glad that Jesus trusted me with you.

2. Please forgive me.

3. I’m proud of you.

4. You are fun to be with.

5. You make me laugh.

6. You are an important part of His story.

7. God’s love for you will never change.

8. I love spending time with you.

9. You are the est gift I ever received.

10. You are a perfect fit for our family.

11. You make me happy.

12. I love to watch you play.

13. I don’t care what we do today as long as I can be with you.

14. I will never stop loving you.

15. God created you exactly how he wanted you.

Say one of these every day for the rest of the month and you will be filling the love tanks of your children and sharing the hope and love of Jesus through you.

What is one encouraging thing you would add to the list?

 

How to Go from being an Ordinary Mom to A Legacy Maker

How to go from Ordinary Mom to a Legacy Maker

 

Ahem…. Well, it happened. My 10-month-old granddaughter kicked my butt.

Yep, this new grandma found herself struggling with a diaper that resembled the aftermath of an atomic blast. Residue, aka baby poo, squirted forth in all directions as squiggling arms and legs that appeared to be practicing infant calisthenics, landed in said residue. I quickly understood that now the small child needed a bath, a new pile of laundry emerged and I spied something that didn’t belong under my fingernails. Eeek! Finishing the cleanup I realized that the baby AND grandma needed a bottle and a nap.

My son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter, Elise, moved into our home this past week. They are relocating from another state. I thought handling a baby would be a piece of cake after all; I already raised two kids to adulthood. I couldn’t have forgotten that much, or did I?

Well thankfully the baby mama arrived upon said disaster and gave me some gentle teaching with empathy and grace. And a week later, I’m equipped to withstand any diaper that may come my way. *grin*

Even as a grandmother I can learn a lot from a young mom. And younger moms can likely learn a lot from an out of practice Grandma.

I’m convinced that the body of Christ is moving into a new awareness of God’s Presence. And in this next move of God we will see a joining of the generations like never before. The young, old, and in-between will rise to bring God’s purposes and His Kingdom to earth (Matthew 6:9-13).

This is a season in the body where we will learn and place great value the voices of young and old. And just like I had to relearn to diaper a baby there are some timeless experiences I can pass to my daughter-in-law.

As I look back on a lifetime of raising children, if I could tell every mother just one thing I it would be this:

It’s worth it!

It’s worth the years and tears you pour into your little ones. On days when there is poop in the tub, the dog barfed on the carpet, the laundry towers in the hall and little ones cry at your feet. And when no one sees all you sacrifice for your family and a greatly needed pat on the back does not come, it’s still worth it.

Every bit of effort of love, correction, instruction, laughter, fun, and the time you pour into little lives, it is worth it. It is building the character and love into another human being. And your children will step into adulthood fully equipped with faith, love, purpose, and passion.

Mom, You are a legacy maker.

One more thing I would share with every mother is to remember when you begin to question yourself and your parenting ability, I want you to be assured that God is standing by your side, day after day. He is whispering hope into your soul. Life into your tired eyes. Joy into the mundane and love into your heart. Let His voice assure, “You are more than enough.”

When writing my parenting book I came to a place one day where I was stuck. During this frustrating writer’s block, I ask God, “God, what do you want to tell every mother.” Well God was just waiting for me to ask. And immediately a string of words began to go through my head. It’s His personal letter to every mother. Below is a link to download this letter. I pray you will print it out and read in moments of doubt, fatigue, and fear. I’m encouraged to tears of joy each time I read it. I pray you will be too.

God is standing right next to you Mom. He is walking you through to your highest and holy calling, Motherhood.

Beloved Mother

Note Alone Cover ArtFor a chance to win a copy of Lynn’s book Not Alone share what advice has impacted you the most on being the mother God has called you to be or who has been your greatest mentor in mothering. We are giving away TWO copies. You have until MONDAY, March 17 to enter. You can also buy it on Amazon today.

 

 

profile for TypepadLynn Donovan is a speaker, author, and an ordinary woman who shares with audiences her everyday adventures of walking in the Presence of God. Her delight is igniting women’s hearts with Holy Spirit fire, inspiring wives and mothers to step fully into their high and holy calling of marriage and motherhood with joy, laughter and God’s favor. She has been featured guest on the 700 Club Interactive, Focus on the Family, Dr. James Dobson’s FamilyTalk and FamilyLife Today. She coauthored the award winning book, Winning Him Without Words and also Not Alone, Trusting God to Help You Raise Godly Kids In a Spiritually Mismatched Marriage. She has a son and a daughter and a granddaughter. She lives with her husband in Temecula, California. Visit Lynn online at MismatchedAndThriving.com.

No Miss America Here

No-Miss-America-Here

I met my husband James in grad school where strangely enough, I studied alongside other students who had been Miss Oregon, Miss California, and even a future Miss America.

