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If you’ve being a mother for more than 5 minutes you know there are mother moments that test the boundaries of our sanity, wisdom and strength, that leave us breathless and wondering what to do next. It’s amazing how in one world, before kids, we can be executives, teachers, doctors, managers, marketers, salespeople yet give us a baby and we’re left defenseless and often wondering if we’re cut out for this. Add to that a new isolation, sleep deprivation and the changing seasons of life, hormones and pant size and instead of feeling an inexpressible joy we often are left feeling an inexpressible unexplained mehness.
How can one little or not so little person change us so much and make us feel so vulnerable?
We are in a new season of parenting. Our son is a teenager and with it comes a surge of new hormones, new emotions and new challenges. He is significantly taller than me (though shhh dont tell him that) and has just begun high school. Our daughter is in her last year of primary school and navigating the strangeness that is catty girl friendships.
Through all the changes and mother moments it is important to do 3 things:
Appreciate the now
Our kids change so fast. If you’re a parent you’ve probably had a million people say “time flies by so quickly.” It really does. As facebook “memories” appear on my feed it amazes me how much they have changed. Height, hair, personality. Be present in their lives in the now. Be there for the fun and the conversations and the moment. Invest time with your kids and your family.
Sow into the future
The future is rapidly upon us. With each season there are new challenges – socially, physically, spiritually, mentally. We need to sow into the future and have the conversations in the pre-season. We have talked to our fresh high schooler about peer pressure and sex, drugs and rock and roll for the past few years. Awkward conversations. Necessary conversations. Sow also into their potential. Invest in their confidence. Encourage their passions.
You will get through this. This is just a season. This too will pass. When my son was a toodler and preschooler he was FULL on. The tantrums were wild. I felt helpless and hopeless. I looked ahead into the future and saw a wild out of control teen and it didnt appeal. I prayed hard and read heaps and had great friends who had been there, done that. I dont take the credit but our son is the most lovely young guy you’ll meet. He is calm and good natured. A friend of mine often refers to the past and how he was and says it gives her hope. So breathe. This too will pass.
What do you to to navigate changes and survive mother moments?
1. Exercise more – 7 minutes might be enough
2. Sleep more – you’ll be less sensitive to negative emotions
3. Move closer to work – a short commute is worth more than a big house
4. Spend time with friends and family – don’t regret it on your deathbed
5. Go outside – happiness is maximized at 13.9°C
6. Help others – 100 hours a year is the magical number
7. Practice smiling – it can alleviate pain
8. Plan a trip – but don’t take one
9. Meditate- rewire your brain for happiness – Pray!
10. Practice gratitude – increase both happiness and life satisfaction
I believe every married woman wants to be the best wife she can be, but it’s hard to have a clear picture of what that really means or looks like.
The media seems to bombard women with conflicting messages about what the “ideal woman” is all about. One moment you’re being told to starve yourself and spend all your time in the gym and salon so you can always look like an airbrushed model on the cover of a magazine. The next moment your role model is a CEO mom who is making millions and still “having it all” by being a wife and mommy too. You flip the channel again and you’re told that an ideal wife makes her own clothes and home schools her 20 kids.
1. Give respect to your husband.
2. Create a positive tone in the home.
3. Fall in love…with God!
We men tend to get our priorities out of whack sometimes. We can be passionately devoted to our work, our hobbies and our favorite sports teams and still neglect the priorities that should matter most.
We need to “Man Up” and love our wives and kids the way they deserve to be loved. I’m not just writing this to you, but i’m writing this as a guy who needs a daily reminder of all these things myself! Here’s how we do it…
1. Love your wife passionately and selflessly.
2. Protect your wife.
3. Stop acting like a kid.
5. Create romance outside the bedroom.
Soul friends pay attention to what you’re saying, not to what time the clock says it is.
Soul friends listen as long as it takes to make you feel heard.
Soul friends aren’t in a hurry to get to the point or to check you off the list.
There’s power in sharing our stories.
Do you feel God leading you to tell someone?
It can be a fearful thing. What if no one listens?
What if some of the details are harsh?
What if it’s not that exciting?
What if communicating isn’t my thing?
All of these are questions I’ve asked myself as a God-girl with a story.
Do you know what freed me?
