Motivation Monday for Moms {A New Season}

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I am so glad to be back writing on this blog again.  It was a difficult decision to step back, but my plate was so full and I really needed to listen to my own advice and leave a little margin.  When I considered the non-negotiables in my life at the time, this is what I had to give up.  But I knew I would come back and I knew I wanted to make some very positive changes.  I hope you enjoy the new look and some new features.

You probably know by now that our lives are made up of seasons.  Some are longer than others, some are easier than others.  Some we choose and some we do not.  But to embrace the season we are in, we must!

Ecclesiastes 3:1 comes to mind as I think about the different seasons I have gone through.  It says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” (NIV)  Change is predictable and it provides a beautiful opportunity for us to trust our Heavenly Father.  I honestly cannot remember a busier time in my entire life than this past school year. I was working three jobs and keeping up with my family, and being a Pastor’s wife.  And our oldest turned 16-talk about a new season.  It all seemed so overwhelming.  I am blessed to say that one of the seasons I was in is now over as I handed one of my jobs over to a wonderful person.  Also, now that our daughter can drive, I am allowing her to run an errand here and there for me and that is very nice.  So far she does’t mind either. You may be in the middle of babies and toddlers or close to being an empty nester.  All these seasons are amazing and terrifying at the same time.

I worked very hard to embrace and enjoy the season I am in.  I can see when the harder ones pass how it makes me even more thankful for the season I am in.  God is good and I believe He divinely uses those stretching seasons for our benefit.  We find a promise in God’s Word for those of us who stay connected to the Lord, “but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on His law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.” Psalm 1:2-3 (NIV).

Wether we find ourselves in a pleasant or trying season, we are producing fruit!! If we are not focused on God, grounded in Him, trusting Him, chances are we are not producing life giving fruit.  I encourage you today to take a look around your heart, consider the season you are in and choose to praise the God who is with you right where you are at.  One thing is for sure, the season you are in won’t last forever!

 

God bless,

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Real Home

Picture perfect homes, beautifully set tables, the party of the century, bodies with zero fat, homemade food and gifts……..there are just so many ideas and images, that at times it feels so overwhelming.    I do find inspiration and beauty, however I realize that I am also seeing other’s highlight reels.  I made a decision a little while back as I was thinking about that, and I just snapped  a photo of my bathroom counter, just like it was-MESSY! It doesn’t always look this, but it does sometimes. I wanted to show something real.

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That spurred a two part idea.  First, I am going to take a photo every week somewhere in my home.  It may be that the room I capture is as neat as a pin or it may be messy.   I will take photos of some of my favorite things about my home as well, a favorite feature or space.  The heart behind it is to show that REAL LIFE happens in a REAL HOME!  It is just so easy to fall into the trap of comparison rather than inspiration as we take a peek into someone’s living room or kitchen or backyard!  At times my life is so busy and I have to let the house go in order to meet other, more important needs!!!!

Now for the second part of the idea…I am going to be tackling a room a week all summer long.  Cleaning, organizing, straightening, tossing.  I will post at the end of each week what room I will be working on for the upcoming week.  Join me if you want.  We’ll help each other and hopefully by the end of the summer we’ll be more organized and ready for the Fall.

Again, I will snap a photo each week:
*Might be messy
*Might be clean
*Might be a favorite space inside or even outside
*Might be a favorite feature about a room

I will be sharing my photos on  Instagram each week. Feel free to participate if  you want to-there is no pressure. This is a No Judgement Zone-just real life in a real home.  If you want to post your photos be sure to  include the hashtag #realhomehope.

I hope you find encouragement and helpful ideas here.

 

 

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Summer Has Arrived……

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 …..and it is in full swing!!!   I am so thankful for relaxed, fun-filled days and a much needed vacation.  I welcome it with open arms and a list a mile long.  Adventuring around our town, a few crafty projects, cleaning room by room,  and just having lots of fun.  I can’t wait to make memories with my 3 kiddos and husband.  Now that I work full time at school, I appreciate my time off this summer so much more.  For the last several years we’ve written  down ideas of things we would like to do over the summer and  I make a calendar so that we have a plan.  I don’t have every minute of everyday scheduled out, but I also know that writing things down tends to help them happen.

