1 Comment

Embracing Self-Care: Taking Some R&R

Taking Some R&R

A group of bloggers are doing a series called Embracing Self-Care and each is posting on the same topic every Wednesday this month and they’re extending an open invitation to join in. Here are my thoughts on this week’s topic, Taking Some R&R. And check out the other installments as well: Know ThyselfHealth and Spirituality and Peace in the Home.

Aaahhh. . . I get to talk about rest and relaxation. Should be easy, right? It’s all bubble baths with champagne and long strolls under beautiful sunsets. Well, not so much. Of all the topics in the Embracing Self-Care series this is the hardest for me. Continue reading


Leave a comment

10 ways to create a healthy amount of screen time – A guest post at Red+Honey

Screen Time Photo

Today I’m posting at Red+Honey. Read the teaser here and click over to read the rest. While you’re there, stay a while! It’s one of my favorite blogs and I am constantly blessed by it.

I made one of my best parenting decisions long before I became a mother. Sitting in a psychology class in university I learned about how watching TV negatively affects brain development in children under two. Right then and there I decided my children would not watch TV until after their second birthday. Click over to Red+Honey to read the rest and leave a comment!


4 Comments

Embracing Self-care: Peace in the Home

Peace in the Home photo.jpg

A group of bloggers are doing a series called Embracing Self-Care and each is posting on the same topic every Wednesday this month and they’re extending an open invitation to join in. Here are my thoughts on this week’s topic, Peace in the Home. And check out the other installments as well: Know Thyself and Health and Spirituality.

If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy

As much as I wish this wasn’t true, it is. There’s a direct ripple effect that takes my frustration and stress directly to my children. I recognize more and more that my behavior, attitude and even countenance can change their moods quick. So, this mama needs to stay happy and enable peace to flourish in our home. Continue reading


5 Comments

10 unexpected lessons about motherhood

lessons about motherhood

Before I became a mom I knew there was lots of stuff I didn’t know about motherhood. I mean, there were more books than anyone can count written on the topic, more blogs than I cared to read and billions of women who were mothers before me. What did I know? While I did a fair amount of research on the subject, though not as much as most women due to the lack of an English ‘Parenting’ section at my local Hungarian library, I was relatively clueless when my daughter came into the world that frosty January morning. I knew I was embarking on a steep learning curve, I didn’t appreciate just how steep it would be. Some things I’ve learned along the way haven’t surprised me, others seem somewhat random and downright ridiculous. Here are my 10 favorite unexpected lessons about motherhood: Continue reading


5 Comments

Embracing Self-Care: Health and Spirituality

Health and Spirituality

A group of bloggers are doing a series called Embracing Self-Care and each is posting on the same topic every Wednesday this month and they’re extending an open invitation to join in. Here are my thoughts on this week’s topic, Health and Spirituality.

Some people can’t wait to read their Bible as soon as they wake up in the morning. They pray and talk with God all day. Their day goes badly if they haven’t spent enough time doing either of these.

That’s not me. Continue reading


1 Comment

More with Less: Cultivate contentment

Cultivate Contentment

Keeping up with the Joneses.

Bigger is better.

Supersize me.

We are constantly surrounded by messages that life tell us our lives will be better when we have more toys and our homes are filled with certain objects.

There’s a strong undercurrent calling the bluff, proclaiming that more stuff actually makes you less happy and living small is better for you, everyone else and the environment. But it’s still the undercurrent and even if you share these ideals, living them out in a materialistic world can be hard.

Left to my own devices I would still be under the thumb of my American ideals, working towards owning a large home and filling it with stuff for me. I would still want to live abroad so I’d probably only want one car, not two. Even as a Christian the cultural messages can drown out the words of Jesus.

By God’s grace I am not left to my own devices. Through living in small-town, rural Hungary and and in a tiny apartment in downtown Ottawa, both on limited incomes, I wasn’t able to pursue the American dream. (You can read more in the first installment of this series, My journey with money). My mindset had to change. I couldn’t want more stuff. I had to learn to be content.

Along with giving, learning contentment has been hugely influential in helping me to live with less and stop searching for value and security in the number of my possessions or the size of my bank account. Cultivating contentment in my life has made it easier for me to live a life of relative simplicity in a society that always wants more.

Here are some way to cultivate contentment in your life:

  • Cut off sources that make you dissatisfied: TV, magazines, certain stores: Most advertising  is meant to make us dissatisfied with our lives so we’ll buy this thing that will make us sexy or happy. Constant exposure makes our lives look pathetic in comparison to what they ‘could’ be. Carefully guard what messages you take in and how often. Shopping can do this as well. I have a hard time remaining content while strolling IKEA — Anthropology and West Elm are killer. So I don’t go to these stores unless I have to.
  • Surround yourself with people who share your ideals: I’m not suggesting you only spend time with people who share your ideals; that’s never a good thing. But when we are with people who also choose to live with less and appreciate what they have it’s easier for us to do the same. Because this goes against the cultural norm it’s good to have a little support and encouragement.
  • Be thankful for what you have: This is the big one. When we see the things we have as gifts and are truly grateful for them we are less likely to continue seeking more and more. And people who practice gratitude and thankfulness are happier. I suggest keeping a gratitude journal  and intentionally thanking God and others for the blessings you receive throughout the day.
  • Don’t desire what other people have: This is the hard one and definitely where I struggle the most. It’s easy to see a friend’s new house and cute outfit or hear about her vacation and want the same for ourselves. But we’re not doing ourselves any favors and it’s the most effective way to sabotage thankfulness. Choose to be happy for your friend and grateful for what you do have. It might not be as glamorous but that doesn’t make it any less valuable.

If we look to things to make us happy we will always be accumulating; no matter how much or what we have, it will never enough. Contentment is an important piece of the foundation of a life that values people, simplicity and less. When we cultivate it we free ourselves from the lies our culture tells us an can instead live our lives in gratitude to God, who supplies all our needs.

How do YOU cultivate contentment? What benefits do you see in your life when you’re content with what you have?

 


5 Comments

Embracing Self-Care: Know thyself

Know Thyself

In a week and a half something glorious will happen. When it does the heavens will part and angel’s voices will fill the air as they sing the Doxology.

Ryan will submit his final paper in the first year of his MA program.

No longer will my husband be a full-time employee AND student (oh, and a dad and husband, too).

No longer will my evenings be prefaced by asking, ‘What homework do you need to get done tonight? Will you be able to help with the kids?’

No longer will I make plans around a syllabus. Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 48 other followers