Category Archives: Motherhood

Among Us: A Parent’s Review and Why You Should Play

Remember the days of the group game Mafia? The game where the goal was to eliminate the mafia before the mafia eliminated the group?

The same concept has been made into a virtual game and your kids are probably playing it!

About the Game

Among Us has been around for a few years, however it has exploded in popularity in 2020. It is an online multiplayer game in which players are assigned one of two roles – Crewmate or Impostor. The Crewmates’ job is to identify the Impostors, eliminate them via group voting and complete tasks around the map. The Impostors’ goal is to secretly sabotage and kill the Crewmates before they complete all of their tasks. Crewmates win if all Impostors are eliminated or all tasks are completed. Impostors win if there is an equal number of Impostors and Crewmates or if a sabotage is not repaired by the Crewmates.

Why You Should Be Playing

Among Us has come up in multiple parent groups I’m a part of on Facebook. Mostly from concerned parents who don’t know anything about the game and wonder if they should be allowing their kids to play. I have to admit I’ve been one of those parents. I didn’t know anything about the game and was noticing how much my kids were playing and using new terminology like “That’s sus” and “gg”. 

Our kids have been asking us to play, which we’ve been putting off, until last night. Here’s what I learned in playing Among Us with my kids and why I think you should play, too!

Designed by @designsbydayton

First, I learned that if I don’t know about something my kids are playing or doing, the best tactic is to ask them to teach me. Playing the game allowed me to experience the game and figure out if this was something I was ok with them playing. If I hadn’t played, I wouldn’t have known if there were things I don’t want them exposed to. Before I played, I didn’t know what they meant when they said “Oh they’re so sus!” (By the way, that means suspicious.)

I had seen many parents concerned about the chat feature, which was also a concern of mine. Playing allowed me to see how the feature was used and, for me, after playing it became less of a concern. Can the chat feature be misused? Absolutely. My daughter has mentioned people have used words we wouldn’t use in our house. But as for the concern that people would prey on my kids, that fear was alleviated after playing. The chat feature is only allowed as people are waiting for others to join and only during certain times in play.

If after playing, something was concerning to me, I feel like the fact that I had played gives me some credibility. It also gives me terminology to use in talking with them about it.

The second reason I think you should play is if you do decide to let your kids play, I think you’ll find it’s great family time! My kids loved teaching us how to play! There was definitely a learning curve for Matt and I but eventually we figured it out and had a lot of fun together. My kids enjoy playing with friends and FaceTiming while they play, so Matt and I were playing with several of their friends, too.

When we were putting our kids to bed, my son said “That was so much fun tonight!” I loved hearing that! Often times, virtual games can pull our kids away, but when we play together, it allows us a shared experience! 

Do I think the game is for everyone? Nope! That’s your call! But I think making an informed decision is better than making a decision based off the unknown. Some parents may not be ok with elements of the game. And that is perfectly fine! Playing will give you insight into whether it’s good for your family! I think this goes for a lot of things – video games, TikTok, YouTube channels, etc. Jumping on and checking it out can help us make informed decisions for our kids.

Start A Conversation

Here are some questions you can ask your child to start a conversation about Among Us.

  • What do you enjoy about playing Among Us?
  • Is there anything that makes you feel uncomfortable?
  • Help me understand how the game works.
  • Will you show me how to play?
  • What does [sus, gg, vented, tasks] mean?

Oceans: A Parent’s Prayer

Early this morning, before everyone else was awake, I was having my quiet time. I turned on some worship music and I was journaling out my prayers and I got to a point that I was praying for my children. 2020 has brought new parenting challenges with homeschooling, friendships, racism, politics and other social issues.

I wrote, “Lord, I pray that you would give them your wisdom and discernment. I pray that you would strengthen their faith and trust in you and that it would be greater than the pull of the world. May their faith become their own and not ours.” 

