To The Mom Who Doesn’t Have the Patience to Homeschool

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Dear Mom Friend,

Hello!

It was so good talking to you today. I always enjoy meeting new people at church, at the park, at the gym, or wherever. We need to stick together in this journey called Motherhood, right?

During our conversation you asked me where my son goes to school. That is a perfectly fair question.

When I said, “Oh, we homeschool,” I could see a switch in your demeanor. It was very subtle but I have gotten very good at detecting it.

You replied, “Oh wow. I could never homeschool. I just don’t have the patience to homeschool.”

I heard those words and just a little bit of me died on the inside. It isn’t because of you at all. Please don’t think that.

My heart broke a tiny bit today because, honestly, patience has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Zero.

None.

Zip.

Zilch.

Nada.

Guess what? I struggle with patience just like the next Mom. Really, I do.

I didn’t sign up for this homeschooling journey because I am some superhero Mom who has patience that grows on trees. I signed up for this gig because I knew in my heart that THIS is what God, my Creator and Savior, has called me to do. HE has called me to die to self every single day as I open myself up and pour into my one and only child. I also know that the One who called me to homeschool also gave me an incredibly unique child who just wouldn’t thrive in the typical school setting.

That superhero cape that you think you see flying in the wind as I tell you I educate my child at home is actually not there. I don’t know where I left it. Is it in the wash? Wait, did I leave it at the library. Oh shoot! Where did I put that cape?! Oh, I know where it is. I left it on the recliner where I keep my Bible.

You see, that’s where I get all the patience I need for the day. It is like manna from Heaven. But, just like manna fell from sky for the Israelites, this manna only comes daily. I have to open myself up for it to be poured in from the His Word.

I am a broken person, just like you. I have my limitations. I have my pains. I am in need of an awesome Savior just like anyone else in this world.

I have to ask for my son’s forgiveness pretty much on a daily basis. I lose my patience with him quite often. I lose my temper too. My sinfulness and brokenness and ugliness is opened wide open in front of my child. He sees it daily.

But…then he sees me pause, admit my failures, and ask my Father for forgiveness. And then he sees me as I kneel by him and he hears me as I ask him for his forgiveness for failing him as his mother, for not guiding him in the way I should. I ask him to forgive me for losing my patience with him or whatever was bothering me at that moment.

He then says, “Mom. I love you so much. Thank you. We all mess up. I forgive you.” We hug and cuddle as Mother and Son but also Brother and Sister in Christ. He makes it clear to me that he really is just on loan to me from our Father.

I am humbled every day as my son extends the patience and forgiveness to me that I so sorely lack. Oh, I so lack it.

So, Mama, I don’t have enough patience to homeschool.

And guess what? You don’t either. We definitely agree on that point.

Homeschool Moms don’t have any special powers that are only handed out to a select few. We are not super heroes. We are broken women just everyone else. Seriously, you have no idea.

What keeps me going if I don’t have the patience to do this?

I will tell you, first, that there are plenty of times that I seriously consider quitting. Oh yes, I want to quit often.

I have to dig deep and find my most vulnerable ‘WHY’ frequently. It is the WHY that makes me CRY. When I am reminded of the WHY I am doing this I can dust off my cape for at least a few minutes and put it on (and then promptly lose it again).

Do you understand now?

I wish I could have told you all this earlier today. I guess we just didn’t have the time and honestly, I am write so much better than I speak. Ha! I think that’s the INFJ in me.

The next time you see a homeschool Mom just know she is doing the best she can with the small portion of manna (patience) she was given for that day. She does not have a patience tree. Don’t we ALL wish we had a patience tree?

And most important of all…homeschool Moms are merely women who have made another choice. We are in no way better or more powerful than any other Mom. We are all doing the best we can with what we have.

Well, I hope we can meet up again!!! Enjoy those kids of yours!! 🙂
Blessings!!
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To The Mom Who Doesn’t Have the Patience to Homeschool

3 Reasons To Do What Absolutely Scares You


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When was the last time you wanted to do something but truthfully, it scared you to bits?

Let me tell you a little bit from my side of this story.

I confess I am not the best person to talk about doing new things. My family and friends tease me about how much I resist change. One might even say I am “a stick in the mud.” I like things to stay the same. The same is comfortable and cozy.

But, the same is just that…the same.

I know that very well. It dwells there in my mind all the time and yet I resist with all my might.

Recently, I have been growing bored in my workouts. Running and weight lifting just haven’t been holding my interest. I can’t really explain why except maybe I just need a change. But, what? What exactly could I do to keep up the level of movement that I so desperately desire? I live in a big city now and of course, that means tons of options. I have looked and considered and come to find out that what I needed the most has been right there in front of me.

