Friday, February 27, 2009

Need to Shed Some Valentine's Pounds?

Holidays are so much fun but can be problematic for the waistline! First there's Christmas to recover from. Then there are Valentine's Day chocolates. I received a box of Pireuline cookies (they're like long wafers filled with vanilla creme) from a friend. Unfortunately, my friend didn't know how much I liked those and how I could basically polish off a whole bag in one day. There are 2 (big) bags that come in a box. I prayed for self control after the fact, and I should've prayed before!
If you're trying to shed a few pounds, here are a few tips that have worked for me:

1. Before having a snack when you're hungry, drink a glass of water.

2. Cut up a few veggies (celery, red pepper, baby carrots, etc) so when you get a snack attack, those are very convenient to reach for.

3. Brush your teeth at 7:00 pm when you're home and don't eat after that.

For daily motivation and accountability, get my course TODAY, Losing Weight After Baby: 31 Days to a New You and begin your breakthrough month on March 1st!
"Behold I will do a new thing..." Isaiah 43:18

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How high is your frustration level?

Before kids...
I never had a temper.
I had a long  fuse. 
I was extra patient.
I was kind to everyone.
I wasn't easily rattled.
I was organized and clean.
I was efficient.
I never got frustrated.

Okay, I'm full of it.  But seriously, since giving birth, some of this stuff has gone out the window. With each child I seem to go further downhill.  I DO have a temper.  I now have a short fuse.  I lack patience.  I'm not kind to my children sometimes.  Between 7:30 and 8:00 a.m. I'm rattled, boy am I rattled.  I'm organized for the most part but only clean here and there.  I'm still efficient.  I'm generally frustrated.  I have many faults and many buttons that can be pushed.  How did giving birth generate all this in me?  Yeah, I agree, I'm sure it was there all along... 

I have to keep these things in check.  How do I do that?  I exercise, I read, I try to get some quiet time away, I read my Bible, I call a friend, I watch a dumb show, I pray.  Most days are good but some days are hard.  And the hard days seem to last for an eternity.  I think we have a happy home for the most part.  My kids fight and they fight hard.  But we all love hard too.  It's hard to have a home full of emotional and intense people!  We all have to keep our faults and frustrations in check.  

So how high is your frustration level?  Is mothering hard today?  Is this season of childhood wearing you out?  What refreshes you?  Seek it out!  Does it help you to talk it out?  Call a friend.  Does it  help you to go run six miles?  Then go run seven!  Ask God to give you all that you need to face today.  He will help you get through today.   

Be lifted!

...when I was silent and anguish increased.
Psalm 39:2

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Friday, February 20, 2009


I love this picture from the San Diego Zoo. The trainer and pony were walking by and on cue, the trainer clicked her clicker, and the pony smiled wide!

Somedays, we may feel like we misplaced our clicker. No matter what we do, we don't feel like smiling. I like what brilliant talk show host Dennis Prager says about the subject of mood.

"Act happy no matter what your mood and you will feel happier. Act loving
and you will feel more loving. With regard to virtually anything in life
that is good for us, if we wait until we are in the mood to do it, we will wait
too long."

So regardless of how you feel today, smile! My daughter has been coughing for the last week and saying "Mommy hold me" and "TISSUE!" But I'm smiling...

"The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness." Psalm 18:28

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What are you doing right?

As a mom I beat myself up constantly about all the things I'm doing wrong. I daily judge my mothering skills based on how perfect and wonderful my kids are. Unfortunately since I'm imperfect and so are my kids, this system doesn't work very well. I repeatedly feel like a failure. My strong-willed child makes me angry and frustrated. My overly emotional child causes me to think, "Grow up!" when that is not something I want to rush. My youngest is needy as ever and wears me out physically at times. There are little things about motherhood that shorten my fuse. I feel impatient and irritable more often than I'd like. I want to be one of those moms who loves every phase of childhood, each and every quirk and behavior. But that's just not been my experience. A fair amount of motherhood has been trial and error and negative reflection. I tend to look at the behaviors of my kids and blame myself for everything that's wrong. For example, I have one child who tends to lie. Nine times out of ten this child will lie. I have beat myself up for years and prayed about this sin in her life a hundred times. I just keep telling her the truth...that God expects her to tell and love the truth. I could write a book about all the things I feel like I'm no good at as a mother. When my children were tiny I would get frustrated because they didn't enjoy my lullabies or smile when I rocked them. I have spent years trying to figure out how they tick. I have often wondered if I needed a degree in child psychology to get through this life with children.

Today I want to pause on purpose to reflect on what I'm doing right. I guess it's how I'm wired but I tend to be hard on myself and only look at what I might be messing up. But what about the good things? I challenge you to do the same. What are you doing right? Make a list, write it down. What are you proud of as a mother? How are you pleasing God with how you're raising your children? How do you use your words to bless others? Are you a blessing to your family? Are you building others up? Are you an encouragement to your spouse and kids? Do you read your Bible for your kids? Do you spend time playing with them? Do you let them break the eggs when you bake cookies? Are you teaching them responsibilities around the house? Are you teaching them to value friendship and love? Are you serving others? Do you bring laughter and joy to your home? Are you taking the time to play silly games? Do you listen to your kids hurts, really listen? Are you praying with your kids? Are you praying for your kids and spouse? Is your faith something you talk about? Are you teaching your kids about God's love and his word? Surely you are doing at least one of these things or something like them.

