Children Are Great Imitators

Last week I was reminded that sometimes my actions speak louder than words.

I try my best to wake up early every day and spent some time in God’s Word. In the mornings when Mackenzie wakes up, I am normally sitting in my keeping room reading my Bible.

The other night she made the comment that she wanted to start doing her quiet time before school and asked if I could wake her up at 5:30 am.

I told her that was too early and that she needed her sleep.

At 5:45 am the next day, I heard footsteps and there she was. She sat with me and read her devotional book and filled it out. I helped her find verses in the Bible that she had to read. It was a special morning.

When I picked her up from school that afternoon, she mentioned that a girl was mean to her that day. But she also told me that she chose to be nice to her because in her devotional she read that we should love and pray for our enemies.

“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” Matthew 5:44

She had no idea that I needed to hear this message that day.

I’ve never really forced my kids to have a quiet time. I will read a devotional to them in the mornings here and there, but nothing consistently. Mackenzie is my child who loves to read her devotional book and is very disciplined about it.

But the fact that she does it just based on what she sees in me, reminds me that our children are watching. Our actions speak louder than our words sometimes and this was a perfect example of that.

I was also challenged to do better about encouraging them out loud to have a daily quiet time and to go back to reading a daily devotional with them each day.

I know how much better my day goes after I spend time in God’s Word and I want them to experience the same.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

If you don’t have a daily quiet time, I encourage and challenge you to start. Just five minutes a day, sit and talk to Jesus and read His Word. You can read a chapter in Proverbs a day or read a Psalm a day. Fill your soul, heart and mind with His truth. As you begin to practice this, it will spill over into your family.

As you love the Lord with all your heart soul and mind, you will see that you will use every opportunity to share it with your kids. Use learning opportunities to share God’s truths with them. Remind them of who they are in Christ and encourage them by using God’s Word.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:5-9

We don’t have to be perfect. We just have to be consistent. Children are great imitators so let’s give them something great to imitate!

Have a great day, friends!

XO

Be You, Do You! You Are Loved!

Good morning, friends! Happy Monday!! Anyone else counting down the days before Spring Break? I can’t believe how fast this school year has gone. Once Spring Break is over, I feel like the countdown to summer begins. And we LOVE summer around here.

This morning I wanted to share a little bit of my heart. I shared this quote on my Instagram stories last week and so many of you commented on it.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in what everyone else is doing and how seemingly perfect their life seems to be.

I actually just did that today as I read a blog post from another blogger. She always seems to have it all together and she’s incredibly organized. I allowed my mind to go there. You know where there is…the pit of “I wish I could be her.”

I began to wish that I was more organized, more efficient with my time, a better mom, a better cook… you get the picture. I began to wish for better and more.

Thankfully my husband quickly bounced me back by reminding me that nothing is as perfect as it seems.

And not to say her life isn’t great! She just has strengths that are different than mine. And that’s ok!

We are all different. God did not make us the same. And thank goodness He didn’t because how boring would that be?

But even though He didn’t make us the same, guess what? He does love us the same!

He loved us all enough to send His only son to take our place and die for our sins.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

And this love, we don’t have to work for it. We don’t have to earn it. We don’t have to do one thing. God loves us just because. And He offers us a gift. A gift that we don’t have to work for. And that gift is eternal life. All He asks of us is to choose Him. And when we do, He promises us a life with Him for eternity.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

I know that it’s easy to compare our life to those that we see on social media. It’s easy to go down that road of saying our lives aren’t as good as so and so. But I’m here to tell you that your life is exactly what God has designed it to be. And when we look at someone’s life and wish for what they have, it keeps us from seeing all of the blessings that God is pouring into our life.

There’s a difference in being encouraged by someone’s life and being envious of someone’s life. And being encouraged is where I want to be.

I heard something a while ago that I’ve tried to put into practice when I feel comparison begin to steal my joy. It’s super easy to do and I want to encourage you to do the same.

It’s quite simple actually, when you feel yourself begin to get jealous or envious choose to compliment that person instead. Choose to be a cheerleader. It forces your brain to turn those negative thoughts into positive ones and it completely changes your mindset.

