Work-in-Progress Mom

Stay with me…this is a long one (well, it’s all relative, right?)…

I was feeling “stuck” and it was not a good feeling. The pressure of being pulled in all directions to do all the things can be overwhelming. Knowing endless nights that flowed into mornings was not quite great, because there’s that whole HelloMornings thing ;p , but mostly “angry” mom is not a pleasant person. I knew that I must become of student of how become “unstuck.” This was just the place this lifelong learner found herself!

What I’ve learned…and what I’m still learning:

I have learned that practice does not make perfect, but practice does make progress.

I have learned that small steps can move us in the right direction.

I have learned that sometimes there are even steps backwards…but that is okay, because…

I have learned that there is hope…for ALL OF US…because there is grace…for ALL OF US…because there is love…for ALL OF US. Thank You, Jesus!

I have learned that those in my life really, really love me to stick around for this long! :p Again, thank You, Jesus!

Where I’m at…and where I’m going:

I’m not quite “there” yet, and I know I never will be…wherever “there” is anyway…but I can move where God is calling me, I can learn to love better, I can grow in the things I am passionate about.

An Invitation

If you have felt “stuck” or are feeling “stuck,” I invite you to join me, in my journey as a work-in-progress mom…a work-in-progress human, really, in this upcoming year. I’m not sure what it will look like, or what my plan is, but ideas are swirling in my head, and I know that the peace I have felt from putting into practice some of the things I have been learning through my discipleship group, through mentors (virtual, through books, and IRL), and His Word has been amazing.

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Without realizing it, I had a “theme” for each year, these past 3 years or so – Discipline, Still, Reflect. (There seems to be a trend in my post with the quotation marks, huh? :p I didn’t intend to do that…the thoughts are just flowing from my mind through my fingertips.) And I don’t know what this upcoming year holds, and I don’t even know that I am ready for it, but I would really appreciate a buddy, a community, a village of work-in-progress humans to go through it together.

And in this journey, I will probably have some resources, and books OF COURSE!, and people, I would love to learn from…I may share them on this blog, or I may share them in something new I would love to start, so hang tight with me while I figure all of this out.

There are SO MANY things to share, but one thing I was glad for this past year was some thoughts from Michael Hyatt, who was the former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, best-selling author, and speaker…and it all started with this free PDF download that I believe I hesitated to download at first…because free things aren’t always what they seem, but as I am learning, sometimes it all depends on what we want to take away from any lesson in life.

Thanks for getting through all those words (and quotation marks and ellipsis)…I haven’t blogged much this past year and the words are many. If you are interested in hearing more of what I will be up to, email me at joyce319 at gmail.

Whatever I will be up to will most likely include a mix of encouraging and inspiring content, as well as practical (monthly) “challenges” (i.e. to help with emergency preparedness, becoming clutter free (a la Kathi Lipp), managing your calendar, digital organization, getting to Inbox Zero (or close to it!), and more!)

Examples of topics:
– spiritual and personal development
– family and home
– health and wellness
– career and ministry
– fun and community

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Books I’ve Read {October Update}

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Preemptive Love: Pursuing Peace One Heart at a Time by Jeremy Courtney – There is more to what’s happening around the world than what is shown in the news or on any media venue. If you want an inside look at some of the stories of the people in war-torn Iraq, Jeremy will give you a glimpse. He is living with his wife and children a place much different than what I know to call home. Along with friends who make up the Preemptive Love Coalition, he is helping to save lives through heart surgeries. This is a book that will open your eyes and heart to the world beyond the borders of what we call home.

Moms’ Night Out and Other Things I Miss: Devotions To Help You Survive by Kerri Pomarolli (I highly recommend MOMS’ NIGHT OUT the movie if you haven’t already watched it…or if movies aren’t your jam, there is also THE BOOK.) – Must read! If life is crazy and you need a laugh, this is the book. Even if you’re not a mom, you might still relate to some of these things. Short devos to get you through the day because you know someone understands exactly how you feel.

