Good Soil

I have had this post on my heart for awhile, but yesterday as I was listening to podcast, I realized the importance of this topic….

As I walking through the grocery store yesterday with my headphones on, off in my own little world, ALONE (minus all the people in the store) I was feeling as though I was on vacation. I could have felt guilty because one of my four had so badly wanted to come with me to shop. Normally, I would have let her come as I try REALLY hard to carve out individual time with the girls each week, but she was exhausted and this mama needed a break…

A few months ago, I would have put my need for a break aside because I would have deemed it selfish, or at the very least not as important as her wanting some one on one time with mom. I would have convinced myself that I didn’t really need to be alone, that grocery shopping was intended to be stressful and that this was my job, a job that comes with very few breaks or breathers…

but yesterday I said no, and off I went alone.

As I was listening to one of my homeschooling mom podcasts, one of the speakers was reading listener questions and a question came up that gave me pause. It was a valid question, but one that so many moms are battling with and shouldn’t be….

“Is it okay for moms to take a break? Is it biblical to carve out time to put myself in front of the needs of my family?”

A few months ago, I may not have even been able to answer that question. Because I truly believed that it wasn’t. I lived the first few years of motherhood under the notion that as long as I was needed, my needs came last. When there was one child,  or even two there was more time that I wasn’t needed by default, but by the time number 4 came there was no time that spontaneously appeared where no one needed me. Day and night, around the clock, chances were 1 of the 4 needed something from me….

and so I gave, and gave, and gave, and gave….

until I felt as though I could not give anymore.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE taking care of my girls. Being with my children is my absolute favorite thing in the whole world. I was created for this, I know that. I love teaching them, watching them learn, and being the one who kisses the boo-boos and answers the tough questions. I love that I can decipher whats wrong just by glancing at them because I am with them so much. I couldn’t imagine a day without the snuggles and the snotty kisses….

but I was becoming depleted. Dried up. The other things about me that were also things I was created for, were disappearing one by one. Writing, editing, creating and crafting were being taken off the table….

then reading and learning for my own benefit…

and finally my own quiet time was being sacrificed for the needs of someone else.

In the midst of all of the craziness, I forgot that I was a person created with needs.

but, more than that, that the needs of others couldn’t be met if I had nothing to give.

Things became overwhelming, anxiety inducing, and I was a wreck. I was tired, worn out and doubting my ability to handle anything else.

But then, during our bible study something amazing happened. We read the parable of the sower together in Mark.

Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seed. 4As he scattered it across his field, some of the seed fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate it. 5Other seed fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seed sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. 6But the plant soon wilted under the hot sun, and since it didn’t have deep roots, it died. 7Other seed fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants so they produced no grain. 8Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew, and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”

I can’t even count how many times I have read this parable, I have notes in all different types of pen surrounding the section in my bible, but none of those notes brought to light what my children were about to teach me….

We were learning about how plants grow during the time that we read this section, so my kids knew all about what makes soil “good”…

I had been so caught up in making sure that the seeds planted in my life didn’t get choked out by the thorns, that I had forgotten I need to check the goodness of my own soil. As I was asking the girls questions, they began to point out to me about how soil and seeds need to be taken care of in order to grow! A farmer doesn’t just hope that the soil is good, he makes sure it is. He waters it, takes care of it, and doesn’t overcrowd it with too many things. He tends to it as the plants grow, weeding out the thorns and ensuring the good plants take root.

Good soil isn’t just happenstance, good soil is created by the effort of the farmer.

We don’t have to have good soil for the seeds in our life to begin to bear fruit, we can create good soil in our lives….

good soil|

But we can’t do that if we don’t take care of it. Overworked mamas who are overwhelmed, and don’t get a break are depleting their soil of nutrients. If we do that, nothing can grow.

I want to offer my family the best of me, but in order to do that, I have to give myself permission to take care of me. I have to allow myself to realize that fulfilling my needs is just as vital to my family’s growth as everyone else’s needs.

