The Barren Places

Sometimes it’s the barren places that hold the most promise, friend.

For days, my kids have been clearing the leaves from this patch of dirt in our backyard. Taking and turning the soil again and again. Carefully lining the outside with stones, to mark it’s borders to anyone who might not see it’s potential.

They have big plans. To plant flowers. And vegetables. And fruits. And they can already envision the way it will look when their work is complete. They see that dry barren dirt not as it is, but as it will be.

How about you, Mama? Are you in a dry and barren place in your life? Is your relationship with your kids or perhaps other relationships in a place where it’s hard to see anything but dirt? It’s in the barren places where the most potential lies.

We have a yard full of grass. A family garden of fertile soil, mulched and ready to go. But where is it that my kids see the potential? In the oft ignored and overlooked dirt.

Whatever dirt you see in your life right now, God sees how it will be one day. I’m cheering you on as you clear and cultivate the hard places, to allow the Father to create beauty amidst the barrenness.

What hard places can I pray for you in this week?

#Dirt

#Barren

#LessonsInTheGarden

#Soil

#HardPlaces

#MomTruth

#SoulCare

#KidsOutside

#BackyardFun

#BackyardIdeas

#1000HoursOutside

Friday Tidy

On Fridays, our family takes an hour or two to work together to tidy the house together so we are ready for weekend fun and adventures. Everyone pitches in to tidy up, vacuum, dust and pick up and put away things that have gotten out of place throughout the week.

Now that we’ve been doing it for so long, the kids expect it and know that it’s simply part of our weekly rhythm.

How do you make space in your schedule for tidying?

#FridayTidy

#Fridays

#CleanItTogether

#FamilyCleaning

#Housekeeping

#Housecleaning

#HouseAndHome

#Rhythms

#WeeklyRhythms

Always Watching

You are an example, Mama. They’re watching you, and they want to be just like you. And that’s a good and beautiful thing—but it’s also a big responsibility.

What are they seeing as they watch you throughout the ordinary days? What are your actions saying to them? What are your priorities, that may someday become their priorities? How do the words that you speak to others influence them on how to treat others?

We will never be enough, Mama—but there is One who is enough. So as they watch us, Mama, day in and day out, on the days when we are wonderful Moms, and on the days we fall far short, let us make sure that we are watching too. For its only when we watch and mimic our Savior that we are truly worthy of being watched.

Follow Him closely, Mama, so that His heart becomes your heart. He will completely change your motherhood—and the lives of those who are watching.

How are you spending time with the Savior today?

#MomTruth

#FeedYourSoul

#IntentionalMotherhood

#IntentionalParenting

#MindfulMotherhood

#Siblings

Breakfast Doesn’t Have To Be Complicated

Are you stuck in a breakfast rut, Mama? Do you dread figuring out breakfast every day? Are you weary of the same breakfasts day after day with your little ones?

Making breakfast, and a variety of breakfasts that you enjoy, doesn’t have to be complicated! You can put your breakfast routine on auto-pilot AND still enjoy a wide variety of breakfasts throughout the week.

We have a breakfast rhythm similar to our dinner rhythm. I listed out the foods our family likes to eat in the morning for breakfast. Then I listed out the days of the week and our responsibilities each of those days. The easier breakfasts are used on the days we are busier, and the ones that take a bit more time are for the days when we have more time or the days when intentionally get up earlier to prepare breakfast.

Once I decided on our routine, ever week the plan was the same. This makes grocery shopping and prep easy—we need the same foods each week, so I can plan ahead and make sure they’re in the house. We are also saving money by not purchasing so many ready made foods or cereal, since we eat a variety of breakfasts.

Here’s our schedule:

◦ 🍳 Monday—Assorted Cereals w/ Bananas

◦ 🍳Tuesday—Oatmeal w/Brown Sugar, Walnuts & Raisins

◦ 🍳Wednesday—Waffles, Peanut Butter, Walnuts & Honey

◦ 🍳Thursday—Oatmeal w/Brown Sugar, Walnuts & Raisins

◦ 🍳Friday—Hard Boiled Eggs, Avocados, & Tomatoes on Toast

◦ 🍳Saturday—Mama Bakes (and Doubles the Recipe for Sunday). Coffee Cake, Muffins, Banana Bread, etc.

