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

patience

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

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 Reset Button (a.k.a. The KIND Button)

The Reset Button

You hear me talk a lot about habits on this blog and on Facebook.  I’m sure you have heard about Eating Slowly to 80% full, eating enough protein and veggies for you, and maybe even being more discriminating with your carbs based on your own goals.

But, there is a habit I want to talk about today that is a bit different.  It is more about mindset than it is about physical habits.   Mindset habits, though, are cultivated the same way as eating and exercise habits.

I like to call this habit “The Reset Button.”

The Reset Button is just like all the other habits. It is a habit that needs to be practised and the more you practice the easier it becomes.

What is The Reset Button?

Do you remember the Staples ‘Easy’ Button?

images
Courtesy of http://www.staples.com

 

The Reset Button is kind of like that. It is an imaginary button that you can slap and instead of making something easy you get a reset.

Tell me if you have been in any of these scenarios?

  • You are having an emotionally taxing day and you find yourself reaching into the cookie jar far more times than usual.
  • Life is super tough and stressful right now and the pull of the drive – thru has been too strong to resist.
  • You are so tired to even think let alone practice your habits and exercise.
  • You are out with friends and/or family for a fun outing. You are having a wonderful time and don’t really think about any of your habits. And honestly, you just don’t want to anyway.

I am sure we have been in each of these scenarios. We’ve all been there. This is not a judgemental talk about having no excuses, to suck it up, and do what you have to do no…matter…what. Shoot! Your coach doesn’t even follow that philosophy. We are all human and we all have good times and bad times. There is grace here.

There is the RESET BUTTON here. I also like to call the Reset Button the “KIND BUTTON.”

How does this RESET BUTTON work?

  1. When you have a rough day, week, weeks, or months, pause and notice what’s going on. Acknowledge that this is not what you want in the long haul.
  2. NAME what happened and WHY it happened. “Okay, soooooo…..that totally just happened. It happened because……..”
  3. Promise yourself that you won’t punish yourself over this. We are all human. Grace.
  4. Hit that RESET BUTTON!!
  5. BOOM!! Everything is gone and you have a fresh slate for practising habits and getting back into a healthy routine of movement. Doesn’t that feel so good?!?!

Like I said earlier, this is a habit that has to be practised. So much guilt surrounds modern diets and that is not necessary. 

Do you recognize this spiral?

  • You eat a few too many cookies.
  • You come out of whatever haze you were in when you ate the cookies.
  • You realize what you just did.
  • You hit the GUILT button.
  • You start saying things like, “What in the world?!  How did that happen?!  I am such a failure at this diet. What’s the point?!”
  • You ultimately give up, only perpetuating the cycle of guilt and self-hate.

Sound familiar?  Yeah, me too.

Hitting the Guilt button only breeds failure. You are so much bigger than that.

So, you may need to hit the RESET BUTTON every day for a while or even several times a day. That is okay. Just like all the other habits the more your practice this habit the easier it gets.

When you are working on establishing healthy habits in your life make sure you don’t  neglect your mindset habits.

Promise yourself that you will hit the RESET Button (The kind button) when you sway from your goals instead of hitting the GUILT button.

I think you will far happier and more successful in the long run.

 

How do YOU like to hit your RESET BUTTON?????
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The Reset Button (a.k.a. The KIND Button)

Are You Listening or Talking to Yourself?

listening vs talking

I swear I have a constant dialogue going on inside my head from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed and sometimes even when I’m sleeping. Throw in constant music stuck in my head and it gets pretty crowded in there rather quickly. It is like a record that just never stops whether I want it to stop or not.

The bad thing about this phenomenon going on in my head is that oftentimes those thoughts that get stuck on the merry-go-round are negative, self-defeating, self-sabatoging, and down right mean. I’m sure you know how that feels. Those nasty thoughts just keep coming on the never-ending conveyor belt and there just doesn’t seem to be a way to make it freakin’ stop.

I have heard it said that the key to this situation is to just not allow those thoughts to take root. You stop them in their tracks and replace them with positive thoughts and truth. I have heard it over and over and over again but for whatever reason it just never really clicked. Maybe there wasn’t musch space left in my head for new concepts. HA!

Not too long ago I was reading the book Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Its Cure by Martyn Lloyd-Jones and he wrote something that totally and completely resonated with me.

