In our world today, the term "REST" is associated with laziness.
I know you know I'm right. We can't sit for 5 minutes without feeling like we should be getting something done. Hustle hustle hustle. More more more. "We can't slow down, 'cause more is best... it's all an endless process. I MISS MAYBERRY!!!" (I hope you're jamming at the top of your lungs by now ;)
But what if I told you that you should be taking an ENTIRE day of rest. A full 24 hours. Lump in your throat? Slight panic? I feel that.
"How will my kids eat?"
"My house will be a disaster!"
"That's setting my week up for failure."
"That's setting my week up for failure."
These were all things I said to myself. But then a friend really challenged me to take a scriptural look at rest. The Bible talks very highly of rest. In fact it's mentioned at least 72 times that I found! It's one of the Ten Commandments y'all!
Exodus 20:8-11 says, "“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."
Even God rested y'all! He sets the ultimate example here!!
So what does a day of rest look like? It will vary person to person, but here are some things I DO NOT DO:
- clean (none, of any kind - lots of prayers my kids don't pee the bed these days ha!)
- cook (we're talking a 24 hour period here. so from 6p one day to 6p the next, I do not cook)
- run errands (not even the grocery store)
- social media (that crap is TAXING!!!)
- nothing business or work related, not even a text or a phone call
So what can you do?
- sleep in
- go to church
- read a book (JUST FOR FUN - not a self help or business book - GUILTY OF THIS!)
- feed your kids cereal or prep food on a non rest day
- watch a movie
- play with your kids
Literally anything that makes your heart sing. Try a few different things out and see what fills you most.
Pick a day. Protect it FIERCELY. Tell your family, friends, boss. It doesn't have to be Sunday. Just fully rest one day a week. I know you will start your week strong after a rest day and finish your week strong knowing you have a rest day coming! This will change everything for you and bless your socks off!!
**If you're feeling overwhelmed at the thought of a rest day and wondering how you will get everything done, we'd love to have you join our girl gang where we share meal plans, grocery lists, and cleaning schedules that will allow you to REST EASY knowing everything has a date and place for completion! Join us here <3
Sometimes I feel like our day just starts off on the wrong foot and stays there all.frickin.day.
The kids wake up early, during my quiet time, they're whiny (from waking up early, obvi), I let them watch a show so I can finish my quiet time, one gets hungry and therefore whiny, I give up on quiet time, throw together breakfast and we all continue to be annoyed all day.
Enter the beloved Morning Baskets!
These baskets are FILLED with activities and books, specific to their age and likes, that require little to no help. Meaning I can finish reading my Bible or make breakfast in peace or even get ready for the day! *GASP*
Each of my boys has a basket (these are adorable and sturdy and hold a lot - different color but honestly I wish I had them in the steel :D ). In the morning, when they wake up, if breakfast is not ready yet, for whatever reason (like I haven't drank all of my coffee yet ha!), I just hug them and ask them to go to the table where I set their morning baskets the night before.
They LOVE these baskets! And they entertain them for SO long!! Most times I have to pull them away from them for breakfast and allow them to go back later. I call that a WIN!
Some ideas for morning baskets:
*sketch books - Let their imaginations run wild with free hand drawing and coloring or have them use stencils or a step by step drawing book like the ones listed below. Sometimes I just draw their name in bubble letters and let them color it in.
*stencils - These stencils bring me right back to my childhood. They're easy to use, there are TONS of fun designs, and my kids love drawing random images AND creating a whole scene in their sketch books!
* dry erase pouches - Each of the littler boys has a dry erase pouch that I printed a tracing practice of their name and for our 5 year old I put some easy math facts on the other side.
*drawing book for younger kids - My 5 year old LOVES to do step by step drawing videos. But I don't always love that he's on screen, especially first thing in the morning. This book has step by step instructions on how to draw fun, yet simple designs!
*drawing book for older kids - These are great for older kids!
*addition and subtraction flash cards - Perfect for my 5 year old kindergartener.
*alphabet flash cards - Great for my 3 year old who is just learning letters and sounds.
*dry erase workbook - Sometimes they need guidance on these but sometimes they just trace or color on their own... which means I choose peace over perfection ;)
*lined dry erase board - Sensing a theme here? I'm a cheapskate and love things that can be used over and over with simple cleanup, I know you do too ;) Give me all the dry erase things!!!
