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Resources for Intentional Living

“Intention” and “Purpose” have been two HUGE words for me in the past year. The Lord led me to choose “PURPOSE” as my word for 2015- and it’s been a hell of a ride so far figuring out all of the details. What is my purpose? As a wife, mother, businesswoman, friend, family member, believer, consumer, community member? How do I navigate all of the nitty gritty of life and be sure that I’m doing everything well, with love, and to the best of my ability?

I want to share with you some resources that have helped guide my heart- and head- in the past year. Some are gentle reminders placed around my home, others are productivity tools that keep me centered, still others are books that have shepherded my heart through this season. I hope you’ll find something that speaks to you!

BOOKS

Hands Free Mama- Hands down (ha!) the most important book I read in my first year of mothering. Forget all of the other parenting books, if you are intentional and present with your babies, all shall be well.

The Best Yes- I’m actually in the middle of this right now, but it’s really encouraging and challenging me. This is all about freeing yourself up to say YES to the things that the Lord wants you to do- the life-giving, challenging, heart-altering things that we might miss with our busy lives otherwise.

Make It Happen- Similar to The Best Yes, Lara’s book helps women identify the things that bring them joy and please the heart of the Father. I learned so much about myself and what I value and need in my spirit by going through this book- and I live those things out much more intentionally.

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up- A more practical book, this one helps you minimize your physical clutter to bring your home more peace. Basically, being intentional with your belongings. I’ve done this and I do it every day and I feel so much healthier for it!

PRODUCTIVITY and GOAL SETTING
Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner and Simplified Journal- Can’t live without these. My planner gets used EVERY day and my journal helps me get my thoughts in order and really identify how I’m feeling about things. They are both so well thought out and perfect for bringing both joy and order to your purposeful life.

Lara Casey’s Power Sheets- This goal setting system helps you identify what really matters to you and create a gracious plan to make those things happen!While I don’t always get to do them each month, I do them as often as I can and they help me feel so centered.

Mint.Com- More practical, but this financial tool helps you see where your money is going and set budgets and goals. Super helpful is financial intentionality is part of your game.

She Reads Truth App- Ah! This beautifully written and designed devotional app is just the right amount of truth and encouragement for a busy mama reheating her coffee for the third time (no? just me?)

LOVING REMINDERS
Prints from Katie Daisy- Love these whimsical art prints.
Phone Backgrounds and Apparel from Lara Casey
Jesus & Coffee Mug from ChalkFullofLove

Please Note: This blog post may contain affiliate links. I promise to never share something with you that I don’t wholeheartedly endorse and use myself, and absolutely love! Affiliate links never add any cost for you, but do help support my family’s ministry. Thanks for reading, you’re great!
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Why I Quit Blogging… But I Might Start Again

It’s been almost 4 years since I started writing this blog….and over 8 months since I’ve posted anything new. It was abrupt, unplanned, and maybe even rude on my part to quit writing without explanation…so today, you’re going to get one.

This blog was born out of a desire to educate my community on what was happening around them and how they, as responsible consumers, could be a part of a change. Originally titled “Feed Me, Feed the World”, the idea behind the blog was to provide information and inspire my readers to think logically about the choices they were making with their lifestyles and intentionally choose to build the kingdom- whether that was with their dollars or their diets. I wanted to bring to light companies that weren’t doing a great job taking care of the earth and it’s inhabitants, and highlight the companies that were. I wanted to share my journey to natural health honestly and candidly, and hopefully give tips and ideas along the way that might be useful to others in their journeys. I wanted it to be organic: unplanned, truthful, and sincere. Somewhere along the line, I lost my way.

What once was an outlet for me to share what I was learning and was passionate about became a way to bring in income and get fun things for my family. While I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with this (I actually loved this), it changed the way I wrote and WHY I wrote. I found myself choosing topics that would get traffic, creating blog series based on items I wanted to review, and linking in items to posts so that I could make a bit of money. As I learned more about the business of blogging, my readership grew- and so did the benefits. But I didn’t enjoy it anymore. Suddenly, blogging felt like work- and I felt like I was cheating myself and using my readers.