Check out this quote:

“Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them but they are talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you. Now this man’s treatment [in Psalm 42] was this: instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. “Why art thou cast down, O my soul?” he asks. His soul had been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says, “Self, listen for moment, I will speak to you.

The main art in the matter of spiritual living is to know how to handle yourself. You have to take yourself in hand, you have to address yourself, preach to yourself, question yourself. You must say to your soul: “Why art thou cast down” – what business have you to be disquieted? You must turn on yourself, upbraid yourself, condemn yourself, exhort yourself, and say to yourself: “Hope thou in God” – instead of muttering in this depressed, unhappy way. And then you must go on to remind yourself of God, Who God is, and what God is and What God has done, and what God has pledged Himself to do. Then having done that, end on this great note: defy yourself, and defy other people, and defy the devil and the whole world, and say with this man: “I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance, who is also the health of my countenance and my God.”

I once heard it said that you can stop a bird from landing on your head but you can stop it from building its nest.  

You can’t stop many thoughts from ‘landing’ in your mind but you can definitely stop them from ‘building a nest.’

So, what is the difference between LISTENING and TALKING to yourself?

Listening to yourself: You have a constant dialogue throughout the day. Some thoughts are good and some are bad. Listening to yourself allows the poor thoughts to take a root inside your mind. You allow the thoughts to build their nest.  It is like listening to a radio. You hear all the reasons to give up. You hear all the reasons you aren’t good enough. You hear them and even on a tiny level you believe them. We hear and listen to the complaints, negativity, self-hatred, etc. and that leads to unhappiness, discontent, depression, lack of productivity, and unfulfilled goal.  Then that cycle self-repeats itself. 

Talking to yourself: Choosing to feed yourself the positive. You can choose to fuel yourself with Scripture, positive affirmations, or whatever that gives you energy and motivation and hope. This then gives you the power to fulfill your goals and start the cycle in a very positive way.

Do you see the difference?

Even though it makes perfect sense to me I have also learned that talking to myself and not listening to myself is a hard HABIT to break. Just like with nutrition and fitness, learning to change your habits slowly over time is key to sustainable change.  So, I am treating this just like I would any other habit.  Bit by bit, thought by thought, I will turn that listening into talking.  I can’t expect to overhaul my way of thinking in one big step but I can overhaul it bit by bit over time.   There is HOPE for a whole new way of thinking.

Are you Listening or Talking to Yourself?

BLESSINGS!!!!

 

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Are You Listening or Talking to Yourself?

1K Words for 100 Days


1K Words for 100 Days

You may have read a few weeks ago the post entitled, New Year Ramblings And Why I Must Write. I wrote about how I know that deep down inside my soul that I am a writer.  I have always had the dream to be published in some way outside of a self-published blog.   I love writing very much.  Some have even said I’m pretty good at it.  I find that hard to believe sometimes but, “HEY THANKS!”

A big thing I wanted to change in 2015 was that I wanted this to be the year that I truly became a writer.  I want to spend far more time writing and I want my writing to get to more people.  The funny thing is that I came to realize where my writing was falling apart.  I was approaching writing the same way I see many people approach food and exercise.  You want to change so desperately and that is not a bad thing but you are so motivated to change that you try to change way too quickly.  For example, you say you will go on a “diet” and you will hit the gym 5 days a week and follow a routine that includes weight training and cardio.  You follow your plan for a few days and it goes well.  It is hard but, by golly, you can do this. #noexcuses.  Then life starts to get in the way and slowly but surely (or perhaps not so slowly) you stop because it is just too hard.  The change was too quick for it to be sustainable.  How would I coach that person?  I would assign one eating habit every week or every two weeks.  We’d build on that one habit bit by bit until there is a new way of living.  For exercise, we’d start with getting used to movement a few times a week.   Whatever you love doing a few times a week is good.  Once that is established you start working on more developed workout plans.  As you work towards to change habits one at a time you are establishing true change that will be sustainable and will actually stick.   It is slow, and sometimes hard, work.  It goes against our fast paced society and its desire for a quick change or transformation.  While such things can occur it is not normal and often falls apart eventually.   No one likes slow change.  But, the ones who slow down long enough to give it a try usually find that it works and that they are better for it.

