Monday, June 29, 2015

Good news for all the Moms out there who feel inadequate! (guest post-Hannah Kallio)


Ever Feel Inadequate as a Mom? Here's (Surprising) Good News:

There are many schools of thought in motherhood, but at some point we all feel we aren't doing enough for our kids. Sometimes you even feel who you are isn't enough.  And lots of experts try to reassure you that you are enough.

I'm not one of them.


Before I explain why this is really good news for both you and your kids, let me explain how I know it's true.


Why You're not Enough
Since becoming a mom almost 15 years ago, I've spent about 97% of my time with my children. I nurse every baby until they're over two. I read to them for hours every day. I prepare each meal from scratch using organic whole foods. But before you write me off as an annoying supermom, you need to know one more detail about my mothering:

It's not enough.

If I read for three hours, my children were disappointed it wasn't four. If I set the baby down after holding her for five hours, she wanted to be held longer. If I gave them two snacks every day, they wanted three.

Our kids were bottomless pits of demand. They were never satisfied. They needed an adult to say "enough" because it wasn't in their vocabulary.

It isn't just me. The Bible confirms this observation, and says none of us was enough.

Why it's Good News
Like I said earlier, this is good news, for you and your kids. It provides you with daily opportunities to point them to the only One who is enough. When they feel the need to call out to Him, He'll answer.

Admitting you aren't enough will remind you to call out to Him more, and He'll answer you too. I noticed a major shift in our family when I stopped pretending I was enough. Admitting it didn't just take the pressure off me, it was a relief for everyone.

What You Can Do
Shift your focus from satisfying everyone to listening to everyone. When I try to protect my kids from disappointment, they're often disappointed. When I stop trying to fix it and truly listen, let them
express their feelings, and point them to God, they experience more peace. It's no longer about my ego, it's about each child developing a vibrant relationship with the only parent who will ever be enough.

Now it's time for action: If this post was helpful to you, please share it with another mom.  And for bonus points, take a moment to affirm another woman as a mother. Point out a specific way she blesses her family.

Who can you encourage and affirm as a mom today?

Hannah Kallio helps women recognize God's voice in their lives, so they can experience more of His peace and do more of what matters. She's a wife, mom of five, and Certified Christian Coach. Check out her blog for more encouragement for moms at hannahkallio.org
 

She developed a simple process to help busy moms get more out of their quiet time (even if you're not a morning person!) 
Download your free PDF at: http://hannahkallio.org/this-is-for-you/ .
 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Exciting News...

Ladies, 
I will be taking a break from blogging for about 2 months to focus on strengthening this blog and creating better connections and resources. 

You mean the world to me and this space needs to continue to be a space for us to embrace each other with grace and love for healing in our hearts ( see pic!).

This is the first pic I made myself! I have some stuff to learn and will be creating my own pics soon enough!

I will be revamping my blog with the help of my amazing friend Laura and mostly focusing on creating some amazing free resources for all of you who subscribe to the blog! I am SO excited about this.
 
And...I will also be working on my E-book which will be something that I will sell for a small fee. I hope to have it completed by mid-Fall, but it is all in God's hands. I have so much to learn and gotta keep my hubby, my boys work and church stuff going as best as I can so again- hang with me! 
 
The E-book...I CANNOT wait to share with you what it will contain- but it will be encouraging to the MAX and I am just praying so much for God to continue to help me as I work on this resource for all of you.
 
So hang tight with me- enjoy my guests! I have a wide variety of ladies coming to share some AWESOME things to support you as a Christian Working Mama. I cannot wait to share these ladies with you and I hope you are so incredibly blessed by what they gifted women have to offer!
 
Lots of love!
 
Liz

 
P.S.- If you would like to contact me by e-mail for any reason at all; ideas, prayer requests, comments you don't want to post but just bounce off of me- please feel free. My e-mail address is: Jones_ElizabethA@msn.com.
 
And remember- the Facebook group is active and always a great place for some quick encouragement- click here to connect CWM FB Group. We are continuing to work on Bible Memorization together.

Work as Worship- Amy Lively (How to Love Your Neighbor)- Book Giveaway!


