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The Multiplication Process

The Multiplication Process

*This post does contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we do receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!

In the Bible study I’m working through right now, Jen Schmidt shares something one of her professors taught her in college… “He demonstrated the multiplication process that would occur if each one of us purposefully invested in the life of one other person that year and then continued with a new person the following year, and so forth. He issued us a challenge to form one friendship, and then encourage our new friend to do the same with another person the following year. Multiplying ourselves starts out slow, so after the first year, there would only be two disciples, and by the end of the second year, only four would have been reached. By the fourth year, sixteen people reached. Then the numbers snowball. By year twenty-five, together our multiplied efforts could reach MILLIONS of people.”

Maybe that seems a little extravagant, so I want to make this more attainable so that we can apply it and do it too.
Instead of taking a full year, let’s break it down by months. Each month, can it be our goal to impact just ONE person in some way? Let’s start with one person and point them to a life of abundance in Him.

You are that someone God wants to use now to impact this generation and the next. 

“Your unique gifts, your untold story, your broken and mended heart, your fierce love, your brave authenticity – all those intricate threads woven together create the very tapestry He wants to use to unveil His love to someone who needs to experience it. Small offerings, given with great love, matter.” -Jen Schmidt

Commit to pray for one person this month. Ask them how you can be praying for them, and maybe send them a scripture that ties in with what they are going through that you be praying with them. Encourage them. Maybe you can have them over for coffee and let them share whatever is on their heart.

We sometimes don’t realize what an impact these small gestures have. It may feel insignificant. But if each of us who are reading this can impact just one person this month and then by the end of this year alone, we could potentially impact 384,000 people. Did you read that number?! That’s this year alone! And I don’t know about you, but that feels pretty darn significant to me! And that’s not something I’m taking lightly… I’m praying for the 384,000 today.

“Though your beginning was insignificant, Yet, your end will increase greatly.” Job 8:7

[Ep. 003] – Coping While Exhausted and Overwhelmed

Listen to “My Purposeful Planning” on Spreaker.

This post does contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, it does give us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. We thank you for your support!

This episode is not sponsored, but we do have sponsorship opportunities including pre, post, and mid-roll as well as instagram and facebook. We would love to partner with sponsors to support their brands while helping our listeners find products and resources that help improve their lives as well. Contact laney@mypurposefulplanning.com for more information about potential sponsorships.

If you want more ways to interact with these episodes including discussion questions, applicable worksheets, behind the scenes info, and ad-free episode audio, be sure to check out the My Purposeful Planning Patreon community!

Show Notes –

In this week’s episode of My Purposeful Planning, Laney shares with us tips on how to Cope when we’re Exhausted and Overwhelmed. Laney shares her own story of overwhelm as well as personal examples that go along with each of the tips from this chapter of Kim Brenneman’s book, Large Family Logistics.

In This Episode:

[00:00] – Introduction

[00:45] – Special Thank you

[01:07] – Laney’s kids are very interested in her podcasting so she did a little mini interview with them about what it means to be exhausted, stressed out, and overwhelmed. They share a few tips with us from their point of view.

[04:51] – Intro. for today’s episode

[05:09] – Overwhelmed, exhausted, and sleep-deprived.

[05:36] – Laney answers the question… Is it harder to go from 2 to 3 kids or 3 to 4?

[06:01] – Giving yourself Grace

[06:17] – Tip #1: Attitude is Key

[06:35] –

“Instead of viewing the daily rhythms God had gifted me with as an opportunity to surrender and become transformed through faith, I grew weary in doing small things well and lost heart. Everything was so very daily. My chores felt unseen, invisible, seemingly insignificant. I tried to remind myself that throughout scripture the Lord delights in everyday obedience. But I struggled to believe it when I was slogging through mundane moments, asking myself “Do they really have to eat again? I just made lunch.” Some days success meant nailing the three biggies – food, clothing, and shelter – in any form. Banana dipped in peanut butter for dinner? That counts as fruit and protein; sure honey, we’re good. Lord, how can you use me? Certainly you’ve called me to more than this?” – Jen Schmidt in her Just Open the Door Bible Study

[07:26] – Laney references this blog post.

[08:19] – “Where we see failure, God sees opportunity. Where we assume weakness, He thrives on giving strength. Where we see insignificant choices, He sees grand possibilities.” – Jen Schmidt

[08:35] – God used Laney’s failure and hard time for good with this podcast.

[09:09] – “God has a purpose for our pain.” – Jen Schmidt

[09:17] – In the midst of our most difficult struggles, our loneliness, our feelings of insignificance, our mess becomes the cornerstone of our message – and He uses it in powerful ways.” -Jen Schmidt

[09:49] – Scripture promises we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

[10:05] – Making going to God for our strength a habit

[10:16] – “Content + Comfortable = Complacent. Disturbed + Disrupted = Dependent” -Tricia Goyer

[11:14] – Keep it positive on social media; You do have influence.

[11:25] – Stepping Stone vs. a Stumbling Block

[11:38] – Tip #2: Watch what you eat
No elaborate dishes, new recipes, or heavily involved recipes

[12:45] – Focus on whole foods and eating simply.

[12:35] – Even though it may be expensive to do this, it’s cheaper than paying for illness and all of the things that come along with that.

[12:49] – Tip #3: Laundry Tips
If it’s not dirty, don’t wash it.

[13:33] – Fold laundry with your children.

[13:43] – Listen to an audio book or podcast to make mundane tasks more enjoyable.

[14:27] – Teach your children this verse while you work on chores together… Colossians 3:23-24 “Whatever you do, work heartily as for the Lord and not for men knowing that from the Lord  you will receive an inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”

[14:38] – Recap of the tips already shared

[14:49] – Tip #4: Exemplify kindness and love

[15:28] – Verse to remember… “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31:26

[15:41] – Smile while you speak. When you speak while smiling the tone of your voice changes and the words that come out of your mouth are more gracious.

