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Stand Up For Your Faith

Stand Up For Your Faith

StandUpForYourFaithHave you ever taken a stand for your beliefs?  I have, quite a few times, and it can be really hard.  Talk about dead silence, shocking stares from people who thought they knew you, and some serious fear!  Let me share a secret with you though – I’m a very black and white person.  There is not much gray in my life – at all.  People who know me, either love this about me, or hate it.  If you don’t know this about me yet, well, I’m sure you will soon, and you’ll either disregard everything I say or take some of it to heart.

I know I’m a lot to take at times, but this is me and it’s up to you to decide what you want to do with it.  :)  When is comes to right and wrong, I like being right, and I like to do what is right and expected of me.  I don’t push the boundaries at all, there is always a very clear line drawn in the sand and I don’t cross it.  I’ve been like this my whole life, it causes me to be very perfectionistic, as well as extremely self-motivated.  While I don’t mind setting high goals for myself and working hard at trying to reach them, having to perfect all the time is exhausting.  I’m learning to offer myself a lot of grace and if motherhood has taught me nothing else, it definitely has put me in my place and helped me realize that I can’t be perfect all the time, nor does God expect me to be – because then, what would I need Him for?

Back to my original topic – taking a stand for your beliefs.  I tell you all this about my personality so you will understand that it’s not hard for me to take a stand for what I believe.  I’m used to people disagreeing with me, and thinking that I’m crazy for being so rigid.  As I’ve gotten older, this no longer bothers me.  Lots of people don’t see the world through the same lense that I do and that’s ok!  But, there are some that do, and the best part about taking a stand is that you may find other people who believe the same way you do, and were too scared to make it known.  They may have needed to find you, and had you not shared your feelings, they might have never known you felt or believed the same thing.

My pastor was talking about this topic at church last weekend and he shared a story about Elijah and Obadiah from 1 Kings 18 and 19.  Elijah thought that he was all alone as the only prophet left in all the land who loved, served and took a stand for God.  When he was at his point of exhaustion and frustration, he was told that God had used Obadiah to reserve 7,000 in Israel who also believed in God as well!  Elijah had fooled himself in thinking he was all alone in his devotion to God and really there were many more!  I encourage you to take a stand for what you believe!

When I was thinking about this post, I was reminded of quite a few times when I took a stand for what I believed.  The most significant time I can remember standing up for my beliefs came as a high school sophomore in my science class.  We were discussing how the world came into existence and my teacher was passionately teaching us the Big Bang Theory.  It was very clear that this was her belief as well.  My problem came when I disagreed and asked if she was going to also teach the Creation Theory.  She politely declined and then put me on the spot, in front of my 30 classmates, asking exactly what I believed.  So I told her.  I believed that God created the world and everything in it.  Simple as that.  This statement caused my class to erupt into a lot of commotion and opinions and within a few minutes I was being asked to leave class and go to the Principal’s office.  Not kidding.  So I did.  Needless to say, I did not get into trouble for sharing my opinion, my teacher just didn’t know what to do with me and was annoyed at the commotion I caused.

A lot of good that came from that experience though.  You see, there were a few other students in the class that believed the same thing I did; that God made the universe.  They didn’t know me well enough to know that I shared their beliefs, but they approached me afterwards and believe it or not, we started a Prayer Group at our school.  Our Prayer Group started small, but soon it was well over 50 students who were also wanting to spend a little bit of each day praying for our school and friends.  May sound silly to some people, but it was a really neat group to be a part of.  Taking a stand for my faith, even as a high schooler, led me to new friends with shared beliefs and I knew I was not alone.

All of this to say, you never know who needs to find you if you take a stand for what you believe. I dare you to try it, even if its in a small way.

I’d love to know some of your stories – how did you stand up for your faith?  What was the outcome?

Hugs!

 

StandUpForYourFaith

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March 11, 20170 commentsRead More
Let Jesus Shine Through

Let Jesus Shine Through

LetJeusShineThroughIt’s early March here in Colorado and that means everything is a still a little brown outside.  My son and I LOVE to be outside, so every chance we get when the temperatures are even slightly warm enough, we head outside to enjoy the sunshine.  I noticed some green grass poking through all the dead brown grass a few days ago while we were walking to get the older kids from school.  We both were soo excited to see the little blades of green grass sprouting up – that means Spring is coming and with that, warmer weather and even more time outside!

It struck me this morning as I was driving and having this long conversation with my son about the coming Spring, that we all need some time to clean up our lives so that Jesus can shine through.   You see, there was a landscaping company out with their blowers, mowers, and rakes.  They were cleaning up the neighborhood by blowing away all the dead leaves, and power-raking all the withered brown grass.  Their hard work was giving everything a fresh clean look, and getting our neighborhood ready for new life to grow when Spring truly arrives.

