Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Where the View Never Changes

Fewer views are as serene as this on an early summer morn. Jehnsen Lake in northern Michigan.

There is something to be said of a view that never changes. The other side of the lake from our family cabin, is wetlands and inhabitable forest, so the view literally never changes. The house is simple and rustic and there is only room enough for the things that matter most. 

Sometimes I think Gods voice gets crowded out of the whirring din of thoughts and ideas inside our minds. It is so necessary to give the spiritual discipline of simplicity a rightful place in our lives. 

 I'm making room to hear his still small voice. To feel the steady rhythm of his unchanging nature.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

My Favorite Mascara

Mascara is a very necessary part of any woman's makeup collection. Even if you don't use eye liner or shadow, most women will at least give their naked lashes a little boost.

Which brings me to my next point. Volume. I've tried to give others a chance I really have. Just last week I even tried a new kind of "voluminous" called a million lashes something or other. Once again I was let down. 

Loreal's Voluminous is the stuff. Seriously get some.

Monday, May 20, 2013

If I Could Change One Thing

I was randomly thinking about ways I would like to change the other day. 

Thoughts that popped into my head were; losing weight and being better about controlling my portions, saving more money instead of spending, following through on projects I start, and doing a little bit of housecleaning each day. 

As I was pondering all my shortcomings, I realized that there is a root problem with each of these things. That is self-discipline or willpower. 

How does one change or exercise the muscle of ones will? I am investigating this new question. 

One interesting blog post I read recently was from Seth Godin. He wrote that a habit can be changed only in small steps toward a new goal. 

For example, he wanted to stop putting sugar in his coffee. So for about a week and a half he put one teaspoon less sugar in his coffee until he no longer noticed the change and it became his new "normal". Then he put one more less teaspoon and so on.

This rings very true with me. When I think of changing, I feel as if I have to go all or nothing. Save all extra money, no spending allowed, and when I fail, inevitably, I just give up. Each and every time. I know I do this. 

So today, I will begin with simply one less teaspoon of sugar.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

How to Survive Life with a Newborn

I am no expert, but this is my third time. So I thought I would share just a few little things that have helped us.

1. Get a bassinet of some sort and set it up near your bed. Make a "station" of sorts with anything you may need i.e. pacifiers, diapers, wipes, extra outfits, swaddler blankets, etc. Plan on camping out here for several weeks.

2. Buy paper plates. And cups...and forks. Trust me, you need to do this. It won't hurt the environment for just a couple months. You will be relieved of that stress.

3. Go to bed early. Resist the urge to stay up and watch a movie etc. Your body will thank you in the morning.

4. Have your friends set up a meal schedule and bring you meals. This is essential at least for the first week or two.

5. Do not commit to any social engagements for a good couple of weeks. Instead try to enjoy spending time  bonding with your new baby. Cuddling and singing to her. 

6. Pawn your other children off to relatives or good friends as often as you can. 

7. Lower your standards of a tidy house. Do not feel guilty about this.

8. Call a good friend just to chat every couple of days. Your Mom friends in particular can give you encouragement.

9. Keep a good magazine or your iPhone handy in your car for when the baby and/or kids fall asleep. Go through a drive-thru for a special treat and park somewhere to enjoy the quiet.

10. Know your limits. When you are losing patience, call your Mom or hubby or friend for back-up. Even a 20 minute break can really help.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Mother's Guilt

Today I choose to let go of the guilt. I choose to believe that my ways are pleasing to God, when I seek Him.

The episode when I overreacted about the splashing in the bath tub. 

The heavy feeling that I'm not feeding my kids well enough. That they had ice cream from McDonalds and only a few freezer burnt green beans for vegetables all day.

I release the notion that leaving the house to peruse the quiet evening aisles of Target in peace is selfish.

I let go of the fear and the lie that I must be messing up my sons somehow, envisioning the teen angst and lifelong grudges they must feel for me. I replace it with a vision of lifelong relationship and love.

I choose to tend my own heart in between the long hard days, because I know it is what I need to be a good Mom tomorrow.

But most of all I embrace what I need most. I steal away moments when their heavy heads and sweet little eyes close in the back seat and all is quiet.

To pray for strength. To pray that I can accept God's grace today. I also pray that he would transform my thought life. Replace the worry, the guilt with his truth.

I release these thoughts and choose to believe that I am a wonderful mother. That God is changing me and I am good enough.

The gift of living free from this weight is waiting for you. You are already forgiven. But you must take it for yourself. Believe that you are good enough. Believe that you are a beautiful, strong and resilient mother, because of His grace.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Cheap Pinterest Popcorn!

Our Family's New Obsession:

Cheap Pinterest Popcorn!

I snagged this idea from Pinterest. AND, it's awesome. It's a super cheap and way healthier way to make popcorn, instead of the store bought microwaveable bags. There is less grease and chemicals in the popcorn. Apparently the fumes from that kind of popcorn are bad for your lungs too. Who knew....boo.

All you need is cheap brown paper bags. I got this 50 pack for less than a dollar. 
Then get some loose popcorn kernels. (Apparently there all sorts of varieties of popping corn, of which I was unaware. I chose white.) This big bottle of kernels was about 2-3 bucks. 

Put about 1/4 cup or so of kernels into a bag.
Fold over the top of the bag twice. 

Microwave for about 2-3 minutes.
Listening for the popping to slow down to one every second, you don't want to burn it.

Then when you open it back up-it's like magic! Beautiful white pillows of crunchy goodness. 
I really like the Earth Balance buttery spread melted and drizzled over it, as well as the White Cheddar Popcorn Seasoning. Sooooo good. And a little less healthy, but at least you can control how much and what goes in it!

It's an easy snack that is always in the cupboard for hungry little toddlers or husbands pawing around for food.