What good am I if my soil can’t bear fruit?

So whatever it is that fills you up, whether its reading, writing, shopping alone, sleeping, crafting, hanging out with friends, studying the word, or catching up on your DVR – carve out time to do it. Let your family know its necessary, ask for help and plan to take care of yourself….

You need to come back and weed and water your soil, mama.

The Hardest Job

Did you know that May is Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month?

I bet you didn’t.

Because I didn’t either, until I became one of the many moms diagnosed with postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety. In fact, in my own little world, where everything was chugging along just fine, it didn’t even cross my mind that there would be enough moms out there suffering for us to even need a month devoted to raising awareness!

But the sad truth is, there are.

being a mother is hard|

Being a mom is, hands down, the hardest job that there is out there. You can try to argue with me on this, but I firmly believe this to be true. We are the ones who carry the baby, endure labor and give birth. We are the nourishment providers, snugglers and the ones who never seem to get enough sleep in the early months and years. We are the meal makers, grocery shoppers, boo boo healing, nightmare calming, alphabet teaching, tantrum dissolving, nurses who are running on empty in the toddler years. We are the question answering, carpooling, cheerleading, confidence boosting, heartbreak healing, homework helping, schedule keeping glue that holds the craziness together as we wade through adolescence. And then, when the time comes, we are the empty nesters, enjoying seeing our children take flight into adulthood, but secretly wishing deep down that we could start it all over again….

And somewhere in there, we are still meant to be us. And it can get lost. It can get lost in the months of pregnancy, lost in the first few months following birth or lost in the craziness and busyness of life as time seems to fly by.

But we shove it down. We have to keep it together. We have to keep on chugging along, because moms don’t get sick and moms definitely don’t get depressed.

Except when we do.

and then what?


to be honest, I don’t know exactly what will work for you. But I do know what won’t.

Keeping it in, pushing it away and not telling anyone what is really going on.

There is no shame in admitting that something is wrong. There is no weakness in asking for help. We need to let go of the facade, break down our walls and get real.

We can LOVE being a mom and still admit that its hard.

We can LOVE our children so much it hurts, and still need to take a break.

We can look around at our life and realize we have everything that we always thought we needed to be happy, and still realize that we have some work to do on ourselves to get there.

I want to share with you a song that helped me at my lowest. I mean, when literally everything seemed to be crashing down around me and I thought it was all coming to an end, this song spoke volumes to me. I would listen to it over and over again, letting the words wash over me and grasping at the truths that I knew were there but seemed just out of reach.

So click here, if you need encouragement.

“There is freedom in surrender, so lay it down and let it go…”

If you are going through a hard time right now, and feel like you might be suffering from depression, I encourage you to reach out to someone – your spouse, a friend, your doctor….

you can even email me!

But don’t suffer in silence. Don’t for a second think that you have to always keep it all together. Don’t forget, in the craziness that comes with raising a family, that YOU are just as important.

5 Ways to Pick Up a Mom….

Becoming a mom is the craziest life transition most of us women will ever go through. I LOVE being a mom. But the truth is, it turns your world upside down. It completely and totally changes most of everything we know, and because of that there are so many seasons that can feel so lonely.

Isolation during motherhood can make an already hard job seem impossible. With no one to vent to, seek advice from or even just drink coffee with, we can be left most days feeling like we are doing everything wrong. Sometimes, on my worst days, I just need to hear from another mom friend that they feel like they are screwing it all up too.

But, making friends with moms can be incredibly intimidating! In some ways, its can feel even harder than dating! It can take a lot to put yourself out there, and some of you new moms may not even know where to begin….

