Holiday Happening eBook – 21 days to the holiday of your dreams

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My ebook is finished! Holiday Happening – 45 pages of holiday prep in downloadable and/or printable pdf. This has been my holiday prep for years and this relaxed system works even in the midst of laundry, diapers, and carpools. I’m so happy to share my first ebook with YOU!

In Holiday Happening you’ll find a simple path to 21 days of purposeful holiday preparation. Follow the plan day-by-day and I know you’ll begin to see your ideas take shape. Each day will take you one step closer to the holiday of your dreams.

Holiday Happening is written for those with big dreams for holidays and maybe little experience in transforming everyday life into a holiday dream. Also I wrote for those who’ve grown distracted and need courage to dream again – I understand. Maybe you’ve had a year of transition and need to remember where to start. You’re in good company.

Christmas is 77 days away! Order Holiday Happening at www.holidayhappening.com

Podcast: ‘Teenager’ is Not a Bad Word

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Debi’s podcast: ‘Teenager’ is not a bad word

I had the opportunity to join Emily Thomas for her podcast Mom Struggling Well. We talked about the teenage years and the stages leading into the turbulent season we all remember.

Emily has insightful questions as a mother of preteens and I helped give some perspective as a mom who’s been there. Tim and I have had teenagers in our home for so many years it’s hard to recall what daily life was like beforehand.

I hope you can take time to hear Emily’s show. If you like my interview please give a review on iTunes.

Check out Emily’s show notes on her blog for the links mentioned in our conversation too.

When You Stumble

When You Stumble

In the race of motherhood if you find yourself weary, stumbling, or headed the wrong way –

Stop and Regroup

Ask the Lord to redirect your heart back onto the path – of faithfulness. Do whatever it takes to get back on course.

 To Repent means to turn around and go the other direction.

{Grammatically, the idea of this intransitive verb is a doable action}

The Lord restores, redeems, gives fresh starts, and new mercies every morning.

Great is His faithfulness.

Thus the essence of the gospel – which literally means good news!

The gospel is better described as a way – not a specific path. Redemption is not Plan B – it’s the way of the cross. Provision, for a fresh start, has already been made for us, through Christ.

During the early years of motherhood, I was surprised at the selfishness in my heart. Day after day I found myself wondering off my intended path. I knew my little ones deserved a mom with a whole heart, but I struggled. So, I wrestled with the Lord, his word, and my own selfish tendencies until I came to a smooth place in my journey.

Eventually, I found less of me, more of God’s faithfulness, and grace – more grace – for my own shortcomings, because I’d been so hard on myself, and for my family.

I used the kids’ naptime to study God’s word to build a reservoir of strength I would need in the years ahead. If I had those days to do over again, I’d study even more.

We need the strength again in another season because it’s the same faith we draw from in the early years that carries us to through last half of our race.

During the latter stages of mothering we experience loss – it’s part of the journey. We care for our parents, who were once the source of our lives. We become their strength when they’re weak and need us to be the grown-ups in their lives.

Careers have a lifespan, some shorter than we imagined. We may navigate new pathways in business with our husband and family.

Our bodies – remember, we only get just ONE body – need our constant attention and priority more than before.

Our little ones grow up and have little ones of their own. Thus, the cycle of life continues. Mothering is a rich journey in the Lord’s hands.

Prepare to finish strong – my friend.

So, when you find yourself off course or just not in the place you intended to be – remember, the race is not to the swift – but the hungry, the diligent, and the faithful.

This post concludes my Marathon Mothering series.

I pray you find strength here and a safe place to remember.

 

Motherhood – Enjoy the Journey

Enjoy the journey

“It is not a slight thing when they, who are so fresh from God, love us.” Charles Dickens

Mothering is a Marathon – a journey of faithfulness

I’m not a runner and never intend to be. But I hear there’s a joy in the journey that’s euphoric, even addicting when a runner hits her stride. In moments like these, she’s infused with energy.

Motherhood is much the same.

There’s a long road ahead. Each day we hit the ground, only to run the same course we ran the day before and the day before that. We can easily lose sight of ourselves in the daily run between laundry and dinner.

The rhythm of nonstop work can whip you unless you find a deeper meaning and reason for the work.

I asked an UtraMarathon Runner his advice on staying the course. He advised to enjoy the journey and told stories of one-hundred-mile races he’d accomplished. {yes, more than one!} A military man in his thirty’s, fit, and focused – father of two. He talked of long runs through rugged terrain with space to breathe and room to think. ‘Never run so fast you can’t hear your thoughts.’

Our children will remember these days at home – even if we can’t. Details of their days will be etched in their spirits and these mundane days are the building blocks of their futures. They need our focus and attention – especially in the small things.

Mom – never run so fast you can’t hear your own thoughts.

Commit yourself to the process and be willing to embrace the daily. When we see holiness in the ordinary – we also can be infused with energy.

Find joy in the journey. 

