Showing posts with label Inspiration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Inspiration. Show all posts

September 26, 2017

When You're Letting Go of a Piece of Your Heart {Motherhood}

I opened the white, front door of our family home and stepped outside. Cold morning air hit my face and I remembered that it's not summer anymore. September is here with a hint of fall and changes with it. Down the stairs and a few steps onto the street, I was trying to remember the shopping list that was his first school year's necessities. Lunch box, sneakers, uniform, light jacket, and snacks. I reached for the handle of the car door and reminded myself that I wasn't going to cry when I will be dropping him off in a few days. I will smile, wish him a good day and tell him that I will be back soon. I won't make it a huge deal and inflate this out of proportion but at the same time, I will make this milestone a little bit special. I reminded myself to add another thing to the list and drove off.
My big boy, my first born baby is going to school, pre-k to be exact. To some it may be just another trip down the road but for me it was an end of an era. It's the beginning of the end of innocence, carefree childhood and flexible bedtimes in the middle of the week. It is what so many mothers experience this time of year. 
It's a time to embrace the new and remember the old. 
It's a time to give yourself a pat on the back that you've made it so far but to roll up your sleeves and get to work on their homework. 
It's a time to clean out their room and help them settle in their dorm room, while leaving a twenty dollar bill under the rug for a rainy day. 
It's a time to give yourself a break when your last one boards the bus and waves you good bye, leaving you home alone not sure what to do with yourself.
It's a time to give yourself permission to have a good cry and watch a sappy chick flick in the middle of the day, then throw some pizza in the oven and call everyone for dinner. 
It's a time to make homemade cookies when they come back from their first day. 
It's a time to settle down and buckle up, to face the reality of your kids' abilities and push them harder to reach for more. 
It's a time to let go of the extra curricular activities that break up your family time, make your head spin and your hands reach for fast food more times then you should.
It's a time to plan family meals and listen to their conversations.
It's a time to invite the Lord into your morning devotions with your kids before they board the bus.
It's a time to encourage them and uplift them
It's a time to pray for them while they're away 
It's a huge change that brings painful and joyous moments with enormous challenges.
It's an adjustment of routines, bedtimes, shopping lists and budgets. 
It's an expansion of our hearts to find the space and strength to forgive those who will hurt our babies, those who won't understand them and those who will reject them. 
It's an appreciation of those who take the extra time and put extra effort in their success because let's face it, we can't do it alone. 
When you are letting go of a piece of your heart, let God take over. Trust Him to take you through this uncharted territory of firsts - first unaided written letter, first A for enormous effort, first totally failed exam, first oppositional college professor and even first love.
As moms we go through a lot and we all go through similar situations. We all need each other to learn from, to share with and to uplift. It's a tough job and we shouldn't be going at it solo. Find friends who will encourage you, who have gone through similar situations and those who will uplift you in their prayers.
Mama, you are strong, persevering, tough,  unbreakable and courageous. One who wants her child to not just follow the rules, but follow God Himself.
Let me take your hand. And stand with you.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

