Feeling stressed about the holidays? Make this your new mantra.

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Thanksgiving countdowns, new recipes, fun activities, and perfectly decorated houses.

As I scroll through my Instagram feed, I can feel my chest begin to tighten. The thoughts start playing in my head…

You really should do that.

That’s a great idea.

Why aren’t you doing that?

I wish I had time for that.

I try to muster up plans to execute some of these great ideas I see beautifully displayed before me. Maybe I can squeeze the prep in after bed time. Perhaps we can do the activities quickly after breakfast.

My heart beats faster – but it’s not from excitement. It’s from panic. 

I’m in a season of life right now where I just don’t have time for a lot of extra activities. Honestly, I’m struggling to just get the essentials done. The thought of planning out and executing holiday activities, no matter how amazing they are, makes me feel a bit queasy.

Not exactly how you want to feel headed into a season of joy.

So, if the sight all all the holiday ideas, activities, and stuff is making you feel like crawling into a hole for the next two months. I want to share with you my favorite holiday mantra:

That’s a fun idea. Maybe next year.

Repeat after me: Maybe. Next. Year.

Feeling Stressed About the Holidays? Make this your mantra.

Why This Works

No one likes to feel like they are missing out. Whether it’s getting your house to look just the way you want or doing fun activities with your kids to guide them through the meaning of the season, we want to embrace all the excitement of the season.

However, reality says we only have so many hours in the day. Whether you have impending work deadlines, volunteer responsibilities, or spend your day keeping small children alive you are going to have to say no to some things. Maybe even a lot of things.

Fun things.

Good things.

How do you do that without feeling majorly bummed out?

That’s a fun idea. Maybe next year.

The mantra works for two reasons:

  1. You recognize that it is a fun idea. You don’t roll your eyes or say “pphhht, who has time for that?” You don’t devalue the hard work someone else put into their idea. It’s cool and you admit it. Let others be themselves without feeling like you need to be them too.
  2. You hold onto the hope that – if you still want to – you have the option to do it in the future. You don’t need to throw yourself a pity party because you can’t do allthethings. Screenshot it, pin it, or file it away and revisit it next year. I ogled Truth in the Tinsel for a few years before we were able to do it. And this year it probably won’t make the cut again. However, next year we will revisit and hopefully do it again!

Next time you find yourself pining over a sweet idea, try the mantra and see how you feel.

Stressed about the holidays? Make this your mantra.

 

Do This Instead of Doing It All

So, you can’t do it all. Then, what do you do?

First, check your focus. What truly matters the most during the holiday season?

I conducted a survey last year asking people what their favorite Christmas memory was. The results were staggering. Almost every single person’s memories revolved around relationships. 

Focus your attention and effort on the relationships around you. Make sure you don’t forget about your relationship with the One whom the season revolves around either.

Then, once you’ve got your focus right, here’s what you can do:

Pick one thing. 

Not one thing for now, one thing for tomorrow, and one thing for next week. Just one thing for now.

Just focus on that one thing.

Maybe you want to be intentional with discipling your kids during the holidays, maybe you really want to make your house feel cozy and festive, maybe you just really want to make time for a nap. Pick one thing and do it.

Once you’ve finished that one thing, revisit and pick another if you feel up to it.

Stressed about the holidays? Make this your mantra.

Give it a Spin

I really hope you give this a try! It might not help with all your holiday stressors (navigating family get-togethers anyone?), but I think it will truly help relieve the pressure of holiday perfection we so often feel.

As I continue my Instagram scrolling, I repeat my mantra a few more times. I put my phone away and attend to the life in front me.

My chest loosens. I take a deep breath.

I think our holidays are going to be just perfect as they are. 

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If I could go back and give advice to my newlywed self… (#3 of 4)

If I could go back and give advice to my newlywed self...

My little sister is getting married this Summer and it has got me thinking back to when I was preparing for my own wedding seven years ago. The excitement and the unknowns of it all. The first couple years of figuring out what marriage is all about.

The truth is, we’re still figuring out what this thing called marriage is all about, but if I could go back in time and share with my young(er) self my advice after seven years of marriage, I think I’d share four main things.

Today, I’d like to share the third thing.

 The trials you face will be some of the best things that happen-3

#3 The trials you face will be some of the best things that happen to you.

I covered this a little bit under my second post of this series, but I think it bears digging into further.