As I was journaling these prayers, the thought crossed my mind that 30 years ago, my mom was sitting in her quiet time, praying these same things over me and my siblings. And yet, some of my siblings have chosen to walk away from the Christian faith. “Praying for them doesn’t ensure anything,” was whispering in my head. I started getting overwhelmed with the future and everything that my children could face or choose.

In that moment, “Oceans” by Hillsong United began playing. A song that has meant so much to us in our transitions and moves. But today, I heard the words differently. I listened to them from a parent’s point of view and it brought peace and perspective.

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail

Parenting is nothing but the unknown. There are no manuals and each child is different. Rilyn, being our oldest, is the trailblazer into parenting. Every stage is new for us and brings challenges we’ve never had to deal with so we are winging it the best we can. But just because we’ve dealt with something with Rilyn, doesn’t mean what we’ve learned will necessarily apply to Landon because he is so different from her. What may have worked with her doesn’t work for him. And then there’s the different stages of sending them off – to Kindergarten, to middle school, to high school and off to college. Each one is new and unknown.

And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

“God wanted his people throughout the world to know the glorious riches of this mystery–which is Christ living in you, giving you the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27) No matter what we face, no matter the struggle we have Christ living in us. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us. We can stand firm in that even when we are standing on shaky ground.

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves

This is key in parenting as Christians. We need to constantly be calling upon the name of Jesus to give us wisdom, discernment, empathy and compassion. When the waves of uncertainty or hard things begin to crash around us, we must keep our eyes on Jesus. I think this is also important for our kids learning to make their faith their own. When they see us leaning on Jesus and seeking him out, they learn to do that themselves.

When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace

My mom often quotes Jennifer Rothschild when she says, “It may not be well with my circumstances, but it is well with my soul.” This is what hope in Jesus looks like! Jesus never promises easy. Jesus never promises we won’t face pain. But he does promise peace. He does promise joy. He does promise rest and hope. It is possible to experience pain and peace. Suffering and strength. Heartache and hope.

Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide

This is where spending time in the Bible and prayer is so important! God shows us how to live with wisdom and discernment. He teaches us how to treat our children and others. The Bible is full of wisdom and practical applications. We just need to spend time reading it to know God’s heart! The Bible app is a great resource and has lots of great studies and devotionals. My mom’s book No More Perfect Moms has a study on the Bible app. Another good place to start is reading a chapter of Proverbs each day. Whatever day of the month it is, read that chapter. Or read through Luke to learn more about Jesus.

You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

This line is what gives me so much hope! God has never failed. He’s the creator of all things and triumphs over all hardships. Yes, bad things happen but that’s part of living in a fallen world. That’s not because of God’s character. 

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders

We need to rely on the Holy Spirit as we walk through the challenges and unknowns of parenting our children. Trusting that God loves our children more than we can, which is so hard to imagine! Often times, we are prompted to say “Yes” to something that may seem impossible on our own – but that’s exactly what we need sometimes! Because it’s when we can’t do it on our own that God’s glory is made known!

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger

I think this is the most daring prayer and, to be honest, one I’m scared to pray at times. As a 6 on the enneagram, I make decisions based on safety. I think of all of the possible outcomes and choose the safest one. Praying “take me deeper than my feet could ever wander” takes courage. Moving into territory that I may not be able to control takes trust. Trusting in the One who has all things under control. And that’s exactly what we do as parents. We send them off into life, hoping they make good friends and make good choices. When we face difficult or overwhelming situations, we have two choices: trust that God is in control and his goodness will prevail or try to manage it all in our own strength. Our faith has the opportunity to grow stronger in those times.

I am Yours and You are mine

This truth is most important. Our children’s choices are not a reflection of who we are. We are children of God first and foremost. That is where our identity rests. It’s important that we not take their choices personally. Does that mean we don’t redirect or discipline? Absolutely not! But when correction is called for, it’s more about their character and not about how it made us feel or look as parents.

This song caused my prayer time to move from a place of anxiety and fear of what is to come to a place of peace, trust and hope. It gave me fresh perspective about parenting with purpose and I hope it does the same for you!

