Homeschooling in the Time of a Pandemic

Homeschooling in the Time of a Pandemic

This post may contain affiliate links.

Unless you’ve been living in a cave or on your own personal island for the past few months, you’ve already heard about the rapidly spreading virus hitting our world. With this understanding, I’m not going to get into what it is, not only because it’s all over the media, but because I honestly don’t understand it any better than the next random person.

What’s Changed

Recently state governments have been taking steps to help prevent the spread of this still-debated illness. These steps include asking people who might be infected to self-quarantine, practice social distancing, banning group gatherings of 50 people or more, canceling large events, and most recently closing schools.

That’s where I come in.

Homeschooling in the Time of a Pandemic

If You’re Unexpectedly Homeschooling

Last week your kids were attending classes at their public or private school, and today they’re home for a few weeks or more. You could use this as an extended vacation, or you can help them stay ‘on-track’ by creating a life of learning. 

Homeschool, Not Public School At Home

I’m sure your head is already spinning. 

You not only have to figure out a whole new daily routine, which might include working from home or finding childcare, but now you need a way to make sure your children aren’t being adversely affected by this unexpected change.

It’s going to be okay.

Take a breath, Momma. You’ll get through this. 

First, homeschooling doesn’t have to be, and in fact shouldn’t be, about trying to recreate public school at home. You don’t need to come up with eight-hours a day of table work for your children. 

Below you’ll find several ways to make sure your children continue to learn even while the doors to public education are locked.

Read Good Books

The best thing to do during the public school closure is to make sure there are high quality books available to your children. These can be in the form of physical books, e-books, and audiobooks.

Reading aloud is one of the most important things we can do for our children, but this doesn’t mean you have to read an entire book in one day. 

Take your time, even a little time is better than no time. 

Your children should also read books and listen to audiobooks for themselves.

If you don’t already have an Audible account you can get a free trial by heading over to Amazon.

Educational Shows

With all the different streaming options available, as well as YouTube, there is no end to what your children can learn while they’re home. Decide on a subject they’re interested in (or one they were studying when schools closed) and do a search for shows and movies that focus on those topics.

Currently my children are enjoying the show The World According to Jeff Goldblum (available on DisneyPlus) as well as videos on the various rain forests in the world.

Play Games

At our house we have a closet full of board games and card games. They range from games my three-year-old can play to advanced games like Bible Pictionary. Game Wright has several games that are both fun and educational, and most are available through Amazon.

There are many homeschool families who exclusively learn through games, this is referred to as game-schooling. 

Games You Might Enjoy

There are endless options for you as a family; this is nowhere near an exhaustive list, just a sampling for a starting place.

Plan and Make Family Meals

One thing that doesn’t change is the need for our families to eat. This is the perfect time to work together to plan and make meals. Search online for recipes that would be as simple or challenging as you and your children could handle. 

The point of this experience is to make memories with your children. To slow down, and do something together. 

After all, everyone knows food you prepare yourself tastes better. 

Get Outside (Just Not Close to Other People)

Being conscious of social distancing is the name of the game during these times of closure. This doesn’t mean you have to stay inside your house, though. 

Get into the yard and play together.

Watch birds, and look for bugs.

Smell the flowers as they begin to bloom.

Spend time in nature, and remember how wonderful God’s work is.

Slow Down and Talk to Each Other

We’re a society that is constantly on the go; over-planning our schedules so there is a neverending rush to do,do,do.

Take this time to slow down. Spend mornings enjoying breakfast together and discussing whatever interests your children. Read books as you lounge around the table after lunch. Answer questions they might have about what is going on, and how you as a family can help those less fortunate (while still maintaining social distance). Our children grow up so quickly, and if they’re usually in public school you don’t get as much time together as you’re going to get over the next few weeks.

Make this time count.

Something to Consider

Don’t look at this shutdown as an inconvenience, but as an opportunity to really connect to the children God has blessed you with. Embrace the experience with joy and acceptance. Consider ways to make the long days God-centered, and remember this is just a short time in our lives.

Something to Pray

Heavenly Father, 

During this time of uncertainty and doubt may we embrace the opportunities to connect with our children not in fear but in praise of You.

In Your Holy Name,

Amen 

wellofaith


A Mother's Superpower: Knowing How to Say No--wellofaith.com

A Mother’s Superpower: Knowing How to Say “No”.

A Mother’s Superpower: Knowing How to Say “No”.

Busyness, the New Social Competition

After a conversation the other day, with my dear sister-in-Christ, Jeanne, I began thinking about the busyness of not just motherhood, but of the busyness of childhood.

Admittedly this isn’t the first time I’ve thought about this topic, or written about it on this blog.

In fact, this post on, “saying ‘no'” was written in 2015.

Although many things in my life (and in my writing) have changed since that post, much still remains the same.

We spend so much time as a society trying to improve our busyness, one-upping our friends on how busy we are, and sharing the constant activities, places, and events we’re either participating in, preparing to participate in, or have just participated in.

Just typing that was exhausting. It makes my brain hurt.

But What About Socialization?

A Mother's Superpower: Knowing How to Say No--wellofaith.com

If you’re reading this you’re likely a homeschool mother, or at the very least are familiar with the homeschool community. The constant question from the general population is always, “what about socialization”?

Having had to answer this a time or twenty, I understand the frustration.

Sadly though, I’ve discovered the continual barrage of this question on homeschool mothers has led many to over-socialize their children (and themselves).

We spend so much time as a society trying to improve our busyness, one-upping our friends on how busy we are, and sharing the constant activities, places, and events we’re either participating in, preparing to participate in, or have just participated in.

