Lead Your Family Like Jesus: The Head

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Vision Is Important

We’re on week three of our six week, Lead Your Family Like Jesus, summer book club.

This week’s reading was the section on The Head. The content surrounds Family Values, To Do or Not to Do, and Staying on Course.

Vision

I couldn’t agree more with the authors about creating a vision for your family. We cannot journey somewhere with no destination in mind. We’ll only end up in circles, headed nowhere.

“Vision is important because leadership is about going somewhere. If your family members don’t know where you’re trying to take them, they’ll have a hard time getting there–let alone getting excited about journey.”

This makes so much sense. Children (and adults!) have a sense of security and purpose when they have a vision and know where they are headed. What vision have we given our children? What purpose? When they wake up in the morning, what purpose do they have to accomplish?

The most important vision I have for our family is to seek out the Lord Jesus Christ with our whole lives. Every day we live, needs to be about Him. That’s what I want. And why? Because He is our purpose.

Service

Just as Jesus was a servant to His people, so do I want to serve and teach my children to serve. But serving each other within the walls of our own home is but a place of training. We aren’t to remain there, hidden from the world.

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

This isn’t about bragging or showing off oneself. It’s about showing off Jesus and being His hands and feet right outside our front door.

But there’s a way to do it. We need to truly love the people in our community as individuals, not treat them as projects. Our goal isn’t to get people saved. Our goal is to love people with no strings attached. That’s what Jesus did and still does. Those are the footsteps I want to follow in.

Focus

Staying focused on our vision everyday is what will help us reach that destination. We as parents need to recognize that our children are in a season of training and learning. There will be lots of mistakes and childishness involved that we must keep into perspective. These are opportunities to help our children grow and mature; not for us to vent our anger because we are inconvenienced.

Think about how your reactions might affect your children in future mistakes. Do we want them to cover them up or be open and honest when they need help or support? All of life is a learning and growing process. None of us will ever “arrive” at perfection and sometimes I think we set our expectations on our children to that level. We think that because they’ve made a mistake and suffered the consequences, they will never make that mistake again. Sometimes it takes more than one time to learn a lesson. How many of you can relate to that?

Lead Your Family Like Jesus

Me Time: Everyday Essentials

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Me Time - Everyday Essentials.png

 

After discussing the two extreme’s of “me time”, and what an effective time of solitude needs, I would like to discuss some everyday essentials for taking care of YOU.

It is very common for mom’s to naturally let themselves go as they care for their children. No doubt our hearts are in the right place! However, we need to caution ourselves to think through what we’re really sacrificing. Are we putting forth our best efforts by sacrificing our own, simple needs?

I used to [and sometimes still struggle] with caring for my basic needs without feeling guilty simply because what I was doing focused on me. I needed to learn that it’s not selfish to take care of myself! God wants us to care for ourselves (1 Cor. 6:19). If he doesn’t want us abusing ourselves, would he want us neglecting ourselves?  Some may vary on what they consider “needs”. So let’s begin with the basics.

  1. A regular shower. Let’s face it, when you have kids, a shower tends to become a luxury. Sometimes we can’t squeeze it in when we’d like. I’ve come to find that I feel my best when I’ve showered [go figure]. This is something we need to make time for. I would even go so far as to say to make time for it daily. Some like this commodity every other day, but there are more benefits than cleanliness alone.
  2. Get fully dressedFlylady makes an excellent point to why she highly suggests “getting dressed to shoes“. It is motivating–especially the shoes part. She highly recommends shoes that lace up because they are harder to take off and are snug on your feet. When I am wearing my shoes, I know I am in “work mode”. At the end of the night, when my shoes come off, [typically after the children are in bed], I instantly relax. If you don’t like to wear shoes in the house, buy a pair that are for the house only. Trust me on this. :)
  3. Style your hair and face. When you feel your best, you’ll do your best. Simple as that. You don’t have to wear make up. A simple wash will keep you feeling fresh. Brushing your teeth counts as well. Don’t feel guilty for taking 5-10 minutes to blow dry your hair if that’s how it looks best. Take care of yourself.
  4. Get with God daily. This is the most important need that we have. We need His strength, wisdom, and direction every single day. We cannot get that if we are not connecting with Him, through prayer and His word. We tend to hear this over and over again. There’s a reason. Make it a priority to get with God daily.
  5. Exercise. Yet another dreadful task we never want to take the time for. This one may require a bit more selflessness if you don’t like to exercise [like me...ahem]. A simple walk is sufficient. Something to get your blood moving and energy up a bit. It doesn’t have to be long; 5-15 minutes. If you can’t get out of the house, consider buying a workout DVD. You’d be amazed at what exercise can do for your energy and mentality.
  6. Eat!  I forgot to put in to eat! As a mother, I often forget this very important necessity! Take the time to eat.