Here are 5 different ways that I have found to make new mom friends:

5 Ways to Make Friends As A Mom|

1. Crash a local Mom Group: Okay, I know that it can be nerve wracking to go outside your comfort zone and show up to a local mom group where you don’t know anyone, but most groups are very inviting. You will have your occasional run in with those groups that can seem cliquey, but for the most part your walking into a room full of women who feel exactly like you. Use the group as starting point for building friendships and go from there. Mom groups are pretty easy to find, and you can start by using Facebook or Google to search. MOPs is a great organization that hosts moms groups in various locations around the world, and would be good place to start!

2. Local Online Mom Groups: Speaking of searching Facebook, there are a lot of local groups online specifically for moms in that area. Join a group, and try to stay active in some of the conversations, getting to know some of the other moms. Eventually, when you feel comfortable enough, try to arrange a play date with a few of the moms. These online groups are great for those moms who are less out going, but try not to get stuck in the rut of only communicating online.

3. Attend Kids Events in your Area: Story – times, toddler jump times, free play time at the library, open play groups – any kid – centered activity is a great way to meet some new mama friends. Take advantage of any local kid geared activities as a time to both get out of the house and to meet some new women who are right where you are.

4. Check out Churches in your area: In my experience, some of my closest relationships have come through the people that I have met through our church. Many local churches host groups for moms, play groups or women’s bible studies that are really amazing ways to develop some new relationships. Most don’t require that you attend the church itself in order to join in on the activities! If you are in the Rochester Area, you can find our church and playgroup here.

5. Download the newly launched MomCo App: So this is an exciting, and new way to make mom friends! An app just for moms has just launched and is a great (and safe!!) way for you to find moms in your area. You can chat with other moms and get to know them right through the app, post questions in the forum and even find and schedule play dates! Another added benefit is you can find services and businesses in your area that cater specifically to moms in your area all in one place. All you have to do is download it from the app store, and its free! You can download the app here!

5 Ways to Pick Up A Mom |

The one thing in common with all of these is that we need to get outside of comfort zones and allow ourselves to make new friends in this season of life. It takes effort to build relationships, but we all need a tribe. Motherhood is a not a road that we should try to navigate alone. We need other women in the trenches with us, laughing with us, crying with us and lifting us up when it all seems too hard.

So mama…

Go put yourself out there! Crash a play group, attend a story time, download the app and make some new friends! I promise you that you won’t regret it!

In the midst of the storm…

Here I am, nearly 17 months postpartum, claiming to be healed completely. But the truth is, some days I am not so sure.

In my life prior to being diagnosed, I had experienced anxiety, but not to the extreme that I feel it now. When things trouble me, when I am worried, when life is not panning out the way that I had planned, I get an anxiety that hurts in the deepest depths of my soul.

My bones feel weary. I feel weak. I feel physically afflicted by the mental stress that is plaguing me. I begin to spiral down into thoughts of “this is not normal”, “its all coming back”, “normal people don’t feel this way, there must be something wrong with me still.” The doctor’s call it a form of PTSD. Being diagnosed with anything makes me feel worse. Even when I have weeks in a row of not experiencing these feelings, when they come I feel broken in the worst way…..

But, today, I learned something. Something that I had heard MANY, MANY times is beginning to resonate with me.

Jesus got overwhelmed. He got anxious, stressed and worried about what He was about to face. When Jesus goes into the garden at Gethsemane he says to 3 of his disciples, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.” I NEVER understood what he meant by that, until right this moment. I never understood that your soul could be so overwhelmed that you could feel physically ill…

But it can.

It happened to Jesus, and it happens to me.

But the difference is what Jesus decides to do about it. He doesn’t sit in the garden, drink coffee with his disciples and complain about what is to come, what he can’t control or what he doesn’t like about his job. He doesn’t sit there and let his thoughts run a mile a minute about the awful days in front of him.

He falls down on the ground and he cries out to his Father. Not “god the almighty king who might listen if I pray loud enough but is probably to busy to listen to me….”, but ABBA, his loving father who cares about how he is feeling in that exact moment. His father who he knows loves him and is listening to him. His father, who is going to encourage him to push through his fear and accomplish what he came down to earth to accomplish, in spite of fear, in spite of being overwhelmed.