All that being said, I have found that I was trying to take the quick approach to my writing. I automatically jumped to wanting to be published through my blog, articles, books, etc. when I wasn’t even in the habit of writing every day. What in the world? The ultimate goal would paralyse me because I was always waiting for the big inspiration to come and it never did.  I read a quote the other day that said, ”

“If I waited to be inspired, I would be screwed.” -Neil Gaiman

How could I be a professional writer if I weren’t already writing on a consistent basis and how in the world could I even have content if I didn’t take the time to write everything down? It hit me suddenly a few weeks ago that if I really want to be a good, published writer I have to write every single day. You would think I would already know that but no one ever said I don’t struggle with stubbornness.  So, I started coaching myself how I would coach a client seeking habit change. I told myself to forget the whole idea of being published and to just write every day. I started a document and named it “Ramblings” and I gave myself the task to write something, anything, every day. I was to write a page in the document every day to the best of my ability. It didn’t even matter what I wrote. It really was just ramblings most of the time. I used that document to hash out some ideas in my head. I used it to pray and to work through some emotions. Some of it was stream of consciousness and some it became blog posts. As the weeks flowed along and I was writing more days than not I realized that writing was actually coming easily. There wasn’t much writer’s block. I really did have a lot to say and write. I just had to sit down and start writing every day. It was a good feeling.

Then I came across a writing challenge that was along the same vein as my new habit. Write 1,000 words a day for 100 days. That would add up to 100,000 words. That is a ton!! I usually don’t jump on board with ‘challenges’ because that tend to go against the whole slow habit change process. You hit something hot and heavy for a short amount of time and hope it sticks. There is often good change but often-times it doesn’t stick when the challenge is over, assuming you actually finish it. I was hesitant about doing a writing challenge because I was afraid I would fall the way of most challenges. I would quit and then feel awful and even more of a failure. The difference this time was that I was already doing this in my own way. I had challenged myself that I would write a page every day. All the 1K words for 100 days would do is tighten it up a bit. Turns out that one page at the particular format I was using was right around 850 words. One Hundred Fifty more words wouldn’t be that hard to round out to 1,000. The previous personal challenge didn’t have very many parameters so it was pretty easy to skip a day. 1K words for 100 days gives me more motivation to sit down and write out 1000 words each day.

Here are my parameters:

  1. Write my 1,000 words every morning first thing.
  2. Write Monday – Saturday . Sunday is a free pass because I try very hard to not turn my desktop computer on and other devices are just too hard to write 1000 words on.
  3. Because I won’t write on Sunday, those days won’t count towards my 100 days. So, my time will go a little longer than a straight 100 days.
  4. I can’t accumulate words. So, if I write more than 1,000 words one day then those are bonus words. The goal is 1K words in 100 days, not 100,000 words total.
  5. Write 1K words and get a check-mark for that day. If I don’t get the check-mark then I have to add a day to my calender.
  6. FOCUS
  7. Write! Write! Write!

You usually hear me talk about habit change as the key to sustainable improvement in our nutrition and fitness, but the same concepts work for other areas of you life.  If there is some area where you want positive change break your goal down into achievable steps and work on those steps/habits one at a time until you have achieved your goal.  And that includes learning to write consistently.

What is one area where you could use some habit changes??

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1K Words for 100 Days

Go Deeper than Feeling Fat

Go deeper

I saw a video the other day of a girl and how she came to accept her body. I loved what she said. “Fat is not a feeling. There is not such thing as feeling fat. So, when I feel fat, I know that means I am feeling something else and it is worth figuring out what that is. ”

Here is the video if you would like to watch it here. It is worth the 3.5 minutes.

Wow….that is powerful.

Fat is not a state of being or a feeling.

Fat is a substance that is within our bodies. And if we had zero fat we would be dead.

So, yes, there is no such thing as feeling fat. When we “feel fat” it is most likely emotion from somewhere else. It is through the programming over all the years that we translate those feelings into “feeling fat.” We want to avoid negative feelings from wherever they may come so we turn those feelings into something else. Ironically, we turn those feelings into something that is negative too. And then when we feel fat we feel prompted to fix that feeling. I guess in a way “feeling fat” is something we feel like we can fix by way of dieting. We feel somewhat in control because we know that we can control what we eat and how we exercise. The harsh reality, however, is that we end up only making it worse and only perpetuating the problem. We try to fix the problem of “Feeling fat” by only going further and further down the rabbit hole of dieting and exercising harder.  We create a cycle that only gets worse and worse.