Guess what my local gym has? An indoor lap pool.

I do know how to swim. I can stay afloat in the water and not drown. I took swimming lessons as a kid but I never progressed to learning the most recognized strokes. For that reason I have always lacked confidence in swimming. Combine that with a 20+ year history of avoiding swimsuits due to my poor body image and you have an anxiety-laden activity.

Here’s the funny thing. Over the last few months I have been known to stare at the pool as I was walking up to the weight room. Something in me pulled me towards that pool. I was enticed and yet repelled.

Being serious about swimming meant facing a whole lot of demons and doing something that scares the bits out of me.

Fast forward and I am happy to say that I am in that pool several times a week complete with a nice swimsuit, swim cap, and goggles. I am slowly but surely facing those demons and doing what scares me.

What about you? When WAS the last time you did something that scares you? Has it been awhile?

Well, here are three reasons to do what absolutely scares you in case you need a little push.

1. Humility 

Learning to swim properly has been a big ‘ole slice of humble pie served up warm and  a la mode. I have had to go all the way back to the start. I am spending all my swimming workouts doing various drills just so I can relearn how to be comfortable in the water again, how to breathe properly, and how to glide through the water without sinking like an anvil. It is tough because there are days that I get so bored doing these drills over and over again. I look one lane over at the kid half my age or some other adult gliding seamlessly through the water and doing flip turns over and over again all the while I am in my lane focusing on floating on my back, not sinking or inhaling water. Often I get frustrated because I so want to be that fish-like, flip-turning swimmer. I want the confidence in the water that I have in the weight room or the road. But, I know that I can’t get there by skipping crucial steps. Did I walk into the weight room and dead-lift 225 for reps my first day? HA HA! Not even close. On my first day I was holding onto my husband’s arm as we slowly made our way from one machine to the next. I was scared then too.  And then slowly over time, and on a constant diet of humble pie, I WAS able to walk in there like a boss and dead-lift 225 for reps. It took being willing to admit that I really don’t know anything about this stuff. It meant being coachable and taking it one step at a time.

Being humble means admitting that you need help.

Being humble means saying, “Hey! I know nothing but I want to learn. Could you help me?”

Being humble means being willing to be molded in the fire and to come out the other end stronger.

I am still working on those drills several times a week. I have a goal in mind of doing an open water swim. I don’t know how long it will take. I will do these drills for however long I have to to build the foundation I need. It will happen. I just have to be humble and patient.

 

2. Bust Out of Your Comfort Zone

Quite honestly, staying in your comfort zone is rather boring. Don’t you think so too?

But your comfort zone is comfy and cozy. It is safe and cloistered. The sad thing is that personal development does not happen in the comfort zone. It can’t. Like I said above you have to be humble enough to admit you need to molded into something new but for that happen you have to actually go to the fire or wheel for that molding to occur. You have to admit your need for help and then step out of your comfort zone to make that happen.

I will be honest and say that swimming scares me. I am not so much scared of the water but I am scared of doing something that requires so much humility. And then throw in the crazy notion of swimming in a big body of water where I can’t touch the bottom. It scares me. But, I KNOW I will be a completely different person when I finally achieve that goal. I will have been humble and been willing to be forged that fire. It will be awesome.

3. Growth, Empowerment, and Confidence

WOW!  Think about how you will feel when you have achieved that thing that scared you for so long. Take a moment and think about it nice and long.

When I think about how I will feel when I have swam well in that pool and ultimately, in that open water I see myself feeling ten feet tall and bulletproof. I will stand tall. I will be confident and empowered. I did what I thought was impossible. Those demons did not hold me back. I stared them in the face and I got ‘er done.

You achieved something awesome! Now take that growth, empowerment, and confidence to do something even bigger. Don’t waste all the good that comes from facing a fear and coming out on the other end.  Seriously, we can change lives when we don’t squander all that goodness.

You’ve heard about my journey to learn how to swim. Now, I want to hear about what YOU are going to do that scares you now. SOUND OFF in the comments. 🙂

 

BLESSINGS!!

 

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3 Reasons To Do What Absolutely Scares You

I Found Maintenance And So Much More

Maintenance

For the last year I have been in a coaching program with Precision Nutrition. We officially close up the year on July 4th. I can’t believe it’s almost over. It has been such an amazing year of challenges and self-discovery. So, I wanted to take some time and share my experience with Precision Nutrition and all the things I have learned. To say this year has been a life-changer would be an understatement.