These are simple, daily necessities that every mother needs. There is no reason we should feel guilty for doing these things. We need to take care of ourselves so that we can best care for others.

__

What do you need to do that you are not doing because of guilt?

A Gentle Answer Now Available on Kindle

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

A Gentle Answer Devotional.jpg
A Gentle Answer is now available for Kindle for just $2.99. You do not need a Kindle device, just the Kindle app.

This is a resource for mothers who need help keeping a gentle tone in the midst of frustrations. It offers insights that we often don’t think about on the fly. I hope that it will encourage you to pause and take a step back before choosing to respond to a child who’s having a difficult day, or react from having a difficult day of your own. It is easy to vent when frustrations are built. This book is meant to help moms study helpful scriptures in order to work from the inside out.

Buy Now.png

Lead Your Family Like Jesus: The Heart

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

God's Direction in Family Life

Welcome to Part 1 of Lead Your Family Like Jesus!

This week we are going through the section on The Heart, chapters 1-3. If you have the participant’s guide, it offers some more in-depth conversations. Tricia emphasizes the importance (or lack thereof) of certain people’s opinion’s. She challenges us to think about which ones will really matter for eternity.

We need to get it into our hearts why it’s important to lead our children and the necessity of being intentional about it.

Hop on over to Amanda’s blog to read this week’s post on The Heart.

 

Through Christ {Moms in the Word}

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Strength in Christ.png

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

A scripture that is often tossed around, but do we really believe it?

Think about it for a minute. Paul was talking about being content with plenty and with little in the surrounding verses. It was a learned behavior. But he extended that out to declare that he can do anything with the strength of Christ.

As a mother, I need to tap into Christ’s strength daily; hourly! But especially during some really hard times, like waiting through our adoption process, and even now we are still waiting for some things in order to move to the next step.

Hardships require His strength or we just crumble under the pressure. But how do we walk in it?

We ask. We read the Word and clothe ourselves in it. Meditate on the truths that we should live out. Combat the lies of the enemy with His truth. Put on the full armor of God. Everyday we wake up.

Living as a Christian is a war. It is not easy and we cannot do it alone or unarmed.

Raising children in today’s world is an equally tough battle because we fight for their souls to be protected from the world. We must tap into His strength and learn to walk in it. We also need to teach our children how to do that and pray it over them until they are mature enough to know how to do it for themselves.

Today, I’m keeping things short and sweet. My to-do list before we travel to Africa just keeps getting longer, so bear with me over the coming weeks!

Today is actually our LAST day of the Philippians study. I know I have thoroughly enjoyed it and learned a lot from it. I hesitate to begin another formal Bible study right now with my travel upcoming. But I also do not want us to get out of the habit of being in the Word.

So, next week I will post an intro to our next study, which will be in the book of James.  I will post the schedule and plan then. I encourage you to continue reading in the Word this week by tapping into Psalms or Proverbs. Those are always great places to read.

Come follow the Moms in the Word board on Pinterest. I pin my favorites from the link up each week!