[16:10] – Tip #5: Simplify and streamline.

[16:32] – Work for 15 minutes; Rest for 10 minutes.
*Set a timer for work and rest times.

[18:18] – Give yourself Grace

[18:26] – Some things in life are more important that clean. Some things are more important than orginization

[18:47] – Relationships always trump rules and routines>

[19:01] – You are not called to be perfect

[19:05] – Find balance between laziness and letting things go vs. perfectionism and perfect order.

[19:24] – Avoid being critical and accentuate the positive things done well.

[19:45] – Utilize sanity savers like paper plates and plastic utensils.

[20:22] – Shut off certain rooms for a period of time. as they are cleaned and tidied up.

[21:10] –  Recap of the 5 tips

[20:12] – “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 2 Chronicles 20:12

[21:38] – Subscription Reminder

[21:49] – Rating and Review Request

Links and Resources Mentioned:

Large Family Logistics Book by Kim Brenneman
Just Open the Door Bible Study by Jen Schmidt
The Blog Post Laney mentions

     

Find Laney:

Instagram
Facebook
My Purposeful Planning Facebook Group

Listen to the My Purposeful Planning Podcast –

Listen to “My Purposeful Planning” on Spreaker.

[Ep.002] – Season 1 Introduction & Interview with Special Guest, Amy DeFazio

Listen to “My Purposeful Planning” on Spreaker.

This post does contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, it does give us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. We thank you for your support!

This episode is not sponsored, but we do have sponsorship opportunities including pre, post, and mid-roll as well as instagram and facebook. We would love to partner with sponsors to support their brands while helping our listeners find products and resources that help improve their lives as well. Contact laney@mypurposefulplanning.com for more information about potential sponsorships.

If you want more ways to interact with these episodes including discussion questions, applicable worksheets, behind the scenes info, and ad-free episode audio, be sure to check out the My Purposeful Planning Patreon community!

Show Notes –

In this week’s episode of My Purposeful Planning, Laney tells us what we can expect this season with the podcast. This season we will be talking about concepts of the book Large Family Logistics, by Kim Brenneman. Laney is creating worksheets and printables to go along with these episodes so we can really work through the practical concepts and apply what we are learning as we go along. Laney also has her friend, Amy, on the show for a special guest interview to discuss this book and what we can expect from it this season.

In This Episode:

[00:00] -Intro.

[00:46] – Dedication of Season 1 – “Large Family Logistics”

[01:02] – Laney was overwhelmed with a newborn, three older children, a husband, a home to manage, meals to prep, laundry, and just all of the things when she found this book.

[01:20] – With having her fourth child, Laney quickly realized that her home systems weren’t the best

[01:45] – She needed to get her act together, but whatever it was going to be had to include her children. They had to be a part of it and included in that process.

[01:55] – Laney ordered this book, and it was exactly what she needed.

[02:14] – This book is for anyone with a home to manage- not just the large family

[02:26] – The book contains lots of practical concepts but also has many spiritual concepts mixed in as well

[02:50] – Laney introduces today’s guest

[03:23] – We SAHMs are rarely kid-free so we do have our kids here here with us, and you will definitely hear them in the background of this episode. We do have someone with them watching them, but please give us grace with this.

[03:48] – Welcome Remarks

[04:10] – Amy introduces herself

[04:53] – Play dates are for us, not the kids.

[05:50] – This book is a great tool

[06:01] – Amy’s biggest challenge with home and family management: Lack of systems

[06:21] – Systems are important for families to function properly

[06:52] – Amy tells us how she found out about this book… at a time when she was overwhelmed and was praying for a practical tool. This book was an answer to that prayer.

[08:32] – Amy shares the part of the book that made the biggest impact on her

[09:11] – Morning and Evening Routines

[09:21] –  Time to let your family know… “This is gonna change. Things will be different.”

[09:42] – This chapter we are discussing is basically a summary of the whole book that has 12 practical steps.
(**We will be discussing this chapter in depth in Episode 4. There will also be a set of printable worksheets available.)

[10:20] – Amy shares what it was like for her as a child in regards to having chores.

[11:08] – “Afternoon chore time is One of the Pillars of a Good Day.”

[12:24] – We need help. When we become adults, it’s hard to know what to do and how to do it well in regards to managing a home and family.

[12:48] – This book is basically a handbook that Kim Brenneman wrote for her daughters to have as a guide for when they became adults so they wouldn’t be as lost as she was.

[13:32] – We sometimes are guilty of just doing everything for our kids instead of teaching them how to do things.

[13:39] – Mothering and the Struggle with Perfectionism

[13:55] – How an episode of the show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo showed me something important

[14:48] – It has to start somewhere

[14:53] – Amy shares what Chore Time looks like for her family and children right now.

[15:59] – Amy shares how this simple chore time has changed the outlook of her children and how they are now beginning to take ownership of their new role as mama’s helpers

[16:43] – Amy Discusses the Importance of Self Care

[17:27] –  Amy discusses her challenges and inspiration for fueling her body properly

[18:09] – Amy shares her Gym Goals and how her prioritizing herself and exercise is overflowing to her children as well.

[18:48] – Amy discusses the home systems she finds easiest and the most challenging.

[21:07] – Stock Questions

[21:20] – Amy’s Enneagram & Personality Type

[21:43] – Amy’s Favorite Scripture : 2 Corinthians 5:17

[22:08] – Amy’s Favorite Book She’s Read Recently – Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are Full

[22:30] – Amy’s Favorite Podcast Right Now – Sally Clarkson’s At Home With Sally

[22:50] – Amy’s Family Favorite Go-To Meal Right Now –
Can of Salsa Verde… Chicken… Mix with Cream Cheese… Corn Tortillas or Cauliflower Rice… Pop it in the Oven… Add some cheese…Delicious!