I finally owned my story.
A few years ago, my husband Art and I hit a rough place financially. Some investments we’d made went bad and we lost nearly our entire life savings. I was knee deep in caring for three small children at the time and hadn’t a clue that financial danger was looming on the horizon.
That is, until Art came home and the look on his face spoke of utter defeat. How could we have lost so much? He’d been wise with our finances. He’d done his research. He was a faithful saver. I stood stunned in our foyer that day, as Art told me the news.
There were many different directions my reaction could have gone in the minutes that followed. I was upset. When Art first talked of making these particular investments, I shared with him that I didn’t have a good feeling about it. But, in the end, I let him make the final decision.
So many times in my marriage, I’ve chosen the wrong words — words that were tainted with bitterness, words that were emotionally toxic. But I’m so thankful the Lord had been working on preparing my heart for this moment, and instead of reacting immediately with what would have been a disastrous response, I paused. I allowed the Holy Spirit a few seconds to interrupt my natural flesh feelings.
We are servants first.
Without understanding your identity as a servant, leaders (myself included) can use the “important but not urgent” category as an excuse to isolate themselves and be unapproachable and unavailable to the teams they serve alongside.
Much of ministry to people is unplanned.
My friend Darrin Patrick has said, “The most impactful conversations happen at the most inconvenient times.” Some of the best interactions are not on the calendar. Some of the most holy moments are opportunities disguised as interruptions. Without that understanding, leaders (like myself) can loathe the urgent, and those great opportunities would be missed.
If you approach the matrix with the foundation that you are a servant and that God works in the midst of the urgent, then the matrix can be very helpful. After all, it is possible to be both a strategic leader and a servant leader. One does not need to negate the other.
What makes for a healthy romantic relationship differs from couple to couple. Forming a trusting and positive partnership takes effort and time. And unfortunately, it doesn’t just happen overnight. For any relationship to grow strong and stay strong, you need to put in some work. Below are some habits that will create and maintain a happy and healthy twosome.
“I came to a point where I realized I didn’t do relationships God’s way. My way didn’t work. Before I got married I realized that Christ should be Lord of my life, including my relationships,” he remembers. Even still, he said his expectations of marriage were unrealistic, and realized that he and his wife had difficulties communicating.
Now, the Ingrams have been married for 32 years and their marriage has never been stronger. “I’m more in love with my wife and more deeply satisfied in marriage than ever. I long for that for other people.” He teaches that the benefits of a good marriage go beyond the man and woman involved. The couple’s children also feel more secure and often make better mate choices for themselves.
“The greatest thing you can ever do for your children is to love your spouse. They need to feel safe. How they respond to the opposite sex is often based on how their parents related to each other. Kids model what they see in us, whether or not we realize it.”
He says the key ingredient to a strong, lasting marriage is loyalty to Jesus Christ. “When two people are in a Christ-centered marriage, they are saying they are not going to allow anyone to take His place in their lives. When you let another person take God’s place, it ruins the relationship,” he explained. “God designed marriage where He wants to be the center. When Heis, good things happen.”
It’s easy to think that only “other people” get divorced. That your own marriage is somehow immune to heartache, infidelity and fights over who gets the house, the car, the dog. After all, how many of us would walk down the aisle if we believed our relationships would end up in divorce court?
Truth is, no relationship comes with a lifetime guarantee. Even men and women who grew up in stable homes, who attend church and consider themselves Christians, who promise “until death do us part,” can have it all fall apart.
As Christians, we know that applying biblical principles to marriage will give us a stronger foundation than those of our unbelieving friends and neighbors. We know this, but what are we doing about it? In other words, what makes a marriage “Christian”?
According to author Gary Thomas, we’re not asking the right questions. What if your relationship isn’t as much about you and your spouse as it is about you and God?
Instead of asking why we have struggles in the first place, the more important issue is how we deal with them.
“Sweetheart, there is only one day where marriage naturally looks like the storybooks. It’s this day. This day, your wedding day, is where every hour has been arranged and planned to be beautiful and special. And as you wave goodbye to this one day, realize what happens from here is all about choices.
Choose to understand that love isn’t always a feeling. Many days love will be a choice. It’s a choice to press through and learn to enjoy the fragile blend of both the bliss and disappointments of two people learning to become a family.