Follow Christin’s board Moms in the Word on Pinterest.

Moms in the Word Tuesdays.png
For His Glory

Read what others are learning through their Bible study time and link up your own post below! Please do not use this link up to promote your products. This is reserved for sharing what we are learning in the Word in our daily Bible time with the Lord. Any promos will be removed. Thank you.

Reading in an email? Click here to add you link.

 Loading InLinkz ...

Me Time: Be Intentional

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Last week I posted on Two “Me Time” Extremes.

The extremes were that some believe they are entitled to “me time” and plenty of it and often would get angry or frustrated when they couldn’t get it. The other extreme is that some are wholly against this “me time” and believe it to be nothing less than selfish.

Me Time: Be Intentional

I wan to dig in more to why I disagree with throwing out me time all together.

I used to believe that any time I did anything for myself, it was selfish. Everything from doing my hair (blow drying), to putting on make-up, to going out to coffee with a girlfriend. It made me feel guilty, as if my time should be invested somewhere else. So I would always throw my hair up, never add “life” (make up) to my overtired face, and turn down invitations to go out of the house. I fell into the trap that doing any of these things made me less than a sacrificial mother.

The result of doing this? I didn’t take care of myself well. I was constantly burned out (and you could tell). I was literally running on empty and had very little to give to my family. I rarely conversed with adults other than the few minutes before and after church, and my husband in the evenings. (Not that conversing with my husband is not fulfilling, because it is. He’s a great conversationalist and listens well)!

I have heard the argument that God will provide us with the time we need to rejuvenate and I totally agree with that. That’s why He created, and made into law, a day of rest, once a week. The Sabbath day was created for us (humanity) as “permission” to take a day off. (Mark 2:27)

The key is to make this time fruitful. We can take a day off and come back feeling the same way (or worse) then when we left if we’re not intentional about how we spend our time.

Identify Our Needs

We go through different seasons, even if it’s on a week to week basis, where we have need of different things. We might need time to talk with a girlfriend over some struggles we’ve dealt with or are dealing with (without family bashing, of course). We might need to go out for genuine FUN to just loosen up our uptight-selves! Perhaps we need extra time with God and just need to get away to pray and seek Him through His word. It may just be that we want to CLEAN while the house is empty. Honestly, even that can be refreshing because you are being productive with no interruptions. Sometimes the need for rest is not always physical. For me, it is often NOT physical. Whatever it is, identify what needs to be filled in order to refresh yourself to better serve.

Plan Accordingly

Based on discovering your need, plan carefully to fill it. If you need to spend more time in the Word and just bask with God, don’t accept an invitation to go out with a girlfriend that week. You will surely come back with an unmet need and not be refreshed for the coming week. That’s when the need for more “me time” comes in. Because our needs were not met. Take care to plan a time when your greatest need will be met that week.

Also, do not plan your time of solitude while the kids are with you and no one else can care for them, if you can help it. This can often end in frustrations because your time is not productive or interrupted. I don’t mean that to sound selfish, but the point is, once a week, you needtime to refresh. If the time was not planned well, it will do little good. And everyone is different–if it refreshes you to have time while the kids are still around, that is totally personal for you.  Maybe your time is productive spending it having FUN with your kids. You know your needs best.

Be Productive

Keep your mind focused on meeting your needs. Don’t get side-tracked into doing something else. If you want to spend time writing [because for me it's a huge release], don’t waste your time social networking or commenting, etc. If you’re a blogger, you know exactly what I’m talking about! Use the time you have the way it was intended so your need is met and your “tank” is filled. (Or stress is released) The point is to stay focused on filling your need. Although this is a time of solitude, it is for your good and the good of your family, and the time needs to be disciplined in order for it to be effective for you.

