Thursday, September 30, 2010

Administering Grace

I am feeling chatty today :)

I am really thinking alot about how God has given us the resources that he has, so unique and perfect for the purpose to which He has called each of us. I found this little nugget ...

"Each on should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering
God's grace in its various forms." wow ...
"If anyone speaks, he should do it as if speaking the very words of God. 
If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength that God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ."   1 Peter 4:10-11

How great is that?! ..I love this idea that I administer God's grace in its various forms! ..that God gives me "strength" to serve others! 

How perfectly does that fit with the promise that follows in the next letter ..."His divine power has given us everything we need for a life of godliness.." 2 Peter 1:3

What has He given YOU strength to do today? What form of grace will God equip you to administer to those He loves?!  ...recognize those ways God has equipped you, recognize the gift He has given YOU to serve His children!

What is it? ..its okay to proclaim what God has blessed you with, 
He gave it to you for His benefit ..not yours!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Right Stuff?

Clearly, we all struggle with stress. I do, which is why this journey to living a life of less stress is so very important to me. In light of living a life for God and his principles, I see my stress differently than just generally "stressed out" ..or, at least I really want to.

I want to find a motivation in creating a home, a marriage, a parent:child relationship, friendships, etc that is wholly set on what God wants of me. I want my life of less stress to reflect him, not me having it together.

I want all those things..really. I know, though, that because I am created to have choices and that I struggle with my human nature every second of the day ..its is hard to keep that motivation where it needs to be.

I do want to not be a stressed out mom. I dont want for my fellow mommies to look at me and wonder what it will take to push me over the edge, or worry that "this" may be it. I dont want to appear harried or overwhelmed to my mom, my sisters or my sweet friends. I want to reflect a sense of calm and balance.

I dont want seem like I have it "all together." ..that is not the point.

I say all that to say that I know, like you I struggle with keeping a proper motivation. What is the point of giving of ourselves to our families, our husbands, our homes, our money? Why do it at all, unless we are trying to reflect what God has done, is doing, and wants to do in all of us? Anything besides is kinna waste of our resources still, isnt it?

It leads me to wonder, if my focus is on the right stuff?

Am I working to decrease stress in my life for the benefit of me, so that my home runs smoother and so that I will keep it together? Or, is my focus truly on working to create an aroma that reflects Christ in my life?

Am I worrying too much about the process of my laundry, and not enough of making time to focus on God's words or His wisdom?

Am I giving resources to things that make my life feel less harried, or to the things that God really wants me to?

Am I focused on the right stuff?

I know I am trying, I know that I want to, I know that I am still way off ...thank goodness for grace.

{good morning ifellowshippers, thank you for keeping my heart open to God's word for the benefit of sharing with my friends today ...I think even doing that helped me see where I need to change my focus a bit!}

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tips On Tuesday: Mommy Alone Time

I really love to read.  I love to read fiction, non-fiction, historical, inspirational, scripture ..I love it.

I have learned that it has some serious de-stressing qualities for me. I really enjoy either being entertained, encouraged, challenged or inspired through words on a page.

On my bedside table I have several books ...

Most importantly, my One Year Bible ..which I will confess I havent read every day this year, but have read more than any year before and have really enjoyed it.

For our Sunday morning class, Crazy Love by Frances Chan. And, for Wednesday night class, a bible study on Elijah by Casandra Martin.

For challenge and direction, I am reading Dare to Discipline AND The Strong Willed Child by James Dobson (it was a bad day :).

For entertainment, I am in my last 100 pages of the 600-page John Adams, by David McCullough (call me a nerd, its true).

I love to read ..its what I do in my quiet times when the house is calm, the baby asleep and when I allow it of myself.

One way I have benefited from the newly instituted Alone Time in the Steed house, is that I have given myself permission to take a moment or two and indulge this de-stressing tool of mine. This week, we have started making one of our daily Alone Times a "Reading Alone Time". The kids each get a stack of books, head to separate corners of the house and have to sit quietly and read/look at books for 30 or so minutes.

Even though there are a million other things to do, I am giving myself permission to sit and check my brain into a book of some kind. Its nice.