So, I stopped. I still don’t know if I am starting again- but I am going to try. I am still very put off by the natural health blogging industry right now- the posting of ambiguous Amazon links that leave cookies in your browser, the sponsored content, the camps against each other. Yes, there are still MANY wonderful, amazing bloggers that are blogging full time and doing it well and honestly and passionately, but I have seen too many people who don’t seem to be sharing their hearts and just share their recommendations. I tried it, and it’s not for me. So I’m moving on.

From now on, no more strict schedule. If I write something, it’s because it’s spilling out of my soul and I HAVE to write it. I hope it happens often, but if not- I’m going to practice grace. This isn’t my job anymore. It’s just an outflow of love.

Coming soon- a little rebranding. I don’t have a launch date. No planned content. But changes are coming (lots of them!) coming and they are going to be beautiful. I hope you’ll join me…

What would you like to read about? <3

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How One Book Changed Me As A Mother

How One Book Changed Me As A Mother

I really, truly, didn’t expect it.

I was lucky enough to be an author for the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle that ran last April and, with my participation, received a free copy of the bundle for myself. I downloaded all of the books, redeemed the bonus items, and went along my merry way. As a new mom, I appreciated the resource that this would be to me at some point, but I figured that I didn’t have time to dive into eBooks with my busy, sleep-deprived life.

It wasn’t until a few months later that I realized what development, encouragement, and growth I was missing out on. Several other authors were raving over the books that they were reading, so I decided to devote just a few minutes of one naptime each day to reading a bit of a book from the bundle. The first one I chose was “The Unwired Mom” by Sarah Mae. Formatted as a 2-week challenge, it seemed attainable and primed to both encourage me and help be grow as a parent. I had no idea.

Through reading this book, I realized just how much I was missing out on in my steadily-growing daughter’s life. How often I was looking at my phone instead of at her. How I spent many days trying to keep her occupied so that I could get work done for my business. How I was writing blogs about being an intentional, present mother, but I was not practicing that at all in my life.

I was broken.

I was undone by these discoveries within myself.

I quickly instituted new rules for myself and my technology use, especially when my daughter was awake. Phone would be for communication only. Social media and business were to wait until naptime, after bedtime, or designated business hours when I knew that Daddy was being present with her. I didn’t want to miss out anymore. I didn’t want to be a slave to novelty, to the approval of others, to a piece of technology. I wanted to be wholly consumed and fulfilled by being Mama.

It dawned on me the other day that I very easily could’ve missed out on this new focus in my life. What if I hadn’t decided to devote a bit of time to reading and challenging myself? What if I had doubted the importance of investing in myself as a homemaker?

Friends, this could be you in just a few months. I don’t care if you buy the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle from me, or whomever- but please, buy it for yourself. Take a few minutes each day to see yourself grow as a mother and a homemaker.

What book will it be that changes you as a mother?

Will it be a book with tons of gluten-free recipes that will revolutionize how you cook nourishing meals for your family?

Maybe it’ll be a book that teaches the importance of celebrating the Christian calendar as a family, and shows you ways to incorporate it into your household celebrations!

Will it be a book that teaches you about home remedies for your family, and encourages you to celebrate the gifts that the Lord has given us on this earth?

Will it be an eCourse on essential oils that will empower you to take control of your family’s health?

Maybe it’ll be the free amber teething jewelry you’ll receive as a bonus item, or the mouth healing essential oil blend. Maybe the 4 months of at-home yoga will inspire you to live a healthier lifestyle for your family. It could even be the free yogurt culture you’ll receive as a bonus item that takes money off of your budget each month.

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Who knows what that one special, impactful thing will be for you?!

Friends, investing in yourself as a homemaker is priceless. You need to be encouraged, to grow, to be challenged, and to be inspired- and I truly don’t know of a better resource than the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle. It will revolutionize you as a mother, a wife, and a keeper of your home. Take a step. Invest in yourself and in your family!

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A Necklace for Teething Pain? Seriously? {a skeptic’s review of baltic amber}

amber necklaces review

“It all seems a little hocus-pocus if you ask me.”

I remember saying those word sot my husband as we strolled through a local natural medicine store. Shelves full of pretty rocks had caught my eye- and as I looked closer, I learned that these treasures were actually crystals used for their certain powers and characteristics they possess. Some would bring you courage, others would increase productivity, still others would help you embrace positivity. He who possessed the crystals had the powers. “This is weird… I can’t get into this.”

