Tag Archives: Busy mothers

A Time to Rest: Pausing in the Midst of Busy

If I had to define my summer in one word, I would not use the term “lazy.”

Between travels, family and volunteer commitments, getting back in shape after my surgery, and then my son’s recent health scare, life has felt like one of those clunky carnival rides that spins you around and around until you’re begging to get off.

And yet, even in the midst of “busy,” God has moved.

I don’t think it’s an accident that I started my summer reading the book Addicted to Busy by Brady Boyd.

Talk about convicting, motivating, and reassuring all in one!

I saw Biblical evidence that God not only gives me permission to rest; He WANTS me to rest.

As I’ve put the principles of Addicted to Busy into practice, here’s what I’ve discovered: God’s voice is best heard in times of quiet.

Maybe you’ve heard the story of Elijah in the Bible (found in I Kings 19). If not, let me summarize.

Elijah was an Old Testament prophet who had received death threats and ran away to save his life. He was discouraged and could only see the immediate problems before him.

So what did God do? He instructed Elijah to go stand before Him on a mountain. So Elijah did. And he watched and waited.

A fierce windstorm came. Then an earthquake. Then a fire.

I can just picture Elijah ducking into the safety of his cave while the wind howled outside. Bracing his tired legs as the earthquake shook everything around him. Covering his face to protect from the heat of the fire. He might have even said, “Okay, Lord, I get it. You’re mighty and powerful. Show me something I don’t know.”

And yet, God didn’t reveal Himself in any of those forces of nature.

No, He revealed Himself through the sound of a gentle whisper.

When I look at my own life–my rushing around, taking my kids from one place to the next, working harder and faster, volunteering my time for good causes–I often feel caught up in a windstorm. My foundation feels shaky, and the fires of life burn hotter and hotter.

But when I slow down long enough to REST, God makes His whisper known.

This slowing down isn’t easy. I’ve had to step away from commitments I believe in–had to let work projects fall to the wayside–so I can spend one entire day a week with no agenda or commitments, other than rest.

But you know what? Those quiet whispers have been present. Even in the midst of my recent doubts and lack of trust, God has made His presence known.

A Voice of Peace in the midst of busy.


Where would you rate your life on the busyness scale? What are some intentional steps you can take this week to pause and rest?

*If you’re interested in getting a copy of Addicted to Busy, I can’t recommend it enough! It was truly life-changing for me. You can check it out at THIS LINK.

*Link disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase the product or book using the links provided, I will receive a small portion of the profits from Amazon. This in no way affects my decision to recommend the product or book. I would heartily share it on my site regardless of financial implications for me or my family.

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Exercise Options for the Busy Mom

Earlier this week I guest posted at Mumbling Mommy, sharing exercise options for the busy mom. Since it ties into my Friday theme of fitness, I decided to send you over there today.

Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

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Five Ways to Stay Sane while Raising Cain (or Jane)

Hi everyone! I’m so excited to welcome author Jeanette Levellie to my blog today! Whenever I visit her site, I always know I’m in for a smile and a laugh. And she also sprinkles in Godly wisdom to uplift and encourage. That’s exactly what her post does today. If you’re a busy mom like me, keep reading. You won’t be disappointed.

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Guest Post by Jeanette Levellie

When Sarah asked me to write a guest post for moms juggling careers, kids, and kisses—chocolate or otherwise—I was happier than a cat with dirty paws on your car hood. Although my kids are done being kids, I’ve learned a few secrets—mostly the hard way—of managing my time when I had only scraps of it to manage.