Permission is sometimes the hardest part! I always have a million things that need doing, things for my home, for school, for the budget, for church, for the menu, for the coupons ...always.

I have learned, of myself, that I need to let myself just rest sometimes. Its an okay thing to do.

You have my permission can close your eyes, read a book, check on Facebook, read some blogs, run on the treadmill, (finally) take a shower something for yourself despite having so many other things to do for others.

Alone time for my kids = Alone time for Mommy works for me! :)

What do you need permission to do doing Alone Time? got it! 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Too Much?

..when is the "unavoidable" stress more than necessary for any given task or process?

I have been pondering how there are things that are simply stressful because they use resources (time, energy, effort, money) ..remember that stress happens when what we have and what we need to have is off balance.

There are processes in our days that are stressful because we are using lots of resources to make them happen.  But, at what point do you know that you are using more resources than you need to for that task or process? And, at what point do you need to reevaluate if the process is a) worth the use of resources and b) how can we rearrange our resources so that this thing isnt such a strain on what we have?

I realized this week that I use this principle alot in my life ..and I wanted to share because it is the way that I sort through properly managing my limited resources.

First, is it worthy?  ..I have talked about this before here.

This thing, task, process that we are pouring our resources into it worth it at all?  Is it worth taking your time, energy, effort away from other things that are that important and worthy? No? ..then get rid of it.

It is worth it?  Yes? ..Then, we need to work on a new plan!

An area that I am really working through this line of thinking is our homeschool curriculum.

I talked about K12 the first of the year, and then I told you that I hadnt actually used the material but I wanted to share what I knew of it. Well, having used it for 6 weeks now, I can tell you it is major use of our resources. Translated, it is a major area of stress for these Steedly Boys and their mama! :)

I have applied these questions to this area of our it worth the stress?


Teaching my children at home is worth the resources to me. Its worth the time, energy, effort and resources that I am giving to it.  I want to be doing this, and I feel it is the best thing for these particular little men that I am responsible for training.

Now school in this particular way, method or process worth it? perhaps, not.

Honestly, the materials are good and the "free" is great. It is well structured, organized way to school your kiddos at home. I would encourage you to look into it more if you are looking to school your kids at home, and are ready for a challenge.

The challenge for us is not that the work is too difficult, we are aces at the work itself. But, the massive use of our time, effort and energy is disproportionate to our goals for educating Ty at home, and the resources we can best (for him, and me) give to it.

 We are required as part of an online charter school, to give 6 hours of schooling instruction a day. We are required to meet in online classes for 2 hours a week, 2 more if we have a hard time in the first 2 hours.  The online classes are over and above the daily lessons that are required.  We are required to complete at least 7 subjects a day/5 days a week, many of which are supposed to take 45 minutes to an hour to complete.

While the lessons are not overly difficult (in fact, we have had to jump way ahead to get Ty to a place where he feels challenged) ..the massive amount of work and hours required to complete it, is not worth the amount of resources and stress that is demanded of a 5 year old :)

In other is important and a very worthy thing to put our resources into, this plan however, is requiring more than its fair share of what is needed to meet our goals. Its too stressful!

The task is a good one (just like keeping the house clean, finding time with God, doing laundry) but this way, this method, this plan makes the task more difficult that it needs to be.

I feel like I can say that about alot of things that I have already deemed worthy of my resources! I know that keeping my home is a worthy task. I know that keeping the laundry caught up is worth my effort. I know that managing my budget well is worth the time and energy I give to it ...but it is still more stressful that it needs to be?

It may be time to get a new plan or get control of that area!

Can you think of any areas of your life to apply this? I hope so! ...our resources are too limited to be giving them to things that can just as well be done in better, more efficient ways.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Permission Granted

 I have always made the stand that we are way too hard on ourselves. I feel like so much of our stress is about what we feel like we should be, or what we wish we were. I know I struggle with this on a regular basis, and see it frequently in the stresses of girls I talk to on a regular basis.

We want to be all that we see is wonderful around us, we want to be that organized mom who has it together. We want to be ordered, calm and manage our homes and lives well. We love the moms who speak well, write well, perform well, whose homes and lives are our model for everything we wish we were. We can let ourselves get a bit stressed by the idea of wanting to be all those things!