That slightly-creeped-out feeling followed me into the early stages of my pregnancy, where I was first exposed to the therapeutic use of Baltic Amber to treat teething pain in infants. The premise of a certain type of stone being able to take away my baby’s pain hearkened me back to the pretty shelves of rocks that promised to make my dreams come true. I was NOT HAVING ANY PART OF IT.

And yet… more and more mothers, whose opinions I respected, seemed to be turning to these amber necklaces and having good results! “The placebo effect doesn’t exist in babies,” a friend told me, “they can’t fool themselves into thinking something works. It either helps, or it doesn’t- and this definitely does!”

So, reluctantly, I put some baltic amber jewelry on my baby registry- and I was blessed with both a necklace and a bracelet! Of course, being a first-time-mom and believing that, given the right tools, I could forgo the horrible months of teething altogether, sweet Hallelujah was christened with her amber at the first sign of teething- a bit of drool and putting things in her mouth around 3 months old.

Now, of course, I realize that she wasn’t teething at all- rather, she was simply experiencing a normal developmental milestone for her age and experiencing the world with her mouth! So, off came the amber, and we continued on with our lives.

Flash forward several months and a cross-country move later, and Halle is SCREAMING for an entire day. Make that almost a week. Why? I have no idea. Until one afternoon, when I swipe her mouth after she inevitably puts something in it, and a small sharp something grazes my finger…

…A TOOTH!

Yes, at 7 months old, an adorable, solitary little tooth had made it’s entrance into the world. Into my world. Into my daughter’s mouth, causing her great pain. Causing her to SCREAM ALL WEEK! It all made sense now! But… where was the amber? I knew I had seen it somewhere int he move….right?

Finally, after about an hour’s frantic search, I found it. The glorious, golden necklace of supposed promise. I clasped it carefully around her neck and waited for the screams to continue. I even walked to the bathroom and grabbed the Lavender oil to apply to calm her down…

….but nothing happened.

There were no more screams. Ever. Even as I write this, weeks later, she’s not once screamed out of pain (and mamas, you know that you can tell the difference). Oh my, did I just become a believer in these amber necklaces?

Yes, friends. Yes I did.

So, let’s talk about how this stuff actually works. First of all, baltic amber isn’t actually a stone, it’s a resin. Like pine sap or maple syrup, when it hardens it forms a resin? Same kind of deal. So, when your sweet one wears the baltic amber jewelry on their skin, it is warmed ever so slightly. When this happens, it begins to break down- not nearly enough to feel sticky or like it’s disintegrating, but enough to release some therapeutic benefits onto your child’s skin and, subsequently, into their bloodstream.

One of these therapeutic benefits is the release of a substance called succinic acid. This acid, present in amber in up to 8% by weight, has a gentle analgesic effect, relieving the pain that the baby is experiencing.

Pretty cool, huh?

What’s even cooler- you can get some baltic amber jewelry FOR FREE this week, with the purchase of an Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle!

That’s right, my friends- when you purchase this incredible library of homemaking and healthy living resources (hey, my book is in there, too!) you get your choice of a FREE baltic amber baby bracelet or adult bracelet from Sweetbottoms Baby!

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It’s Here!

We all want to make better health and lifestyle decisions for ourselves and those we love. We want to lose some weight, have more energy, use greener products, create nutritious meals for our families, get fit, and feel confident that we’re doing all we can to prevent serious diseases.

But it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed and intimidated by the masses of healthy living advice out there – to the point where we’re frozen into complete inaction instead!

That’s where The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle comes in. For the ridiculously low price of just $29.97 (for the PDF version) or $39.97 (for the eReader version), you can get access to a carefully curated collection of eBooks and eCourses with a total combined value of $1,030.

The bundle contains a wealth of information from the very finest healthy living writers out there – but there’s no risk of getting overwhelmed! A useful Getting Started Guide is included with your purchase, which will help you identify the most valuable resources for your specific health priorities.

The Ultimate Bundles team has done all the hard work for you – finding the top experts across a number of healthy living fields and combining their products into one essential collection. If you want to take control of your health, there’s no better way to start!