Mothers are humans too (although they’re often more superhuman than mere human), and they want to fit in with others just like their children do. This leads to worry about their children missing out on all the ‘things’.

Things = extracurricular activities: drama, music, dance, cooking class, various sports, etc.

There are quite literally more options for activities for our children than I can even wrap my head around. There could be several posts spent discussing these possible options.

Some of them are even good.

However, do our children really need to be overwhelmed by a smorgasbord of ‘good’ activities if it doesn’t leave them (or their mother) time for things that would prove to be more than just ‘good’?

Yes, I’m “That” Parent

I’m an introvert by nature, and a homebody on top of that. My family is convinced that I’m one step away from becoming a hermit. Especially since I can now have pretty much everything I need delivered to my doorstep.

A Mother's Superpower: Knowing How to Say No--wellofaith.com

Being a mother of highly social and obviously extroverted children, I’m not likely to see hermit-hood anytime in the next eighteen years or so.

So instead, I know that I need to maintain my sanity, while still providing for the interactive needs of my children.

This means making sure my children have outlets and activities to participate in.

Activities in and of themselves aren’t ‘bad’.

Over-scheduling ourselves and our families is.

I’ll be honest, there are tons of things my children want to get involved in.

There are even quite a few I’ve considered for my children.

However, after prayerfully considering these activities, and my own sanity–as well as God’s call for me to raise my children for His glory, I always come to the realization that these extra activities are just ‘good’.

If I’m going to give up family time for individual activities, they have to be more than just ‘good’. They have to be great.

Does this mean I say ‘no’ to a lot of opportunities for my children?

Yes.

Is my twelve-year old daughter bummed about missing out on a social group or activity her friends are participating in?

Also, Yes.

As Mothers We Need to Know When to Say “No”.

My children are already busier than I would ideally like. However, the activities they’re in were prayerfully considered.

Whenever possible they’re in activities at the same place and time.

Since my husband works nights and is often gone for long hours of over-time and commuting; I treasure the time he is home, and try to make sure the kids are home to get every extra moment they can with him.

If I’m going to give up family time for individual activities, they have to be more than just ‘good’. They have to be great.

There are times when this actually causes us to skip a particular activity for the week, simply because, to me, family togetherness far outweighs social activities.

A Mother's Superpower: Knowing How to Say No--wellofaith.com

Our Activities:

  • As a family we attend church together on Sundays.
  • Tuesdays my husband takes the three older kiddos to the gym where they participate in homeschool PE (and I stay home for much needed snuggles with the youngest).
  • Wednesdays the kiddos and I participate in Awana at our church. Two Wednesdays a month my eldest works with the tech team for the middle school worship team during our Awana time.
  • Thursdays we have our homeschool Co-Op

The days we don’t have scheduled activities we have game time, and just take it easy.

Children need time to “be bored”, and if every moment of their days are scheduled with activities they never have the opportunity to discover ways to entertain themselves.

There are weeks when my eldest is invited to a birthday party, or to spend a few hours at a friend’s house.

Most of the time she’ll be allowed to go, and always enjoys her time.

Other times, I’ll use my motherhood superpower and say, “no”.

A Mother's Superpower: Knowing How to Say No--wellofaith.com

Not because I have anything against her having friends, or experiencing life; but because sometimes there are things more important than those moments of excitement and fun.

Sometimes, there is a voice whispering in my heart “no, not this time”.

I’ve learned to listen to that voice.

Give Yourself Grace

One of the hardest parts about being a mother, is remembering to give ourselves grace. We often forget that God shows us all grace everyday, but we find it nearly impossible to show that same grace to ourselves.

Saying no isn’t always easy. Sometimes you’ll second guess your decisions. That’s normal.

I’ve learned in the last four years so many amazing things about myself, and my children. Had I said yes to every activity that sounded good, I don’t think there would have been time or closeness for these discoveries.

Saving my ‘yes’ for only the best things, has made a huge impact on my family’s lives.

We may not be doing ‘all the things’, but we are getting to know each other; to learn together, and to live our lives together.

Not just living from one activity to another, but actually living in the moment.

Something to Consider:

Start small. Try setting one day a week aside where you don’t participate in any activities outside the house. Use this time to connect on a more relaxed level with your children.

Something to Pray:

Heavenly Father,

May we strive to prayerfully know what the best use of our ‘yes’ is. We ask for guidance in saying ‘no’ when everyone else is saying ‘yes’. Help us to make intentional use of our time with our families that we may raise our children for Your glory.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen

Until next time,

wellofaith
A Mother's Superpower: Knowing How to Say No--wellofaith.com

If you’re looking for a good book on this topic, I recommend this book by Lysa Terkeurst.

12 Christian Gift Ideas for Women--wellofaith.com

Christmas Shopping Guide 2019: 12 Gifts for Christian Women

12 Gifts for Christian Women

It’s That Time of Year Again

The harvest festivals are over, and the Thanksgiving turkey hasn’t been made yet; it’s obviously time to prepare for that year-end holiday, Christmas.

I’m firmly in the “not preparing for Christmas until after Thanksgiving” camp, (and by after I mean, at least a week after) but I know that not everyone procrastinates as I do.

Many people even prepare for Christmas right after Halloween.

So for those of you who are already knee-deep in Christmas music and decor, this series of posts is for you.

To begin the series I’m including gift ideas for that Christian woman on you shopping list (or maybe for you, if you’re looking to treat yourself).

This post does contain affiliate links, so if you do decide to purchase something through one of the Amazon affiliate links in this post I’ll receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.