You are going to go through some tough stuff. However, you’re not going to want to change a thing. Here’s three reasons why…

#1 It will force you to lean on each other

Going through these difficulties will really spur you on to develop a mindset of tackling problems together. This mindset will continue to help build and strengthen your marriage when you face problems both big and small later on down the road.

With the right attitude, the problems you face will do an amazing job of bringing you closer together. Sometimes one of you may have to do more of the heavy lifting, and sometimes there might be tension to wade through, but if you stick together you’ll make it through.

One more added benefit to this is that, in the future, when you are struggling with the big decisions of life, you will know that whatever path you take you will be able to make it through it if you’re in it together.

#2 It will build your character

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-4

I hate to break it to you, but at the age of 21 you still have a lot of growing up to do. Just like our muscles don’t grow stronger when they aren’t used, that maturing is not going to happen unless your character is put to the test.

Both you and your husband will be stretched and molded by God through all these trials. Seven years later you will still be learning and growing every day, but by the grace of God, you will be much further along than when you started.

#3 It will draw you closer to God

Much like you must rely on each other to get through your struggles, you must even more so rely on God. You will learn that there are hurts and trials that only the Lord can be the strength to get you through.

Your faith and love for Him will be refined through the trials you face. He will truly become your Rock during these times.

Not only this, but looking back over your life, you will be able to greater realize God’s perfect plan for your life. So many things will not go the way you would have planned. Though you may grieve the loss of some of these plans, the joy brought from God’s will for your life will far outweigh that.

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps. – Proverbs 16:9

If I Could Give Advice To My Newlywed Self-3

What lessons have you learned through the trials in your life and marriage?

Stay tuned next week for the final installment in this series!

If I could go back and give advice to my newlywed self… (#2 of 4)

If I could go back and give advice to my newlywed self...

My little sister is getting married this Summer and it has got me thinking back to when I was preparing for my own wedding seven years ago. The excitement and the unknowns of it all. The first couple years of figuring out what marriage is all about.

The truth is, we’re still figuring out what this thing called marriage is all about, but if I could go back in time and share with my young(er) self my advice after seven years of marriage, I think I’d share four main things.

Today, I’d like to share the second thing.

Your attitude will affect more than you know

#2 Your attitude will affect more than you know

As a single person, your life has pretty much revolved around you. I don’t say that to mean you are a selfish, egotistical, brat – just that, especially the last three years, the main person your attitude and outlook on life has affected is you. 

Now that you are getting married, that’s about to change. 

Your attitude will affect not only how you see things, it will affect your husband, and someday your children. In the last seven years of marriage I’ve found that attitude is everything. Especially in these three areas…

If I Could Give Advice To My Newlywed Self

#1 Your Attitude in the Bedroom

I’m just going to come right out and say it – this area of marriage is going to be a lot easier for your husband than it is for you. I don’t know why, but this seems to be a common occurrence in marriage.

Your attitude can make or break this important aspect of your marriage. So, learn and grow and keep an open mind. I promise that the times that you decided to have a good attitude about it made marriage as a whole just that much better.

(If you are having difficulty in this area, I highly recommend the site To Love, Honor, and Vacuum)

If I Could Give Advice To My Newlywed Self

#2 Your Attitude when Facing Difficulties in Life

You are going to go through a lot in your first few years of marriage. Lots of moving, lots of craziness, and lots of busyness. There will be hardships and sickness, and yet also new life.

There will be some very hard moments.

The most important thing you can do is have the attitude of using these times to grow closer to God and closer to your husband.

Put away the “woe is me” attitude and tackle these problems together. Cling to God to be your strength. Do this and you will find that God used these times to refine your individual character and grow your marriage bond even stronger.

If I Could Give Advice To My Newlywed Self

#3 Your Attitude when Going about the Day to Day

You’d think that it would be these big trials of life that would cause the most stress on your marriage. However, you’ll come to see that’s not necessarily true.

Sometimes it’s easier to rally together to tackle the big problems. You know you’ll need to depend on each other, so that helps to drive you together. It’s when you have seemingly clear skies ahead that you’ll see you need to be on the lookout for problematic attitudes.

The day to day, mundane activities of normal life. The laundry, the dishes, the vacuuming, and did I mention the laundry? It’s when you settle into the comfortable routines of life and stop intentionally building your relationship. It’s in these ruts that we can so easily develop destructive thought patterns…

Why doesn’t he see I need help?