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle will only be on sale for 6 days – from 8am EST on Wednesday, September 10 until 11:59pm EST on Monday, September 15.

But don’t wait until the last moment – there are only 30,000 bundles available and once they’re gone, they’re gone!

You can buy with confidence because your purchase is covered by the Ultimate Bundles one-year guarantee: you have a full year to enjoy all the books and courses in the bundle, and if you don’t feel like it’s made a huge difference to your family’s health, you’ll get your money back in full!

Click here for more info or to buy now.

As if this great collection of eBooks and eCourses wasn’t enough, the Ultimate Bundles team has also partnered with 10 fantastic companies who’ve each agreed to give a special bonus to every buyer. The bonuses have a total value of over $200 – more than 5 times the price of the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle itself!

The bonuses include free goodies aplenty: a bottle of Healthy Mouth Blend from OraWellness, a baltic amber bracelet from Sweetbottoms Boutique, and a starter culture from Cultures For Health. You’ll also get gift sets from Made On Skin Care Products and Homegrown Collective.

There are virtual goodies, too – a 4-month membership to StayAtHomeYoga.com and a 3-month premium membership to meal planning service Tradishen. And as if all that weren’t enough, there are also $15 gift certificates for TheJoyfulGiraffe.com, Strawesome.com and Trilight Health. There is a nominal shipping charge for many of the bonuses, based on each company’s standard shipping rates, and is usually $3-5.

Here’s what you need to know about the sale:

When? 7 a.m. EST Wednesday, September 10 until 11:59 p.m. EST Monday, September 15

What? 73 eBooks and 7 audio & eCourses, PLUS over $200 worth of bonus products you’ll really use!

Where? Purchase the bundle HERE.

How much? Well now, that’s the best part. The entire package is worth $1030, and it’s selling for less than $30. Sweet deal, right?

Click here for more info or to buy now.

Want to know exactly what’s included in the bundle?

Take a look through the categories, as well as the full list of eBooks and eCourses.

We think there’s something here for everyone, and don’t forget… our Getting Started Guide will show you exactly which resources cover the topics and health concerns that matter most to you!

Alternative Health & Home Remedies

Audio Courses & eCourses

Fitness

Gardening & Homesteading

Green Cleaning

Healthy Children

Meal Budgeting & Planning

Natural Beauty & Skincare

Real Food Recipes

Seasonal

Special Diets

Click here for more info or to buy now.

Remember, this bundle is available for 6 days only, from 7 a.m. (EST) on Wednesday, September 10th to 11:59 p.m. (EST) on Monday, September 15th.

Disclosure: I have a book that is included in this bundle, so your purchase will be a direct blessing to my family! Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

 

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A Farm Mama’s Little Beauty Secret

I like having pretty nails.

Yes, I preach simplicity and frugality and Christlike femininity- and I don’t think that any of those are discounted here. I don’t have an addiction to expensive manicures that fill my lungs with chemicals and empty my bank account. Nope, wrong blog.

I just…. I like my nails to be pretty!

But you know what? I’m a MOM.

And I’m BUSY.

And I LIVE ON A FARM.

So my nails? Gross. Total afterthought. Always broken and chipping and dirty. We farm girls call it the “farmicure”- it looks like a french manicure with dark tips, except it’s actually just dirt under your nails. I know, REAL CUTE.

This is my life.

Until…THESE BABYS.

Yes, Jamberry Nail Wraps. You’ve heard of them, yes? Well, for good reason. These little gems are transforming the nails of mamas everywhere. You are still skeptical? Well, I was too…

So, yes. I am a mom, and a farm wife, and all that those things entail- diapers, dishes, groceries, bills, cooking, the occasional planting, washing really dirty laundry. But, I’m also a blogger and I run a successful business from my home- which has me working several hours a day, while my little love is sleeping, typing away on my computer. All of these things have it out for my nails- and they were winning. I can’t find a polish that will last more than a day without chipping. Even the few times that I’ve been blessed with a fancy set of gel nails at a salon, I hardly get more than 2 or 3 days without chips- hardly worth the money.

Knowing how much I loved having my nails pretty and yet seeing my frustration at the wasted effort as they were quickly ruined, the promise of “14 chip-free days” that Jamberry made appealed to me instantly. I was sent some samples to put to the test! (you can get a free sample this week by joining our party on Facebook!)

