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Gentle Reminders for Moms with little ones.

We have had Maya for 3 1/2 weeks. 3 1/2 weeks is long enough to be reminded of what parenting "littles" is like. Lots of interruptions--worthwhile interruptions, but still breaks in routine. Diapers, potty training, crying for no apparent reason, nursings and feedings... all worthwhile, and yet energy depleting and emotional draining. Moms, that ma...
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“The highest reward for man’s toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it.”
- John Suskin

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"You are not your thoughts,simply the one who listens to them." - author unknown

A sweet friend recently described the negative ones "as fiery darts meant to distract, tear us down, etc." Sometimes it seems as if as soon as you find escape them, they find your hiding place, an.

We don't have anything to hide from. The thoughts that tear us down, remind us of past mistakes, imperfect words we have spoken--those thoughts that try to convince us that we aren't good enough--aren't the truth.

In 2 Corinthians 10:5, Paul writes, "and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." We have the ability to change the playlist. Whether the thoughts are that we aren't enough, or we are full of worry; we can acknowledge the thoughts that keep us stuck. Not only do we have the power to let the thoughts go, but we can surrender and give Christ the permission to rewrite the narrative.... as often as we need Him to.

"every thought... " every time. What are you listening to today?

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Pumpkin spice lattes, a few cozy pieces added to my wardrobe, we have a series of birthdays to celebrate—ahh—some of my favorites things...

Do me a quick favor: take a few moments to think through your September calendar. As you mentally go the activities, special events, work projects and celebrations—did you make sure to include a few lines for yourself?

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Trail running… my first real introduction to meditation. The biggest difference being if you happen to follow a rabbit trail of thoughts—there is a really strong chance you will bite it and hit the ground.

I can’t even remember why I wanted to start running trails. However, I will never forget the miles of running on jagged rock and mud—and aide stations that have Nutella pita sandwiches and M&Ms—and the necessary focus to what was in front of your feet.

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Most of our days are busy. We live racing from one scheduled priority to another. Even if we don’t actually have places to be, often our minds are busy moving from one thought to the next, feeling as if we are still rushed.One of the beautiful things about showing up on your yoga mat, is you are given  permission to turn off the busy and noise of your mind. You are reminded to turn your attention to your breath. For the duration of the class, you are to focus on two things: your breathing and your movement. Everything else can wait until the end of the class. Amazingly enough, as you begin to move with your breath, your mind begins to calm. Slowly the urge to rush is replaced with the urge to settle in to the work at hand. You become mindful of what you are doing in the present moment.  Your teacher may have just led you through 20 different poses—multiple times—yet at the end of your class, when you return to the mat for Savasana (resting or Corpse Pose), you feel as if you just unrolled your mat. You were plenty busy, but you were un-rushed.  We have the option to live in the moment—un-rushed—everyday. Un-rushed takes some practice, but is worth the effort. Here are a few reasons to consider changing your ways. First: how amazing do you feel to finish class, without your to-do list whirling in your mind?Second: next time you catch yourself mid-rush, take note of your breath. Is your breath fast, uneven, maybe choppy?When we live this way on day to day basis, among the emotional toll it places on us, it also affects our physical body via our nervous system. How often do you feel overwhelmed? When overwhelmed is our normal, our body cannot work as intended. Our parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) and our sympathetic nervous system (SNS) work together to help you cope and respond to daily life. For many of us, the daily stress from expectations, obligations, frustrating thoughts, even flashing lights and constant media and advertising—all activate our SNS, or "fight or flight" within our bodies. When this happens, an imbalance is created, and our PNS (rest and digest) mechanism in the body is no longer functioning as it should. In other words, stress causes your blood pressure to rise, your breathing rates increase, and the stress hormone, cortisol, which when elevated, plays a huge role the inability to lose weight and prevent the PNS from doing it's job. When I catch myself mid-rush, I do check in with my breath. God created us, and breathed His breath into us (Genesis 2:7). He knows the power of the breath. We can use our breath to help regulate our nervous system. (The whole nervous system, both the PNS and SNS, were his idea in the first place.) Next, I turn to gratitude, or a mantra/verse that I am working on taking to heart. A minute or two with my breath and a grateful heart have huge dividends in comparison to a minute or two on social media. You can give yourself permission to slow down even when your yoga mat is rolled up. Life can still be full of obligations, but that doesn’t mean you have to allow the busy to control you. You can live a busy and full life—and still live un-rushed.
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Before we dive in, two things you should know about me. I believe in creation science, the more I learn (and the longer I live); the more I do not believe evolution could be more then an idea. Maybe we will move on to that topic on another day ... But for now, the first thing you need to know about me is that I believe that God created the earth, plants, animals, fish, birds and people - in six days. Second, I do believe that we are not to live blindly. So, if I am going to teach asana (the postures of yoga), then I need to be able to discern and educate others in regards to what ideas align with my faith in Christ, and what does not. Hence, this very long post.

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I've been a mom for almost seventeen years now. A few things I've learned about myself along this part of my journey.

I first learned I wasn't very patient, I have practiced patience, prayed for patience, gained some patience —and can still lose patience when television and electronics are essentials and cleaning up after one self is not.

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My heart goes out to the families affected by recent events.

Racism is real. Just as real as slavery, and human and sex trafficking--modern day oppression...

I think this is a really good time to ask the question Joe (our local church pastor) asked on Sunday. “Are we living our lives to create a better life, or a better world?” From my vantage point, more people, including Americans, have been choosing the better life. Whenever we care more about ourselves then those around us—then we have been choosing selfishly.

Everyday we we make small and big decisions regarding what we believe and what we value, regarding ourselves and others. All our decisions add up and shape who we are.

I believe our nation is where it is, because as a collective, we have been choosing “us vs. them”—ourselves verses everyone else. When we value our own comforts more then what God values-the orphan, the widow, the captive, the weak and oppressed-then eventually, our actions will catch up to us. God never pushes Himself on us, but He does desire we choose His way over our own. If we choose to go our own way, then He will continue to love us—all the same—but His values and His love will not be evident because He will leave us to our own ways.

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"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.
In all of your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."

Proverbs 3:5-6

This scripture that is often used for a lot of card signing and big event celebrations to encourage church-goers. What does it mean?

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