This reminded me that we all need a good power-raking in our lives, a time to remove all the icky, old stuff that is clouding our vision and weighing us down so that Jesus can shine through!  Just think of how hard it is to see the good in your life when your life is so full of hurt, pain, and sorrow?  Or when you are weighed down by a broken relationship?  Sometimes we get so worn down from the hurt in our lives that our light is no longer shining, I’ve been there and I understand.   It’s time to clean it up, remove it, mend the hurt and start fresh so Jesus can grow your life!  Spring is an excellent time to take a good look at your life and see if there are hidden places or very open places you can heal and fix so that Jesus can shine through!

“Don’t hide your light!  Let it shine for all; let your good deeds glow for all to see, so that they will praise your heavenly Father.”  — Matthew 5:16

 

LetJeusShineThrough

 

 

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March 2, 20170 commentsRead More
Snowboarding, Pain, and God’s Glory

Snowboarding, Pain, and God’s Glory

SnowboardingThe last 3 weeks have been hard for me.  I’m not sure if many of you know, but I went snowboarding before Christmas, and it was awful.  Why, you might ask?  It was my very first time on a board and I honestly didn’t stay upright on my board long enough to know if it’s even fun.  I fell so many times and I had NO idea that it would hurt as bad as it did to fall.  I kept thinking, oh it’s just snow, how hard could it hurt to fall on my very padded butt?  Ooooohhhh, was I wrong.

The first time I feel backwards on my butt it was like a rug was pulled right out from underneath me and I hit the snow so hard that it hurt from my bum all the way up to my skull, and I wasn’t even moving!!  I fell so many times my first day on the slopes that my body hurt in places that I didn’t know it could hurt in.  In fact, I only made it down the baby bunny hill two times the entire day I was up there. and after falling over and over and over again on the way down the hill I’d finally had enough.  Snowboarding might be fun, but I’m not sure my body can take really finding out for sure if it is.

You see, after that horribly painful day, my body was feeling very sore, but still functionable.  I continued with my regular running and exercise class schedule which has me working out 5-6 days a week for about an hour.  Then, I decided I better give this snowboarding thing one more try, but on a much smaller scale – so I spent a morning boarding down a very small sledding hill in my neighborhood.  Not nearlyl as scary and actually a little bit fun.  :) I made it down the sledding hill about 25 times before I was just tuckered out, but I had 2 really good falls on my bum.  My back hurt for the rest of the day and into the next.  It was so sore, but it went away and I kept up with regular life again.

A few days later, I got a bur in my saddle to start tidying my whole house, which you can read all about here.  I got so excited to tidy, that I roped my husband into tidying our storage room.  We spent an entire weekend buried in the basement, sorting boxes and boxes of stuff.  I went to pick up a box at one point and felt a pinch in my back that spasamed my whole back and it’s now 3 weeks later and I’m still dealing with it.  3 weeks!!! It feels like an eternity to me.  I know how dumb that sounds because God bless all the people out there that deal with chronic pain and injuries – I don’t know how you do it.  I’ve been to my amazing chiropractor quite a bit in the last 3 weeks and am eternally grateful to her and all that she does.  She has explained to me that back pain is complicated and can be extremely frustrating to deal with.  I’m not sure when my back with finally relax and calm down, but I spent the first 2 weeks babying my back and not lifting anything heavy.  Of course that also meant no working out or running at all and for me, that’s really hard as I love doing both of those things.

My chiropractor also told me that she is pretty certain the spasam is from snowboarding.  Did you all hear that?? Snowboarding.  From the continual falling over and over and over, that I weakened my lower back muscles so badly and when I continued with my regular life and activity it finally gave up on me.  You can’t fall that much and that hard without some serious damage being done to your body.  Shoot!  And to think I hurt my body this bad doing something that I didn’t want to do anyways.  Double bummer.  My attempt at trying to be brave for my kids worked, but I also injured myself and that is where God comes in with a life lesson.

So, Katrina, connect the dots.  What do you mean the life lesson?  Ok, I’m glad you asked….  I was at my Community Bible Study yesterday and was struck by a very deep answer to a question that I ponder all the time.  I wonder all the time what is God’s purpose for my life, and if I’m actually doing what I should be doing?

Isaiah 43:7 says, “Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”  Did you catch that?  It’s the whole created for my glory part.  It’s not about if I’m doing the exact thing that God wants me to be doing and trying to figure that one thing out for the rest of my life, my life is not mine to begin with and what I want for my life is not the issue.  My life is from God, created by God, given to me as a gift from God and the whole point of my life is to bring Glory to my Father – not glory to myself.  Like a smack in the face huh?  Yep, I know.

I know what you are thinking…you are losing me Katrina, what does that have to do with snowboarding and back pain?  Snowboarding was born out of my husband’s desire for our family to all go skiing together.  He loves to ski and he wants me and my kids to love it too.  The only problem, I’ve never liked skiing, so I figured I would try snowboarding instead because the kids wanted to try to skiing so bad this year.  It was doomed before we even went, but I put on my bravest face and tried.  The kids loved it, the husband loved it, but mommy had an entirely different experience.