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These are my nails on day 1. Yes, you have to apply them yourself, which can be a little tedious- but Jamberry lays out the steps clearly for you, and the whole process doesn’t take longer than half an hour. The best part- they aren’t wet. EVER. So if your sweet little wakes up mid-application? No big deal. Pick it up at your next nap time. I was thrilled with how these turned out, and I just used the tools that I had at home- a blow drier, nail file, and some scissors (not even nail-specific ones).  Best part? THIS is how much I have left after this manicure! SO MUCH LEFT!

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Here are my nails on day 16- yes, two days longer than the promised 2 weeks. Really, I took them off because I wanted to change them. They still looked great and would’ve lasted MUCH longer. I love them- and I am hooked!

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The dealbreaker for me about Jamberry wraps, though, is the price- just $15 for a sheet, and then if you buy 3 sheets, you get 1 FREE. So, 4 sheets for $45, and each sheet gives you 2-3 manicures average- I fins it will give me 4-5! So you’re talking anywhere from 8-20 manicures for $45. HELLO FRUGAL BEAUTY JACKPOT!

Even more frugal? Getting them for free…which you can, if you win my giveaway! YAY! You can find me giving away sheets on my Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts! Get to it, y’all!

You can also get more information about Jamberry, free samples, and enter to win even MORE free stuff over at my pop-up Jamberry Party! Thanks to Megan Dequine of CA for setting up this great opportunity and being an incredible consultant. Also, if you’re in FL, look up my sweet SIL Monica Von Herbulis- she’s selling, too!

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This is big, y’all.

Remember how I said you were gonna have a chance to get my new eBook before it’s release?

Well, not only will you be able to purchase Crash Course in Natural Parenting early, but you’ll be getting an entire library of resources for healthy living.

You’ll receive over 70 eBooks on topics including:
  • Alternative Health & Home Remedies
  • Fitness
  • Gardening & Homesteading
  • Green Cleaning
  • Healthy Children
  • Meal Budgeting & Planning
  • Natural Beauty & Skincare
  • Real Food Recipes
  • Seasonal
  • Special Diets
Plus access to online courses on topics including:
  • Herbal Remedies
  • Essential Oils
  • Stress Relief
  • Transitioning to Real Food
  • Healing Diastasis Recti
  • Meal Planning
  • Natural Pregnancy and Birth

On top of these great resources, you’ll get 10 different bonus products with a total value of over $200! Plus, I will be offering my own incentives for purchases made by Feed Me Mama readers :)

Want to be among the first to know when the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle is available- and maybe even get yours for free? I bet you do!

This year, we are introducing a ‘refer a friend’ program. It’s so easy, and the rewards are great. You add your email to our “first to know” list, then send your link to your friends so that they can do they same. The more friends that add their emails, the more rewards you get!

Just ONE FRIEND adding their email will get you $7 off of a bundle. 10 friends will give you your bundle FOR FREE- including my new eBook, Crash Course in Natural Parenting! It’s almost too easy. And you aren’t gonna get spammed, either- just a quick reminder email when the sale is live!

Add your email right here and get started towards your own bundle :)

free bundle

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The Secret is Out…

So, I have something I need to tell you.

It’s been no secret that the blog has been a bit….lackluster as of late. Yes, I moved halfway across the country and I’m adjusting to being a farm wife and a stay-at-home-mama to the most adorable 7.5 month old ever (who said mama for the first time yesterday, by the way). Yes, I am running my own at-home business that’s doubling our income. But that’s not my big secret.

You see… I wrote a book.

For you!

Yes you, mama. You who like the looks of natural parenting but don’t know where to begin. You who has seen cloth diapers but feels a little overwhelmed, who likes the sound of natural birth but everyone you know had an epidural, you who looks at a woven wrap like it’s a rubik’s cube. I wrote it for you.