12 Christian Gifts for Women

12 Christian Gift Ideas for Women--wellofaith.com
Photo by Alizee Marchand on Pexels.com

Faith T-Shirt

Mansy Women’s Vertical Faith Tee makes a comfortable and stylish gift for any woman who is boldly living their faith, and it comes in several styles and colors.

Titanium Therapy Bracelet

Crosstraxx titanium therapy bracelet with Philippians 4:13.

Delicate Cross Bracelet with Isaiah 41:10

This cross bracelet is both beautiful and delicate. A gorgeous gift for the stocking or under the tree.

BPA Free Glass Water Bottle

I’ve heard nothing but good things about these glass water bottles, and the inspirational quote will get you through the tough moments (like finishing all the water you’re supposed to drink each day.)

Table Cross

How gorgeous is this table cross? Do I really need to talk it up anymore? I actually want to add this to my personal list. It will look great on my seasonal shelf–and would likely stay there throughout all the seasons.

Cozy Faith Blanket

This “blankiegram” faith blanket would be super comfy to cozy up with during chilly nights. It comes in several colors as well as different themes.

Coffee for Jesus

Even though I don’t drink coffee, this Bold3 coffee delivers the Word of God to three children with each bag purchased. If that doesn’t sound like a perfect Christmas gift, I don’t know what does. I hear it tastes pretty good too. If you like that sort of thing. 🙂

Vintage Coffee Cups With Verses

To go along with that Bold3 coffee, this set of four biblical mugs is a perfect compliment. Maybe a nice gift basket arrangement.

Sterling Silver Infinity Necklace

I’d be willing to wear jewelry again with this necklace. How beautiful.

Gratitude Journal

What gift list would be complete without a gratitude journal? This one is gorgeous and would make a great gift by itself or as a stocking stuffer.

Too Blessed to Be Stressed– by Debora M. Coty

Too Blessed to Be Stressed 3- minute devotions for women. A nice gift that will keep blessing your loved one long after the holiday has passed, and the leftovers are gone.

Too Blessed to Be Stressed for Moms– By Debora M. Coty

This one, Too Blessed to Be Stressed for Moms is a perfect gift for the harried and overwhelmed mom. Or, if you’re reading this honey, for me. The title alone is a good reminder for our daily lives, right sisters?

Hopefully this guide will be a helpful starting point for you holiday shopping.

Something to Consider:

While you’re searching for the perfect gift for your loved ones, have you considered helping another family in need? Local churches often adopt families for Christmas, providing gifts for the children. Our church does an event called Holiday Hope, and it is such a blessing to be able to help another family this year since we struggled so hard last year.

Something to Pray:

Heavenly Father,

May this holiday allow us to share your love and Spirit with all those we come into contact with.

In Your Glorious Name,

Amen.

Until next time,

wellofaith

Before you go, might I recommend this article for your reading pleasure?

Also, make sure you’re following the real life of this crazy mom on Instagram.

Join in the discussion on Facebook too.

Marriage: 5 Frugal and Simple Ways to Date Your Spouse--Wellofaith.com

Marriage: 5 Frugal and Simple Ways to Date Your Spouse

Marriage: 5 Frugal and Simple Ways to Date Your Spouse

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase using the links in this post, I will receive a commission at no additional cost to you.

Why It’s Important to Date Your Spouse

According to Christine Hammond, a counselor who has personally worked with over a thousand couples, it’s important to date your spouse because:

In the beginning, the reason for dating is to get to know someone better to see if this is a good fit. After marriage, the reason for dating to know your spouse better to ensure a good fit. The best explanation I’ve heard is that dating prior to marriage is the equivalent of an elementary education of a person. The education should not stop there. Rather, it should be just beginning with a desire to have a Ph.D. level of understanding of your spouse.

With this in mind, it is important to make time to be a couple again; to take off the “mom” hat and take time to embrace the role of woman and wife.

Finding Time to Date Your Spouse

Between over-time hours and commuting (my husband), and children’s activities, keeping up with the house, and homeschooling (me), dating my spouse rarely happens in our family.

Marriage: 5 Frugal and Simple Ways to Date Your Spouse--wellofaith.com

I’m aware of the damage this can cause, and I’m working to remedy my tendency to focus on tasks instead of on building a lasting relationship with my husband.

Knowing I need to make time for this important aspect of married life, I’ve been considering how to “find” the time.

What it comes down to isn’t that I need to “find” the time.

I need to use the time I already have. I must decide that stoking the fire in our relationship is more important than folding another load of laundry, or even taking a shower.

Although, I think being clean might be a bit more of an aphrodisiac than limp hair and baggy shirts covered in baby snot and dog fur.

I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

Step Away From Social Media

If you’re like me, I can lose track of time scrolling through social media.

I’ve cut my social media consumption way back, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not using up perfectly good “date” time by wiling away uncounted minutes looking at Instagram posts.

Skip Your Workout

I’m not saying fitness is a waste of time (it’s not), but if you’re having a hard time “finding time” to connect with your other half, skipping it one day a week won’t destroy your hard work or set you back.

After all, being healthy is more than just having muscles and visible abs.

Put a Movie on For the Kids

I’ll preface this with saying: I’m not a proponent of children watching television.

Do mine watch TV?

Yes.

Does it make me want to toss the giant box with moving pictures out a window?

Always.

However, there are times when treating the children to a new movie rental, or an old favorite can give you just enough time to have a quick date with your spouse.

You won’t even have to find a sitter.

Put It On The Calendar

If something is on the calendar it is harder to push to the side or ignore. This also has the added benefit of creating anticipation. It allows you to think about the upcoming date with the enthusiasm a date deserves.

