Need To Do A New Home Internship?

The marriage relationship is directly affected by the emotional health of each partner.

Once we get married, it’s important that we continue to grow emotionally, because it will strengthen our ability to relate to our partner.  Today’s Marriage Monday is about evaluating your past in order to have a great future.

Mark:
Jill and I have coined a term for the home we grew up in.  We call it our “home internship,” where we learned about communication, conflict, God, marriage, roles of men and women, sex, and so much more!  Our “growing up” experience, or “home internship,” is comprised of what our parents taught us–directly or indirectly–as well as the choices we made independently of the family.  These provide a filter to how we view relationships, in general.

Jill:
The reason it is valuable to evaluate our past is to assess whether our home internship served us well or whether there is a need to do a new home internship in some areas.

Mark:
For instance, one spouse may have come from a home where conflict was handled with rage.  The other spouse may have come from a home where they pretended there was no conflict.  Neither are healthy.  So both partners might consider the value of doing a new internship in conflict management.

Jill:
A new internship might be pursued by reading books on the subject, pursuing the counsel of a more mature couple or a pastor, attending a marriage retreat, or seeking the help of a marriage counselor.

Mark:
Jill and I have used all of the above resources to pursue some of the new internships we’ve needed to rid ourselves of baggage from our past that wasn’t serving us well in marriage.  It requires a willingness on our part to pursue the new internship, but we’ve found that the more emotionally healthy we are, the stronger our relationship is.

Jill:
If you’ve never evaluated your past before, take a few moments to think about these things:

  • Communication
  • Conflict
  • View of God
  • Marriage
  • Role of Men and Women
  • Sex
  • Insecurity
  • Negative self-talk
  • Critical Spirit
  • Addictions

Do you find that you consistently have trouble in any of the above areas in your marriage?  What was modeled for you in the home where you grew up?  What was spoken or unspoken concerning these issues?  Would it be valuable for you to do a new internship in any of these?

Mark:
Evaluating your past is not something we do to “blame” our parents or even “blame” ourselves for choices we made before marriage.  Instead it is to help us understand our views and perspectives on issues that affect our marriage and to evaluate whether those perspectives are helping or hurting our marriage.

What about you?  Have you evaluated your home internship?  Have you ever done a new internship in order to improve your relationship or your own emotional health?

Posted in Marriage | Leave a comment

6,000 Moms In One Place!

12669606_10204939731607432_984638797133494981_nI can’t wait!

This Spring I’ll be hanging out with over 6,000 moms from 40 states at the National Hearts at Home conference in Peoria, Illinois! It is the premier event for moms and I’d love for you to join the fun!

Women come to Hearts at Home conferences from all over the United States.

 a24b74bc-a024-48b6-a642-5ff52adcc969

In addition to the fabulous keynote sessions there are dozens of workshops offered to design your day to meet your needs as a mom.

No matter if your kids are 2, 22, or 42, Hearts at Home is for YOU!

If you like a good deal, you’ll want to register by April 4 so you can save $30 on your registration for the National Conference!

It’s gonna be a blast! I’d love to meet you at Hearts at Home!

Are you going to be there? 

Posted in Taking Care of Me | Leave a comment

The Birthday Wish

IMG_1021Jill: Friday was my birthday and it was a perfect birthday! Mark did a wonderful job celebrating it the way I wanted to celebrate it!

Mark: It’s only taken me 32 years to figure this one out but I think I finally got it!

Jill: We’ve been slowly remodeling our kitchen. It’s taking forever because we’re doing it nights and weekends and as we have the money.  We had recently removed all the cabinet doors and drawer faces to paint them. Then we needed to antique glaze them so they would be finished and we could get them hung again.

Mark: When I asked Jill what she wanted to do for her birthday, I wasn’t surprised when she said that she wanted to glaze the cabinets and get the cabinet doors and drawer faces back in place so the kitchen would have some sense of being finished.

Jill: This is really what I WANTED for my birthday.  I wanted us to work together and get the job done. I’ve asked for these kinds of gifts in the past and Mark has often argued, “That’s not a birthday present. What do you really want?” He would then try to talk me into celebrating MY birthday the way he would want to celebrate HIS birthday.

Mark: Doing a project would definitely not be a birthday gift I would EVER want.