While I’m proud of myself for doing something that scared me out of my mind, I’m super annoyed that trying something I didn’t want to do to begin with is now keeping me from doing things I love to do.  Me, I, me, me, me….that’s the problem.  I keep thinking my life is all about me and what I want.  I keep thinking that just because it’s my life that I have some right to how it goes.  If I was able to do my regular working out I would be able to drop those additional 20lbs that I was so determined to lose early this year.  Again, it’s all about me.  As I was sitting at Community Bible Study this past week God whispered a truth to me – the fact that my life is not mine.  My life is for God and to glorify Him with what He has given me.  Whether that is 20lbs heavier than I want to be or not.  It’s about my attitude and my gratefulness for what He gave me and how I use that for His glory.

Ouch.  Such a good truth though.

Snowboarding

 

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February 5, 20170 commentsRead More
Time to Tidy Up: Only Keep Stuff You Love

Time to Tidy Up: Only Keep Stuff You Love

OnlyKeepStuffYouLoveI’ve learned a lot this week, but the best thing so far – it’s ok to throw stuff away.  Really, it’s ok.  Even if that stuff is a gift from someone you love.  It may be a wonderful gift that had great intentions, but over the years, that gift sat on a shelf and collected dust.  It’s taken up a piece of real estate in your house and over the years you can’t seem to part with it since it was a gift.

You know what I’m talking about – that candle that you burned a few times and then you stuffed it in the very back of your kitchen cabinet because you got another one you liked better.  Or, it’s the quilt that someone made you as a wedding present.  While the quilt is lovely, it doesn’t match the decor of your house, or even of your guest room, so it’s been sitting in a box for 15 years.  Or, maybe it’s that collection of items from your favorite sports team – the mugs, light-up beer steins (and you don’t even drink beer), hats, coasters, posters, soda can cozies, tickets from games you have attended, and on and on – while you love this sports team, you may not love all the gifts you are given year after year with their logo plastered on it.

I know how you feel though – being stuck with a gift and feeling like you have to keep it just because you love the person who gave it to you.  In Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, she says, “Too many people live surrounded by things they don’t need ‘just because.’”  Most people have no idea how much space these things are taking up in their homes.

For me, I’ve seen this truth to be true – I can’t believe that in my already orderly (or so I thought) house I found 16 bags of things just taking up space that I didn’t want anymore, and I’m only just beginning.  The question to ask yourself when sorting through gifts is “Does this spark joy?”   Simple as that.  You have to remember that gifts are just things that are used to convey someone’s feelings for you – and after they have given you the gift, the gift’s purpose has been fulfilled.  Think about that.  It’s so true and my mind is blown.  This makes me think about gifts in a whole new light – both gifts I receive and gifts I give – honestly, it makes me want to try a lot harder when I’m giving a gift to someone.

While some gifts are hard to part with, others are easy to discard.  You can part with that engraved china plate you got as a wedding gift that has sat in a box for your entire marriage.  Yes, it was a gift, but do you even remember who gave it to you?  This happened to me yesterday.  We tackled our storage room.  This room holds a giant pile of boxes that are old grade school papers, trophies from Awana, diplomas and awards from DECA and FBLA, Coca-Cola collections, M & M collections of everything you can dream of shaped, stuffed or imprinted with an M & M on it, wedding gifts, old cards and letters, etc.  It was intense.  I can’t believe how much we threw away!  We had so many empty boxes that we had saved and intended to use for shipping gifts to people.  Silliest thing ever, because we maybe ship 3-4 boxes a year!  We had enough boxes and shipping materials to ship boxes for the next 20 years or more!  Not only were these boxes taking up a ton of space, so were all the boxes of momentos.

We spent 5 hours working on this room and have made some great progress, but we still have a long way to go.  The funny thing, I noticed my attitude change over the course of the day.  I was super excited to get started on the room – I loved seeing all the things we were able to discard and haul to the trash.  Once we started unpacking my M & M collection and my box of unexpected photos from college, I started to get really stressed.  I didn’t know what to do with this stuff.  I panicked.  We kept going and I had to walk away for awhile.  I was getting totally overwhelmed.  There were boxes overflowing with packing peanuts,  piles of sorted item we were going to donate, and piles of discarded items.  Just walking from the storage room to the the stairs was like walking through a mine field.  We cleared a path and I set aside all my momentos to deal with at a later time.  The photos and special memory items are the items you sort through last.  Thank goodness, because I like to take photos of everything!

I unpacked boxes that have been packed since I moved into my house 10 years ago.  I had boxes of decor items that don’t match my current house and honestly I didn’t even remember I had them.  I found a really cool set of metal lamps that I really like, but have no problem selling instead of keeping.  In fact, I’m not only donating items, but finding a lot that I can sell on VarageSale.  I have listed over 100 items since I’ve begun my tidying journey and I’m loving the extra money that I’m making.