But, it is possible you are aiming too high? Could it be that some of your stress is from the feeling like you need to be more than you are, and not what you actually need to be?

By that I mean ...could it be that we expect of ourselves more than is necessary, to really accomplish what God has called us to? I think so. I know so, for me.

One area that I think we tend to beat ourselves up is the area of order in our homes (guilty!) ...I think we need to strive for excellence, and need to provide for an orderly home for the sake of our families. But how "together" do we really need to be?

How many "i"s need to be dotted, and "t"'s crossed? How many lists actually need to be made to get it all done? Do you need a planner with 15 different organizing features to feel like you can manage your role as a wife, mom, etc? may! ..But, you may not.

How organized to you really need to be? According to a friend,  Linda Durham, the Gentle Organizer of  Organizing Matter says  As organized as we  need to be to handle what life throws at us."

I love that!

Order is such a relative term ..really. I know that I am okay with much more clutter than many people, and relative to others I am a perfect Suzy homemaker :)  In order to function, I can ignore the dirty dishes in the sink ...others, may not be able to think straight if the floors arent mopped and the laundry put away.

I think we need to strive to know ourselves and our families. We need to strive for that level of order that allows for our families to be calm in their environment, productive in their tasks, and free to put their priorities of learning character and how to love God first and foremost!

We need to strive for the degree of order that gives us the tools we need to manage life ...and let the rest go. Its OKAY if having dishes in the sink dont stress you or your family out! It doesnt matter that Ms. Suzy Q cant sleep without her cans being alphabetized, if it doesnt bother you ..then let it go!

So have my permission to let go of your need to be like what you think you should be, and pray that you can strive more to be what you need to be for the sake of living your life for God's glory! :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Different Perspective

I am facinated by how much of a role that perspective plays in both our stress and our peace. 

I have written about changes in perspective for the sake of our stress, in terms of how we can relieve it by changing our perspective. But perspective has again been on the forefront of my mind as I have been reading Crazy Love, by Francis Chan.  It is a great book for getting some perspective on God, and how our perspective of Him can be changed for the good of our relationship with Him.

Chan encourages you to go to here to view a video ...I would encourage you to do the same. My boys and I have watched it about 100 times, and I for one get a new perspective on how small I am, and just a taste of how much of a vapor we are!

I have used that mental picture of myself moving away from my stresses, and further away, and then further again. I see how, in light of the world around us ...these are small things indeed!  Putting small things that tend to pile up and create a general feeling of being overwhelmed or harried, into a perspective that brings them down to size, really helps me in those tense moments.

Yes, the floor not being mopped is stressful to me right now ..but pulling away and seeing my home as a whole, my family in a snapshot, my time with them on a time line and my life as a complete picture ...mopping really isnt worthy of such stress and worry.

Either is 60% of what we stress over!  ..there are plenty of things that are worth it, but most of the things that add up to a pile of anxiety, not so much!

"You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire life is just a moment to you, at best each of us is just a breath." Pslams 39:5

And yet, God allows us His attention and love ..I dont understand it. But, I know that in light of the much bigger picture we need to be able to see the distractions for what they are. We need to let the things go that just take our eyes off of the eternal, and waste our energy that is meant for Him. 

Do you need to get a little perspective?  ...dont forget to ask for it. 
Have a blessed day ..and welcome to my ifellowship friends!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tips on Tuesday: Nite-Time Chores

 Happy Tuesday all!

I have been working on implementing todays tip with great results, especially since starting school this past month.

We have been trying to figure out how to balance the house work with all of us being home all the time, and most of our minutes being filled with school work and prep for school!

After a few weeks, we figured out that getting school started earlier in the morning worked the best. We needed to be sitting down for Table Time (aka, Steedly devo time) by 8am, after being dressed, having eaten and gotten ready for the day.

We learned that doing chores in the morning wasnt working very well started the day off with grumpy kids, and they were often bypassed in effort to get school started early.

So, we moved Chore Time to night time! 

Its kinna nice for a few reasons ..