Jesus does ask if there is any other way out, but only if it is God’s will. And God doesn’t change His plan, but Jesus’ attitude changes. He tells his disciples to keep praying because “the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

Sometimes, in the midst of all of our life’s messiness, I tend to spend more time thinking up ways out of it, or just venting to friends, than I do in going to God. I need to remember that, like Jesus, my body is much weaker than my spirit. There are seasons in life, especially as a mom, where we get so overwhelmed, burnt out and plagued with anxiety that we just physically feel like we can’t do it anymore. We begin to doubt our capability as a creation of God to fulfill our purpose.

But, God doesn’t doubt us. He wants us to come to Him, to vent, seek wisdom and even ask for changes.

So the next time when you are so overwhelmed you feel as though you can’t breathe, cry out to the one who knows what you can handle even more than you can……

Have Courage and Be Kind

Cinderella Glass Slipper

(Image from Disney Images)

There is a blog article floating around the internet today filled with reasons why it may not be a good idea to take our daughters to see the new Cinderella. When I first read the article, I found myself nodding in agreement with a few of her points. We have a blended family, I don’t like to sensationalize bad attitudes and I shy away from things that may lead my daughters to begin to express some kind of body image issues. But, I wasn’t convinced that this particular movie fell into those categories, and after hearing this mom admit that her opinion was based solely on the preview, and talking with a few other moms who had made the choice to take their daughters to see the actual movie, we went ahead with our plans.

And I am so glad that we did. The movie was fantastic, and here is my rebuttal to those original 7 ideas….

1.In a world where Disney Channel characters seem to be void of parents completely, Cinderella’s relationship with her parents in the early scenes of the film was heart warming. She adores both her mother and her father, strives to please them and takes their advice to heart long after their death. And while, yes, their deaths are both somewhat sudden and sad, the relationships she had with them and the way she overcame the tragedy of losing them both in different ways shapes a lot of her personality. Our world is filled with things that happen outside of our control. These things can hurt us in various ways, and we wish that they wouldn’t happen, but they do. It didn’t hurt my girls in anyway to witness this happening to a character they loved so much before we even arrived in the theater, but was an example of overcoming hardships and the importance of making each moment count. And while this lesson was far above the heads of my two middle children, it didn’t cause them any distress or change their view on life and death, and the display of emotions and grief was age appropriate and a wonderful example for my almost 9 year old.

2. Are the step sisters mean? Of course they are! But the meanness displayed by the stepsisters in the movie is far more subtle that even I expected. The writers did a fantastic job in showcasing their entire self centered personalities in the movie, instead of just having them sling names and inflict hurt on Cinderella. Their behavior doesn’t serve to teach young girls how to be mean, or even what to expect from others, but instead it stands to contrast the behavior of our beloved Cinderella. The stepsisters are arguably as beautiful as Lily James’ Cinderella, but by the end of the movie they are ugly by comparison because of their actions, which I believe can speak volumes to our girls.

3. I don’t know that this movie can serve to be a representation of all step or blended families. We are a blended family, complete with step parents. Never once have my daughters compared our situation to the animated Cinderella in all the years of our blending, and I don’t anticipate that Cate Blanchett’s role will inflict any harm on the relationships in our family after seeing this version. Cinderella’s step mother isn’t mean because she is a step mother, but because she is a hurting woman who has experienced hardships of her own and is jealous of Cinderella. Her role is again set to serve as a stark comparison to Cinderella’s nature, showcasing her ability to forgive and be kind in all situations, and that she is not defined by the opinions of others. Furthermore, Cinderella’s stepmothers actions are thwarted in the end and don’t end up hurting anyone but herself. And while this realization is far beyond the grasp of my almost 4 year old, Cinderella’s step mother is a character of no comparison to any of our family mothers, nor is she of comparison to any other moms that we know.