Let’s start at the beginning. I entered the program with the primary motivation to learn more about habits-based coaching from a client’s perspective and to improve as a coach. I also didn’t mind the idea of shedding some fat as well. Come to find out, it was ME who needed this more than anything.

When I started the program last summer I was placed on a team of 100+ women under the care of one spectacular coach and a few well-seasoned mentors. We could communicate through email, private team Facebook group, video chat, etc. What I loved was that there were always great boundaries all around. I could reach out to anyone I wanted as often as I wanted. It was up to me to take the step and whenever I stepped there was always someone there waiting to help out. I took advantage of private emails with our coach a few times and when I needed some extra loving I scheduled some Google Hangouts with her. Most of the time I communicated with my team through our Facebook page. There was always someone willing to offer ideas, accountability, and support over there.

We were assigned a new habit to focus on about every two weeks. These habits are meant to build on each other. The habits were seemingly simple but profound enough to require thought and effort. When working on habits it was like working around a stove. The newly assigned habit was to be brought to the front of the stove and allowed to boil. Then keep it boiling for the duration of the two weeks. That is your focus for that time. However, we don’t forget the previous habits. We just put those on a simmer at the back of the stove. All the habits are always cooking away but just at various levels of rumble.

Let me take a bit of a side trail and say that a big part of this program that I loved was that we had complete ownership of the program. It was all about discovering what worked and what did not work for MY body. Like I said not too long ago, the boundaries were excellent. No foods were said to be good or bad. Nothing was forbidden. You just figure out what works for you. For example, I can tolerate gluten well but not dairy. So I avoid many dairy products for the sake of my stomach. I have teammates who can tolerate everything and that works for them. There was no avoidance of entire food groups unless it was your choice. Everything was left up to you. Boundaries.

There were weekly assigned workouts but even those were our choice. You could follow the assigned workouts or you could follow your own program. What mattered was that you were moving and challenging your body in ways that you enjoyed. I chose to follow the assigned workouts because I wanted to take advantage of the full program. I would veer off on occassion but for the most part I followed the program.

You can learn more about the Precision Nutrition coaching program by going to their website. In fact they are going to be opening the program up again for another round of clients very soon. Here is a blog post that answers the 37 most commonly asked questions about coaching. You can also go to their Facebook page or even private message me. My main point write was to talk about what I gained from the whole thing.

I went into coaching wanting to be a better coach and maybe even lose 20 pounds. Guess what happened? I lost about five pounds. Yep, five. And I danced around those five pounds for almost a  year. Up a little and down a little.  But I stayed at those five pounds for the most part. I also lost quite a few inches overall so there was definitely a recomposition.

There were plenty of times I was disappointed about not losing more weight. Yes, I know. We are not a number. I should follow other progress indicators. I know. I say the same exact thing all the time. But, I also very much a human. I fall down and I get back up. It is hard to completely eliminate almost 20 years of a dieting/gaining cycle. I have been either actively gaining weight and hating myself for it or actively trying to lose the weight and hating my life for it.

For almost a  year I have stayed within five pounds. While knowing about my past let that sink in for a little bit. At first my thought process was that was just one of those who will always be gaining unless I am severely restricting my calories. Balance is obtainable but not for me. Or at least that was my thought process. I had no idea that my thoughts were so disordered as I entered coaching. I had already made a lot of progrress but come to find out that I had a loooooong way to go.

It took almost a year (yes, I am pretty stubborn at times) for me to clear the air and see that while I was busy seeking one thing I was finding a completely different thing.

What did I find?

I found MAINTENANCE.

Did the fact that I stayed around that same 5 pounds for close to year sink in yet? Yep, I maintained the same five pounds for close to a year. I did this while exercizing in the ways I enjoy. I did this without counting calories or macronutrients. I maintained while eating what I enjoy and what my body performed the best on. I didn’t restrict what or how much I ate.

Maintenance for me means finally finding balance. I eat when I want. I eat what I want based on what my body needs and wants. I eat until I am satisfied, not too full and not too hungry. I am rarely “hangry” (angry due to hunger) because I am satisfied most of the time. I eat what brings me joy and I move in ways that brings me joy. None of this is a chore nor do I ever resent my food or activity.

Maintenance means to be content. I am happy. It means living sustainably. I can live like this for the rest of my life. Even if I never lose a nother pound I am very happy, healthy, and active.

Maybe I will lose pounds in the future but I don’t really care anymore. Enjoying food and movement is the most important thing. It is no longer a number on a little box in my bathroom. I am not obsessed with my shape and I am not ashamed of my body anymore. I will eat the food and move my body.