“Chris, you have cancer.” Not quite the words I was expecting to hear when I landed in Sydney Australia for our annual Hillsong conference on June 27 this year.
It was 9am in Australia, and my doctor in the US had called to give me the results of the Thyroid biopsy I had done before boarding my flight to Australia.
The C word….
I had to choose to cover the problem with the promises of God.
I had to choose to silence the giant with the Word of God.
I had to choose to see beyond the wall to the victory on the other side.
I had to choose to walk by faith and not by sight.
I had to choose to combat fear with faith.
I had to choose to replace the facts with the truth.
I had to choose faith warriors to walk through the fire with me.
I had to choose to saturate myself in the Presence of God.
I had to choose to devour the promises of the Word of God.
I had to choose to silence fear, doubt, unbelief and negativity.
I had to choose to guard my confession.
I had to choose life and not death.
I did not know the size of the battle ahead, but I knew it was warfare.
Running the bridge is a lot like life in ministry. You have seasons that it may seem like you are running uphill. Those times can be difficult and force you to push yourself a little harder. There are also seasons that are easier, where you’re running downhill, coasting along with no problem. While the uphill seasons aren’t quite as enjoyable, they are necessary to get you to the point where you can hit your downhill stride.
You are not raising kids, you are raising adults.
The point is there is countdown to adulthood that is happening for toddlers and teenagers, and the clock is not going to stop. The real question is what kind of adults are you raising? That question should motivate us to start relating to our kids with an end in mind.
Here’s a profound thought:
If you want your children to become responsible adults, then give them responsibilities now. I’m sure that may seem like an over-simplistic cliché, but there is a tendency for many of us to over-parent and over-lead. Have you ever heard that some trees cast such a large shadow that nothing else can grow around them? Here are a few ways to guarantee your kids will not grow up to be responsible adults….
Brace yourself. Distractions and interruptions are coming and they don’t care about your ambition or goals. Right now, as you read this more emails, texts, notifications, and “emergencies” are getting ready to test you.
How well you handle distractions will greatly determine how successful you will be.
Anyone and everyone, anything and everything, will get in your way. You must be able to effectively minimize and remove distractions and interruptions.
Take a moment and think about how many hours a week you watch TV. How many minutes (or hours!) you spend each day on the internet doing things that aren’t work related. Youtube, news, social media, email, phone, and so on are all weapons of mass procrastination.
1. The difference between preparing and not preparing is MASSIVE.
Apart from knowing the songs and learning the lyrics, setting aside time to prepare my heart before God is the most important thing – it allows the Holy Spirit to speak, puts a verse on my heart, and gives me ideas.
6. Don’t strive when you lead, but don’t step back either.
Lead with the authority that has been given to you. Yes, there is a spiritual weight to the platform, which includes the responsibility we have to lead people to Jesus, but lead confidently knowing you’ve been given the platform and entrusted by your pastors.
Your skin is the outer layer of your soul.
Your skin and your soul are one in ways that Hollywood and MTV and the mall won’t ever tell you.
Your skin and your soul are profoundly connected and this is a profoundly beautiful thing. There is no shame in this — only the glory of God who made your body art to reflect your soul.
So contrary to what hook-up culture may be touting in the back halls of high schools and behind the closed doors of university dorm rooms — there’s nothing casual about giving away your soul.
The union of two bodies is nothing less than the union of two souls.
Physical oneness is a holy God-created ceremony to express nothing less than a soul oneness.
1. We don’t tailor content of our services for unchurched people, but we do tailor the experience. This is such a huge and important distinction. Opening up your service to the unchurched doesn’t mean dumbing it down.
2. Nothing should offend people in your weekend services except the Gospel. Often people get turned away not because of Christ, but because of people’s bad attitudes or strange preferences for certain kinds of music or culture.
3. A parking team is not about ‘parking’ guests, it’s about welcoming them. Even if you don’t have a “parking problem”, your welcome should start when your guests pull into the parking lot. Greet them personally and help them start their experience well.
4. Everyone has an approach to their weekend services. If there is a conflict between your goal and your approach, your approach always wins. Everyone has a template for their weekend services. If your template and approach aren’t getting you to your goal, change it.