Instead of ignoring their post or stories, choose to comment and cheer them on instead. It may feel forced at first, but it will become second nature. I promise, I’ve done this and it’s changed my life so much. I suffered for years with discontent. And I refuse to allow myself to go down that hole again.

Sure, I still have my moments like I had today but I’m able to bounce back a lot quicker. I’m able to say, “gosh, she’s such an amazing mom and wife but so am I. Our lives just look different.” I’m able to believe that God may have given us different strengths and talents, but his love for both of us is the same.

And it also allows me to ask her for advice in the areas that she’s good at. I’ve learned so much from this particular blogger. Her posts about organization and time management have helped me tremendously.

And that wouldn’t have happened, had I let comparison get in the way.

Comparison not only steals joy. It has the power to steal friendships and families.

It’s ok to want to better our life just don’t convince yourself that your life right now isn’t great. Work towards goals while enjoying your journey.

So today I want to challenge you to be a cheerleader. When that post pops up in your feed that makes your skin crawl with envy and jealousy comment something positive. Compliment that person. Just do it once and see how it makes you feel. I can promise you that instead of dwelling on how much better their life is for the rest of the day…you will actually think about it only for a second and then it will be gone.

We have to be content. We have to work on our families and our lives. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. It’s greener where you water it.

Stop trying to be her. Be you. Work on you. Do you. Water your family and choose to look for the good every single day.

I can promise you that her kids are throwing tantrums, too. She has bad days, too. She needs encouragement, too. Nobody is perfect.

I know that this post is all over the place, but I really hope that I was able to truly get my point across this morning.

If anything, I just want you to know that you are loved by the King. Joseph shared a song with me yesterday that’s on repeat right now. And one of the phrases that stuck with Joseph was this, “I’ll never be more loved than I am right now.”

Friend, He loves you. He loves you so very much. He created you and designed you for a purpose. Don’t devalue your purpose by trying to be someone else. Be who God made you to be. And if you feel like you aren’t there yet, then join the club. This life is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. We are all working towards our purpose. A purpose we will not achieve until we are in glory with Him!

Fight the fight. Fight YOUR fight.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7-8

I love y’all!! Click here to listen to the song Joseph shared with me. Make sure you listen to the lyrics. They are powerful!

XO

What Are You Picking Up?

Morning, friends!! Today I want to share a devotional from Proverbs 31 Ministries by Arlene Pellicane.

I read it this morning and talk about conviction. It’ll only take a couple of minutes! You can read it, here.

I am so guilty of this and truly needed to read this today. I hope this challenges and encourages you today.

Have a GREAT Monday!!

XO

Speaking Life Over Our Children

Hi, friends! I hope y’all are having a great week. We are halfway there and the weekend is in sight.

Today, I wanted to share something that is near and dear to my heart. It’s something that I write about often and share every chance I get because it truly changed our lives.

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine shared on social media how they do affirmations with their kids every day. I asked her about it and she shared some of the affirmations that they repeat. She talked about how it had made such a difference in her kids’ lives. I also had another friend that shared on a podcast that they do affirmations with their kids every night.

It’s like God was trying to tell me that I needed to do this.

During that time, I began to notice that my kids were struggling with self-confidence. One of our kiddos was going through some hard things and my heart hurt for them. There’s nothing like watching your child struggle emotionally. It makes you feel so helpless because you are fighting with all the noise around them. Especially as they get older. There’s so much fighting for their attention.

I’ve learned that as a parent we can’t keep troubles away . Just as we struggle and go through hard things, they are going to do the same. And although there may be situations where I feel like I can’t do anything to help them , I’ve learned that I can pray. And that’s one of the most powerful things that I can do.

Because of my friend and the podcast, I learned that not only can I pray for them…I can also speak life over them. And I can teach them to speak it over themselves, too.

My friend sent me some examples of affirmations that she found on the internet. I started with those and then added specific affirmations for each of my children based on their current struggle.

For example, we had one of our kiddos that was dealing with the loss of some friendships and was feeling lonely. This kid also struggled with being happy for others. So we would make this child repeat, “I am a good friend. I am happy for others.”