Reflect right now on what you're doing right. God will bless you for trying to please him. Don't worry about the details and the day to day mess ups. God knows your heart. Keep him your priority and love your family with all your heart. He will cover up your mess ups and fill your home with love, just ask him! Focus on the positive this week, please. I'm going to!

Be lifted!

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Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Hear, O Israel; The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

What do you want on Valentine's Day? Flowers or chocolate?

Well, I like both! My sweet husband bought me these red roses. Believe it or not, he bought them wholesale and then arranged them himself! I know, I'm lucky! He did awesome!

In terms of chocolate, I tend to eat too many pieces at once. Last weekend, we received a package about 24 truffles from some visiting friends. I could down them all in a few days if left unattended! So I decided to wrap about half of them and give them away to my children's teachers at church. That saved me a trip to the store to buy something, plus extra unneeded calories for me! My article "Chocolate, Friend or Foe" will give you some other ideas of what to do with all that chocolate if you're trying to lose weight.

I hope you'll enjoy the added festivities of Valentine's Day, yet remember it's not the flowers or chocolates that take center stage. It's the love of God! Jesus loves you and your family so much. You are the apple of His eye!

"But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Importance of Support

I've spoken at some MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) groups this school year and I've noticed something: they are all there because they want and need support. This season of life is demanding and exhausting and downright overwhelming. I've seen hundreds of moms at these meetings and they are desperate to connect with other moms. They are looking for a listening ear. They need a hug from a friend. They want a break from nursing and changing diapers. They want to laugh. They are looking for a word from God.

If you have babies or preschoolers, it is vital that you connect with other moms on a regular basis. At the very least it gives you perspective on things. Life doesn't seem so hard when you share it's details with a friend. When we experience life together it is much richer! I find it encouraging simply to be around others who are experiencing what I am; it makes my life seem more normal, too. Do you need that? I do!

When it comes to motherhood I often think I have it so hard, as if no one else has ever had strong willed kids! I met a lady about four years ago who has a strong-willed child. This mom is about ten years older than me so I listened to everything she had to say because she'd been there already. She knew how to pray for me and my situation and she wasn't critical. It's been such a blessing to have a more seasoned mother give me some much needed affirmation and support.

I challenge you to find moms who are in the same exact boat as you. If you have a newborn, find a mom with a newborn. Share your difficulties and fears. If you have twins or triplets, connect with a multiples group in your area. I encourage you to find a mom who is further down the road of parenthood than you, too. You will be amazed and what she has to offer you. God created us to be in relationship with others. But they won't always knock on your door. Go and find those friends. Mom, you need support!

Be lifted!

Proverbs 11:25
A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Peppy Pizza Please!

If you've got kids chances are you're having a hard time getting them to eat their vegetables. Unless you're like my 4 year old cousin who eats all the carrots, broccoli and cauliflower FIRST in her lunch bag!

My kids on the other hand, eat one teeny bit of carrot and think they have done something heroic. But they have gotten a little better about their veggies and there's a DVD that has helped. Although we don't watch a lot of TV, we can heartily recommend any Boz the Bear videos. They are God honoring and provide a great role model for kids.

Case in point: the DVD titled "Thank You God for Bananas, Bubbles and Busy Bodies." In this DVD about healthy living, Boz the Bear goes grocery shopping in the produce section and makes a "peppy pizza" which is topped with veggies.

Since watching that, we have named a pizza topped with spinach "peppy pizza" and both my kids eat it up and even request it. We buy ours at Trader Joe's, it's a flat pizza covered in spinach. Phew, finally a veggie that's eaten with joy!

"For the open pastures are springing up, and the tree bears its fruit. The fig tree and the vine yield their strength." Joel 2:22

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009


As a brand new mom, or as a seasoned mother, it is vital that we exercise.  I could go on all day about the health benefits of exercise.  But I want to focus on one thing only: your mental health. 

Ever have days when you could scream?  Do you ever feel like you change 25 diapers, do six loads of laundry, and can't remember the last time you used the bathroom?  Some days motherhood is overwhelming.  In the beginning, the physical demands are enormous.  We feed, bathe, clean, change, rock, nurse, feed,'s downright exhausting.  I get tired just thinking about it.  Throw in the lack of sleep and added's tough.  I hear people say all the time, "I'm just too tired to exercise."  I promise you that if you exercise you will have MORE energy.  I promise.  You can't control much in the early years of motherhood.  Taking care of babies is never-ending.  But you can take steps to control your health, your mental health.  Exercising gives you a break, it clears your head.  It feels good to move.  Find something you love to do and find someone to exercise with.  Walk, skate, do yoga, run, jump rope, swim.  Find something.  If you have a parter or a group to exercise with, you will be more likely to keep it up.  You will feel better mentally and emotionally.  This surely makes for a better mommy!

I challenge you to start exercising to improve your mental health!

Be lifted!

Philippians 4:13
I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength.

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