The Best Way to Balance Busy

 

Balancing on the balance beam has never been easy for me. As I get older, my sense of balance grows even worse.  It doesn’t take much… a simple swing on a swing, a car ride on a particularly curvy road, and I am sick and dizzy.

The same is true in my life. It doesn’t take much to upset the balance of my days.  Saying yes to too many good things, not leaving time to just be, as a person or as a family, and living in a generally busy state definitely disturbs my balance.

As I have looked around to remedy this unbalanced feeling, which leads to an unbalanced life, one thing that has helped is to center my life and my activities.

It is simple, really, yet has so much power to change the course of the day.

Join me at The Better Mom today to find out what it is!!

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Choosing the Engine {Guest Post}

Today I am so pleased to welcome my dear friend, Carrie {Carrie’s Busy Nothings}, here today.  She has wonderful encouragement for us today.  Here she is:

I recently found myself in a discussion with “Lily”, a friend who felt like she was in a dead end marriage. Her husband was always gone, she was no longer sure that having kids was such a good idea, and she was afraid to pray for the Lord to fix it because she honestly just wanted it all to end.

How’s your spiritual life?” I asked, pretty sure I knew what the answer would be.

Non-existent. With handling the kids by myself, I just don’t have time.

Really? No time? Let’s think about that for a second. Every single day we make choices that will either encourage us to be more like Christ, or steer us in the direction of the world. Lest you think I am pointing fingers, let it be known that I am as guilty of this as anyone else.

Five minutes reading and meditating on a Psalmor popping on Facebook? {Guilty}

Two minutes talking to my Heavenly Fatheror checking Twitter to see what’s new? {Guilty}

Half an hour of Bible studyor cruising around Pinterest? {Seriously Guilty}

“Lily” went on to share that she no longer felt love for her husband. In fact, her feelings, she said, were gone. Feelings – they are such an interesting way to run your life. Let me tell you a story about a little girl, a little train, a very wise mama, and a lifelong lesson.

Once upon a time, when I was a very little girl, my mother sat me down in front of a flannel graph board. On it, she had a little flannel train, with an engine, a coal car, and a caboose.

The engine, she said, represented FACTS – GOD’S WORD, which is what should drive the train (representing LIFE) – it is Truth.

The coal car is FAITH, it’s what feeds the engine. Faith in God’s Word (the Truth) keeps you on track.

The final little red caboose represented FEELINGS. “Yes,” Mom would say, “feelings are a natural part of human nature, but they only work if they are kept in check behind the truth of GOD’S  WORD, and your FAITH in it.” Mom would then take the caboose from the back of the flannel train, and attach it to the front of the engine.

“What happens,” she would ask, “when the caboose tries to run the train?”

It runs amuck. It deviates from the track and causes all kinds of chaos. “Do you want to run your life by the caboose, or by the Engine, Carrie?

The Engine, Mama. The Engine.

When I was sixteen, I listened to a tape by a funny little Indian man named Ravi Zacharias. You may have heard of him, he’s a famous apologist and one of my favorite speakers, but at the time, I didn’t have a clue who he was. Ravi shared the story of his brother’s arranged marriage, and of his own disbelief that anyone could marry someone they didn’t love. “Ravi”, said his brother, “don’t you know that love is as much an act of the will as it is an emotion? And if you will to love someone, you can.

Those words set my life on a path that I never expected. Two years later, Joy’s husband was standing next to us as my husband and I pledged our lives to each other. Over the years, there have been times when the feelings ebb and flow, but each day, I have a choice. 

I can choose to trust (and obey) God’s Word, or I can let the caboose carry me away. When I choose to love my husband when he is being unlovable (which doesn’t happen often, but he is still human!), the feelings always follow, just as the caboose will always follow the engine, as long as they are kept in the correct order.

I don’t know what track “Lily” will take. I don’t know what choices you or I will make this week, but I pray that each of us will choose wisely how we spend our time and Who is driving the train.

Thank you so much, Carrie! Thanks, too, for that wonderful pregnant picture of me….ahem. Make sure to visit Carrie at her blog, Carrie’s Busy Nothings!!

Transitioning From Summer To School

 

Goodbye lemonade and splashing in the pool. Hello sharpened pencils, clean sheets of notebook paper, and the fresh air of cooler weather.  The reality of school looms ahead, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.  Say goodbye to summer and welcome the newness of school with fun and excitement.

If you are anything like me, if it is going to happen, it needs to be simple.

Join me today at Roo Mag for simple and fun ideas for back to school, and come share your ideas too!

Thanks for visiting! I invite you to subscribe to Grace Full Mama here.