Friendship Takes Time

Friendship Takes Time :: EverydaySmallThings.comI began attending MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) when Rilyn was six months old. I really didn’t have any “mom” friends and was craving same season friendship. My mom was going to be speaking at a local MOPS group in a few months and I wanted to attend incognito for a while. I wanted them to know me for me and not for who my mom was. I was the only one with an infant at my assigned table and so at times I felt like I didn’t belong. I questioned whether or not I should continue to attend, as I didn’t seem to have much in common with these women because our children were in different stages of life. I decided to stick it out, and as the year continued I learned a lot from these women but never found a connection of friendship.

img_0560It took me three years to find my Strawberry Pink girls. Our table just clicked, all eleven of us. We shared tears, laughter, struggles, and encouragement. We rallied around the friend whose husband was deployed, encouraged the friend whose husband was living and working in a different state, and supported the friend whose son was killed in an accident. We prayed for one another, played in each other’s homes, and had girls night outs together. These friends held me up when my dad went through a midlife crisis and left for a few months. I had never experienced friendship like this and was relishing in it.

The following year, I moved away and was brokenhearted to leave these dear friends I had made. Facebook has been great in keeping us connected, and several of us make attending the Hearts at Home conference our annual reunion. I am so grateful I stuck it out with MOPS even when I wasn’t initially getting the deep connection I desired. I’ve learned that connection takes time. In our “instant” society, we are often inclined to believe that great friendship happens just as fast as “Confirm” is pressed on a Facebook friend request. That’s not the way it is in real life. Friendships take time to find and nurture. Then once we connect, it’s both the highs and lows of life that make us better together.

How about you? Have you given up too easily when you didn’t find instant connection with a group?

Neighborhood Block Party

Block Party ::

Block Party :: EverydaySmallThings.comI think it’s safe to say spring weather is officially here to stay! Our neighborhood has started becoming active again with the sound of lawn mowers and friendly waves at people walking by. But let’s be honest, how well do you know the people you live by? In a world of garage door openers, its far too easy to pull into your garage, shut the door and never make any connections.

When a job change took us to a new city, we tried to make connections with our neighbors but we weren’t having much success aside from one or two of them. No one seemed interested in the act of neighboring. So we decided to take matters into our own hands and host a block party! We created an invitation and knocked on each door of the neighbors on our block to personally invite them.

I considered the block party a success when, out of twenty-five houses, we had eleven represented. We learned about one another’s families and learned a little bit of history about the neighborhood. Several of our neighbors have lived here for close to fifty years and they kept telling us how wonderful it was to get together and that no one had ever done anything like this. One neighbor even told me, “I’ve lived in my house for fifty years and I’ve never met any of my neighbors.” 

Block Party :: EverydaySmallThings.comBeing intentional about fostering relationships in your neighborhood is a benefit for you and your neighbors! Have you ever considered hosting or organizing a block party? If not, I encourage you to put a date on the calendar right now. Matt and I decided to do it again this year, but instead of August, doing it in June to allow for more connections over the summer. 

Something as simple as an intentional gathering of neighbors can make your neighborhood a better place to live.



Status: No Margin

No Margin :: EverydaySmallThings.comOver the last few weeks, I have been processing this concept of “margin” in my life. Actually its more than just processing, God has been hammering me with it!

You see, anxiety and a lack of margin go hand-in-hand. When I begin to notice the margin in my life narrowing, I also notice it has a direct influence on the number and severity of anxiety attacks.  

Margin: the amount available beyond what is necessary.
Margin in motherhood. When I allow my margin to narrow my little people suffer. I am less likely to engage in play with them or read them a book. My temper is much quicker which is not enjoyable for anyone. When I have margin in my life, I find that I enjoy motherhood much more. I’m excited for the day ahead, instead of dragging along.