[22:32] – Amy’s Favorite Planning Method – Google Calendar & The Good Old-Fashioned To-Do List

[25:09] – Amy’s Go-To Drink at Home –  Black coffee in the french press with 3 ice cubes added to it

[25:55] – Nutpods Creamer and My favorite creamer Links

[26:13] – How Amy is Planning to be more Purposeful Right Now – “DOn’t miss it. Be engaged. Be intentional. Just enjoy the season I’m in no matter what it is.”

[27:05] – Subscription Reminder

[27:16] – Rating and Review Request

Links and Resources Mentioned:

Large Family Logistics Book by Kim Brenneman
Tidying Up with Marie Kondo Show Episode
Treasuring Christ When Your Hands are Full by Gloria Furman
At Home with Sally Podcast
Google Calendar
Nutpods Creamer

   

Find Amy:

Instagram
Facebook

Find Laney:

Instagram
Facebook
My Purposeful Planning Facebook Group

Listen to the My Purposeful Planning Podcast –

Listen to “Ep. 002 – Season 1 Intro. & Interview with Special Guest, Amy DeFazio” on Spreaker.

[Ep. 001] – My Purposeful Planning

Listen to “Ep. 001 – My Purposeful Planning” on Spreaker.

This post does contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, it does give us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. We thank you for your support!

This episode is not sponsored, but we do have sponsorship opportunities including pre, post, and mid-roll as well as instagram and facebook. We would love to partner with sponsors to support their brands while helping our listeners find products and resources that help improve their lives as well. Contact laney@mypurposefulplanning.com for more information about potential sponsorships.

If you want more ways to interact with these episodes including discussion questions, applicable worksheets, behind the scenes info, and ad-free episode audio, be sure to check out the My Purposeful Planning Patreon community!

Show Notes –

In this short episode of My Purposeful Planning this week, Laney shares her heart behind My Purposeful Planning.
This episode is full of planner chat as Laney shares with you how she went from overwhelmed and scattered to organized and intentional. She shares how she applied her word of the year a few years back to every area in her life in order to set new goals and plan new systems and routines in order to accomplish them. She also shares the backstory of how My Purposeful Planning, the blog and now this podcast, all came together. She also gives you some great tips for getting started with planning and purposefulness in your own life.

In This Episode:

[00:00] -Intro.

[00:46] – Lover of all School & Office Supplies and anything Organizational

[01:00] – Notebooks, Bullet Journals

[01:16] – The First Planner she really fell in love with in 2015

[02:05] – No One size fits all Planners

[02:16] – Her Word of the Year for 2016 and How She’s Applied it to her Life ever since

[02:29] – How she used her Planner to be Intentional

[02:47] – A Learning Process

[02:53] – Her Growth Process & How Learning More About herself helped her

[03:15] – Giving Grace, Not an excuse for Laziness

[03:30] – Living Life with More Purpose

[03:57] – The Art of Planning

[04:10] – How Laney’s Planning System is a Perfect System 😉

[04:25] – The Beginning of Laney’s Blog in 2017 and How That Came About

[04:57] – In 2018, she used her niche and purchased a domain name. The blog became My Purposeful Planning

[05:16] – Some of Laney’s Posts and Blog Series

[05:54] – Any Progress and Growth is better than standing still and being stagnant

[06:07] – She wants to take what she has and what she’s been given and do something with it

[06:09] – Here are some ways to get started with planning and adding organization to your life

[07:04] – Start somewhere

[07:39] – Join Laney if you want to be more intentional and find systems that work for you too

[07:59] – Subscription Reminder

[08:08] – Rating and Review Request

Links and Resources Mentioned:

Laney’s Planning System (Note: This planner line is also sold at Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, and JoAnn’s where they have regular sales and you can often use a discount coupon to get it cheaper.)
*Laney’s Personal Planner is the Super Mom planner, but it’s sadly no longer available.
Laney’s Homeschool Planner
A Great Notebook to Use for a Bullet Journal
Laney’s Favorite Erasable Pens

Find Laney:

Instagram
Facebook
My Purposeful Planning Facebook Group

Listen to the My Purposeful Planning Podcast –

Listen to “Ep. 001 – My Purposeful Planning” on Spreaker.

My Purposeful Planning, The Podcast

I’m so excited to finally share this with you!

It’s the My Purposeful Planning Podcast,
and it launches this next week!

This is something that has been in the works for several months actually. I did lots of the planning for it before our move, but then for obvious reasons, had to put a little pause in all of that progress. Now that things have settled, I’m back to work on it again. My goal has been to plan, prepare, record, and edit the first 10 episodes before releasing or launching the podcast. The last thing I want to do is pop-fade (or fizzle out before I gain a good momentum).

How did this come about?

Well, actually I had a pretty difficult season earlier this year. Honestly, it was just a normal season of motherhood when I brought another newborn into the world. It’s just a hard season for mamas, and it seemed to be even more difficult this time around because I also had three other little ones to care for.

But good things come from our seasons of struggle and overwhelm.

For me, it came in the form of ideas.
I just had an overflow of thoughts, inspiration, and creative energy flowing through me despite being in this difficult season… Creative energy with no outlet. I told my husband, Justin, that I needed to find some way to get these things out, but it didn’t feel like there were supposed to be blog posts. Writing was my is usual outlet for all my creative energy, but this felt more like conversations and me sharing my heart and ideas on things that were coming to me.

I struggled with this for a while… I wondered if I was supposed to make videos to share, but this just felt way too far outside my comfort zone. Yes, I know that God does sometimes call us to do things that are out of our comfort zones. I tried to do a few simple stories in Instagram, but honestly I hated doing it every time.

Would God really call me to do something that I didn’t enjoy doing?