Work as Worship
Guest post by Amy Lively

Martha was a working girl, just like you. When Jesus stopped at her house with His entourage, she stepped up to serve them.
You can read her story in Luke 10:38-41:
As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”

But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

I can relate to a woman who bosses Jesus around! I know exactly how Martha feels when I’m working my tail off, whether it’s in the office or in the kitchen.
Martha was distracted by her work. The Greek word translated “distracted” is perispaō, and it is used only here in the entire Bible. It means to be drawn away and distracted, to be over-occupied or too busy. If Luke was telling the tale of a twenty-first century woman, he would use this word a lot more . . . a whole lot more! We are distracted by our responsibilities at home and at work, our duties at church, endless activities for our children, our dogged pursuit of fitness and financial stability, and family obligations. We are distracted by texts, tweets and notifications, friend requests and followers.

We are rarely distracted or over-occupied with loving God or loving our neighbor.
Yet there’s no exception to Christ’s #2 Command to love our neighbor, and this command is too important to wait until our work is done. And let’s be honest, our work is never done! Martha chose work over a chance to worship Jesus. No one remembers what Martha served for dinner that night, but Sunday school classrooms around the world still teach about Martha, the frazzled worker.

Martha chose work over a chance to worship Jesus.
Martha’s work was important, just like yours. One of the Greek words for “serve” is diakoneō.  This word means to supply life’s necessities, which is your goal for your career—it’s why you work. This word means to wait at a table and offer food and drink to the guests, like Martha did—and it also means to take care of the needs of others, like Jesus did. Jesus used the same word of himself:

Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mark 10:43–45

The happiest working mamas are the ones who serve Jesus first, then serve others. Your heavenly paycheck will be sweet, and your daily reward is priceless!
From Liz:

Mama's! Isn't this an amazing message! Our work IS important, just like Martha's was- we supply for life's necessities for our family and we take care of the needs of others, just like Jesus. This is encouraging! Martha is no the BAD guy in the story- BUT, she did make the wrong choice and Jesus does not condemn her for it but gently reminds her of where her focus needs to be. I know I can easily get distracted with what needs to be DONE versus taking the time to love Jesus and my neighbor.

Amy's book has been transformational for me. I have shared a few times over the past week about Loving my Neighbor and how Community and Neighborhood Connections are absolutely essential to us working Mama's and not as hard as we might think with the bonus of SO MUCH BLESSING IN RETURN.

Amy has graciously offered to give away a signed book!

My challenge is to you- leave a comment stating ONE THING you can do today or sometime this week to love your neighbor. I will pick a winner!

 Bio
Amy Lively is a speaker and the author of How to Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird (Bethany House, May 2015). She provides tips and tools for Christ’s #2 command drawing from her own experience knocking on her neighbors’ doors and leading a women’s neighborhood Bible study called The Neighborhood Cafe. Amy lives in Lancaster, Ohio (for the time being) with her husband, their daughter, a holy dog and an unsaintly cat. Learn more at howtoloveyourneighbor.com.

Lots of Love!
Liz 

 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

STAY AT HOME MOMS- WE NEED YOU!

So I have this dream of unity in the church with mothering. I am so passionate about Moms supporting Moms and believe that when we DO, we are a MIGHTY FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH.

First of all- stay at home Mama's - YOU ROCK! We LOVE YOU and we THINK YOU ARE ROCK STARS. No judgment here, EVER. No comparing-NO.NADA.ZIP.
YOU ARE SUPER HEROS THAT DESERVE A CAPE, A DAY OFF AND SOME CHOCOLATE ALL WRAPPED UP IN A BIG PAYCHECK for all that you do.

And we know that even that even the term "Working Mom" must really annoy you.

Believe me:
We KNOW that you ARE A WORKING MOM.

So this is what I need right now- this is not a blog post, but a request. I need YOU- stay at home Moms- to leave comments as if you were talking to and encouraging a Working Mom.
(I will do a similar post for Working Moms to encourage Stay at Home Moms- I KNOW you need encouragement as well!)

Your words are so important to our insecure Mama-hearts. We look at you and we are sometimes envious, sometimes intimidated, sometimes feeling "less than" and we worry that you think less of us- we do.

Or I can just speak for myself...to be blatantly honest, sometimes I find myself looking for judgment in the eyes of SAHM's when I meet them and I cautiously approach conversations related to my working status. It's true...

What I want... is to compile a TON of encouraging words for my readers who work outside the home and I can PROMISE YOU, you will change their lives! When these words come from YOU, IT MATTERS.

It really does!

You will bless them more than you can even imagine!!!

 
SO PLEASE! COMMENT AWAY- AS MUCH AS YOU CAN- ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THE WORKING MOM FROM THE STAY AT HOME MOM.

I hate that I have to say this- but any abusive, mean or cruel comments will immediately be deleted- so don't even bother if you have hateful things to say. I will not allow for it.