4. Passivity may be a character quality of Cinderella, but it certainly doesn’t define her. In fact, Disney does an excellent job in displaying how many choices she makes for herself and her reasoning behind them. She isn’t waiting to be rescued, but sticks it out in the home that her parents loved so much because she does it in remembrance of her parents. In this live action version, the writers are able to build out her story far more to showcase how she chooses to care for the house instead of letting it fall in ruins. Overtime, her stepfamily begins to expect her to do the cooking, cleaning and care taking because she assumed the role so seamlessly upon the death of her father, eventually treating her the way that one with their selfish attitude would treat a house staff member. And while we can’t argue that she is overworked, she doesn’t seem to be particularly forced into staying and caring for her stepmother and stepsisters. She wants to be in the home where her parents lived and make sure that their memory stays vibrant within those walls, until she meets the prince and begins to see the possibility of a different future. Her quiet determination, courage and kindness are character qualities that radiate from her, and qualities that I would love my daughters to exude.

5. Okay – so Lily James’ waistline may be slightly smaller than what might be considered realistic. But, this is a Disney movie. If, physical appearance is a major concern, there is a scene in which the stepsisters are shown getting ready, and the corsets are shown, as well as the amount of strength that it takes to get a corset tied as tight as needed to get a waist that small. For an older girl, where body image may come into play, what a wonderful world of discussion of dress in earlier time periods this would open up. Corsets were real things that women were expected to wear, and there is an entire history lesson on the topic you could find by just opening google. But, body image and physical beauty is discussed far less in the movie than inward beauty. By the end of the movie, the viewer is left convinced that Cinderella is far more beautiful because of her kindness and ability to forgive, than by any measure of outward beauty.

6. The sheer fact that there are real people in the movie lends itself to being a slightly more mature movie, but not so mature that my two middle children didn’t enjoy it, and not so mature that I would shield them from it. The mice are present, though they do not sing, but they showcase Cinderella’s appreciation for even the smallest of creatures. Her ability to communicate so directly with animals is not because she can audibly understand them, but because she cares deeply for them and observes their needs. The subject matter is still the same, the costuming, as well as the dancing at the ball, are both modest in nature and Cinderella doesn’t even kiss her love interest until they are married.

7. While I agree that I don’t necessarily want my girls to expect that a woman might meet her forever love and marry him a few days later, I am not bothered by the idea of prince charming. In a time period where courting and arranged marriages were expected, Cinderella and her Prince meet and spend time together on more than one occasion where they can get to know each other. They are clear about being drawn to each other’s nature and personality, and the romantic notion that he waited for her for a few months and searched for her is a notion that I am okay with. I want my girls to grow up believing that there is a special man out there for them, that they will become intrigued with his nature and personality, that they should expect him to wait for her, fight for her and take care of her. Princes look different these days, but I don’t believe that my girls need to believe that dating numerous men or getting to know someone for years is necessary. In a culture where living together is more commonplace than getting married, I am perfectly fine with my young daughters daydreaming and waiting for their own version of a prince.

All in all, I am very glad that we took our girls to see this version of Cinderella. I thought that the writers did a fantastic job at creating a movie than can be intriguing and wonderful to girls of all ages. If you are considering taking your daughter to see this, I would say go for it. If you are still uncertain mama, then I would suggest you see it yourself first but I don’t think that you will be disappointed.

5 Ways to Encourage Your Kids to Love Each Other

I posted on Monday about how we are focusing on LOVE this month in our home!

And while we are talking a lot about God’s love, and about how much we love each of our girls, we are spending some extra time focusing on SIBLING LOVE.

Our girls are so lucky to have this little army of built in best friends, supporters and future advice givers.

But, THEY FIGHT. They bicker, argue and hurt each others feelings more than I would prefer. I know that this will continue throughout all of their years of growing up, but we can teach them the importance of learning how to love each other through the process of growing….