Recently I found myself in the grocery store, staring at the long shelves of food. Darn it, my family needed to eat…again. Wasn’t I just here last night? Yep. Yep I was. Same spot. 24 hours earlier. Staring. Trying to mentally run through all of those fabulous pins I have of meals that we love or I’d like to try. And yet, the only meal that comes to mind is chili…again. With a small sigh, my shoulders sagged and I felt stuck. This is another result of having low margin in my life. Margin allows me to thoughtfully plan out meals for our family. Margin allows me to wisely stick to our food budget.

Margin: the amount available beyond what is necessary.
Margin in my marriage. My marriage could survive in low margin, but I want it to thrive. I want to be an active partner with my husband in life and ministry, but right now its taking a lot of work to be more than passing ships in the night. I’m a better mom if I’m a better wife to my husband first. If I’m being honest, in the last four months, I find myself being Daycare Owner first, Mom second, Wife third. The kids’ needs are screaming at me (literally screaming sometimes). Matt doesn’t need me to feed, bathe, change or hold him.
Margin: the amount available beyond what is necessary.
Margin in my faith and ministry. Sadly, what little time I was finding in the last few months with God, has become nothing. I’ll be honest, yesterday was the first time in eight weeks that I even opened my Bible. I’m empty. And you can’t (or shouldn’t) serve out of your emptiness. Romans 15:13 (The Message) says, “May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!” I can’t be filled with “the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit” without spending quality time with my Savior.
Margin: the amount available beyond what is necessary.
Margin for me. Personal care is an important part of life, but especially for those who struggle with depression and anxiety. Self care is one of the best tools we have. Often, moms put off taking care of themselves because they feel like they need to put their family first. But taking care of yourself is taking care of your family!
Margin: the amount available beyond what is necessary.
So, how does one start getting more margin? I don’t know the answer for everyone, but for me, it’s learning to say “No” and choosing to prioritize. Recognizing the places I can let go and others I need to engage. For instance, I haven’t blogged in a few weeks. I tend to blog in the evening and I found I needed that time to focus on my family.
So where are you at with margin in your own life? What are ways you protect your margin? Do you need to find more “white space” in your life?

To The Mom Whose Family Doesn’t Look Like What She Imagined

To The Mom Whose Family Doesn't Look Like She Imagined |

To The Mom Whose Family Doesn't Look Like She Imagined | EverydaySmallThings.comEver since I was a young girl, I knew I wanted to be a mom.  
I also knew I wanted a lot of kids. Like. A loooot. Mothering instincts have always come naturally to me. Younger children were drawn to me and I enjoyed babysitting. In fact, I took babysitting so seriously that I created a “Babysitting Kit” full of fun activities!

I am the oldest of 5 children. Hustle and bustle was the name of the game in my house growing up. Dinner was loud, but fun. There was never a lack of playmates. I love looking at family photos and seeing how large my family is.

In college, I remember telling a friend that I wanted 15 kids. I was only half-joking. When Matt and I started dating, children were an important part of the conversation. I wanted a large family and Matt understood my dream.

Four years into marriage I had a baby.

Holy moly was my world turned upside down.

When she was 4 months old, I returned to work and that is when I began recognizing that I am a medium-low capacity momma. Capacity is the physical and emotional energy you have. It also may indicate how many balls you can juggle before it’s too much. By the end of the work day, there was hardly anything left for my little family.

When Rilyn was an active 23 month old, I gave birth to Landon. From the beginning, he had issues nursing and it didn’t help that Rilyn knew she could get away with anything when mommy was trying to nurse. At 4 months old he fell below his birth weight and was labeled “failure to thrive”. Between this and the toll pregnancy had on my hormones, I found myself deep into the baby blues.  So much so, that it took me nearly two years and trying different medications before my emotional and mental health was normal again.

Walking through that tough season was incredibly hard on my marriage and my motherhood. I am so grateful to have had a husband who stood by my side through the ups and downs. He understood this was not normal for me and fought for me and our family when I couldn’t.

Because of all of this and after a lot of prayer, Matt and I made the decision that, at least for the foreseeable future, we will not be adding to our family via pregnancy.