Finally, after your time of solitude,

Prepare Yourself to Go Home

Don’t allow yourself to remain in the “me time” mentality. Once your time is up, pray, and prepare yourself to serve again. Too often we can remain in a state of solitude in our minds and become distracted from our children or tasks, and/or frustrated with their needs because we are not truly back “home”. So, be sure to prepare yourself to go home and serve again. Be aware that the house will still need cleaning and children tending to when you get home. The whole point of this “me time” is to refresh you to serve again. Resist the temptation [and flesh] to seek more of it before the week comes around again.

A few notes:

  • This time is not the same and should not replace your time with God, in prayer and in His Word, on a daily basis.
  • I believe making this a weekly endeavor is completely acceptable but be sure to talk it over with your husband so you can agree on what will work best for your family.
  • You don’t necessarily need to be out of the house to be productive. However, if you’re anything like me, sometimes getting out is the most productive because you are not in constant view of what needs to be done while you should be focusing on restoration to come back (in body and mind). If you are focused on all that needs to be done when your time is up, you will not be productive in your time.

In part 3, I address some small (but big) day to day refreshers that help you get through each day as it comes. These refreshers help you feel your best in the day to day. They may not address your biggest need, however, they can help prevent your biggest need from getting bigger.

What do you do for mom time?

Your Role as Leader in Your Family

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Mom and daughter hands, outdoors

Welcome to the introduction of our summer book club, Lead Your Family Like Jesus!

If you have not gotten your book yet, no worries! You can grab an e-copy here—> Lead Your Family Like Jesus

Before we officially begin, I want to give you a heads up on how we’re doing this. My fellow blogging friend, Amanda Pelser, is going to be tag teaming this study with me. And she has created a pretty awesome journal to go with this study. I’ll share the link for that at the bottom of this post.

One more thing before we get started on this, I want to caution you (and myself). Let’s not allow this to just be “another book study”. My goal to bringing Moms in the Word and the Book Club to Joyful Mothering is to hope for real change in my heart and the hearts of anyone interested in joining in. I don’t want this just to be another thing to check off our bucket list. I want to transform our hearts and transform our families.

Forget about all the other awesome books out there right now — just for the next 6 weeks — and let’s dig deep into this one and allow it to change us.

Leader in Your Family

I want to be a good leader for my children. I want to be the kind of mom who lives what she wants her children to learn. I don’t just want to tell them how to love; I want to show them. Sometimes it’s not always easy, and the “do as I say, not as I do” motto is too close to home.

If you have purchased your book, I encourage you to read the Introduction this week if you haven’t yet. It lays a foundation for what the book should accomplish and what it means to lead.

Lead Your Family Like Jesus

Lead by Serving

Essentially, we lead by serving.

I think sometimes we are afraid that if we serve “too much” our children will become spoiled and feel like they’re entitled to that kind of service. But the secret is to encourage our children to serve as well. Start within your own home. Teach them to serve one another, serve at church, at family functions.

Children who are poured into in the right way can more easily pour out on others. See, they aren’t much different from us adults in their needs.

Let’s begin to shift our focus to serving our children because we love them. That’s the only way to serve well is through love.

Read chapters 1, 2, and 3 this week.

Now, head over to Amanda’s blog and grab a free download of the awesome journal she created to accompany this study.

Here is the updated schedule:

  • June 4 – Intro @ Joyful Mothering
  • June 11 – Part 1: The Heart (3 Chapters) @ Kids in the Word
  • June 18 – Part 2: The Head (3 Chapters) @ Joyful Mothering
  • June 25 – Part 3: The Hands (3 Chapters) @Kids in the Word
  • July 2 – Part 4: The Habits (3 Chapters) @Joyful Mothering
  • July 9 – Conclusion @Kids in the Word

I will continue to have a post up each week, even if the week is hosted at Kids in the Word, to give a brief synopsis and then we’ll meet over there for comments and conversation. :) I look forward to some changed families!!

 

Do Not Be Anxious About Anything

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Trust God With Worries

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

The topic of anxiety and worry is a fresh one for me. I both feel like I have something to offer on the topic, yet not because I still don’t have a solid solution for handling my own worry.