*markers - As a teachers' daughter, yes that's multiple teachers lol, I only allow Crayola in my house haha
*twistable crayons - I LOVE these because they're easy to use, hard to break, and seem to last longer!
*devotional - This is not something they do independently but something I am to do with them each morning so if it's in the morning baskets, it's easier to remember! We are LOVING this one because my kiddos are really into science and nature, especially since our move to the country! Louie Giglio does a fantastic job making these interesting, understandable, and truly pointing out how cool God's creation is!!!
Obviously these can be changed and customized to fit your kids' ages and likes. And I love that I can change them as my kids grow and change! So easy! So fun! Here's to peaceful mornings!
What would you include in a basket for your child?! Need help coming up with some ideas? I would LOVE to help you in all things motherhood, but especially this!
We have a community where I share meal plans, recipies, grocery lists, cleaning and organizing schedules, tips, and tricks, and ways to support your kiddos and care for yourself!
Check out all the details HERE
CLICK HERE to join our gang!
What does your ideal home look like? Not the landscaping or the shutters. Not the perfect wall color or the perfect decor. But the environment in your home, what does that look like?
For me it's peace + joy. Mamas, when we are at peace, when we feel like we accomplished whatever is on our hearts, when things "flow well', when we make time for ourselves, when we give ourselves grace... we are more peaceful. Which makes our family more peaceful. Which makes us all more JOYFUL!!!!Read more...
Anyone else feel like Easter isn't Easter this year?
I know I'm not the only heathen in the room ;)
I LOVE Easter! The story of Jesus laying down His life for me is one I've been told since I was little and it STILL gives me chills. And the services on Easter get me so jacked and emotional. And my mama makes the best meal (aside from every other holiday meal she makes HA!). And the family is all together. And we laugh and hide Easter eggs for the littles. And my kids get a simple, fun, outdoorsy Easter basket. And I finish the day just feeling really blessed and grateful.
So this year, when church is live streamed and I sit and try to pay attention as my kids demand all of mine and my family dinner and Easter egg hunt is cancelled and I haven't even gotten the Easter decorations out... I'm just not feeling it.
And that's when I knew that my love of Easter had less to do with the sacrifice Jesus made for me than I would have liked to admit. Sobering honestly. I felt like a fake. I read my Bible almost daily, I lead a Sunday school group, I try to truly pray for others not just say I will. Yet here I sit, after having the commercial-ness of a spiritual holiday taken away, and feeling like it's all been stripped away. Like the holiday isn't even a holiday anymore.
WHY?! Jesus STILL willingly died on the cross for my sins. He still rose three days later! I still get to spend eternity with Him! The facts and the basis are still the same. So if I truly love Easter, then the lack of physical meetings shouldn't change my feelings.
Now don't get me wrong. The things I love about Easter are GOOD things and I think God gave them to me as blessing (mainly being with the church and the family time). I think we're allowed to grieve the loss of those things this year. But the fact that, for me, those things being taken from me potentially ruined my Easter, shows that they had taken a higher level of sanctity than Jesus being sent to Earth to die on a cross so I could spend forever in Heaven even though I'm a stinking sinner who can't get most things right!
Those things had become an idol to me, without me even realizing it.
I think it's easy to think of idols as physical statues we worship, but idols are anything we place above God. Anything we think about or obsess over or push God behind can be an idol. AND I ALREADY KNEW THAT! (I fought through a serious spiritual battle of making Carson an idol when I was a single mom - that's another story for another time). Yet here I sit again, sweetly, gently convicted.
And you know what?! Jesus is HERE FOR IT! He's not mad at me or disappointed in me, He's happy that I finally came to Him and laid it all down, on the very day we pause to thank Him for what He did for sinners just like me.
So as we enter into this time of celebration, I pray you all feel MORE inclined to redirect your Easter celebrations this year, not give up on them. I hope your family creates new traditions that point you closer to Jesus.
For us? I'm heading to the store to buy the Easter dinner I was convince we weren't having (along with all our other groceries, calm down, I'm not making a special trip during "quarantine" lol). I'm sending the oldest out to the barn to get out the Easter decorations, even if they'll only be up for a few more days. I'm going to log off social media until Monday so I can savor this sweet sacrifice with my family. We're going to make some Easter crafts and talk about what Jesus has done for us. We're going to dress up on Easter morning, even though I didn't buy Easter outfits this year. I'm going to set up an Easter egg hunt for my boys at our new house and it's going to be epic with all the land we have now.