Liz

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Beauty and Gift of Grief

I love deep and I love messy and I love inappropriately for today's standards:) Picture the big sloppy kisses from a big messy dog that gets on people's nerves and that can be me. I an overly interested in how people feel, I want to be close to people way too soon in relationships, I feel people's pain and I want to take it away, I have always been this way and sometimes feel like I am just one big love sucker-upper. Not always a good thing, but it can be a God-thing as well...

I want to cry when people tell me their stories, I want to hug people I just met and I want to never,ever, EVER have my loved ones feel unloved, hurt, left-out, unappreciated, unnoticed. People are hurting, I can feel it almost as soon as I meet them. I am very sensitive and I believe that God has made me that way ON PURPOSE.  HOWEVER- life happens and my crazy-nutty-over-the-top ways of loving people have been extinguished and squashed out and humiliated so many times over the years that I can admit- that even as a Jesus girl- there have been some tightly shut places that have gotten pretty dusty over the years...

I can say ALOT about love in my words and actions, but my feelings have been well-guarded for quite some time. It's CRAZY CRAZINESS, but I have a confession to make- I have not cried a deep, good, messy cry in at least three years (the last time was the birth of my now three year old). My Mom used to tell me that crying was my way of relieving stress and that it was okay for me to cry- but somehow I stopped allowing myself to "go there".

At that time (when my Mom told me this, which by the way- was one of the BEST things she could have EVER told me), I seriously used to cry on a weekly basis...for real- when my husband married me he had no idea what he was getting into! He has been SO GOOD for me in that sense, allowing me to cry but then making me laugh so I can move on. I have cried tears for hours on end over past hurts, over relational wounds, when I see homeless people, when I watch movies, and sometimes for no apparent reason at all. Thank the Lord for anti-depressants- that is all I have to say:) Yes- I don't mind "going there"- we can discuss that another time if you'd like...:)

But over the years...truth be told- I have shut down a bit- maybe some of it was good- I had to be a Mom, maintain a FT job, keep things "together" to a point, but I have been given a gift recently that I am just so thankful for.

My father-in-law Eddie, passed away and my heart broke into a million pieces for the first time in three years...but my broken heart, became a softer heart and a more open heart-once again- to love and be loved...and I was drawn closer to God...

Being face to face with death and grief and all that encompasses has been something I did not expect- a gift for a hardened heart...a space to pause and weep and mourn and feel and heal. The last conversation I had with Eddie we talked about our Savior and how real He is and Eddie was filled with a deep excitement that one day He could experience just being in the presence of Jesus and then...a few days later...he was gone. I cannot put into words how much it meant to me that God allowed me that conversation with Eddie before he died.

And as we walked through two different memorial services, the boarded up places in my heart were bust open and oh what a sweet, sweet gift it was for me...

Thank you Eddie- for your life, legacy and for taking the time to share you heart with me right before you left this world. You gave me more than you know.





Sunday, June 21, 2015

Loving My Neighbor

Ladies,

On 6/26- I will have my first ever guest blogger- Amy Lively who has written a book-
How to Love Your Neighbor. It's funny because I don't even remember how I found Amy, but I took a look at the free preview for Chapter One which you can check out here: Look Inside, and I immediately wanted to read more.

Matthew 22:37-39
"You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind." This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

Here is my story and hopefully it will help paint a picture for you as to why I have come to believe so strongly in what Amy is sharing in her book and why I wanted to include her in my blog.

So-I came from somewhat of a "mega church". Good church, Biblical teaching, but I got lost in the crowd, my husband disconnected from the church and I was struggling big time to get myself and my two boys to church every Sunday. I felt lonely in a room full of people...so I started to pray...ALOT. Every morning on the way to work for 4 years..."God- I need a church family. I need my husband back in church with me. I am dying over here."

Back up six years...my husband and I bought our first house in a large neighborhood with not the greatest reputation. We heard that it was being invested in by local police officers moving in, that the local schools were great and that crime was not as bad as it used to be.  My husband and I walked into our home and without knowing anything about the community history I told him that this house was the one for us. It was the perfect size, walking distance from the beach, 2 minutes from the school, library, grocery stores, EVERYTHING I needed as a busy working Mama. We got the house and I was THRILLED.

At the time I was working about 30 hours/week and teleworking two days/week. I tried to fit in work while caring for my then 1 1/2 year old. We spent a lot of time walking around the neighborhood, I was pretty lonely- I knew no one and I was, as I said, attending church mostly alone with my boys and not really connecting with people. So I started to pray as I walked around, for every house, every family... and slowly, on those walks, I started to meet people here and there. My son was a magnet for anyone and it was easy to talk to people while he smiled and charmed everyone...