I’m super proud of my husband as well, he loves to collect stuff and tends to have multiple collections of things,  let’s see, there is the Coca-Cola collection, the Star Wars Lego collection, and the Broncos collection.  I tend to look at these things as ways to collect dust, which drives him crazy.  He thinks I’m boring because I don’t really collect anything.  Yep, we are a perfect match!  He did make some great decisions on things he was willing to part with and we have big plans for our storage room.  We are going to add some shelves and I’m so excited!  Our compromise, I have to find a place to display his Coke collection because he unpacked it all!  I still have to figure this one out.  :)

Needless to say, I survived the day, we still have a ton to do, but we made a huge dent in our stuff that I’m super proud and excited.  As I work through the whole house, I’m finding that I have a ton of storage totes and bins that I no longer need – as I’ve discarded most of the items that used to be in them.  I’m also loving reading Marie Kondo’s book because there are just times in your life when you just need someone to tell you it’s ok to throw stuff away.  I also feel relieved that you really only need to keep stuff that you truly love.  How is your tidying journey going?

OnlyKeepStuffYouLove

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January 16, 20170 commentsRead More
Time to Tidy Up: Let The Selling Begin

Time to Tidy Up: Let The Selling Begin

LetSellingBeginI was so excited to get started with my tidying project that I had no problem sorting through stuff in my cabinets and begin the joyful job of discarding.  For me, this job is fun.  I do find joy in discarding objects that no longer serve a purpose or have a use.  You might have a much harder tine discarding items – my husband, for example, has a hard time letting go of things.  Just the other day we were sorting through that big box of cables, cords, old computer parts, etc that everyone has laying around.  We have a pretty big box full of these things to go along with our many other electronic devices and because my husband is a nerd we have a lot!  Yep, I just called him a “nerd” and I mean it totally lovingly.  He’s amazing and I’m so glad he understands computers!

Anyways, since I was dying to get a jump on the discarding process I drug my poor, unsuspecting husband to the basement to begin sorting through the box of cables and then to sort through our big pile of old computers, hard drives, printers, etc that we could recycle and get out of the house!  While I had no problem finding a ton of stuff to discard, my poor husband sorted it all and then sheepishly said he needed to keep most of it!  :)  It was adorable actually!  We had multiple TV cables from DirectTV still in the plastic packaging that were exact duplicates and I was ready to discard every single one, while my husband was worried we might need them ALL someday.  It was cute, and made me giggle.  Somehow I negotiated with him to keep just one of each kind, phew.  I did learn that everyone has a different way of looking at items around the house and the key is identifying it’s purpose and being ok with letting it go if it’s already served it’s purpose.

At least I know that I have no problem letting go of stuff, which I’m happy about considering the journey I’m about to go on, but the best words I’ve read so far into Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,  are “we should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of.”   Like focusing on the good.  I have a very hard time doing this in everyday life.  I tend to focus on the bad in a situation and in people.  Isn’t that awful?!  I love the idea of looking at an object and asking “Does this spark joy?”  If not, discard.  While this sounds simple, I know it’s going to be hard.

I do love this approach for clothing though, a lot.  I still have stuff in my closet that I wore in college, my “cute days,” as I refer to them.  I keep wanting to be the same size as I was in college – you know, long before I had 3 kids.  When I try to remember what I think I looked like back then, I’m not sure it’s all that different than I do now…it’s silly, yes, I was thinner, but I was 18!!!!  Marie also says in her book to thank the item for the role it played in your life and then let it go.

A great example is a pink t-shirt I still have with a glitter chihuahua on it (ohmygoodness…two of my favorite things – glitter and chihuahuas, especially at that time in my life), and it’s a very small t-shirt.  I loved this shirt, I wore it all the time and for some reason I still have it 18 years later!! 18 years?!!! I can’t believe I’ve had it that long! Why in the world have I held on to it this long?  Partly because it has glitter on it (have I mentioned that I LOVE glitter??), and partly because it has a chihuahua on it, and I have 2 chihuahuas (the same 2 chihuahuas who are now 14 and 15 years old).  More importantly, I keep hoping I’ll be able to get skinny enough to wear it again.  I’ve not worn this shirt for probably 12 years – I don’t think I’ve fit into it for the last 13 years and I still have it.  Marie says you should ask this question, “Does it spark joy?”  It sparks really good memories of a time when I was itty -bitty and cute, but it also makes me sad because I don’t look like that anymore.  Can I actually thank this shirt for giving me joy at the time I bought it and wore it, and be ok with letting go of it?  I’m not sure…..  When I really think about it, even if I could fit into it again some day, I’m not sure that I would even wear it, as it’s really short!  :)  20 years ago short shirts were the fashion trend, but not anymore!   I’m still really thinking about this one and I’ve not even started working on going through my closet yet!! My brain gets really far ahead of me sometimes.