Another one of our kids struggled with being afraid and anxious so we added to their list, “I am not anxious. I am not afraid. I can do hard things.”

And one of the Eterno kiddos struggles with being slow to anger. So their affirmations included, “I am slow to anger. I think before I speak.”

Here are some that we began to say every single night:

I am strong. I am not afraid. I am not anxious. I am healthy. I can do hard things. I am a good brother/sister. I am a good friend. I loved God. I am a child of God. I am brave. I am smart. I am focused. I am a good student. I love my mom and dad. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. God loves me. I am a conqueror in Christ. I am happy for others. I work hard. I am a good team player. I am slow to speak and slow to anger. I am God’s masterpiece.

And we always, always ended with, “I am an Eterno.”

When we first started, I realized how low their self-confidence was. They felt weird saying these statements to describe themselves. And honestly the first nights were hard because they thought it was silly and they didn’t want to do it.

One of our kids struggled and almost refused to say “I am happy for others.” They had so much bitterness and hate in their heart over this and God used this statement to breakthrough in their life.

I underestimated the power of speaking life over ourselves and our children and the Lord used these affirmations to work powerfully in all of our lives.

When Joseph and I would go out of town, they would call us individually and ask us to please say their affirmations with them. We would say them and they would repeat them.

I won’t forget when Jojo came home one day telling us about being afraid and nervous while he waited to find out if he made the sports team. He told us all he kept saying to himself was, “I am not afraid. I am not anxious.”

When Mary tried out for the cheerleading team, she told us that she kept repeating, “I can do hard things.”

And Mackenzie has told us that when she wants to get mad she repeats, “ I am slow to speak. I am slow to anger.”

It makes my momma heart happy and proud and thankful that my friend shared this with me.

God moved in the lives of my children through the power of our words and I will never stop thanking Him and telling others about it.

Proverbs 18:21 says,

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

Our words have power. And as parents, Joseph and I realized that our words towards our children were not life-giving. We weren’t building our kids up and that had to change.

We began to change our words even when disciplining our kids.

When they get in trouble we reiterate that that is not who they are. If they lied, we tell them “that is not who you are. You are not a liar. You just made a bad choice. You are a good kid.”

It’s truly amazing to watch your kids grow in confidence before your very eyes.

Here are a couple of examples that I found on Pinterest.

And y’all, don’t just do this with your children. Do it with yourself. Speak life over your life. Quit telling yourself that you are dumb and can never do anything right. 1 Peter 2:9 says,

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

You are His special possession. I love that. Believe it for yourself and speak it over your children.

I hope this helps! If you want to know more, send me an email or message. I’m always happy to share.

I hope y’all have a wonderful Wednesday, friends!

XO

Praying For Our Children

A couple of years ago I began to feel a huge burden over the lives of my children. I felt like God was telling me that I needed to do more as their mom. He pressed on my heart to be intentional about praying for my kids and so every day, I prayed. I didn’t know exactly what God was asking of me, but I do know He was making me realize that my time with them is short and I needed to be more intentional in praying for them.

You can read the post here. I encourage you to read it. It has so much of what I have on my heart right now and struggling to put into words.

I always pray for my kids, but just like God did a couple of years ago, He is doing again. He has placed this huge burden again on my heart for my kids. And if I’m being honest, the focus is on the older two right now. They are in 6th and 7th grade, 13 and 12 and right in the midst of those dreaded middle school years.

If I can be honest, we’ve had a tough year. Not terrible, but tough. I feel like the enemy is roaming around trying to find ways to distract our children. It’s like this black cloud is looming over them. On Sunday at church our pastor asked those who needed a miracle in their life to come forward so that he could pray for them. We’d had a bit of a rough morning with one of our kiddos so I was super emotional. I looked over at Joseph and with tears in my eyes I told him that we needed to go to the front and have our pastor pray for our kids.

Now let me say, I have three amazing kiddos. They haven’t done anything out of the ordinary for teenage kids, but I do see the struggle in their lives. The struggle of growing up and being in their teen years. The struggle of trying to find their significance and acceptance in their peers instead of in Jesus. I also see their hearts hurt when they feel left out or rejected and for a momma heart that is crushing.