Over time, my heart became increasingly heavy as I walked around... as I began to see not only the dilapidated homes in the community, but the hurting and lost around me...I started noticing young people smoking at the playground, yelling out cuss words, I could hear Moms yelling at their children as I walked by houses, I noticed small children playing outside with no one watching them...and then there was the drunk neighbor who thought shooting off fireworks every Saturday at 8pm was a great idea, RIGHT when I was laying my kids down...:) 

One afternoon after I had put some work in while my little guy watched some cartoons and napped, we walked down to the beach and I met a young Mom. She didn't make any eye contact with me and she had two small children with her- a boy and girl- and she was watching them play near the water. I approached her and introduced myself- immediately I noticed approximately 100 scars on her legs and arms from cutting...My heart broke. We made small talk and I prayed for her on the way home. I will never forget the image of those scars on her body and the hurt I could see in her eyes...

We have lived here for six years and although we have had some good neighborly connections; a man who watches our dog when we go out of town, a woman who watched my kids for several years while I worked and we have had many play dates with families at the local park, we have never truly invited our neighbors into our lives... One day I noticed a little church a few streets over and I thought to myself- "Now that is where I should be going to church." It was right smack in the middle of our neighborhood- funny thing is...I never saw anyone there, but every time I passed it- I had a feeling that it would be part of my life someday.

About 8 months ago I met a sweet lady at the local Chick Fil-Et in the play area. I had my 2nd baby by then who was sitting on my lap and she had a little one and was pregnant with her 2nd. We talked a lot and I felt a strong connection with her- she told me that she and her husband felt called to plant a church in this neighborhood called- Woodland Beach-and she asked me have I ever heard of it? OH MY- I got chills, YES- that is MY neighborhood and YES we need a church SO BAD.

I ran into her later on at a local church Trunk or Treat and then about 4 months later I ran into her again at the local Rita's. Her husband was with her and she had had her 2nd baby and we talked and he gave me a card for their church plant which was meeting at their house. My husband and I began to attend...he was apprehensive at first but then he slowly became engaged and now we are regular attenders... and guess what church gifted our church their building to use? That little church I kept passing in the middle of the neighborhood!

Our Pastor has been preaching a Love Your Neighbor series and this was shortly before I found Amy's book. Since then, I have been praying for my neighbors and seeing God connecting me, and I am just taking it one step, one relationship at a time...and I have been SO BLESSED. I want to encourage you, that even as busy working Moms, you are called to connect and love your neighbors. And you WILL BE SO BLESSED when you do. 

Liz

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Community and Neighborhood Connections= Absolutely Essential for a Christian Working Mama

So I TOTALLY get it! You are crazy busy! Some of you work an 8 hour day (maybe more!), get home, get right to the stove, and do dinner, homework, baths and then prep for the next day and then Repeat.

And weekends are all about catching up on housework and spending quality family time.
I so get that me suggesting adding anything else to your plate will probably make you want to smack me in the face!

But...listen up ladies- I have learned something SO crucial this year-

YOU NEED COMMUNITY and YOUR COMMUNITY NEEDS YOU.

YOU CANNOT DO LIFE ALONE.
And of course I am talking about your connections with church and the body of Christ but there is MORE...
...and this MORE is not time-sucking, energy-draining, stressful stuff- this MORE is life-giving and will be SURE to lift you up. What am I talking about?

Neighborhood ministry and connections.
You know...you are RIGHT WHERE GOD WANTS YOU TO BE IN YOUR COMMUNITY! There are people to your left, to your right, across the street and all around who NEED YOU and you NEED THEM. 

The neighbors you have...they may be VERY different from you, they may not even seem remotely like anyone you'd feel drawn to connect with- but if you make an effort, you WILL BE BLESSED.

How do I know this?
Because a few months ago-I started reading a book by Amy Lively called- How to Love Your Neighbor and I started simply with praying for them and making a list of the ones I knew and asking God to connect me and guess what?

He TOTALLY did!!!

The next month we had a community yard sale and for the first time in a few years, I was crossing the street and walking next door.

I brought over some muffins to a neighbor that I had had a difficult time with in the past year. 

SHE THEN BROUGHT ME OVER A BIBLE COVER SHE HAD CROCHETED FOR ME! WHAT?