Like I said… I struggled with this whole idea internally for a while, and then things began to just come together.

I listened to several great message sermons that seemed to clarify things for me. It’s funny because I wasn’t even really looking for these messages, but they found me at the perfect time – just when I needed them.

There were a few great quotes that really jumped out at me from these messages:

“Your Calling is the customized life purpose God has ordained for you to accomplish designed in order to give Him the greatest glory and the maximized expansion of His kingdom.” – Dr. Tony Evans

1. You were called in advance.
2. It’s customized for YOU and nobody else.
3. It’s the PURPOSE for which you were CREATED.
4. Your CREATOR tells you why you were made.
5. Your Purpose and your Calling will give HIM the greatest glory… not yourself.
6. There will be maximized expansion of His kingdom by you doing what you are called to do. It’s something bigger than yourself.

He also said, “Too many of us are functioning outside of our God-ordained called purpose. We are just existing. We just make stuff up.”

And I didn’t want that to be me. As with anything else, I didn’t want to let life just happen to me. I want to live
a live of purpose.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

“One of the key ways to know what God calls you to do is the fire that He builds inside of you to do it. We call that fire passion.” -Dr. Tony Evans

This is something that honestly has been kindled in me so much in recent months. There have been times when I really didn’t know HOW to do different things or didn’t feel that I had the right resources… well, I just kept giving it all back to God and doing my part… committing my time to working and researching, and He has brought it all together for me.

During one of my talks with Justin about everything going on, he asked me “Why don’t you just do a podcast?”I’m thinking… well because I don’t even know where to begin with that. I don’t have audio equipment and a myriad of other excuses I could come up with on the fly… (Sure, I’d thought it would be fun to do a podcast before, but I had no idea where to begin with how to do it, and it was a big, scary idea so I never even considered it or put much thought towards it.)

But now things were different now… How could I NOT do what God has called me to do?

Justin continued, “I think you can just do it from your phone.” So I started my research with that. An excitement in me was birthed, and I couldn’t wait to figure this thing out and get going with it. There was just so much in me that I wanted to get out, and I was so ready to push that big red “Record” button!

“Your calling will match your passion. You won’t be called to do what you despise. You will be called to do what you love.” -Dr. Tony Evans

I love love love this! When I was trying to “figure it all out”, I had it all wrong. The things I thought were for me, weren’t. But what WAS for me was the thing I was already passionate about… sharing how I plan to be more purposeful! And yall – podcasting has been SUCH A FUN EXPERIENCE FOR ME! I enjoy this whole process SO MUCH, and I’m just getting started!

And so that’s what I’ve been doing… researching, learning, and working hard at this thing. But I’ve also been praying and dreaming and just imagining what God could have in store with all this. It’s going to be really cool to see how it all unfolds. Go back and read my post about my Word of the Year for 2019. I wrote it months ago, but it is so amazing to watch how God brings all things together, things I never would’ve even considered that He would do. He is a master creator! His big picture puzzle is beautiful, and I love how he has intricately designed my special piece to play a vital role within that big picture. It’s amazing how we all have a divine purpose and we work together for His plan.

Pray with me, would you? Pray that this thing is exactly what God wants it to be… that it would accomplish all that He has for it to accomplish. I’m just doing my thing here… my purposeful planning. It’s a lot of practical with spiritual things interwoven in. I want the outreach to be big, only because I want to see His kingdom expanded, and I want to play my part in that. I’m excited about it, but I’m also really scared and nervous. I know that there will be some who don’t like the way I do things or it just won’t be their cup of tea. I know that I can expect some criticism or even critiques, which if I’m honest, I don’t always handle the best. Pray that I can be the “living sacrifice” that I am to be in order to fulfill this greater purpose for my life.

It’s definitely not PERFECT. I’m my own worst critic. I hear the times where my voice cracks or I say something weird. I hear the noises in the background, the ums, the likes, etc. all of it. I’m fully aware. But I’m also trying to embrace the “realness” of it and not stress about it. Easier said than done!

Also, my kids are ALWAYS here with me, so I researched and found the best microphone for that within our budget, but it’s not perfect either. So I’m giving myself grace for the little imperfections that I have now and the things that will only get better with more time and practice, I think. And maybe one day, if the budget allows, I can invest in a better mic or hire a sitter and do my recording in a completely quiet place. But for now… it is what it is. I’m choosing to be okay with it and just going for it, and I pray that my listeners will too.

And most of all, thank you guys for being here. I couldn’t do any of this without you. I’m excited to share it with you!

Summer School

We started back to school this week!

I know, I know… it was just a few weeks ago that I was counting down until we finished the last school year, but hear me out.  As I was really looking forward to a laid-back summer. I was thinking that my kids would just play all day and I could work on some projects of my own. I was SO EXCITED to put our home school routine to the side so I could work on my own project list!

Here’s Why a Laid-Back Summer Didn’t Work for Us

This is what I learned…Instead of playing all day, they got bored quickly. They actually seemed to need me MORE during our laid-back Summer days than they did during our well-planned and structured school days.

The outside free play only lasted so long… especially with a toddler in the mix. Don’t get me wrong – she’d play outside all day if we let her, but she needed more supervision than my older boys… and if mama’s working on a project, I’m not able to give that to her. So mama’s plans quickly got tossed to the side.

My oldest started asking when we could go somewhere and what were we going to do today. (This introvert mama didn’t want to be spontaneous and go out… she wanted to stay home and work on her things.)

My middle son asked me when he could have a snack or when he could turn on the T.V. for screen time. I found that those decisions that are usually already made for us during the school year because they are connected to our routine  (such as having a snack during our Morning Time) now needed to be rethought about and considered. We lost our routine with set snack times and a set time that we can turn on the T.V. after school work and chores were done, so now it was a question the kids felt the need to ask me (a.k.a. nag me) about instead. Maybe they thought since we weren’t doing our reading and memory work for morning time, I wouldn’t feed them a snack either. I’m not sure.