5 Ways to Teach Our Kids To LOVE |

Here are 5 ways that we are trying to do that:

1. Love ‘Em Up: Sibling to Sibling Surprises: This was the idea straight from the book In This House, We Will Giggle. I love this idea because it teaches our girls to figure out what their sibling would receive as love. Is it making their bed so they don’t have to? Drawing a picture for them? Leaving them a note? I am helping each of the girls to do something nice for one of their siblings each day. And while, right now, its more me coming up with the ideas, I hope that it leads them to doing these sibling surprises on their own.

2. “Catch Them Being Nice” – We spend a lot of time correcting wrong hearts and wrong attitudes in this house. There are days when selfishness seems to rule the roost and its so frustrating. We started pebble collection jars when we began our chore charts, and we found that rewarding good behavior, at times, works better than correcting wrong behavior. So, this month, at the suggestion of a new friend and wonderful mom, we are “catching them being nice”. When I find them being nice, doing something loving or helping their sibling without prompting from me, I am adding a pebble to their jar. When our girls earn 7 pebbles, they get a trip to our secret prize bin.

3. Talk it Out: Truth is, we can’t avoid all arguments or selfish behavior. Fights and hurt feelings are part of the package of growing up with siblings. But we CAN teach our kids to express themselves properly, instead of biting, hitting or screaming. With our oldest two, we try to get to the heart of the issue – “Why does this make you upset?”, “Why are you feeling like you need to be selfish right now?”, “What could you do instead?”….With our younger two, and sometimes with our almost 4 year old, just explaining to them why something is hurtful to someone else is enough. We expect them to apologize with an “I am sorry for……”, and the person who was hurt needs to verbalize forgiveness. Hurts happen, and its okay.

4. Hug it Out: Another suggestion from a wonderful friend. A one minute hug after a fight!! I LOVE the idea of this, but to be honest, we have not implemented it yet. I am excited to see what happens, between the girls when they are encouraged to focus on loving each other after an argument. I think that a silly one minute hug will help to prevent any lingering hurt feelings! It will probably make for some pretty cute pictures too!

5. Teach them to pray for each other: In our house, Matt and I do the bulk of praying. But, this month, when someone has a need, we are encouraging a sibling to come and pray for them. There are few things in this world that we can do for someone we love, than to pray for them. I want my girls to be each others prayer warriors when they get older. I want them to constantly pray for one another as they continue to grow and find their own paths in life. I want them to know that praying for their sibling is important and makes a huge difference. And, it gets them thinking about the needs of others. I want it to just be second nature that when they know someone has a need, they stop what they are doing and pray for them. This is such a great place to start.

I’m not going to pretend that by implementing these things, our girls have suddenly stopped bickering, fighting or bossing each other around. They haven’t. Truth: Autumn BIT Scarlet during gymnastics class when she wasn’t listening to her, instead of encouraging her. They are not going to be sweet and kind to each other all of the time, because they are growing and learning more everyday. But, we can get the started on the path of thinking outside of themselves by teaching them to think about each other.

What ways do you teach your children to love each other, or to love others??

Weekly Wednesday Devotionals

So I have been going back and forth with this idea for some time now. God has been revealing so much to me, and I have been keeping a little journal going of devotional content that I had been originally planning to release all at once.

But this past week, I felt God really opening my heart to the idea of sharing it with you piece by piece.

This is for 2 reasons…

1. There may be something that someone needs to hear NOW.

2. I could use some feedback. So…

Answer the questions. Comment. Start a discussion.


Week One: The Waiting Period….

“However, after a long time (nearly forty years) the king of Egypt died; and the Israelites were sighing and groaning because of the bondage. They kept crying, and their cry because of slavery ascended to God. And God heard their sighing and groaning and [earnestly] remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. God saw the Israelites and took knowledge of them and concerned Himself about them [knowing all, understanding, remembering all].” Exodus 2:23-25

Despite the long period of time, the Israelites never stopped crying out to God. What they didn’t know at the time was that God was purposeful in making them wait. Scripture doesn’t say “and God forgot all about them until after 40 years…”, it says God “took knowledge of them and CONCERNED Himself about them…” God never forgot His covenant, but the waiting was necessary. He grew the people in numbers during that time, but more importantly, their faith, strength and desire to be free grew as well! Without the waiting period, the Israelites may not have had the physical, mental or emotional strength to face Pharaoh, follow Moses or leave Egypt for the promised land!