  1. Give God the first portion of your day. He’ll give back to you the time you need to accomplish your goals. Giving and receiving works for time as well as money, and you cannot out give the Lord. You can read your Bible while baby naps or sits in her bouncy seat at your side. You can pray while you do laundry, cook, and take a shower.  God is your best ally in the war against insanity and overload!
  2. Utilize wee snippets of time to work on big projects.  Of course, you’d rather have three hours at a time than ten minutes while Daddy bathes Sophie. But never underestimate the power of little chunks of time to accomplish big goals. Even God created the universe in increments.  He is able and willing to help you create your masterpiece in portions.
  3. Flush the perfect house fantasy. Be willing to let the bed go rumply, hubby to make supper, or the laundry to pile up for a few days. I don’t mean it’s okay to live like Jonah in the whale’s belly—with seaweed in your hair and nothing to eat—but if you need a pristine abode, you’ll have to wait ‘til Claude and Claudette grow up to start a writing career.
  4. Simplify your environment and life. The more clothes to clean, toys to pick up, and meetings to attend, the more discombobulated you’ll feel. And the less you’ll accomplish. Get rid of half your junque and most of your memberships. Now you’re free to focus on people and your dreams.
  5. Put no more than five items on your to do list each day. I know it sounds crazy, since you have 100 things to accomplish each day. If you write down 45 and only get five done, you’ll beat yourself up for not being more productive. But if you only write down five, when you get those done, you can add more, along with a feeling of accomplishment.

Thanks, Sarah, for inviting me to your lovely world. I hope something I shared today helps a tied-in-knots mom get loose, and closer to the peace and abundant life Jesus promised.

Now let’s generate a little dialog. What time monsters attack you most often? What secrets have you found for managing your days?  Do you have any questions for me?

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More about Jeanette:

“Nutty with a dash of meat” best describes Jeanette Levellie’s speaking, writing and life. She has published hundreds of humor/inspirational columns, articles, greeting cards, and poems. A spunky pastor’s wife, Jeanette is the mother of two, grandmother of three, and waitress to four cats. Her debut humor/inspirational book, Two Scoops of Grace with Chuckles on Top releases April 10. Find her mirthful musings at www.jeanettelevellie.com.

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Top 5 Signs You’re Addicted to Multi-Tasking

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5. After countless boil-overs on the stove, your fire department has banned you from using your cell phone while making supper.

4. Your morning routine involves brushing your teeth, putting on your make-up, and taking a shower…all at the same time.

3. “Don’t text and drive” billboards have your picture on them.

2. You take your laptop into the bathroom and catch up on emails while you piddle.

1. Listening to your husband talk about his day while combing your 3-year-old’s hair while feeding the fish while setting the table and feeding the baby? That’s just called ‘motherhood’!

(Soon after I scheduled this post, I read in Prevention magazine that “digital multitasking slashes your IQ by 10 points”. By digital multitasking, they mean emailing, texting, and tweeting almost simultaneously. *gulp* No wonder my head’s been feeling lighter lately…I think a quiet walk in the woods is in order.)

Are you a multi-tasker? What’s your worst multi-tasking habit? If you’ve overcome the habit, please share any and all tips for the rest of us! :)

*Photo by Pong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Writer Mom Recommends: The Stain-Removing Super Team!

There are certain things no one warned me about before I had kids. Like the fact that waking up to an alarm clock is considered “sleeping in”. Or that “getting dressed” means putting a sweatshirt over your pajamas and calling it good.

And then there’s the laundry.

Not only did my laundry piles increase in size once I welcomed children to the world, but the level of messes on the clothes increased too. I spend a good half-hour treating stains before I even get the washer started. (If you ever wonder why I haven’t replied to comments here yet, chances are I’m busy scrubbing last night’s spaghetti sauce off of a shirt. :))

So with all that said, I’ve become quite the stain-removing expert. And today I’d like to introduce you to my super team!

Let’s break ’em down:

1) Shout spray (or any kind of spray, for that matter) is my surface-layer treatment. I use it to spray measly stains right before tossing the clothes in the washer. It’s not recommended for things that need to sit for a week ’cause it’ll make them fade.

2) Resolve Stain Stick is my treat-now-wash-later treatment (as they tout on the label). It doesn’t necessarily kill the toughest stains, but it’s great for treating a stain immediately after it happens and then tossing it in the laundry basket until wash day.

3) Shout Advanced Gel is my heavy-duty get-anything-out treatment. Let me tell you, this stuff is tough on stains. It can be applied a few days before wash day, but it can cause a little fading so proceed with caution if you’re using it on colorful clothes. I don’t know if it’s the little scrubby brush thing or the ingredients they use, but I save this gel for my toughest stains. Nine times out of ten it gets rid of them (And we all know 10 out of 10 is impossible since certain stains never come out unless you catch them right away).

So there you have it–my stain removing super-team!