August 18, 2017

Contentment is a Great Gain in the Eyes of Jesus

Have you ever thought that you got it? Have you ever felt like there is one area in your life where, really, you are on top of things? You are doing the thing you are supposed to be doing and it's going great. You know God has you in His this exact place and time and it feels so good. Then, just as you were settling into your comfy spot and petting yourself on the back for a job well done, you get the wind knocked out of you. You wonder, what just happened? Everything was going so well.
I was in that spot. I never had an issue with jealousy. Yes, others may have had better, bigger things but it was them. I was in a different place. I may have felt covetous but never jealous. I haven't felt the need to show that I want something others have. 
We bought a small house a few years and have been very happy in it since. I love the lay out, the fact that we live on a quiet street inside the city, all grocery stores are close by, both sides of the family live nearby too. I've loved decorating and making this home ours. We have a large family room which has come handy with having little children and containing the mess. We have a large, private master bedroom downstairs (currently undergoing a major renovation). We have a small but private backyard. We have large kitchen and a nice open floor plan. I've loved living in our home since the day one.
Then came the wind.
The other day I visited a friend who bought a new house. They have lived renting an apartment for a while and this was a huge blessing for them. Having multiple children, they were in real need for a backyard, more space and privacy. The home was beautiful. It had a unique floor plan and large backyard, updated kitchen and other awesome features. I felt a sprig of jealousy rise up. I tried to hide it, praising and admiring the new residence.
On the way home, I felt like a huge lump was stuck in my throat and I just couldn't shake off the feeling of not being satisfied with what I have.
I was so grateful.
I was so content. 
I was in a good place.
I had to work on this all over again.
You see, being content is not something you can just have and never work on. At one point in your life you will come along someone with something better then yours. Unless you keep the focus eternal and fix your eyes on Jesus, you will fall into the trap of wanting more. 
But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:6-12)
Fighting a good fight means, it's an ongoing action which you have to keep up your entire life. It does not mean if you won one battle, you may rest. The scriptures teach us that 'the love of money is root of [all kinds of] evil'. That evil may be something you see on the inside or something that grows on the inside. Don't give discontent any space. Don't let the seed get root and destroy your whole life with poor choice, wrong priorities and shift in thinking. 
We are called into a life where the 'righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience and meekness' are main possessions we should boast about. Unfortunately we all fall into the trap and temptation to seek more earthly desires. 
Having good things isn't necessarily wrong but the love of them will take you onto the path of evil. If we desire to be rich and seek possessions with all our might, that path will lead us "into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction".
Lastly, we are in the presence of many witnesses. Whether it's our neighbors, our friends or the people we pass by on the street, we are made witnesses to the Lord. With are grateful attitudes and content hearts, we can either draw people to the Lord or push them away. We are also standing before Jesus and serving Him. If as Christians we still have to work on contentment, the Lord will have to take us through some trials before we learn to have a grateful heart and serve others. In His eyes, we are living the life He wants us to live, He supplies all our needs and gives us necessary things for life. To Jesus our soul is far more precious then any earthly possessions, or fulfillment of our temporary desires. Jesus brought us to this place and He will sustain us, our part is just be thankful and content with the life He chose for us. After all, He knows best and delights in our contentment. 

September 16, 2015

How To: Look Slim After Having a Baby

I've been getting a lot of comments (and emails) about my postpartum shape. I've done my fare share to not gain too much while I was pregnant but knowing how to dress your body to accentuate your strong parts, is also helpful. As well as owning a good pair of spanx (ha!). Here are my tips and tricks to looking fabulous after pregnancy.

1. Tuck It In. First and foremost, you must (absolutely HAVE TO) invest in a good pair of shape wear and undergarments. You can look great, and have expensive clothes but if your bra doesn't fit right, especially when nursing, it's a lost cause. Wearing supportive undergarments that help shape your body (and hide that tummy) is the oldest trick in the book. Although, for some reason, not everyone knows it. I'm letting the cat out of the bag - this amazing invention is your best friend. If you don't like the idea of being tucked in so much, getting a pair of regular spanx will help (a lot).

2. Shift Dress Galore. Before I knew what postpartum body was, I hated shift dresses. To me they felt so unshapely and very blah. I had a great figure and wasn't about to let a shapeless dress to hide it. Now, it's a totally different story. Shift dresses look feminine yet they hide the unwanted tummy (also see maxi dresses). So get yourself a few of those ASAP (see top photos)

3. Flaunt What You've Got. Every woman has at least one great feature. If you have gorgeous legs, then wear short skirt. If you didn't gain any weight in your butt, accentuate your figure with great pair of jeans. I have a slim waist and therefore right now I'm playing around that. Notice how the second row of photos are all fit and flare. The fit part accentuates the skinniest part of me, while the flare hides unwanted rolls. It's a win - win. Find your best feature and make it work for you.

 4. Avoid the Tent Look. The rule of thumb is that if the top is fit, then the bottom should be a little more loose and vice versa. Do not put on an overzised sweater on top of culottes  - you are running a risk of someone asking you how far along are you. Even though chunky knits with skinny jeans are great at hiding the belly, do not wear tops that have a high waist - they will make you look pregnant. Choose loose and straight shaped top with slimmer bottoms.

5. Own it. Your body went through so much. From growing another human being to expelling that little person out of your (even smaller) private area. It's a lot to process! Be kind to yourself, love your body and what it did. Don't get discouraged if the weight doesn't just fall off in a few weeks. It took you 9 months to gain all that weight, so give it at least half that to start going away. Own your stretch marks, leaking boobs and half pregnant tummy. This is a special time so cherish it and enjoy every moment!