* My kids get WOUND up at night ...even though I am tired, it gives the boys something to put that tired energy towards besides running and screaming through the house :)
* I dont have to clean house after the kids go to bed ..its already done, or close to being done
* Its clean in the morning!  ..that is the best part
* It helps us all get up and started in the morning ..its motivating to have the house picked up already
* If we have to get up and out of the house early, its still done when we get home ..not so much if we dont have time for chores before we leave.

Now, I have to admit that it is rough some nights.  When either I am ready for them to go to bed or am worn out myself. But, I have to admit that I have never been disappointed when I take the time and energy to do it!

Got a tip to share? ..wanna read some more?! Check out Works for Me Wednesday!  ..and/or comment here. We love comments :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Full of Fruit

"But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." Galatians 5:22

 How is that for a great list of "everything we need" (2 Peter 1:3)?! 

I look at that list and I am excited at the prospect that all that is what God has given me as a resource through the Holy Spirit! I dont know about you (though, I could guess ;) but I could use every one of those things to help me fulfill the purposes that God has already presented to me today ..namely, a teething baby who is also three days post 4-month old shots, a three year old who woke up crying, a five-year old that needs schooling, a daddy who wont be home til after midnight tonight, and a house that needs cleaning for an Usborne Book party/Girls Night tonight. Its going to be a busy day! 

For me, I feel more peace just knowing that these things are available when I allow the Spirit to provide it. I have noted though, that stress takes away my ability to seek the Spirit on a minute to minute basis. 

That is the reason that I find it so important to make an effort to find the source of and get a plan for taking away undue stresses. The "noise" of unnecessary stress is enough to distract me from seeking those fruits of the Spirit today.  

Need a little direction for doing that? ...make a Stress List, and then work to apply some Stress Strategies. Above all, remember to give it to God ..He is the reason we are here and are desiring these things in our hearts to start with!

And I need all those resources to be productive and effective for God's purposes about you?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

a prayer ...

I am feeling blessed today, Lord! 
I am aware of where you are, present and accounted for! 
There are several areas that I feel like I need to improve on ..I shared them with you this morning.
One prayer I asked, and ask again is that you show me what my "everything I need" is today!
Make my resources clear, show me how you want me to use them.
Make my tasks blindly obvious, so that I use what you have given me the way that leads me and others best to "a life of godliness" ...for you.

Make me aware of the times when I am wasting what you have provided for me to use for your Glory.
Help me see where I can use those things better. 
Give me eyes to visualize your movement in our day, so that I can move with you. 
Remind me, Lord that I do nothing on my own. That you are the Provider, and not me. 
That these are your children, not mine. That you are the Teacher, and I am just a way of teaching. 
Give me the right words, the right resources, the right motivation, the right wisdom to teach these hearts as I should in every lesson they learn they planned or example. 

Just dont leave today! Stay close by, please! 
{oh, and please bless my ifellowhship friends today!}

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tips On Tuesday: Alone Time

Okay ...I realized that for some reason I always feel the need to post a tip of some kind on Tuesday, so I am just gonna NAME it for my own benefit! :)

Some tips I have posted ...carrying cash, displaying children's art, decreasing paper clutter, the Launch Pad the Stair Bucket, and of course the CAR BUCKET! ..and most of them I posted on a Tuesday. Huh.

I must be feeling a little TIPSEY on Tuesdays! Ha!!

ANYWAYS I wanted to share a great tip that I learned from one of my favorite blogs. I found her via Seeds of Faith ifellowship (every Wednesday). Since then, she has inspired me to be more intent on bringing God into my home, and more part of my children's days on a regular basis. Jessica, at Our Family for His Glory has some great and practical ideas, one of which is a simple thing that has done wonders in our home!

Alone time.

Yep, its a brilliant idea. I know.

Thing is, is that we do "quiet time" in the afternoons where by little ones are down for a nap. My oldest has to do something quiet, that does not require mommy. This is the time when I get any blogging, laundry, prep for dinner, etc. done.

But, for some reason I always kept that for the afternoon during a "nap" time.

Reading about how Jessica uses "alone time" has helped me to realize that kids need a break in the day, just like I wish for on a regular basis! :) Especially, now that school has started and our days are full of stimulation of every shape and sort, we need some rest time away from all of it!