Enter grief for the loss of a dream.

Experiencing the loss of your family dream can look a lot of different ways. Maybe it was the dream of one boy and one girl and three boys later, you’ve decided not to try a fourth time for that girl. Maybe like me, for unforeseen personal reasons, you have made the choice not to get pregnant again.  Or maybe you’ve experienced infertility or the unimaginable loss of a child.

It’s ok to grieve the family you always dreamt of.

While I know and trust that we have made the right decision for our family, I have still had to grieve the loss of what I always dreamed my family would look like. When we make a decision that is best for our family, it does not take away the loss of our dreams. So you and I have to allow ourselves to grieve but also not lose out on the moment of now. We can’t let what we don’t have cripple us or define us.

Just yesterday, I was going between anger with God and grief yet again as a friend with 6 children posted family photos. This is what I dreamed my family would look like. While it could be easy to look at another mom with more children and feel inadequate,  I can’t allow Satan to steal away the joy of my family and you can’t either.  Regardless of whether your tendency is to shut down emotionally or dwell in your emotions, you can’t fall into the trap of not being the woman your family needs while walking through the grief.  

Recently, the longing and grief were weighing heavily on me and I finally shared what was on my heart with a friend of mine. Wouldn’t you know, I heard the words, “Me too!” What a reminder that none of us are alone in this journey of motherhood. There are other moms who may have a different story, but understand the emotions.

Better Together | EverydaySmallThings.comIn our book, Better Together, my mom writes, “Sometimes just having someone to listen can make all the difference in the world. Most women long to be heard more than to have their problems fixed. When we can be a safe person for a friend to be real and raw without judgment, we give them an incredible gift.”

Caring for others allows us to more easily share with others because we know that we all go through hard times. Taking off our masks is an important part of taking friendship to a deeper level.

So here I am, mask removed. Letting you know, “Me too!”

A Creative Way to Talk About Emotional Purity

The Easiest Way to Talk About Emotional Purity :: EverydaySmallThings.comNote: This post, written several years ago, was a readers’ favorite on my previous blog. As we approach Valentine’s Day, I found it fitting to repost.

For the last four weeks, Matt has been doing a series called “Opposite Sex” with our high school students. He’s been talking about guy and girl relationships and how God calls us to a lifestyle that is “Opposite” of culture’s. Tonight, he preached from Genesis 29:1-30:24, the story of Jacob, Leah and Rachel. I had always seen Jacob’s pursuit and waiting of Rachel as romantic or sweet, but in actuality, Jacob wasted 14 years of his life pining over this woman. Really interesting perspective!

After Matt’s message, we split the kids up between guys and girls. I was really praying about how to drive home this message of purity — both emotional and physical. God reminded me of this great visual that I had read about on Emotional Purity Blog. So last minute (while Matt was preaching) I ran around to grab supplies and kind of made this analogy my own.

I gave each girl a heart and I asked them to write out what makes them special or unique. Some of the things girls wrote down were: family, God, spaghetti, a boyfriend, friends, concerts, singing, plays, individuality, and so on. They covered their heart with these words.
Heart Glue ::

Then, I gave them a black piece of paper with the word boyfriend across the top. I gave them each a glue stick and asked them to glue their heart to boy #1, their “high school sweetheart”. I used Heather’s term of “heart glue” and how when we have a relationship with a guy, we stick to them — even if we are “just friends” but act like boyfriend and girlfriend without the title.

I said that statistically they will break up with their “high school sweetheart” and so we ripped the heart off after 5 minutes. Several girls left quite a bit of their hearts behind, while others seemed to get their full heart back. But what was interesting was all the black on the back of their hearts. We talked about how they may look good on the outside, but on the inside they still have a connection to that guy.