If he really cared I wouldn’t have to ask him not to do that.

I’m too tired for that.

I think I’d rather just do my own thing.

It’s these day to day attitudes that creep in without much fanfare that you have to watch out for. They can easily build resentment and distance in a marriage. Not to mention they don’t actually do anything to solve any real problems that might be there.

If I Could Give Advice To My Newlywed Self-2

Sometimes it may seem hard to change your attitude, especially when things are in a rough patch. However, I assure you, with God’s help, you can do it. I leave you with this admonishment…

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. -Philippians 4:8

 

The Treadmill of Mothering Small Children

The Treadmill of Mothering Small

The afternoon felt like I was stuck in that movie Groundhog’s Day.

At this point my 8 week old was starting to fall into some semblance of predictable routines. He woke for the day around the same time, stayed up for a while, cat napped the rest of the morning, and then usually took a longer nap around 1 or 2.

At about 1:30 it seemed pretty obvious that he was getting tired and needed to take that longer nap. I finished up lunch and started looking forward to spending the afternoon catching up on house work (bad move – never count those chickens!).

Then began the seemingly endless cycle. Nurse, rock, lay down baby. Try to start working on something. Baby wakes up 10 minutes later. Play with smiley baby, rock cranky baby, nurse again, lay down. Baby wakes up 3 minutes later. Rock baby. Baby falls asleep in arms. Moments before attempting the lay down baby’s eyes open wide and he smiles as if to say “gotcha.”

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Oh, you thought I was sleeping, mom? 

I tried retreating to the bedroom, where he does such a good job sleeping at night. I rocked. I nursed. I set him in his bed. Happy, sleepy, and sucking on a paci.

I ran downstairs and cleaned the dining room for 15 minutes like a mad woman while listening to my baby cry over the monitor. Mom guilt crept in (I never let big brother cry like that this young!).

I climbed the stairs to the bedroom and peeked over the side of the crib. My good natured little boy smiled at the sight of his mommy. He wanted to be happy and play, but what he really needed was sleep. I tried one more time.

Rock.

Nurse.

Rock.

He drifted off to sleep.

Eyes pop open. “Just kidding mom!

It was 4 pm. I finally gave up.

I carried him downstairs and big brother entertained him in the swing while I managed to finish washing the dishes.

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But who could be mad at this face?

I had begun the work of cleaning the kitchen that morning when I started unloading the dishwasher at breakfast…

…and had finished just in time to start cooking dinner.

Sometimes life with little ones feels like a treadmill. Walking and walking, but going nowhere.

Like life is on repeat. Feed, clothe, soothe. Discipline, teach, correct. Walk, walk, walk – still in the same place.

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Didn’t I just feed you?

So often it feels like there is so much I want to do in life, but instead I spend the day just getting the bare minimum done. If that.

But is that really the case?

Let’s rewind this day back to the beginning again.

The day began with a late start due to extra morning snuggles with my two little boys. (Pouring into K’s love language – physical touch)

I fed my son breakfast, read him his Bible, and helped him with some preschool activities (Enriching his body, spirit, and mind)

I spent the afternoon caring for a baby who needed a little extra TLC. (Meeting his need for attachment and teaching him that mommy loves him, hears him, and can be trusted)

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Sleepy snuggles while doing computer work? Could life get any better?

All that and I managed to do the dishes? I’ll call that a win.

It’s all in your perspective.

That.. and a lot of grace.

 

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IBG Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum

Dear Mom of a Newborn…

Dear Mom of a Newborn

Dear Mom of a Newborn,

It gets easier.

I promise.

You’re sitting there, feeling pain in places you didn’t know you even had, holding this tiny being that completely depends on you, and you’re wondering. Wondering what life will look like now. Wondering how you’re going to balance it all. Wondering if you’ll ever get to take a shower that lasts longer than 2 minutes again.

Mama. I get it.

And you know what?

You’ll figure it out.

As my second baby is now ending his newborn phase I experienced all these thoughts for the second time around.

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“How will I get anything done with two to care for?”

“Will my house always look like a tornado just came through?”

“Will I ever get to take a shower for more than 2 minutes again?!”

“And where is child #1?”

However, from the haze of the first few weeks, months, I have emerged. And you know what?

It got easier.

We have good days. We have bad days. But we’re figuring out our new rhythm.