For us, Alone Time means they find a place where they are in the room by themselves, they are to stay in one place for the duration of AT (usually 15 minutes), they should be quiet enough to not interrupt another's AT, and they have to be independent mommy needed.  They can play with toys, read books, color or draw. They can not play on the computer or watch cartoons.

To read about how Jessica uses Alone Time ..go here.

Some things that I took from her was that ...

*Its okay for babies to be alone, when they are happy, their needs are met, and they are safe. Genius! I usually head up for Joshua as soon as I hear his little voice over the monitor, usually happy and not fussy but just awake. Lately, I have been letting him enjoy that quiet, alone time. He usually will sit up there and coo and talk to himself for about 10-15 minutes before he is like "...hellooo...does anyone remember me? ..and why am I HUNGRY?!" ..I am realizing that is a great thing to teach little ones!

* Children may actually like alone, not "in trouble" or "banished to their room for an hour" time. And, they do! Ty, my 5 year old asked for Alone Time this week! done.

* Alone time doesnt have to be in their bedroom, it can be anywhere in the house (hallways, kitchen floor, at the table, mommy's bed, the living room couch)

We have learned that Alone Time is great when we are all starting to drive each other nuts (or, maybe its just me), when we have had a busy day/hour, or when things are going great and I can reward the kids with a period of time when they are not being asked to do anything or getting in trouble for something :)

We have used Alone Time quite a bit lately, and it really is a nice little restart to a frustrating day, a nice calm moment in the middle of busy but great days, and something SO simple that has helped bring Less Stress to the Steedly house! :)

It has Worked For Us! you have a tip you want to share?  Share a link and I will check it out! ..thanks all! :)

The House Of God, Forever

Scripture set to music has been a major reliever of stress for me as of late...there is something about hearing God's word set to be beautiful and uplifting harmony that just makes my soul breathe a sigh of peaceful relief.

My sister shared this with me, and I love it! Since the boys and I have been learning Psalms 23 during our morning devotional time, this one was especially loved by our family today!

I pray that it brings some calming effect to your spirit today as well :)

Friday, September 10, 2010


Today, my family is leaving town for the first time in well over a YEAR! True, we are home bodies, so it hasnt bothered us until the past couple of weeks, but I am needing an out of town break something fierce!  I look forward to the rest..not the sleep, because we are going with two other families THAT will most likely not happen..but, rest all the same.

We will rest from the craziness of the past few weeks with starting school, from house chores, from laundry (I am caught up right now! wahoo!), from taking care of the dog (we left him in good hands) ..just rest from the business of our days.

Rest is SO important to our bodies ..and I dont think we allow for enough of it.

God puts rest and peace together often ..of Israel he promises for her several times in the OT .."My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest." Isaiah 32:18

"I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid." Leviticus 26:6

God designed our bodies, hearts, minds and spirits to have periods of rest. Rest reflects peace, when it is spirit deep.

I know as moms, we often have to force ourselves to be still. Stop. Rest. Sleep..or not..but rest.

God reminds so perfect and simply ..."Be still, and know that I am God." is like he is talking straight to women! :)

So, though you may not be escaping to the lake house this weekend ...please rest all the same. Set your heart at rest, put away those anxious thoughts, and go to the Father for some much needed rest of the spirit! 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Great is Thy Faithfulness

I threw a temper tantrum yesterday.

I did. I stomped my feet, balled up my fists and screamed to myself. Yep. I did.

It was not my proudest mom moment, as my 5 year old watched the whole ugly thing.

I shudder to think what message I sent, even though I know that it was that or strangle him :)

Today, as we are moments away from starting another potentially-frustrating day of school (potentially great as well!) I am reminded that those moments, and moments like them, are behind us and do not establish the basis for today. Thank goodness...
These words spoke to my heart this morning...

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
       for his compassions never fail.
 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (NIV)

Yet I still dare to hope
      when I remember this:
 The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
      His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness;
      his mercies begin afresh each morning.(NLT)

This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope
 It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed,
 because his compassions fail not.
 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (KJV)
Lamentations 3:21-23 they speak to my mind and heart this morning I am reminded that we get to start fresh today! That is a huge blessed part of being a child of God ...we get to start fresh every day!