We ended up turning the T.V. on much earlier than we usually did, just so I could do my things, and I realized it was becoming our go-to activity. If it was too hot to play outside, and we didn’t have any outings planned, T.V. it was! But this isn’t what we want for our family, and I realized that I was being selfish. I was neglecting time with the kids so that I could have this glorious “Me Time” to do my own work.

We need structure… we thrive on it!

So you know what? I decided to go ahead and get to planning… I worked hard over this past weekend cranking out some home school plans to get us going… I planned some fun activities for us including nature studies, field trips, and fun hands-on activities to go along with our textbook learning. (That way my kids can still have a fun Summer complete with fun activities and places to go.)

Since they are always asking for fun things to do, why not put a plan in place to actually do some things?! And why not make it educational at the same time?! Killing two birds with one stone, I say. Win win!

So, we started back to school on Monday.

We did Morning Time (Our Bible Road trip Readings, Scripture Memory, Catechisms, and a Read Aloud), Handwriting, Tot School with Layten, and Language Arts with Linkin.

Then, we took a break, and an opportunity presented itself for my kids to go with their Papa to the woods and help him build a gate for a fence he’s put in. And I said to myself “This is Summer Schooling… we’re only doing this to keep them from being bored at home. But now my kids have the chance to do something fun with their Papa who is only off for another month or so before he goes back to work. You should let them go.” And so I did. We called it a day with the homeschooling.

Here’s what’s new in our home school!

I made out a simple home school schedule for us.

Why is this step necessary, you ask? Well, because I have four children, and there is only one of me. I’m terrible at multitasking. I go absolutely crazy when I have multiple people asking me things at the same time. I just know that I cannot help one with Tot School and answer Math questions at the same time.


So I, in true INTJ systematic and detailed thinking fashion, made out a lovely chart for us to go by so everyone would know what they were to be doing and when. Of course, I’m there to supervise and make sure everyone is doing what they should be, and I’m also there to work with each of them, one at a time. And in time – this scheduled plan will just work as smoothly as ever. At least, that is my hope.

I also have a new method of planning.

This is one that’s going to keep us from getting mixed up on dates and plans- something that often trips me up as an INTJ homeschool mama. As I just mentioned, I’m a lover of detailed and systematic plans… plans that are all written out, charted, and organized. But when we get off course, (say a spontaneous fun event comes up during the week or someone gets sick) I in my “judging” personality type am completely thrown off, unlike my “perceiving” personality type friends who can easily go with the flow and adjust their plans accordingly.

The new idea is “Lesson Plan Lists” instead of plans written out by weeks and charted with dates. My lesson plan lists have NO DATES on them. I’ve taken each subject we’re working through and printed or made my own list of lesson plans. Each day, when it’s time for that subject we just do the next thing on the list. Easy peasy! Now it’s totally fine if we work ahead in Language Art Lessons but are a little behind in Math since it’s a “Skill Subject”. As long as we are working consistently and continue to make forward motion by doing the next thing, we’re good!

​And if we have a day like we did this week where a fun opportunity presents itself, and we don’t get to some of the subjects, that’s totally fine too!

Second Grade, Kindergarten, and Tot School

I can’t believe that I actually have two students that are in REAL SCHOOL now, but I sure do! I also have another who just really wants to be involved and do what her big brothers do… so really I have three students this school year. We are adding in History for the first time this year, and I’m starting a Math Curriculum with my kindergarten student. So we have more students, more subjects, and lots of moving parts. But I’m optimistic and excited about what’s in store for this year.

Summer Schooling Benefits me too!

Having a more structured Summer schedule is great for all of us. It allows me to have focused time with each of my kids, not neglecting them to do my own thing as I was trying to do before. And because they have some of their time filled and have had intentional time with mama doing fun, learning activities… they are more willing to go off and play now when we’re done. This, in turn, allows me some time in the afternoons to get some of my own work done. So really… having a structured summer schedule is a win win for all of us too!

 

We Are More Than Just Making It

A little more than a year ago, we became very burdened in our debts and our desire to move towards being debt-free was bigger than ever. All our bills were paid, and we were making it –

but we felt called to be more than just making it.

You can read those firsts posts from me on the topic here and here.

Surviving on one income is a tough deal, but it can be done. You just prioritize and say “no” to the things that are unnecessary. It took us a while, and we made a lot of mistakes along the way – but we learned through them, and I think we finally learned how to be excellent in our finances. We just do the best we can with what we have.

There was a time when we weren’t even able to pay our bills with our income. We cut back, got down the basics, and slowly but surely (as our stewardship increased, I believe), our finances increased as well.

Then, God put this desire in our hearts to do more… but we felt stuck in our financial situation.

We were past the point of throwing pity parties, but we still didn’t see a way out. Our efforts of doing all the right things would be considered failures in anyone’s eyes… (living on half your income, debt snowball, saving 3-6 months’ expenses, sinking funds, etc.). We really weren’t able to do any of those well.  We thought about selling our house, but that idea didn’t make sense. We would have to pay more than we’re paying now to rent a place for us, and it was pretty unlikely to find a home for sale for less than what we paid for ours. But still, God kept prompting us with that idea.

When we talked to family about it, the idea God inspired us with all came together. We had a place we could live for a while so that we could save money and get ahead.

Answered prayer!

We posted our house for sale, and the very next month we found out we were expecting baby #4. Suddenly, the whole idea of moving and leaving our home felt ridiculous. But God’s timing is perfect. Baby #4 was born in December.