I know that when God puts a burden on my heart, I must pray. In the book, Church of the Small Things the author says this, “I know the darkness wants to come for our kids.  I know that evil is everywhere and looking for a chance to whisper to them that they are less than, that they’re inadequate, that they’ll never be enough, and that their lives don’t matter.” (Pg. 104)

This terrifies me. The thought of the enemy trying to entice my kids to believe his lies brings a fear into my soul that I’ve never experienced before.

As an adult, social media can be hard. I can get caught up in the comparison trap when I see the pretty, filtered and perfect pictures of someone else’s house, body and life. I can fall into the trap of believing that what I have to offer isn’t good enough and I’m not pretty or skinny enough. I can also fall into the trap of assumption and rejection. I can assume that I’m rejected when I see everyone at a get together that I didn’t receive the invite to. This is me, as an adult. I am almost 40 years old and when I am not careful, social media crushes my heart and I begin to believe the lies the enemy is throwing at me. So think about how our kids feel as they scroll through their social media. If it affects us this much, you know it affects them so much more!

This isn’t a debate over if kids should have social media or not. That is totally a decision for each parent and honestly I don’t think there’s a general right answer. What ever you choose for your family is YOUR right answer and that’s ok.

More than ever, I am feeling the saying that the days are long and the years are short. Everyone was right when they said these middle school years would fly by and now I have an 8th grader who is closer to high school every single day. The realization that I have less than five years with him in my house before he goes off to college is beginning to sink in. Shoot, it’s not beginning to sink in. It’s there!

So what do we do? How do we keep our kids from falling off the way of the Lord?

Well, we can’t keep them from falling. They aren’t perfect, neither are we! They will fall, they will mess up and make mistakes. But we can choose to love them through those failures and mistakes just as our Heavenly Father loves us. We can show them the love of Jesus by loving them regardless of what they do.

I also think that now more than ever we must remind our kids that their true identity and security are found in Christ. They need to believe that they are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for them to do (Ephesians 2:10). I think this is especially important for our girls. Tell your kids how beautiful they are and how God created them fearfully and wonderfully. Instill in them the confidence in knowing that they do not need to seek the attention of their peers to feel loved. They not only have our love, but the love of Christ Jesus.

Most importantly, we need to pray for our kids. We must take time every single day and be intentional about going to God and interceding for these precious gifts that He’s given to us. Prayer is the most powerful weapon we have, but at times it’s the one we use the least. Be bold, be persistent, be specific and pray for your kids. Cry out to God. Tell Him their struggles and ask God to help them. Ask God to protect their heart, mind and eyes from whatever the enemy throws their way.

Yes, it’s true, darkness is after our children. It’s true that the enemy is looming around them, but you know what else is true? Our God is near to them and He is protecting them from evil. He is shielding them from harm, but we must do our part and pray. Will we keep troubles away? No. Troubles will come. But they won’t go through them alone. God will always be on their side.

My dad and mom prayed for me every single day. My mom still continues to pray for me and I know that their prayers kept me from so much. I was led astray, I was the rebellious child, but in the end I still chose Jesus. I always came back to what was true. The troubles and hardships that I experienced shaped me into who I am today and are now helping me parent my own children. In a way, I understand their struggles because I went through them too.

I don’t know if this encouraged you today, but I hope it did. Honestly, I have so much going on in my head and my heart, but I’m having trouble typing it all out. I do know this, I am not alone and neither are you. We are all in this same struggle of raising good kids who love the Lord. We are all carrying similar burdens. So take heart today in knowing that you are not the only one struggling with this. And remember that in your struggles, God is with you. Our troubles may seem big, but we serve a God who is bigger. Our fears don’t scare him one bit and He goes before us in everything we encounter. Rest in that today.

I am praying Numbers 6:24-25 over my children every day just like my daddy prayed over me and I invite you to do the same.

“The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”

May God’s presence go before us, behind us, beside us, all around us and within us. Remember this: God is for you.

Love you, friends. Thank you for reading along and letting me spill my heart ❤️.