Jill: My two top Love Languages are Quality Time and Acts of Service and finishing those cabinets was truly a gift to me!

Mark: I prepared my heart and mind to do what Jill wanted. We worked several hours on Friday evening and most of the day on Saturday to get the cabinets finished.  Jill was beaming!

ThinkstockPhotos-478145098Jill: I felt very honored by Mark this weekend. You see, we honor our spouse when we place value on what he/she finds valuable even if it isn’t something that’s important to us. You and I don’t get to decide what matters to our spouse; we get to discover what matters to them.

Mark: Too often we minimize things that really are important to our spouse. When we do that we build a wall instead of a bridge in our marriage.

Jill: Mark built a bridge, walked across it, and visited my priorities this past weekend and I love him for it.

cabinetsMark: I’m glad I did because it really did mean a lot to my girl (and the kitchen really looks great!). I will tell you, however, when my birthday rolls around in July, we won’t be painting cabinets. We’ll probably be playing a couple rounds of golf.

Jill: And I’ll be driving the golf cart!

What about you?  Where do you need to build a bridge in your marriage? What is important to your spouse that you have minimized in the past? How can you step into his/her world and make that important to you because it’s important to him/her?

Posted in Marriage | 1 Comment

Who’s In Your Tribe?

cb81a3b5-btcoverOne year after our first Hearts at Home conference, I found myself driving across town alone in my filthy minivan filled with carseats and the last five weeks of Sunday School papers. I was having a conversation with God about the unexpected place he had me. I was leading a moms group in our church that had held what was supposed to be, a one-time conference for moms. We expected 400 moms to attend and 1100 showed up. It seemed that God’s vision was much bigger than mine.

We were now within a few weeks of our second conference and over 2800 women had already registered to attend! We had assembled a Board of Directors, incorporated as a non-profit, and were growing faster than I felt I could keep up with.

“You have to be laughing, God.” I uttered with a mix of humor and resignation. “You now have me leading a huge ministry to moms and I DON’T EVEN LIKE WOMEN!”

I’m a late bloomer when it comes to female relationships. Growing up, most of the kids in our neighborhood were boys.  My two sisters and I played softball with the neighborhood guys in the empty lot next to our house nearly every night during the spring, summer, and fall.  Even though I went to all twelve years of school in the same school district, I never had one girlfriend who was my “best friend since first grade” like some people have.

I did have friends who were girls. I went to a few birthday parties and sleepovers over the years. Some girls eventually moved into the neighborhood and we had fun together…playing baseball in the side lot. I had some girlfriends I ate lunch with in high school.

Maybe it was growing up in a neighborhood of boys, or maybe it was being attracted to the simplicity of guy friendships, but female friendships weren’t exactly a priority to me. I liked my guy friendships because they seemed to be less complicated. These weren’t boyfriends…just guy friends who didn’t get their feelings hurt easily, communicated at face value, and protected me fiercely. They were more like the big brothers I never had.

I met some friends late in high school and I spent a year living in a sorority my freshman year of college (that, honestly, never really met my friendship expectations), but I never seemed to really “click” with the whole girlfriend thing. While I privately longed to have girlfriends to share secrets with, laugh together, and talk on the phone for hours, I summed it up in my mind that I just wasn’t meant to have many girlfriends and I needed to be content with what I had.

And then I became a mom.

Suddenly I had this desire to spend time with other women who understood what my life is like. I needed to learn from them. I needed to know if what my kid was doing was normal. I needed to know if my feelings were okay. More than anything, I needed to know I wasn’t alone!  Seeking female friendships to meet those needs, I discovered that I longed for a mothering community around me, but I had no idea how to find one.

I stumbled my way through those early years of mom friendships. I lived far from family, so my friends became family. I experienced both the high of “doing life” with other moms and the low of being rejected by those I thought were my friends. I’ve made lifelong friends and experienced friendship “break ups.” I’ve come to learn that my personality and temperament affect the number of friends I will likely have. I’ve discovered that some friendships are seasonal and others are lifetime. Finally, I’ve learned some strategies along the way for making friends, keeping friends, and even understanding when it’s ok to let a friendship go.

Friendships change as motherhood changes. Yet in all seasons of motherhood we need to be with other women who understand our life.