Some truth???

I have the HARDEST time in waiting periods. I don’t like the work it takes to get myself from the idea to the end result. I am impatient, and at times over zealous. But, like the Israelites in Egypt, I need to remember that in every struggle, dark season or period of waiting – God is growing me. I may not like it all the time. I may cry out to God to make it stop, to free me from the struggle, deliver me from the depression or remove the obstacle in my way, but I have to trust that He knows what is necessary. God knows my true limit, and He knows yours too. Like the Israelites, He will always deliver you when the time is right.

Are you going through a period of waiting right now? Is there something that you are crying out to God to change, fix or heal? Ask God to help you to see the process. Look back at where you started and where you are now, and ask him to open your eyes to the growth within you that is taking place.

God, continue to strengthen me in the waiting periods. Remind me of your love for me constantly, so that I will remember that you have not forgotten me. I know that you have great plans for my life, and I want to see them come to fruition. I long to continue to grow into the woman you desire me to be. Thank you for knowing my limits so that I can find comfort in knowing that you will never give me more than I can handle. 

MomCo App Feature!

I meant to post this yesterday, since I normally post new posts on Monday, but winter break has me all confused on what day of the week it is!!

Instead of posting something new, I am sending you all over to to view an article about me in their blog! The article brings to light a lot about what we are working on, and its pretty exciting.

While you are there don’t forget to sign up for the app – an app designed at connecting moms with other moms locally in their area! I just started using it myself, and will be doing a post on it soon to let you know what I think.

So head on over today and view the article from yesterday!! (You can view the article here.)

Hope you are having a fantastic winter break!

Valentine’s Day with Kids

I have noticed over the last few days the same question popping up in a bunch of different mom groups that I frequent online…

How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your kids?

I have to admit, my husband and I are not that great at celebrating Valentine’s Day together…but we do love to celebrate with our girls. I love knowing seeing their faces when we ask them to be our valentines and give them little cards and gifts. We have managed to surprise them each year with some a different take on the holiday, and it some ways its more fun than Christmas!

So, today I am sharing you 5 easy ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your kids, regardless of their age…

5 Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day with Your Kids |

1. Serve a heart themed meal!! Whether its breakfast, lunch or dinner, take advantage of that heart shaped cookie cutter in your cupboard and turn everything into a heart! Pancakes, sandwiches, meatloaf…a lot of things can be shaped into hearts! And you can give it extra oomph by adding some pink and red foods to go along with everything. Watermelon, raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes, red peppers, tomato sauce! Kids love themed meals, so have fun and go to town!

2. Heart Attack! I have seen this in a bunch of different places on Pinterest and I am so excited to try it out. When they least expect it, cover their door, a wall in their room, the bathroom mirror or the kitchen table with heart shaped notes highlighting all of the things that you love about your kids! The older ones will love finding this and reading it on their own, but you can sit down with your littles who can’t read and let them bring you the notes one by one to read them to them. What an awesome way to let your kid know all the things you enjoy about being their parent.

3. Write your older kids a love letter and hide it under their pillow. Try your hand at poetry, or just list the “10 things I love about you.” Make sure you highlight those things that you are proud of, and things that are specific to them. And while older kids may not react with the excitement and appreciation of the younger kids, I promise you this letter will make an impact in the depths of their heart.

4. Have a cookies and hot chocolate indoor picnic. I know – an indoor picnic was on my list last week too, but my kids LOVE indoor picnics. You can make cookies, or buy them at the store and you can serve hot chocolate or sparkling grape juice. You don’t even have to eat cookies! Whatever you decide to serve, make sure you use this time to look your child in the eyes and tell them some things that you love about them!