We continued to do this with boy #2 (their college boyfriend) and boy #3. By this time, their hearts were paper thin, ripped or barely there. It was interesting to hear what the girls had “left behind” with the guys. One girl said, “Boy #2 has God!” While another said, “Individuality was left with boy #3.” The conversation was running rampant with this analogy! It was so awesome!
Heart Glue ::

I gave them a white piece of paper with the word “husband” across the top. I asked them to glue their heart onto this piece of paper. One girl said, “My heart can’t take this anymore, I’m using extra glue so it doesn’t come off!” Another girl’s heart looked completely “normal” but she saw that you could see all the black on the back of the heart through the white paper. We talked about what was left for your future spouse — a broken and grimy heart. But we also made sure to talk about the restoration of God and how he can even use broken, gross hearts and create an awesome marriage! I wanted the girls to see that the decisions they make now may seem harmless or “fun” but they can have lasting consequences.

Praying For Future HusbandFinally, I encouraged them to start praying for their future husband. I told them that somewhere out there was a guy going on his own journey. This was the perfect time to start praying for him! I shared that I had started a prayer journal for my future husband in Jr High and actually gave it to Matt as a gift on our wedding day. Its really interesting to see the things God placed on my heart to be praying about and how Matt may have been facing a situation in his life at that moment that needed my specific prayer. Or how I only prayed for my husband’s sisters, never any brothers. Matt has two sisters, no brothers. Back to the activity, I gave each girl a print out that my youth pastor’s wife had given me of a prayer for your future husband. You can gain access to a printable version by inputing your email address below. 

All in all, it was an awesome night and it seemed to really drive home this whole month’s discussion on Opposite Sex. So, thank you Heather for sharing that craft idea so long ago! It definitely came in handy tonight!

Is emotional purity a concept you’ve talked about before?  

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Better Together Launch Team!

Better together Launch Team ::

Better Together Launch Team :: EverydaySmallThings.comFriends! I am so stinkin’ excited about the launch of Better Together: Because You’re Not Meant to Mom Alone (comes out March 1!). Never in a million years did I think I would be co-authoring a book.  That’s my mom’s thing. While I love to blog, my posts are only an average of 800 words. There’s something daunting about filling a book with words.  Thankfully, I partnered with an expert in the field of publishing books…my mom.

This has been an eye opening experience for me, seeing just how much it takes to get a book through the publishing process. I have so enjoyed a “behind the scenes” view!

I’m even more excited that you, my friends, are able to be a part of the launch too! Moody Publishers has agreed to allow us to pull together a large launch team to get the word out. We’re looking for 400 moms who love Hearts at Home, love books, and love to share with their friends! 

This a book about friendship. No matter whether you feel like a friendship guru or a friendship flunky, Better Together is for you! As you read, you’ll learn all kinds of wisdom for moving your friendships from TBF to MBF to GGF to BFF (yes, you’ll learn what all those mean!) and you’ll exhale a deep breath and whisper, “Wow…I’m not alone.”

Isn’t this cover gorgeous!? I just love the vibrant colors!  Eek!

cb81a3b5-btcoverNow the book is in its final editing stage and we have an electronic version to share with our launch team so it’s time to put this in the hands of some moms who need it!

Let me give you the inside scoop on this launch team opportunity!

So what is a launch team? A launch team is a group of people who help spread the word about a new book. They read an electronic copy of the book, participate in a 6-week online discussion as they’re reading the book, and share along the way about the book in social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and/or Periscope, on their blog (if they have one), on retailer sites like Amazon and, and in person with friends, at their moms group, or with the random stranger she’s standing next to in the line at the bathroom at McDonalds.

What would I need to do if I’m on the launch team?

  1. Read an electronic copy of the book before everyone else! This is a pdf you can read on your computer, your phone, or even on your e-book reader (most e-book readers allow you to download a pdf!)
  2. Tell your world about Better Together during the month of February! Share quotes, graphics, and things you are learning as you read the book. (Don’t worry, we’ll give you graphics and some fun things to share plus we know you’ll find some of your own as you read!) You’ll also want to let your girlfriends know all the wonderful freebies they can get if they pre-order the book before it’s March 1 release!
  3. Post an honest review online. It can be on Amazon,,, Goodreads, or your favorite online retailer! This helps other moms find the book when they are needing the encouragement!