Knowing that, my daughter, Anne, and I wrote Better Together: Because You’re Not Meant to Mom Alone that will officially release next Tuesday!  We all need a tribe and once we have one we need to know how to nurture those friendships.

I love a good deal and there’s a great opportunity being offered by Moody Publishers and Hearts at Home if you pre-order Better Together before it releases next Tuesday!

If you order the book before next Tuesday, March 1, you will also receive:

1 Printable: 33 Bible Verses to Share with a Friend Going Through a Hard Time

7 Hearts at Home Audio Workshops
• Keep It Shut–Karen Ehman
• Embrace Your Mothering Personality–Jill Savage
• Living and Laughing Together–Ken Davis
• Could Someone Please Remind Me Who I Am–Juli Slattery
• Bad Moments Don’t Make Bad Mamas–Lysa Terkeurst
• Created to Be–Dr. Kathy Koch
• Confessions of an Imperfect Mom–Julie Barnhill

3 Wallpapers/Backgounds for Phone and Computer

Bonus Video: No More Perfect Kids Workshop–Jill Savage

Want to get in on the Better Together Bonus Offers!  You can pre-order the book and submit your receipt for the freebies over at www.bettertogetherbook.org!

Got a friend you do this mom thing with? Make sure she knows about it too!

Posted in Taking Care of Me | Leave a comment

The Myth of “I Don’t Love You Anymore”

ThinkstockPhotos-478896468It’s happened again.  Yesterday we learned of another family that has been broken up because one person in the marriage says, “I don’t love you anymore.”

There’s a common misconception that married couples will always “feel” love for one another.  Today’s Marriage Monday looks at this myth and what to do about it if it happens to you.

Mark: If you’ve been hanging around here very long, you know that Jill and I have had our ups and downs over the years.  We’ve hit the lowest of lows when we both felt no love for one another.

Jill:This was a very scary place to be for both of us.  And we both feared that “falling out of love” meant that our relationship was over.

Mark: When we sought out help through professional counseling, we learned that our experience was actually quite common.  Feelings of love can come and go in a marriage.  That’s real life and real marriage.

Jill:There are certainly relationships that never experience the “falling out of love” feeling.  If that describes you, you need to thank God for that right now.

Mark: However, if you or your spouse has ever felt like the love has left your relationship, you need to know that is normal.  It happens to real people and real marriages.  You also need to know that you can put the love back in an empty relationship. Your marriage can survive the ebb and flow of feelings.

Jill: You also need to know that another relationship is not the answer.  Because the same thing will likely happen down the road in another relationship.  All relationships have ups and downs.  Don’t run to a new relationship because you feel “love” or “passion” there and you don’t feel it at home.  Those feelings will wane someday, as well.

Mark: So what do you do when you no longer have that “loving feeling?”  Here are seven steps to take to redeem the love:

Seek help. Don’t try to navigate this challenge alone.  Help can come from a professional counselor, a minister, or even a trusted couple that is a little further down the marriage road than you are.  Sometimes, help can also come from a friend who will help hold you accountable to think and do what is right.

Evaluate your thought life. What are the thoughts that you think about your spouse? If they are primarily negative thoughts, begin to “take your thoughts captive” (2 Corinthians 10:5).  Apologize to God for believing lies about your spouse.  Replace those lies with truth about the strengths of him or her.

Choose to love. Love is a choice…not a feeling.  Begin to act lovingly to your spouse.  If you need help making this happen from a practical perspective, pick up a copy of the book The Love Dare.

Invest in your marriage. Work to deepen your communication.  Turn off the television, step away from the computer, and spend time with your spouse.  Step into your spouse’s world and help them with a project or even with household tasks like dinner, dishes, or the laundry.

Re-engage in your relationship. If you’ve lost that lovin’ feeling, you’ve likely let your eyes and your heart wander away from your marriage.  Re-engage in the relationship you’ve got.  You may not feel like it in the beginning, but you can still choose to do the right thing.

Grow up. Remember that God uses marriage to mature you.  Maturity often happens when we resist the flesh (what we want to do) and pursue the Spirit (what God wants us to do).  When we do things God’s way, there’s always a blessing to follow.

Recognize the true enemy.  Your spouse is not the enemy.  There is a spiritual battle raging against your marriage.  The Bible says that Satan divides and destroys.  Recognize the reality of the battle and fight it with God’s truth and prayer.