So, here is praying for no more tantrums, from mommy or the kids ..and for a day full of God's mercies :)

May you be blessed today, full of peace and God's matter what yesterday was like! :)   ...welcome and thank you for visiting you ifellowshippers!

Monday, September 6, 2010

a prayer for Gavin and Chelsea is true that I started looking into this family in order to qualify for a free blog makeover ..but as it happens so often, I found a family to add to my prayer list!

Gavin, Chelsea and their mama all struggle with a chronic disorder called, mastocytosis.  It is a chronic, and life threatening condition. It causes pain to most body systems, aside from long term damage of those systems.

In order to pay for the meds that are necessary for the treatment of the symptoms of this condition, MastoMama does blog design. Reading over their story, I am reminded again how blessed my sweet family is to be free of such long-term struggles, and to be able to bring people like them to God's throne.

Blog design giveaway aside, I wanted to pass along their cause for prayer. The boys and I will be adding Gavin and Chelsea to our prayer books (I cant WAIT to tell you about this great idea for teaching our little ones to pray!), asking God to protect and heal their bodies, as well as soothe their spirit and comfort their hearts in the face of such struggles.

Please pray for Chelsae, Gavin and their MastoMama (link to their family blog)!  

We are praying for you and your sweet babies Carla!

Responsiblitiy, Part 2

I am still pondering this idea of being responsible are my initial thoughts on the subject.

I have been thinking alot about the areas I am feel like I am mismanaging my resources.

{Remember ..stress happens when our resources and what requires our resources are off balance ..if we know and trust that we already have "everything we need" 2 Peter 1:3, then I have believe that if I dont feel God's peace then I am mismanaging what I have been given}

I am still thinking about how it is my responsibility to mange those areas, and how its up to me to make sure the areas that I feel stressed have the correct resources, and the correct amount of resources going to them.

I am thinking about my body as a resource. My body is a very important part of what resources are available to me, as well as how I use them. My energy level, what I need to get all the things done that need doing, is largely dependent on my physical state.
{Remember, God uses our physical resources to accomplish His spiritual purpose for us!}

What we eat and drink, what medications we take (or not), what rest we get, how and when we exercise ..these are all areas that we are wholly responsible.

If we feel stressed because we are malnourished, dehydrated, overtired, or overweight ..its is our own responsibility to fix it.

How about our finances? Clearly, our money is a resource that God uses to accomplish His will for us in our lives. It is an area that requires management, control, proper use and care of those resources. It is also an MAJOR area of stress ..when our resources are out of balance with what is needed of those resources.

Because we have been given those resources (just like we have our bodies) ..then we are responsible to make sure they are managed well.  We need to get a plan that works for our resources and family. We have to figure out how to balance those resources ..its our own responsibility.  ..isnt that what the Parable of the Talents is about?  ..its about taking what resources you have been given, and using them the best way you know how.

{God has already given us everything we need in any given area to accomplish His will for us in that area ...He wont ask something of you that He hasnt equipped you for is your responsibility to use what He has given you as it was intended!}

And, finally, think about your time.  We all have the same amount, but it is still a resource that God will use for His benefit. How are you using yours? What are doing with the time that God has given you?

Are you giving away time that is intended for doing things that will work towards God's kingdom  to things that do not? Are you over extending yourself, even doing good things, that dont allow you to focus on the tasks you know God wants you to be fully vested in? 

Only you are responsible for how those minutes are used, only you can say no, only you can plan or manage that time. No one else is responsible for how you use your time.


We have been given resources, intended to give us "life and godliness" (2 peter 1:3) prevent us from "being ineffective and unproductive" (vs.8) is our job and responsibility to use them well, to be effective and productive for our God, who supplies  "every good and perfect gift!" (James 1:17)

As always, I am speaking to myself here ...these areas I mentioned are areas I have recognized I need to take responsibility for, and to figure out how to use my resources better. We will look at how we can do that this week! I hope you join me!  ...your being here is encouraging to me!

