Thursday, March 29, 2018

The White Picket Fence Lie

The White Picket Fence Lie

Who lied to all of us mamas & sold us a bill of goods?!

Pardon my french, but that 'crap' isn't real...

Why was I told from the time I was little that being
a mom would be a never-ending magical moment
of Froot Loops & sugar dust?

& Why was I told that my spouse would meet all 
my needs & be my "Prince Charming" forever & ever amen?!


Real parenting & marriage are hard work.

Like, take today for example.

After hours of running around after caring for my 3 littles in the morning,
I was so looking forward to a nap this aft. 

Even a little quiet lie down to refuel would have sufficed,
however, they were not having any of it.

I enforced some lie-down time for about an hour,
but by the end, I was feeling completely in knots
of trying to "force" something that obviously wasn't to be today.

We got up & I allowed some "Paw Patrol" while
completing some tasks at hand.

The fatigue hit me hard, and I admit (ashamedly) that I lashed
out at my hubby via text about some issues that had been stewing.

That didn't go very well as he was having his own
'bout of problems at work. Sigh.

Later, after the TV was turned off, I attempted
story time, which was turned down & instead forts were made

That solace lasted a short while before I found
my youngest literally eating half of the dog food bowl.

Oh, shoot! I forgot to hide the dog dishes after rest time.

Toddler was munching happily and screeched when I wrestled the bowl 
from his pudgy clenched hands...

Kids continued running around the house, & I felt defeated
about when was I going to get around to my next task.


That is hardly an example of an extremely difficult day,
but it does constitute the flow of many of them.

Morning = High Expectations 

Afternoon = Fatigue & (Usually) Disillusioned In Some Form

Evening = Counting Down To BedTime


Lately, I've been contemplating the whole idea of marriage & parenting 
in a much deeper fashion than usual...

Why do we perpetuate the idea to young people that it's easy and picturesque?
  & that all the gushy feelings will come each & every. single. day.

That you'll always swoon over your loved ones??

That something is drastically wrong with you & your family
if you don't love every single moment that you're with them?

You may say, well we want to set the next generation up with great expectancy for 
the future relationships they'll (hopefully) be granted.

But I say a big NO to that. 

I say teach them the truth:
that in these beautiful God-ordained relationships you WILL need
to buck up & press through! 

That you need to count your every blessing,
& though you will have many, 
it will be required of you to practice the discipline of 
doing things that don't always "feel" good.

That you are signing up for one of the greatest callings
you could have ever signed up for.

But with a great calling comes much work.

Whether you work inside or outside the home, you are a parent...
you are a spouse...
you are a loved one within your family. 

That great relationships take work.

That work requires time.

That time itself is no longer your own.

That yes, balance is a must, but you need to see yourself
in the trenches of a most holy calling.

The calling that is literally preparing the future 
descendants that are yet to be...

This calling is destined to impact people, more than you can imagine.

That for good, or bad, your words, your choices
will set an example for those who reside in the four walls of your home.


Children and spouses do have this little thing called free will.

They will use it accordingly, and at no time do we have minions that
do our every bidding. Scoff.

But we do wield this one powerful word: Influence!!!

Influence gives us the chance
to put before our children ALL that we have to offer:
whether that be our skill set, opportunities we can provide,
and of course, the example of our attitudes.

Healthy influence also allows us to invest beneficially in ourselves
so that we can pour of our overflow back to them.

With each example we impart, whether good or bad, it gives them 
the choice to embrace it or not.

Our Impartation + Other Influences In Their Lives + Their Choices  = Their Character


Only a few moments ago I stopped writing to
cradle our screaming (hysterically) 2-year-old in my arms.

He stopped.

Lil guy had come home from an outing with Dad,
however, he had fallen asleep in the car.

Being abruptly woken up had started the fuss,
but the snuggling calmed him 100 percent.

Then, our 4-year-old daughter came up to us, looked at me first 
before starting to stroke her younger brother's head in affection.

She asked him if he was okay.

& my heart sang.


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Sunday, October 29, 2017

It's Time To Get Back In The Saddle Again: 10 Tips To Start Living Healthy Today!

By Rachael J DeBruin, Registered Holistic Nutristionist*

"For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! 
Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. 
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland."

Isaiah 43:19 (NLT)

The scale has been quite unkind to me the last few years.

And for that, I am no longer its "friend"...


Yes, having three children back to back can make a person's
body weight fluctuate.

Particularly if you are markedly "lucky" to hail 
from a long line of diabetics, and those that seem to
have the "gift" of a slow metabolism.

Yep, famines must be somewhere down my family line ;)


So, I recently decided to combat this "formidable foe"
of extra girth, and returned to the gym.

And no, I'm not "one of those"
who supposedly have a new gym membership
but never darken the doors.

The staff are even becoming familiarized to our family.
We try to show up 2-3 x's per week.

I also recently joined an adult karate class.
Two hours of kickbutt fun every Thursday.