5 Frugal and Simple Ideas for Dating Your Spouse

Marriage: 5 Frugal and Simple Ways to Date Your Spouse--Wellofaith.com
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

With that newly allotted time you have, here are a few possibilities with what you can do.

Floor Picnic

Spread a blanket on your floor, grab some crackers, cheese, and your favorite beverage; splurge on dark chocolate and seasonal fruit.

With the kids in front of a movie or sleeping, this is a simple and romantic way to reconnect with your spouse.

Lock your screens away and get to know each other again.

This is not the time to discuss “important” things. Those can wait.

Cocoa Under the Stars

One of my favorite things to do is to sit out on our porch and drink cocoa.

Now that the temperature has dropped below sauna and is feeling more like Autumn, I’m looking forward to some quality dates with my spouse and my favorite warm beverage.

Consequently, I have a nice supply of different cocoa varieties I’ve received with my subscription to Coffee and a Classic.

Luckily for me, they were willing to change it from coffee to cocoa, so I’ve been enjoying their products for the last year.

Watch a Favorite Show

Put those little loves to bed or down for a nap (since my husband works nights we have to be a lot more flexible with date times), pop some popcorn or go all out and make finger foods; then sit back and relaxed together–snuggled up of course–to catch up on all those episodes that have been waiting for you.

This of course should go without saying, but those handheld screens we’re always connected to–they need to be far, far away.

Play a Game

We have a closet full of board games and card games. I have high hopes to one day do weekly family game nights.

Right now with two kids under 6, they’re a bit hit or miss. I have goals though. We’ll get there.

Until then, these games can be utilized for date night.

It’s simple to set up and put away, and if you have a closet filled with them already–entirely free.

You can make this as simple or fancy as you’d like.

Add dinner or dessert, to add an extra dose of special to your evening playing “Clue”.

Complete a Bible Study

Since marriage is a covenant we make to each other and to God, it is important for us to stay connect to Christ as well.

There are several really great Bible studies we’ve done together in years past.

They’ve done more for us than any dinner and a movie in town could.

This doesn’t have to be one done with a group.

In fact, it would be perfect to do together in the comfort of your home, and can fit into short periods of time.

The important thing when it comes to dating your spouse, is that you’re connecting with them. You’re getting to know who they are today, because let’s face it, we’ve all changed since we said “I do.”

Selection of Bible Studies:

I’m not an expert on marriage or even on keeping up a great relationship with my husband. I am however, determined to rectify that. I hope these ideas help you find frugal and simple ways to date your spouse too.

Until next time,

wellofaith

If you enjoyed this post, please check out my article on how the military life strengthened my faith in God.

Follow me on Instagram for sneak peeks of upcoming blogs, and behind the scenes of my real life.

Marriage: 5 Frugal and Simple Ways to Date Your Spouse--wellofaith.com

Sare’s Christian Blog Post Recommendations: You Need to Read These!

Sare’s Christian Blog Post Recommendations: You Need to Read These!

Hello Dear Sisters!

As a child of God and a mother, sometimes things feel lonely. Sometimes it feels like there is no one out there experiencing *exactly* what you’re experiencing.

For that reason, I’ve combed the web to find five Christian posts to motivate, inspire, and reassure you.

These Christian blog posts are obviously just a small selection of all the glorious connections you can find. I’ve discovered these lovelies because of their posts on Pinterest.

My goal is to make sure everyone feels like they’ve got a tribe. I might be an introvert, but I’m an introvert who is called to comfort others.

Sare's Christian Blog Post Recommendations: You Need to Read These! wellofaith.com

We may never meet in person to have a cup of tea, but I’ll do my best to share things to help moms in all stages and seasons.

I don’t have all the answers, or all the experiences, but I know there are people out there just like you. Hopefully these posts will bring you–whoever you are–comfort.

From the Christian Blog-o-sphere:

Sare's Christian Blog Post Recommendations: You Need to Read These!

Once you’ve had a chance to read these five Christian blog posts, let me know which one helped you the most. Also, take a moment to leave the author a comment to let them know that their words touched you.

Let’s build a community.

Until next time,

wellofaith

Check out this collection of “Mom Guilt” blog posts from across the web too.

Sare's Christian Blog Post Recommendations: You Need to Read These! --wellofaith.com
book recommendations, When "Everything" Goes Wrong, I Choose Joy in the One True God

When “Everything” is Going Wrong I Choose Joy in the One True God

When “Everything” is Going Wrong I Choose Joy in the One True God

Then you will find your joy in the LORD…

Isaiah 58:14a

Just a side note, this post became a bit longer than intended, and may end up becoming a series of posts in the future.

When Joy Is Hard to Find

2019 has been an intense year. There has been joy, but there has been a lot of “hard” too.

Though, if I’m honest my family has been in a rough season since 2017 when my husband left Active Duty. It appears we’re not quite ready to reap the harvest yet.

If this past weekend is any indicator, we’ve got quite a bit more sowing left in this season.

To those who know us personally, it isn’t a surprise to know we’ve been struggling. The move from Active Duty to civilian life has not been an easy experience. There have been more bumps in the road than either my husband or I ever expected.

Life without the security of the Marine Corps is a constant act of faith.

Never have we been what you would call financially “well-off”, but we’ve always been able to provide for ourselves and our children without too much struggle.

Until we no longer could.

Becoming Humble

When we moved from Washington State to Virginia, we left nearly everyone we knew.

My children left their friends and Sunday school teachers they loved. I left my sister, my cousin, and my childhood best friend.