Because that’s life. It gets hard. Then it gets easier. Then it’s hard and easy at the same time. It’s up and down and all over the place. But there is nothing that life can throw at you that you can’t take.

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So we adjust.

We finally figure out how to nurse the baby with only one hand.

We learn to get the basics done as soon as we lay the baby down for a nap. Because who knows if we have 2 minutes or 2 hours.

We corral the older sibling in a nearby area so we can keep an eye on him.

We celebrate the small things – getting through the grocery store in one piece, sleeping in ever increasing increments, finally getting to take that shower.

So, as you sit there and cradle that tiny little one, please know. You got this. You will have days when it doesn’t seem that way. And on those days you’ll need to lean hard into the strength of the Savior. Kiss those sweet baby toes and pray a prayer to just get through another day.

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Then. One day you’ll wake up and realize. You’ve found your new normal.

You’ve got this Mama.

Thank Goodness God’s Not Like Me

Thank Goodness God's Not Like Me - www.simplelifemessylife.com

Bitter words they can’t really even comprehend pour out of my mouth.

“Kids! Please just play nicely! Everyone will have so much more fun if we treat others how we want to be treated.”

“That’s it! Time out! Now. You’re done.”

“You see? I told you this was going to happen if you didn’t listen to me!”

Wow. Toddlers sure could be frustrating and I was exasperated. Why wouldn’t they just listen?! Everything would be so much easier if they could just use a little bit of common sense. I wasn’t trying to make their lives miserable, but they sure seemed to think it was fun to try and make mine.

In case you couldn’t tell, I had a horrible attitude.

Then, a thought came mind.

What if this was how God treated humanity? 

After all, we must seem an awful lot like foolish toddlers to Him.

“Come on humanity, can’t you just be kind to each other? I’ve condensed it all down to two simple rules! Follow them already!”

“Now, see – I told you these horrible things were going to happen if you didn’t listen to me!”

“Alright, you’re done. That is it! I’ve had enough of you and your attitude!”

Needless to say, if God had my short temper I’d have been done for a long time ago. Dealing with humankind must be beyond frustrating, yet still He loves us and responds to our foolishness with grace and mercy.

The challenge is showing that same grace and mercy to the imperfect people around me.

“The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.”
-Psalm 145:8 

Thank goodness for mercy.
And thank goodness God is nothing like me.

Do you struggle with a short temper some days? What do you do to help keep things in perspective?

Two Simple Things That Have Made A Big Difference In Our Family

2 Simple Things That Made a Big Difference For Our Family

When the new year rolled around, like millions of others, my husband and I sat down to discuss what areas we felt needed improvement. Being the imperfect creatures we are, the list ended up being quite long!

We started January with high hopes to make some changes – both personally and for our family. We made a plan to focus on the things we felt were the most important and we set out to put our plan in action. And it worked… until it didn’t. Since then we’ve fallen on and off the New Years resolutions bandwagon more than once.

However, there have been two simple things that we’ve been able to keep up with that have made a huge impact in our family.

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#1 Nightly Walks

This goal was originally made for the purpose of starting a healthy habit – and getting this pregnant lady moving each day! However, I never would have guessed what it would do for our family.

Almost every night when my husband gets home from work we head out for a walk around our neighborhood. It takes us about 45 minutes and we usually get back just in time to eat dinner. While this does give us some good exercise, the biggest benefit is a side product of the walk – conversation.

We push the stroller, walk briskly, and talk. We talk about our days, we talk about our plans, we talk through our problems. We brainstorm together, dream together, laugh together, and yes, sometimes have an argument as well.

Conversely, on the nights that we stay home (for whatever reason) we tend to go about the business of the evening and never get into the same depth of conversation.

In order for these nightly walks to happen, we have had to make sure it is a priority. We encourage each other to keep up the habit and I’ve had to make sure K and I are ready to head out when dad gets home. Although sometimes we’ve gone for our walk after dinner, we definitely prefer to go before we eat. Because of this, I have to make sure as much of dinner as is possible is prepared in advance so we can eat as soon as we get home.

The work is worth it though. We’ve grown closer as a couple and even K looks forward to our nightly stroll!

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#2 No TV until 8pm

Now, those of you who don’t even have a TV to begin with are way ahead of us in this area, but this has been a big thing for us. It used to be that my husband liked to come home from work and decompress by watching TV. However, the TV would end up staying on all night. It sucked us in and didn’t let go.