What do I get?

  1. You get to read the book first! Wahoo!
  2. You get inside scoop about the book and all kinds of goodies to share!
  3. You will have the possibility of earning all kinds of free stuff like a free signed copy of the Better Together book, free mp3’s of Hearts at Home conference workshops, free Hearts at Home conference tickets, and more!
  4. You’ll get to experience a Better Together six-week online moms group led by Anne and I where you’ll find out you’re in good company with both the joys and the challenges of being a mom and forging friendships!
  5. You’ll get the satisfaction that you were part of something bigger than yourself! You helped make a difference in the lives of thousands of moms!

How do I jump into the launch team pool?

You can apply HERE! We’re taking applications through January 15, or until all the spots are filled. There are 400 spots and we want YOU to have one of them! If you are selected you will receive an email from Hearts at Home by January 15 (check both your inbox and your spam box just in case it accidentally lands in there!)

If this isn’t for you but you think a friend would be perfect for the job, please share it with her!

We hope you’ll join the fun, because even when it comes to launching a book, we’re BETTER TOGETHER for sure!

A Mother’s New Year Resolutions

A Mother's New Year Resolutions | I can hardly believe that 2015 is nearly over. It’s cliche but time feels like it is truly flying.  New Years is often a time when we reflect on the old and look forward to the new. Scripture even talks about taking off our old ways and being made new in the attitude of our minds (Epheshians 4:22-23).

This got me thinking about a lot of the old ways I need to take off as a mom. And what better time than new years to make some resolutions.

This year I resolve to take off impatience and put on delight.

“Come on! Put your shoes on, we don’t have all day!” Between the dilly dallying and the incessant “But why?”, all too often irritation has been my go-to response. And if I truly analyze those moments, I recognize the selfishness it stems from…the perceived dip into my time. My desires. My projects.

A Mother's New Year Resolutions | EverydaySmallThings.comIt’s as if life is a road trip and I’ve been taking my kids along for the ride. I want to make more stops along the way and just enjoy the view with them. I want to pause and ponder together when the question, “Why is the sky blue?”, is raised. I want to say “Yes!” when rain puddles are calling our name. I want to imprint the joy of my children on my heart and I hope a year from now my children will remember the delight found in my eyes.

This year I resolve to take off worry and put on faith

“Worry is when we start to look at the mountain, instead of the One who can move mountains.” (quoting my mom again)

Finances. Medical needs. Work. World news. All of it has the potential to begin wearing us down with worry and anxiety. My oldest, Rilyn, is very perceptive and notices when something is weighing my soul down. What a gift we can give our children in demonstrating how to operate out of faith despite the chaos of this world.

Something as simple as "Lord, I need you," is a great place to start.I’ve noticed that when I spend more time in prayer and reading the Bible, the easier it is to live in faith. If prayer isn’t a natural part of your life but you’d like it to be, I encourage you to just do it. Something as simple as “Lord I need you,” is a great place to start. Consider the faith you’d like your children to have and start living that way yourself.

This year I resolve to take off busyness and put on rest

When we say “Yes” to something, we are saying “No” to something else.  Saying “Yes” to another sport, may say “No” to family night.  Saying “Yes” to another volunteer opportunity possibly says “No” to having the time when a friend calls with a crisis.

In a Hearts At Home workshop, 10 Stress Strategies, it was encouraged to have one major and one minor responsibility. My full-time job as a daycare provider is considered my major responsibility and co-leading the greeting team at church would be my minor.

This doesn’t even include the yeses we say on behalf of our children. In our attempt at giving our children a great childhood, we often try to fill their time with activities instead of recognizing childhood as an opportunity to instill life principles through modeling in our own life. Rest is something valuable we can teach our children starting at an early age. In our home, “rest time” is a daily occurence — an hour in our own rooms, reading or playing with our room toys. It’s amazing how attitudes can shift after an hour of down time.