Wanna join me to suffer, er get in shape??
(seriously...send me an email. It can be a lot of fun too!)

I also started making myself walk the extra mile where I can.

And today, well today I am actually proud of myself.
I went to a health store and actually
didn't check out with a few too many of those so called 
"healthy" treats.

(& don't you dare judge me?! who really goes to the health
stores for only hemp hearts & kale??)


Ah, the lovely existence of making new resolutions,
and social media proclamations of one's 
new health plans...

BUT, this is not what this post is intended to be.

Well, not solely anyway.

I am hoping to encourage those who
have ALSO been struggling...

Struggling to get your pants zipped up.
(Hey, they were shrunk in the dryer, right??)

Struggling to walk a flight of stairs without being winded.
(It's my asthma, ONLY...)

Struggling to look & feel their best.
(I mean, who has the time when I'm so busy...)

It's time to leave the excuses at the door,
and begin to invest in your health.



I want to share TEN TIPS (reminders for myself too)
on how to get back in the saddle & take back your health!

1) Stop beating yourself up!

There I said.

Give yourself grace. Forgive yourself.
And then get up & begin again.

The more you beat yourself up, the longer you sit
in self-pity...the longer you sit there, and
the less likely you are to follow
ANY health plan.

2) Find an encouraging friend (or two).

Following a health routine is hard enough
to do on our own, but research shows that
grabbing a friend will help you BOTH get into
the groove together.

Accountability has great dividends
in any area of life, so why not
find someone today that can join you
in your new healthy pursuits!

3) Set a goal

Want to create a health-related goal that
you will actually follow?

The experts say make it something small & manageable to
start with. 

Then conquer that 'giant' and
get on to the next one!

Step by step, as we conquer our smaller goals,
they eventually snowball & add up to
something quite noticeable.

4) Drink more water

Hydration is one of the biggest keys to nourishing the body.

Start the day with some water, and
drink throughout the day.

I would advise drinking the bigger cups
in-between meals, so as not to dilute or
hinder digestion, but other than that, go hog wild!

5) Explore WHY you overeat (your triggers)

Everyone has their tempting situations, right?

For me, it's those days when I'm stressed, tired
and (or) feeling lonely.

It's also what we store in the house, and
when we don't prepare by packing nutritious
snacks when we are on the go.

Figuring out your trigger foods, and 
avoiding them, replacing them with 
more nourishing alternatives,
all help to stay off the extra weight.

6) De-stress your life

As said above, stress is one of my main triggers
for overeating. I would wager
it is the main trigger for 99 percent
of people who struggle with weight..

So, how to destress?

Many things could be said about this area, but
I think the biggest thing we all seem
to fall prey to these days is

And commitment to things that don't
really matter in the long term.

Evaluating our time usage, and planning
in margin can go a long way.

7) Start Moving

Our lymph nodes require movement to pump
toxins out of our bodies.

Keeping healthy requires that we move our bodies
each & everyday.

Even little bursts of activity can make a big difference.

Set a goal to park farther away.

Set a goal to walk 20 minutes a few times per week.

Go swimming.

Get a bouncing indoor rebounder.

Anything that can inspire you to move & stay active!

8) More Veggies

Antioxidants are abundant in this major food group.
I'd say aim for a veggie per meal, or at least
lunch, and dinner.

Stay away from starchy "veggies" like corn & potatoes,
but feel free to go hog-wild on the greens.

9) Eat Healthy Fats

Particularly Omega 3's which are anti-inflammatory.

These can help our body hugely with
pain management and our brain function.

If you cannot consume enough fish
per week, I would advise supplementing.

10) Break Up With Sugar

This one is hard!!!

Sugar is like one of the major food groups, right?


Sugar has many reasons that should cause
us to reevaluate how much
& if we consume it at all, but the
main one is that it is not nourishing our bodies
at all.


So, in summary, it is time to start afresh.

We do not need to wait for the next
health crisis or new year to take one of the steps
above & gain in the area of our health.

The healthier we are, the better we feel.

The better we feel, the more energy we have.

The more energy we have, the more we can do.

It all comes back to small steps.

“I believe that the greatest gift you can 
give your family 
the world is a healthy you.“

-Joyce Meyer

*The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

5 Things To Remember When Your Child Is Having A Bad Day

We all have our difficult days.
So, why wouldn't we expect our children to have their own
from time to time?


When our children act out, we need to step back & assess the situation.

While we may not be able to in the moment, I have found over time
our children may have certain patterns that become apparent.

Hopefully as you get to know your child, you can work with them
to disciple, teach, correct & encourage them much more 
efficiently as time goes on.


and then now started the process with another child, I have found myself
immersed in parenting literature for children with special needs, 
and behaviourial problems.

However, I have found that many of the principles can be applied to any child 
to help bring about a better outcome for you AND the child
in any stressful situation.