We also drove away broke, because of a paperwork error that took months to straighten out before the Marine Corps would release my husband’s final paycheck.

Driving across the country nearly penniless, heading to a state where we still hadn’t found a place to live, could have been terrifying.

Instead, there was joy.

Okay, there was some fear too, but whenever the fear would claw at me I’d remember that everything comes from God. That He would provide in His way and His time.

So, I gladly accepted the joy He provided.

I shared adventures with my favorite people as we explored amazing sites, both created by God and made by man; the joy of giggles and drinking too much caffeine; staying in questionable hotels that would be safer if they were condemned; and cramming three kids, a cat, a dog, and two adults as well as everything we thought we might need, into a minivan.

With excitement like that, who had time for fear?

Joy in God is Accepting Help

After arriving in Virginia things became more complicated.

We needed to find a place to call home.

What should have taken only a couple of days turned into a two-month ordeal.

During this time, God once again provided for us, by opening the hearts and home of our dear friends.

Looking back, I believe God led us to explore Classical Conversations in Washington simply so we could connect with Rachal and her family, because once she moved to Virginia He led us away from CC and in another direction with our homeschool.

When Rachal and her husband offered us a place to stay while we looked for a house, neither our family or theirs expected it would be more than a weekend affair. So when place after place fell through and we were led to purchase a home instead of renting, my heart was filled with such gratitude and love when they welcomed us with open arms.

Let’s just say, there are times I think they deserved a medal (and possibly a parade) for that alone.

Having never needed to rely on others, accepting that my husband and I couldn’t do this on our own was difficult.

Especially since he was in a completely different state going through federal training.

Joy in God Comes When He Provides Family

When "Everything" is Going Wrong I Choose Joy in the One True God--wellofaith.com

Rachal and I weren’t close when we lived in Washington. We were friendly, and she was always willing to swing by and get my kids when I was dealing with rough moments during the pregnancy with my youngest daughter; we just didn’t spend time together outside of CC or our small-group Bible study.

God Knew What We Needed

Suddenly my kids and I were part of her family. We did pretty much everything together for those two months. My eldest daughter celebrated her 10th birthday sitting at their dining room table. She finally had older brothers, and she was thrilled to be there with them.

When I discovered I was pregnant with my youngest, Rachal and her husband were the first to know. In fact, they knew before I did, since they were convinced I was pregnant before I ever considered it. Later she was there holding my hand during the early morning hours as I gave birth to my youngest son.

Through every hoop we had to jump through while purchasing our house, to being hit with a stomach bug while pregnant, God filled me with joy.

There was joy in little things: having a second set of hands to snuggle my youngest daughter; someone to love on my “spirited” and struggling son, a church that had everything we were looking for. Things that would often be taken for granted just kept leading me right back to God, and the joy that comes from knowing He is taking care of each and every one of us.

God always provides, and my joy is always because of Him.

I Chose Joy in God Anew This Week

On Sunday as I prepared the kids and myself for church, I received a phone call from my husband. He’d been in an accident on I-95 and his car was totaled.

As the kids and I drove to pick him up, I sang praises to God. My husband’s car was totaled, and I thought I knew the hardship that would cause, but he had walked away from it without physical injury.

My children didn’t have to visit their father in the hospital, and I didn’t have to explain to them why their daddy wasn’t coming home.

Worries, Stress, and Choosing to Be Positive

When "Everything" Is Going Wrong I Choose Joy in the One True God--wellofaith.com

Each day since the accident more and more obstacles have been placed before us. Some of them God immediately removed.

When He answers a prayer, the only thing I can do is praise Him and focus on the joy flooding through me.

Monday was especially rough, because my husband was trying to process what had happened, and I was as well.

The first wave of adrenaline and relief had past.

I woke up to a panic attack that only God could calm as I prayed, and prayed, and prayed some more, until finally the panic subsided and I was able to sleep again.

My husband was frustrated and bitter, and all I felt was an overwhelming sadness and heaviness of heart.

It didn’t take long before I was irritated with myself and decided to give it all to God.

I wrote out my prayers, my concerns, my frustrations, and my overwhelming belief in God. I wrote out my praises to Him.

Then I spent time in the study of Isaiah.

Isaiah 41 reminds us to stop lamenting and to return to rejoicing. That God provides for all our needs even during our struggles.

His testimony is that He will never forsake us.

We are to trust God as our shepherd and allow him to do it in the His way.

God Trumps Fear and Worry. Every Time.

While I immersed myself in God’s word, the fear and worry began to fade. Nothing had changed about our situation, but I gave that stress to God and accepted the peace and joy that replaced it.

Today things are still “bad” and there are no answers in sight. We don’t know where the next days and weeks will take us.

What I do know, is that I have joy.

Not because of any physical or material thing, but because I know joy in God.

The joy only experienced when you know God is in control, and that this isn’t our forever home.

Joy isn’t just a feeling.

It’s a knowledge that you’re never alone, and Our God is bigger than any problem we will ever face on Earth.

Until next time,

wellofaith

For more on the topic of joy check out this post.

When "Everything" is Going Wrong I Choose Joy in the One True God--wellofaith.com

Filling Your Cup: Mom Approved Ideas for Daily Self-Care

Filling Your Cup: Mom Approved Ideas for Daily Self-Care

Mothers Need to be Serious About Self-Care

As a momma of four, self-care is something I’m focusing on in my own life. It’s a habit I’m not always great at, but I keep trying.

I’m a work in progress.

Motherhood is a full time job; only unlike full-time jobs in the corporate world there aren’t vacation days, sick leave, or someone leaving donuts in the staff lounge.