Eating and exercise are not my life anymore. Eating and exercise are part of my  life now.

They keep me alive so I can live my full life.
MAINTENANCE = FREEDOM

 

BLESSINGS!!

 

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I Found Maintenance And So Much More

I AM Enough


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This is taken straight out of my journal/writing notebook. It is honest and not cleaned up. I felt compelled to share.

There are days when I look in the mirror and sigh. I see that frumpy and dumpy homeschooling housewife. I think of all the things I have not accomplished.

  • Am I thin yet?
  • Have I run that marathon?
  • Wrote that book?
  • Had more children?
  • Made more money?
  • Prepared those perfectly healthy meals?
  • Kept a perfectly tidy house?
  • Read all those books?

The answer to all these questions is a resounding NO.

I take a deep breath as I stare in the mirror and then I feel an arm come around my waist and I hear a sweet whisper of “I Love You.” I enjoy the moment. I give in. I then hear in my soul, “You ARE Enough!” It is then that I know that yes, I AM enough.  There is a lot I have not accomplished, but there is so much more that I have — things of eternal value.  I look away and I see my only son giggling as he reads his favorite books. I hear, “Hey Mom! Listen to this!!” We laugh together on the couch.

Then we gather at the table for dinner. They two loves of my life are eating and laughing. Even the dog is content as she rolls around on the carpet. We are happy. We are content.

At bedtime I can’t help but smile big as I walk by my son’s room and I see him and his Dad reading Scripture together. They both look up and smile.

After a little TV time with my Sweetheart, I slip into my boy’s room and I kiss his sleeping head — like I have every night since he was born–almost nine years now. I whisper, “I Love You.”  In that place between reality and dreams, he quietly says “I love you too. You are the best Mom EVER.”

My soul smiles as I go to bed. I take off my glasses and slip into bed. As I feel strong arms come around my waist again and we fall asleep in unison, I know. I am not perfect. But, I AM enough.

I sleep well.

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I AM Enough

Does It Bring You Joy?


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It is so very interesting to look over the timeline of my health and fitness journey. There have been plenty of bumps in the road and even some times of very emotional introspection. I have had to work through some very unhealthy relationships with food and exercise. I had to silence all the other voices surrounding me telling me how and what I should be doing to ensure I am their definition of healthy. It has been a long journey of finding who I really am and what I truly want for myself and my own body.

You can read more about my journey by reading these past blog posts:

As You Start Your Fitness Journey: A Letter to Me

The Mellowing of Fitness

To The Pit and Back

Coming To Peace With Food: My Journey From Restriction to Freedom

I am happy to say that I have found a very good place and it is a place I can stay for the rest of my life.

It all boils down to SIMPLICITY and JOY.

As I get older….I always laugh when I say that because I sound so much older than I am. I am all of 36. Nonetheless, as I get older I find that I long for and desire simplicity more and more with each passing day. I don’t want my life to get more complicated. I want it to become more simple.  I want simplicity in my eating and in my exercising. I once did the macronutrient counting and the complicated workouts. There was a time and a place for all that and I won’t say I will never go back but for now it is simplicity I seek. All the counting and logging is just too much for me right now.

So, how do I find that simplicity in eating and exercise?

I can sum it up in one word: JOY. 

I ask myself one simple question. (See?  Simplicity). Does this bring me JOY?

When I am planning my meals for the week I ask myself what dishes will bring my family and me JOY.  I am even asking my family more what they want to eat that week. Keep in mind that this does not mean junk all the time. A lot of junk does not bring me much JOY because I feel sluggish and unproductive afterwards. But, JOY isn’t always found in the salads, chicken and veggies, and protein shakes of my former years either. JOY is found in what I want and what I know will fuel my week the best way possible. Eating should never be a chore. It should be an experience and a privilege. JOY is found in sitting around the table as my family and I eat together and enjoy the food over fun conversation. JOY is not found in eating out of a tupperware while my family eat something I’d rather be eating.

I ask the same question when it is time to exercise as well. Does this bring me JOY? Every day is different and every day brings its own ups and downs. Some days I am so energized and ready to lift some really heavy weights and some days I long to be in the sun as I run for miles. Some days I want to splash in the pool with my family and some days I want to swim meditative laps at the gym pool. It really depends on the day.  There might even be a day when what brings me JOY is taking a nice nap on the couch with my son because rest is what my body needs.  I exercise most days of the week because I love it and I long for it. I do what brings me JOY.