Let’s face it. We women are prone to comparisons. When I think about those beauty pageant winners, sometimes I don’t even feel like Miss Cul-de-Sac.  I don’t think I could win a contest in housekeeping, beauty, or culinary arts. But you know what?  Those titles don’t really matter.

After all, my dear husband didn’t pick a Miss (insert amazing category here).  He picked me.  For better or for worse.  For dress-up date nights and sweatpants mom days.

And guess what?  If you are married, your husband picked you too.  Over all the other girls in the world, he chose you.  (Hang on single ladies, your prince may be on his way too)

Instead of hanging your head down because your make-up isn’t perfect or you need a tummy tuck, put a smile on your face and your best foot forward.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.  That’s what it proclaims in Psalm 119.  But I’m afraid many of us believe the opposite.  We fear that we are NOT fearfully and wonderful made.  If we allow it to, physical shortcomings can sabotage our ability to be happy in our own skin.

We all come pre-packaged with strength and weaknesses.  Don’t fall into the comparison trap which quickly diminishes the wonderful gifts you offer to the world.  Let go of your unrealistic expectations of “perfect” and appreciate what you have.  Accentuate your strengths!

Listen to what God is asking you to do in your marriage, not what popular culture dictates you should do.  You are beautiful in God’s sight and you know what?  Your husband thinks you’re beautiful too.  That’s why he chose you.

So tell me in the comments below the amazing qualities you have the your husband loves and chose YOU for. One reader will be chosen to win a copy of Arlene’s book 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife. If you can’t wait to read it you can buy it on Amazon now.

You have until Monday, March 10 to enter.

Arlene Pellicane 600x600jpg????????Arlene Pellicane is a speaker and author of 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife. 

She and her husband James live in Southern California with their three children. 

You can visit her website to Take the Quiz: Are You a Happy Wife? 

 

 

 

Connect With Your Kids – Fifteen Dollar Family Fun Night

 Connect-with-Your-Kids-$15-Family-Fun-Night

 Is it really possible to feed a family of six and have fun, all for fifteen dollars? I dare you to find out!

We found many benefits  of trying to pack as much fun in with the least amount of money:

* Not only did Family Fun Night give us an opportunity to spend time together, it forced out kids to plan, budget, and take other people’s likes and dislikes into consideration.

*We found that when giving the kids the chance to plan and prepare, it helped them to enjoy the event a whole lot better.

* Having a limited budget has a special magical quality. There was no resorting to dinner out followed by a favorite movie at the theater.  We found that we had to be creative.

And here are a few of those creative ideas:

Dollar Date Night - Have Costco hot dogs and then head to your town’s local dollar theater.

Karaoke Night – Borrow a karaoke machine or use your Wii, and make it an American Idol style night (but with only adoring fans – No Simon Cowell slams). Pair it with a Sushi dinner. For those less adventurous, their sushi can be made from cooked chicken, ham, or cheese on top of rice.

Airplane Food – Have a paper airplane competition. Set up a finish line and see whose plane gets the farthest. For dinner, have little packages of food ( cheese and crackers, carrots and ranch dressing as “airplane food.”

I know there are creative ladies (and men) out there.  What is a cheap, but creative thing you do to spend time with your kids?

 

 

 

How Do I Connect With My Kids?

 How-do-I-Connect-with-My-Kids

God gave the right parent to the right kid.

There are days when this statement couldn’t feel further from the truth. You feel ill- equipped to meet your child’s physical , emotional, and spiritual needs.  Because , for the most part, you are. God wants you to rely on him and the people he’s surrounded you with.

You are not designed to do this parenting thing alone, even if you are a single parent. {click to tweet}

There are no gold starts for parents who never ask for help.

God gave the right kid to the right parent.

All those things that God needs to grow in you to draw you closer to Him? He sent those in a neat little package called “your child”.  Each of my kids has taught me something about myself—often things I would choose to ignore if given the opportunity.  I would have never thought that I had a patience problem, for example, until I had a patience tester named Kimberly.  But there is no chance to ignore such things when they need to be bathed, fed, and loved pretty regularly.  I had to confront the parts of me that needed desperately, to be more like Jesus—and often, I needed to confront my problems with a lack of patience before Kimber woke up from here twelve-minute nap.

Prayer is key.

For years, when a “kid issue” reared it’s ugly head, I would go to my mom, I would go to my friends, and I would go to my wall of “how to raise a great kid” books to find the answer.  I needed answers, and I needed them quick! But as my friend Erin would say, “Go to God before Google!” When I did that, I was able to let Him direct me and be the parent I was created to be and I could connect with my kids in creative ways.

I will be sharing some of my favorite ways this month.

What is one unique way that you connect to your child?