This woman is not a Christian- from what I can gather, and WHAT?
She crocheted a Bible cover for me?
My neighbor next door- she and I chatted and I asked her if she'd like to hang out sometime and she said SHE DID!

Several families came by who spoke Spanish and my little three year old who is learning Spanish said a few words and I connected with some people whom I may never have before.

One gentleman works as a cook at a local restaurant and I gave his daughters some of my old jewelry at no cost and he said to me- "My name is Alberto. Anytime you come by- ask for me. I will come and greet your family."

A neighbor across the street had a Memorial day party- my son wanted to say- "Hi" to them- so we crossed the street and then they invited us over.

I was so nervous- I had just come back from a long trip, looked a hot mess, but I sat, played games, helped my neighbor cut some cake and before I knew it we were leaving with tadpoles that our other neighbor had given to her that she had found in the swimming pool.

One last thing- I really REALLY don't like to cook. So on Thursdays I give myself a break and typically order pizza or make something SUPER easy and I have been inviting a friend over from church. My house is a wreck by then, my kids are super crazy but we have a BLAST. I am thinking about hosting a Thursday dinner/play-date and asking some other ladies to come- pray for me! It will probably me once/month- but I will have water balloons, chalk, some games out back and probably pizza and I am hoping to continue to connect.

So- did I have to make any special arrangements or put in any extra effort for these things to happen? No! God worked it all out. And I was ENERGIZED, ENCOURAGED AND EXCITED afterwards.

Neighborhood Ministry- it's not just for the stay at home Mama ladies!  Amy will be guest blogging here on 6/26 and I cannot wait for you to hear from her. But even more- you have got to check out her book. It has blessed me so much and I am only on Chapter three!
Also- check out her website and look around- she has some awesome free resources you can use even now. One that I love is the Neighborhood Commitment Prayers- it is something you can start with, like I did.

God Bless!

Liz

“Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full,”
Jesus said in Luke 14:23.


Book Review:

How to Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird helps you overcome fears about getting to know your neighbors and sharing your faith. You’ll learn simple, practical ways to get to know your neighbors, using your God-given personality. As you venture out of the comfort of your living room and into the lives of your neighbors, you’ll form authentic friendships, create a safer community, and find fulfillment in obeying Christ’s #2 command.

Monday, June 15, 2015

My Words and His Words- Let's Get into the Word Together

Sometimes when I am having a really hard day/week/month, when I feel like a failure on all levels, and I get to that place of total YUCK (tired, grumpy, want to scream)...

I think about all of you. I think about the fact that for some reason God has blessed me with some Mama's-who love the Lord, who love their kids fiercely and who are in the trenches of this mothering and working struggle- who actually take time (which is such a precious commodity) to read my words.
And I think to myself- "Okay God, what are YOUR words for these sweet Mama's."
In THIS ugly moment I am having, what do I need to hear from you. Because truthfully a lot of what I share comes when I have been down in that pit of YUCK and God, once again, brings me back out.

And He gives me something to chew on and it grows and grows inside until I just have to say it, and it is ONLY Him and ONLY through the workings of the Holy Spirit that anything I say can come through the screen and touch your hearts. I had a mentor blogger tell me once that:

"Use your blog to link the arms of your readers to the Lord and to each other."

And that is what I want...Writing, for me, is the BEST way I can capture what I am thinking and feeling and again, it is a privilege to have a space to communicate with all of you- to hopefully remind you as often as you need it that-
-You are LOVED
-You are OKAY
-IT is going to BE OKAY
-You are ENOUGH
-What you offer your kids IS ENOUGH
-You are THE ABSOLUTE PERFECT MAMA TO YOUR KIDS
-Working outside the home is OKAY and IN FACT- IT IS A SPACE, JUST LIKE ANY OTHER, WHERE WE CAN....
GLORIFY GOD
GROW CLOSER TO GOD AND...
PARTNER WITH GOD IN WHAT HE IS DOING IN THIS WORLD
-Your kids KNOW THAT YOU LOVE THEM
-You do NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT, you just HAVE TO BE DEPENDENT ON A PERFECT GOD...
-You are AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE BODY OF CHRIST

Sweet Mama- you are SO, SO loved by an Almighty God who counts the hairs on your head.
He not only SEES you but He KNOWS you inside and out.
He cares about every second of your day, from the moment your alarm goes off to the moment you crash on the bed.
He sits next to you while you hold your crying baby.
He stands behind you while you type away at work or talk to your clients.
He watches you as you drive and listens to your prayers, even the one's that you can't even mutter.
He feels the ache in your heart and...
He smiles over you all.day.long.

