When was the last time you made time for yourself? Like literally planning nothing? Now sure, you may write on your calendar ‘get pedicure’ (that counts) but there is this GLORIOUS thing on a calendar called white space. Have you heard of it?? It is literally that… space for nothing. You should try and add some white space to that busy calendar of yours! (for inspiration check out this podcast we did last Finding Whitespace during Christmas)
Assignment: Find one way to refresh and recharge yourself. Here are some ideas;
- get lunch with a friend
- take a long hot shower
- read a book in a cozy chair with a hot cup of tea
- browse Pinterest mindlessly for one hour guilt free
- watch a great Christmas classic on TV
- call a friend and talk for long enough it felt like a visit
- choose 2 days next month on the calendar for white space
Lest you be tempted, today is not a catch up day, it’s a RELAX day. You deserve it once in a while. Besides, you will be so much more effective when you do.
Need some fun inspiration for ideas for an upcoming gathering? Evite has a new look (similar to Pinterest) and you can just take one hour and aimlessly look! How fun is that? Click here to browse.
For More Details: Get Yourself Organized For Christmas – Page 92
Share Your Thoughts:
How did you do planning your ‘white space’? Did you do nothing? Did you get a much needed nap or pedicure? Share with us on Facebook!
The Day I Quit Motherhood by Jenny Lee Sulpizio
Before I knew it, these two words had flown from my mouth and the reason was simple: it had been one of those mornings. You know the kind. The type of morning where the kids overslept, fights over the bathroom ensued, and the packing of lunches had yet to take place. It was the kind of morning where the dog had peed (all over), where the toilet clogged, and my attempts at breakfast had indeed, gone up in flames.
And it wasn’t even 7:30 yet.
So I quit. I gave up. I shouted to the whole house: to the kids, the dog, and anything within earshot, that I was done. In retirement. On sabbatical. Officially F-I-N-I-S-H-E-D with motherhood.
And it felt good (for a minute). Freeing even. That is until I saw my kids. The look upon their faces let me know how wrong I’d been…and how hurtful my little public act of defiance really was. Worse of all? This Christian mama wasn’t showing them Jesus. Not one bit. I wasn’t emoting the kind of unconditional love I consistently receive (like, on a daily basis). Rather, my frustration—my weariness—was taking over.
Isn’t this what happens so much of the time though? You and me? Sometimes we don’t always exude the love of Christ. Not to our kids, our spouses, our loved ones or our friends. I struggle with that…with my imperfections…with knowing that due to my actions, the people I love the most don’t always see Jesus in (and through) me. That I am in fact, human…flawed.
But you know what, friend? Motherhood is hard. However, Jesus is there for us in the middle of our trials. He’s there for it all and through it all.
So on those days where life takes over, where tempers flare, and kids are unruly, instead of giving up or breaking down, do one (or all) of the following:
- Pray: Open that Bible. Read what God has to say. A little bit of quiet time goes a long way on those difficult days and in those hard moments. Ask for strength…for help.
- Give Grace: You’re not perfect. No one is. Give yourself some grace during those times when nothing seems to be going right. Jesus already has.
- Surrender. The journey of motherhood isn’t easy but our greatest blessings often come with difficult challenges. Friend, your best is all anyone can ask for. Surrender the frustration(s). Breathe. Rest. Give it to God.
After many failed attempts at following God’s cues, Jenny Lee Sulpizio has but one goal in mind these days: encouraging women to set their sights on God, and away from the worldly mayhem distracting them. As a Christian mom, wife, author, and contributing blogger to numerous online sites, Jenny looks to inspire her readers to a state of action and a place of peace.
She resides in Arizona with her husband and three children. Connect with Jenny online at www.jennyleesulpizio.com where you’ll find her blog, Grace for the Journey.
Jenny is giving away two copies of her book For the Love of God: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Faith and Getting Grace.
Please leave a comment below answering this question for a chance to win:
Moms, has there ever been a day–a moment–where you wanted to call it quits?