XO

Monday Motivation: One Bite at a Time!

Happy, happy Monday! I’ve got to admit that when the alarm went off at 4:10 this morning, I wished that Mondays really were optional ha! But I sucked it up and got up and got going.

After a lot of conviction and nudging from God, I set out last week to be more productive with my days. I am all about a “lazy” day, but I had let myself get to a place where I was having more lazy days than non lazy days. I am, by nature, a very disciplined person but I am also a huge procrastinator.

I found my days sitting around, looking at my phone and then looking at the clock and an hour had gone by. I began to feel God telling me that I was not being a good steward of my time. I put things on the back burner because in my mind I didn’t have the time, but in reality, I wasn’t making the time.

I always know when God is speaking to me when everything points to the same thing. In my devotional and book I am reading, it talked about habits and doing the hard things. In the message yesterday our pastor reminded us that we make time for things that are important to us. It was definitely a “ok God, I get it already,” moment.

So last week I set out to be productive and I wanted to share with you what I did in hopes that maybe it will help and encourage you.

The first thing I did was wake up and get up when the alarm went off. I forced myself to not hit the snooze button. Some days were definitely easier than others. I decided that I would wake up at 4:10 so that I could do my “blaire strength” workout and then make sure that I could have my quiet time before waking Mackenzie up to start her day. I reminded myself that I would be so happy that I got it in early and didn’t have to find the time later in the day.

I had my quiet time everyday. This is a non-negotiable for me. It is a must. My time with God is something that I desperately need everyday. I love devotionals that I can do each day, but they are so hard to find. The one I am currently doing is called, Take Back Your Life by Levi Lusko. Y’all, it has been such a game changer for me. It goes right along with what God has been showing me lately and I look forward to it each day. If you are looking for a devotional, I definitely recommend this one. I am also reading his wife’s book, The Fight to Flourish. I try to read a couple of chapters a day, but some days I only have time for a couple of pages. I feel that they compliment each other very well.

The other thing that I set out to do each day was to go back to making lists. I love lists because they keep me on task. And I love marking things off when I complete them. Every night I would pull out my calendar and see what I had going the next day. I would write my to-do list, schedule for the day and lists of items I needed to pick up that day. I found myself forgetting things all the time… making these lists helped so much. I also took the list with me so that I could stay on task when out and about. So often I will get somewhere and completely forget an item. It also helped me drive my day verses the day driving me. I stayed in control and I was productive.

I made my bed every day! A bed made makes for a better day ha! At least in my book. My mom is huge about this and I am too. Something about a bed made just makes me feel more put together and like I accomplished something.

I did 1-2 loads of laundry daily and folded and put away each one right then. I hate laundry. Not so much doing laundry… I hate putting it away so it piles up. We will have loads of clean laundry that are folded in a laundry basket in my room and I was just so over it. So I forced myself each day to put it away. Y’all, it was crazy how everything in me wanted to leave it there because I swore I would do it later. It’s the procrastinator trying to take over ha! But I fought it and forced myself to do it. It was so nice to start the week caught up on laundry!

Last but not least and so important was that I gave myself lots of GRACE. I am an all or nothing gal so often times I just don’t do something because I can’t do it all at once and I find myself overwhelmed. It’s easier to not do it than to do it if that makes sense. I took the eating the elephant approach. You’ve probably heard this analogy. You eat the elephant one bite at a time. Many times we don’t do the hard stuff because we are so overwhelmed that we don’t know where to start. Just start! One step at a time. I was so behind on laundry when I started the week and normally I would get overwhelmed, but instead I just started it and gave myself small goals. I did the same with other tasks. I reminded myself that small steps towards a big goal are better than no steps at all. And on the night when I was so exhausted and went to bed instead of putting away the dishes from dinner that night, I gave myself lots of grace the next morning and thanked God for extra sleep the night before. A grateful heart always keeps me in a positive mindset.

I know all of these are practical things, but they are what helped me get myself back on the productive wagon. I have seasons where I completely fall off and that was the season I was in. These small little habits helped get me back on track. Will I fall off again? Absolutely! I am human, we all are. Nobody is perfect and life happens! But when I fall off, I will get back on again and I will be ok. Grace, grace!