I pray this is your sweetest Easter yet.
What are you doing to make Easter special this year, during these odd, restrictive times? Let me know in the comments! I'm always up for new ideas, especially fun traditions.
As mamas, the need to have a clean home weighs heavy on us. Whether we feel like the cleanliness of our home is a direct reflection of our ability to run our home or the sight of the mess just drives us batty, it seems to be something that affects most of us mamas. (If you are one of the few who has figured out how to let that ish out, I’d be thrilled to hear your tips!)
If you’re anything like me, you already feel like you’ve tried all the Pinterest recommendations: decluttering challenges, specific cleaning tasks on specific days, one major chore or task per day, minimalism, wrangling your family to help you clean, some combination of all of the above, giving up and wallowing in a pile of toys and unmatched socks, etc.
Today, I’d love to share some tips that have helped me manage the chaos and mess of our home and therefore helped me manage my stress and anxiety over it.
Get Your Family Involved!
For so many years I carried the burden of housework all on my shoulders (mainly because I'm a perfectionist an no one does it right... but that's not the point! ha!) Sit down together as a family. Explain to them that you’re overwhelmed, and as a family, who all lives in the same house, it’s important for ALL to care for the house.
Set some goals and chores that are realistic for each member to do, with or without help. For example, don’t try to have your three-year-old clean the bathroom, it will be more work and stress for you! But, can your three-year-old pull their covers flat on their bed each morning? Can they pick up toys before moving onto a new activity? Can they gather up the little trash cans around the house and dump them into the big trash can before taking it out? Yes, they can. It may not be perfect but it can be helpful for you. So, decide together what some age appropriate ways are they can help around the house.
Check out the chart below for a simple guideline of age-appropriate chores.
Laundry always seems to be something there is always an abundance of. We aim to do one load of laundry all the way through per day. Wash, dry, fold, put away. If we don’t do one a day, it somehow seems to multiply. “A load a day keeps the laundry monster away!”
Another way I have found helpful to manage laundry is for each bedroom to have its own laundry hamper and to do our laundry separately, by room. My husband and I have a laundry hamper and our clothes get washed, dried, folded, and put away all in one day (hopefully).
My two little boys share a room and a laundry hamper. They are three and five and seriously love to help with laundry. They help me throw it in the washer, transfer it to the dryer, fold easy pieces, and put it away. They’re not always great at it, it doesn’t always look how I would like, but it’s helpful and gives them a sense of accomplishment. Plus, it’s training them to be able to do it on their own later.
This year, we started having our thirteen-year-old be completely responsible for his own laundry. It was a long time coming, I’m aware, but I just didn’t trust he could do it and do it well. Mamas, we gotta let that idea of perfection go! If my thirteen-year-old goes to school looking homeless that’s a reflection of him, not me… anyone who knows ME knows it would not be my preference, ha!
ONE Cleaner to Rule Them All!
Another way I transformed our home and the burden that cleaning placed on me was eliminating every single cleaning chemical in our home and replacing it with ONE plant-based, safe, effective cleaner. You read that right. I have ONE cleaner in my home that I clean literally every surface with: counters, cabinets, windows, mirrors, toilets (outside AND INSIDE), walls, floors, stains on carpet and clothes, and so much more. TALK ABOUT EASY!!!!
Thieves Household Cleaner is safe and effective and super concentrated. One capful in a 16 ounce spray bottle topped off with water is all it takes. And it costs about $1 per 16 ounce bottle. Safe, Easy, Inexpensive, and Effective. It doesn’t get any better!
My last tip to you is one I struggled with for a long time and one I still have to work hard at. But this practice has revolutionized my cleaning schedule, my parenting, my marriage, and mostly, my relationship with God. I cannot strongly enough advise you to take at least ONE day of rest per week. One day where you don’t clean or run errands. One day where you allow yourself to nap or rest or read or watch tv or adventure with your kids or whatever makes your heart sing with gratitude. This simple idea, yet terribly hard-to-implement idea has changed me so much that I will never divert from it. I promise it will leave you feeling ready to tackle the week ahead.
So, to recap: get your family involved, figure out a system for the never-ending laundry, swap all 8 million cleaners for the ONE Thieves Household Cleaner, and take a day of rest! Praying these tips bless your mess <3
Love this info? You'll LOVE my guide to being a more peaceful and present mama! Check it out right here.