The hours of motherhood are long–so very long– that finding time to go to the bathroom without a little one cheering,”Go Momma! You tinkled in the potty!”, is nearly impossible.

For these reasons, among others, mothers desperately need to make time for ourselves.

We need to carve out pockets of time to take care of ourselves, because we can’t take care of our little ones (or our husbands and homes) if we have nothing left.

“You can’t pour from an empty cup.”

Someone really smart

How to Make Time For Yourself

One of the hardest parts about taking time to recharge ourselves, is finding the time in our lives.

Between co-op, Awana, and Homeschool PE–not to mention planning and cooking healthy meals, cleaning the house, enriching the lives of my children through good books, and making sure those same children don’t suddenly decide they’re Superman and can fly from the roof of our house; there isn’t a lot of time left for me.

Especially when I still have a one year old who needs his nap-time snuggles, and to be perfectly honest, I need those snuggles too.

Things Were Getting Crazy, and By Things, I Mean Me.

For years the only self-care I was getting were from my daily home work out programs. I remember patting myself on the back thinking, I’m so smart taking this time for myself. This self-care stuff is simple.

There was a small problem with my thinking.

Self-care is more than just working out.

It’s more than a thirty minute sweat session. Especially if during that thirty minutes your mind isn’t focused on the moves, but on something else. It also doesn’t work if your children break your focus every few minutes.

I was getting into shape because I was working out daily, and I was paying attention to what I was fueling my body with, but I wasn’t feeling any more filled.

My mind and body felt depleted all the time, and I was not filling my children with loving attention.

Something Had to Give

When I finally realized I needed more in my life than a daily fitness routine, I started looking for other things to enrich my life. The problem with this was that I still didn’t have any extra time.

So, I started by cutting out extraneous things that didn’t bring me joy.

The first thing to go was Facebook. Suddenly I had a lot of extra time that I didn’t have before, but I wasn’t done cutting things out yet.

I’m quite a perfectionist, and that is a time consuming personality. In the last year I’ve focused on letting things go, of getting rid of this time eater. I’ve done this in small ways like: not worrying so much about the toys in the living room, or the unfolded blankets on the couch and chairs.

These little things led to other things that have made time-management easier. Like the printable in this post.

What Can You Cut Out of Your Schedule?

Before you go any further, take a moment to list the things you do throughout the day. This includes running errands, making meals, being a taxi, and scrolling through social media.

In case you were wondering, the time you spend binge watching Netflix also counts.

Once you’ve listed the things you do each day, decide what things you can cut out or at least down.

It’s important for us as mothers to make the time, not just wait for it to appear.

I know mindlessly scrolling through social media may help us check-out for a few minutes, but trust me, you’ll thank yourself if you cut it back so you have time for some real self-care.

Sare Approved Self-Care Ideas

Below is a list of just a handful of self-care ideas that are possible in short amounts of time. Things that have personally helped me to better focus on filling my tank, so that I can better fill my children and husband with love.:

Mom Approved Ideas for Daily Self-Care--Wellofaith.com
Full Fat Tea
  • Time in the Word.
  • Reading personal development books (Here are a few recommendations)
  • Reading a great novel
  • Enjoying a cup of tea or cocoa on the porch
  • Get moving (at home workouts bring a personal trainer straight to you, and for a time that works for you!)
  • Get a massage
  • Get your nails done (or do them yourself)
  • Take a long shower or bath
  • Stretch your body daily
  • Drink at least half you body weight in water daily
  • Try a new make-up technique
  • Wash your face
  • Crank up worship music and praise God
  • Enjoy a special treat. We have an amazing cupcake bakery near us, and I love going there and indulging in a gourmet cupcake.
  • Get enough sleep (this one is super important)
  • Eat a balanced diet. Remember fat is NOT bad for you. Stay away from things that claim they’re “low fat”.
  • Listen to a podcast. Mama Bear Apologetics has a great one. So does Million Praying Moms.
  • Go out for coffee with a friend (and leave your phones on silent in your purse).
  • Journal, color, or create.
Mom Approved Ideas for Daily Self-Care--wellofaith.com
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcake

Obviously, this isn’t an exhaustive list, but I do hope it has given you some ideas of how you can add some much needed self-care into your life.

In the comment section, please add any other self-care ideas you have tried or want to try. I’d love to add to this list in the future.

Until next time,

wellofaith
Filling Your Cup: Mom Approved Ideas for Daily Self-Care--wellofaith.com
God +Love > Sweatpants--wellofaith.com

Fallen World “Beauty”: God + Love is Greater Than Sweatpants

God+Love > Sweatpants

This article was originally posted in 2015.

This is Why the World Can’t Have Beauty

Recently I stumbled across and interview Eva Mendes gave where she stated that the end of a marriage can be directly related to the wife wearing sweatpants.

If you want to read the original article that led to this posting click here.

Say what?

Normally, I don’t pay a lot of attention to what celebrities talk about.

I especially don’t tend pay attention to celebrities who feel qualified to give marital advice when they’re not married.

However, reading many of the comments linked with these articles on social media made me reconsider.

In Society Today, Beauty is Only Skin Deep

There are a lot of women–too many women–who feel Eva Mendes is correct.

They believe in this day of Photoshop and plastic surgery what a wife wears is the true key to the longevity of their marriage.

I need to clear this up.

For everyone.

Or, at the very least, for the people who read my weekly ramblings.

What We Wear At Home Should Not Be a Deciding Factor in the Strength of Our Relationship With Our Spouse.

God+Love>Sweatpants--wellofaith.com
No, this isn’t my husband or me. It is a great photo, and captures exactly what should connect a husband and wife.