I do have a few Summer Survival tips for you so that memory making is at its best.

Bedtime-It’s not for them-it’s for you (just don’t tell them that!) School may be out, but the amount of sleep a child needs does not change.  Just bump it later by 30 minutes.  Our’s will be enforced Saturday-Wednesday, leaving Thursday and Friday  a little more relaxed.  Kid’s still need sleep to function happily.

Hydrate-If your activities will be outside start hydrating the day before.  Keep a pack of water bottles in the back of your car for those “just in case” times.

Quiet Time-Summer provides a great opportunity to help not only our children, but ourselves, to slow down and take time renewing our walk with Christ. There are so many kid friendly devotion books and different translations of the Bible.  I use the YouVersion Bible app and it has tons of plans.  YouVersion has even created a Bible for Kids app that is great for your younger kiddos. (Jack who is 8, does enjoy it but it is borderline a bit too young for him).  He prefers the The Action Bible by David C Cook. I also bought him a journal that is designated as his “God Only” journal.  He can copy a verse, illustrate a passage, write a prayer.  The only rule is it is only for God-stuff.  It has been so cool to see him write or draw and he even has a page for prayer requests and answered prayer.

A tip about quiet time-this is a perfect way to start a morning or this could be during a designated quiet time that you schedule each day, say after lunch for 30 minutes. No one can talk, they must stay in their room (exception is going to the restroom). Mom too!!!

Tattle Tickets-When the girls were little and tattling was at an all time high, I had to do something and tattle tickets were created.  You can use anything you like as a ticket.  I thought I had written a blog post about this but could not find it and since it’s been a few years since we’ve needed them, I’m pretty sure this is how we did it.  Each girl got three tickets for a day. and hey could tattle up to three times with their tickets.  Once tickets were gone-no more tattling.  However, for each ticket they did not use they got something.  Adam and I cannot remember if they received a quarter for each unused ticket or a point.  Either would work, just decide on what it is they are working towards and when they may “cash” it in. It is amazing how well this works.  If you are going on a trip, they could earn special snacks or spending money.  Otherwise they could work towards a bigger goal.  One note here-we did tell the girls that they did not have to use a ticket if they were telling on something the other was doing that would cause themselves or someone to get hurt, so be sure to clarify. This was a serious sanity saver!

Simplify-I got this tip from my Pastor’s wife and I agree 100%.  Don’t be afraid to use use paper plates and disposable utensils especially during seasons of extreme busyness or simply during a  break-like the summer.  Try everyday for lunch or one day a week to give everyone a break.  This is so simple but so very helpful!!! And keep refillable water bottles in the fridge for every member of your family.

Take time with your spouse- Schedule at least 3 dates over the summer, one per month-June, July, August.

 

HAVE FUN-Whatever you do, try to slow down and enjoy every minute! 

 

 

 

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Welcome!

Welcome!  I am happy to announce that I am back to the blogging world.  I hope you like the new look and find this blog both inspirational and informational.   The new name is the realization of a dream of mine.  For several years I have wanted to use both of my daughter’s middle names as the title for a blog or ministry or something.  So as I began to consider a new look and name for the former Motivational Monday for Moms (Adventures of the Harris 5 blog) it didn’t take very long before I knew what it should be.  In thinking about my heart for this blog, I realized how much grace and hope I need to live daily and I pray I am giving grace and hope to others.

I wanted to expand from writing a short little devotional each week and the occassional craft or recipe post to posting on a more regular basis and having some variety. I do plan to post a weekly devotion, as I get just as much encouragement from preparing it as I hope you do reading it.  I will be posting recipe and meal planning ideas, an area I have grown to enjoy.  I love creating and creativity and will be featuring crafting and DIY projects of my own and others and I want to pass those along from time to time.  With the arrival of summer and a much needed break, I hope to provide memory making inspiration of things you can do as a family. I am even going to include a few ideas for summer fun with your spouse.  One personal project I am really excited about is REAL HOME.  Watch for information very soon and also how you can join in.

If you can’t tell yet, I am VERY excited about this and I look forward to sharing with each of YOU!

 

May your home be filled with Hope and Grace,

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