Friday, September 3, 2010


I will not lie to you ..these last couple of weeks of learning how to integrate Steedly School into our life, has been a challenge. There have been some challenges that have caused some moments of stress, to say the least. We have a five year old that is not loving giving up his life of no worries and all day carefree playing/using his imagination. He has had to adjust to this new life of mommy-imposed school days, where he doesnt get to do exactly what he wants to 24 hours a day!

I have had some moments where I have had to really work on not letting stress effect our school day. Some days I have been successful, many days I have not.

Working through that stress, though, has given me some insight into the degree of responsibility I have in my own stress!

I have realized that when I am in those overwhelmed moments I am the only one who can move myself through it ...It is up to me to do what needs to be done to not feel that way any more. No one is going to do it for me, the world is not going to adjust so that I wont feel so stressed out.

Its not my 5 year old or my dog's fault, its not the banks fault, the car's fault, the lady at the grocery store who cant get my coupons right is my responsibility to not be so stressed out that I effect myself, my children, my husband, my home or others around me.

Despite not being responsible for the situations that are beyond my control, I am responsible for how I deal with them and to what degree they affect my underlying sense of balance and calm.

By saying this, I dont take away from God' role in bringing peace to my heart. God does bring the True Peace to me, my home, my family and my circumstances.  Only He in me can bring about that calm despite of the chaos that may surround me. is my responsibility to a) accept His peace and b) do what needs to be done to experience it.

Some things that I noted this week that were well within my responsibility ...

* Whether or not I deal with the stresses at all...some days I chose to just let the stress continue, that is my own fault!

* My fluid and nutrition status ...if I dont eat or drink enough or the right thing, I feel awful ..ready made stress waiting to happen

* How much rest I get a degree, of course (I DO have a 4 month old!) but remember that sleep isnt the only way to rest our bodies, and sometimes rest is as or more important than sleep. And, often we can control our sleep, by going to bed earlier or giving up things that keep us up late.

* Whether or not I take my medicine ..I have thyroid problems, and I can TOTALLY tell when I dont take my medication in the morning

* If I take time to pray/read scripture cant blame anyone else if you dont find the time to do this!

* If I dont stop and get control emotionally when I feel like I am out of control chose to deal with your stress!

* Whether or not I blame others, or look to myself for my reasons for stress

* Whether or not I chose to do what it takes to get control, get rid, get over, get a new perspective, or get a new plan*  (the *LPLS Stress Strategies)

If you find yourself constantly under a tremendous amount of need to look to yourself and find out why. Why are you feeling that way? What needs to be done to decrease that feeling? How do I need to respond that will decrease my own and others' stress right now? Who am I blaming for my feeling of being overwhelmed? Where do I need to look to find the solutions to this feeling?

We have much more power and control when we realize that we can indeed control our stressfulness ...when we make an effort, and do what needs to be done to make it less stressful!

Remember..."I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!" Phil 4:8  ..that includes taking a deep breath, evaluating your stress, taking responsibility for it and doing what needs to be done to get you in a better place to be affected by God's peace!


It has been a busy week ...I hope to have something posted by this afternoon ...this homeschooling/housekeeping/errand running/laundry wife/blogging mama stuff is HARD! do I fit it all in exactly?

See you later today with something deep and insightful...I hope! :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Thankful Peace

this was originally posted this two years ago today. I went looking for it this morning, because I have been pondering this connection again...
While studying recently I stumbled across a little something that I find remarkable!

Read with me for a moment, paying close attention to the similarities in these verses...

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, withthanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is rightwhatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." Philipians 4:6-9

Again, Paul emphasizes,
"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." Colossians 3:15

Our state of mind and our thankful heart has so much to do with whether we allow thepeace of God take over our spirits.

Over and over again in the New Testament God connects thanksgiving with peace. Isnt that amazing? He knows us!

He knows that when we take the time to thank him, we will remember our blessings, and rest in the knowledge of His provision.

God is a smart fella.

If your anxiousness today feels overwhelming...stop and thank Him. Thank Him for the home you have to keep, the children who are healthy enough to make the messes, the husband who has committed to your partnership, the money to buy the groceries, the vehicle you have to do the errands you hate doing :)

"And the peace that transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6

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