Anyways…back to my point – I’m a few days into my tidying journey and I’m selling things like a crazy woman!  It’s nice!  We are saving for a car, so the extra money I make on discarded items around the house all go into a jar sitting on my counter – the official “Car Fund” – hey, you have to start somewhere right?!   I used to be a big fan of having a garage sale, so all year long I would designate a space in my storage room and/or the guest room and collect items we could sell.  Once garage sale season would hit, usually late April, I would drag all my stuff out to the driveway and sell it all.  Whatever was left after 2 days I would donate to Goodwill.  Normally, we would save all that money for something big – one year we used it for a vacation to Legoland!  Now, I’m a more sophisticated seller – I like to use online selling apps to move my stuff and reach a bigger audience, and for some stuff I can charge a higher price than I would get for the item at a garage sale, which is awesome!  My favorite selling app is VarageSale and I also use a few smaller local community Facebook groups.  These groups are great because the seller comes to you to buy your item and for smaller items, I usually leave them outside my front porch with a nice note and the buyer just leaves money under my doormat.  It’s very convenient and easy!  If you get to know me well enough you know that I really love things that make my life easier.  My kids have a snow day today – which means all 3 will be home, but I’m hoping that gives me a good excuse to get more tidying done since I don’t have to run them around.

So, who’s used the KonMari Method?  How did you discard items that were hard to get rid of?  Any advice for me and my tidying journey?

Have a great day!  I’m off to try to tidy….

LetSellingBegin

 

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January 5, 20170 commentsRead More
Being A Mom Hurts

Being A Mom Hurts

BeingAMomHurtsWhat is it about a child’s birthday party that can cause so much motherhood turmoil?  Forget about all the stress over color schemes, themes, balloons, food, to make a cake or just provide cupcakes, frosting colors, candles, games, to give out goodie bags or not, and the worst part of all – the guest list.  Serious drama and stress flows out of birthday party planning for me.

Let’s back up a few steps…something you should know about me and my amazing mom.  When I was a kid, my birthday parties were something I looked forward to ALL year long.  My mom would make birthdays super special and over the top!  Plus, she would come up with these amazing themes that she would manage to do on a very tight budget and she always had time to hand make our cakes.  I remember some amazing cakes…there was once an adorable Strawberry Shortcake cake that was a thing of fine art (that cake in the picture is my ACTUAL cake my mom made me when I was 3)!  I also remember the Barbie skirt cake, you know the one, where you stick Barbie on the top of a cake that looks like her skirt.  My mom was doing this 30 years ago, long before this idea was all over Pinterest!  She made birthdays a monumental event that made me feel like the most special kid in the whole world – even if not a soul showed up to it!

Fast forward 30 years later and my mom has successfully passed the birthday party baton to me.  I LOVE planning their parties, I love making a HUGE mess at them, I love seeing the excitement on their faces when their friends come over and truly enjoy their wacky mom.  I love personally hand-making their invitations, and spending hours and hours researching ideas of fun things to do during their parties.  I start planning their parties right after Christmas – 6 months in advance, and I’m not kidding one bit – this gives me 6 months to fine tune the chaos and find the best deals on all the supplies.  Plus, it takes us a very long time to pick out the cake design – and I’m the luckiest mom in the world because my mom still creates amazing cakes for their parties each year (plus, sometimes I even get to help – but my mom is the true artist for all things cake – I’m better with paper).

As you can see, I’m pretty psychotic about birthdays and I’m learning this year that I care about them so much more than my kids do.  While I’m glad to learn this lesson – talk about huge reality check – it’s still really sad at the same time.  And it should come as no surprise that I care more about who all can come to their parties than they do.  Which is sooooo silly!!!

More experienced moms tell me, “You will hurt so much more than your kids hurt, when they are hurting” – it’s silly, but it’s so true.  Classic example – remember that one time when you were younger and all the other kids got picked for the game of dodgeball and you were the last one chosen?  Ouch.  Or that time you were hoping the really cute boy would ask you to Prom – but he asked your best friend instead?  Or that time you didn’t get invited to that one birthday party that all your other friends got invited to?  (I was there – more times than I would like to admit – break out the Double Stuffed Oreos right now).

I’ve honestly not experienced this whole idea of ‘hurting more than my kids are hurting’ very much yet.  My kids are not that old yet – and my oldest is a boy – he just doesn’t have much drama yet – or maybe he just doesn’t get involved in it, but it’s happened a lot more than I would like lately with my 1st grade daughter.  School is hard for girls and the drama starts at a young age.  She has had a rough year, she tries to act brave when she’s not included with her friends, but I’ve seen the tears that she wipes away when no one is looking, and it totally kills me!

I’m learning that I really do hurt so much more than they do, which makes me feel like a total wimpy mom.  If my daughter can absently brush off not being invited to a birthday party, why can’t I brush off the fact that she was not invited?  I mean seriously, who is the adult here?  This is my time to admit just how human I am.  I’m still that kid who didn’t get invited to the “cool girls’” birthday party because I wasn’t stick thin and didn’t have long hair.  My mom likes to tell me that I was “too cool” for all those girls, but it still hurts when you are left out – and it still hurts you as a mom when your child is left out, not picked, bullied, etc.  I personally think it hurts us as moms so much because it feels like they are not picking us – even though it really has nothing to do with us!