◦ 🍳Sunday—Scrambled Eggs, Breakfast Potatoes, & Leftover Baked Treats

How do you do breakfast daily?

#WhatsForBreakfast

#Breakfast

#Baking

#MealPlan

#MealPlanning

#Eggs

#AvocadoToast

#Waffles

#Oatmeal

#Cereal

#DebtFreeLifestyle

#DebtFree

#SimpleMeal

#SimpleLiving

#Routines

A School Bus, Waiting & Contagious Joy

Every day, shortly after he wakes up, he takes his post at the window. He’s into trucks and police cars and ambulances and fire engines, but his current favorite is the “ding-ding bus”—the yellow school bus he sees stop near our house every morning.

And when that bus finally pulls arrives, slows to a stop, and turns on its light, our entire house knows about it. The joy and the shrieking—“look, it’s the ding-ding bus; get on the ding-ding bus; good morning ding-ding bus;”—is contagious. He’s so excited about the bus that often, a sibling can be persuaded to join him at the window, just to share in his joy.

Where are you finding your joy, Mama? If only we would be as excited to sit daily at the feet of our Savior as a toddler watching for a school bus. If only reading His Word was so delightful that those around us could be persuaded to join us in the reading, in the waiting, in the praying, just to share in our joy.

Your joy, your peace that is found only through Him and spending time with Him, is contagious, Mama. Take time today to sit at His feet—even if it’s amidst the interruptions of little ones all around you. It may be the most important thing you do all day.

May those He’s entrusted you with remember these days as days when their Mama watched and waited for time with the Savior.

#Joy

#MomTruth

#IntentionalParenting

#IntentionalMotherhood

#FeedYourSoul

#SoulCare

#SacredCalling

#MakingDisciples

He Chose You

Sometimes it feels like the people we follow have it all together, when we’re just trying to survive and make it till the kids go to bed. And sometimes, scrolling through the ‘gram can even make us doubt our skills as Mamas, because we aren’t doing it like SHE is.

Consider this your friendly reminder that YOU are the one called to mother your kids, in this time, and in this season. He chose you, Mama, because He knew that YOU would be the best one to be their Mama. Your personality. Your laugh. Your sense of humor. Your looks. Your way of doing things. The way you cook or don’t cook. The way you dress. The music you like. That silly thing you always do. You.

Out of all the Mamas He could have picked for your kids, it was you He chose. Because YOU are the one to best mother them.

It’s a sacred calling, Mama, and He who called you will equip you for the task. Pause and take a moment to thank Him for the gift of these little ones who call you Mama…and then ask Him for wisdom to walk out the rest of this day with them. He so graciously gives to those who ask.

And then stop scrolling, and take a look at yourself in the mirror—and thank Him for the amazing creation of YOU—He delights in you, Mama, and your little ones do too.

#MomTruth

#MomMoment

#SacredCalling

#IntentionalMotherhood

#HeChoseYou

#Mama

#Chosen

#SoulCare

What Season Are You In?

What season are you in, Mama?

Sunday evenings at our house look like dessert (in this case, homemade brownies a la mode) for 6, plus a toddler portion in a bowl alongside.

But now, instead of me making dessert, my oldest makes it, sometimes consulting me on technique, sometimes doing it all by himself.

There was a time when there was only two of us, and Sunday evenings looked like walks to a coffee shop, and chatting leisurely over a shared pastry.

And there was a time when Sunday evenings were so crowded with little ones and their needs that Sunday evenings looked like a slow cooker meal and store bought cookies after watching a cartoon about whatever Bible story we had heard at church that morning.

What season are you in, Mama? There’s good to found in all of them, and God has you in this season in which you find yourself today for a reason. But don’t let the ‘gram fool you…each season certainly has its challenges as well, and you’re not the only one to struggle.

While you see a pic of beautifully crafted desserts made by a teen, you don’t see that Mama didn’t get a bite of hers before her ice cream was completely melted, because a toddler also lives in this house, and there were messes to clean and tears to dry before Mama sat down with the rest of the family.

There’s always a backstory, isn’t there?