But I have definitely learned a lot over the previous months about how to cope with it.

I think we believe that when the Bible tells us not to worry, we will never encounter thoughts of anxiety. I just don’t think that’s true. I believe the key is to taking those thoughts and those anxieties captive before they become crippling.

As someone who has just come out of a time of anxiety due to the delay and uncertainty in our adoption process, the experience is still fresh in my mind.

When I allowed my anxious thoughts to take hold, they lead my down the road of “What if…”. My worries would only grow from a fantasy I’d created in my own mind. I was anxious about nothing!

But, I found when I would capture those thoughts and replace them with God’s truth, His peace would follow. It seriously felt like a switch went off on anxiety and went on with peace. You know, that peace that surpassing all understanding? Paul wasn’t kidding about that!

Trusting God with our worries acts as a shield around our hearts. It protects us from worry and fear. Fear is a poisonous weapon for the enemy and it can be used to control us. Do not be controlled by fear.

Prayer is powerful in releasing our worries to God. We show Him that we trust Him with our lives and those lives around us. I worried a lot for our girls in Africa, who wondered and asked weekly, when we were coming back for them. I worried they wouldn’t trust us or would lose hope.

But God has them in the palm of His hands. Did I really think that I was the only one who cared for them? Who wanted the best for them?

When I focused on how God had revealed Himself to us in various ways throughout the whole of our adoption, it really helped me recognize that He truly was in charge, and having Him in charge is a wonderful place to be!

 

Come follow the Moms in the Word board on Pinterest. I pin my favorites from the link up each week!

Follow Christin’s board Moms in the Word on Pinterest.

Join us in the Philippians study! You can see the schedule here. I am using Elizabeth George’s Philippians study, “Experiencing God’s Peace“. Or join in with your own Bible study. Click below to find out how it works. 

Moms in the Word Tuesdays on Joyful Mothering

For His Glory

Read what others are learning through their Bible study time and link up your own post below! Please do not use this link up to promote your products. This is reserved for sharing what we are learning in the Word in our daily Bible time with the Lord. Any promos will be removed. Thank you.

Reading in an email? Click here to add you link.

 Loading InLinkz ...

Me Time : Two Extremes

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Me Time - Two Extremes

As a mother, so much is required of us. Let’s face it, mothering is not easy. Rewarding, yes. Easy? Far from it.

It empties us regularly. Not of fulfillment, but of rest and clear thought.

Many of us have been taught one of two things about me time. You know, the time a mother gets alone?

Two Extreme Beliefs About Me Time

1. We believe that we deserve “me time” based on how hard we’ve worked, how many hours we’ve put in, and the stress our “job” as a mother puts on us. After all, we’ve earned it.

or

2. We are fully against the “me time myth” and believe it’s an extreme act of selfishness for any mother to desire such a thing.

Here’s why both these extremes can be unhealthy.

Entitlement Leads to Bitterness

When we believe we’re entitled to this time for ourselves, it’s easy to see how we can fall into the trap of having rights to get it . I mean, we do work extremely hard and need a break, right? Well, yes, this is true. But we have to be careful how we set our minds on this. When we believe we are entitled to, have earned, or deserve something, we can get very upset when we don’t get it. This can put our family in a foul position. They become the target of our irritability when we don’t get what we want. In fact, sometimes we can actually blame them or become bitter toward them because we feel as if they are the reason for our “need” of me time and possibly the result of not getting it at times.

Additionally, when we do get our me time, what we have chosen to do was not very productive at “filling our tank”, so we begin to need this me time more often. We indulge in our flesh and it is never satisfied. Our need of me time is focused on only ourselves and satisfying its desires {which are never really satisfied}. No matter how much time we got, it wouldn’t be enough.

This becomes a dangerous breeding ground for selfishness. This me time can become such an idol that all we can think about is the next time we’ll get some. It becomes an addiction. Yet it lacks substance so it’s not truly fulfilling.