You may find yourself in a funk. Looking at your day at night wondering what you got done or wondering where all your time went. You may also be like me and spend way too much time on your phone when you could be doing something else like laundry ha! That was me! This week I tried to set a timer when I would start to scroll social media and it worked! It kept me on track and once the timer went off, I would grab my book and read instead.

A verse that I’ve had on my mind has been, Colossians 3:23-24 that says,

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

I’ve reminded myself as I do the laundry and my daily chores that feel so mundane that I am doing them with all my heart working for the Lord. It has helped change my perspective and my heart when I pick up someone’s shoes for the hundredth time! As a mom we can look at our tasks as mundane and not important, but they absolutely are. We serve God as we serve our family and doing the laundry and cooking dinner is serving our family. This crazy season isn’t going to last forever and one day the laundry won’t be as bad because it’ll only be you and your husband. One day the dinner table will be just you and your husband because the kiddos are grown and in their own homes. So embrace this moment and do all things as you would do them for the Lord!

I hope this encourages someone today. Remember to not be so hard on yourself. Take small steps towards your big goals instead of no steps at all and do all things as you are doing them for God.

I hope you all have a wonderful Monday! XO

Embracing Every Season

Every morning this week I’ve been sharing a picture of my coffee mug with a quote from something I read during my quiet time. I started the week determined to get my morning routine back and be more productive with my days. I’ve been so convicted about my habits and how I spend a lot of time on my phone. I am a very disciplined person, but I am also a huge procrastinator. When you mix that with my all or nothing attitude, it can be a recipe for disaster. I really have felt God teaching me during this season that I need to be more productive with my time.

The last couple of weeks, I’ve been working with my trainer on not being so hard on myself when I am not at a 100%. Life happens and we can’t always have those perfect days. I’ve had a lot going on since I started working with her and at times I’ve almost told her we will try again at a later time when life isn’t crazy. But seriously….when isn’t life going to be crazy?! She reminded me that being consistently good enough is better than doing absolutely nothing. I’ve really taken that to heart and have practiced giving myself lots and lots of grace.

As I started the week, I decided to go back to list making. This keeps me on track and helps me be more productive. Not to mention the success I feel to mark things of my list feels so good ha! It’s helped so much and I have found myself getting things done this week. But let me tell you, I’ve been so tired by the end of the day. I even told Joseph yesterday how being productive is great, but gosh it’s exhausting.

This morning I didn’t have to do a my “Blaire Strength” as I call my workouts from my trainer lol! So I knew that I could sleep in a little longer. Of course, I slept in a lot longer than I hoped and found myself rushing to get downstairs to get in a little bit of my quiet time before having to wake Mackenzie up. As I went to take the picture of my mug, I noticed the background full of the dishes I couldn’t bring myself to put away last night and the dishes from this morning in the sink. I almost moved my mug to a more “picture perfect” location, but then I thought about my reading for the day and chose to post the real instead of the staged.

In The Fight to Flourish by Jennie Lusko she wrote about being present in the moment and immersing ourselves in the season that we’re in right now. You know, it got me thinking about how exhausted I’ve been at the end of each day and how hard it can be to adult some times. Life is crazy at our house right now with three kids in three different sports going three different directions. Some days I wonder if this season will ever end, but this morning I realized I needed to embrace this season. I can’t be perfect, the dishes will still be there some days and that’s ok. Grace, grace right?!

I love how Jennie puts it in her book,

“If you’re in a season that feels insignificant or especially long, look up. Set your gaze on who Jesus is. Ask God to help you see this season differently. Remember, you’re already living from the finish line, but you’re still in the middle of the process right now. This time in your life is part of the soil that is enriching your life and your future. Be here now.

When we engage in the daily fight and embrace the present moment, we will flourish. It’s the little wins that change the course of our lives. We can live and love in the small moments of our everyday lives, knowing that there’s an eternal significance to whatever God has called us to. So, when you’re feeding your baby in the middle of the night and feeling run down by sleep deprivation. Take a mental Instagram photo of that moment. Your baby is not going to eat like that at night forever. Or, if you’re tired of being single and want to find your soulmate, remember you won’t always have the kind of time you do currently. Savor where you are right now.”