Crash Course in Natural Parenting COVER

My new book is called “Crash Course in Natural Parenting”, and it’s exactly what it sounds like: a brief but down-to-business overview of many of the trends and choices that naturally-minded parents make. It’s short. It’s sweet. You can read it in an afternoon, and not just if you’re a fast reader ;)

Each chapter tackles one aspect of natural parenting, starting from natural fertility all the way through maintaining a green lifestyle within your family for years to come. Here’s just a sampling of the topics covered in Crash Course:

Natural Pregnancy
Natural Birth
Baby-Led Weaning
Cloth Diapers
Placenta Encapsulation
Newborn Decisions
Babywearing
Safe Co-Sleeping
Alternative Medicine
Composting
Essential Oils
Herbs
Thrift-Store Shopping
Healthy Diet

The book is meant to kick-start you on your journey to natural parenting. It presents all of the options for you, and lets you decide what appeals to you. Definitely getting an epidural? Don’t worry. there’s still plenty for you to read. Love your disposable diapers? Keep on reading! Pro-meds or pro-vax? Both sides of the story are presented.

I am passionate about natural parenting, and I want to help you and your family discover that same joy. My hope is that Crash Course in Natural Parenting will be the catalyst for helping you discover the connection between parenting and nature, and help you dive deeper into the things that spark your interest!

save the date

Crash Course in Natural Parenting isn’t available yet- the official release date is OCTOBER 1ST, 2014! But, you’ll get a chance to get it early- and maybe even for free! Come back tomorrow to find out how….

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Dear Mama, You Are Enough.

Dear Mama, You Are Enough.

Last week, I broke down.

I just couldn’t do it anymore- the endless days of consoling, changing diapers, trying to stay on top of laundry and cooking and cleaning. Trying to remember the last time I read my Bible. Praying when I remembered to, but only asking for sanity. Balancing being a wife and mother and entrepreneur but really just struggling to keep my head above water. My own negativity, self-pity and jealousy was so thick I couldn’t breathe. Things I would normally be thankful for seemed like burdens.

There was no joy in my spirit.

I felt no freedom.

I was exhausted.

There was no end in sight, either.

The time came. I was sinking. I was giving in.

Do you feel like this today, mama? Like you carry the weight of the world, and nobody even notices?

I feel it. And so does every other mama I know.

Why do we feel so alone, so isolated? Why, when we know that our kids probably aren’t harder than others, that their days are just as demanding as ours? We all have the same hours in the day, right?

I think, if I really trace my feelings back to their root, I feel like I need to be supermom, because everyone else looks like supermom. I know in my heart that this isn’t true, of course, but social media bombards me with everyone else’s photos of smiling, stimulated children that are perfectly dressed and eat all organic diets, magazine-worthy decorating and cooking and all homemade cleaning products, developmentally-engaging activities, perfect date nights, flowers from husbands, much-needed girls nights. My conscious is ravaged with the thoughts that, yes, everyone is having fun without me, and I am here Cinderella-ing away in my little farm house, heating up leftovers and praying for a nap to last 10 more minutes.

Why?

Why do we hold ourselves to these ridiculous standards?

Why do we think that everyone else has their junk together just a little bit more than we do?

Because that is all we see!

We don’t see the disobedient children. We don’t see the arguments in a marriage. We don’t see the price tags on the designer clothing or the frozen pizza from the night before.

We don’t see the desperate turning on of a movie- or three- or the hiding in the closet to sneak some chocolate. We don’t know when the last shower was. We don’t hear desperate prayers for sleep in the wee hours of morning. We don’t know!

Daily, I find myself comparing my private, worst moments as a homemaker with everyone else’s social media highlight reel- and it’s killing me. It’s telling me that my marriage isn’t good enough, that I’m not a good mother, that our diet sucks, that my clothes are cheap, and that my baby is sad because her clothes are from Goodwill.

It’s ridiculous. It’s lies. In moments of clarity, I know it’s not true.

But what’s the solution?

Take a step back.

Or twelve.

Unplug. A lot!

I’ve started a new initiative in our home called “Unwired Parenting”. It has been born out of a desire to, yes, be more intentional and attentive to my daughter and my marriage, but also to remove myself from everyone else’s highlight reel broadcast and focus on what matters: my joy within my own home. The goal is, when the baby is awake, to only use the phone and computer for necessary communication: phone calls or necessary texts, business communications if necessary. Maybe play some music. But not for distraction!