Your toddler is throwing a tantrum on your shopping venture because
he is feeling overtired & overwhelmed.

Your preschooler is not herself these days. She is finding your daily routine
too chaotic & acting out much more than usual near the end of the day.

Your school aged child is upset about changes going on in their sibling's life.
Unable to process this, he begins to act younger than his age and gets himself
repeatedly in trouble for being silly at inappropriate times.

Your tween is starting to notice changes to their body. They are continually 
looking in the mirror & feeling frustrated by what they see.
When you ask a simple question, they are on the verge of tears.
You are left wondering what just happened!

Your teen has just been told he was gossiped about by a supposedly "good" friend.
Said teen doesn't want to admit that it's bothering them, but instead starts to "bother" their
younger siblings for the duration of a long car ride to an appointment.

These may be real life specific examples from our own family,
 but I'm sure you can apply the 
principles to your particular life situation.

In the midst of whatever frustration is going on, we as the parents may feel overwhelmed,
angry, sad, frustrated, lacking understanding, and wondering where we went wrong!

It is often far later in the game that we can look back & see what the triggers were 
for our child, or the overall situation.

Of course, I need to add, this doesn't excuse poor behaviour.

It needs to be addressed. These are great teaching moments.

You can aid ANY parenting strategy by effectively identifying your child's triggers,
& trying to de-escalate the crisis.

Even as adults, I'm sure we can relate to a heavy issue weighing on us
& needing to be dealt with immediately before we continue on.

Sometimes a word of encouragement, and we're back at it.

Emphathy. Understanding. Patience.

All three allowing space for our child (& us) to breathe.


Here are FIVE things to remember when your child is having a bad day:
(maybe even write them out on your fridge!)

1. Let them know you love them.

Unconditional love goes so far with ANY hurting individual.

The most hurtful situations in life that I've experienced is
when I felt "love" with a string (or condition) attached...

No one likes that.

Put the behaviour aside, and always let your child know you love them
in spite of what they just did or said.

I have found this alone will sometimes diffuse a very stressful or tense situation.

2. Offer them a hug.

This goes along with the first point.

Physical touch is a key way to let your child know
that you feel their pain & are right there with them.

I say offer instead of force, because I know myself how 
much an unwanted touch (even a hug) can upset us,
even it comes from someone we usually would enjoy it from.

I have a few really touchy kids who love physical affection,
and others like me, who need to be in the right mood.

However, a safe hug can make all the difference in the world to a
hurting child.

3. Allow them a few minutes to breathe.

If the child or teen isn't making sense, they most likely 
are in flight or fright mode, and are no longer being rational.

It is important that if they need space, that you allow for it to help
them to calm down & self-regulate.

Both of our children with special needs get upset very easily, and if
we continue to push back ("argue", even try to discuss) and they
are not ready for it, then it is fruitless on both ends.

I have found allowing the child to go to their room, or take a quick walk
allows them to regroup & they usually come back
apologetic, and ready to work things out.

4. Allow them space.

This goes along with point number 3, but it also means that
you allow them space & time to think about their responses.

You may even have to allow them a day or two to think on a difficult or tense 
conversation you just had (especially with older ones).

If you have given them say two choices, don't pressure them
to immediately given an answer under duress unless
circumstances dictate it is necessary.

This is particularly important if their difficulty relates to others
outside of the family (maybe someone has deeply hurt or rejected them).

They will likely need a few shorter conversations over a few days, rather
than trying to jam in all of your thoughts & encouragement in a long session 
while the wound is still fresh.

5. Pray with and for them.

I am ending on what I feel is the most important point.

There is no one on the face of the planet who loves your child
more than God does!

He created them, and you, and He is very interested in helping
you both resolve the situation.

Sometimes I'll stop to offer a prayer right then & there.
Other times I'll just quietly pray on my own later.

Either way, the child is covered by our prayers.

I have found the battle is tough these days, and is not
for the faint of heart.

We must persevere both in our parenting, and in prayer, reading the 
Word, and fellowship, as we seek to disciple our children to Christ.


Most of all we need to show them grace.

To be consistent, and yes, hold them accountable for any wrong actions,
however, always remember their age, understanding (as in with special needs),
ability and the context of the situation.


Lastly, I wanted to add, that even with doing ALL of the above,
sometimes circumstances still suck for our child.

Sometimes our child may struggle for more than a short while.

Trust me, we have been there.

I can relate to the powerless feeling of saying you've done all
that you know to do, and life still stinks for your child.

Don't hesitate to seek professional help.

I find the best referrals are from other parents already
two steps ahead.

Ask around, and ensure you find the right team of people
to help you when the bad days are turning into weeks...months...
or even longer.


Whatever you are facing right now,
don't give up.

There is always hope. 


This post may have contained some affiliate links. 
Which means that if you purchase from an affiliate link, 
we receive a very small commission. This is at NO cost to you.

Thank you for supporting our family :)


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