5. If you start (a message or event) with common emotions and common experiences, not everybody agrees with your point, but everybody follows you there. Brilliant.
Does your job fit your personality?
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality test, measuring preferences like introversion and extroversion, has been part of business culture for decades. Today about 80% of the Fortune 500 and 89 of Fortune 100 companies use it to analyse the personalities of employees, in an effort to get them in the right roles and help them succeed.
While the list below is in no way definitive — and personality preferences can be flexible over time — it may serve as a helpful guide for understanding yourself and what sort of personalities gravitate toward certain jobs.
A few weeks back, I met a gentleman at church named Tim. Tim and his wife had been married many years (I can’t remember exactly, but it was at least 30) and weathered many trials through their marriage (cancer included).
Naturally I asked him what the secret was – as I usually do when I meet someone with an epic marriage. “How have they stuck together through everything?”
He simply replied,
The 15 second kiss.
Intrigued, I asked, “What do you mean?“… though I suppose I could have figured it out.
He responded, “Every day, my wife and I always give each other a 15 second kiss. It’s long enough that you can’t fake it – it forces us to connect.”
As a species, we have developed a “threat response,” a cascade of physiological, emotional, and cognitive events that occur when we perceive a conflict. We typically refer to this set of reactions as a fight, flight, or freeze response. Recent neuroscience research has shown that our brains and bodies can respond to certain interpersonal situations the same way we react to literal threats to our physical safety. Psychologists refer to these experiences as “social threats.”
If a couple is wise, even before they get engaged, they’ll ask their friends and family some big questions of their own. They will seek advice about developing domestic harmony, having a unified vision for financial peace and confirming their theological alignment. They will beg for insight into the melding of diverse backgrounds into a new family. They’ll gauge others’ opinions on the compatibility of their personalities, callings and life plans. They will ask for advice on wedding and honeymoon plans. Though these questions take different forms and concern different subjects, they are all essentially asking the same thing: Are we ready to get married?
But after the wedding day, the questions often taper off. Rarely do married couples ask themselves some of the great questions that helped get them to where they are. Having answered the initial question, “Are we ready to get married?” couples forget to ask the ongoing question, “Are we ready to stay married?” Like the former question, the latter can take many forms. For those of us who want to be really good at staying married, let’s revisit some of our original lines of inquiry to get some new answers to old questions.
“This picture makes me feel so many mixed emotions.. I remember the day I wore the dress in the very first picture. I remember asking for spanx to flatten my stomach because I use to feel so heavy and “fat”. Now looking at this picture, you can clearly see my hip bones. It makes me sad because I wasted so many years ashamed of my body when I could’ve been living the happy and healthy life I live today. It TRULY just goes to show you that your perceptions can lie to you. OR they can make you learn to enjoy life. Fortunately looking at the picture of myself in the red dress yesterday, I not only feel so grateful for the love and support I’ve had from fans, friends and family, but… I also feel.. beautiful. I’m so excited to live my life the way I deserve to and to the complete fullest. Demi Lovato 2014 VMA
It’s your job to motivate the troops, but what about the stragglers? Many leaders believe we’re all adults, so if some employees aren’t keeping up, ultimately you must fire them.
Before the problem gets to that point though, are you putting in the right effort to get your weaker employees up to par? Amy Gallo, a contributing editor at Harvard Business Review, interviewed experts on how to correctly motivate those underperformers. Check out her suggestions below.
Address the problem head-on
Find the root cause
Make sure you are objective
Coach the employee and lay out the plan
Start a conversation
Follow up and monitor progress
Take action if needed
Reward them for changes
Dear therapist who will one day be counseling my children,
There are two things I need to say right out of the gate:
1. I tried my best.
2. I hope you have a sound machine.
The second point is more of a personal preference rather than a revelation. Having gone to counseling myself, I appreciate when a therapist has some sort of sound machine that makes you feel like you’re at the beach. Gentle electronic waves lapping against the shore tend to help you forget you’re actually in a strip mall off the highway, wedged between the Dollar Store and a nail salon.