When we hit our stride, as a mother, we find a strength within our soul we’ve never known before. Our capacity is expanded when we connect with our ‘why’.

In times like these, creative energy flows from a mother’s heart and onto the pages of history.

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Help along the way:

Congratulations Amanda Corley –  you won Goodbye Survival Mode! I know you’ll love it.

Find my 31 Days of Marathon Mothering here

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Pace Yourself

Pace YourselfMothering is a lifelong journey – pace yourself.

We began this series with the idea of charting your course because Motherhood is a Marathon.

Where are  you in the journey?

  • If you’re starting out, you’ll need to develop a style that will carry you throughout the years to come.
  • If you’re in the middle years you may need perspective. Look back at how far you’ve come!
  • If you’re near the end of your journey, you need a big heart to absorb all the Lord has done and a clear mind to walk in freedom. The past can easily entangle us and give more excuses to worry and harbor unforgiveness.

Need perspective? Take out a pen and paper – draw a timeline. Write the ages of your children.

Our family’s needs differ through the seasons.

Little ones need consistent days and a predictable life. We show them security with our presence and orchestrate days they use to build their lives upon. Long days and short nights require a swift pace for mom – know it’s temporary. Adult conversations are rare. Save your deepest thoughts for journals, husband, friends, and family. Meanwhile, these days can make up the loneliest years of your life as a mom – but not for long. Hang in there mom – day after day – the road is long and monotonous. Keep the pace and a new, rich season will emerge for you and your family.

Middle ones need our minds. We get to hear their hearts – so be ready to listen. Close your computer screen, put down the phone and look into their eyes. You’ll see a curious mind and a world of questions waiting to be answered. Pace your days to engage your adolescents and preteens – you’ll never regret what you put aside and the payoff is a lifetime of knowing this individual. Our kids hear the same lies from the devil that we struggle with. Be the first to remind your preteens you’re for them, you believe in them, and admire who they are. Building a relationship takes a new level of flexibility on our part. This season makes up the busiest years of our lives as mothers. The road may be bumpy – but the path is short.

Older ones need freedoms to express themselves. Cheer them on! Attend their events. Allow them to fail and be there when they try again. Help them be comfortable with imperfections. You’ll want your teen to learn this lesson in your home and not in the world. Pace your life to be available for your teens with a comfortable distance they can enjoy. Give them space to breathe and make sure they know you’re for them. Capture the memories of years gone by in these, the quietest years of motherhood. The road is steady and uphill, but adulthood lies ahead. You’ll all emerge into a new place once you’ve pressed through this season. But the race is far from over.

Adulthood and grandchildren bring us full circle back to the place we began, but older and wiser. Save your energy to enjoy your children as adults. Work to build a relationship that spans the distance of your lifetime. Plan to leave footprints for the next generation of mothers to follow.

We all want to finish strong. Let’s do the hard work of pacing ourselves today so that we can breathe tomorrow and fully embrace the years to come.

II Corinthians 9:2 ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’

 

Develop Your Own Style

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Dear Mama –

You were specifically designed to mother your own children. Make it your quest to learn who you are and become secure in your mothering journey.

I’m still surprised the Lord chose me to mother this family. Even though I had little background in nurturing other people, He gifted me with children who depended on me for their very life. There were many one-way conversations from me to God. I reminded Him how I wasn’t cut out for this job – it was too big and I was underqualified.

The truth is – we all fall short.

Continuing the analogy of mothering and a marathon runner – in athletics, a weakness can be transformed into an advantage. Athletes must be aware of their weaknesses and ultimately use innate limitations to fit them for the road ahead. Coaches have runners identify strengths and weaknesses and form a plan to develop both. Just like an awkward stride can lead to agility, physical differences can set runners apart from the crowd. A serious marathoner races mostly against herself, especially those who plan to run the long haul and finish strong.

What would our world be like if we followed the same advice in motherhood?

Most of us know our weaknesses all too well, but our strengths are more evident to others. Here’s an idea: Ask a few friends what your strengths are. What sets you apart from the norm? Seriously, you have a unique advantage in mothering that others don’t have. Friends see us differently than we see ourselves and may be more objective than our own family members. Ask a friend – you’ll be encouraged to learn you have more natural ability than you realize.

Next, focus on your strengths while working on your weak areas. Over time, you’ll see a rhythm of energy unique only to you.

Avoid the trap of comparison and keep focused. Over time you’ll develop skills that carry you twenty more years down the path of mothering, with the grace and strength you long for.

Your personal style 

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness”  II Corinthians 12:9

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the exceeding greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves; persecuted, yet not abandoned; struck down, yet not destroyed … II Corinthians 4:8-9

Although the race is a journey personal to you – know that you’re not alone.

Resources:

31 Days of Marathon Mothering October Series

6 Aspects of Running Well

#1 – Chart Your Course

#2 – Learn From Those Who’ve Gone Before

#3 – Develop Your Own Style