The opportunities are vying

Sometimes life is just plain old busy. Many nights I’m burning the oil trying to get things done, only to burn the candle in the morning as I wake up before dawn with my son, who is all ready to play with his choo-choo trains and fix something with daddy’s special tools.

It’s no secret that the pace of life has picked up speed in recent years. Each year there seem to be more things vying—literally vying—for my attention, time, and energy. I see other moms crafting it up and making their home a beautiful place with their own special touch. I see them taking on side projects to bring in a bit of extra income. I see others making baby books as a touching keepsake and becoming more fit than ever before.

Good.Better.Best These endeavors and opportunities are all good and I often wonder if I should start doing them too. I almost feel I need to take on something extra to simply “fit in.” But, it seems with the overwhelming amount of good opportunities there is a chance I could start forgetting the best things—my child, my relationships, and our good ole’ family down time; laughing together, rolling around on the floor wrestling, throwing  a ball outside. The stuff solid families are made of.

“Not everything… is worth the portion of our life we give to obtain it. Some things are better, and others are best.” –Dallin Oaks,    

 Good, better, best.

I’m beginning to realize not every activity, opportunity, or project may be worth my while. It may be a good use of my time, but is there something better, or best? I have a choice. The choices I make now will largely influence how close I am to my kids, what they value later in life, and how they choose to live. Time is not forgiving, and even if I have the best of intentions to spend the time with my family, it won’t just happen.

Family edit 681Sometimes the best use of my time will be saying, “No”. No to an opportunity. “Sorry, I want more time with my family. I already have too many distractions, I don’t want another.” It turns out, staying at home with my boy is “enough.” Staying at home with yours is, too.

“Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best.” – Tim Duncan

My boy, who seems like he was born the day before yesterday is almost 2. I’m starting to realize life is fast. Life is just too full of potential to be less than intentional with my time and with the people I love the most.

For those opportunities that come vying–unless you’re best, sorry, I’ll say no.

Have you had similar thoughts and wondered how to slow down and simply enjoy your family? I would love to hear your experiences and thoughts!

I would love to connect with you on a more personal level. Find me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook where I share more of my daily ins and outs, cooking faux pas, and overload of child cuteness!

These relationships really do matter

This week I had some interesting realizations about being a mother; they happened to not only be useful, but extremely timely. Lately with starting school and Sam beginning to work full-time, it seems the days drag on and I feel like a puppy waiting at the door for Sam.

I started to feel like life was going to be an accumulation of day-in, day-out laundry, messes, odoriferous dishes, and playing the same games over and over with my son, Parker, that were less than mentally stimulating. Honestly, life seemed boring and lacking purpose.

Then I started reading an article for my parenting class by Dr. Bruce K. Satterfield called “The Family Under Siege: The Role of Man and Woman” about the purpose of family. Thankfully, my thoughts changed.

These relationships matter2These relationships really do matter.

As a mom, I am not just taking care of my boy and making sure he is entertained all day—I am becoming someone; someone more loving, less selfish, and more compassionate. My family and I are on a journey together and we are preparing to live together for eternities. We are practicing virtues, while simultaneously trying to purge ourselves of qualities and characteristics we don’t love about ourselves. Suddenly, parenting, even my marriage, doesn’t lack purpose–it is full of purpose.

Internalizing this idea has really changed the last few days for me. I feel like I’m taking more joy in playing with Parker. No, I’m not just playing with him so he won’t cry; I’m playing with him because I want to. I want to make memories with him. We are building a bond. 

No, I’m not just doing my umpteenth load of laundry this week; I’m practicing to keep a clean environment that invites God and brings us peace at home. No, I’m not just picking up after my husband and grumbling about it; I’m showing I care and realizing we are a team—he’s had a hard week, too, so I don’t need to tally up the offenses he’s “committed” against me.

These relationships really do matter.

They matter not just because we’re connected on paper through birth certificates and tax records, but because we’re helping each other become better and grow. When I think about my little family, these relationships, extending further than this life, I care more and I love more.

How have you learned to find meaning in your family relationships? Do you believe in family relationships continuing after this life? I would love to hear your thoughts and beliefs!

I would love to connect with you on a more personal level! Find me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook where I share more of my daily life. 

The best choices I made for myself

There seems to be a notion among ladies that getting married is practically selling your soul to a life of boredom and having children is waving goodbye to your health, good looks, and happiness. Before embarking on my journey with both, I didn’t have much to say–I spoke on faith alone that marriage and motherhood would bring happiness. But now? Now I speak from experience; from evidence in my own life. best choices marriage motherhoodYes, if we’re speaking in terms of doing what is best for yourself–marriage and motherhood are simply a good choice. It isn’t choosing a life of giving up all you love, it is gaining a life of meaning.

If you marry well–marriage will be no where close to living a life of boredom, it’s the opposite. It’s getting so comfortable with one person, you feel you can be your absolute crazy self, your whole self–no feeling of trying to impress or be something you’re not. You have a best friend who will be there to wipe away your tears, vent your frustrations to, and be a crazy nut with, all without a second thought of them judging you. No, marriage has been my happiest years, my craziest years, and my most fulfilling all in one.