In January, I got an email from Zillow that said I needed to update our listing or they would remove it because they want all of their listings to be up-to-date. I asked Justin what he thought we should do, and he said, “Don’t even worry about updating it. I feel like if we’re supposed to sell our house, we’ll know. It’ll just happen somehow.” I kid you not – the very day after our listing was removed, someone asked us about our house. We set up a showing for them to come see it. They took some time, made us an offer, and we just closed on it!

I love it when we just take our hands off, and God does his thing!

So now, we are back to the original plan of moving in with family, and we will be moving soon. Actually, they have moved out and have been fixing their place up for us by building a loft so our kids can have their own space, adding a second bathroom, etc. Their generosity exceeds what we would have ever expected or asked for. We thank God for them, and we just love how he always provides for us.

I’m excited about this change for us, and I am up for the challenge of making a metal building feel homey. Pinterest calls it a “Barndominium”! Planning, organizing, and designing are some of my favorite things, after all. It’s going to be great!

I’m also really excited about our financial situation, right now. We are mortgage-free, which feels amazing… but we aren’t totally debt-free yet! We still have our student loans to pay off, and I’m really hoping we can pay more down on those over the next several months.

Of course, we also want to be very smart financially in this time and not put all of our eggs in one basket, so to speak. We’re going to meet with a financial adviser just to make sure we’re making the best possible decisions financially since this is all fairly new to us. We are planning for the future now, and we know that one day we’ll want to buy a house again so it will be nice to have a down payment for that.

But why stop there??

I have a little dream of paying cash for our next house. Of course, I don’t know what all God has in store, but I’m just “imagining” over here, because that’s my word of the year. I’m dreaming big, and praying big.

I just wanted to give you all a little update, and I want you to also know that none of this is of our doing. Our house didn’t sell until God wanted it to sell. We’ve tried to do all the smart financial things that people say to do (live on half your income, debt snowball, save 3-6 months’ expenses, sinking funds, etc.) but none of these things were working for us. We’ve tried selling things to help us get ahead financially, and that has never worked for us either. If you look at “our efforts”, you would just see failed attempts.

But God – in his timing…

He has, and He is bringing things all together. In addition to the sale of our house, we’ve had random checks in the mail in the form of reimbursements from bills we already paid, or random deposits in our account from blog work I did months ago, and money I realized I had in an account that just needed to be transferred over. It’s more than we could ever “make happen” on our own. It just had to be God’s doing. We prayed. We waited. And He did.

And now we’re also “more… than just making it.”

My February and March Ta Da List

The idea of a “Ta Da” List is that we focus on the things that we accomplish, the ways we are successful…. maybe even things that weren’t even on our original “To Do” or “Goals” lists. It’s a way of celebrating the wins – the big and the small, instead of focusing on the negative and feeling guilty for not getting things done. I loved this idea so much that I decided to use it to title and formulate my monthly recap posts as well! This is a monthly blog post I will publish that will hold me accountable to the goals and New Year’s Resolutions that I set for myself for the year.

**This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I will receive a small commission – at no extra cost to you.

    • Started the T-ball season with Lawson
    • Sold our House (An Answer to Prayer!)
    • Purchased a Really Cool Organizational Piece I’ve been Eyeing for literally Years (Happy Birthday to me!)
    • Began reading Treasuring Christ When your Hands are Full by Gloria Furman
    • Began reading Large Family Logistics by Kim Brenneman (This book has been on my wishlist for years after hearing it recommended by several women I follow, but it’s out of print which made it super expensive. I finally saw it for a good price and ordered it.)
    • Started attending our church’s sermon-based small groups
    • Organized our Tax Documents and Filed our Taxes
    • Did some Immediate, Short-term and Long-term Financial Planning
    • Sold some of Layten’s clothes she’s outgrown
    • Donated some clothes purged from all of our wardrobes
    • Made a packing / moving list
    • Hosted the CrossFit Open at our gym this month
    • Attended a Women’s Worship Night at my mom’s church
    • Donated Kids Books to the Little Free Libraries in town
    • Started Consistently Working out at CrossFit again
    • Participated in “A Home at Rest” Bible Study Series with Lisa Rippy of Interior Inspirations
    • Finished Deuteronomy with the kids in Bible Roadtrip
    • Began the book of Joshua with the kids in Bible Roadtrip
    • Finished Lawson’s First-Grade Language Arts Curriculum
    • Researched and Planned Curriculum Choices for Next School Year
    • Ordered Some of our Homeschool Curriculum for Next School Year
    • Purchased Essential Oils and a Diffuser (I’d already eliminated all of the candles in our home, but really wanted a good healthy way to have some good scents and fragrance in our home.)
    • Kept up with my daily skincare routine (most days) I’ve been trying this skincare line for a while. I love the Marula Oil from this kit, and I’ve ordered a larger one. The rest of the line, I believe, is comparable to any other skincare products on the market.
    • Purchased what I’ll call SAHM Clothes to keep from wearing nicer clothes or pajamas when I’m just out and about running errands or taking my kids to ballgames (There had to be some casual, in-between things for me to wear.)
    • Paid all our bills for the month (We may not be ahead on anything, but we aren’t behind on anything either. It’s worth celebrating too – even if it’s just the way we always do things.)
    • Fed all my kids and kept them all alive this month (This one just makes me smile every time… especially with having a newborn in the house and three other littles.)I no longer make long to-do lists for myself… at least not in this season. I may give myself like one goal for the day (that may or may not get done), but mostly I just do what I see that needs to be done when I have a moment. And this Ta Da list makes me feel like it was a very successful month – even though the days were quite a bit more stressful and demanding than I’m used to.

      Whatever you do, let’s make a Plan to be more Purposeful!

“Super Mom”

I’m not sure how I ever got that title of “Super Mom” or why people want to use it loosely with me…

it could be because I have a bunch of kids whom I’ve managed to keep alive,
because I stay at home with them 24/7,
because we home school,
because I have a strong-willed child whose challenges I now speak openly about, or
maybe just to encourage me in all of these things.