Think about your kids and how sometimes you just capture them in moments that melt your heart.
I think God does that with us.
I think He sees you, right now, this morning, tonight, yesterday, last week, HE SEES and He is proud of you.
You have tough choices to make.
You may work out of total necessity, you may work because you love what you do and feel called to do it, you may work because you've made some financial mistakes and are trying to make things right, you may work because your spouse has depression and cannot work himself, you might work part-time, full-time, whatever it may be- the REASON does not matter, what MATTERS is that you are a cherished, Daughter of the King...

You are LOVED, VALUED AND THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN OR CANNOT DO WITH YOUR CHILDREN, YOUR JOB AND ALL THAT GOES WITH THAT THAT CAN SEPARATE YOU FROM HIS LOVE.

The truth of the Gospel is for all Mama's no matter where they find themselves in life.
Jesus died for you, if you believe this, if you have accepted him into your heart and if you wake up each day, aware of your failings and sins, and move towards better choices all the while clinging to grace and being committed to Christ, you are EXACTLY WHERE YOU NEED TO BE.

If you do not want to work outside the home, I am praying for you and praying for God-who already knows your heart-to give you peace, to show you creative solutions, to make space in your day for change, whatever it might be...

All I know is that as a Christian Working Mother, there are few of us, who do not struggle daily with our roles and while I cannot give you the perfect solution to your struggle I do know that there is a PERFECT GOD WHO KNOWS YOUR HEART, YOUR PAIN, YOUR STRUGGLE, YOUR FEELINGS OF INADEQUACY, YOUR FEELINGS OF DOUBT, YOUR FEELINGS OF "LESS THAN" AND HE WILL MEET YOUR NEEDS.

And I also know that there is a scripture for EVERY one of these above mentioned feelings to attack them so that you can move through them and overcome!!!
So...I want to start attacking my OWN feelings with the Word. 
So I have a question for you?

Would you like to start memorizing a verse with me on a bi-weekly basis? I don't know about you, but I need to get in the Word and it needs to GET INTO MY HEART MORE. Let's do this together!
I will also be posting the verses on my Christian Working Mama FB Group so we can talk about the verses each week. Ask to join my Public group and I will accept you ASAP.

Let's get even more connected with God and with each other- linking arms to encourage and embrace our community of women and the Lord who brought us together.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Every Little Thing You Do Matters!

I am continuing to work through the Thrive program by Teri Johnson and am LOVING it. Everyday, I have been thinking about my "Hats" and who I am in those Hats and remembering that I can do small things to fulfill my purpose within these roles EVERYDAY. It really is very empowering and validating as I think about these things throughout my day.


For example-

When wearing my Daughter of the King Hat- I want to take time to read the Word. I want to pray on my way to work. I want to think about how much God loves me and thank Him throughout my day.

My Liz-Hat...I want to take better care of my body. THIS week- I thought of something simple-washing my face every night. Seriously- sounds so lame, but that has been an accomplishment for me. I get my jar of Noxzema, pull my hair back while the boys are in the bath and I wash.my.face and it feels like a little step to better self-care:)

My Wife Hat- I want to help my husband feel proud of himself professionally (I iron my husband's clothes), I want him to always know I love him (I can text him-"I love you"), I want to show him that I care about his needs (I can help him make dinner when he gets home late), I want him to know that what he is interested in is important to me (I can ask him questions about his interests-BASEBALL!).

Etc...

One of the things this activity has done for me, is shown me how significant even the smallest action is and to KNOW that I am fulfilling my purpose by what I am doing everyday, even in the "mundane". It is encouraging, and it is life-giving.

When I am doing the dishes for the millionth time I am fulfilling my purpose as the Supporter and Organizer of my Home.

When I text a friend and ask her how she is doing, I am fulfilling my purpose as a Faithful Friend.

When I sit with my son and help with him with homework, I am fulfilling my purpose as a Supportive Mom and when I play "ninja" with him afterwards I am fulfilling my purpose as a Fun Mom.

When I go to work and ask my client's questions and point out their strengths I am fulfilling my purpose as an Advocate for Person's with Disabilities.

SO I am saying YES to all of these things and am blessed as I do so.
What I am saying NO to- is the propensity for me to see what I am NOT accomplishing, or what is left over or UNDONE.

The truth is that I can really get down on myself somedays-feeling like I am not enough, or not doing enough and these activities have reminded me that with God's help-I am enough.