What about you?  Have you ever lost that “lovin feeling?” What did you do to re-ignite the love in your marriage?

PS….Congrats to Beth (wier111) who won last week’s Marriage Monday giveaway from Arlene Pellicane! 

Posted in Marriage | 2 Comments

Progress Not Perfection

I started a “read the Bible in a year plan” on January 1.  I’ve always wanted to do that, and I decided 2016 would be the year.

I did well the first 15 days of January.  Then I got behind a few days, but was able to get caught up with a little bit of extra reading.

Then I got really behind.

And discouraged.

I poured out my heart to God that I had failed and felt so frustrated. Just as I was ready to give up on my reading plan, God brought to my mind three words that formed the foundation of No More Perfect Kids, the book I co-authored with Dr. Kathy Koch:

Progress, not perfection. 

Dr. Kathy and I wrote, “The middle ground of grace is where we need to plant ourselves and our kids. After all, progress is the goal. It’s not at all about being perfect, but it is about being perfected by the God who has a plan for our lives.”

Oh how I needed those words.

When we expect perfection, fail, and then give up, we stop growing.

When we progress–even imperfectly–we grow.

So I’m still reading. I’m planting God’s Word in my heart on the grace progression plan and I’m loving it.

I’m two weeks behind on the reading schedule, but I’m plugging away and not worrying about doing it perfectly. What’s most important is that I’m progressing.

And that’s the middle ground of grace I’m choosing to embrace.

What about you? Do you need to give yourself grace? What are you doing imperfectly that you need to keep plugging along and making progress in? 

Posted in Faith, Taking Care of Me | 2 Comments

Do You Remember?

Happy WifeToday’s Marriage Monday is a guest post from Hearts at Home 2015 conference speaker Arlene Pellicane. Arlene is giving away one copy of her book 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife. If you want to enter, leave a comment on what you remember when you were falling in love with your spouse.

PS…Congrats to Brandi Russell-Eastwood who won Dr. Meg Meeker’s online parenting course, The 12 Principles of Raising Great Kids in last week’s giveaway!

****************************************************************

ArleneDo you remember when you were falling in love with your spouse?

Or when you held your child for the first time?

For me, you might say my husband James had me at “jello.”  I was a grad student in Virginia Beach at a nursing home ministry one evening.  As I heard a certain young man share with the half-asleep residents in the recreation room, I was wide awake.  Who was this compassionate, funny, God honoring gentleman?  I honestly thought to myself, “I want to marry that man!”

Well, that lightning bolt moment happened almost 20 years ago.  I did get to marry that man from the nursing home!  Recently my husband James and I watched some old videos from our courtship in 1998.  I blushed instantly and it didn’t take long for us to burst out laughing.  Who were those giddy people, plastered together, looking at one another with such eyes of love and longing?  We’re talking rainbows, sugar plum fairies, dancing flowers, the whole thing.

James said with a smile, “I was like Hercules then.  You believed I could do anything.”

Oh, the sweetness of remembering.  As I watched that younger version of myself, it rekindled something in me.

I still want my husband to believe he’s Hercules to me. 

I still want to make him feel like he can do anything. 

When we take a moment to remember where we’ve come from as husband and wife – and how miraculous it all was to meet in the first place – it can make a profound difference in the here and now.

Instead of grumbling about what your husband isn’t and what he hasn’t done lately, you can be filled with gratitude simply because he’s here.

Instead of a milk toast welcome home, you can wrap your arms around him, kiss him deeply and say, “I’m really glad to see you.”

Instead of being nice mannered roommates, you can be warm and affectionate lovers.

I think one key to having a happy marriage is to regularly “remember when….”  Remembering how you fell in love rekindles warm memories.  It helps you to appreciate one another and keeps you from taking the other for granted.

###

Need some help remembering?  Join Arlene and her husband James on a Cruise to a Happy Marriage, sailing May 15-22 on the Royal Caribbean.  It’s an investment in your marriage (plus a lot of fun in the sun!).

Posted in Marriage | 14 Comments

Are You Looking At Life Through A Peephole?

Today’s post is from Julia White, an energetic warrior mama who loves to inspire the hearts of women with faith and encouragement. When Julia is not running back and forth to her two kids’ activities, she loves reading, music, and sharing stories with friends. Julia published her first book of devotionals in 2015 and runs an inspirational blog, providing weekly sparkle to those looking for God’s “jewels” in their own lives. She reminds us that even when we feel lost, God tells us we are beautiful and valuable, just as He made us.