You would think that as a grown woman I would have this figured out and would know not to take things so personally – especially when it’s usually out of no spite at all that our child was not chosen.  It’s just life.  Plain and simple.

My mom gave me some great advice and thoughts to ponder when you find yourself in this situation – because I’m sure if you are not in this situation yet, you will be soon!

  1. Being a mom hurts, but is so joyful too!
  2. God knows what is going on with each situation your child is in.  He is watching and is there for every part of it.
  3. God uses these hard situations to teach us about life and how to personally treat people.  Also how to develop compassion for others that we hurt.
  4. When you kids are hurt it teaches them what real love is, and ugly sorrow lets us learn the true meaning of joy.
  5. Our job as moms is to teach our kids from God’s perspective through these types of situations and at the same time God will use it to teach us moms as well.
  6. God loves you.  Before, during and after anything that happens, He loves you and longs for you to be loved by Him.

Isn’t my mom amazing?!  Now I need to let her advice and words sink in.

Hugs momma!  Praying for you all!

BeingAMomHurts

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May 23, 20162 commentsRead More
Do You Feel Like Giving Up On Your Side Gig? How To Stay Motivated

Do You Feel Like Giving Up On Your Side Gig? How To Stay Motivated

GiveUpSideGigAre you worn out and exhausted and wondering why in the world you keep trying to make money with your side gig when it’s the millionth time that you have hosted a home meeting, brewed the coffee, baked the cookies, spent hours practicing your presentation, prepared handouts, creatively displayed your products, sent out tons of invites, received a long list of RSVP’s, only to have your phone ring over and over with cancellations 10 minutes before the meeting, and then no one shows up at all?

Or here, let me set a different scene – have you spent hours and hours waking up super early each morning to work on your blog – day after day – you are writing for hours and hours and usually that is between a child or two that decide to get up early too?  You write, photograph, design beautiful “pin-worthy” images for every blog post, create catchy slogans, read every book by the famous bloggers who have made it, go to blog conventions, rub shoulders with celebrity bloggers, all to have your latest blog giveaway of a free lunch only have 3 people comments (and it’s a FREE lunch people…free…and you still can’t even get people to enter).

Both of these scenarios are in addition to everything else that is added on top of your regular daily jobs as a mom of cooking, cleaning, taking care of the kids, soccer practice, grocery shopping, school carpool, etc. – and somehow you are also trying to carve out time to be an entrepreneur and be successful because you have lofty dreams of one day being one of the celebrity bloggers you read devotedly each day, or one of the top level earners who just got a new car!

I’ve been there.  I’m there now.  I’ve been on the upside and have looked down and I’ve been at the very bottom.  It’s all hard.  There are pluses and minuses to both sides.  But I think the biggest thing to remember in all of it is your attitude and how you look at your present circumstances.  These are my top 5 tips on how I stay motivated to keep working towards my dreams:

  1. Remember that being broke is a state of mind.  If you are an entrepreneur and already have a side gig, then you are leaps and bounds ahead of most people – broke people.
  2. Consistency is key – keep at it.  Don’t give up.  Hold on to the reason that you started your side gig to begin with.
  3. Identify your “why” and write it on a sticky note and paste it up on different places in your house to remind you of why you choose the struggle to have a side gig.  If you don’t have a “why” then stop everything and identify it right now.  Focus on it, and keep going.
  4. Surround yourself with people who encourage you to reach your goals – if they don’t get super excited when you are winning than they are not your friends.
  5. Your success is up to you.  If you want to grow your business, it’s up to you – not anyone else.  If you want your blog to be amazing, write amazing blog posts.  If you want to take your business to the next level, then hustle and make it happen.

And finally, moms, give yourself some grace.  If you don’t get it all done in one day, that’s ok.  Like they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Give yourself grace, go to bed, and get up and try again.  Just don’t ever stop trying!

We can do this together – plus I’m praying for you and would love you to pray for me too!  Please feel free to send me an email with how I can be praying for you and your side gig!  If you want to pray for me, please pray that God would direct my side gigs to be whatever He wants them to be and that I would humbly follow His direction.  Hugs momma!

DoYouFeelLikeGivingUpYourSideGig

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March 30, 20162 commentsRead More
Being Ok With Being Average

Being Ok With Being Average

OKWithBeingAverage.jpgI’m an overwhelmed mom.  Each day is a little bit crazier than the one before.  I’m busy, tired, and trying way too hard.  Some days are amazing, I get a lot of things done; I make dinner from scratch and have time to play with the kids, finish all the laundry, and work on my business.  The best days are when my youngest son takes a long afternoon nap allowing me lots of uninterrupted time to work on my business.  Those days are very rare, but when they happen, I feel like I won an “Super-Mommy” award for all the different hats I wore that day.