Are there things in your life that you KNOW you are showing up for, saying YES to? Of course there are! You are a working Mama, you do ALOT and ALL OF IT MATTERS- be mindful of these things and celebrate and thank God for them, every little thing matters. Strengthen your YES muscle. Be resolved to say YES to the life God has given you.

And when you see your plate overflowing, think about what you can say NO to. I've shared before that my biggest thing I am saying NO to right now is perfectionism and people-pleasing. Probably soon I will be cutting back on eating sugar late at night- it is not helping me in ANYWAY:)

I would LOVE to hear from you! Feel free to comment below!

And if you want to find some great on-line connection- Teri has a Keeping it Personal website and a Facebook Group that you can connect to.

God Bless!

Liz

Thursday, June 4, 2015

If there were a book dedicated to Christian Working Mothers, Giveaways and a Link to an Awesome Ministry!


There are books EVERYWHERE and I am a BIG fan of reading them. I don't have nearly enough time to read everything I want to read, but words are my friends and my oxygen, so books are one of my favorite things (think Sound of Music!)...

I would love, love, love to one day (in God's timing), write a book dedicated to all of you! The Bible is the most important book for you to be reading, right? That should already be clear. But sometimes, we need something that speaks right to where we are at and hence, why there are so many books out there. God gives people a message and we are privileged to hear it and be encouraged by it.

If there were a book dedicated to YOU, a Christian Working Mother...what would YOU want to read about? I mean, this has to be something you will WANT to carve out time, in your already busy day, to sit down and read, something that you can also go back to, so it is not a one-time deal, it contains something that will help you in the day to day life as a CWM.

There are no right or wrong answers...so even if you just share a few thoughts, that would be awesome. The more responses I get, the more I will begin to see if they is a need and if so, what direction to go in. I will share a secret though first...
I think I already have a NAME for the book- wanna hear it?

The Grace Party:  Invitation, Celebration and Rejuvenation for the Christian Working Mother

Because who doesn't need a boatload of grace and who doesn't love a good party? And because I need to feel invited and welcomed in this life and I need to learn how to celebrate right where I am and oh my goodness, do I need rejuvenation!

I have a ton of giveaways thanks to The Christian Working Woman. This is an excellent resource for a working women covering much needed topics. Check out their site and leave some comments below! I will select several of you for some awesome giveaways. And check out the The Christian Working Woman FB Group to get even more connected!
God Bless!

Liz

P.S.- Please consider taking the Christian Working Mother Survey to help me gain more information. Thank you!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Grace- Because I am Forever Learning What this Means


In the slow, steady rhythm of LIFE, the Spirit MOVES in and through and all around to give me peace, hope and joy. When I am close to God, I am loved so deeply and intimately, that He and I are one and my soul is full.

In the fast, rushing rhythm of BUSY, my Flesh MOVES in and controls, demands, manipulates all around to give me anxiety, fear and frustration. When I am far from God, I am lonely and isolated and my soul is empty.

Why would I choose to EVER move at the pace of SELF versus the PACE of GRACE? The PACE of GRACE is a PLACE where I REPLACE all that is NOT HIM with all that IS HIM and I TRACE the JOY and RELEASE the SAD.

The PACE OF GRACE is a PLACE where I can LIVE, AIDE and GROW, where I am SEEN, KNOWN and LOVED through the eyes of a HOLY GOD because of the BLOOD OF A PRECIOUS SAVIOR. In HIM, I can live in a PLACE of GRACE.

The PACE OF GRACE turns away from offenses and turns towards forgiveness, The FACE of GRACE is one of gentle, loving-kindness where nail-scarred hands HOLD TIGHT and KEEP STILL the desire to rush and move away towards the NOTHING that makes me think I am SOMETHING.

GRACE is all I HAVE and all I NEED and all I MUST GIVE. I want to pour OUT GRACE like a waterfall, never ending, powerful and strong. GRACE is STRONG, STRONG ENOUGH to beat down all SIN, all PAIN, all SHAME. GRACE ERASES...and I am MADE CLEAN OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

I want my WORDS to OOZE out GRACE with every syllable, phrase and sentence. For wounded souls to find that there is A GOD whose GRACE IS SUFFICIENT AND WHOSE POWER IS MADE PERFECT IN WEAKNESS.

ACCEPTING GRACE means I am what I am and I will be WHAT HE MAKES OF ME as I completely SURRENDER TO HIS EMBRACE.

THE EMBRACE OF GRACE IS THE PLACE OF SALVATION, REDEMPTION AND ABUNDANT LIFE.