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May 7, 2015

Mother's Day Inspirations {Lulu :: Simply Lulu Style}

Today I have Lulu of Simply Lulu Style who has impeccable sense of style and some of the cutest shoes a girl would want. I love following her on Insta to see her everyday style because that's when mamas need inspiration the most. She has two adorable kids and shared her infertility story on the blog, which touched my heart totally made me cry. I'm so happy for her that her prayers have been answered and she now posses the title of a mother. Take it away girl!

Hi there!  My name is Lulu and I blog over at Simply Lulu Style.  Anna was so kind to reach out to me to be apart of her Meaning of Motherhood blog series and I was thrilled to participate.  Wow what a topic though right?  I think I could write an entire book on the subject... but I won't! :)  Ever since I could remember I wanted to be a mother.  However it there was always something nagging inside that wondered - would I be able to?  Sometimes I just have a funny sense about things.  Indeed my husband and I struggled, (you can read more about there HERE), but we are so blessed to have 2 kiddos we affectionately call the nuggets.  Jack and Ella are twins born in 2008 and are the sweetest, funniest, adorable kids (I'm a little biased).  

Motherhood has been much harder than I expected and not really because of having twins.  It's the second guessing, the I'm not sure what to do, the NO ONE TEACHES YOU THIS!  At first it was all these things were riduculous to handle.  Add to this my nuggets had terrible reflux.  And by terrible I mean the babies were screaming and crying for hours and hours.  Side note: It's SO important to find a good pediatrician who will listen to you.  We did not.  Finally we found help, got medicine, and the nuggets were like new babies.  But during this process, of reflux, having twins... I was a new mom!  I had no idea what to do.  But the Lord gives you a mother's instinct for a reason and trust me it's there.  I had everyone and anyone giving me advice.  Everything from how to feed them, how to burp them, how to put them to sleep, but inside I began to get a good sense.  A grew, I learned, I read and developed my own strength and intuition as a mom.  

At the end of the day mothering is about 2 simple (but not so simple) things: love and discipline.  Love first, then discipline.  Don't get me wrong, I'm strict, very strict.  But my nuggets always know I love them no matter what.  I pray... a lot.  I pray that God watches over them, protects them (heart, soul, mind, body).  I pray that they the love God, love others, love each other.  I pray that they are best friend (and they are).  I pray, pray, pray.

I pray to remember the little times with my little family.  Last night we were just getting the nuggets ready for bed, showers, jammies, Ella wanted me to paint her nails, you know, the regular stuff :).  Afterward we were all hanging out in our room.  Ella was coloring, Jack was playing a game with Daddy, I was folding clothes.  It was just a normal night, nothing special, but to see them so sweet in the moment was somethingI wanted to remember.  I'm still really learning to live in the moment.  But I think motherhood is a lot about that.  It's about love, discipline, and living in the moment.  

I hope you stop by Simply Lulu to see more of my nuggets and get inspired by some mom, but not-so-mom, style.  Happy Mother's Day!

May 5, 2015

Mother's Day Inspirations {Kimberly :: Penny Pincher Fashion}

Hello my lovely readers! I have been thinking a lot about motherhood and how it changed my life forever. I have asked a few of my favorite style bloggers (who are mothers too) to participate in a series discussing their take on motherhood. 
The first guest post is by Kimberly from Penny Pincher Fashion. I have been a fan of her blog for a long time now. She has a timeless sense of style and her polished outfits get me every time. Kim is also a wife, mother to two adorable kids (see below) and a business woman. She does a great job at balancing it all. Here is her take on the meaning of motherhood.

Introduce yourself and describe your motherhood situation
I'm a full-time blogger/stay-at-home mom.  I have been married for 15 years & we have two children - my daughter is 11 (going on 16) and my son is 7.

What does motherhood mean to you?
Being a mother is one of the hardest jobs in the world.  It brings both abundant joy & endless fatigue.  It is sacrificial love that means putting your children's needs first.  It is being a protector, defender, provider, teacher and disciplinarian.  It is a role that is full of challenges, but also rich with blessings.  No matter what other responsibilities I have, being a mom comes first.