What is one word you would use to describe your motherhood?
Kathi said overwhelming. Erin said chaotic. Leslie Ludy, our guest, said neither have to be part of your parenting story. Leslie put off having kids for a long time as she feared all the horror stories. She didn’t want to lose the wonderful love story that she had built by adding kids to the mix. But when her kids came, life may not have been simple (her oldest son had acid reflux) but it was wonderful. In this podcast, she tells women how they can:
- gather their community,
- change their attitudes,
- and realize God is building them,
as they partake in the joyous, exciting and sometimes crazy ride that is motherhood.
When you are feeling overwhelmed as a mom, what is one thing you do to get yourself back on track? Share a tip below for your chance to win a book from Set Apart Motherhood.
When it comes to being a mom, have you ever felt like you wish someone would just tell you what to do? (Or at least talk you down after you kid has told you that he wishes Jake’s mom was his real mother?)
My dear friend Stephanie Shott joined us this week to discuss mentoring, a topic that is near and dear to her heart as she lacked a true mentor and community when she was a teenage/single/unsaved mom. She started the Mom Initiative specifically to help women be the mentors other moms need. And guess what, she shares the secrets with us today.
Some of the things we discuss:
- Mentoring makes us better women
- Great mentoring isn’t difficult!
- Why mentoring is so important
- REAL friends can be our mentors
When you are in the thick of it, knowing someone is there for you makes all the difference. We shouldn’t do this mothering things alone friends. Take this first step to learn how to find your tribe and your mentors.
So we had my son’s birthday party last week on June 30th. The date is only significant because as I was texting people about the party one mom sent a message back with the following question: “Didn’t he turn 7 back in December?”.
Yes, yes he did. (That was for all you Phineas and Ferb fans out there)
I guess I’m “that” mom. The one who had a TERRIBLE year at work. The one who barely had energy to do laundry and cook, much less plan a party.
The one who loves her children more than her job but found her job taking too much of her time, energy and thoughts.
It’s one of those things that I NEVER thought would happen to me, but it did.
It sounds silly to become so upset about being late with a party but it matters to me – or should I say, to my expectations! I’ve always been the mom who plans parties everyone enjoys and (being honest here) raves about! It’s my little “rocked it baby!” moment and I love seeing my kids have such a good time.
Not giving my son a birthday party with his friends brought a weight of guilt and disappointment that was new and very uncomfortable for me, I felt like such a bad mom!
In order to deal with this awful feeling I decided to just stop and remember what matters most.
I decided my son would not be scarred for life and I was NOT a terrible mom. Instead, I was a mom who was human and just trying my best. I stayed focused on the essentials – what I needed to really make it through.
First I had to be HONEST. I had dropped the ball and for that I apologized to my son. I also explained the situation to him and his response was so sweet and understanding. I think it’s okay for my boys to see me goof and claim responsibility while also promising to make things right!
Next I needed the essential of PERSEPCTIVE. Failing to give him a party felt like a BIG deal but when I stepped back and looked at the big picture I realized that I hadn’t totally failed him. I’d been working hard to make sure I was home to tuck him into bed and able to be at all his games and most importantly, turn off my “work brain” and truly listen to him.
When my perspective is focused on the big picture and I’m able to be honest with myself and accept my blunders I think I become a better woman and a better mom. On those “bad mom” days, I have an opportunity to allow God to come in and fill in the missing pieces of my identity with HIS truth. I want to live my life focused on the essentials and not the extras – I want people to come first, not projects and parties.
Keeping this balance is tough, but it’s so worth the effort. And by the way, my little December baby was able to have a pool party. Complete with leis, sunshine and lots of laughter.
Kasey Johnson is learning daily how to ignore the extras in life and focus on the essentials. As an educator, author, speaker, blogger, wife and mother, Kasey understands the balancing act we sustain as mothers. Her new book and Bible study, Mom Essentials is all about this challenge that every mom is facing.
Visit her blog, www.smarter-moms.com, to learn more about Mom Essentials.