Get Yourself Organized for Christmas: Simple Steps to Enjoying the Season by Kathi Lipp – (This is a copy of what I shared last month since this was a re-read, but I found it was nice to have a cushion of time to go over projects I might have missed or need more time for!) – I LOVE the breakdown of how to prepare for the holiday season. I’m not one of those people who have a huge list of must-dos each year, but there is quite a lot that happens before, during, and after Christmas, and I would love to not have all of that stuff in my head. I know I will be able to enjoy the holidays more because of Kathi’s projects, and the small things she has us do to get ready for the festive season. I read through this book this month, but I will be reading it again in October to actually put into action each of the steps. If you want in, get the book (click on the title of the book) and join me! I will be blogging all about it for 31 days!

READING
Looking forward to reading these books in November. Anyone else want to join me?

Own Your Life: Living with Deep Intention, Bold Faith, and Generous Love by Sally Clarkson
Strong and Kind: And Other Important Character Traits Your Child Needs to Succeed by Korie Robertson

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Have you read any good books lately? What are your favorite kinds of books to read – mysteries, biographies, historical fiction, cookbooks?Book List 2015To check out the books on my book list, you can READ THIS POST or visit our Amazon store.

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Day 26 – Organized Christmas: Wrap Up

This is Day 26 of our 31 Days To An Organized Christmas. To read all the posts in order, start with this post, then visit the Landing Page to see the outline for the whole series.

Assignments:

Some Thoughts:

And….that’s a wrap! You did it! Although there are certainly things you will need to prepare as Christmas approaches, you are now more organized so you won’t stress out. When it comes time for that next holiday party, you have your plan and you are ready to go! Way to go!

I have to just say it: I’m proud of you. What an accomplishment! – Get Yourself Organized for Christmas

Come back on December 26th for five Christmas Put Away projects.

How do you feel after completing the 21 days of projects?

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Day 25 – Organized Christmas: Your Personalized Special Project

This is Day 25 of our 31 Days To An Organized Christmas. To read all the posts in order, start with this post, then visit the Landing Page to see the outline for the whole series.

Assignments:

  • Read Project 21: Your Personalized Special Project (pages 110-112) in Get Yourself Organized for Christmas.
  • Check in with your Organized Christmas buddy.
  • Choose something you have put off doing, but have always wanted to do for Christmas. Do it.

Some Thoughts:

In the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle, if there is something you have always wanted to do, this is your day. Look back at that traditions list you made, and think hard on something you left off because you didn’t think you would have time. Make a little time to make it happen today. Get Yourself Organized for Christmas will give some ideas of special project you could do. If there’s absolutely nothing you can think of, sit back and relax because you are all ready for Christmas! Yay!

Think of your own special task that you have wanted to do for years but have never had time for. Today is your day to do that thing. – Get Yourself Organized for Christmas

What special task have you wanted to do for years but have never had time for?

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Day 24 – Organized Christmas: Tablecloths, Napkins, and Foof, Oh My

This is Day 24 of our 31 Days To An Organized Christmas. To read all the posts in order, start with this post, then visit the Landing Page to see the outline for the whole series.

Assignments:

  • Read Project 20: Tablecloths, Napkins, and Foof, Oh My (pages 106-108) in Get Yourself Organized for Christmas.
  • Check in with your Organized Christmas buddy.
  • Find your tableware. Depending on what day you are doing this project, you can make sure things are clean and set out.

Some Thoughts:

Ready, set, and go!

All you have to do is find all the stuff you need for your table setting right now so you have one less thing to fuss with on Christmas Day. – Get Yourself Organized for Christmas

Do you host formal Christmas dinners with fancy dishes, or are you more of a paper plate kinda host/ess?

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Day 23 – Organized Christmas: Take Off Your Apron and Grab Your Pencil

This is Day 23 of our 31 Days To An Organized Christmas. To read all the posts in order, start with this post, then visit the Landing Page to see the outline for the whole series.

Assignments:

  • Read Project 19: Take Off Your Apron and Grab Your Pencil (pages 102-105) in Get Yourself Organized for Christmas.
  • Check in with your Organized Christmas buddy.
  • Plan for meals the weeks before (and even after) Christmas.
  • Make two shopping lists (nonperishables and perishables).
  • Buy what you can now. You don’t want to get stuck in that line with the holiday crowd!