Whatever season you’re in, Mama, look around and be thankful for where you are…but also realize, on those days when you feel helpless and overwhelmed, that this time isn’t forever, and a new season is coming, just as surely as Spring is causing green to creep across all the trees and grass around us.

Hang tight in this season, Mama…in spite of the hard bits, there is surely beauty too.

Cheering you on through the changing seasons!

#Seasons

#ChangingSeasons

#Thankful

#Teens #Teenagers

#Toddlers

#TheDaysAreLong

#Dessert

#MindfulMotherhood

#IntentionalMotherhood

#MomTruth

Saturday Baking

Happy Saturday, Mama. On Saturdays I rise early and bake for breakfast; and I always double the recipe so that we can have a baked treat with our eggs and potatoes on Sunday morning.

Today was Banana Walnut Chocolate Chip Muffins—our absolute FAVORITE way to use up mushy, over ripe bananas. And because it’s Saturday, I swapped out the oil in the recipe for melted butter. That simple swap takes the simplest baking recipe to the next level of goodness.

And so on most Saturday mornings we light candles (candlestick holders from our wedding day 19 years ago), feast on baked treats and thank God for the weekend before heading off to whatever adventures the day holds.

Does your family have any weekend traditions?

#Routines

#Rhythms

#Saturdays

#SaturdayBaking

#BananaMuffins

#KidsInTheKitchen

#KidsCooking

#Breakfast

#BreakfastIdeas

#WhatsForBreakfast

#CandlelitBreakfast

Daily Disciplines for a Life Well-Lived

What are you working on this season, Mama? Sometimes, it’s less about the victories, and more about the daily disciplines. Whether it be writing cursive, learning the multiplication tables, having a daily time with the Lord or washing the dishes, there are some things that simply need to be practiced daily, whether we feel like it or not, whether we are motivated or not.

With some things, it’s in the daily repetitive doing, over and over again, that leads to the kind of life you want to live, the life that helps you look more like the Mama that you want to be. Multiplied over a number of days, weeks, months and years, those tiny practices add up to a life well lived.

What is that thing that you’re putting off today, Mama? Here’s some gentle encouragement to set your phone down, take a deep breath, and do it. And then set a time to do it again tomorrow. Your future self will thank you—and your present self will be proud of you too.

Cheering you on in the daily disciplines!

#Discipline

#DailyDiscipline

#Habits

#HabitBuilding

#Routines

#Goals

#IntentionalMotherhood

#IntentionalParenting

#MindfulMotherhood

#MomTruth

English Muffin Pizzas for the Win!

Need an easy meal that’s good for picky eaters? Need a meal that your kids can make themselves? Need a meal that you can keep the ingredients on hand to have ready whenever you need something quick and you’re tempted to order takeout?

English Muffin Pizzas to the rescue! My six year old made these almost completely on her own the other day. I opened the muffins for her (I always keep a pack or two in the freezer so I have them when we need them.) I opened the can of sauce, and she spooned it into each muffin and then spread it out. I put a bit of garlic powder and oregano on each one, then I gave her a bowl of shredded mozzarella (something I keep stocked in our fridge) and she put the cheese on. Popped the tray in a 450 degree oven for 5 minutes, added a tossed salad and some sliced fruit, and it was a pretty healthy (and REALLY EASY) dinner that everyone loved, from the toddler to the teen.

English Muffin Pizzas

◦ ~1-2 Packages English Muffins (our family of 7 needs 2 packages)

◦ ~1 can Tomato Sauce

◦ ~1 Bag Mozzarella Cheese

◦ ~Garlic Powder/Oregano

Slice open English Muffins. Spread Tomato Sauce on each opened half. Sprinkle Garlic and Oregano to taste. Add Mozzarella Cheese on top of each muffin half. Bake at 450 degrees for 5 mins. Serve with salad and sliced fruit.

#EnglishMuffinPizzas

#KidsInTheKitchen

#KidsCook

#KidsCooking

#PickyEaters

#WhatsForDinner

#DinnerIdeas

#SupperIdeas

#WholeFoods

#EasyMeal

#SimpleMeal

#CheaterMeal

#FamilyDinner