If you’re at all familiar with romantic comedies of the modern era you’ve likely heard of or watched the 1996 hit film Jerry Maguire. Many of us can recall the scene when Jerry walks into the middle of a women’s “divorced and lonely group” and divulges to Dorothy how meaningless his life is without her. His speech crescendos with the words “You complete me,” finally proving to Dorothy that he loves her. The movie ends with the two living happily ever after.
If you’re anything like me, romantic stories like Jerry Maguire can lead you to start contemplating Jerry’s philosophy, thinking there’s someone out there who could “complete you.” As you look on your singleness you can feel dissatisfied and even begin thinking of yourself as a second-class citizen because you lack your true soulmate. In an attempt to fill the void you spend months, and sometimes years, searching for the mythical “one” who will supposedly meet your needs and give meaning to your life.
Do NOT work toward your dream! – Isabel Hundt
STOP working toward your dream. Instead live it today. Chose to live your dream today no matter if you have accomplished your goals or not. If your actions are no longer bringing you the results you are looking for, it is time to look at who you have to BE.
If you asked me the single most important insight that has shaped my parenting, it would be this: Children are people.
It seems self-evident. Clearly, they have arms, legs, ears, noses and mouths—enough to qualify. But the idea of their personhood goes far beyond possessing a human body. It goes to the core of their being and speaks to their worth. Children bear the image of God, just like adults. Well, not just like adults. It is true that they are developing physically, emotionally and spiritually at a different rate than adults, but children’s intrinsic worth and dignity does not increase or decrease depending on the rate or extent of their development. As Dr. Seuss has famously noted, “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”
I’m not a stranger to a child-centered home. For years, we let our kids determine restaurants we ate at, we gave them ample choices, we backed down from consequences, we centered our lives around their extracurricular activities, we added fun kid stuff to every weekend so they wouldn’t be bored, and when they asked us what they were supposed to do for fun, we told them. Some days, we still reap the effects of it. And then, a few years ago, we started to shift to a Jesus-centered home. Instead of child worship, where we bowed to every whim and demand from our kids, we refocused and prioritized our lives. My children didn’t stop being important. We didn’t stop loving them unconditionally or stop meeting their needs. We just stopped trying to fix every problem and giving in to every desire.
Our World Has Become Overrun With Noise. Loud Noises, Soft Noises, White Noise, Static. There Is Visual Noise Everywhere As Well. On An Average Day You Are Consistently Being Sold And Marketed To Through Billboards, Store Front Signs, Television Commercials, Web Banners, Etc. Companies And Corporations Spend Billions Of Dollars Annually Toward Marketing And Advertising Some “New Must Have Product” That Will Make Your Life A Million Times Easier. And Though We Are Promised Happiness We Often Are Left Wanting, Aching All The More For Something True, Something Real, Something Sacred.
A : Dedicated Or Set Apart For The Service Or Worship
B : Relating To Religion : Not Profane : Holy
C : Entitled To Reverence, Respect, Awe
Usually When We Think Of Sacred In The 21st Century We Often Think Back To Ancient Relics, Rituals And Rites Seen And Carried Out By Some Catholic, Anglican Or Jewish Orthodox Tradition. But Those Practices Are Simply Physical Representations Of Spiritual Realities That Are Found In The Heart Of All Believers. Every Believer Is A Priest Who Can Minister To God, Every Believer Is A Guardian Of The Inner Fire, And Every Believer Is A Keeper Of A Sacred Heart. What It Boils Down To Is This, People Who Embrace The Sacred Are Given Completely Over To God In Word Thought And Deed. Sacred People See Themselves Set Apart As Holy Unto The Lord And Their Hearts Are Caught Up In The Reverence, Awe And Wonder Of God.
In the heat of the moment, you want to act. You want to solve the problem right NOW. If you wait, it will be too late, right? That feeling of urgency, though, is when you’re most likely to yell at your children. But that sense of urgency is actually sending us into a vicious cycle of more yelling and not actually solving the problem.
Therefore, our brokenness is a part of us, and it enables us to better empathize and understand the broken ones around us, to meet them with love, and offer what we have to offer.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times…your environment has a huge impact on your success. Your spouse is a major part of your environment. It’s not easy being married to an entrepreneur. Your better half has to put up with the late nights, crazy ideas, and the constant checking of email.