Monday, June 1, 2015

What You Had to Say About Being a Working Mom



It has been a few months since my post...
What I Think God Has to Say to Working Mamas and to my complete shock, the post went viral, had approximately 800,000 hits and there was a conversation on this blog including approximately 160 comments. Some comments were tough to take in, but thankfully this community handled them well.

Most were amazingly encouraging! For those of you who need some encouragement- I want to share some of my favorite comments

to re-energize you in your role as a Christian Working Mama.

 I continue in my belief that women who work outside the home and who are Christians are just like any other mother; they struggle, they love being a Mom, they question themselves and they love the Lord. Working plays a factor in their lives and they need support, encouragement and perspective.

 I am also a firm believer that all Moms are working Moms and my blog is not intended to EVER divide but to unite Mamas.

 I am a firm believer that we need each other and belong to each other and I LOVED these comments and am sharing them again! (I underlined some of my favorite quotes...)

 Here they are:


   "...But the universal truth, that common invisible thread that connects all mothers , isn't altered by where we spend our weekdays. Is who we are dictated by whether we watch "Sesame Street" every morning and worry that we should be doing more, or plan million dollar mergers and worry that we should be doing less? Mothers. We're exhausted and fierce and courageous and frightened and proud and embarrassed and overjoyed and slightly hysterical and so much more.  We are blessed with the most awe inspiring and terrific responsibility imaginable and we need each other. As another sister commented, we DO need to build each other up. There are plenty waiting to take us down...ourselves included. They will know we are His disciples by our love. "

"...there is not just one way to be there for your family. Just like there is not just one way or one place to serve God. A loving mom is a loving mom. My mom was at home part of the time, working or going to university at other times. I'm glad and proud of her choices in each instance."

"...One thing I have learned through the years is that we, as women, need to respect the decisions each other makes. Each mom in each family has a different path to take, and hopefully is being led by the Holy Spirit. We need to encourage each other along the journey because life is difficult and as moms, we all share a common bond. Let's lift each other up and encourage one another to be the very best we can be for ourselves and our families!"

 ".... what you said is so true Elizabeth! These kids with the working mom see the woman who trusts God for every ounce of energy and the one who realizes that two hours of Settlers of Catan and having them pitch in to help with laundry may be the better life lesson right now. I still pine for the days when I got to manage our home full time. But I love the special presence of God in the struggle of today. God's joy to you! Thanks for sharing with us."

"The Bible nowhere forbids a woman from working outside the home. However, the Bible does teach what a woman’s priorities are to be. If working outside the home causes a woman to neglect her children and husband, then it is wrong for that woman to work outside the home. If a Christian woman can work outside the home and still provide a loving, caring environment for her children and husband, then it is perfectly acceptable for her to work outside the home. With those principles in mind, there is freedom in Christ."

"In the day to day world, I do find myself being lost at time, falling through the cracks per say. This spoke to my heart BC this is my struggle, I won't share it with others for fear of judgment and negativity. I cried tears of wow this said it all. I feel more open and know that maybe I am not alone when the day comes to a close...I pray for all moms going the extra mile and being selfless. I pray for strength and peace of mind that we are on the right path."

"Thank you so much for this!! I need this just at this time. As a wife, a mother of 4 very involved active kids and full time employee, I get so overwhelmed at times....and I feel like this. Thank you for reminding me that this is the life God has given me...just this way, it is Because of HIM I make it through 8 hours of work, followed by basketball/baseball games, homework, dinner, prayer and rest. And your right HE has put certain people in my life to help me out....making it known that this is all HIM. Again thank you!!"

*One of my favorites*

From...Retired kindergarten teacher & mother
"I have taught school for 30 years; mostly in kindergarten. In my experience I observed my best students were the ones who were loved, given encouragement, & taught respect, kindness, & self discipline. It didn't matter if the parents were both working, were single parents, or were stay at home  mothers. Even the students who were in before & after school care did great if their parents were loving. I also taught students from all 3 backgrounds who were disrespectful, unkind to others, & had no self discipline. Just my opinion, but loving parents interested in their children's lives were the key to  successful caring children. I did note that the most successful students usually had some kind of Christian background, but not always. So advice from an old retired teacher, just love your little ones, show an interest in what they do. If you have to work, then work, just make sure your child is in loving safe hands when you can't be with them. Also, again, my opinion take your children to church somewhere. Most churches will help you teach respect, kindness, & self discipline."



Hope these encourage you!

Liz