****************************************************************************

JuliaWinter is in full force here in the Midwest. Sparkling snow is on the ground, there’s a brisk chill in the air, and frost is glistening like diamonds on the trees. I love the way the world looks after a snow….calm, patient, gentle…and let’s face it…sparkly. I love me some sparkles.

Of course I also really appreciate the fact that I have a garage to park my van in so my vehicle is not as sparkly as my husband’s work truck in the morning. There’s no scraping or de-icing for me. I just jump in my van and go.

Our last house had outdoor parking and mornings were not quite as glorious as I tromped outside to turn on the car defroster and then set off to scrape my windows. It was a chore I was happy to give up when we moved.

Just recently a friend of mine and I were talking about how it probably doesn’t take more than 5-10 minutes to completely scrape the ice off your windshield, but how little patience we have for that chore some days.

In fact, what made us laugh the hardest was when we started talking about the driving “peephole.” You know, that 10 inch oval circle that appears when you turn on your car defroster and it finally melts enough where you think “Yep! Good enough to get going!”

So you scrunch down in your seat, peer intently out your peephole and navigate your car out of your driveway and down the road. You would think our years of experience with snow and ice would have helped us build different habits. All we have to do is actually wait the 15 minutes it takes for the car to warm up and clear the entire windshield. But instead, our years of experience have led us to choose the opposite. We rationalize,“I’ll just start moving now because by the time I get anywhere that I REALLY need to see my windshield will be clear.”

I honestly remember driving to work more than once where I had to roll down the side windows before I turned so I could check for oncoming traffic. I knew it was a safety issue. But some days….I just didn’t want to take the time to do the work.  It was a bad habit, but one that was hard to break.

This happens in our lives, too. Kids have activities to do, guests are coming over, houses don’t clean themselves, and by golly these people in our lives demand to be fed…every day…over and over. And sometimes our responsibilities and “what needs to be done” start to cloud our vision.

While this happens with our kids, I would even boldly say it happens more often in our marriages and our friendships. Why do I always have to be the tough parent? Why didn’t HE help with the dishes? Why can’t THEY run the errands? We scrunch down in our seats and peer intently through our opinions of WHAT needs to be done and by WHO…and our 10 inch oval keeps getting smaller and smaller.

God reminds us there is a different way. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Or the other translation I like is “ A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”

We are not alone, despite what our small peephole would lead us to believe at times. While we are focused and intent on driving our families forward, we also need to take the time to wait before we move forward safely.

Instead of just plunging forward and hoping that everything will be as it should be by the time we get there….we need to start instead with a clear purpose.

Start with open eyes that see the other people God has given you on your team. The ones that you can stand back-to-back with and conquer everything this life throws your way.

Take the time to connect with your husband and friends. Just 5 minutes of talking to them about how you can pray for them today can reveal a whole world of worry or joy that we would have missed otherwise!

Take the time to let God reveal the bigger picture and connect you to His purpose.

Like that freshly fallen snow, God’s love is always around us…calm, patient, and gentle…and maybe even a little sparkly. So, let’s not continue to drive blindly just because it’s a habit. God has so much more for us to see.

God, thank you for your many gifts. I’m grateful for friends and loved ones who walk this journey with me. Thank you for this reminder to open my eyes. Help me to drop the habit of looking at life through a peephole and missing the bigger picture. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Posted in Faith | 1 Comment

Would You Send A Valentine To a Mom Who Needs It?

a24b74bc-a024-48b6-a642-5ff52adcc969We’ve all been there, feeling overwhelmed, worn down, or just needing a break. Money is tight and “taking care of me” simply has no budget.

That would have been me two years ago during my breast cancer journey. We were over our head in medical bills and registering for a conference I desperately needed would have never made it high enough on the priority list.

It also describes my friend Lisa who is a single mom. She’s barely making ends meet but longs to attend the Hearts at Home conference so she can be the best mom she can be.

We know there are seasons like this in many moms’ lives. That’s why Hearts at Home began our Sponsor-a-Mom program.