It is a Myth Moms Need a Break

On the other hand, some completely reject me time and claim the need is a total myth.  Any woman who felt she “needed” this me time was just being selfish and trying to feed her own desires. God put us into this role and we should not try to “escape” it. We are to put our children and husband first and learn to sacrifice. It is absurd to think that mothers need a break.

 

Both these ideas of thinking can be toxic. There may be mothers who can go long bouts of time without needing to step away for a breather. And there may be some who need to step away more often than some would be comfortable with themselves. We all carry different needs and to dismiss or degrade one mom’s need over another is dangerous.

___

I caution both of these me time extremes. Neither one is healthy. Either we’re “over eating” or we’re “starving” ourselves.

In order for me time to be healthy, it needs to be productive.

Next Monday I will address being intentional with your me time.

What do you struggle with when it comes to getting time for yourself?

Linked with:

The Modest Mom
Mama Moments
Monday’s Musings
Making Your Home Sing

Hope Does Not Disappoint

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Hope. It does not disappoint.
It has been quite a while since I’ve shared any kind of update on my blog regarding our adoption. In fact, the last post I wrote was
back in November, when we first learned we were beginning a new season of waiting.

If you are just happening upon my blog, we have been in the adoption process two years. You can read more about it here.

We still remain in that season and I truly hope we are nearing the end of it.

Hope.

That word has such new meaning for me. It’s a peculiar thing, really. Hope is the one thing that I have clung to in order to keep breathing. Every day and every week, I cling to the hope that we will receive that news we’ve been aching to hear for a year. Still, everyday and every week goes by without word that we can move forward.

I feel like a rabbit with a carrot dangling in front of its face. You know, like in the old cartoons?

The prize sits right there, just out of grasp. I pray and hope I’m praying right. I war to keep my thoughts on God’s word and His promises and fight to not allow fear to run away with my mind.

I fight tears every time I hear their sweet voices on the other end of the phone…just across the ocean…asking, again, when we are coming back. And without a definite answer, I say, again, “We hope very soon.” For six months, it’s the same answer.

A mother’s heart cannot be tamed. No matter how hard I try and pray for my mama heart to be tamed from the pain I feel to be away from them, it simply cannot be suppressed.

Sometimes I pretend not to care in hopes of alleviating the pain. But to no avail.

And hope? What used to be a sweet aroma to me is becoming more of a stench. Hope delayed is leaving me heart-sick.

I’m beginning to feel left gasping for air by it.

Earlier this week I just poured it out on God,

“God, I don’t understand how it’s no problem to work in everyone else’s (as in, those around us) adoption case and bring their children home, even against all odds, yet ours is so complicated and horribly drug out. We are heart-sick and physically ill from holding onto hope week after week–month after month–only to be heart broken over and over and over again. No matter what I believe or how I trust or how hard I fight or pray. I’m left empty of hope fulfilled. Hope has become my enemy because it has repeatedly stabbed my heart. I have nothing left but shards.” 

And then…

…yesterday morning, after writing this just the day before, I received a phone call from my husband just minutes after he had left for work. Through sobs he blurted out, “We got approved!”

I could hardly believe it. We were approved — after 13 months of waiting — to move on to the final steps of our adoption process. 

My cries mattered to God. My pain was His pain. He is faithful…even in the darkest moments, even when we’re feeling hopeless.

God is going to finish what He started.

“He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.” 1 Thess. 5:24

Hope didn’t disappoint after all.

So now, we prepare to travel in the coming weeks. And we prepare our hearts to welcome home two girls who know no home or family the way we do. Whose past is a dagger for them…even if they don’t yet realize it.

Would you like to partner with us? We are still in need of travel expenses in order to fly to bring our girls home. All donations are tax deductible and your support is greatly appreciated. 

A little goes a long way. If everyone who is subscribed donated just $2, we’d be fully funded.  

Coffee Break with Christin