The Eternal Spring

And let me not lay my pipe too short of the fountain, never touching the eternal spring, never drawing down water from above. Valley of Vision

I am the Vine you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. John 15:5
The Source for our lives will make all the difference in how our lives are lived day to day.  It’s true, we can succeed and even do well for days, weeks, even years on our own muster.  But to truly be successful?  To keep on enduring without burning out?  To keep on loving when there is not love left to give?  That takes drawing eternal water from the Eternal Source. I mentioned that I wanted to make this a summer of one thing.  And this is why.
As mamas we don’t want to give our children a cheap imitation of Christ’s love, we want to give them the real thing. We want them to see Jesus in and through us each and every day.  We can only do this when we spend time with Him, allow Him to love on us, allow Him to heal our hurts, forgive our sins.  We need to drink from that beautiful Living Water {His Word}, drink in His grace, His love, His light, in order that we may continue to serve and love our families.
Join me today at The Better Mom  for the rest!
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6 Ways To Build Up Your Husband {Guest Post}

*Please welcome my friend, Darlene, from Time Warp Wife, today as she shares some great ideas on how to build up your husband!*

Last night I noticed a little water on the kitchen floor by the sink, which is par for the course considering that most days Nathaniel spills far more than he drinks. But when I noticed a bulging box of Cascade under the sink this afternoon and another puddle of water beneath my feet I knew we had a leak somewhere that had to be fixed.

It wasn’t too serious, but enough of a drip that I stood on towels to wash dishes and changed my socks once or twice.

The sound of Michael tinkering in the kitchen after dinner was music to my ears. I wondered if he might be too tired or too busy to get to it this evening, but since we both know that water can cause permanent damage if it’s left to soak, he wanted to get it repaired right away.

Looking at the scriptures I’m reminded of yet another damaging drip–a contentious woman.

A continual dripping on a very rainy day,And a contentious woman are alike; ~ Proverbs 27:15

 Contention appears in a number of ways including opposing, nagging, arguing, challenging, belittling, and competing. And why do we do it? Because somehow we think that by nagging him we’re encouraging our husbands to be a better person.

It seems to makes sense at the time, but the truth is that many of our husbands–and many wives for that matter–have fragile egos that should be handled with care and respect.

In the same way that a leaky faucet can cause permanent damage, our words if left unchecked can damage our relationships and cause cause resentment to grow. I can’t imagine what the state of my kitchen would be if we let that faucet leak for 10 years, but in some marriages that’s what’s happening. Sometimes the damage appears surmountable. Giving up–they walk away.

If this problem is going on in our marriage, we need to get in there and immediately start to make changes that work to build up our husbands rather than tearing them down. Certainly it takes the work of two people to form a strong marriage bond, butmy advice to you is that we concentrate on our share of the work and leave them to do theirs.

Here are six ways we can start building up our husbands today:

  1. Listen to what he has to say so that you will recognize what’s on his heart.
  2. Make an effort to be as cheerful as you were when you were engaged to be married.
  3. Ignore his faults and focus on his strong points by taking note of them.
  4. Compliment him for the way that he looks and the good things that he does like working hard for the family.
  5. See him for who he is, not who you want him to be.
  6. Be slow to anger. Relay your frustration with love, respect, and a cool head.
You are loved by an almighty God,
Darlene
Thank you Darlene! Here is a little more about Darlene:

Darlene is an ordinary mom, living an extraordinary life, because of who she is through Jesus Christ. As help-meet to her husband Michael, she guides and nurtures their four children, leading them toward a deeper walk of faith.  She is a New York Times best-selling author through the book she co-authored with actress Candace Cameron Bure titled, Reshaping it All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness.  You can find her blogging at Time-Warp Wife where she empowers wives to joyfully serve and on twitter.

The Freedom To Be Us

Comparison.  Measuring up. Cookie cutters.  Not good enough.

In my early years of my mothering, I spent a lot of time comparing myself as a mother to other women I knew, or women I read about in books I read.  We would eat at a family’s home and I would come back thinking, “We need to have all of our children play the violin just like their children.”

Then we would spend some time with another family, and I would think, “Oh my, if I want to raise great children, I need to get them some goats, chickens, and maybe a cow.”

And yet another family, “See how great those kids are at soccer? My kids need to play soccer!”

And pretty soon, without even knowing it, I had this huge backpack on my back of all the “shoulds” that I had taken on from many different families.  Instead of looking at how God has uniquely created my family, I was looking at the gifts, callings, and abilities of others and thinking we needed to look like them.

And then….I decided to take it off and embrace the kind of family God made US to be.

Who are we? Come join me at Mom Heart today to find out….and I want to hear about what makes YOUR family unique!!

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Need Some Summer Party Ideas?

It is just about that time, friends! School is almost over and the summer is ready to begin! What bett

er way to make the transition than with a fun party?! Yet, we are all busy moms and there isn’t a lot of time or energy to put into planning something special. If you are anything like me, I have the best of intentions, but I often get overwhelmed by the planning and organizing of a fun memory.

Come join me at The Better Mom for some fun and simple party ideas!

Ideas for Mothers and Daughters

Connecting with my daughter isn’t hard.  She is a sweet, fun-loving girl that shares a common love to read with me. The hard part about spending quality time with her is planning ahead and finding special things we can do together.  And, since she has 4 brothers, a little girl time is always welcome! Here are some ways that we have found to connect…maybe they will inspire you!

Join me at Roo Mag for simple, doable ideas for mothers and daughters and share your ideas too!

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