In 2015 alone, Sponsor-a-Mom scholarships paved the way for 175 moms to attend conference. Amanda, a recipient, gave thanks saying, “Receiving the scholarship was an intense reminder that there are people on my team, I am not alone, and God is always there for me and will provide.” It is because of the ministry partners like you that these scholarships are made possible.

If you have partnered with our Sponsor-a-Mom program in the past, THANK YOU! You are making a difference! If you never have, it’s possible you just might not have known about the opportunity.  Will you join me in sponsoring a mom this year? With your support, all moms, no matter their financial situation, have access to enjoy a day away to learn, grow, and gain the needed support for their mothering journey.

Visit our website to sponsor a mom today or to find more information.  Your support will help us provide scholarships to women who want to attend all three of our 2016 events!

Sponsor-a-MomBe Sweet!

Posted in Taking Care of Me | Leave a comment

Love The One You Have

Mark: When I met Jill I was drawn to her spunk. Her faith. Her no-nonsense attitude. After we got married that turned into black and white thinking and strong opinions.

That wasn’t what I signed up for.

Jill: When I met Mark I was drawn to his compassion and his sensitivity. After we got married that turned into him being a feeler, a pleaser, and passivity.

That wasn’t what I signed up for.

Mark: After talking to hundreds of couples over the years, our experience isn’t unique. What we’re initially drawn to becomes magnified and seems to morph into something different.

Jill: Somewhere along the way a friend challenged me with these words, “You’ve gotta grieve the loss of the husband you thought you had and love the one you have.” 

That was just the perspective I needed to change my thinking.

Mark: I wish I’d had a friend say those words to me early on because I needed to hear them.  I spent way too many years trying to change Jill and eventually thinking the grass was greener on the other side of the fence.  That was an incredibly painful detour that I hope I can prevent others from taking.

Jill: Even though I had a change in thinking, there were still plenty of times when I prayed “God change him,” and should have been praying, “God show me how to love him.”

Mark: There are two parts to the wisdom Jill’s friend shared with her: Grieve and Love. We first have to let go of the loss of our imagined partner. No one person can probably live up to the dream spouse we have in our mind. Every person is imperfect in some way. Grieving the loss of what we imagined, helps us move into reality.

Jill: Once we grieve, then we love well. Love is a choice. A decision. It’s not a feeling. Often love can actually the impetus of change. When God was teaching me most about love, he took me to Romans 12:9-21:

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.  Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.  Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.  On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Mark: So is it time for you to “grieve the spouse you thought you had and love the one you have?”  I’m so glad I’ve learned to love the one I have.  I invite you to do the same.

Posted in Marriage | Leave a comment

The #1 Reason You Don’t Reach Your Goals

ThinkstockPhotos-82173239I’ll just put this here and put it away later.

I’ll just sleep in this morning and go to the gym tomorrow morning.

I’ll just have one handful of M&M’s.

I’ll just fold the laundry tomorrow. 

Rationalizing. We all do it. It’s a coping mechanism when we’re overwhelmed. It’s a lazy response when we don’t want to put out the effort we need to. It’s an emotional response we back up with logic.  Most importantly, it’s a lie that holds us hostage and keeps us from reaching our goals.

If we break up the word rationalize, it becomes “rational lies” which are exactly what we tell ourselves in a moment of decision. Rationalizing keeps us stuck where we are.

Got clutter? It’s a result of the lie that says, “I’ll put it away later.”

Can’t stay on a healthy eating plan? It’s because we lie to ourselves that “one cookie won’t matter.”

Can’t make it to the gym? That’s because of the lie that says, “I’ll do that tomorrow.”

Did you make a New Year’s resolution?  If you did and you’re not doing so well with it, it’s probably because you’ve rationalized each time you’ve come face to face with the decision to do the thing you said you wanted to do.

I’m personally acquainted with these lies because I’ve used them myself. In fact, I’m a reformed messy. When I decided that my messiness bothered me and I really wanted to live differently, I didn’t have to start new habits. Instead, I had to come face to face with my thought processes. That’s where I discovered how often I was lying to myself!