A Mother's New Year Resolutions | EverydaySmallThings.comThis year I resolve to take off guilt and put on grace

This is a big one for me this year as my anxiety and depression have been recurrent. I look back and instantly feel shame about all of the times that I was short-tempered or allowed my children to watch more tv over reading them a book.

Mommy guilt is real! It has a way of eating at the soul because we often battle it silently. Allowing Satan to whisper his lies of ineptitude into our hearts as moms.

It is so easy to lose sight of the fact that God doesn’t see me through the lens of depression and anxiety. He sees me as His daughter created with a purpose and He hurts when I hurt. He sees you the same way!

So, how about you friend? What are your new years resolutions?


The Unconventional Guide to Finding Mom Friends

An Unconventional Guide to Finding Mom Friends2 years ago, my family moved to a new city and I knew absolutely no one.  This was a first for me.  The only other time I had moved to a new city was when I got married, but my husband had already been living there for a year, so I had a ‘head start’ of sorts.  In college, at least where I attended, they provided ample opportunities to meet your peers.  Plus, if you had a roommate you at least went in knowing one person’s name.

Find out more about mom friendships in our book releasing in March 2016. You can preorder now!
Find out more about mom friendships in our book releasing in March 2016. You can preorder now!

Finding new relationships can be daunting, even paralyzing for some.  Maybe it’s not finding friends in a new city, but you’re in a new season of life and want to make similarly seasoned (Is that a thing?  going with it…) friends.   Which brings me to 5 Ways to Meet Mom Friends.  But honestly, these pertain to any friendship, so if you don’t have little fingers wiggling under the bathroom door when you’re trying to use it in peace, you can still utilize these!  If you’ve ever had a toddler permanently attached to your hip, then settle in for a brief moment of girl time.

Be Brave
If you’re anything like my introverted self, hearing “Go make friends” makes me immediately relate to the Wicked Witch of the West where she screeches “I’m melting! I’m melting!”.  Not the wicked part, the screeching and melting part.  Putting myself out there and meeting new people is incredibly intimidating and draining to me.  What I’ve learned about myself is that because of this, I choose to avoid these situations at all cost.  I would rather stay in my house.  But this is unrealistic.  We were built and wired for relationships.  We need them.

So the next time you are at a park and there’s another mom there, start chatting with her.  Begin with a common experience. “How old is your daughter?   Mine too!  We are looking into local preschools, have any suggestions?”  You may not walk away with a friend, but you’ve been brave and that’s certainly worth being proud of!  And consider this, what if she is looking for friends too?  You may be what she’s been looking for!

Be Approachable
Did you know that it can take just 20 seconds to detect whether a stranger is inclined to being trustworthy, kind or compassionate?  It’s true!  Backed by science.  So that means you have 20 seconds to make the best first impression to your future BFF.  And let’s be honest, it’s not going to happen if you have Angry Resting Face (yes, it’s a thing and you know what I’m talking about if you’ve been diagnosed with ARF) or you’re buried in whatever is way more interesting in your phone.  So make a habit of smiling and putting away your phone when you’re out in public (it’s a good practice for home too).

Be Creative
There are many different ways of meeting others from joining a group or signing up for a class. Here are a few places to begin your search:

Be Open
Remember how it takes 20 seconds to size up a person?  Take this opportunity to put your judgement aside when you see that she has different parenting techniques than you.  Or maybe she’s actually dressed in real clothes (not sweats) and you instantly think you know she has it all together. There is no way to know someone’s insides by the look of their outside.  We have an incredible chance to learn from one another and our differences.  Who knows, she may have a great tip on how to transform last night’s leftovers!

Be a Coordinator
Don’t be afraid to start your own group!  Put something out on Facebook or start a group on  Being a coordinator means setting the place and time.  Don’t put pressure on yourself to put on an event, just a casual time of meeting other moms.  Maybe that’s setting the place and time for a park playdate or a kid-free coffee time.

Do you have any other suggestions for meeting new mom friends? I’d love to hear them!

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