So, for Lent this year I suggested changing our TV habits. After some discussion we settled on no TV until 8pm, K’s bedtime.

Now, in the evening we go for our walk and then eat dinner together around the table (or as of late, the picnic table!). Daddy and K have time to hang out for a while before K’s bedtime and I have nothing distracting me from either cleaning up the kitchen or joining in the playtime. If we have anything that needs to be discussed further or any to-do’s that need to get done, they are much more likely to happen with the TV off.

This has been so nice for our family. We interact. We make memories. And I have a better chance of waking up to a clean kitchen. 🙂

Then, K gets put to bed and the final stage of the evening can happen – relaxing together while we watch our favorite shows. A time that we both thoroughly enjoy even more without having had the TV on all night already.

Lent may be over, but this is one habit that we will be keeping up.

Well, those are the two simple things that have made a big difference for us. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with that long list of things you need to improve on. However, you can’t forget about the little things you have accomplished that make a difference in your life.

Do you have any little changes you’ve made that have made a difference in your family? I’d love to hear them!

My Husband Travels for Work: 10 Tips for Transitioning Home

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After spending an extended amount of time away from my husband over the last two years, I’ve taken some time to reflect on the process of returning to doing life together again. Today I’m guest posting over at To Love, Honor, and Vacuum about what I’ve found are my top ten tips to make this a smooth transition.

I’d love it if you would come join us over there!

My Husband Travels for Work: 10 Tips for Transitioning Home

 

 

 

No Fuss Potty Training – How We Did It

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For months leading up to our big move I would tell him, “when we move we are getting rid of the diapers and you are going to wear undies!” I would quiz him: “what are we doing with your diapers when we move?” Once we did move, I knew I didn’t want to spend any more money on diapers, so together we watched the last basket slowly dwindle. I told him, “I’m not buying anymore. When they are gone, you are going to wear undies.”

Well, that day came sooner then I was ready for. I was still unpacking, the house was a disaster, and I had a to-do list a mile high. I seriously contemplated buying just one more pack of diapers and sneaking them into the basket, hoping he wouldn’t notice. But, I didn’t. I decided to stick to what said and we went for it – ready or not! He averaged one (or maybe two) accidents for a couple days and then he was good to go. It hasn’t even been two weeks now and he is accident free and able to go run errands, play by himself in his room, and go potty all by himself when he needs to.

So, how did I manage to so quickly and easily potty train my 2 1/2 year old? Well, I am sure a lot of it has to do with his personality, but I thought I would share a few things that I think really helped make the transition from diapers to underwear easier. Before I delved into potty training I read pretty much every potty training article I came across. I loved seeing how everybody did it and what worked for them and what didn’t. I hope that you are able to pick out a few things from our experience to make potty training that much easier for you!

Here we go…

1. We started using the toilet early. 

Before K was born, I happened to read about this really neat thing called elimination communication. If you’ve never heard about it, it is basically a method of learning your baby’s signals early on and helping them eliminate using the toilet instead of a diaper. You can read more about it here. While we didn’t do full-blown EC, we did use some of the principles off and on. I taught K how to use the potty when he was just a tiny baby, and had him use it fairly regularly while he was a baby/young toddler. I think this really helped because it meant that using the toilet wasn’t a completely foreign concept to him when he made the transition to being potty trained. I’ve known of a lot of kids who are scared of the toilet or reluctant to use it and seeing it as a normal part of their life from early on can really help avoid that.

2. We knew he was “ready.” 

This is a tip you will hear over and over again and it can be a hard one to actually put into practice! What does it even mean to be ready? For us, ready meant two things. First, that K was ready to be taught to use the toilet and, second, that he was able to use the toilet by himself (pulling his pants down, etc). When K was 18 months old we decided to give early potty training a shot. It went really well for about a week and then he lost interest. I think in many ways he could have be ready then, but it would have taken a lot more effort and time on our part to see it through. Because of that, we ended up putting it on hold. Due to life circumstances and the schedules we were on, it didn’t make a lot of sense to try again until this summer, after we made a 14 hour move. At that point, he was definitely ready!

3. We talked about it constantly.

Little kids understand and remember a lot more than we often give them credit for. Months before our move I started talking to K about how he was going to wear undies after we moved. I reinforced it whenever I could. We would talk about it to Grandma, to daddy, to anyone who would listen! We said we were going to throw away the diapers. We said he was going to be a big boy. Almost every time I changed his diaper we would talk about it. We watched as his last basket of diapers dwindled to nothing, and when I asked him if he wanted to put on some underwear, he was totally ready and excited.