Want to stop telling yourself “rational lies?”  Here are three steps I’ve found helpful:

  • Watch out for those two little words, “I’ll just…”. You might say them aloud or you might say them in your head. Regardless of how you say them, start paying attention to their existence in your vocabulary. When you hear them, allow an alarm to go off in your head.
  • Don’t believe the lie. Instead of telling yourself “I’ll just put this away later,” simply take the 10 extra steps to put it away now. Instead of saying, “I’ll just sleep in in this morning,” push through your sleepy fog and get out of bed.
  • Smile at your accomplishment. Give yourself an “atta girl” or atta boy” moment of encouragement knowing that you pushed through the lie and did what you needed to do.

Each time you identify a “rational lie,” push through it, and do what you need to do, you’ll be on your way to living the life you want to live!

What about you? Can you identify when you rationalize and how doing so keeps you from reaching your goals? 

Posted in Home Organization, Taking Care of Me | 4 Comments

Yesterday’s Giveaway and Where I’m Headed This Spring

If you tried to enter yesterday’s giveaway, you probably ran into a technical glitch when trying to leave a comment!  I’m so sorry!  

The problem is fixed now so if you want to enter the giveaway, you can leave a comment here!  Take two! (If you emailed me your comment already after you tried to post it, you’re still entered…no need to repost it!)

It’s also possible that I’m going to be in your neck of the woods sometime this Spring. Come say hello and join the fun if any of these events that are open to the public are near you. (Click HERE to find contact info for these events!)

Saturday, January 30–Springfield, IL,–No More Perfect Parents Parenting Seminar

Thursday, February 4 and February 18–Geneva, IL,–My Hearts at Home

Friday/Saturday, Feb 19-20–Zeeland, Michigan–No More Perfect

Saturday, March 5–Avon, Indiana–No More Perfect

Thurs-Sat, March 10-12, Greenville, South Carolina–Great Homeschool Convention

Thurs-Sat, March 31-April 2–Cincinnati, Ohio–Great Homeschool Convention

Fri-Sat, April 8-9–Utica, Illinois–Retreat to the Rock

Let me know if you’ll be at any of these events!  I’d love to connect!

 

 

Posted in Parenting, Taking Care of Me | Leave a comment

Why Are You So Stressed As a Parent?

Today’s post is a guest post from my friend, Dr. Meg Meeker. Dr. Meeker has the wisdom of a pediatrician and the heart of a mother.

She’s the best-selling author of six book and has appeared on The Today Show, Today with Kathie-Lee and Hoda, Dateline with Katie Couric, The O’Reilly Factor, Fox and Friends, The Dave Ramsey Show, and more. Dr. Meg also serves as the co-host for Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk radio show.

Today she shares a simple, yet profound principle, we parents need to understand.

**************************************************************************

megAfter 30 years practicing pediatrics, I had a huge revelation. I figured out exactly why parents are so stressed all the time! While talking to a mother of three children and chatting about how to implement one of the principles in my new online program, a light went off.

You are stressed because you are micro-parenting not macro-parenting.

What does this mean? Simply put, you spend so much time, energy and money on a multitude of small things with your child, that you’ve lost sight of the bigger picture.

If you stand back and tell yourself to look at the 25 year span of your child’s life, ask yourself what you really want to teach him. Who do you want him to become? When you do this, you’ll come up with a few things and I”ll bet you aren’t focused on any of them right now because you’re so busy!

Here’s the truth: when you work hard at fewer big things in your child’s life (macro-parent)  you don’t have to worry about  the small stuff that keeps you aboard the Crazy Train. What kinds of things am I talking about?

For instance, a macro-parenting principle is teaching your child to be compassionate and empathetic. You do this by teaching him to be grateful and to serve others. How are you doing that right now? If you focus on things like this, he’ll become a much happier adult than by doing travel hockey 12 months of the year.

I also know why you micro-parent: because your friends do and you don’t want your child to feel left behind. I get it. But let me tell you something else. If you shift your perspective from micro-parenting to macro-parenting, you are almost guaranteed to raise a happy, successful child.

*************************************************************************

Dr. Meg offers a popular online parenting course, The 12 Principles of Raising Great Kids, where she teaches parents how to move from micro-parenting to macro-parenting and today she is giving away one complimentary membership ($149 value!) to one of my blog readers!

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment stating one of two things: 1)what stresses you out the most about parenting, or 2) what is one stress-relieving strategy you use to de-stress.

What about you? What stresses you out the most about parenting? What do you do to de-stress from parenting?

Posted in Parenting | 29 Comments