What if we listened to ourselves?  Whenever we hear ourselves saying or thinking, “I feel fat,” we tune into that and say, “NO! I don’t and can’t feel fat. What else is it that I am feeling right now?” Once we notice our thoughts we then force ourselves to sit and feel, truly feel. Acknowledge the feelings and the emotions and name them. Be honest with ourselves. “I feel sad.” “I feel anxious.” “I feel depressed.” “I feel unsure.” “I feel afraid.” These are not comfortable emotions and it is not fun. But, if we allow ourselves to feel it all we can be more in tune with our bodies and our souls. We can understand ourselves. We know where the true problem lies and the reason for “feeling fat.” We can learn why we are diverting these emotions to our bodies and then taking our angst out on our bodies. Our bodies are good and need care. There is no reason to take everything out on the body.

It is okay to feel and to feel fully.

Sit down. Take a deep breath.

For ten minutes, allow yourself to feel completely. Name those feelings for what they are…..fear, anxiety, panic, sadness, confusion, depression, uncertainty, etc. You don’t have to have a solution but just allowing yourself to feel what you are feeling is important to loving your body and being who you truly are.

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Go Deeper than Feeling Fat

Reading: It Does the Brain Good

…What I’m reading lately.

Wait…You’re Christian and eat Paleo?!

 

This blog and article is written by a person friend.  You may remember me writing this guest post on her blog. While I don’t consider myself ‘Paleo’ at this point,  even though I am basically eating Paleo on The Virgin Diet, I think this article answers some very important questions.  I have heard the same hesitations from people about being a Christian and eating Paleo.  It comes down to where do you stand on evolution.  Personally, I don’t support the philosophical underpinnings of the Paleo lifestyle.  But, you don’t have to support those to eat this way. At its root eating Paleo is a food choice and not a religious conviction.  Simple.  The Paleo Mama does a great job explaining this.

 

20 Tips for Breaking Free From Binge Eating

 

Here is another one from one of my favorite women in the fitness world, Nia Shanks. I just love her slogan, “Lift Like a Girl: Be the Most Awesome Version of You.”  Yep, I think that explains it pretty well.  And, DARN!, she beat me to that awesomeness.  Anyway, this is a great article of tips on how to prevent yourself from binge eating.  These tips just make sense and they help create a healthy, sustainable lifestyle…..not just another diet. I just love it when people provide awesome advice like this.

 

20 Ways to Build a Whole Foods Kitchen on a Budget

Lord, knows it is hard to eat well and stay on a reasonable budget. I don’t know about you but I am not rich and I have to control what I spend. A common response to eating whole foods is, “But, it is cheaper to buy the chips than the carrots.” Yes, in the short term it is cheaper but in the long term, with doctor bills, it becomes far more expensive. But, I digress. Here is 20 ways you can build up your kitchen and pantry for success on a whole foods lifestyle. Once again, this article is full of “it just makes sense” advice.  Check it out!  Take one tip to work on and then build to two. Next thing you know you are eating whole, REAL foods most days.  How does THAT make you feel?? 🙂

I’m an introvert, and I don’t need to come out of my shell

 

This article is not fitness related but pertains a lot to me. Over the last few years I have come to the conclusion that I am not shy and anti-social.  I am an introvert.  I have been reading a fair amount about what it means to be an “introvert” and what I’m reading makes perfect sense. I especially enjoyed this article.  It explains ME and other introverts so well.  Check it out and you’ll understand me a little better.

 

10 Ab Training Mistakes You Need To Stop Making

Bodybuilding.com continues to be my favorite website for training advice and they did not disappoint with this article. How many people do you know who are either constantly talking about their abs or are constantly training their abs. Everyone wants that tight core and dare we pursue the goal of a six-pack? A tight midsection is THE mark of a fit body these days. For that reason there is so much information on how to get that tight core …. good and bad advice. Here is good, sound advice for you. But, always remember. If you don’t have your diet in check you will never achieve the abs you want. A thousand ab moves a day will not give you a six pack if you are eating fast food every day. Cold, hard truth. Check out this article if you want to get abs the sensible way.

There you go. Let me know what you think! And if you come across an excellent article please share with me!!!

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

Reading: It Does the Brain Good