Some Thoughts:

Since we typically do not host, I don’t have much to plan for this, but we do bring one or two items, so I do have to do some planning. Again, check the book for some amazing tips because I hear Christmas dinner at Kathi’s house is awesome!

I know some friends who are great at doing the freezer meals. If that’s not your jam, you can plan to make a double portion of one meal to be eaten twice during the week/month depending on what it is and if that can be frozen or whatnot. Refer to your calendar once again to see how many meals you will actually be eating at home certain weeks.

Our favorite tool for meal planning is Plan to Eat. LOVE IT! We have been using it for 2 years now, and I am thankful for it every time 5PM rolls around. There is a Black Friday sale happening November 27 – November 30. Grab your 30-day trial now, try it out, and get a yearly subscription for 50% off during the Black Friday Weekend.
Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat (affiliate link: read disclosure HERE)

Plan on making at least two LOOP meals a week. Cook twice, eat four times. – Get Yourself Organized for Christmas

What do meals look like around the Christmastime at your house? Lots of leftovers? Eating out?

 

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Day 22 – Organized Christmas: Get Online

This is Day 22 of our 31 Days To An Organized Christmas. To read all the posts in order, start with this post, then visit the Landing Page to see the outline for the whole series.

Assignments:

Some Thoughts:

While I’m not the biggest fan of shopping, the convenience of online shopping helps to curb some of those negative feelings. :p It is so much easier to send out gifts directly from the comforts of your pajamas. Make sure to do a search to see if there are deals or coupon codes for the items you are planning to buy. And for all of your online shopping, make sure to go through ebates if you can! Depending on how much you spend, your Big Fat Check (it’s what they call the cash back check they send you) may not be too big, but it still surprises the bank teller every time I make a deposit.

Amazon.com is a good place to find a good deal, especially if you have Prime. I’m all about not having to pay those shipping fees. Target REDcard is also pretty awesome. And I’m sure there is a long list of deal sites that are helpful. Remember to not get lost in the shuffle of finding the deals or becoming overwhelming or going off on rabbit trails by clicking random links…you get the picture. :p Refer back to your gift list to help you stay on track and get the project done!

I’m way less cranky at the end of the day when I don’t have to stand in line at the mall or the post office. – Get Yourself Organized for Christmas

Where are some places you like to go for online shopping and deals?

 

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Day 21 – Organized Christmas: Ship Those Boxes Out

This is Day 21 of our 31 Days To An Organized Christmas. To read all the posts in order, start with this post, then visit the Landing Page to see the outline for the whole series.

Assignments:

Some Thoughts:

I don’t do too much shipping of packages, but I have stood in that post office line many a-times. Make sure to read the book to see how to avoid the post office this holiday season. You can also do this other times of the year as well.

I’m not one to cry in public, but the post office at Christmastime is enough to make a grown woman weep…There is a better way, ladies. – Get Yourself Organized for Christmas

How do you like to send gift out?

 

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Day 20 – Organized Christmas: Refresh Yourself

This is Day 20 of our 31 Days To An Organized Christmas. To read all the posts in order, start with this post, then visit the Landing Page to see the outline for the whole series.

Assignments:

Some Thoughts:

RELAX!

We all need a break this time of year. – Get Yourself Organized for Christmas

How do you find refreshment in the midst of a full schedule?

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Day 19 – Organized Christmas: Get Those Stockings Ready

This is Day 19 of our 31 Days To An Organized Christmas. To read all the posts in order, start with this post, then visit the Landing Page to see the outline for the whole series.

Assignments:

Some Thoughts:

We never did stockings when we were kids, so it hasn’t been on our radar. The girls did enjoy learning the legend of the stocking when we watched some Christmas shows…I think it is in Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving and Buck Denver Asks…Why Do We Call It Christmas?. We won’t have stockings this year either, but maybe in the future… here’s a cute one I found on Dayspring:

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When thinking about stocking stuffers, buy things that are small and will be loved and used. Keep it practical, useful, and fun. – Get Yourself Organized for Christmas

Once again, make sure to read the book for some quick tips from Kathi!

Is hanging up stockings a tradition at your house? What are your favorite stuffers?

 

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