Do you use any of these products? What are your favorite stain-removal secrets? How much time do you spend each week battling stains?

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Writer Mom Recommends: iMOM.com!

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get in a rut. Not just in my own life, but in my marriage and parenting.

Recently a girl in my mom’s group mentioned a website called iMOM.com, and after checking it out, I am completely in love!

There are encouraging and practical articles related to all facets of a mom’s life: Marriage and Love, Wellness, Mom Management, Family Fun, and Encouragement. Plus parenting resources for every stage of your child’s life.

They have a powerhouse team of iSpecialists, including Lauren Dungy, who happens to be married to my favorite football coach of all time–Tony Dungy. :)

I think my favorite part of the site, though, is the Tools section. They have Training Tools, like a cell phone contract you can use for your kids (which will probably be here before I know it…Yikes!), a screen time tracker, questions for your kids to ask before they buy something, and tons more.

Then they also have Organization Tools, Seasonal Tools (holiday lunchbox notes, etc.), and Relationship Tools, which are some of my favorite. Examples include 10 Ways to Pray for Your Husband, Phrases for Praises, and conversation starters for the different stages your kids go through.

Have I mentioned yet how cool this site is?! I guarantee it will get you out of your rut. :)

What’s your favorite “mom” resource? Have you visited iMOM before? What feature most interests you about it?

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Writer Mom Recommends: The Five Love Languages of Children!

I think most of us have heard of The Five Love Languages, a book written by Gary Chapman several years ago. He presented the concept that people give and receive love in five different ways, or “languages”. They are Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.

But did you know there’s a sister book written specifically for parents?

In my mom’s group at church, we’re studying The Five Love Languages of Children, and I can’t tell you how it has revolutionized the way I parent.

The premise of the book revolves around this quote: “You may truly love your child, but unless she feels it–unless you speak the love language that communicates to her your love–she will not feel loved.”

In the course of this study, I’ve determined that my son’s love language is quality time. He’s constantly asking me to play with him, and it seems like I can never give him enough of the time he craves.

Is anyone seeing the conflict here? As a stay-at-home writer-mom, I can’t always give him 100% attention (nor do I think it’s healthy for a child to expect 100% attention).

But one quote from the book made me realize that often I was depriving him of what he needed. “When a child’s love tank is empty and attention is the only thing that will fill it, that child will go to almost any length to get what she needs.”

Um, yeah, can we say this often comes out in the form of temper tantrums and disobedience in my house?

Reading that one chapter turned the light bulb on for me. And I learned practical ways I can fill my son’s love tank while still getting my work done. I’m a work in progress, but I’m getting there.

This is just the tip of what I’ve learned in this book. I can’t begin to say how valuable it is. There’s also a chapter about how to discover your child’s primary love language, as well as one about discipline and how it can be shaped by knowing your child’s love language.

If you haven’t checked out this book, I highly recommend!

Have you read any of the Love Languages books? Do you know what your love language is? How about your kids’?

*Heart photo by Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Writer Mom Recommends: Boz!

I have a confession to make: Sometimes I’m a bad mom. You know what I mean. When I have a day full of responsibilities, I’ve been known to turn on the TV and let my kids veg out to their heart’s content.

And worse, I’ve been known to let them veg on shows that were educational but that had no spiritual component to them. Then I’d hear my son say something that made me think, “Yikes, THAT’S what he’s learning?”

I’ve struggled to find something age appropriate that combined the values of faith with education. My four-year-old doesn’t really connect with Veggie Tales. He loves to listen to the Sunday Morning Songs from them, but that’s about it. I don’t think he gets the humor yet.

So what’s a busy mom to do?

Meet Boz, the Green Bear Next Door.

Boz is a lovable bear who goes on adventures with his neighbor kids. And of course, they learn something new about God’s world along the way. My son is seriously enraptured whenever Boz is on. And while I avoid those bad-mom days as much as possible, I can rest assured that if my kiddos do spend time in front of the TV, they’re watching something educational that also reinforces our beliefs.

If you want to see what Boz is all about, here’s a link to the website.

What shows do your kids like to watch (or did they watch when they were younger), and how do those shows appeal to their age group? Any recommendations for other wholesome options?

*TV Photo by digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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