4. We didn’t make a big fuss about it. 

Other than talking about it a lot, I didn’t make a big fuss over potty training. If you remember, I was still unpacking and had a lot to do! There was no three day potty training boot camp. I didn’t give him salty snacks and load him up on juice so he would pee more. There were no charts or treat jars. I didn’t contain him to one room. I didn’t drag him to the toilet every 15 minutes. Basically, I just put some underwear on him and we went with it! I put a little potty in the living room and he had a potty seat insert in his bathroom upstairs. I eventually put another little potty in his bedroom too. For clean-up, I kept it simple with disinfectant wipes for the potties and a bottle of vinegar and some rags to clean up accidents.

5. We used positive language to avoid power struggles. 

Somewhere between 1 1/2 and 2 years old, K started really resist me taking him to the toilet. I decided to not push the issue and only took him when he wanted to go. I knew that I didn’t want to have that same problem with potty training, so when I read about someone who didn’t make their child use the bathroom during potty training, I knew that was what we needed to do. The only times he was required to use the toilet were before bed and before we went out somewhere. Other than that, I would just frequently remind him to “keep his underwear dry” and to “use the toilet if he needed to go potty.” I think I said those things a couple thousand times! If he had an accident, I just helped him get to the toilet quickly and said “uh oh, make sure you go on the toilet next time!” Keeping the language positive really helped. I wasn’t forcing a stubborn toddler to do anything and because we had talked about it so much and I encouraged him a lot, he was excited to do it on his own.

6. We went with a big(ger) reward.

Instead of giving him treats every time he used the toilet, I told him early on that once he was keeping his undies dry I would buy him some super hero underwear. Super heroes were a new obsession, so it was the perfect reward to help give him just a little extra motivation. When he would have an accident, I would remind him about the reward as encouragement to keep trying. When he finally was staying dry we went to the store and picked some out. He was so excited and proud of himself!

7. We trained him to go on his own. 

This was probably one of the most important things for me. I didn’t want to have to remind him constantly or make him use the bathroom every 30 minutes. I wanted him to recognize he had to go and just go all by himself. What can I say? I’m just lazy like that! So, from the beginning I had him do as much as he could by himself. I do usually ask him if he needs any help when he says he has to go and I help him wipe a lot of the time, but for the most part he does go all by himself.

I really couldn’t believe that the potty training transition went as smoothly as it did. I must admit, I was a little nervous! However, it just goes to show that potty training doesn’t have to be all horror stories! Hopefully some of what we did can help in your potty training endeavors. If you have any questions or tips of your own, please share them in the comments below! 

And… Keep your fingers cross for us. We have the ultimate potty training test coming up this weekend – a 16 hour car trip!

When I Don’t Want My Child To Obey

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My blood was boiling. It felt like the tension inside was going to break me into a million pieces. The last string of patience I could muster snapped.

My thoughts whirled.

“Why does this always have to happen?”

“Can’t I just have a few minutes of peace?!”

“That is it!”

Words spewed out of my mouth like poison.

Anger. Frustration. Bitterness.
Hurtful words. Shaming words.
Little eyes wide open, taking it all in.

Finished with my lecture, I collapsed at the kitchen table. I regained control of my racing pulse and pushed back the tears. My heart felt like it was a million pounds.

What had I done?

I opened my Bible and tried to pray. But I was overcome with remorse. I gained obedience, but at what cost?

It was then I knew that I didn’t want obedience like that. I didn’t want to teach my child (or any child) that you obey the person who hurts you. I want my child to obey me because of my calm authority as his mother, not because I know which words will cut at his heart.

I love my child and I want it to show. Even when I am frustrated.

And I must admit, I am far from perfect. The life I lead is often a messy one. However, I’m trying my best to take my parenting lessons from the best Father of all. The One who is slow to anger and abounding in mercy. The One who never shames, but holds out abundant grace and invites me to sin no more. The One who is ever just and lets me reap the consequences of what I sow, but who never deserts me along the way.

This is the Father I want my child to know as well.
So, I swallow my pride and I ask for forgiveness from the little one that I hurt, pointing him to the One who will never fail him.

 

Have you had a messy moment this week? I hope you will join me in casting my burdens at the feet of a Father who cares.