Marriages are a contract, yes, but they’re a contract that should be tied to a deep and abiding love and faithfulness– to not only our spouse, but to God.

When I got married, I distinctly remember the minister mispronouncing my short name, but getting my husband’s long, long, long name correct. the words, “for better or for worse” among the words my husband and I repeated.

I’m sure there are people who will smirk and say, “For better or for worse doesn’t have anything to do with bad style choices.” I disagree. Completely.

If my husband’s love for me were directly tied to the way I looked, our marriage would have ended years ago.

I may not wear sweatpants, but I also don’t wake up each morning before my husband so he doesn’t see me without my ‘face’ on.

For that matter, I rarely wear make-up, so there’s that.

He’s seen me with bedhead, fighting the stomach flu.

I’ve had chronic migraines, that have done nothing for the way I look; and long ago, he saw me when I drank too much.

None of these sights were pretty, and they’re all a heck of a lot worse than him seeing me in a pair of sweatpants.

Love Isn’t About the Way You Look, It’s About the Connection You Have With Someone’s Heart.

Love is the butterflies you get in your stomach when you know you’re going to see them; it’s the comfort their presence brings you, without them saying anything.

It’s knowing that you don’t have to doll yourself up all the time to impress them, because they’re impressed with the way God created you.

God+Love>Sweatpants--wellofaith.com
I can guarantee I’m wearing work out leggings in the picture. Possibly baby spit too. Also, pretty sure my three year old is wrapped around my leg.

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

1 Peter 3:3-4

They don’t love you because of the adornments you use to be fashionable or beautiful for a materialistic world.

I understand what she ‘might’ have been trying to say.

Women Should Take Pride in Themselves.

The biggest problem with associating this with a type of pants, is that people miss the bigger picture.

Pride in yourself is fine–as long as you remember everything you have is God’s.

Be careful about having too much pride in your good looks, your perfect body, or the clothes you wear.

All of those things are fleeting.

The beauty God created inside you–your heart and soul–those are where the true strength of your marriage will come from.

So, ladies if you feel like your husband (or boyfriend) will leave you if you don’t look your best, walk away.

He’s not the one for you.

Don’t sell yourself short for someone only interested in the outer trappings.

Find that person who will love you even when you’re looking your worst, because he’ll see the beauty God created.

Besides, no one wants to be worried about their hair or make-up at two in the morning–when they’re in labor.

No one.

Trust me.

God + Love > sweatpants. Always.

Until next time,

wellofaith
God+Love>Sweatpants--wellofaith.com
scripture prayer for moms--wellofaith.com

Sunday Scripture Prayer for Moms [September 1, 2019]

Sunday Scripture Prayer for Moms

September 1, 2019

Good Morning, Mommas

It’s been a wild ride this summer, and it’s crazy to realize today is the first day of September. Those fall vibes are coming in hot.

While many of us are looking forward to the cooler weather in the coming weeks, we need to remember others are struggling with wild fires and hurricanes.

Scripture Prayer for Moms--wellofaith.com

The wild fires in the Amazon, Siberia, and the Canary Islands; Hurricane Dorian heading toward the Bahamas and the Eastern Seaboard–the people affected by this are in need of our prayers this morning.

During our struggles, we need to remember to take refuge in the Lord, because He is good and He will be with us.

Scripture to Meditate On

The Lord is good,
    a stronghold in the day of trouble;
he knows those who take refuge in him.

Nahum 1:7

This Morning’s Prayer for Moms

Father God,

Thank you for always being there for us; protecting us in the storms of this life.

Forgive us for forgetting to turn to you, and instead relying upon ourselves to make it through the troubles we face.

This week as we move through the life you’ve blessed us with–facing storms, fires, and the struggles of motherhood, may we remember to turn to You.

Help us to see through the smoke, rain, and darkness that often clouds our judgement; and remember You’re our stronghold in this fallen world.

Please, Lord protect those affected by the wild fires and the hurricane. I pray they take refuge in You.

In Your Most Holy Name,

Amen

Have a wonderful week, Mommas and make sure you download this week’s scripture card below.

Until next time,

wellofaith

For more scripture prayers for moms, check out this link.

Download your printable 3×5 verse card here.

How to Calm the Chaos of Motherhood--Wellofatih.com

How to Calm the Chaos of Motherhood [Download a Printable]

How to Calm the Chaos of Motherhood

Motherhood Should Be Considered a Super Power

It had been a horrible, rotten, no good, very bad week in our home, and this particular day was working out to be the worst one. I was almost positive motherhood wasn’t supposed to be this hard.

The kids had been at each other since they woke up, I was hugely pregnant with our youngest son, and someone decided to pee on their bedroom carpet…again.

The carpet that was less than three months old.

In the house we’d just bought.

Dealing with the Chaos of Motherhood--Wellofaith.com

My husband was still out of state at FLETC, and I was trying to balance everything, including my children’s socialization (because obviously, homeschoolers have to worry about socialization–but that is a soap box for another time).

I was a Momma on the edge, and no amount of chocolate was helping.

Prayer is Always the Answer

If at first you don’t succeed, try turning to God.

When the chocolate didn’t work, I did what I should always do first.

I prayed.

It’s possible I might have begged, actually.

Which is totally okay, because God loves us regardless of how much whining we do.

He’s amazing like that.

So, if at first you don’t succeed, try turning to God.

Things didn’t magically change overnight.

In fact things got harder before they got better, (and some days are still down right hard)and when that happens people often decide God isn’t listening or doesn’t care.

That couldn’t be further from the truth.