Yes, some days are long but it’s true that the days are short. This season isn’t going to last forever and I find myself thinking about that a lot lately. Having two in middle school with one going to high school next year has really made me realize how fast time flies. So I will embrace this season and the exhaustion that it brings. I will celebrate those little wins and live and love in the small moments of my everyday life because there is an eternal significance to what I’m doing. And the same goes for you! You may not be 100% everyday, but that doesn’t mean you get to give up! Look up, look to Jesus! Find your strength in Him and ask Him to help you see your current season in a different way. It’s not going to last forever and it’s preparing you for the next season of life!

So here’s a picture of my coffee mug with my mess in the background to prove to you that I don’t always have it all together, but I am going to choose to embrace it and enjoy it!

I hope you have a terrific Thursday!

-Maggie

To My Sweet Momma Friends

We finally spent some time at the beach yesterday.  The wind was bearable and it was a beautiful day.  We loaded our wagon with a couple of beach chairs and our cooler with a couple of drinks and snacks.  I brought my big beach bag with some towels, sunscreen and a book.

We walked down to the beach, set up our chairs and the kids took off into the ocean.

I couldn’t help but sit and reminisce about our past years at HHI.  The first time we came, Mackenzie was only five months old.  Oh my goodness at the stuff we needed to pack before heading to the beach.  From diapers to bottles and formula, snacks, a change of clothes for the baby.  The jogging stroller you have to push through the sand, a tent, chairs, sand toys and a cooler….you get my drift.  So.  Much.  Stuff.  I was exhausted before we even made it out the door.

I sat there holding my book and watched my kiddos play in the ocean and build sand castles.  It made me think of the saying, “the days are long but the years are short.”

When we are deep into the baby years of motherhood this saying doesn’t seem true.  All we focus on are the long days and oh how long those days are.  Diaper changes, feedings, teething babies, the terrible threes, potty training.  We are always trying to remember when the last time we showered was and if we even brushed our teeth that day.

We are exhausted both physically and mentally.  Not to mention the mamas working outside the home.  Praise you mamas.  When we are at home still in our pajamas you are working it in the career world.  All us moms, we work so hard.  We are stay at home moms, work from home moms, work outside of the home moms.  It doesn’t matter what we do I think we can all agree that being a mom is exhausting.

But with the hard days come the good days.  The moment our little one holds their head up on their own, takes their first steps, says mommy or daddy.  So many wonderful milestones that make those long days worth every minute.  A sweet embrace, kiss on the check and a “I love you mommy” is enough to forget how rough the day was.

As I sat there and watched my kids play, I began thinking towards the future.  Life will be so different then.  As we approach the teenage years (help us Lord), I know life will once again change.

So many seasons of life, each different, but perfect.  Each season is meant to mold us and make us into the moms we are today.  And today’s season will do the same for the future seasons.

With every season there are new hardships, challenges, frustrations.  But there are also those beautiful moments filled with love and memories.

I began to thank God for his sweet grace as I sat there on the beach.  So many times I’ve messed up, wondered if I was doing this mom thing right, yelled at my kids for no reason or had a nasty attitude.  But today was a sweet reminder that I am doing my best and my best is enough.

A friend of mind recently shared that she had a hard mom day and it reminded me of God’s word that I would repeat almost daily through those hard momma years,

“Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!” Lamentations 3:22-23

Oh sweet friend.  Momma out there having a hard day.  Give yourself some grace.  Take a deep breath in and release.  Look at those sweet babies the Lord has given you and take a moment to thank God that His mercies are new every morning.  He loves you and He is right there with you.  Through every diaper blowout, temper tantrum, talk backing, whining and rude attitudes.  He is there.  Giving us grace.

Rest in Him.  Take all thoughts captive to Him.  Don’t live life full of regrets and wish I would’ve moments.  Embrace every moment, every season.  Because no matter what season you find yourself in, His mercies are new every morning.

You are doing a wonderful job.

-Maggie