I’m not sure, but it’s definitely not a term I would’ve ever given myself.


*This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, I receive a small commission – at no extra cost to you. 

I do always try to stay positive, especially when it comes to social media and dealing with the challenges I face as a mother. However, I sometimes ONLY post the positive or the really funny things that are just so bad that I have no choice but to just laugh through them. (Laugh to keep from crying, right?) So because I’m only posting my “highlight reel” of positivity, maybe people think that I’m that way all around.

Well, I’m here to tell you that I’m not. If you’ve ever played the comparison game with me, I’m about to burst your bubble. While I don’t want to ever portray motherhood in a “negative” sense… I do want to be real with you here. It IS hard. It IS real. And sometimes it’s raw and emotional – even for me.

There have been times where I feel like I’m “killing it”… but for the most part I actually get really overwhelmed, stressed out, and anxious fairly easily as a mom – especially when we aren’t in a good routine and I don’t feel like I’m managing things well (which is not unusual for this season we’re in). I’m working really hard to “give myself grace” in all the areas, but it doesn’t keep me from feeling these things and feeling out of control.

This is something that I never really noticed about myself until I was a mom, but as I read the chapter about “Highly Sensitive People” in Anne Bogel’s book “Reading People“, it was like a light bulb went off. It was me.. to a T. I don’t say this to use it as an excuse – certainly not. But I do find it ironic that this motherhood gig brings about many of the triggers that tend to affect me as a highly sensitive person. It’s the only thing that has pushed me so far out of my comfort zone and made me realize these things about myself. I truly and firmly believe that while we think our children are put here for US to raise and teach and grow, they actually in turn, do the exact same thing for us as parents. God has used my children to teach me so many things in life – things I would’ve never faced or dealt with otherwise.

“Being highly sensitive means that you have a highly tuned nervous system, and it affects 1 in 5 people. High sensitivity describes people whose nervous systems are more receptive to stimuli than those of the general population. This means they are more attuned to subtleties in their surroundings and are more easily overwhelmed by highly stimulating environments.” -Anne Bogel

Common Triggers for Highly Sensitive People:

1. Noise… Sometimes it’s loud noises, but for me it comes when there is “non-stop noise of any sort” (aka kids).

2. Clutter… Messy spaces are draining because of all of the visual input (aka kids).

3. Texture… This one affects some people, but doesn’t affect me too much personally.

4. People… People can definitely be overwhelming (aka kids… yall noticing a trend here?).

5. Consecutive errands/meetings/appointments… This one comes from having constant, varied input with no time in between to recover. I deal with this on shopping days because I have to go to multiple stores since we are out of town. I’m no good for anything productive the rest of the day when we get home.

6. Big Feelings… Emotions are overwhelming to me, so I avoid them usually. There’s no such thing as a little bit sad or a little bit happy or a little bit tired…. We feel things very deeply.

7. Information Overload… While I LOVE learning new things, there are times that I have to just turn it all off.

8. Media… I notice this one affecting me when something major gets a ton of attention in media, especially when it’s something that would cause me to have those “big feelings” I try to avoid.

9. Decisions… Decisions are a major source of energy drain. Decision fatigue kicks in sooner with HSPs and lasts way longer. I make a bazillion decisions in a day with my kids, and my personality type makes it even worse.

Anne Bogel says, “Armed with a little knowledge, you can be more prepared to deal with your highly sensitive responses to the world. Sometimes simply understanding brings instant relief. You understand that you’re not alone, and you’re not crazy. And in addition to bringing relief, knowing you are an HSP can bring a new appreciation for not only the hardships of bearing the trait but also the benefits.”

Here’s a free assessment if you’d like to see if you or maybe your child might be highly sensitive.

Giving an HSP What They Need:

  1. Quiet… Whether working in an office or staying home with ten kids, HSPs need some noise-free zones in their day. (This used to be why I would wake up at 4:30am, but that’s proving to be harder and harder when I’m also waking up with a newborn during the night. However, I might have to strive a little harder to accomplish this one – just for my own sanity.) Another way to get a little more “quiet” is to have some automated systems and routines so that I don’t have people asking me things that they can answer for themselves, “Taco Tuesday” for example. If we always have tacos on Tuesdays, that’s one day they wouldn’t have to ask me, “What’s for dinner?”.
  2. Peaceful, Clutter-free Environments… Not always, obviously, but especially when it’s time for an HSP to recharge.
  3. Privacy… When HSPs need to focus, they often prefer to work (or read or walk or think) alone. They notice all of the little things that others wouldn’t like sighing, laughing, keyboard clatter… things that seem miniscule to others, can put HSPs on high alert.
  4. Downtime… HSPs have to be deliberate about this and do something that actually fills their tank instead of draining them more.
  5. Minimal Information Intake… Smartphones make this especially hard because it’s tempting to listen to a podcast during downtime or check emails, social media, etc. but all of these are just additional stimulation that I need to take breaks from.
  6. Routine… Smooth routines makes for fewer decisions. Since HSPs are more prone to decision-fatigue, consistent routines help. They also give the bonus of “less talking” which can zap energy from an HSP.
  7. Boundaries… This should be the goal of HSPs so that they don’t intuitively take on the negative energy of other people and places.

