It's only two or three days shorter but man this month still flew by. Then again, every month seems to fly by since we are already hitting March and I swear I still have crumbs from Christmas hiding in my kitchen. Oh man... that was supposed to be a joke but now I wonder if I do!Read More
Several months ago I talked a lot about self care and how deeply important I think it is, especially for moms of young kids. It's far too easy to get caught up in the day to day tasks and lose ourselves in the process! We begin to exist only as "Mom" and not as "Katie" or "Amanda" or "Cari" or "Nicole." But by finding ways we can take care of ourselves, ways to fill our own cups, we will not only hold on to our own identities we will have the ability to really pour into others.
Since becoming a mom I've found that I really enjoy exercise. After our second son was born I lost more than 70 pounds by doing at home workouts and cutting down my calories. I usually did a few 10 minute videos but I attempted to go through p90x at this point. I missed lots of days and didn’t push myself as hard as I probably could have. But it still felt amazing to fit into sizes I had never fit into before and feel healthy and energized for taking care of my kids.Read More
Music runs in my blood. I'm not musical by any means - no matter how bad I want to be - but man do I love music. One of my favorite ways to get in some self-care is to hop in the car, a hot shower, or just dance around the kitchen with music blasting. I'm talking so loud I can't hear myself think and can only focus on the music. Sometimes I turn on favorites from childhood like Michael Jackson or Meat Loaf. Other times it's throwbacks to my punk and emo days with The Early November and Taking Back Sunday.
When I'm really feeling maxed out and need to completely overhaul my mind I go for worship music. A couple Thursdays ago when it seemed as though the entire day was going wrong, I was having problem after problem, couldn't shake my bad attitude, and overall wanted to crawl in a hole.
I turned on Pandora and set it to a praise and worship station and hid in the kitchen. All the kids were occupied with snack in the living room so I soaked up the music. One of my favorite worship songs, Break Every Chain, came on and I lost it. I fell to my knees then laid flat down on the floor and cried out to Jesus. By the time the song was over there was such a sense of relief flowing through me. Jesus is stronger than any trial or challenge I face.
This love of music and the connection to it has passed into my children, especially Cade. Lately he has completely latched on to the song The River by Jordan Feliz. He "sings" it on his own and he can identify it with only a few words being sung. If he's having a hard time calming down I can turn it on and his attitude does a 180. He can go from having a total meltdown to smiling and watching the words scroll by. I don't know why this song speaks to him so deeply but something about it soothes his little soul. And it fills my soul to know that he is connecting with music in such a great way.
The first forty-ish psalms are generally believed to be written by David. They are songs of praise and prayer. Some are filled with gratitude to the Lord for all he has done, others proclaim his majesty, and many are laments and prayers asking for protection and answers. Oh how I can relate! When I have on a praise and worship station and the songs change from upbeat worship to cries of help and back again I can feel each piece of me being soothed, restored, and comforted. The music and words express what I sometimes cannot on my own.
Seeing the affect music has on myself and my children I want to start having more purposeful worship time together. I've discovered that YouTube is actually a great resource for this as many Christian artists offer lyric videos for their songs. Now I don't need to mumble when I don't know the real words, ha! We can dance, praise, and sing to God together and I'm so excited to do this.
What soothes your soul in times of trouble? Do you have ways to practice self-care and do you actually do them? Find a healthy way to soothe your soul and practice it today.
What type of music do you enjoy? What are your favorite songs?
How many of you are feeling tired, worn out, like you are burning the candle at both ends and possibly in the middle as well? My hand is right up there with you! I have days where I feel like I've totally got all this handled and other days when I just stare at the wall because I can't fathom finishing everything on my list so clearly the answer is to do nothing... right?
Or what about those of you with heavier struggles. You are watching your child battle a health issue. You lost your main source of income. You are burying a dear friend. Your marriage is strained. You don't have any fight left in you to go on another day.
Dear sweet friend, I want to wrap you in my arms and hug and cry with you! But have faith for you are not alone. When you feel yourself burning out, when you aren't sure you can endure much more of the same I encourage you to do these three things:Read More
Have you ever said something to a friend or even your child and immediately it hits you how much you needed to hear those same words? I'm so guilty of this. It's almost always when I'm hollering at the kids to use a "nice indoor voice." Whoops.
A couple weeks ago I wrote a post on the importance of self-care. After I posted it I felt great because focusing on activities and little moments that "fill my cup" is really something I believe in and strive to do. But... I'm also totally guilty of filling my cup with the easy, almost cheating, cup fillers and not finding those things that will bring lasting change.
While I was on vacation last week I got out of the habit of reading my devotional in the morning. I wasn't at home so my normal routine was off and before I knew it I had missed several mornings in a row. I could feel the difference! Now that I'm back home I made that priority number one for my mornings and it feels significantly better to be starting the day on the right foot.
The other cup filler that I've been ignoring or, at the very least, inconsistently completing, is exercise. I really do love to exercise. I have days when I drag my feet and choose a less than challenging video - is it really a helpful workout when it only takes me 5 minutes and I'm breathing the same when I'm done? - but most days the feeling of sweat dripping down my face and muscles that are begging to quit makes me excited because it means my body is being challenged and I'm getting stronger!Read More
Okay, so it's not EXACTLY three words but I'm going with it.
As a mom I find it so easy to put my needs on the back burner. These five little beings I am responsible for have needs that are often more important or at least more pressing. They can't make their own food so I need to be in the kitchen cooking. They need clean clothes so I need to make sure the loads are going (or remind the big boys to start/flip/remove/sort). The little boys need diaper changes, or be taken to the potty (yeah, that's happening!). They need, need, need, and want, want, want.
But what about this tired and worn out mom? What do I want and need?Read More