Not only that, it has been best for my self-worth, too. There is someone who knows all about me, seen all of me, and never leaves. No one-night stands here. There is someone who inspires me in my goals, keeps me accountable for what I’m working on, and reminds me day-in and day-out that I’m beautiful and worthwhile–even when I feel ugly and insignificant. Never have I been more self-assured than since I’ve been married.

And now about the kids.

When I was pregnant, I heard two girls behind me talking about their friend who was pregnant. One of them expressed her disdain for pregnancy and said:

“Pregnancy completely ruins your body.”

While pregnancy can be taxing, strenuous, and dangerous, most of all–it is beautiful. It doesn’t completely ruin your body. That is a hoax. In reality, it fulfills its purpose. I’ve never felt so whole or complete, than after I had my baby. Pregnancy and motherhood have brought me happiness, not stolen it away.

Since having my first, I’m healthier than before. I have way more reason to hit the gym, than simply wanting a slim bod. I workout and eat right because there are little ones I want to play with, memories I want to have, and a life I want to live. Yes, motherhood has fueled my desire to live and growing a baby inside me has never gotten in the way.

“Being a mother is not what you gave up to have a child, but what you gained from having one.”–Unknown

Don’t believe the lie that marriage and motherhood will strip the fun out of life; that marriage will confine you to a dull relationship and motherhood will make your body damaged goods, because it simply is not that way. If you do believe the lie, you may be robbing yourself of the greatest happiness you’ll ever know.

If you enjoyed this post, then don’t forget to vote! Thanks!

If you enjoyed this post, I would feel honored if you would click on this badge to vote for me!

Give him more than leftovers

We are all well acquainted with leftovers–Thanksgiving this last week has made me quite aware of the phenomenon. It’s the part of the meal left after a feast; the part that gets thrown in a tupperware or tossed.leftovers

Lately, I’ve been feeling like I’ve been giving my husband a lot of leftovers. After a long day taking care of my rambunctious boy, I swear he’s eaten up all my energy. When my husband walks in the door, my mood is short and I’m at the end of my rope. I give him my love, but in the end, I’m pretty much handing him leftovers, offering him what’s left of me in a tupperware. ‘”Take it or toss it,” I feel in my heart. I’m ready to mindlessly surf the internet or veg until we go to bed.

Am I the only one who struggles with this?? It saddens me, but it’s true.

Everyday I want to give our little boy the best of me, he is one of my greatest treasures. I’ve never felt my heart latch onto another person in the way my heart instinctively latched onto his. I’ve never felt so much worry and utter happiness until he came along.

img_3387Yet, I distinctly feel my relationship with my husband should be first, even before my little ones. It is close parents who set the tone, bring stability, and model love and kindness in a home. Couldn’t I try a little harder to give my husband a fresher, more loving heart–instead of my cold heart in a tupperware?

“Those who enter into marriage should be fully prepared to establish their marriage as the first priority in their lives.”- James E. Faust

My husband, he’s the love of my life, my best friend, and my greatest confidant. He provides for me. He became my one and only the day we were sealed for eternity and I intend on keeping him mine forever. He is the daddy to my boy; the man I’ll still be dating when our little ones have grown. He is the one whose wrinkly hand I hope to hold as we watch our family grow.

So today, I’m committing to saving more of myself for my husband–more than just measly, cold leftovers for a heart.

How do you save energy and time for your husband or significant other? How do you make your husband feel loved and cherished even when you’re tired?

If you enjoyed this post, then don’t forget to vote! Thanks!

If you enjoyed this post, I would feel honored if you would click on this badge to vote for me!

Make it gleam

We put up our first Christmas tree this last week. I’m relishing in the joy of Christmas decorations and the pervading warmth that streams from the lights, the ornaments, the nativity, and the continuous Christmas tunes that waft throughout our house. Mmm, Christmas time just warms my heart.

Today I was gazing at our tree, as I often do during the day, and realized Christmas is what we make it. Life is what we make it.Make it gleam

Our Christmas tree is beautiful to me, because of the ornaments we hand-picked and thoughtfully placed. Our Christmas tree is dazzling because of the strands of beads we carefully strung around the tree. Our Christmas tree gleams because of the lights carefully arranged throughout the tree.

But without all our effort, our Christmas tree is just a tree. An ordinary tree that perhaps wouldn’t stand out in a crowd. It is what we did with the tree that makes it beautiful, dazzling, and gleaming with beauty.

My life may seem rather ordinary, and perhaps it is, but it’s what I’m doing each day that makes it gleam even more. The giggles I embrace, the prayers I say, the smiles I gift to others, the compliments I give my husband, the grace I extend to myself and others, all add a special gleam, a special dazzling effect to my life.

The more we invest and enjoy; the more willing we are to let our personality gleam and shine, the more our tree of life will gleam.

“Life is not always perfect, but it’s always what you make it. So make it count, make it memorable.”-Unknown

Life is what we make it, what we put into it. If life gives you a tree–decorate it–make it gleam.

How have you tried to make the most of your life? What is your favorite part of the Christmas season? Or how does Christmas revive you spiritually? As always, I would love to hear your thoughts!

If you enjoyed this post, I would be honored if you would click the banner to vote for me!

If you enjoyed this post, I would be honored if you would click the banner to vote for me!