On all the other days, when life is just normal, and I don’t get the laundry done, and my son gets up too early (even though I got up really early to get stuff done without him) just to hang out with me.   The days when I don’t find more than about 20 minutes to get any work done on my business before I’m fast asleep at night – those are the days when I feel so totally disappointed and wonder what in the world I’m doing and why am I’m trying so hard?

I have a drive to be more than just average.  I want to leave my mark on the world.  I’d like to be known for something.  I want to help people better their lives.  But, I also realized something yesterday – more than anything, I just want to beAlliWantToBe whoever God wants me to be.  For me, it’s as simple as that, even if it’s just average.  Daily, I’m on a journey to understand just what exactly it is that God wants me to be.  I know that focus is wrong when I get caught up in feeling sorry for myself that I’ve failed for the day as a mom because I yelled at my kids too much, or because I didn’t get all the laundry done.

When I start comparing myself to other bloggers who have a much bigger following and get a lot more blog comments than I do, or when I compare my short stubby legs to the mom at school who looks amazing and she just had a baby, that’s when I know I’m not not focusing on the right thing.  When I get really frustrated about work I have to remind myself that God is in control and He knows exactly where I am on my journey.  He reminds me not to compare my beginning to someone else’s middle.

When you feel average, but want to be more, look to God.  Tell Him all about it, then take some time to pray.  Ask Him to guide and direct every step of your day, and to be content with what He gives you that day.  I’m asking Him to change my perspective to see everything inside my day as a way to honor Him.   Also, to be thankful for exactly where He has me on my journey – even if I’d much rather be farther down the road.  The final thing that I’m asking Him is to change my thinking to be content with whatever He wants me to do – that day, that week, that year – trusting that He has it all planned out and even if I never really do anything I think is awesome, amazing, or important with my life, as long as it’s what He wants me to do, then that’s all that really matters.

Jeremiah 29:11-13  “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.  When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen.  When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.”

I love knowing that God has it all planned out and I don’t need to stress about anything.   I don’t have to worry about the big things in life, like if my business will be successful, or the little things in life, like how will I get my youngest son to listen the first time I ask him to do something.  When you call on God, He does listen.  When you really take the time to seek Him, He will be right there.  Then, you can take a deep breath and rest in knowing you are exactly where He wants you to be.

What do you stress about?OKWithBeingAverage.jpg

Hugs!

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March 1, 20160 commentsRead More
Life Is All About Perspective

Life Is All About Perspective

landscape-nature-hand-fieldPerspective is really hard for me. I’m terrible at envisioning the future. I’m not a “dreamer,” I dwell in the present and rather than looking forward to the future I have this awful way of digging up the past.  For example, I love people and I have a God-given ability to meet and get to know people.  God has given me a gift of being able to bring people together – I like to call it “I’ll introduce you to your next best friend.”  I loathe this gift, but am trying very hard to find God’s blessing in it.  Instead of being happy for the people I’m able to help and blessed by the time (no matter how short) I was able to enjoy with them, I end up feeling lonely and that a piece of my heart has been sacrificed on the altar of “friendship.”  I’ve never understood this gift, but am praying for wisdom on how God intends me to use it.  It’s all about perspective, which I’m still working on.

I’ve spent a lot of time lately pondering what the Lord wants me to be doing at this time in my life.  I’ve had a rough year and I realize now that it’s all been about my skewed perspective.  I’ve spent a whole year beating myself up for all sorts of reasons, mostly my failures as a mom, wife, friend and business owner.  And the longer I beat myself up, I felt so lost and frustrated, that I wanted to give up on everything.  I was spending so much time dwelling on just how much I had failed rather than looking at just how much I had accomplished!  Seriously why does one single failure out-weigh a hundred victories?  And why do we keep score on ourselves anyway?  Perspective.  It’s all about perspective.

Then I came across an awesome quote, “God never sends you into a situation alone.  He goes before you, He stands beside you, He walks behind you.  Whatever your situation, be confident, God is with you!” Knowing that God is with me when I winning, when I’m failing, when I’m lonely, and when I’m totally lost is like having a burden lifted off my shoulders.

I don’t have to know or understand what the Lord is currently doing, or what He plans to do with my life in the future, my sole job is to live each day in the full confidence of the Lord, and to just keep pursuing my dreams, to keep trying, until God closes a door.  My first priority is God, then my spouse, then my family, and lastly my business.  When my perspective is on the wrong thing, all of these tend to get out of order.  In Joyce Meyer’s book, Get Your Hopes Up (which is an AMAZING book – highly recommend that everyone reads this book) she says, “You don’t have to sit back, just waiting for an answer to fall from the sky.  You can take your hopes to God, ask Him for His wisdom, guidance, and direction, and then take real practical steps toward your goal…..you can aggressively thank God that He is working in your life.”