What's your favorite part about being a mother?
Seeing their personalities evolve - it's amazing how completely different my two are from one another.  My daughter is outgoing & talkative while my son is more quiet & reserved.  It's so fun to watch them develop their own sense of humor, to see the things they are beginning to take an interest in & to hear how they interpret the world around them.

What is the hardest part of being a mom?
Watching my kids struggle.  My son was diagnosed with Tourette's last year and seeing him battle it has been one of the hardest things for me as a parent.  I wish with all my heart that I could just take it away from him, but I know that he is becoming a stronger person because of it and that it is making him more compassionate towards others who have similar conditions.

What is your number one goal for your children?

To have self-confidence, to feel loved & to be kind.  I guess that's more than one thing!  :)

October 17, 2014

Unrushed Yes {God Thoughts}

In the middle of my usual everyday chores, I had a thought. 'God, I'm so busy all the time; unrush me'.

Most of the time, I'm doing something. I'm not an idle person, as taught by my mother, always completing chores and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. (side note: will the dust under my bed ever stop accumulating?)

I come from a family of hard workers - there was no time to waste, and something always had to be done. Even now, when I sit down to relax or simply have a day off, I feel guilty unless I accomplish even the smallest of assignments.

A lot of times, I think that what I'm doing in the here and now, isn't as important as the big things I could be doing. But that's simply not true.

So after praying that simple prayer to God, I got my answer almost immediately and I didn't like it. (I burned my hand  taking a pan out of the oven. Ouch.)

There I was standing over my kitchen sink with my hand under running cold water, mad. I was steaming and yelling at myself for not being more careful and just hating the fact that I will have to take a break and sit down for a few minutes, because I had 'stuff to do'. 

Shortly after, I sprained my wrist and really had to stop doing certain things. Being that it was my right hand, I had to ask my husband to chop the onions for soup (and I'm an independent girl). It was annoying and painful but I wasn't rushing through anything for sure.

God answered my prayer and I didn't like it because it hurt me.

A lot of times, we have these grand aspirations, and superb ideas of serving God. Weather it is on the mission field or as a church leader, yet we forget the simple, every day tasks God called us to do. We rush through the everyday stuff, we pass by the little things in hopes to achieve that grandiose mission. That's no what God asks of us.

Before we become the church leader and go to the missions, we must learn to embrace the everyday, to slow down and notice God's hand in the small things.

I know personally, that I have a tendency to rush. I rush through things in hopes of completing the task AND THAN enjoying myself. But maybe we should enjoy the moment we are in. We need to see what God is teaching us through it, learn to unpack even the tiniest responsibility.

His lord said unto him, Well done, you good and faithful servant: you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter into the joy of your lord. (Matthew 25:21) KJV

I want to give God my life of service to others, but most of the time I complain about the enormous piles of laundry I have to finish. Or when I don't want to get up early to get my child because he won't sleep in on Saturday morning.

I'm learning to slow down. To enjoy the moment, to learn what God's teaching me right now but it's a conscious decision that I have to make every day. Instead of planning and scheming for the next project, Simply take your time in the present and ask the Lord to give you gentle reminders to slow down.

God bless and thank you for stopping by! 

September 10, 2014

Bathroom Inspiration {House Make Over}

As some of you know, we bought a house about a year ago and thank God it was in good enough condition to move in right away. We did a few paint jobs in bedrooms and closets but nothing major. Now, more than year later, I'm so sick and tired of my ugly bathroom that I can't even go in there without loathing everything about it. I hate the color of the walls (ugly sand brown) and the blue built in plastic tub (yup, it's blue!). It's time to change things up but my budget is very limited as we need to change heating in half the house. Husband says it's more important than bathroom looking pretty (blah blah blah). So, I'm taking on myself the monumental task of remodeling our bathroom with lots and lots of DIY projects. It's going to take time, patience and new-skill learning.
My bathroom is tiny (I mean, it's really small) so I want to use the visual tricks of designers with lighter paint, and low contrast. Grey, white and more grey is what I'm gravitated towards with some of these as inspiration. Thank God for Pinterest because I don't know how people did anything back in the day without this handy tool.
Have any of you done anything like this before? Re-doing a room on the cheap? Please share some of your ideas, tips and tricks. Thanks for stopping by!