As if marriage wasn’t hard enough, throw an entrepreneur into the mix and you’ve got some extra chaos to deal with. There’s no questioning how important it is for your spouse to support you. Without a doubt the person who’s had the biggest influence on my own success is my wife Brooke.
So who better to talk to you about the important role a spouse plays in an entrepreneurs life than my very own wife?
in my experience, life can be pretty complicated. Although most of us have plenty to manage in our day-to-day lives—jobs, relationships, family, exercise, sleep, you name it—there are really only a few things we truly have control over. I changed my life by identifying these variables and learning how to master them. And I think you can too.
Happiness and success (however you define either one) have a lot to do with each other. In fact, greater happiness has been found to lead to greater success. I think both can be achieved with some simple and straightforward habit hacking, or making small tweaks to your routine which, little by little, add up to major changes in how you’re living your life.
We make millions of little decisions all the time, and the result of each one is either net positive, net negative, or neutral. The more net positive decisions we can make (and the fewer net negative ones), the better. Net positive decisions may require some effort: Brushing your teeth before bed, eating healthy meals, and regularly going to the gym are a few examples of actions that help you feel good and bring you one step closer to your goals despite the effort they entail. Net negative decisions—filling up on food that doesn’t make you feel good, skipping the nightly teeth-brushing, letting that downer friend cramp your style, or forgoing the gym—make it difficult to reach your goals because your decisions don’t make you feel good, empowered, or confident. They take more out of you than they give, interfering with your energy levels, sapping your motivation, and clouding your focus.
The kitchen looked like a war zone. It was 10 A.M., and last night’s dirty dishes were still piled on the counter. I was in my bathrobe, my son was in his pajamas, and I didn’t have one speck of energy or motivation to handle the five thousand things demanding my attention. As I shuffled along, picking up dishes, I moaned softly to myself, Why am I so tired?
Thankfully, we don’t have to drag ourselves through life constantly running on empty. In fact, the Bible actually promises us “abundant” life. John 10:10 says, “I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly”(NASB).
Obviously, prolonged, extreme tiredness may be a symptom of a larger problem such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or depression. In those instances, you should seek medical help. But what about the otherwise healthy body that daily desires an afternoon nap or a fresh burst of energy (that’s not caffeine-induced)? I’ve discovered a few tips that have increased my energy. If you’ve been dragging lately, they may energize you too.
- Not everything is a battle–but it can be if we make it one. If we are in constant battle about the same things–messy rooms, laundry and attitude, we might win a few, but it might cost us a relationship. Leave the small things, small. That’s not to say we let them have their way all the time, instead we focus on what really matters.
- Not everything is personal–but it can be if we take offense. That eye roll or audible sigh–it’s normal. That doesn’t make it right or less frustrating. But most words flung are coming from a hurt or misunderstood place. If we choose to be offended by every word or action, we are choosing something much bigger. Look past the words and get to the heart of the hurt.
- Not everything can be won–and if we try to win it all, we will ultimately lose. We are raising, unique, one-of-a-kind girls who will surprise and satisfy us. We have to step back and let them learn and grow and mess up. Most of all, we have to help them find the beauty in every place, especially the hard ones.
- Not everything is eternal–but everything is significant. Things in her world might seem small to us. And they probably are–that zit, that boy, that mean girl, that first B on her report card. But if we make what’s important to her insignificant to us, we wound.
- Not everything is understood and that’s why listening is the best gift. We may not always understand the drama, the emotion, the passion over the trivial. And that’s okay. We can offer them what they really want and need–it’s not a fix to their problem, it’s a listening ear. Some times the best thing we can do is close our mouth and let them talk.
This has to be possibly THE most frequently asked question in forums like this, and especially by young women in that fabulous season of early motherhood. However having said that, the question applies to pretty much every season of life, because there isn’t a season in any of our lives, where we don’t (or shouldn’t) feel something of the stretch and pressure of that new season.
Have you noticed that one word dominated this first paragraph … Seasons!!
FAMILY LIFE is full of seasons and MINISTRY LIFE is full of seasons … and the “art of balance” is to recognize, discern, adapt, navigate, appreciate, be thankful and of course, apply WISDOM to whatever season or “collision of seasons” you are experiencing.
HELP YOUR KIDS SAY ‘NO’ TO PORN – The Gospel Coalition