In fact, God is closest to us during our struggles.

Providing we allow Him to be.

God is always listening to our prayers, and He always knows what is going on in our lives. The problem comes when instead of turning to Him, we turn away from Him.

Often times people will quote the saying, “God won’t give you more than you can handle”.

That is a falacy.

It mght sound good, but it isn’t how God works.

He will most definitely give us more than we can handle, because He doesn’t want us to handle it. He wants us to turn to Him.

We need to turn to Him.

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Mark 11:24

The Motherhood Struggle: Dishes

Recently our dishwasher turned in its pink slip in the middle of a cycle, and since that time I’ve found myself standing at the kitchen sink a lot more than I’m used to.

This is just one more thing in the long line of, well, things that have become my new expectation of owning a home.

These moments are the times I miss renting, but only for a few minutes.

Anyway, back to the sink, and the dishes.

This is the Chore That Never Ends…

It seemed that when we had a dishwasher to rely on, there was often a sink full of dirty dishes waiting to be loaded.

Or a load waiting to be started, because there weren’t quite enough dishes in it to warrant turning it on.

One thing I’ve learned about motherhood, is that dishes are a quite necessary and often irritating part of raising children.

Kids want to eat, and when they eat they use dishes and glasses.

Often several at a time.

If you’ve been reading this blog for any time, or following me on IG, you likely know I suffer from anxiety.

A sink full of dishes adds exponentially to that.

The day the dishwasher died, I decided I wasn’t going to allow this new adventure to cripple me.

So, this time I turned to God and asked for peace about the situation.

Then I made a plan.

Sare Verses the Dishes

Several people I know, including my husband, are much more laid back than I am when it comes to chores and getting things finished.

To them, the longer they put it off the happier they are.

This doesn’t work for me.

If I put something off, like the dishes, that responsibility will follow me all day long.

My shoulders will become stiff with tension, my neck and jaw will ache, and my temperament will suffer.

To combat this, I don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink.

I don’t wait to do the dishes.

When I drink my pre-workout drink in the morning, I clean the jar and place it on the rack to dry. If I have a snack, I clean the dish and put it away.

Yes, this does mean I spend time at the sink more often, but it prevents me from missing out on time with my family if I’m washing an entire day’s worth of dishes after dinner.

If You Can Carry a Dish, You Can Help

After a meal, those who are old enough clear their personal places at the table and then wash their own dishes, placing them in the rack to dry.

This allows every one to take responsibility for the use of their own items.

It also helps this Momma to not spend hours at the sink scrubbing caked on food.

We are a family, and as a family we eat together and we work together.

No one has ever died from cleaning up after themselves, and my children will leave this house knowing how to take care of themselves and a home–regardless of their gender.

The Motherhood Struggle: Raising Productive Children

Ever since my eldest daughter was old enough to help pick up her own toys and place her blanket on the side of her crib, I have given my children age appropriate chores.

How to Calm the Chaos of Motherhood--Wellofatih.com

This is a big deal, sisters.

The other day I was volunteering with a group of third and fourth grade girls and discovered more than half of them don’t have chores.

None.

Motherhood isn’t just about keeping a little person alive until they’re eighteen.

It’s about raising them and teaching them.

It’s about guiding them and giving them boundaries, balance, and skills to not just survive, but thrive when they’re no longer living within the walls of our homes.

What Are Age Appropriate Chores?

If you do a quick search on Google or Pinterest you’ll find all kinds of colorful charts listing chores by age group.

Like this.

or even this.

Chores My Kiddos Do

My eldest daughter (11) has a wide variety of chores including

  • Cleaning the bathroom she shares with her brother
  • Taking the dog outside
  • Feeding and caring for the cat
  • Helping with the dishes
  • Taking the trash and recycle to the street for pick-up
  • vacuuming
  • wiping down the counters in the kitchen
  • setting the table
  • helping with meals
  • doing her laundry
  • keeping her room neat and picked up (this includes bed made and art supplies stored away)
  • helping weed the yard and gardens

My eldest son’s (6) chores include:

  • Feeding the dog
  • putting away his laundry
  • making his bed
  • putting his toys away when he is done playing with them
  • wiping off the table
  • cleaning the toilet (with supervision and help)
  • dusting
  • helping to set and clear the table
  • bringing his dirty laundry down on laundry day

My youngest daughter (3) helps where she can. She:

  • Picks up her toys with help
  • carries the vacuum cord while I vacuum the main floor of the house
  • brings her dishes to the sink
  • puts away the step-stool after shes’ used it

Not all of theses chores are done all the time, but all of them have been done. Some of the are done weekly or daily.

Family Chore List

To keep things running smoothly (since our family thrives on routines), we have a laminated list of daily chores on the fridge.

Each chore has a name beside it, and that person is responsible for getting their chore done right after breakfast.

This includes Momma.

Once the chore is finished we cross it off and go about our day.

Since we try to do more together on the weekend I keep the chores down to a minimum on Saturday/Sunday. This allows for relaxation and play.

I wish I could take credit for coming up with this list, but for some reason I’d never thought of it until Stephanie over at A Simply Dunn Life shared how she took some of the struggle out of housework and motherhood.

Since my kiddos and I began using this daily chore list, there has been less stress, more team work, and an overall change in the attitude of our home.

Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t fix everything that causes stress and anxiety, but it definitely helps.

For that reason, I’m including a free download of the chart we use.

Just print it out, laminate it and you’re ready to go.

Printable download

How to Calm the Chaos of Motherhood--wellofaith.com

Until next time,

wellofaith
How to Calm the Chaos of Motherhood--Wellofaith.com