5. Throw a Jesus Loves You party! I say this idea at, and I loved it. Come up with some fun age appropriate games, crafts and treats for your kiddos and spend time talking to them about how much Jesus Loves Them! Use Valentine’s Day as a day to show them how much there is to celebrate when we understand how much Jesus truly loves us.

Whatever you decide to do, I just hope that you use tomorrow to remind your kids how much you love them and how thankful you are that they are yours. Sometimes this parenting thing is so hard and we get so caught up in raising our kids correctly, that we forget how much they need to know, without a doubt, that we love them so much it hurts.

How will you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your kids this year??

A radical life…

Whenever I hear someone mention a person who lived a radical life for Christ, I always imagine a missionary in a dangerous country or someone who became a martyr for their faith, or a man in prison away from his family because he was teaching people about Jesus.

In fact, a lot of images come to mind when I think of a radical life.

But, what doesn’t come to mind is me.

A stay at home mom, with 4 kids, a husband, a messy house and who desperately needs a shower.

But I am learning something, that I want to share with you….

A Radical Life - Living for God in the Everyday |

“A radical life for Christ is not always visible to outside eyes.”

We can live radical lives where we are everyday.  I know, its crazy right? But hear me out…

What makes a regular life radical?

I don’t think that I was wrong in assuming that it meant leaving everything behind to follow Christ, but what was wrong in my thinking was HOW we leave everything behind to follow Christ.

Serving God and living a radical life doesn’t only mean selling my house and packing up my family to move to a far off mission field.

It means embracing the mission field that God has placed me in right now.

It means putting aside worldly desires and wants and figuring out what God wants for me.

It means attacking each of my sins and struggles head on and allowing myself to grow in Christ.

It means praising God in the darkest of seasons, trusting that He will use it for good because He promised us that He will never leave us or forsake us.

It means praying for my husband daily, taking care of him and ensuring that he feels respected, loved and supported.

It means ministering to my littles just as a missionary would share with the people he met along the way in his mission field. It means teaching them diligently about who Jesus is and showing them his love. It means praying for their little hearts and souls daily, and praying with them for all of their daily hurts and needs, showing them that Jesus cares about everything from their little stubbed toe, to their homework struggle, to their broken arm.

It means praying for the mama I met at the grocery store that seemed worn out, or inviting a new friend to church, or praying with the mom from play group who poured her heart out to a stranger turned friend.

It means waking up each day and looking at all the opportunities I have right in front of me to serve the Lord.

Sometimes as moms we get so caught up in dreams put on hold for our kids, or with feeling purposeless. I know that I have caught myself referring to myself as the maid, housekeeper, cook, nurse or chauffeur, but never once have I found myself referring to myself as the caretaker, teacher, nourisher, healer, prayer warrior, or master booboo kisser that God has called me to be.

So the bottomline is this…

My life doesn’t have to change for it to become radical.

I do.

Because radical lives are not confined to specific places or certain actions.

Radical lives begin and end in the heart of the one living it.

So, if you are reading this I want you to know something:

God sees everything you are doing. He knows you are serving Him, even when no one can see. He hears your whispered prayers in the car on the way to school drop off, he pays attention to your heart as you prepare nutritious food for your family, he sees you wash their favorite clothes for school the next day, even when staying up to put them in the dryer seems like an insurmountable task because you are exhausted. He watches you get up in the middle of the night to rock your little back to sleep, or to hug away a nightmare. He watches you put everyone before yourself, and he is grateful that you are his servant. He is proud of you and loves you and trusts you to raise up little kids that will come running to Him.

Motherhood is radical, so own it and go and live for Christ right in your own kitchen…

I am linking up with Christian Mommy Blogger, and a bunch of other awesome blogs. Check out their links here.