It’s time that we, as mothers, strive to support one another, encourage one another, and be honest. That doesn’t mean you have to post pictures of your crying kids on Facebook, on tweet about your leftovers, but instead perhaps adopting a spirit of vulnerability within our communities so that other mamas know that they aren’t alone in their struggles. I’ve been thinking a lot about the verse in Revelation that tells us that we “overcome by the word of our testimony.” How true is this for our daily struggles?! We survive our hardest days by leaning on grace, and knowing that grace got us through our last hard day, too.

Reach out. Ask for prayer. Receive advice with a spirit of humility. Have grace with yourself. Be thankful. Be joyful! Cuddle your children. Take some quiet moments with them. Take some moments for yourself, too! You can do it, mama. You are covered in the Lord’s grace. He is enough. You are enough. You’re not alone!

Have you ever felt alone in motherhood? Do you feel alone now? Let’s encourage one another!

 

 

Day2Day Joys

Originally published at Day2DayJoys!

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WILLET s e a r c h l i g h t REVIEW

s e a r c h l i g h t REVIEW

Today, I have the privilege of taking a slightly different direction here on the blog! An album review is pretty far out of my normal realm of content, but I think, in this case, it’s a fun leap to make that I hope will both challenge and encourage you!

The three brothers that make up the band WILLET are not just talented, Jesus-loving dudes, they are also my friends. I worked alongside of them in their nonprofit for several years, and my husband served as their drummer as well. During this time, we all spent several months on the road while the band was touring- and, let me tell you, when you cram 6 people (and all of their stuff) into a 15 passenger bus for a few months, you really get to know each other! We witnessed many different displays of character out there on the road, but let me tell you- there aren’t classier guys in the music business than the Willet brothers. We’ve all been through a lot together in the past few years, and their upcoming release, SEARCHLIGHT, is a beautiful tribute to the powerful things that the Lord has done in their lives.

If you want a brief overview of the album, look no further than what I feel is the working “thesis”, found in the bridge of track 4, “Show Us Your Unfailing Love”. The words read:

All my works are done in vain,
If not done in Jesus name
All my words will come undone,
If not sealed by Jesus blood

Though the songs on SEARCHLIGHT vary in theme from adoption and miracles to grace and ministry to the poor, the uniting thought is the overwhelming need for the Lord’s love to work in us and through us, to give our words and deeds life and to bring the Kingdom here on earth. You should know, too, that these guys really live these words out- they make it a great priority to use their platform as musicians and speakers to challenge the church to serve the least of these, and frequently travel overseas to share their music and love of Christ with the nations. In addition, any purchase of WILLET music and merchandise will also fund hunger relief meals for their 1 Million Meal School Feeding Program Initiative.

Unlike most contemporary worship albums, there are some deep theological questions that are raised within the songs of SEARCHLIGHT. For example, “Come Quickly” questions the modern church’s silencing of the Holy Spirit and ignorance of modern prophecy. A few songs later, “I Won’t Withhold Anything” looks at how greed affects our faith and, in turn, our ministries- encouraging us to cast away our riches and seek simplicity instead. Finally, the haunting album finale “Did You Mean What You Said?” boldly questions assurance of salvation in a vulnerable and passionate song for an old friend. If you’re looking for another album of emotion-driven fluff, look elsewhere. But, if you are craving honest worship that questions, that seeks, that challenges your faith, and calls you to act, the songs of SEARCHLIGHT will not disappoint.

My quick breakdown:

Songs fit for community worship:
Searchlight
Blessings Flow From Grace
Lowest Moment
I Won’t Withhold Anything
Holy (Strengthen My Weary Arms)

Songs for personal reflection and challenge:
Miracles
Empty Grave
Show Us Your Unfailing Love
Come Quickly
Lowest Moment
Did You Mean What You Said?

I really feel like all of these songs could go in either category, but those in the first list would likely be the easiest and most fitting to place in a contemporary worship setting. That doesn’t mean they don’t provide ample thoughts for personal reflection, though! That said, I don’t feel that any of these songs are going to blend seamlessly into a contemporary worship setting, either, as they are much more specialized- and I think that’s a good thing. These are songs that have been written to stand out in their content and boldly challenge the church with their lyrics. I look forward to seeing them used in contemporary worship settings, and I applaud the congregations that choose to do so.

SEARCHLIGHT is officially being released on August 26th, but you can preorder the album today and get it early!

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