Somebody may easily wonder if this way of doing things is too loosey goosey and lacks focus. Perhaps. It works for me. Here’s the really awesome thing. My body is responding to the lack of pressure and stress. I am experiencing the best recomposition I’ve ever had, even more so than when I was more regimented. What’s happening here is that by seeking JOY in my eating and my exercise I am more in tune with what my body is telling me and by doing so it is responding positively.

Does this mean that I completely oppose food logging, macro counting, or structured workout plans? Not in the least. Like I said before there is a time and a place for all that. I may choose to enter some sort of athletic competition in the future and that will require a more structured training and eating plan. That’s perfectly cool with me. It will work for me then and it will bring me JOY.

I want my life to be full of simplicity and joy. I want my food and my movement to be big parts of my life for the rest of my life. To do that I need to find simplicity and joy in my food and movement. I believe I have done that by simply asking:

Does It Bring You Joy?

Tell me: What brings you JOY????

 

BLESSINGS!!
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Does It Bring You Joy?

Outcome Goals Vs. Behavior Goals

outcome vs. behaviorGoals.

Do you have goals?  What kind of goals do you have?

I think we can all agree that having goals is incredibly important to being successful in whatever it is you are trying to achieve. It helps to have something to work towards instead of going along with no destination in mind.

But, do you have the right kind of goals?

Having goals is very important and having the right kind of goals is just as important.

Let’s talk about the two types of goals.

OUTCOME goals:

“I want to lose 20 lbs. by Christmas.”
“I want to run a 5K in under 23 minutes.”

These type goals do not make sense because LIFE HAPPENS. The world is pretty uncontrollable. You can’t make your body lose 20 pounds on command any more than you can make sure your house is worth a certain amount when you sell it. In other words, you can’t control the outcome.

However, you can control your BEHAVIOR:

“I will run 4 times every week focusing on increasing my running intervals.”
“I will diligently track my food, exercise, and work on my new habit every week.”

Notice how all of the behavior goals are a commitment to do a specific set of actions or tasks that lead to the outcome you want.

You can’t control the outcome but you can control the behavior.

So here’s your assignment for the next couple days….

1) Write down what you would like to achieve in your fitness journey.
2) What can you do this MONTH to help you achieve your future goal (BEHAVIOR goals)?
3) What can you do this WEEK to achieve your future goal?
4) What can you do TODAY to achieve your future goal?

These are all BEHAVIOR goals. I would love to hear some of your goals!

It is okay to under-estimate. It is better to meet small goals consistently and add up to big goals.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. 🙂

You will see how all these behaviors will ultimately help you achieve your outcome goal but in controllable and achievable steps that are kinder to your overall being.

BLESSINGS!! F2781D881437BD6ACBFC237C8B32809A

Outcome Goals Vs. Behavior Goals

The Five Why’s

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When you are starting down the road of your health and fitness journey it can be so easy to be motivated and inspired. It is easy to get out the door to the gym, to prep your meals, and to plan for your new healthy lifestyle.

But, we all know full well that the day will come, and it WILL come, when life gets in the way. What will you do when life is hard and the motivation is waning?

It is then that it is so important to know your WHY.

What is your WHY?

You WHY is the reason that you are starting this journey. It is the deep down reason that stirs within your soul. I have heard someone say it is “the WHY that makes you CRY.”

Did you doctor say you are one heart attack away from the grave?

Do you want to improve your health so you can expand your little family?

Do want to be able to keep up with your active kids?

Do you want to grow old with your soul mate?

Or do you just want to feel better in body and mind?

Whatever the case is for YOU, there is a process you can follow to help you find your WHY.

It is called the ‘5 Why’s.’

This is a very simple but very effective exercise for getting to the root of WHY you want something.

When you want to accomplish something (or if something goes wrong), you ask one why.

Why do I want to accomplish this?

Then, with whatever answer you come up with, you ask why to that first answer.

And so on, five times.

Here’s an example:

Why am I on this journey?
I want to lose fat.

Why do I want to lose fat?

Because I want to fit into a smaller size of pants.

But why do I want to fit into a smaller size of pants?

Because when I’m wearing smaller pants, I think I’ll look better.

But why do I want to look better?
Because when I look good, I feel good about myself.

But why do I want to feel good about myself?
Because when I feel good about myself, I’m more assertive and confident.

But why do I want to be more assertive and confident?

Because when I’m more assertive and confident, I’m in control and better able to get what I want out of life.

 

See how that works? Once you have found the most important reason, your WHY, for doing something you will have it on the days when you need to be reminded so you can keep going.

Knowing where you want to go — and being able to see it clearly — can help you get there better and faster.

What are your Five Why’s??

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The Five Why’s