Making Your Passwords Count

I know that at this time of year, everyone has set or is scrambling to set their New Year’s resolutions. I also know that many have shared that they’re not one to set resolutions. Others have said that they don’t set resolutions, but say that they set intentions. I definitely think that last group is really doing the same as the first and just trying to call it something different. I am definitely one that would fall in the second group, because as I shared last week I just disappoint myself by not following through on them. At the end of 2014 learned about setting inspirational passwords, and I feel that has been more powerful than resolutions I could set.

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These inspirational passwords are meant to be a word or phrase to help keep you focused on what’s most important or needed in your life. It’s critical that these passwords be used on accounts you will use all the time, such as at work or your phone. In 2015 I had two words that remained the most important for me, and they were grace and peace. Each of these words applied to a different aspect of my life, but were what I really needed to make it through the year.

I am someone who can be REALLY hard on themselves about almost everything. I can find something to criticize myself about in all aspects of my life. Nothing is off limits from my own self-judgement…my parenting, being a spouse, home maintenance, volunteer work, and my job. Looking at that list it doesn’t leave much room for grace, which I knew I so desperately needed to give myself.
Honest confession here, I can get very irritated with what I perceive to be a lack of effort by others or not doing what they should be doing. I may not be perfect at what I do, but I try to give it my best. I get widely frustrated with others not trying to do the same. People are not necessarily going to change because I think they should, but I can change my response. Rather than perpetuate this way of thinking, I knew I had to change the way I thought about people. To do this I needed to find peace in that moment of irritation and give them grace.

Being honest about my struggle last year is not an easy thing for this self-critical gal. But I can say that these inspirational passwords helped. This may seem a little woo-woo to some, and great to other. All I know is that they helped me, and I hope that they help you. I can say that grace was a great thing to give myself all year, and I will continue to give myself more grace this year. I won’t share my word(s) for 2016 now for obvious security reasons, but look forward to sharing with you later how it goes.

The way we spend our time

What brings you joy? I have a friend who asks this question when speaking to someone about volunteering at the church where she works. I believe this is one of the best things for us to ask ourselves before agreeing to do something. Many of us are over scheduled and would like to see this change, but aren’t so good at setting limits or saying no. What if we asked ourselves question more often?

As I wrap up 2015 and look to 2016, I feel like I’ve asked myself this joy question more often. When faced with something I’m not sure I want to say yes to doing, it really helps me check my heart. Sometimes the answer is an emphatic yes, such as serving on my pastor’s sabbatical support committee or Ukirk RVA‘s advisory board. Sometimes the answer to the question is perhaps at a later date, like when asked to be a stephen minister. Other times the answer is no, and we’ve said yes out of obligation. Usually that yes said out obligation isn’t good for us or those that we’re helping. But that yes said in response to joy is never regrettable.

In 2016 I’m looking forward to checking my heart more often before agreeing to things, whether big or small. Taking the moment to ask this question about joy doesn’t apply in a faith context alone and can be deeply helpful in all aspects of our life. How we spend our time individually, as families, recreationally, and in business as a great impact on the rest of our life. In looking ahead hope you’ll join me in asking yourself more often:

   
   

Wednesday Wanderings and Things to Brighten Your Day

There has been much on the internet to break my heart this week, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Whether it was Donald Trump and his lip flapping shenanigans, issues over gun control, anti-Muslim rhetoric, deaths and illness of too many, there is a lot tugging at our heart, mind, and bloood pressure.  Rather than get us down about all these things, I thought I’d provide you with some things to brighten the middle of your week. 

http://www.lifehack.org/341396/quotes-are-more-powerful-when-presented-beautifully?mid=20151130&ref=mail&uid=610433&feq=daily

If you haven’t seen this yet, you’re welcome. If you have, then  enjoy it again, because you know you want to!  Adele, The Roots, Jimmy, and school instruments!

So, basically Harry Potter (Daniel Ratcliff) loves Richmond VA and so should you 😉 

Who’s your favorite Disney Princess?  May be these battles will help you decide: Cinderelle, Belle, , Snow White, or Elsa

I was late to finding this blog, and now it’s over. Sad to see her go, but I understand.

I think we’re starting to hit the stage of our daughter hiding things. I’ve been seeing things about a few different tools for tracking down your keys and such. Anyone try The Tile App or Click ‘n Dig? Have other recommendations?

I’ve never been the best at long-term journaling…in one journal. It’s not uncommon to have multiple stashed all over the place. Have you seen this post on the benefits of journaling. Do you journal? I’ve heard great things about The Five Minute Journal…I wonder if it would help me?

I hope I’ve helped send you to some interesting things to intentionally fill your Wednesday. Just remember, the world can be tough, but it’s also really be beautiful. See the beauty in those you meet, and remember you’re the beauty they’re seeing.

Dear Stay-at-Home Mama

 Dear Stay-at-Home Mama,
You inspire me. 

 You have chosen to spend each of your days caring for your little ones. Day in and day out and around the clock you care for your precious littles. You have sacrificed moving up the career ladder to spend your days with your child(ren). You spend more time carrying conversations with little people than adults. You know how to pinch a penny and make the most of a budget, to ensure your family has what it needs on one salary. You never get a break because your children are used to having you nearby all the time. 

And these (among other things) are things I didn’t think I could do. I’m sure I could do some of this, but I honestly don’t know that I’d want to. As a stay-at-home mama, you have one of the hardest jobs I can imagine. You are ALWAYS being watched by your child(ren) to see how they should act or behave or talk. You make many sacrifices on the little pleasures to keep your budget in check. Let’s be real, I really like getting that latte when I’ve had a rough morning with the little one or at work. I also like having a “break” from my daughter while I go to work. 

Some may think I’m crazy for admitting these things, but there are reasons behind it all. I didn’t feel that I was in a place in my career that I could afford the time away from the workforce. Some careers are just easier to come back to after an extended break. I’ve worked with kids for years. But I know that an entire day of mostly talking to kids does a number on me. I need more mental stimulation than conversations and stories with a toddler can provide. I also believe that my time away at work makes me better when I am with my little girl. 

Do I ever doubt my decision to not stay at home? Yes!  

Do I wish that I could stay home? Sometimes, but not all the time. 

Do I enjoy working and juggling motherhood? Sometimes, it’s a lot to manage. 

All this said, being a mama is tough. Whether you stay home or work away from the home, we are all mamas and need to support each other. We are all trying to juggle a lot. Stay-at-home mama, I’m sure you need a break sometimes, because you never really get one. What would be the best way to support you?