“HSPs can be intense. They are passionate by nature, and can make others feel their passion too. They have laser-like focus and dedicate boatloads of attention to the things they care about. They’re able to explore issues in depth, seeing the nuances that others miss or choose to ignore. They’re extremely perceptive, picking upon all sorts of things nonsensitive types miss. They are creative and able to turn their hyper-awareness within to generate new ideas. When we think of high sensitivity in that light, it sounds like a super power.” -Anne Bogel

In addition to knowing what I need as a highly sensitive person, something else I’m working on is portraying motherhood in a positive light instead of a negative one. This is something I’ve been convicted about lately… there was a series of posts made on Instagram by my friend (I’m claiming her as my friend), Phylicia that really hit home with me. There are so many memes out there that portray motherhood in a negative sense and just focus on how hard it is. Yes – motherhood IS hard. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but as I said earlier… I believe that God uses the hard things in our lives to teach us and to grow us. Even the hard things, like motherhood, that we choose and desire for ourselves.  Here are the things Phylicia encouraged me in… maybe it will be an encouragement to you too.

“What if we as moms united around our SUCCESS instead of around our FAILURE? We might love our motherhood more.

When we trash talk motherhood in front of the world, we’re telling them Jesus isn’t good for what He promised.

It’s not ‘Take heart, for I have overcome… unless you’re a SAHM’. It’s ‘Take heart, I have overcome’ everyday you disciple your children.

Christian moms, we have a responsibility for how we portray motherhood to the world. Do we portray it in the lens of our worldview, which is that Christ has overcome the world, or do we focus on the negative and the hard?

There’s no denying that there are hard days. And Not all motherhood memes are bad. And yes, there are some situations (foster /adoption /special needs) that do demand more from a parent. But we need to be a voice for positive motherhood and emphasize the GOOD much MORE than the hard, and let that be our uniting factor.

In those hard days and seasons, learn to ask yourself…

What part of this can I control?
What part of this do I need to release to God?
How can I live out my identity as an overcomer here?
We are capable of more.” -Phylicia Masonheimer

No matter what situation or season of motherhood you are in… It doesn’t matter if you are highly sensitive, have a child who is, or are dealing with newborns, fostering, adoption, or special needs… No matter what – Christ has overcome, and so can you. You may not be or feel like a “Super Mom”… that’s okay, because we serve a “Super God”, and he is the strength in our weakness. We can go to Him in the chaos of our lives and find His supernatural power to keep going and overcome. My prayer is for you today, mama. Go get it!

My January 2019 “Ta Da!” List

The idea of a “Ta Da” List is that we focus on the things that we accomplish, the ways we are successful…. maybe even things that weren’t even on our original “To Do” or “Goals” lists. It’s a way of celebrating the wins – the big and the small, instead of focusing on the negative and feeling guilty for not getting things done. I loved this idea so much that I decided to use it to title and formulate my monthly recap posts as well! This is a monthly blog post I will publish that will hold me accountable to the goals and New Year’s Resolutions that I set for myself for the year.

**This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I will receive a small commission – at no extra cost to you.

  • Took Lyndon to his 2-week check-up, and learned that he made it into the 8 lb. weight class
  • Supported Justin and Lawson in his first ever CrossFit competition, where he took 2nd place in his division
  • Went out for a Girls’ Night / Post-Christmas Get Together Dinner with friends
  • Started meal-prepping and eating healthy again
  • Hosted a Play date with two different friends of mine and their kids this month
  • Signed Lawson up for the next season of T-ball
  • Showed our house to some potential buyers
  • Purchased a gift for an upcoming couple’s wedding shower
  • Planned our second semester of Homeschooling
  • Wrote a flexible, daily, routine for us at home… it’s changed a little now that we have a newborn in the house
  • Kon-Mari’d the kids’ clothes
  • Kon-Mari’d my clothes (including the maternity clothes I never want to wear again)
  • Shopped for new clothes that I feel good in postpartum
  • Finished reading the book Together by Carrie Ward
  • Made a Home school Reading Log for the Books we currently own
  • Laminated Tot School Vocabulary Development Cards
  • Repainted our Lockers (This was my household project for the month.)
  • Rearranged the living room and playroom
  • Kon-Mari’d the Kids’ Books
  • Cleaned out our spice drawer, Relocated them, and Re-organized the drawer
  • Kon-Mari’d some Kitchen items & re-organized some cabinets and spaces
  • Worked out twice at home… It’s a start. 😉 The first time, I got a terrible muscle cramp. I must get back to this slowly.
  • Sent a friend some educational gift ideas for her preschooler
  • Wore my Fitbit watch and started tracking my steps again
  • Started our second semester of home school
  • Organized our Files
  • Organized the hall closets
  • Straightened the bathroom cabinets
  • Enjoyed my frothy coffee at home this month (after an aversion to coffee during my pregnancy)
  • Began reading Essentialism by Greg McKeown
  • Finished the Book of Numbers with the kids in Bible Roadtrip
  • Began the Book of Deuteronomy with the kids in Bible Roadtrip
  • Had a Cleaning Lady come to help me get our house in order for our house showing
  • Posted some video stories on Instagram (so scary for me, lol)
  • Combined my personal and business Instagram accounts and started being more active on there since it’s more easy for me to do during the day
  • Eased back into writing and published a couple blog posts this month
  • Ordered clay bentonite powder and apple cider vinegar to detox and new, all natural, good-for-me deodorant to try (as part of my goal to switch over to more healthy beauty and body products)
  • Journalled and logged my daily food intake
  • Kept up with my daily skincare routine (most days)
  • Began paying back my student loans this month (We’ve been paying Justin’s, but now we will be paying mine back monthly as well.)
  • Paid all our bills for the month (We may not be ahead on anything, but we aren’t behind on anything either. It’s worth celebrating too – even if it’s just the way we always do things.)
  • Fed all my kids and kept them all alive this month (This one just makes me smile every time… especially with having a newborn in the house and three other littles.)I no longer make long to-do lists for myself… at least not in this season. I may give myself like one goal for the day (that may or may not get done), but mostly I just do what I see that needs to be done when I have a moment. And this Ta Da list makes me feel like it was a very successful month – even though the days were quite a bit more stressful and demanding than I’m used to.

    Whatever you do, let’s make a Plan to be more Purposeful!