In what ways do you need to change your perspective?

 

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December 2, 20150 commentsRead More
I Feel Like A Fraud

I Feel Like A Fraud

I feel like a fraud, and I hate admitting that – out loud, and online.  A fraud – sounds sooo awful, but I really do feel like a fraud – and a fraud not only in mommy hood, but with my friends, and at church, and with my spouse and with my family.   I’ve really been struggling this summer with a lot of my inner emotions – not sure what’s up with the summer, but I’ve spentOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA a lot of time deep thinking (don’t laugh, a lot of people will assume all I do giggle and smile and that I couldn’t possibly ever have a bad day, or think a deep thought…WRONG….it’s those people that I guess I can say I have faked out the most).

While at church this past weekend our awesome pastor was talking about hope.  It struck me that hope it exactly what I’m missing right now.  Big time.  In my limited world view, at this time in my life, I feel like hope is a total pipe dream – and would describe my heart at feeling completely hopeless – but part of the problem is that I’m not even sure why.  Call it mid-life crisis, or boredom, or being 35, I’m not sure, but hope is totally not there.

My pastor described hope this way: hope is a confident expectation – not just wishful thinking.  Have you ever actually thought about this though?  There are some things in life right now that I’m wishfully hoping will get better, like, I wish I could lose another 15lbs, and I wish I could go on a vacation, and I wish my business would grow faster.  Deep down though, those things really resonate with me as well and when they don’t come true, somewhere in the back of my brain I chalk them up as failures.  Then there is a whole other side of hope that runs so much deeper – all the way back to my childhood.  I grew up with parents that were amazing and they told me constantly just how amazing I was.  I grew up hearing on a very frequent basis that I was “special” and that God had very “special” plans for my life someday.  Now I feel like I’m still waiting for that something “special” to happen, and every day that goes by and I’ve not accomplished that something “special” I feel like my hope dwindles and my failure rate increases.  Quite honestly, it’s a terrible place to be living.

Have you ever watched yourself from the other side of the room?  I feel like I do this all the time…like I’m watching myself have an experience that I’m not really part of.  Almost like I’m on autopilot and my body is off doing something that I’ve not told it to do…I’m going through all the motions of my daily life as a mom and there are moments during the day when I stop myself and I wonder, why am I doing that?  I heard a great quote, “Try less and give more to God.”  How hard is that to really do though?  It’s like I feel so many things in life are no-brainers, total common sense, but why are they so hard to actually do?  Partly because I’m a total control freak.  I’m living that right now, and again it’s one more thing that I tend to chalk up to my failures.

I feel like I’m buried in just being.  I have no idea anymore what to even hope for.  But, for a bunch of you out there, I know you are going to say, “But, Katrina, aren’t you a believer in Christ? He should be your hope.”  You are right.  I’m absolutely a Christ believer, but the reality of how I feel right now is that I’m lost and feeling totally hopeless.

Do any of you listen to Thousand Foot Krutch?  Seriously one of my favorite bands and I love the message of one specific song called, “Lift It.”  I was driving to Target yesterday and this song was on – the lyric says:

In my temptation to walk away
And through the endless troubled days
There’s a hundred million ways
For me to release Your praise
And by and by, through the tears
And things You’ve taught me through the years
My whole life was designed by You
I’ll never know anyone half as true

The line that really resonated with me was “My whole life was designed by You” – even this un-special life that I feel like I’m living right now.  He’s designed this turmoil that I feel by just being me, He’s designed my days where I’m a referee and taxi driver all day long, He’s designed my body and how it looks and knows how incredibly frustrated it is when parts stay one size and don’t function like they should, and He’s designed my business and only He knows when it will succeed.  You know what?  I’m so glad that I’m not God and I don’t have to know the outcome or the lessons that lie in store for me.  Goodness can you imagine the stress of that job?

The key to hope is perspective.  I was so relieved to know that hope is not something that I can create for myself – it’s all from Christ.  Just take a moment to read Psalm 62:6-8.

“God, the one and only— I’ll wait as long as he says. Everything I need comes from him, so why not? He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, An impregnable castle: I’m set for life.  How long will you gang up on me? How long will you run with the bullies? There’s nothing to you, any of you— rotten floorboards, worm-eaten rafters, Anthills plotting to bring down mountains, far gone in make-believe. You talk a good line, but every “blessing” breathes a curse.  God, the one and only— I’ll wait as long as he says. Everything I hope for comes from him, so why not? He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, An impregnable castle: I’m set for life.  My help and glory are in God —granite-strength and safe-harbor-God— So trust him absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for him. God is a safe place to be.” – The Message

Christ is where you will find your hope, He’s a safe place to be and for me that is all I need to hear.  If I’m in Christ, then I’m exactly where I need to be and hope will be found, even if it takes me a hard to find it. If your hope lost, ask Him for it, especially if you can’t see it on your own.

 

Photo credit to : Pol Sifter
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July 17, 20150 commentsRead More